Zimbabwe’s new administration committed to constitutionalism, says justice minister

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is committed to constitutionalism and will not willfully violate it, Justice Minister and leader of government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi said Wednesday.

He said this in response to a question from opposition legislator Innocent Gonese who wanted clarification on why Mnangagwa appointed more ministers than is required by the constitution from outside parliament.

Zimbabwean law stipulates that cabinet ministers should be appointed from among legislators, but it also allows for up to five to be picked from outside parliament for their professional skills and competence.

Gonese said the appointment of the six ministers was unconstitutional, noting that while the previous constitution gave the president up to three months to correct the anomaly, the current constitution adopted in 2013 did not have such a provision.

However, Ziyambi said government had taken note of the issue and was addressing it.

“The current administration is committed to constitutionalism and in no way are they going to willfully violate the constitution. The concern has been taken note of and is being corrected,” Ziyambi said.

The ruling ZANU-PF party has since made its former Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu to relinquish his senate seat to make way for his successor Cain Mathema.

Commenting on the matter recently, Chief Secretary to the president and cabinet Misheck Sibanda said Mathema replaced Mpofu after he vacated the senatorial seat.

“Mpofu resigned as senator and honorable Mathema has since taken over that seat, hence he qualifies for a ministerial appointment,” Sibanda said.

Mnangagwa this month appointed a lean 21-member cabinet that excluded most ministers from former president Robert Mugabe’s era. – xinhua

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