Constitution Amendment No.2: Here is what Hon. Mushoriwa said

Constitution Amendment No.2: Here is what Hon. Mushoriwa said
Constitution Amendment No.2: Here is what Hon. Mushoriwa said

HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr Speaker Sir, I rise to add my voice pertaining to this motion. Zimbabweans across the ten (10) provinces of this country went out, sat under trees and crossed rivers to give input to the 2013 Constitution. That Constitution Mr Speaker, you will recall that it came during the era of the inclusive Government and the people that voted for the 2013 Constitution were more than 93% of the people that voted in affirmative that they wanted that Constitution.

What we have seen since the coming in of the 2013 Constitution, as a country we should actually be in a process to make sure that we align the various pieces of legislation we have in this country to the 2013 Constitution. Mr Speaker, it is wrong in my view that before we have finished aligning our various pieces of legislation to the Constitution, we are actually on another move to try to amend that Constitution before trying to make sure that the Constitution has life.  The provisions that are contained in the Constitution Amendment No.2 that have been laid by the Hon. Minister are the very same things that Zimbabweans across the ten provinces said no to. You will know that the generality of the people do not want the power to reside in one individual but to be shared amongst many institutions.

The majority of Zimbabweans want to see strong State institutions rather than individuals but what we have seen is that Constitution Amendment No. 2 tends to take us back to where we are running from. Zimbabweans wanted a situation whereby the selection the Chief Justice in the Judiciary is done in an independent manner rather than the old system where the President would have power to do that. What the Minister has done is to take us back and that Mr. Speaker is not right.

Secondly, the Hon Minister is aware that one of the key principles in the 2013 Constitution was the cry of people to say we want a devolved State. People felt that the unitary State that we have had since the coming in of the settlers has not benefited this country. We needed a devolved system. You are aware that we are now having an amendment where one of its tenets is to remove the Hon. Members of Parliament from sitting and overseeing the processes and devolvement within the areas that they represent. Mr. Speaker, I think it is wrong in my view that before you even implement the provisions of the Constitution, you then have the Minister taking that power. It is wrong.

One of the things that have happened and you know the duties of parliamentarians were limited to three; legislative, oversight and representation role but things have changed. A Member of Parliament or legislator now carries the burden or developmental aspect and once you remove the MP from that function, I think you are destroying the developmental trajectory that most of these MPs have been pushing for. The argument the Hon. Minister puts to say MPs are supposed to carry the oversight role is a lame excuse I think. We need to ensure that Members of Parliament partake and participate in development within the areas that they come from rather than to remove them completely from that process.

Mr Speaker, there are many things that are contained in the Constitution Amendment No.2 which I think tends to take power and give power to the President. One of the things that costed Zimbabwe from 1980 to around 2017 when the former President left was because he had all the power vested in him. What we want to ensure is a democratic country that has systems, checks and balances but the Constitution Amendment No. 2 intends to remove everything and once we do that, we cannot move two steps forwards and then three steps backwards and then saying we are progressing as a country, we are not.

The other issue which I am not so sure the Hon. Minister is going to do is the attempt by the Minister to say when it comes to ratification of international treaties, the question of trying to circumvent Parliament, that cannot happen. In a proper democratic set up, like we want Zimbabwe to be in, we can never allow such an amendment or the Executive to go out there freely and give them a leeway to do whatever they want to do. We owe this country to the future generations and as representatives of the people in this august House, we should have a say. The people that crafted the Constitution of 2013, the people that sat under the trees, all those people had a reason where they wanted such things to happen. We see the Minister now proposing to take out that and allow a situation which is not proper for this country.

Mr Speaker Sir, I am more to do with the effects of what Constitutional Amendment No. 2 is going to do in terms of reversing all the necessary gains that we have done over the past few years. What we are supposed to be doing is to make sure that we do not rush and do this Constitutional Amendment No. 2. For any amendment to happen to a Constitution or to an Act of Parliament, there should be mischief that you want to correct. If you see all the list of the amendments that are proposed in Constitutional Amendment No. 2, there is no mischief except that people do not trust or do not believe in a democratic transparent system that the people, the thousands or the millions of people in Zimbabwe decided to allow to happen.

Before I sit, I just want to mention that the last Constitution we had, ended up having more than 20 amendments. Given the rate at which we are going, it means by the time we reach 2030, we will possibly have another 10 amendments. One of the things that I thought we should be doing is that we need to align our laws to the Constitution which we fail to. The second aspect is that, should we really believe in the amendment of the Constitution? I think it is only fair to allow proper input from the people.

I am glad that as Parliament, judging from the report that was tabled in this august House, the majority of people in Zimbabwe are objecting to the amendment of the Constitution. I am glad and hopeful that Hon. Members of this august House, Hon. Members who were sent by the people to represent the interests of the people will have the guts to say no to the moves by the Hon. Minister to try to amend the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Let us do the right thing first. Let us implement, align the various clauses to the Constitution rather than doing this amendment. This amendment is anti-Zimbabwe and it will destroy our democracy. I thank you.