BILL WATCH 9/2020
[19th March 2020]
Notice: Both Houses of Parliament Have Adjourned
until Tuesday 5th May [or later if necessary]
ADJOURNMENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO CURB THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
The Hon. Speaker: “I wish to inform the House that following the announcement made by His Excellency, the Head of State and Government yesterday on measures to be taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the House will adjourn today to 5th May, 2020. However, Hon. Members should note that the resumption date is subject to change depending on the prevailing conditions at that particular time. Hon. Members will be advised of such change should the need arise.
Consequently, all international travel, Committee meetings and Public Hearings are cancelled with immediate effect. However, approved workshops and field visits may go ahead where the numbers are less than the recommended number of 100. All other meetings will be considered on a case by case basis.
Let me explain that where there is doubt I am advising the Hon. Members, particularly the Chairpersons and those who will be leading some field visits, to liaise with the Clerk of Parliament at all times. Thank you.”
A SIMILAR ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE IN THE SENATE.
A Query about Committee Meetings in the National Assembly
Hon Biti: “We have Committees that are behind time in terms of their work schedule; and considering that Committees normally have less than 30 people, we suggest and submit that Committee work, provided it meets the criteria of less than 100, be allowed to continue work because we have Committees that are seriously behind. I make that submission to you.
The Hon. Speaker: “Your point of clarification will fall into the category of case by case. So you consult the Clerk of Parliament.”
To Sum Up
Neither the National Assembly nor the National Assembly will meet again until at least the 5th May.
As a general rule all Portfolio Committee or Thematic Committee meetings and Public Hearings are cancelled for the same period. In exceptional cases such as those raised by Hon Biti in his submission, committee meetings may be possible, subject to clearance by the Clerk of Parliament.