Zimbabwe is a Constitutional democracy. It is therefore befitting that the three pillars of state, namely the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature derive their existence and authority from the Constitution. For the proper functioning of government, the afore-mentioned pillars of state, though respecting the principle of separation of powers by maintaining their independence from one another, play coordinate but complementary roles in national governance.
Composition and Structure of Parliament
In terms of Section 116 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Legislature consists of Parliament and the President. The President is part of the Legislature in his capacity as Head of State who holds the Public Seal and accordingly must assent to Bills passed by Parliament before they become law. Section 118 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that Parliament shall consist of the Senate and the National Assembly. The Senate is headed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker heads the National Assembly. Pursuant to section 135 of the Constitution, the Speaker of the National Assembly is the Head of Parliament. The Senate is composed of 80 Members of Parliament while the National Assembly has 270 Members of Parliament. Cumulatively, Parliament has 350 Members of Parliament. The Clerk of Parliament, appointed in terms of section 154 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is responsible, subject to the law, for the day to day administration of Parliament.
Mandate of Parliament
The mandate of Parliament in the legislative process is derived from section 117 of the Constitution which states that the Legislature has power “…to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe”.
The role of Parliament is derived from Section 119 of the Constitution which states Parliament must promote democratic governance and ensure that the provisions of the constitution are upheld and all institutions and agencies of government at every level act constitutionally and in national interest. These provisions give Parliament Legislative, Oversight and Representative functions covering any and all areas of the Executive’s operations.