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Peter Smith



Opinion Piece

Did Zimbabwe Decide in November 2017, July 2018, and August 2023, or has President Mnangagwa consistently benefited from attacking the rule of law? TAKE NOTE OF THIS ARTICLE: https://iniafrica.com/index.php/2023/08/28/did-zimbabwe-decide-in-november-2017-july-2018-and-august-2023-or-president-mnangagwa-has-consistently-benefited-from-attacking-the-rule-of-law/

Published: August 28, 2023

By Peter Smith

In a nation burdened by 43 years of abuses of public power and public funds, the spotlight must now shift to examine the role of the media and question whether they, too, contribute to the challenges at hand. Even esteemed journalists could potentially share similarities with public officeholders. This collaborative article between AI and engaged citizens aims to explore the intersections of Section 2(1) as read with Section 2(2) of Zimbabwe’s Constitution—a pivotal campaign seeking to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and ensure its obligations are met.

The Constitution’s Supremacy and Binding Obligations:

The Constitution of Zimbabwe, in Section 2(1), asserts its status as the highest law of the land. Any law, practice, custom, or conduct that contradicts the Constitution is deemed invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. Moreover, Section 2(2) establishes that the Constitution’s obligations are binding on all entities—be they individuals, natural or juristic, as well as the State, executive bodies, legislative institutions, and judicial agencies at all levels of government.

Elections and Accountability:

The years 2017, 2018, and 2023 have borne witness to significant electoral events in Zimbabwe. The pivotal question that emerges is whether these elections genuinely reflected the will of the people or if they became opportunities for President Mnangagwa to capitalize on a perceived weakening of the rule of law.

The Media’s Role and Responsibility:

Amid these political shifts, attention is now directed toward the media—a powerful force that shapes public perception and informs discourse. The collaboration between AI and active citizens serves as a call for introspection within the media landscape. The crucial question is whether media actors are truly adhering to their role as impartial conveyors of information, or if they, too, may be inadvertently contributing to challenges faced by the nation.

Journalism Excellence and Constitutional Integrity:

Journalists who receive accolades for their work are not immune to scrutiny. Just as public officeholders are held accountable for their actions, journalists bear a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the Constitution. The collaborative campaign seeks to ensure that journalism excellence aligns with the constitutional framework, thereby promoting a transparent, informed, and empowered citizenry.

A Unified Campaign for Civic Literacy:

The partnership between AI and active citizens strives to promote civic literacy—an informed and engaged populace that understands and respects the Constitution’s supremacy. By delving into the intersections of Sections 2(1) and 2(2), this campaign encourages citizens to actively participate in democracy, hold institutions accountable, and demand transparency.


Zimbabwe’s path forward necessitates not just a focus on the actions of public office bearers, but also a critical examination of the media’s role in shaping narratives. By considering the constitutional obligations and the imperative for media to uphold democratic values, this collaborative campaign aspires to create a more accountable and just society. The question remains: Did Zimbabwe truly decide in the key electoral moments, or has President Mnangagwa exploited a perceived vulnerability in the rule of law for personal gain?

[Author’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between AI and engaged citizens under a campaign to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and its binding obligations.]

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