Today’s Exactly 9ys after Zim Constitution Was Published.
22 May 2022
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By Brian Mari |Today is 22 May 2022 and it is exactly 9 years after Constitution of Zimbabwe was published.

Despite section 7 of the constitution which compels the state institutions to teach and inform citizens of their constitition, many people still do not know it and cannot make sound decisions because of that.

I have chosen to talk about POWER and AUTHORITY as it relate to our constitution.

The new constitution has a Preamble that begin with the two letter word “We”. Take it any how. This word is a plural word that cannot be divided and still remain intact.

It is this word we must cherish today as we celebrate 9 years of our constitution. Often people through their misunderstanding of POWER and AUTHORITY tend to divide the word WE and try to come up with different versions and get misled.

When the question is about influencing or manipulating others, two things that go side by side in the field of political campaigns are Power and Authority. These two are used to make people respond in the manner directed.

Those that are in office are given a tag and those that are not in office another tag. Call it “ruling party” for those in office and “opposition” party for those outside the office

POWER is referred to as the capacity of an individual to influence the will or conduct of others. As against, AUTHORITY is termed as the right possessed by a person to give the command to others.

From the two definitions one can go back to our Preamble and start from there to understand his role.

Many of us think that these two terms are one and the same thing, but there exists a fine line of difference between POWER and AUTHORITY. While the former is exercised in a personal capacity, the latter is used in a professional or official capacity. So, on this article, I am going to throw light on the basic differences between the two, have a look

The difference between POWER and AUTHORITY can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

Power is defined as the ability or potential of an individual to influence others and control their actions. Authority is the legal and formal right to give orders and commands, and take decisions.

Power is a personal trait, i.e. an acquired ability, whereas authority is a formal right, that vest in the hands of high officials or management personnel.

The major source of power is knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, position and office determine the authority of a person.

Power flows in any direction, i.e. it can be upward, downward, crosswise or diagonal, lateral. As opposed to authority, that flows only in one direction, i.e. downward (from superior to subordinate).

The power lies in person, in essence, a person acquires it, but authority lies in the designation, i.e. whoever get the designation, get the authority attached to it.

Authority is legitimate whereas the power is not.

I am not writing a book on this but I need to draw the attention of all Zimbabweans to the two letter word “We” which is the beginning of our collective agreement.

We have three distinct forms of authorities covered in our constitution.
That is to say section 88 states that ” Executive authority derives from the people of Zimbabwe and must be exercised in accordance with this Constitution”.

Section 117 states that “The legislative authority of Zimbabwe is derived fromthe people and is vested in and exercised in accordance with this Constitution by the Legislature”.

Section 162 states that “Judicial authority derives from the people of Zimbabwe and is vested in the courts, which comprise— (a)the Constitutional Court; (b)the Supreme Court; (c)the High Court; (d)the Labour Court;(e)the Administrative Court; (f)the magistrates courts; (g)the customary law courts; and (h)other courts established by or under an Act of Parliament”.

Before going for we take a look at two principles mentioned in section 3(2) of our constitution. (e)observance of the principle of separation of powers; (f)respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived.

It should be clear that “We” the people of Zimbabwe are the source of Execitive, legislative and Judicial authority and who so ever is vested with one of such authority cannot claim to have another authority.

To be blunt , the President is only vested with Executive authority and he or she cannot have judiciary authority of his own outside the “We” authority to give to anyone. While the legislature can legislate any law or amend the constitution but the legislation that can come out cannot give anyone a Judicial authority or Executive authority.

The three authorities are well spelt that they are directly derived from the people of Zimbabwe. The Executive will have a President directly elected by the people. The legislature is directly elected by people.
In our own constitution we voted for all Judges of courts must be appointed after a public interview and citizens directly challenge the candidates.

Now 9 years down the line. Power has been confused to be authority. People in positions are imposing judges into courts.

Many of us are not aware that in 2013 we voted for the old Supreme Court, High Court and all labour courts and their decisions to be reconstituted as such.

Many of us are not aware that we voted for pending cases that were before courts to be handled in a certain manner.

What has changed? Where did Mnangagwa get the Judicial authority to confer to judges?

Whose courts are they?
If all our memories serve us well. We did not have a constitutional court before 2013. We had Supreme Court Judges.
In a referendum we all voted for the 9 judges that we Sitting in Supreme Court of that time to sit as Constitutional Court for 7 years.
Should there be any vacancy then only a Judge of Supreme court would fill that vacancy.
We all voted in the referendum that any public officer who was in office on the effective date of new constitution would continue to serve in the constitution under the conditions of old constitution until they all retire.

Who has changed this?
Can an Act of parliament seeking to amend constitution on anything to do with direct authority of citizen ever give someone Judicial Authority?

Can a judgement from any court ruling that a person who did not seek judicial authority direct from citizens of Zimbabwe ever give someone Judicial Authority?

Is a Vice President a President? Yes or No. Of course Yes. If Executive authority is derived directly from people of Zimbabwe, how can a Vice President who is not directly elected by people have Executive authority?

Is a PR member of parliament a product of election results held on a ballot paper befitting section 57 of Electoral Act? Yes or No. How can Priscilla Misiharabgwi vacant seat be the same as Thokozani Khupe seat?.

As Celebrate this day “We” must remember and be fortified by section 196(1) we all voted for and I quote “(1)Authority assigned to a public officer is a public trust which must be exercised in a manner which— (a)is consistent with the purposes and objectives of this Constitution; (b)demonstrates respect for the people and a readiness to serve them rather than rule them; and (c)promotes public confidence in the office held by the public officer.”

When you see things happening and individuals are flexing muscles and doing things we never voted for then know they are using power and not authority and it is illegitimate.

As I conclude I call upon all citizens to converge and demand that the President call for a referendum in terms of section 110(2)(f) in order to restore Judicial authority in Constitutional court. As it stand no one is legally and constitutionally occupying the bench.

Forget about power that so and so wields. The constitution is clear to the fact that Judicial authority is derived from us citizen. The constitution is clear to the fact that Schedule Six override any provision.
That all the judges masquerading as constitution court judges were judges appointed in terms of section 84 of old constitution and serving a tenure in section 86 of old constitution. No amendment of new constitution can change their tenure.
We have it on record that every presidential election end up in constitutional court, that in in terms section 162 of Electoral Act only a constitutionally appointed Chief Justice with judicial authority from people of Zimbabwe can appoint an electoral court.

How do we intend to have 2023 elections? For what benefit?

The right to fair trial cannot be limited by any law. Standing before imposters intending to get justice is injustice.

The ball is in your court. Do not call for reforms when you yourself have not reformed.

All authority is in a citizen.

Let this knowledge be your power.