Govt launches website for inter-ministerial taskforce
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