A Zimbabwean lawyer backed by a prominent legal group has challenged the government’s decision to revert to the Zimbabwe dollar and outlaw the use of U.S., South African and European currencies.
Supported by the Harare-based Lawyers for Human Rights group, lawyer Godfrey Mupanga filed a petition against the decision on constitutional grounds. The June 24 decree by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is illegitimate because such decisions should be ratified by lawmakers, he argues, according to court documents viewed by Bloomberg.
“Amending a principal legislation is a primary law-making power that can only be exercised by parliament,” said the application to the High Court in the capital, Harare. “Such delegation would in fact amount to abrogation and abdication of legislative authority to an executive functionary.”
The decision to outlaw the use of foreign currency in Zimbabwe was made by decree less than 24 hours after the finance minister told Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster that the country wasn’t ready to abandon its multi-currency economy.
Ncube had repeatedly told Zimbabweans that he wouldn’t revert to the Zimbabwe dollar as the country’s sole currency until “fundamentals” were in place, including low and stable inflation and foreign currency reserves to protect it. Zimbabwe’s inflation rate was 98% in May.