‘President never sought to postpone polls’

AT no point did President Mnangagwa consider postponing this year’s harmonised elections as he is a stickler for constitutionalism, the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (Communications), Mr George Charamba, has said.

This is contrary to self-serving claims by academic and Government critic, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, that the President sometime in March sent emissaries to opposition leader Mr Nelson Chamisa seeking to have the polls postponed by two years.

“The President is a lawyer, he reads and understands the Constitution more than a gossiper can ever do. He is a stickler for constitutionalism and he believes that Zimbabwe must fulfil constitutional obligations without fail, there is no basis for ever suggesting that he was going to defer elections, in any case, that was not possible constitutionally,” said Mr Charamba who is also Presidential spokesperson.

The country voted on August 23 in a synchronised election that President Mnangagwa won by an unassailable margin, in a way exposing the false claims by Dr Mandaza, as the ruling party’s win was never in jeopardy.

In his interview, quoted widely by a local tabloid, Dr Mandaza claimed that the President wanted elections to be postponed but put forward no evidence to back his untestable claims.

“Looking back, a few months ago I got information from a very reliable quarter that Mnangagwa did not want elections because he knew it would be messy,” was quoted as saying.

“He sent emissaries to (Nelson) Chamisa in March saying that he wanted elections to be postponed by two years and have a GNU (government of national unity) and he will hand over power in two years,” he said.

Dr Mandaza’s untested claims are seemingly self-defeating given the well-publicised stance that President Mnangagwa took against violence and his open invitation for observers, even from hostile countries, to come and witness democracy in motion.


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