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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Residents describe prevailing environment as not conducive for participation
    Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
    June 30, 2010

    The residents of Marondera are complaining that the prevailing political environment is not conducive for a people driven constitution making process as there is still a lot of intimidation among the grassroots communities. The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has received reports from Marondera to the effect that some of the outreach meetings that were conducted within the past week were being monitored by State agents; a situation that negatively affected the participation of residents at the meetings.

    It has also been reported that the police are attending the meetings in plain clothes and this has raised eyebrows among residents who wonder why the police would not want to be recognised by wearing their official uniforms. The attendances at some of the meetings have actually become low as some residents fear victimisation after the meetings. Reports from some village Headmen in Marondera Rural who requested anonymity have also revealed that residents who are active in the opposition party have been threatened with unspecified actions if they attend or participate at the outreach meetings. The meetings that have been conducted so far have also witnessed a huge number of the old aged while the youths have been conspicuous by their absence. Some of the meetings in the area have actually witnessed less than 50 people due to residents' reluctance to participate for fear of victimisation.

    CHRA calls on the three Principals and the Organ on National Healing to attend to the issues of security as a matter of urgency so as to ensure that the outcome of the outreach process will reflect the true will of the people. The constitutional outreach process is not a political issue and it should be understood that Zimbabwe does not belong to one political party but to everyone who has been born and bred in this country. There is a need for the Inclusive Government to ensure the protection of the rights of citizens to freely contribute to and participate in the constitution making process. Victimising residents for their willingness to build a future for themselves through a people driven constitution is nothing short of gross human rights violation. CHRA urges all residents to brave the storm and participate in the outreach meetings.

    Meanwhile, outreach meetings in Gweru were postponed yesterday for unclear reasons. Reports from Gweru United Residents Association indicate that residents were still waiting for the outreach teams as of today afternoon.

    The Association remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well lobbying for quality and affordable municipal services on a non partisan basis.

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