Govt launches web­site for in­ter-min­is­te­rial task­force

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Felex Share Harare Bureau

THE Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day launched a web­site for the in­ter-min­is­te­rial task­force on the align­ment of leg­is­la­tion (IMT) which will en­able stake­hold­ers in­volved in the process to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion eas­ily.

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, who over­sees the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, launched the web­site in Harare.

The in­ter-min­is­te­rial task­force was es­tab­lished by Cabi­net as an in­sti­tu­tional plat­form to fa­cil­i­tate the leg­isla­tive align­ment process.

It con­sists of le­gal ad­vi­sors, se­nior State coun­sels and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all Gov­ern­ment min­istries.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ad­vo­cate Machaya chairs the task­force.

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the move to launch a web­site was Gov­ern­ment’s en­deav­our to pro­mote pub­lic aware­ness and par­tic­i­pa­tion through e-gov­er­nance.

“The launch of the IMT web­site is more than just a mere em­brace­ment of In­for­ma­tion Prince and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy as it em­bod­ies my Min­istry’s quest to en­sure that the mul­ti­fac­eted range of stake­hold­ers in the align­ment process has ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion on the process,” he said.

“It fur­ther seeks to up­hold our deep seated con­sti­tu­tional and demo­cratic prin­ci­ples of con­sul­ta­tion and val­i­da­tion by cit­i­zens be­fore im­ple­men­ta­tion of statutes that af­fect them. It will as­sist us to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter and serve the pub­lic more ef­fec­tively. To achieve world class jus­tice, it is im­por­tant to em­brace ICT as a key en­abler. The web­site will pe­ri­od­i­cally up­date the pub­lic on progress made in the align­ment process.”

Gov­ern­ment has aligned 159 laws with the new Con­sti­tu­tion fol­low­ing its adop­tion in 2013, and ef­forts are un­der­way to com­plete the process.

About 200 statutes have been iden­ti­fied for re­align­ment.

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the web­site was de­vel­oped us­ing mod­ern tech­nolo­gies and would pro­vide up­dates eas­ily.

“The web­site ex­pec­ta­tions of is de­signed to meet the all stake­hold­ers and the pub­lic on an on-go­ing ba­sis,” he said.

“Its con­nec­tiv­ity to the par­ent Min­istry of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs is an added ad­van­tage as it pro­vides sev­eral ad­di­tional links, in­clud­ing so­cial me­dia pages and thus en­abling the pub­lic to com­mu­ni­cate and find im­me­di­ate in­for­ma­tion from not only the IMT but the par­ent Min­istry as well. Most im­por­tantly, the web­site will in­form the pub­lic by way of sched­ul­ing pend­ing stake­holder con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings on laws that are yet to be aligned to the Con­sti­tu­tion. Ef­fec­tively, draft bills will be up­loaded on the web­site for the pub­lic to ac­cess. Bills passed by Par­lia­ment and gazetted will also be up­loaded.”

He said the web­site com­plied with the ICT pol­icy.

“The web­site has been de­signed and de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with the Gov­ern­ment In­ter­net Ser­vice Provider (GISP), the Gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cle for in­ter­net pro­vi­sion,” Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said.

“Con­se­quently, I ex­hort all stake­hold­ers to be un­in­hib­ited in us­ing the web­site as the GISP will be re­spon­si­ble for its host­ing and main­te­nance.”

The con­sti­tu­tion align­ment process is co-founded by the Euro­pean Union, Switzer­land and Nor­way.

Head of EU del­e­ga­tion to Zim­babwe Mr Phillipe Van Damme called on Gov­ern­ment to ex­pe­dite the leg­isla­tive align­ment process.

“One of these strate­gies to im­prove the leg­isla­tive align­ment process con­sists of con­ven­ing a high level IMT meet­ing of all per­ma­nent sec­re­taries to ob­tain in­creased own­er­ship from the se­nior de­ci­sion-mak­ers and find so­lu­tions to the chal­lenges af­fect­ing align­ment of their re­spec­tive laws,” he said.

“The meet­ing is ex­pected in the com­ing weeks. One of the main bot­tle­necks the project is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing is that some Min­istries have not been sub­mit­ting re­quests to the IMT for as­sis­tance in align­ing laws un­der their purview; rea­sons could be lack of knowl­edge about the project, not know­ing ex­actly how the project op­er­ates, or lack of in­ter­est in align­ing laws un­der their re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

There is, how­ever, no deadline in the align­ment of the laws with the new Con­sti­tu­tion.

Prophet Isaac Makomichi

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