BILL WATCH 64/2019
[26th November 2019]
Only the National Assembly will be Sitting This Week
The Senate will Not Meet Until Tuesday 3rd December
Coming up in the National Assembly on Tuesday 26th November
2020 National Budget Debate
Resumption of the Budget debate is on the Order Paper for today, Tuesday 26th November.
Additional Budget documents have been added to the Veritas website since the Budget presentation. Now available for downloading are:
2020 Pre-Budget Strategy Paper [link]
Budget speech [link]
Full Budget Statement [link]
Estimates of Expenditure for 2020 [the Blue Book] [Excel document] [link]
Budget Highlights [simplified presentation, also known as The People’s Budget] [link]
Finance (No. 3) Bill – Departmental Draft [to give a preview of what the proposed changes to taxation legislation and related legislation look like] [link]
Also on the Order Paper, in the following order, are three of the seven uncompleted Bills from the last Parliamentary session which were restored to the Order Paper by resolution of the National Assembly on 13th November: Proceedings will resume at the point reached in the last session:
Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill [link] – for resumption of the barely-started Committee Stage. As this urgent Bill has already been subjected to disappointingly long delays, the new Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon Sekesai Nzenza, will need to insist on early progress being made. There are several pages of proposed amendments, most of them put forward by Hon Sacco, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, on behalf of his committee. The committee’s thorough report on the Bill [link] recommended the amendments and they have been on the Order Paper for months. In addition, there are two more recent amendments proposed, to clause 7 of the Bill concerning the composition of the ZIDA Board, put down by Hon Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Hon Kindness Paradza. Indeed, all three MPs want different amendments to clause 7. An updated set of all the proposed amendments is available on the Veritas website [link].
Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill [link] – for resumption of the Second Reading debate.
Coroner’s Office Bill [link] – also for resumption of the Second Reading debate.
Bills under consideration by Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]
The National Assembly is waiting for reports from the PLC on six Bills, as required by Standing Orders.
Bills referred to PLC last session and restored to Order Paper 13th November
As these Bills were referred to the PLC on 29th August, the PLC reports should be ready for immediate presentation now that the Bills have been restored to the Order Paper:
Bills referred to PLC on 13th November
- Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [link]
- Constitutional Court Bill [link]
- International Treaties Bill [link].
International Agreements for Approval
Three international agreements are on the Order Paper for approval in terms of the Constitution [the agreements can be found on the Veritas website]:
1. Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (2016)
2. Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (1986)
3. Additional Protocol to the to the Safeguards Agreement Protocol to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty
Take Note Motions on Reports
The Order Paper lists:
- Reports by official Parliamentary delegations to far-flung places – to an Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] in Qatar; to a Pan-African Parliament Summit on HIV and Health Finance in Africa in Brazzaville, Congo; to an International Forum on Development of Parliamentarians and the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference in Moscow, Russia; to Sweden, by a delegation led by the Speaker on a Re-engagement Visit to Sweden; to other places in Africa and to New York, USA.
- Public Accounts Committee report on several urban councils - Chegutu, Chinhoyi, Kariba and Karoi.
- Portfolio Committee recommendations on implementation of the Smith Commission’s report on the Conversion of Insurance and Pension Values;
- Portfolio Committee report on a fact-finding visit to Cyclone Idai affected areas;
- Portfolio Committee report on the status of border posts in Zimbabwe.
Recently Gazetted Acts of 2019
Gazetted on 15th November
Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [link] (Act 9/2019)
Date of commencement: 15th November 2019 (date gazetted)
Companies and Other Business Entities Act [link] (Act 4/2019)
Date of commencement: 13th February 2020 [in terms of section 1 of the Act which provides that the Act “shall commence on the ninetieth day after the date of its promulgation”].
Gazetted on 19th November
Microfinance Amendment Act [link] (Act 6/2019)
Date of commencement: 19th November 2019 (date gazetted)
What Has Happened to the Consumer Protection Bill?
The Consumer Protection Bill, although passed as long ago as 18th June, has still not been sent to the President for his assent and gazetting as an Act. It is the fourth and final Bill passed in the last session. Parliament had a painstaking task incorporating the major amendments that were made to the Bill during its passage through Parliament; some of those amendments, for instance, would have required many consequential editing changes to other parts of the text. We understand, however, that the reprinting process is very near completion, meaning that the Bill may soon be sent to the President.