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  • COPAC outreach meetings fail to take off
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    June 23, 2010

    The Constitution 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',' Makaya said.

    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.

    According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), meetings were also postponed in Makonde, Mashonaland West and Gwanda, Matebeleland South.

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