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


*HON. MATAMBANZADZO: Finally, I want to say that when I look at the Hon. Members of Parliament from the opposition, they are very learned; most of them are lawyers, that is why they were just debating directionless because we are giving them the honour.  We think that they are debating facts that will build our nation, but I want to say to the Hon. Members from the opposition, you are few because of your misdirection.  I think you should look at yourselves and be constructive people because a lot of people voted for you.

People went for the Referendum on this Constitution, hence they gave us the mandate to amend the Constitution.  Do you know that you were voted into power by people so that you come here to amend any wrongs in the Constitution? Are you aware of that? Do you know it?  If you did not know this, I will educate you in my capacity as a grade two pupil – [Laughter.]-

*THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Matambanadzo, are you still continuing with your debate? I think you should wind-up because you are only left with a minute.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: The lawyers from the opposition with their education, – [Laughter.] – in English I would say that you lack ‘bachelor of common sense’ – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.]- I thank you.

HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I want to bring the debate back to clause 6 of the Amendment Bill.  I think this particular clause is actually the most important in terms of the Bill.  I want to say that this is the essence of the whole debate that we are having today.

It is important for all of us to really be serious when we analyse this particular clause.  I appreciate, Hon. Chair that we may have different perspectives, but I want us to really look at the clause and what it entails.  The import of this clause is to repeal the whole current of Section 180 and replace it with a new Section 180.  What the new Section 180 does first and foremost, is to differentiate the appointment procedures of three of the judges from those of the rest.

 I want all of us to really look at the wording and formulation of the clause and in particular, Mr. Chairman I want to direct the attention, not just of the Hon. Vice President but of all the Hon. Members so that for once, we do not look at this clause with political party lenses.  I know in the course of the debate reference has been made to members of the opposition and so on and so forth and members of the ruling party, but for this clause, I really want to plead with all members of this august House to remove their political part lenses and their political party jackets and look at this as Zimbabweans.

As Zimbabweans what the appointment of judges envisaged by the new Section 180 entails is that the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President of the High Court shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission.  I would like to underline the words after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission and look at Section 339 which actually describes what it entails.  In terms of Section 339 of our Constitution, whenever any authority is required to act either in consultation or after consultation, what is required of the authority is simply to seek the opinion of that other body to be consulted.  Once that opinion is sought, the authority gives the reasons and then looks at the point of view of the body to be consulted.

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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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