Bill Watch 01-2024 - Coming up in the National Assembly This Week


[28th January 2024]

Coming Up in the National Assembly This Week

The National Assembly will resume sitting this week on Tuesday 30th January – the date to which it had adjourned after passing and sending the two 2024 Budget Bills to the Senate at the end of a late-night sitting in the early hours of Friday 15th December 2023.

The Senate will not be sitting this week;  it will only resume sitting on Tuesday next week 6th February – the date to which Senators had adjourned after hastily passing the Budget Bills on Tuesday 19th December.  Perhaps the extra week’s recess was a reward for Senators for working until just two days before Unity Day.

In any event, the two Bills were published in the Government Gazette as the Finance Act [link]and the Appropriation (2024) Act [link] on the 29th December 2023.

On the Order Paper for Tuesday 30th January


There are no Bills on the Order Paper for this day.  There is however at least one Bill which we hope the National Assembly will consider in the very near future:

Death Penalty Abolition Bill [link

This is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Hon Mushoriwa with the leave of the House on 16th November 2023 and given its First Reading immediately.  It was gazetted by Parliament on the 14th December.

The Bill has been with the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] since its First Reading for a report on its constitutionality.  The report is ready and its receipt is expected to be announced by the Speaker this week.  If, as Veritas confidently expects, the report is non-adverse, its announcement should result in the Bill’s appearance on the Order Paper for the commencement of the Second Reading debate.

Other Bills ?

No new Government Bills have yet been gazetted.  

Take-note motions by Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

The Minister has three motions on the Order Paper on reports by Commissions;  he has still not moved the first on the list.  The reports are:

ZEC report on the 2023 Harmonised Elections 

The Minister, Hon Ziyambi, has had this motion on the Order Paper, without moving it, since October 2023.  Perhaps this week will see it moved and the start of the debate.  Opposition MPs are likely to have much to contribute to the debate.

Adjourned debates on (1) ZACC 2022 Annual Report and (2) 2022 NPA Annual Report 

Many MPs have already expressed their views on these reports by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission [ZACC] [linkand the National Prosecuting Authority [NPA].  They proved popular subjects for contributions by MPs, so debates may continue before the Minister replies.

Take-note motions by Private Members

Report of the Delegation to the 53rd Plenary Assembly of SADC Parliamentary Forum

Hon Karenyi, seconded by Hon Nyabani, will present a new motion requesting the House to take note of the report by this Parliamentary delegation to the Assembly.  It was held in Mauritius from 22nd to 27th November 2023.

Report of the Delegation to the Assembly of the IPU

Hon Karikoga, seconded by Hon Tshuma, also a new motion on the Report of the Delegation to the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union held over four days in late October 2023.

Continuation of adjourned debate on Presidential Speech

This debate is likely to be continued for some time, as it provides an opportunity for contributions by MPs on a wide range of subjects. 

Continuation of adjourned debate on illegal sanctions

This is a motion presented by Hon Mutodi on Tuesday 12th December 2023 and given priority over pressing Budget business.  After Hon Mutodi’s long and detailed introductory speech, the motion was enthusiastically supported by MPs in the ensuing debate that lasted until the end of the afternoon’s sitting at 5.11 pm.  The motion expresses a desire for the unconditional removal of the “heinous and illegal sanctions unilaterally imposed by the Government of the USA after the enactment of the draconian Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA)”.  It cites the “gross human suffering to ordinary Zimbabweans” that sanctions have caused and attributes to them the massive skills flight from Zimbabwe.  The motion calls for:  a delegation from the Parliament of Zimbabwe to be sent to the USA to present a briefing paper to the US President and Congress requesting the expeditious and unconditional repeal of ZIDERA;  the delegation to engage the US Congress for the same purpose;  Zimbabwe to present its case for the removal of sanctions to the United Nations;  and, finally, the US Government to engage with the Zimbabwe government “on terms that promote mutual benefit through economic and political cooperation.

New motions

Measures to combat drug and substance abuse by youth

Hon Mapiki and seconder Hon Tsitsi Zhou have a list of suggestions for the Government on this topical:  to establish self-help centres for youths, thereby keeping them away from drugs;  the establishment of rehabilitation centres nationwide;  stiffer penalties for dealers who are the source of supply;  compulsory prison for repeat offenders;  other measures to ensure that police bring drug and substance abuse to a halt.

Need for legislation to improve poor corporate governance in the banking sector

Hon Jere and seconder Hon Tsitsi Zhou blame poor corporate governance in the banking sector since 2013 (leading to banks going insolvent without customers and investors being adequately compensated and loss of confidence in the banking sector) and want comprehensive legislation to remedy the unsolved challenges in the sector, including amendments to the Deposit Protection Corporation Act and compensation those investors and depositors who lost money to insolvent banks.

Need for improved conditions of service for councillors

Hons Jere and Tsitsi Zhou have another motion bewailing the plight of councillors, who they say “are the real foot soldiers in the constituencies as they are the engines that drive all our development programmes”, and call on the Minister of Local Government to come up with “competitive conditions of service”.

On the Order Paper for Wednesday Question Time

One hopes that there will be a good turnout of Ministers and Deputy Ministers for Question Time;  the ideal situation would be for Ministers – if they have pressing business elsewhere and convey their apologies to Parliament – to make certain that their deputies will be there instead.

Questions without notice

MPs have the first hour of the two-hour Question Time to ask general questions about Government and Ministry policy and plans, which Ministers are expected to be able to answer immediately.  The Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion – or, if he is not present, his Deputy Minister – is considered likely to face many questions about his Ministry’s policy on the impact of the 2024 National Budget.

Written questions with notice

There are 30 questions with notice on the Order Paper, some of which have gone unanswered since they first appeared there on 8th November 2023.  We select two of the oldest questions from this backlog.

Hon Markham has two important questions from 8th November for the Minister of Local Government and Public Works

·      To explain the Ministry’s ban on the use by local authorities of debt collection services as a way of enforcing payment of rates;

·      To name the legal provisions used to disburse funds to local authorities in the absence of the Devolution Bill and further to provide a detailed breakdown of the allocation of funds released to each local authority on a yearly basis ever since the release of such funds.

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