Copac co-chairperson Edward Mkhosi Friday said Zimbabweans should consider the constitution-making meetings as a way to air their views.
Mkhosi said constitutional outreach meetings were open and above board and were aimed at formulating laws for the nation, yet certain elements sought to taint them with a distorted political image.
“The people of Bulawayo should take Copac meetings as a chance for them to air what they want enshrined in the new Constitution,” said Mkhosi.
“People who go around forcing people to air the views of their political parties are ignorant because they are trying to politicise the constitution-making process and yet it is an innocent procedure.”
Mkhosi however said he was encouraged by the fact that, unlike other provinces where reports of intimidation and soliciting for certain ideologies of some political parties were rampant, Bulawayo province had not witnessed such incidents.
He said politicising the constitution-making process had nothing to do with Copac.
“As Copac, we distance ourselves from any political bickering that may be taking place anywhere, because we want to coin a new constitution with people’s views,” Mkhosi said.
Following the announcement that Copac would this weekend visit Harare and Bulawayo provinces, squabbles erupted amongst political parties who disagreed on whether or not to hold two meetings per ward in the two cities.
This week, Copac co-chairperson, Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that there had been disagreements on the number of meetings to be held per ward.
It is believed that Zanu PF argued that one meeting per ward was enough in a suspected bid to thwart views from cities since they were considered opposition strongholds, while the two MDC parties were calling for two meetings per ward in view of the dense population in urban areas as opposed to rural wards.
Mwonzora said it was anticipated that Copac meetings in the two big cities would attract multitudes of people.
Mkhosi said in Bulawayo Copac would hold two meetings per ward per day.
“The decision to hold two meetings per day at every ward will still stand in Bulawayo. Six teams from Matabeleland North and six from Matabeleland South will join one team from Bulawayo to make them 13 teams to cover all the wards,” he said.
He said all forms of communication were being used to inform the people about the venues and times of the meetings in Bulawayo province.