News reports had quoted unnamed MDC sources alleging that the document had been tampered with by former Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa, Welshman Ncube and Thabo Mbeki’s own representative, Mujanku Gumbi.
In an interview with SW Radio Africa, Ncube said: “It can only be the product of people who are extremely malicious, who have no journalistic ethics who run with a stupid false story without even the decency of talking to the people who are accused of the fraudulent alteration of the document.”
Ncube added: “I did not take part or participate in any alteration of any agreement at all.”
However the Mutambara-MDC’s chief negotiator said there are alterations and two paragraphs that are missing from the final agreement signed by the principals on 15th September. He said Chinamasa has admitted to altering one of the paragraphs and “accidentally” deleted two of the other clauses.
Ncube said there were three sets of documents:
The first set of documents represented the agenda items discussed and agreed upon by the six negotiators, representing ZANU PF and the two MDC formations. Ncube said all six negotiators initialled the agenda items and each person has a copy. “It is not possible for anyone to tamper with this document because we signed every agenda item and we can verify each clause.2
The second set of documents was the Global Political Agreement signed by the principals on the 11th September when they finally reached an agreement. This was then followed by the third document that was signed at a formal ceremony on 15th September.
Ncube said the differences which exist are in the document that was signed by principals on the 11th. He said after they had signed the hard copy, the document was put on a computer disc and given to ZANU PF’s former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa by the South Africa officials, to prepare a legal document.
The first clause that was altered by Chinamasa was on the issue of senate seats. Ncube said ZANU PF already had 5 non constituency seats. So it had been agreed that an additional 6 senators would be appointed. Out of the six, four would be from the MDC Tsvangirai and two from the Mutambara MDC. However that paragraph was completely changed and Chinamasa inserted a clause saying there would be 9 new senate seats, to be shared equally between the three rival parties.
According to Ncube, Chinamasa admitted that he is the one who inserted that particular clause, claiming he had been told by his principal – Robert Mugabe – that all three leaders had agreed to this. But Ncube said his principal – Arthur Mutambara – has denied agreeing to increasing the senate seats to 9.
The second alteration is a paragraph that is completely missing in the final document. The missing paragraph says anyone appointed to the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Vice President would automatically be a Member of Parliament. If that person is already an MP his/her party will appoint a non constituency MP. Ncube said this clause is missing and said Chinamasa claims it was “deleted by accident.”
The third alteration comes in the form of another missing paragraph in the final agreement that said the Prime Minister and his Deputy Prime Ministers and the President and his Vice Presidents shall sit to make appointments of senior government employees like Ambassadors and Permanent Secretaries, Again the former justice minister claims the paragraph was accidentally deleted.
Ncube said; “It is pure nonsense for anyone to suggest that I would have participated in the alteration of a document in a manner which prejudices my party. You need to be a fool to actually believe such nonsense.”
He also said the South Africans were not involved in the alteration of the document.
Tsvangirai MDC initially raised concerns in an interview in early October, complaining that the agreement had been altered.
We were unable to get hold of Thabo Mbeki’s representative or Patrick Chinamasa. Source: Sw Radio Africa