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Both Houses resume: Human Rights and Electoral Bills waiting - Bill
March 13, 2012
the Senate and the House of Assembly will sit again on Tuesday 13th
Senate this Week
The Senate has
a very light agenda. Only two motions are listed:
- Motion on
the partisan nature of the media in Zimbabwe – debate will
probably continue on this partly debated motion proposed by Senator
Komichi of MDC-T.
- Motion to
Amendment Bill to the Order Paper – this motion, too,
has been partly debated. As further debate has been postponed
pending a contribution from, Hon. Chinamasa. [It was in his capacity
of ZANU-PF negotiator that he asked for a delay in the debate].
No movement is likely until after he returns to the country at
the end of the week.
- Two questions
for the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs have
been carried forward from the Senate’s last sitting:
Lack of Community
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”.
is why there are only Deputy Whips in the Senate when the House
of Assembly has Chief Whips.
House of Assembly this Week
Amendment Bill and Human
Rights Commission Bill
Top of the House
agenda for Tuesday is the motion by Minister of Defence Emerson
Mnangagwa [in his capacity as Acting Minister of Justice and Legal
Affairs] for the House to restore these important Bills to the Order
Paper at the point reached when they lapsed at the end of the last
session of Parliament on the 5th September last year. But as both
Ministers Mnangagwa and Chinamasa are currently out of the country,
it is not certain the two motions will be dealt with.
If the two Bills
are restored to the Order Paper as proposed:
- The Second
Reading debate on the Human Rights Commission Bill will continue
where it left off on 31st August. The Second Reading stage had
begun – the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick
Chinamasa, who is the Minister responsible for the Bill, had delivered
his speech explaining the purpose and principles of the Bill to
the House and the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice,
Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Douglas
Mwonzora, had presented that committee’s report on the Bill.
So the MPs will now have their chance to debate the principles
of the Bill. Then, if the House approves the Second Reading, the
Bill will be discussed clause by clause in the whole House sitting
as a committee [the Committee Stage – the stage when the
Bill can be amended]. [Note: the Parliamentary Legal Committee
[PLC] had given the Bill a non-adverse report, conditional on
certain amendments being made to the Bill, the Minister and the
PLC had agreed on the form of the amendments and the Minister’s
proposed amendments had been printed on the Order Paper. See Bill
Watch 36/2011 of 9th September 2011.]
- The Electoral
Amendment Bill will also continue where it left off – it
had its First Reading [when the Bill is tabled in the House] on
26th July 2011 and was then referred to the Parliamentary Legal
Committee [PLC]. The House is awaiting presentation of the report
of the PLC on whether or not the Bill is inconsistent with the
Constitution. It has to receive a non-adverse report from the
PLC before the Bill can proceed to the Second Reading stage.
summarised and commented on the Electoral Amendment Bill in Bill
of 15th September 2011; and covered the Human Rights Commission
Bill in Bill Watches 41
of 9th October 2011.
The House is
still waiting for the Minister of Industry and Commerce to start
this Bill’s long-delayed Second Reading stage.
Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act
This is a new
motion. Hon Gonese, seconded by Hon Mushonga, both of MDC-T, will
seek the leave of the House to bring in his Private Member’s
Bill to repeal this notorious provision [see Bill Watch 4/2012 of
calling for the privatisation of Air Zimbabwe has probably been
rendered academic by the Government’s decision, announced
late last week, to take over Air Zimbabwe’s debts and start
a new airline.
Audit Debate on this motion, which calls for this November 2010
audit report to be presented to the House, started two weeks ago
and is set to continue. The Minister of Public Service is expected
to respond before the debate ends.
Also down for
continuation of debate is Hon Musindire’s motion calling for
the replacement of the present indigenisation regulations by revised
regulations addressing “broad-based empowerment programmes”.
There are no
new questions on the Order Paper for Wednesday afternoon. The 11
questions listed have all been carried forward, unanswered, from
previous sittings, some since as far back as October last year.
[Copies of all
these Bills available from email@example.com]
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
Report from Parliamentary Legal Committee
New Bill for
Parliament gazetted and awaiting presentation [it can be introduced
in either House]
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
Human Rights Commission Bill
Gazette of 9th March
agreements: SI 26/2012 [for the brewing and distilling subsector
of the food and allied industries] and SI 27/2012 [for the grading
sector of the tobacco industry].
by-laws: New rents and service charges for the incorporated areas
of three local authorities: SI 28/2012 [Marondera Municipal Council];
SI 29/2012 [Chiredzi Town Council]; SI 30/2012 [Chegutu Municipal
leaders: GN 118/2012, made by the Minister of Local Government,
Rural and Urban Development in terms of the Traditional Leaders
Act, declares certain areas of resettlement land to be under the
authority of Chief Zimunya.
GN 120/2012 is a preliminary notice under the Land Acquisition Act
for the State’s compulsorily acquisition of Kaola Park for
urban development. Under the Act, if the landowner objects, the
expropriation will be subject to confirmation by the Administrative
Court – unlike the procedure used when agricultural land is
acquired for resettlement purposes under the Constitution. And the
Act requires the State to pay “fair and reasonable compensation”
– which must be assessed by the Administrative Court in the
event of dispute over the amount.
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