By Staff Reporter
PARLIAMENT will soon have the constitution translated in eight vernacular local languages in a bid to foster understanding of the country’s supreme law which was passed in 2013.
Addressing delegates last week on the sidelines of the Parliament Open Day, Speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda revealed that over six institutions of higher learning have come aboard to help with the constitution translation process.
“We have now six of our universities who have committed themselves to translating the constitution into eight vernacular languages, now which is very important because the constitution among other things provides for the promotion, respect and adherence to the bill of rights which is the anchor of our national development agenda.
“So it is important therefore and we applaud these universities for coming forward to translate the constitution and in the next 18 months that task should be achieved and the balance of the indigenous languages will be taken care of thereafter,” he said.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has over the past four years, after the adoption of the constitution criticised government for failing to give precedence to constitution alignment and translation.
According to section 7 of the Constitution, the government must promote public awareness of the Constitution by translating it into officially recognised languages and disseminating it widely as possible.
At the same event, Dr Eventhough Ndlovu from University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Department of African Languages and Literature said his department was willing to partner Parliament in translating the constitution and even to offer capacity building workshops for parliamentarians.
Early this year, a Bulawayo-based research institution Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) released a report which showed that only 20 percent of the estimated Zimbabwean 13 million population had accessed a copy of the constitution.