Civic groups in Zimbabwe are willing and able to take on the government over a new constitution, Thoko Matshe head of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told IRIN on Tuesday. "We're talking mass action and civil disobedience on a wide scale if government ignores the people," Matshe said.

Zimbabwe plans to pull out 5,000 troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the "immediate future" - halving its military presence in the mineral-rich country - in a move a defence spokesman on Thursday described as a vote of confidence in the peace process.

Zimbabwe Minister of State for Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo has filed a Z$450,000 (US$8,000) lawsuit against "The Daily News" for publishing alleged defamatory articles about him, "The Herald" reported on 30 March 2001.

All judges presiding over the parliamentary election challenges have adjourned for the April recess. No trials were held last week. Of the trials held two weeks ago, Shurugwi and Chiredzi North have been completed while Makoni West is scheduled to reconvene on 14 May.

ASFC Africa Iniative is holding a brainstorming meeting on April 20-21, Harare Zimbabwe. AI aims to complement and deepen the work of local, national and regional communities as well as those who work with them in re-thinking the links between the various issues that challenge African lives on a daily basis and to explore newer avenues for collaboration and cooperation in meeting these challenges.