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Opinion / Columnist

Executive must respect other arms of the State

08 Mar 2021 at 05:41hrs | Views
A FUNCTIONING democracy must have clearly laid down separation of roles within the three arms of State - the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.

These three arms of the State exist in Zimbabwe, but they were conflated over the past few years, confusing the people into believing that except for the all-powerful Executive, the other arms of State merely exist on paper.

Zimbabwe's rulers do not operate by the book - the all-powerful Executive wields so much power that it overrides Parliament and rubbishes its oversight role with reckless abandon.

Zimbabwe's Executive is law unto itself and has effectively usurped the roles of the other arms of the State, rendering them mere rubber stampers.

It makes shocking unilateral decisions to deploy soldiers, throw the poor in forests in the name of relocation and borrow billions of dollars without seeking consent of other arms of the State.

It does not care that borrowing billions of dollars for projects that can easily be funded locally pushes citizens deeper into abject poverty.

And it is determined to make sure Parliament remains weak to avoid oversight and rebuke.

So many examples can be cited backdating to the 1990s, but the most shocking decision came only two weeks ago, when the Executive resolved to relocate more than 12 000 villagers in Chilonga, Chiredzi, to pave way for a grass farming project run by an individual investor.

It is another scheme to give succour to the rich, while impoverishing peasants, just as what happened at the nearby Chingwizi seven years ago, when 20 000 Chivi villagers were dumped in the bush, abused and then left to suffer alone.

Today, these people continue to live in abject poverty.

Everyone has turned their back on them, and the toothless Parliament has barked without bite.

It is clear that there is so much arrogance within the Executive, hence we call upon the President to desist from making unilateral decisions which are an affront to democracy.

Parliament must be allowed to play its role independently and the other arms of State must retain their independence.

A society governed by one arm of the State, with no checks and balances, is bound to fail.

Its economy is badly managed, human rights are trampled upon and its people needlessly die from preventable ailments because resources are abused.

Source - newsday
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