‘Let’s go for referendum instead of piece meal amendments’- Chinhoyi residents

By Nhau Mangirazi

CHINHOYI- Chinhoyi Residents Trust recently registered it’s dismay over Government bid to amend the Constitution but has suggested that the amendments must go for a proper scrutiny during a national referendum.

Chinhoyi Residents Trust (CRT) was part of community based organizations and individuals who presented their objections during an outreach program in Chinhoyi.

In a written submission, CRT said Government was not sincere as it was “tearing down” the constitution approved in 2013. The statement said, ” The constitution is the supreme law of the land, it mirrors the aspirations, hopes and vision of Zimbabweans,

“Zimbabweans overwhelmingly voted in 2013 for the Constitution. It is our hope that the 2013 Constitution can work for us and future generations to come minus the amendments mentioned above. In that regard CRT recommends that: Government fully implements the Zimbabwe Constitution before embarking on any amendments”

Movement for Democratic Change Alliance Chegutu Senator Violet Moketsi added her voice that the move was more political than a national agenda.

She said, “As a female MP I feel obliged to air out my personal opinion on matters that affect progressive experience of any nation that values democratic values. We have bundled in one bill and it confuses the citizens right to be informed. The Government is taking long to justify well-being of general public,” she added. as  CRT shot down the bid to amend the constitution so that judges and prosecutor general as the bill seeks to do away with public interviews and other processes that are involved in the appointment of the two public officers. CRT noted that the move “compromise the independence and integrity by making them Presidential appointees,”

The bill that was widely rejected during public hearings proposes to return to the rejected Lancaster House clauses of appointments which were largely rejected by Zimbabweans in the 2013 Referendum.

The bill goes on to increase the number of appointed Ministers outside parliament from 5 to 7, and thereby increasing the number of appointed persons and the cost of running government affairs.

Constitutional Amendment No. 2 proposes to delink delimitation from the population census statistics, a move that does not warrant changing the constitution but amending the Census and Statistics Act to reflect a temporary measure to start census processes earlier than 2022

CRT added, “This move is against the principle of state separation of powers, where the legislature representing the people get to hold the Executive accountable for managing our natural resources”