Source: No law allows ministers to disobey court orders: VP – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 16, 2016
VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa last week said government policy does not allow ministers to disobey court orders, but ducked questions directly related to Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s alleged defiance of a High Court order to reinstate suspended Gweru councillors.
by VENERANDA LANGA
The VP was grilled during the question-and-answer session in the National Assembly by Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross, who wanted him to explain if government supported Kasukuwere’s defiance of a lawful court order .
“The MP is asking whether it is government policy to say ministers should not obey the courts. No, there is no such policy, and I will repeat: No, there is no such policy,” Mnangagwa said.
“He (Cross) goes further and mentions a particular incident, whose details I am not aware of, and the best thing he should do is to quote those facts and present them to the appropriate minister those facts relate to, and that will be given an appropriate answer because the facts will be dealt with by the appropriate minister.”
Cross told the House that in June last year, Kasukuwere suspended the entire MDC-T-led Gweru City Council, before the court intervened and ordered him to reinstate all the councillors, including mayor Hamutendi Kombayi.
Kasukuwere is yet to comply with the directive.
“The minister then appealed the decision at the High Court. In the High Court in Bulawayo, this matter was heard in March, and an extremely strong judgment was issued by the High Court in Bulawayo against the minister ordering him again that the councillors should be permitted to go back to work, but instead the minister had appealed the issue to the Supreme Court,” Cross said.
The judge also ordered Kasukuwere to foot the legal costs of the suit.
“It is costing us thousands of dollars as a country to conduct these hearings. Are we going to permit this kind of activity? Surely adherence to the Constitution is a simple and straightforward matter,” Cross said.
Mnangagwa said he could not respond to Cross’ question as the matter was sub judice (before the courts).