Vote 'YES' in Referendum: Mujuru

Harare – Robert Mugabe's Zanu(PF) has already started campaigning for a 'YES' vote for a constitutional referendum expected to be held mid-next year.

Vice President Joice Mujuru told Zanu(PF) supporters at a provincial inter-district conference in Bindura in Mashonaland province that people must vote for the new charter even before it has been completed.

Mujuru,s remarks have  raised fears that the new charter will be doctored at a time when two senior officials of the Constitutional Select Committee (COPAC) were suspended last week.

The two, project co-ordinator Lovemore Kunjeku and collation Manager, Skoliwe Fundira were suspended  for allegedly moving data collected from Copac offices to the National Archives something that was not approved by the management committee.

Zimbabwe is set to make a new constitution as per requirements of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a unity pact which brought together Mugabe and his long time nemesis Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and leader of the other formation of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara.The three leaders formed a fragile coalition government which is facing many problems that threaten its existence.

The constitutional outreach process has been marred by lack of funds to carry the process, violence and intimidation while some meetings were postponed.

Tsvangirai has accused state security institutions and Zanu(PF) supporters of teaming up to disrupt constitution meetings.

Tsvangirai supporter Chrispen Mandizvidza died of injuries sustained after Zanu(PF) supporters violently stoned a constitutional meeting in Mbare.

Sharp differences have already threatened to split the unity government with Tsvangirai saying all the people who disrupted the constitutional meetings must be arrested.

No date has been set for the meetings which were suspended in Harare and Chitungwiza.

Mugabe in recent weeks has said he needed the country to go for elections ahead of the referendum describing the unity government as a ‘creature’ that is causing problems. Tsvangirai has said regional and international observers must be called in to ensure there is peace during any election in the near future.

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), a constitutional pressure group has said it will press ahead  urging Zimbabweans to vote ‘NO’ at the referendum. The NCA won a ‘NO’ vote at the 2000 referendum. The group has argued that the current process is being led by politicians and that it is not people centered.