JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney-General Prince Machaya face arrest for contempt of court after they defied a ruling ordering them to craft a code of conduct for the country’s Vice-President and ministers.
In June, High Court judge Justice David Mangota ordered government to craft a law regarding office conduct for the VPs and ministers within 45 days after former law student Nyasha Chiramba approached the court in April 2021 seeking the enactment of the law.
Mangota ruled that the law was long overdue since the Constitution was promulgated nine years ago.
In his court application filed through the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum on Wednesday, Chiramba said: “As more fully appears on that court order, the respondents were ordered to submit to the Cabinet for consideration the Bill envisaged by section 106(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe within 45 days from the date of that order.
“There was a wilful disregard of this order. The order was granted on 8 June 2022 and the respondents failed or neglected to act on that order until 25 days after the issuance of that order on 15 July 2022 when they requested a full judgment of that order.”
Chiramba cited Ziyambi and Machaya as respondents.
“In computing the timeframe to comply with that order, the respondents were supposed to submit to Cabinet this Bill by 17 August 2022. That order is still extant, and the respondents failed or neglected to comply with that order,” he added.
Chiramba said Ziyambi and Machaya’s conduct was contemptuous.
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“In a clear case of attempting to evade compliance with this court order, the respondents approached the Supreme Court under case SC 369/22 seeking condonation for non-compliance and an extension of time to file a notice of appeal in terms of the Supreme Court rules. That application was then struck off the roll.
“The respondents have not appealed against that judgment, and they have not also approached this court seeking extension of time to comply with that order. Their conduct is contemptuous; it goes against the founding principles of constitutional supremacy, rule of law and good governance. That law should sanction that parlous behaviour,” he added.
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