BILL WATCH 51/2016
[23rd November 2016]
The National Assembly is Sitting This Week but not the Senate
The Senate will Resume on 29th November
The President’s State of the Nation Address will be on Thursday 1st December
The 2017 National Budget will be presented on Thursday 8th December
Government Wants Bond Notes Bill to be Fast-Tracked
At the head of the agenda for this afternoon’s sitting of the National Assembly is the normal Wednesday Question Time. That which normally lasts the full two hours allocated by Standing Orders.
The next item, however, is a new motion announced yesterday by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Chinamasa, seeking the House’s approval of the fast-tracking of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill. This development makes it clear that the Government wants the Bill to be passed into law as an extremely urgent matter.
The motion calls for the suspension of the following National Assembly Standing Orders—
1. Standing Order 134, which states that a Bill cannot be introduced – given its First Reading – until at least 14 days after its gazetting [this Bill was gazetted in a Government Gazette Extraordinary dated 16th November, so its First Reading would normally have had to wait until at least Thursday 1st December]
2. Standing Order No. 135, which relates to referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees [this would normally allow the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development until 13th December to report to the House on the Bill]
3. Standing Order No. 136, which relates to the procedure in connection with the Parliamentary Legal Committee
4. Standing Order No. 139, which relates to stages of Bills [this provides that not more than one stage may be taken in the same sitting – i.e. on the same day – without the leave of the House].
The motion is likely to be strongly opposed by the Opposition. When Opposition MPs got wind of the Minister’s intentions yesterday afternoon, there was an immediate attempt to ventilate Opposition concerns in the House, but the Speaker said discussion would have to wait until the Minister moves the motion this afternoon.
Portfolio Committee Invites Comments on Bill
Parliament has today invited comments on the Bill from all interested and affected parties as well as members of the general public. A copy of the invitation is available at this link.
Deadline for comments – Wednesday 30th November
Comments must be submitted no later than Wednesday 30th November.
Address for submission of comments
Submissions should be directed to the attention of the Committee on the following e-mail address: email@example.com or postal address: Parliament of Zimbabwe, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue/Third Street, P O Box CY 298, Causeway, Harare.
For any clarification, you may get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Relevant Documents Available from Veritas
Bill Watch 50/2016 of 21st November - "Bond Notes Bill" Gazetted – for notes on the Bill, including links to other documents.
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