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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Constitution of ZimbabweRobert MugabeTendai Biti

The Constitution of Zimbabwe is the supreme law of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's latest constitution was voted for and approved in a referendum of 16 March 2013. Before the current constitution, Zimbabwe used a constitution negotiated at the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement as Zimbabwe... Read More About Constitution of Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe was a politician and the former President of Zimbabwe. He was the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe from 1987 to November 2017. Prior to this, he was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe since the attainment of independence in 1980. Mugabe resigned from... Read More About Robert Mugabe

Tendai Laxton Biti is a politician and currently one of the 3 Vice Presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He was elected the vice presidency in May 2019 at the MDC Congress. Biti is also one of Zimbabwe's most prominent lawyers. Biti is... Read More About Tendai Biti


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