Virtual Meetings held to Promote Constitutional Discourse in Zimbabwe
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) have partnered to promote citizen participation in constitutional discourse in Zimbabwe.
CALR and its partners held a number of Constitutional Seminars in Zimbabwe. Five face to face (physical) Constitutional Seminars were held across the country in May 2021. These were held in Masvingo, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Manicaland. The purpose of these meetings was to enhance and promote citizen participation in constitutional discourse.
For Harare, due to a spike in COVID 19 cases and new lockdown restriction measures by the government, a virtual meeting was held on the 19th of June 2021, where Jacqueline Chikakano presented on Electoral rights in the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe and accompanying state obligations to guarantee free and fair elections.
On 26 June 2021, a virtual Harare Constitutional Seminar was held via zoom. Issues discussed included inter alia; devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities, socio-economic rights as well as electoral rights. Dr. Magaisa unpacked Devolution process in Zimbabwe: Opportunities and challenges, while Ms Jacqueline Chikakano had a presentation on Electoral rights in the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe and accompanying state obligations to guarantee free and fair elections.
The project, “Promoting Citizen Participation in Constitutional Discourse in Zimbabwe” funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) aims to address threats to constitutionalism, and the lack of citizen participation on constitutional matters in Zimbabwe, through strengthening the role of the media in constitutional reporting. This has seen CALR and its partners capacitate the Media through training journalists across the country on the constitution and constitutional reporting.
As a way of recognizing the results of the training, the project held a Constitutional Reporter of the Year Award ceremony on the 30th of June 2021, where Veneranda Langa of NewsDay/AMH won the award.
The Annual Constitutional Reporter of the Year Award acknowledges outstanding journalistic work by media practitioners who have contributed to, and increased awareness on, the importance of Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe.
Below are the links to the Zoom Meetings;