The opposition MDC led by advocate Nelson Chamisa has called upon members of the public to join the party as it takes action against the proposed Constitutional amendments. We present below the party’s statement.
MDC position on the proposed constitutional amendments
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is deeply concerned with the various constitutional amendments that were recently proposed by the Zanu PF regime.
Indeed, despite all the grave concerns and strong reservations that were raised by many quarters of society, the raft of amendments were Gazetted on the 31st of December 2019 under Amendment 2 – HB23/2019.
The MDC is strongly opposed to the amendments since they are by and large a mere mutilation and an unjustifiable attack by the regime on an inclusive Constitution which represents fully, the varied political will of the people of Zimbabwe.
By so doing, the regime seeks to reverse the democratic gains of the 2013 Constitution by abusing its Parliamentary Majority to steam-roll the horrendous defacement of our people’s Constitution.
Of particular concern to the MDC are the proposed amendments which seek at their core, to unbridle key judicial and electoral safeguards as well as the integrity of important constitutional on institutions.
This tends to taint every other amendments included in the raft of amendments with the same mischief and as such, the entire raft must be rejected.
Firstly, the proposed amendments will allow the President to appoint judges and the Prosecutor General directly without the Judicial Services Commission conducting public interviews. These proposals by the regime, are against both international and regional best practices which recommend rigorous interviewing and vetting processes to ensure that judicial appointments are according to merit.
As such, what is clear therefore is that the regime’s motivation for this lack of transparency is merely to place political puppets at the helm of our judiciary.
Secondly, the proposed amendments de-couples ZEC’s delimitation function from the population census held every 10 years. The MDC believes that the present clauses on delimitation are progressive and that the regime’s attempt to amend them is mischievous and show its lack of commitment to real electoral reform.
The removal of an elected Vice President as a running mate makes it quite clear that the sole motive of the raft of amendments is personal aggrandizement and the consolidation of internal factional politics by Emmerson Mnangagwa and nothing more. It stems from his illegitimate reign.
Indeed, what we may now be witnessing are the fruits of this illegitimacy in its full blaze.
It is ironic that its first victim is the judiciary which ensconced him in his illegitimate seat.
In his 2020 Agenda setting statement to the nation, the People’s President Advocate Nelson Chamisa highlighted that “the Constitutional amendments seek to restore the Imperial Presidency that we thought we had dealt with decisively in 2013 through the approval in the referendum of a new constitution…
the call for alignment of the constitution must be stronger than before.”
Therefore, MDC as the custodian and true promoter of the people’s will, strongly objects to these proposed amendments and will actively resist them.
The MDC is thus calling upon all the people of Zimbabwe to rise up and start to actively resist this raft of proposed changes both during the so-called consultative process and also to utilise their varied means of expression to resist this move and render it illegitimate.
MDC: Change that Delivers
Secretary for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs