BILL WATCH 5/2021
[1st February 2021]
Update on Parliament under Current COVID-19 Lockdown
The work of Parliament continues to be hampered by the measures adopted by the Government to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, as will appear from the contents of this bulletin. The current national lockdown, dating from 3rd January and today extended to 15th February by SI 37/2021 [link], has necessitated the following departures from Parliament’s sitting calendar for 2021 [link].
The Senate Sitting on 26th January
The Senate met for a brief token sitting last Tuesday, 26th January 2021. The sitting was physically attended by only a handful of Senators on account of the current National Lockdown but a formal sitting was necessary because 26th January was the date to which the Senate had adjourned at its last sitting on Thursday 19th December 2020.
The proceedings lasted only five minutes. After prayers the Deputy President of the Senate, Hon Nyambuya, announced the deaths of the following three Senators:
- Hon. Christine Rambanepasi, an MDC-Alliance Senator for Manicaland Province, on 3rd January, 2021;
- Hon. Dr Gwaradzimba, Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Manicaland Province and a ZANU PF Senator for Manicaland province, on Friday, 15th January 2021;
- Hon. Retired Lt. Gen. Sen. Sibusiso B. Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and a Senator for Midlands Province, on Wednesday, 20th January 2021.
Senators present rose and observed a minute’s silence in respect of their late colleagues.
The Senate then adjourned to Tuesday 16th February.
The National Assembly will Sit on Tuesday 2nd February
The National Assembly will meet for a similar brief token sitting on Tuesday 2nd February, the date to which it adjourned after its last sitting on 19th December 2020. It is expected to follow the example of the Senate by adjourning until Tuesday 16th February. That will be the day after the end of the current national lockdown on the 15th February, the date announced by Vice-President Chiwenga over last weekend and published in a Statutory Instrument 37/2021 gazetted earlier today, 1st February.