9th Parliament’s unfinished business

9th Parliament’s unfinished business

THE President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) began by specifically naming the following five Bills from the Ninth Parliament as still needing to be passed:

  • Mines and Minerals Bill;
  • Public Finance Management Amendment Bill;
  • Medical Services Amendment Bill;
  • Insurance Bill;
  • Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill.

These five Bills all lapsed in terms of section 147 of the Constitution when the Ninth Parliament was dissolved just before polling day in the general election.   The section reads: “On the dissolution of Parliament, all proceedings pending at the time are terminated, and every Bill, motion, petition and other business lapses.” [as explained in Bill Watches 35/2023 [link] and 36/2023 [link], the Bills cannot be revived at the stage where the Ninth Parliament left them;  if the Government wants to proceed with them the responsible Ministers will have to begin afresh by introducing them in again in Parliament]. 

Note that there were four other lapsed Bills [see Bill Watch 35/2023 [link], not mentioned by the President in the legislative agenda – probably an oversight.  These Bills, like the ones mentioned earlier, will have to be presented afresh.  The Bills are:

  • Police Amendment Bill*
  • Child Justice Bill*
  • Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) Amendment Bill
  • Financial Adjustments Bill.

Parliament had actually passed these Bills but they were not sent to the President for assent and signature before the dissolution of the Ninth Parliament.

The Finance minister still has to account for the unbudgeted expenditure covered by this Bill.

New Bills for the Tenth Parliament

The President then turned to new legislative business.  We propose to deal with the Bills in the order followed by the President:

Obsolete Acts to be repealed

Repeal of Laws (General) Amendment Bill   This will repeal four obsolete Acts:

Frederick Clayton Trust Act;

  • Service of Documents (Telegraph) Act;
  • Settled Estates Leasing Act;
  • War Marriages Validation Act.

The reasons for regarding the above Acts as obsolete are set out in paragraph 4 of the Post-Cabinet Briefing of 26th September 2023, which records the Cabinet’s approval of the principles of the above Bill

Bills being prepared for gazetting and introduction

These two Bills have already been sent to Parliament for gazetting and the Bill proofs are being checked in the Attorney-General’s office:

  • Persons with Disabilities Bill [Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare]
  • Administration of Estates Amendment Bill [Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs].

Justice and legal affairs

  • Legal Practitioners Amendment Bill — this will streamline the registration process for foreign legal practitioners.
  • Inheritance and Succession Laws (General Amendment) Bill – this will align inheritance and succession laws to the Constitution and international best practice.

Climate change, environment and wild life

  • Climate Change Bill seeking to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate low carbon development technologies and to strengthen appropriate institutions and funding mechanisms.

Acts to be reviewed [presumably amended or replaced with a new Act] in order to help the country adapt to climate change and become more resilient:

Water Act;

  • Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act;
  • Plant Breeders Rights Act.
  • Parks and Wild Life Amendment Bill – to amend the Parks and Wild Life Act.  A Human-Wild Life Conflict Relief Fund will be set up to offer monetary benefits to victims of human-wildlife conflict in communities.

Exploitation of natural resources by industrialisation

The aim of the following Bills, the President said, was to exploit the country’s natural resources fully and encourage industrialisation:

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