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

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Sibanda. Hon. Members, let us be serious with what we are doing here. You are out of order. Can you please proceed Hon. Mliswa.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you very much. Certainly Mr. Chairman, I will be very clear like I said that the person of the President, in the Constitution Section 187, in terms of the removal of the judges from the office. It is clear that if the President considers that the question of removing the Chief Justice from office ought to be investigated, the key issue is President. If the President considers that the question of removing the Chief Justice from office ought to be investigated, the President must appoint a tribunal to inquire into the matter. So to me, that is precisely the point that the President in his person has also got the Attorney-General who advises him. He has got so many other officers who advise him on how to go about it. So, there is absolutely nothing in the President appointing because upon removal, he equally consults, so to me, the fact that the Constitution even covers the fact that he must consult shows that there is enough thought in this Constitution that was put together.  I always repeat that the opposition was instrumental in crafting this Constitution.  Were they drunk when they moved to the point which Hon. Gonese said that the President will consult?  You were part of making this Constitution.  Why at that point-in-time did you not remove the word consult?  You allowed it to be there, so as such, play to the ball, play to the Constitution.  That is what you are required to do.  If you feel that you do not believe in that, you have the right to amend the very same section of the Constitution.

I will go again to the powers of the President.  We go to the duties of the President because we seem to be forgetting who the President is.  In fact, I will even tell you the qualifications for elections of the President or Vice President.  I will even go a step further to make you understand what the Constitution says are the requirements for somebody to be a President.  They do not have to be a lawyer, doctor or rocket scientist but all it says is that a person for election as President or Vice President; he or she should be a Zimbabwean citizen by birth or descent, has attained the age of 40 years, which means if I wanted, I am over 40 years, I could be President and you could be President, it provides that ordinary resident in Zimbabwe and is registered as a voter.  Those are the prerequisites of being a President.  You must now then amend the Constitution and say he must be a lawyer, since you are so obsessed with the law.  You have a right to then include that.  So, it is as simple as that.  It does not even require anybody to do that.

HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order, Standing Order No 106 is very clear. It speaks to irrelevance or repetition.  The Hon Member is wasting our time by saying things that are irrelevant.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  There is no point of order.

HON. MLISWA:  It is clear in the qualifications of the president, which are so simple.  Not only that, but also failure for the President to discharge his duties, there is Section 97 in the Constitution which talks about the removal of the President.  I will explain to you what it takes to remove the President in the event that he/she fails to govern the country.  The removal is very clear and this is in the Constitution that you are talking about.  You wanted to talk about the Constitution and this is what we are talking about today.  The removal of the President – failure by the Chief Justice appointed by the President certainly has repercussions to the Office of the President.  That can even go as far as misconduct on the office of the president.

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