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facilitation team and President Zuma expected in Harare –
Bill Watch 5/2010
February 06, 2010
The House of
Assembly sat this week, both the House of Assembly and the Senate
will sit on 9th February.
on Inclusive Government
Meeting: The President, the Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister
and the two Deputy Prime Ministers met on Friday 5th February. Their
discussions included the constitutional commissions [see below]
and the circular from the President’s office on Vice-Presidential
responsibilities. There was no agreement on stopping farm evictions
or proceeding with the land audit.
on Vice-Presidential Functions: The Chief Secretary to the President
and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, issued a circular to Ministers dated
25th January directing them to report to the Vice-Presidents, who
would assist the President in their "supervision and management”.
MDC-T have interpreted this as undermining the Prime Minister’s
authority, as under Article 20 of the GPA
as enshrined in Constitution
Amendment No. 19, the Prime Minister “shall oversee the
formulation of government policies by the Cabinet” and “shall
ensure that the policies so formulated are implemented by the entirety
of government”. Tendai Biti, speaking for MDC-T, rejected
the circular as “unconstitutional, null and void”.
Security Council [NSC] met on Friday 5th February for the second
time since its establishment nearly a year ago. Under the NSC Act
the Council should have been meeting monthly.
first annual review of progress on GPA implementation and achievements
is due soon under GPA Article 23, 13th February being the anniversary
of the formation of the Inclusive Government. Co-chair and spokesman
Welshman Ncube has said a report is being prepared and will be made
GNU faces problems
with striking workers: The civil service decision to strike may
trigger strikes in other sectors and there is insufficient revenue
to satisfy demands, but salaries well below the cost of living index
are seen as a failure by the GNU to deliver on peoples’ expectations.
The situation is exacerbated by the Famine Early Warning Network’s
estimate that over a million Zimbabweans need food aid over the
next two months.
on GPA Disputes: The negotiators from the three parties are due
to meet again on Monday 8th February. The South African facilitation
team is expected in Harare the same day to assess the position and
report back to President Zuma ahead of a visit by him to Harare
tentatively scheduled for 13th February. Mr Tsvangirai has said
“I have said to our party representatives let's finalize this,
let's not procrastinate ….let's see what we have agreed and
what we have not agreed….Therefore we are able to say to President
Zuma and SADC that ZANU-PF is refusing to implement and therefore
as far as we are concerned the only solution is that let's agree
on a road map to an election."
on Constitutional Commissions
The Prime Minister
has said that Friday’s executive meeting confirmed Judge Simpson
Mtambanengwe as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
[ZEC] and Professor Reg Austin as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Commission [ZHRC] and that members of those commissions and
the Zimbabwe Media Commission [ZMC], would be sworn in this coming
week. Commission members-designate have not, however, received any
official notification of their appointments.
Bill [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] had its First
Reading on Tuesday afternoon and was referred to the Parliamentary
Legal Committee to check that it conforms with the Constitution.
It is also under consideration by the House’s Portfolio Committee
on Defence and Home Affairs. At the committee’s first meeting
on the Bill, the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Melusi Matshiya,
said that the proposed amendments would “weaken the police
force and make their operations ineffective” and Police Commissioner
Mubatapasango claimed they would “put State security at risk”.
The committee have invited Hon Gonese to their next meeting at 10
am on Monday 8th February to defend his Bill [the meeting will be
open to the public].
ZANU-PF motion on sanctions: on Wednesday Hon Bhasikiti [ZANU-PF]
tried to introduce a motion calling on “the Hon. Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
to engage the European Union, the United Nations, the British and
the American governments to urgently and unconditionally remove
the illegal sanctions imposed at their instigation on the government
and people of Zimbabwe as confessed in the British Parliament by
the Foreign Affairs Secretary Mr David Miliband". MDC-T members
objected and ZANU-PF members responded noisily, leading to such
pandemonium that Deputy Speaker Hon. Khumalo, presiding in the Speaker’s
absence, adjourned the sitting. Afterwards MDC-T Chief Whip Hon
Gonese said the motion was “against the letter and spirit
of the global political agreement.” [Note: Hon Bhasikiti’s
motion was not notified to the Deputy Speaker in advance, contrary
to reports in the State media. Although Standing Orders do not specify
that the Speaker [or Deputy] must be notified of motions, this has
been a long-standing practice, introduced well over ten years ago
as a courtesy to the Speaker and to avoid just this sort of situation.]
When the House resumed on Thursday Hon Bhasikiti duly gave notice
of his motion, and it is due to be introduced next week.
Week’s Parliamentary Agenda
of Assembly: The Order Paper for Tuesday 9th February includes
Hon Bhasikiti’s motion on sanctions, another new motion on
disbursements of inputs to farmers and the establishment of irrigation
schemes, and continuation of debate on motions already introduced.
The Order Paper for Tuesday includes the controversial Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, for which proposed amendments have been
tabled, as well as motions carried over and a few questions for
AU Summit: 25th January to 2nd February, Addis Ababa
At the three-day
Assembly of Heads of State and Government that concluded the Summit,
President Bingu wa Mutharikwa of Malawi was elected as AU Chairperson
for the next year. As at the previous summit in Libya, the Assembly
called for the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe was elected to the Peace and Security Council for a 3-year
term with effect from the 1st April, along with Equatorial Guinea,
Kenya, Libya, and Nigeria, and ten other states were elected for
2-year terms [Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Rwanda, Mauritania, Namibia,
South Africa, Bénin, Ivory Coast and Mali]. The Council is
the AU’s standing organ for the prevention, management and
resolution of conflicts in Africa and functions as a collective
security and early-warning arrangement to facilitate timely and
efficient response to conflict and crisis situations.
against Decision not to register SADC Tribunal Order
There is to
be an appeal to the Supreme Court against Justice Patel’s
26th January refusal to register the SADC Tribunal’s order
in the Campbell case, which ruled that Zimbabwe’s land reform
programme breached the SADC Treaty and accordingly ordered the Government
to protect the farmers from eviction or pay proper compensation
to those already evicted. If the appeal against Justice Patel’s
judgement [Copy available] fails, the appellants will report this
to the Tribunal and if the Tribunal decides that Zimbabwe has failed
to comply with the Tribunal’s order, it must then “report
its finding to the [SADC] Summit for the latter to take appropriate
action” [SADC Protocol on the Tribunal, Article 32]. Meanwhile,
the Tribunal’s registrar has confirmed the official SADC position
that Zimbabwe is a member of the Tribunal and bound by its decisions.
This week a South African court has ruled that the South African
government’s failure to protect the interests of a South African
national evicted from his farm in Zimbabwe makes it liable to compensate
him for loss suffered.
Bill in House
of Assembly: POSA Amendment Bill awaiting the PLC report before
proceeding to Second Reading. [Electronic version available]
Bill in Senate:
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill awaits its Committee
Stage. Amendments have been tabled for consideration.
by Parliament Awaiting President’s Assent and/or Gazetting
as Acts: Financial Adjustments Bill, Public Finance Management Act
and Audit Office Bill.
SI 21/2010, in a Gazette Extraordinary dated 29th January, enacts
the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (General) Regulations,
which will come into operation on 1st March.
SIs 15 to 20/2010
of 29th January enact new fees payable to the Medicines Control
Authority under the Dangerous Drugs Regulations and Medicines and
Allied Substances Control Act and regulations.
SIs 22, 23,
25 and 26/2010, dated 5th February, amend customs duties and suspensions.
SI 24/2010 introduces the COMESA simplified customs form for small-scale
traders importing consignments worth less than US$500 from Zambia.
8A and 8B/2010, dated 28th January, notify the revocation of specifications
of individuals and private companies under the Prevention of Corruption
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