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What Zimbabwe MPs said about the Constitution Amendment Bill-Part Three

This kind of an amendment is an anti-worker amendment and an anti-labour rights amendment.  I would like to ask the Vice President, being a worker of workers because the President is the worker of workers, to also be sensitive to the interests of workers and remove this because this is also against the liberation struggle’s ethos and values.  The liberation struggle was about workers’ rights, the people’s rights and when we begin to do this, we are now joining the capitalists’ oppressive and jingoistic tendencies.  This is my plea to the Hon. Vice President, let us abandon the temptation of following what Smith used to do for our people. I really beg you and this is my submission. Thank you very much.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLAIMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.  E. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Chairman Sir, I appreciate the sentiments by Hon. Members who have just contributed. Let me just give the packing order of the courts in case they are ignorant about it. We have the Constitutional Court as the highest court in the Judiciary, seconded by the Supreme Court. We then have the High Court, which has the inherent jurisdiction. Below the High Court, we have the Labour Court which only deals with labour issues.

The High Court deals with both civil and criminal cases of all kind including labour. So, the Labour and the Administrative Courts are subordinate to the High Court. We have only one Judge President, but the most senior person who administers the Labour Court is called a Senior Judge of the Labour Court and others are judges. This is a request from the Judicial Service Commission which works out the packing order of their Judiciary structure. I thank you.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Since this is a school of wisdom, it is good for wisdom to be an osmotic exchange between the Hon. Office of the Vice President of Government and the Hon. Vice President of the Opposition. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Yes, – [AN HON. MEMBER: Wakasarudzwa here iwe?]- Yes, I was elected. The Hon. Vice President makes a very important revelation. He indicates that the Labour Court is supposed to be a lesser court, an inferior court. If there is no mischief, because that is what he said, what are we trying to cure? What mischief are we curing because at times we have to do things that are supposed to be addressing a problem? Why should we give you pills when you are not sick? Why should we give you betadine when you have no wound? What wound are we trying to cure?

It is not clear what wound we are trying to cure. If it is working properly, why should we send signals of relegation, signals of reversal of the gains of labour justice in this country. This is our plea to the Hon. Vice President who says it is coming from the Judicial Service Commission. Clearly, this is what is regarded as a gain by the trade unionist in this country. In the constitutional dispensation, that was their gain. We are seeing that we are subtracting from that gain and my plea again is to say Hon. Vice President, consistent with the ethos and values of our liberation struggle, let us be pro-worker, pro-poor and pro-people who fought during the liberation struggle.

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