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  • House ready for Senate - Zvoma
    The Herald (Zimbabwe)
    November 17, 2005

    PARLIAMENT is ready to accommodate a bicameral system that is set to provide checks and balances in the legislative process, Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma said yesterday.

    Addressing journalists at a news conference, Mr Zvoma said Parliament was satisfied that it had the requisite staff under a bicameral system although there might be constraints in terms of office space and other resources.

    He said the re-introduction of the two-chamber system was seen as a way of further enhancing the reform of the parliamentary system.

    "A bicameral Parliament is an important element of the system of checks and balances which is an essential part of any constitutional democracy.

    "In such a relationship, the possibilities of abuse of power are greatly diminished," he said.

    Apart from providing checks and balances, the two Houses also serve as a review mechanism for each other's actions and decisions.

    Zimbabweans go to the polls next week to choose members of the Upper House.

    When the Senate is in place, the titles of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament will change to Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly respectively.

    The Senate would be presided by a President and Deputy President.

    Any Bill, except money Bill, can originate in either House and subject to the Constitution, each House is free to make any amendments to any Bill that comes before it.

    Money Bills can only originate in the House of Assembly.

    If there is a disagreement between the two Houses on a certain Bill, the Constitution provides that if such a disagreement has not been resolved within 90 days, the Bill may be presented to the President for assent in the form in which it was passed in the House of Assembly provided there is a two thirds majority.

    Zimbabwe abolished the bicameral system in 1990 as a way of speeding up the legislative process to expedite law reform.

    Examples of countries with bicameral Parliament systems include South Africa, Namibia, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

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