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Zanu PF ministers humiliated

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TWO Zanu PF ministers — Obert Mpofu (Mines) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Indigenisation) — were this week left with egg on their face after their proposed statutory instruments received adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) after they were deemed as ultra vires (beyond the legal powers of) the parent laws and the national constitution.

REPORT BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

The committee also spiked proposals by Mangwe Rural District Council to introduce sand extraction by-laws which would have empowered the local authority to penalise culprits found guilty of contravening the by-law.

PLC chairman Shepherd Mushonga yesterday said they would next week meet Mpofu to implore him to reduce the exorbitant mining fees gazetted under the Mining (General) (Amendment) Regulations [SI 29/2013].

“The ministry is asking a person to pay $5 000, $15 000 and even $1 million as mining fees and we struck that down as PLC because it is utra vires the law,” Mushonga said.

“The Mines ministry was trying to bring back this statutory instrument through the back door pretending that they were amending a 1979 statute, but we are saying it is unlawful to charge $1 million without first getting that authority from Parliament which represents the people.”

Mushonga added: “Those figures are too high. The new Act does not allow the minister to charge such exorbitant fees. Next week, we are going to meet Mpofu to discuss the issue hoping that he might compromise. If he does not compromise, we will go to Senate and I am confident that the Upper House will support the PLC because they approved the adverse report when it was first brought before Parliament.”

On the Zimbabwe Youth Council regulations, Mushonga said there was no basis to demand youth organisations to pay licence fees and membership subscriptions.

Kasukuwere’s ministry had sought to introduce compulsory licence fees and membership subscriptions for all youth organisations affiliated to the Zimbabwe Youth Council.

“We do not know where the minister (Saviour Kasukuwere) is getting authority to say youth organisations should be licensed and pay subscriptions. The youths do not have money and the enabling Act does not allow him to make money out of the youths. It violates the parent Act,” he said.

On the Mangwe Rural District Council by-laws, the PLC said the statutory instrument was unconstitutional because of a provision stating that a person convicted of a breach of the by-laws was liable to a penalty stipulated by the rural district council rather than a penalty decided by the court.

The PLC said the clause interfered with judicial independence and was inconsistent with Section 18 of the Declaration of Rights.

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