By Leopold Munhende
OPPOSITION National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku has predicted that the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 will not sail through Parliament as some Zanu PF MPs were unhappy with the proposed law and will, accordingly vote against it.
Zanu PF enjoys a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
However, addressing members of the Young Journalists Association (YOJA), Madhuku said MPs from both the MDC and Zanu PF were questioning the spirit of a Bill that seeks to centralise power around President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Yes there are MPs in Parliament who are opposed to the Bill and they can achieve a lot. It is not a question of numbers,” said Madhuku.
“First, they must persuade the conscience of the other MPs. Secondly, they must oppose every clause with good reasons.”
He said citizens also had an opportunity to approach the Constitutional Court to block the passing of the Bill if they were not allowed to give their opinions at public meetings as required by the law.
“Zanu PF has a very thin two-thirds majority, winning over a few MPs from that side will stop the Bill. In the Senate, we only have to convince two traditional chiefs for the Bill to fail.”
Madhuku said some Zanu PF MPs were of the view that voting for the proposed Bill was putting ahead their political party’s interests ahead of national interests and felt it was necessary to vote against it.
“If they put effort into this approach, the Bill will fail,” he said.
“In my view, most of the proposed amendments are undemocratic. Always remember that different people have different views on democracy.”
Madhuku has been very vocal against the new amendments and last week, he gave Mnangagwa his views on the proposed Bill through the Political Actors Dialogue’s (POLAD) Governance and Legislative Agenda committee.
The proposed new amendments seek to give the president powers to appoint judges in higher courts without any public interviews, extend the tenure of judges past their retirement age and also scrap the running mate clause agreed on in 2013.