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Roundup Bulletin Number 27 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
September 07, 2011
Opening of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament
officially opened the 4th Session of the 7th Parliament
of Zimbabwe on Tuesday 6 September 2011 and outlined some policies
and draft legislation that he said would come before parliament
in this session.
The President mentioned
20 Bills in total which he said would be brought before Parliament
during the Fourth Session. They are as follows;
2. Referendums Amendment Bill
3. Zimbabwe Income Tax Amendment Bill
4. Exploration Corporation Bill
5. Zimbabwe Border Post Authority Bill
6. Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill
7. Micro Finance Bill
8. Women’s Council Bill
9. Securities Amendment Bill
10. RBZ Debt Restructuring Bill
11. NRZ Amendment Bill
12. Land Developers Bill
13. State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill
14. Older Persons Bill
15. GMO Biotechnology Bill
16. Public Health Amendment Bill
17. Food Control Bill
Conventions, and Protocols
1. Convention on the
Rights of Persons with disabilities
2. Domestication of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking in Persons
3. Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Treaty
4. The Great Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area Treaty
5. The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area Treaty
6. SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses
in our Parliamentary Roundup
Bulletin No. 24, of the 24 Bills that the President mentioned
in his Speech when he officially opened the 3rd Session, only 7
of them were brought before parliament. Some of those which were
not brought before parliament were mentioned again in his Speech
yesterday. However, there was no mention on quite a number of Bills
that were supposed to have been introduced in parliament in the
3rd session, which include the following;
1. Mines and Minerals
2. Environmental Management Amendment Bill
3. Zimbabwe Examinations and Qualifications Authority Bill
4. Schools Examinations Council Amendment Bill
5. Indigenous Languages Bill
6. Medical Aid Societies Bill
7. Media Practioners Bill
8. International Agreements Bill
It is not clear therefore
whether or not the above-mentioned bills will be part of legislation
that will come before parliament during the life of the fourth session.
Other Major Highlights
of President Mugabe’s Speech:
Political Agreement (GPA)
said the inclusive
government had made strides in implementing the GPA as evidenced
by the appointment of independent commissions, the most recent being
the appointment of the Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday 1
September 2011. He also informed the House that the GPA Negotiators
were currently seized with the crafting of an election roadmap.
said the Constitution-making
process has reached the drafting stage and once the process
was completed, a referendums bill will be introduced in parliament.
President Mugabe noted
that the economy was on a positive upward trend. Policies to revive
the economy will be anchored on the Medium Term Plan (MTP) which
was recently launched by government.
He singled out the agricultural
sector as the leading contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
at 33, 9 %. The President informed the House that due to an extended
mid-season dry spell in the 2010/2011 agricultural season, many
households in Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Masvingo and
Manicaland Provinces were left exposed to food deficits. Government,
through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was expeditiously moving
maize to the affected areas.
Government has stepped up efforts to plug leakages and enhance accountability
in the mining sector. Government was also in the process of establishing
a Mineral Exploration Company which will serve as a vehicle to spearhead
exploration of the country’s mineral resources. President
Mugabe informed Parliament that government was in the process of
crafting a Diamond Mining Policy and a Diamond Bill in order to
provide a framework for the efficient and effective operation of
the diamond mining sector. He also noted that the resuscitation
of the former ZISCO STEEL, now ZIMSTEEL, was a positive development
which will contribute to the revival of the manufacturing sector.
Transport Sector The President said this sector was plagued by many
challenges as evidenced by the grounding of the national airline,
Air Zimbabwe. He said government was frantically working out short
to medium-term measures to bail-out the national airline.
President Mugabe pointed
out that government was concerned by frequent power cuts and their
“disruptive effects on social and economic activities”.
As a long term solution, government was working on the expansion
of power generation capacity at Hwange Thermal Power Station and
Kariba Power Station. In tandem with this programme, government
would embark on the construction of new power stations.
Government was currently
engaged in efforts to rebrand the tourism sector under the theme,
“Zimbabwe – A World of Wonders” which was being
launched in various tourist source markets.
and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Sector
This sector was said
to be hampered by lack of appropriate infrastructure and technologies.
Thus the President told parliament that new sites for India-Zimbabwe
Common Facilities Centre will be established around the country
in order to boost access to modern technologies by SMEs.
and Skills Audit
On the civil service
job audit regarding “ghost workers”, the President said
the Public service Commission (PSC) was in the process of verifying
areas of presumed irregularities with a view to taking corrective
The President said government
was in the process of implementing a pilot project under which juvenile
offenders for non-serious offences can be diverted from the criminal
justice system and be dealt with through a less formal system. Government
was seriously considering the possibility of introducing an open
prison system for local female offenders.
The National Youth Policy
was being reviewed in order to align it with latest developments
in country, regional and international fora. Parliament was also
told that government was in the process of revising the National
Youth Service Programme “to impart to the youth attributes
that include the virtues of tolerance, patriotism and volunteerism”.
Healing and Reconciliation
also took the opportunity to urge Members of Parliament to preach
the message of national
healing and reconciliation and to shun violence in all its manifestations.
In order to facilitate
continuity in the work of portfolio committees, The Speaker announced
that committees of the previous session would be retained and continue
with their work of the previous session until such a time new committees
were formally announced for the current session. In terms of parliamentary
procedures, portfolio committees are announced at the beginning
of each session. The process of constituting new committees usually
takes a lot of time before the committees are finally announced
in the House by the Speaker. Thus the decision by the Speaker to
allow committees of the previous session to continue with their
work is an attempt to circumvent the unnecessary delays that are
usually experienced in appointing new committees at the beginning
of a parliamentary session.
to 20 September 2011.
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