Will Parliament Amend Zimbabwe’s New Constitution?

via Will Parliament Amend Zimbabwe’s New Constitution? by Gibbs Dube, Jonga Kandemiiri for VOA Zimbabwe 15.09.2013

Parliamentarians face an uphill task as they start next week to align several laws with Zimbabwe’s new constitution as fears mount that they will amend the supreme law to entrench Zanu PF rule.

The government could be sued if it fails to bring the laws into line with the new constitution.

Deputy Justice Minister Fortune Chasi told the state-controlled Sunday Mail that the House of Assembly is expected to institute comprehensive legal alignments when the eight parliament, which officially opens Tuesday, starts sessions September 24.

Chasi is quoted by the newspaper as saying the laws that need to be enacted urgently are to cater for the operations of the provincial councils, alignment of terms of citizenship rights, new statutes on the death penalty and broadcasting services.

New laws also need to be ratified to sanction the operations of the Attorney-General and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which is a new feature in the new constitution.

Critics say laws such the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Public Order and Security Act should be amended as they violate some provisions of the new constitution.

Zanu-PF has the parliamentary majority to amend the new constitution. But spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said his party will boycott the official opening ceremony.

Mwonzora said Zanu-PF has no ability to change the new constitution. “Fortunately when we drafted the constitution we made sure that important clauses were not amenable to amendment unilaterally by parliament. Important provisions like the bill of rights and others can only be amended by a referendum.”

Zanu PF parliamentary chief whip, Joram Gumbo, said it will be unfortunate for the MDC to boycott the official opening session.

“If MDC members are going to stay away then what interest are they representing? Just for the lack of a better word, it’s political immaturity,” said Gumbo.

At the same time, the MDC-T is seeking a High Court order to compel government to accept the appointment of non-councillors as city mayors.

The party’s lawyer Tendai Toto said the case is expected to be heard Sunday evening.

Government wants mayors to be elected councillors while the MDC has said it wants to appoint non-elected party members.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 10
  • comment-avatar
    Kennedy Kaitano 7 years ago

    The constitution is not definitive about the election of mayors – it does not say who elects the mayors, so the MDC has every right to want to appoint mayors. In fact the constitution seems to want Mayors elected directly by the electorate, as was done when Mudzuri was elected Mayor.

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    AFRICANS AND CONSTITUTIONS ….THEY HAVE NO CLUE!

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    While ZANUPF is in control, the constitution means nothing, ZANUPF will simply craft new laws that make it “Lawfull” to make what ever changes they want, people should not be naive, ZANUPF will do what ever it is that suits them, people should by now surely realise this!

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    Sekuru Mapenga 7 years ago

    Since over 90% of 3 million Zimbabweans voted “YES” for this constitution, we hope that Zanu PF will not amend it at all. Otherwise it will have been a huge waste of time and money and the people’s trust. And that trust is something that should not be played around with lightly.

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    easily fooled 7 years ago

    “Political immaturity” boycotts official opening of parly, political MATURITY rigs. Puppert look west and “Poor pets” look east.

    If Zpf realizes that the constitution is not serving their interest, they just put it aside

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    Rudadiso 7 years ago

    Mugabe has religiously hung on to the British culture of these ceremonies of opening parliament – stupid things like the ride on an open rolls royce, Grace stupidly waving to the crowd imitating queen Elizabeth, Mugabe dressed like an English gentleman eith countless chains and medals waing down his small and frail geriatric figure, then the judges in their distinctly British red gowns and hideous white wigs…pretty nauseating stuff.

    Then this guy tells us he hates the British! ! Such howash should only be told to grace, bona, robert and chatunga.

    In 33 yrs our world renowned incompetent president has not come up with a uniquely Zimbabwean ceremony. This idiot will be imitating the British till the day he breathes his last.

  • comment-avatar
    Nhamodzenyika 7 years ago

    Well said, Rudadiso.

  • comment-avatar

    Definately theY will…

  • comment-avatar
    Phunyukabemphethe 7 years ago

    They are opening the gukurahundi parliament?

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    matinhinhi 7 years ago

    we say we hate the british? what hogwash