9 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Infighting Stifling Law Reforms - Thinktank

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Legal watchdog, Veritas has blamed the slow paced passing of laws in parliament to Zanu PF's continued infighting and inherent suspicions among the party faithful.

"This failure may have been a reflection of the general stasis in normal government activity associated with infighting in the ruling party over the succession to President Mugabe," Veritas said in a statement Monday.

The legal watchdog noted that there was also drama of a threatened impeachment against incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a change of President and a general election which affected parliament's effectiveness.

Among other issues, according to the thinktank, additional distractions were caused by the new dispensation's focus on re-engagement with the international community and on trying to resolve Zimbabwe's desperate economic situation.

"More should have been achieved, given that many of the promised Bills had been in preparation for a long time and had featured in previous legislative agendas.

"Parliament's output of Bills during 2018 was affected by the Government's failure to achieve a sustained flow of Bills to the legislature," Veritas added.

The eight bills which are yet to be completed include, Finance (No. 2) Bill; Finance (No. 3) Bill; Appropriation (2019) Bill passed by National Assembly 20 December with amendments; Companies and Other Business Entities Bill which was gazetted on the 5th October and presented 1st November with no further progress by end of 2018.

Among outstanding laws is the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill gazetted 8th June, presented 19th December; and the Consumer Protection Bill gazetted on 21st December, awaiting presentation; as well as the Microfinance Amendment Bill.

During his State of the Nation Address to Parliament in September last year, President Mnangagwa outlined the Government's legislative agenda and the Bills that government will present to Parliament, and expects to be passed during the First Session of the new Parliament.

However, even most of these bills which speak to the ease of doing business in the country are yet to be finalised.

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