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houses of Parliament sitting this week - Bill Watch 52/2013
October 16, 2013
will sit this week
are no Bills listed on the Order Paper of either House.
up in the National Assembly this week
Motions - Debate
will continue on the motions on the President’s speech,
the attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Kenya and the deterioration
Zimbabwe’s health sector.
are also several new motions on the Order Paper:
- Need for
an urgent non-partisan drought and starvation mitigation programme
proposed by Hon S.S. Nkomo, seconded by Hon Mpariwa both of MDC-T,
calls for a Parliamentary inquiry into the current food shortage
and the implementation of a mitigation programme.
- Power cuts
- This motion calls for the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy
to conduct an inquiry into the power sector, having regard to
power cuts, ZESA’s incapacity to deal timeously with faults,
the increasing gap between demand for and supply of power, lack
of investment in and the flight of qualified and experienced personnel
from the sector. It is proposed by MDC-T’s Hon Maridadi.
- Cancer treatment
- Another MDC-T motion, by Hon Khupe and Hon Labode, calls for
the introduction of a cancer levy and the establish of district
cancer treatment units.
of Zanu-PF has tabled a motion calling on the EU, Australia, New
Zealand and the USA to lift all forms of sanctions and for the submission
of the adopted motion to the European Parliament, US Congress, Australian
and New Zealand Parliaments and the House of Commons.
Question Time [Wednesday]
face questions in the National Assembly’s first Written Question
Time [name of MP asking is given in brackets]:
- Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing – on partisan hiring of
workers and issue of residential stands by local authorities [Hon
- Tourism and
Hospitality Industry – what progress has been made by the
Ministerial Task Force mandated to investigate the invasion of
the Save Conservancy? [Hon Gonese, MDC-T]
- Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare – why are Registrar-General Mudede
and Civil Service Commission chairperson Nzuwah still employed
by the State after reaching retirement age? [Hon D. Sibanda, MDC-T]
and Infrastructural Development – about the inordinate delay
in completing the linking of the Harare International Airport
Road with the Enterprise Road and the premature transfer of municipal
land to the contractor before completion of the project [Hon Gonese,
Mechanisation & Irrigation Development – how many tons
of grain has Zimbabwe imported from Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique
and other neighbouring countries this year? [Hon Gonese, MDC-T]
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs – when will the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act be amended to ensure that defendants
in criminal cases enjoy the rights to which they are entitled
under sections 50 and 70 of the new Constitution?
[Hon Maridadi, MDC-T]. [Note: Veritas explained the urgent need
for such amendment in Constitution
Watch 35/2013 of 23rd September.]
up in the Senate this week
There are only
two motions on the Order Paper for this week:
- The ongoing
motion on the President’s speech
Parliamentary Union (APU) - A new motion, to be moved by Senator
Mathuthu, asks the Senate to take note of the report-back by Zimbabwean
parliamentary delegates to the 62nd Session of the Executive Committee
of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) held in Abidjan, Cote
d' Ivoire from 28th to 29th September.
on Senator Marava’s motion on aligning existing laws with
the new Constitution will not resume until 20th November –
see below for last week’s developments on this motion.
Six of Zanu-PF
Senator Alice Chimbudzi’s seven questions have been carried
forward unanswered from last week. It is to be hoped that last week’s
protest by the President of the Senate [see below] results in the
Ministers attending and responding; they are the Ministers of Labour
and Social Welfare, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services,
Home Affairs, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development,
Environment Water and Climate, and Local Government, Public Works
and National Housing.
There are two
new questions from Senator Mohadi of Zanu-PF for the following Ministers:
of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing –
on the construction of schools in resettlement areas and the completion
of Government houses in Beitbridge that were started some years
of Agriculture, Mechanisation & Irrigation Development –
when will loans for livestock production be available?
on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 2.30 pm and ending
at 4.01 pm, 3.06 pm and 3.59 pm respectively. Attendance was good,
considering that 7 Senators were absent with leave.
existing legislation with the new Constitution’s
In a comprehensive
speech on Tuesday Senator Marava introduced his motion on this subject.
On Wednesday Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Fortune Chasi told Senators the Ministry was alive to this
complex issue and giving it urgent attention. He requested that
debate be adjourned until the Ministry could present a comprehensive
report. After initial reluctance Senator Marava agreed, and debate
was adjourned until 20th November.
speech - In a maiden speech Hon Mashavakure, one of the two Senators
representing people with disabilities, emphasised the need to engage
disabled people in government policies and programmes, including
the Indigenization and Empowerment Programme. He reminded Senators
that the new Constitution recognises the special needs of disabled
people and called for existing laws to be aligned to give effect
to this constitutional theme.
[Thursday] - Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Mnangagwa and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Ziyambi were kept
on their feet during the hour allotted to questions without notice.
Hon Mnangagwa dealt with the status of chiefs’ courts as part
of the country’s judiciary, the need for proper premises to
be provided for such courts and problems with mandatory 9-year sentences
for stock theft. Hon Ziyambi responded on a variety of topics ranging
from decentralising the issuing of passports to accommodation for
police officers, upkeep of Heroes Acres around the country, and
police assistance to chiefs’ courts.
with notice – child sexual abuse - Only Minister Mnangagwa
was present, meaning that only one of the seven questions put down
by Senator Chimbudzi was answered. The Minister gave an informative
response to her question about Government measures to protect child
victims of sexual abuse.
President protests at non-attendance of Ministers facing questions
the Senate Ednah Madzongwe commented on the fact that no Ministers
were present to deal with Senator Chimbudzi’s other questions.
She appealed to Hon Mnangagwa, as Leader of Government Business
in Parliament, to encourage fellow Cabinet Ministers to take Question
Time seriously because it is part of their duties. She suggested
the provision of written answers to questions with notice.
Assembly did not meet at all last week.
by the Speaker are awaited. The Standing Rules and Orders Committee
[SROC] is still not fully constituted – there are eight elected
positions still to be filled. [see Bill
Watch 51/2013 of 8th October]. The other Parliamentary committees
will then be set up by the SROC
in the National Assembly
On the 3rd of
October the Speaker of the House of Assembly made a statement that
he had been informed on 30th of September by Zanu-PF that Dr Kereke
“who was a member of that party at the time of his election,
had ceased to be a member and no longer represents the interests
of that party in Parliament”. In terms of section 129(1)(k)
of the Constitution, which states that a seat falls vacant “if
the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which
he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political
party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker has declared that
the Member has ceased to belong to it” [underlining by Veritas].
Dr Kereke has
since lodged an application in the Constitutional Court challenging
the Speaker’s declaration that his Bikita West seat fell vacant
on 30th September. He contends that section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution
does not apply to him, pointing out that Zanu-PF’s letter
to the Speaker said he ceased to be a member of Zanu-PF on 10th
July. That, he says, was before the general elections of 31st July
in which he was elected to Parliament, so he was not a party member
when elected and therefore should not lose his seat under section
Only one statutory
instrument was gazetted on 11th October.
SI 147 Road
tolls: a brief amendment to the Road Tolls (National Trunk Road
Network) Regulations, designed to make the Zimbabwe National Roads
Administration [ZINARA] solely responsible in law for the collection
of road tolls, in place of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority [ZIMRA].
The changeover took effect from the 1st October and the statutory
instrument is backdated to that date, in a belated attempt to align
the law to the position on the ground from 1st October.
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