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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 03 May 2016 42-54
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
INVITATION TO A DIALOGUE ON SUSTAINABLE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that all
Members of Parliament are invited to a dialogue on the Sustainable
Development Goals being jointly organised by the Office of the President and Cabinet and the United Nations Development Programme.
The dialogue will be held at the Rainbow Hotel and it starts at 0830 a.m.
Committees have been divided in to two groups. The first group will attend on Wednesday, 11th May, 2016 and the second group will attend on Thursday, 12th May, 2016.
Those attending on Wednesday, 11th May, 2016 are as follows:
- Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development;
- Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment;
- Education, Sport, Arts and Culture;
- Media, Information and Broadcasting Services;
- Peace and Security;
- Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment;
- Millennium Development Goals;
- Mines and Energy;
- Transport and Infrastructural Development;
- Public Accounts;
- Health and Child Care;
- Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
- Higher Education, Science and Technology Development. Those are the Committees attending on Wednesday, 11th May, 2016.
Thursday, 12th May, 2016 - these are the Committees:
- Human Rights;
- Public Service, Labour and Social Services;
- Finance and Economic Development;
- Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier
- Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs;
- Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services;
- Foreign Affairs;
- Industry and Commerce;
- Gender and Development;
- HIV and AIDS;
- Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation;
- Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development;
- Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES MEMBERSHIP
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the house of the following changes to membership of Portfolio Committees. Hon P.
Sibanda has moved from the Public Accounts Committee to the
Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development. Hon. F.
Chirisa has moved from the Public Accounts Committee to the Portfolio
Committee on Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development and Hon. M. Matienga has moved from the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to the Public
HON. MUDARIKWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to find out whether we are safe, with all the digging that is going on out there. All the vehicles in the car park are all reverse parked meaning there is something amiss because that is abnormal parking that we see now. Secondly, I checked the emergency exits of Parliament and found that they do not conform to the national regulations. They are locked with locks and if there is an emergency people are supposed to just run and open the doors but they cannot because all the two emergency exits are locked with locks that we use in the villages (zvihuri).
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let me start with the question on digging and why you have been asked to park in reverse. There was some anticipation of a possible explosion following a leakage of fuel from underground. That leakage has now been addressed and is now under control. So, it is a precautionary measure to ensure that in case a fire breaks out, Hon. Members will be able to save their vehicles
accordingly. As for the emergency exits, I will check and report back to you tomorrow.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have a point of order and for the purpose of that point of order I brought you a Hansard of the 12th April, 2016, if you can allow me to hand it over whilst I read the one that I have got.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The point of orders must relate to Privilege and Standing Orders.
HON. NDUNA: Yes Mr. Speaker on a point of privilege, I rise with my point of order. Allow me to hand over the Hansard of Tuesday the 12th April 2016, so that you can make a ruling.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you present that Hansard to the
Chair. Do you want the Chair to start fumbling with the papers in the Hansard?
HON. NDUNA: No, not exactly Mr. Speaker. It is just four pages that I want to make reference to in the Hansard.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What page is it?
HON. NDUNA: Page 4473 Mr. Speaker. The Bill (HB:8.2015) presented by Hon Gandawa, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, as he responds he is attributed to that debate as Professor Mavhima on page 4527. On the second Bill, Gwanda State University establishment page 4541 he is attributed as his name Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: May I interrupt you Hon Member that is
not a point of order. If you have any corrections, please bring them to the attention of the officers because what you are reading is an unrevised report.
HON. NDUNA: Sorry Mr. Speaker, there is an expense that has gone into the printing of this Hansard. So, I was of the opinion that you make a ruling so that there is…
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled that any corrections to the
Hansard must be brought to the attention of the Clerk.
HON. CHAMISA: In terms of Order No 61(1) (l) we are supposed to have an Order Paper as part of our daily routine of business. It would appear that we have run out of Order Papers but the issue is not to do with just running out of the Order Paper, which is purely an administrative issue, but the issue has to do with the Parliament being compliant with the E-dispensation. Why are we not having an E-Order instead of an Order Paper? What do I mean? I am using the word paper because it is supposed to be an E-Order and note a paper.
We are supposed to have a mechanism of allowing Members of Parliament to come with their own laptops, if Parliament is not able to provide us with laptops so that we are able to access the orders or key documents within Parliament electronically. Across the whole world now, Parliaments have moved into the E-Legislation and E-Parliament platform. We seem to be lagging behind. Maybe Hon. Speaker Sir, you may need to consider this, because this is what is going to make your
MPs global Parliamentarians. Thank you very much.
THE HON SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Member. For today, I need to find out why there are insufficient Order Papers. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections]- Order, Hon. Members. There has been some administrative miscarriage, which is being rectified now. As for the E-order, let me refresh your memories. Before we broke for the 10-days recess, we had asked all Hon. Members to provide us with their e-mail addresses. Before we went for the short recess, if I recall very well, there were only 193 Members who had submitted their e-mail addresses. May I appeal to Hon. Members to submit your e-mails and we will comply accordingly.
HON. ZIYAMBI? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a point of privilege. I want to thank you and your delegation. You went to Kuwait to investigate and rescue our girls who had gone there and were subject to trafficking. One of the functions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – I think it is you and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Hon. Paradza. One of our functions as legislators is that we are representatives of the people and the gesture that you showed by going there and bringing our girls back is highly applauded and we want to thank you as Parliamentarians. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: While the Chair – Hon. Chakona there and your colleagues, while we appreciate your complements, let me put certain facts straight. I led the delegation on invitation by the Speaker of the National Assembly in Kuwait. It was not our mission to go and rescue those unfortunate young ladies. Secondly, the Speaker does not lead the Committee on Foreign Affairs. I was leading a delegation of Members of Parliament and I think the papers were mischievous to suggest that Hon. Paradza was the co-leader of the delegation. That was very unfortunate.
When we got there, on our bilateral visit to exchange best practices with the Kuwait Parliament, it was then that we were advised by our ambassador of the desperate situation in which those 32 young ladies found themselves. Our going to Kuwait had nothing to do with rescuing those 32 unfortunate ladies. However, after being told the horrendous stories that had taken place, affecting those young ladies, the delegation then decided that we would not come back without those young ladies. We took a stand, which was accepted without question by the authorities from the Kuwait Government, led by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. That is the context that we must understand the situation. At the same time, that is not to suggest that we regret having brought those children, we do not. We thought we tried our best to salvage the situation. Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: My point of order Mr. Speaker, can the Kuwait Government not do something because these young ladies were treated like slaves? Can Parliament not do something so that we can demand payment for the slavery activities that these young ladies were subjected to? Is there no need to claim compensation from the Kuwait Government? I once read an article where Britain was ordered to pay compensation for some people in Kenya for slavery. Our children were used as slaves and they were involved in evil deeds. Can something not be done about it – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I am sorry that people do not appreciate what I am talking about. They do not appreciate the fact that people went through a lot of suffering, especially those that are on the other side – HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Hon. Speaker, May you please protect me. Whether they ask me to present a motion or not, these ones are failing to ensure that our road system is smooth and we are driving in pothole-riddled roads –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. In terms of the rules, you do not debate a point of order that has been raised by another Member, that is number one. Number two, the delegation will present a report here and the recommendations shall arise from that report. So, it will be premature for the Chair to even debate what the report is going to say. Let me warn Hon. Members, if you have got some grievances, can you bring them through your Chief-Whips, otherwise you spend a lot of time on points of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that there will be a Catholic Service tomorrow, the 4th of May, 2016 at 1200 hours in the Senate Chamber. All Members who are Catholics and non-Catholics are invited.
SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES BILL [H.B. 15, 2015]
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Special Economic Zones Bill [H.B. 15, 2015].
Question again proposed.
HON. CHAPFIKA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to present a report on the Special Economic Zones on behalf of the Committee on Finance.
1.1 On 23 November 2015, the Special Economic Zones Bill was gazetted. The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and SEZ Authority among other matters. This development is commendable as it is one of several efforts being implemented to attract investment in the economy. Other countries such as India and China have made significant economic breakthroughs by establishing SEZs. For example Shenzhen, Zhuwai and the coastal port cities have contributed significantly towards the success of the Chinese miracle.
2.1 This report is a product of various meetings including a briefing session with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to unpack the essence of the SEZs. The Committee also managed to conduct public hearings in line with Section 141 (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides as follows:
“Parliament must ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable”
2.2 The public hearings were held from 11 to 16 April 2016 in Harare,
Mutare, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Kwekwe. The Committee expresses its sincere appreciation to all stakeholders who attended and participated at the public hearings and those who made written submissions.
3.0 THE COMMITTEE’S OBSERVATIONS AND
The Committee and stakeholders who participated welcomed the
introduction of the Bill, as it is a tool for the promotion of both local and foreign investment in the country. In general, expectations were high that the Bill would have provided for the demarcations of the SEZs and the incentives that go with investments in the declared Zones. Participants at the public hearings, particularly those in Victoria Falls expressed great difficulty in discussing the provisions of the Bill in the absence of such information. The Committee and the public, therefore, eagerly await the publication of the regulations. The Bill is recommended to the House for approval subject to the following issues being seriously considered by Minister of Finance and Economic
3.1 A new Authority
There was strong representation at the public hearings on why it is necessary to establish a new Authority and Board in view of the current economic situation. It was suggested that the Zimbabwe Investment Authority could be used with slightly amended responsibilities and the necessary powers to implement and service the new Bill. It was pointed out that the creation of the Authority would require funding for fees and charges and that these, in themselves, might become a disincentive.
3.2 Constitution of the Board
The Committee urges the Minister to consider regional balance when appointing members to the Board to ensure that its membership complies with the founding provision of fair regional representation enshrined in Section 18 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
3.3 Disqualification from appointment as a member
Sub section 7 (d) disqualifies a member from appointment to the
Board on the basis of a conviction within a period of five years immediately preceding the date of appointment. It is the Committee’s recommendation that anyone with a previous criminal conviction should be disqualified from holding office. Considering the rampant abuse of public funds, abuse of positions and failure by appointed members to practice good corporate governance, such a stance would sent a clear message to all Zimbabweans that it’s no longer business as usual and call upon those appointed to maintain good corporate practice. In addition to the above, the composition of the Board should comply with the current Corporate Governance Code as amended.
3.4 Establishment of Special Economic Zones
The Committee is of the view that whilst it is a function of the Special Economic Zones Authority to declare any area or premises to be a Special Economic Zone, amend, add or abolish any Special Economic Zone, it is essential that all stakeholders must be consulted before such decisions are made. This would be consistent with Section 13 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which calls for the involvement of the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes in their areas.
3.5 Validity of decisions and acts of Board
Section 15 provides for the validation of decisions of the Board arising out of meetings that do not have a quorum or are attended by Members of the Board who are disqualified as a member at the time of the meeting. Your Committee notes that this clause may be in violation of the rules of good governance and must be deleted.
3.6 Reports of the Authority
The Committee observes that while section 21 of the Bill makes it mandatory for the Authority to submit reports to the Minister, the
Minister may or may not lay a report submitted to him or her by the Authority before Parliament. The Committee recommends that the Bill be amended to make it mandatory for the Minister to lay the reports before Parliament. This would ensure transparency and accountability.
3.7 Application for investment licences and developer’s permit Sections 23 and 24 provide for the application for investment licences and developer’s permits. Participants at the hearings raised concern with the centralization of the licensing processes in the capital city. They, therefore, called for decentralization of the Authority’s offices to the provincial capitals of the country to afford them easy and cheaper access to relevant documents and other services associated with the processing of licenses and permits. In addition to the above, the Committee recommends the use of a website and agents as alternative measures to address the concerns of the stakeholders.
3.8 Consideration of applications for investment licenses
The Committee recommends that applications for investment
licenses to manufacture on the basis of import substitution should be included under Section 25 of the Bill.
3.9 Register of licences
Section 29 (2) of the Bill provides for the inspection of the register of licences which may be at a fee. It is recommended that the inspection should be free of charge as imposing a fee may limit access to such important information. Such information should also be available on line in keeping with the E-government and transparency.
3.10 Appeals to Minister
Section 34 (2) of the Bill stipulates that the Minister may act on an appeal by a person aggrieved by the decision of the Authority within sixty days of an appeal being noted. The Committee strongly feels that the prescribed period is too long and should be reduced to five working days, consistent with the current Ease of Doing Business initiatives in
3.11 Preservation of Secrecy
Section 54 of the Bill provides for preservation of secrecy and the penalty for disclosing information coming to the knowledge of persons employed to carry out provisions of the Act or persons that examine documents under the control of the Authority. The Committee seeks justification for the rationale for this provision as it feels such a provision may promote corrupt practices.
3.12 Chapter 28:01 and Chapter 14:33 not to apply
The Bill seeks to exempt the application of the Labour and Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. The stakeholders expressed reservations with the exemption of the two Acts. They felt that this exemption contravened Section 65 of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe which guarantees the rights of workers and that indigenous
Zimbabweans should benefit from the establishment of the Special Economic Zones. In line with the practice in SEZ throughout the world, the Committee recommends that the exemption should stand.
3.13 Chapter 57 and 58
Sections 57 and 58 relate to the Ministers making regulations and prescribing general fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to licenced investors. The Committee appreciates that until the regulations and incentives are provided, it is almost impossible for firms to make plans or to respond to the promulgation of such Zones in any meaningful way. The Committee, therefore, urges the Hon. Minister to treat the publication of the enabling statutes as a matter of urgency.
The Committee had a fair and constructive engagement with stakeholders on the SEZs Bill and therefore submits the above recommendations for consideration and approval by the House. THE HON. SPEAKER: Before I call for further debate, there is a vehicle, Registration Number ADQ 7906, it is blocking other vehicles, will the owner please attend to that vehicle.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I would like to
start by thanking Hon. Chapfika for his incisive report to the Committee. I will raise few pointed issues in respect to this Bill, its practicality and how to implement practical aspects of the Bill. This is to ensure that we are all reading from the same script and are faced with challenges that we were faced with and are able to mitigate.
Mr. Speaker, one of the things that ought to be addressed clearly is the ease of doing business. I believe that this was one of the main issues that was debated countrywide by the various parties that contributed to the public hearings. I believe Mr. Speaker, that if we are going to be serious as a country, we ought to be serious about today, tomorrow and the future of ourselves and those that will come after us. What we legislate today is important. It is well and fine to have these Special Economic Zones but if we are not clear about processes; the issue of selecting the industries that will participate, the beneficiaries and the interventions of the State will remain skewed.
Mr. Speaker, the issue of corporate governance has been emphasised by Hon. Chapfika. We ought to be serious that we do not continue to make this a talk show and ensure that we deal with issues of effectiveness. There is need for effectiveness, effectiveness that brings investor confidence to our community and market and to ensure that the Special Economic Zones are taken seriously. The effectiveness is not just about defining these Special Economic Zones. It is also having corresponding protective and remedial processes, beginning with those investors - in cases of dispute, which is inevitable in any business transaction. Are they going to be heard with fairness?
In cases of corruption Mr. Speaker, are we ready as a country to deal with this decisively? The President is on record, the Vice President is on record in dealing with these issues. Now, if we go on and start implementing the Special Economic Zones, we ought to have these legislative frameworks operative to ensure that the investor confidence is there. There is need for the effectiveness of policing, monitoring and also having clear and fair judicial outcomes for parties that are seeking remedial interventions, protection of locals or even joint venture partners who are going to be investing in these areas.
Mr. Speaker, we are faced with currency challenges right now, it is obviously against the grain of the Bills that we are pushing. We need a road map that is sign posted so that we are clear in our expectations that when we invest in these Special Economic Zones, clearly as an entrepreneur, what you expect is to have a return. The practice of Treasury Bills being issued left, right and centre without a clear retirement policy of those TBs is eroding the confidence in the financial sector.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the business people, especially the indigenous players are going to find it very challenging to raise local capital for the purposes of investing in the Special Economic Zones, for the purposes of unlocking additional value. So, we ought to look at that and to have a proper, clear management of leakages of finance in this country. A lot of money is making its way out of our borders through illicit means. That will continue to hamstring the consumption capability of the local market. That should be a defined area where the local entrepreneurs can reasonably predict for them to be able to have effective business outcomes.
Mr. Speaker, those are the few observations that I had, that I believe will be hindrances to us effectively owning the processes of our Special Economic Zones. Thank you.
HON. CROSS: I think this piece of legislation is a valuable addition to the stable of legislation available to us as a country for stimulating our economy. It basically provides for us to create special zones where we set aside restrictions which otherwise prevail in the rest of our economy and where special incentives can apply. The objective is to attract foreign investment and to give freedom to those foreign investors within those zones with security. I could not agree more with the comments of my predecessor in this debate. I think this is a starting point.
The legislation itself is basically sound, I think if the Minister tweaks it, we can give it our full endorsement, but it is just the beginning of a process. Once he has this legislation in place, it is like a coat hanger, it is just a frame. You have got to now hang a suit on it, and the suit will come in the regulations which provide for the incentives within those zones. That is going to be critical to the success or failure of this initiative.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we must also remember that this does nothing to address the problems we have as a nation in the fields of infrastructure. People investing in the Special Economic Zones are still going to have dysfunctional railways, unstable electricity supplies, relatively high costs of doing business.
Mr. Speaker, I want to draw your attention to a recent World Bank Report on the cost of doing business in Africa, where they highlighted that the average cost of transit from a country like Zimbabwe into the world market for both imports and exports is three times the cost in Asia and more than double the cost of the United States and Europe. Those are the kind of issues that we have to address if we are going to make this initiative a success. Otherwise, it would be a dead letter.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that when we approve this piece of legislation, we will not think that we have done our job, that we can now relax and get on with our lives and hope that this will resolve some of our problems. That will not be the case, because once this piece of legislation is in place, we have an enormous amount of work to do. I hope that as legislators, we will tackle that systematically and dismantle the things that are creating these high costs for us and preventing us from becoming internationally competitive. Ultimately Mr. Speaker, that has to be the goal; not Special Economic Zones but making Zimbabwe competitive on the global stage. Thank you.
HON. DR. KEREKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to add a few thoughts to the debate on the important subject of …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Members, can we reduce
our whispers please so that we can follow what is being said and therefore be able to direct the proceedings accordingly.
HON. DR. KEREKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to
slightly differ from the previous speakers. The subject of Special Economic Zones touches on a field our country has more or less ploughed sometime ago. We tried a similar policy framework and at that time it was under the name Export Processing Zones. The idea was that we ring-fence certain productive sectors, whether by industry or geography. We then give them certain advantages in the hope that those advantages given, like tax exemptions on labour, certain allowances for importation of raw materials at low thresholds of duty, would activate those producers into producing and exporting more, as was expected - the country enjoying greater inflows of foreign currency.
The danger which I want to urge Hon. Members to look at is that policies based on piece-meal sunspots, in other words, if you have a field, there are clouds but there are certain pockets of the field where the sun shines and you say let us concentrate our seeds there for greater harvests. They do not make for macro-economic stability. It tends to lead to what is called the Dutch disease where policies are targeting at an enclave, hoping to stimulate the whole economy.
My view Mr. Speaker Sir, is one of the need for us to …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Kereke, do you admit that you are a member of that Committee, chaired by Hon. Chapfika?
HON. DR. KEREKE: It is true Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I would want you to refresh your
memory on the direction that is given by our Standing Orders, that any report that is presented by a Committee is a report that has been arrived at through consensus. Therefore, you cannot be seen to be opposing your own Committee. Your views should have been expressed during Committee so that they become part and parcel of the Report. To that extent, I cannot allow you to differ with your Committee.
HON. DR. KEREKE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for that guidance. When the Committee deliberated I was at court, defending – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I am sorry, I was defending my right to liberty but I stand guided by you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! The Hon. Member should
not try to contest the Chair. It is up to the Hon. Member to take responsibility after his court cases, to come to the Chair to find out what the conclusion was in terms of that report and be guided accordingly. So, your absence is not an excuse. You should have read the report before coming here to debate.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to add my voice to the debate currently going on in this august House. I want to support the concept of the need to establish Special Economic Zones and indeed in support of the Bill. Whilst it might be true Mr. Speaker Sir that the concept as far as Zimbabwe is concerned, might not be necessarily entirely new, but it had a different name. It was established as the Export Promotion Zones and not Export Processing Zones. However, the Minister has been very clear Mr. Speaker Sir, in what he is endeavoring to do through the Bill. What we want to see happening in Zimbabwe is to see ourselves attracting more Foreign Direct Investment; investment that will ensure that we grow our economy domestically.
Secondly, this Bill is aimed at ensuring that we generate more foreign exchange by boosting exports. We talk everyday of value addition and wanting to increase the production of our raw materials. We would like to see that production of more raw materials and value addition, supporting the growth of this economy. Therefore, through the
Special Economic Zones, we are creating a platform where the indigenous companies will also be able to collaborate with the foreign companies, so that we can be able to harness the import technologies that those countries have.
Mr. Speaker Sir, through the Special Economic Zones and the Bill itself, we are going to see a change in this country. We will create industrial corridors that will generate more employment for our people. Mr. Speaker Sir, this concept has flourished in many countries in the world. I agree with Hon. Chapfika who pointed out that this policy has been successful in countries such as India. Many more other countries have introduced Special Economic Zones and successfully steered them to the benefit of their economies. Brazil, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Phillipines and Arab Emirates are good examples.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I do hereby add my voice and would like to thank the Minister for moving the Bill which I hope for example, for us in the area of Chegutu, will see benefits accruing to our area especially as far as platinum is concerned. We all know that platinum plays a very big role in supporting industry in many facets including production of catalytic convertors that are used in cars. We import vehicles every year. South Africa is leading in the producing of catalytic convertors which could be produced in Zimbabwe through implementation of the Special Economic Zones policy. I thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: I think the topic makes very interesting
reading and it calls for very interesting debate. As a country we run the risk of missing the trees for the woods. There is a general feeling that the moment we declare a place a Special Economic Zone, then manna starts falling from heaven. You have people coming in to invest, the laws of the country will remain the same because specifically Special Economic Zones means that these are special enclaves that have been created that then ignore the general laws of the country, and specific laws have been set up for the Special Economic Zones and so on.
Tariffs have been relaxed, visa regimes have been relaxed and everything, but we have two fundamental problems in this country. We have a problem of red-tape, bureaucracy and bureaucratic bundling, for the past six months we had a whole Minister of Indigenisation going at a tangent, reading the indigenisation law and interpreting it in a wrong manner and he had his Cabinet colleagues telling him that you are missing the point but he was so adamant.
The second problem we have is the one for corruption Mr.
Speaker. It is so deep rooted, you can create all the Special Economic Zones that you want but as long as the core of this country is corrupt, those Special Economic Zones will not function. For example, we have ZIMRA, when you create Special Economic Zones; you are not going to create a special ZIMRA to deal with those Special Economic Zones.
They are the same officials at ZIMRA that will be servicing the Special
Economic Zones; look at the rot at ZIMRA today. The rot at ZIMRA, Mr. Speaker, will make you puke and those are the same people who will have to service special economic zones. The whole country, if you look at the state of our economy, the whole country of Zimbabwe must simply be declared a Special Economic Zone because the whole country needs special laws, needs to be a special economic enclave. You cannot take a geographical area like Mutare and declare it a Special Economic Zone when the whole country is in this state.
As Hon. Cross said, when you declare a Special Economic Zone say Chegutu for example, the roads that we have in Zimbabwe will still have to service Chegutu, the potholed roads. The railway network that we have in Zimbabwe will have to service those Special Economic Zones. We have a railway system which is not functional. Electricity that we have in the country will still have to service those Special Economic Zones and electricity in Zimbabwe is intermittent. Electricity is not reliable and that is the same electricity that will service the Special Economic Zones. I do not know what you will have to do because when people are coming to invest in a country they are looking at a number of things that is the availability of electricity, water and investment laws. Yes, you can come up with good investment laws, how about other things like water, electricity, and backbone infrastructure like roads and railway – what will you do with those because they are in a state of disrepair, they are dilapidated, what are you going to do with the special economic zones?
Mr. Speaker, I think we have a tendency in Zimbabwe of coming up with these nicely packaged terms, nicely packaged documents which are a problem to implement. I do not see how the special economic zones should be implemented. What we need to deal with first and foremost Mr. Speaker is the issue of corruption, at institutions that service the country, institutions like ZIMRA, let us deal with corruption at ZIMRA. Let us deal with the problem of electricity, this problem of electricity in Zimbabwe is not because ZESA is not able to generate enough electricity but it is because of corruption. Look at the tenders that ZESA have given to people, people without even a cent. ZESA has given tenders worth 400 million to people of dubious background and dubious character.
Mr. Speaker, as long as we have not dealt with the issue of corruption we can talk in very glowing terms about special economic zones but as long as the corruption that we have in this country is as it is, it will not work.
The other problem that we have in this country is that of a blotted bureaucracy. We have too many Ministers who are not doing anything.
As a result, you have Ministers running into each other’s paths. You have a Minister of policy implementation, Minister of economic whatever, you have a Minister of special investments, you have a
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and you have ten Ministers who are basically doing the same type of job. In the creation of Special Economic Zones, you will have the Minister of Indigenisation saying no - this falls under my purview. You will have the Minister of
Policy Implementation in the President’s office saying this falls under my purview. You will also have the Minister of Finance saying this falls under my purview and Industry and International Trade and so forth.
You have so many Ministries trying to do the same thing.
What I thought the Committee would recommend is that firstly, let us streamline Cabinet and say which Ministry deals with what then we will not have a problem where Ministers speak at cross purposes, where there is inconsistent in policies because Ministers are interpreting laws wrongly. When we have done that, then we have everything falling under one Ministry for argument sake, Ministry of Finance. It will be easier for the Ministry of Finance to then start coming with laws that govern Special Economic Zones.
Mr. Speaker, I think those are the thoughts that I had; issues of redtape, issues of corruption and issues of foreign direct investment. Creation of Special Economic Zones is not going to bring foreign direct investments. Creation of Special Economic Zones on its own will not bring foreign direct investment because the people also want to look at other things in that country. This foreign direct investment is a special zone within a current and it is subservient to the main laws of that country that is what we must understand.
So, Mr. Speaker the whole of this country needs to be Special Economic Zone, we must deal with issues of corruption, infrastructure and you must deal with issues of red-tape.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The issue of
special economic zones has been brought about by the Ministry of Finance as a way to bring FDI into Zimbabwe. It is one way of creating employment for our people. Our youth are going to be employed; this is a direct challenge to this august House so that we improve the ease of doing business. We are here, people come here, I brought some people from Yugoslavia who wanted to start a hotel business and they had to face 85 licences before they opened the door, 85 different statutory fees. I can mention a few, they had to pay the council, Environment
Management Agency (EMA), the Engineers Association, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), liquor license, casino license, parks license, Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), radio and television licenses, CID license for firearms and the tourism levy and other various duties including fuel levy. I can mention many but this is just a way for this august House to scrutinize the way that business is done in Zimbabwe.
Different Committees of Parliament must state their requirements. In our Committee, we cannot have this. For example, if there is an economic zone in Beitbridge that employs a thousand people. There is immediate benefit to the country because there is consumption. If there is a bakery producing a thousand loaves, it is an additional thousand loaves. If it is a service station that is selling a thousand liters a day, maybe it is an additional 500 liters. This is what we are looking at because there is no economic activity where there is no consumption.
We must not concentrate on negatives; we are part and parcel of the problems. We are discussing the special economic zones yet some members are sleeping and others going out. When this Bill is enacted, everybody will start asking what happened. Everybody has a constituency with massive unemployment. We are all putting on suites that were manufactured in other countries in special economic zones… - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - Now that it is coming to your own country, you are saying, no to it. I know some of the hon. members are complaining but the time has come for you to realise that we have a responsibility to the electorate in terms of creating employment. You have your own employment, allow other people to be employed as well. We cannot be so cruel and jealousy - [AN HON.
MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] –
Mr. Speaker, I need your protection because some of the hon.
members who are shouting at me are dreadlocked…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order may we please have silence in the House hon. members.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Some of the Hon. Members are
dreadlocked and are associated with violence.
The other thing is that the nation needs to be adequately resourced. In my Constituency Mutoko, if we had resourced farmers, who are producing tomatoes., we would make Mutoko a special economic zone and all the farmers outside will be supporting that factory by bringing their produce. Our youths will be gainfully employed. This is simple economics because there is an activity taking place. We cannot continue the way we are.
I would like to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development because this is the best thing that he has done which is going to benefit Zimbabwe. Yes, people are saying economic zones are corrupt but we must fight corruption as an august House. We know who is corrupt. Let the different Committees call those corrupt people and take them to task to account for everything. When people come to our Committees, we do not ask them anything and some hon. members do not even attend Committee meetings.
It is important that as hon. members, we are accountable to the electorate and denounce sanctions that have caused untold suffering to our people… - [AN HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Yes, they have caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe. Those who claim that there are no sanctions are accomplices, part and parcel, agents of imperialism and all those running dogs will disappear. I thank you.
HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would
also like to add my voice in regards to the report that was presented by Hon. Chapfika. In adding my voice, I would like to raise two points.
The first point that I would like to raise has to do with Section 56 of the Bill which states, ‘…that the Labour Act shall not apply in relation to licensed investors operating in a Special Economic Zone’. Mr. Speaker Sir, a caring Government is supposed to protect its workers and its people. For the Act to then state that the Labour Act should not apply means that workers will be victimised, harassed, beaten, hired and fired at any time, work for longer hours and subjected to so many things without any form of protection.
The general feeling wherever we went was that the Labour Act must apply in relation to licensed investors operating in a Special Economic Zone if we are serious about protecting our own workers and people as a Government - it must apply.
The second issue has to do with devolution as per Chapter 14 of our Constitution which states that power must be devolved to local communities. The general feeling was that these special economic zones must be established in every province so that local communities benefit. Once they are established in every province, people from those local communities must be employed and not people who are going to be imported from other places. In the majority of cases we have seen that when investors come, instead of employing local communities, they start employing people from other places or provinces.
The other thing is that they must buy their raw materials from the local communities in that particular province as this will ensure that local communities are also empowered. Mr. Speaker Sir, these are the two issues that I wanted to raise but more importantly, the Labour Act must apply because we do not want our workers to be victimized, harassed, hired and fired, paid low wages or beaten. We have had instances where workers have been beaten without any protection.
Workers must be protected all the time. I thank you.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the
Committee that went on public hearings concerning the Bill that is before the august House.
Let me start by saying that the history of the Special Economic Zones Bill reminds a lot. In 1995/96, when I was still with the labour movement, there were export processing zones that did not bear much fruit due to challenges to the workers. I was also touched by the fact that if the country has a certain law and we, as the custodians of that law decide to ensure that it does not apply to certain people what are we doing?
In our pigeonholes there is the Labour Act that is coming to this august House for amendment because it was realised that there are provisions that protect workers that are not enshrined. We are mentioning this issue because we have an International Labour Organisation that Zimbabwe is signatory to. We attend conventions every year where we discuss and update them as to what we will be doing in our country.
I had challenges and problems when I was the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Now I realise that we sit in this august House and agree that we should ensure that the Labour Act does not apply to the Export Processing Zones. We are now regressing instead of progressing. I do not agree with this at all Mr. Speaker, if we are to violate the workers’ rights, I do not agree with it. The rights of the workers must be observed.
What we want is that people should be able to work and be given protective clothing but what more in a situation whereby we are told the law should not apply. What we expect is for people to be well paid and also to be able to sustain themselves. What we are talking about Hon. Speaker is that we should put the Constitution aside and see what we can do as a country. I think we should follow the legislation that is there. When it comes to addressing the issues of rights, we should look into
The last point Hon. Speaker is on the constitution of the Board that will represent the Special Economic Zones. My hope from my experience Hon. Speaker is that the board should also be gender balanced and the women in the board should also be qualified. We are advocating for gender balance. If there are five members are wanted, at least two of them must be women.
Lastly, Hon. Speaker, my appeal is that I see a number of things that are affecting the issue of the economy. When it comes to human resources, my hope is that if possible the two Committees should have sat down whereby they will address the issue of workers and the issue of the economy. These two Committees would present the Bill, giving the views from their various fields. I thank you.
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to contribute towards the Special Economic Zones Bill whose report the Chairman of the Committee has also presented. There are just a few observations that I want to highlight. First of all, I think we should appreciate the good work that has been done by the Minister in trying to be innovative to bring in Special Economic Zones for purposes of actually creating employment and attract foreign direct investment. That should be applauded on its own.
The report that has been presented by the Chairman speaks volumes of what they are expecting in terms of the Special Economic Zones. So I think what we just need to do is to add something that actually buttresses the Bill itself so that the establishment of the Special Economic Zones becomes a reality and also those that are going to participate in the establishment of the Special Economic Zones or the participants there, would find it attractive to come and participate.
First of all Hon. Speaker, the establishment of proper ICT infrastructure is one of our biggest setback in this nation where anybody coming from other countries to invest in this country finds it very difficult to do business where ICT infrastructure is not up to date. I think what we need to do as a nation is to ensure that our ICT infrastructure is in line with international standards. For example, the establishment of fibre network is now a common phenomenon in most countries, especially those that are even around Zimbabwe.
We find we are actually at a stage when we are really at a prime stage of establishing proper fibre network in this country. Again, our own voice and data services are so inadequate and also not up to standard such that most investors find it very difficult to actually do business in this country. I believe the upgrading and the roll-out of proper ICT infrastructure in this nation will go a long way in attracting investors to come into this country. Therefore, Hon. Speaker, it is imperative that as a nation we adopt a relaxation of duty and other levies and taxies on ICT equipment that is coming into this country.
You would also realise Hon. Speaker that establishing a land line to those Special Economic Zones would be very difficult because there is no infrastructure that supports that. Every person who comes to do business here will have to rely on mobile telephones, whereas when you are doing business that becomes very expensive. That why the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe is very high. We need to put up infrastructure that enables business and communication to be cheaper and those are the fundamentals that we need in this country.
Hon. Speaker, we realise people talk about corruption but everybody in this country has a role to play in the diminishing or eradication of corruption in this nation. We all have to play a role; every Zimbabwean have a role to play in making sure that corruption is eradicated. Whilst we speak about corruption, we have not seen any blueprint that actually says so and so is doing this. For us to blacklist our country as a corrupt nation as if it is something that [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon. Speaker I need your protection.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Silence in the House.
- CHAKONA: Hon. Speaker, we want to be very clear as a nation. We cannot stand up in this Parliament every day and talk about corruption, when in actual fact we do not even have a thread of evidence to show that whatever we are talking about is correct. Mr. Speaker, I am a Zimbabwean, I live in this country. We need to be Zimbabweans first. If you go to other countries – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members can the Hon.
Member be heard in silence please. Please continue.
HON. CHAKONA: Mr. Speaker, I am speaking as a Zimbabwean. This is my country; I have got brothers, sisters and children who need employment. For us to continue scaring away investors in the name of corruption, I think we are driving our country to certain levels that are unacceptable in this continent. If you go to other countries, there are other countries where corruption is naked, you find it in the roads, immigration and customs and so forth; but their nationals when they speak in Parliament, they never talk about that corruption, and they never say anything about that. In this country, we speak as if this is the most corrupt nation in the world, it is not like that.
Hon. Speaker, let us speak with one voice – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – we are saying if there are any instances of corruption, let them be brought out, let us write, let us come here and debate issues of corruption openly – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order in the House. Hon. Members, can the hon. member be heard in silence please. If you have got a different opinion, please I will give you the floor to contribute whatever you have got. Please continue Hon. Member.
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. We are talking about establishing Special Economic Zones and Mr. Speaker it is important as a nation that we speak with one voice for the benefit of the generations to come; for the benefit of generations that are finishing school today and those children that are coming out of high school and tertiary education, for them to get employment. Mr. Speaker this is our country, this is our nation. We need to support ideas that are constructive to this nation. We need to support Bills that come to bring about the so-called employment that we are all crying for in this nation.
This Bill is doing exactly that and we need to support this initiative.
Any other country in southern Africa is crying for foreign direct investment and Zimbabwe, as we speak right now, we are the only country that has got the least foreign direct investment in sub-Sahara and we cannot continue in this mode. We need to do something so that this country can also attract people to come and investment. This initiative that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has taken is an act in the right direction for us to actually ensure that industries are developed in the right areas of our country and economy. I presume this is precisely what we want to see. I thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: My point of order is that the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee is sleeping; he has just woken up, maybe he did not want to listen to what Hon. Chakona was saying. He was sleeping.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I will start my debate
by debating both the report of the Committee and the issues that are raised within the Bill. The first issue that I would want to raise is the issue that was raised in the Committee report around regional representation. I totally agree that we should be guided by the Constitution that speaks about regional representation. This links with what Hon. Khupe raised, which is the issue of how communities can benefit from the Special Economic Zones.
If there is no representation on the board from people who are coming from those particular areas, then all the issues that are dealt with, because that particular board is the board that is responsible for the issuance and withdrawal of licences. I think the drafting of that clause in the Bill should even be more precise to say we should at least have a person who comes from each of our ten provinces. This is so because if you generally put a generic phrase like saying, it should show regional representation. Regional representation can mean anything. You can have four. So, let us have a situation where we are specific so that we know that Matebeleland South, Matebeleland North, Midlands, Harare, Masvingo and so on, has a person who is sitting on the board because we are tired of a situation where things around boards are dominated by a particular place and ethnic grouping. So, can we be clear in terms of the crafting of that issue.
The second one that was raised and I agree with the Committee report is to do with licence fees. Mr. Speaker it is critical that we say there is no licence fee when you are making an application. I raise that issue Mr. Speaker Sir because we saw this with the issues around diamonds and gold. For diamond polishing, people were being asked to pay $10 000 for you to get a licence. Which other Zimbabwean person will be able to raise $10 000. So, I think that registration fee in itself becomes discriminatory. It means those that have money are the ones that will continue to access some of these areas that we are talking about.
I want to go back to the issue of the Bill itself Mr. Speaker Sir. Section 14 of the Bill speaks of the issues around disclosure of interests by members of that Committee. This is linked to what Hon. Maridadi raised and I am a bit disappointed Mr. Speaker that we can sit here as Members of Parliament and think that it is okay for us to push the issue of corruption under the table. We are the ones who are supposed to be saying let us deal with the cancer of corruption. Hon. Mnangagwa launched an issue around corruption, a long conversation with the Judiciary. I am not sure what we are saying if a Vice President is saying something around a policy issue on corruption and we in Parliament are saying no, let us not talk about corruption. It confuses even the nation because now they do not know if we are pro-corruption or anticorruption.
I think we need to be specific around issues of disclosure of interest. The disclosure of interest should not just be in terms of a board member wanting to apply. It should be anybody who has been chosen as a board member declaring what they have first before they sit on this. This issue of disclosure Hon. Speaker, we are the only Parliament that is resisting the disclosure of assets. People come to this Parliament putting on tennis shoes but within two years, they are beginning to put on these wonderful shoes that are bought for $2 000 a pair. We need to begin to say, ‘you did not have a shoe when you came here, where did you then get enough money to go and buy a pair of shoes because we know what your assets are’.
So, this particular board should be the beginning of that declaration of those particular assets. It should not be just disclosure of interest as far as you are applying for something, it should be saying you want to be a member of this board, disclose all your assets and interests because we know that the issues around investments is where a lot of people are getting money. People have said it, even the President himself has at one of the public indaba, mining issues that were held in Victoria Falls about three years ago, he admitted that in conversations with the former President Mbeki, had been told that Ministers would say to an investor give me so much money so that I can allow you to invest. So, if there is a board that is responsible for doing this, we need to make sure that board is dealt with.
I want to deal with Section 27, which is the period of validity of licences. It says in the Bill that you are given a period of 10 years from the date of issue. Mr. Speaker, I think that is unacceptable. We are going to have people that will begin to speculate. Ten years is too long a period for somebody to set up. What are you doing in 10 years? At least at the very essence we should begin to see something in a matter of 12 months. We are not saying do the entire development, but at the very least, begin to say that you are genuine in putting an investment. So, this particular period of validity of licences, I think is unacceptable.
So is the renewal which is in Section 28. Somebody can actually hold on to a zone for more than 20 years in effect. Section 27 as read with 28, it actually means that at 10 years I can then apply, I do not develop or bring any investment. I do nothing and I then go back to the board, pay a fee and my licence gets renewed. So, for 20 years, I could be sitting without doing anything. I think it is crazy. We cannot be waiting for 20 years for investment to happen. If within 12 months you have not shown an interest in doing so, you are not serious.
Then Section 35 Mr. Speaker is what worries me even more. Section 35 is talking about protection from compulsory acquisition of property. If you look at this particular clause Mr. Speaker, when you read it without starting by ‘except in accordance with a law’, you would think it is a beautiful clause, because it is seemingly protecting anyone who has got an investment from compulsory acquisition. But because it then says “except in accordance with the law which complies in all respects with Section 71 of the Constitution”, if you go back to Section 71 of the Constitution, it is basically giving a right to compulsory acquisition. What you are saying is that whoever goes into a Special
Economic Zone can wake up tomorrow morning and they can invoke Section 71 and you can have acquisition of whatever property is there. If you read that any law, it means that Section 72 would also apply and Section 72 is speaking to the rights of agricultural land because we seemingly are assuming that Special Economic Zones only relate to manufacturing.
If Special Economic Zones also relate to Special Economic Zones that speak to agricultural things, then it is worse because it means I can get a piece of land, begin to do agricultural things, you come back and invoke Section 72, you take that land away from me and there is no investor who is worth their while who will come as long as your section that you have put in Section 35 says “except in accordance with any law which complies with Section 71 and 72”. It would mean that at least for this particular thing if it is going to work, then it must be exempted from Section 71 and 72 of the Constitution, then it makes sense.
What is interesting is that you come and say the Labour Act shall not apply. You say the Indigenisation Act shall not apply which some of us are happy with but you then in the same essence are saying in terms of compulsory acquisition we still want Section 71 and 72 to work. You are defeating the whole essence of your Special Economic Zones. I want to come in as an investor and I want to know that my investment is protected. That is the basic thing that I want.
If you are going with this Bill with Section 35, we are wasting our time. We can celebrate that we have a Special Economic Zone Bill but in the context of Section of 35, there is nothing that we have done. It is important that Section 35 clearly states that for purposes of Special Economic Zone, things will not be compulsorily acquired. If you were to say that then it would work because you already have created exemptions elsewhere. That exemption would make sense and in my opinion that is the exemption that makes sense. All these other exemptions can stay but the exemption around acquisition means absolutely nothing. This Bill means nothing as long as Section 35 is crafted and drafted in the manner that it currently is.
HON. NDUNA: I want to applaud the Minister for bringing this
Bill to Parliament. I also want to applaud the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee that presented the report, Hon. Chapfika. I also want to alert you Mr. Speaker Sir, and bring to your attention the issue that I am the mover of the motion on Special Economic Zones. Exactly before one year has passed this Bill has come to Parliament and I applaud the Minister for doing that. I moved this motion on the1st of September, 2015 and before I go out of Parliament, I am more than elated that a panacea for deindustrialisation has finally come to Parliament.
It is also captured in ZIM ASSET and the more we start implementing what is in our blueprint , the more we come to the party. It is the more we are putting our money where our mouth is. We are behind in terms of implementation of Special Economic Zones. As we speak in the SADC region we have Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius who have expeditiously implemented the issue of Special Economic Zones. As I have alluded to, the Special Economic Zones can reverse deindustrialisation. I called in my motion during that time for expeditious implementation and crafting of Special Economic Zones which speak to geographical locations and emancipating our own economy utilising our God-given natural resources and policies for the good of this nation.
I am happy today that we have finally come to the party. In most developing economies that I have alluded to, the Special Economic
Zones have been established. I want to start off by saying the Special Economic Zones can only come to the fore in terms of optimum implementation and success if we accompany them by good laws. If we repeal some of our draconian, historic and archaic laws that are fraught with legacy oriented faults. The issue that quickly comes to mind is the issue of the Companies Act Mr. Speaker Sir. If we are going to implement Special Economic Zones in Chegutu, Gweru, Kadoma, Bulawayo and Harare where it involves the issue of the textile industry, we are looking at David Whitehead, National Blankets and a plethora of textiles industries up to Chitungwiza, we then need to change our
Companies Act, which gives unfettered access to the judiciary manager.
The Companies Act is too open ended when it comes to what is supposed to be implemented by the judiciary manager, in particular when a company is under judiciary management such as David Whitehead, you will find that after the judiciary management there is an open ended modus operandi for a judiciary manager in the Companies Act, power being given to him by the Act. By the time that company is removed from judiciary management, it will be a shell because it would have been stripped of its assets in order that the judiciary manager can pay himself.
I say this with a heavy heart cognisant and alive to the fact that some of the companies that we are trying to make sure that we ward off deindustrialisation are under judiciary management and one particular one that quickly comes to mind is David Whitehead which is under judiciary management. If we do not save David Whitehead as we speak, when we want to enshrine or encase it in the Special Economic Zones geographical field, we will just be encompassing an asset, which estate asset has no machinery. It has been robbed of its assets because of illicit outflows and asset stripping which will have been conducted by the judiciary manager empowered by a moribund, historic and legacy fraud Companies Act.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to immediately bring you to Section 45 of the Special Economic Zones Bill. It speaks to the insurance business. Recently we brought the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to Parliament to give us a ministerial statement regarding twelve and half percent remittances of third party insurance that were supposed to be remitted to Traffic Safety Council. If we are not careful, the people that are regulating some of these industries, as long as they lay back and do not bring to this Parliament the laws in those Acts that need to be repealed, we are shooting ourselves in the foot by not complementing this Bill.
This Bill is a very good piece of legislation but without such complementing Acts and Statutory Instruments, we can kiss the issue of good implementation good bye. I have touched on the insurance business as an example so that you can see what I speak to regarding the issue of complementing Acts. In relation to Section 51 of the same Bill, it speaks to vessels in relation to Special Economic Zones. What comes to mind is the issue of inland waters control.
I was at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and I held one of the Acts that is presided over by the Minister who is under our Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure. It speaks to the inland water control mechanisms of that board. The inland water control is like the VID of the waters. Looking at that Act, it was established in 1951 as a preserve of the powers that be at that time. It is even written Rhodesia. As long as we do not repeal some of these Acts, we cannot complement optimally and expeditiously the Bill that is before us.
This one speaks to the vessels in relation to Special Economic
Zones. It also speaks to the harbours, docking and the jetties within the Special Economic Zones. When we talk of the harbours in relation to the Act that I was holding that was established in 1951, there are no harbours to talk about. The harbours had been taken over by the local authorities, rural district councils and town authorities. They have been sold to those that have money and there are properties overlooking the waters or the lakes Mr. Speaker Sir. So, this has been written without taking cognisant of that fact. We need to look at our Acts optimally and quickly to change those Acts so that they complement the issue of Special Economic Zones.
The issue of Special Economic Zones Board is a serious matter. It is far better than the board on Anti-Corruption Commissioners who came to Parliament and were recruited. The issue of Special Economic Zones Board, besides being brought to Parliament for recruitment, appointment and rectification, they should also fall under the same ambit of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority. I think establishing another board is akin to establishing another parastatal. We need to bring it
under the umbrella of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority so that we are not reinventing the will. They are not utilised to their optimum level.
So let us not reinvent the will. Let us make sure that we complement their efforts by giving them more work. Otherwise, they are just there seated and being paid for nothing at a time when our economy is so short of every dollar that it needs. Mr. Speaker Sir, this nation has to be alive that if we are not repealing some to the draconian laws to support this Special Economic Zone Bill, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Hon. Shamu spoke of the establishment of Special Economic Zones in the Chegutu corridor that also talks of the establishment of a capitalytic converters industry that makes sure that we create jobs for those that are going to be creating the capitalytic converters in those industries.
As long as we do not repeal the Acts such as the Mines Act, because we have seen that the artisanal miners and small scale miners cannot steal. It is not them that are responsible for illicit outflows for our mineral wealth that is currently going out of the country. It is not them that are taking money from the bank and exporting it out of the country. If at all the Reserve Bank Governor, out of the US$684 million gold deliveries to Fidelity that have gone to RBZ, he alludes to the fact that 60% of that has come from artisanal miners and small scale miners. Let us complement their efforts by repealing those laws to complement the Bill on Special Economic Zones.
Mr. Speaker Sir, if we do not repeal the Mines and Minerals Act, the Gold Act and the possession of precious minerals, we are shooting ourselves in the foot in that all married people in this House are criminals. They are criminalised because of the Mines and Minerals Act and the Gold Act which criminalises their possession of gold. This is gold without a licence. So we should be aware that when we talk of repealing some of these Acts, it is also for us as it is for the small scale miners and for the majority of Zimbabweans. These laws were enunciated in 1951. As long as we do not repeal them, we are criminalising all the Hon. Members who have gold rings on their fingers.
The issue of infrastructure development is vital. As we lure foreign direct investors into our nation, they will come in and help us establish infrastructure, road network, utilities and power generation second to none. I say so because the issue to do with road carnage in our country cannot be over emphasised. We have got five deaths on our road every day. As long as we do not establish the Special Economic Zones, we continue to have them. If I can put you into perspective, five deaths per day speaks to this House, the National Assembly Members who are all going to perish within two and a half months, assuming it were us who were perishing on our roads. So, we need to establish infrastructure second to none so that this House is not robbed of Members of Parliament. We are lucky that it is not us who are dying but someone else. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will continue to say let us complement the Special Economic Zones Bill by repealing some of the draconian Acts. I also want to thank the Minister for bringing it to the
House whilst I am still a Member of Parliament. I want to thank you
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT
MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
An Hon. Member having stood up to debate.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you approach the
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: 4th May, 2016.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE
PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI), the
House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.