Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial cabinet picks are already facing challenges less than 48 hours of being announced. On Thursday, Mnangagwa announced 22 new members of cabinet which included 10 Ministers of State for Provinces and 6 Deputy Ministers.
Constitutional lawyer and opposition leader for one MDC-faction, Professor Welshman Ncube, said Mnangagwa’s picks of more than 5 non-elected members to ministerial positions without following proper procedures violated both Section 104(3) and Chapter 14(268) of Zimbabwe’s constitution.
Elton Mangoma who is the opposition leader for the new opposition party Coalition of Democrats (CODE) has also threatened to sue Mnangagwa for constitutional breach.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mangoma said Mnangagwa “has gone ahead to disregard the constitution and appointed Provincial Ministers contrary to the Chapter 14 of the Constitution which requires that these be appointed from people who would have won in those respective provinces, and that the metropolitan mayors should be chairing the Provincial Councils.”
In agreement, Professor Ncube also argued on the merits of a clear constitutional breach saying, “The President appointed 8 non-elected people as Cabinet Ministers which is a clear violation of Section (3).”
In terms of the Zimbabwe constitution, members of the National Assembly or the Senate can be appointed to ministerial positions. Furthermore, up to 5 ministerial positions can be filled by non-members based on the level of their professional qualifications.
However, by appointing some non-elected members, unqualified for the positions such as War Veterans leader Christopher (Chris) Mutsvangwa and high ranking military brass as rewards for their support and loyalty, Emmerson Mnangagwa violated the constitution.
The outspoken war veteran Chris Mutsvangwa who was appointed Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting, is the man behind the organized protests. These were later deliberately misrepresented to the outside world as grassroots uprising in order to give legitimacy to the military coup and the Mnangagwa-Chiwenga cabal’s illegal usurpation of power.
Major General Sibusiso, the man in uniform who later became the face of the military coup after lying to the nation and the world about its intent and purpose, was rewarded with the Foreign Affairs ministry portfolio for his contribution towards the illegal usurpation of power.
Mnangagwa also rewarded the controversial, long-time serving Zimbabwe Air Force Commander, Air Marshal Perence Shiri with the position of Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement for his support and whatever contributions towards ousting President Robert Mugabe and the illegal usurpation of power.
Other non-elected appointees which may also face legal challenges due to the unconstitutionality of their appointment include July Moyo, Clever Nyathi, Victor Matemadanda and Winston Chitando.
According to Prof. Ncube, “The bottom-line is that the current appointments are illegal in terms of the constitution. We all have to see what Mnangagwa and ZANU (PF) will do to legitimize this flawed process.”
Mangoma who said his party, CODE, was consulting with lawyers over clear constitutional breaches by Mnangagwa, added, “This must be a sign to everyone that this President does not want to implement anything in the Constitution and he will do anything that is good for him.
“We are conscientizing people that there is a violation and thereafter, we will take the case to the Court and those are the things that we are doing right now.”
While the forced removal of President Robert Mugabe was cheered, the people of Zimbabwe are slowly finding out how they were duped by the military and securocrats in their quest for power.
“If anybody who thought that it was because of the former President Mugabe, now that doubt has been taken away by what he [Mnangagwa] has done in only one week,” said Mangoma, in reference to the failure to align statutes with the Constitution.
Zimbabweans are coming to a realization that the dream of a new Zimbabwe they had been promised was nothing but a façade with the country having quickly transitioned from a democracy to an official military dictatorship in just one week.
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