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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 April 2016 42-49
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 6th April, 2016
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER
THE HON. SPEAKER: On 1st April, 2016, Parliament of Zimbabwe received communication from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the election of the following member of ZANU PF party as Member of the National Assembly –[HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.]- with effect from 6th
March, 2016 Hon. George Gangarahwe representing Mhondoro- Mubaira
Constituency, Order Hon. Members. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]Order! Order Hon. Members. Can we have Order in the House? Hon.
Members, I am appealing to all Hon. Members disturb this process please!
Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule. Section 128 (2) states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament. Hon. Member. Order! Let us have Order please! There is no need for excitement.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. GEORGE GANGARAHWE subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took his seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami, behave yourself
please! Order! Order in the House!
PETITION FROM CONCERNED GROUPS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to advise the House that on the 23rd of March, 2016, the Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), Harare
Residents Trust (HRT), Chitungwiza Resident Trust (CHITREST) and the Zimbabwe Residents Association (ZIRA) beseeching Parliament to enact the necessary legislation to operationalise Chapter 14 of the Constitution and to align Local Governance laws with the Constitution. The petition has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
POSTPONEMENT OF THE
SEMINAR ON THE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also wish to advise the House that the Seminar on the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe which was scheduled for 7th to 10th April 2016, has been postponed to the 14th to 17th April 2016, at
Holiday Inn Hotel, Bulawayo.
NON ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on all Statutory Instruments published in the Gazette during the month of February, 2016.
ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also have to inform the
House that I have received an Adverse Report from the Parliamentary
Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument No. 24 of 2016 Insurance (Amendment) Regulations, 2016 (No.18).
HON. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of
Order is on …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was asking those with
Notices of Motions. Hon. Member, resume your seat please!
HON. MUDZURI: Thank Hon. Speaker Maam. My point of Order is on a matter of privileges of Parliament. You have just read a petition from residents on a situation where they are requesting us to operationalise the law which is in the Constitution. I want to ask you Hon. Speaker whether, we are still relevant, two and a half to three years in Parliament without operationalisation of the Constitution. We are disabusing the Constitution. What is Parliament doing to ensure that we operationalise the laws in line with the Constitution and when are going to do that?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, there is no
need to put it as a point of order. We are going to have Ministers to answer that; I think the Minister of Justice will be here soon.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of order is based on Standing Order Number 205 of the National Assembly
Standing Rules and Orders which provides that, “Members of Parliament are entitled to address Parliament in any one of the official languages that are provided in this country in terms of the Constitution”. In terms of the Constitution, Madam Speaker, Section 6 provides that the following languages namely; Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambia, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe.
Now, I believe that in terms of the provision of this Standing Order, I as a Member of Parliament and other Hon. Members who speak these other languages, are entitled to address the House in any one of the official languages as stipulated in Section 6 of the Constitution. The Speaker is obligated in terms of the Standing Order to facilitate the presence of an interpreter to ensure that those languages can be spoken in the House. It is now three years since this Parliament came into being; I have always cherished my colleagues who speak Shona, Ndebele and Ndau as they articulate issues in their mother tongue. It has made me and I am sure with others who speak Venda, Kalanga, Sotho, Xhosa and so on, to look like we are aliens in this House. We have been made to feel like we are immigrants in a country of our own forefathers.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member I think your
point of order is heard.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am coming to the point, the question is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Madam Speaker, I feel quite offended when I hear Hon. Members who are usually privileged to speak in their mother languages trying to drown me. It is not that I am not good in speaking English – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order, Hon. Members,
order please! Members who are on my right, please let us have order.
Hon P. D. Sibanda spoke in Nambia.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you are
now addressing the House. I said your point of order has been heard and I am about to answer you but you keep on addressing the House. I think your point of order is taken, so I recognise it. I have been advised by the Administration that the challenge we have here is the resources. We have only three channels, that is English, Shona and Ndebele. The administration is working very hard so that we have interpreters of those languages you are referring to.
HON. MARIDADI: I rise on a point of order in terms of Section 67 (d) relating to question of order or a matter of privilege, read in conjunction with Section 69 (a), “a motion referred to in a Standing Order Number 67 (d) concerning a matter privilege must take precedence over other motions as well as Orders of the Day.”
Madam Speaker, every Wednesdays ZTV beams proceedings of Parliament live but today there are not here and no explanation has been given. We want … – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I am waiting for you so that you calm down. Proceed Hon. Member.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Members of the
public, those that we represent in this House, have a right to follow proceedings because some of them are not able to come here because they live in far off areas. Their participation in Parliament is through television and radio and that facility has been withdrawn … – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I think
we have to at least behave ourselves because the time we are taking making a lot of noise will not help anyone. – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] - Hon. Members, can we hear what the Hon.
Member is saying please.
HON. MARIDADI: Now, Madam Speaker, if we withdraw
television, it means members of the public, those that we represent in this House are not able to follow proceedings. No notice has been given; we want to know who has ordered that ZBC should not cover this
Parliament live. A motion was moved and it was a resolution of this Parliament. It must be respected, the reason being that there are questions that are so important to our constituents like for example people in Mabvuku/Tafara have asked me to come and ask Hon. Mandiwanzira why he is texting members of Bopela Company asking for money. Does he deserve the money or is it a bribe or pure corruption? Members of Mabvuku/Tafara are waiting to hear from Hon. Mandiwanzira. They are actually sitting in front of their television sets so that Hon. Mandiwanzira is able to explain and clear himself if he may? They want to know why a Minister would send a text message to a company…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Maridadi.
HON. MARIDADI: I am not yet finished, I am about to finish.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: If you are addressing
Members of Parliament you are supposed to address the Chair.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you. I am saying members of Mabvuku/Tafara have asked me to ask a specific question...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are repeating that
HON. MARIDADI: Okay. They want Hon. Mandiwanzira to explain his communication with Bopela, why he is demanding money US$700 000 from Bopela.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is that now?
HON. MARIDADI: It is a question that they want Hon.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member please sit down.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Let us
have order in the House. While I take your point of order Hon. Maridadi - really ZTV has endeavored to cover Question Time every Wednesday, however, we have not received any advise today in respect – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection] -
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
Hon. Munengami, can you please stand up and explain to me what you are saying.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Today is
Wednesday and Hon. Maridadi raised a question whereby the very same Minister who is supposed to answer the question is actually running away from the House of Parliament.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, let us have order. Hon. Members we have procedures in the House. That point of order was not supposed to be answered by the Minister; it is supposed to be answered by the Chair. Now I am in the process of answering you and you are talking to the Minister. You have to follow the procedures Hon. Members, what is wrong with you? But why, you are senior Members of Parliament? Let us have order and proceed.
We have not been advised today in respect of their failure to cover the proceedings today. We will engage them so that they explain to us why. Meanwhile, I think all proceedings will be covered by the radio HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, Section 69(a) which I read
in conjunction with Section 68(d) says, “A motion referred to in
Standing Order Number 67(d)”, which I refer to, “concerning a matter of privilege must take precedence over other motions as well as Orders of the Day”. What I am saying is that this motion that I presented must be debated over and above any other motion of the day. That is what the Constitution says – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- It is said in this Constitution and we cannot run foul of the Constitution whether you are G40 or Lacoste you cannot run foul of the Constitution.
We must follow the Constitution to the letter spirit.
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have referred you to the
HON. CHAMISA: But the Clerk is wrong.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No more point of orders at
HON. HOLDER: Madam Speaker. I am asking for your
protection from these people before I call the war veterans for them. Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity, my question is directed to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Madam I think I need your protection they are being disrespectful to me.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Holder, there is a
point of order.
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of
order is that every week it has become the norm that as Members of Parliament we are concerned about the attendance, especially of this session, by Ministers.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon.
Members, we have now taken about 40 minutes without doing anything. Let us get down to business - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
HON. MAONDERA: So, secondly as Members of Parliament we
are gravely concerned that the Leader of the House promised to inform the House of the Acting Leader of the House in his absence. Today we have not been told who the Acting Leader of the House.
Thirdly Madam Speaker, last time we were told that Deputy Ministers do not sit in Cabinet. Some of them were struggling to answer questions until we were told that the substantive Minister is the one who is supposed to answer the questions. The other ….
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please resume
your seat, I have given you the chance to say what you want. According to the issue of Ministers, I know we have been complaining every now and then, I understand that. Those who want to direct their questions to Ministers present, can do so – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Who is the
Leader of the House?] – Is there any problem in having no Leader of the
House, no! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon.
Munengami, can you please stand up.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker, the problem
which we have is if you can tell us the Acting Leader of the House.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: As you can see on the front
bench, the Leader of the House is not in the House, it is not the Chair that appoints a Leader of the House. I think you can keep that question until the Leader of the House comes in – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order, order, Hon. Chinotimba. On the front bench, at my right, we see Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The definition of a Minister includes also a Deputy Minister. So, if someone has a question to do with a Minister or Deputy Minister present, we can proceed for those who want to ask.
HON. HOLDER: My question is directed to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. Can the Deputy Minister please update this House about the change of ownership of Murowa Diamonds Mine to foreign owned people? Can the Deputy Minister update us on this change of ownership and did Government benefit anything from that? – [AN HON. MEMBER: Is that a policy question?] – Yes, it is a policy question. The problem with Hon. Members is that we need to respect each other; respect is earned and not imposed. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I just want to remind the
Hon. Member that it is the Chair who is presiding over this House, it is not your duty to ask the Hon. Member whether it is a policy question or not. I preside over this House.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Madam Speaker,
ownership of mines changeover; depending with where the mine that the Hon. Member is asking about - the shares were actually held offshore. I would have liked the question, if it is acceptable that is put in writing because we are still investigating to verify the manner in which the shares changed hands outside the country. So, I am not able at the moment to give details. Thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the basis of the policy for the introduction of the so called national pledge in schools?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The
national pledge is part of the heritage studies that the new curriculum is going to introduce. It is designed to build on the commitment that our learners have to their country. It is not unique to Zimbabwe. Many countries have similar pledges and in some countries even legislators, before they start their business, start with a pledge to their country. It is designed to build on patriotism and commitment to one’s country, that is the basis of the new national pledge. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I appreciate that it is a national pledge but my question Hon. Speaker, is that a national pledge should carry a national consensus. Therefore, my question to the Hon. Deputy Minister is, where did you draw that consensus for you to come up with the nature and content of the national pledge?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Hon. Speaker, there are two
foundations for the so called consensus. The first is the fact that virtually all the words for the national pledge are coming from our Constitution. If you recall, that Constitution was crafted based on a very elaborate and extensive national consultation.
The second basis of that consensus is that the new curriculum of which the national pledge is a part was done after consultations that took place at every school in this country… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
interjections] - That consultation at the schools involved parents and all stakeholders … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
That consultation also took place with members of this House at various levels…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – When we did the initial outreach, we invited members to make contributions. After that, when we did the draft, we also asked members to make a contribution. So, there is no question about whether there was national consensus or not… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – We made sure that there was consultation and national consensus.
I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Another point of order again
Hon. Member? What is the point of order Hon. Member, you were asking a supplementary question, the Minister was explaining and you were making a lot of noise. How do you understand him when he is talking?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I never made any noise.
I asked this question because it is of utmost interest to me and my constituency.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My point of order is that I believe we might not be able to exhaust the questions pertaining to this issue through supplementary questions. Is it possible for us to ask the Hon. Minister to present a Ministerial Statement on the national pledge so that members can get adequate platform to debate the issue? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, I do not think
there is any problem with that, this is why the Ministers are here.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: My supplementary question is that Hon.
Minister, you did very well. Where can we air our views? We have children that would want to learn about this country, when will they start learning? At what level and which schools? We want our children to pursue their education, which is the lowest grade? Those that are not interested should remove their children from school and let our children continue learning.
*HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker, I
would want the august House to know that the Ministry of Primary and
Secondary Education is launching the national pledge on the 3rd May, 2016 in all schools nationwide.
Furthermore, the studies on heritage that we are talking about should start at ECD level up to Advanced level. Our new curriculum will consist of heritage patriotism subjects from the time the child goes to ECD up until they reach Advanced level.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, I rule out any
more supplementary questions on this one. May we please proceed with other Oral Answers to Questions Without Notice.
*HON. MAKONI: My question is directed to the Minister of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. What is
Government policy as regards winter wheat crop?
*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for posing the question. Government’s policy is that we have crops, amongst them wheat, barley and horticulture.
These are crops that are grown during winter, that is my response.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Minister,
the Hon. Member who posed the question did not hear your response.
May you please raise your voice, I plead with you Hon. Minister.
*HON. DR. MADE: Madam Speaker, I stated that we have programmes for winter crops and that amongst these crops, we have barley, wheat and horticulture. That is what Government’s policy is is all about.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Have you been fully answered Hon. Member?
HON. DR. MADE: If she wants to know details, she can submit a written question.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe she wants to know
what you have put in place, what plans you have for winter crops?
HON. DR. MADE: That is not a policy issue, it is technical detail that she wants and I have asked her to put it in writing. Thank you.
HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Indigenisation, Youth and Economic Empowerment. Recently, the President was in Japan trying to lure some investors but back home here, your Ministry was busy threatening companies, and cancelling those companies which were not complying. It looks like your Ministry was not in agreement with the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development because we heard you were attacking Hon. Chinamasa and the RBZ Governor, to say they were giving a wrong interpretation on the banks. What is the position, is it not an inconsistency of policies?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for asking that very important question, but the Hon. Member should know that the indigenisation policy started more than five years ago. The companies were supposed to be compliant within the period of five years and those are the companies which we are saying should have been compliant by now.
The issues of inconsistency which you have talked about; we do not see any inconsistency with regard to indigenisation. We apply the law as it is. The law is there and you should be aware of the law, we are only enforcing it. Unless the law is repealed, our job as Ministers is to enforce it. So, the law is there and it is clear. It says the companies should ensure that they comply with the Indigenisation Act. Those companies were supposed to be compliant by early this year but most of them are not. So, what we are only doing is to make them comply with the law. I do not see where he is saying there is inconsistency.
HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Hon. Chair. Hon. Minister, could you update this House – yes the law that you are referring to is there; how many companies have so far complied and how many are failing to comply? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! I think that one is too specific. The Hon. Minister might need to go out and search for those statistics. Can we have a different supplementary question?
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. This is the reason why we always want to ask, especially the Leader of the House. The Deputy Minister said that there is no inconsistency in as far as the indigenisation policy is concerned but there were two adverts; one from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the other one from the Minister of Indigenisation, Youth and Economic Development which were totally different. So, the inconsistency is there. Honestly, how can you say that when there were two adverts? The Deputy Minister is actually lying before this House and under oath?
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon.
Member should bring that advert so that I can see the inconsistency –
[HON. MURAI: Haa iwe!]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Who said iwe?
Hon. Murai, please stand up and withdraw that or otherwise…
HON. MURAI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. For the sake of progress, let me withdraw –[Laughter]- I withdraw, though I am not the one.
HON. TONGOFA: I said the Hon. Member should bring those two adverts because we are not aware that there are two contrasting adverts.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe, the Minister is
requesting that the Hon. Member brings the two adverts so that he sees them, maybe he did not have sight of those two adverts.
HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: Hon. Minister, you cannot talk of bringing two adverts when in the newspaper…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon Members, a
statement is different from a supplementary question. Can you please give your supplementary question to the Minister?
HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: Hon. Patrick Chinamasa said the banks have complied but your Ministry is insisting that the banks have not complied. What is the position, is that not a policy inconsistency?
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. We do not work
with statements in the press. The Cabinet issued a directive that the results of this exercise will be issued after the Cabinet Committee on Indigenisation have looked at all these issues. Currently, the processes of indigenisation are done by line Ministries, so we are waiting for a comprehensive position from the various Ministries which will be chaired by the Minister of Indigenisation. Until we get that, we cannot say this one is that – we are waiting for that comprehensive decision.
HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I said no more supplementary
question on this one. I gave a ruling to all.
HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you.
HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members!
HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Hon. Minister, I am kindly requesting an update on the progress made so far in relation to sustaining the policy of infrastructural sharing amongst network service providers. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MANDIWANZIRA): Madam Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member
for asking the question. The issue of infrastructure sharing is extremely critical in terms of the telecommunications industry n the country. What has happened so far is that all the telecommunications companies under the direction of the regulator which is POTRAZ have had consultations in coming up with a framework for infrastructure sharing. That framework which has been agreed to by all operators in the country has now given birth to regulations which are now being looked at by the legal department in the Ministry in consultation with the Attorney
General. As soon as they have gone through them and confirm that they are in line with the parent Act as well as that they are Constitutional and they do not undermine any provisions of the Constitution, they will then be gazzeted to insist and ensure that there is infrastructure sharing among the telecommunication companies in the country. I thank you. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Chair. Hon. Minister
in the mean time whilst you are still waiting for the legal department to deal with the agreement, we are all aware that commercial players have got certain places where they cannot install network boosters because of lack of viability. What policy position is there to ensure that POTRAZ installs network boosters in those areas where commercial players find it not viable to install the boosters? I thank you.
HON. MANDIWANZIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to
thank the Hon. Member for a very important question. The policy position on infrastructure in areas that mobile networks do not consider commercially viable is very clear. We have what we call the Universal
Services Fund (USF) …
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members you are
making a lot of noise. Those who are behind the room would like to hear what the Minister is saying. It will be very important to you to go in the Constituency and explain what is taking place. This is why we ask. Even yourselves are making a lot of noise. Order!
HON. MANDIWANZIRA: Thank you once again Madam
Speaker. The USF falls under the POTRAZ. For every charge to every telecommunication service 1.5% of that amount goes into USF. Part of this USF is then directed towards building infrastructure in under serviced areas. Therefore, there is a plan that most areas that do not have telecommunications infrastructure should have the USF building mobile base stations there that are shared by all the networks. The existing three and perhaps others in the future to provide service in those under serviced areas. There is a program currently underway to build about 11 within the next few months. We are mobilising more resources through PROTRAZ and USF to build significant universal service infrastructure across the whole country to address the concern that that the Hon.
Member has raised and the concern that most of our people, especially in the rural areas are complaining about, that there is no telecommunication service in those areas.
*HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon.
Mandiwanzira as an Hon. Minister has explained and has done justice to the technical aspect of the question as regards to information dissemination. What I would want to explain as a supplementary question is that there will be infrastructure sharing amongst telecommunication companies. When are Government companies going to start doing this? I am asking this with a view to NetOne, Transmedia, Zarnet and others. They could have put their technology expertise together so that Government can deliver the service to those in the rural areas, which is not the practice. What is going to happen? How is this vision going to be done? We learn from others the best practice.
Are you performing in order of the best practice? I thank you.
*HON. MANDIWANZIRA: I would like to thank Hon. Chamisa
for this question. I would want to explain that what he asked is already
in practice. He may have misdirected himself by stating that Government companies are not doing that. Parastatals in as far as information sharing is concerned this is now in practice. Go all over Zimbabwe-we have 226 Post Offices. Each of these Post Offices can transact anything for NetOne. You can also withdraw money at these Post Offices through EcoCash even TeleCash, but they will be using Government Post Offices. We also look at the issue of airwaves-if we look at Government Companies, Star FM, which is a radio broadcasting station is not building up its own towers but it is using towers from Transmedia. So this is infrastructure sharing in practice and Zi FM is also using Transmedia infrastructure. So the Hon. Member had not clearly stated this but this is what is in practice.
Two weeks ago as the relevant Minister I summoned all parastatals which fall under my ambit and encouraged them to start to work together in terms of infrastructure sharing so that TelOne and NetOne would not be investing into structures that are already in existence and vice versa. Further, the two should collaborate and that the ZESA Power Tel, a subsidiary of ZESA is working with the Government. Government came up with a policy that all Government companies or parastatals should coordinate and use the infrastructures together, including PowerTel and all the other parastatals that are under ICT.
*HON. CHAMISA: The Minister spoke about ZIFM belonging to
Government, what I want to find out is, does ZIFM belong to you or to Government?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Member,
resume your seat.
HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My
question is directed the Minister responsible for our culture. Minister, we are suffering because of child abuse and human trafficking because of problems emanating from technology such as television versus our culture.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, may you
please address the chair?
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Do you have any plans to ensure
that you preserve our culture because we are now losing a lot of things that used to be done in private are now being done openly. Father and mother are indulging in viewing pornographic material during the presence of the children. I do not know how best this could be alleviated. Is that acceptable in our culture which now has detrimental effects on our population and behaviour? There is claim that there is moral decadency and that our children are indulging in sex before they become of age. What have you put in place, are there any measures that you are looking at in terms of policy?
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A.
NCUBE): Thank you Madam Speaker for the question raised by the Hon. Member. It is quite a long question, may I therefore ask the Hon.
Member to put it in writing so that I can bring the answer.
* HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment with regards the indigenization. This Ministry is meant to create empowerment and employment but what is happening is, it is doing the reverse. Has your Ministry considered that and is the complying of indigenisation more important than the employment of Zimbabweans?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for asking this question. This piece of legislation is there to provide opportunities for the indigenous people, to correct the imbalances which where there before the attainment of independence. The law does not really close companies. It is very flexible in terms of its application. However, we are facing problems with the companies in terms of compliance. Since the promulgation of the law, companies which came with their own plans to indigenise, they did not follow the plans which they submitted themselves to the
I said earlier on, the law is there and it is there for the companies to follow so that the indigenous people participate in the development of this country by owning the shares and managing the companies. The intention of the law is not …
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My
point of order is that the Minister is not responding to the question that has been asked. The Minister has been asked what is important, for companies to bring money or to create employment for the Zimbabwean that is the question.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, where is the noise coming from.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me say the indigenisation and economic empowerment has two components. There is the indigenisation and the economic empowerment component. In application of the law, we apply the indigenisation in terms of share holding but in the process we also consider the empowerment of our people. There is flexibility in the law where it allows companies to also have credits, provide the desirable social and economical projects for the indigenous Zimbabweans. I do not see where the law is forcing the companies to only seed shares. The law is there to empower our people to participate, that is the indigenisation element and in so doing the indigenous people will also be empowered and be participating in the economy.
According to the law Hon. Speaker, there is Nefund. The Nefund was supposed to be capitalised within the Indigenisation Act. That Nefund is supposed to empower our people with the provision of fund which the Hon. Member of Parliament was referring to. The intention of the law is to empower our people…
HON. TOFFA: Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. The Deputy
Minister is not answering my question, he is buying time…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, Hon. Member. Order, order please. Can you just resume your seat? Order at the back. Hon. Members, can we have order in this House please. I repeat - can we have order in this House! – [AN HON.
MEMBER: Supplementary] - Hon. Member, let the member finish and then you can come up with supplementary questions. If you are not clear, you have chances to ask him again.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I was saying the law is there to empower our people. In so doing, our people will be actually empowered to participate within the economy and on the question of closing companies – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order at the back. Hon.
Members at the back, do not force me to ask you to leave the House. If you continue making noise in this House, I will do it. May we have order in the House please? Minister, can you please continue.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I was saying to the Hon. Member, the Indigenisation Act is there to empower our people, it is divided into several sections. We have got the indigenisation of the resource based sectors and we have indigenisation of the non-resource based sectors. We have got the reserved sector within the indigenisation. So, the reserved sector allows our people to participate in areas like retailing, fuel, selling and other areas. The non-resource based sector which involves banking and other sectors which are nonresource based, there is flexibility in their application which allows our people to participate in there. The resource based sector is done in a way which will allow Community Share Ownership Trusts to participate and those trusts are there to allow our people to benefit from the natural based resources within their areas.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Minister, please resume
your seat. Hon. Minister, the question was straight forward, I do not know why you are going zig-zag and all that – [HON. MEMBERS:
Deputy Minister] – Order please! Who does not know he is a Deputy Minister? Who are you telling that? The question is straight forward; he wants to know what is important, the closure of the company or to let the company continue to employ people? What is important between the two that is the question?
HON. TONGOFA: What is important Hon. Speaker is to empower our people. So, we want the companies to operate and empower our people and that is what is important.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Deputy Minister, I think we need to clear the air, I will ask you in very simple terms. Your Ministry is being viewed as a stubborn child in the country. Now, what is the real policy thrust in your Ministry? Is it to attract investment into the economy or it is to make the people of Zimbabwe share the bushes and the rocks that are embedded on our earth, what is the real policy thrust in your Ministry? I thank you.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I think I said earlier on that the ultimate goal is to empower our people. That is the thrust of the Ministry.
HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Matangaidze. In light of the debilitating hunger in the country, I wanted to ask the Hon. Minister to update the House on the measures that the Government has taken so far in feeding the people specifically referring to the measures they are taking to ensure that the food is not being politicised. I am making this particular point because in different districts, we are receiving reports that councillors and Members of Parliament are not being allowed to participate whereas in other districts, the same programme is allowing councillors and Members of Parliament to participate. I wanted to understand the policy position whether there is involvement of Members of Parliament, councillors and other stakeholders in ensuring that there is no politicisation of the food?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Thank
you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you for that question Hon. Saruwaka. I need to emphasize from the outset that the drought relief Committees which we set to oversee the distribution of food are established in an impartial way. The Committee is comprised of leadership at district level. We have chiefs representing on those Committees; we have the Social Welfare officers those Committees; local leadership, the councillors and everybody else on those Committees. At district level, we have the district administrator involved as well. So from that, it is important to say that, that is an impartial structure.
Going on to the next part of your question; from the outset, the Ministry is tasked to provide food relief to the vulnerable sector and normally that will be child headed families. That will be families where there are people with disabilities and other vulnerable sectors. We have since said that, because of the drought-induced El Nino, a lot more families have been subjected to food insecurity. The Ministry is coming up with a programme right now where we are saying this might be able- bodied families but they have now succumbed to the effects of drought. So there is a need to say, bring in a food for work programme where able-bodied people can help in developing their communities and in turn, get grain for that. Right now, we have asked DDF to come up with programmes initially targeting road maintenance that can now be linked to this drought relief programme. We will, in a short time, be giving
out details on how this food for work programme will be brought to the people. I thank you.
HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
supplementary question to the Minister is, can he please make a specific pronouncement as far as the participation of councillors and Members of Parliament – I am saying this because in our district, the district administrator actually made an announcement that he did not want to see any councillor elected Member of Parliament being involved. I understand everywhere else in the country, elected officials are allowed to participate. Can you make a pronouncement on that matter so that the elected councillors of Mutasa can also participate in this programme.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order, I think that is a specific question you are asking. The Minister needs to go and investigate and then come back to you Hon.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.
HON. BHUDHA: I second.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I object.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. When we
ask these questions, it is not a matter of routine. We ask these questions because we want answers from the Executive. Hon. Cross’s question has appeared on this Order Paper for a very long time. This is a time specific question which should have been answered and follow-ups should have been made.
He was asking about the First Lady’s expenditure in the provinces and that is time specific because when he asked this question, the First Lady was going around distributing tractors and so forth. So now two months later, people must have forgotten and we cannot have the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development not coming here to answer this question and we keep it on the Order Paper. We do not ask questions as a matter of routine. Questions must be answered, we have a lot of Ministers here and I think one of the Ministers should have been asked to come and provide that answer to this House. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point taken, the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development will be available next week to answer that question.
POLICY REGARDING VACCINATION OF SMALL STOCKS
- HON BUDHA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain the policy regarding vaccination of small stocks.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Thank
you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. There are no major outbreaks of diseases in small stock that are a threat to food and nutrition security. The Ministry is currently focusing on vaccination programmes against anthrax and foot and mouth disease in cattle and rabies in dogs. Where it involves small stock, it is generally new castle that we deal with as a notifiable disease.
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION IN THE
- HON BUDHA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to inform the House on the channels that are being used by the Ministry to disseminate information in the agricultural sector to the grass root level considering that the
Agritex officers who used to provide this service are no longer available.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. Agritex officers are available up to ward level and information dissemination through literature, meetings, training sessions, field days, seed fairs and agricultural shows including radio and television are also being provided. Thank you.
FINALISATION OF THE DRAFT AGRICULTURAL POLICIES
- HON BUDHA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to state plans in place to finalise the draft Agricultural Policies.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT ( HON. DR. MADE): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question. The documents relating to relevant policies are going through relevant Government approval processes, in particular Cabinet. Currently, is the livestock policy document that is under consideration.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SMALL GRAINS POLICY
- BUDHA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to:
- State the measures the Ministry has put in place to implement the small grains policy.
- State whether there are any awareness campaigns being undertaken by the Ministry to inform the various communities in all provinces of the advantages of growing small grains and also educate them about their correct cultivation processes.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): I want
to thank the Hon. Member for raising this question. The Ministry encourages farmers in arid and drier regions of the country to produce small grains and supports research and development of new varieties suitable for the drier regions.
Awareness campaigns on the advantages of producing small grains are being done from the ward level through dissemination of literature, meetings, training sessions, field days, seed fairs and agricultural shows by agricultural extension officers. That includes the National
Agriculture Show that is undertaken in August as well as the Trade Fair in Bulawayo. In actual fact, at the Bulawayo Trade Fair, there are several halls that house the importance of small grains and the value of that particular food.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. On the information
dissemination, is it within the Ministry’s plans to increase Arex officers so that wards which are so big have a higher number of officers to disseminate that information?
HON. DR. MADE: Mr. Speaker, I want to answer that supplementary question by saying, obviously when we increase staff there are constraints related to the fiscal space to do that. However, we will take a combination approach where we are developing irrigation schemes. We are going to increase the participation of extension staff in order to increase productivity. We are also going to look at other technologies that enable extension staff to be able to disseminate information without necessarily increasing the number of personnel including also improving their mobility. One of the biggest issues and challenges to extension is the mobility aspect in terms of the extension workers being mobile, but also producing more materials including the media usage.
HON. NDUNA: My supplementary question to the Minister is, we are aware that the El Nino phenomenon is here with us to stay and also aware that the issue of small grains in its form is able to reverse the drought problem that is currently bedeviling our agricultural system.
Has there been any marked improvement or progress in terms of the uptake of small grain cultivation and also subsequently the output of the same from the communal and large scale farmers?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): Mr.
Speaker, unfortunately with small grains, generally speaking the small grains we refer to are open-pollinated. Small grains are also subject to the El Nino factor, it is the capacity of the farmers to multiply the small grains in terms of that material being open pollinated.
Government’s position is to increase the utilisation of water that is reserved in the water bodies. For example, when you make reference to El Nino, El Nino is the extreme in relationship to either excess moisture or drought. As we look at this particular season, it started late with very little moisture, but towards the end of the season, the moisture that has been accumulated is almost equal to a normal rainfall season but the pattern of distribution is very poor.
So, it is not as simple as the Hon. Member might be suggesting. What is critical is for us to develop the capacity to harness water and apply it at a critical stage to deal with both the normal crops that are maize as well as the small grains. There has got to be a balance in terms of enhancing moisture utilisation and moisture harvesting technologies which have included even in some cases cloud seeding as well.
FUNDING OF YOUTH PROJECTS IN CHIMANIMANI
- HON CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment to inform the House whether there are plans to fund youth projects in Chimanimani.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION
AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment has a number of initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of young people in Chimanimani and the country at large through various funding mechanisms. The initiatives being carried out by the Ministry include Training for Rural Economic Empowerment. Where the Ministry, with support from the International Labour Organisation embarked on a pilot programme called Training for Rural Economic
Empowerment. The programme’s main thrust was aimed at harnessing resources found within particular localities. In 2015, the programme came to a successful close. In a bid to capitalize on the lessons learnt from the model, the Ministry engaged the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development with a view of rolling out the programme
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has since committed US$75 000.00 per district for the expanded programme. In this regard, youths from Chimanimani through our local offices will be able to access funding under this programme. The Ministry is finalising the modalities of implementing the programme and once Treasury releases the funds, an announcement will be made.
We also have US$10 million funding mechanism which has been availed by the Ministry. The particular funding window will be available to all youths who have successfully repaid their loans under previous funding schemes. The facility will be a revolving fund and funding under this scheme is going to be constituency based. The
Ministry is finalising the implementation modalities with the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) and participating banks. A certain portion of the fund will also be reserved for new applicants.
We also have the Kurera /Ukondla Youth Fund. In 2016, the
Ministry will be accelerating the implementation of the Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund. The fund will be disbursing a total of US$1.7 million. The money is sourced from the repayments that have been made by young entrepreneurs and will be made available for disbursement. Young people can approach the Ministry through respective offices on how to access the funds. CABS under the Old Mutual stable is the participating bank.
The Ministry runs a separate fund from the above initiatives. The fund has been capitalised with US$100 000.00 this financial year, which has been shared equally amongst the ten provinces. As such, youths can access funding of up to US$10 000.00 based on the strength of their project proposals. Youths can get in touch with the Ministry through our respective district and provincial offices. The fund will target group projects in order to widen coverage. Participating groups will be required to submit proposals and that the most suitable will be identified in a transparent manner before receiving funding.
Overall, the focus of these programmes is to enhance productivity through entrepreneurship participation by our young people. The programmes complement efforts by other Ministries in pursuit of the implementation of ZIM ASSET by the Government, with the ultimate aim being the development of an integrated economic development model with strong local roots. Therefore, hon. Members are enjoined to view youth development programmes in this light and especially to understand that the Ministry is disbursing business development loans whose repayment shall be vigorously enforced. We want to develop a productive and responsible youth population. I thank you.
HON. TOFFA: My supplementary question to the Minister is
yes, I have heard that the strength of the projects is what is going to qualify them for the loan. In most cases, you will find youths are being asked for collateral, is this going to be the case or not?
HON. TONGOFA: There is no collateral required to access the funds.
HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I note that there is no quorum in the House.
FUNDING OF YOUTH PROJECTS IN CHIMANIMANI
- HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment to disclose the uptake of the Localised
Empowerment Accelerated Fund (LEAF) by the youth.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order! Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the Standing Rules, an Hon. Member is entitled to ask four Written Questions; in this case Hon. Nduna has got more than 70 questions. I do not know how you will address this bearing in mind that he has got more than 70 questions.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, it is only Oral
Questions where a Member asks one question per Minister, then for
Written Questions it is all in order for him to ask all those questions
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): Thank
you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Ministry of Youth, Indeginisation and
Economic Empowerment in partnership with the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe and other financial institutions implementing the national Economic Empowerment strategy, have established the localized empowerment acceleration facility.
The primary objective of the facility is to enhance economic participation by local communities for increased domestic production.
The facility will effectively contribute to the achievement of ZIM
ASSET’s vision of Towards an Empowered Society and a Growing
Economy. The facility is a mechanism for ‘accelerating economic empowerment by localising the Ten Point Plan’ that was outlined by His Excellency, President R.G Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address of
25 August 2015, and adopted by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The facility is aimed at empowering youths and indigenous citizens by supporting their enterprises and encouraging repayment of all loans granted to the youths under our youth empowerment facilities, thereby restoring confidence of financial service providers in doing business with youths. The facility will start with a loan cover of $10 million granted by the RBZ for supporting youth projects in the productive sectors of the economy. The loans granted will go towards working capital and capital expenditure purposes. The facility will operate through participating financial institutions in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
To date, there has not been any uptake of funds from LEAF, as the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry are finalising the funding mechanisms with the participating banks. This process is expected to be completed by end of April, 2016. The participating financial institutions are POSB, CABS and CBZ. Once the mechanisms are in place, the participating financial institutions will call for applications.
Once the disbursements commence, Hon. Members will be regularly updated on the uptake of the facility as requested by Hon. Nduna. I should also emphasise that since the funds will be equitably allocated to the 210 Constituencies, Hon Members will play a critical role in disseminating information about the facility, recommending some of the beneficiaries and also encouraging beneficiaries to repay the loans. Hon members will also be expected to mentor some of the LEAF beneficiaries. With this support, Hon. Members will assist in furthering the economic empowerment agenda. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, earlier you made a ruling that there were no Ministers to answer certain questions but I notice that the Minister of Local Government is now in the House. Is it possible Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence to go back to the questions so that they can be disposed of?
HARNESSING OF MINERAL RESOURCES FROM ARTISANAL
- HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the measures Government is taking to harness mineral resources, particularly gold, from artisanal miners who contribute significantly to the country’s mineral output, in view of the fact that gold deliveries from small scale miners to Fidelity increased from 1.7 tonnes in 2014 to 5.9 tonnes in 2015.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. MOYO): The Ministry is taking different
measures to ensure gold reaches Fidelity Printers and Refineries. These measures include:
- Gold Mobilization Programme – which is being done through monitoring and surveillance exercises. The Monitoring and surveillance exercise has personnel from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police Minerals Unit and Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. These officials were recently in the field for a period of two weeks, from 6th to 19th March 2016. The programme has been running for over a year now.
- Gold Centres – These are based on a loan facility from a Chinese company that will see Small Scale Miners getting equipment to improve their capacity and productivity. The loan amount is $5 million and is part of the $100 million loan. The fund will establish a total of 32 centres around the country with a capacity to produce 1.8 tons of gold per year or $60 million in value. The programme will start on 1st July 2016.
- Review of Mining Fees – The Ministry has reviewed mining fees downwards to ensure that more small scale miners are able to enter into business and deliver more gold to FPR. For example, an ordinary prospecting licence was reduced from $350 to $200.
- Information Dissemination – The Ministry has embarked on an awareness campaign to inform the miners that Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) are buying gold from small scale miners and paying cash upon delivery to facilitate their operations. The Ministry will continue to implement measures and ways of making it easy for small scale miners to sell to FPR.
- The Mining Industry Loan Fund (MILF) – The Ministry continues to look for resources to fund the MILF. The MILF is a revolving fund that is funded by the Government and aims to increase the productivity of small scale miners. These miners apply in their respective provinces and subject to availability of funding, they get assistance in the form of mining equipment.
- Gold Buyers – A number of our citizens have been given gold buying licences to mop up all gold that is produced in remote areas of the country. The buyers are however experiencing liquidity challenges at the moment. As an overall comment, Government is working to finalise its thoughts on the gold policy. That is, Government must decide
whether it buys and produces gold targetted to build the national reserve or it is there to create value in the sense of profits to Fidelity. This policy will decide on whether the gold flows largely to Government or it is intercepted into the illicit trade. Thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, aware that these artisanal miners we are talking about and the small scale miners, some of them are not licenced, is the Ministry making any effort to make sure that they do not arrest these artisanal miners that are bringing this gold to Fidelity? Is the Ministry making any plans to that effect to make sure that they decriminalise these artisanal miners who have increased this inflow into Fidelity?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: With due respect Hon. Nduna,
you are here as an Hon. Member to make laws and those laws must be adhered to. So, I do not see the relevance of your question here.
HON. M. KHUMALO: May the Minister explain in view of the indigenous miners who were given special grants to mine or explore methane gas, particularly in the Matebeleland North Province. These miners have failed to start mining, particularly Discovery Mine, Liberation Mine and China-Africa Company. Can the Minister explain because we understand these are special grant permits which are short term which they were given by the President? Can you explain what the Ministry’s policy on those grants is?
HON. F. MOYO: The question is referring to coal deposits. Coal deposits are applied for, in the first instance, to get an exploration licence. When one has received the exploration licence, they must make returns to the Ministry every six months to show progress on their exploration activities. If they are satisfied and want to move on to investment, then they must convert that exploration licence into a mining lease. Once the mining lease is approved they can then go into mining.
The companies that are mentioned, some are holding exploration licences and some are due to apply for mining leases. I think at the moment, the onus is actually on those companies to comply with the requirements of the various licences that they hold and they can execute their business plan.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to the Hon.
Minister is to do with your earlier presentation before the supplementary question from the fellow Hon. Member. Bearing in mind that in this country we are having an economic challenge and in most cases, especially in areas where we have gold, we have this mining activity which is happening from the artisanal miners; there is this element that there is no law or policy towards decriminalisation of the activity that is being done by artisanal miners. What policy are you crafting so that we make the responsibility as a country to move with the times, with regard to artisanal miners who are doing the mining across the country so that they bring this gold to Fidelity? Henceforth, the
Government will benefit. What is it that we are doing Hon. Minister?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, it is almost similar to the question that was raised by Hon. Nduna – [HON.
MUTSEYAMI: It was put wrongly, so I rephrased it] – [Laughter].
HON. F. MOYO: I thank the Hon. Member and I think the question asked will assist to cast more light on what is going on. The Government or Executive has taken a position to say, we cannot wish away artisanal miners. We must decriminalise and formalise them. It is actually an international challenge but before we move on to formalise these miners and bring our proposals to Parliament, we must understand what is going on. The Ministry, for the last 12 months or so, has actually carried out two exercises. We have worked in two areas; initially we did Shurugwi and Kadoma and then we moved on to cover the whole country. We had a workshop two weeks ago to get the final presentation of our studies given to the Ministry. We wanted to understand the people who are involved in this mining activity, what drives them to go into this mining activity, how they do it, what resources they use, how they get paid, how they bargain with claim holders and so on. We are currently going through the two studies’ reports. As soon as we are through with those, the policy formulation will then be informed and we should then be able to progress the issue of formalising.
HON. MLILO: My supplementary to the Minister is, as much as we appreciate the good that is coming from the ground underneath through mining and as much as we would like to promote artisanal miners, what is your Ministry doing with regard to resuscitating the environment that is being degraded? Yes, we do need so much gold, emeralds and the other minerals but we need to have control mechanisms to set back the land to where it is and to a better state environmentally.
HON.F. MOYO: The findings that we have worked on at the moment touch on social, environmental, security, legal and financing. So, we do have environmental issues covered. What is a challenge however, are the legacy issues that are behind us. There are legacy issues, not only created by artisanal or small scale miners but in some instances created by big mines as well. That is an issue that we are going to grapple with but the laws that provide for the protection of the environment are in place. They probably were just not followed through to be enforced but it is something that we are working on at the moment.
We hope that as we go forward, once we have formalised, we can then put a stop to the damages that have been taking place and will only be left with dealing with historical issues. We believe that is achievable.
PROGRESS ON ESTABLISHMENT AND
OPERATIONALISATION OF THE ZIMBABWE DIAMOND
- HON. NDUNA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining
Development to inform the House on the extent to which Government has progressed in the establishment and operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Corporation in order to plug leakages in the diamond mining sector.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Hon. Speaker, the Ministry has now registered the Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Corporation which is now in operation legally. In addition to this registration of the company, the Ministry has also issued the same company with mining title over the same company with mining title over the current diamond areas. The Ministry has also put a board in place to supervise the activities of the company. Recruitment of personnel into the various posts to resource the company structure are ongoing and interviews are being conducted at the moment. The companies that are in ZCDC at the moment, that is, those that have joined the consolidated company are
Marange, Gye Nyame and Kusena Diamond Mining Companies. Those are the three that currently constitute Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Corporation.
HON. GABBUZA: Could the Minister shed some more light, given that there are others that have not joined and are still an issue before the courts. Is the Ministry still open to take them in as and when they feel they would want to be part and parcel?
HON. F. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. While I cannot
comment on the specifics of where the court issues are, I should mention that the matters are in court because the companies indicated that they were not prepared to consolidate.
HON. PHIRI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is, what is going to happen with women in diamond mining who had not mined a dime out of the whole thing?
HON. F. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, the issue of women in mining is obviously a case for a special group of our society. Having said that, I should also add that there are a number of companies that had been formed by groups such as youths, male adults and women. They have not quite gone into mining. We also have a number of our citizens who are holding diamond claims that they are still waiting to go into exploration with. So, the area of those who were holding claims and how we are going to treat that matter, I think is an issue that we still have to attend to. The focus at the moment has been on those companies that are in operation in the sense of trading. I guess we will have to report back and inform the House as we deal with issues of those that were holding ground but are not yet operational.
HON. G.M. NCUBE: Of late, the Marange Community were
complaining that they have not benefited anything since the mining in Marange took place. We remember that during the intervening period, there was a programme of the Community Share Scheme, which was meant to benefit the community in Marange. May the Minister please explain to the House exactly what is going on in the Marange Community? At the same time, how do towns like Bulawayo benefit from the royalties of the mines that are around them? For example, there is a big mine in Bulawayo that is doing mining there. Of late, we have not heard anything as to how the town benefits in royalties. Thank you.
HON. F. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The first part of the question I think is best left for the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment. The issue of benefiting or empowering communities falls in the ambit of that Ministry. I also see that the Portfolio Committee responsible for that area of activity is actually on the ground, so I think the question is best answered by those two institutions.
On the second question, the revenue that flows to Government from mining comes in more than one form. There is revenue that flows indirectly to communities through our community schemes and there is revenue that flows in as revenue to Government in the form of taxes and royalties. The revenue that goes to Treasury obviously must be redistributed to the rest of the country and that really is done through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. I think they will be the best to answer. Our role is to attract investment and make sure that the mines pay taxes according to the laws of the country. The distribution of those tax revenues are the domain of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Government
has gone ahead to form this company and you are saying there are other companies in diamond mining that are not part of this and their case is still with the courts. You have gone ahead to form a company, so what happens if they win their case at the courts? Secondly, they still have their equipment at the mining sites, what have you done with the equipment? Thank you.
HON. F. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, the first part of the question I think becomes straightforward. If cases are won in court, obviously the Government must respect the court rulings. That is quite clear. The second question where the Hon. Member is talking of equipment that is on the ground, we were looking at this matter as late as yesterday. Some of the equipment belongs to the companies that were in joint venture with the ZMDC and those companies must deal with the issue of the equipment. It is really owned by two parties who were in cooperation.
There is however equipment that was being contracted to these companies either through contract companies or hire purchase to these companies from financial institutions. We are dealing with that matter because if there was a contractor on the ground whose equipment is genuinely confirmed to belong to them, you cannot tie that equipment to the issue of mine ownership. Once we get clarity on the form the equipment is sitting at the mine, we should be able to assist the owners of the equipment to have possession.
HON. MARIDADI: Hon. Minister, it must be put on record that a Member of Parliament once said it in this House. The way you are going about it is chaotic and I do not think it is the best way forward – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I am representing people and you are not the Speaker. The way you are doing it is chaotic!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Maridadi. Order please. Hon. Members, when I call for order please respect the Chair. Hon. Maridadi what was your supplementary question?
HON. MARIDADI: My supplementary question was that are you sure what you are doing is the best you can do for this country? My question is, we do not want to get into a situation where two years later, the Government is going to backtrack on what they are doing now and come up with something else totally different and then tell us money has been stolen again. Minister, are you sure this is the best Government could come up with, with all the brain power you have in Cabinet? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. F. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Speaker.
All I can say really, is that the Ministry examined the matter to the best of their technical abilities and the matter was presented to Government and Government made a decision to act in the way that we are acting now. I am unable to obviously comment on the collective decision by Government but let us see the results of what we are doing.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE,
MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE), the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes to
Five o’ clock p.m.