THE Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (Puma) has protested against the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac)’s invitation of “only two” members from the party to the Second All- Stakeholders’ Conference slated for October 21 to 23 at the Harare International Conference Centre.
Report by Staff Reporter
Puma president Bancinyane Ndiweni told NewsDay in an interview yesterday that they felt belittled by Zanu PF and the two MDC parties.
“We firmly believe now that what Copac is working on is not everyone’s constitution. Even if the constitution comes out this way, it will be a three political parties’ constitution.
“These parties don’t recognise other political players who are in the same field with them. We are the voice of the voiceless people of Matabeleland and the Midlands. When they say we bring two people for the whole of Matabeleland and the Midlands, don’t they think it’s not fair?” Ndiweni said.
In a letter to Copac co-chairpersons dated September 27, Puma said: “We wish to register our disgruntlement with the number of two people only to represent the party as we feel this is too small a number. We note with concern, that there has been a progressive reduction of numbers of participants post the outreach programme coming out of constituencies that are not part of the parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
“This is a dangerous situation as it will end up being very true that the new constitution for Zimbabwe was not crafted by the people of Zimbabwe, but by political parties in the GPA and simply legitimised by other parties and constituents not in the GPA. This is a situation we hope shall not find us wanting at the time of the referendum when the people have to decide.”
Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed Puma had protested, saying: “Yes, they have complained. However, we had given them the number that we gave them, which is the number of delegates that we were giving to others as well, based on participation in public elections.
“We are considering their complaint. I have brought their letter to the attention of others in the management committee and their complaints are being looked into.”