The Republic of Zimbabwe

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Constitution of Zimbabwe: ChapterĀ 1: Founding Provisions

The Republic

  • Zimbabwe is a unitary, democratic and sovereign republic.

Supremacy of Constitution

  • This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.
  • The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of government at every level, and must be fulfilled by them.

Founding values and principles

  • Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles:
    1. Recognition of and respect for the liberation struggle.
    2. Good governance
    3. Equality regardless of gender g. gender equality;
    4. General guarantee of equality f. recognition of the equality of all human beings
    5. Human dignity e. recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being
    6. The nation’s diverse cultural, religious and traditional values
    7. Fundamental human rights and freedoms
    8. The rule of law
    9. Supremacy of the Constitution
  • The principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, include:
  • A multi-party democratic political system
  • An electoral system based on universal adult suffrage and equality of votes, free, fair and regular elections and adequate representation of the electorate
  • The orderly transfer of power following elections
  • Respect for the rights of all political parties
  • Observance of the principle of separation of powers
  • Respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived
  • Transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness
  • The fostering of national unity, peace and stability, with due regard to diversity of languages, customary practices and traditions
  • Recognition of the rights of children, women, youths, veterans of the liberation struggles etc
  • The equitable sharing of national resources, including land
  • Due respect for vested rights
  • The devolution and decentralisation of governmental power and functions.

National Flag, National Anthem, Public Seal and Coat of arms

  • Zimbabwe has a National Flag, a National Anthem, a Coat of Arms and a Public Seal, which are set out in the First Schedule

The tiers of government in Zimbabwe are:

  • The national Government
  • Provincial and metropolitan councils
  • Local authorities, that is, urban councils and rural council


  • The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe.
  • An Act of Parliament may prescribe other languages as officially recognized languages and may prescribe languages of record.
  • The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must ensure that all officially recognised languages are treated equitably and take into account the language preferences of people affected by governmental measures or communications
  • The State must promote and advance the use of all languages used in Zimbabwe, including sign language, and must create conditions for the development of those languages

Promotion of public awareness of Constitution

  • The State must promote public awareness of this Constitution, in particular by:
    1. Translating it into all officially recognised languages and disseminating it as widely as possible
    2. Requiring this Constitution to be taught in schools and as part of the curricula for the training of members of the security services, the Civil Service and members and employees of public institutions
    3. Encouraging all persons and organisations, including civic organisations, to disseminate awareness and knowledge of this Constitution throughout society.

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