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budget bills in Parliament this week - Bill Watch 34/2012
July 23, 2012
will continue sitting on Tuesday 24th July
of Fifth Session of Parliament Postponed
Fourth Parliamentary Session has had to be extended to allow both
Houses to sit this week to deal with the follow-up to last Wednesday’s
Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review Statement
by the Minister of Finance [see below]. Accordingly, the ceremony
to open the Fifth Session, which had been scheduled for tomorrow,
24th July, has been postponed to a date still to be announced.
up in Parliament This Week
House of Assembly
On Tuesday 24th
July the House will deal with the follow-up to the Fiscal Policy
Review Statement, as follows:
- debate on
of the Amended Estimates of Expenditure
of the Appropriation (2012) Amendment Bill to give effect to the
amended Estimates of Expenditure
of the Finance Bill to give effect to taxation law changes proposed
by the Minister of Finance.
As the House
has already approved a motion allowing fast-tracking of the Bills
and a late evening sitting, completion on Tuesday may be feasible.
Once passed, the two Bills will be transmitted to the Senate. [Copies
of both Bills are available from email@example.com]
Estimates of Expenditure do not require Senate approval, so they
will not be transmitted to the Senate.
of Finance Bill
The Bill amends
the Income Tax Act, the VAT Act, the Customs and Excise Act, the
Revenue Authority Act and the Grain Marketing Board Act. Its provisions
cover enforcement and administration of tax laws, but do not change
tax or duty rates; they are designed to tighten up on collection
of taxes, mining royalties, etc. by providing for:
powers for ZIMRA to enter premises, question individuals and demand
production of documents
- a ZIMRA
presence on mining locations
- an increase
in the size of the ZIMRA Board to enhance its expertise
of the use of fiscalised cash registers for VAT purposes
rates, rebates and suspensions of taxes, royalties and duties will
be enacted by statutory instruments not yet gazetted. The Minister
said in his Statement last week that these will be gazetted soon
and come into effect from 1st August.
to the Grain Marketing Act is to protect the Grain Marketing Board
[GMB] from attachment and sale in execution of GMB property to satisfy
court judgments obtained by GMB creditors for unpaid debts. This
is to be done by applying the State Liabilities Act to legal proceedings
against the GMB, as was done in 2010 to protect Reserve Bank property.
[See further under Government Gazette, below.]
will be waiting to receive the Finance Bill and the Appropriation
(2012) Amendment Bill as soon as they are passed by the House of
Assembly. Whether it will be able to deal with them on Tuesday –
or will have to wait until Wednesday – depends on how quickly
the House disposes of the Bills.
As the Appropriation
(2012) Amendment Bill is a “money bill” the Senate has
no power to amend it, but is permitted to make recommendations for
amendments for the consideration of the House of Assembly. Any such
recommendations must be considered by the House, and either accepted
or rejected; and recommendations accepted by the House will be incorporated
in the Bill, which will then be submitted to the President for his
assent without having to be referred back to the Senate.
The main unfinished
business is discussion and adoption or otherwise of the PLC’s
seventeen adverse reports on statutory instruments.
SA’s Dlamini-Zuma New AU Commission Chair
AU Heads of
State and Government meeting in Addis Ababa on 19th July elected
South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
as the Chairperson of the AU Commission, which is the Secretariat
of the AU. Erastus Mwencha from Kenya was re-elected as Deputy Chairperson.
Six of eight
other vacant positions on the ten-member Commission were also filled;
the successful candidates were Mr Ramtane Lamamra from Algeria (Peace
and Security), Ms Aisha Abdullah from Nigeria (Political Affairs),
Ms Elham Mahmoud from Egypt (Infrastructure and Economy), Mr Mustapha
Kaloko from Sierra Leone (Social Affairs), Ms Fatima Acyl from Chad
(Trade and Industry) and Ms Rhoda Tumusiime from Uganda (Rural Economy
and Agriculture). This left two positions unfilled: Commissioner
for Human Resources, Science and Technology and Commissioner for
Economic Affairs. The Summit decided that the elections for these
positions would be carried over to its next meeting in January 2013.
The Summit spent
much time on and was more successful in dealing with the election
of office holders than in coming up with answers to the imminent
war between Sudan and South Sudan, the eruptions in the Eastern
DRC, the takeover of a large portion of Mali by non-government forces
and the resulting displacements of hundreds of thousands of people,
the threat to peace and security posed by the fundamentalist Islamic
terror groups in northern west Africa.
and awaiting Presidential assent and gazetting as Acts
and awaiting presentation in House of Assembly
(2012) Amendment Bill
- Finance Bill
Bill being printed
for presentation [not yet available]
Bill [the page proofs of this important Bill were delivered to the
drafter for checking on 20th July]
Gazette of 20th July
Powers regulations – legal actions against Grain Marketing
contains regulations, effective from today, 20th July, made by the
President under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act
which are essential reading for creditors of the Grain Marketing
Board [GMB] and their legal practitioners. The object of this temporary
measure is to protect the GMB’s assets from attachment and
sale in execution by creditors pending the enactment into law of
the Finance Bill [see above]. The regulations seek to do this by
making the State Liabilities Act applicable to legal proceedings
against the GMB, including proceedings that were determined on 8th
June 2012. Clause 11 of the Finance Bill contains a similar, but
permanent and more comprehensive, provision.
contains the Broadcasting Services (Notice to Appear in Court) Regulations.
The regulations set out a Notice to Appear in Court form [Form BS1],
to be served by a ZBC licence inspector on an unlicensed listener.
The form – which is not a model of clarity – requires
the accused listener to appear in court to face a charge of unlicensed
possession of a receiver/s, but allows for payment of an admission
of guilt deposit fine as a means of avoiding a court appearance.
There are three
sets of by-laws for Bindura Municipal Council: refuse removal [SI
122/2012], cemeteries [SI 123/2012] and anti-litter [SI 124/2012].
notifies the appointment by the Minister of Labour and Social Services,
under the Disabled Persons Act, of fourteen persons to serve as
members of the National Disability Board for a 5-year term of office
until 21st February 2017.
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