This weekend, the Constitutional Parliamentary Outreach Committee (COPAC) held consultative meetings in Harare and Chitungwiza, after the first attempt to hold these meetings was met with violence and intimidation. But this second attempt again resulted in violence, with one participant hospitalised. Read the Crisis in Zimbabwe statement about the weekend’s outreach meetings below:
Participant attacked, seriously wounded as police detain MDC employee
A participant at a meeting held at St John’s retreat, Joshua Manyere (32) was beaten up and seriously wounded by suspected ZANU PF supporters. He is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital.
Details obtained from an observer stationed at the venue are that during the meeting, suspected ZANU PF supporters threatened Manyere with unspecified action after his contributions were regarded as inconsistent with the views held by the ZANU PF supporters. After the meeting, it is alleged that Manyere was attacked by a group of suspected ZANU PF supporters and seriously injured during the commotion. The Coalition is still awaiting more details on the incident.
Meanwhile, Ms. Diana Nyikadzino, an employee of the Movement for Democratic Change is currently being detained at Waterfalls Police station for reasons still to be established after her apprehension at Hopley Clinic, Harare South.
Details from other meetings monitored are as below;
Tadzikamidzi School, Chitungwiza
The meeting, which was initially marred by intimidation, went ahead well after COPAC intervened although there were isolated cases of intimidation.
Zororo Center, Highfields
- There was high security with approximately 20 police officers
- The meeting started around 1100hrs and was attended by approximately 300 people
- The meeting was temporarily disrupted following contributions by one participant who suggested that war veterans should not hold the nation at ransom because of their contribution to the country’s liberation. The contribution sparked outrage among some participants believed to be war veterans who threatened to take unspecified action against the participant after the meeting. The war veterans accused the participant of disrupting the meeting leading to his apprehension by the police. He was however released following complaints by other participants who told the police that the ejected participant had done nothing to warrant such treatment. Despite attempts to disturb proceedings, the meeting went ahead.
Kuwadzana, Crowborough Creche
- The meeting was attended by close to 300 people
- Police remained passive during disturbances by some participants who accused one respondent of attempting to disrupt the meeting. COPAC however managed to contain the situation and the meeting went ahead.