Women representative groups have approached the High Court seeking leave to sue President Emmerson Mnangagwa for not appointing enough women as cabinet ministers.
The groups are the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWALA), and the Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE).Mnangagwa, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, and Attorney-General Prince Machaya are cited as respondents.The women groups accuse Mnangagwa of failing to respect the country’s Constitution.
The first respondent is required to uphold, defend, and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the nation and must ensure that this Constitution and all the other laws are faithfully observed. He is further required to be guided by considerations of regional and gender balance in appointing ministers and their deputies.
The applicants argue that since November last year, Mnangagwa had either reshuffled his cabinet or appointed ministers on at least four occasions.
ZWLA submitted that on November 8 last year, Mnangagwa appointed five female and eight male ministers and five women and 13 men as deputy ministers.
This ZWLA argued constituted 21% and 28% of women appointed as ministers or deputies, respectively.
It also noted how Mnangagwa after firing health minister Obadiah Moyo over corruption charges, he replaced him with a male candidate in the form of Zimbabwe’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
The groups also cited the replacement of the late Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri with another man, Anxious Masuka while after Energy Minister Fortune Chasi was fired last month, and replaced with Soda Zhemu, a male candidate.
Part of the High Court application reads:
It is of great public importance that this court ensures that the first respondent fulfils his functions in a constitutional manner. He must follow the supreme law. The Constitution should transform our legal system and society.
The matter is yet to be heard.