How Mugabe was given powers to appoint key judges with MDC kicking and screaming


*HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Hon. Speaker, we are grateful that you have managed to divide the House which is not a problem in itself but realising that this is a Constitutional Amendment Bill.  It is a Bill – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, carry on.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I kindly ask that I be protected.  I cannot think clearly when there is noise.  I thought you were going to bring the House to order Hon. Speaker.

 Hon. Speaker, I have indicated that in terms of our Constitution, Section 139, our Standing Rules and Orders are supposed to define how privileges – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker, I think it is a bit unfair.  Members are being allowed to heckle.  I have not been able to say what I need to say.  So, allow me to be protected Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can we hear Hon. Chamisa.  

 HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I said in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution, it is supposed to be very clear in terms of how our privileges are exercised.  You are aware that we went to the liberation struggle to fight for the right to vote and not the right to win – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – For that reason, the right to vote is an important right.

What I am submitting Hon. Speaker is that let us allow the secrecy of the vote by Members of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – so that we have a secret ballot.  There are Members who are intimidated from the other side.  They have been complaining to us Hon. Speaker Sir.  Voter intimidation cannot be allowed in Parliament.  We know that they are being harassed into voting in a particular way.  Let us allow the secret ballot and I can assure you that we do not have assisted voters, no secret manipulation.  Let us have each and every member voting for themselves, then we will be able to have the vote being done properly.

Hon. Speaker Sir, you are also aware that this is not a frivolous request.  In South Africa, the Constitutional Court had to be seized with this matter and it made a ruling that let Parliament define what is in advancement of the interests of individual members.  As individual members, we feel that let us vote without fear or favour; without intimidation and let us make arrangements for a secret ballot for this vote because it is an important Bill being a constitutional Bill.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I so request.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I hear you Hon. Chamisa and in your request you referred to the South African Constitutional Court which decided that the final arbiter is the Speaker. So in this case, I say no secret ballot.

HON. TOFFA:  Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I am not accepting an point of order.

HON. TOFFA:  There is no gender parity; no women have spoken ever since we started debating Mr. Speaker Sir.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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