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COPAC draft awareness meetings flop in Bulawayo

Public awareness on the proposed constitutional draft had a false start in Bulawayo after two of the initial meetings with residents failed to kick-off.

Copac officials failed to turn up for meetings at Killarney Hall and Lockview Primary School meant to raise awareness on the suggested draft that will go for a referendum on 16 March.

A voters’ roll would not be used for the referendum, but voters woulduse their identification particulars.

“We have not seen anyone from Copac since morning and we are about to go back home since there is no activity here,” said a resident Mathew Dube who had come for the awareness meeting at Killarney Hall in the morning.

Dube said they risked being left out of the process to make them aware of the contents of the proposed constitution.

“It is our hope that they will reschedule these meetings because we need to be privy to what is contained in that draft constitution,”said Dube.

An official at Lockview Primary told Radio Dialogue that the meeting which was slated for Monday would take place on Wednesday.

“I was surprised to see some people coming for a meeting, official communication we got from Copac was that they will come here onWednesday at 2pm,” said the official.

In Bulawayo the meetings started on Monday and end on Saturday with Matopo in Matabeleland South to host the last ones on Friday next week.

Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora attributed the failed meetingsto logistical problems.

“We had challenges in getting our teams to the two venues, buttomorrow everything will sail smoothly,” said Mwonzora.

The 16 March referendum will be the country’s second after 12-13 February 2000 constitutional referendum. The 2000 draft, which had been written by the Constitutional Commission, was however, rejected.

ZEC chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi confirmed that theyhad started inviting applications from all people and organisations, local and foreign, wishing to observe the referendum process.

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