A petition has been launched calling upon President Emmerson Mnangagwa to remove Vice President Kembo Mohadi and replace him with a female Vice President in Zimbabwe. The petition initiated by one Tsitsi Mudzombi highlights the need for gender equality in public office, as mandated by the Constitution. The petitioner argues that the ruling party, ZANU PF, has capable women who should be respected and given opportunities in leadership roles.
Additionally, the petitioner criticizes Mohadi’s alleged immoral behaviour, referring to previous accusations of sexual abuse that led to his resignation in 2021. The petition emphasizes the rejection of both the violation of the Constitution’s gender equality provisions and the abuse of power against women. The petition calls for the removal of Mohadi and the installation of a female Vice President. The hashtags #FemaleVPZw and #MohadiMustGo are being used to raise awareness and garner support for the petition. Justifying the petition, Tsitsi Mudzombi said:
Zimbabwe recently concluded its harmonized elections in August 2023. Though contested, the president has recently sworn in MPs and Councilors. He also swore in 2 Vice Presidents namely Constantine Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe Sections 17, 56 and 80 demand that there be gender equality across all public office. The enactment of all males in the presidium is blatant violation of the constitution and the more than 52% voters that President Mnangagwa cannot keep disrespecting. The ruling party, Zanupf has more than enough capable women both intellectually and war veterans that must be respected to take up presidium.
It is worse that one of the sworn in VPs is a man of ill morals. In 2021, the then Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned on media reports that he had engaged in improper conduct. Circulating on media was news and clips of how Mohadi had improperly engaged in sexual liaisons with married women, including one of his subordinates. This is the same man being recycled to lead our women and the country.
Zimbabwean women and men reject both the violation of the Constitution that both disregards women as equals and also refuse sexual abuse of women by such public and powerful man as Mohadi. We demand the removal of Kembo Mohadi and the installation of a female VP.
Appointment of Vice Presidents In Zimbabwe:
For several years, ZANU PF has followed the provisions of the Unity Accord of 1987 when appointing Vice Presidents. However, this practice changed with the appointment of Joice Mujuru. The Unity Accord, signed between ZANU PF and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), aimed to foster unity and reconciliation between the two political parties following Gukurahundi in which approximately 20 000 civilians in Midlands and Matabeleland were killed by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade. It outlined a power-sharing agreement that included the appointment of two Vice Presidents, one from each party. While this arrangement remained in place for many years, the subsequent appointment of Joice Mujuru broke the tradition, as she was not affiliated with ZAPU. This deviation marked a significant departure from the established practice.