Articles

Taking the Constitutional debate to the people

Marambapfungwe...

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in collaboration with Savanna Trust held a Community Theatre Forum at Mutata Business Centre in Marambapfungwe on the 10th of July 2010. The objective of the theatre forum was to educate, inform and update the people on the ongoing constitutional making process.  
Savanna drama group performed an interactive play entitled Shandai (Work) which captures socio-economic issues and the challenges that Zimbabweans face daily. The play also highlighted how different political backgrounds affect one's view on issues.


Participants reported that they were told not to say anything during the outreach meetings and threatened with death if they do not comply by alleged Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) supporters. Participants were concerned about their security after speaking out during the outreach meetings."Who will guarantee my safety when the outreach team leaves Marambapfungwe?" quizzed one participant.


Copies of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), revised talking points, informative fliers and brochures on the constitution making process were distributed as supporting material. The Theatre Forum was attended by 40 people (15 women and 25 men).

Muzarabani


On Friday 9 July 2010 the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition visited Muzarabani, Ward 19 with community leaders as part of a broad program to engage citizen participation in the ongoing constitutional outreach program. The program also sought to capacitate residents of Muzarabani to make informed choices and inputs. The meeting was facilitated by Crisis Coalition Secretariat (Maria Mache and Mfundo Mlilo), Arthur Taderera from Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) and George Makoni from Youth Alliance for Democracy (YAD).


The meeting was poorly attended due to high levels of intimidation within Muzarabani. A night before the meeting an aspiring member of Parliament had been attacked with an axe and beaten with logs by a known group of rowdy ZANU Pf thugs. People are being told to "shut up" in COPAC meetings or risk being beaten up. This effectively demobilised and threatened any would-be attendees to the meeting. However, fifteen brave residents from Muzarabani Ward 19 managed to attend the meeting and shared their experiences with the Crisis Coalition team.


Issues raised;
Questions from residents on various issues on the talking points with particular emphasis on the following;
Citizenship and bill of rights
Women and Gender issues
Transitional Mechanism and independent commissions
Elections
Public finance

Participants at this meeting also expressed their concern over ZANU Pf strategy of silencing people by planting a group of speakers. They indicated that they were told not to participate in COPAC meetings.

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