Having been in recess since their last sittings on 13th April, both the Senate and the National Assembly will resume sitting today. There are enough Bills waiting for their attention to keep MPs busy for the whole week.
Bills on the National Assembly Order Paper for This Week
Bills for continuation of Second Reading debate
There is a Notice of Amendment on the Order Paper, although whether the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage put it down is not stated. The amendment suggests amending the mandatory minimum penalty in section 10A of the Copper Control Act [in clause 7 of the Bill] but the suggested amendment is far from clear and needs further explanation and refinement by its author in order to make sense.
A Veritas commentary is available . Committee Stage amendments proposed by Hon Mayihlome, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services first appeared on the Order Paper for 5th April, in a possible indication of an intention to proceed. The proposed amendments are available on the Veritas website and were summarised in Bill Watch 15/2022 .
The Minister’s Second Reading speech was delivered on the 12th April by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon Ziyambi, who seems to have taken over the Bill from the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – see summary in Bill Watch 17/2022. The Portfolio Committee’s report on the Bill is not yet ready. The public hearings held on it by a joint committee of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Thematic Committee on Human Rights.
When Parliament last sat before the recess, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development delivered the Second Reading speeches on both these Bills. Debate was then adjourned because the Portfolio Committee’s reports on the Bills and the public hearings held on them were not ready. But the reports on both Bills are now ready for presentation, so the debates are likely to continue this week for presentation of the reports and, perhaps, MPs’ contributions.
Veritas has not commented on the Insurance Bill, but our comments on the IPEC Amendment Bill are available.
Bills for start of Second Reading Stage
Note: These Bills are listed in the order in which they appear on the National Assembly Order Paper for Tuesday 12th April, which is not necessarily the order in which the Leader of Government Business, Hon Ziyambi, will choose to deal with them. Bills chosen will depend on various factors, including: the availability of Ministers to play their roles, the priority allocated to particular Bills by Government and whether the Portfolio Committee reports are ready for presentation, without which the Second Reading stage cannot be thrown open for debate by MPs.
- Public Finance Management Amendment Bill.
- Health Service Amendment Bill – see Veritas comments . The Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care is due to consider its draft report at its meeting this morning.
- Children’s Amendment Bill –This Bill received a non-adverse report from the PLC on 5th April, clearing the way for presentation of the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
- Child Justice Bill : This Bill received a non-adverse report from the PLC on Wednesday 6th April, clearing the way for presentation of the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Portfolio Committee’s draft report on the Bill and public hearings held on it is due to be considered by the Portfolio Committee and the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on Thursday 5th May.
Bills Likely to Come Up in the Senate This Week
As this is an important Bill, it is considered likely to come up this week. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is yet to present his Second Reading speech to Senators.
This Bill was passed by the National Assembly on 13th April and sent to the Senate. It, too, is likely to come up this week.