Cde Mutambara sides with Mugabe over provincial governors, envoys

HARARE – Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara has made a sudden U-turn from his party position on the controversial issue of President Robert Mugabe’s alleged unilateral appointments of key government positions.

Mutambara told Parliament Wednesday that appointments of provincial governors and ambassadors were determined by the Head of State.

Mutambara made the remarks during Parliament’s Question and Answer Session and angry MDC-T MPs reacted by calling him a sellout who should just buy a Zanu PF membership card.

Mutambara was responding to a question by Nyanga North MP, Douglas Mwonzora who wanted him to explain government policy on provisions in Amendment 19 of the Constitution, especially concerning the appointment of governors and Ambassadors.

“We value what we do in this country as an inclusive government and we must be aware how international law is enforced,” said Mutambara.
“The relationship between countries is determined by a Head of State of that country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Mutambara said if any party had qualms about matters of constitutionalism, the Supreme Court, which is the Constitutional Court of the country, should be able to deal with them.

He said the appointment of governors, judges or ambassadors by President Mugabe was done according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the country’s leaders needed to adhere to the Constitution.

“Mr Speaker, we are a constitutional democracy which is very clear in terms of how our appointments are done pertaining to judges and ambassadors and these are done according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mutambara’s party has however given an opposite official position on the issue. Last week, MDC-M spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa told NewsDay that his party sided with the MDC-T on the position that President Mugabe should have consulted when he made the appointments. 

However, during separate interviews with NewsDay, constitutional specialist Greg Linington and the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu said there was need for a separate Constitutional Court in Zimbabwe with judges of integrity who would be able to administer justice in a non partisan manner.

They said the Supreme Court was battling to deal with many cases brought before it and a Constitutional Court with expert judges in Constitutional issues was imperative.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana said Zimbabwe’s judges were professional.

“If the Constitution is clear, no one should be lost when applying the law.

“It is not a question of blaming judges for being partial when interpreting the law because we will end up talking bad things about them,” he said. – NewsDay