Zim Digital Sunday Express
June 22, 2021

Zimbabwe Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 2: The Fine Print that you Missed

There is no need to remind our compatriots that: the writing of Constitutions is not conclusive world over

 

By Lloyd Damba

In 2013 the new Zimbabwean Constitution was written under a very tense political environment, in which devolution was one of the most central issues.

On one side was the MDC-T and on the other was Zanu PF and in the middle was the smaller faction of the MDC Welshman Ncube.

The engagement of the debate was about the two tiers of Government, and arguments for and against Devolution in general.

This came into play in the main political parties.

Civil societies, The business community, students, academics, the media, and international development agencies all of them informed and misinformed the public about Devolution.

On the 1st of March 2016 Obert Gutu, the then MDC T Spokesperson with the support of the party and the masses, threatened to take the Ministers of Local Government and the minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to court over the non-implementation of Devolution Ignatius Chombo and Emmerson Mnangagwa respectively.

This interview was conducted by Renowned Journalist of Studio 7 Jonga Kandemiri.

 

Last year on the 1st of October 2020 Honourable Rusty Markham, Combined Harare Residents Association and Community Water Alliance represented by Tendai Biti the Recalled PDP President, won their case in the High on Devolution.

The High Court judge presiding was Justice Edith Mushore.

The judgment compelled the government of Zimbabwe to table a Devolution bill in Parliament before the end of March 2021.

The very same academics who condemned the COPAC process celebrated with great excitement.

Now looking at what the Constitutional Amendment Bill number 2 seeks to enforce are;

 

The meaning of Devolution

  • *The extension of Quota System for Women which was supposed to come to an end in 2023
  • *The introduction of the same Quota System for Women in local authorities
  • *And the Youth Quota System
  • *Then the Promotion of Judges without interviews
  • *And the deletion of the running mate clause

 

Just by looking at the way the Bill was packed. One could tell you that was a dangerous combination that left the MPs in a dilemma on how to move forward.

Four issues on that bill were at the heart and soul of the COPAC process which is very progressive but written in Fine Print.

 

 

The four babies

The MDC had four babies in the water. That is Devolution, Women and Youth Quota, and the Women Quota in Local authorities.

Would they have thrown away their four babies with the water which had been muddied by the Succession Running Mate Clause and the appointment of the Chief. That is a no.

According to the beholder of power within the ruling corridors, the running mate may be viewed as unbefitting and not worthy to wear the crown.

Devolution will allow the opposition to control its areas of influence of course. Which is the norm in South Africa just across the Limpopo River.

The people who are making noise today are the very same people who made noise about the same Constitution when it was written by Douglas Mwonzora with the help of Paul Mangwana. The MDC T was condemned and quickly isolated and walked a lone Road to 2013.

When the party was Nikuved in the same year, the very same academics celebrated and said that its high time we move on. The MDC T made its bed and must now sleep on it. They quickly embraced Robert Mugabe and stampeded to congratulate him.

 

 

2017 Enters ED with the Voice of the People is the Voice of God

The very same academics shouted *”let’s give ED a chance.

Fast forward to today, one wonders if these are the same people who supported Hon Markham to take the Zimbabwean Government to court over Devolution. The same Devolution that was passed in Constitutional Amendment Bill number 2.

What is it exactly that these gentlemen want?

Today they do not want Devolution, yesterday they took the government to court over the same.

Today the Bi-Partisan Parliament is being attacked left, right and center for “Rationally Disputing” and agreeing to disagree but each side came out with a win-win situation. Though it was a tough choice.

On the center of the storm is the MDC Leader President Douglas Mwonzora. He is not a member of the lower House and did not vote but there are those who are now professionally employed to fight him and these are Hopewell Chino’no and Pedzisai Ruhanya. These two educated Barbarians want to drag Douglas Mwonzora down and fight him in the mud.

As educated as they are, they have nothing developmental they have contributed to this country except to be tweeter gladiators.

 

 

Their attacks are driven by envy and hate and not based on facts.

It is very disheartening to see such grown men being used as mercenaries.

Waging a war of attrition against the man who has been arrested and brutalized by the Mugabe regime that they admire today by Working with the other half of Zanu PF outside of Government.

Namely, Johnathan Moyo, who is now their bosom buddy and is not a friend of pluralism and neither was the late President Robert Mugabe.

Johnathan Moyo mutilated opposition rights and today they embrace him at the expense of truth and pluralism.

The dastardly, crude barbaric, and uncouth attacks on the MDC Leader Douglas Mwonzora is an attack on Devolution, Youth, and Women Quota.

They speak as though the MDC has a super majority in Parliament.

Forgetting that it was their beloved self-proclaimed Messiah Nelson Chamisa who neglected to co-jointly campaign for Parliament and the Presidency. Exposing his MPs to the Zanu PF electoral machinery.

In short, Nelson wanted to arrive alone in the new Zimbabwe without the baggage of undesirable characters within his ranks – whom he calls stupid.

By attacking the passing of the Devolution Bill which gives power to the Provinces, these gentlemen have betrayed the people of Zimbabwe for thirty pieces of silver and we all know where it’s coming from.

By attacking the extension of the Women Quota without a legal framework that guarantees the retention of women in Parliament is an attack on women and also disempowering them in Zimbabwe.

In Nigeria, they removed the Quota System and only 6 women were returned to Parliament.

Just by saying fifty/fifty with no legal instrument to impose women in 105 constituencies will be a disaster. The women will be subjected to compete at par with man and Youth and there is no guarantee that the threshold will be reached.

 

 

By fighting against the Youth Quota they are saying the youth are leaders of tomorrow. When they have grown old when all valour is gone and old age has taken over them.

It is surprising that these so-called academics chose to ignore the weightier matters of the law and chose to dwell on a pure Zanu PF Succession issue of Running Mate.

The reason is simple they are puppeteers at the end of the string but at the other end if you look closely you will see who is behind.

The MDC T MPs and all those who voted for the top four items voted with a clear conscience and must not be persecuted by people who are not known for anything except tweeting.

Need I remind them that, the writing of Constitutions is not conclusive world over. That is the reason why we have the word Amendment.

Even the United States Constitution was also amended.

Kenya is in the middle of amending their Constitution to include the position of prime minister.
Britain has no written Constitution of it’s own.

The so-called academics always get it wrong and are defeated by Douglas Mwonzora because they choose not to read the Fine Print but are always amplifying nonsensical petty issues.

 

Lloyd Damba is MDC T Presidential spokesperson.

 

 

 

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