IMT holds third Bi-Monthly meeting

The Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on the Alignment of Laws with the Constitution (IMT) held its third Bi-Monthly this year, on the 28th of November 2018, at Pandhari Lodge in Harare. The meeting was the third one for the IMT this year, as the IMT had halted the meetings during the election period.

The IMT has adopted a new cluster approach to the alignment of laws with the Constitution, whereby related laws are grouped, reviewed and aligned at the same time. This will expedite the alignment process and save  much needed resources.

The new IMT clusters are:     Media and Information Cluster

Citizenship and Movement of People Cluster

Local Government Cluster

Security Cluster

Social Services Cluster

Environmental & Natural Resources Cluster

Justice Delivery Cluster

Political and Civil Rights Cluster

Economic Services Cluster

Cross Cutting Cluster

Currently the IMT has prioritized three clusters that is the Media cluster, Citizenship and Movement cluster and the Security Services cluster.

The IMT has since  commissioned a Discussion Paper in regards to the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in reflection of the Constitutional Court judgment, the IMT is laying down some initial work towards the Defense Amendment Bill.

It was highlighted during the meeting that all laws are a priority and have to be aligned to the Constitution, emphasis was made on the duty of legal officers to work as legal advisors in their ministries and offer adequate advice to their Ministers on laws that have to be aligned with the Constitution.

Speaking during the meeting, in his key note address, The Attorney General of Zimbabwe, Honorable Advocate Prince Machaya who noted that they are having the Bi-Monthly meeting when the government has new directions, guided by democratic ideas.

“There is an urgent need now more than ever for everyone to exert all their energy and resources and time towards the alignment process”, said Honorable Machaya.

The IMT has to expedite the alignment of laws to the Constitution, the IMT has to ensure that all energies are channeled to quickly align laws with the Constitution.

The IMT does not wish to have situations whereby the courts put pressure on it (the IMT) to uphold its duties, that is ensuring that all laws are in sync with the Constitution.

Line ministries were urged to be time conscious to allow for all legislation to be in harmony with the Constitution in a timely manner.

In His keynote address, the Attorney General of Zimbabwe pointed out that  they derive their mandate from the Legislative Agenda as set by the President during the official opening of the 9th Parliament, where all laws are required to be brought in harmony with the Constitution.

The IMT has to see to it that all laws are aligned with the Constitution as this legislative mandate of aligning the laws to the Constitution is also embodied in the Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) which stipulates the need to complete the alignment of laws with the Constitution in 24 months.

“it will be prudent to revise some of our timelines particularly those which we largely have control over.” said Honorable Machaya in his keynote address at the Bi-Monthly meeting.

Timeous timelines, will enable and assist in speeding up the alignment process, as there is need to keep all laws in line with the Constitution, in its capacity as the supreme law of Zimbabwe.

The Attorney General also  indicated the need for line ministries to avail progress reports and He encouraged the line ministries to wrap up work towards the alignment process.

During the meeting, line ministries were prompted to initiate law reforms and forward request for support to the IMT, this will in turn quicken the alignment process.

Use of ICT tools was encouraged, members of the IMT were advised to publicize the IMT website (www.justice.gov.zw). This website works as an interface between the IMT and the general public, as such a need was raised to have an effective, active and productive interface.