BILL WATCH 41/2017
[22nd November 2017]
Impeachment Motion Started
Parliament Adjourned: Both Houses to Sit Again on Tuesday 28th November
Yesterday in Parliament
First – Separate sittings of both Houses to announce impeachment motion
Both Houses of Parliament met yesterday afternoon, as previously scheduled. In both Houses the presiding officers advised members that they had received notices of a motion to impeach President Mugabe for which a joint sitting a both Houses would be necessary in terms of section 97 of the Constitution. The joint sitting would commence at 4.30 pm that same afternoon. The rules for the proceedings of the joint sitting – which included the waiving of normal sitting hours – were explained to MPs and both Houses then adjourned until Tuesday 28th November to allow the joint sitting to go ahead.
Next – The Joint Sitting for the Impeachment Motion
The venue for the joint sitting was the Harare International Conference Centre. Proceedings commenced with the moving of the impeachment motion by Senator Monica Mutsvangwa of ZANU-PF. She was followed by the seconder of the motion, National Assembly member James Maridadi of MDC-T. After brief contributions from other MPs, all of them supporting impeachment, proceedings were interrupted at about 5.45 pm by the handing of a document to the Speaker by Hon Bonyongwe and Hon Chinamasa.
The Speaker then read out Mr Mugabe’s letter of resignation as President with immediate effect [link].
The joint sitting was promptly terminated during the tumultuous applause by MPs and members of the public that followed the Speaker’s announcement.
Gazetted Notice of Mr Mugabe’s Resignation
A Government Gazette Extraordinary dated today, 22nd November, contains only one General Notice – GN 652/2017, signed by the Speaker, notifying his receipt of Mr Mugabe’s letter of resignation [link].
Speaker’s Public Announcement of ZANU-PF’s Nomination of Mr Mnangagwa as President
At a press conference just before lunch today, 22nd November, the Speaker formally announced his receipt from ZANU-PF of their written nomination of Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa as next President, in terms of the Constitution, Sixth Schedule, paragraph 14(4).
Mr Mnangagwa’s swearing-in as President – a constitutional requirement before he assumes office – is scheduled to take place on Friday 24th November at 10.30 am.
The 2018 National Budget Presentation
Budget day was to have been tomorrow, Thursday 23rd November. But the fast-moving events of the last few days have caused a change of plan. Parliament will not be sitting tomorrow. The Budget will now be presented on a date to be announced, but expected to be before the ZANU-PF party congress, which is still, it seems, scheduled for 12th to 17th December.
Parliament will meet again on Tuesday 28th November. The Budget presentation does not feature on the Order Paper for next week.
Note: The delay in the presentation of the Budget does not present a constitutional problem. Under section 305(2) of the Constitution the deadline for the presentation of the Budget is 30th January 2018.