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outreach meetings fail to take off
in Zimbabwe Coalition
June 23, 2010
Parlimentary Select Committee (COPAC) outreach
meetings which were sheduled to commence today, 23 June 2010
failed to take off in most parts of the country.
Ten outreach teams which
were set to conduct nine meetings in Bindura, Mashonaland Central
failed to go owing to logistical problems. A reliabble source at
the Crowne Plaza, where the teams are being housed stated yesterday
that delegates did not receice supper as COPAC had not made arrangements
for the meals at the hotel. The source also indicated that the teams
were supposed to get 25% of ttheirallowances but were yet to be
given. In Matebeleland North the outreach teams that were sheduled
for deployment to Hwange failed to conduct meetings as their accoomodation
and meal arrangements had not been finalised.
The team from
the Coalition visited Marondera Rural District, Mashonaland east
Province where meetings were sheduled to take place in wards 1,
2, and 3. At Somerset farm in ward 3 the Coalition discovered that
the meeting had been moved to Mutukwa primary School which is a
few kilometers from the original venue. The meeting was supposed
to commence at 0800hrs however, people were dismissed at 1330hrs
and informed that meetings in ward 1, 2 and 3 had been postponed
to the 2nd 3rd and 4th of July 2010.
Speaking to a village
police officer who identified himself as Makaya, The Coalition was
informed that word of the meeting was transmitted through ZANU PF
District Chairman, Mr. Murombo on the evening of 22 June 2010. The
lack of publicity on the meeting was further exposed by the absence
of publicity posters and fliers and the evident ignorance of ten
villagers interviewed during the monitoring process.
The Coalition was also
informed that people were selected to answer questions posed by
COPAC representatives. 'Each village was given 60 questions
which are part of the talking points with answers provided by the
village headman and Mr. Murombo. Respondents were selected to answer
different questions on the basis of their 'cleverness','
The Coalition quizzed
a Member of Parliament who was in Marondera for the outreach meetings
on why COPAC had failed to adhere to the circulated schedule. The
MP noted that COPAC failed to beploy the nine teams to Mashonaland
East owing to no-availability of equipment, inadquate transport
and absence of Shona translations of the talking points. He however
highlighted that the equipment, which includes audio recorders and
vedio cameras, would be vailed to the teams by tomorrow morning
when the teams are expected to commence outreach meetings.
Human Rights Association (ZimRights), meetings were also postponed
in Makonde, Mashonaland West and Gwanda, Matebeleland South.
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