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Zimbabwe Governing Parties In Compromise On Kariba Constitutional Draft

The Zimbabwean politicians who negotiated the Global Political Agreement that underpins the country's national unity government have agreed to use the so-called Kariba draft as a key reference point for the new constitution the country recently began drafting.

A declaration signed by all but one of the negotiators says the select parliamentary committee charged with revising the constitution will present the Kariba draft to the Zimbabwean people and consult them on which aspects of it they approve or disapprove.

The declaration reached late last week appeared to reflect a compromise between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, which was insisting the 1007 Kariba draft it formulated with both groupings of the Movement for Democratic Change be the basis for the constitution, and the MDC which was saying the Kariba draft should have no special status.

Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma, who is also deputy treasurer of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Kariba draft won't be forced on the people.

Elsewhere, the leadership of the Zimbabwe National Students Union has split over whether to support the official revision process directed by the parliamentary select committee, or to throw in its lot with the National Constitutional Assembly, which rejects that process.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

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