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in government and parliamentary business - Bill Watch 42/2012
September 10, 2012
have Adjourned until Tuesday 9th October
Yet for Ceremonial Opening of Next Parliamentary Session
in Government and Parliamentary Business
Delay in Opening
of Parliament - Parliament
had earmarked 24th July for the opening of the next [Fifth and final]
Session of this Parliament. But the President has not issued the
necessary proclamations for proroguing and opening Parliament.
Human Rights Commission Bill and Electoral
Amendment Bill stalled - More than seven weeks after these two
urgent Bills were passed by Parliament on 19th September, they have
still not been gazetted as Acts.
Bill vetoed by Cabinet - The Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs, Hon Eric Matinenga, has been trying to get his proposals
for a new Referendums Bill through Cabinet for over a year now,
but has confirmed it has still been stalled in Cabinet.
Constitution - This does not look as if it is heading for a speedy
- The court-ordered deadline for their proclamation was extended
to 1st October, but still no sign of any preparations.
in the Wind
Are these delays
indications that we are heading for a General Election? Otherwise
why the lack of action Who benefits? If President Mugabe is considering
repudiating the GPA and calling a snap election under the Lancaster
this delay would make some sense – because it would be to
ZANU-PF’s advantage for an election to be conducted under
the same rules as the 2008 election.
on Tuesday 4th September
met on Tuesday 4th September. They then adjourned until Tuesday
9th October, although Parliament expects that before this date,
the President will end the present session and summon Parliament
for the opening of the next session.
The Senate sat
for only 16 minutes. Following opening prayers the President of
the Senate made announcements, after which the Senate adjourned.
Although there was a long list of adverse Parliamentary Legal Committee
[PLC] reports on the agenda, there was no debate on any of them.
This was no doubt because the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
has agreed to see that the statutory instruments concerned are amended
and the PLC have said that if this were done they would withdraw
the adverse reports [see Bill
Watch 41/2012 of 3rd September].
The House of
Assembly, by contrast, sat for over three hours, until 5.19 pm.
of Finance gave notice that he intends to present the Securities
Bill [gazetted on 10th August] when Parliament resumes. [Bill available
Two take note
motions were considered:
Report on the
October 2011 session of the Pan African Parliament [PAP] This report
was presented by Hon Matamisa, one of the five Zimbabwean Parliamentarians
who attended the session. It included information on the:
- African Court
of Justice and Human Rights 
The PAP adopted
a resolution urging African governments ”to materialise their
political will for an independent continental court by signing the
Protocol creating the African Court of Justice and Human Rights”.
This court is to be created by merging the current African Court
of Human and People’s Rights, based in Arusha, Tanzania, and
the AU’s African Court of Justice, based in Addis Ababa. The
new court will have jurisdiction in criminal cases. [All three court
protocols available from firstname.lastname@example.org] [Comment: This sentiments
behind this resolution differ markedly from those underlying the
SADC Summit’s recent confirmation of a decision to strip the
SADC Tribunal of its human rights jurisdiction.]
Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance 
The PAP President
urged PAP members to continue lobbying their Parliaments for the
ratification and domestication of the African Charter on Democracy,
Elections and Good Governance.
has not signed either the new African Court of Justice and Human
Right protocol or the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and
Good Governance. It has signed, but not ratified, the protocols
for the African Court of Justice and the African Court of Human
and People’s Rights.
Report on the
Agreement signed between the Government and Essar Holdings re New
Zimbabwe Steel Ltd This report was presented by the chairperson
of the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, Hon Mutomba
[ZANU-PF]. The portfolio committee had investigated the matter because
of concerns over the failure to implement the revival of the ZISCO
steelworks and the resultant imperilling of the jobs of 3000 workers.
The report criticised aspects of the agreement it considered “grossly
unfair” to Zimbabwe, and the way the deal was handled by the
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Professor Welshman Ncube, and
his Ministry. Particularly slated was the Ministry’s failure
to consult the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development when that
Ministry’s co-operation was vital to the deal’s implementation.
The report’s recommendations include reviewing the agreement,
and proper consultation before future such agreements are concluded.
[Report available from email@example.com]
MPs from both
ZANU-PF and MDC-T contributed to the ensuing debate, criticizing
the deal for ”just giving away” valuable national assets
and alleging it was tainted by corruption. Debate was incomplete
when the House adjourned.
Ncube’s MDC party has issued a strong statement defending
him against the allegations and attributing the onslaught to political
opportunism The statement declares: “We believe that parliamentary
oversight should not be used as a forum for displaying petty jealousies.
Parliamentary privilege should not be abused to make unsubstantiated
accusations against our country’s guests such as Essar. When
Hon. Madzimure says that money exchanged hands corruptly, one would
expect the honourable member to avail that same information to the
law enforcement agencies.” And Professor Ncube himself has
announced that, on the same day the committee’s report was
discussed in the House, he took the agreement back to Cabinet, which
approved it and ordered its implementation.
SADC Organ Troika Summit [4th September]
The Troika of
the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met
in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 4th September. The meeting was primarily
to receive Mozambique President Guebuza’s report on the crisis
in the Eastern DRC, but the Zimbabwe and Madagascar situations were
also discussed. Tanzanian President Jekaya Kikwete took over the
Troika chair at the August SADC Summit in Maputo;
the other Troika members are President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia
and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. President Zuma of South
Africa, was unable to be present but was represented by his Minister
of Defence. After the meeting President Kikwete was quoted as saying
"We wish to see free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. He announced
that Zimbabwe would be discussed at a further Organ Troika Summit
on 7th and 8th October.
Facilitation team visit
facilitation team had visited Harare the week before the Dar es
Salaam Troika meeting and talked to the three party negotiating
teams, separately on the 28th August and in a joint meeting on the
29th. The MDC negotiators told the facilitators that there was a
deadlock between them and ZANU-PF over the constitution and were
requested to confirm this in writing to President Mugabe. ZANU-PF
said they were waiting for a principals meeting. [The principals
have still not met since the declaration of the deadlock. Perhaps
the announcement of the impending Organ Troika summit in early October
will encourage the principals to meet and achieve a resolution of
the present deadlock.]
of Bills as at 7th September 2012
unless otherwise stated]
awaiting Presidential assent and gazetting as Acts
and awaiting presentation in Parliament
Bill [gazetted on 31st August] [not yet available]
Amendment Bill [gazetted on 10th August 2012] The Minister of
Finance will present this Bill when the House next sits.
Gazette of 7th September
No Acts, Bills
or statutory instruments were gazetted.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
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