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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • COPAC Meetings in Harare
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    October 30, 2010


    The Constitution Parliament Select Committee (COPAC) is reconvening meetings which were postponed following disturbances on the 18th and 19th of September 2010 in Harare and Chitungwiza. The Coalition deployed observers to the meetings which are currently under way and will be sending updates hourly on the progress of the meetings

    Tadzikamidzi Primary school, Zengeza 5

    • Participants chased away by ZANU PF supporters singing "Nyika takaitora neropa" (We took the country through blood shed)
    • COPAC is still to arrive at the venue

    Glen Norah New Hall # 2

    • COPAC teams arrived at 1020hrs
    • There are approximately 100 participants at the meeting
    • There is heavy police presence and searching of participants at points of entry
    • Situation is calm

    St Johns retreat, Harare South

    • Meeting started at 1050hrs
    • Attendance is between 150 to 180 people
    • People are participating freely

    Glen View 3 Community Hall

    • Meeting started at 1100hrs
    • There are approximately 100 people at the meeting and 20 police officers
    • People are contributing freely

    COPAC Update
    October 30, 2010

    Participant attacked, seriously police detain MDC employee

    A participant at a meeting held at St John's retreat, Joshua Manyere (32) was beaten up and seriously wounded by suspected ZANU PF supporters. He is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital.

    Details obtained from an observer stationed at the venue are that during the meeting, suspected ZANU PF supporters threatened Manyere with unspecified action after his contributions were regarded as inconsistent with the views held by the ZANU PF supporters. After the meeting, it is alleged that Manyere was attacked by a group of suspected ZANU PF supporters and seriously injured during the commotion. The Coalition is still awaiting more details on the incident.

    Meanwhile, Ms. Diana Nyikadzino, an employee of the Movement for Democratic Change is currently being detained at Waterfalls Police station for reasons still to be established after her apprehension at Hopley Clinic, Harare South.

    Details from other meetings monitored are as below;

    Tadzikamidzi School, Chitungwiza

    The meeting, which was initially marred by intimidation, went ahead well after COPAC intervened although there were isolated cases of intimidation.

    Zororo Center, Highfields
    • There was high security with approximately 20 police officers
    • The meeting started around 1100hrs and was attended by approximately 300 people
    • The meeting was temporarily disrupted following contributions by one participant who suggested that war veterans should not hold the nation at ransom because of their contribution to the country's liberation. The contribution sparked outrage among some participants believed to be war veterans who threatened to take unspecified action against the participant after the meeting. The war veterans accused the participant of disrupting the meeting leading to his apprehension by the police. He was however released following complaints by other participants who told the police that the ejected participant had done nothing to warrant such treatment. Despite attempts to disturb proceedings, the meeting went ahead.

    Kuwadzana, Corwborough Creche

    • The meeting was attended by close to 300 people
    • Police remained passive during disturbances by some participants who accused one respondent of attempting to disrupt the meeting. COPAC however managed to contain the situation and the meeting went ahead.

    COPAC Update
    October 31, 2010

    Today, 31 October 2010, public outreach meetings convened by the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) continued in the remaining 26 areas. Below are updates from the outreach process;

    Arrested journos, MDC employee released

    Two journalists, Andreason Manyere and Nkosana Dhlamini, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) employee, Diana Nyikadzino and two others who were arrested yesterday, 30 October 2010 at St John's Retreat in Harare South have been released. The five were released from the Harare Central Police Law and Order section after paying fines of USD20 each for 'criminal nuisance'.
    Reports received from an observer are that Manyere and Dlamini were arrested after participants demanded that the duo be ejected from the meeting and apprehended as they allegedly had no authority to cover proceedings. However, Honourable Piniel Denga, who is the co-team leader of the Team 9 Mashonaland East which presided over the meeting highlighted that, contrary to assertions by participants, the two journalists were authorised to cover the meeting. The same group of participants also called for the arrest of Nyikadzino accusing her of disrupting the meeting after she contributed on the National Youth Service.

    Joshua Manyere recovering in hospital

    Joshua Manyere, the participant at the St John's retreat COPAC outreach meeting who was attacked by suspected ZANU PF supporters yesterday afternoon is recovering at a Harare hospital. Manyere was stoned on his genitals and stabbed at the back of his head.
    Nurses at the hospital told The Convenor that x-rays taken yesterday revealed that the 32 year old man from Hopley farm had not suffered any life threatening injuries.
    According to eye witness accounts, the vocal Manyere upset suspected ZANU PF supporters when he made contributions which were contrary to the party position. During the meeting it is alleged that one participant slapped Manyere on the cheek in the full glare of COPAC officials and began pulling down his trousers demanding that stops contributing. Manyere raised complaints with the COPAC team which ignored his pleas for help and instead, police dragged him to a secluded area where suspected youth militia and ZANU PF supporters attacked him using clenched fists, stones and a knife before he was whisked away to a local hospital by his family.

    • Updates from other outreach meetings;
    • Security in all areas improved with police officers searching participants before the meetings. There was an average of 15 officers per meetings.
    • Political parties allegedly bussed participants to the outreach meetings. Two mini busses dropped participants at Greystone Park Primary School while at Dzivarasekwa Community Hall an army bus which had the following number plates 16FV04-ED (CD1782) ferried participants to and from the meeting. Observers also noted that some participants who were in Glen View were also present at the meetings held in Budiriro.

    Alleged ZANU PF supporters at Hatcliffe Hall and Rugare High School threatened vocal participants who had opposing views with unspecified action. At Southerton Primary School, Mr. Blessing Nyakabawu was beaten up and had his phone stolen for participating the meeting.

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