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Mnangagwa sued over appointments

by Staff reporter
11 Sep 2020 at 06:27hrs | Views
Zimbabwe women Lawyers association (ZWLA) and women's academy of Leadership and Political excellency (walpe) have taken President Emmerson Mnangagwa to court for failing to observe gender balance in his appointment of top government officials.

ZwLa and walpe cited Mnangagwa, Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and attorney-General Prince Machaya as first, second and third respondents.
in the application, the women organisations said they were seeking a declaratory order stating that the President violated sections 17(1)(b)(ii), 90(1) and 104(4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Mbigail Matsvayi, director of ZwLa, in her founding affidavit said: "i contend that applicants have a direct and substantial interest in ensuring gender equality in Zimbabwe. Jointly, their mandates involve promoting, protecting and defending women's rights through education, information, legal aid, counselling, lobbying, advocacy and networking within the country."

Matsvayi said Mnangagwa appointed five women ministers and 18 men in his Cabinet and in percentage terms, women constitute 21% of the current Cabinet.

"The first respondent (Mnangagwa) appointed five women deputy ministers and 13 men, in percentage terms, women deputy ministers constituted 28% of the total number of deputy ministers," she said.

The women's right lobby groups said they noted that Mnangagwa fired his Health minister Obadiah Moyo and replaced him with his Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, meaning that this was a male replacing a male.

"we also noted that the first respondent appointed Anxious Masuka (as agriculture minister), a male, to replace the late Perrance Shiri who succumbed to the COViD-19 pandemic, energy minister Fortune Chasi, a male, and replaced him with Soda Zhemu, another male.

"The first respondent appointed five women as Provincial affairs ministers out of 10. Though i note that the five women seem to be the first respondent's favourite for each category, i note that for provincial ministers, the number reflects a 50-50 situation which is exactly what the Constitution requires," Matsvayi said.

"I submit that the subsequent appointments by the first respondent did not change the gender composition of his Cabinet. "i submit that the selection of the ministers and their deputies by the first respondent fails to take into account the provisions that i have highlighted above which enjoin the first respondent to ensure that women constitute at least half of the appointed positions in government."

They further said respondents are required, in terms of section 104(4) of the Constitution, to be guided by considerations of regional and gender balance in appointing ministers and their deputies.

Source - newsday
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