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

So, I want my colleagues; this time I am not just pleading or begging the Hon. Vice President, I am also pleading, begging and appealing to all my colleagues that for once, let us put the interests of Zimbabwe first.  Let us not look at our own partisan interests.  Let us not look at who is the current incumbent, let us look at what might happen in the future.  I know that we are going for elections, as far as my colleagues are concerned, it is a fait accompli, “it is a done deal, but in politics it does not always happen that way” – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: That is Theresa May.] – Yes, thank you very much my Hon. Sister, we had a situation where the Hon. Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland thought that it was an opportune time to call for an early election thinking that she was going to get an even bigger majority and what has happened, alas!  She is now the leader of a minority party.  Let us think about that very carefully that we never know where the dice is going to fall when it comes to the next election.

I want to ask our esteemed Hon. Vice President to consider this.  At least a lot of Hon. Members have made reference to the amendments.  In their system, they actually say on the advice and with the approval of the Senate.  So, at least their Senate must approve that appointment.  If we are to have this amendment, obviously I am against it, but if we are to have it at all, let us seriously consider what Hon. Ziyambi has said and have a scenario where we have at least either the Senate or better still, we say the National Assembly, which comprises of all the directly elected Members.  We say that perhaps the National Assembly should give its approval so that we have at least a majority of the total membership of this august House.

If we have a total membership of 270 and then we say that – like in the Kenyan scenario, whenever that appointment is to be made, they also seek the approval of their National Assembly.  I want to say, that is perhaps a better devil.  So we are saying let us take away the power from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).  I know that sentiments have been expressed that the Judicial Services Commission is comprised of unelected people…

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Member, wind your debate.

HON. GONESE: Yes, but I think I am making very important points.  I am saying at least if you are saying the Judicial Services Commission is comprised of unelected people, let us now come to this august House which is comprised of elected people so that at least we subject the President’s choice to the approval of this august House.  I want to make reference to South Africa, it actually says; the President can make an appointment of the Chief Justice, but he or she must consult the leaders of all the political parties represented in their Parliament no matter how small.  Even that other small party with two or three Members of Parliament, we have got Romisa’s Party, Inkatha Freedom Party and so on, all those parties have to be consulted in terms of that appointment being made.

Before I conclude, Hon. Chairman, I would like to join my colleague, Hon. Majome, who raised the issue about the provision in sub-clause 2 –  again, that notorious clause, for the avoidance of doubt, that when this Bill was being crafted, it was envisaged that there will be a vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice.  There was a spirited attempt by one Romeo Zibani who even went to the High Court and got a judgment and on appeal to the Supreme Court, that judgment was overturned.

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