Cape Town – Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF youth league says it will push for fresh constitutional amendments that would remove presidential limits, a move that will allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 79, to stay in power for as long as he needs to, reports say.
According to NewsDay, under the provisions of the country’s 2013 Constitution, if Mnangagwa wins the 2023 elections, his term of office expires in 2028, but the youth league has endorsed Mnangagwa as the sole candidate in the upcoming polls “and beyond”.
“The first and important thing which we discussed and agreed upon as the national executive is that His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is our first secretary and the president of the party, is our sole candidate for the 2023 election and beyond.
“We also agreed that if need be, it is very important the current Constitution of the country is amended so that it can allow a leader to have more than two terms,” the report quoted Zanu-PF acting deputy secretary for youth affairs Tendai Chirau as saying.
He said this while addressing journalists in the capital Harare.
Chirau, Times Live reported, said the reason for their move was that “we realised development does not have a term limit”.
He said Mnangagwa was a “visionary leader”.
Chirau’s remarks came as the ruling party was gearing up for its 19th national people’s conference in Bindura.
The state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Monday that the conference will be held from October 25 to 31.
“The forthcoming 19th National People’s Conference must allow us to demonstrate the extent to which we have achieved that which we envisioned in the previous congress and conference resolutions as well as the 2018 people’s manifesto,” the report quoted Mnangagwa as saying.
Mnangagwa, the man known as “the crocodile” because of his political cunning, achieved a long-held ambition to succeed Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president in November 2017.
In 2018, he won a disputed presidential election to legitimise his rule, promising voters that his efforts to woo foreign investors will bring back the economy from the brink of collapse, a BBC report said.