GWERU – Participants at the Independent Complaints Commission Bill hearing held at City Council Theater in Gweru yesterday vehemently opposed the idea of giving the President the powers to appoint board members.
They argued that appointment of the members by the President will ‘kill’ the Commission’s independence and destroy its purpose.
The joint Portfolio Committes on Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs is currently conducting hearing throughout the country on the Bill. In Gweru the hearings were chaired by Retired Brigadier General Levi Mayihlome who is the Chairperson of the committee. It was also attend by 12 other Members of Parliament.
The Independent Complaints Commission is a commission which will sit to hear complaints against the security forces from the members of the public. The complaints will include the violation of human rights by the uniformed forces which has become very common these days.
Zimbabwe Women Coalition chairperson for the Midlands Province Locadi Mavhudzi told the gathering that anyone appointed by the President ‘will serve his master’ and this defeats the purpose of an independent commission.8
“We need appointments that are done on merit. The danger of the President making the appointments is that politics will take precedenceu and the purpose of the Commission will be defeated,” said Mavhudzi.
Constantine Makunganu said appointments by the President will distort the mandate of the Commission.
“The Bill is good, what we are against is the President making the appointments. The Commission will be infiltrated with political appointees and fail to serve its purpose of fairness and justice,” said Makunganu.
Most of the participants said appointments should be made by Parliament and churches and NGOs must have representatives in the Commission.