Mnangagwa attacks CJ appointment critics

VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday attacked critics of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill Number 1 on the appointment of the Chief Justice and other top judges, saying their assertions that the proposed changes were “self-serving” were baseless.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Bill passed through the second reading stage and Mnangagwa moved that the committee stage commences today.

Mnangagwa’s Bill had received massive rejection by members of the public during public hearings by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice.

“Let me put it on record that this is not a self-serving amendment to the Constitution, as what MPs have been at pains to try and portray,” he said.

“It is my firm belief that those that introduced those notions are not only mischievous, but are dangerous to our constitutional democracy and themselves.”

Mnangagwa said as Justice minister, he had a duty to amend laws in a balanced manner to the satisfaction of all Zimbabweans.

He said MPs who insinuated that some Cabinet ministers were opposed to amendments of the Constitution were misleading the people.

“The fact that we have not seen any resignations from Cabinet is witness that the Bill had full backing from Cabinet,” the VP said.

“Let me address unwarranted fears that the appointment of the CJ [Chief Justice], DCJ [Deputy Chief Justice] and Judge President of the High Court shall erode the independence of the Judiciary and unsettle the principle of separation of powers. The Constitution has other adequate measures that guarantee Judiciary independence to advance and secure the integrity of the bench.”

Mnangagwa said the notion that the Bill was partisan was wrong, adding the amendment was a political people-centred one founded on the notion of smooth administration of justice, which must be predicated from a smooth appointment process.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday admitted the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill (NPRC) Bill did not receive public acceptance.

“Let me point out that this Bill aims to operationalise the NPRC and clearly states the functions of the commission. The Bill only gives the principles of operations of the commission and does not give instructions on how the NPRC should conduct its work. The modalities will be given as regulations when the Bill becomes an Act,” he said.

The VP said the recovery of the lost years in the 10-year lifespan of the NPRC would be decided by the commission itself.

“We stand guided by the custodians of the commission as to how this is going to be addressed. Extending the life span of the commission will be unconstitutional,” Mphoko said.

The Bill sailed through the second reading stage unopposed and now goes to the committee stage, where it will be scrutinised clause by clause.

Mphoko’s attempts to explain away accusations against him of condoning corruption were later ruled out of order, as he had tried to raise the issue during discussion on the NPRC Bill.

8 Responses to Mnangagwa attacks CJ appointment critics

  1. Tom June 14, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Hey come on Ed !! Who resigns from Mugabe’s cabinet? You skip the country and resign like Nkosana Moyo did!! Or else………!! So stop telling fibbies! Jona has criticized this amendment !

  2. dzingi June 14, 2017 at 9:20 am #

    Ed is just poking the noses of those of his cabinet colleagues who were publicly trashing the proposed amendmends. The following resigned: Enos Nkala, Maurice Nyagumbo, Dzingai Mtumbuka, Fredrick Shava etc after the Willowgate scandal. Edmund Garwe resigned in 1996 after a ZJC exam leak. Resigning requires principle and guts. Some are forced to resign, while others have their resignations declined. Vamwe vano gwauta gwauta but never resign. They enjoy being there or are tolerated for strategic reasons.

  3. Gudo Guru June 14, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    I do not understand why there is need for an amendment to the appointment of the Chief Justice or his/her deputy. The current procedure that state the President must make these appointments from among persons recommended to him by the Judicial Service Commission after an elaborate process that includes public interviews of candidates is the most transparent procedure. Changing it will clearly be self serving.

  4. Maricho June 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    ED wants to please Mugabe. ED is intelligent enough to know that the proposed changes are regressive. ED does not operate independently. He is tied by Mugabe and will do many regressive things to please him. If ED does not do what he is doing, Mugabe will drop him as VP of the party and government.

  5. Zvusvumbwi June 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    So what does the Constitution say when,for example, a proposed bill is rejected during public consultations, as was the case with particular bill (Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill Number 1). Do we then proceed to enact the law which we know very well that it was not supported by the public, and if that is the case what is then the value of public consultations? I am asking these questions to both the constitutional law experts in the country and diaspora and the framers of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013).

  6. Stonehouse1 June 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    It is very sad. Vice President is going ahead to act with impunity to serve ZANU PF and Mugabe (Presidency)..institutions he belongs to- hence its quite correct that this is a self-serving enterprise. Zimbabweans except the few elites, privileged and their families are against tempering with the constitution at this stage. Mnangagwa must desist from taking counsel only from the herald, a few garrulous individuals mainly from his constituency (don’t tell me VC has no constituency- (Chirumanzu-Zibagwe now donated to his wife). If Zimbabwe is for ALL Zimbabweans then Mnangagwa must not do this- its against the express wishes of the populace. But if Zimbabwe is for the connected, the coercive forces and special advisers- then go ahead sir and destroy the constitution- after all what can anyone do to you or ZANU PF..nothing?

  7. gomala June 14, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    A referendum is the way to go since there is overwhelming evidence that most zimbos are against the amendment. Whats so special about the executive meddling in judiciary affairs? They fear what Trump is facing… nincompoops

  8. Levi June 15, 2017 at 7:13 am #

    Justice Minister Mnangagwa, vice President Mnangagwa. Why can’t let one to another. By so doing you are creating jobs.

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