ZANU PF legislator, Pupurai Togarepi has defended the amendment of the constitution saying the president as the head of government should be allowed to exercise his powers.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill (No.2) which was endorsed by Members of Parliament (MPs) – mainly ZANU PF, will, among other things, give the president the power to appoint the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President without subjecting them to the open selection process and public interviews.
While members of the opposition and some law experts are against the move saying it will stifle democracy, Togarepi is of another view. He said:
The President is Head of Government and Head of State, where he becomes superior to other arms of Government, let him exercise his powers, why do we elect someone only to withdraw his authority to exercise his powers.
Most of these amendments are to improve the Constitution. It is going to benefit the youths, it is going to benefit the women, it’s for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe and not for any political party. As Zanu PF, we are the majority and we used our majority to push the legislation as no constitution is cast in stone.
Some argue that the development is a deliberate attempt by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to retain power in 2023 as he will pick loyal members for high posts in the judiciary.
Justice Luke Malaba whose tenure expires this May was instrumental in 2018 when the poll dispute spilt into the courts.
He is accused of having shown bias to Mnangagwa during a televised court process to determine whether the ruling ZANU PF had connived with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to manipulate results in favour of Mnangagwa or not.
Therefore, if a situation like that would happen, Mnangagwa would want trusted officials in influential posts.