Bill Watch 48/2019 MOPO Passed and Parliament Sitting Again This Week 3 September 2019 BILL WATCH 48/2019 [3rd September 2019] Both Houses of Parliament Are Sitting Again This Week Bills in Parliament Last Week Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill [completed] On Tuesday 27th August the Senate received the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]'s non-adverse report on the amendment to clause 7(5) of the Bill made at its special sitting on 14th August. The Senate then passed the amended Bill and sent it back to the National Assembly, which approved it on Thursday 29th August. The Bill will now be sent to the President for his assent and gazetting as an Act. The final text of the Bill, including all the amendments, is available on the Veritas website [link]. Education Amendment Bill The PLC's adverse report on one of the House's Committee Stage amendments was withdrawn on 27th August by the PLC chairperson. This followed an undertaking by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to move further amendments to satisfy the PLC's concerns over the definition of "public school" that had been added by the amendment. The House then reopened the Committee Stage and approved the deletion of the offending definition of "public school" in clause 2; consequential amendments to clauses 9 and 12, where "public school" appeared; and the insertion of a new clause to amend section 21 of the Education Act, which regulates fees and levies payable at non-Government schools. The effect of the new clause was to make the National Competitiveness Commission responsibility for approval of increases in fees and levies in non-Government schools. These amendments were formally approved by the PLC in a non-adverse report, followed by the final passing of the Bill and its transmission to the Senate. Note on the PLC's Adverse Report: The PLC's view was that the definition of "public school" was so broad that it would subject private schools to controls inconsistent with section 75(2) of the Constitution, which gives every person the right to establish and maintain "independent educational institutions of reasonable standards, provided they do not discriminate on any ground prohibited by this Constitution". Three Bills given First Reading and referred to PLC On Thursday 29th August the following three Bills were presented in the National Assembly, given their First Readings and referred to the PLC for reports on their constitutionality: Marriages Bill, Freedom of Information Bill and Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill.

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