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passes Money Laundering Bill - Bill Watch 26/2013
June 25, 2013
to Dissolution of Parliament
met this afternoon [Tuesday]. This leaves only two scheduled sitting
days before the automatic dissolution of Parliament at midnight
on 28th June.
If the parties
reach agreement on presenting further Bills, there can be an extra
sitting day on Friday, and late night sittings, but only this week.
There has been no evidence of Cabinet agreeing to new Bills before
the dissolution of Parliament and the last regular Cabinet meeting
If the Constitutional
Court rules in the case brought before it that the Electoral
Act Amendments made under the Presidential
Powers (Temporary Measures) Act are unconstitutional, it would
be difficult to get an Electoral Amendment Bill through Parliament
in time, and also constitutionally impossible to hold elections
under the old, unamended, Electoral Act. [Reminder: The new Constitution
says the Electoral Law must be amended by an Act of Parliament not
in terms of another Act, i.e. the Presidential Powers Act.] There
are other cases waiting in the Constitutional Court over the electoral
amendments made under the Presidential Powers Act. If any ruling
this week gave rise to a constitutional crisis, although the five-year
term of this Seventh Parliament has to end at midnight on 28th June,
there could be an argument for the President to declare a public
emergency or a situation which may give rise to a public emergency.
[Section 31J of previous
constitution – this section is still in force]. In which case
the life of Parliament could be extended. But this declaration would
have to be done this week, before Parliament is dissolved, as the
House of Assembly would have to approve the Presidents declaration
and both Houses would have to pass resolutions extending Parliament
by up to six months.
Today 25th June
House of Assembly:
The House passed both the Electricity Amendment Bill and the Income
Tax Bill, the latter with amendments proposed by the Minister of
Finance. Both Bills were transmitted to the Senate to be dealt with
Senate rose after only five minutes without debating any of the
items on the Order Paper.
up in Parliament 26th June
on Pre-Election Reforms
In the Senate
last Thursday, Minister Timba mentioned there would be a meeting
between the GPA
principals to thrash out compromises on reforms but the meeting
did not take place. All the other meetings mooted to do this since
the SADC directive from the Maputo Summit of 16th June were either
inconclusive or did not take place according to schedule. The responsibility
for this failure to has been the subject of accusations and counter-accusations
from the GPA parties.
are still a number of uncompleted debates on a wide range of motions,
ranging from “take note” motions on Portfolio Committee
reports to backbenchers’ motions on such varied topics as
the shortcomings of the Sports and Recreation Commission and the
generally poor performance of Zimbabwean athletes in all sporting
disciplines; the withholding from Treasury of revenue collected
by Government ministries and departments; and the historical significance
of certain prisons.
Bills - The
Electricity Amendment Bill and the amended Income Tax Bill await
passing by the Senate.
reports on statutory instruments - The Senate still has to consider
the Parliamentary Legal Committee’s adverse reports on three
statutory instruments – the Youth Council regulations in SI
4/2013; the most recent tariff of mining fees in SI 29/2013; and
the Mangwe sand extraction by-laws in SI 25/2013. The reports have
gone undebated for some three weeks.
- The Order Paper lists the part-heard debates on delegation reports
on last month’s Conference in Bahrain of the Association of
Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World,
and two sessions of the ACP-EU Joint Parliament Assembly held in
– Thursday 20th June
pass Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill
After the announcement
in the House of Assembly of a swiftly-provided non-adverse report
from the Parliamentary Legal Committee, this major Bill went through
its Second Reading, Committee and Third Reading stages in both Houses
in what must be a Zimbabwe record time. The House took just 50 minutes
to approve its 105 clauses and two schedules before sending it to
the Senate. The Senate then got through it in less than 30 minutes.
Apart from the Ministerial presentations of the reasons for the
Bill and for the haste involved, there was little discussion and
what there was limited to brief expressions of support for the Bill
and a protest against the way the Bill had been presented to Parliament
at the eleventh hour [see below].
was the Bill so urgent?
one of the founding members of the Eastern and Southern African
Anti Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), which in turn is an associate
member of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that
sets international standards on money laundering and terrorism financing.
The 20th June was a FATF deadline for member states to pass legislation
to upgrade their on these matters. If Parliament did not pass the
Bill, the Minister warned, Zimbabwe risked being blacklisted by
FATF, which would make it very difficult for Zimbabwean financial
institutions, businesses and even the State to make or receive international
payments. Senator Chief Chitsunga, although supporting the Bill,
lodged a justified protest against the delays within Government
that had brought about this unseemly haste: “Our Government
should do things timeously and not wait for the last minute so that
we do not have guns pointed on our heads. We only have seen this
Bill this afternoon. We did not have enough time to check what is
contained in it. That will not make us good leaders. What is more
important is that for the past two months, we did not have business
in this Senate, yet this Bill was there. It should have been brought
to this Senate in time rather than waiting for the last minute like
this. Someone was sitting on it.”
What the Bill
does: The Bill aligns our Anti-money Laundering and Combating of
Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF) legal and institutional framework
with the FATF recommendations. It repeals and replaces the Serious
Offences (Confiscation of Profits) Act, and amends the Bank Use
Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act, the Criminal
Matters (Mutual Assistance) Act, the Building Societies Act and
the Asset Management Act.
The House transacted
no business apart from passing the Money Laundering and Proceeds
of Crime Bill. The Acting Speaker reported the receipt of a non-adverse
report from the PLC on the Electricity Amendment Bill; this cleared
the Bill for the Second Reading stage on 25th June.
for the Money Laundering Bill to come across from the House of Assembly,
Senators put questions to Minister of State in the Organ for National
Healing, Reconciliation and Integration [“the Organ”]
Sekai Holland and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s
Office Jameson Timba.
Mrs Holland, asked what will happen to the national healing programme
after the elections, explained that over the last four years the
Organ had succeeded in getting the GPA principals to adopt a four-element
“infrastructure for peace”, now being implemented:
Peace and Reconciliation Commission, which is part of the new
Constitution and will deal with all transitional justice issues
- Code of
Conduct for Political Parties already signed by the GPA principals
Project at Midlands State University which will be part of UNESCO’s
Africa History Project
- A degree
programme in the MSU’s new department of Peace, Economics
The Organ had
also recommended a separate Ministry responsible for National Healing,
given the amount of work still to be done.
Mr Timba was asked whether, as a result of last weekend’s
SADC Summit in Maputo, the coming elections would interfere with
the smooth running of the UN World Tourism Organisation Conference
towards the end of August. He told Senators that, contrary to what
had been agreed at the Summit, a Minister had unfortunately applied
prematurely to the Constitutional Court for an election date adjustment
before the GPA principals had reached a consensus position on the
joint court application called for by the Summit; the principals
had met on 19th June and would be meeting again on 21st June to
settle this issue.
of Edward Chindori-Chininga MP
Zanu-PF MP for Guruve South, Deputy Minister of Mines 1995-2000
and Minister of Mines 2000-2004, and in this Parliament, the knowledgeable,
energetic and determined chairperson of the House of Assembly Portfolio
Committee for Mines and Energy, died in a car accident on 21st June.
He had only recently presented to the House two hard-hitting reports
from his committee, one on diamond mining in Zimbabwe with special
to the Marange
Diamond Fields, the other on chrome mining.
Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill
The Bill was
gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary on 19th June, the same day it
was introduced in the House of Assembly. It was passed by both Houses
on 20th June [see above].
water suppliers: SI 90/2013 amends the Water (Permits) regulations.
This important SI, made by the Minister of Water Resources Development
and Management in terms of the Water Act. It introduces a comprehensive
regulatory scheme for bulk water suppliers, defined as “persons
who sell water in bulk for any purpose exceeding 2 000 litres, and
includes water bottling companies.” Suppliers will have to
register with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority [ZINWA]. No
foreign companies will be registered. Suppliers are prohibited from
abstracting water from boreholes or wells in urban residential areas
unless ZINWA approves. Abstraction outside urban areas must not
result in unsustainable lowering of ground water levels, decreased
yields or deterioration in groundwater quality. The regulations
were obviously published later than planned, because they require
existing suppliers to apply for registration by an impossible 31st
May 2013; this mistake will have to be corrected by an amendment.
bargaining agreements: SIs 93/2013 [Grain Marketing Board] and 94/2013
in Mhondoro-Ngezi Communal Land: SI 91/2013 is the Communal Land
(Excision of Land) Notice and SI 92/2013 is the Communal Land (Setting
Aside of Land) (Turf Township) Notice. The 1672 hectares of land
affected is now set aside for the purposes of establishing a township.
Existing occupiers of land in the area have until the 31st December
to depart. Rights of use or occupation of land in the township will
be governed by regulations made by the Minister of Local Government,
Rural and Urban Development in terms of section 10 of the Communal
SI 95/2013 provides for the granting of rebates of duty to Zimbabwean
food, soap and cosmetic manufacturers.
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