BILL WATCH 2 - 2018 National Assembly Making Progress on Bills


[9th February 2018]

Both Houses of Parliament Will Meet on Tuesday 13th February

Only the National Assembly sat this week 

Further Progress on Bills

Estates Administrators Amendment Bill  [link]

Correction of Error in Bill Watch 1/2018

Bill Watch 1/2018 incorrectly stated that this Bill received its final reading on 25th January and was then transmitted to the Senate.  In fact, the Bill – as amended by the National Assembly that afternoon – was referred back to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for its report on the constitutionality of the amendment.  And the week ended with the Bill still listed as under consideration by the PLC.  So the Bill did not receive its final reading, and was not sent to the Senate.  Veritas apologies for the error.

Yesterday, 8th February, receipt of the PLC’s non-adverse report on the amended Bill was announced in the National Assembly.  The Bill was then given its final reading and sent to the Senate, as amended.    The amendment’s effect is to add  sexual harassment of any client, employee or prospective employee to the list of examples of improper or disgraceful conduct that can result in disciplinary proceedings for a registered estates administrator [link].  

Finance Bill

Bill Watch 1/2018, correctly, stated that on 25th January this Bill, as amended, received its final reading and was transmitted to the Senate.  This week, however, the Speaker announced the recommittal of the Bill for further consideration by the National Assembly because an error had come to light in clause 37 of the Bill.

The re-opened Committee Stage of the Bill occurred yesterday, 8th February.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development proposed an amendment to correct the error, which was approved by the House and promptly cleared by the PLC, enabling the National Assembly to give the Bill its final reading for the second time.  The Bill was then sent to the Senate.  

Note: The error in clause 37 turned out to be the obviously inappropriate use of the expression “Member of Parliament” in a context demanding the use of the word “person”. There was, rightly, no objection to the correction of the error.  

Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill [link

Yesterday afternoon also saw progress on this Bill, which received its Second Reading before the House rose.  The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development presented his committee’s report on the Bill, which contained a large number of criticisms, suggestions and recommendations for changes.  In reply the Minister of Finance and Economic Development said that he wished to propose a number of amendments to the Bill and also needed more time to consider the recommendations in the committee’s report.  The Committee Stage was set down for Tuesday 13th February.  [The Portfolio Committee’s Report and the Minister’s Committee Stage amendments already appearing on the Order Paper will be posted on the Veritas website as soon as possible.]

Civil Aviation Amendment Bill [link]

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is expected to introduce this Bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday 13th February.  The Bill will then be given its First Reading and immediately referred to the PLC.  Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development will  be  holding public hearings on the Bill in Bulawayo on 12th February and Harare on 13th February – see Bill Watch Committee Series 4/2018 of 2nd February [link]. 

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