Attempts at constitutional reform in The Gambia: Whither the Draft Constitution?Posted: 26 October, 2020 Filed under: Satang Nabaneh | Tags: Adama Barrow, Constitution Promulgation Bill, constitution-drafting process, Constitutional Reform, Constitutional Review Commission, CRC, dictatorship, Draft Constitution, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Final Draft Constitution and Report, National Transitional Justice Programme, New Constitution, The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh 1 Comment
Author: Satang Nabaneh
Post-doctoral Fellow, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
The Gambia’s constitution-drafting process, aimed at ushering in a third Republic, has reached an unfortunate dead-end. More than two years after the constitutional review process began, and after a highly acrimonious and polarised debate in the National Assembly, Parliament, one week ago (on 22 September 2020), rejected the proposed Constitution Promulgation Bill, 2020 (‘the Bill’). The Bill would have enabled the eventual promulgation the Constitution of the Gambia, 2020 (‘Draft Constitution’) and the repeal of the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, 1997 (‘1997 Constitution’). Twenty-three lawmakers in the National Assembly voted against the Bill, while thirty-one supported it. This was, however, not a big enough majority to meet the threshold requirement of three-quarters of members needed to effect constitutional change. The Draft Constitution could, therefore, not be put to a referendum.
Where is democracy? Reflections on the ascendancy of Mnangagwa as president of ZimbabwePosted: 27 November, 2017 Filed under: Charles Ngwena | Tags: Ayi Kwei Armah, constitution, coup, democracy, dictatorship, elections, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ethnic cleansing, Gukurahundi, Matebeleland, military, military intervention, national army, political change, Robert Mugabe, white minority rule, ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Defence Force 2 Comments
Author: Charles Ngwena
Professor of Law, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
What seemed unimaginable has happened. After an uninterrupted ‘reign’ of 37 years, Robert Mugabe, the de facto emperor of Zimbabwe, has ‘resigned’ from office. There has been genuine jubilation not least among those who have been at the receiving end of Mugabe’s increasingly despotic, corrupt and dysfunctional governance – the majority of Zimbabweans. Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken office as Mugabe’s successor. It is a historic moment. Since attaining independence in 1980, Zimbabweans have only known Mugabe as their political supremo – initially as prime minister and latterly as president. The fact of Mugabe’s departure from office, alone, has raised hopes that we might be at the cusp of a compassionate, fairer, humane and democratic Second Republic. At the same time, the clouds are pregnant with contradictions, counselling us not to throw caution aside even as we pine for change. Why is this?