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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 DECEMBER 2019 46-14

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 10th December, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL CCOMMITTEE

           THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House

that I have received a Non-Adverse Report for the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill [H. B. 8, 2019].

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE HON. VIMBAYI JAVA

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also want to inform the House that all Hon. Members are invited to the memorial service for the late Hon. Vimbayi Java to be held on Saturday 14th December 2019 at Number 2 Lyndurst Lane, Strathaven, Harare starting at 0900 hours.

         HON. NDEBELE: Good afternoon Madam Speaker. I wish to join the Minister of Health and Child Care in commemorating World AIDS Day. I also wish to join the people of Magwegwe that held a vigil in commemorating this day at St. Adolf Catholic Church in Magwegwe.

         I however wish to invite the Minister of Health and Child Care to bring a statement to this House because I feel it is important in fighting the question of stigma against those that are living with HIV.  Madam Speaker, may I pray for your protection, it is noisy.

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. You

may go ahead Hon. Ndebele.

         HON. NDEBELE: I was just requesting, if the Minister of Health and Child Care could bring a ministerial statement to this House on the question of the treatment regimen that our people in Zimbabwe are getting.  I have noticed something that is worrisome. Our people who are on HIV treatment suffer from poor fat distribution.  The medication that they take unfairly gives female folk masculine like features.  I wanted to ask ….

        THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

         HON. NDEBELE: I wanted to invite the Minister of Health and Child Care to bring a statement to this House elaborating when he considers changing that particular treatment regimen.

         Secondly, I have a number of ministerial statements that I have requested and I am inviting you Madam Speaker to ensure that the desk sends these requests to appropriate Ministries so that we get responses in this House.  There are about three, I will quickly remind you.  At the tail end of the previous session on the 26th of September, 2019, I requested that the Minister of ICT gives us a statement on question of expensive internet data bundles in this country.  This particular one is easy to motivate because the United Nations says access to the internet is a basic human right. Data bundles in this country are just too expensive.  I have been reading a survey that underlines that Zimbabwe is the most expensive country in terms of data costs in the whole world. You will agree with me that if the internet is the corner stone to the prosperity of trade, industry, finance and investment, then data is our new oil.  I am inviting the Minister of ICT to give us a ministerial statement on what he is doing to ensure that the poor have access to the internet.  What is the Minister doing to facilitate effective competition because it has been proven that when you introduce several players in the provision of data, then pieces will go down; thereby winning the best for clients.  One other thing that I want the Minister to address in his statement is, are we getting legitimate revenue from these internet service providers since data is so expensive? Are we able to track them down to pay required revenues to the Government?

         On the 26th of September 2019 again, I also noted with concern that one of ZESA’s problems is the question of vandalism.  ZESA equipment is vandalised for copper. I had then asked why the Ministry of Home Affairs is still giving our copper licences when we are not a copper producing country.  It is a fact Madam Speaker that those that vandalise ZESA power lines sell the same copper lines to those companies with copper licences.  I am inviting a joint statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Minister of Energy on why they are still giving companies in the country copper trading licences when it is a known fact we are a none copper producing country.

         Third and lastly, on the same day on 26 September 2019, I had invited the Minister of Sport to explain to this House as well as the nation the whereabouts of sporting equipment that was removed from Barbourfields, Luveve and White City stadiums after the 4th African

Youth Games. We want to know where that equipment went and if the Minister cannot account for that equipment, then I so move that she institutes a forensic audit because when these stadia were renovated the people of Matabeleland were promised that the equipment will remain on site but surreptitiously and at times in the middle of the night such equipment was removed from stadiums in Bulawayo. The people of Bulawayo want to know what happened to that equipment.

         In her statement, the Minister may state when that equipment will be returned to Bulawayo because the people that we represent want that equipment returned as soon as yesterday.

        THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have taken note of

everything you have said and I am going to ensure that the responsible Ministers will come with Ministerial Statements.

         HON. B. DUBE: I rise on a point of privilege to notify this House that this day, 10 December 2019 is the World Human Rights Day, a day which we must as a nation respect, commemorate and celebrate as well as introspect on how far as a nation we have gone in terms of promoting, fulfilling and enforcing human rights in the country. As I stand here, it is with a bleeding heart that provisions of Section 210 have not yet been fulfilled. What I ask on this particular day is that the Minister of Justice must also explain to us the reasons why provisions of Section 210 have not been put into effect, more particularly making sure that an Act is made in Parliament that enables members of the public to make complaints through a complaint mechanism against any abuses of human rights by the security sector.

         On a day like this, it is very important that this House must be able to look into various other human rights issues and make a stock and also make sure that we are in line and in the direction where we respect, promote and fulfill human rights.

Without talking much, I will conclude by indicating that on this day which is the World Human Rights Day, it is with a sad heart that as I was walking here I met one of the civilians along Angwa street who still has a plaster. He indicated to me that he was beaten by the police and their case is going to court tomorrow for purposes of the magistrate making a follow up on what the police had done in terms of investigating the violations that were done. He had a broken hand and he also indicated that one of his colleagues who he was beaten together with died in police custody. As I sit down, I am just saying it is imperative that this House gets assistance from the Minister of Justice, pertaining to fulfillments of the requirements of the Constitution, particularly Section 210 of the Constitution.

   THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you for reminding us

that today is the World Human Rights Day. Minister of Justice, may you help us on the provisions of Section 210 which he was asking about.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI). It is work in

progress. We are going to comply with provisions of Section 210 and set up the independent complaints mechanisms.

       HON. GONESE: It is important Madam Speaker and I beg your

indulgence. In terms of the response from the Minister of Justice, I was expecting a bit more. The Minister of Justice is  very conversant with the issues and if he had been paying attention to Hon. Dube, there are so many critical issues which were raised, in particular Section 210. I was expecting the Minister to give more flesh instead of simply telling us that they are going to comply. It is something which has been outstanding since 2010.

       THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister’s response was

that it is work in progress.

         HON. GONESE: I know but I am saying apart from the issue of Section 210 which refers to the establishment of an independent complaints mechanism there are also other issues in terms of compliance with the international instruments and I believe that on this very important day, the Hon Minister should have taken that opportunity to also outline what Government is doing in terms of the promotion. When Hon. Dube raised his point of privilege, he actually talked about the issue of respect and promotion of human rights. I believe that these are issues at the finger tips of the Minister of Justice if he is not sleeping on the job. He should be able to assist the nation at large by giving a more elaborate response.

           THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You may ask that on question

time tomorrow.

     HON ZIYAMBI: On the occasion of the commemoration of the

international human rights, I just want the House to take note that we fought for the recognition of the rights of the majority of Zimbabweans. Before independence, the rights of our people were trampled upon and we brought  one-man one-vote principle. We had an opportunity of coming from the bush into the office but we decided that we uphold the democratic principles of holding elections and we accepted that let us go to elections. We came up with a new Constitution that has got a Chapter 4 that speaks to fundamental human rights that have to be protected and that Constitution was a product of negotiations. We had a COPAC committee comprising of the parties represented in Parliament and we believe we have a progressive Constitution that has rights that are enforceable as alluded to by Hon Dube. We applaud that process of democratizing our country.  As we celebrate this day, we believe we should continuously remind ourselves that we have to do that and respect the rights of our citizens.  I thank you.

      *HON. KARIMAZONDO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I stand

on a point of privilege.  My point of privilege is on funding for climate change.  Madam Speaker, last year Zimbabwe had a problem of Cyclone

Idai where a lot of people were lost as well destruction infrastructure.  This year at the onset of the rain season, we have realised that many places in this country, schools have been demolished, lives and infrastructure have been lost.  We have the departments of Social Welfare and Civil Protection that help people in times of disasters, but we have realised that Civil Protection and Red Cross only provides tents.

Although we appreciate very much the help that they give when a

disaster strikes, I would suggest that the Government should set aside a fund to cater for such disasters.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

  HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In view of the

high cost of seed and fertiliser inputs, the President has rolled out the

Presidential input scheme which has been received in most rural areas.

We would really like to applaud him for that.  We however call upon the

President to again increase the amount and quantities of these Presidential inputs to the rural communities.  I thank you.

   THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Kashiri.  I

am sure the Leader of the House will take the message to the Hon.

President of the country.

   HON. MAMOMBE:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I am rising on

a point of privilege on the international anti-corruption day that is celebrated on 9th December every year since 2013.  I would like to reiterate that corruption in a country deepens inequality and also poverty.  All the challenges that are being mentioned here; the challenges of climate change, the education sector, energy sector, health sector and all the sectors of this country have been affected by the deep corruption in this country.

         Madam Speaker, in light of this international day of anticorruption, we would like the responsible Ministry to come with a Ministerial Statement in terms of the ways that they are dealing with corruption.  Let us talk about innovative ways of dealing with corruption in this country.  Let us move to digitalisation and new creative ways of dealing with corruption.  Arrests only are not enough when we are talking about corruption.

Madam Speaker, in respect of the international anti-corruption day, we are praying that we need to shift our perspective to transparency, accountability and integrity.  Therefore, the respective Ministry should issue a Ministerial statement to the issues of anti-corruption.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  We are all in

agreement that corruption must be eradicated.  So we will invite the

Minister to come and give a Ministerial Statement.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Soon after

17th November, 2017, we saw roadblocks disappearing on our streets.  Six months from that time, we did not have any roadblocks but there was so much order on the roads and traffic was flowing very well.  Madam Speaker, we have started seeing the mushrooming of more roadblocks and at those roadblocks there is clear evidence that corruption by the Police is starting again.

Madam Speaker, we would want to invite the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to come and explain the mushrooming of roadblocks, especially those roadblocks that are not marked.  A lot of accidents have happened due to a number of drivers trying to avoid the Police, not because they do not want the Police to do their work but due to the fact that there is rampant corruption at the roadblocks.  If the Minister would come and issue a Ministerial Statement and explain why it is now necessary to have so many roadblocks.

Secondly, the Police now have a tendency of using so much force in dealing with any perceived disturbance.  We have seen a lot of women being tackled by the Police and this has sent a wrong signal to the international community and the people of Zimbabwe that our Police do not arrest but they use dangerous tackles that cannot be used by soccer players, especially on women.  Women have suffered the brunt of violence by the Police and we have seen this happening in Harare.  Can the Minister come and explain that. Is it because the Police cannot arrest that they use button sticks and their feet to tackle women?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Madzimure.

I think the issue of roadblocks is technical, I cannot give a ruling on that.

HON. S. BANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Today marks the 16th day of gender based violence commemorations.  We need to mark that day and we need to say thank you to our women whom we beat day in and day out.  We want to say we are sorry – [HON. MEMBERS: 

Inaudible interjections.] – We want to say we are very sorry.  Maybe a good number of these guys, except me – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Members. Please may you go ahead?

HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Today is a very great day. We are saying let us stop gender based violence. We are saying let us stop raping the girl-child. We are saying let us have safe migration whereby if our women want to go outside the country, they should go to safe destinations, not where they are going to be made prostitutes or become anything else other than what they are meant to go and do. So today we want to stand with women and make sure that even the girl-child that is there is given the sanitary pads that were promised by the Hon. Minister of Finance here. 

Madam Speaker, we want to make sure that those who marry children who are below 16, actually 18, that should stop entirely. That is just my– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Lastly Madam

Speaker, there are girls particularly in Matebeleland who were affected by Gukurahundi who up to today still do not have birth certificates. We are calling upon this House to ensure that those girls have got birth certificates so that they become Zimbabweans. Thank you Madam

Speaker. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member for

those remarks.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE ON ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION RAISED AGAINST HON. T. MLISWA, HON.

CHIKOMBA, HON. NDEBELE AND HON. P.D. SIBANDA

  First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the

Privileges Committee on allegations of soliciting for a bribe against Hon. Mliswa and other three Members.

        Question again proposed.

         HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I wish to

state that we are aware that the Chief brought into the House a report.

So, what we will do is we are seeking condonation so that we respond next week and we give due precedence to matters of finance.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

        Motion put and agreed to.

       Debate to resume: Tuesday, 21st January, 2020.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

         Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Finance Bill.

        Question again proposed.

      HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I just want to raise my

own observations in this august House. Let me start from a hygienic perspective. There are three issues that have arisen that have cast the credibility of the budget by the Minister. First, we have had challenges where the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China have cast aspersions in terms of the quantum or amounts that were given to Zimbabwe. The Republic of China disputes the US3,6 million that was recorded by the Hon. Minister when he made his presentation and they have argued that it is actually US$136 million. The same thing has actually happened with the USA that has disputed the US$272 million to US$330 million.

         Now Madam Speaker, if we have got such queries, one wonders whether the figures that are contained therein are actually correct. If we then look even into the Blue Book and do the proper addition, most of the times the figures do not balance, implying that the Hon. Minister when he presented that Blue Book, there was no proofreading. You also then have areas where the Hon. Minister would say, for instance the

External Debt, he would tell us in his Budget Statement that the External

Debt is around $8 billion. When you go through the Blue Book, the

External Debt is $91 billion and you just wonder whether they have converted into Z$ and if it has been converted, using which rate because if you want to use the current interbank rate, it does not match.

If you also then check, the three books that the Hon. Minister presented do not speak to each other. This Budget Statement, the Blue Book and the Infrastructure Book do not correlate. I will give you a good example; on infrastructure for dams, the Hon. Minister in his Budget Statement said he would put aside $1,4 billion and he had actually mentioned and indicated the number of dams. Dams like Kunzvi, Causeway and other dams but if you then read and want to go to the details in the infrastructure, you will realise that the Hon. Minister might not have been sincere because the reading in that Infrastructure Book then says he is giving priority to only two dams out of all the dams that he mentions. Then you just ask a question to simply say did the Minister or the Hon. Minister and the Ministry of Finance officials really looked into these three and tried to make sure that they are proper so that they can pre presented to this august House.  Madam Speaker, having said this, I want to go to the statement by the Hon. Minister.  This House and the nation will recall, last year we sat in this august House.  The Hon. Minister made predictions.  He told us the focus in terms of GDP growth.  He gave us his inflation targets.  He also gave us the exchange rate under the banner austerity for posterity.  What has happened Madam

Speaker is that a year down the line, the Hon. Minister’s projections on key fundamental issues have all gone haywire.  The GDP focus of a positive 3% is now a minus 6.5% according to his estimate and some of us think that the decline is around minus 10%.  Not only that Madam Speaker, the inflation targets, what he said last year and what prevailed are two different things.  Go to the exchange rate – the same story.  What it means Madam Speaker is that the Hon. Minister, if he was being marked for what he did, the result would be a fail.  It would not require him to re-sit but it will be complete fail requiring to repeat or even to be withdrawn.

This is the reason why Madam Speaker, when the Hon. Minister comes to this august House.  If you look at his projection, the Hon.

Minister came to this House and said, he projects that the economy will grow by around 3%.  Madam Speaker, I want to tell you that the projection by the Hon. Minister, just like last year is totally out of touch with reality.  I will explain to you Madam Speaker why it is out of sync with reality.  The Hon. Minister then claims in this august House and he says, first quarter of 2020, inflation will be back to single digits.  He then said by December 2020, it will be around 2%.  The funny part of it

Madam Speaker, the next day, inflation was recorded at 40%.  What the Hon. Minister was saying in this Budget Statement is totally out of sync with reality and he knows it because the Hon. Minister is not an ordinary man.  He is a professor who is supposed to be a learned person in terms of these issues.  I want to put to you Madam Speaker that it is a deliberate misleading of this House and misleading the nation.

The other aspect Madam Speaker, if you want to check, it is the Hon. Minister who stood in this august House and pronounced a policy on subsidies.  Before we even debated this Budget, there was a reversal of the subsidies.  What does that tell you Madam Speaker?  His principal said that he was not aware, he was not informed about the cutting of subsidy on maize.  It begs to ask, do we have a Cabinet and does Cabinet look into this Budget before it is presented here?  I want to assure you Madam Speaker, if it was from this side of the House, if our President and the Cabinet of our Party was presenting a Budget, it would come here well scrutinised.  Madam Speaker, let us look at the figures, figures do not lie.  By the time ...

HON. TOGAREPI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

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

Honourable?

*HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, we have an Hon. Member of Parliament here who is busy insulting other Members of Parliament that they are dull.  I was just wondering if that is parliamentary language and I hereby request that he withdraws the statement.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:   Hon. Mushoriwa, please withdraw your statement that others are dull – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Please may you withdraw – Hon. Member sitting next to you?

HON. MOLOKELA:  With all due respect Madam Speaker, this

is hear say.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  Madam, Speaker, I wanted ...

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, please may you take your seat?  Hon. Togarepi, which Hon. Member did you say referred to other Hon. Members as dull? – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MOLOKELA:  I withdraw whatever it is – [HON.

MAMOMBE:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mamombe, order.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  Madam Speaker, figures do not lie and if you look into the figures that are contained in the Blue Book, the Hon. Minister told us that as at September this year, the revenue that they had generated was less than $10 billion.  He then projected that by the end of the year, the revenue that they are going to generate will be around $21 billion.  This is all because of inflation, not because of any other thing, it is because of inflation; what is tells Madam Speaker is that the amount of revenue that they have collected from October, November up to December is more that the amount of money that they had collected for the past nine months.  It does not end there Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister now projects that by the end of December 2020, revenue projection is around $58 billion.  If the Hon. Minister is sincere, if his inflation targets are correct, if his exchange rate projections are correct, the question that comes is how does this economy generate $58 billion?  What the Hon. Minister has simply done is budgeting for inflation and I can assure you Madam Speaker that by the time we reach December, month on month inflation would be around 75% judging from the calculations that the Hon. Minister has put.

What the Hon. Minister has done Madam Speaker is that the Hon. Minister has simply failed to do one thing.  He simply failed to just come to this august House and said, “Hon. Members, I came to this House last year and I told you that this is austerity for prosperity.  I have failed and beg for an apology”.  For the Hon. Minister to then come in this august House with a brave face and bring a budget which is totally out of sync with reality, I think it does not make the people of this country happy.

Madam Speaker, let me just tell you the other issues that are very critical which the Hon. Minister missed.  At the moment, our doctors are not at work.  The amount of money that was put in the health sector is very little; it falls below the Abuja Declaration.  The amount of money falls short.  For some of us who live with the people, we are witnessing people that are supposed to live dying.  People are succumbing to high blood pressure, diabetes; ailments that could be corrected and treated.

         The Hon. Minister in his budget; because that was supposed to be key to make sure that the health system and health delivery system is well funded, however, does nothing.  Now, if you look into the figures pertaining to the salaries, our civil servants - when I talk of all the civil servants and public servants. I come from Dzivarasekwa; I have got teachers, soldiers, police officers and I can tell you Madam Speaker, when I talk to them, when I see them, you can actually see that these are dedicated people who are prepared to work for this country but are getting peanuts.

     Madam Speaker, you will recall last year when we discussed the

Finance Bill.  The Hon. Minister increased Government’s fees four times; what he has failed to do.  This is what I thought the Hon. Minister was going to do this time given that he said austerity is gone, his short lived austerity.  He was going to come to this august House and say we are going to make sure that the bank rate; our civil servants should get salaries that are equated to the bond notes.  We were going to applaud the Minister and tell him how to raise the money to cover that because there are certain Government services which were charging so little.  If we are to increase the salaries of our civil servants, they will perform but the current set up, as long as you pretend to be paying people money, they will also pretend to be working.  When they do that, the end result is that they are just coming to the office to make side deals and get involved in corruption which takes this country backwards.

So accordingly, it is my view that this Budget Statement needs to be taken back and allow the Hon. Minister to restart and bring something which is credible for this country. I thank you.

          HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker for giving

me this opportunity to add my voice to our 2020 budget.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for presenting the 2020 budget.  From the budget, we see that the Minister did what he could under the existing circumstances.  He has shown us some competences that some of our Members here are trying to discredit by not using any reliable source documents or anything but just passing comments which does not hold water.

         The first issue is on the performance of our 2019 budget.  It is expected especially on any projection, if there could be unforeseen circumstances that happen in the economy obviously the projections will not come as was already projected.  So that is what happened in our 2019 budget. We had unfortunate incidents of Cyclone Idai, drought and all these kinds of things.  So we could not expect our 2019 budget just to perform positively as what could be expected by a number of our Hon.

Members here.

         Madam Speaker, with these variances, obviously we are bound not to perform to our expectations as a country but in this 2020 budget, our prayer is that all should go well.  In every projection, there are a number of circumstances or a number of variables that will be happening which I believe that our Minister has taken into consideration in the projections for 2020.

We applaud our Minister for the amount that he has allocated to agriculture which is the Vote that received the biggest allocation.  We believe that agriculture is the economic driver in this country.  If our agriculture is well supported, we know that we will be able to deal with the issues of drought and all these other things that affect our people.

         If I look at the issue of domestic debt; in 2019, we realised that the Minister through the TSP tried to stabilise the issues of our domestic debt.  It did not increase as what the prophets of doom have prophesied that it was going to go over the ceiling.

The other issue that I just want to look at is on the issue of statutory funds and retention funds.  The Minister proposed that these funds should come through the Consolidated Revenue Fund so that they can be managed transparently.  I think that is one of the good initiatives that the Minister is bringing to support our 2020 budget. We have realised that through the Auditor General’s reports, that there was no proper management for some of these funds and that is where much of corruption was happening on those funds.

On the issue of the mass public transport system, for every economy to perform very well, we need to we encourage our Minister to continue pumping more money into the mass public transport system.  Currently, with the issue of ZUPCO, for example in my constituency; I was one of the fortunate Members of Parliament who received the ZUPCO buses.  Where they used to pay $35 now they are paying $10 a trip.  So we are grateful and we encourage the Minister to do more in terms of doing more on the mass public transport system.

The issue of hygienic issues around the fine tuning system will be dealt with as work in progress.  However, what is critical is that our Government has taken cognisance that it is one of the key drivers of our economy and they are doing everything that is within their power to make sure that at least we have efficient mass public transport system for our people.

         Increasing salaries will not help our people but working on the systems that stabilise our economy is what is very critical.  On the issue of National Venture Capital Fund, I think it is one of the good initiatives that Minister you are doing to make sure that at least our SMEs are going to have access to funding as most of our businesses currently, as we know our economy is highly informalised; they need some sources of funding so that at least they can do their businesses, and they can contribute meaningfully to our economy.  So, we need the Fund to be enlarged, so that it will benefit all our people – those in the rural areas and in the urban setup.  Businesses cannot contribute much to our economy because of lack of funding.  So, we are grateful for that.

Then the other issue is on parastatals.  The current situation in the country for our parastatals, I think that it needs you our Minister of Finance and Economic Development to help them to make sure that at least they bring something to the State coffers rather than what is currently happening where almost all our parastatals are not declaring any dividends to the State.  What we expect is that all the parastatals need to be profitable because for instance if you look at ZUPCO, if an individual owner starts with one bus today, after five years that person can end up having five buses.  But with how our parastatals are running their businesses, you will realise that they will end up with nothing even if we give them 100 buses.  So we need the approach of our parastatals’ boards and their CEOs to change so that the country can also benefit from their operations.  Their services are very critical to this nation – so the parastatals, Minister you need to look very seriously into that and all the other deals that we are hearing the parastatals are venturing into.  We need deals to be concluded to the benefit of the nation.  Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.

*HON. NYABANI:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would also like to

contribute to the debate on the budget.  I realise that this budget has a very sound footing but for someone who does not know good things, they will just criticise it but this budget is very good Minister.  I would like to praise the Hon. Minister concerning his budget on health.  He is trying by all means to ensure that all the medicines that we use are manufactured in this country instead of importing from other countries.  That is a very good thing because the Minister wants to promote the manufacturing of medicines here so that people can get affordable medicines.  I would like to applaud the Minister for that.

         Secondly, I would like to applaud the Minister for saying clinics and hospitals should be built because a lot of people are travelling long distances to get access to health facilities.

         Pertaining to agriculture, agriculture is the backbone of this country.  I realise that the country is facing hunger, so the Minister concentrated much on agriculture thereby ensuring that we move from fighting starvation in this country to self sustenance.  I also would like to point out that the Minister is trying to promote irrigation.   I hereby propose that this irrigation be promoted, especially in the rural areas, particularly for small grains because they provide a lot of food security.  I also would like to urge the Minister to increase his budgetary allocation for small grains so that they contribute on food security to vulnerable communities in the rural areas.

         I would like to support the Minister’s budget proposals.  A lot of people are importing agricultural produce from other countries, especially in relation to horticulture.  I would like to say, may the Minister only allow such imports to be allowed over a short time or period but for most of the times, those should be banned in order to promote local production, especially things like vegetables, tomatoes, beans, cowpeas or BLPs.

         Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would like to refer to the manufacturing of water treatment chemicals. The proposal to promote local production of such chemicals is a very good move.  I would like to applaud the

Minister for proposing that chemicals for water treatment be produced locally.  I would also like to applaud the Minister for his proposal on promoting energy production.  There should be an incentive for such people who manufacture or use solar equipment for energy.

 Madam Speaker Ma’am, in reference to companies, I have realised that sometimes people manufacture goods here and export them.  If only such people who exploit goods first of all supply goods locally without exporting because sometimes the local market will not be satisfied but people run on to exporting goods whereas local products become expensive whilst imports become cheaper.  What it means is that things that are exported into this country are sold at a cheaper price but when we buy them locally they will be expensive hence if we were to import them they become cheaper.

         With reference to mining, my opinion is that for millers especially gold millers, Fidelity Printers should put workers in charge there and also cameras should be installed in such places where there are gold mills because most of the time when gold is milled there, it is smuggled out of the country whilst we lose potential revenue.

         With regards to transport, I applaud you for supporting mass public transport especially promoting rail but there are some routes like Norton, Marondera and Chinhoyi where commuter trains can also ply for people to get affordable transport. I urge the Minister to promote rail transportation in the budget for towns that are close to Harare such as Marondera, Bindura, Chinhoi et cetera so that people can use commuter

trains.

         With regards to education, there are a lot of rural schools that are lagging behind in terms of education facilities.  My suggestion is that more funds should be allocated to the development of such schools because we realise that most of the school children that failed Grade 7 travel long distances to go to school.  Hence there is need for better facilities to improve these children’s education.  The other issue is that there are few teachers.  May the Hon. Minister allocate more funds for the benefit of the pupils especially those in the rural areas?

         On civil servants, it is our wish that every worker should get enough salary but my opinion is that there should be a rule that says civil servants and parastatals should be awarded according to production.  Their remuneration should be proportional to production high production should translate to good remuneration.  On information and publicity, we are aware that bees make honey; some people do not like honey because they do not know how sweet honey is.  I would like to applaud the Minister for trying to address the issue of promoting information and publicity with regards to information base stations especially on Smart Agriculture Programme.  I thank you.

     HON. MUSHAYI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am going to

ask your indulgence Madam Speaker so that I look at this debate from my living reality as a woman from Kuwadzana.  Madam Speaker, if you and I were to walk out of this august House and just crossover to Third

Street and ask a taxi to take us to Crowne Plaza, it would charge us in US dollars.  If we were to walk out of this august House go to a pharmacy and present a prescription, they would charge us in US dollars.  If we were to walk into a shop and want to buy clothes, we will be quoted in US dollars.  What the service provider will tell us is that they are going to ask us to pay on the prevailing rate for the day.

Madam Speaker, the question that I ask the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is why we are sitting here debating a budget that is pegged in RTGs when the economy has dollarised.  We need to look at reality Madam Speaker Ma’am….

HON. KASHIRI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, in as much as we are debating the Budget, it would be prudent for Hon. Members to debate from a point of clarity and a point of vision. Where the Hon. Member has said customers are quoting in US dollars, it is a known fact that there is always an equivalent of the local currency and at the moment, the US dollar is not an official currency….

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Kashiri,

the Minister will be given time to respond to all these debates.

HON. MUSHAYI:  I am standing here because I represent the people of Kuwadzana.  Kuwadzana has an area called Kuwadzana

Extension.  Residents there are building houses because it is a new area.

What happens when a resident goes to a supplier for building material is that they are given a quotation which is valid for only one day.  What this means is that prices are increasing on a daily basis.  Also passports have been increased from $253 to $1 000.  The question that I present to the Hon. Minister of Finance so that when he is responding he will also convince me as a woman from Kuwadzana representing cross-border traders from Kuwadzana is the inflation rate that he has projected for the first quarter of 2020 and at the end of 2020 of 3%.  How is he able to achieve that low inflation rate which is single digit when I am getting a quotation to buy building material just valid for one day?

Madam Speaker, this is not convincing for me as a woman who is living the reality of prices increasing everyday and then I am told here by the Hon. Minister that the inflation rate is going to be 3.5% in 2020.

It is unrealistic, unbelievable and this is untrue. Madam Speaker Ma’am we visited survivors of Cyclone Idai as a Committee on local Government.  The trend that went on amongst the survivors was their lack of a sense of belonging.  The worrying thing about the survivors of Cyclone Idai is that they need to be moved from the camps that they are staying in now to actual homes.  I am worried by the allocation for us to be able as Government to provide accommodation for the survivors of Cyclone Idai.  When the disaster had just struck, we were furnished with statistics around how much have been given in terms of humanitarian aid.  Now, that the cameras are off, we are not getting any details around what is happening to them yet the rain season is here, these people need to prepare, they need houses and I do not see the allocation being enough to be able to meet these demands.

Madam Speaker, as I sit down, there has been a projection that they are going to over 8 million people who will suffer food deficit. We need to import maize and wheat, yet the budget is in RTGS. My plea to the Hon. Minister is that the economy has dollarised. The nation and the market does not have confidence in the RTGS. The reflection on the ground is that the economy has dollarised. Why are we not either dollarising or reverting to the Rand or going back to the multi currency because that is the situation on the ground?

    *HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this

opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget proposals presented on 14 November 2019 by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Looking at this Budget, I get the impression that he really took into consideration that the environment is very hostile to the development of the economy of this country. There are also signs that there was a lot of expertise used to overcome those adverse conditions that apparently are being generated by some in this country who do not want to see this country progress.

         Looking at the previous budget, we see a lot of developments and we see a lot of progress in terms of fighting for the development of this country. We realise that the Minister of Finance and Economic

Development put a lot of effort on key ministries that promote economic development of this country. I applaud the Minister for the funds allocated to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. It shows that he has a very good vision, not only for the near future but even many years to come. I would like to applaud the Minister for that. Hon

Minister must be on the lookout for strategic minerals of this country. I do hereby request that the Minister should take into consideration that we cannot exploit all the minerals at once because this country has minerals that are more than 30, but let us concentrate on key minerals at any given time because our economy is fighting to get started in terms of development.

         I would like to refer to gold. At this moment this is one of the minerals that I think we should concentrate on in terms of its exploitation and marketing. The Ministry of Mines has planned to produce at least 40 tonnes of gold, but if you look at where we are at this moment, so far the gold that has been produced is around 23 tonnes - which means we are far way below the target, it is worrying. We should now look at the possible causes to why our production lever did not match our projected target.

         One of the factors that contributed negatively to that is the issue of energy or electricity. If we do not address that issue, we cannot get our target of 40 tonnes per year. I also appreciate the fact that the Minister seems to acknowledge that and he allocated more money to energy development. The second thing is the marketing model process of selling our minerals. The issue of foreign currency versus local currency in terms of buying the gold. If only the money paid to gold be reverted back to 70% foreign currency and 30% local currency because miners want to import spare parts for their machinery which is not found locally and therefore the need for foreign currency and that will promote mining in a big way.

         I would like to applaud the Hon. Minister Prof Ncube for allocating more resources to the Ministry of Agriculture because now there is the issue of climate change which means that we can no longer expect to continue our agricultural practices the traditional way. Yes I would like to applaud him very much for allocating more funds to irrigation development as well as dam construction. If only the Minister could continue thinking along the lines of not importing agricultural inputs or equipment such as centre pivots. It pains me a lot when I look at the figures that are used to import implements like centre pivots.    Looking at the education levels that we have in this country I wonder why we still import things like centre pivots. Why should we be importing such implements? Now I believe we should be promoting local production of such equipment like centre pivots among many other. I believe that at this time more money should be allocated to industries or manufacturers of implements like centre pivots and other agricultural and mining equipment. We have a lot of experts or innovative people in this country. If you were to go to areas like Magaba in Mbare and analyse what is happening there, you can really appreciate that this country can produce a lot of things that can be made locally instead of importing. This country should promote innovation in order to substitute imports whereby we use a lot of money to import certain things, so local production and innovation should be supported so that we reduce on importation .

         Before I sit down I would like talk about the financial sector, we are aware that most of the production in this country is being done by SMEs. For such people, it is not easy to collect tax or revenue from them. I would like to applaud the ways that were devised by the Minister of Finance to collect revenue from such people, the SMEs. May I then refer to the issue of indiscipline that is really wrecking havoc in the way money is being used in this country.  A lot of discipline is needed in handling money in this country.  People need to see evidence of measures being put in place, especially against money changers.  All towns and streets are full of money changers but we have not seen people who have been arrested and prosecuted successfully.  We are now waiting for such an opportunity from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  What steps are they going to take against money changers who do that in broad daylight?  That will restore confidence in our money if such people are prosecuted and successfully

jailed.

         Finally, I would like to refer to industries that manufacture basic commodities.  I think it is now overdue that we still import things like fertilisers yet we have raw materials in this country that can be used to produce such things.  I hereby request the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to look at such industries that manufacture basic goods like fertilisers so that they are allocated more money in order to promote manufacturing.  That would mean that in a few years to come, we will no longer be importing such products like cooking oil, fertilisers and other basic commodities.

         I would like to appreciate the vision that I see the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is taking.  I think the Minister should promote such manufacturers of basic commodities. If we look at what used to happen in the past, Olivine used to actually produce and export cooking oil.  The Minister should be looking at promoting such manufacturers so that we go back to that state where we would export basic commodities instead of importing them.

         I would like to appreciate the budget proposal by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development this time around.  I believe that if the country sticks to this budget proposal this time around, the country will progress very well.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

            HON. P. CHIDAKWA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker

for giving me this opportunity to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for a job well done. You have tried your best given the trying environment. Last year, you budgeted but unfortunately for you, there were some unbudgeted for incidences like Cyclone Idai which put your projections off rail.  Things like drought did put you off rail but given the circumstances, please do not give up.  Keep on fighting you will make it.

         Madam Speaker, if we keep on with what the Minister has projected, we are on the right footing.  Minister, we would like you to look out on the welfare of civil servants to keep them motivated.  Capacitate them to keep on going to work so that we can move our country forward – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

     THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, please do not

disrupt him.

  HON. P. CHIDAKWA:  Madam Speaker, the Minister should

look at stabilising the exchange rate.  The exchange rate is driving the inflation.  Inflation is causing untold suffering to our people.  If we can address inflation, our country will move on despite those who are wishing us bad luck and those who want this country to fail.  We will keep soldiering on and we will make it.

              We would want to applaud the Minister of Finance and Economic

Development for championing infrastructure development.  This will help improve economic growth in our local communities and develop our country, providing employment.  Keep on working on infrastructure development.

         My challenge to the Minister is timeous release of funds and making sure that all projects are well funded for them to succeed.  You have got good projects on the go.  Let us make this succeed and our country will go forward.  We will also like the Minister to look at capacitating DDF.  DDF is the mother superior of the rural areas in respect to roads and water.  If we can look at capacitating DDF, our country will move forward and we will give meaning to our budget.

         Hon. Minister, keep your sharp eye open and come up with your good master strokes.  The 2% tax was a master stroke.  It managed to solve most of the revenue leakages in this country and to fund some of the projects which were going to cause problems in this country.  I would want to thank the Government for running the ZUPCO public transport in urban areas. Unfortunately, the people who are leading these people who are benefiting from ZUPCO do not seem to appreciate it.

Hon. Minister bring the ZUPCO into our rural areas where we will fully welcome you and will appreciate it.

         Finally, we would like to thank the Minister for the Presidential input scheme in our rural areas.  It will help food security in this country. I would like to wish our Minister the best and not to encounter unbudgeted fundamentals in the economy like what happened to you last year. People are now judging you academically. You are doing a good job under very difficult conditions.  Keep it up.  Thank you very much.

         HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I also rise to express my issues, views and comments on the Budget Statement as presented by the Hon. Minister of Finance. As we all know, the budget provides parameters for Government action and inaction in the ensuing year and what Government does and does not do is policy essentially. The Budget therefore for all intents and purposes is

Government policy and as I debate, I am taking it in that perspective.

First Madam Speaker, the Budget in real terms as presented by the

Hon. Minister is much less than that of 2019, that is the first observation.

That means in terms of service provision, development, goods and services that the Government is going to be able to provide in the coming year; that is going to be much less than 2019. Effectively therefore, the quality of life of our people in 2020 is going to be declining given that the Budget in real terms has come down – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – No, because the thing is if the amount of money that we are going to be spending on providing services has gone down, it means what we are able to do with that money has also declined. So, we need to be cognisant of that and try to increase the provisions.

The Budget Madam Speaker is manifestly anti-poor in several respects. The budget has not adequately addressed the issue of mass transportation system in this country and it is going to be difficult for our people to be able to commute to work and back on a daily basis, notwithstanding the provision of the ZUPCO buses because even as we speak, not everyone who wants to make use of that service is able to access it. The issue of fuel and electricity provision, we are experiencing serious shortages and it does not look like the Budget has adequately dealt with the issue of electricity provision and generation, fuel procurement and I reference paragraph 180 and 189 of the Budget Statement.

The financing modalities for agriculture Madam Speaker, it does not look like we are going to have a much improved agricultural season. Even as we speak now, the land under tillage appears to have declined because the cost of agricultural inputs, it is not many that are going to be able to procure and the budget is not manifestly addressing that dimension.

The Budget is also manifestly silent on gender considerations for the various expenditure items enunciated in the Budget. Also, hospitals, the issue of doctors, medicine provision in the hospitals, issue of teachers’ salaries and civil servants in general, the Budget does not adequately address the plight of civil servants. So, I implore upon the

Minister to reconsider the issue of civil servants’ remuneration.

Madam Speaker, a good number of many of our people are without accommodation especially in urban settlements. The Budget pays lipservice in the area of housing development. I realise also that there is a new Ministry of Housing which has not been provisioned in the current Budget and the Minister must be looking at that Ministry to ensure that the aspect of housing delivery especially in urban settlements is adequately dealt with.

Another area of concern that the Budget does not adequately address is that of water Madam Speaker. In this august House, we have had motions on the acute shortage of water and also the provision of poor quality water in urban settings and indeed, in all other settlements including growth points and rural areas. So the area of new dam construction, water harvesting and generally to improve water delivery, the Budget has also not adequately addressed. I am deliberately focusing on those areas that need the Minister’s attention.

Unemployment upwards of 95% depending on where you are coming from, I think is also another area that the Minister should have deliberately focused on so that the aspect of employment creation is adequately dealt with or at least there is some movement in terms of trying to reduce unemployment especially for our youths in this country. So, it does not look like there was serious thought in the preparation of the Budget in trying to address the acute shortage of employment in this country, particularly for our youths.

Another area of grave concern Madam Speaker is that of pensions. Our pensioned elderly have now been condemned to destitution because of the meagre monthly payouts that they get if they are luck to get them because they queue at the banks overnight only to get peanuts, hardly enough for their bus fares to and from their homes. I think there is need for a re-look at the pensions payouts from NSSA that our pensioned people must receive so that they are able to continue with their normal lives.

Madam Speaker, many parents have received notices of serious hikes for school fees for their children at the various schools around the country. It is highly unlikely that the average parent will be able to afford to pay school fees for their children. I think the aspect of financing education should have been prioritised so as to reduce the burden on parents in payment of school fees for their children.

The Budget has made some priorities or the Minister has made some priorities for the 2020 Budget, notably growth and productivity as a priority area, job creation as a statement of intent for priority, competitiveness and strong sustainable and shared development. This is stated in paragraph 22 of the Budget Statement but I fear this may not be or is unlikely to be achieved without the requisite reforms for stabilisation. As we all know Madam Speaker, capital is scared of instability and also the absence of predictability in the way the economy is managed, run and functions.

Despite the seemingly good intentions as stated and as espoused in  the Budget Statement, the aspirations of the generality of our people of Zimbabwe will remain unfulfilled under the current conditions.  I fear  as I see it, the need for engagement is paramount. The need for dialogue and engagement between political antagonists who matter is very important and unless we do that, we will continue to go round and round in circles without progress. So the need for that kind of engagement and dialogue between antagonists who really matter is important because as we see it, there are those that do not matter but who are involved in engagement and it is not taking this country anywhere. That needs no over emphasis Madam Speaker.  As I see it, the writing is clearly on the wall.  The budget is unlikely to succeed and that is one assertion I must make unless the fundamentals as I have already alluded to, are taken seriously and addressed.  In the current schemata of things, in the current configuration of issues in this country, the budget is unlikely to succeed unless what I have just mentioned is taken heed of.  The Hon. Minister may as well start working on a Supplementary Budget whose anchor currency should be the US dollar.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MADHUKU:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker for

giving me this time to make my contribution to the budget.  Let me begin by thanking the Hon. Minister of Finance for producing this kind of budget under these difficult circumstances.  However, I want to make a few comments especially with regards to the Education budget.  Madam Speaker, it is common knowledge that sustainable economic development or growth is not possible without huge investment in education.  We need knowledge and skills in education and this is the right platform that produces such skills.  We also take note of the current global shift which talks about inputs and outputs and moves to outcomes as well as processes which also need results.  I want to thank that the Minister of Finance has also come up with a budget which speaks to

Vision 2030 which has been promulgated by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  To a very large extent, we also know that one of the key goals of Vision 2030 talks about raising employment levels or rates upwards, not only for the formal sector but also for the SMEs.

We also note that in the Vision 2030, there is talk of moving Zimbabwe to an upper middle income economy by 2030 and also raising the per capita income to around $3500.  I want to applaud the Minister that this budget also tries to ensure that we move towards that direction.  We also note that in the Budget Statement of 2020, the Minister did allocate $8.5 billion to the education sector which is 13% of the total budget and about 459% increase from the 2019 Budget which is very much applaudable, although we notice that this budget also falls short of the Dakar declaration of 20% of the total budget for any nation.  However, I want to point out a few issues which we think we have to take note of; firstly, the Secondary Education Vote which the Minister also increased.  We want to take note of the fact that this education sector among many other goals or aims is the provision of pre-technical vocational education which talks about science, technology, engineering and maths.  This is very critical if we are looking towards job creation, which is one of the key tenets of Vision 2030.

We need to ensure that we move or have a bias towards the VOCTECH education and have a slight departure from an exam oriented curriculum which is more to do with rote learning and also need to change our mindset in order to ensure that we offer the VOCTECH subjects or curriculum which is favourable to job creation.  Madam

Speaker, a few statistics here which I have compiled – we have seen that for the ‘O’ Level examinations for 2018, out of a total of 239 411 candidates who sat for the 2018 examination, only 50 664 did manage to score five subjects and above.  We had about 188 777 who did not manage to score five subjects or they scored four subjects and below.  These learners; we are offloading them into the economy where they need to look for jobs.  Our Vision 2030 which talks about creation of employment was saying from 2018 to 2030 if we offload an equal number, by 2030 we are going to be having about 2.5 million job seekers who have failed to get more than five subjects passes.

I want to applaud the Minister that he should also look into this budget so that we avoid a situation whereby we have a youth threat into our economy.  We have to empower and give more resources to the education sector to capacitate the VOCTECH subjects whereby we can also ensure that we acquire heavy industrial machines for engineering like wood technology, technical graphics, dress and textiles and food technology so that we capacitate  these learners when they leave school and fail to manage the academic route.

Madam Speaker, I am also of the view that the Minister may also look into giving more resources to the education sector so that we also create the so called innovation hubs.  I am happy that the Minister of Higher Education also talks about the creation of innovation hubs at the higher levels but I think this should start at the lower levels like the secondary levels.  We have to ensure that we capacitate them so that they are able to do their researches, innovation as well as industrialise on top of the other soft skills which we equip them like creative thinking and all the other things.  Madam Speaker, I also want to speak about the Minister if he can also look into the issue of giving more resources to schools.  We are aware that we have so many satellite schools in the rural areas.  These satellite schools are failing to register as exam centres.  So my view is that let us capacitate these schools, ensure that we build more resources and enable them to register and become exam centres.  I am also praying that the Hon. Minister can give more resources to the satellite schools which have been in existence for so many years.

Let me move on to the learner support services where we talk about the learner’s welfare.  I want to make specific reference to the school feeding programmes which tend to reduce those who are vulnerable, the poor.   We are happy that the Minister has also allocated a lot of money to this area but I want to take note that in the past we have had situations whereby the Government has been funding for the provision of maize only.  Most schools have been giving learners only sadza or mangai and they have been asking parents to pay more for the relish.  So I want to applaud the Minister that he has also increased some money to this area.   However, I think more can be done to ensure that schools will not ask parents to pay more for their children because we are talking about the vulnerable groups who are not capable of paying more money for the relish.  There may not be any feeding at schools or learners can be given only sadza or those who cannot pay for the relish may end up not being fed which destroys the whole purpose of the school feeding programme.

Special needs education which the Hon. Minister has also given a lot of money, we have on record that in 2018 the Ministry recorded about 36 640 learners with disabilities in our schools whereas in 2019 we have about 42 277 learners with disabilities. So it is also my plea that the Hon. Minister can look into the area because we have ballooning enrolments of learners with disabilities who need quite a lot.  The learners with disabilities need more than those without disabilities.  The Vote will assist the learners with disabilities in the provision of assistive devices, Braille, other hearing aids, physical mobility and creams for learners with albinism.  So, it is my belief that we have to give more resources to these learners free of charge like what has been happening or what the Minister has done to give free sanitary pads.  So the assistive devices also need to be given free of charge to such learners.

Lastly, I want to make a contribution in terms of revenue collection that the Minister can also look into the area of tax.  I think we have many cases of our citizens who buy a lot of expensive assets.  The

Minister can also look into the area to verify whether these expensive assets which are being bought, whether people are paying tax.  I think we can add revenue by making a check on these areas.

Madam Speaker, let me end by thanking the Finance Minister for coming up with this kind of budget under these difficult circumstances whereby our economy is facing a lot challenges.  I think with all due respect, this budget passes the goodness of it because it has been well thought out.  Thank you.

+HON. MATHE:  Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to also contribute towards the 2020 Budget.  The good thing that I would like to say before I delve deeply into my presentation is that I would like to applaud the Minister, Hon. M. Ncube for coming up with such a budget which is a very difficult thing to do because he has touched on all Government activities.  He has also given each department an allocation out of the budgeted money and even his figures are balancing.  I would like to thank him for doing a great job here in

Zimbabwe.

I looked at education; he has put about 8, 5 billion towards education because he knows that people have to be educated and that includes salaries for teachers who are teaching at those schools.  As a mother, I am happy that a lot of money has been put towards education. This shows that our children are going to attend school and pass.  When they pass, it pleases the parents and the teachers are going to be happy if they get paid a good salary.

I just want to add a few more words that over and above what he has done by coming up with a budget, I think we should put more funds into grade zeros because there are no schools specifically for them.  That is why at times they get zero pass rates at grade zero.  What is causing bad results at grade zero is that they have no proper structures; they are attending lessons outside.  This causes them not to have proper writing

skills.

Mines - the Minister allocated a good lump sum. I would like to urge the Minister that when it comes to mines, most of the budget should go towards the youths.  Youths all over the country are not employed, most of them are illegal artisanal miners.  They are engaging in these activities because they have no jobs and they do it illegally. So, I am happy that he has given them something.

I am also happy that he has made a contribution towards transport and he did it in a very clever way.  If we provide funds for our roads, it is for us that we specify which roads should be repaired and that will assist the Minister if he has to come up with each road and how much he is allocating towards the road.  I heard someone laughing about the supplementary budget.  It is important that we should have a supplementary budget.  If he specifies that such and such a road will get how much, it is good because it will show us how much has been spent so far on that road and we will also get to know how much we still need for the road to be completed.

         Mr. Speaker, I also looked at the issue of social welfare where we assist people.  In assisting people under the social welfare, he has put some money that can be used to buy food for those people and if the money that has been put there by the Minister was to be used for ploughing, and for whatever piece of land that is there, if the land was allocated to someone and that person has not been using the land for two years, the money should be diverted to farming. It is not that we do not get grain because there are no rains; rains are there but it is just that people are not using those farms. They are just keeping the farms but if the Ministry was to use the money for farming together with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, we will get a bumper harvest and that will help us save money by not importing food.

         Also coming to the issue of assisting others, I am talking about food for work - food for work normally is done during the ploughing time.  If the Ministry gives us quite a lump sum and if that lump sum is given to people and people are given enough time to go and plough, then we can avert hunger.  If someone goes to food for work, they work and when they get money, they go and buy food and because of that, their own farming will lag behind and they will not harvest much.  By virtue of the times that they finish work, they will be so tired and will not be able to do much on their own pieces of land.

         Now when it comes to water, the money that was poured into water throughout the provinces is good money and that is the money meant to drill boreholes and to repair our dams.  As a woman, I know the problems that we face when it comes to water. The Minister should maybe increase that portfolio because we still need to drill more boreholes and build more dams.  I would like to thank the Minister because times are hard but I know that he is doing a great job and I would like to thank him for a good budget.

         *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the minister of Finance and Economic Development for the 2020 budget which he presented.  I have a few words which I intend to say as regards the budget, especially in the education sector.  There is need to relook on the issue of the sector.  Governments in other countries have industries and companies such as the Government Printers.  As we speak today, the prices of notebooks have gone up.  A two quire book is now selling at $25 and it is important that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development looks at the issue of having Government companies such as the Government Printers so that they can make notebooks for use in the schools because the notebooks are now beyond the reach of the ordinary parents.  It is important for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to look seriously into such issues with regards what is now happening in that industry.

         I would also want to thank him for the amount that he allocated to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement which got adequate funding.  Be that as it may, there are some farmers that are complaining and the parents are complaining because of the money that was increased in October.  The farmers are unhappy about it.  They delivered their maize in August/September and they were not paid the amount that was announced in October.  Some people delivered their crops on the 25th of September and on the 1st of October; they were told that there has been an increase in the price.

The price was increased to the middlemen and not the farmers. They were getting the grain, pretending to be millers and then there was a merry-go-round and they benefitted where they were not supposed to have benefitted.  It would be important for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to look closely into that issue.  That is what I term dog-eat-dog and it is now a blame game between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  So when you approach either of the parties, they blame each other.  So, I urge the Hon. Minister to look into the issue closely so that next year we have adequate maize or grain stocks delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.  They are waiting for the producer price of maize to be increased in October but in the interim people will be dying of starvation.  So we urge the Hon. Minister to closely look into that issue because it is problematic.

         On transport, there is ZUPCO; the Minister of Local Government is being given money.  If you go to Dubai, you will see that every mode of transport in Dubai, be it a taxi or any public transport is owned by the Government.  In fact Government did well by giving ZUPCO subsidised fuel.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development should give Government sufficient funds so that Government goes back into the transport sector and runs the transport sector because private operators no longer have the people at heart.  As a result, the ordinary man is now blaming the Government – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjection.] -

         Mr. Speaker Sir, may Hon. Sikhala withdraw his words.  He is saying the Hon. Minister is cruel.  He must withdraw his statement, he is a lawyer and he is a respected person.  I shall sit down briefly while he is withdrawing his statement.

       *HON. SIKHALA:  I withdraw my words Hon. Speaker.

  *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  If you go to China, Dubai and South

Africa, Governments in those countries own transport sector. Our economy is not as robust but others would say beat others and doing other things –Hon. Prof. Ncube is a strong man, he crafted the Budget yet there are others that are saying Zimbabwe must be under sanctions.

Our Budget will become problematic and the Minister will have problems whilst others are advocating for sanctions.  This needs to be looked into and that we act in consent and come up with a law to deter people from calling for sanctions.  There must be a severe punishment.

Thank you.

   THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Before you take the floor.  I

am reliably informed by the Minister that there is a lot of repetition on contributions that are coming now, there is nothing new.  Please can you come up with new points that have not been said by anyone?

         HON. MADZIMURE:  My first issue is that the Budget provides a model of how the Government might perform.  If we look at the figures that the Minister presented, the Minister presented a Budget which has a total of 68 RTGs billion.  What it means is that our Budget will be around US$4.5 billion.   If we take the current exchange rate of 15.5, the budget will be around US$4billion.  This means the Minister will be presiding over a budget that is more than 50% less than what we had last year.  We are going to spend less for everything.  Considering the problems that we find ourselves in for example the health sector has collapsed, we do not have electricity and also you see teachers in classes but they are not teaching.  There is nothing that we can applaud the Minister for because the Budget is less than what we had last year.  The population is growing, so starting from that point Mr. Speaker, there is nothing that the Minister would want to make us believe that there is going to be growth in the economy.  Let alone the fact that we are starting from a minus six percent for us then to expect to cover that gap of 6.5% and then record a  3% growth, that will never happen.  It has never happened; there is no one who is such a genius who can perform such gymnastics to come from -6.5 to +3.5%.  So, as far as I am concerned Mr. Speaker, there is nothing to celebrate.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, if we look at the amount of money that we used for agriculture between 2017 and 2018, it was around $3.5 billion but our entire budget for next year will be around US$4 billion, so there is no economic growth.   If we look at growth itself, there are about four factors that we consider for a growth of an economy.  We are talking of our natural resources, capital and goods.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, on the resources side, already this year our target for the gold production, the gold that would go through Fidelity it went down by more than 30%.  As things stand right now, we are getting around 23 tonnes of gold but the projection was 40 tonnes.  So, how are we then going to expect us to cover that and then record a growth in the production of gold?  There is no explanation why we have that deficit.  If you look at the capital, for us to record growth there must be flow of capital.  One means of us getting capital is attracting FDI.  As far as FDI is concerned, we have had representatives of those capitals where there is capital telling us that you are doing very little as far as those reforms that we promise the international community that we were going to embark on.  We have done very little to align the laws to the

Constitution.  We have done nothing to reform our electoral processes and even to reform our institutions of accountability.

On the issue of the Finance Ministry, the report which was presented in this House pointed to the fact that the biggest culprit as far as financial mismanagement in Zimbabwe is concerned is the Ministry of Finance. If we look at the amounts that cannot be explained, they are so much that if we had managed those funds well, we would not need any foreign direct investment or any money coming from outside.

         On the issue of the human capital – right now we are busy chasing our doctors away. How do we expect the quality of our health services to improve? If you do not have a workforce that is healthy, you have a big challenge. Right now, no one can take his/her relative to a public hospital because there is nothing happening there. As far as growth is concerned, if there is no health, there is no growth. You talk of the goods- we are producing very little and as far as the budget is concerned, I cannot see in the budget anything that points to the fact that we are going to create goods and services for ourselves.

         We cannot create goods for our own consumption when we do not have electricity. Mr. Speaker, last week alone at my own small factory, we did not have electricity during the day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. This means that for the whole week, there was no production. The sizes of the generators that we would generate are the single phase generators but most of the equipment, they are three phased and there is no electricity. How do we record growth if we do not have electricity?

         The issue of fuel – the Hon. Minister did not speak to the issue of fuel. How is he going to address it? We have now gone 12 months with queues of fuel. The amount of time that is lost on the fuel queues is almost 50% of the productive time. How do we expect productivity? Productivity is the ratio between input and output and included in input is those resources like power. If there is no power, the kind of machines we will use to produce are those machines that are not efficient. For me to believe that we will record or we will talk of any productivity as I have already said. There is no way we are going to improve our productivity. What productivity entirely means is that when your input becomes less and the output is more, you are going to be able to supply goods and services at an affordable price.

         In our case, there is no way. It has never happened in a country where there is no fuel and electricity, and you expect productivity to be achieved. I am an industrial engineer by profession and when you do not have those inputs, there is no production and there is no way the Minister would want to convince us that the economy is going to go apart from the fact that I have proved that this year’s Budget is less than 50% the Budget that we had last year.

         On job creation - you cannot create jobs in a country where you do not see a crane. The cranes you see today are those at the airport. If you go to Kenya today, you peep through a hotel window and you count until you cannot count anymore the number of cranes. You turn to your east and to your west; that is the same order. This is the only way you create employment. You do not create employment by simply saying here in the House that we are going to create employment. The evidence must be there on the ground.

         The only way you can put money in the people’s pockets is by you producing the work and making sure that Portland Cement works 24 hours and by only making sure that there is always lights on the cranes in the evening working. That is the only way you can create employment. In our case, there is no miracle, we are not creating any employment. We are not even doing it on the farms because the farmers are always complaining. You heard all Members from the ZANU PF side debating today and no one has ever said farming is being funded adequately, we have adequate electricity and adequate fuel and so, it means that area is dead.

         Even with the climate change. There are mitigatory measures that we have. We have Tokwe/Mukorsi where we can irrigate. There is nothing happening in Tokwe/Mukorsi. We have not started irrigating anything. So, where do we expect the food to come from? There is nothing. We are simply parroting talking and praising the Minister but the fact is that nothing is happening. Probably, we cannot blame the Minister alone because he jumped into a sinking ship and there is no way he can save it alone. It needs a lot of people to do so.

         *HON. RAIDZA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. We heard the Hon. Member saying the Minister jumped onto a sinking ship. May the Hon. Member withdraw the statement or explain what exactly he meant by a sinking ship? I thank you.

            THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you honourably withdraw

that statement?

     HON. MADZIMURE: My whole debate is premised on the

economy...

               THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No, I said may you withdraw

that statement?

        HON. MADZIMURE: He said can I explain...

  THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): I said

can you withdraw please.

    HON. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, okay I withdraw. When the

Minister came in... –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr.

Speaker, when the Minister in, the economy was sinking.

   THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): You

seem to be going back to that statement again.

       HON. MADZIMURE: But a sinking economy is the only

measure, the empirical evidence. I did statistics – a sinking ship can only be identified by a minus. When there is a minus on something, it means something is going down and it depends on how you describe it. If it is going down, it is a minus and it is emperical and it is from the Minister’s only statement. So, I do not know how I can describe it apart from saying this is an empirical evidence that is there – how can I do it the other way round?

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, are you done?

       HON. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, I respect you so much and if

you are going to chuck me out of this House because I have said the economy is sinking, then so be it, I can easily be chased out of the

House. With that expression you can take me out of the House – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MATEWU:  Mr. Speaker Sir....

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have not recognised you Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I have not recognised you Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – What is your point of order?

HON. MATEWU:  Mr. Speaker Sir, what the Hon. Member from

Kambuzuma ....

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  May you raise your point of

order?

HON. MATEWU:  I am raising it now.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You do not have to explain what the Hon. Member has said.

HON. MATEWU: My point of order is that in the English language, we have rhetorical speech which the Member of Parliament used – ‘sinking ship’.  If you google that, you will see that it is rhetorical and it is a figurative expression to many words. It is English language and it is allowed.  One cannot be asked to withdraw a simple rhetorical statement – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Overruled.  Can you resume

your debate?

HON. MADZIMURE:  Mr. Speaker, I had tried by all means to make sure that my debate deals with the economic issues and this is precisely what I am doing.  I am not trying to grand stand in any way.  If anyone can prove otherwise....

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have given you the time to highlight your point Hon. Member.

HON. MADZIMURE:  My point is on the issue of competitiveness.  Our products will not be...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You are left with five minutes, can you wind up?

HON. MADZIMURE:  Our products will never be competitive because of the reasons I have already outlined.  If you are supposed to produce eight hours and you do not produce at all; there will not be even that good or service which you would want to be competitive.   Unless we address those fundamentals, we will still have a problem.

We also have a problem of technology.  The technology that we are using is now outdated, including even the speed at which we access our data; we need technology to produce at a competitive rate.  Until the Minister finds a way of attracting capital for us to do that, it will not help.  I will give an example of when you are woodworking – you need lathe machines that are now automatic. You do not need to use your hands.  You simply programme it and something that used to take an hour or 30 minutes will take even two minutes.  That is the only way you can have competitive products and services and this we are not doing.

Apart from that, even doing business for other people providing the technical assistance, we cannot do it in Zimbabwe because we do not have the means of doing so.  We need to correct that.

The Minister also told us that he would want a strong, sustainable and shared development.  This is another area which is lacking in our country.  The Minister never shared the TSP with anyone and up to today, the Minister has not come back to explain to this House how it has fared.   Austerity measures are still upon us.  The 2% tax is causing havoc.  What the Minister should have done is to say incentivise and remove the tax so that people can use more money.  There are many other ways that the Minister can collect the taxes.  If there are high business activities, it is the frequency at which people do business that will generate more money.  In our case, people do not have the money at

all.

Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, as long as our Government employees – by the way Government still remains the biggest employer in Zimbabwe, do not have disposable income; there is no way you can stimulate growth.  There issue of providing ZUPCO buses – those are not ZUPCO buses; it is a group of people who have been brought together and are milking the people.  The people are being milked because you do not even know whether the person has provided the service.  This is one of the worst and it is not included in the Budget – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Your time is up Hon.

Member.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I implore the Minister to go back and revise.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  I will start with the contribution from the Chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance.  The first issue which he mentioned and is critical refers to the suspension of duty on goods used by physically challenged persons.

The Committee is concerned that there is slow or non- implementation of the recommendations which the 2019 Budget made regarding this issue.  I want to say that we suspended duty in the 2019 Budget and this is still enforced by the way – this is in paragraph 839 and 844 of the 2019 Budget.

Following the pronouncement of the 2019 National Budget to suspend duty as well as removal of value added tax on imported goods for use by the physically challenged, the Statutory Instrument 279 of 2018 was also gazetted – this is the previous year thus facilitating implementation of Government policy.  Over two successive years, we have been dealing with this issue and it is still in force and effective although there was no pronouncement in the 2020 Budget because it was not necessary as it is still in force.

Let me turn to the issue that the Committee raised around ZIMRA

– ZIMRA’s operational costs should be within the standard costs of collection of 3% which means that for every dollar of revenue collected, ZIMRA should not spend more than 3 cents.  As such, the Budget should adequately support ZIMRA to plug loopholes and improve border systems efficiency. It should also provide for modernisation of infrastructure at the ports of entry in line with global trends and therefore, it is pertinent that ZIMRA be given a certain percentage of revenue collected as an incentive mechanism.

When Treasury endeavours to avail adequate resources support to ZIMRA, however, for purposes of transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public resources – funds are allocated through this august House so we will be transparent as to how we allocate funds to ZIMRA but we support ZIMRA.  It is our collection agency and they are doing a very good job.

On the issue of mining fees and charges that the Committee has raised; there is a proposal.  The mining fees and the charges should be aligned to those of the major mining jurisdictions in SADC, North America and Australia.  This again has been recommended over years with no action on the ground.

The Committee should bear in mind that Zimbabwe competes for the same investors with these countries.  I must hasten to say that we have been aligning our charges to the region and globally.  We have reduced the royalties on diamond from 15 to 10%.  In the 2019 Supplementary Budget, we made sure that all royalties are now tax deductable in line with best practices.  We are not out of step at all.

A lot has been said about that and perhaps we have been silent on employment creation and youth and so forth.  Actually, the whole budget is about job creation, growth, productivity, competitiveness and making sure that our infrastructure also generate jobs. What we did and this is the first time that this has been done in 40 years since independence, we introduced a youth employment tax credit scheme (YET) to deal with youth unemployment. I notice that the Committee did raise this and they are worried about whether this will be implemented properly or not. I can assure them that we have a lot of experience through ZIMRA in terms of implementing such tax rebate schemes, which is what it is really to support employment.  I can assure them that we will be able to follow through so that it works well and it achieves the results that it ought. We will listen carefully to Members who have said perhaps we should include all sizes of companies. Initially, we did not want to target the medium scale companies because by supporting them we are making sure that they grow and at the same time support the objective of providing employment.

       Then there was something which was brought up by the

Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services for the Central Registry to review service fees upwards. Treasury has already reviewed fees upwards. User fees levied by the Ministry of Home Affairs are in line with the current economic developments. Of late, you have seen our review of the fees for passports that is paid by those in the diaspora which was announced literally a day ago.

         There is also a proposal to levy 1% excise duty on alcohol and ring fence this for security services including war veterans. The excise duty on alcohol and beverages is already very high. It is averaging 40%. Now we are being asked to add 1% and it will be too much. Any further increase could be regressive and that negatively impacts growth of production volumes in the sector. Maybe we should look at other ways rather than this specific proposal.

         There is also a proposal to levy a 2% targeted population tax on gross income of non polluters and ring fence for all security services. Already, carbon tax is levied on fuel in order to address the negative effects of pollution. Furthermore, EMA is implementing a number of levies targeted at regulating operators that pollute the environment as well as reducing the negative impacts thereof.

         The Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and I must preamble this by saying we had a session with His Excellency two weekends ago, with people in the arts sector in Bulawayo.  He was very impressed by how organised and clear they are in terms of their needs. I also said to them that they must also try to engage us early enough so that we can prepare for their needs in the budget to make sure that they are adequately catered for.

         Again, this Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation went back to the issue of YET and said the Minister of Finance’s introduction of the tax credit to $500 per month per employee for corporates that employ additional employees in a year of assessment recognise that the tax credit is however limited to a maximum of $60 000 per year of assessment. The tax credit is subject to the following conditions. I think what they wanted here was further explanation. I can go into details on how this works but perhaps we will spend too much time. What I can do is that I submit a written statement so that we can go into it.

       On the excise duty on fuel, this was raised by the Portfolio

Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development. The Committee commends the proposal to ring fence 5% of excise duty revenue collected towards the construction and rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway and encourages funds to be remitted on time. I agree with this call that we should remit funds on time.

         There were some comments that we should increase the budget for DDF. I must say that we will do that. In fact you will notice that when we come to the Appropriation Bill we will increase the budget from the current $100m in 2019 to $233m and we believe this will go a long way in dealing with the issues that DDF is seized with, which is to drill boreholes and provide water to the vulnerable.

         I also listened to good comments and I must say from both sides of the House regarding our loss in the gold sector. I must hasten to say that what we are seeing, gold output is in fact going up but the deliveries to Fidelity are going down for a variety of reasons. It is about basically

VAT incentives that are paid in South Africa which are encouraging smuggling into South Africa. If you check the figures at Rand Refinery they are higher than what we are recording at this end. You do have gold leaking through UAE. We have been informed that about US$60m worth of gold is leaking every month through the UAE into the rest of the world. Clearly, there are leakages and we are seized with this issue. We want to capacitate the gold mobilisation unit but also make sure there is a unified system for marketing. Fidelity should be at the core of the gold buying process in this country. We need to plug leakages.      The small to medium scale producers are very productive. We have 1.5 million of them. It is one of the biggest empowerment opportunities and yet we are not buying any gold from them because we set the rule that we will only buy if it is above five grammes. If it is below that we will not buy. We are going to change that to make sure that we buy at any gramme level so that we mop up all the gold produced by the small scale miners. It is very important for us to really capacitate them. We want to make sure that whatever support we are giving to the sector is not captured by those who are in the marketing business but it is captured by the targeted producers in the way they buy equipment or chemicals and so forth.

         Last week, Hon Adv Mudenda raised an issue about the CDF Fund saying that there have been delays in disbursement under the fund. He wanted to know why - if I can take a couple of minutes to explain. In the past, there was no fund account for the CDF. There was an account at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and then there were disbursements into individuals accounts in order to implement projects. That was the case. This year we agreed with Parliament that we should create a new fund account. The process of creating that account, putting systems around it has taken a long time. Finally, the account has been created and it is now open.  I must say that the first ZWL$5m was disbursed a couple of months ago. The process will be speeded up. It was really an issue of not having an account. The account has been created and once created the system for managing the account took a while.

       THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: May the owner of the

following vehicle AEN 7732, please go and remove your vehicle. It is obstructing other vehicles.

         HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: That issue is going to be accelerated. In line with incredible discussion we had in Victoria Falls which I must admit I found very useful, it was very good and I really appreciate. It was better than the 2018 retreat in Bulawayo in my view; I really thank them for that. You will notice that from your plea, we will be able to increase the amounts for the CDF Fund which is very important for your needs in terms of developing your constituencies.

   If I can press on, what I notice as well in terms of some of the

Portfolio Committee comments and some of the Members, you are all asking for more budget, more budget especially for the areas in which you are cutely involved as Chairpersons or as constituency Members. I did a count, we have a budget in terms of ZW$58.6bn but we are seeing that the bids come up to  $136 billion. So that is way-way above if I add up everything you have been asking for. A $136 billion versus what we can afford in terms of what the economy can carry of the $58,6 billion; it follows that no Ministry can get all that they ask for.

In fact, I can only cite one Ministry which got more than what they asked for and that is the Ministry of Mines. In the end we had to add an extra $100 million because we realised that they probably forgot or they thought we would not respond because they self censored. It had to do with the exploration where we gave them an extra $100 million. We want to target exploration because our country is under explored but also resources to make sure that we can meet the cost of the guarantee that we have proposed in the budget, to guarantee access to credit through MMCZ for the non-precious metals sector – non-diamonds and nongold. We want again to provide a credit guarantee similar to the

Command Agriculture guarantee for access to finance from the market.

Really, you are lobbying for your sectors and so forth and I like the passion but we cannot meet those budgeted months. Just in terms of the framework, I know some members were saying oh Minister, you told us this and that about the budget. Colleagues, I can assure you in 2019 we will meet our target of 4% GDP for the budget deficit and again I am determined that in 2020 we will meet our target of 1,5% of the deficit to

GDP.

As I said, our revenue is $58,6 billion against an expenditure of $63,6 billion and that deficit I can assure you will be met. I think that also in reading the Blue Book, some members were saying oh Minister it is inconsistent and all of that. The numbers, colleagues let me remind you that when you present the budget, the Blue Book is really proposals for you to challenge, contribute and alter, after all it is your budget. So, that process is going to happen when we debate the Appropriation Bill. If you feel there are numbers you do not like or do not agree with because they are low or high, you will have that opportunity to do that. It is just a proposal.

However, I want to highlight three things in order to help Members navigate through this year’s Blue Book. The format has changed. We have changed the accounting and reporting system. It is now more comprehensive. We have now adopted what we call the Government Financial Statistics Standard (GFSS) of 2014. Previously, we were on the GFSS of 1986. We have now modernised and are now at 2014. That is what the whole world is doing because this standard has been created by the IMF and all countries in the world without exception are being encouraged to move over to this new standard so that accounts across the globe are comparable. That is one of the things we have done in the Blue Book and this is new. We can do further one on one explanation later or train Parliament. We are happy to do that.

Secondly, this is technical. Let me explain the technical difference in this change in the financial reporting standards. For example, we see in the Blue Book, there is an item that pertains to the issuance of Treasury Bills. Previously, this item would have been part of the expenses of the budget but under the new GFSS 2014, it is below the line so you see it shift to below the line and therefore you remove it from the main budget considerations.

Now, there is also another issue Madam Speaker according to this year’s Blue Book. There is another second issue that I also want to highlight regarding the format of this year’s Blue Book that there is a table that pertains to what we call the common functions of Government.

If you look at the current ministries, they are organised according to

what we call the administrative classification. So you have the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Mines under the functions approach. You would amalgamate those ministries because what we want to do is, we want to create common standards across the globe. This is again yet another standard that we are conforming to in this budget and which will allow Zimbabwe to be compared to the USA, UK, Swaziland, Rwanda, Kenya, Bangladesh and Singapore. So it is called the functions approach and I am sure Hon. Members will enjoy reading this.

What it does as well for those who really want to go into this because I can spend hours on it, is that it also helps us participate competitively in what we call the Open Budget Survey. Obviously, it is very important for us to be benchmarked globally and also our budget process should be well reported under what we call the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment Programme (CPIAP). This is about global comparability. I think I should explain this issue, the last issue in terms of presentation of the Blue Book which again is new.

We have moved decisively to programme based budgeting which speaks to results. You find that under every Ministry there is a programme, a line and a budget. This was very good for us Madam

Speaker because when for example the President decided to create the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, it was easy for us to literary remove that budget item from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and put it to the new created Ministry. That is really the advantage of programme based budgeting. This is good for you Hon. Members of Parliament, you know why? It will force us to really interrogate the Executive as to how we are doing it line by line, programme by programme so that we focus on results, not input but output and impact. This is very important and commendable.

On the issue of climate change Mr. Speaker, there is a mention from the Committee and other Members that in the 2020 Budget it provides an allocation to the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry towards climate management under Programme 4 on weather, climate and seismology services and is broken down as follows;

  • $5.25 million for Climate Change Management.
  • $13.986 million for seismology meant for data collection and weather monitoring.
  • $165 million for weather and climate services meant for the acquisition of equipment.

 We have done a lot in terms of dealing with the issue of climate  Change; anticipating the weather we really feel we have applied enough resources to this area.

A lot has been said about Urban Mass Public Transportation

System from the Committee that is responsible for this and various Members. Mr. Speaker Sir, Government introduced urban mass public transportation system as a safety net to cushion the public from increases in transport costs resulting from fuel price corrections after the introduction of the interbank foreign exchange market in February. This was also partly triggered by extortionate and exploitative behaviour by some public transport operators who were overcharging the vulnerable travellers.

Resources amounting to ZWL$113 million have been expended for the period from January to October 2019 through ZUPCO for hiring and fuel expenses for the buses. Currently, 500 buses and 1 000 commuter omnibus operators are being hired to augment the ZUPCO fleet of buses. I have before me and through you Mr. Speaker, some expenditure on a month by month because some members requested to know this.

The month on month expenditure is shown in Table 1 below;

Table 1: Monthly expenditure on Mass Public Transport

Month

Amount(ZWL)

January

      2,500,000

February

      4,300,000

March

      5,000,000

April

      4,235,000

May

      5,003,300

June

      9,897,000

July

    12,273,000

August

    35,800,000

September

    34,287,476

October

    36,600,000

Total

  113,295,776

Review of fuel prices as well as the increase in the coverage of buses influenced the increase in the amount of the resources availed. Currently the Government is in the process of ensuring that is ZUPCO capitalized so as to increase its fleet size which may entail a reduction in hiring buses and commuter omnibuses in the medium to long term.

Government’s long term objective is to provide affordable, reliable and vibrant mass public transport system.

Some Members also wanted to know who benefited, who exactly is benefiting from the programme, who is participating, again I have a whole list.  The Beneficiaries of public transport are illustrated below:

 NAME OF

BENEFICIARY

Is it individual  

Company

Abdul

Yes

No

Busy Signal

Yes

No

Changu Logistics

Yes

No

Chapu

Yes

No

Chihota

Yes

No

Chimukise

Yes

No

Chitaunhike

Yes

No

Choto

Yes

No

Coconut

Yes

No

Delta

Yes

No

Dzimbabwe

Yes

No

EU Transport

Yes

No

Explorer

Yes

No

G Musanhi

Yes

No

GMRI Finance

Yes

No

God Bless

Yes

No

Gwangara

Yes

No

Humula

Yes

No

Joseph

Yes

No

K Makuku

Yes

No

Koga

Yes

No

KS Musanhi

Yes

No

Kupfuma Ishungu

Yes

No

LeeJay

Yes

No

Lofombo

Yes

No

M Musanhi

Yes

No

Madyiise

Yes

No

 

 

 

Makaza

Yes

No

Makuku

Yes

No

Makuku K

Yes

No

Makuku Tsikirai

Yes

No

Mamovies

Yes

No

Manyonga

Yes

No

Marange

Yes

No

Masere

Yes

No

Mashoko

Yes

No

Matemba

Yes

No

Mazhiriri

Yes

No

Mbanga

Yes

No

Moyo

Yes

No

Mtema

Yes

No

Mugari

Yes

No

Munetsi

Yes

No

Munenzva

Yes

No

Musanhi

Yes

No

Mutsvanzva

Yes

No

Mwayera

Yes

No

Nashe

Yes

No

Nyabadza

Yes

No

Nyamweda

Yes

No

Rimbi

Yes

No

Road Link

Yes

No

Rutifa

Yes

No

Samaita

Yes

No

Sea Adlet

Yes

No

Senya

Yes

No

Shambamuto Samaita

Yes

No

T Makuku

Yes

No

Tek Joe

Yes

No

Tine G Musanhi

Yes

No

Trastar

Yes

No

Vondo

Yes

No

Becktrick

No

Yes

Bless it Up

No

Yes

Blue Circle

No

Yes

Blue Horizon

No

Yes

CAG

No

Yes

CMED

No

Yes

Copperbelt

No

Yes

Elsberry

No

Yes

Fungurume

No

Yes

Golden Heritage

No

Yes

Graphlink

No

Yes

Harrowven

No

Yes

Hashtag

No

Yes

Herentals

No

Yes

Hitwave

No

Yes

Horizon

No

Yes

Inter Africa

No

Yes

Kabor

No

Yes

Keannie

No

Yes

Kurai

No

Yes

Kynergy

No

Yes

Lexliner

No

Yes

Mandaza

No

Yes

Martnac

No

Yes

Muza

No

Yes

Nyamayevhu

No

Yes

PCJ

No

Yes

Places

No

Yes

P M Express

No

Yes

Royal City

No

Yes

T & T Coaches

No

Yes

Travel Planners

No

Yes

Trio Two

No

Yes

Trip Trans

No

Yes

Urban Connect

No

Yes

Vaya lathi

No

Yes

Worldmoon

No

Yes

Zebra Kiss

No

Yes

ZUPCO

No

Yes

         Credibility of the 2020 national Budget and overall growth projection of 3.0 %, some Members have said perhaps this is not realistic, we have had projections before.   I think Members forget that we were together here in July debating the Supplementary Budget and thank you for that support.  We basically amended these projections together.  I have heard reference that I presented a year ago, the figures are not correct, here you are now coming with new figures - but we had an interim process through which I explained that growth is expected to be minus 2% for the year and we also gave new inflation figures and so

forth.

         Madam Speaker, the Members perhaps they have forgotten, if not, let me remind them but I am happy that they are sharing a concern and we are working together on this.  They simply want to know how we arrived at a 3% projection which is our base case scenario.  Our expectations in arriving at 3% have to do with the weather pattern.  One of the biggest shocks we have suffered which Members ought to recognise is the impact of drought on the economy.  It has impacted agriculture directly resulting in growth of minus 18% but it also impacted the output of power which impacted energy supply to key sectors of production productivity.  Once you have a better season, that issue is lifted, and we expect a better season but the experts pronounce on how we are doing so far.

On power supply you noticed that we have budget for rehabilitation of Hwange 1 to 6 both in terms of loans and Government’s own resources, the rehabilitation of small thermal power stations also on the cards.  Power imports are as well are being augmented at the moment and we are looking at increasing the importation of power from Mozambique, because that is where we get the cheapest power in the region in terms of imports.

We are also expecting the rains to be better in the catchment  areas of DRC and Angola in terms of the catchment area for Zambezi River.

We expect again that the programme for promoting investment in the solar power sector will accelerate and result in improvement in power supply.  I know some people said maybe we should incentives for people for going off the grid.  Going off the grid is such a liberator.  If you are able to please go off the grid Madam Speaker, through the investment in solar for your household if you are able to do so.  Your real incentive is that you will be off grid and you have more reliability.  At least you can augment the supply from ZESA.

Madam Speaker, also one of the things that we have used in terms of assumptions to arrive at a 3% rate of growth is just whole macroeconomic policy adjustments.  Basically all major macro policy decisions have been made in 2018.  It has been our an annus horribilis to use that famous Latin phrase and we do not intend to use major changes in 2020 that will impact or rather create uncertainty in terms of investment planning by private sector investors.  We are done with the big macro changes.  We just want to focus on productivity and we are supporting agriculture through a new financing model which is a PPP.

The same thing applies to industry.

We are providing them with a guarantee so that they can access capital for retooling.  We have introduced an export revolving fund of US$20 million to support exports particularly horticulture.  We have increased the budget for IDC for development fund and a launch of $500 million national venture fund.  We are doing a lot to stimulate productivity and we think that this will go a long way in contributing to assumption of a 3% gross rate.

Again, something was said about ZIMRA and we allocated ZIMRA

$423 million for automation and construction of houses at border posts.  Included in this allocation is purchase of equipment such as drones for monitoring and surveillance.  We are capacitating ZIMRA and the amount provided is enough to cover the upgrading of SAP ERP ASYCUDA and Electronic Cargo Systems.  Those of you who have the opportunity, please go to ZIMRA head office and see for yourself how the cargo tracking system works.  I have been there to check on it.  Those of you who use UBER when you travel outside, we know you travel a lot, it is exactly like that.  You can watch your truck moving around and it stops.  It is given maximum of time when it stops.  It is a sophisticated system to make sure that a truck travels within the allocated time or else a penalty is imposed. We are doing are doing a lot to deal with issues around an efficient movement of traffic through our borders into the region.

Something was said about the ZIMRA and the national census – Madam Speaker we have agreed to stagger funding for the 2022 census as most of the items mentioned are required towards the full implementation of the programme.  So we stagger whatever is required to support the 2022 census.  We however have allocated ZWL$45 million for the purchase of motor-bikes, iPads and a few vehicles thus forming the first phase of the programme. Accordingly, we are targeting the cover a number of issues including motor vehicles and other accessories in 2021 Budget in time for the implementation of the census programme.  Madam Speaker, we are so experienced in this regard in terms of managing a census.  ZIMSTAT is very experienced.  It is just an issue of resources.  We will give them enough resources and donors are also contributing.  What will happen in this census iPads are going to be used?  We are going to cut down on the cost of collecting data.  It is no longer a manual and costly approach.  We will use an electronic approach that will make us more efficient and we will move faster.

Something was raised again from Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation – Madam Speaker, the Ministry responsible made a submission of 56 VTCs which is a far carry from 2019 budget and most of these projects are ongoing. The list provided include VTCs at Tsholotsho and Sivomo, Silobela, Insukamini and Phangani and Umguza, all in Matabeleland North Province.  We note the need to create multi-purpose facilities for both sport, art and creation so as to bring all activities under one roof. And this is the only cost effective way of providing facilities to our communities for the betterment of our youth.  For the ministry to achieve that, they require own properties in form of land which they can develop to their own standards and requirements.  We recognise this and over time this will be done.  It is multi-year issue Madam Speaker.  We cannot do it in one year, it is not silver bullet but once we recognise it and we have started, thus the best way to do it.

Something was raised regarding the Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  I have travelled to many embassies as we try to raise funds for Government, push for our re-engagement agenda. I was last in the United Kingdom a couple of  weeks ago and I have seen the state of these embassies, so I am acutely aware as to what is going on – we have made a lot of progress this year.

The vehicles that we have bought for the embassies, I was able to see them myself and tick that box and again it was systematic. First of all we said this year we will clear the backlog for the salaries of the employees.  Secondly, we cleared the vehicles in 2019.  In 2020, we move to infrastructure, we are already very clear of what we will do to the UK, South African and Ethiopian Embassy.

In New York Embassy there has been force majeure incident where the building where the Ambassador was staying caught fire.  So we had to move very quickly because you cannot leave a fire gutted building like that, you face heavy penalty in the United States.  So, force majeure, we have no choice but to deal with it. So we are systematic or moving on a multi-year targeted approach and we will clear everything.

There is an issue that the Committee raised regarding a Budget for

ZimTrade.  I must hasten to say that we have provided a budget for ZimTrade of $24 million which will support its activities.  We know the role they play, especially now that the ZIDA  Bill has sailed through the upper and lower House, they need to promote that, make sure that investors out there know about the existence of ZIDA as a facilitator for foreign direct investment.

An issue was raised regarding national venture capital fund, of course, we were commended for setting it up but we need guidelines, the market out there needs clarity.  We will provide guidelines as to how this will operate, who can have access, how and so forth but as you can imagine, being a fund to support start ups, there needs to be a bankable, convincing  project proposal from the project promoter who is seeking resources.  So, that is the basic minimum that we require and the idea must be sound that is what bankable means, and that this should be evaluated by the experts within the fund who then decides how to go about funding it, other debt or equity and so forth.  However, our preference is equity we - do not want to further burden our entrepreneurs with more debt unless they elect to have more debt.  The preferences that we give them is equity because that is what is hurting everyone – patient capital that is what is missing in the market.  Banks can always provide debt so the idea is once you provide equity, we expect project promoters to also approach banks to kind of match.  It should be easier at that stage because they have already received equity; it should be easier to then crowd in the bank to provide debt capital.  We believe this will go a long a way.

On the issue of Women’s Affairs that there has not been gender sensitive; I was quite surprised by this comment.  Again, we have done quite a lot for the youths, women, we can never do enough but we did quite a bit, compared to the other years in terms of capitalization of Empowerment Bank, issues of vulnerable girls in rural areas, free sanitary wear, just trying to balance gender and making sure that there is equitable gender consideration in availing opportunities, that is what this budget is about.  I will urge our technicians when we start this properly who are running the National Venture Fund to priorities female entrepreneurs in supporting them with equity capital for their projects.

There was a comment about the chief’s vehicles; following the recommendations by the Committee that resource be provided for more than 56 chiefs that were appointed from the 2019 budget to date.  During the 2020 Budget discussions with the representative of the Chief’s Council, it was noted that not all the 56 Chiefs were appointed and installed.  The Chief’s Council should verify the actual number of substantive chiefs who are yet to be granted vehicles.  So,  there is an issues about numbers, let them verify, once we know the numbers, if it is below what we have estimated or what we know in our books, we will then top up.  In the 2020 proposed budget, a total of $4 million dollars was provided for the procurement of vehicles under the Chief’s Council.

For the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, again I have been hearing comments that the budget is not enough.  As we said earlier, the budget is never enough, there was a request of 136 billion when we can only raise 58 billion that is clearly the difference, so there will never be enough in terms of what was targeted.  However, we have done a lot again, we have allocated this Ministry an over $8 billion, which will go towards infrastructure development meeting recurrent expenditures, teacher training, making sure that our learners can access quality education.  Off course, for all these Ministries there are operational issues which the budget cannot capture which have to do with how the Ministries themselves operate.  That is not an issue the budget can address but it is an ongoing issue within the Ministry that the Ministries ought to address.

Issues were raised under the Ministry of Transport and

Infrastructure Development budgeting process.  Madam Speaker, the

Ministry of Finance, took note of recommendations made by the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development concerning the following:- that there are delays in payment for work done at the Harare- Beitbridge road by the local contractors and six contractors have been contracted so far.  However, there is an improvement in the disbursements for allocated funds for advance payment; this was about $205 million to contractors to procure additional plant and materials resources.  A total of $170 million was availed for outstanding works during the month of November 2019, although the resource is not sufficient to cover all works, but we have been disbursing resources.

Furthermore, Treasury will continue to mobilise resources for the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway and we have already set aside 5% of the levies on fuel for that purpose and thank you for supporting that ring-fencing process.  On Air Zimbabwe recapitalization: Treasury takes note of the need to come up with an innovative mechanism for us to do a debt assumption of US$381 million for Air Zimbabwe in turning around the airline.  I must say that we have been sufficiently briefed by the Ministry of Transport that at least one aircraft will arrive before Christmas and maybe, by year end 2019, both aircrafts from Malaysia will arrive, we have paid for the aircraft.  So, we are making progress in our quest to rebuild credible Air Zimbabwe.

On the recapitalization of department of roads and DDF, I have already mentioned the figure of $233 million, so it is quite a bit from the $100 million that we released in the 2019 budget.

Now, there is an issue about the timely release of funds that some Members have mentioned, yes we will continue to improve our systems to release funds timely for use by our erstwhile Ministries who are trying to move the agenda of development for this country forward.

I have two more additional issues; one has to do with the issue of subsidies, that in protection to the vulnerable and the whole social protection agenda, we really allocated a decent budget to this cause and you will note that basically that end of last week we decided to subsidise the price of roller meal to $50 per 10kg. Again, this is designed to protect the vulnerable, to make sure that our people have access to food and other things.  All this is part of the agenda for social protection and we will look at other products that we may put on the subsidy programme again to support access to food.

Finally to power and electricity- we have allocated $8, 5 billion towards rehabilitation of various ZESA units in addition to loans in this budget.  So, it is quite a bit -we have tried and are hoping they use these monies wisely, we are also aware that  the re-bundling process within ZESA will take effect properly in 2020, so that we can extract efficiencies from the corporation  so that they can deliver more power for us.  We are acutely aware that there is an issue around thefts of stations that thieves come in and steal the whole piece of equipment like transformers from various stations across the country and the thieves remove the oil which I do not know what they use it for.  Apparently it is very popular and this is very costly.  Again, Ministry of Energy and Power Development will make every effort to make sure that these transformers in these stations are secured going forward.  With that response Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that the Bill be read a second time.

        Motion put and agreed to.

         Bill ordered to be brought in by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

FIRST READING

FINANCE (NO. 3) BILL [H. B. 21, 2019].

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF.  M. NCUBE) presented the Finance

(No. 3) Bill [H. B. 21, 2019].

                 Bill read the first time.

                Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTAR LEGAL COMMITTEE

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have received non-adverse

reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on all the Statutory

Instruments gazetted during the month of November, 2019.

 I have also received a non-adverse report from the Parliamentary legal Committee on the Coroner’s Bill [H. B. 5A, 2019].

Consideration Stage: With leave, forthwith.

CONSIDERATION STAGE

CORONER’S OFFICE BILL [H. B. 5A, 2019].

       Amendments to Clauses 7 and 14 put and agreed to.

        Bill, as amended, adopted.

       Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

CORONER’S OFFICE BILL [H. B. 5A, 2019].

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker

Ma’am, I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

        Bill read the third time.

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have to call this car for the

second time – AEV 7732.  Please the owner of this car can you go and remove it because it is obstructing other cars.  Thank you.

  COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

MAIN ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURE

         Third Order read:  Committee of Supply: Main Estimates of Expenditure.

        House in Committee.

       Vote 1 – Office of the President and Cabinet - $2.3 billion.

  HON. MUSHORIWA: Hon. Chair, if you look into this Vote, you

will realise that we are in real trouble.  Look at the biggest allocations of funds there – there is Rental and Hire Expenses under the President’s Office - $151 million.  You look at Foreign Travel Expenses - $218 million.  Mr. Chair, there is no reason and no justification in my view and an explanation has to be made to say what is it that we are hiring.

What is the expense in terms of the rentals?

We need to understand why we should actually end up pouring in all those huge funds.  If you then compare the amounts of money that we are spending to areas where we need real monies to be put into for instance DDF and the other staff, we do not understand the rationale and to that extent, it will be wrong.  The other aspect which is clear and I think that the Hon. Minister mentions it – under the President’s Office, there is an anomaly there because there are people who are Permanent Secretaries.  You cannot have this office having a lot of senior members who are just deployed there and doing non-productive work.  One would even argue that the Office of the President is actually top heavy and this is problematic.  The other clear aspect and I think this budget needs to be explicit, we are aware that the budget under the Office of the President has got several departments.  In fact, the way this budget is presented, it makes it difficult for people to follow the several departments that are under this office.  For instance, the intelligent service is also housed under this budget.  The question is how much is allocated to this Department and how much is allocated for administration for the day to day running of the Office of the President and Cabinet.  Hon. Chair, I think there is need to revise this figure downwards unless the Hon. Minister can convince us.  We want to channel funds to where it matters most.

         The other aspect which is also disturbing is that it is wrong for any one, even the Executive to take this Parliament for granted.  If you read through some of the achievements of the Office of the President, you will see that they actually boast that even before this House passed ZIDA - if you go through their Vote, they claimed that in 2019, they had actually set offices and spent money which was not even approved by this House.  This explains why there is need for scrutiny.  It appears as if there is a laissez faire attitude and approach in this office.  This is supposed to be the office that should lead all other Ministries by example.  They are doing whatever they want to do and no one questions them.  How will this office supervises other line Ministries when it can actually violate laws of this country.

         The monies that were allocated there are confusing. How can we have 34 Permanent Secretaries and you ask yourself how many Ministries do we have.  We do not have 34 Permanent Secretaries in these various Ministries.  Do we really need these Ministries? Why do you not just have the Office of the President with 34 Permanent Secretaries run the affairs of the Executive?  There is no need for us to have other Permanent Secretaries in the various line Ministries.  By the way, these Permanent Secretaries, Senior Management, Chief Directors, Directors, professionals support services give us a total of 407 senior employees. This laissez faire approach needs to stop and the best way to stop it is for the Office of the President to lead by example.  We should be complaining from line Ministries rather than from the Office of the President. I thank you.

       HON. MADZIMURE:  To be honest with you Hon. Chair, there

are certain things that we have to take seriously.  The issue of Permanent Secretaries, when someone gets to a retirement age, he or she must retire and when someone proves to be incompetent, that person must be retired. The office must not have a pool of Permanent Secretaries.  We cannot afford that as a country.  What we are simply saying is that which we can avoid, let us avoid it.  A lot of people are saying hanzi ndokutonga kwacho, this is precisely why we are in this predicament.  This is why a lot of people would not want to work with us because of our recklessness.  Hon. Chair, if we look at the amount that we use for travelling, if we are talking of austerity, let us be serious.  I want the Minister to justify when he says austerity for growth, how can we grow under those circumstances where you have got a pool of Permanent

Secretaries doing virtually nothing.  The Hon. Minister is an economist. It is not good to have more Permanent Secretaries than Directors, it does not add up.

How do you come up with a structure and allocating responsibilities to such a structure? You cannot have too many chiefs and not enough Indians as far as management is concerned.  These are simple things that the Minister can correct.  We are not saying we do not want Permanent Secretaries to be there – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Vakambotidzingisa ku cricket ivava ava nenyaya yekusamanager mushe.  Ngavasatipamhidzira kuti tirambe tichi suffer as a country because of mismanagement.  Let us be serious.  If you do not have anything to say as far as the budget is concerned - because the majority of Members do not even have the Blue Book, they have not even read it….

HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Hon. Chair. The Hon.

Member is lying because ….

HON. MADZIMURE:  On a point of order, it is unparliamentary, he has to withdraw that statement.

         HON. TOGAREPI:  I withdraw the statement that he is lying but he is being economic with the truth.  I did not see 34 Permanent

Secretaries, It is saying – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections] -

It is saying - [AN HON. MEMBER:  He is disrupting the debate.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I did not recognise you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  In my view, the issue is top management.

Top management does not mean permanent secretaries.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  May I guide you Hon.

Members; you should not repeat what has been highlighted by other contributors.  I can only give you the opportunity to bring out new points, not repeating what has been said.  The Minister is hearing and please, there is no need for you repeating.

HON. MATEWU:  I am not repeating Hon. Chair, but I just want to add a point.  So everything that has been said about the top managers, on top of that there are 264 vacancies.  Can we have some guarantee that none of those 264 vacancies in the President’s Office also includes people who are at the same level as the Permanent Secretary and Chief Directors because in most management institutions, it is a pyramid structure but this one is the opposite; it is top heavy.  Can we be guaranteed somehow that there is money to pay these 264 and that will not come outside of the budget that he has done because I have not seen in the Minister’s figures where that 264 vacancies is budgeted for?

Thank you.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  The owner of this car

AFB7482, please can you go and remove it. It is blocking other cars.

HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Hon. Chair.  Still on the top management Permanent Secretary level.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Mpariwa please.

HON. MPARIWA:  It is just a point.  We are seeing that there is an intention Hon. Chair, of actually men giving themselves money without gender balance there.  If you see there are seven women and 27 men and we note with concern as women 52% of the population - can this be relooked at?  Minister, may he kindly take this message that there is the intention of men giving themselves top posts and giving each other money at permanent secretary level.  Women can also perform the same responsibilities and we note with concern.  Thank you.

HON. S. BANDA:  Thank you very much Chair.  On page number 34, item programme (1) President and Administration Expenses, the heading is Compensation of Employees.  There is something that I have seen there.  It is written wages and salaries in kind.

In 2019, there were no wages or salaries in kind.  So what is being said to be payable in kind?  We want to know from the Hon. Minister who the beneficiaries of the $722 000 is going to in kind.  The kind that I know Chairperson is something else.  So we really want to know where this money is going to.  Does it affect any other Votes other than the Vote of the President?  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  I just stood up on a point to complement and augment the efforts of His Excellency.  He has got an advisor who is differently abled, that is Cde. Malinga.  When it comes to people living with disabilities, it is my hope that there is going to be a few more people added to that department; aware that about 15% of the population is differently abled and that is a big population by any standard if it is ignored.  It is my hope then that besides complementing and augmenting that department using manpower that the Minister is also going to see light in removing duty on all gadgets that are used by those people that are differently abled in order that he can help that department that is being advised by Cde. Malinga to His Excellency the President.

We certainly do not want to lose that population, but we want that money also to be apportioned for that purpose if at all you can increase the budget of the Office of the President and Cabinet so that we include the differently abled in that department.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  I really appreciate the

contributions from Members with all their passion as usual.  They say that perhaps this budget is too large - $2.4 billion ought to be reduced but I beg to differ.  Instead on page 29 and page 30 you will see how actually there have been savings from the Office of the President in the use of their budget.  You notice that for example on page 30, basically for  an establishment of 671 posts of which only 407 employees are in posts, 264 unfilled vacancies – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

The Minister is responding to your point

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  These cannot be filled in one year.  They are filled over time.  It means that there is foresight in the manpower planning by this department.  They have not yet filled the 264 vacancies.  Really, I would not think that they would want to fill these over time with individuals who are at the level of Permanent Secretary –

[AN HON. MEMBER:  On a point of order.]-

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  What is your point of order?

The Minister is responding to your point.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  I doubt that. They would be prudent in filling these vacancies, so there are no more chiefs than Indians to use - an often used phrase.

A comment was made about these Permanent Secretaries.  No, the title is not Permanent Secretary, it is top management.  They just happen to be at permanent secretary level because it is the President’s Office and most of the people who have the experience to operate from that office would have gone through the usual ropes in Government and know how Government operates.  They have been accounting officers before and such individuals tend to be Permanent Secretaries.  So is that surprising that they end up filling the top management role within the President’s Office?

I note the gender imbalance at this level.  Seven women versus 27 men and I really appreciate the Member’s contribution.   I will take the message back to make sure that there is a better gender balance.

Over the page on page 32, Members will notice that actually there was a saving by this department under Programme 2 on Policy and Governance of $6 000 000.  So it is not as if there is a wanton expenditure of resources under this department.  In fact, there is every endeavour to use resources efficiently and effectively.

I now want to comment on the travel and the cost of hiring. The President is very effective on the re-engagement and engagement agenda in his travels.  We are definitely getting value for money from him.   I have been in meetings with him, I have seen him operate.  He is very effective.  He is our best ambassador in terms of the pillar of doing business globally, opening up Zimbabwe for business.  The message that Zimbabwe is open for business, the whole re-engagement and engagement agenda.  You have seen his hand in making sure that we can source medicines very quickly for our disadvantaged citizens, to victims of Cyclone Idai when he went over to the UN and was able to procure medicines to support those affected by the cyclone.

One Member mentioned that we do not know how this budget is being spent.  On page 34, we categorise very clearly how this budget is being spent.  If we look at Programme 1, under the President’s

Administration, you have sub programmes, four of them which are the

President’s Chief Secretary Office, Finance and Administration, Human Resources Services, Provincial Affairs and Devolution are also supported through the President’s Office. So, it is very clear and the expenses, one Hon. Member mentioned that there is this issue about salaries and wages in kind.  You know that when we support our civil servants, we are not confining the emoluments to wages and salaries in cash form.  There is also in kind remuneration and as I have said, we should maybe even focus on this non-monetary benefit and it is very good for the retention of our civil servants, for attracting them and we should promote in kind remuneration as a way to remunerate them.

         If you look at Programme 2 on page 36, again we categorize the various sub-programmes being Policy Formulation, Analysis and

Coordination Services; Monitoring and Evaluation and then Public Sector Reforms.  On Monitoring and Evaluation specifically, this is critical for evaluating the 100 day cycle that Ministers commit to in terms of the key projects for delivery but also to evaluate our progress of this budget.  We hope that also Hon. Members of Parliament will use this programme based approach budgeting to monitor the Executive and ask the right questions about output and impact and not just input.

         On Public Sector Reforms, we are aware that this is a key issue under the KSP and we want to make sure that it will make progress in State enterprise reform. Again, the President is assisting with managing this programme and they are doing a good job.  Therefore, I really submit that a budget of $2.4 billion is fair; they are very effective at doing what they do and they deserve every cent in this budget.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

         Vote 1 – Office of the President and Cabinet - $2 353 887 000.00 put and agreed to.

       On Vote 2 – Parliament of Zimbabwe - $1 869 495 000.00;

         HON. GONESE:  Mr. Chairman I object to Vote 1 being passed! – [AN HON. MEMBER:  We have already passed that and we cannot go back my friend!] –

       Hon. Madzimure having stood up to debate.

     THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Madzimure, I have not

recognised you.  Hon. Nduna, you may proceed on the Parliament Vote.

    HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Chairman, as I touch on the Parliament

Vote, I …

   HON. MUSHORIWA:  On a point of order Mr. Chairman!  I am

not so sure whether this is procedural, we are supposed to finish Vote

1…

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: We have finished on that one – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But how?  You did not put the question!  Did you put the question to us?] – We have finished with that one and I cannot go back.  You were making noise – [HON. MUSHORIWA: No, you did not!] – [HON. MATEWU:  You did not put the question to the people!] – I did! I did! – [HON. MUSHORIWA:  They did not put the question!] – You were making a lot of noise.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Chairman.  You were supposed to put the question and those who are in favour would then say, ‘AYE’…

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  That is what I did…

HON. GONESE:  No, no, you did not do that.  No, no, Mr.

Chairman …

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  I cannot go back to that one, I cannot.

HON. GONESE:  No, no, we are not asking you to go back.  We are simply saying that you were not procedural.  You were not procedural, if we want to do it by the book …

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: I did that.

HON. GONESE:  You did not put it. No, no, Mr. Chairman, you did not put it to the House – [AN HON. MEMBER: Check the Hansard, you were busy snoring!] -  I was not snoring, I was very much attentive!

Mr. Chairman, for the record …

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Gonese, may you approach the Chair please? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections] – Alright, for the sake of progress,...

HON. GONESE:  We object to that Vote 1 – this is showing profligacy of the House to order.  We are objecting to that Vote in terms of the figures proposed.  We are not agreeing to that figure.  Yes, we do not agree with that figure – yes, you must ask for an objection.  I am objecting to that Vote – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I objected to the ruling, may you divide the House?

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: No, I do not take orders from you, sorry Hon. Member – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Tough luck, try next

time!] -

     HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want the Hon.

Minister to look at the inflationary pressures on the monies that he has apportioned for Constituency Information Centres that is the first one.  The second one will be the Constituency Development Fund, that as he looks at allocating that money, he also looks at the inflationary pressures so that by the time that money is disbursed it should still maintain the dignity or the amount that it was at the level that he would have wanted it to be in US dollars terms.  So, he needs to really look at the amounts at the time of allocation and disbursement.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to say as a former Chairman of the Transport and Infrastructural Development Committee one of the members used to give us his planes and I used to put jet AI or the fuel or gasoline for those planes for us to undertake our duties as a Committee on Transport and Infrastructure.

For that not to happen, the Ministry of Finance need to allocate enough resources so that they can be apportioned to the Committees and the Committee should be given enough kitty for the operation of his Committee.  It should not be speculative, it should not futuristic but it should be given at the inspection and at the time when we start the parliamentary session.  The Committee Chair should be given enough resources for him to make sure that he is in control of his Committee and the duties that his Committee should undertake in order to interrogate the manner, the Executive carries out its mandate effectively and efficiently.

Why do I say this - because the Committee systems do now allow for a whipping system?  So, in the Committees this is where we can effectively conduct our mandate.  It is my thinking therefore that not only allocation but disbursement, immediately at the time before we undertake our duties in the Committee systems, so that we can quickly undertake our operations.  No Committee must be greater or bigger the other and no Committee should be impeded in its operation because of lack of resources.  So, the kitty should be known and the amount should be utilized knowing fully that it is there and the Committee should undertake its mandate without fear of favour because the resources are available.

Mr. Speaker Sir this is what I thought I should put across the monies should be with Parliament when we open Parliament, whether in the Second Session in 2020, that money should be given to Parliament immediately.  We should not be going to Treasury to get bits and pieces.  We are Parliament, remember and we are the one who perform oversight on the Executive so we should have the requisite resources in order that we do not then think that there is some naïve talks of some sort.  Let us get that allocation so that we carry out our mandate without fear or favour.

         HON. MATEWU: Thank you Chair, first of all I want to say the budget that was given to Parliament, given that there are three arms of State and Parliament on its own is an arm of State. The budget of RTGs1 billion is simply disappointing.  Last year we came here, we were told in the budget that we would have provision for constituency offices, but that never happened.  Last year we came here and even in the supplementary budget that we will also have constituency visits allowances, that did not happen.

         We also agreed that there will be timeous distribution of the CDF which was raised to RTGS175 000 in the last budget. In this budget it has kind of remained constant.  Given the inflation that we have had over the past year, it is preposterous to have the CDF budget the same as this current year.  So, the first thing that we want Mr. Chair is we must have the constituency offices and staff included into this budget.

         Secondly, we must ensure that we raise the current CDF from where it is on RTGS175 may be to about RTGS400 000, given the projection in terms of the inflation and if the Minister is serious saying that we will have growth or some kind of growth in 2020, then it is import that we also increase the CDF.  Parliament - most organisations are very technologically advanced.  We also came here and we talked about tablets, gone are the days where we should be using paper. We should be a very environmentally friendly Parliament.  So I implore the Minister that those ICT gadgets must be given to parliamentarians without fail.  We must also see that within the budget which the Minister is presenting to us.  We also know that Parliament is incapacitated and we also want our staff to also have some form of allowances or incentives for doing their work – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – they stay here and do their job sometimes till 4 in the morning.  That should also be included and Parliament must do something about that.

We must look after our staff and the Members of Parliament in this House.

         In conclusion Chair, the budget to Parliament is just preposterous, it needs to be increased significantly before we go to vote 3.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Chair, I have one issue which

relates to chemicals, fertiliser and animal feeds, I would want the...

         THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Is that under Parliament, we are debating Parliament here – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

       HON. RAIDZA: Hon. Chair – [HON. CHAIR: But he still has the

floor.] –

         THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Ok I will give him the floor

after he has finished. Please sit down I will give you the floor.

  HON. RAIDZA:  Thank you very much Hon. Chair. My issue on

the vote of Parliament is on the issue of establishment of Parliament, taking cognizance of the fact that there are some vacancies here at Parliament and progressively Parliament has with the 2019 budget filled some vacancies of Committee Clerks, Researchers and ICT officers, but if we look at the Accounts Dept, if we go there we find that the information is not up to date and whenever we ask for the latest information, you are always giving us excuses that they are short staffed.  So, I want to implore our Minister just to give Treasury concurrence just for Parliament to add more staff so that Parliamentarians get information that is updated, even statements of any nature that relate to us as Parliament you find that things are still very much backward.  So, we encourage the Minister to look into that so that we have enough staff members, especially in the Accounts Department.  Thank you very much.

THE CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Hamauswa, what page are you on.

HON. HAMAUSWA: On page 44 Hon. Chair.  I was very aware

of the page Chair but I also wanted the House in expressing – it is not clear to find fertilizer and chemicals under Parliament.  We want the Minister to explain.  Do we have a farm as Parliament?  If we have a farm, we will be very excited to know about it.  That is the only thing that I wanted the Minister to clarify and thank you to all those who also expressed shock to see this being included.

HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Chair.  Mine is just an addition to what Hon. Matewu said on compensation for employees of Parliament.  I think the Minister has to really look into it closely so that we can motivate them to be able to work harder.  The other very important issue is that of our interns, I think we really need to look at them.  Those students work very hard but you can see that they are not really motivated.  I think it will be good if the budget considers how we can help the interns. It would be strategic if they are considered under the Graduate Internship Program for 2020.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Chair.  I want to start by saying; Parliament is a third Arm of Government and the Budget for Parliament should actually speak volumes for it if we want to talk of the three Arms of Government.  $1.3 billion for Parliament is too little.  It is even worse Chair if you compare that the Office of the President is getting double the amount of money that is allocated to Parliament.  Chair, do you know that right now, even in terms of infrastructure, the way we sit here in Parliament, look at this – (Pointing to the bench) – they need to be done.  Look at our elevators, normally they do not work.  There are a lot of things that are non-performing at Parliament and need to be fixed.  My view is that the amount of money allocated to Parliament should actually be double the figure that is proposed by the Hon. Minister.

The other aspect which I want to point out is that, when the Hon.

Minister was responding to the debate on Vote 1, under the Office of the President, wages and benefits are paid in kind and in cash but under Parliament, they are only paid in cash, there is no payment in kind.  We have got some of the dedicated employees who are here at Parliament who work so hard.  I want to understand Chair, why should employees under the Office of the President be allocated payment in kind and cash but Parliamentary staff is only given in cash?  What is so special about the Office of the President compared to the people who are here – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the Hon. Minister need to tell us. Look at the ladies from Hansard, they are busy getting all the things that are happening here, look at all the people who are working at Parliament even at this hour, they also need compensation just the same, in kind and in cash.  It is very wrong Hon. Chair – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –the Hon. Minister is there to answer the question because we need to find why there should be people being paid in kind and in cash but in other offices, they are only paid in cash.

HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Chair, I think when we are presenting whatever we are presenting, it is important to be respectful because if we start throwing words like, ‘what is special about this Office of the President or whatever,’ it is not very Parliamentary.  I think that behaviour must be corrected.  We should raise an issue for the benefit of workers at Parliament but to say, ‘what is special about it,’ I find it uncouth.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Hon. Togarepi, you are Chief Whip… THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Mushoriwa.

HON. MUSHORIWA: No, but the problem that happening, he is actually putting his hat as a Chair of the Youth rather than an Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – he should debate the budget…

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Member, you need to withdraw that statement – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible

interjection.] – 

HON. MUSHORIWA: Who are you, are you the Chair?

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mushoriwa, you have to

withdraw.

HON. MUSHORIWA: I withdraw the statement that he is actually wearing the ZANU PF Chair hat instead of the Chief Whip.  However, Chair, I also want to raise another issue.  The same way you are actually strict with us should be the same way you treat the other side…

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: No, no – [HON. MUSHORIWA: How do you allow a person to challenge your authority.] – How I should chair… - [HON. MUSHORIWA: but he is challenging.] – Hon. Mushoriwa, you have withdrawn, can you continue.

HON. MUSHORIWA: I wanted to bring to your attention Chair.

When we are in this august House…

HON. MATHE: My point of order Mr. Chair is the type of question that was raised by the Hon. Member to say, ‘what is important with the President,’ that one should be withdrawn because if we leave this Parliament to go on with such questions being welcomed in this Chamber then we are not going anywhere.  He should withdraw that, we have no petty President, we have no toy President to play about in this Parliament, he has to respect the President – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] – You are chairing there because there is the President.  Once we mention the name President, then we have to respect – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mushoriwa, the

reference that you made, you were supposed to have articulated about Parliamentary staff not comparison. So, that statement really, you have to withdraw – [HON. MUSHORIWA: What do you want me to withdraw?] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – There is no need for you to make a comparison.

HON. MUSHORIWA: Can you hear me out.   We are talking of the Vote of the Office of the President and not about the President, why does she want to bring politics into play.

HON. MATHE: You said, what is important about the President –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MUSHORIWA: You did not hear me.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Mushoriwa.

Order, order please! – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]:

                HON. MUSHORIWA: Chair, there are three arms of Government

and you are aware that there is Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. When we question to say that other staff members, other employees are given in kind and in cash...-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - No Sir, can it be recorded. I did not say the President but the Office of the President.

  THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: We are no longer debating the

Vote of the President. There was no need for you to make that comparison.

         MDC A Chief Whip Hon. Mutseyami having gone to the Chair to talk about Hon. Mushoriwa’s debate.

        HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker...

  THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MUTOMBA): You

should first of all withdraw please.

               HON. MUSHORIWA: Hon. Chair, if you want me to withdraw

what I did not say, I will withdraw, but I said Office of the President.

She should know that there is a difference between Office of the President and President. I think the Hon. Minister has heard my submissions pertaining to payment in kind which is not included under Parliament. Thank you.

         *HON. ZHOU: Thank you Hon. Chair. This House is governed by laws. I have observed that Members of the Opposition are just taking to the floor without you giving them the chance. May you control that Mr. Chairman? I thank you.

         THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Hon.

Zhou. That is a very important observation.

    HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. I just want

to...

       Hon. Members having been making a lot of noise.

  THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Members, may I have

order in the House?

         HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Chair. I would like to associate myself with the remarks of those Hon. Members who have asked that the Vote of Parliament be increased. I want to make three points and the first one relates to the Constituency Development Fund. When you look at it in real terms, we have stagnated and we have gone backwards. When this was initially allocated, it was $50 000. If you look at what was the prevailing rate, in fact it was 1:1 with our bond.

         If you look at it now, the interbank rate which is not even the real rate,  but even if you want to give the benefit of the doubt and use the interbank rate, if you multiply 50 by 16, you get $800 000. Whilst I appreciate that the budget is expressed in RTGS$, my point is that we must not equate this Constituency Development Fund with other disbursements made in respect of the different Ministries.

         The reason is that the people who voted for each of the individual Members of Parliament have got their own expectations. The concept of the CDF was meant to enable an individual Member of Parliament together with the Committee to identify the peculiar and particular needs of each constituency. I would therefore submit that there is a need to revisit the figure which is allocated. The figure of $175 000 is a pittance and at the very least, assuming that the interbank rate is going to hold its own, let us have at least a minimum of $800 000 allocated. This will entail an increase in the Vote of Parliament to cater for this increase.

         The second point Mr. Chairman relates to the issue of constituency offices. For those who have had the honour or the privilege to go to other countries, you will find that as Zimbabwe, we were the pioneers of this concept. We started this in 2000, but if you look at those other countries which have followed after us, they are miles ahead. At the time when it was implemented, we had donor funds, but we have failed to sustain it. I think it is now the appropriate time for the Ministry of Finance to allocate sufficient resources to enable the full operation of those constituency development offices. That will entail also an increase from the $1.8 billion. The Hon. Minister can do his figures and sums but, increase that amount to enable the Administration of Parliament to cover and to ensure that these disbursements are going to be in tandem with inflation.

         The other point I want to emphasise relates to Parliament staff.  What happened before I just came back to the House is that I met a member of staff who was holding six sugar buns.  I asked if I could have one bun and the member of staff said no, no – you Hon. Members are going to take your time debating and so on.  We are going to go home very late and this is my supper.  I cannot afford better supper.  You are looking at somebody who has got a Masters Degree or something like that because our staff are highly educated.  I believe that what is being paid to them considering the amount of work they have to do particularly in view of the fact that Parliament sometimes has to sit late – we have got to ensure that we cater for our committed and dedicated members of staff.

For us to be able to do that, the budget allocation must be increased because if it is not – I do appreciate the concerns of other members and I want to reiterate that yes, Parliament is an arm of the state.  When we look at the amount allocated to it and what is allocated to the Executive and Judiciary Services Commission, you will then see that Parliament is now regarded as a poor and distant cousin of the other two arms of the State.  I therefore implore the Hon. Minister of Finance to appreciate and understand the concerns that we have raised and in order to fulfill some of the submissions which have been made by those who have spoken before me; it is imperative that this budget allocation be increased by at least 50%.  I think that is the only amount that would be sufficient to enable Parliament to operate at the level it is supposed to operate.  I thank you Mr. Chairman.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MUTOMBA):  May

you please come up with fairly new points and not repetition because the Minister is hearing you.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I want to deal with the issue of why we still have some of the staff here at Parliament.  The reason is very simple.  It is those few who sometimes have an opportunity of travelling outside the country and they earn some little foreign currency.  That is what sustains the majority of them  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Order Hon. Members.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Hon. Chair, when people are drunk, there are rooms outside there where they can go and sleep – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  No. Hon. Madzimure.  That is

not your responsibility.  May you withdraw that statement please –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MADZIMURE:  I withdraw.  My issue was that sometimes the allowance that they get – this is the value and not what we give them.  What we pay our staff is a pity and the Minister must take that into consideration.  As other Hon. Members have said, we are equal and the Constitution says that.

When it comes to the issue of programmes, the Constituency

Information Centre – these are meant to be the offices that Members of

Parliament use.  If you look at the amount of money …

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Madzimure, you are

repeating now.

HON. MADZIMURE:  We want an information centre where you have allocated 400 bond per month but you need staff to mann that.  Take for example, elections were held in Botswana last week and they have been flighting advertisements for people who will work in the

Constituency Information Centres in Botswana next door.  In South Africa, they have the same arrangement – why a lot of members would come here and simply make noise is because they do not have the opportunity to go through the documents and understand them and then come here informed and making informed decisions – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – This is a fair point….

HON. KASHIRI:  On a point order, the Hon. Member is being insultive to other Hon. Members.  He should withdraw his statement and then continue.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Madzimure, Hon.

Madzimure!  Hon. Kashiri you have highlighted your point of order –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MADZIMURE:  Mr. Speaker, the statement that I made is not insulting anyone.  I said because we do not have information – it becomes difficult for us to come here and contribute.  It is a fair comment – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is a fair comment.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Madzimure, can you

approach the Chair?

Hon. Madzimure approached the Chair.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I withdraw the point that I said Members may not be informed. I want the Minister to understand my point.  I want the Minister to help us by making sure that our offices are well manned so that a person like me will rely on my staff to help me research and make me a better parliamentarian when I come here –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

On the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the $175 000 that we are supposed to get – I represent my own Constituency and I have to say exactly what I said to my people that I am going to raise this issue and I am raising it.  $175000 is not even enough to erect 800 metre perimeter of fence.  There is virtually nothing from the people’s expectation.  They expect a Member of Parliament to use the CDF to leave some land marks in the Constituency and the money is not enough.  He must do something.

At the end of the day, this Parliament is very inefficient because it is not well resourced.  Can the Minister resource this House.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Hon. Chair, I am a bit worried because when we rise to make contributions which we think are really meaningful and they will refine the Budget as we always do; it seems as if the Members here are tired and it looks like they are no longer interested in debating.  I want to express myself because we cannot be sitting here when other Hon. Members …

     THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  May you just raise your point.

         HON. HAMAUSWA:  My point Hon. Chair, if there was something that you could do, - [AN HON. MEMBER:  Vapeyi chikafu.]

-  maybe they need food – [Laughter.] – so we may request the Hon.

Minister to make an arrangement to provide food for the other Hon. Members who are now jittery and are no longer following.  They are just waiting for- no debate, no objection.  We cannot build our nation through that attitude.  If they are hungry, let us give them food so that they keep quiet.

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF.  M. NCUBE):  I really appreciate

the contributions from Members in this House.  First of all, let me say that they raised issues around the welfare of employees in this Parliament.  They want us to give Treasury concurrence for any vacancies and incentives for long hours of work and obviously some adjustments; payment in kind.  If you look at the budget for Parliament for 2020, under the similar inflationary conditions as 2019, we are looking at ZWL$263.9 million that was presented at July mid-term stage.  That budget has been raised to a whopping ZWL$1.9 billion.  That is a more than eight times increase under the similar inflationary conditions.  It is a huge increase.  If you go to the issue of human capital, you will see that for human capital, we had ZWL$7.7 million in 2019 and now we are talking about ZWL$229 million, so it is a big increase under the same – [HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjections.] – No, no, no I have September figures and July figures.  We revised the budget because of the inflationary issues.  We also collected more money than we expected and inflation ran away to similar levels as we expect in the first half of 2020.  It is a huge increase, so anything around incentives, salaries and additional vacancies will clearly be catered for within the proposed 2020 budget for Parliament.  I can assure you that.

         On the issue of chemicals, fertilisers and animal feeds category, certainly I did double check to make sure that Parliament does not own a farm.  I do not think this square outside here amounts to a farm at all.  Neither have I seen anyone attend to it, sprucing it up, cutting grass or indeed planting roses.  On a more serious note, this is just a generic classification Hon. Chair.  You will see it in a lot of other ministries; it is similar classification.  My staff confirmed to me that it really has got to do with chemicals, detergents to clean up the toilets, seats – any chemicals that we use for sprucing up the environment of Parliament is under that budget.  These are small items. It is not as if we have spent a lot of money.

         On the CDF, again Members will be aware that even just finishing off the monies for this year has not been easy for them. First of all, we had to establish accounts and so forth.  Really at the current levels, we think that the CDF is adequate if it is being used effectively.  We are looking forward to that.  Certainly, you request that perhaps we should use the interbank rate or US dollar benchmarking. Obviously, we cannot do that.  We have not done that for the whole budget.  We did say that in the entire budget, no item got more than it requested except for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. It is very consistent but we look forward to Members making use of the CDF properly.

 Let me see if there is an additional item. I have noted something else.  Maybe that is all but this has been a big increase.  This increase in budget seven or eight times is enough.  It is by demand.  We cannot as Treasury tell you to go to your constituencies. You must demand to go there and if there is no budget, express it and budget will be made.  Members have forgotten Hon. Chair that they demanded higher salaries and we more than performed as Treasury.  They got a salary that they least expected.  We have the capacity to perform.  We are always ready to assist.  They should count on us to stand ready to support the very important work that this Parliament does. I thank you.

Vote 2 – Parliament of Zimbabwe - $1 869 495 000 put and agreed

On vote 3 – Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare -$2 370

969 000;

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Hon. Chair.  I only have two points on this one.  I am worried.  This country is experiencing economic troubles and according to the UN and FAO, at least 8 million people are in need of assistance.  Now, if you look at the Basic Education Assistance Model (BEAM), it is targeted at 700 000 students in 2020 but it has only been allocated ZWL$200 million.  If you do your maths and divide ZWL$200 million by 700 000, you get around ZWL$285, so it means that every student under BEAM is being allocated ZWL$285.  BEAM is supposed to cater for both tuition fees and examination fees. Two hundres and eight five dollars ($285) for the whole year is not enough Hon. Chair in terms of the BEAM assistance. I also know that in most schools especially in the rural areas, students who receive BEAM most of them do not actually receive them for a long time.  I am asking the Minister to reconsider the amount that was given under BEAM to be raised from ZWL$200 million to at least match ZWL$1000 per each student.  My point is ZWL$285 per student on BEAM for the whole year is surely not enough.

I go to the next one which is also very important, which is the Children in Difficult Circumstances (CDC).  The Hon. Minister says the target for this is 73 000 and he has only allocated ZWL$86 000, so the Minister is saying for every child he is going to support under CDC, they are getting just above ZWL$1.  It does not make any sense. You are giving ZWL$1.30 to a student for a whole year.  What is the point of that?  Surely, it must be a mistake by the Minister or something is seriously wrong in the office of the Treasury to allocate ZWL$86 000 for 73 000 students.  So, I think the Minister must look into that carefully.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  Order Hon. Members.  I have

got one point that I would want to stress here before I give other

Members to debate.  Irrelevance or repetition; Section 106 of our Standing Rules and Orders - it says, “the Chair may direct a Member to discontinue his or her speech and resume his or her seat after having called to order such Member; (a) for persisting in irrelevant or tedious repetition of his or her arguments or those used by other Members in debate”. Please take note. I thank you.

     HON. MUSHORIWA: I want to add my voice on this Vote. One

of the key policy inconsistencies that we tend to find within this Government is that if you have checked the pronouncements that have been made in terms of the social welfare and the number of people that need assistance in this country given the economic hardships and the drought that is there. If you look at the figures, on paper it may appear as if the amount that has been allocated is actually huge but in reality the amount is actually low.

         If you look at page 58 under Programme 4, the number of ultra poor households that are supposed to receive cash transfers is recorded at 65 000 and those that are supposed to get health assistance is recorded at 25 000. I know for a fact that in my constituency alone without the need of including some of the very poor constituencies in this country, this figure is not only too small, but very minute compared to the number of people that need assistance. Even the 25 000 households I am not sure which mechanism or system the ministry did come up with in this instance.

         The truth of the matter is that a number of families in this country are suffering. From an urban perspective, the challenges are hard and this is the reason why we find it so difficult because we cannot marry what is contained in this Blue Book with what the Minister of Public Service has said in this august House. Every Wednesday when questions are being to posed to the Minister, the assurance is that Government is keen to assist the less vulnerable in our society but the Blue Book does not cater for that. Even if you look at the number of households that are supposed to receive food assistance it is just put at 756 000. I am not so sure but if you look province by province you will be shocked to find out that 756 000 may possibly not cater for one province. We want to understand from the Minister what criteria or system they did come up with to come up with these figures.

         Come next Wednesday, even if the Minister of Public Service is to respond to a question from any Hon Member, the picture portrayed is that Government is serious in terms of pouring resources towards the less vulnerable members of our society. I understand the constraints in terms of the budget but the truth of the matter is that these people deserve to get the lion’s share of the budget because if we do not do that then we are going nowhere. We are now faced with people that are failing to go to school taking drugs and people getting involved in a number of things primarily because their families cannot support them.

This is the reason why I would be happier to get a comment from the Hon Minister pertaining to these figures.

         *HON. CHINOTIMBA: I urge the Minister to increase the budget on social welfare. A lot of people are suffering in the communal lands. We are grateful that Government provided maize for the people but the problem that we are facing is that the maize is not being distributed to ward level. The maize is being picked up by those with trucks and they are charging those vulnerable families $30 per bag for transportation. These are vulnerable people  but they are now being asked to fork out $30 per bag. The Government is saying that they will have paid and want to assist the vulnerable groups. The Minister should look into that despite the fact that we are grateful for the food that they are buying  and the food stuffs that they are giving children in schools. The beneficiaries are being asked to pay $10 per child, which money they do not have to pay every month for them to be able to carry their food from GMB on a monthly basis.

         Members of the family that are on BEAM are now being forced to look for $10 per month and those that will not be paid are not entitled to eat the food. A solution must be brought by the Minister to alleviate this problem.  As a solution, we would urge that Government motor vehicles transport the food directly to ward and school levels so that the vulnerable can be assisted.

         It is in that regard that I urge that the budget for the Ministry of Public Service be increased. Even if the money might not be there I kindly submit that the vote be increased so that the children and those vulnerable members of society do not starve to death.

  HON. MADZIMURE: What the Minister must concentrate on is

per capita, what we allocate to each old person and child. That can help us understand where the gaps are because the current situation paints a picture where we are doing enough. We pretend to be doing enough and then allocate other resources somewhere else. The issue of hunger and children failing to go to school is a serious matter. It disturbs the child’s growth and development. Even those who are now old, as long as they are not secure - of late, we have seen some cards being issued where the old are told to go and register and they will have their $100 per month deposited in their accounts. Some are being asked to just withdraw $1 200 per year. Mr. Speaker, by the time we get to November next year, everything else will have changed. Our people might not be able to go and collect the $100.

The other biggest challenge is that our pension schemes are not helping the situation. We are not increasing them as we should. As a result, even those who were supposed to have been earning their pensions are not benefitting from the pension schemes. So as the Minister deals with this issue let us go down to the issue where discuss about how much we should allocate to an individual. Like what Hon. Chinotimba has said, a lot have let the bags go, because a bag will be worth probably $300 but cannot raise $33.

 As a result, the transporter will be asked to take the other bags so that we share the remainder and they have gladly done so and are ripping our people. But it is not because they are ripping people per se because as we budget we exclude the most important components of the budget. If we want to provide for our people, let us make sure that we deal with it in a manner where we talk per capita, how much do we allocate to a child who is doing Grade One. I think that will help us.

HON. HAMAUSWA: I want to raise the issue that the money targeted for those families that are going to experience hunger be increased. I say so because in the budget it is stated that they are targeting to cover the period between January and March. With the current rainfall pattern, I think we are going to have more people actually suffering from hunger.

I also raise another thing that from the Blue Book and also the Budget Statement there are some inconsistencies where in the budget statement, they indicated that in rural areas about six million people are expected to be suffering from hunger and another 2,2 million are also expected to be suffering from hunger in urban areas. This gives us about 8,2 million, but again in the same paragraph and same statement, it is written that they are targeting 7 million.

Then such inconsistencies now will not support the budgetary allocation. I humbly request the Minister to look into those disparities and really consider the issue of targeting those households that are vulnerable going beyond March. Targeting March, we assume that possibly we would have harvested but the normal harvesting period in

Zimbabwe is not March, but maybe June. That is when people will start enjoying the fruits of the normal planting season. That is my contribution, thank you.

HON. S. BANDA: I only have two issues and the first issue relates to the strategic grain reserve. I hope it is being covered maybe under agriculture, because if you look under the current vote, which is only for about $2,3 billion whereas Page 109 of the National Budget Statement says that the budget proposes to allocate $5,2 billion for purchase and importation of grain which is for social protection for those who are insecure food wise. I would want an assurance that it is indeed not on this particular vote- otherwise the $5,2 billion is over and above by more than twice the $2,3 billion that is catering for the entire vote.

My second and last issue relates to pensions. Page 36 of the

Budget Statement says, “92. The Justice Smith led enquiry made recommendations in 2018 on compensation of pensioned members and insurance contracts prejudiced during the conversion of insurance and pension values”. I have not seen in this Blue Book where that issue of the compensation of the pension is covered. Secondly, on the issue of pension, on page number 39 of the same Budget Statement, on 104 it says, “commutable pension will be reviewed from $50 to $500 per month Z$”. If you use the interbank rate and divide by 15,5, you find that it is only $1 per day. I do not think our pensioners will be able to survive on a $1 per day. Those are my contributions, thank you.

*HON. NYABANI: I just want to add that the people living with disability are also taken care of. The majority of children are not going to school so I urge the Minister to take into consideration those that are disabled in terms of wheelchairs, medication as well as their transportation so that they can have a better standard of living. May that be taken into consideration in terms of social welfare? May an amount be put aside to look at mitigating the effects of climate change, because we are experiencing floods and heavy rains and there should be a provision for such eventualities? I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I again thank the Members for their valuable contributions. There is certainly a typo that was spotted by one of the Members. Hon. Matewu is right that on the item regarding the inadequate provision of social protection services to children in difficulty circumstance (CDC), that allocated figure is not $86 000, it is actually $8,6 million otherwise then you are right that it is a $1 per person and then we have not moved at all. So I thank you for that.

On the issue of the size of the budget and so forth, we are going to be giving out quite a bit of subsidies and these subsidies do not even sit in the sector ministries. They are sitting in Treasury and if you look for the fuel subsidies for instance, it is not sitting under Ministry of Energy, but it is under Treasury. Look at subsidies under transportation, these subsidies are sitting in Treasury. Look at the subsidies on roller meal and other subsidies, again they are sitting in Treasury. You find that there is a lot of social protection support taking place not via the welfare Ministry, but through Treasury because these are financial subsidies although the impact is social protection.

So the social protection budget is far bigger than this, but also do not discount the Presidential Input Scheme. It is also part of Social

Welfare or social protection because you have free inputs to enable our valuable citizens to fend for themselves by taking advantage of our very fertile soils if rains do come. I am pleased that so far it is promising. So that is also social protection and so it is spread elsewhere. What we could do is that at some point I could tell this House as to which individual areas we amalgamate, you will be amazed at the size of the social welfare budget that what we are debating here pales  into insignificant but I appreciate all the comments but I do submit that it is adequate as a direct Ministerial Budget but is far bigger elsewhere as a broader social protection budget.  That is what I can submit.  Other comments coming from Ministry of Lands and issues like that, those are under that Ministry and clearly counts that also as social protection,  That is yet another addition to our social protection agenda and I believe that this Budget is adequate.  I thank you Mr. Chairman.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  On a point of clarity.  I raised an issue Mr. Chairman where I was saying in the Budget, on social protection, they are targeting vulnerable households from January to March.  The Hon. Minister did not respond to that.  I think this is important because just yesterday I had a meeting with people in my constituency who are complaining that they were registered to receive food handouts in April but up to now they are being told that we are only giving those who were already on the register.  Those who are new on the register are not receiving their handouts.  We want to know the reason behind targeting January to March yet the rainfall focast is showing that we might be experiencing another drought.  We would want the Hon. Minister to explain and clarify that.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I do not know how the Minister is going to clarify this and how he is going to intervene.  We have had some of our people coming out on television with disabilities, with very serious problems and the Ministry of Labour has not been able to immediately intervene when people say can you put money into so and so person’s account.  I think as a nation Mr. Speaker, we must be able to intervene and not expect individuals to start contributing to an individual.  I do not know how the Minister is going to make sure that such people, we do not see them on television again.  It portrays us on a very wrong way.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  I agree with him.  We

do not want to see these kind of scenes on television and yet we have enough budget under the Ministry of Social Welfare.  The issue has not been budget through you Mr. Chairman.  There is enough resources, it is not a resource envelope issue.  Maybe it is timing, responsiveness, it is capacity and those are operational issues which I cannot answer to as a different Minister different from the Minister of Welfare.  Coming to the issue raised by Hon. Member regarding the targeting for those vulnerable between the months of January to March is just an issue of emphasis.  I agree with you it is problematic when it is not just emphasis then it becomes a policy.  Emphasis in the sense that, that is your toughest period when it comes to being impacted by the drought.  That is your peak, your hunger period.

 That is why you find that the budget then turns to over accommodate or adequately accommodate that period and tail off slightly beyond much.  I agree with you that if there is such an issue, it is an administrative issue.  It is not a budget issue, rather should it be a policy issue because if it is vulnerable, it is just vulnerable.  If there is budget and there is budget, it should be catered for.  Maybe it is an administrative issue, operational issue rather than a budget issue.  I thank you.

HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Hon. Minister for your response.  Minister I wanted to highlight something that is resident within rural constituencies.  As we budget for people who live in rural areas, we remember we have people that stateless that live mostly in rural areas that are not documented.  When we budget exactly for 500 thousand people, there may be other 200 people that live within the same constituency within the same areas that we do not plan for.  These then put pressure on the budget that we have budgeted for.  Would you please take care of them somehow in this budget, because they are there?  This

is reality.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  We can take care of this within the Budget.  If it needs to; use reserves, we are ready to do that.  It is a very important issue.  Thank you.  I appreciate it.

Vote 3 – Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare - $2 370 969

000 put and agreed to.

Vote 4 –Defence and War Veterans - $3112 708 000

HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Mr. Chairman – [AN. HON.

MEMBER:  Mazomuka manje.] –

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Hamauswa, may you withdraw that statement.  May you withdraw please?

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Mr. Chairman, with due respect, I did not say anything – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Chairman, maybe ndangoseka ndozvandaita.  Handisini ndadaro maybe hameno kwabva rimwe voice.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Member, I think you are quite a respectable Hon. Member.  Why can you no withdraw?

HON. HAMAUSWA:  But handisirini ndadaro.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  It is me who heard you saying that.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Mr. Chairman, I am going to withdraw what you are saying not because I have said anything.  I was apologising because I only laughed.  That is what I was apologising for, but if you just want to hear the word ‘withdraw’ because some Members from

ZANU PF thought – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Yaah I am going to withdraw.  That is  what you are saying.  I did not say anything.  I am going to withdraw for the sake...

THE CHAIRPERSON:  The point is that this is an august House where the two sides are one people.  There is no ZANU PF there is no

MDC.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  We are being treated differently – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I did not say anything.  Honestly, I did not say anything.  I only apologised because I laughed loudly.  That is what I apologised.  I did not say anything, why should I withdraw something that I did not say?

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Member, I heard you saying mazomukawo.  Thus the statement that is why I am asking you.

*HON. HAMAUSWA:   I did not say that 

*THE CHAIRPERSON:  You are the one who said it.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Is there any proof?  I can stand in a court.

I did not say that.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Hamauswa, why?

*HON. HAMAUSWA:  Ndini ndadaro here ChairOkay I am

withdrawing what I did not say on behalf of whoever said it.

THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much – HON.

MEMBERS:  Haasiriye, it is the other one.] –

HON. MAYIHLOME:  First I would like to applaud the Minister of Finance for having considered some of the requests from the Ministry of Defence, Security and Home Affairs.  What I want to say to the Minister is that when we come to issues dealing with security or defence, it is very difficult for you to allocate in terms of percentage.

All other Ministries will not operate as long as there is no security in this country.  For any development to take place, we need peace and tranquillity, therefore we need to adequately fund Defence and Security.

 I am just appealing to the Minister that in your Budget for Defence especially for Air Force, you must consider that some of the funds required involve forex, especially when we are talking in terms of planes.  We do not manufacture planes in this country, therefore the spares parts require forex.  Therefore I appeal that you consider that there must be a forex component in that budget to take care of that.  I also want to applaud that you consider the issue of war veterans, although there is going to be a Bill- but I did not see in your budget that you have considered the war veterans, there are a lot of issues involved, their families and other things.  I think you should look into those issues.

         Where our security forces are staying; we need to make sure that these people stay in comfortable places.  If you look at some of the houses which they are staying, they were built during the Rhodesian era – we need to consider that.  It is a normal procedure that the police and soldiers must stay in their cantonments to instill discipline but right now they are staying in private residence because of shortages of accommodation.  When they stay in private residents as lodgers, they are threatened to an extent that when there is noise in town, they cannot take any action because they are told that once you beat us, we are going to throw you out of our houses.  So, we need to make sure that these people get decent accommodation.

         In terms of transport, you see soldiers, policeman along the road hitch-hiking going to work.  This has created problems with the kombis because some of them do not pay since they will be in uniform and kombi drivers want their money.  So, the Budget must take care of the transport issues for them.

         Hon. Minister, we are luck that maybe they do not know their rights or we do not have a trade union like in South Africa where the Army or the Police have got a trade union.  We can be sued because some of the officers retire whilst still being owed a lot of money in terms of their pension and travel and subsistence allowances.  For example, the police last received their travel and subsistence in 2005 and we still send them there.  Some of the reasons why we are having a lot of corruption cases especially at the boarders is because we deploy those people without adequate resources, hence mbudzi inodya payakasungirirwa.   This means that you want them to control boarders where people will be smuggling goods worth millions yet they will be having nothing to eat.  So, let us take care of our security agencies so that we have peaceful sleep.  We do not want a situation like in the DRC where soldiers go on strike, once the soldiers go on strike with guns, we will not seat in this Parliament, and they will be a lot of robberies.  So, that is my appeal that when we deal with their budget, let us consider that this is a sensitive Ministry or department which requires adequate resources for the benefit of all of us.  I thank you.

                 HON. MATEWU: Thank you Hon. Chair.  My only contribution

is going to be on war veterans.  War veterans in this Budget have been allocated around $190 million of which ZWL60 million of that is in administration which leaves them ZWL130 million. When you translate that to real money, you get around 6 to 7 million United States Dollars.  These are people who fought for this country, for the emancipation of us so that we can be in Parliament here today.  These are the people who liberated us to ensure that we enjoy the benefits that we get today.  It is disheartening that hundreds of thousands of people who went to war on our behalf only get a paltry money.  Most of them have lost limbs, most of them cannot work because while others were busy enjoying at university, they were on the field to ensure that we are emancipated and we are liberated from our colonisers.  So, I implore the Minister to ensure that they get an adequate amount of money which is suitable and recompense them for the work that they have done as our liberators.  So, I think the ZWL130 million is paltry to the welfare of war veterans because it is not only for them but their families’ education and sustenance.  Most of them cannot work because of physical inabilities.

         +HON. MABOYI: Thank you Hon. Chair.  I will talk about Defence and War Veterans.  Hon. Minister, may you increase the allocations for the war veterans department.  It is an obvious thing that when the war veterans pass on, they should be given a descent burial. So, I am calling for the budget to put aside some funds for a descent burial for them. The war veterans are living in poverty because the allowances that they receive are not enough to be able to get food on the table.  We do not even mention of accumulation of wealth, therefore, I think there is need for the Minister to increase allowances for these people so that they can have a comfortable life in compensation of the great job which they did in liberating the country.

         Let me turn to Defence; our soldiers do not have uniforms, at most they have one pair and some of them do not even have the military boots.  I have noticed that some of them are now putting on tennis shoes yet these people should be neat and well dressed.  Therefore, I am asking the Minister to increase the allocation to this Ministry so that they may get at least two uniforms in order that they look presentable to the public.

         These Military personnel were carrying out duties in my constituency hence I paid a courtesy call on them since they were in my constituency and I observed that they had worn out shoes and this paints a bad picture to the country.  As stated by the previous Member, let us put more funds to the military.  Again we should take care of the war veterans and know that these people are well behaved because if they could rebel, definitely there will be chaos in the country.  Therefore, I am calling upon the Minister to put more funds for the allowances of these war veterans so that they can live a happy life.

  *HON. SEWERA: Thank you Mr. Chairman for affording me this

opportunity.  Let me start with the issue of the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans.  First and foremost, we need to appreciate that be they police officers or the army ...

    *THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: May I reiterate it to you that

do not repeat what has earlier been said as I read in terms of Section 106.  Can you come up with new things?

         *HON. SEWERA:  I am saying we may deal with the army, the police and everyone else but, do you know why we are saying there must be an addition to the budgets?  Firstly, the moral of the army is very low.  As we speak right now, it is raining and their living conditions are deplorable.  The police and the army cannot go on strike because they can be tried for mutiny.  If you see them quiet, it does not mean that all is well.

       Furthermore Mr. Chairman, you should also appreciate that

Zimbabwe as a country is under threat internally and externally.  Internally we have enemies because some of our children are being used to turn against Zimbabwe which was liberated through an armed struggle.  So, if you see people today saying there is no support for the security forces who are defending the independence of this country, these are the sellouts.  Be that as it may, we are saying,

      *THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Let me guide you Hon.

Member that we are debating the budget, so you must confine yourself to budgetary issues and do not repeat what others have said before.

         *HON. SEWERA: I am saying the budget of the soldiers and their salaries should be increased. Their accommodation, their food – we are aware of the meals that the soldiers are having on a daily basis.  If you compare their meals today and what they used to have before, they are starving.  There must be an increase in the quality of the food that they eat.  Talking in terms of transportation – they should have army dedicated vehicles to transport them and not public transport.  On the issue of the police force, they should be well equipped so that when they deal with rubble rousers or trouble causers in this country, they can do their work.

       *HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Chair.  We become afraid

when a Member of Parliament encourages the ruthless attacking of people by the police.  Today it is a human rights day – allow me my place.  He said they want them to be well fed so that when they deal with those that are wayward.... We recently witnessed the brutal attack on people.

      *THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON:  I have heard you Hon.

Member.

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  If I could respond

Mr. Chairman.  I really appreciate again the comments, questions, observations and suggestions from the Members of this august House.

  I know the point raised by Hon. Nguluvhe specifically because this

I have felt it, which is around making sure that when we budget for

Defence, we have to budget for the forex element, especially the Air Force because of the nature of the equipment which we do not make here.  But at the same time, I am suitably impressed by their skills in managing their equipment.  I repeat that I am suitably impressed but nevertheless, we have to budget for the forex.  So, I am alive to this and we really make sure that we accommodate them as much as possible.

         On the issue of war veterans, again, as Treasury and me, we are again alive to the plight.  Yesterday I had a meeting for the first time as Minister with the Provincial Chairpersons of the War Veterans Association to try to understand better the issues.  Not that we do not understand them but when you meet them one on one and they explain, you understand better.  So, this is their allowances, the assistance for their children and other things.  So we will do our best to make sure that if the budget is not adequate, because of inflation at least through our budget reserves we can top up.  Indeed, when I met them you know what they told me, they said Minister we really appreciate that you have responded to our needs in 2019 even in the face of inflation.  We have been responsive; it has been a matter of resources but the willingness to respond has been noted by the Chairpersons of war veterans.  We will do everything again to accommodate them including issues around transport.

         I have noted the issue again raised by Hon. Nguluvhe regarding the issue of cantonment and housing.  You will find that under this element, we have budgeted $440 million for housing.  One of the things about the Defence Forces is that they do have the building skills and they can build and therefore reduce the cost of putting up their own buildings so that we do not have to contract that out.  We only have to budget for materials, the land is already there and we can make progress.

         On the issues of uniforms and so forth, again we have noted these and even in 2019, we have done a lot to try and deal with this issue including the police.  In fact for the police, my Permanent Secretary had to travel to South Africa to make sure he can find material for making uniform for the police.  We are that involved when it comes to some of these issues – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We respond because if we do not get to see it ourselves, how do we know the money is going to the right place.

 This is very important and I can assure you I am going to tour the building in Dzivarasekwa soon where there is a building for the cantonment of soldiers. I want to see for myself as it says kick the tyres, if you do not kick the tyres you never know what the truck really looks like right down there.  So we really appreciate the contributions and the comments.  We have done a lot.  If you engage the Minister of Defence yourselves, war veterans will tell you that this year things have been different even in the face of inflation.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.] –

         Vote 4 – Defence and War Veterans - $3 112 708 00 put and agreed to.

        House resumed.

        Progress reported.

Committee of Supply to resume:  Wednesday, 11th December,

2019.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE), the

House adjourned at Ten Minutes past Eight o’clock p.m.

 

 

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