14 March 2017

Zimbabwe: 'Old Mugabe, Electoral Head Must Retire'

Photo: The Independent
The luxury presidential jet that was hired for US$1 million to take President Robert Mugabe to Singapore and Ghana.

Harare — ZIMBABWEAN opposition parties have called for the resignation of government officials whose age have elapsed limits permitted by the constitution to hold public office. In a heated debate in Parliament, the presence of President Robert Mugabe (93) Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede (73) in government came under immense scrutiny. Mudede has been in charge of all election since 1980 and is accused by international human rights organisations of falsifying voting records to ensure Mugabe and ZANU (PF) remain in power.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for Binga North, Prince Dubeko Sibanda, said the pair must retire. "The notoriety lies in the fact that this is the only government department (Registrar-General) that is headed by a person who is over pensionable age," said Sibanda. He pointed out the Zimbabwean constitution had set the retirement age from public office at between 60 and 65 years. "It is the only department headed by someone who is close to 80 years.

I think that is the notoriety that you can see in this department and the reason why it is not performing well," Sibanda argued. The remarks led to agitated ZANU (PF) legislators walking out of Parliament. Opposition parliamentarians also denounced the brutality by police against civilians. It has been exhibited at demonstrations against political and economic problems. MDC Deputy President, Nelson Chamisa, who is also a legislator for Harare's Kuwadzana East moved the motion. Police brutality and vote rigging concerns are feared ahead of general polls set for 2018.

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