Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday clarified the position of the Constitution on what happens should an incumbent President be incapacitated to exercise his or her functions, saying the last Acting President assumes charge until another substantive president is elected.
VP Mnangagwa was responding to a question from Magwegwe MP Mr Anele Ndebele (MDC-T), who wanted to know who was senior between him and his counterpart Cde Phelekezela Mphoko. He said Section 101 of the Constitution provided for First Vice President and Second Vice President.
Mr Ndebele said his question came in anticipation of a constitutional crisis should the incumbent be incapacitated considering that VP Mphoko had refused to be recognised as Second Vice President saying the two were equal.
“There is great possibility that there are more people in this category in terms of misunderstanding the provisions of the Constitution,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said the provisions that Mr Ndebele was referring to would apply after 10 years of the subsistence of the Constitution.
He went on to read out several clauses of the Constitution related to what happens should the incumbent president is incapacitated before the expiry of first 10 years.
VP Mnangagwa quoted the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which provided as follows: “Notwithstanding section 101 but subject to sub-paragraphs (5) and (6), if the person elected President in any election referred to in sub-paragraph (1) dies, resigns or is removed from office (a) the Vice President or where there are two Vice Presidents, the Vice President who was last nominated to act in terms of sub-paragraph (3) (b) acts as President until a new President assumes office in terms of sub-paragraph (5).”
In a related matter, Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda said Parliament should not concern itself with issues that happen at rallies of political parties.
Warren Park MP Engineer Elias Mudzuri wanted VP Mnangagwa, who is Leader of Government Business in the House, to clarify the legal basis upon which First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe allegedly said she was running the country.
“We have utterances that the First Lady is ruling the country. We have a duty as Parliament to ensure that the President plays his role without interference. People are confused on who is running the country.
“It is written in papers that varikutonga,” said Eng Mudzuri.
He was referring to what Amai Mugabe allegedly said at a rally in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central Province, last Friday while addressing party supporters.
“We are not here to follow some political jests.
“It is common cause that we still have one President in Zimbabwe.
“What happens at rallies whether for this party or that party has nothing to do with Parliament.
“I have ruled,” said Adv Mudenda.