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Zimbabwe's Constitutional Outreach Process Moves To Major Cities Amid Venue Controversy

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

Committee co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says a meeting called Friday to finalise venue details ended with no agreement with ZANU-PF blocking efforts by COPAC to have more than one meeting per ward.

The parliamentary select committee on the constitution has asked the Zimbabwe Republic Police to beef up security in Harare at the weekend as the process to gather people’s views on the new constitution moves to the capital and the second largest City of Bulawayo.

Committee co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says a meeting called Friday to finalise venue details ended with no agreement with ZANU-PF managing to block efforts by COPAC to have more than one meeting per ward.

Mwonzora says outreach participation is expected to be high regardless of ZANU-PF efforts to curtail debate. As a result, he adds, police must be on the look out for people who may want to disrupt the program.

VOA Studio 7 reporter Irwin Chifera reports that Mwonzora says his party has decided to participate in the weekend outreach program under protest, avoiding a total boycott which he says would gift ZANU-PF an opprtunity to wreck the constitution-making exercise.

ZANU-PF had proposed one meeting per ward in Harare, arguing the province was an MDC stronghold.
In Bulawayo, select committee deputy co-chairperson Gladys Gombami-Dube says attempts were also made by ZANU-PF to reduce the number of outreach meetings in Bulawayo from two to one per ward.

She tells VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that the move came rather too late as the venues had already been publicised, setting the stage for a massive outreach program on Saturday and Sunday.

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