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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Constitution bulletin day 12 and 13
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    July 05, 2010

    As the outreach programme continues, reports suggest that lack of consistency in participation characterises the constitution public consultations.

    It is reported that the atmosphere in Mashonaland West remains tense as a few people have been nominated by their political party to continue at COPAC meetings on behalf of the rest of the communities. The story is not, however, the same for the people of Gwanda in Matebeleland south who are not only coming out in large numbers to the meetings but are also participating on individual capacity.

    An average of 300 people attended meetings, which were held in Chihwiti, Hombwe and Shumhare wards of Mashonaland west on Saturday 04 July. Although there were large turnouts only a few people were participating during the consultations. It is alleged that of the few who were participating most a members of the Central Intelligence Office (CIO). These allegations of intimidation have also been cited by a recent Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) report that outreach meetings are being monitored by state agents resulting in resident's low participation.

    Intimidation seems to be continuing in Zvimba where an outreach team will be operating for two days. On Sunday some CIOs are reported to have been dropped off at one of the meeting places in the area.

    Meanwhile a lot of input was recorded in Garanyemba, Gwanda in Matebeleland south where residents highlighted their dissatisfaction in the special treatment war veterans continue to receive. This, they say is unfair as everyone participated during the war, although some roles are not being recognized. The people also suggested that all regions within the country support the idea of devolution of power. In addition they said Parliamentarians should be given the task to nominate the Attorney General from applications submitted by prospective candidates. The majority of the participants were still in support of the dearth penalty. Participants also agreed that traditional leaders should remain non-partisan when carrying out their duties.

    ZimRights supports the patriotic attitude exhibited at the Garanyemba meeting through the active and effective participation. Participating in the constitution making process helps in laying a foundation for Zimbabwe. The strength of this foundation depends on the people's participation.

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