ED sets an ambitious legislative agenda for 5th Session

ED sets an ambitious legislative agenda for 5th Session
ED sets an ambitious legislative agenda for 5th Session

ED sets an ambitious legislative agenda for 5th Session

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has set an ambitious legislative agenda that will likely keep the 5th Session of the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe busy.

The agenda which was tabled at the new Parliament building in Mount Hampden will see several existing laws being amended while new ones will be formulated as part of the realignment process.

It will however be interesting to see if the 9th Parliament will be equal to the task, as it has failed to exhaust some of the bills that were before it in the 4th session that have lapsed by operation of the Standing Rules and Orders of Parliament.

Priority is expected to be given to the 2023 National Budget, the Electoral Amendment Bill, and the Delimitation Report as they are urgent.

Addressing the legislators, Mnangagwa said he is expecting a smooth flow of Bills as the Office of the Attorney-General has been detached from the Ministry of Justice.

“Mr. Speaker Sir, Madame President; Allow me to now turn to the legislative business which must occupy the Parliamentary schedule during this final Session of the Ninth Parliament.

“The Office of the Attorney-General has since been hived off from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. This should see this Office fully discharging its mandate more efficiently and effectively.

“In the financial services sector, the Insurance Bill seeks to replace the Insurance Act to address regulatory gaps and weaknesses,” he said.

Mnangagwa added, “the new Session must expedite passage of the Labour Amendment Bill. Cabinet recently passed the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (Compliance, Monitoring, and Evaluation) Regulations, 2022 as well as the Amendments to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 which, among other provisions, will require all procuring agencies to establish the market value of goods for ease of evaluation of quotations.

“In line with the Agriculture Food Systems and Transformation Strategy, amendments to the Plant Breeders Act; the Animal Health Act; the Water Act; the ZINWA Act; the Land Commission Act; and the Bees Act will be tabled. Equally, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill; the Agricultural Resources Conservation Bill; and the Agricultural Education Bill will enhance the attainment of food and nutrition security. In addition, the Sugar Act is being reviewed in order to classify sugarcane as a strategic crop,” he said.

Mines Bill to be gazetted

President Mnangagwa also revealed that the Mines Bill which was on the shelves for some years would finally be gazetted in the 5th Session.

“The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill now awaits gazetting. Farming and mining activities will be accorded due recognition in the resolution of disputes. The Bill will also strengthen environmental protection.

“The Fifth Session must speedily consider legislation towards alignment of the Devolution and Decentralisation Programme of the Second Republic, through amendments of the Provincial Councils and Administration Act; the Rural District Council’s Act; as well as the Regional, Town, and Country Planning Act. The Disaster Risk Management Bill will promote the involvement of all citizens in effective disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery measures.

“Government shall be seeking Parliamentary ratification of various Memoranda of Understanding regarding partnerships to promote ICT infrastructure and skills development. Through the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill, Government seeks to establish a legal framework that facilitates fair, accessible, responsible, and sustainable online transacting, including the recognition of digital signatures.

“The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistle Blowers) Bill, 2022; the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the Witness Protection Bill; the Zimbabwe Human Rights (Amendment) Bill; and the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill must all be tabled during this Session.

“The Electoral (Amendment) Bill, which spells out new provisions for holding the 2023 Harmonised Elections, should be speedily concluded,” he said.

Turning to outstanding currently at various stages in both houses, the President said they must be expedited.

However, this is not the first time he has said this.

“Outstanding Bills from the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament must be expedited. These include the Child Justice Bill, the Judicial Laws (Amendment) Bill, and the Prisons and Correctional Service (Amendment) Bill,” he said. 

ED sets an ambitious legislative agenda for 5th Session