Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has played down the recent economic measures pronounced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa describing them as ill-thought knee jerked measures.
On Saturday, Mnangagwa announced a raft of measures aimed at controlling the spiraling exchange rate, which included a directive that ordered banks and other financial institutions to stop lending with effect from the date of pronouncement.
Speaking to journalists in Harare, CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said Mnangagwa acted outside the framework of the law.
“On Saturday night Mr Mnangagwa did something that’s very unprecedented as you all know we are Constitutional democracy under Section 68 of the Constitution every public official whether you call yourself the President right down to the lowest civil servant has got an obligation to act within the framework of the law, the rule of law is sacrosanct.
“What this means is that you cannot as a public official just wake up one day or in the middle of the night stand up and say that this is the new rule. Because our constitution is underpinned by the separation of powers doctrine. The primary law making function rests with Parliament so rule by decree is unconstitutional, its unlawful it violates interalia Section 68 and other provisions of the Constitution,” said Mahere.
She took a swipe at the freeze of all lending by financial institutions saying there is no law that allows even the Reserve Bank to interfere with private contracts.
“Notwithstanding this clear legal imperative we saw Mr Mnangagwa introduce raft of ill thought out knee jerked measures what the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) calls a national announcement. Now that creature of a national announcement is falling to our law it simply doesn’t exist. Some analysts have said policies announced by night fall apart during the day and what the last three or four days have shown us is that this policy is grossly irrational and it’s already starting to cause sharp waves in the economy.
“The most outstanding feature of Mr Mnangagwa’s announcement is the freeze on all lending whether by banks, microfinance institutions, building societies all lending and this has been suspended indefinitely. There is simply no law that allows even the Reserve Bank to suspend all lending, to interfere with private contract, to interfere with commerce to the point of hampering and halting all business activities curiously Mr Mnangagwa said that these measures were designed to stabilize and bring confidence to the economy that’s being anything than that,” she said.
Mahere said Mnangagwa should have consulted before pronouncing the measures in what she says the President acted beyond what is legally permissible.