Busy times for MPs as President spells out country’s legislative agenda

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By Anna Chibamu

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the current session of parliament should see the legislature speed up on amending laws and passing of Bills to enhance broader national development.

He was officially opening the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe of Zimbabwe as well as presenting his State of the Nation Address in the house on Tuesday.

In his address, the President said parliament is expected to continue with the alignment process of laws with the constitution by considering amendments to the High Court Act, Labour Court Act, Magistrates Court Act and the Police Act.

Said the President, “Public Finance Management Amendment Bill will be placed before this Parliament in an endeavour to align the current act to the constitution.

“In line with devolution, this Bill extends the scope of application of statutes to Provincial and Metropolitan Councils as well as local authorities, including the mandatory submissions of annual budgets and financial performance reports.”

He added, “The Insurance and Pension Act will be amended to enhance good corporate governance while Securities and Exchange Commission Bill is intended to strengthen anti-money laundering legislation.

“The Bill to facilitate the appointment of the Deposit Protection Cooperation as the liquidator of all deposit taking institutions will also be tabled.”

Some of the laws to be amended or re-aligned to the constitution include the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which is expected to be re-tabled, while amendments to the Gold Trade Act and Precious Stones Act will ensure more competitiveness in the mining industry in sync with global benchmarks.”

In the energy sector, the Petroleum Act will be amended to create an enabling environment for natural gas and mineral oil exploration and exploitation.

The Electricity Act, similarly, will also see the imposition of stiffer penalties for vandalism.

Bills relating to Freedom of Information, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Protection of Information, and the Broadcasting Services Amendments Act which have been topical countrywide as the public called for their reforms will be expedited during this Session.

The Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill; and the Data Protection and Electronic Transactions Bill, Medical Aid Societies Bill, Prisons and Correctional Services Bill, Child Justice Bill, and Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Offences Bill which must incorporate acceptable customary norms, human rights standards and international best practice are some of the laws that Parliament will focus on in the 2nd session.