NCA Files Application To Have Referendum Date Changed
National Constitutional Assembly has filed an urgent High Court application today seeking an extension of the referendum date.
The lobby group led by Lovemore Madhuku has been critical of the whole constitution-making process and now seeks to have the whole process slowed down.
Some of the reasons it has given are legal. For example, the fact that Referendum Act and its regulations have to be changed to reflect the amendments to the Electoral Act last year. They also cite the readiness of the chairperson-less Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ie dates, finances and the works.
Also included in this was the time needed for people to fully understand the new charter citing the fact that COPAC has issues with getting the document out as it is and printed in the different ethnic languages.
The NCA wants a period of two months for people to get ready for the referendum.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, commenting on the issue last week was of the opinion that an extension would be immaterial insisting that the referendum be held on the now-gazetted 16 March.
One could say that the NCA sees itself at risk if the a new constitution is passed given their objective has been delivering a new constitution to Zimbabwe.
However we think the appetite for all this posturing is gone now. We are not sure how many people are keen on the elections themselves and most people see this long drawn-out process as a distraction more than anything else.
With elections often seen as an uncomfortable period why prolong the anguish?