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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 02 June 2020 46 42
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to draw the attention of the House to an error on today’s Order Paper where notice of Motion
No.34 was erroneously repeated as notice of Motion No.35.
Consequently Notice of Motion No.35 is deleted with the rest of the
Notices of Motion and Orders of the Day re-numbered accordingly.
*HON. MAKONYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of
privilege is to do with the illegal taxis (mushikashika), which transport people and were banned from moving by the Hon. President in this time of COVID-19. We can see some of these cars moving illegally. Just last week, a mushikashika Toyota Wish was involved in an accident. It was coming from Gweru and was travelling to Bulawayo. This car killed four people and the other four were injured. What I am seeing is that those tasked to look at the laws are not doing so religiously in terms of checking cars travelling along our roads. Inside the Toyota Wish were eight people but if you look at the size of that car, there was no social distance there. It means the people were packed in that car. So what this means is that whilst we are trying to curb COVID-19, some people are busy trying to contract the disease.
I also wish to talk about magonyeti which are also causing COVID-19. We know they were allowed to ferry food stuffs from other countries for our survival. It is good because it will keep hunger away but they are also now giving people lifts thereby bringing back the disease also because we do not know whether the people they carry are COVID-19 free or not. These magonyeti pass through road blocks but they still pass through with their passengers from whichever town. They are also charging exorbitant prices of $300. The President of Zimbabwe had done well by appointing ZUPCO to be the recognised public transporter. My plea is for these buses to be increased and also for our local buses such as Tenda, Beta, Inter-Africa, Trip-Trans to be engaged so they can also ferry people from afar. There are so many things that will make people want to travel. So we cannot entirely stop people from travelling because they have to travel for different reasons. Currently transport is inadequate, so I am imploring the President to ensure there are buses in each town designated to travel from say Mutare on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for all wanting to travel to Harare. I think that will be useful in curbing the COVID-19 disease. Also can these buses be sanitised before leaving the garage and furthermore, sanitise the people before they enter the bus. Social distancing should be practised whereby, on a two seater bench, only one person should sit there and on three seater bench, two people should sit there. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I have taken note
of what you have raised. You touched on important things, especially with what we are faced with during this COVID-19 - but the issues that you have
touched on involve two ministries: Transport and Home Affairs. So, I urge you to raise those questions during time Question Time.
HON. NDIWENI: Madam Speaker, my point of privilege hinges on an item that we budgeted for. It was approved in the budget but funds have not been disbursed as yet. There was an item on constituency visits and funds for running constituency offices. Members of Parliament from either side are having problems visiting their constituencies effectively as they are hamstrung because of finances. Madam Speaker, we urge Parliament to follow up this budget item which was approved, so that it can facilitate Members of Parliament to do their work effectively. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Ndiweni, you
have raised a very valid point. I will take it up with the responsible authorities so that they will solve that issue.
*HON. P. MOYO: My point of privilege is that I would like to implore the Minister of Home Affairs to come to this august House and give a Ministerial Statement regarding violence against women in the country, particularly the three young ladies who were abducted and taken to wherever and beaten. We want the Minister to come and address this House clarifying circumstances surrounding that particular issue. There is also another issue of women in Bulawayo who were beaten up by police when they had gone to buy food. I have noticed that violence against women is continuing unabated. For that reason, we request the Minister to address this House. We want women to be free because they were created as weaker vessels and cannot defend themselves. I am saying this because this is a continuing trend which is being perpetrated by culprits.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Moyo, the issue that you have raised was raised last week in your absence by Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga and this issue is still under investigation by the police, so we wait to hear the outcome then the issue will be taken to court.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you to the Khupes and Mwonzoras who are present. Madam Speaker, I would like to address Hon. Members that since we were told to put on our masks, when addressing the House we do not have to remove our masks. My point of privilege is that during this
COVID-19 pandemic, we are not allowed to gather in crowds of more than 50 people. I would like to say that the MDC-T party which has recalled people, after recalling they should replace those Hon. Members – [HON. P.
MOYO: On a point of order] – handizive kuti ndakanganisa here kuti the
Khupes and Mwonzoras –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Chinotimba? – [HON. P. MOYO: Point of order Madam Speaker. We do not have the Mwonzoras and Khupes here.] – Hon. Chinotimba, the issue you are raising is before the courts so we cannot discuss it here. However, your first point regarding putting on masks is true and everyone should adhere to that.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, I would also like to say that all Hon. Members in this august House cannot go to their rural areas because most filling stations are selling their diesel in USD. The coupons that we are getting from Parliament are no longer serving their purpose. So I would like to suggest that Hon. Members be allocated a particular filling station, for example CMED garage using coupons because we have gone around garages and most filling stations are requesting USD, yet we do not have the USD. I would like to ask that Parliament assists us on that matter.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Chinotimba but
the issue was raised last week.
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My
point of privilege is to welcome our colleagues who have been absenting themselves illegally from Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and to urge them to continue to think properly and have common sense prevail each time they come back to Parliament. Thank you very much.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity that you have given me. I would like to commend the way in which Parliament managed to conduct itself in the last days to date. That is my prayer Madam Speaker, that Parliament should always be an august House as it has always been. We have conducted our business in an orderly fashion, listening to each other in an orderly manner and enjoying our business. The public is not happy when we argue unnecessarily here.
I would like to remind Parliament to continue as it has been of late.
We do not want a situation that does not promote productive business.
We want productive business to be conducted here for the progress of
Zimbabwe. I am happy for another Member of Parliament who said that the President, Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa worked hard to give us ZUPCO buses. That is an indication of maturity in that Member of Parliament.
May we continue to build the country. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mathe, you
spoke like an Hon. Member who is mature. What you said is very true. Business was conducted well last week. We look forward to the same spirit which obtained last week to continue; the spirit of dedication to our work in fulfillment of what the people and the generality of Zimbabweans are looking for instead of us coming here to engage in squabbles which do not help anyone when we are being paid money by the Government and not doing any work. For those who do not understand the language used by the speaker, may you ask those who are conversant with it.
+HON. S. K. MGUNI: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity. My point of privilege is that coupons be dispatched on Tuesday so that we can be able to source fuel since it is scarce. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mguni. We
will submit your issue to the administration of Parliament so that it can be looked into.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Madam Speaker
Ma’am. I am sorry that I have not been attending Parliament for quite some time. It is because I was not feeling well, but now I am much better. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I would like to request you to continue praying for me and I hope that I am going to be fine.
My point of privilege is that this august House should assist the Government, Ministers, the Executive and the President with ideas that are constructive. I am saying this because I have been observing that the lockdown was announced after one person had passed on. The Government decided to close all the industries which were supposed to generate revenue for the country. Having closed companies, the number of COVID 19 infected people has now risen beyond 100. What will the Government do if this number continues to escalate? We need to look for preventive measures. I know that most of us are educated but we cannot wprk with financial figures only; we also need to take stock of people’s livelihoods by looking at issues to do with food security.
Madam Speaker, there are some ideas that come from people that are proferred to the Government but such ideas are detrimental to the success of governance. For example, the premature lockdown affected operations in companies because it seems as if we put our own sanctions on our own economy.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matambanadzo, it now
seems as if you are debating.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Alright Madam Speaker, I hope
my point has been heard, that we should proffer good and purposive ideas. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon.
Matambanadzo. We thank God that now you are feeling well, we will continue to pray for you until you have fully healed. What you have said in connection with the first phase of our COVID-19 lockdown, we believe our Hon. President does not make decisions alone. He will first consult with scientists and doctors that are well informed on COVID-19 issues. We believe that the stance taken by Government helped us so much because right now the cases that we have are of people that are coming outside the country. We do not have cases of people who are in the country who have not travelled anywhere.
What you have mentioned about hunger, I want to say that this disease is not only affecting Zimbabwe but world-wide, hence the whole world is experiencing hunger. I have heard what you have said and I want to thank you for your contribution.
HON. NDUNA: On a point of privilege Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of
*HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My point of
privilege is on people who steal farm produce. If possible, I wanted the
Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to come to this House and make deterrent sentences for people who steal farm produce, like the one given to people who steal live stock. It is because livestock and crops in this time of COVID-19 are being stolen. Looking at the Agrarian Reform Programme of 2000, the issue of mandatory sentence on theft of livestock helped black farmers to farm and stay at their farms. This did not help those farmers who only produce crops and do not keep livestock and up to now, they continue to lose their crops through theft. I am thinking that if deterrent sentences are passed to people who steal farm produce, this will help farmers so that we will not have a reversal of the Agrarian Reform Programme of 2000.
If we are to look at rape cases, deterrent cases are being given. The miner and farmer dispute must also be looked at through the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act. I am appealing that deterrent sentences be passed to farm produce thieves.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I
am asking you that you present this as a motion that will be debated in this House. It is a good suggestion but must be brought in this House as a motion.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
The welfare of Members of Parliament seems to be an ongoing agenda. I have never known of any agenda which continues and never stops. On fuel, considering that this institution is one of the three pillars of the State; we do everything, we pass budgets and so forth. We are not asking for anything extra but for the office of the Members of Parliament to be respected. We have no respect in the public. We are seen in the queues with drums. We do not sell that fuel but we use it so that it enables us to get here. This issue has come to you so many times but still we are dealing with it now. CMED, which service station do we go to? Other Members of Parliament are not here because there is no fuel, that is the truth of the matter. They are standing in the queues and all that. So when will you as our leaders take us seriously and take this institution seriously that we have a mandate to deliver. How can we deliver when we have no resources to get here?
Fortunately for you VIPs and that is why we end up starting to now look at your offices, you are well taken care of, murikudya anababa asi vana havasi kudya. So what kind of a country is this? You do not have to queue for fuel because there are arrangements for you to go and get fuel. We must also be given fuel where you get fuel because one day you will come to find there is no single Member of Parliament who will be here. What do you think you will be doing? We are asking that you take this matter seriously. We are given fuel coupons but there is no fuel so, why are we being given those coupons?
We are not paid in foreign currency and if we are to convert our salaries to US dollars, it is now US$50, this money is not enough to sustain us and you are failing as our leaders to review this. You go and sleep comfortably knowing that your Members of Parliament are getting US$50 but I assure you God will hear us. These are issues that are troubling us, we have not yet been allocated stands and some Members of Parliament do not have cars but Ministers have been allocated two cars. How do you honestly expect us to discharge our duties? We asked that Parliament disburse Constituency Development Fund during this COVID-19 era. Now people are saying that Members of Parliament do not have a heart for the people they represent because it is not all of us who own businesses. Some can survive from proceeds from their businesses but what about those Members of Parliament who do not have businesses. People will then say they are neglecting them.
What I am to say also is that we must not go to the extent of taking each other to court and it is not a threat. I am prepared to go to court when Members of Parliament are not tested because I must safeguard myself and my family. What are you doing as Parliament to ensure that each Member of Parliament is safe here? We do not want this issue of using thermometers, this does not work, we want the actual tests. We are the ones that reach people. If we are found positive, then we stop spreading this disease to people, we isolate ourselves. What are you doing as Parliament to make sure that all Parliament Members are tested? We are 350 and it is only 350 kits needed so that we know where we stand because we cannot continue like this. I want to know the action that you will take from tomorrow. If you do not do that, I am going to make an urgent High Court application so that Parliament will stop sitting until everyone has been tested because the cases are increasing.
On information centres, when will funds be released? A lot of money is being channeled to corrupt people. The money is not coming to Members of Parliament to execute their duties. Money for people to do corruption is there but money for Members of Parliament to execute their duties is not there. We cannot be a Parliament that approves money that will be stolen. We want the Executive to look into this. I as an independent candidate will say what I want because no one will chase me away but I will be speaking also on behalf of everyone so that they will not be chased away. I will take the responsibility. This is unbecoming because it is now like a crime to be a Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe, we are not respected.
I also want to talk about the issue of the opposition. On the side of the MDC-T, there is no Chief Whip and this Parliament has become a ridicule out there. These Hon. Members who are here, why are they not being given the portfolio? Why are Hon. Sen. Mwonzora and Madame Khupe not giving them the job? What are they failing to do that has not warranted them to be given the job? We need an Opposition Chief Whip in order for this Parliament to be known to be a Parliament or else we are a laughing stock out there.
We also need a Leader of Government Business from the Opposition. I brought it up because this Parliament cannot function without a Chief Whip and Leader of Government Business from the Opposition. So why are they taking time to appoint? I do not know because all these Hon. Members are experienced. Hon. Vincent Tsvangirai is coming and he knows what he is doing. So when is that going to happen so that they Parliament is known as Parliament at the end of the day?
These are my points of privileges that I had and I need answers because last week the Hon. Speaker promised that he was going to engage the Opposition so that appoint a Chief Whip. We cannot continue like this, thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. I
will start with the last issue that you raised. I think the Hon. Speaker responded and said that the appointment of the Opposition Chief Whip does not involve the Hon. Speaker. It is within their purview.
On the issue of fuel for Hon. Members, I think it was also raised last week and plans were put in place that Hon. Members get their fuel from Petro Trade and Hon. Shamu’s Redan Service Station… – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hakuna fuel uko, macoupons chete!] –
Regarding the COVID-19, the point that you raised that Hon. Members of Parliament should be tested is a valid point. However, I am being informed that everything is in the pipeline and appropriate measures are being taken. Yesterday there was a meeting to look at how we conduct business in Parliament, particularly pertaining to COVID19. I am also informed that most of these measures are being put in place.
So your concerns have been noted Hon. Mliswa and preparations are being made. A number of meetings are being held and also Parliament cannot neglect Hon. Members. Thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 8 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON FIRST REPORT OF THE
PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL WELFARE ON PETITION REGARDING DELAYS IN THE
OPERATIONALISATION OF STATUTORY INSTRUMENT 125 OF
2013 ON THE ORDER PAPER
HON. E. NCUBE: Madam Speaker, I move that the motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on Petition Regarding Delays in the
Operationalisation of Statutory Instrument 125 of 2013 Children’s (NonPublic Service Probation Officers) Regulations which was superseded by the end of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 73.
HON. SHAMU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, I am a
bit confused. With your guidance, I thought that the Chief Whip said that, ‘All matters are to be stood over until Order of the Day Number 9 is debated’. We are supposed to be debating – why is it being restored? I thought there are Notices of Motions when you call them and whoever wants to restore does that. I am a bit confused – I am totally confused.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Mliswa.
What we were doing is to restore the motion on the Order Paper and if some Hon. Members want to debate the motion, then they may do so tomorrow because it will then be on the Order Paper.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 12 has been disposed of.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SECOND REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON
THE ANALYSIS OF THE 2017 AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT
ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES
HON. RAIDZA: I move the motion standing in my name; that this House adopts the Second Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the analysis of the 2017 Auditor General’s Report on Local Authorities (Chegutu Municipality, Chinhoyi Municipality, Kariba Municipality and Karoi City Council.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Hon. Raidza after having realised he had a wrong document, the motion was stood over.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 23 has been disposed of.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 45TH PLENARY
ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM HELD IN
HON. KWARAMBA: I move the motion standing in my name
that this House takes note of the Report of the delegation to the 45th
Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum held at the
Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre, Maputo, Mozambique from 15th to 25th July 2019.
HON. NDIWENI: I second.
HON. KWARAMBA: Madam Speaker, let me begin by outlining
that due to other circumstances, this report is coming to the House belatedly, but nevertheless will capture the most important activities that happen in the region. I will thus give the immediate key points to the report.
In accordance with Article 11 (10), of the SADC Parliamentary
Forum which states that, “The Plenary Assembly shall meet for the transaction of business at the Headquarters of the Forum or in a Member State on a rotational basis”, the 45th Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum was convened in Maputo,
Mozambique from 15 to 25 July 2019 under the theme, “Climate
Change, Mitigation and Adaptation: The Role of Parliaments,
“Towards Implementing the Paris Declaration and the Katowice Roadmap”. Thirteen (13) countries were represented at the Plenary which included: - Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC), The Kingdom of Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho,
Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The delegation from Zimbabwe, led by Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, comprised the following Members and Officers of Parliament: - o Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi, Member of the Standing
Committee on Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and
Infrastructure; o Hon. Goodlucky Kwaramba, Member of the Standing
Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement
and Youth Development and Chairperson of the
Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus; o Hon. Dexter Nduna, temporarily replacing the late Hon.
Obedingwa Mguni, who was the Member of the Standing Committee on Democratization, Governance and Human
Rights, until a substantive delegate is appointed; o Hon. Anele Ndebele, Member of the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment; and, o Hon. Bacillia Majaya, Member of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes.
The following attended the Plenary Assembly as support staff: - o Mr. Ndamuka Marimo, Director in the Clerk’s Office; o Mr. Frank Mike Nyamahowa, Director in the Hon. Speaker’s
Office; o Mr. Cleophas Gwakwara, Principal External Relations
Officer and Secretary to the Delegation; o Ms. Martha Mushandinga, Principal Executive Assistant; and o Mr. Clive Zvimekria Mukushwa, Security – Aide to the
OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY
The Official Opening Ceremony of the 45th Plenary Assembly took place on Sunday 21st July 2019 at Joachim Chissano
International Conference Centre (JCICC).
The Plenary Assembly expressed its profound appreciation to
Hon. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Mozambique and the President of the Forum, and the Parliament of Mozambique for graciously hosting the 45th Plenary Assembly Session, having previously hosted the 44th Plenary
Assembly at the same venue in December 2018.
In delivering the keynote address, the guest-of-honour and
President of the host country, His Excellency, President Filipe Jacinto
Nyusi, advocated for the expeditious transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a SADC Regional Parliament in response to current challenges, including those related to regional integration.
In His Excellency President Nyusi’s view, the SADC Parliament
should not limit its activities to political matters, but also pay attention to economic and social issues, including those related to the Environment. President Nyusi reiterated the need to have a Regional Parliament, just as any other region in Africa.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of Mozambique, Hon. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, welcomed the delegates to the City of Acacia and re-emphasised the need to transform the forum into a Legislative Assembly noting that the issue had been on agenda for a long time. Hon. Dlhovo committed herself to bring the transformation agenda into finality during her presidency.
In a solidarity message delivered by Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, Fourth Vice –President of the Pan African Parliament, he reminded the Plenary Assembly of the need to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development of the continent and ensuring that there is full economic integration on the African continent.
The Hon. PAP Vice -President applauded the Plenary Assembly for choosing a timely topic for deliberation particularly in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.
SYMPOSIUM – “CLIMATE CHANGE, MITIGATION AND
ADAPTATION: THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTS, TOWARDS THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARIS DECLARATION AND THE KATOWICE ROAD MAP".
The Symposium received a brief overview on the impact of climate change in the SADC Region. The region has a population of about 350 million people, with 70% of its population living below the poverty datum line. Again, 70 % of the regional populace rely on natural resources for their livelihood, mainly on agriculture, fisheries and on forestry. The dependence on these natural resources rendered SADC countries susceptible to the impact of climate change and in particular, food insecurity. The Coastal States suffer from floods and the impact of cyclones, while inland States face droughts, and are also impacted upon by cyclones.
The Session was psyched on the need to prepare itself for the emerging challenge of climate migration as people move across borders due to the vagaries of nature.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda made an impassioned plea to his peers for the political will to contrive strategic and concerted mitigatory solutions in order to avert further debilitating climatic environmental consequences.
Hon. Mudenda drew a road map to ensure that National Parliaments approve the Paris Global Climate Change Agreement in view of domesticating it through relevant municipal laws that may need to be crafted and/or reformed. This would require extreme cooperation with the respective SADC Country Executives who must continually craft robust climate change policies as the bedrock of attendant sound climate change laws.
Furthermore, National Parliaments, working with their respective Cabinets, were urged to adopt the Katowice Rule Book as a tool for implementing the Paris Global Climate Change Agreement. This should be done in the context of promoting investment in renewable energy.
National Parliaments, through their relevant Portfolio Committees and in liaison with the appropriate line Ministries that deal with the environment and climate change, must prepare the Biennial Transparency and National Inventory Reports due as from 2024.
SADC PF should encourage its Member Parliaments to ensure that scientifically grounded Departments for Disaster Management are established in their countries as centres of mitigatory climatic change impacts.
Ms. Augusta Maita, Director of the Institute for Disaster Management pledged to avail herself to the region to give expert advice on the need to address the challenges of Climate change from a technical perspective.
RESOLUTIONS ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Pursuant to its mandate, the Executive Committee (EXCO) of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) reported for adoption, issues pertaining to the Management of the forum, the transformation process and commended Plenary Assembly for proposing the relevant and timely theme, “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: The Role of
Parliaments “Towards Implementing the Paris Declaration and the Katowice Roadmap.” The Plenary Assembly acknowledged that the theme could not have come at a more opportune time, particularly in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, which left a trail of death and destruction in the region. Cyclone Idai had provided ample evidence of the reality of climate change and the urgent need to come up with concrete strategies to mitigate climate change and build resilience.
On a sad note, Plenary Assembly, observed a minute of silence and paid tribute to the late Hon. Obedingwa Mguni who passed away on Tuesday 17th June 2019. Plenary Assembly remembered him for his effervescence, incisive contributions and dedication to the forum.
Furthermore, the 45th Plenary Assembly observed a minute of silence in honour of the unfortunate victims of Cyclone Idai in Malawi,
Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Amendments to the Administrative Rules and Regulations of the Forum on Miscellaneous Matters
The Plenary Assembly adopted a resolution to restrict the education allowance payable to staff to one tertiary qualification per child over and above the age limit of 25 years, to prevent situations where the forum funds postgraduate qualifications for employees’
Consideration of the Guidelines to Strengthen the
Accountability and Oversight of the Office of the Secretary-General
The Executive Committee adopted a resolution which will see the implementation of the Guidelines to strengthen the Office of the Secretary-General, including annual assessments by the Executive Committee under the direction of the President of the Forum.
Update on the invitation tendered to the Parliaments of the
Union of Comoros and Madagascar to join the SADC PF
Plenary Assembly adopted a resolution for the Parliament of Seychelles to physically visit the Parliaments of Comoros and Madagascar with a view to persuade them to join the SADC PF since they have not yet responded to the written invitations. The initiative is intended to concretise the Forum’s drive towards full regional integration and co-operation.
Update on Transformation of the Forum into a SADC
Plenary Assembly expressed its gratitude to the President of the SADC PF, Hon. Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, for taking the initiative to meet the incoming SADC Chairperson, the President of the
United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency, Dr. John Joseph
Pombe Magufuli to elicit his support on the transformation agenda.
The SADC PF President had also taken the opportunity to address the thorny issue of the autonomy of the SADC Regional Parliament, by assuring His Excellency, President Magufuli that the Regional
Parliament would be guided by the Summit in its mandate and would seek to complement rather than contradict the ideals and aspirations of the Summit.
Hon. Speaker Professor Katjavivi had, in turn, met with the former President of Tanzania and senior statesman, His Excellency, Benjamin Mkapa, on a different mission but took the opportunity to brief H.E. Mkapa, on the transformation agenda. Incidentally, H.E. Mukapa is scheduled to deliver a presentation at the 39th SADC Summit in August during which he promised to voice his support for the transformation agenda. The Plenary Assembly commended the initiative by Hon. Speaker Professor Katjavivi and agreed that the lobbying initiatives towards transformation should not be restricted to Heads of States alone, but should be extended to include opinion leaders and Senior Statesmen in the Region whose voice could be influential in mobilizing support for transformation.
The Plenary Assembly resolved that the stratagem should include, but not be limited to the following: -
The SADC PF President and the lobbying team must urgently meet with the outgoing SADC Chairperson, His Excellency, President Hage Geingob, before the onset of the 39th SADC Summit scheduled for August to elicit a reaffirmation of his support as one of the avowed champions of the transformation agenda and encourage him to mobilize support for transformation among other Heads of State.
The lobbying team must identify and approach other potential champions prior to the 39th SADC Summit to assist in eliciting a concrete decision by the Summit on the transformation agenda, including but not limited to, the Presidents of Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The SADC PF President must, without delay, appeal to His Excellency President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, to facilitate for the lobbying team to be allowed to address the Council of Ministers and the SADC Summit on the transformation agenda.
Hon. Speaker Dlhovo and Hon. Speaker Professor Katjavivi should leverage on the impending bilateral visit to Mozambique by His Excellency President Hage Geingob, to jointly brief their Heads of State on the status of the transformation agenda and appeal for their backing in mobilizing support before and during the 39th SADC Summit.
The lobbying team should urgently extend its advocacy efforts to the SADC Secretariat and sensitise them on the transformation agenda in order to dispel any misconceptions and negativity they might have towards transformation.
Hon. Speakers must, without delay, seek the support of their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs while the Clerks/Secretaries General should engage Secretaries for Foreign Affairs on the transformation drive to garner their support prior to the 39th SADC Council of Ministers Meeting and Summit.
The Forum Secretariat, with the assistance of Clerks/Secretaries General of National Parliaments, must identify and engage a team of lawyers to assist in developing an indicative Protocol for transformation which resonates with the forum’s thrust as a complementary organ to the Summit.
The Forum Secretariat and Clerks/Secretaries General must engage the media in their respective countries to lobby for support for transformation of the forum into a SADC Regional Parliament.
Adoption of the Oath and Affirmation of Adherence for SADC
PF Members of Parliament
The 44th Plenary Assembly adopted an Oath and Affirmation of adherence for SADC PF Members of Parliament, which was commissioned through research by the Secretariat into best practices in other regional and international Parliamentary organisations. It is envisaged that the Oath and Affirmation of Adherence will provide recourse for the forum in the event that Members exhibit conduct that is likely to undermine the integrity of the forum.
Engagement of Consultant to Develop Risk Management
Pursuant to the recommendations of an Organisational Assessment exercise conducted by KPMG (Zambia), the Plenary Assembly approved the Terms of Reference for the engagement of a Consultant to develop a Risk Management Policy for the forum in line with international best practices.
Update on the Forthcoming SRHR, HIV & AIDS Governance
Project with Sweden
The Plenary Assembly welcomed the impending commencement of the SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance Project following the signing of the Project Agreement in June 2019. The project will cover all the 14 Member Parliaments and is expected to commence on 1st August 2019. The development of the Institutional Risk Management Policy flagged under the Organizational Assessment exercise is part of the requirements for the commencement of the SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance
Improvement of Whistle blowing Policy of the Forum
The Plenary Assembly welcomed the development by the Secretariat of a whistle-blowing policy as part of the recommendations of the Organisational Assessment exercise. The development of a whistle-blowing policy resonates with the forum’s strategic thrust towards enhancing transparency, accountability and upholding the values of honesty and integrity. The Plenary Assembly encouraged the Secretariat to continue exploring ways to improve the complaint system, including introducing a toll-free hotline and suggestion boxes.
The Plenary Assembly noted that Zimbabwe had fully paid its subscriptions up to 2020. This payment has assisted in raising
Zimbabwe’s standing in the regional body since the country is a critical player in most of the initiatives at the Forum.
MOTIONS ADOPTED DURING PLENARY ASSEMBLY
In tandem with its constitutive mandate, as the policy making and deliberative body of SADC PF, the 45th Plenary Assembly discussed and resolved on various issues of regional importance and concern.
Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Regional
Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee
Plenary Assembly adopted the need to prioritise monitoring of the domestication of legal provisions contained in Model Laws developed by the forum, in view of promoting harmonisation of regional legal norms on SRHR, gender equality and democratic elections across the SADC region. This will ensure the SADC citizenry as a whole, benefits from a standardised legal instruments implemented through sovereign parliamentary processes.
In the ensuing debate, the Plenary Assembly stressed the need to strengthen the monitoring exercise by the Committee to ensure that sound, accurate and reliable information is obtained on domestication of model laws. The Plenary Assembly emphasised the need to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the funding of the Election
Observation Missions, given the strategic role that such missions play in advancing democratisation in SADC Member States.
National Parliaments were encouraged to continue marshalling efforts for domestication of all SADC Model Laws, and for Members of Parliament to support gender mainstreaming by advocating for the domestication of the instruments and protocols relating to Gender, and by infusing gender parity on a 50:50 ratio in electoral systems through progressive reforms.
Motion and debate on the Report of the Joint Session of SADC
PF Standing Committees in the SADC Region
The Standing Committees and the RWPC met ahead of the 45th
Plenary Assembly Session to reflectively deliberate on various thematic issues of regional interest and concern. In this regard, Plenary Assembly adopted the following resolutions with regards to the report: -
Status of SADC’s Public Health System, Access to Medicine
and Public Health
There is need to promote access to medicine by harnessing the creation of an alternative pharmaceutical plant in the region post 2033, which will greatly serve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially, Goal number 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and the promotion of the well-being of the people in the region. The SADC Region needs to create an enabling environment that will nurture research into the production capacity of the local and regional pharmaceutical industry in terms of generic essential medicines. Africa needs a regional centre of excellence that will promote, monitor and guide the production of diverse medicines and this should be supported by national and regional alignment of trade policies. A database and a databank of traditional medicines should be established and this should be complemented by a purposeful trade in pharmaceuticals within
On the digital economy, the Plenary Assembly noted the need to: -
Ensure that people in the region have access to internet and the digital economy, including those in the hinterland;
- Take measures that mitigate the high cost of internet to ensure that ordinary people realise the full benefits of the digital economy through affordable access to communication systems;
- Cyber security should play a role in the management and governance of the digital age.
- The Fourth (4th) industrial revolution has given rise to a number of services such as cloud, machine learning, drones, block chain and others. These provide enormous potential for legislators and policy makers to exploit the networks of the digital economy for the benefit of the public sector and their constituencies;
- It was noted that the on-going Huawei trade conflict between the United States of America and China is a potential disservice as it can reduce accessibility to cell phones and the internet and generally the participation in the digital economy;
- At a policy level, the digital economy may be advanced through the adoption of a regional technical roadmap, regional model law and the post adoption popularization and implementation;
- Laws against cyber-crime appear rather rushed and more driven by political motive than the need to regulate the sector and protect the various internet users. The region should play a facilitatory role with regards to the use of the internet; and
- There is need for a robust regional data protection framework to allow the movement of data across countries without exposing the identity and security of the users.
Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development
The Plenary Assembly resolved as follows: -
Parliaments should consider recruiting and placing Youth intern/volunteers at each National Parliament, to provide on-the-job training and workplace exposure to youth at national level, while sustaining initiatives and projects of SADC-PF YDP.
SADC PF and Parliaments to develop a sustainability strategy to cater for youth development initiatives across all development programmes; and
Parliaments must consider secondment of Youth Officers to support implementation activities beyond the contract of the current secondment by Parliament of Namibia.
Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the
Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human
Plenary Assembly resolved as follows: -
The Secretariat should write to all National Parliaments communicating the reputational risk that SADC PF was facing from not participating in Election Missions and therefore, appeal to the Speakers to give the matter favourable consideration.
The Secretariat to facilitate for the Committee, through the Chairperson, to engage the Executive Committee and Speakers to brief them on the matter with a view to finding a collective solution that should see SADC PF deploying Election Observation Missions to the remaining four countries holding elections in 2019, namely Botswana (October), Mozambique (15th October), Namibia (27th November) and Mauritius (December).
There was need to ensure that Plenary Assembly decisions are implemented, including those on the deployment of Parliamentarians to observe elections in Member States, as failure to implement Plenary resolutions could undermine the credibility of SADC PF in the eyes of stakeholders. Parliament of Zimbabwe should maintain its presence for activities such as the Plenary Assembly where robust regional issues are debated.
National Parliaments should be encouraged to prioritise SADC PF activities in the allocation of financial resources to the regional body as compared to International Parliamentary bodies.
The Committee, through the Chairperson, will table a draft resolution to the 46th Plenary Assembly proposing the way forward on the funding of SADC PF election observation missions, taking into consideration consultations with the Executive Committee and Speakers of National Parliaments.
Adoption of the Report of the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes
Plenary Assembly resolved that:
The Secretariat continues to work with Sweden to finalise Phase 2 of the SRHR, HIV and AIDS Governance Project which will be implemented in 14 countries of the SADC region. The forum reaffirmed its commitment to prioritise Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) as part of its human and social development priorities, especially given the known linkages between SRH and the transmission of HIV which still notoriously influences the SADC region;
Furthermore, National Parliaments must continue to work together to share experiences and cross-learn on Sexual Reproductive and Human and Development issues under the auspices of the forum, and additionally continue holding governments to account on their SRH commitments.
Motion and debate for the adoption of the Report of the
Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and
The Plenary Assembly acknowledged the devastating effects of
Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Sovereign Debt on the development of Southern Africa and Africa and stressed the need to address these challenges head on.
SADC countries were encouraged to urgently address the debt crisis which is re-emerging in the region. Whilst those facing debt distress should devise strategies to address this undesirable state, the rest of the region should not be complacent. Sovereign Debt is inadvertently resulting in countries mortgaging the future generations.
The complex issues of Sovereign Debt required all the different stakeholders to work together. Parliament, civil society and the media are important players and should join forces in addressing IFFs and
Motion and Debate for the Adoption of the Report of the
Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus
The Plenary Assembly resolved as follows: -
SADC Member States must domesticate global, regional and subregional instruments that seek to strengthen the rights of women and girls. SADC-PF should support efforts that seek to promote gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting across the SADC-PF region. The RWPC should continue to coordinate with stakeholders, especially Civil Society Organisations to develop a robust multistakeholder partnership framework that can act holistically to promote gender equality, SRH and women empowerment. SADC-PF should support RWPC efforts that seek to promote 50 percent gender parity in political governance. The RWPC, with the coordination of the Secretariat, should continue to liaise with all institutional organs of the forum and address cross-cutting issues relating to women which transcends different thematic areas. SADC-PF should strengthen efforts and initiatives that seek to work with men as development partners, e.g. the HeforShe campaign.
Motion and Debate for the Adoption of the Report of the Food,
Agriculture Committee (FANR)
Plenary Assembly noted the devastation on the 14th and 15th of March 2019 caused by Cyclone Idai as it made a landfall near Beira city, and in parts of Eastern Zimbabwe and Malawi which led to catastrophic destruction of infrastructure, property and livelihoods. Usually, cyclones form in the Central Indian Ocean – giving sufficient time for affected countries to prepare to reduce a disaster. On the contrary, Idai started off deceptively weak and then grew incrementally to strike a big blow on the three affected countries.
Climate change should be linked to issues of poverty, equity, justice, politics and economics. Both politicians and the ordinary people should come up with mitigatory strategies and building resilience.
Environmental pollution as a result of waste mismanagement including chemicals should be discouraged. Pollution waste unfortunately ends up in drainage systems and results in blockages and contamination of water and the environment. Parliaments should enact legislation that imposes deterrent sentences on such would-be polluters.
Climate change, as observed from changed rainfall patterns and other environmental phenomenon, is a reality and not mere theory. It is therefore important to give priority to crops like cassava and sorghum which are drought resistant and can survive short and erratic rainfall patterns.
There is a need to resuscitate and appreciate indigenous knowledge systems about the environment and the weather in particular, as coastal communities used to anticipate cyclones and other climatic conditions and put the necessary precautions in place.
Cyclones are an environmental phenomenon and a reality of climate change and have both negative and positive consequences. Human beings therefore, have no choice but to embrace the reality of climate change and in particular, the phenomenon of cyclones and put in place the necessary mitigatory measures to build resilience.
Regional and national disaster management and coordination through the strengthening of early warning systems and pooling of resources is the best way to deal with the effects of climate change.
SADC governments must, as a matter of priority, individually and collectively provide funding for disaster management initiatives. SADC Parliaments should exercise oversight over these initiatives and assess their disaster preparedness.
DEBATES ON MOTIONS BY MEMBER PARLIAMENTS
Motion on Beneficiation of the Extractive Sector in the SADC region
Plenary Assembly noted that the African continent is endowed with mineral resources which are capable of fully sustaining the livelihoods of its citizenry.
The meeting recalled that the colonial contact of Africa with the
West was based on and triggered by the mineral wealth of Africa.
Plenary Assembly urged Member States to prioritise beneficiation and value addition to the region's mineral resources in order to ensure maximisation of their value, thereby enhancing governments capacity to mobilise revenue for delivery of public services.
Motion on the Promotion of Renewable Energy in the SADC
Plenary Assembly resolved to: -
Urge SADC governments to urgently diversify from the conventional sources of energy to the more abundant renewable and other non-conventional sources such as solar, wind, gas and minihydros;
Implore SADC to prioritise the development of a regional mechanism to invest in the development of Inga Dam Phase Two which has the potential to make the region and Africa as a whole energy selfsufficient;
Encourage SADC countries to invest in power plants such as the
Kafue Gorge Hydropower Station in Zambia, the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station which is a 1,600 megawatts hydroelectric power station planned to be on the Zambezi River across the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. This initiative among others will enhance the capacity of Member States to export and import electricity from each other.
Recommend increased and innovative investment in the region’s energy infrastructure as most of the power plants were commissioned in the 1960s and 1970s and with no significant investment made in recent years, by creating an enabling environment for international investment and public-private partnerships.
Suggest the application of the principles of cost reflective electricity tariffs concurrent with pro-poor measures to ensure sustainability of the sector and access by the poor.
Urged national governments to provide targeted funding for rural and peri-urban electrification initiatives in order to ensure access to electricity by the majority in the hinterland; and,
Encouraged SADC Member Parliaments, in particular the Parliamentary Committees on Energy, to ensure effective oversight on the energy sector, the engagement of all role players and the strategic utilisation of legislative and budgetary measures to advance the sector, in particular the renewable energy.
Motion on the Need for a Lasting Solution Regarding Funding for SADC PF election Observation Missions
Plenary Assembly urged the Executive Committee to engage Speakers of Member Parliaments and the Chairperson of the
Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights Standing Committee with a view to finding a collective and lasting solution that should see SADC PF deploying Election Observation Missions to the remaining four countries holding elections in 2019, namely Botswana (October),
Mozambique (15th October), Namibia (27th November) and Mauritius (December), (This resolution is read with the Resolutions under Item
Motion on the Negative Effects of Plastic on the Environment
Plenary Assembly endorsed the international campaign
"PRODUCE, USE AND RE-USE" as opposed to "PRODUCE, USE
AND DISPOSE" and urged all stakeholders nationally and regionally, including industry and business to embrace this approach. The meeting prompted national governments and other stakeholders to initiate and sustain national and community campaigns to raise awareness about the devastating effects of plastic on the environment and to create incentives which will promote positive action in this regard.
Member Parliaments and their Executive arms were encouraged to urgently take legislative measures to regulate and eliminate plastic usage in order to protect the environment and to ensure effective implementation of such legislation and monitoring of the same.
Member States were encouraged to fully support SADC’s environmental management and sustainable development objectives through the promotion of pollution control, waste management and environmental education.
Hon. Members, I will move to therecommendations.
|17.1||Transformation of SADC PF into a Regional Parliament.||-The Hon. Speaker to lead the local mobilisation of support for the transformation agenda.
-Lobbying process with the Executive to continue formally and informally.
|17.2||Resolution on the Paris Global
Climate Change Agreement and Katowice Roadmap with a in view to domesticate and make follow-up action through relevant municipal laws
|-Line Ministry to meet with
Portfolio Committee on
Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Water and Rural Resettlement to report on preparations of the
Biennial Transparency and National Inventory Reports due as from 2024.
- Parliament of Zimbabwe to play its oversight role by ensuring that
|the Civil Protection Unit of Zimbabwe is scientifically
grounded for Disaster Management
|17.3||Harnessing the full benefits of the digital economy and mitigating the harmful effects of Cyber -crime||-The Committee to include in its
Work Plan the role of the Fourth (4th) industrial revolution and its attendant benefits. The Ministry of Science and Technology to unpack the related benefits such as cloud computing, machine learning, drones, block chain and others.
-The Committee on ICT, Postal and Courier Services to conduct oversight on progress in the establishment of internet services
in rural areas
|17.4||Parliament to domesticate global, regional and subregional instruments that seek to strengthen the rights of women and girls.
The institution to strengthen synergies with men in mainstreaming gender issues.
|-The ZWPC to strengthen efforts and initiatives that seek to work with men as partners on issues related to gender, e.g. the HeforShe campaign.
|17.5||Portfolio Committees to take active interest in Climate Change issues as they relate to poverty, equity, justice, humanitarian, politics and economics.||-Liaison with the Ministry of
Energy and Power Development for the development of clean methods of energy production.
|17.6||Beneficiation of the extractive sector
|-The Mines and Mining
Development Ministry to be engaged to prioritise beneficiation and value addition to the country’s mineral resources including lithium, chrome ore, gold in order to ensure maximisation of their value thereby enhancing
Government’s ‘capacity to mobilise revenue for delivery of public
|17.7||Ban on the use of plastic in the country||-Parliament of Zimbabwe, through the Portfolio Committee on Environment, to urgently undertake legislative measures to regulate and eliminate plastic usage in order to protect the environment and to ensure effective implementation of such legislation and monitoring of the same.
|17.8||Enhancement of Election Observation Missions||-Plenary Assembly urged the
Executive Committee to engage Speakers of Member Parliaments and the Chairperson of the Democratisation Governance and
Human Rights Standing
Committee with a view to finding a collective and lasting solution that should see SADC PF deploying Election Observation Missions to the remaining four countries holding elections in 2019, namely Botswana
(October), Mozambique (15th
October), Namibia (27th
November) and Mauritius
|17.9||Harnessing the importance of
|-Promotion, monitoring and guidance on the production of diverse medicines which should be supported by national and regional alignment of trade policies. The oversight role to be championed by the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Welfare.||September
The Plenary Assembly appreciated the excellent hosting arrangements made by the National Assembly of Mozambique noting that the country hosted the 44th Plenary Assembly and is still recovering from the effects of Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth. Parliament of
Zimbabwe stands to benefit by adopting resolutions of the 45th Plenary Assembly as they summarise the collective concerns of citizens in the region.
The delegation led by Hon. Speaker Advocate Jacob Francis.
Mudenda must be commended for raising the country’s flag high by participating actively and making incisive contributions during deliberations on reports and motions before the Plenary Assembly. The
President of the SADC PF, Hon. Speaker Dlhovo and the SADC PF Secretariat, through the Secretary General Ms Boemo Sekgoma, acknowledged the high standard of debate set by the Zimbabwean delegates which fostered lively interface and positive interaction during the Plenary Assembly. I thank you.
HON. NDIWENI: I stand to second the motion by Hon.
Kwaramba on the 45th Plenary Session of the SADC PF. Mr. Speaker Sir, the theme of the Plenary Session at that time was very accurate, considering it was soon after the region was struck by the unfortunate natural disaster which was in the form of Cyclone Idai. Mr. Speaker Sir, global warming is real and it is prudent for the region to make a collective effort in tackling global warming which then leads to climate change. In our region Mr. Speaker Sir, and Zimbabwe in particular, we have had years of countless droughts. Our neighbours have had floods and Zimbabwe has had flash floods, not mentioning the catastrophic Cyclone Idai. If we throw our minds back, we also had Cyclone Eline. This was mainly due to climate change and global warming.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is prudent that SADC looks at climate change and take measures that have to alleviate climate change. How can SADC look at such a phenomenon Mr. Speaker Sir. The collective efforts that we should see SADC adopting would be maybe looking at fuel. If we look at fuel, blending of fuel should be uniform in all the countries but you find different countries in SADC are approaching the blending of fuel differently because the emission from fuel affects our climate, albeit in a small manner. If we have a uniform approach to fuel blending, that could have an effect of controlling climate change in our region.
If you look at our region again on energy generation, some countries are going away and moving towards clean energy Mr. Speaker Sir, but others are still sticking to thermal energy production which we should actually move away from. Because of the different positions in which our countries find ourselves in, you find countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa are still depending on thermal energy but there is need for a collective approach on energy generation so that all the countries in the SADC region move towards generation of clean energy.
If we also look at production of products such as asbestos, you are aware Mr. Speaker Sir that Zimbabwe was one of the producers of asbestos which unfortunately according to climate change activities, is very bad for health. You realise that some countries in the SADC region are still producing asbestos. Some are trying to move away but then you find that at times even if a particular country is trying to move away from asbestos production, it supports your economy so much that you find that it is difficult for the country to move away from asbestos production when you are relying on it towards revival of the economy of your country.
Having said that Mr. Speaker Sir, there is need like alluded to initially that the countries in the SADC PF move towards clean energy. Let us look at solar and hydro, hydro is cleaner than coal energy. Other countries are even looking at nuclear energy. South Africa is one of the countries in our SADC region that is moving towards nuclear energy. Mr. Speaker Sir, all along our region used to talk of global warming, it was like something that was farfetched. We never imagined ourselves having to be affected by climate change and global warming but now coming closer home with all these calamities that have befallen our region in the past and recently there is need then that the Southern African community realises that the movement towards clean energy is now rather than tomorrow, I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I just want to add my voice to the report tabled by Hon. Kwaramba and seconded by Hon. Ndiweni. There are just a few issues that I just want to touch on. The first one is the tail end of his debate, the climate. How do I want to debate on that? I make a clarion call that there is capacitation of the Civil Protection Unit or the Disaster Management Committee so that in the event of such an occurrence, we do not have a recurrence of a lot of lives that get lost.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as a nation, we lost more than 354 people in Chimanimani, we also had more than 100 000 houses destroyed, we have more than 350 people who went missing. We also have about 1600 people that are said to be internally displaced because of the magnitude and stature of the disaster caused by Cyclone Idai. To capacitate our Civil Protection Unit and our Disaster Management Committees, it is my view that we need to utilise what we have in order to get what we want. What do we have? We are endowed with ubiquitous amounts of mineral wealth, it is my thinking Mr. Speaker Sir, that at least 5% of the deliveries to Fidelity be accounted for and be given to capacitate the Civil Protection Unit so that we do not have a reoccurrence of such magnitude.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I say this because I come in from a place called
Chegutu West Constituency where when disaster did strike, the cholera epidemic, we lost more than 400 lives. So this to us as Chegutu West is another recurrence of such a disaster. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is the first issue.
The second issue that I want to touch on that was raised in the
SADC PF was that of marginalisation of the albino population. Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of disability does not mean inability. The people that are different in pigmentation in terms of lack of it who are called albinos are people just like us. They are said to be mutilated, murdered for ritual purposes in countries such as Malawi. We had Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswathini, they actually repudiated and disagreed with the notion that they were also involved in albino population marginalisation, mutilation and murdering for ritual purposes.
Be that as it may, it becomes very clear that the SADC countries that were there were speaking with one voice against the murder of the albino population to an extent that the Zimbabwean delegation actually said there were efforts that were being made in Zimbabwe to support the albino population in terms of getting creams. They are prone to the effect of climate change and the global warming phenomenon as it relates to when their skin is exposed. So the creams that they use are quite expensive. There is an Albino Association here in Zimbabwe that is actually grappled with trying to alleviate the plight of the albino population Mr. Speaker Sir. I went to depth trying to look at the verses of the Bible as to how another human being can antagonize another human being to the extent of mutilating them for ritual purposes. I went to depth and called on all the verses and showed all the participants there that these were people just like everybody else and that inability did not reside in disability. If at all these people that we call albinos and the other marginalised, they are differently abled but we are all people together.
The third issue and the last one Mr. Speaker Sir, is the issue of the coordination, cooperation and networking that we saw immediately after the March 2019 Cyclone Idai. We saw the military from South Africa come and get embedded with the infrastructure developers in Zimbabwe in Chimanimani. My point exactly is: this is when we see that the soldiers - and military are as endowed with technical aptitude and ability in the same manner like the civilian population.
I take this opportunity as I did in Mozambique to applaud the coordination and cooperation that exists between the military entities in the SADC region. We saw the South Africans coming into Zimbabwe not with guns but with roses and my thinking also that they came in and got embedded with their counterparts in Zimbabwe. They can still compete at the same level with the other civil engineers and infrastructure developers. I again make a clarion call that in all tender processes, let us not marginalize the military in that they have shown and proven their prowess, that they can do it in the face of challenges such as the global pandemic or the global Cyclone Idai or the SADC Cyclone Idai which by the way, affected more than a million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir as I conclude, I also call upon the SADC region and the continent as a whole to desist and move away from fossil fuels and go towards alternative sources of energy in order that we alleviate the plight of the suffering masses caused by global warming that is caused by some of these archaic, moribund and rudimental fuels that we are currently utilizing. The biggest transgressors of the climate change are the industrialized nations Mr. Speaker Sir, and who are those? These are the Americans, all other developed nations and we the developing nations bear the brunt.
I call upon them Mr. Speaker Sir, to give more towards climate change. This is the time that we should be coming together as a global community rather than segregating each other. Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this report.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for
affording me this opportunity to express my perceptions and ventilate on this very important topical issue on climate change.
Climate change is real and climate change is now a disaster. I must say that Africa’s contribution to the destruction of the ozone layer is just 2%, whilst 98% is as a result of the role that is played by the industrialized world. The developed world are countries in North America, Europe, China and so forth. So, what are we doing as a continent because Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the effects of climate change? Climate change manifests itself in various ways – in the form of floods and persistent droughts.
In Zimbabwe, for instance, we now have two years in a row where we have experienced a lot of food shortages as a result of climate change due to these persistent droughts. It is also important to know that
Cyclone Idai is a case in point where thousands of people perished in
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. So, I would recommend to this august House that it is important and prudent to ensure that we have to do something to curb the effects of climate change.
One of the recommendations that we need to adopt is the teaching of climate change in our schools. The curriculum needs to be fine-tuned so that students appreciate the importance of climate change from ECDA through to university level. It is also important to ensure that even this august House needs to deal with the effects of climate change. How do we do it? We need to craft policies and legislate measures that will reduce the effects of climate change. People or companies that would emit gases into the ozone layer willy nilly - there should be penalties to ensure that is reduced.
Otherwise, I would like to thank you Hon. Speaker for this opportunity. I thank you.
*HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me
the opportunity to contribute to this debate on the report that was tabled by Hon. Kwaramba and seconded by Hon. Ndiweni.
The presentation made by Hon. Kwaramba underscores the importance of issues discussed. The delegation came back with resolutions that deserve our serious attention. I would also want to pay tribute to the leadership of Hon. Adv. Mudenda, the Speaker of Parliament who led the delegation that went to Maputo, Mozambique to attend the meeting that was held at the Joachim Chissano International Conference Center. Hon. Speaker, the venue of the meeting is Joachim Chissano International Conference Center.
I want us to reflect on the reason why it was named the Joachim Chissano International Conference Center. SADC has a revolutionary history. We need to know where we are right now and where we intend to go. Joachim Chissano a FRELIMO leader who fought in the struggle to liberate Mozambique and also assisted Zimbabwe to attain its
Independence. Therefore SADC is guided by the founding principles of
Pan Africanism. Mr. Chissano was the first leader to …in Maputo as eventually Mr. Machel took over.
The second point Mr. Speaker Sir, I totally agree with Hon. Ndiweni that climate change is a reality. Rainfall patterns are changing and seasons are no longer following traditional patterns. Looking at climate change, the environment and variation in season, we need to prepare accordingly so that we have food security in the country. This was a serious issue which was discussed in Mozambique. This means that for us to have food security, for us to store grains and enough food to cater for our needs as a nation, it is necessary to increase agricultural products. We need to appreciate environmental and climate change issues. Let us hold on to the principle of being our own liberators. We are a principled people who set ourselves free from imperialism. Let us do the same with poverty. We can do that if we learn from the deliberations presented by Hon. Kwaramba from their Mozambique meeting. Maximum use of our land will set us free from poverty, hunger and deprivation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we were told that we need to prepare ourselves so that we overcome natural disasters like Cyclone Idai which happened in Chimanimani. I would like to also propose that we start with the home made disasters of veld fires which are destroying our forests. Some of our people behave as if they are possessed. Veld fires destroy forests because of people who will be hunting rats. Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Kwaramba emphasised that issues raised by SADC should cascade to different countries within the SADC grouping. We have the challenge of gold panners who destroy the environment. Deep gullies are foung in river beds so much that should there be floods, bodies of people swept by the water will never be retrieved. Artisanal miners need to look after the environment.
Mr. Speaker Sir, health issues that were raised in Hon.
Kwaramba’s presentation seemed to prepare is for the COVID-19. This meeting which was held in July last in the Joaquim Chissano
International Conference Centre was looking at posterity. We must plan for the future today.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Speaker Hon. Adv. Mudenda went to Qatar and you were part of that delegation. You came and gave feedback to the House recommending possible business ventures. Hon. Kwaramba’s presentation reminded me of that. I noted that SADC is saying that we need to have a SADC pharmaceutical factory which will manufacture madecine for our region.
Zimbabwe is centrally located looking at the distances between the different continents like America, Asia and other continents. Zimbabwe can operate 24 hours servicing these countries. We can target different countries the world-over. Adv. Mudenda and his delegation have done it again. Zimbabwe should be the pharmaceutical hurb for the SADC region. We have all the human resources; the sun, water and leadership.
That is why we say ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’. I believe that this presentation should be taken seriously so that we respond accordingly.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, a point was raised. The point that with technological advancement through the season or what we are going through right now, we were told that we need to be very innovative, particularly looking at cyber issues. The report which was presented by
Hon. Kwaramba should be translated into Shona and Ndebele instead of just being presented in English. It should also be translated into Venda, Kalanga and other official languages. We need to read the report and contextualise it. Issues raised and recommendations made shape our future. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you Hon. Kwaramba for the
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MAKONYA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd June, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the House reverts to Order
HON. K. PARADZA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON AMENDMENT OF
SECTION 129 (I) (K) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE ON
THE ORDER PAPER
HON. T. MLISWA: I move the motion standing in my name; that the motion on the request to urgently amend Section 129 (1) (k) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which was superseded by the end of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order Number 73.
HON. MUNETSI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number 12.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SECOND REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON
THE ANALYSIS OF THE 2017 AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT
ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES
HON. RAIDZA: I rise to present the Second Report of the Public
Accounts Committee on the analysis of the 2017 Auditor General’s
Report on Local Authorities focusing on Kariba Municipality, Karoi City Council, Chegutu Municipality and Chinhoyi Municipality.
1.1. Pursuant to Parliament’s role provided for in section 119 of the Constitution, the Public Accounts Committee performs its functions to ensure that provisions of the Constitution are “upheld and that the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level act constitutionally and in the national interest.”
1.2. In ensuring that section 119 of the Constitution is upheld, the Committee also draws its mandate from section 299 of the Constitution which compels Parliament to “monitor and oversee expenditure by the State and all Commissions and institutions and agencies of Government at every level, including statutory bodies, government controlled entities, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities.”
1.3. In a number of countries including Zimbabwe, local authorities have recently been incorporated into the category of entities whose accounts are now subjected to audit by the Auditor General. As such, the Public Accounts Committee has a duty to analyse the Auditor
General’s Report on local authorities in line with Standing Order No. 16 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the National Assembly which reads: “There must be a Committee on Public Accounts, for the examination of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure and of such other accounts laid before
Parliament as the committee may think fit.”
2.0. SIGNIFICANCE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES
2.1. Local authorities comprise of urban authorities and rural authorities established in terms of sections 274 and 275 of the
Constitution respectively. The authorities are established to represent
and manage the affairs of people in urban and rural areas throughout Zimbabwe. In doing so, council officials collect money from residents and receive grants from central government in order to implement developmental programmes in areas of their jurisdictions. These programmes are mainly in the form of service delivery which includes provision of water and sanitation, refuse collection, provision of residential stands or houses and provision of health services among others.
3.1. The Committee conducted an analysis of the Auditor’s Report for Local Authorities for the Year Ended December 31st 2017 focussing on the issues raised and recommendations made by the Auditor General.
The Auditor General, according to Section 309 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and Section 6 (1) of the Audit Office Act, is mandated to audit the accounts of any public entity, or designated corporate body and to carry out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which any Ministry, public entity, local authority, designated corporate body, statutory fund or other body has used public resources in discharging its functions.
3.2. In the 2017 Auditor General’s Report, the Auditor General noted that some progress had been made by local authorities to bring their audit accounts up to date as this had been a challenge in previous years. Without financial accounts, it becomes virtually impossible to scrutinise the financial transactions of a local authority or any entity. The absence of financial records renders the local authority unaccountable to its residents and deprives the local authority of vital information useful in decision making.
3.3. Due to time and financial resources limitations, a few local authorities were invited for oral evidence and these were Kariba
Municipality on 17 November 2018 in Kariba, Kadoma City Council on
15 February 2019, Chegutu Municipality on 16 February 2019 and Chinhoyi Municipality on 17 February 2019 in Kadoma. The choice of local authorities invited for oral evidence was determined by the
Committee’s priority list based on those local authorities with serious issues that needed attention. Others were invited owing to their proximity to the location the Committee was conducting its business, during two of its capacity building workshops.
3.4. During the oral evidence sessions, the Committee sought to establish the extent to which these local authorities had addressed audit queries by implementing recommendations made by the Auditor General, some of which management would have undertaken to implement as reflected in their management responses to the Auditor General.
4.0 COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS
An analysis of the issues raised by the Auditor General and the observations by the Committee during interaction with officials from the local authorities revealed a general trend and similarities from one authority to the other. The issues are outlined in this part of the report and below each finding are Committee’s recommendations:
4.1 Failure to Prepare and Submit financial statements for audit
4.1.1 Despite the observation made by the Auditor General that there had been progress made by local authorities to bring their audit accounts up to date, the statistics provided were not pleasing. The number of local authorities that were still outstanding in the submission of financial statements for audit at the time of the Auditor General’s tabling the 2017 Report on 30 June 2018 for the years ended 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were 2, 8, 22 and 63, respectively.
4.1.2 Out of the four local authorities whose accounts were analysed by the Committee, only Kariba Municipality was up to date with regards to preparation and submission of financial statements for audit. Kadoma City Council had a backlog from 2015, Chinhoyi Municipality from 2016 and Chegutu Municipality from 2014.
4.1.3 Officials from Kadoma City Council attributed the failure to prepare accounts to inadequate staff. They argued that the introduction of RTGS and Ecocash transactions resulted in an increased workload in comparison to the lean staff in the Finance Department. To address the challenge, the Committee was informed that the City Council employed contract workers and adopted a computerised programme for producing financial accounts.
4.1.4 The Committee was informed that Chinhoyi Municipality experienced a human resources gap in the Finance Department. The municipality officials submitted that in 2012, the Finance Director an economist by qualification hired by the Executive Mayor failed to produce the financial statements. The Committee was informed that after his departure, an auditor was engaged and he too failed to produce statements before he parted ways with the municipality. The then deputy finance director took over and worked on the accounts. The local authority’s officials indicated that they had since addressed human resources gap by engaging graduate trainees.
4.1.5 Chegutu Municipality officials submitted that they were aware of their obligation to submit accounts within a specified period. They also submitted that during the 2013 to 2014 period, the then Finance Director misappropriated funds and was dismissed. They reported that the new Finance Director prepared accounts for 2014 and 2015 with those for 2016 having been completed and the management letter was being finalised. The Committee was advised that accounts for
2017 were being finalised and the roadmap was that by June 2019 Council would be up to date.
4.2 Committee’s Observation
4.2.1 The Committee noted that the way in which municipalities were being run were not in line with sound public finance management requirements and in contravention of the Constitution, the Audit Office Act and the Public Finance Management Act. The Committee wonders whether funds to be allocated to lower tiers through devolution would not be a case of throwing money down the drain. It is unacceptable to the Committee for any local authority to operate with a backlog in the preparation of its financial statements.
- All local authorities with a backlog should clear their backlogs by 31 July, 2020.
- The Auditor General’s Office should help local authorities to get assistance from qualified staff to ensure that they are up to date with preparation of financial the statements.
5.0 Outdated Valuation Rolls
5.1. The Auditor General observed during the time of the audit that a number of local authorities were operating with outdated valuation rolls. These valuation rolls are important in as far as they assist local authorities to charge residents appropriate rates that are compatible with the current economic status. In her report, the Auditor General observed that Kadoma City Council and Karoi Town Council had valuation rolls last updated in 2003 and 2001 respectively.
5.1.1 Officials from Kadoma City Council informed the Committee that they did not have an updated valuation roll despite giving the Auditor General an undertaking that they would update it by November 2016. Officials submitted to the Committee that an attempt to update it had revealed some omissions upon testing. The Committee was informed that most of the work had been done and was being verified.
Officials advised the Committee that council’s deadline for readvertising was end of July 2019.
5.1.2 Kariba Municipality officials had updated the valuation roll, which was dated 1 January 2017 although the municipality had not yet started implementing it. They stated that some modalities required the municipality to engage stakeholders. The officials argued that consultations were important since its implementation would result in an increase in rates.
5.1.3 Chinhoyi officials had an updated valuation roll which had been updated in 2016. The effective date for the new valuation roll was January 2017. Officials acknowledged that council had lost potential revenue as it had used estimates until the new valuation roll was put in place.
5.2 Committee’s Observation
5.2.1 The Committee noted that the local authorities that had outdated valuation rolls may be undercharging and losing potential revenue due to the use of these outdated valuation rolls.
1. All local authorities should have updated valuation rolls by
31 July 2020 in line with sections 247 and 248 of the Urban Councils Act.
- The Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing, in approving budgets, should insist that all local authorities have updated valuation rolls.
6.0 Non Remittance of Statutory Deductions
6.1 The Auditor General in her report, highlighted that remittance of statutory and other obligations had continued to be an issue over the years. These remittances included deductions by local authorities for employees’ contributions to the National Social Security Authority, Pay As You Earn, Value Added Tax, Medical Aid and Pension Funds. Notable cases were Chitungwiza Municipality which had a total of $19 475 623, Marondera Municipality $9 771 162, Kariba Municipality $4 883 290, Kadoma City Council $4 640 171 and Karoi
Town Council $1 508 922.
6.1.1 Kadoma City Council officials admitted to the Committee that most of its pensioners were not accessing their pay-outs in time because council was failing to remit deductions. Officials presented before the Committee that the local authority was unable to pay its
17.3% contribution and that the percentage was an issue of contention.
To try and assist pensioners, officials engaged the Local Authorities Pension Fund to pay a lump sum of the pension when it falls due to a worker and council would meet the monthly payments. The Committee was advised that total outstanding statutory obligations was reduced to about $3 million and council appealed for a reversal of penalties imposed on Pay As You Earn.
6.1.2 Kariba Municipality officials informed the Committee that the municipality made arrangements with the Local Authorities Pension Fund to remit $500 on a daily basis. The Committee was also informed that the municipality also agreed with ZIMRA on a $ 300 and $ 1 700 daily payments for VAT and PAYE respectively. Officials indicated that these payments would amount to monthly payment requirements. What would remain outstanding for the municipality were arrears for the previous years. It was submitted that the municipality entered into arrangements with ZIMDEF and NSSA and that payments to the latter were up to date. The officials gave global figures of the amount the municipality was owed as $13 million and the amount the municipality owed creditors at $12 million.
6.1.3 Chinhoyi Municipality officials submitted to the Committee that the local authority made payment plans with the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority, Old Mutual, Local Authorities Pension Fund and the National Social Security Authority. The Committee was advised that the municipality was up to date with the agreed plans.
6.2 Committee’s Observation
6.2.1 The Committee noted that most of the local authorities are lagging behind in terms of forwarding remittances for statutory deductions.
Local authorities lagging behind in terms of remittances should be up to date with such remittances by 31 July 2020.
7.0 Missing Expenditure Vouchers
7.1 At the time of the audit, a number of local authorities had not presented supporting documents such as quotations, receipts and invoices on expenditures incurred. This poses a risk in that some expenditure may not be a proper charge on the Council and fraud may go undetected.
7.1.1 For Kadoma City Council, the total value of expenditure that did have supporting value was $ 32 033. The breakdown of this total had amounts of $ 4 407 and $ 5 000 reflected twice for the same description of goods, chemicals and medicines. In the absence of supporting documents, a real possibility exists that the same goods could have been paid for twice.
7.1.2 Council officials submitted that voucher No. 56 related to payments to a company called A I Davis. It was further submitted that the voucher was collected after payment and the voucher had been misplaced at the time of the audit. City Council officials informed the Committee that supporting documents for amounts of $5 000 for chemicals and medicines were attached to the original voucher.
7.1.3 With respect to Chegutu Municipality, expenditure amounting to $1 423 117 did not have supporting documents availed for inspection by the Auditor General and therefore the validity and accuracy of the expenditure could not be verified. The municipality’s officials submitted that payment vouchers in respect of $ 1 423 117 were later availed for inspection and that from June 2017, a system was put in place as recommended by the internal audit. The Committee was assured that before any expenditure is made, the internal auditor would go through the papers.
7.2 Committee’s Observation
7.2.1 The Committee noted that local authorities may be committing cases of fraud as they are not presenting supporting documentation for expenditures incurred.
All future payments by local authorities should be processed with the relevant vouchers being filed.
8.0 Employment Costs
8.1 The audit revealed that Kariba Municipality did not adhere to the 30:70 percent threshold with respect to employment costs and service delivery. The officials informed the Committee that they submitted the Municipality’s budget to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, whose ratio of employment costs to service delivery was 40:60. They indicated that the budget was approved after the municipality had proposed some strategies to reach the accepted ratio. One of the strategies the Municipality proposed was not to fill in a position created when an employee retired or passed on.
8.1.1 On the variance between the municipality’s wage bill and the financial statement balance, the officials stated that Council engaged a doctor and some locum nurses whose payments did not go through the normal payroll system. It was submitted that the balances were reconciled and the recommendation that all payments be channelled through the payroll was adopted.
8.1.2 The Auditor observed a variance of $170 417 between the payroll balance and the balance in the financial statements which Chegutu Municipality officials could not explain. The financial statements had an amount of $2 598 285 and the payroll had an amount of $2 768 703. Officials submitted that after conducting their investigations, they established that the figure in the financial statements had been extracted from Paynet and had been understated. The
Committee was advised that $ 2 768 703 had elements of fuel and water. The Committee was informed that the control measure put in place to avoid variances of this nature involved authorisation of all payments and filing of all the documents.
8.1.3 At the time of the audit, Chinhoyi Municipality owed salary and bonus arrears totalling $ 5 082 648to their employees dating back to 2014. The Committee was informed that the 2014 salaries were cleared and that employees were owed $1,4 million as at December 2018. The Municipality officials advised the Committee that in February 2019, council was paying employees their September 2018 salaries. The officials submitted that the municipality employed a credit controller to try and improve revenue collection and that special promotions were being conducted in order to encourage residents to pay their rates. The Committee was informed that commercial customers owing council were handed over to lawyers.
8.1.4 With respect to former ZINWA workers, council officials indicated that the amount was reduced to $ 63 107, 00 with the outstanding amounts for reinstated and deceased employees having been cleared. The Committee was informed that the matter relating to arbitration was before the courts and that in February 2019 the parties decided to engage each other to reach an out of court settlement.
8.2 Committee’s Observations
8.2.1 The Committee noted that local authorities indeed owed their workers huge salaries arrears. They were also not adhering to the prescribed ratio of 30:70 for salaries and service delivery, thereby negatively impacting service delivery. It was also noted that budgets were not applied as approved.
- The Ministry of Local Government should conduct staff audits for local authorities and implement structural reforms to ensure that local authorities comply with the 30:70 ratio by 31 July 2020.
- All local authorities should improve industrial relations and pay all outstanding salaries to their workers by 31 July 2020.
9.0 Water Supply Shortages
9.1. The Auditor General noted that a number of municipalities experienced a general increase in population size resulting in the current daily demand for water exceeding the local authorities’ capacity to supply adequate water to residents. She noted that the incapacity was mostly related to installed infrastructure.
9.1.1. The situation relating to the reservoir in Kariba was reported in the Audit Report as so dire to the extent that water had to be pumped 24 hours a day directly from the treatment plant to consumers. This was reported to be exacerbated by power outages which resulted in immediate water cut off.
9.1.2. Kariba Municipality officials stressed to the Committee that as a local authority, they did not have water problems. They stated that the steel water tank at Mahombekombe and water reservoirs at Gibb Coyne had not been repaired, thus the challenge lay in storing water in those reservoirs before pumping it to residents. They added that some new tanks were constructed at Baobab Hill and Kasese, two of the municipality’s new suburbs. It was submitted that the rehabilitation of the two tanks was outstanding because of financial problems. The municipality reported that it had been bidding for PSIP funds every year without success. In terms of resources requirements, the officials submitted that one of the tanks required US$135 000 with the other tank requiring US$ 300 000. To try and address the funding challenge, officials indicated that the municipality was negotiating for set offs with
ZETDC with respect to electricity bills.
9.1.3 Against a background of a high number of non-functional meters, Kariba Municipality officials informed the Committee that all the public places had been metered. They stated that the Municipality created district metering areas and the intention was to determine the rates of non-revenue water which had gradually gone down from about 50%. It was reported that 504 pre-paid water metres had been installed and that 92 pre-paid metres had been delivered with another 400 expected to be delivered. Officials informed the Committee that functional metres were being installed in those areas that had nonfunctional metres. The municipality reported that it had set a target to install 1000 meters in 2018 and another 1000 in 2019.
9.1.4 An explanation of the variances observed between treated water and billed water, was that these were arising from overflows of the tanks and leakages from old pipes which needed to be replaced. The Committee was informed that the Kariba Municipality formed a committee referred to as non-revenue water which involved all departments. The Committee’s task was to monitor water balances. It was revealed that the municipality put in place a maintenance programme for each pump and motor and the local authority’s engineer would go around to check whether the pumps were being maintained.
9.1.5. The audit report revealed that Chinhoyi Municipality had a daily water supply of fifteen (15) mega litres against a demand of thirty (30) mega litres, leaving a gap of fifteen mega litres. The Committee was informed that the municipality took steps to improve water supply, resulting in an increase of between twenty (20) and twenty-two (22) mega litres. Officials submitted that the improvements made included enhanced efficiency in the delivery of water which stood at 92%. They indicated that the overall strategy was to expand the water treatment plant which required US $22 million. The other measures adopted related to addressing water losses where fourteen district meter areas were established. The officials reported that as a result of the establishment of water district meter areas, non-revenue water had been reduced from 58% to 48%.
9.1.6 The audit revealed that the water reservoirs in Chegutu Municipality had a carrying capacity of twelve and half (12, 5) mega litres in contrast to an expected twenty-two and half (22, 5) mega litres. Council officials submitted that water for the residents was sufficient and indicated that the challenge related to the water treatment plant and distribution network, where about 60% of water pumped was being lost. They reported that out of the $ 8 million required to rectify the situation $ 1 million was secured through the PSIP and the amount was used on the water treatment plant, reservoir and distribution network.
9.1.7 Chegutu Municipality officials indicated that there were four projects that were running on maintenance programmes, but the projects faced challenges because of contractors who wanted to vary contracts. The Committee learnt that the project to install water metres failed after the contractor who had been awarded the contract failed to procure them due to price escalations. It was submitted that attempts by council to secure a $1.5 loan from a bank failed to materialise because council was not given the necessary borrowing powers by the parent Ministry.
9.2 Committee’s Observations
9.2.1 The Committee noted that water reticulation systems in local authorities are dilapidated and most of the local authorities do not have long term water reticulation system plans. Most of the local authorities are not investing in water infrastructure, but are waiting for Government funding through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). It was observed that non-revenue water is high in most of the local authorities.
- Local authorities should produce long term water reticulation plans with specific timelines and submit to the Public Accounts Committee by 31 July 2020.
- The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing should strictly monitor local authorities to ensure that they do not allocate stands on land before installing a water reticulation system.
- 0 Reconciliations
10.1.1. Kadoma City Council did not have bank and Ecocash reconciliations done at the time of the audit. Council officials acknowledged that reconciliations should be done monthly and explained that they could not do so before due to manpower shortages when the RTGS and Ecocash systems were introduced in 2019. They indicated that they were now able to work on the 2019 reconciliations since the system that had been adopted now was capable of separating accounts for the different years. On deposits that remained un-cleared, council officials highlighted that payments made without appropriate details had caused real challenges as they had to be traced to establish what the payments were for. They added that payments made through Ecocash did not have regular reports.
10.1.2. During the audit, the Auditor observed that the Chegutu Municipality had a backlog with the cash book reconciliations. Council officials submitted to the Committee that reconciliations were now being reviewed up to Finance Director level and that they had been done up to
December 2018. The Committee was informed that council was reconciling the January 2019 books. The Committee was also informed that variances in 2014 had been addressed in the 2015 audit. The other variances observed by the Auditor General were attributed to mispostings. Council informed the Committee that it was facing challenges when residents pay using RTGS and the council has to get details from the banks in order to identify the allocation. It was indicated that bank reconciliations were being done by a bookkeeper then reviewed by the Expenditure Accountant before being presented to the Finance Director on a monthly basis.
10.2 Committee’s Observation
10.2.1. The Committee noted that local authorities were not conducting reconciliations periodically, thereby creating opportunities for theft.
- Local authorities should employ qualified staff to conduct reconciliations periodically and ensure that all reconciliations are up to date by 31 August 2020.
- All local authorities should use biller codes for Ecocash payments from 1July 2020.
- Local authorities should issue up to date monthly statements to their customers from 1July 2020.
- Vehicle Registration
11.1.1. Chegutu Municipality had twelve vehicles bought after
2010 that were not registered in the municipality’s books at the time of the audit. The Committee was informed that four of the vehicles not registered at the time of the audit remained unregistered. Officials argued that the municipality had failed to locate documents required for registration purposes. This was also the case with a tractor involved in a land swap transaction. Officials however, argued that the vehicles were recorded in the log book and were reported to municipality on a monthly basis. Council indicated that all the equipment was insured after the insurance company conducted due diligence. The Committee was advised that no fines had been raised and council did not remit money to ZINARA.
11.2 Committee’s Observation
11.2.1. The Committee notes with concern that there was negligence in the management of assets.
All the unregistered vehicles must be registered by 31August 2020 and recorded in Chegutu Municipality’s books.
12.0 Nyamhunga Stadium Upgrade
12.1 The audit observed that variations amounting to $14 328 had been made to costs associated with the upgrading of Nyamhunga Stadium. Kariba Municipality officials submitted that the variations had been authorised and argued that they had followed proper procedures.
The officials however admitted that there had been an oversight on the
10% retention fee as required by the Procurement Act. The Committee was informed that staff was being trained on the new procurement procedures.
12.2 Committee’s Observation
12.2.1. The Committee noted that Kariba Municipality did not comply with procurement procedures.
Kariba Municipality should follow proper procurement procedures
in all the future transactions.
13.0 Stands sales
13.1.1. From the audit, the financial statements of Chinhoyi
Municipality indicated that $5 825 220 was realised from stands sales in 2015. This amount was different from the list of stands sold availed, which showed a total of $3 176 026, giving a variance of $2 649 194. In addition, the allocation register did not indicate the dates of sale for the stands, making it difficult for the auditors to establish stands issued during a particular period. It was also noted that customer accounts were not created in the council database for Mapako stands that had been repossessed.
13.1.2. Council officials submitted that $ 5 825 220 was the amount for stands sales in 2015. They indicated that when repossessed stands were added, the value for stands in 2015 was $ 4.1 million and the value of housing instalments stood at $ 1.7 million. The Committee was informed that council was still working on the corrective action by engaging the software provider. In terms of revenue collection efficiency in Chinhoyi, officials indicated that there had been an improvement to 50% and further improvements were expected as council was engaging residents.
13.2 Committee’s Observation
The Committee observed that there was a deliberate shambolic way of recording stand sales as a way of prejudicing the local authority.
- Chinhoyi Municipality should prepare an accurate stands register by 31July 2020.
- The municipality must conduct a forensic audit by 31August 2020 for all land deals concluded by Chinhoyi Municipality since dollarisation.
- Kariba Electricity Power Generation
- The Committee learnt that despite having a massive body of water, from which it pumps water and purifies it on its own, Kariba Municipality is being made to pay monthly bills to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), which does not even have any officers in Kariba. Kariba Municipality also informed the Committee that despite generating electricity, they are charged a commercial tariff by the ZETDC.
The ZETDC should introduce a special tariff charge for Kariba.
The Committee believes that the observations made on the four municipalities apply to other local authorities. The Committee, therefore, urges all local authorities with the same audit observations to implement the recommendations made by the Auditor General in her report and the Committee’s recommendations in this report.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also a member of this Committee and I rise to debate on our observations. As can be seen from the observations of the Committee, these failures to submit financial statements are not by mistake in my view. The majority of them are like hiding criminal activities that are happening in local authorities. It is actually a cardinal sin for a local authority whose purpose is to use public funds to ensure that public goods and services are provided to its citizens - then after a financial year they then fail to submit how they have used those funds. I see some sinister motives and a behaviour by local authorities that is not very good, that is very dangerous and even repugnant.
I suggest in my view that if you look at four local authorities and one is close to be doing what it is supposed to do, meaning 3 are not doing anything. Some have 3 years without submitting their financial statements. I think what we have is a serious rot and corruption happening in the local authorities. Going by the push by our President that corruption must go, we need to implore upon the Minister of Local Government to ensure that in fact all local authorities are audited and find out whether they are following what they are expected to do, if not they are fired. We do not need them if they are not giving service where it is due. For example, they are people who are working for local authorities who contribute to pension funds and their monies are not submitted to the pension fund.
The majority of these pension funds have converted from what used to be called defined benefit, where benefit would then be guarantee at retirement at a given percentage of your income. The majority of them have converted to defined contribution, meaning if your money is submitted to a pension fund, it is only that money that is going to be invested and then give you a return at retirement. These people are not submitting those contributions, meaning we have destitutes at the end of their working period they will not have anything to retire on and some are taking this money to fund their salary bills. We have councilors and executives of councils who are looting public funds and it is very deplorable and action must be taken.
Like I have said, it is very critical that the Minister of Local Government considers taking seriously the issue and maybe cause audits to be conducted in many of these municipalities. The other observation that we saw is where there are cash receipts there is no audit, where there is Ecocash transaction, there is no submission of those reports. You would see that these are easy ways where people are taking money from local authorities and are pocketing that money. It is very important that Parliament encourages Government through the Minister of Local Government to investigate these municipalities.
We have people who are there voted in to represent the citizens of that town or that rural authority, but they are doing nothing - everything is run by their executive who is the chief executive of that council. They are supposed to have an oversight of what is running in that local authority, but they are doing nothing. What do we want these people for? Mr. Speaker this is very rampant and it is not only in the four municipalities. We have dwellers in local authorities crying throughout the country, why are we not taking action? Why are we keeping these councilors and these workers of council who are misappropriating people’s monies and are not prepared to be scrutinized? From the observation of the Auditors General’s report these people are not interested in showing how they have used and spend public funds.
In my view, we do not even need to give them more time to submit these figures, we just have to have a forensic audit and fire them if they are found wanting. One other thing that you can tell, the trend is the same, it is like there is a general agreement that nobody observes what they are doing, they are very clever, and they should remain there looting people’s monies. They will go to Government, look for support if they cannot fund their services on , the activities in those local authorities. So tax payers of this country will continue to subsidize those people who are stealing.
We have a general situation in the local authorities where we have corrupt councilors, we have corrupt workers of these councils. Senior local council officer are selling stands, they are making money, they do not account to anybody, double allocations are there rampant in local authorities and we just keep them. No we cannot, I strongly recommend that we find a way of encouraging the Minister of Local Government to investigate. I think 98 percent of our local authorities are people who are stealing. They are running these local authorities like kakistocrats, worst enemies of the society. In the majority of the local authorities, there is no water and sewer is running everywhere. I was watching on television two days ago, Chitungwiza there is sewer everywhere but they are councilors who get allowances and they are workers there who earn hefty figures. Maybe we do not know the local authorities’ purpose, it is not for them to earn money but to provide services to the citizens of that local authority.
When you look at them now, it is like local authorities were designed and established for people to earn money because now they get 70% of the revenue towards their salaries and 30% towards service delivery. So, is the local authority designed for workers to make money or for service delivery? As Parliament, I think we have a duty here. We had a report on Gwanda, we saw what happened. You can see that it is widespread, what are we waiting for? Why not institute a serious investigation, imploring Government to institute a serious investigation. If we have to put commissions or whatever to safeguard the people of these cities, to protect them from these local authorities and rural authorities, we have to do it now – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - Government cannot continue to look after local authorities who are getting revenue from people. Rates are paid but you find that they are all in arrears in many areas; they have salary arrears, where did the money go? In some local authorities Mr. Speaker, we discovered that the Chief Executive earns almost half of the salary bill. Is the local authority for the Chief Executive?
We also observed that councilors were allocating themselves land. Is it going to bring revenue to the local authority so that people get service? It is like a way of looting – serious and clear corruption - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Therefore Mr. Speaker, I feel that it is very important because some of the low level workers do not know what is happening. They see deductions on their pay slips and think that they will get something upon retirement. When they retire Old Mutual or any other pension fund will tell them, ‘There is nothing, we did not receive any contributions.’ We are here as representatives of the people in Chegutu and Chinhoyi whilst they are being swindled by irresponsible authorities in those local authorities.
So my contribution was to say that our observations were so painful. We talk about corruption somewhere but the level of corruption in local authorities is shockingly alarming and they do not even feel bad about what they are doing – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Even when we do not have water and the pipes are rusty- they do not care, as long as they take 70% of what has been contributed into their pockets.
Mr. Speaker, we need to feel for the people of these local authorities who contribute religiously. I think that until these financial reports are produced, analyzed and the Auditor-General is happy – I think that we need to request His Excellency the President to stop contributions to these local authorities who do not want to produce financial statements. By the time these audits come, they will be rich, resign and run away, but towns will be dilapidated.
So I strongly feel that this observation and this report could be extended to other local authorities if we can go again to other local authorities and verify if they were doing their duties properly, they would be providing services to their people very well but it all boils down to poor financial management, corruption and misuse of council assets. Vehicles are just being abused and land is like theirs. It does not belong to the State anymore. They take land, give it land barons and get money from behind. How can we allow them to go on like that?
We have genuine people like teachers, in this country, who are looking for stands to buy. People, who can contribute to council coffers, build their houses and pay rates but no, they do not want to give land to people who want stands directly. They have to go through land barons and that tells you that all this failure to submit financial statements is not because they do not have staff and expertise. No, they were employed, went to an interview and passed because they had shown competence but it is because they want to steal – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They think that over time these issues can be swept under the carpet and forgotten after they have stolen people’s money.
I really submit Mr. Speaker that more should be done. We saw it in Chegutu and there are four municipalities. It has already shown a general trend that we are dealing with criminals in councils. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to add my voice onto this report from our committee on Public Accounts, especially in Chegutu where I come from. It is quite saddening because it is the epicenter, the core and heart of a Cholera and Typhoid epidemic.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the report put it bare that as Chegutu, there is a requirement of about 22 mega liters of water. I just want to paint this picture that there is production each day of 10 mega liters of water – that is the capacity at the treatment plant. By the time this water gets to the electorate or end users – it is three mega liters because of the deplorable, dilapidated and disused infrastructure. My point exactly is that we have been recycling the officials over and over again. It is not the problem of the elected officials, but the problem of those who think that they have title deeds to the Town Clerk’s position to the Financial Director’s position and Director of Housing position. It is time that we see their backs. We have seen them come and we have to see them go. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue at hand is that when the ministers are appointed, they immediately change boards. It is my clarion call that when the Minister of Local Government and Public Works is appointed, he immediately needs to change the Town Clerk and the Accounting
Officers because this is where the rot is. When the fish starts rotting, it starts from the head and these Accounting Officers act with impunity as though they have title deeds to those positions… - [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, tiri kuvhima nembwa dzisiri dzedu.
These Town Clerk’s positions were meant and were put in place to safeguard some politically inclined people as opposed to technical inclination in those positions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you will find that the majority of these people have teacher qualifications and you ask yourself, ‘Whose interests were they benefitting during their time?’ We have seen the former Minister of Local Government and Public Works go but he had entrenched himself in political position using these Town Clerk’s positions and you will find that they have no capacity to be where they are. As long as we do not remove and uproot them, we will continue to have a disused state and dilapidated infrastructure in terms of water and sewer reticulation Mr. Speaker Sir.
We have 15 million people in Zimbabwe but those who are holding Town Clerk’s positions and the people at ransom is just about 92 local authorities. We need to employ our youth. There are a lot of graduates who have the right to be in those positions. These people who are acting with impunity at the expense of the masses, especially of
Chegutu West Constituency and Zimbabwe in general should now go. They are just but a few of them that know what they are doing and these that have been mentioned here in the four local authorities, save for Chinhoyi, do not know what they are doing.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, you have seen that when we looked at these Auditor General’s Reports from 2014, Chegutu had not produced financial reports for auditing. They had not, even any financial statements to say the least. It is because they want to hide a lot Mr. Speaker Sir. You have heard that there are 12 new vehicles that were produced, that were given to them but it is just incumbent upon them to register them to CVR so that in turn they get to be put in the asset register but you will find that by the time of visit to Chegutu Municipality, four of those vehicles, if the Committee had not requested to see them or to hear about them, you would have found that they
would have disappeared off the face of Chegutu and the earth and Zimbabwe, including a whole tractor. In Chegutu, it does not exist. It is not there in the books. Mr. Speaker Sir, four whole vehicles are not there. Why should we keep such people Mr. Speaker?
The accounting officer, his first name is Alex and his second name is Mandigo. It is my recommendation and clarion call that let us have somebody who takes over that position, lest we continue to have this decay in terms of accountability. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me not come here again and debate on the same matter. There are more than 15 million people and in Chegutu West Constituency there are 6 724 youths between 18 and 35. A vast number of them are graduates. There should not be anything without them Mr. Speaker. Let us see the end of this town clerk. I speak on Chegutu because yours truly is the Member of Parliament for Chegutu West Mr. Speaker Sir.
For a very long time the accounting officer has been employing the wrong people in the right positions. I will give you an example; there was an accounting officer who had come in from NOCZIM against the dictates and the advice from yours truly. I said, ‘this man has stolen from NOCZIM, leave him to go. Do not employ’ him but against that advice they employed him and fired him because he had stolen. Shiri ine muririro wayo haiuregi Mr. Speaker Sir. It is my thinking that if this man could not take advice, it is may be because he has got other interests than the interests of the electorate and the community at large. There are vast tracks of land that Chegutu has also received for the benefit of housing infrastructure in Chegutu, a thousand and thirty hactares Mr. Speaker Sir but Chegutu still has a backlog of 25 thousand household. Five hundred hactares is good enough for 50 thousand households at a minimum of 200sqm each but we have impediments. We have people who block that and they are championed by this accounting officer.
Mr. Speaker Sir, may you help me. Help me Mr. Speaker. Help the people of Chegutu West Constituency and also of Zimbabwe in general in terms of accountability, lest we continue to have the pilferage of these resources. Mr. Speaker Sir, I have said there is a backlog of 25 thousand households but we have enough for 100 thousand in terms of the amount of land that we have. If it is not going to the people, who is it going to? If it is not going to the interests of the people, whose interest is it serving except for this accounting officer? I rest my case Mr. Speaker Sir and I hope you can hear me so that the people of Chegutu West Constituency who send their love can also be embedded with you in terms of the ethos, the values and their interests. Mr.
Speaker Sir, I thank you.
*HON. DUTIRO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Raidza who has moved this motion. Staying in rural areas is quite interesting because you will find all amenities in one place, however staying in urban areas is now risky because there is shortage of water. You heard what is needed by local councils - $22 million. The Chegutu Constituency which was alluded to was given $1 million but there is no water up to now in Chegutu. Only 30% of water is availed to that community, the rest is being lost. Corruption which was mentioned by the Hon. Member has led to resistance particularly urban dwellers who no longer want to pay their rates. Complaints are being raised that urban dwellers are not paying their rates. They are not paying because they do not see the value of paying those rates because of corruption. Looking at most urban areas, home owners work for their municipal authorities by developing and servicing roads and doing various projects. Their contributions are not going anywhere. All that money is being taken by their councils. In their old age, these people would suffer because they will not be benefiting their pension or from their medical aid contributions. Town councils are now facing more challenges than rural areas. This is what is happening right now in local authorities.
They are facing challenges.
We heard that auditors have been auditing authorities yet they are not presenting reports. Local Government regulations stipulate that auditors are supposed to audit and present their reports, so where is the problem.
Corruption in terms of recruitment is prevalent in municipal authorities. This has led to auditors lacking transparency and not giving audit reports when they are needed. Failure to do that means, they must lose their jobs. Contracts are being given out yet there is nothing to show that those that are given contracts deserve them. If they fail to deliver within three or four years, they are supposed to be given to other people who are deserving. You discover that in most big cities, councillors are now rich. They have many stands which they are distributing to land barons. We heard that Chinhoyi has no stand register. This is universal to most urban councils. When you demand an urban stand register, you will have problems with a CEO of that particular council. This means that all local authorities must submit their registers to their Minister so that there is transparency in terms of allocation of stands because there are some urban dwellers who were conned and who were victims of double allocation of stands. That is why I am saying that corruption should end in local authorities. If it were possible, I would suggest that the situation be solved as a matter of urgency.
The Ministry of Local Government should set up commissions to restore confidence in local authorities. This is expected to improve relations between urban dwellers and their authorities. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 3rd June, 2020.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON.
NDUNA, the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.