Training of Journalists on Constitutional Reporting for the Media

The Centre for Applied Legal Research (CALR) working in partnership with the Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe (MISA) and the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) recently held a series of four training workshops on Constitutional Reporting for the Media. The workshops were funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) in Harare, Mutare, Gweru and Bulawayo from the 25th of June to the 12th of July.

Jacqueline Chikakano (Legal Officer from CALR) and Dr. James Tsabora (Senior Research Fellow) presented the workshops focusing on topics which range from Constitutional Principles, Limitation of Rights, The Law-Making process, the structure of the Government and the State, Independent Commissions, Devolution to Public Administration.

Ms Chikakano highlighted the Supremacy of the Constitution, as enshrined in section 2 of the Constitution, with emphasis on the fact that all actions by individual jurisdictions have to be measured by the principles outlined in the Constitution and also that Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the “Rule of Law” which is the concept that no person is above the law. All actions must have a legal basis.

As such, the training sought to enhance and strengthen the role of the media that is Journalists’ knowledge on Constitutional matters.

Furthermore, there was a need to encourage citizen participation in the constitution and related matters to empower them to hold public authorities accountable on their constitutional rights.

“There is need to identify the core interest that a “right” seeks to protect & secure”

–  Dr. James Tsabora