Problems in Masvingo as outreach meetings abandoned

Several constitutional outreach meetings were abandoned in the urban areas of Masvingo on Saturday. Our correspondent, Simon Muchemwa, reports that only 1 out of 6 meetings were successfully completed after ZANU PF planted members of the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) into the outreach teams.

Those appointed by ZANU PF into the outreach teams, and have been working in the teams for the past two and half months, were replaced by the CIOs without notice, Muchemwa reported. Although not using violence to disrupt the meetings the CIO have been generating silly squabbles amongst the all-party outreach teams to ensure no meeting is successfully completed. The only meeting to be completed lasted 5 hours and was dominated by more engineered petty squabbles.

At Mucheke Hall for example Team number 6 of the outreach failed to complete its meeting after the ZANU PF CIO rapporteur alleged proper procedures were not being followed. The arguments were so heated members of the outreach team almost came to blows. The meeting was abandoned after only 4 out 26 questions had been asked in a total of 2 hours.

An attempt on Monday to finish the abandoned meetings was again disrupted. This time it was the turn of notorious ZANU PF activist Chief Fortune Charumbira who is President of Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs. Charumbira, with the help of the Provincial Administrator and a ZANU PF youth known as Ephraim Moyo, is alleged to have deliberately misled outreach teams into going to rural Zaka some 200 km away from Masvingo urban. This meant they could not go back to the correct venue in time for the meeting to be done.

The disruptions come at a time the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) was supposed to meet its project board to raise an extra US$5 million funding to extend the outreach by 15 days. Muchemwa told us ZANU PF knows COPAC is broke and cannot afford to complete the abandoned meetings. This he said was why they are deliberately resorting to the tactic of making sure meetings are abandoned.

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