Six terms is unethical

via LETTER: Six terms is unethical | Letters | BDlive

THE call by the Southern African Development Community to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe following the recent farcical elections is a joke.

The fundamental flaws in the recent Zimbabwean elections run deeper than the structural and procedural issues of voters’ rolls, polling times and people being barred from voting.

The single biggest problem with these elections extends beyond basic constitutional deficiencies and goes to the heart of a key political theoretical and philosophical concept: presidential term limits. I am surprised at how little attention the fact that six-term President Robert Mugabe was gunning for another five years in office received from journalists, analysts and regional and international organisations and observers. No election in which a six-term incumbent makes a bid for another term at the rei ns could ever be construed as free and fair.

Presidential term limits are not simply to give as many different people the opportunity to occupy the top position; term limits exist to further limit the scope for abuse of powers supplementary to and within the constraints of the separation of powers configuration of the modern democratic state. Term limits are therefore indispensable to any state and government configuration hoping to claim a true democratic nature.

After more than 30 years at the helm, the distinction between the person, the ruling party and the government and state apparatus like the police, military and judiciary becomes nonexistent. In many respects, Mr Mugabe has become the contemporary African personification of Louis XIV’s “L’état, c’est moi.” He is the state.

Mr Mugabe’s candidacy rendered the election outcomes null and void.

Marius Redelinghuys

Democratic Alliance Gauteng Legislature Communications Director



  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 11 years ago

    Who are these stupid ethics experts anyway? Politicians don’t waste their time pondering over whether what they do is right or wrong because they just do what benefits them first and foremost. Nothing more. Doesn’t matter whether the person is Obama, Mugabe, Tsvangirai or that DJ president in Madagascar. Only their followers try to add a moralistic stance to their acts.

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    Qiniso 11 years ago

    I tend to agree with you Marius Redelinghuys, six terms is unethical but its Zim law of the land. The zim people accepted it and they have to live with it. Its just like your situation down in south africa, anc is screwing south africa and people are worse than before independence…but come election time, anc will get 65%+. Instead of screaming about zimbabwean situation, come up with a message to sell to your voters so that they vote for you. If your message is that anc will steal the elections, then you are in for a big suprises, thats not a message.

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      nesbert 11 years ago

      You Qiniso pliz don’t lie in behalf of us. The majority of this country never said they like Mugabe for life. Its you not us.Don’t forget under Smith we used to have water electricity and sound transport network Air Zim Railways and Town buses. Where are they. We miss all that good life under Mugabe. Pliz don’t lie.If you have nothing to say shut up.You are an idiot

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        Kingcow 11 years ago

        Very true is that ……they must stop saying zimbabweans have spoken pliz ……that party has spoken hw can he be in power for da party 33years if its a peoples will……pliz never!!!!!!

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    eztechplc 11 years ago

    It started right…….what Marius states is that in the course of time the political leaders becomes unethical, inconsiderate and violates the leadership powers vested in them by the electrorate (not sure if i have communicated). In 1987 a unity government was formed for a purpose, to forcefully calm the raising storms caused by Matebeleland masacres, the consititution was changed 20 times, 19 of which in order to ring fence power, the 20th time in order to retain security and legal power around leaders fearing power abuse that had taken place in the course of 33 years.

    Thus, any leader who goes beyond 8 or 10 years becomes counter productive to his people, breeds corruption, becomes careless, ineffective, inefficient. If the retirement age is 65 years, then there was certainly justification for that. The justification can be natural (the creator gave more and better useful energy to humans in their youth), medically the body retards with age; and lastly human mind is foolish to easily forget that kingship is a relay whose button stick must be handed over to a more energetic athlete with a fresh pair of legs.

    Having said that, how many of the zim government ministers are below 65 years? How many are willing to retire (not resign)? How many of the Joseph Chinotimbaz (knowing fully well that they don’t even have the professional skills and minimum requirements) just grab portfolios they cannot not even manage? How many judges, registrar generals, zec commissionners have moved on to make decisions for fear of the powers that be?


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    Murairwa 11 years ago

    Unethical to evil people yes probably. But not to Zimbabweans. We fought for our Independence and value all we went through. Was it ethical for Ian Smith to keep us blacks uneducated. Was it ethical for Ian Smith to take land from black people by force and give it to his white counterparts. You need self introspection first before you qualify to write about Zimbabweans. We do not need you and your biased comments. We know you do not like black people. Yours is hate altogether. Deal with ANC. Mulema is comming. You watch. Democratic Alliance for whom?

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      Kingcow 11 years ago

      C’mon…. nobody can finish land there is still plenty land today wats being done on it up to this day since u have reclaimed it back

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    Hango Yapalala 11 years ago


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    Nedziwe Rudo Kenneth 11 years ago

    Ngavatonge tione. My observation is that Zanupfu and Rhodesia Front are ONE and the same thing – they are two gangster groups. one is made up of whites and the other is made up of blacks.RF looks much better than zanupfu.RF members distributed their loot to gang members who at least managed to develop the country.Zanupfu on the other hand gave the resources to gang members who squander the loot with girlfriends.They have no sense of development whatsoever. The losers are the Zimbabweans.Hama dzangu zvandakaona ndaenda kumusha January 2009, hurombo hwacho hwaisiririsa, maticha vachiita maricho kusima mbambaira kuti vavane 15kg of maize to feed children, sewage ichiwerera mu Harare. Hamen, Tongai tione.

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    Murairwa, it’s fact that ‘a new broom sweeps the best.’
    If you have nothing constructive to say, keep it to yourself. People are not racist because they have different views to yours. Have you ever met Marius? If anyone is racist here, it’s you!