“Assessing Progress in the Implementation of Zimbabwe’s New Constitution: National, Regional and Global Perspectives”, Conference, Harare, 23–24 March 2015

Renowned academics and politicians met in Harare to discuss the implementation process of the Zimbabwean Constitution of 2013

The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law organised a conference in Harare, Zimbabwe from March 23 to 24 2015 in collaboration with the Development and the Rule of Law Program (DROP) at the Faculty of Law, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and a local partner, the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust, on “Assessing Progress in the Implementation of Zimbabwe’s New Constitution: National, Regional and Global Perspectives”. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, Hon. Adv. J. F. Mudenda, officially opened the conference in the presence of several Members of Parliament, diplomats and the German Ambassador Harald Klöckner.

The aim of this conference was to initiate a dialogue between policy makers, representatives of the judiciary, civil society organisations as well as constitutional experts focusing on the changes and challenges deriving from the provisions and the implementation process of Zimbabwe’s new Constitution.

In addition to key stakeholders from Zimbabwe, experts from South Africa, Germany and Zambia attended the discussions and lectures, which focused on the current system in Zimbabwe and analysed various constitutional aspects from a comparative perspective in order to promote and stimulate the discourse on the implementation of the Zimbabwean Constitution of 2013.

With a view to other experiences and lessons learnt from selected African constitutional reform processes, a panel of experts addressed the current progress in the implementation of Zimbabwe’s new Constitution. In doing so, special focus was placed on the bill of rights, the separation of powers in Zimbabwe, as well as the role of independent commissions as regulated in the Constitution.

After two days of intense deliberations, a public forum took place in which the results of the conference were presented to a wider public and the media. The Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel Region at the German Foreign Office, Ambassador Georg Schmidt, used this forum for an address on German-Zimbabwean relations, thereby particularly focusing on the concept of the rule of law as their indispensable foundation.

The conference was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.