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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Daily Media Referendum Watch - Issue 05
    The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
    March 15, 2013

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    Mixed views over draft constitution

    Despite concerted efforts by Zimbabwe’s coalition parties and the Parliamentary Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) to mobilize Zimbabweans for a ‘Yes Vote’ in tomorrow’s referendum, a survey on a cross section of the public carried in Harare by ZiFM showed divided public opinion on the matter.

    While those who supported the ‘Yes Vote’ initiative expressed satisfaction with the Copac draft, saying it was good, those that remained undecided attributed this to their ignorance of the contents of the draft due to the little time accorded Zimbabweans to study the document.

    Most of those who expressed lack of knowledge of the contents of the draft were ordinary members of the society.

    ZiFM (14/3) recorded them arguing they were “not ready to vote because the time they were given to go through the draft was too little”. One of these said he found it “queer” that coalition parties and Copac were telling them to ‘Vote Yes’ without “sufficiently informing the people about the contents of the draft”.

    But the national broadcaster, ZBC, and the majority of private radio stations restricted their coverage on the matter to the parties and civic groups’ campaign for the ‘Yes Vote’.

    Highlights of this campaign included calls by Prime Minister Tsvangirai for the public to ‘Vote Yes’ while addressing party supporters at Large City Hall in Bulawayo; and similar calls by ZANU PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and several interest groups such as women and youth organizations
    (ZBC, 14/3, 8pm, Star FM & Studio 7, 14/3).

    In one such case, Studio 7 reported Tsvangirai telling hundreds of MDC-T supporters in Bulawayo that the new constitution “will protect citizens” from what he called “the tyranny of the majority”, saying minority rights “are well enshrined” in the draft.

    The PM also said the draft “will ensure the equitable distribution of national resources to all the country’s provinces” (Studio 7).

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