'Two drafts will trigger violence'

By Pindai Dube, Own Correspondent

BULAWAYO -
An alliance of church groups has warned against putting both Zanu PF and Copac’s constitution drafts to a referendum saying the move risks triggering unprecedented violence.

Christian Alliance director Reverend Useni Sibanda told the Daily News he suspected Zanu PF was planning a campaign of violence reminiscent of the run-up to the June 27, 2008 presidential election when several opposition supporters were abducted and hundreds killed.

Christian Alliance is a coalition of many church organisations which include the Zimbabwe Pastors Fellowship and Churches in Bulawayo.

“Only the Copac draft constitution should be taken to referendum because if the Zanu PF draft also goes for referendum this will trigger serious violence around the country,” Sibanda said.

“We don’t want blood to be spilled like what happened in June 2008. We can foresee brutality against those who don’t support Zanu PF. The party will use all means to force Zimbabweans to accept its draft.”

Sibanda said Christian Alliance has joined the campaign for a “Yes” vote to the Copac draft constitution.

Last week Zipra War Veterans’ Association also blasted Zanu PF for rejecting the Copac draft constitution.

“Zanu PF is committing a serious constitutional fraud by rejecting the Copac draft,” Zipra association chairperson Buster Magwizi said.

“Their negotiators signed the document and we don’t see the reason why they are dumping it now. They just want to cause confusion so that we can hold elections under the current Lancaster House constitution which is very impossible.”

The dispute has been referred to the principals, who are still seized with the matter.

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