Constitution

Zimbabwe: Constitution

Updated July 2013

CONSTITUTION The 2013 Constitution was approved by the electorate by the March 2013 Referendum, comes into force in its entirety when the first president elected under it is sworn in, and replaces the independence Constitution of 18 April 1980.
FORM OF STATE Unitary, democratic republic[1]
HEAD OF STATE President is Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces[2]. President must be Zimbabwean citizen and resident, at least 40 years old and be registered as a voter[3]. President is directly elected by absolute majority through universal adult franchise[4]. President serves a maximum of two five year terms of office; terms conterminous with Parliament's[5]
EXECUTIVE Executive authority vested in President who exercises it through the Cabinet[6]. President must appoint two Vice-Presidents as running mates and appoints the members of the Cabinet and may remove them from office[7]. The Senate and the National Assembly, by a joint resolution of at least two-thirds of their total membership, may pass a vote of no confidence in the Government, which must be dissolved or Parliament must be dissolved[8]
LEGISLATURE Legislature of Zimbabwe consists of a bicameral Parliament and the President, while Parliament consists of National Assembly and Senate[9].
National Assembly consists of two hundred and ten members elected by secret ballot from the two hundred and ten constituencies and, for the first two Parliaments, 60 women elected by proportional representation[10]. Term of National Assembly is 5 years, concurrent with the President's[11].
Senate's 80 members: six elected from each of the 10 provinces, by a system of proportional representation; 18 chiefs; two members elected to represent people with disabilities[12]. The term of the Senate is 5 years, concurrent with the President's[13]
JUDICIARY Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, High Court, Labour Court, Administrative Court, magistrates courts, customary law courts and other courts[14]. Supreme Court is headed by the Chief justice and three or more judges[15]. High Court consists of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President of the High Court[16]. Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Judge President of the High Court and all other judges are appointed by the President from shortlists supplied by the Judicial Service Commission[17]. Judges may be removed only for inability to perform their function due to mental or physical capacity, gross incompetence or misconduct on the recommendation of a tribunal advised by the JSC to the President[18]
AMENDMENTS A Constitution Bill must be passed by a two-thirds majority each in the National Assembly and the Senate and, in the case of Chapter 4 (Declaration of Rights) and Chapter 16 (Agricultural Land), also a majority of the voters in a referendum[19]
DEMOCRACY PROTECTION AGENCIES Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ensures that elections and referendums are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law[20]
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission tasked with protection, development and attainment of human rights and freedoms, consider complaints from public and take action and investigate abuse of power and declaration of rights by authority[21].
Zimbabwe Media Commission to uphold, promote and develop freedom of the media and promote and enforce good practices and ethics; required to assist the ZEC to monitor the media during elections[22]
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is tasked to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation, develop and implement programmes to promote national healing, unity, cohesion and peaceful resolution of disputes, bring national reconciliation[23]

Table notes

[1] Constitution 2013, Article 1.
[2] Constitution 2013, Article 89.
[3] Constitution 2013, Article 91(1) .
[4] Constitution 2013, Article 92(3), Schedule 4 1(1). If the president does not complete the term (dies, resigns or is removed from office) the first Vice-President assumes office as President until the expiry of the former President's term of office (Article 101(1) (a), (b)) .
[5] Constitution, 2013, Article 91(2), 95.
[6] Constitution 2013, Article 88 (2) .
[7] Constitution 2013, Articles 92 (2), 104, 105, 108.
[8] Constitution 2013, Articles 109 (1),(3)(a),(b).
[9] Constitution 2013, Articles 116, 118.
[10] Constitution 2013, Article 124 (1). The proportional representation is based on the votes cast for candidates representing political parties in a general election for constituency members in the provinces.
[11] Constitution 2013, Article 95, 143(1) .
[12] Constitution 2013, Article 120 (1). Two chiefs are elected from each of the 8 non-metropolitan provinces by the provincial assembly of Chiefs of the province. The President and Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs are ex officio members.
[13] Constitution 2013, Articles 95, 143(1) .
[14] Constitution 2013, Article 163 (1) .
[15] Constitution 2013, Article 168 (1)(a),(b).
[16] Constitution 2013, Article 170(a).
[17] Constitution 2013, Article 180 (1) .
[18] Constitution 2013, Article 187 (1)(a),(b),(c).
[19] Constitution 2013, Article 328 (5),(6).
[20] Constitution 2013, Articles 232; 233.
[21] Constitution 2013, Article 243. Schedule 6 Article 16(2), all activities taken by the Public Protector (Ombudsman) were transferred to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
[22] Constitution 2013, 248-250; Electoral Act, 160K.
[23] Constitution 2013, Article 252.

Reference

CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE 2013, [www] http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/Final%20draft%20Constitution%2025%20January%202013.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 20 May 2013).

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