33 Years Later, Mugabe OKs Term Limits— for Successor

New constitution isn't retroactive, so he could serve another decade

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 22, 2013 9:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – What a mensch: After 33 years in political office, Robert Mugabe has changed Zimbabwe's constitution to impose a limit of two five-year terms on the president. Only, the rule doesn't apply retroactively, so the 89-year-old could still serve another decade as leader, Reuters reports.

More encouragingly, the new constitution also curbs the powers of the president and provides more rights for women, reports Voice of America. The new charter was part of a 2008 power-sharing deal between Mugabe and political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and was approved by voters in a referendum earlier this year.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, signs the new constitution of Zimbabwe while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai looks on at State house in Harare, May 22.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, signs the new constitution of Zimbabwe while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai looks on at State house in Harare, May 22.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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