President Mnangagwa will today deliver his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) when he officially opens the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament setting the Government’s legislative agenda.
He will address a joint sitting of both the National Assembly and Senate in which legislators will follow proceedings both physically and virtually.
Addressing Parliament by the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is consistent with Section 140 of the Constitution. Part of Section 140 (1) says: “The President may at any time address either House of Parliament or a joint sitting of both Houses.”
And Section 140 (4) reads: “At least once a year the President must address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the state of the nation, and the Speaker and the President of the Senate must make the necessary arrangements for Parliament to receive such an address.”
In presenting SONA, President Mnangagwa will give the Government’s reflections on the country’s political, economic and social trajectory.
Among the issues President Mnangagwa is likely to focus on is how the Second Republic has performed in attaining Vision 2030 anchored on National Development Strategy 1.
Some of the major highlights of what the Second Republic has done is the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme that has transformed in a significant way the country’s road infrastructure that had deteriorated over the years owing to rains and neglect.
Members of the public will be able to follow proceedings on television.
The major and immediate focus of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament is the 2022 National Budget whose preparations have begun.
Members of Parliament yesterday held a 2022 pre-budget seminar that was officially opened by Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda.
This marks the beginning of the 2022 national budget cycle which will also see nationwide consultations.
Apart from that, there are Bills that are still outstanding from the Third Session that will have to be reinstated for debate to continue.
They include the Mines and Mining Amendment Bill, Marriages Amendment Bill, Pension and Provident Fund Bill, Copper Control Amendment Bill.
The Marriages Amendment Bill has been stalled by differences between the Government and traditional leaders on the inclusion of a clause that stipulates that payment of lobola should not be used as an obstacle to solemnise marriages.
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