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Constitutional Amendment 18 of 2007 - Index of articles, opinion and anaylsis
opposition tries to mollify NGO critics on Constitution vote
Zulu, Voice of America (VOA)
September 24, 2007
the special index of articles, analysis and opinion on Constitutional
Movement for Democratic Change remained at odds Monday with many
of its traditional civil society allies over its controversial deal
with the ruling ZANU-PF party to amend the constitution, but was
moving to patch up the rift.
president Morgan Tsvangirai met on Monday with leaders of groups
including the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Zimbabwe
National Students Union in an effort to defuse the crisis.
But key allies
including the National
Constitutional Assembly, the National
Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, the Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights refused his conciliatory invitation.
Some civic leaders have
taken to calling the MDC's endorsement of the constitutional amendment
"the great betrayal." Ironically, Tsvangirai's MDC faction
and its rival led by Arthur Mutambara find themselves united under
attack by civic activists.
The activists complain
that the MDC agreed to sweeping changes to the constitution as to
the composition of both houses of parliament and presidential succession
with minimal consultation, adding that the MDC should have insisted
on a full rewrite.
Acting Executive Director
Irene Petras of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said giving
parliament the power to elect a president when an incumbent dies,
is incapacitated or resigns runs against accepted international
However, she said most
of the constitutional changes are cosmetic.
Confidential newsletter said MDC leaders were assured by South
African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating crisis talks with
a mandate from the Southern African Development Community, that
ZANU-PF would agree to repeal the Public
Order and Security Act and write new election laws.
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa
of Tsvangirai's faction declined to comment on that report, but
said opposition leaders believe history will vindicate their decision.
NCA National Director
Ernest Mudzengi said the dissenting civic groups want to meet as
"stakeholders" to clarify their position and relationship
with the opposition.
said negotiators for the MDC and ZANU-PF met Monday in Harare to
discuss outstanding issues including the Public Order and Security
Act - which the opposition wants to see repealed - and existing
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