Mnangagwa ‘Bribes’ MPs To Extend His Presidential Term
21 March 2024
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Political Reporter- President Emmerson Mnangagwa is planning to bribe MPs to endorse the extension of his presidential term.

ZimLive reports that Mnangagwa is considering extending his second and final term by at least two years, pushing it until 2030.

This shift in plans occurred after he decided not to pursue the abolition of term limits through a constitutional amendment, which would have necessitated a public referendum.

Section 91 of the constitution outlines qualifications for presidential candidates. It explicitly states that an individual is disqualified if they have already held the office of President for two terms, regardless of whether those terms were continuous or not.

Section 328 (7) of the constitution further restricts incumbents from benefiting from any constitutional amendment that extends the length of time in office.

In other words, even if ZANU PF was to amend the constitution to allow third terms, Mnangagwa, as the incumbent, would not benefit from such an extension.

The legal precedent set by the case of Mupungu v Minister of Justice and others (CCZ07/21) sheds light on this matter.

In that case, the court ruled that prescribed term limits cannot be extended to apply to sitting incumbents without contravening section 328 (8) of the constitution.

Mnangagwa is allegedly considering granting MPs and senators an extension of their existing five-year terms.

The aim is to garner their support for a constitutional amendment that would delay the 2028 general elections by at least two years.

According to the report, despite external pressure, the 81-year-old Mnangagwa appears hesitant to step down from power.

His associates, fearing potential repercussions from his likely successor Constantino Chiwenga (the current vice president), worry that their predominantly corrupt business networks may be dismantled, leading to legal consequences. ZimLive quoted a source as saying:

The slogan ‘2030 va Mnangagwa vanenge vachipo’ is not about a third term because a third term is an order too tall to climb, but it also is not about nothing; it is about something, so what is it about?

This is a most closely kept secret in the party, 2030 is not about a fresh term, it’s about extending the current term for everyone who was elected on 23 and 24 August 2023.

Basically, it is about moving the next harmonised general election from 2028 to 2030.

This would be similar to the changes that happened in 2008 when the term of MPs was reduced by two years, albeit under the old constitution.

This planned constitutional amendment would increase the terms of everyone who was elected in 2023 to be up for reelection in 2030, not in 2028.

2030 is taking advantage of the government’s ‘Vision 2030’ programme to give the incumbent an extra two years, which sits well with his age than would a third term.

The ZANU PF youth league is set to spearhead the campaign to keep Mnangagwa in power while his close loyalists from politics and business, including the controversial businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei, are reportedly mobilising funds to bankroll the campaign.

Political commentators say when Mnangagwa said “2030 ndeendichipo,” he was expressing his commitment to remain in power until the year 2030.

The phrase translates to “I will still be around in 2030” in ChiKaranga (a Shona dialect) and the phrase signifies his determination to continue leading the country beyond his current term.