State opening of Parly on Tuesday

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe will formally open a new session of Parliament on Tuesday amid full-scale British pageantry.

The fifth session of Parliament will be summoned for the ceremonial State opening that marks the final session before elections scheduled for 2018. As part of the State opening, the president delivers a speech setting out the government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new session.

Mugabe is expected to arrive at  Parliament in his gleaming Rolls Royce once used by Lord Soames, the last governor of Rhodesia prior to the country’s independence in 1980. Accompanied by 200 soldiers and escorted by 32 mounted policemen dressed in the 1890-style uniform of the British South Africa Police, complete with pith helmets, Mugabe will make his way to Parliament escorted by horse and carriage and his wife, Grace.

The 93-year-old will travel from State House to the Parliament building in a royal procession to perform the official opening starting at 12 noon in the National Assembly.

At its heart, the official opening of Parliament is a symbolic reminder of the historical relationship between the British colonial masters and the Zimbabwe government, and includes a military parade accompanied by unprecedented British splendour synonymous with a royal celebration.

Parliament officials told the Daily News yesterday that traditional rituals will be followed when the fifth session resumes on Tuesday.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda announced that Nelson Mandela Avenue will be closed from Sam Nujoma Street to Simon Muzenda Street (Fourth  Street), Third Street at Jason Moyo Avenue, George Silundika Avenue at Third Street, St Mary’s Lane at Nelson Mandela Avenue and Kwame Nkrumah  Avenue from Sam Nujoma to Simon Muzenda Street (Fourth Street).

Apart from the preparations of the 2018 annual budget, this forthcoming session has some large and complex Bills lined up and likely to require  time-consuming attention.

According to legal and parliamentary watchdog, Veritas, the Bills expected to be tabled in the next session include the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which is still under  consideration by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) after undergoing its first reading on May 11, Insolvency Bill under consideration by PLC since first reading on July 20;  Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill which has been gazetted and is awaiting introduction and first reading; the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill which has not yet been gazetted and therefore not available, but officially listed by Parliament as “awaiting gazetting”.

Parliament is also set to deal with the Land Commission Bill. Last month, the Bill was passed in senate it is expected go back to the National Assembly after the senators voted against the PLC adverse report which was trying to whittle down their powers. Another Bill set to be tabled is the Membership of Zimbabwe and Branch Office Agreement (ZEP-RE Bill). This recommitted Bill was originally passed in  March and later sent to the president for assent. The president returned it to the National Assembly for further attention, drawing attention to an omission from the preamble to the Bill. 

Parliament is also set to deal with the appointment of the new Auditor-General after the Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa failed in his first attempt to appoint Michael Ndudzo to replace Mildred Chiri, who has been  re-appointed to her old job in the interim.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.