INDEPENDENT election watchdog, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), has blamed lack of proper succession planning in Zanu PF and the MDC for causing instability in the country. Zesn cited the proposed changes to the Constitutional Amendment Bill as a case in point.

The Bill, meant to remove the presidential running mates to allow the President to appoint and fire his deputies at will, has come under heavy criticism.

Analysts said President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has already been endorsed as Zanu PF’s 2023 presidential candidate, seeks to consolidate his rule through the Bill.

Zesn argued that the Bill was a result of lack of proper succession plans in both Zanu PF and the opposition. Running mates guarantee a smooth transition and succession, Zesn added.

- Advertisement -

“Internal political instability of both the ruling Zanu PF party and the main opposition MDC Alliance have been largely informed by the apparent lack of a succession plan in both parties,” the Zesn argued.

“This gap has had a significant knock-on effect on the political stability of the government and the nation at large as internal party fights have often spilled into government.

“The running mate clause provision was going to support as well as formalise the selection of vice-presidents of the respective political parties, hence provide a measure of predictability and stability in the leadership transition processes whenever they occurred at both party or government level.”

The late former President Robert Mugabe had not appointed a successor until he was removed from office in November 2017.

The MDC was also hit with infighting over the presidency following the death of its founder Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018. The fight for the control of the party spilled into the courts as warring sides claimed they were the legitimate successors.