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Constitutional review process not flawed - Shamukumi

26 May 2024

If the ongoing Parliamentary debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2024 is anything to go by, one will possibly assume that it is precisely difficult to amend the Constitution compared to other ways of changing laws. 

While the proposed amendment currently before Parliament is set to make the Constitution to reflect the changing times, address unanticipated concerns or structural elements as well as meet the nation’s needs, some MPs continue to suggest that the process was flawed.

Conversely, contributing to the debate last Friday, Chobe MP, Mr Machana Shamukuni, refuted, as unfounded, allegations that the current Constitutional review process was flawed given that it was not the first exercise.

Mr Shamukuni said on July 28, 2000, former President, Dr Festus Mogae had also appointed a Constitutional Review Commission to amend Sections 77, 78 and 79 of the Constitution of Botswana.

“The current process is similar and has followed the similar process to that of 2000.

So, I don’t know why some MPs say the current Constitutional Review process is flawed,” he said.

He explained that consistent with the powers bestowed on the President, in Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi accordingly appointed a Commission to consult Batswana on their views regarding the review of the Botswana Constitution.

Following the countrywide consultations, he said the Commission compiled a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations and presented it to the President.

“The report reflects the true views held by the entire nation, which also informed on the recommended amendments during the review of the Constitution,” he added and thus thanked the Commission for the good work in delivering its mandate.

Mr Shamukuni further indicated that not everything that was said during the consultations process could form part of the Constitution amendment, arguing that some recommendations were policy focused, while some related to primary legislation.

The legislator also welcomed the proposed enshrining of the protection from discrimination of intersex persons and people living with disabilities.

He further supported incorporation of the right to collective bargaining and strike, saying that was true victory to the workers. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Lorato Gaofise

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 26 May 2024