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Thursday, 11 May 2017

CiZC fights constitutional amendments



Moses Ziyambi

MASVINGO
- Civic society organisations under the
(CiZC) have embarked on a countrywide campaign engaging stakeholders to mobilise resistance against government maneuvres to change the constitution and widen executive powers in matters of appointments to the judiciary.
The coalition is particularly worried by recent government moves to scrap the requirements that candidates for the position of Chief Justice undergo public interviews to prove their suitability as provided for in Section 180 of the Constitution.
The Ministry of Justice wants to amend the clause and vest all powers with the President to make his own appointments by his own discretion.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Masvingo, CiZC programmes manager Thulani Mswelanto said the group had also submitted a petition to Parliament rejecting the proposed constitutional amendments.
"This is to coordinate civil society to oppose proposed amendments to Section 180 of the Constitution. We maintain that the Constitution must be implemented in full before any amendments are considered," Mswelanto said.
The coalition has already held other meetings in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru to rally support for the cause and is working closely with partners like Abameli Lawyers for Human Rights.
The proposed amendments have sparked wide-spread outrage, with critics saying the repeal of draconian legislation and alignment of non-conforming laws to the new constitution, which the government seems unwilling to do, was more urgent a matter than amendments to Section 180.
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