Zim referendum delayed

2011-03-24 10:43

Harare – Zimbabwe’s draft constitution is only expected to be ready for a referendum by September and not in June as originally scheduled, the constitutional affairs minister said today.

The new charter is meant to clear the way for fresh polls following the country’s bloody 2008 elections, but the drafting process is running months behind after public outreach meetings were repeatedly postponed over outbreaks of violence.

“I do not see us going to referendum earlier than September this year,” Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told the state-run Herald newspaper.

Matinenga said officials expected to begin compiling input gathered during the outreach programmes in April.

Veteran President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe should push ahead with elections even if the parties to the country’s shaky power-sharing government fail to agree on a new constitution.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai earlier this month also called for a “divorce” in the unity government, urging elections under a roadmap devised by the Southern African Development Community, which is expected to take up the issue at a security summit next week.

Mugabe and longtime rival Tsvangirai formed the power-sharing government two years ago in a bid to stop the conflict sparked by the 2008 elections and mend the shattered economy.

The agreement included plans for a new constitution and amended media and election laws to ensure free and fair polls.

The constitution committee had originally set a date of June 30 to hold a referendum on the draft constitution.

But the public consultation process was repeatedly disrupted by violent attacks, including one in which a Tsvangirai supporter was killed when militant Mugabe backers stoned a meeting.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.