Former Zimbabwean Vice President now a vendor, sues government for recent import ban

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Mujuru says now a vendor, sues Bob over imports ban: JOICE MUJURU says despite being a former vice President she has turned into informal trading to survive as a widow and grandmother but the ban on the importation of basic consumer goods is “making it impossible” for her to continue with her business.

This is according to papers filed at the High Court in which Mujuru is seeking an order to set aside Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which bans certain imports, arguing that it is illegal and therefore null and void and of no force or effect.

The first respondent in the matter is President Robert Mugabe while Mike Bimha is cited as the second in his official capacity as the minister of Industry and Commerce, who enacted Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016. Mujuru is being represented by Lovemore Madhuku.

“Mugabe is the one who appointed Bimha; as such he (Mugabe) has to be the first respondent in this matter,” Madhuku told Newzimbabwe on Sunday.

In her affidavit, Mujuru said the economic situation in the country has deteriorated in the last few years to the extent that most Zimbabweans, including herself, have resorted to importing and reselling goods for modest profit. As such, she says, the ban is the most “insensitive piece of legislation ever to be enacted in independent Zimbabwe”.

“I can say with absolute confidence that Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 has injected poverty in, and brought misery to, the ordinary and suffering Zimbabweans. I am pained to note that the respondent has had no qualms in resorting to a piece of legislation authored by Ian Douglas Smith of Rhodesia,” argues Mujuru.

“In my other three capacities as a former leader in government, a freedom fighter and a leader of a political party, I have extensive networks in the country and have knowledge of the day to day ways of life of the people of this country. I know that Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 had an immediate, negative and drastic impact on millions of the people.”

The Zimbabwe People First leader also argues that SI64/2016 is so grossly irrational in the current social and economic conditions prevailing Zimbabwe as to be an abuse of power not contemplated by the enabling Act.

“Statutory Instrument 164 of 2016 is void for being contrary to section 134(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 in that it limits the fundamental right to freedom of profession, trade or occupation protected by section 64 of the Bill of Rights,” argued Mujuru.

Mujuru added that the only ground that requires further elaboration from her is the gross irrationality point.

“Given the state of the economy, how does the Respondent expect the millions who are in the informal economy to survive? The consequence of that gross irrationality is to make the statutory instrument ultra vires the enabling Act and therefore null and void.”

On 17th June, 2016, the Minister of Industry and Commerce caused the publication, in the Government Gazette, of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016.

He purportedly made the Statutory Instrument in terms of section 4(1) (a) of RGN 766 of 1974.

The Minister listed a list of goods that can no longer be imported without a permit/licence to be granted by officials.

Ordinary Zimbabweans in Beitbridge town reacted through protests to express their disgust at the government’s decision to enact the SI.

Title: Mujuru says now a vendor, sues Bob over imports ban

Author: New Zimbabwe

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