This has infuriated the MDC component within Copac, which sees conspiracy behind the clandestine arrangement.
MDC-T Copac co-chair Douglas Mwonzora told Radio VOP weekend the controversial army chief last week called Mangwana and Walter Chidhakwa, another Zanu PF loyalist within Copac, to a briefing whose details remain strange.
“We have been advised that the commander of the army has been inviting members of Copac from Zanu PF to update him on the constitution making process,” said Mwonzora.
“We think this is a very, very serious thing when the commander of the army wants to know about what is happening in the constitution. This is clear interfering with the process by the military. That is of worry to us.”
Mwonzora was up in arms saying the meddlesome army boss was abusing his authority as the most powerful soldier in the country.
“Chiwenga is not the Prime Minister of this country. He is not the President either. If he wants to know anything about the constitution making process, he must get things officially from the tripartite management system.”
Zimbabwe’s envisaged new constitution, which has been steeped in controversy from the start, is a key determinant to both the time and how the country’s next polls would be conducted.
Irene Petras, director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a member of civic society also involved with the constitution making process, says the behaviour by the military signals insecurity.
“I can’t see how a national process which involves Zimbabweans who are having diverse opinions and arguing robustly about what should go into a constitution should involve the army,” she said.
Chiwenga and the army top brass have voiced support for President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, which is accused of repeated attempts to collapse the process after realising some of its views were not captured in the draft document.
Mwonzora, who is also MDC-T national spokesperson, said the behavior of the army justifies his party’s continued calls for an overhaul of the country’s military leadership.
“The army and Zanu PF are one,” said Mwonzora, “That is why we have always insisted on security sector reform. The involvement of the army directly or indirectly is of concern to us.”
It is not the first time that the army has been found meddling in the constitution making process.
Copac last year booted out Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba who was participating as a Zanu (PF) technical advisor to the thematic committee on elections.
Nyikayaramba- has publicly declared his allegiance to Zanu PF.