Zimbabwe MPs Assent to Bill Allowing President to Appoint VP Directly

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during a meeting with Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Natalia Fedosenko/TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)

A bill seeking to remove a clause in the constitution on electing Vice President has been approved by the Zimbabwe’s parliament.

The bill will see that the president appoints the deputy president directly in the event of the president’s death or incapacitation as the ruling part takes time to choose a successor.

The new changes also mean the president can prolong the mandate of senior judges and appoint judges himself rather than have them undergo the usual public scrutiny.

According to the new bill, only judges seeking to be appointed to the bench of service for the first time will undergo public scrutiny, Others who have previously been in service will now retire at the age of 75 instead of the earlier 70 years

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Mnangagwa supports the new bill saying that having elected vice presidents would ensure a smooth succession and avoid political instability.

This bill has received overwhelming backlash from the opposition party, The opposition party believes the bill is intended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to keep a grip on the Presidency.

The leader of the main opposition MDC Alliance party, Nelson Chamisa, describes the move by the legislature as a betrayal.

He says no true constitutionalist will ever back a dictatorial amendment to the constitution.

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