Parliament aligns laws to new Constitution

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HARARE – Parliament yesterday started debating a motion to align existing legislation to the new constitution.

MDC Senators Misheck Marava and Jameson Makore moved the motion in the Senate demanding that President Robert Mugabe move with speed to bring the bills to Parliament.

Parliament will align the Declaration of Rights, the changes to the death penalty which will now only apply in more limited circumstances, such that it can be imposed only for murder committed in aggravating circumstances, and be imposed on men between the ages of 21 and 70.

This means the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act will have to be amended to give effect to the restrictions.

There are also freedom of expression and freedom of the media (section 61) provisions, rights of women, Citizenship Act, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Act which have to be realigned to the new constitution.

In terms of the NPA, the new act stipulates that the current attorney-general Johannes Tomana becomes the prosecutor general, with the post of the AG becoming vacant.

The Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Act must spell out in clear terms the roles and functions of the provincial councils so as to avoid duplication and conflict with the newly appointed ministers of State for Provincial Affairs.

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