HomeOpinion & AnalysisLegal challenge to amendment Acts

Legal challenge to amendment Acts

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By Arthur G O Mutambara

As we have explained before, both Constitutional Amendments (No 1 and 2) Acts are unconstitutional and illegal.

These two Acts have now been legally challenged in the Constitutional Court by the Law Society of Zimbabwe, citing the following as respondents: Parliament, president of the Senate, Speaker of Parliament, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Justice minister.

This lawsuit is unprecedented in the judicial history of Zimbabwe.

The three arms of the State (Executive, Judiciary and Legislature) have been brought into unquestionable and dishonourable disrepute by irresponsible, reckless and self-serving activities of the junta.

This is unacceptable.

Potentially, all actions taken using these two Acts (Amendment No 1 and No 2) will be nullified. These actions include the appointments of:

  • ˜Elizabeth Gwaunza, as Deputy Chief Justice in March 2018 (Amendment No 1 Act)
  • ˜Luke Malaba for another five years in May 2021 (Amendment No 2 Act)
  • ˜Five Constitutional Court Judges in May 2021  (Amendment No 2 Act)

This lawsuit by the Law Society of Zimbabwe is in addition to the High Court decision against Malaba, which the government has appealed against in the Supreme Court.

If the constitutional crisis was not clear, the new legal action makes it abundantly stark and unequivocal.

As explained before, all the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges are conflicted.

They are already cited in the ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court, and now there is another legal challenge in which the Acting Chief Justice and the new five Constitutional Court judges are direct interested parties.

None of the senior judges can hear all these legal cases.

This is a textbook definition of a constitutional crisis.

What a mess! It was avoidable. We have explained this before.

It was all unnecessary.

Mnangagwa has shown an extreme lack of leadership — complete dereliction of duty.

In the midst of a global pandemic and economic meltdown, our country has been plunged into meaningless political shenanigans and a constitutional malaise.

Responsible nations worldwide are grappling with COVID-19 issues such as vaccines and vaccination, lockdowns, saving lives and livelihoods, and rebuilding their devastated economies.

And what do we do in Zimbabwe?

We are obsessed with authoritarian consolidation, plans to provide legal cover to a stolen election in 2023, the perpetuation of the rule by one man and his sycophants, managing factions and undermining rivals in Zanu PF, and destroying the sacrosanct functional separation of powers between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.

This is shameful.

  •  Arthur Mutambara is former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He writes in his personal capacity.

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