The Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has said the majority of people who attended and contributed in writing to the public hearings on Constitutional Amendment number 2 Bill did not understand the legal system.
In a report on the public hearings conducted held from 14 – 19 June 2020, the committee expressed concern citing that that in order to enhance the quality of contributions, there must be a concerted effort by relevant stakeholders to sensitize the public.
“The Committee noted with concern that the majority of the people who attended the public hearings, including those who contributed in writing, did not comprehend the jurisprudence behind the doctrine of separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and attendant issues.
“It is therefore the Committee’s submission that in order to enhance the quality of contributions, there must be a concerted effort by relevant stakeholders to sensitize the public on the content and import of Bills before embarking on public hearings,”
The committee said public awareness would counter influence of sponsored groups who rush ahead of the hearings.
“The public awareness is also likely to counter the manipulation of members of the public by sponsored groups who always rush ahead of the hearings. It is, however, the Committee’s general conclusion that, except for areas highlighted in the recommendations as requiring a re-look, the amendments be adopted as presented.” read the report
Many Zimbabweans feel the proposed amendments set Zimbabwe back and are only meant to increase President Mnangagwa’s stronghold on power at the expense of strengthening Zimbabwe’s democracy.