In pursuit of its constitutional mandate as provided in section 152(4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Parliamentary Legal Committee (herein referred to as “the Committee) considered Statutory Instruments gazetted in August 2018. After deliberations the Committee unanimously (4:0) resolved that an adverse report be issued in respect of Statutory Instruments 148 and 149 of 2018 due to the following reasons:
Section 31 of Statutory Instrument 148 of 2018 (Vungu Rural District Council (Environmental) By-Laws, 2018) and similarly section 31 of Statutory Instrument 149 of 2018 (Bikita Rural District Council (Environmental) By-Laws, 2018) are ultra vires the enabling Act. The Committee found the sections cited in Statutory Instruments 148 and 149 to be ultra vires the Rural District Council Act [Chapter 29: 03].
The adverse sections provide for penalties above those prescribed by the enabling Act. The Act provides that no such penalty shall exceed a fine of level five or for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. In each Statutory Instrument cited, section 31 provides that any person who contravenes the by-laws “shall be guilty of an offence ….and liable to a fine not exceeding level 6..”.
Summarily, it is the Committees opinion that the Statutory Instruments Nos. 148 and 149 are ultra vires enabling Act and therefore unconstitutional.
Hon. K. I Phulu
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE