In 1999, Parliament adopted the final report of the Parliamentary Reform Committee. One of the recommendations contained in the report was that of establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of Parliament.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe 2013, in section 198 provides for the enactment of an Act of Parliament which must provide measures to enforce the provisions of principles of public administration and leadership, including measures to―
- require public officers to make regular disclosures of their assets;
- establish codes of conduct to be observed by public officers; and
- provide for the disciplining of persons who contravene the provisions of Chapter 9 of the Constitution or any code of conduct or standard so established.
That recommendation and the requirement by the Constitution fulminated in Standing Rules and Orders 49 and 48 of the National Assembly and Senate Standing Rules and Orders respectively.
This Code of Conduct and Ethics establishes standards of correct behavior which the Members of Parliament are themselves proposing to observe as elected representatives serving their country in its highest democratic institution. Obviously, the innovation for our Members does not lie in the standards themselves, since every single Member has always been expected to conduct himself or herself in accordance with the dignity of the institution in which he or she serves.