5 Bills sail through Parliament
AT least five Bills have been passed while 10 are still under consideration as the curtain comes down on the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament.
President Mugabe has announced October 4 as the date when the Fourth Session of the current Parliament would be officially opened.
In a Statutory Instrument of a Government Gazette published last Friday, the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces fixed October 4 as the day of the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament in terms of section 146 of the Constitution.
In the Government Gazette, President Mugabe said section 146 of the Constitution allowed each House of Parliament to determine the time and duration of its sittings other than its first sittings and periods of recess.
He also said that the Constitution empowered him to summon the August House at any time to conduct special business.
“And whereas, it is expedient that Parliament should be summoned to meet. Now therefore, under and by virtue of the powers vested in the President as aforesaid, and as resolved by Parliament on the 18th of September 2013, I do hereby by this Proclamation fix (a) Parliament building, Harare, as the place at which the Official Opening of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament shall be held; (b) 12 o’clock noon on Tuesday, 4th of October, 2016, as the time and date at which the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament shall begin,” reads the notice.
During the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament five Bills sailed through and the major highlight was the Local Government Amendment Act which seeks to provide mechanisms to institute disciplinary measures against mayors, councillors and chairpersons of rural district councils.
Some of the Acts passed are Public Finance and Management Act, Special Economic Zones, Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Act and Gwanda State University Act.
The Local Government Amendment Act was passed despite protests by opposition MDC-T legislators who felt that the law was targeted at Harare mayor, Mr Bernard Manyenyeni, an allegation that was dismissed by Local Government Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who was steering it.
Other Bills still under consideration before Parliament include Land Commission Bill, Judicial Laws Amendment Bill, Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill and Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill.
Others are National Competitiveness Commission Bill, Pan African Minerals University of Sciences and Technology Bill and National Peace Reconciliation Bill and Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill.
Some of the highlights of the Third Session was the expulsion of three Zanu-PF members of Parliament for different reasons.
Former Norton MP Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa was fired for his unrepentant attitude in which he constantly sought to antagonise party leadership, while Chimanimani West MP Mr Munacho Mutezo was fired for his links with Zimbabwe People First Leader Dr Joice Mujuru with Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke was fired after being sentenced to 10 years for raping his minor niece.