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Mnangagwa Wants to Retire, Pave Way for New Zanu PF Leader

FILE - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept. 4, 2023.
FILE - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept. 4, 2023.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he is ready to retire and handover the presidency to a new Zanu PF leader.

Mnangagwa, who made these remarks in Manicaland region while officially launching a water and baobab juice making firm, said he has no interest in extending his term.

This is the first time that the Zimbabwean leader has hinted that he is leaving office after toppling the late former President Robert Mugabe in a defacto military coup in 2017.

He said, “Our constitution clearly stipulates that every 5 years we go to congress. We did out congress about five years ago. Every give years we go to congress and when we do that we elect a president. Our president is supposed to be in office for two five year terms. I did my five year term and we went to a congress and you elected me again. Now I’m doing my last five years and its towards the end of the term. I will go and rest. We will go to congress to look for someone else who will lead the party the way I’m doing. Do you hear that? My retirement days are near. I want to rest. We will go to congress to look elect a person who will fit in my spirit of munhumutapa. You hear that? I’m giving you a hint.”

There were initial reports that Mnangagwa will stay in office after completing his two five-year terms prescribed by the Zimbabwe Constitution. His terms end before the 2028 presidential election.

Meanwhile, some Zimbabweans say there is no rule of law in the country following remarks by Zimbabwe National Army commander Lieutenant General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe that the military will force citizens to vote for Zanu PF so that it remains in power "until donkeys grow horns."

They claim that Sanyatwe violates Section 208 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, which clearly stipulates that serving members of the military should not dabble in politics.

According to Section 208, Subsection of the constitution, “Members of the security services must act in accordance with this Constitution and the law. Neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise of their functions act in a partisan manner; further the interests of any political party or cause; prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause; or violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person.”

It further stipulate that “members of the security services must not be active members or office-bearers of any political party or organization and serving members of the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian institutions except in periods of public emergency.”

Independent political commentator Effie Della Ncube said Sanyatwe's actions are unconstitutional.

"It's clear that he violated the constitution and this shows that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe. Under normal circumstances President Emerson Mnangagwa is supposed to rebuke him but that's not the case and the issue lies in the hands of the president."

Sanyatwe is linked to the gunning down of six innocent civilians in Harare soon after true 2018 general elections. A commission of inquiry led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe nailed Sanyatwe to the killings and recommended the compensation of relatives of the deceased.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was unreachable le for comment. Zanu PF activist Believe Gaule said Sanyatwe has a right to express "his personal feelings about political issues in Zimbabwe."

The late army commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe also made an outburst together with other top state security agents before the 2008 general elections that they won’t salute anyone who never participated in the 1960s liberation struggle.

He uttered this following indications that the late Morgen Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was inching closer towards beating the late former President Robert Mugabe in a presidential election. The outcome of the polls resulted in a delayed announcement of the results and unity government in 2009. Critics say Mugabe was beaten by Tsvangirai in the presidential poll but the electoral body and Zanu PF denied these allegations.

Zimbabweans have reacted angrily to Sanyatwe’s remarks on social media platforms, including VOA Zimbabwe’s Facebook pages. Here are some of the responses (not the views of VOA Zimbabwe - unedited):-

President Bernard Mutemasango ·

The statement made by Lt. General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe is a clear indication of the ruling party's arrogance and disregard for the democratic process. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better than a government that believes it can cling to power indefinitely. As the President of the New Zimbabwe Democratic Change, I am committed to leading a movement that will bring about real change and democratic governance to our beloved country. The era of authoritarian rule is coming to an end, and a new dawn of freedom and prosperity is on the horizon. #DemocracyWillPrevail #ZimbabweShallBeFree

Dube Nkosana Mfan'fikile

The military matters in zim, it has become a strong political institution armed and battle ready against any threat to their grip on power. The military has demonstrated that its a professional political entity rooted in Zanupf twisted ideology seing their positions (generals) as entitlement to brazen plundering, looting, bribery as a means to looting minerals and forestry and other nefarious activities like poaching and trading in wild life endangered species. It has built companies that further these interests which also win most public tenders some using fronts. The military has shown that it will respect party/government leaders who allows there illicit, corrupt business activities to flourish. If you become a liability the military will act agsinst you in the do called party name. An army in a supposedly democratic country acting in the name of a party to remove a sitting government. The army is a powerful league of the party. It likes you fine, if it doesnt like you as a leader you are out. So ED is comfortable because he disturbs not the wheels of corruption but championing it. The army is Zanupf no doubt about it. Ordinary soldiers and junior officers are innocent soldiers but the higher the rank the more political it becomes

Tackura Mudyano

Its possible, if Zimbabweans continue to fold hands and expect a miracle from God to rescue them from Zanu PF oppression.

Tendayi Muchineripi

They've complete disregard of the constitution, if a non zanu person had uttered those words, they would be in chikurubi right now charged for abuse of office or even treason, they apply the law selectively

Solomo Kinjikitile

The army is a control mechanism for ZANU , they want you to be more timid than you already are Zimbabweans and flee so they can loot in peace

Pride Smith Mfana

State captured by terrorists