Parly to resume physical meetings for vaccinated MPs

The Parliament of Zimbabwe will next week resume physical meetings only for the vaccinated legislators and staff, while those who are not inoculated will now be required to produce negative Covid-19 certificates every week.

This follows this week moving of the country from the tougher level four to the rather relaxed level two lockdown by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Under the new lockdown measures announced Tuesday, public gatherings of not more than people are now permitted, while intercity travel is now permitted albeit under strict observance of Covid-19 protocols.

Since January this year, only a limited number of legislators have been physically attending Parliament sessions while the rest have been following proceedings virtually.

Speaking in the august House Wednesday afternoon, National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Tsitsi Gezi said physical meetings would begin next week.

“I have to inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders met and resolved that physical meetings can now resume for fully vaccinated Members and support staff,” said Gezi. 

“The production of Covid-19 PCR test certificate is mandatory for unvaccinated Members and staff.  From 13th September 2021, security personnel at the entrance have been instructed to demand vaccination certificates or valid Covid-19 PCR test certificates issued 48 hours earlier and will be valid for each week.” 

The Deputy Speaker said a maximum of 10 persons inclusive of lawmakers, staff and invitees will be permitted to attend meetings physically in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

“In the National Assembly and Senate Chambers, the maximum number of persons allowed will be 100 and 80 respectively including support staff,” she said.  “Committees are encouraged to use a hybrid of physical and virtual meetings. Chief Whips have to ensure compliance with the requirements of allowable Hon. Members.  Committees will determine those to attend either physically or virtually.”

She added: “Those who will not be accommodated in Committee Rooms or Chambers will participate from their hotel rooms.”

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