President Mnangagwa concedes defeat

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally yielded to pressure ad was forced to reverse his appointment of ZDF commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda to the ZANU PF Politburo.

President Mnangagwa appointed General Sibanda to the ZANU PF politburo on October 29, 2023, during the 20th ZANU PF National People’s Conference in Gweru.

Read Also: “I can appoint anyone”: Pres Mnangagwa speaks on Gen Sibanda’s politburo appointment

This was an unprecedented move as it was the first time that the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (CDF) was appointed to the ruling party structures. The appointment of General Sibanda, who was to serve as an ex-officio member, raised some eyebrows as some viewed it as unconstitutional.

The Zimbabwe Constitution of 2013 prohibits serving members of the security sector from getting into partisan politics or being members of any political party or organisation. However, President Mnangagwa clarified that General Sibanda is not a civil servant and would not have voting rights within the Politburo.

Yesterday, lawyer Kudzai Kadzere submitted a demand letter for the Constitutional Court requesting President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reverse the appointment of General Valerio Sibanda as an ex-officio member of the Politburo.

Bowing to pressure, President Mnangagwa has reversed the appointment.

Deputy Chief Secretary for Presidential Communications George Charamba announced:

Ezoic“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 forces.”

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