BILL WATCH 25-2016

BILL WATCH 25/2016

[14th June 2016]

Both Houses of Parliament Continue Sitting This Week

Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act Gazetted

The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act was gazetted on Friday 10th June as Act No. 2 of 2016. 

Dates of commencement [Act, section 1(2) and (3)]

 -10th June 2016  Most of the Act’s 49 sections came into operation on 10th June, the date it was gazetted .  But some will have a delayed date of commencement, as set out in the following paragraph.

- 8th September 2016  Sections 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 27, and the new Eleventh Schedule to the principal Act inserted by section 47, will only come into operation “on the ninetieth day after” the 10th June, i.e., on 8th September.  Apart from section 27, all these delayed-action provisions amend provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act dealing with how articles seized by police should be dealt with; section 27 amends section 66 of the principal Act concerning the summary committal of accused persons for trial before the High Court.

Land Commission Bill Gazetted

Also gazetted on 10th June was this lengthy Bill [56 pages] – another step towards implementation of the Constitution.  It contains provision for the Zimbabwe Land Commission [referred by section 296 of the Constitution]; and for the allocation of rights in State Land for agricultural purposes, the registration of such rights in a new Register of Partially Alienated State Land Rights, the creation and extinction of servitudes over State Land, the settlement of persons on State Land; the control of subdivision and leasing of land for farming or other purposes, and the limitation of the number and size of pieces land that may be owned by individuals. 

Effect on other Acts  There is provision for the repeal of the Agricultural Land Settlement Act and the Rural Land Act, with transitional provisions covering existing rights under those Acts.  Staff of the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and the Agricultural Land Settlement Board who wish to do so may be permitted to transfer to employment with the Land Commission.

There is also one minor amendment [clause 66] to the Land Acquisition Act, which would allow a Permanent Secretary [which one is not clear] or an authorised delegate to attend meetings of the Derelict Land Board as an observer.  Not included are changes to the Act’s compensation provisions that are necessary to align them with section 295 of the Constitution [see Bill Watch 12/2016 of 8th March].

In Parliament Last Week

In the National Assembly

Bills

Local Government Laws Amendment Bill  The Bill was presented, given its formal First Reading and referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]. 

Special Economic Zones Bill   Following the PLC’s non-adverse report on amendments made during the Committee Stage, the House on 9th June passed the Bill, as amended, and it was transmitted to the Senate. 

Motions

ZEC’S preparedness to conduct elections  On 7th June Hon Majome, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, presented the committee’s report.  Major recommendations focus on the need for the Government to ensure the entire electoral framework is brought into line with the Constitution and to ensure adequate funding for ZEC.

Cost of blood in health institutions  On 7th June Hon Nduna presented his motion calling for Government to subsidise the price of blood, decentralise the blood bank to district level and promote blood donations from adults. 

In the Senate

Public Finance Management Amendment Bill  The Bill was taken through all its stages on Tuesday 7th June, and passed without amendment.  Next, fair copies of the Bill will be prepared for assent and signature by the President and later gazetting as law.

Coming up In Parliament This Week

In the National Assembly

Bills

Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill – for consideration of the Government-requested amendment made by the Senate to the re-opened Bill.  The amendment will approve the President’s decision to make the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development responsible for the University in place of the Minister of Defence, who had that responsibility during the Bill’s initial passage through Parliament in March [see note and comment in Bill Watch 24/3026 of 6th June]

Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill – for continuation of Second Reading debate.

Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill – for delivery of Minister’s speech opening the Second Reading debate.

Motions

Take note motions on Portfolio Committee reports  Several reports are lined up for presentation – on the operations of Air Zimbabwe; the administration of BEAM; working conditions at Hwange Colliery, National Railways and Dete Refractories.

AIPPA  Next on the agenda is Hon Maridadi’s motion calling for the urgent tabling by the Executive of a Bill to repeal those provisions of the Access to Information and Preservation of Privacy Act in violation of section 61 of the Constitution [such as those dealing with registration of journalists and issues of privacy].

Birth certificates Hon D. Sibanda’s motion calls for remedial action to ensure prompt provision of birth certificates and measures to address sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Question Time [15th June]  62 written questions are listed for reply by Ministers or Deputy Ministers.

In the Senate

Bills  

Special Economic Zones Bill   The Bill, passed by the National Assembly with amendments on 9th June, was immediately sent to the Senate.  It is expected to be dealt with by the Senate during the week.

Motions  Senator B. Sibanda is due to move his motion calling for action against corruption, including Parliamentary monitoring of the Executive’s performance in dealing with reported cases. 

Question Time [16th June]  There are 8 questions listed.  One asks the Minister of Finance and Economic Development how many jobs have been created, in which sectors, since 2013 towards the governing party’s 2 million jobs target.

Status of Bills as at 13th June 2016: At a Glance

Passed by Parliament, awaiting Presidential assent and/or gazetting

General Laws Amendment Bill [passed 14th April]

Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Bill [passed 12th May]

Gwanda State University Bill [passed 12th May]

Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [passed 7th June]

Awaiting Second Reading stage in Senate 

Special Economic Zones Bill [transmitted from National Assembly 9th June]

For Consideration of Senate Amendment by National Assembly

Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill

Undergoing Second Reading stage in National Assembly

- Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill

- Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill

Awaiting PLC report after First Reading

Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [referred to PLC 7th June]

Gazetted and awaiting introduction

Land Commission Bill [gazetted 10th June]

[All the above Bills are available from Veritas.]

Being prepared for gazetting

The text of this Bill will only be available when it is officially gazetted—

- Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill [proofs returned to the drafters for checking in early January]

Government Gazettes 10th June

Act  Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act (No. 2/2016) – noted at beginning of bulletin.

Bill  Land Commission Bill – noted at beginning of bulletin.

Statutory Instruments

Constitutional Court Rules  SI 61/2016 [sixty pages of rules governing applications and appeals to the Constitutional Court and related matters – to be summarised in a Court Watch bulletin as soon as possible]

High Court Fees – SI 57/2016 updates Rule 457 of the High Court Rules re fees for the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff by cross-referring to the High Court (Fees and Allowances) Rules.  SI 58/2016 makes four amendments to the Fees and Allowances Rules. 

Customs duty suspensions  There are two SIs – 59/2016 is a 3-year suspension in favour of the Government’s Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (Pvt) Ltd; 60/2016 provides for suspension of duty on “carbon dioxide compliant and hydrfluorocarbon-free (HFC-free) coolers” imported by approved dealers.

Animal Health – Port Health Inspection Fees  SI 56/2016 introduces fees for inspections carried out at ports of entry, to be collected by ZIMRA on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

 

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