FORMER Zanu PF Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana yesterday said there was need for Zimbabwe to setup a body that will ensure the new Constitution is implemented by forcing the Executive to realign laws urgently.
Speaking during a Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe conference on constitutionalism in Harare, Mangwana also blasted MPs for failing to initiate private members’ Bills to realign laws with the new Constitution.
He said if legislators waited for the Executive to do so, the process would take ages as some of the provisions in the Constitution sought to curb their powers.
“The mistake that we made was that we did not learn from Kenya which put a body to ensure the Constitution was implemented. Now we are at the mercy of the Executive because we have to wait for them to realign the laws and they can drag their feet because some of the constitutional provisions seek to clip their wings,” said Mangwana.
“I think Parliament is also abdicating its own responsibilities because the constitution is clear that the legislature has powers to make laws for peace and order and good governance of the country – but where are the private members’ Bills to amend various laws?”
Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister Fortune Chasi said the government was committed to realigning laws with the constitution. He said although the ministry experienced shortages of drafters, a lot of work had been done with over 300 out of 450 statutes already drafted.
“We have prioritised laws that are very sensitive to the Constitution or human rights issues. We have been dealing with amendments to the criminal court laws and will be taking the law to the necessary processes. By next week we will have finished drafting the Administrative Justice Act,” said Chasi.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director Irene Petras said it was imperative to regularise commissions such as the National Reconciliation Commission and Gender Commission to ensure they were funded.
Petras blasted the Justice ministry for failing to include people’s views on Bills after public hearings.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Jessie Majome said it was difficult for MPs to bring private members’ Bills — particularly those from the opposition as they were often quashed by the ruling party.