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Parliament to resume sitting Tuesday 28th February - Bill Watch
February 26, 2012
Houses will resume sitting this coming Tuesday 28th February
sittings of the Senate and House of Assembly will be their first
since they adjourned in mid-December. Parliamentarians have, however,
been at work in Senate thematic committees and House of Assembly
portfolio committees since 16th January. The Clerk has said that
since their sitting allowances have been resumed more MPs are turning
up at these meetings.
Order Papers for Tuesday
There are three
of the Public
Order and Security [POSA] Amendment Bill
Private Member’s Bill was passed by the House of Assembly
without opposition and transmitted to the Senate in December 2010.
Debate in the Senate started on the 3rd August 2011 but was adjourned
after ZANU-PF objections. The Bill then lapsed at the end of the
last Parliamentary session on 5th September. On 11th October Mr
Gonese proposed his motion that the Bill be restored to the Order
Paper and several ZANU-PF Senators spoke against the motion. Debate
was adjourned to allow the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs,
Senator Chinamasa, to explain whether amending POSA
was still being separately considered by the GPA negotiators.
As Mr Chinamasa will be out of the country until 20th March, attending
the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, it remains to be
seen if the Bill will remain stalled until his return.
by MDC-T’s Senator Komichi’s condemns hate speech and
abuse of freedom of speech by the “partisan media” and
calls for the relevant thematic committee to investigate these “unethical
and unprofessional activities” and report its findings expeditiously.
This motion was introduced last year but has not yet been debated.
A new motion
asking the Senate to take note of a report on the Conference of
Speakers of Parliaments of the African Parliamentary Union held
in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 29th November to 3rd December
for reply by Ministers
Only two questions
are listed for reply on Thursday, both for the Minister of Constitutional
and Parliamentary Affairs:
Lack of Community
Development Funds for Senators - The question is why elected Senators
have not been allocated money under the Community Development Fund
scheme in spite of the fact that “they are elected officials
and there is a lot expected of them from the electorate”.
Whips - The
question is why there are only Deputy Whips in the Senate when the
House of Assembly has Chief Whips.
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill - This Bill,
presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, is the only
Bill ready for debate. It has already had its First Reading and
been given a non-adverse report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
It now awaits its Second Reading stage, which will start with
a speech by the Minister explaining the principles of the Bill,
followed by contributions from members. If the Second Reading
is approved the Bill will move on to the Committee Stage when
it will be scrutinised clause by clause and amendments may be
- Two Bills
ready for presentation - Two other Bills are ready for First Reading,
although not listed for Tuesday. These are the Urban
Councils Amendment Bill [this is a Private Member’s
Bill introduced by Hon Matimba, MDC-T; he got the House’s
permission for this Bill in October last year, following which
it was officially gazetted and is now ready for Hon Matimba to
present for its First Reading] and the Older
Persons Bill [to be presented for its First Reading by the
Minister of Labour and Social Services].
There are 7
motions carried forward from last year. These have already been
partly debated and then adjourned for further contributions from
MPs or winding-up by the proposers. They include motions:
- calling for
the enactment of revised Indigenisation Regulations;
political utterances by service chiefs;
- on the report
on Shabani-Mashava mines issued by the Mines and Energy Portfolio
Committee’s. [available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
There are three
- on the Ministry
of Local Government Budget performance This is motion for the
House to take note of a portfolio committee report on the Ministry’s
budget performance for the third quarter of 2011.
- on the Public
Service audit The motion demands that Government tables the payroll
audit and provides a road map to deal with the unlawfully employed
workers appearing on the payroll within 14 days from adoption
of the motion.
- on Air Zimbabwe
The motion calls on the Government to put the current fleet out
to pasture and privatise the airline.
for reply by Ministers
There are 18
questions listed for Wednesday afternoon, most carried over from
asks what the Ministry has done to ensure that it achieves Millennium
Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 which relate to reducing child mortality,
improving maternal health and combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and
other diseases and whether these goals can be met by the 2015 deadline.
for Minister Sekeramayi is why three named full-time CIO employees
are allowed to hold office as members of the ZANU-PF central committee.
of funds to Ministries
for the Minister of Finance is how Ministries which receive budget
transfers late in November or December can utilise the budget allocation
meaningfully before the expiry of the financial year at the end
of December, when unused funds have to be surrendered to Treasury.
88th Birthday Interviews
has given several interviews both for radio and the press –
to mark the occasion of his birthday. Of significance for the future
of the inclusive government were two remarks on:
just must take place with or without a new constitution. definitely
I will exercise my presidential powers in accordance with the main
principal law, the Constitution of our country and announce when
the election will take place. And I will do this.”
Mr Mugabe said
ZANU-PF might be forced to reject SA President Zuma as SADC-appointed
facilitator: "We can reject Zuma very easily". He also
criticized statements by Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for President
Zuma’s facilitation team, implying conduct exhibiting “bias
towards another party in the coalition government".
Both SADC Executive
Secretary Salomao and Ms Zulu have commented on the President’s
remarks on President Zuma’s position. Mr Salomao confirmed
that Mr Zuma remains the mediator and is not a party mediator but
a SADC mediator appointed by the SADC summit, and that any complaints
should therefore be directed to SADC. He knew of no such complaints.
Ms Zulu said President Zuma and his facilitation team were mandated
by SADC and report to SADC. “We have said it to all the principals
… that if they have any problems with us, they should follow
proper procedures to register them.”
On 17th February
the European Union:
the asset freezes and visa bans on 51 individuals and 20 organisations
previously listed, leaving 112 individuals and 11 organisations
still subject to these freezes and bans
the visa bans on Foreign Affairs Minister Mumbengegwi and Justice
and Legal Affairs Minister Chinamasa to enable them to travel
to Brussels as members of Zimbabwe's re-engagement team with the
- extend its
restrictions on development assistance for only six months instead
of a full year.
The Head of
the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Sr Aldo Dell’Ariccia said this
had been done “in recognition of progress made and to encourage
further reforms”, and that achievements made “deserved
a gesture”. He cited progress on crafting the new constitution
and recent efforts to free up local media and stop hate speech.
is still much to be done – for instance, the airwaves are
still to be opened up and the Human Rights Commission has not been
made operational nearly 2 years after its members were appointed.
It is to be hoped that the EU’s gesture will indeed encourage
of Bills as at 24th February 2012
since Bill Watch 2/2012 of 29th January]
by Parliament awaiting Presidential assent/gazetting as Acts
- Small Enterprises
Development Corporation [SEDCO] Amendment Bill [sent to President’s
Office by Parliament on 30th September 2011]
Protection Corporation Bill [sent to President’s Office
by Parliament on 8th December 2011]
Second Reading in the House of Assembly
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill
and awaiting presentation [these can be introduced in either House]
- Older Persons
Bill [gazetted 9th September]
- Urban Councils
Amendment Bill [as gazetted by Parliament on 16th December]
from previous session awaiting restoration to Senate Order Paper
- Public Order
and Security [POSA] Amendment Bill [Private Member’s Bill]
from previous session awaiting restoration to House of Assembly
Instruments and Government Gazette
that electronic versions are not available from Veritas]
No Bills or
Acts were gazetted this week.
SI 22/2012 grants 3-year suspensions of duty on goods for three
named mining locations. SI 22A/2012 restores clothing and shoes
to the list of goods covered by the $300 rebate on travellers’
from VAT SI 21/2012 makes ethanol fuel exempt from VAT.
agreement SI 23/2012 sets out a collective bargaining agreement,
signed on 3rd December 2011, for Harare municipal workers covering
basic salary increases with effect from 1st January 2011.
licences – application deadlines extended GN 42/2011 extends
the deadline for applications for free-to-air local commercial radio
broadcasting licences to 29th February 2012 [14 are available in
14 different centres]. GN 41/2012 extends the deadline for applications
content distribution broadcasting licences [these cover services
received through satellite transmission].
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