Zimbabwe: Senate Okays Peace Bill

16 August 2019

The Maintenance of Order and Peace Bill, as well as the Finance and Appropriation Bills have sailed through Parliament and now await President Mnangagwa to assent to them before they become law.

Senate passed the three Bills in the early hours yesterday after the Chamber acceded to a motion by the Leader of Government business and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to suspend automatic adjournment of the House to allow the passing of the Bills.

MOPA seeks to repeal the Public Order and Security Act while the Finance and Appropriation Bills will give legal effect to the various fiscal provisions announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube when he delivered his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement.

Minister Ziyambi steered the MOPA Bill while Prof Ncube pushed the two Budget Bills.

Responding to concerns raised by MDC-Alliance legislators during the Second Reading stage, Minister Ziyambi said the Zimbabwe Defence Forces would be operating under the Zimbabwe Republic Police should the Commissioner-General request their assistance.

He said this was contained in the Constitution which the MOPA Bill was seeking to align.

"I am surprised, that Honourable Senators argue in favour of alignment of laws and on the same vein, they say do not align the laws.

"So, I did not understand what they were saying. Please read the provisions that were put in the Bill, it clearly indicates that once the Defence Forces have been called upon to assist the police, they will be under the command of the police -- that is what the Bill says.

"It does not say that when they come out of the barracks, they should bring live ammunition. The Bill does not say so," said Minister Ziyambi.

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