Alignment of laws should be urgent

By Own Correspondent

Aligning the country’s laws to the new constitution should be done as a matter of urgency as this has caused dismay and outcry within Zimbabwe.

In March 2013 Zimbabweans voted “Yes” to the new constitution (Amendment 20) which effectively became the supreme law of the country.

However, there are still some laws which are not yet aligned to this constitution and this has caused a lot of problems to the general public.

The Executive and Legislators are just reluctant to implement the provisions of the constitution and disregard laws that are inconsistent with the supreme law of the land as is required by Section 2.1.

Instead of focusing on the alignment process, due to lack of political will, our legislators have taken to the worrying about demands such as the top of the range vehicles such as Land Cruiser V8 at a time when the country is facing various challenges.

Surprisingly the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube has been okaying some of the demands in an effort to have his policies and budgets stamped.

There is urgent need for reform from the existing legislation, to give effect to the provisions of the constitution and if these laws are left unattended, not only does this situation open a ‘flood gate’ of constitutional cases; it also adversely affects the operations of government and the state to the detriment of the people.

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira’s case easily comes to mind and this has seen various top lawyers seeing things differently probably due to failure by the government to align laws.

Section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act provides that when you appear before a court within 48 hours, there are two sides to it the state can apply for further detention which can be granted by the magistrate and it will not be reversed by any court in the land however this provision is from the previous constitution.

However, the new constitution has a different view from the previous laws.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to be the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network as news editor for their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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