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Mnangagwa must do away with excessive Mugabe powers, says Dabengwa

01/01/2018 00:00:00
by Bulawayo Correspondent
Challenging Mnangagwa ... Dumiso Dabengwa

OPPOSITION ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa has challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to follow the constitution and also do away with the “massive powers” he inherited from predecessor Robert Mugabe.

The former home affairs minister recently revealed that he rejected overtures to join the Mnangagwa administration as vice president and the military-led ouster of Mugabe.

In his end of year message to the nation, Dabengwa said despite the guarantee of devolution of power in the country’s ruling charter, the new regime seems reluctant to comply with the constitution in this regard.

“There have been no signals from the newly–installed regime of President Mnangagwa that fundamental change in the structure of government along the lines of the 2013 constitution will get a priority,” said the former home affairs minister.

“Devolution of power to the provinces needs to move from general platitudes to become a key feature of how all parts of the country will set local priorities and share in their resource base.

“There are many examples of marginalisation and asset –stripping that become possible only because of central control, patronage and abuse of unchecked authority.”

Dabengwa said Mngangagwa must also shed the excessive powers he inherited from the toppled Mugabe.

“The massive powers enjoyed by Robert Mugabe have been inherited intact by Emmerson Mnangagwa who happens to have been an architect of some of them and has been a loyal apprentice.

“There are many who were surprised at the retention of cabinet ministers from elements who had poor reputations even by the standards of the Mugabe regime and are suspected of shady dealings.”

Equally lamentable was Mnangagwa’s failure to put together an inclusive government after the removal of Mugabe from power.

“Lack of an inclusive agenda meant failing back on the inherited arsenal of presidential powers and demonstration of continuity even in making of appointments.

“Significantly, the trend of politicizing the military was taken to new heights, with serving officers moving into key political offices without a cooling period.

“The security sector must not be used as a party political tool and its effectiveness ultimately depends on professionalism and defence of the public interest.”

Dabengwa also urged the Mnangagwa government to finalise the emotive Gukurahundi issue.


“The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa can redeem itself by ensuring that the Human Rights and Peace and Reconciliation Commissions are taken more seriously.

“Violence supported or perpetrated by State institutions, such as the Gukurahundi massacres of over 20,000 unarmed civilians in the 1980s in Matebeleland and the Midlands must get some closure through appropriate engagement of affected families and areas by the government.”

The new government must also strengthen the capacity and independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ahead of fresh elections due this year.

Regarding diaspora voting, Dabengwa said while ZAPU welcomes the government’s decision to invite Zimbabweans abroad to come and help develop the country, Diasporas should be allowed also to vote in the forthcoming elections.

“Under the Mugabe regime, there were insufficient efforts to prepare for effective participation of those in the Diaspora in the elections. We hope that those who can do so will make arrangements to register and take part in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

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