table below gives details of meetings from the beginning of the
outreach on 23rd June up to 12th September. Attendance figures
are the official ones from the COPAC Secretariat.
Completed meetings: Meetings in Mashonaland East have been completed.
Ongoing Meetings: Meetings are not yet finished in Kariba, Rushinga,
Beit Bridge, Umguza, Gokwe and Buhera districts. Also, “mopping-up
meetings” are underway to cover rural wards in other provinces
where scheduled meetings were called off or not completed –
dates and venues are being arranged at provincial level, and were
not available from the COPAC central office. There will also be
new meetings scheduled for some wards in the Harare metropolitan
area where meetings over the weekend had to be cancelled because
of violent disruptions – the dates for the replacement meetings
are still to be announced.
All meetings are expected to be completed by the end of next week.
Meetings Held 23rd June to 12th September
of Special Needs
attendance per meeting
Women’s attendance slightly outweighs attendance by men.
2. Youth attendance figures are considerably lower than the estimated
percentage of youth in the population. This has been acknowledged
by COPAC, which has announced that there will be special outreach
meetings for youth over the weekend 25th-26th September at venues
to be announced.
3. Youth and special needs attendance figures are not broken down
4. Provincial statistics only: The statistics made available by
COPAC are for provinces only. They give no idea of the incidence
of high and low attendance per district or ward [meetings were
arranged on a meeting per ward basis]. ZZZICOMP [the network set
up by Zimbabwe
Election Support Network, Zimbabwe
Peace Project and Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights to monitor the constitution-making
process] have attempted to remedy this shortcoming in their reports,
as have Crisis
Coalition and Sokwanele. ZZZICOMP’s latest
report [for 8th to 22nd August] refers to some meetings in
Matabeleland attended by only approximately 20 people and contrasts
that with meetings attended by very large numbers in Manicaland
and Mashonaland [e.g., 1400 and 759].
5. High attendance at some meetings may make it difficult for
all who wish to do so to contribute; it suggests that more meetings
should have been scheduled for the areas concerned. There have
also been reports of busloads arriving from areas outside the
ward where a meeting is held.
6. Low attendance at some meetings could well be the result of
poor arrangements and poor communication. There is a suspicion
in some areas that this was deliberate marginalisation. COPAC
should think of revisiting these areas after giving proper prior
ZZZICOMP’s reports provide a fuller picture of what has
actually been happening at a wide sample of meetings. Examples
are listed of other aspects of the outreach not captured by the
COPAC statistics, such as: cancellation/disruption of meetings;
bussing in of non-residents; obvious coaching of participants
by political parties; intimidation and harassment; monopolisation
of meetings by representatives of one political party, etc. One
report states “Close analysis of provincial comments by
ZZZICOMP suggest there is high risk that most of the decisions
that are passed as “unanimously agreed” may be accounted
by fear of retribution after the meetings.”
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot
take legal responsibility for information supplied.