Taking the constitutional debate to Norton, Kariba

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held two community meetings on the constitution making process at Ngoni community Hall in Norton and Nyamhunga Shopping Centre in Kariba on the 16th and 17th of July 2010 respectively. The meetings, which were addressed by Mr. Pedzisai Ruhanya (Crisis Coalition Programs Manager), Ms. Maria Mache (Crisis Coalition Information Officer), Ms. Memory Kadau (Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer) and Ms. Pedzisayi   (Combined Harare Residents Association) attracted a total of 159 people, 62 females and 97 males.

The presentations by the panel were on the following;

Definition of a constitution and the history of the constitution making process in Zimbabwe
The current constitution making process and progress this far
The 17 thematic areas and COPAC talking points

Participants raised questions on;

The number of times COPAC will conduct meetings in each ward
Whether COPAC will allow written contributions as there are high cases of intimidation in communities
Protection of persons after they contribute during the outreach meetings
COPAC publicity prior to the ward meetings
Guarantees that the views put forward by the people will not be hijacked by politicians

In Kariba, a ZANU PF youth failed to disrupt the meeting after the crowd demanded that the meeting should take place because it was cleared by the police. It was reported that members of the military are allegedly meeting church leaders demanding that they tell their parishioners to adopt ZANU PF's position on the content of the current constitution or risk facing unspecified action. COPAC is yet to conduct meetings in the resort town.

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