Mugabe blunders over Mujuru

LEGAL experts yesterday said President Robert Mugabe and Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda should be charged with violating the Constitution when they failed to declare former
Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s parliamentary seat as vacant soon after her re-appointment to the post last year.

BLESSED MHLANGA
STAFF REPORTER

The experts said the two should not have allowed Mujuru to retain her Mt Darwin West seat and should have ordered a by-election at least by December 12 2013, according to the law.

Section 129 (1)(c) of the Constitution states that “The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant — . . . (c) upon the Member becoming President or Vice-President.”

Mujuru was appointed Vice-President on September 11 2013 making her parliamentary seat automatically vacant and by law, Mudenda
was supposed to declare the seat vacant with Mugabe constitutionally
proclaiming a by-election date within 90 days.

The Chirumanzu-Zibagwe seat held by Mujuru’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has also automatically fallen vacant after his appointment as VP by Mugabe last week.

Mudenda is thus expected to immediately declare the seat vacant with Mugabe proclaiming dates for elections to be held within 90 days.
United Kingdom-based constitutional law expert Alex Magaisa, in an open letter to Mudenda and Mugabe, said there was need for Mugabe and Mudenda to take responsibility and correct these wrongs.

“The point is that when an MP becomes a VP, his seat becomes vacant in terms of the Constitution. This means Mujuru’s seat became vacant last year and Mnangagwa’s seat is also now vacant,” he wrote.

“The fact that a by-election was not called in terms of Section 158(3) of the Constitution means there was a breach of the Constitution. The President is supposed to call elections in terms of Section 110 of the Constitution. The President was not properly advised and failed to uphold the Constitution. The President has a duty to uphold and defend the Constitution. This matter needs correction and acknowledgement of errors.”

MDC-T spokesman and lawyer Obert Gutu agreed with Magaisa, saying the contravention of the Constitution was nothing new because it was “in the DNA of Zanu PF” to breach the Constitution when it was convenient for them.

“What we have is a country Constitution, but without constitutionalism. This is the hallmark of Zanu PF. They duck and dive every time they see a constitutional provision which does not suit their needs,” he said.

Gutu said Mugabe had failed to adhere to the constitutional provisions which create provincial councils 13 months after elections.

“They have clearly ignored the concept of devolution and provincial councils. Thirteen months after the election, we still don’t have an enabling Act because Zanu PF is uncomfortable with this provision,” Gutu said.

MDC-T secretary-general and former Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said the provision was very clear and could not be read otherwise.

“We should have had a by-election in Mt Darwin West and now another by-election should be held in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, but that did not happen, it’s only emerging now because of sour grapes within Zanu PF,” he said.

9 Comments

  1. Which constitution was former VP Mujuru appointed under? The new constitution they are referring to has running mates. we have to decide which constitution is Zimbabwe under

    1. Go and read the sixth schedule of current constitution.

      1. they are no appointed VP’s on the new constitution

  2. May we stop being unnecessary attention seekers. Until the heral broke the story about the violation, all the so called were silent. Considering their penchant for publicity and zpf bashing the only logical assumption is that they thought everything was in order. That is they believed a person appointed as VP needed not resign as MP.

    This development is a serious indictment on all those that claim to be constitutional law experts. They have no knowledge about the area they claim expertise. The same can be said about so called experts in other fields such as political science, business, and economics. Opinions are made based on mood of the day not emperical evidence. Then people claim that Zimbabwe has educated people.

  3. Where were you mdc t so called legal gurus for the past 18 months? You are sleeping on the job as well. You need to wake up. Opposition is there to keep the government on its toes. Someone please arise and charge Mugabe with constitutional breach

  4. One begins to wonder if the fools in charge even know that there is a Zimbabwean Constitution? They seem to think that their party constitution are the set of rules to use.

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  6. One begins to wonder if the fools in charge even know that there is a Zimbabwean Constitution? They seem to think that their party constitution is the set of rules to use.

  7. Even ma MDC legal experts vacho are sleeping….When MDC asked us to vote yes to the constitution had they read it? Why does it take Jonathan Moyo to reveal this issue for Mwonzora&co to only notice this? If Mai Mujuru was still in good books would this issue have been raised by anyone? 5 years dzaipera Mt Darwin isina MP

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