Zimbabwe 2013 Constitution (reviewed 2017)

Table of Contents


We the people of Zimbabwe,

United in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, and our heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and all forms of domination and oppression,

Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga / Umvukela and national liberation struggles,

Honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country,

Recognising the need to entrench democracy, good, transparent and accountable governance and the rule of law,

Reaffirming our commitment to upholding and defending fundamental human rights and freedoms,

Acknowledging the richness of our natural resources,

Celebrating the vibrancy of our traditions and cultures,

Determined to overcome all challenges and obstacles that impede our progress,

Cherishing freedom, equality, peace, justice, tolerance, prosperity and patriotism in search of new frontiers under a common destiny,

Acknowledging the supremacy of Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies,

Resolve by the tenets of this Constitution to commit ourselves to build a united, just and prosperous nation, founded on values of transparency, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work,

And, imploring the guidance and support of Almighty God, hereby make this Constitution and commit ourselves to it as the fundamental law of our beloved land.


1. The Republic

Zimbabwe is a unitary, democratic and sovereign republic.

2. Supremacy of Constitution

  1. This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.
  2. The obligations imposed by this Constitution are binding on every person, natural or juristic, including the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of government at every level, and must be fulfilled by them.

3. Founding values and principles

  1. Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles–
    1. supremacy of the Constitution;
    2. the rule of law;
    3. fundamental human rights and freedoms;
    4. the nation’s diverse cultural, religious and traditional values;
    5. recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being;
    6. recognition of the equality of all human beings;
    7. gender equality;
    8. good governance; and
    9. recognition of and respect for the liberation struggle.
  2. The principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, include–
    1. a multi-party democratic political system;
    2. an electoral system based on–
      1. universal adult suffrage and equality of votes;
      2. free, fair and regular elections; and
      3. adequate representation of the electorate;
    3. the orderly transfer of power following elections;
    4. respect for the rights of all political parties;
    5. observance of the principle of separation of powers;
    6. respect for the people of Zimbabwe, from whom the authority to govern is derived;
    7. transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness;
    8. the fostering of national unity, peace and stability, with due regard to diversity of languages, customary practices and traditions;
    9. recognition of the rights of–
      1. ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic and religious groups;
      2. persons with disabilities;
      3. women, the elderly, youths and children;
      4. veterans of the liberation struggle;
    10. the equitable sharing of national resources, including land;
    11. due respect for vested rights; and
    12. the devolution and decentralisation of governmental power and functions.

4. National Flag, National Anthem, Public Seal and Coat of arms

Zimbabwe has a National Flag, a National Anthem, a Coat of Arms and a Public Seal, which are set out in the First Schedule.

5. Tiers of government

The tiers of government in Zimbabwe are–

  1. the national Government;
  2. provincial and metropolitan councils; and
  3. local authorities, that is to say–
    1. urban councils, by whatever name called, to represent and manage the affairs of people in urban areas; and
    2. rural councils, by whatever name called, to represent and manage the affairs of people in rural areas within the districts into which the provinces are divided.

6. Languages

  1. The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe.
  2. An Act of Parliament may prescribe other languages as officially recognised languages and may prescribe languages of record.
  3. The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must–
    1. ensure that all officially recognised languages are treated equitably; and
    2. take into account the language preferences of people affected by governmental measures or communications.
  4. The State must promote and advance the use of all languages used in Zimbabwe, including sign language, and must create conditions for the development of those languages.

7. Promotion of public awareness of Constitution

The State must promote public awareness of this Constitution, in particular by–

  1. translating it into all officially recognised languages and disseminating it as widely as possible;
  2. requiring this Constitution to be taught in schools and as part of the curricula for the training of members of the security services, the Civil Service and members and employees of public institutions; and
  3. encouraging all persons and organisations, including civic organisations, to disseminate awareness and knowledge of this Constitution throughout society.