5 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Church Leader Says Mnangagwa Must Serve Only One Term

Photo: New Zimbabwe
President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A church leader said he was praying that if President Emerson Mnangangwa (75) happens to be elected in the forthcoming general election he could serve for only one term.

Bishop Noah Pashapa of Life and Liberty Churches International said it would be a tragedy if Mnangagwa decides to contest in 2023 again as that would not make any difference from his predecessor Robert Mugabe who was 93 and still wanted to contest more upcoming elections at an advanced age.

Mnangagwa took over after Mugabe, who had held power in the last 37 years, resigned under pressure due to the military coup.

Mugabe had no choice after a massive solidarity march by citizens in support of the military intervention and threw in the towel when Members of Parliament were debating his impeachment.

In an interview Sunday after his church service in Harare Bishop Pashapa said Mnangagwa must serve one term if he wins the 2018 elections.

"And if he decides to contest in 2023 honourably he will be 80 years old," said Bishop Pashapa.

"I would pray that he serves one term, that would be my prayer and that would be my plea to him."

"And from 2018 he must have an eye on succession plans; he must start now and begin to encourage the development of a potential successor within their party Zanu PF."

"... . we must begin to move in the right direction where we don't have a country being led by 80 and 90 year olds where the majority are below 40 years old and have what it takes to lead this country in the modern age."

During Mugabe's reign it was taboo to mention the word successor and whoever did was met expelled from the ruling party.

The bishop said also said: "We now have an opportunity to hold a new President to account periodically.

"Gone are the days of telling our leaders that they are anointed by God and then they take advantage of hearing these words."

Bishop Pashaya added "Gone are the days when church leaders said what the leaders wanted to hear at the expense of their citizens; going forward there is going to be a big shift."

"The church must also use social media to question the President's decisions and hold him accountable to his actions and decisions."

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