Constitution Amendment Number 2 Bill: Democracy prevailed – Mwonzora

by | May 5, 2021 | Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

In what could be best described as a refreshing rebirth of the politics of the land, opposition leader in the House of Assembly and MDC-T president Senator Douglas Mwonzora described the passage of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment number 2 Bill as a manifestation of democracy.

Speaking after the vote in the Upper House in the afternoon of May the 4th 2021, Senator Mwonzora admitted that even though his party did not agree with some provisions in the Bill, at the end of the day a vote was conducted and the majority prevailed.

“Well, it was largely to be expected , the MDC-T was opposed to the two clauses pertaining to the appointment of judges and extension of terms of office. We still feel that the amendment to that extent was unconstitutional because it was not put through referendum as is required by relevant law.
We are also opposed to the (Presidential) running mate clause.

We were not opposed to the women’s quota, the youth quota and devolution. We were also not opposed to the introduction of the women’s quota in the Councils.

When you look at the vote in the Senate, majority of women, including women from the MDC-T, did vote for the Bill. Obviously it is clear that they were voting for the women’s quota and the youth quota.
It is not a typical bill in which a leader or leaders of a party would whip people, because that would mean whipping people against their agenda,” said Senator Mwonzora in an interview.

However, the MDC-T president remains adamant that the Presidential running mate clause must be reinstated.

Quizzed by this reporter on how he intend to cause the reinstatement of the running mate clause outside the legislative process, Senator Mwonzora suggested the political route, which to them as a party means engaging in inter-party dialogue with colleagues on the other side of the divide.

He also insisted that his party does not agree with the clause on appointment of judges.
However, he conceded that democracy had prevailed and carried the day.

“This was a vote conducted in the Senate, and the majority did prevail, and to that extent we do accept the result that has come out, but with our disappointment of course, because it means that those two clauses are going to be in the Constitution,” continued Hon Mwonzora.

This reporter asked Senator Mwonzora if his party is considering other avenues for recourse other than the legislative route to which he said no.
“I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s our way of doing things. The Parliament is an independent body and it has made a decision and that decision may be unpopular with us, (but) of course there are political processes that can be done. You can still negotiate for a better clause in the Constitution,” concluded Honourable Mwonzora.

This stance is a marked departure from politics of aggression and attrition that the country had endured for a long time since the formation of the MDC in 1999.

The underlying nuance in Mwonzora actions is that the prevailing sentiment speaks to democracy for nation building, rather than to please foreign masters.