HARDLY three weeks after President Robert Mugabe invoked the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to amend the Electoral Act and give effect to his proclamation of the July 31 election date, he exposed his open hypocrisy by claiming he strongly dislikes ruling by decree.
Addressing the Zanu PF central committee meeting in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said he wanted elections by the end of this month to elect a new parliament because he did not like ruling by decree.
“We need a parliament which makes laws because at the moment it’s the president who makes decrees,” said Mugabe. “I don’t want that, it’s not a nice way of making laws. The harmonised elections will be held on July 31 but the opposition (MDC formations) argues the date in court because they say it’s too soon. They want more time for what? We don’t see any basis for postponing elections; we can’t postpone elections for selfish reasons.”
Mugabe’s claims stink of hypocrisy considering that he used a presidential decree on June 13 to make changes to the Electoral Act while parliament was still sitting.
Mugabe was criticised for using a presidential decree to amend electoral laws in violation of Section 157(1), which states that only an Act of Parliament can be used to make amendments.
His unprocedural proclamation and unilateral amendments of the law were described as unconstitutional and illegal, although the Constitutional Court endorsed his moves in its ruling on the election date appeal yesterday.