Zimbabwe: Constitution and Electoral laws are not cast in stone
12 February 2013 | 2956 Views
- Should Jonathan Moyo resign now? | 03 August 2014
- Reply to Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa #RestoreZimDiasporaVote | 01 June 2014
- Will 2014 usher in an Egypt style revolution in Zimbabwe? Part 3 | 04 February 2014
- What planet is Chatham House on? | 27 January 2014
- Will 2014 usher in an Egypt style revolution in Zimbabwe Part 2 | 13 January 2014
- After polls, can Mugabe rig the economy? | 07 August 2013
The reported 'plan' by Zanu-pf to 'torpedo' Eric Knight and Eric Sibanda's intentions to run for parliament (NewZimbabwe.com, 11/02/13) deserves comment.
News that Zanu-pf activist Jonathan Moyo suggested in an informal briefing with journalists that the two UK-based parliamentary aspirants faced major legal hurdles expose the hypocrisy of the coalition government by begging for money from the UN to run polls which exclude Diaspora candidates.
It was very refreshing to see Moyo's argument that Eric Knight and Ezra Sibanda cannot rectify the legal hurdles based on a reading of Section 23 (3) of the Electoral Act have being shredded into pieces by legal experts in the online story.
Among other flaws, it was pointed out that the residence requirement applies to voters not electoral candidates and that the provision must be interpreted to comply with the Constitution, especially not to offend the provisions relating to the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and movement.
Now, what is the way out of this Zanu-pf mischievous booby-trap?
Fighting the matter through the courts will take time and inadvertently lend credibility to Jonathan Moyo's twisted logic of democracy which suggests having to fight legal battles (booby-traps) before contesting for political office.
But the Constitution and electoral laws are not cast in stone. First, since Parliament has not yet been dissolved, the Electoral Act can still be amended to enable Diaspora election candidates and voters to participate as long as the MDC formations are genuinely interested and not using excuses of limited resources and suspected Zanu-pf fiddling with postal votes.
Also arguable is getting a constitutional amendment by way of a bill through Parliament clarifying the same i.e. allowing for non-resident Zimbabweans dual citizenship and the right to vote.
The third option is for civil society to lobby among others, the United Nations and the European Union who are being asked by the GNU to fund the referendum and elections NOT to release any money until those democratic amendments are effected.
Zanu-pf should not be allowed to go on cherry-picking reforms and when to seek foreign aid.
Similarly, the MDC formations should not be allowed to always play victim by pretending to be helpless when have hundreds of MPs and senators as well as cabinet ministers who can all collectively make a difference if the principals do not interfere with their whips in Parliament.
The truth is that, Zimbabwe is at its weakest now without money for UNWTO, referendum, elections, water purification, education and health except for Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Accordingly, this could not be a better opportunity for the international community especially Western countries to demand democratic reforms as a pre-condition for further funding starting with the Diaspora Vote to facilitate voluntary return as opposed to forced removal of exiles.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a UK-based political analyst and author of Planning from Below? An assessment of Provincial Planning in Zimbabwe, 1986-1990 published by the University of Zimbabwe, 1990 and available on Googlebooks.
Zimanalysis2009@gmail.com Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
Source: Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
Most Read Stories
- Why the Synagogue Building Collapsed - Military Expert | 12586 views
- Mtukudzi should come clean on HIV status | 10848 views
- Mugabe is reintroducing Z$ in a vain attempt to avoid regime change | 10137 views
- Kissed by the devil - How the 'Lord Of Darkness' met TB Joshua | 8102 views
- Mnangagwa using Grace Mugabe and vice versa, double crossing the croc midstream a big No No! | 7744 views
- The Matebele People Against Grace Mugabe The Petition | 7255 views
Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)
Wilbert Mukori | 21 October 2014 | 500 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 486 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1435 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 711 Views
Zupa | 21 October 2014 | 859 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1228 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1336 Views
Thabo Kunene | 21 October 2014 | 2318 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3506 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3970 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1920 Views
Dr Stem | 21 October 2014 | 1693 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1675 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1531 Views
Chris Goko | 21 October 2014 | 4450 Views
Court reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1670 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2425 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1344 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3729 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 5892 Views
Alex T. Magaisa | 21 October 2014 | 3828 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2394 Views
Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 819 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3000 Views
Sikhumbuzo Moyo | 21 October 2014 | 2948 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1834 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1639 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2624 Views
Auxilia Katongomara | 21 October 2014 | 1502 Views
Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2699 Views
Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 1797 Views
Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 3866 Views
Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1072 Views
Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1846 Views
Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1519 Views
Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1691 Views
Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2192 Views
Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2706 Views