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of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Bill, 2005 - Notes on committee stage amendments
August 28, 2005
Read the Constitution
of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 17) Bill, 2005 [H.B. 7, 2005] with Amendments
were made to the following provisions of the Bill during the Committee
- clauses 2, 4, 10,
19, 21 and 22
- First Schedule
- Second Schedule
This clause deals with land acquisition. A new section 16B is inserted
into the Constitution. The Committee Stage amendments fall into three
- correction of a
cross-reference to section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10]
in section 16B(2)(a)(i) and (ii) (not a matter of substance)
- the deletion of
the words "the thirtieth day after" in the last three lines of section
16B(2)(a); the effect of this deletion is that land gazetted for acquisition
after this Bill becomes law will vest in the State with effect from
the date on which the land is gazetted (the original wording envisaged
vesting thirty days after gazetting). An important change.
- the creation, in
respect of compulsory land acquisition, of a further exception to the
Constitution's provision for protection of law. The original wording
exempted the land acquisition process from only section 18(9) of the
Constitution (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an
independent and impartial court or other adjudicating authority established
by law). The Committee Stage amendment adds an exemption from section
18(1) also; section 18(1) provides that "Subject to the provisions of
this Constitution, every person is entitled to the protection of the
law." The effect of this amendment is significantly to extend the Bill's
derogations from the rule of law.
Clause 4 amends section 23 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination
on certain stated grounds. The original Bill provided for (1) the extension
of the existing list of prohibited grounds of discrimination so as to
include "physical disability" and (2) the express authorisation of laws
providing for the implementation of affirmative action programmes for
the protection or advancement of persons previously disadvantaged.
The Committee Stage
amendments widen the scope of the clause by—
- further extending
the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination to include "sex" and
"marital status". The complete list of prohibited grounds will now be
race, tribe, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex,
gender, marital status or physical disability.
- inserting a new
subsection (3a) into section 23 requiring the Government to treat men
and woman on an equal basis in allocating or distributing land under
programmes of land reform.
In its original form the Bill provided that Money Bills will not be
submitted for scrutiny by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) (a change
from the present situation, under which Money Bills are scrutinised by
the Committee). The effect of the Committee Stage amendment is to maintain
the present situation. Money Bills will, therefore, continue to be scrutinised
by the Parliamentary Legal Committee for compatibility with the Declaration
of Rights and the Constitution generally.
This clause provides for the insertion of new definitions into section
113 of the Constitution. Originally the new definitions included a definition
of "Money Bill". That definition has now been omitted, having been rendered
unnecessary by the changes to Clause 10. Clause 21 The clause provides
for a new Schedule 4 to the Constitution, laying down the principles of
Parliamentary procedure in the new bicameral Parliament. The Committee
Stage amendment merely takes out obviously incorrect words which should
not have been in the Bill in the first place. Not a matter of substance.
A minor, tidying-up of the heading of the new Schedule 7 to the Constitution
(which lists agricultural land previously gazetted for compulsory acquisition).
The heading is brought into line with the new section 16B(2)(a)(i). Not
a matter of substance.
The First Schedule to the Bill contains minor consequential amendments
to the Constitution, most of them consequential to major amendments made
by preceding clauses, particularly the introduction of the Senate. This
Committee Stage amendment attempts to clear up confusion in one of those
minor amendments. Again, not a matter of substance.
This Schedule contains special transitional provisions for the election
and setting-up of the first Senate. This Committee Stage amendment attempts
to correct inaccurate cross-references. Not a matter of substance.
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