6th July 2014
Speaker’s Ruling Invalidating Resolution of 8th April 2014 for Appointment of an ad hoc Committee to Investigate Corruption
On the 8th of April 2014, the National Assembly adopted the motion by Hon. Madzimure, Member of Parliament for Kambuzuma Constituency, as amended by Hon. Zindi, Member of Parliament for Mutasa South Constituency, to appoint an ad hoc Committee "to thoroughly inquire into and recommend measures to restore corporate governance and investigate cases of corruption in private and public entities and any other relevant matter".
Standing Order 157 of the National Assembly provides that
whenever it appears to the House that it is necessary to appoint an ad hoc Committee to carry out any task and the House has resolved the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders shall appoint the Members of the Committee and give it its terms of reference.
The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is established in terms of Section 151(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and is appointed in terms of Standing Order 14 of the National Assembly for the purpose of, inter alia, supervising the Administration of Parliament, considering and deciding on all matters concerning Parliament and appointing all joint or separate Committees of the Houses of Parliament. Pursuant to the above provisions and the resolution of the National Assembly, the appointment of the above ad hoc committee was one of the items on the agenda of the third meeting of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders which met on Monday the 7th of July 2014.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders considered appropriate and specific draft terms reference for the ad hoc Committee envisaged for consideration by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. The Chairperson encountered an apparent unconstitutionality of the resolution of the National Assembly of 8 April 2014 in the context of the provisions of section 254 of the constitution of Zimbabwe which provides for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission while Section 255 details the Commission's functions. Having considered the apparent violation of the provisions of the Constitution in the implementation of the National Assembly resolution of 8 April 2014, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders resolved to request the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconsider the matter and make an appropriate ruling on the constitutionality of that resolution.