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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Constitution debates off the airwaves
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    July 16, 2010

    While Zimbabweans are complaining about limited access to information on the Constitution making process, media reports reveal that Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the country's sole broadcaster has banned constitution related debates on all its radio stations.

    Sources at the ZBC headquarters in Highlands said this was decided after a Sport FM presenter invited an analyst on the constitution-making program for an hour, who outwardly spoke against the Kariba Draft. To effectively communicate the news to the ZBC workers, the radio and Programming General Manager, Allan Chiweshe visited all radio substations and warned against any such programs being aired. Failure to follow this instruction will be met with dismissal.

    ZimRights demands that ZBC open up its services and air such much information on the constitution making process as possible especially on radio. Radio is an efficient mode of communication, which reaches the largest audience in Zimbabwe. Thus, it should be exploited to mobilize and educate Zimbabweans on the constitution making process.

    Meanwhile, from the public meeting held by COPAC, inclusion of more indigenous languages in the new constitution as official languages has been a case in point. Some of the suggested languages were Tonga, Nambya, Dombe and Lubale particularly in Matebeleland North, the residents of Hwange want Tonga and Nambya to be taught in schools instead of only Ndebele. They are also complaints of the use of English at the expense of local languages in education. The people suggested that other subjects have textbooks written in our indigenous languages and also be taught in these vernaculars.

    Other issues that many Zimbabweans were free to talk on were gay rights, devolution of power and the dearth penalty.

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