Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube will have to resign as Minister if he is endorsed by ZANU PF Matabeleland North province to stand as a Member of Parliament a constitutional expert has said.
Shephard Dube a constitutional lawyer from the University of South Africa says precedence was set during the President Robert Mugabe era that when a Minister appointed outside parliament contests for a parliamentary seat he has to resign from the Ministry and get reappointed.
“During the time when Professor Jonathan Moyo was Minister of Information you will recall he had lost elections to Sam Sipepa Nkomo’s wife,” Dube said. “When he contested the Tsholotsho north by-election the Preside4nt had to tell him to leave cabinet and he was later re-appointed.
“If ZANU PF fields Mthuli as a candidate in the Lupane by-election we expect him to resign and follow the precedence that was set.”
However Professor Moyo has come in defense of Mthuli saying he may not need to resign because the law was misinterpreted when it was applied to him.
There are reports that a faction of ZANU PF seeks to use this technical issue to remove Ncube from office.
“Interesting to see Mthuli Ncube coming full circle to become a ZanuPF politician. If it’s true, I wish him well. No doubt the ZanuPF Matabeleland North province will support him for Lupane, as it supported me in 2004 for Tsholotsho before the Dinyane saga scuppered everything!” Prof Moyo said.
“Mnangagwa used Prince Machaya to interpret the law maliciously against me and sadly President Mugabe agreed with them. The same interpretation was not applied to the then provincial affairs minister for Mashonaland Central, Martin Dina. So no, they will not force him to resign.”