Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa is considering a constitutional amendment that would accommodate the leader of opposition in the country, following the disputed August 23 elections.
Mnangagwa is said to have told a confidant that he was considering recognising his main opponent Nelson Chamisa as opposition leader.
Chamisa, who lost the presidential election to Mnangagwa has decided not to contest the election results in court and Members of Parliament from his party were sworn into office.
He has consistently called out Mnangagwa’s government as being illegitimate, and his Citizen for Coalition Change has expressed its intentions to install him as the people’s president.
When Mnangagwa beat Chamisa in 2018, George Charamba, a deputy secretary of the president told state affiliated Herald that Mnangagwa had plans to create the office of the Leader of the Opposition, as one of the ways of institution-building in the country.
“Under our Commonwealth parliamentary democracy, the opposition is recognised; we recognise the leader of the opposition in Parliament. This is what we are going to do ourselves,’‘ Mnangagwa is quoted to have said.
While, the position is provided for in many countries that use the Commonwealth legal system including Zimbabwe, it is usually taken up by a member of parliament from the opposition party with the highest number of seats in parliament.
Considering that Chamisa is not a member of parliament, a constitutional amendment would be needed to accommodate any agreement reached between the president and the CCC leader.
Mnangagwa, who came to power in November 2017 after Robert Mugabe was removed in a coup, faces the huge task of ending Zimbabwe’s international pariah status and fixing an economy afflicted by high unemployment and foreign currency shortages.