The Senate of Zimbabwe is the upper chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It was established in 1980 running up to 1989, and was re-introduced in November 2005.
The Senate consisted of 40 members, the majority of whom were elected by the House of Assembly, the directly elected lower chamber, with the remainder being chosen by the Council of Chiefs and appointed by the President. Under the Lancaster House Agreement, 20 percent of seats in both chambers were reserved for whites, until 1987. It was abolished by constitutional amendment in 1989, with many Senators being appointed to the House of Assembly.
On its re-introduction after the election held on26 November 2005 the senate had a total of 66 members.50 of its members, five from each provice, directly elected in single member constituencies using the simple majority (or First-past-the-post) system. The President appointed 6 additional members and the remaining 10 seats were held by traditional chiefs who were chosen in separate elections. Twenty-one women (20 elected and 1 appointed) occupy seats in the Senate.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 18 of 2007 provided for the expansion of the Senate to 93 seats: 6 (six) Senators from each province directly elected by voters registered in the 60 Senate constituencies; the 10 Provincial Governors appointed by the President; the president and deputy president of Council of Chiefs; 16 chiefs, being two chiefs from each province other than metropolitan provinces, and five Senators appointed by the President
The Senate composition was changed again after the 2013 constitution. This makes the current senate membership 80 people, of whom 60 are elected for five-year terms in 6-member constituencies representing one of the 10 provinces, elected based on the votes in the lower house election, using party-list proportional representation, distributed using the hare quota. Additionally the Senate consists of 2 seats for each non-metropolitan district of Zimbabwe elected by each provincial assembly of chiefs using SNTV, 1 seat each for the president and deputy president of the National Council of Chiefs and 1 male and 1 female seat for people with disabilities elected on separate ballots using FPTP by an electoral college designated by the National Disability Board.
The current President of the Senate, Honourable Edna Madzongwe is the presiding officer of the Senate.
Functions of the President
The main function of the Senate President is to guide and regulate the proceedings in the Senate. It is also the duty of the President of the Senate to ensure that the powers and privileges of the Senate are observed.
The President is also responsible for the administration of the bicameral Parliament of Zimbabwe as the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. This Committee, as provided by Section 57 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, considers and decides all matters concerning Parliament.
The ceremonial position of The President of Senate is ranked fourth in order of precedence, after the two State Vice Presidents of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The President represents Parliament at international and regional conferences and leads Parliamentary delegations to other nations, as well as receives delegations from other nations. The President of the Senate also receives courtesy calls from heads of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies based in Zimbabwe and other important dignitaries.
The office of The President of Senate is committed to the fundamental principles of being open, effective and responsive to the needs of officers of Parliament, members of Parliament and the electorate.
Senate Deputy President
The current Deputy President of the Senate is Honourable Naison Khutswekhaya Ndlovu, who is also the Chairperson of Committees.
Function of the Deputy President of the Senate
The Deputy President of the Senate as a presiding officer sits on the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders and is third deputy chairperson of that Committee.The Deputy President relieves the President in the chair when the house is sitting and performs the duties of President in the absence of the President.
- [ http://allafrica.com/stories/200802280389.html], Zimbabwe: Debunking West's Propaganda ,28 February 2008 , Retrieved: 21 November 2017