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Parliament also played a perfunctory role in the budgetary process. the introduction of the reforms, therefore, sought to address these concerns and had the other objective of enhancing the institution’s legislative, representative and oversight roles through, among other things, opening its doors to members of the public, the media and civic society.
The objective of early reforms was to transform the institution from a colonial to a people’s Parliament and to expedite the work of the legislature.
The historical Parliamentary democratic growth has witnessed an enviable transformative legislative accent in the promulgation of key pieces of legislation such as the Customary Law and primary Courts Act, The legal Age of Majority Act of 1982, Labour Relations Act 1985, Land Acquisition Act 1985, Land Acquisition Amendment Act of 2004 and Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2007.
The second phase of the development of our parliamentary democracy, that is, from 199o to 1999, was characterized by an overwhelming majority commanded by the united ruling party ZANU PF, with insignificant opposition. In the third phase starting from 2000, Parliament saw the birth of a visible multi-party democracy brought about by the 2000 general elections, characterised by the emergence of a strong MDC opposition representation in Parliament.
The most significant achievement of Parliament in its early years was the passing of the Constitutional Amendment No. 6 of 1986, which abrogated the 20 reserved seats for whites and opened all the 100 House of Assembly seats for contest under the general voters’ roll. Constitutional Amendment No 7 of 1987 introduced the Executive Presidency and abolished the position of prime Minister while Constitutional Amendment No. 8 of 1989 introduced the Executive Presidency and abolished the Senate. These amendments left an indelible mark and attempted to rectify the odious provisions of the Lancaster House Constitution, most of which featured the ability of Parliament to amend it, thereby negating the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe to chart their own destiny through a constitutional dispensation.
He also added that the genesis of this was premised on the need to entrench the white minority interests as Zimbabwe was on the threshold of democracy and self rule. Although the first independent bicameral Parliament had some vestiges of the colonial period, it nevertheless represented, for the first time in the history of the country, all the people.
In this journey, the Parliament of Zimbabwe has gone through different epochs and traversed many paths before and after 1980. Starting as the preserve of the white minority legislative cacoon anchored prior to independence, it has now matured into a true forum for democratic dispensation anchored on a multi-party democratic political system.
Section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe captures the essence of the outcome of our Parliamentary Reforms.
The Speaker also said that in this vein, the launch of the Parliament Open Day, therefore, stems from a basic and profound awareness of the strategic importance, not only of the institution of Parliament, but also of political parties, civil society and other stakeholders in Parliamentary processes.
In the Legislative Assembly Tonga, the Open Day provides students, Civil Society Organisations and the general public with the opportunity to learn about the roles and functions of Parliament. Other progressive parliaments are attuned to holding Open Days as a measure to make Parliaments more visible and creature institutions of society.
Through the Open Day features vary from country to country, their principal objective and intrinsic worth is to demystify Parliament and create its new image of catholic relevance.
The recommendations of the Parliamentary Reform Committee set up in 1997 to primarily look at the ways and means of how our Parliament could be more effective and efficient in executing its constitutional mandate in part, constitute the rationale for holding the Open Day.
These are the highlights from the Official Opening Address by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Adv. J. F. Mudenda.
The struggle for independence was also a struggle for universal adult suffrage as encapsulated in the slogan “One Man, One Vote” during the era of the liberation struggle. As inheritors of that proud history of valour and political emancipation, the Parliament of Zimbabwe is honoured to hold the inaugural Open Day in order to loudly celebrate our democracy, deepen and consolidate it as a tribute to the sterling sacrifices of our living and departed heroes.
Please find a collage of pictures for the events taking place.
This Open Day stands as a vivid reminder that our freedom and democracy earned through the blood of our heroic fallen gallant patriots who lost life and limb, must never be taken forgranted.
Parliament of Zimbabwe Open Day is being celebrated under the theme “Parliament: Celebrating 37 Years of independence and Democracy”
Schools have started arriving at Parliament for the Open Day.
The proceedings have started with various stakeholders arriving at Parliament .
Welcome to this historic inaugural Parliament Open Day. The coverage of today’s event will covered by Ms T. L. Manyemba and Mr Addmore Nyamuramba.