BILL WATCH 31/2018
[9th October 2018]
Both Houses of Parliament will Sit This Week
Coming up in Parliament This Week
The Order Papers for this week mention no Bills. Progress on Bills awaiting introduction will be the subject of a separate bulletin to be issued shortly.
The first two private members’ motions of the new Parliament are listed. They call for Government:
- to come up with a national drug policy and legislative framework that is grounded in science, public health and human rights to effectively minimize the effects of drug use within communities [Senator Timveos];
- to engage in dialogue with vendors and their associations in an effort to finding a lasting solution to the problems of vending and to construct proper vending stalls at easily accessible sites [Senator Chabuka].
The only item on today’s Order Paper is the continuing debate on the President’s address of 18th September and four other private members’ motions. They were not available to Veritas at the time of writing.
In both Houses lively sittings are anticipated. Last week the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was not present to answer questions from members about the Monetary Policy and Fiscal Measures announced on 1st October, causing members to demand an early Ministerial statement in Parliament.
Government Gazettes 5th October 2018
The regular Friday Government Gazette was supplemented by a Government Gazette Extraordinary.
Government Gazette Extraordinary
General Notices [GNs]
Companies and Other Business Entities Bill – H.B. 8, 2018 GN 762/2018 is a notification from Parliament of the gazetting of this Bill. The Bill replaces the earlier Bill H.B. 3, 2018 of the same name gazetted on 9th March, but not dealt with by the last Parliament. At 310 pages, the new Bill is ten pages longer than its predecessor, and there is a 24-page explanatory memorandum. A later bulletin will discuss the Bill, pointing out changes that have been made. Please note that the Bill is not yet available on our website.
Senate vacancies GN 761/2018 is the formal statutory notification by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] of two Senate vacancies among the ZANU-PF party-list Senators for Matabeleland North. The vacancies result from the death of Senator Thokozile Mathuthu and the resignation of Senator Obert Mpofu. It is now up to ZANU PF to fill the vacancies by nominating two qualified persons, one woman and one man, in accordance with the procedure laid down by section 39 of the Electoral Act. It is thought that the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Cain Mathema, will be nominated to fill Senator Mpofu’s vacancy.
Regular Government Gazette
Statutory Instruments [SIs]
Labour Act – two collective bargaining agreements
- SI 196/2018 – Leather, skins, footwear, sports equipment & travel goods industry This agreement dates from 2016 and specifies wages for the several sectors of the industry for the year 2013. It is not at all clear what legal effect the statutory instrument has, since its publication has been so long delayed.
- SI 200/2018 [link] – Welfare & educational institutions Although this agreement was signed on behalf of employers and employees on 27th January 2017 its date of commencement is 5th October 2018, the date of gazetting. It deals with the renewability of fixed-term contracts of employment, when renewed contracts must be deemed to be contracts without limit of time, and when a break in employment followed by re-engagement is deemed not to have broken continuous employment. A non-exhaustive definition of the “welfare and educational institutions” industry is also provided – it embraces all registered private voluntary organisations [PVOs]; educational institutions from day nurseries and crèches to universities if their employees are not employed and paid by Government or a local authority; and religious organisations if their employees are not confined to religious work.
SI 197/2018 – Civil Aviation (Rules of the Air and Air Traffic Services) Regulations 90 pages of regulations on this subject, in the latest of many SIs gazetted under the Civil Aviation Act since the beginning of the year.
SI 198/2018 – Murehwa Rural District Council (Land Use and Conservation) By-laws These by-laws apply to communal and resettlement land in the council area. They follow the standard form for such by-laws.
SI 199/2018 – Extradition Agreement between USA and Zimbabwe [link] This SI publishes an extradition agreement between the two countries signed on 25th July 1997. The agreement now has the force of law in Zimbabwe, but only with effect from 5th October 2018. No explanation is given for the extraordinary 20-year delay in bringing the agreement into force. The delay cries out for explanation.
General Notices [GNs]
Reconstruction of Air Zimbabwe
GN 758/2018 – Reconstruction Order – Air Zimbabwe This GN publishes the terms of the reconstruction order issued by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on 4th October, in terms of section 5(2) of the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Companies Act [link], in respect of Air Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd and Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. The order places both companies under the control and management of an administrator, divests the company boards of their powers, states that executives continue in office subject to the control of the administrator, and empowers the administrator to raise money for the purpose of reconstructing the companies.
GN 759/2018 – Notice of High Court application to confirm reconstruction order In this GN the same Minister gives notice to Air Zimbabwe shareholders, creditors and former directors, of his intention to apply to a judge of the High Court at Harare for confirmation of his reconstruction order regarding the two companies. He also gives notice that the required documentation in support of the application can be obtained from the Attorney-General’s Office. A judge’s confirmation of the reconstruction order is essential [Act, section 8].
An earlier order and notice gazetted in July [GNs 609 & 610/2018] are cancelled. Why it was necessary to cancel them and replace them is not explained, apart from the statement that that it was done “at the request of the Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development, who holds the shares of the above-named companies on behalf of the State”.