BILL WATCH 46-2023 -Week 28 to 30 November in Parliament - 2024 National Budget

BILL WATCH 46/2023

[1st December 2023]

Tuesday 28th, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th November in Parliament

This bulletin deals with: 

·      business conducted in the Senate on 28th and 29th November

·      business conducted in the National Assembly on 28th, 29th and 30th November, including the presentation of the National Budget for the year 2024 November 

In the National Assembly on Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th November


Hon Machingura was in the chair as Acting Speaker.

Point of National Interest  Hon Markham, CCC MP for Harare East, raised a point of national interest:  at the last four Reserve Bank auctions where money was auctioned, the Zimbabwe dollar was taken but the foreign currency has not been released.  Could the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion give the House an urgent update on the reason for the delay and why we are continuing to auction foreign currency if we are going to be late in our disbursement?

New motion on Gender-Based Violence (GBV)  Two women MPs, Hon Sethulo Ndebele (CCC), proposer of the motion, and Hon Gertrude Mutandi (ZANU PF), its seconder, teamed up to launch this non-partisan motion asking the Government to initiate the enactment of laws for stiffer penalties to deter GBV perpetrators; to embark on GBV awareness programmes in all districts; and to initiate GBV programmes promoting social and cultural change as way of “eradicating this scourge.  The motion notes with appreciation that the 2023 commemorations to mark the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, now reaching its mid-point, runs under the theme Unite Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls.  She ended “by thanking the Parliament of Zimbabwe for funding a sensitisation workshop on GBV for all Members of Parliament.  This workshop was indeed an eye-opener in terms of raising awareness of GBV issues amongst male and female Parliamentarians so that they become GBV change champions.  As the ZWPC, we continue to call the Government to fully fund our activities so that we remain impactful in Parliament and beyond.”  Hon Mutandi then seconded the motion.  She was followed by many MPs, mostly women but including two men, Hons Matangira and Ndudzo, in what proved to be a subject on which nearly everyone wanted to say something.

Ministerial Statement on Measures being taken to Curb Road Traffic Accidents  Hon Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, was ready with his statement [link] responding to a point of national importance raised when the House last sat on Thursday 16th November about one particularly horrific accident resulting in 22 deaths on the spot.  Also raised was the need to respect the deceased in such accidents by placing bodies in proper body bags. 


Question Time  Question Time is meant to be divided into two successive hour-long segments for separate types of questions, questions of general Government policy [which Ministers should be able to answer without hesitation] and questions on specific matters [which call for consultation with their Ministries to ascertain facts].  

Policy questions without notice

There were a number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers absent, quite apart from those who had given apologies.  Opposition MPs were not satisfied with the answers they were given.  On the other hand, Hon Mugwadi of ZANU PF accused those MPs of not having attended the Induction for new MPs arranged by Parliament – where they would have learned how to phrase questions of policy properly.  The Leader of the House, Hon Minister Ziyambi, thought a further Induction for new MPs might be the answer to the present frustration.   

Questions with written notice  There were 17 questions on the Order Paper, including Hon Jere’s question to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain to the House the legal framework that is in place to prosecute Banking Executives and Directors who were responsible for misappropriation of large sums of money and other financial improprieties such as huge non-performing loans and poor credit risk management between 2012 and now.  The Minister replied that the Police were always available to accept reports.

Hon Markham had two questions/requests, both for the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs: (1) for an explanation of why ZEC ran out of ballot papers during the 23rd August elections; (2) for the SADC report on the same elections to be tabled.  On the shortage of ballot papers, the Minister defended ZEC, leaving Hon Markham dissatisfied with his answer.  On the tabling of the SADC SEOM report, the Minister replied that it was not customary for Observers’ Reports to be tabled.


New MP for Gutu West sworn in   At the request of the Speaker, who was back in the chair, the Clerk of Parliament swore in Hon John Paradza, the winner of the by-election for Gutu West constituency held on Saturday 11th November, as a member of Parliament.  The by-election was caused by the death of a nominated candidate for the seat before polling day in the recent general  elections.  

Immediately afterwards the business of the House was suspended to await the start of the 2024 National Budget proceedings, scheduled for 2.45 pm.  After the resumption of business the Speaker welcomed the presence of President Mnangagwa at the proceedings.

Presentation of 2024 National Budget   The Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Hon Mthuli Ncube then delivered the 2024 National Budget Speech [link], supported by a slide presentation which is also available [link].  He concluded by commending the Budget to the House and tabling the full 2024 National Budget Statement [link].  

Also tabled by the Minister were the following 2024 National Budget-related documents:

·      2024 Infrastructure Investment Plan;

·      The 2024 Citizen’s Budget;

·      The Estimates of Expenditure (Blue Book);

·      Finance Bill;

·      Appropriation Bill;

·      Statement on Public Debt; and

·      NDS1 Mid Term Review.

These documents will be posted on the Veritas website as they become available. 

In the Senate on Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th November


New motion moved   Senator Annah Shiri moved this motion which has the same wording as the motion on GBV moved on the same day in the National Assembly.  

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech

This debate has been running ever since Senator Kambizi moved the requisite motion at the sitting of the Senate on 10th October.  A few contributions were made to the debate, which will continue.  The sitting ended when the Senate adjourned at 3.45 pm.


Continuing debates on ZACC 2022 and NPA 2022 Annual Reports  Senators Tongogara and Mackenzie made their contributions to the debates on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and National Prosecuting Authority, respectively.

Continuing debate on new motion on GBV  Many Senators made their contributions to the debate, which will continue on 12th December.  They included CCC Senator Solani Moyo of Matabeleland South, who traced some cases of GBV to male teachers who take advantage of typical CALA problems experienced by female pupils – printing, photocopying etc – to solicit sexual intercourse [“The teachers will say I will do the CALA for you if you sleep with me in the storeroom.”].  Senator Chief Charumbira contested an accusation that lobola results in commodification of women and is thereby a cause of GBV.

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech  Senator Tongogara made the only contribution to this debate.

Adjournment of Senate until Tuesday 12th December  The Deputy President then explained that Senators would not be able to listen to the National Budget the next day in the Senate chamber because the necessary devices had not been connected to the National Assembly chamber.  Thus there was no point in the Senate’s meeting on Thursday; instead it would be adjourning until Tuesday 12th January – subject to Senators being available to attend post-Budget events for all members of Parliament arranged for the week starting on Monday 4th December.

Next Week in Parliament

Post-Budget Seminar  This will be held in the Multi-Purpose Hall at the New Parliament Building at Mount Hampden on Monday 4th December from

8 am to  1 pm for all Members of Parliament, including Senators. 

Post-Budget Consultative Meetings by Portfolio Committees  These will be held from the afternoon of Monday 4th to the afternoon of Thursday 9th December.  

Senators are required to attend these meetings and urged to choose the meetings they would attend; a schedule of the meetings would be circulated to Senators.  


Reminder: for those who are interested Cabinet Weekly Briefings can be found on the Veritas website.

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