President Robert Mugabe’s treatment of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a violation of the Constitution, a constitution lawyer disclosed yesterday as he poked holes into legal reasons given for the withdrawal of Information minister Jonathan Moyo from Cabinet last week.
Moyo was removed from government last week amid reports that Attorney-General Prince Machaya had advised Mugabe that Moyo had lost his post after he stood in the June 10 Tsholotsho North by-election.
Law expert Derek Matyszak said Moyo’s ongoing saga and Mnangagwa’s dual roles had exposed Mugabe and his advisers’ lack of understanding of the Constitution.
“The man (Mugabe) clearly has no idea what is in the Constitution, and his advisers seem to treat the supreme law of the land as a mere guideline rather than as legally binding,” Matyszak said in a post on the Research Advocacy Unit website.
“In fact, the ongoing Moyo saga highlights a particular violation of the Constitution which also relates to the composition of the Executive.”
“If Mnangagwa is added to this list, there would have been six, not five, ministers appointed from outside Parliament,” Matyszak argued.
“If Mnangagwa is indeed the Minister of Justice, then the removal of Moyo has restored constitutionality, and there are now only five ministers appointed from outside Parliament.
“Moyo may be reappointed as he is now a Member of Parliament. But any attempt to appoint a replacement for Moyo from outside Parliament, such as Grace Mugabe, would be unconstitutional, and possibly will be interdicted by anyone interested in defending the Constitution.”
He said there was no need for Moyo to be removed from Cabinet the way it was done. There was need for Mnangagwa to step down as Justice minister when he lost his seat as MP.
“However, it is likely that he will continue as Minister of Justice, and Mugabe will unconstitutionally appoint a sixth minister from outside Parliament,” Matyszak said. “Whatever the reason for Moyo’s axeing, I think we can safely rule out one – that Mugabe is a stickler for constitutionality.”