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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 03 MARCH 2020 46 29
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
All female Hon. Members having sat on the floor
THE HON. SPEAKER: All male Hon. Members take your seats.
HON. KWARAMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, united as we are across all political divide, through this statement, we have decided as Women Parliamentary Caucus that:
WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is signatory to the Beijing
Plus + Declaration; the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SADC Protocol on Gender and
Development which have been ratified by Parliament.
WHEREAS Section 16 (56) (78) (79) and (80) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provide for gender provisions; we the Zimbabwe Women
NOTING the commemoration of ‘She Decides’, celebrated on 2nd
March and the International Women’s Day celebrated on 8th March,
2020, under the theme ‘I am generation equality’ realising women’s rights, which mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
DEEPLY CONCERNED that there is regression in the implementation of CEDAW and the Beijing Plus + 25 Declaration in the areas of
- Gender based violence which is on the increase;
- Passion killings that are the order of the day;
- Sexual harassment and abuse of women and girls in the work places and public spaces.
WORRIED about the deterioration in the health sector and its impact on access to maternal health care including legal safe abortions;
WORRIED about the state of preparedness in the face of coronavirus that has ravaged citizens globally and other noncommunicable diseases; lack of supportive infrastructure for female Parliamentarians seeking child care services and lactation facilities.
GRAVELY DISTURBED about the machete gang attacks on both men and women, girls and boys and of particular concern is the sexual abuse of elderly women, 80 years and above, subjecting them not only to rape but also murder.
NOW THEREFORE in line with the Beijing + 25 Declaration, which is the theme for CSW 64, with its key 12 Critical Areas, call upon the Government to;
- enact an enabling environment for teenagers to decide, access reproductive services and to safe abortion in line with Critical
Area 3 and 12 on women and health and the girl child.
- Increase funding towards the health sector, especially maternal health and reproductive health as well as child mortality and access to cancer services in line with Critical Area 3 on women and health.
- To equip relevant stakeholders that deal with gender based violence with adequate financial and human resources; police, health sector, traditional healers and church leaders in line with Critical Area 4, on violence against women.
- Fully empower the rural women in line with Critical Area 1 and 6 on women and poverty and women and the economy.
- Call upon Parliament of Zimbabwe to expedite the implementation of the institutional gender policy which provides for institutional mechanisms to deal with sexual harassment and violence against women in line with Critical Area 8 on institutional mechanisms.
This is our humble submission as the Zimbabwe Women
Parliamentary Caucus. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. -[Ululations] - THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. I would like to thank the Hon. Kwaramba and the Caucus for their statement and also indicate that the male Hon. Members of Parliament, I want to believe, do support this statement fully. As this is a very important statement, a statement that refers to motherhood and the principal importance of motherhood; it is suggested from the Chair that perhaps a motion be tabled so that the august House, perhaps in the National Assembly and in the Senate, debate the motion accordingly in order to reinforce the message that has been delivered through Hon. Kwaramba on behalf of the Women’s Caucus. Thank you for your peaceful demonstration in the House.
HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE HON. SPEAKER: I recognise the presence in the
Speaker’s Gallery of officers from the Parliament of Namibia. Thank you. You are welcome.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that there will be a Roman Catholic Church service tomorrow Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 at 12.30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber. All Catholic and non-Catholic members are invited accordingly.
THE HON. SPEAKER’S RULING
POINTS OF ORDER RAISED BY THE HON. T. MLISWA AND
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to make the following ruling. It is the ruling on points of order raised by the Hon. Mliswa on 19th
February, 2020 and the Hon. Mayihlome on 27th February, 2020.
On Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 Hon. Mliswa rose on a point of order and alleged that Hon. Chikwinya, during a contribution by Hon.
Kwaramba, had uttered the following words, ‘yes, we must know the condition of Coronavirus because the Vice President…’
Hon. Mliswa further stated that the implication of Hon.
Chikwinya’s alleged interjection was that the Hon. Vice President had brought the Coronavirus into Zimbabwe. Hon. Mliswa demanded that Hon. Chikwinya must withdraw the statement which was disrespectful of the Hon. Vice President. The Hon. Chikwinya vehemently denied having uttered the offensive words, prompting the Chair to rule that a determination would be made after reference to the Hansard recording of the day’s proceedings.
On 27th February, 2020 the Hon. Mayihlome alleged that the Hon. Biti had insulted him by calling him a fascist. Hon. Biti denied the allegations, prompting the Chair to rule that whenever there is a contestation of what has been said or might have been said, the House refers to the Hansard for affirmation or otherwise.
The Chair has since referred to the Hansard of the days in question, as well as audio recordings of the same in order to ascertain what transpired. After listening to the audio recordings, the Chair concluded that in both instances the interjections were inaudible.
Consequently, the two Hon. Members will be given the benefit of the doubt. However going forward, the Chair strongly warns Hon. Members who are in the habit of molesting or insulting other Hon. Members in the hope that their offensive words will not be picked up by our audio recording machines that they risk heavy penalties being imposed on them for their misdemeanors, in line with the provisions of the Standing Rules and Orders. Please be guided accordingly.
HON. BITI: I rise on a matter of privilege in terms of the esteemed Standing Orders of our august House. I do so in my capacity as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
There are 14 forensic audits that have been conducted by the Auditor-General since 2016 connected with various State owned enterprises which have been concluded but have not been tabled before the august House as required by the Constitution and the law. As a Committee, we have written several letters including letters that were written in the previous Parliament, to the concerned Ministers but they have not responded.
Hon. Speaker, we pray for a ruling placing in mora and on notice the concerned Ministers. With your permission, if I may outline the reports; Forensic Audit Report for Air Zimbabwe, ZESA, Net One,
POSB, NRZ, 2 for ZIMRA which are outstanding; one of them is on ICT and the other is a general forensic report. There is a forensic audit for Allied Timbers formerly known as Forestry Commission. There is an audit of the CSC, Grain Marketing Board, African Union Region 5 Youth Games that is still outstanding, the Ministry of Local Government in respect of Augur Investments and the improvement on the Harare Airport road that is still outstanding.
With your permission Hon. Speaker, we kindly ask that the esteemed responsible Ministers be placed on notice vis-a-vis the tabling of these reports. I thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, I will proceed to engage the Clerk of Parliament to check on our records. If indeed those reports have not been tabled before this House, definitely this is a violation of the Constitution in terms of Section 107 (2) and also it is a violation in terms of the Audit Act Sections 10, 11 and 12.
Hon. Gonese whispering to an Hon. Member sitting besides Hon.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, Hon. Gonese, I am
responding to Hon. Biti. He needs to listen.
HON. BITI: I am listening Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: They are diverting your attention. We will ensure that these reports are so tabled before this august House during this Second Session of our 9th Parliament.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I stand on a matter of privilege and on behalf of APNAC (African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption), the Zimbabwe Chapter.
Noting that Section 198 of the Constitution provides that there should be measures that are taken to create codes of conduct that are observed by public officers and noting that Members of Parliament are themselves public officers;
Further noting that in our Standing Orders, Rule No. 49 provides that every member shall register all his or financial interests in a book to be maintained under the direction of the Speaker or the President of the
Senate and that such registration shall be in a manner specified in the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of Parliament.
Recognising that Section 21 of the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of Parliament requires Members of Parliament to declare their assets within 30 days of having been sworn in; realising that having seen that Members had failed to do so within 30 days, you did grant an extension. However, concerned that up till now we have Members of Parliament that have not declared their assets and some of those are Ministers, we are therefore calling and urging that this House resolves that a Privileges Committee be established to look into this matter and recommend appropriate penalty. We feel very strongly about this given that the drive against corruption, we as Members of Parliament have to start by being transparent and that this should be the first sign that says we are serious as Members of Parliament and we call upon you Mr. Speaker Sir, that you look into this matter. If you do find that there are those that have violated that particular code and the Standing Rules and Orders that a Privileges Committee be set up and that a penalty therefore be given against those that have not complied. I thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Biti, I hope that you are not one of them.
HON. BITI: No, I declared.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Alright. Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, I hear you. I will liaise with the Clerk of Parliament and come up with proper statistics and consider due process of reminding the Hon. Members, inclusive of Ministers, that we give them a deadline; failure of which obviously we will have to establish a Privileges Committee that will then come up with some penalties accordingly, in terms of the
Constitution and our StandingRules and Orders.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Last week,
a question was posed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development in line with students grants, that is the amounts that they are supposed to be given. The grants that were there Mr. Speaker, as the Hon. Minister was speaking he referred to grants when in actual fact he referred to loans and those are the grants that were being referred to. The Hon. Minister stated that these are the same that are there but we have realised that when children coming from poor families approach the banks, they are asked to bring pay slips. When they submit the pay slips, money is supposed to be garnished from the salary of the pay slip owner.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member. Thank you
for the point of order but I think that it can be better dealt with tomorrow by way of a question.
*HON. MADZIMURE: The issue that was there Mr. Speaker is
that the Hon. Minister did not say the truth.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, ask the question
tomorrow during Question Time session so that you get the truth.
HON. MADIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TSVANGIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of
privilege is with regards to my fear of how unprepared as an institution and as Parliament we are with regards to the Coronavirus.
Mr. Speaker, if you go all over the Parliament building, you will see that there are no measures being taken in terms of safeguarding the health of Hon. Members and also the staff here at Parliament. There are no masks being given to staff and sanitizers being offered …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you say, ‘mass?’
HON. TSVANGIRAI: Masks yes – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – It is everywhere Hon. Members.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!
HON. TSVANGIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of
privilege is that I am just hoping that it can be addressed because for those who are following on the Coronavirus – it is spreading at an alarming rate. Now my fear is that it is not a matter of when but a matter of I think that it is already in Zimbabwe and in Parliament and if you notice how fast it is moving. I think that we will be affected quite severely here Mr. Speaker. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Save!
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Karenyi – [HON.
KARENYI: Mr. Speaker.] - I think that is a very important observation. We shall address this to the Clerk of Parliament, working together with our Clinic Directorate and see that we have some sanitizers and also ensure that if need be you can wear the mask. More importantly, stop shaking hands too often and wash your hands – that is the message that is coming from the World Health Organisation (WHO). So we need to comply accordingly.
This will also apply to our staff that they take protective measures accordingly.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My
point of privilege arises from the budget that we just passed. You will recall Mr. Speaker when we were in Victoria Falls there was an issue of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works disbursing funds to local authorities under devolution.
You ruled at that point in time that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi must consult the Attorney-General on whether he is allowed to do that. He has not come up with any response pertaining to their meeting. It is important Mr. Speaker Sir that we practice constitutionalism and any second, minute that goes by without us sticking to this Constitution, we are in violation of it, including this Parliament. At this point in time we are. Section
265 (3) of the Constitution is very clear and I will read it, ‘An Act of Parliament must provide appropriate mechanisms and procedures to facilitate co-ordination between central Government, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities’.
That is not in place and it cannot be delayed for more than a minute. Money is being disbursed from central Government to the suppliers straight away. The provincial councils are supposed to be in place with us Members Parliament sitting on them. If the law is to change, it changes whilst we are practicing the law. We cannot have a situation where they are saying, ‘We do not want Members of Parliament to sit on it’, but on the other hand they are busy disbursing money. It cannot be delayed for more than a second. We are in violation of the Constitution and I stand to say that I took oath to defend and to stand by the Constitution of this country. I do not know why we have allowed that to happen Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. I shall personally engage the Attorney-General and see whether we have a meeting of minds in terms of the constitutional provisions and what the issues are so that the question of accountability is maintained.
At the moment, we do not know how these funds are being accounted for and in terms of the Constitution, Section 119, it is Parliament that calls for accountability in terms of Government, its agencies at every level – that is what the Constitution says. So, I will take it upon myself to engage the Attorney-General and report back to you and also have some conversation with the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs accordingly. If there is disagreement, we may have to engage some law faculty and the Law Society of Zimbabwe so that we can find common ground in terms of the interpretation of the Constitution.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 19 has been disposed of.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT
AND TOURISM ON ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT IN HWANGE
AND GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARKS
HON. P. DUBE: Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism on Elephant Management in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks.
HON. CHINANZVAVANA: I second.
HON. P. DUBE: Zimbabwe’s wildlife resources have a great potential to contribute to economic growth in the country. Elephants are critical resources that can contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of the local communities and the nation at large. However, the potential is hampered particularly by elephant management challenges and human-wildlife conflict. The challenges have not only become a conservation crisis but also pose as a danger to human beings. The
Committee resolved to conduct a familiarization visit to Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks. The visit was compelled by the desire to understand the challenges relating to human wildlife conflicts relating to the ballooning elephant herds in Zimbabwe. The Committee wanted to get an appreciation on how ZIMPARK managed elephants in National Parks ahead of the 18th edition of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 28 August 2019.
OBJECTIVES OF THE FAMILIARISATION VIST
The broad aim of the visit was to appreciate the challenges faced by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZIMPARKS) regarding the management of elephants in the country’s biggest National
Parks. In more specific terms, the Committee sought to;
- Understand ZIMPARKS’ elephant management activities,
- Appreciate the benefits of wildlife co-management partnership model as practiced by the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust.
- Appreciate the human wildlife conflict in communities surrounding National Parks iv)To come up with recommendations for improved wildlife management and harmonious co-existence of human and wildlife;
In order to understand Hwange National Park’s elephant management activities, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority’s Chief Ecologist gave a presentation to the Committee at Main Camp in Hwange National Park in July 2019. The Members also had an opportunity to tour Hwange National Park so that they witness how huge elephant populations had severely impacted on habitat change, fragmentation and loss in the Park. The Committee further visited the
Hwange Community leadership at Chief Nekatambe’s residence.
Finally, the Committee toured Gonarezhou National Park where
ZimParks had a new wildlife co-management partnership model called the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust that is governed by the Parks and Wildlife Act.
PRESENTATION BY ZIMPARK AT HWANGE MAIN
The Committee learnt that Hwange National Park was managed under the Hwange Zambezi Cluster that is made up of seven stations namely; Main Camp, Sinamatela, Robins, Matetsi, Katombora, Kazuma and Zambezi.It was submitted that Hwange Zambezi Cluster had the largest elephant population in the country with 53 991 elephants. With regard to elephant poaching trends, Zimparks explained that 115 elephants were killed between 2013 and 2014, but the trend gradually decreased to below 10 elephants being killed by 2018. It was submitted that poaching activities in the Park disrupts research efforts on human wildlife conflicts currently underway.
Elephant mortality in Hwange Main Camp was generally low with elephant poisoning topping the list followed by rifle poaching and natural death causes. It was submitted that ZIMPARKS employed numerous anti-poaching strategies. These included patrols, surveillances, informer based deployments and awareness programmes. The
Committee learnt that aerial surveillance was strategic when monitoring water-points, carcass location, vegetative mapping among others.
ZimParks collaborates its efforts with various stakeholders to coordinate its wildlife management programs. ZimParks made successful arrests and secured significant convictions between 2016 and 2018. Out of 85 arrests, 80 convictions were secured in the courts. By reason of its successful security and investigations activities, it managed to recover 121 firearms and 37kg of cyanide within the same period. As a result of human-elephant conflict, unquantified crops were damaged as a result of the conflict. The Committee was not apprised of the exact number of people’s lives that were lost because of the conflicts. It was submitted that a total of 36 elephants are collared and are used in human-wildlife management related researches in Hwange National Park.
It was presented to the Committee that Hwange National Park’s
Water Supply was mainly powered by solar with only 13 water points at
Main Camp being diesel powered pumps. Game water supply in Hwange National Park and the effects of climate change on the water table were recognized as the key drivers to elephant population dynamics and habitat.
The Committee was informed that ZimParks had a number of Trans-frontier Conservation Area and Community Participation programs. These included the Hwange Sanyati Biodiversity Corridor project and the Human Wildlife Conflict Management Strategy for the Hwange Ecosystem. It was presented that these projects assisted in the conservation of the national biodiversity including wildlife management efforts.
SUBMISSIONS FROM WILDLIFE PRODUCERS AND
HWANGE RDC COUNCILLOR.
The Committee was informed that the major challenge faced by wildlife producers’ was security of tenure. The producers have permits of occupancy, as a result, they could not make long term investment decisions. Their belief was that they had great potential to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of our country if security of tenure was put in place. The Hwange RDC Councilors pointed out that the major challenge posed by human-wildlife conflict was the lack of compensation for lost crops and livestock destroyed by elephants.
TOUR OF HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
The Committee observed the destruction of vegetation by elephants. Secondary vegetation was growing in certain areas where elephants had continuously destroyed the primary vegetation. In other areas the vegetation species were facing extinction owing to the persistent damage by elephants year after year. Most of the damage was concentrated around waterholes where elephants tend to congregate in search of drinking water.
SUBMISSIONS FROM CHIEF NEKATAMBE’S
The Community leaders raised a number of concerns. Their major concern was the lack of community benefits accruing from the wildlife proceeds. This acted as a disincentive for communities to conserve biodiversity in all forms.
They complained about human wildlife conflict especially with elephants. The local leaders informed the Committee that they were not happy that their community members were neither being employed by Parks nor benefit anything from wildlife management in Hwange National Park. Parks was also not contributing towards the development of their local infrastructure such as the construction of roads and schools. They informed the Committee that the entire district had only one Boarding School called Marist Brothers in the entire district. Therefore, they called on Government to channel more resources within the district towards the construction of schools.
They informed the Committee that they were baffled by the lack of compensation mechanism for people who would have lost their crops and relatives due to human-wildlife conflict. They stressed the need to realise the benefits associated with wildlife management. They complained that CAMPFIRE proceeds were not benefitting them at all.
Mr. Ncube, the Hwange Rural District C.E.O explained to the Committee how the CAMPFIRE model worked within the four conservation hotspots namely; Mabale, Silewu, Chidowe and Chikandabubi ward.
Chief Nekatambe informed the Committee that the idea of relocation of the local people was a very complex process which was neither understood nor contemplated by them. The local leaders complained that Ministers responsible for Environment, to whom they repeatedly lodged their complaints to, often get out of office before having brought tangible solutions to their grievances.
Replying to the issues raised by Community leaders, ZimParks explained that according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations,
Zimbabwe is allowed a quota of only 500 elephants per year. This is what is shared amongst the National Parks dotted around the country as well as CAMPFIRE making the allocations too small to make any significant impact in terms of development.
SUBMISSIONS BY ZIMPARKS ON ELEPHANT
MANAGEMENT INGONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK
The Committee learnt that ZimParks had a new wildlife comanagement partnership model called the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust that is governed by the Parks and Wildlife Act. This new structure ensures a sustainable long term financial support for the Park through infrastructure development, investment in the tourism sector, increased security for elephants and rhinos, improved road and connectivity infrastructure and healthy buffer zones as well as the recruitment of sufficient and effective staff.
The Committee was informed that the underlying principle under the co-management model is that Gonarezhou remains both 100 percent a National Park and a property of Zimbabwe. The rationale for the Trust was to employ a full staff complement and structure to manage the Park, develop a tourism plan and infrastructure with a retention scheme for reinvestment, accessing larger donor funding and as an entity to positively engage with local stakeholders.
ANALYSIS OF KEY ISSUES
Impacts of Elephants on Ecosystem Structure, Function and
The Committee observed the need to maintain numbers or densities of elephants at levels that do not adversely impact on biodiversity conservation goals. Huge elephant populations have the capacity to destroy woody biomass while tree canopy cover can decline in a short space of time. An elephant needs a lot of food and water. An elephant consumes up to 200kg of plant matter and between 150 to 200 litres of water in a single day. The extent of biodiversity destruction in our national park has already surpassed the sustainable thresholds. Parks is in a dilemma. On one hand there is an attempt to protect as many elephants as possible while on the other hand it was grappling with the need to preserve a full range of plant and animal species in protected areas and this was proving to be a nightmare.
What the Committee witnessed underlined the consequences of making single resource decisions, such as preserving all elephants, which can result in multiple resource consequences, for instance, loss of large trees, plant species, and animal diversity. The Committee agrees with ZIMPARKS that high elephant densities do not increase ecotourism opportunities and their associated ecological costs are not a requirement for eco-tourism financial sustainability.
Elephant conservation benefits for communities surrounding national parks
Zimbabwe, as with other African countries pursuing in-situ wildlife conservation, requires significant funding, for the conservation agenda. Communities that are living adjacent to protected areas continue to experience unprecedented human-wildlife conflicts. They risk being maimed or killed and their crops destroyed. They must experience the value and developmental benefits of living with, and conserving
wildlife. However, the management of such expansive land area requires a significant amount of funding and investment. We welcome partners and investors to optimally manage and unlock value from our wildlife towards helping build 'nature-based economies'.
It was the Committees observation that to have a future, elephants must have a shared value between ZIMPARKS and the communities surrounding National Parks. The greater the value, the greater the tolerance of elephants is likely to be. The local people who live closest to them will determine the long-term survival of species such as elephants. It is noteworthy to stress that Wildlife can be a most valuable asset and in turn empower local communities and provide basic necessities. Thus, appreciation of wildlife and biodiversity can contribute to reducing poverty and providing jobs amongst rural communities and empowering to become meaningful and effective partners in economic opportunities. The Committee believes that longterm solutions require nurturing the tolerance of local communities for elephants by ensuring that they benefit from having elephants adjacent
to their communities. Tolerance is likely to increase if communities realise the economic returns arising from the sustainable use of elephants.
This view was echoed at the AU-UN Africa Wildlife Economy
Summit held in Victoria Falls from the 23rd to the 25th June 2019, by His
Excellency, President Mnangagwa when he said “Zimbabwe’s Government recognizes that the survival of wild animals depends entirely on those among whom they live. Unless local people want to save them, wildlife will be poached to the point where just a few remain in fortified reserves”. The Deputy Executive of the UN Environment Program Joyce Msuya also supported this view. She opined that “I am confident we all acknowledge that communities must be equal partners in the conservation of wildlife. When communities living closest to wildlife have a clear role and stake in managing nature, they have a stronger incentive to conserve it.’’
The Committee observed that if the huge elephant herds challenges causing human-wildlife conflict are not resolved amicably, the first four objectives of the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP) that was approved by 37 African elephant range states at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Doha, Qatar 13-25 March 2010) to protect African elephants would, not be achieved. It is a logical that when wildlife is viewed as a valuable asset, wildlife conservation becomes an economically competitive land use in Zimbabwe, which leads to habitat preservation. The Committee is of the view that the presence of regulated hunting can also reduce illegal activities.
Gonarezhou co-management partnership model benefits
The other way that ZIMPARKS can scale up conservation efforts and community participation is the use of the co-management partnership model. The Committee noted that this model helps in areas such as the renovations of road and building infrastructure, the procurement of communication and vehicle equipment as well as their maintenance. It also helps in ecological monitoring, provision of patrol rations and for training of rangers. The Committee realised that this model facilitates employment opportunities and revenue generation that are underpinned by good corporate governance.
Resources could be mobilized from within Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA), the private sector, and by inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. Partnerships between ZPWMA and other stakeholders are some of the innovative measures that could be developed to secure funding for elephant conservation. There is need for Government to provide additional support to the conservation of elephants given the present poaching crisis affecting the species nationally.
Poaching Crisis Affecting Elephant Populations
The present poaching crisis affecting elephant populations in central and eastern Africa and associated public sentiment militates against the introduction of culling to manage elephant populations in Zimbabwe. The Committee notes that the sale of ivory was previously done to cover the costs of large-scale population reductions. This opportunity was effectively closed in 1989 by the CITES listing of elephant on Appendix I. Despite the listing of Zimbabwe’s elephant on Appendix II in 1997 and the subsequent sales of stockpiled ivory in 1998 and 2008, trade in ivory has since continued to be constrained by a nine-year moratorium on the sale of ivory
Ecological researches on elephant population impacts
The Committee was pleased to note that ZimParks, in conjunction with other conservation stakeholders, was carrying quantitative research on the spatial ecological changes that are being caused by the increasing elephant population. However, the research is yet to be completed, especially those relating to human wildlife conflict. The initial results are indicating that there is overpopulation of elephants which is negatively impacting on their management.
The most straightforward method of dealing with over-population of a species is culling. This is a definite option to contribute to the management of elephant overpopulation. In Hwange National Park, the number of elephants is so large that one of the only realistic ways of bringing the population under control is culling, using sustainable methods. However, culling is capital and skills intensive which could still be a challenge for the authority.
Contraception is method which can be used to control the explosive growth of the elephant population. It alone will not reduce elephant population numbers in the short term. Contraception can slow down or stop an elephant population's growth rate, though it does not actually reduce the number of elephants in already overpopulated areas such as Hwange National Park. It has the potential to prevent further increase and reduces the numbers in the long run. There are cost implications for the authority to employ this method.
Translocation is one of the older solutions to the problem of elephant overpopulation. It is a very complex process when done properly, but it is not as cost prohibitive as other options. This method is useful for small populations. It is stressful to elephants and can cause behavior problems especially if family groups are disrupted. Translocation, while producing valuable knowledge into elephant society, is now becoming a limited option as there are few remaining places that can accommodate elephants successfully in the long term that have not already been utilized in Zimbabwe. Translocation is expensive and labor-intensive and can only help remove a limited number of
“unwanted” elephants. Trans-locating one elephant can cost as much as
Informed by these observations and analysis, the Committee made the following recommendations;
1. Elephant Sale and Export
Based on the scientific researches currently underway, the Committee recommends the Ministry of Environment, Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry to lobby other like-minded African Countries to negotiate at the next CITIES Conferences of Parties for free trade in hunting products as these have a positive impact on the national and local economies of the country by August 2022. Zimbabwe will realize significant revenue from elephant exports, and such revenue can be used to enhance conservation and sustainable wildlife management programs.
2. Co-Management of Wildlife
The Committee also recommends that the Ministry of
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry should, by December 2022, find partnerships to replicate the Gonarezhou comanagement partnership model in other National Parks such as Hwange and Matusadonha in order to benefit from donor support and counter some of the challenges being experienced by ZimParks in these Parks.
Zimparks should, by December 2020, devolve decision-making on aspects of problem animal control to communities for better management of the costs. However, the Committee notes that no one management option will successfully deal with all problem elephants and conflict situations.
3. Funding and resource mobilization
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should, by December 2021, provide adequate, sustainable funding and the provision of equipment such as drones as they are important to effective protection of the elephant and curbing illegal poaching of elephants.
4. Legal and policy framework
The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry should, by December 2021, amend the Parks and Wildlife Act to provide for the protection of whistle-blowers and the rewarding system and incorporate deterrent custodial sentences. For instance, illegal cyanide possession does not have a deterrent sentence.
The Committee also recommends that ZIMPARKS prioritizes law enforcement through the Policy and Plan for Elephant Management in Zimbabwe by June 2021.
The Executive needs to be cognisant that the growth of wildlife economy is hampered by elephant management challenges and humanwildlife conflict. The country needs to find ways to solve these challenges which have not only become a conservation crisis but are also a human crisis. All of us must realize that elephants are critical resources that can contribute to the economic and social well-being of the local communities and the nation at large. I thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have risen to add my voice to this issue on elephant management in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks. It is a fact that this specie is over populated. To manage them has become a problem; to sell them has become a problem; to kill them is a problem, that is the reason why we have an over population of this specie in both Hwange and Gonarezhou. There are certain laws that bind us which makes us become unable to sell and reduce the number of elephants in this country. We have got management challenges which we noticed when we visited Hwange National Park and Gonarezhou and I am going to give a summation of both the two areas which we visited because they are more or less the same.
We have problems of human-wildlife conflict, which we were told both in Hwange and Gonarezhou and on this issue, both places have complaints that these elephants are coming to their fields to destroy their crops. They even come to an extent of killing people but the burning issue is that there is no compensation that has been given to any of those people who suffer this catastrophe.
When we visited one chief in Hwange, he highlighted how these animals come to his village and destroy crops. A few other issues that were highlighted were that the people in the parks do not employ local and that makes it difficult for them to control poachers because they are not employed. We were looking at the issue of poaching which is rampant in Hwange; the issue of poisoning was also mentioned and we are of the opinion that if patrols are done, that would reduce the issue of poaching.
Of course in Hwange they told us that there are some patrols and arrests done but there was mention that if locals were employed they know the area and they might know even some routes which poachers use. They are then able to curb this problem. We also were of the opinion that some awareness campaigns be done; some fireguards be made so that when a fire catches up it will not destroy the whole national park. We discovered there were some solar pumped boreholes but they are not enough because the animals in that park are too many to be sustained by the number of boreholes which are there.
In Gonarezhou National Park, things seem to be a bit better because of a partnership that exists there. We discovered that
Gonarezhou National Park is very organised; they have a complement of staff; they have some trucks, graders and the roads are good. We attributed this to the fact that it is because of the partnership that is there. We made some recommendations that in our parks, partnership is the way to go. If we partner with some NGOs it will help us to maintain our parks well. We may be able to reduce the number of elephants if we exercise some culling and allow some safari hunting to be done. We can also use the money to do some community projects in communities that surround the parks. We need to explore an avenue on how we can sell some of the elephants that we have in this country. We recommended that the Government should support elephant conservation. After having visited all the two areas, this is what we came up with as a Committee. I thank you.
*HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for
giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate on this Committee that went to look into wildlife issues in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks. Your Committee took time to go and find out what is happening in terms of wildlife. In Hwange National Parks, we discovered that we now have a problem of overpopulation of the elephants. At the moment, there is more than 80 000 herd of elephants whilst the park is only meant to carry 45 000 elephants. So that is causing a lot of conflict between wildlife and humans.
People are saying elephants are encroaching into villages because they are too many now. Today we are celebrating World Wildlife Day with that theme and though wildlife is important to us but looking at today’s theme, people’s safety should also be put into consideration. At the moment, there is too much human and wildlife conflict. As a nation, we should really consider measures to put in place because elephants are now disturbing people’s livelihoods in Hwange.
We spoke to Chief Nekatambe and villagers, they said their biggest problem is when their crops are disturbed, the Government does not compensate them or alleviate their livelihood. Of course, they take care of these elephants and they are saying, ‘is it now a curse of looking after these elephants because we do not get any compensation’. Sometimes those elephants or other wildlife are very dangerous to people because they can endanger or kill humans.
However, this is the day of commemorating that under that theme.
We are saying people should also be taken care of. In Jambezi, Hwange District, they are saying they no longer have places to farm because of elephants. They are pleading with the Government that if you are not able to assist in any way, please come and take us so that we go and stay in Harare at Parliament or at Copacabana.
Therefore, we should urgently take care of the problems being faced by people living adjacent to the wildlife parks. There should be sustainable utilisation. Our people understood wildlife and took care of the elephants. So as the Government, let us resuscitate the campfire so that they get some kind of incentives for looking after wildlife. We realise that there are a lot of unemployed youths, and other people are also starving especially this year when there is drought. Those elephants are supposed to help people especially when there is such a need, that should be their incentive because they are taking good care of our wildlife.
At the moment, the campfire programme is no longer helpful to the people. People are not getting any benefits from campfire after taking care of the wildlife especially the elephants. This brings the problem of poaching; people end up going to porch in order to help themselves. We do not encourage that but let us look carefully into the lives of people who live adjacent to wildlife parks.
Campfire’s operations are no longer known because they no longer go back to the people. When we went to campfire they said they are not getting any benefits after taking care of those elephants. Therefore, people need incentives to take care of the wildlife. As the Legislature, the Minister should find a way of ending these human and wildlife conflicts. The elephants should be spread along the whole Zambezi
Valley and not to have them concentrated along Hwange National Park.
We should also consider partnerships like what is happening in Gonarezhou National Parks. People in Gonarezhou are benefiting because there is partnership. It is clear that people are benefiting, there are vehicles that are used by rangers to access the national parks. There are also graders to open up roads. The partners are also getting benefits and they are ploughing them back to the community, so the communities are benefiting from proceeds of Gonarezhou National Parks whilst in Hwange the herd is growing whereas people are not benefiting from the large herd of elephants.
Considering CITIES; as a country, yes we have taken good care of the wildlife but we also need to see benefits so that at least we are allowed to sell them to other regions for benefits to be brought back to the communities.
In short, this is what we realised that yes, conservation is a good thing but people or the surrounding communities should also benefit. The residents and villagers should benefit so that we also see the benefits realised from that. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the
debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir,
I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 3 on today’s Order Paper.
Motion put and agreed to.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL [H. B. 6, 2019]
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I want first of all to acknowledge the debate by Hon.
Members on my Second Reading speech and the contributions from Hon. Members. I have summarised some of the issues that came out of the debate. Mostly issues that came out of the debate were covered by the Portfolio Committee in its report and I want to thank the Committee for a very comprehensive report. So, I will go through some of the issues that I felt were very important that were addressed by the
The Portfolio Committee had issues with Clause 5 on duty to disclose information which they felt that it should be extended. The committee was concerned that Clause 5 did not extend the duty of the Information Officer and said that it should provide for the assistance of applicants requesting any information in the custody of the entity. I took note of the recommendation though I felt it was very vague as it does not specify the type of assistance to be provided by the Information Officer or the circumstances of the applicant that may require special assistance from the Information Officer.
The Bill Mr. Speaker adequately caters for the duty of assisting applicants through compelling Information Officers from public bodies, public commercial bodies or statutory offices to assist applicants in their request for information. There is therefore no need Mr. Speaker to extend the provisions of the said clause.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the other concern was regarding that each entity must publish its policy on handling of information requests and how to resolve complaints relating to access to information. I must concede Mr.
Speaker; I agree with the Committee. Freedom of Information Bill sets out the minimum standards for access to information. Over and above this legislation, there is need Mr. Speaker for a policy which will be beneficial to citizens depending on an entity’s resources and technology, the manner and timeframes of accessing information may be quicker than those set out in the Bill. An amendment adding a sub-paragraph under Clause 5 of the Bill can be done and I am amenable to this amendment.
There was also another concern or recommendation that the Bill does not specify the period of declassification of information. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is covered under the Official Secrets Act; that is the supreme law that covers this request and therefore there is no need to put it in this Bill. The other recommendation was they indicated whether or not oral requests can be made when requesting for information. There was debate on the recommendation from the Committee and it was why not include oral requests. I acknowledge that there are certain categories of people, especially the elderly, the illiterate and those with visual impairments, who may have challenges in submitting written requests. While we may be tempted to include the acceptance of oral requests in the Bill, however Mr. Speaker Sir, oral requests require the Information Officer to record or transcribe on paper what the applicant will have said as well as seeking an endorsement from the applicant on the captured information, thereby complicating the process. Their request means that the Information Officer will now have to transcribe and the processing of the information will be problematic in that regard. Over and above that, oral requests do not have a paper trail and cannot therefore be filed which presents challenges when making follow-ups on the request for information. There is no need Mr. Speaker to include oral requests.
Further, citizens shall be advised to be accompanied by someone trustworthy to complete the required formalities when requesting information from public entities. Hon. Speaker, there was also a recommendation that why not reduce time frames for accessing information. The concern they raised was that the 21 days was too long. Hon. Speaker, we took into consideration, the international best practice and what obtains in the region. You will realise Mr. Speaker in South Africa, they give up to 30 days, Zambia, 21 days and the United Kingdom has 20 days. The reason for the 21 days is that while some requests for information may be straight forward and without hassle and being facilitated or responded to within a short period, in this instance, it is covered in the phrase, “shall as soon as possible.” In Clause 8 (1) there will however inevitably be instances where the information may need translation, consent of third parties and authentication, and in such instances, 21 days would be necessary.
Further, the concerns for when information is needed on an urgent basis are presently covered under Clause 8 (2) and such instances are there to safeguard the life or liberty of a person and this time limit has been capped at a maximum of 48 hours. If such urgent information is needed, one would have the onus of proving that such information relates to safeguarding the life or liberty of a person that is what would be considered to be urgent. We are thus upholding the timeframes set out in the Bill as we believe they are reasonable and comparable to international best standards. The other recommendation that came out from the debate and from the Committee;
- Transferability of Information Requests.
We concede that there be a provision in Clause 9 of transferability of information requests from one entity to another. For the process to be efficient, the applicant must be immediately copied when the request will have been transferred to another entity. The originator of the request for information should then take up the responsibility of making sure that the request has been received by the other entity as there may be need for further clarification and specifications related to the request. The turn-around time for processing the request should be calculated from the day that the rightful entity will have received the application.
- Deemed Refusal Clause to be Removed from the Bill.
Clause 10 is necessary as the meaning and intention behind this Clause is to protect the applicant, as it serves to put the information officer on notice that failure to notify a decision on a request for access to information shall be deemed as a refusal which then leaves the information officer liable to further judicial action beginning with an appeal to the Media Commission in terms of Part VI of this Bill and subsequently, further action in the High Court. Without this deemed refusal Clause, the applicant would have a more tedious and difficult task of proving that the Information Officer failed to respond to a request for information.
- Whether or not to Recover Translation Costs from the Applicant.
We concede, as Clause 16(2) of the Bill is using the phrase “may” which is less compelling. In as far as reference is being made to the 16 official languages of Zimbabwe; the use of “may” in Clause 16(2) is in order. But, if reference is being made to other foreign languages like French, Russia or Chinese for example, there is need to add another subparagraph under the Clause as 16(3) which will provide for the translation costs for such foreign languages to be borne by the applicant.
- The Bill should not Permit the Charging of Repetitive fees.
The Bill addresses the concern raised through Clause 17(5) whereby the Minister will determine maximum payable fees which by norm will be reasonable, nominal and not prohibitive to the citizenry.
Clause 17 provides guidance on what the Minister may gazette as fees. Further to that, Clause 13(5) states that where access to information may be given in another form, the reproduction fee may not exceed the fee that would have been charged if the application had been given access in the form requested.
- The Bill Does Not Specify Which Commission Will Receive
Annual Reports on The Number of Requests for Access to the
Information Received and Requests Granted
We concede. Clause 18 of the Bill should specify that public bodies file annual reports with the Zimbabwe Media Commission on requests received, granted and not granted.
11. Clause 30 is Insulating Public Entities Against Public
The Clause is not insulating public entities against public scrutiny but is rather subjecting ongoing/current internal policy discussions, testing of new systems of an entity to the public domain. Sub-sections (3) and (4) of the Clause explicitly state information that came into existence more than 20 years before the request is made should be disclosed hence the Clause is not restrictive but is meant to protect fresh discussions, plans and plans of an entity.
12. Need to define “Frivolous or Vexatious Requests” in Clause
The justification for this Clause is that in seeking to provide as many people with information that would have been requested, the fees for such requests have to be low, however, when certain requests appear to have the ability to strenuously divert resources of an entity, in that case, the information may have to be denied after being given reasons.
We do however, concede to the point that it may unfairly disadvantage certain individuals who wish to have information and can afford to do so even if it is expensive. We would then add a sub-clause to the effect “notwithstanding subsection (2), if the request for information is denied on the basis that the work would substantially divert the resources of the entity, the applicant shall be invited to meet the costs of retrieving the information should they so choose”
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also touch on other issues raised by Hon. Members. Hon. A. Mpofu and Hon. Tsunga submitted that the scope of the Bill must compel private entities to disclose information of public interest to the citizens. Outside the Freedom of Information Bill, there are other avenues and laws for instance, the Companies Act, regulating public listed companies, as well as other Acts and the administrative courts that can compel private organisations to disclose information of public interest.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. A Mpofu pointed out that there should be proactive disclosure of information. This is conceded to, public entities will, as a matter of policy, be obliged to proactively disclose information without waiting to do so in their regular reports. All public bodies produce reports which are often published in the media as policy programme or project performance outcome indicators. Statutory bodies also present periodic reports to Parliament.
Another issue raised by Hon. Mpofu is on training and capacitation of information officers. Yes, this will be done as soon as the law comes into effect.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Shamu contributed in support of this Bill. Indeed access to information is a prerequisite for Zimbabwe to occupy its rightful place in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This Bill is going to guarantee access to information.
Hon. Tsunga raised the fact that the time frames for accessing information are too long. I have responded to this concern earlier on when I was responding to the recommendations of the Portfolio Committee.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Tsunga submitted that Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission should substitute ZMC as the appellant body. We acknowledge that access to information is a human right, however, ZMC is the appellant body in view of its mandate as set out in Section 249(1)(f) I think we will have discussions on this in view of maybe tiding it up at Committee Stage, we are amenable to the recommendation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, with this response, I move that the Bill be now read the Second time. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker. The
Hon. Minister has made various concessions and responses with regards to the presentation by the Committee and the general debate during the Second Reading, some of which have a bearing in the actual text as it shall end up appearing in the final Bill. Is it possible that as we go into Committee Stage, those concessions be captured as we debate them? I am not quite sure how we are going to be able to capture them because he makes quite a number of concessions. How are we going to actualise those concessions?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Hon. Speaker, what we are going to do is I think the Committee is also bringing in some amendments and I will also bring some amendments to the Bill, and they will be on the Order Paper. So, as we go into Committee, everything that we are talking about will be on the Order Paper and when we discuss in Committee, we will be able to go Clause by Clause and see if whatever we are in agreement has been captured. I thank you.
Committee Stage: Thursday, 5th February, 2020.
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES BILL [H. B. 10, 2019
Fourth Order read: adjourned debate on the second reading of the International Treaties Bill.
Question again proposed.
HON. TSUNGA: I want to also contribute to this debate on the
International Treaties Bill, following the report presented by our
Chairperson, Hon. Paradza. Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe is a signatory to several conventions, treaties and agreements. Of course, several remain unratified, unimplemented and undomesticated. Whereas Section 34 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the State must ensure that all international conventions, treaties and agreements to which Zimbabwe is party are incorporated into domestic law. This has not happened as we have seen in recent weeks when several convention bills were fasttracked in this august House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Parliament has been systematically sidelined by the Executive in its consideration of international conventions, treaties and agreements. This haphazard, unsystematic, uncoordinated, opaque and arbitrary approach did not and does not pass the test of transparency and accountability in terms of how these treaties are eventually signed and agreed upon. The International Treaties Bill, if passed into law, should enable the following; that there is a systematic and methodical signing, ratification and domestication of international treaties, conventions and agreements.
The Bill should also ensure that it complements other good laws already in existence such as the ZIDA Bill. I think the two will complement one another. The Bill should ensure that corruption and corrupt tendencies are kept in check insofar as the signing of certain agreements is concerned. The Bill also should ensure that it enables more efficient and effective performance management, monitoring and evaluation of our foreign missions, especially where we have reciprocity. Mr. Speaker Sir, the removal of opaqueness should bring about greater clarity to the process and procedures to be followed before any international treaty, convention or agreement can be signed into domestic law.
The Bill envisages you know, to help cure the mega deals syndrome where these have just been signed which deals never seem to see light of day as nothing happens beyond pronouncement. We have seen the Executive signing mega deals and coming to make pronouncements, which pronouncements are just made prior to
Parliament having seen those treaties and the result has been that we have not seen anything happening on the ground other than the pronouncements of the mega deals.
Finally Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill I think at a personal level is supported because it is progressive law and it will ensure that Parliament involvement in the domestication of progressive international laws that will seek to improve governance, fight for constitutionalism, protection of human rights and fight to improve human security. With these few words Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say the Bill is progressive in many respects as it must ensure that all international conventions, treaties and agreements come before Parliament before they are ratified and domesticated. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. PHULU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for recognising me to contribute to this important debate. Mr. Speaker this is a Bill that comes at a timely occasion. For a long time there has been a campaign to ensure that we have an Act that actually recognises that we are a dualist system.
In Zimbabwe when our President signs and ratifies agreements, those agreements do not automatically become law until Parliament passes a law to ensure that those agreements become law. We have seen quite a number of agreements that have become law. An example is the Arbitration Act that we have. There is quite a number of them but there has always been a gap in that there are a number of agreements that we, as a state party Zimbabwe, have signed but have not found their way to this House and there has been wind to no clear mechanism on how you could compel either the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or whoever is responsible to bring those laws to the House and I think that this treaty is a big step forward in that direction.
I have read the Bill, it is a short Bill and that on its own is an advantage. It means that the Government is not dilly dallying about what they want to do. They have managed to get straight to the point and simply say that we want our treaties to be implemented within a certain time frame and that is welcome, Mr. Speaker Sir. However, I would like to debate just one point which I hope to persuade the Government to take into account.
Section 27 (3) of the Constitution provides that any agreement which is not an international treaty, because there are other agreements other than international treaties, which have been concluded or executed by the President under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and I see that in the definition section, the interpretation section, clause 2 there is no definition of a foreign organisation or foreign entity and I know that one may argue that foreign organisations and foreign entities may come in different shapes, Mr. Speaker Sir, as international law develops and as things change, but certainly it would be useful to have that kind of definition in clause 2 of the interpretation section of this Bill.
I know that the response that is going to come from the Minister is going to be well - in another the amendments are going to remove foreign entities because we do not know what it means and we will substitute it with international organisation. In looking at this Bill I would like to urge the Minister to recognise the difference between a foreign organisation and an international organisation. In order for the Minister to recognise it effectively, that definition needs to be concluded.
A foreign organisation may be any other organisation because for the government - this clause of the Constitution is to ensure that there is no agreement whatsoever which involves us as the people of Zimbabwe and our children whom we are protecting and their children’s children and future generations. They should not go into any situation where debt is accumulated whether with a foreign entity or with an international organisation that should not go through Parliament. Failing to define what a foreign organisation or entity is in this treaty may create a gap in terms of which the Government may be able to amass massive debt which will not fall under the scrutiny of Parliament under the pretext that this is an international entity and not an international organisation.
So we would like to urge the Minister in coming up with the final provisions, to recognise the difference and the distinction between a foreign entity or organisation and on the other hand an international organisation, regardless of the fact that there is something else that is coming that seeks to do otherwise. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and would like to congratulate the Committee on a wonderful report.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank the Committee for the report and I want to support that this is the first time for our Government to recognise Parliament doing their job. We have been noticing these things happening, the Minister just doing his own things, but I want to thank you Minister.
The reason why I stood up is because you should encourage your colleagues in Cabinet so that they bring their issues here because we are the legislature and that is our duty. You find that if we do that, our laws will be used by those who you are putting up the laws for. The Executive should not take the powers of the legislature because law making is solely for Parliament.
Let me say Hon. Speaker, yes, the duty of Parliament had been reserved but looking at the law that the Minister has brought in, you will find that a lot of times when laws like these are brought into Parliament if we have agreed, we find that they do not ratify as a country because we are saying we have received it, but for it to be identified as
Zimbabwean, we do not see it. We have seen that we have ratified a lot of laws and they are there on the shelves, but they are not domesticated. It is my cry that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should talk to his colleagues. There are a lot of things that they have done but they are not in use because nothing has been brought to Parliament. We should give them room that they bring them and then we show them what we want as Zimbabweans, what we should use as Zimbabweans. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir,
I must say that it is very refreshing for me to come to the august House with a Bill and I find this consensus and the accolades from both sides of the House. I want to thank Hon. Members for the positive contributions that were given for the Bill and I must say that I want to acknowledge the contributions by all the Hon. Members. Indeed, some were asking - like Hon. Mashakada, what is the mischief that we want to cure in this Bill? I listened attentively to the contributions by Hon. Members and I am sure if Hon. Mashakada was listening, he was able to capture the mischief that we are trying to cure. The concerns by the Hon. Members that we have treaties that we have been signing and the process of ratification and domestication was haphazard, so this Bill is trying to give the legal framework on what we need to do should we enter into an international treaty (the processes of) until it is ratified and publicised so that members of the public also become aware of it.
I am sure the concerns by the Hon. Members motivated us to come with this Bill so that we cure that mischief that we have been accused of. I think this Bill will actually strengthen the role of Parliament. It is not taking away the role of Parliament. It will strengthen the role of Parliament in so far as the ratification and domestication of international treaties is concerned.
I notice Hon. Madzimure thought that this process was going to exclude Parliament. In fact, this Bill will actually enhance the work of Parliament and there will be more coordination because we are going to publish this. All the processes will have timeframes.
I also want to thank Hon. Tsunga again. He debated and said he noticed that I was fast tracking several conventions in Parliament. It was in response to calls by Hon. Members, that why are you not bringing those conventions for ratification and we responded positively. I think it is a positive cry from him and I want to acknowledge him. Indeed, we are going to have a systematic and methodical system of ratifying these conventions. It complements other Bills like he rightly said and it removes the opaqueness so to speak.
I want to thank Hon. Phulu for his comments and indeed I agree with him that the Bill is coming at an opportune time. I however want to say to Hon. Phulu – I agree with you that we need a definition of a foreign organisation in this Bill. In fact, I no longer intend to remove foreign organisation in my amendment to the Constitution. I believe that when it comes to loan agreements, it is adequately covered under Section 300 of the Constitution and the lack of a definition in Section
327 is not fatal. I think there are various ways of interpreting legislation. You go to the literal, purposive and the lack of a definition, there it is not fatally defective but I agree with you. In this Bill, there is no harm in including a definition of foreign organisation.
Hon. Mpariwa, thank you very much for your debate and exactly your concern is what we are trying to address in this Bill. Mr. Speaker Sir, with these few words, I move that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: Thursday, 5th March, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that
Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 17 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE BENCHMARKING VISIT BY THE DELEGATION
OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET, FINANCE AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE PARLIAMENT OF KENYA
HON. MHONA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Benchmarking Visit by the delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development to the Parliament of Kenya from 28th July to 3rd August 2019.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
HON. MHONA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. It is unfortunate that the House is not full. This is a very important report that also addresses the issues of Hon. Members.
1.1 The Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development conducted a benchmarking visit to the Parliament of Kenya from the 28th July to 3rd of August 2019. The benchmarking visit was fully funded by Parliament of Zimbabwe. The visit was conducted during the first session of the 9th life of Parliament as part of capacity building for the Committee as it strives to understand its mandate and improve on how it conducts its business. The benchmarking visit was very fruitful as the delegation was able to achieve its main objectives.
1.2 The delegation comprised of nine Honourable Members of Parliament and one member of staff from the Budget, Finance and
Economic Development Committee, namely; Hon. Felix Mhona
(Chair of the Committee); Hon. Ability Gandawa; Hon. Alice
Ndhlovu; Hon. Edwin Mushoriwa; Hon. Godfrey Dube; Hon.
Tatenda Mavetera; Hon. Torerai Moyo; Hon. Willias Madzimure;
Hon. Zhemu Soda and Mrs. Precious Mtetwa (Secretary to the
2.0 CONTEXTUAL BACKGROUND
2.1 Zimbabwe and Kenya share a common history that both countries were once colonised by Britain, hence inherited a similar parliamentary system of governance. Both parliaments are bicameral in nature comprising of the National Assembly and the Senate. Kenya and Zimbabwe underwent some strong constitutional reforms in 2010 and 2013 respectively leading to the enactment of laws aimed at strengthening of the role of Parliament in the public finance management system and the whole budget process.
2.2 The Parliament of Kenya is administered by the Parliamentary Service Commission, which is the parliamentary decision making body, independent from the Executive and therefore an autonomous body. In executing its mandate, the Commission is
guided by the Parliamentary Service Act of November 28, 2000. On the other hand, Parliament of Zimbabwe is administered through the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders as provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is equivalent to the Parliamentary Service Commission of Kenya. However, the two systems differ in terms of composition, staff complement and the way they are administered.
2.3 The Constitution of Kenya further provides for the establishment of an Executive arm of the State drawn completely from individuals outside of Parliament. Section 152 (3) states that ‘A
Cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament.’ Prior to the enactment of the Constitution in 2010, Ministers were part of the legislature. This new provision ensures that there is complete separation of power among the three arms of the State. This arrangement complies with the doctrine of separation of powers as it allows each structure to supervise the other and ensuring checks and balances, thereby preventing abuse of public resources.
2.4 In Zimbabwe, while the law provides for separation of powers, there remains challenges in terms of implementation due to various factors, in particular who really owns the power of the purse between the Executive and the Legislature.
2.5 The issue of devolution seems to be identical in the constitutions of the two nations. The Constitution of Kenya devolved power and responsibilities from the national government to 47 elected county governments. Zimbabwe on the other hand, is also in the process of devolving power from the national government to provincial councils.
3.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE BENCHMARKING VISIT
3.1 The objectives of the benchmarking visit to the Parliament of
Kenya were specifically aimed at achieving the following;
- Learn the structure, role and activities of the equivalent and related Committee/s to the Finance and Economic
- Appreciate the work and strategies of Committees in their legislative and oversight roles; and iii.Share lessons and experiences of the Committees in the budget cycle and the functionality of the Budget Office.
4.0 PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES
4.1 During the one-week long benchmarking visit in Kenya, the delegation had the opportunity of touring the two chambers of
Parliament namely; the National Assembly and the Senate Chambers. In addition to that, the delegation observed a Parliament sitting session in the National Assembly. The delegation also held meetings with the Parliament Budget Office, Budget and
Appropriation Committee (BAC); and the Finance and Economic Planning Committee as it sought to establish and understand their different roles in the budget process.
4.2 On the invitation by the Hon. Chairperson of the BAC, the Committee had the honour to witness the issuance of birth certificates to the Shona community in Kikuyu province, which has been part of the stateless community in Kenya. Last but not least,
the delegation paid a courtesy call to the Chairperson of African
Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC) Kenya, Hon.
Shakeel Shabbir Ahmed.
5.0 TOUR OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND SENATE
5.1 The delegation toured both houses of Parliament namely, the National Assembly and Senate Chambers. It was established that Kenya operated under a unicameral system up to 1966 where a bicameral system which brought about the Upper and Lower houses was introduced. However, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya brought additional changes as it recognised the two houses as equal but with different roles and functions.
5.2 Currently, the National Assembly has a total of 349 seats, of which about 290 are elected from the constituencies, 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives by parliamentary political parties according to their proportion of members of the National Assembly. The National Assembly is mainly responsible for representing the people of the
constituencies and guiding the national purse in addition to their legislative and oversight function.
5.3 The Senate comprises of forty-seven (47) members each elected from the counties, sixteen (16) women members who are nominated by political parties according to their proportion of members of the Senate, two (2) members, being one man and one woman, representing the youth; two (2) members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities. The Senate represents the counties and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments in addition to their legislative and oversight functions.
5.4 During the tours, the delegation made the following observations;
5.4.1 That Parliament of Kenya has gone paperless since both houses were now computerised. All Members of Parliament receive the Order Paper and Hansard on the tablets fixed on their tables in the
5.4.2 The Parliament of Kenya has adopted the Biometric Registration for both houses, which makes it easier to register attendance of the members in the House.
5.4.3 Both Chamber infrastructure is sensitive to persons with disability given that they have reserved seats in the House specifically designed to accommodate them.
5.4.4 There is a Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit within Parliament, which operates full time to broadcast all parliamentary business to the various radio and TV stations on a commercial basis. The Unit is manned by staff of Parliament.
5.4.5 There is a Media Centre within the precinct of Parliament which is fully furnished and equipped, where the media people use to prepare their stories for publication.
6.0 MEETING WITH THE PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET
6.1 The delegation noted that the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established in 2007 as a non-partisan professional office of the Parliament of Kenya. The primary function of the office is to provide professional non-partisan advice in respect of budget, finance and economic information to committees of Parliament, in particular the Budget and Appropriation Committee (BAC) and the Finance and Planning Committee (FPC). The office was established under the Directorate of Information and Research by a resolution of Parliament pending the enactment of the requisite legislation. The decision to create the PBO came about on the realisation that budget documents are bulky and complex, hence the need to be synthesised and highlight the salient issues for parliamentarians to take note and make quick decisions.
6.2 The delegation noted that the PBO of Kenya was established without any legal backing until 2009 when the Fiscal Management Act (FMA) was enacted, which established the PBO as a unit under the Parliamentary Service Commission. The office was subsequently elevated to a directorate in 2010. The enactment of the Public Finance Management Act in 2012 repealed the Fiscal Management Act and also enhanced the operational independence of the PBO.
6.3 The PBO is headed by the Director, Mrs Phyllis Ndunge Makau who reports administratively to the Clerk of the National
Assembly. She was among the first employees to work for the
PBO at establishment in 2007, having worked in the Treasury Department for close to 20 years. Currently, the office comprises of three departments, headed by three Deputy Directors namely;
- Macroeconomic Analysis and Statistics Department, which specialises on sectoral expenditure analysis and in-year expenditure tracking,
- Budget Analysis and Sectoral Expenditure Department, which specialises on macroeconomic modelling and forecasting, and
- Tax Analysis and Inter-Fiscal Relations Department, which specialises on tax analysis and revenue forecasting, money bill determination and costing as well as inter-fiscal matters.
- The PBO currently has a staff establishment comprising of 44 professional analysts ranging from economists, statisticians, fiscal analysts and lawyers, among others. The Head of Department has so far proposed for an expansion of the staff from the current 44 to 50 as measures to enhance the capacity of the office.
- The PBO enjoys a cordial relationship with the Budget and Appropriation Committee, Finance and Planning Committee and a supportive Parliament Administration from both houses of Parliament. As a department within Parliament, the operations of the office have been benchmarked to that of the Congressional Budget Office in the United States of America.
- The PBO provides technical and support services to the Committee on a fulltime basis.
- The PBO provides both reactive and proactive analysis on all budgetary matters. The key outputs of the PBO includes, among others the following;
- Budget Options, whereby alternative fiscal framework for the annual budget are proffered,
- Budget Watch, which is a synthesis of the annual budget,
- Money Bill Determination Certificates based on the review of the legislation in accordance with Article 114 of the
Constitution on ‘Money Bills’,
- Analytical Briefs on the Budget Policy Statement (BPS),
- Analytical Briefs on the Annual Estimates of Revenue and
- Monthly Bulletins summarising the key economic and budget developments in the economy.
7.0 THE BUDGET MAKING PROCESS IN KENYA
7.1 The delegation discussed the budget making process in Kenya with the officials from the PBO. The presentation was made by Mrs
Lucy Makara who highlighted the following key issues;
7.1.1 The budget process in Kenya is shaped by its past history, being a British colony, hence adoption of the Westminster approach in its governance system. In order to enhance the budgetary process and the public finance management system in the country, several reforms were undertaken by the Government of Kenya from 1986. The reforms aimed at addressing the gaps in the budget process and enhance the role of Parliament in overseeing the utilisation of public resources for the betterment of the people. Thus, in 1987, the issuance of Treasury Circular by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Finance begun and the introduction of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
7.1.2 The 2010 Constitution further changed the public finance management architecture and made the budget process in Kenya more participatory. Chapter 12 of the Constitution of Kenya sets
out the principles of public finance management. It emphasises the need for public involvement in the budget process, while the PFMA delegates that role to consult the people to the Budget and Appropriation Committee of the National Assembly.
7.1.3 The delegation noted that the Parliament of Kenya has the ‘power of the purse’ in the budget process.
7.1.4 It was also established that in Kenya, the financial year runs from July to June. Thus, the budget making process begins in August when the Cabinet Secretary issues the Treasury Circular in consultation with the Cabinet. Sector Working Groups (SWGs) are also launched on the basis of key policy areas and issues raised in the circular to focus on during the budget process. The SWGs comprises of ministries grouped together depending on their functions and operations as measures to enhance synergies among departments of governments. All ministries are required to participate in their respective sector working groups which review their priorities to ensure they are consistent with the strategic
national objectives as outlined in the medium term plans and Vision 2030. The SWGs then prepares reports that inform the budget preparations.
7.1.5 The various SWGs reports inform the preparation of the Budget Strategy Paper (BSP) which must be tabled by the National Treasury latest by 15 February each year. Parliament has 14 days to review and approve the BSP. The National Standing Orders require the departmental committees to deliberate upon the BSP based on their respective mandate and make recommendations to the BAC. The BAC then tables the consolidated report on the BSP to the National Assembly outlining the recommended revenue projections, total expenditure and ceiling by vote for the national government, the Judiciary and Parliament.
7.1.6 The National Treasury is required to take into account the resolutions of Parliament on the BSP when preparing the final budget for the fiscal year. If the National Treasury deviates from the resolutions made by Parliament, a statement explaining the deviation must accompany the Budget Policy Statement. The Budget Statement must be tabled not later than 30 April every fiscal year. In line with that, the Parliamentary Service Commission and the Judiciary independently present their estimates for expenditure to the National Assembly by the 30th of April each fiscal year.
7.1.7 Of importance to note, are the various institutions created by the Constitution which are key and relevant to the budget process. The introduction of Sector Working Groups and public participation through budget hearings has been very pivotal in the history of
Kenya. The delegation noted that the consultative processes in
Kenya are quite comprehensive as it involves various stakeholders. The process involves both the bottom up and up bottom approaches. Overall, the budget process is guided by the Medium Term Plan (2018 – 2022) and Vision 2030 policy document of the country.
7.1.8 The delegation noted that the Constitution mandates the Executive to table the National Budget Statement and the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure at least two months before the end of each financial year [Article 221(1) of the Constitution]. The Leader of the Majority in Parliament tables the Budget in Parliament while the BAC and the Finance and Planning Committee play a critical role in the budgeting processes.
7.1.9 Kenya has adopted and is implementing programme based budgeting (PBB) framework where it links national agenda and output.
8.0 ROLE OF DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEES AND BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE (BAC) IN
THE BUDGET PROCESS
8.1 Once the Budget Policy Statement is tabled in the National Assembly, it is automatically referred to the departmental committees for review in accordance with their respective mandates.
8.2 The departmental committees prepare and submit their recommendations to the BAC within 21 days. The delegation learnt that all the departmental committees after their consultations are expected to table their reports before the BAC, which has the powers to scrutinise the reports and amend where necessary before adopting the reports and finally tables the consolidated report. The BAC reviews the overall budget estimates, taking into account the recommendations of the departmental committees, the content of the BSP, the views of the public and the views of the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury.
8.3 The BAC finally prepares a consolidated report with recommendations for consideration and approval by the National Assembly.
8.4 The BAC is specifically mandated to deal with all budgetary matters. In order to ensure that the people are involved in the process, the BAC is also mandated to engage the people in the budget process through budget consultative meetings in the various counties. Kenya has 47 counties and the BAC is expected to visit all the counties by the end of its five year life of Parliament. In line with that, the delegation established that the Committee strives to visit on average, at least eight or nine counties per year to solicit their views on the ensuing budget.
8.5 It was also highlighted that every year, Parliament sets aside a small budget specifically targeted at addressing the needs and challenges raised by the people during the budget consultative process in the counties. For example, if a particular county requested for the construction of boreholes or rehabilitation of clinics and hospitals, the BAC then recommends Parliament to avail resources for that. This in turn ensures that the National Budget deals with bigger projects of national concern.
8.6 The delegation noted that the BAC comprises of 26 Members who then are divided into smaller teams of two or three MPs and staff to visit the various counties to gather the views of the people.
8.7 The delegation was informed that the Parliamentary Service Commission also appears before the BAC to table and defend their estimates and proposed expenditure for Parliament every year. The Committee on Justice also deliberates on the estimates and proposed expenditure by the Judiciary and latter tables before the BAC for approval.
8.8 It was established that once the budget has been approved by Parliament, the Constitution mandates the National Assembly to authorise withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund the money needed for expenditure by the two arms of the State, namely Parliament and Judiciary. Article 221 (6) states that; “When the estimates of national government expenditure, and the estimates of expenditure for the Judiciary and Parliament have been approved by the National Assembly, they shall be included in an
Appropriation Bill, which shall be introduced into the National
Assembly to authorise the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund
of the money needed for the expenditure, and for the appropriation of that money for the purposes mentioned in the Bill.”
8.9 Thus, Article 221 (6) enables Parliament and Judiciary to withdrew from the Consolidated Fund and plan their own activities for the year without relying much on piecemeal disbursements parcelled out by the Ministry of Finance as is the case in Zimbabwe. This allows for complete separation of power and allows the three arms of the State to execute their mandate effectively.
9.0 ROLE OF THE CONTROLLER OF THE BUDGET
9.1 Part 6 of the Constitution of Kenya establishes the office of the Controller of the Budget. The office is responsible for all approval of the withdrawals and disbursements at both the national and county levels from the Consolidated Fund. The Controller of the budget works closely with the National Treasury. He/She controls all budget disbursements and submit quarterly reports on the implementation of the budget to Parliament, highlighting all the achievements and challenges on implementation of the budget on both the national and county level.
9.2 The office is specifically aimed at promoting transparency and accountability by ensuring that funds are released only for budgeted activities and thus, any unauthorised activity is not funded.
9.2 The Controller of the budget only holds office for a term of eight years only and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.
10.0 ROLE OF THE COMMISSION OF REVENUE
10.1 The Constitution of Kenya also created the Commission of Revenue Allocation, which is responsible for recommending the allocation of the national revenue between the national government and the counties based on the principle of equitably sharing of revenue by the government.
10.2 The delegation established that the Commission comprises of nine members appointed based on the political parties represented in both houses of Parliament and are not Members of Parliament.
10.3 It was established that both houses must agree on the division of revenue between the national government and the counties.
However, the delegation also established that during the 20192020 budget, both houses failed to agree on revenue allocation thereby stalling the budget process. When such challenges happen, the President through the presidential powers is expected to break the impasse and allocate the revenue based on his own discretion.
11.0 MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF THE BUDGET
11.1 The delegation noted that mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the budget in Kenya were already in place. It was established that monitoring of the budget implementation is strictly done by the Executive through the State Department of Planning.
11.2 It was highlighted that there were Planning and Monitoring Units in every Ministry which directly reports to the State Department on Planning on all budgetary matters. The reports submitted by the
Planning and Monitoring Units to the State Department on Planning are also forwarded to the Controller of the budget and these reports feed into his/her quarterly reporting to Parliament on budget implementation.
11.3 However, challenges were raised relating to ministries and State departments failing to submit monthly and quarterly reports timeously or not reporting as effectively as possible.
11.4 It was noted that there were cases of Non-Compliance with the legislative provisions on public finance management leading to the departmental committees bringing to book the Cabinet Secretaries for the relevant ministries. Parliament of Kenya is strongly involved in providing oversight on the work of the Executive and bringing them to account.
11.5 The delegation observed that Parliament has the right to recommend for the dismissal of a Cabinet Secretary once satisfied that he/she has failed to discharge the mandate of the office
represented or in the event that his/her performance is not satisfactory.
12.0 MEETING WITH THE BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION
12.1 The delegation witnessed the BAC in session as it considers
Private Member’s Bills which have financial implications to the
National Budget. Tabled before the Committee was the
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Practitioners Bill,
2019 and the National Construction Authority (NCA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
12.2 The ICT Practitioners Bill was sponsored by Hon. Godfrey Otsotsi with the support of the leader of the majority in the National Assembly while the NCA Amendment was sponsored by an individual Member of Parliament, Hon. David Gikaria.
12.3 The delegation established that all Bills that have any financial implications to the National Budget are tabled before the BAC for analysis and Bill costing. The PBO plays a significant role in this regard. It provides an analysis of the Bills and costs them in terms of their financial implications to the National Budget.
12.4 The PBO submits to the Committee the Bill analysis with THREE POLICY OPTIONS for the Committee to consider based on what is called the ‘Three Scenarios,’ as follows;(i) Accept the proposal as it is, or (ii) Pass with amendments, or (iii) Reject the proposal.
12.4 The delegation was informed that the Committee Clerk to the BAC is from the PBO. This has had greater impact on the production of minutes and reports for the Committee.
13.0 MEETING WITH THE FINANCE AND PLANNING
COMMITTEE (OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE)
13.1 The delegation attended a committee session of the Finance and Planning Committee whose main mandate focuses on public finance, monetary policies, public debt, financial institutions, investment, revenue policies, planning and national development.
The Committee oversees the work of the Ministry of Finance and
Planning and Kenya Revenue Authority, among other key
government department. In terms of implementation of the budget, the Committee relies on the quarterly reports tabled in the House by the Controller of the budget. The Committee also relies significantly on the work of the PBO in terms of analysis of key documents tabled before the Committee.
13.2 The Committee comprises of 19 members drawn from the various political parties and educational background. The delegation established that during the budget process, the Committee is mainly seized with the analysis of the Budget Policy Statement, in particular the revenue raising measures, therein.
13.3 The delegation learnt that prior to the enactment of the Constitution, the BAC and the Finance and Planning Committee used to operate as one Committee. However, it was noted that the current status quo whereby the two Committees were split into two has brought its own challenges. The members of the Committee felt that their role was split, hence they do not have a full appreciation of what is transpiring on both side of the public purse,
i.e. the demand and supply side, hence concurred that the Zimbabwe set up was much better in terms of overseeing the national purse rather than the status quo in Kenya.
13.4 On the revenue raising measures, the delegation noted that the Committee was very powerful in terms of fixing the taxes to be levied on the people of Kenya each financial year. It was established that no tax is levied on the people of Kenya without the approval of Parliament.
13.5 A case in point was the 16% Petroleum Tax that was proposed by the Executive in 2017. The tax stimulated a lot of debate as the people of Kenya were against the levying of the tax. The Committee on Finance and Planning tabled a report proposing that the tax remains at 0%. Therefore, in order to address the impasse, the President intervened and eventually used his Presidential powers to enact the tax legislation. Therefore, the Bill was eventually passed at 8% on the basis of the presidential memorandum put to the House and voted for by the whole house.
Thus, the delegation was fully convinced of the powers of the Committee in terms of its representative and legislative role.
13.5 The delegation also established that the Committee has the powers to change and propose new revenue raising measures in consultation with key stakeholders. The Executive has no right to levy a tax that has not been approved by Parliament.
14.0 CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUND (CDF)
14.1 During the deliberations, the delegation was also interested in understanding how the CDF is implemented in Kenya. The delegation was informed that the planning and budgeting for CDF was done at the national level under the national government. Counties only focus on the development of their respective areas, while CDF funds are mainly aimed at infrastructure development. As set out in the Kenya Constitution, the CDF funds are administered through a National Board and implemented through the constituency offices.
14.2 The delegation established that for the year 2018/2019, each Member of Parliament got SH109 040 875.52 (equivalent of USD1 090 408.75) as CDF. The amount is not fixed and it varies depending on the approved budget for the ensuing year.
14.3 At the constituency level, the Member of Parliament sits in the CDF Committee as a Committee Member and does not chair the meeting due to conflict of interest. However, the MP plays a pivotal role in the selection process of the committee members.
15.0 COURTESY CALL ON THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK AGAINST
CORRUPTION (APNAC) KENYA
15.1 The delegation paid a courtesy call on the Chairperson of APNAC Kenya, Hon. Shakeel Shabbir Ahmed. The purpose of the visit was to gain some insights on how APNAC, Kenya has been operating as a lobby group of Parliamentarians fighting corruption. Hon. Ahmed highlighted that APNAC has become Africa’s leading
network of parliamentarians working to strengthen Parliamentary capacity to fight corruption and promote good governance.
15.2 The delegation established that the Kenya Chapter was initiated in
February 2001, through the efforts of the former Member of
Parliament for Webuye Constituency, Hon. Musikari Kombo
(former Chairman of a Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Select Committee). The delegation was informed that prior to the establishment of APNAC Kenya in 2001, the Kenya Chapter of
Parliamentary Caucus was formed to support the work of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Anti-Corruption.
15.3 At its inauguration, APNAC secretariat was supported by Transparency International Kenya. The current President of
APNAC Africa, Hon. Justin B. Muturi, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya has been very supportive and has strengthened the position of APNAC Kenya Chapter. The Hon.
Speaker is also the Chair of APNAC Africa Executive Council.
Currently, the APNAC KENYA Secretariat is served by four members of staff.
15.4 The delegation established that APNAC Kenya comprises of more than 40 Members of Parliament drawn from all the political divide, including two senators. Membership to the Kenyan Chapter is voluntary comprising of members passionate about fighting corruption.
15.5 Hon. Ahmed highlighted that the Chapter has already developed a code of conduct and membership guidelines in line with the provisions of the Leadership and Integrity Act of 2012, Public
Officer Ethics Act 2003, Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes
Act 2003 and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). He noted that as the Kenya Chapter, all APNAC members were made to read and sign the Code of Conduct and
Guidelines as commitment to serve the Chapter.
15.6 The delegation learnt that APNAC Kenya has had milestone achievements between 2001 and 2008, which included among others, the following;
- Spearheaded the drafting and enactment of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Bill, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Leadership and Integrity Act (LIA),
Access to Information Act and Bribery Act.
- Advocated for the country to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003 and the establishment of the Anti-corruption division of the High Court.
- Currently, pushing for the enactment of the whistle blowers and witnesses’ protection law and towards Kenya’s ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Good
16.0 VISIT TO THE KIKUYU CONSTITUENCY
16.1 The Committee was invited to Kikuyu Constituency by Hon. Kimani Ichung’wa (Chairperson of the BAC)to witness the issuing
of birth certificates to the Shona community from Zimbabwe, which has been part of the stateless community since around 1960s when they entered Kenya as missionaries.
16.2 The delegation was informed that the Shona community living in Kenya is estimated to be more than 2000, of which some of them are living in Kinoo location of Chief. J. Kimemia. The Government of Kenya facilitated for the issuance of the registration of credentials as measures to integrate them into the Kenyan community so that they can claim their rights as citizens of Kenya.
16.3 The Shona community was living in Kenya illegally, without the proper documentation to facilitate for the right to education and health or to seek employment and many other benefits essential to citizens of a country.
16.4 It was a sombre moment for the delegation to witness the occasion.
17.0 Key Committee Observations and Recommendations
|Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development|
|17.1||There is no complete separation of power between Parliament and the Executive in Zimbabwe as is the case in Kenya. Parliament of Kenya completely owns the ‘Power of the Purse.’||That the Executive completely surrenders the ‘power of the purse’ to Parliament and allow the concept of separation of power to dominate between the Executive and Legislature especially on all budgetary matters.||Parliament and
|On going engagements|
|17.2||During the budget process, all Portfolio
Zimbabwe table reports in the House, while in Kenya, all the Departmental
Committees submits their budget analysis reports to the BAC, which in turns tables a consolidated report in
|That Parliament adopts the practice, whereby all Portfolio Committees submit their reports to the Finance and Economic Development Committee, which compiles a consolidated
report for tabling in the National Assembly. This process will facilitate for presentation of one report that speaks to all issues without contradictions that usually arise from each committee presenting its own report and ensure more time is left for debate of the national budget.
|Beginning Third Session of the
|17.3||Parliament of Kenya through the Budget and Appropriations Committee and with the assistance of the
Parliamentary Budget Office, has an enhanced role in the budget cycle.
|That the operation of the PBO be backed up by legislation.
Increase the staff complement of the PBO to adequately support the work of the Budget, Finance and Economic
Development Committee and other committees of Parliament.
Economic Development and
Committee on Budget,
Finance and Economic Development conducts budget consultations throughout the country
to traditional city venues whereas the
|That the Budget, Finance and
Committee strives to visit new centres every year for budget consultations and avoid repeating the same old venues.
For the 5-year life of
Parliament, the Committee
|Parliament Administration and Committee on Budget, Finance and
|Third Session of the 9th Parliament|
|Budget Consultations in Kenya are conducted every year by the BAC, which ensures that by the end of the 5 year life of Parliament, all 47 counties have been visited.||must have reached out to the grassroots.|
|17.5||There is no clear monitoring and evaluation of government projects in Zimbabwe throughout budget implementation. The Government of Kenya has in place adequate measures for monitoring and evaluation of the budget performance.||That the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry
of Finance establishes a Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism to monitor government projects
|17.6||The Secretariat serving the Committee on Budget, Finance and
Economic Development is inadequate. In Kenya, the BAC is clerked by a Committee Clerk who is a full time staff from the PBO. In addition to that, the Committee is served by staff permanently attached from the PBO and a Researcher from the Research Department.
|That the Committee on Budget,
Finance and Economic Development Committee be adequately capacitated by investing in more staff to serve the Committee on a full time basis. The Committee Clerk must be selected from the
Parliament Budget Office.
|By December 2019|
|17.7||While the two Parliaments are administered by the Committee on
Standing Rules and
|That the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders be transformed in terms of its composition to strictly comprise of Backbenchers in terms of its||CSRO
|Orders (Zimbabwe) and the Parliamentary Service Commission (Kenya), which are equivalent in terms of their roles and functions, the two differs in terms of composition.||composition to ensure complete separation of power between the Executive and Parliament
|17.8||Parliament of Kenya owns a Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit to broadcast all parliament business to media houses||That Parliament seriously considers establishing a Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit to be managed commercially.||Parliament
Zimbabwe manually records attendance of MPs in the House while Parliament of Kenya uses biometric registration, which is more efficient and cost-effective.
|While Parliament has adopted
biometric registration for all
Hon. Members attending Parliament and Committees as measures to reduce human errors and enhance operational efficiency of the institution, the equipment is lying idle and not being used. It is recommended that the implementation process be expedited.
I thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker,
the visit to the Parliament of Kenya was a real eye opening experience. Our first port of call as the Chairperson has said when we started to do our serious business was – [HON. ZHOU: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, can I be protected. Can Hon. Zhou be disciplined?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zhou.
HON. MADZIMURE: When we visited the Parliamentary
Budget Office Mr. Speaker, the moment you walk into the building itself and the offices later you have the sense that you are getting into a real office where serious business is carried out. The layout in the office is professional. The directors in the offices are highly qualified people with adequate staff and infrastructure around them in terms of equipment and I.T gadgets that they have and also the ability of the office to do serious research as it advises the Budget Committee.
Mr. Speaker, you find that whenever a Bill is proposed, this particular office researches, makes a presentation and recommends to Members and it will be up to the Members to analyse the information before them that would have been prepared by professionals who have got all the resources to do so. It becomes so easy for a committee to make decisions that are fully informed. This happens Madam Speaker whenever a Financial Bill in Kenya comes before Parliament. It does not matter whether it is under whatever Ministry but as long as it involves money, it goes before the Budget Office and they make the necessary recommendations.
Their budget process Madam Speaker is adhered to. It is a process that is well-funded and it should be repeated as it should be repeated. This is completely different from our process where we struggle to get the funds to do what we are supposed to do. In Kenya, it is obvious that the work has to be carried out. There is a very good reason why that is possible. This is because there is real separation of powers between the Executive and Parliament.
Madam Speaker, we were amazed to find out that when the Secretary from the Treasury comes to the House, they actually use the backdoor. There is a desk by the backdoor where they get in, make their presentation and get out of the House. Between the Executive and Parliament, there is a well structured difference. The budget strategy paper Madam Speaker, is one important thing that happens in Kenya which we do not have here in Zimbabwe. A budget strategic paper is important in the sense that you first look at the focus. What is it that you want to achieve. When you have got that information, you can now start thinking about how you are going to make resources available. In our case, we do not know what is going to happen and the intentions of the Executive. In Kenya, a budget paper is prepared and presented to Parliament, Parliament looks at it and other issues that they think are important that are not covered in the strategic paper
S: t505515 3rd March, 2020
and then make the recommendations to Treasury so that the budget is prepared. Parliament is the one that will then pass that particular budget, making sure that all they recommended has been taken care of. There must be discourse, an agreement - and what makes that process very important is that there is a buy inn. You all know what is going to come out, what you intend to do as a country and the support that you give to the Executive to make sure that whatever is in the budget, what we intended to do has been realised.
So, Parliament and the Executive will then not struggle to ensure that the budget passes. It becomes so easy because we all know what we want to achieve. It also takes away the situation where people are whipped to pass a budget. Why should we be whipped to pass a budget? The moment you whip people to pass a budget, it means you are not sure that the budget is meant to serve the people. There must be total agreement from both sides. We must all pass the budget cheerfully, not under duress where we will all be complaining that we are made to pass this budget because the Executive wants the budget to be passed. Sometimes, as the Hon. Member said, it is because we want to be given cars - cars are not an issue in Kenya Madam Speaker. A parliamentarian drives a car of his/her choice. As part of the budget – how it also works, even the security of the Members of Parliament is guaranteed in Kenya.
If you want police protection, it is given, because there are several reasons why you would want to be protected; it happens in Kenya because the provision in the budget is there. The Chair has covered quite a lot and I will just touch on some. The issue of the Comptroller of the Budget, this is very important. When a budget is passed you then look at the outturn of the budget. How do you do it? It must be monitored; you must ensure that the money that is supposed to be disbursed is disbursed on time.
In our case, we have allocated ministries and departments certain amounts of money but on several occasions they do not get what they would have been allocated. Again, it takes us back to the issue of the budget paper. If we had agreed that this is how we are going to spend the money, we will also have discussed on how we are going to fund the budget. So whenever you agree on a certain amount for a ministry, it must then be disbursed to that ministry so that when it fails to perform, it will be the ministry that would have failed to perform and this will now be looked at when you do monitoring and evaluation of the budget. In Kenya they have offices that do that. Monitoring and evaluation, that is the only way you can guarantee economic development because the next time when you fund a project, you know exactly where you will have left the project at, and also the issue of corruption and manipulating figures, you can actually discover that as you monitor the budget.
The other issue that I would want to raise Madam Speaker is the issue of CDF. Madam Speaker in our country the little money that we get; it is so difficult for Members of Parliament sometimes even to acquit what they will have received, why? It is because we do not have a structure that manages the CDF, in Kenya they have a board, in the constituency there is a real office, well equipped with staff from a director going downwards. They can account for every cent. The
Member of Parliament’s influence is on the selection of the office bearers and the Member of Parliament also participates in identifying the projects. We went to one constituency which was near Nairobi where we saw a number of our relatives there. I even found out that they are a lot of vanamadyira ikoko and it was quite a touching experience because these people had never met their colleagues from home.
In that particular constituency, the Member of Parliament who took us there recommended that a school be built and we witnessed that, we saw a school that was fully funded by the CDF. There were community halls that were fully funded by CDF and the Member of Parliament in consultation with the community will have identified the need for that particular project. So, the recommendation is that even in Zimbabwe with the little that we are given, there must be enough money to ensure that there is an office in the constituency and at least there is someone who accounts for the CDF not then to expect the Committee that is constituted like almost randomly and there is no one who is directly accountable. You make the Member of Parliament accountable for the CDF and because he will just have failed to produce books properly because we are not accountants, then you find the auditors saying the
Member of Parliament misused the money. Why should be Member of Parliament be responsible for the actually spending of the CDF? Let us put the structures in place that manage the CDF. If we want to do it, we do it fully, let there be officers who will manage the CDF and again if you then have officers, obviously you have to increase the CDF so that it becomes meaningful.
The Africa Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption
(APNAK) chapter in Kenya is quite well established and it contributes towards the making of laws that pertain to the fighting against corruption and it is well recognised. The Kenyan Speaker is also currently the head of APNAK Africa, he is the Chair actually at the moment in some countries they call him a president. They have got their offices at the National Assembly.
Madam Speaker on the recommendations, I think the Chairperson read out all the recommendations and I am totally in support of the recommendations that the Committee came up with. With those few remarks, I urge this Parliament to take a leaf from what Kenya does because it is progressive, it strengthens their democracy, it also gives
Parliament its corrective position in society as the people’s representative. I thank you.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 21 has been disposed
HON. NDIWENI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND
CHILD CARE ON THE PETITION FROM THE SOCIETY FOR THE
PRE AND POST NATAL SERVICES (SPANS) ON THE STATE OF
AFFAIRS IN THE PROVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
HON. NDIWENI: I move the motion that this House takes note of the
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on the Petition from the Society for the Pre and Post Natal Services (SPANS) on the State of Affairs in the Provision of Mental Health Services in Zimbabwe.
HON. WATSON: I second.
HON. NDIWENI: 1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.2 Pursuant to Section 149 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Society for Pre and Post Natal Services (SPANS) petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe on the provision of mental health services in Zimbabwe. Accordingly, the petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care for consideration and appropriate actioning. To this end, the Portfolio Committee considered and resolved to inquire into the issues raised in the petition.
The objectives of the enquiry were:
2.1. To assess the state of affairs of the mental health services in terms of medicines and drugs situation, infrastructure and human resources;
2.2. To appreciate challenges that this sector is faced with; and 2.3. To recommend possible solutions for improved mental health service delivery in Zimbabwe.
The Committee held two separate oral evidence meetings with the
Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Obadiah Moyo and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Agnes Mahomva. In addition, the Committee undertook fact finding visits to mental health institutions, central and provincial hospitals.
3.1 Oral Evidence Sessions
3.1.1 The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Obadiah Moyo, appeared before the Committee on the 10th of April, 2019 to brief the Committee on the policy measures that are in place to ensure the implementation of the National Health Strategy with regards the provision of mental health in Zimbabwe.
3.1.2 The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Child Care appeared before the Committee on the 23rd of July 2019 to brief the
Committee on why the Mental Health Review Tribunal Board has not been meeting to assess the continued detention of both civilly committees and forensic patients in the the mental healthcare institutions.
3.2 Fact Finding Visits
3.2.1 The Committee undertook fact finding visits to the mental health institutions, central and provincial hospitals namely: Ingutsheni and
Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospitals, Mlondolozi and Chikurubi Forensic
Psychiatric Units, Gweru, Masvingo, Bindura, Chinhoyi and Gwanda
Provincial Hospitals, St. Luke’s Mission Hospital, Harare and Mpilo, Parirenyatwa and United Bulawayo Central Hospitals. The fact finding visits took place from 14-20 July 2019 with the exception of the visit to Chikurubi Forensic Unit which took place on the 16th of June 2019 during a field tour organized by the National AIDS Council (NAC).
4.0 FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
4.1 COMMON CAUSES OF MENTAL HEALTH
4.1.1 The most common known causes of mental health diseases are: Anxiety disorder:-i.e depression and stress; and Drug and substance abuse: i.e marijuana and alcohol. Giving oral evidence before the Committee on the 10th of April 2019, Dr. Mangwiro stated that most mental health issues are Non-Communicable Disease related - for example, diabetes and hypertension which, for long, have been neglected. Dr. Mangwiro added that when mothers are pregnant and suffering from diabetes or hypertension, there are chances of having children who are born with mental cases due to deformities. Depression can come because a child is born with an open spina bifida or with a hole in the heart. Diabetes can lead to a lot of complications in children.
4.2 INGUTSHENI PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTION
4.2.1 Ingutsheni hospital was established in 1908. It has 14 wards and
separate home (St. Francis) for children with learning and severe mental disabilities whose ages range from 5-16 years. The hospital has a bed capacity of 708 and experiences an increasing attendance each month. The average number of in-patients per day is 550+ mostly from substance and drug abuse. The monthly bed occupancy rate for 2018 was 78.13% compared to January to June 2019 rate which was at 81%. The Hospital attends to an average of 2000 out patients per month. It offers OI/ART services with 665 patients registered on ART.
4.2.2 In 2018, the hospital experienced a 200% increase in financing from the government compared to 2017. The 2019 disbursement as of 15 July 2019 was $2.4 million against an initial budget allocation of $1.6 million.
4.2.3 The hospital benefited from the Health levy account funds. To date, the hospital has spent in excess of $1 million of the Health levy fund on Central Nervous System (CNS) medicines and hospital assets.
However, the price instability of drugs on the market since October 2018 has presented the institution with procurement challenges (price changes and quotation). At the time of the visit, the hospital reported 75% availability of
the required CNS medicines from NatPharm.
4.2.4 The current price instability has also eroded the value of staff salaries and reduced the salaries by more than 80% in real terms. Staff has remained committed but they are really struggling to make ends meet.
4.2.5 Due to price instability on the market, the Hospital Executive came up with mitigatory measures to ensure the availability of medicines, food, and other basic necessities. The mitigation strategies include: Bulk procurement of supplies, Procurement of bulk fuel at the hospital and increased efficiency on the use of available resources. Reduced procurement lead times and continuous follow up on payments with MOHCC and Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The hospital engaged the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) for construction of residential accommodation on site in a proposed Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project that would generate revenue for the institution through rentals. The Hospital also partners with
Civil Society Organisations.
4.2.6 Ingutsheni has a shortage of staff which includes: clinical psychologists, general psychiatrists and forensic psychiatrists (with the only forensic psychiatrist the hospital having, resigned in May 2019). The hospital is critically in need of 95 additional nurses, and more security guards.
4.2.7 The Health Levy account has made significant difference with regards to medicines. The Hospital gets support from management at NATPHARM and they have 75 % availability of CNS medicines.
4.3 ST. FRANCIS HOME
4.3.1. St. Francis Home is a mental health hospital for children with severe physical and mental problems. It has a bedding capacity of 60 beds and currently there are 50 patients:- 30 girls and 20 boys. The youngest is 5 years old and the oldest is 26 years (incapacitated). You would wonder I said 5 – 16 years old but this 20 year old was incapacitated.
4.3.2 St. Francis has a shortage of staff as evidenced by the non- availability of a speech therapist. There are no daily activities for the patients and this causes children to have bed sores because they will spend most of their time sleeping. The staff attends to them 2- 3 days a week and they are in need of additional manpower to help them carry those patients around.
4.3.3 There is a nursery ward at St Francis which accommodates
children ranging from 5 months to 1year. However, there are some who are 16 years but because they are incapacitated they cannot mix them with other teenage patients.
4.3.4 There is shortage of ablution facilities at St. Francis as evidenced
by having only 5 working bathrooms out of 13.
5.0 NGOMAHURU PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTION
5.1.1 The institution was built in the early 1920s by the Dutch
Reformed Church as a Leprosy Hospital. The Rhodesian Government took over the management of the institution from the Dutch Missionaries in 1925. The institution was converted into a tuberculosis sanatorium in
1945 till the end of 1968 and became a psychiatric unit in January 1969.
5.1.2 Ngomahuru has three (3) admission wards namely acute ward
for male patients, Villa 3 for males and Villa 2 for the female patients.
hospital has a bed capacity of 100 in-patients per ward of which 80% are resident.
5.1.3 Ngomahuru admits patients who are 18 years and above and
rare occasions 16 years. Thus, the institution does not offer infants and adolescents mental health services.
5.1.4 Ngomahuru also has a Rehabilitation Department. It has a
Halfway Home and two (2) resettlement schemes for patients who have nowhere to go after being discharged.
5.2.1 All services rendered to patients are for free and therefore, solely rely on Government of Zimbabwe for funding. The institution augments these funds through running small scale projects such as the Soweto Bar and Tuckshop and the Grinding Mill. However, of late, these projects were reported to be having viability challenges owing to the prevailing economic hardships and also inadequate financial support from the Government of Zimbabwe.
5.2.2 In the 2019 budget, the institution had bided for $1.5 million but was allocated $400 000.00. Of the allocated money, only $110 000.00 was released in February 2019 but the institution had not accessed the released funds at the time of the visit by the Committee.
5.2.3 It was reported that the institution does not have a functional
Public Finance Management System.
5.3 Service Delivery
5.3.1 Ngomahuru treats the following top five (5) mental conditions: Drug Induced Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Acute Psychosis, Organic Psychosis and Epilepsy. It was reported that the prevalence of drug induced psychosis is on the increase and has become the top condition.
5.4 Patient Management
5.4.1 Ngomaguru gets its drug supply from Natpharm through the
Health Levy. However, there are no refrigerators for patients’ medicines and there is shortage of lockable medicine trolleys.
5.4.2 Patients have inadequate linen, e.g blankets, jerseys, uniforms,
bed sheets, mattresses and shoes. It was further reported that the institution had no detergents since the beginning of 2019 due to financial constraints.
5.4.3 Medicine stock supply status was as follows: Vital medicines-
92%; Essential medicines-76% and Necessary medicines-57%
5.5 Human Resources
5.5.1 The hospital officials reported that due to the current freeze the following critical posts are vacant: Clinical Psychologist (1);
Psychiatrist (1) Accounting Assistant (1); X-Ray Operator Principal (1);
Occupational Trainer (1); Government Medical Officer (1) and Matron Grade111 (1). Furthermore, it was stated that there is shortage of trained mental nurses (15 out of a possible of 52) due to lack of incentives.
5.5.2 It was also highlighted that there is under-establishment in posts such as drivers, typists, and hospital security guards and that staff uniforms for general hands, nurse aides, drivers among others is not provided regularly.
5.5.3 The Committee was also informed that staff at the institution was not benefitting from none monetary incentives such as vehicle loans, housing loans, and residential stands schemes.
5.5.4 The Committee was further informed that the morale of staff is low due to the unattractive salaries that they are currently being paid.
5.6 Laboratory Department
5.6.1 The Full Blood Count (FBC) machine was reported to be overdue for service and currently not being used because it was giving wrong readings and was taken to Masvingo Provincial Hospital for service. It was also reported that most of the reagents were out of stock.
5.7 Infrastructure and Equipment
It was reported that the institution is in need of the following: functional drainage system; furniture for both patients and staff; new blair toilets; mobile generators; photocopying machine; refurbishment of the Soweto Bar and Tuck Shop; reliable internet and telephone services; construction of a Baby Nursery and Female Halfway Home; construction of a proper Nurses Home and dormitories; refurbishment, construction and electrification of staff houses; installation of solar power system; good road networks; incinerator; laundry machine; and fuel tanks installation
6.0 MLONDOLOZI FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC
6.1 At the time of the visit by the Committee, the institution had a total of 391 deemed mentally challenged inmates against a staff strength of 153 officers. In addition, the institution also had two babies in its care. Of the above-mentioned total number, 73 were females while
318 were males. It was reported that the ideal would be a staff establishment of 250 officers.
6.2 Human Resources
6.2.1 Staff morale of the officers at the institution was reported to be good and duties were being discharged as expected of them. However, it was indicated that there is a serious need for a forensic psychiatrist and more female and male officers. It was also requested that there be consideration to incentivise the general duty officers as is the case with medical professionals.
6.2.2 Although the institution has a post for a pharmacist, this post is still vacant and the institution has to do with a Dispensary Assistant and a Pharmaceutical Technician.
6.2.3 The institution also does not have an occupational therapist hence, no rehabilitation of patients.
6.2.4 It was reported that the institution does not have specially trained staff for inmates with disabilities.
6.3 Basic Necessities for Inmates
6.3.1 It was reported that food situation at the institution was generally fair as they could afford to provide inmates with three (3) meals per day. However, there is serious lack of nutrients in the food especially the animal protein resulting in 32 cases of pellagra.
6.3.2 It was reported that the institution is facing challenges in the provision of the following: detergents, sanitary wear, laundry soap and other toiletries such as toothpaste and teeth brushes; baby clothing and diapers for babies born in prison and those admitted from court.
6.3.3 There is acute shortage of uniforms for Mentally Detained Patients leading to the institution resorting to using khaki uniforms meant for remand prisoners.
6.3.4 The institution’s kitchen needs renovations as they are currently using one (1) pot out of the four (4) that they are supposed to use.
6.4.1 As a Specialist Institution, Mlondolozi usually refers patient and pregnant inmates to Central Hospitals for further management hence, ambulances are needed to carter for emergencies. The institution does not have an ambulance.
6.4.2 The institution did not have a court truck for female inmates since they are currently ferrying them together with male inmates from
Khami Remand prison to the court using a truck borrowed from Ntabazinduna Training Centre.
6.5.1 The institution was running a broiler chicken project at the time of the visit by the Committee. However, the project was facing viability challenges due to fluctuation of prices owing to the economic hardships that are currently prevailing in the country.
6.5.2 The institution intended to venture into a nutritional garden and fish projects outside the prison but it had funding challenges to kick start them.
6.6.1 It was reported that the institution had acute shortage of anti- psychotics drugs. This scenario has resulted in officers facing difficulties in controlling patients owing to violent behavior;
6.6.2 The institution gets very little allocation of drugs from Natpharm. It sometimes borrows from Ingutsheni Psychiatric Institution which can only give what is extra to them and not what the institution requires.
6.6.3 It was reported that the Mlondolozi Special Board and the Mental Health Review Tribunal Board have not been sitting as expected resulting in some patients relapsing due to prolonged stay in prison. It was further reported that Criminal Mental Patients that were detained in 2008/2009 were still at the institution at the time that the Committee made the visit.
6.6.4 Contrary to the above findings by the Committee, the
Permanent Secretary for the MoHCC appeared before the Committee on the 23rd of July 2019 and informed the Committee that the Tribunal Board did not have any outstanding cases for Mentally Detained Patients in prison settings.
6.6.5 The Committee was informed that there were no facilities at the institution for pregnant female inmates. Furthermore, it was stated that there were no health preventive service as well as Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Camera (VIAC) for cancer screening.
6.6.6 It was also reported that the institution had no rehabilitation activities.
- Shortage of male and female officers to man yards, gangs, courts and hospital duties
- Unavailability of sanitary wear, diapers, detergents, laundry soaps and other toiletries
- Unavailability of utility vehicles for smooth operation of the institution
- Lack of printer to print patients’ documents Shortage of kitchen pots to cook for the inmates
- Erratic supply of cooking oil.
- Mental Health Act is not very clear on roles and responsibilities of the MoHCC and Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
7.0 PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES AT CENTRAL AND
7.1 The Committee visited central and provincial hospitals namely: Harare and Mpilo Central Hospitals; Chinhoyi, Gweru, Gwanda, Masvingo, Bindura and Marondera Provincial Hospitals. Parirenyatwa Annex and United Bulawayo Hospitals were also
7.2.1 Although psychiatric services are being offered for free at all visited government institutions, there is general neglect and low funding prioritisation of psychiatry services at public institutions, with majority failing to even fund occupational therapy and rehabilitation services. At Chinhoyi hospital patients lacked shoes and toiletries. Funds for recreation and repairs of infrastructure are a challenge at all psychiatric institutions.
7.2.2 Lack of funding by the government is well demonstrated at Harare hospital Psychiatry Unit. The Unit is a near state-of-the-art center following a donor sponsored major refurbishment, but has a donated kitchen structure dilapidating without functioning due to lack of funding for fittings and equipment.
7.3 Service delivery
7.3.1 Chinhoyi, Gweru, Masvingo and Gwanda Provincial
Hospitals do not have dedicated psychiatric units resulting in mental health patients being admitted in general wards which are already overcrowded due to lack of space. Patients are referred to either Ingutsheni or Ngomahuru Psychiatric Institutions for further management.
7.3.2 All the hospitals visited have no paediatrics admitting wards. Harare and Parirenyatwa Hospitals run child psych clinic once every week. Gwanda Hospital does not offer mental health services for infants and adolescents. Masvingo Provincial hospital officials reported that although they do not have a dedicated psychiatric unit for infants, adolescents and adults, when mentally challenged female patients give birth, they are forced to keep the infants at the hospital since Ngomahuru does not have a psychiatric unit for infants and adolescents. In some instances the mentally challenged female patients are refereed to Ngomahuru for further management, leaving their babies at Masvingo Provincial Hospital since Ngomahuru cannot accommodate them.
7.3.2 During an oral evidence meeting, the Minister of Health and Child Care admitted that what the petitioners were raising in the petition was pertinent, appropriate and relevant. He further admitted that there are some deficiencies in the current Mental Health Act and its implementation, hence, the MoHCC has tried to address this through the launch of National Strategy Plan for Mental Health Services sometime in March 2019.
7.3.3 In order to address the mental health challenges, the Minister laid down the following possible measures:
- Integration of mental health in maternal health care:- early screening for all pregnant women and appropriate treatment at the referrals has to be done;
- Train health staff in order to help them identify the risk factors for maternal health challenges and to mitigate against them at an early stage; and
- Train the mothers in responsive parenting and nurturing care as part of primary health education. This can go a long way in helping them to cope with the demands of motherhood.
7.4 Infrastructure and Transport
7.4.1 It was observed that there is no standard set up on psychiatry and
there is clear variances on infrastructure design and state as well as manpower in post from one psychiatric institution to the other.
7.4.2 All psychiatric units visited, except for Harare Hospital (which was well renovated by MSF), have conspicuous infrastructure and security confinements challenges. Chinhoyi has no lockable doors, exposing staff and other patients to danger. There is only one padded seclusion at Harare hospital to cater for the violent and suicidal cases, and none elsewhere.
7.4.3 Halfway homes came out as one main challenge, with Chinhoyi having been allocated a farm but has not managed to erect any structures to functionalise the place. As a result, patients who are stable and due to be released were still admitted at the hospital. Harare and Parirenyatwa Hospitals share Beatrice Farm Halfway Home and each also has a halfway home in separate Harare suburbs. All these homes are said to be inadequately structured and equipped to meet the needs of the mental patients.
7.4.4 Gwanda Provincial Hospital does not have the recommended ambulance with the specialised security features to transport mental health patients during the acute phase of illness. Due to a poor fleet of vehicles, at times, the same ambulance used to transfer medical and surgical patients is the one used to transfer these clients. Follow-ups of the same patients in their homes in the community cannot be done due to lack of a service vehicle dedicated for mental health activities for assessment, health education and supportive services.
7.5 Human Resources
7.5.1 The most close-to-ideal circumstances were at the Harare and
Parirenyatwa psychiatry hospitals, where Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists including those specialising on children psychiatry were in post.
7.5.2 There was no institution with the recommended nurse to patient ration of 1:3 for acute; 1:1 for violent and 1:5 for chronic cases. Parirenyatwa Annex has the best scenario with 15 nurses for a maximum of up to 55 (though holding capacity is currently at 34 pending renovations) patients. Among some of worst staff shortages witnessed is
Harare Hospital Psychiatric Unit that needs up to 27 more Registered Mental Nurses as well as 15 nurse aids and 9 general hand staff.
Chinhoyi, Gweru, Mpilo, UBH, Gwanda, Masvingo, Marondera, and Bindura hospitals offer psychiatric services but there have shortages of psychiatrists and psychologists which compromises the effective management of patients.
7.5.3 Gwanda Hospital had limited knowledge on the management and care of mental health patients while many rural health centres in Matebelaland South were being manned by general nurses that did not have specialist training in mental health.
7.6 Medicine and Drug Supply
7.6.1 Most of the psychiatric institutions reported an improved supply of medicines for anxiety disorder from Natpharm but, indicated that the situation is not yet ideal, with irregular supplies still being experienced. It was recommended that the country moves from first generation group of medicines to the third generation group of medicines with fewer side effects. Patients often present to the Hospital with side multiples of effects of these medicines. Other medicines used in the management of mental health conditions which are not available at NatPharm are purchased using Health Services Fund (HSF) and/or Results Based Financing (RBF) funding, which has since been eroded by the current economic conditions. The newer, more expensive drugs with lesser side effects are the one most hard to keep in stock and where relatives can afford patience are put on those.
7.6.2 Gweru Provincial Hospital Officials reported that the hospital did not have paediatric medication for children with mental health challenges and even for other mental health patients.
7.6.3 Gwanda Hospital has moved a step further to decentralise the dispensing of psychiatric drugs to the clinics where mentally challenged patients can access medication. It was, however, reported that the hospital has a shortage of some drugs for mental health conditions.
7.7 Rehabilitation Services
7.7.1 Lack of drug and substance abuse rehabilitation expertise and services across the centers was bemoaned. Zimbabwe has no public drugs and substance abuse rehabilitation center. Consequently, cases of Revolving Door Syndrome are common since hospitals cannot offer up to 6 weeks needed to fully recover a patient from an addiction.
7.7.2 During an oral evidence meeting, the Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. O. Moyo admitted that Zimbabwe lacks rehabilitation services, adding that there are some cases which should not be referred to Ingutsheni directly but can be attended to elsewhere in a friendlier environment. He cited Professor Chibanda’s Friendship Bench initiative as the best model Zimbabwe can adopt. The Minister added that the National Strategy Plan on Mental Health Service requires the Ministry to establish rehabilitation centres not only for mentally depressed people but for those affected by alcohol and substance abuse.
7.8. Of the Visited Provincial Hospitals only Bindura has no Psychiatric Unit and avoids admitting any psych patients since they will be forced to be placed in general wards and sometimes under handcuffs if violent which is not an ideal situation. Bindura District as a whole has no psychiatrist and only has 2 psychiatric nurses at the provincial hospital.
7.9 It was also reported that some patients with mental health challenges in Matebeleland South were not seeking medical treatment due to stigma and myths that the condition was associated with e.g evil spirits or demons.
8.0 COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS AND
The Committee noted with concern the lack of financial support towards the provision of mental health services for the infants, children and adults in the psychiatric institutions it visited, especially, Ngomahuru and Mlondolozi. This has resulted in shortages of medicines, critical staff shortages; balanced diet food, and other basic commodities as this sector does not get donor support.
8.2 Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care
Recommendation Number 1/2020
The Committee recommends that the Government of Zimbabwe should provide adequate financial support to the mental health institution and unfreeze all the critical posts in order to improve service provision by June 2020.
The Committee also noted that the infrastructure at mental health institutions is inappropriate and dilapidated.
8.4 Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care
Recommendation Number 2/2020
The Committee recommends that the Government of Zimbabwe provide funds for the provision of the appropriate psychiatric infrastructure e.g padded walls by June 2020.
The Committee noted with concern the disconnection in terms of information and what is obtaining on the ground between the Permanent
Secretary of the MoHCC’s Office as exemplified in the cases of
Mlondolozi and Chikurubi Psychiatric Units. In these cases, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mahomva claimed that the Tribunal Board sits regularly to address mental health cases whereas findings of the Committee during its fact finding visits revealed that the board did not sit regularly.
8.6 Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care
Recommendation Number 3/2020
The Committee recommends that the officials at the MoHCC must take health issues seriously and be in grips with what is obtaining on the ground by conducting regular verification visits to ensure compliance by ensuring that the established boards are in place and effectively functional with immediate effect. I thank you.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker. I do not wish to
take time to belabour the report of the Committee on this petition and these issues that surround mental health and mental health institutions in Zimbabwe.
However, I would like to stress the fact that Sustainable
Development Goal No. 3 is for good health and well being for all. What
I would like to buttress on is what the Committee saw. For example, at St. Francis Home which is the home for severely mentally and physically handicapped children; the lack of clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, proper food, proper furniture, proper bathing facilities leaves one with a sense of woeful inadequacy that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has. Yes, whilst it is under-funded, it has almost as great a responsibility to those of our society who are less able to - (a) care for them and (b) care for those whose families have effectively abandoned them. I think that is something that we saw across the specter of the mental health provision.
I would like to stress the Committee’s recommendations in terms of it being also woeful that the gentlemen at Mlondolozi who appealed to the Committee as having already been assessed by the psychiatric staff to be released, who were still there because the relevant tribunal according to him and the psychiatrist, was not even constituted, let alone does not sit regularly. It is also woeful, it is a form of justice denied to people whose states of health and mental ability makes them lower shall we say or in greater need of our protection as Parliament and as ministries.
I would also like to say that it is imperative that the Ministry finds a way of obtaining sufficient ambulances to transport: -
- Mental health patients;
- Sufficient psychiatrists.
Bulawayo for its entire population, for the three institutions, has one fully qualified psychiatrist. It is not possible for mental health in all regards to be dealt with in that situation.
When Hon. Ndiweni spoke, when we went to Umlondolozi, there were more violent mental patients beating on the doors, we could hear them and it was violent because the doors were clearly unpadded and were made of metal. We should not allow as Parliament, Legislators and as people who have oversight over ministries the kind of almost inhuman treatment of those who require our care.
So, I would simply like to uphold and say that the recommendations of the Committee should be seriously looked at by Parliament and the Ministry and should be in fact, dealt with. I thank you.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. K. PARADZA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2020.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON.
MUTSEYAMI the House adjourned at Three Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.
 In Kenya, a Minister is referred to as a Cabinet Secretary