Every Constitution has provisions that determine the powers that a President has. In the Current Zimbabwean Constitution the President has very extensive powers.
The President has the power to appoint up to 33 Senators: 5 directly appointed as senators, 10 provincial governors, and 18 chiefs. He/She has the power to appoint the Attorney General, the Registrar General, judges of the Supreme Court and High Court, members of the Judicial Services Commission. He/she also has a say in the appointment of Commissioners to the Anti-corruption Commission and the Human Rights Commission. He/she makes all the senior appointments to the security services.
The President has the prerogative of mercy, and hence can pardon any political or other prisoners. Under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures Act), the President can enact laws or regulations by decree for at least six months. By 2001, President Robert Mugabe had legislated 450 times by decree through Statutory Instruments covering various Acts of Parliament.
So, it is no exaggeration to say that he or she that captures that post is the most influential person in the country, and can make an enormous difference to what happens in the country, for good or ill. So think about a possible future development.
The results of the South Africa Census show that there are more than 1,3 million more women than men. Zimbabwe currently has 4% more women than men with women constituting of 52% while men comprise 48 % of the population. Effectively, given the estimated 12.6 million total of the population, and assuming that half of the population is under the age of 18 (and thus cannot vote), it means that there are about a quarter of a million more women voters than men.
Now imagine if all 52% percent of women in Zimbabwe were to agree never to vote for a male candidate?
Imagine if all women voted for a female President.
Imagine if the House of Assembly and Senate all had women.
Imagine if the female President would appoint female judges to preside over all cases.
Imagine if the female President appointed female chiefs to preside over customary law.
Imagine if the female President appointed female governors to decide and execute the priorities of different regions.
Imagine if the female President appointed the Attorney General to prosecute all cases on behalf of the state.
Imagine if the female President appointed a female Registrar General to decide the processes of acquiring birth certificates, passports and other identity documents things that are central to children’s well being and women’s survival as cross border traders.
Also imagine if the female President could change any act of Parliament- on that list would be a repeal of the Termination of Pregnancy Act which limits women’s ability to determine their reproductive health, the laws on loitering (limiting women’s freedom of movement), laws on guardianship (limiting women’s rights in relation to their children), marriage laws (limiting women’s options and rights in marriage).
Imagine finally that no man would ever hold political office of any kind unless he had the support of women.
All this is possible. But only if the 52% women in Zimbabwe are united instead of pulling each other down and with a single purpose decide to empower themselves through the power they hold in numbers. Talk about a Revolution!!!