BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
HIGH Court judge Justice David Mangota yesterday ordered government to craft a law within 45 days stipulating the code of conduct for Vice-Presidents, ministers and deputy ministers.
Mangota made the ruling after a former law student at the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Gutu University Nyasha Chiramba approached the court in April 2021 seeking the enactment of the law.
In his ruling, Justice Mangota directed Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney-General Prince Machaya to initiate the drafting of the envisaged Bill under section 106(3) of the Constitution.
Mangota ruled that the law was long overdue since the Constitution was promulgated nine years ago.
In court papers, Chiramba, who cited Ziyambi and Machaya as respondents, said the duo’s failure to come up with a code of conduct was a gross violation of the Constitution.
Chiramba argued that VPs, ministers and deputy ministers were involved in different types of misconduct including sexual misconduct and abuse of State resources and there was a need for a law that controls their excesses.
“I submit that the failure by the respondents to gazette a Bill that would lead to the enactment by Parliament of the law…within reasonable time is a clear breach of section 324 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and undermines the supremacy of the same Constitution as expressed on section 2(1) and (2),” he submitted.
“In terms of section 106(3) of the Constitution, an Act of Parliament must prescribe a code of conduct for VPs, ministers and deputy ministers. Section 106(3) reads as follows; an Act of Parliament must prescribe to a code of conduct for Vice-Presidents, ministers and deputy ministers.”
Former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi was forced to resign in March 2021 after audios of his sexual escapades went viral.
Only last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Agriculture deputy minister Douglas Karoro following his arrest in connection with the theft of presidential agricultural inputs.
Yesterday, former Public Service minister Petronella Kagonye was convicted of corruption, and awaits sentencing today.
Chiramba was represented by Darlington Marange of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
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