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Kembo Mohadi's replacement as Vice-President of Zimbabwe found?

02 Mar 2021 at 16:38hrs | Views
After the unceremonious resignation of the vice president Kembo Mohadi from the office of the vice president, it has become incumbent to discuss the esteemed office of the Vice President. Cde Kembo Mohadi became the first Vice president of Zimbabwe to resign from office.  

The office of the vice president is part of the executive branch of the government.  The first holder of this esteemed office was the late His Excellency Dr Simon Muzenda who was the first vice president and the late His Excellency Dr Joshual Nkomo. This office of the executive vice president was formed on the 31st December 1987

The Vice-President of Zimbabwe is the second highest political position obtainable in Zimbabwe. Currently there is a provision for two Vice-Presidents, who are appointed by the President of Zimbabwe. The Vice-Presidents are designated as "First" and "Second" in the Constitution of Zimbabwe; the designation reflects their position in the presidential order of succession.

Under the ruling ZANU-PF party, the vice-presidential post ranked first in the order of succession has traditionally been reserved for a representative of the party's historical ZANU wing, while the other vice-presidential post has gone to a representative of the party's historical ZAPU wing.

Zimbabwe now has three surviving former vice presidents who are Joyce Mujuru who was sacked by the then president Robert Mugabe, and the current president ED Mnangagwa was sacked as well by Robert Mugabe. Cde Kembo Mohadi has become the third surviving vice president and the first one to have resigned. The longest serving Vice President was cde Simon Muzenda who served for sixteen years two hundred and sixty three days followed by Joyce Mujuru who served for ten years two days. After Mujuru came cde Joseph Msika who served for nine years two hundred and twenty two days, then Dr Nkomo was the third longest serving with eight years three hundred and twenty nine days. Cde Kembo Mohadi became the fifth long serving member with three years sixty three days, followed by John Landa Nkomo who served for three years thirty four days with cde Mphoko serving two years three hundred and fifty days.

We then come to the point everybody is asking, what qualities should a vice president have? Vice presidents are strong leaders. They must make confident and important decisions, often in lieu of the president. Communicating their ideas clearly, presenting new concepts or directions, and leading the country with clarity and transparency which are essential to the role.
The Zimbabwean role of the vice president has evolved into more of an executive branch position. Now, the vice president is usually seen as an integral part of a president's administration and presides over several portfolios assigned to him by the president.  

When His Excellency the President makes his pick in the coming weeks, or probably months his choice will be viewed through two lenses: the impact they will have on the election, and the effect they might have on running the government.

The news media mostly debates the first, and yet most political-science research finds that vice-presidential selections have negligible effects on elections. The president would be better advised to focus on who would best serve their administrations. But what makes one vice president better than another?

Identifying the greatest vice president is not so easy. You might be surprised that topping the list is Cain Mathema followed by Tshinga Dube. If it was not for his health Tshinga would have been a better choice of the vice president. The rationale behind the selections of a new vice president is the same: The president needs somebody who can oversee to radical transformations of the institution of the vice presidency.  

The President has constitutional powers to appoint the vice president. The president must have the comfort of leading with a support team of his choice. Electing the vice president makes the VP only answerable to the electorate thereby undermining the office of the president and cabinet. The 2014 constitutional amendment that positioned the president as the one centre of power in Zanu-PF was meant to empower the president with the lieutenants he trusts. The one centre of power principle was not negotiable and it is that principle President Mnangagwa will adopt in filling the gap left by Cde Mohadi .In any case, the revolutionary party would not change its constitution to suit narrow sectoral and factional agenda pushed by a few individuals who are powered by evil thoughts of tribalism. it should be noted that Amendments to Section 32 (1) b of the Zanu-PF constitution at the 2014 Congress, which gave the President sweeping powers to appoint his deputies and Politburo members, was a way forward in allowing the leadership to run the affairs of the country without any hesitation. While the Case for Female VP is strong! The case for appointing VPs is compelling given that the party is infested with people who bribe the voters and the president will end up having bribed VPs as his lieutenants.   There is a realisation that the practice of electing VPs and other officials had become a breeding ground for factionalism and individualism that afflicted Zanu-PF in the past.

So perhaps we should confine our vetting to the crucial region of Matebeleland. The president must appoint those who also help fortify areas of perceived weakness, with Bulawayo and around. On the other hand, selecting a VP from Matebeleland appeals to a particular population society and group.   We must place very little value in the assumption that a leader picked for political reasons is just as likely to blow up in a nominee's face. We must realise that the single most important factor — the ability to serve competently as president should the need arise — other factors can be grouped into four loose categories: campaign politics, and governing experience, relationships with the president and communication skills. A vice president must not be an embarrassment to the office of the president.

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa's next appointment must exemplify the importance of governing experience; a cadre who possesses decades of such experience, and the dozen years he served in the state affairs. How a vice president interacts with the president must highlight personal compatibility as well as the need for vice presidents to subordinate their preferences and ambitions to the president and to give good counsel and even challenge the president where it's necessary. The Vice President must ensure that President received balanced information from multiple perspectives, including those in conflict with his personal preferences. Finally, a good vice president must be an important voice for the president, able to effectively promote and explain the presidential positions while being a willing and able hatchet man. There is perhaps no better example of a vice president fulfilling this role than the one appointed by the president.

So whom should the president pick? The political scientists exhibited less certainty about that.  It used to be that vice presidents were chosen primarily to "balance" the ticket. But the new dispensation has abandoned the balancing model for the "partnership" model. The Vice Presidents are chosen for their ability to help them be partners in the ever more complex governing process. ED himself was a vice president chosen in for his ability to help Mugabe govern and so the partnership model will be very much on his mind as he makes his final decision.

Until recently, vice presidents were not very interesting, nor were the relationship between presidents and their vice presidents very consequential—and for good reason. Historically, vice presidents have been understudies, have often been disliked or even despised by the president they served, and have been used by political parties, derided by journalists, and ridiculed by the public. The job of vice president has been so peripheral that VPs themselves have even made fun of the office. That's because from the beginning of 1987 until the new dispensation most vice presidents were chosen to "balance" the ticket. The balance in question could be geographic or tribal. Sometimes, these marriages of convenience worked. But often they did not. All too often the dynamic between the president and vice president ran the gamut from cold and distantly cordial to outright hostile. The result was vice presidents who were cut out of the action, relegated to trivial duties, or dispatched to attend funerals in foreign countries or to take part in other, largely ceremonial roles. If balance was the criterion for selection, it all but guaranteed that the office itself would be pretty uneventful. In the new era, the office of vice president has developed its own importance and influence, ED also delegated substantial power to the VPs and treated vice-presidential projects as presidential projects.  Changes in the criteria for appointment has diminished the importance of balance on the ticket and increased the importance of partnership. And in an ideal world the vice-presidential candidate would be a person who could help the ticket to win and help the president to govern and be ready to step into the office should something happen to the president.

So with all this having been said there are a couple of names which could replace Kembo Mohadi. The social Media is trying to prop up General Valerio Sibanda, this is a very strong speculation. However in any reasonable way we cannot have two vice presidents who are coming straight from the army and straight from being the CDF. This will give our government a wrong picture outside; it will look like it is more of a military absorbing centre. The Presidium has to be truly civilian and Sibanda may not be the favourable in this case. Many of the names should be based on the fact that according to the ZANU PF constitution, one of the Vice Presidents should come from the former PF ZAPU party. However, others have opined that the Zanu PF constitution can be changed to allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the senior leadership to pick who they want. Some names to be considered are that of Simon Khaya Moyo, Simon Khaya Moyo is the most senior former ZAPU member. Another senior politician in terms of party hierarchy is secretary for administration Obert Mpofu who is number five, and spokesman SK Moyo is number seven…"In terms of PF Zapu, however, SK Moyo would be the most senior. Mpofu left PF Zapu before the Unity Accord.  Like Mpofu, [Cain] Mathema has some issues. During the war, Zipra wanted to send him and others back from Zambia for some misdemeanours but he ended up in London. Unlike Mpofu, he was rehabilitated and ended up serving as permanent secretary for Joshua Nkomo during the unity government. His other advantage is that he has served as home affairs minister, a post previously occupied byJoshua Nkomo,  John Nkomo and Kembo Mohadi who went on to become vice presidenst,"

There are strong suggestions of the speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda Sthembiso Nyoni and cde Tshinga Dube.
Above all the speculations the selection of the Vice President is the prerogative of the president and we must give the president space to appoint the Vice President who can help him realise the Zimbabwean Dream.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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