People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and lawyer, Mr Tendai Biti said Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not doing his job as justice minister because he is concerned about becoming president. He was responding to Obey Manayiti’s question on why there is no new child protection law 18 months after a Constitutional Court ruling that outlawed child marriages.
Biti said that Mnangagwa is not pushing for a new law because they want votes from people of the Johanne Marange apostolic sect who are practicing child marriages. Below are excepts of the interview:
OM: It’s been a year since the Constitutional Court ruling that should have ended child marriages in Zimbabwe.
Do you still feel the same way as when the judgement was handed down considering that nothing has happened on the ground to ensure the practice is stopped?
TB: The minister of Justice has been a disaster. Emmerson Mnangagwa has slept on the job.
He was supposed to come up with a new child protection law, but 18 months later child marriages are on the increase.
The majority of such cases are happening in the Johanne Marange church but because they want votes from them, they are doing nothing about it.
It is terrible that children are sacrificed for political expediency.
OM: You have been very critical of Mnangagwa’s lack of urgency in ensuring that laws are aligned to the new constitution. Why do you think he is dragging his feet?
TB: He is serving too many masters and his core job is being affected.
The law is suffering because he wants to be president and that is what matters to him.