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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Civil Society to continue monitoring - Constitution bulletin day 16
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    July 07, 2010

    Civil society monitors have resumed work today in response to a meeting held yesterday between COPAC and representatives from civil society.

    The monitors have not been carrying out their duties for the past two days after the allegations made in The Sunday mail dated 04 July that COPAC had identified 480 bogus civil society monitors patrolling illegally. The two parties set yesterday to iron out the issue. It was resolved that civil society monitors can resume their duties, but organizations should make sure they are accredited and given identification so that their presence does not impact negatively constitution meetings. COPAC Co-Chairperson, Paul Mangwana had ruled that civil society members can only participate as observers and not monitors in the process.

    Meanwhile research has shown that the constitution public consultations in rural areas on average are recording higher attendance than urban areas.

    Most meetings are being held in the rural areas are recording as least 300 participants. This has been attributed to the fact that most people in the rural areas are not formally employed, hence are flexible to attend afternoon meetings even if they are delayed. The participants although they come out in large numbers mostly comprise of the elderly men and women. The situation has proven, in some cases, to be a disadvantage for the COPAC facilitators because few from this age group have enough information to participate effectively.

    Consultation in some resettlement areas is characterised by intimidation, which is affecting the level of engagement. The participation in these areas is mostly prescribed. For example in Burma Valley and Romsley, in the Manicaland area near Chiadzwa, the people are being threatened to only speak for the adoption of the Kariba Draft.

    ZimRights supports the inclusion of civil society monitors in the consultation process as this will help increase credibility of the process, as shielding the process from the third party will raise eyebrows. However, the organization condemns the continued intimidation and interference that is still evident in some communities. Zimbabweans must join together and realise that the making of the constitution is not an individual's or party's task, but a right for every person despite political differences.

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