Friday, July 02, 2010

(HERALD) NGOs’ violence claims dismissed

NGOs’ violence claims dismissed
Herald Reporters

The Parliamentary Select Committee has dismissed reports by some non-governmental organisations that the constitutional outreach programme has been marred by violence and intimidation. Some sections of the media have claimed that outreach monitors were assaulted in Mashona-land Central.

"The general atmosphere has been conducive and meetings have been held in an environment of peace. No incidences of violence have been recorded. We are seeing national healing in the process, with members of different political parties sitting together and speaking their minds out," said Copac co-chairperson Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF) at a Press conference yesterday.

He also said there were no people called "outreach monitors" — a term some NGO workers have been using to describe themselves.

"The problem I have is identifying an outreach monitor. We did not accredit outreach monitors; they have no relationship with us."

MDC representative Mr Gaule added: "We do not have any monitors, why should it be monitored?"

Cde Mangwana castigated some NGOs’ attempts to derail the programme for their selfish reasons.

"The level of polarisation has led some people to form organisations that survive on lies. They will continue to perpetuate those lies. However, those who continue to perpetuate those lies will eat humble pie in the fullness of time," he said.

Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T), another co-chairperson, said they would soon start accreditation of genuine individuals and organisations to observe the outreach.

In a separate interview, Cde Mangwana yesterday said too few youths were participating in the constitution-making process.

"This is very disappointing as the constitution is really theirs. Strategies are being formulated to find out how the youths can be incorporated more in the process. Political parties have also been urged to engage their youth wings," he said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday UNDP and Treasury released more money for the outreach.

The programme had been dogged by financial constraints, which resulted in outreach teams being evicted from hotels.

The money is for fuel, hired vehicles and accommodation. Copac had forwarded a US$2 million budget to the management committee for "unforeseen" expenses.

Yesterday, Copac national co-ordinator Mr Peter Kunjeku said: "UNDP on Wednesday released US$70 000 for fuel and US$970 000, which is a 50 percent down-payment for hired vehicles. They have also released quite a substantial amount for hotels where outreach teams will be staying. Treasury has released US$400 000 for our administrative purposes."

Despite a slow start, several well-attended meetings have been held in various provinces.

Midlands has held 52 meetings, Masvingo has had 30, while Mashonaland West and East have had 31 and 50 respectively.

The others are Mashonaland Central (51), Matabeleland North and South (35 and 36) and Manicaland (61).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home