What is the Executive?

In this podcasts we explore the executive branch of government, its responsibility and tasks.

Democracies are characterised by the separation of functions and powers between the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Each branch checks the power of the other two so that there is a balance of power between them.

The executive branch of government is responsible for the daily administration of a country. That is why we often refer to the executive as ‘the government’. It carries out its own policies, implements the laws passed by the legislature and ensures that decisions of the judiciary are implemented.

Chapter 5 of the Zimbabwean Constitution explains how the executive is formed and how it functions. The national executive is made up of the Cabinet, which includes the President, the Vice Presidents and the Ministers of each government department. Deputy Ministers are not part of the Cabinet, but they are also part of the executive.

This branch is responsible for the day-to-day administration and carrying out of national legislation and policies through the work of its departments. The executive operates at three levels of government: the national, provincial and local levels. All of these levels of government have executive authority in their own spheres.

Within the balance of powers, the executive is accountable to, and is monitored by, the legislature; and it is subject to the decisions of the judiciary.

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