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Zimbabwe Constitutional Committee to Set Up Conflict Management Mechanism

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

The outreach process has encountered many problems since its mid-June launch and the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change says ZANU-PF has been systematically suppressing free speech on the constitution

The Zimbabwean parliamentary committee in charge of constitutional revision is setting up a mechanism for conflict management to look into alleged intimidation and violence in the public outreach process, officials said Tuesday.

Select Committee Co-chairman Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe said a committee in each of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces led by representatives of the three political parties involved in the 18-month-old unity government will work with the police to crack down on abusive activities.

Mangwana rejected accusations that ZANU-PF supporters have engaged in intimidation tactics, saying local disputes are being confused with disagreements that have to do with the constitutional outreach process. The public outreach process has had many organizational and logistical problems since its launch in mid-June, and the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change says ZANU-PF is systematically suppressing free speech on the constitution.

Elsewhere, members of Parliament of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who have been serving as constitutional revision outreach team members met on Tuesday to review the exercise.

Parliamentary Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the team members concluded the outreach process must continue.

In Masvingo, meanwhile, outreach team members continued a boycott demanding the removal of war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda from the province and a stop to interference by local chiefs in the outreach process.

Team leader Harrison Mudzuri said members will not report for duty on Thursday because police have not arrested anyone yet in connection with the torching of the home of a local MDC official last Friday.

The MDC has accused Sibanda of involvement in the arson incident.