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Youths Amplify Call For Rejection Of Constitutional Amendment

The proposed constitutional amendment Bill number 2 has come under fire with young people, being the latest to add weight to voices calling for its rejection.

The rules for amending the Constitution are contained in Section 328. The proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill does not require to be subjected to a national referendum. Only amendments to clauses in Chapter 4 and Chapter 16 require a national referendum.

Chapter 4 contains the Declaration of Rights and Chapter 16 contains clauses relating to agricultural land. None of the 27 clauses contained in the Amendment Bill are in Chapter 4 or Chapter 16. Therefore no referendum is required to ask the people if they want the constitutional amendments or not.

“Amendments to sections that will do away with the public election of a Vice President will only bring confusion and unnecessary expenditure in the event that a President dies or incapacitated. With the current set up of the running mate it means we have a straight jacket as the Vice President will succeed,” said 27 year old Memory Chiguvare of Harare.

The running mate clause though not yet practiced in the country would cool succession disputes among political parties.

Human Rights and constitutional amendment activist Youngerson Matete (29) who was arrested whilst protesting against the proposed amendment rebuked the proposed 10 seats reserved for the youths when they constitute more than 60 percent of the country’s population.


“What was their criteria in coming up with the number?  How is the youths quota system going to implemented,  is it the term “youths” going to be defined by the parties or by the Constitution of Zimbabwe section 20 in particular, as it defines a youths as someone between the age of 15 to 35 years but in some parties someone  can be 60   and yet still be a youths.

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“It is not clear on that.  Is the youths quota going to be done in the same way the women’s quota has been done, where parties forward the Proportional Representation lists if so what about the youths who are not part of the big political parties. It’s called exclusion by inclusion.  A lot of young people will be left out. It will promote mediocre too, because we all know that it will be those who the appointers like will be appointed.” said Matete

On the extension of women’s quota Matete called for inclusion of women from Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) and Churches.

“Why only women in big political parties, why not include women in CSOs, churches, business and students.  The women and youths quota must be competitive, let’s say reserve a certain number of seats for youths and women to contest against each other.

“Women versus Women, youths versus youths.  In that way it means we include those even outside political movements.  Also a talk about involving youths and women in politics without economic empowerment is mere rhetoric.  We know both youths and women have the ability to lead but no capacity.  They are the most disadvantaged groups economical and to run a campaign requires a lot of money. Economic empowerment must be a priority as well to for then to be able to participate in politics. Otherwise we run the risk of having leaders with the fat pockets but lacks ideas.” he said

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Youths have been on the forefront in rejecting the  constitutional amendment bill number 2 with pro-democracy activists Namatai Kwekweza (22) and Vongai Zimudzi (23) arrested for protesting against the amendments.

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