Zimbabwe: Senate Set to Adjourn

4 August 2020

Senate is expected to adjourn today following a decision by Parliament to suspend business after two legislators tested positive to Covid-19 last week.

The decision to sit is meant to fulfil a procedural requirement where the Chamber has to meet on the day that it would have scheduled in its previous sitting.

Clerk of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Chokuda confirmed the meeting.

"It will be a very short sitting," he said. "Procedurally, we have to sit to adjourn to a later date as we had adjourned to tomorrow (today). There should be just about five or so Senators for that process."

Last week, the National Assembly adjourned to August 25, 2020, to allow for disinfection of the premises.

Less than 21 MPs sat last week for the token sitting, which was done in terms of Section 146 of the Constitution, which requires the National Assembly itself to decide on the timing of its recess.

Parliament watchdog, Veritas, observed that although the number of legislators that sat were less than a quorum, it was understandable under the circumstances.

"Although only 21 MPs were present -- far fewer than a quorum -- the proceedings and the vote to adjourn to 25th August are nevertheless valid because no MP raised any objection to the proceedings taking place in the absence of a quorum. This was understandable in the circumstances," noted Veritas in its bulletin.

"A similar token Senate sitting can be expected on Tuesday 4th August, the date to which the Senate adjourned when it sat last week, before the developments of the last few days."

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi moved for the adjournment of the House when the National Assembly sat last week.

Parliament business was suspended on Monday after two legislators tested positive to Covid-19 after being tested upon their return to Harare from a field tour.

A driver and a journalist, who were part of the tour, also tested positive.

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