‘Align Parly Acts with new Constitution’

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Zimbabwe parliament building

THERE are dozens of Acts of Parliament that should be aligned with the new Constitution to avoid conflicting interpretations of the law, legal experts have said.

REPORT BY WONAI MASVINGISE

Lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara said all pieces of legislation had to be tested against the new Constitution.

“Section 2 (1) states that the Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency,” Zhuwara said.

“It is not possible to quantify which specific Act or provision has to be brought in line with the Constitution. What you will see is a number of cases being brought before the courts to realign the various pieces of legislation or specific provisions with the new Constitution.

“You need to understand that every piece of legislation is by operation of section 10 of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution to continue in force, but must be construed in conformity with this Constitution.”

Another lawyer, Chris Mhike, said there were dozens of Acts of Parliament in Zimbabwe’s statute book that had to be reviewed.

He said there were a number of obvious statutes that were up for amendment or repeal under the new Constitution.

These included Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), Public Order and Security Act (Posa), Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [that is, the Criminal Code], the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, the Civil Evidence Act, the Broadcasting Services Act, and the Official Secrets Act.

Mhike said Aippa ought to be reviewed for its non-conformity with the new freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information provisions of the current basic law.

Posa, Mhike said, now infringed in ways more serious than those observed previously the various civil liberties that were enshrined in the new Constitution.

“The standards for the treatment of citizens under police and prison authorities’ detention as captured in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, now fall short of the thresholds set in the new Constitution. The other statutes violate the Constitution in their own various ways in varying degrees,” he said.

1 COMMENT

  1. make sure all this is targeting future new cases good for society as a whole not old past outcomes for a particular opponent of lunacy.

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