A storm is reportedly brewing within Zanu PF circles with party hardliners allegedly baying for the blood of their two legal brains, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom they accuse of selling out in the constitution-making process.Report by Everson Mushava, Chief Reporter
Insiders told NewsDay yesterday that tension was running high as the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference looms with attention having shifted from the party’s Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana to Chinamasa and Mnangagwa.
The pair is being accused of failing to represent the party’s interests in the constitution-drafting stages. They are alleged to have used the opportunity to advance their factional interests.
Mnangagwa allegedly leads a faction fighting Vice-President Joice Mujuru over succession of President Robert Mugabe.
“Most people now believe that it’s Mnangagwa and Chinamasa who sold out, not Mangwana. The party is now trying to mobilise its supporters to fully represent the party’s position at the stakeholders’ conference,” said one source.
“The party will hold a meeting with its delegates to the indaba on October 19 to coach them on what to say. If the party’s amendments fail to find their way into the final draft, the party is geared to campaign for a ‘No’ vote at the referendum.”
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed the allegations as untrue.
“What happened then is water under the bridge. We are very clear; there is no problem of blaming each other. We are now focused on the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference,” Gumbo said.
“Since we made those amendments to the Copac draft, we have been mobilising people to represent the party’s position at the conference. We have already interrogated the whole process and discussion at the conference will be based on our amendments.”
Zanu PF rejected the draft constitution released by Copac on July 18, although it was signed by its representatives, saying it did not reflect people’s views.
The party made 266 amendments on the draft which they intend to push at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference to be held later this month.
According to sources, some party stalwarts are pushing for the referendum to be held after the party’s conference to be held in Gweru in December.
“This will be done to afford all supporters a chance to contribute to the constitution-making process and allow the party to come up with a common position,” the source said.