Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is eyeing a firm grip on the presidency as public hearings into constitutional amendments proposed by the long-ruling Zanu PF to give more power to the executive will go ahead this February.
The proposed twenty-seven (27) constitutional amendments have resulted in a public outcry, with members of the opposition, civil society and even those within Mnangagwa’s inner circle waging a spirited fight against the impending public hearings.
The amendments include giving Mnangagwa power to appoint high court judges, instead of the process being done via public interviews.
“A government is formed through a political party that would have won an election. A political party represents the people. In this case, Zanu-PF won elections and it carries the mandate of the people,” Minister Ziyambi said.
Mnangagwa is smarting from a fresh embarrassment after a coalition of minority political groups that participated in the disputed 2018 harmonised elections, the Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad) broke ranks with the Zimbabwean strongman.
Constitutional lawyer-cum-politician Dr Lovemore Madhuku, who was a member of the grouping claimed:
“We have told Mnangagwa to stop acting like (former president Robert) Mugabe, where the constitution is amended when he wants. We are saying he should undo the mentality of making and unmaking the constitution,” Madhuku said.
But responding to Madhuku, Ziyambi said Polad was out of context.
“Polad is not a statutory instrument; it is a platform for dialogue, which like any other person or institution should submit its views about the bill and it will be up to parliament to take it up. So suggestions to withdraw the bill are misdirected,” he said.
President Mnangagwa has often been accused by political analysts as fast morphing into a dictator.