Almost 300 Chinhoyi citizens object constitutional amendments

Staff Writer

CHINHOYI- A crowd estimated to be made up of 300 people Monday graced the harsh cold weather and Covid19 fears to take opportunity in adding their voices against the proposed amendments to the constitution.

Sources told The Humanitarian Post (HP) that the majority of citizens registered displeasure over the amendments.

“Residents expressed concerns over the plans to confer too much power to the President. The women who were present objected the plans to extend the women’s quota arguing this

will unnecessarily over burden taxpayers,” he said.
The source said youth quota is insignificant and does not adequately address the plight of the youth.

“Most residents also shot down the idea of judges being appointed by the President insisting that the current method of interviews must be upheld,” the source said.
The sources also confirmed that residents objected to the idea of tempering with a charter which is under ten years old.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs announced Sunday that public hearings on the Bill will be conducted from the 15th to the 19th of June 2020.
Four teams which have been set up will carry out two hour long consultation sessions in major cities countrywide.

The schedule does not show any details on venues covering rural and outlying areas of Zimbabwe despite the fact that almost all citizens of Zimbabwe were consulted before the 2013 Constitution was approved.

Parliament has also put in place measures to protect the public from contracting Covid19 which will see only 50 participants being allowed at any one time.
“Where more than 50 participants want to attend they will only be allowed in groups that comply with the requirements. Hand sanitisation and temperature screening will be done at all venues. All participants must be wearing facial masks and appropriate social distancing will be observed,” said parliament.

Several legal groups and political organisations in Zimbabwe have criticized the decision to amend the constitution arguing that it is not prudent to take such a step considering that the people’s charter is just less than a decade old.

The government last year gazetted the Constitutional Amendment Bill No.2, which seeks to introduce at least 27 amendments to the constitution that was only adopted in 2013 through an overwhelming 94.49% voter support at a referendum.
Mnangagwa has been accused of trying to use the controversial amendments to create an imperial presidency and reduce Parliament’s oversight role.

If passed by Parliament, in which Zanu PF enjoys a two-thirds majority, the running mate clause for vice-presidents will be scrapped and the president will be given the sole powers to appoint judicial officers such as judges and the prosecutor-general.

The proposed amendments will increase the number of ministers without parliamentary seats and limit Parliament’s powers in the adoption of international treaties, among other far-reaching governance issues.

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