Legislation updates


The Government Gazette of the 14 June 2019

Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans 24/06/2019

The Government Gazette of the 14th June 2019 contained two important pieces of legislation namely:

  1. Statutory Instrument 134 of 2019 being the Securities and Exchange (Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listing Requirements) Rules 2 of 2019.  These Rules are extensive (213 pages) and impact upon the provisions of the Companies Act in regard to public companies.

  2.  Statutory Instrument 135 of 2019 being the Public Finance Management General Regulations.

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The Government Gazette of the 7 June 2019

Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans 24/06/2019

The Government Gazette of the 7th June 2019 contained:

  1. An amendment to the Beitbridge Special Economic Zone by extending the area cover to a total of 248 hectares.

  2. Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe Request for Expression of Interest to develop a hotel and conference centre, closing date 6 August 2019 at 10am.

  3. Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe Request for Expression of Interest to develop 120-bed hotel and conference centre, closing date 6 August 2019.

  4. Magistrate Court (Civil Jurisdiction) (Monetary Limits) Regulations, SI 126 of 2019.

The Government Gazette Extraordinary of the 31st May 2019 approved the level of mandatory blending of ethanol with unleaded petrol to 20% ethanol.

The Public of Law Act No. 3 of 2019 being the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Act - establishing a tripartite negotiating forum with powers and functions in relation to consultation, cooperation and negotiation on social and economic issues by Government, for organized business and organized labour was gazetted.

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Government Gazette: 7 June 2019

Gill, Godonton & Gerrans 07/06/2019

Government Gazette: 7 June 2019

 

a.  The Collective Bargaining Agreement: Sugar Milling Industry, Statutory Instrument 125/2019 (‘’the CBA’’) was published in this gazette.

 

In terms of this CBA, the parties agreed to increases wages/ salaries and travel and subsistence allowances with effect from 1 April 2019 through to 31 March 2020.

 

b.  The Collective Bargaining Agreement: National Employment Council for Electronics, Communications & Allied Industry, Statutory Instrument 128 of 2019 was also published in this gazette.

 

The parties agreed that employees whose contracts are renewed continuously for a period of more than two years shall become permanent employees. The agreement is deemed to have come into operation on 1 July 2018.

 

c.     The Collective Bargaining Agreement: Salaries and Wages: Tobacco (Miscellaneous) Sector, Statutory Instrument 129 of 2019 was also published in this gazette.

 

The agreement provides for the total package for the period January 2019 to June 2019.

 

d.      The Tripartite Negotiating Forum Act No. 3 of 2019 was also published in this gazette.

 

The purpose of the Act is to establish a Tripartite Negotiating Forum and to confer powers and functions on the Forum in relation to consultation, cooperation and negotiation on social and economic issues by Government, organized business and organized labour: and to provide for matters connected therewith.

 

Section 2 is the definition section. It defines terms that one comes across in the provisions of the Act.

 

Section 3 provides for the establishment of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (‘’the Forum’’) and the Forum is a body corporate capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name.

 

The Forum will be made up of three structures namely the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum, Technical Committee and the Management Committee.

 

Some of the functions of the Forum will be to consult and negotiate over social and economic issues and submit recommendations to Cabinet, negotiate a social contract as and when necessary and follow up and monitor the implantation of agreements.

 

In terms of section 9, the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum shall convene at least two meetings in a year and section 10 provides that decisions of the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum shall be reached by consensus.

Section 12 provides for the establishment of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Technical Committee to assist the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum in its work.

 

The Technical Committee shall be headed by a designated Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and shall be comprised of experts or officials drawn from government ministries, business and labour organisations represented in the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum.

 

The functions of the Technical Committee shall be to prepare documents for discussions in the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum, carry out research and studies and deal with any matter as directed by the Main Tripartite Negotiating Forum.

 

The Management Committee as established by section 13 shall be responsible for setting the agenda for the Technical Committee meetings, appointing the Executive Director, overseeing the operations of the Secretariat and approving rules and regulations guiding the work of the Secretariat.
 

Government Gazette: 21 June 2019

 

a.  The Collective Bargaining Agreement: Catering Industry, Statutory Instrument 137/2019 (‘’the CBA’’) was published in this gazette.

 

In terms of this CBA, the parties agreed to increases wages/ salaries and transport allowances for the period 1 February 2019 to 30 April 2019.

 

 

Government Gazette: 28 June 2019

 

a.   The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations 2019, Statutory Instrument 142/2019 (the Regulations) were published in this gazette.

 

The effect of the Regulations is that the Zimbabwean Dollar is to be the sole currency for legal tender purposes. The British pound, United States Dollar, South African Rand and Botswana Pula and any other foreign currencies are no longer legal tender alongside the Zimbabwe dollar in any transactions in Zimbabwe with effect from the 24th of June 2019.

 

The Bond notes and coins (Section 44B of the Reserve Bank Act) and the electronic currency i.e RTGS Dollar (section 44C of the Act) are at par with the Zimbabwe dollar. The bond note and RTGS dollar are equivalent to the Zimbabwe dollar. References to the Zimbabwe dollar shall be construed as references to the Bond Note and RTGS dollar as well, that is to say they are coterminous.

 

However, despite the fact that the Zimbabwe dollar is to be the sole currency for legal tender purposes, the opening of operation of foreign currency accounts (Nostro FCA Accounts) shall not be affected by these Regulations. These accounts shall continue to be designated in the foreign currencies with which they were opened and in which they are operated. The making of foreign payments from Nostro FCA Accounts shall not be affected by these Regulations as well.

 

The requirement to pay duties of customs in foreign currencies (section 2(1) Customs and Excise Act) shall not be affected by these Regulations. The Regulations also do not affect the VAT payable in respect of luxury goods. This means that where one is required to pay such in foreign currency they will pay in foreign currency.

 

It is still permissible to tender any of the foreign currencies e.g. payment for International Airline Services.

 

b.  Grain Marketing (Control of Sale of Maize) Regulations 2019, Statutory Instrument 145/2019 was also published in this gazette. We look at some of the sections below:

 

Section 4 provides that maize is a controlled product and the area within which it shall be controlled is all the provinces of Zimbabwe.

 

Section 5 prohibits sale of maize or disposal of any maize except to a contractor or to the GMB. It further states that any maize to be sold to the GMB shall be delivered at such time, place and in quantities as the Board may direct. The GMB is given powers by this section to reject maize delivered by person other than a producer or contractor.

 

Section 6 prohibits acquisition of maize from a farmer or producer other than through the GMB. This section can be read in line with the Agriculture Marketing Authority Act. A person who acquires any maize for use as seed shall not use or dispose of that maize for any other purpose unless with the written permission of the GMB. Producers of maize or farmers are permitted to transport not more than 5 bags of maize of a capacity not exceeding 50 kilograms from one area of the country to another without any authorized person or police having to confiscate the maize. A producer of maize is permitted to transport maize in excess of 250 kilograms only when the maize is being transported or is to be sold to the GMB or when an authorized person has permitted such maize to be transported and this authority must be in writing and should be available to any police officer on demand. It must also be noted that in terms of this section no person other than the GMB shall export from Zimbabwe maize of any quantity until such a date that shall be specified by the Minister by way of notice in the Gazette.

 

Section 8 provides that any property seized in contemplation of a prosecution for a contravention of these regulations shall be taken forthwith and delivered to a place of security under the control of a police officer or authorized person. The property must be stored properly considering that maize is a fungible property. The property shall be held at the former possessor's risk until the criminal proceedings in connection with which the property was seized are abandoned or discontinued or are concluded. Where the accused is acquitted the custodian inspector or police officer shall forthwith restore the property to the person from whom they were seized or to whom they belong to. Where the accused has been convicted, the court may order any such property to be forfeited to the state. However, it is important to note that this section is subject to section 9 which deals with compensation for maize wrongly seized.

 

Section 10 outlines the powers of police officers and authorized persons. Section 10 confers powers to a police officer or a person generally or specifically authorized by the Minister to enter and inspect the land or premises of the contractor for purposes of ensuring the contract produce is being produced in compliance with the standards specified in the scheme contract. Notice to the producer must be given verbally or in writing not less than 24 hours before inspection. A police officer, authorized person or inspector must produce on demand a certificate of identification and authority before entering any contract farmer's land.

 

Section 11 criminalizes the contravention of these Regulations whether or not one is a party to as scheme contract. Anyone who purchases, receives, stores, sells, obtains, possesses, exports, transports, or otherwise disposed of such maize in contravention of these Regulations shall be guilty of an offense and will be liable to a fine not exceeding 3 times the value of such controlled product or $800 fine whichever is greater or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 years.

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