The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: The Federal Assembly and Supreme Court

  • It was the Parliament or Legislative body
  • The Parliament was to consist of 35 MPs and 26 represented whites, that is, 14 from Southern Rhodesia, 8 from Northern Rhodesia and 4 from Nyasaland, 6 where Africans and 3 were Europeans who were responsible for native issues
  • The membership of the Parliament was increased to 59 in 1957 with Europeans occupying many seats
  • The Parliament of Zimbabwe building housed the Federal Assembly
  • Every race had the right to vote but electoral laws were designed in a manner that ensured few Africans voted
  • There were two voters’ rolls, that is the Special Voters’ Roll and the General Voters’ Roll
  • The General Voters’ Roll was used to select 49 members and voting in this category required qualifications such as ownership of fixed assets such as houses, educational qualification and higher annual income
  • Only Europeans could vote for the General votes
  • Special Voter’s Roll was for Africans only and selected 4 members and the qualification were still high for most Africans
  • Africans were greatly dis-empowered in the Federal Assembly
  • The main duties of the assembly were for peace, order and good governance
  • Other duties of the assembly were to provide for a Federal Supreme Court, provide for judges’ salaries, to make electoral laws and to make amendments to the constitution
  • A provision for the Federal Supreme Court and Chief Justice were made
  • The Court was responsible for trying both civil and criminal cases referred from the high court
  • It also solved disputes between the Federation and a Territory
  • The Governor General set and dissolved the parliament

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