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Senate votes against POSA Amendment Bill - Bill Watch 8/2013
February 25, 2013

Both Houses of Parliament will sit again on Tuesday 26th February

Zimbabwe Youth Council (General) Regulations [SI 4/2013]: Update

Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] adverse report

The PLC’s adverse report on these regulations has not yet been presented to the Senate, but this is expected to be done soon. As explained in Bill Watch 7/2013 of 19th February an adverse report, if approved by the Senate, may result in the regulations being annulled by the President without anyone having to go to court for them to be declared ultra vires and invalid. [Report is not available until tabled in the Senate.]

POSA Amendment Bill

On Tuesday 19th February Mr Gonese, the MP who introduced the POSA [Public Order and Security Act] Amendment Bill, tried valiantly, with the help of MDC Senators, to persuade the Senate to vote for his motion to revive the lapsed motion from the previous session seeking the Bill’s restoration to the Senate Order Paper. The ZANU-PF Senators who spoke opposed the motion, claiming Mr Gonese had withdrawn the Bill when he agreed to the POSA issue being dealt with at GPA Principals level. The facts, according to Hansard, were: in August 2011 Senators had asked for more time to examine the Bill, and Minister Chinamasa had objected to the Bill on the ground that the POSA issue was under consideration by the GPA negotiators as part of the Roadmap to Elections; but Mr Gonese did not withdraw the Bill and the Roadmap negotiations did not result in agreed amendment or replacement of POSA. After over an hour of debate a vote was taken and Mr Gonese’s motion was rejected by 28 votes to 17. The vote illustrates ZANU-PF’s domination of the Senate; the Chiefs who voted followed the ZANU-PF lead.

This is not necessarily the end of the Bill. The other route open to Mr Gonese is to table a motion in the House of Assembly asking that the Bill, as passed by the House in December 2009, be sent to the President for assent, despite the Senate’s rejection of his motion. This is permitted by the Constitution, Schedule 4, paragraph 3, which sets out what can be done by the House when the Senate either rejects a Bill passed by the House or has not passed it within 90 days of its introduction into the Senate. Mr Gonese’s Bill qualifies on both counts – not only was it rejected by the Senate last week, but, as it was introduced in the Senate in December 2010, the 90-day period was completed long ago.

Parliament’s Role in Filling Vacancies in ZEC and ZHRC Chairs

It was announced by Prime Minister Tsvangirai that at their meeting on Monday 18th February the President, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara had selected two persons to fill the positions of chairperson on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC], which had both fallen vacant. The selection was later corroborated by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, under whose Ministry these Commissions fall. The persons selected are Justice Rita Makarau as the new chairperson of ZEC and Mr Jacob Mudenda as the new chairperson of ZHRC. The President cannot legally make either appointment until both the Judicial Service Commission [JSC] and the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] have been consulted. The JSC met last week. The CSRO has not met yet, but is expected to do so towards the end of the coming week. Until due process has taken place and the nominees have accepted the appointments and been sworn in, these appointments will not be legally effective.

In Parliament Last Week

Both Houses took it easy last week, sitting on Tuesday and Wednesday only, before adjourning until Tuesday 26th February.

House of Assembly

Bills [all available from]

Income Tax Bill and Securities Amendment Bill - Non-adverse reports were received from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC], clearing the way for both Bills to move on to the Second Reading stage.

Microfinance Bill - There was no movement on this Bill, which had previously received a non-adverse report from the PLC.


Debate started on:

  • the condolence motion for the late Vice-President Nkomo, who died on 17th January
  • the motion on the report on Zimbabwe soccer administration and the Asiagate match-fixing scandal presented by the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture.



There were no Bills for consideration. No Bills were transmitted from the House.


Most of Tuesday afternoon was taken up by the debate on Mr Gonese’s motion on his Private Member’s POSA Amendment Bill [see above]. The rest of the Senate’s sitting time was occupied by further contributions to the debates on the Vice-President Nkomo condolence motion and the motion to thank the President for his speech opening the Session.

Question Time did not take place because the Senate did not sit on Thursday.

In Parliament This Coming Week

House of Assembly

Bills The three Bills introduced by Minister of Finance Tendai Biti [all available from] are listed for the Second Reading stage on Tuesday, in the following order:


Debate will continue on motions carried over from last week, including the debate on soccer and the Asiagate match-fixing scandal. New motions listed for presentation include:

  • a motion by Co-Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi, in terms of section 111B of the Constitution, seeking the House’s approval of Zimbabwe’s accession to the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. This is high on the agenda for Tuesday. [Text of Convention available from]
  • a condolence motion following the death of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Seiso Moyo, who died on 20th December
  • motions to take note of Portfolio Committee reports on:
  • the management of dam projects by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority;
  • access to financial resources by small and medium enterprises;
  • and local authorities [reports not yet available].

Question Time on Wednesday

The 16 questions listed for Ministerial reply on 27th February include: questions previously on the list but carried forward as they had not been answered; for instance, questions for the Minister of Public Service about a Commission of Inquiry into the War Victims Compensation Fund and the payment of pensions for “exaggerated disabilities”; and one asking the Minister of Industry and Commerce to name authorised bottled water suppliers and to justify bottled water being sold at the same price as diesel fuel. There is still a problem of Ministers not turning up to answer questions. Newer questions include: two for the co-Ministers of Home Affairs on the Ministry’s policy on the display of ZRP force numbers on police uniforms, and on the revenue generated by police roadblocks, the custodians of that revenue and how it is managed; and one for the Minister of Health and Child Welfare on the availability of ARV drugs.



The Senate is still waiting for Bills to be passed by the House of Assembly and transmitted for its consideration.

Motions - No new motions are listed on the Order Paper, which lists only the continuing debates on the vote of thanks to the President for his speech at the opening of the Session, and the Vice-President Nkomo condolence motion.

Question Time on Thursday - Only one question, carried forward from last week, is listed. It asks the Minister of Mines and Mining Development: for information on haphazard illegal mining activities at Benson Mine in Mudzi district.

Government Gazettes of 22nd February

Statutory Instruments [SIs] [NOT available from Veritas]

Pension funds administrators SI 20/2013 lays down new minimum requirements for pension fund administrators – they must be companies with the prescribed minimum capital and be registered as insurers under the Insurance Act.

Insurance business SI 21/2013 fixes new figures for the minimum equity capital of insurers, and for approved investments and compulsory professional indemnity cover to be held by insurance brokers.

Collective bargaining agreement SI 22/2013 sets out full conditions of service, including wages and gratuities, for the Baking Industry.

General Notice

GN 45/2013, made by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, designates the 1st March 2013 as the date of commencement of section 4(2) of the Legal Practitioners (General) Regulations. This means that from 1st March a legal practitioner may not commence practice as a principal, whether on his or her own or in partnership or as an associate, unless he or she first satisfies the Council for Legal Education that he or she has attended a full course of Council seminars on, and passed examinations in, the several subjects listed in section 4(2).

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