Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai at the signing of the current constitution in 2013. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: What is a Constitution

  • A constitution is as set of rules and regulations and principles which direct how an organization or country is ruled
  • In shona a constitution is known as Bumbiro Remutemo
  • Without a constitution, an organization or country cannot function as there will be chaos and disorder
  • A constitution may have both written or verbal terms
  • A constitution of a government usually contains the functions and powers of the main governmental institutions and general principles applying to citizens
  • Some topics covered by a constitution include:
  1. How the head of state is chosen, his powers and rights or privileges
  2. The ministerial ranks and civil servants under them
  3. The Parliament, its functions and privileges of members
  4. Uniformed Forces (police and army) and the rules to regulate them
  5. The relationship between the state and local governments
  6. Citizenship
  7. How public money is to be raised and spent
  8. The powers and functions of the judiciary
  9. Bill of rights for citizens and the limitation of the rights
  10. The steps taken to amend the constitution

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.