Mugabe maybe stuck with Mujuru: Analysts

HARARE - As the Zanu PF enemies of embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru sharpen their knives in their bid to oust her from power, some analysts say this is easier at a party level, as her removal in her capacity as the State’s number two is mired in complexity.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of local political think-tank Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), said yesterday that there was clearly “a bit of oversight” on the part of the drafters of the country’s new Constitution as section 97(i) was very specific about how a vice president could be removed from office.

“This is no longer a Zanu PF matter, but a national matter. Even the MDC is also implicated as they are also involved.

“Also, the insistance by (First Lady) Grace Mugabe and (Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Christopher) Mutsvangwa that Mujuru should resign shows that they know that there are legal implications involved in removing her.

“A literal reading of the Constitution shows that the president cannot fire a VP from government. The same manner Mugabe is removed from power is the same way the VP can be removed. But knowing Zanu PF as an unlawful people, they are capable of doing anything,” Ruhanya said.

“This case is a legal test case in the history of this Constitution and it will be historic if Mugabe violates this provision.

“The ball game is very different from a historical vote of no confidence against party chairpersons in the provinces because those were a Zanu PF matter,” he said.

But Kent law lecturer Alex Magaisa said there were two contrasting ways in which Mujuru could be removed as State vice president.

The Constitution provided this under section 97, which was the more onerous method; and under section 14(2) of the Sixth Schedule, which was relatively simpler and less onerous.

Under section 97, there were four grounds that were mentioned for this to happen, namely serious misconduct; failure to obey, uphold or defend the Constitution, wilful violation of the Constitution; and inability to perform the function of the office because of physical or mental incapacity.

The procedure for removing the vice president on these grounds was that an investigation would be launched if at least half of the total membership of the National Assembly and Senate, sitting jointly, passed a resolution that the vice president should be investigated on any of these grounds.

This investigation needed to be carried out by a nine-member joint committee that was drawn from both Houses and chosen by the Committee on Standing Orders and Rules of Parliament, which also needed to reflect the political composition of Parliament.

If the joint committee made a recommendation for removal, the matter would then be placed before a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate, who needed to pass a resolution for the removal, supported by at least a two-thirds majority of the total membership.

Section 14(2) of the Sixth Schedule provided that the person who was elected as president, “must appoint not more than two vice presidents, who hold office at his or her pleasure” and it was in accordance with this provision that Mugabe appointed Mujuru as vice president of the country.

This suggested power by Mugabe to dismiss the VP from office, whenever he wished to do so.

“Under this interpretation, it means that the president can dismiss the vice president if he no longer has confidence in him or her.

“In other words, in this case, VP Mujuru holds office at president Mugabe’s pleasure,” Magaisa said.

“Politically, the question is, since president Mugabe has this power (under section 14(2), why has he refused or failed to use it and dismiss VP Mujuru?

“Why has he resorted instead, to using his spouse to batter and bash his vice president mercilessly, when he has the power to dismiss her and put her out of her misery, if he really thinks she is no longer fit and proper, as alleged by his wife, to carry on as vice president?

“The answer probably lies in the existence or absence of political courage,” Magaisa added.

Comments (6)


Harare - 23 November 2014

Legal interpretation is pretty simple, what is difficult is distancing our own sentiments/wishes from the analysis. Seemingly legal-literal persons say “These are matters for the National Constitution, not Zanu-PF Constitution; investigation committee; at the President's pleasure...this, here, that, there.....” It is lawful to remove a Vice President from office even WITHOUT stating any wrongs, and WITHOUT violating both Constitutions, National or Zanu PF. Others ask, why Mugabe has found it fit and proper to undress his VP in public. Good question, but it's clear the answer is there in the Press, ASSUMING of course that the allegations are true. Dr Mujuru ATTACKED Dr Mugabe, albeit she sincerely believed she was behind some protective screens to hide her face/identity. The latter responded in kind. Here the two pulled off their positional-gowns as well as Doctoral-gowns, and decided, as it seems, to fight it in the known feminine way (Woman-to-woman). President Mugabe, might have sides (blood is thicker than water we all know that), but he hasn't vilified Dr Mujuru. It would appear he concluded that the 'Devil has met with his/her equal nemesis.' And, with dignity, Mugabe can later ask Dr Mujuru to vacate Office without alleging any WRONG. That way he will spare her the ridicule/stigma apparent from being 'fired', and also protect his own dignity that he has nonetheless continued to respect her regardless of her alleged tantrums/shortcomings. Investigations for corruption and other 'crimes/offences' can be conducted later, and the outcome will not have any nexus with leaving the VP office. Dr Mujuru will NOT have any grounds to challenge the removal, whether or not she wins the BATTLE in the inquiry proceedings. Smart politics.

Chenjerai Makudo - 23 November 2014

Even a madman can tell from the headline that this is a desperate and crazy wishful thinking from a group of losers.

reason - 24 November 2014

why read the paper then friend? don't read the edition by desperate and crazy thinking ppl lest you be the same.

zvirozviyedzwa - 24 November 2014

My worry on the current goings-on in Zanu PF (a party that I don't support but is in power nonetheless -at least until 2018 when their term of office paves way to elections) is that the broom (which traditionally should sweep the trash) is being swept by the trash.

papa paddie - 24 November 2014

That is so stupid. Mugabe cant be stuck with anyone to the contrary it is all of Zimbabwe that is stuck with Mugabe. Mugabe is Zanu PF, Politiburo, Government, Constitution, The Law and everuthing. He does as he please whenver he pleases.

zvakare - 25 November 2014

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