HARARE — Zanu PF wants new constitutional changes that would allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa to serve additional terms after the 2023 elections.
If Mnangagwa wins the 2023 elections, his term will expire in 2028 under the terms of the 2013 Constitution, but the Youth League yesterday confirmed Mnangagwa as the only candidate in the next elections “and beyond”.
The Zanu PF National Youth Council met in the capital yesterday and agreed there was a ‘necessary’ to amend the constitution to allow Mnangagwa to stay in power beyond current constitutional limits.
Tendai Chirau, Zanu PF’s acting deputy secretary for youth affairs, told a press conference at party headquarters yesterday that youth leaders from all ten provinces across the country unanimously agreed that Mnangagwa was a reasonable presidential candidate for the 2023 elections and beyond.
Youth support for Mnangagwa comes ahead of Zanu PF’s annual conference to be held in Bindura next week.
“The first and important thing we have discussed and agreed upon as the National Executive is that His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, our First Secretary and Party Leader, is our sole candidate for the 2023 elections and beyond,” said Chirau.
“We also agreed that it is very important that the current constitution of the country be amended, if necessary, to allow a leader to serve more than two terms.
“The reason is that we have recognized that development has no time limit. Development requires someone to constantly have more time so that we can do more good things in this republic,” he added.
ZANU PF controversial constitutional amendments
Zanu PF has already made more than 27 controversial amendments to the 2013 constitution to give Mnangagwa the ability to consolidate power, reduce the powers of the legislature and judiciary and allow him to choose his own deputies.
The Youth League proposal comes at a time when Zanu PF member Sybeth Musengezi went to court last week to question Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.
Mnangagwa is facing internal dissent as his party is embroiled in serious factional fighting as part of the district’s ongoing restructuring.
But the youths said Mnangagwa had proven himself an “extraordinary leader” through his various development projects aimed at empowering youth and reviving the economy.
In May 2019, Mnangagwa said he would still be president in 2030. However, the proposal would not pan out as well as young people might imagine.
While parliament can pass an amendment increasing term limits, President Mnangagwa would only benefit if he goes to a referendum.
- RosGwen24 News/ additional report by NewsDay and Kukurigo