PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba has sensationally claimed “out of depth” MDC-T MPs fell for a Zanu PF trick resulting in them voting for the passage of the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 this week.
Charamba said the Bill principally obliterates the presidential running mate clause from the national charter.
The running mate section was one of the sticking points among a myriad of other clauses which nearly derailed the Constitution-making process as Zanu PF was bitterly opposed to the clause.
However, Zanu PF then grudgingly conceded to have the clause included in the Constitution passed in a referendum in 2013.
But the ruling party then brought back the issue through the back door where it tabled the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 in Parliament seeking to remove the clause on the running mate.
This sailed through Tuesday on a 191 to 22 majority in the Lower House and it is now before Senate.
On Thursday, Charamba said the running mate clause had been kept in a state of temporary disuse or suspension for 10 years waiting to be amended.
“Ensuring that the running mate clause would be held in abeyance long enough for a return to it. In a masterstroke, Zanu PF agreed to this contentious clause on proviso that it would be held in abeyance for 10 years,” Charamba said.
“It now appears the opposition, clearly out of depth as always, thought Zanu PF had given into their lawmaking whim.
“It never occurred to them Zanu PF merely conceded without ceding an inch of strategic ground. The running mate clause was unacceptable to Zanu PF both on grounds of principle and because of unsavory experiences of the same.”
Charamba also drew parallels with how former Tanzanian President, the now late Julius Nyerere and former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, handpicked Prime Minister Joseph Warioba and the also now late Mainza Mathias Chona of Zambia as Deputy President and later Prime Minister respectively.
“I point this out to expose the fallacy which is being touted by easy journalists and commentators that the current President is responsible for scrapping off the running mate in order to consolidate his hold on power and to block Vice President Chiwenga in Zanu PF succession matrix.
“Of course, I am charmed to note that these commentators in that false reasoning admit that the future belongs to Zanu PF. On that aspect alone, they are very right!!!,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) says it is devastated by the tragic betrayal of the people of Zimbabwe by elected representatives whose primary duty is to defend the Constitution.
ZimRights national chairperson Takesure Musiiwa said the MPs who voted for the Bill had reversed the “will of the people”.
“Any effort to reverse the gains of what Zimbabweans had celebrated is reversing the will of the people. As ZimRights we are against the attempt to push back into the Constitution what the people had rejected during the Constitutional-making process,” he said in a statement. – Newzim