Gift Phiri 6 April 2017
HARARE – A tumultuous sitting of both houses of Parliament concludes this
afternoon, when MPs will meet for one final question period before leaving
town for a one-month recess.
Earlier, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and Senate
president Edna Madzongwe were all out putting a final spin on the whirl of
legislative activity and partisan gamesmanship that defined the 4th
Session of the 8th Parliament of President Robert Mugabe’s majority
At the end of this week’s sittings today, both Houses are due to start a
three-week break lasting for the rest of April.
According to the 2017 sitting calendar, sittings will resume on Tuesday,
Mudenda rattled off a long list of bills set to be passed by the Zanu PF
majority in Parliament.
The Estate Administrators Amendment Bill was presented by Vice President
Emmerson Mnangagwa, with its first reading on Tuesday.
The National Competitiveness Commission Bill sailed through the Committee
Stage on Tuesday.
No proposed amendments are shown on the Order Paper.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) was seized with the
Movable Property Security Interests Bill and the National Peace and
Reconciliation Commission Bill which recently underwent public hearings.
The Senate was considering the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public
Assets Bill which was passed by the National Assembly with amendments last
Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa started
proceedings by delivering a speech explaining the bill.
The Senate was also considering the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC)’s
adverse report on the amendments made to the Land Commission Bill.
Mudzi South Zanu PF MP Jonathan Samkange, who is also the PLC chairperson,
explained the adverse report to the Senate on Tuesday.
Time allocation was used in the Senate to ram the rest of the government’s
agenda through before the recess.
The Senate passed the ZEP-RE (Membership of Zimbabwe and Branch Office
Agreement) Bill which seeks to conclude an agreement for the purposes of
regulating matters relating to the legal capacity and privileges and
immunities of one of Africa’s leading insurance firms, ZEP-Re, to be
recognised and granted in line with the provisions of Article 40 of the
agreement establishing the company.
The bill was approved without amendment on March 28 but has not yet
received presidential assent.
During the Committee Stage on the Land Commission Bill on March 29, the
Senate approved all Senator Chief Mtshane’s amendments.
The Bill was then referred to the PLC for its report on the
constitutionality of the amendments.
On March 30, the presiding officer announced that the PLC had returned an
adverse report, which would be considered at the next sitting, possibly
after the recess.
The recess comes ahead of the Mwenezi East by-election due this Saturday.
The Nomination Court which sat at the Masvingo Magistrates’ Court on
February 17 accepted four candidates for the by-election: Joosby Omar of
the ruling Zanu PF, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti – a one-time holder of the seat
until his ouster from Zanu PF, Welcome Masuku of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) as well as Turner Mhango of the Free
The National Assembly constituency seat fell vacant due to the death of
the incumbent Zanu PF MP Joshua Moyo on December 22 last year.
In line with amendments to the Electoral Act that would allow the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to warn election candidates, election agents or
parties implicated in acts of political violence and to set up special
courts to try such cases, general notice GN 154A/2017 issued on March 27
gazetted the designation by the Judicial Service Commission of three
magistrates to try cases of politically motivated violence and
intimidation in Masvingo province before, during and after the
Section 133J requires the police and the prosecutor-general to ensure
quick and competent investigation, processing and prosecution of such