A top official of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party claims that the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube is pushing the devolution agenda after sleeping on duty in the initial stages of drafting Zimbabwe’s new constitution.
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, the co-chairman of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) tasked with drafting the country’s constitution, is quoted by the state and independent media as saying Ncube’s party fears that it may lose its base if devolution is not included in the nation’s supreme law.
Mangwana said: “They used to sleep during COPAC meetings only to wake up when we mentioned the word devolution”.
Zanu PF has rejected the parliamentary draft constitution which was recently signed by Mangwana and the two representatives of the MDC formations.
President Mugabe’s party has since come up with sweeping amendments to the draft charter.
Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the Ncube MDC party said Mangwana is day dreaming. “It is sad to spend time debating with a man whose own party at its very highest level goes and kneels on the side of a mountain fully believing, clapping their hands … old man taking off their shoes showing us their socks with holes … believing that purified diesel can ooze from the side of a had granite rock,” said Dube.
President Mugabe set up a taskforce – comprising State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi - in 2008 when Zimbabwe was facing crippling fuel shortages following claims by a spirit medium, Rotina Mavhunga, that she had powers to produce diesel from Maningwa Hills in Chinhoyi, 70 kilometers north-west of Harare.
The ministers converged at Maningwa Hills, without shoes and all material deemed inappropriate for cultural rituals, where Mavhunga pumped out fuel bought in Zambia from a hidden make-shift container.
The ministers believed that she had the supernatural powers of pumping purified diesel from granite rocks. She was arrested a couple of months later when her story was exposed by the media as a hoax.
The government paid Mavhunga large sums of money (Z$5 billion), a car and a piece of land after she promised to produce the then scarce commodity from the rocks.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said though he cannot say a lot about the war of words between Mangwana and the Ncube MDC, his party is totally against devolution of power to provinces.
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo said Zimbabweans are still free to make contributions for amending the current draft constitution.
“We are concerned about delays in the constitution-making process though there is still room for members of the public to bring their amendments to our attention,” said Moyo.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean youth claim they are failing to register as voters for the next crucial general election.
More than 300 Zimbabweans including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday attended a peace prayer in North Carolina in the United Sates.
According to the organizers of the event, most of the delegates were women and young girls who also received guidance on various social issues from top Zimbabwean pastors based in America.
Reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye speaks to Victoria Chari, treasurer of Christian Fellowship International before attending the peace prayer.
Dan Moyo, chairman of the USA MDC Assembly said Zimbabweans are happy that Mr. Tsvangirai graced the event.