President makes history today at New Parly Building
President Mnangagwa is today expected to officially open the First Session of the 10th Parliament at the eye-catching New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, where he is expected to deliver the coming session’s legislative agenda.
The Head of State and Government will deliver his address to Members of Parliament comprising new legislators and those who were retained after the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections.
In addition to the new Bills to be spelt out by President Mnangagwa in today’s address, Parliament will also be expected to deal with six Bills that stemmed from the last Parliament after it was dissolved on the eve of the harmonised elections.
At least five of the six Bills lapsed following the dissolution of Parliament, meaning they will have to be reintroduced. Another Bill was referred to Parliament after President Mnangagwa withheld his assent, to allow legislators to consider his constitutional reservations.
Five Bills lapsed in terms of Section 147 of the Constitution, which stipulates that all business lapses at the dissolution of Parliament. The five Bills that lapsed while they were still under consideration by Parliament are; 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.
The Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill is set for reconsideration after President Mnangagwa returned it to allow Parliament to consider the reservations he raised.
There was a delay in concluding the much-awaited Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill after Parliament’s Legal Committee issued an adverse report against the Bill.
The legal committee is an arm of Parliament that scrutinises all Bills and Statutory Instruments to establish if they are consistent with the Constitution.
In its report, the committee chaired by Mudzi South MP Cde Jonathan Samkange (Zanu PF) said some sections of the Bill largely dealing with registration of mining titles and how disputes between miners and farmers can be resolved, might violate the Constitution.
The committee issued an adverse report on the Bill, which among other clauses, would provide conflict resolution mechanisms between farmers and miners that include negotiations, referring disputes to the courts and an option allowing the farmer to sell the property to the miner among other proposed measures.
The 10th Parliament was constituted after last month’s harmonised elections in which the ruling Zanu PF secured a majority.
Of the 209 contested National Assembly seats, Zanu PF won 136, representing 64,76 percent of the ballot, while the CCC got 73 or 34,76 percent of the vote.
An election could not be held for the Gutu West Constituency following the death of a candidate after completion of the nomination process, and the date for a by-election has since been set for November 11.
In the presidential election, President Mnangagwa who was representing Zanu PF, garnered 2 350 711 votes or 52,6 percent, to win a second term ahead of Mr Nelson Chamisa of CCC, who got 1 967 343 votes, representing 44 percent of the ballot.
Eight other candidates including one female, Ms Elisabeth Valerio, contested for the presidency, got a combined 4,4 percent of the vote.
In the Senate, Zanu PF won 33 seats while CCC got 27. In line with constitutional provisions, 18 chiefs were also elected into the Senate together with two people representing the disabled.
All parliamentarians, including Senators, were sworn in this month at the New Parliament Building.