Govt completes drafting 450 laws for alignment | The Herald

Govt completes drafting 450 laws for alignment | The Herald. 18 june 2014 by Tendai Mugabe

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government has completed the first draft of 450 laws that need to be aligned with the new Constitution as part of efforts to avert a constitutional crisis arising from the use of the old legislation. The laws are expected to be brought before Parliament when it resumes sitting at the end of this month if internal consultations that need to be done by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs are completed on time.

Deputy Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Fortune Chasi yesterday said the drafters were now working on the second stage which deals with “consequential amendments” focusing on the actual wording of the legislation.

“We have completed the first stage on all the laws and consequential amendments on about 216 laws,” he said.
“On consequential amendments, we are looking at the actual wording of the laws to ensure that it is the same with the wording in the Constitution.”

The next stage, said Cde Chasi, would focus on the substantive amendments which relate to those laws that required complete changing of the content.

He said Government was making frantic efforts to ensure that the process was completed expeditiously.
“The drafted laws have to go through our internal system before going to Parliament,” he said.

“Depending on when the internal consultations are completed, the laws may go to Parliament next month when it resumes sitting.”
Although Cde Chasi promised to give The Herald a detailed list of the drafted laws today, it is understood that priority was on laws like the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Harare lawyer Mr Terrance Hussein said the Government should quickly synchronise the laws with the new Constitution as it risks being forced to do so by the courts.

“Failure to comply with the provisions of the new Constitution will open up the State to lawsuits,” he said.
“I think it is neater for Government to drive the process rather than to be forced to do so by the courts.”

As he opened the First Session of the Eighth Parliament last year, President Mugabe said among legislation expected to come to the House was the Land Commission Bill, to give legal underpinning to the establishment of the Zimbabwe Land Commission.

President Mugabe also highlighted the need to amend the Co-operatives Societies Act, bring forward a new Mines and Minerals Bill, realign labour laws, and introduce a National Prosecution Authority Bill to establish an independent body to take over the functions previously performed by the Criminal Division of the Attorney-General’s Office.

The Electoral Amendment Bill has already been passed by the National Assembly, while the National Prosecution Authority is still before the House.

Pressure groups are determined to press for the alignment of laws that affect their constituencies, while the Constitutional Court is already dealing with applications from those affected by the old laws.