via Has Mugabe violated the constitution? | SW Radio Africa By Mthulisi Mathuthu
Questions are being asked if President Mugabe has violated the constitution, after he avoided appointing an intelligence minister.
Section 225 of the new constitution specifically provides that “the President must appoint a Minister to be responsible for any national intelligence service”.
Sydney Sekeramayi used to hold this portfolio, as minister of state security, but on Tuesday Mugabe made him minister of defence and omitted the security portfolio from his cabinet, raising talk that he may have sacrificed the constitution for political reasons.
It was the first time that Mugabe had omitted the intelligence portfolio in his cabinet announcement.
A constitutional law expert told SW Radio that Mugabe may have reserved the administration of the ministry for himself, in accordance with section 104 of the constitution, which permits the President “to reserve to himself or herself the administration of an Act, Ministry or department”.
However, the expert pointed out that ‘in the absence of clarity, Mugabe’s move ‘could be a violation of the constitution’.
Journalist and Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Muleya, said Mugabe omitted appointing an intelligence minister, as a way of ‘steering clear of factional waters’.
Muleya said Vice President Joice Mujuru was reportedly lobbying for her ally to take up the sensitive post and Mugabe’s move was a way of ‘carrying out a balancing act’.
Mujuru’s faction is in contention with the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction over the succession issue.
Other analysts however speculated that Mugabe’s move was meant to avoid accounting for the CIO activities, by hiding the bulk of their functions under his direct control.
Analysts said while the constitution states that, “all institutions of the State and government at every level are accountable to Parliament” Mugabe could manipulate the system to avoid scrutiny.
The CIO, largely seen as responsible for engineering Mugabe’s questionable July 31st victory, is known to act with impunity. Since independence the CIO has been fingered in numerous incidents, ranging from the Matebeleland massacres to the torture and murder of MDC activists.
The CIO budget, which falls under the Special Services in the President’s office, is not subject to audit by the Auditor-General and numerous complaints about their activities have gone unheeded