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Essential Bills ignored

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe ignored Bills to operationalise several commissions established under the new constitution in his speech to officially open the eighth parliament on Tuesday.

Staff Writer

Mugabe announced 26 Bills the new parliament should prioritise, but made no mention of the Gender Commission, Peace and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Provincial Councils Bills.

He also said nothing about an Act needed to govern the newly established Constitutional Court (Concourt) or media reforms.

Political analysts say Mugabe’s legislative agenda was mainly aimed at consolidating power rather than improve governance.

Human Rights Watch senior researcher Dewa Mavhinga said the speech indicated that Mugabe does not have human rights and the rule of law at the top of his agenda.

“Mugabe’s obvious avoidance of the key democratisation and human rights issues, including the overdue amendment of laws like (the) Public Order and Security Act and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act has set a rather subdued tone for Zimbabwe’s eighth parliament,” Mavhinga said.

Political commentator Maxwell Saungweme said: “I think Mugabe is worried about consolidating power and dealing with Zanu PF succession issues so he would not want to distract his attention from that with contentious reforms and devolution.”

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