In a significant development in Zimbabwean politics, President Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa has deferred the appointment of General PV Sibanda to the Zanu PF Party’s Politburo. This decision comes amid concerns over constitutional compliance regarding the roles of active military officers in political positions.
General Sibanda, currently at the forefront of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), was slated to join the ruling party’s Politburo as an ex-officio member. However, this move raised questions about the adherence to the country’s Constitution, which sets clear boundaries for the involvement of serving members of the Security Services in political affairs.
George Charamba, Deputy Chief Secretary for Presidential Communications, conveyed the President’s decision, emphasizing the need to uphold constitutional mandates. “The President’s decision to review General Sibanda’s appointment after the conclusion of his term with the ZDF underscores our commitment to the Constitution,” stated Charamba. He added, “It’s crucial that the integrity of both our political processes and military institutions is maintained.”
This postponement is seen as a strategic step to balance the interests of governance with the principles of constitutional law. The Zanu PF Party, which has been at the helm of Zimbabwean politics for decades, has often faced criticism for blurring the lines between the military and political leadership. This latest decision by President Mnangagwa might be an attempt to address these concerns and demonstrate a commitment to constitutional norms.
The review of General Sibanda’s appointment is expected to occur upon the completion of his current tenure with the ZDF, though a specific timeline has not been provided. This development marks a notable instance where constitutional considerations have directly influenced the political trajectory in Zimbabwe.