Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa and his Cabinet will remain in office until his swearing-in on the ninth day from the time he was declared winner of the July 30 harmonised elections if there is no presidential election challenge with the Constitutional Court, a senior Government official has said.
In an interview yesterday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Section 94 of the Constitution did not provide a vacuum of governance, but provided a period within which an inauguration should take place.
Section 94 of the Constitution provides as follows: “Assumption of Office by President and Vice President -Persons elected as President and Vice-Presidents assume office when they take, before the Chief Justice or the next most senior judge available, the oaths of President and Vice-President respectively in the forms set out in the Third Schedule, which oaths they must take:
(a) on the ninth day after they are declared to be elected; or
(b) in the event of a challenge to the validity of their election, within forty-eight hours after the
Constitutional Court has declared them to be the winners.
(2) The incumbent President continues in office until the assumption of office by the President-elect in terms of subsection (1).”
Section 108 of the Constitution provides as follows: “Tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers-(1) The office of a Minister or Deputy Minister becomes vacant – (a) if the President removes him or her from office;
(b) if he or she resigns from office by written notice to the President;
(c) upon the assumption of office by a new President.”
Minister Ziyambi said the constitutional provision meant that there was no vacuum that could be occasioned by the delayed inauguration of the President.
“The date of the inauguration is peremptory. The provision says ‘must’ be done on the ninth day. This means if he was declared winner on Friday, he must be sworn in on Sunday, the day upon which the ninth day falls. In the meantime, the incumbent President continues to be in office,” said Minister Zi- yambi.
“The Constitution is clear in that it does not create a vacuum. If there is an election challenge that inauguration would stand deferred, but he will be sworn in within 48 hours after the Constitutional Court concludes the petition,” said Minister Zi- yambi.
zanu-pf candidate President Mnangagwa won against MDC-Alliance’s Mr Nelson Chamisa to land the post of President for a five-year term.
Mr Chamisa has said he wants to challenge the election results, which he claims do not reflect how Zimbabweans voted.