BILL WATCH 3-2016

BILL WATCH 3/2016

[1st February 2016]

Both Houses of Parliament Resume Sittings This Week

This bulletin’s aim is to bring readers up to date with statutory instruments and General Notices published in the Government Gazette since mid-December 2015.  Highlights include—

Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act Frameworks, Procedures and Guidelines [see below under 24th December and 8th January for notes on the two official notices on this subject, and the replacement of the first notice by the second one - GN 9/2016]

Polce “spot fines” for minor traffic offences still limited to $20  There has been nothing in the Government Gazette giving effect to the controversial Budget proposal to increase the maximum police spot fine [i.e. roadside admission of guilt deposit fine] for minor traffic offences. The position remains as stated in Bill Watch 1/2016: Only a court can impose a fine higher than $20

Please note that [available] means available on Veritas website [follow this link http://www.veritaszim.net/ ] or by email on request; see addresses at the end of this bulletin

Gazette of 18th December 2015

Bills – National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill [available] [follow this link - http://www.veritaszim.net/node/1586]

Statutory Instruments

Control of Goods (Open General Import Licence) (Standards Assessment) Notice [SI 332/2015]  This notice, effective from 18th December, has a lengthy Schedule specifying a large number of products and laying down that importation of such products with a Free on Board value of more than $1 000 will only allowed if the products are accompanied by a Certificate of Conformity issued by the designated Assessment Agent [Bureau Veritas Inspection Valuation Assessment Control (Private) Ltd].  This is a document certifying that the products conform to national standards.  Products not complying with this requirement will be re-shipped or returned to the country of origin at the cost of the importer. 

Collective bargaining agreement  SI 134/2015 publishes an agreement for the Engineering and Iron and Steel Industry, General Engineering Section.

Gazette Extraordinary of 18th December 2015

In GN 394/2015 the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announces the appointment of  Clemence Makwarimba as a ZANU-PF party-list Senator for Masvingo Province, filling the vacancy that occurred when Dzikamai Mavhaire lost the seat in terms of section 129()1)(k) of the Constitution.

Gazette Extraordinary of 23rd December 2015

SI 136/2015 is a Presidential Proclamation ordering the holding of a by-election to fill the vacant Mhondoro-Mubaira constituency seat [formerly held by Sylvester Nguni, until he lost the seat in terms of section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution after expulsion from ZANU-PF].

Gazette Extraordinary of 24th December 2015

Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Frameworks, Procedures and Guidelines  This Gazette was devoted entirely to GN 394A/2015.  Bill Watch 1/2016 described briefly the circumstances that led to this GN being withdrawn and replaced.  GN 9/2016 of 8th January 2016 is the replacement [see below].

Gazette of 25th December 2015

There were no statutory instruments or notices of national importance in the Christmas Day Gazette. 

Gazettes Extraordinary of 31st December 2015

There were two Gazettes Extraordinary of this date, one publishing the three Budget Acts and the other a number of statutory instruments also giving effect to the 2016 Budget.

Acts 

All three Acts published on New Year’s Eve had been passed by Parliament in the pre-Christmas sittings of 15th to 17th December:  Finance (No. 2) Act, 2015 [Act 9/2015]; Appropriation (Supplementary) Act, 2015 [Act 10/2015]; Appropriation (2016) Act, 2015 [Act 11/2015] [all available].

Statutory Instruments giving effect to the 2016 Budget

Customs duty

Tariff Amendment  SI 150/2015 enacts changes to the Tariff Notice, SI 111/2015.

Authorised economic operators registration  SI 148/2015 amends the C & E (General) Regulations by adding a new Part IVA providing for registration of “authorised economic operators” for the purposes of section 216B of the Customs and Excise Act [“authorised economic operators” are parties involved in the international movement of goods, such as clearing agents, importers, exporters and carriers].  The SI also amends the rules for the rebate of duty on travellers’ effects as set out in section 114 of the General Regulations: it reduces the rebate from $300 to $200 and makes it inapplicable to goods brought in on a bus, kombi or other vehicle drawing a trailer.

Travellers’ effects rebate    SI also amends the rules for the rebate of duty on travellers’ effects as set out in section 114 of the General Regulations: it reduces the rebate from $300 to $200 and makes it inapplicable to goods brought in on a bus, kombi or other vehicle drawing a trailer.

Suspensions of duty   Amendments to the existing suspension regulations are made by SIs 143, 146 and 147/2015.

Rebate regulations  Three SIs enact regulations providing for rebates for: luggage ware manufacturers [SI 149/2015]; clothing manufacturers [SI 151/2015]; printing and packaging [SI 152/2015].

Kazungula custom house opening hours  SI 142/2015 changes these hours to 6.00 am to 6.00 pm for all business; and 6.00 am to 10 pm for non-commercial traffic.

Regulation of motor-vehicles in customs controlled areas  SI 145/2015  replaces the list of customs controlled areas covered by the principal regulations [SI 57/2007] with a new 15-item list  It also prescribes a penalty of $2.00 per hour for each hour or part of an hour that a vehicle is parked in excess of the prescribed parking time.

VAT

Zero-rating  SI 144/2015 makes a retrospective adjustment to the zero-rating of soya beans, effective for the period 1st February 2009 to 31st July 2012.

Gazette of 1st January 2016

No Acts, Bills, statutory instruments or General Notices were published.

Gazette of 8th January 2016

Statutory Instrument

Commission of Inquiry into Conversion of Pension and Insurance Values  SI 1/2016 is a Presidential proclamation replacing the original terms of reference for this Commission of Inquiry, as set out in SI 80/2015 [both SIs available].

General Notices

Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment  GN 9/2016 [available] is a notice by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development withdrawing his GN 394A/2015 and replacing it in its entirety.  The schedule to the notice contains a document dated 4th January, executed by the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Hon Patrick Zhuwao and signed by him.  The new GN, like its predecessor, is an official statement of the Government’s position on Frameworks. Procedures and Guidelines for Implementation the Indigenisation mad Economic Empowerment Act.  It is, therefore, an important document, although it does not itself have the status of law

Any changes in the law necessitated by the GN will have to be enacted by Act or by statutory instruments.  For example, the proposed Indigenisation Compliance and Empowerment Levy described in the GN can only be imposed by a statutory instrument made by the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, with the approval of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development; not only that, but the statutory instrument agreed by the two Ministers cannot be gazetted as law until Parliament has approved a draft instrument.  That is laid down by section 17 of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [revised version available].

Nkulumane by-election result   GN 8/2016 is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announcement of the victory of ZANU-PF’s Killian Sibanda in the by-election to fill the vacancy left by the late Tamsanqa Mahlangu of MDC-T.

Gazette of 15th January 2016

Customs duty

Rebate regulations  Three SIs enact regulations providing for rebates for: furniture manufacturers [SI 3/2016]; textile manufacturers [SI 4/2016]; and the tourism industry [SI 5/2016], all deemed to have come into force on 1st January.

Rebate on capital equipment for specified industries  SI 6/2016 adds a new section 144T to the General Regulations [SI 154/2001] providing for this rebate, deemed to have come into force on 1st January.

Local authority by-laws  SI 2/2016 contains the Plumtree Town Council’s new Refuse Removal by-laws.

General Notice

GN 15/2016 notifies the appointment of legal practitioner Ms Teclar Mapota to the board of the National Prosecuting Authority by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.   She replaces Mr Tawanda Chitapi, now a High Court judge.

Gazette Extraordinary of 18th January 2016

Customs duty suspension for ZESA companies  SI 7/2016 provides a suspension of duty for one year until 4th June 2016 on power equipment, critical spares and transformer components imported by ZESA companies. 

Gazette of 22nd January 2016

Bill

Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill [H.B. 10, 2015] [available]

Note: The printer’s proofs of the massive Mines and Mines Amendment Bill are being checked by the drafter.

Statutory Instruments

VAT Regulations  SI 9/2016, with effect from 1st February, amends the VAT (General) Regulations by inserting items in both Parts I and II of the First Schedule [exempt goods and services].  Corresponding deletions from the Second Schedule [zero-rated goods] are also made.

Telecommunications licencees – contribution to Universal Services Fund  SI 8/2016

General Notices from ZEC

Mhondoro-Mubaira By-election – candidates [GN 19/2016] The two candidates accepted by the nomination court on 6th January were George Gangarawhe [ZANU-PF] and Rodwell Nyanganya [Freedom Front].  The poll will be on 5th March.

Nomination to fill Mashonaland West Party-List Vacancy [GN 20/2016]. Josephine Shava has been nominated by ZANU-PF to fill the National Assembly seat left vacant by the death of the late Joan Tsogorani.

Gazette Extraordinary of 22nd January 2016

Mining fees  SI 10/2015, made by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, enacts a new schedule of fees to replace the Second Schedule to the Mining (General) Regulations.  There are three parts: Part I – miscellaneous fees prescribed for purposes of the Mines and Minerals Act; Part II – export permit fees under section 371 of the Act; Part III – fees charged in terms of section 403(2)(q) of the Act [mainly fees for various licences and services obtainable from the Ministry or its departments].  The four penalties at the very end of the schedule, which are not linked to clearly specified provisions creating offences, are void for vagueness.

 

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