- Published: 11 December 2014
- Written by New Zim
UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe professor of law Lovemore Madhuku has approached the Constitutional Court challenging the appointment of Vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
The two were appointed by President Robert Mugabe Wednesday following the booting out of Joice Mujuru on allegations of plotting Mugabe’s violent ouster and corruption.
In an interview Madhuku said Mugabe will get his papers before the swearing in ceremony of the two vice presidents tomorrow morning (Friday).
"Our lawyers are busy with the papers as we speak and President Mugabe will be served with them before the ceremony tomorrow," Madhuku said.
In his application Madhuku cites Mugabe as the first respondent, former justice minister Mnangagwa (second respondent), Mphoko (third respondent).
Madhuku argues that "The basis of the application is that the 1st Respondent is likely to infringe two fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 namely (a) the right to equality before the law and equal protection and benefit of the law protected by section 56(1) and (b) the right to administrative justice protected by section 68."
"Yesterday, the nation had three major political developments. The first was the dismissal of the former Vice-President, Honourable Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru. She was dismissed by the 1st Respondent. The second was the appointment of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents as Vice-Presidents of Zanu(PF). The third was an announcement that the 1st Respondent intends to swear the 2nd and 3rd Respondents into office as Vice-Presidents of the country. The latter ceremony appears scheduled for tomorrow (12 December 2014)," reads his opposing affidavit.
Madhuku said "the option of the President to appoint one or two Vice Presidents is only exercised soon after the President is sworn into office. Once the President has decided to appoint one vice President, he cannot change his mind and have two Vice Presidents during the same term of office. The President cannot replace Vice President Mujuru by two Vice Presidents. This is what paragraph 14, sub-paragraph 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution says. In specific terms, it says:
"Without delay the person elected as President in any election referred to in subparagraph(1) must appoint not more than two Vice-Presidents, who hold office at his or her pleasure".
The opposing affidavit also states that "the 1st Applicant must be told by a declaration of this Honourable Court that for the duration of his five-year term ending in 2018, he can only appoint one Vice-President. If 1st Respondent would have appointed two Vice- presidents by the time this matter is determined, the appointments must be declared unlawful."