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Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (No 17) an attack on people's liberties
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 31, 2005

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition registers its displeasure at Zanu PF legislators' endorsement of the draconian Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (No 17), which seeks to re-introduce the Senate and empower government to withdraw passports from Zimbabweans accused of tarnishing the image of the Zanu PF government.

Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (No 17) is a sad chapter in the history of our country. The people of Zimbabwe and the international community are vindicated that Zimbabwe has become a pariah state whose leadership thrives on chicanery and coercion.

The re-introduction of the Senate is meant to further entrench ZANU PF's strangle hold on power and perpetuate politics of patronage. A bicameral legislature puts a serious strain on the national fiscus and there is no benefit that Zimbabweans can derive at the present moment from the introduction of an Upper House that will simply be another talk show.

Government's determination to re-introduce the Senate has nothing to do with deepening the democratic ethos in the country but that President Robert Mugabe wants to reward his friends who lost both the ZANU PF primary and the March 31 parliamentary plebiscite.

The level of ineptitude in government, especially at the Executive level and the lack of remorsefulness amongst politicians means that fuel shortages, food shortages, joblessness, corruption, to mention but a few will continue unabated.

It is also sad to learn that the ZANU PF government has become so paranoid that it is now starting to believe its own propaganda. The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (No 17) is a criminal piece of legislation that must be resisted in so far as it attempts to stifle people's freedom of movement.

At a time when the country must be joining other countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in allowing the free movement of persons across boarders, the Harare regime wants to deny the people their fundamental rights and freedoms by confiscating passports of those perceived to be enemies of the State. We know that this law will be selectively applied against members of the opposition, clergy and civil society leaders who have been unequivocal in exposing the policy bankruptcy of the Harare regime.

Contrary to government's wayward claims that Zimbabwe is being demonised and sabotaged, President Mugabe and his cabinet are the chief saboteurs who are doing the country a disservice by pursuing policies that hurt the people and promulgating laws such as POSA and AIPPA that have spelt misery for the people.

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