By Farai D Hove | In the wake of the controversy surrounding the recent election and the lack of attendance from other African nations at his inauguration, Zimbabwe’s ZANU PF leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, faces a critical moment as he prepares to address Parliament. It appears that one of the primary focuses of his announcement will be the introduction of new Bills. The Parliament is expected to tackle six Bills that originated from the previous Parliament, which dissolved just before the harmonized elections.
Five of these Bills had lapsed due to the dissolution of Parliament, as per Section 147 of the Constitution, which stipulates that all legislative business lapses under such circumstances. These Bills include the Insurance Bill, the Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill, the Medical Services Amendment Bill, the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, and the Financial Adjustments Bill.
One additional Bill, the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill, was sent back to Parliament by President Mnangagwa with reservations for reconsideration. This move suggests that the President wants the legislature to address certain concerns he has raised about the Bill.
The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, in particular, faced delays due to an adverse report issued by Parliament’s Legal Committee, chaired by ZANU PF member Cde Jonathan Samkange. The committee expressed concerns about sections of the Bill related to mining title registration and dispute resolution between miners and farmers, suggesting that they might conflict with the Constitution.
It’s noteworthy that these legislative matters are taking place in the context of ZANU PF securing a majority in the National Assembly during the recent elections, with the ruling party winning 136 out of 209 contested seats. However, this majority might not entirely alleviate the challenges and scrutiny faced by the government, especially with the controversy surrounding the election and international attention on Zimbabwe’s political landscape.
In his address to Parliament, President Mnangagwa is likely to emphasize the importance of these Bills and their potential impact on various sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy and governance. Additionally, he may use this opportunity to address concerns and criticisms raised both domestically and internationally regarding the recent election process, as well as to outline his administration’s plans for addressing political and economic challenges facing the country.