House of Assembly sat on Tuesday and Wednesday and will sit again
on Tuesday 12th October
will meet on 12th October after its three-month recess
Provincial Governors Likely to Affect Tomorrow’s Senate
When the Senate
resumes after its three-month recess there is likely to be controversy
over the ten Senate seats allocated to Provincial Governors. Provincial
Governors are ex officio members of the Senate. Given the MDC-T
rejection of the President’s reappointment of the ten ZANU-PF
governors as illegal and unconstitutional, MDC-T Senators can
be expected to object to the presence of any provincial governors
who may report for Senate duty on Tuesday. Mr Tsvangirai in his
statement last Thursday [see below] said “I will be advising
the President of the Senate of the improper appointment of Governors,
and that they should therefore not be considered members of the
Senate”. On 27th September MDC-T parliamentarians attending
a Pan-African Parliament workshop at the Victoria Falls walked
out in protest when Matabeleland North Provincial Governor Thokozile
Mathuthu addressed the gathering; they said she was not the legitimate
governor because her term of office had expired at the end of
The row over
the Provincial Governors came to a head when on Thursday 7th October
Prime Minister Tsvangirai issued a strong statement complaining
of breaches of the GPA
by President Mugabe. This followed a meeting on Monday 4th October
with President Mugabe, who told the Prime Minister that he had
unilaterally re-appointed the ten ZANU PF provincial governors.
This, said Mr Tsvangirai, was one breach too many of the Constitutional
provision requiring his agreement as Prime Minister to the making
of key appointments by the President. He said that with immediate
effect the MDC would refuse to recognize all the unilateral appointments
that have been made by Mr Mugabe.
Amendment Bill – Committee Stage
through its Second Reading with the support of both MDC and ZANU
PF, this Bill goes into Committee Stage [during this stage the
House sits as a Committee and the Bill is debated clause by clause;
it is during this stage amendments can be made]. The Bill’s
sponsor, Innocent Gonese, has tabled one amendment for consideration
– the deletion of clause 7(3) of the Bill – a provision
which would empower a magistrate who has imposed a temporary ban
on public demonstrations to vary or revoke the ban. This amendment
was prompted by a suggestion from the Parliamentary Legal Committee
when it examined by the Bill. Further amendments are expected
to be tabled by Makhosini Hlongwane of ZANU-PF, but these are
not yet known and are not on tomorrow’s order paper.
the House of Assembly last week
Bill: The Second Reading of the POSA Amendment Bill was completed
on Tuesday, with contributions from several members, including
two ZANU-PF MPs who said ZANU-PF supported the Bill.
Without Notice: On Wednesday most of the sitting time was taken
up by the hour set aside for questions without notice on aspects
of Government policy. MPs complained that some Ministers were
not present to field questions. There were no questions with notice
on the Order Paper [these are questions on matters of fact and
detail requiring prior written notice to the Ministers concerned,
and they are printed in the Order Paper].
Note the PM
has made a strong statement that he will ensure Ministers turn
up for Question Time. The Prime Minister has also said he will
be introducing a Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Legal Committee [PLC] – Adverse Reports: On Wednesday the
Speaker announced that the PLC had reported on all statutory instruments
gazetted during June, July, August and September. SIs 102, 106
and 113 were given adverse reports, signifying the PLC’s
opinion that they are inconsistent with the Declaration of Rights.
All other statutory instruments received non-adverse reports.
[See below for more on the adverse reports.]
debate on the President’s speech opening the last session
of Parliament was concluded with the passage of the traditional
motion of thanks to the President. On Wednesday debate commenced
on the President’s speech opening the present session [see
Bill Watch 28/2010 of 16th July for details of the speech.]. No
new motions were tabled.
Parliament This Week
for Three Bills: The Criminal Law Amendment (Protection of Power,
Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill, the Zimbabwe National
Security Council Amendment Bill and the Attorney General’s
Office Bill are down for First Reading on Tuesday. They will then
be referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for its
report on whether or not they are consistent with the Constitution,
particularly the Declaration of Rights. Only after the PLC has
reported to the House can the Bills be taken further. [The Energy
Regulatory Authority Bill, although printed and gazetted and therefore
ready for presentation, has not been set down for First Reading.]
only motion on the agenda is the motion for the debate on the
President’s speech opening the present Parliamentary session.
agenda is light. There are no Bills for consideration. The only
motions for discussion are those on the President’s speeches
opening the previous Parliamentary session and the current session.
Reports on Statutory Instruments
instruments have been given adverse reports:
[Epworth heavy vehicle parking by-laws] and 113/2010 [Epworth
land and building by-laws]: The PLC report states that both are
unconstitutional to the extent that they allow officials to collect
fines from alleged offenders without recourse to the judicial
contains Plumtree Town Council by-laws: The PLC report finds the
statement of possible penalties for breaches of the by-laws to
be unconstitutionally vague.
provides that all adverse reports on statutory instruments are
tabled in both Houses but it is the Senate that first has to consider
whether or not they agree with the PLC’s adverse report.
If the Senate passes a resolution agreeing with the PLC’s
adverse report and if the House of Assembly does not thereafter
override the Senate by resolving that the statutory instrument
should remain in force, the matter must be reported to the President
and the President must gazette a notice annulling the statutory
instrument [Constitution, Schedule 4, paragraph 8].
and Orders Committee – Changes in Membership: Following
their appointments to ministerial positions in the June MDC-T
Cabinet Reshuffle, Tapiwa Mashakada, Obert Gutu and Tongai Matutu
have resigned from the committee. Their replacements are three
MDC-T nominees: Dorcas Sibanda and Ellias Mudzuri from the House
of Assembly and Jabulani Ndlovu from the Senate. Their unopposed
election to the committee was announced by the Speaker on Tuesday.
The Committee is expected to meet next week. [The SROC is Parliament’s
most important committee. Among other functions it is responsible
for nominating members for appointment to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the Zimbabwe
Media Commission, and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board;
it must also be consulted on the appointment of members of the
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.] [Full list of current members
available on request]
Legal Committee [PLC]: The PLC is expected to meet this week to
consider new Bills introduced and any amendments made to the POSA
Committee – New Chairperson: Webber Chinyadza is the new
chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, succeeding Tapiwa
Mashakada, who became Minister of Economic Planning and Investment
Promotion in the June Cabinet reshuffle.
Committees – Changes in Membership: MDC-T has made changes
in its representation on portfolio committees, deploying MPs who
have become available for service on committees since leaving
ministerial office in the June Cabinet reshuffle..
and Thematic Committee meetings: These committees will sit this
week for inaugural meetings and meetings to consider work plans
for the session. None of these meetings will be open to members
of the general public.
for First Reading [Brief Summaries of all four Bills ready for
First Reading were given in Bill Watch 39 of 4th October}
Security Council Amendment Bill [Electronic versions available:
(1) Bill and (2) Zimbabwe National Security Council Act showing
effect of proposed amendments]
Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure)
Bill [Electronic version of Bill available]
Office Bill: See also a fuller discussion of the Bill in Bill
Watch 41 of 7th October. [Electronic version of Bill available]
Authority Bill: [Electronic version now available]
printed [content not yet available]
Corporation Bill: In his speech opening Parliament in mid-July
the President said this Bill would transform the existing Deposit
Protection Scheme, set up under the Banking Act, into an independent
statutory entity. The object is to provide compensation for depositors
if banking institutions fail.
Amendment Bill: The proper purpose of General Laws Amendment Bills
is to make minor updating amendments to Acts of Parliament, but
they are sometimes used to make important changes.
Development Corporation Amendment Bill: no details yet available.
Instruments and General Notices
instruments or General Notices of general interest were gazetted
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot
take legal responsibility for information supplied.