Zimbabwe: Constitution and Electoral laws are not cast in stone
12 February 2013 | 3071 Views
- Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote sacrificed for business by Britain and the EU | 27 October 2014
- 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
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
- Economic meltdown forces Mugabe to eat humble pie and allow WHITE farmers back on the farms | 65655 views
- Mugabe fumes as murdered senior MDC-T leader is declared a national hero | 19688 views
- 'Why you mustn't marry any Zim woman who is 25 years older' author dressed down | 18287 views
- Corpse falls off moving Ambulance - pictures | 14119 views
- Chaotic scenes at Beitbridge border post | 13411 views
- Mugabe's Zanu-PF splits | 12554 views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 738 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 696 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 481 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 671 Views
Staff Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1574 Views
Staff Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1479 Views
Staff Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1380 Views
Blessing Zulu | 03 March 2015 | 2685 Views
Agencies | 03 March 2015 | 2386 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 2545 Views
Ngqabutho Mabhena | 03 March 2015 | 1526 Views
Brighton Makunike | 03 March 2015 | 902 Views
Vince Musewe | 03 March 2015 | 820 Views
Ndou Paul | 03 March 2015 | 1451 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1060 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 621 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 2102 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1259 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 915 Views
Sapa | 03 March 2015 | 1257 Views
Nosa Osazuwa | 03 March 2015 | 876 Views
Tsolo Dube | 03 March 2015 | 1471 Views
Khumbulani Maphosa | 03 March 2015 | 756 Views
Wangu - Mine | 03 March 2015 | 1888 Views
AFP | 03 March 2015 | 2499 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1244 Views
Staff Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1276 Views
Business Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 1919 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 3554 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 2348 Views
Staff reporter | 03 March 2015 | 430 Views
Staff Reporter | 03 March 2015 | 643 Views
Mafu Sithabile | 02 March 2015 | 2539 Views
Liberty Dube | 27 February 2015 | 4033 Views
TMZ | 21 February 2015 | 6592 Views
Staff reporter | 21 February 2015 | 1980 Views
Staff reporter | 20 February 2015 | 10692 Views
Entertainment Reporter | 20 February 2015 | 3443 Views