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More intimidation reported at constitutional outreach meetings

More intimidation reported at constitutional outreach meetings

Gerry Jackson
27th July 2010

The independent constitutional outreach monitoring organization, ZZZICOMP,
has reported that a District Administrator in Masvingo has gone into hiding
after being threatened by ZANU PF militias for his contributions at a
meeting at Chivi Centre.

At the meeting Bernard Hadzirabwi suggested that the Prime Minister should
have executive powers. A contribution that did not go down well with the
ZANU PF supporters and CIO’s present at the meeting two weeks ago.

ZZZICOMP observers on the ground said that on Monday ZANU PF youths were
organising a demonstration against Hadzirabwi at the centre. They also
threatened security guards at his offices.

Further intimidation of other individuals has also been reported by the
independent monitoring organisation. The ZANU PF District Coordinating
Committee Chairperson, Sanders Magwizi, summoned the head of the District
Development Fund in the area, Ernest Temba, to his office. He alleged that
Temba made contributions that were against ZANU PF’s views and the Kariba
Draft during a COPAC outreach meeting.

In the same district, an official in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
received violent threats from ZANU PF youths for the contributions he made
at an outreach meeting held at Chivi Centre. And, in Manicaland, an
independent monitor was detained for more than three hours on Friday last
week following an outreach meeting in Mutasa North Ward 4, at Dumba Business

John Ziyera was observing the proceedings but was detained after ZANU PF
supporters accused him of being a stranger and tried to physically assault
him. He was saved by David Chimhini, one of the Constitution Select
Committee’s team leaders, who handed him over to the police. He was later
taken to Mutare Central Police Station.

Ziyera said he was interrogated by the police throughout his stay at the
police station, but was not told of the charges he was facing.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer Blessing Nyamaropa facilitated his
release on the same day, but he was told to report back at the police
station the next morning.

When he did so he was told they would call him if they found a case against

Meanwhile, the MDC’S national Women’s Assembly secretary, Evelyn Masaiti,
has said the greatest weapon for a new Zimbabwe is for the people to
participate in the Constitution-making outreach programme. She was speaking
at an MDC rally at Masuku, Gokwe – Sengwa in Midlands North province on
Sunday. She said that ZANU PF was stopping people from attending the
outreach meetings.

But in the same MDC statement that quoted Masaiti, it was also noted that in
Mwenezi East, Masvingo province, Colonel Hungwe of Ngundu Halt, Major
Neshuro and Justice Sithole, the ZANU PF chairperson of Mwenezi District
Coordinating Committee, last week Friday threatened villagers of Chingamhi
Ward 5 with death if they did not support the discredited Kariba draft in
the Constitution-making process. Hungwe was armed with an AK47 rifle when he
addressed the meeting.

An observer queried how Evelyn Masaiti would feel about attending a
constitutional outreach meeting and speaking freely, if she was threatened
with death by an army colonel wielding an AK 47.

Unless the MDC are able to stop this violent intimidation one thing is
certain – the constitution outreach program cannot possible reflect the
genuine wishes of Zimbabweans.



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