Home » Governance » Attorney-General Machaya Sworn in

Aocate Prince Machaya was yesterday sworn-in as the Attorney-General of Zimbabwe at a brief ceremony held at Munhumutapa Building in Harare.

He took the oath of office before Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in terms of Section 114 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“I Prince Machaya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Zimbabwe and observe the laws of Zimbabwe, so help me God,” said A Machaya.

After the swearing in, high-ranking Government officials, relatives and friends shook hands with A Machaya, VP Mnangagwa and Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, congratulating the former for being appointed AG.

Speaking to journalists after the ceremony, A Machaya commended President Mugabe for showing confidence in him when he raised him to the esteemed post.

“What I can promise the people of Zimbabwe is that I will try to do the best of my ability to discharge my constitutional duties as chief legal aiser to the Government of Zimbabwe,” said A Machaya.

He said his priority was to urgently deal with the re-alignment of legislation with the new Constitution.

“Right now the urgent thing is to align our legislation with the new Constitution and that process need to be attended to urgently and am going to apply my energy to making sure that we complete the process as quickly as possible,” he said.

Judicial Service Commission secretary Justice Rita Makarau said the appointment of A Machaya as the chief legal aiser to Government, showed that Zimbabwe embraced constitutionalism.

“You know this is a position created in terms of the new Constitution and it has now been fulfilled, but more importantly, it separates the office of the Attorney-General from the office of Prosecutor-General that is another step in the separation of powers, a doctrine that we subscribe to,” said Justice Makarau.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Permanent Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, said the appointment of A Machaya would lessen the burden on VP Mnangagwa who is also Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister.

“As you are aware that our Minister is now also the Vice President, this development eases the burden on him because the AG is qualified to undertake some of the key tasks that the ministry is assigned to deal with,” she said.

Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana said: “This is a very important development particularly in view of the fact that we need to be expediting the issue of re-aligning our laws with the new Constitution.”

He said all institutions in the country were supposed to be guided by the law.

“We know very well that the laws have largely changed with the new Constitution and that work I think will now move faster because we now have a man dedicated to that kind of responsibility.”

The Dean of Law at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr Moses Magade, said the A Machaya would need to urgently deal with the re-alignment of legislation with the Constitution.

“This is an auspicious occasion in the legal annals of this country because it gives practical effect to important provisions of the Constitution and also it will assist in speeding up the process of re-alignment of laws,” said Mr Magade.

Law Society of Zimbabwe president Mrs Vimbayi Nyemba, said she expected the justice delivery system to improve with the coming in of A Machaya as the AG.

“We have been waiting for the separation of the two offices for quite a long time and this has come at the correct time,” said Mrs Nyemba.

“The re-alignment of laws has been taking too long. I am sure we need to do that (re-alignment of laws with the Constitution) like yesterday. It is my fervent hope that the office of AG will deal with that expeditiously.

President Mugabe last Thursday appointed A Machaya to the esteemed post of AG, ending speculation over who would take the top job.

The AG’s office became vacant following the split of the office’s functions in the new Constitution adopted in May 2013. The office was split into two — AG and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) — with the latter now headed by Mr Tomana as PG.

The AG is the chief Government legal aiser and is an ex-officio member of both Cabinet and Parliament where he can contribute in debates but cannot vote.

Whereas the PG has responsibility to the State, the AG has responsibility to the Government, which is his client. He represents Government in civil litigation and is responsible for its legal drafting.

Source : The Herald