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Zapu attacks draft constitution

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Zapu youths have attacked the two MDC formations in the inclusive government for allowing Zanu PF to manipulate the constitution-making process to water down provisions on devolution of power.

In a statement yesterday, Zapu’s Bulawayo provincial youth spokesperson Mbonisi Gumbo said the two MDCs made unnecessary concessions on the issue.

“That kind of devolution in the new constitution is as good as not being there at all,” he said.

“How can the MDCs agree that provincial governors will be appointed?

“How could they agree that the provincial governments will only receive 5% of the total revenue, while Harare gets 95%?

“That is ridiculous to say the least. We do not understand them anymore. We thought they were up to the task.

“Why did MDC give away everything? According to the draft in our possession, Zanu PF almost got away with everything they had bargained for in the first place, while on the other hand the MDCs lost almost everything we had mandated them as voters to include in the new constitution.

“We wonder why Copac chose to waste our public funds in the so-called Copac outreach programme if they knew they would not include the people’s views.”

However, MDC-T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora defended his party’s position saying the just-completed draft constitution was “the best document we have had as a people since 1896”.

“It’s either we vote for incremental change or we wait for heaven in the future,” he said.

“In Shona we have a saying that a dog that is biting a bone should not bark.

“We have heard President Robert Mugabe speak against devolution of power, but we have devolution of power in Chapter 14 of the draft. We have agreed on the principles of it.”

MDC secretary for research and policy, Qhubani Moyo, also denied being manipulated by Zanu PF saying the draft had covered 80% of the input gathered during the outreach programme.

“In terms of devolution of power, what we realised was that in the long struggle of the people of Matabeleland, we have come 80% close to what we wanted,” he said.

“Now what do we do? Do we retreat and lose? Do we squander the chance of the remaining 20%?

“Rejecting this draft constitution will be a betrayal of the people of Matabeleland.”

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