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Zimbabwe Referendum Watch

Zimbabwe Referendum Watch continues Sokwanele's tradition of monitoring elections against the 'SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections'. These were adopted by the SADC leaders on 17th August 2004 in Mauritius and Zimbabwe is a signatory to the benchmark principles. Zimbabwe Referendum Watch measures the parties performance in relation to the forthcoming elections against this standard.

Zimbabwe Referendum Watch - Issue 2

In Issue 1 of Zimbabwe Referendum Watch we commented on the limited time the political parties have allowed Zimbabweans to prepare for the referendum. At the time of writing this, Issue 2, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) have released a statement saying that they have lost their appeal to the Supreme Court to have the referendum date extended, and in so doing confirm that the referendum date remains Saturday, 16 March 2013. Zimbabwe Referendum Watch has recorded 195 breaches for the SADC guidelines, with the Zanu PF party being by far the most responsible for the breaches.

The limited time allowed produces further issues that conflict with the 'SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections'. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights released a statement on 11 March that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) passed a provisional measure directing the government to allow Zimbabwean citizens living abroad to vote in the referendum and the forthcoming election - inclusive of  Zimbabwean citizens other than soldiers and embassy staff stationed abroad. However Joyce Kazembe, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had already confirmed that the time allowed for the referendum did not even allow Zimbabweans on National Duty the opportunity to vote by post.

As well as conflicting with the ACHPR measure, this is a clear breach of SADC's guideline that there should be 'full participation of the citizens in the political process' (2.1.1) and it absolutely breaches the SADC directive that there should be 'equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for' (2.1.6). Significantly, it also conflicts with Zimbabwe's own electoral laws, a point Veritas elaborated on in detail in their mailing of 1st March, and which is worth repeating here in full for those who will be most affected:

Although the [Electoral] Act specifies that anyone who “is 18 years or above and is eligible to be registered as a voter” has the right to vote in a Referendum, potential voters outside the country will not be able to cast postal votes in the coming Referendum on the draft constitution.  According to the Electoral Act, Part XIV, there has to be a period of two weeks for people to apply for a postal vote; and, filled-in ballot papers have to be received by the Chief Elections Officer two weeks before the Referendum polling date.  By giving only one month’s notice of the Referendum date the government has effectively disenfranchised persons who might have wished to cast postal votes.  Those normally entitled to a postal vote are Zimbabweans outside the country on duty in the service of the Government and their spouses, e.g., diplomatic and consular officials, civil servants travelling outside the country on Government business, and police officers and military personnel serving abroad on UN peacekeeping missions.  This opens the way for challenges in the High Court, although it is unlikely that Government employees will take legal action against their employer. (Full Veritas mailing available online here: http://bit.ly/16tMOGT)

We also flagged in ZRW Issue 1 that the police raids taking place against civic organisations were contributing to a climate of fear in Zimbabwe, and we noted that the actions would remind Zimbabweans of the torture and unlawful detention of Jestina Mukuko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), in 2008. Not long after we released Issue 1 the persecution of Mukoko intensified, and police harassment sunk to new depths when the police organised a full-scale media appeal, claiming Mukoko was 'wanted' and 'on the run' and asking citizens to contact the police if they spotted her. In fact, her lawyers were in constant communication with the police, and when a bemused Mukoko turned herself in at a police station, her 'interrogation' in relation to allegations of  'espionage' lasted a short four hours.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) Director noted that this was an example of the police melodramatically going 'out of their way' to criminalise civil society. This level of public sensationalism lays the groundwork for future repressive measures, by helping to entrench a perception in unwitting public minds that the police actions - current and future - are somehow justifiable. And it has to be noted that the use of the state media in this way is also a violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) 19.1 (e) which states that the parties agree

 that the public and private media shall refrain from using abusive language that may incite hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred or that unfairly undermines political parties and other organisations. To this end, the inclusive government shall ensure that appropriate measures are taken to achieve this objective [emphasis added].

This is a very important clause. The power of the media to whip up hatred and anger cannot be understated - in Rwanda, for example, an extreme political abuse of the media contributed to genocidal mass slaughter in that persistent systematic hate speech promulgated the perception that this 'hate' was normal and acceptable. Zimbabwean media should not be used as a tool to circulate the perception that civic actors are criminals trying to sabotage the nation, and this is especially critical given the violence and torture that accompanied the elections in 2008.

The baseless harassment of civic organisations by the police has had a widening ripple effect: ZEC, for example, has refused to accredit ZimRights to observe the referendum on the grounds that the organisation is 'under police investigation'. In response, the CiCZ, which has about 300 members, has threatened to withdraw from the referendum observer process unless this decision is reversed. The heated nature of the engagement fosters an intimidating environment and undermines SADC's guideline to ensure a 'conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections' (4.1.2).

A sense that repressive actions against civic organisations are supported by the security sector, gathered momentum when  the Provincial Governor, Titus Maluleke, summoned over 45 civic organisations in the province to a meeting to announce a range of restrictions on their work, and directed that in future all of them would have to work closely with government departments and the security sector. The Zimbabwean reported that he made the announcement "flanked by the Assistant Provincial Policing Officer, Deputy Provincial CIO boss and Assistant Provincial Administrator Chitsika".

And Radio Dialogue, a Bulawayo community-based radio initiative, was raided by the police who seized 180 shortwave radios. The programming head, Zenzele Ndebele, is currently facing charges of being in possession of 'smuggled' radios related to a 'regime change agenda'. In all cases the language being used by the police is sensationalistic, provocative and inflammatory, and in the context of media and broadcasting it violates SADC's guideline to ensure that citizens in the SADC region have their human and civil liberties safeguarded, which including access to the media (7.4).

Attacking the media further undermines the opportunity for all political parties to have access to information dissemination technologies, restricting their abilities to fully participate in the electoral process (2.1.5). The necessity to ensure access to all the media for full political participation by all parties is perhaps exemplified by the fact that Job Sikhala, firebrand leader of the MDC-99 party, was denied an opportunity to express his views on the constitution in a ZBC (state-controlled media) interview. In August 2012 Sikhala announced that his party would be campaigning for a 'No' vote (http://bit.ly/15O5W10) - a position at odds with the three main political parties in Zimbabwe. ZBC invited him to participate and then withdrew the invitation saying: "they are no longer able to air the interview because ‘mashefu’ ati (the bosses said) it should not be aired". Similarly, the NCA was denied the right to hold a 'No vote' meeting, with the police telling them that the meeting was 'illegal'. Both of these violate SADC guideline 2.1.5 which seeks to ensure that all can freely participate in the electoral process.

And despite being in harmony with Zanu PF on the constitution issue, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai found himself unable to launch the MDC-T's 'Yes vote campaign' despite the police having been informed in advance. The campaign was called off when the party's leader realised supporters would be placed at risk: the police threatened to break up the rally using teargas. It is a timely reminder, perhaps, that regardless of the united 'Vote yes' position, the MDC-T is one of Zanu PF's political opponents, and the Zanu PF stalwarts still control the security sector.

In ZRW Issue 1 we referred to internal-party political violence when Zanu PF legislator Sarah Mahoka was assaulted by thirteen Zanu PF youths. In this issue it is the turn of the MDC-T party to be held to account for violence within their own party. Councillor Kenneth Sithole was attacked by six members of his own party. He said the group accused him of addressing a meeting without their consent. The lack of irony regarding their justification for their violence is perhaps an indicator that the systematic suppression of freedom of association is becoming normalised in Zimbabwe. Violence internal to political parties is a sure indicator that the principals who signed the Global Political Agreement have not done enough between 2008 and now to "promote the values and practices of tolerance, respect, non-violence and dialogue as means of resolving political differences" (GPA clause 18.5(a)).

Finally, SW Radio Africa reported earlier this month that in a meeting at the end of last year,  Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri had ordered senior members of the police force, ranking from Assistant Commissioner to Deputy Commissioner, to ensure that Zanu PF won the next elections. They were implicitly threatened with dismissal from the force if they did not do what they could to ensure this. Chihuri's speech was read out in cabinet and the contents, as reported by SWRA, perhaps serve to contextualise some of the events currently taking place now:

During the retreat the police officers discussed tactical strategies to subdue political opponents, disrupt rallies or meetings and target influential individuals in rural areas. They also discussed how to target non-governmental organisations as ways to ‘safeguard the revolution.’

 

 


 

No postal votes for Zimbabweans abroad http://bit.ly/10Ef6Oq
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Monday, 11 March 2013

Zimbabweans on national duty outside the country will not be able to vote in the constitutional referendum to be held on Saturday. This was revealed by the acting chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Joyce Kazembe at a briefing for poll observers on Friday. According to freelance journalist Lenox Mhlanga, who attended the briefing, Kazembe said the time period for the application process for postal votes as specified in the Electoral Act could not be accommodated in this referendum.Mhlanga said Kazembe’s announcement confirmed fears raised by some that the time allowed for the preparations for the referendum was too short. “This gives the impression that the whole process is being rushed to avoid answering certain questions about the contents of the draft charter if a longer period of time was given, such as the 6 months that some were asking for,” Mhlanga said.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.6 Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 4.1.3 Non-discrimination in the voters’ registration
  • 4.1.5 Timeous announcement of the election date
  • 4.1.10 SADC Election Observation Missions should be deployed at least two weeks before the voting day
  • 7.6 Ensure the availability of adequate logistics and resources for carrying out democratic elections

 Jestina Mukoko hands herself in to the policehttp://bit.ly/12LhFj3
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Friday, 8 March 2013

Prominent human rights defender Jestina Mukoko handed herself in to the police morning of Friday 8 March, after claims by police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri on state media saying they wanted to interview Mukoko for operating an “unregistered” and “unlawful” organisation. Mukoko is a director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project Trust (ZPP), the target of recent intimidatory raids by security agents. Kumbira Mafunda of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Mukoko went to the police station and was charged with “running an unregistered organisation, taking part in the running of an unregistered organisation, possessing smuggled radios and cellphones, and failing or refusing to register as a dealer”. Mukoko was interrogated and released. On Thursday lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa confirmed to SW Radio Africa that the ZPP was registered, and that she had provided its registration papers and Constitution to the police last month. She said: “We informed the police that ZPP was represented by its chairperson, Dr Solomon Zwana, as Mukoko is simply an employee. However, police rejected this and insisted they were interested in no-one else but Mukoko. They intend to use her as an example as part of election-time intimidation.”

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.8 Voter education
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

ZEC refuses to accredit ZimRights to observe referendum ~ http://bit.ly/YnVwz5
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Monday, 11 March 2013

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has refused to accredit the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) to observe this Saturday’s referendum, because the organisation is under police investigation. At a media briefing on Friday 8 March ZEC’s acting chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, said ZimRights’ application had been turned down. In January police laid charges of fraud and forgery against ZimRights and the group’s director Okay Machisa. The authorities alleged that ZimRights was involved in an illegal voter registration exercise. The organization denies participating in any illegal activities. More importantly, according to Machisa, ZimRights has not been convicted of any offence and they will be approaching the courts to see if ZEC acted within their jurisdiction. ‘I don’t know why they decided to react like that, we are facing allegations that we strenuously deny. Our law in Zimbabwe says you are innocent until proven guilty, so why are they jumping the gun? Asked Machisa.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.7 Independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

Governor puts restrictions on 45 NGOs in Masvingohttp://bit.ly/12SnoUk
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): Sunday, 3 March 2013

Masvingo Resident Minister and Governor Titus Maluleke on Friday 1 March summoned over 45 non-govermental organisations to a meeting at his offices during which he announced wideranging restrictions on their work. Maluleke, according to the CiZC, said that such meetings would be held every month. Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development Coordinator, Gamuchirai Mukura, said: “We were told that NGOs should now work with the district police officers and line ministries in implementing our programs. He added: “They told us they are going to be monitoring our donors and what programs we are being funded for and what programs we are doing saying NGOs should not be involved in election related programs.” At its 13th Annual National People’s Conference in Gweru in December 2012, ZANU PF resolved to urge government to shut down all NGOs [as they were seen to be] seeking regime change.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.3 Political tolerance
  • 2.1.8 Voter education
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

Police raid Radio Dialogue studios, seize 180 radioshttp://bit.ly/15WqO79
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Thursday, 28 February 2013

On the morning of Thursday 28 February, police in Bulawayo continued their countrywide campaign to seize ‘illegal’ radios, by raiding a local community radio station and seizing more than 180 wind-up radio sets. The police raided the Hillside based Ingwe Studios, a subsidiary of the community radio station initiative Radio Dialogue. The officers, armed with a search warrant, scoured the premises and seized the wind-up radio sets. They also detained Radio Dialogue programming head Zenzele Ndebele and held him for questioning for most of the day. According to Ndebele’s lawyer, Kucaca Phulu, his client was charged with possession of ‘smuggled’ radios, as well as possessing a radio receiver without a ZBC license. He was interrogated about the source of the radios, which were recently declared illegal by the police.

  • 2.1.5 Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

ZBC bosses ban Job Sikhala Interviewhttp://bit.ly/Z5uVtK
Nehanda Radio: Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Zanu PF controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) was on Tuesday accused of banning an interview their journalists had conducted with former St Mary’s MP and MDC-99 faction leader Job Sikhala. Sikhala told Nehanda Radio “The ZBC invited me to the programme to air my views on the COPAC constitution on their own volition. The recording was done today from 2:30pm and was supposed to be aired today at 9pm.” Sikhala claims he received a call Wednesday 13 March from the ZBC Programmes Manager telling him “they are no longer able to air the interview because ‘mashefu’ ati (the bosses said) it should not be aired”. A furious Sikhala said “I never asked the ZBC to invite me to the programme. “I was really moderate and for ZBC to ban the interview to be aired is evil and satanic. Media reforms NOW is our clarion call,” he added.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.3 Political tolerance
  • 2.1.5 Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

Police bar NCA ‘no vote’ meetinghttp://bit.ly/WH2oYD
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Chipinge Police on Tuesday 5th March told the NCA they could not go ahead with their meeting, which was set for Friday 8th March at the Chipinge Town Council Boardroom. The police said the meeting was “illegal”. The Commanding Officer for Chipinge contacted NCA Officer Terrance Maoneke on Tuesday and said that the meeting could no longer take place as initially agreed, because the police were not informed on time. Blessing Vava, the NCA spokesperson, told SW Radio Africa that they had informed police last week of their plans to hold the meeting. He said they believe the move to bar the meeting is an attempt at “intimidation.” “We feel this was an attempt by ... ... the state to ... cow the people of Zimbabwe into voting for their fraudulent draft constitution in the referendum,” Vava said.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.2 Freedom of association
  • 2.1.8 Voter education
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

Zimbabwe Police Block Tsvangirai Constitution Campaign Rallyhttp://bit.ly/XotV4T
VOANews (USA): Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Zimbabwe police on Tuesday 5 March stopped Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from addressing a meeting in Highfield suburb where he was set to officially launch the 'Yes Vote' campaign in Harare ahead of next week’s constitutional referendum. The Movement for Democratic Change’s Harare spokesperson, Senator Obert Gutu, told VOA the meeting had been given the green light by the police as required by the country’s Public Order and Security Act. "I was surprised when we arrived in Highfield to realize that the police were saying that the prime minister should not address the meeting ... This despite the fact that they had been notified by Honourable Ian Makone from the Prime Minister’s Office” said Gutu. Gutu said the MDC leadership at the venue decided to stop holding the meeting after noticing that there were too many people at risk because the police threatened to use teargas to break up the rally.

  • 2.1.1 Full participation of the citizens in the political process
  • 2.1.2 Freedom of association
  • 2.1.8 Voter education
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]

MDC-T activists nabbed for political violencehttp://bit.ly/WeEUOK
Chronicle, The (ZW): Sunday, 3 March 2013

Police in Gweru have arrested six MDC-T activists for assaulting a fellow party member who is a local councillor over allegations of holding a political meeting without their consent. Councillor Kenneth Sithole, the victim, said he was attacked by some members of his party on Sunday. He said the group accused him of addressing a meeting without their consent. “I was .... attacked by six members of our party. In fact, it was not even a meeting but a get-together with one of our party’s aspiring councillors. They accused me, then started assaulting me without even giving me a chance to explain myself,” said Clr Sithole. He said he sustained injuries all over his body as a result of the assault. MDC-T information and publicity officer for Midlands South, Mr James Tsuro confirmed the incident.

  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections

Chihuri orders police force to ensure ZANU PF wins electionshttp://bit.ly/Z1nH6I
SW Radio Africa (ZW): Friday, 8 March 2013

At the end of last year Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri ... told senior cops if they are not going to support ZANU PF in this year’s elections, ‘they’re not fit to wear the uniform ...’. Chihuri also ordered them to ensure that ZANU PF wins the next elections. He was speaking to senior officers, ... gathered at a retreat in the Vumba last December. He told them: ‘The time to leave is now, if you are not going to toe the line,...’. Chihuri’s address was a major topic of discussion in cabinet this week where a copy of his speech was read out for ministers. The release of Chihuri’s speech during Cabinet proceedings was designed to emphasise how partisan the police force is. According to the Mail and Guardian, the meeting, convened to strategise for the referendum and elections, ended up discussing tactical strategies to subdue political opponents, disrupt rallies or meetings and target influential individuals in rural areas. They also discussed how to target non-governmental organisations as ways to ‘safeguard the revolution.’

  • 2.1.3 Political tolerance
  • 4.1.1 Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens
  • 4.1.2 Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections
  • 7.4 Safeguard the human & civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, & campaigning as well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders [...]
  • 7.5 Take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process, in order to maintain peace and security

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by Sokwanele on Friday, 10 May 2013 - 10:12am
Constitution Watch 26/2013 IntroductionThe COPAC draft...
by Sokwanele on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 12:49pm
This text comprises extracts from the ERC report, available for ...
by Sokwanele on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 - 6:04am
Via Veritas:Next Step towards New Constitution – Enactment by...
by Sokwanele on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 - 3:51pm
These are the referendum election results for 2013: Yes3,079,...
by Sokwanele on Monday, 18 March 2013 - 10:16am
Via The Zimbabwean: The Southern African Development Community...
by Sokwanele on Sunday, 17 March 2013 - 8:27pm
The ERC is grossly concerned about the reports recently received from...
by Still Here on Saturday, 16 March 2013 - 7:10pm
The 16th March stands as a grand indictment of the Government of...
by Simon Moyo on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 1:51pm
It is again a time to be thinking about going to the polling booth....
by Sokwanele on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 1:04pm
These images show the official ZEC referendum brochure. Click on each...
by Still Here on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 10:34am
The situation in the build up to the Constitutional Referendum is...
by Sokwanele on Thursday, 14 March 2013 - 4:20pm
Via VOA News: Mavambo Kusile Dawn leader, Simba Makoni, says...
by Sokwanele on Thursday, 14 March 2013 - 3:40pm
Wilbert Mukori on Wednesday, via SWRA: Good evening my fellow...
by Sokwanele on Thursday, 14 March 2013 - 2:26pm
Via WOZA: Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have conducted 600 workshops...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 8:15pm
National Constitutional Assembly activist Prince Masukusa was on...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 7:11pm
Via NCA Press Release: The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe today dismissed...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 3:45pm
Cross posted from IRIN: On 16 March Zimbabweans will vote in a...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 10:18am
This post contains information compiled  from various sources in...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - 12:02am
By Feluna Mleya, crossposted from NewsDay: The African...
by Sokwanele on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 - 11:54pm
Via Press Release: Today 12 March, MDC Youths march in the streets of...
by Sokwanele on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 - 2:42pm
By Blessing Vava, cross-posted from his blog The Vuvuzela Times:...

16 March 2013
The Constitutional Referendum will be held on 16 March 2013. Polling stations will be open for 12 hours between 7am and 7pm on polling day, but Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, has said he plans to lobby the 'powers that be' to have polling over two days. This is because very high turn out is expected on the day.

29 June 2013
If the draft constitution is accepted by Zimbabweans, the Cabinet Taskforce responsible for aligning the new constitution with existing laws has until 29 June to do so. 29 June is the last day of seating for the 7th parliament. The taskforce is made up of: Patrick Chinamasa,  Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Tendai Biti, Eric Matinenga and the three Copac co-chairs Douglas Mwonzora, Paul Mangwana and Edward Mkhosi.

15 - 30 July 2013
Zimbabweans could vote in the first harmonized elections under a new constitution anytime between the 15th and 30th July this year.