Office of the Prime Minister remains Constitutionally Protected in the Transitional Period
Thursday, 16 May 2013 19:52
An article on page 2 of The Herald newspaper today mischievously and erroneously suggests that there is uncertainty over the future of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). Entitled, “Uncertainty hangs over Tsvangirai’s political status”, the article gives the impression that the adoption of the new Constitution will spell the end of the OPM and that Prime Minister Tsvangirai will only serve at the pleasure of President Mugabe.
The content and message in this article is incorrect. Either the reporters are being deliberately selective in reading the new Constitution or they have simply failed to read and interpret the new Constitution. Ignorance can be forgiven and corrected but deliberate distortion of the law and facts is unacceptable. The Constitution’s provisions are very clear on this issue, as will be explained below.
When a Constitution is crafted, there is always a part that deals with the transitional issues; that is, a part that deals with what happens between the repeal of the old Constitution and the effective date of the new Constitution. In most cases, as is the case with our new Constitution, the operation of some provisions of the Constitution may be delayed to a later date, while some provisions of the old Constitution may be allowed to continue for a certain period of time.
The object of savings and transitional provisions is to cover any gaps or inconsistencies that may arise in the transitional period. For example, generally there is a section in the transitional and savings provisions, which provides for the continuation of laws passed prior to the adoption of the new Constitution and that these existing laws must be construed in accordance with the new Constitution.
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