FOLLOWING the July 30 general election, Prtesident Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered a State of the Nation Address at the opening of the 9th Parliament.
Here are the major legal reforms that Mnangagwa has proposed:
- To implement the constitutionally enshrined provisions of devolution of Government powers and responsibilities.
A cross section of Bills to be tabled, debated and enacted. These include the following;
- The Companies and Other Entities Bill, which will overhaul the Companies Act.
- The Regional Town and Country Planning Amendment Bill, which seeks to reduce the time and procedures for processing construction permits.
- The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill, which seeks to consolidate various pieces of legislation on investment, which are presently spread under various Acts. The Bill will also provide for the establishment of a one-stop investment centre
- The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill will be re-tabled to address some inadequacies therein and will further provide for online registration of mining rights and title.
- The Gold Trade Bill and the Precious Stones Trade Bill, which seeks to curb leakages of precious minerals, will also be tabled.
- The Bill to establish the Institute of Education Research, Innovation and Development will be tabled to align with the programme on value addition and import substitution strategies.
- A Consumer Protection Bill shall be introduced to protect consumers from unfair trade practices and abuse by suppliers of sub- standard goods.
- The Bill for the establishment of a Zimbabwe Media Commission, and an Amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act, shall be tabled.
- The Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill shall be tabled before Parliament. It shall also be supported by the introduction of the Data Protection Bill as well as the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commercial Bill.
- The Labour Amendment Bill will be brought to the House for discussion and approval. It must be in tandem with the ongoing ease and cost of doing business reforms; and equally seek an intricate balance between labour productivity and workplace harmony.
- The Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill will be tabled to strengthen the regulation of cooperatives in the country.
- The Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill, which aims to facilitate participatory development by fostering greater collaboration between all social partners.
- The alignment of laws to the Constitution will remain work-in-progress.
Mnangagwa further stated that the ninth parliament is expected to, inter alia, consider the following;
- The Coroner’s Bill, which provides for the establishment of the Coroner’s Office;
- The Constitutional Court Bill which, among other things, seeks to confer additional responsibilities to the Constitutional Court.
- The Customary Law and Local Courts Bill, which provides for the exclusion of harmful cultural practices from Customary Law.
- The High Court Amendment Bill, which will provide for clear appeals and referral procedures from the High Court to the Constitutional Court and establish their jurisdictional matters.
- The Rural District Councils Bill intended to give Rural Councils greater autonomy, as enshrined in the Constitution, shall be tabled in Parliament.
- The Traditional Leaders Act will be amended to bring it into line with the Constitution and more particularly, to provide for the establishment of Provincial Assemblies.
- The Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill, will facilitate the devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities to Provincial and Local Authorities. Through this Bill, Provincial and Metropolitan Councils will be reconfigured in accordance with Chapter 14 of the Constitution. It will further seek to facilitate enhanced coordination between Central Government, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities, within the context of the decentralisation and devolution programme.
- The Public Finance Management Act will be amended to facilitate the allocation of sufficient resources for basic social services and economic development at the local level.
- The Forestry Amendment Bill, will be tabled for consideration by this Parliament to provide for measures to effectively foster the sustainable management of the country’s forestry resource.
- The Kigali Amendment to the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Stability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety.
- The Accession to the Additional Protocol to the Agreements between States and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards.
- The Accession to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
- The Accession to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
- The Accession to the Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiology Emergency.
- The Accession to the Convention on the Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.
As a measure of dealing with human trafficking, Mnangagwa added that he had already endorsed some protocols, which now await ratification by this Parliament. These include;
- The Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
- The Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts, Components and Ammunition.
The 9th Parliament is also expected to consider;
- The Child Justice Bill and the Marriages Bill, which seeks to provide a child justice system and to outlaw child marriages, respectively.
- The Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Abuse Bill.
- The enforcement of the Public Health Act, shall be imperative.