Statutory Instruments

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa’s growing love for rule-by-decree

By Michelle Chifamba

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Posted on July 29, 2021 13:46

Zimbabwe State of the Nation
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers his State of the nation address at the opening session of parliament in Harare, Tuesday Oct. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been increasingly making use of Statutory Instruments (SI units) during his tenure as head of state. Analysts are describing it as a form of command politics steering him down the path to becoming one of the powerful authoritarian leaders of his time.

SIs are statutes implemented under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, which empowers the president to make temporary regulations that last a maximum of six months to address an urgent situation for which no other legislation exists, according to the Zimbabwe Democracy Institution (ZDI).

In the past three years, Mnangagwa has implemented more than 200 SIs, circumventing parliamentary law-making powers. The effects of such actions have further weakened the country’s economy.

Part of the landmark SIs include:

  • Issuance of RTG Dollar and the end of the 1:1 exchange rate to the US Dollar (SI 33/2019)
  • Full Return of the Zimbabwe Dollar as Legal Tender (SI 142/2019)
  • Offences and Penalties for Trading of Goods and Services in Foreign Currency (SI 213/2019)
  • The Financial Laws Amendment Regulations, to stabilise the banking system, (SI 127/ 2021)

Misuse of SIs

Urgent situations to

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