Bills Overview

This page provides an overview of the process by which a bill becomes law and details some of the bills before Parliament.

Stage 1- First Reading

After a bill has been gazetted, the member responsible must serve notice of a motion that leave be granted by the house to bring in the bill.The clerks will read the title of the bill. The bringing of the copy to the clerks and the subsequent reading of the title is regarded as the first reading.

Stage 2- Reference to the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC)

The house in which the bill originates refers it to the PLC. This committee examines the bill and statutory instruments and determine whether or not they are in conformity with the Bill of Rights and any other provisions of the Constitution. If the provisions of the bill contravene the Bill of rights and or some sections of the constitution the committee makes an adverse report. If PLC fails to make a report fails to present its report within the specified period in the standing orders the House of Assembly will proceed with the bill.

**Stage 3- Second Reading. **

The third stage is opened by the sponsoring minister, who makes a speech outlining the principles upon which the bill is based. This is then followed by the debate on the principles. There is no discussion on the individuals clauses although reference may be made to the clauses as part of the debate. This is also the stage that the relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committee (PPC) will present its report on the bill.

Stage 4- Consideration by committee

The fourth stage, the bill is considered clause by clause either by a special committee set up for the purpose or a committee of the whole house . The practice in zimbabwe is to use a committee of the whole house. Amendments to individual clauses are proposed and debated. The committee stage is is chaired by the Deputy Speaker.

Stage 5- Reporting.

This is the stage where a report of the bill is made as amended, to the whole house. If the bill was considered by a committee of the whole house the report stage is a mere formality. If it was by a special committee this stage makes it possible for the other members of the house to propose amendments.

Stage 6- Referral to the PLC

If the Bill is amended at the committee and/or report stage, it is referred to the PLC, which will then scrutinize any amendments according to the procedures in Stage 2.

Stage 7- Third Reading.

This is the stage at which the bill is put to a vote either for approval or rejection. No reading per se takes place unless some members have given notice that they wish to do so.

Stage 8-Transmission to the other House

As soon as the bill has passed by the house in which it originated from an authenticated copy is transmitted to the other house. The second house may reject the bill or pass it without amendments. If the second house passes the bill with amendments it will return to the house of origin and the house may reject or agree to incorporate the amendments.

Stage 9-Presidential assent

The granting of Presidential Assent is the formal method by which the head of the Executive arm of government completes the legislative process by formally assenting or giving his consent to an Act of Parliament