Mnangagwa strengthens bid to ditch Chiwenga
By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is pressing ahead with the enactment of a new law set to remove the obligation by future Zimbabwean presidential candidates to select their running mates.
The so-called Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019 was gazetted Friday after it was recently approved by Cabinet.
Mnangagwa is keen to asset firm control over Zanu PF as a party and that of State presidency.
Critics find Chiwenga an ever-present obstacle to the ambition.
Chiwenga, as then Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, led the November 2017 coup that removed long-serving President Robert Mugabe, replacing him with Mnangagwa.
The now VP is seen as having ambitions to become the country’s leader at some stage.
Mnangagwa has already declared his interest to remain President beyond the 2023 elections.
The obligation to choose a running mate would see him ordinarily forced to pick Chiwenga, who, if Mnangagwa wins the presidential election again, could remain firmly in the fold to become successor.
The removal of the running mates clause will allow the President-elect to appoint the two Vice Presidents, something that will allow such future leader to hire and fire his deputies without violating any laws.
The 2013 Constitution, through Section 92, had a 10-year transitional clause that provided for the joint election of the President and two running mates selected by the Presidential candidate.