Strengthening parliamentary democracy in SADC countries: Zimbabwe country report

"Zimbabwe possesses one of the most impressive and well-organised legislatures in the Southern African region. On the surface, it would appear that the Zimbabwe's parliament is a competent institution that effectively carries out its multifaceted functions in the interest of the citizens of that country. Most of the structures that constitute parliament are moribund and irrelevant to the realities on the ground. Elaborate organisation of parliament into various committees with a variety of responsibilities does not seem to have resulted in parliament performing its functions more effectively. One of the benefits of the implementation of the PRC's recommendations has been the opening up of parliament to public participation in the legislative process. Civil society organisations (CSOs) took advantage of this development and, with the assistance of a variety of international donors, embarked on serious engagement with parliament through the work of portfolio committees. The result has been an abundance of current information on the state of affairs in many constituencies, as well as an expression of the people's views on various matters of national development, transparency, human rights and good governance."