Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

In a recent development that throws Zimbabwe’s commitment to democratic principles into question, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda have come under scrutiny for their blatant disregard of constitutional norms. This article examines the series of unconstitutional acts that are shaping Zimbabwe’s political landscape and threatening its democratic integrity.

Since taking office, President Mnangagwa has shown a worrying tendency to sidestep constitutional mandates. His ascent to power in 2017, amid circumstances suggestive of a military coup, set a concerning precedent for his presidency. This tenure has been marred by a succession of constitutional violations, casting a shadow over the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

A striking example of these breaches was the appointment of General Phillip Valerio Sibanda as Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, an act later rescinded due to external pressure. This episode is symptomatic of Mnangagwa’s governance style, which often seems to flout legal and constitutional boundaries. Such disregard for constitutional protocol is not only alarming but raises questions about the impeachability of his actions, as they undermine the nation’s legal foundation.

The situation is further aggravated by the appointment of compromised judges and Mnangagwa’s controversial re-inauguration following disputed general elections. The government’s pattern of appointing fake provincial ministers and failing to appoint a State Security or Intelligence minister underscores its routine neglect of constitutional guidelines. These incidents collectively depict a government operating in a realm where constitutional norms are routinely ignored or twisted to suit certain agendas.

Adding to this list of constitutional transgressions is the recent mishandling of elections by the Football Association of Zimbabwe (FAZ) and Justice Loice Matanda Moyo’s involvement, indicative of a conflict of interest. The Sibanda affair exemplifies the administration’s habitual deviation from constitutional legality, further tarnishing Mnangagwa’s reputation as a leader who disregards constitutional constraints.

Simultaneously, Jacob Mudenda, Zimbabwe’s Speaker of Parliament, faces his controversy, which mirrors the systemic indifference to legal processes. Mudenda recently authorized the removal of 18 opposition CCC MPs and senators, defying a High Court order to suspend these actions pending a hearing. This move not only dismisses the court’s directive but also reveals Mudenda’s partisan stance in parliamentary matters.

The High Court, endeavoring to maintain legal procedures, decreed that Mudenda cannot proceed with the recalls while the opposition challenges his decisions. Ignoring this, Mudenda went ahead with the removals, in a blatant violation of the court order. Such defiance, in a country that respects the rule of law, should lead to serious contempt of court charges.

These events signal a profound problem in Zimbabwe’s political system: a blatant disregard for constitutional principles and judicial authority. The actions of both Mnangagwa and Mudenda not only erode the pillars of democracy but also establish a perilous precedent for future governance. They underscore the critical need for accountability and adherence to the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Without this, the nation’s democratic institutions face the risk of further deterioration, threatening the very essence of democracy in Zimbabwe.

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