Opposition MPs challenge ED over ministerial appointment

OPPOSITION MPs yesterday challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s appointment of six ministers who are not Members of Parliament, instead of five as stipulated in section 104(3) of the Constitution.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese (MDC Alliance) raised a point of order with the Speaker, saying that Mnangagwa had violated the Constitution by appointing six Cabinet ministers, instead of five that are non-legislators.

He said while the old Constitution gave the President three months to sort out the issue, the new one did not have a similar provision.

“As it stands, the President has appointed six ministers and right now seated in the House, I see non-MP ministers like July Moyo (Local Government), Amon Murwira (Higher Education) and Obadiah Moyo (Health). Unlike the previous Constitution, which gave the Executive up to three months to regularise the appointments, the current Constitution does not have similar provisions and, as a result, only a maximum of five ministers can be appointed,” Gonese said.

“We know that there is an indication that Obert Mpofu is going to step down as Senator, but until that happens, the fact still remains that we have six ministers that were appointed unconstitutionally.”

He said until due process was followed, Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema could not be said to be in charge.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Mnangagwa’s administration was committed to adhering to constitutionalism.

“In no way is the current administration going to wilfully violate the Constitution, but your concerns have been taken note of and are being corrected,” he said.

In an unrelated matter, Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) and MDC Alliance chief whip Prosper Mutseyami raised a point of order over the absence of ministers to take questions from MPs.

They said it was unacceptable that out of 40 ministers and their deputies, less than 20 had turned up for the question-and-answer session.

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