15 Bills presented for debate

By Farirai Machivenyika
The First Session of the Ninth Parliament is coming to an end with at least half of the 30 Bills set out in President Mnangagwa’s legislative agenda having been presented to the legislative assembly for debate.

The President set out the legislative agenda that mainly focuses on improving the business climate in the country and entrench democratic values.

Five Bills were passed by Parliament and two of them were signed into law while the other three are still waiting for the President’s assent.

The laws that were assented to are the Shop Licence Amendment Act and the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Act, while the Consumer Protection Bill, Microfinance Amendment Bill and the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill are still waiting assent.

The TNF Act establishes the Tripartite Negotiating Forum that brings together Government, business and labour in a formal setting to discuss pertinent issues affecting the economy with the aim of preventing clashes that characterised relations of the three in the past.

The Shops Licence Act reduces bureaucracy in the establishment of businesses including creation of electronic platforms for applications of business licences.

The Consumer Protection Bill seeks to protect consumer rights from unscrupulous businesses bent on profiteering at their expense and provides them mechanisms to seek recourse.

If passed into law, the Microfinance Bill will streamline the institutions from the current four recognised by the law to two that is credit-only microfinance and deposit-taking microfinance institutions.

MOPA will repeal the Public Order and Security Act and open up democratic space and management of gatherings and demonstrations.

Some of the Bills that are at various stages of debate in Parliament include the Education Amendment Bill, Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Bill, Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill, Coroner’s Office Bill, Freedom of Information of Bill and the Marriages Bill.

The other Bills are the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill, RBZ Amendment Bill, International Treaties Bill and the Constitutional Court Bill.

The Bills are at various stages of debate in Parliament.

The Freedom of Information and the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bills intend to promote access to information and also democratise the media operating environment in the country in line with dictates of the Constitution.

The two Bills will repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Bill seeks to establish the Zimbabwe Development Agency that will be a one-stop shop for investors intending to set up businesses in the country and cut out red tape and bureaucracy.

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