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Constitution bulletin day 19 and 20
Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
July 12, 2010
The areas in Mashonaland
West and Masvingo over the weekend recorded some of the lowest levels
of participation in the constitution public consultations so far.
Centre in Mashonaland West had crowd as low as 67 people and Gwitima
in the Chivi district had a similar low turnout.
This has been attributed
to tense environment caused by threats of violence against people
in rural areas who participate with views contrary to those prescribed
by their parties. Consequently, apathy is rampant in these communities
as their views are censored. In Mashonaland West, youth are not
participating as much as they would have been expected to. This
has also been noted in Zvimba, Makonde and Murevanani.
Despite the low turnout
of people, especially youths at Murindagomo Business Centre, most
of the views gathered were from the few who were bold enough to
participate. Citing that the English language has become too dominant,
people have called for the inclusion of local language at all educational
levels, while many have rejected the right to non-discrimination
on the grounds of sexual orientation. People added that the office
of the president and that of the Prime Minister, which are recognized
in the government of National Unity, should be carried over into
the new constitution as this helps in limiting presidential powers.
Meanwhile, in Mwenezi,
only a few selected individuals made prescribed contributions. Two
individuals were stopped from participating at the Murindagomo Business
Centre meeting when the outreach members recognized them form the
previous meeting they had facilitated at Marevanani Primary School,
where they were also dominating. Deployment of political party representatives
to different areas to popularize a party's view is becoming
Lack of communication
to all the people in communities has been cited as another reason
why he turnout in Masvingo was low. Gwitima residents had to be
mobilized by the outreach team through a loud speaker because the
people were not aware of the meeting due to continuous changes in
dates and time. Also, the outreach team had also not carried out
research on activities in the area prior to the meeting.
for the COPAC outreach teams to continue looking out for the selected
party individuals and stop them from participating. The team must
also carry out researches on the activities taking place in various
communities so as not to clash and compete for people. Every Zimbabwean
must realize that the
process is not for the benefit of individual parties, but for
every Zimbabwean, in spite of differences.
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