Bill Watch 22-2020 - Reduced Houses of Parliament to Sit on Tuesday 5th May

BILL WATCH 22/2020

[1st May 2020]

Reduced Houses of Parliament to Sit on Tuesday 5th May

Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] met yesterday, 30th April, to discuss the resumption of Parliament business and possible alternatives to facilitate the business of Parliament in the event that the lockdown continues in one form or another. The current lockdown ends at midnight on Sunday 3rd May 2020 so it seemed probable that a decision on the lockdown would be made not later than 3rd May 2020.  From various speeches the President has made recently a continuation or partial continuation of the lockdown seemed likely.

As a contingency measure, the CSRO resolved that a rump of both Houses sit on Tuesday 5th May 2020, the date to which they had adjourned on 18th March, for the sake of formally adjourning to a date that will be decided when they sit.  [It is within the provisions of  Parliamentary Standing Orders for the CSRO to make this decision.]   

A Press Statement [see in full below] was issued by the Clerk of Parliament after the CSRO meeting ended.

To sum up the decisions reached about when Parliament will be sitting:

  1. A reduced number of MPs from both the Senate and the National Assembly will sit separately on Tuesday 5th May.
  2. Only MPs in both Houses from the following provinces will attend: Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.  All Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
  3. Only Members from those four provinces that are able to drive from and back to their constituencies on the same day will be required to attend.
  4. All will comply with social distance requirements.
  5. Depending on the Government’s decision on continuing the lockdown or otherwise – presumably to be announced no later than Sunday 3rd May, because that is the last day of the extended lockdown – the Houses will formally adjourn until  a date to be decided.

The complete text of the Press Statement is set out below.  It can also be downloaded as a separate document on the Veritas website [link].

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