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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Intimidation in Mutare - Constitution bulletin
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    July 12, 2010

    Although participation in Mutare started off on a more positive note than the rest of the country's provinces, it has been marred by a lot of intimidation.

    Security agents, war veterans, retired army personnel and youth gangs are reportedly instilling fear uneasiness in various communities of Manicaland. Chanting slogans of intimidation raising their clenched fists these groups are said to be dominating the consultative meetings, drowning the divergent and significant voices of the common people. These groups are causing confusion as they continue to bring up issues such as the lifting of sanctions, irrelevant to the constitution making process.

    On average, the ZANU PF dominated meetings in the urban area have attendants of 70 to a hundred, compared to totals of between 200 and 250 in the rural areas, with the highest recorded at 450. Although rural areas are recording such large turnout only a few are contributing their views to the process.

    However from the meetings held around Manicaland some of the topical issues were;

    • ZANU PF wants executive presidential powers, while the rest were in support of the current government structure with both the president and the Prime Minister's post.
    • The ZANU PF apologists also support the 99 year lease of land, while other residents want title deeds for ownership of the land
    • Last but not least ZANU PF also wants an economy of 51% ownership of business by black Zimbabwean against a free investment vote from opposition.

    Apart from the political party differences many people have agreed that natural resources should benefit the locals first before anyone else. This may be in form of improved infrastructure or job preferences.

    ZimRights urges the parliament to prioritise issues surrounding the constitution making process during its cabinet meeting tomorrow. They must come up with strategies to improve the consultation and participating environment to ensure that people remain undeterred.

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