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‘Do not ignore constitutional amendments consultations’

Many people turned up at Chivi RDC Hall for the consultative process

Ratidzo Munembi

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
on Justice legal and Parliamentary Affairs’ country-wide consultations on the controversial
Constitutional Amendment II has today, June 07, reached Masvingo province with
the first gathering at Chivi growth point.

Many people gathered at the Chivi RDC hall where strict social distancing rules were observed with the help of health
workers and members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

Representatives of civil society
organisations Heal Zimbabwe and the Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) were
also present as key stakeholders.

Tomorrow, June 18, the committee
will be in Masvingo for yet another consultative programme which is also
expected to attract a sizeable crowd.

In an interview, WCoZ Masvingo
chapter coordinator, Belinda Mwale said it was important that members of the
public turn up for the meetings which are critical in gathering citizen input
on the envisaged amendments.

“This is a critical phase in our
democracy because government is proposing to make far-reaching changes to our
young constitution which came into effect only seven years ago. It is critical,
therefore, that citizens take this seriously and get their voices heard,” said
Mwale.

She said many women were against
the proposed extension of the women’s quota parliamentary system which they
criticise as mere tokenism which relegates women’s participation in politics to
the whims of men.

“Many of us prefer a level
playing field where women will be able to assert themselves with equal measure.
The women’s quota is open to exploitation by male politicians who can use the
system to advance abusive patronage whereby only women who give in to perverted
sexual advances are put on the list,” said Mwale.

Among other changes, the proposed
amendments would remove the running mate clause which requires that a candidate
in all future presidential elections fields a running mate who will
automatically be the vice president in the event of electoral victory. A vice
president elected under such a system cannot be fired by the president.

The amendments also seek to give
the President exclusive powers to appoint and promote judges of superior courts
without going for interviews as is currently the case.

 

 

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