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Parliamentary Monitor: Issue 9
Parliamentary Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
October 18, 2011

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Zanu PF blocks POSA Amendment

Zanu PF senators threw spanners into works, using a technicality to stall debate on the amendment of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Innocent Gonese (MDC-T) had moved a procedural motion seeking that the Public Order and Security Amendment Bill be restored to the Order Paper at the same stage that it had reached before the end of the last session of Parly.

Gonese had been pushing for the amendment to the act through a private member’s bill, meaning that it is not on the executive which has proposed changes to the act. “Hon. senators we recall that we had a debate on this Bill on the 2nd of August after which the debate was adjourned to the 3rd of August. On the 3rd of August the debate was further adjourned to the 30th of August, at that time Madam President there was an understanding that the matter was going to be discussed at the Negotiators Forum. However, it has turned out that there is no movement or any progress in that regard and as a result Madam President, it will be appropriate for all Hon. Senators to have an opportunity to debate the merits of the Bill.”

Gonese said it was important for the senators to debate the Bill and “give their thoughts on this piece of legislation.” Zanu PF senator Kabayanjiri then stood up saying: “I think we should be given some more time to continue with our research. However before we go back to do some research, we had already been properly advised that we, as senators cannot continue to debate this motion in this House because it had been referred to our Principals, who are the ones who agreed to do more research on this Bill.”

Senator Kabayanjiri further alleged that it was not only Zimbabwe using such a piece of legislation.

He was supported by Senator Mumvuri who said: “I also rise to complement what Senator Kabayanjiri has said because here we are dealing with a motion which was brought in by a private member, not government or a minister. At the end of it, the other side felt that this matter cannot be competently handled by us here since it is a product of the GPA.” This was a clear sign that Zanu PF legislators were buying time or stalling debate on the amendments as the MDC-T is also represented in the GPA. It is interesting to note that the division in the house could be a sign of who stands to benefit or lose out should there be amendments to POSA.

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