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Saturday, Apr 19th

You are here: 4. Declaration of Rights

Chapter 4 Declaration of Rights

Part 1: Application and Interpretation of Chapter 4 (44 - 47)
Part 2: Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (48 - 78)
Part 3: Elaboration of Certain Rights (79 - 84)
Part 4: Enforcment of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (85)
Part 5: Limitation of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (86 - 87)

44. Duty to respect fundamental human rights

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The State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of the government at every level must respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter.

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45. Application of Chapter 4

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  1. This Chapter binds the State and all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and agencies of government at every level.
  2. This Chapter binds natural and juristic persons to the extent that it is applicable to them, taking into account the nature of the right or freedom concerned and any duty imposed by it.
  3. Juristic persons as well as natural persons are entitled to the rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter to the extent that those rights and freedoms can appropriately be extended to them.
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46. Interpretation of Chapter 4

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  1. When interpreting this Chapter, a court, tribunal, forum or body:
    1. must give full effect to the rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter;
    2. must promote the values and principles that underlie a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, and in particular, the values and principles set out in section 3;
    3. must take into account international law and all treaties and conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party;
    4. must pay due regard to all the provisions of this Constitution, in particular the principles and objectives set out in Chapter 2; and
    5. may consider relevant foreign law;
    in addition to considering all other relevant factors that are to be taken into account in the interpretation of a Constitution.
  2. When interpreting an enactment, and when developing the common law and customary law, every court, tribunal, forum or body must promote and be guided by the spirit and objects of this Chapter.
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47. Chapter 4 does not preclude existence of other rights

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This Chapter does not preclude the existence of other rights and freedoms that may be recognised or conferred by law, to the extent that they are consistent with this Constitution.

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48. Right to life

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  1. Every person has the right to life.
  2. A law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, and:
    1. the law must permit the court a discretion whether or not to impose the penalty;
    2. the penalty may be carried out only in accordance with a final judgment of a competent court;
    3. the penalty must not be imposed on a person:
      1. who was less than twenty-one years old when the offence was committed;  or
      2. who is more than seventy years old;
    4. the penalty must not be imposed or carried out on a woman;  and
    5. the person sentenced must have a right to seek pardon or commutation of the penalty from the President.
  3. An Act of Parliament must protect the lives of unborn children, and that Act must provide that pregnancy may be terminated only in accordance with that law.
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49. Right to personal liberty

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  1. Every person has the right to personal liberty, which includes the right:
    1. not to be detained without trial; and
    2. not to be deprived of their liberty arbitrarily or without just cause.
  2. No person may be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.
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50 Rights of arrested and detained persons

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  1. Any person who is arrested
    1. must be informed at the time of arrest of the reason for the arrest;
    2. must be permitted, without delay:
      1. at the expense of the State, to contact their spouse or partner, or a relative or legal practitioner, or anyone else of their choice;  and
      2. at their own expense, to consult in private with a legal practitioner and a medical practitioner of their choice;
      and must be informed of this right promptly;
    3. must be treated humanely and with respect for their inherent dignity;
    4. must be released unconditionally or on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons justifying their continued detention;  and
    5. must be permitted to challenge the lawfulness of the arrest in person before a court and must be released promptly if the arrest is unlawful.
  2. Any person who is arrested or detained:
    1. for the purpose of bringing him or her before a court; or
    2. for an alleged offence;
      and who is not released must be brought before a court as soon as possible and in any event not later than forty-eight hours after the arrest took place or the detention began, as the case may be, whether or not the period ends on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.
  3. Any person who is not brought to court within the forty-eight hour period referred to in subsection (2) must be released immediately unless their detention has earlier been extended by a competent court.
  4. Any person who is arrested or detained for an alleged offence has the right:
    1. to remain silent;
    2. to be informed promptly:
      1. of their right to remain silent; and
      2. of the consequences of remaining silent and of not remaining silent;
    3. not to be compelled to make any confession or admission; and
    4. at the first court appearance after being arrested, to be charged or to be informed of the reason why their detention should continue, or to be released.
  5. Any person who is detained, including a sentenced prisoner, has the right:
    1. to be informed promptly of the reason for their being detained;
    2. at their own expense, to consult in private with a legal practitioner of their choice, and to be informed of this right promptly;
    3. to communicate with, and be visited by, their:
      1. spouse or partner;
      2. a relative;
      3. their chosen religious counsellor;
      4. their chosen medical practitioner;  and
      5. chosen legal and medical practitioner;
      6. subject to reasonable restrictions imposed for the proper administration of prisons or places of detention, anyone else of their choice;
    4. to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including opportunity for physical exercise and the provision, at State expense, of adequate accommodation, ablution facilities, personal hygiene, nutrition, appropriate reading material and medical treatment; and
    5. to challenge the lawfulness of their detention in person before a court and, if the detention is unlawful, to be released promptly.
  6. Any person who is detained pending trial for an alleged offence and is not tried within a reasonable time must be released from detention, either unconditionally or on reasonable conditions to ensure that after being released they:
    1. attend trial;
    2. do not interfere with the evidence to be given at the trial; and
    3. do not commit any other offence before the trial begins.
  7. If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person is being detained illegally or if it is not possible to ascertain the whereabouts of a detained person, any person may approach the High Court for an order:
    1. of habeas corpus, that is to say an order requiring the detained person to be released, or to be brought before a court for the lawfulness of the detention to be justified, or requiring the whereabouts of the detained person to be disclosed; or
    2. declaring the detention to be illegal and ordering the detained person’s prompt release;
    and the High Court may make whatever order is appropriate in the circumstances.
  8. An arrest or detention which contravenes this section, or in which the conditions set out in this section are not met, is illegal.
  9. Any person who has been illegally arrested or detained is entitled to compensation from the person responsible for the arrest or detention, but a law may protect the following persons from liability under this section:
    1. a judicial officer acting in a judicial capacity reasonably and in good faith;
    2. any other public officer acting reasonably and in good faith and without culpable ignorance or negligence.
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51. Right to human dignity

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Every person has inherent dignity in their private and public life, and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

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52. Right to personal security

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    Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right:
  1. to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources;
  2. subject to any other provision of this Constitution, to make decisions concerning reproduction;
  3. not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments, or to the extraction or use of their bodily tissue, without their informed consent.
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53. Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

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No person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

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54. Freedom from slavery or servitude

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No person may be subjected to slavery or servitude.

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55.Freedom from forced or compulsory labour

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No person may be made to perform forced or compulsory labour.

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56. Equality and non-discrimination

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  1. All persons are equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
  2. Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.
  3. Every person has the right not to be treated in an unfairly discriminatory manner on such grounds as their nationality, race, colour, tribe, place of birth, ethnic or social origin, language, class, religious belief, political affiliation, opinion, custom, culture, sex, gender, marital status, age, pregnancy, disability or economic or social status, or whether born in or out of wedlock.
  4. A person is treated in a discriminatory manner for the purpose of subsection (3) if:
    1. they are subjected directly or indirectly to a condition, restriction or disability to which other people are not subjected; or
    2. other people are accorded directly or indirectly a privilege or advantage which they are not accorded.
  5. Discrimination on any of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair, reasonable and justifiable in an open, just and democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom.
  6. The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures to promote the achievement of equality and to protect or advance people or classes of people who have been disadvantaged by unfair discrimination, and:
    1. such measures must be taken to redress circumstances of genuine need;
    2. no such measure is to be regarded as unfair for the purposes of subsection (3).
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57. Right to privacy

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    Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have:
  1. their home, premises or property entered without their permission;
  2. their person, home, premises or property searched;
  3. their possessions seized;
  4. the privacy of their communications infringed; or
  5. their health condition disclosed.
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58. Freedom of assembly and association

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  1. Every person has the right to freedom of assembly and association, and the right not to assemble or associate with others.
  2. No person may be compelled to belong to an association or to attend a meeting or gathering.
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59. Freedom to demonstrate and petition

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Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.

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60. Freedom of conscience

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  1. Every person has the right to freedom of conscience, which includes:
    1. freedom of thought, opinion, religion or belief; and
    2. freedom to practise and propagate and give expression to their thought, opinion, religion or belief, whether in public or in private and whether alone or together with others.
  2. No person may be compelled to take an oath that is contrary to their religion or belief or to take an oath in a manner that is contrary to their religion or belief.
  3. Parents and guardians of minor children have the right to determine, in accordance with their beliefs, the moral and religious upbringing of their children, provided they do not prejudice the rights to which their children are entitled under this Constitution, including their rights to education, health, safety and welfare.
  4. Any religious community may establish institutions where religious instruction may be given, even if the institution receives a subsidy or other financial assistance from the State.
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61. Freedom of expression and freedom of the media

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  1. Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:
    1. freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information;
    2. freedom of artistic expression and scientific research and creativity; and
    3. academic freedom.
  2. Every person is entitled to freedom of the media, which freedom includes protection of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information.
  3. Broadcasting and other electronic media of communication have freedom of establishment, subject only to State licensing procedures that:
    1. are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution; and
    2. are independent of control by government or by political or commercial interests.
  4. All State-owned media of communication must:
    1. be free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcasts or other communications;
    2. be impartial; and
    3. afford fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions.
  5. Freedom of expression and freedom of the media exclude:
    1. incitement to violence;
    2. advocacy of hatred or hate speech; or
    3. malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity; or
    4. malicious or unwarranted breach of a person's right to privacy.
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62. Access to information

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  1. Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including juristic persons and the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability.
  2. Every person, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by any person, including the State, in so far as the information is required for the exercise or protection of a right.
  3. Every person has a right to the correction of information, or the deletion of untrue, erroneous or misleading information, which is held by the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, and which relates to that person.
  4. Legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right, but may restrict access to information in the interests of defence, public security or professional confidentiality, to the extent that the restriction is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom.
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63. Language and culture

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    Every person has the right:
  1. to use the language of their choice; and
  2. to participate in the cultural life of their choice;

but no person exercising these rights may do so in a way that is inconsistent with this Chapter.

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64. Freedom of profession, trade or occupation

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Every person has the right to choose and carry on any profession, trade or occupation, but the practice of a profession, trade or occupation may be regulated by law.

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65. Labour rights

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  1. Every person has the right to fair and safe labour practices and standards and to be paid a fair and reasonable wage.
  2. Except for members of the security services, every person has the right to form and join trade unions and employee or employers’ organisations of their choice, and to participate in the lawful activities of those unions and organisations.
  3. Except for members of the security services, every employee has the right to participate in collective job action, including the right to strike, sit in, withdraw their labour and to take other similar concerted action, but a law may restrict the exercise of this right in order to maintain essential services.
  4. Every employee is entitled to just, equitable and satisfactory conditions of work.
  5. Except for members of the security services, every employee, employer, trade union, and employee or employer’s organisation has the right to:
    1. engage in collective bargaining;
    2. organise; and
    3. form and join federations of such unions and organisations.
  6. Women and men have a right to equal remuneration for similar work.
  7. Women employees have a right to fully paid maternity leave for a period of at least three months.
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66. Freedom of movement and residence

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  1. Every Zimbabwean citizen has:
    1. the right to enter Zimbabwe;
    2. immunity from expulsion from Zimbabwe; and
    3. the right to a passport or other travel document.
  2. Every Zimbabwean citizen and everyone else who is legally in Zimbabwe has the right to:
    1. move freely within Zimbabwe;
    2. reside in any part of Zimbabwe; and
    3. leave Zimbabwe.
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67. Political rights

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  1. Every citizen of Zimbabwe has the right:
    1. to free, fair and regular elections for any elective public office established in terms of this Constitution or any other law; and
    2. to make political choices freely.
  2. Subject to this Constitution, every citizen of Zimbabwe has the right:
    1. to form, to join and to participate in the activities of a political party or organisation of their choice;
    2. to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause;
    3. to participate in peaceful political activity; and
    4. to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the Government or any political or whatever cause.
  3. Subject to this Constitution, every Zimbabwean citizen who is of or over eighteen years of age has the right:
    1. to vote in all elections and referendums to which this Constitution or any other law applies, and to do so in secret; and
    2. to stand for election for public office and, if elected, to hold such office.
  4. For the purpose of promoting multi-party democracy, an Act of Parliament must provide for the funding of political parties.
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68. Right to administrative justice

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  1. Every person has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair.
  2. Any person whose right, freedom, interest or legitimate expectation has been adversely affected by administrative conduct has the right to be given promptly and in writing the reasons for the conduct.
  3. An Act of Parliament must give effect to these rights, and must:
    1. provide for the review of administrative conduct by a court or, where appropriate, by an independent and impartial tribunal;
    2. impose a duty on the State to give effect to the rights in subsections (1) and (2); and
    3. promote an efficient administration.
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69. Right to a fair hearing

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  1. Every person accused of an offence has the right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial court.
  2. In the determination of civil rights and obligations, every person has a right to a fair, speedy and public hearing within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial court, tribunal or other forum established by law.
  3. Every person has the right of access to the courts, or to some other tribunal or forum established by law for the resolution of any dispute.
  4. Every person has a right, at his or her own expense, to choose and be represented by a legal practitioner before any court, tribunal or forum.
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70. Rights of accused persons

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  1. Any person accused of an offence has the following rights
    1. to be presumed innocent until proved guilty;
    2. to be informed promptly of the charge, in sufficient detail to enable them to answer it;
    3. to be given adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence;
    4. to choose a legal practitioner and, at their own expense, to be represented by that legal practitioner;
    5. to be represented by a legal practitioner assigned by the State and at State expense, if substantial injustice would otherwise result;
    6. to be informed promptly of the rights conferred by paragraphs (d) and (e);
    7. to be present when being tried;
    8. to adduce and challenge evidence;
    9. to remain silent and not to testify or be compelled to give self-incriminating evidence;
    10. to have the proceedings of the trial interpreted into a language that they understand;
    11. not to be convicted of an act or omission that was not an offence when it took place;
    12. not to be convicted of an act or omission that is no longer an offence;
    13. not to be tried for an offence in respect of an act or omission for which they have previously been pardoned or either acquitted or convicted on the merits;
    14. to be sentenced to the lesser of the prescribed punishments if the prescribed punishment for the offence has been changed between the time the offence was committed and the time of sentencing.
  2. Where this section requires information to be given to a person:
    1. the information must be given in a language the person understands; and
    2. if the person cannot read or write, any document embodying the information must be explained in such a way that the person understands it.
  3. In any criminal trial, evidence that has been obtained in a manner that violates any provision of this Chapter must be excluded if the admission of the evidence would render the trial unfair or would otherwise be detrimental to the administration of justice or the public interest.
  4. Any person who has been tried for an offence has the right, on payment of a reasonable fee prescribed by law, to be given a copy of the record of the proceedings within a reasonable time after judgment is delivered in the trial.
  5. Any person who has been tried and convicted of an offence has the right, subject to reasonable restrictions that may be prescribed by law, to:
    1. have the case reviewed by a higher court; or
    2. appeal to a higher court against the conviction and sentence.
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71. Property rights

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  1. In this section:
    "pension benefit" means a pension, annuity, gratuity or similar allowance which is payable
    1. to any person from the Consolidated Revenue Fund;
    2. in respect of a person’s service with an employer;
    3. in respect of a person’s ill-health or injury; or
    4. in respect of a person’s retirement through age or ill-health or any other reason;
    5. and includes a commutation of such a pension, annuity, gratuity or allowance and a refund of contributions paid towards such a pension, annuity, gratuity or allowance;
    "property" means property of any description and any right or interest in property.
  2. Subject to section 72, every person has the right, in any part of Zimbabwe, to acquire, hold, occupy, use, transfer, hypothecate, lease or dispose of all forms of property, either individually or in association with others.
  3. Subject to this section and to section 72, no person may be compulsorily deprived of their property except where the following conditions are satisfied:
    1. the deprivation is in terms of a law of general application;
    2. the deprivation is necessary for any of the following reasons—
      1. in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health or town and country planning; or
      2. in order to develop or use that or any other property for a purpose beneficial to the community;
    3. the law requires the acquiring authority:
      1. to give reasonable notice of the intention to acquire the property to everyone whose interest or right in the property would be affected by the acquisition;
      2. to pay fair and adequate compensation for the acquisition before acquiring the property or within a reasonable time after the acquisition; and
      3. if the acquisition is contested, to apply to a competent court before acquiring the property, or not later than thirty days after the acquisition, for an order confirming the acquisition;
    4. the law entitles any person whose property has been acquired to apply to a competent court for the prompt return of the property if the court does not confirm the acquisition; and
    5. the law entitles any claimant for compensation to apply to a competent court for the determination of:
      1. the existence, nature and value of their interest in the property concerned;
      2. the legality of the deprivation; and
      3. the amount of compensation to which they are entitled;
      and to apply to the court for an order directing the prompt payment of any compensation.
  4. Where a person has a vested or contingent right to the payment of a pension benefit, a law which provides for the extinction or diminution of that right is regarded, for the purposes of subsection (3), as a law providing for the compulsory acquisition of property.
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72. Rights to agricultural land

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  1. In this section:
    "agricultural land" means land used or suitable for agriculture, that is to say for horticulture, viticulture, forestry or aquaculture or for any purpose of husbandry, including:
    1. the keeping or breeding of livestock, game, poultry, animals or bees; or
    2. the grazing of livestock or game;
    but does not include Communal Land or land within the boundaries of an urban local authority or within a township established under a law relating to town and country planning or as defined in a law relating to land survey.
    “land” includes anything permanently attached to or growing on land;
    “piece of agricultural land” means a piece of agricultural land registered as a separate piece of land in a Deeds Registry.
  2. Where agricultural land, or any right or interest in such land, is required for a public purpose, including:
    1. settlement for agricultural or other purposes;
    2. land reorganisation, forestry, environmental conservation or the utilisation of wild life or other natural resources; or
    3. the relocation of persons dispossessed as a result of the utilisation of land for a purpose referred to in subparagraph (a) or (b);
    the land, right or interest may be compulsorily acquired by the State by notice published in the Gazette identifying the land, right or interest, whereupon the land, right or interest vests in the State with full title with effect from the date of publication of the notice.
  3. Where agricultural land, or any right or interest in such land, is compulsorily acquired for a purpose referred to in subsection (2):
    1. no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition, except for improvements effected on it before its acquisition;
    2. no person may apply to court for the determination of any question relating to compensation, except for compensation for improvements effected on the land before its acquisition, and no court may entertain any such application; and
    3. the acquisition may not be challenged on the ground that it was discriminatory in contravention of section 56.
  4. All agricultural land which:
    1. was itemised in Schedule 7 to the former Constitution; or
    2. before the effective date, was identified in terms of section 16B(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of the former Constitution;
    continues to be vested in the State, and no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition except for improvements effected on it before its acquisition.
  5. As soon as practicable after agricultural land is compulsorily acquired in accordance with subsection (2), the officer responsible for the registration of title over land must, without further notice, effect the necessary endorsements upon any title deed and entries in any register for the purpose of formally cancelling the title deed and registering the State’s title over the land.
  6. An Act of Parliament may make it an offence for any person, without lawful authority, to possess or occupy agricultural land referred to in this section or other State land.
  7. In regard to the compulsory acquisition of agricultural land for the resettlement of people in accordance with a programme of land reform, the following factors must be regarded as of ultimate and overriding importance:
    1. under colonial domination the people of Zimbabwe were unjustifiably dispossessed of their land and other resources without compensation;
    2. the people consequently took up arms in order to regain their land and political sovereignty, and this ultimately resulted in the Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980;
    3. the people of Zimbabwe must be enabled to re-assert their rights and regain ownership of their land;
        and accordingly
      1. the former colonial power has an obligation to pay compensation for agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement, through an adequate fund established for the purpose; and
      2. if the former colonial power fails to pay compensation through such a fund, the Government of Zimbabwe has no obligation to pay compensation for agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement.
  8. This section applies without prejudice to the obligation of the former colonial power to pay compensation for land referred to in this section that has been acquired for resettlement purposes.

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73. Environmental rights

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  1. Every person has the right:
    1. to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and
    2. to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that:
      1. prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
      2. promote conservation; and
      3. secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting economic and social development.
  2. The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights set out in this section.
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74. Freedom from arbitrary eviction

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No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.

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75. Right to education

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  1. Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to:
    1. a basic State-funded education, including adult basic education; and
    2. further education, which the State, through reasonable legislative and other measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
  2. Every person has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent educational institutions of reasonable standards, provided they do not discriminate on any ground prohibited by this Constitution.
  3. A law may provide for the registration of educational institutions referred to in subsection (2) and for the closing of any such institutions that do not meet reasonable standards prescribed for registration.
  4. The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right set out in subsection (1).
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76. Right to health care

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  1. Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to have access to basic health-care services, including reproductive health-care services.
  2. Every person living with a chronic illness has the right to have access to basic health-care services for the illness.
  3. No person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any health-care institution.
  4. The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights set out in this section.
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77. Right to food and water

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    Every person has the right to:
  1. safe, clean and potable water; and
  2. sufficient food;

and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.

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78. Marriage rights

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  1. Every person who has attained the age of eighteen years has the right to found a family.
  2. No person may be compelled to enter into marriage against their will.
  3. Persons of the same sex are prohibited from marrying each other.

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79. Application of Part 3

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  1. This Part elaborates certain rights and freedoms to ensure greater certainty as to the application of those rights and freedoms to particular classes of people.
  2. This Part must not be construed as limiting any right or freedom set out in Part 2.
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80. Rights of women

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  1. Every woman has full and equal dignity of the person with men and this includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities.
  2. Women have the same rights as men regarding the custody and guardianship of children, but an Act of Parliament may regulate how those rights are to be exercised.
  3. All laws, customs, traditions and cultural practices that infringe the rights of women conferred by this Constitution are void to the extent of the infringement.
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81. Rights of children

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  1. Every child, that is to say every boy and girl under the age of eighteen years, has the right:
    1. to equal treatment before the law, including the right to be heard;
    2. to be given a name and family name;
    3. in the case of a child who is
      1. born in Zimbabwe; or
      2. born outside Zimbabwe and is a Zimbabwean citizen by descent; to the prompt provision of a birth certificate;
    4. to family or parental care, or to appropriate care when removed from the family environment;
    5. to be protected from economic and sexual exploitation, from child labour, and from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse;
    6. to education, health care services, nutrition and shelter;
    7. not to be recruited into a militia force or take part in armed conflict or hostilities;
    8. not to be compelled to take part in any political activity; and
    9. not to be detained except as a measure of last resort and, if detained:
      1. to be detained for the shortest appropriate period;
      2. to be kept separately from detained persons over the age of eighteen years; and
      3. to be treated in a manner, and kept in conditions, that take account of the child’s age.
  2. A child’s best interests are paramount in every matter concerning the child.
  3. Children are entitled to adequate protection by the courts, in particular by the High Court as their upper guardian.
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82. Rights of the elderly

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    People over the age of seventy years have the right:
  1. to receive reasonable care and assistance from their families and the State;
  2. to receive health care and medical assistance from the State; and
  3. to receive financial support by way of social security and welfare;
  4. and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.
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83. Rights of persons with disabilities

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    The State must take appropriate measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to ensure that persons with disabilities realise their full mental and physical potential including measures:
  1. to enable them to become self reliant;
  2. to enable them to live with their families and participate in social, creative or recreational activities;
  3. to protect them from all forms of exploitation and abuse;
  4. to give them access to medical, psychological and functional treatment;
  5. to provide special facilities for their education; and
  6. to provide State-funded education and training where they need it.
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84. Rights veterans of the liberation struggle

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  1. Veterans of the liberation struggle, that is to say:
    1. those who fought in the War of Liberation;
    2. those who assisted the fighters in War of Liberation; and
    3. those who were detained or restricted for political reasons during the liberation struggle;
    are entitled to due recognition for their contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe, and to suitable welfare such as pensions and access to basic health care.
  2. An Act of Parliament must confer on veterans of the liberation struggle the entitlements due to them under subsection (1).

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85. Enforcement of rights

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  1. Any of the following persons, namely:
    1. any person acting in their own interests;
    2. any person acting on behalf of another person who cannot act for themselves;
    3. any person acting as a member, or in the interests, of a group or class of persons;
    4. any person acting in the public interest;
    5. any association acting in the interests of its members;
    is entitled to approach a court, alleging that a fundamental right or freedom enshrined in this Chapter has been, is being or is likely to be infringed, and the court may grant appropriate relief, including a declaration of rights and an award of compensation.
  2. The fact that a person has contravened a law does not debar them from approaching a court for relief under subsection (1).
  3. The rules of every court must provide for the procedure to be followed in cases where relief is sought under subsection (1), and those rules must ensure that:
    1. the right to approach the court under subsection (1) is fully facilitated;
    2. formalities relating to the proceedings, including their commencement, are kept to a minimum;
    3. the court, while observing the rules of natural justice, is not unreasonably restricted by procedural technicalities; and
    4. a person with particular expertise may, with the leave of the court, appear as a friend of the court.
  4. The absence of rules referred to in subsection (3) does not limit the right to commence proceedings under subsection (1) and to have the case heard and determined by a court.

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86. Limitation of rights and freedoms

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  1. The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter must be exercised reasonably and with due regard for the rights and freedoms of other persons.
  2. The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be limited only in terms of a law of general application and to the extent that the limitation is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including:
    1. the nature of the right or freedom concerned;
    2. the purpose of the limitation, in particular whether it is necessary in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or the general public interest;
    3. the nature and extent of the limitation;
    4. the need to ensure that the enjoyment of rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others;
    5. the relationship between the limitation and its purpose, in particular whether it imposes greater restrictions on the right or freedom concerned than are necessary to achieve its purpose; and
    6. whether there are any less restrictive means of achieving the purpose of the limitation.
  3. No law may limit the following rights enshrined in this Chapter, and no person may violate them:
    1. the right to life, except to the extent specified in section 48;
    2. the right to human dignity;
    3. the right not to be tortured or subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
    4. the right not to be placed in slavery or servitude;
    5. the right to a fair trial;
    6. the right to obtain an order of habeas corpus as provided in section 50(7)(a).
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87. Limitations during public emergency

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  1. In addition to the limitations permitted by section 4.43, the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be further limited by a written law providing for measures to deal with situations arising during a period of public emergency, but only to the extent permitted by this section and the Second Schedule.
  2. A written law referred to in subsection (1) and any legislative measures taken under that law, must be published in the Gazette.
  3. Any limitation which a written law referred to in subsection (1) imposes on a fundamental right or freedom set out in this Chapter must not be greater than is strictly required by the emergency.
  4. No law that provides for a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislative or other measure taken in consequence of such a declaration, may:
    1. indemnify or permit or authorise an indemnity for, the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, or any other person, in respect of any unlawful act; or
    2. limit any of the rights referred to in section 86(3), or authorise or permit any of those rights to be violated.
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