The Scope and Content of Section 75(1)(a) of the Zimbabwean Constitution: An International Law Approach

Author Chiedza Simbo

ISSN: 2522-3062
Affiliations: Senior Lecturer, University of Venda
Source: Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, The, Volume 53 Issue 2, p. 170 – 204


Despite the recent enactment of the Zimbabwean Constitution which provides for the right to basic education, complaints, reminiscent of a failed basic education system, have marred the education system in Zimbabwe. Notwithstanding glaring violations of the right to basic education by the government, no person has taken the government to court for failure to comply with its section 75(1)(a) constitutional obligations, and neither has the government conceded any failures or wrongdoings. Two ultimate questions arise: Does the state know what compliance with section 75(1)(a) entails? And do the citizens know the scope and content of their rights as provided for by section 75(1)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe? Whilst it is progressive that the Education Act of Zimbabwe as amended in 2020 has addressed some aspects relating to section 75(1)(a) of the Constitution, it has still not provided an international law compliant scope and content of the right to basic education neither have any clarifications been provided by the courts. Using an international law approach, this article suggests what the scope and content of section 75(1)(a) might be.