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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 08 DECEMBER 2020 VOL 47 NO 14

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 8th December, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

PETITIONS FROM THE COMBINED HARARE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION AND B. C. KUNDHLANDE

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that on Friday, 6th November, 2020, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Combined Harare Residents Association requesting Parliament to enact legislation that provides for the detection of irresponsible expenditure, disciplinary action against irresponsible persons and recovery of assets from such persons.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

I also have to inform the House that on Wednesday 18th November 2020, Parliament of Zimbabwe received another petition from B. C. Kundlande requesting Parliament to, among other issues, investigate the alleged breach of Section 297 of the Constitution by the Gwanda Lands Commission.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.

CESSATION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I further have to inform the House that due to the heavy demands of the office of the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Togarepi will cease to be a Member of Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members may we please practice social distancing.  We have to sit a meter apart from each other.  May you stretch your hands?  May we all put our masks on properly.  I am also reminding Hon. Members to link their gadgets.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I think we have to take seriously the COVID -19 pandemic.  I say so because on behalf of many Members, our condolences to ZBC Reporter, the late Janet Munyaka.  I say so because she was quite dedicated to her duty and was a professional.  What really pains me is she definitely got infected while at work.  What are we doing to ensure that these people who are dedicating their time to serve this country are protected?  What has ZBC done to ensure that there is some tracing in terms of everybody at ZBC.  We have not read about that. The fear is that as Parliament, through our role of oversight, we must be able to encourage institutions to be protected. It is quite sad that we allow our dedicated men and women to work without taking cognisance of the fact that from a health point of view, they have to be protected.

          The same as this Parliament, why can we not have a situation where we are tested monthly or twice a week because we do not know who is positive here. I say so because my own sister and Hon Member for Hurungwe West and Provincial Minister of State, Hon. Mary Chikoka was infected. It is through the grace of God that she survived. It was acute and in no time she was in ICU under incubation. It is a miracle for her to survive. I have learnt that only until it happens to somebody close to you, can you appreciate it. I am hoping that it does not happen to anybody close to you so that we protect ourselves.

          The staff and the Ministry of Health must be commended. Our health professionals must be commended because they have gotten into that point understanding covid and as a result they are able to treat it. In that ICU unit, three people died. May we not be reckless with life to get to hospital? Let us not try to get to hospital because we are now more or less under people with a profession which we are not sure of. I say so Madam Speaker because we must take it seriously.

          I see Ministers sitting close to each other and yet in the dedication of duty they are exposed– all of us as Members of Parliament are exposed with people. What assurance can we get in this institution that we are all safe? That is the reason why I am imploring your good office that as of tomorrow – because we do not want to go back home and infect our families, may we get tested so that we know our status and take the necessary remedies that ensure that we are okay and we do not spread it. COVID-19 is real. Once again condolences to the Munyaka family. She was dedicated to duty and other people in that profession too, want some assurance. How then are they going to be protected and so forth? COVID is real - unless and until somebody close to you gets it can you really understand it is there.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Once again thank you Hon. Mliswa. I have taken note of what you have said. I am going to look into it and at the same time I say our condolences to the Munyaka family, may her soul rest in peace. I thank you.

          HON. NDEBELE: I am going to speak for just a few seconds. I have risen to implore your Committee on Standing Rules to quickly meet if they may. I say this fully aware that the Minister responsible is also all ears. We are now interacting on digital platforms. It will do us a lot of good to put rules pertaining to how we deal on the digital platform in black and white. For now we seem to be making them as we go. It helps if we have everything in black and white so that every Member knows how to conduct themselves and behave on digital platforms. This is a House of rules and it has to be that predictable Madam Speaker. I so plead with you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Ndebele. I have taken note of that.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, before I go to my business of the day I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for the condolence message to the Munyaka family. She was indeed one of the finest journalists that we had. Covid is real.  Like Hon Mliswa said, his sister was hospitalised and taken into ICU. She had the courage to video-call me to show me how she was. She was coughing trying to speak and I ended up telling her to rest. I felt so bad and felt that we needed to do more than what we are doing. I think what he was saying is real. We need to take this seriously and ensure that we protect ourselves and the loved ones that are not with us in this august House. Those are the most vulnerable.

          We interact with a lot of people and we go home to innocent spouses, children and relatives. I must say that I commend him for what he said that even ZBC, they need also to be proactive to ensure that the employees are taken care of and we ensure that we protect each other from this scourge of COVID-19. Having said that, I thank you for allowing me to digress a little bit.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 52, 65, 142, 143 AND 146

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. ZIYAMBI): I rise to seek leave of the House to move that provisions of Standing Orders Number 52, 65, 142, 143 and 146 regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at five minutes to seven o’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at twenty-five minutes past one o’clock p.m. on a Friday, private Members motions taking precedence on Wednesdays after Question Time, referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees, procedure in connection with Parliamentary Legal Committee and stages of Bills respectively be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of the following: business relating to the Budget debate, Committee of Supply, Finance Bill, Appropriation Bill 2021 and all other Government business. I so move Madam Speaker.

          Motion put and agreed to.

HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Thank you Madam Speaker, I am using Hon. Makonya’s gadget.  Madam Speaker, we did not object to the proposed suspension of rules, largely on the presumption that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who are the carriers of the business of the day between today until the Budget has passed will be in the House listening to our debates and responding accordingly.

I am happy that the Deputy Minister is here and we want that consistency.  I would have loved for the Minister to be here but the deputy is here.  We would love that consistency until the time of passing the Budget.  It is a request born out of precedence where we see that we will be debating without the Ministry officials presence.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Chikwinya.  I think the Deputy Minister has taken note of that.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, actually I delayed the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  He is going to be here by 1500 hrs and is going to be with us until the disposal of the Bill.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 52, 65, 142, 143 and 146

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that the provisions of Standing Orders No. 52, 65, 142, 143 and 146 regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty-five Minutes past One o’clock p.m. on a Friday, Private Members Motions taking precedence on Wednesdays after Question Time, referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees, Procedure in connection with Parliamentary Legal Committee and stages of Bills respectively, be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of the following:- Business relating to the Budget Debate, Committee of Supply, the Finance Bill, the Appropriation Bill and all other Government Business.  I so move Madam Speaker Ma’am.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 9 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 10 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

MANPOWER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2, 2020]

THE MINSTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Madam Speaker, the rationale for the proposed Manpower Planning Development Amendment Bill is to create an enabling legislation for the implementation of a Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development system that leads to a national capability for the deliberate and rapid industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.  This is made possible through a Higher and Tertiary Education system that facilitates ability to produce goods and services, for instance through heritage based Education 5.0.

Madam Speaker, we are convinced that the Higher and Tertiary

Education system and its curricula must be derived from human needs.  To fulfill human needs, the education system then develops a curriculum that addresses these human needs by developing an industrial capability that produces goods and services to meet these very same human needs.

          Madam Speaker, all in all, causing an industry that meets human need is the ultimate aim of any organised learning or education system.  Zimbabwe’s education system must be of the same philosophy.  This is why it is a fact that the future of industrial development of prospects of any country, the prospects are easily predicted by what is taught in the country’s lecture rooms, workshops and laboratories.  To this end, no country can develop faster than the development of its education system.

          Madam Speaker, in 2018 and in response to the need to modernise and industrialise our nation through a correctly designed education system, Government came up with Education 5.0 Policy Framework. The framework entails that education has to have five inter-dependent pillars which are teaching or learning, research, community outreach, innovation and industrialisation.  Innovation and industrialisation are the additional two pillars to the traditional three pillars of teaching, research and community outreach which we called Education 3.0.  This policy needs a strong and supportive legal instrument that embraces it.

          Madam Speaker, the above need made us to look at our principal Act of Manpower Planning and Development Act [Chapter28:02], herein after I will refer to as an Act of 1996 with the aim of strengthening it to adequately support the Education 5.0 or simply the Education for Industrialisation Policy Framework.  This amendment is important to achieve this strategic intent.  Madam Speaker, nations are directed by their national strategic intentions.  The national strategic intention is achieved through a national capability, a national capability is in turn achieved using a deliberate configuration of education or manpower development to achieve industrialisation and modernisation.

          Madam Speaker, we are basically saying our education is our means for our economic development.  Furthermore , the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 of 2013, hereinafter, I will refer to as the Constitution ushered in the promotion of good corporate governance and other progressive principles which helps to improve service delivery in institutions of Higher and Tertiary Education and its parastatals. As such, the Ministry is aligning the Manpower Planning and Development Act to the Constitution.

          Madam Speaker and Hon. Members of Parliament, you may also be aware of the problems that were being faced by the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund a few years ago which included abuse of funds.  Malpractices had driven the fund to near bankruptcy where staff salaries were now being paid by a commercial bank against the title deed of ZIMDEF properties.  It is our view that these are attributed to the non-implementation of the provisions of the Constitution on good governance and we wish to address this.

          Our national strategic intent is to modernise and industrialise Zimbabwe by having an aligned skilled and productive manpower that efficiently delivers a capability to produce goods and services using the heritage based philosophy.  We assert that our heritage shall determine the principal direction of our manpower planning and development.  Nations can only develop on resources that they have by applying knowledge and skills on them.

          Madam Speaker, our Manpower Planning design must therefore, ensure that investment in human capital results in the timely and relevant capability to effectively carryout this national strategic intent of becoming a developed and prosperous nation starting with the level of an upper middle income economy by 2030.  We once again assert that the level of development of any nation is a reflection of the level of development and skills of its human resources, given two nations with exactly the same amount of natural endowment but different levels of development, the latter can only be explained by the different levels of knowledge and skills of the manpower of the two nations.  A nation with higher skills in manpower will develop faster than the one with lower skills although they might have the same natural resources.

          Madam Speaker, the national critical skills audit which was carried out from December 2017 to April l2018, showed that although our national literacy is over 94%, the national skills levels are at 38%.  Remember production of goods and services can only happen when there is both knowledge and skill.  Skills development has therefore become one of our main focuses as a nation.  The design of our manpower planning and development system is our prime target for us to get out of poverty and move Zimbabwe to prosperity.

          The purpose of the Bill - as a result of the foregoing, there is therefore an urgent need to amend the Manpower Planning and Development Act for the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe.  The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the following:-

  1. To transfer the employees of Tertiary institutions from the Public Service Commission to State employees in a similar category to State University employees as this conforms to international best practice and it is in our interest as a nation.
  2. To provide for the strengthening of the Act with regard to quality control of professional bodies that engage in manpower development, science and technology as well as Manpower training institutions so that training and registration of professionals can be quality controlled under the Act and to align this Act to the Constitution.
  3. To provide for quality control to all tertiary training institutions, science and technologies institutions and professional bodies that they are quality administered under the Act.
  4. To ensure that all qualifications obtained in all higher and tertiary institutions lead to the production and goods and services for the industrialisation and modernisation of our nation.
  5. To entrench the Act in all manpower development issues and to strengthen the control and application of science and technology for the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe.

The objectives Madam Speaker, the Bill seeks to promote the development and implementation of the national skills planning and development strategy; to promote universities, technical, teachers and vocational education that leads to the production of goods and services; to promote the operational independence of technical and vocational institutions and teachers college in the way universities are; promote engineering and innovation for industrialisation and modernisation through research institutions and institutions of higher and tertiary education.

          Going to principles Madam Speaker;

Principle number 1 is to achieve the transfer of tertiary education employees from the Public Service Commission to State institution employees.   In order to follow and comply with international best practice in relation to academic freedom and academic integrity for industrialisation, modernisation and attainment of vision of 2030 and beyond, the Ministry requires that all tertiary education institutions employees be transferred from being public service commission employees to state granted institution employees so that they are just like state university employees.

          This guarantee academic independence and objectivity for modernisation and industrialisation.  The move is intended to ensure that we retain or attract the best brains in the tertiary institutions to facilitate the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.

          Consequently, all promotion procedures for tertiary institutions should be regulated under the Act in order to ensure compliance with the Zimbabwe national qualifications framework.

          Principle 2; it deals with academic and professional training to be done under this Act.  The provisions of the Act which deals with professional skills and academic training will be amended to ensure that both academic, skills and professional training as well as registration and control of professional bodies is done under the Act to make sure that we have one manpower direction so that we industrialise and modernise our country.

          In addition, the Act will be amended to give the Minister more powers to control the professional bodies in order to achieve quality training and professional standards aimed at industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe through the production of goods and services.

          On Principle number 3, good governance, in terms of Section 9 of the Constitution, the State must adopt and implement policies and legislation to develop efficiency, competence, accountability, transparency, integrity and financial probity in all institutions and agencies of Government at every level and in every public institution.  These include the appointments to public offices that must made primarily on the basis of merit and that measures must be taken to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those holding public offices.  This will further strengthen and emphasise the law as provided by the Public Entities’ Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10.31].  We intend to reform the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund to align with it good corporate governance practice by putting in place a board.  The Minister responsible for administration of the Act will give policy direction to the board. This Principle seeks to entrench the principle of good governance as enshrined in Section 9 of the Constitution.

          We also propose that the national manpower advisory council NAMCO be given additional powers and be strengthened to have control over professional bodies and call manpower related activities in order for it to fully deliver its mandate for the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.  Therefore it entails amending part III and part V as well as other provisions of the Act that speak to ZIMDEF and NAMACO in order to incorporate the envisaged changes in a way that ensures good corporate governance.

PRINCIPLE 4: Management of Statutory Bodies.

Section 316 of the Constitution governs the management of statutory bodies including ZIMDEF. These include their competent and effective operation and that the Chief Executive Officers serve for a limited period whose renewal is dependent on the efficient performance of their duties. The Act is to be aligned to the Constitution to incorporate the management of statutory bodies to give effect to the constitutional position and the position as provided for in the Public Finance Management Act.

          In addition, all sections that provide  for contracts of employment will be amended to satisfy that the contract of employment should be performance based and with a specific time limit.

          PRINCIPLE NO. 5: Duties of custodian of public funds and Property.

In terms of Section 308 (2) of the Constitution, it is the duty of every person who is responsible for the expenditure of public funds to safeguard the funds and ensure that they are spent only on legally authorised purposeS and in legally authorised amounts.

          Section 308 (4) provides that an Act of Parliament and in this case, the Act must provide for the speedy detection of breaches of the law and disciplining and punishment of persons responsible for the breach. It is proposed therefore that there be an amendment to the Act to ensure that all ZIMDEF funds are used for manpower development related activities as a safeguard against abuse of funds.

PRINCIPLE NO. 6: Quality control for all tertiary, scientific and technological institutions and professional bodies:

In order to achieve Vision 2030 and beyond, there is need to emphasise issues of quality control for all tertiary, scientific and technological institutions and professional bodies. In this regard we insert provisions in the Act that deal with strengthening quality control because in the mean time, there is already the issue of quality control but strengthening quality control for all tertiary, scientific and technological terrain institutions and professional bodies.

          This entails that all tertiary, scientific and technological education training, registration and control of professional bodies shall be facilitated under this Act.

In addition, it must be provided in the Act that all qualifications obtained in all Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions in Zimbabwe must lead to the ability or capability to produce either goods or services for the purpose of meeting human needs through industrialisation and modernisation. This shall enable Zimbabwe to leapfrog in its development using education and training as a facilitator.

          ON PRINCIPLE NO. 7: Gender balance.

Section 17 of the Constitution stipulates that the State must promote full gender balance and that the State must take all legislative measures to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of Zimbabwe. Both genders must be equally represented in all institutions and agencies of Government at every level. This principle seeks to bring into effect the right to gender balance in all boards and councils appointed in terms of this Act as stipulated in the Constitution.

          PRINCIPLE 8: Supremacy of the Act on matters of manpower development  and planning.

The Act will be amended by making the Act prevail stronger on issues of training and education qualifications and quality. The Act is strengthened when it comes to regulating the establishment or conduct of quality by any institution of higher and tertiary learning or a professional body involved in manpower training.

          PRINCIPLE 9: Strengthening Innovation, Science and Technology for Industrialisation and Modernisation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Science, Technology and Innovation are the bedrock for Zimbabwe’s capability to leapfrog and become an industrialised economy. We will strengthen the Act so that it is explicit in the promotion of Science, Technology and Innovation for the Industrialisation of Zimbabwe.

          The Act is amended to give effect to the formation of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences as an advisory body to the State on innovation, science and technology issues along the lines of other Academies such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Sciences.

          In conclusion Madam Speaker, I wish to highlight that it is envisaged that once the amendments go through, the Act will fully be aligned to the Constitution and there will be the effective management of the Institutions of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology and the parastatals that fall within the purview of the Act and professional bodies. I therefore move that the Bill be now read a second time.

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much indeed Madam Speaker Ma’am. I stand in for my Committee Chairperson, Hon. Lindiwe Maphosa who has not been able to be here at this point in time but she informs me that she is on her way, but in order that we expedite business, she has asked that I present the report of the Committee. I take this opportunity, before I proceed to the report, to express my dismay and displeasure at an occurrence this morning in the Parliament parking lot.

          I came in this morning and parked my vehicle in the Parliament parking lot as usual as per standard practice because I had come in for a Committee meeting to look at the budget report for our Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. At the conclusion of that meeting, I went back to my vehicle in the parking lot only to discover that my front door glass had been smashed and...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please can you unmute your gadget.

          HON. TSUNGA: There is some intermittent in the connectivity. It is okay now.  Madam Speaker, I thought I had made my point clear in regard to the occurrence this morning. So, once I discovered the car front door glass had been smashed but the vehicle was locked and fortunately nothing was stolen. So may I appeal to Parliament Administration to ensure that the parking lot is secure and that there are surveillance cameras on all the time.  Now, in trying to establish who the culprit was there was no joy.  In all likelihood, I was going to be asked to give a suspect, something I will not be able to do.  It is just for your information Madam Speaker Ma’am and also for Parliament Administration to also ensure that our vehicles are safe in the parking lot.  Having said that Let me proceed with the report.

SECOND READING

MANPOWER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 2, 2020]

           The Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Bill [H. B. 2, 2020] was gazetted on 14th August, 2020. Following the gazetting of the Bill the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology resolved to conduct Public Hearings in line with provisions of Section 141 of the Constitution, which stipulates that: Parliament must(a) facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its Committees; (b) ensure that the interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable…"

1.0           METHODOLOGY

In compliance with this constitutional provision, and as part of public consultations meant to enhance participatory democracy, the Committee conducted countrywide Public Hearings on the Bill from 4 –19th October, 2020. The Committee conducted physical public hearings in all ten provinces, virtual public hearings via the Zoom platform and received written submissions from stakeholders. The Committee had a half-day workshop on the Bill on 27th October, 2020, organised by Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT). The workshop accorded students in colleges and universities an opportunity to add their voice to the proposed amendments.

2.0           SPECIFIC SUBMISSIONS ON THE PROPOSED  AMENDMENTS

2.1           Clause1: short title of the bill

There was no objection raised concerning the title of the Bill in nine provinces, except in Harare where one respondent pointed out that the key word,Manpower’in the title was not gender-neutral. The respondent suggested that the word should be supplanted by Human Resource’ so that the title would read; ‘Human Resource/Capital Planning and Development Bill’

2.2           Clause 2: (Interpretation)Amendment of section 2 of Cap. 28:02

The public noted the following as fundamental terms which should be captured in the interpretation clause:

  1. a)“academic staff” means all persons employed, whether full-time or part-time, by the Tertiary Education Service as:
  2.  Professors, Doctors, Lecturers, Engineers and Technicians of any class or persons engaged in research; or
  3. holders of posts declared by the Council to be academic posts;
  4. b)“administrative staff” means all persons employed, whether full-time or part-time, by the Tertiary Education Service
  5. c)“Principal” means the Principal of  a Tertiary Institution (Polytechnic, Teachers College or an Industrial Training College) appointed in terms of Tertiary Education ACT;
  6. d)“Vice-Principal” means a Vice Principal of the tertiary institution appointed in terms of Tertiary Education ACT
  7. e)“Bursar" means the person appointed to be the Bursar of the Tertiary institution per the Tertiary Education Services ACT
  8. f)Lecturer In Charge, Head of Department or Head of Division” means the person appointed by the Principal to be the Lecturer In Charge,  Head of Department or Head of Division of a teaching department or the head of any institute or Centre controlled by the Tertiary institution and recognised by the Council;
  9. g)“Dean”  means a person who shall be in charge of Bachelor of Technology programmes who shall report to the Principal
  10. h)“Bachelor of Technology Chairperson “means a person who shall be in charge of the department who reports to Dean.
  11. i)“Council” means the Council established in terms of Tertiary Education ACT
  12. j)“employee” means any person employed by the Council who is not a member of the
    academic or administrative staff;
  13. k)Librarian” means the person appointed to be the Librarian of a tertiary institution in terms of this ACT;
  14. l)“Registrar” means a person appointed to be the Registrar of the Tertiary Education ACT;

m)Regulation” means a regulation made by the Council in terms of this  ACT

  1. n)Student means any person registered by a Tertiary institution to obtain a qualification of the Tertiary or any person who is determined by the council to be a student;
  2. o)Students’ Union means the association of students recognised by the Council as the Students’ Union;
  3. p)Teaching department means a department/ division prescribed by Council as a teaching department;
  4. q)Tertiary institution means the institution established in terms of the Tertiary Education ACT the incorporation of which is continued by this Act.

Respondents also noted that the word “Board” is key but is not found in the definition of terms. Participants submitted that the definition of terms must be expanded to explain and contextualise the Board.

2.3           Clause3: (Application of the Act) Amendment of section 3 of Cap 28:02

This amends the Act making the Act take precedence over any other legislation which relates to Manpower Development and Training. A considerable number of submissions suggested that the clauses would usher in cohesion in the operations of education institutions. Some respondents submitted that there is bound to be conflict between the proposed amendment on one hand and the Universities Acts.

2.4           Clause4: (Objects of the Act)Amendment of Section 3 of Cap 28:02

Participants pointed out that there was a duplication of objectives since Section 4 of Cap 28:02 lays down the objectives of the Act. The participants submitted that instead of dedicating a whole section to objects of the Act, the drafters should have incorporated the proposed section 3A into Section 4 of Cap 28:02.

Some respondents submitted that the inserted section 3A should be expanded to include the following objects:

  1. a)To promote the holding of examinations, to confer degrees, diplomas or certificates upon persons who have followed courses of study approved by the Council and have satisfied such other requirements as may be required by the council
  2. b)To provide courses leading to a degree, diploma or certificate, including courses of training for persons wishing to enter the Tertiary Institution;
  3. c)To provide correspondence courses and extramural courses for young persons and adults.

They also underscored the need to clearly define the roles, functions and relationship between Institutions of Tertiary Education and the Higher Education Examination Council (HEXCO).  They proposed that there should be decentralisation of examinations and institutions should be allowed to autonomously run their examinations, although checks should be put in place to allow 80% comparability in terms of breadth and depth of courses offered across the institutions.

On 3A (c) some key informants submitted that there is a need to clearly define the mandate of each institution based on the economic profile of Zimbabwe. They further opined that each institution must have a unique thrust to avoid institutions duplicating mandates or operate loosely without any adherence to their core mandate when established.

2.5           Clause5: (Establishment of Government institutions, facilities, schemes, etc.)Amendment of section 6 of Cap 28:02

This Clause empowers the Minister to establish Academies of Sciences. The majority of respondents professed ignorance on the exact meaning of the clause. Participants submitted that it is not clear whether it means each tertiary institution will have an academy of science. Some respondents submitted that there are a lot of "academies of sciences" in the country, hence there was no need to establish more academies. Those that subscribed to this view highlighted that what was needed was to review teaching curricula so that institutions produce relevant graduates.

Student Representatives noted that the establishment of academies is particularly exciting since academies are usually highly specialised institutions that focus on a specific aspect of academics to levels par excellence. They also allow students to explore knowledge practically to the highest levels. However, the students proposed the establishment of academies across the length and breadth of various disciplines beyond the sciences, for example the establishment of academies of commerce, social sciences and humanities and so on. Students also recommend that the structures, board compositions and objects of these academies be laid out in the Amendment Bill as this will enable them to assess the direction and capabilities of the academies.

2.6           Clause6: (Mandatory posts in Technical and Vocational Institutions and Teacher’s Colleges)New section inserted after section 6 of Cap 28:02

On average, this Clause drew a lot of interest from stakeholders and respondents, the majority submitted that the mandatory posts should resonate with the new education 5.0 discourse. A majority of respondents bemoaned the omission of the following posts which they deemed crucial

  1. a)Research and Innovation Officer: to coordinate innovation and research;
  2. b)Lecturer and Labour Organisations: these have no recognition under the inserted Section 6A (2). Participants submitted that the Clause should provide for representatives of the two;
  3. c)External Auditors: All provinces objected to the appointment of an internal auditor provided for by 6A (2) (e). Participants submitted that an internal auditor will be a conduit for corruption as he or she will be conflicted and compromised to audit an institution he or she works for. Majority of submissions were inclined towards an independent external auditor who should be engaged on an annual basis;
  4. d)Information Technology/Network Administrator: participants bemoaned the omission of this post and opined that if ICT had become an intrinsic part of modern learning, then personnel to manage that department becomes a necessity for every institution.
  5. e)Head of Department: respondents were appalled that the post was not recognised by the Public Service Commission and it is done at an institutional level. They submitted that the post should be recognised by the Tertiary Education Council.
  6. f)Dean of Students.
  7. g)Public Relations and Marketing Officer
  8. h)Head of Procurement who shall report to the Principal

Students acknowledged the importance that has been given to the Student Representative Councils (SRC) as part of the administrative infrastructure of tertiary institutions. Students, however, suggested that 6A part (2) (g) should be revised to provide for a national independent body to be responsible for SRC election administration nationwide. Such a body should have the authority to run SRC elections, declare winners, establish a code of conduct for prospective candidates and initiate a standardised structure for SRCs nationwide.

The students further proposed that Public interviews for proposed candidates to the mandatory posts and students should be given a chance to take part or inform the selection of the best candidate using an agreed platform like an online voting system.

Stakeholders also submitted that some of the mandatory aspects must be clearly defined as their terms were open-ended. The public suggested that on the appointment of:

  1. a)Principal:  6A (1) should provide term limits for a Principal. She/ He should not be appointed for an indefinite period but there should be fixed terms of five years and subject to reappointment based on performance. Some submitted that the five-year term should renewed once subject to good performance. However, some isolated views advocated an indefinite appointment for the principals.
  2. b)A Principal should be appointed by the Council after consultation with the Minister and shall hold office for such period as is provided in his or her contract of appointment. This submission noted that the office of a Principal should not be curtailed by terms but they should continue to serve as long as they are capable of discharging their duties.
  3. c)Subject to the general control of the Council, the Principal shall be the chief academic, administrative and disciplinary officer of the Tertiary institution, with general responsibility and accountability for maintaining and promoting the efficiency, effectiveness and good order of the Tertiary institution.
  4. d)The public submitted that Academic staff provided for by inserted section 6A(2)(f) should be defined clearly for example; Lecturers in Charge (LICs), Heads of Departments (HODs), Dean of Students, Chairpersons of Disciplines;
  5. e)There is need for clarity on which institutions can have one or more Vice Principals. Some suggested that every institution should have two Vice Principals; one technical/academic and the other administrative.

2.7           Clause7:  (Grants and loans to institutions, persons, etc.)Amendment of section 14 of Cap 28:02

The public objected to section 14(1) (c) which refers to salaries or remuneration of lecturers employed at the institutions only without mentioning the non-teaching staff. The general view was that subsection (c) was prejudicial and discriminatory to non-teaching staff. The public submitted that the provision must be expanded to include salaries or remunerations of all staff at the institutions. Participants pointed out that section 14(1) should also include a provision for people with disabilities and how they benefit from the said grants and loans.

The public commended the proposal to offer grants and loans that might cover student-specific issues like tuition and student accommodation. The public, however, suggested a change in the wording of part (1) of the section to read;

Subject to this section, the Board, after consultation with the Minister and Minister responsible for finance, shall make a grant or loan to or in respect of any teacher’s college, technical or vocational institution, university or University College, or to any other person or institution, for any one or more of the following purposes

  • Such a revision would signify, the public opined, a stern commitment by the parties to avail such grants and loans at all costs.
  • Such grants and loans should prioritise vulnerable students by law.

Student representatives submitted that such grants and loans must be disbursed through an independent entity or body other than the institutions to ensure accountability, transparency and quality of access. The public also suggested that students should be allowed by law to repay such loans and grants in the form of man-hours“that is, by providing labour that is equivalent to the value of the grant or loan

2.8           Clause8:  (Tertiary amenities funds) Amendment of section 16 of Cap 28:02

The public noted that the Bill is inundated with a lot of funds. The participants submitted that this would weigh heavily on the students hence the need to trim and consolidate the funds. However, some divergent view established that the fund was a welcome development since it will support research and innovation.

2.9           Clause9: (Innovation and industrialisation funds)New section inserted after section 16 of Cap 28:02

The public applauded the setting of this fund as it will allow institutions to develop Intellectual Property Rights. However, some respondents were sceptical about the fund as they feared it would burden students who would end up contributing to the fund through fees. The public recommended that the fund should come from other sources including ZIMDEF. Some were of the view that the Government should extend 5% of the country’s GDP to Innovation and Industrialisation.

The public noted that one glaring omission in the objects of Innovation and industrialization fund was the desire to facilitate Patent and Intellectual Property Rights for students. Such rights would foster innovation and see students benefit from their intellectual inventions.

2.10      Clause10:(Professional Bodies)Amendment of section 31 of Cap 28:02

The public recommended that the phrase “Minister responsible for finance, may, subject to availability of resources…” in subsection 5 should be repealed and substituted by “The Minister of finance must guarantee..,” this, the public said, will remove the danger of the Minister using his or her discretion which might be subjective to the detriment of the public.

Other respondents submitted that Professional bodies must have full autonomy over employment and deployment of graduates in a particular profession and such autonomy must not be overshadowed by any other body or entity. The public suggested that membership subscriptions for practising certificates must be regularised and subsidised to affordable amounts for recent graduates.

2.11      Clause11 and 12: (Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund)Amendment of section 47 and 48 of Cap 28:02

The public welcomed the replacement of the Minister by a trustee in administering the Fund. This, they concurred, will reign in the Minister from misusing ZIMDEF funds. Other respondents voiced their concern over Clause11 (a) (vi) and argued that business enterprises are covered under other legislation and cannot be under the jurisdiction of this Bill. Other stakeholders, however, wanted ZIMDEF to decentralise to tertiary institution level by law to allow access to information about the fund and other administrative processes.

2.12      Clause13: (Zimbabwe Manpower Development Board)New sections inserted after section 48 of Cap 28:02

The majority of public submissions welcomed the establishment of the Board since, it will provide checks on the Minister. However, the public noted that the Clause is silent about the appointment of people with disabilities in the Board. A suggestion was made to expand 48B to include subsection (e) after (d) which states that the Board must include “…One member representing persons with disabilities.”Further, the public suggested that the bill should include the following after 48B (b) (v):(vi) An organisation representing the youths;

(vii) An organisation representing women; and

(vii) An organisation representing small scale business people.

Some were of the view that the board should expand representatives from professional bodies to include Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Mines.

The public also objected to the appointment of retirees in the Board and suggested that appointees should be people who are conversant with what would be obtaining on the ground. The public then recommended that section 48B (d) which stipulates that part of appointments to the Board must be "…one former Vice-Chancellor of a University or former Principal of a Tertiary institution,should be amended by removing ‘or’ and substitute with ‘and’ to make it read "…one former Vice-Chancellor of a University and former Principal of a Tertiary Institution. This will have an effect of balancing representation from both higher and tertiary education institutions.

Another section of respondents submitted that the ZIMDEF board must be selected on merit and must be subjected to public interviews. Further, students must be part of the selection Committee for the ZIMDEF board.

2.13      Clause14: (Accounts, audit of fund and financial statements)Amendment of section 50 of Cap 28:02

The public applauded the provision but suggested that statements of accounts should be prepared quarterly.

2.14      Clause15:(Internal Auditor)New section inserted after section 50 of Cap 28:02

Public opinion was that the Minister must appoint the internal auditor since the Board cannot appoint an auditor to audit itself. This, the public argued, would result in a conflicted auditor who would be caught in between the need to be independent and to please his/her appointing master. Other voices objected to the appointment of internal auditors. They submitted that there is no need to have internal auditors but auditors should be outsourced on a need basis. They argued that internal auditors will end up compromised if they are to be domiciled at institutions as they become part of the system.

2.15      Clause16:(Holding of Fund)Amendment of section 52 of Cap 28:02

The public submitted that the powers of the Minister should be curtailed. They argued that inasmuch as the Bill is trimming the powers of the ministers, he/she is still left with too much powers thereby leaving the Board at the mercy of the Minister who may approve or rescind its decisions.

2.16      Clause17, 18, 19, 20:

The public welcomed this amendment and explained that the arrangement in Cap 28:08 where the Minister appoints the CEO was subject to manipulation by the minister. The public agreed that a Board which is independent of the control of the Minister should make appointments. The public also welcomed amendments to section 57 of cap 28:02 which provides that the Board should set the functions of the CEO rather than the Minister.

2.17      Clause21: (Establishment of Tertiary Education Council And Tertiary Education Service)New part inserted after Section 59 Of Cap 28:02

Stakeholders welcomed the decoupling of the members of tertiary education institutions from the Public Service Commission as it would address their concerns in terms of the disparity between terms of employment. However, the public expressed disappointment that there was no representation for people with disabilities in the Tertiary Education Council. The public suggested that there is need to include one person with a disability to represent that constituency.

The public also decried that 59A (5) (b) accords too much appointing powers to the minister. The respondents also objected to having the Council filled with retirees. Respondents suggested that members who are seconded to the Council must be active and the council should reflect the geographical representation to avoid the board being filled by people from Harare only. The public also noted that soon after the beginning of the millennium, the grading system had been stagnant, therefore suggested that the transfer of staff from Public Service to Tertiary Education Service should be equally matched with vertical promotion of staff whose promotion had been suppressed.

The public submitted that section 59D (b) which says: Every person who occupies a post in The Technical and Vocational Institutions and Teachers’ colleges is too broad and vague. The people submitted that the subsection should specifically state the constitution of the Tertiary Education Service as follows:

The Tertiary Education Service shall consist of—

  • Principal; and
  • Vice-Principal; and
  • Lecturer in Charge, Head of Departments/Divisions; and (if not defined within the Act, may remain mere posts with no proper recognition)
  • The academic staff,
  • Administrative staff,
  • Employees and students.

Proponents of the above suggestion submitted that the Bill should categorically state that once students are enrolled they should become part of the tertiary education council.

The public expressed concern over section 59K (2) which they said is ultra vires the Constitution in section 65 which recognises collective bargaining. They suggested that if the minister is accorded powers to rescind decisions of associations it would result in the muzzling of section 65 of the Constitution. Proponents of the preceding view noted that the Bill was silent on issues of collective bargaining and a provision must be provided for that.

Further, the public decried the use of very subjective terms like “may” in particular Clause21 section 59K(1), the public highlighted the need to make it obligatory for the Ministry by use of “shall” in place of “may. On section 59H (4) the public suggested that a subsection should be inserted which stipulates that when a staff member is on study leave he /she is entitled to full salary and benefits.

2.18        General Submissions from the Public.

The public also made submissions which were not clause-specific but which were of paramount important to the development of manpower. The public submitted that higher and tertiary education institutions should come up with deliberative policies for enrolment of students with disabilities. Other submissions also highlighted that the bill should also address the proper academic facilities designed specifically for people with disability. Further, respondents opined that the Bill should make it mandatory that institutions of higher and tertiary education craft disability inclusive policies.

3.0           COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS ANDRECOMMENDATIONS

The public generally welcomed the amendment Bill as positive as it is anchored on making the vision of Education 5.0 a reality.

3.1           The Internal Auditors provided for under Clause6 6A (e) and Clause15 at 50A were totally rejected by participants from all the provinces visited.  The Committee noted that while the public may have genuine concerns on the efficacy of internal auditors, the Clause does not preclude the appointment of an External Auditor from time to time. It was also apparent that the public needs reassurance on the utility of internal auditorsThe committee noted that the concept of internal is good and is the standard practice in many institutions. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry should expand 6A (e) and 50A and specify that external auditors can be engaged at certain regular intervals, preferably once a year. The external auditors should report to the manpower development board not to the Minister.

3.2           The Committee concurred that the new inserted section 6A was vague on subsection 2(a) where it provides for the appointment of one or more vice principals. The Committee notes that there is need to clearly clarify which institutions get more Vice Principals. The Committee, therefore, recommends that there is need to put a ceiling of three Vice Principals. It further recommends that polytechnics, teachers college and vocational centres should have three Vice Principals each one standing for the following areas; academic, business and research and innovation.

3.3           The Committee observed the pressing need for autonomy by the institutions as far as conducting examinations is concerned. While the Committee concurred with the public that HEXCO leads to centralisation of functions the Committee recommends that for cohesion and comparability HEXCO should maintain the status quo. Nonetheless, the Committee recommends that for short courses tailor-made and offered by institutions, examinations can be decentralised and be managed autonomously.

3.4           There is a glaring absence of student representation in the National Manpower Advisory Council. There is need to amend section 19 of Cap 28:02 to include students in the National Manpower Advisory Council Board as they should have the right to advise relevant authorities on the trajectory of higher education that they want to see and experience.

3.5           The Committee noted the importance of companies which offer attachment places and apprenticeship programmes to students. The Committee recommends that there must be provisions in the law to offer incentives to the “employers” for engaging students on attachment and apprenticeship so as to encourage them to continue paying their levies. Solutions aimed at regularising “employers” in the informal sector and getting them to pay levies must be discussed and established by law.

3.6           There is silence on the needs of students with disabilities throughout the amendment Bill and the principal Act, Cap 28:02. There is no deliberate attempt in the principal Act or the Amendment Bill to cater for the special educational needs of this constituency. This is against the spirit of SDG 4 which talks about inclusive education, therefore, the Committee recommends that there must be a specific section in the Amendment Bill that focuses on the manpower planning and development needs of this community.

3.7              The Bill is silent about amending section 9 of Cap 28:02 which lays down requirements which should be satisfied when registering non-Government institutions. The section remains the same thus maintaining the tedious, bureaucratic and forbidding methodology of registering a private institution of higher learning. There is a need to revise, at law, the process and requirements for the registration of private institutions of higher learning particularly for those that are proposing to teach critical and innovative skills.

3.8              The Committee observed that there are two kinds of councils mentioned in the Bill. In  Clause6A (1) and (2) and Clause8 there is mention of Tertiary Education Council, however,  Clause16 (1) and (2) make reference to a Tertiary Education Service Council. The Committee therefore recommends clarity on the councils and if there are distinct it should be clearly labelled in the preamble and the difference explained.

3.9                The Committee noted that the Bill implicitly prejudices and discriminates between teaching and non-teaching staff in higher and tertiary education institutions in some parts. This is exemplified by Clause7 which amend section 14 of Cap 28:02. Section 14 (1) (c) only makes reference to salaries of lecturers employed by a college, institution or university. The section is silent about non-teaching staff at the institutions. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the bill should address all persons employed at institutions and should avoid discriminatory approaches to staff welfare.

3.10       The Committee took cognisance of some sentiments expressed concerning the gender neutrality of the word manpower’ which forms the title of the Bill. It was observed that to some people it might appear that the word is a gendered term, therefore, the Ministry can also consider using more gender neutral words like “Human resources” as suggested by one respondent.

3.11           The Committee notes that the bill is silent about the commitment made by African Heads of State and Government of dedicating 1% of the Gross National Product (GDP) towards Research and Development. The Committee therefore recommends that the Bill should have a proviso which obligates the Government to honour the commitment.

4.0           Conclusion

The Committee noted that the majority of the people who attended the public hearings, including those who contributed written submissions, were elated by the Bill and applauded it as a step towards the right direction. It is, therefore, the Committee’s submission that if the provisions of the Bill are to be fully implemented the Committee is satisfied that the Bill can become a vehicle through which research and innovation are fully realised in institutions of higher and tertiary education. The Committee concurs with the submissions made by student representatives that indeed the amendment Bill does show a renewed and revamped commitment towards redirecting the future of tertiary education in the country. There is a good deliberate focus towards the sciences and education that encourages innovation and industrialisation. There are efforts to decentralise power to the tertiary education sector, with the Minister ceding a number of roles to boards and newly established institutions. There is a new thrust on accountability of funds in the tertiary education sector with deliberate sections focusing on how to handle and account for funds, for instance under ZIMDEF. The downside of the amendment Bill is that in some sections, student inclusion in key decisions making bodies remains elusive. There are some key concerns with regards to “unresolved” issues in the principal Act that speak to student development and quality education. With greater engagement the issues can be ironed out. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. S. BANDA:  Madam Speaker, I move for the extension of time.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Member.  He has already finished reading the report.

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  I have a point of order.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Madam Speaker, at the beginning of the sitting, the Leader of Government Business moved for the suspension of automatic adjournment for us to focus on the Finance Bill. I fully understand that the Bill under debate now is part of the Government business which is allowed.  May I seek your indulgence Madam Speaker that we suspend business on this Bill, perhaps through the concurrence of the chief whips.  Whilst people are still fresh for them to concentrate on the Finance Bill, we debate matters to do with the Budget - since due to the suspension of automatic adjournment, we are going to be here until sometime late into the night.  I propose that we concentrate on the Budget matters now and then we fully deal with this Bill post Budget.  That is my submission, of course with the concurrence of chief whips and other Members. Thank you.

          The Government Chief Whip approached the Chair. 

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I will be very brief, aware of the impending debate that is directed to the indulgence of the gold finger.  I want to applaud the Minister for bringing this Bill to Parliament first and foremost, so that we can migrate from Education 3.0 to Education 5.0.  That in the view of the people of Chegutu West Constituency which speaks to development.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am alive to the issue of modernization, which is one of promoting modern issues and development arising from education.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, Chinhoyi University of Technology has already migrated to that platform and they are producing enough straws to inseminate and impregnate heifers and cows which are the population of Zimbabwe’s cattle population in two months.  So I am applauding the Minister for walking the talk even before the Bill had come to Parliament.  I encourage him through the same modus operandi, technical ability and technocrats that he is endowed with to make sure that all the universities and higher learning institutions also migrate in the same manner.

          The issue that was touched on of internal audit which speaks to internal safeguard of resources that would have been apportioned to the institutions by Central Government and by their own resources is very key as it speaks to governance systems.  The issue that the Minister spoke about that he seeks to bring in is according to the Constitution and the Act in terms of Public Finance Management prudent.  It should be a foregone conclusion that there should be internal safety nets that seek to deter outflows of illicit nature in terms of revenues that would either have been apportioned by Central Government, ‘national gold finger’ or that would have been given by internal domestic resource mobilisation by those institutions.

          I go further to say there also needs to be external auditing but not in the manner that the committee suggests.  We have monthly and quarterly reports that are submitted to Parliament and I suggest that we do not digress from the existing trajectory and tangent.  We need to adhere to the ethos, to the values of the same principles that are in existence.  There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  There are adequate safety measures that can deter any delinquent behaviour in terms of financial prudence.  I applaud the Minister in terms of output of any programme that would have taken root or that would have been conducted in any institution of higher learning.  The output should be open for all to see.  For example, a computer is garbage in  garbage out.  Now is the opportunity to see what would have gone as the software into that computer.  The framework in terms of infrastructure development is already there but here is an opportunity for the lecturers, teachers and professors who mann the institutions of higher learning to actually be proud of themselves because of the product.  Now the product which is suggested by the Minister, which is applaudable that it be practical and tangible is something that is going to feed into the National Development Strategy 21 to 25 and the local Agenda 2030 of an upper middle income economy come 2030.  That is also going to feed into the continental agenda 2063 and ultimately, into the sustainable development goals.  I applaud the Minister for seeing further because a nation without a vision is dead.  Here is a visionary, a luminary and a champion in the mould of our Minister who now wants to make sure that there is output which is tangible, arising from our institutions of higher learning.

          As I wind up, I also want to say to the Minister there are institutions like Mupfure Technical College in Chegutu East Constituency right next door to yours truly Chegutu West Constituency.  They should be put at par with the institutions of higher learning.  Also the issue of remuneration of lecturers should be put at parity with institutions of higher learning lest we find that there is migration from other institutions of the same magnitude to other institutions.  If you want monkeys you get peanuts but if you are going to get people of professorship lecturers alike you need to pay them in tandem or in sync with the global trends because the product is the same.  I encourage the Minister and his institutions to also try and look into the issue of beneficiating uranium.  Just a small ball beneficiated will make us see wonders and we will put paid to the issues of the requirement of our energy systems, not only in Zimbabwe but continentally and even globally.  I challenge them to challenge the uranium so that we beneficiate and value add it.

          Thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently articulate the issues of the people of Chegutu West Constituency.  I thank you.

          HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I rise to add my voice in the debate of the Manpower and Development Bill that has been tabled by the Minister.  Firstly, I would like to applaud the Minister for a Bill that speaks directly to the welfare of the tertiary institutions workforce.  There has been an outcry for a long time, especially in terms of remuneration as Hon. Nduna has attributed to. I want to go straight to the key points that I took note of from the Bill. Firstly, the trimming of powers from the Minister to the board is very much applauded. No one wants power taken away from them but for the Minister of Higher and Tertiary, he saw it fit to delegate powers and I want to applaud you as a Committee to say we have never seen a leader like that in our lifetime.

          Secondly, we saw the enactment of the board which is the Zimbabwe Manpower and Development Board that is going to be in charge of the day to day running of the institutions. Furthermore Madam Speaker, the establishment of the tertiary council that is going to be administering the tertiary education service also is going to speak to the issue of tertiary education staff who are no longer under the Public Service. That is a very commendable move because the difficulties that we are seeing in the running of these institutions are a result of tertiary education staff being under the Public Service.

          What I noted is that the Bill drives issues to do with innovation and it also speaks to the creation of funds to make it a success, which is Education 5.0 that everyone is excited about at the moment. With this vision of Education 5.0 we are going to see a turnaround in our country because it is through research and innovation that greater things can be done. I want to applaud the Minister for coming up with such a Bill.

          We also recognise the issue of ZIMDEF that is clearly put into the Bill. The power is also taken away from the Minister in the running of the ZIMDEF funds. We have seen these funds being abused before. We want to thank the Minister because he has seen that it is more reasonable to take these funds and put them to a board that is going to administer them without him being hands-on. It also came out clearly from the public that this was a good move because Ministers are having hands-on on too much funds which corrupts a person. Too much funds will obviously give you temptations.   It also clearly speaks that it becomes the supreme law that will govern all institutions and it is a good thing that we have uniformity in the way that our institutions are run. I want to applaud the Minister for that.

          I have talked about how the Bill is seeking to drive towards the Education 5.0 in terms of industrialisation and innovation. All in all, I just want to say this is a job well done and the tertiary staff and non academic staff that are there are looking forward to this Bill because it will change a lot of things including their welfare. I hope this Bill will be adopted very fast because it speaks directly to the human resource that we have.

          I notice that we have a gap in the Bill in terms of gender and disability. It is a point that came out clearly from the organisations that deal with people with disability, to say it has to speak clearly on how they are going to be catered in terms of enrolment, staffing and gender. Having said that, I would want to thank you Hon Speaker.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Allow me to add my voice on this very pertinent Bill which I think shapes and informs our national attitude towards development through legislation. We should come to a time whereby we need to shape our development agenda through, not only policy pronouncements but by enacting the same policies through legislation. I will commend the Minister for that stance.

          Allow me to zero in my debate while agreeing with the majority of the points raised by the acting Chair of the Committee in his report. I will pick on Clause 3.1.2 which speaks to the establishment of the Manpower Development Board. I am a Member of the Mines and Mining Development Committee and I represent a constituency that also has a vast number of people who are into the mining sector. Of late, this sector has been hit by a number of accidents and we have lost quite a number of lives.

In these mines, there are people working which is manpower. As I am looking into this Bill, what is coming into my mind is how best do we protect our people from all the armoury of legislation that is before us. Perhaps from a manpower development level of the people who are going to be working in these mines, the old system pre-colonial up to now especially having a higher thrust around the 1980s was that it was realised by the Government of that time that we needed more people to work into the industries and therefore, the thrust was to develop so many apprentices such as fitter and turners, mechanics and electricians to feed into the industry to cover the gap which had been left by whites who had moved to South Africa and other countries in relation to the transition that had happened as we entered into the independence era.

Government took a deliberate stance to invest into manpower development through apprenticeship programmes. It sustained our industry to the extent that so many people managed to find livelihoods and even if you go to your medium income housing sectors, these are the people that you find occupying houses in Mt Pleasant and Waterfalls. These are your medium income earners.

Our economy has transformed and we are now living in an informal sector. One of the pillars of that informal sector is the small scale gold miners. As I am looking at this Bill I am asking myself, what is it that our education system can deliberately focus on in terms of equipping these young adults with enough skills that as they work into the mines that have been provided for by Government they have enough skills to make sure the environment is safe, their safety as individuals and also the safety of the mine and that they know how to channel that gold through the legal means as it finds its way into Treasury.

Right now we are celebrating one of the key issues which we are going to hear from the Minister of Finance, that we managed to get gold largely from the small scale miners and we are going to give them this much to support them. I know the figures and I cannot preempt; I know they are being supported in this current Budget we are going to be debating. We are giving money to people whom we are exposing to an effect of the Bindura incident where we have just lost 40 people; Chegutu we have lost four people, Esigodini we have lost six people and in Penhalonga we have lost 10 people. We are pouring in money and at the same time exposing them to methods that are ending up with us losing lives.

To bridge the gap of the need to get money, the desire to support them through the fiscus, we now need to put in place an education curriculum that supports these individuals as they leave school. Those who would have taken a deliberate decision to say I want to do mining, I am inspired by so and so who has a small scale mine who is doing mining, they must go through an apprenticed small mining programme so that, at least, they enter into that field equipped fully for them to be able to protect the environment, the gold itself and themselves.  So, it is just my thinking Hon. Speaker that an example given by the Acting Chair was that if you go to Victoria Falls, there is Elephant Hills and Kingdom Hotel.  One of your persuasions to occupy those hotels is the optics largely informed by the roofing.  Certainly, Elephant Hills is as beautiful as it is because of the thatching.  The majority of our holiday resorts are thatched and the comfort in those rooms is derived from the thatching attire that provides so much shade even in the absence of an air conditioner.  It is not by mistake that the investors – the majority of them whites, who come from other countries come and invest in those resort areas and put in these thatched roofs because they know that it is compatible with the environs.

          Now, an individual applied to certify members of the communities or within our citizenry to say, as you employ these thatchers; they must be certified through a formalised education system that individuals or institution is finding it difficult to simply turn our indigenous skill into a formalised skill that can then be exported or recognised and used at an official platform.  The institutions raised by the Hon. Minister, the Indian Institution of Science, the Chinese and French academies; what they have done is to simply tap into their indigenous methods perhaps in terms of medicine and coming up with various ways they have been doing.  Production of tea for example, and they have formalised them at universities and given them certificates and patented them and now they can sell them to the whole world.

          We are, in the majority of times, being told that, if you are affected by a particular disease – mostly cancerous diseases, go to India or go to Kenya but these countries did not import that medicine from the United States of America or the United Kingdom.  They took their indigenous way of medicines and formalised them through their education system, patented them and put them to test in various institutions for them to be able to safe guard human life.  They were put to test and are actually assisting.  Right now, I am told that India and China are the biggest suppliers of drugs here in Zimbabwe but we have ZINATHA, for example.  They also deal with traditional medicine.  Have we engaged them to an extent that they can give us their medicine and we put them through institutions of higher learning and then develop that medicine so that, at least, we can certify it?  Then we give it to the public fully knowing that it is safe for use and it is assisting because you cannot tell me that in this House, no one ever used Ntolwane.  All of us used Ntolwane in our infancy and some are still using it but we have never certified Ntolwane to become an official product that can be sold on the market in a pharmacy yet it is our product.

          The reason being that we are despising our indigenous ways of doing things because they are not going through an academic system in terms of developing that product and that can only be realised when we develop the manpower that can tap into our indigenous way of doing things and then we formalise it.  Of course, we cannot run away from the pre-colonial mindset to say that things have got to go through the academic system.  So, this Bill tries to bridge the two – develop your manpower but using your indigenous ways.  I implore the Minister to say, expand your degree programmes, expand your technical college programmes to take care of these issues that I have just mentioned. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Madam Speaker, my second issue will be on student representation …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker!

          HON. CHIKWINYA:  Sorry Hon. Chair, today you are smart so that you look Madamish – that is just a joke.  The issue of student representation, I am just emphasising because it has been captured in the report.

          I deplore a situation that is devoid of engagement between the supposed beneficiaries because as we establish these institutions of higher learning, they are for the students and not for the Executive or the Boards or lecturers.  They are primarily supposed to benefit the students.  So when I see running battles between students and lecturers or Vice Chancellors.  I think it is an issue of lacking a platform of dialoguing.  We must be able to say, we include these students in the decision making process and then they cascade to their constituencies.  One, we are developing leadership because the majority of our leaders here today, that is Ministers and Members of Parliament, have gone through these institutions of higher learning.  Their leadership skills – there are so many Professors of Economics but some have failed to become Ministers of Finance and Economic Development not because they cannot be Ministers of Finance and Economic Development but because they lack that cap of leadership.

          So, as the Executive chooses a minister, they also look at your leadership skills.  These leadership skills are horned through the institutions and representative bodies of students.  The majority of leaders who protracted the liberation struggle went through boards of student representatives at various colleges and their leadership skills were horned enough for them to be convinced that yes, I can have the education but I need the leadership to go and protract the liberation struggle in order for me to be independent and being academic.  The same principle still exists and this is why even the Government in its wisdom, recognises student representative bodies because they know that besides representing only students, they are also horning leadership skills in these future leaders.  In fact, the majority of them are now Members of Parliament, those who were Secretary Generals and Presidents.  I can mention Hon. Molokele, Hon. Joanna Mamombe and Madam Deputy Speaker there – these are now leaders of today, she was Head girl – the Hon. Minister was a Head girl.  So we cannot avoid having the leadership of these student bodies sitting on the Manpower Development Board because we would have left a critical constituency that has to do with our manpower development system.

          Lastly Hon. Speaker, I want to implore the Minister and this is purely to buttress on the fact that the realisation that our education and manpower development systems begin to fail when we have failed the living conditions of the lecturers.  That realisation alone, I think, is a milestone and it is heroic and legendary because we have found that the high turnover of lecturers at Polytechnical institutions has been affecting the quality of education of our students to the extent that perhaps in one semester, we are going to have four lecturers changing each other because they are now looking for greener pastures elsewhere.  Some are even leaving lectureship to go and become small scale miners.

          Recently, we lost a teacher in Zvishavane who left school and lost life whilst doing small scale mining.  So we cannot hide from this fact that everyone is competing for a sustainable livelihood.  So by recognising that they need to be treated the same as their colleagues in the institutions of higher learning at universities and staff; of course, they will be graded, we anticipate that, according to qualifications and stuff but the fact that they are in that category means that their negotiating platform is taken over by an independent body that is devoid of this majority civil servant structure which is quite bureaucratic and has much red tape and includes Members of Parliament who are very lowly paid; I understand but at least they are being taken care of.  I hope that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development understood me well on the last point that I just mentioned.

          Hon. Speaker, I want to thank you very much and thank Hon. Prof. Murwira – perhaps, in my parting shot; perhaps such type of thinking comes from a Minister who is not directly elected by the constituency and maybe that is why we are finding a sober, unpoliticised type of Bill that is coming before Parliament.  These other colleagues of mine who first of all seek for DCC election then want to – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – come to preside over ministerial appointments have been failing us for quite some time.  I thank you.

*HON. SHAMU: Thank you Hon. Speaker for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to this important Bill that has been brought by the Hon. Minister.  We applaud the good work that is being done by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, Innovation and Technological Development, Hon. Prof. Murwira.

I support and I am in agreement with the Bill that he has brought before the august House which is in line with Manpower Planning and Development, whose major objective is the development of the country.  What I liked most about this Bill is the appeal to ensure that technological innovations are taken to a higher level.  Everything that we do in terms of the discharge of our duties, should be aimed at promoting self sustenance to the generality of the populace.

I am glad that the objectives of the Bill are to achieve up-liftment of the ordinary men in the street as opposed to being the Ministry’s self serving Bill.  The vision of the Ministry is to ensure that vision 2030 is achieved and also that also that our socio-economic environment reaches the envisaged upper middle income economy as envisioned in vision 2030.

I would also want to thank the Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, Dr. Mapfumo for the speech that he delivered on Friday at the graduation ceremony.  He said that all you graduates are now leaving the university and you are now being released into the world.  Go and show the people all the knowledge that you have acquired during your tenure at University of Zimbabwe.

 Furthermore, show them that you are willing and capable to discharge all your duties that you will be called upon to perform.  The Education 5.0 as enunciated by Hon. Prof. Murwira, divides education into five categories, is well received and working well.

The Bill before the House is on all fours with the speech that was delivered on Friday when His Excellency, the President launched the use of computers and its software in the country.  The Bill promotes education with production so that people do not just learn the practical aspect but also put that practical element into practice.  This Bill seeks to ensure that we use our God given resources, starting with the sun, water, minerals, flora and fauna to maximum advantage in leveraging the development of our economy, so that we empower the majority of our people and meet their expectations and desires.

I also observed that the Hon. Minister has come up with a deeper theme for this Bill, especially that when projects have been put in place with a view to improving our socio-economic environment, people should be given the opportunity to learn and understand what these projects are all about so that they can make a decent living.  If we want to go far, we should go with the people and leave no one behind.

I am also happy to mention that the Bill is also alive to gender mainstreaming issues.  Furthermore, gender equity should be promoted.  I am equally impressed by the call by the Minister to ensure that we invest more into scientific research and that a lot of financial resources be poured into that research.  This should not only be supported by the Government alone, but should be supported by various private players from all the sectors.  Private companies should also be seen to support Government’s efforts in ensuring that there is rich scientific research, in tobacco growing, cotton or wool processing, so that the experts in those fields will further develop and enhance their expertise, which is of immense importance to the development of the country’s industry. This will also ensure that we not only produce for the local market but we also export to other markets. Therefore, Hon Speaker, I fully support what has been said by Prof. Murwira and the knowledge that he is bringing because it is in line with our modern thinking and technology. Thank you Hon. Speaker.

          *HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you so much Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on to this very good debate. You brought a very strategic Bill and I thank you Hon. Minister. It will help us to move our country forward. As I look into this Bill, it is going to ensure that there is fire or a spark plug to start our economy. We are renowned with intelligence as Zimbabweans the world over. We are not going to put our minds on redressing our problems or challenges so that we extricate ourselves from the challenges that we are facing as a result of the knowledge that our people have.

          We will have done nothing for ourselves. We will have misdirected our intelligence and what is needed is for our people to be technocrats that are well versed in innovation. Zimbabwe requires its people to work for it to ensure that we develop. Even if we want our people to take this country forward without the requisite skills, we will go nowhere and we will end up bringing people that do not believe in our objectives and people who do not share the same vision with us so that our country can progress. They will be there just for the money so that they will be able to sustain their families after their sojourn into Zimbabwe and they go back to their families.

          It is my wish that in all places as per the vision of His Excellency, the President - when I saw him launching the incubation hubs, each and every place should have more of those, maybe at district level, such that there will be people who impart such knowledge in the use of technology. Once our children are educated at the universities in line with 5.0, if they go to the communal lands, they may not be able to be accepted with that type of knowledge. We need to prepare the grassroots for this knowledge to go and have a fertile ground so that at the end of the day, we achieve our objectives. These things should be produced timeously so that they can be exported.

          Such skills will entice or encourage people to do that. I grow tobacco and when the tobacco expert who teaches people to grow tobacco comes, the people will tell them that we have known for years that we do it this way, even if it is now redundant because their minds have not been prepared to accept new innovations and new technology. So we need massive education to our population so that they will accept this expertise and that it is for the benefit of the development of the country. I am quite indebted, Minister, that the new dispensation has brought things that are important in our knowledge as human beings that people might think that they are able to impart the knowledge that they have to promote corporate governance. What you have done is commendable that you are saying the power that we have, you want to give it to the universities so that the universities can work on their own without the Minister directing everything and running the show as if you were now the principal of a college.

          You are empowering them to ensure that they grow themselves up and know the objectives of the nation. I thank you Hon. Minister for that and the new dispensation has come strongly in that regard that there be corporate governance to ensure that our country develops. Although it has already been made reference to by other Hon. Members, I value that point. People go to attain education and have various degrees and are appointed chairpersons of boards. This person requires two to three years to learn and know what is required in chairing a board and how best they can chair a board properly. It will take them three years.

          Students that are at university should be given a chance to be in the boards that we are going to create.  By so doing, we are taming them young, we are grooming the leadership so that tomorrow they will be better leaders. Some of the leaders that we have are from nowhere in terms of leadership because of the degree that they attained and they do not have leadership qualities. Experience is gained from working with the people. Do not forget that university students should be part and parcel of these boards because we do not live forever. Once we are away, they would remain and carry the baton further as universities identify talents.

          Those that are knowledgeable should be given enough resources to do researches and do other things to empower their brain knowledge so that we develop as is best practice in China and India. Countries like India and China, once they have seen that they have a bright child and is coming up with innovation, they invest in that child because that child’s innovation will bring money to the country. We have children that are renowned. The first pilot who was born here in Zimbabwe is now flying planes that fly the Greek routes. He celebrated in Britain because he has shown outstanding skills.

          We should give our children opportunities so that our country can develop. In Gutu where I come from whether it is from Mt. Darwin or wherever we come from, there is knowledge that needs to be refined so that this can be used for the development of our country. Some foodstuffs that we have here are good for our diet and health. Do we have a university that is responsible for looking into or researching into the food stuffs that we are consuming to know about the food values and the medicinal health, components that are there so that once we identify that, we can then look for other countries that can also buy our products and if we are not doing that, we go and buy apples.

          We have got matamba fruits, but who has done a research into the matamba fruits? I am not saying that those who have medical problems it is their fault no, but those old people that grew up eating the matamba fruit have never gone into the hospital, maybe it is from the nhengeni and such fruits. A research should be done to find out what the benefits of eating nhengeni are.  All those teachings we get about other countries should include what happens with our own indigenous fruits.  We should have books written about ngengeni, so that people chose to eat nhengeni knowing their benefits to our bodies.  I support the Bill brought by the Minister because this is the time we want to move forward as a country.  This Bill will cause us to move faster because we have enough knowledge, but it only needs practicality, then we will move forward  and develop as a country.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I also rise to lend my support to the amendment of the Manpower Planning and Development Bill which the Minister has tabled and also the principles of that Bill as enunciated by the Minister.  I want to support this Bill wholeheartedly.  Mr. Speaker Sir, now is the time to put a legal framework to Education 5.0.  All along it was a good policy, but it did not have that legal force or legal undertone.  Now that this Bill is coming, we should be able to see the policy being fully implemented without any legal hurdles.

          One thing I like about codifying Education 5.0 policy is that it will lead to a revolution in this country.  This Bill will lead to a revolution in this country because in our quest to modernise and industrialise, we just have to make sure that no one is left behind.  All along before the Education 5.0, I was really concerned about the kind of education that our institutions were churning out.  Minister we had an institution producing graduates who could not fix even the handle of a door.  A graduate who could not even fix a tap when it breaks down, so this Bill I think is going to address that mischief to make sure that our education produces practical people; people who are skilled and people who are productive.  That is all about andragogy as opposed to pedagogical education that has been given even to adults.  You produce useless people; an economist who cannot solve a problem; an engineer who cannot even manufacture a bicycle or a sewing machine.  I think this Bill has got the right legal thrust to make sure that our country is going to be a country of practical solutions, not just academic theory.

          One thing that worries me about our education system is that Minister, why should a pupil spend seven years, doing primary education, doing what?  Six years of secondary education, doing what, just learning theory and no practical skills – honestly, I think we have to review our curriculum. We are spending unnecessary time with students doing grade one to seven; form one to six; university, it is too much time doing nothing.  Industry requires those skills.  I would suggest that because of the de-industrialisation that took place in this country, all our graduates must be allocated defunct industries, faculty by faculty, let us allocate them all defunct industries in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, Harare and say please can you resuscitate these industries. ZISCO Steel, we have got a lot of local engineers who can do wonders to revive ZISCO Steel.

          So that is the thrust that this Bill is going to promote- the promotion of local skills, local expertise, I think the principles of this Bill are very much welcome.  You know we miss those days of trade testing.  I used to work in industry, you could see students being trade tested, going into industry; doing wonders in industry even more than those who have gone through higher tertiary institution.  So trade testing we really miss it.  Days of apprenticeships, we miss those days and that is the thrust that we must take.  I think your quest to separate tertiary education workers from the civil services is very noble because they can be better remunerated and equipped and be given that professional independence to execute their duties in a more professional manner.  I support that effort.

          Hon. Minister, it is time now to reform ZIMDEF because your Bill also introduced institutional reforms on ZIMDEF and NAMACO.  It is the right thrust, we need to strengthen corporate governance in ZIMDEF and NAMACO so that all the levies that are collected are applied to manpower development and not any other things like what we had seen happening with past regime when the Minister went amok and then abused ZIMDEF Fund.  I hope that it cures all that mischief – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Lastly, you may now want to look at the terminology of manpower.  It is a bit archaic because manpower was connoting to amadoda sibili.  Now you talk of human capital, human resources et cetera.  So the manpower parlance needs to be revisited because it is no longer gender friendly in the modern world.  Thank you very much.

          HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving this opportunity to add my voice to this very important Bill.  I will start by supporting the Bill.  The Bill clearly lays a solid foundation for learners and graduates who have been able to use their acquired skills in a productive manner instead of theory paper graduates. However, one of the highlights from the report by the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education is a recommendation for three Vice Principals at these institutions of higher learning.  This on its own makes the institutions top heavy considering that there are already heads of various departments in these institutions of higher learning.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, this Bill will go a long way in ensuring that the graduates that come out of our institutions of higher learning are practical people who might be able to create employment such that we do not always produce people who are employment seekers. This on its own will also go a long way in reducing the number of people who are not involved in production in the economy.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. BRIG. GEN. RTD. MAYIHLOME:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education for bringing this Bill to Parliament and also the Committee’s report on this Bill.  They did a very thorough job.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I just want to highlight a few things that need to be taken into account, otherwise the Bill will remain a mirage to a lot of our people.  Firstly, the Bill in my view should be integrated with what happens at ECD, primary and secondary school.  Starting only at tertiary institutions without addressing the challenges that face ECD, primary and secondary education in this country will result in a lot of our people being left out, particularly those schools without facilities.  We are talking of computers and science laboratories.  We are talking of rural areas where there is no network infrastructure.  Even researches will be extremely difficult in those areas.  So the Bill must be comprehensive, wholesome and address all those things.

The Education 5.0 in my view should start at elementary level so that the child grows with the drive to be an engineer, a doctor or a pilot.  When we meet them at tertiary institutions, it is already too late for a lot of other students, so that needs to be addressed.  That linkage is very crucial to me.

Secondly, I think another important issue is the issue of incentives for students who do well.  The Bill in my view or the statutory instruments should provide for prizes and incentives for those students who come up with viable industrial proposals or industrial projects. Let us look at examples like Singapore and Rwanda.  We realise that they are recognised and their medals are given incentives.  That recognition drives or inspires everyone else to aspire to do well.  So, there should be a provision for such.

Thirdly, I suggest that the Bill should also reward those industries that encourage what is called 70% to 30% training; 70% in the field doing practical work and only 30% doing theory.  Too many of our students spend too much time in universities and colleges learning theory but no practical learning. I suggest that the Bill should give incentives to those students that will do 70% of their work in industries so that they produce tangible things.  A certificate should be only awarded at completion to those students who would have innovated anything.  If you do not produce or innovate on any subject, then your degree is rendered invalid or not really appreciated.  We can only do that to create incentives for industry to absorb these people so that journeymen are the basis for training our engineers. In other words, our engineers should start off as journeymen and once they learn how to do things, they are appreciated instead of getting our engineers going on to do MBAs in Economics and Business. It does not help the country at all.  That line of training must proceed to tertiary institutions.  Otherwise, let us integrate this Bill so that everybody in the country is catered for and is covered so that we have an efficient and effective Manpower Bill.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. MUSARURWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I want to say this Bill is a very good Bill but I am realising that it is silent on the issue of prisons in our country.  The Bill does not consider education for prisoners.  Prisons are rehabilitation centres and there are skills which are being done at these prisons but the skills are not certified.  Therefore, I am saying the Minister must consider the issue of ensuring certificates under Hexco for those prisoners so that when they come out of prisons, they will be having certificates and they can be given jobs at different companies.  This issue will help in reduction of crime rates in the country.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just want to add a few things to the Hon. Minister’s Bill.  Firstly, I just want to expand on what Hon. Musarurwa raised.  It is a very important issue.  In other countries, normally we look at the best amongst other countries.  If you go to Sweden today and you are arrested, your first interview is – what were you doing outside.  If you say I was at school doing engineering, they ask you what kind of engineering.  They are separated on that basis.

Whilst in the prisons, those funds that you were contributing to when you were outside or entitled to is then remitted to prisons for you to continue doing what you were doing.  Because of that, you are rehabilitating that individual.  When that person gets out of that prison, probably he will have finished his engineering degree and they make sure that you are employed.  Some can even start their projects whilst in prison and they will be supported to make sure that their potential is realised.  So I think it is very important for us to do.

The time that a lot of people spend in prison, they will be idle but if they can continuously think about how to do things in a better way, I tell you we will harvest a lot of things that will come out of prisons, at the same time rehabilitating an individual.  It will also keep the individual busy and healthy.  So, it will be easy to integrate them into the community when they come out.

I want to applaud the Minister for making sure that we now have people who are primarily interested in knowing how we are developing our children.  I can give an example; Air Zimbabwe has been training a lot of engineers and we have exported a lot. I know quite a number of young men who now head workshops in Dubai. I even have my sister’s son who is a head of the engine workshop.  Mr. Speaker, the conditions we train our children at Air Zimbabwe are deplorable.  A number of apprentices were only left with two weeks when we went into Covid but up to today, they have not been given that opportunity to finish those two weeks.  What Air Zimbabwe has done is to call them back and tell them that for them to get those two weeks they should do certain repairs.  You need about six engineers to service some of these planes that we now have but they are being given nothing.  A student comes from Bulawayo, he is now renting in Harare and is expected to wake up in the morning and go to Air Zimbabwe to do some work and come back without anything being paid.

So, I think the issue of ZIMDEF is very important, it must be managed well and conditions that will produce the best created.  We are actually exporting a person whom we train well. We used to celebrate when one gets a position to do apprenticeship. You would see people chained in First Street with oils all over the body after completing the course.  When that person leaves Zimbabwe to go and work outside, he owes Zimbabwe something.  That person is working there because that is where he or she has found a job but the moment the person gets a job which is more lucrative back home, that person will come back.  The one who does not come back home will send monies to his or her parents here.

          Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important to have such people who are passionate about their work.  The issue of selecting people who go in there is very important.  Let us forget about politics, let us talk of what we want to achieve.  Whoever is capable of delivering must be given the opportunity to do so.  The moment we do so Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe is destined to greatest heights.  We have people who have brains and attitude that are prepared to do the best.

          So, I concur with my fellow Hon. Members who have contributed before; that if we can follow the Bill – I know the Minister has his own vision of seeing a situation where we can do anything that any other country can do.  Let him not be disturbed by other things that will not help him achieve the goal.  It is important for us to focus and say this is what we are going to do.

Then downstream, it is also important for us to recognise the fact that we had also some institutions that have been trying to be innovative. We must find out what their real problems are.  I can talk of what is included in the NDS1 regarding the issue of productivity.  There is a combination between productivity and innovation.  On productivity, you are saying how best you can produce the best quality at the least cost. For us to export, we can only do that if we can achieve the highest productivity everyday. Mr. Speaker, as you increase your productivity, you are reducing the cost of the input into that particular product.  It then follows that the moment you reduce the cost, you are also reducing the price of the product.  So when you export it, it will be a cheap product and can compete at the international market.

Also, the issue of retooling will become much easier; you are getting more money, you are investing into new technologies. That relationship is important to be always in mind.  We are doing all this to produce the best and cheapest product and we can conquer the market.

          I just want to end up by saying from what the Minister is saying, we are also trying to depart from a situation where we always cry about something that others can try to do to us.  We must counter that by making sure that we become more innovative.  We can complain that, that country gave us sanctions but I want to tell you that Rhodesia developed faster when it was under the sanctions.  Why - they were substituting and people were innovative.  We must build our economy under those circumstances, meaning that in a situation where you then have all the access, I tell you - you will travel as far as possible. Our thrust, we must say - here is what we have, we have human capital and resources.  Let us use them for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Hon. Speaker, I am really humbled as well as thrilled at the high level of input that is meant to improve our manpower planning and development framework for this country.  I just want to say that all the comments that have been given are meant to support and improve the manpower planning and development landscape of our country.  A country is as good as the knowledge and skills of its people, no miracles!  Development cannot be an accident, it cannot be an incident; it is constructed. We construct the way we want our future to be.

          Hon. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Members together with the Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  The Committee and the Members have been very supportive of the journey that we are moving.  The journey that we are moving is about prosperity of this country through the sweat and imagination of its people and nurturing that talent so that we begin to enjoy.  I think democracy thrives in an environment of plenty and of confidence and where people produce their food, medicine, transport and technology.

          So Hon. Speaker, I really just want to say thank you, siyabonga, ndatenda – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!] –

I now move that the Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Bill [H. B. 2, 2020] be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: Wednesday, 9th December, 2020.

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.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

First Order read:  Adjourned debate motion for leave to bring in a on Finance Bill.

Question again proposed.

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir for affording me this very important time to table the report of your Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development responding to the Budget that was tabled by the Hon. Minister of Finance.

  1. BACKGROUND

 

Hon Speaker Sir, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Prof.Mthuli Ncube tabled a Z$421 billion (approx. US$5.14 billion) 2021 National Budget on the 26th of November 2020. Themed “Building Resilience and Sustainable Economic Recovery”, the budget is riding on milestones achieved under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) (October 2018-December 2020) which will be succeeded by the growth-oriented National Development Strategy (NDS 1) that runs from 2021 to 2025. This budget is then the first tool in the implementation of the NDS1.

The budget is being implemented in the context of the NDS1’s 14 Pillars namely:

  1.             Economic Growth and Stability;
  2.              Food and Nutrition Security;

   iii.             Governance;

  1.             Moving the Economy up the Value Chain & Structural Transformation;
  2.             Human Capital Development;
  3.             Environmental Protection, Climate Resilience and Natural Resource Management;

 vii.            Housing Delivery;

viii.            Digital Economy;

  1.             Health and Well-being;
  2.              Infrastructure & Utilities;
  3.              Image Building and International Engagement and Re-engagement;

 xii.            Social Protection;

xiii.            Youth, Sport and Culture; and

xiv.            Devolution.

NDS1 seeks to create 760,000 new jobs, bring inflation down to between 3-7% by 2025 and grow the economy by 5% year on year.

  1. ECONOMIC CONTEXT

The 2021 National Budget comes at a time when the country is battling to fight the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in further macroeconomic deterioration across the economic divide. The ramifications of the pandemic extend beyond the direct health consequences, but has brought negative social and economic impacts thereby posing a big threat to development. The 2021 National Budget is expected to lead the country on a COVID-19 recovery path by reflecting reforms and mechanisms to redress the challenges presented by the pandemic.

In view of the above, Government is expected to enact a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable national budget framework that prioritises people and their basic needs as well as ring-fencing expenditures thereto. The budget must boost public spending on health, education and social development portfolios without undermining fiscal sustainability. This is particularly so given the economic background of the country, which for the past couple of years was confronted with climatic shocks. Resultantly, the economy is projected to contract by – 4.4% in 2020 before recovering to 7.4% in 2021 on the back of expected normal to above normal rainfall in 2020/2021 season. Inflation, which had peaked to 837.5 % in July 2020 is expected to continue nose-diving after the introduction of the Foreign Currency Auction System which generally stabilised the foreign exchange market. It is expected to close the year 2020 at 2% Month on Month and 336% Year on Year before subsiding to close 2021 below 135% YOY and 1% MOM average. The mining sector is also expected to recover with a rally in global commodity prices.

  1. COMPLIANCE TO THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

The budget presentation is in compliance with Section 305 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and Section 28(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) [Chapter 22:19] which relate to the tabling of the budget in Parliament. The budget also adheres to the PFMA and the Reserve Bank Act [Chapter 22:15] with regard to fiscal targets on level of budget deficit (Not more than 3% of GDP)  and  Central Bank lending to Government (not more than 20% of the previous year’s revenue) respectively but violates the Public Debt Management Act [Chapter 22:21].Total Public and Publicly Guaranteed (PPG) debt is estimated at 78.7%of GDP by end of 2020 which is above the SADC recommended threshold of 60% of GDP and the Public Debt Act threshold of 70% of GDP. Moreover, an allocation of ZWL$19.54 billion (5% of projected 2020 revenue of ZWL$ 390.8 billion to Provincial and Local tiers of Government is in compliance with Section 301(3) of the Constitution which provides for allocation of “not less than five per cent of the national revenues raised in any financial year to the provinces and local authorities as their share in that year.”

  1. POST BUDGET CONSULTATIONS

The Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee received stakeholder reactions to the 2021budget from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Chamber of Mines (COM), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). The Committee also received submissions from Institute for Community Development (ICOD) and the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD). The consultations were done pursuant to budget input obtained from conducted countrywide budget consultations from 12-16 October 2020 to gather the views of the general public in compliance with Section 141 (a) of the Constitution and 28(5) of the PFMA [Chapter 22:19].

  1. EXTENT TO WHICH COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE BUDGET

The Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee (Hereafter referred to as the Committee) commends the Hon. Minister for incorporating and responding to most of Parliament’s recommendations into the 2021 budget. Although total bids submitted to Treasury by various ministries and departments are much higher than the capacity of revenues and borrowings, the Hon. Minister did well in counter-balancing the demands with the resource envelope. The Committee however feels there is room for improvement in the budget in order to best match it with the views of the public. Given the macro-fiscal stabilisation objectives of the budget and the National Development Strategy 1, adhering to an expenditure ceiling of ZWL$421.6 billion, is imperative.

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

 

6.1           Parliament Allocation – Allocation of $7.186 billion (1.7% of the budget) from an initial bid of ZWL$14.7 billion is not in any way reflective of the important role Parliament plays as a custodian of the Constitution and as one of the three arms of the State. The allocation has been declining in real terms from US$124.6 million 2020 to US$88.7millionin 2021 using the official exchange rates, is a far cry from the requirements. As a custodian of constitutional democracy, Parliament needs non-negotiable allocation to carry out its mandate consistent with Section 325 (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that: “The Government must ensure that adequate funds are provided to Parliament, to enable it and its Committees to meet whenever necessary”. The paltry allocation falls short of the minimum financial empowerment requirements for the institution to make robust legislation, effectively represent the populace and carry out vigilant oversight of the executive. In view of the above observations, the Committee seriously urges the Hon. Minister to effect the above recommended adjustments on the Parliament of Zimbabwe Vote, taking a small fraction from unallocated reserve to enable the institution to effectively carry out its mandate as provided in the Constitution.

6.2           Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Allocation- The Committee welcomes the allocation towards the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of ZWL$420 million which translates to $2 million (US$ 24 691) per constituency. The Committee however recommends timeous disbursements and a review of the allocation to an equivalent of US$50000 per constituency if it is to make meaningful impact.

6.3           Social Protection-The Committee commends the Hon. Minister for allocating $8.2 billion for various social protection programmes. The Committee emphasises the need for timely implementation of the various social protection measures and better policy coordination, that is, ensuring that there is policy consistency in the budget execution through alignment of action plans to the realisation of social and economic rights of the citizens especially Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the elderly and the vulnerable.

6.4           Humanitarian assistance- The Committee calls upon Government to revise upwards the current monthly allowances of ZWL$300 per person cash transfer programme for the vulnerable in line with price movements and the need for the funds to make meaningful impact on the lives of the people.

6.5           Wage bill - The Committee calls on the Hon. Minister to ensure that the budget gives effect to structural measures to rationalise civil service including early retirements and eliminating temporary workers. Government needs to develop a digital strategy to help in streamlining public service wage bill. The Committee is of the view that the strategies in the budget to reduce the wage bill to below 40% of the total budget are inadequate. The Committee also calls on Government to design appropriate packages for public sector employees and expeditiously address their grievances in order to minimise disruptions to service delivery. On their end, the workers need to negotiate from a moral viewpoint realising that continued industrial action while accepting salaries is unethical.

6.6           Productivity - The NDS1 undertakes to strengthen public sector productivity through extensive application of Performance Management Systems. In that regard, the Committee calls upon Government to resuscitate the National Productivity Institute to ensure that wages are linked to productivity. The NPI is a tripartite organisation with representation from the Government, employers and employee organisations established to promote a productivity culture and consciousness in Zimbabwe by coming up with national and sectoral scientific benchmarks to guide productivity bargaining. The NPI should then develop, disseminate knowledge and experience in productivity, for promoting consciousness and improvement in productivity, with the objective of strengthening the performance and competitiveness of the economy as well as of improving the working conditions and quality of life. Moreover, given the plethora of Acts governing the public sector which are also a source of lack of coordination within the public sector, there is need to harmonise these Acts with the main Labour Act. This process was once spearheaded by the tripartite social partners in 2010 but was abandoned.

Cognisant of the low average productivity in Zimbabwe (0.6 metric tonnes per hectare for maize), there is need to focus on enhancing total factor productivity growth across the board. Higher total factor productivity entails improving labour productivity which is very low in the country through improvement in worker skills as well as improvements in working environments to motivate workers to work harder. On the other hand, capital productivity can be enhanced through revamped business investment, research and innovation to increase capital output. Improving the doing business environment can also act as an investment pull factor particularly FDI where capital productivity will be higher.

6.7           Mining-The Committee calls for other supportive measures in the sector which include review and standardisation of Rural District Council fees and charges and further review of Environmental Management Agency charges in line with international best practise. In Mutoko, for instance, the Local authority was getting US$1/tonne of granite extracted in 2019.In that regard, the Committee recommends the adoption of a deliberate policy by Mining firms to capacitate and develop areas where they extract resources. The time limit for liquidation of unutilised export earnings should be extended and Government should undertake to timeously pay for coal delivered to ZESA. The 2021 budget should also prioritise allocations towards the reopening of closed and new mines, finalising the Mines and Mineral Amendment Act and harmonisation of mining taxation laws which are critical in ensuring the viability of the sector as well as to review gold marketing conditions and capacitate law enforcement institutions in order to seal leakages that are enabling side marketing of minerals. Ministry of Mines and Mining development should be capacitated in terms of mobility, communication and computerisation to ensure that mining applications are timely processed and inspections can be conducted as the ministry has a backlog of more than 17 000 applications. To promote mine health and safety and reduce the number of mining accidents, the ZWL$21.4 million allocation is inadequate given the need to increase investigations, inspections and audits and implementation of the occupational health and safety strategy and enforcement guidelines to reduce occupational injuries, fatalities and dangerous occurrences.

The Committee also recommends that the budget must actualise, beyond statements of intent, transparency and accountability in the mining sector through adoption and implementation of such measure as Africa Mining Vision (AMV), Extractives Transparency Initiatives (EITI), Southern Africa Resource Watch Barometer and the SADC mining protocol to curb leakages and spur development in the mining sector.

The setting up of the Mining Cadastre Information System must be finalised in 2020. This is an important system which should increase transparency in the mining sector through mining title administration. In this regard, resources to the tune of ZWL$247.4 million which have been set aside from the 2021 National Budget to meet the target of early next year upon which migration should be completed from the existing manual to the computer-based cadastre system should be supported by allocation of adequate forex.

6.8           State Enterprises and Parastatals (SEPs) - The Committee welcomes the measures to reform SEPs whose continued reliance on handouts from Government has a strong crowding out effect on critical social and capital expenditures. These reforms, which had been on the cards for far too long need to be urgently expedited in the 2021 fiscal year and the budget should provide timelines so as to stop the further haemorrhaging of the economy as keeping them on life support has only benefitted their executives at the expense of the economy. In view of the relatively fairly and at times impressive performance of the SEPs in other countries which are following alternative SEPs ownership models, one of the game changing reforms which Government is pursuing the reform of the current decentralised SEPs ownership model. The Committee recommends reduction of SEPs by merging and disposing off some of them. A centralised model where the Ministry of Finance or any other Department becomes the coordinating arm for parastatals and acts as the Shareholder is desirable, and Government should consider the merits and demerits of such an option before implementation.   The central decision-making body will carry out the mission as shareholder in all companies and organisations controlled by the State.   It is also recommended that Government reduces its shareholding in commercial SEPs to a minimum majority.

6.9           Subsidies-The Committee recommends Governments to put in place targeted subsidies in order to do away with rent seeking for subsidised commodities. Blanket subsidies are abused and do not reach the intended beneficiaries for example the roller meal subsidy which has been abused by producers and individuals, according to the 2020 Mid-year budget review statement.

6.10      Value Addition-The Committee calls upon the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the budget supports value addition and put an end to the export of raw materials. Among other macroeconomic objectives for the NDS1 is the need to accelerate value addition and beneficiation of agriculture and mining. The aim is to increase the contribution of value-added exports to total exports from 9% in2020 to 20% by 2025. The country had a diverse export product mix with a high composition of value-added products such as textiles, clothing and processed foods, among others. Presently the export product mix is heavily skewed towards raw commodities and semi-finished products and the country imports them back as expensive finished goods, a situation which is untenable. The budget should finance the value addition strategies through the identified value chains. Related to that, the budget should spell out targeted interventions towards reviving the steel industry whose potential is enormous. It is therefore prudent that an action plan for the revival of ZISCO be put in place. It is imperative to realise that it is not in the interests of any country to invest in value addition of Zimbabwean commodities as doing this brings more harm than good to their source of cheap raw materials.

6.11      Funding to ZIMSTAT-The budget should adequately fund ZIMSTAT to enable the institution to produce timely statistics which is critical for informed decision making. With a funding gap of ZWL$ 9.089 billion (84% shortfall), the agency is crippled and will not be able to undertake a credible decennial census. ZIMSTAT needs adequate vehicles to facilitate mobility, ICT equipment to facilitate census logistics and adequate manpower in areas such as Legal, Human Resources, IT and Finance. As such, Zimstat allocation should be revised upwards to ZWL$1.7 billion.

6.12      Development assistance- The Committee notes with concern deliberate concealment of development assistance and retention funds by Ministries and Government departments when they make budget bids and representations in Parliament. With retention funds winding up by 31 December 2020, the Committee therefore recommends presentation of a holistic revenue and expenditure plans including projected development assistance during the process of making budget bids. This will enable Parliament to put forward well-informed proposals to the Ministry of Finance.

6.13      Public Debt Management -Zimbabwe should prioritise interest repayment with a view to curtail the exponential growth of the sovereign debt. The Committee observed that according to the budget statement, the country’s external debt is estimated at US$8.2 billion, as at end September 2020 which is an increase by US$106 million from the end 2019 amount of US$8.09 billion and was mainly on account of penalties and interest arrears. Of the 17% owed by public entities through guarantees, Debt Outstanding and Disbursed (DOD) is a meagre US$28 Million while arrears have grown to US$1.349 billion. Expenditure on interest payment has been negligible and this has seen the nation’s debt in our arrears increasing thereby increasing the risk premium for the country.

6.14      Debt Information-The committee Calls upon Treasury to work towards improving budget information. The debt information provided in the budget is not as detailed as provided for in Section 300(4) of the Constitution which mandates the Minister to:

(a) at least twice a year, report to Parliament on the performance of—

(i) loans raised by the State; and

(ii) loans guaranteed by the State;

(b) at the same time as the estimates of revenue and expenditure are laid before the National Assembly

The Minister, in addition to regularly sending detailed reports to Parliament should provide a comprehensive statement of the public debt of Zimbabwe every time he tables the budget as required by the law.  Moreover, Section 36 of the Public Debt Management Act is instructive of the information to be contained in the report to Parliament including Government debt management activities, guarantees and lending, information on how the debt management strategy has been implemented over the course of the financial year; bi-annual reporting of debt management activities covering an evaluation of outcomes against the debt management objectives; a list of all guarantees issued by Government including a classification of guarantees according to their probability of being called in and  a list of all outstanding borrowings and related debt service projections including classification

of the loans by Government, public entities and local authorities.

6.15      Health– The Hon.  Minister of Finance should, by February 2021 engage the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Vice President C. G. D. N. Chiwenga, as per his undertaking at the 2020 pre-budget seminar and expedite the enactment of the Cancer Act, as well as explore all options including amending the AIDS levy rate to 1.5% and put the other 1.5% to cancer screening. Cancer screening should be available cost free at all health facilities just like HIV testing whose prevalence rates have gone down due to massive testing, prevention and awareness programmes.

6.16      Procurement-The Procurement Committees in the Ministries should be urgently constituted and staffed with qualified personnel in order to address the challenges being faced with regards to delays in procurement. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, for instance attributed underutilisation of funds allocated towards reconstruction of Cyclone damaged schools in Chimanimani to ineffective procurement. Moreover, utilisation of the capital budget in the Ministry is very weak. As at end-September 2020, only 6% of the ZWL$1.7 billion approved capital budget had been utilised. The Ministry of Health has also reported procurement challenges which have sadly caused the failure to procure 100 ambulances whose budget had been set aside. The 2020 budget has set aside $590million for procurement of 110 ambulances and utility vehicles. Such challenges are across all Government departments and should be urgently addressed. The Committee will be through in 2021 to track the budget to weed out such inefficiencies early into the fiscal year.

6.17      Revenue targets-The Committee is concerned with the seemingly ambitious revenue targets.  The budget anticipates collection of $34.8 billion in December 2020, up from an average of $12.6 billion in 11 months. Anticipated revenue for 2021 is ZWL$390.8 billion, (16.4% of GDP). This revenue target is based, on among other assumptions, recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, resumption of global economic activity and resumption of tourism and trade. These are however likely to continue to be depressed for a considerable time given the surge in Covid 19 cases within the country and beyond. If the Covid 19 pandemic is not quickly curtailed, then the growth target of 7.4% in 2021 may be difficult to achieve without concessionary credit lines for business.

6.18      IMTT minimum threshold-The committee recommended upward revision of the minimum taxable amount for the Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) to $2000 given that most products which the poor purchase at any given time would cost more than $2000. The Hon. Minister in the 2021 budget revised the Tax-Free Threshold from the current ZWL$300 to ZWL$500. The Committee recommends further revision to $2000, as had been recommended if the tax relief measure is to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people.

6.19      Youth Employment Tax Credit -The Committee recommends and upward adjustment of the Youth Employment Tax Credit for each employee hired from the proposed ZWL$1500 to a minimum of ZWL$10 000. This will enhance the attractiveness of the scheme to employers. The proposed 1500 (US$18) is not attractive for companies to hire young people.  The tax credit scheme should be extended to People With Disabilities (PWDs) wherein the tax credit for hiring a person with disability should be higher.

6.20      Motor Vehicle Rebate Scheme for Civil Servants -The Committee recommends extension of Motor Vehicle Rebate Scheme for Civil Servants to cushion them from excessive transport costs bearing in mind the inadequacy of ZUPCO buses. The budget proposes ceasing the scheme with effect from 30 June 2021 in view of the improved transport system and to nip corrupt tendencies where beneficiaries are ceding their privilege to third parties in exchange for monetary gain. Not much has changed in terms of the transport situation since the introduction of the scheme in 2020. The Committee therefore request the Ministry of Finance to consider the original intention of the scheme and look at possible ways to curtail errant behaviour by the intended beneficiaries. A blanket ban will affect genuine beneficiaries. The committee recommends strengthening of the monitoring and verification systems, as is done in other countries like Kenya and Tanzania.

6.21      Expenditure tracking-The Committee recommends the setting aside of a dedicated fund to conduct Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs) and Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) beginning with social sectors. Public expenditure tracking helps governments, citizens and CSOs ensure that allocated public resources effectively reach their intended beneficiaries. They can also help identify and address problems and weaknesses in systems of public expenditure, transfers and service delivery. In the same vein, the Ministry should ensure operationalisation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in 2021

6.22      Vote 1-OPC–The Committee is concerned with the consolidation of several issues which Parliament ordinarily should be overseeing and should be kept abreast of under Vote 1. In that regard, there in need to separate votes for monitoring Government programmes and service provision. As such, votes for Radiation Protection, SIRDC, DDF and ZIDA should be under relevant Ministries so as to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of performance and Parliamentary oversight.

6.23      Audit Office Budget- The Committee recommends continuous strengthening of the Auditor-General, another watchdog institution. A budget of 0.28% of the total budget will not empower the office to effectively perform its mandate given the huge resource requirements for an effective audit. International best practise dictates that the Office of the Auditor-General is allocated 1 % of the budget.

  1. CONCLUSION

The Committee commends the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic development for crafting a productivity orientated budget which is couched on the need to put Zimbabwe on a growth trajectory. The Committee also commends the Minister for incorporating most of the recommendations from Parliament. The Committee calls upon all stakeholders to put all hands on the deck to ensure successful implementation of the budget and the NDS1. In that regard, Parliament must be adequately capacitated to monitor budget implementation. This will be done by ensuring timely release of resources and monitoring the outcomes and output vis-a-vis the legislative intention as outlined in the estimates of expenditure (Blue) Book. Any deviation from the plan should be communicated well in time with justifications given for such.

          The Committee therefore recommends the House to approve this budget subject to incorporation of these and other recommendations from Parliament.

Thank you, Tatenda, Siyabonga, Twalumba. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Hon. Members, may I direct Hon. Chairpersons who are presenting their reports that they need to devoet much of their time on Recommendations and Observations.  After your Introduction please, can you go to Observations.  I think that those are of much interest to the minister.  Thank you very much.

HON. MKARAKATIGWA:

Introduction

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s mandate is to formulate policies that ensure sustainable mining and marketing of mineral resources; regulate all mining operations by ensuring that all mining activities comply with statutory regulations and ensuring mineral beneficiation and value addition before they are exported.

The Ministry’s priorities for 2021 to 2023 include:

  • Acquisition, development and Operationalisation of the computerised Mining Cadastre Information System
  • Facilitation of the: resuscitation of closed mines, expansion of existing mines and establishment of new mines
  • Implementation of the “use it or lose it” principle
  • Capacitation of Small Scale Miners through the Mining Industry Loan Fund (MILF) and other financing initiatives
  • Mineral exploration and mining development

2.0 METHODOLOGY

                   2.1    Following the presentation of the 2021 National Budget by the Minister of Finance, the Portfolio Committee on Mines engaged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and stakeholders to gather their views.  The Committee consolidated the views and came up with its own analysis of the budget as outlined in ensuing sections of this report.

3.0           MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT BUDGET ANALYSIS

3.1           Overview of the Ministry’s 2021 Budget

3.1.1   The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development was allocated a total of ZWL$1.399 billion the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The allocation represents a 0.33% share of the National Budget down from 0.50 allocated in the 2020 national budget. The 2021 budgetary allocation was against a bid of ZWL$4 billion implying that the Ministry received 35% of the amount it had requested from Treasury.

Figure 1: Allocation to the Mining sector as a share of total budget (%) between 2018 and 2021

Source Budget Estimates (2021)

3.1.2   Figure 1 reflects a decrease in the level of priority assigned to the mining sector despite its contribution to the national economy of the country.

3.1.3    Although the Ministry’s allocation increased by 74% from the 2020 allocation, it is only US$17.129 million[1] which is lower from the USD equivalence of USD21.092 million[2] allocated in 2020. Further, the effectiveness of this budget allocation will depend on timely disbursements of the allocated funds. The 2020 experience revealed that whilst the Ministry was allocated a total of ZWL$353 million, only 10.43%[3] of this amount had been disbursed as at 30 September 2020.

3.2           Budget Analysis by Programme

3.2.1   The Ministry of Mines has two programmes namely Policy and Administration as well as the Mining Development and Management. Of the ZWL$1.399 billion allocated to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for the year 2021, ZWL$312.554 million or 22.34% of the total mining sector budget went towards Policy and Administration (see Figure 2). The Mining Development and Management programme received ZWL$1.086 billion or 77.66% of the Ministry’s 2021 total budget.

Figure 2:  Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s 2021 Budget Allocation by Programme 

Source: Budget Estimates (2020 and 2021)

3.3           Budget Analysis by Expenditure

3.3.1   Of the ZWL$353.73 million that was allocated to the Ministry of Mines for 2020,  ZWL$490 million (35.03%) went towards operations and maintenance expenditure.   Capital expenditure was allocated ZWL$657.867 million (47.02%) which is lower than the 56% allocation in the 2020 budget.  Employment costs will take 17.58% of the Ministry’s total budget in 2021 whilst the remainder (0.36%) will go towards acquisition of financial assets (loans).  (See Figure 3). The Committee appreciates the prioritisation of capital expenditure.

Figure 3: Economic Classification of the budget

Source Budget Estimates (2021)

3.4           Budget Allocations vs Bids for 2021

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s 2021 budget allocation of ZWL$1.399 billion represent only 35% of Ministry’s bids submitted to Treasury. The Policy and Administration Programme was allocated 34% of the Ministry’s bid for that programme whilst the Mining Development and Management Programme had a funding gap of 60%. This underfunding of the Ministry’s programmes will negatively affect the Ministry’s operations which are key in achieving the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. Figure 4 shows a comparison between the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s bids and 2021 allocation for the two programmes.

Figure 4: 2021 Budget Allocations against the Ministry’s bids

Source Budget Estimates (2021)

  1. COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS, ISSUES AND CONCERNS

4.1           Decrease in the level of priority assigned to the sector

Whilst there was 74.7% increase in the budget allocation to the mining sector, there was a marginal decrease in the share of what the sector received to the total national budget. The budget, generally reflect limited extent to which the government prioritises the mining sector despite it being the chief foreign currency earner for the country. Since the thrust for the 2021 Budget is centered on ramping up productivity in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining and services sectors to create jobs and reduce import; the Committee expected the budget to adequately address the mining sector challenges to bring the industry to a growth trajectory in line with the US12 billion vision by 2023. The proposed allocation to the Ministry relative to the others therefore appears small to capacitate the Ministry of Mines in line with its 2023 vision.

4.2           Scrapping of the retention of resources from statutory fees

          Whilst in the past years, statutory fees have immensely contributed to the Ministry’s operations; it is of great concern that Treasury has discontinued the retention of the statutory fees collected by the Ministry of Mines. The statutory fees provided a lifeline to the Ministry’s operations in the backdrop of late disbursement of funds to meet the Ministry’s urgent operational costs.

4.3                       Rebound of the mining industry in 2021

The Committee notes with appreciation the forecasted growth in the mining sector in 2021 and beyond. The mining sector performance is expected to rebound from the 4.7% decline recorded in 2020 to 11% in 2021. The growth One of the key mining sector deliverables under the US$12 billion mining sector roadmap in the mining industry is anchored on the opening of new mines, as well as the resuscitation of closed ones, projects expansion, increased capacity utilisation, and value addition and beneficiation.

4.4                 Mining Cadastre System

The benefits and prospects of a computerised mining Cadastre for Zimbabwe as a mineral-producing nation are legion. The primary goals of such a system are to strengthen investors’ property rights and security of tenure within the mining sector, enhance the transparency of the mineral

licensing process and support government’s regulatory capacity through improved efficiency, information   availability     and

management. Multiplier effect of this scenario is the increase in the activity of the mining sector which translates to increased employment potentials, reduction of poverty and increase in national wealth. A Computerized Mining Cadastre can therefore benefit all stakeholders in the mining sector including, administrators, mining investors, external users and the national government in diverse ways. In light of these advantages, the Committee notes with great concern that despite the previous budgets having provided allocation for this, no progress has been noted. The Committee is concerned that it has taken more than six years for the Cadastre project to be completed despite the low budget requirement of just US$2.6 million.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development provided an allocation of ZWL$247 million for the implementation of the automated mining cadastre information system that is expected to be completed early 2021.  The allocated funds are in line with the Ministry’s bid and the Committee requests Treasury to timely disburse the funds for this given the urgency of the need to implement the automated cadastre system.

4.5                 Mining exploration

Zimbabwe is underexplored. Government has not been approving Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPO) despite mineral exploration being vital for mineral resource quantification. The country has thus lagged behind in terms of new discoveries and large-scale investments. The Committee notes with concern the inadequate funding allocated to the Mining Promotion Company that is mandated to carry out exploration activities. It is of concern that despite exploration being one of the key mining sector deliverables under the US$12 billion mining sector roadmap,  the mining exploration was allocated ZWL$1.2 million against a bid of ZWL$250 million. This represents a funding gap of 99.65%. The Committee is of the view that the allocation is grossly inadequate if the sector is to achieve this vision.

4.6                 Surveillance and monitoring-

The Committee notes with concern the increased mineral leakages. The leakages can be attributed to weak monitoring by the Ministry of Mines due to incapacitation of the Ministry. The Ministry highlighted to the Committee that over the past years, they have experienced challenges with acquiring and maintaining motor vehicles due to inadequate funding from the Treasury. For example in the 2020 budget, a provision of ZWL$50 million was made for the acquisition of motor vehicles. However, it is disappointing to note that as of 30 September 2020 no disbursement was made for the purchase of the vehicles. In addition, in the 2021 budget, the budget for the acquisition of the motor vehicles was allocated ZWL$174 million against a requirement of ZWL$350 million. This underfunding will negatively affect the surveillance activities of the Ministry.  There is need, for example, for government to continuously monitor production output levels and operational issues at mining sites instead of relying on information from the mining companies. Depending on mining companies to declare production figures is not sustainable and this could lead to distorted information on production levels. Without adequate information on mineral output it is would be difficult to collect adequate tax revenue.

4.7           Capacitation of Small Scale Miners

The Committee noted that in the 2021 budget, Treasury allocated ZWL$64 million towards the capacitation of the Small-scale miners through the Mining Industry Loan Fund. However, it is disappointing to note that in 2020, Treasury did not disburse any funding for this budget item. To make matters worse, the 2021 budget allocated only ZWL$274 million towards capitalization of the Mining Industry Loan Fund against a Ministry’s bid of ZWL$556 million. The amount allocated represents a funding gap of 50.7%. The small-scale and artisanal mining sector has of late become one of the pillars of the economy of Zimbabwe contributing significantly to national exports and therefore should be adequately supported to enable them to transform from being informal to formal enterprises.

4.8                 Disaster Management

The Committee notes with concern the rising cases of accidents in the mining sector. The situation is worsened by the absence of a Disaster Management System by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development that reacts to disasters. The current disaster management structure only covers formal miners and excludes the small-scale miners who are largely informal. This is despite the fact that they are currently contributing about 50% of the country’s gold. The 2021 budget did not provide any allocation towards the Mining Sector Disaster Management.

4.9                 Mines and Minerals Bill

The Committee expresses   concern over the slow pace in the process of amending the Mines and Minerals Act to align it with international best practices. The Act will legalise the implementation of the “use it or lose it” principle to prevent speculative hoarding of claims across all minerals. More so, it is good for building confidence in the administration of the industry. Further, the “use it or lose it” principle offers government an opportunity to optimise tax revenue from the disposal of released mining blocks which have proven geological potential. The Committee however, notes with appreciation that the Minister of Finance did specify the timeframe for the implementation of this principle. The Government has set ‘early 2021’ as the deadline upon which the Act will be passed.

4.10            Alignment of corporate tax payments to retention thresholds

The Committee notes with appreciation the alignment of corporate tax payments to retention or liquidation thresholds, with effect from 1 January 2021 – this is a positive measure as it allows mining companies to prioritise the available forex for importation of critical materials for sustaining output growth and production ramp up while using local currency for payment of local transactions. We are also of the view that Government would extend the same principle to payment of royalty and other statutory obligations which mining houses are paying 100% in forex.

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1           Given the challenges obtaining in the mining sector, there is need for not only increased budgetary allocation but timely disbursements of the allocated resources in full.  Further, Treasury needs to increase the mining sector allocation, relative to the total budget towards the realization of a US$12 billion mining sector by 2023.

5.2           Use it or lose it. The Committee proposes that Government adheres to the set target for the finalization of the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act that will provide the legal framework for the implementation of the “use it or lose it” principle. The eexpedition in the enactment of the Mines and Minerals Bill into an Act will address transparency and accountability risks and vulnerabilities associated with the archaic Mines and Minerals Act of 1961. The proposed Mines and Minerals Bill should be grounded on transparency and accountability along the mineral value chain. It should also reflect the tenets of the African Mining Vision of having a “Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development.”

5.3           The Ministry of Mines to set timelines for its 2021 policy priorities to allow for Committee follow-ups on progress. In addition, the Committee will require the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to submit to the Committee quarterly budget reports to ensure budget tracking by the Committee.

5.4           To realise the US$ 12 billion vision, Government needs to support small-scale players accessing the MMCZ credit funds as this will go a long way towards achieving inclusive growth. The Mining Industry Loan Fund should be adequately capitalized. The support should also include mechanisms to formalise and decriminalise the Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners to optimize on their contribution to the economy. The formalisation of the sector should be coupled with incentives for the players to access mining claims and licenses at reasonable fees.

5.5             Mining Cadastre System- The Committee has noted that it has taken 6 years for Treasury to fund a US$2.6 million. The Committee recommends that the 2021 budget disbursements prioritises the Cadastre system by disbursing the ZWL$247 million allocation in the first quarter of 2021 in order to enable the Ministry to migrate to migrate from the manual to the computer based cadastre system before the end of 2021.

5.6    Disaster Management System:

The Committee noted with concern the absence of a disaster management structure that covers all players in the mining industry irrespective of their legal status. The Committee recommends that Treasury provides funding for the constitution of an all-inclusive structure to prevent and react to disasters in the mining industry.

  1.   Conclusion

Zimbabwe faces crucial decisions regarding its mining sector, which ultimately will affect its long-term development and progress and for the Ministry to continue to increase its revenue generation capacity and to be able to carry out its priority projects and programmes in line with the National Development Strategy. Despite enjoying an endowment of many mineral resources, globally, Zimbabwe’s the mining industry has remained relatively small and stagnant. If properly tapped, the mining industry could help propel projected 7.4 growth for the country in 2021. In fact, the performance of mining sector will be an important factor for Zimbabwe to achieve this growth target.

          HON. MAPHOSA: I am presenting a report of the budget analysis report for the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. The Committee sat on Friday last week and adopted the report. The report is as follows:   

1.                Introduction:

The 2021 National Budget theme is “Building Resilience and Sustainable Economic Recovery”. As such, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development has a key role to play. The Ministry is responsible for oversight, formulation and implementation of policies related to planning, training and development of human capital and the promotion of science, technology and innovation. The key deliverables of the Ministry are human capital development, innovation, science and technology development. The Ministry will facilitate these key deliverables at local, regional and international levels in line with the National Development Strategy and Vision 2030. A high quality higher and tertiary education is the engine of economic growth and modernisation.  The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development provides an oversight responsibility over this Ministry.

2.                Major Achievements in 2020:

                   During the 2020 Budget year, the Ministry scored the following achievements:

Ø  Ministry established a student loan scheme with CBZ bank amounting to $30 million with a loan guarantee amount of $15 million. Qualifying students are selected from enrolled students in the Ministry’s Higher and Tertiary institutions.

Ø  The Ministry operationalised Hwange Teachers College which is being incubated by United College of Education. Construction works are soon to commence.

Ø  The Ministry has a Higher Education infrastructure development programme in place in universities

Ø  The Ministry has completed the map of natural regions which was last reviewed in 1963.

Ø  The Ministry constructed innovation hubs at six State universities namely University of Zimbabwe, NUST, MSU, HIT and CUT. Two other innovation hubs are under construction at GZU and BUSE. MSU and UZ have just completed construction of the first phase of their industrial parks; the Tugwi-Mukorsi Concept Master plan was completed.

Ø  The Medical Oxygen project was done.

3.                Major Challenges:

                   The following are the major challenges that the Ministry faced in 2020:

Ø  Delays in the disbursement of funds

Ø  Shortages of critical staff and skills at institutions of higher learning (universities and tertiary institutions). The employment freeze by Treasury exacerbates this problem.

Ø  Inadequate vehicles for monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the Ministry’s programmes. The Ministry has institutions right around the country and requires constant mobility for its programme implementation, oversight and corporate governance role.

Ø  Lack of adequate infrastructure at universities and colleges, i.e. student and staff accommodation facilities, and learning spaces.

4.                Policy Priorities in 2021:

                   The vision of the Ministry is to deliver a competitive, modernised and industrialised Zimbabwe through higher and tertiary education, innovation, science and technology development. To achieve this, the Ministry developed a philosophy of Education 5.0, which is an education with 5 missions, i.e. teaching, research, community service (consultancy), innovation and industrialisation. Education 5.0 seeks to make the country’s higher education relevant to the key challenges facing the country. To that end the following are the Ministry’s key priority programmes in 2021:

Ø  Geospatial, Aeronautical and Space Science Capability Programme

Ø  Energy and Mineral research

Ø  Zimbabwe National Space Agency (ZINGSA)

Ø  Innovation Hubs and Industrial Parks

Ø  Agricultural Research Development

Ø  Biotechnology and Advanced Cattle Breeding Technologies

Ø  Study in Zimbabwe Programme

Ø  Research and Development 1% of the GDP towards research and innovation

Ø  Capacitating Teachers in the teaching of Science

Ø  Infrastructure Development

Ø  Operationalising the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF)

Ø  National Science Technology Innovation System (NSTI).

Ø  Good governance enhancement in the Ministry and its agencies.  

5.                2020 Disbursements as at September 30:

                   The Ministry’s revised 2020 expenditure estimate was $2 890 889 000. Unaudited expenditure shows that 68.8% of this amount was disbursed as at 30 September 2020. Disbursements by programme shows that Policy and Administration had received 82.1% in disbursements, Skills Training and Development 70% and STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation 20.5% as at the same date. Figure 1 shows disbursements by programme as at 30 September 2020.

Figure 1: Disbursements as at 30 September 2020:

6.                2021 Expenditure Bids versus Allocations:

                   The Ministry submitted a total expenditure bid of $33 384 132 181 but was allocated $14 368 000 000 for 2021. This represents a shortfall of $19 016 132 181. The expenditure shortfalls are noticeable in all of the Ministry’s programmes, but are most pronounced in the capital grants for Higher Education, Tertiary Education and Research, Development and Innovation. Figure 2 shows bids vs. expenditure allocations for the Ministry’s three main programmes.

Figure 2: Programme expenditure bids versus allocations ($ Billion)

 

7.                Trends and Overview of the Ministry’s Budget:

                   When expressed as a percentage of the total National Budget (share of the national cake), the Ministry was allocated 3.4% in 2021. The trend in this share reflects the Ministry’s prioritisation in government programmes. On a trend basis, we see that the Ministry’s share continuously declined from a peak of 7.7 % in 2012 to 3.7% in 2019. This share was increased in 2020 to 4.4% before dropping to 3.4% in 2021. Although the Ministry received a substantial increase in its 2021 budget allocation, its priority in the National Budget decreased.  Figure 3 shows the trend of the Ministry’s budget as a proportion of the total National Budget.

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

                   The Ministry’s expenditure allocation increased by 397%, from $2 890 889 000 in 2020 to $14 368 000 000 in 2021.  If we include retention funds, the total 2021 allocation amounts to $17 833 020 000. Retention funds represent 19.4% of the Ministry’s 2021 overall budget.

8.                Capital vs. Current Expenditure Distribution

                   Since 2016, there has been a gradual improvement in the capital expenditure budget allocation from 8.3% to 17.2% in 2020.  In 202,1 the capital budget allocation was further increased to 34.9%. There has been a significant improvement in the proportion of the capital budget allocation in 2021 when compared to 17.2% in 2020. This development is most welcome given the central role of capital infrastructure in promoting education, and long term economic growth and development. Figure 4 shows the trends in the capital vs. current expenditure allocations for the Ministry.

          Figure 4: Capital vs. Current Expenditure Budget allocation (2011-2021)

9.                Economic Classification of the Ministry’s Vote:

                   The 2021 current expenditure budget of the Ministry is skewed towards financing current grants (48.9%), employment costs (8.6%) and goods and services (7.4%). The capital expenditure budget is distributed as follows; capital grants (22.3%), buildings and structures (11.2%), machinery and equipment (0.3%). The expenditure distribution by economic classification clearly shows the shift from consumptive budgeting towards capital budgeting. Figure 5 shows the economic classification of the Ministry’s 2021 vote allocation.

 Figure 5: Economic Classification of the Ministry’s 2021 Vote allocation (%):

10.            Programmes of the Ministry:

                   The Ministry’s budget is programme based. There are three main programmes namely: (1) Policy and Administration, (2) Skills Training & Development, and (3) STEM for Industrialisation & Modernisation. The Skills Training & Development Programme received the bulk 84.17% ($12 093 125 000) of the total vote allocation followed by STEM for Industrialisation & Modernisation (9.11%) ($1 309 603 000) and lastly, Policy and Administration (6.72%) ($965 272 000).  The expenditure distribution across programmes is reflective of the Ministry’s core mandate of human capital development. Figure 6 shows the distribution of the Ministry’s 2021 budget by programme.

Figure 6: Distribution of Ministry’s 2021 budget allocation by programme:(excluding retention funds)

10.1      Policy and Administration Programme

      The Policy and Administration programme was allocated a total of $965 272 000. The bulk of resources in this programme go towards the sub-programme on Finance and Administration (50.4%). The distribution of the rest of the resources by sub-programme is shown in

Figure 7: Distribution of the Policy and Administration Programme Budget:

10.2      Skills Training and Development Programme

The Skills Training and Development Programme was allocated a budget of $12 093 125 000 in 2021. The budget towards Skills Training and Development increased by 384%% in 2021 from $2 497 786 000 in 2020. The Higher Education sub-programme (universities) takes the largest chunk of the Skills Training and Development budget (81.4%) followed by Tertiary Education (16.7%) while Quality Assurance takes the least (1.9%). Figure 8 shows the distribution of the Skills Training and Development programme budget by sub-programme.

Figure 8: Distribution of the Skills Training and Development Budget

10.3                            STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation Programme:

                   STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation was allocated a total of $1 309 603 000 in 2021. The sub-programme on Research, Development & Innovation takes 90.1% of the resources while 7.6% and 2.3% is going towards Technology Transfer and Promotion & Advocacy respectively. The expenditure distribution in this sub-vote reflects government’s commitment to implement Education 5.0 which is premised on research, innovation and industrial development. Figure 9 shows the distribution of the STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation programme budget.

Figure 9: Distribution of the STEM for Industrialisation and Modernisation Programme Budget:

11.           Verify Engineering

  • Verify Engineering submitted a bid of $260 million and was allocated $120 million in the 2021 budget year, leaving a shortfall of $140 million. Given this shortfall, indications were that Verify Engineering will not be able to go onto the market in 2021. The failure to go onto the market will be regrettable given the progress that had been made in 2020 which include the purchase of marketing and distribution infrastructure worth USD2.2 million. This consignment for gas cylinders and spares for the plant is already underway.
  • There is however a critical shortage of accessories and vehicles for use. The current vehicles in use are now very old given that they were bought in 2005. As such, Verify Engineering requires additional financial support from Treasury in order for it to complete its gas project. If this project is supported, the country will experience foreign currency savings through import-substitution.
  • It was noted that once the gas project is complete, the company should then embark on its second coal-to-fertilizer project which is also of national significance.

12.                     Observations:

12.1      The 2021 Budget Shortfall:

                   The Ministry is grateful for the allocation of $14 billion in the 2021 budget year by Treasury. Given this allocation, the Ministry will be able to achieve some of its priority programmes in 2021. However, the allocated amount falls short of the Ministry’s bid of $30.4 billion by $17.3 billion. The Ministry’s capital grant is the most severely affected by the budget shortfall.

12.2      Key Projects:

Additional resources are required for the following key projects:

  • The construction of NUST buildings that have been unfinished for the last 20 years. The allocated amount is not enough to finish the library building alone.
  • Building and capacitation of the four new State universities. These are (1) Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology, (2) Gwanda State University, (3) Manicaland University of Applied Sciences, and (4) Pan African Mining University of Science and Technology. These universities have no buildings and laboratory facilities.
  • Construction of hostels to increase number of students staying in university residence from the current 20%. The 2020 target of 1000 beds per university was not achieved. Going forward, PPEs are targeted at MSU (800 beds), BUSE (500 beds).
  • In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Ministry needs support to capacitate State universities and colleges with ICT infrastructure to ensure staff have capacity to deliver lectures remotely.

12.3      Salaries of university and college lecturers:

The remuneration of lecturers in our universities and colleges is quite worrisome as it is resulting in massive resignations and skills flight. College lecturers are earning the same salaries as primary school teachers in spite of their higher qualifications and skills set. Professors are earning about USD300 compared to the regional average of about USD2000 per month. There is therefore need to achieve regional parity in the remuneration of university and college lecturers.

12.4      COVID 19 Related Interventions:

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, campus radio stations were encouraged in State universities in order to aid remote teaching and learning. An invitation was extended to all State universities to apply for a campus radio station. It was noted that Lupane State University and ZOU have already applied. Of note, was the lack of action for ICT programming in order to build capacity among teaching staff and students.

12.5      PPPs in Infrastructure Development:

The Ministry was encouraged to consider PPPs in infrastructure development. It was noted that NUST as an example, has a very good model for building student hostels.

12.6      Education 5.0:

In light of Education 5.0, the Ministry’s linkage with other key ministries such as Primary and Secondary Education ought to be strengthened. It was encouraged that the Ministry strengthen its link with people with indigenous knowledge and from the informal sector so that they also experiment and produce goods and services in the innovation hubs. It was however indicated that the National Development Strategy provides the platform for synergy between the Ministry and these key stakeholders.

12.7      Student loans:

It was noted that the terms and conditions of student loans are not attractive at all as most students failed to access these loans. The terms and conditions include the need for students to produce current pay-slips as part of the loan access requirement.

13.           RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1.      Treasury should consider further budgetary support for the Ministry’s capital budget. Higher and tertiary education is at the centre of the country’s industrialisation and modernisation agenda, and hence there is need to support HTEIs programmes.
  2. Treasury should seriously consider additional funding to Verify Engineering so that it can go onto the market in 2021. The critical need for local hospital oxygen cannot be overemphasised. Supporting Verify Engineering is noble as this promotes import substitution and serves the country on foreign currency.
  3. Treasury should pursue regional parity in the remuneration of university and college lecturers and other critical staff. The Ministry was advised to also pursue non-monetary benefits such as stands for housing and flexible vehicle loan schemes in order to retain staff.
  4. The Ministry should try and space its Bills in future where possible so as to release adequate time for scrutiny of each Bill.
  5. State universities should consider campus radio stations in order to aid remote teaching and learning.
  6. The Ministry should pursue PPPs in infrastructure projects.
  7. The Ministry should strengthen its linkages with other ministries, people in endogenous knowledge system and the informal sector in pursuing Education 5.0
  8. The terms and conditions for student educational loans should be reviewed so as to make them attractive to students in need. The Ministry advised that the stringent conditions are being reviewed and other flexible arrangements such as ‘work for fees’ and scholarship programmes will be actively pursued in 2021.
  9. Treasury should increase the allocation for quality assurance given the critical role it plays. The Ministry submitted a bid of $107 165 000 for 2021 and was allocated $48 065 000, resulting in a shortfall of $59 100 000.  I thank you.

HON. MUSARURWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism met on 7th December, 2020 and deliberated on the 2021 Post Budget Analysis and it adopted this report.

Introduction

The recommendations are in line with the NDS1 and the 2021 budget thrust. The committee analysed the policy issues, grant budgetary allocations and analysis by Ministry programmes and lastly analysed allocations done to the Ministry’s parastatals.

A. Policy Issues

The Committee is pleased to note that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development pronounced the following Existing Duty Concessions;

  • Rebate of Duty on Capital Goods for use in Tourism Development Zones
  • Rebate of duty on capital goods for expansion, modernisation or renovation of hotels and lodges
  • Suspension of Duty on Motor Vehicles Imported by Safari Operators
  • Suspension of Duty on Buses for Tour Operators

This will allow retooling and deepening asset capacity in the sector in sight of COVID.

The Committee recommends that this concession would have been tied up to the period of NDS1 (2021-2025).

  • Extension of VAT exemption to all tourists for domestic market. This will assist in retaining a fair average tourist cost which will move the sector to a USD$5 billion by 2025.

The committee recommends that a Statutory Instrument be put in place for other operators since the current exemption was on accommodation alone.

The Committee also recommends that the facility should be clearly stated to benefit all domestic tourists and not for the operators benefit only.

  • Acknowledge tourism-aiding infrastructure development for example, the Harare-Beitbridge Road.

The Committee recommends for more funding to other related projects like the Makuti-Kariba Road so as to resuscitate the giant Kariba resort.

  1. Budgetary Allocations

The Ministry submitted an ideal bid of ZWL$2,993,181,254 for its four programmes namely:

  1. Policy Cordination and Administration
  2. Environment and Natural Resources Management

iii.             Tourism Development and Promotion

  1. Weather, Climate and Seismology Service

The total allocated budget from the Treasury is ZWL$ 1,786,600,000.  This means 60% of the ideal budget has been financed and the Committee recommends an additional combined ZWL$1,206,581,254 to finance effectively the four programmes.

C. Analysis by Programme

  1. The ideal budget bid for the Policy and Administration programme was ZWL$191,420 million and Treasury allocated it ZWL$124,887 million. This entails that 65% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury.

          The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$66,533 million to finance activities in the new Environment and Tourism Directorate and resource the already newly established Department of Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. The ideal budget bid for the Environment and Natural Resources Management programme was ZWL$ 693,091254  million and Treasury allocated it ZWL$226,025 million. This entails that 33% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury.

The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$467,066254 million in order to meet owings in environmental conventions, subscriptions in Multilateral Agreements and member states collaborations.

          The additional request is needed in co-funding programmes under GEF6 and GEF7 cycles where we commited USD$10 million equivalent.

  1. The ideal budget bid for the Tourism Development and Promotion programme was ZWL$ 987,473,000 and Treasury allocated it ZWL$491,026,000.  This entails that 50% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury.

The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$496,213,000 to finance tourism development and promotion programmes and activities.

  1. The ideal budget bid for the Weather, Climate and Seismology Service programme was ZWL$1,121,197,000 and Treasury allocated it ZWL$944,428,000. This entails that 84% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury.

The Committee recommends additional funding of ZWL$176,769 million to fund weather stations, weather radars, seismology stations, airport automatic weather observing systems. All relevant for climate change adaptation which is key in these modern times of climate change.

  1. Analysis by Parastatals

Programme 2: Environment and Natural Resources Management.

  1. Forestry Commission

The ideal budget bid for the Forest Commission was ZWL$26,145  million and Treasury allocated it ZWL$26,145  million. This entails that 100% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury. This is for the recurrent expenses. The challenge is of late disbursement of allocated funds into the Forestry Commission Afforestation Fund.

The Committee recommends timeous release of the funds to enable timeous re-afforestation activities.

2. EMA

EMA did not receive any allocation from Treasury. EMA had submitted a bid to implement activities like wetlands restoration, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and ecosystem, eradication of invasive species, developing pollution abatement facilities, acquisition of hazardous substances emergency response and ambient air quality monitoring equipment.. There is also need to construct a National Hazardous Waste Landfill in Kwekwe.

The Committee recommends that Treasury allocates funding from the carbon tax to supplement funding from its own budget.

3. ZIMPARKS

The ideal budget bid for ZIMPARKS was ZWL$500 million and Treasury allocated it ZWL$156  million. This entails that 31% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury and this will heavily affect our expected domestic-led tourism. ZIMPARKS has received inadequate capital expenditure budget to cover anti-poaching and park management, motor vehicles, tourist facility renovations and roads and infrastructure development.

The Committee recommends an additional budget allocation of ZWL$344 million covering the above requirements.

Programme 3: Tourism Development and Promotion

1. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)

The ideal budget bid for ZTA was ZWL$455,7 million (256,2 million recurrent and 199,5 million capital expenditure) and Treasury allocated it ZWL$198,726  million (149,726 million recurrent and 49 million capital expenditure). This entails that 43.60% of the ZTA ideal budget is financed by Treasury and has received inadequate funding which impacts negatively on Tourism and Growth Strategy, Government Devolution Policy, Domestic Tourism Campaign and the Visit Zimbabwe Tourism Campaign.

The Committee recommends for additional funding of ZW$256,974 million in order to fully achieve the ZTA’s extensive marketing and promotion and to meet recurrent and capital expenditure.

2. Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company

The ideal budget bid for Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company was ZWL$69,5 million and Treasury allocated it ZWL$23 million only for capital expenditure. This entails that only 33% of the Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company ideal budget is financed by Treasury. The Company is still in its infancy and the current operations are non-revenue generating. The company needs to expend on Validity of Feasibility Study, Architectural Modelling of Concept plan in the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone.

The Committee recommends that an additional ZWL$46,5 million be allocated to the Company in order to meet the above-cited projects Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. NCUBE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 9th December, 2020.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, the House adjourned at Nine Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

[1] ZWL$1.399 billion converted at the 24 November 2020 auction rate of ZWL$81.67/US$1

[2] ZWL$353,73 million converted at the December 2019 interbank rate of ZWL$16.77/US$1

[3] This amount excludes the ZWL$6.6 billion, which was disbursed as loans but was not part of the Ministry’s budget allocation.

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