SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, has called for the teaching of the Constitution in schools and tertiary institutions to enable Zimbabweans to be aware of its provisions.
Speaking during a Public Outreach Programme for Tertiary Institutions in Bindura last week, Adv Mudenda said: “Section 7 of the Constitution states that the State must promote public awareness of the national Constitution, in particular by requiring that it should be taught in schools.
“It should be part of the curricular for training of members of security services, the civil service and employees of public institutions.”
Adv Mudenda said the Constitution should also encourage all persons and civic society organisations promote awareness and knowledge of it throughout the society.
He also called for the translation of the Constitution into all officially recognised languages.
Adv Mudenda queried the extent to which tertiary institutions had taken the drive and mantle to translate and disseminate the Constitution.
“To what extent have you in our tertiary institutions taken the mantle and drive to translate and disseminate the Constitution?” he said.
“Are you still waiting for an invitation to do so, or have proactively invited yourselves to do so?”
Adv Mudenda said the public outreach programme by Parliament to institutions of higher and tertiary learning was critically vital as it sought to promote interaction with the academia to enhance Parliament’s visibility in the education sector in particular, and the public in general.
“This programme is a tacit recognition by Parliament of the imperative need to have social intercourse with the academia so that the constitutional mandate of Parliament is understood in the theatre of education,” he said.
“Education of the citizenry on constitutionalism is a sacrosanct duty that Parliament is privileged to have and must pervasively share with the public.”
Adv Mudenda hailed Professor Wiseman Magwa from the Reformed Church University for working with his colleagues in translating the constitution into vernacular languages.
“I am happy to inform you that Prof Magwa from the Reformed Church University is working with colleagues from the Midlands State University, Lupane State University, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University and the University of Zimbabwe in translating the Constitution into Tonga, Shona, Ndebele and Kalanga vernacular languages,” he said.
“Time is now to counteract the dehumanisation and excision of our African languages through unashamed, insidious and invidious inferiority complex.
“Let us disabuse ourselves of the divisive colonial mentality of the 1931 Clement Doke report, which espoused the teaching and learning of only Shona and Ndebele in Rhodesia.”
Adv Mudenda said all institutions, inclusive of universities and colleges must inculcate, in all academic programmes, constitutionally compliant practices and measures because the Constitution had both the “vertical and horizontal application paradigm”. – Herald