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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 30 AUGUST 2011 VOL. 37 NO. 47

Tuesday, 30th August, 2011

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKERin the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

MR SPEAKER: I have to remind hon. members to switch off their cell phones before commencement of business.

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY

LEGAL COMMITTEE

MR. SPEAKER: I wish to advise the House that I have received a

non-adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill [H. B.2, 2011].

SECOND READING

ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 2, 2011]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill before hon. members seeks to provide for the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, which was established under section 100R of the Constitution. The House will recall that members of the Commission were sworn in by His Excellency, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe in March 2010. However, the Commission is not operative for lack of an enabling legislation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the legislation to operationalise the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has taken us more than a year to craft and hon. members are entitled to ask the question: why this inordinate delay? The matter took so long because, given the nature of the subject matter, I had to consult widely. Inevitably, the process became rather protracted. I first took the Principles of the Bill to Cabinet which, because of its contentious nature, and in its wisdom, referred the matter to the team of negotiators, I referred the matter back to Cabinet for its endorsement. Cabinet gave its approval to the work of the negotiation team and instructions were given for the drafting of legislation. The draft legislation underwent extensive discussion and debate, firstly, among the team of negotiators, then with relevant stakeholders which included the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. The Bill before hon. members is a product of wide ranging consultations among stakeholders. Allow me now Mr. Speaker Sir, to outline the salient features in this Bill.

Functions and Powers of the Commission

Mr. Speaker Sir, section 100R (5) of the Constitution provides for the functions of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission as follows:

· to promote awareness of and respect for human rights and freedoms at all levels of society;

· to promote the development of human rights and freedoms;

· to monitor and assess the observance of human rights in Zimbabwe;

· to recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights and freedoms;

· to investigate the conduct of any authority or person, where it is alleged that any of the rights in the Declaration of Rights has been violated by that authority or person; and

· to assist the Minister referred to in section 100R (8) to prepare any report to be submitted to any regional or international body constituted or appointed for the purpose of receiving such reports under any human rights convention, treaty or agreement to which Zimbabwe is a party.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill repeats these functions in the Preamble.

Mr. Speaker Sir, section 100R (7) of the Constitution further provides that the Commission shall have power to: -

· take over and continue any investigation that has been instituted by

Public Prosecutor in terms of section 108 (1) of the Constitution, where it determines that the dominant question in issue involves a matter pertinent to its functions referred to in subsection (5)(e);

· refer to the Public Protector for investigation in terms of section 108

(1), any matter in respect of which it determines that the dominant question in issue involves a matter pertinent to the functions of the Public Protector.

These additional powers are also incorporated in the Bill.

Further, Section 100R (6) of the Constitution provides that the Commission may require any person, body, organ, agency or institution, whether belonging to or employed by the State, a local authority or otherwise, to provide the Commission annually with such information as it may need for purposes of preparing and submitting any report required to be submitted to any regional or international body, constituted or appointed for the purpose of receiving such reports under any human rights convention, treaty or agreement to which Zimbabwe is a party. Mr. Speaker Sir, the import of Section 100R (6) of the Constitution has been adequately provided for in the Bill.

Additional Powers

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill further seeks to confer on the Commission, the following additional powers and functions are permitted it by Section 100R (8) of the Constitution:

· to conduct investigations on its own initiative or on receipt of

complaints;

· to visit and inspect prisons, places of detention, refugee camps and

related facilities in order to ascertain the conditions under which inmates are kept there, and to make recommendations regarding those conditions to the minister responsible for administering the law relating to those places or detention facilities;

· to visit places where mentally disordered or intellectually

handicapped persons are detained under any law in order to ascertain the conditions under which those persons are kept there, and to make recommendations regarding those conditions to the minister responsible for administering the law relating to those places; and

· to secure or provide appropriate redress for violations of human

rights and injustices.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in addition to the powers permitted by the Constitution, the Bill seeks to empower the Commission to deal with violation occurring in the Public, Private or Commercial Sectors. In other words, human rights should have both vertical and horizontal application and the Commission should exercise jurisdiction in respect of all situations. This will include possible violations resulting from the provisions of legislative instruments.

To enable the Commission to effectively execute its mandate and I quote, 'to promote the development of human rights and freedoms', it is proposed to empower the Commission to comment on Bills that may, in one way or the other, violate the human rights principles contained in the Constitution or international treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party. The Bill will mandate the Commission to work in consultation with the Parliamentary Legal Committee in this regard. Further, the Bill will empower the Commission to engage the services of individuals or institutions with expertise in specified areas that are before them for their consideration.

Extent of the Commission's Jurisdiction

Mr. Speaker Sir, in the exercise of its power to secure or provide appropriate redress for injustices and violations of human rights, the Bill makes provision for the Commission to communicate its decision to the authority or person alleged to have committed the injustice or violation and to make such recommendations as it considers fit. The Bill will require the Commission to submit a copy of its recommendations to the complainant.

The Bill empowers the Commission through conciliation, mediation and negotiation to resolve disputes. To this end, it can require any person to appear before it and to respond to questions under oath on a matter under investigation. If, however, in the opinion of the Commission, no appropriate or adequate action is taken within three months of its decision, the Commission may, after considering comments, if any, made by the authority or person against whom the complaint was made, as well as those by the complainant, bring an action before the High Court, seeking such remedy as may be appropriate for the enforcement of the recommendations of the Commission. Provided that, where, in the opinion of the Commission, the matter required urgent action, the Commission may institute proceedings in the High Court immediately upon realisation that no adequate or appropriate action has been taken and after considering comments, if any, made by the authority or person against whom the complaint was made, as well as those by the Complainant.

Appeals against the decisions of the Commission that would have been enforced by the High Court shall lie to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill, however, makes provision for the exclusion from the jurisdiction of the Commission such matters as:

· those pending before courts of law or any quasi-judicial tribunal;

· those relating to the prerogative of mercy;

· those that occurred prior to the 19th Amendment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe save for human rights violations which remained continuing subsequently; and

· complaints lodged with the Office of the Public Protector.

Further, the Bill excludes from the jurisdiction of the Commission such matters as those involving relations or dealings between the Government and the Government of any foreign State or international organisations, as well as those that occur outside Zimbabwe, except if committed by Zimbabwean individuals or authorities.

Operational Provisions

Mr. Speaker Sir, this House will note that the Constitution provides for the establishment of the Commission as comprising a Chairperson and eight other Commissioners. However, the Constitution is silent on the position of Deputy Chairperson, leaving room for a vacuum in the operations of the Commission, should the Chairperson be absent from duty for one reason or another. This Bill seeks to provide for the position of Deputy Chairperson, which shall be occupied by a person of the opposite sex to the Chairperson, in an effort to promote gender equality. The Bill will provide for the appointment of the Deputy Chairperson by the President, from among the members of the Commission.

The Bill seeks to empower the Commission to establish working groups based on the different human rights thematic areas and any other relevant issues on the general protection and promotion of human rights. It is proposed that the working groups should be based on human rights principles protected by human rights treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party, including the following:-

· Children's Rights;

· Gender Equality and Women's Rights;

· Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

· Civil and Political Rights; and

· Duties of the Individual (The African Charter on Human and People's Rights provides for the duties of the individual)

Cooperation with Government Institutions

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill will empower the Commission to establish collaboratory relations with Government institutions (such as the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, whose mandate is to prepare State Party Reports). This will be pursuant to its constitutional mandate to assist the Government perform its State Party reporting function.

Assistance from Government Agencies

In the exercise of its mandate, the Commission may, where appropriate, seek the assistance of Government agencies and the Bill shall oblige such agencies, such as the Police, to provide the requested assistance.

Other National Human Rights Institutions

The Commission is also empowered to engage other National Human Rights Institutions from other States and seek affiliation with regional or international bodies whose mandate is in line with the promotion and protection of human rights.

Administrative Modalities

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill seeks to establish a "Secretariat", as an administrative structure for the Commission. The Bill establishes a Secretariat for the Commission, which shall carry out its duties in an impartial manner without any fear or favour and in terms of the law. In this regard, there shall be an Executive Secretary who shall be the Head of the Secretariat and shall be appointed by the Commission. The Executive Secretary shall be subject to the Commission's general control.

It is proposed that the Executive Secretary be a legal practitioner qualified for appointment as a Judge of the High Court, with a minimum of three years experience in the field of human rights.

The Executive Secretary shall assist the Commission in the execution of its functions. He or she shall serve as intermediary for all the communications concerning the Commission and shall be the custodian of the Commission's records, ensuring confidentiality where appropriate. The Executive Secretary shall be required to attend the meetings of the Commission without any right to vote. He or she shall cause the proceedings of the meetings to be recorded.

The Commission shall develop the structure of the Secretariat, which will include officers with experience in the different thematic areas of human rights.

As Head of Secretariat, the Executive Secretary shall have authority to supervise and coordinate the work of the staff of the Secretariat.

Offices of the Commission

The Commission will have power to establish its principal office and such other offices, in Zimbabwe, as it may deem necessary for the effective performance of its functions. Provided that every effort will be made to ensure that there is an office in every province to promote equitable access.

Financial Matters

Mr. Speaker Sir, hon. members of this august House, the Constitution provides for the allocation of funds to the Commission by Parliament or from budgetary allocations by Treasury. This Bill will empower the Commission to seek and receive grants and donations from other sources, subject to the approval of the minister. In a bid to promote transparency, the Commission shall be mandated to disclose the source and purpose of the additional funds in its annual reports, as a way of avoiding the possibility of it being influenced in its decisions.

The Commission shall operate Bank accounts and engage in investment activities as appropriate for the effective execution of its mandate. Its Financial Year shall be aligned to the provisions of the Finance Act. The Bill provides for auditing procedures for the Commission's funds.

Reporting Procedures

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill seeks to mandate the Commission to submit annual reports to Parliament through the minister responsible for its administration. The Commission may prepare any other report based on a specific activity.

Finally, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill provides for the formulation of regulations providing for all matters which will be required or permitted to be prescribed or which will be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act, including:-

· the Commission's ability to formulate its own procedures for meetings, as well as operational guidelines and rules of procedures within the framework of the enabling legislation and the Constitution with the approval of the minister responsible for the administration of the Act and

· the prescription of the date upon which the Act shall come into operation.

Independence and Immunity

Mr. Speaker Sir, hon. members will recall that it is the intention of Section 109 of the Constitution to accord the Commission independence from interference, direction or control of any authority or person. To this end, the Bill seeks to provide for such other matters as the immunity status of the Commission, the Commissioners, members of the Secretariat, where they act in good faith and in pursuance of the Act, as well as the persons who file complaints with the Commission or provide the Commission with information relevant for the conduct of its functions, where such persons act in terms of the law.

It is proposed that the Bill confers on the Commission, the status of corporate body with power and duties of such a body.

Regulations

The Bill will empower the Commission, with the approval of the minister responsible for its administration, to make regulations providing for all matters which will be required or permitted to be prescribed or which, in its opinion, will be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act, including formulation of the Commission's own procedures for the meetings, as well as operational guidelines and rules of procedure within the framework of the enabling legislation and the Constitution.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I commend this Bill to the House and move that it be read for a second time.

MR. MWONZORA : May I thank the hon. minister for bringing in this Bill before the House. I am presenting the report from the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.

 

1.0 Introduction

 

The 19th amendment to the Zimbabwean Constitution which came into force on the 13th February 2009 under section 100R created the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs therefore introduced the Zimbabwe Human rights Commission Bill with a view to operationalise the Commission. The general purpose of the Bill is to provide for; the procedure of, the appointment of Deputy Chairperson and staff, the financial provisions and the jurisdiction and powers of the Commission. The Committees resolved to familiarise themselves with the contents of the Bill and to gather views of the public on the provisions of the Bill with a view to present a report during the second reading stage.

2.0 Methodology

 

2.1 The Committees attended a joint workshop which was organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. At the workshop, Commissioners presented their key concerns and objections with regards to the provisions in the Bill. The UNDP Consultant from Uganda presented on the international standards with regards to national human rights institutions.

2.2 The Committee received written submissions from ZHRC, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and from members of the public.

2.3 The Thematic Committee on Human Rights jointly conducted public hearings with the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs in Chinhoyi, Gweru, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare. Public Hearings in Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare were disrupted and consequently aborted.

  • Committee Findings.

 

3.1 Clause 1: short Title

 

3.1.1 The Committee noted that, there should be an insertion of the word Zimbabwe into this provision to ensure that, the Act is cited as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act so that it corresponds to the manner of citation in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

 

3.2 Clause 2: The Interpretation of human rights violation

 

3.2.1 The Committee was informed that the interpretation of the term "human rights violation" is unreasonably narrow and too restrictive. By seeking to confine the ambit of violations which can be considered to the declaration of rights in the constitution, it will be impossible for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to consider any alleged violation which is not prescribed by this part of the Constitution.

3.2.2 The Committee gathered that the definition of a human rights violation limit the scope of the Commission. Therefore, the Commission should be given a broader mandate to monitor compliance by the government of its obligations under international law. The scope of human rights violations should cover all issues covered by international human rights instruments Zimbabwe is a party. Human rights should be defined, not only by reference to domestic law, but also by reference to all international human rights instruments which Zimbabwe has ratified or to which it has acceded. Thus whether the treaty has been domesticated or not is immaterial

 

Recommendation: T he definition of human rights violations should be broadened to include rights contained in regional and international instruments to which Zimbabwe is a party.

 

3.3 Clause 4: Functions of Commission

 

3.3.1 The Committee gathered that, the functions of the Commission set in the Bill are only limited to promotional activities and do not confer the Commission with the protective mandate. The Commission should be given the competence to promote, protect and secure human rights and its specific powers in that regard, should be clearly and expressly prescribed in the Bill.

3.3.2. Clause 4f: This clause gives the Commission the responsibility to assist the minister to prepare any report for submission to international and regional bodies established under the treaties or conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party. The Committee gathered that, this is against the notion of independence of the Commission enshrined in the Paris Principles. Article 3d of the Paris Principles provides that national human rights institutions shall have the responsibility to, " contribute to the reports which states are required to submit to the UN bodies and Committees, and to regional institutions, pursuant to their treaty obligations and where necessary, to express an opinion on the subject, with due respect for their independence."

Recommendation: That the functions and mandate of the ZHRC must be elaborated and widened in order to comply with the Paris Principles. It should not have a closed set of functions. The functions should be expanded to include the protective mandate.

 

  • The Commission should be divorced from any government activities and should be empowered to file its own reports before these human rights treaty bodies.

 

3.3.3 It is also noted that the Bill does not mention how the Commission is going to cooperate with the other international, regional and sub regional human rights institutions such as the UN Human rights Council, the African Union and its organs as well as with SADC. The Paris Principles states that a national human rights institution shall have the responsibility to cooperate with international, regional as well as sub regional institutions. The Committee gathered that, this is a critical area that needs to be addressed by the Bill considering that Zimbabwe is a party to international instruments that created these institutions.

3.3.4 The Commission should also be given the power to inspect prisons and other places of detention and submit their reports and or recommendations to Parliament.

Recommendation: he aforesaid functions should be expressly stated in the Bill. The current provision which is an extract from the framework provided by the Constitution should be expanded to include the areas highlighted .

 

3.4 Clause 5: Deputy Chairperson of Commission.

 

3.4.1 The Committee gathered that, this clause in relation to the appointment process of the Commissioners as stipulated in the Constitution is known and has been attached in the Bill. The appointment procedure is problematic, with a lot of Executive influence and possible politicisation.

3.4.2 The Committee was informed that, in order to ensure a measure of institutional and individual independence and the smooth running of the ZHRC, the Commissioners must be allowed to choose their own Deputy Chairperson as this will create a high level of ownership amongst the Commissioners and they will be able to identify the most competent person with appropriate leadership qualities amongst themselves. The current provisions of the ZHRC Bill do not cultivate independence of the ZHRC since all the leadership of the ZHRC is chosen by politicians and the Executive.

3.5.0 Clause 6: Executive Secretary, other staff of Commission and consultants

 

3.5.1 The Committee gathered that, the Minister has too much influence in relation to the staffing and operations as well as functioning of the Commission.

Recommendation: recruitment of staff members and other contractual labour such as consultants must be done by the Commissioners and the Executive Secretary. They should be responsible for decision making in relation to staff and operations of the ZHRC for this institution to maintain its independence and also avoid packing of the ZHRC with sympathizers of members of the Executive whose independence could then be compromised.

 

 

3.6 Independence and partiality of the Commission and Commissioners

3.6.1 The Committee gathered that, as a constitutional body, provisions should exist in the Constitution which protects the institutional and individual independence of the ZHRC in a similar manner as the protective provision relating to the Judiciary and the Attorney General. This is not currently the case with the ZHRC in the Constitution.

Recommendation: T he provisions ensuring independence should be included in the Constitution, as provisions for independence in an Act of Parliament can easily be amended by Parliament. A constitutional provision is more durable as it will not be easily amended to erode the independence of the ZHRC.

 

There must be a provision clearly outlining the action that the ZHRC can take in the event that an investigation has become compromised by virtue of non- disclosure of interest by staff members or Commissioners.

 

3.7 Clause 8: Reports of Commission.

 

3.7.1 The provision which obligates the Commission to submit reports to the minister :

With regards to this Clause, the public felt that it severely infringed upon the principle of independence of the Commission. The public felt that in the event that, the minister or the Executive was implicated in human rights violations the minister could tamper with such reports or withhold them.

3.7.2 The Committee heard that, the Commission as a body, given full constitutional mandate and independence, must submit its reports directly to Parliament, or any other regional or international bodies that Zimbabwe is party to.

 

Recommendation: T he requirement for the Commission to submit an annual report and other reports to the Minister stifles the Commission's independence. This provision should be deleted and the annual report should be submitted directly to Parliament. The Commission should not submit their reports directly to the Minister.

 

3.8 Clause 9: Jurisdiction of the Commission to conduct investigations.

 

3.8.1 Clause 9 (4) (a ), provides for the period within which a complaint can be filed with the Commission. It is submitted that human rights violations are reprehensible by their nature. The Committee gathered that, the period within which a complaint must be filed with the Commission should be increased for as long as the evidence is still available.

Recommendation: hat the same provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Chapter 9:07, which provides for the prescription period of 20 years should be adopted. The three years period in the Bill is too short considering that some human rights violations such as torture, are too sensitive and the victim might require more than three years to recover from the traumatic effects by the time the victim tries to pursue recourse, he will already be barred by the operation of the law.

3.8.2 Clause 9 (4) (a) provides that the Commission shall not investigate human rights violations that occurred prior to the 13th February 2009.The Committee gathered that most of the people were of the view that the Commission should start investigating cases of human rights violations dating back to 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence. However others expressed that the Commission should not investigate human rights violations which occurred earlier than 13 February 2009 since this could open up old wounds and seriously jeopardise the process of nation building.

Recommendation: That the proviso to clause 9(4) (a) should be reconsidered in order to give the Commission a retrospective mandate.

3.8.3 Clause 9(4) (a), also provides that the ZHRC can investigate only if the aggrieved citizen, resident or visitor of Zimbabwe at the time the complaint occurred. This contravenes the Constitution of Zimbabwe specifically the Declaration of Rights which provides the enjoyment of rights to every one in Zimbabwe with no limitation on the grounds of citizenship or residence status.

 

Recommendation: That the Commission must be able to determine cases of human rights violations that occur as long as they occur in the country whether the victim is or is not recognised a visitor so as to protect other categories of vulnerable groups such as victims of trafficking or human rights violations committed against illegal immigrants, refugees as well as asylum seekers.

 

3.9 Clause 12 (6) - The notice by the Minister to the Commission and the complainant prohibiting the disclosure by or to the Commission of evidence was viewed as an unnecessary intrusion on the Commission's independence, impartiality and transparency. The Commission should be guided by the law on admissibility of such evidence.

Recommendation: That the clause gives the Minister of Justice the discretion to refuse information to the Commission on the basis of such information being prejudicial to state interests needed to be reviewed by either specifically defining the "state interests" since these could be loosely interpreted to mean anything the Minister so wished, or by removing that provision totally.

 

3.10 Clause 17 provides for the funds of the Commission. The Committee gathered that the ability of the Commission to prepare and control its own budget and expenditure that is funded through the Consolidated Revenue Fund will enhance its independence.

3.10.1 Clause 17 (c) This concerns a provision in the Bill which obligates the Commission to receive funds subject to the approval of the Minister. This interferes with the Commission's autonomy and independent decision making.

Recommendation: The reference to approval of the Minister should be deleted.

 

3.11 Clause 18 (2) The requirement for the Commission to submit to the Minister its financial reports as the Minister may direct interferes with the independence and impartiality of the Commission.

 

Recommendation: The Commission should account directly to Parliament.

 

3.12 Clause 20 (2) stipulates that a Commissioner can be removed from office by the President in concurrence with a tribunal appointed under subsection(4). Under this subsection the Tribunal consisting of a Chairman, who is or has been a High Court Judge or Supreme Court Judge and other two members is appointed by the President. The Committee gathered that the role of the Executive in disciplinary matters have a substantive impact on the work of the Commission and its institutional as well as individual independence. Most people felt that the Executive must not play any role in such processes.

Recommendation: That matters of discipline and removal of Commissioners should be done by the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.

3.13 Clause 23 (2) Regulations made by the Commission requires the approval of the Minister. The Committee gathered that this requirement of the Minister's approval undermines the Commission's independence.

3.14 The Committee noted that there is need to correct the breakdown in the sequence of the different parts of the Bill. In other words, the numbering of the parts needs attention.

Mr. Speaker, if I may just conclude by going to the Methodology. After the public meetings that were held - at every public meeting that was held, minutes of that meeting were kept and these minutes informed the Committee of what went on at that meeting when the Committee was preparing its Report. Hon. Speaker, those hon. members who want to see what transpired in Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Harare and Bulawayo are welcome to view the minutes of the Committee of those specific meetings. It is from these minutes that we took the recommendations that we made.

Again, we took written submissions from those Zimbabweans who cared to write including members of the public and organisations. Regrettably, some organisations did not write and we thought that they were not interested and we took those that wrote to us.

Finally Mr. Speaker, everything on this Report has got a record and we extracted this from the record of the public meetings and the written submissions by members of the public and the institutional submissions. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker - I table the Report of the Committee.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

JOINT CAUCUS MEETING

MR. SPEAKER: There will be a joint Caucus meeting on Thursday, 1st September, 2011 at 1000 a.m. here at Parliament Building. In particular, in the House of Assembly, the message is conveyed by the Welfare Secretary, Hon. Bhasikiti. You are advised to attend, thank you.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, this Bill has got profound ramifications for the good governance of this country. I am told and advised that when members were recalled to today, they were given to understand that they would just come in and the House would be adjourned without any meaningful issue being disbursed. But it was felt that it was necessary, at least, for the House to transact the business it has transacted but in order to give members the opportunity to properly debate this very important Bill - the debate must now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 31st August, 2011.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS , the House adjourned at Nineteen minutes to Four o'clock p.m.

 

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 37 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 30 AUGUST 2011 VOL. 37 NO. 47