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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Intimidation escalates in Shamva
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    May 17, 2010

    In less than a month, the Constitution Parlimentary Committee (COPAC) is set to commence public consultations on the content of the proposed constitution. However the environment in which the constitution making process is taking place remains unfavourable for full citizen participation with cases of intimidation on the increase.

    Reports received from the rural community of Chakonda in Shamva, Mashonaland Central are that there has been a marked increase in cases of intimidation against Movement for Democratic Change Supporters (MDC) supporters by members of ZANU PF. This was revealed during the theatre discussion forum held by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Savanna Trust on the 15th of May 2010 at Chakonda Business Centre.

    According to the villagers, on the eve of the theatre discussion forum (14 May), ZANU PF supporters and headmen in the area moved around wards discouraging villagers from attending and threatening unspecified action against any 'sell-outs'. As a result, most villagers watched the play fro afar out of fear.

    Five headsmen attempted to stop the theatre performance arguing that they were not aware of the Coalition's political affiliation and thus needed authority from ZANU PF structures and the presidents' office to encourage villagers to attend the performance. The five however failed to stop the performance as the Coalition was in possession of police clearance.

    The theatre discussion forums are part of a series of such meetings organized by the Coalition under the Voice Up constitutional campaign aimed at provoking debate and discussion among communities on the constitutional reform process. The performance, which tackles both the importance and content of the envisaged constitution, was performed by the Savanna Trust drama group.

    Key content issues tabled for debate in the performance are:

    • Civil and Political rights (including the Freedom of Choice around sexual orientation)
    • Socio-economic rights
    • Presidential term limits

    The following concerns were raised by villagers in Chakonda;

    • There is need for timely notification by COPAC ahead of the outreach program
    • The military should not interfere in the outreach program
    • Communication of the COPAC ward meetings should be made through neutral authorities.

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