ED to amend Constitution to placate Chamisa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa plans to amend Zimbabwe’s Constitution to recognise “official opposition” in a move critics say is meant to soothe MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, NewsDay can reveal.


Chamisa, who lost a petition challenging the results of the July 30 election at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), has maintained that he won the poll and that he has a legitimate claim to lead the southern African nation.

He frequently describes Mnangagwa as an “illegitimate” President after rejecting the court ruling that confirmed the Mnangagwa victory although last week he said he was open to talks “to resolve the question of legitimacy”.

Mnangagwa, currently attending the United Nations General Assembly, said during an interview with the US’s Bloomberg TV at the weekend that he was considering officially recognising his political nemeses as an opposition leader.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said there would be need for a constitutional amendment to accommodate Chamisa once Mnangagwa and his arch-rival reach an agreement.

“It will need that (constitutional amendment) if there is a political agreement given the fact that he (Chamisa) is not an elected MP as things stand. The amendment will need to reflect the agreement, but that is up to the parties,” he said.

“The parties would need to negotiate and agree. Once that is in place, we will then have a look at the Constitution and see what needs to be done to accommodate the new set-up.”

While speaking during the interview in the US, Mnangagwa was quoted as having said: “Under our Commonwealth parliamentary democracy, the opposition is recognised; we recognise the leader of the opposition in Parliament. This is what we are going to do ourselves.”

The Zanu PF leader is seeking to rid the country of its long-held international pariah status gained under former President Robert Mugabe over alleged human rights abuses.

He is also trying to woo investors to kick-start an ailing economy that has been navigating turbulences since the turn of the century characterised by cash shortages and high unemployment.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the ruling party was now awaiting Mnangagwa’s return for the process to begin.

“The President has made a pronouncement, but he is away. We need to give it time so that on his return, he will need to consult his counterpart in the MDC (Chamisa). Once the consultations are done, the process might then begin in earnest,” Moyo said.

It is understood that no formal communication has taken place between Chamisa and Mnangagwa.

Yesterday, Chamisa’s spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, however, said his boss despised the “mafia-coloured politics, where the gang leader thinks that all problems are solved by the parcelling of perks and positions,” adding Zimbabwe was “bigger than people who believe that they can abuse State coffers to corruptly buy the presidency they lost in an election”.

“Zimbabwe has a crisis of governance and legitimacy,” Sibanda said.

“The current frenzy about an offer from the illegitimate President is misplaced. There is no offer from the illegitimate President Mnangagwa and no dialogue or contact with him. However, with the assumed offer in mind, president Chamisa believes that the struggle is by and for the people of Zimbabwe.”

Mnangagwa won the presidential election by a slim 50,67%, beating Chamisa, who garnered 44,3%, but the opposition party has refused to recognise his victory, saying the ConCourt had foiled his bid to subpoena the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to provide critical proof to bolster his case.

Opposition legislators last week snubbed Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address, shouting “thief!” during the official opening of the first session of the Ninth Parliament.

The move by Mnangagwa was important to remove the toxic nature of local politics, an analyst told NewsDay.

Constitutional expert and human rights lawyer, Sharon Hofisi, who is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, said Mnangagwa’s gesture was important in bringing political stability in the country.

He said although Zimbabwe was largely a constitutional democracy, it doesn’t mean it does not appeal to other forms of democracy.

He said there has been a shift even in the West towards progressive democracy and appointing an opposition leader as an official opposition demonstrates an understanding of the influence of domestic policies on the international arena.

“Chamisa is an opposition leader and he should be able to co-exist peacefully with the Zanu PF under the arrangement, but it is subject to his approval,” Hofisi said.

He said that there was nothing wrong about recognising that Chamisa, who as an official opposition leader, serves a constituency.

Such recognition can be enshrined in the Constitution if it serves the greater good of the country.


  1. The constitution has to be amended to conform with Commonwealth. Those that would go against it its up to them. I really say to HE ED tawanirwa nyasha to have a President like you.

    • While it is a fact that Zimbabwe has applied to rejoin the Commonwealth of Nations, the country has not as of present been officially re-admitted by the grouping. Who exactly is ED fooling when he says “we in our Commonwealth have a tradition of recognising the opposition leader”? All members of the Commonwealth allow their citizens who are in the diaspora to take part in national elections but not in Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe. Indeed DEMOCRACY will be the biggest loser should the western countries officially recognise ED Mnangagwa and his Military Junta.

      • i think chirungu chakukanya and hw democratic aspects work,,, ED ddn say we are in Commonwealth he is implying to the interviewer and as part of re engagement the democracy that we purport to have has to reflect in domestic politics…

  2. The reaction from both ZANU PF and MDC Alliance shows that VaMnangagwa had not consulted anyone before announcing that he wants to create an official package for Mr Chamisa. Is Mnangagwa a one man band? Is he going to rule by decree like a king ?

    • The President gives direction to both Parliament and the Executive my friend. He sets the agenda and Parliament debates as well as Cabinet. These arms implement and also act as checks and balances, but the issue is, he sets the agenda. Remember when he came in as President in 2017 November, he unequivocally stated that he did not tolerate violence and the whole nation towed the line. First understand dynamics of national politics before commenting.

  3. While it is a fact that Zimbabwe has applied to rejoin the Commonwealth of Nations, the country has not as of present been officially re-admitted by the grouping. Who exactly is ED fooling when he says “we in our Commonwealth have a tradition of recognising the opposition leader”? All members of the Commonwealth allow their citizens who are in the diaspora to take part in national elections but not in Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe. Indeed DEMOCRACY will be the biggest loser should the western countries officially recognise ED Mnangagwa and his Military Junta.

  4. This is nonsense really, why not amend Electoral Act, implement constitution 100 percent, make ZEC more accountable and transparent getting rid of the likes of Silaigwana, open BVR servers to audit, open election results tallying to be more transparent. Chamisa must resist being given a piece of cake. His goal is to get the whole cake in 2023 or earlier when God calls time on Adonijah. The MDC is for the people not Chamisa alone, placating him only will not help.

    • Lead us to Canaan, Moses did not return to Pharaoh because of hunger – Chamisa lead people to the promised future, don’t look back, resist temptations, God is with you, don’t betray people because of a piece of cake, you are representing the people who voted don’t betray them please – be warned.

      • If the way he has been interfering with the business of the councils under the MDC control and the imposition of Welshman, Bitis etc on the MDC executive is anything to go by, he was going to take us to hell.

    • TeamPachedu, it might be nonsense to you, but you are powerless to do anything about it whereas Zanu PF, with its two-third majority in Parliament, is powerful enough to implement that change. Better get that into your thick skill or leave politics to others who understand how it takes.

  5. I don’t see anything wrong with this move if the opposition is officially recognized. It simply shows that we are all Zimbabweans fighting for the good of the country. Recognizing one another is important despite one’s political affiliation. All that we want is a good Zimbabwe. Both MDC and ZANU should welcome it as it promotes unity even if we have different views.

  6. Comment…Pastor Nelson Chamisa, like Judas has been offered thirty pieces of silver, and we wait for his response

  7. Please Chamisa represents people he can’t decide for the people who voted him.
    Chamisa resist temptations, lead people to the promised future, like Moses and Jacob he did not give in and return to Pharaoh because of poverty/problems. Please don’t betray supporters, some sacrificed their life, please be courageous, be strong like Moses and Jacob.

  8. Moses and Jacob did not give in to poverty/hunger/complains, they were strong till to the end promised land. Chamisa beware of temptation or else you will fall on the way, people will not forgive you for betrayal, be strong.

  9. My understanding is 23 Candidates were lined up by zec aiming at being elected as President of this Country right.Why chamisa chete? Is there no hidden agenda Uuuuuuuuuuu I smell rotten egg.

    • Does the other 21 Presidential contestants have seats in Parliament? An opposition is only recognized when it has Parly representation (highest number). We have MDC Alliance, Independent and 1 Patriotic front but their leader can only be from MDC-A because it has the highest number of opposition MPs.

  10. Chamisa should be accommodated only if he is constructive . If he is coming for the sake of opposing , he should not be accommodated . He also should serve at the mercy of the elected president . If he becomes a hindering block , the president should take him out .

    • On the contrary, this position must be a creation of parliament. THe position of official opposition must be determined and contolled by parliament. The Speaker of parly or CHief JUstice must be the only ones who swears that office holder not a president. Offcial opposition must never serve the President otherwise it loses its very meaning.

  11. I hold the view that amending the constitution to create a recognised position of Leader Of The Opposition in parliament is purely democratic as it recognises that a losing presidential candidate with the most opposition seats in parliament does INDEED have a significant CONSTITUENCY. He or she deserves to be heard as his/her ideas may have a true bearing and positive impact on national development and peace in the country. I would welcome a situation where we have someone moving the motion for the constitutional amendment; whether Chamisa is going to take up the position or not. It should not be an amendment to take care for Chamisa, but a democratic process for the good of the country. The political maturity in ZANU.PF should be influential and be the driving force to set the ball rolling for the good of the nation. We owe it to our future generations.

  12. Chamisa has the choice to accept gratefully the magnanimity of ED. ED won by a big margin (over 300 000). Anyone who thinks that victory margin is narrow is either an idiot or dull or both. Chamisa was walloped as had been predicted by all polls before the election. Even the pathetic Team Pachedu couldn’t forge a forecast that gave Chamisa victory. After losing dismally the narcissistic character tried to impose himself on the electorate on 1 August through a band of hired morons who criminally vandalised & looted people’s properties. Ari kutoitigwa nyasha naED. INI ndotoda kuti Chamisa arambe offer aone , together with his foolish backers, that Zimbabwe inoenda mberi achivukura tisingambomunzwi kana nepadiki. 2,1 million is the number of votes obtained by a loser. Number iyoyo inomirira kuzvamburwa & he is nothing. He will soon be , ” the former illegitimate president of the MDC. Ngaarambe offer ndifare. Primitive loser

  13. Comment…@ Dennis Saku. Nyaya yakakurukurwa nezvayo mwedzi wapera uyu. Vakazosara voenda kuDare zvatawurwa, paya pakawonana Mumiririri weBritain nava Emasoni Mnangagwa. Mushure mezvo Muririri weBritain akazonowonanazve nava Nerisoni Chamisa. Ose mapato akati kune machena arimberi. Isu vatsigiri tisu titori miskwe mazvari. PAHUKAMA APA veduwe.

  14. This junta issue is everywhere my friend former soldiers and generals are in gvts this is not knew to a person who is well informed by events of the world. Only anti 1980s and those who have nothing to do Zimbabwe dont want progress. Chamisa will follow what the constitution dictates or risk dumped. Remember, where leaders talk isu vana Tomboy hatisvikipo.

  15. Now this is tragic. It is not about placating Chamisa, but being magnanimous and doing the right thing for the nation. How can a person with over 2million votes not participate in the direction the country is taking? Our constitution is cleared flawed on that part and needs to be amended. Even if Chamisa had won he would need ED in government as he leads a huge constituency. We need to think about how to take this country forward, not personal ego. Chamisa needs to know that he represents many people who benefit more when he is participating formally in national affairs. Salary is to just keep him focused on the work at hand. It is important for all to pull together and carry the country forward. Only fear is this is a precedent where the constitution may face lots of amendments of convenience – however this one is essential to fix a flaw in the supreme law.

  16. Once a political organisation is officially registered according to the laws of the land it becomes an official opposition ready to contest election and take political power . This other thing of trying to complicate our simple and straight forward politics is coming from a confused skop and all normal people should not even take it serious

  17. This is stupid thinking all registered political parties which are not ruling are official political parties every one knows that . It seems we are having a president who uses state money to win back his political opponents few weeks ago 500 000 dollars was used for the funeral of Mugabe s mother inlaw so as to please and win back Mugabe now a dubious posit is about to be created where money will be pumped out in order to please opposition leaders while thousands of people are drink water full of human shiit resulting in them dying of shiit sickness cholera

    • KKKKKKKKK. Waratidza udofo hwako wena. U dont know how Commonwealth parliament in progressive democracies works. Now I am beginning to believe that ED is God sent coz of his vision if implemented. he needs to unite all people. Die hard MDC supporters vasingatomboziva politics ndivo vari kuramba great idea yaED. Dont ever think MDC will rule this Zimbabwe especially if things change for the better socially and economically. MDC haina its own supporters but depend on protest votes caused by kutambura kwevanhu. ED akagona kutambudza nhamo muvanhu MDC will follow ZANU Ndonga, ZUM, etc. mark my words.

  18. Actually the dull ones are those blindly following visionless ED . Is it lies that ED is dishing out state funds on useless things like using 500 000 dollars to bury a non govt official OLD LADY Grace Mugabe s mother ? Only if you are residing in rural area would not know that .

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