Lloyd Gumbo: Senior Reporter—
Entrepreneurs without immovable property like houses will soon be able to access loans from financial institutions using vehicles, livestock and furniture as collateral security once the proposed Movable Property Security Interest Bill is passed into law.
This was revealed by President Mugabe as he officially opened the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament in Harare yesterday where he set the legislative agenda for the penultimate session.
The envisaged Bill is one of the 35 pieces of legislation that the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said would have to be considered by the Legislature during this session.
Some of the Bills are completely new, while others are Acts that will be amended such as the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act that will be aligned with President Mugabe’s clarification of the law in April this year.
“The Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament comes at a time when the process of realigning our laws to the Constitution is still work in progress,” said the President.
“As such, several Bills will be brought for alignment by Parliament during this Session. Bills to be brought before Parliament include the Constitutional Court Bill, the Rural District Council Bill, the Traditional Leaders Bill, the Prisons Bill and the Marriages Bill. The Coroner’s Office Bill, which will pave way for the setting up of the Coroner’s Office responsible for medico-legal investigations, will also be brought before this august House.”
President Mugabe said Small Claims Court, the Commercial Court and the High Court Bills would be merged into the Judicial Laws Amendment (Ease of Settling Commercial and other Disputes) Bill 2016.
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill, to provide legal underpinning to the One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre, will also be brought to Parliament during this session. President Mugabe said some amendments had been made to the Special Economic Zones Act after its passage in Parliament.
“These amendments, which will soon be tabled herein, pertain to some labour law provisions designed to protect workers in the Special Economic Zones. The legislation will boost the country’s capacity to attract world-class investment, employment creation, technology transfer and innovation in strategic areas of the country’s economy.
“This Session of Parliament will allow Livestock, cars to unlock bank loans also consider the Movable Property Security Interest Bill, which seeks to increase access to credit for the majority of our emerging entrepreneurs. “A collateral registry will be established to facilitate the use of movable property, including cars, livestock and furniture, as collateral for loans.
“The Insolvency Bill and amendments to the Insurance Act, the Pensions and Provident Funds Act, and the Insurance and Pensions Commission Act will be tabled in this Parliament, as Government moves to incorporate international best practices and to also protect policyholders and members of pension funds,” said President Mugabe.
He said the Micro-finance Act will also be amended to incorporate the registration of deposit taking micro-finance banks, in view of the evolving role of such institutions in the provision of credit and the mobilisation of savings.
The President said funds had already been earmarked for the capitalisation of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation. The long-awaited Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, the Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill that will integrate the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and the Mining Promotion Corporation are also expected to be tabled in Parliament during this session.
Another Bill establishing the National Competitiveness Commission to repeal the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act but coordinate the crafting and implementation of measures to improve the competitiveness of local companies will also be introduced during this session.
Parliament will also be seized with a Bill that seeks to restructure the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, the Regional Town and Country Planning Bill and the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill that will foster adherence to good corporate governance by public sector entities, regulate remuneration packages for boards and senior members of staff as well as enhance transparency in financial affairs of public entities.
The Public Sector Procurement Amendment Bill, the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which establishes a tripartite Occupational Safety Council, a new Labour Amendment Bill that seeks to harmonise Zimbabwe’s labour laws with the Constitution and relevant international conventions are also expected to be tabled before the House this session.
“Greater protection will be accorded to our young citizens through amendments to the Children’s Act. The Public Health Bill, which seeks to repeal the current Public Health Act, which was enacted in 1924, will be tabled before this Parliament.
“Additionally, the Medical Aid Societies Bill, which provides for the establishment of a regulatory authority to govern medical aid societies in Zimbabwe will be brought for consideration by this Parliament,” said the President.
He said the Manpower Development Act will be amended while the Zimbabwe Youth Council Bill, which provides a legal framework for youth development activities will also be introduced in Parliament.
“It will be recalled that I issued a statement to clarify Government’s position regarding the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy on 11th April, 2016. The relevant Act will thus be amended to bring it into consonance with the enunciated policy position,” said the President. Other Bills to be tabled are the Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill, the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill and the Data Protection Bill.