Reasons why MDC-T legislators are objecting Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 1

By Staff Reporter

MDC-T legislators yesterday threw everything in and outside law books in a heated attempt to persuade Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reconsider adoption of the topical Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill No.1.

So intense was the debate in the National Assembly that the House ended up adjourning debate around 7 pm.

If passed into law, the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 1 will give President Robert Mugabe powers to select and appoint the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President of his choice whenever such vacancies arise.

Currently, Section 180 of the Constitutions gives members of the public power to make nominations and it also makes provisions for the conducting of public interviews of prospective candidates.

MDC-T Chief whip Innocent Gonese had literary beg VP Mnangagwa to reconsider bringing the Bill adding that it was not necessary as the country had already appointed the Chief Justice.

“It is not necessary Mr. Chairman and I therefore object to that Short Title of the Bill for the simple reason that I am totally opposed to the Bill and I believe that I speak for the majority of the Zimbabwean people who overwhelmingly voted for the adoption of this Constitution and also the three political parties which were represented in Parliament at the particular point in time who were part and parcel of the Global Political Agreement,” Gonese said.

Kuwadzana East legislator Nelson Chamisa concurred with Gonese’s sentiments, arguing that it wasn’t necessary for the government to amend the will of the people, adding that it was more important to align the Constitution with all the other laws .

The legislator-cum-advocate also took the opportunity to advise VP Mnangagwa to stop majoring on the minor.

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa however scoffed at the MDC-T legislators adding that he was not sure which law school they had gone to.

“I do not think they went to a law school because the law school clearly tells you that you must respect the rules of others. To me, it is sad that three top lawyers from the opposition stand up to go against the Constitution. Let us adhere to the Constitution”, Mliswa said.

In his response, VP Mnangagwa said he had already to issues raised by the opposition legislators during debate on the second reading of the bill, and referred them to the Hansard.

When the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 1 was introduced in 2016, the Law Society of Zimbabwe released a statement expressing dismay citing that the amendment was not seeking to improve good governance.

 

 

 

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