MDC Alliance National Youth Portfolio

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Statement on Constitutional Amendment Number 2 Public Hearings

For Immediate Release

June 9, 2020

Preamble

The MDC Alliance Youth Assembly Portfolio would want to register its rejection of the Zanu PF goverment’s call for Public Hearings on Constitutional Amendment Number 2.

We also call on the Parliament of Zimbabwe to make a resolution rejecting the same.

Jumping the gun

It is clear to the MDC Alliance National Youth Assembly Portfolio that currently, the most pressing issue is not Constitutional Amendment Number 2 but the alignment of Acts to the Constitution.

As youths of the main opposition party in the country, we ask: Why is the Zanu PF-led goverment desirous to amend a Constitution before its tenets have even been implemented?

Why jump the gun?

Constitution Amendment Number 2

Constitution Amendment Number 2 seeks to reverse the gains brought upon Zimbabwe by the current Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Which gains in the current Constitution stand to be lost?

The Executive Branch of the State is showing impatience as it hurriedly intends to terminate a whooping 28 provisions of the Constitution.

The MDC Alliance National Youth Assembly Portfolio is, however, disturbed by the fact that out of the 28 provisions meant to be changed, 20 of them are elections related.

With elections in Zimbabwe penciled for 2023, it can only be concluded that the Zanu PF-led government’s intentions are not at all innocent but meant to entrench its stranglehold on power.

As the MDC Alliance National Youth Assembly Portfolio, we make serious recommendations that there be no amendments made to any provisions of the current Constitution before its fullest implimantation and, of course, after the 2023 general elections.

Mitigating factors

The MDC Alliance National Youth Assembly Portfolio views as contradictory and nefarious intentions by the Executive Branch of the State to run Public Hearings on Constitutional Amendment Number 2 while impinging on COVID-19 guidelines imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), of which Zimbabwe is a member.

As MDC Alliance youths, we see such a move (carrying out public hearings) as retrogressive and unwarranted.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accounted for millions of deaths worldwide, with the number of infections in Zimbabwe rising on a daily basis.

Precedence

In the past – between March 18 and May 5, to be precise – all parliamentary sessions were halted as measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus were taken.

We think that nothing has changed.

Even one of the most important and lucrative sporting event around the globe, soccer, has also been temporarily suspended in order to save lives through effecting reasonable social distancing measures.

Where soccer has resumed in the Bundasliga in Germany, it has been in empty stadiums.

Way forward

The MDC Alliance National Youth Assembly Portfolio has resolved that:

  • No Constitutional Amendment Number 2 Public Hearings are going to be conducted while COVID-19 infections continue to rise.
  • There must first be the alignment of the Constitution to relevant Acts, including that any amendments to the current Constitution should come after the 2023 general elections.
  • If at all these (public hearings) shall be done, then it should be in the presence of all stakeholders, including but not limited to civil society.

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