‘ Ruthless Zanu PF Purge Targets Mphoko as Rift Between Mnangagwa and Mphoko, Escalates’

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Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s job is reportedly to be on the line amid revelations there was seriously brewing final purge against forces opposed to his counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa almost certain ascendancy to the presidency as it is alleged that the two are not in good books over seniority to each other.

The Telescope News reported that an invisible brutal political tug or war is escalating between the two which might see Mphoko falling out of government and party position if he is not clever enough to challenge Mnangagwa.

The two are reportedly eying to succeed Preisdent Robert Mugabe as it now seems imminent that he may leave office of die in office.

This has seen fresh factional fights emerging in the ruling Zanu PF even after the purge of those who are believed to be aligned to the former Vice President Joice Mujuru. This threatens to push the ruling party into an inevitable implosion.

The situation is said to be so serious such that Mugabe is alleged to be having sleepless nights as on how to quell the stand-off between his deputies as fall out still rages on.

Internal sources in the party claim that Mphoko is now being seen as a stumbling block to power, by Mnangagwa’s backers who are said to include top security services chefs and most current serving cabinet ministers.

Mnangagwa, has received renewed support for the high office from, First Lady, Grace Mugabe, who believes he has the capacity and ability to fit Mugabe’s shoes, while protecting the first family’s interests government insiders said.

Grace reportedly wants Mphoko shown the door, to be replaced by former Zanu PF chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo, for what some believe is Mphoko’s open support for fresh blood to take over the party.

The former diplomat to Moscow and Pretoria is also accused of supporting the so- called G40 or Generation 40 faction in Zanu PF, packed with young turks who are calling for the party to be represented by a youthful candidate in the do or die 2018 watershed elections, where former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to give the liberation movement a good run for their money.

“Mphoko is going to be forced out, because the succession issue has now reached boiling point,” said a senior Politburo member. “There is no harmony and consensus among the two (Mnangagwa and Mphoko), and because Mugabe sadly trusts Mnangagwa, Mphoko might be sacrificed. I don’t see Mugabe himself dismissing Mphoko from his post, but Mnangagwa is likely to do it himself. Furthermore Amai (Grace ) is disappointed with him for failing to meet the VP standard.”

Mugabe is believed to be likely to call it a day and exit power in 2016 owing to a cocktail of reasons, chief among them being the health woes of Grace and the nonagenarian’s own advanced age.

The first lady’s worrisome condition, according to officials close to the first family in government, who are aware of the confidential details, is going to force Mugabe to pre-maturely retire before his term in office comes to an end in 2018.

“Mnangagwa is just waiting to become head of state. When he comes to power, I don’t see him keeping Mphoko. This means that, if he is installed president next year, Mphoko will generously be asked to step down instead of being fired, to pave way for Mnangagwa’s new deputies,” our informants said.

There is growing speculation that Mugabe, might announce a cabinet reshuffle, following the shock removal of Jonathan Moyo from the powerful information post. A few other ministers might also be dropped or replaced by vetted choices from parliament.

Mugabe is reportedly not keen on dismissing Mphoko, who appears to have the strongman’s political empathy. Mugabe has also been impressed by how Mphoko has attempted to exonerate him from being responsible for the Gukurahundi massacres of the early 80s, which resulted in the sad death of over 20 000 innocent women and children from Matabeleland.

Mphoko has always insisted on distancing Mugabe from the Gukurahundi massacres which might have earned him favours from Mugabe. Source: Telescope News

FINANCE minister ‘Patrick Chinamasa’, blames MDC-T for US$5m by-election bill

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FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa has accused the opposition MDC-T party of causing the country to incur “unnecessary costs” though by-elections.

The government is struggling with a serious financial crisis as revenue streams dry up due to the collapse of hundreds of companies in a worsening economic environment.

Chinamasa last week told the Senate that the move by the MDC-T to expel rebel MPs who crossed the floor to MDC Renewal forced the country to incur costs which could have been avoided at a time the national purse is in virtually empty.

The treasury chief was responding to a question from MDC-T senator, David Chimhini, who wanted to know how government was funding by-elections instead of helping revive of key industries.

“I wonder why the honourable member is even asking such a question,” said Chinamasa.

“It is because of their party, the MDC-T, which expelled members who had joined the Renewal. As government we have to look for cash to fulfil the constitutional obligation.”

Early this month at least 16 constituencies held by elections with 14 of them being the result of MDC-T’s move to fire 21 MPs including ex-party secretary-general  Tendai Biti.

The elections gobbled over five million dollars.

The other two constituencies were however the result of ruling Zanu PF expelling Temba Mliswa and Didymus Mutasa for allegedly working with ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru to topple President Robert Mugabe.

“As government we don’t ask political parties to stop firing people but we are obliged to act and fulfil the constitutional mandate to finance by-elections as and when they are to be held,” explained Chinamasa.

Three more would need to be conducted after Zanu PF expelled Ray Kaukonde, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and David Butau for allegedly being part of the Mujuru camp.

Bhasikiti has obtained a court order temporarily barring President Robert Mugabe from calling for by-elections in Mwenenzi East until the court has ruled whether his first expulsion from Zanu PF was legal or not.

Besides the 16 by-elections, two more are expected to replace the late Amos Midzi in Epworth and the late Aquilla Katsande in Mudzi West. source-newzimbabwe

photo-FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa-herald

A grand opposition coalition could be announced “soon”, says Morgan Tsvangirai

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A GRAND opposition coalition could be announced “soon”, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai revealed Saturday, adding that Zimbabweans “are on the brink of an exciting political moment”.

However, other opposition stalwarts and former colleagues in the MDC, Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, have emphatically ruled out working with Tsvangirai who already has  some relationship with the likes of Simba Makoni of Mavambo Kusile.

An alliance with Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA which was routed by Zanu PF in this month’s by-elections hardly deserves billing as “exciting political moment”, suggesting the MDC-T leader was referring to the group recently kicked out of the ruling party.

In his so-called state of the nation address Saturday, Tsvangirai all but confirmed speculation that he has been in negotiations with a loose group of former Zanu PF stalwarts led by ex-vice-president Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru and several cabinet ministers as well as senior party officials were recently expelled from Zanu PF, charged with plotting to either oust or assassinate the party’s 91-year-old leader who refuses to retire.

“There has been convergence around the issue of non-participation (in elections without reforms) from most players in the opposition party circles, including even those who only a few months ago were in the top echelons of Zanu PF.

“They have come out in the open to laud our decision not to legitimize this charade masquerading as legitimate elections,” said Tsvangirai.

“That convergence means that for once, the majority of Zimbabweans are united on the one key issue which is to ensure that the next election is not only truly free, fair but credible as well.

“We must begin to address, once and for all, the contentious issue of a disputed legitimacy which is the root cause of our current national crisis”.

Western envoys in Harare recently told NewZimbabwe.com that they were nudging Tsvangirai towards an alliance with the Mujuru group.

Donors were also reportedly threatening to cut or reduce support if the MDC-T leader refused to oblige.

On Saturday, the former Prime Minister declared:

“I want to tell Zimbabweans today, that our convergence on non-participation must mean that there are exciting political prospects on the horizon.

“I, as Morgan Tsvangirai and the party I lead, am prepared to work with Zimbabweans of all shades and political colours to bring the country back to sanity,” the veteran trade unionist said to rapturous applause.

He added; “I see the true grand coalition not as the unity of individuals or leaders of political parties, but as the unity of Zimbabweans who possess shared values and convergence on the patriotic goal to take our country forward.

“Today, I promise Zimbabweans that we are on the brink of an exciting political moment and they will be see us, as political leaders, converging on those issues that matter most to us all Zimbabweans.”

There has been talk of a grand coalition by opposition parties that analysts contend has been held back by “egos” within the country’s pro-democracy movement.

However, there has been renewed hope since the brutal purges in the ruling Zanu PF party claimed the scalps of senior members of the former liberation movement who have since indicated that they might be ready to oppose President Robert Mugabe’s 35 year-rule.

Tsvangirai also revealed that the stalled “Prayer Meeting” for missing journalist-cum-democracy activist Itai Dzamara will be held next month, indicating various other opposition leaders would also attend.

“It is on this score that I can tell you here that on the 11th of July in Harare, I will be joining other Zimbabweans from various political backgrounds at a prayer meeting for Itai Dzamara which is being organized by the church,” he said.

While admitting that his party has been at the receiving end of most of the political violence in the last decade and half the former Prime Minister warned things might change.

“We in the MDC committed ourselves in 1999 to changing our government democratically, within the law and without violence,” he said.

“We have stuck to those principles and we have neither beaten one policeman nor broken a single window in the past 16 years while we ourselves have been beaten, abducted and killed.

“I am not sure whether we can maintain that stance into the future.”

He added: “One thing is for sure, the present situation is untenable and unacceptable and perhaps the time has come for us to take matters into our own hands and force the changes that are needed.” source-newzimbabwe

‘Mudenda has no mandate to declare any vacant seats’. :-Chief Justice Chidyausiku

THE Speaker of the National Assembly has no mandate to announce or declare any vacant seats when political parties withdraw their legislators in terms of Section 129(1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has said.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku made the observation in the case in which fired Mwenezi East National Assembly member Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti was seeking to stop a by-election in the constituency.

He said the Speaker’s duty was simply to receive a notice of withdrawal from the political party and directly inform the President without making any inquiries, assessment or public announce- ments.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku said the Speaker, in Mr Bhasikiti’s case, could have announced the expulsion in Parliament out of some “enthusiasm or courtesy”, but had no duty to do that.

“A reading of Section 129(1) (k) shows that the Speaker has no duty to announce or declare vacant seats in Parliament like he did in this case,” he said.

“The Speaker simply receives the notice and transmits the message directly to the President and not the public. When he made the announcement in this case, maybe it was because of some enthusiasm on his part, but he has no such duty at law.”

The observation came after the Speaker of Parliament had made several announcements in the House of the expulsion of members of the National Assembly in recent months.

Representing Mr Bhasikiti in his application against expulsion from Parliament before a case in which he is challenging his expulsion from Zanu-PF is dealt with, Mr Tendai Biti of Tendai Biti Law Chambers agreed with the Chief Justice. “Yes, legally the Speaker is not required to make any announcement in Parliament, but the fact that he did it resulted in our client being chucked out,” he said. “But practically, I do not think he should work like a machine that simply works on the notice without making any assessment of the genuineness of the notice.”

The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that a by-election in Mwenezi East will only be held after the High Court decides on the legitimacy of Mr Bhasikiti expulsion from Zanu-PF.

The court also ordered that the dispute should be resolved by July 31 to ensure the election timelines are met in the event that the High Court throws out the case.

Mr Biti argued that his client’s right to equal protection of the law and participation in politics, among others were infringed in the process.

The Speaker’s lawyer, Mr Simplicious Chihambakwe, instead used the observation as a defence, saying his client had no such obligation at law and that the client just acted in terms of Section 129(1) (k) of the Constitution in communicating the development to the President.
“If there is any wrong that my client did was to make the announcement in Parliament, but the declaration or expulsion was done by Zanu-PF,” he said.

“In terms of the law, my client simply forwards the message to the President, which he did.” by Daniel Nemukuyu. Source: herald

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Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku

Speed and stealth, that Mugabe delt with Moyo shows, the Zanu PF centre of power

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There were strong suggestions yesterday that Tuesday’s surprising freezing of voluble Zanu-PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo from Cabinet could be a precursor to the long-mooted major executive reshuffle – a prospect that has put many ministers on tenterhooks.Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the “speed and stealth” with which Mugabe had dealt with Moyo not only suggested that “there is one centre of power in Zanu-PF” but also that a major Cabinet reshuffle was in the offing, “which spells danger for many complacent bigwigs”.

“It is squeaky bum time at the top in Zanu-PF and government, to borrow football lexicon. By freezing Moyo, even if this is temporary, Gushungo (Mugabe) is showing all and sundry that he is in charge and the sole centre of power in the party. It’s as simple as that for me.

“But others also say, and with good reason too, Fear as Cabinet reshuffle looms that a comprehensive and long-rumoured Cabinet reshuffle that should have happened after the ouster from power of Mai Mujuru and her allies last year is finally here, which spells danger for many complacent bigwigs who have until now thought that they are safe,” a senior Zanu-PF official said yesterday.

Another insider said what had alarmed many ministers was the fact that Moyo’s removal from Cabinet had come “like a bolt from the blue” and at a time that the new Tsholotsho North legislator looked “very secure” both at party and government level, despite Zanu-PF’s worsening factional and succession wars.

“Of all the comrades in the party, he was one of the few that behaved and moved around with a swagger, which is why we were all shocked when the president chased him away from the Cabinet meeting without notice,” a minister said.

Talk within Zanu-PF has for the past few months been about looming Cabinet changes, with many insiders pointing to the need for Mugabe to not only rejuvenate his under-performing Cabinet, but also replace all the people he had fired as part of the ruling party’s ruthless purges of the past seven months.

Another source said yesterday that there was “an understanding” in Zanu-PF that the ejection of Moyo from Cabinet was “part one of the equation” and that the political future of other bigwigs such as Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and Energy minister Samuel Undenge were also on the line.

“It’s not so much that the expectation is that any or all of these gentlemen will necessarily be fired, the emerging view is that they will more likely be re-assigned to other posts which may not sit well with some of them.

“It will also not be surprising if the president announces this long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle within the next two weeks, an opportunity that he may use to energise Cabinet and replace under-performing ministers in a continuing revamp that he started spearheading late last year,” a politburo member said.

Mugabe himself has recently expressed dissatisfaction with the performances of some of his Cabinet ministers, amidst a worsening economic crisis in the country that has seen Zimbabwe move from once being regarded as a regional bread basket to a much derided basket case.

Speaking in an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation current affairs to mark his 91st birthday in February, the only leader that Zimbabweans have known since the country’s independence from Britain in April 1980, said pointedly that some of his ministers were not delivering.

In the meantime, and as part of the toxic mix pulling Zimbabwe backwards, Zanu-PF’s deadly factional and succession wars continue to cast a long shadow over the country and Mugabe’s own political life, with many of his trusted lieutenants divided on the basis of their factional orientations that saw former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies being purged from the post-congress party.

Among other party stalwarts who have been sacrificed in the mindless bloodletting since then include former Cabinet ministers Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche, Francis Nhema, Olivia Muchena, Webster Shamu and Dzikamai Mavhaire.

Worryingly for many, there is no indication that the era of the brutal purges is now behind and that the party and country can now focus on critical governance and service delivery issues.

If anything, more senior officials are said to be facing the sack under the continuing party expulsions, with several ministers linked to Mujuru – among them Education minister Lazarus Dokora and Sports minister Andrew Langa – top of the guillotine list.

Mugabe’s freezing of Moyo out of Cabinet on Tuesday took many people by surprise, with no clarity up to today whether this is a permanent move or temporary one.

Moyo, who was appointed Information minister as a non-constituency Member of Parliament after the disputed 2013 harmonised elections, successfully contested for the Tsholotsho North constituency in the June 10 by-elections.

It was not clear whether his going for the seat allegedly without Mugabe’s blessing infuriated the nonagenarian or whether the president was merely throwing his weight around or just being a stickler to constitutionalism as Moyo’s legislative status had changed – which meant that he would need to be re-appointed as minister.

But the Daily News was told that the stunning drama that saw the loquacious politburo member being chased away from Cabinet began as soon as the Cabinet meeting started on the day when Mugabe allegedly summoned Moyo and told him to get out of the meeting.

A well-placed source claimed that a supposedly surprised Moyo had then approached Mugabe to ask for forgiveness, but that the nonagenarian would have none of it.

If Moyo’s banishment from Cabinet is not temporary, this would not be the first time that the Zanu-PF secretary for science and technology has been shown the door by Mugabe – as he was booted out in 2005 after he allegedly refused to obey Mugabe’s orders not to stand as a candidate in the same constituency.

Moyo took part in the 2013 national elections but lost the Tsholotsho seat to a newcomer, Roselyne Nkomo.

A year ago, Mugabe savaged Moyo while speaking at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, at the burial of former Cabinet minister Nathan Shamuyarira, saying Zanu-PF had been infested by weevils which needed to be taken care of.

This came in the wake of another brutal assault on the beleaguered Moyo a few days before that when he described the minister as the “devil incarnate”, as factionalism in Zanu-PF reached alarming levels.

Mugabe then accused Moyo of causing confusion in Zanu-PF, being dishonest and lacking principled vision – further describing him as a counter-revolutionary who had employed Zanu-PF enemies as editors at State media company Zimpapers.

The Daily News’ sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday reported at the weekend that as Zanu-PF’s deadly factional and succession wars continue to rip the former liberation movement apart, it had emerged that supporters of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa were ratcheting up the pressure on Moyo and party political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, including frantically trying to convince President Robert Mugabe to drop them from Cabinet.

Well-placed sources who spoke to the newspaper claimed that there was a renewed effort to see to it that the two Cabinet ministers were “stopped dead in their tracks”, amid allegations by Mnangagwa’s supporters that they were opposed to the party strongman succeeding Mugabe. by Gift Phiri. Source:-dailynews

Mugabe better off with Moyo inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in!

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“Moyo’s victory was seen as spiting President Mugabe who had appointed him a non-constituency Member of Parliament before he proceeded to appoint him a minister in his bloated government,” commented Bulawayo24 Staff Reporter. I can well believe that!

Professor Moyo is already a heavy weight in Zanu PF and government but when he lost his parliamentary seat in the July 2013 elections and had to depend on Mugabe’s generosity to pluck him out of political obscurity it made Mugabe feel powerful. Mugabe is a control freak nothing pleases him more than to see all his subordinates grovel up to him. 

Winning back the Tsholotsho parliamentary seat after the humiliating defeat in 2013 would have pleased Moyo greatly and boosted his self-confidence and added a peacock tail feather to his cap. Mugabe would have seen this as the Professor trying to re-asset himself. He waiting for Moyo to take his seat in the cabinet meeting and then showing him the door in a calculated move designed to humiliate Moyo and remind him who is boss. Poor Jonathan Moyo, he clearly did not see this one coming and it knocked the wind out of his sail.

He has been the flying Zanu PF party and government supremo ruling his powerful ministry of information and dictating to all what they will know and think but often doubling up as government spokesman and supervising all other government departments. His by-election victory was going to allow him to comment freely on parliamentary business without fear of the snotty rhetorical question “Who elected you?”

Yes, Professor Moyo must have entered the cabinet room expecting be showered with congratulatory greetings for his electoral victory. He certainly did not expect to be told to fcuk off, he was no longer welcome there!

No wonder Moyo has been uncharacteristically quiet for a long time – four days am counting – with nothing written or initiated by Moyo, not even tweetered comment from him – nothing that is, other than speculation on what happened in the Cabinet room on Tuesday. Falling from such a dizzying height and landing on his bald head must have left our high flier dazed and for once, speechless.

After Mugabe called Moyo the “devil incarnate and a weevil destroying Zanu PF from within” everyone thought the Professor’s beacon was fried! Didymus Mutasa was so pleased to see Moyo in trouble he even offered to supply the gamatox, the insecticide, to kill the weevils.

Whatever the Professor said to or did to Mugabe at their private meeting after the public denunciation worked like a charm. It was Didymus Mutasa and others who were summarily sacked from cabinet, the party and then parliament. Moyo must have thought his charmed worked and his position in cabinet was safe and secure.

The moral of Moyo’s story is that Zanu PF is imploding and no one’s position is safe not even Mugabe’s own position is safe. Mutasa has already started to spill the beans of how Zanu PF has been rigging elections and, no doubt, the drip, drip leak of the party’s dirty past will now continue until Mugabe and all still left in the party are forced to resign. Moyo will definitely have even more damaging details on Mugabe which if released will force the tyrant to resign immediately.

Throwing Professor Moyo out of the cabinet is one thing but if Mugabe throws him out of the party and parliament like he did with Mutasa and others then Mugabe’s days in State House will be numbered.

“It is probably better to have him (FBI director, Edgar Hoover) inside the tent pissing out, then outside the tent pissing in,” said former US President Lyndon B Johnson. Mugabe’s position is a lot worse in that those inside the tent want to throw him out and those outside are more than pissing they are shooting in!

Source: by Wilbert Mukori

Bhasikiti, through ConCourt, bars Mugabe from declaring Mwenezi East Costituency vacant.

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THE Constitutional Court, is of late passing judgements that can be viewed as democratic, with the latest, being a full people’s victory against oppressive authority.Zimbabweans have for a long time been confronted by a solid wall when in need of challenging the President’s dictatorial tendencies but now the tide seems to be turning fully in favour of the people.

Recently, MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti , the former Masvingo provincial state minister was expelled from Zanu PF purged in a ruthless purge, that saw many Zanu PF stalwarts fall from grace. He however proceeded to the Concourt, and filed an urgent chamber application seeking bar Mugabe from declaring Mwenezi constituency vacant and his gamble , effectively paid off well, as On Thursday, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court barred President Robert Mugabe from declaring , MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti’s former constituency, Mwenezi vacant. Bhasikiti was represented by the MDC-Renewal Team’s Tendai Biti, who was also the Government of National Unity Finance Minister from 2008 to 2013, thus a man keen to fight tooth and nail against Mugabe at any level in defence of democracy.

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti’s case rests on the argument that Mugabe cannot declare the Mwenezi vacant, an call for a by election, until the High Court has completed his expulsion case. The full Constitutional Court bench was in agreement with Kudakwashe Bhasikiti’s argument and Robert Mugabe should barred from doing so. by Sibusiso Ngwenya

photo-Former Masvingo State minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti-nehandaradio

Burundi’s second Vice President ‘Gervais Rufyikiri’, has fled to Belgium

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Burundi has once again come to the media spotlight as one of Burundi’s National  Vice Presidents, Gervais Rufyikiri the second Vice President, has skipped the border and fled to Belgium, claiming that he was in real  fear for his security after personally being threatened for  speaking out against or denouncing  President Pierre Nkurunziza’s volatile bid for a third term in office, a move considered to be unconstitutional.

Following  President Pierre Nkurunziza there were subsequent protests against the president since 26th April 2005, by the people and the assasination of a key opposition figure,  and thousands of civillians fled across Burundi’s borders to neighbouring nations for safety after growing violence injured many people.  Burundi’s government have denied the allegations laid by the Burundi’s government’s second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri  . by Sibusiso Ngwenya.

photo-Burundi Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri -breakingtimes.

 

About Jonathan Moyo: ‘Mugabe has the power to appoint or dismiss Ministers’

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THIS is a quick note to provide a legal explanation around the current situation of Prof Jonathan Moyo whom reports say has been relieved of his Governmental functions. Details of what has transpired are not clear at present. One view is that he has been sacked. The other perspective is that what has happened is merely procedural and that he will bounce back into cabinet.The purpose of this note is to explain the law around the appointment and removal of Cabinet Ministers as provided for in the Constitution. The aim is to respond to the numerous inquiries from the media and members of the public regarding the legal aspects in this scenario.

First, it is trite that in terms of the Constitution, all cabinet ministers are appointed by the President at his discretion in terms of s. 104 of the Constitution. It is also trite that Cabinet Ministers serve at the pleasure of the President. They can be hired and fired at any time. To use words made famous by Moyo himself the last time he was fired from Cabinet in 2004, “he who appoints also has the power to disappoint”.

Therefore, President Mugabe has the power to sack Moyo if that is what he has done. There is little recourse in such a case as one cannot force himself upon the President. This would explain what has happened if indeed he has been sacked. However, there is a view that this is simply a procedural requirement. Let us look at this explanation.

In terms of s. 104(3) of the Constitution, Ministers are appointed from among Members of Parliament. However, up to 5 chosen on the basis of their professional skills and competence may be appointed from outside Parliament. They are all of equal status, whether from Parliament or from outside Parliament. Moyo was among the 5 who were appointed under the Presidential appointment facility because he had lost the Tsholotsho North seat in the 2013 elections. Therefore, he served as a Minister, although he was not an MP.

However, his situation changed last week when he contested and won the Tsholotsho North seat following a by-election. Moyo was duly sworn in as an MP following his victory. Did this change in his situation from non-MP to MP affect his seat as a Cabinet Minister? It didn’t have to affect his status if President Mugabe still wanted him to remain as Minister.

Did it mean he could no longer be a Cabinet Minister under the facility through which he was initially appointed in 2013?

Technically, yes. Moyo no longer needed the Presidential appointment facility under s. 104(3) to serve as a Minister. Instead, he could now be one of the Ministers drawn from Parliament. This would actually free up one space, allowing the President to appoint another person in that space, should he wish to do so. Moyo could remain as a Cabinet Minister, but now as a Member of Parliament.

Did this require Moyo to be relieved of his functions as a Minister, only to be re-appointed later?

If one wants to be pedantic, this would be the procedure but it is really no different from a Cabinet reshuffle. You don’t have to go through an elaborate ceremony of removing Ministers and re-appointing them again in a Cabinet reshuffle. What would be the point of all that?

The one constitutional provision that is remotely relevant is s. 108(3), which states that a Minister appointed from outside Parliament vacates his office “if circumstances arise that would result in his or her seat becoming vacant were he or she a Member of Parliament”. This requires us to consider whether there are any circumstances as provided for under s. 129 of the Constitution. This is the provision that deals with circumstances under which an MP would vacate office.

The only ground that is remotely relevant to Moyo’s situation, which I suspect may have been used in this case, is s. 129(1)(g) which states that an MP vacates his seat if he “accepts public office”.  “Public office” is defined under s. 332, the definitions section in the Constitution as “a paid office in the service of the State” and a “public officer” is “a person holding or acting in a public office”. This would therefore qualify the office of an MP as a “public office”.

In this regard, it might be said that when Moyo was sworn in as an MP, he became a “public officer” and as such technically, this circumstance triggered the operation of s. 129(1)(g), as read with s. 108(3), meaning that he vacated his Ministerial office when he accepted that “public office”. In this regard, it could be said he lost his office by operation of law and he would have to await re-appointment by the President. This would explain why technically, he is not regarded as a Cabinet Minister in the present circumstances. However, it’s not automatic that he would be re-appointed. That is entirely at the discretion of the President.

The other related provision, which is also a possible explanation is. 129(1)(h) which states that if a person was a public officer at the time of becoming an MP, he would have to relinquish his public office within 30 days of the date that he is declared an MP. If this is read strictly, it would mean that since Moyo was a Minister and therefore a public officer as defined above, he would be required to relinquish the Ministerial office within 30 days of being sworn in as MP, which he still has time to do. Of course, Mugabe can reappoint him to the same post if he wants to. But this might explain why he has been required to give up his Ministerial position as has been reported.

If indeed, the President’s intention is to retain him, he could have easily avoided the drama that has accompanied the occasion by doing a straight-swap, literally moving the chairs or, in other words, moving Moyo from the one chair of Minister as a non-MP to the chair of Minister as an MP. It would have been quick, bloodless and without all the drama. Moyo would still be exercising his functions as Minister, rather than a situation where he has had to go home and await re-appointment, which might or might not come.

This might suggest that there is more to it than mere procedure. If it is merely procedural, then the Government has created unnecessary drama. There is fertile ground to speculate that this is more than just a procedural matter. Surely, government lawyers would have known this in advance? Surely, someone in government would have anticipated this situation and prepared for it? It’s not as if it was not foreseeable that Moyo would be elected? Why then the drama on something that was easily foreseeable and could have been prepared for in advance? Was someone trying to embarrass Moyo? Did the lawyers in government who raised this not advise Moyo of this possibility when he contested? If so, why?

It’s probable that President Mugabe might be unhappy over something or he might want to use this occasion to do a Cabinet reshuffle, which is entirely at his discretion. He might have another portfolio in mind for Moyo, which might explain why he has not followed the simple and straightforward procedure of a straight swap. He might be opening up space for a preferred candidate, perhaps the First Lady herself?

There can be all sorts of speculation as to what President Mugabe is up to and why he has done this. Has he sacked Moyo for good? Or is he merely following procedure? Will Moyo bounce back as Information Minister or will he return in another portfolio? Will he return at all? Is this all part of the succession battles within Zanu PF? We just don’t know.

What is clear at law however, is that the President has the power to appoint and he also has the power to remove. The next few hours or days will reveal more fully what has transpired along Samora Machel Avenue in the corridors of the grand old buildings called Munhumutapa. by Alex T. Magaisa. source-bulawayo24.

photo-President Robert Mugabe-bulawayo24.

‘ZEC, CIOs rig polls for Zanu PF’ says the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI)

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THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is complicit in the continued rigging of polls by the ruling Zanu PF party, a local think-tank has said.

Following the Hurungwe-West by-election fiasco in which ZEC has admitted to allowing MP elect Keith Guzah of Zanu PF to contest and claim victory even though he was registered in another constituency, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) says the admission exposed the extent of poll manipulation in the country.

“The administrative manner under which ZEC conducted the Hurungwe West by-­-election exposes the extent of electoral manipulation in Zimbabwe where the electoral management body tasked with administering an election cannot follow the law which explicitly states that a candidate should be a registered voter in the constituency they wish to contest,” said ZDI.

“The conduct of ZEC in Hurungwe West on 10 June 2015, points to the complicity of the electoral management body and Zanu PF in the rigging of elections in Zimbabwe”.

ZDI added that the inconsistencies and controversies mainly in ZEC’s explanation “is a microcosm of a bigger and deeper credibility and lack of transparency associated with ZEC’s management of elections in Zimbabwe”.

ZDI said ZEC was stuffed with Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives as evidenced by the calibre of its “staffers whose history can be traced to the president’s office”.

The group gave as examples new chief elections officer Constance Chigwamba, and her predecessor, the late Lovemore Sekeramayi, as testimony to the “conflation between the state and electoral institutions”.

“ZEC’s conduct has reduced Zimbabwe into a competitive electoral authoritarian regime where elections are a means by which the regime tries to reproduce itself.

Under this scenario, the electoral context, environment and administration are crafted to deliver a pre-determined outcome of regime retention and continuity”. source-newzimbabwe

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