1. 34 years ago, Zimbabwe’s first democratic Constitution was drastically amended via the infamous Amendment No. 7. It introduced the Executive Presidency dumping the Westminster model. I was in Grade 7, barely aware of what was happening. Zvaitonzi Long Live President RG Mugabe!
2. It was only when I was in law school 7 years later that I began to fully appreciate what it meant. Back then, debates were in newspapers & magazines like Moto & Parade often weeks or months after the event. It took a while to build constitutional consciousness.
3. Today, we have multiple spaces where debate is taking place, people getting views from different voices as events happen. This is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is healthy for society to be exposed to multiple views; to be part of the discourse. It should be celebrated.
4. It’s far better having more than less. It is up to you to make up your mind. But the great thing is even as reader & commenter, you’re participating in the discourse. It’s far better than letting political elites monopolise discourse. Take part, question, offer views!

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More from @Wamagaisa

19 May
1. The letter announcing the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court is odd & vague so that it is not possible to determine the law under which they are being appointed. It says the President has “approved” the appointments “at the instance” of the Acting Chief Justice.
2. The letter is coming from the Judicial Service Commission. The “approval” bit is perplexing. It’s either the President appoints or he doesn’t. Whether before or after Amendment No. 2, he is the appointing authority. If they are acting judges, his approval is irrelevant.
3. True the judges take their oath before the Chief Justice but it is unclear whether they are being appointed under the old procedure when they were interviewed last September or as amended by Amendment No. 2. But does it make any difference to the contentious cases? None.
Read 4 tweets
18 May
1. Regarding the constitutional matter, I fear people are missing the forest for the trees. I have said that we have a constitutional crisis & it emanates from both amendments. It is that a Real Madrid or Barca player cannot choose the referee for El Classico. Let me explain.
2. All the judges of the superior courts are parties to the proceedings. They cannot properly sit as referees in a matter in which they are involved & they have an interest. In short, they are all conflicted. This is the forest. All the other technicalities converge here.
3. Now, some may argue that a special panel can be chosen to do it. Fine. But someone has to choose that panel. That cannot be done by players in the game because they have an interest. The JSC unnecessarily dragged itself into the matter when it could have stayed neutral.
Read 7 tweets
16 May
1. I have immersed myself in studying the US Civil Rights Movement in the 50s & 60s. The legal strategy is part of the fight for rights & democratic space. It is not the only one but it is important. Knocking down the edifice of dictatorship is not a one day event but a process.
2. I remember one of the doyens of that struggle saying every struggle requires moments of victory, no matter how small. They provide a glimpse of hope; that it’s possible. We knew the regime would fight back & it is. Still, we pursue; focused & tenacious. Nothing lasts forever.
3. They want you to believe it’s all meaningless; to not have hope and to be fatalistic. This case has them at sixes and sevens as evidenced by the tantrums & vitriol. You don’t dwell on what has happened but focus on what may happen & be prepared for it.
Read 4 tweets
12 May
1. Each step they take defines the CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. The @JSCZim wants to be involved because in its mistaken view the judges cited in the lawsuit are its “employees”. It forgets that on that reasoning the judges presiding over the dispute also qualify as its “employees”.
2. This leaves the applicants facing an opponent that purports to be the employer of the presiding judges! The @JSCZim wants to have its cake and eat it at the same time. It wants to represent judges who are being sued while distancing itself from judges presiding over the case!
3. The @JSCZim cannot be both things at the same time. It could have applied for joinder on other grounds, such as that it is required to defend judicial independence & the constitution, in which it would be challenging the illegal amendment, not defending it.
Read 4 tweets
11 May
1. Left is the late former Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku. On the right is his successor Chief Justice Luke Malaba. Months before CJ Chidyausiku reached his 70th birthday he started the process of choosing his successor. 4 days before he is 70, CJ Malaba has no successor.
2. In fact, everything points to CJ Malaba succeeding himself. This is ironic. CJ Malaba was the beneficiary of CJ Chidyausiku’s respect of constitutional limits to his judicial term. He had his faults but on this occasion, he did what a professional judge & leader would do.
3. 4 years later, it’s CJ Malaba’s turn to give way to a fellow judge. There are there, judges awaiting their turn. But, it seems, he doesn’t want to go. Zimbabwe has had the misfortune of leaders who don’t want to give up power. But you would have thought judges were different
Read 6 tweets
8 May
1. Chimbetu was a musical genius & this song is one of his absolute beauties. I would love to hear from fellow Dendera aficionados what he meant. For me it’s a lament over the poverty and great inequalities in our society. Let me explain:
2. He says urombo huri munyika, ndaona mbudzi ichikuya mamera (there’s poverty in the land but I saw a goat grinding malt). A goat doesn’t normally grind malt. It eats it. If it’s grinding malt it’s because it has too much of it. Metaphor for the rich playing around with wealth.
3. The wealthy spend & play around with wealth while the rest are wallowing in poverty. He says if I had money, you would pray at my altar: it’s a mockery of those who have wealth & make everyone jump. Chimbetu’s message was powerful. What’s your interpretation?
Read 4 tweets

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