ZESN Worried About Harassment Of Activists

The election watchdog said this was so particularly given the critical moment of the Constitutional outreach process in Zimbabwe right now.

It said this required a broader participation by the citizens if the new Constitution was to gain the legitimacy which it requires.

“The Secretary General of GAPWUZ is currently in hiding after having been summoned before the Joint Operations Command regarding her role in the making of a documentary surrounding the Land Reform Programme,” ZESN said.

“We are concerned about the apparent curtailment of civil society operating space particularly given the critical moment of the Constitutional outreach process which will require broader process which will require broader participation by the citizens if the new Constitution is to gain the legitimacy which it would require.”

ZESN emphasized its position on the need for significant electoral reforms before the next election which could be held in 2011. President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF has already said he would stand for his party in that election.

The GAPWUz Boss, Getrude Hambira fled to SA after she was being harassed by police for a documentary on the plight of farm workers in Zimbabwe. Some of Zimbabwe’s civic society members have been threatened with death if they carry on with educational awareness campaigns on the constitution following the launch of constituitonal reform process.

A new constitution is said to be key to holding free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.