Former High Court judge Justice Benjamin Paradza has added his voice to calls for government to stop the constitutional amendment bill number 2 which seeks to change sections of the charter relating to the retirement of judges and Presidential running mate clause.
Responding to a Twitter post, Paradza said no-one should be allowed to make fundamental amendments to the constitution without going back to the people.
“You don’t make constitutional amendments affecting the fundamentals of what a nation has put in place without going back to the people. Its the worst form of undemocratic conduct any govt can do. Mugabe did it when he abolished the ceremonial presidency for executive presidency,” said Paradza.
Government gazetted the constitutional amendment bill number 2 which seeks to abort the Presidential running mate clause, increase the retirement age of judges among other clauses.
The move has attracted public outcry with National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku the leading voice in calling for the withdrawal of the bill that was gazetted on the 31st of December 2019.
Madhuku said they met as the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) and agreed that the bill should be withdrawn to allow citizens to make more changes including electoral reforms so that the 2023 plebiscite can be meet international standards.
He recently told a public meeting that President Emmerson Mnangagwa should desist from changing the constitution in the same manner the late leader Robert Mugabe used to do.
“We had a very strong leader who would stick to what he would have said, he would tell us that if they are in power, they will make laws including amending the constitution. Mugabe was very clear.
“He would ask us what ruling is if he could not change the constitution and we saw how he formed the Senate after Zanu PF members who had lost to the MDC complained that their positions in parliament had been taken.
“We have told Mnangagwa to stop acting like Mugabe, where the constitution is amended when he wants. We are saying he should undo the mentality of making and unmaking the constitution,” said Madhuku.
The opposition MDC has also called for a total rejection of the bill saying it smacks of a reversal of the gains recorded when the country adopted a new charter.