One Bill passed, Progress on Others Expected This Week – Bill Watch 29 / 2019

Both Houses Sat Last Week and is Sitting Again This Week

Coming Up in Parliament This Week

At the end of last Thursday’s sitting both Houses adjourned until today, Tuesday 28th May. This is a departure from the Sitting Calendar, which envisaged a break until 11th June. The departure must have been prompted by the need for accelerated progress on pending Bills.

The following table shows the current status of the seven Bills that have featured in Parliament so far this month:

Name of Bill National AssemblySenate
Tripartite Negotiating Forum BillPassed with amendments. Sent to Senate 17 May.Passed 23 May.
Companies and other Business Entities BillPassed with amendments. Sent to Senate 17 MaySecond Reading Stage pending. 
Consumer Protection BillSecond Reading Stage complete.Committee Stage awaited.Waiting for Bill to be passed by National Assembly.
Microfinance Amendment BillSecond Reading Stage well under way.Waiting for Bill to be passed by National Assembly.
Education Amendment BillAwaiting start of Second Reading StageWaiting for Bill to be passed by National Assembly.
Maintenance of Peace
and Order Bill
Waiting for PLC Report following First Reading on 9 May. Waiting for Bill to be passed by National Assembly.
Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency BillWaiting for PLC Report following First Reading on 9 May. Waiting for Bill to be passed by National Assembly.

Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill already passed

As the table shows, Parliament last week completed work on the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill. The Bill was passed with amendments that reduced Government representation on the forum to reflect real tripartism – each of the three participants, Government, Organised Labour and Organised Business, will now have equal representation. [ See Bill Watch 27/2019. A reprint of the amended Bill will be available on the Veritas website shortly.] Parliament has already sent the Bill to the Government Printer for reprinting so that it can be transmitted to the President for his assent and subsequent gazetting as law.

Coming up in the Senate

This afternoon the Senate is due to deal with the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly last week, also with amendments.

Whether or not the Senate will have any other Bills to attend to thereafter depends entirely on progress in the National Assembly.

Coming up in the National Assembly

The National Assembly has three other Bills already on its agenda – which could, with an effort, be passed and sent up to the Senate during the course of the week:

  • Consumer Protection Bill [Second Reading completed, ready for Committee Stage – but with amendments expected, to meet MPs’ demands that the proposed Consumer Protection Agency must be an independent Commission rather than a mere department in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce]
  • Microfinance Amendment Bill [Second Reading stage under way]
  • Education Amendment Bill [Second Reading stage still to start].

Two Bills with Parliamentary Legal Committee for a report on their constitutionality

In addition, depending on whether the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] produces its reports on them, the National Assembly may be able to make a start on:

Both these Bills were referred to the PLC after their First Readings on 9th May.

The PLC may, however, need more time to consider the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill, several aspects of which are constitutionally questionable and could well result in the PLC returning an adverse report.

Source: Veritas

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