Former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front youth chairman Godfrey Tsenengamu says when he asked president Robert Mugabe to give way to his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, he was talking about the party president and not the State President.
Tsenengamu is charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government or alternatively undermining the authority of President Mugabe and was remanded to 9 March following a press conference at which he advocated for Mugabe to step down.
His lawyer Zivanai Macharaga argued last week that Tsenengamu was talking about Mugabe in his capacity as ZANU-PF president and not State President.
Mugabe himself took over from Ndabaningi Sithole as party president so Tsenengamu was advocating for Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe as party president so he was merely talking about the replacement of a party leader.
“What was being discussed wasn’t State President, but party president. There is a difference between political party and State Presidency. It is not a crime to advocate the removal of a party president, but when it comes to State President, one has to look if the removal is unconstitutional or not,” Macharaga argued, according to Newsday.
“President is defined in terms of section 89 of the Constitution as, ‘the President is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The President described by statutes is not a political party president, but State President.”
Tsenengamu is applying for bail while on remand but his application which was supposed to be heard yesterday was postponed to today.