Zimbabwe: Petroleum Bill Sails Through Senate
THE Petroleum Bill sailed through Senate yesterday while the Domestic Violence Bill went through its second reading before the upper House.
The Petroleum Bill, which seeks to regulate the fuel sector now awaits the assent of the President after it went through committee stage and third reading yesterday.
There were mixed views about the Domestic Violence Bill with some senators, mostly women, supporting it while most of the male senators had some reservations with respect to some sections.
The Domestic Violence Bill, which was being steered by acting Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks to give relief to victims of domestic violence.
Mutasa-Mutare Senator, Cde Mandi Chimene (Zanu-PF) said the Bill was in the best interest of everyone, men and women alike. She said the good thing was that the Bill was not intrusive in that it did not seek to go into people’s house witch-hunting perpetrators but it is victims who initiate the remedial process.
She urged every person whether married or not to support it.
Masvingo Senator, Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire (Zanu-PF) said the Bill was important and needed to be supported.
But Cde Mavhaire also complained that the Government had rushed the Bill without making adequate consultations.
He said, Zanu-PF should have called for a caucus to discuss the Bill where legislators would speak freely about it before being tabled before the House.
Cde Mavhaire said the Zimbabwe Cultural Bill, which seeks to make some reforms to culture should have preceded the Bill.
“Mutemo uyu unorema nekuti unobata rudzi rwese vakafa nevapenyu. Those bringing the Bill are seniors to us (in the ruling party), for us now to say give us time to study the Bill it is too late,” he said.
Lobengula-Magwegwe Senator, Mr Thabiso Ndhlovu (MDC) said while the Bill was noble, it overlooked an important form of abuse, that of the boy child. In steering the Bill, Cde Mnangagwa said world research had revealed that domestic violence was a cause for concern. He said it has been found proper to take legislative measures to deal with domestic violence and give maximum protection the law can provide.
Cde Mnangagwa, who is also the Minister of Rural and Social Amenities, said the remedies available in the Bill were not only punitive but also laid down counselling for both perpetrators and victims. In the past, he said, cases of domestic violence would be treated just as common law offences thereby limiting the scope of domestic violence.