FORMER Deputy Prime Minister in now defunct unity government, Arthur Mutambara has urged Zimbabwean youths to stand up to Zanu PF’s “mutilation of the constitution”.
This follows the passing and signing into law, of Amendment No. 2 Bill which government critics say was tailored to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa more executive powers.
Speaking during a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) organised event on the now Act last week, Mutambara warned if no one stood up to Zanu PF, nothing was going to stop the ruling party from increasing the presidential age limit or removing term limits.
He called on ordinary members of society to take charge as some members of opposition MDC Alliance might secretly be in support of the removal of the running mate clause from the national constitution.
“We need the NCA, civil society today because in some of these things, you will find that Zanu PF and the opposition are together for example (issues of) the running-mate,” said Mutambara.
“An NCA or civil society can come in and say, ‘no we want the running mate because it is good for the country’; you cannot leave it to political parties.
“Now that we are in a constitutional crisis mode, the NCA, not this party led by Madhuku and civil society have become more important because you can come in and say, ‘we are speaking for the people, we are neither opposition nor Zanu PF’.
“Young people are leaders of today, reject the notion that young people are leaders of tomorrow. Young people must be engaged, they must be involved but do not wait to be invited.
“Young people, create your own table, invert the table, create history, do not wait to be invited, take charge, and be masters of your own destiny.
“I have already suggested several things to do; political, legal, civil society and also mobilising to make sure there are no further changes.
“Tomorrow they (Zanu PF) will change the constitution to increase the age limit of the president, to remove term limits for the president.
“If they could do it with this Amendment 1 and 2, what will stop them in the future? You and I have to mobilise, you and I have to stand up to power and be able to say no to any further mutilation and destruction of our constitution.”
Mutambara warned politicians should not be trusted to handle the situation as late political leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe were all too eager to do away with the running mate clause.
Added Mutambara: “If you are to be very sincere and ask your friends from the MDC Alliance for their views on the running mate clause, you will find that some of them do not mind having it removed.
“They would rather have useless vice presidents; they would rather control succession just like Tsvangirai.
“I was with Tsvangirai and Mugabe; Tsvangirai and Mugabe were very happy to set aside running mates.
“Tsvangirai wanted no succession in the MDC, Mugabe wanted no succession in Zanu PF.”