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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 08 July 2015 41-51
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 8th July, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
- MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order. I realise that in the House, as we speak, we hardly have a Cabinet Minister. Today, is purely business to ask Ministers important questions for the country to move on. I recommend that probably, we need to put our foot a bit higher than we have done before, by postponing this process so that Ministers appreciate their responsibilities.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
- GUMBO: Madam Speaker, our usual plea to you that
Ministers are not available for question time, we move and agree from both sides that we give them time to come. We will try and use other methods to call them to the House. In the meantime, we move that Answers to Questions Without Notice and Order of the Day, No. 1, be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 2 has been disposed of.
- MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
- CHAMISA: On a point of order. Madam Speaker, we are conscious of the fact that this is probably our third or fourth time making a statement to our esteemed Cabinet Ministers. This is our third or fourth time, stating and restating that Parliament cannot afford to wait for Ministers. Instead, our Ministers have to wait for Parliament. Parliament is the supreme organ that is responsible for oversight in this country but we continue to see this lackadaisical approach by our Ministers. They approach this House with utter disdain, wanton contempt. What we have to do, Madam Speaker, is for you to help us in making a determination today and now that this is the last time we are communicating to Ministers, to make sure that they respect Parliament.
In fact, I communicated through my mechanisms, having been former Minister, I am actually told that the President himself is not happy with the conduct of Ministers. This current crop of Ministers has to be brought to book. Madam Speaker, we would want you to make sure that you send a clear communication. Thank you very much –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! order hon. members. Hon. members from my right, order! I have noted with concern what you have said. Parliament will take measures on Ministers that do not attend Parliament without apologies. That would be looked into. For the sake of business of this Parliament, we are now going to consider what the
Chief Whips have agreed to and move with the business of the House.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order. Madam Speaker, we have questions that we would want to pose to Ministers that are here, like the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry who is here. Should I not ask questions to the Minister who is present in the House because today we should start with question time? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, I must respect but should not be barred. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members on my right! Order Hon. Chinotimba! Hon. Chinotimba, I have heard what you have said but as I have earlier on announced, I made a ruling that the Whips on both sides of the House agreed. I put the question to the House and no one had a different opinion in as far as the Standing Rules and Orders of this House are concerned. So in terms of the rules, we are proceeding.
- MARIDADI: On a point of order! Last week we came up with a determination that a communication would be sent to Ministers. We are coming up with the same determination this week. Madam Speaker, we must agree on the course of action that must be taken. We need that course of action to be outlined and to know when it shall be effected. Thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, the Speaker has
already given a ruling on the matter that you are addressing.
PEOPLE-CENTRED DEVELOPMENTAL POLICIES AND
MEASURES ON IMPROVING DOMESTIC PRODUCTION
AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
- MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker I move the motion standing in my name that this House:
CONCERNED by the deterioration in the social and economic conditions in the country which is a direct consequence of economic melt-down, lack of market confidence, corruption and poor revenue inflows from taxes and the mineral sector;
NOTING that there are no immediate signs of economic recovery contrary to the objectives of ZIM ASSET;
WORRIED about the looming food shortage in the country as a result of poor agricultural performance and the limited resources to import maize and other cereals;
ALARMED by the number of companies that are closing and retrenching employees almost on a daily basis thereby increasing the rate of unemployment;
FURTHER ALARMED by the collapse of the formal sector and its
substitution by street vending and informal trading;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to start dialogue with all national stakeholders and the international community and come up with people centered development policies and effective measures to:
- Stop corruption and foster inclusive economic growth which is, inter alia, underpinned by the mobilization of domestic resources;
- Increase domestic production;
- Improve domestic and foreign direct investment; and (d) Prepare a sustainable debt management strategy.
- MARIDADI: I second.
- MASHAKADA: Good afternoon Madam Speaker. As I
stand before you this afternoon, I want to remind this House that we only have one country and it is called Zimbabwe. We must be patriotic and it means we must love our country and make sure that the country is able to look after its citizens. We must look after our economy because it is not there just for us here; it is there for the posterity, our children and for the next posterity. Therefore, we have got a heavy responsibility as a generation across the political divide to make sure that our economy is looked after.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mupfumi, please behave in the
- DR. MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker, the people who have
elected us want us to discuss the socio-economic problems that they are facing on a day to day basis. They want us to come up with long lasting solutions to our economic hardships.
Madam Speaker, some of the hon. members here might be sitting comfortably in this House. They might be happy that they are privileged to be in this House, driving Ford Rangers or Mercedes Benz but the ordinary man and woman in the street is suffering.
- NYANHONGO: On a point of order! I am very much surprised to hear the hon. member talking about the socio-economic problems that our people are facing, yet it is from that side that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- That have caused the economic hardships of this country. They were caused and created by those on that side, so they should not talk about it.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon.
Musundire and Hon. Chinotimba order!
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Nyanhongo, there is no point of order. From what you have said, there is no point of order. You were just deliberating. So, Dr. Mashakada, you may continue with your debate.
- DR. MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker, the ordinary tax payer is looking for leadership. They are looking up to us to provide solutions to their day to day economic problems. Madam Speaker, as I am talking to you, the suffering that is visiting our people is of gigantic proportions.
People are going without meals and there is this talk that people are now doing zero, zero, one, which means no breakfast, no lunch, but only have dinner. This is happening in this country. Children are dropping out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay school fees. The situation in our hospitals is critical. There is a critical food crises in this country and we cannot afford to be casual about the economic crisis that we are confronting as Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, I just want us to begin by analysing the reason why we are where we are, what has led us to be where we are and what are the fundamental problems affecting Zimbabwe as an economy? If we do not appreciate the magnitude of the macro economic problems that we are facing, we cannot come up with a solution. We cannot come up with long lasting and sustainable solutions.
The first critical thing we are facing in this country is that the economy is not growing. We can try all sorts of policies but the bottom line remains that we need growth in the economy. If the cake is not growing, we cannot share it. Workers cannot get enough income, employers cannot get profits, and Government cannot deliver public services because growth is declining.
Madam Speaker, you reckon that between 2009 and 2013, our economy grew by an average of 7, 5% but to date, our economy is now growing at between 3 and 3, 5% because our productive sectors are not performing very well. So, we need growth in this economy and we need to come up with policies that foster growth so that we can alleviate the problems and hardships that we are facing but I just want to address why we have not had growth in the past three or four years.
The first problem is that our national servings as a country has collapsed. We are living from hand to mouth, whether it is the private sector, Government or individuals. The level of national savings has declined to 5% of GDP, yet the benchmark for savings that can be mobilised for national development all over the world is 30% of GDP. Imagine the decline from 30% to 5% of GDP savings. It means we do not have the critical mass of bankable resources that can be used for onlending to individuals, private sector and Government. Without sustainable savings, our growth will falter.
The other problem that is compromising our growth is that expenditure is very low in the economy. Government is not spending because it has no capacity. The revenues are very low, so Government is not spending. Individuals are not spending because aggregate demand is low. Firms are not spending because of the liquidity crisis. So without visible expenditure from Government, companies and individuals, how do you generate economic activity? Where do you get growth in the economy? That is a problem affecting our growth as a country.
The other problem affecting growth as a country is lack of investment. Investment levels have dwindled to very critical low levels in this country. If you compare Zimbabwe with other SADC countries, we are receiving investment to the tune of $500 000 000 a year whereas other countries are now receiving investment levels of $1, $2 billion and so forth. Without investment we cannot talk of sustainable growth because we are choked of capital that is required to grow the economy.
The other problem is that while we do not have growth, our productive sectors are not doing well. We can talk of agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the commercial sector, they are all not performing well and that is compromising our growth. I am just touching on growth as a critical factor for us to move out of this economic quagmire.
I have talked about production as a critical factor which is an albatross for growth. One of the sectors that have suffered from low production is the manufacturing sector. Zimbabwe held a SADC summit just recently, I think two or three months ago. The theme of the summit was industrialisation which means that SADC and Africa as a whole, emphasised the theme of industrialisation but in the case of Zimbabwe, our situation is very bad. I will tell you that in the year 2000, our employment level was two million people. Around 1998, 1999 to 2000, the formal sector employed about two million people. By 2009, employment had declined to 900 000 people because no new jobs were created.
As I stand here Madam Speaker, we have de-industrialised to an extent that the total labour force in the formal sector is only around 700
000 people employed in the whole country. Yesterday, the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce visited factories and one shocking example was the textile sector. They were told that at its peak, the textile sector employed 54 000 people but as of now, they are now employing 3 000. Just look at the level of decline in just one sector. I have not touched the clothing, transport and other sectors. We have gone through massive de-industrialisation as a country.
The effects of de-industrialisation are there for us to see. One of the most manifest effects of de-industrialisation is the vending that we are all battling to control. Remember when an economy collapses, it goes into phases. The first phase, the economy moves itself from formal to informal. The informal sector is what we are all familiar with and it is better because you can regulate, incentivise or you can try to make it more formal. But when you go beyond the informal sector, it becomes a street economy. Vending becomes the order of the day. Those are signs of de-industrialisation.
The problem with vending is that the moment you try to control it, you actually multiply the problem. Somebody said vending can be compared to the hyper-inflation years when we removed the zeros and the following week, you got more zeros than you had removed – [Laughter] – That is the problem and that is the reality. Vending is a problem that we have to deal with but it is not their problem because there are no jobs. So people have to come into the streets to look for money for food, education and hospital bills because the industry has closed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, our industrial areas are now museums.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members on my left side.
You are always speaking and you are disturbing him. Let the hon. member be heard in silence.
- MASHAKADA: Our industrial areas are now like museums.
If you go to the heavy industrial sites, like the Coventry area here in Harare, you find that people are now selling sadza from factory warehouses. In Bulawayo, some of the industries are now being used by churches as places of worship. Gweru, Mutare and so on, have deindustrialised. As legislators, we have to come up with solutions on how we can turn around our economy because we have got only one country to live in and that is Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, linked to industrialization is the question of unemployment. The level of unemployment in this country is shocking. I am surprised when we get figures to the effect that unemployment is 12%. I ask where these economists live. How can you talk of 12% level of unemployment in this country? We have got graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions; some of them are selling airtime and some working as petrol attendants. You will be lucky because at least you have got a job but you talk of engineers, accountants and economists, jobless. The other problem of de-industrialisation is the worsening balance of payments position…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mashakada, please speak to the
- MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker, the balance of payments is the ratio between imports and exports. Because of deindustrialisation, we are not producing anything – we have become a supermarket economy. The level of exports to imports is shocking –[AN HON. MEMBER: Tuck-shop economy]- My colleague is saying a tuck-shop economy. We are now importing almost everything. We are importing goods and services to the tune of US$8 billion and we are only exporting about US$3 billion worth of goods.
Therefore, there is a wide margin between your exports and your imports just because we are not producing. If you look at capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector, most firms are operating with excess capacity. The capacity utilisation is now around 35%. It is even alleged that even blue chip companies like Econet are actually retrenching and they have cut wages by 35%. Telecel is also cutting wages …
*MS. R. MPOFU: On a point of order, the hon. member has forgotten that the British imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe so that the country would collapse. Secondly, if they are aware that they are not the ones who are supporting the British, why is it that they are not calling for the removal of sanctions in Zimbabwe? Thirdly, -[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I have not finished.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order!
*MS. R. MPOFU: I have not finished Madam Speaker -[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order hon. members! Order! Hon. members order!
Hon. Mpofu, when the time comes, I will give you an opportunity to debate the motion. So there is no point of order right now but I will give you the time to debate your points. Hon. Mashakada you may continue-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order! Order! Hon. members
order! Your points of orders should be related to the Standing Rules and Orders. If you want to state your point of order may you start by stating the rules in the book -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
- NYANHONGO: We now have a sizeable number of ministers here, can we now pose questions without notice.-[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order hon. members! Can
Hon. Nyanhongo repeat his point of order?
- NYANHONGO: I am just saying, we now have a good size of Cabinet ministers here, maybe we should now pose questions without notice -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- we have a lot of questions that we would like to ask Cabinet ministers –[HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order hon. members on my
left side! Order hon. members! I will accept the point of order raised by Hon. Nyanhongo after Hon. Mashakada finishes debating his motion.
On a point of order, I am rising to bring to your
attention that Hon. Mpofu has just broke down as a result of the motion being debated….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members! Hon. Mutseyami! Order hon. members, I will not hesitate to exercise my authority in this House. ….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order hon. members! Hon. members order! I have given Hon. Zindi the floor.
- ZINDI: As I said, my point of order as our Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention that Hon. Mpofu –[AN. HON. MEMBER:
Which section?] just broke down as a result of the motion by Hon.
Mashakada ….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order hon. members! Hon. members order! Let her finish ….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- hon. members on my right side! Hon. Chibaya! Hon. members, may you allow the hon. member to state her case then I will give a ruling.
Thank you Madam Speaker for your protection –
and also to ask Hon. Chibaya to withdraw his statement referring to the statement that Hon. Mpofu broke down as a result of a demon-[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members! Order hon. members! It is very touching that someone has broken down because of the debate that is going on -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- we are very sorry. Order hon. member on my right! We are very sorry about that but we are going to allow Hon. Mashakada to continue with the debate –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
Order, order hon. members! Order! Order! On a second note, Hon.
Chibaya; it is very wrong and unparliamentary to use such language.
May you please withdraw what you said.
- NYANHONGO: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I did not say such words. Thank you very much.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: On the issue raised, I will
check with the notes and then I will give a ruling on it.
On a point of order Madam Speaker –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. members.
Order hon. members on my right. Order Hon. Zindi. At this juncture I will not allow any point of order.
- NDUNA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think it is very important. Allow me to speak Madam Speaker – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna, order. I
will not hesitate to give another ruling if you do not obey the rules of the House.
- NDUNA: Madam Speaker I think I need to say something…–[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Could you please escort Hon.
Nduna out of the House.
- NDUNA was consequently escorted out of the House by the
Sergeant-At-Arm –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members from my
left side. Hon. members on my right side, order.
- MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker we cannot afford to be
lackadaisical about the problems that our country is facing. Let us concentrate and really come up with solutions. I was talking about the gap between imports and exports as only a symptom showing that our economy is not in a productive mode therefore, we have been reduced to a supermarket economy. We are importing almost everything from South Africa and that is not healthy. We have to take corrective measures and recommend to the Executive not to relent but keep on putting measures like controlling dumping of foreign products. We need to protect our companies from unfair competition from cheap products and so on.
Madam Speaker, the impact of deindustrialisation is that we are losing a lot of our fixed capital stock. It is not easy to build industries and allow them to collapse while we watch. If you look at the state of the NRZ, ZISCO and CSC for example, all that capital that has been invested is now going to waste. There is a lot of depreciation and devaluation of fixed capital formation and it is not easy to rebuild those companies. If you go to ZISCO Steel, the level of decay is really worrying and it will take a long period to rebuild the capital stock that we had put in place.
I am aware that companies cannot grow because to the liquidity crunch. I am aware that Government started ZETRAF, DIMAF and all other initiatives, but these have not been able to turn around the companies as Government had wished and we still remain with that challenge. I have talked about deindustrialisation as a problem that manifests itself as causing low growth.
The other area related to growth has to do with the agricultural sector. This economy is agro based. If there is no growth in agriculture everything grinds to a halt because all industries and other sectors there is a direct supply chain or value chain with agriculture, so we have to make sure that our farmers grow, are supported and capacitated so that they can feed the nation. As I am talking to you right now the Strategic Grain Reserve should be maintained at 500 000 metric tonnes. We were talking to the GMB in our Committee, only to learn that the level of Strategic Grain Reserve has gone down to 118 000 metric tonnes instead of 500 000 metric tonnes. This is what we must worry about about as Members of Parliament because food security is important. We cannot represent hungry people.
The other problem affecting agriculture is that there has been an influx of contractors. These contractors are taking our farmers for a ride. They are paying low prices to farmers, be it in the tobacco or cotton sector. Our farmers are being exploited by these contractors and that is affecting productivity. Madam Speaker, even in the just ended tobacco marketing season some farmers were being offered prices for a bail of tobacco as low as R2. We have got farmers here, they can attest to that. That is not logical. We have to support our farmers through irrigation, livestock development.
The other problem is that in agriculture we have to appreciate the impact of climate change. Climate change is affecting agricultural production in this country because our farmers need training on climate change so that they know when to plant because the weather patterns have really changed. This country needs to import food. We have a serious food deficit. The country needs to import between 400 000 metric tonnes to 500 000 metric tonnes to feed the nation.
I go on to mining. The problem affecting our mining sector is lack of capital. In order for our mining sector to recover they need at least US$3 billion to rise to the 1998 levels. So the mining sector is affected by lack of capital. The other challenge is beneficiation. We continue to produce, but we are not beneficiating our mining products. Right now Government has removed the ban on the export of chrome, but it is saddening because we know that a lot of our people depend on chrome production. As a strategy we cannot continue to export raw chrome forever, we have to put a time frame by which chrome companies establish smelting plants.
The other problem with the mining sector is a question of revenue. Most countries in Africa which are endowed with mineral resources are benefiting from royalties and other mining revenues. In the case of Zimbabwe, we have not yet enjoyed the full benefits of discovery of diamonds and other minerals. Our artisanal miners still do not have enough equipment. They are producing under unsafe conditions and yet artisanal miners especially in gold, contribute a lot to production in that sector.
Madam Speaker, I now go to touch on what I call the fiscal policy crisis and this is very important, the fiscal policy crisis that our country is going through. We have experienced macro-economic instability in the past and everybody knows that the macro-economic instability that we experienced was characterised by hyper inflation. You would put your money in the wheel barrow and put what you buy in the pocket.
That is a sign of hyper inflation. Now we have a different king of crisis.
It is no longer hyper.
The new crisis that we are suffering from is what we call fiscal policy crisis. Fiscal policy crisis means that the instruments of fiscal policy revenue generation, we have a challenge. The State does not have enough revenue streams to go into the consolidated revenue funds. It is a fiscal policy crisis. The other fiscal policy crisis is that, because of the lack sustainable revenue, lack of fiscal space, we cannot fund all our expenditure as a Government. From both an expenditure and revenue point view, you have got a fiscal crisis.
So far Government has borrowed from the domestic money market to the tune of a US$1 billion. That is a deficit because how will Government fund that US$1 billion that they borrowed from the domestic market through Treasury Bills, Institutional Arrangement with NSSA and other companies. This debt creates a hole in the fiscus and it will still need to be financed. That is the fiscal policy crisis I am talking about.
The other problem is that of debt sustainability. Last week the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development introduced a Public Debt Management Bill to try to manage and contain the levels of indebtedness but if we do not resolve the debt crisis, it means we cannot have access to new money and international finance capital because we will still be owing all that money.
The other problem we are facing in this country is that a country is managed by a lot of policy instruments. You need monetary policy to manage the economic, you need official development assistance or ODA to manage your economy, you need multilateral lending and bilateral assistance to manage your economy but we are only standing on leg of macro-economic policy which is fiscal policy. That is making our economy very difficult to manage. We cannot resolve the fiscal space.
I come to corruption as a cancer affecting the economy. Madam Speaker, if you read the report of the Auditor-General, you get concerned by the level of decadence in the management of public finances. All is not well in the management of public finances. There is fraud, corruption, under utilization of resources, improper management of public asserts and so on. Corruption is a cancer which we have to confront head-on as a society, and as a country. There is one classical case, in the first quarter of the year we had a Government delegation going to China to negotiate mega deals. When the Chinese delegation was sent by their Government to follow up on the implementation of the mega deal, they were deported at the airport. Our institutions have to be serious.
We have a problem of infrastructure and one of our perennial problems is the energy crisis that this country is going through. We all know that in the sub region, in the Southern African Power Pool we are suffering from energy deficit but in the case of Zimbabwe we have issued licences to new investors to produce electricity using coal. We have issued prospecting orders for coal deposits in Hwange and Gokwe five years ago but these investors are still not doing anything to invest in power generations. I come to sanctions…
- HOLDER: My point of order is in the Standing Rules Orders Number 60, limitation of speech. I think 20 minutes have already
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I would
like to take this opportunity to educate the House that those who present motions in the House are not restricted to time. Thank you.
- MASHAKADA: Madam Speaker, I now come to sanctions. Zimbabwe is a sovereign country. We have to take charge of our destiny and our affairs as a country. We cannot continue to mourn and groan about something that has already taken place. Let us take charge of our country. How have other countries managed to overcome the challenges of sanctions. How did Smith under Rhodesian sanctions manage to build a robust manufacturing sector? Big companies like
ZECO established during sanctions, ZISCO Steel, Hwange Power
Station, let us think outside the box as Zimbabwe and be revolutionary. We cannot continue to mourn about these things because we have a country to run and manage. In any case Madam Speaker, those western countries, as long as we owe them money by way of debt, they will not even give us a penny, because they will still say you owe us so much, settle your arrears, settle your debts. It is high time we leverage our own natural resources and human capital to make sure that we overcome whatever challenge that we are facing as a country.
Madam Speaker I come to ZIM ASSET, it promised 2.2 million jobs and it promised a growth rate of 7.2% of GDP but clearly you can see that these targets have been ostensibly missed. What is the problem? The problem is that of funding, a plan is as good as funding behind that plan. You can have a wonderful plan but without the requisite resources that plan remains academic. The other challenge with ZIM ASSET is that we have got a plan there but in reality we are managing this economy through the budget. The budget has replaced the plan as an instrument of macroeconomic management. So, it does not matter how many plans you can have, as long as you do not articulate your budget but in terms of your plan, you are not going anywhere.
Our budget is committing 90% of resources to recurrent expenditure, leaving just 10% for capital projects and there is no way you can say you can execute ZIM ASSET with that kind of structure of a budget. So, there is a challenge there, the relationship between the budget and the ZIM ASSET has to be revisited.
The other problem is that in development terms, you need a plan then you need a vision, then your budget is a rolling plan for executing your targets, but right now we do not have an agreed national vision as a country. I am happy that we have got a Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning once more that has been reinstated; they must come up with a consultative framework so that this country develops a national vision so that we can have a head way and a target with a trajectory which can be followed by our plans and budgets.
Madam Speaker, the other problem we have in this country has to do with policy or policies. If for once we were going to have that growth and so on, we need the right policy mix to make sure that our policies translate into development benefits for the poor. The ordinary people feel the impact of policy or Government policy. Investors feel the positive impact of policy, the highlights of our policies from investors’ point of view is that our policies are unclear, ambiguous and they are not consistent. We have to address that policy gap, we have to make sure that our policies are consistent and they are clear so that we do not just change course along the way.
The other problem we have to focus on is the pricing model in this country and again it is under the ambit of policies. People might say we do not have inflation in this country, yes because you will be looking at food inflation. When you talk of other baskets that comprise the consumer price index, you find that there is latent inflation; for example, how can you have a private school in Zimbabwe charging US$8 000 per term; that is latent inflation. If you look at the housing market, we have got houses costing a million dollars in this little economy. We have rental accommodation costing US$250 a room that is inflation. So, when we talk of inflation, you are not only talking about food inflation which is negative at the present moment. Let us talk about the holistic specter of inflation in this country. I put it to you that there is latent inflation in this country and that people are adopting inflationary pricing models especially in services and utilities and that is an area which touches the livelihoods of the people. Government must do something to make sure that service sector inflation is nipped in the bud because people are suffering.
Madam Speaker, at the end of the day, we have got a crisis of incomes, I have talked about crisis for prices but we have got a crisis of incomes. Zimbabweans, 80% of them, I am talking of the rural area, are living on less than a dollar per week not a day. That is a crisis of incomes. The UNDP talks about poverty as a situation whereby a person lives on less than a dollars a day that the UN benchmark, I am talking about less than a dollar per week. Our people are suffering from excruciating poverty. Most companies are in arrears, six months wage arrears, people go to work six months you are not paid especially parastatals. How are these people surviving when they are going to work and they are not paid?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Mashakada, speak to the
- MASHAKADA: At the end of the day, I have said we have only one country, one Zimbabwe, let us focus our minds on the economy. Let us lower the volume on politics and put more attention on the economy. When all is said Madam Speaker, the motion is calling upon Government to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders including Member of Parliament. Dialogue with the private sector, dialogue with civil society and put Zimbabwe first so that we can resolve our macro economic difficulties.
Madam Speaker, as I am talking to you now the burden that is weighing heavily on Government is unthinkable. Government is broke, Government insolvent, if it was a private company it could have been liquidated. Government owes everybody monies and that is affecting the fabric of the whole economy. So at the end of the day, we still talk politics but in this generation, we want bread on the table, that is what the people are concerned about; bread and butter on the table. You can win an election but you can fail to deliver. Winning an election is a social contract with the people.
Madam Speaker, I am appealing to this House that we put our heads together and resolve the macro-economic problems. Thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, order!
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order!
Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege. We have noticed that when you are in the Chair, the level of abuse that comes up is unacceptable. We want to arise this as a matter of privilege. It is unfortunate that your ruling was only to get Hon. Nduna out; we think he should have been taken in, on an issue of contempt of privilege because they cannot behave the way they have behaved with Hon. Adv.
Mudenda, the Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I think the Speaker had already
given a ruling on that, so I do not think the point of order still carries any
- GUMBO: Madam Speaker, as we have agreed we will
continue the debate after reverting to the Orders of the Day. Therefore, I move that this debate be temporarily shelved so that we can continue after Questions Without Notice.
- D. SIBANDA: I second.
ENG. MUDZURI: Madam Speaker we only have 3 Ministers
here, it will not make a meaningful debate. So can we continue with the debate. I object that we have Questions Without Notice.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. Before we
moved on to the Business of the House, we had agreed with the Chief Whips from both sides of the House. So, I think if we may be honourable enough to respect our first decision and continue with Questions Without Notice.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
- J. GUMBO: I move that the debate on Hon. Mashakada’s motion, Order number 2 of today’s Order Paper, be shelved and debated after we have disposed of Questions Without Notice and Questions With Notice. Thank you.
- D. SIBANDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Hon. Minister Sir, Good afternoon to you. Minister, may you update the august House on the progress made on dualisation of HarareNyamapanda road.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The question is specific and you can
put it in writing on Questions With Notice so that the Minister can give a detailed response.
*MS MAHIYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. In 2013, I talked about the roads and bridges that were damaged as a result of Cyclone Eline. What is Government policy as regards to this entire infrastructure that was destroyed in Gokwe-Gumunyu as a whole?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mahiya your question requires
a specific answer. Can you please put it in writing so that the Minister can equally respond?
*MS. MUZONDIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. May I know if the money that is obtained from fines by the police is submitted to the Treasury and who accounts for that money? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. This question has been asked over and over again in this House and we have consistently answered that we collect on behalf of Treasury. I thank you.
- PHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. What is your Ministry’s strategy in the curbing of drug abuse which has grown amongst our unemployed youths. Drugs from hospitals and also those that are being imported from South Africa which are being abused, what strategies does the ministry have?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI): The control of drugs rests with the relevant ministry. Our duty as the police is just to enforce the laws, so maybe if he can put the question in writing and we clearly look at it. If need be, then we can refer it to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for further consideration.
- LABODE: My question to the Minister of Tourism and
Hospitality Industry is, Hon. Minister Mzembi I would like you to just give this House your progress or plans for the hosting of the ICASA HIV Conference.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): The hosting of the ICASA AIDS
Conference is a very important milestone in the history of the country. Firstly, by way of bringing the spotlight on Zimbabwe as the platform on which many resolutions and positions are going to be taken with regards to AIDS as a pandemic or endemic. Secondly, to the extent that the scale and size of the conference itself brings to Zimbabwe arguably, the largest conference that we have hosted as a country with anything between 5 000 and 7 000 delegates expected to descend on Zimbabwe, in Harare for this conference. It then poses a challenge to us the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry as to how we are going to host, accommodate and provide for these delegates.
I want to share with this House an immediate empowerment opportunity beyond the structured and graded hotels that we have, which will not host anything more than 2 500 delegates, that this conference presents an opportunity for a product that I have spoken about before called Home Hospitality. I am saying therefore, that for the benefit of Members of Parliament and the constituents that you represent, we will very soon be reaching out to you and your constituencies in Harare to register homes that can accommodate delegates during the conference. We will grade and record them accordingly so that when delegates
come, we will direct them to be hosted by citizens of Zimbabwe. So it is a tremendous opportunity for home in Harare.
Secondly, we also are very excited about the supply management opportunities for the hospitality sector, especially those that are within the proximity of Harare - especially vanoita mavegetables, onions and such other food crops that there is an opportunity to supply the industry going forward. So we are very excited about this development.
- MUDEREDZWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Mzembi. Hon. Minister Sir, we used to have South Africa visitors or tourists coming for visits and then taking Victoria Falls as one of the destinations. They would go to South Africa, visit certain places then they would come to Victoria Falls, spend a day and go back to South Africa. Is this trend still taking place and if so, what is it that Government is doing to make sure that these people when they come to Zimbabwe, they actually leave some dollars.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Let me just share with Parliament that South Africa is a source market for Zimbabwean tourism and in fact,
70% of visitors into Zimbabwe actually are derived or come from South
Africa, whether by extension because they have visited South Africa or South Africans themselves. South Africa in itself is a 70% source market for Zimbabwe.
Having said that, let me also hasten to say that there is no sovereignty of products in the tourism sector. In fact, what we encourage is regional packaging and integration. We derive more value in packaging products together. We are too small a tourism product at this juncture to pose competition to South Africa. So we can only derive maximum benefit by packaging the Victoria Falls together with the Vilanculos in Mozambique and Table Mountain in South Africa but what is critical is to make sure that we have an accounting system which attributes earnings that are akin to Zimbabwe to Zimbabwe.
I am happy to share with Parliament that we commissioned two weeks ago a visitor exit survey that is a beginning of a process to consummate a tourism satellite accounting package for the country and the region. When we do that, it will not matter who is has come and visited the Victoria Falls from which source as long as they visit the
Victoria Falls. That income will be attributed accordingly to destination Zimbabwe. What I bemoan though is that during apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia’s time, we had a stronger and highly bonded relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe in terms of tourist arrivals.
I am hoping that going forward; with the efforts that we are putting in place we can begin to bring back that symbiosis between the South
African and Zimbabwean product in post independence Zimbabwe and South Africa. I am yearning for that day but we are confronted with challenges and I think at an appropriate time I will probably come to Parliament and present.
The major challenge now between South Africa and Zimbabwe is actually the weakening Rand against the US$, which is making our destination uncompetitive. In the last two years, we have suffered 15% successive declines in arrivals from South Africa because of currency imbalances between the Rand and US$. We will be coming back here to present a statement to Parliament going forward on what we think we should do with tourism because that is your painkiller for this economy that ex-Minister, Hon. Mashakada was talking about. I thank you.
MRS. MANGAMI: My question to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture is, Minister what is the Government policy regarding the funding of sports which are run by NAPH and NASH in the schools?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND
CULTURE (MRS. KANENGONI): Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you hon. member for that question. NAPH and NASH are groups that are organised under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. So that does not directly fall under the purview of our ministry, but we do work with them to try and make sure that we assist as far as national teams are concerned when they are traveling representing Zimbabwe.
- MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me
this opportunity. My question is directed to the Leader of the House.
Madam Speaker Maâm…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. There is no Leader of the House.
- MUTSEYAMI: I believe at every given juncture in terms of the Standing Rules, we ought to have a Leader of the House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Order, Hon. Mutseyami. If
you do not have a question to the Ministers that are here, I am afraid I will not allow you to continue.
- BUDHA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Transport. What is Government policy with regards to the establishment of urban toll gates?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. MPOFU): There is
no specific policy on urban toll gates. We have got a national policy on toll gates which will include the urban areas, highways and all other areas that require that facility to be installed.
- ZINDI: When I am looking at toll gates, particularly in the urban areas, what is the guiding principle? Is it revenue generation, traffic control or traffic decongestion? What exactly is the policy when we are looking at setting up toll gates in the urban area? What is the motivation behind that?
- MPOFU: It will cater for all the issues that she raised; decongestion in the urban centres, improvement of services within roads in the areas that the toll gates have been installed and as part of the entire objective of tolling. There is a myriad of objectives that the initiative has been implemented. From the experience we have had or we are having now, that is the only way to improve our road network.
- MATANGIRA: My supplementary is, where we say the
Minister of Transport; Government policy - we have got a stretch in
Bindura from the town to the hospital; the road belonging to the Ministry of Transport is in a very bad state. A patient comes and is supposed to leave….
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your question Hon.
- MATANGIRA: My question is, can the Minister allow us to surface that road as a Ministry or maybe the local authority or municipality – [HON. MEMBERS: Haaaaaa!]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, the supplementary does not
- MUCHENJE: My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism. What are your policy measures on the Members of Parliament regarding their eviction in the African Sun Hotels, for example Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Cresta Oasis?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The question does not arise as it will be addressed by Parliament and not the Minister.
- MANDIPAKA: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs. I notice the Deputy Minister Hon. Ziyambi is here.
Given the necessity for police officers to carry out road blocks as routine, I would like you to clearly explain what Government policy is in terms of replenishing road block equipment that officers use, moreso when we notice that at night, you cannot clearly see police officers manning a road block and they risk being run over.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI): Indeed, some of our police officers do not have adequate equipment at road blocks especially at night. This is something that we are looking into with a view of taking corrective action.
+MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism… –[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible
interjection]- Did I hear you correctly that you said I should not speak in Ndebele?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Misihairabwi. You can
only speak to the Chair but I would want to appeal to you to speak in
English as the Hon Minister is not versed in Ndebele and I know that
you are able to speak in all the languages. May you ask your question in English so that the Minister can understand your question?
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I will do so Madam
Speaker, but I think that he should be able to understand Ndebele. I think he said he understands Ndebele.
+I would like to ask the Minister of Tourism why when investors come to Zimbabwe face visa problems. How do you work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that when investors come in, they do not have problems? Some Chinese were chased when they came here. What are you doing to rectify that matter?
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Madam Speaker, I am born to a Ndebele mother and a Karanga father. For the benefit of the greater audience because her question is really international. I would plead that she just recasts it in English and I know that the Ndebele audience from my mother’s side will benefit from the answer in English. So, may I plead with the hon. member to just recast it in English.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I thought I had already given a ruling on this issue. Hon. Misihairabwi, can you please assist the Hon.
Minister because he does not understand the language.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: It is interesting that born of a Ndebele mother he still cannot speak Ndebele. The question really related to the issuance of visas, particularly for tourists and investors because clearly, they are having problems in our embassies that are outside when they are trying to come into the country. Some are actually being deported at the airport when they are here, when they are supposed to be given visas at the airport. What are you doing between yourself and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that we facilitate for people to come into this country because it has become a problem.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I think I
will take advantage of the hon. member’s question to just cast our vision and wish list in tourism regarding free and open travel. It is premised philosophically by a very ancient profit, Profit Isaiah in the Bible. He says in Chapter 60 verse 11 and I am happy that verse actually speaks to a nation that is about to rise and shine, so it is an arise and shine chapter.
Verse 11 says, “Keep thy gates open. Do not close them during the day nor during the night so that you may enjoy the wealth of the Gentiles with their kings and procession”.
Today, the UNWTO, where I sit as Co-President, we have translated this verse to mean a modern day palentis; open borders, open skies and ideally, if you want to enjoy tourism income you must stretch your arms and welcome the world. The only impediment to welcoming the world which regulates entry is the visa system. Now, those countries that have migrated to excellence in terms of openness, countries like Malaysia and Seychelles which are purely and absolutely tourism economies, they have actually diversed completely with the visa. In other words, they process people on entry.
So, if we want to meet the US$5 billion tourism economy that I have sign posted for the sector going forward to 2020, we have to review very vigorously this aspect of regulation of entry through visas. May I just remind hon. members because I know they travel a lot that what we dream for Africa in Vision 2063 is what we are pursuing, which is an African schengen where, if you enter the Cape you have entered Cairo; free movement. We do not wish to see an Africa that respects the boundaries that were imposed on us by the partitioning of Africa because what it does, is just to limit the free movement of people and in movement of people that is where the revolution is. There are only two revolutions of our contemporary times because the radio, telephone and others have been discovered; ICT and travel.
Going forward, I dream of a future where London would be to Harare, not what we have out there. I saw something which says London-Harare nonstop, not in 2015. I dream of a future where we can, through rocket science, shorten the distance through ICT and development of rocket science to five hours. Now, tourism will only happen then, because her question is very important, when we are able to admit as many people into our country as possible. Our policies must speak to each other.
The Minister seated on my right, Minister Mpofu is doing a fantastic enabler job for tourism, through the Victoria Falls Airport. It is going to be the game changer for tourism going forward, but if we do not assist the good work that he is doing by opening up, on the paper side, the processing of entries into the country, then we are rendering his very beautiful project into a white elephant. So, the policies must speak to each other. We must have mega airports, port of entries and hubs, but they must be facilitated and they must be enabled in terms of translating them into dollar value through basically, the waiving of visas.
We have one war that we have not won Madam Speaker. We have won the ICT war. In the year 2000 when the electronic tickets started, it was almost like a joke because you were used to taking paper tickets to the airport and presenting them. Now we just walk through and we present our passports. That is electronic travel. Now, in Minister
Mpofu’s re-arm, by year 2020 the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) has stated that we will have electronic boarders.
Now, you cannot access an electronic boarder with a manual paper. So it means we will have electronic boarders, electronic passports and electronic visas by year 2020. So, the question she asks is so important to the extent that we must see that future which will not require us to process visas otherwise, we create a queue at our ports of entry when the whole world would be admitting people freely.
So, in short Madam Speaker, we are going to waive this dispensation of visas going forward and it has started with our own pilot project with Zambia. If you are in Victoria Falls and two other port of entries, you can now only deal with one visa between the two countries.
The second pilot project in our region will involve three other countries, Namibia, Angola and Botswana. We go to phase 3 which will be the entire SADC region. So we will not have a visa in SADC, but it will not just be this region; it will be all the regions in Africa. The consolidation of which will be a visa less or visa free Africa, but we must win the security war. It is the security people who have restraints about free movement of people. We must convince them that it is possible to process people on entry, but terrorist threats in the world are not helping this fight. So you find where we have made sufficient progress like in the East African Community, Alshabab threat to Kenya has forced them in the last fortnight, to reverse those gains that they had registered in the last five years. They cannot just admit people freely anymore because of the terrorist and security threat. So we have to make a balance of things and at the end of the day, it must be a win/win for both security and free movement of people. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. members, I will not allow hon. members to abuse this platform and score certain languages that are not allowed in Parliament. Hon. Chamisa, words that you were speaking against the Hon. Minister and another Minister is not right in this
Parliament. Can you please withdraw what you said about Hon.
*MR. CHAMISA: I just asked if Hon. Mahofa was aware of what is happening –[HON.MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-. *THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chamisa, I am asking you to withdraw your statement.
*MR. CHAMISA: I withdraw my statement. I thank you.
- WADYAJENA: The Hon. Minister is speaking of very great ideas, 5 billion tourism, open skies and open airs, I want to find out, South Africa recently enacted some regulation to the travel of minors, how is it affecting the 5 billion tourism to Zimbabwe? Thank you.
ENG. MUZEMBI: I want to thank the hon. member for a very
related question. As we sign first the 5 billion tourism economy, the recent promulgation of New Passport and Documentation Act by South Africa which was adopted on the 1st of June is actually posing a threat to the regional dream on free movement of people, not just Zimbabwe. What the law basically says is, and hon. members must listen to this one very careful because we require your lobby as well to the South African Parliament, because that is where it was enacted. It basically says, is you are travelling with children under the age of 18 years, that child must produce an unabridged birth certificate provided she is accompanied by both parents. If he or she is accompanied by one of the parents, the one that has stayed behind must furnish the one that is travelling with the minor with an affidavit that demonstrates that this child is theirs together. In the event that one of the parents is deceased, the surviving parent who is travelling with this minor must carry a death certificate to prove that the unaccompanied minor was sired together with the deceased and surviving parent. The documentation basically is being compelled on the travelling public to meet a new threat in South Africa on child trafficking. You have child trafficking on one hand that they want to mitigate but they have then come up with a plethora of documents that will inhabit free movement of people and travel.
In response to the hon. member’s question on what we are doing about it, in the first instance, it has affected South African tourism itself. South African tourism is US$13 billion; we generate US$1 Billion with tourism. It is likely and it has already resulted in a 30% decline in performance of the South African tourism economy. South African tourism is fighting in our corner. It is fighting together with us to convince their Government to review this battery of laws that have been placed on the travelling public this new demand on travel documentation which obviously will be a burden to many people.
I am happy to share with you and Parliament that on the occasion of Sanganai about three weeks ago, the chief guest from our 118 VVIPs who visited Zimbabwe was the South African Tourism Minister. I did communicate to him about the negative impact of this requirement on the travelling public in Zimbabwe and the region. I can share with you now that we are going to escalate our protest on this matter to the SADC Committee of Tourism Ministers at the end of this month so that we deliver a resolution not just by Zimbabwe but by SADC on the unintended consequences of this anti-child trafficking law which is now inhibiting travel. Something is being done and I want to assure the hon. member that when is come back from Angola, where I will Chair the meeting as SADC Chairperson for the Committee of Ministers, will bring back a resolution that we will arm Parliament with, so that you can also lobby your counterparts in addition to the work that we will doing in the Executive. I thank you.
- MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker my question is directed to ……
- PHIRI: I have a point of order. Comrade, not comrade but Dr. Mashakada.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Dr. Mashakada.
- PHIRI: Hon. Dr. Mashakada debated, lambasted
Government and ZANU PF and it was covered live. The ZBC guys want to go out, it is going to be very unfair for ZANU PF to debate because the whole nation heard what Hon. Dr. Mashakada said. It was debated live – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. ZBC order, ZBC. ZBC
as you can see hon. members that they are now leaving. I have tried to call them back but they are still leaving. In relation to my work as the Speaker of Parliament, we will speak to the Minister of Information, Broadcasting Services Hon. Minister Mupfumira about this issue. It is very disturbing. Order, it is very disturbing that our ZBC is doing this at this stage. We will make sure that we communicate to the responsible authorities about their behaviour here in Parliament.
- MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker my question is
directed to The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What policy measure has the Ministry put in place to ensure that people with disabilities access public transport using their assistive devices? We have close to 2 million people with disabilities in Zimbabwe. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. MPOFU): I want to
thank the Hon. Mpariwa for raising that very important question. I think it has been the wish of Government that the facilities that are used by the public including our physical disabled communities are able to use those facilities. I have taken note of what she has said I will be communicating this to those that provide those facilities which facilities are not user friendly to the disabled members of our community. I just want to assure her that this is an area where we should be sensitive to and we are going to do something about it if nothing has been done yet.
I thank you.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
was going to be directed to the Minister of Sports and Culture. I have heard your response response about live coverage. I was going to make a request that, would it not be possible that we abstain from debating so that we also have live coverage on responses of that debate – [Laughter]
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members on my left
side, can you please behave. Hon. Chinotimba, you should not be in contempt of Parliament or break the rules of this House. If you want to raise an issue you should have said that. You have taken an opportunity to pose a question by raising a point of order. Tomorrow, it will be the first on the Order Paper that ZBC should come back and cover this issue. I therefore ask you to pose your question.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: My question is directed to the Deputy
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. I want to find out what is your policy as a Ministry as regards the national team. What are you doing about the assignments of the national team as a ministry because we hear that individuals are now funding the national team? We have a budget as a Ministry that is specifically for the Ministry of Arts, Sport and Culture. What are you going to do to ensure that our national team is not going to be disgraced as it goes about conducting its national duty? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ARTS, SPORT AND
CULTURE (MS. KANENGONI): Thank you Madam Speaker, thank
you Hon. Chinotimba. As a Ministry, we are not duty bound to pay for all the expenses of the national team. Our policy is that we should ensure that there is an enabling environment for people that are willing to assist our national teams. As a Ministry, we can contribute towards the travel of that team. In the recent past, when the warriors went to Malawi and when Comoros also came to Zimbabwe, the Ministry helped the national team on its travel during the difficult times.
We know that there are others who are willing to assist our national team. We urge those that would want to assist our national team to come forward and assist. They should come to us as a Ministry and tell us the amounts that they want to give to the national team so that we are able to ensure that there is transparency in the manner in which these amounts are spent. When our team went to Malawi, we were unhappy that they travelled by road yet we had paid their airfares as a
Ministry. We had also assisted with the payment of the allowances but ZIFA decided, in their wisdom or they wanted to do other things to demotivate the players and as a result, they ended up travelling by bus. At the moment, they have put in place an ad hoc Committee to look into the issues of ZIFA so that we may have evidence as regards this management that may be in ZIFA and that we can take concrete steps using the evidence. We expect that all sporting disciplines in Zimbabwe are handled in a proper, fair, transparency and accountable manner such that stakeholders can pour in their monies freely.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: My supplementary question is, all
Government departments or ministries have a budget for specific duties. Where is your budget as a Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture being channeled to if you are not assisting the national team? I have heard the Minister saying that they have no money to assist the team.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: May you please pose your question?
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: My question is that Government allocates
a budget to the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, what are they using that amount for, when they rely on borrowing or from begging from well wishers. What are they using this budget for?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba, the question that
you posed has been adequately answered. I want to remind hon.
members that when you shout as you are doing in Parliament, it is not allowed, it is unparliamentary and should end now.
*MR. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Deputy
Minister, we know that when our national team went to Malawi, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture promised the Zimbabwean warriors coach that salary arrears would be paid upon the coach’s return from Malawi. We also found out that before they left for Comoros, he had threatened to resign because he had not been paid. Did the Minister mislead us as a nation? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND
CULTURE (MS. KANENGONI): Thank you hon. member. I believe
that the reluctance by the coach to go to Comoros did not have a bone to chew with the Government. He was reluctant to do that because ZIFA had failed to pay him and furthermore, ZIFA was failing to ensure the smooth preparations of the players for these matches. Minister Hon. Langa did not mislead the coach. He is the one who discussed with the coach and we are aware that Pasuwa is doing a good job. We want the management of football issues by ZIFA to be looked into properly and as Government, we are trying to put in place measures to ensure that our teams perform well. I thank you.
*MR. MANDIPAKA: The Hon. Minister did speak in parables. Can she be clearer, she said she once gave out money when she was responding to Hon. Chinotimba and now, you are saying ZIFA did.
What they did, what do you mean by that utterance?
*MS. KANENGONI: On that issue, I did explain that the Sports Commission is carrying out investigations to look into how that fund was disbursed so that there can be questions of accountability.
- T. DUBE: Madam Speaker, my question is directed
- MAONDERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi. Is it now Government policy that as Members of Parliament we are now allowed to train militias, like what we recently witnessed in Gokwe, where Hon. Wadyajena was training militias who might end up terrorising people or bashing people. Is it now Government policy because if it is now a policy, then all of us can train militias? Can you clarify that?
- WADYAJENA: On a point of order! The hon. member is misguided; it just shows that he does not think! - [HON. MEMBERS:
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I will not allow Members of
Parliament to exchange words across the floor. I think I will give the
Minister an opportunity to respond to the question – [HON. MEMBERS:
- MAONDERA: On a point of order! With all due respect
Madam Speaker, I find it repugnant that a whole Member of Parliament spooz bunglingly like what he is saying. Can he please withdraw his statement? He said, I do not think.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I think I have to make a ruling on
this. In the first place, Hon. Maondera posed a question in a very unparliamentary manner as well. As much as the hon. member has responded with a point of order that is unparliamentary, so both Members of Parliament are going to withdraw what they have said. Hon.
Maondera, you are going to withdraw on issues of militia and Hon.
Wadyajena, you are going to withdraw on your point of order.
- MAONDERA: I had asked a question, so are you saying my
question does not arise?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I did not say your question does not
arise, but the word militia does not arise.
- MAONDERA: With all due respect Madam Speaker, maybe
you can guide me on the proper word which I should use instead of militia.
- J. GUMBO: Madam Speaker, I think Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga did stand up and said that we should respect your Chair. I was going to ask the Leader of the Opposition to please bring some sanity in the House. She is very senior; so that we respect the House and the nation.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. member for the question. The hon. member has made an allegation of training of militias. May he furnish us with more information about the training, where and how it was conducted for us to act as a department.
- MAONDERA: On a point of order! I would like to assist the
Minister because it was on the National Television where we saw Hon.
Wadyajena at a pass-out parade.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, what is your point of order Hon. Mandipaka?
- MANDIPAKA: Madam Speaker, I think we need to respect
our nation and this House because what he is alluding to never occurred at all. He never trained any militia and his question should be disallowed.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, I think I have given a ruling.
As to the response of the Minister, he said he needs evidence. So, if Hon. Maondera can put his allegations in writing so that the responsible ministry will take action.
- GAVA: I think the hon. member missed it on television.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Gava, I recognised you
to pose a question to the Ministers.
- SHAMU: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of
Sport, Arts and Culture. What is Government’s policy with regards to the holding of the Festival on Arts and Culture which the OAU then launched in Senegal in 1966?
Madam Speaker, I am asking this question because Zimbabwe is the current Chairperson of the OAU through His Excellency, the President and this festival is but part of the programmes of the OAU. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND
CULTURE (MS. KANENGONI): Thank you Madam Speaker and the
hon. member. I would like to request the hon. member to put his question in writing so that I can go and get accurate information in order for me to respond.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the ACTING SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
- CHAMISA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, it is very
clear even looking at the bench where the ministers sit that there is something that is wrong with our ministers. The fact that you went all the way deferring questions because the ministers are not available – I know that you have made a ruling but I hope that this ruling is going to be obeyed. As Parliament, we have the powers to deal with ministers who choose to absent themselves from Parliament. Among those who were here some of them have actually left yet this is a very serious issue. Nowhere in the world would you find Parliament being treated with the contempt that we are seeing. We urge finality to this matter because we cannot have a situation whereby the Constitution calls on Members of
Cabinet to be in Parliament and they choose not to be. Standing Order Number 63 also speaks to issues of contempt so on this matter we really want to call on you Chair to put finality to it. We just have two ministers who are punctual but most of them have chosen to truant.
- GUMBO: Whilst I concur with Hon, Chamisa I also want to
add that it is not only ministers but our members are also not in the House and that is why questions have been handed in. So I think we must also add that even members have to be in the House. I have got a list of ministers who are out of town on Government business. After we discussed the issue earlier on I went on to make sure that we get from the secretary of Cabinet a list of where the ministers are, so I have a list of apologies which had not come in time. So, it is a few of them who are absent now and they have left answers but our members are now not in the House. So, let us rein our members to come into the House.
WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
PLANS ON DECONGESTING THE DENSELY POPULATED
GOKWE-NEMBUDZIYA CONSTITUENCY AND GOKWE
- MR. WADYAJENA asked the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement to state the plans the Ministry has put in place to decongest the densely populated Gokwe-Nembudziya Constituency and Gokwe North District in general, considering the absence of commercial farms for resettlement in the district.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT: May I start by thanking Hon. Wadyajena for asking the question. Since the inception of the Land Reform
Programme, the Ministry has always been aware that there are a number of districts across the country which do not have commercial farms for resettlement purposes, for example, Gokwe North and Chivi among others. As a result, Government issued a directive to all Provincial Lands Committees affected by the above situation to liaise with their respective districts so as to accommodate the affected districts in their allocation schedules in the sister districts.
Prospective farmers are also advised and encouraged to apply for land in any province of their choice, even outside their home area. The land reform applies to the whole country and does not consider a person’s origin. As a matter of record, a number of people in the Gokwe district at large, have been successfully resettled in other districts in the
Midlands Province and some have even been resettled in Mashonaland West. I thank you.
POLICY ON THE ACQUISITION OF FARMS IN AREAS WHERE
LOCAL COMMUNITIES ARE UNDERTAKING PRODUCTIVE
15. MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA asked the Minister
of Lands and Rural Resettlement to explain the policy on the acquisition of farms in areas where the local communities are undertaking productive projects with the farm owner and where communities dispute the acquisition, as provided in Section 18 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT: The acquisition of land for resettlement purposes is one of the key ways of ascertaining that local communities are given equitable access to resources to promote their development. Once such land is acquired, it is then allocated according to the recommendations which would have been made by the local District Lands Committee which comprises of members and representatives from all the stakeholders on land who include the local headman. As a matter of fact, even the acquisition of such land is done at the recommendation of the District Lands Committee. It is therefore, my submission that where a decision is taken to acquire any such land, it is for the benefit of the local community. I thank you.
POLICY REGARDING HOLDERS OF A2 OFFER LETTTERS
- MR. S. NCUBE asked the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement the policy regarding the holders of A2 offer letter where white farmers do not want to vacate.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (DR. MOMBESHORA): May I start by thanking the Hon. Member Mr. Ncube for asking this question. The offer letter issued by the Minister to the A2 farmer is lawful authority to occupy acquired State land. The same offer letter gives the holder the power to institute any legal procedure to ascertain his/her rights to occupy, use and possess his/her allocated subdivision. As such, the offer letter holder should approach the courts of law seeking an order of either the Magistrate or High Court to evict the former farm owner or illegal occupant of his allocated farm who does not have lawful authority.
It is recommended that offer letter holders pursue these applications through the Civil Court than Criminal Court. The reason against the Criminal Court route is that it takes too long and it is subject to appeals from the accused hence lengthening the time before one vacates the farm.
The Supreme Court in the Commercial Farmers Union, Case SC31/1, stated that offer letter holders have the power and authority to institute eviction proceedings against illegal occupants on their farms in their own right. Thank you.
TAKE-OVER OF UNDER-UTILISED TOURIST FACILITIES
SUCH AS KARIBA LAKE VIEW INN HOTEL AND OTHERS
OWNED BY SABOTEURS
- MR. MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Tourism and
Hospitality Industry to explain the Ministry’s policy regarding the takeover of underutilized tourist facilities such as Kariba Lakeview Inn
Hotel, Sanyati Lodge, Kippling Lodge Furthergill and Spurwing island Hotels owned by saboteurs, some of whom left the country a long time ago.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM AND
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (MR. KANHANGA): The Minister of
Tourism and Hospitality Industry would like to inform members of the House that the issue of dis-investment in the tourism sector came as a result of negative perception of our destination, hence, tourism business went down forcing companies to close down. The current tourism policy seeks to protect the tourism industry from dis-investment and promote investment in the sector by locals. The Ministry is currently lobbying for the development of a Tourism Revolving Fund to support players in the tourism industry and ensure they remain in business, even during difficult times. Hotels which were abandoned by foreigners who left the country provide an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to engage the owners so that they can sell or lease the properties; for example, Hotels and Lodges Association (HALA) has embarked on an exercise to recover abandoned tourist assets through resuscitation of hotels and lodges in the country. To date, they have resuscitated Chimanimani, Karoi and Cecil Hotel in Bulawayo among others.
Zimbabweans must thus, be more enterprising and negotiate for take-over or management contracts with the former owners.
INVOLVEMENT OF MOSI-AO-TUNYA DEVELOPMENT
However, hon. members would want to be informed that my
Ministry has formed a Special Purpose Vehicle, Mosi-Oa-Tunya
Development Company. The company whose board was approved by His Excellency the President, will also be able to negotiate at Government level for the takeover of such idle assets.
In addition, it will be a platform to shore up investments in the sector and attract Foreign Direct Investments and foreign partnership. To date, the immediate focus for Mosi-Oa-Tunya development company is the modernisation of Victoria Falls.
However, nothing will stop the company from spreading its wings to other areas outside the geographic space of Victoria Falls. All projects will be analysed on a case by case basis to establish going concern.
To wind up the answer, it must be crystal clear to the august House that in Zimbabwe, tourism is Government led and private sector driven.
INSTALLATION OF BOOSTERS IN BULILIMA WEST
- MR. NLEYA asked the Minister of Information
Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services when boosters will be installed to improve network coverage in Bulilima West Constituency.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER
SERVICES (MR. MLAMBO): The question asked by the hon.
member is too broad. This is because Bulilima West Constituency, like all other constituencies is a wide area. The hon. member therefore, needed to pinpoint the specific area or areas where coverage is absent and the specific network that may also be absent in the area of interest. In the absence of this specific information, allow me to provide general mobile network coverage information for Bulilima West Constituency.
NetOne has one booster at Dombodema. The operator has however done some surveys in the constituency and is currently mobilising resources to install a boosters at the following sites:
Madlambuzi, Malalume, Mbimba, Mayithengwe and Ndolwani.
Econet also has one booster at Mpohoengs in Bulilima West constituency.
The other operator, Telecel Zimbabwe, currently does not have network coverage in Bulilima West Constituency. Nevertheless, according to their work plan, booster will be installed in the Constituency as per the following schedule:
The inadequate number of boosters in Bulilima West Constituency is noted. The three mobile network operators have plans to improve the coverage in Bulilima West Constituency. Some of these plans have already been cited in this response.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE ACTING SPEAKER: As we had agreed before with the Chief
Whips from both sides, we now revert to the motion presented by Hon.
Mashakada and on the …
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
- J.M. GUMBO: Madam Speaker, by consensus we have
agreed that Order of the Day, Number 2 be now adjourned until tomorrow.
- MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 9th July, 2015.
On the motion of DR. J.M. GUMBO, seconded by MS.
MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.