Parliament is Now Sitting the New Parliament Building

BILL WATCH 43/2023

In Parliament This Week – from Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th November

And on the Order Paper for This Week

Parliament is Now Sitting the New Parliament Building

The Pre-Budget Seminar from 1st to 4th November, the Committee Meetings on 6th and 7th November and the sittings of the Senate and the National Assembly which took place from 7th November – all took place at the new Parliament building.  Nevertheless, the Deputy Speaker found it necessary during the sitting on 8th November to remind MPs that we “are still in the process of moving and most of the things are not yet settled … hence it is very important for us to work together and bear with us”.

Tuesday 7th November


2022 Annual Report of Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority [ZERA] tabled by the Minister of Energy and Power Development.

Announcement: Pre-Budget Cocktail Reception

Debate on 2022 National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] Report  As no MPs volunteered to speak, the motion was stood over.

Debate on 2022 Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission [ZACC] Report  There was only one contributor to the debate, which prompted the Speaker to say that all MPs  should by now have read these important reports online on their “gadgets”

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech:  Among the contributions, Hon Lincoln Dhliwayo, MP for Chipinge East, praised President Mnangagwa’s according of National Hero status to ”to our father and founder of ZANU, Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole” which had “healed a long agonising pain that we the Ndau people bore for ages”.


Newly-appointed Senator sworn in  Senator Headman Moyo was sworn in as a ZANU PF Senator for Matabeleland North, replacing Obert Mpofu who was elected at the 23rd August elections but chose to withdraw from the role.

Death of Senator Chief Makumbe  The President of the Senate announced the untimely death of Senator Chief Makumbe on 2nd November.  Senators observed a minute’s silence in respect of the late Senator Chief.  The vacancy will have to be filled in terms section 120(1)(b) of the Constitution by the Manicaland Provincial Assembly of Chiefs sitting as an electoral college in terms of section 40(b) of the Electoral Act.

Motions skipping the first three items on the Order Paper approved

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech:  Two contributions were made to this debate by Senators.  These speeches lasted until the adjournment at 3.15 pm after a 45-minute sitting.

Wednesday 8th November


Announcement re Five Petitions referred to Portfolio Committees:  These all were asking for new legislation.

Questions without Notice proceeded despite a long list of apologies from Ministers and Deputy Ministers.  In the absence of the Leader of the House, Hon Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development acted as Leader of the House.  He requested that a question about the constitutionality of the Commander of the Defence Forces being an ex officio member of the ZANU PF Politburo be repeated as a written question with notice in order to give the responsible Minister an opportunity to give a considered reply.  Hon Edgar Moyo, new Minister Energy and Power Development, answered questions from Hon Chibaya, CCC Chief Whip, about the dire electricity supply situation with complicated statistics, until Hon Fadzayi Mahere of CCC asked when the present load shedding could be expected to end:  Hon Moyo said it would be at the end of November when the Hwange Unit 7, which had “tripped” and was being repaired and serviced, would be back in working order.  Hwange Units 1 to 6 were each being “repowered” and this should improve the supply situation during 2024 along with Independent Power Producers adding extra electricity.  Hon Dr Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture etc, answered many questions about supply of inputs and delayed payments to cotton farmers for their crops;  the Deputy Speaker said that a supplementary question about a subsidy for cotton farmers should be put in writing.

Written Questions with Notice had to be postponed until the following week after it became apparent that the questions had not been not been circulated electronically to the Ministers concerned and some MPs on account of a connectivity problem attributable to the move to the new building.

Take-note Motion on Report on Second Summit of the Committees of the Future  The International Parliamentary Union [IPU] in collaboration with the Parliament of Uruguay hosted the Summit under the theme: “Bringing the Future to the Present:  The Democracy of the Future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Parliaments”. Hon Shamu presented a lengthy and detailed report on behalf the Speaker, Adv Jacob Mudenda, concluding with eleven recommendations for consideration by Parliament.

Continuing debate on NPA 2022 Annual Report  During the continued debate several MPs, including lawyers Hon Ndudzo and Hon Mahere, made their contributions.  Of particular concern to all MPs who spoke was the need for the NPA to retain the services of trained and experienced professional staff.  Hon Hamauswa wondered whether this was an aspect of a larger problem with remuneration of the Public Service generally.  Hon Mahere also criticised the report for its lack of qualitative analysis of, for example, the bar charts of backlog of cases.  The sitting ended at 5.59 pm .


Continuing debate on ZACC 2022 Annual Report  Several Senators made contributions to this debate, including Senators Matamisa and Zvidzai of CCC.   Senator Matamisa, making her maiden speech in the Senate, alleged that ZACC “seems to be stifled by those in power, those wielding a lot of powers”. Senator Zvidzai’s speech made the identical point in less provocative terms by observing that “there are grades of corruption and the small fish around corruption is what is caught, baked and cooked but the real cases of corruption is around procurement for the public sector is huge and it involves what the previous speaker referred to. It talks to people in high offices. These are the people that when they engage in corruption, they affect the country in a major way”.

Continuing debate on President’s SONA speech until adjournment at 3.28 pm.

Thursday 9th November

The Deputy Speaker was in the chair.  Hon Markham raised a point of national importance concerning ZEC’s running out of ballot papers in some constituencies on polling day, 23rd August 2023, notwithstanding ZEC’s prior assurance to international observer missions that it was fully prepared for the elections;  Hon Markham linked this to the report of the SADC Observer Mission, which had referred to the ballot paper shortage, and asked that the report be tabled in the House for debate.  The Deputy Speaker refused to give a Speaker’s ruling and advised Hon Markham to put his point of national importance in the form of a written question for the responsible Minister, who is the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.


Referral of two further Petitions to portfolio committees  Like the five petitions dealt with on Wednesday, these both requested Parliament to pass legislation.

Continuing debate on NPA 2022 Annual Report  Hon. Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga said the report could have been improved by  an explanation of the NPA’s constitutional mandate.

Continuing debate on ZACC 2022 Annual Report  This continuing debate was noteworthy for the high quality of the contributions made by the many members who contributed.  Hon Mahere of CCC criticised ZACC for not having exposed incidents of corruption, saying that the Constitution makes it abundantly clear; they have an obligation to investigate and expose corruption: “When all is said and done, we saw zero exposé reported in the 2022 report. This is notwithstanding a plethora of corruption incidents.”   She gave an example of the exposures she expected in the 2021 report: the gold mafia scandal exposed by the Al Jazeera television service.


Questions without Notice   Senator Tongogara tackled the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development,  Hon Mhona, about the existing road to the new Parliament Building, which was too narrow and dangerous, as shown by a recent truck accident.  The Minister first tantalised Senators with tales of the magnificent new, probably double carriageway, road that was planned from the Bindura Road, and only then assured Senators that the existing road via the Old Mazowe Road and Marlborough would be rehabilitated. There was a question about teachers’ extremely meagre pensions which the Acting President of the Senate said needed to be further researched by the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon Adv Dinha.

Ministerial Statement on the Problem of Solid Waste Management in Zimbabwe by Hon Mangaliso Ndlovu.

The Senate ended its sitting at 4.16 pm with an adjournment until Tuesday 14th November.

Both Houses Will Sit Again This Week, Starting on Tuesday 14th November

Bills  Government Bills do not feature in the Order Papers for either House.  The latest Status of Bills list  provided by Parliament is on the Veritas website [link].


Four International Civil Aviation Agreements for Approval by Parliament –Two protocols amending Articles 50(a) and 56, of the International Convention on Civil Aviation; and two separate conventions, namely, the Convention on the Unification of Rules for International Carriage by Air and the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts relating to International Civil Aviation.  These agreements were due to be considered by the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development last week in closed session.

Take-note motion on ZEC’s Report on the 2023 Harmonised Elections  This motion by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs did not proceed all last week.

Motion for leave to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to Abolish the Death Penalty in All Acts   This is a motion by two backbench MPs, Hon Mushoriwa of CCC and Hon Madzimbamuto of ZANU PF.

Other business   All other business on the Order Paper for Tuesday 14th November is for continuation of existing debates.

SENATE   Veritas does not have the proposed order of business, but assumes it will continue where it left off last week.

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

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