HomeMembers of ParliamentMudenda refuses to recommit PVO Amendment Bill to Committee Stage

Mudenda refuses to recommit PVO Amendment Bill to Committee Stage

Mudenda refuses to recommit PVO Amendment Bill to Committee Stage

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has rejected calls by Dzivarasekwa legislator Edwin Mushoriwa and Mutare Central legislator Innocent Gonese to recommit the PVO Bill to the Committee Stage.

The legislators argued that the process was not conducted following the expected procedures and that those who were participating on the virtual platform were denied an opportunity to debate.

However, in his much-awaited ruling, Mudenda said there are no procedure flaws that were brought up to his attention to warrant the re-committal of the Bill

‘’I have a short ruling here which I promised. Ruling on the Recommittal of the Private Voluntary Organisation Bill [H. B. 10, 2021]-. On Tuesday 26 July 2022, the second reading of the Private Voluntary Organisation Bill [H. B. 10, 2021] was done.

‘’Standing Order No. 147 provides that “Not more than one stage of a Bill must be taken at the same sitting without leave of the House”. The Honourable Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, therefore, sought leave of the House to have the Committee Stage forthwith, and this was not objected to.

‘’The House resolved itself into a Committee and the Bill was put clause by clause. On Clause 6 of the Bill, Honourable Mushoriwa on virtual platform informed the Chair that he was having a technical problem. He wanted to know which Bill was being debated.

‘’The Chair advised him to come to the House but he did not oblige. Honourable Members are availed fuel to enable them to attend sittings or drive to the nearest point where internet connectivity is not a challenge. Honourable Mushoriwa raised a point of order wherein he stated that he was continuing to have internet challenges.

‘’However, he was unable to conclude what he was saying. Subsequently, all other clauses were dealt with until concluded and no one raised an objection about the conduct of business on the Bill.

‘’The Bill was reported with amendments at the close of the Committee Stage and referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

‘’On Wednesday, 27 July 2022, Honourable Mushoriwa raised a point of privilege in the House alleging that Honourable Members who had been on the virtual platform the previous day had been denied permission to debate on the Bill by the Chairperson at the instruction of the Leader of the House.

‘’Facts of the matter are that when the Bill was put to the House clause by clause, none of the Honourable Members objected. The Bill was considered at Committee Stage and all clauses were adopted. It was only the following day that Honourable Mushoriwa wanted re-committal of the Bill claiming that rights of Hon. Members to debate had been violated.

‘’He further alleges the network had been very unstable resulting in those on virtual platform being prejudiced. However, having considered the matter, I rule as follows:

‘’No procedure flaws were brought up to my attention to warrant the re-committal of the Bill.

‘’On fluctuating network, it was the duty of the Honourable Member to ensure that he joined the sitting at a place that had stable internet connectivity,’’ he said.

With regards to calls by Honourable Gonese, Mudenda said his motion seeking recommittal was inadmissible and cannot be entertained.

‘’I must advise that this ruling applies to the Notice of Motion made by Hon. Gonese on Wednesday, 11 August 2022 seeking to have the re-committal of the Private Voluntary Organisations Bill Amendment.

‘’Therefore, the Notice of Motion by Hon. Gonese is deemed inadmissible and cannot be entertained,’’ he said. The ruling by the Speaker paves the way for the PVO Amendment Bill to move to the Third Reading Stage having gotten a green light from the Parliamentary Legal Committee a few weeks ago. #StopThePVOBill

Mudenda refuses to recommit PVO Amendment Bill to Committee Stage

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