HomeLocal NewsGang misleads people on Copac . . . Mwonzora suspects security agents

Gang misleads people on Copac . . . Mwonzora suspects security agents

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Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) investigations into the low turnout at constitution-making meetings in Matabeleland region have shown among other reasons that a group of suspected security agents were driving around in brand new vehicles misleading people that the process had been stopped.
The disclosure is part of several reasons unearthed by Copac following a probe into why Zimbabweans were shunning deliberations on a new constitution.
Other explanations for the poor turn out were lack of adequate publicity and long distances people had to travel.
Head of the probe team in Matabeleland South and Copac co-chairperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said: “We have received very disturbing reports of people who are moving around in new motor vehicles informing villagers that Copac meetings have been cancelled,” said Mwonzora.
“We do not know who these people are, but some say they are members of the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation).”
Mwonzora vowed to get to the bottom of the matter.
He said another problem was that MPs opposed to staying in remote areas left outreach venues before participants arrived to air their views.
“Some Members of Parliament do not want to stay at hotels in Gwanda and the net result is that outreach teams have to travel very long distances to venues and when they arrive at the venues people would already have left,” Mwonzora said.
Munyaradzi Mangwana, Copac co-chairperson from Zanu PF yesterday said his committee had come up with strategies to ensure attendance at meetings in Matabeleland improved.
Mangwana was leading investigations on the low turnout in Matabeleland North Province.
“We have put teams on the ground to travel by motor vehicles to inform community leaders to encourage their people to attend and the aim is to inform people timeously about the meetings so that they can attend and as a result of that we have seen improvements in attendance figures,” he said.
Mwonzora said Copac resolved that Political Party Liaison Committees in Matabeleland North should advise their supporters a day in advance before constitution outreach meetings take place.
“We hope when people are advised that way, they will not listen to these strange people moving in brand new vehicles,” he said.
Mwonzora said although the turn out in towns like Hwange and Victoria Falls had been extremely low to the extent that between 10 to 30 people attended the constitution outreach meetings, participation in areas such as Binga had increased because Copac teams stayed close to the areas they were dispatched.
He said Copac has made special fuel allocations to areas such as Binga because it was a vast area and the roads were in a poor state.
“We love the people of Matabeleland, and we want their views to be incorporated in the new constitution,” said Mwonzora.

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