President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly rejected proposals by the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) for the country to suspend national elections for seven years and focus on rebuilding a nation with a battered economy and deteriorating human rights record.
According to the state-controlled Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa says the government is bound by the nation’s constitution, and any move to suspend elections will be unconstitutional.
He is quoted as saying the principles of good governance include a multiparty democratic political system, universal adult suffrage and equality of votes; free, fair and regular elections, orderly transfer of power following elections, respect to the rights of all political parties; observance of the separation of powers and respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived.
“This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency… Chapter 5 of our Constitution provides for the Executive Authority of Zimbabwe which I lead as President. Section 88 (1) provides as follows: Executive authority derives from the people of Zimbabwe and must be exercised in accordance with this Constitution.”
The newspaper further quoted him saying Section 90(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe obliges him to “…. uphold, defend, obey and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the nation … and to ensure that this Constitution and all the other laws are faithfully observed.”
Reverand Kenneth Mtata, who leads ZHOCD, was not responding to calls on his mobile phone. He told The Sunday Mail that he was too busy to comment.
Mtata’s ZHCOD wrote a letter to Mnangagwa in which they requested that the nation should take a Sabbath period of seven years from all forms of political contestation.
In that period all political parties were expected to work hand in hand to revive the Zimbabwe economy and engage in common goals for the benefit of the nation.