Main opposition party, MDC Alliance has castigated the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T legislators, for helping Zanu PF to pass the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill 2 which they have labelled a setback to democracy in the country.
The bill which comes with the scrapping of the Chief Justice 70 years of age retirement cap, and the removal of public interviews for high court judges, was hastily signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as part of the constitution.
In a press statement, MDC Alliance accused MDC-T MPs for helping the ruling party to thwart democracy.
The alliance condemned the amendment, saying the constitution of Zimbabwe was a people-driven constitution and it was a product of a broader reform agenda.
“MDC Alliance condemns the recent passing of Amendment Bill No2 through Parliament. The constitution of Zimbabwe is a people driven constitution, which is a product of a constitutional reform agenda that was driven by democratic forces in Zimbabwe of which the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) was part of it,” reads the statement.
The party also accused Zanu PF of trying to consolidate power and failing to uphold the rule of law in the country, therefore the amendment was not necessary.
“The imminent amendments have nothing to do with enhancing the rights of people or improving on human rights and democracy, transparency and good governance. They are designed to entrench an imperial executive whose power is not adequately checked and balanced.
“In this case, any amendment must be necessary to strengthen our democracy, reasonably justifiable in a democratic society and ultimately geared towards promoting the rule of law, fundamental human rights, transparency, accountability and justice,” further reads the statement.
Mwonzora recently addressed members of the media in Harare, where he defended his legislators’ move of voting YES to the Bill, saying it had many progressive components which they couldn’t ignore.
“Those who voted YES were voting for the women’s quota, the youth quota, the quota of women in council and devolution. Those who voted No from our camp were voting no to the running mate and the judges’ clause. We think their behaviour was reasonable,” said Mwonzora.
The MDC-T leader has of late been labelled a Zanu PF apologist after initiating a purge of recalls for MPs and Councillors who were aligned to Nelson Chamisa, giving the ruling party numerical advantage.
The amendment received only 22 objections which couldn’t stop it from sailing, with most of Mwonzora’s MPs voting in favour of the bill.