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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Marauding ZANU PF supporters harass observers as COPAC suspends constitutional outreach meetings
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    September 20, 2010

    In two separate incidents, alleged ZANU PF supporters gathered at the Queen Elizabeth School in Harare for a pseudo constitutional outreach meeting today, 20 September 2010, harassed and ejected six COPAC accredited observers from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the diplomatic community.

    The perpetrators alleged that COPAC had no observers and repeated the ZANU PF mantra of Western interference as an excuse to eject the observers and some non-black people at the meeting. The two incidents occurred within 30 minutes of each other as the 6 attempted to observe the meeting and seek clarity on why the teams were continuing with the meeting despite an earlier communication from COPAC suspending all outreach meetings.

    The meeting, which was attended by a group of close to a hundred elderly people who simply referred to their places of residence as 'Ward 13', was presided over by ZANU PF COPAC team members led by Dr. David Parirenyatwa, and had one rapporteur as opposed to the stipulated three. The group hurled insults at the observers arguing that COPAC had no observers and accused the team of being 'sell outs'. Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) who were present at the meeting stood arms akimbo as the crowd threatened to beat up the observers. Questioned on why the police were not reacting, one of the team members highlighted that the police are there to stop violence and not to reign in errant participants.

    Despite the continued convening of outreach meetings by ZANU PF representatives in COPAC, sources from the select committee including co-Chairpersons, Hon. Paul Mangwana and Hon. Douglas Mwonzora have highlighted that all outreach meetings are suspended indefinitely owing to the violence which punctuated weekend meetings. Hon. Mwonzora told The Convenor that the meetings held by the ZANU PF teams are illegitimate as other political parties are not represented.

    The management committee of the constitution making process is expected to meet later to discuss the way forward in light of the weekend violence.

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