Zimbabwe: Elections Lobby Group Opposes Scrapping of Running Mate Clause

16 January 2020

As the President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration moves to remove the running mate clause from the 2013 constitution, a local elections advocacy group the Elections Resource Center (ERC), has added its voice to growing calls against the entrenching of power in the hands of the President.

Addressing a press briefing in Harare today, ERC Executive Director, Tawanda Chimhini said his organisation is disturbed by the fact that the same government calling for dialogue and national cohesion is on the other hand shutting the door on citizens to make an input into its proposed amendments.

"While recognising that government can initiate changes to the legislation, the political context of extreme polarisation and encouragement for Zimbabweans to work together by regional partners, ZANU PF and government would have more to gain from an inclusive approach to changing policies than stubbornly doing it alone banking on their Parliamentary majority," said Chimhini.

"ZANU PF may enjoy a Parliamentary majority, but the abuse of such control of the legislature in passing legislation that erode principles of democracy such as separation of powers is ill advised," he added.

Chimhini proposed a broad based inclusive approach to such important changes to the people's charter given the extreme polarisation in the country at the present moment.

"The ERC acknowledges that there is nothing illegal about a broad based, inclusive approach to considering and implementing policy reforms including changes to the Constitution.

"It is unfortunate that the proposed changes have a direct bearing on future elections particularly on issues of inclusion and election dispute resolution given the disputed nature of previous ones," he said.

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