By Robert Tapfumaneyi
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new-found ally, Lovemore Madhuku and his opposition NCA have strongly condemned proposed constitutional amendments by the Zanu PF led government to reinforce its grip on Zimbabwean politics.
This follows the recent gazetting by government of proposed amendments to the national constitution.
The amendments seek to dump the running mate clause for presidential candidates to allow eventual winners of future elections powers to hire and fire their deputies.
Zanu PF is also pushing for the scrapping of a clause that would allow future leaders to appoint court judges.
Currently, the process is done through public interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission.
But Madhuku’s party found all this to be a Zanu PF “agenda to perpetuate its hegemony and primitive rule in Zimbabwe as well as an intention to consolidate a decade of undemocratic governance”.
In a statement by party spokesperson Madock Chivasa, NCA urged all Zimbabweans to reject what it described as narrow-minded amendments to the country’s supreme law.
NCA is part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Political Parties Dialogue (POLAD), a platform comprising 18 losing presidential candidates of the 2018 elections.
“At our last meeting of POLAD, it was unanimously agreed and even announced in a press statement that the government must put on hold any amendments to the Constitution to allow all interested stakeholders to make their own proposals especially on election related amendments that constitute electoral reforms,” Chivasa said Tuesday.
“The gazetting of Zanu PF partisan amendments is a clear disregard of POLAD resolutions by government and it shows the lack of seriousness by Zanu PF to ensure that we have a credible election that is free and fair in 2023.
“All the proposed amendments by Zanu PF government will not have any positive contribution towards the much-needed assurance that future elections will be conducted to the satisfaction of everyone besides the selfish Zanu PF leaders and their usual uninformed supporters.”
Added NCA, “A sitting President must not appoint Judges to ensure that in the event of any electoral dispute, the Courts can deal with the matter satisfactorily.
“In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, we must have a by-election to allow the electorate to choose a new President unlike what Zanu PF intend to do, through their awkward amendments, to make it law that in the event of vacancy in the Presidency office, the political party of the said President gives us a replacement without having a by-election.
“Zanu PF government has displayed arrogance in pursuing unreasonable partisan amendments to the Constitution. We urge all Zimbabweans to register their displeasure by adding their voices to reject these hopeless amendments.”
Chivasa went on to attack MDC for being part of what NCA calls a bad Constitution following the crafting of the law by the main opposition together with Zanu PF when the rivals were co-rulers in the 2009-2013 unity government.
Said NCA, “Therefore, the deceitful Constitution crafted by Zanu PF and MDC parties allows this unacceptable state of affairs now degenerating into serious problems of dictatorship.
“The NCA party believes that it will continue to set a dangerous precedence to allow any political leaders of the day to make changes to the Supreme law of the nation as it is expected in a reasonable democracy that laws must come from the people through people driven processes.
“The current undemocratic Constitution is not people driven as it never came from the people of Zimbabwe but was imposed on them by COPAC, a confused parliamentary grouping that was made up of selfish and greedy politicians from Zanu PF and MDC political parties.
“By the time this chaotic Constitution was being crafted each of the two political parties hoped to win the 2013 general elections and then change any provisions in that disorderly Constitution to suit their own partisan interests that are not beneficial to anyone except their kith and kin.