Zanu PF is not interested in coalition talks with the MDC alliance because it has full control over parliament and the legitimacy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not threatened, a senior government party said.
News in detail BY VENERANDA LANGA
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (MPM), the Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, told our senior reporter Veneranda Langa (VL) in an exclusive interview that the ruling of the Constitutional Court on Friday against the election request of MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa Mnangagwa encouraged.
He said that for Zanu PF it was not necessary to negotiate with Chamisa about any role in the government because the government party had a clear mandate.
Mangwana said that the election request was a waste of time and that the government party had nothing to learn. Below are excerpts from the interview.
VL: What do you think of the election request of the Constitutional Court of Nelson Chamisa? Has Zanu PF learned lessons from it?
MPM: The point is that the challenge for the Constitutional Court had no merit, because our electoral laws provide an opportunity to reread the voices, and if they had problems with the number of votes that had been assigned to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, they would expect they are calling on the recount of votes.
Their whole business had no basis. They talked about 40,000 teachers who could not vote, but they did not provide any evidence and that did not mean they would vote for Chamisa.
I think they went to ConCourt because they wanted relevance, or even wanted to enjoy money from the international community.
For Zanu PF, the whole test was useless because it had no basis. The lessons learned are not for Zanu PF, but probably for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
The only lesson we should draw from this is that next time we would have to campaign harder and win again, because the MDC alliance made use of the small margin that we should have thought they had won.
We must now sell our presidential candidate in a stronger way and ensure that he wins in the future with the same margin as in the parliamentary elections.
VL: South African lawyer Dali Mpofu says that you bragged him to draft the law that was used to prevent him from representing Chamisa in court. What is your reaction to this?
MPM: No, I did not block Dali and his colleagues from representing Chamisa. He asked permission to implement the law in this country too late.
They knew that there were still 21 days to go if they wanted to appear in court, and why did they submit the application 26 hours before the hearing?
Mpofu should be more organized because Zimbabwe is not a banana republic. He should know that and respect our systems and policies.
He is not the first lawyer to practice within our jurisdiction, but she did not follow any procedures and had to blame herself.
Whether the MDC alliance had accepted lawyers from Mars or another planet, they would still lose.
I am not the regulatory authority in this country. They had to submit an application to the Legal Education Council, which determines whether someone has the necessary qualifications to do justice in Zimbabwe and I am not counseled.
Unfortunately, he has submitted too late. Zimbabwe has rules and laws that have to be observed and I can not walk to South Africa to do justice.
I should first be registered and Dali should know that.
VL: Was not the decision to defeat South African lawyers a breach of Chamisa's right to a lawyer of his choice?
MPM: No, it was not a violation, because Zimbabwe has no shortage of local lawyers. Why rent foreigners when our children need jobs?
Our local lawyers representing Chamisa fought well, but they lost and that is why I said that even if they had accepted lawyers from Mars, they would not have won.
We do not have to hire foreign lawyers if we have our own local talent.
VL: On the eve of the court's verdict, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was quoted as saying that the position of President Emmerson Mnangagwa would not be changed by the court. How did he know that before the verdict?
MPM: He simply said those words from a personal assessment. There was no way that the court could change people's pronunciation.
It was just a statement of trust because I had discussed with my leadership to tell them that our chances of winning were 99%, and he expressed my opinion as the party lawyer.
VL: Why did Zanu PF make preparations for the inauguration of Mnangagwa before the ConCourt ruling?
MPM: We have continued with the preparations because we are a positive party. We do not enter into a struggle with the intention to lose it. That is how we won the liberation struggle.
I told the leaders that we are winning and please continue with the preparations, because there is no way to lose, and therefore prepare for victory because it is certain.
That is the Zanu PF mantra. We had seen many challenges faced by the MDC alliance and they could not win the case in any way.
VL: Now that Chamisa has rejected ConCourt's statement, Zanu PF is not worried about the prospects of a legitimacy crisis?
MPM: Chamisa is not the people of Zimbabwe. He is not the owner of the country and his opinion is therefore not important to us.
It is the people who voted Mnangagwa and who have given Zanu PF a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The question of legitimacy is that it is legitimate for the people of Zimbabwe who have elected him president.
VL: Are there formal or informal discussions between Zanu PF and MDC Alliance to resolve their differences?
MPM: We do not have to talk to them because we have the mandate to govern from the people of Zimbabwe. They can hang.
People elected Mnangagwa as president. He is the father of the nation and he wants his children to live in peace.
The president has not offered the MDC alliance a coalition government.
VL: Is there a chance on Mnangagwa including people from outside Zanu PF in his new cabinet?
MPM: I can not speak on behalf of the president. I do not know, but Mnangagwa is a father and knows that his children can differ.
We can not exclude anything, but all I can say is that he has a generous character.
VL: Almost a year after the new government came to power, not much has been done to bring the laws of the country into line with the new constitution.
What guarantees can you give the Zimbabweans that the government of Mnangagwa will keep to its promises of reform?
MPM: That is your opinion. A lot has been done and every excellent job will be handled quickly.
VL: Since Zanu PF now has a two-thirds majority in parliament, what changes in the constitution are you likely to expect in the near future?
MPM: I am the Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs and before the Minister of Justice steps for changes in laws or the Constitution that comes first for the party.
At the moment, I have nothing to show that there will probably be changes in the constitution.
I also have no idea of any laws that will be submitted to Parliament.
We will first sit down and discuss with the Minister of Justice, and all the laws that are being said will be put before Parliament, as changing the age limit for presidential candidates are only rumors that were never discussed by the party.
There were 400 laws that were supposed to be in accordance with the constitution, and for those that have yet to be attuned, we will look at them and speed up the attunement.