Friday, October 01, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Diaspora group holds UK constitutional outreach meeting

Diaspora group holds UK constitutional outreach meeting
By: Our reporter
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:42 am

THE Zimbabwe Diaspora Development Interface (ZDDI) will hold a constitutional outreach meeting on Saturday at the London Metropolitan University.

In a statement emailed to the Zimbabwe Guardian the meeting aims to give Zimbabwean organisations and individuals in the United Kingdom an opportunity to submit their views to the constitutional reform process in Zimbabwe.

It will be held at

"The meeting will devote the bulk of its time to public submissions along the lines of the key talking points used by Copac in its outreach exercise, but with a major focus on issues that have greater resonance with Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora," read the statement.

Copac is the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee driving the constitutional reform exercise in Zimbabwe.

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ZDDI says it "strongly urges Zimbabweans in the UK to come forward with their views so that we can submit them to the process in Zimbabwe and ensure that the diaspora’s voice is not absent or muted".

The organisation "will collate the output from the outreach meeting into a document that we will submit directly to Copac".

ZDDI chairman Dr Alex Magaisa urged Zimbabweans in the UK to come forward and express their views and not remain at the periphery of the constitutional reform exercise taking place in Zimbabwe.

“We need to get the authorities in Zimbabwe to recognise the value of their foreign-based human capital, and this constitutional reform exercise presents the Zimbabwe diaspora with an opportunity to be proactive in advocating for their rights," says Dr Magaisa.

"We in the Diaspora must recognise that any new Constitution will affect us and our children in many ways but if we do not take action to be heard we can have no one to blame but ourselves.”

ZDDI says it sees participation in the constitutional reform exercise as an important step in promoting closer engagement between the diaspora and the inclusive Government of Zimbabwe, the business community and civil society organisations.

In September last year, ZDDI hosted an investment, migration and development conference which "contributed significantly to the makings of a new Diaspora engagement policy by the inclusive Government," according to the statement.

Meeting details

The outreach meeting will be held between 10:30am – 2pm in Room SH2-09, Stapleton House, which is at London Metropolitan University’s main campus on 166-200 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DB, a minute’s walk from Holloway Tube Station.

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