The opposition CCC says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s use of Presidential Powers to legalise the hike in interest rates by 200% is unconstitutional.
Mnangagwa used the Act to promulgate Statutory Instrument 118A of 2022 gazetted on Monday.
SI 118A/22 stipulates that the multiple currency regime will exist until December 2025 and sets a ZWL$20 million fine for retailers selling goods at exchange rates above 10% of the prevailing interbank rate.
CCC national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act is unconstitutional. Said Mahere:
In any event, a presser is not a law. These repeated illegal statements fertilise mistrust (and) the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act is unconstitutional as it offends section 134 of the Constitution.
They purport to use this law to ‘entrench’ (whatever that means) use of the US$ for five years, yet even that unconstitutional law only empowers the making of SIs that last for six months.
Strangely, they set interest rates at 200% yet under the common law, interest must never exceed 100% of the debt in terms of the common law in duplum rule which has not been repealed.
This is the poorly thought out, legally unsound approach they prefer to policymaking.
CCC deputy president, Tendai Biti, who was the Finance Minister during the Government of National Unity (GNU) era, said:
Presidential decrees are an authoritarian abuse of citizens and Parliament.
The re-legalisation of the US$ is an embarrassing acknowledgement of the failure of four years of vigorous pursuit of a de-dollarisation agenda that was never going to work.
The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act allows a President to bypass Parliament and make laws.