The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Wednesday dismissed with costs a case in which Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, was challenging the constitutionality of bond notes that government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is set to put into circulation next month.
Government announced early this year that it would adopt bond notes to incentivize exporters and, in turn, improve foreign currency inflows.
However, many citizens and some sections of industry and commerce are sceptical of the bond notes which they suspect will mark the return of the local dollar which was abandoned in 2009 following unprecedented hyperinflation.
Mujuru argued in her application that the introduction of the bond notes would contravene several sections of the constitution.
She said her experience in government where she was a cabinet minister from 1980 and vice president between 2004 and 2014 when she was removed showed that overprinting of monetary notes led to numerous socio-economic problems.
She further argued that it was therefore reasonable to stick to the multi-currency regime that was adopted in 2009.
However, Chief Justice Godfrey Udyausiku said Mujuru’s application was premature and speculative because there was no evidence yet to show that the bond notes would produce the effects that she pointed out.
Chidyausiku was sitting with eight other judges of the ConCourt.
“After considering papers filed in this matter and submissions by counsel, the court is satisfied that this application is premature and speculative. It is hereby dismissed with costs,” ruled Chidyausiku.
Deputy Chief Justice, Luke Malaba said Mujuru must wait for the promulgation of a law relating to the bond notes and their circulation before making a court application.
“You have to wait for the promulgation of an Act of Parliament or a Statutory Instrument first and you come back to court to challenge the legal framework’s constitutionality. The applicant does not have enough facts for her case now and when she gets the full facts, she can still come back to court with the challenge.
“At the moment, no one knows how Government will introduce the notes and it is premature to challenge the constitutionality of the law that it is not yet in place. The bond notes are not yet in circulation and no one knows how they look like.
“You allege that bond notes will be illegally introduced, but Government said it will do it in terms of the law. On what basis do you want us to believe you? An allegation must not just spring out from the air,” Malaba said
Advocates Thabani Mpofu and Garikai Sithole represented RBZ and its governor, John Mangudya.
Mujuru was represented by Lovemore Madhuku and Gift Nyandoro