Back to Index
Parliament adjourns once again - Bill Watch 40/2011
September 26, 2011
The House of
Assembly has adjourned until Tuesday 4th October
The Senate has
adjourned until Tuesday 11th October
Adjourns Once Again
Why the adjournment?
The justification given for the unscheduled adjournment to October
is that essential Parliamentary stenographers have been diverted
to COPAC for this week to assist in the completion of COPAC’s
National Report on the outreach process. It is astonishing that
MPs and Parliament
have been inconvenienced in this way. COPAC separated its funding
out from Parliament and has a lavish amount of funding both from
the fiscus and from donors. It could have hired stenographers. Parliamentary
running costs are considerable even when it is not sitting. These
continual adjournments cost the tax payer money. Also the voters
expect more of their legislators – very little Parliamentary
business has been done over the past three years.
sat on the afternoons of Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st and Thursday
22nd September. The Senate’s sittings were brief, dropping
to only 20 minutes on Thursday. The House of Assembly put in longer
hours: 2 hours 35 minutes on Tuesday, 2 hours 41 minutes on Wednesday,
1 hour 50 minutes on Thursday. The House of Assembly then adjourned
for 10 days and the Senate for 17 days.
House of Assembly
of Industry and Commerce gave notice of a motion to restore this
Bill to the Order Paper at the stage reached last Session, i.e.,
cleared by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and awaiting Second
A motion to
restore this Bill was expected, but notice of such a motion from
the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs has not yet been lodged.
Again, a motion
to restore this Bill was expected, but notice from the Minister
of Justice and Legal Affairs has not yet been lodged.
- the debate
on the motion of thanks to the President for his speech opening
the Session commenced
- a condolence
motion on the death of General Solomon Mujuru was proposed and
seconded, but the debate on the motion was aborted because the
House was obliged to adjourn for lack of a quorum [a quorum is
25 members, and there were only 22 present]; in terms of Standing
Orders the motion then lapsed. This extraordinary lack of respect
for the memory of a major national figure is inexcusable –
the motion was prominently on the Order Paper distributed to all
MPs before the sitting, and both proposer and seconder delivered
their speeches. Hon Bhasikiti, the proposer, has given notice
that he will ask the House to restore the condolence motion to
the Order Paper.
- a motion
seeking the appointment of a Parliamentary committee to investigate
the “Asiagate” soccer match-fixing scandal was proposed
and seconded, but the debated was adjourned.
No written questions
appeared on the Order Paper. Poor attendance by Ministers marred
Questions without Notice and drew adverse comment from a backbencher,
Hon Kanzama of ZANU-PF. The few Ministers present included:
Housing and Social Amenities Minister Mutsekwa, who answered several
questions about housing problems and said cheaper innovative technologies
for new housing were being considered.
- Public Works
Minister Gabbuza, who pleaded lack of funds when asked about his
Ministry’s failure to maintain Government buildings.
and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Matinenga, who, when asked
about constituency development funds [CDFs], confirmed that the
Ministry of Finance had not released any money for CDFs since
the beginning of 2011. He said Government income was going to
higher priorities, like civil servants salaries, clinics and hospitals,
leaving nothing to spare for CDFs.
- Deputy Minister
of Education Dokora, who said school curricula were undergoing
a periodical review. Pleading the sub judice rule, he declined
to be drawn on the effect on Anglican Church schools of recent
evictions from Anglican Church property at the behest of the breakaway
Mr Gonese gave
notice of a motion to restore his Private Member’s Public
Order and Security Amendment Bill to the Senate’s agenda at
the stage reached in the last Session.
started debating the traditional motion of thanks to the President
for his speech opening the present Session on 6th September.
On the House
of Assembly Agenda for 4th October
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill
Agreements: The Minister of Industry and Commerce has given notice
of his intention to seek approval of several international agreements
signed by Zimbabwe:
- 2009 Interim
Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Eastern and
Coffee Agreement of 2007
- Second Revised
Cotonou Agreement between the EU and ACP States
- Trade Agreement
awaiting debate include:
motion on death
of late Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro
to restore uncompleted Third Session motions to the Order Paper,
on  unconstitutional statements by Service Chiefs,  the
Mines and Energy Portfolio Committee’s report on Shabani-Mashava
Mines,  the Local Government Portfolio Committee’s report
on local authority service delivery in Harare, Chitungwiza and
- Motion to
restore General Mujuru condolence motion to the Order Paper following
last week’s lapsing for want of a quorum.
Question Time - Wednesday Thirteen Questions with Notice are listed,
- for the Minister
of Finance, questions on soiled bank notes; exploitation of bank
customers by high charges and low interest rates; retailers’
practice of giving change in kind instead of coins
- for the Minister
of State Security, to explain the full-time employment in the
Central Intelligence Organisation of three named individuals who
are members of ZANU-PF’s Central Committee
- for the Minister
of Mines and Mining Development, to explain the absence of a Diamond
Mining Law and the secrecy surrounding the mining companies operating
in the Chiadzwa
Senate Agenda for 11th October
There are only
two items: the debate on the President’s speech, and Mr Gonese’s
motion to restore his POSA Amendment Bill to the Order Paper. Whether
the POSA motion will be passed is uncertain, given the unenthusiastic
reception accorded to Mr Gonese’s Second Reading speech on
2nd August and Minister Chinamasa’s unsuccessful efforts the
following day to get Mr Gonese to withdraw his Bill on the basis,
since disputed by MDC-T, that continued discussion might prejudice
the ongoing GPA
Minister’s Question Time
This was to
have been inaugurated in both Houses on 29th September but will
not now take place because of the adjournment of both Houses. It
is not on the Order Paper so far for either House when they reconvene.
Expulsion from House or Assembly: Tracy Mutinhiri
received written notice from ZANU-PF that as a result of Dr Mutinhiri’s
expulsion from the party she no longer represents its interests
in Parliament. This means automatic forfeiture of her seat. The
Speaker made no announcement to the House last week. When the Speaker
confirms the vacancy, he is likely to do so with effect from the
date he received the party’s notice; that is what was done
in 2009 when the then MDC-M disowned three expelled MPs.
by Parliament awaiting gazetting as Acts
- Older Persons
Bill [gazetted 9th September]
Authority Act brought into force SI 111A/2011 brought the Energy
Regulatory Authority Act (Act 3/2011) into force on 22nd September.
[electronic versions NOT available]
Gazette of 23rd September contained four SIs applicable to Bulawayo
only: shop licence fees [SI 112], dog licensing fees [SI 113], supplementary
charges [SI 114] and rents [SI 115].
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.