Know Your Constitution Zim

Know Your Constitution Zim Promoting Constitutional Awareness Tune in to Star FM every week on Tuesdays 8pm to 9pm

11/11/2014

SALIENT FEATURES OF CHAPTER 2 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE

In most countries world-over, the State has been criticized for lacking or failing to exhibit strong commitment or will towards the realization of national goals and constitutional and other legislative provisions. Against this background, chapter 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe sets out the national objectives which should bind the State and all its institutions and agencies. These objectives are a strong statement of what the state should aim towards achieving, for the benefit of every Zimbabwean. Put differently, these objectives are the goals which the nation should endeavour to achieve.

Whereas these objectives are not justiceable in that the State or its agencies cannot ordinarily be taken to court for failing to realize them, their inclusion in the Constitution make them a strong force capable of driving the State and its institutions towards fulfilling the rights and other provisions contained in the Constitution.
In the first instance, the State is obliged in terms of section 9 to adhere to good governance standards in its policies, principles and practices. The State should, therefore, be seen in all its conduct promoting transparency, accountability, efficiency and competence. Every well-intentioned Zimbabwean aspires to live in a country where good governance systems are put in place which in turn leads to national growth and development.

National unity, peace and stability are a chief corner-stone in the growth and development of any nation and are the aspiration of every Zimbabwean. Evidence from many countries shows that the consequences of war, conflict and disunity are incalculable. Not surprisingly, therefore, section 10 of the Constitution speaks to the importance of these principles and makes them a matter of national importance. The State should, therefore, do all it can to make sure that Zimbabwe is a united, peaceful and stable nation.

National development is one of the most important goals of every nation. Everyone wishes to stay in a country which develops and promotes laws, policies and practices which promote national development. Section 13 makes national development a national objective which the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to facilitate rapidly and equitably. In this light, private initiatives and self-reliance should be promoted and encouraged in all sectors of the economy. Further, balanced development throughout all Zimbabwe’s areas should be encouraged.

Empowerment and employment is another national objective contained in section 14. It is the desire of every person to earn a living and be involved in the economic activities of his or her country. The State should craft policies which empower its citizens to also benefit from all its resources and should ensure that appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment for all Zimbabweans, especially women and youths.

The emancipation of women both politically and economically is one of the most progressive elements of this Constitution. Women have for long been marginalized and reduced to second class citizens owing to a raft of cultural norms which are patriarchal in nature. Section 17 sets the tone for the equalization of opportunities and treatment between men and women. At the political level, the State should ensure the equal representation and participation of women in all institutions agencies and commissions. On the economic front, women should be accorded the same opportunities as their male counterparts, be it at the work-place or in empowerment initiatives. This is an important national objective given that women form the majority of the population in Zimbabwe.

The equitable distribution of resources among all the country regions is also an important national objective which should bind the State and all its agencies and institutions. Section 18 provides for fair regional representation in both the political and economic activities of the country. The State should take practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to promote their development.

The promotion of the rights and freedoms of children, persons with disabilities, elderly persons, youths and war veterans also form part of the national objectives with the State obliged to take all reasonable steps towards realizing the rights of these groups of persons.

11/11/2014

CHAPTER 2
NATIONAL OBJECTIVES

8 Objectives to guide State and all institutions and agencies of Government

(1) 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.
(2) 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.

9 Good governance

(1) 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—
(a) appointments to public offices must be made primarily on the basis of merit;
(b) measures must be taken to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and
abuse of power by those holding political and public offices.
(2) 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.

10 National unity, peace and stability

The State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of
government at every level, must promote national unity, peace and stability.
11 Fostering of fundamental rights and freedoms

The 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.

12 Foreign policy

(1) The foreign policy of Zimbabwe must be based on the following principles—
(a) the promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe;
(b) respect for international law;
(c) peaceful co-existence with other nations; and
(d) the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
(2) 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.

13 National development

(1) 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—
(a) promote private initiative and self-reliance;
(b) foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific development;
(c) foster the development of industrial and commercial enterprises in order to empower
Zimbabwean citizens; and
(d) bring about balanced development of the different areas of Zimbabwe, in particular a
proper balance in the development of rural and urban areas.
(2) Measures referred to in this section must involve the people in the formulation and
implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.
(3) Measures referred to in this section must protect and enhance the right of the people,
particularly women, to equal opportunities in development.
(4) The State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their areas.

14 Empowerment and employment creation

(1) 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.
(2) 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.

15 Food security

The State must—
(a) encourage people to grow and store adequate food;
(b) secure the establishment of adequate food reserves; and
(c) encourage and promote adequate and proper nutrition through mass education and
other appropriate means.
16 Culture
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.

17 Gender balance

(1) The State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society, and in particular—

(a) the State must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean
society on the basis of equality with men;
(b) the State must take all measures, including legislative measures, needed to ensure
that—
(i) both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of
government at every level; and
(ii) 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;
(c) 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.
(2) The State must take positive measures to rectify gender discrimination and imbalances
resulting from past practices and policies.

18 Fair regional representation

(1) The State must promote the air representation of all Zimbabwe’s regions in all
institutions and agencies of government at every level.
(2) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take
practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to
promote their development.

19 Children

(1) The State must adopt policies and measures to ensure that in matters relating to
children, the best interests of the children concerned are paramount.
(2) The State must adopt reasonable policies and measures, within the limits of the
resources available to it, to ensure that children—
(a) enjoy family or parental care, or appropriate care when removed from the family
environment;
(b) have shelter and basic nutrition, health care and social services;
(c) are protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse; and
(d) have access to appropriate education and training.
(3) The State must take appropriate legislative and other measures—
(a) to protect children from exploitative labour practices; and
(b) to ensure that children are not required or permitted to perform work or provide
services that
(i) are inappropriate for the children’s age; or
(ii) place at risk the children’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or
spiritual, moral or social development.

20 Youths

(1) 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—
(a) have access to appropriate education and training;
(b) have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate in political, social,
economic and other spheres of life;
(c) are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic
empowerment;
(d) have opportunities for recreational activities and access to recreational facilities; and
(e) are protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.
(2) An Act of Parliament may provide for one or more national youth programmes.
(3) Measures and programmes referred to in subsections (1) and (2) must be inclusive, nonpartisan
and national in character.

21 Elderly persons

(1) 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.
(2) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour,
within the limits of the resources available to them—
(a) to encourage elderly persons to participate fully in the affairs of society;
(b) to provide facilities, food and social care for elderly persons who are in need;
(c) 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
(d) to foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of elderly persons.
22 Persons with disabilities
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) In particular, the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level
must—
(a) 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;
(b) consider the specific requirements of persons with all forms of disability as one of the
priorities in development plans;
(c) encourage the use and development of forms of communication suitable for persons
with physical or mental disabilities; and
(d) foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with all
forms of disability.
(4) The State must take appropriate measures to ensure that buildings and amenities to
which the public has access are accessible to persons with disabilities.

23 Veterans of the liberation struggle

(1) 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—
(a) those who fought in the War of Liberation;
(b) those who assisted the fighters in the War of Liberation; and
(c) those who were imprisoned, detained or restricted for political reasons during the
liberation struggle.
(2) The State must take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, for the welfare
and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.

24 Work and labour relations

(1) 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.
(2) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour
to secure—
(a) full employment;
(b) the removal of restrictions that unnecessarily inhibit or prevent people from working
and otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities;
(c) vocational guidance and the development of vocational and training programmes,
including those for persons with disabilities; and
(d) the implementation of measures such as family care that enable women to enjoy a real
opportunity to work.

25 Protection of the family

The 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—
(a) the provision of care and assistance to mothers, fathers and other family members who
have charge of children; and
(b) the prevention of domestic violence.

26 Marriage

The State must take appropriate measures to ensure that—
(a) no marriage is entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses;
(b) children are not pledged in marriage;
(c) there is equality of rights and obligations of spouses during marriage and at its
dissolution; and
(d) 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.

27 Education

(1) The State must take all practical measures to promote—
(a) free and compulsory basic education for children; and
(b) higher and tertiary education.
(2) The State must take measures to ensure that girls are afforded the same opportunities as
boys to obtain education at all levels.

28 Shelter

The 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.

29 Health services

(1) The State must take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic, accessible
and adequate health services throughout Zimbabwe.
(2) The State must take appropriate, fair and reasonable measures to ensure that no person
is refused emergency medical treatment at any health institution.
(3) 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.

30 Social welfare

The 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.

31 Legal aid

The State must take all practical measures, within the limits of the resources available to it,
to provide legal representation in civil and criminal cases for people who need it and are unable
to afford legal practitioners of their choice.

32 Sporting and recreational facilities

The State must take all practical measures to encourage sporting and recreational activities,
including the provision of sporting and recreational facilities for all people.

33 Preservation of traditional knowledge

The State must take measures to preserve, protect and promote indigenous knowledge
systems, including knowledge of the medicinal and other properties of animal and plant life
possessed by local communities and people.

34 Domestication of international instruments

The State must ensure that all international conventions, treaties and agreements to which
Zimbabwe is a party are incorporated into domestic law.

Address

Cnr 4th And Central Avenue, 11th Floor Compensation House,
Harare
+263

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 16:45
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:45
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:45
Thursday 08:00 - 16:45
Friday 08:00 - 16:45

Telephone

+263 (4) 764126

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Know Your Constitution Zim posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Nearby government services


Other Government Organizations in Harare

Show All