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

Clause 1 put…

HON. GONESE:  I object.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Those who are objecting, could you show by standing up.

[Hon. Members from MDC rose from their seats.]

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Chair, I think we have asked for a division, let us divide the House.  That is the procedure – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Order, order.  Just resume your seat.  In terms of Standing Order Number 125 (2) which says if the opinion of the Chair as to the decision of a question is challenged, he may direct that a division must take place.  If however I decide or the Chair is of the opinion that the division is unnecessarily claimed or is an abuse of the rules of the House.  The Chair must decline to direct that a division must take place and I must immediately declare that the resolution of the House or the Committee as the case maybe.  So I decline and Clause 1 is adopted and I put Clause – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order, Hon. Chair, I hear you but this is a very important constitutional point.  You are aware of previous court rulings and constitutional court determinations around the constitutionality of proceedings in Parliament.  You know the  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Order Hon. Chamisa!

HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Yes, but listen to my argument – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  No shamwari, you know nyaya yaMutasa naMakombe.  Yes, we may not allow that, honestly, ngatiite zvinhu neprocedure  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  Hon. Chair, it is very important for us to all material respects follow procedures that are supposed to be followed within Parliament.  You are aware of previous judgments wherein Parliament was taken to court and certain decisions were vitiated on account of absence of procedure.  You asked members of the opposition to stand up and it is clear that that was not consistent with what is supposed to be obtaining.  You had already asked for us to indicate out alternative view, which we so did.

This is so important because it is an amendment of the Constitution.  We are requesting that there be a secret ballot  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –   on each and every aspect.  Yes, we are kindly requesting a secret ballot because we know we have our colleagues who are so afraid of being terrorized and we want them to vote with us.  So if you may allow Hon. Chair, the constitutional rights of individual members to be permitted so we shall have a secret ballot at every stage  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  So that members who would want to vote freely but are under bondage are able to vote without any bondage.  Hon. Chair, we kindly request you to have a secret ballot on this one.

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