‘Constitution: Zim should take a cue from Kenya’

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

BULAWAYO town clerk Christopher Dube has expressed concern over the delay in the alignment of laws with the national Constitution, seven years after it was adopted.

During a recent general purposes committee meeting, Dube said though the alignment of laws was an ongoing process, there were many gaps in the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution, latest council minutes show.

“For instance, the Constitution required the State to help promote constitutional awareness, but there was nobody charged with carrying out this mandate. While it was acknowledged that the alignment of laws was an ongoing process, there were still a lot of gaps and in some instances, it’s piecemeal implementation of the provisions of the Constitution,” Dube said.

“During the Constitution-making process, the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs oversaw the process. However, it was no longer in existence; instead the Constitutional Affairs Department subsisted as an office within the Ministry of Justice.”

Dube said government should take a leaf from Kenya which went through a similar process in 2010.

“The government should have learnt from Kenya which adopted a new Constitution in 2010 and set up an independent organ to monitor, facilitate, co-ordinate and oversee the development of legislation and administrative procedures required to implement the Constitution,” Dube said.

“Among other things, the Constitution provides for the creation of a devolution mechanism that seeks to enhance fairness in the sharing of national resources and endeavours to decentralise governance structures.”

Dube said the centralisation of power in Harare had created the perception of alienation among citizens.

“Devolution allows citizens to participate meaningfully in governmental decision making at the local level,” Dube said.

However, the government is yet to fully implement devolution, yet it has already released funds without policy on how they should be utilised.

Various stakeholders in the country have also condemned the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill No 2 which they say will give unfettered power to the President as it seeks to remove the running mate clause and whittle down Parliament’s oversight role on government borrowing from multilateral institutions, among other amendments.