Stage set for referendum

President Robert Mugabe yesterday officially set aside March 16 for the referendum on the new constitution brushing aside opposition from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).


The referendum will pave the way for fresh elections to end the inclusive government.

Mugabe made the proclamation in a Government Gazzette, days after Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga made the announcement.

“I consider it desirable to ascertain the view of voters on whether or not the said draft constitution should be enacted at the constitution of Zimbabwe,” the veteran ruler said in the notice.

“Now, therefore….I do, by this proclamation, appoint Saturday the 16th as the day on which the referendum will be held.”

The proposed supreme law would curb presidential powers and cut the wings of service chiefs among other progressive provisions.

But some groups are not happy with the time being given ordinary people to study the draft before voting.

NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku yesterday said he had instructed his lawyers to take Mugabe to court over the referendum date.

“Our lawyers will certainly do that Monday morning,” he said. “The lawyers are running around to oppose that (referendum date) as we had said.”

Madhuku said they had been waiting for the date to be gazette before challenging it in court.

“That is what we have been waiting for and our lawyers are now running around to make sure they file the papers Monday morning,” he said.

Parties in the inclusive are campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote during the referendum making Madhuku’s campaign tough.

The constitution making process that started in 2009 was marked by bickering by the coalition parties and at some stage there was suspicion that Zanu PF was bent on sabotaging the exercise.

But Mugabe reportedly prevailed against Zanu PF hardliners putting the process back on track.

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  1. Lets jst vote nd move forward we cant keep on going lyk ths. Wth inclusive government decisions are difficult to make. Please help us we need jobs in Zim

  2. madhuku, madhuku madhuke weh…siyana nazvo mhani aah wakaita seiko nhaiwe! u lost this kudhara! what is really wrong with zimbabwean professors? sei musina 4sight? hameno hako u are going to be zorwad. plus fut iwewe haudi kubva pachigaro ipapo urimudzvanyiriri fut tym tym

  3. It is time to move forward. Let’s vote Yes and leave the past behind.

  4. To vote yes is the way as it means yes voting zanu out come genaral elections, other reforms like security should come next plus zec office bearers.

  5. Tambaoga Shirichena

    A cloudy of uncertainity has finally come to an end with the enactment of a referendum election date. The Gazetting of the Referendum Election dates compliments the good work samples of committed Zimbabwean seized with drafting a new constitution since 2009. Everyone is motivated to participate in this national cause for a new Constitutional dispensation. However, Professor Lovemore Madhuku has an academic option to file Opposing papers on Monday as claimed. Professor Lovemore Madhuku has a constitutional right to pursue a “No campaign vote” through a futile legal test in the Courts of Law. In any sphere of democratic processes, Lovemeore Madhuku is acting for a constituence of some people who are opposed to the new Constitution. Let him do so and as a nation, we will get international mileage for accepting diversity.

    The architects of the Lancaster House Constitution will want to see a continuity and even associate with Professor Lovemore Madhuke in a marriage of convinience. However, for those in favour of a “Yes campaign vote”, it is game on. Lucky civil servants will be chosen to be election office bearers in the capacities of presiding officers while others will be polling agents and international observers. Money will definately change hands and also increase the inflow of revenue to the treasury’s coffers. Politicians have a grand stage to showcase their talents in preparation for the upcoming harmonised election later during the year.

  6. surely we need progress, lets move forward

  7. i like yr comments guys, bt dnt u think we need mo time to analyse e’ draft? honestly how many of us have actually seen and digested it all! lets advocate 4 more time…

  8. I agree with Soulmate, coz some of us we never contributed anything or even heard where it is done coz its done during working days and we never have an opportunity to contribute. We also have smthing to say as citizens of Zimbabwe.
    Pls give us more time to go thru the draft and contribute.

  9. A bad constitution, being implemented by men of integrity will work! But a seemingly good one wont work if the implementers lack integrity! The latter obtains in Zimbabwe!

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