Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change has voiced its concern about the intimidation of villagers in rural areas during the ongoing constitutional revision outreach process, saying President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and state security agents are engaging in such tactics.
The party said in a daily outreach bulletin that an MDC member was arrested in Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central province, while mobilizing party supporters to attend constitutional outreach meetings.
The statement said agents of the feared Central Intelligence Organization addressed villagers before meetings to solicit public input on the new constitution being prepared, pushing the so-called Kariba Draft favored by ZANU-PF and uttering threats that people who did not follow their instructions would disappear.
The party said the provinces of Masvingo and Manicaland are particularly troubled.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the party has taken up the issue with the three principals in the national unity government formed in early 2009.
Elsewhere, independent observer Tadziripira Khumalo said a 16 year-old youth was abducted by suspected ZANU-PF supporters on Thursday afternoon in Mvurwi, Mashonaland Central province, where he had gone to deliver literature related to the constitutional revision public outreach process.
Khumalo said she hoped the Joint Monitoring and Implementing Committee set up to oversee adherence to the 2008 Global Political Agreement - but never very active or effective - will intervene to secure his release.
From Midlands, VOA Studio 7 correspondent Taurai Shavea reported that while the constitutional outreach process has unfolded without incident in the province, residents of Chirumhanzu district say the presence of state security agents during the exercise has threatened to curtail free participation.