RBZ Bill tabled
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill that seeks to give legal effect to the introduction of bond notes that came into circulation on Monday this week was tabled before Parliament yesterday.
The RBZ Amendment Bill will regularise the Statutory Instrument issued in terms of Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) allowing Government to issue bond notes while Parliament attended to the principal legislation.
The Constitution allows the President to promulgate a legal instrument whose life would run for six months to enable Parliament to make its primary law-making role, and consider the regulations.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa tabled the Bill in the National Assembly before it was read for the first time.
Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Cde William Mutomba referred the Bill to the Parliamentary Legal Committee that will scrutinise it whether it was consistent with the Constitution.
In tabling the Bill, Minister Chinamasa said the Bill would amend the principal Act.
“The Bill will amend the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 22:15) (No 5 of 1999) to enable the central bank, with the leave of the Minister responsible for finance to issue bond notes exchangeable at par value with the United States dollar, on the same basis that it previously issued bond coins,” said Minister Chinamasa.
The Parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget and Finance chaired by Mutoko South MP Cde David Chapfika (Zanu-PF), has embarked on public hearings countrywide to seek people’s views on the RBZ Amendment Bill.
The committee is expected to table its report before Parliament before debate on the Bill commence.
The public hearings come after Minister Chinamasa reversed his decision to fast-track the Bill after it was felt that there was no prejudice suffered since there was already a legal instrument backing the introduction of bond notes.
The introduction of bond notes has since received a major boost after the High Court dismissed an application by a businessman, Mr Fredrick Mutanda challenging Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) under which the surrogate currency was introduced.
High Court judge Justice George Chiweshe ruled that the case lacked urgency, adding that issues raised by Mr Mutanda were speculative.