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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
budget delayed - Bill Watch 55/2013
November 07, 2013
Assembly is sitting this week
The next sitting
of the Senate is on 19th November
Observer Mission Report on 31st July Elections
The AU Election
Observer Mission’s 27-page final report
harmonised elections has become available. It concludes that
the elections were “professionally and successfully conducted”
by the ZEC, but significantly does not say that the elections were
free or fair or credible. It offers nine recommendations to help
address some of the shortcomings identified by the mission, and
expresses hopes for a ”sustained post-election dialogue to
continue to address any outstanding matters pertaining to the 2013
in presentation of the 2014 Budget
of Finance and Economic Planning has said he will not be ready to
present next year’s Budget this month, but that it will be
presented in either December or January. He was speaking to Parliamentarians
attending last week’s Pre-Budget Seminar at the Victoria Falls.
As the Minister
pointed out, the Constitution permits the presentation of the Budget
to the National Assembly after the beginning of the financial year
[which is on 1st January], on condition it is presented no later
than 31st January. Section 305(2) states that “the estimates
of revenue and expenditure must be presented to the National
Assembly before or not later than thirty days after the start
of each financial year”. A January presentation is also in
compliance with section 28(1) of the Public Finance Management Act.
revenue inflow, the Government will not be without funding if the
country does enter 2014 without a Budget having been approved by
the National Assembly. Both the Constitution and the Public Finance
Management Act provide a special procedure for provisional withdrawals
from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, for a maximum of three months,
pending the Appropriation Act for 2014 that will result from approval
of the Budget when it is eventually presented.
received the final print of the Income Tax Bill. It must now be
sent to the President for his assent and signature and subsequent
gazetting as an Act under section 131 of the new Constitution,
which also provides that:
- the Speaker
must give public notice of the date on which the Bill was sent
to the President and
- when the
Bill is presented to the President, he must, within 21 days, either
assent to it and sign it and have it published in the Government
Gazette “without delay”, or refer it back to Parliament
Note: The obligation
to give public notice of the date on which a Bill is sent to the
President for assent and signature is new. It was not in the former
Constitution. Under the former system public ignorance about when
Bills had been sent to the President frequently caused unnecessary
speculation as to whether or not the President had dealt with a
Bill within the 21-day limit, particularly in cases when there was
a long delay between the final Parliamentary vote and gazetting
as an Act. Such speculation should now be put to rest.
No Bills on
Parliamentary Agenda - The Bills situation at Parliament remains
unchanged. There are no Bills on the agenda for the next sittings
of the Houses, and no Bills have been sent to the Government Printer
to be printed for presentation in Parliament.
prepared - News continues to surface, however, of Bills under preparation.
Watch 54/2013 of 29th October gave the Micro Insurance Bill
and Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill as examples.
Now the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has said that
the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill will be ready by February next year.
Bills to align
existing laws with the new Constitution - There has been no further
information on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee appointed
to oversee the preparation by Ministries of Bills to bring all existing
laws into line with the new Constitution [see Bill Watch 54/2013
of 29th October]. Motions in both Houses are keeping this issue
Gazettes of 28th October and 1st November
Tax Act - See above.
Amendment Act - Bill Watch 54/2013 of 29 October referred to doubts
over whether the Act was validly assented to and signed by the President.
There have been no further developments.
agreements - There are three agreements, for: the battery manufacturing
industry [SI 152]; the chemicals and fertilisers manufacturing industry
[SI 153]; and the plastic manufacturing industry [SI 154].
compensation scheme - SI 155 sets out the new employers’ assessment
rates to come into effect on 1st January 2014.
local commercial radio stations GN 511/2013 of 28th November, in
the name of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe [BAZ], invites
applications for 25 “free to air” local commercial radio
broadcasting service licences. The deadline for submission of applications
is 7th January 2014. The initial application fee is $2 500, but
applicants short-listed for public inquiry will have to pay a further
$7 500. The basic licence fee is $50 000, and a licence is for ten
years. [GN available at address at end of bulletin.] Application
forms can be collected from BAZ in the grounds of the Rainbow Towers,
Harare or downloaded from www.baz.co.zw
Contact telephone numbers for BAZ are 04-797381-85. [A separate
Bill Watch bulletin will outline the procedure laid down by Broadcasting
Services Act for dealing with such applications, including the
public inquiry requirement; the qualifications for licensees; the
obligations of licensees, including prohibited content, availing
airtime to Government, use of indigenous languages, etc.]
Act: Compensation Committee GN 512 of 1st November announces the
appointment of new members of the Compensation Committee for the
period 1st October 2013 to 30th September 2016. There are eleven
members, including the chairperson Mrs Sophia Tsvakwe, who is the
Permanent Secretary for Lands and Rural Resettlement. [GN available
at address at end of bulletin.]
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