Government is finalising the General Laws Amendment Bill which seeks to align 150 pieces of legislation with the new Constitution and will soon be tabled before Parliament when it resumes sitting at the end of this month, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking in his capacity as Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister at the official opening of a week-long strategic planning workshop at Village Lodge in Gweru yesterday, Cde Mnangagwa said Government remained committed to aligning all laws with the new Constitution.The workshop was for officials from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.“The General Laws Amendment Bill, which seeks to amend over 150 pieces of legislation is being finalised,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
Cde Mnangagwa said Government had given the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs a mandate to expeditiously align the country’s laws with the new Constitution without delay.He said President Mugabe had emphasised the need to urgently align the legislation to the Constitution.“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Mugabe has emphasised on various occasions the urgency of the matter of the alignment of legislation to the Constitution,” he said.
President Mugabe has further underscored the need to expeditiously align all laws to the Constitution in fulfilment of the Government’s constitutional mandate derived from Section 324 that all constitutional obligations must be performed diligently and without delay.“This means that it is now up to us as a ministry to ensure that this mandate is attended to successfully, diligently and without delay,” said Cde Mnangagwa.He said the alignment of legislation to the Constitution was urgent and key to the success of Zim-Asset.He said his ministry was supposed to strategize to ensure that the inter-ministerial task-force implemented the work plan in respect of the alignment of legislation.
Cde Mnangagwa said there were pieces of legislation that had been enacted pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution such as the National Prosecuting Authority Act.“I am aware that an inter-ministerial task-force on the alignment of laws was established and has since developed a work plan indicating the work that lies ahead in respect of the alignment of legislation,” he said.Cde Mnangagwa urged the ministry to speed up the decentralisation of the Legal Aid Directorate which was set up to provide essential legal services to underprivileged people, mostly in rural communities.“I have been advised that in 2014, the Legal Aid Directorate was able to open offices in Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo,” he said.“It must, however, be stressed that the Legal Aid Directorate must expand to remote areas of Zimbabwe as it currently only has offices in urban areas.”Cde Mnangagwa urged the ministry to continue conducting advocacy meetings with ordinary people and provide an opportunity to distribute copies of the new Constitution.He said there was need to translate the Constitution into indigenous languages for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.