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How Mugabe was given powers to appoint key judges with MDC kicking and screaming

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you withdraw your statement, ‘lie’.

HON. GONESE: I withdraw.  In conclusion, in terms of process I want to make submission that the procedure which I have adopted is, in my respectful submission, correct and I will explain why I think that…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Again?

HON. GONESE: In conclusion, I submit that the Procedure in terms of stages of Bills for an ordinary Bill and a Constitutional Bill is not different.  The only difference comes in that in a Constitutional Bill, there is no reference to the Parliamentary Legal Committee where the amendments are not referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee that in my respectful view is the only point of departure.  In terms of stages we have the First Reading on an ordinary Bill and a First Reading on a Constitutional Bill.  After the First Reading on an ordinary Bill, it is referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee, whereas on a Constitutional Bill it is not referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  Similarly, when you have got the Second Reading, after that you go to the Committee Stage in respect of both Bills.  After the Committee Stage, you report progress to the House and only if the amendments are referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee and that is the only point of departure.

Otherwise, Mr. Speaker, the processes in relation to those stages of the Bills are the same and I therefore want to submit that the procedures outlined, Standing Order Number 152 (3) are equally applicable to a Constitutional Bill and therefore it means that if there is any anomaly like any other Bill, it can be recommitted, it can be referred back so that connections can be made.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Your motion does not stand because the issue you raised, though important should have been raised at the appropriate time, at committee stage.  There was no due notice during the Committee Stage and therefore and therefore, now we are on the Third Reading and we cannot proceed as suggested – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- No, I have ruled – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order, we proceed. Section 328 (5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that, “A Constitutional Bill must be passed, at its last reading in the National Assembly and in the Senate, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of each House.”

 In order to comply with the provision of Section 328 (5), it is necessary that the number of the affirmative votes cast by members be recorded.  I therefore direct that the bells be now rung after which the votes of – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members will be counted – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

 [Bells rung].

[House divided].

Continued next page

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