Health Services Board To Be Replaced By Independent Commission

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By Anna Chibamu

CABINET on Tuesday approved two bills which were presented by Justice minister and chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation Ziyambi Ziyambi.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the approval of the bills during a post-cabinet briefing later in the day.

The Health Services Board will now be replaced by an independent commission, the Health Services Commission.

“The Health Services Bill is meant to designate the health service as an essential service in line with Section 65(3) of the Constitution and will substitute the Health Services Board with the Health Services Commission.

“The Commission will comprise of a chairperson who must be the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, a deputy chairperson and a minimum of two and maximum of five other members appointed by the President,” read part of the statement.

In the commission, an appointed Executive Secretary (who should be a medical doctor with at least 7 years of experience) and other staff members of the Commission, who will be responsible for day-to-day administration and management of the Commission will be present.

Said the minister, “Under the amended Bill, it shall be the responsibility of every member of the Health Service to ensure that emergency medical service and critical care service receive adequate coverage, even during times of job action.”

The Police Amendment Bill seeks to align the procedure for the appointment of the Commissioner General of Police in the Police Act (Chapter 11 :10) with the provisions of Section 22 (1) of the Constitution as well as to align the tenure of the Office of the Commissioner General of Police with the provisions of Section 221 (2) of the Constitution.

It will also align the Police Act with various provisions of the Constitution which seek to regulate the operations of the Commissioner General of Police to comply with written directives of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority in line with Sections 243 (2), 255(2) and 259(11) of the Constitution and to align the provisions relating to the appointment, promotion, discharge, retirement and conditions of service of members of Police Service with the provisions of the Constitution.

Under the new constitution, all independent commissions, permanent secretaries, heads of police, army, CIO etc can now serve for two six-year terms only.

Once Bills are approved by cabinet, they go to Attorney General’s office for drafting and are then gazetted.

After gazetting, they are then introduced in Parliament for First reading then public consultations follow.

After consultations, they are read for the second time and debated, then go into committee stage, third reading and then transferred to Senate.