Urban intimidation

constitution_MUTARE A dark cloud hovers over the success of the constitution making process, which began this week, owing to the intimidation of MDC supporters in peri-urban and rural areas in Manicaland.

According to reports by affected MDC party officials in Manicaland, the terror campaigns are aimed at ensuring the adoption of the Kariba Draft constitution or maintenance of the current constitution, amended 19 times over a period of 23 years.

Many political commentators have said these reports could ultimately result in a skewed outcome. In the Eastern border town of Mutare, reports of intimidation and threats of violence against MDC supporters are escalating in the province particularly in Chimanimani East (from Cashel Valley and Nedziwa) and Buhera North.

David Kasoko an MDC official in Chimanimani said: Zanu (PF) supporters and some members of the uniformed forces are allegedly hosting meetings telling people not to participate in the constitution making process unless they are advocating for either the Kariba draft constitution or the continued use of the current constitution.

In Buhera North, Zanu (PF), with the help of armed soldiers and war veterans led by self-styled commander of farm invasions Joseph Chinotimba, is also threatening villagers with assault and ex-communication from their areas if they take part in the constitution making process.

These developments in the political arena are an indication of Zanu (PF)s determination to ensure that the envisaged constitution suffers a stillbirth, said Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson for Manicaland Province in a recent interview.

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