By Moses Ziyambi
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s apparent failure to gazette the delimitation report within the 14 days required by the constitution proves he is terrified of an imminent electoral defeat, the Citizens Coalition for Change national youth coordinator Takudzwa Ngadziore has said.
Addressing journalists at a press briefing in Masvingo today, February 19, Ngadziore, who leads his party’s youth voter mobilization task force called REAP, said Mnangagwa had resorted to trashing the constitution in his power retention schemes.
“We should not be shocked that they have failed to gazette this report though they know and understand that the delimitation report is a case of gerrymandering and malapportionment; a menu to usurp power through unjust and unlawful means. They want to convince themselves that they are liked by the people. There is no dictator in Africa who has failed to draw a map like what Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has just done,” said Ngadziore.
The vocal national youth leader, who was sandwiched by youth spokesperson Stephen Chuma and committee member Maphosa, was on his way to the Midlands for a voter mobilization campaign.
Mnangagwa received the report from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on February 03, but he ignored a constitutional obligation to publish it in the Government Gazette within 14 days.
Two weeks ago, contradictory statements were issued by influential government spokesperson Nick Mangwana and George Charamba, with the former acknowledging that the President had indeed received the final report while the latter later said he had not.
However, ZEC spokesperson Priscilla Chingumba had told the media after her February 03 meeting with Mnangagwa that she had handed the final report to him.
The presidency now insists that that Mnangagwa did not receive the final ZEC report but has received what they call ‘a revised preliminary delimitation report’ which, however, is not provided for by the constitution.
“The boundaries are important but we have understood that we are dealing with people who are afraid of change. Their failure to respect the constitution tells you of their fear of where we are going and where we are coming from. All they know is understand is the politics of power retention and accumulation,” Ngadziore said.
Suspicions are that the delimitation report charade is a manifestation of factionalism in Zanu PF, with an alert Mnangagwa said to be suspicious that the delimitation exercise was infiltrated and heavily influenced by a rival faction led by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who wants to limit Mnangagwa’s future powers by making sure that he does not win with a commanding parliamentary majority.
It is said Mnangagwa would rather go to elections using the 2018 electoral boundaries, as provided by the constitution under the obtaining situation, than adopting the new boundaries that chop off many constituencies held by his loyalists.