Kasukuwere's and Other Ministers' Appointments Challenged

The Supreme Court on Thursday heard an application filed by Moven Kufa, a civil society activist and The Voice for Democracy Trust seeking the Court to cut cabinet ministerial portfolios to 31 from 41.

Kufa brought his application on the basis that the bloated executive is unlawfully chewing up taxpayers’ money.

On Thursday, Kufa’s lawyer, Advocate David Ochieng, insisted that Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had breached the Constitution by appointing 10 more ministers instead of 31. Ochieng argued that the appointment of the ministers by Mugabe in consultation with Tsvangirai were unconstitutional and therefore null and void. He also argued that the bloated executive is unlawfully chewing up taxpayers’ money.

Apart from challenging the appointment of Kasukuwere, Kufa is also contesting the selection of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi, Minister of State in Vice-President John Nkomo’s Office Flora Bhuka, Minister of State in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Office Sylvester Nguni, Minister of Health Henry Madzorera, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Giles Mutsekwa and co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and Regional Integration Sekai Holland.

If Kasukuwere’s appointment together with that of the other ministers is ruled invalid it could put Zanu (PF) and Mugabe’s indigenisation drive off the rails. The former ruling party and its octogenarian leader have in recent months been using the indigenisation and empowerment drive as a political campaign tool aimed at winning citizens vote ahead of a planned general election.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, opposed Kufa’s application and argued that Zanu (PF), MDC-T and MDC parties must also be cited as respondents in the matter because they were responsible for nominating the ministers, whose appointment is being challenged by Kufa.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku reserved judgment in the matter.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai appointed a total of 41 government ministers in February 2009 after the formation of the coalition government.