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

HON. E. MNANGANGWA: Mr. Chairman, I will be very patient with the Hon. Member and still attempt to have him understand that the Labour Court is a court of limited jurisdiction, while the High Court has unlimited jurisdiction. Currently, they are put at par. We are making sure and express that the Labour Court is subordinate to the High Court because it has limited jurisdiction limited to labour issues alone, as we have the Administrative Court. Below that, we have the Magistrates Courts and other small claims courts which are below. That is the packing order of the judiciary. I have no doubt that the Hon. Member is a lawyer; he should easily understand this simple structure of the Judiciary.

The Judge President of the High Court is the Judge President of the High Court which has unlimited jurisdiction, but the judges who are in the Labour Court, their head is Senior Judge who administers the Labour Court. This is what we are clarifying.

Clause 3, put and agreed to.

On Clause 4:

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. I also have some reservations about the necessity for this amendment, but because the submissions are basically similar, I am not going to traverse the same ground twice. I just want to place it on record that I feel that this amendment is unnecessary in the sense that as the Hon. Vice President has explained, the Constitution is clear. I am very aware of the provisions of the Constitution. Yes, jurisdiction of the High Court is covered in Section 171 and it is very clear that the High Court has got inherent jurisdiction. That jurisdiction is not founded upon any Act of Parliament but it is actually inherent.

Be that as it may, the Labour Court and the Administrative Court on the other hand also have jurisdiction conferred upon them by Acts of Parliament. This is clearly spelt out in terms of Section 172 as it relates to the Labour Court and Section 173 as it relates to the Administrative Court. If the position is clear as the Hon. Vice President has pointed out, I see absolutely no reason why we should belabour this august House with this unnecessary amendment because we can still have in that Administrative Court, the person who is in charge of administration being referred to as a Judge President without taking away anything from the issue that the High Court itself, in terms of Section 171, as is abundantly clear to anyone who has an understanding of the import of the constitutional provision. I therefore, believe that for the reasons that we gave in terms of Clause 3 and those same reasons are applicable to Clause 4.

HON. MAJOME: I also rise to express my objection to the proposed amendment of the Constitution by Clause 4 and of demoting the head of the Administrative Court who is the Judge President, as it is very clear in Section 173 that its head is a Judge President. I object to demoting that Judge President to be called a mere Senior Judge. I object to that for the same reasons that I advanced in my objection of demoting the Judge President of the Labour Court to be called a mere Senior Judge. For the record, I want it to be placed that I object because it is in direct conflict of Section 108 (4) of the Constitution as it is reducing the benefit of status of a Judge President of the Administrative Court to that of a mere Senior Judge.

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