Mnangagwa shoots down clergymen proposal 

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By Costa Nkomo

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has shot down a proposal by the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations for a seven year moratorium on all electoral processes in Zimbabwe to allow for reconstruction and reform.

Early this week the clerics group proposed that a referendum be held to get citizens’ buy-in for the idea that would include the country’s main opposition MDC in an arrangement that sounds like another government of national unity but now code named national transitional authority.

Information permanent secretary Nick Mangwana said although the clergymen’s proposal is good on paper it goes again the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

He argued President Mnangagwa who won controversial elections last year whose result was rejected by his biggest challenger the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa should be allowed to finish his term.

“President Mnangagwa was sworn in to govern the country.  He took an oath to obey and uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe and not to suspend it.

“The effect of the celestial intervention from heads of churches whilst coming from a good place is at odds with the provisions of our constitution,” said Mangwana.

“In 39 years of Independence, Zimbabwe has always held elections when they were due, in some cases a bit early but in terms of the law.  But never later than due.  The 2nd Republic has no intention of starting now.”

Chamisa is reportedly studying the proposal but seems to be warming up to it despite reservations from other sections of his party. The opposition leader however has indicated the issue of Mnangagwa’s legitimacy should be key to any dialogue and arrangement thereof.

MDC secretary general Chalton Hwende in an interview with echoed the same sentiments.

“We are studying the proposal together with other proposals that have been made to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

“We must resolve the legitimacy crisis so that the people’s victory and vote is protected. So any effort by any Zimbabwean to resolve the current impasse and crisis within the confines of our Constitution is welcome,” Hwende said.

Mnangagwa has set up what has become known as the political actors dialogue platform involving all presidential candidates to last year’s elections.

While Chamisa was invited the MDC leader rejected this characterising the gatherings as a waste of time.

Chamisa instead wants dialogue convened by what he calls “a neutral arbiter.”