By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Former Deputy Prime Minister in the now-defunct inclusive government, Arthur Mutambara, has savaged the ‘unintelligent, pitiful and clumsy’ President Emmerson Mnangagwa has kissed “goodbye to our aspirations to re-join the Commonwealth” and invited more sanctions on Zimbabwe by supporting an “illegal” Constitutional Amendment Number 2 Bill.
On Friday, Mnangagwa assented to the Constitutional Amendment (No 2) Bill which centralises his powers by giving him authority to appoint judges without interviews while removing the running mate clause for the VP.
This means that the Bill has effectively changed Zimbabwe’s supreme law, which was adopted by 94.5% of 3.3 million people who voted in a referendum on 16 and 17 March 2013.
It has sailed through the National Assembly after gaining overwhelming support from the ruling party and the smaller MDC-T party.
Speaking this week during an online discussion organised by civic society group, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), Mutambara said Zanu PF was inviting more sanctions on Zimbabwe through the Bill that “undermines social and economic development.”
“Irreparable damage has been done to our standing as a nation within the region, the continent and globally.
“The amendment has extensively tarnished our national brand.
“We are irrevocably drifting towards a despicable pariah state devoid of any semblance of the rule of law, thus undermining all our efforts of global re-engagement.
“We can kiss goodbye to our aspirations to re-join the Commonwealth,” he said.
Mutambara added: “There is no place for unprincipled and unimaginative despots in this family of nations which are rooted in democracy and constitutionalism. Rogue nations are neither tolerated nor entertained.
“ZANU-PF has embarked on a self-inflicted global regime shaming journey. They have placed our nation in a hostage to fortune scenario.
“Let me start by saying: ‘I am opposed to sanctions against Zimbabwe. I want the sanctions against Zimbabwe to be removed.’ I hope the regime and its unintelligent, pitiful and clumsy apologists hear me loud and clear! Do not get it twisted.
“I am certainly not calling for sanctions against my country. Well, sadly, Amendment No. 2 constitutes self-imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“We are imposing sanctions against ourselves by (a) violating our own Constitution, (b) creating illegal judges, (c) driving the country into a constitutional crisis, (d) manufacturing a compromised and pliant judiciary, and (e) re-establishing a corrupt imperial presidency anchored & rooted in tribal and clansmen politics.
“These are sanctions that Emmerson Mnangagwa has imposed on Zimbabwe!
“The amendment invites those who wish to impose more sanctions against us to do so. ZANU-PF is begging for more sanctions against the country,” he added.
Sanctions, imposed during Mugabe years and extended under Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration, came as a punishment to the Zanu PF regime for gross human rights abuses and corruption.
Five months before Mnangagwa assumed power through a military coup that ousted the late former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017, the Zanu PF leader said the country should stop blaming sanctions and focus on reviving the economy.
“Zimbabweans must stop blaming sanctions and focus on reviving the country’s dying economy. Yes, we have sanctions, but if we are going to cry about sanctions throughout, then we will not grow. We have at our disposal, good agriculture, mining and tourism… Those can be the backdrop for the resurrection of our economy and the growth of our economy,” Mnangagwa said.
Commenting on the Bill, opposition MDC Alliance secretary general Charlton Hwende said: “They started with a military coup in 2017 and followed it up with rigging elections in 2018. In 2019 they killed innocent protesters and in 2020 they looted COVID-19 funds. In 2021 they will have mutilated the constitution. We must stop these vandals before they do something worse.” Nehanda Radio