Bill Watch 18/2011 of 26th April [Parliamentary update for April]

zimbabwe_parliamentThe Senate has adjourned to Tuesday 10th May
The House of Assembly has adjourned to Tuesday 17th May
In Parliament this Month

Senate

The Senate did not sit this month. Its last sitting was on the 31st March.

House of Assembly

The House of Assembly sat on 5th, 6th and 7th April. It passed two Bills and sent them to the Senate to be considered in May. On Wednesday 6th April Ministers dealt with members questions.

Bills passed and Sent to Senate

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill this was passed without amendment.

General Laws Amendment Bill this was passed with several amendments, including the dropping of the clause on Government copyright in legislation, court judgments and various other official documents and the clause on local authority procurement procedures, and the addition of three new clauses seeking to amend the National Biotechnology Authority Act and the Banking Act, and to backdate the legal practitioners US dollar fees tariff of 2011 to 1st February 2009. [For details see Bill Watch 17/2011 of 19th April.] [Electronic version of Bill as passed by the House available.]

Bills carried forward to May – awaiting Second Reading

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill [Electronic version available.]

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [Electronic version available.]

Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] presented non-adverse reports on:

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill

General Laws Amendment Bill as amended by the House

Statutory instruments gazetted during February.

Members Question Time

Questions dealt with by Ministers included:

Mount Darwin Mass Exhumations Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara said concerns about these exhumations would be addressed by the Ministry of Home Affairs which had now taken over responsibility for the matter.

School text-books The Minister of Education stoutly defended his Ministrys arrangements for the supply of school textbooks, pointing out that by handing over the procurement process to UNICEF significant economies of scale had been achieved, a considerable sum saved and some 30 million text-books produced and delivered, resulting in every primary school child having his or her own English, Maths, indigenous language and environmental sciences textbook. He also rejected allegations that the books supplied were not acceptable to schools, saying they were all approved by the Ministrys curriculum development unit.

Boosting Bulawayo industrial sector The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion gave a detailed response to a question about Governments plans to boost Bulawayo industry to stop imminent closures of factories that had ceased to be viable.

Parliamentary Committees

Senate Thematic and House of Assembly Portfolio Committees sat until 15th April, then adjourned until the week commencing 9th May.

Update on Legislation

Bills Passed and Awaiting Presidential Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts [Electronic versions available.]

Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill [being printed]

Attorney-Generals Office Bill [being printed]

Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill [printed, awaiting Presidents assent]

Energy Regulatory Authority Bill [being printed]

Bills in Parliament

Senate

Public Order and Security Amendment Bill this Private Members Bill still awaits its Second Reading [Electronic version available.]

General Laws Amendment Bill awaiting Second Reading [Electronic version available.]

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill awaiting Second Reading

House of Assembly

Deposit Protection Corporation Amendment Bill awaiting Second Reading

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill awaiting Second Reading [Electronic version available.]

Bills Gazetted and Awaiting Presentation in Parliament None

Bills Being Printed for Presentation in Parliament

Older Persons Bill [this is a Bill from the Ministry of Labour and Social Services text and summary not yet available.]

Bills Referred for Drafting after Approval in Principle by Cabinet

State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill

State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill

Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill.

Requests for electronic versions that have been offered should be emailed to [email protected]

Statutory Instruments and General Notices

Statutory Instruments

No statutory instruments were published in the Gazette of 8th April, and none of any significance in the Gazettes of 15th and 22nd April.

General Notices

Government financial statements for January and February

Published as supplements to the Government Gazette of 8th March were the Governments consolidated financial statements for January and February 2011, as prepared by the Accountant-General. The ten-page statements give Government income and expenditure, broken down under a number of sub-headings. So it is possible, for instance, to ascertain the official figures for revenue from mining royalties [$6 717 155 for January, $6 370 500 for February]. [Please note: Electronic copies of these financial statements are not available from Veritas. Hard copies are available from the Government Printers outlets.] According to section 34(3) of the Public Finance Management Act the Ministry should have been publishing such statements every month since April 2010, when the Act came into operation, but these are the first to appear. Concerned citizens are entitled to demand that statements for the preceding seven months of 2010 are published now, even if somewhat belatedly. And it is to be hoped that there will be no further lapses in compliance with this important statutory obligation, because the point of making such information publicly available is to promote transparency and accountability in the handling of public money.

MDC-T 3rd National Congress: 28th to 30th April [new dates]

The Congress has been moved forward by one day to ensure that senior party officials will be free to take part in Workers Day functions on 1st May. It will be held in Bulawayo. Guest of honour will be Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The agenda includes election of the national leadership; Mr Tsvangirai is set to continue as party President as the only nominee for the post. Some of the partys provincial elections have been marred by violence between rival factions. The Congress will not interfere with Parliamentary business, as both Houses and all Parliamentary committees will still be in recess at that time.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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