The Midlands State University (MSU) in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs hosted a two-day workshop on National Constitution Translation Standardization from the 12th to the 13th of January 2018 at the MSU Main Campus.
The workshop seeks to standardize the process of translating the Constitution of Zimbabwe from English into 15 official languages of Zimbabwe namely Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.
Speaking at the official opening of the ceremony, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi said, “Government is obliged in terms of Section 7 of the Constitution to promote public awareness of the constitution by translating it into officially recognized languages and disseminating it as widely as possible in an effort to increase access to justice.”
“In order for the people of Zimbabwe to benefit from the provisions of the Constitution, by and for whom it was made, it is important that the supreme law of the land be written in a language that they understand. This speaks to the need for Government and other relevant stakeholders to embark on projects meant to translate the Constitution into vernacular languages,” said Hon. Ziyambi.
The Minister also spoke highly of the MSU Faculty of Law saying, the faculty continues to produce development-oriented graduates who are making a great impact on the legal landscape of Zimbabwe.
The National Constitution Translation Committee, under the patronage of the Acting Vice-Chancellor of MSU, Professor Victor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa, draws expertise from the country’s top linguists, jurists and independent sign language consultants.
In his welcome remarks Professor Muzvidziwa, pledged to support the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in national development processes saying that MSU, through its vast wealth of knowledge, will remain a dependable partner in expanding the democratic frontiers of the people of Zimbabwe.
The workshop also comes at a time when government ministries and parastatals have been tasked to come up with, “Quick wins for the first 100 days,” under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chancellor of State Universities, His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In attendance were the Vice-Chancellor of Reformed Church University, Professor W Magwa, Professor E Chauraya (MSU), Professor E Chabata (UZ), Professor H Chimhundu (CUT), Professor W Chigidi (MSU), High Court Judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo and various top linguists from 6 state universities.