Call for Zanu-PF to amend constitution
Harare – Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party should use its two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution following a high court decision which gave permission for a public demonstration, a newspaper says.
The protest turned into a riot with looting and violence in the city centre.
The Herald newspaper, which is the largest daily in Zimbabwe, and is largely controlled by the ruling Zanu-PF, ran an editorial yesterday which says the ruling party should “plug loopholes” in the “new” constitution.
The new charter emerged after years of multiparty negotiations ahead of the last elections in 2013, which delivered a massive, if disputed victory to Zanu-PF.
In the high court, Judge Hlekani Mwayera delivered a ruling in his chambers on Friday allowing a protest in the Harare city centre against Zimbabwe’s electoral laws and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“In our view, the bench should have thrown out the application. The application for a petition march was a clear attempt to escalate the violence which endangered the lives of innocent people, their property and children to whom we all owe protection.
“The national interest should have been paramount here as there is no other value that can surpass it,” the editorial said.
The demonstration was the first time several opposition political parties joined forces in a protest against the Zanu- PF government.
The two biggest opposition parties are the Movement for Democratic Change, which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai, and the recently formed Zimbabwe People First, led by former vice-president Joice Mujuru.
The Herald editorial claimed that the judiciary should have also considered the safety of Sierra Leone Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh, who opened the Harare Agricultural Show on Friday, close to the field where several hundred opposition supporters were gathering.
The Herald described the demonstrators as “hoodlums masquerading as peaceful protesters”.