Both chambers sat last week and sit this week
Two bills completed by Parliament last week
At the National Assembly
Marriage Bill [as amended by the Senate]
On Tuesday, March 8, the bill was submitted for consideration of the amendments to articles 9, 16, 41, 43 and 45 made by the Senate the previous week. This was the first item addressed by the House immediately after the Speaker made an announcement linking the Parliament of Zimbabwe with the rest of the world to commemorate International Women’s Day. The House in committee made short work of reopening committee stage and passed the Senate amendments without debate. The Bill was then read a third time. The Bill has therefore finally been passed by both Houses of Parliament and will in due course be sent to the President for his assent and publication as an Act of Parliament.
In the Senate
Amending bill on the guardianship of minors [as amended by the National Assembly]
On Wednesday, March 9, the bill was submitted for consideration by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The minister began his second reading speech by saying that it was appropriate to address the bill during the week-long observance of International Women’s Day, as it was not just a measure of constitutional alignment [to bring the Guardianship of Minors Act into line with section 80 of the Constitution] but also an important measure for the advancement of women’s equality. He then explained the orientation of the bill. Several senators made brief contributions to the debate, all welcoming the bill, and the bill went to its second reading after the minister’s response. Committee stage proceeded immediately, with no questions or debate, and the bill passed its third reading, completing its passage through both houses. Like the Marriage Bill, the Bill will in due course be sent to the President for his assent and publication in the Official Gazette as an Act of Parliament.
This week so far: Progress on the Pension and Provident Funds Bill
On Tuesday, March 15, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon Chiduwa delivered the second reading speech of this bill. Debate was then adjourned and resumed yesterday. Several senators contributed to it, comparing, among other things, the comfortable situation enjoyed by retirees in past decades and the precarious situation of retirees today. In response, the Deputy Minister felt it necessary to point out that the bill did not apply to pensions paid by the NSSA or the government and therefore did not address some of the complaints made by senators, who should be covered by separate measures, including bills and regulations. The bill then passed its second reading, allowing committee stage to resume a later day, possibly even today, when it will be the only bill on the Senate Order Paper. – but, Thursday afternoon being reserved for question time and debates of the deputies. business, maybe not.
Coming to the National Assembly this afternoon
For committee stage
For the continuation of the debate at second reading
For the start of the second reading stage