Zimbabwe is a country of laws

Zimbabwe is a country of laws
Published: 21 August 2019 (137 Views)
Zimbabwe is a nation governed by law. There is not a thing that happens (or should happen) that is not provided for by any law.  We differ from the United Kingdom in one respect, they do not have a constitution. In the UK, you are allowed to do anything you want, unless there is a law that says you cannot. 

This places the citizen in the position where they must know what laws are there, in case they violate them unwittingly. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Our constitutional arrangements are more plain. There are laws that clearly spell out the rights of citizens. Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe lists our rights and freedoms. From section 48 to 85 is a comprehensive lists of no less than 35 individual civil, political, social and economic rights. 

Our rights are subject to very few limitations, the main one being that they must be exercised reasonably and with due regard for the rights and freedoms of other persons. 

Any limitation must be fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, and must take into account the nature of the right (some rights cannot be limited); the purpose of the limitation (in the public interest); the nature, extent and duration of the limitation; the need to balance the needs and rights of other people; the relationship between the limitation and its purpose; as well as the need, always, to check whether there are any less restrictive means of achieving the purpose of the limitation. 

These rights accrue to us all as citizens.

For example, the right to property was not made to protect private ownership of land by white farmers.

Instead, it is a right that Mr Fetti Mbele, a villager in Ntabazinduna under Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni enjoyed, and which right was violated when the Chief caused the burning down of his homestead in order to enforce an eviction of the Mbele family after Mr Mbele refused to obey the chief's directive to divorce his wife.

Under section 78(2), our constitution says no person may be compelled to enter into marriage against their will, which equally means (under the rules of interpretation of statutes) that no person can be compelled to get out of a marriage against their will. That is something the Chief had tried to do, which was a violation of a fundamental right. 

There has been a clamour for demonstrations. The constitution gives citizens the right to freedom of assembly and association. 

This is the right that allows people to demonstrate. But, as we have seen, rights are not unlimited. So, when businesses lost their property to riots in January 2019, they have an expectation that anyone arranging future demonstrations must put in place clear and robust measures to ensure that the same thing does not happen. 

It follows that a convenor that seriously wants to organise a demonstration must satisfy the relevant authorities, in their notification of a demonstration, that they have taken steps to avoid causing the same damage that was caused previously. 

This means having a realistic relationship between the expected numbers of demonstrators and marshals, it means working with law enforcement to ensure that said marshals are trained in crowd control, it means choosing routes that allow for the free movement of the protestors while causing the least amount of disruption to those not involved in the march. It definitely means making sure that you do not ramp up your protestors' expectations with claims that the demonstration will achieve something it cannot possibly do, like removing an elected President.

There are clear guidelines on what the citizen who is aggrieved by a prohibition order stopping a demonstration must do. Those who planned demonstrations in this month of August have seen it fit not to follow these laid down procedures. 

Their reason for doing so is obvious: the whole programme has been choreographed to ensure that the lawful response of law enforcement agencies is seen as repression by those that will not bother to read our laws.  We have laws about crowd management during unlawful assemblies.

Those laws are very clear, and they have not been violated, now or in the past. 

There are international human rights law guidelines on the management of violent assemblies, starting with the 1979 UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Adopted by the Eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in Havana, Cuba, in 1990, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights' Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa.

None have been violated.  We are a nation of laws. While many have claimed that they will not "do a hundred handstands in order to get their right to demonstrate respected", the truth is that no-one has asked them to. 

They have merely been asked to follow the law, and that same law has avenues for redress when their requests are turned down. They have chosen to ignore these avenues, choosing instead to use the streets to audition for money and other subversive support from their American and other foreign handlers.  - We are a nation of laws. The law will always reply to those that choose to ignore it.

- chronicle

Tags: Zimbabwe, Laws, country,

You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

Zimbabwe govt expenditure problem

by Clemen Moyo ka Mangena | 15 September 2019 | 93 Views

Sympathy for the devil

by Zimbabwe Vigil Diary | 15 September 2019 | 112 Views

ZINARA Employees stealing from government and motorists

by Munya Shumba | 15 September 2019 | 118 Views

ZAPU in its bravest rebranding and transformation exercise

by Sakhile Sibanda | 15 September 2019 | 94 Views

Mugabe's death breathes life into sleepy Zvimba

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 154 Views

Zimbabwe's success inevitable, says Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 211 Views

Mugabe died a sad man

by newzimbabwe | 15 September 2019 | 249 Views

Zinara looters put on notice

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 235 Views

Ramaphosa apologises for xenophobia

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 169 Views

Mugabe funeral programme shifts to Zvimba

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 273 Views

Zimbabwe nears SA industry loans deal

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 164 Views

Crafty Bob is not just history but our history

by Bishop Lazi | 15 September 2019 | 138 Views

G40's ahistorical narrative

by Ranga Mataire | 15 September 2019 | 158 Views

A too-comfortable end for Mugabe

by Jason L Riley | 15 September 2019 | 175 Views

Mnangagwa may not revenge against Grace Mugabe

by newzimbabwe | 15 September 2019 | 160 Views

Final salute for Robert Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 124 Views

'The West is upset about Zimbabwean land'

by Prof Arthur Mutambara | 15 September 2019 | 161 Views

South Africans need a history lesson

by Mtandazo Dube | 15 September 2019 | 144 Views

'Foreigners can now invest in Zimbabwe's restricted sectors'

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 168 Views

Grace Mugabe praised

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 169 Views

Zesa, BCC agree on compensation for power station use

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 134 Views

The 'Zimbabwean' mogul in SA police's crosshairs

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 174 Views

Can Bosso stand Colliery heat?

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 87 Views

ZB Bank introduces WhatsApp banking

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 83 Views

Sables beat Zambia, win Victoria Cup

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 65 Views

College charges extra on EcoCash

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 44 Views

Concern over sharp increase in armed robbery cases

by Staff reportetr | 15 September 2019 | 45 Views

'18 people living in one room'

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 75 Views

Zimbabwe stuck with expired medical drugs, says committee

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 48 Views

Mugabe: The socio-genesis, posterity of Pan-Africanism

by Richard Runyararo Mahomva | 15 September 2019 | 113 Views

Bulawayo City Council workers demand housing stands

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 31 Views

The installation of the Lozwi King at Emawabeni

by Pathisa Nyathi | 15 September 2019 | 122 Views

Graca Machel: Appreciate Mugabe's role in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 41 Views

Gukurahundi victims react to Mugabe death

by Staff reporter | 15 September 2019 | 48 Views

The other side of Mugabe

by Nqaba Matshazi | 15 September 2019 | 92 Views