Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe is returning to the centre stage in Africa, with the latest sign being winning the bid to host in 2024 the 7th Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa, a continental body that seeks to promote and disseminate universal values and principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
The conference will draw at least 48 countries that will gather in Victoria Falls in a show of confidence by the continent of efforts being made by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
This comes as Zimbabwe has also won the bid to host the 2023 International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Disease set for December next year.
ICASA is organised by the Society for Aids in Africa and Zimbabwe was one of three countries that made a bid before the deadline of August 5 and was then seen as the best location.
For the legal conference, Zimbabwe was conferred the right to host CJCA by participants at the just-ended 6th CJCA congress held in the fourth week of last month in Rabat, Morocco. Gabon and Mozambique also offered to host, but then Mozambique withdrew in favour of Zimbabwe.
This followed a presentation by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, head of the judiciary and of the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe, who highlighted the success story of Zimbabwe’s constitutional transformation and marketed Victoria Falls as one of the best tourism destinations in the world.
In a statement yesterday, the Judicial Service Commission said the conferment of the hosting was great news for the country as it showed the confidence Africa had on Zimbabwe.
“That is indeed a vote of confidence in Zimbabwe’s constitutional transformation and a recognition of the progressive programmes that the judiciary of Zimbabwe is undertaking. It is also set to boost the country’s tourism sector. After hosting the conference in 2024, Zimbabwe will assume the responsibility of chairing the organisation for two years,” said the JSC.
In his presentation in Morocco, Chief Justice Malaba said Zimbabwe had a lot to showcase should it get the right to host the event.
“We offer to host this august organisation meeting in 2024. We are as a Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe and on our own, suitable on our own merits. But I tell you one thing we have and we offer to you all, one of the lifetime experiences to come, an experience you will remember forever in your lifetime.
“We offer you one of the seven wonders of the world, the thunderous Victoria Falls. You will be there to see it for free, and I offer it to you in 2024,” said Justice Malaba. “Apart from that, we have all the experiences. You will fly in and out in a holiday resort situated in a national park, where you will see for the first time, those elephants.”
The 48-member CJCA, was created on 8 May 2011 at the headquarters of the Constitutional Council of Algeria and its purpose is federating the courts in charge of the review of constitutionality.
The organisation seeks to promote and disseminate universal values and principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights as enshrined in the preamble of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and national constitutions.
The JSC said preparations for the major event had already started and the commission was working to ensure a successful continental gathering.