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Report on Harare, Chitungwiza COPAC meetings
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
November 15, 2010
From the 30th
to the 31st of October 2010, the Constitutional Parliamentary Select
committee (COPAC) reconvened outreach meetings in Harare and Chitungwiza
following disturbances on the 18th and 19th of September which resulted
in postponement of the meetings.
Initial findings reveal that;
- There was
relatively high attendance and participation
- Cases of bussing were recorded in most areas
- The police managed to contain disagreements during
meetings and as such a less passive role as compared to the September
- There was evidence of coaching as some participants
were reading from prepared scripts
- Isolated cases of violence were reported.
- Intimidation was generally high with alleged
ZANU PF supporters threatening unspecified action against vocal
Please find attached a table with with information
on 38 COPAC meetings monitored by The Coalition in Harare and Chitungwiza
NO: OF PEOPLE
Primary School (Chitungwiza)
120 people gathered for the meeting, however, owing to disturbances
by suspected ZANU PF youths allegedly bussed from Mbare who
were chanting party slogans, close to 40 people abandoned the
Off topic debates also characterized the meeting with some participants
arguing that Traditional chiefs should all be given gold watches
and badges as a sign of respect.
The meeting also saw participants clashing over their different
Primary School (Chitungwiza)
at the meeting around 1100 hours instead of 0900 hours. The
monitor noted that there were generally high levels of participation.
Violence almost broke out as some participants questioned the
impartiality of one COPAC team leader who allowed the same people
to make contributions over and over again.
There were allegations of bussing raised by some participants
resulting in the ejection of people, believed to be from outside
Chitungwiza, from the meeting by the police.
High School (Chitungwiza)
veterans in the area caused havoc and commotion questioning
why COPAC was reconvening the meeting. The police however managed
to contain the situation and the meeting proceeded.
The atmosphere was highly politicized and this was evident from
the sitting arrangement which was according to party status.
The observer noted that if a participant from one side contributed
that side clapped hands while the other side booed them down.
There were signs of coaching as some participants were reading
from prepared scripts.
Selous Primary School (Greendale)
was high and participants contributed freely. The monitor reported
that two commuter omnibuses dropped people at the venue. Conversely
the presence of suspected members of the Central Intelligence
Office was reported as intimidating to some participants.
Secondary School (Ruwa)
was high with both men and women expressing their views freely.
There was evidence of coaching as a group of participants sitting
close together started each contribution with phrases like 'Those
who sell the country to the West should be killed and a president
should have war credentials'.
was rather calm as there was freedom of expression and no cases
of intimidation were reported.
Primary School (Highlands)
at the meeting was reportedly high. However cases of bussing
were reported as some participants noted
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