Bill Watch 58/2019 In Parliament This Week – Bills and 2020 National Budget Presentation 11 November 2019 BILL WATCH 58/2019 [11th November 2019] Both Houses of Parliament Will be Sitting This Week The 2020 National Budget Presentation will be on Thursday 14th November The Senate and the National Assembly last sat on Thursday 24th October. Since then MPs have been occupied mainly with Budget business. From 30th October to 4th November their time was committed to the Pre-Budget Seminar at the Victoria Falls – an occasion for interaction between MPs and Ministers, particularly the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and advisers on the priorities and content of the coming 2020 National Budget. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Jacob Mudenda, opened the Seminar with a thoughtful keynote address [full text available on the Veritas website [link]]. This week it will be business as usual in both Houses on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons – unless the Speaker is ready to clarify two current thorny issues, both of them referred to in Bill Watch 57/2019 of 7th November [link]: • the penalty he imposed on MDC-A MPs for disrespecting the President at the opening of the session on 1st October [forfeiture of sitting allowances] • his ban on MDC-A asking questions during National Assembly Question Time on 23rd October. Budget Presentation on Thursday On Thursday afternoon the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will present the 2020 National Budget to the National Assembly. Senators will listen by media link to the presentation in the comfort of the Senate, instead of the usual Thursday afternoon Question Time. In the remainder of this bulletin we cover the latest developments on the group of Bills passed by Parliament in the last session but not yet gazetted as law. This will be followed by what is due to come up in both Houses under the heading of business as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bills Sent to the President for Assent and Gazetting as Acts Parliament sent three Bills to the President on 5th November, and gave public notice of this action [as required by section 131(5) of the Constitution] in General Notices 2040, 2041 and 2042/2019 published in the Government Gazette of 8th November: Microfinance Amendment Bill Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill Companies and Other Business Entities Bill. Section 131 allows the President 21 days in which to decide whether to assent to a Bill or to return it to Parliament for reconsideration. Note: Only one Bill passed by Parliament during the last session still has to go to the President – the Consumer Protection Bill.

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