Zimbabwe’s Next Elections Minefield
It is often very difficult to get a feeling for what Zimbabweans in various civil society organizations are currently thinking about the big questions they confront. Voice of America’s Studio 7’s May 14, 2011 Town Hall -Indaba meeting in Johannesburg offers a good opportunity to hear from some representatives of Zimbabwe’s numerous civil society organizations and activist organizations.
The audio file is one hour long, and Studio 7’s Blessing Zulu does an excellent job moderating and keeping speakers on task in order to address the status of constitutional reform and the timing of future elections.
The four panelists are “Dorcas Hove, a consultant on women’s and media issues, Methodist Bishop Paul Verryn, whose Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg has given shelter to so many refugees from Zimbabwe, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, and ZimOnline editor Abel Mutskani.”
It is clear from the discussion that the issue of security is at the forefront of people’s minds when elections are discussed. Without a realistic way to make future elections secure–and this includes any future referendum on the constitution–a repeat of the violence of 2008 will be difficult to avoid. It is also worth noting the divergent views expressed by some panelists and audience members over the legitimacy of the constitutional select committee (COPAC) and the role of a new constitution.
Listen to Voice of America’s Studio 7’s May 14, 2011 Town Hall -Indaba meeting in Johannesburg