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COPAC to address low participation by youths in outreach meetings
in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 19, 2010
COPAC with the support
of organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is set to organize separate outreach
meetings specifically targeting the youth. These meetings will afford
the youth a platform to add their voice to the constitution and
also to talk broadly about the challenges they are facing.
According to a statement
released on the 17th of August 2010 by COPAC, a total of 358 000
people have attended the outreach meetings thus far and of these
only 69 500 were youths. This means that youth only make up 19,4%
of the total of the attendees whereas youths make up 41% of Zimbabwe's
total population. This low attendance has been attributed to a number
of factors including fear to talk openly because of the violence
and intimidation that has been associated with the outreach meetings
or the fact that the majority of youth are either in schools and
tertiary institutions and are thus unable to attend the meetings.
According to COPAC Co-Chairperson
Honorable Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, "Copac is aware of the
situation affecting particularly the youth and is in the process
of planning special meetings in various school and institutions
primarily targeting the youth." Hon. Mangwana also indicated
that Copac is aware of incidents like that which occurred at Mutambara
Mission on the 28th July 2010 where school children were chased
away from the meeting by members of the community on the ground
that they did not belong to that community.
Copac has also
indicated that there are plans to conduct consultative meetings
with differently abled groups in their institutions such as Kapota
School for the Blind, Jairos
Jiri and Danhiko Trust. Hon. Mangwana noted that their input
into the constitution is as important as that of any other Zimbabwean.
He noted that the number of meetings could be limited by funding
as the constitution making process is mainly donor funded.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
commends efforts by COPAC to include youths and the differently
abled in the constitution making process. However, the Coalition
calls upon COPAC to ensure that the initiative is not abused by
political parties, particularly ZANU PF which has in the past used
graduates of the youth training camps to influence political processes.
The initiative should thus benefit genuine youths and not masqueraders.
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in Zimbabwe fact
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