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Residents describe prevailing environment as not conducive for participation
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
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
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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