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


THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.  E. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Chairman, one other beautiful tenant of democracy is the fact that you cannot build a durawall against the imaginations of the people.  People are allowed to float, float and float their imaginations, that is part of democracy – [HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Like your imagination of becoming President.] –

I would like to address the sentiments expressed by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga.  Again, I am being courteous in replying to the same questions that were raised which I made a reply to.  They are being raised again the second time when the answers are already there.  However, I would like to repeat that all judges will remain subjected to the process of interviews to become a judge.  That is not being changed.  Also, if say a Labour Court judge want to go to the High Court and there are vacancies there; for anybody to come to the High Court, there will also be interviews for persons to be judges of the High Court.  If there are vacancies also in the Supreme Court, again for you to rise from the Administrative Court to the Supreme Court, you will have to go through the process of interviews for that purpose.  The same applies for one to move from the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court, that has not changed; you will still have to go through interviews and so on.

Let me again point out, though I did so before that for every single position whether in the High, Supreme or Constitutional Court, there should be three names submitted for each single position so that the recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission will have to make sure that there are three names for each post.  The same applies to the President; if he is to appoint a Judge President or Chief Justice, he must have three names.  He must submit to the Judicial Service Commission in order for the Commission to look at their qualifications, probity and integrity.  The Judicial Service Commission has that duty to look at the probity, integrity, qualifications of the individual and make recommendations to the President and the President is so guided.  That is what is happening. We are changing the procedure where we have the Chief Justice being exposed to the spectacle where Judges are put to the public spectacle jostling for a position and the public is watching Judges of that nature.

I want to say one other thing, we have three pillars of State of equal status; the Judiciary, this Legislature and the Executive.  These are equal pillars of State.  However, you have the Speaker as the head of the Legislature and the Chief Justice as the head of the Judiciary.  We have the President as the Head of the Executive but we have one other person who is Head of State when we combine the three – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – You must distinguish these two roles. These three pillars are of equal legal status but there is one State that is the Head of State who is above the three except that when that Head of State comes down, he becomes Head of the Executive but when he is Head of State, he is head of 1, 2 and 3.

Muzukuru, the question of the possibility – alright hapana muzukuru?  Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Ndiripo, hazvichinje.] – Hazvichinje.  The question of having a lunatic President which you said there is that possibility – unless the Constitution changes, I do not think that Zimbabweans are so lunatic that they will produce a lunatic.  My belief is that the people of Zimbabwe are sober.  They will produce a sober President.  That is my belief – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

I come to one area I have repeatedly replied kuna mainini vangu Majome throughout but she continous speaking the same repeatedly.  Because ndimainini vangu, I will repeat also.  The public interest when we discuss about this august Chamber; who represents the public interest of this country in this Chamber – it is the majority party – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –  That is answered but it is also true that the minority have a right to their opinions.  That I accept. At the end of the day, the public interest is expressed through the majority elected by the people.  That is what it is. So they should continue labouring and labouring on that elementary jurisdical point.

Cde. Maridadi, haaa shamwari  – Maridadi, Members of Parliament are elected members.  Hon. Members here, you are elected and you represent constituencies.  No judge is elected, they are appointed.  Here, the Speaker of Parliament is elected by elected Members.  We should not equate the appointment of the judge to that of Speaker because the Speaker presides over elected persons in the country who represent the interests of the people – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –  There is a distinct separate procedure for the appointment of judges which I have already explained.

Both sides of the House are concerned about the Attorney-General.  The Attorney-General does not run the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I was given the mandate by the Head of  State in the Executive to represent the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in the piloting of legislation relating to my mandate as administrator of the Act and not the Attorney-General. So, the question of the Attorney-General coming to Parliament or not does not impinge on my role to pilot – so, I have dealt with that one as quickly as I can.

I am sorry, I am told there is not much time.  So, the same with the contributions of Hon. Gonese.  Hon. Maondera, you said that those whom you are representing sent you to come and ask whether this issue is about succession.  Go and tell them that no.  There is no country under the sun, we read about the procedure of Kenya.  We corrected it, it is not as recounted by some Hon. Members in this Chamber.  We read the sections, so that is the story.  Because of time, I think I have covered everything.  I thank all those who have contributed.  Hon. Matambanadzo, Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, I want to thank you for your support.  May you be blessed with long life.  Thank you.


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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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