Source: Mujuru politicking in bond notes challenge: Govt | The Herald September 22, 2016
Daniel Nemukuyu : Senior Court Reporter
GOVERNMENT has urged the Constitutional Court to dismiss the bond notes challenge by Zimbabwe People First leader Dr Joice Mujuru, saying it lacked merit and was premised on speculation. The Constitutional Court will on September 28 determine whether or not the politician should be granted direct access to the apex court.Dr Mujuru listed President Mugabe, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya and the Attorney-General Advocate Prince Machaya, as respondents in the constitutional challenge.
The politician wants the proposed introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with the approval of the President and Minister Chinamasa declared unconstitutional for allegedly contravening several cited sections of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The challenge came just after Government announced that it would introduce bond notes that would be used together with the foreign currencies that are accepted as legal tender in the country.
In a notice of opposition filed by the Government lawyers on behalf of President Mugabe, Minister Chinamasa and the AG, it was argued that Dr Mujuru should have waited for the issuance of the notes in order to firstly ascertain the legality of the move.
“The application is itself speculative as there are no bond notes in circulation. It is accordingly not in the interests of justice that applicant be granted direct access to the Constitutional Court as the cause of action is purely speculative.
“The bond notes have not yet been introduced and as such there is no way one can simply argue that they are illegal,” read the notice of opposition.
Government contends that the bond notes will not be a new form of currency to be used in the country but just a representative of a currency already in circulation.
“The introduction of bond notes does not violate the Constitution to the extent that bond notes will be a surrogate of United States currency which will be kept in reserve by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and to which the bond notes will be bonded.
“As such, the bond notes will not be a currency in their own right but merely representative monetary instruments of a foreign currency which is legal tender in Zimbabwe,” read the opposing papers.
The central bank, the lawyers argued, has authority to issue such monetary instruments in terms of Section 7(1) (d) of the RBZ Act.
Dr Mangudya, in his founding affidavit, said the bond notes issue can be resolved by the High Court and that taking it to the apex court was unjustified under the circumstances.
“Applicant accepts in her founding affidavit that the issues she raises can be resolved by the High Court. She is correct in that acceptance.
“I am advised that it is an established position of the law that if a party is able to approach another court and obtain a remedy from it, the Constitutional Court will not exercise its jurisdiction even if a constitutional matter arises,” said Dr Mangudya.
Dr Mangudya said the application was mere politics that was being smuggled into the court of law.
“The application is speculative and has no legal basis for being placed before this Honourable Court.
“It is simple but cheap political stunt that has no place in any court of law,” he said.
In her application, Dr Mujuru said bond notes pose the greatest threat to the livelihoods of people of this country.
She said they will destroy the economy and perpetuate poverty.
Dr Mujuru said from her experience in Government as a Vice President, it was clear to her that the greatest mistake this country ever made was to print the so-called bearer cheques.
She said the only reasonable way forward is to adhere strictly to the multi-currency regime while doing everything necessary to stimulate economic growth.