Madhuku sues Mugabe

HARARE - National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku has filed an urgent High Court chamber application against President Robert Mugabe demanding him to extend the cut-off date for holding a referendum.

Madhuku, through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama yesterday filed the application, claiming the date set for the referendum (March 16, 2013) was inadequate for the electorate to scrutinise the draft constitution.
 
Madhuku cited Mugabe and Zimbabwe Election Commission acting chairperson Joice Kazembe as respondents in the application.

“It is the view of the NCA that the time set by the President is grossly inadequate in light of the importance and complexity of the opinion being sought from voters,” said Madhuku.

He said there was no official document distributed while available copies were not translated or simplified.

“The NCA is seeking the urgent intervention of this court to set aside this date and order the President to give voters not less than two months from the date of proclamation.

“Such time would enable the voters to share few copies being distributed and more importantly to listen to different opinions on the issues at stake,” reads part of the application.

Madhuku said there was need for a translation of the draft and for it to be put in braille and come up with a shorter version.

“If the referendum is held as promulgated, there will be little time for the public including civil society to debate the constitution and matters arising therefrom.

“Applicants submit that the draft constitution as promulgated does not contain the views of the general populace. It is therefore necessary that the people be given an adequate opportunity to scrutinise the constitution in order to make informed choices,” said Madhuku. - Tendai Kamhungira

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