A law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Fadzayi Mahere has said the appointment of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as the Health Minister on Tuesday is in violation of Sections 99 and 103 of the national Constitution.
She said Section 103 of the Constitution stipulates that the “Vice-President” is not permitted to hold any other public office while in office, therefore, the appointment is a nullity and must be set aside.
When Nick Mangwana the Information secretary insisted the appointment is constitutional, Mahere added:
He (Chiwenga) cannot be both (Minister of Health and VP). I’m sure you can read. Section 103 of the Constitution is clear. That appointment must be set aside on an urgent basis. It is illegal.
Kudzai Bushu weighed in suggesting that the appointment could be within the confines of the law. Bushu cited Section 99 which says the Vice-Presidents assist the President in the discharge of his or her functions and perform any other functions, including the administration of any Ministry, department or Act of Parliament, that the President may assign them.
Mahere responded suggesting that Bushu’s opinion was wrong. She said:
You’re mistaken. Section 99 is clear. It doesn’t permit the appointment of a VP as a substantive Minister. The terms “assist” in the “administration of a Ministry” mean that at most a VP can be acting at best not that he can hold 2 roles at once. That’s unconstitutional per s103.
Higher and Tertiary Minister Professor Amon Murwira has been acting as the Health Minister since the dismissal of Dr Obadiah Moyo last month over his involvement in a corruption scandal that prejudiced the state of over US$60 million.
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