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on Acts and Government Gazette - Bill Watch 1/2013
January 15, 2013
Houses of Parliament have Adjourned until Tuesday 5th February
Budget Acts Gazetted
(No. 2) Act and the Appropriation
(2013) Act were gazetted on 28th December and came into force
immediately. All Bills passed by Parliament during 2012 have now
been gazetted as Acts.
list of Acts of 2012 is as follows:
than Acts 4, 5, 6 and 7 for the Ministry of Finance, which come
up every year, only three Acts were the outcome of a whole year’s
Parliamentary work. This is a record low.
Vacancy in House of Assembly – Death of Deputy Minister Seiso
With the death
on 21st December of Seiso Moyo, MDC-T MP for Bulawayo’s Nketa
constituency and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and
Irrigation Development, the number of vacant seats in the House
of Assembly rose to 18 out of a possible full complement of 215.
vacancies are in the 210 constituency seats.
The 196 current
members of the House fall into the following groups:
has been prolonged litigation brought by dissatisfied would-be MPs
for compelling the holding of by-elections. An appeal against Justice
Chiweshe’s order allowing the Government until the end of
March 2013 to call by-elections is now waiting a hearing in the
Supreme Court. By the time a decision is reached it may be too late
to be of any practical value.
Bills already gazetted [all available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
Bill – this Bill was introduced in the House of Assembly on
29th November and immediately referred to the Parliamentary Legal
Committee [PLC]. Further proceedings must wait for the PLC’s
report on the Bill’s consistency or otherwise with the Constitution.
[For summary see Bill
Watch 41/2012 of 4th September 2012]
Income Tax Bill
– this massive Bill was gazetted on 30th November. It has
not yet been introduced and referred to the PLC.
Amendment Bill – this Bill was introduced in the House
of Assembly on 9th October 2012 and referred to the PLC, but lapsed
at the end of the last Session before the PLC had reported on it.
As with any lapsed Bill, the responsible Minister, in this case
the Minister of Finance, can ask the House to restore it to the
Order Paper at the point reached when it lapsed.
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – this Bill,
long ago cleared by the PLC and awaiting the start of its Second
Reading stage, also lapsed at the end of the last Session. The Minister
of Industry and Commerce can request its restoration to the Order
Bill being printed [NOT yet available]
Office Amendment Bill – this Bill was received by Parliament
from the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs late last week and
has been sent to the Government Printer for printing and, in due
Note: The Attorney
General’s Office Act was gazetted in June 2011 but has
never been brought into force. In his speech opening the present
Parliamentary Session the President mentioned this Bill, saying
it would amend provisions in the Attorney General’s Office
Act that potentially infringe upon the independence of that office
as enshrined in section 76 of the current Constitution.
Section 76 concentrates on the Attorney General’s prosecuting
Constitution envisages the Attorney General’s present prosecuting
functions being transferred to an independent National Prosecuting
Authority [NPA] headed by a Prosecutor-General. This would mean
the Attorney-General and his Office would be left with the function
of legal advisors to the Government. ZANU-PF has objected to this
part of the COPAC constitution and it remains one of the “unresolved
issues” presently being discussed.
is the Government persisting with this Bill before the issue of
whether or not to have a National Prosecuting Authority has been
agreed? The MDC would be able to block the Bill’s passage
in the pipeline [copies NOT yet available]
mentioned by Ministers but not yet ready include:
Bill - Both in his Budget Statement in November and since then the
Minister of Finance has talked of his plans for a “plethora”
of amendments to legislation governing the banking sector, to include
provision for mandatory “stress tests” and a Banking
Ombudsman to protect the interests of customers.
Amendment Bill - Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has also made known
his desire to have the Procurement Act amended to improve efficiency
and reduce openings for corruption in the procurement process.
to ensure transparency and accountability in the exploitation of
the country’s diamond fields, and the receipt of Government
revenue from diamond mining by the Ministry of Finance. This is
another project of the Minister of Finance.
Mines and Minerals
Amendment Bill - The Minister of Mines and Mining Development said
last week that Cabinet has approved this long-awaited Bill. He singled
out a provision for landowners to have far greater rights vis-à-vis
prospectors and miners than under the present law. Exactly what
this means will only become clear once the fine print in the Bill
can be examined, but major changes in basic mining law principles
seem to lie ahead.
Gazette 21st December to 11th January
Acts of Parliament
[gazetted 28th December]
- Finance (No.
2) Act (No. 6/2012]
(2013) Act [No. 7/2012]
[See note at
the beginning of this bulletin.]
gazetted on 20th December in a Gazette Extraordinary, made Christmas
Eve, Monday 24th December, a special one-off public holiday, in
addition to the regular public holidays on 22nd, 25th and 26th December.
While there may have been good reason for the declaration, the business
community complained about inconvenience caused by the last-minute
nature of the declaration.
regulations SI 189/2012 provides for the use of a special identity
document to facilitate movement across the Zimbabwe/Zambia border
of Zambezi River Authority personnel. Note that passports will still
permit fees SI 190/2012 specifies new application fees for permits
issued under the Air Services Act.
by-laws SIs 191/2012 and 192/2012 are Masvingo City Council by-laws
dealing with bus-stops and pre-paid parking discs for use in the
CBD. Thoroughfares designated by the Council for pre-paid parking
bays are separately listed in a General Notice gazetted on the same
day, 28th December [see General Notices below].
The first two
SIs of 2013, gazetted on 11th January, are new Bindura Municipal
Council by-laws covering public health [SI 1/2013] and food hygiene
suspensions for mining companies SIs 194/2012 and 3/2013 add to
the list of mining companies to be granted customs duty suspensions.
excise measures giving effect to Budget [all gazetted in a Gazette
Extraordinary dated 31st December and effective from 1st January
adds over 20 commodities to the list of items on which a 25% customs
surtax is payable [e.g., cooking oils, butter, margarine, fresh
cheese, washing and cleaning preparations].
makes comprehensive changes to the customs tariff.
contains detailed provision for the suspension of customs duty on
certain types of motor vehicles imported by approved safari operators.
allows for the suspension of excise duty on ethanol for use as fuel.
re-enacts a provision of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations
for a customs duty rebate on goods imported for religious purposes.
giving effect to Budget
also with effect from 1st January 2013, deals with VAT on live birds
and soya meal.
grants - GNs
3/2013 to 12/2013, gazetted on 4th December, notify the issue of
special mining grants in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Harare mining districts.
The grants have been issued by the Minister of Mines and Mining
Development, on the authority of the President, in terms of section
301 of the Mines and Minerals Act. While the notices state the names
of the grantee companies and the varying periods of the grants,
they do not specify whether they are for prospecting or mining,
or both, or what minerals are covered.
parking disc zones are specified in GN 609/2012 of 28th December
[see also under Statutory Instruments above].
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