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Bill for senate gazetted
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
July 16, 2005

GOVERNMENT has gazetted the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (Number 17) Bill, which seeks to provide for reconstituting Parliament as a bicameral legislature consisting of a House of Assembly of 150 members and a Senate of 66 members.

According to a notice in an extraordinary Government Gazette released yesterday, the amendment also seeks to confirm the acquisition of land for resettlement purposes, which took place during the Land Reform Programme which began in 2000, and for future acquisition of land for resettlement purposes.

It also seeks to make provision for the Constitution to mention the establishment and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and abolish the Electoral Supervisory Commission.

Clauses 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 21 and First Schedule of the Amendment makes consequential amendments to the Constitution that are required by the reconstitution of Parliament as a bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Assembly.

These include procedures for passing votes of no confidence in Government, which will require votes of not less than two thirds of all members of each House, definition of Parliament, composition of the Senate and election of President of Senate.

Others include the tenure of office of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, tenure of members, remuneration of President of Senate and Speaker, President’s powers to address and attend Parliament and quorum.

Clause 10 redefines the procedure of the Parliamentary Legal Committee in a bicameral legislature and in terms of the new section, the Committee will make its report on a Bill to the House in which the Bill originates.

Specific mention of the establishment and functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is provided in clause 17, which seeks to abolish the Electoral Supervisory Commission constituted in terms of section 61 of the Constitution.

The ZEC is already in existence by virtue of the ZEC Act, which was passed early this year ahead of the March parliamentary election.

The Amendment Bill will be brought to Parliament in the next 30 days. — New Ziana.

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