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President Mnangagwa lays legislative agenda

Story by Bruce Chahwanda, Political Editor

MORE than 20 bills will be debated by the 10th Parliament, while five laws will be considered for repeal.

This came out when President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA), which laid down the legislative agenda for the 10th Parliament, whose first session was this Tuesday.

Over 20 bills, nine of them carried over from the 9th parliament, are set to be debated to facilitate smooth implementation of government programmes.

“New Bills, which will constitute the business of the First Session, include the Persons with Disabilities Bill and the Administration of Estates Amendment Bill. The Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill, 2023 seeks to streamline the registration process for foreign legal practitioners. Also on the agenda will be the Inheritance and Succession Laws (General Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aligns inheritance and succession laws to the Constitution and international best practice.

“To give impetus to matters related to climate change adaptation and resilience, the Tenth Parliament is called upon to review the Water Act; the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act and the Plant Breeders Act. The much-anticipated Climate Change Bill seeking to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate low carbon development technologies should be thoroughly debated towards strengthening appropriate institutions and funding mechanisms. The Parks and Wildlife Act is being amended whilst a Human Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund is being set up to offer monetary benefits to victims of human wildlife conflict in communities,” he said.

President Mnangagwa challenged legislators to accelerate matters from the legislative agenda, emphasising that a lot needs to be done to propel the country’s development drive.

“I challenge you to accelerate the completion of the matters outstanding from the legislative agenda of the Ninth Parliament. Much work lies ahead. As you are aware, our economy has been on an upward trajectory, recording positive growth rates across sectors, notwithstanding the illegal sanctions imposed on us by our detractors. The robust measures put in place by government to enhance and guarantee agricultural productivity, including irrigation development and climate-proofing, saw us realise national food security.

“Zimbabwe is now wheat self-sufficient. The Second Republic has begun the drilling of 35 000 boreholes and establishing Village Agro-Business Units. This is set to consolidate national agriculture productivity and food self-sufficiency. Our mining sector, grew from US$2.8 billion in 2017 to the present US$12 billion, and is propelling socio-economic development and growth. To enhance the participation of small-scale and artisanal miners, Government established the US$10 million Mining Industry Loan Fund, while the rolling out of more gold centres will be prioritised,” he added.

President Mnangagwa said parliament should ensure that legislation becomes an instrument for development.

This August House should ensure that law is an instrument for development. Further, Parliament is encouraged to be an institution of peace building, hope, national development and the entrenchment of constitutionalism and deepening democratic practices in our country. In all our activities, let us safeguard our values and traditions as the unique people of Zimbabwe. With continued unity of purpose, we can accelerate our ongoing quest to build, modernise and industrialise our great motherland, Zimbabwe. This weighty obligation is on our shoulders. We must deliver and lift more of our people out of poverty and into prosperity,” noted the President.

Five bills that have been carried over from the ninth parliament include, the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, Public Finance Management Amendment Bill, Medical Services Amendment Bill, Insurance Bill and Private Voluntary Organisation Bill.

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