via Mangwana killing, Zanu PF responds – New Zimbabwe 12/02/2015
ENRAGED top Zanu PF officials and security services chiefs tried to kill the party’s central committee member and former cabinet minister Paul Mangwana after clauses were smuggled into the new constitution to effectively oust President Robert Mugabe.
Mangwana was co-chairman of COPAC, the parliamentary committee charged with the drawing up the country’s new constitution, and therefore Zanu PF’s leading representative to the process.
But in a documentary broadcast by the BBC this week, Mangwana makes explosive allegations that a plan was put together by his own Zanu PF party to kill him and, hopefully, collapse the constitution-making process.
Zanu PF had long made clear its opposition to the COPAC process with President Robert Mugabe telling Zimbabweans that the so-called Kariba draft would have been adequate.
But anger among the President’s inner circle boiled over after a clause was smuggled into the COPAC draft which would have disqualified Mugabe from participating in any new presidential contests.
The clause, NewZimbabwe.com understands, was brought in by allies of former vice president Joice Mujuru with the opposition MDCs delighted to play along.
The development saw Mangwana, who refused to support a Zanu PF position that the COPAC process had gone rogue and must be brought to an end, being marked for assassination.
The BBC documentary, Mugabe and the Democrats, features Mangwana revealing the plot to eliminate him to COPAC co-chair and senior opposition MDC-T official Douglas Mwonzora.
Says Mangwana: “Me and the project had to be destroyed … basically they wanted it to be an accident. They sent word out to the team that atengesa (he has sold out) then the team said let’s destroy him and the project
“So when I visited the general and put my cards on the table … he grouped all the people who were involved in the plot; it was a powerful team. Those who are in the know in my own party are saying we do not know how you survived.”
NewZimbabwe.com understands that the general Mangwana approached after he was warned by sympathisers of the macabre plot was Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga. That move is understood to have helped save Mangwana’s life.
Approached for comment, Zanu PF’s UK branch dismissed the documentary, which was given fly-on-the-wall access to the constitution-making process by COPAC itself, as a “Sitcom” devoid of any “historical significance and informational value.”
In a statement, the party’s UK chairman Nick Mangwana – brother to the assassination target – said the documentary had been deliberately edited “to demonise Zanu PF and portray it as a monster Party”.
“Facts are deliberately distorted to pander to a Western audience which is drunk on a caricature that vulgarises the dignity and ethos of Zanu PF its President,” said Mangwana.
Regarding the apparent confirmation that a plot was hatched to eliminate Zanu PF’s COPAC representative, the party said: “it is very difficult to comment on things that happened nearly 3 years ago. It is very old news.
“When one watches that video there are very noticeable gaps in dialogue due to the manipulation and biased editing. Words said in a one context are superimposed in a different scene to push a sinister agenda.
“The (documentary) should be taken for what it is – an entertainment video. In that regard it can give Hollywood a run for its money.
“We suggest that those who want the whole and real story of the constitutional making process ask to view the master tapes that are not adulterated by deleterious commercial and political interests.
“When the Film premiered at the Curzon Victoria on the 5th of February, it was titled DEMOCRATS. When featured on the BBC it was now “Mugabe and the Democrats” . Of course we all know why.
“They had to make it a blockbuster by including the name of a very fascinating individual there. Well it was.
“But nobody should take what they see in that film as factual material. It’s just a Situational Comedy (Sitcom) and not an authentic record of our constitutional making process.”
The statement adds: “The constitutional process was a trying time for the country. A lot was at stake and not least the country’s sovereignty.
“There were a lot of twist and turns as well as divergent views among all stakeholders pertaining to both the process and content. But in terms of a story, there is no story there. The constitution was signed into law on 22 May 2013.
“Zimbabwe has moved on; so has Zanu PF. If the President was opposed to the process, it wouldn’t have happened. The outcome of that process is a constitution which is lauded by all fair minded observers.”