Bill Watch 44-2023 - In Parliament Last Week - 14-16 November

BILL WATCH 44/2023

[22nd November 2023]

In Parliament Last Week : 14th to 16th November 2023

Further Recalls of CCC Members of Both Houses

National Assembly:  On Tuesday 14th November the Speaker announced that 13 CCC members of the National Assembly – they are listed below – had vacated their seats in terms of section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution with effect from the 7th November, having lost their CCC membership on that date.  The Speaker was asked if he was aware that earlier in the day there had been a High Court order which nullified any further recalls pending the finalisation of the matter that is before the court He said he had not had a copy of such an order from any CCC representative and, in a carefully worded reply, said: “As soon as I get the court’s decision either way, I will read (it) and if it nullifies the recalls … the recalls will be nullified accordingly through that court order 

Recalled members of National Assembly Admore Chivero (Chegutu West); Stephen Chatiza (Goromonzi South); Gift Ostallos Siziba (Pelandaba); Tapfumanei Willard Madzimbamuto (Seke); Oliver Mutasa (Zvimba East); Amos Chibaya (Mkoba North) who is the CCC Chief Whip ; Emma Muzondiwa (Midlands PR); Machirairwa Mugidho (Masvingo PR); Constance Chihota (Mashonaland East PR); Monica Mukwada (Manicaland PR); Sekai Mungani (Midlands PR); Linnet Mazingaidzo (Harare Metropolitan PR); and Dephine Gutsa (Mashonaland East PR).

Senate:  On the 14th November the Acting President of the Senate announced in the Senate that five Senators had also lost their seats, for the same reason.

Recalled Senators Webster Maondera (Harare Metropolitan); Jameson Timba (Harare Metropolitan); Editor Matamisa (Mashonaland West); Vongai Tome (Harare Metropolitan); and Ralph T. Magunje (Mashonaland West).

Further Developments on the Recalls

Parliament maintains that the recalls must stand:  The next day (Wednesday the 15th) CCC MP Hon Hlatywayo requested the Speaker to explain Parliament’s position on the High Court order issued on the previous day.  The Speaker replied that the order had prohibited Mr Tshabangu from making any further recalls from the time of the order onwards, and did not affect recalls that had already been effective before then, as had been the case with the recalls announced in both Houses on Tuesday.  Accordingly those recalls would stand.  

In the Senate the Acting President of the Senate told Senator Mlotshwa of CCC, who asked whether Parliament would comply with the High Court interdict, that he was unable to deal with the matter because he had not received anything from the High Court.

Parliament notifies ZEC of vacancies   On Thursday the Deputy Chairperson of ZEC confirmed that ZEC had receivedletters notifying the vacancies from the Speaker and the President of the Senate, and that ZEC would be notifying the President for the proclamation of the necessary by-elections.  [Note: Only six by-elections will be needed, to fill the vacancies in the six National Assembly constituency seats named above.  The remaining seven National Assembly and five Senate vacancies, being in proportional representation seats, will all be filled, in terms of the Constitution and section 39 of the Electoral Act, by nominees put forward by the CCC party – which, of course, raises the question: Which CCC party?]

Tuesday 14th November


Four International Civil Aviation Agreements approved by National Assembly  The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development secured the House’s approval of the following agreements in terms of section 327(2) of the Constitution: two protocols amending Articles 50(a) and 56 of the International Convention on Civil Aviation; and two separate conventions, namely the Convention on the Unification of Rules for International Carriage by Air and the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts relating to International Civil Aviation. The few MPs who joined the debate were in favour of approval.

Continuing debate on Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission 2022 Annual Report  This proved a popular subject for many MPs.  Hon Ndudzo regretted that ZACC had not mentioned a single example of its use of the power to order the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of corruption; he hoped that use of the power would feature in future annual reports.  Another contributor applauded ZACC’s strategy of encouraging the establishment of Integrity Committees in most local authorities.  There was general agreement that Judge Matanda-Moyo had achieved success as ZACC chairperson, which boded well for her recent appointment  as Prosecutor-General.

Continuing debate on National Prosecuting Authority 2022 Annual Report  Hon Eddison Zvobgo Jnr, making the only contribution to this debate, used his experience as a prosecutor to criticise the report’s lack of statistics on the success rate of prosecutions achieved by the NPA.

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech There was time for a single very brief contribution to this debate before the adjournment at 4.55 pm


After the announcement about the five new CCC vacancies which appears at the beginning of this bulletin, the Senate continued – without finishing – the debates on the ZACC and NPA 2022 Annual Reports and the debate on President’s SONA speech.  The short proceedings ended at 3.16 pm.  

Wednesday 15th November


Question Time  Both segments of Question Time – Questions without Notice and Written Questions with Notice – lasted their full periods of one hour each.  

Questions without Notice covered a broad selection of policy matters, including: failure by large mining companies to fulfil corporate social services for communities in which they operate, in the absence of a strict legal obligation to do so; the correct method for following up failure by miners to comply with obligations under community shareholding agreements; difficulties experienced by small-scale gold miners in remote areas in selling their gold to officially approved gold buyers.  All aspects of the situation should, the Speaker said, be answered by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development in a comprehensive Ministerial Statement to the House.  Because the Minister of Health and Child Care was absent, the Speaker insisted that he present a Ministerial Statement on his Ministry’s plans to cater for the complaint of obstetric fistula suffered by pregnant women, a problem raised by Hon Nyamupinga.  

Written Questions with Notice   Hon Mutodi asked when the Zimbabwe dollar mono-currency would be introduced.  The Deputy Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion answered that the Ministry was producing a roadmap which would show that it would be a gradual, market-driven process with no definite end-date; people could, however, rely on the recent SI 218/2023 [link] extending the multi-currency exchange control arrangements from the end of 2025 to 31st December 2030. 

Continuing debate on 2022 Annual Reports of NPA and ZACC  Several MPs made their speeches contributing to these debates but the main point of interest for the rest of the afternoon’s sitting for Veritas was the next item.

Motion for leave to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to abolish the death penalty  This new motion was ably proposed by Hon Mushoriwa, CCC MP for Dzivarasekwa and seconded by Hon Markham, CCC MP for Harare East – who replaced the original seconder, the Hon Madzimbamuto, CCC MP for Seke, one of Mr Tshabangu’s latest targets for recall.  Hon Mushoriwa started by emphasising that the death penalty had not been part of traditional Zimbabwean culture but had been introduced and abused by western colonialists from the 1890s up until Independence in 1980; our traditional justice criminal system was based on compensation and restorative justice. The murderer was always forced to pay reparations to the victim’s family or alternatively, our people then believed that there would be some spiritual consequences to that.  The traditional system believed in ubuntu which focused on peace and rebuilding trust damaged by the death of a community member.  This is incompatible with the concept of retribution that underpins the death penalty.’”  He was followed by Hon Markham who seconded the motion with conviction, and then by Hon Mugwadi of ZANU PF who, while acknowledging the logical reasoning behind the motion, cautioned that here were aspects of national security and human security that required careful consideration.  Hon Togarepi, ZANU PF Chief Whip, declared himself in favour of abolition of the death penalty and inspired by President Mnangagwa’s words that a death penalty is an affront to human dignity.  It constitutes cruelty and inhuman and degrading treatment and is contrary to the right to life He hoped that all members would support the Bill and ensure that, when passed, it would cover the areas of concern raised by Hon Mugwadi;  he ended his speech with the words we do not need a death penalty.  The House then adjourned at 6.16 pm until the next day.  


After the Acting President of the Senate’s announcements and the remarks exchanged between him and Senator Mlotshwa on the five recalls announced on Tuesday alluded to above, Senators approved motions postponing all further items of business on the Order Paper.  The Senate had sat for less than 20 minutes.  

Thursday 16th November


Points of national importance  Two points of national importance were raised by MPs.

Road carnage  Hon Tafanana Zhou, ZANU PF MP for Mberengwa West, mentioned the recent deaths of 22 persons in a single road accident that occurred on the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road and  requested a statement from the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on police plans to avert similar carnage in the coming festive season.  The statement should also cover recently-noticed police failure to use body bags for dead victims of road carnage.  The Speaker tasked the Government Chief Whip to ensure that the Ministerial statement was ready at the next sitting on Tuesday 28th November.

Need for Provincial Councils Bill following August 2023 election of provincial councillors  Hon Mutseyami, CCC MP for Dangamvura’s point of national importance concerned the fact that the provincial councillors elected to all ten provincial councils in August this year had not been sworn in and were not carrying out their responsibilities as councillors in the absence of a Provincial Councils Act, which was now urgently needed.  He suggested that the new Minister of Local Government and Public Works and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs needed to come up with an urgent solution.  The Speaker emphatically agreed and asked the Government Chief Whip to arrange it with both Ministers. 

Continuing debate on 2022 Annual Reports of NPA and ZACC  As had been case the previous day, several MPs made their speeches contributing to these debates – without any indication that the debates were running out of steam, notwithstanding some repetition creeping in.

House approves motion for leave to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to abolish the death penalty   Many MPs made contributions to the closing stages of this debate, including three who put forward opposing arguments calling for the maintenance of the death penalty – Hons Nyabani, Matangira and Mutodi.  Hon Mushoriwa made a short speech winding up the debate, stressing that if the House approved his motion, the Bill would still go through the normal parliamentary processes for a Bill, which included the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs [chaired by Hon Mutodi] conducting public hearings throughout the country and the Bill’s being debated in detail in both Houses in the normal way.

The motion was then put to the vote and approved by the House, giving Hon Mushoriwa leave to present the Bill.  

Presentation of Bill  Immediately after approval of his motion, Hon Mushoriwa presented the Bill, which was duly given its First Reading as the Death Penalty Abolition Bill, 2023, and transmitted to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  The Bill will now be printed and gazetted by Parliament as required by Standing Orders.


[for technical reasons we are unable to summarise the proceedings in full detail apart from that gleaned from Votes and Proceedings]

Question Time went ahead  and was extended for fifteen minutes.

Four International Civil Aviation Agreements approved by Senate  The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development managed to secure the Senate’s approval of the same four agreements approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday 14th November and listed under the appropriate heading above.  The Senate adjourned at 4.37 p.m.


In both Houses there were similar announcements by the respective presiding officers giving the following pieces of information:

·        After completing the business of the day, both Houses would adjourn until Tuesday 28th November.

·        Accordingly, all Committee business would stand suspended until Monday 27th November.

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