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Zimbabwe draft constitution (1)

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PREAMBLE
We the people of Zimbabwe,
United in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination,

Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggles,

Honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country,

Recognising the need to entrench democracy, the rule of law, and good, open and accountable governance,
Reaffirming our commitment to upholding and defending fundamental human rights and freedoms,

Celebrating the richness of our natural resources and the vibrancy of our traditions and cultures, which were bequeathed to us by Providence and our forebears,
Determined to overcome the manifold vices and injustices destructive of progress,

Cherishing freedom, peace, justice, tolerance, prosperity and patriotism in search of new frontiers under a common destiny,

Acknowledging the supremacy of Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies,

Resolve by the tenets of this Constitution to commit ourselves to build a vital nation, founded on values of fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work,
And, imploring the guidance and support of Almighty God, hereby make this Constitution and commit ourselves to it as the fundamental law of our beloved land.

CHAPTER 1

FOUNDING PROVISIONS

1 The Republic
Zimbabwe is a sovereign republic.

2 Supremacy of Constitution
(1) This Constitution is the law of Zimbabwe and any other law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.
(2) The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including all executive, legislative and judicial institutions of the State at all levels of government, and must be fulfilled by them.

3 Founding values and principles
(1) Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles—
(a) supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law;
(b) fundamental human rights and freedoms;
(c) cultural and traditional values;
(d) recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being;
(e) recognition of the equality of all human beings;
(f) gender equality; and
(g) good governance.

(2) The principles of good governance, which bind all institutions of the State and government at all levels, include—
(a) a multi-party system of democratic government;
(b) an electoral system based on—
(i) universal adult suffrage;
(ii) free, fair and regular elections; and
(iii) adequate representation of the electorate;
(c) the orderly transfer of power following elections;
(d) observance of the principle of separation of powers;
(e) respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived;
(f) openness, justice, accountability and responsiveness on the part of all institutions of government;
(g) the fostering of national unity, peace and stability, with due regard to diversity of languages, customary practices and traditions;
(h) recognition of the rights of racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and political minorities;
(i) the equitable sharing of national resources, including land;
(j) due respect for vested rights; and
(k) the devolution of governmental power and functions to provinces and other appropriate levels.

4 National territory
Zimbabwe consists of the territory comprising Zimbabwe on the effective date and any alteration to that territory prescribed in an Act of Parliament and recognised under international law.

5 National Flag, National Anthem, Public Seal and Coat of arms
Zimbabwe must have a National Flag, a National Anthem, a Coat of Arms and a Public Seal, details of which are to be prescribed in an Act of Parliament.

6 Languages
(1) All the indigenous languages of Zimbabwe and English are the official languages of Zimbabwe.
(2) An Act of Parliament may declare languages of record.
(4) All State institutions and agencies at every level must—
(a) ensure that all official languages are treated equitably; and
(b) take into account the language preferences of people affected by governmental measures or communications.
(5) The State must promote and advance the use of all languages used in Zimbabwe, including sign language, and must create conditions for the development of these languages.

7 Promotion of public awareness of Constitution
The State must promote public awareness of this Constitution, in particular by—
(a) translating it into all official languages and disseminating it as widely as possible;
(b) requiring this Constitution to be taught in schools and as part of the training of members of the Defence Forces, the Police Service, the Prison Service, the Civil Service and members and employees of public institutions; and
(c) encouraging all persons and organisations, including civic organisations, to disseminate awareness and knowledge of this Constitution throughout society.

CHAPTER 2

NATIONAL OBJECTIVES

2.1 Objectives to guide all institutions and agencies of State and Government

(1) The objectives set out in this Chapter guide all institutions and agencies of the State and Government at all levels, in taking and implementing policy decisions that will lead to the establishment and promotion of a just, free and democratic society in which people can enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilled lives.

(2) Regard must be had to the objectives set out in this Chapter when interpreting the State’s obligations under this Constitution and any other law.

2.2 Good governance
(1) The State must adopt and implement policies and legislation to develop efficiency, competence, accountability, openness, personal integrity and financial probity in Government at all levels and in all public institutions.

(2) In particular—
(a) appointments to public offices must be made primarily on the basis of merit;

(b) measures must be taken to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those holding political and other public offices.

(3) The State must ensure that all institutions and agencies of the State and government, in particular Commissions and other bodies established by or under this Constitution, are provided with adequate resources and facilities to enable them to carry out their functions effectively and efficiently.

2.3 Development and empowerment

(1) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must endeavour to facilitate rapid and equitable development, and in particular must take measures to—
(a) promote private initiative and self-reliance;
(b) foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific development;
(c) foster the development of industrial and commercial enterprises in order to empower citizens of Zimbabwe;
(d) bring about balanced development of the different areas of Zimbabwe, in particular a proper balance in the development of rural and urban areas; and
(e) rectify imbalances resulting from past practices and policies.

(2) Measures referred to in this section must, where practicable, involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.

(3) Measures referred to in this section must protect and enhance the right of the people, particularly women, to equal opportunities in development.

(4) The State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their areas.

2.4 Food security

The State must—
(a) encourage people to grow and store adequate food;
(b) secure the establishment of adequate food reserves; and
(c) encourage and promote adequate and proper nutrition through mass education and other appropriate means.

2.5 Cultural objectives
(1) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must promote and preserve cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity, well-being and equality of Zimbabweans.
(2) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level, and all citizens, must endeavour to preserve and protect Zimbabwe’s heritage.
(3) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must take measures to ensure due respect for the dignity of traditional institutions.

2.6 Foreign policy objectives
(1) The foreign policy of Zimbabwe must be based on principles of—
(a) promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe;
(b) respect for international law;
(c) peaceful co-existence with other nations; and
(d) the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
(2) The State must promote regional and pan-African cultural, economic and political co-operation and integration and must participate in international and regional organisations that stand for peace and the well-being and progress of the region, the continent and humanity.

2.7 Gender balance
(1) The State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society, and in particular—

(a) the State must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men;

(b) the State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of the State and government, in particular in Commissions and other bodies established by or under this Constitution; and

(c) State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must take practical measures to ensure that women have access to resources, including land, on the basis of equality with men.

(2) The State must take positive measures to rectify past gender discrimination.

2.8 Fair regional representation
(1) The State must promote the fair representation of all regions in all institutions and agencies of the State and government, in particular in Commissions and other bodies established by or under this Constitution.
(2) The State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must take practical measures to ensure that all ethnic communities have equitable access to resources, including land, to promote their development.

2.9 Children
(1) The State must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children the best interests of the children concerned are paramount.

(2) The State must adopt reasonable policies and measures, within the resources available to it, to ensure that children—
(a) enjoy family or parental care, or appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;
(b) receive shelter and basic nutrition, health care and social services; and
(c) are protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse, exploitation, corruption or degradation.

(3) The State must take appropriate legislative and other measures—
(a) to protect children from exploitative labour practices; and
(b) to ensure that children are not required or permitted to perform work or provide services that
(i) are inappropriate for the children’s age; or
(ii) place at risk the children’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development.

2.10 Youth
All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must take reasonable measures, including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that the youth, that is to say people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five years—

(a) have access to appropriate education and training;
(b) have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life;
(c) are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic betterment;
(d) have opportunities for healthy recreational activities and access to recreational facilities; and
(e) are protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.

2.11 Elderly persons

(1) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, to secure respect, support and protection for elderly persons, that is to say individuals over the age of sixty-five years, and to enable them to participate in the life of the community.

(2) In particular, State and governmental institutions and agencies must endeavour, within the resources available to them
(a) to provide facilities, food and care for elderly persons who are unable to provide for themselves;
(b) to develop programmes to give elderly persons the opportunity to engage in productive activity suited to their abilities and consistent with their vocations and desires; and
(c) to foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of elderly persons.

2.12 Persons living with disabilities
(1) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must recognise the rights of persons living with physical or mental disabilities, in particular their right to be treated with respect for their dignity as human beings.

(2) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must endeavour, within the resources available to them, to assist persons living with physical or mental disabilities to achieve their full potential and to minimise the disadvantages suffered by them.

(3) In particular, State and governmental institutions and agencies must endeavour
(a) to develop programmes for the welfare of persons living with physical or mental disabilities, especially work programmes consistent with their capabilities and acceptable to them or their legal representatives;
(b) to consider the specific requirements of persons living with physical or mental disabilities as one of the priorities in development plans;
(c) to encourage the use and development of forms of communication suitable for use by persons living with physical or mental disabilities; and
(d) to foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of persons living with physical or mental disabilities.

2.13 War veterans
(1) All State and governmental institutions and agencies at every level must accord due respect, honour and recognition to war veterans, that is to say—
(a) those who fought in the war of liberation and those who assisted the fighters;
(b) those who were detained for political reasons during the war of liberation; and
(c) those who, having participated in wars or conflicts in defence of Zimbabwe’s interests, are declared to be war veterans.

(2) The State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, for the welfare and economic empowerment of war veterans.

Do you have comments on this draft constitution?
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