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Parliamentary Update - Bill Watch 47/2010
November 13, 2010
of Assembly will sit again on Tuesday 16th November
has adjourned until 8th February
Ednah Madzongwe on Wednesday formally “named” 18 noisily
protesting MDC-T Senators for disregarding the authority of the
Chair and persistently and wilfully disrupting the business of
the Senate. Under Senate Standing Orders 78 and 79 this means
that when the Senate next meets they could be suspended for four
aspect of the whole incident was that it was a person objected
to by the MDC-T Senators as a “stranger” who proposed
the motion that the Senate should be adjourned to 8th February.
the issue of the provincial governors which caused the protest
that resulted in the adjournment of the Senate will be resolved
soon and the Senate will be recalled, as there is a great deal
of Parliamentary business to get through before the end of the
year. The previous session of Parliament achieved very little
[see Bill Watch 30/2010 of 31st July]. So far only two fast-tracked
money bills have been deal with since this new session opened
Amendment Bill has still not been cleared by Cabinet.
Parliament Last Week
of Assembly sat on Tuesday and Wednesday only, until 6.38 pm and
5.08 pm respectively. On Thursday members were expected to attend
a COPAC Special Outreach for Members of Parliament designed to
provide MPs with an opportunity to submit their views to COPAC.
Committee Report Adopted
adopted the Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the
Special Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the 1st
Quarter of the Financial Year 2009. The report discusses failures
by Ministries to adhere to laid down procedures with regard to
the management of public funds and state assets and makes recommendations
for corrective action. Issues raised included poor payroll administration
[leading to continued payments to former employees after they
have left the Public Service] and the need for Government to formulate
a clear policy on movement of assets, such as motor vehicles and
laptop computers, with Ministers when they are reassigned.
reports were returned on the following Bills, clearing the way
for their Second Readings:
questions were dealt with:
rate: Deputy Prime Minister Khupe spoke about the Government’s
commitment to the accelerated reduction of this rate and said
the aim was to scrap hospital and clinic user fees for pregnant
sexual relations: Education Minister Coltart condemned such conduct
and confirmed that teachers engaging in it face immediate expulsion
from the teaching service.
in 2011? Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara said the timing of the
elections was a matter to be agreed by the three GPA
political parties and stressed how much still needed to be done
to create conditions for free and fair elections.
scholarship scheme: The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education
gave no details, saying responsibility rested with the President’s
Office and that the programme was directed by Manicaland Provincial
Governor Chris Mushohwe.
Most of the
written questions were carried forward to next week because the
relevant Ministers were not present. [See above.]
On the House
of Assembly Order Paper for the Coming Week
Law Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water
Regulatory Authority Bill
versions available – please email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
awaiting Committee Stage
Amendment Bill still awaits commencement of its Committee
Stage. The Bill has been stalled at this stage for over a month.
The motion approving the introduction of this Private Member’s
Bill was approved on 19th November 2009. [See Bill Watch 43/2010
of 16th October for a summary of the proposed amendments to the
Bill that have been tabled for consideration during the Committee
A new motion
listed for debate on Tuesday takes note of the “deteriorating”
welfare of members of Parliament, civil servants and Government
Ministers; asks the Minister of Finance to allocate more money
in his 2011 Budget to address their plight; and proposes the establishment
of a Parliamentary Service Commission.
forward include motions for discussion of adverse reports by the
Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] on statutory instruments,
and the ongoing debate on the President’s speech opening
Parliament in July this year.
Question Time – Wednesday
questions with notice are listed for reply by Ministers, most
of them questions not dealt with last week. They include:
Minister of Finance, Government: What is Government policy towards
payment of pensions – and the resumption of pension payments
to pensioners outside Zimbabwe?
Minister of Education: A request for details on teachers’
pensions; an analysis of Grade 7, O and A level pass rates in
urban and rural schools; and comparisons of ZIMSEC and Cambridge
Minister of Transport: A request for information on the dispute
between Zambia and Zimbabwe over Zimbabwe’s new vehicle
co-Ministers of Home Affairs: What is being done about complaints
of police brutality at a police post in Lupane District?
Minister of Youth: Is it the Ministry’s policy to discriminate
against MDC youths and in favour of ZANU-PF youths in the allocation
Minister of State Security: Are officers of the Central Intelligence
Organisation [CIO] allowed to hold positions in political parties,
as in the case of a CIO Deputy Director-General who has been
appointed to the ZANU-PF Central Committee?
Business Awaiting Attention by the Senate
attention by the Senate when it resumes sitting include:
House of Portfolio
Committees will be meeting during the week. So will Senate Thematic
Committees, notwithstanding the adjournment of the Senate until
February. [Note: as provincial governors do not sit on thematic
committees there is no basis for MDC-T anti-governor protests
to be repeated at committee meetings.] A separate bulletin has
listed details of meetings open to the public.
Awaiting Introduction in Parliament
Bills have been printed and gazetted:
Protection Corporation Bill [gazetted 22nd October]
Laws Amendment Bill [gazetted 22nd October]
Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill [gazetted
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [gazetted 5th
were no Bills in the Government Gazette of 12th November.
Instruments and General Notices
no statutory instruments of general interest in the Government
Gazette of 12th November.
Commission to Investigate TelOne: GN 301/2010, gazetted on 12th
November, announced that the Competition and Tariff Commission
is to investigate TelOne for alleged abuse of its monopoly in
the provision of fixed line telephone services. Representations
from interested persons are invited and should be submitted to
the Commission by no later than Friday 26th November. For further
information contact the Commission: telephone 04-775040/5; fax
04-770175; email email@example.com
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