Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South)-ZANU PF’s support for the amending of section 180 of the Constitution is a clear blunder that will create a new pocket of opposition for the party going towards the 2018 elections, a minister has said.
Proposed amendments to section 180, which deals with the selection of Chief Justice, include giving the President appointing powers as some quarters have voiced concern at the current scenario which requires Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members to interview their seniors for the position.
The President will then select the CJ from a trimmed list of three nominees.
Prof Jonathan Moyo has however ridiculed the factuality of points raised in a recent media publication in which some ZANU PF members supported the amendment bill.
Moyo says there is no existant reason to start another divisive debate around the amendment of the section as the one witnessed in the country over the whole constitution from 1999 to 2003.
“It’s not right to embolden or create opposition to Zanu PF in 2017 thru an unnecessary Constitutional Amendment!’
“From 1999 to 2013 Zimbos were badly divided over a new Constitution. It’s wrong to bring those divisions back!’
“There’s no truth, no substantive reason and no public interest warranting amendment of s180 of the Constitution!’ he said.
The JSC selection process for the CJ position has garnered much attention of late since the filing of a court application contesting the procedure which requires junior JSC members to interview their seniors for the judicial system’s highest position.
In a ruling last month Justice Charles Hungwe held up the application contesting the procedure a ruling which seems to have gained the support of the ZANU PF members who are supporting the amendment bill.
Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Moyo, whom a section of the party has been calling for his arrest on charges of defrauding ZIMDEF of over $450 000, however has distanced himself from the seeming party position.
“Under proposed Amendment the same maligned JSC juniors will still recommend seniors BUT without transparency”
“It is ugly propaganda that proposed amendment will empower President to appoint CJ, DCJ & JP: he has that power now”, he said.
Moyo added that “Proposed Amendment takes away transparency in appointment of CJ, DCJ & JP & controversially involves Senate”.
This latest occurrence reveals another front in the succession battle which has divided ZANU PF.
Godfrey Chidyausiku the current Chief Justice reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in February 2017.
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