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Zimbabwean Seeking Nullification of Regulations Outlawing Use of USA Dollar, Other Currencies

Pro Mthuli Ncube and Dr. John Mangudya in Parliament.

A Zimbabwean has filed a court application seeking the nullification of new regulations outlawing the use of the multi-currency system in the country devastated by the high cost of living.

Human rights activist, Godfrey Mupanga, filed the application at the High Court on Tuesday, challenging Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, on the legality of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019, gazetted last week.

In his papers, Mupanga argues that “the decision by the respondents to ban the multi-currency system in Zimbabwe prescribed by Section 44A of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 as legal tender is grossly unreasonable …”

Mupanga says the court should therefore declare the regulations as null and void “in that they are ultra vires the enabling legislation … the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 and therefore are in contradiction of Section 134(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

He further noted that the Ncube and Mangudya violated Section 134(a) and Section 134(f) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Section 134(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates that parliament may, in an Act of Parliament, delegate power to make statutory instruments within the scope of and for the purposes laid out in that Act, but “statutory instruments must be consistent with the Act of Parliament under which they are made.”

Section 134(a) also stipulates that parliament’s primary law-making power must not be delegated while section 134(f) stresses that statutory instruments must be laid before the National Assembly in accordance with its Standing Orders and submitted to the Parliamentary Legal Committee for scrutiny.

Treasury outlawed the use of multi-currencies, introduced in 2009 following historic hyperinflation, claiming that the economy was dollarizing itself, making it difficult for authorities to contain rising inflation.