President Emmerson Mnangagwa has recalled the upper house of the Zimbabwe’s bicameral parliament from recess so that they can prevent the collapse of the new monetary arrangement, before or at midnight on Wednesday 21 August 2019.
The collapse may occur if Part VI of the Finance (2) Bill does not become law on or before 21 August.
At the end of their sitting on Wednesday 7 August 2019, senators had resolved to adjourn until Tuesday 27 August 2019, as they were certain no Bills would be received from the national assembly, before this holiday.
On Friday, it was announced by parliament that President Mnangagwa had summoned senate to reassemble on the 14th of August, two weeks earlier than expected. The collapse that he intends to prevent stems from the temporary nature of Statutory Instrument 33/2019.
The SI 33 was gazetted under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act on 22 February 2019, and will expire on 21 August 2019, at midnight.
If the Bill is passed on Wednesday by senate, Mnangagwa will have seven days to sign it into law, and have it published in the government gazette as an Act of parliament.
On the other hand, if it was left to collapse, it would render SI 33 invalid. Senate has limited power over money Bills, and can only make recommendations to the national assembly, should senate have reservations on money Bills. At the look of things, the government is likely to do all it can to avoid the Bill from being referred back to parliament for further considerations.
In terms of Section 116 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Legislature consists of Parliament and the President. The President is part of the Legislature in his capacity as Head of State who holds the Public Seal and accordingly, he/ she must assent to Bills passed by Parliament before they become law.