from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CIVIL society organisations (CSOs) have decried the passing of a bill that they argue centralises too much power in the executive, particularly the president.
The National Assembly passed the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 on April 20.
Some 46 (CSOs) have jointly lamented the passing.
“It (is) very disturbing that the proposed amendments to the Constitution are being introduced at a time when the May 2013 Constitution has not been fully implemented,” they stated.
“Since the introduction of the Bill, we the undersigned CSOs, have expressed our reservations to this process and made several calls on all progressive citizens and duty bearers to reject this Bill as it reverses the gains that were ushered in by the 2013 Constitution.”
Besides widening the scope of presidential powers and undermining democratic accountability, they argue, the bill unilaterally increases the size of central government and imposes an unprecedented burden on citizens.
“Taxpayers will bear the primary burden of a bloated government.”
“The proposed sections of the Amendment Bill are a backward step in the pursuit of democracy, accountability, the divisions of governmental power, representativeness, the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.”
The CSOs urged Zimbabweans to challenge the passing of the bill.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, led by the Zimbabwe African Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), in power since 1980, is criticised for stifling dissent.
– CAJ News