By Jane Nambi
Presidential term limits have been reinstated in Zimbabwe defeating President Robert Mugabe who has ruled the country for over 20 years.
The debate on whether to reinstate the term limits begun four years ago but has been concluded much to the excitement of the people of Zimbabwe. The reinstatement comes ahead of presidential elections which are scheduled to take place this year.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai confirmed the development saying it will be put into words by next week. “We believe we can have this constitution drafted by next week,” Tsvangirai said in an interview yesterday in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. “Since there is a national consensus by all parties, the referendum will be a formality.”
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has shared power with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front since 2009 after a disputed election. “I don’t think there will be any dissenting voices,” Tsvangirai said. “By March we can go to the referendum.” The election “is definitely going to be this year.”
In addition to all this, the referendum will allow Zimbabweans to hold dual citizenship, Tsvangirai said. Mugabe, 88, and Tsvangirai, 60, have opposed each other in a series of elections since 2000. As a result, inflation shot up in the country crippling them and putting the lives of Zimbabweans in danger. “Now we need to go to a growth phase,” Tsvangirai said of economic growth. “We cannot continue to have an economy that has no infrastructure. We are looking to have 5 percent growth.”