Charamba Reveals Why ZANU PF Rejected 'Running Mate' Concept
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba has revealed why the ruling ZANU PF party pushed for the removal of the running mate clause from the Constitution.
Charamba, who is also Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), on Friday told the ZANU PF information department that the clause created the basis for conflict between a president and his deputy as it undermined the element of hierarchy in the State. He said:
What it means essentially is your main candidate will then pick on an assistant, but both are incorporated in elections so the essence of a running mate lies in the elective politics of a country.Feedback
The two characters are subjected to a national vote which means the hierarchy between them is a matter of arbitrary party decision. Otherwise, in terms of processes, that birthed them, they are equal.
What that does is it raises a grim possibility of disharmony in the body politic because essentially what you are saying is the President is elected by Zimbabweans, the Vice-President is also elected by the same Zimbabweans.
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You can even have a situation, and it has even happened in other jurisdictions where a Vice-President can actually get more votes than the President.
So you are already building within your body politic a basis for conflict exacerbated by disagreements that are natural in the process of running the country.
Also, you are making number one (the President), ‘definitionally’ unable to appoint a number two (VP) because both are appointed by the voters. So that element of hierarchy is undermined.
Charamba disclosed that former president Robert Mugabe and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai (both late), were against the inclusion of the clause in the draft constitution. He added:
I remember the current President coming to the then President, the late Cde Robert Mugabe to say we have hit a deadlock in respect of the key issue of running mates, it goes against our own philosophy as Zanu PF.
We have reached the stage of make or break and we are reaching a stage where we break the draft constitution.
Charamba said Mugabe allowed the clause to pass on the basis that it would be only implemented after 10 years (from 2023 onwards).
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