Over 100 NCA activists protest in Mutare (11-07-07)

MUTARE – MORE than 100 members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on Wednesday took to the streets here in a peaceful demonstration demanding the writing of a new constitution for the trouble stricken Southern African country.

The demonstrators uplifting placards calli

ng for a new constitution were chanting songs which sought government to consider writing of a new constitution, a priority.

Singing war songs and liberation war songs and songs demanding a new constitution the boisterous crowd ran from the city centre at Meikles Park along the eastern border city’s main street Herbert Chitepo upto the police’s headquarters Murahwa House.

Women and men in the crowd of demonstrators passed through the city’s main bus terminus and through the main smaller commuter ranks of Dangamvura, Sakubva, Penhalonga and Hobhouse suburbs in song and later dispersed without arrests.

Some pedestrians, motorists, shop owners stood by as the singing procession of singing demonstrators marched round the city. Police details also watched from a distance without taking any action until they dispersed.

The NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku in a telephone interview said the peaceful demonstrations will continue nationawide until the government heeds to the call for a new home-grown, people driven constitution.

The demonstration comes in the wake of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe declaring there is no need to change the country’s constitution.

State radio quoted Mugabe, as having remarking at weekend meeting of his ruling ZANU PF party that the present constitution was serving the country well and there was no need to change it.

“President Robert Mugabe says the current constitution serves the nation well and there is no reason to change it,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings’ Newsnet reported at the weekend.

The embattled Zimbabwe leader said this as officials from ZANU PF and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party began secret talks in South Africa under the mediation of President Thabo Mbeki.

In the contrary the MDC has publicly made it clear that its most critical demand is a new democratic constitution that will guarantee free and fair polls next year.

Mugabe’s government has paid little heed to calls by the opposition that the Mbeki-led talks discuss a new constitution for Zimbabwe and instead is moving ahead to unilaterally amend the constitution to allow for the holding of joint presidential and parliamentary elections next year, a move certain to undermine the South African leader’s mediation effort- Sydney Saize

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