Zimbabwe/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.1 Constitution

The constitution is the source of law in Zimbabwe. The current constitution of Zimbabwe upholds the citizen’s right to freedom of expression. 20 (1) notes that, 

‘except with his own consent or by way of parental discipline, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his correspondence.’ 

That right also is not absolute and is subject to the provisos in section 20 (2). For instance, nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision—
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, the economic interests of the State, public morality or public health;
(b) for the purpose of—
(i) protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons
concerned in legal proceedings;
(ii) preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence;
(iii) maintaining the authority and independence of the courts or tribunals or the Senate or the House of Assembly 

It also has the following provision against discrimination. 

23 (1) a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority. 

In other words the Constitution enshrines the rights of Artists to freely create their works of art and recognises cultural diversity.

Chapter published: 28-09-2011