Coordinator’s Note: No to Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 2
We bring to you here Vol 6, Issue 4 of our flagship publication, the Zimbabwe Briefing, from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s Johannesburg based Regional Information & Advocacy hub.
This edition comes a few days after the Parliament of Zimbabwe announced the resumption of Public Hearings on the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill No2. Promptly, the Coalition released a statement calling on the Parliament of Zimbabwe to suspend the hearings.
It came as a shock that parliament is going ahead with the hearings when the country is in lockdown level 2 due to the COVID19, a move which will unnecessarily expose citizens to the Covid-19 coronavirus unless necessary and sufficient measures are put in place.
Several other CSOs voiced their concerns on the timing and the fast-tracking of these hearings amid a global pandemic.
The Parliament of Zimbabwe must ensure that Covid-19 preventative measures are in place before any public hearings commence.
Ironically, the public hearings are resuming at a time when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has suspended all electoral activities citing Covid-19 regulations. A High Court application to stop the hearings has already been filed.
In this regard, the Coalition relaunched its #ImplementDon,tAmputate campaign to raise awareness among citizens on the adverse effects of amending the Constitution and to mobilize citizens to reject the proposed Constitution Amendment Bill No.2
Equally, if we fail to stop the process through litigation, we are deploying observers to the venues of the meetings to gather information during the hearings to provide checks and balance on the process and outcome.
This MUST READ edition goes deep in providing clear analysis on the proposed amendments to the country’s supreme law.
Our position as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is that the Constitution Amendment Bill No.2 of 2019 is one of the biggest threats to civil and political rights in Zimbabwe. Single-handedly, the Bill seeks to take Zimbabwe back to the legacy of the Lancaster House Constitution.
Zimbabwe is at risk of sliding into a de facto one-party state where the ruling party has the sole discretion to determine the governance of this country. The gains made through the new Constitution of 2013 risk becoming moot if these amendments sail through. NO TO CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO.2