Posa, Police Act set for amendment

Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi
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GOVERNMENT is set to amend the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the Police Act as well as the Citizenship Act as part of an initiative to align legislation with the Constitution.

Outlining his Ministry’s 100 day plan, Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the Home Affairs Ministry under which the said laws fall, was lagging behind in terms of complying with the new Constitution as it has not amended a single law.

There has previously been resistance to amend some laws but this reluctance to comply with the Constitution is being addressed by the new political dispensation.

The Government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since pledged to entrench civil liberties.

Ziyambi said his Ministry has a biller tracker which tracks proposed laws for all Ministries so that drafting is done through the AG’s office.

“We identified laws which need alignment and the Attorney General is following up with Home Affairs Ministry. We hope the Registrar’s General’s Office , the department of Immigration and the police will co-operate,” said Cde Ziyambi.

Ziyambi said there were about five Acts that fall under the Home Affairs Ministry that need to be amended and these include Posa.

“We have some Ministries in particular Home Affairs that have not aligned a single legislation and within the next 100 days we are working with them to ensure that the majority of these laws are aligned,” said Cde Ziyambi.

Home Affairs have to align the Citizenship Act (chapter 4:91), Immigration Act (Chapter 4:02), Official Secrets Act (Chapter11:09), Police Act (Chapter 11:10) and Public Order and Security Act ( Chapter11:17).

Minister Ziyambi said most Ministries had ‘done something’ in terms of aligning laws with the constitution.

He however said some officials have been reluctant to align laws with the Constitution.

Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has previously insisted that Government will not seek to re-align the Citizenship Act with the Constitution but would instead amend the supreme law to abolish provisions allowing dual citizenship.

The new Constitution allows for one to hold dual citizenship and Mr Mudede has said this posed a number of security challenges for the country.

Mr Mudede said some of the challenges include cases of tax evasion, evasion from justice, and involvement in cases of human trafficking, international terrorism and problems in immigration control. He said Sections 36, 37 and 43 of the (new) Constitution had to be amended.

Recently, High Court judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ruled that aliens could register to vote after being turned away by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration exercise.

“Any person born in Zimbabwe who is of or over eighteen (18) years with an identification card endorsed “Alien” and a birth certificate showing that such person was born in Zimbabwe, and at least one of the parents of such person was born in Zimbabwe or from the SADC region, with proof that he or she was ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe on the relevant publication date in 2013, is entitled to be registered by the first respondent to vote without any impediment or additional requirement other than requirements relating to all people,” reads part of the judgement. —Chronicle