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Press Statements

Press Statements (7)

 

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) has filed an application in the High Court in terms of Section 85 of the constitution to interdict the re-sitting of the 2014 ZIMSEC O-Level English and Mathematics examinations.

 


In our application made on our behalf by Hon. Jessie Majome , ZWLA is the first applicant in the matter, as we have the mandate to represent women and children in Zimbabwe.  

The second applicant is a parent, Godfrey Chinyemba, while third applicant is Rosemary Chanyurugwa in her capacity as guardian. The fourth applicant is Shylet Matsengarodzi, also in her capacity as another parent and guardian.

First respondent is cited as the ZIMSEC and the second respondent is the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora.

The reasons for the interdict are that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is being insensitive to the feelings of the pupils and is violating the pupils’ fundamental rights.

Majome cites that the decision to force students to re-sit is a violation of Section 81 of the constitution that says children have the right to be protected from mal-treatment.

She said there was no formal communication as the Ministry merely made a decision and announced it through a press release which violates Section 68(2) of the Constitution that says the Ministry must give in writing reasons for the decision to everyone affected.

The application argues that a blanket cancellation means the Ministry’s primary consideration was their own interest and the matter should have been localised and not nationalised and refers to the decision as unconstitutional, not prompt, not efficient and is a mismanagement of examinations.

 

 

 

ZWLA, in partnership with ICJ, will be hosting the first ever National Women Lawyers Conference form the 13th to the 14th of November. To find out more on the speakers and presentations, please read the attached Conference Bulletin.

The Issues

 

 

What is notable is that the new Constitution has not only abolished the death penalty for women but prohibits the execution of women whose sentences of death had not been carried out prior to 22 May 2013 and requires that they be sentenced afresh by competent Courts. The Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) which we has applied to the Constitutional Court pleading for it to declare that it is no longer constitutional for any woman to be on death roll and pleading with the Constitutional Court to direct the re-sentencing of any such women on death roll. ZWLA has also asked the Constitutional Court to issue a declaratur to the effect that all laws that allow for the imposition of the death penalty on women are invalid to the extent of their inconsistency with section 48(2) (d) of the Constitution.

 

 

 

What we hope for:

 

 We hope that after the case is heard in Court today, the government will take immediate action to regularise the situation of the only woman of death roll to prevent her from further anguish and trauma.  We also hope that when the woman is resentenced she will not be kept under solitary confinement as we believe that solitary confinement is tantamount to torture. We call upon the public to speak out against the legalized cruelty that the death penalty is. We also continue to encourage the judiciary to shun meting out the death penalty and to consider rehabilitative and punitive justice measures, which benefit not only the perpetrator but society at large. Further we call upon the government to adopt the necessary legislative and administrative measures to abolish the death penalty and also immediately regularise the status of woman already on death roll and commute her sentence. Finally, we implore the government to urgently align all relevant laws with the new Constitution.

 

                 

 

           CONFERENCE CALL AND CALL FOR PAPERS

 

              ZIMBABWE WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AND INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS

 

      THEME: MAKING THE LEGAL PROFESSION WORK FOR WOMEN

 

                                                    

 

             Dates : 13 and 14 November 2014

 

 

 

               REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) is an association of lawyers whose  mission is not only defending, developing and dialoguing on women rights in Zimbabwe, but to represent women lawyers as a constituency, to dialogue on their issues and to defend their causes.

 

 

 

21 years ago women lawyers agreed that ZWLA would defend their professional interest. However, they noted that defending, dialoguing and developing on the plight of Zimbabwean women lawyers could not be ZWLA’s end goal. ZWLA’s end goal would be a just and equitable society. To ensure that ZWLA’s goal is achieved, women lawyers agreed to go beyond addressing the plight of women lawyers to also ensuring that they contribute to addressing the plights of women in Zimbabwe through the provision of free legal aid, advocacy work, lobbying for law reform and defending the rights of Zimbabwean women.

 

 

 

It is within the above context that the International Commission of Jurists which shares the same vision with ZWLA, partnered with ZWLA to hold a yearly Women Lawyers Conference which has two goals, to dialogue, defend and develop on women lawyer’s issues, and to dialogue, defend and develop on women rights in Zimbabwe.

 



 

OBJECTIVES OF CONFERENCE

 

 

 

1.     Objective 1: Dialogue, defend and develop on women lawyer’s issues.

 

 

 

Zimbabwean women lawyers especially young lawyers have expressed concerns over a variety of issues ranging from their inability to penetrate certain spaces within the law profession due to various reasons yet to be explored, to the absence of proper mentoring from senior lawyers and the absence of opportunities to develop professionally. The conference seeks to provide a platform which will bring Zimbabwean lawyers from all over the world and all over the country to dialogue on issues which affect them with the view to provide a lasting solution to their concerns.

 

 

 

Tapping from the knowledge of leading experts, women lawyers will discuss various issues inclusive of but not limited to the following

 

 

 

a.     Learning how to climb the legal ladder to the next career level.

 

 

 

b.     Knowing the challenges, identifying opportunities and having a personal law career plan.

 

 

 

c.     The importance of a mentor.

 

 

 

d.     A winning personality.

 

 

 

e.     How to create a sphere of influence: Understanding power.

 

 

 

f.      Understanding corporate governance.

 

 

 

g.     Navigating different legal careers i.e how to be a judge, academic or politician.

 

 

 

h.     How to start a law firm and sustain the dream.

 

 

 

2.     Objective 2: Dialogue, defend and develop of women rights in Zimbabwe.

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association and the International Commission of Jurists have for the past years worked towards defending the rights of women and children. In ensuring a just and equitable society, they have realised that women rarely live in a peaceful and secure Zimbabwe. The peace and security of women is compromised by members of the society, private as well as state actors. Violence against women is inflicted by families in the form of domestic violence, by private actors in the form of social, economic religious or politically motivated violence, by church leaders usually in the form of sexual assault and by the state especially the police in the form of wrongful, arbitrary arrests and torture. Laws insensitive to the plight of women have immensely contributed to the erosion of peace and security for women. The conference calls for academic papers within the following thematic areas

 

 

 

a.     Child marriages and Zimbabwean laws.

 

b.     The realities in Zimbabwe vis a vis the Zimbabwean marriage framework.

 

c.     Women’s land rights.

 

d.     Termination of pregnancy and Zimbabwean laws.

 

e.     Rights and opportunities of women in the new Constitution.

 

f.      Gender and the law.

 

g.     Counselling and the resolution of legal disputes within the family.

 

h.     The right to basic education and the Zimbabwean education system.

 

 

 

3.     Guidelines for submitting papers for the conference

 

 

 

a.     Abstracts must be submitted by 6 October.

 

b.     Full papers must be submitted by 17 October.

 

c.     Papers must not exceed 4000 words.

 

d.     Papers must be in Times New Roman, font 12, spacing 1,5.

 

e.     All papers submitted will be subjected to a peer reviewed process of a panel of Professors and Doctors in the legal profession and published in a book at the end of the conference.

 

f.      Authors are not precluded from submitting their papers to other academic journals for their professional development.

 

g.     ZWLA and ICJ will submit the papers to the Law Society for the authors to be exempted from any professional development courses for 2014 and gain all the required credits by virtue of authoring the papers.

 

h.      All presenters will receive an honorarium at the end of the conference.

 

 

 

4.     Guidelines for attending the conference

 

 

 

a.     Register with ZWLA on or before 30 October and the  early bird registration fee is US$20 whilst late registration is $50.00

 

b.      ZWLA and ICJ will cover transport costs, food and accommodation for all registered lawyers.

 

c.     The Conference is for 100 lawyers mainly women lawyers from all over the world and all over Zimbabwe and registration is on a first come first served basis.

 

d.     Men who want to attend should indicate intention by a motivation letter.

 

e.     Late registration fee is $50

 


5. Benefits of attending the Conference

 

 

 

1.     Networking

 

2.     Learning

 

3.     ZWLA and ICJ will engage with the Law Society for you to be exempted from its continuous development courses by virtue of attending the educative conference.

 

4.     If you present, you get an opportunity to publish your work.

 

5.     ZWLA and ICJ will cover all conference costs.

 

6.     The opportunity to be part of building a strong network of women lawyers in Zimbabwe.

 

 

 

Registration now open call or email Merit Rumema 0774138924 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Fiso Ncube 0772870118 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for registration and payment.

 

 

Papers and enquiries  regarding papers must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

All other enquiries regarding the conference can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

                                       DEFENDING WOMEN; DEFENDING RIGHTS

 

 

NOTICE OF A ZIMBABWE WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2014

 

 

 

Please take notice that Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association AGM for 2014 will be held on the 13TH of September 2014 at 9.00 a.m in Harare at Crown Plaza Hotel.

 

 

Further take notice of the Agenda of the Annual General Meeting will be as follows:

 

 

1.         Welcome remarks and Introductions

 

 

 

2.         Minutes of the last meeting

 

 

 

3.         Matters arising

 

 

 

4.         Chairperson’s report

 

 

 

5.         Matters arising

 

 

 

6.         Treasurer’s report

 

(i)             Audited Accounts and the Auditor’s Report for the Year ended 31

 

           December 2013;

 

(ii)       To appoint the auditors;

 

(iii)      To review members’ subscriptions

 

 

 

7.         Director’s report

 

 

 

8.          Matters arising

 

 

 

9.         Elections of board members and office bearers (see annexure at the bottom of notice)

 

 

 

10.      Any other business

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of Section 8.5 of the Constitution, any member wishing to bring before the Annual General Meeting of ZWLA any business relating to the ordinary General Meeting business must give notice in writing to the Board Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ANNEXURE A

 

 

 

ZWLA BOARD ELECTION

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

The ZWLA Constitution provides that there shall be a Board of Directors which shall be voted into office at the AGM from amongst members who are not employees of the Association.

 

 

 

The Board shall consist of a minimum of seven members who shall occupy the office of

 

 

 

a)    Chairperson

 

b)    Vice Chairperson

 

c)    Treasurer

 

d)    Secretary

 

e)    Two Southern Region representatives

 

f)     One Northern region representative

 

g)    The Director of the Secretariat who shall be an ex officio member of the Board.

 

 

 

Tenure of Office

 

 

 

A member of the Board shall hold office for a period of two years and a maximum of two consecutive terms provided that the chairperson and treasurer can hold office for up to three years.

 

 

 

Current Board

 

The current Board is composed as follows:-

 

 

 

Name

Office Held

Sara Moyo

Chairperson

Sikhangile Zhou

Vice Chairperson – Southern Rep

Doreen Gapare

Treasurer

Phillipa Phillips Dube

Secretary

Diana Mandaza

Kudakwashe Chitsike             

Northern Region – Representative

Northern Region-Representative

Nomsa Ncube

Florence Ziumbe

Northern Region-Representative

Northern Region-Representative

Nomsa Ncube

Southern Region – Representative

 

Chiedza Simbo

Director

 

 

 

In terms of the Constitution the following members;

 

 

 

Sara Moyo’s office remain current.

 

 

 

Sikhangele Zhou, Nomsa Ncube, Phillipa Phillips Dube terms of office have lapsed.

 

 

 

Doreen Gapare has not offered herself for re-election and her office therefore falls vacant.

 

 

 

Diana Mandaza, Florence Ziumbe and Kudakwashe Chitsike are eligible for re-election and have offered themselves for re-election

 

 

 

Nominations of other candidates for the board positions are hereby invited and must be lodged with the Director by _29 August 2014 __ .

 

 

 

Any person who is a candidate for election to the Board shall nominated by two members of ZWLA who are paid up members and such nominations shall be :-

 

 

 

a)    In writing and signed by two members of ZWLA.

 

 

 

b)    Signed by the candidate stating acceptance of nomination.

 

 

 

A copy of the nomination form is below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tear off and return: To The Director @ 17 Fife Avenue, Harare or Fax @ 04-706820

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

ZWLA Board of Trustees Nomination Form

 

 

 

1st Nominee

 

 

 

Name of Nominee………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

Current Employment & Address…………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

Nominated for Post…………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

Reason for Eligibility……………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

Nominated by__________________________________

 

 

 

Seconded by___________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Nominee

 

 

 

Name of Nominee_____________________________

 

 

 

Current Employment & Address…………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

Nominated for Post…………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

Reason for Eligibility……………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

Nominated by__________________________________

 

 

 

Seconded by___________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past 22 years, the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association has always noted with disturbing concern that there is violence and the abuse of the rights of women and children within the “sects” of the “Vapostori” church. Whilst the allegations would for the most years go unreported and have in most circumstances seemed hard to investigate from the position of an NGO, it is disturbing to note that indeed the allegations are true. The allegations of violence and abuse of women and children’s rights having been there for decades where confirmed by recent events which saw “more than six riot police officers, journalists and members of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) seriously injured after rowdy members of an apostolic sect attacked them with knobkerries and stones in Harare’s Budiriro suburb” as reported by The Herald of 3 June 2014.

A Call for Government to Protect Children and Ensure that Zimbabwe Stops Marriages of 16 Year Olds