COMMISSIONS WATCH 4/2020
ZIMBABWE GENDER COMMISSION
[9th March 2020]
Parliament Invites Public to Nominate Candidates to Fill One Vacancy on Zimbabwe Gender Commission
A male member of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission has resigned, leaving one vacancy among the members appointed by the President. The appointment of the new member must, in terms of section 245 of the Constitution, be made by the President from a list of nominees submitted to him by Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO].
Section 237 of the Constitution sets out the process to be followed by the CSRO – it must advertise the vacant position, invite the public to make nominations, conduct interviews of prospective candidates, prepare a list of its nominees for appointment and submit the list to the President.
The CSRO has just advertised the vacant position and invited the public to make nominations; the complete advertisement is set out at the end of this bulletin for information. But Veritas draws special attention to the following points:
- male candidates only? – the CSRO advertisement correctly says, under Person specifications, that “the genders must be equally represented on the Commission” [in fact, this is in section 245(2) of the Constitution]. It also tells us that a male member has resigned. The Commission has up to this point had 5 women members [including the chairperson] and 4 men. It follows that to maintain gender equality a man must be appointed to fill the vacancy, although the advertisement does not say so in as many words.
- there is a deadline – nominations must be received at Parliament before 4.30 pm on Friday 27th March 2020;
- an official nomination form must be used – this may be obtained from Parliament [details in the advertisement] or can be downloaded from the Veritas website [link] – and a separate nomination form must be used for each nominee.
- how to submit nominations is explained in the advertisement [email can be used]
Other Relevant Points for Would-be Candidates and their Nominators
Ineligible persons [Constitution, section 320(3)]
The following persons are not eligible for appointment: members of Parliament, members of provincial or metropolitan councils, members of local authorities [city and town councillors, local board members, rural district councillors] and members of government-controlled entities [board members of parastatals and government-controlled companies].
Commission members to be non-political [Constitution, section 236]
Commissioners must not, in the exercise of their functions, act in a partisan manner, further the interests of any political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause, or violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person.
A member of a political party or organisation may be appointed to the Commission, but must without delay and in any event within thirty days of appointment relinquish the membership – failure to relinquish within 30 days means automatic and immediate forfeiture of the appointment. If a Commission member becomes a member of a political party or organisation, he or she immediately ceases to be a Commission member.
Term of office and remuneration [Constitution, section 320)
The term of office is five years, renewable only once. Remuneration, allowances and other benefits are by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in terms of section 3(2) of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act.
What Happens after Parliament Receives Nominations?
Section 242(1) of the Constitution spells out what must happen after the CSRO receives nominations.
Once nominations have been received from the public, the CSRO will have to conduct public interviews of prospective candidates [the venue and date will be advertised to enable public attendance], prepare a list of nominees for appointment, and then submit the list to the President. The list must contain at least two nominees – “at least two” because section 245(1) would require at least twelve nominees if there were seven vacancies to be filled.
The President must choose his appointee from the list submitted. Before entering office, the appointee must take oaths of loyalty and office before the President or a person authorised by the President.
CALL FOR PUBLIC NOMINATIONS FOR PERSONS TO SERVE ON THE ZIMBABWE GENDER COMMISSION
The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) of the Parliament of Zimbabwe is mandated, in terms of sections 237 and 258 of the Constitution, to nominate candidates for appointment by His Excellency, the President, to serve as Commissioners on the Zimbabwe Gender Commission as provided for in Chapter 13, Part 5, of the Constitution.
One Vacancy Available
A vacancy has arisen in the Zimbabwe Gender Commission after the resignation of a male member of the Commission. Accordingly, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is hereby calling on the Public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.
The functions of the Commission and the person specifications are given below.
Functions of Zimbabwe Gender Commission (Section 245 of the Constitution)
The Zimbabwe Gender Commission has the following functions—
(a) to monitor issues concerning gender equality to ensure gender equality as provided in this Constitution;
(b) to investigate possible violations of rights relating to gender;
(c) to receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as the Commission considers appropriate;
(d) to conduct research into issues relating to gender and social justice, and to recommend changes to laws and practices which lead to discrimination based on gender;
(e) to advise public and private institutions on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality;
(f) to recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality;
(g) to recommend prosecution for criminal violations of rights relating to gender;
(h) to secure appropriate redress where rights relating to gender have been violated; and
(i) to do everything necessary to promote gender equality.
- Members of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission must be chosen for their integrity and their knowledge and understanding of gender issues in social, cultural, economic and political domains, and the genders must be equally represented on the Commission.
Nomination material must consist of a typewritten submission of no more than two A4 pages long stating why the person nominated is a suitable candidate, attached to a completed nomination form, which can be obtained at Parliament Offices (Counsel to Parliament – 3rd Floor Room 306 or Human Resources – 4th Floor Room 405) or downloaded from the website: www.parlzim.gov.zw,
Closing date for the submission of nominations is 16:30 hours on Friday, 27th March, 2020.
Nominations must be addressed to the Clerk of Parliament in sealed envelopes clearly labelled “Zimbabwe Gender Commission”. These may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, posted, or hand delivered to:
The Clerk of Parliament
Parliament of Zimbabwe
Cnr. Kwame. Nkrumah Avenue and Third Street
P.O. Box CY 298