ERC, HRF speak on Amendment Bill no. 2

special ant-corruption commission
  • Civil organisations against Amendment Bill no. 2
  • Amending Constitution described as premature and selfish

By Audrey Galawu and Adeline Mapfumo

THE Electoral Resources Centre (ERC) said government should put on hold the passing of the recently gazetted Bill no. 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The ERC said the Constitution was still in its infancy, making any attempts to have it amended premature.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, ERC representative Kuda Meki said some of the provisions set to be amended were yet to be gazetted as Acts of Parliament since their adoption as law in 2013.

“As the ERC, we recommend government to temporarily suspend the passing of the Bill until proper consultations have been carried out,” he said.

Meki also said issues of the running mate and devolution were yet to be made into Acts of Parliament although efforts were now underway to have them amended.

Human Rights Forum (HRF) for Non-Governmental Organisations spokesperson Blessing Gorejena said there was no justification at the moment in trying to tinker around with the Constitution.

“The provision has not been tested so everything is speculation. I am finding it difficult to find the legal basis: People said they needed running mates. Of course, the clause was transitional and supposed to kickstart in 2023. At the moment, the clause remains untested,” Gorejena observed.

The HRF spokesperson also said there was no justification in trying to alter the Constitution, including provisions which have not yet been implemented.

She cited the law on devolution and presidential running mate as examples.

Gorejena said government appears to have deliberately not followed up on the implementation of some core clauses in the Constitution they were now seeking to amend.

“There is also the issue around democracy and legitimacy; the people of Zimbabwe will vote for their vice presidents through the running mate clause,” Gorejena added.

According to the HRF spokesperson, the running mate set up was also meant as assurance that there would not be abuse of power by the Head of State.

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