adjourned this afternoon until 8th February 2011
in the Senate
For the second
day running MDC-T Senators brought the Senate to a standstill
in protest against the presence of “intruders”. Immediately
after the opening prayer MDC-T Senator Tichaona Mudzingwa rose
to object to the presence of Thokozile Mathuthu, David Karimanzira,
Jason Machaya and Faber Chidarikire in the House. [These are persons
who the MDC-T say are no longer ex officio members of the Senate,
as they were illegally and unconstitutionally appointed as provincial
governors by President Mugabe.] The President of the Senate refused
to accept the objection, whereupon the MDC-T Senators starting
singing, dancing and whistling and made such a noise that the
President of the Senate rose to adjourn the Senate until February.
No business was conducted. MDC-M Senators present did not join
in the demonstration.
events were a repeat of yesterday’s adjournment without
business being conducted, after MDC-T made a similar protest against
the presence of Thokozile Mathuthu.
Position on Provincial Governors in the Senate
position is that MDC-T Senators will continue to prevent the Senate
conducting any business until the issue of provincial governors’
appointments has been resolved.
of the Senate Adjournment on Pending Bills
consultations on the Budget, it is expected that the Budget for
2011 will soon be presented to the House of Assembly together
with the Appropriation and Finance Bills. These are money bills
and Schedule 4, paragraph 6, of the Constitution contains special
provision to permit a “money bill” passed by the House
of Assembly to be presented to the President for assent if it
hasn’t been passed by the Senate within eight sitting days.
adjournment of the Senate it will be impossible for Parliament
to complete the passage of any Bills in the ordinary way, i.e.,
with both Houses assenting to them. Nevertheless Schedule 4, paragraph
5, of the Constitution contains special provision for the enactment,
without Senate approval, of a Bill certified by a Vice-President
or Minister to be “so urgent that it is not in the national
interest to delay its enactment” – but it is difficult
to see any of the Bills presently awaiting attention qualifying
for that description.
If a Bill
not certified as urgent by a Vice-President or Minister has been
passed by the House but not by the Senate, it may be sent to the
President for assent, but only after the expiry of ninety days.
already in Parliament:
Recall of Senate Possible if Issue of Provincial Governors Resolved
If the issue
over the provincial governors is resolved before the 8th February,
it will be possible for the Senate to be recalled early. Senate
Standing Order 187 empowers the President of the Senate, at the
request of President Mugabe, to recall the Senate for an earlier
meeting if the “public interest” so requires.
Senate could be recalled at any time, even if the provincial governor
problem is not resolved, but this is unlikely to happen as it
would, no doubt, lead to further incidents.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot
take legal responsibility for information supplied.