SC 05-13 - CHOMBO v PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE & ORS

IGNATIOUS CHOMBO

v

  1.  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE  (2) THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT (3) THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (4) THE CLERK OF PARLIAMENT (5) TANGWARA MATIMBA (6) HONOURABLE SIMON HOVE

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

CHIDYAUSIKU CJ, ZIYAMBI JA, GARWE JA,

GOWORA JA & OMERJEE AJA

HARARE, JANUARY 24 & MAY 20, 2013

T Hussein, for the applicant

S J Chihambakwe, for the respondents

 

GARWE JA: This is an application brought in terms of s 24(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in which the applicant seeks an order declaring the introduction of the Urban Councils Amendment Bill H.B.5. 2011 (“the Bill”) to be null and void on account of it being inconsistent with ss 18, 18(1a) and Article 20.1.2. of the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

 

BACKGROUND

In October 2011, the fifth and sixth respondents, who are members of Parliament for the Buhera Central and Highfield West Constituencies respectively, brought a motion in Parliament to introduce a private members’ Bill.  Thereafter debate ensued in Parliament on the motion.  The motion was accepted and consequent thereto the Bill was introduced into Parliament in early 2012.  It is not in dispute that the purpose of the Bill was to reduce the powers of the Minister of Local Government over municipal and town Councils.  In March 2012 the applicant wrote to the second and third respondents expressing his view that it was incompetent for private members to introduce the Bill and that the responsibility to do so now lay with Cabinet.  The fourth respondent wrote back expressing the view that it was still permissible for a Member of Parliament to introduce a private Bill and that such responsibility was not solely the responsibility of Cabinet.  He further advised that Parliament was to continue with the necessary procedures for debating the Bill, prompting the applicant to make the present application.

File: