Bill Watch 54-2012

 BILL WATCH 54/2012

[15th December 2012]

Both Houses of Parliament have Adjourned until Tuesday 5th February

Bills Passed during 2012

Bills passed this year during the last [Fourth] Session

Older Persons Bill

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill

Electoral Amendment Bill  

Finance Bill

Appropriation (2012) Amendment Bill

These have all been gazetted as Acts of 2012

Note:  the Fourth Session started on 6th September 2011, and between that date and the end of the year four Bills were passed and later gazetted as Acts of 2011 – all of them Budget-related.  Of the 14 non-Budget pieces of legislation the President listed for Parliament to deal with at the opening of the Fourth Session, the Government brought only two Bills to Parliament – the Older Persons Bill and the Electoral Amendment Bill. [For the 12 Bills outlined in the President’s speech that did not reach Parliament during the Session, see Bill Watch 36/2011 of 9th September 2011.]

Passed during current [Fifth] Session

Finance (No. 2) Bill

Appropriation (2013) Bill

These are awaiting gazetting as Acts

Note the Fifth Session opened on 30th October 2012 and will continue until this Parliament comes to an end.

Notably missing – any reform of existing legislation restricting freedom of speech and assembly.

Sitting Days during 2012

The first meetings of the House of Assembly and the Senate in 2012 were on Tuesday 28th February.  Their last meetings, before both adjourned until Tuesday 5th February 2013, were on Thursday 29th November.  During that period the House met on 35 days and the Senate on 37. 

House of Assembly

Last [Fourth] Session .... 30

Current [Fifth] Session ..   5

Total............................ 35


Last session ................... 32

Current session ................ 5

Total............................ 37

Vacancies & Voting Strengths at 16th December 2012

House of Assembly

One new vacancy

This arose with the death on 30th November of Jabulani Mangena, ZANU-PF MP for Mberengwa North. 

Current vacancies

There are 18 vacancies, leaving 197 House of Assembly MPs out of a possible 215.

Note: All the vacancies are for constituency seats and are awaiting by-elections

Current membership/voting strengths

The 197 current members of the House fall into the following groups: 

ZANU-PF              92

MDC-T                   97

MDC                        8

Reminder:  Non-constituency seats

The five non-constituency [ex officio or appointed] members of the House are: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Minister Gorden Moyo from MDC-T; Vice-President John Landa Nkomo and Ms Oppah Muchinguri from ZANU-PF; and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. 

MDC expulsions 

The “MDC occupied seats” in the above lists include the seats held by members whose expulsion from the party was recently announced by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC – three members of the House, two of the Senate.  They have not lost their seats, because the party has not yet notified the Speaker and the President of the Senate of the expulsions, which is what is required to trigger the loss of a party seat under section 41 of the Constitution [see Bill Watch 52/2012 of 24th November]

[Note:  Professor Mutambara, whose Supreme Court bid to reverse his replacement as MDC president by Professor Ncube is still pending, has written to Parliament stating his position that any such notification by the party without his sanction would be invalid.]


One vacancy recently filled by MDC-T nominee

On Thursday 29th November Sibusisiwe Masara was sworn in as an appointed non-constituency Senator.  She is the MDC-T nominee to fill the vacancy caused by the death in April of the late Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa.  The new Senator is the secretary-general of the MDC-T Women’s Assembly.

Current vacancies

There are 14 vacancies, leaving 85 Senators out of a possible 99:

Elected Senators               11 vacancies [ZANU-PF 6; MDC-T 5; MDC 0]

Chiefs                                 2 vacancies [Matabeleland South 1; Manicaland 1]

Provincial Governors        1 vacancy [Harare]

Appointed Senators          0 vacancies

Note: it is only the 11 vacancies for elected [i.e., constituency] Senate seats that need by-elections.  The 2 vacant Chiefs seats are awaiting replacements chosen by the provincial assemblies of chiefs in the relevant provinces.  The vacant Governor’s seat is an ex officio seat, awaiting the appointment of a new provincial governor for Harare.

Current membership/voting strenghts

The 85 current Senators fall into the following groups:

ZANU-PF              38 [24 elected, 5 appointed, plus 9 governors]

MDC-T                   23 [19 elected, 4 appointed]

MDC                        8 [6 elected, 2 appointed]

Chiefs                    16

Update on Number of By-elections Due

Changes since last update

Bill Watch 43/2012 of 14th September gave the following figures, which were verified by Parliament and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, for the number of by-elections due at that date:  Senate 10; House of Assembly 16.  Changes since are as follows:

Senate  One more by-election is due, following the death of Josiah Rimbi, MDC-T senator for Chipinge, on 24th September [noted in Bill Watch 44.2012 of 25th September].

House of Assembly 16  Two more by-elections are due, following the deaths of Stan Mudenge, ZANU-PF MP for Masvingo North, on 4th October [noted in Bill Watch 46/2012 of 9th October] and Jabulani Mangena, ZANU-PF MP for Mberengwa North, on 30th November [noted above].

Current figures for by-elections due [29]

Senate                              11

House of Assembly        18


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