Moyo fights constitutional amendment
Professor Moyo, through his lawyer Johannes Tomana wants the Supreme Court to make it clear that the 10 chiefs in Parliament are not Zanu PF 'MPs'. If granted, the declaration will prevent Zanu PF from pushing ahead with planned constitutional amendments.
Zanu PF won 78 of the 120 contested parliamentary seats in March. President Robert Mugabe has the power to appoint 12 non-constituency MPs and eight governors. Added together, Zanu PF has claimed that it has 108 MPs in the 150-member Parliament, which gives it a two thirds majority and a licence to amend the constitution.
Moyo's petition is based on a document presented by the Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa at the party's 162nd extraordinary session last week in which he claimed the party had the constitutional force to amend the constitution.
Acting on Chinamasa's advice, Zanu PF immediately set in motion plans to amend the constitution and reintroduce the Senate which was abolished soon after Independence in 1980.
Moyo says the Zanu PF two thirds majority claims are "concocted", further describing them as a "political fraud".
New Zimbabwe.com was unable to obtain the court documents last night, but a Harare lawyer who read the petition said: "Prof Moyo is arguing that the 10 chiefs are elected through their own electoral college system (peers), and not through registered voters on the common voters' roll.
"Therefore, they are not part of Zanu PF in terms of the law and constitution, and if they are withdrawn from the Zanu PF numbers, it leaves the party with 98 seats and short of the two thirds majority it claims.
"Moyo also contends that Chinamasa misled his own party when he said Zanu PF had 108 seats (78 elected, 10 chiefs, 8 governors and 12 non-constituency MPs). Moyo also states that the 12 non-constituency MPs and eight governors are open to question as to whether they can be counted as Zanu PF MPs," the lawyer said.
"His point is that they were appointed to parliament by Mugabe as Head of State, and not as leader of Zanu PF which therefore means they have a constitutional role in parliament rather than a partisan, political-driven one. He points out that the apparent assimilation of the chiefs, the governors and the non-constituency MPs into the Zanu PF set up is through patronage arrangements which have no constitutional force.
"Moyo wants the constitutional court to make it clear that while the chiefs are free to vote with whichever political party, they are not part of Zanu PF and their presence in Parliament cannot, therefore, be used to boost Zanu PF numbers.
"Moyo contends that if Zanu PF manages to effect constitutional amendments based on its highly questionable two thirds majority, that would undermine the country's constitutional order and the operations of our sovereign parliament."
Moyo expelled himself
from government when he rejected Mugabe's pleas not to stand as an independent
candidate in Tsholotsho, where he beat both the Zanu PF and opposition
MDC candidates for the seat.
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