‘Rule of law remains elusive’

‘Rule of law remains elusive’

Zimbabwe has performed poorly in the area of observing fundamental human rights where it was ranked the worst country in the world at position 113

ZIMBABWE has performed dismally in the rule of law, with a United States of America-based World Justice Project (WJP) survey ranking the country at 108 out of a pool of 113 countries.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe is at position 17 out of 18 countries, performing only better than Cameroon. The WJP Rule of Law Index is the world’s leading source of original data on the rule of law.
The Index relies on more than 110 000 household and 3 000 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived in practical, everyday situations by the general public worldwide.
The 2017/18 report, which was published last week — the seventh in annual series — showed that the country’s position has not changed from the previous year, although there have been changes in some aspects measured by the survey.
SouthAfrica dropped one position to emerge on position 44 followed by Botswana (45), Malawi (66), Zambia (83), Tanzania (86),  Kenya (95) and Uganda (104). Performance is measured using 44 indicators across eight primary rule of law factors, each of which is scored and ranked globally and regionally.
The indicators include constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.
Zimbabwe got its worst score in the area of fundamental rights where it was ranked the worst country in the world at position 113, worse than Egypt, Iran and Myanmar. In the area of constraints on government powers, at position 112, Zimbabwe was considered to be better than only Venezuela while in the absence of corruption, it emerged on the 106th position.
It was placed 107th in the area of enforcement of regulations, while in openness of government it landed position 109.
The list was topped by four Nordic countries, Denmark (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Sweden (4), with Netherlands being on position five. Britain was on 11, while the United States took the 19th spot.
“Effective rule of law is the foundation for communities of equity, opportunity, and peace,” said William H Neukom, WJP founder and chief executive officer.
“No country has achieved a perfect realisation of the rule of law. The WJP Rule of Law Index is intended to be a first step in setting benchmarks, informing reforms, stimulating programs, and deepening appreciation and understanding for the foundational importance of the rule of law.”
The research was conducted before the new political dispensation that came after the ouster of Robert Mugabe under a military-led operation.
He was replaced by Emmerson Mngangagwa, who has started re-engagement with the world, and promised compensation to former white commercial farmers that were violently dispossessed of their land during the country’s land reform programme.
He has also promised to overhaul the country’s indigenisation laws, among other major policy shifts that are meant to endear the country to the outside world.
The rule of law is one of the key factors that are considered key in attracting foreign investment to any country.

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