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2030 Ndichange Ndiripo Looks Real Real For ED As He pushes for Two More Years Via Back Door

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Cracks emerge as war veterans are against the third term of ED Mnangwagwa

(Newshawks) PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and his close political allies are now weighing the best constitutional and legal options to secure an additional two years in power outside an election when his second term expires in 2028 — without going the third term route.
Mnangagwa recently abandoned the idea of a third term after experiencing fierce internal resistance mounted by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and his military-backed Zanu PF faction.

“Mnangagwa’s third term project was blocked by the army. Now he has a new plan,” a senior Zanu PF official told The NewsHawks.

“He no longer wants to have a third term because that route is complicated as it involves amending the constitution and a two-thirds parliamentary majority, plus a referendum, which doesn’t benefit the incumbent, a disincentive to do that.

“Now the new plan under consideration is to amend the constitution and electoral law to de-harmonise elections, with the effect of holding parliamentary polls in 2028; presidential election in 2030. That’s different from a third term and it’s less complex.”

In terms of the constitution, extending a presidential term limit would require amending Section 91, which disqualifies a person “for election as President or appointment as Vice-President if he or she has already held office as President for two terms, whether continuous or not, and for the purpose of this subsection three or more years’ service is deemed to be a full term”.

However, section 328 (7) bars an incumbent from benefitting from such a constitutional change.

It says: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an amendment to a term-limit provision the effect of which is to extend the length of time that a person may hold or occupy any public office, does not apply in relation to any person who held or occupied that office, or an equivalent office, at any time before the amendment.”

This means such a change can only benefit future presidents.

Besides, section 328 (7) can only be amended through a referendum as set out under section 328 (9) of the constitution.

Section 158 of the constitution of Zimbabwe says a general election (harmonised election) must be held so that polling takes place not more than 30 days before the expiry of the five-year period of Parliament which runs from the date on which the president-elect is sworn in and assumes office.

For instance, Mnangagwa was sworn in on 26 August 2018. The 30-day period before the expiry of the presidential term ran from 27 July to 26 August 2023, which was why elections were held on 23/24 August 2023.

After that, Mnangagwa was sworn in on 4 September 2023. The next elections are due from 5 July 2028 to 4 August 2028.

Section 143 of the constitution deals with three circumstances how Parliament is dissolved: By two-thirds of the National Assembly and Senate sitting and voting separately (self-propelled dissolution); by the President’s intervention if it refuses to pass an Appropriation Bill without good reason or by operation of the law, when its term automatically expires.

Zanu PF insiders say the de-harmonisation of elections process offers Mnangagwa a better chance to extend his rule without going through elections compared to a third term.

That is more appealing to him than the third term political nightmare, sources say.

Mnangagwa said recently he does not want a third term.

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