At least 90 women in Nkulumane suburb participated in a constitutional awareness drive in partnership with WILD, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Victory Siyanqoba.
The meeting conducted through a Laundry Café, was meant to conscientize women on the Constitution Amendment Bill (No2) of 2019 which was gazetted in December last year. On the sidelines of the laundry café, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights provided a legal desk where women could get free legal advice.
During the community outreach, women said the proposed extension of the retirement age for Constitutional and Supreme Court Judges is unacceptable citing that everyone including the President should retire between the ages of 65 and 70 “like everyone else.”
Women said the President should not have absolute power as proposed in the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019. They raised their fears that excessive power will result in extreme centralization of decision making and could negatively affect how the country upholds the rule of law and democracy.
Women highlighted their contentment over Bill’s introduction of the youth quota adding that this has a likelihood of improving youths’ involvement in decision-making processes.
Demonstrating the negative and positive aspects of the Bill, the women said the black, dark and muddy “clothes” in the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 include the consolidation of the powers of the president in electing various actors such as judges, the Prosecutor General and the Public Protector to office which could lead to a dictatorship.
Present at the meeting was Ward 20 Councillor Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo who applauded women’s participation as an essential component of development and encouraged women to attend initiatives that promote discussions on community, policy and constitutional issues.
Mosupatsila Nare the legal officer for WILD, encouraged women to be on the lookout for the dates of the public hearings and share their voices in the public hearings which have been scheduled for the 29th of march to the 04th of April 2020
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