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Zimbabwe's bloated executive
Matyszak, Research and Advocacy Unit Zimbabwe
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On Friday 13
February 2009, at a ceremony at State House attended by various
international dignitaries, 35 individuals from ZANU PF, MDC-T and
MDC-M were purportedly sworn in as Ministers by the President. On
Thursday 19 February 2009, the process was repeated, with a further
six individuals taking the oath. The result was that a total of
41 persons took the oath of office as Government Ministers, swearing
to abide by the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe.
20.1.6(5) of Schedule 8 to the Constitution
be thirty-one (31) Ministers, with fifteen (15) nominated by ZANU
PF, thirteen (13) by MDC-T and three (3) by MDC-M.
once 15 ZANU PF nominated Ministers, 13 MDC-T nominated Ministers
and 3 MDC-M Ministers had entered into office, the constitutional
quota of 15 ZANU PF, 13MDC-T and 3 MDC-M Ministers (31 Minister
in total) appeared to have been filled. The basis upon which 10
additional Ministers (referred to in what follows as "the extra
Ministers") were sworn in thus becomes questionable. These
10 Ministers were John Nkomo, Gibson Sibanda, Saviour Kasukuwere,
Joseph Made, Walter Mzembi, Flora Bhuka, Slyvester Nguni, Henry
Madzorera, Giles Mutswekwa and Sekai Holland.
no formal objection appears to have been raised in any quarter about
these questionable appointments. On the 7th May, 2010, however,
one Moven Kufa (describing himself as a Zimbabwean citizen and civil
society activist) and the Voice for Democracy Trust (which has amongst
its objects the promotion of democracy in Zimbabwe) filed papers
in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of the appointment
of the extra Ministers. The Ministers cited as Respondents to the
Application are eight of the 10 who subscribed to the oaths of office
after the quotas set out in Section 8 had been reached. Two of the
ten were not cited - John Nkomo, who has since taken up office as
Vice-President and Gibson Sibanda, who ceased to be a Minister by
virtue of having no seat in parliament within three months of his
appointment (a constitutional requirement).
issues relating to Zimbabwe's political terrain arise from this
Court Application which largely have been ignored by the media.
In fact, only the Financial Gazette has even reported on the Court
Application, a fact which is itself noteworthy and one can speculate
on the reasons for this.
There are also
various ironies which arise if the contentions within the Application
are correct (and here we withhold comment on the merits of the Application
as the matter is sub judice).
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