Zimbabwe Soldier Chucked Out Of Constitutional team

Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba who was also instrumental in the failed prosecution of several MDC-T MPs on charges that they abused Operation Maguta inputs had been seconded to Copac by Zanu (PF).

But other parties in the committee protested that a serving soldier can not represent a political party in the process.

The parties also complained that Nyikayaramba was also among people accused of perpetrating the violence that killed more than 200 MDC-T supporters and displaced thousands of others.

Douglas Mwonzora, the Copac co-chairperson from MDC-T said they had tried their best to send teams that would not remind people of the suffering they went through just before the run-off poll where President Robert Mugabe ran unchallenged.

“On the participation of instigators of violence, let me acknowledge that we did receive some objections regarding Brigadier General Nyikayaramba and we removed him on the basis that he was a serving member of the army,” Mwonzora said.

 “It is possible there are still some of these people in the teams but we do not know them because that has not been brought to us.

“But again, we are unable as Copac to interfere with choices of political parties. We can not prescribe who should represent who.”

Copac would start deploying teams for the outreach on Monday. Mwonzora brushed aside complaints from civil society organisations that Copac had not publicised the outreach programme, a development that might see most Zimbabweans failing to take part.

“We have not received complaints from the people in the areas concerned,” Mwonzora said.

“Every time, it is a person in Harare who complains on behalf of a person in Marange and I think it is high time we all allowed the people concerned to complain for themselves.

“Let me also add that these complaints which come through the media are just but armchair complaints.”

Zimbabwe must produce a new constitution by April 2011 leading to fresh elections.