About 191 legislators have voted for the adoption of the Constitution Amendment Bill No.2 in the National Assembly, against 22 who voted no.
When passed into law, will allow President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint about seven people to Cabinet who are not legislators. Under the current law, he is only allowed about 5.
Mnangagwa is also being given the opportunity to choose his Vice Presidents after elections, as opposed to the running mates system that was set to kick in, in the 2023 elections.
Proportional Representation legislators in the National Assembly will have their seats extended by another 10 years
Judges of higher courts will also be exempted from the exposing public interviews
Although such legislators as Honourable Edwin Mushoriwa, Jasmine Toffa, Innocent Gonese and Daniel Molokele tried to block the amendments during the Committee stage, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi would have non of it, insisting on the changes.
In rejecting the running mates clause, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the system was a waste of time as the Vice Presidents were there to serve the vision of the President and not their own.
‘’I had already indicated that – the functions are so narrow, you are just there to assist the President. He enunciated his vision and you are just there to run with his vision.
‘’Why should we have somebody elected and we waste taxpayers money on somebody who is there to run with somebody’s vision. I submit that let us proceed with this amendment which is very progressive,’’ he said.
Mount Pleasant legislator Samuel Banda also tried to propose maintaining the running mates but reducing the powers of the Vice President
‘’Why not water down power in Section 97 than to completely say we are doing away with running mates.
‘’I propose that Section 97 be watered down but Section 92 be left like that. In such a case, I am calling for a division on the election of two Vice Presidents and a President,’’ he said.
His proposal was also rejected by Minister Ziyambi on the basis that it had the potential to have a weak person in the Presidium.
‘’That statement is very irresponsible given that the person that you are choosing fatuously may end up being the President of the country and you would have chosen somebody who is very weak,’ he said.
Zanu PF enjoys the necessary two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to pass any resolution they want.
191 MPs vote for Amendment No.2