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Call for New Legislation Limiting Number of times a political party can shield a presidential candidate in Zimbabwe

by Agencies
04 Jan 2021 at 19:04hrs | Views
Amid Zimbabwe's political landscape at risk of conflict as political violence escalates, Emej Zimbabwe (Economic Movement for Equality and Justice) founder and president Maxwell Teedzai has called for a referendum that will bar political parties from shielding presidential candidates after serving in government for two consecutive terms.

"Zimbabwe case is a complicated one and calls for desperate measures in order to make it a more just and democratic machinery - one that allows for the masses to fully and freely express their political rights and choose the leaders of their voting...and for that I propose we go for a referendum to ask Zimbabweans whether they want political parties to have limits to the number of times they can shield a National Presidential candidate and for over an agreed space of time," said Teedzai while speaking at the Emej Zimbabwe 2021 Watchlist speech to mark the beginning of this new season.

He further advised the need to allow political parties to represent Zimbabwe at presidential level for a certain period of time after which they must go fallow and allow for a 60 month break before they can sheild another presidential candidate to represent then in a general election.

"I believe this is the way to go for now, and a new and practical way to broaden the horizons of our democratic spaces in Zimbabwe and allow for every Zimbabwean a chance to serve her or his country in a non-violent and oppression-free environment, I'm quite confident that's the way to go for Zimbabwe which remains a global burden - as millions of people continue to starve in the midst of plenty," cried Teedzai.

Emej Zimbabwe leader says there is urgent need in these situations, to have early action,  driven and supported by the various political players and the masses in the country in order to generate stronger prospects for peace.

"Zimbabwe faces some all-too-familiar peace and security challenges: tense winner-take-all elections that risk provoking violence; authoritarian drift that erodes institutions and generates rebellions; and high-intensity levels of impoverishment of the masses, police brutality and military repression coupled with prolonged droughts - hinged on the effects of climate-change, a failing economy resulting in a hyperinflationary environment, closed global markets due to U.S.-led economic sanctions regime imposed upon Zimbabwe through the Zidera Act, and the devastating effects of the deadly Coronavirus global pandemic falling on an already dilapidated healthcare system are scenarios next to creating a humanitarian crises in my country," said Teedzai while delivering his 2021 beginning of the new year national address at his Zimbabwe Situation House (ZSH), on January 1st.

Meanwhile, the spat between the country's major political rivals - MDC-A led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, on the one side, and Mr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's Zanu Pf, on the other - threatens to destabilise the former breadbasket of Africa.

"The 2023 cycle ushers-in critical elections and a possible democratic backsliding should the ruling party cling-on to power. The elections are a deciding factor for millions of youth in Zimbabwe whose hopes for a better future are hinged on the victory of the opposition in 2023," Teedzai said.

Meanwhile, millions of young Zimbabweans continue to go without employment while others find their way into neighbouring countries where they fall for menial jobs and work on white farms. Teedzai said, "In Zimbabwe politics is zero-sum, raising the stakes and risking violence around the polls; as power is heavily skewed toward the ruling party, often sowing the seeds of future conflict."

He urged Zimbabweans to continue to fight-on for 'good change' despite the seemingly impossible task of unseating Zanu-PF from power.

"Even if the struggle for 'good change' seems to be far from our reach, we must not lose heart and become apathetic, no, because we're our own solutions, we don't have to slow-diwn because that's what the enemy is trying to make us feel. The enemy will continue to use discouraging words to make our hearts melt and will continue to use force to silence us, but we must know that we're stronger than the government, we're mightier than our military and the on-going police aggression must never intimidate us a bit - but be added fuel for the journey to freedom land," he added.

He further encouraged Zimbabweans to learn to feed their own struggle by donating generously to the struggle for 'good change' in Zimbabwe.

"Let's always remember that we're at a big disadvantage as Zimbabwe. We're at risk of having our struggle hijacked by opportunists if we don't defend it with our lives and wealth. Political parties must have their own 'master plan' and clear strategies on especially the kind of financial partners they expect to work in solidarity with lest at the end of the struggle we lose everything including our sovereignty and divine right to self-determination. So as fighters, let's be vigilant and know what we want and what we don't. We cannot afford foreign aid that speaks against our quest for liberty and 'good change'. Die, we'll die yes, but for the right cause!" alluded the firebrand Founder and President of Emej Zimbabwe.

Teedzai also bemoaned the fact that elections are not yielding the desire for 'good change' despite having been conducted many times now in Zimbabwe.

"I know that many Zimbabweans celebrated the fall of the late president Robert Mugabe's unexpected departure as they contemplated it would offer the chance to reverse the country's economic crisis. That has not been the case, however. This cannot happen without significant reforms which are needed to ensure a level playing field, a credible vote and thus a government with a strong mandate to begin to repair the damage of his 37-year rule. Mr. Mnangagwa's victory of July 31st has meant an extension of Zanu Pf's tenure in office - a new historical narrative that has already provoked a political crisis; even getting to elections now scheduled for 2023 will be hard, and the vote itself is likely to be once again contentious," advised Teedzai.

Emej Zimbabwe foresees more problems brewing-up in Zimbabwe if this referendum is not addressed as a matter of national emergence as the country is witnessing democratic backsliding and authoritarian drift, scenarios which remain sources of instability.

Source - Agencies