HomePoliticsMugabe's Functions Under Constitution Before Power-sharing

Mugabe’s Functions Under Constitution Before Power-sharing

ZIMBABWE’S opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) refuses to sign a power-sharing deal with the ruling Zanu PF party in a dispute over the amount of power transferred to its leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a Prime Ministerial role from the executive functions of President Robert Mugabe.

 

As a way to promote public debate on the issues, we publish below the Presidential functions as laid out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Most but three of the functions have either been shared with the Prime Minister, cross-referenced with Cabinet or transferred in the envisaged deal.

The remaining functions are the power to declare a state emergency, declare clemency and declare war or make peace.

 

CHAPTER IV

THE EXECUTIVE

PART 1

The President

27 The President

(1) There shall be a President who shall be Head of State and Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.

(2) The President shall take precedence over all other persons in Zimbabwe.

PART 3

Executive Functions

31 Executive functions of President

(1) The executive authority of Zimbabwe shall vest in the President and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, may be exercised by him directly or through the Cabinet, a Vice-President, a Minister or a Deputy Minister.

[Subsection as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 – Amendment No. 10]

(2) It shall be the duty of the President to uphold this Constitution and ensure that the provisions of this Constitution and of all other laws in force in Zimbabwe are faithfully executed.

(3) The President shall have such powers as are conferred upon him by this Con-stitution or by or under any Act of Parliament or other law or convention and, subject to any provision made by Parliament, shall, as Head of State, in addition have such prerogative powers as were exercisable before the appointed day.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), the President shall have power, subject to the provisions of this Constitution—

(a) to appoint, accredit, receive and recognize diplomatic agents and consular officers; and

(b) to enter into international conventions, treaties and agreements; and

(c) to proclaim and to terminate martial law; and

(d) to declare war and to make peace; and

(e) to confer honours and precedence.

(5) In the exercise of his functions the President shall act on the advice of the Cabinet, except in cases where he is required by this Constitution or any other law to act on the advice of any other person or authority:

Provided that the President shall not be obliged to act on the advice of the Cabinet with respect to—

(a) the dissolution or prorogation of Parliament; or

(b) the appointment or removal of a Vice-President or any Minister or Deputy Minister; or

[Paragraph as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 ––Amendment No. 10]

(b1) subject to the provisions of an Act of Parliament such as is referred to in section 111A, the appointment or removal of a Provincial Governor in terms of such Act; or

[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 4 of 1989 –– Amendment No. 8

and as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 –– Amendment No. 10]

(c) the assignment or reassignment of functions to a Vice-President or any Minister or Deputy Minister or with respect to the cancellation of any such assignment or reassignment of functions; or

[Paragraph as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 –– Amendment No. 10]

(c1) the designation of a Vice-President or Minister in terms of section 31(1); or

[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 15 of 1990 ––Amendment No. 10]

(c2) the appointment of members of Parliament in terms of section 38(1)(d); or

[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 15 of 1990 – Amendment No. 10]

(d) the appointment of any person to an office or post in terms of this Constitution or any other law, or the removal of any person from such an office or post, where the President is required by this Constitution or by the law concerned, as the case may be, to consult any other person or authority before making the appointment or effecting the removal.

(6) Nothing in this section shall prevent Parliament from conferring or imposing functions on persons or authorities other than the President.

31I Prerogative of mercy

(1) The President may, subject to such lawful conditions as he may think fit to impose —

(a) grant a pardon to any person concerned in or convicted of a criminal offence against any law; or

(b) grant a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of any sentence for such an offence; or

(c) substitute a less severe punishment for that imposed by any sentence for such an offence; or

(d) suspend for a specified period or remit the whole or part of any sentence for such an offence or any penalty of forfeiture otherwise imposed on account of such an offence.

(2) Where a person resident in Zimbabwe has been convicted in another country of a criminal offence against a law in force in that country, the President may declare that that conviction shall not be regarded as a conviction for the purposes of this Con-stitution or any other law in force in Zimbabwe.

31J Public emergencies

(1) The President may at any time, by proclamation in the Gazette, declare in relation to the whole of Zimbabwe or any part thereof that —

(a) a state of public emergency exists; or

(b) a situation exists which, if allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency.

(2) A declaration under subsection (1), if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of fourteen days beginning with the day of publica-tion of the proclamation in the Gazette unless, before the expiration of that period, the declaration is approved by resolution of Parliament:

Provided that, if Parliament is dissolved during the period of fourteen days, the declaration, unless sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of thirty days beginning with the day of publication of the proclamation in the Gazette unless, before the expiration of that period, the declaration is approved by resolution of Parliament.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(3) Where a declaration under subsection (1)—

(a) is not approved by resolution under subsection (2), the President shall forth-with, after Parliament has considered the resolution and failed to approve it or, if Parliament has not considered the resolution, on the expiration of the appropriate period specified in subsection (2), by proclamation in the Ga-zette, revoke the declaration;

(b) is approved by resolution under subsection (2), the declaration shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), continue in effect for a period of six months beginning with the day of publication of the proclamation in the Gazette:

Provided that, where Parliament has in the resolution under subsection (2) specified that the declaration shall continue in effect for a period of less than six months, the President shall, by proclamation in the Gazette, make provision that the declaration shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), be revoked on the expiration of the period so specified.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(4) If Parliament resolves that it considers it expedient that a declaration under subsection (1) should be continued for a further period not exceeding six months, the President shall forthwith, by proclamation in the Gazette, extend the declaration for such further period as may be so resolved.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 ––Amendment No. 9]

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, Parliament may at any time —

(a) resolve that a declaration under subsection (1) should be revoked; or

(b) whether in passing a resolution under subsection (2) or (4) or subsequently, resolve that a declaration under subsection (1) should relate to such lesser area as Parliament may specify;

and the President shall forthwith, by proclamation in the Gazette, revoke the declaration or provide that the declaration shall relate to such lesser area, as the case may be.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(6) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsections (1) to (5), Parliament may at any time resolve in relation to the whole of Zimbabwe or any part thereof that a situation exists which —

(a) if allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency; and

(b) may require the preventive detention of persons in the interests of defence, public safety or public order.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(7) A resolution under subsection (6) shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (8) and unless Parliament has specified that it shall have effect for a period of less than one year, have effect for a period of one year beginning with the day on which it is passed.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(8) Parliament may continue a resolution under subsection (6) for a further period, not exceeding one year.

[Subsection as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 – Amendment No. 10]

(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, Parliament may at any time resolve—

(a) that a resolution under subsection (6) shall cease to have effect; or

(b) that a resolution under subsection (6) shall relate to such lesser area as Par-liament may specify.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 – Amendment No. 9]

(10) A declaration under subsection (1) or a resolution under subsection (6) may be continued in accordance with this section notwithstanding that it has previously been continued.

(11) No resolution under subsection (2), (4), (6) or (8) shall be deemed to have been duly passed unless it receives the affirmative votes of more than one-half of the total membership of Parliament.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 –– Amendment No. 9]

(12) Where Parliament passes a resolution under subsection (6), (8) or (9), the Clerk of Parliament shall forthwith cause to be published in the Gazette a notice of such resolution and the effect thereof.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 –– Amendment No. 9,

and section 15 of Act 14 of 1996 –– Amendment No. 14]

(13) …

[Subsection repealed by section 4 of Act 4 of 1993 – Amendment No. 12]

31K Extent to which exercise of President’s functions justiciable

(1) Where the President is required or permitted by this Constitution or any other law to act on his own deliberate judgement, a court shall not, in any case, inquire into any of the following questions or matters —

(a) whether any advice or recommendation was tendered to the President or acted on by him; or

(b) whether any consultation took place in connection with the performance of the act; or

(c) the nature of any advice or recommendation tendered to the President; or

(d) the manner in which the President has exercised his discretion.

(2) Where the President is required or permitted by this Constitution or any other law to act on the advice or recommendation of or after consultation with any person or authority, a court shall not, in any case, inquire into either of the following questions or matters —

(a) the nature of any advice or recommendation tendered to the President; or

(b) the manner in which the President has exercised his discretion.

[Chapter as substituted by section 2 of Act 23 of 1987]

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