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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Constitutional Amendment 18 of 2007 - Index of articles, opinion and anaylsis

  • Civil society to discuss contentious Amendment 18
    Henry Makiwa, SW Radio Africa
    September 24, 2007

    Visit the special index of articles, analysis and opinion on Constitutional Amendment 18

    The civil society coalition decided to hold an all stakeholders meeting on the contentious constitutional amendment 18 in Bulawayo at the weekend.

    Representatives of civil groups met in Harare Monday morning to map out the next course of action following the agreement between their ally, the MDC and the ruling Zanu PF to amend a section of the constitution.

    Many have criticised the MDC decision, with the National Constitution Assembly officially cutting ties with the opposition party, accusing it of "selling out" and " abandoning the principle of a people-driven constitution" .

    The amendment, once turned into law by Robert Mugabe's signature, will give Mugabe powers to appoint a successor and boost parliamentary seats.

    According to the NCA's advocacy officer Ernest Mudzengi, discussions on Saturday will shape out the next course of the civil society grouping in their quest for a new constitution.

    Mudzengi said: "From our consultations so far, most within the civil society are convinced the MDC discarded the principle and spirit of 17 September 2005 when we all agreed that no longer shall we accept piecemeal amendments short of a new, people-driven constitution.

    "We believe that the MDC 's endorsement of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Zimbabwe was an act of treachery and an unfortunate one," Mudzengi said.

    He added that the "apparent seams" within the MDC would give the civil society some "room to function without the opposition party's continued compromise."

    The NCA, which is led by Lovemore Madhuku, played a pivotal role in the formation of the MDC in 1999. It also partnered the MDC is mobilising Zimbabweans to vote against a government draft constitution in a referendum in February 2000. The MDC is also a member of the NCA.

    Some of the organizations expected to attend the weekend meeting include the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Zimbabwe Law Society and the Zimbabwe National Students Union.

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