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Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

The National Assembly met at a Quarter­past Two o’clock p.m.





THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, to date, 185

CDF payments have been processed.  Consequently, the Constituency Development Fund Management Committee will be visiting your constituencies to monitor the progress of your projects.

In order to facilitate this exercise, Hon. Members are requested to inform the Secretariat of projects undertaken so far.  Let me also remind you Hon. Members that the Member of Parliament who is the

Chairperson is the accounting officer of the funds allocated for his or her Constituency and must, for purposes of accountability, comply with the requirements of submission of returns as stipulated in the Accounting

Officer’s manual.

Please note that the submission of job cards is a requirement of the CDF constitution and must be complied with regardless of the size of the project.



ORDERS NUMBER 51, 62 (2) AND 139



Speaker, I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Orders Number 51, 62 (2) and 139 regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to Seven 0’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty­five Minutes past One o’clock on a Friday; Private Member’s motions taking precedence on Wednesdays after Question Time and Stages of Bills  respectively be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of the Government Business.  We have urgent Government

Business that we want to dispose.  We have the Electoral Amendment

Bill before the august House, Shop Licences Bill and the Insolvency Bill. I request that time be given to Government to expedite the processes.  I accordingly move.

Motion put and agreed.

Some Hon. Members having been whispering to each other ­

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  If I ask you what has been

said by the Minister I do not think you will be able to explain that.




PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I move that the provisions of Standing Orders No. 50, 60(2) and 139 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 Friday, private members’ motions taking precedence on Wednesdays after question time and stages of bills respectively, be suspended with effect from today, for the next series of sittings in respect of Government Business.

Motion put and agreed to.




AFFAIRS: (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, I move

that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to7 be stood over until Order of the

Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.

HON. GONESE: Madam Speaker, I am just discussing with

the Minister before we accede to the suspension of those Orders Madam

Speaker, with your indulgence.



after consultation with the Chief Whip of the Opposition, I withdraw and request leave of the House to revert to Oder Number 2 on the Order

Paper. I thank you.


INSOLVENCY BILL [H. B. 11, 2016]

Second Order Read: Second Reading: Insolvency Bill [H. B. 11, 2016].

Question again proposed.

*HON MAKUNDE: Thank you Madam Speaker. This

Insolvency Bill is …

Hon. Members having been engaging in private conversations.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can go to the Lobby, if you have something that you need to solve Cde Gandawa and Cde


*HON MAKUNDE: This Bill is more easily understood by those with a legal background but it is an important Bill to be understood by the ordinary workers in industry. Madam Speaker I want you to know that I was part of the team that conducted public hearings on this Bill in Midlands and Hwange where we discovered that many companies were legally declared insolvent…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I think we

were on recess for some weeks and you need to talk to each other but we cannot discuss issues that happened during the holiday or wherever we were during the holiday, in this House. We have to listen to the debate that is going on from Hon. Members. We are towards the end of our parliamentary term, yet some of us still do not know our House procedures. We come here and make noise, discussing our own issues while we are expected to listen to the debate going on here, which is what Hon. Members should be doing.

*HON MAKUNDE: We toured the Southern Region conducting the public hearings and there are many companies negatively affected by these insolvencies. The challenges which were faced by people who were workers. In Bulawayo, we saw women who had gathered thinking that we had brought something for them. They are now young adults who were born whilst their parents were workers, but when these companies were dissolved, the companies started towing off their debts without paying the workers. So, it has led to the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. I think even companies in greater Harare, some were affected and families were not compensated, but where they had debts, the companies paid them. They did not pay the labour which was being provided by those people.

As Government of the people, I think we should look at the recommendations which were given by Hon. Chasi. We should effect them like if the company is being liquidated. Our priority should be given to the people before we pay all these other debts. That is why I stood up Madam Speaker, that there is an outcry out there because some people who were staying in company houses were evicted. They were staying in company houses and their husbands were no longer employed. The companies were legally liquidated. For us not to have the same challenge, I think we should come up with laws that when companies are being liquidated, the workers should be paid first before other debts are honoured. Thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the Insolvency Bill and I want to applaud the Minister for bringing this Bill. I am hoping that what I am going to say here is going to be a cure for a few issues that reside in companies that go for liquidation and people that go for insolvency.

Before this Bill was brought up, we requested for time in order to make sure that since it is technical, we ingest and then we also digest the Bill with a view of optimally and effectively debating on it.

However, there are two issues that I want to deal with. The first one which I am hoping has been quite well ventilated by other Members and the Committee is the issue of insolvency or liquidation purely based on the liabilities that are said to be far outweighing the assets that the company has. It is my fervent view and clarion call that a company should not go into liquidation purely based on that because we have some strategic companies. One such company is Air Zimbabwe and assuming this is what would have occurred at the time, NRZ would have also gone into liquidation and there are a lot of other Government entities and quasi­government entities that would have gone into liquidation, but the Government quickly came in with the Joint Venture Act of 2016 and the Private Public Partnership (PPP) to bail out these companies, some companies whose debts have been warehoused so that they can be saved from liquidation.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. It is very unfortunate Hon. Nduna that our records are telling us that you have debated on this. ­ [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] ­

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, we go along with the

procedures of this House. There is no negotiation and can you please take you seat Hon. Member.

HON. NDUNA: I ask to be heard Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, would you

please take your seat?

Hon. Nduna having spoken to the Clerk at the Table.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we are going to leave Hon. Nduna to debate. He explained what happened on that particular day.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me this opportunity to ventilate these issues because they are key. I touched on companies that are of a strategic nature, which if they had been allowed to be liquidated purely based on their assets that are outstripped by their liabilities, we would not be where we are as a country. However, I applaud Government for warehousing some of the debts and taking over some of the debts in order that the country goes forward using those companies. One such company is COTTCO which was bailed out by Government to the tune of US$68 million. This had far reaching consequences and far reaching results. One amongst those issues is the resuscitation of David Whitehead standing on the shoulders of COTTCO because Government would have taken over the COTTCO debt which is a strategic company and it would have also looked at cotton farmers who had been given four seasons worth of cotton seed for free inputs to the tune of US$42 million.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members on my

right. What is happening today? Is it because of the primary elections? If you are discussing those issues please, this is why we have a lobby. Can you please proceed?

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I was busy talking about the COTTCO debt which was taken over by Government without which it would have gone into liquidation because its assets are far outweighed by its liabilities. That as it might be, if it had not been resuscitated,

David Whitehead today who have received US$2 million from ZAMCO and Government, is also on the path to recovery purely because we have not used liquidation as a rule of thumb for those ailing companies who in my view can be resuscitated in the same vein by extension, resuscitating other downstream industries and other downstream companies. I spoke of David Whitehead; it is also going to resuscitate forward and backward linkages mindful of the fact that it used to employ more than 4 000 workers.  If we just shut our eyes and say let the law take its course,

what is going to happen is, we are going to take these companies to judicial management which is the manager for those companies who would have gone into liquidation.

What happens when a company is in liquidation and what happens when the judiciary manager takes over is ­ a judicial manager is like a consultant; he is like a doctor.  You pay consultation fee, whether the patient gets up from their ailing environment or they do not.  The judicial manager will still get paid because they have been empowered by the court to preside over a company until it has been resuscitated. That as it might be, I ask that this House makes sure that we do not fall into the trap of enriching judicial managers as opposed to enriching the many.  When you enrich a judicial manager, you are enriching one person, who is a consultant over a company which is under judicial management but when you take over a debt; when you indulge in triple P and when you give a grand to a company which is ailing, you empower the nation.  In the same vein, you empower a lot of women who by the way are 62% of our population and if you empower a woman you have empowered a nation.  What men can do, women can do better.

I want to say judicial managers have been given unfettered access in liquidation.  Their powers should be curtailed by enacting the Insolvency Act.  In the same vein, we need to also look at the Companies Act, Section 306, which gives unfettered access and movement of the judiciary manager in terms of his mandate when he carries out his duties on a company which is being liquidated.  Madam Speaker, what you see happening is very unfortunate because when a company is in liquidation, whoever has got the prowess and the powers of presiding over that company is an individual or a small company formed of three people, that is formed by judicial managers.

What you see happening is, they quickly sell the remaining assets of that company and immediately pay themselves first.  I want to agree with the preceding Hon. Member who debated before me in that what needs to be done is to take care of the legacy debt, in particular the creditor who in a lot of times than not, is the workers that form the majority creditors.  I always want to refer to David Whitehead as a classic example.  The workers are owed US$15 million.  David Whitehead is worth US$20 million and the other creditors are owed about US$5 million.  So if a judicial manager goes into such a scenario and makes sure that he sells the remaining assets, in this particular instance which are the real estate or buildings and the houses and then pays himself first before he liquidates the debt of the creditors who are the workers, it is quite unfortunate.  This Bill should speak to and about that issue that needs to be number one priority in terms of issues that need to be dealt with after liquidation or during liquidation.

The judicial manager should have somebody presiding above him, which says he needs to first pay attention to the workers and then he needs to also pay attention to the creditors who have not been a form of a scheme of arrangement; who are not embedded in a scheme of arrangement, who are not included in a company share structure/restructuring.  He needs to take care of those people first before he pays himself.

I have painted a scenario where a judicial manager is like a doctor, whether the patient has resuscitated or not; whether the patient goes to Nyaradzo and is dead or not, he will still get paid.  So whether the company is resuscitated or not, the judicial manager is waiting there like a lion seeking whom he might devour; he will still get paid but as he sells those assets he should be the last in line in terms of payment.  I am hoping that I have elucidated and well ventilated that point where the judicial manager should not have unfettered access and movement in the liquidating and in the form of liquidation of companies.

I then come to individuals and I want to touch on insolvency.  Our

Constitution now outlaws imprisonment for a civil debt – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order in the House!

HON. NDUNA: Our present Constitution of 2013 outlaws imprisonment for a civil debt but recently, I saw a Constitutional Court wanting to strike off that provision in the Constitution, saying it was an unconstitutional provision and saying that anybody that owes anybody should pay their debt.  I believe in all honesty that it is being a bit in the draconian side if the Constitutional Court will not on its own observe the Constitution, then there is flagrant violation of the Constitution.  It is in my view that the document of 2013 as a Constitution was quite progressive in so many ways than one.

First and foremost, when somebody has been said to have failed to pay their debt, in my view and with my personal experience, sometimes it is the delay of payment of that debt and somebody should not be judged in terms of insolvency by what they have got in their bank account.  There are people that have got a lot of assets including what you sit on at home which are couches and sofas, beds, bicycles and all that.  So, we should go further than the general interrogation of somebody’s assets in terms of saying as long as they do not have money in the bank; as long as they do not have Mercedes Benz or BMW, then they are insolvent.

Madam Speaker, I speak like this because I have got my learned lawyer and solicitor who is behind me here; I believe in all honesty after having discussed this….

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I do not see the Minister here, you are debating ­ who will respond to that?

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Maam, I do not know but I think it is standard procedure and I hope that he will read the Hansard.  As I conclude, we were discussing one day with my learned lawyer and it is quite unfortunate that as long as a company is directed to be liquidated based on the assets that it has that far outweigh it upon by its liabilities; there are various avenues that we need to look at in particular, in this new dispensation which says Zimbabwe is open for business.  Similarly, individuals are not supposed to be incarcerated for a civil debt Madam Speaker.  I stand by the Constitution, Section one hundred and forty something, that speaks to and about lack of imprisonment for a civil debt.  That should stand, no matter we have a Constitutional Court, it should not strike that constitutional section down.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to eloquently and effectively ventilate my issues on this Insolvency Bill that talks about liquidation of companies.  I am hoping that we can take a cue from what has occurred in some ailing companies that are of a strategic nature, where Government has evoked the issue of the Triple ‘P’, the joint venture partnerships and has warehoused some of the debts.  It has also taken over some of the debts with a view of resuscitating some of the downstream industries and some of the companies that are enjoined to these companies that are of a strategic nature.  I want to thank you Madam Speaker and I say good afternoon.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to add a few words on this Bill.  The way I see it Madam Speaker is that before a company is liquidated, it is like a company would have spent 12 months without paying workers but aware that they do not have money. The owner of the company will be living a luxurious life, driving so many cars while workers are not paid.  I think it is good for the Government to investigate that person properly for that company to be liquidated while an employer spends twelve months without paying workers.  I think as a Government, we are lost somewhere because we look at liquidators; it is as if we are making other people rich.  The Government is there to help these companies.  We have legal aids that help people that do not have money if they commit any crime.  They represent people freely.  The Government should pay civil servants that are liquidators; those that do not want money but are there to help because they are paid by the Government.  If I am a liquidator, it means that what other Hon. Members have said, that is what happens. Liquidators first pay themselves.  As the Government of the people, we should have legal aid lawyers who are liquidators so that we do not give money to the liquidators at the expense of the workers.  For sure,

Madam Speaker, if you see companies that were liquidated and how the workers are suffering, it is very painful.

For example, ZESCO, the war veterans company, it was handed over to a liquidator and the liquidator is taking all the money that is getting in and awarding himself a salary.  The only money that remains is $35 but the ZESCO building gets about a hundred thousand.  He says his salary is $95 thousand per month because there is no one who follows him up.  Therefore, I agree with other Hon. Members that the liquidators should not be people we just pick from the streets or make certain companies as liquidators.  The Government should see how people are suffering like it did when it puts in place the Legal Aids.  If you go to the courts, you will find that at each and every court, there are lawyers who are there to help people but there are no liquidators.

I think this Bill should really be amended.  It is a good Bill but it should pass after thorough investigations have been done on what help people get when it comes to this Insolvency Bill.  If we pass this Bill without looking at how people are suffering, we will not be doing any justice.  If it is not looked at properly on how people are going to get help, I will not like it.  It should be amended and the Government should provide free lawyers to the people who will be liquidators so that we will not make some people rich.  If we look at the companies that are folding, you will find that the owners are driving Mercedes Benz and they are externalising their funds overseas.  I think the companies should be investigated on why they are liquidated.  People will be doing so deliberately, so if they do not pay their workers and they are in debt, they will apply for liquidation.  Recently, we heard that the RBZ said companies went and banked money outside.  Some of the companies that are liquidated have foreign bank accounts.  Full investigations should be made and the Government should be responsible for liquidators instead of us picking up people and call them liquidators.  I thank you.

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

HON. KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.





revert back to Order of the Day, No. 5.

Motion put and agreed to.



Fifth Order read: Second Reading: Shop Licences Amendment Bill

(H.B. 10, 2016).


Madam Speaker, I move that the Bill be read the second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time



House in Committee.

Clause 1 to 6 put and agreed to.

On Clause 7:



Chairperson.  I intend to bring amendments to Clause 7, therefore I request, with the leave of the Committee that you report progress and then we continue tomorrow when I would have brought in the amendments.  I thank you. Can Clause 7 be stood over until the rest have been disposed of and then proceed to report progress and we do Clause 7 tomorrow.  I thank you.

Clauses 8 to 16 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Committee to resume: Wednesday, 11th April, 2018





Madam Speaker.  I move that we revert to the fourth order on today’s

Order Paper




much.  The Public Health Bill, 2017 is really an amendment Bill.  It seeks to replace, seeks to update and to align to the Constitution the law relating to public health.  The present Public Health Act was passed as far back as 1924 and it needs updating to meet the current health challenges and needs of our population. When that Bill was passed in 1924, a lot of other issues have happened in between.  The Bill seeks to introduce the following new features to the Bill:

  1. The introduction of Annual National Health Forum to be convened by the Public Health Advisory Board to discuss pertinent public health issues;
  2. The new provision is also for provincial and district health administration; and
  3. It seeks rights and duties in public health to align with section 76 of the Constitution – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]


THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Next time I am going to name some other Hon. Members here.  Instead of listening to the stories you are telling to each other, why not listen to the Minister of Health, this issue touches everybody in your constituency.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: The Bill also seeks to look at prevention and control of non­communicable diseases.  The Bill looks at compulsory immunisation of children and incapacitated persons.  This is a very new innovation where some sections of communities would refuse to be immunized.  So, the Bill seeks to make it compulsory where it is necessary.  It looks at water safety and sanitation including waste management.  As you are aware, this is the source of our current outbreaks of typhoid, cholera and other diarrheal diseases.

The Bill looks at International Health Regulations.  These are regulations where in between states, what are the provisions that can be made to make sure that if your are passing through states, for example, if a country has got yellow fever, do you stop all the people who are coming into your country where there is no yellow fever – what do you do.  It also looks at establishment and objects of public health funds, this is a very important area because, really health funding is a key issue.

The Bill also looks at the declaration of a state of public health emergency. There are disasters that happen and we want to make sure that it is covered in this particular area.  It also looks at penalties of noncompliance.  So, it is a very comprehensive Bill which I hope that this House and together with our Parliamentary Committee on Health will look at and they will be able to assist us so that we look at public health in a completely new perspective.

HON. DR. LABODE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The joint committee of health and HIV met today to deliberate on the report and the report is not yet ready so we are requesting for an adjournment until the 8th of May, 2018 when the report will be ready.

HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Obviously, I would have

wanted it earlier but we want to respect our Portfolio Committee on


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

HON. RUNGANI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.




PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 8 on the

Order Paper be stood over until Order Number 9 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.






HON. DHEWA:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on

Media, Information and Broadcasting Services on the Operations of Local Commercial Radio Stations in Zimbabwe.

HON. HOLDER:  I second.

HON. DHEWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I wish to present the report of the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services on operations of commercial radio stations in



The Government of Zimbabwe resolved to open up radio airwaves by issuing local commercial radio station licences in March 2015. The decision was motivated by the need to attract entrepreneurs in the broadcasting business as well as promote pluralism and diversity in media ownership and operations. The issuance of the local commercial radio stations licences marked the end of the monopoly of the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC), a milestone development that was welcomed by media practitioners, civil society and the public. Against this background, the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services resolved to conduct an inquiry into the operational status of the recently licensed radio stations.

Objectives of the Inquiry.

The Committee was motivated to achieve the following goals;

  1. To appreciate the challenges faced by local commercial radio stations in establishing a viable broadcasting system; 2. To familiarise itself with the radio broadcasting systems; and
  2. To offer relevant policy recommendations.


In its quest to gather information, the Committee conducted an oral evidence session on 9th February 2017, with the then Minister for

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Dr. C. Mushowe. He briefed the Committee on the Government’s policy on the issuance of local commercial radio stations as well as an update on the operations of the eight commercial radios. The Committee conducted a tour of local commercial radio stations from 19th to 25th June 2017.

Committee’s Findings.

Oral Evidence Session with Hon. Dr. Mushowe.

In his presentation, the Minister highlighted that in the issuance of local Commercial Radio Stations licences, the Government was guided by the Broadcasting Services  Act (BSA) (Chapter 12:06) which provides for the regulation of broadcasting services bands. The Act also provides for the establishment of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), licensing authority on matters pertaining to broadcasting services.

The Minister stressed that the criteria applied by the Authority on the issuance of all licences is provided for in Section 8 of the BSA which outlines persons disqualified. Section 10 provides for the procedure applied by the Authority and also to be followed by the applicants in the licensing process. These procedures entail the Authority inviting applications for licences through publication in a national newspaper and in the Government Gazette. This is followed by the submission of applications in the form prescribed by the Authority and the publication of applicants within prescribed timeframes. Any person with an objection to any application may lodge the objection with the Authority. The Authority shortlists those applicants who may qualify to be issued with licences using criteria provided in terms of Section 8 of the BSA.  The shortlisted applicants are subjected to a public inquiry to determine each applicant’s suitability. The Authority conducts a final adjudication of the applications to determine those applicants who should be issued with licenses.

The BAZ invited applications for the provision of local commercial radio broadcasting services in 25 areas of the country in 2013 following the completion of a frequency allotment plan. The licence areas were as follows: Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru,

Kwekwe, Kadoma, Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Kariba, Chegutu, Rusape,

Zvishavane, Chiredzi, Redcliffe, Bindura, Victoria Falls, Karoi, Beitbridge, Chipinge, Chirundu, Hwange, Gwanda, Marondera, Lupane and Plumtree.

The Authority received twenty­one applications from nine out of twenty­five areas. The Authority shortlisted 18 applicants who qualified to be issued with licences on the basis of the qualification criteria under the BSA. Out of the 18 applicants, five applicants failed to pay the public inquiry fees of US$7 500 ­00 per applicant and one applicant withdrew from the licensing process. Twelve applicants, therefore, appeared before the Authority in public inquiries to determine the suitability of the applicants to be issued with licences and these applicants were in eight areas, namely, Masvingo, Zvishavane, Gweru, Mutare, Kariba, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Harare.

On the basis of the application submitted by each applicant, the outcome of the public inquiries and the guidance provided in terms of the BSA, the Authority conducted its final assessment of the applications to determine those applicants who were to be issued with licenses. The licences were issued as follows for the respective licence areas;

Masvingo – AB Communications trading as (t/a) HevoiFM, Zvishavane

– Ray of Hope t/a YAFM, Gweru – AB Communications t/a 100.4FM,

Kariba – Kingstons t/a NyaminyamiFM, Victoria Falls – Fairtalk

Communications t/a BreezeFM, Mutare – Zimpapers t/a DiamondFM, Bulawayo – Fairtalk Communications t/a Skyz MetroFM and Harare –

Kingstons  t/a Capitalk 100,4 FM.

The licences had a statutory obligation to provide the service within eighteen months of being issued with a licence. The licences for the eight local commercial radio stations were issued in March 2015 and had up to September 2016 to go on air or risk suspension or cancellation of those licences.

Oral evidence session with Mr. Muganyura, BAZ Chief

Executive Officer.

In his presentation, Mr Muganyura highlighted that BAZ issued eight licenses in Masvingo (Hevoi), Mutare (Diamond), Kariba (Nyaminyami) Gweru, Vic Falls, Zvishavane, Bulawayo and Harare. The licensed radio stations had a time limit of 18 months to be operational and seven failed to meet the deadline. However, all are now operational with some installing state of the art equipment. In terms of programming, he noted that most of them used to play music but were now broadcasting better content. In terms of viability, Mr. Muganyura noted that it seems most of the radio stations were struggling which can be attributed to the harsh economic environment, high costs of establishing the studios and competition among other factors. He however, emphasized that they were still to receive their financial statements to really determine their capacities. Two out of eight stations were reported to have paid up their license fee at US$5000 per year. Furthermore, he noted that the policy to restrict the stations to a 40km radius might need to be reviewed as it did not take into account the economic and social effects of the area.

Study Tour of Local Commercial Radio Station.

The Committee undertook a study tour of commercial radio stations from the 19th – 25th June 2017. The Committee visited Capitalk FM owned by Kingstons Holdings, Diamond FM ­  Zimpapers, HevoiFM and MidlandsFM owned by AB Communications and SkyFM and BreezeFM owned by Fair talk Communications. Below is a summarized report of the study.

Programming and Languages.

The Committee was informed that the local commercial radio stations strive to broadcast using various languages that are recognized by the Constitution. The radio stations have a similar model for programming whereby a weekday is characterised by an early morning, a mid­morning, afternoon, evening and night shows. All the radio stations are broadcasting 24 hours a day. Capitalk is a premier talk radio station, hence their programmes are characterised with discussion topics only whilst the other radio stations has a mixture of both music and discussions. Their programmes encompass sports, politics, economics, technological matters, news, and music among others targeting various age groups. Below is a table reflecting the languages that are used by each radio station.

Radio Station Languages
CapitalkFM English, Isindebele, Shona
DiamondFM English, Shona, Ndau, Manyika, Jindwi, Chibunji, Chiungwe Portuguese
HevoiFM English, Isindebele, Chishona (Karanga), Shangani
MidlandsFM English, Isindebele, Shona
SkyFM English, isiNdebele, Shona, Venda, Kalanga, Suthu, Xhosa
BreezeFM English, Isindebele, Shona, Tonga,

Transmission and Broadcasting Radius.

The Committee was informed that although transmission was being well received, certain areas had challenges which were attributed to the terrain of the areas. DiamondFM in Mutare appeared the most affected due the mountainous nature of the area. A worrisome circumstance is also the failure of transmission to reach Esigodini which is within the 40km radius of SkyFM. Therefore, gap fillers were recommended to be installed. All the radio stations noted that the statutory obligation to broadcast within a 40km radius was restrictive on revenue base as advertisers were shying away on the basis that they were broadcasting to a smaller population.

Marketing and Advertisement.

The Committee was informed that due to the current harsh economic environment characterised with liquidity challenges, many companies had reduced marketing budgets and were shying away from radio stations. In addition, the radio stations are facing existing competition from local newspapers that are charging low rates. Local commercial radio stations are fairly new, hence companies are also reluctant to advertise on radio. However, most of the radio stations had shown innovation and were already making profits or breaking even.

DiamondFM and SkyFM were making profits. Capitalk, HevoiFM and MidlandsFM expressed capacity to break even since they were still in their infant stage when the Committee visited them. BreezeFM reported that they were facing profitability and sustenance issues. SkyFM reported that they were attracting advertisers from South Africa which was a positive development. YAFM reported that due to high fixed cost structure including BAZ license fees, rentals, salaries and wages, transmission costs and low revenue, the station experienced losses for the financial year 2015, 2016 and the first five months in 2017. The losses were attributed to the economic hardships and the shrinkage in advertising.


In terms of security, the Committee was informed that radio stations were technologically secured through Automated System and

Modular Shutdown (ASMS) which can broadcast from Transmitter sites,

Studios and remote sites. YaFM made reference to the “Engineer Briefcase” which can broadcast from anywhere provided internet is available. The Remote Shutdown has self­destruction capacities. Although, technologically the radio stations are secured their infrastructure was compromised due to the absence of security guards. All the radio stations had no state security except for SkyFM, who also indicated to the Committee that they had a commercial contract with ZRP for the security. It is important to highlight that the 1994 Rwanda genocide was started by irresponsible radio stations and therefore, local commercial radio stations should be equally regarded as institutions of national interest and considered under the Protected Places Act, so that soldiers and police officers offer security to radio stations for free. State security should be considered because the state has a national interest in their operations.


All the radio stations reported common challenges such as the hesitancy of the market to advertise with them since they are still new, general low uptake in advertising because of the current economic challenges and existing competition with local newspapers that are charging lower rates than them. In addition, the restrictive nature of the statutory obligations to broadcast within the 40km radius, failure to reach a 100% coverage because of the terrain, delays in securing foreign currency to import new equipment and a general misconception that they are community radio stations were some of the challenges.

Tour of Studios.

All the studios are installed with state of the art equipment. The Committee was informed that the equipment were digitally compliant resulting in high quality sound. In general, the studios include control, content production and broadcasting rooms. Some of the equipment include audio processor, studio interlink box, studio to transmitter link, back –up power system and monitoring system. Committee Observations.

The Committee deliberated and made the following observations;

  1. The Committee noted that most of the radio stations except for SkyFM in Bulawayo, had no proper security. The Committee reiterate the importance of state security, since the Rwanda genocide was initiated by radio stations. Although SKYFM had state security in the form of ZRP, the Committee was concerned that the arrangement was on commercial basis and may not take into consideration the national interests of the State.
  2. All the radio stations were facing high costs of establishing a broadcasting center coupled with insufficient foreign currency. This also contributed to their incapacity to fully broadcast within the required timeframe (18 months) after issuance of a license.
  3. The Committee noted that the requirement that the local commercial radio stations should broadcast within a 40km radius was detrimental to the operations of radio stations. CAPITALK in Harare targets 3.5 million people, whilst those outside Harare fall short of a meaningful target to attract advertisers.
  4. The Committee observed that most of the radio stations were housed in buildings that are not friendly to the people living with disability.
  5. Although most radio stations were broadcasting in languages that are spoken in their provinces respectively, the Committee noted that SKYFM was not broadcasting in Tonga. The Committee was satisfied with the operations of SKYFM who are already making profits and are able to subsidize their sister company

(BREEZEFM) in Victoria Falls.

  1. BAZ should consider installing gap fillers transmitter sites in areas that are not receiving transmission adequately.
  2. The local commercial radio stations are well installed with state of the art digitally compliant equipment.

Committee Recommendations.

The Committee recommends the following;

  1. That local Commercial Radio Stations must be properly secured with state security comprising soldiers and police by March 2018.
  2. The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services before 31st March 2018 should engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, on behalf of the radio stations to ensure that they are prioritized in foreign currency allocations.
  3. The local commercial radio stations licences by 31st March 2018 should be upgraded to provincial commercial radio stations that broadcast throughout their respective provinces to expand their market base as well to cover some of the areas that do not have transmission.
  4. The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services should intervene on behalf of radio stations to ensure that they are allocated prime land where they can build their own buildings before 31st March 2018.
  5. That local commercial radio stations should strive to broadcast in

all the languages that are spoken in a particular province by 31st March 2018.

  1. BAZ should re­advertise in the other areas that previously failed to secure licence as there could be others who are interested in

registering commercial radio stations. This should be done by 31st

March 2018.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I also wish to thank the mover of the motion, the Chairperson…..

HON. HOLDER: On a point of order.  Mr. Speaker, I had seconded that motion, am I not supposed to debate first?


The seconder is Hon. Maridadi as far as the records are saying here.

HON. HOLDER: He was not in the House Mr. Speaker but anyway, he can continue.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You can still come after him.

HON. MARIDADI: Hon. Holder you can debate after me.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the mover, Hon. Dhewa, Portfolio Committee Chairperson.  It has taken a while for this report to be tabled before Parliament because some of the dates that are in that report have since passed.  Allow me to flag a few important issues that are raised in that report and also issues that are of concern to Zimbabwe.

Firstly, we have a number of independent radio stations but if you ask me how many we have in this country, I will tell you that we have got only three independent radio stations – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members, can we

lower our voices; we need to hear the debate that is going on?

HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, I will tell you that essentially in Zimbabwe, we have got three independent radio stations.  The reason I am saying this is because radio stations are either owned by ZBC, AB Communications or by Zimpapers.  There is only one independent radio station that is owned by a Zimbabwean citizen, that is Skies Metro and the owners of Skies Metro also happens to be the owners of Breeze FM in Victoria Falls.  So, essentially we have four people that own all radio stations in Zimbabwe; AB Communications, ZBC, Zimpapers and the owners of Skies and Breeze FM.

One of the reasons why the uptake of independent radio stations has been low is because of the cost structure of setting up a radio station. One thing that adds up to the cost structure is the licence fee.  The fee that you must pay to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for you to be able to get a licence for you to set up a radio station is very high.  Secondly, the equipment that you need to set up a radio station is important. If you fail to get an allocation of foreign currency from the Reserve Bank, it means you must source your foreign currency on the black market.  If you source your foreign currency on the black market, we know what happens.  You buy a dollar at a price of $2, you pay 2 dollar bond notes in order to get one United States dollar.  Also the equipment then pays duty, so that makes the cost structure of setting up a radio station very high.

Having said that, we have countries and other jurisdictions like Kenya; Kenya probably has as many radio stations as there are suburbs in the country.  If this Portfolio Committee were to do recommendations for the country of Kenya, there are some things that they would not mention, like that the Minister should approach the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on behalf of radio stations in order to procure foreign currency.  We would never recommend that because there are so many radio stations in Kenya.

Secondly, that all radio stations must be secured by members of the Zimbabwe National Army, we would not have that.  Radio stations must be responsible for their security.  One of the conditions for them to be able to get a licence is that they must satisfy the BAZ that they will be able to secure the premises from which they operate.  National radio stations that are owned by Government like ZBC must be secured by Government because they are owned by Government.  Government cannot incur an expense to look after or secure an independent radio station or television station.

There is this issue that was raised by the Portfolio Committee that the radius within which the radio station is supposed to transmit is too small.  Technically, they are supposed to transmit within a radius of 40 km but the situation on the ground is that none of these radio stations can be able to be confined to a radius of within 40 km.  Just driving along Lomagundi Road to Chinhoyi, Capitalk Radio Station which is based in Harare must be broadcasting within a 40 km radius of Harare but you get it almost beyond Mapinga, which is may be 60/70 km.

It is because technically, there is no way that you can confine their broadcasting frequency to a 40 km radius because of the technical equipment that we have.  Also having said that, the business model that these radios stations are using to operate is such that they cannot be profitable.  I hear in the Portfolio Committee reports, when you speak to these radio stations, they will tell you that they are profitable but there is not a radio station that I know in this country which is current in terms of paying their employees’ salaries.  Some are two, three or four months behind, ZBC included.  They do not pay their employees on time and salaries are a function of an organisation’s revenue.

One of the first cost that you incur when you get revenue is salary and when you fail to pay your salary on time, it means the company is not making a profit because the human resources are those that enable you to make that profit and if you fail to pay them, it means the company is not making a profit.  So, there is this issue that they have broken even and they are making a profit; Mr. Speaker, it is not true. Radio stations and broadcasting institutions make a profit from advertising.  If you ask me to count the number of advertisers that we have in Zimbabwe, I can count the fingers on my left hand and before I finish them, I will be stammering.

There is Econet, Telecel, Netone and there is Natbrew and there is nobody else. So, everybody who is publishing, be they newspapers, television stations or radio stations, they all go and queue at Econet, Telecel and Natbrew.  This is a very dangerous situation because you can have Econet and Telone and these big advertisers actually colluding to determine the content that goes in a newspaper or radio station because without those advertisers, the radio station is dead.

I was thinking to myself that even if Econet had an advertising budget of $500 000 a month, it is the same $500 000 that must go to Zimpapers to all the newspapers of Zimpapers.  It is the same $500 000 a month that must go to all ZBC’s radio and television stations; the same $500 000 that must go to all independent radio stations and that money is not enough.  So, there is not a radio station in this country that can go around boasting that they are making a profit because they are not.  If you ask me to justify my argument, I will say why are you not paying your people?

Mr. Speaker, let me now come to the other issue of then changing the business model or changing the requirements of a radio station to then become provincial radio stations because when you go to an advertiser, the first thing that an advertiser will ask you if you tell them to advertise on this lot, they want to know the listenership patterns. Listenership is what determines whether or not you are going to get advertisers.  If your listenership at a particular time is 10 000 people and another particular time it is 100 000 people, the advertisers will always go to that time slot where more people are listening to your radio station. Now because of the area of broadcasting, radio stations are not able to attract a lot of people.

Let me talk about Capitalk, Capitalk is supposed to transmit within a 40 km radius of Harare.  In the same city of Harare, there is ZBC with four radio stations; Zimpapers with another radio station, so we have about seven radio stations that are fighting for the same listener.  It is different from what ZBC was like in 1992 when it was the only broadcasting station.  It had 4 million people listening at any given time. Those 4 million people had no choice but to listen to ZBC but it was a question of whether they were listening to radio two, three or radio one but all of them were listening to ZBC at any time.

I remember there was a time when ZBC would then transmit news which is ready in one studio and it is transmitted to all four radio station. So, what it means is that listeners at one point at the top of the hour would listen to ZBC without choice because it was the only broadcasting institution which was transmitting. Now, having said that Mr. Speaker, the BAZ must cast their net wide.  We cannot have a country that has only four people operating radio stations.  We cannot have that.  In South Africa, they have community radio stations where in Soweto alone, you have more than ten radio stations operating.  In other countries, you have a community radio station operating, covering only four lines and people will have to dial the radio stations they want but in Zimbabwe that is not the case.  I do not understand why Mr. Speaker, all radio stations should be run by the Zimpapers, AB Communications and the ZBC, as if these are the only people with monopoly of knowledge of how to run the radio stations.  This is a very dangerous situation.

I am imagining a situation where these three owners of radio stations collude and one day they go on radio stations and say, no, the current President is no longer President, we have a new President.  There will be chaos in this country.  No one will contest them because those are the only three people that own radio stations.  Mr. Speaker, the issue of Minister approaching RBZ on behalf of radio stations, to me is not sustainable.  The role of the Minister is to come up with policy

governing the way radio stations operate and to come up with an environment that enables radio stations to operate.  The Minister cannot get involved in sourcing foreign currency on behalf of radio stations.  In any case, when you apply for a licence to start a radio station, you must be able to know what is in it for you.  You must be able to know that you are getting into a business, when you get into a business, there is a risk and one of the risks of getting into broadcasting is that you might not get foreign currency to procure equipment for you to be able to transmit.

My recommendations Mr. Speaker are that; firstly, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe needs to change the area of transmission of a radio station.  Secondly, they need to cast their net wide in terms of those that are able to run radio stations.  I can guarantee you Mr. Speaker, they can give licences to as many people as possible but very few people will be able to transmit because operating radio station is not a ‘stroll in the park on a Sunday morning’.  It is very expensive because you need advertising revenue.  Without advertising revenue, you will not be able to survive.  Mr. Speaker, with those few words, I rest my case and thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate.  I thank you.

HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank the Chairperson for bringing this Report to this august House.  There are few observations Mr. Speaker Sir, I am part of the ...

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Hon.

Member debating.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member.

HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am part of the

Committee that went on this tour.  This tour was from the 19th to the 25th

June, as our Chairperson has alluded.  We visited Capitalk F.M,

Diamond F.M, Hevoyi F.M, Midlands 98.4, Yaah F.M, Skies and Breeze.  This is across the country Mr. Speaker.  I heard the previous speaker, Hon. Maridadi alluding to the fact that in this country there are only four operators which is AB Communications, Zimpapers and Kingstonnes and staff like that.  In Kenya, they are talking about community radio stations and these are commercial radio stations. There is a difference there because when the advertising was done for people to get radio station licences, they were over 25 applications and only a few made it.  The rest did not make it.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a lot of interest around the radio stations where we went.  You must know, when we arrived at every radio station, we take note of the security.  If you go to Pockets Hill or you go to ZBC at Mbare, you will find there is the police and the army because you do not want a clown who would go in and hijack a radio station and say, I have taken over this country.  So security is very important irrespective of all the technology that can take place.  Government has an interest that at the end of the day, they have to control what is advertised and what is said.  It is important that there be security system for these radio stations. You find that some of them are in residential areas, some in flats or tall buildings where they have offices.  You will find that there is a problem with parking and in accessing the radio stations.  In Masvingo, for example, I do not know how disabled persons would go to the studios because you have to climb the steps.  I feel that Government should ask councils to allocate pieces of land where these radio stations can be built.

Mr. Speaker Sir, they will need to relocate to a more secure place and build something of their own.  The reason that they are not making profit is that their rentals are high and the way the network is distributed, it will not reach certain areas.  I think it is important to take note that

BAZ should get transmitters in between.  When we were in Masvingo, 40 km radius is not going to do much because some of the customers are in Zaka, down in Chilongo, Chiredzi.  They should come up with a system to say provincial radio licences will be good.  It will give them marketing areas.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you know ZUPCO is in Bulawayo, Harare, Gweru but the way they operate is that there are different programmes at each radio station.  Hon. Maridadi mentioned that they are only three.  He is talking about directors, he forgot there is Yaah F.M who is an independent guy born in Zvishavane.  He got a licence and is operating on 100km along the dyke.  I feel that if other stations could have that same sort of facility to say that let it become provincial licences, then in every province people will be able to get proper communication.

Over the years, it has been very difficult for people to be able to get radio from here to Beitbridge or up to Bulawayo.  It is important and we must commend all those that have really tried.  Mr. Speaker, no member in this country was given a community radio station licence, these are all commercial radio stations licences.  I feel that it is very important for BAZ to try and reduce and put some sort of incentive.  We cannot say that they are not making a profit, we can see their companies are already beginning to declare profit.  Those are only trivial problems as something which was newly introduced into this country.  We, in Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Chirumhanzu, we find that YA F.M is doing a magnificent job because we are getting information.  Some of the people who live in remote areas like in Masvingo, down in Mushandike and

Mashava are able to have a choice to listen to YA F.M or Hevoi F.M.  In some places, you will be able to get the National radio.  As we all know, the National Radio also moves around with road shows and you see the turn out and see how many people are interested.  It also encourages all those young artist and people who really want to get involved in media and broadcasting.

So, I tend to disagree with Hon. Maridadi to say that it is only a few.  If he has a personal issue with Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira, I think we need to deal professionally with this issue…

HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I do not recall mentioning Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira’s name.  I talked about AB Communications, Zimpapers and ZBC, I do not recall talking about Hon. Supa Mandiwanzira, and I do not know where he is getting this from.  This is the problem when somebody was a ‘G40’ and is about to be fired and is trying to curry favour.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will rule you out of order, you have made a clear point.

HON. HOLDER: Hon. Speaker, I am not calling others names.  I am very disappointed in Hon. Maridadi calling me a ‘G40.’  He is just part of that cabal.  I do not know why he is carrying on like this.


HON. HOLDER: The issue here Hon. Speaker, let me be honest with you; AB Communications is partly owned by Hon. Supa

Mandiwanzira.  He is a director in that and that is what he is against. We are in the same Committee but we are trying to say, do not personalise issues.  We need to deal with issues as they are and that is what we are trying to do.

HON. MARIDADI: It will be irresponsible for me if I allow this man to continue running his mouth like that.  These are issues that are discussed in a Committee, why is he bringing them to Parliament?  It is unfair if he starts to run his mouth like a mad fellow.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Maridadi, you are

equally not doing justice to that issue.

HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker for your protection.  I am only trying to highlight.  I allowed him to debate…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Holder.  I may not

allow you to continue.  Debate the issue of radio licences here.

HON. HOLDER: Thank you for your protection Mr. Speaker. What I was trying to say is that; as a Committee, we were on this trip together.  We took note of all these radio stations throughout the country.  There are different programmes on these radio stations, Capitalk is more characterized on topics which affect people on a day to day basis such as sport, politics, economics and so on.  The other radio stations also got their programmes.

Therefore, I feel that it is important to support the recommendations that the Committee has put forward to widen out the area, 40kms is not good enough for these radio stations because some of the business people who advertise come from slightly further than

40kms, maybe 60kms or 100kms but they all rely on the radio stations to advertise.  This is a good starting point as you can see that the radio stations that are running at the moment in Bulawayo, people are enjoying the Skies F.M and the different languages.  They know the exact time when to listen.  It is not being polarised to one particular programme.  You will find that when you are bored by one station, you can tune in to another one.

As we travel along our highways to different towns, we tune in to different stations and before you even enter a certain area; you would know what is happening in that area as you get news in that area so that as you get there you know what is there.

Mr. Speaker Sir, issues of advertising and profits; when one plant, it takes time to reap.  You cannot reap straight away.  In Shona, there is a saying which says, ‘Pfimbi yegudo.’  In other words, if you plant something and you think it must be ready to reap straight away, you walk for three metres and come back to dig it up again and again, you cannot make a profit straight away.  It takes a period of time to see that it begins to pay off.  Having this as a first step, those remaining stations that have not been taken up, people need to apply.  Mr. Speaker, you may fail once, but you put in an application and understand where you went wrong.  Out of the 25, only a few made it.  Besides that, it does not mean that they cannot apply again.

Mr. Speaker, the fees and the area are some of the main touchy issues.  In those areas, security needs to be beefed up and we need to make sure of that.  We are going towards elections now.  YA F.M at one stage was attacked and they smashed all the windows and they had to get new windows to fix that radio station.  That is the type of thing I am talking about.  This is why we need police and the army to make sure that, that place is secure.  We do not want a clown going on radio and shouting, ‘we have now taken over,’ and what not.  So, we really want to say that security needs to be beefed up and the fees must be reduced. Let there be provincial radio stations.  We also want to encourage that the 40km radius be increased and it should be about how much you are prepared to pay.  Mr. Speaker, with those few words, I know Hon. Maridadi will still be upset with me, I want to just say to him, we are still friends Honourable, let us work together.  I thank you Mr. Speaker


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

HON. KWARAMBA: I second.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 11 April, 2018.

On the motion of HON. KWARAMBA seconded by HON.

MARIDADI, the House adjourned at Twenty Four Minutes Past Four o’clock p.m.

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