By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
14 January 2014
The MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese has said Robert Mugabe’s use of a Presidential decree to amend laws, shows bad governance on the part of ZANU PF.
Mugabe invoked the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to amend the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which will see life imprisonment for sea piracy.
Through another decree Mugabe used his powers to gazette the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. The law is designed to give legal effect in Zimbabwe to country’s obligations under the United Nations Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
Gonese, the MDC-T MP for Mutare central, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that there should be no rush to use the Presidential decree when Parliament was reconvening.
“We need robust debate in Parliament where each party is allowed to make its own input on issues that affect Zimbabweans. To invoke presidential powers in a Parliament that is less than a year old is not only unfortunate but a serious indictment on ZANU PF’s way of conducting business,” he said.
The MDC-T’s shadow Home Affairs minister, Lilian Timveos said the tendency to rule by decree, without adequately consulting Parliament, has the overall effect of subverting the democratic values enshrined in the new constitution.
“The continuous use of Presidential Powers stifles democratic debate and public participation on crucial issues. This has become a hallmark of the present administration, with detrimental effects for the nation and for other countries as well,” Timveos said in a statement.