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Bills for next sitting & Government Gazettes 5 to 19 April – Bill 12/2013
April 24, 2013

Both Houses of Parliament are Adjourned until Tuesday 7th May

Although the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill will be ready for debate on Tuesday 30th April [having been gazetted, as is the constitutional requirement, at least 30 days before this] there has been no indication that Parliament will be recalled early.

Important Bills Scheduled for when Parliament Resumes

  • Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill
  • Ministry of Finance Bills

The Minister of Finance has three major Bills on the House of Assembly order paper, each one waiting for the Minister to present his Second Reading speech and all previously labelled urgent, although so far they have not been treated as such.

At the end of the last Parliamentary session three proposed Private Member’s Bills lapsed, having failed to make it through Parliament during the session: the POSA Amendment Bill, the Urban Councils Amendment Bill and the Bill to repeal section 121(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment. Not one of these Bills has re-appeared on the current Order Papers for the House or Senate. The Supreme Court has not yet handed down its decision in the case brought by Minister of Local Government Ignatious Chombo arguing that during the life of the GPA Parliament is constitutionally restricted to passing Government Bills only, thereby barring the Urban Councils Amendment Bill in particular and Private Member’s Bills generally. The court’s decision is expected early in the next court term, which starts on 6th May.

After the Bill for the new Constitution has been passed by Parliament, other Bills must also be brought to Parliament to enable the forthcoming elections to be held in terms of the new Constitution:

  • Electoral Amendment Bill
  • Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Amendment Bills
  • A Bill for the new-style metropolitan and provincial councils, which must be formed under the new Constitution.
  • Bills to remedy at least the most obvious inconsistencies between existing laws and the new Declaration of Rights, given that it will be coming into force immediately the Constitution Act is gazetted
  • Rules of the Constitutional Court must also be enacted, either in a separate Constitutional Court Bill or under the Supreme Court Act, to give effect to the court’s constitutional jurisdiction

Government Gazette 5th April

Statutory Instruments

Collective bargaining agreements

Agricultural industry - SI 41 and 42/2013 gazette new wages effective 1st March 2013 for the agricultural industry’s general sector and kapenta sector, respectively.

Tobacco industry - SI 43/2013 gazettes wages for the industry’s grading sector effective 1st December 2012 to 30th November 2013. The agreement also covers deduction of NEC levies by employers and remittance of levies to the NEC.

Textile industry - SI 44/2013 gazettes minimum rates of pay for the industry for the period 1st January to 30th June 2013, plus a new schedule for calculation of gratuities.

Government Gazette Extraordinary 5th April

Statutory Instrument

A controversial SI about unpaid ZESA bills [available from]

SI 44A/2013 sets out the Electricity (Unpaid Bills, Prepaid Meters and Smart Meters) Regulations made by the Minister of Energy and Power Development under the Electricity Act. The Parliamentary Legal Committee may find it necessary to consider the validity of section 3 of this SI in depth. This section seems to be aimed at making the property owner legally liable to pay for all electricity consumed on a property and shown on the prepaid meter, regardless of contractual arrangements between ZESA and the actual consumer of electricity on the property, such as a tenant or sub-tenant. Consumer protection organisations should also study this SI.

Another section defines “smart meters” as gadgets which not only record electricity sales, but also allow two-way communication between consumer and electricity supplier. Consumers are allowed to purchase and install these smart meters as long as they are not “persons in rural areas, high density domestic or light load farms”. Compulsory installation of smart meters is not mentioned in the SI.

Government Gazette of 12th April

Statutory Instruments

  • Collective bargaining agreement: construction industry

    SI 45/2013 sets out comprehensive new conditions of service for workers in the construction industry, embracing the former building, civil engineering and concrete products industries and replacing the agreement published in SI 244/1999,

  • Customs duty suspensions

    SI 47/2013 republishes with corrections suspensions of duty first enacted by SI 36/2013. The suspensions affect tariff headings 25.23, 30.04, 40.16, 48.07, 69.03, 73.18 and 74.11 and 76.05.

  • Local authority by-laws: Chegutu

    SI 46/2013 enacts new residential rents and service charges applicable to the incorporated area under the jurisdiction of the Chegutu Municipal Council.

General Notices

  • Government Financial Statements:

    Two General Notices announce the publication with this Gazette, as required by the Public Finance Management Act, of the consolidated monthly and quarterly financial statements for the month and quarter ending 31st December 2012 [GN 213] and the monthly statements for January 2013 [GN 214].

  • Diamond industry trade union applies for Labour Act registration

    GN 208/2013 gazetted on 12th April notifies that application of an application for registration of the Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers’ Union to represent the interests of diamond miners, cutters, polishers, sorters, drillers and blasters, and other trades within the diamond industry. Those wishing to make representations relating to the application have until 13th May to lodge them with the Registrar of Labour.

Government Gazette of 19th April

Statutory Instruments

  • Import and export of medicines

    SI 48/2013 clarifies the scope of application of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control (Import and Export of Medicines) Regulations, which were gazetted in SI 57/2008, with an express statement that the regulations apply to all medicines with the following exceptions: those medicines controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Act; psychotropic substances controlled under; medicines imported under section 75 of the Act for a named person as long as the consignment is cleared in the usual way and via an official port of entry, including Forbes Border Post which is added to the official list; medicines imported by an individual for personal use.

  • Local authority by-laws

    SI 49/2013 enacts new rents and service and supplementary charges for Masvingo City Council’s incorporated area.

General Notices

  • Land acquisitions under section 16B of Constitution

    GN 221/2013 notifies the immediately effective acquisition of three pieces of land, including one belonging to Goromonzi Sports Club and a smallholding in the Gweru area owned by Moral Rearmament.

  • Preliminary notice under Land Acquisition Act

    GN 222/2013 notifies the Government’s intention to acquire for urban development 1057 hectares making up Remaining Extent of Saturday Retreat Estate near Harare. Objections and compensation claims must be lodged on or before 20th May.

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