The official opening of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe scheduled for today has been deferred to September 6.
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma announced the development last week.
Yesterday, Zvoma told NewsDay there was nothing abnormal about the delay in officially opening Parliament.
“It could be unusual but not necessarily abnormal. What the Constitution says is that it is the President of Zimbabwe who convenes a new session of Parliament. The life of Parliament is such that we have one session per year but the gap between these sessions should not go beyond six months,” said Zvoma.
“Since independence, some sessions have opened between May and June, but we have had some sessions opened in August, for example in 2008 and 2009.”
The opening of a new session of Parliament is a significant procedure for the legislature as the President will announce a new legislative agenda, including Bills that would be brought before Parliament and protocols to be ratified.
Some of the Bills expected to be crafted during the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament include the Human Rights Commission Bill that went through the first reading stage during the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament and the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill.
Recently, the Human Rights Commission Bill caused a political storm when Zanu PF supporters besieged Parliament building and disturbed public hearings on the Bill.
The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill might also attract a lot of controversy as it deals with the contentious issue of elections that are imminent in the country after the crafting of a new Constitution.
Although the Public Order and Security Amendment (Posa) Bill hit a brick wall in the Senate after it had gone through the third reading stage at the House of Assembly, it might resurface during the forthcoming session.
Amendments to Posa failed in the Senate after Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa said the issue was being handled by negotiators in the Global Political Agreement.