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President Mnangagwa Reverses The Appointment Of General Valerio Sibanda To ZANU PF Politburo

3 months agoSat, 18 Nov 2023 12:01:42 GMT
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President Mnangagwa Reverses The Appointment Of General Valerio Sibanda To ZANU PF Politburo

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reversed the appointment of General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, as an ex officio member of the ruling ZANU PF’s politburo. The politburo is an important decision-making body within the party. In a statement, Deputy Chief Secretary, of Presidential Communications, George Charamba said:

His Excellency the President, Dr E.D. Mnangagwa, has announced the staying of General PV Sibanda’s appointment to the ruling Zanu PF Party Politburo as an ex-officio member. The position will be reviewed at the expiry of General Sibanda’s term as a senior serving officer at the helm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, ZDF. This deferment of the appointment resolves the apparent conflict with the country’s Constitution which regulates the conduct of serving members of the Security Services.

The appointment of General Phillip Valerio Sibanda as a member of the ruling ZANU PF’s politburo was seen as unconstitutional. Fadzayi Mahere, a Member of Parliament and lawyer, stated that this appointment went against the law and was a clear violation. According to Section 208 of the Constitution, members of the security services are not allowed to hold any position in a political party, whether it’s ex-officio or not. 

There are others who were defending the appointment saying it did not violate the constitution. According to former University of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer Jonathan Moyo, the appointment was not unconstitutional. He argued that there was nothing in the Constitution that prohibits members of the security services from being members of a political party or organisation. He said Section 208 of the Constitution states that members of the security services must not act in a partisan manner or further the interests of any political party, but it does not explicitly forbid membership in a political party. Moyo believes that General Sibanda’s appointment does not violate the Constitution. 

Before past elections, the military was accused of intimidating and pressuring villagers to vote for the ZANU PF political party.

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President Mnangagwa’s reversal of the appointment came after a lawyer from Harare named Kudzai Kadzere gave the president a warning that he would take legal action against him for violating the constitution if he didn’t reverse the appointment within 10 days. 

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