Chamisa Calls ED To Order
13 September 2018
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Jane Mlambo| MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has called President Emmerson Mnangagwa to order following his appointment of Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs, a move he said is unconstitutional and a subversion of devolution.

Chamisa said with provincial ministers having executive powers, provincial councils will have no role thus a vote of no confidence against devolution of power which is in the constitution.

“He has appointed ministers of State, which appointments are unconstitutional in the first instance and a subversion of devolution. Provincial councils will have no role in circumstances where a province already has an executive minister,” he said, adding that the appointment of 10 Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs was, therefore, void at law.

Chamisa’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu added that Mnangagwa acted outside his constitutional powers in his appointment of provincial ministers.

“The Ministers of State are unconstitutional; there is no constitutional sanction for their appointment and their effect, however, is to negate devolution which is constitutionally provided for. How can a provincial council function when there is an executive minister for the province?” he asked.

Kent University law lecturer, Alex Magaisa said the violation of chapter 14 of the Constitution by Zanu PF was clear testament that there was no will to stick to constitutionalism by Mnangagwa’s government.

“Chapter 14 of the Constitution vests power in the people to elect their own provincial leaders through provincial councils. This limits the power of the President to make political appointments. However, when former President (Robert) Mugabe was in charge, he ignored the devolution provisions and appointed Ministers of State. After the coup, President Mnangagwa persisted with this practice,” he said.

Another constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the appointments undermined devolution.

“That’s not an easy question (whether the appointment was unconstitutional or not). It will need the courts to say. What is easy to say is that they undermine devolution,” Madhuku said.

“Whether it’s constitutional or not, I think it’s a different question because the President has the prerogative to appoint ministers and to assign them functions.”

But Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana sang from a different hymn book, saying the appointment of Ministers of State for provinces would not stop the implementation of devolution.

“There is a separation of government and the legislature. The President is exercising executive powers, he has the power to appoint any ministers,” Mangwana said.