The general public view is that the legislative branch in developing countries is weak, and cannot enforce the key elements of effective governance - state capability, accountability and responsiveness. The Africa Governance Report (2005) found out that "in terms of enacting laws, debating national issues, checking the activities of government, and in general promoting the welfare of the people, these duties and obligations are rarely performed with efficiency and effectiveness in many African parliaments".

This Manual is a key component of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust’s programme to strengthen respect for and the promotion, protection and fullment of economic, social and cultural rights in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Manual seeks to simplify the language used in the international legal instruments that provide for this category of human rights that are due to all human rights regardless of colour, race, nationality, gender, religion, age or other status. By simplifying the language, the Manual becomes a useful resource for educating the citizens, the rights-holders, the State and all its institutions, agencies and offcials, including Members of Parliament, and duty-bearers, on their rights and the obligations arising from these rights, as the case may be.

Positive engagement and interaction between Parliament and civil society organisations (CSOs) is a necessary ingredient for the promotion of democracy and good governance in any nation which is guided by constitutional supremacy. Parliaments perform legislative, representative and oversight functions on behalf of citizens in line with the well-documented

Latin adage that “Voxpopuli, Vox Dei” meaning 'the voice of the people is the voice of God”

Thank you for taking an active interest in this very simple version of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which is the foundation upon which society is governed. As you may already know, this Constitution replaced the Lancaster House which we had been using since Independence in 1980. It is a product of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the Parliament of Zimbabwe led constitutional reform process through the Parliamentary Constitutional Select Committee (COPAC).

The overall objective of this training module is to enhance civic society and public understanding of how the institution of Parliament functions and operates, and how they can best engage the legislative branch so that their needs and concerns are addressed.

This toolkit is envisaged to provide a simplified approach to dealing with fiscal matters, whilst at the same time serving as part of Economic Literacy, given the symbolic nature of National Budgeting.

Parliament, which consists of the Senate and the House of Assembly, is the supreme law-making body in Zimbabwe. Parliament alone has full or plenary power to make whatever laws it considers necessary for the Government of Zimbabwe. In making these laws, Parliament is restricted only by the Constitution, in particular by the Declaration of Rights which is contained in Chapter III of the Constitution. This great law-making power carries with it a great responsibility: to ensure that the laws passed by Parliament are good laws which will be effective and will lead to good governance. The guidelines in this booklet are meant to assist Members of Parliament, committee clerks, parliamentary researchers, the public and civic society in analysing proposed laws and Bills to ensure that, if passed, they will be good laws.

Gender and Agriculture Financing in Zimbabwe: Land tenure system: Access to land and bankable security of tenure must be provided to all classes of farmers as it is an essential condition for the meaningful participation of private capital in financing agriculture on a sustainable basis. The rural land market which currently does not operate in Zimbabwe must be revived. This will give farmers confidence to borrow and make long-term investments on farms.

Gender and Food Security in Zimbabwe; Improving transportation, infrastructure and encouraging rural women's participation in farmer organizations and cooperatives can help both to achieve economies of scale in access to markets as well as reducing isolation and building confidence, leadership and security.

Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action in 1995, Zimbabwe has made significant strides towards promoting the participation of women in the policy making process. This has been done through efforts to ensure an increase in the proportion of women in the National Assembly.

The toolkit offers a simplified and effective assessment of national budgets. It is designed to be used by decision and policymakers as well as civil society and other stakeholders who are in the process of being equipped with more skills on gender budgeting.

SAPST developed this handbook for use at its constitution sensitization outreach workshops. This was done to prepare Zimbabweans for COPAC public consultation meetings on the New Constitution, to ensure that the public was exposed to diverse views on key constitutional topics or issues so that they could contribute meaningfully to the constitutional process.

Public Hearings are open committee meetings that are aimed at obtaining input from, businesses, civil society organizations (CSOs), public officials and the general public about proposed or existing policies, Bills, regulations and other issues or changes that would significantly affect the public if introduced.

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