BILL WATCH 34/2018
[26th October 2018]
Both Houses of Parliament are in Recess until Tuesday 30th October
Government Gazette Extraordinary 12th October 2018
SI 205/2018 – Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money Transfer Tax) Regulations [link]
The purpose of this statutory instrument, gazetted on 12th October, was to attempt to give legal effect to the upward review of the Intermediated Money Transfer Tax announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in his statement Fiscal Measures for Reversing Fiscal Dis-equilibrium on 1st October 2018 [link]. It brought the new tax into effect on 13th October, citing section 3 of the Finance Act as the enabling Act of Parliament.
Note: Bill Watch 32/2018 of 23rd October [Electronic Money Transfer Tax: Still Illegal] [link] considers the constitutionality of section 3 of the Finance Act and concludes that SI 205 is illegal.
Reminder – need for confirmation of SI 205 by Act of Parliament As Bill Watch 29/2018 of 4th October [link] explained, any SI made in terms of section 3(2) of the Finance Act falls away unless confirmed by Parliament in accordance within the following timeframe: the Bill for the confirming Act must (1) pass its Second Reading within the next 28 days on which Parliament sits next after the 13th October and (2) become law as an Act within six months of that Second Reading.
A Bill to confirm SI 205 was gazetted in a Government Gazette Extraordinary late on Friday 19th October – Finance (No. 2) Bill [link]. The implications of the Bill’s backdating of this confirmation to 13th October are considered in Bill Watch 32/2018 mentioned above.
Regular Government Gazette 12th October 2018
Statutory Instruments [SIs]
Labour Act –collective bargaining agreement – Agricultural Industry
SI 204/2018 sets out new wages for the Tea and Coffee Sector of this industry, effective from 1st July 2018
Local Authority by-laws – Marondera Rural District Council
SI 201/2018 – Hawkers and Street Vendors By-laws These by-laws impose controls, not only on hawkers and street vendors, but also on flea market trading, flea market landlords and stall or table holders, and employers of hawkers, street vendors etc. Annual licences will be required, and food-sellers will need annual health certificates. An obvious question arises: is this elaborate machinery really necessary in every corner of a rural district council area?
SI 202/2018 – Clamping and Tow-away By-laws These by-laws, apparently following the template previously used by other councils, provide for the clamping and towing away by council officials of vehicles violating any one of a long list of offences against the Council’s Traffic By-Laws. As the latter by-laws have not yet been gazetted, the present SI can have no effect whatever, at least for the time being. There is no provision for the situation where a mistake has been made and the unfortunate vehicle owner objects to paying the various charges for recovering his vehicle. Again, why should by-laws clearly designed for an urban area, apply to the whole area under the jurisdiction of a rural district council?
SI 203/2018 – Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation By-laws These by-laws appear to be largely a repetition of provisions already contained in the Environmental Management Act [EMA] and regulations made under that Act.
Special grants under Mines and Minerals Act
Notices gazetted by the Mining Affairs Board:-
GN 893/2018 notifies the issue of Special Grant No. 4541 in Matabeleland South to Tuli Coal (Pvt) Ltd.
GN 894/2018 notifies the President’s authorisation of the cession of Special Grant 4947 [GN 10/2013] in Matabeleland North by Chilota Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd to Sunrise Chilota Corporation (Pvt) Ltd.
Regular Government Gazette 19th October 2018
Labour Act - collective bargaining agreements
SI 206/2018 – Food and Allied Industries (Milling Sub-sector) – wage increments, housing and transport allowances.
SI 207/2018 – Ferro Alloy Industry – wage increase January 2015 to December 2018.
Inefficient electric lighting products ban
SI 208/2019 [link] – This SI, by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, makes major amendments to the Electricity (Inefficient Lighting Products Ban and Labelling) Regulations, SI 21/2017. The 2017 regulations banned importation, manufacture and sale of such lighting equipment as the old-style incandescent bulbs and certain fluorescent tubes, but not the use and possession of existing bulbs and tubes. The main object of the present SI 208/2018 is to take the logical next step by adding a on the use and possession of incandescent bulbs, and on the use of certain fluorescent lamps and the other inefficient lighting products. Use and possession of such products is made a criminal offence, subject to both civil and criminal penalties.
Comment: Despite the undoubted policy merits of discouraging the use of inefficient electric lighting products, SI 208/2018 is bound to provoke an adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee. And if the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority [ZERA] or law enforcement officers attempt to put its drastic penalties into practice, legal challenges in the courts are certain. The SI goes way beyond the powers conferred on the Minister by the enabling Act, the Electricity Act, section 65. For example (1) the new ban on use of incandescent lamps is said to be with effect from 1st September 2018, which is ultra vires backdating; (2) section 8’s increase in the criminal penalties from the maximum permitted by the Act (level 5 fine and/or six months imprisonment) to a level 14 fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment, is also ultra vires; (3) there is a novel and highly questionable provision for a civil penalty for being “found in contravention of” the ban [found by whom or what? one asks] coupled with failure to pay the civil penalty within seven working days being a criminal offence attracting the ultra vires new criminal penalty already referred to.
Customs duty on inter-esterified palm fats
SI 209/2018 – Customs Tariff Amendment – duty fixed at 40% with effect from 1st September 2018.
SI 210/2018 – Suspension of duty – a suspension of the new duty for Olivine Industries (Pvt) Ltd also with effect from 1st September 2018.
Civil Aviation (Aerodromes) Regulations, 2018
SI 211-2018 – a mammoth 242-page set of regulations to repeal and replace the previous regulations [SI 119/2018].
Government Gazette Extraordinary 19th October 2018
Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2018 [HB 9, 2018] This Bill was sent to Parliament last week by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Its purpose is to confirm the new Intermediated Money Transfer Tax that the Minister introduced by SI 205/2018 [discussed under Government Gazette Extraordinary 12th October 2018 at the beginning of this bulletin].
Second Government Gazette Extraordinary 19th October 2018
Assignment of administration of Acts of Parliament to Cabinet members A second Government Gazette Extraordinary dated 19th October published 23 statutory instruments [SIs 212 to 234/2018] notifying the assignment of administration Acts to the President, both Vice-Presidents and Ministers. These SIs will soon be available on the Veritas website.
Regular Government Gazette 26th October 2018
Collective bargaining agreement – GMB Industry SI 235/2018 contains comprehensive new conditions of service for Grain Marketing Board employees.
New Deeds Registries Regulations – SI 236/2018 contains new Deeds Registries Regulations, following up the gazetting of the Deeds Registries Amendment Act (Act 8/2017) [link]. The new regulations are not yet in force; they will only come into force on a future date to be fixed by the Minister by statutory instrument.
Customs duty suspension for mining infrastructure development SI 237/2018 adds two further mining locations to the list of locations qualifying for three-year suspensions of duty on certain imports.