Legislators take constitution break

HARARE - Parliament yesterday adjourned to May 7 to allow legislators time to campaign in their constituencies for the draft constitution.

Both houses, the upper and lower, are taking the break. MPs have demanded cash in order to help campaign for the “Yes” vote ahead of the referendum.

Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister Obert Gutu, made the announcement in the Upper House on the adjournment of Parliament.

“We are adjourning Parliament to May 7 and we hope that senators will be campaigning in their constituencies for a Yes vote,” said Gutu.

The break was welcomed in the Lower house with MPs demanding to be funded by the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) to participate in the publicity campaign of the charter.

MDC MP for Musikavanhu Constituency, Prosper Mutseyami moved the motion demanding funding for legislators in the publicity campaign.

“The people are now interacting with the draft constitution ahead of referendum on March 16 to vote ‘yes’,” he said.

“I think it is in everyone’s brain that this programme belongs to the parliamentarians and the idea of selling the Copac draft must be within the parliamentarians.

“There is no funding to that project for a maximum movement of parliamentarians to achieve results.”

He added: “The president emphasised the importance of the constitution, but I am sure government is forgetting the part of mobilising MPs to make sure they achieve results when they go out to the people, bearing in mind that whenever you need to travel, you will need fuel and everything with regard to the vehicle to move.

“You do not just necessarily move, “said Mutseyami to rapturous applause from other legislators.

Two weeks ago, pandemonium broke out at Rainbow Towers Hotel as legislators demanded to be paid to participate in the last stages of Copac’s publicity programme.

The draft constitution was approved by Parliament last week and now awaits the referendum.

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