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Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Bill, 2005 [H.B. 7, 2005] with Amendments
August 25, 2005

Note: The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Act, 2005 was passed on September 16, 2005

Read the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Bill, 2005 - Notes on committee stage amendments

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Published in the Government Gazette on the 15th July, 2005 (Gazette Extraordinary, General Notice 317/2005)


This Bill will amend the Constitution in several respects, principal of which are the following. Firstly, a new provision will confirm the acquisition of land for resettlement purposes which took place pursuant to the Land Reform Programme beginning in 2000, and provide for the acquisition in the future of agricultural land for resettlement and other purposes. Secondly, Parliament will be reconstituted as a bicameral legislature consisting of a House of Assembly of 150 members (120 elected on a constituency basis, the 10 Provincial Governors, 8 Chiefs elected in accordance with the Electoral Law to represent the eight non-metropolitan provinces and 10 persons appointed by the President) and a Senate of 66 members (made up of five Senators elected in each of the 10 provinces, plus the President and the Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs, eight Chiefs elected by the Council of Chiefs to represent the eight non-metropolitan provinces, and six Senators appointed by the President). Thirdly, the establishment and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (with a slightly enlarged membership) will be mentioned in the Constitution itself, and the Electoral Supervisory Commission will be abolished.
In more detail the individual clauses of the Bill provide as follows:

Clause 1
This clause sets out the Bill’s short title and dates of commencement of its provisions.

Clause 2 and 23
Clause 2 adds a new section 16B to the Constitution in the manner and for the purposes explained in the introduction to this Memorandum. Clause 21 inserts a new Schedule in the Constitution setting out the land acquired under the Land Reform Programme which is to be declared acquired under the Constitution.

Clause 3
An example of the type of mischief that may justify the imposition of the restrictions on the freedom of movement contemplated by this clause is where, for instance, it is discovered that a person intends to depart Zimbabwe for purpose of engaging in terrorist training abroad.

Clause 4
Section 23(3) of the Constitution enumerates cases in which discrimination is not a violation of the protection from discrimination contained in section 23(1) and (2). This clause proposes to add in section 23(3) a further permissible ground of discrimination in favour of persons or classes of persons who have been disadvantaged by unfair discrimination. It also adds as an impermissible ground discrimination on the basis of physical disability.

Clauses 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 21, and First Schedule
These clauses and the First Schedule make consequential amendments to the Constitution that are required by the reconstitution of Parliament as a bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Assembly.

Clause 10
The effect of this clause is to redefine the procedure Parliamentary Legal Committee in a manner appropriate to a bicameral legislature. Under the new section inserted by this clause the Committee will make its report on a Bill to the House (whether the Senate or the House of Assembly) in which the Bill originates.

Clause 17
This clause proposes to abolish the Electoral Supervisory Commission constituted in terms of section 61 of the Constitution. In its place the establishment and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (already in existence by virtue of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act [Chapter 2:12]) will specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

Clause 18
This clause will make it possible for an Act of Parliament to confer on the Judicial Service Commission additional functions in connection with the employment, discipline and conditions of service of such officers and persons employed in connection with the Supreme Court, the High Court and other courts subordinate to the Supreme Court and the High Court as are to be specified in such Act.

Clause 23, Second Schedule and Appendix
This clause and the Second Schedule provide for transitional matters. In particular, provision is made for first election of Senators conducted before the dissolution of the present Parliament in terms of the new section 34(1)(a) and (c) of the Constitution as inserted by this Bill.

Presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

To amend the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

ENACTED by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

1 Short title and dates of commencement
This Act may be cited as the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Act, 2005.

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