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Table of Contents

  1. Preamble
  2. CHAPTER 1. FOUNDING PROVISIONS
  3. CHAPTER 2. NATIONAL OBJECTIVES
  4. CHAPTER 3. CITIZENSHIP
  5. CHAPTER 4. DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
  6. PART 1. APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF CHAPTER 4
  7. PART 2. FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  8. PART 3. ELABORATION OF CERTAIN RIGHTS
  9. PART 4. ENFORCEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  10. PART 5. LIMITATION OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  11. CHAPTER 5. THE EXECUTIVE
  12. PART 1. EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY
  13. PART 2. THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENTS
  14. PART 3. MINISTERS, DEPUTY MINISTERS AND CABINET
  15. PART 4. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
  16. PART 5. ATTORNEY-GENERAL
  17. CHAPTER 6. THE LEGISLATURE
  18. PART 1. LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY
  19. PART 2. PARLIAMENT
  20. PART 3. THE SENATE
  21. PART 4. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  22. PART 5. TENURE OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
  23. PART 6. LEGISLATIVE AND OTHER POWERS
  24. PART 7. PROCEDURE IN PARLIAMENT
  25. PART 8. DURATION, DISSOLUTION AND SITTINGS OF PARLIAMENT
  26. PART 9. GENERAL MATTERS RELATING TO PARLIAMENT
  27. CHAPTER 7. ELECTIONS
  28. PART 1. ELECTORAL SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
  29. PART 2. TIMING OF ELECTIONS
  30. PART 3. DELIMITATION OF ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
  31. CHAPTER 8. THE JUDICIARY AND THE COURTS
  32. PART 1. THE COURT SYSTEM
  33. PART 2. APPOINTMENT AND TENURE OF MEMBERS OF JUDICIARY
  34. PART 3. JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION
  35. PART 4. GENERAL
  36. CHAPTER 10. CIVIL SERVICE
  37. CHAPTER 11. SECURITY SERVICES
  38. PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  39. PART 2. DEFENCE FORCES
  40. PART 3. POLICE SERVICE
  41. PART 4. INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
  42. PART 5. PRISONS AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICE
  43. CHAPTER 12. INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY
  44. PART 1. GENERAL
  45. PART 2. ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
  46. PART 3. ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
  47. PART 4. ZIMBABWE GENDER COMMISSION
  48. PART 5. ZIMBABWE MEDIA COMMISSION
  49. PART 6. NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
  50. CHAPTER 13. INSTITUTIONS TO COMBAT CORRUPTION AND CRIME
  51. PART 1. ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION
  52. PART 2. NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY
  53. CHAPTER 14. PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  54. PREAMBLE
  55. PART 1. PRELIMINARY
  56. PART 2. PROVINCES AND PROVINCIAL AND METROPOLITAN COUNCILS
  57. PART 3. LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  58. CHAPTER 15. TRADITIONAL LEADERS
  59. CHAPTER 16. AGRICULTURAL LAND
  60. CHAPTER 17. FINANCE
  61. PART 1. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  62. PART 2. CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
  63. PART 3. AUTHORISATION OF EXPENDITURE FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
  64. PART 4. SAFEGUARDING OF PUBLIC FUNDS AND PROPERTY
  65. PART 5. AUDITOR-GENERAL
  66. PART 6. GENERAL
  67. CHAPTER 18. GENERAL AND SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
  68. PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO COMMISSIONS
  69. PART 2. GENERAL
  70. PART 3. INTERPRETATION
  71. FIRST SCHEDULE. NATIONAL FLAG, NATIONAL ANTHEM, NATIONAL COAT OF ARMS AND PUBLIC SEAL (Section 4)
  72. PART 1. NATIONAL FLAG
  73. PART 2. NATIONAL ANTHEM
  74. PART 3. NATIONAL COAT OF ARMS
  75. PART 4. PUBLIC SEAL
  76. SECOND SCHEDULE. LIMITATIONS ON RIGHTS DURING PUBLIC EMERGENCIES (Section 87)
  77. THIRD SCHEDULE. OATHS AND AFFIRMATIONS (Sections 94, 104, 114, 122, 123, 126, 127, 128, 185, 259, 272, 310 and 320)
  78. FOURTH SCHEDULE. QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS (Sections 92, 121, 124, 125 and 158)
  79. FIFTH SCHEDULE. PROCEDURE AS TO BILLS AND OTHER MATTERS IN PARLIAMENT (Sections 130 and 131)
  80. PART 1. INTRODUCTION OF BILLS, MOTIONS AND PETITIONS
  81. PART 2. PROCEDURE REGARDING BILLS
  82. PART 3. REPORTS OF PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
  83. SIXTH SCHEDULE. COMMENCEMENT OF THIS CONSTITUTION, TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS AND SAVINGS (Sections 329 and 332)
  84. PART 1. PRELIMINARY
  85. PART 2. COMMENCEMENT OF THIS CONSTITUTION AND REPEAL OF FORMER CONSTITUTION
  86. PART 3. FIRST ELECTIONS
  87. PART 4. SAVINGS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4We the people of Zimbabwe,

5United in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination and oppression,

6Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga / Umvukela and national liberation struggles,

7Honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country,

8Recognising the need to entrench democracy, good, transparent and accountable governance and the rule of law,

9Reaffirming our commitment to upholding and defending fundamental human rights and freedoms,

10Acknowledging the richness of our natural resources,

11Celebrating the vibrancy of our traditions and cultures,

12Determined to overcome all challenges and obstacles that impede our progress,

13Cherishing freedom, equality, peace, justice, tolerance, prosperity and patriotism in search of new frontiers under a common destiny,

14Acknowledging the supremacy of Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies,

15Resolve by the tenets of this Constitution to commit ourselves to build a united, just and prosperous nation, founded on values of transparency, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work,

16And, imploring the guidance and support of Almighty God, hereby make this Constitution and commit ourselves to it as the fundamental law of our beloved land.

17CHAPTER 1. FOUNDING PROVISIONS

181. THE REPUBLIC

19Zimbabwe is a unitary, democratic and sovereign republic.

202. SUPREMACY OF CONSTITUTION

211. This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.

222. The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of government at every level, and must be fulfilled by them.

233. FOUNDING VALUES AND PRINCIPLES

241. Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles--

25a.supremacy of the Constitution;

26b.the rule of law;

27c.fundamental human rights and freedoms;

28d.the nation's diverse cultural, religious and traditional values;

29e.recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being;

30f.recognition of the equality of all human beings;

31g.gender equality;

32h.good governance; and

33i.recognition of and respect for the liberation struggle.

342. The principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, include--

35a.a multi-party democratic political system;

36b.an electoral system based on--

37i.universal adult suffrage and equality of votes;

38ii.free, fair and regular elections; and

39iii.adequate representation of the electorate;

40c.the orderly transfer of power following elections;

41d.respect for the rights of all political parties;

42e.observance of the principle of separation of powers;

43f.respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived;

44g.transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness;

45h.the fostering of national unity, peace and stability, with due regard to diversity of languages, customary practices and traditions;

46i.recognition of the rights of--

47i.ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic and religious groups;

48ii.persons with disabilities;

49iii.women, the elderly, youths and children;

50iv.veterans of the liberation struggle;

51j.the equitable sharing of national resources, including land;

52k.due respect for vested rights; and

53l.the devolution and decentralisation of governmental power and functions.

544. NATIONAL FLAG, NATIONAL ANTHEM, PUBLIC SEAL AND COAT OF ARMS

55Zimbabwe has a National Flag, a National Anthem, a Coat of Arms and a Public Seal, which are set out in the First Schedule.

565. TIERS OF GOVERNMENT

57The tiers of government in Zimbabwe are--

58a.the national Government;

59b.provincial and metropolitan councils; and

60c.local authorities, that is to say--

61i.urban councils, by whatever name called, to represent and manage the affairs of people in urban areas; and

62ii.rural councils, by whatever name called, to represent and manage the affairs of people in rural areas within the districts into which the provinces are divided.

636. LANGUAGES

641. The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe.

652. An Act of Parliament may prescribe other languages as officially recognised languages and may prescribe languages of record.

663. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must--

67a.ensure that all officially recognised languages are treated equitably; and

68b.take into account the language preferences of people affected by governmental measures or communications.

694. The State must promote and advance the use of all languages used in Zimbabwe, including sign language, and must create conditions for the development of those languages.

707. PROMOTION OF PUBLIC AWARENESS OF CONSTITUTION

71The State must promote public awareness of this Constitution, in particular by--

72a.translating it into all officially recognised languages and disseminating it as widely as possible;

73b.requiring this Constitution to be taught in schools and as part of the curricula for the training of members of the security services, the Civil Service and members and employees of public institutions; and

74c.encouraging all persons and organisations, including civic organisations, to disseminate awareness and knowledge of this Constitution throughout society.

75CHAPTER 2. NATIONAL OBJECTIVES

768. OBJECTIVES TO GUIDE STATE AND ALL INSTITUTIONS AND AGENCIES OF GOVERNMENT

771. The objectives set out in this Chapter guide the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level in formulating and implementing laws and policy decisions that will lead to the establishment, enhancement and promotion of a sustainable, just, free and democratic society in which people enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilling lives.

782. Regard must be had to the objectives set out in this Chapter when interpreting the State's obligations under this Constitution and any other law.

799. GOOD GOVERNANCE

801. The State must adopt and implement policies and legislation to develop efficiency, competence, accountability, transparency, personal integrity and financial probity in all institutions and agencies of government at every level and in every public institution, and in particular--

81a.appointments to public offices must be made primarily on the basis of merit;

82b.measures must be taken to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those holding political and public offices.

832. The State must ensure that all institutions and agencies of government at every level, in particular Commissions and other bodies established by or under this Constitution, are provided with adequate resources and facilities to enable them to carry out their functions conscientiously, fairly, honestly and efficiently.

8410. NATIONAL UNITY, PEACE AND STABILITY

85The State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of government at every level, must promote national unity, peace and stability.

8611. FOSTERING OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

87The State must take all practical measures to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in Chapter 4 and to promote their full realisation and fulfilment.

8812. FOREIGN POLICY

891. The foreign policy of Zimbabwe must be based on the following principles--

90a.the promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe;

91b.respect for international law;

92c.peaceful co-existence with other nations; and

93d.the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.

942. The State must promote regional and pan-African cultural, economic and political cooperation and integration and must participate in international and regional organisations that stand for peace and the well-being and progress of the region, the continent and humanity.

9513. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

961. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to facilitate rapid and equitable development, and in particular must take measures to--

97a.promote private initiative and self-reliance;

98b.foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific development;

99c.foster the development of industrial and commercial enterprises in order to empower Zimbabwean citizens; and

100d.bring about balanced development of the different areas of Zimbabwe, in particular a proper balance in the development of rural and urban areas.

1012. Measures referred to in this section must involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.

1023. Measures referred to in this section must protect and enhance the right of the people, particularly women, to equal opportunities in development.

1034. The State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their areas.

10414. EMPOWERMENT AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION

1051. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to facilitate and take measures to empower, through appropriate, transparent, fair and just affirmative action, all marginalised persons, groups and communities in Zimbabwe.

1062. At all times the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must ensure that appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment for all Zimbabweans, especially women and youths.

10715. FOOD SECURITY

108The State must--

109a.encourage people to grow and store adequate food;

110b.secure the establishment of adequate food reserves; and

111c.encourage and promote adequate and proper nutrition through mass education and other appropriate means.

11216. CULTURE

1131. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must promote and preserve cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity, well-being and equality of Zimbabweans.

1142. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, and all Zimbabwean citizens, must endeavour to preserve and protect Zimbabwe's heritage.

1153. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take measures to ensure due respect for the dignity of traditional institutions.

11617. GENDER BALANCE

1171. The State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society, and in particular--

118a.the State must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men;

119b.the State must take all measures, including legislative measures, needed to ensure that--

120i.both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of government at every level; and

121ii.women constitute at least half the membership of all Commissions and other elective and appointed governmental bodies established by or under this Constitution or any Act of Parliament;

122c.the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that women have access to resources, including land, on the basis of equality with men.

1232. The State must take positive measures to rectify gender discrimination and imbalances resulting from past practices and policies.

12418. FAIR REGIONAL REPRESENTATION

1251. The State must promote the fair representation of all Zimbabwe's regions in all institutions and agencies of government at every level.

1262. The State and all institutions and agencies of the State and government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to promote their development.

12719. CHILDREN

1281. The State must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to children, the best interests of the children concerned are paramount.

1292. The State must adopt reasonable policies and measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to ensure that children--

130a.enjoy family or parental care, or appropriate care when removed from the family environment;

131b.have shelter and basic nutrition, health care and social services;

132c.are protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse; and

133d.have access to appropriate education and training.

1343. The State must take appropriate legislative and other measures--

135a.to protect children from exploitative labour practices; and

136b.to ensure that children are not required or permitted to perform work or provide services that.

137i.are inappropriate for the children's age; or

138ii.place at risk the children's well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development.

13920. YOUTHS

1401. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measures, including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that youths, that is to say people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five years--

141a.have access to appropriate education and training;

142b.have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life;

143c.are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment;

144d.have opportunities for recreational activities and access to recreational facilities; and

145e.are protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.

1462. An Act of Parliament may provide for one or more national youth programmes.

1473. Measures and programmes referred to in subsections (1) and (2) must be inclusive, nonpartisan and national in character.

14821. ELDERLY PERSONS

1491. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, to secure respect, support and protection for elderly persons and to enable them to participate in the life of their communities.

1502. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour, within the limits of the resources available to them--

151a.to encourage elderly persons to participate fully in the affairs of society;

152b.to provide facilities, food and social care for elderly persons who are in need;

153c.to develop programmes to give elderly persons the opportunity to engage in productive activity suited to their abilities and consistent with their vocations and desires; and

154d.to foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of elderly persons.

15522. PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

1561. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must recognise the rights of persons with physical or mental disabilities, in particular their right to be treated with respect and dignity.

1572. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must, within the limits of the resources available to them, assist persons with physical or mental disabilities to achieve their full potential and to minimise the disadvantages suffered by them.

1583. In particular, the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must--

159a.develop programmes for the welfare of persons with physical or mental disabilities, especially work programmes consistent with their capabilities and acceptable to them or their legal representatives;

160b.consider the specific requirements of persons with all forms of disability as one of the priorities in development plans;

161c.encourage the use and development of forms of communication suitable for persons with physical or mental disabilities; and

162d.foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with all forms of disability.

1634. The State must take appropriate measures to ensure that buildings and amenities to which the public has access are accessible to persons with disabilities.

16423. VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE

1651. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle, that is to say--

166a.those who fought in the War of Liberation;

167b.those who assisted the fighters in the War of Liberation; and

168c.those who were imprisoned, detained or restricted for political reasons during the liberation struggle.

1692. The State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, for the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.

17024. WORK AND LABOUR RELATIONS

1711. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must adopt reasonable policies and measures, within the limits of the resources available to them, to provide everyone with an opportunity to work in a freely chosen activity, in order to secure a decent living for themselves and their families.

1722. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to secure--

173a.full employment;

174b.the removal of restrictions that unnecessarily inhibit or prevent people from working and otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities;

175c.vocational guidance and the development of vocational and training programmes, including those for persons with disabilities; and

176d.the implementation of measures such as family care that enable women to enjoy a real opportunity to work.

17725. PROTECTION OF THE FAMILY

178The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must protect and foster the institution of the family and in particular must endeavour, within the limits of the resources available to them, to adopt measures for--

179a.the provision of care and assistance to mothers, fathers and other family members who have charge of children; and

180b.the prevention of domestic violence.

18126. MARRIAGE

182The State must take appropriate measures to ensure that--

183a.no marriage is entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses;

184b.children are not pledged in marriage;

185c.there is equality of rights and obligations of spouses during marriage and at its dissolution; and

186d.in the event of dissolution of a marriage, whether through death or divorce, provision is made for the necessary protection of any children and spouses.

18727. EDUCATION

1881. The State must take all practical measures to promote--

189a.free and compulsory basic education for children; and

190b.higher and tertiary education.

1912. The State must take measures to ensure that girls are afforded the same opportunities as boys to obtain education at all levels.

19228. SHELTER

193The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to them, to enable every person to have access to adequate shelter.

19429. HEALTH SERVICES

1951. The State must take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic, accessible and adequate health services throughout Zimbabwe.

1962. The State must take appropriate, fair and reasonable measures to ensure that no person is refused emergency medical treatment at any health institution.

1973. The State must take all preventive measures within the limits of the resources available to it, including education and public awareness programmes, against the spread of disease.

19830. SOCIAL WELFARE

199The State must take all practical measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to provide social security and social care to those who are in need.

20031. LEGAL AID

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