A RECORD 12 Bills were crafted into Acts of law before Third Session of the Eighth Parliament went on break last year.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Of these, three Acts are now awaiting gazetting, while 11 others are at various stages of passage through Parliament.
During the First Session of the Eighth Parliament, President Robert Mugabe presented 24 Bills, but only nine were crafted.
In the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament, 19 Bills were announced, but only eight were brought into the House for crafting.
When Mugabe officially opened the current Third Session of the Eighth Parliament, he announced that approximately 22 Bills, largely to do with ensuring ease of doing business in the country, combating corruption at the State Procurement Board and other State institutions and local authorities, as well as enforcing children’s rights, would be tabled.
The nine Bills which were crafted in 2015 that are already Acts are the Public Accountants and Auditors Amendment Act, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Act, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Act, Public Debt Management Act, Labour Amendment Act, Finance Act (2015), Finance (No. 2) Act 2015, Appropriation (Supplementary) Act 2016 and the Appropriation (2016) Act 2015.
Laws which have been passed by Parliament, but are yet to be gazetted include the Gender Commission of Zimbabwe Act, Joint Ventures Act and the Banking Amendment Act.
Bills to do with aligning laws with the new Constitution that were brought before Parliament for amendments include the General Laws Amendment Bill and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill. They are still being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
According to legal think-tank Veritas, the General Laws Amendment Bill attempts to align 126 existing Acts with the Constitution.
Other laws that Mugabe announced might be crafted if they are presented before Parliament when sittings resume in February include the Land Commission Bill, which will operationalise the commission and allow for periodical audits of land and investigations of complaints regarding land disputes, as well as the Education Amendment Bill to align the Education Act with the Constitution.
Overhauls of the Companies Act, State Procurement Act and the Mines and Minerals Act are also expected to be brought before Parliament for crafting.