HARARE, Dec 12– Zimbabwe’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) party says it is petitioning the court against the appointment of the two Vice-Presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.

President Mugabe appointed Mnangagwa and Mphoko as his deputies in the ruling Zanu PF party to replace former vice-president Joice Mujuru and the late John Nkomo. The two will serve in the same capacities in government and will be sworn in on Friday.

In a statement, the NCA said the announcement that President Mugabe wants to elevate his two Zanu PF Vice-Presidents to the positions of Vice Presidents of the country is unconstitutional.

“The NCA party has instructed its lawyers, Mbidzo, Muchadehama & Makoni, to file an application in the Constitutional Court to stop the President and/or declaring the appointment of two Vice-Presidents null and void,” it said.

The NCA argued that the option for the President to appoint one or two Vice-Presidents was only exercised soon after he was sworn into office. “Once the President has decided to appoint one vice-president, he
cannot change his mind and have two vice-presidents during the same term of office, the party stated.

“The President cannot replace Vice-President Mujuru by two Vice-Presidents. This is what paragraph 14, sub-paragraph 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution says. In specific terms, it says: ‘Without delay, the person elected as President in any election referred to in sub-paragraph (1) must appoint not more than two Vice-Presidents, who hold office at his or her pleasure,” it said.

The NCA said the nation should know from the start, whether the President would have one or two deputies.
“Once he makes his decision, he is not given power to change his mind during the course of his five-year term. This is perfectly sensible. The President made his decision in August 2013. He decided to have one Vice-President. That is the end of the matter. He can only appoint one Vice-President for his entire five-year term,” the NCA party said.

The NCA said the Constitution provided for the appointment of one vice-president to reduce costs. “The nation must prepare for the costs involved and this must be known at the beginning of the term of the President. If the President appoints two Vice-Presidents, the nation will be paying for three Vice-Presidents
including former Vice-President Mujuru,” said the NCA.

President Mugabe is expected to unveil a leaner cabinet in a reshuffle following the dismissal of VP Mujuru and seven Ministers earlier this week.