Parliament reconvenes

HARARE - Parliament will have its hands full when it reconvenes today after a two-week break.

Parliament adjourned after the second reading of the Electoral Amendment Bill at the end of April.

The Bill recently sailed through the Senate amidst protests from MDC legislators who felt it was being railroaded without giving stakeholders a chance to discuss and present their input.

In the National Assembly, the Bill had to be referred to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Harare West MP Jessie Majome to gather views from members of the public and other stakeholders.

This was after a failed attempt by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Emerson Mnangagwa to whip MPs to hurriedly pass it.

Mnangagwa had argued that there was urgency in passing the electoral amendments because the Presidential Powers regulations that were passed to effect changes on the Electoral Act before elections had since lapsed, rendering the current Electoral Act out of sync with the new Constitution.

He told the National Assembly before it adjourned for Easter holidays that the amendments that he had brought before Parliament were preliminary.

The Justice minister said substantive amendments to align electoral laws with the new constitution were going to be done at a later stage.

Today the Bill will be read for a second time after considering the input of other stakeholders whose views were gathered buy the Majome committee when the house was adjourned.

Also on the Parliament order paper is a motion to be moved by Hwange Central legislator Brian Tshuma calling upon government to act on Hwange Colliery Company after its guards unleashed violence on women who were demonstrating against the compant’s failure to pay their husbands’ salaries.

“This house now, therefore calls upon government as the majority shareholder of the Hwange Colliery Company to provide the relief sought by the community,” Tshuma’s motion reads, calling on speedy payment of the husbands’ salaries.

A motion moved by Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga called for the speedy implementation of the non-monetary incentives promised to civil servants by government.

“Recalling the government resolution on the need to introduce non-monetary benefits to augment salaries of public servants, this House now therefore calls for the minister of Finance to immediately implement the non-monetory benefits giving all public servants a duty-free certificate to import a vehicle for personal use,” the motion reads. 

In the Senate, the second reading of the Financial Adjustments and National Prosecuting Authority bills will be topical.

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