Both Houses Sitting this Week – Bill Watch 51/2021

By 21 July 2021Democracy, Legislation

Both the National Assembly and the Senate sat yesterday, 20th July, and will continue sitting today and tomorrow. Only small numbers of members will be physically present in the two chambers. Other MPs will participate virtually. This bulletin will cover business done yesterday and the agenda for both Houses for the rest of the week.

Yesterday in the National Assembly

PLC non-adverse reports received on three Bills – non-adverse reports were received from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] on three Bills:

Motion on Resuscitation of the Economy through Domestic Resource Mobilisation

Hon Dr Khupe, seconded by Hon Gabbuza, presented her motion calling on the Government to (1) find an investor to exploit the Lupane methane gas resources on a Build Operate and Transfer [BOT] basis and (2) and consider joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative [EITA] as a matter of urgency. The House spent the rest of the afternoon debating the motion; MPs who contributed agreed that both issues were important.

Coming up in the National Assembly Wednesday and Thursday

Bills for First Reading

Three Ministers have given notice of presentation of the following gazetted Bills:

Once they have been presented and formally read for the first time, the Bills will go straight to the PLC for its initial reports on their consistency or otherwise with the Constitution.

Other Bills

Bills are listed as follows on the Order Paper for this afternoon, but Private Members’ business, including Question Time, will come first in terms of Standing Orders, so the Bills may be dealt with tomorrow :

  • Pension and Provident Funds Bill – for continuation and completion of Second Reading debate. The House has already 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. Some MPs have already contributed to the Second Reading debate.
  • Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill – for Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage’s to make his speech opening the Second Reading stage.

The next two Bills on the Order Paper, the amendments to which have been cleared by the PLC’s non-adverse reports, can now be finally approved and sent to the Senate:

Motions

  • Annual reports of NPRC and ZEC The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has two motions on the Order Paper asking the House to take note of the 2020 Annual Reports of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission [NPRC] and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC].
  • Portfolio Committee report on Mining Accidents Hon Mkaratigwa will ask the House to take note of the Report of the Mines and Mining Development Portfolio Committee on its Fact-Finding Visits to Areas Affected by Mining Accidents.
  • New public holiday to honour women Hon Madiwa’s motion calls on the Government to follow the example of other countries by declaring a specific day – presumably in terms of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act – to celebrate women’s achievements in development and liberation of Zimbabwe.
  • New Parliamentary Caucus for persons with disabilities Hon Josiah Sithole’s motion calls for the establishment of a Parliamentary Caucus to deal directly with issues affecting persons with disabilities.

Yesterday in the Senate

The Senate did not deal with the Marriages Bill, the only Bill on its Order Paper. Instead it turned to the presentation of two new motions:

Adherence to official exchange rates Senator Tongogara, seconded by Senator Kambzi, presented her motion expressing concern that most of the measures put in place by Government to bring normalcy to the economy are not being adhered to by manufacturers and service providers and calling on the Government to deploy teams to monitor (1) adherence to official exchange rates and (2) the pricing of goods and service countrywide. After a few contributions by Senators, debate was adjourned.

Implementation of the Gender Policy and the Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] Gender-Sensitive Toolkit Senator Mupfumira, seconded by Senator Dr Mavetera, moved her motion calling upon Parliament to implement its Gender Policy and the Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] Gender Sensitive Toolkit, and to enact legislation dealing with sexual harassment in all its forms.

Coming up in the Senate

Bills

The Marriages Bill is the only Bill on the Senate’s Order Paper. For the impasse that is apparently the reason for the delay in finalising this Bill in the Senate, please see Bill Watch 47/2021 of 6th July.

[It is possible that by the end of the week the National Assembly will have passed the amended Forest Amendment Bill and the amended Cyber & Data Protection Bill – and sent them to the Senate for attention.]

Motions

Two motions await presentation by the movers;

Take-note motion on Committee Report on 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.

Source: Veritas