President Emmerson Mnangagwa has thrown Constitutionalism through the window when he appointed former minister of finance and economic development Patrick Chinamasa as the chairperson of the Air Zimbabwe Board.

This unconstitutional move has also been viewed by many as an attempt for re-alignment of ranks in the Mnangagwa rift-ridden administration, coming high on the heels of several appointments.

Legal experts say the appointment of Chinamasa as Air Zim board Chair by Zanu-PF politburo is unconstitutional in that it violates provisions of the governing laws. Public Entities Corporate Governance Act Part 3, Sec 11, gives that authority to line Minister and not Politburo

Legal Practitioner and award winning human rights lawyer Obey Shava agrees, says the appointment of Chinamasa as air zim board chair is a legal fuss, as currently, there is no board running the affairs of the parastatal, whose powers had been suspended through the appointment of renowned accountant Reggie Saruchera as it’s administrator.

He adds that one cannot chair a non existent board.

Another lawyer Alex Magaisa concurs;

“All this suggests that the so-called appointment of Chinamasa as board chairman of Air Zimbabwe is on dubious and shaky legal grounds.

“Why, in any event, from a corporate governance perspective, would government create competing authorities a board & an Adminstrator?”

In October 2018, Government issued General Notice 758/2018 under which Air Zimbabwe was placed under administration. Control of the company was given to the Administrator, Reggie Saruchera. The board ceased to have power. But Patrick Chinamasa has been made Chairman of the board.

“There has been no indication prior to the announcement of Chinamasa as board chairman that Air Zimbabwe is no longer under an administration or that the primary law which vests all powers over the company in the Administrator has been amended to accommodate a board,” he adds.

He went on to describe the move as an odd one, saying given the army of advisors that President Mnangagwa has at his disposal including the Attorney General, he would have known better.

Air Zimbabwe was placed under  administration, and this means under the management of an Administrator who becomes sort of a judicial manager. Constitutionally, when an enity is under the charge of an administrator, by that virtue a board would have been made disyfunctional.