Scrap Copac — Sikhala

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MDC99 president Job Sikhala has called on the international donor community to stop funding the on-going Copac-led constitutional-making process allegedly because it is flawed and “a sickening joke”.
“The international community that is supporting this strange process, should be warned that our people are being subjected to torrential abuse in the process we wish to be conducted in a civilised manner,” Sikhala said.
“We in the MDC99, today call upon the international community to stop immediately any support rendered to Copac until such a time when people are no longer harassed for trying to air their views. The challenge also goes to civic society groups who are quietly witnessing what is happening.”
Sikhala said his party had in fact thrust its support on Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) which right from the beginning, dismissed the Copac-led process as compromised and flawed.
“We are calling upon the National Constitutional Assembly to wake up from its deep slumber and execute the mandate given to them by the people to advocate for a real people-driven constitution.”
Sikhala told journalists at a press conference at his offices in the capital Tuesday that he had received disturbing reports of well-orchestrated schemes where people were allegedly forced either into silence or to speak from a Zanu PF script.
Intimidation and sometimes violence was taking place in the countryside where he said his “people on the ground” were reporting “shocking” levels of manipulation of the people in the consultation process.
“The MDC99 is so perturbed by reports received from its members planted in the Copac teams doing rounds in the outreach programme. Villagers in these areas are singing one hymn and demanding one thing, a president with all the powers that are given to a demigod and a unitary state with all-powerful central authority,” Sikhala said.
“These views are all presented by Zanu PF representatives and illegal structures such as traditional leaders who are not supposed to be political. Ordinary people are virtually silenced as headmen and chiefs bar their subjects from contributing anything contrary to the Zanu PF script.”
Sikhala said his party had gathered that there were teams of people who had been conscripted clandestinely to serve in the rural areas as headmen’s security and their job was to watch and intimidate villagers. “These so-called security teams are in reality a coterie of vagrant youths who intimidate anyone who may want to air views that are variant from the Zanu PF script,” said Sikhala.
Sikhala called upon Zimbabweans to rebel against the Copac process which would not produce a people’s constitution.
“We hereby call upon the people of Zimbabwe to resist, rebel and reject any cooperation with this premeditated programme. The people’s desire for a new constitution has been turned into a nightmare by Zanu PF thuggery,” Sikhala charged.