Parliament is Tuesday expected to debate for adoption amendments to the Electoral Act as directed by Southern African Development Community leaders at a summit in Maputo, Mozambique, Saturday.
Cabinet agreed on the amendments but President Robert Mugabe used the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to pass them into law, by-passing parliament when he announced July 31st as the date for national elections.
The life of the current parliament comes to an end June 29. SADC also directed unity government principals to negotiate and make necessary amendments to laws criticized as draconian by political parties in the country and civil society groups.
These include the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Broadcasting Act and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told VOA President Mugabe’s proclamation of election dates should be rescinded first if parliament is to discuss the electoral amendments.
“If we are going to deal with the electoral amendment then obviously it means the proclamation must be set aside, so that we then do not fall foul of Section 167 subsection 5 of the constitution,” said Matinenga.
Lawmaker and National Healing co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu said with political will, it is possible for parliament to pass all necessary amendments to AIPPA, POSA and other relevant laws before its dessolution next week ahead of anticipated elections.