Ncube pulls out of Copac blitz
BULAWAYO – Industry minister Welshman Ncube’s MDC party has pulled out of a campaign to push for the adoption of a new constitution in this month’s referendum, saying it felt belittled by its coalition government partners.
Ncube’s formation, by far the smallest partner in the coalition judging by parliamentary representation, says it deserves more respect from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, the coalition’s big brothers.
Party secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said a decision to allow her formation to participate in the blitz in only two provinces was an insult, hence the pullout.
Coalition partners, using parliamentary committee, Copac, have launched a countrywide programme to push for the adoption of a draft constitution principally negotiated by Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Because of its small parliamentary representation, Ncube’s MDC was asked to cover only two provinces.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said they were pulling out “due to a decision taken by MDC (Tsvangirai)’s Douglas Mwonzora and Zanu PF’s Paul Mangwana (Copac co-chairs) to exclude Ncube’s MDC from eight out of 10 provinces”.
“It has turned out that it was in fact a strategy to use these as a platform to attack the MDC, particularly by Zanu PF.
“As a result of this, the MDC has pulled out from the two provinces where we were allowed to participate,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, adding her party would embark on a parallel campaign process.
But Mangwana dismissed the pull-out as a non-event.
He said Ncube’s MDC had paltry numbers in Parliament, making it impossible for the party to cover the entire country.
“It is not our problem,” Mangwana said.
“They are suffering from overvaluing themselves in the inclusive government in which they are unfair beneficiaries. We gave them only two provinces because they are only represented by two MPs who are Edward Mkhosi and Believe Gaule in Copac.”
“They do not have the required numbers and that is why such a decision was taken,” he said.
He added: “The fact is I honestly cannot manufacture Members of Parliament for them, I cannot turn two into a 10. I cannot.”