Home » Judicial » Electoral Amendment Bill Awaits Presidential Assent

Parliament has submitted the Zimbabwe Electoral Amendment Bill to President Mugabe for his assent while the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Bill has been published in preparation for debate in the House.The two Bills are part of Government’s efforts to align laws with the new Constitution.

The Electoral Amendment Bill sailed through Parliament in May this year without amendments.

Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe made the announcement that she had submitted it to President Mugabe in the Government Gazette on Friday.

“It is hereby notified that in terms of section 131(5)(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, I have on the 16th July 2014 sent the Electoral Amendment Act 2014 (No 6 of 2014) to His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe for his assent and signature,” read the notice.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emerson Mnangagwa steered the Bill which was debated after a portfolio committee on Justice presented a report compiled from a public hearing that it conducted across the country.

The Zimbabwe Gender Commission Bill seeks to establish a Gender Commission as provided for in section 245 of the new Constitution which creates an independent institution.

“It also seeks to fulfill international and regional instruments that Zimbabwe as a party to, namely the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,” read the explanatory memorandum of the Bill.

“It also seeks to provide for the hosting of a Gender Forum annually to create a platform where gender issues can be discussed.”

Clause Two of the Bill provides for definitions of certain terms.

Of particular note is the definition of “systematic barrier prejudicial to gender quality,” which is one of the functions of the commission to investigate and make recommendations with a view to eliminate or alleviate such barriers.

Clause Three provides for the establishment and composition of the commission.

Clauses Four, Five and Six deal with several issues with regards to the commission and its functions.

Clause Seven provides for a report to be made to the Minister at the conclusion of an investigative inquiry by the commission where it would include its findings and recommendations.

Clause Eight provides for the convening of a Gender Forum annually to which civil society organizations and other interested persons would be invited to discuss topics relating to the attainment of gender equality in accordance with an agenda set by the commission in consultation with stakeholders.

The Bill now awaits to be tabled in Parliament for debate and passage with or without amendments.

Source : The Herald