Zvamaida Murwira

Senior Reporter

President Mnangagwa will deliver his annual State of the Nation Address next Thursday when he opens the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament and sets the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming session.

The President combined the two presentations last year as well.

This was said by Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, yesterday in the Chamber.

Adv Mudenda said the official opening of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament was consistent with Section 140 of the Constitution, which relates to Presidential addresses and messages to Parliament.

“The President may at any time address either House of Parliament or a joint sitting of both Houses,” reads the Constitution.

“At least once a year the President must address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the state of the nation, and the Speaker and the President of the Senate must make the necessary arrangements for Parliament to receive such an address.”

Adv Mudenda said the President will deliver an address of a virtual joint sitting of both the National Assembly and Senate. There are a number of Bills that are still outstanding that Parliament will deal with in the coming session.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill, which has sailed through the National Assembly, must now be considered by the Senate.

The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, the Financial Adjustment Bill, the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (Number 1) Bill, the Marriages Bill, the Constitutional Court Amendment Bill, the Pension and Provident Funds Bill, the Manpower Planning and Development Bill, and the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill are in various stages of becoming law.

Some of the Bills are meant to align statute law with the Constitution or bring into effect the necessary political and legal reforms that the Second Republic has set out to achieve.

There is also the much-awaited Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, which initially went through Parliament, but President Mnangagwa withheld his assent and referred it to the House so that it could address concerns that he felt were not consistent with the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the MDC-T leader, Dr Thokozani Khupe was nominated as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, taking over from Ms Thabitha Khumalo, who was recalled.

This was announced in the National Assembly by Adv Mudenda.

Dr Khupe, together with 14 other legislators who sit in proportional representation seats, where a party nomination rather than a by-election suffices, were sworn-in last week to fill in vacancies that arose following the recall of MDC-T legislators.

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