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What Zimbabwe MPs said about the Constitution Amendment Bill

So, I am seeing that there are certain individuals maybe because they feel that they do not have the votes of the people, they want to smuggle in things that are not in the Constitution to indicate that that is constitutionalism – that is wrong.

Thirdly, I would want to say that as regards this Bill, I challenge anyone that there is nothing wrong both in its spirit and its content.  I am saying so guided by the fact that if you go to most jurisdictions that developed this system, here in Zimbabwe we used to have madzishe nemasabhuku, we did not have judges and magistrates.  Those countries that developed this system, still use the same system.  So, I do not see why we should we cry and say that this is a wrong amendment. I thank you.

HON. MLISWA: Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for recognising me.  I think the beauty of democracy is that we can all debate, but equally the majority will have their way and the minority will have their say.  This is the beauty of democracy.  So, I actually applaud other Members of Parliament who equally have to object because that it is on a point of constitutionalism because if you are not able to debate then there is no point of the amendment.

However, why should we always talk about constitutionalism when we play strokes for different folks.  When it suits you it is okay but what does a Constitution say, which is the bible that we follow.  It has a provision for amending the Constitution.

Hon. Chair, it gives the right to those who are not happy with this Section to amend it too.  So, the other side can equally push the amendment of 328 in the Constitution and say we do not need it.  No one is stopping them, because it seems to be a thorn in the flesh for them. While it is a thorn in the flesh for them, nothing stops them from amending the Constitution – it is very clear.  So, to me, I think we had the First Reading; we had the Second Reading and the debate that we are having right now is not really talking about certain clauses.  They already have a certain attitude that we do not want it.  We want to be the best democracy in the World.

They say America is the best democracy in the world – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – it is pretty clear that America, whether you like it or not, in fact I will say yes, America is the best democracy in the world.  While they are the best democracy, the President appoints the Chief Justice, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  So, to me I think it is important that we are also in line with modern trends in politics.  We cannot be behind as Zimbabwe. They seem to be targeting the Vice President.  The Vice President represents people.  In moving this motion he has a mandate to represent people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think it is important to separate the Office of the Vice President and the people.

I saw Hon. Gonese literally going on his knees begging the Vice President, “Please do not amend it.” – [HON. MEMBERS: Aah] – He said it, “I am begging you Mr…”  As much as you beg the Vice President, the mandate is not from him, it is from the people. We must understand that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – we are not in this House to beg or ask for leniency.  We are in this House to uphold the Constitution of the country and it has no section which says you can beg someone not to follow the mandate of the people.

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