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Constitution sets rules for incoming Parliamentarians
in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 30, 2013
this article on the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition website
set to be sworn in on 3 September 2013 will find themselves operating
under a new rule book given that the new Constitution
is now fully in force according to the Veritas Bill Watch report
of 27 August 2013.
been postponed from the initial date of 27 August, the new date
for the swearing in still complies with section 145(1) of the Constitution,
which states that the first sitting of Parliament
after a general election must “not be later than thirty days
after the President-elect assumes office”.
Under the new rules set
out by the Constitution, the annual Presidential proclamations that
marked the beginning and end for the former annual Parliamentary
“sessions” are no longer provided for.
Instead the two Houses
of Parliament - apart from the first sitting after a general election
- will decide for themselves when they will sit and when they will
recess with a stipulation that they do not go into recess for more
than 180 days.
Under the Constitution,
sections 146 and 140, the President, does, however, have the power
to summon Parliament to meet at any time “to conduct special
business”, and must at least once a year address a joint sitting
of both Houses on “the state of the nation”.
Furthermore, MPs in both
Houses of Parliament are required within thirty days of their election,
to relinquish any public office they were holding when elected as
outlined in Section 129(1)(h) of the Constitution, which stipulates
“ If when elected
a member was a “public officer” [e.g. a serving member
of the Public Service or the uniformed services or the holder of
any other paid office in the service of the State] or a member or
employee of a statutory body, a Government-controlled entity, a
provincial council or a local authority, he or she must relinquish
that office, membership or employment within 30 days of being declared
to relinquish will entail automatic and immediate forfeiture of
an MP-elect’s Parliamentary seat.
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