MPs blast govt over slow law paced reforms, regurgitating POSA

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By Anna Chibamu

MDC-T Bulawayo legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has hit out at government’s half-hearted approach to bringing about law reforms in the country.

Her Zanu PF counterpart Kindness Paradza also blasted the powers that be for replicating past laws under the guise of law reforms.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a member of the Paradza chaired committee said locals were not pleased with the slow alignment of existing laws with the national constitution as well as amendments on the rest.

Committee chair, Paradza chipped in saying “there are no reforms but just a replication of the laws especially the MOPA (Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill) Bill which has been made worse than before.

“There are no reforms in terms of law alignment or amendments. It is only replicating or making it worse,” said Paradza.

On MOPA, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo told the MPs while giving oral evidence before the committee that the borne of contention is on who deploys the military.

“The issue is we have to be within the confinements of the Constitution unless it has to be changed. Rules of engagement are not put into an Act. These have to be subsidiary and I believe there is no repetition in MOPA.”

Moyo also defended government’s slow process of aligning existing laws with the national constitution.

“The Executive has the desire and the political will to ensure that important legislation is aligned to the Constitution. This is the whole point.

“Because of the calendar which is so packed, we do not discuss anything these days except Bills and so forth and I am sure you are also feeling the heat as the August House. This shows the seriousness within the Executive.

“Cabinet has the busiest schedule. It is pre-occupied with reforms of these legislative agenda. The process emanates from the ministry, it makes sure that various consultations to make sure that there are principles and these are presented and a draft is then done by the Attorney General.

“The Attorney General also has its obligations and packed calendar. We have had to say that the Attorney general must prioritise what we call important legislation so that the drafting of the legislation must be done quickly and be brought to Cabinet.”