The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has expressed dismay over the passing of the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 2 in the lower house of the National Assembly.
In a statement, ZimRights says the Constitution had suffered a deadly blow and a betrayal of the people by those entrusted to represent them in Parliament.
“On Tuesday our Constitution suffered yet another deadly blow when the lower house of the National Assembly passed the disastrous Constitution amendment Bill Number 2 by a vote of 191 to 22. The Bill will now move to the upper house where the chances of its passage are high before the presidential ascent. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association is devastated by this tragic betrayal of the people of Zimbabwe by elected representatives whose primary duty is to defend the constitution,” read the statement
ZimRights said the Bill is harmful to democracy as it gives the President power to appoint Judges which erodes independence of the judiciary.
“The Bill is harmful to democracy and human rights because it allows the President to appoint sitting Judges to a higher court without subjecting them to public interviews and extend their tenure after reaching 70 years thereby eroding independence of the Judiciary and subjects it to the control of the executive.
“The Bill also takes away important functions of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and place them under the Public Protector an entity which is not as independent as the ZHRC. The Bill also removes the running mate clause during Presidential elections taking away the power from the citizen to vote for deputy Presidents.
“The removal of the requirement to advertise the post of the prosecutor general and subject candidate to public interview aids to abuse of power by a sitting president. The Bill entrenches more power in the presidency,” noted ZimRights
ZimRights National chairperson, Takesure Musiiwa said Parliamentarians who voted for the Bill are reversing the will of the people.
“Any effort to reverse the gains of what Zimbabweans had celebrated is reversing the will of the people. As ZimRights we are against the attempt to push back into the constitution what people had rejected in the national Constitution making process.” said Musiiwa.
Dzikamai Bere, ZimRights director echoed Musiiwa’s sentiments saying Parliamentarians had betrayed the people of Zimbabwe.
“Amendment Bill number 2 is the single deadliest blow to our Constitutionalism so far. It is a tragedy that the people who claim to represent the people of Zimbabwe are acting with impunity against the people they purport to represent. I hope the people will punish them for this treasonous act.” Bere said.