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CCS Seminar:Constitutionalism in Zimbabwe: An Interrogation of the 2018 Election

Speaker: Simbarashe Tembo
Date: Wednesday 19 September 2018
Time: 13:00-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room A726, Level 7, Shepstone, Howard College, UKZN

Whilst the adoption of a new Constitution is usually accompanied by a significant, often radical, shift from the darkness of the past and shading of a new light into future, the case of Zimbabwe seems to provide a sobering contra-reality. In 2013, a new Constitution was adopted with the hope that it would transform the country through the tenets of constitutionalism, rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights. It is indeed reasonable and intuitive, within a liberal-normative thinking to expect real changes following constitutional transitions. In Zimbabwe, hopes were raised even further by the establishment of the Constitutional Court that was entrusted with the duty of presiding over constitutional matters, including election related matters. Despite this however, there has not yet been any meaningful change on the electoral front. Despite a Constitutional Court ruling declaring the ZANU- PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner, the election remains largely contested. Many have referred to the Constitutional Court election challenge as the ‘trial of the judiciary.’ This gives rise to the need to reflect on constitutionalism, prospects for democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe in light of the recent elections.

Speaker Bio
Mr Simbarashe Tembo is an Ad Hoc Lecturer at the UKZN School of Law, Howard College Campus, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidate (Constitutional and Human Rights Law) in the same school. Simbarashe holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of KwaZulu- Natal. His research interests include Constitutional Law, Human Rights and International Law. He has previously presented papers at international conferences such as the Commonwealth Legal Education Association Students Conference as well as the International Conference on Human Rights Education. He has also written several opinion pieces on law and politics for various online publications.

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