ED Pours Cold Water On Churches’ Proposal For A 7yr Sabbatical
20 October 2019
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By A Correspondent- President Mnangagwa has rejected proposals by the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) to have a seven-year moratorium on elections saying secular systems are run on laws which are bound by constitutions and statutes.

In a 19-page response to ZHOCD delivered yesterday, the President expressed gratitude to the church leaders’ willingness to search for solutions that can take the nation forward, but emphasised that all ideas, proposals and practices should be in compliance with the laws of the land.

“Expectedly, my Government’s response to the ZHOCD document is shaped by, and has to be understood in the context of legal imperatives arising from Zimbabwe’s own laws, principally the Constitution which is the supreme law of the Land.

“Let me emphatically state, at the outset, that my office is a creature of the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe, both which I am sworn to uphold, defend, obey and respect to their letter and spirit,” he said.

He said the principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, include a multiparty democratic political system, universal adult suffrage and equality of votes; free, fair and regular elections, orderly transfer of power following election, respect to the rights of all political parties; observance of the separation of powers and respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived.

“Chapter 5 of our Constitution provides for the Executive Authority of Zimbabwe which I lead as President. Section 88 (1) provides as follows:

“Executive authority derives from the people of Zimbabwe and must be exercised in accordance with this Constitution,” Mnangagwa said.

He added that Section 90 (1) obliges the President to: “…. uphold, defend, obey and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the nation” and to “ensure that this Constitution and all the other laws are faithfully observed.”

The President said the proposals by leaders of the ZHOCD ought to be consistent and compatible with the letter and spirit of the land- the Constitution. Anything ultra vires the Constitution, would not pass the overarching test of constitutionality.