BY MOSES MATENGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s allies in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) are seeking to block him from amending the Constitution at a time the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC and other civic organisations are also mobilising to protest against Constitutional Amendment Bill No 2.
NCA leader Lovemore Madhuku, who chairs a Polad sub-committee on governance and legislative agenda, has already proposed changes to the amendments which Mnangagwa said he would take to Cabinet.
The sub-committee is hoping to pressure Mnangagwa’s administration to withdraw the Constitutional Amendment (No.2) Bill as it was premature and undermining the dialogue process under Polad.
Madhuku last week said Mnangagwa will bring feedback this week and a way forward will be determined by his response.
“Some of the issues are administrative and can’t be dealt with here, but others that are fundamental like what came out of our committee, we have presented before him that we are not happy with the process that has been followed,” Madhuku said.
“We believe they should withdraw this Bill to allow more discussion, allow more input from Polad and others.
He added: “This week there will be another meeting where the President will be meeting us as leaders of the various parties. He was listening and gave back preliminary responses. He liked the debate on the Constitution and that it must continue. He said government is ready to compromise.”
The MDC has already started mobilising against the proposed amendments with the party’s Harare chairman Wellington Chikombo telling residents gathered for a constituency feedback meeting last week to reject attempts to “vandalise the Constitution.”
Mnangagwa last week confirmed there were issues his government disagreed with Madhuku.
“Their report was broken into two major components; that is the process of constitutional amendments and the contents. All the issues were articulated and there are areas where, of course, they are not in agreement with government, but it was received in a good manner because these are the views they expressed,” he said.
Chikombo told residents that Mnangagwa was seeking to “vandalise the Constitution” by calling for 27 amendments to it.
“Government wants the Constitution to be amended 27 times. They want to change a lot of things and most of them can only give powers to the President. What that means is if you have an election dispute and you need the courts to rule, you will face the presidential appointee in the Chief Justice,” he said.
“We will be compromising the integrity of the judiciary. A person should pass on merit.”
Civil organisations are also mobilising for protests against the amendment, which they claim will give Mnangagwa imperial powers.