ED’s 3rd term bid illegal: Crisis

Mnangagwa (81) is currently serving his second and final term, having been first elected in 2018.

THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has castigated attempts by the ruling party to amend the Constitution and push for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s third term bid for office saying the move is illegal.

The concern arises amid reports that Zanu PF was engaged in covert political manoeuvres to push for Mnangagwa’s bid to extend his stay in office.

Mnangagwa (81) is currently serving his second and final term, having been first elected in 2018.

The Zimbabwean Constitution only allows a president to serve a maximum of two terms.

In its call for action dubbed “Zim Constitution @11: Strengthening and defending the gains”, CiZC said the manoeuvres were not only illegal but unfortunate as they would stifle the progress gained in constitutionalism in Zimbabwe.

“Lately, calls by the ruling party to push for amendments that will remove the two-term presidential limit and allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa to run for a third term are illegal and unfortunate.

“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reiterates that a constitution should be a sacred, living and binding document regardless of who is in power,” the coalition said.

Mnangagwa has in the past said he will not amend the Constitution to extend his stay in office.

The human rights watchdog reiterated that tampering with the Constitution by the political elite to serve personal interests erodes democratic values and signals a betrayal of the supreme law which was overwhelmingly endorsed by Zimbabweans.

“The Constitution of Zimbabwe should not in any way be abused for personal interests as it is meant to protect democratic values and guarantee accountable governance.

“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in collaboration with pro-democratic forces continues to mobilise a critical mass of citizens to defend the Constitution by resisting illegal amendments, the push for a third term as well as reported attempts to postpone the 2028 elections and extend President Mnangagwa's stay in office,” the CiZC said.

It further called for urgent mobilisation and resistance against the illegal calls.

“Grassroots mobilisation is critical to build awareness of the Constitution and it is through an informed citizenry that the people of Zimbabwe can hold duty bearers to account in terms of implementation of the Constitution and respect for fundamental rights.

“The coalition envisages a grassroots-based platform/movement that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, war veterans, residents associations, youth groups, women's groups, workers' associations, the church, representatives from the informal sector and other progressive forces.

“The coalition is convinced that there is an imperative need for a critical force for promoting democratic values, protecting human rights and advancing social justice in Zimbabwe.”

Zanu PF director of information Farai Marapira was not available for comment until the time of going to print. Attempts by the ruling party to push Mnangagwa’s bid for presidency hang in the balance as provisions in the Constitution indicate that even if an amendment is made, Mnangagwa will not be eligible for a third term because the change cannot benefit the incumbent according to Section 91(2) of the supreme law.

The section states that one is disqualified for election as president if he has already held office in a similar position under this Constitution for two terms.

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