Mnangagwa violated constitution in selection of new Chief Justice

Former Vice President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa

Former Vice President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa

Harare Bureau
FIRED former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa violated the constitution when he joined a University of Zimbabwe law student’s fight for the suspension of a lawful process to select the country’s new Chief Justice on the basis of a mere proposed amendment to the supreme law of the country, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The constitution provides for the selection of a new Chief Justice through public interviews but ex-VP Mnangagwa, in his capacity as the then Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, supported Mr Romeo Zibani, who was seeking to bar the public interviews.

Ex-VP Mnangagwa filed a draft memorandum to Cabinet in which he proposed the change of law regarding the appointment of a Chief Justice.

The executive draft memorandum, led the High Court into granting an interdict stopping the public interviews.

However, JSC noted an appeal and proceeded with the interviews that later resulted in the appointment of Chief Justice Malaba as the new judiciary boss.

Early this year the Supreme Court allowed JSC’s appeal but the reasons for the decision were stated in a detailed 21-page judgment availed last week.

In the judgment, Justice Bharat Patel said attempts by the Mr Mnangagwa to stop a constitutional process on the basis of a proposed amendment of the supreme law was unlawful.

“The third respondent’s conduct in seeking to have the operation of a constitutional provision suspended on the basis of a proposed constitutional amendment is obviously inconsistent with his obligations in terms of Section 2(2) of the Constitution (Doctrine of Supremacy of the Constitution).

“For a court to grant the privilege that he seeks would be tantamount to condoning a violation of those obligations, thereby posing a serious threat to the rule of law enshrined in Section 3(1) (b) of the Constitution,” reads the judgment.

Section 2(2) of the Constitution reads:

“The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of Government at every level, and must be fulfilled by them.”

On appeal, the ex-VP’s lawyers argued that the High Court was correct in attaching value to the evidence from the executive on the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

This, according to the Supreme Court, was weird and amounted to an attack on constitutionalism.

“With all due deference to the overarching political role of the executive, this argument is not only startling but patently outlandish in its disdain for the established norms of constitutionalism. It postulates the very antithesis of the rule of law,” the court ruled.

The court concluded that the Constitution cannot be abrogated or suspended by intended executive action relating to the prospective amendment of its provisions.

The court expressed displeasure at the conduct of Zibani and his lawyers.

Zibani, through his lawyers, wrote two letters to the Supreme Court intimating that the appeal’s set down was unlawful, palpably tainted irregular.

He sought the removal of the matter from the roll.

“Their reasons for taking that view was not only brusque and overbearing but also contumelious towards the Registrar and, by necessary implication, contemptuous of this court,” reads the judgment.

Pin It
  • Dumakude

    Funny that Zanu PF are just finding out lots of bad things abt Mnangas, wow..ironic

    • As Always

      abangasamfuniyo lapha nguMalaba….kunzima.

  • Njomane

    So what????

  • Cravennd

    Ah, nxa, how does that solve the current cash crisis in the country????

  • Mendeka

    It is a known fact that these newspapers are not reporting freely and we don’t blame but abhor you. You are poisonous.

  • Tsikwela

    Yooo yooooo yoooooo

  • Martin Chipimo

    Mr. Editor, why was not this reported during his term in office? Why now and not then?

  • Symbol

    How about publishing what Chiwenga said?

  • C. Moyo

    shame on you. you couldnt even capture the statement of the army. Mnangagwa was part of the zanu remember. if you are exposing Mnangagwa you are exposing zanu pf. tired of your tired reporting.

  • nsingo

    Of late ngwena was speaking peace and he wanted the death penalty scrapped unlike in the early eighties where he would react badly

    • Simon

      A crocodile can never change its scales. Yizinja zonke including Makhosi Xamu.

  • tangawaona

    Matununu avanhu zvino muchavhoterwa nani zvamadzinga dzinza rose reZANU PF.

  • Ndebele Ndabeni

    Mnangagwa should just come home and face these cowards who gang up against him to destroy ZANUPF from within which he formed in 1963.If they hang him and anoint Grace Mugabe as the queen or president of Zimbabwe let it be. Now they are desperately trying to misinterpret laws that were written by Mnangagwa and Chinamasa for Zimbabwe to justifying their illegitimacy and deceit.

    • nsingo

      what if they have ngwena evidence of the eighties in the archives