Amendments to restore imperial leadership style

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has taken steps to reassert his grip on fractious Zanu PF after the endorsement of constitutional amendments giving him powers to handpick his deputies, national chairperson and members of the politburo.

Elias Mambo

Politburo insiders said a cocktail of amendments, which include empowering the president to appoint his deputies, reduce the size of the politburo from 64 to 25 members and its committees from 18 to five, as well as scrap a clause that one of the vice-presidents should be a woman, and increasing the central committee from 245 to 300 members, were endorsed at a Wednesday politburo meeting.

The amendments now await ratification by the central committee — the party’s supreme decision-making body in between congresses — next week.

“The president can now appoint the whole presidium while a clause which forced him to appoint a woman in the presidium has also been removed,” said a senior politburo member.

“All deputies will no longer be part of the politburo but will sit in the central committee because only 25 substantive members will constitute the politburo, down from the current 64,” said the source adding: “Appointments by the president will not be based on seniority or hierarchy but merit.”

Another source said other amendments include increasing the number of members of the central committee from 245 to 300.

Currently, the two vice-presidents and the national chairperson are elected at congress after every five years.

Another politburo member aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction said the proposed amendment on the politburo will see massive purges of Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s allies already removed from the new central committee.

“Most deputies and committee members were Mujuru’s allies and that is the reason why most of the time they prevailed in the politburo.”

Zanu PF sources also said the repealing of the clause which states that one vice-president should be a woman further sealed Mujuru’s fate as she was appointed based on that clause. “In 2004 Mnangagwa, then secretary for administration and eying the vice-presidency, was forced to amend the constitution to accommodate Mujuru into the presidium. That section has been removed and her fate is all but sealed. Mnangagwa is now quite certain to land the vice-presidency,” said another official.

Those who back the amendments, mostly in the Mnangagwa faction, say the changes are meant to create one centre of power in the president and tame factionalism amid allegations that Mujuru wanted to topple Mugabe.

But party officials aligned to the Mujuru faction say the amendments are crafted to deal with Mujuru, who, among other charges, is accused of incompetence, extortion, corruption, abuse of office, fanning factionalism and treason.

“The amendments are manipulative and they are meant to deal with Mujuru who was an obvious successor to Mugabe,” a senior Zanu PF senior official said.
“Congress has been dealt a massive blow and reduced to an assembly where people will gather to hero-worship Mugabe without meaningful debate and serious resolutions adopted,” the official added.

Suspended party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the congress would be a “sham” as it would be run by “illegal structures” because all the suspended chairpersons have not yet been replaced by elected individuals.

“Interim chairpersons cannot run a congress. That is illegal and even all those suspensions are illegal because they are unconstitutional,” Gumbo said.
“It is subversion of the will of the people who voted those chairpersons into those positions. The suspensions remain illegal and a clear manipulation of the party structures.”

8 thoughts on “Amendments to restore imperial leadership style”

  1. Shava says:

    Mugabe will die in 2 months

    1. Getrude says:

      My friend don’t fool yourself. There are better chances of you dying first before he does

  2. Nduna says:

    Willy old Mugabe! The man is full of drama I tell you

  3. Makanaka says:

    know it’s difficult to put down the serious implications apparent from all the amendments, but; if we can pull ourselves out of all this and take a podium, at a distance; and view the happenings from the start to this day, give yourself an opportunity to glance to other countries world-over , and then make an objective analysis, we will come up with this:

    The position of presidency is not one of, neither akin to a chairperson of a country-club social group. The president needs to have responsibility and ACCOUNTABILITY. That requirement of accountability should dictate that he/should have CONTROL.

    What one eventually does with that control is a different matter, so don’t mark me on that. The nation would find it harsh and burdensome to saddle all blame on someone who doesn’t have control and responsibility. The factionalism is just only ONE symptom of the existence of a poor structure/setting.

    Let’s take the analogy of contemporary human resources policies. The HR heads determine the environment while the operations management should be left to be accountable for the function’s success (and failure). For instance, at the interviews and all the recruitment process as a whole, the HR will guide, but the operations must have the final ‘choice’, to pick the job incumbents from the alternatives provided; alternatives passed through by HR. The you can take the Operations manager to task, in the event of poor performance, and not the HR.

    The electorate, the Central committee and the Politburo would act like the HR; they set wide margins within which the President(Prime Minister in other systems of Government). then the president must juggle his players like a football team manager or the Operations manager, with full accountability because they would have received full control.

    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with this system (also adapted by MDC President).It is the BEST, indeed. What one eventually does, having been given that full control and responsibility is all down to personalities, integrity and general attitudinal philosophies that make or break morality of governance.

  4. Siboniso says:

    oh my God .Hitler is in our midst

  5. Cash Talk says:

    The national constitution already allows a president to choose their own VP(running mate) and the politburo was always chosen by him from a pool seconded by Central Committee. These are actually not bad changes.

    1. Musa King says:

      zanu pf and government are 2 different things, the vp of the country can only be removed by an act of parliament

  6. chenjerai Makudo says:

    That is the perfect system, deputies should be appointed by the President not GIVEN to him by the electorate. How would one assert one’s authority on people who only respect/fear the electorate? Why would the President be accountable to what he has NO control over?

    It’s just unfortunate that we were made to believe otherwise but that is the international system of proper governance and accountability on Presidents, not lame-ducks in President’s office. Factionalism and vote-buying were only obvious symptoms of the problem…of a shambolic government system.

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