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Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF to amend constitution

by Staff reporter
23 Apr 2019 at 10:09hrs | Views
ZANU-PF is moving to amend its constitution ostensibly to modernise it in a move believed to give more power to the party's president and his presidium.

Recently, the ruling party indicated that it would move to amend the country's Constitution to remove the presidential running mate clause which some in Zanu-PF say is problematic and creates two centres of power.

The running mate clause contained in the 2013 Constitution that was jointly authored by the MDC and Zanu-PF will become operational in 2023 something that could create tensions in any political party.

Presently, Zanu-PF has in its constitution a president who is also the party's first secretary and the two vice presidents who are also the second secretaries.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu was quoted by State controlled media saying revisions of the party's constitution are already underway.

"Consultations that will pave way for the amendment of the constitution have been sanctioned by the politburo. So we have already put in place a committee which is working on the modalities.

"For example, the positions of secretaries are out-dated and they will be amended up to the presidium," Mpofu was quoted saying.

The ruling party which is gravitating towards the South African ruling party the African National Congress (ANC)'s style of leadership has seconded some of its bigwigs to the party as paid members - a communist approach that would see the party directing government.

However, ministers appear to still call the shots and this, insiders said, is going to be reviewed when the constitution is amended.

Mnangagwa's backers in the ruling party are also pushing for an amendment of the country's Constitution and one of the movers of the changes is government spokesperson Nick Mangwana.

"Maybe we should talk about this running mate business. RGM (former President Robert Mugabe) and MRT (former Prime Minister the late Morgan Tsvangirai) pushed for a deferred implementation of this clause by 10 years because they wanted breathing space, not crowded in by a VP who is an heir apparent. Malawi had a problem with it. Chakambobva kupi chunhu ichi?" asked Mangwana.

Presently, Mnangagwa has the power to appoint his deputies but that could change if and when the running mate clause becomes operational in 2023.

Talk in Zanu-PF is that there is a clique fighting to restrict Mnangagwa to a single term, which ends in 2023.

While some fingers have previously pointed at Constantino Chiwenga as harbouring presidential ambitions, the former commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces has dismissed the claims.

The involvement of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Christopher Mutsvangwa - a known Mnangagwa ally - in the on-going restructuring programme in Harare and Bulawayo provinces is however being seen as evidence of Mnangagwa's move to checkmate his rivals.

"It is clear that Mutsvangwa and Chiwenga are not the best of buddies if you consider how fiercely he fought (Kudakwashe) Tagwirei's dominance in the fuel industry.

"He will have a significant say on who becomes chairperson of Harare province on behalf of the president as he has control over Zone 4 which includes the likes of Hatcliffe and the peri-urban areas in the northern parts of the capital," the source said on condition of anonymity.

In a counter move, a central committee member said on condition of anonymity, that Mnangagwa made sure that the Zanu-PF political commissar,  Engelbert Rugeje, who is seen as sympathetic to Chiwenga is not in the picture during the restructuring  notwithstanding his constitutional mandate.

Source - dailynews