FRESH details have emerged that embattled former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi tendered his resignation last week, although he made it known to the public in a statement on Monday.
This was confirmed by Presidential spokesperson George Charamba on his @Jamwanda2 Twitter handle, where he said: “Contrary to dominant narratives in the media, former Vice-President KCD Mohadi handed in his resignation letter to the appointing authority, His Excellency President, Cde ED Mnangagwa a week ago. Let history record this statement of fact.”
Although it was not clear how President Emmerson Mnangagwa reacted, Charamba’s tweet attracted a backlash from observers, who accused the Zanu-PF leader of violating the country’s Constitution by not announcing his deputy’s resignation within 24 hours.
Section 96(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (No 20) Act 2013, which Mohadi quoted in his resignation letter, states that: “A Vice-President may resign from his or her office by written notice to the President, who must give public notice of the resignation as soon as possible to do so and in any event within 24 hours.”
Several people, including exiled former Zanu-PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo, among others came out guns blazing, saying Mnangagwa was in breach of the country’s supreme law.
But Charamba defended his principal, saying there was no breach of the law.
Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said Mohadi quoted a wrong section that only applied to running mates, instead of the section on appointment of Vice-Presidents.
“That section doesn’t apply to Mohadi and others. Mohadi quoted the wrong section because that section that the President must inform the nation within 24 hours applies to VPs who are running mates when they take effect,” he said.
“These VPs are just like ministers. They are no more than ministers and can be hired and fired by the President and the President did not breach any law because the law doesn’t apply.”
Observers said Mohadi’s decision to resign over alleged sex scandals was triggered by internecine fights within the ruling Zanu-PF party, amid reports that party bigwigs were already angling to succeed him.
Some of the big names doing the rounds include Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, national party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, politburo member Sithembiso Nyoni, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda and Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema, among other former PF-Zapu stalwarts.
Mnangagwa is today expected to chair a politburo meeting, where he might hint on the way forward after Mohadi’s stepping down.
In his resignation letter, Mohadi hinted that there was indeed infighting within Zanu-PF, and that his fall could have been engineered by his “political foes” as part of “political sabotage”.
The Women’s Academy for Leadership (Walpe) welcomed Mohadi’s resignation and called for investigations into the alleged sex scandal.
“It signifies the need to hold the office of the VP to the highest moral standards. We call on the government to investigate the cases and bring the former VP to account for his misdeeds,” Walpe said.
The organisation also called for the appointment of a female VP to replace Mohadi.
Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said: “The Mohadi story, far from being a sexual scandal, also has political connotations and ramifications. It tells us that the political factionalism and power realignment in Zanu-PF post the 2017 coup is still very much underway.”
He said it was unlikely that ordinary people were involved in the sting operation that led to Mohadi’s fall.
“That was an internal job to serve and advance a political interest. We will see when Mnangagwa appoints a replacement for Mohadi. There will be an indication of who exactly is benefiting from Mohadi’s fall and who might as well have been behind the moves against Mohadi.”
Another analyst Alexander Rusero said: “What generates interest in the current unfolding of things in the VP’s resignation is that in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular, it is alien for the old crop of leaders to yield to pressure and resign precisely on the basis of shaming the office one holds. We have witnessed a culture of impunity, a culture of brushing things aside. It is actually a turning point.”