MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai will lead his party to Gweru this weekend for the official launch of the “YES” vote campaign ahead of the March 16 constitutional referendum.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed that his boss will be in Gweru to launch the party position on the constitution.
“I can confirm that the Prime Minister will travel to Gweru on Saturday to launch the “YES” vote campaign. I, however, do not have the programme yet because this is a party activity and not a government programme,” he said, adding that several top party officials were expected to attend.
In the Midlands province, MDC-T appears to be taking a lead in campaigning for the “YES” vote while its partners in the inclusive government, especially Zanu PF, have not been that active in the province. On Monday when the Copac meetings started in the province, both Zanu PF representatives, Joram Gumbo and Isheunesu Muza did not attend.
During a recent address in Masvingo, President Robert Mugabe told supporters that his party had been pressured into accepting the Copac draft constitution. His remarks were interpreted by political commentators as conceding defeat.
The Zanu PF leader was speaking at a belated Annual Chiefs’ Conference.
“We agreed on the constitution, (but) not all that we wanted came out,” Mugabe said.
“It was a compromise. After the elections, we will amend the constitution to fit in some of your views, right now we must get rid of this three-headed creature (the inclusive government).”
Mugabe at one point threatened to go for elections using the Lancaster House Constitution if the MDCs refused to accommodate Zanu PF’s demands, but made a sudden about-turn and compromised.
However, contacted for comment, Zanu PF Midlands vice- chairman Larry Mavhima said there was no party directive or policy to snub Copac meetings and attributed the low turnouts to lack of advertising.
“Some of us have gone ahead of Copac and addressed people in every ward and they are fully aware of the draft constitution. But Copac made a monumental blunder of advertising in newspapers only and failed to realise that most of the rural people don’t have access to the newspapers,” said Mavhima.