Chamisa calls ED bluff on devolution

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was bluffing on his promises to implement devolution, accusing him of violating the Constitution by appointing Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs.


“He has appointed ministers of State, which appointments are unconstitutional in the first instance and a subversion of devolution. Provincial councils will have no role in circumstances where a province already has an executive minister,” he said, adding that the appointment of 10 Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs was, therefore, void at law.

Top lawyer Thabani Mpofu also said there was no provision in the law which allowed Mnangagwa to appoint Provincial Affairs ministers.

“The Ministers of State are unconstitutional; there is no constitutional sanction for their appointment and their effect, however, is to negate devolution which is constitutionally provided for. How can a provincial council function when there is an executive minister for the province?” he asked.

Kent University law lecturer, Alex Magaisa said the violation of chapter 14 of the Constitution by Zanu PF was clear testament that there was no will to stick to constitutionalism by Mnangagwa’s government.

“Chapter 14 of the Constitution vests power in the people to elect their own provincial leaders through provincial councils. This limits the power of the President to make political appointments. However, when former President (Robert) Mugabe was in charge, he ignored the devolution provisions and appointed Ministers of State. After the coup, President Mnangagwa persisted with this practice,” he said.

Another constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the appointments undermined devolution.

“That’s not an easy question (whether the appointment was unconstitutional or not). It will need the courts to say. What is easy to say is that they undermine devolution,” Madhuku said.

“Whether it’s constitutional or not, I think it’s a different question because the President has the prerogative to appoint ministers and to assign them functions.”

Mnangagwa, while swearing-in Ministers of State said he was acting in line with the Constitution, which empowered him to make such appointments to aid his government in running the affairs of provinces.

On his campaign trail, the President said his government would implement devolution, a statement that was in sharp contrast with his then Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who during his budget presentation last year said the government was bankrupt and could not fund the provincial councils and wanted Parliament to remove the devolution clause from the Constitution.

The 2013 Constitution makes provision for devolution, but Parliament is yet to enact the legislation.

Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said Mnangagwa was committed to implementing devolution and that appointment of Ministers of State for provinces would not stop the implementation of devolution.

“There is a separation of government and the legislature. The President is exercising executive powers, he has the power to appoint any ministers,” Mangwana said.

Section 268 of the Constitution stipulates that “there is a provincial council for each province, except the metropolitan provinces, consisting of — (a) a chairperson of the council, elected in terms of section 272; b) the Senators elected from the province concerned”.

Constitutional law expert and opposition leader Welshman Ncube said the appointment of provincial ministers was unconstitutional and against Mnangagwa’s stated objectives to implement devolution.

“It is not only a threat to devolution but unconstitutional,” Ncube said. He said with the appointment of Ministers of State, provincial councils would have no role in circumstances where a province already has an executive minister.

“This should be corrected immediately,” he said. “One hopes that they will have a U-turn to this. We expect the provincial council chairpersons to be elected and sworn-in.”

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  1. mukovhe wa tshilidzi

    aka kotopenga iko kachi appointa 3 vps. hapana nezva leader pana kamisa panze chaipo

    1. Zvakasiyana Baba, They can do whatever they want in the party, not the state.

  2. Fake Constitutional Law experts. Where were they when you lost the Concourt elections case? Tigarirei pasi munyarare. Munotinyangadza

    1. The ConCourt elections case was lost simply because the case was presided over by Con men (and Con women). You are old enough to know that the courts are captured but you are singing for your supper. I don’t blame you in these hard times.

    2. Once upon a time and advocate had the biggest case of his life time and he lost it dismally in front of the whole world. Big talk and lots of noise. Say what you want they judges outsmarted you.

  3. Can we also point out that Thabani is no longer a top lawyer after putting a pathetic show by failing to advise his client that courts go by hard evidence ,during the concourt presidential election challenge so lets be guided accordingly.

    1. Lawyers act on the advice of their clients.One does not cease to be a good lawyer because of the negative outcome of a case. Oh I see… you are suggesting that Thabani Mpofu had a clear case and failed to nail it!!!!

    2. Thabani remains a top lawyer we can see your limited knowledge on lawyers and court cases. Guess you are also signing for supper like many other cronies, good luck.

      1. You are dead wrong on that one, what moulds a good lawyer is the high profile cases you preside over and win its as simple as that not fluency in the queens language and legal jargon no no , its as simple as that.

        1. In Zim, there has never been a political against ZANU that a Lawyer has ever won; no matter how good. They only win those that are pro ZANU, not against. In this case the only high profile case that matters to you is the one where Thabani represented the opposition and “lost”. When he represented the the Coup leaders last November and “won”, he was a good Lawyer. Since when do Lawyers win every case, no matter how good they are? Kkkkkk Lol. Some of you people are a shame to even engage with in debates. You are so unsophisticated!!

  4. ‘The 2013 Constitution makes provision for devolution, but Parliament is yet to enact the legislation.’
    So what are you trying to say Mr Newsday? Please be rational in your stories. You should be pushing for parliament to enact the necessary legislation. At the moment ED can do nothing on devolution because parliament has not put the necessary legislation in place.

  5. unfortunately in this top case the damage has already been done and any serious client will never dare rope in the services of this guy as lawyers are measured by high profile cases which they preside over and win ,nobody knows whether thabani case was strong or weak but it had glaring holes because its mainstay was hearsay.

  6. Musati nyangadza vana chamisa indai muno vata

  7. Nhai Chamisa hauneti here nokungotuka ED everyday iye asingakupinduri. Unotuka even kirsty Coventry. Lucky you lost the elections.

  8. I think all these qualifications that these group os lawyers have, should be investigated how they obtained them. Constitutional elections case was proof enogh for fake and fraudulent lawyers

  9. ED is heading for disaster. All these zanu pf guys commenting, I know you are paid to do that. Lets us reflect what ED is doing and hold him to account. Investors are not vanhu vekunana Muzarabani or Uzumba who have never stepped out of that province. Investors looks and study our laws before coming to the country to invest. If zanu pf could just copy what is happening in SA we will have a better Zimbabwe. But the problem with zanu pf its on survival mode. So they implement the laws that favors them to stay in power at the expense of the majority whom they claim to represents. Its unfortunate that those with capital are watching. Some say China is our all weather friends but how much have they invested in Zimbabwe compared to SA. ED and Chiwenga are in those positions to save their skins. As for Chiwenga is to please his daughter wife just like Mugabe. They hold those positions for their egos nothing more

  10. chamisa akusvota please ini nyaya dzake dzakundibhowa ngaataure nezvemasupporters ake akupera nekorera kuti anovabatsira sei. if he is a real leader he was suppoesed to source sanitary equipment and things that improve the hygiene of the areas affected by cholera. He is solely relying on America and Britain. this Chamisa is a stupid leader i tell you.

  11. alheit-nemoyowese

    Pane murwere wepfungwa ari muMasvingo anonzi Chamisa I think ndi baba vebenzi re MDC araenzi iro rinoda inogureshani


  13. The Devolution constitutional argument is of no consequense if flawed traditional electoral process continues predetermining ruling party’s 2/3 parliamentary majority. The disputed electoral process then becomes sole material agenda in the circumstance, not devolution at mercy of parliamentary majority enjoyed courtesy of unresolved electoral flaw dispute.

  14. Iwe unongogara uri against naChamisa sei ndinogonda kuti uri weZanu zvino kana uchiti munogona korera hezvo pedzai tione asi muchikwanisa kupedza $550 000 parufu remunhu mumwe chte zvakare kuenda China $bilion asi muzvipatara mishonga hamuna,maroads no renovation etc

  15. Makanzuru eMDC toda mapipe nesewage asevenze haikona zvenyu zvekuita blame shift izvo.

  16. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Mr Chamisa blaming ED would not earn you support but reduce it at an alarming rate. What I would advise you is to mend cracks in your alliance. Elections are over and we are now busy creating employment for all Zimbabwean youths. Those who say atidye chidembo vachiseva muto garai makadaro. Ndirikutii, munoshora hurumrnde ye ZANU PF asi kana marwara munoenda kuzvipatara zvine manurse nema doctors akadzidzira basa racho pane utongi ibwobwo. Ma teacher zvimwe chete vana venyu vanodzisiwa navo. Dzimba mumaguta.

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