Logistical problems continued on Thursday to dog the public outreach phase of Zimbabwe's constitutional revision process as organizers canceled meetings in Chipinge East, Manicaland, due to fuel shortages.
Sources said drivers for the public outreach teams were informed early in the day at the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department that they could not get their cars as there was no
Outreach Team leader for Manicaland Monica Mutsvangwa could not be reached for comment. But sources said the state motor pool said that fuel supplies had run out. VOA could not reach the co-chairmen of the parliamentary select committee on revision of the constitution for clarification of the problem in Chipinge East.
But Patrick Chitaka, Manicaland chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, charged in an interview with VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that cancellation of the meetings may have been brought about deliberately as Chipinge East is an MDC stronghold.
Elsewhere, civil society sources said that the parliamentary select committee has been working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO to organize outreach sessions targeting youth. Officials in charge of the process have voiced concern at low turnout by young Zimbabweans.
The Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition quoted select committee co-chairman Paul Mangwana of ZANU-PF as saying that meetings geared to youth will be held in schools and institutions of higher learning. Committee figures show youths accounting for just 19.4 percent of participants, though they account for 41 percent of the population.
Former student leader Blessing Vava said that although the idea of organizing special youth sessions is welcome, the initiative may be coming too late in the game. The outreach process began in mid-June in towns and rural areas outside Harare, the capital, and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.