Zanu PF rapped for Local Govt Bill fast-track

HARARE - The European Union (EU), Zimbabwean civil society and opposition have ganged up on Zanu PF for brazenly disregarding the new Constitution and using its tyranny of numbers in Parliament to fast- track the Local Government Amendment Bill.

The Bill was gazetted on May 9 and on June 7, it was introduced in the National Assembly by the Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, (pictured)given its first reading and referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) for its report on whether or not the Bill would, if enacted, be consistent with the Constitution.

Kasukuwere told the House he intended to introduce a motion to suspend certain Standing Orders in respect of the Bill — thereby signalling the government’s intention that the Bill be ”fast-tracked”.

Under Standing Orders, the PLC should have had until July 14 to report back to the National Assembly, with an option of extension by the Speaker in case of need.

MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese protested on the floor of the National Assembly about what he called a “purported” PLC meeting on the Bill said to have been held on the previous morning without him and MDC MP Jessie Majome, both lawyers and members of the PLC.

The Zanu PF-constituted PLC decided to issue a non-adverse report on the Bill.  This was despite the fact that Gonese and Majome were of the view that the Bill infringed on the Constitution.

Although there is much in the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act requiring substantive alignment with the Constitution, the Bill tackles only one aspect of the problem — the procedure for the suspension and removal from office of mayors and councillors.

It leaves all other existing aspects of aligning the two Acts to be dealt with later.

Second, the Bill’s proposed provisions for the suspension and removal from office of mayors and councillors are regarded by many as seriously inconsistent with the Constitution’s provisions on the subject of local government autonomy.

In a strong-worded statement on Thursday, the EU said they were watching keenly the crisis surrounding the adoption of the Bill.

“(The EU is also)…troubled by the way the adoption of partial Local Government Laws Amendment Bill is being fast-tracked before the completion of the public hearings and without allowing for due process by the full Parliamentary Legal Committee.”

While Parliament has made considerable ground in facilitating public involvement, the Bill has been mired by violence during public hearings held at Machipisa in Highfield and the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), something the EU has also castigated.

“The EU would like to express its dismay at the violent disruption of public hearings on the Local Government  Amendment Bill on June 16 in Harare and on the following day in Highfield,” the EU bloc said.

“The EU is concerned by the lack of progress on the devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities in line with the Constitution,” the EU said.

The opposition MDC’s resistance to the Bill was on display on Wednesday when business came to a standstill in the august House as the MDC and Zanu PF legislators heavily exchanged words over the fast-tracking of the Bill.

An emotional Zvishavane-Ngezi Zanu PF MP John Holder had to be restrained by colleagues as he charged at Kuwadzana East MDC MP Nelson Chamisa.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the Bill flies in the face of  transparency.

“We know this is a deliberate attempt by Kasukuwere to disseminate MDC-run councils.. Zanu PF is already in election mode,” Gutu said.

Comments (5)

Masses of Zimbabwe, until when shall we watch and see this government taking us for granted, trumpling on our RIGHTS and destroying our future and of the generations to come. I this we should take to the streets in demostration of 2 issues, 1. changing the rules of the game(the contitution) willy nilly- to favour ZANU PF and the failure of the government to implement the new constitution in its totality. 2.The threats to arrest any Leader of the present CONTESTANT PARTIES (the so called opposition parties) Enough is Enough fellow citizens, if you really want to know the nature and Heart of the present day government-ZANU PF please take time and read as much content as possible in the article with the following link: SORRY i could copy- Paste it here but just google : Joshua Nkomo Letter to Robert Mugabe from Exile. some of you have read it but take time to rerad again & see the real evilness of these people since 1980s to date. LETS TAKE ACTION

whitehorse - 3 July 2016

enough is enough guys, lets liberate ourselves from this nonesense by peaceful demos, NO to any fast track ammendents , NO to any illegal arrests. NO, NO ,NO...

enough zvakwana tajamuka - 3 July 2016

Unbelievable !!!!! I just read the "Joshua´s Letter to Robert Mugabe from exile" Ma one na BOB. I am beggining to think we have the Devil in Human form, Just as JESUS was on Earth in Human Form.

Ma-one Chaiwo - 3 July 2016

Kasukuwere thinks he is genius but he must know that history books are being written. That guy is a dwarf in his mind. ZIMBABWE LETS MOBILIZE AND TAKE OUT MA GRADE 7 AYA ANA KASUKUWERE, MAWINDI AKATORWA NE ZANU PAMA RANK.

kASUKUWERE DUNUNU - 3 July 2016

surely Lets do something about this MAZIM.

Lets RiseUP - 4 July 2016

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