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Zanu PF to hijack all stakeholders’ conference

ZANU PF plans to hijack the second all-stakeholders’ conference in order to influence the outcome of the final draft constitution, it has emerged.

Report by Patrice Makova
But as battle lines have been drawn ahead of the conference, the MDC-T said Sadc and the African Union (AU) should supervise the conference to ensure that Zanu PF does not bulldoze its position and cause chaos.

Zanu PF last week finally agreed to go to the second all-stakeholders’ conference after re-writing the Copac draft, maintaining President Robert Mugabe’s sweeping powers while deleting provisions meant to democratise the country.

The two MDCs have rejected the amendments, insisting that the Copac draft was final and called on Sadc appointed facilitator, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to intervene.

Sources said Zanu PF’s political commissars from throughout the country were on Friday summoned for a meeting in Harare where they were instructed to start mobilising support for the endorsement of Zanu PF amendments at the conference.

The meeting, which was organised by national commissar, Webster Shamu, was also addressed by national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo and other senior party officials.

“The strategy is to ensure that Zanu PF provides the bulk of delegates to the conference and influence the process,” said one provincial commissar. “If the worst comes to the worst and our strategy fails, some of our vocal delegates will ensure that nothing positive comes out.”

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo confirmed the party had started mobilising for the endorsement of the numerous amendments it made to the Copac draft.

“We had a mobilisation workshop on Friday where we told them (party officials) what to do and how to present the party position at the all-stakeholders’ conference,” he said.

But MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said his party was aware that there was a faction in Zanu PF which wanted to cause chaos and mayhem at the conference so as to collapse the process.

“We also know that the police would be too glad to watch idly while Zanu PF harasses the delegates to the conference,” he said.

“The spectre of political violence and mayhem that was unleashed by the Zanu PF militia in 2009, upon the first all-stakeholders’ conference is clearly still with us.”

He said the Sadc and the AU must supervise and monitor the conference to ensure that no single party manipulated the process.

But Gumbo laughed off suggestions to invite Sadc.

“Are we sick that we have to be supervised to hold our own conference?” he asked. “The MDCs must stop the tendency to invite foreigners to resolve internal issues. There is nothing in the GPA which says Sadc should be involved in the all-stakeholders’ conference.”

Analysts said Zanu PF’s insistence on the use of the national report at the all-stakeholders’ conference was meant to buy time and rewind the constitution-making process to the stage before the drafters obtained the data.

Political analyst, Gift Mambipiri said while only a few war veterans disturbed the 2009 first all-stakeholders’ conference, this time around the likes of Chipangano militia group would be there in full force to ensure that chaos prevailed.

“The all-stakeholders’ conference will not achieve anything because of the tension and tone already set. The parties and the facilitator may have to negotiate their way through,” he said.

Social commentator, Blessing Vava said Zanu PF’s insistence on the national report was meant to expose the two MDC formations for deviating from what the people said during the outreach exercise.

“If the principals finally agree on a draft, there won’t be much to expect from the conference because the majority of the delegates will be drawn from the parties in the GNU,” he said

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