Justice minister Ziyambi, Attorney General Machaya withhold ministers code of conduct; face jail over contempt of court   

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By Mary Taruvinga, Senior Reporter

JUSTICE Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney General (AG) Prince Machaya risk imprisonment after allegedly defying a court order directing them to submit a draft Bill governing the code of conduct of senior government officials to Cabinet for consideration.

In a court order issued by the High Court under case number HC1342/21 the minister and AG were given 45 days from June 8, 2022 to do so, but failed to.

The two were last year taken to court by Nyasha Chiramba, then a law student, demanding enactment of a law that regulates conduct of ministers.

In submitting his application, Chiramba relied on section 106 (3) of the Constitution which requires the regulation of the conduct of vice presidents, ministers and deputy ministers.

Chiramba submitted that the senior officials were involved in sexual misconduct and abuse of State resources and as such there was a need for a law that controls their excesses.

High Court judge, Justice David Mangota ruled in his favour and ordered the minister and AG to submit to Cabinet for consideration the Bill envisaged by section 106(3) of the Constitution  of Zimbabwe within forty-five days.

Upon noticing that the court order was ignored, Chiramba, now practising, filed an urgent chamber application seeking to have the two jailed for contempt of court.

“The applicant was granted an order by this court on a case number HC 1342/21 compelling the two to submit to the Cabinet for consideration the Bill envisaged by section 106 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe within 45 days from June 8 2022.

“The said respondents were aware of that order. Despite knowledge of the existence of the said court order, 45 days have since lapsed and the respondents have wilfully neglected  to comply with that order,” he submitted.

Chiramba said the two were supposed to submit to Cabinet this Bill by August 17, 2022.

The matter is yet to be heard.