Bill Watch 46-2013

BILL WATCH 46/2013

[16th September 2013]

Ceremonial Opening of Parliament – Tuesday 17th September

President Mugabe will open the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday 17th September 2013, amid the pomp and ceremony traditionally associated with the event – including a police mounted escort for the Presidential limousine, a military parade, inspection of the Guard of Honour, singing of the National Anthem and an air force flypast.  Proceedings in the chamber of the National Assembly will follow, commencing at 12 noon, when the President will address assembled members of both Houses of Parliament in the presence of invited guests. 

The President’s speech  Parliament’s Standing Orders describe the President’s speech on such occasions as “the speech made by the Head of State declaring the causes of his or her calling the Parliament to meet”.  The speech is expected to follow the usual form of a State of the Nation address and an outline of the Government’s intentions for the year ahead, particularly its legislative programme for Parliament.  The legislative programme should be very full, given the need to amend existing Acts of Parliament to bring them into line with the new Constitution.  Some of these amendments or new legislation should have been in place on the 22nd May when parts of the Constitution came into force and some should have been in force on the 22nd August when the rest of the Constitution came into force.  [See Constitution Watches 33, 34 and 35 of 20th, 23rd and 28th August for examples of legislation needed].

At the conclusion of his speech the President will declare the first session of this Eighth Parliament open and then leave the chamber of the National Assembly in procession. 

Proceedings after the speech  Members of both Houses will reassemble very briefly, in accordance with Standing Orders, for formal notice to be given of the customary motions of thanks and loyalty in reply to the President’s speech.  Once that has been done, no other motions or business will be allowed, and the Speaker and the President of the Senate will then adjourn proceedings in their respective Houses to a date fixed by a Government Minister.

Note: Parliament will have to follow the old Standing Orders for the time being but new ones necessitated by the new Constitution will have to be drawn up [see Bill Watch 44/2013 of 6th September].

MDC-T to Boycott

MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese has confirmed that MDC-T MPs will not attend tomorrow’s ceremony.  They will, however, play their full part in Parliament thereafter.

Vacant Senate seat

In GN 484/2013 the Chief Elections Officer of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission gives official public notice of the vacancy in the Senate caused by the death of Senator Kumbirai Kangai on 24th August.  Bill Watch 44/2013 of 6th September explained the procedure for filling the vacancy that must now be followed and also mentioned the other Senate party-list vacancy, caused by the election of Senator Ednah Madzongwe as President of the Senate. 

Government Gazette of 13th September

Statutory Instruments

Law revision  See the following item on a forthcoming revised version of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act.

Money laundering  In SI 136/2013 the Law Reviser gives notice that his revised version of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act will be available for sale by the Government Printer with effect from 4th October.  From that date it will be the sole version of the Act for all purposes, replacing the error-riddled version of the Act that was gazetted in late June.

Local authority by-laws  There are three sets of new by-laws made by the Lupane Local Board:  Animals [SI 133/2013]; People’s Market [134/2013]; Refuse Removal [135/2013].

Outstanding Acts of the Last Parliament

Two Acts passed by the last Parliament in June still await gazetting as Acts:

  • Income Tax Act
  • Electricity Amendment Act. 


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