‘Pro­mote con­sti­tu­tion to fight cor­rup­tion’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nduduzo Tshuma/ Pamela Shumba

ACT­ING Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa yes­ter­day called for the pro­mo­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion in all sec­tors of the econ­omy say­ing it is a vi­tal doc­u­ment in fight­ing ram­pant cor­rup­tion and nepo­tism in both pub­lic and pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent, who is also the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, was in Bulawayo for a con­sti­tu­tion ad­vo­cacy meet­ing.

He said the coun­try’s good con­sti­tu­tion only be­comes a use­ful doc­u­ment when it is pro­moted to en­sure that all peo­ple ad­here to it.

“Prin­ci­ples of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion and lead­er­ship are vi­tal in the wake of ugly vices man­i­fest­ing them­selves through nepo­tism, ram­pant cor­rup­tion in lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, rent seek­ing ten­den­cies in the al­lo­ca­tion of vi­tal ameni­ties such as hous­ing and in­dus­trial stands.

“We may have a good con­sti­tu­tion, but it only be­comes a liv­ing and help­ful doc­u­ment when we pro­mote it amongst our­selves. The pro­mo­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion will sub­se­quently en­sure that we ad­here to it, hence pro­mot­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the na­tion.”

He said the prin­ci­ples of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion were im­por­tant in guid­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in their pro­vi­sion of ser­vices.

“In or­der that City Fa­thers of met­ro­pol­i­tan cities such as Bulawayo ad­here to dic­tates of Chap­ter 9 of the con­sti­tu­tion, cen­tral gov­ern­ment has put in place pol­icy mea­sures such as salary caps.

“More­over, the Gov­ern­ment is work­ing on a pub­lic sec­tor cor­po­rate gover­nance frame­work which is based in law to en­sure that good cor­po­rate gover­nance is prac­tised in our lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,” said Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

He added that the Gov­ern­ment had also scaled up ef­forts to fight cor­rup­tion of any kind by stream­lin­ing the role of the anti cor­rup­tion watch­dog un­der the over­sight of the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent ex­plained the pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion, say­ing his min­istry’s man­date was to pro­vide vi­tal in­for­ma­tion, which will im­prove peo­ple’s knowl­edge on the con­sti­tu­tion.

He said, un­like the Lancaster House con­sti­tu­tion, the cur­rent con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides for an ex­panded Bill of Rights in­cor­po­rat­ing so­cio-eco­nomic, cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal rights as well as pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble groups.

“The rights are bind­ing on all per­sons, in­clud­ing ju­ris­tic per­sons, all branches, agen­cies and in­sti­tu­tions of the State.

“The ju­di­ciary is obliged to con­sider vir­tu­ally ev­ery is­sue in or­der to pur­pose­fully and lib­er­ally give ef­fect to the rights and free­doms set out,” he said.

Yes­ter­day’s out­reach meet­ing in Bulawayo co­in­cided with Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s birth­day.

The Zim­babwe Na­tional Army Band played a sur­prise birth­day song for the Act­ing Pres­i­dent who turned 70 yes­ter­day, cre­at­ing ex­cite­ment among the par­tic­i­pants, who in­cluded se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, mem­bers of dif­fer­ent re­li­gious group­ings, civic and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, the pro­vin­cial Joint Op­er­a­tion Com­mand and youths.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent said the coun­try will not re­vert to pre-colo­nial bound­aries but will up­hold the spirit of a uni­tary state cher­ished by Zim­bab­weans and en­shrined in the con­sti­tu­tion.

He said those push­ing for the dis­in­te­gra­tion of the coun­try were work­ing against the con­sti­tu­tion.

He was re­spond­ing to sen­ti­ments raised by a mem­ber of the Mth­wakazi Lib­er­a­tion Front Mr John Gazi who, in a ple­nary ses­sion, com­plained over la­bels against the party’s calls for se­ces­sion as be­ing en­e­mies of the gov­ern­ment.

“We are not up to di­vid­ing the coun­try but unit­ing it in a cer­tain way.

“I’m one of the de­fend­ers of this gov­ern­ment, more than some in the gov­ern­ment but we are la­belled antigov­ern­ment when we ex­press sen­ti­ments,” said Mr Gazi who said the ba­sis of their calls was the sidelin­ing of Mata­bele­land re­gion in de­vel­op­ment is­sues.

In his re­sponse, the Act­ing Pres­i­dent said the post colo­nial gen­er­a­tion of Zim­bab­weans cher­ish the uni­tary state

“Some­one men­tioned that be­fore coloni­sa­tion there was no unity but as the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion, we are com­mit­ted to unity and that is why the con­cept of a uni­tary state is en­shrined in our con­sti­tu­tion,” he said.

“Any­one who wants to push the ide­ol­ogy of sep­a­ra­tion will be in con­tra­dic­tion to our con­sti­tu­tion and what we stand for.”

Formed in 2010, the MLF is a se­ces­sion­ist party that wants the cre­ation of a sep­a­rate state com­pris­ing of south­ern parts of the coun­try.

The se­ces­sion or­gan­i­sa­tion has, how­ever, been largely ig­nored by the peo­ple and in­stead has been in­volved in in­ter­nal fight­ing re­sult­ing in its own frag­men­ta­tion.

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