Con-Court throws out Mujuru's bond notes case

HARARE - The Constitutional Court (Con-Court) yesterday struck off the roll former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s challenge against the introduction of the bond notes which she argued was unconstitutional.

She challenged the legality of a presidential pronouncement that provided a legal framework for the introduction of bond notes as a legal tender.

The full Con-Court bench led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku disposed of the matter on a technicality after President Robert Mugabe’s representative Fortunate Chimbaru raised a preliminary point.

Chimbaru said Mujuru should have first applied in terms of Section 85 of the Constitution to have the Presidential Powers Act declared unconstitutional before approaching the Con-Court with her current application.

“The court having considered papers filed of record in this matter and submissions by counsel is of the unanimous decision that the preliminary point is upheld and the matter is struck off the roll with costs,” Chidyausiku ruled.

In the application, Mujuru cited Mugabe, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya and Attorney-General Prince Machaya as respondents.

Making submissions supporting the preliminary point, Thabani Mpofu, who appeared for some of the respondents, said that according to Section 167 (2) (b)of the Constitution, only the Con-Court may determine whether Parliament or the president has failed to fulfil constitutional obligations.

He said the application was not properly before the court.

Lovemore Madhuku, who appeared on behalf of Mujuru, argued that the preliminary point was devoid of merit, adding that the section under which his client brought the application allowed the Con-Court to determine whether Parliament or the president has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation.

He said the preliminary point was raised under the desire to push the court to avoid the matter based on a technicality.

However, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the application was premised on an opinion of an individual as opposed to legal basis, adding that Mujuru did not establish a cause of action.

Chidyausiku also said Mujuru was putting the cart before the horse, adding that she should not have rushed to the Con-Court without exhausting all the available remedies.

In her application, Mujuru sought an order declaring that Mugabe, by issuing Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016, failed to fulfil his constitutional obligations to follow certain provisions of the Constitution.

She argued that Mugabe has no constitutional authority to make statutory instruments and amend Acts of Parliament.

Mujuru’s earlier Con-Court application was in September last year thrown out after ruling then that the suit was “premature and speculative” because the surrogate currency was not yet in circulation.

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