Coming Up in Parliament this Week – Bill Watch 37/2021

Both Houses are Sitting this Week

This bulletin deals with what is on the Order Papers for both Houses for this week’s sittings. Whether or not any Bills will be deal with remains to be seen, last week there was no progress on Bills.

Coming up in the National Assembly This Week

Bills

We list the Bills in the order in which they appear on the Order Paper [which is not necessarily the order in which they will be dealt with]:

Two Bills for commencement of Committee Stages [2]

Cyber Security & Data Protection Bill

This Bill has been stalled at this point for some weeks now. There are many pages of proposed amendments to the Bill to be considered, emanating from both the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services and the Portfolio Committee. All the amendments are captured in an extract from the latest Order Paper available on our website. The Minister‘s amendments are extensive and were summarised in Bill Watch 18/2021; if adopted, they will change the original Bill considerably, including shortening its title to “Data Protection Bill”.

Forest Amendment Bill

The Committee Stage of this Bill has been delayed by the withdrawal a month ago of an earlier Notice of Amendments by the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. A replacement Notice of Amendments appears for the first time on the Order Paper for 15th June and is available on the Veritas website. It covers more ground than the withdrawn Notice and includes amendments proposed by Hon Musarurwa as well as the Minister. The Minister’s new amendments include provision for the Forestry Commission’s chief executive officer to be titled the “Director-General” and “forest officers” to be appointed by the Director-General from the Commission’s staff [as opposed to the present provision for appointment by the Minister from civil servants and the Commission’s staff].

Bill for continuation of Second Reading debate

Pension and Provident Funds Bill

On 18th May members began making their contributions to the Second Reading debate, having the previous week heard the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development on the Bill. Two MPs have so far contributed to the debate, more contributions on this important Bill are to be expected.

Motions

Take-note motions on Commission Reports:

  • National Peace and Reconciliation Commission [NPRC] 2020 Report [new motion]
  • Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 2020 [adjourned debate]
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission 2018 and 2019 Reports [adjourned debate]
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Report on Access to Documentation [adjourned debate]

New motion on Lupane methane gas reserves and joining EITI

Hon Dr T. Khupe has a motion near the top of the Order Paper calling on the Government to (1) find a reliable investor to undertake operations on the methane gas resources in the Lupane area on a Build-Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis and (2) consider joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a matter of urgency in view of the benefits that can be accrued along the value chain starting from the point of extraction right up to where government generates revenue.

Coming up in the Senate This Week

Marriages Bill

This Bill is the only Bill currently on the Senate’s Order Paper.

There has been an unexplained delay in continuing the Committee Stage of the Bill, since the Senate dealt with clauses 1-16 and made two amendments, as covered in Bill Watch 25/2021 of 26th April.

Clauses 17 onwards still have to be dealt with. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has two proposed amendments which are set out in his Notice of Amendments on the Order Paper. These two amendments are available on the Veritas website and relate to:

  • Clause 17 (Unregistered customary law unions) [replacement of the clause]
  • Clause 42 (Civil partnerships) [replacement of subclause (6)].

Both amendments were summarised in Bill Watch 22/2021.

If the Bill is eventually passed by the Senate with the above amendments, it will have to go back to the National Assembly for the approval of that House.

Motions

Take-note motions on Commission Reports

Two take-note motions by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs appear ahead of the Marriages Bill on the Order Paper:

  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Report on Access to Documentation
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission 2020 Report.

Take-note motion on Committee Report Progress in Flood-affected areas and on construction of COVID-19 Treatment, Quarantine and Isolation Facilities

Senator Parirenyatwa’s motion invites the Senate to take note of the joint report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security and the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Motion on strengthening the Health Delivery System

Senator Chimbudzi’s motion calls upon Government to partner with the private sector in a concerted bid to strengthen the health delivery system, allocate adequate resources for procurement of medical supplies and ambulances for health service delivery, consider subsidising kidney dialysis and providing decent accommodation to doctors

Motion on enforcement of official exchange rates

Senator Tongogara’s motion calls on the Government to deploy teams to monitor adherence to official exchange rates and, in view of unscrupulous overcharging by manufacturers and service providers, to monitor pricing of goods and services countrywide.

Recently Gazetted Bills

None of these Bills has yet been formally presented in Parliament for First Reading:

Source: Veritas

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