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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 SEPTEMBER 2021 VOL 47 NO 81

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 7th September, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

PETITION RECEIVED FROM ZIMBABWE ANTI-SANCTIONS

TRUST

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  I have to

inform the House that on 30th August 2021, Parliament received a petition from the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust beseeching Parliament to consider enacting legislation that penalises citizens or organisations that call for the imposition of sanctions on the Zimbabwean economy and to conduct multi-stakeholder consultations in order to map a way forward on the matter.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT DAY

THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Administration of Parliament

would like to inform all Hon. Members of Parliament that the Annual Charity Golf Day this year will be held on 1st October 2021 at the ZRP Golf Club.  Seeing off will be at 1000 hours. Members are urged to support this worthy cause through their participation on sponsorship on one of the seven packages on offer.  For any further details, please contact Mr. Admore Nyamuramba on Ext. 2143; 2310 or on mobile numbers: 0717460345/ 0775309209.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I rise

on a point of privilege and national interest, having noted that as a nation, we need to set aside an Anti-Siltation Day.  Our water bodies and their supporting rivers are chocking up at an alarming rate of siltation.  I come from Masvingo Province which holds more than

50% of our stored water in our dams and is set to be the nation’s bread basket.  Madam Speaker, in view of climate change, our food security as a nation is progressively going to be underpinned by irrigation, hence my point of privilege to preserve our water bodies from siltation.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon.

Musikavanhu.  That is worthy a point of Privilege on Anti-Siltation Day.  I propose that you can also move a motion so that the House can be able to debate adequately and get the responsible Minister responding and conclude on that.

*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I rise

up on a point of National interest.  Firstly, I want to thank the President for putting in place measures so that the country can develop very well; programmes like Pfumvudza and programmes where people can obtain money from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).  However, I am concerned about the rates which are rising up, people get money from RBZ to import oil and fuel and they resell the same using the United States of America dollars (USD).  The ordinary people of Zimbabwe are not able to buy fuel using the USD.  If possible, the Government should put in place measures to ease the lives of people.

Companies should also do the same by using the currency which is readily available.  In view of the price of maize, farmers should be motivated to go back into their fields to till the land and produce.  The money that farmers and the workers are getting is losing value because people are forced to buy USD so that they are able to buy whatever they want.  I think the Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should come together and investigate so that they come up with measures to ease the lives of people.  The President is trying very hard to ease the lives of people.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nyabani for your

concerns that the Ministers of Industry and Commerce, of Lands,

Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and of Finance and Economic Development should come together to map a way forward for our currency to be worthwhile so that people stop using the USD.  It is very pertinent, I think this should be rectified so that these three ministries come up with measures so that farmers are paid well from their produce.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My point of Privilege pertains to a question which I asked about three months ago about the Emergency Road Repair Fund.  I asked the question to the Minister and he replied, which is captured in the Hansard that the list was being printed and would be sent to us.  To date, nothing has been received.  My reason for asking the question was to set in contract the roads that were to be redone so there was no argument about which roads were being done.

I also went to City of Harare requesting for the same information and to date, nothing has been received.  I and my councillors have not been consulted on these roads.  To my great delight, I saw that Luna Road was being repaired and upgraded from a country lane to a broad tarred road.  I also see on that road that no tender was flighted at all, to my knowledge.  My point and of great irritation is that in 15 years, Hatcliffe, which is also in Harare North and not that far has not had 1m2 of tar laid.

I have had a donor since the beginning of the year to upgrade one road in Hatcliffe for two kilometers to gravel road status and for nine months, I have been unable to get the City of Harare or Local Government to supply me a surveyor to oversee the job.  My concern with Luna Road being chosen is that Borrowdale Road and Crowhill Road, which have thousands of pores have been ignored while Luna Road only has hundreds of pores.

On Borrowdale Road, we have had to arrange a body box for the police to collect all the road accidents.  The problem with Borrowdale Road is that pedestrians and cyclists are not mentioned in the media, it is only recognisable when accidents occur on that road. All I have asked on Borrowdale Road to reduce accidents is for ramp strips to be put at Witchdon Shops but up to now, there is nothing.

My concern is, what criteria is being used for the Emergency Repair Road Fund and also for that matter, for the devolution funds, what criteria is being used to select them?  How can we select roads and ignore big roads at the expense of the majority?

Similarly, at the intersection of Enterprise Road and Ridgeway, we have a donor who is prepared to put up robots at no cost, all he wants is the advertising rights on one billboard on that intersection.

For six months, I have been unable to get an answer from the City of

Harare, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of

Transport.

My humble request to the ministries involved is that they put it right so that we can go ahead, either that or they come to this House and give us an explanation on how these roads are selected and tendered for.  It is not only in my Constituency in Hatcliff but the whole of Harare and rural areas where Members of Parliament and councillors are not consulted on the roads.  We cannot continue doing that to suit some people at the expense of the majority.  I thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon

.Markham for that point of privilege.  My understanding is that we have got three Arms of State and when the Executive comes in witha certain road rehabilitation plan that they have, I believe it is quite in isolation.  They can be able to do that since they are another arm of the State.  However, your not being consulted, it brings another issue, but I believe that as an Hon. Member of Parliament, you have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that you can also be able to use for certain projects in your area.

I believe now when you are saying that you are not getting any donors coming forward, they are not being allowed to be able to do any projects in your area, that becomes another issue.  I believe that since you have got those funds, why are you not be able to utilise that under the CDF plan that you have as a Constituency MP?  Of course, it is wortwhile that at least even when the Executive comes, they can then be able to consult you.  I am sure they have heard that point of privilege and I am sure they will put everything in order so that you can also be consulted.

The other issue was on making sure that you need a list from the Hon. Minister.  I am sure since you requested for it, it will be good for us to remind him so that he brings it to the House and you can find out the list of the roads which are supposed to be eligible on the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Fund.  Thank you very much.           HON. MPARIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I

note that we started business at 2.15p.m. and up to now, it is almost about 40 minutes that we have actually used.  Going forward, the rules in this House, typically two minutes is required on the points of order.  So, our time is being taken in terms of points of privilege.  On the realisation that with the issue of COVID-19, we knock off at five o’clock p.m., just for Members to put that at the back of their minds that when we  have points of order, they strictly should be two minutes at most and at least one minute is enough.  I thank you.

         THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon.

Mpariwa for that point of order.  I do not know where the two is coming from.  May be you can advise me on where it is coming from, the Clerks do not know about that.  As far as we know, it is three.  We have got three points of national interest and privilege that we get each time but however, I think it is also important that Hon. Members know that we have got limited time and should also desist from making quite erroneous statements, that will then be quite long on whatever we intent to be doing since we are supposed to be speaking within two minutes. I am sure it is three and not two madam. Thank you very much.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

   HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1

to 23 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day,

Number 24 has been disposed of.

         HON. NYABANI: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. ZENZO SIBANDA

+HON. MATHE: I move the motion standing in my name that this House expresses its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on after a short illness on Wednesday, 11th August, 2021, of the late

Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho South Constituency, Hon.

Zenzo Sibanda;

PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the

late

Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;

RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Sibanda family, relatives and the entire Tsholotsho South Constituency.

HON. KARIKOGA: I second.

   +HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I stand to pay

my last respect to the late Hon. Zenzo Sibanda, who was a decorated humble servant of the people.  He was born on 6th June, 1970 in Mberengwa.  He left six wives and several children.  He was living amicably  in Tsholotsho with others.  Even with his wives, he loved and respected all of them.  The senior wife was also respected by her fellow juniors.   At his funeral they were crying and wailing and the senior wife was seen consoling the others.  I am saying this so that you see what type of a person Hon. Zenzo was.  He was organised in leading people and also organised at his home and his wives were well behaved.  None of his wives ever showed any animosity to the other wives.  I respected Hon. Zenzo Sibanda very much for that.  It is difficult to have your wives living together amicably.  Some Hon. Members here are in polygamous relationships but we find it difficult to tell others that one of the fellow wife’s child is sick.  If it is a phone call, you do not pick the phone in the presence of others.  You actually move away or go to the bathroom to answer the call.  Hon. Zenzo Sibanda was a man amongst men.  He would bring his wives together and tell them how much he loved them.

Hon. Zenzo Sibanda’s people in Tsholotsho were organised.  Besides being a Member of Parliament, he was also a traditional healer.  In our African custom, a traditional healer helps in healing the sick and , he was mentoring other traditional healers.  This is not something that I was told by someone, it is not hearsay.  We witnessed it on the day of his burial that there were many people that he mentored as traditional healers.  They were also doing what they were taught by Hon. Zenzo Sibanda, which shows that he carried out his duties as a traditional healer very well.  People were really worried that now that he is gone, who is going to take over the training that he used to do.

Let me take this opportunity to applaud his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa for conferring him liberation hero status after having gone through his history in the liberation struggle.  He saw it fit that he be buried with all the respect that was conferred on him by Zimbabwe.  Hon. Zenzo Sibanda was buried as a Liberation War Hero.  When we talk of him, we talk of a liberation war hero.  That is the status that was conferred on him.

Hon. Zenzo Sibanda worked in Zimbabwe before he left the country.  He ended up joining his colleagues outside the country.  He was at a camp and worked with others whilst waiting to go for training.  After independence, Hon. Zenzo Sibanda and others came back into the country.  He was one of those people who were on the list and were supposed to go for training.  At that time, life was very difficult in the country and his father then was in Mberengwa.  His father had been captured by the regime because before Zenzo left the country, he was one of the youths who were very active in politics.  I think you remember that during that period, if you were found to be assisting during the liberation struggle, the whole family would be targeted.  After he fled, they went and torched his father’s home and they detained his father in Mberengwa.  His mother then moved to

Gwanda and settled there after having fled the situation in

Mberengwa.

As people from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Mberengwa, we lost Hon. Zenzo Sibanda.  When Hon. Zenzo Sibanda returned, he was elected as the District Chairperson in Tsholotsho where he has settled in Matabeleland North.  He worked very hard in Tsholotsho as the District Chairperson.  People in Matabeleland North then promoted him to a higher post of Youth Development Officer in Tsholotsho in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.  He was also elected amongst the ZANU PF youths in 2003 to a higher post.  In

2013, he was elected to be the Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho.

As a Member of Parliament from 2013, Hon. Zenzo Sibanda was elected as a member of the Central Committee, representing

Matabeleland North.  People from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland

South, Mberengwa and  Parliament of Zimbabwe are sad to have lost Hon. Zenzo Sibanda.  May his soul rest in peace.  Thank you.

  HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, I have a point of order.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, my point of order is we did not have Parliament yesterday.  I would like to acknowledge and recognise 6th September as the day our icon, the founding father of this nation died.  It is important that we remember him for the good he did for this country, the SADC region, Africa and the world for his empowerment initiatives, especially the Land Reform Programme and the Indigenisation Empowerment Act.  As a result, we hope that he leads the spiritual leaders where he is so that they do not give this country back to the people that we fought against.  His principles and the founding struggle of this country must continue unabated and in a manner which empower everyone.

It is important Madam Speaker before I sit down to note that when the war veterans went to war, they did not go with ploughs or tractors to till land.  They went with guns so that they could reclaim the land.  Production is secondary; priority was the land.  May we always remember that?  I am where I am today empowered as a result of the farm which I got under his leadership because he was a man of his word.  Many regret not taking farms when he said the land reform is real, go and get a piece of land.  For that, may his soul rest in peace.

He remains an icon for many others.  Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon.

Mliswa.  That is worth noting and indeed even His Excellency, Dr.

E.D. Mnangagwa also made a statement in relation to that yesterday.

We are so grateful.  May his soul rest in peace.  Thank you.   

  (v) + HON. E. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would

like to talk about the late Hon. Zenzo Sibanda. This was a great loss for people in Matabeleland Province.  As youth from Matabeleland North, we are really crying and saying may his soul rest in peace. He used to teach us a lot. I do not have much to say but to say people of Tsholotsho have lost a great man. He was a kind man who used to unite people and a good leader who used to tell people the right direction to follow.  May his soul rest in peace. Thank you Madam Speaker.

+HON. M. NKOMO: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Zenzo

was a person who was not proud or would not show off. When he came to Parliament, he was retained as a Member of Parliament after they saw the good work that he was doing. So because of that, I thank him and may his soul rest in eternal peace. Wherever he is, we are mourning because we remember him for his good deeds, including the party that he belonged to. He was a ZANU PF member and Central Committee member. He was performing very well.

He did a lot of wonderful work including through CDF and in

Parliament. So what this means is that there is a lot of

unaccomplished work left that he commenced using the CDF. He was working very well with Government and citizens. Even outside the country and in his home area, he was working very well with other people. We remember him for that.

He was a wonderful man and very humble. If you go to his area, you realise that he used to work very well with his people. Sometimes you would come across his car and think it is him, only to realise that it is only his car that he has given to his constituents. He used to work very well with people and he was very much happy and pleased to work with people. With those few words, I would like to say thank you.

(v)+ HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to talk about Hon. Zenzo. He was a very good man. You would wonder which party he belonged to, whether it is ZANU PF or MDC. We started working with him a long time ago. He was a businessman in his area whilst I also had a business in my own area. He was a jovial man up to the time of his death. It was not easy to notice which party he belonged to because he was generous to everyone, especially during election campaign time. He would just give to everyone.

Madam Speaker, wherever he is, I believe he is in Heaven and God will give him eternal rest. Even when he came to Parliament, he never changed, he remained a good person. Wherever his soul is, I pray that he rests in eternal peace. May God forgive him all his sins. Even after his departure, he played his part. He led a very good and exemplary life. He declared and shared what type of a person he was. He never treated people differently, even those who belonged to opposition political parties.

He would take care of families, especially those in need. He would give them whatever they wanted regardless of which party they belonged to. I would like to thank the Government, especially His Excellency the President, Hon. Mnangagwa, for granting him liberation hero status. He deserved that status because of his relationship with the people. People in Tsholotsho lost a very good person, including myself. Even today, some people in Tsholotsho would think that I had a close relationship with him but that was Zenzo. Today, we are all mourning and a trumpet is playing; we lost a good man. I thank you.

+HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I rise to add my voice to this motion.  As Matabeleland North Province, we have lost a very important member.  He was  much younger than me. I taught him many things when he joined ZANU PF.  He worked from district level and upon his death, he was a Central Committee member.  What a noble idea to work extremely hard for a party that you joined voluntarily.

Before I say a lot Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank the President of this country, His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa who saw it fit that Hon. Sibanda be accorded a liberation hero status.  This man that we are talking about today, when he became ill, said his blood pressure was high and we did not expect that the disease would take him away.

The late Hon. Member worked very hard when he joined Parliament in 2013 and he was reelected in 2018.  I want to say when you are a leader, you should not be very proud of yourself.  Hon.

Sibanda was the Tsholotsho South representative and he was doing wonderful work.  He was not proud of himself, he worked silently- pride was not part of his life.  His work was admired by the constituents; he worked silently, not a situation where you will have to brag around of being in all newspapers.

We heard that Hon. Sibanda had six wives and many children.

We hope God will intervene that this family will grow and stay in ZANU PF family.  May the soul of the Hon. Member, gallant son, rest in peace.  I thank you.     

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, for

affording me the opportunity to join in the debate that has been moved by Hon. Mathe and seconded by Hon. Masuku.  I just want to say that people of Tsholotsho, Parliament of Zimbabwe and the nation at large lost a gentleman.  Hon. Sibanda was one of the MPs that I know in Parliament would behave honourably.

I worked with Hon. Sibanda in the Public Accounts Committee.  I had the opportunity of interacting with him on several occasions, first from a political point of view when he was contesting for his constituency and I was campaigning for our party candidate there.  I also then had occasion to travel with him even on Parliamentary business.  He was a man who could actually reach across the political divide, share notes and discuss.  He was professional in the way he used to do things. He was not the type of person that would open his mouth without properly thinking, he was very articulate.  He would actually make sure that he would present well researched information, even pertaining to our political differences.

I used to joke with Hon. Sibanda saying you are too good, people who are good like you should not be in your party but MDCA.  He was a cool person.  I am not surprised to hear the testimonies that I am hearing from Members of Parliament, especially from

Matabeleland North who knew him very well.  My wish is that as Parliament and the whole nation, we get a person like him because such people are rare to find in a polarised environment that we find ourselves in.   It is difficult to get people that will not hesitate to do the right thing even if they are interacting with Members of the opposition.  The late Hon. Member believed sincerely that we are all Zimbabweans, and as Zimbabweans, we can actually differ on issues but that should not make people enemies.  If it were not for the challenges that we are facing, I believe he is one Hon. Member that I would have driven to go and give him a befitting farewell.

I just want to end by thanking his family and also the Tsholotsho people that elected him to Parliament.  We wanted to be with him, understand and appreciate the goodness of his character.  Thank you.      +HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I also want to

thank all those who debated on the motion of the late Hon. Sibanda.  Everyone paid their respects to the good man Hon. Sibanda.  Let me say because of time, let me now move that the House adopts the motion.

Motion that this House;

EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on after a short illness on Wednesday, 11th August, 2021, of the late

Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho South Constituency, Hon.

Zenzo Sibanda;

PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large; and RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Sibanda family, relatives and the entire Tsholotsho South Constituency, put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that we revert to Order of the Day,

Number 1.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

COPPER CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 3, 2021]

First Order read:  Second Reading:  Copper Control Amendment

Bill [H. B. 3, 2021].

HON. BRID. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Madam Speaker

Ma’am, I rise to present a report of the Portfolio Committee on

Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the Cooper Control Amendment

Bill [H.B. 3, 2021].

1.0   INTRODUCTION

The Copper Control Amendment Bill is a proposed piece of legislation which sets out key areas that were found lacking in the regulating of copper dealings since the enactment of the Act. The Bill, which seeks to fortify current legislation on copper control, was published in the Government Gazette on 4 June 2021. In compliance with section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment (No, 20) Act 2013 and Standing Order No.135 of the National Assembly, the Bill stood referred to relevant Committees to consult stakeholders and compile a report for tabling in Parliament. In light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions on intercity movement and public gatherings, physical public consultations were not possible. It is against this background that the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security jointly conducted virtual public hearings and compiled this report.

2.0   METHODOLOGY

The Joint Parliamentary Committee held a meeting with the

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural

Heritage and officials from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on 29 June 2021 to unpack the Bill. This was followed by virtual public hearings via zoom and radio platforms on 5 August 2021. The zoom session, which was live between 1000 hours and 1200 hours, was attended by all interested stakeholders from the public, both individuals and civic society organisations. Radio sessions were broadcast live on National FM,  Radio Zimbabwe and associated Community Radio Stations such as Central FM and Khulumani FM from 1500 hours to 1600 hours. Written submissions from stakeholders such as National Railways of Zimbabwe, TelOne and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) were also considered in the compilation of the report.

3.0   COMMITTEE FINDINGS

3.1   Clause 2: Insertion of new definition of “putative

dealer”.

Some stakeholders welcomed this insertion of a new definition as a positive development meant to further tighten measures to ensure that those who are presumed to be in possession of copper for the purpose of dealing in it are brought to book.

3.2   Clause 4: Mandatory for all copper dealers to have a certificate of origin for all copper in their possession.

Stakeholders strongly called for the wholesale outlaw of carrying or trading in copper without a proof of certificate of origin in order to help in reducing cases of smuggling and vandalism of copper materials. They noted that it was necessary for any dealer to have a certificate of origin which included the names and addresses of both the seller and the purchaser, the description of copper, quantity and reasons for disposal. Furthermore, they called for strict terms and conditions on the issuance of copper dealers licences which must be met before a licence could be granted. They suggested the following terms and conditions:

  1. a) Licensee should be a trading institution of a company with the following documentation:
  • Certificate of incorporation,
  • Memorandum and articles of association,
  • Audited financial statements for the past five years,
  • Resume of directors,
  • Physical address for trading purposes,
  • Fingerprints of directors
  1. b) All the above conditions must be certified by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure that due diligence is done on the Applicant.

Stakeholders also stressed that the Certificate of Origin must be issued by and to bona-fide copper licence holders. This will eliminate a plethora of illegal dealers in copper and hopefully reduce  cases of vandalism on copper infrastructure.

Clauses 5 and 6: Deleting the penalty of a fine not exceeding 

Level 8 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.  Stakeholders overwhelmingly supported the deletion of the clause. It was observed that the penalty in the principal Act was less deterrent to punish illegal copper dealers considering the gravity of the offence.

A stiffer penalty such as life in prison for offenders was preferred.

3.4   Clause 7: Crime of vandalism of any item or essential infrastructure through the theft of copper cables.

The public highlighted that it was important for the Bill to insert a new section to provide for the crime of vandalism of any item or essential infrastructure through the theft of copper cables. This would ensure that every citizen takes responsibility in safeguarding copper cables and inform the relevant authority in time whenever acts of vandalism occurred. Although the new section will also set a mandatory sentence for this crime at a minimum of ten years’ imprisonment without the option of a fine, several stakeholders proposed that the minimum jail term must be above twenty years in order to ensure that such criminals will not enjoy freedom after committing an offence.

3.5   Clause 8: Forfeiture of vehicle or device used in transporting copper

This development was viewed as a step in the positive direction as it gives powers to courts to order that any vehicle or device used in transporting copper illegally, be forfeited to the State upon convicting a person for an offence under this Act. However, it was recommended that reasonable measures be put in place to ensure impartiality in the application of law.

4.0   COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

The Committee made the following observations:

4.1   The penalty imposed on convicted copper dealers is too lenient to deter criminals involved in illegal possession and trading of copper materials. Rather, a stiffer sentence of a minimum of twenty years with no option of a fine or parole would serve as a deterrent.

4.2   There was consensus on forfeiture to the State, of vehicles used in the transportation of copper. However, the Bill is silent on what would become of equipment and such immovable properties like buildings (including places of residence) used to process or store copper materials obtained illegally.

4.3   The Bill is silent on documentation that is required for possession of copper for domestic purposes. This includes possession of off-cuts that remain after domestic installations or maintenance involving copper or copper materials.

4.4   Established organisations like National Railways of Zimbabwe, TelOne and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority were the most affected by vandalism of copper infrastructure. The call for a water-tight licencing policy for copper dealers was critical. It was therefore, unanimously agreed that the proposed additional terms and conditions on the issuance of copper dealers’ licence highlighted on

3.2 of this report be taken on board.

4.5   The Bill is not clear on the originating office of the certificate of origin. It does not explain whether the certificate of origin is transferrable, bearing in mind that there are many small copper dealers involved in the trading process.

4.6   The Bill’s title should be crafted in such a way as to provide for the incorporation of clauses that cover protection of all communications, signalling, water, power and lighting equipment as well as materials like solar panels and generators.

5.0   RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee made the following recommendations:

5.1   On Clause 7, the minimum mandatory sentence for all illegal activities involving copper and copper materials must be increased from the proposed ten-year jail sentence to twenty years without the option of a fine or parole.

5.2   On Clause 8, vehicles, equipment or immovable property such as buildings (including houses) that are used for illegal transportation, processing or storage of copper materials must be forfeited to the State. In the case of places of residence, forfeiture of such property must be effected when it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the legal occupants were aware of any such illegal dealing in copper material within those premises and were willfully concealing the criminal activities.

5.3   Clause 4 must be amended to incorporate a clear licencing policy that distinguishes between copper materials obtained for domestic use and that which is for industrial or commercial purposes.

5.4   In addition to the conditions listed in Clause 4 of the Bill, the following terms and conditions on the issuance of copper dealers’ licence must be incorporated:

Licensee should be a trading institution of a company with the following documentation:

  • Certificate of incorporation,
  • Memorandum and articles of association,
  • Audited financial statements for the past five years,
  • Resume of directors,
  • Physical address for trading purposes,
  • Fingerprints of directors
    • A new clause that (i) clearly states the originating office of the certificate of origin, (ii) guarantees the authenticity of the certificate and (iii) provides details relating to the transferability of the certificate where several dealers (including contractors) are involved in the transaction chain or process must be incorporated into the Bill.
    • A new clause that widens the scope of coverage so that all communications, signalling, water, power and lighting equipment as well as materials like solar panels and generators are incorporated and clearly specified under the interpretation section of the Bill must be inserted.

6.0  CONCLUSION

The Bill is a welcome development aimed at protecting public infrastructure from vandalism. The stiff penalty will certainly go a long way in curbing the theft of copper cables in Zimbabwe, hence this Bill should be supported by everyone across the board. I thank you.

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

commend the report presented by the Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Hon. Mayihlome.  However, I want to slightly make a few observations which perhaps will persuade the Minister to relook at some of the amendments.

The problem with stealing of copper cables is not in the law, even if we increased the sentence to 100 years, copper cables will still be stolen.  Madam Speaker, I have observed in several cases where copper cable thieves are caught  but are never arrested.  If they are arrested they are never taken to court.

The level of corruption in the copper cable issues is very high.  For example, in Kamativi, I observed a situation where copper cables were stolen running over the Police Chief Inspector’s house.  They were stolen at night, cut and the Chief Inspector came out, tried to make a follow up and no arrest was made. One wonders how the copper cables are stolen flying past the Chief Inspector’s house and yet no arrest is made.  There are also two cases where copper cable thieves were caught but there were no arrests.  Police would arrest but two to three days down the line the culprits are released.

Madam Speaker, perhaps as a country we do not realise the amount of damage or cost that all this is causing to the nation.  Where is our electric train right now? Copper cables were stolen from Gweru up to Harare to the effect that we no longer have an electric train; the electrical infrastructure for the train was decommissioned.  So, we have electric locomotives that cannot work in the country because copper cables were stolen in daylight along the railway line where everyone moves around and sees from Gweru to Harare right to the railway station.

I wonder if changing the laws would help in anything.  It clearly shows that the level of corruption and the level of involvement of political heavy weights in these scandals is very big.  Even if we changed the laws, nothing will happen unless we completely ban the trade in copper.  We do not have any mine, the last copper mine to operate in this country was Alaska.  Right now, there is nowhere in the country where copper is mined.  So, why should we give people licences at all?  Even if we were to say there must be a certificate of origin, clearly the people in the ministry will be changing and signing for everyone because the people involved in the scandal  are very large.  Madam Speaker, ZESA loses 800 transformers a year.  That is quite significant.  If you convert that to an average of about $5 million per transformer, that is quite a lot of money which we are losing as a country.

The Student’s Union at the University of Zimbabwe, a fairly big block, was all roofed in the 50s by copper obtained from Zambia.  Zambia, during the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, donated a copper roof to roof the whole Student’s Union at the University of Zimbabwe, but within one night the whole roof was brought down and all the copper sheets were stolen.  Nobody was arrested.  People just continued as if everything is normal.  The Dean of Students’ Union and the Pro-Vice Chancellor had no explanation.  The whole area is heavily secured at night and during the day, but the whole roof was stolen.  You do not steal like it is a small piece of glass that you put in your pocket.  To bring down a roof, you have to bring cutting torches, burn down everything because it was solid, but how could all that operation be done within one night and nobody is seen and nobody is arrested?

Clearly, the level of corruption, you cannot bring the Students’ Union roof down.  If you travel around the university, it is almost the size of this Parliament.  The whole roof was made of copper, but the copper sheets were stolen overnight.  They were not nailed together, they were all welded together but somebody burnt them down and cut them into pieces and the whole copper was stolen.  That is serious arson to the nation and we just need to ban the trade in copper because we have nobody mining copper.  Why should we be trading in scrap copper?  Copper has never been scrap metal.  So simply, if we have to protect our infrastructure, save this economy and save this country, we just have to ban any trade in copper because even if you increase the number of years, thieves will get away with it because we are dealing with big people.

If the Committee had made further investigations, you would be shocked at the names that you will meet, of people who have licences to copper.  It is very big people, untouchables.  So why should we allow that?  We are really a laughing stock that we are still using diesel trains and coal locomotives when in as early as 1983, we had an electric train running on copper cable from Dhabuka up to Harare.  Now we have nothing.  All the cables, I think it is about 300km times three cables, about 1 000km of cable stolen in the country during the day and the National Railways of Zimbabwe was there.

Madam Speaker, those are my few submissions and I wish to commend the report and further suggest that the Minister must simply ban the trading in copper.  Thank you.

(v)HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was a member of the Mines and Energy Committee in the Eighth Parliament and also a member of the Energy Committee in the Ninth Parliament.  The amount of distraction that has happened to our infrastructure, REA has put transformers all over to develop rural areas and most of the transformers have now been vandalised.

The Bill for trading in copper, I propose that we just ban the trading in copper because we do not have any copper mines here.  We do not produce any copper and we do not even import anything.  So the answer is, let us ban the trading of copper because we are destroying rural development.  Vision 2020 is associated with availability of electricity in the rural areas.  All that infrastructure has now gone to waste because of the trading of copper.  Why do we not just ban the trading in copper?  Parliament must withdraw that Bill and say we are banning the trading of copper in Zimbabwe because

Mhangura Mine which used to mine copper is closed.

Even when Mhangura Mine starts operating, we must make sure that it is a high security area.  Other arrangements must be made.  The current arrangement in the Copper Trading Act does not help in any form.  We are actually allowing the destruction of the nation of Zimbabw,e which puts farmers  in a difficult situation.  I have a friend of mine who lost a whole transformer when the wheat was just about to tussle.  Can you imagine the amount of loss that farmer has made?    So as leaders of the nation, we want to weigh where the benefit is to the nation, not benefit to a few individuals, a few criminals who have destroyed this nation.  They give young children money and say go and bring me this transformer, I will pay you so much.  I move that the Parliament of Zimbabwe must ban the trading of copper.  That is my submission Madam Speaker.  Thank you very much for allowing me to contribute.

(v)HON. WATSON:  Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing

me to contribute.  Whilst I applaud the Committee report, I want to support Hon. Gabbuza and Hon. Mudarikwa.

The few members of the public I was able to speak to, felt that whilst the Bill might clear off a few rough edges, it just will not be sufficient to stop the theft and vandalism, particularly of ZESA infrastructure.  Residents in urban areas are going for months with no ZESA because of theft of cables.  ZESA seems unable to replace copper with aluminum or to make anything.  The feeling is that there is a lack of capacity for ZRP to deal with the crime and the Bill does not speak to sufficient capacitating of the security services of the ZRP to deal with those issues.

Hon. Mudarikwa’s suggestion was quite radical but I would tend to agree with him.  I think that this is a much bigger problem and that just passing this Bill simply will not address the issue of so many citizens of Zimbabwe that are going on without power in particular.  The vandalism at the National Railways of Zimbabwe was done some time ago and re-capacitating the National Railways will be quite difficult, but certainly the people that I have spoken to have said the

Bill will not stop the trade in illicit copper.  Thank you Madam

Speaker.

HON. NDUNA:  I just want to add my voice to this Bill and the report by the General here, seconded by Hon. Gabbuza and the rest of the crew.  Madam Speaker, my point is one.  It is crystal clear that ZESA Enterprise is meant to have more than 600 000 subscribers currently, but in the Eighth Parliament, we were here debating on the same issue that more than $600 000 worth of cable…

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.           THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of

order Hon. Mliswa?

       HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Nduna is renowned for speaking good English and when he used the word ‘crew’, we are not working in a ship.  He knows English.  Can you correct that and say Hon.

Members.  This is not a ship.

     THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, please may

you withdraw the word ‘crew’.

       HON. NDUNA:  I withdraw Madam Speaker, with a heavy

heart.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You should replace the word crew with Hon. Members.

HON. NDUNA:  I replace that word with Hon. Members and I will not do it again Madam Speaker.  The subscribers are supposed to have doubled the number of 600000 maybe to a million two hundred subscribers paying customers to ZESA.  ZESA’s unbundling was supposed to speak to and about the efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of good service to the customers.  However, all that came to nought.   It came to a screeching halt because of the delinquent behaviour of the thieves out there, the rampant corruption and the plundering of our God given natural resources.

My issue that I want to talk about is that we do not produce copper.  Then, we did but now we do not.  It is my humble submission that this Bill, in its holistic form, should definitely not be this gigantic, humongous and voluminous.  It should just be one sentence that the issue of trading in copper that we do not produce should be completely eradicated and removed from the face of our nation.  We are like dealing in ice skating – we do not have snow here and we should not be snowballing, which snow we do not produce, including our tian qi hao (meaning good weather in Chinese).  Our weather does not allow production of snow; why then should we allow our laws to delve into tissues instead of issues.  We have a lot of issues to concentrate on.  If you today steal a beast, you will be incarcerated for more than seven years but it boggles one’s mind that here is an opportunity to incarcerate somebody forever who is disadvantaging the innocent and unsuspecting citizens of this nation.  If there is no power, no water and no offsite infrastructure that includes a ubiquitous amount of power, there is no investment.

The issue about 2030 upper middle income economy will come to a screeching halt if we do not annihilate the scourge of this pilferage in terms of copper.  This issue of copper pilferage and dealing in copper is as a result of our archaic, moribund, rudimental and antiquated medieval laws that we need to completely redo and repeal.  We had copper then but now we do not.  Mhangura copper mine is closed and defunct.  Let us talk about copper when we start producing copper.  For now, let this Bill read one sentence that there shall not be any dealing in copper in Zimbabwe.  If you are seen dealing in copper, you are akin to being treasonous, you should face your fate by the firing squad.  This is my submission.

We had Dabuka from Bulawayo to Harare and the railway system is designed to carry heavy loads.  I remember NRZ used to carry more than 19 million tonnes at its peak in the 1990s but when the copper cables were plundered, we went from hero to zero.  Is this what we want?  The issue of putting back bulk goods on NRZ is going to increase the longevity of our roads.  Our roads are past their sale by date of 25 years of age.  It is because they are now dilapidated, deplorable and disused.

The NRZ is non functional.  So, we need to deal a blow, an effective and final one to these thieves who are a cartel or a network which is being helped by our laws, which are not in sync with today’s movement in terms of reduction of corruption and pilferage.  We need to get our goods back into NRZ by making sure that our cables are back on line.   Dabuka is back under these circumstances and laws that need repealing, we cannot.  We should not help or aid the enemy or sleep with the enemy but we should see into the future.

His Excellency in the Second Republic has already put one percent of the National GDP in terms of Research and Development.  Let us research and develop technologies that help the economy and our laws should also be in tandem, in sync and in collaboration, coordination and networking with our technology.  Now we need to monitor and evaluate our laws as it relates to the global village modus operandi.  The way to do it is not to get this Bill to sail here in the manner that it has been crafted.  Let it just sail with one issue in mind.  We do not produce snow, why should we deal in snow business, snowballing and ice skating.  I thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently debate in the manner that the people of Chegutu West constituency would have me debate.

*HON. MANGORA: I would like to add my voice to the report that was presented by Hon. Major Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee. I believe that their recommendations are very valid because copper thieves are sabotaging the economy. I believe that it is important that they are incarcerated because they contribute immensely in compromising the economy of the country. So, I believe that there should be a deterrent sentence of 10 years or more. Younger students who are doing their online lessons need electricity but because of power failure and outages, it is affecting their lessons. This Act is not different from killing because you are affecting different sectors of the economy.          This is quite bad. It is like someone who steals copper and sells it outside the country. Exports of such resources should not be permitted. Such people take our resources and export them. This affects people who are in hospitals, whether old or young. I do not want to continue saying a lot of things but I am saying that the sentences should be deterrent enough to discourage prospective copper thefts. It is not different from livestock thieves. Let us have deterrent laws. Thank you for affording me this opportunity.

(v)HON. I. NYONI: Let me put my views on the report by Hon.

Major Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome on this Copper Control Amendment Bill. We are all quite aware that the theft of copper cables has now become a menace. ZESA is now seized with the replacement of these cables instead of the normal maintenance and doing new infrastructure development. This takes us back. ZESA is no longer the

ZESA that we knew, it is a ZESA of replacement of cables.

Within my constituency in Bulawayo East, there are over 15 areas that have no electricity because of these copper cable thefts. Thieves steal because there is a ready market. My recommendation is that the Bill should clearly ban the issue of copper trading licences or ban the issue of trading in copper totally, just like the ban on trade in dangerous drugs like cocaine. No trading in copper and this might bring some sanity just like these other drugs that are traded on because as highlighted by Hon. Mudarikwa and Hon. Nduna, we are not producing any copper locally. In brief, that is my contribution.

(v)HON. NDEBELE: Parliament is a House of record. If we go to the record, you will realise that for a long time I have been asking the Minister questions on why he has found it prudent to keep on issuing copper trading licences yet this country does not produce copper anymore. I therefore wish to lend my weight behind those reasonable Members of Parliament who have indicated that there is no wisdom absolutely in issuing copper trading licences.

Madam Speaker, copper cables have attained endangered commodity status. Yatova pangolin status. This has put a lot of pressure on leaders such as Members of Parliament. We are now forced to do more and more work. We have become night watchmen and have to create vigilante` to look after transformers and copper cables. It is a lot of work on us and it is arising from the fact that the Executive is still issuing copper trading licences. I therefore support unreservedly those Members of the House who are saying the

Minister must ban trade in copper forthwith.

We are just adding people who are politically connected. These are the people who are dealing in cartels in the selling of stolen copper. The UZ incident that Hon. Gabbuza narrates so eloquently makes sad listening. You cannot destroy a whole building and people pretend nothing is going on. Somebody must go to jail for this. It is very sad indeed. I am just wondering what the wisdom of issuing copper trading licences is yet we are not producing copper anymore.

If there is any Bill that will unite the Ninth Parliament against proposals from the Executive, I bet this must be the Bill because it is a much sourced Bill that speaks to the development of our country. We must ask the Minister to explain why he thinks we should continue dealing or issuing copper trading licences if the idea is not to aid wellknown fat cats. Madam Speaker, I join other Hon. Members with the voice that trading of copper in Zimbabwe must be banned in

Zimbabwe forthwith. I so submit.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker for the

opportunity to contribute to this debate. May I start off by acknowledging Hon. Major Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome for the report that was well presented. I cannot help but reflect on the fact that as we seek to attain Vision 2030, it is of paramount importance that we set certain points where we say this is a line in the sand; we cannot cross

Listening to debates by my fellow Hon. Members, it is evident that copper is a strategic commodity that we require as we modernise our economy. I come from the Lowveld where we grow sugar. In the early 1980s, people could eat sugarcane in Chiredzi and Triangle, all over the place. Some people then started coming from Masvingo in trucks to take sugarcane and sugarcane trading was banned. If you go to Chiredzi now, you only eat sugarcane on the cutting front. You are not allowed to sell sugarcane because we realised that, to allow people to do so will break the economy of the Lowveld.

Madam Speaker, if you look at the black rhino, we consider it as an endangered species. We do not allow people to hunt the black rhino. Now, where do we get the luxury or latitude to allow people to trade in a mineral that we consider to be strategic to our endeavours to attain Vision 2030.  Listening to the report as it was being read

Madam Speaker Ma’am, the provisions that have been put in place to curtail people trading in copper, to me, it comes across as promoting certain cartels of rich people.  They are the people who have audited five-year statements, they are the ones who are able to produce company reports but you go out there, the people who are vandalising our transformers and cutting our power lines – you do not see them parking SUVs.  You will find unemployed youths doing that and they are employed by these thieves who will be sitting in high offices.  We cannot allow our youngsters to be abused by people who obtain these licences when in the first place, we are realising that copper is a strategic commodity that we need to ensure that our economy continues to run.

It does not make sense Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am for us,

knowing full well that we are battling with enforcing our own laws because of the constraints we have in the capacity of our security, system, then we allow people to have the luxury to set up cartels to trade in a commodity that will compromise our economy.  In short, all

I am saying, Madam Speaker Ma’am, is that I support the thinking that is coming across that there is no justification whatsoever for us to allow the trading in copper – period.  I thank you.

     HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, thank you very much

for giving me this opportunity.  May I thank Hon. Mayihlome, the mover of the motion and seconded by Hon. Gabbuza, the renowned engineer – no one better than him to talk about this.

Madam Speaker, I want to depart a bit and for us to look at the source of the problem of copper being stolen.  Is it not unemployment?  We can be changing laws everyday here without dealing with the real problem.  We have a position that Government gave about how many jobs were going to be created for the youths in this Second Republic.  How many have been created vis-à-vis what they promised?  It is the same as the drug problem.  We will also come here and come up with a drug law again.  The issue is not the drug problem, it is lack of employment.  Once we are able to tackle certain basics in life, these problems will not manifest.

Madam Speaker, the issue of copper – some are with research concerning where we are going - why are we still talking about copper?  Is there no other replacement?  Why do we have these institutions, the academia?  One percent has been given to go into research and development.  There is no country that can grow without research and development, that is the reason why today the way we are sitting in Parliament, we are no longer using paper as you have said.  We are paperless, we have this technology but achieving the same result.  There is the aspect of security as well.  How secure are these lines at the end of the day?  Who is watching?

One, there is the aspect of power shortage and cuts.  Even if you put cameras again, there are power cuts because we do not have enough energy to be able to sustain those cameras from picking up anybody and so forth.  So what am I saying?  We are going to waste money putting cameras but in putting those cameras, do we have enough energy?  We still have not adequately sourced enough energy for the country.  Madam Speaker, what is important is for us to be able to say the issue of licenses being given to people to buy and sell copper is on a case by case issue.  It is not only the electrical lines that require copper, let us be honest.  What about other people who need copper for basics?  What do they do?  Should they suffer because they cannot now buy copper?

Monitoring and evaluation – where are we in terms of looking at those selling copper?  Are they well licenced?  Can they account for the copper that they are receiving?  Finally, there is the aspect of cartels.  When you have an economy where there is unemployment, corruption is rife.  When corruption is rife, it involves even the top guys, the police and it is a cartel.  So, the very same people you expect to look after these things are not well remunerated.  Right now we have a crisis of the war veterans’ welfare – they are not happy with it; the parliamentarians – are not happy with it and the civil servants are not happy with it.  I can go on.

So, with these problems that we are faced with, we need to get the economy going.  The only way the economy can go is if we cut down on corruption.  Secondly, our own resources, where are they going?  Fine we talk about copper but can I tell you about the most valuable minerals that are being smuggled in this country?  Gold and diamonds, so to me, we are really going for the low hanging fruits when we have got private jets that leave with gold here.  When we have got private jets that leave with diamonds and nobody talks about that; nobody talks about the $15billion diamonds which no money was accounted for.  So whilst I totally agree with that, let us be careful not to be overtaken by events.  Can we go to the policies of this country, to the manifesto of the ruling Party and rightfully so the governing Party.  What are they doing to provide employment so that people so not steal?  What are they doing to provide employment so that there is no abuse of drugs?  What are they doing to provide a better future for the young people so that the girl child is not married at the age of 14?  The reason why they are being married at the age of 14 is because their parents have no money - they want money.    The sugar daddies go and flash money and the next thing is they are selling out.  It is more than just stealing.  The source of the problem is we need to deal with the employment issue and from there; we will cut down on this - that is my contribution.  Thank you.

HON. MUTAMBISI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I

move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 9th September, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI:  I move that all Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of Day Number 2 has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to

SECOND READING: 

POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2, 2021]

Second Order read: Second Reading: Police Amendment Bill

[H. B. 2, 2021].

HON. BRID. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:  

1.0 INTRODUCTION

As part of its law-making function, Parliament through its

Committees namely; the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home

Affairs and Security Services as well as the Thematic Committee on

Peace and Security, embarked on virtual public hearings on the Police Amendment Bill (H.B. 2, 2021) to gather the views of the public. This is a legal requirement set out in section 141 of the Constitution which stipulates that Parliament should create an environment that enables the public to participate in the law-making process. The public hearings were attended by persons from all walks of life that included women, men, youths, retired and serving members of the uniformed forces civic society organisations. While stakeholders openly aired their views, a number of challenges were observed by the Committee. These included intermittent connectivity hiccups, lack of data bundles, lack of access to the Bill and subsequent misinterpretation of various clauses of the Bill.

          2.0 BACKGROUND

The Zimbabwean Government continues to enact and amend various pieces of legislation as it strives to make laws for the good governance of the nation. The purpose of the Police Amendment Bill is basically to align the Police Act with the Constitution.  Section 219 of the Constitution sets out the establishment and functions of the Police Service, which include detecting, investigating and preventing crime. The formation of a Police Service and Police Service

Commission in Zimbabwe is in line with regional practices such as in

South Africa and Botswana. It is against this background that the Joint Committee solicited public opinion on the Bill and compiled this report.

           3.0   METHODOLOGY

The two Committees jointly held a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, represented by the Permanent Secretary and a delegation from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to unpack the Bill. The Committee then conducted joint virtual public hearings on zoom and radio platforms on 4 August 2021. The Zoom platform was live between 1000 hours and 1200 noon and was attended by all interested members of the public. The consultative session was also broadcast live on Radio Zimbabwe, National FM and associated Community Radio stations such as Khulumani FM and Central FM. In addition, the Joint Committee considered written submissions from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Civic

Society Organisations such as Veritas.

3.1  Schedule of activities

Date Bill Activity/Platform Time
04/08/21 Police Amendment

Bill (H.B. 2, 2021)

Virtual Public Hearing

Radio Sessions

i. Radio Zimbabwe  ii. ii. National FM iii.  iii. Central FM  iv. iv. Khulumani FM

1000hrs1200hrs

1400hrs1500hrs

 

4.0 COMMITTEE`S FINDINGS

4.1 While it is necessary to align the Police Act to the Constitution, there were mixed views on interpretation of some provisions of the proposed piece of legislation. Though acknowledging that this was a progressive and crucial stride, some stakeholders, particularly from the security sector, were of the view that certain provisions, if enacted, had detrimental effects on effective policing and ultimately on national security. Others, especially individual members of the public and civic society organisations, applauded the Bill for further responding to the call for the Police Service to uphold and respect human rights through working together effectively with constitutionally established Commissions such as the

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Zimbabwe AntiCorruption Commission, among others.

4.2 Clause 4: Terms and conditions of service of the

Commissioner General of Police

Several stakeholders supported this clause which reduces the term of office of the Commissioner General of Police from the current unlimited term to only two five-year terms. This was observed as a positive and fundamental departure from the old situation that allowed a single person to hold office for as long as was seen fit by the

President.

4.3 Clause 6: Formulation of Standing Orders

Stakeholders, especially civic society organisations, expressed conflicting views on the interpretation of this clause. The majority argued that the Police Service Commission (PSC) was deprived of its independence in exercising its mandate by making Standing Orders

‘on the advice of’ the Commissioner General of Police, subsequently and impliedly subjecting it to a mere rubber stamp. It was, therefore, proposed that it would be better and more preferable if the PSC made these operational standards ‘after consultation with’ the  Commissioner General of Police.

On the contrary, stakeholders in the security sector, were of the view that the Bill assigned the making of Standing Orders to the PSC when in fact, it was supposed to be the  prerogative of the

Commissioner General of Police. They contended that the head of the Police Service, who is well versed with the day-to-day operations and administration of the organisation, was better placed to deal with issues relating to discipline and orderly conduct of members of the organisation. It was, therefore, proposed that the CommissionerGeneral of Police be reposed with the power to formulate Standing

Orders.

4.4 Clause 8: Commissioner General to comply with directives from certain Commissions

Members of the public supported the clause as it compels the Commissioner General of Police to comply with policy directives from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in line with Section 243(2) and 255 (2) of  the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 respectively. They opined that it was prudent for the ZRP to uphold and respect human rights and act positively in combating corruption in Zimbabwe. Thus, by complying with directives from investigative independent Commissions, the security sector would ultimately restore public confidence in the service delivery of the ZRP.

4.5 Clause 9: Appointment, suspension and discharge of non-commissioned members

The public acknowledged that the Constitution vests the powers to appoint, suspend and discharge non-commissioned members of the Police Service in the Police Service Commission.  However, several participants pointed out that the effective discharge of the command function reposed in the Commissioner General of Police by Section 221 of the Constitution lied in his or her capacity to control the conduct of those under his or her command. They further posited that stripping him or her of this tool of control was tantamount to rendering him or her powerless and had the potential of fueling indiscipline. To that end, therefore, a proposal was made that the Commissioner General   fully retain the power to appoint, suspend and discharge non-commissioned members while the Police Service Commission plays an oversight role.

4.6 Clause 10, 11 and 12: Promotion, re-appointment and discharge of members

Some stakeholders supported the general amendments on clause 10, 11 and 12 which empowered the PSC to promote, re-appoint or discharge non-commissioned members.  Conversely, other stakeholders observed that the promotion and discharge functions were   human resource management tools used by managers to effectively fill in positions by competent persons within an organization to ensure effective delivery of expected outcomes or alternatively discharge incompetent personnel. Given that background, they argued that by virtue of being at the apex of the command channel of the Police Service, the Commissioner General of Police required these indispensable management tools to facilitate efficient recruitment or elevation of deserving personnel as well as dismissal of underperforming staff. It was, therefore, proposed that the promotion and discharge functions should continue to be the responsibility of the Commissioner General while the Police Service Commission simply plays an oversight role.

4.7 Clause 14: Conduct of Disciplinary Trials by Board of

Officers

Some stakeholders welcomed this provision and maintained that it was very critical for disciplinary matters to be handled from within and that all disciplinary measures taken by the Police Service had to be fully exhausted before an accused member could resort to external mechanisms. Others, however, disputed the rationale for internal disciplinary matters being handled by a board of officers without the option of approaching external judicial services by aggrieved persons.

They contended that accused persons had a right to choose to be heard in a court of law other than a board of officers.

       4.8 Clause 16: Procedure on conviction of member for certain offences

Submissions on this clause highlighted that the discharge function is ancillary to the issue of discipline which falls within the purview of the command function of the Commissioner General of Police. To that end, it was suggested that the power to discharge members on conviction for criminal offences should directly lie with the Commissioner-General of    Police as opposed to the Police

Service Commission.

         4.9 General observations

Some stakeholders noted that commissioned officers (inspectors and more senior officers) will continue to be appointed and promoted by the President in terms of section 14 of the Principal Act, on the advice of the Minister and the Commissioner-General of Police but not the Police Service Commission. The same applied to the dismissal of officers under Section 49 of the Act following their conviction for an offence. Additionally, they also questioned the non-involvement of the Commission in deciding whether or not a member should be discharged for unsuitability or unfitness in terms of section 50 of the Act. A similar observation was made on the appointment of ancillary staff by the Commissioner General of Police without the involvement of the Commission. In all these cases, the stakeholders argued that it was almost unconstitutional to leave the Commission out of the crucial decision-making processes.

5.0  Additional Amendments Proposed by stakeholders  

5.1  Section 66 of the Principal Act (Wearing of uniforms, badges, etc. of Police Force)

The submissions received emphasised that Section 66 of the Principal Act be amended by closing the lacuna which exists in the statute. Currently the Act only criminalises the wearing of police uniforms and badges. It does not criminalise the unauthorised possession, manufacture, trade, sale, exchange or disposal of police uniforms. They proposed that section 66 of the Principal Act be amended as follows;

Unauthorised sale or wearing of uniforms, etc

        In this section—

       “Uniform” means any article or articles of wearing apparel and includes a badge, button, braid or insignia, worn in association with any particular item or items of clothing, and a  tie.                 (2) Any person who, without authority—

sells, offers or exposes for sale, wears or uses any uniform supplied to or Authorized for use by any member of the Police Service; or  manufactures, sells, offers or exposes for sale, wears or uses any uniform so nearly resembling a uniform referred to in paragraph (a) as to be likely to deceive; or  wears or uses any decoration supplied to or authorized for use by any member of the Police Service or any decoration so nearly resembling such decoration as to be likely to deceive;

       Shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment:

          5.2  Protection of Police Property

It was proposed that there be an additional provision similar to section 97 of the Defence Act [Chapter 11:02], which would provide for the protection of police equipment or property. The proposed clause is to be inserted as follows:

The Minister may, by notice in a statutory instrument, declare and make known what mark or marks applied to any arms, clothing, equipment, animal, vehicle, aircraft or boat  shall denote the property of the State therein.

          Any person who—

with fraudulent intent, applies to any arms, clothing, equipment, animal, vehicle, aircraft or boat any mark referred to in subsection

(1); or  fraudulently defaces or conceals any mark referred to in subsection (1) on any arms, clothing, equipment, animal, vehicle, aircraft or boat; or  unlawfully receives, possesses, sells or delivers any arms, clothing, equipment, animal, vehicle, aircraft or boat bearing any mark referred to in subsection (1) or forbidden by or  under this Act to be sold, pledged or otherwise disposed of; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.  

       (3) In any prosecution for a contravention of subsection (2) the burden of proving that he had no fraudulent intent in applying, defacing or concealing any mark referred to in subsection (1) or, as the case may be, that the receipt, possession, sale or delivery of any arms, clothing, equipment, animal, vehicle, aircraft or boat was lawful shall lie upon the accused.

  5.3  Power of Board of Officers and Trial officers to issue warrant of arrest

It was observed that the Principal Act is silent on whether the court of a Board of Officers and that of single officer has the power to issue a warrant of arrest for a member who fails to appear before the court of a single officer or Board of Officers. Therefore, a suggestion was made that trial officers, in terms of the Act, should be given express powers to issue and deal with warrant of arrests emanating from disciplinary tribunals.  The proposed amendment be inserted as follows:

 Any member accused of an offence in terms of this Act and having been notified, warned or summoned to appear before a court of a single officer or Board of officers fails to appear  without just cause, such court of a single officer or Board of officers shall issue a warrant  of arrest against such member.

       A warrant of arrest issued in terms of subsection (1) shall cause a member to be arrested and detained and to be brought before the court of a single officer or such Board of Officers as soon as possible who shall make an inquiry to ascertain if such a member was in willful default;

       A member who is found to be in willful default in terms of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level two or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding fourteen days or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

5.4  Appeals and representations to the Commissioner

General

A proposal was made that there be a clause in the new Act which provides for an appeal against any adverse decision which could have been taken by the delegates of the Commissioner-General of Police in terms of any Policy. The proposed clause is to be inserted as follows:

      A member who is aggrieved by an order or decision made by a delegate of the Commissioner-General in terms of any policy, directive, Standing Orders or Regulations  may appeal to the

Commissioner-General within the time and in the manner prescribed.

5.5  Disciplinary Trials

Stakeholders posited that enforcement of discipline was a salient feature of any branch of the Security Services. They argued that if discipline is not strictly enforced in the Police Service; it could be very difficult for the Commissioner-General to achieve the broad mandate charged with the Police in Section 219 (1) of the

Constitution. They therefore, proposed a new clause as follows:           Notwithstanding the inherent Review powers of the High Court to review decisions of any lower courts and Tribunals including

Police Trials, any member who wishes to approach the High Court on Review for any disciplinary matter whether terminated or still pending must first exhaust all internal remedies as provided in the

Police Act.

          6.0  COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

The Committee made the following observations:

6.1 On Clause 6, the Committee noted that Standing Orders are specific operational standards meant to give guidance to employees on how to conduct themselves as they do their work. Given that background, this function should be retained by the Commissioner General while the Commission plays an oversight role.

6.2 On Clause 8, Members noted that the Bill neither sets the parameters for complying with directives nor specify the nature of directives to be complied with. It provides no option for noncompliance with directives that may not be in the best interests of national security.

6.3 On Clauses 9-12, the Committee observed that authority and discipline are inalienable and, thus, should be vested in one office. While reform of the Police Service is an ongoing process, it has to be carried out in such a manner that it does not weaken the command element of the sector. Hence, the power to make appointments, reappointments, promotion and discharge should be reposed with the head of the Police who works directly with members of the uniformed force while the Police Service Commission plays an oversight role.

6.4 On Clause 14, the Committee noted that strengthening of institutional discipline in the Police Service is very critical and necessary. Therefore, internal disciplinary mechanisms must be exhausted or completed before judicial courts can be approached. However, in the spirit of fairness, Tribunal Courts are implored to abide by dictates of the Constitution in delivering justice.

6.5 On Clause 14, the Committee observed that, though the Bill seeks to repeal Section 32 of the Act, which allows members to choose to be tried in a Magistrates Courts for disciplinary offences rather than by a Board of Officers, it does not amend section 29A of the Act, which gives the High Court and Magistrates Courts jurisdiction to try disciplinary offences. Thus, should section 32 be repealed, as the case may be, it follows that Section 29A should also be struck off or be amended in such a way as to avoid any irregularities in the Act.

6.6 The Committee observed that the proposed additional clauses on 4.5.0 made by stakeholders are indeed critical and relevant in as far as protection of police property and uniforms is concerned.

           7.0  COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

On Clause 6 the formulation of Standing Orders must remain the responsibility of the Commissioner General of Police while the Police Service Commission plays an oversight role.

On Clauses 9, 10, 11 and 12, the power to appoint, re-appoint, promote, suspend and discharge non-commissioned members should be vested in the Commissioner General of Police while the Police Service Commission plays an oversight role.

A new clause that criminalises the unauthorised possession, manufacture, trade, sale, exchange or disposal of police uniforms must be added to section 66 of the Police Act. This is important in order to curb criminal cases involving persons masquerading as police officers.

A new clause that criminalises vandalism of police equipment or property in any way must be inserted in the Bill.

A new clause that empowers internal Trial Officers to issue and deal with a warrant of arrest emanating from disciplinary trials must be inserted. This will promote discipline within the Police Service.

         8.0   CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the Joint Committee applauds the Bill for taking  steps towards reforming the Police Service through aligning the

Principal Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013. The establishment of the Police Service Commission is in itself a great move in the right direction as it will go a long way in improving service delivery in the sector through its oversight role as well as collaborating and complementing the efforts of other constitutionally established Commissions. That being the case, therefore, it is pertinent for both institutions to operate in unison and within the confines of the Constitution at the same time ensuring that the sanctity of national security is preserved. I thank you.

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 9th September, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the rest of the Orders of the

Day, be stood over until Order Number 14 has been disposed of.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

BUDGET, FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ON

THE CONSOLIDATED BUDGET PERFORMANCE REPORTS

FOR THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT AND ITS INSTITUTIONS

HON. B. DUBE: I move the motion in my name that this House  considers and adopts the Second Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Analysis of Vote 8 for the Ministry of Lands,

Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement for the years ended

December 31, 2017 and 2018.

HON. T. MLISWA: I second.

HON. B. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving

me time to present this report before this House.

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Section 119 of the Constitution gives Parliament power to ensure that provisions of the Constitution are “upheld and that the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level act constitutionally and in the national interest.”

1.2  Section 299 of the Constitution confers the Public Accounts Committee with unlimited oversight powers over all State revenues and expenditure. It states that;

(a)   “Parliament must monitor and oversee expenditure by the State and all Commissions and institutions and agencies of Government at every level including statutory bodies, government-controlled entities, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities...”

1.3  Accordingly, Parliament in general and the Public

Accounts Committee in particular, has the responsibility to ensure accountability and openness of the State through oversight of activities of the executive and its auxiliary bodies.

1.4   The Public Accounts Committee is constituted in terms of Standing Order No. 16 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the

National Assembly, which reads:

“There must be a Committee on Public Accounts, for the examination of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit.”

1.5  In doing its work, not only does the Committee measure compliance arising from reports of the Auditor General or other reports but the Committee also looks at constitutional and statutory compliance in so far as it relates to financial and audit matters.

1.6  In short, the Committee exercises its oversight function by examining both the technical accounting issues as identified in audit reports as well as technical legal compliance issues.

2.  Background to the Inquiry  

2.1.   The Public Accounts Committee carries out its work pursuant to statutory audits of State accounts by the Auditor General. In each year, the Auditor General provides three sets of audited statements on Appropriation Accounts which cover Government ministries, State owned enterprises and local authorities. There are 40 Votes that are covered in the audit of Appropriation Accounts, 179 audited State-owned enterprises and

92 audited local authorities.

2.2   Given this huge number of audited accounts (311 in total), the Public Accounts Committee took a decision to examine selected audited accounts in the three sets of entities.

2.3   The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, which is Vote 8 of the Appropriation Account, was chosen as a sample Ministry from a group of ministries that receive huge allocations from the National Budget.

2.4   What started off as a normal routine audit examination by the Public Accounts Committee quickly imploded into a major inquiry when the Committee noted a huge amount of an

Unallocated Reserve amounting to US$1 559 713 867.

2.5   In the process of receiving oral evidence, it became clear to the Committee that Command Agriculture on its own was a huge entity, much bigger than amounts appropriated originally to Vote 8 in both 2017 and 2018.

2.6   That being so, the Committee found itself conducting two separate enquiries, the routine inquiry on Vote 8 and the separate inquiry on Command Agriculture.

2.7   As a result, the Committee ended up producing two reports, one on Vote 8 and the other on Command Agriculture. The first Report focuses purely on routine issues raised by the Auditor General on Vote 8. The other Report focuses purely on Command Agriculture.

2.8   In preparing both Reports, the Committee received oral evidence from officials in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Reserve Bank Governor Dr.

John Panonetsa Mangudya, his deputy Dr. Khuphukile Mlambo and senior officials from the Reserve Bank. The Committee also received evidence from the Grain Marketing Board and from selected private companies that were involved with Command Agriculture that included Croco Motors, Solution Motors, Valley

Seeds, Pedstock, Ferts, Seed and Grain and Sakunda.

2.9   The Committee also received extensive documentation, particularly from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Reserve Bank. The Committee expresses its indebtedness to these entities for the documents which were invaluable in its work.

 Challenges with the enquiry

2.10 The Committee commenced its work in May 2019 but only completed receiving oral evidence in March 2020. The Committee met several challenges which included the refusal of witnesses and companies to come and testify.

2.11      The Committee also faced challenges with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. First were delays experienced due to the absence of the Governor, Dr. John Panonetsa Mangundya who at one stage in October 2019 was said to be attending annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC.

2.12  Second was the bank’s refusal to provide the Committee with information, particularly correspondence between the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Mangundya and the

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon P.

Chinamasa relating to Treasury Bills.

2.13  Third was the bank’s delay and refusal to answer material questions arising out of discrepancies in respect of

Treasury Bills. As the Committee’s report on Command Agriculture will show, those discrepancies were never properly addressed up to the present moment in time.

2.14  The COVID-19 pandemic paralysed the operations of Parliament for at least four months. This naturally delayed production of this report on Vote 8.

3.0   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MINISTRY OF LANDS,

AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL

RESETTLEMENT

3.1 Zimbabwe is an agriculture-based economy and therefore, the management and control of resources allocated to agriculture becomes a key imperator of Parliament in its oversight

role.

3.2  Traditionally, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement receives the fourth highest budget allocation after the Ministries of Health, Defence and Primary and

Secondary Education. The Auditor General’s Report of 2017 and 2018 disclosed huge amounts of unallocated reserves in the respective sums $73 903 789 and $1 409 056 680.

3.3  Given this, it became natural and inevitable that the Public

Accounts Committee devote some time to the same.

          4.0   SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

4.1 The Auditor General qualified the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement books covered in Vote 8 for both 2017 and 2018. The Committee provides full details of the Audit misdemeanours below. In summary, the issues giving rise to the qualification of the Ministry’s books are the

following:

4.1.1 Failure to adhere to Treasury Instructions, particularly on acquisition and disposal of assets;

4.1.2 Failure to comply with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter 22:23] with regards to procurement and disposal of assets;

4.1.3 Failure to keep records of assets acquired;

4.1.4 Failure to follow standard accounting procedures;

4.1.5 Recording transactions without supporting documents;

4.1.6 Conflict of interest (many officials are beneficiaries of the Land Reform programmes and they are also responsible for distributing agricultural inputs under various government programmes);

4.1.7 Structural issue of Treasury and/or the Reserve Bank making payments and transacting on behalf of the Ministry without the Ministry’s knowledge (this challenge is at the epicentre of our report on the Special Maize Programme commonly known as Command Agriculture;

4.1.8 Failure to implement Ministry’s work plans and to monitor and oversee Ministry’s projects and programmes;

4.1.9 Failure to follow up on debtors and other defaulting parties including the absence of a debt collection department;

4.1.10 Failure to implement audit recommendations from previous years;

4.1.11 Leakages, misappropriations and theft; and

4.1.12 There were no policy guidelines on the Special

Maize Programme/Command Agriculture.

         5.0  SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

       5.1  The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement is a specialised Ministry. Investment in capacity building must be made, particularly in specialised departments such as Accounting, Legal Services, Procurement and Agriculture

Extension Services within 90 days of tabling of this Report;

5.2  Treasury Instructions and the Public Finance

Management Act [Chapter 22:19] must be strictly complied with, with immediate effect;

5.3 There must be strict compliance with principles of public accounting, in addition the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement in consultation with Treasury, must invest in tried and tested accounting packages such as Pastel, Sage and SAP within 90 days of tabling of this

Report;

5.4 A Procurement department must be set up in the

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural

Resettlement under the Accounting Officer, in compliance with

Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter

22:23], which department must follow the dictates of the same

Act, within 90 days of tabling of this Report;

5.5 A special unit, equivalent to the Ministry of Finance and

Economic Development’s Implementation and Monitoring Unit

(IMU), must be set up in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement to be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of projects, within 90 days of tabling of this Report;

5.5.1 A specialised unit with qualified personnel must monitor conflict of interest issues, particularly areas around staff benefiting from government agricultural support programmes within 90 days of tabling of this Report;

5.5.2  ZACC must investigate, within 90 days of tabling of this Report, the disposal of inputs and assets to staff and personnel at the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement connected with the following;

  1. Disposal of equipment from Farmer’s World; ii.         Disposal of inputs and equipment from the Chinese US$ 15 million which comprised 36 tractors, 30 motor vehicles and 200 motor bikes; and  iii.    Acquisition of agricultural inputs under various government programmes (Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Scheme) for 2017 and 2018.

5.6 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must be an allocative Ministry and should make disbursements to line ministries and must stop making direct payments and purchases on behalf of ministries with immediate effect;

5.7 The Special Maize Programme/ Command Agriculture, should, within the current session of Parliament, be well defined in Regulations or in an Act of Parliament which among other things:

  1. allocates accounting obligations to a particular concerned Ministry or department; ii.         defines the qualification criteria of beneficiaries; and iii.         defines repayment obligations.

5.8 The Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] must be amended to empower the Ministry of Finance and

Economic Development to take disciplinary measures against Accounting Officers of ministries and State bodies that continuously flout or fail to respond to, or address issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report, or persistently fail to produce audited statements.

         6.0 FINDINGS BY THE COMMITTEE

          Assets

         6.1. Advance Payment for Motor Vehicles 

6.1.1 The Department of Irrigation bought ten (10) motor vehicles from Solution Motors amounting to $518 850 on December 19, 2017. The department only received six (6) motor vehicles out of the ten (10) motor vehicles paid for in advance without seeking redress from the supplier for the remaining four (4) motor vehicles worth $207 540. Furthermore, in terms of the technical specifications of the contract, Solutions Motors was supposed to have delivered the motor vehicles with canopies and bull bars and all the six (6) motor vehicles delivered had no such accessories.

        6.1.2 The Director of Irrigation stated that Solution Motors was a private company in the business of supplying vehicles. He indicated that four out of ten vehicles that were not delivered would have been delivered by 30 August 2019. He stated that the Ministry had paid the full amount before delivery out of the need to get a contractor who would supply the vehicles. When asked by the Committee whether the matter had been reported to the police or steps taken to recover the money, the Director indicated that the Ministry had tasked the legal officer to take up the matter.

Committee’s observations

6.1.3. Solution Motors has not yet delivered the vehicles to date.

6.1.4. The Ministry flouted the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act [Chapter 22:23], by making full payment before delivery.

          Recommendations

6.1.5.   The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should recover the advance payments made to Solution Motors for undelivered vehicles within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

6.1.6.   Solution Motors should be referred to ZACC for investigation and prosecution for non- delivery of vehicles worth

US$$207 540, within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

          Plant and Equipment

6.2.1  The Auditor General observed that the Department of

Irrigation entered into a procurement contract with Solution Motors to buy two (2) excavators (SANY SY365C), one (1) Motorised Compactor, one (1) Water Bowser and two (2) Tipper trucks at a cost of $958 665 for irrigation rehabilitation on December 5, 2017.

However, two (2) Excavators (SANY SY 365C) and one (1) Water Bowser valued at $515 650 were not delivered and the department did not seek redress from the supplier. The Auditor General was unable to verify the ownership of two (2) Tipper trucks and one (1) Motorised

Compactor, since she was not provided with the registration books.

 Committee’s observation

6.2.2. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement might have engaged a supplier who has no capacity to deliver the plant and equipment.

          Recommendations

6.2.3.    The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should recover the advance payments made to Solution Motors for undelivered plant and equipment within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

6.2.4.     Solution Motors should be referred to ZACC for investigation.

         Handling of Government Assets

6.3.1 It was observed that the Ministry neither took stock of its motor vehicles nor updated the asset register in contravention of Treasury Circular Number 8 of 2018. This was a requirement upon the merging of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development with former Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and Water and Climate. The Ministry did not provide a hand-over/take-over certificate for audit inspection.

 6.3.2 The Finance Director argued that the vehicles could not be recorded in the Ministry’s register as they were under a parallel programme.  He explained that the programme was run by a logistics department under the Office of the President and Cabinet. The Permanent Secretary confirmed that the vehicles were under police investigation because they did not have registration books.

         Committee’s observation

6.3.3. The Ministry officials did not regularize the registration of vehicles in terms of the regulations.

          Recommendation

6.3.4. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should regularize the registration of the vehicles within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

          Farm Equipment

6.4.1 The Department of Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation recovered some farm equipment from Farmers World whose borrowings had been guaranteed by Government but the equipment had not been valued and no adjustments made to the

Statement of Contingent Liabilities

6.4.2 The Finance Director described the involvement of

Farmers World as a special programme initially run under the

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and later offloaded to the Ministry. He explained that Farmers World had an interest in tobacco farming and that arrangements between Farmers World and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had resulted in some farm equipment being distributed through the company. The Ministry had faced difficulties  in getting the list of beneficiaries of the farm equipment for accounting purposes. The Finance Director argued that there was no need to have the items on the Ministry’s accounts because the Ministry was not exposed as the payment to the suppliers of the equipment had been made.

Committee’s observation

6.4.3. The RBZ unprocedurally offloaded the programme to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural

Resettlement.

          Recommendation

6.4.4. The RBZ must supply the Ministry of Lands,

Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement and Parliament with the list of beneficiaries within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

           Chinese Grant [2017]

 6.5.1. The Ministry received 36 tractors, 30 motor vehicles and 200 motor bikes through a grant from the Republic of China. The assets were not recorded in the Ministry’s Master Asset Register and the Grant Agreement was not availed for audit inspection.  

       6.5.2 The Director for Mechanisation stated that the donation had been made to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry had sought authority from

Treasury to accept it. He indicated that after delivery, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement had distributed the equipment. The Director of Mechanisation indicated that he thought the list of beneficiaries had been shared with the auditors. He stated that some of the equipment had been distributed to institutions and some to individuals. The Director submitted that the distribution of the equipment had been done at Ministerial level and the Ministry was working backwards to get the information.

         Committee’s observation

6.5.3. The Minister single-handedly prepared the list of beneficiaries for distribution.

Recommendation

6.5.4. All future donations must be recorded in the asset register and distributed transparently.

          Farm Equipment [2017]

       6.6.1 The Auditor General observed that the Ministry distributed farm equipment recovered from Farmers World without attaching monetary values to the equipment. Furthermore, equipment valued at $853 750 acquired from William Bain was not recorded in the

Ministry`s Master Asset Register.

 6.6.2 The Director Mechanisation explained to the Committee that equipment recovered from Farmers World had been part of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) equipment which Farmers World had been tasked to distribute. He revealed that when the Command Agriculture Programme commenced in 2017, the Ministry got information of idle equipment which included combine harvesters and ploughs, some of which had been brought back by farmers. He explained that the Ministry had engaged Farmers World, which referred the Ministry to the RBZ. The Committee was informed that RBZ wrote a letter to Farmers World instructing it to release 13 combine harvesters and an assortment of equipment.

6.6.3 The Director argued that some of the equipment did not have value and the combine harvesters had been stripped of some parts when they were being serviced. He indicated that the Ministry had since sought condonation from Treasury and the equipment had been distributed to individuals and in terms of the legality of the distribution, it was a misnomer. He admitted that no audit or an evaluation of the equipment had been done and informed the Committee that the Ministry had assumed that the equipment was valueless.

 6.6.4 The Committee sought to find out if the Director for

Mechanisation was a beneficiary of the equipment from the Chinese Grant and from Farmers World. The Director admitted that he had received a few frames for a disc harrow from the equipment from

Farmers World and a planter from equipment received from the Chinese Grant.

6.6.5 The Committee also questioned him whether he did not feel something was wrong from benefitting from the equipment and he could not respond. He went on to indicate that some of the names on the list of beneficiaries were employees and former employees of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural

Resettlement.

6.6.6 From the evidence submitted, the Committee observed that indeed Treasury granted approval for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to receive 200 motor cycles, 30 pick-ups, 36 corn planters, 25 fodder grinders, 36 tractors, 36-disc harrows, 36 farm sprayers, 36 moldboard plows and 36-disc ploughs. This authority was granted in a letter dated 13 February 2013.

6.6.7 From the distribution list submitted, out of the 36 Foton tractors, 18 were distributed to individuals, the majority of which consisted of public officials in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Of the 36-disc ploughs, 18 were again distributed to individuals with 11 of the beneficiaries of the tractors being Ministry officials.

 Committee’s observation

6.6.8. The Ministry officials shared the equipment amongst themselves.

          Recommendations

6.6.9. The officials must be referred to ZACC for investigation within 60 days of tabling of this Report.

6.6.10. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement must recover the value of the equipment (US$ 853 750) from the officials within 90 days, if necessary.

Accounting Issues

         Statement of Other Contingent Liabilities  

        6.7.1 The Auditor General was not provided with supporting evidence for Other Contingent Liabilities amounting to US$ 58 653 761.

6.7.2 The Finance Director indicated that this had been another tripartite transaction. He pointed out that the Ministry had tried to get supporting documents but the efforts had been fruitless. He stressed that it was another transaction carried forward which should not be in the Ministry’s books as it should have been recorded in the RBZ books given that the Maguta Programme was funded by the RBZ.

Committee’s observation

6.7.3. The 2018 AG report notes that supporting documentation has not yet been provided.

 Recommendation

6.7.4. The RBZ must provide the information, within 90 days of tabling of this Report, to allow the Ministry to clear its books.

 Budget Estimates

6.8.1   The Auditor General was unable to verify the Ministry’s budget provision for the year2017 as the Ministry was allocated $ 292 696 000, according to the Appropriation Act but $ 294 567 000 was disclosed in the Appropriation Account leaving a variance of $1 871 000.

6.8.2 The Finance Director argued that differences arise when Ministry of Finance and Economic Development gives further allocations from the Unallocated Reserve and that sometimes paper work is not generated for the allocation. He argued that the differences between the two figures can also be as a result of set offs.

 Committee’s observations

6.8.3. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development violated the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] by making direct payments to suppliers and not informing the line Ministry.

6.8.4. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement was not aware of what was happening with their Budget allocation as allocations were made by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development without informing the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.

6.8.5. In the 2018 Report, the issue was still outstanding.

          Recommendations

6.8.6. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should desist from making direct payments on behalf of ministries without their knowledge.

6.8.7. Treasury should avail relevant information to the

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural

Resettlement to enable the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement to reconcile their books and clear the variance of $1 871 000 within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

6.8.8. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should submit quarterly finance reports to the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement in compliance with the requirements of the PFMA.

         Overstatement of Expenditure [2018]

6.9.1 Expenditure in respect of the acquisition of fixed capital assets was overstated by an amount of $18 250 042 during the financial year under review. This was caused by improper accounting treatment of capital transfers to Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ). 

        6.9.2 The Finance Director indicated that the variance was a result of an accounting treatment. He explained the concept of cash accounting and highlighted that once the budget is released, the money is moved to the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ). Thereafter, IDBZ pays the contractor when conditions have been met. He however, proposed that money should be transferred to an account from which payment by the Ministry should be done after the contractor has met the conditions. The Director for Irrigation indicated that some of the contracts were not running due to disagreements over charges after changes brought about by the Monetary Policy Statement. He explained that the money should have been transferred back to Treasury for reallocation in

         Committee’s observation

6.9.3. Treasury transferred money to a third party (IDBZ) without the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and

Rural Resettlement’s knowledge. This leaves room for misappropriation by the third party.

 Recommendation

6.9.4. Going forward, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should desist from transferring funds to third parties, but should transfer the allocate funds to line ministries.

         Financial Statements [2018]

6.10.1 The observation by the Auditor General was that for the fourth year in succession, the Agricultural Revolving Fund did not prepare financial statements in respect of Matabeleland

North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo and Manicaland Provincial Veterinary Offices. This was a violation of Sections 2.8 and 3.3 of the Fund’s Accounting Officer’s Instructions Manual.

       6.10.2 The Finance Director acknowledged that failure to produce financial statements had been observed before. He questioned the competences of staff and expressed doubt on some of them being accountants. He informed the Committee that training was required to ensure that there was an improvement in the output. He proposed that accountants at head office should go to the provinces and give on- sight assistance. The Finance Director pointed out that some offices did not have accounting packages and some did not have connectivity. He advised the Committee that some colleges produced their accounts and the Ministry consolidated statements for the programmes.

         Committee’s observations

6.10.3. There are serious issues within the Finance and Accounting Department at the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,

Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.

  • The Finance Director demonstrated incompetence as evidenced by failure to supervise and manage accounting staff as well as to follow up with Treasury on the reconciliations.
  • Accounting procedures were violated.

Recommendations

6.10.4. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should submit updated accounts within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

6.10.5. The responsible authority should institute disciplinary action against the Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement within six months of tabling of this Report for failure to discharge his duties.

Misappropriation of public funds [2018]

       6.11.1 The Auditor General observed that an Accounting Assistant stationed at Murewa District Veterinary Office converted to personal use State funds amounting to US$1 861. She also observed that a total amount of US$238 withdrawn from the bank by Murewa District for office use was lying on the floor instead of being under lock in the safe and US$61 was kept in a drawer without supporting receipts. She further observed that the Agricultural Revolving Fund lost further revenue amounting to US $5 389 through misappropriation by three (3) officers at Masvingo Provincial

Veterinary Office.

       6.11.2 The Finance Director explained that line directorates are responsible for safeguarding cash received and that Head Office comes in to give advice in terms of safety of cash collected and accounting procedures. He informed the Committee that one strategy of safeguarding cash received was to bring all accountants together and run them through accounting procedures. He submitted that where a criminal offence was noted, the matter should be reported to the police. The Ministry was not sure of what had happened to officers who had misappropriated funds.

         Committee’s observation

6.11.3. There is a casual approach attitude in the Veterinary offices primarily due to lack of enforcement of systems and procedures in place to safeguards funds.

          Recommendations

6.11.4. The Ministry should take disciplinary action against the station heads for Masvingo and Murehwa for failing to take disciplinary action against the finance and accounting staff involved within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

6.11.5. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should henceforth enforce systems and procedures by ensuring that they are complied with in the course of officers discharging their duties.

6.11.6. The Ministry should recover the amount of US$1

681, within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

         Results Based Management [2018]

        6.12.1 The Auditor General noted that the Department of Lands Management and Rural Resettlement planned to allocate four thousand hectares (4000ha) to four hundred (400) land beneficiaries but there was no evidence of any land allocated during the year ended December 31, 2018. The Ministry also planned to issue twenty (20) ninety-nine (99) year leases but only managed to issue eight (8) leases, one thousand five hundred (1500) A1 permits and two hundred and seventy (270) permits. Two hundred (200) A2 farms had been targeted for mapping but only fifty-seven (57) farms were mapped. The output for the three targets was forty percent (40%), eighteen percent (18%) and twenty-nine (29%) respectively.

       6.12.2 In responding to a general question on monitoring and evaluation of activities of the Ministry’s programmes, the Permanent Secretary informed the Committee that the Ministry was divided into departments, with each department headed by a director. Each director was responsible for monitoring and evaluation of activities in the department to ensure that results were achieved.

6.12.3 In relation to missed targets, he argued that 99-year land leases required that land be surveyed. He noted that this area was a challenge in terms of quantity surveyors. He explained to the Committee that when performance targets were set, there was no consideration of exogenous factors such as the fees charged by land surveyors. High fees had left the Ministry with a few surveyors to choose from.

6.12.4 The Permanent Secretary indicated that eligibility for a 99-year lease takes level of production into account and that the recommendation for the lease is therefore based on the level of production.

         Committee Observations

6.12.5. There was no monitoring and evaluation to assess whether the set targets would be met.

6.12.6. There is a shortage of manpower and equipment for land surveyors.

 Recommendation

6.12.7. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should set realistic targets and seek Treasury concurrence for additional funding to engage land surveyors or alternatively sign MoUs with institutions of Higher Learning that train land surveyors within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

          International Boundary Reaffirmation

       6.13.1 The Auditor observed that the Surveyor General Department reaffirmed 27% of the planned two hundred (200) kilometres of Zimbabwe`s international boundaries. In addition to that, the department was lagging behind on the African Union Boarder Programme (AUBP) that requires all nations to complete all international boundaries reaffirmations by the year 2023. There were no reaffirmations done on the South African and Zambian boarders measuring a total of 225km and 798km respectively. For the

Botswana boundary, only 542 km was reaffirmed out of a total of 841km and for the Mozambique boundary, only 43 km was reaffirmed out of a total of 1134 km. Out of the total two thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight (2998) kilometres of the Zimbabwean boundary, only five hundred and eight five (585) kilometres which is twenty (20%) percent were reaffirmed since the inception of the AUBP programme in year 2011. 

       6.13.2 The Permanent Secretary described International Boundary Reaffirmation as a process involving two neighboring countries agreeing on established borders. He indicated that there could be cases where heated arguments arise, for example the Kazungula case. He reported that the Ministry was in constant contact with the neighbouring countries and working hard to conclude the exercise. He indicated that there was a possibility of using drones to assist in mapping.

Committee’s Observation

6.13.3. The Committee noted with concern that only 20% was covered in eight years and as a result, the 2023 target by the AUBP will be missed.

          Recommendation

6.13.4. The International Boundary Reaffirmation process should be prioritized and concluded by 2023.

 Service Delivery- Dipping chemicals [2018]

6.14.1 The shortage of dipping chemicals led to the death of fifty thousand (50 000) cattle across the whole country. The shortage of dipping chemicals (tick buster and deltamethrin SC) was observed mainly in Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Matabeleland North. This also led to an increase in tick borne and water borne diseases such as theileriosis.

       6.14.2 The Permanent Secretary explained that the tendering process for dipping chemicals is done the same way it is done for any other goods. The Acting Director for Veterinary Services mentioned Chemplex and Coopers as two of the companies which supplied chemicals. He stated that the companies had faced foreign currency challenges which they required to import some ingredients.

         Committee’s Observations

6.14.3 There is no serious intervention by the Government to address the issue of diseases outbreaks.

          Recommendations

       6.14.4. Government should prioritise the procurement of medicines and veterinary products and avail funds to procure chemicals within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

         Service Delivery - Dairy Services Unit [2018]

       6.15.1 The Dairy Service Units in Masvingo and Mutare Provinces were not carrying out inspections of milk parlors and testing the quality of milk in contravention of the Dairy Act [Chapter 18:08]. The units were not fully capacitated as they did not have vehicles, refrigerators, cooler boxes, universal bottles, apparatus and consumables such as respirators.

       6.15.2 The Acting Director for Veterinary Services pointed out that cleanliness was not only done at the parlors. He indicated that inspectors conducted inspections but sometimes they would fail to cover all the areas. He highlighted that if milk is traced back to the farm, then issues can be attended to.

         Committee’s Observation

6.15.3: There is no serious intervention by the Government to address the issue.

          Recommendation

6.15.4:  The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should review both the infrastructure and human resources in monitoring the dairy industry within 90 days of tabling of this Report.

         Mbizi Quarantine Camp Farm [2018]

        6.16.1 The Auditor General observed that the Division of

Veterinary Services had not been able to access Mbizi Quarantine

Camp Farm and State property at the farm during the past thirteen (13) years. The division once lost Mbizi Quarantine Camp Farm comprising two thousand eight hundred (2 800) hectares in Mwenezi District on January 05, 2004 following an offer letter signed by the then Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement to an individual. However, that offer letter was later withdrawn by the then Minister of Special Affairs in the President’s Office in Charge of

Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement on February 01, 2005. Despite the withdrawal of the offer letter, the individual still occupied the farm at the time of audit.

       6.16.2 The Acting Director of Veterinary Services explained that the Department of Veterinary Services was given the farm in the 1970s for research purposes, mainly to try and come up with a vaccine for heart water. He advised the Committee that the research had not produced the desired results and the department had proceeded to use the farm as a quarantine area and for tests. He indicated that he was not sure of the coming in of the farmer who was later given an offer letter. The Ministry was not aware of the current status after the withdrawal of the offer letter.

         Committee’s Observations

6.16.3. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement is not treating this matter with the urgency it deserves.

          Recommendations

6.16.4. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement should provide a comprehensive report explaining to Parliament the circumstances under which the person is still occupying the land and measures put in place to recover Government assets within 90 days of tabling of this

Report.

6.16.5. Measures taken by the Ministry should include referring to ZACC and ZRP, the case for continued illegal occupancy by the individual. Disciplinary action should be taken against the Director responsible.

7.0       CONCLUSION

7.1   The Committee hopes that going forward the observations made by the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee are not repeated in the coming years. This is partly addressed by implementing the recommendations proffered in this Report. The Committee will continue to execute its mandate, on behalf of the citizens to ensure that public funds are safeguarded. I thank you.

       HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to

second this motion on the Public Accounts Committee on the analysis of Vote 8, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and

Rural Resettlement for the years ended 2017 to 2018 and we are in 2021. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. B.

Dube diligently presented an issue of bad governance in many ways. The Public Financial Management Act which is the sacred law in terms of the management of finances has not been complied with and this is the story of the day every day.

We would want to understand first of all – do these workers in Government understand their laws? It is tax payers paying them to work but the money that they are paid, there is no work. Again, who is monitoring all this? Madam Speaker, I want to talk about the role of the Office of the President and Cabinet which most people never want to talk about.  It is the mandate, if I am not mistaken, Hon. Khupe was once in Cabinet, she can correct me, it is about monitoring, evaluation and implementation of all the monies under every Ministry.  That office is blotted, there are so many secretaries and an Ambassador who is no longer an Ambassador is just put there, to do what, yet you see these ministries not being monitored and evaluated for the fiscus monies that come through.

Madam Speaker, cars purchased, not delivered, people are still going to work, there is no investigation, no one is arrested and no recovery.  Madam Speaker, we have to come in this House again and I hope Hon. Members of Parliament are listening to this.  We can no longer continue giving money to such ministries.  We are our own worst enemies, why are we giving monies to ministries which cannot account for the monies?  Whether we are tired or not, we are giving ourselves a problem.  We must invite the Office of the President and Cabinet to each session and respond to the monitoring and evaluation of the money and implementation.  Madam Speaker, this is all about corruption, nobody does anything about that.

First of all, how can you give money to a vehicle company without due diligence, maybe they sell amacimbi but they are called solution motors.  Then they say macimbi is the car.  So no one ever visited that company to see if they do have the cars or not and then pay for those cars.  Due diligence is not there but it is deliberate because it is corruption.  The system is embedded with corruption and that is how we are running things everyday that we do not monitor.           There is the Minister, what is the role of the Minister, what is the role of the chief accounting officer who is the Permanent

Secretary, what is the role of the Principal Directors and the Internal Auditor?  All these people are paid to be able to do a job but these went unnoticed and people went unscathed about this.  We have to wait for the Auditor-General’s Office to be able to reveal this.  Committees must make sure that Ministers and Permanent Secretaries come before the Committees under the Public Financial Management Act, every three months, take stock of what is happening.  We are also at fault, how many Committees are calling Ministries because afterwards, we as Public Accounts Committee must be able to get finer details from the Portfolio Committee responsible for this.  They do not do it, as a result we end up doing the work.

Madam Speaker, I am trying to say that Committees are not working as efficiently as they should.  Not only that the Chairperson of the Committee must be able to stand when the budget is being done to say, we are not approving this until these requirements have been met.  We have now been known as a rubberstamping National Assembly.  Even your own welfare, you rubberstamp, you do not get it.  So to me, that is who are we, what are we doing in this House.  We now have a situation where we are known as a useless institution – if it is a result of 1291k, you are all not going to have it, because what you are doing is a disservice to this nation.  If it is the whipping system, leave the party with the whipping system, represent people, stay as independent like me and you will be voted for.  People are looking for independent minds to move this country forward, not people who are whipped.  You are a laughing stock of the nation.  If I ask, what you are getting from your parties - nothing, it is poverty every day. Already you are lamenting Thursday is coming; you do not know what to do.

Madam Speaker, we must be able to conduct ourselves professionally here.  I have no kind words for Chairpersons of Committees who do not play the oversight role on their part.  ZACC, comes in to investigate as a result of recommendations.  I see how reports are well tabled here.  Hon. Mayihlome is a good example.  The recommendations which the Chairperson spoke about are not done, so why do we sit as Committees, come up with the recommendations and the recommendations are not done?  Those in Government will tell me there is what we call the Treasury Minute, if my understanding is correct, it is as a result of the Public Accounts coming up with recommendations to the Minister of Finance in terms of the money which was allocated to different Ministries and say this must happen.  It is important and I am glad we have a new Chairperson who is listening that in the next budget, those Treasury minutes must be there. If the Minister does not respond to them, the budget does not pass.  That helps in monitoring how the money has been spent.

The Public Finance Management Act 135 (2009), talks about the Mid-Term-Review being an exercise to see whether there is execution and implementation but the Minister comes here to give a political statement.  He does not respond to execution and to implementation.  So how then can we now have a situation prevailing when the Minister of Finance and Economic Development cannot come and tell us that the $200 billion which was allocated to agriculture was used in this manner?  He has never come for a supplementary budget yet

there is inflation which basically means the system is dead, the Ministry of Finance is critical in shaping and leading how finances should be done.

Madam Speaker, why am I saying this, all they are doing through their corrupt activities is channeling the money directly to a third party.  Hon. Khupe and Hon. Mpariwa, you were in

Government, what is the role of the Consolidated Revenue Fund?

That is the Government kitty, money from there, goes to the Ministry

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, you are left

with five minutes.

HON. T. MLISWA:  It goes to the kitty and then it is distributed but because of the corruption which is there, these are deals.  We want these people investigated and arrested.  The Chairperson recommended 90 days, this should be with immediate effect.  We can no longer have a situation where people are suffering.  War Veterans, Members of Parliament, civil servants, school going kids and everybody are crying for the welfare, yet people are busy involved in corruption every day.

Those 36 motorcycles are for agricultural colleges. Chibero has no tractor, so all the graduates coming out of Chibero cannot even drive a tractor yet these could have gone to those institutions.  There is Kushinga Phikelela, Esigodini, Gwebi and other colleges.  These tractors are supposed to be there, officials were supposed to take us there and no one would have a problem, because we want institutions to be strong.  No wonder why from an agricultural point of view, we are not achieving anything because how do you employ a diploma student who cannot even drive a tractor.

Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about the issue of income streams.  What we must also understand is that Ministries tend to get money, when they get money, where does the money go and does that money also get accounted for by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to say if they have got some projects which are giving them money – let us say these 36 tractors were a donation but there was a budget for buying that, is that money deducted?

For example, the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans has got mines but they come and ask for a two billion budget yet they are making money from those money activities.  If they make five million, is that deducted from the two billion?  I am trying to give an example to say that there is no proper accountability.  The money that they are getting cannot be accounted for.  It does not help in terms of this fiscus because the debt is still high.  You expect the Minister to come in.  A lot of questions need to be answered.

I want to end this by saying that the Public Finance

Management Act has to be adhered to and I am glad that our capable Chairman of the Committee has come up with this report.  This report is from 2017-2018, I do not know how the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 or 2021 reports look like.  This is shambles; it is a shame for us to allow this to happen. It is my prayer that the day the budget is being announced, we will stand up and say we are not passing it until people go back and do the right thing, then we will be known as a Parliament with teeth.  If the recommendations are not done too, there is no money that must be given to any Ministry.

I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity and I would also want to thank the Chairperson for moving this motion in terms of the report on the Ministry of Lands,

Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

HON. B. DUBE:  I move that the debate do now adjourn. Looking at the time and also the number of Committee members and other members who are obviously interested in debating this, I realise that we no longer have adequate time to do this.  I see angry farmers there; Hon. Munetsi and others – I am sure they are burning to have a say on this one.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 8th September, 2021.

On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.   

                                     

 

 

 

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