President Emmerson’s appointment of the Commission of Inquiry into the 1 August violence last week is not legal as he could only do so on the advice of his cabinet but he does not have a cabinet up to now.
Mnangagwa who is currently in China attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation which started today and ends tomorrow has so far only appointed his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
Mnangagwa appointed the seven-member commission headed by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe last week but it has not been officially sworn in yet.
Parliamentary watchdog, Veritas Zimbabwe, said the appointment of the Commission was not legal because section 110(6) of the Constitution states: “In the exercise of his or her functions, the President must act on the advice of the Cabinet, except when he or she is acting in terms of subsection (2) above.”
It said appointing a Commission of Inquiry does not come under subsection two.
Under subsection 2, the President is responsible for:
- assenting to and signing Bills;
- referring a Bill to the Constitutional Court for an opinion or advice on its constitutionality;
- summoning the National Assembly, the Senate or Parliament to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business;
- making appointments which the Constitution or legislation requires the President to make;
- calling elections in terms of this Constitution;
- calling referendums on any matter in accordance with the law;
- deploying the Defence Forces;
- conferring honours and awards;
- appointing ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, and diplomatic and consular representatives; and
- receiving and recognising foreign diplomatic and consular representatives.
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