FORMER Copac co-chairpersons yesterday admitted that they overlooked setting time limits on alignment of laws with the new Constitution, saying further delays in the implementation matrix would cause chaos in the judiciary system with some court decisions being struck down as unconstitutional.
Zanu PF former Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana told our sister paper NewsDay that about 280 pieces of legislation needed to be urgently aligned with the new Constitution adopted in March this year.
“There is some delay in aligning laws with the new Constitution which we did not anticipate and we are noticing we made a mistake in that we should have put some timelines on the implementation matrix to say by such a date ministers should be compelled to bring Bills to align laws with the new Constitution,” Mangwana said.
“As it stands the government can take time to align laws and about 280 pieces of legislation are affected by the new Constitution and certain institutions are operating unconstitutionally such that decisions that they make might be struck down by a court on the basis that it is unconstitutional.”
Mangwana said examples of institutions that can be affected were the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Peace and Reconciliation Commission and others which needed enabling Acts to fully operationalise them.
“Examples of laws that need urgent attention are the Provincial Councils Act, Citizenship Act to allow for dual citizenship, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to deal with the issue of the death penalty, the Administrative Justice Act, Environmental Management Act, War Veterans Act to incorporate war collaborators and many other laws,” he said.
His MDC counterpart Edward Mkhosi said further delays would mean the government did not respect the new Charter and did not have a culture of constitutionalism.
“Further delays will be a violation of the new constitution itself and there is no reason for those delays at all.
The government promised to deliver and it is incumbent upon them to fulfil those promises and find the necessary resources,” Mkhosi said.
MDC-T Copac co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora could not be reached for comment.