Zimbabwe's constitution-making committee wants to see a referendum on a new charter next June, according to a calendar released Tuesday, in a move that would pave the way to new elections.
The calendar released by parliament's multi-party Constitution Select Committee said the drafting of the charter will take place in January, while a referendum was slated for June 30, 2011.
President Robert Mugabe and the electoral commission would have to approve the date, but the calendar gave the first clear indication that Zimbabwe is pressing ahead with a constitutional process already months behind schedule.
The power-sharing deal between Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now the prime minister in a unity government, calls for a new constitution that would clear the way for fresh elections -- after blood-soaked polls in 2008 failed to produce a clear winner.
The constitution-making has been delayed, partly by funding problems, but also by violent disruptions by pro-Mugabe militants.
Public outreach hearings were put on hold after a Tsvangirai supporter was killed when militants stoned a meeting in Harare last month. The outreach project is scheduled to resume this weekend.
Tsvangirai blamed the military and state security institutions for disrupting meetings throughout the country.
Last week he denounced Mugabe's unilateral decision-making, saying he felt "disgust" and "betrayal" after the 86-year-old president appointed a raft of top officials without Tsvangirai's approval.© ANP/AFP