Coming up in the National Assembly This Week

BILL WATCH 20/2024

Bills on the National Assembly Order Paper

There are four Bills likely to be dealt with this week:

  • Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [link]
    Veritas has commented on the Bill and its background several times [
    link], [link] and [link].

This Bill is due for its Second Reading on Tuesday 11th June.  Last week on Thursday a meeting was held between representatives of CSOs and the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Finance, Justice, Public Service and Local Government.  The CSO representatives raised concerns about the Bill and the Minister of Justice agreed that it should be amended in relation to:

o   the convening of PVO forums

o   prescribing strict time-lines for administrative decisions and actions under the Act

o   the circumstances in which PVOs should be required to re-register

o   the suspension of executive committees of PVOs, and

o   civil penalties.

During the Bill’s Second Reading the Minister will probably clarify the precise amendments he envisages.

  • Administration of Estates Amendment Bill [link]

Veritas has commented on this Bill and its background [link].

This Bill is due to undergo its Committee Stage.  No amendments have been tabled, but at least two seem desirable:

o   To require a minimum portion of the Guardian’s Fund (say 40 per cent) to be invested in equities, in order to preserve the capital value of the Fund, and

o   To ensure that the Fund’s income is not wholly expended in paying for the administrative costs of the new Master’s Office.

  • Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Children and Young Persons) Bil[link]

This Bill is also due to undergo its Committee Stage.  Several amendments have been notified in the Order Paper, arising from recommendations made by the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

  • Death Penalty Abolition Bill [link]

The Second Reading debate on this Bill is due to continue.  On Thursday 30th May the Bill’s proposer, Hon Mushoriwa, consented to the Minister of Justice piloting the Bill through its remaining stages in the Assembly and the Senate.  It is likely that the Minister will propose amendments mandating lengthy prison sentences for cases of aggravated murder.

All these Bills are listed on Tuesday’s Order Paper, but they cannot all be dealt with on that day so some will have to be postponed – possibly until next week.

Bill being considered by the Parliamentary Legal Committee

The PLC is still considering the Persons with Disabilities Bill [link].  Its adverse report on several local authority by-laws (for improperly prescribed penalties) is under debate in the Assembly.

Annual reports of constitutional bodies

The National Assembly will be expected to consider the 2023 annual reports of the following constitutional bodies:

  • The Judicial Service Commission [JSC]
  • The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC]
  • The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC], and
  • The National Prosecuting Authority [NPA].

Motions on the National Assembly Order Paper

Among the motions to be debated by the National Assembly are the following – though some will probably have to be dealt with next week:

  • To establish a national electronic cadastre system for mining and land rights
  • To promote the teaching of more of Zimbabwe’s national languages in schools
  • For measures to improve public transport
  • To establish a compensation fund for victims of copyright piracy
  • For measures to compensate victims of poor governance of financial institutions
  • To provide security of tenure for holders of all land, including Communal Land.

Questions set down for answer:

Among many questions set down for Ministers to answer on Wednesday are questions on the following topics:

  • Implementation of the BEAM education programme and reimbursement of parents who have had to pay fees for beneficiaries of the programme
  • The situation at the Tongogara Refugee Camp
  • Re-engagement with the US Government
  • Measures to deal with food shortages
  • Renovation of sports stadiums.

Coming Up in the Senate This Week

The Senate Order Paper for Tuesday 11th June was not available at the time of writing.

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

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