By Theophilus Chuma
PARLIAMENTARIANS have been tasked to finalise four critical bills including the Child Justice Bill during the fifth session of the ninth parliament whose legislative agenda was outlined by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this Wednesday.
The clatter of a hundred hoofs, a twenty-gun salute and a flypast over the new Parliament building preceded the official opening of the fifth session of the ninth Parliament.
Away from the hustle of the old environment, the new Parliament building offered an aura of space to the inspection of the guard of honour by President Emmerson Mnangagwa before he outlined the legislative agenda for parliamentarians.
As the fifth session starts, President Mnangagwa says one of their key mandates is to finalise three critical bills that have overlapped from the last session.
“Outstanding bills from the 4th session of the 9th Parliament must be expedited. These include the Child Justice Bill, the Judicial Laws (Amendment Bill) and the Prisons and Correctional Services (Amendment Bill),” said the President.
While these are outstanding, the policymakers have been commended for finalising the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.
“The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill now awaits gazetting. Farming and Mining activities will be accorded due recognition in the resolution of disputes. The bill will also strengthen environmental protection,” said President Mnangagwa.
The legislative roadmap for 2023 has also mandated parliamentarians to speedily consider and conclude the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, which spells out provisions for holding the 2023 harmonised elections, the Witness Protection Bill, the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform), Amendment Bill 2022 and the Witness Protection Bill, among others.
The fifth session of the Ninth Parliament has also been tasked to complete the Labour Amendment Bill.
The majestic new Parliament Building has set the tone for new thinking and a better approach to tackling legal issues of public interest.