No voting powers: Mnangagwa clarifies General Sibanda’s role in Zanu PF politburo after outrage

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His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces Cde ED Mnangagwa with Commander ZDF General Philip Valerio Sibanda

President Mnangagwa has clarified the appointment of General Philip Valerio Sibanda to the Zanu PF Politburo, stating that it is a legitimate decision.

The President emphasized that Gen Sibanda, who will serve as an ex-officio member, is not a civil servant and will not have voting rights within the Politburo.

Speaking to journalists at the Saudi Arabia-Africa Summit, President Mnangagwa explained that an ex-officio member is allowed to contribute but cannot vote.

“People are mistaken. They think that General Sibanda is a civil servant: he is not,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Secondly, he is an ex-officio member of the Politburo, which means he is not a substantive member of the Politburo; he cannot vote, he is an ex officio. There is no contradiction, and I as President can appoint anyone as ex-officio member, which means by virtue of a particular position, you can be allowed in a certain board.

“I don’t know who gets offended. He (Gen Sibanda) cannot vote but he can contribute because he is ex-officio member.”

The appointment of Gen Sibanda aligns with the ruling party’s tradition of including military wings in top decision-making bodies, dating back to the pre-independence era.

The President made the announcement during the Zanu PF Annual National People’s Conference and stated that it was in accordance with the party’s constitution.

Top military personnel in the country, who invariably were products of the ruling party Zanu PF, were also appointed to the Politburo at one point or the other during their professional lives.

Analysts have also said that every Zimbabwean has the right to make political choices, regardless of their employment status or position in society.


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