Zimbabwean parliamentary officials in charge of the country's constitutional revision process have put off rescheduling community meetings in Harare that were canceled late last month due to intimidation and violence, saying the Home Affairs Ministry has not issued a pledge that the police will maintain order if the meetings are rescheduled.
Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Select Committee on Constitutional Revision said Monday that the meetings tentatively rescheduled for next weekend have been postponed following a management meeting held by the panel and its employees. He said it was decided that a further round of violence could not be risked.
The committee sent a formal request to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking assurances that police would maintain order in and around the public outreach meetings, but said it has not received a response, Mwonzora said. In addition, the panel is trying to raise another US$200,000 dollars in funding to meet surging organizational costs.
Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that another key requirement – that the main political parties sign an agreement to denounce violence – has not yet been met, increasing concern of further clashes.
In eastern Manicaland province, meanwhile, outreach meetings also snagged again on Monday as parliamentarians on public outreach teams deployed there headed for Harare where parliament is to resume session on Tuesday.
Outreach rapporteurs said they fear for their lives with violence escalating in the politically volatile province.