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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Daily Media Referendum Watch - Issue 10
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
March 20, 2013
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praised for endorsing draft
News of the
announcement of the results of the draft constitution and the endorsement
of the referendum as a ‘credible’ and ‘peaceful’
vote by a wide cross-section of Zimbabwean society, the region and
the international community, flooded the electronic media –
especially the national broadcaster, ZBC.
private electronic media also reported on the extensive approval
of the referendum vote in six of their nine reports, they reported
Prime Minister Tsvangirai, civic groups, and some sections of the
international community expressing concern about what they viewed
as a renewed crackdown on perceived ZANU PF opponents. These concerns
appeared in three reports.
One of those
who were reported condemning the intimidation and arrests of civic
and political activists, as well as journalists working for the
private and foreign media, was the US-based Human Rights Watch.
The global human rights watchdog released a statement yesterday
urging the Zimbabwe government to “stop the abuse of power
and hold those responsible to account”. It complained, “Police
harassment and arrests of civil society activists has worsened as
elections get closer”.
reports were on the commendation of Zimbabweans for the spirit in
which the referendum was conducted. The praise reportedly came from
the US and Namibian Embassies; Zimbabwe’s main parties; senior
government officials; co-chairpersons of the Constitutional Parliamentary
Select Committee (Copac); and some political analysts (ZBC, 19/8,
8pm; Star FM and ZiFM).
In one of these,
the U.S. Embassy released a statement “congratulating”
the people and government of Zimbabwe for holding a peaceful, credible
referendum. It viewed the vote as an “historic step forward”
in the nation’s development of democracy and the rule of law
(Star FM, 19/3).
While the US
Embassy conceded that there was “no violence or other significant
problems” during the vote, it expressed concern over “reports
that voters in some areas were instructed to vote at specific stations,
or instructed to report to political party operatives after voting”
(Star FM). The embassy also complained that “accreditation
of observers was limited” but still believed “that the
overall conduct of this referendum has helped to gain the confidence
of the Zimbabwean people, neighbouring countries, and the international
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