MDC leadership approved Ncube-Chinamasa talks

EDITOR - JR Mutare makes false and unsubstantiated claims against Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC Secretary General. He casts negative aspersions on Professor Ncube’s integrity as a leader and makes malicious allegations tha


t are clearly meant to project him as an unreliable and manipulative character, who went into negotiations with Zanu (PF) without the approval of his party. He also tries to project Ncube as someone who is in the habit of doing things behind the backs of his colleagues.


We state the true facts surrounding the much talked about informal dialogue with Zanu (PF), for the benefit of JR Mutare and others, who might have also been falsely made to believe that Ncube went into negotiations with the ruling party without approval from his party. He was appointed in his capacity as the Secretary General of MDC, by the National Executive, to head the party’s negotiating team with Zanu (PF). After the collapse of the formal dialogue facilitated by the Secretary General of the African National Congress, Kglema Montlante and a representative from President Olusegun Obasanjo, it was felt that the only realistic and available option to resolve the country’s national crisis was through a negotiated settlement.


In order to clear the ground for a formal dialogue with the ruling party, it was proposed and agreed by the National Executive that Ncube engage his counterpart Patrick Chinamasa. It was agreed that the constitution should be revisited. The two therefore negotiated around the content of a new constitution which could be used as a gateway to fresh elections.


During the entire process Ncube briefed both Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda weekly and obtained their consent to each part of the draft constitution as it evolved.


On completion, the party’s management committee discussed it and took it to the National Executive where it was further discussed and agreed to in principle.


The writer also falsely alleges that POSA and AIPPA were drafted by Ncube and Chinamasa. This allegation is not worth responding to. Since when has Jonathan Moyo become a credible source of information?


Why would a serious political observer rely on Nathaniel Manheru’s column?


It is a matter of public record that Ncube, and the late Dr Eddson Zvobgo, as members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, passed an adverse report on both POSA and AIPPA, which the committee described as “the most calculated attack on our civil and political liberties.” It was only after the adverse report that the Minister of Justice, with Professor Jonathan Moyo protesting, decided to make concessions and redrafted some of the provisions of AIPPA. As a result of the redrafting, the Parliamentary Legal Committee decided to withdraw its adverse report on AIPPA.


Those records will show that Professor Ncube, Hon David Coltart, Hon Tendai Biti and others, strenuously opposed each and every close of both AIPPA and POSA.


Paul Themba Nyathi, Secretary for Information and Publicity


Letters
Vigil Diary - 4th February 2006

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