MDC-T on Chihuri – A day late and a dollar short
By Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa
Attorney General Johannes Tomana has rubbished recent media reports regarding the reappointment of Augstine Chihuri as Police Commissioner General by the President.President Mugabe is the only person with the mandate to appoint or reappoint the Commissioner-General of Police and other constitutional bodies without consulting anyone except the Public Service CommissionTomana uses a superfluous semantic argument about the legal differences between appointment and re-appointment in the constitution. Truthfully, he needn’t have wasted his breath.
The MDC is trying to exercise Subsection 20.1.3 (p) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19)Act, 2008 states that the President:in consultation with the Prime Minister, makes key appointments the President is required to make under and in terms of the Constitution or any Act of Parliament;Where “in consultation” is defined in Amendment 19 as meaning that the President is required to consult and secure the agreement or consent of the person consulted. In this case the Prime Minister.
However, Chapter IX Section 93(2) of the Constitution which deals with the appointment of the Police Commissioner General requires that any appointments to this position be made “after consultation with such person or authority as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament”. In other words, the President may appoint, or re-appoint as his whims dictate.
In an audit of the Global political Agreement Dereck Matyszak notes that the MDC placed undue emphasis on gaining control of the Ministry of Home affairs which administers the Police Act. Given the number of lawyers amongst the MDC’s Party officials it is surprising that they were unaware that only the President and Police Commissioner General determine appointments within the Police Force, while the Attorney General may -Commissioner General to direct the Police Commissioner General to investigate criminal offences and he as the final say over prosecutions. I’m sure that the MDC-T is very aware that the Attorney General, Mr Tomana, serves at the pleasure of the President.
In the beginning of the MDC-Ts formal relationship with ZANU PF Mr Tsvangirai has the opportunity to exert the authority of his office. He neglected to do so in favour of political expediency. MDC-T will of course cry foul to anyone who’ll listen over Chihuri’s inevitable re-appointment. They may even threaten to pull out of the Inclusive Government and throw themselves on the ground in front of Zuma and SADC begging that their boo-boo be fixed and the world made right again. They have only themselves to blame.
In concluding his introduction to the audit, Mr Matsyszak wrote:No one should be surprised by the failure of the GPA to open democratic space. The chain of command over the instruments of state repression was unaltered.
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