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Summary of Parliamentary proceedings for Tuesday 7 December 2010
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
December 08, 2010
resumed business yesterday, Tuesday 7 December 2010 to consider
urgent business before parliament, namely the 2011
National Budget, presented to the House by the Minister of Finance
on Thursday 25 November 2010. The Senate had to be recalled to sit
earlier than the date to which it been adjourned. The Senate had
abruptly adjourned to 8 February 2011 following disruptions in the
House by MDC-T Senators who were protesting the presence of Governors
in the House, whose re-appointment they said was unconstitutional.
of Assembly Plenary
dominated business in the House
of Assembly yesterday. The Chairman of the Portfolio Committee
on Budget Finance and Investment Promotion, Hon. Paddy Zhanda (ZANU
PF), took the centre stage as he presented the committee’s
report on the 2011 National Budget Proposals. Hon. Zhanda’s
report mainly focused on the macro-economic aspects of the budget.
While his committee commended the Minister of Finance for consulting
widely for the 2011 National Budget, the Committee was not happy
with certain aspects of the budget, namely; inadequate funding to
the agricultural sector, low tax levels for the mining sector and
removal of customs duty on textile and some finished goods. The
committee noted that the latter would lead to the collapse of the
manufacturing sector, which was already reeling under the unfair
competition from cheap imports.
motion requesting the House to set aside budget debate until the
Minister of Finance had addressed the aspects of the budget MPs
were not happy with was dismissed by the Speaker on the basis that
it flouted House procedures. The Speaker ruled that Hon. Zhanda
could not move a motion within another motion and advised him to
introduce a separate motion on the issue. Before accepting the Speaker’s
advice, Hon. Zhanda warned the Minister of Finance that backbenchers
were not going to pass the budget as long as their grievances had
not been addressed. He said backbenchers were tired of rubber-stamping
executive decisions. Thus he called on his fellow backbenchers not
to be intimidated by the whipping system if parliament were to effectively
exercise its powers.
presentation was followed by presentations by Chairpersons of other
portfolio committees, who presented their reports on the budget
as it related to their specific sectors.
It appears the
House exhausted debate on the budget yesterday after extensive debate
by Chairpersons of Committees and backbenchers. The Minister of
Finance will respond today to the issues raised by Members on the
budget. It looks certain therefore that the budget could be passed
either today or tomorrow. It appears the leadership of the 3 parties
would want the budget passed this week despite argument by their
Members to be given adequate time to debate the budget.
copies of all committee reports on the budget presented to parliament
are available at SAPST and can be availed upon request.]
showdown between ZANU PF and MDC-T Senators never materialized.
The Senate business went ahead without any incident despite the
presence of ZANU PF Governors, whose presence in the House MDC-T
Senators objected to last month, leading to the abrupt adjournment
of the Senate to 8 February 2011.
In terms of
Section 111B of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe, the Senate approved 4 international agreements.
on the Establishment of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission
- Loan Agreement
between Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China
relating to Zimbabwe’s 2G and 3G National Network Rollout
Project being implemented by Net One;
for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between
the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Government
of the Republic of South Africa, and;
of Understanding on Cooperation on Water Supply and Wastewater
Management Policy and Technology between the Government of the
Republic of Zimbabwe and Republic of Korea.
of Speaker and President of Senate to Regional Bodies
of the House of Assembly, Hon. Lovemore Moyo was elected Chairperson
of the SADC Parliamentary Forum for the next 2 years.
On the other
hand, the President of the Senate, Hon. Edna Madzongwe was elected
the Deputy President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU)
Executive Committee, representing Southern African region. She will
occupy this position until 2012.
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