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Tax Bill to be introduced; amendments to mining law held up - Bill
February 11, 2013
of Parliament Will Sit on Tuesday 12th February
to Bill Watch 5/2013
Watch 5/2013 of 4th February, under the heading SADC: SA Facilitation
Team Visit, there was a statement that South African facilitators
had visited Harare on “29th February”. That should have
been “29th January”. Veritas apologises for any confusion
caused by this unfortunate proof-reading oversight.
Youth Council (General) Regulations, 2013 [SI 4/2013]
In Bill Watch
5/2013 of 4th February we commented critically on these sweeping
regulations made by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment, and suggested that they are ultra vires
[i.e., go beyond the powers given to the Minister by the enabling
Act] and are therefore invalid. The regulations apply to “all
youth associations” engaging directly or indirectly in undefined
“youth activities”. We now have soft copies of the regulations
and the enabling Zimbabwe
Youth Council Act.
Accepts Draft Constitution
6th February both the House of Assembly and the Senate devoted the
whole afternoon to debate on identical motions calling for the adoption
of the COPAC Report
on the constitution-making process and the noting of the draft
The House unanimously
approved the motion that day after four hours of debate. Speakers
from all parties applauded the successful conclusion of the constitution-making
The Senate debate
concluded the next day on Thursday 7th, when Senators, too, unanimously
approved the motion. Like MPs in the House of Assembly, speakers
from all parties and Senator Chiefs supported the motion.
Step : the Referendum
After the adoption
of the two motions in Parliament, the next formal step in the constitution-making
process, as stipulated in the GPA,
is putting the draft constitution to voters in a Referendum. Indications
are that the Referendum will be in late March or early April, which
gives time for COPAC to conduct is planned massive publicity campaign
to ensure that all voters have the change to acquaint themselves
with the content of the draft – and for parties and other
organisations to campaign for or against a YES vote .
It is only if
there is a YES vote in the Referendum that the Constitution will
be brought back to Parliament in the form of a Bill to be passed
into law. Its passage through Parliament must be completed before
the 29th June, which is when the present Parliament comes to the
end of its five-year life-span.
Parliamentary Proceedings Last Week
Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill
or opposition the House agreed to restore to the Order Paper Mr
Gonese’s lapsed motion seeking the leave of the House to introduce
his Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of the
and Evidence Act. Only if the motion is approved by the House
will Mr Gonese be able to table his Bill and have it read for the
first time. It remains to be seen if opponents will try to stall
progress on this Bill by asking the Speaker to extend to it his
sub judice ruling on the Mr Matimba’s Private Member’s
Councils Amendment Bill to this Bill also. Although the case
currently awaiting decision by the Supreme Court refers only to
Mr Matimba’s Bill, the argument put to the court was that
all Private Member’s Bills are prohibited by the terms of
the GPA [see Bill
Watch 2/2013 of 18th January].
of revenue by Government departments - Debate commenced on this
motion, which calls for an end to the practice whereby some departments
– e.g. the Police and the Registrar-General’s Office
– are permitted to retain revenue collected instead of remitting
it to the Ministry of Finance for the benefit of the fiscus.
- Sports and
Recreation Commission - During debate on this motion, which calls
for the dissolution of the Commission, some MPs suggested that
there should be a separate Ministry for sport, rather than lumping
sport together with education, arts and culture, as has been the
President’s practice for many years.
- On Wednesday the House postponed members’ questions to allow
for full debate on the motion on the COPAC report and draft constitution.
motion – late Vice-President Nkomo - Senator S.K. Moyo introduced
this motion. Vice-President Nkomo died on 17th January.
- Death penalty
- Debate continued on the motion for eventual abolition of the
this motion is carried, and if a similar motion is adopted by the
House of Assembly, it will be interesting to see what impact, if
any, this may have on section 48 of the draft Constitution, which
permits the death penalty to be provided for by Act of Parliament,
but on a more restricted basis than at present and even then for
men only. Might section 48 still be changed to prohibit the death
penalty? Even if it remains unchanged, section 48 in its present
form, because it is only permissive [i.e. allows for the death penalty,
which is not the same as making it mandatory], would not be an obstacle
to a future Act of Parliament abolishing the death penalty.
Up in Parliament This Week
- Income Tax
Bill - This Ministry of Finance Bill is listed for its First Reading
on 12th February. After that it will be referred to the Parliamentary
Legal Committee [PLC] for its report on the constitutionality
of the Bill. The Bill cannot progress further until that report
has been received.
Bill - The PLC’s report on this Ministry of Finance Bill
Motions - Debate
will continue on the motions on  the vote of thanks to the President
for his speech opening the  retention of public revenues by departments;
and  the Sports and Recreation Commission.
for certain prisons - Hon Kanzama is due to introduce his motion
calling for monument status to be accorded to Hwahwa, Sikhombula
and Gonakudzingwa prisons as places in which leaders were detained
during the struggle for independence.
questions are listed for responses from various Ministers. The last
session saw poor Ministerial attendance at Question Time, resulting
in questions going unanswered for many months.
are no Bills listed.
will continue on the motions listed:  the vote of thanks to the
President for his speech opening the current Session;  the Nkomo
condolence motion; and  the motion on the death penalty.
to Mining Law Held Up
When the President
opened the current Parliamentary Session the Mines and Minerals
Amendment Bill was one of the Bills he mentioned as being on the
Government’s legislative agenda. But the Ministry of Mines
and Mining Development has officially informed the Chamber of Mines
that the Cabinet Committee on Legislation has since directed the
Ministry to abandon its proposed Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill
and instead come up with a Bill for a complete new Mines and Minerals
Act. This will obviously take a long time, bearing in mind that
the current Act is a complex piece of legislation with more than
four hundred sections. There is no way a Bill of this complexity
can possibly be ready for presentation to the current Parliament,
so changes to the mining law will now, it seems, have to wait for
the next Parliament.
Gazette 8th February
General’s Office Amendment Bill - This Bill aims to address
certain concerns which have delayed the bringing into force of
the Attorney-General’s Office Act ever since it was gazetted
in early 2011 [both the Bill and the Act are available from email@example.com].
Instruments [SIs] [NOT available from Veritas]
for chiefs - SI 14/2013, made by the Minister of Local Government,
Rural and Urban Development, amends the Traditional Leaders (Benefits
and Conditions of Service) Regulations to provide for substantive
chiefs to be provided with vehicles. This is essentially a loan
scheme. The chiefs will have to pay for the vehicles – the
exercise will be funded from the Chiefs’ Vehicle Revolving
Fund, with the cost of a vehicle and interest being recovered from
the chief concerned.
rebate for clothing manufacturers - SI 15/2013 provides for a strictly-controlled
rebate of duty on fabrics and other items for manufacturing clothing,
valid for the year 2013 only. The beneficiaries are 12 named manufacturers.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
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