By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
After forming an opposition that clearly beds with the ruling Zanu PF party, MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora dumped his initial view on Constitutional Amendment Bill number 1 by voting for it to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa powers to appoint judges without public interviews.
On Tuesday at least 70 senators including the MDC-T presidium comprising its president Douglas Mwonzora and his deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri voted for the passage of the Bill that seeks to give the President powers to appoint the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President without interviews.
Mwonzora left people shocked after he voted for the Bill that he used to dismiss a few years ago as undemocratic.
“The government of President Mnangagwa wants to amend the constitution on 27 clauses. This one of the biggest amendments that have ever happened in the history of this country. Among other things they want to concentrate power in the hand of the President.
“They are doing this by making sure that the president himself singularly appoints Judges of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court. This is a retrogressive that brings uncertainty in the succession conundrum of Zimbabwe. These amendments are a long march backwards,” Mwonzora’s sentiments when the Bill was first proposed in August 2017.
UK based Law expert Alex Magaisa Mwonzora claimed he was disappointed with Mwonzora because eight years go when the 2013 Constitution was crafted they were together advocating for the limiting of the powers of the executive
Magaisa said they understood it as a “decent Constitution” little did he know Mwonzora would later on support an amendment that increases the powers of the President because of what he called “pursuit of privilege.”
“I recall the epic battles in meetings at Rainbow Towers, Pandhari Lodge, Leopard Rock, etc. We stood side by side, calmly dousing the aggression of Paul Mangwana, Masimirembwa & co. One of the hardest things is seeing mkoma @DMwonzora voting for mutilation of that Constitution
“He could have abstained. At least Komichi said no. Whether that was tactical is another matter. But mkoma Dougie said “Aye”. “Aye” to a blatant unconstitutionality.
“How do you fight so hard to get a decent Constitution and then participate in its undoing? Pursuit of privilege?” Magaisa wrote on his microblogging Twitter handle.
Senators from both Zanu PF and MDC-T (Mwonzora, Mudzuri and Khupe) and traditional leaders led by Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira yesterday supported its passage in what they described as “a show of unity.”
Only one voted against it, the MDC-T national chairman Morgen Komichi. Nehanda Radio