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Zimbabwe Farm Workers Union Says Intimidation Rampant in Rural Consultations

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

GAPWUZ spokesman Tapiwa Zivira said farm workers, especially those from Mashonaland Central and West, have been forced to voice certain positions and are being silenced on issues having related to land

The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe has voiced concern at what it says are high levels of intimidation and harassment in constitutional outreach meetings in Mashonaland farming areas.

GAPWUZ spokesman Tapiwa Zivira said farm workers, especially those from Mashonaland Central and West, have been forced to voice certain positions and are being silenced on issues having related to land.

Zivira told VOA reporter Patience Rusere that GAPWUZ farm workers are particularly vulnerable because there are many war veterans in rural areas due to their involvement in the farm takeovers of the past decade.

Elsewhere, the parliamentary select committee on revision of the constitution said it will public deploy outreach teams to prisons to give persons in incarceration a chance to contribute to the process.

Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that teams will visit prisons in September, when they will also be holding urban outreach meetings in Harare and Bulawayo.

From Matabeleland, the Bulawayo Agenda, a non-governmental organization, reported stronger attendance at an outreach meeting in Banyandavu, Lupane, on Wednesday, than in many other parts of Matabeleland North. The group reported a strong call by dual citizenship, who say most of their relations now live outside Zimbabwe.

The Bulawayo Agenda reported apparent fear and intimidation at Silongwe, Gwanda, Matabeleland South, where a handful of people dominated discussions. The group noted people in public outreach sessions were looking to certain individuals to make statements, while villagers had little to say about traditional leaders who dominate rural life.

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