Practice Relating to Rule 88. Non-Discrimination
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (1979), as amended to 2009, states:
THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
23 Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section–
(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.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a law shall be regarded as making a provision that is discriminatory and a person shall be regarded as having been treated in a discriminatory manner if, as a result of that law or treatment, persons of a particular description by race, tribe, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex, gender, marital status or physical disability are prejudiced–
(a) by being subjected to a condition, restriction or disability to which other persons of another such description are not made subject; or
(b) by the according to persons of another such description of a privilege or advantage which is not accorded to persons of the first-mentioned description;
and the imposition of that condition, restriction or disability or the according of that privilege or advantage is wholly or mainly attributable to the description by race, tribe, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex, gender, marital status or physical disability of the persons concerned.
25 Savings in the event of public emergencies
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Chapter [III], an Act of Parliament may in accordance with Schedule 2 derogate from certain provisions of the Declaration of Rights in respect of a period of public emergency …
26 Interpretation and other savings
(7) No measures taken in relation to a person who is a member of a disciplined force of a country with which Zimbabwe is at war or with which a state of hostilities exists and no law, to the extent that it authorises the taking of such measures, shall be held to be in contravention of the Declaration of Rights.
The Constitution also states:
1 Savings in the event of public emergencies
(1) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be in contravention of section 13, 17, 20, 21, 22 or 23 to the extent that the law in question provides for the taking, during a period of public emergency, of action for the purpose of dealing with any situation arising during that period, and nothing done by any person under the authority of any such law shall be held to be in contravention of any of the said provisions unless it is shown that the action taken exceeded anything which, having due regard to the circumstances prevailing at the time, could reasonably have been thought to be required for the purpose of dealing with the situation.
The Constitution further states:
In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires–
“period of public emergency” means–
(a) any period when Zimbabwe is engaged in any war and the period immediately following thereon until such date as may be declared by the President, by proclamation in the Gazette, as the end of the period of public emergency caused by that war.
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (2013) states:
Chapter 4 – Declaration of Rights
56. Equality and non-discrimination
(1) All persons are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
(2) Women and men have the right to equal treatment …
(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 they were born in or out of wedlock.
(4) A person is treated in a discriminatory manner for the purpose of subsection (3) if –
(a) they are subjected directly or indirectly to a condition, restriction or disability to which other people are not subjected; or
(b) 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 a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom.
86. Limitation of rights and freedoms
(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 –
(b) 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) No law may limit the following rights enshrined in this Chapter, and no person may violate them –
87. Limitations during public emergency
(1) In addition to the limitations permitted by section 86, 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 –
(a) 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
(b) limit any of the rights referred to in section 86(3), or authorise or permit any of those rights to be violated.