Govt rapped over failure to respect the Constitution
LEGAL experts say Zimbabwe is one of the countries with a good Constitution, but suffering from constitutional disorder because of an authoritarian leadership which has no respect for the governance charter.
Speaking at a public meeting organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Zimbabwe Constitution, experts said people were failing to enjoy their rights.
Opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabwe had one of the best constitutions, but was stuck in a constitutional crisis.
“We have a good Constitution, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have a good constitutional order. A good constitutional order is a matter of the attitude of the rulers,”Mwonzora said.
“Imagine giving the devil a Bible to administer, will he dispense justice and holiness? Similarly, if you give people who are by nature dictatorial a democratic Constitution, you won’t have democracy.”
Zimbabwe adopted a new parliamentary-driven Constitution in 2013 through a referendum.
Mwonzora and Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) were co-chairpersons of the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) formed to drive the constitution-making process during the unity government among the late former President Robert Mugabe, the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Author Mutambara (MDC).
Copac conducted countrywide consultations, but critics said majority views were largely ignored by the political players.
Madhuku and his NCA rejected the Constitution.
The Constitution has been amended twice and observers have described the changes as the ruling Zanu (PF) party’s strategy to consolidate power and whittle down the influence of Parliament.
Madhuku called on citizens to be active in asserting their rights.
“Courts are giving judgments without giving a reason, looking at Mwonzora’s delimitation court case, the application was dismissed without giving reasons,” he said.
“They say reasons are going to follow but they never do and we have lived with them as citizens. We can’t allow a situation like that. The amendment that I support is that no court must give judgment without giving reasons.”
Mangwana said Zanu PF legally used its two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution.
He said whether the amendments are good or bad for the country, they are legal. — NewsDay