Friday, 5 October 2007

18th Amendment

Amendment number 18 to the Zimbabwean constitution has come with a lot of surprises especially to the organisations advocating for change in Zimbabwe.

Lets first look at some of its provisions.

Amendment 18 will:

i. Unify Presidential,Parliamentary,Senatorial,Mayoral, and Council elections. This means the lessening of the presidential term while it increases the number of members in the upper and lower houses of Assembly.

ii.Increases the number of members of Parliament from 150 to 210 and that of senate members from 66 to 93.

iii. Make way for the appointment of a Human Rights commission

iv. Change the title of the office of the Ombudsman to that of the Public Protector amongst other things.

v. Parliament will elect a Presidential successor to finish the term of the president who has suddenly died, resigned or be given a vote of no confidence.

The arguments making rounds are that while the unification of elections is most welcome and desirable it will cut down on government spending on tax payers money, the additional changes will add even more burden on the fiscus in that it increases the number of Upper and Lower houses of assembly members .The other changes are not urgent to the Zimbabwean crises which the amendment does not address, for example the fast declining health delivery system, the breakdown in the education system, increasing unemployment levels, high numbers of HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths and last but not least does not contribute much to the need for a wholesome overhaul of the present constitution.

While the amendment was passed unopposed into law, the major opposition party MDC factions state that a lot of changes were made to the original draft which allowed them to agree to it. Some of these changes include:

i. The holding of all elections at the same time instead of the council elections in January and the Presidential and Parliamentary in March which the MDC argues ZANU PF would want to use as a gauge for its support before the major elections.
ii. There shall be no presidential appointees, all members of the houses' of assembly will be elected by the electorate or parliament.
iii. The Human Rights commission will be elected by Parliament.
iv. Instead of the electorate going back to the polls to replace a President who still had sometime left in office, his successor will be elected on their behalf by the parliamentarians.

While this is yet another piecemeal alteration to the legal framework of the land, the opposition says it has been promised a brand new, people driven and democratic constitution before 2008 elections.

Meanwhile civic groups have cried foul and claim they are being left out of the processes for change which was initiated by SADC. They say they deserve a voice in the talks as ZANU PF and the two factions of the MDC are not fully representative of all the people of Zimbabwe and the country's problems are not purely political in nature.

Youths, please "Speak Your Mind"on the above issues by sending us your opinions.


nYdt said...

it depends on what you mean busi when you say some people are waiting to c what happens coz i zbelieve in Zimbabwe we have more progressive minds than that


busi said...

Progressive minds and desparate minds all in the same pot, is what I think we have. Its become so difficult lately to tell the wolves from the sheep, the opportunists from the genuine freedom fighters.

Who is to say that those who claim to be fighting for our so called "freedoms" are not worse than those in power now?

Progressive minds or not, someone up there is doing it for the money thats why the true freedom is taking so long to come. Someone up there is benefiting from our misery.

Anonymous said...

the 18th constitutional ammendment in my view is not just like any other amendment though it also creates unnecessary strain on the national fiscus,ignores pressing issues which direly need urgent is, on the part of the mdc:an indisputable political step which indicates maturity and graduation from puerile politics of arguing for the sake of it and being perpetual cry-babies while zanu-pf unilaterally manipulating everything to their is a worthy political risk.let us remember that zanu-pf could still pass a more diabolic act.again it should be born in mind that the nca principles are not sacrosanct,a little diversion to solve a crisis of the zimbabwean magnitude is permissible in politics and can go a long way in solving the crisis at hand.who really thought that the 1979 lancaster agreements would bring the zimbabwean independence??

Anonymous said...

-n.y.d.t. what is your view in relation to ZINWA takeover of Bulawayo`s water?
-what have you done to engage the mdc,zanu-pf and other youths on the socio-political situation in a non-polarised platform which will ensure that the youths realise their full potential in influencing the political climate?

Anonymous said...

n.y.d.t. is not a youth-wing for any political party!

Anonymous said...

will you please answer the question.

Anonymous said...

can we have thinkers on the line please,both your cases are not clear.

Anonymous said...

clive in the house,whose cases?what cases?yoths can we discuss serious issues lest we are dismissed as children just playing on the computer.the issue is:what next now that the mdc has sold out,the civic society has failed to meanigfully if not expectedly failed to clearly play their watch-dog role?

Anonymous said...

I believe the civic society and the opposition expected too much from each other and the youths and NYDT included are selling themselves out thinking that these groups are even thinking of them extensively within or outside the SADC talks. There is no one thinking of us except those wanting to make money in the name of saving us. Thats why we should control fully the running of organisations that purport to be helping us. NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US should be the motto.

As for MDC these guys failed us when they split in the first place and displayed their selfish endevours.

Civic society should keep its nose clean and stay out of politicians' beds. You will burn if you don't. You have an even bigger voice without the aid of political parties coz that way we can trust you. Politicians we have learnt are never to be trusted.


Anonymous said...

wat are yu guys sayin abt this constitution that is being written in Kariba?

Anonymous said...

lets meet as young people and come up with a youth position on these constitutional issues.


Anonymous said...

bengithanda ukuthi ngixazulule kabanzi ngendaba yesisekelo sombusa.bakithi sesikhathele ngezigamba,asithungeni kakutsha sehlukane lokugambela iCease Fire document.

Anonymous said...

mtshuki mfowethu utsho kahle mfowethu faka phela amacebo tht we can use 2 cum up wth 1 o give us the way 4ward we need guys lyk u in ythis struggle

Anonymous said...

khulumani phela bontanga

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys, for your comments. Please join the ZINWA debate on this same chat line. Lets get talking guys. If you do not talk here then no on will give you a voice.