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This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
report - August - Shadowing the outreach process
Election Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR), Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) Independent Constitution Monitoring
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report reflects ongoing effort by ZZZICOMP to ensure that the ongoing
outreach consultations in Zimbabwe remain within the provisions
of Article V1 of the Global
Political Agreement [GPA] which clearly states that "it
is the fundamental right and duty of the Zimbabwean people to make
a constitution by themselves and for themselves - and that the process
must be owned and driven by the people and must be inclusive and
democratic". Also in resonance with ZZZICOMP information gathering
approaches, the Report maintains its micro/grassroots focus, sniffing
and analyzing outreach-related issues as they unfold in provinces.
laden with logistical and financial glitches, the constitution making
process is evidently making progress. By end of August, a total
of 139 constituencies had been covered, 18 in June, 61 in July and
60 in August with even dates set for consultations in the two metropolitan
provinces of Harare and Bulawayo announced.
Records of outreach
meetings continue to increase on a monthly basis. August recorded
a total of 1155 outreach meetings, pointing to a 95 % increase from
the 591 meetings that were recorded in July.
of meetings has also remained heavily slanted towards high attendance.
A highly attended meeting is where at least a 100 people are in
attendance. Of the total of 1155 outreach meetings recorded in August,
74 %  were highly attended while 24 %  were lowly attended.
This trend was also apparent when records were analysed on a weekly
Records of participants
have been increasing cumulatively on a monthly basis since the onset
of outreach consultations. By end of August, a total of 368 497
people had reportedly attended outreach consultations throughout
the country, 13 % [47 101] in June, 37 % [135 395] in July and 50
% [186 001] in August. Review of the August record point to a 37
% quantum jump from the 135 395 participants recorded in July.
was to note that the gender gap of participants has remained almost
blurred since the inception of outreach consultations. Of the 186
001 recorded in the month under review, 51 % [94 529] were males
while 49 % [91 472] were females, a trend that also obtained when
participant records were analysed either on a weekly or provincial
In spite of
these encouraging developments, ZZZICOMP notes with concern that
while at macro level the climate is seemingly calm, unfolding scenarios
at the outreach consultation fronts tell a different story. In rural
communities, outreach violations remain systematically organized
and are craftily committed through an array of hard-to detect-strategies
that include ferrying of party supporters from one venue to another,
posting party youths/supporters at outreach venues, grouping communities
under their headmen and conducting of roll calls after meetings,
allowing only known party supporters to contribute at meetings,
using opening prayers to intimidate and outline party constitutional
positions on Talking Points and booing of dissenting views, among
others. ZZZICOMP provincial incident reports still refer to dotted
incidents in which people were tightly organized along political
parties and programmed to speak within defined parameters, with
threats of retributive violence for those who stray from expectations.
The month under
review recorded an outreach violation toll of 2359, pointing to
an increase from the 1555 that were recorded in July. Of the August
record, 30 %  were coaching incidents, 27 %  political
interference, 32 %  freedom of speech violations, 20 % 
harassment and 0.3 %  violence.
The fact that
699 incidents of coaching were recorded in August should be cause
for national disquiet, since coaching is indeed many violations
rolled in one. Within a single coaching incident are rudiments of
harassment, political influence and abuse of freedom of speech.
Coaching continues to be invidiously committed under the guise of
political party campaigns and also continues to mislead society
by creating illusions of " consensus decisions" at outreach
meetings when in reality these decisions do not reflect genuine
community views. ZZZICOMP reports incessantly refer to scattered
incidents in which people were either seen reading from prepared
scripts at outreach meetings or presenting rehearsed and straightjacket
responses, irrespective of questions being asked by COPAC teams.
Freedom of speech
continues to be covertly suppressed through various means that include
verbal threats, intimidation, coaching, assaults, presence of state
security agents at outreach meetings, and by misinforming the public
that recording equipment will be used to identify individuals who
were making contributions that were contrary to declared party positions.
The month under review recorded a total toll of 547, showing an
increase by 73 % from the 317 recorded in July. Freedom of speech
is a constitutional right of every Zimbabwean citizen which accords
them the right of voice, that is, the freedom to think as they will
and speak as they like, however without compromising other people's
rights as private individuals
Cases of harassment
have also remained disturbingly visible especially in the provinces
of Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Mashonaland West and Manicaland.
The month under review recorded 461 cases, pointing to an increase
from the 323 recorded in July. ZZZICOMP views these developments
with grave concern because intimidation has a stalking or shadowing
effect on the victim's conscience and is thus an undesirable
form of persecution.
Equally disconcerting were continued reports of outreach meetings
that are held even when less than 100 people are in attendance.
ZZZICOMP reiterates that meetings held under these circumstances
only save to swell records of meetings while distorting outreach
outcomes as decisions arrived at under such circumstances should
not constitute majority proposals!
levels remain on the low side especially in the provinces of Matabeleland
North, Matabeleland South and Midlands. Of the total participants
recorded in the period under review, youths accounted for only 22%
[40 348], a trend that is consistent with monthly youth participant
records since the start of outreach consultations which show 18
% [8 658] in June and 21 % [29 559] in July. Although monthly records
suggest that youths participant records are picking up, this has
to be viewed with restraint as this could have been inflated by
the attendance of school children. This suspicion may not be far
off the mark given that most of the high youths attendance records
were encountered at venues located at schools and resettlement farming
to ZZZICOMP were reports of an increase in meetings that are either
disrupted or called off, usually in very unclear circumstances.
August recorded a total of 70 cancellations, pointing to an increase
from the 55 that were recorded in July.
information and comments please contact ZZZICOMP
Hotlines: (0)916-404256-9 / (0)916-404292
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