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Dr Chiwenga's appointment is Constitutional

by Staff reporter
04 Aug 2020 at 22:19hrs | Views
The appointment of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as Minister of Health sparked a legal debate erupted among legal experts on social media. However, knowledgeable top lawyers including Nelson Chamisa's lawyer agree that the appointment is Constitutional.
The matter was started by MDC Secretary for Education Advocate Fadzayi Mahere who said, "That appointment is unconstitutional as it violates s103 of the Constitution. The Vice-President is not permitted to hold any other public office while in office. Respect the Constitution. The appointment is a nullity and must be set aside."

Bulawayo's leading lawyer Sindiso Mazibisa said the appointment of the President was legal because Section 103 must not be read in isolation but must be read together with Section 99.

"There is really not much into the issue because section 103 must be read together with section 99 which spells out the Vice President," Mazibisa said. "According to section 99 the Vice Presidents assist the President in the discharge of his or her functions and perform any other functions, including the administration of any Ministry, department or Act of Parliament, that the President may assign to them. Technically it means as long as the Vice President does not hold any office outside cabinet and gets double salary he is within his rights to assist the President by administering any Ministry or Act of Parliament."

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader, Lovemore Madhuku who is also a leading Constitutional law expert in the country said there is precedent as the Concourt has already dealt with this issue. In 2014, when the then VP Emmerson Mnangagwa remained Minister of Justice, the NCA took  President Mugabe to the Concourt and the court ruled that Sections 99 and 103 of the Constitution must be read together.

"The Concourt has already dealt with this issue.  In 2014, when the then VP ED remained Minister of Justice, the NCA took  President Mugabe to the Concourt raising exactly the arguments being debated now. The Concourt said secs 99 and 103 must be read together," said Madhuku.

"There are no short stories in law. The Concourt has previously said it is constitutional. It is most likely to say so again. That is the shortest I can go."

Chamisa's lawyer agrees that the appointment is Constitutional but patently stupid.

"Perfectly lawful but patently stupid," said Mpofu.

Tendai Biti, the Deputy President of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa exhibited his ignorance of precedent which was set by the highest court of the land when he said the appointment is clearly null and void.

"The appointment is clearly null & void & must be tested in a court of law. It violates the constitution but more than that it is irrational & grossly unreasonable. No person of sound mind, properly applying his mind, would have made the same."

Source - Byo24News