The Constitutional Amendment Bill number one has sailed through the National Assembly after receiving 182 votes following four hours of debate in the august house.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill number one seeks to give power to the President for the appointment of the Chief Justice as opposed to the current situation where junior staff can interview their boss for the position.

The opposition tried three times to block the bill by proposing to refer it back to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and to have a secret ballot, while also disputing votes which had been counted earlier.

In the spirit of democracy, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda and the leader of government business in parliament, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa opted for a head count which proved that 182 legislators voted for the amendment of the constitution.

Vice President Mnangagwa thanked legislators for their participation in the debate.

The bill now awaits approval by the upper house, the Senate, before being passed to the President for assent.

Earlier, legal experts had said the new constitution is not immune to amendments and there is need for such action to be taken.

Under the current constitution, the three are selected through public interviews by the Judicial Service Commission, before they are seconded to the President for assent.

Although the President  has the right to either agree or disagree with the appointments, legislator and legal expert, Advocate Samkange said the current situation is untenable as juniors in the Judicial Service Commission interview their seniors.

He said the constitutional amendment was therefore long overdue, but another legal expert and MDC-T Vice President, Nelson Chamisa disagreed.

With Zanu PF driven by power interest, Advocate Samkange said the MDC is opposed to everything that gives power to the President.

Other legal experts agreed that the Constitutional Amendment number one is in line with the international best practices and that the appointment of a Chief Justice is largely a preserve for the President.

In the UK, the Queen appoints the Chief Justice in consultation with the Prime Minister, while in the USA, the President enjoys the right to appoint a Chief Justice and this is also the same in most african countries.

Advocate Taona Sibanda said the constitution is not immune to amendment, adding that amending the supreme law of the land is inspired by need.

Another legal expert, Mr Tendai Toto said subjecting a Chief Justice to interviews in public belittles the office hence the need for the head of state to make the appointment.

Another lawyer, Ms Anna Mapanzure said there is need for wider consultation to ensure the public understands the reasons behind the amendment.

Mr Zivanai Makwanya believes the position of a Chief Justice is a political post that requires the government of the day to appoint a person who shares the same values and principles and at the same time remain independent.

The interviews in public have seen a Chief Justice being subjected to humiliation by his juniors who constitute a panel of interviewers.

The sailing through of this new amendment is expected to transform the judiciary system and give respect to the office of the Chief Justice.