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Coming up in Parliament this week - Bill Watch 11/2012
Veritas
March 20, 2012

Both Houses of Parliament will sit today, 20th March

Coming up in the Senate this week

The Order Paper has several new motions listed:

  • Drought relief in agricultural region 5
    Senator Mohadi and Senator Chief Ngungumbane will present a motion urging Government to increase the level of relief assistance beyond the current four months cover, extend loan facilities to farmers for livestock production and develop irrigation schemes and rehabilitate existing ones.

Take-note motions on Thematic Committee reports: Two reports [not yet available] are listed for presentation by the committee chairpersons and discussion by Senators:

  • Millennium development goals in education – a report on the provision of education in resettlement areas by the Thematic Committee on MDGs.
  • A.R.T. rollout programmes – a report by the Thematic Committee on HIV/AIDS on Antiretroviral Therapy rollout programmes.

Coming up in the House of Assembly this Week

Bills

Older Persons Bill - First Reading

The Bill will be presented by the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare for its First Reading. This is a complete formality. There is no vote. The Minister hands in the Bill, the Clerk reads out its title, and that constitutes the First Reading of the Bill. The Bill then stands automatically referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee for the PLC ’s report on its compatibility with the Constitution, in particular the Declaration of Rights. Only after a non-adverse report from the PLC can the Bill proceed to the Second Reading stage. [The Bill is designed to provide for the well-being of older persons, who are defined as Zimbabwean citizens 65 or older who are ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe. There will be a Director for Older Persons Affairs, an Older Persons Board and an Older Persons Fund to be used primarily for providing social welfare assistance to destitute or indigent older persons.]

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill

The House is waiting for the Minister of Industry and Commerce to start this Bill’s long-delayed Second Reading stage by presenting his speech justifying the Bill, i.e., explaining its purpose and principles. The Bill provides for the downgrading of the National Incomes and Pricing Commission to a board with much reduced powers and functions. Powers to fix prices and pricing standards and control rentals, incomes and service charges are to be repealed. The new board will be an advisory body tasked with research and monitoring functions. Price control will be implemented by regulations and orders under the Control of Goods Act, as it was before 2007.

Motions

Take note motions on Portfolio Committee reports Debate is due to start, or continue, on three reports:

  • Management of Government vehicles by CMED
    This is a report of the Public Accounts Committee, not yet discussed in the House.
  • National Railways
    This motion will need to be reinstated after lapsing for want of a quorum on 15th March.
  • Willowvale Flats housing project mismanagement
    Further debate is expected, following last week’s contributions.
  • Ministry of Local Government budget performance
    Further debate is expected.

Restoration of lapsed Bills to the Order Paper The Order Paper for Tuesday lists motions to restore three lapsed Bills [for background please refer to Bill Watch 9/2012 of 12th March]:

Proposed Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Mr Gonese is expected to seek the leave of the House to introduce his Bill. ZANU-PF may oppose the motion [see above].

Questions for Ministers

New items listed include questions on:

Chiadzwa diamond field - MPs have asked for: Details of all entities mining at Chiadzwa including the Police, the Prison Service and the Prison Service; an explanation of different production figures given by the Ministry and the Minerals Marketing Corporation; and monthly remittances to the State in the form of taxes, royalties and dividends; information on measures being taken to stop diamonds pilfered from Chiadzwa reaching the black market.

Local Government issues - Questions for the Minister cover: What communities can do about traditional leaders using their positions to compel villagers to take part in ZANU-PF rallies; district administrators who summon village heads to political meetings addressed by Jabulani Sibanda; special interest councillors, and whether it is Government policy that only ZANU-PF members be appointed as such.

Update on Bills

[Copies of all these Bills available from veritas@mango.zw]

Bill awaiting Second Reading in the House of Assembly

  • National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill

Bill awaiting Report from Parliamentary Legal Committee

New Bill for Parliament gazetted and awaiting presentation

  • Older Persons Bill [gazetted 9th September 2011]

Lapsed Bills awaiting restoration to Senate Order Paper

Lapsed Bills awaiting restoration to House of Assembly Order Paper

  • Electoral Amendment Bill
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.

Government Gazette

Statutory Instruments gazetted on 16th March

Collective bargaining agreements: SIs 32/2012 [new wages for kapenta sector of agricultural industry] and 33/2012 [allowances for all sectors of agricultural industry]

Local authority by-laws: SI 31/2012 [new rents and service charges for the incorporated area of Redcliff Municipality].

General Notice of 13th March

Audit Office Commission GN 121A/2012 announces the appointment in terms of the Audit Office Act of members of the Commission for a 3-year term until 12th March 2015: retired High Court judge Justice M.A. Adam; Public Service Commissioner Mrs D. Guti; Comptroller and Auditor-General Mrs M. Chiri and her two deputies, Mr S.T. Mutsau and Ms R. Kujinga.

General Notice of 16th March

Publication of two Acts of Parliament GN 128/2012 records the gazetting of the Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Act and the Deposit Protection Corporation Act [see next Bill Watch for details].

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