By Zvamaida Murwira
President Mnangagwa will officially open the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament on October 1 and layout the legislative agenda.
The opening of the Second Session marks the end of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament, which saw at least 15 Bills out of 30 Bills presented.
In a statement, Parliament of Zimbabwe said the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mnangagwa would unveil a new legislative agenda next month.
“His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa will officially open the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament on October 1, 2019 at noon in the National Assembly,” said Parliament.
At least 30 Bills were expected to be tabled in the First Session of the Ninth Parliament.
The legislative agenda that had been set out by President Mnangagwa mainly focused on improving the business climate in the country and entrench democratic values.
Movers of the Bills will have to seek Parliament to reinstate outstanding Bills at the stage they were by the end of the First Session.
Five Bills were passed by Parliament and two of them were signed into law while the other three are still waiting for Presidential assent.
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 awaiting 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 while 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 micro-finance and deposit-taking micro-finance 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.