Zanu-PF set to amend the current party constitution
The ruling Zanu-PF party is set to amend its constitution to synchronise the tenure of its First Secretary and President with the provisions of the national Constitution while the contentious “one centre of power” principle and disciplinary processes will be reviewed.
The party will also promote a greater representation for women, including in its top echelons.
Zanu-PF secretary for Legal Affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana this week told The Herald that this was in line with the resolutions of last year’s Special Congress and that the party wanted to entrench a culture of constitutionalism. He said the legal committee was canvassing support to have the reforms implemented by the end of the year.
“Over a period of time the constitution was being mutilated,” he noted. “I am going to bring it to the attention of the leadership that if we are to avoid falling into the chaos that characterised the party in the past, let’s start by taking measures to adhere to the constitution, putting into place structures that are in line with the provisions of the constitution, not structures born out of personal preferences,” he explained.
He said the “one centre of power” principle was being abused.
“The one centre of power principle basically says there must be leadership in a party, but power, in terms of the resolution of the Central Committee, is supposed to be exercised collectively,” he said.
“The thinking is that anybody who is appointed President must learn to work with the various committees created by the constitution.
“Although the constitution has provisions for the President to act, the expectation is that first of all he consults his Presidium. He also should work together with his Politburo and thirdly certain decisions must be approved by the Central Committee, which is the highest policy-making body.
“But that principle was abused whereby it seemed the ex-President only consulted his wife. The Central Committee realised that there was abuse of the principle, leading to a dictatorship.”
The last Congress resolved to do away with the one centre of power principle.
“We then also need to align the constitution of the party to the Constitution of the country, especially with regards to term limits. If the national Constitution says a President shall be elected for two terms to run a country and if the party constitution says the party president elected at Congress is the Presidential candidate, you may have a situation where the party then elects a President who has served two terms and therefore no longer qualifies to be national President,” said Mangwana.
“There is no harmony between the party constitution and the national Constitution. It is one area which needs to be revisited as to how you harmonise that,” he said.
He noted that disciplinary processes were being flouted before the transition and that matters had to be confirmed by the National Disciplinary Committee while the secretary for Legal Affairs would ensure compliance with the constitution.
The party, Mangwana said, had moved in to fulfil the requirements of the women’s quota in leadership when Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri was elevated to party chairwoman, which is part of the Presidium.