United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean academic Alex Magaisa has criticised Harare Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC), Tafadzwa Muguti for purportedly exercising powers that he doesn’t possess.
This comes after Muguti Wednesday directed Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and churches, among other organisations, to seek operational clearance through his office.
Commenting on Muguti’s directive, Magaisa, a law lecturer at the University of Kent, United Kingdom, said Muguti is now “intoxicated by a false sense of power”. Wrote Magaisa:
This chap, one Tafadzwa Muguti* has a disproportionately elevated opinion of himself. If he’s not demolishing homes, he’s trying to control civil society organisations.
Conspicuously missing in this extravagant demand is the law under which he’s exercising his phantom power. He just refers to an MoU. An MoU is not a law.
It is trite that the conduct of governmental and administrative affairs must be based on the law.
Someone told him he is a Provincial Development Coordinator & he sees himself as Harare’s Prime Minister.
He even has “Office of the Provincial Coordinator” on his letterhead! Intoxicated by a false sense of power, he just wakes up and decides that he’s going to do something, no legal basis for it, just his whim!
A decent bureaucrat would have said, “acting under X Act, I require the following information which is required in terms of the law”.
But Muguti cannot do that because his role is a fiction created by the regime. He’s just a ZANU PF impostor masquerading as a serious public officer. His demand in this poorly written letter cannot survive judicial review.
The first basic test of any administrative action is that it must be lawful. Section 68 of the Conis clear but he probably doesn’t even have a copy of the supreme law of the country. In other words, it must be based on existing law.
There’s no law that gives this chap the power that he’s flaunting. It’s called arbitrary rule. The chap is, quite clearly, a danger to society and to himself.
The trouble is that instead of getting together to resist this unlawful demand, some will quietly comply, giving him an unwarranted sense of self-importance.
That is the problem of habituating to authoritarian rule. People comply with unlawful demands in the name of survival.
The proper way is to challenge the unlawful exercise of this power through judicial review.
… For the avoidance of doubt to my fellow St Francis of Assisi alumni, this not our Tafadzwa Muguti. He is a decent man schooled by the Franciscans!
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