BILL WATCH 23/2017
[11th July 2017]
The Senate is sitting this week, starting today 11th July
The National Assembly will not resume until next week, on Tuesday 18th July
The Senate resumes sitting today after a short recess [its last sitting was on Thursday 22nd June]. Senators do not face a heavy week. There is only one Bill on their agenda – the Land Commission Bill – which is item 9 of 9 agenda items on the Order Paper, an indication that Senator Chiefs are not yet ready to continue the debate on the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]’s adverse report on the amendments made to the Bill by the Senate.
All the other Bills currently before Parliament are still with the National Assembly – which, despite extra sittings on 27th and 28th June, did not compete work on any Bills, not even the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 1) Bill and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill.
Bills Passed by Parliament but not yet Gazetted as Acts
Two Bills remain on this list, but there has been one change since our last Bill Watch bulletin – on 5th July Parliament sent both these Bills to the President for his assent —
- Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill [link]
New MDC-T Senator Appointed by ZEC
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has gazetted the appointment of Gideon SHOKO as an MDC-T party-list Senator for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province with effect from 30th June [GN 314/2017]. Mr Shoko could, therefore, be sworn in this week. He fills the vacancy that occurred following the death of Hon Victor Mapungwana.
Late Notices from Ministry of Finance
Loan from Kuwait Fund: Zhove Irrigation Project
In GN 310A/2017 of 29th June, available on the Veritas website [link] the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has gazetted an outline of the terms of a loan agreement signed on 24th March this year between Zimbabwe and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for the Zhove Irrigation Project. Gazetting within sixty days of conclusion of a loan agreement is required by section 300(3) of the Constitution and section 18(2) of the Public Debt Management Act, the provisions cited in GN 310A. This notice should, therefore, have been gazetted before the end of May.
Government Financial Statements
GNs 312 and 313/2017 of 30th June gazetted Consolidated Statements of Financial Performance of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the year 2016 [link] and the month of January 2017 [link], respectively. The deadlines set by section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act were not met.
Coming up in the Senate This Week
As already mentioned above, the Land Commission Bill is unlikely to come up for discussion this week. It is the only Bill on the Order Paper.
There are eight motions on the Order Paper. On all of them debate is in progress. So this week presents an opportunity for Senators to wind up these debates, if Ministers are ready to reply to motions where a Ministerial response is needed. The motions listed range from the votes of thanks to the President for his speech opening the present Parliamentary session and his State of the Nation Address to take-note motions on Thematic Committee reports to Private Member’s motions on the situation of School Development Associations and the need to resolve problems of statelessness in Zimbabwe.
Question Time (Thursday)
There are 25 written questions with notice. Ministerial advisers have surely had enough time by now for to prepare answers to most of these questions.
Government Gazettes 29th June to 7th July
Statutory Instrument of 30th June
Registration Fees for Health Institutions SI 78/2017 is a new set of regulations under the Health Professions Act, replacing previous regulations.
Statutory Instruments of 7th July
Command Agriculture Scheme SI 79/2017 is an important set of regulations, made by the Minister of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, outlining the Command Agriculture Scheme for Domestic Crop, Livestock and Fisheries Production [link].
Pension and Provident Funds Trustees SI 80/2017, made by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and also important, amends the regulations governing Pension and Provident Funds, focussing on the qualifications for trustees of such funds, limiting their terms of office, requiring regular training and assessments for them and re-stating their powers and duties [link].
Blend fuel – E20 approved GN 319/2017 of 7th July increases the mandatory blending level to 20%.
Note: For other GNs please refer to earlier paragraphs.
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