Electoral Amendment is a terrible and horrible Bill says Gonese
Mutare Central legislator Innocent Gonese has castigated the Electoral Amendment Bill which is before the National Assembly describing it as being horrible and terrible.
The Bill is currently in the Second Reading stage in the National Assembly and seeking to make changes to the Electoral Act, by incorporating provisions of Constitutional Amendment No.2.
Gonese said the Bill is shallow in that it only takes account of the provisions of Constitutional Amendment No.2 but ignores various recommendations from election observers.
The legal practitioner-cum legislator said the Minister of Justice should have waited for the outcome of the court challenge on the enactment of Amendment No.2
‘’Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to debate an issue which is very important and critical for the body politic of our country. In terms of Section 117(2)(b), we as an institution are required to make laws for the peace, order, and good governance for Zimbabwe.
‘’Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, this Bill is the antithesis of that laudable provision. To say that the Bill is not a good Bill is an understatement. I actually say that this is a horrible Bill, this is a terrible piece of legislation both from a procedural and a substantive point of view.
‘’Madam Speaker, Hon. Members and Hon. Minister, everyone knows the history of Zimbabwe. We have had a history of disputed elections culminating in the elections of 2018 which also had its own controversies.
‘’We had recommendations made by various observer missions. We had a petition which was presented to this august House by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network. We have had several other processes so I venture to say that as a starting point, the Bill which has been presented by the Hon. Minister is very narrow in its scope, in its memorandum, it simply refers to the alignment of the Electoral Law with Amendment No 2.
‘’The first important point to note Madam Speaker is that Amendment No. 2 has been challenged in the highest court of the land in the Constitutional Court in terms of its passage through Parliament. There is a pending challenge before the Constitutional Court and I want to ask the Honourable Minister, does he know the outcome of that litigation?
‘’In the event that the Constitutional Court comes up with a ruling that the passage of the Bill was not procedural and if that – not the Bill but it is now an Act Amendment No. 2 Act. If the Constitutional Court has to come to such a conclusion, it means that all the provisions which are in the Bill would be rendered invalid.
‘’I do not know whether the Honourable Minister is trying to tell us something that shows the outcome of the Constitutional Court challenge. Unless the Executive knows that it has got the judges in its pocket, the outcome of any court process is unknown. It would have been prudent to wait until the determination of that Constitutional Court challenge,’’ he said.
Electoral Amendment is a terrible and horrible Bill says Gonese #ElectionsZW