17 September 2008

Zimbabwe: House to Deal With Constitutional Changes Next Month

Harare — Parliament will deal with amendments necessary to give effect to the changes being introduced in Government as a result of the power-sharing agreement signed by Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations next month.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa said Constitutional Amendment Number 19 would be tabled when the House begins sitting next month.

Cde Chinamasa said the date of resumption of the sitting of Parliament remained unchanged.

"There will be Constitutional Number 19 that seeks to regularise the agreement made by the political parties. These amendments would be tabled before Parliament when it opens next month," said Cde Chinamasa.

"There are some aspects that were agreed by the parties that do not need to be legislated while those that need to be legislated would be captured in our legal statutes."

Constitutional Amendment Number 19 seeks to create the post of Prime Minister which will be assumed by MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

According to the power-sharing deal, three Cabinet Ministers, one each per party, may be appointed from outside Members of Parliament.

The three Ministers would have the power to sit, speak and debate in Parliament but would not have voting powers.

The President will also appoint an additional nine non-constituency Senators three each from Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC.

Presently, the President can appoint five non-constituency Senators and has already appointed three namely Vice President Joseph Msika, Cde John Nkomo and Cde Chinamasa.

The amendments are expected to sail through Parliament because they are the basis of the inter-party talks mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

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