Joseph Madzimure-Senior Reporter
The Zanu PF Youth League has hailed the Constitutional Amendment Bill (Number 2) of 2019 which sailed through the National Assembly on Tuesday, gaining the required two-thirds majority, and which is now on course for the Senate.
At least 191 MPs voted for its passage, while 22 legislators voted against it.
The Bill seeks to remove a clause on running mates and so retain the present system of the President appointing vice-presidents, extend the special addition of extra women MPs by two more terms, add 10 more seats reserved for people aged 21 to 35, extend the tenure of medically fit judges beyond 70 years of age and also give impetus to Government’ devolution agenda. In a statement, Zanu PF acting deputy secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tendai Chirau said the inclusion of youth in policy and decision-making organs was key to the achievement of Vision 2030
He said among other definite merits and highlights, Clause 11 the Bill prescribes the inclusion of one extra youth MP from each of the 10 provinces and retains for another two terms the block of extra seats for women in the National Assembly as a vehicle for their unfettered inclusion in national policy and decision-making organs, under the “party list” proportional representation system.
“Today, His Excellency President Cde ED Mnangagwa’s great new dispensation challenges us to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenges of our time head on,” said Cde Chirau.
“Indeed, the Second Republic’s new ground-breaking narrative lays emphasis on the urgent need to afford young people opportunities to assume their role in society as responsible partners for progress, and not merely beneficiaries.”
Cde Chirau said it was heartening to observe that with passage of the Bill, which still awaits the Senate vote, young people’s voices and ideas were set to gain enhanced traction in the national body politic, as they could openly compete for other Parliamentary posts, and be considered under the block of extra seats allocated on proportional representation for women. Though he said more still needed to be done to cement young people’s inclusion, he acknowledged that by voting overwhelmingly in favour of the Bill, at 191 “Yes” votes to 22 “No” votes, Parliament of Zimbabwe emphatically put a step forward in the right direction.