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Unconstitutional extension of Malaba’s tenure, predictive of a 2023 rigged election?

01 Jun 2021 at 08:03hrs | Views
Mnangagwa owes Malaba a tonne of gratitude. He insulated Mnangagwa from what was imminent loss of power when the coup, illegal, was challenged, allowing him to consolidate power aftermath the illegal coup, and 2018 elections which Mnangagwa had lost dismally. To Mnangagwa, Malaba is a very guaranteed insurance policy against an undesirable loss of power for Mnangagwa. This loss of power is undesirable because he would lose access to plunder and extractive primitive accumulation. As a consequence, he would be forced to lose the plundered wealth, and be imprisoned by a faction that would have wrestled the illegitimate power Mnangagwa has killed to retain. In this regard, Malaba is a shield for Mnangagwa against three threats to his illegitimate hold on power, the resilient and innovative opposition, the military and Zanu pf factions.

Because ZANU PF rigged the last presidential and parliamentary elections, it attained a two-thirds majority with which it has repeatedly and periodically mutilated the constitution, devaluing it as the supreme law of the land. The repeated mutilation of the constitution is hinged on the urgency and need for a realization of a one party state by ZANU PF, under the helm of personality cultic leadership of Mnangagwa with ever increasing centralized power to subjugate both the party, criminal and evil as it is, ZANU PF, and the country, paralyzed and soon to be a failed state, so long the opposition is deprived of its legitimate power, excluded from governance processes, and pervasive corruption prevails and reforms are not implemented under supervision from democratic Western states. The goal is to die in power.

The constitutional court, under Malaba, who will effectively be captured and compromised by Mnangagwa, is the vanguard against ZANU PF interparty factionalism. Mnangagwa is well aware of the dangers posed by factionalism. For one, it could put in motion, impeachment proceedings in parliament where it has a two thirds majority. Where does Malaba come in? He nullifies the impeachment, giving the intraparty party a dilemma caused by deprived legitimacy, which courts possibility of external military intervention, most likely from SADC, to restore Mnangagwa. This thus is a mitigating strategy, whose utility is reliant on unconstitutional stay in office by Malaba, hence the need by Mnangagwa of Malaba.

The other threat haunting Mnangagwa is the military factor. The military is the fortress of the illegitimate power that ZANU PF enjoys at the expense of prolonged misery and suffering of Zimbabweans. It is the same power that Mnangagwa wants to centralize beyond the constitutional limits, merging conflation of the party and the state and increasingly a lack of separation of powers. The military in this regard is the power broker. It has been the reason, this fortress, the opposition has been deprived of power, legitimate power through a tranquil transition of power. This is not because the military is a pawn of ZANU PF. It is quite the contrary. The military does not have the mutilated constitutional provided for immunity that the imperial presidency affords. It thus has the most to lose, should the constitution, rule of law is restored, given its heinous human rights violations targeted against the opposition and minorities. The military is threat to Mnangagwa because of his machinations to rule for life. The military is against that. They had put so much on the line by removing Mugabe and putting Mnangagwa in power, as a face of the coup. A civilian face to legitimize the coup. For a limited amount of time. The military thus is threatened with prolonged stay in power as had been by Mugabe. Prolonged stay in power by Mnangagwa, the military knows that will compound problems plaguing the nation. These problems have the potential repercussions of a popular uprising which threatens the military status quo.

Prolonged stay in power by Mnangagwa is an antithesis to the interests of the military. Popular uprisings leave room for a transition into power by the opposition or mediated and supervised reforms. This would thus leave room for restoration of constitutionalism and rule of law and subsequent accountability acquisition before independent court. Accountability for the heinous human rights violations referenced before as targeting minorities and opposition members. Accountability for ultimate long overdue closure, national rebuilding and reconciliation. The military thus has an active interest in preventing this. As such, its interests and Munangagwaa's machinations of one party state, with him as a life president of a failed state with a butchered economy. Should the military attempt or actually remove him from power, the Constitutional court, presided over by Malaba, captured and eternally grateful to Mnangagwa would legally condemn the coup, depriving the military of legitimacy. Mnangagwa thus gets to keep his power, that is if he remains alive after the coup.

The last threat is the opposition, formidable at that. The opposition is threat not only to Mnangagwa but to ZANU PF. This is a whole new level of threat that ZANU PF needs a captured court presided over by an eternally grateful judge, grateful for unconstitutionally extended tenure, to in futility, attempt to contain and or decimate the opposition, a subtle way, the military cannot excel at, as its involvement would be too messy to not involve involvement diplomatically or military intervention. The courts under Malaba are thus used to employ lawfare as deterrence against dissent. Peaceful dissent.

The same courts are used to deprive the opposition of power rightly gained through the ballot as had been the case with all contested elections, thus they are used by ZANU PF to keep the opposition at the bay of power, effectively neutralizing what ZANU PF considers a threat. A threat to its illegitimate power which had been a source of access for extractive primitive accumulation and plunder of people's wealth.

In conclusion, Mnangagwa needs Malaba as insurance against three principal threats, intraparty factionalism, the military and the formidable opposition. The courts under Malaba are used pre-emptively and as deterrence against potential loss of power through the referenced principal threats, frustrating Mnangagwa's life presidency ambitions, which clashes with the military and intraparty militant factions' interests or the resilient opposition. It thus is deprivation of legitimacy, which by unconstitutional extension of tenure, Malaba would be guardian of, that will be insulation against loss of illegitimate power of Mnangagwa.

Source - Nancy Makurira
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