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and violence mar COPAC meetings as residents deprived of right to
participate on racial grounds
Election Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR), Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) Independent Constitution Monitoring
supreme at most meetings held in Harare and Chitungwiza at the weekend
to solicit people's contributions to the crafting of a new
out at some of the meetings resulting in several meetings being
aborted, while some residents' right to freedom of expression
was curtailed on racial grounds.
Park Primary School, war veterans and ZANU PF youths barred some
white residents from participating at an outreach meeting. A resident
who defended the participation of white people at the meeting was
assaulted by three war veterans and some ZANU PF youths.
ZZZICOMP observer, who was monitoring proceedings at the school
was barred from leaving the premises after some war veterans closed
all the school gates at the school and prevented people from leaving
the premises. Other ZZZICOMP observers, who visited the school in
an attempt to rescue their colleague were detained for about 30
minutes at the school before being released.
At Lewisam Primary
School some war veterans unsuccessfully attempted to bar another
accredited ZZZICOMP monitor from attending a meeting held at the
school on Sunday 19 September 2010.
The war veterans
told the monitor that he should not monitor the constitution making
process since it was not an election and thus did not warrant the
presence of monitors.
Two white men
who also wanted to make some contributions during the meeting were
barred from doing so as they were regarded as not Zimbabweans.
1 New Hall Mwenezi East Member of Parliament Hon. Kudakwashe Bhasikiti,
who was one of the COPAC team members facilitating the meeting caused
a stir when it was discovered that he had brought with him some
villagers to participate at the meeting.
broke out at the meeting as Bhasikiti's sympathizers threatened
to assault a COPAC team member only identified as Chipadze for querying
the participation of villagers at the meeting.
Hon. Paul Mangwana unsuccessfully pleaded with the participants
to restrain themselves at the meeting. But Mangwana's intervention
fell on deaf ears as some participants started drum beating and
singing at the meeting forcing some residents to walk out of the
meeting. Despite the walk out, Hon Bhasikiti proceeded with facilitating
the meeting with the villagers in attendance and making some contributions.
ferrying of people to attend meetings in residential areas where
they do not reside were recorded at most meetings.
A Mazda T-35
truck was used to ferry people from Hopley Farm to attend meetings
at Greystone Primary School. Most of the people who were ferried
from Hopley Farm were conspicuous as they all had a loaf of bread,
a fizzy drink and a packet of maputi in hand.
At Glen Norah
Number 2 Hall four commuter omnibuses were used to transport people
to participate at the meeting. A councillor for the area identified
as Gombe and another resident identified as Munyanyi were briefly
arrested by the police and later freed.
a man identified as Chigumba ferried people from Mufakose and Kambuzuma
to participate at a meeting held at Dzivarasekwa 2 Community Hall.
In Chitungwiza, a ZANU-PF supporter reportedly withdrew a gun at
the meeting in order to stop a resident from delivering an opening
prayer before the commencement of the meeting, which was later abandoned
on Saturday 18 September 2010. COPAC members affiliated to the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) walked out of the meeting in protest
against the ferrying of people and an insulting opening prayer.
information and comments please contact ZZZICOMP
Hotlines: (0)916-404256-9 / (0)916-404292
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Lawyers for Human Rights
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