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Factionalism creates problems for running mates clause: Misihairabwi

Proportional Representation legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga says factionalism in political parties creates problems for the effective implementation of the current running mates clause which is provided for by the 2013 constitution.

Misihairabwi, a seasoned legislator who has been in Parliament since 2000, said without balancing its effects, the running mates clause has the potential to export internal party problems to the national discourse especially on the issues of succession.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Misihairabwi Mushonga said, “If we go with that provision without balancing how it creates more problems around issues of succession, we will not have dealt with the running mate provision in the manner that it is supposed to be dealt with. In circumstances where our political parties and political culture are ridden with issues of factionalism, the running mate provision creates more problems.

“It does not facilitate good succession because what you would have done with a running mate is that you are bringing the problems that are within political parties and placing them within a national discourse, which is unnecessary.

“Madam Speaker, I am saying so because I can confidently say that all political parties have issues with succession. So let us not deal with the issues of succession and bring them at a national level,” she said.

READ: SCRAPPING RUNNING MATES, WE RISK HAVING SOMEONE’S WIFE AS VICE PRESIDENT

Honourable Misihairabwi added that the Minster of Justice should also think around the area of allowing Parliament to deal with the issues of succession as compared to leaving it to political parties.

“If we remain with the status quo, how do we ensure that the status quo does not create space again for political party issues to come into the succession issue? As provided, we still have a situation in which we are allowing a political party to determine what the succession process is.

“For example, we are saying the political party that has the President is the one that then has a right to replace. If we have chaos in that political party, we will not know where to start. Why do we not remain with the one person who runs as President but we deal with the succession scenario and there are other options that we can look at.

“Why can we not allow Parliament, for example, to become the one that does the voting around the replacement? Surely, it does not change much because whatever political party has the majority in the House will then be able to vote for a person who is being seconded, just like we do with Speakers.

“”We know that if the political party that has the majority would want to put a candidate for a Speaker, that Speaker is likely to come in.

The point that I am trying to underline is, let us avoid bringing the chaos that exists in political parties to a national level because if we do not deal with it, we will have a problem. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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