An image of the draft constitution of 2013

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Constitution of Zimbabwe: Introduction


  • This topic seeks to define the Zimbabwean constitution and explain its functions
  • It also seeks to explain the background of the Zimbabwe constitution
  • It describe the bill of rights enshrined in the constitution
  • The topic discusses the weaknesses and strengths of the constitution
  • The topic explains the amendments made to the constitution after 1980
  • It describes why making a new constitution in 2000 was unsuccessful

The Origins of the Zimbabwe Constitution

  • The first constitution of Zimbabwe was formulated at the Lancaster House which took place from September to December 1979
  • It was attended by delegates from all political parties in Zimbabwe
  • The constitution was to decide how the new Zimbabwe was to be ruled
  • The constitution had a lot of compromises between the settlers and the guerillas
  • The PF could not stomach the fact that 20 seats had to be reserved for whites voters only in the parliament
  • The new government was not supposed to seize land for the next ten years
  • The parties then agreed to the constitution and was the framework used in the governance of Rhodesia up to 2013
  • The constitution was published by the United Kingdom government as Statutory Instrument 1979/160
  • The second Zimbabwe constitution was passed in 2013 and has been in use since

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.