National Assembly under pressure as Bills pile-up

National Assembly under pressure as Bills pile-up
National Assembly under pressure as Bills pile-up

National Assembly under pressure as Bills pile-up

The National Assembly has been flooded with several bills that are awaiting consideration by legislators and are at various stages of formulation.

Currently, there are about 12 Bills on the National Assembly Order Paper, and this pile-up could result in some Bills not getting the attention they deserve.

The government is currently trying to fast-track the Private Voluntary Act Amendment Bill which is nearing the Committee stage.

The PVO Bill has widely been rejected by citizens when the Parliament went for public consultations.

Several legislators from the opposition have also thrown in some spanners leading to the government proposing some amendments.

According to Veritas Zimbabwe, the National Assembly Order Paper for Tuesday 21st June lists the Bills awaiting attention in the following order:

Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill – for the continuation of Committee Stage, with clause 4 under consideration, at which point the Minister of Finance and Economic Development proposes the insertion of a new clause allowing the Commissioner of Insurance and Pensions to delegate her/his functions. 

Copper Control Amendment Bill – for the continuation of the Second Reading stage.  There is an anonymous Notice of Amendment on the Order Paper suggesting the amendment of the mandatory minimum penalty in the new section 10A of the Copper Control Act [in clause 7 of the Bill], but it is far from clear and needs further explanation and refinement in order to make sense.  Perhaps the Minister will oblige in his response to the Second Reading debate.

Police Amendment Bill – for the continuation of the Second Reading stage.  A Veritas commentary is available [link].  Committee Stage amendments proposed by Hon Mayihlome, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, appear on the Order Paper.

Public Finance Management Amendment Bill – for the beginning of the Second Reading with the delivery of the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development

Health Service Amendment Bill – for the continuation of the Second Reading debate.  The Portfolio Committee’s report presented earlier this month, recommended the withdrawal and redrafting of the Bill.

Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill – for the continuation of the Second Reading debate.  Veritas has analysed and commented on the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s proposed Committee Stage amendments.  Copies of the amendments and a version of the Bill as it would look if all the Minister’s amendments were incorporated are available on the Veritas website.

Children’s Amendment Bill – for the start of the Second Reading stage with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Second Reading speech.

Child Justice Bill – for start of Second Reading stage with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs’ Second Reading speech.  Comments by Veritas are available.

Labour Amendment Bill – for the start of the Second Reading stage with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Second Reading speech.

Insurance Bill [link] – for the continuation of the Second Reading stage with the report on public consultations on the Bill by the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development.

Institute of Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill – for the start of the Second Reading stage by Hon Dr Murire with the delivery of his Second Reading speech, this being a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by him.  The Bill was only gazetted on 6th June, so it is unlikely to jump the above long queue of Government Bills awaiting attention.

Bill listed for its First Reading

Judicial Laws Amendment Bill The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has given notice that he intends to present this Bill in the National Assembly.  It was gazetted on 29th April.  After its presentation and formal First Reading, it will be referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for the report on its consistency or otherwise with the Constitution without which it cannot proceed to the Second Reading stage.

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