Zimbabwe referendum date set?

Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga

By Tichaona Sibanda
13 February 2013

Zimbabweans will vote to approve or reject the proposed new constitution on March 16th.

The announcement of this date for the referendum, described as a tentative date, was made by the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, in Harare on Wednesday. The date was agreed following a cabinet meeting in the capital on Tuesday.

At a joint press conference with COPAC, Matinenga said there will be no voters roll for the referendum and anyone above 18 years of age and with an identity card can walk into any polling station countrywide.

Matinenga said that due to time constraints there will only be a two week voter education exercise, instead of the one month that was expected. The Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry will conduct two civic meetings per province in that two week period, while COPAC will host one meeting per district during the same period.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has tentatively approved a request by Zimbabwe to fund the referendum and harmonized elections. The resident representative and UN coordinator, Alain Noudehou, said they want to see the election process in Zimbabwe move forward.

After the March referendum the new constitution will be passed into law between April and May. The date for harmonized elections will depend on the adoption of the new constitution and synchronization of the new electoral laws.

After the electoral amendments are done then President Robert Mugabe will announce the date for elections. This has to be announced 60 days before the polls. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Wednesday he expected presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in July after a nationwide vote on a new constitution next month.



3 Responsesto “Zimbabwe referendum date set?”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    This dysfunctional GNU took four long years of endless bickering before
    Mugabe “dictated” the Copac constitution. The Twiddle-dees and
    twiddle-dums in MDC rubber stamped it.

    Members of Parliament and Senators, 300 or so in total all based in two
    buildings in Harare, had nearly a month to rubber stamp the document; and they
    had been involved with the drafting all along. And now it is the people’s turn
    to have their say and suddenly there is no time they must do so in four weeks!

    The Copac Constitution has yet to be translated into all the major languages,
    printed and distributed to all the corners of Zimbabwe – that is 13 million
    people spread in a country over 390 000 square kilometres. Even if the regime overwhelms us all and get the copies out there in two weeks; these ordinary men and women, who will have their other daily chores since this is the busiest time of the years, must read and digest the 200 page document in two weeks!

    If Mugabe had been serious about enlightening the people on the contents
    of this new constitution then for the last few months the country’s main public
    newspapers, radios and TV should have been buzzing with discussions and
    call-ins. Instead there has a deafening silence. He did not want the people
    talking about it; no doubt, the least said the better.

    I hope Dr Lovemore Madhuku and NCA will succeed in forcing Mugabe to
    give the electorate time to read and understand the document before they vote.
    Two months is not asking for too much. But knowing how partisan the judiciary
    is, it will not be surprising that Mugabe is granted his dictate.

    For years Mugabe has kept Zimbabweans in the dark over everything; the
    corruption, the looting and the ruthless political oppression. Mugabe and Zanu
    PF have been the crocodiles in the dam always churning up the mud so that us
    the people, the fish, never get to see more than a few inches all round. For
    years we have been forced to go around half blind, not know where those snapping killer jaws will come from next.

    Mugabe must be really worried that the demands to have the reforms
    implemented BEFORE elections are held are becoming increasing loud and his
    confidence in the yes vote being a formality is rattled. If the people vote no
    then Mugabe will be forced to implement all the agreed reforms and that is
    something he has resisted these last four years and is NOT going to allow to
    happen now or ever. Hence the crocodile’s mud churning frenzy; the water is so
    dirty the fish are totally blind! By forcing people to vote before they have
    even read the document, Mugabe wants the people to vote totally blind.

    Some people had given Mugabe the benefit of the doubt as to his true
    intention in failing to implement the reforms. Let us hope this deliberate and
    calculated act to repression and abuse of power will open their eyes; they now
    can finally see Mugabe for the cunning and cynical tyrant he is.

    Anyone who has understood this Copac Constitution will know that even
    with the best political will in the world it will never deliver free and fair
    elections and stop the repeat of the 2008 violence. All the reforms must be
    implemented if there are to be free and fair elections. And to force the
    implementation of the reforms one has to vote no in the referendum.

    As for the Zimbabwe populous my advice is simple: if you have not read
    or understood every section or clause of this document then vote NO. Mugabe is keeping you ignorant deliberately; ask yourself why he is doing it, what is he hiding from you? It is not out of love that fish should have mud-bath that the
    crocodile goes into a mud churning frenzy; for the fish do not panic stay well hidden.

  2. super mondo says:

    the comedy show continues

  3. super mondo says:

    a person who is false to others is false to themselves

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