via ‘Executive powers being smuggled back into the statutes’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 21, 2016
RESEARCH and Advocacy Unit (RAU) has sensationally claimed excessive Executive powers that the Constitution sought to curtail were being smuggled back into the statutes during the realignment process.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
RAU senior researcher Derek Matyszak raised the concerns in a research paper titled Reluctant Reformers: Legislative Misalignment and the New Constitution released last Friday.
“Zimbabwe’s Constitution is currently being violated in several ways — the failure to establish constitutionally — required institutions, the failure to introduce new legislation to give effect to the Constitution and the failure to amend or formally remove legislation, which has become unconstitutional by virtue of the new charter, referred to by the misnomer of alignment,” RAU noted.
“Government has seen, in the alignment process, the opportunity to rescue Executive powers diminished by the Constitution.”
The research focused on four specific areas, namely voter registration, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), powers of the National Prosecuting Authority and some aspects of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
On voter registration, the research said that Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede was being brought back to play a watchdog roll over the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The research also noted that Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister had been given excessive power over the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, and that the NPRC was being structured to appear more like a department than a fully independent institution as envisaged by the Constitution.
“The court should come down on the executive like a tonne of bricks in massive outrage in a clear violation of the Constitution,” Matyszak said.
“That doesn’t happen here with the violation of our Constitution because the Constitution is not structured to make the failure to implement it to political and legal costs and that is why I don’t believe this Constitution is the best in the world because it doesn’t have particular self-implementing mechanisms.”
Participants agreed that there should be more effective ways to make the Constitution by citizens.