‘Ministers operating illegally’

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has come under fire for allegedly violating the Constitution by allowing former Cabinet ministers to continue discharging their duties after their term of office effectively ended the day he took a new oath of office over a week ago.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Mnangagwa travelled to China with a delegation which included former Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, who continued to discharge their duties without taking oath of office in violation of section 108 of the Constitution.

MDC Alliance principal and constitutional law expert Welshmen Ncube said anyone who continued to act as minister following the inauguration was in wilful disobedience of the law.

“I am not sure that there is anyone as to think that after the President was sworn-in, you are still a minister. The law is pretty clear, ministers remain in office after the elections together with the former President,” Ncube said.

“However, as soon as a new President is sworn into office, anyone who held the portfolio of minister ceases to be a minister. So anyone who actually pretends to be a minister, does any ministerial act, that act is invalid and unlawful.”

Section 108, which deals with the tenure of ministers and deputy ministers, reads in part (1): “The office of a minister or deputy minister becomes vacant (c) upon the assumption of office by a new President.”

Section 108, subsection 4 further states that all ministers cease their duties once the President is sworn-in and they have to take a new oath if they are to continue in their position.

“Subject to this Constitution, in the event of dissolution of Parliament, ministers and deputy ministers continue to hold office as such until the President elect assumes office after a general election,” it reads.

Turning to the China trip, Ncube accused Mnangagwa and his delegation of ministers of wilfully violating the law.

“It’s clearly unlawful. In fact, it will amount to a wilful violation of the Constitution. If anyone purports or allows anyone to refer to them as ministers in China, they will be acting in wilful deliberate violation of the Constitution,” he said.


“If President Mnangagwa himself allowed those people to travel as ministers and to be referred to as ministers, he too will be acting in wilful violation of the Constitution.”
Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, however, claimed the former ministers were still holding office during a recent official visit to Kanyemba.

“The President cannot set a new Cabinet before MPs are sworn-in. It is so simple. For now, we have those that have been there because they still hold office,” he said.

Ncube called out Chiwenga, saying his interpretation of the law was flawed.

“There is no such provision at all. I don’t know where he is getting that. I don’t know which clause he reads which makes him conclude that at all. Remember that you don’t even need to be substantively a Member of Parliament to be sworn-in. You are only required within 21 days to get a seat as an MP after being sworn-in as a minister,” he said.

Zanu PF legal affairs secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana also jumped to Mnangagwa’s defence.

“There is nothing illegal. There must be continuity in the running of the affairs of this country and we wrote our Constitution deliberately to ensure that there is continuity from the past government and the next one which is coming,” he said.

Pressed on the provisions of the Constitution, Mangwana said those who travelled with Mnangagwa were not ministers.

“This is why they are not called ministers. They can be anything without being ministers. They can be his aides, for example. They can be his advisers. They can be anything.
They don’t need the title of minister in order to render service to the President,” Mangwana said.

15 Comments

  1. You are right on that one alone Welshman but does it add any value to the current problems the country is facing, lets think around how we can turn around the fortunes of this once the breadbasket of Africa and thats what we need to focus on as this unconstitutionality of ministers hanging on to their old tags can always be ratified anytime and within minutes.

    1. We can not start breaking the same constitution that we pretend to uphold, it takes the country back if did not think so. How do you think would-be investors would view you for starters, would they risk their money at the word of mouth yet reality shows otherwise? Remember action speaks louder than words.

  2. Farai Johnson Nhire

    Yes, they are advisers who went to China with him, in the process of rigging the economy. Yes, this man will successfuly rig the economy. The China trip was stage number 1. Just be patient and see for yourself. The elections were free, fair and credible but ZIDERA will suffer the terible effects of economic rigging by Ed.

  3. We can not start breaking the same constitution that we pretend to uphold, it takes the country back if did not think so. How do you think would-be investors would view you for starters, would they risk their money at the word of mouth yet reality shows otherwise? Remember action speaks louder than words.

  4. on this one the respected legal mind Ncube has lost it, his argument only applies if chamisa has won and was sworn in. the current ministers will seize to be ministers only after a cabinet reshuffle or if ED did not re appoint them. there is a difference between what happerned in nov last year and wath happened after july 30.

  5. Welshman is correct. ED was travelling with his friends.

  6. Usanyeperwa zvako Domboramwari, Igodo chete rokuti Ed akaenderei kuChina kunopiwa bag nema all weather friends eZimbabwe? But these guys reason in a very funny way! They are the ones who delayed Ed’s inaguration and the swearing in of the cabinet with their silly electoral petition now they want to desturb fruitful engagement between our government and the second largest economy of this world, China.

  7. Lucas Bhunu Malaba

    There is no primary evidence that Chinamasa went to China as Minister of Finance.
    Case dismissed with costs!!!

  8. Gentlemen it does not make sense to carry all those to China, remember tax payers are watching over you. ED should have gone with only four people to accompany him because the chinese president wanted the presidents only.

  9. The opposition has got nothing positive to offer except illegal illegal .
    Shame on you . All you know is to throw spanners into the works . Shame on you . The very opposition that delayed the putting in place of the ministers in now crying illegal . You wanted the president to go on his own and achieve very little and then cry foul . The team to China with or without ministers is bringing good results to shame you .

  10. Where was this constitutional expert when Chamisa & Co went to court nematuzvi

  11. Who cares, the whole Junta is illegal. For the Junta, the election was purely smoke and mirrors for Britain and SADC, it had no real meaning. The cabinet that followed the coup in November was locked in. The constitution has no value to the junta, they value toilet paper more. They can rig an election and the judiciary but we wait and see how they rig the economy by selling the country to the new colonial masters in Beijing. The Junta are answerable to China, not the people of Zimbabwe.

  12. Arrest ED’s “friend” who donated rhinos elligally/

  13. Mukoma J.J.Magufuli

    Comment…Hiyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

  14. Mufana J J Magufuli (Dar)

    Comment…Hi-yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

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