Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe opens the national parliament on September 6, 2011. The president's legislative agenda was discussed in his address., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President opens 4th Session of 7th Parly today
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 02:00
PRESIDENT Mugabe is today expected to officially open the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament and spell out the legislative agenda for the period.
Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, Supreme and High Court judges, diplomats, traditional leaders and captains of industry and commerce are expected to throng Parliament to hear the President deliver his keynote address.
The event is expected to start at State House where the Head of State and Government and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces will inspect a guard of honour mounted by the Police Mounted Unit.
At Parliament, the President will also inspect a guard of honour mounted by the Presidential Guard before entering the chamber to deliver his speech.
During the last Session, only nine Bills went through Parliament among the 23 Bills that President Mugabe had indicated would be dealt with during the legislative calendar when he officially opened the Session last year.
The nine Bills were debated during a cumulative sitting of 45 days for the House of Assembly, while Senate sat for 34 days during the last session. The failure to bring some of the Bills have been attributed to the delay in concluding the election roadmap, which would result in fresh elections in terms of the Global Political Agreement.
For example, the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill were only gazetted last month and will now be debated in the coming Session, while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Amendment Bill is still to be gazetted.
Sittings for Parliament for the past three Sessions have generally seen fewer days compared to previous Sessions before the inclusive Government.
One reason that could be attributed to the fewer days was that legislators had also been involved in gathering of views from people along the length and breath of the country for the constitution making process.
The House of Assembly had sat for only 30 days during the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament, while Senate sat for 16 days.
During the First Session of the Seventh Parliament, the House of Assembly sat for 42 days, while Senate sat for 28 days.
The Third Session of Seventh Parliament, however, debated 16 Bills but most of them were Finance Bills that are routine as they seek to give legal effect to fiscal measures that the Finance Minister would have introduced.
The nine Bills that were debated and concluded include the Attorney Generals Office Act, Criminal Law Amendment Act, Zimbabwe National Security Act, Energy Regulatory Authority Act and General Laws Amendment Act.
Others are Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, the Small Enterprise Development Corporation Amendment Act and the National Incomes Amendment Bill with the latter still to be concluded.