Referendum date set

HARARE - Zimbabweans will go for a referendum on March 16, minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga has said.

Matinenga said his ministry was embarking on a nationwide awareness and educational meetings to make sure Zimbabweans are aware of the “animal they are voting for or against.”

“On my way back from Mvurwi yesterday I got back to learn the Office of the President was looking for me,” Matinenga said. “I was then advised through a minister who stood in my place that the Principals wanted to convey to me that tentatively the referendum was on March 16.

“Our intention as a ministry is to have this draft gazetted on Friday for public information, and that from a legal point of view becomes publication to the whole world.”

“What it means therefore is that not only must we publish the draft on Friday but that also we must do a proclamation of the President’s signature and be published on the same day, barring any changes which may come.”

He said though it has been set for a single day he was going to try and gain “audience of the powers that be” to argue for a two-day referendum so that the majority of Zimbabweans can be given the chance to vote.
“What needs to be done is to give people proficient time to know what they are voting for or against. The general consensus was that we need to be as permissive as possible so that other parties can also take the draft to the people.”

Matinenga said the decision for a referendum was a political one and “not technical” that is why the Principals set the date.

Most political parties in Zimbabwe are gunning for a “yes” vote in the constitution while Lovemore Madhuku’s  National Constitutional Assembly is campaigning for people to vote against it.

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