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Parliament returns next week

By Daniel Chigundu

The First Session of the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe resumes next week after a dramatic month-long break full of baton sticks, bullets and tear gas among many other things.

Parliament adjourned its sitting on the 20th (Thursday) of December 2018 on a motion by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to the 29th (Tuesday) of January 2019.

While House sitting (National Assembly) resume on Tuesday (29th of January) there will be Portfolio Committee and Thematic Committee meetings starting Monday (28th of January).

The Public Accounts Committee kick start the program of open meetings when they invite Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development George Guvamatanga to give oral evidence on the Auditor General’s observations on the 2017 Report. The Meeting is Monday 28th of January in Committee Room 4 at 10:00.

On the same Monday, Labour and Social Welfare Portfolio Committee sit in Committee Room 1 at 14:00 to hear evidence from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) on the 2017 NSSA Annual Report, investments and pension benefits among other things.

The ICT and Courier Services Portfolio Committee sits on the same day as well at 14:00hrs in the National Assembly to hear evidence from the Ministry of ICT, POTRZA and ZIFA on loans extended to ZIFA by POTRAZ. The telecoms regulator is accused of giving loans to ZIFA from the Universal Services Fund (USF).

The Thematic Committee on Gender and Development sit in Committee Room 3 at 14:00hrs to hear evidence from Ministry of Health and Child Care on the treatment of cancer in Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday 29th of January, there is only one open meeting where the SDGs Thematic Committee will be sitting in Committee Room 413 at 10:00hrs to hear evidence from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the progress the ministry has made on attainment of SDGs in the country.

Thursday 31st of January there is Youth, Sports and Recreation Portfolio Committee meets in the National Assembly at 10:00 to hear evidence from the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation on the establishment of the Zimbabwe Youth Commission.

The Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment will also meet on Thursday at 10:00hrs in Committee Room 3 to hear evidence from the Permanent Secretary of Industry and Commerce on Indigenisation and Empowerment Policy.

However, more drama is expected when the National Assembly sits on Tuesday afternoon, owing to various events that have taken place in the country such as the recent shut down which was accompanied by violence resulting in the death of about 12 people, while hundreds have been arrested across the country.

Among those arrested include MDC Alliance legislators such as Settlement Chikwinya and Amos Chibaya while many others are on the run.

Committee meetings and House sittings are open to members of the public, however, those who are not able to attend OpenParlyZW will Live stream most of them on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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