BILL WATCH 34-2016

BILL WATCH 34/2016

[5th August 2016]

Parliament Will Not Sit Again until Tuesday 16th August

Acts of 2016

There has been no change since our last list.  Only two 2016 Acts have been gazetted so far, as follows—

·        Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act (No. 2 of 2016) – date of commencement 10th June 2016

·        General Laws Amendment Act (No. 3 of 2016) – date of commencement 1st July 2016.

Several more Acts are, however, on the way, the relevant Bills having been passed by Parliament – see the next entry headed Status of Bills as at 1st August, under Awaiting Presidential assent and/or gazetting

Note: Act No. 1 will be the Zimbabwe National Defence University Act, the Bill for which was passed by Parliament on 8th March but subsequently re-opened at Government behest for one minor amendment to be made [see below].

Status of Bills as at 1st August

Passed by Parliament, awaiting Presidential assent and/or gazetting

Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Bill [passed 12th May, sent to President 7th July]

Gwanda State University Bill [passed 12th May, sent to President 13th July]

Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [second version passed 30th June, sent to President 21st July]

Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [passed 7th June]

Special Economic Zones Bill [passed 16th June]

In the Senate

Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill as amended [passed by the National Assembly 21st July]

In the National Assembly

For Consideration of Senate Amendment

Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill [passed by Parliament on 8th March, but re-opened in Senate on 19th May for a new definition of “Minister” and promptly approved by Senators and sent to the National Assembly, where it has been waiting ever since.]

Second Reading stage

Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill [for Minister’s opening speech explaining the Bill]

Bills being considered by Parliamentary Legal Committee 

Land Commission Bill [gazetted 10th June. Public hearings are being held from 1st to 6th August – see timetable in Bill Watch Committee Series 28/2016 of 28th July.]

[All the above Bills are available from Veritas.]

Bills gazetted and awaiting introduction

None

Bills being prepared for gazetting

Note: These four Bills have been sent to Parliament by the responsible Ministers after Cabinet approval.  Parliament in turn has sent them to the Government Printer for printing and gazetting, a process that involves checking of proofs by Parliament and the drafters in the Attorney-General’s Office. Texts will not be available from Veritas until after official gazetting.

Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill [proofs were returned to Government Printer on 18th July, having been under review by the drafters for six months]

Deeds Registries Amendment Bill [proofs to drafters 12th July]

Judicial Laws Amendment Bill [proofs to drafters 18th July]

Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill [sent to Government Printer for proofs 26th July]

In Parliament Last Week – 26th to 28th July

National Assembly

New MP sworn in  Hon Martin Dinha, the new ZANU-PF MP for Mazoe North, was sworn in on 27th July, having won the by-election held on 23rd July.

Motion on matter of “urgent public importance” thwarted by no-quorum adjournment

On 27th July at 5.15 pm, having earlier secured the permission of the Speaker and the National Assembly, Hon Cross was due to present his motion relating to the unlawful release of two suspects from Avondale Police Station by Vice-President Mphoko.  Hon Cross had hardly started speaking when Hon Mudarikwa of ZANU-PF objected that there was no quorum.  Efforts to raise a quorum by ringing the division bells for the stipulated 7 minutes failed; only 37 MPs were present to be counted, and a quorum requires 70.  This required the immediate adjournment of the National Assembly in terms of Standing Order 172 – which prevented Hon Cross from continuing with his motion [full text of motion available here on the Veritas website].

Bills

Land Commission Bill  The Bill was presented on 28th July, given its First Reading and referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC].  It is also under consideration at public hearings being conducted by Parliament this week [Bill available here on Veritas website].

Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill  After contributions to the Second Reading debate from two MPs, it was realised that the Minister of Mines and Mining Development had not yet started proceedings by making his introductory speech as required by Standing Orders.  Their premature contributions will be restored to the record once the Minister’s speech and the relevant portfolio committee report on the Bill have been presented to the National Assembly.  [Bill available here on Veritas website]

Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill  The amendment desired by the Government [replacing the Minister of Defence with the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development in the definition of “Minister”] was not dealt with.  This item has been awaiting attention since 19th May.    No explanation has been given for the subsequent extraordinary delay in the National Assembly.

Motions

On 26th July two private member’s motions were presented—

Children’s Rights – birth certificates, sexual abuse and exploitation [Hon Dorcas Sibanda, seconded by Hon Mpariwa]

Shortage of Cash in Zimbabwean Banks [Hon Mashakada, seconded by Hon Chimanikire]  This motion calls on the Government to de-dollarise and adopt the SA Rand as the anchor currency; and address the fundamental structural causes of the financial and economic crisis engulfing Zimbabwe.

On 28th July take-note motions were presented for the following portfolio committee reports—

The Operational Environment and Economic Contributions of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Informal Sector in Zimbabwe[Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development]

Zimbabwe Digital Migration Project [Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services]

Senate

Bills

The Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill was received from the National Assembly, but not dealt with.  There were no other Bills on the Order Paper.

Motions

Take-note motions were presented for the following thematic committee reports—

The Human Rights Situation in Zimbabwe [Thematic Committee on Human Rights] – 26th July  [available here on Veritas website]

National AIDS Council Capacity-Building Workshop and Tour Conducted in Chingwizi, Ngundu and Beitbridge on TB, Malaria, HIV and AIDS and Key Populations  [Thematic Committee on  HIV and AIDS] – 27th July.

Government Gazettes 29th July to 5th August

Statutory Instruments 29th July

Collective bargaining agreement – Funeral Industry  SI 76/2016 sets out comprehensive conditions of service for the industry.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission regulations  SI 77/2016 contains regulations [available on Veritas website here] made by the Commission with the approval of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Matters covered include: lodging and investigation of complaints; resolution of complaints through negotiation, conciliation or mediation; hearings, both informal and formal; conclusion of complaints.  Complaints to the Commission about violations or threatened violations of human rights or freedoms, or about maladministration, should be made in writing, preferably on the official form obtainable from the Commission’s offices and, if necessary, with assistance from an officer of the Commission.

Port health examination costs  SI 78/2016 sets out rules under which moneys owed to the Ministry of Health and Child Care will be collected on its behalf by ZIMRA or any other designated agent.  

Statutory Instruments of 5th August

Collective bargaining agreements  Three agreements are gazetted – for School Development Associations and Committees [SI 79/2016, a repetition of the regulations gazetted by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in SI 72/2016]; Plastics Manufacturing Industry [SI 80/2016]; Chemicals and Fertilizers Manufacturing Industry [SI 81/2016].

African swine fever control areas  SI 82/2016, in terms of the Animal Health Act, adds six communal lands in the Mount Darwin district to the list of control areas.

General Notices

Local Government Laws Amendment Bill to President for assent  GN 204/2016 of 29th July gives notice that Parliament sent the Bill to the President on 21st July.

Land compulsorily acquired for “agriculture settlement”  (1) GN 205/2016 of 29th July notifies the acquisition with effect from 29th July, of one piece of land in Lupane district and another in Umguza.  (2) GN 206/2016 of 3rd August notifies the acquisition with effect from 3rd August of a piece of land in Kadoma district.  Both notices are under section 72(2) of the Constitution,

Withdrawal of preliminary notice under Land Acquisition Act  GN 207/2016 of 3rd August notifies the partial withdrawal of a preliminary notice in terms of section 5 of the Act gazetted on 19th December 2014 in GN 563/2014.

 

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