The struggle for democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe

This extract from the Hansard for Tuesday this week is rather long but revealing as it shows how the MDC is fighting back against a regime that is hell bent on destroying what reputation we have left as a stable, law abiding democratic State.

MDC-T local government secretary Eddie Cross

In the recent past, the Chief Justice, a long standing appointment who could be relied upon to rule consistently in favor of the State, retired. Mr. Mugabe wanted a former army officer to take the position but was unable to get his way because our 2013 Constitution gives the right of selection to Parliament and he must then make a decision from a panel submitted to him after public hearings in the matter.

The process clearly identified a respected and senior Judge as the leading candidate and after a lengthy delay while they tried to manipulate the process – he was appointed – but is only 2 years away from retirement. Immediately the Minister of Justice brought to the House of Assembly a bill to amend the Constitution to restore the Presidents sole right to make such appointments. This was the outcome after three attempts to get the required 180+ 1 votes to pass the amendment through the House. A maverick MP – Tembo Mliswa who is an “independent” voted with the Zanu PF Members and although we objected vigorously, because we could not substantiate the numbers, the vote was forced through. Leading Members of the House simply took a list of Zanu PF Members and ticked them off the attendance list.

We did not in fact vote at all – not even a show of hands was allowed and the Chamber was so crowded that a proper count was impossible. So much for democracy.

We pointed out to the Vice President in this process that he was violating the views of the Nation clearly expressed in the Constitutional reform process and referendum, he was violating the key principle of the separation of powers, he was violating the independence of the Judiciary and the rule of law and was sending the wrong message to the international Community. He just brushed all our objections aside and refused to change one word in the Bill.

Yesterday a Constitutional lawyer, talking about the preparations for the 2018 elections stated that in his view the whole electoral process was a sham. He stated “it is a show designed to produce a predetermined result and should be rejected by every Zimbabwean”. I could not have said it better myself and the clip at the end of this extract shows what the former Commander of the Zipra armed forces had to say about the role of the military in the process today.

I despair of sanity in this Mental Institution where the inmates seem to be in charge.

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  1. David Barber

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