Human rights activist challenges Mugabe’s presidential powers

Human Rights activist Mfundo Mlilo has filed a Constitutional Court application challenging President Robert Mugabe’s powers used to gazette Statutory Instrument (SI) 117/2017, which amended the Electoral Act.

Through his lawyer, Tendai Biti, Mlilo argues the use of Presidential Powers to amend the Constitution and override the role of Parliament is illegal. Said Mlilo:

Surely this cannot be acceptable and in any event, this clearly is in breach of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. For purposes of this case, it is disheartening that the President has, in fact, amended an Act of Parliament, namely the Reserve Bank Act. Surely, that on its own is a breach of Section 134 of the Constitution. In any event, the President, acting in terms of the Act or any other law, does not have the power to override Parliament through a parliamentary amendment or the making of a law that overrides existing law . . . Accordingly to the extent that the respondent (Mugabe) has purported to make a law, being the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations, we seek that the same be declared null and void and of no force and effect.

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