Constitutional Bill awaits Mugabe assent

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe awaits certificates of confirmation after parliamentarians overwhelmingly voted for the passage of the Constitutional Bill.

Mugabe is now due to sign the constitution into law.

Eric Matinenga, Constitutional and Parliamentary  Affairs minister told the Daily News that he had instructed Lovemore Moyo, Speaker of the House of Assembly and Edna Madzongwe, president of Senate to sign the certificates.

“The two are now set to sign the certificates that the Bill was passed by Parliament before being forwarded to Mugabe to assent to the Constitutional Bill,” Matinenga said.

“I hope that he will assent to it anytime very soon as the parliamentary process of the Bill over and once the bill is gazetted it becomes law.”

Matinenga said he was pleased that his ministry had worked hard to see the bill sail through the House.
 
“It was job well done by the legislators and my ministry as we worked hard to have a new constitution and it was a long road we travelled for the past four years in writing the new constitution,” Matinenga said.
 
He introduced the Bill to the legislators in the Lower and Upper Houses, explaining the 18 chapters to them.

After Speaker Moyo had announced to the House that the Bill had been given approval by the two-thirds of the legislators present in Parliament, legislators from across the political divide broke into song and dance.

All 156 legislators present in Parliament voted for the adoption of the Bill.

The three chief whips namely Innocent Gonese for MDC, Joram Gumbo Zanu PF and Edward Mkhosi of the smaller MDC led the tallying of the votes to confirm the number of MPs in the House who had approved the Bill.

The figures were confirmed by the Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma who called out a parliamentary registrar in the House to verify the names of the legislators.

The upper house on Tuesday unanimously approved the bill meaning that all that is left is for Mugabe to append his signature before it is passed into law.

There was jubilation in the Senate after Madzongwe announced to the House that the Bill had been given approval by more than two-thirds of the legislators present in Parliament, and again legislators from across the political divide broke into song and dance.

All 75 Senators present voted for the adoption of the Bill.

Four legislators debated it, with Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo representing his party, David Coltart representing the smaller MDC faction, Sekai Holland representing MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai while Chief Musarurwa represented Chiefs.

They all agreed that the Bill was home-grown and captured the views of the people.

The three chief whips Tambudzani Mohadi for Zanu PF, MDC-Ncube’s Believe Gaule and Stembile Mlotshwa from Tsvangirai’s MDC led the tallying of the votes to confirm the number of legislators in the House who had approved the Bill.

This was confirmed by Zvoma who called out a parliamentary register in the House to verify the names of the legislators.

Legislators led by Khaya Moyo led the House into song singing “Zimbabwe inyika yedu”.

The Constitutional Bill seeks to replaces the Lancaster House Constitution that came into operation in 1980.

The new constitution of Zimbabwe was overwhelmingly approved the referendum held on March 16, 2013.

The Bill now awaits Mugabe’s assent, and will be used for the harmonised elections this year.

During the week, parliamentary visitors’ gallery was full to capacity with diplomats. Ugandan legislators were also in attendance to witness of the passage of the Bill.

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