Mugabe ruling by decree
President Robert Mugabe has become Zimbabwe’s sole law-making
authority until the next elections are held following the automatic
dissolution of parliament, his justice minister told state media on Sunday.
The country’s legislature was dissolved on Saturday after completing its
According to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa this left veteran leader
Mugabe as the only law-making power until new elections, for which no clear
date has been set yet.
“There is no authority with the power to make legislation except the
president,” the Sunday Mail newspaper quoted Chinamasa as saying.
“The executive will be left legally limping because it needs the legislature
for it to be fully functional,” he added.
Mugabe and his long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai disagree
over the date for upcoming polls that would end their power-sharing
Mugabe unilaterally proclaimed 31 July for a presidential and parliamentary
vote, but mediators have since pressured him to apply for a two-week delay.
Tsvangirai has filed an appeal, arguing that the proposed delay was too
short to implement key reforms in media and the security forces.
This will be the longest time since 1980 independence that the country is
run under presidential decree after the dissolution of parliament, according
“Normally parliament is dissolved the midnight before elections,” he said.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government four years ago to
pull the country back from the brink of conflict.
New elections were due 18 months after the formation of the government, but
disagreements over the reforms have derailed the vote preparations.