Victory for Mnangagwa in RTGS challenge

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By Mary Taruvinga

EFFORTS by MDC, Warren Park, MP, Shakespear Hamauswa, to have the Presidential Powers (Temporal Measures) Act declared unconstitutional has hit a snag after the High Court ruled the law maker failed to support his argument.

Hamauswa had petitioned the court arguing that the Act used by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to effectively reintroduce the local currency early this year.

Justice Alphas Chitakunye ruled Hamauswa failed to establish a case for the court to entertain his application before he slapping the lawmaker with cost on a higher scale.

“In casu, the applicant (Hamauswa), despite the voluminous nature of his application, has not made any allegation of unequal treatment or differentiation,” said the Judge.

Added Justice Chitakunye: “He (Hamauswa) has not shown that he was denied protection of the law while others in his position have been afforded such protection. If anything his allegations are not concerned with unequal treatment but his perceived abuse of the provisions of the Presidential Powers (Temporal Measures) Act and the manner in which the Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 was promulgated.”

“This had nothing to do with unequal treatment or application of the legislation in question. As he has not alleged unequal treatment or discrimination against him in the application of the legislation in question. It follows that he has failed to establish a case for this court to entertain his application.”

Hamauswa in March this year filed an urgent chamber application soon after Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Development, Mthuli Ncube, announced that the President had gazetted SI33/2019 which stated that people’s existing balances in their banks held the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system as well as Bond Notes and were now to constitute a new currency known as the RTGS.

Hamauswa said he was therefore seeking an order declaring null and void the Act.

He said the Act gives sweeping powers to the President to make laws on virtually every subject in the country.

But Chitakunye said Hamauswa failed to prove infringement of his rights.

“In short, since the applicant has not alleged unequal treatment or discrimination, his allegations that his rights enshrined in section 56(1) of the Constitution has been infringed cannot be sustained,” the Judge said.

“He clearly unnecessarily dragged respondents to court on a wrong premise altogether. It is only proper that he should bear the costs on the legal practitioner client scale.”