The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) has rejected a Statutory Instrument promulgated by Minister of Lands Agriculture and Resettlement, Perrance Shiri which seeks to criminalise farmers who breach Command Agriculture programs. The PLC noted that the contract is a civil matter and as such the remedy should be civil and not criminal. PLC chairperson Jonathan Samukange last week said,
The committee still stands on the view that Sections 5, 6 and 7 criminalise the breach of contract…These two parties have agreed that they will go into this contract. They sign the agreement. What is happening is that the minister now wants to criminalise what the two parties had agreed to. In our view, we think that it is contravening the rights of the contracting parties.
…The law should not be there to cause innocent people to suffer. That is not right, it is bad law.
Minister Shiri is left with two options. Either to repeal the offending provisions of the statutory instrument or to approach the Constitutional Court for a declaration that those sections are constitutional.
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The Targeted Command Agriculture is a Zimbabwean agricultural scheme aimed at ensuring food self-sufficiency that was introduced at the start of the 2016 - 2017 farming season following the drought of the previous season. The scheme was introduced as Zimbabwe struggled with economic problems. It... Read More About Command Agriculture
Perrance Shiri is a Zimbabwean politician and a retired four-star general in the Air Force of Zimbabwe. He is the current Minister of Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. Shiri retired from the Air Force of Zimbabwe where he was the Commander to pursue a career... Read More About Perrance Shiri
The Constitutional Court is the final court of appeals for all matters relating to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, and its decisions are binding on all other courts in Zimbabwe. It has the power to make the final decision on the constitutionality of an act of... Read More About Constitutional Court