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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 DECEMBER 2019 46-13

                                                  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 5th December, 2019.

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received Non-Adverse Reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following Bills:

  • Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill [H. B. 16, 2019]
  • Constitutional Court Bill [H. B. 11, 2019]
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H. B. 9, 2019] APPOINTMENT OF HON. PRISCILLA MOYO TO THE

PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE

THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that the

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has nominated Hon. Priscilla

Moyo to replace Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga in the

Committee on Privileges which was appointed to investigate the conduct of Hon. Members of the MDC-Party.

HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise on a motion of Privilege.  My notice of Privilege comes from the fact that, in March, 2019, we attended the 63rd Commission on the status of Women on Social Protection systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls.  This was held from11th to the 22nd of March, 2019 in New York, United States of America (USA).

My problem is, we have not been given the opportunity to present our report.  Now the year is coming to an end and very soon, we will be going again to America – [Laughter.] – I am asking your Office to kindly intervene so that we are able to present our report.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, why have you not tabled

a notice of motion on the report?

HON. KWARAMBA: We have tabled it but we have not been

able to present it in this House.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is not on the Order Paper.

HON. KWARAMBA: It is on the Order Paper, yes.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What you do is, you speak to the Chief Whip so that certain items can be stood over so that that particular item can be dealt with.  You consult the Chief Whip.

HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.  Hon. Members, can I warn you, I am not entertaining motions of Privilege because they are being abused.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much

Mr. Speaker Sir.  I stand on a point of Privilege, having been requested by my Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.

Noting that this is quite an urgent issue, we are raising the following so that we may request you to forward a request to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to issue in this House a Ministerial Statement.

THE HON. SPEAKER: On what?

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: The Grade Seven

results have just come out and we have 88 schools in the whole country which have recorded a zero pass rate and most of those schools are from what we have right now, in Matebeleland North and Matebeleland South.  We would want an explanation on why we are having a zero pass rate in these schools – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We are also having problems in schools which are refusing to release the Grade Seven results, in spite of the Government policy that says you do not withhold the results.

We have asked the Ministry before and they have basically issued a statement to say it is illegal, but that is not helpful because it continues to happen.  So a number of children may not be going to Form One.  We have guardians and parents who are being forced to buy school uniforms at the schools at an inflated rate when we know that most of our women are able to sew these school uniforms for their children.  However, schools are insisting that this has to happen.

We have also noticed from a Committee level that there are astronomical school fees which are being asked from parents and we may actually have a lot of children not going to school next year.  Having said that; we recognise that ZIMSEC, in running these examinations, did not have any leakages and it is a good point.  However, it is being taken away by all these issues which we have raised.  I really want, as a matter of urgency, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to come and address this House on these particular issues because they are urgent.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, the second point was expensive…

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: It is written down.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

An Hon. Member having stood up to speak.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not stand up before I make a ruling.  How many times shall I educate you?

Hon. Misihairabwi, I will certainly get in touch with the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to ensure that a full statement is so given on these four items.

I said I am not allowing a plethora of – can you sit down please.  Some of the issues being raised could be raised during Question time on Wednesday.  So on Wednesday, you can ask your question. Thank you. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – You raise that with the Minister concerned. We will deal with that at an appropriate time – [HON. SIKHALA: Hon. Speaker, people must be given an opportunity to speak in this House.] – they can put written questions, do not instruct me Hon. Sikhala – [HON. SIKHALA: Being opposition is not a crime] – no, being opposition is welcome, it is not a crime.  You cannot put that as a written question? – [AN HON. MEMBER: People are dying.] – people are dying? Oh, you want to touch my heart!

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of Privilege is on the transformers which are being stolen?

THE HON. SPEAKER: On what?

HON. T. MLISWA: The transformers which are being stolen.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What?

HON. T. MLISWA:   The transformers that are being stolen and vandalised.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes.

HON. T. MLISWA:  The problem is the copper which is in the transformers and the pipeline.  The Government must ban the sell of copper in this country because we do not even mine copper.  The source of copper is those transformers that they vandalise and then they sell copper.  We want the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to issue a Statutory Instrument banning the sell of copper because Zimbabwe is not mining copper.  The copper they export is from the transformers.  That will then help in curbing the vandalism.

The second one is the one on the machetes...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  How do you replace the copper?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Whoever imports copper must come through a certain channel which Government will approve because we do not mine copper but we have got people who are selling copper.  Where are they getting the copper from?  They are getting it from the transformers.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Right.

HON. T. MLISWA:  So when you ban that, whoever wants to have copper must follow through a certain channel.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I get you now.

HON. T. MLISWA:  The other one is on the machetes.  His Excellency has been very clear that people are being killed and there is no action being taken.  The Government is quick to issue Statutory Instruments on monetary issues but when life is being lost, there is nothing.  Why do we not ban that?  His Excellency has been very clear that these machetes must be banned and there must be a statutory instrument that empowers the police to arrest anybody with a machete until a certain time these issues are out because people are dying in Norton and everywhere in the country – they come and they disrupt business.  They go into clubs and so forth and they are known as people from Shurugwi.  I am from Shurugwi and the Shurugwi people do not behave like that.  I would also like to clear that they are called mashurugwi because there was a lot of illegal mining in Shurugwi.

I would like to protect the people that I lead as a village head that the Shurugwi people are great people. They do not do machetes.  Can the Government move in quickly to also come up with a Statutory Instrument to also block that because some of the leaders in ZANU PF are the ones doing illegal smuggling of gold and that is the reason why the Government is not keen on it, so why are people dying?

+HON. MATHE:  On my point of privilege, may you allow me to speak about the problem that the people are facing.  We hope that the

Minister would assist in registration of people who are in need of food.  It is a requirement that those people who are suffering from starvation should come and register.  We have noticed that when it involves NonGovernmental Organisations, they come and impose their own rules and regulations.  You will also notice that in some instances, where we have 100 people needing that food assistance – they only pick on ten.  In some areas, they just skip without helping the people and yet all the people are hungry.  People need assistance.

I witnessed a situation whereby some people were chased from that place and yet they were coming to collect their food.  These World Food Programme people should give all deserving cases the food that they want because as of now, they have created animosity where people are fighting because they have been chased from the food queues.  Why is it like that?  They should give food to everybody because everybody is starving instead of creating animosity amongst the village people because they think that they have been removed from the register for various reasons such as political inclinations.

+THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I beg you – if you want to express your point in Ndebele, please stick to that.  At the moment you are code switching.  You are speaking in Ndebele and English at the same time including terms like ‘deserving people’.  Let us be proud of our languages and let us speak straight language.  From what you were saying, I did not understand whom you were saying is ‘deserving’. +HON. MATHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for correcting me.  When I am talking about people who fight over food programme, these vulnerable people look forward to getting food from World Vision but through their own plans, they feel victimised.  The World Vision people select a few.  Like I have stated, they will pick ten out of a hundred people. People have a feeling that there are some people who are backbiting or speaking ill of them and that is why they are removed from the food list.

Some are saying the World Vision have come with an agenda to create animosity between villagers hence we are calling upon the Minister to come and explain this food allocation programme to vulnerable groups.

+THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  I think the ‘deserving people’ are the ones who are supposed to be given the food.  Is that so?

I am doing this for the sake of Hansard Reporters who are capturing.   I will tell the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social

Welfare.

HON. ZHOU:  My point of privilege goes to the Members of the other side.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I did not get the beginning of your statement.

HON. ZHOU: Constitutionally, the person who has a right to confer a diplomatic status is the President - which is why the President can appoint diplomats.  A diplomat by definition is a representative, not of a country but of the President; that is why when we travel outside, we meet the diplomats that are appointed by the President and we refer them to His Excellency because they are standing in for the President.

I therefore recommend the withdrawal of diplomatic passports which were issued by the President which the other Members from the opposition[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

I recommend that they surrender the diplomatic passports to the

Clerk of Parliament[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –   THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Order[HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] order, order!  There is nothing exciting here.

Hon. Zhou, that manner is not a matter of privilege at the moment.  You know what is happening.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and good afternoon. I rise on a …- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Hamuswa! – [HON.

KARENYI: Hamauswa!] – Hamauswa, Siyamauswa! – [Laughter.] – Well Hamauswa is exactly the same as Siyamauswa and he knows why I am saying that.  Hon. Nduna, you may proceed.

         HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise aware that there is 16 days of activism against gender based violence which started on the 25th

November that goes on until 16 days is out.  For this year Mr. Speaker Sir, it is identifiable by putting on orange up to the time that the 16 days of  activism against gender based violence is over.

I rise to encourage the Hon. Members and the people in my constituency in particular to actually also embrace the 16 days of activism against gender based violence.  Further to that Mr. Speaker Sir,

I also call upon …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  You want to raise an issue of national interest.  The moment you are talking about your constituency, you are free to go and address them on the issue.  I think be more national in your approach.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  On a point of order!  Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of gender based violence was raised by two Hon. Members yesterday.  So I do not think that we should spend much of our time debating on an issue that was raised yesterday. – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, the Hon. Deputy Speaker confirms.  So, – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!  So, in terms of – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Sikhala cool down!

In terms of Standing Order Number 106, we cannot repeat what has been said already.  Thank you. – [HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I seek your indulgence.  What I am going to say here was never said.] -  I have ruled already, can you sit down.  I have consulted the Deputy Speaker and she said that the matter was dealt with – no, sit down!

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I rise in terms of Section 68 (d) to move my point of privilege.  I also stand on the strength of Section 117 (b) which allows or compels Parliament to make laws for the good governance of the country.

Hon. Speaker, I am aware that at the induction – when we began this session of Parliament.  You advised us that whilst we are elected first by our constituencies, we also represent the national interests and I again rise on the strength of your advice.  We have seen a growing trend of our fellow Members of Parliament and I am saying this because they have a right to reply.  In particular, the Chiredzi West, Hon. Member Musikavanhu, where he is on record in the media denying members of the Opposition food.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Food?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Food yes, food that is coming from the Government.  I mentioned his name because I hope that he will be given the right to reply. Had it been anyone else outside Parliament, I was not going to mention his name.  I mentioned his name because he is on record in the media telling members in that particular Ward 18 of Chiredzi West that no opposition member is going to get food.  So, not only did he do that, there is equipment that was donated by his contestant which he went on and took down from a hospital.

Once we do that as Hon. Members of Parliament Mr. Speaker, we are demeaning the decorum of Parliament.  I hope and at some particular point, the Ministers have come out clear that no one in Zimbabwe and this year the President announced that it is a drought season and the ministers concur with us that no one is supposed to be left out in terms of food distribution but an Hon. Member is captured by all media houses denying food to members of the opposition.  I want you Hon. Speaker, to call us to order.  Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!] – THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Is Hon. Musikavanhu here? – [HON. MEMBERS: He is hiding!] – Hon. Musikavanhu are you here?

Alright, Hon. Chikwinya, I will definitely investigate that.  Thank you.

HON. G. SITHOLE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, my point of privilege is regarding the issue of late disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund.  It is good that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is here.  We would want to know the update concerning the issue of the Constituency Development Fund.  Thank you.

Hon. Chinotimba having stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I have not ruled.  I want to address myself to the Hon. Minister – do not disturb him.

Hon. Minister, this issue of Constituency Development Fund was raised – if I am not mistaken on Tuesday and Hon. Members are concerned that the disbursement is not taking place.  We were trying to get hold of you so that you can explain the hold up.  Perhaps we can give you a brief opportunity to explain to the Hon. Members.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir, I was not aware that there was a major hold up on the CDF disbursement.  I will look into that as soon as possible.  I just was not aware that there is a specific hold up.  Thank you.

Hon. Chinotimba having stood up. – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, just lower down on your whispers and also we should laugh honourably – [ Laughter.]- Hon. Minister, perhaps at the next opportune time, if we sit tomorrow if you can bring that clarification because it is a cause of concern to all Members of Parliament. If we do not sit tomorrow and sit next Tuesday, please kindly favour the Hon. Members with an update. Thank you.  *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Members who are supporting me in my constituency. What I want to say is that I have a farm and what I grow on the farm is what...-[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]-

         THE HON. SPEAKER: If I gave you a chance to take a stand, you have no reason to shout at the Hon. Member. Allow him to speak as you did. Thank you.

  *HON. CHINOTIMBA: So last week I had with 90 tonnes of

maize for my constituents and I was celebrating my election with the people who voted for me and I gave them maize. Some people might see others engaging in vote buying and think that I do vote buying. I distribute my maize to everyone. If grain comes from the Government, it is the councillors who give out the maize to the people. If I bring out own maize from my fields... – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]- Iwe naChairman wako, ndiwe ndinoenda naye kutoilet. Taurira Khumalo that word kuti enda kutoilet.You and your Chairman are the people I go to the toilet with. Tell Khumalo that word to say enda kutoilet. Iye ndiye arikutaura, mogotaura inini muchirega kutaura Chairman wenyu. So, I thank you Mr. Speaker.

  THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chikwinya, order!

       An Hon. Member having uttered the word ‘Out’.

   THE HON. SPEAKER: No, we do not say ‘out’ all the time. Can

I remind you - just as I correctly said at the beginning, let us not abuse the question of privilege.3 A point of privilege must relate to the rights, privileges and immunities that Members enjoy individually and collectively. If these are threatened, then you stand up to say on a point of privilege and indicate which rights, privileges and immunities are being threatened. A matter of privilege can be raised accordingly. I want you please to understand this so that I do not have to ask Hon. Members to sit down at an appropriate time. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection]- Ndotaura neshona, ah, ibvai –[Laughter.]-

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF.  M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir,

could I kindly move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until Order of the day No. 2 has been disposed of. I thank you.

        Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

         Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Finance Bill.

        Question again proposed.

         HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order on that. Mr. Speaker Sir, when you are Chairperson of the Committee, there are certain issues which require a Chairperson to be there and report to. I have always talked to Hon. Wadyajena, whether he is a blue eyed boy or not, he has never given reports. He never gives reports as the Chairperson. It seems as if he is only there to chair a Committee and never contributes in Parliament and so forth. You wonder what is wrong with him. What are the functions of a Chairperson according to your criteria of picking them? It does not augur well for the people. The only time you see him is when he chairs the Committee. Question time, he is not here and reading of reports, he is not here. I can give you how many times he has never done that including other Chairpersons too.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order. We are not dealing with the Portfolio Committee on Lands. Please sit down Hon. Mliswa.

   HON. T. MLISWA: But, he has never been here Mr. Speaker Sir.

It is not a problem because he is a blue eyed boy and he is protected.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not know but we are not discussing the Portfolio Committee on Lands now.

        HON. T. MLISWA: He was not here.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I rule you out of order now. We are dealing with Justice Committee and Hon. Mataranyika is indisposed.

Proceed Hon. Nduna.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I will present a report on the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs, (Vote 19).

1.1 Introduction

The Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is responsible for the delivery of justice throughout the country and upholding the Constitution of Zimbabwe, incarceration and rehabilitation of offenders as well as provision of legal services to various Government ministries and the indigent.

The Ministry is operating its budget under four programmes namely; Policy and Administration, Access to Legal Services,

Incarceration and Rehabilitation of Offenders, and Registration of

Proprietary Rights. It has an approved staff establishment of 569 with 438 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 186 are men (43%) and 249 (57%) women, representing favourable gender representation. This favourable representation is consistent across all the staffing levels, in the Ministry.

Some of the Major Achievements in 2019 -

  • Drafted 65 Bills relating to Alignment to legislation, Ease of Doing Business, and General Amendments as well as 416 statutory instruments.
  • Represented Government and completed 1,312 court cases.
  • Produced two State Party reports under international obligations.
  • Provided free legal aid to 1,818 indigents.
  • Deployed Online Name Search for checking availability of proposed company name.
  • Translated the Constitution into all 16 officially recognised languages and sign language.

1.1.1 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Completion of alignment of legislation to the Constitution.
  • Research on law reforms and revision of statutes.
  • Incarceration, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.
  • Decentralisation of Legal Aid Directorate and Civil Division

1.2 Vote Analysis for 2020

This report is premised on the pre-budget submissions from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that did not have a breakdown for the various programmes. These were supposed to be submitted at the behest of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs after oral evidence given was deemed to be inadequate. The Ministry tabled a bid of

ZWL$2,126,500,000 and Treasury appropriated ZWL$825,513,000

(inclusive of Retention Funds) which yielded financing deficit of 61%.

1.3 Implications of the Budget

Given that the allocated budget is well below the submitted bid, the Ministry will be hamstrung in delivering its mandate. Justice delivery is at the centre of reforms that are related to the Ease of Doing Business, and as such, adequate financing of this Ministry will go a long way in removing impediments to the ease of doing business.

1.3.1 Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS)

This arm of the Ministry has targeted to improve welfare of inmates from 35% to 90% and to reduce recidivism from 15% to 10% by

  1. Recidivism is the tendency of convicted criminals being reconvicted after serving their sentences. Some of the objectives for the 2020 budget include:
  • To feed 20,500 inmates with at least 65% of the dietary scale requirements.
  • To clothe all inmates with at least two sets of uniforms.
  • To place at least 220 malnourished and five pellagra inmates on special diet.
  • To drill at least 10 boreholes and 10 storage tanks.

ZPCS was appropriated ZWL$715,116,000 against a bid of ZWL$2,244,727,803 which resulted in a negative variance of 68%. This gross under-allocation will result in a decline in the welfare of inmates as inadequate quantities of food, uniforms for inmates, medicines and sanitary wear.

Rations for Inmates

ZPCS had pursued a production enhancement strategy from their

25 farms (3,447 hectares of arable land) in different parts of the country. Targeted crops include maize, sugar beans, sorghum, cow peas and various vegetables. In addition, livestock production was also a target for the 2020 fiscal year to improve in the protein requirements for inmates. From a bid of ZWL$25,074,900, Treasury imposed an expenditure ceiling of ZWL$5,117,861. This ceiling greatly limits the envisaged programme to improve dietary requirements for the inmates.

Africa Prisons and Correctional Day

For Africa Prisons and Correctional Day, a bid of ZWL$775,000 was tabled but the expenditure target was nil. This situation of nonfunding has been the case since the inception of the Programme-Based Budgeting.

Maintenance

ZPCS tabled a bid of ZWL$56,909,000 and Treasury set an expenditure limit of ZWL$29,361,000. The department needs to maintain the existing dilapidated infrastructure some of which has been ravaged by hailstorms and depreciation.

1.4 Challenges and Observations

The Ministry made a clarion call for -

More funding towards Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional

Services.

1.5 Recommendations

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • The Ministry should expeditiously align laws to the Constitution for the good of the economy. The Ease of Doing Business is also influenced by these processes.
  • ZCPS should be innovative by embarking on joint ventures or private-public partnerships given the vast tracts of arable land at their disposal.

2.0 INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS

2.1 JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION (VOTE 25)

2.1.1 Introduction

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has a mandate to promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the Judiciary and the efficient and effective administration of justice in Zimbabwe.

The JSC is operating its budget under two main programmes namely; Governance and Administration and Justice Delivery. The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 2068 with 1871 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 863 (46%) are men and 1

008 (54%) women, representing some semblance of gender parity. However, representation of women decreases as the level of posts increases as follows Support Staff (54%); Professional Staff (38%);

Director level (17%); Senior Management (0%); and Top Management (0%). In terms of gender budgeting, the Commission seeks to tackle the problem of Victim Friendly Court witness expenses and peace orders through paying witnesses expenses. As for inspection in loco for children, the Commission would institute site visits.

2.1.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • Acquired Bristol House to accommodate the new Commercial

Division of the High Court.

  • Commissioned the Harare Labour Court Building.
  • Procured a building for Master of High Court Offices in Bulawayo.
  • Rehabilitated Tredgold Magistrate Court.
  • Launched anti-corruption courts in three provinces and four magistrates’ courts.
  • Appointed two additional Supreme Court Judges and five High

Court judges.

2.1.3 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Improve financial stability of JSC to ensure effective implementation of the mandate and assigned programmes.
  • Promotion of better access to justice to enhance the ease of doing business, through the commencement and completion of court houses construction projects nationwide.
  • Collaborate with other justice sector actors to advance common strategic priorities.
  • Promote the implementation of sector-wide framework for combating corruption including the establishment of specialized anti-corruption courts in outstanding provinces.
  • Accelerate full implementation of the case management system.

2.1.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

The JSC put in place a bid of ZWL$614,527,000 and Treasury was able to allocate ZWL$328,070,000, a negative variance of 47%. The majority of this allocation is funded from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (ZWL$292,533,000) and the balance is from Retention Funds (ZW$35,537,000) (See Blue Book). Retention Funds emanate from fees, fines and levies which are predominantly transaction-based thus making them unpredictable. The Retention Fund is housed and administered via the Courts and Administration Fund which gives limits to the distribution of the funds in terms of the set guidelines. The Courts and Administration Fund is accessible to stakeholders that include JSC, National Prosecuting Authority, Ministry of Justice and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Currently, JSC has access to 50% of the Fund. However, not much was coming by way of Retention Funds due to the nominal nature of court fees. An attempt to increase court fees may result in depriving the marginalised unfettered access to the justice delivery system. For purposes of this analysis, the global figure is considered.

2.1.5 Implications of the Budget

Table 1 shows the total Vote allocation against bids for the various programmes.

Table 1: Bids and Appropriations for Sub-Programmes

Programme

 Bid 

 Allocation  

Variance

Governance & Administration

$115,483,840

$87,333,000

24%

Justice Delivery

$499,043,160

$240,737,000

52%

TOTAL

$614,527,000

328,070,000

47%

 

Under Programme 1 (Governance and Administration), a bid of

ZWL$115,483,840 was met with an appropriation of ZWL$87,333,000, an under-allocation of 24%. Within the JSC, Programme 2 (Justice Delivery) is the most essential programme for the attainment of strategic goals that include a well-resourced and independent Commission as well a highly efficient and effective JSC. An appropriation of

ZWL$240,737,000 was made against a bid of ZWL$499,043,160 yielding a negative variance of 52%. This under-allocation will hamper the establishment of anti-corruption courts across the country as well as hinder the smooth running of day-to-day court operations. The adage that says ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ may become an unpleasant reality if justice delivery is not adequately funded.

In line with the Ease of Doing Business initiative, there is urgent need to have commercial courts at all levels as well as specialised anticorruption courts across the country. With adequate resourcing, the JSC will play its part in dealing with current obstacles related to the Ease of Doing Business. According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe is currently ranked 140 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business. This was a significant improvement from a ranking of 155 in 2018. Between 2008 and 2019, the average rank was 160 with the lowest ranking of 171 achieved in 2011. In that regard, significant strides are being made to deal with legal aspects that have been impeding the ease of doing business.

2.1.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The Commission raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • That the current 50% retention of the Courts and Administration

Fund was inadequate.

  • Construction of Gwanda and Chinhoyi Courts needs to be completed.

2.1.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • Retention of the Courts and Administration fund should be increased from 50%.
  • Treasury should releases more financial resources for the completion of the Gwanda and Chinhoyi Courts.

2.2 ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (VOTE

28)

2.2.1 Introduction

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has a mandate to support and entrench human rights and democracy in the country as well as administrative justice in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The ZHRC is operating its budget under three main programmes namely; Governance and Administration, Human Rights and Freedoms, and Administrative Justice. The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 83 with 49 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 22 (45%) are men and 27 (55%) women, representing some semblance of gender equality. It is also important to note that this representation is consistent across all staffing levels. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has sought to embrace gender biased programming through facilitation of marginalised women to access education and reproductive health care as well as ensuring that the rights of prisoners in places of detention are observed.

2.2.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • ZHRC commissioned its first ever National Enquiry called the National Inquiry on Access to Civil Documentation.
  • Increased visibility of the Commission in major parts of the country owing to increased budgetary support and promotional efforts.
  • Monitored the human rights situation in the country in all byelections and places of detention.

2.2.3 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Decentralisation of the Commission to all provincial centres of the country.
  • Maintain ‘A’ status accreditation by implementing the requirements of the accrediting body.
  • Increase human rights promotion, education and advocacy to ensure improved enjoyment of human rights and administrative

justice.

2.2.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

The Commission’s proposed budget was premised on the desire of the ZHRC to spread its operations into the country’s 10 provinces to adequately serve the nation. In addition, effective and efficient service provision to the Zimbabwean population will ensure the maintenance of a hard earned ‘A’ status accreditation by the United Nations Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institution (GANHRI).

Maintenance of the ‘A’ status ensures enjoyment of full participatory benefits to this body. The next review by GANHRI is due in 2020, and maintenance of ‘A’ status is hinged on satisfaction of key expectations from the UN global accrediting body. If a nation’s human rights institution is downgraded, they will enjoy fewer benefits and are relegated to be mere observers without participatory rights. In addition, there will be collateral damage to the image of the country as downgrading will reflect badly on the human rights situation in the country. The ZHRC put in place a bid of ZWL$38,400,000 and Treasury was able to allocate ZWL$26,680,000, a negative variance of 22%.

2.2.5 Implications of the Budget

The ZHRC ought to be well resourced if it is to entrench human rights and democracy among other strategic objectives. Table 1 shows the total Vote allocation against bids for the various budget items.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Bids and Appropriations for Budget Items

 

Item

 Bid 

 Allocation  

% Honoured

Compensation of Employees

$4,540,000

$10,400,000

229%

Goods & Services

$9,910,000

$5,200,000

52%

Service Providers

$1,950,000

$2,000,000

103%

Capital Assets

$22,000,000

$9,080,000

41%

TOTAL

$38,400,000

$26,680,000

69%

 

With respect to Compensation of Employees, Treasury availed more than double (229%) the initial bid of ZWL$4.54 million. This was a welcome development as the proposal by the Commission to decentralise its activities in 2020 was honoured. In addition, the increase was also necessitated by inflationary pressures to cushion the ZHRC staff. Since decentralisation to all provinces is a pre-condition to maintaining the ‘A’ status by GANHRI, Treasury saw it fit to support the Commission in this very noble endeavour that yields a favourable perception dividend for the country.

From a bid of ZWL$9.91 million for Use of Goods and Services, Treasury was able to appropriate ZWL$5.2 million, which met 52% of the expectation. This allocation was deemed not to take into account the increase in manpower under the decentralisation strategy. The hope of the Commission was to have a consumerate adjustment under this line item. As for the resource purse apportioned to payment of service providers, the ZHRC was pleased as the appropriated ZWL$2 million would pay off outstanding obligations with service providers as well as deal with obligations that will arise in 2020.

Relating to Capital Assets, the Commission placed a bid of

ZWL$22 million and Treasury appropriated ZWL$9.08 million, a 41% fulfillment of the bid. The bulk of the bid was aimed at acquisition of an office building in Bulawayo since the Commission is currently using rented office space. The Bulawayo office services five provinces and the intention is to spread across the country for accessibility of services rendered. However, the intended expansion is infeasible with the 2020 Treasury appropriation. The ZHRC will use the appropriated ZWL$9.08 million for acquisition of motor vehicles; office furniture and computer equipment. The additional assets to be procured in 2020 are in line with the expanded staff complement in the hope of satisfying the minimum requirements for maintenance of ‘A’ status under the GANHRI

accreditation.

2.2.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The Commission raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • The ZHRC Commissioners and Management are yet to receive their conditions of service vehicles ever since assuming office.

This has not been addressed in the 2020 budget.

  • The acquisition of an office building in Bulawayo is critical as it would accommodate the Matabeleland Provincial offices but the capital asset budget is inadequate.
  • The ZHRC risks downgrading from the ‘A’ status it currently enjoys under the United Nations Global Alliance for National

Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

2.2.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • The conditions of service for the Commissioners should be met in

full.

  • The Capital Asset budget must be adequately funded to ensure decentralisation into other regions for maintenance of the GANHRI ‘A’ status. Downgrading from ‘A’ status will have serious implications on the image of the country.

2.3 NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION

COMMISSION (VOTE 29)

2.3.1 Introduction

The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has a constitutional mandate to promote sustainable peace, equality, reconciliation, national healing, cohesion, unity and peaceful resolution of disputes and conflicts in Zimbabwe. According to the International Monetary Fund (2009), peace is a necessary precondition for trade, sustained economic growth, and prosperity1. In pursuit of Vision 2030, consistent maintenance of a peaceful and harmonious society will lay a solid foundation for achievement of upper-middle income status as an economy.

The NPRC is operating its budget under two programmes;

Governance and Administration and National Peace and Reconciliation.

                                                          

 

The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 104 with 38 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 20 (53%) are men and women are 18 (47%) representing some equality in gender representation. On the gender budgeting front, the NPRC will focus on the challenge of women and vulnerable groups excluded in the peace process though provision of adequate safe spaces in provinces and

districts.

2.3.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • Recruitment of 32 Secretariat Staff members.
  • Setting up and induction of 10 Provincial Peace Committees.
  • Created safe spaces for women in five provinces.
  • Initiated the process for the resumption of exhumations and reburials of victims of post-conflicts.
  • Developed a strategy for dealing with the past.
  • NPRC outreach programmes in all 10 provinces.
  • Opened Southern Region offices.

2.3.3 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Conducting public and private hearings.
  • Conduct truth telling and truth seeking meetings with victims and stakeholders.
  • Setting up and capacitating infrastructure for peace building.
  • Safe spaces for women, men and diverse groups.
  • Development of victim support tools and guidelines.
  • Outreach and awareness campaigns.
  • Community peace building and dialogue programmes.

2.3.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

The NPRC put in place a bid of ZWL$78,982,750 against a

Treasury imposed expenditure ceiling of ZWL$14,900,000. However, Treasury was able to allocate ZWL$31,200,000. While this is double the set expenditure ceiling, it falls far short of the Commissions requirements by 60.5%.

2.3.5 Implications of the Budget

The need for peace and harmony is at the core of any society that seeks to pursue progressive goals such as development. Moreover, wounds of the past that do not get adequate attention for purposes of healing will result in a society with fractures as the marginalised groups feel neglected. As such, it is incumbent upon Treasury to adequately fund programmes that will heal wounds of past conflicts for national and societal cohesion in pursuit of a better peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe.

Vehicles

One of the key enablers for the NPRC to fulfill its constitutional mandate is procurement of vehicles. The Commission requires vehicles to effectively discharge its duties as a lot of traveling is involved. Currently, the Commission has a battered fleet of three vehicles for all its programmes and administrative requirements. The NPRC hoped to purchase a pool of vehicles and a minibus for easier discharge of their mandate. In line with their requirements, a bid of ZWL$26 million was placed and Treasury appropriated ZWL$9.6 million, a negative variance of 63%. This under-allocation will pose serious operational challenges to their endeavours which could likely threaten achievement of revised modest targets in line with the resource purse. In addition, the Commissioners in the NPRC are yet to get vehicles to use as they discharge their duties within the NPRC. Currently, they either use personal vehicles or resort to using vehicles from the old fleet of three.

Programme 1: Governance and Administration

Under Programme 1 (Governance and Administration), the Commission put in a bid of ZWL$6.1 million for Research and Knowledge Management but Treasury allocated ZWL$2.7 million, which is 44% of the bid. With such under-funding, the Commission can achieve the following;

  • Conduct two out of six planned scenario workshops.
  • Conduct one out of three Social Cohesion and Reconciliation

(SCORE) workshops.

  • Defer intended Baseline Surveys into 2021 budget.

The evolution of technology has transformed the way things are done compared to 50 years ago. In light of these favourable advances, the NPRC requires ICT equipment such as laptops and desktops for storage of gathered evidence in secured servers. In addition, there is a need for intranet and internet for information sharing and research among several uses. At present, the electronic case management system is currently being stored on private laptops of members of the secretariat. This state of affairs is undesirable as it poses a serious security risk relating to the sensitivity of the information. If a member of the secretariat were to lose their laptop, the NPRC would lose out on vital information stored on an individual’s computer and yet the ideal situation is for laptops to belong to the Commission and data storage within Commission servers. This area needs revisiting to ameliorate the situation.

Under Programme 2 (National Healing and Reconciliation), Table 1 shows the Treasury allocation against bids for the various subprogrammes.

Table 1: Bids and Appropriations for Sub-Programmes

 

Programme

Sub-Programme

 Bid 

 Allocation 

Variance

National

CEWER

$5,400,000

$2,900,000

46%

Healing and

Recon.

Healing, Recon. & Rehab.

$4,200,000

$2,780,000

34%

Victim Support, Gender & Diversity

$15,300,000

$2,700,000

82%

Complaints Handling & Investigation

$10,000,000

$2,700,000

73%

 

The NPRC put in place a bid of ZWL$5.4 million for Conflict

Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation (CPMRT) but

Treasury allocated $2.9 million representing a negative variance of 46%. As such, the NPRC will only be able to achieve half of their intended targets for the 2020 fiscal year, that is;

  • Establish 20 out of 40 District Peace Committees.
  • Conduct 20 out of 40 induction meetings with established District Peace Committees.
  • Conduct trainings for 600 out of 1,200 Peace Committee members.
  • Train 500 out of 1,000 people on how to use the Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER) system.

Under healing, reconciliation and rehabilitation, a bid of ZWL$4.2 million was met by an appropriation of ZWL$2.78 million, which represents a negative variance of 34%. This allocation means that the

NPRC will;

  • Hold five out of 15 public and private hearings.
  • Not be able to carry out exhumation and reburials.

This allocation was deemed to be inadequate, especially for decisively dealing with the outstanding Gukurahundi issue. Strides have been made in the right direct, but adequate funding is desperately needed.

For Victim Support, Gender and Diversity, a bid of ZWL$15.3 million was met by an appropriation of ZWL$2.7 million, yielding a negative variance of 82%. This gross underfunding will result in victims of gender-based violence (GBV) not receiving the necessary emotional support for recovery from trauma. As such, with this paltry ZWL$2.7 million, the NPRC will;

  • Establish one out of a target of 10 wellness centres to offer psychosocial support, counseling and related help to assist victims of

GBV. This low number of wellness centres is a barrier to progress

in the rehabilitation process of GBV victims. Victims that do not access this critical service may develop mental health disorders with others resorting to suicide.

  • Create safe spaces in just one out of a targeted five provinces, for victims and vulnerable groups (predominantly women).
  • Fail to conduct GBV survey and associated research and knowledge management.

This low number of wellness centres and safe spaces is a barrier to progress in the rehabilitation process of GBV victims. Victims that do not access this critical service may develop mental health disorders with others resorting to suicide. Serious attention needs to be paid to this subprogramme as some of the damage caused to the victims of GBV may have dire consequences in the communities they live in. Examples may include violent behaviour, use of drugs and illicit substances as a coping mechanism as well as retributive behaviour.

For Complaints Handling and Investigation, only ZWL$2.7 million was appropriated from a bid of ZWL$10.1 million, a negative variance of 73%. With these meagre financial resources, the NPRC will;

  • Only be able to conduct five out of 13 investigative hearings.
  • Only carry out six out of 13 awareness campaigns.
  • Not be able to handle as many complaints as they would like.

2.3.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The Commission raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • That the current freezing of posts is stifling their efforts to become a fully-fledged Commission with presence in all 10 provinces of the country. The NPRC is the latest Commission to be established with its Secretariat appointed between December 2018 and March
  1. Current coping measures are secondment of staff from

Harare to Bulawayo.

  • The Commission has lost five critical staff members (two General

Managers and 3 Managers) to greener pastures.

  • The 9 NPRC Commissioners are still to get official vehicles for use since their appointment in 2016.
  • The Gukurahundi issue has not been adequately funded from previous and the current budget, hence it remains unresolved. ICT requirements of the Commission have not been met. The Commission requires eight servers at US$24,746.17 each. Total budget for the eight servers would be US$197,969.30. Networking will requireUS$10,680.00giving a grand total ofUS$208,649.30.

This is equivalent to ZWL$3,421,848.85, using interbank rate of

US$1: ZWL$16.40 as at 20 November 2019.

2.3.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • That the obtaining recruitment freeze of staff be lifted to allow the

Commission to fill the 60 vacant posts.

  • The nine NPRC Commissioners should have their conditions of service met, in respect of official vehicles for Commission business.
  • The Gukurahundi issue needs to be decisively dealt with to bring finality to the matter for purposes of moving forward as a united nation. To augment funding, 5% of the Devolution Fund should be directed towards finalisation of this matter.
  • Treasury should honour the ICT requirements of the NPRC.
  • Where possible, Independent Commissions should share office space to avoid duplication of fixed costs.
  • In future, the Committee recommends that laws be changed to allow Independent Commissions to domestically mobilise resources perhaps through farming or mining.

2.4  NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY (VOTE 30)

2.4.1 Introduction

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has a mandate to institute and undertake criminal prosecutions on behalf of the State and discharging any functions that are necessary or incidental to such prosecutions.

The NPA is operating its budget under two main programmes namely; Governance and Administration and, Public Prosecution and Asset Forfeiture. The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 417 with 390 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 180 (46%) are men and 210 (54%) women, representing some semblance of gender parity. However, representation of women decreases as the level of posts increases as follows Support Staff (27%); Professional Staff (57%); Director level (26%); Senior Management (0%); and Top Management (0%). In terms of gender budgeting, the authority will pay particular attention to murder in gender based violence, sexual abuse of people living with disabilities, sexual abuse of both females and males, and marital rape.

2.4.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • Managed to mobilise resources to promote effective and efficient public prosecutions.
  • Successfully completed trials at both provincial and superior courts by an average of 83%.
  • Asset Forfeiture Unit managed to seize, freeze and interdict proceeds of crime worth an estimated USD$1 million.
  • Managed to secure extradition orders of fugitives from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
  • Connectivity of internet for Harare and Bulawayo magistrate courts.

2.4.3 Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Building public confidence regarding the exercise of prosecutorial decision making.
  • Implementation of infrastructure development programme.
  • Capacitation of the Asset Forfeiture Unit in order to recover proceeds of crime and contribute to State revenues.
  • Provide operational vehicles to all stations.

2.4.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

In the 2019 fiscal year, there were challenges with respect to disbursement of funds from Treasury. Table 1 shows disbursement rate across the two programmes.

Table 1: Disbursement Rate up to September 2019

Programme

Revised

Estimate

Expenditure

To Sept

Disbursement

Rate

Governance & Administration

$7,350,650

$2,217,302

30%

Public Prosecution & Asset Forfeiture

$24,697,350

$4,519,497

18%

TOTAL

$32,048,000

$6,736,799

21%

 

Overally, of the ZWL$32,048,000 revised estimate budget for

2019, only ZWL$6,736,799 (21%) had been disbursed by Treasury as at 30 September 2019. Delays in disbursement of funds poses serious operational challenges on the part of the authority. In light of delayed disbursement, working relationships with suppliers are harmed with dire consequences. Some NPA stations have suffered the fate of electricity disconnection due to non-payment of utility bills. Operating without electricity has detrimental effects on attainment of strategic objectives, and as such, this area needs to be seriously looked into.

In the 2020 budget, the NPA put in place a bid of

ZWL$345,533,566 and Treasury was able to allocate ZWL$72,167,000, a negative variance of 79%.

2.4.5 Implications of the Budget

The funds allocated to the NPA leave a huge funding gap of 79% of the bid (ZWL$345.5 million). Figure 1 shows the bids against budget allocation for selected items.

Figure 1: Total Vote allocation against bids for selected items

 

 

Figure 1 shows that there is gross underfunding for goods and services (93%) and Non-Financial Assets (75%). In light of this, the authority will have to endure an old fleet of vehicles handed down from enterprises such as ZIMRA. Whilst each province, High Court and circuit courts should have a reliable service vehicle, they will have to make do with what is available. Some vehicles have mileage in excess of 400,000km. The added challenge of these old vehicles is the associated large bill for maintenance and the ever increasing propensity for breakdowns.

The current inventory of furniture and office equipment is old and inadequate for operational needs. These handicaps cause untold delays in the preparation of court papers. The need for internet connectivity is a matter that needs to be urgently addressed as it brings convenience during the court processes. Transmission of information between Head Office, provinces and the High Court ought to be swift to facilitate timeous decision making. There is an urgent need for Treasury to grant authority to recruit and provide for urgent training of new prosecutors and administration staff in compliance with the Constitutional Court judgment.

2.4.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The authority raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • There were delays in disbursement of funds affect the operations of the authority threatening the attainment of strategic objectives.
  • Head Office was still operating in rented office space.
  • Enhanced capacitation of Asset Forfeiture Unit will go a long way in providing substantial alternative sources of revenue.
  • Security of documents that are housed in rented buildings poses security hazards.

2.4.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • That Treasury timeosly distributes financial resources for the smooth running of the NPA.
  • That Treasury releases funds to ensure that NPA is housed in owned as opposed to rented property. Once done, space could be shared with other Independent Commissions.
  • That the Asset Forfeiture Unit be fully capacitated in discharging its mandate as there is great potential for alternative resource mobilisation.

2.5 ZIMBABWE ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION

(VOTE 31)

2.5.1 Introduction

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has a mandate to combat corruption, theft, abuse of power and other improprieties in Zimbabwe through investigation, public education, prevention, and cause prosecution after thorough investigation. The Commission is further mandated to make recommendations to Government and other persons on the measures to enhance integrity and accountability and prevent improper conduct in the public and private sector.

ZACC is operating its budget under three programmes namely;

Corporate Affairs, Combating Corruption and Prevention of Corruption. The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 192 with 147 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 88 (60%) are men and 59

(40%) women, a situation reflective of under-representation of women.

In terms of gender budgeting, the Commission seeks to tackle the problem of inequity in the recruitment and promotion process; inequality in training opportunities; and gender imbalance in assignment of duties.

2.5.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • Initiated consultations for the development of the National AntiCorruption Strategy.
  • Submitted lay bill for the framework for protection of whistleblowers and witnesses and recommendations of amendments to Anti-Corruption Act Chapter 9:22.
  • Facilitated the review of Zimbabwe’s compliance to the United Nations Against Corruption (UNCAC) and now awaiting results of the review.
  • Investigated 486 cases. Of these, 56 were referred for prosecution and the rest are at different stages of completion.
  • Recovered assets valued at ZWL$100 million.

2.5.3 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Investigation and prevention of corruption.
  • Conducting parallel financial investigations and asset recovery on all corruption cases investigated.
  • Development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
  • Conducting National Corruption Impact Assessment.
  • Decentralisation to six regions in 2020.
  • Establishment of an Electronic Case Management System.

2.5.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

ZACC mounted a bid of ZWL$100 million and Treasury was able to appropriate ZWL$71,550,000, a negative variance of 28%. This appropriation of ZWL$71,550,000 translates to 0.11% of the total budget, which was considered to be very small compared to regional anti-corruption agencies. While there is no prescribed benchmark for funding anti-corruption agencies, regional budgetary allocations range from 1% to 5%. For example, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime of Botswana is allocated around 1.7% of the national budget while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria is allocated 1.5%. Comparatively, the 0.11% appropriated to the Commission is very small.

2.5.5 Implications of the Budget

Corruption is considered to be a strong impediment to economic growth and development. Some have viewed corruption as a hidden tax that negatively affects business operations, foreign investment as well as decrease government tax revenue. Tackling corruption thus becomes of paramount importance to create a conducive environment for growing the economy towards achievement of Vision 2030. If ZACC is adequately resourced, it will be in a position to meet its set targets.

2.5.5.1 Compensation of Employees

In respect of Compensation of Employees, across the three programmes, a bid of ZWL$20 million was tabled and Treasury appropriated ZWL$9.1 million, a negative variance of 54%. The ZWL$20 million bid was placed with the hope of recruiting new staff in line with decentralisation as well as improve remuneration of ZACC staff. In terms of recruitment, ZACC intends to beef up staffing in Bulawayo as there is only one officer resident there. Currently, all investigations in the country are being conducted from Harare, and this is proving to pose serious logistical challenges. Thus, the urgent need to decentralise into Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces to intensify the fight against corruption.

In terms of remuneration, it was established that ZACC investigating officers are currently being paid incomes that are not consistent with the assignments they have to handle. A salary of ZWL$700 places these offices at serious risk of accepting bribes from persons or entities under investigation. It was felt that Treasury needs to revise this allocation in line with regional trends to prevent breeding of corruption in an anti-corruption agency.

Staffing and remuneration levels play a key role in the external relations agenda of ZACC. This priority area focuses on international cooperation and partnerships in anti-corruption and anti-money laundering issues. As such, Zimbabwe is signatory to protocols and conventions for fighting corruption with bodies such as United Nations, African Union and SADC. ZACC is currently under review by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. In addition, Zimbabwe chairs the Organ on Defence and Security within SADC and is due to host Anti-Corruption sub-committee meetings in 2020. The allocated ZWL$9.1 million falls far short of requirements (ZWL$20 million) and will negatively affect the achievement of the overall policy priorities of

ZACC.

2.5.5.2 Investment in Non-financial Assets

This expenditure item covers all three programmes as it speaks to decentralization to three regions consisting of six provinces in 2020. The tabled bid was ZWL$50 million and Treasury appropriated $44,050,000 which yielded a negative variance of 12%. This bid was aimed at;

  • Acquiring office accommodation in at least two regions including

Bulawayo.

  • Acquiring at least one operational motor vehicle for the decentralised regions.
  • Acquiring computers, office furniture and other accessories in the decentralised regions.

The resultant negative variance of ZWL$5,950,000 (12%) will hamper the Commission from effectively operationalising the decentralisation agenda.

2.5.5.3 Analysis by Programme

A. Programme 1: Corporate Affairs

With respect to Programme 1, Corporate Affairs, a bid of ZWL$22,650,000, Treasury appropriated ZWL$42,480,000 yielding a positive variance of 87%. This favourable variance is explained by ZWL$36,950,000 allocated towards Construction Works, under the subprogramme Finance, Human Resources and Administration. No bid was made under Construction Works. This development is in line with the decentralisation objective.

B. Programme 2: Combating Corruption

Relating to Programme 2, Combating Corruption, ZACC placed a bid of ZWL$45,250,000 and Treasury allocated ZWL$19,875,000, resulting in a negative variance of 56%. Under Combating Corruption, deliverables for the 2020 fiscal year include;

  • Decentralisation to six provinces.
  • Investigation of 330 cases of corruption.
  • Process 45 civil forfeiture applications.
  • Targeting ZWL300 million in asset recoveries.
  • Establish Electronic Case Management System.

The Commission envisages that the appropriation by Treasury will enable them to achieve a third of the set deliverables. The current case management system is manual and is subject to manipulation and tampering. It was the Commissions plea that more resources be allocated towards combating corruption.

C. Programme 3: Prevention of Corruption

In the Commission, Programme 3, Prevention of Corruption, has three sub-programmes, that is, Compliance Assurance, Corruption Awareness and Research.

Compliance Assurance

This sub-programme has a policy priority of systems review and compliance checks of Government Aided Projects; and development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. A bid of ZWL$12,840,000 was placed and Treasury only allocated ZWL$2,443,500, resulting in a sizable negative variance of 81%. Prevention of corruption is at the core of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme where the goals of Government include improved governance in the public and private sectors, as well as eradication of corruption. In line with this noble move, the 81% negative variance will seriously affect the Commission’s ability to monitor systems in Government aided projects, thus opening up a window for abuse of State funds. Adequate conduct of systems reviews and compliance checks will be grossly affected as a result.

Corruption Awareness

The goal of ZACC under this sub-programme is to roll out ZACCNPA Anti-Corruption awareness campaign to all provinces, and to strengthen the collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders. In line with these objectives, ZACC made a bid of ZWL$9,630,000 and Treasury appropriated ZWL$5,122,500, producing a negative variance of 47%. This negative variance will adversely affect the Commission’s awareness programme and ZACC will largely remain obscure to the public. If awareness campaigns are not rolled out en masse, corruption may continue going ahead as an uninformed public may not know what and what not to report. If incidence of corruption persists, the country’s perception index will remain high. According to Transparency

International, Zimbabwe’s Corruption Perception Index is 22 points out of 100, placing her on a rank of 160 out of 180 countries. The highest ranked country Denmark, has a score of 88 points out of 100. The highest ranked African country is Botswana in position 34 with a corruption perception index of 61 points out of 100. Botswana’s success is attributed to a well resourced Anti-Corruption agency both in terms of financial as well as human resources. For a country with a population of just over two million, a team of 316 corruption investigators shows the seriousness they attach to fighting corruption. In contrast, Zimbabwe only has 34 corruption investigators in a country with an estimated population of 15 million. In addition, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime of Botswana is armed with prosecuting powers whilst

ZACC does not. Thus, a review of the Anti-Corruption Act [Chapter

9:12] is desperately needed over and above more financial resources.

Research

Research is at the centre of making great strides forward in any endeavour. In commerce, serious firms invest in research and development to remain competitive or to beat competition. By the same token, ZACC would need to have adequate financial resources in order to ascertain strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the fight against corruption. In that regard, ZACC has prioritised the following;

  • Investigate leakages in the mining sector.
  • Investigate weaknesses in the procurement system.
  • Thoroughly check the management of Public Finances.
  • Conduct a National Corruption Impact Assessment.

From a bid of ZWL$9,630,000, Treasury only appropriated 17% of the bid, which is a mere ZWL$1,629,000. With this appropriation, ZACC will barely be able to conduct a targeted nine sector surveys as well as carry out a National Corruption Impact Assessment. Without evidence pertaining to loopholes in the system, lack of research funding will cost the nation dearly by way of lost potential tax revenue. Recently, Zimbabwe was grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force for being considered as a safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering. Zimbabwe has put plans in place to address the strategic deficiencies that promulgated the downgrading. The next assessment is due in February 2020.

2.5.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The Commission raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • The Commission is grossly underfunded compared to sister agencies within the region. ZACC was allocated 0.11% of the National Budget whilst regional agencies get an allocation ranging from 1-5% of the budget.
  • The current Anti-Corruption Commission Act [Chapter 9:22] does not give ZACC prosecuting powers as is the case with sister agencies in Botswana, Nigeria and Zambia.
  • Remuneration for Corruption Investigating Officers was considered to be very low (ZWL$700) in light of the job before them. Their Zambian counterparts earn the equivalent of US$5,000. This will likely increase their susceptibility of ZACC employees to acceptance of bribes.
  • It was noted that in Zimbabwe, there is no framework to protect whistle-blowers in cases of corruption but regional AntiCorruption bodies have such frameworks. Without such a framework, many offences go unreported for fear of victimisation. Some have been sacked for reporting cases of corruption at their places of employment.
  • Some individuals have been seen to accumulate unexplained wealth and cannot justify their opulent lifestyles.
  • Some independent Commissions are finding it difficult to expand beyond Harare due to office space challenges.

2.5.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • Treasury should benchmark the ZACC budget at 2% of the total budget.
  • The current Anti-Corruption Commission Act [Chapter 9:22] should be amended to give ZACC prosecuting powers to decisively deal with corruption cases.
  • Treasury should adequately resource ZACC for it to improve remuneration of Corruption Investigation officers from ZWL$700 to a minimum of ZWL$5,000. In addition, non-monetary incentives, such as car loans and housing loans, will go a long way in motivating staff to develop zero-tolerance towards corruption.
  • A framework should be put in place to protect whistle-blowers from persecution by alleged offenders.
  • ZACC should seize unexplained wealth whereupon failure to adequately justify source of income will result in forfeiture to the state.
  • In cases where different Commissions are seeking to expand into a mutually common area, sharing of rented buildings is one way of alleviating the problem.

2.6 ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (VOTE 32)       2.6.1 Introduction

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has a mandate to conduct and supervise elections; register voters; delimit constituencies, wards and other electoral boundaries; conduct and supervise voter education; develop expertise and the use of technology in regard to electoral processes; promote cooperation between the Government, political parties and civil society during election period; and accredit observers of elections and referendums.

The ZEC is operating its budget under two main programmes namely; Governance and Administration and, Management of Elections and Referendum. The Commission has an approved staff establishment of 679 with 414 in post as at September 2019. Of those in post, 243 (59%) are men and 171 (41%) women, a representing an imbalance in gender representation. In respect of gender budgeting, ZEC seeks to tackle poor female participation in harmonised elections with the hope of achieving 50/50 parity by the next harmonised elections.

2.6.2 Some of the Major Achievements in 2019

  • Conducted four constituency and 12 local authority by-elections.
  • 100% ICT network and internet connectivity.
  • Launched Gender Policy.
  • Acquisition of Chivhu District offices in Mashonaland East

Province.

2.6.3 Some of the Policy Priorities for 2020-2022

  • Amendment of the legal framework.
  • Conduct by-elections as they come in terms of the law.
  • Continuous voter education and registration including updating the Voters Roll.
  • Purchase/Construction of office buildings and warehouses for the independence of ZEC operations.
  • Upgrade Data Centre.
  • Delimitation of ward and constituency boundaries.
  • Continue stakeholder engagements.

2.6.4 Vote Analysis for 2020

ZEC put in place a bid of ZWL$178,490,000 and Treasury was able to allocate ZWL$91,200,000, a negative variance of 49%.The Commission was appreciative of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for the support rendered in the budget process. In light of the appropriated ZWL$91.2 million, only preliminary delimitation would only commence.

2.6.5 Implications of the Budget

With respect to the strategic plan policy priority area of Institutional Strengthening, this is to be achieved through acquisition of new buildings and warehouses as well as acquisition of furniture, equipment among other assets. A combined bid of ZWL$43.7 million (inclusive of

Voters Roll Data Centre Upgrade) was met by an appropriation of ZWL$14.4 million. This allocation is deemed to be inadequate as securing of self-owned premises remains a pipeline dream. This has been the case with previous Budget Statements underfunding the building/purchase of ZEC’s own premises. Having such structures will result in ZEC having total control of stored election material. Currently, election material is stored in some Government buildings to which ZEC does not have the rights to access the buildings as and when they wish.

Relating to the Voters Roll Data Centre Upgrade priority area, licence acquisition would be required to prevent saturation of current server. Currently, the capacity for the Automated Fingerprint

Identification System (AFIS) stands at seven million records. At present, voter population is at 5.6 million. In view of the surge in voter registrations, the server will likely reach the seven million mark, thus preventing further registrations. A bid of ZWL$4.8 million was made in respect of licence acquisition for the upgrade of the Data Centre to increase its capacity from the current seven million.

In pursuit of the strategic objective of Registration of Eligible Voters, ZEC put in a bid of ZWL$5 million and Treasury allocated ZWL$1.5 million, a negative variance of 70%. This appropriation is inadequate for comprehensive voter education and registration to take place. If funds are availed following the Electoral Cycle, voter registration will be a continuous process and thus relieve voter registration pressure in the electoral period.

Under strategic objective of Delimitation of Wards and Constituency Boundaries, a bid of ZWL$15 million received a 100% vote appropriation. The Commission commended the Portfolio Committee for representation and support.

Relating to Management of Elections, this priority area received an appropriation of ZWL$4 million from a bid of ZWL$15 million, representing a negative variance of 73%. Since the holding of byelections is a legal requirement, the most ZEC can do is to make an adequate provision to fulfill its constitutional obligations. By-elections are required to be conducted within 90 days after a vacancy has arisen.

2.6.6 CHALLENGES AND OBSERVATIONS

The Commission raised key challenges to their operations namely;

  • The Data Centre Server has a limit of seven million voters and current population of registered voters stands at around 5.6 million.
  • That they were the least funded election management body in

SADC.

  • With delimitation of constituency and ward boundaries now linked to the National Census (due in 2022), ZEC raised the issue that delimitation would be impossible since preliminary census results will only be available in January-February 2023. At law, delimitation needs to be done six months before elections. This state of affairs may result in 2023 Harmonised Elections going ahead without delimitation.

2.6.7 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs recommends the following;

  • That Treasury makes available funds to ZEC for upgrading of the Data Centre Server to accommodate more than seven million registered voters.
  • That funding of ZEC be done in line with sister regional electoral bodies.
  • It is of paramount importance not to link delimitation to the census since a census involves the counting of every person whilst delimitation of electoral boundaries only relates to registered voters.

HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am here to

present a report on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

INTRODUCTION

The 2020 national budget theme is “Gearing for higher productivity, growth and job creation”. As such, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development has a key role to play. The Ministry is responsible for oversight, formulation and implementation of policies related to planning, training and development of human capital and the promotion of science, technology and innovation. The key deliverables of the ministry are human capital development, innovation, science and technology development. The ministry also facilitates these key deliverables at local, regional and international levels, in line with the Transitional Development Plan and Vision 2030. A high quality higher and tertiary education is the engine of economic growth and modernisation.  The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development provides an oversight responsibility over this Ministry.

Major Achievements in 2019

  • Setting up and equipping of the first six innovation hubs and operationalising them to ensure existing innovations in the different universities are developed into prototypes that will be industrialised at the industrial parks.
  • A graduate apprenticeship programme was initiated with 1000 new apprentices recruited the previous year.

Policy Priorities in 2020

The vision of the Ministry is to deliver a competitive, modernised and industrialised Zimbabwe through higher and tertiary education, innovation, science and technology development. To achieve this, the Ministry developed a philosophy of Education 5.0, which is an education with 5 missions: teaching, research, community service (consultancy), innovation and industrialisation.  Education 5.0 seeks to make the country’s higher education relevant to the key challenges facing the country. To that end, the following are the Ministry’s key priority areas in 2020:

  • To initiate a graduate internship programme that equips students with entrepreneurial skills and business experience.
  • To equip science education programmes in Universities and

Teachers’ colleges in order to ensure that well qualified science teachers are produced to meet the needs of our schools. Revamping science laboratory facilities in our universities and polytechnics will also be a priority.

  • To develop infrastructure, particularly student accommodation and teaching and learning facilities, particularly in the new universities and colleges. Several student hostels and teaching spaces are set to be completed in 2020.
  • Through its Smart Education programme, the Ministry will set up a wide area network that connects universities and colleges together to e-learning, sharing of human, library and other resources in a manner that reduce transactions costs.
  • To open Hwange Campus of United College of Education in

Matabeleland North province which will evolve into a full-fledged Teachers College and Polytechnic. A master plan, civil works and construction of the new teachers’ college will begin in 2020.

Disbursements

The ministry’s 2019 expenditure target was revised to RTGS$531

926 000. 73.3% of this amount was disbursed as at 30 September 2019. Disbursements by programme shows that Policy and Administration had received 99.7% in disbursements, Skills Training and Development 72.9% and STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation 72.5% as at the same date.

Figure 1: Disbursements as at 30 September 2019

 

Overview of the ministry’s 2020 budget allocation

The Ministry’s budget of RTGS$2213 900 000 from the consolidated revenue fund constitutes 3.5% of the 2020 national budget. If we include retention funds of RTGS$676 989 000 the total allocation amounts to RTGS$2 890 889 000, which represents 4.4% of the 2020 national budget. Retention Funds represent 23.4% of the Ministry’s 2020 budget allocation. The total allocation is close to the original request that the ministry submitted in its budget bid. Figure 2shows the distribution of the ministry’s 2020 budget in terms of current and capital expenditures.

Figure 2: Distribution of the Ministry’s budget in terms of current and capital expenditure.

 

Of the RTGS$2 213 900 000 allocation, 17.2% (RTGS$380 790

800) goes towards capital expenditures while the rest is going towards current expenditures. These ratios by and large reflect the extent to which the capital budget is underfunded. In a standard budget capital expenditures should at least be 35% of the total budget.

Figure 3 shows the trend of the share of the Ministry’s budget in the national cake. The share reflects the extent to which the Ministry is prioritized by government. On a trend basis we see that the Ministry’s share has been declining from a pick of 7.7 % in 2012 to 3.7% in 2019. Its share was slightly increased by 0.7% to 4.4% in 2020. This is a small but welcome development given the increased role that the Ministry is expected to deliver through Education 5.0.

Figure 3: Proportion of the Ministry’s budget in the total national budget (% of total budget)

 

Economic classification of the ministry’s vote

The Ministry’s budget is skewed towards financing current grants and goods and services to the tune of 51.3% and 25.1% respectively. This leaves 11.6% for capital grants. Employment costs for those directly employed by the Ministry take 6.3% with other expenses consuming 0.1% of the budget. This expenditure distribution reflects a highly consumptive budget, consistent with the observation in Figure 2.

Figure 4 shows the economic classification of the Ministry’s 2020 vote allocation.

 

 

Figure 4: Economic classification of the ministry’s 2020 vote allocation (%).

 

Programmes of the Ministry

The ministry’s budget is programme based. There are 3 programmes namely Policy and Administration; Skills Training &

Development and STEM for Industrialisation & Modernisation. The Skills Training & Development programme is taking the bulk (86.4%) of the resources followed by STEM for Industrialization & Modernisation (9.13%) and Policy and Administration (4.47%).The expenditure distribution across programmes is in line with the Ministry’s core mandate of human capital development. Figure 5 shows the distribution of the Ministry’s budget by programme.

 

Figure 5: Distribution of the Ministry’s budgetby Programme (inclusive of retained funds)

 

 

Analysis of the Sub- votes budgets to the Ministry

Policy and Administration programme budget

The Policy and Administration programme was allocated a total of RTGS$129 308 000. The bulk of resources towards this sub vote go towards Finance and Administration (42.3%). Zimbabwe National

Commission for UNESCO is taking 20.1% of the resources while the

Minister and Permanent Secretary’s office is taking 17%. The rest of the budget items share the remainder as shown in figure 6.

 

Figure 6: Distribution of the Policy and Administration budget

 

Skills Training & Development

Higher education (Universities) take the largest chunk of the Skills

Training and development budget (62.3%) followed by Tertiary Education (35%) while Quality Assurance and Standards takes the least (2.2%). The budget towards Skills Training and Development will increase by 282%% in 2020.This is mainly driven by the substantial increase in resources of 354% in the Higher Education sub-programme. Quality Assurance and Standards budget has increased by 4.8% while Tertiary education increased by 6.2%. The increase basically reflects improved resources in the national budget in nominal terms. However, when inflation is factored in there is no real increase. With sustained inflation it will be difficult for the ministry to attain its main goal of a quality higher education with a drive towards an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Figure 7: Distribution of the Skills Training & Development budget

 

 

STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation

STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation was allocated a total of RTGS$263 795 000 in the 2020 budget. The sub-programme on Research, Development & Innovation is taking 94.4% of the resources while 3.2% and 2.4% is going towards Technology Transfer and Promotion & Advocacy respectively. This expenditure distribution in this sub-vote clearly reflects government’s commitment to implement Education 5.0 which is premised on research, innovation and industrial development.

Figure 8: Distribution of the STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation sub-vote

 

 

Some Key Highlights from Officials

Verify Engineering

Figure 9 shows the operational and capital budget bids versus the allocated amounts for Verify Engineering. RTGS$5.2 million was allocated against a bid of RTGS$17 million for operations. With respect to the capital budget RTGS$28.4 million was allocated against a bid of RTGS$36 million.

Figure 9:Verify Engineering Budget Bids vs. Allocation (2020)

 

Verify Engineering has achieved great success and Honourable members are excited with its progress. The Committee took note of the good progress made by Verify Engineering in its efforts to supply medical oxygen, gas and liquid nitrogen on the local market. What is needed now are gas bottles, trucks, forklifts and about USD3.9 million is needed.

The Zimbabwe Space Agency (ZIMSA)

The Committee was advised that the ZIMSA is now operational.  The agency has many uses of national importance which include but not limited to the following:

  • Site-specific fertilizer recommendations in agriculture;
  • Redrafting the map of natural regions of the country using satellites;
  • Demarcation of A1 and A2 farms;
  • Wildlife tracking through the utilization of satellites; Ø Traffic monitoring.

USD310 000 was received for the training and construction of our national satellite. This allocation will be utilized by two young people who will be selected on merit basis to go and study in Japan and to work towards to construction of a satellite for Zimbabwe during training.

Salaries of Tertiary colleges (Teacher training colleges and polytechnics)

The remuneration of lecturers in our Teachers Training colleges and Polytechnics is quite worrisome as it is resulting in massive resignations and skills flight. These lecturers are earning the same salaries as primary school teachers in spite of their higher qualifications and skills set. Many of them are holders of Masters and Doctoral degrees. Historically these lecturers used to earn 75% of university salaries until a few years ago.  In order to correct this anomaly the Manpower Development Act was amended and a Bill is awaiting parliament approval. If the Bill sails through parliament, which is the likely case, an addition RTGS$108 million is required annually over and above the current RTGS$45 million that was allocated. Money for this has not been availed in the 2020 budget allocation since the bill is still to be passed.

Escalating cost of bandwidth

Worldwide educational resources for universities and colleges are now accessed cheaply online. Unfortunately, our universities and colleges are increasingly failing to afford the optimal bandwidth due to the escalating cost of bandwidth. There is therefore an urgent need for the Ministry to support our institutions with more bandwidth to ensure that teaching and learning is not affected. A total of RTGS$0.5 million is required annually in addition to what the universities are currently paying.

Software subscriptions

Software subscriptions such as subscriptions for e-books and “turn it in” for anti-plagiarism are a major cost for all our universities, especially if they are subscribed for at institutional unit. An area-wide network which connects all the universities and colleges will drastically reduce the cost due to economies of scale. Accordingly, the Ministry would require USD350 000 per year to meet software licence requirements and RTGS1 million per year for subscription to bandwidth.

Equipping science laboratories

The Committee noted the deplorable state of laboratory facilities in our universities and colleges which need retooling to enhance teaching and learning. If Zimbabwe is to embrace the 4thindustrial revolution there is need to ensure that universities and colleges have cutting edge laboratory facilities. Accordingly, an additional USD1 000 000 or equivalent is required annually for the next 5 years to achieve this.

Research budget

The Ministry is grateful of the research budget allocation of 0.3% of GDP that it received. His Excellence the President promised to move it towards 1% of GDP in line with the African Union recommendation for African countries. The officials noted some conscious allocation of resources for R&D and are grateful for that.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure needs of the Ministry are quite huge and cannot fit in one budget. In addition to government support the Ministry is also pursuing many avenues of meeting its infrastructure needs including

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Built Operate and Transfer (BOT). It was noted that some signed PPPs have not materialized as private players adopted the wait and see attitude following de-dollarisation. Nonetheless, our new universities require multi-purpose teaching complexes particularly at Gwanda and Marondera. For instance, there are no buses to ferry students from town to campus at Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences. At least a bus and 2 vehicles are required for each of the 3 new universities. Lupane University also lacks a teaching complex and houses for staff. The Ministry is however grateful for the capital budget allocation it received and it hopes that it will do more in 2020 than it did in 2019.

Student Cities

Student accommodation facilities remain a big challenge in our universities and colleges. The idea of student cities has been mooted but no progress has been made mainly due to lack of funds on the part of government as well as lack of incentives for private players to participate.

Recommendations

Expedite the Manpower Development Bill:

The Manpower Development Bill should be expedited to quickly sail through Parliament so as to retain critical staff in Polytechnics and

Teachers’ colleges.

Verify Engineering should unlock private sector funds:

Verify Engineering is encouraged to partner private players in order to fund its operations. Sovereign guarantees should also be considered to unlock private sector funds.

Retention funds should be maintained:

The Committee strongly recommends the maintenance of retention funds in order to allow our polytechnics and universities to be innovative and industrious. The scrapping of retentions as proposed in the new policy thrust will be a disincentive for polytechnics and universities.

Prioritise construction of students’ accommodation and learning space

The growing number of universities is creating a challenge for student accommodation and learning space. The budget should consider increasing funding towards this critical area for the quality of our education to move in tandem with the need to attain an upper middle income status by 2030. Otherwise, this vision will be difficult to achieve notwithstanding the fact that education is a catalyst for growth and modernisation. Student cities are a great idea and the Local authorities should consider extending title deeds to private contractors in order to lure them to participate.

Centralise software subscriptions:There is need to centralize software subscriptions for higher education and tertiary institutions through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. This way the government will economise on scale and bring down the cost of the same.

Revamp laboratory facilities

In order to embrace the 4th industrial revolution there is need to ensure our universities and colleges have cutting edge laboratory facilities. An annualized expenditure plan towards the acquisition of state of the art laboratory facilities is needed. Roughly about USD1 000 000 or equivalence is required annually for the next 5 years to achieve

this.

Put in place transport and teaching facilities at the new universities

There is need to ensure that transport and teaching facilities and complexes are put in place at each of the 3 new universities, namely Lupane State University, Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology and Gwanda State University.

Allocate at least 1% of GDP towards research: 

The international best practice is to allocate at least 1% of GDP towards research and development. The African Union has heeded this call at its Executive Council meeting in 2006 and set this target.

However, in Africa, countries around this target are South Africa,

Kenya, Senegal Uganda and Malawi who spend an average of 0.8% of

GDP on research and development. In the 2020 national budget about 0.3% was allocated towards this important area although the government has agreed to prioritize research and development in line with the 1% of GDP declaration. If the vision to attain upper middle income status by 2030 is to become a reality, the government needs to scale up the fund for this important budget item.

HON. SVUURE: 1. Introduction

1.1 On the 14thof November 2019, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Professor Mthuli Ncube presented the 2020 National Budget. The 2020 National Budget marked a focus shift from Austerity for Prosperity to Gearing for Higher Productivity, Growth and Job Creation. The 2020 National Budget is aligned to the provisions of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a critical component of the road map to achieving Vision 2030.

1.2 The 2020 budget comes against the background of sustained fiscal and current account deficits (twin deficits) emanating mainly from fiscal indiscipline. The resultant inflationary and exchange rate challenges coupled with the austerity measures have brought with them untold suffering to the general population as highlighted by liquidity crisis, fuel and electricity challenges and declining productive capacity of local industry.

1.3 Achievement of the TSP and Vision 2030 is anchored on increased industrial capacity and complemented efforts to increase efficient and effective production levels in the country.

               2.     2019 Budget Performance Review

2.1 The Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s mandate is to provide a conducive environment for sustainable industrial and commercial growth and development. Its main service delivery areas are policy and administration, industrialisation and consumer protection and quality assurance.

The Ministry was allocated a revised estimate of ZWL$195, 548, 000 and by September 2019 had been disbursed ZWL$45, 810, 181 representing a lag of 77%. These lags are displayed in the following pie chart:

All key areas of the Ministry were lagging behind in terms of actual budget allocations disbursed. However, industrialisation accounts for more than 50% of the lags yet it is a key pillar for economic growth and functioning of most sectors of the economy.

         Summed achievements under the three key result areas during the 2019 budget year amongst others are as follows:

  1. Development and launch of the Zimbabwe National

Industrial Development Policy and Local Content

Strategy;

  1. Successfully lobbied for Industrial Development

Corporation of Zimbabwe funding of ZWL$30 million; iii.   Successful participation in the Development of the ZIDA

Bill; iv. Consumer Protection Bill passed through Parliament and awaits Presidential Assent;

  1. Development of the Provincial Industrial Strategy in the ten provinces of the country; vi. Development of the Zero Draft of the National Quality

Policy;

vii. Development of the Beitbridge and Victoria Falls One Stop

Boarder Posts legal and operational frameworks; and  viii. Certification of Sunway City and

Belmont/Donnington/Kelvin Corridor as Special Economic Zones.

The Ministry will continue in 2020 to implement the Transitional Stabilisation Programme focusing on industrialisation, commerce and export development. The key policy priorities will include the revival of the Zimbabwe Steel Industry, promotion of value chains and cluster development, monitoring of performance of strategic companies, lobby for additional funding for IDCZ and Venture Capital Fund, implementation of the Local Content Strategy and sector strategies, implementation of the rural industrialisation programme in line with the devolution agenda and facilitating the establishment of Victoria Falls, Beitbridge and Forbes One Stop Border Posts and improve efficiency at the existing border posts.

               3.     Overview of the 2020 National Budget

3.1  The Ministry was allocated ZWL$367,260,000, which is an 89% change from the 2019 revised budget figure of $195, 548,000.  The allocated figure falls short of the Ministry’s bid of ZWL$3, 113, 796, 513 by 99%. However, a welcome development is on the expenditure target ceiling which had an initial ET of ZWL$189, 150, 000 but received a final ET of ZWL$492, 260, 000.  

3.2   While the Ministry is happy with overall allocations to the

Policy and Administration budget allocation, the main concern of the

Committee is on the Industrialisation Programme which had a bid of ZWL$2, 617, 424, 947 but was allocated ZWL$286, 278, 000 which is only 11% of the bid. The major items were the ZWL$240, 000, 000 support to IDCZ which represents a ZWL$35, 000, 000 increase and the

ZWL$158, 000, 000 venture capital funds which were allocated to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

3.3  The other huge concern to the Committee was on the 62% variance between the Ministry’s bid of ZWL$52, 695, 538 and the budget allocation of ZWL$20, 222, 000 for consumer protection and quality assurance. This will be of great significance on the Ministry’s mandate to protect the consumers and guaranteeing quality products and services. The quality assurance will also have an impact on the competitiveness of our local products and services on the regional and international markets.

        Post Budget Presentation Analysis Meeting Output

Your committee duly held a post budget presentation analysis meeting with Ministry officials, CZI and ZNCC on Wednesday 20 November 2019. The following issues were observed:

4.1 In its meeting with Ministry officials on the 20thNovember, your committee raised its concerns on the resuscitation of the industries raising questions on the progress, fruition and on the destructions. The Ministry officials regardless of sighting challenges in establishing a policy framework acknowledged that in July 2019, the Policy

Framework was established in line with the private sector. The Ministry officials also highlighted that they conduct quarterly reviews to check on the state of the industry and identify challenges arising.

4.2 Your committee acknowledged the Ministry’s efforts in developing good strategies but questioned on the results associated with such actions. In addition, your Committee also raised concerns on what the Ministry is doing on issues arising as well as competitiveness of strategic industries. The Ministry officials highlighted their efforts in increasing production for local and foreign markets and how they keep tab on strategic industries. They also noted how they are monitoring processes and hindrances in Special Economic Zones and how research keeps the Ministry updated on the status quo of the industry.

4.3 Your Committee also raised concerns on the revolving fund which the Ministry received in 2019, quizzing on the disbursement and the management of the fund. The Ministry officials highlighted that they were allocated $24 million which is all now committed through the

IDCZ and the framework is in place for the management of the fund.

4.4 On consumer protection and quality assurance, your

Committee raised concerns on the Ministry’s level of consumer protection and the Ministry’s action on the same issue. The Ministry officials cited the delay on passing of the Consumer Protection Legal Bill which the Ministry believes will empower them to protect the consumers in all aspects. The Ministry officials also shared on how they are raising awareness amongst consumers on the same issue.

4.5 While your committee appreciated the Ministry’s role in advocating for research-based industrialization, it underscored the need for complementarity between the Ministry and other key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education on research and development which foster the mandate of the Ministry. The Ministry officials acknowledged the need for collaboration especially on the implementation of the research findings.

4.6 Your Committee also raised concern on the planning towards the development of the rural growth poles as this is a significant way of implementing the devolution programme and as well as fostering Special Economic Zones. The Ministry officials reiterated the need for all stakeholders to embrace the rural growth poles development.

4.7 A submission from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) acknowledged the tax and industry specific reforms in the national budget though reiterating need for complementary monetary policy and fast-tracking of the easy of doing business reforms. Your committee however raised concern on the role of CZI in implementation of the tax reforms for the beneficiary of the consumers and also the need for CZI to clearly articulate issues in areas which require improvement as this will feed into informed lobbying and decision making by the Ministry.

4.8 A submission from ZNCC highlighted the negative changes in macroeconomic environment as noted in decline in the real revenue estimates from US$6.6 billion in 2019 to an estimated US$3.6 billion in 2020. ZNCC also acknowledged the importance of timeous information dissemination to businesses and how power shortages were impacting on the performance of businesses. Your Committee raised concerns on imports of goods, solar batteries, which we are capable of producing locally and suggested addition of LED lights to converters and panels as duty free items given we do not have capacity to produce them locally.

4.9 Your Committee also called for ZNCC to do justice by raising research backed issues to the Ministry as this will allow the

Ministry to act on an informed basis.

4.10 Your Committee also raised concerns on the state of the steel industry and the need to revive it. The Ministry officials highlighted the steel value chain efforts which are currently being hindered by power shortages. Also, they highlighted the current efforts in engaging existing and new investors in the sector though these efforts are constrained by debt issues associated with the steel industry with ZISCO debt amounting to US$225 million.

4.11 Your Committee raised concern on the current Companies

Act and how it impacts on the easy of doing business mantra. The Ministry officials acknowledged the need of updating the Bill and they cited that it was work in progress as the Companies Act is currently under review.

  1. Summary of Recommendations Your Committee recommends that:
    • There be timeous release of funds from the Treasury to the

Ministry which will facilitate the Ministry’s operations and effective delivery of its mandate.

  • The IDCZ must effectively utilise and manage revolving funds, taking advantage of the recently enacted ZIDA to speed up the processes.
  • The Ministry to strengthen synergies with varying stakeholders especially Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education on the implementation of research findings which will capacitate industry and improve production.
  • The call to the Ministry for research-based industrialisation leveraging on existing policies.
  • The need for complementarity of functions between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (Fiscal Policy) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Monetary Policy).
  • The need for creating an enabling operating environment for businesses characterised by stable macroeconomic environment and favourable easy of doing business framework as well as addressing the key issues of energy and foreign currency shortages.
  • The Ministry to lobby for the finalisation of the Consumer Protection Law and ensure full implementation of such law for the benefit of the consumers.
  • The need to build on devolution programme by embracing the rural growth poles development model and this should be reflective in the budget allocations.
  • The Ministry to implement the Zimbabwe National

Development Policy which is primed on innovation-led and investmentled industrialisation.

  • The need to address the inflationary environment and develop mechanisms to ensure the tax measures stipulated in the national budget cascades to consumers.
  • The Ministry needs to revive the steel industry through engaging current and potential investors harnessing on the Zimbabwe is

Open for Business mantra.

               6.     Conclusion

Research-based industrialisation is key to the Government stepping up from austerity for prosperity (2019) to gearing for higher productivity, growth and job creation in 2020. It is through innovativeled and investment-led industrialisation that the country could attain the aspirations of the TSP and the Vision 2030. It is through industrialisation that we can effectively exploit the backward and forward linkages that primarily exist among the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors; thus, bringing to reality the structural transformation that this economy desperately needs. Government ought to diligently create a conducive environment for private sector-led industrialisation through requisite policies, incentives and improvement in the ease of doing business. Critical to this, is ensuring that (1) the private sector objectives and actions are in tandem with Government policies and (2) public institutions mandated to drive these processes pull in one direction with minimum duplication of roles whilst maximising on the existing complementarities.

                HON. NYOKANHETE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Overview

of the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.

         The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, is responsible for developing appropriate policies and strategies that seek to enhance the provision of ICT, telecommunications, cyber security and courier services in Zimbabwe. The Ministry aims to develop an enabling environment for the creation of a knowledge society that transgresses across all levels of the society through exploiting the potential of Information Communication, Technology, Postal and Courier Services for sustainable socio economic development.

        The programme areas are as follows:

  • Policy and Administration responsible for developing an enabling environment for the creation of a knowledge based society, spearhead the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks that facilitate the promotion of information communication technology, championing and promote ICT literacy and utilisation;
  • Information communication technology development and promotion responsible for implementing government ICT programmes.

         The Ministry’s key result areas are to promote the development and use of Information Communication Technology and this is accompanied by the following goals:

  • Improve access to ICTs.
  • Improve use of ICTs.
  • Increase ICT awareness, knowledge and skills      Its policy priorities for 2020-222 includes:
  • Formulation of ICT sector policies namely; E-waste management policy, Postal and Courier Services Policy, cyber protection, Data protection and E-Transaction Bill.
  • Maintenance of National systems.
  • setting up of an E-government systems.
  • Development of Community Information Centres (CICs).
  • Establishment of a National Information and Data Centre.
  • Set up ICT laboratories in schools.

         This report is being prepared by the Portfolio Committee on Information Communication and Technology within the context of these programmes areas. The Committee will analyse the 2020 National Budget Statement in terms of adequacy of resource allocation and interventions.

         The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) highlighted that the government is targeting broadening the adoption and utilisation of egovernment across all Government departments and agencies and thus expect this to improve the efficiency in the delivery of public services. Under the TSP, Government also expects growth in the services sector arising from the growth in the digital economy and operationaliSation of e-government and e-procurement systems (pp210; Transitional Stabilisation Programme). On the other hand, the 2020 Budget Strategy paper also highlighted the need to prioritise the upgrading, expansion and modernisation of social infrastructure including ICT as the country moves towards a digital economy and expects this to enhance the countries competitiveness (pp53&56 ; Budget Strategy Paper)

         State of ICT Sector in Zimbabwe: ate of the ICT sector in     Digital technologies and services are proven enablers of sustainable development and inclusive growth. It has been noted that a 1% increase in ICT investment will drive economic growth by 0.52 %.The rapid development and adoption of ICTs has been transforming every sector of the Zimbabwean economy. The Second Quarter of 2019 shows a high active Mobile Penetration Rate of 84.8%, a high internet penetration rate of 57.2%, and a static Fixed Tele-density of 1.9%.

However, the  2020 National Budget estimates that the Transport and Communication sector is set to decline by 4.1% in 2019 on the back of  marked decline in voice traffic  and  decline in active internet subscriptions. On the other hand, the sector is expected to grow by 2.1% in 2020.The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) expects the growth of the service sector arising out of the adoption of Information Communication and Technology which will also benefit from increased investment in E-Government platforms and operationalisation of eprocurement systems across all levels of Government.

        2019 ICT Budget Performance:

         The Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has highlighted that its major achievement in 2019 has been the ability to maintain an uptime of 98% of the Public Finance Management System and other national systems, modernisation of the PFMS main site and recovery site, establishment of 6 PFMS district kiosks and renovations of 57 kiosks, 51 WAN and 15 LANs. This was made possible by the release of  ZWL$47.02 million dollars in the nine months to September 2019 against a target of ZWL$36.01 million, however this is below the amount of ZWL$100 million announced as having been set aside to kick start E-Government programmes under the

2019 National Budget (pp.97; National Budget Speech)   Administrative Unit:

         The Ministry of Information Communication Technology Postal  and Courier Services has only two main departments namely; Policy & Administration and the Information, Communication, Technology Development and Promotion. With regard to budgetary performance of the Ministry’s programme areas in 2019, overall budget disbursement for the nine months to September 2019 was 31% above the targeted budgetary allocation for the year. The high disbursement levels have been necessitated by inflationary pressures that have increased the costs of goods and services. Policy and administration programme had low disbursement levels of 53% whilst the Information, Communication, Technology Development and Promotion Programme area had high disbursement levels at 48% above the yearly target. High levels are appreciated and it shows Government’s commitment towards modernisation of government services and embracing the digital economy.  However, there is need to take into account the impact of inflationary pressures on inflating the value of goods and services procured with the implied rate year on year inflation for October 2019 estimated at around 440%.

         Table 1: 2019 Budgetary Outturns for Ministry of ICT by administrative unit

 

Target

Actual (As at Sep)

% Disbursed

% Share of Total

Disbursed

Policy and administration 

6,759,000

3,605,293

53%

8%

Information      , communication, technology

29,253,000

43,415,654

148%

92%

development and promotion

Total

36,012,000

47,020,947 

131%

 

 

Economic Classification :

         With regards to budget performance by economic classification, it shows disbursements towards capital expenditure and maintenance has been relatively high and above target compared to other expenditure line items. It is also noted that capital expenditure accounted for large share of disbursements towards the Ministry and this is followed by disbursement towards operational costs which accounted for 17.6% of disbursed amounts. Whilst disbursement towards operational costs have been relatively low with only 53% of financial resources allocated to the Ministry having being disbursed in the nine months to September 2019, this has resulted in the Ministry accumulating arrears to various service providers to the tune of ZWL$19.9 million and this is expected to increase to ZWL$30 million by end of 2019.

         Table 2: 2019 Budgetary Outturns for Ministry of ICT by economic Classification:

Revised Estimates

Actual (As at Sep-

%

Disbursed

% Share of

Total

Disbursed

Compensation of employees

1,519,000 

1,281,786 

84%

2.7%

Use of goods and services

15,666,000 

8,266,601 

53%

17.6%

Current Grants

127,000 

92,434 

73%

0.2%

Acquisition of fixed assets

18,200,000 

36,880,126 

203%

78.4%

Machinery and equipment

500,000 

500,000 

100%

1.1%

Total

36,012,000 

47,020,947 

131%

 

        Budget Analysis:

         To systematically exploit the potential of Information, Communication and Technology for national development and transformation, the Government of Zimbabwe is developing the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan, which is an all-inclusive guideline that clearly articulates how the country will develop, deploy and manage ICTs across all sectors. The Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan and

Implementation Strategy will be part of the National Infrastructure Master Plan. The African Development Bank 2019 Infrastructure Report on Zimbabwe highlighted that the country would require USD413.7 million for capital expenditure in the Information Communication and

Technology sector between the period 2018-2020. They estimated that

USD 208.5 million of the amount is expected to be funding from the government. Thus, the African Development Bank Infrastructure report expected the Government of Zimbabwe to commit at least USD 19 million in 2020 towards capital expenditure for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).

The 2020 National Budget identifies the need to roll out EGovernment to cover various services and spatially remote areas as part of public service efficiency and decentralisation process in line with TSP vision. Thus, in order to capacitate the transitioning from manualised systems to ICT based systems, the 2020 Budget has made provisions to the tune of ZWL$341.7million for the following ICT programmes; EGovernment; E-agriculture; E-Cabinet and the establishment of National Data Centre.

        2020 Budget Allocation: 

       In analysing allocations towards any particular Vote, The

Committee takes note of the following:

  • Budget allocations are made largely from the Consolidated Revenue

Fund. This is the Fund funded predominantly by the revenue

measures which are relatively more predictable and more certain and also within the control of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The total available budget from the Consolidated

Revenue Fund for 2020 is estimated at about ZWL$68,244,762,000

  • In addition to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there are also some resources that come through Retention Funds. Retention Funds are mainly fees, fines, levies and rentals which Government departments collect from economic agents. In 2020, the total retention funds are estimated at about ZWL$1,977,719,000.

         The Consolidated Revenue Fund and the Retention Fund generally constitute the resources that are appropriated by the Minister of Finance to the different Votes. This therefore means that the analysis for a Vote can be based on either the Consolidated Revenue Fund allocation or the total appropriated amount or both. Since no Retention Funds are accruing to the Ministry, the analysis will focus on allocations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Furthermore, the Ministry does not have development partners and technical partners that are assisting them in the implementation of their projects.

         In the 2020 National Budget, the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology Postal and Courier services got an allocation of ZWL$114, 560,000 from the Consolidated Fund and there are no other funds expected from the Retention Fund.  However, the allocated amount is contrary to announcement made in the budget speech that ZWL$341 million has been set aside for government ICT programmes (pp.99; National Budget Speech). The excess funds have been directed to other ministries and Government departments namely; ZWL$5 million for Smart Education, ZWL$194.8 million for the National Data Centre and recovery centre; ZWL$8 million for the commencement of the VOIP project and ZWL$20 million for the

Judiciary Service Commission Integrated Electronic Case Management

System (IECM). At the current prevailing exchange rate of

1USD:ZWL15, the ZWL$114. 5 million allocated to the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services amounts to USD 7, 6 million far below USD 19 million expected by the African Development Bank 2019 Infrastructure Report for Zimbabwe to be committed towards capital expenditure for ICT in 2020. The 2020 budgetary allocation from the Consolidated Revenue Fund is an increase by 218.1% from the 2019 revised budgetary allocation. Increase in allocation is compounded by inflationary pressures and increase in available resource envelope.

         For the 2020 National Budget the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services is ranked among the bottom five in terms of priority ranking of budgetary allocation.  The ranking however is not consistent with governments pronouncement of modernising Government’s services through

Information Technology such as E-government programmes as the Ministry responsible is not being prioritised when it comes to funding its activities and programmes.

         Table 3: 2018 Top 5 and Bottom 5 Budgetary allocations for Ministries:

 

Consolidated Revenue Fund

Retention Fund

Total

Appropriated

Top 5

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement

11,163,481,000 

170,978,000 

11,334,459,000 

Primary and Secondary Education

8,495,794,000 

30,429,000 

8,526,223,000 

Health and Child Care        

6,459,100,000 

108,217,000 

6,567,317,000 

Finance and Economic Development

3,987,042,000 

5,000 

3,987,047,000 

Transport and Infrastructural Development

3,089,800,000 

119,378,000 

3,209,178,000 

 

 

 

 

Bottom 5

Mines and Mining Development

293,197,000 

60,528,000 

353,725,000 

Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation 

323,900,000 

6,287,000 

330,187,000 

National Housing and Social Amenities

246,403,000 

16,167,000 

262,570,000 

Audit Office

151,930,000 

-

151,930,000 

Information Communication Technology and Courier Services

114,560,000 

-

114,560,000 

 

Trend in Budgetary allocation

         Trend in the share of allocation towards the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services over the past 10 years shows that the amount of resources in relation to the total national available resources has averaged 0.19% between 2010 and 2019. The budget allocation for 2020 towards the Ministry accounted for only 0.17%  of the total  appropriation for 2020; the figure is comparable to other regional countries such as South Africa and

Zambia. In South Africa, the department of Telecommunication and

Postal services was allocated 0.09% of the National Budget for the

2019/20 fiscal year whilst in Zambia allocation towards the Ministry of

Transport and communication accounted for 0.64% of the 2019 National Budget. However, because the country is trying to catch up with other regional countries in terms of ICT development, the 0.17% allocation is too low as this has over the years been consistently been less than 1% of the National Budget and this shows government lack of commitment to embrace the new digital age in social and economic transformation.

       Analysis of budget allocation by administrative unit:

         Relative to 2019, all the programme areas received substantially high increases in allocations although Policy and Administration received the highest increase, it only accounted for 32.9% of the ministry’s allocation whilst the other programme area Information,

Communication, Technology Development and Promotion took up

67.1% of the total resources allocated to the Ministry, a decline by 14.10 percentage points from its share in the 2019 Budget (Table 4).. The Information, Communication, Technology Development and Promotion programme area received the highest allocation because it is responsible for implementing government’s Information, Communication, and Technology projects. The 2020 Budget allocations are higher for all the

Ministry’s programme areas at 458.2% and 162.6% respectively.

However, the increases seems to be necessitated by projected changes in inflation

         Table 4: 2020 budgetary allocations for programme areas compared to 2019:

 

2019

Revised

Estimates

Share of total 2019

2020

Consolidated Fund

%

increase

Share of total 2020

Policy and Administration 

6,759,000

18.8%

37,732,000

458.2%

32.9%

Information Communication Technology Development and

Promotion

29,253,000

81.2%

76,828,000

162.6%

67.1%

Total

36,012,000 

100.0%

114,560,000 

218.1%

100.0%

 

 Analysis of budget allocation by economic classification:

         All expenditure line items have more than doubled in the 2020 budget allocation taking into cognisant the effects of inflation. Capital expenditure expected in the form of acquisition of fixed assets, where a budget of ZWL$60.96 million has been provided for. This capital budget for 2020 is significantly different from a budget of about ZWL$18.7 million given in 2019. Employment costs for 2020 are expected to triple by about 372.4% compared to 2019. The high inflation is likely to impose pressure on salary or operational costs and therefore there is

need to treat cautionary the total amount allocated to the Ministry as this may be eroded by inflation. However, in terms of allocation by the share of expenditure by line items, there has been an increase in the share of all line items with exception of operational costs whose share of the

Ministry’s budget declined by 4.10 percentage points from 43.5% in 2019 to 39.4% in 2020.

         Table 5: 2020 Budgetary Allocations by economic classification:

 

2019

Revised

Estimates

Share  of total 2019

2020

Consolidated Fund

%

increase

Share of total 2020

Compensation of employees

1,519,000 

4.2%

7,175,000

372.4%

6.3%

Use of goods and services

15,666,000

43.5%

45,125,000

188.0%

39.4%

Current Grants

127,000

0.4%

1,300,000

923.6%

1.1%

 

Acquisition of fixed assets

18,200,000

50.5%

59,360,000

226.2%

51.8%

Machinery and equipment

500,000

1.4%

1,600,000

220.0%

1.4%

 

Total

36,012,000 

 

114,560,000 

218.1%

 

 Assessment of adequacy of Programme Budget

         The Committee also assessed the adequacy of the Treasury allocation in the 2020 National Budget relative to the Ministry’s aspiration’s. Whilst the Ministry sought to be allocated ZWL$406.15 million to finance the Ministry’s programmes requirements, it was only allocated ZWL$114.56 million which covers only 28.2% of its budgetary requirements. For recurrent expenditure, the Ministry had sought an allocation of ZWL$90 million but was only allocated 59.6% of the amount and this has implications to the Ministry of continuously accumulating arrears to service providers. On the other hand, the Ministry sought ZWL$316.15 million for Capital expenditure and it was allocated ZWL$60.96 million which is only 19.3% of its total requirements. The table below compares the total amount allocated to the ministry and the Ministry aspirations. The result shows that for its priority areas, the Ministry received far much less than what they have hoped for and thus they are heavily underfunded and mostly likely it will affect programme implementation.

        Table 6: Allocations Compared to bid:  

2020 Bid

2020

Appropriation

% of bid obtained

ZWL$

ZWL$

Recurrent Expenditure

90,000,000

53,600,000

59.6%

 

 

 

 

Capital Expenditure

316,145,000

60,960,000

19.3%

Maintenance of National Systems

39,645,000

15,360,000

38.7%

E-Government/ Smart Government

40,500,000

26,240,000

64.8%

Computer Lab per School

28,000,000

4,960,000

17.7%

Establishment of Community Information Centres

9,000,000

1,600,000

17.8%

National Data Centre Recovery Site

135,000,000

-

Motor Vehicle

16,000,000

4,800,000

30.0%

Furniture and Equipment

3,000,000

1,600,000

53.3%

Capital Transfer (ZARNet)

45,000,000 

1,600,000

3.6%

Total

406,145,000

114,560,000

28.2%

 

         For maintenance of national systems, the Ministry had requested ZWL$39.6 million and were only allocated ZWL$15.36 million which will only fund 39% of their requirements for the planned maintenance and upgrade of the National Public Finance Management System. This shows that that this activity is underfunded and would mostly likely expose the system to vulnerabilities and likely to increase the system down time as the national system needs constant upgrading. According to African Development Bank 2019 Infrastructure Report on Zimbabwe, it noted that the lack of maintenance and the lack of technical capacity on the part of government to keep their systems up-to-date is impeding the effective roll out and maintenance of E-government platforms.           The Ministry had also targeted ZWL$28 million and ZWL$9 million for the computer lab per school initiative and establishment of Community Information Centres respectively. However, the Ministry was only allocated ZWL$4.96 million for the computer lab per school programme and ZWL$1.6 million for the establishment of Community

Information Centres. The amount allocated accounts for 17.7% and

17.8% of the Ministry’s requirements for the programmes implementation. With the allocated amount, the Ministry will only be able to establish less than 20 schools computer labs against targeted 100 and establish less four Community Information Centres against targeted

20 in 2020.

On funding for the National Data Centre recovery site, the Ministry did not receive anything on the amount they requested on the argument by Treasury that the Data Centre is being housed under Office of the President and Cabinet, hence funding will go directly to the relevant department. The Ministry also requested ZWL$16 million to finance the acquisition of 10 motor vehicles for project monitoring but was only allocated ZWL$4.8 million which is sufficient to procure three vehicles.

         The Ministry put a bid of ZWL$45 million as capital transfers towards ZARNet, however only 3.6% of requested funds were allocated following reviews that grant aided institutions should be in a position t fund themselves. However, ZARNet is not in a position to generate funds to cover their own operations and are seriously underfunded to undertake their operations.

Recommendations:

  • Treasury should allocate adequate funding and ensure timely disbursement of allocated funds to avoid delays in implementation of projects. The Committee therefore recommends that budgeted allocations be disbursed timeously so that issues and programmes are brought to a close rather than remaining on the pipeline for a long time.
  • Budget allocations should also allow settlement of arrears due from Government ministries and departments, for example the Ministry has owed TelOne and NetOne over the past years. This has led to the entities not being able to adequately deliver on its service provision. The Committee is of the view that both TelOne and NetOne can be profitable if the legacy debt is resolved.
  • Furthermore, the Committee recommends that arrears clearance will greatly improve the parastatal balance sheet, hence making it attractive to investors since it is earmarked for privatisation.
  • The Ministry’s parastatals must realise profitability and declare dividend. The Committee recommends for the privatisation of parastatals, for example which falls under the Ministry of ICT. For instance, ZARNet could dispose of its non-viable investments to generate funds to finance its operations
  • The Committee notes that the Ministry’s programming areas are thin and their focus is limited to a few priority areas with most ICT services administration being undertaken by the Office of the President and Cabinet. The Committee states that there is no reasonable justification for the Office of the President and Cabinet to continue administrating government ICT services when there is a responsible Ministry established to undertake such activities. There is also need to allocate ICT budgets for the whole Government through the Ministry so as to maximise on the utilisation of resources. The Ministry is responsible for the supervision and monitoring of the implementation of E-government programmes but some funds are being allocated through other government departments. The Committee recommends that all ICT activities must be transferred to the Ministry of Information Communication

Technology, Postal and Courier Services

  • The Committee recommends that Treasury must have incentives for investors who want to start ICT businesses in the country. There is also need to capacitate innovation through the funding of start-ups in the ICT sector.
  • As the Government seeks to transform itself and the economy into a truly digital economy, it should ensure that the Ministry of

Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services is not underfunded as it is the most critical in the implementation of E-government services and ensuring investment in essential ICT backbone infrastructure. More focus should be on supporting ICT at the grassroots level as this will groom consumers of ICT products and services. The Committee recommends that there is need for resources allocated to the Ministry’s  programmes to  be increased, particularly towards:

  • Maintenance of national systems. o Computer Lab per school with a target of 100 schools in 2020.
  • Establishment of Community Information Centres with a target of 20 centres in 2020.
  • The Committee recommends that further funding should be provided for more human resources to manage the Ministry’s priority projects. Current vacancy rate for the Ministry is at 20.4% of establishment, meaning that the Ministry is not fully capacitated to monitor government ICT requirements and man its projects. The Committee also recommends that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe should support stakeholders in the ICT sector with their foreign currency requirements in order to support the national ICT programmes.

        HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to present

a report on the Budget Analysis of the Ministry of Energy and Power Development (Vote 22) Budget Allocations for 2020.

               1.      INTRODUCTION

The Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development has an oversight responsibility over the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development is mandated to provide adequate and sustainable energy supply through formulating and implementing effective policies and regulatory frameworks. Post budget consultations conducted with the Ministry and its stakeholders showed that there was an increase in 2020 budget allocations to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development from the 2019 allocation.

         1.1  Key Policy Priorities for the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in 2020

Since the country subscribes to the United Nations Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs), and with most of the goals centered on development and sustainability, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development has managed to identify some key developmental areas to pursue. Some of the Ministry’s priorities for the period 2020-2022 include:

  • Adoption of a sustainable cost reflective tariff to ensure viable service delivery and sector investment;
  • Competitive procurement for solar projects;
  • Finalisation of National Integrated Energy Resource Plan

(NIERP);

  • Implementation of Biofuels and National Renewable Energy

Policy (NREP);

  • Development of Energy Efficiency Policy;
  • Review of the System Development Plan;
  • Establishment of the Green Fund;
  • Consultations are already underway for the establishment of a Green Fund to promote the development of renewable energy projects and programmes. Modalities to deal with the fund are being looked at and various options being considered including:
  • Floating of green bonds through the Stock Exchange
  • Establishment of a National Green Fund in conjunction with Climate Change Department which will be administered by the IDBZ tapping resources from the Global Green Fund.
  • The other option is to get seed funding from the fiscus to start a rolling fund. This will be done after review of various options.
  • The Ministry will however continue to engage multilateral institutions, other development partners, development banks and other local institutions to support this initiative.

  • Provision of viability gap funding for off-grid projects in disadvantaged communities;
  • Coordination of exploitation of energy minerals;
  • Restructuring of ZESA Holdings Group; and
  • Completion of the partial privatisation process for Petrotrade

The above stated key priority areas for the 2020 budget outlay a clear picture of a determined Ministry that has the intention to achieve its goals in line with national priorities. For example, the adoption of a sustainable cost reflective tariff will ensure viable and efficient service delivery.

               1.1.    Ministry’s key achievements in 2019

Despite the economic challenges currently prevailing in the country, the Ministry of Energy managed to post some achievements in 2019.  Some of these achievements include:

  • The Renewable and Bio fuels policy have already been approved by Cabinet and awaiting launching before the end of the year to give the necessary impetus and awareness. The Ministry has started implementing the policy initiatives through an implementation matrix that was developed including carrying out necessary amendments to existing legal instruments. Some of the incentives have already been adopted through the 2020 National Budget Statement done by Treasury including provision of incentives. The other incentives in the policy were incorporated into the previous Finance Acts.
  • Identified a project developer for the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme Project (2 400MW)-completion of feasibility studies.
  • Hwange 7 and 8 expansion at 23% completion and on target (main powerhouse foundation and civil works, transmission line route clearance, electro-mechanical equipment designs).
  • Kariba Dam Rehabilitation: Plunge pool works commenced and dam break even analysis field surveys done
  • Manufactured / repaired of six hundred and four (604) transformers to increase access to electricity and reduce the backlog on new connections.
  • Installed 29 885 (twenty nine thousand eight hundred and eighty five) prepaid meters countrywide in order to improve access to electricity and improve revenue collection.
  • Electrification of ninety nine (99) rural institutions (schools, clinics, service centres and chiefs homestead) in eight rural provinces and

over 350 institutions to be completed before year end following tariff review which will improve levy collections.

  • Construction of 12 biogas digesters, 180 improved wood stoves and over 10 000 solar home systems in rural areas.
  • Commissioned over four MW Solar power plants & 2.06 MW Small Hydropower which are already adding power to the national grid and create employment.
  • More than 120 people were trained in solar home systems installations, biogas digester construction and making of efficient wood cooking stoves

               1.2.      Ministry of Energy and Power Development 2019 Budget

Performance

Unlike in previous years, the Ministry of Energy and Power

Development’s disbursements from Treasury in 2019 exceeded the

Ministry’s total budget allocation for the year. This was a result of additional money transferred to ZESA for electricity imports. However, for Policy and Administration, the Ministry was allocated ZWL$2.1 million but as of 30 September 2019, the Ministry had only spent close to ZWL$1.9 million. This situation negatively affected the Ministry’s operations since it has some projects outside Harare which need constant monitoring.

  1. Overview and Analysis of the Ministry's 2020 Budget

Allocation

               2.1.      Ministry of Energy and Power Development 2020 Budget

Allocations

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development was allocated a total of ZWL$419.2 million. The amount allocated represent a 105.9% increase from the Ministry’s 2019 revised allocation. While in nominal terms the amount allocated increased, the share of the Ministry’s budget the total budget decreased from a share of 0.88% in 2019 to 0.66% in

  1. Figure shows 2020 budget allocations for all the ministries.

Figure1: 2020 Budget Allocations

 

 

               2.2.    Economic classification of the budget

Of the Ministry’s total allocation of ZWL$419. 2 million, ZWL$

20.2 million (5%) was allocated towards the Ministry’s operations which includes employment costs while ZWL$99 million (24%) will be for capital expenditures (buildings, capital machinery and equipment). The largest share of the Ministry’s allocation (ZWL$ 300 million) will go towards financing a loan to ZESA for the expansion and rehabilitation of Hwange Thermal Power Station which when completed will add an additional 300MW to the national grid.

Figure 2: Economic Classification of the Ministry’ 2020

Budget.

 

               2.3.    Ministry’ allocations vs Bids

Although the amount allocated to the Ministry increased, a number of programmes were underfunded. The Ministry had submitted a funding requirement of ZWL$236.707 million but was allocated

ZWL$419.2 million which represents a positive variance of 77%.

Although the amount allocated was higher than the amount which the Ministry had requested, there are some programmes which were underfunded. Figure 3 shows a comparison between the Ministry’s requirements and the actual allocations for its two programmes.

Figure 3: Ministry of Energy’s Allocation vs its funding requirements

 

Figure 3 shows a funding gap for the Policy and Administration of

ZWL$25.763 million. Of the ZWL$11.341 million allocated for the

Ministry’s operations, a larger share of the allocation will go towards payment of salaries and therefore leaving very little for Ministry’s operations. Figure 4 shows the composition of the Policy and

Administration budget allocation.

Figure 4: Composition of the Policy and Administration

Budget allocation

 

 

  1. Possible Economic implications of the 2020 Budget for the Ministry of Energy and Power Development

Although the Ministry got an overall budget higher than what it had requested, several sub-programmes were underfunded whilst others were adequately funded.  The following are some of the possible implications of the 2020 budget allocation to the Ministry’s operations;

  • Goods and Services - the Ministry was allocated ZWL$5.2 million against a bid of ZWL$38.614 million. This means that there was a funding gap of ZWL$33.414 million. The inadequate budget allocation for this expenditure item will greatly affect the Ministry’s operations such as supervision, monitoring and evaluation of projects under the Ministry’s purview. It is sad to note that the amount

allocated for fuel can only last for two months. The Ministry has the responsibility of constant monitoring the strategic reserves of petroleum fuels in Msasa and Feruka in Mutare.  In addition, the Ministry has some conferences which they have to attend outside the country such as the IRENA. This conference is important for the Ministry because it opens funding opportunities for some renewable energy projects at concessionary rates of 1%.

  • Capital Transfers: Treasury allocated ZWL$300 million for a loan facility to ZESA for the expansion and rehabilitation works at Hwange Units 7 and 8. To this end, this allocation will go a long way in supporting the implementation of this 600 MW expansion project through 2020 with commissioning of the first plant expected. Treasury also allocated ZWL$20 to Finealt Engineering for the renewable energy projects against a bid of ZWL$30 million. In addition, funding was also provided for the Ministry’s capital transfers of ZWL$74 million to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) against a bid of ZWL$30 million. Out of this amount,

ZWL$70 million will be allocated towards implementation of eight solar mini grid projects and the other ZWL$4 million will fund the implementation of five biogas digesters.  The allocation of ZWL$74 million will likely result in an increase of the rural electrification rate that currently stands at 13%.

  • Coordination of the exploitation of energy minerals: In terms of coordination of the exploitation of energy minerals, no funding was provided for in 2020 budgeting year. However, the Ministry’s intention is to have a coordinated strategy for the exploitation of various energy minerals to produce energy for the nation in collaboration with Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. An Inter -Ministerial Committee and a Technical Working Committee shall be established between the Ministry of Mines and Energy to spearhead the various initiatives. This will include conducting visits to identified sites for inspections and ensure proper coordination of new projects and their implementation prioritisation.

         Reforms on Fuel, Electricity and Pricing

The budget proposed a new pricing framework for fuel and electricity that adequately reflect costs including those resulting from changes in import prices and exchange rate fluctuations. This implies a diversion from the previous model where the prices were distorted by subsidies. Although the new framework may ensure adequate energy supply of electricity and fuel, it will likely result in frequent changes in their prices as the exchange rate is usually volatile. This will have implications on cost structures for the productive sectors and will exert inflationary pressure in most sectors because energy is an important component in most production processes.

The Ministry informed the Committee that the cost reflective which takes into account all imports and local production is USc12.48.69/kwh and the 2020 projections for electricity generation from the various sources and the cost for each source are shown in table

2020 Projections of Electricity generation and costs

Power Plant 

Production Projection in

GWH 

Average Capacity in

MW

Average

Production 

Cost/kwh ZWL

Hwange Thermal Power

Station 

3 952.8

450

132.96

Kariba Power Station 

2 415.6

275

59.27

Harare 

132.2

15

540.75

Munyati 

132.2

15

471.48

Bulawayo 

132.2

15

417.15

Total 

6 763.7GWh

770MW

Blended cost 126.32/kWh

In addition, the Ministry projects that total imports for the year at 2 103.41GWh value were budgeted at US$163,035,040.56 and these are various prices depending on the source.

                 4.      Recommendations

The Committee is of the view that there are some outstanding areas which if addressed will unlock the full potential of the industry, deepen the inclusivity and maximise its contribution to the socio-economic development of the country. In light of this, the Committee recommends the following measures which it feels will raise revenue in the sector and contribute to economic growth.

               4.1.               Reallocation of Ministry’s budget to support underfunded

programmes

The Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development noted with concern that there are some programmes which were underfunded whilst for others, the allocation was greater than what the Ministry had requested. An example is the allocation to REA of ZWL$74 million which is more than twice the amount which REA had requested.  The Committee recommends that REA should move into new more projects instead of reallocating the money towards funding Ministry’s activities. Instead, Treasury should consider increasing the

Ministry’s allocation for its Policy and Administration programme.

 Finalisation of the Renewable Energy Policy.

Zimbabwe has been faced with energy challenges since the late 2000, which saw massive power outages around the country of up to 18 hours a day. In addition, there has also been acute shortages of petroleum fuel. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development (MEPD)  has  committed  itself  to  the  development  and adoption  of  renewable  energy  technologies  (RETs)  in  the country and is developing a Renewable Energy Policy that is aimed at deepening the use of alternative renewable energy sources which will also help in reducing the impact of climate change. It is therefore recommended that Treasury provides sufficient support to ensure that the policy is launched so that implementation of the policy starts thereof.

4.2.      Support programmes aimed at educating energy users on energy efficiency

The Committee noted with concern the rise in the demand of electricity across the country. It was noted that in some cases, a lot of energy is lost due to inefficient energy uses. The Committee therefore recommends the development of an energy efficiency policy as well as rolling out awareness campaigns on energy efficiency. The Parliamentarians can play a leading role in these campaigns in their constituencies.

4.3.     Allocate funds to reduce vandalism of electricity infrastructure

Cases of vandalism have increased in most areas around the country. The Ministry of Energy reported that two transformers are vandalised every day and this has affected the provision of transformers to near areas as the newly acquired transformers will be allocated to areas that would have lost transformers due to vandalism. It is therefore recommended that the budget should provide funding for enhancing security of electricity infrastructure. In addition, there is also need for ZESA with the assistance of Parliament to carry out awareness campaigns to educate people on how they can police their areas and also to have a sense of ownership for infrastructure in their areas.

4.4.  Raise public funds to support the renewable energy market

During the past few years when the electricity and fuel challenges became severe, the uptake of alternative sources increased. The country should therefore take advantage of this crisis and invest in other alternative sources such as renewable energy sources. The Government of Zimbabwe should be able to raise public funds to support the renewable energy market in the country.  The funds may be appropriated from the current electricity levies based on per kWh of electricity consumed. These funds can then be used for addressing and bridging the pricing gap between renewables and traditional generating facilities, providing energy efficiency services and  capacity  building,  reducing  the  cost  of  renewable energies  by  way  of  subsidies,  education  and  training  on energy issues and supporting research and development.

               4.5.   Review of conditions for issuing licences

It has been noted with concern that the Government has issued licences to Independent Power Producers and tenders to some companies to work on energy projects such as solar projects but some of them have failed to deliver. In most of these projects, it seems the people or companies given these licences are not credible and some have proved that they do not have enough funding to see the projects through. In light of these developments, the Committee recommends that licences for those who have failed to deliver within a given timeframe be revoked. In addition, the conditions for issuing licences be reviewed and licences should be given to individuals who are credible and have proof that they have capacity to raise the funds required for the project. In addition, the licences should be valid for a specified period of time after which the renewal will be linked to performance.

               4.6.    Provision of incentives

The Committee also recommends that there should be provision of incentives for persons with power generation capacity and a targeted strategy for solar generation.

               4.7.    Prioritise net metering

The gazetting of Electricity (Net Metering) Regulations Statutory Instrument 86 of 2018 liberalised the energy space, allowing consumers to be part of the power generation process while being consumers of power (pronsumers).  Net Metering is a solar incentive programme that allows domestic and industrial users of power to be part of the generation mix as they can also store energy in the electric grid. When one’s solar PV system produces more electricity than is needed, that excess energy is fed to the grid in exchange for credits. These credits can be used to offset the electricity bill for the home or business owner. The Committee recommends that Government should further create conditions that promote net metering. The incentive is also meant to promote small-scale renewable energy generation.

 Conclusion

The Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development is of the view that the potential of the energy sector to optimise its contribution to the socio-economic development of the country largely depends on Treasury’s willingness to release funds timeously and resolving a number of outstanding issues which the Committee has raised in this report. Renewable energy comes in the form of hydro, solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass. Zimbabwe is endowed with renewable energy resources including solar, hydropower and biomass energy.  Tapping into these resources would help the country meet the energy supply challenge. Although there is no national policy on renewable energy in Zimbabwe at present, there exists a great potential for the development of renewable energy in the country. Barriers to the diffusion of renewable energy technologies in the country can be addressed through a policy environment and supportive regulatory framework that is conducive.

HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me start by saying, the…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Are you presenting a report?

HON. MATEWU: No, the reports are finished – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order.  I just want to confirm

whether all the reports have been done.

HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – havazive ava. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let me start by saying the Transitional Stabilisation Programme which was introduced by the Hon. Minister Mthuli has been a complete failure.

Using the notion which he championed, which was Austerity for

Prosperity – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am the Chair, I am giving

you directive.  Lower your voices. Hon. Mamombe, I do not expect that from you.

HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The TSP which was introduced by the Hon. Minister…

HON. DZUMA: Point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, what is your point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Members.  I am the Chair here, I am the person who is supposed to be giving directives– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon.

Members, we want to hear what Hon. Dzuma is about to say – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, please do not force me to send somebody outside – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

*HON. DZUMA: Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  We are asking the Hon. Member to withdraw what he said. He said these people are not knowledgeable and this is unparliamentary. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  May

you withdraw?

HON. MATEWU: I withdraw.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You can continue.

HON. MATEWU:  The transitional stabilisation programme which was introduced by the Hon. Minister has been a complete failure.  Using the notion which he championed – austerity to posterity; austerity has plunged our nation down the abyss of extreme poverty which  has seen earnings everyday being eroded – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, these are notes Sir.

The monetary policy which was introduced by the Reserve Bank Governor in February has further worsened the fiscus crisis in this country.  I want to ask the Minister why we should trust him and this is very important.  This year the GDP has shrunk to minus 6.5%.  When the Minister stood here last year this time, he projected an increase in GDP of 3.1% but today we stand here a year after and the GDP has decreased by 10% - so why should we trust the Minister?

I will turn to revenues; our revenues last year were US$6.5 billion

dollars.....

HON. T. MOYO:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – What is your point of order?

HON. T. MOYO:  May the Hon. Member cite sources.  He cannot just give statistical data without citing sources of information.

HON. MATEWU:  The Hon. Member must read the 2019 Budget Statement by the Hon. Minister.  He should also read the Budget Statement for this year by the Hon. Minister.  This is where my sources

are.

So to continue, our budget –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members.

HON. MATEWU:  The Hon. Minister projects RTGs 21 billion revenue for this financial year; with the current exchange rate at the black market, only amounts to US$1 billion – so we are moving from US$6.5 billion to US$1 billion within a year in terms of the revenues that this country is collecting.  We have a huge macro-financial calamity and with his own figures in the table in the Budget Statement, our Pay

As you Earn (PAYE) only contributes 13% to the total revenue.  We say Zimbabwe is open for business in this country but our corporate tax is only estimated to be 13%   of the total revenues in this country.  Going further we now rely on VAT and excess duty as a means of income in a country like ours.  These two contribute 45%.   Excess duty contributes 20% and VAT contributes 25% of the total revenue that this country is having.  This is not sustainable.

In all the other countries, the number one source of revenue for any country is income tax and PAYE but in this country, we have to rely on people importing cars or imports to charge them duty so that we pay our civil servants.  This means that even if we say we are welcoming businesses, our businesses are not actually giving us anything or a substantive tax in order.  This is why I explained to the Hon. Minister that I think corporate tax should be increased by a percentage point and also income tax should be decreased so that we give people more money and businesses must pay more to ensure that they contribute their fair share.

Let me turn to tax.  The whole idea behind austerity for prosperity and the TSP was to ensure that we are saving more money as a country but the problem is that in September 2018, our national external debt stood at US$7.7 billion.  Since the introduction of the TSP, our debt in September 2019 is at US$8 billion.  We have actually borrowed more and our debt has increased year on year despite the austerity for prosperity that the Minister was talking about.

Let me turn to agriculture.  I am very glad that the Government has copied the smart agriculture – something which the MDC put in their manifesto but let us turn to the figures now.  Since the inception of Command Agriculture in 2016, we have spent billions in agriculture trying to resuscitate and improve agricultural production in this country.  Last year – 2018, we spent US$1.1 billion on agriculture. Have we done a cost benefit analysis to see if the money that we have put into agriculture is actually yielding the results that we intend to?  Have we done a value for money audit on command agriculture to see if the money that we have spent on agriculture is actually bringing us any productivity and any growth?

I will give you an example; we budgeted US$401 million last year for agriculture but we spent 100% more than that but where are the results?  As we stand now, we import almost everything.  There is need for us to have a look at agriculture and say how do we best finance our agriculture or our farmers?  Yes, agriculture used to be the backbone of this country but now we rely on taxes and not agriculture.  That is wrong.  We used to be the bread basket of Africa –[HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

Finally, I will focus on Local Government.......

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  May the Hon. Member be

heard in silence.

HON. MATEWU:  The Ministry –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Why are you interjecting?  What is your responsibility?  If you have got something that you would want to contribute, I will give you the opportunity.  Do not disturb the contribution –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – It is me who has got that responsibility.  I have got eyes that see and ears that can hear.  I have not asked for any assistance from anybody.

HON. MATEWU:  I will now focus on Local Government.  The Ministry of Local Government and National Housing got $1.8 billion – in this country; we have got a serious crisis of water.  Most of our water reservoirs, that is the purification plants – infact, the one in Marondera where I come from and the one in Chegutu were all built during the

Smith era.  I will give you the example of Marondera – it was built in 1975.  The population of Marondera that time was around 20 000 and now it is on 85 000.  The purification plants are not fit for that purpose.  They cannot sustain the whole city and this is across the country.  We needed to see the Budget addresses the issue of infrastructure because we need to invest on more infrastructure.  What is going to be the growth rate for the cities in the next 30 years because there is a lot of rural to urban migration and we know that cities are expanding?  We need to invest in infrastructure and the money that was allocated towards this is paltry and I ask the Hon. Minister to do the right thing and allocate to water the money it needs.

         Mr. Speaker Sir in conclusion, I just want to say that we can do and try anything we like - the Hon. Minister whom I know is a very educated man but the fact is, unless we get the right fundamentals for our economy and tell each other the truth; unless we deal with the fundamentals of the Bond note, the RTGs and the money that is in your first Budget Statement when you mentioned that you had introduced a new currency and expect stabilisation; the truth of the matter is that the money that you put onto the market is absolutely useless as people are still selling money on the streets, people still cannot access money from the banks and people still cannot access money from the ATMs.

         So, there is need to rethink on the Monetary Policy and there is need to rethink do we and are we strong enough at the moment?  Do we have the right infrastructure for us to maintain the RTGs and Bond note?  Where should we go?  This is something that we need to really think about as a country because the terrain that we are currently traversing as a country is still heading towards the abyss.  We will be back again this year to say, ‘Mr. Minister, your projections did not work like we did’.

So Hon. Minister, I commend this statement to the House.  I thank you.

         +HON. DR. LABODE:  Hon. Minister, I would like you to listen carefully to what I am saying in regards to the National Aids Council.  As Committee of Health and Child Care, we have not debated many things regarding the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a 3% that is being collected from every

Zimbabwean in the name of Aids Levy that is supposed to help in the HIV programme.  My concern is, Hon. Mthuli may you carefully listen to this because this is a serious issue.  We are collecting 3% from every

Zimbabwean and it is going to the National Aids Council.  The National

Aids Council for the past year has not had a board in place and has an

Acting Chief Executive.  Is that a pot from where you steal or what is

the idea?  Who is looking after that fund?  Who is approving the disbursement and everything?

         It is very serious and it means NAC can choose today to double dip from donor funds and that thing.  The 3% - we will not know.  Hon. Minister, please do something about that because I am very concerned.  I thank you.

         *HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My concern is on the 14% VAT. That is too high, may you please reduce it to 10%.  Again, looking at PAYE – you said that the threshold is two thousand dollars ($2 000.00), we know because the cost of things is very high.  Please increase the threshold to above $3 000.00 so that people can have a higher purchasing power.

         When you talk about inviting investors, we find that the taxes are too high like 25% because we noticed that in some countries, they are charging 25% for investors.  May you also support women in mining because when they go to borrow money, the finance houses talk of collateral such as houses or any other property but they do not have that?

Therefore, I am requesting Government to have a revolving fund that can be used by women without going through collateral.

         I will now turn to health on maternity care.  We were informed that women are not paying anything towards maternity services but this is not a free delivery system since the women are encouraged to bring items such as cotton wool, dettol et cetera that are required during delivery.  If we want our women to have free delivery then let the Hon. Minister allocate more money towards maternity so that women benefit and do not buy anything.

         I will now turn to the issue of sanitary wear.  We were informed that there is going to be free distribution of sanitary wear to schools and this is mainly directed to rural schools but we feel that all learners should be treated the same.  Learners from urban areas should also benefit from these free sanitary wear – let us not be discriminatory.

         +HON. MKANDLA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I would like to speak about what the Hon. Minister of Social Welfare mentioned regarding the removal of fees for patients in hospitals especially the elderly, those with HIV and AIDS, orphans and the disabled.  It is not everyone who is supposed to be getting treatment who is getting the free treatment.  Elderly people who are given letters to indicate that they are supposed to receive free treatment are in turn being given prescriptions that require them to go and buy medication.  Can we say this person is getting free treatment when they are buying medication?

         Hon. Minister, I once heard you making reference to Ekusileni Hospital in Bulawayo that this hospital is supposed to cater for cancer patients around Bulawayo.  My question is, this hospital’s budget was mentioned in Victoria Falls but it is not mentioned how much is being allocated to this particular hospital in the budget.  We want something in writing so that there is evidence to indicate that the hospital caters for cancer patients. I thank you

         HON. BUSHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this very important debate. Looking at the budget, the incomes or the revenues and expenditures, you will appreciate one thing that is very difficult for the Minister. The Minister has got a very difficult job because just getting the revenues or to cover the expenditures is a very difficult job for him. A lot of people are asking for cuts in taxes, duties and so forth. There is one thing that is very critical. We are not getting the loans to support expenditure. We are also finding it very difficult – just ourselves to earn enough money to contribute to the expenses that we would like to see service delivery being done by our own Government.

         I would like to encourage the Minister to remain and continue being creative and generate the revenues that are required. If you look at the bids that were given at Victoria Falls by the various ministries, they come to about $104 billion. The Minister had planned for around $28 billion and he stretched himself to round about $61 billion. What we are saying is that there is a dysfunction somewhere. The key dysfunction is coming through our inability as a country to generate enough revenues to pay for the activities that we want conducted by our Government. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I do not have to come that side, but I am talking reality here. What we are simply saying is, we must pay through taxes.

  THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): May the

Hon. Member be heard in silence.

         HON. BUSHU: We must pay and therefore that 2% is one of the things that I am saying the Minister must maintain until such a time. We can crank this system and we crank our revenue generating system so that we pay for the services that Government must provide for us. We are talking about a situation where Government has been collecting money and some Ministers in the past have actually said that we must eat what we kill. The point is – every Ministry has not received more than 60% of the required disbursement from the 2019 budget. What we are simply saying is that we have not been able to finance that.

         Therefore Minister Sir, if you can continue being creative so that we pay and provide the services that Government would like to provide to our people. We also would like to see a lot of discipline on the part of the Ministry in terms of supervising the various ministries to perform when you have given them the money to use. That is very critical and we would like a very high level of accountability in that regard.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to contribute.

         *HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to add onto what I think should be corrected by the Minister. I am very grateful for what has been done in this budget especially to the advantage of women. I will talk about the case of free duty on sanitary wear whereby when we are importing we are not going to pay any duty on the sanitary wear. When we look at Zimbabwe, it is endowed with  a lot of land and good farmers. Now that we have embarked on smart agriculture, let us empower cotton farmers because you know that as long as we harvest enough cotton, we will be able to manufacture our own sanitary pads since they are manufactured using cotton.

         When we are talking about smart agriculture, let us also concentrate on crops and products such as cotton. I am begging you Minister to redistribute some of these monies to cotton farmers because after we have harvested the cotton, we will open up factories to manufacture these sanitary pads, and in that way we will also create employment - not only that, locally manufactured sanitary wear will be at low cost.

         I visited Zambia and their sanitary wear is very cheap. It is 30 cents per pad. They have looked for ways and means of reducing the cost of the sanitary pads. We notice as we travel that when we went to countries like the United States of America, they are distributing these sanitary wears in toilets so that they can be accessible by vulnerable groups and hence, my call to the Minister of Finance to increase allocation to these cotton farmers.

         I want to talk about accommodation in universities. The Minister has said he is looking for ways of easing the shortage of accommodation in the universities. As a mother, when we look at these universities, they are contracting HIV and other STIs. The simple reason is that these youngsters cannot afford the expensive accommodation, hence they are exposed to the vagaries of the corrupt people.

         I am calling upon the Minister to put more money in constructing accommodation for the students and these youngsters especially the girls who are exposed to sugar daddies. I am not ashamed to even say some of the sugar daddies are fellow Members of Parliament. They go to these areas and prey on the young girls. These young girls call these sugar daddies blessers and they think the blesser will be abusing his body sexually. The child thinks they are having a good life because they can afford food and all other luxuries which are needed for youngsters. Minister, please put more money in the accommodation of these students so that we ease the problem of our youngsters.

         We have also talked about environment in our budget. Let us invest more in our environment because at the rate at which we are going, in depleting our environment we now have climatic change where we have these droughts and other harsh climatic conditions like Cyclone Idai disaster. The reason why there is this climate change is because people are now cutting trees for firewood and some of them are even creating charcoal. I am pleading with the Minister to please add more money for the environment so that people can even afford electricity and gas instead of cutting trees. We have some of the things which are happening because we cannot repair them, but we have to address the issue of environment instead of correcting the wrongs that will have been done.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, let us support the environment through resourcing the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). The reason why the

local authorities are not able to look after their forest or any other mismanagement of natural resources is because the local authorities are under-funded and they cannot afford to police all the areas within their jurisdiction. That is why I am calling upon the Minister to put more money on environment.  I will now talk about health.  When you look at health delivery, as a country we are failing to secure enough drugs.  We had a workshop last week in Mutare and we had people who were discussing issues about family planning.  We realised that family planning methods are now expensive and cannot be afforded by ordinary people.  Minister, put more money on family planning methods so that people can space their children and be able to take care of them instead of having a lot of children because one cannot be able to look after them.  In the long run, the Government then takes care of those children through the Department of Social Welfare.

         On medicines in the country, we have noticed that the ARVs are in short supply and the biggest problem is that we are getting our medication from the donors.  Let us be independent so that we can have affordable ARVs. If individuals cannot afford these then they will die.  We have been told that our ARVs are in short supply and we run the risk of falling into the trap especially when the donor withdraws their services.  I think we need to invest more in our drugs because if we were to investigate we would found out that most Members of Parliament are on ARVs, so let us not be ashamed about talking about ARVs.  Whether you like it or not, one way or the other if you are not affected, you are infected because we have relatives and friends who are suffering from this disease.

         I will now turn to transport; I know we have a subsidised system of using ZUPCO.  Let us look for better ways of getting affordable transport. My suggestion is that let us increase salaries so that they are in-tandem with the current expenses in the country.  At the moment, as long as we continue subsidising, the costs will still go up.  Individuals must survive on their salaries; ZUPCO has draw cards where you go and repay for your fares in advance. This will be easy for us because this is happening in other countries.

Consumer Council has said the bread basket is now pegged at

RTGS4000 so that an average family will get basics not any luxury item.

This only shows that the minimum salary for a worker should be RTGs 4000, whether we like it or not this is what is prevailing in the country. As Members of Parliament, we cannot afford to get all the needs we want, how about the old people in villages, those who are not working and the vulnerable groups, how do they manage? We need to think of them, they need to live a decent life.

I will conclude my speech on Cyclone Idai.  We received a lot of money from donors, individuals and neighbouring countries.  My worry is on the unaccountability and acquittals of these donations.  These monies are not being accounted for properly because we have heard of instances where there is food which is said to have expired and this is not good for human consumption. I am now calling upon Government to create an accountable system and I am pleading with my fellow members, please pay a courtesy call to Chimanimani.  The people are still in dire need of assistance; the roads, and the schools are bad.  Yes, the bridges have been constructed but the people’s welfare is at stake because when we are talking of what is happening now, the bridges have been constructed but what is now left is the welfare of the people. I am grateful for what Government has done in reconstructing these roads.

What is really pleasing is that we have had assistance from the South African National Army who came to help us construct bridges which had been destroyed by Cyclone Idai.  Minister, I am begging with you, we need to have a monitoring and evaluation system on expenses.

We have a department under the Local Government called the Civil Protection Unit. This is a unit which should be well funded so that they are prepared to face any disaster which may come up because what has been noticed is that when disasters strike we are not prepared. Let us have a monitoring and evaluation programme so that they can even predict some of these disastesr which will be coming and people can be moved on time to safer areas.  Invest more on people who are suffering from post traumatic stress because of Cyclone Idai. These people need to be rehabilitated and counseled because they lost people who were dear to their hearts and whom they were depending on. They need to be assisted and supported.  We need to give enough funds to our Social Welfare in the country. I thank you.

         *HON. TOGAREPI:  I am grateful for the Minister for the way he crafted the budget, it shows that we have an intelligent Zimbabwean manning our national fiscus.  There is no country in this world today which operates on a surplus budget, not even those developed countries; they cannot afford that.  Some of these countries find it difficult to follow that budget because their expenses are beyond the revenues which they collect.  Minister, I want to assist you in this issue by asking you to increase your tax base because the only people who pay taxes are civil servants and these are the people who are funding all the Government expenditure.  I am calling upon the Minister..

       HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.

           THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

      HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, just today, Hon. Adv.

Mudenda ruled that we cannot use more than two languages in a debate and the Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Point of order overruled, he is using one language – [HON. CHIKWINYA:  Ari kuti kufanda.  Kufanda kuita sei?] – Overruled.  Can you resume your seat?  Hon. Chikwinya, can you approach the Chair – [HON. CHIKWINYA:  Ari kuti kufanda. 

Kufanda kuita sei?] –

*HON. TOGAREPI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for protecting me from the hecklers.  I am saying as a country when we are talking of the expenses of the Government, we have a very low base where we collect our funds.  Most of the people in Zimbabwe belong to the informal sector and more business is now created in the informal sector.  They are using the roads, they are using the hospitals, they are using all the facilities yet they do not pay taxes despite the fact that they make a lot of money, more than what is earned even by the civil servants.  I am calling upon the Minister – please, I beg you.  Get a way of including these indigenous business people into the tax collection base so that you have more money.  When you look at this time whereby we are now closing the business of the day, in the streets especially Samora Machel, we find there are a lot of new good cars.  You wonder why we have people driving such beautiful cars yet the country is in financial difficulties.  I am calling upon the Minister to check on the lifestyles.  Make a lifestyle audit of these people so that they can justify the way they earn their salaries to live such a lavish life.

Mr. Speaker, I have only talked about these expensive cars.  When you visit low density areas, we have mansions that were constructed by those people.  You look at the background of the person who constructed that house, they are not employed anywhere but they managed to afford that mansion.  That is why I am saying let us have a lifestyle audit so that you can check where all these monies come from.  I will turn to local authorities.  Every time Government would be looking for ways of supporting financially these locally authorities yet these local authorities have a way of getting funds from rates and rentals.  We also need to have a way of evaluating and monitoring the expenses of these local authorities because as far as I am concerned these people are abusing the funds for their personal benefit.

Minister, we thank you for the Budget but I think what we need to look at now is that we have to fight the black market.  If we travel in the streets, we have a lot of financial vendors who will be selling foreign currency, yet as a country we have a Finance Act.  We also have the

Acts which are run by the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance.

When we look at the financial vendors, they are the people determining the cost of living in the country.  They are determining the rate of goods in the country.

I am begging the Minister to come up with a budget which will be able to fight the money laundering people who are in the streets.  These osipatheleni, let us fight them.  We also have people who are in the uniformed services such as the police, the soldiers and the prison officers.  These people have shops in their cantonment areas.  These stores in the past used to be well stocked so that these uniformed services that make us live a happy and peaceful life in Zimbabwe.  The cantonment areas had well stocked shops and the goods were affordable.  We need to get support from the Government so that we subsidise goods in these cantonment areas or the garrisons so that you do not get these people corrupted or living a pauper life.

Minister, we are very grateful for the Budget which you presented.  It shows that you are an expert, crafting such a budget in such a difficult time.  You have people at heart.  You think about their welfare and their health.  What worries us is that some of these people who are capable of paying their taxes are not willing to pay these taxes.  I am calling upon you Minister, please spread your tax collection base.  I will repeat, spread your collection base so that when we are going to ask for assistance from the donors we would have amass our own revenue sufficient evidence and finances.  I am very grateful.  Please spread your tax collection base.

*HON. CHIKUKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. ...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am informed that you

presented a report for the Committee.

*HON. CHIKUKWA:  I had presented about the Local

Government.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, no.

*HON. CHIKUKWA:  But vamwe vataura wani?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, no you cannot.

      *HON. M. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am very

pleased by the Budget presented by the Minister.  We are living in difficult times but the Minister managed to craft a well calculated budget for the benefit of the nation.  I will add my voice onto what has been stated by my previous speakers.  In rural areas especially when I look at the young girls who are in secondary boarding schools, they are forced to look for makeshift homes where they can get accommodation.  These children are taken advantage of, victimised by even the teachers any other people in the surrounding areas. They are sexually abused. In my constituency in Mwenezi, these learners seek for lodges in the villages near the schools. As a result they are exposed to the life of corruption, sex and life which is too bad for them. Let us support these children in these difficult areas.

We now look at the small scale miners. These people are getting their gold and minerals but they are not selling to the State through Fidelity. Hon. Minister, may you please create areas where the Fidelity arm is present so that these small scale miners do not travel long distances to go and sell their gold, because at the moment they may have to travel long distances. As a result, the best is to sell this gold to other unscrupulous dealers. Minister, may you please create an environment which is conducive for women miners to fully participate in mining because the current rates make it difficult for women to partake in mining. In your budget, please support women miners.

Let me talk about the black market, especially these money launderers. We were even told that some monies which had been obtained through the banks were then taken to the money launderers in the streets, these osiphatheleni and some of the people who abuse these chances are workers in the financial institutions.  I visited a certain bank with the intention of withdrawing some money. People were given numbers so that they could collect money. What surprised me is that I was given number 42 yet physically I was number one. So there is corruption there. Hence, I am calling upon the Minister to look into such issues whereby bank officials are corrupt. I thank you

 THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May the owners of vehicle numbers AEX 2969 and ADI 9028 remove their cars which are obstructing other cars.

*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. I would like to advise the Minister of Finance to put more money on the BEAM programme. This programme should not only be applicable to primary schools but should spread to secondary schools and also tertiary level. BEAM should also be well-funded so that it can pay all the school fees. What has since happened is that we have Grade Sevens who have not received their examination results because their fees have not been paid, yet when we talk about some of the people who benefit we have all the people in all the classes of life who need the support of BEAM because you will be creating a bright future for Zimbabwe. When we are talking of BEAM, we are talking of vulnerable children.

We have been informed that people who are above the ages of 65 years should not pay for services in Government hospitals yet what happens is they are given a prescription to go and buy their medications. Even the under fives are not supposed to pay for treatment but they are only diagnosed and given prescriptions to go and buy the medication. We have children who are being taken advantage of by these abusive men and when they give birth nobody takes care of those babies. So put more money so that they are supported.

Let us now look at the Ministry of Energy, may you please look at funding the gas acquisition because it should be easy for women or people to access gas because at the moment women are forced to go into forests to seek for firewood and they are exposed to rapists, muggers and thugs. That is why I am saying when you are allocating funds to the Ministry of Energy, please look for ways of putting more funds on subsidies of gas and women cannot afford to buy the gas because most of them are unemployed. So please subsidies gas.

Another issue that is related to women is on agriculture. Women work very hard, especially in tobacco farming but despite working so hard, nobody is taking care of them. I am begging you through the Ministry of Agriculture, may you please de-silt the dams that have been suffering from siltation and also repair those that are broken down so that women will be able to carry out irrigation programmes. We all know that if you bank on a woman there will be success. Thank you.

HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker for

allowing me to stand up and contribute to our national budget. Our national budget has put money into education but in the whole process of putting that money to education there is somewhere where we are stopping. I was going through last year’s O’ Level results, the national average pass rate for our O’ Level results is 10%. These are the people who are passing O’ levels, going to A’ level and obviously, on to universities. The population of our students at universities exceeds

50 000 people but then 90% of our students are supposed to go to VTC (Vocational Training Centres). VTC means that you are giving somebody life skills, skills that will work for him. An audit into our

VTC, we only have 2000 people in our VTC.

What is a VTC? A VTC is an institution that gives skills even to Hon. Members in this august House who are have difficulties in communicating or presenting can still go to VTC and acquire critical skills where they are able to communicate or mobilize. Those who are losing elections can actually acquire skills as part of vocational training where you go through a training of mass mobilisation. Mass mobilisation is an ability to be accepted and be admired. You know, you can be ugly but when you have the skill of mobilisation you will be admired by everybody. Vocational skills can assist everybody to be accepted – [AN HON. MEMBER: Zvinei nebudget?] – It has something to do with the budget.

We now want to move to a system Hon. Minister, where we have vocational training centres at ward level. We do not have infrastructure for  vocational training centres.  But what we do is, we say every secondary school, when they close; it is now a vocational training centre.  We are giving our people skills like building, carpentry and building which is critical in our society.  There are social problems associated

with poor building abilities.  At our home there, people built a grave and there was a huge crack and it created social problems because people did not understand what was happening until we educated them that this grave was constructed and there is no bond.  So, we need these skills so that it creates social stability.

              People were talking about houses affected in our area – Uzumba-

Maramba-Pfungwe where the people were said to be affected by the Cyclone but also, the quality of houses being built in rural areas leaves a lot to be desired.  We need to build a lot of houses and we need also to build a lot of toilets as a way of developing the quality of our lives.  Mr. Speaker Sir, war in Zimbabwe ended in 1979 but there are some families that do not have a toilet at their houses.  So every morning, they wake up, take cover under the bush and it is bringing them back to war memories where they were taking cover behind the bush because they did not have a toilet.  So, when we have Vocational Training Centres, we then have toilets all over and that is the basis of our development.

         Vocational Training Centres create another situation where we create employment at home.  We create employment at home because there is massive movement of people into urban areas as some are coming into Harare and quickly they are rank-marshals shouting Harare apo, Harare apo.  What are they doing but, we cannot waste that energy just announcing Harare apo, Harare apo when somebody knows where he is going.  We must give these people a skill to develop – either they produce agriculturally or they produce many other things.

Hon. Speaker, I announced in this august House that we must grow mbanje for the purposes of economic development but many people laughed because of the problem of ignorance.  Ignorance is like death because you do not know that you are dead. The day you will know you are ignorant is when you wake up and say, I must make money for my life and my country and we must never as an august House admire poverty.  What is poverty?  Poverty is the inability to make money for yourself, your family and your country.  So, when we have a social grouping of people who admire poverty, then they manifest themselves into a political party which then admires poverty.  You will then continue to be admirers of poverty in a political institution, then you destroy the economy of the country because you are poverty admirers.  Poverty admirers are people who do that out of ignorance and because they are ignorant, you must forgive them.  When you forgive ignorant people, you are also educating them.  There is no point in our situation to say, when somebody is ignorant...  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - This is part of the budget.

I want to salute the Hon. Minister because the situation in

Zimbabwe is very difficult but you have come out strong.  - [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please can you

allow him to proceed?

HON. MUDARIKWA: Iwewe wakapfeka kunge hweta, I will ask

an order from you.

*HON. KUREVA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  The Hon.

Member who is making his contribution is pointing a finger at me and I do not know what that means.  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please.  I hear you Hon. Member and I gave you notice that you are making a lot of noise and you are creating that noise.  Please, can we proceed?

HON. MUDARIKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you very much.  Every situation where you have results, you will then have a lot of confusion.  You know that Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers for him to be a king.  And, Jesus Christ was kissed by Judas Iscariot for him to lead the world to where it is today.  So, every difficult situation creates a moment where in the whole process, some difficult situations do arise.  So, when a difficult situation does arise, Hon. Minister and Hon. Speaker Sir, hamufanire kutya rima risina bere kana kutiza banga rehuswa.  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Sithole.

HON. MUDARIKWA: We only have one Speaker in this august

House and that one Speaker is who I respect but hallucinations to be Speaker  is part of life and that is also part of manifestation of ignorance and when ignorance comes to you, you think that you are right.

Let me salute the Hon. Members in this august House who have come here to debate and contribute to the development of our mother country, Zimbabwe.  Aluta continua.  Thank you very much.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. M. NCUBE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 9th December, 2019.

SECOND READING

CORONER’S OFFICE BILL [H. B. 5, 2019]

First Order read: Second Reading: Coroner’s Office Bill [H. B. 5,

2019]

Question again proposed.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Hon.

Speaker.  I just want to start by thanking the Hon. Members that debated the Coroner’s Bill and the Committee for a job well done.  I just want to make a few responses to issues raised by Hon. Members and the Committee.  In its report, the Committee was concerned about the definition of unnatural deaths and they wanted it changed.  It is my submission Hon. Speaker that in defining unnatural death, Members be advised that they are supposed to read it in conjunction with the definition of natural deaths then it will have a clear meaning.  In that regard, the definitions as they are in the Bill are okay.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there was a concern on the establishment and constitution of the office.  The Committee was of the view that we should not have in the Bill a statement that the Minister may endeavour to establish branches at provincial, district and other administrative levels. Rather, they were of the view that these offices must be, at the first instance, be established.  However, the reason for framing the provision as an endeavour is to take into account the resource constraints that we may have.  Government is faced by competing priorities like the wage bill and public infrastructure.  Therefore, we cannot commit in advance to say at the inception of the office, the Minister shall establish offices at provincial or district levels.  However, they will be progressive and gradual realisation of decentralization.  Besides devolution, it is secure because the Deputy Coroner -General will reside in Bulawayo.

In terms of Clause 5, appointment of Coroner- General and Deputies, the Committee was of the view that there must be some involvement of Parliament in the appointment of the Coroner and the Deputies.  However, consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, appointments into executive offices are the preserve of the Executive.  Mr. Speaker, where Parliament is involved in such matters, the Constitution has always explicitly expressed so like in cases of independent commissions.  It should be understood that fulltime public officers do not allow other paid workers to be done.

On the issues of qualifications of Coroners, let us be clear that for the most part of the Coroner himself or herself, he or she will not do the postmortems.  It is not the duty of the coroner to go and do postmortems. That will be done by medical practitioners.  Therefore, it is contemplated that even retired police officers with extensive experience in forensic homicide investigation may be appointed.  Hence we do not wish to tie ourselves too much with specific qualifications.  As such, I believe the term ‘prescribed discipline’ needs to remain in the Bill.

On preservation of records, the relevant institutions like hospitals and prisons already have established protocols on record keeping which the Bill need not to interfere with.   These protocols identify specific persons to be responsible for record keeping. As such, the Clause must

be left as it is.

On Clause 10, review of a decision not to hold an inquest, the Committee indicated that the Clause provides for the review of a decision by a Coroner not to hold an inquest.  It states that a person aggrieved by the decision not to hold an inquest can apply to the Coroner or Coroner- General for a consideration of the decision  and that should be done within a period of 30 years from the date of the deceased concerned.

My response to that is that I believe that the 30 years is a generous provision for an application for consideration of a decision not to do an inquest.  We should remember that witnesses pass away and that written records have a timely limit for their safekeeping, usually five years.  This does not mean that if murder was committed, then the murderer is exonerated because there is no limit to the prosecution for murder cases as long as you have proof.  Further, there are other ways of obtaining evidence besides inquest.  On publications of findings, I am agreeable to putting a provision that findings be published within three months.

In terms of Clause 16, inquest to be disposed with in relation to members of the Defence Forces.  As regards, internal investigations by the disciplined forces, the notice to the Coroner mentioned in this Clause is sufficient and that notice may be called a certificate if one wishes.

Mr. Speaker Sir, on Clause, 17, which I believe Hon. Members have misunderstood completely, there was a view that this Clause provides that the Minister may give policy direction to the Coroner General to which the Coroner- General should comply.  The Committee was of the view that the Minister must not give the policy direction.  Mr. Speaker Sir, if you go into the Constitution, Ministers are appointed to make and implement policies.  Therefore, by saying that Ministers should not give policy directions, you will be stopping them from fulfilling their functions.  I believe that we should not assume that Ministers cannot be trusted to make good policies; it is the job of Ministers to make policies.  So, this clause should be left as it is and if they make a bad policy, I think Hon. Ministers are answerable to Parliament.  You can always ask them on any policy issues that they would have made.

         Clause 18 on regulations; the opinion is that the clause that provides that the Minister in consultation with the Coroner General may prescribe regulations is not good enough.  My response to that is that regulation is law making and the power to make laws is delegated to Ministers by Parliament.  Therefore, the Minister is accountable to Parliament for the exercise of his or her powers.  So you cannot delegate the power to make laws to the Coroner General because that particular individual is a stranger in the House and cannot be delegated powers as he has no audience in the House.

         There was a suggestion to create a board of the office that “why not create a board for the Coroner’s office”.  Hon. Speaker, it is not the case that every Statutory Office must be accountable to a board.  If that was the case, there would have been more boards than officials and the system will be simply unmanageable.  For single holder public offices such as the Coroner General and the Deputy Coroner General, appointment by the President is sufficient and accountability to Parliament through the Minister is enough.

         I will now respond to issues raised by Hon. Members.  I want to thank Hon. Nduna for his concerns; he indicated that there was a fear that doctors may be prosecuted for genuine mistakes - that is not the case.  This Bill is about unnatural deaths and not deaths in hospitals, despite that there are regulations as to how hospitals operate and so this does not arise as the Bill is not targeted at medical personnel.

         Hon. Nduna was also of the opinion that there should be electronic record keeping which is a very big thing and this can be progressively realised.  There is also a matter raised that there is need for a Coroner to liaise with regulatory bodies before he or she sends information to NPA in cases where a criminal offence has been committed.  This provision is not targeted at specific professionals.  What we are looking at is unnatural deaths, there is no unnatural death that occurs in a hospital unless if the doctor, for some strange reasons deviates from doing his normal duties and does something that a reasonable person in the person of a doctor would not ordinarily do. After the relevant professional board has ruled that this conduct is not professional, a reasonable person would have done this, then perhaps that is when it can be referred for prosecution but those are cases that are not covered by unnatural deaths as described by this Bill.

Response to matters raised by Hon. Phulu.  Hon. Phulu’s submission wanted that at least three family members be involved when an inquest is done.  I agree to the submission by Hon. Phulu and I want to thank him for his afro-centric perspective relating to the role of families and this we can amend accordingly.

         Responses to matters raised by Hon. Mliswa; it was the matter about the Coroner General’s appointment and I think I have already addressed this.  So Hon. Chair, these are the issues that came up for debate and I think we can proceed.  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: With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

CORONER’S OFFICE BILL [H. B. 5, 2019]

        House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 9 put and agreed to.

        On Clause 10;

  HON. MATEWU:  Clause 10 is the review of the decision not to

hold an inquest.   I agree and I want to focus on Clause 10 (3), if the Coroner or Coroner General or Deputy Coroner General decides to uphold the decision in terms of Section 9 (8) that you can apply to the High Court.  Since the debate has been mentioning the Minister as someone who the Coroner General reports to, I was proposing, because if a family that is aggrieved has to go direct to the High Court to make an application against the Coroner General or the Deputy Coroner that would be costly.  So this could be from a poor family who genuinely wants an inquest to be held.  I think we should add another clause, Clause 4 and in that case they can go to the Minister at no cost and the

Minister must be given very minimal time to respond to the applicant.  We should add on the clause that if they do not agree with the decision of the Minister then they can go to the High Court, which will make

Clause 10 (5) if that makes sense.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I seek your

indulgence, in my presentation there are certain concessions that I promised the Committee and it skipped my mind when we got to Clause

  1. So I seek your indulgence to go back to Clause 7.

On Clause 7 on page 9 of the Bill in line 42 after the word death, I propose we delete “by a member or a representative” and substitute the following words: “not more than three members of the family or representatives”.  This was the proposal that Hon. Phulu had put forward.

On Page 11 of the Bill in line (1) delete the words “by a member or representative and substitute the following words “by the members of the family or representatives of those families.”  On Page 11 of the Bill in line (4) after medical practitioner insert the following words; “or by any other medical practitioner chosen by the family to represent them.  I thank you Hon. Chair.

Amendment to Clause 7 put and agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, put and agreed to.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Chair, we revert to Clause 10.  I listened attentively to Hon. Matewu and I disagree.  This Bill pertains to unnatural deaths and the moment you want to refer a decision of the Coroner to a Minister, it will be interpreted as the Minister is a politician and there will be political interference.   We would rather have it – you appeal to the Coroner General and from there you go to the courts.  If you go to the Minister, it is very dangerous.  Otherwise the very same Hon. Member who raised it, the moment it happens to somebody who is close to him and he is not aligned to the Minister, there will be an outcry that the Minister suppressed the inquest.  So I think the way it is has got very good safeguards and it clears the Minister out of all these issues pertaining to an inquest.  Thank you.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  Mr. Chair, I think the Minister did not hear the concerns, the point is very simple. Most of the people that are affected by the decision, some of them will be coming from poor backgrounds.  Right now, the Hon. Minister as a legal practitioner knows the costs of getting a lawyer to represent you in the High Court.  It will be beyond the people, for instance in the constituency that he represents.  Maybe constituencies like ours may probably find it easier but for most constituencies it will be very difficult.  I also think it is not correct for the Minister to try to say he wants to remove the Minister because he is afraid of their political nature and that they will be seen to be interfering.  We know Mr Chair that most of our legislation refers to the Minister, so I do not understand why the Minister would want to move primarily because we are talking of unnatural death.  I do not think it is an issue.  What the Minister should do is just to concede for the sake of the ordinary man and woman of this country that there will arise a time that they may not have the money to apply to the High Court.  So I think the request by Hon. Matewu makes sense.  Hon. Minister, I think on this one you should concede.  If the Minister does not concede he should make another concession and say in this life of Parliament he will not bring a Bill that has got the Minister being referred to because we have passed Bills before in this august House where the Minister is actually a referral point.  So to that extent Hon. Minister, I know you do not want to do a lot of amendments but I think it is important that you concede.

HON. MATEWU:  Just to buttress what Hon. Mushoriwa has said.  When we make laws in this House we are not making them for ourselves.  We should never ever consider that one day I will come and put the Minister to account for those laws that we have made here.  We make these laws for the greater good of our constituency – those who we represent.  We know that most people are poor at the moment and asking someone from Zvimba where the Hon. Minister resides, to go to the High Court and apply when they have a genuine concern about the death of one of their loved ones.  I know the Minister does not want that responsibility, but today it is him in that position, tomorrow it could be Hon. Madzimure.  Let us make these laws so that they are in the greater interest of the public.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon.

Chair.  What the Hon. Members are requesting me to do is unattainable.

They are actually asking me to create a bad law because somebody cannot pay to do the correct thing.  However, we have provisions in our Constitution where we now have legal aid.  We have provisions for setting up that institution within my Ministry.  So if you do not have, you qualify to seek legal aid within our legal aid directorate.  What I just want to urge Hon. Matewu is, you must not let hard cases be the cause of a bad law.  It is bad practice.

Hon. Chair, what will happen is, if the Coroner decides to decline an inquest and then you approach the Minister, if the Minister upholds that decision, it is the Minister who will be blamed and not the Coroner.  So already, we would have set a bad precedence that the Minister is the one who has declined.  What we are saying is, let us leave the Minister out of this equation.  You go to the Coroner and if he declines, you apply to him for a review so that he can review his decision.  If he refuses, you go to the High Court, that is good law.  However, if you say that because

I do not have money in my pocket, I now want to go to the Minister when we are dealing with unnatural deaths, we would have created a bad law.  So I propose that we adopt it as it is.  I thank you.

Clause 11 to 13 put and agreed to.

On Clause 14:

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, on

Clause 14 on page 14 of the Bill on line 35, between “must” and “publish” insert, “within 3 months.”  So, must ‘publish within 3 months.’  I thank you.

Clause 14 put and agreed to.

Clauses 15 to 21 put and agreed to.

Schedule 1 and 2 put and agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon.

Speaker Sir.  I move that Order of the Day Number 3 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 4 has been disposed of.  I thank you.

        Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL [H. B. 6, 2019]

 Fourth Order read: Second Reading: Freedom of Information Bill [H. B. 7, 2019].

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND

BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. M. MUTSVANGWA): 

I would like to take this opportunity to present my second reading speech on the Freedom of Information Bill.

I take this opportunity to state the purpose and main features of the

Bill and in brief, the Freedom of Information Bill H.B. 6, 2019 sets out;

  1. the procedure for access to information held by public institutions by the citizenry and permanent residents;
  2. the procedure for accessing by any person of information held by any person where the information is necessary for the exercise or protection of a right;
  3. considerations for making available certain categories of information on a voluntary basis by entities, thereby obviating the need for formal requests for such information;
  4. the scope of limitations on the right of access to information which are conceived, in some cases as mandatory, and in others as discretionary and protection against disclosure of information;
  5. the rights of third parties with respect to any information whose disclosure has been requested;
  6. the role of principal officers of entities and information officers in the implementation of the right to access information;
  7. the procedures for internal appeals and court appeals against decisions made by information officers or principal officers of entities with respect to requests for access to information;
  8. the time limits within which processes must be carried out; and
  9. the additional functions of the Zimbabwe Media Commission with respect to the right of access to information, which are to be exercised in the normal course of its role as the guardian of right of access to information.

The repeal of the Access to Information and Promotion of Privacy

Act [Chapter 10:27], (AIPPA) which necessitates the introduction of the

Freedom of Information Bill as well as the other aforementioned two

Bills – the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and the Protection of Personal Information Bill was undertaken as part of the ongoing constitutional alignment process.  My Ministry, in collaboration with the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the alignment of legislation to the Constitution (IMT), commenced this process by developing discussion papers which assessed the compatibility of AIPPA with the Constitution from a number of perspectives including in respect of the right of access to information.

A number of gaps were identified in these analyses, which also included a comparative analysis of AIPPA vis-a-vis international treaty provisions that the Government of Zimbabwe is party to.  One of the emerging findings from the research done, was on the need to have stand-alone laws that facilitate the existence of effective legal frameworks on the various rights and on other aspects that AIPPA seeks to regulate.  One of the proposed stand-alone laws in the Freedom of Information Bill which should outline the framework within which the right of access to information may be exercised in Zimbabwe and whose need is mainly necessitated by the fact that on the whole, the provisions of AIPPA do not adequately facilitate the exercise of the fight of access to information as envisaged by the broad scope of the right as provided for in Sections 61 (1) (a) and 62 of the Constitution.

Further, some of its provisions are in direct conflict with the stated as well as other provisions of the Constitution.  Aside from the substantive issues regarding the conformity of AIPPA with the Constitution, there is notably a growing trend across the continent and beyond to have a separate legal framework for the right of access to information.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights which is the African Union’s human rights body for example, continues to advocate for the passing of comprehensive and separate access to information laws through its Model Law on Access to Information which it adopted in 2012.  As such, the passing of a separate law promoting access to information would also be in line with the proposed

African standard and with trends in other African countries.

The discussion paper with proposals for the framework of the Freedom of Information Bill, was subsequently presented to stakeholders during 5 round table stakeholder consultation meetings that were held in Harare from the 26th-30th November 2018 and at an All

Stakeholders workshop also held in Harare from 7th-8th of December 2018 respectively.  The purpose of the Stakeholder Consultations was to solicit stakeholder input on the gaps in AIPPA, including in respect of the right to information and on the possible scope of the Freedom of Information Bill.

This Freedom of Information Bill, 2019 will repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act [Chapter 10:27].  The Bill will give effect to Section 62 of the Constitution which enshrines in the Declaration of Rights the right of access to information. In more detail, the Bill provides as stipulated in the Clauses of the Bill.  In that regard, I move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Hon. Speaker, I recognise that the Chairperson of the Committee on Media is not in and consistent with our practice that the report of the Committee be presented first, I move that the debate on this motion be adjourned.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 10th December, 2019.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House

adjourned at Sixteen Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 10th December, 2019.  

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