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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 36 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
October 30, 2012


President Robert Mugabe officially opened the 5th and last Session of the 7th Parliament yesterday and outlined the legislative agenda of Parliament leading up to the harmonized elections, presumably in March 2013.

Highlights of the President’s speech

General Policy Issues

In his speech marking the official opening of the 5th Session Parliament, the President hinted that the Session would be shorter than expected due to the impending elections which he said would be conducted in March 2013 under the new Constitution.

He acknowledged and commended the mutual collaboration between the governing parties despite their political differences. The President also called upon the nation to shun all forms of violence especially now as the country was edging towards elections.

President Mugabe also expressed his appreciation to COPAC Executive Committee and the Management Committee for producing a Draft Constitution despite the fact that it took longer than expected. He described the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference as a "major success". He called upon COPAC to expeditiously consolidate the Draft taking into consideration views expressed by stakeholders at the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference. The President said the consolidated Draft would be submitted to the Principals who will make necessary arrangements for the way-forward culminating in the holding of elections. In effect, what the President said was that the constitutional process was now in the hands of the Principals.

The President noted that the country will be co-hosting the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly with Zambia next year in Victoria Falls and Livingstone, respectively. He said the event will provide "fresh impetus" to the growth and development of the tourism industry as well as putting the country on the world tourism map.

President Mugabe also noted that some parts of the country were facing severe drought and food deficiency. He assured Parliament that government would ensure that the affected areas would receive government assistance. He called upon relevant government departments to expedite the process of moving grain from surplus areas to needy areas as matter of priority. He also urged government to prioritize the agricultural sector both in terms of adequate resources and proper planning. Government will also pay particular attention to the dire situation regarding the livestock sector.

The President revealed to Parliament that government will soon formulate a policy to "decriminalize" the activities of illegal panners so as to allow them to operate in a legal and properly managed manner.

Regarding the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, President Mugabe indicated that government was still searching for a strategic partner.

On the indigenization and empowerment policy, he expressed satisfaction that the policy has proceeded well, especially in the mining sector. He said most of the mining companies have complied with the policy resulting in the launch of 5 Community Share Ownership schemes across the country.

Legislation Expected in Parliament

President mentioned the following Bills as some of the legislation set for introduction in Parliament during life of this Session;

  • Attorney General’s Amendment Bill
  • Constituency Development Fund Bill
  • Zimbabwe Investment Authority Bill
  • Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill
  • Diamond Bill
  • Civil Aviation Amendment Bill
  • State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill
  • Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill

Bills which were not mentioned in the President’s speech but likely to be passed by Parliament are as follows;

  • Referendum Amendment Bill
  • New Constitution Bill

Adjournment of Parliament

Both Houses adjourned to 15 November 2012, a day which will coincide with the 2013 National Budget Presentation by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Tendai Biti.

Forthcoming Events

Pre-Budget Seminar

Parliament will be conducting a pre-Budget Seminar for all Members of Parliament on 1-4 November 2012. The seminar is an annual activity meant to enhance the contribution of members on the process of budget formulation and prioritization ahead of the presentation of the 2013 national budget statement on the 15th of November 2012.

Visit the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust fact sheet

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