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Timeline for Constitutional Amendment (No.1):



• March 2013 – Zimbabwe adopts a new constitution after a referendum;
• December 2016 – Government publishes Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment
(No. 1) Bill, 2016 (HB 15, 2016) which sought to give the President a free hand in
appointing the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President of the High
• 3 January 2017 – The Bill is republished in the government gazette because the
original notice of publication was signed by the Clerk of Parliament instead of the
Speaker of Parliament;
• 6 April 2017 – Bill is presented in the House of Assembly;
• 25 July 2017 – National Assembly finally passes the Constitution of Zimbabwe
Amendment (No. 1) Bill, after the Third Reading with 182 voting in favour and 41
• 25 July 2017 – Same day Bill is moved to senate;
• 26 July 2017 – Both the second reading and committee stages completed in senate;
• 1 August 2017 – Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 1) Bill passed by senate after 53 senators voted in favour instead of the constitutionally required 54;
• .7 September 2017 – The Bill is published as law into the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 1) Act, 2017 (No. 10 of 2017) after the late former president Robert Mugabe assented to it;
• September 2017 – Main opposition MDC Alliance MP Innocent Gonese makes
a constitutional court application, arguing the Bill sailed through senate (Upper
House) unconstitutionally;
• December 2017 – Legislator Jessie Majome makes a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge challenging the Act;
• 31 January 2018 – The ConCourt sits for a hearing;
• 31 March 2020 – The ConCourt rules that the two-thirds affirmative votes requirement was not met in senate after 53 affirmative votes were registered instead
of the required 54. Senate has 80 senators. Two-thirds is 54. However, the court
suspended its declaration of invalidity for 180 days to allow the senate to conduct
another Third Reading vote;
• 25 September 2020 – Parliament lodges two simultaneous applications at the
ConCourt, a substantive application seeking an extension to the 180-day period,
and an urgent ex parte chamber application for a provisional order extending the
180-day period and also suspending the coming into effect of the court’s declaration of invalidity of the Bill. This was three days before expiry of the 31 march 2020
• 28 September 2020 – the ex parte order is granted;
• 10 November 2020 – Substantive application is heard by Justices Rita Makarau,
Anne-Marie Gowora and Bharat Patel;
• 25 February 2021 – ConCourt judgment grants a 90-day extension to Senate by a
2-1 decision;
• 24 March 2021 – Senate approved a motion by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to restore the Bill to the Order Paper; and
• 6 April 2021– Constitutional Amendment (No.1) Bill is adopted by senate by 70-1;
awaits Presidential assent

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