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Mangwana spills the beans

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Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana yesterday spilled the beans on who in Zanu PF “sold out” on the constitution-making process as the blame game and finger-pointing threaten to further split President Robert Mugabe’s faction-ridden party.

Report by Everson Mushava

In an exclusive interview with NewsDay in Harare yesterday, Mangwana said if ever there was any selling-out that took place, the party’s Copac Management Committee representatives — Nicholas Goche and Patrick Chinamasa — were to blame.

“The whole debate on the constitution-making process started with the method to use when sifting the information gathered during the outreach programme,” Mangwana said.

“I stood firm in support of the quantitative method because it was in line with the exercise that we had carried out. There was astalemate and it was our representatives in the management committee who compromised on the qualitative method. I was not willing to give in. That is where we lost out. I am not the one who sold out.”

“I don’t accept the nonsense that I sold out. I acted in accordance with instructions that I was given by my party (Zanu PF) and I am clearly aware that there are pressures from my party to discredit me.”

A visibly angry Mangwana was reacting to a TV programme screened by the national broadcaster, ZBC, on Tuesday night where panellists accused him of selling out, describing him as worse than those who massacred Zimbabweans at Chimoio and Nyadzonia during the liberation struggle in the 1970s. The Chivi Central MP is now suing ZBC for $1 million for defamation.

The panellists claimed Mangwana was worse than Morris Nyati, the alleged traitor who guided Rhodesian forces in the brutal pre-independence massacres at Nyadzonia in Mozambique in 1976. The panellists further claimed that Mangwana supported homosexuality and was paid by imperialists to sell out on Zimbabwe’s interests.

Mangwana said he constantly consulted Zanu PF during the process and firmly defended the party’s principles, but Goche and Chinamasa “sold out” by acceding to the demands of the two MDCs each time there was a stalemate. As Copac co-chairpersons, Mangwana claimed, they disagreed on numerous issues that were later settled by the management committee.

Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora represented Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, while Edward Mkhosi stood for the MDC led by Welshman Ncube.

“When I parked those issues, it means I was refusing to compromise. Who then compromised? It was the management committee. And those are the same issues that Zanu PF is now demanding to bring back,” said a fuming Mangwana.

He said he refused dual citizenship, whittling down of the President’s executive powers, the rights of war veterans, devolution and many other issues before Goche and Chinamasa “caved in”.

He said: “ZBC should know that it cannot abuse their monopoly by attacking individuals without the right to respond. They had been doing that for a long time, but I kept quiet. This time I will fight and set a precedent so that they will not continue abusing politicians.”

Strenuous efforts to get a comment from Goche and Chinamasa last night were fruitless as their mobile phones went unanswered.

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