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Constitutional Outreach Officials in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, Boycott Over Political Violence


Masvingo outreach team members charge that war veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda burned the home of David Hallman, a party youth official with the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

Political violence remained an issue Monday in Zimbabwe's troubled constitutional revision outreach process.

Constitutional outreach team members from all three governing parties in Masvingo province vowed to keep boycotting meetings in protest of the torching Friday of the home of a Movement for Democratic Change official in the southern province where clashes between the MDC and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF are not uncommon.

Masvingo outreach team leader Harrison Mudzuri said war veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda must either be charged with arson or must leave the province before the outreach team members will return to their duties.

Team members charge that Sibanda burned the home of David Hallman, a party youth official with the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. But team members of the other MDC and ZANU-PF also boycotted.

Sources said Hallman had been mobilizing villagers in the area to attend constitutional revision outreach meetings.

Earlier last week outreach team members in Manicaland also boycotted their duties in protest of the harassment of a rapporteur of the MDC formation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who was arrested after a ZANU-PF senator filed a complaint with police alleging public indecency by the MDC official. MDC outreach team members said the allegations followed a disagreement between the two over ZANU-PF disturbances of outreach meetings.

Tsvangirai MDC legislator Harrison Mudzuri of Zaka Central, a Masvingo province team leader, told VOA reporter Patience Rusere outreach team members will continue their action as they are tired of Sibanda’s abuses.

Masvingo outreach team leader Harrison Mudzuri, a House member for Zaka Central with the Tsvangirai MDC, said outreach team leaders are fed up with Sibanda's interference and want him out of the province.

Despite such reports of violence, few arrests have been made by the Zimbabwean Republic Police nationwide.

Deputy Chairperson Gladys Gombani Dube of the parliamentary select committee in charge of the exercise says the panel has filed reported abuses without police action because most involve ZANU-PF officials or supporters.

Gombani Dube, a senator of the Tsvangirai MDC formation, said politics is obstructing justice.

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