Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, but was simply assigned by President Mugabe to oversee the functions of the ministry in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Constitutional Court established yesterday.
Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly yesterday climbed down from its position that VPs Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mpoko were wearing two heads after being grilled by the nine-member bench.
Although NCA contested the appointment of the two VPs to administer the functions of two ministries, the matter collapsed when the court questioned the legal basis upon which VP Mnangagwa was being viewed as Justice Minister.
Advocate Michael Majuru, on behalf of the NCA, admitted that VP Mnangagwa was only sworn in as VP and that he never took oath to serve as Justice Minister.
The NCA lawyer also conceded that the appointment of two VPs to replace Dr Joice Mujuru was also aboveboard.
That left the Constitutional Court with no other option, but to dismiss the application with costs.
Adv Majuru made a U-turn after Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, questioned him on the proof that VP Mnangagwa was indeed a Minister of Justice.
He said: “If the court says VP is not a minister of Justice, I have no further submissions to make. I concede that,” he said.
The court relied on Section 99 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which gives President Mugabe power to assign a VP to oversee any ministry if need arises.
Section 99 reads: “The Vice Presidents assist the President in the discharge of his or her functions and perform any other function, including the administration of any ministry, department or Act of Parliament, that the President may assign to them.”
On the question of replacing one VP with two, Adv Majuru also agreed with the court that President Mugabe was correct and that it was lawful.
He also agreed with the court that VP Mnangagwa did not take oath as Justice Minister but only as VP.
Prof Madhuku argued that President Mugabe chose to work with one VP soon after his election and that replacing Cde Mujuru with two VPs was unlawful.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court yesterday deferred indefinitely the matter in which fired Chitungwiza councilor Dr Fredrick Mabamba, was contesting the constitutionality of his expulsion from council.
Dr Mabamba’s lawyer Mr Charles Chikore, is said to have renounced agency on Tuesday afternoon and the newly hired lawyers requested for more time to prepare for the matter.
The same court also deferred the case in which MDC-T is challenging the conducting of elections without effecting electoral reforms.
It was the court’s decision that there was need for the Attorney General Adv Prince Machaya to file his arguments first.