More constitution making meetings cancelled

The meetings were cancelled after Zanu (PF) supporters went on a rampage beating up suspected MDC-T supporters and individuals who aired views opposed to the Zanu (PF) line.

Nine meetings were cancelled in Makoni South, four in Headlands, two in Makoni Central and one in Makoni West.

A Copac member said the meetings were cancelled at Ruombwe, Rukweza, St Peter’s Tokoyo, Sharara, Chitenderano, Mavhezha, St Jude’s, Gurure and Dumba Schools.
Other meetings were aborted at Vengere 602 Hall and Vengere Primary School. Surprisingly no one has been arrested and fingers are being pointed at the MDC-T for starting the troubles.

“We could not continue with the meetings because the violence was intense,” said the Copac member. “We had to run for dear life because some of them were armed and it appered the police were powerless and could not stop them.”

The cancellation of the meetings in Makoni follow the abandonment of 23 outreach meetings in Nyanga, Chipinge and Chimanimani districts because of violence instigated by Zanu (PF) supporters.

On Sunday outreach meetings in Harare’s townships were cancelled after they degenerated into violence.

An MDC-T activist in Mbare Crispen Mandizvidza died on Wednesday from injuries sustained after he was attacked at Mai Musodzi Hall on Sunday. He died at the Avenues Clinic.

A Copac member in the district said new dates would to be set although it appeared it would be difficult to hold the meetings without incident.

Meanwhile Zanu (PF) Copac co-chair Paul Mangwana said on Thursday that last weekend violence which characterised the Harare constitution outreach meetings was not unusual to what happened elsewhere in the country.

He blamed the government for not prioritising national healing and reconciliation programme.

Mangwana said like what happened in other provinces the aborted and disrupted Harare outreach meetings were going to be redone.

Out  of  82 meetings, which were slotted for  Harare only 72 were done with most of them disrupted and aborted as a result of violence.

Prime minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the Harare outreach meetings carried out at the weekend and called for an urgent meeting with President Mugabe to map the way forward.

Makoni is known to be volatile because it is controlled by Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu (PF) politburo Secretary for Administration and Presidential Affairs minister

Mutasa led Zanu (PF) supporters in violent attacks against MDC-T members during the previous elections held since 2000.

The violence and intimidation characterizing the outreach programmes have raised questions on whether Zimbabwe is ready to conduct an election that will be credible and acceptable.

A general election is expected to be held next year to choose a new government after the expiry of the life of the unity government formed after a disputed presidential poll.