Zimbabwean judge dismisses referendum postponement

February 28, 2013 - 12:30 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean lawyer says a judge dismissed a civic group's application to postpone the country's referendum vote on a new constitution.

Alec Muchadehama, attorney for the National Constitutional Assembly, said Thursday a High Court judge ruled the courts have "no power" to change a date set by President Robert Mugabe because "he can do whatever he wants as long as the constitution allows it."

Mugabe announced on Feb. 18 that the referendum will be held on March 16, allowing voters only five weeks to review the 160-page draft charter.

The National Constitutional Assembly argues that is not enough time for people to read and understand such a "complex" document.

Muchadehama said he will appeal against the ruling because it "allows the president to act against the rights of citizens."