VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko last Thursday presented the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Bill in the National Assembly for the first reading stage.
by VENERANDA LANGA
This marked the second time Mphoko has made contributions in the House.
During his maiden speech last June, Mphoko promised to bring the NPRC Bill for crafting in Parliament.
In May last year, opposition MPs accused Mphoko of irregularly attending Parliament to take questions from backbenchers.
“The Bill will confer additional jurisdiction on the NPRC, including giving the commission investigating powers and to provide for matters connected to the foregoing,” Mphoko said.
The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) to check on whether its provisions were in tandem with the Constitution.
The NPRC Bill is likely to attract heated debate after the National Transition Justice Working Group (NTJWG) said some of its provisions were unconstitutional, such as the clause that gives the minister power to appoint a secretariat.
They said this might impede on the commission’s independence.
Meanwhile, Statutory Instrument number 77 of 2015, which was issued by President Robert Mugabe in July to shield the debt-ridden Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) against its properties from being attached by creditors, has expired and will no longer be effective.
This was announced by chairperson of the PLC Jonathan Samkange.
“The Statutory Instrument has ceased to have effect as the 180 days has expired. In light of that, it has no effect whatsoever,” he said.
PSMAS’s current indebtedness has ballooned to $144 million and MPs vowed that SI 77 of 2015 meant to make government take over the PSMAS debt will never pass.
Legislators said those implicated in the PSMAS scam should instead pay back.