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Copac restrategises

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The Copac management committee has come up with seven conditions for the holding of 42 constitution outreach meetings in Harare which were abandoned because of political violence a fortnight ago.

The meeting held mid week was attended by Patrick Chinamasa, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, Elton Mangoma, Eric Matinenga and Douglas Mwonzora.

The atmosphere under which the previous outreach meetings were held was described as volatile and it has been resolved to break the repeat meetings into smaller groups to avoid a recurrence of violence.

According to a dossier produced after the meeting, the management committee agreed that political parties should take responsibility of the behaviour of their supporters during the outreach programme.

“In this regard political parties must publicly and in writing denounce violence, intimidation, racism and other malpractices and implore their supporters to behave accordingly.”

The dossier further stated: “Political parties have a prime responsibility to prevent the bussing of people from outside Harare or from those areas in Harare in whose areas outreach has already been completed.

The law enforcement agents are to be mobilised to make sure that this bussing does not occur.”

The committee also agreed that the“rerun” outreach meetings be broken down into smaller manageable groups and that they be held in secure places.

They undertook that: “the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) through the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs and the Commissioner General of Police be called upon to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to ensure effective maintenance of law and order during the outreach programme.”

The committee also agreed to have sufficient guarantees made to the public regarding the maintenance of law and order during the outreach“rerun”.

Senior leaders of various political parties were encouraged to be part of political party liaison committees for Harare and also in the district liaison committees.

The ZRP was called upon to immediately bring to book people that were responsible for the disturbances that took place at the arbotive first meetings on September 18 and 19.

The committee made a commitment to publish the correct dates, venues of the outreach meetings in time as well as the Copac code of conduct in both the public print and electronic media to sufficiently inform members of the public.

Copac outreach meetings in Harare were abandoned after violence and chaos rocked the proceedings as youths — most of whom were apparently Zanu PF supporters — chased away suspected MDC-T supporters from the gatherings.

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