The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) have approached the High Court seeking an order to stop the introduction of bond notes, hardly a week after a similar challenge was launched by businessman, Fred Mutanda.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
ZLHR, through their director, Rosemary Hanzi, in an urgent application requested the court set aside Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016, which introduced the bond notes, saying it was unconstitutional and should be declared null and void.
In the application, President Robert Mugabe is listed as the first respondent, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, the second, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) the third.
“As a human rights association, we are concerned with the protection of the Constitution and the need to ensure that our Constitution is respected. This too, we believe, is a function of the courts and the first respondent (Mugabe) himself,” an affidavit deposited by Hanzi read.
The lawyers said Mugabe’s use of Presidential Powers (Temporal Measures Act) was unconstitutional.
“This Act gives sweeping powers to the President of making laws virtually on every subject. It is our contention that Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy governed by the Constitution. In this regard, we regard section 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as a key foundational provision,” Hanzi stated
Former Vice-President and opposition ZimPF leader, Joice Mujuru had filed a similar challenge in the Constitutional Court.
Mujuru, however, lost the case, as the apex court had ruled that she had prematurely challenged the introduction of the currency, as the State had not, by then, promulgated laws to govern its introduction.
RBZ governor, John Mangudya has said the bond notes will be released into the market anytime soon, and they are currently being advertised.