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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 64

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 10th September, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

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

                    THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Madam Speaker, I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Orders Number, 52, 142, 143 and 146 regarding the Automatic Adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty Five Minutes Past One o’clock p.m. on Friday, referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees, procedure in connection with the Parliamentary Legal Committee and stages of Bills respectively, be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of Government Business.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. BITI: I beg the Hon. Minister to actually specify the business and the Bills that he wants to deal with.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not connected.

          HON. BITI: Can the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs specify the Government Business, in particular, the Bills.  For instance, he can say the Finance Bill or the National Prosecuting Authority Bill.  This is because there are some Bills which are already before the Committees, for instance, the Financial Adjustment Bill and there are certain processes that are taking place there. So, our appeal to him is to specify the actual business in respect of which he is seeking the suspension of the Standing Orders instead of a generic open cheque to him because that would be dangerous Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Madam Speaker, the reason why I did not specify is, perhaps this would be the last sitting before we start a Third Session of the 9th Parliament.  I deliberately decided to say that so that all that we can do today so that we refer to Senate, we can complete, including the Finance Bill, the agreements that are there, but I am taking note of your concerns regarding the Financial Adjustments Bill.  I do not think it is part of what we want to do.  So, specifying would tie me down but I want all that we can do today so that Senate can consider next week when we are not sitting and before the State of the Nation Address and the beginning of the Third Session of the 9th Parliament.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 52, 142, 143 AND 146

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I move that provisions of Standing Orders Nos. 52, 142, 143 and 146 regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at five minutes to seven o’clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at twenty-five minutes past one o’clock p.m. on Friday, referral of Bills to Portfolio Committees, procedure in connection with the Parliamentary Legal Committee and stages of Bills respectively, be suspended with effect from today and for the next series of sittings in respect of Government business.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. DR. LABODE:  Madam Speakermaybe you could clarify what the Minister is trying to say.  Is he saying no reports from Portfolio Committees in simpler language for those of us who have missed what he is trying to say when he says no referring things to the committees?  I am a bit confused.  Can someone put it in simpler language for the rest of us?  I thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  I want to thank Hon. Labode.  Let me try to explain the procedure in the House.  When we start sittings at a quarter past two o’clock p.m. we cannot go beyond five minutes to seven o’clock.  That is the automatic adjournment time at which business will then have to stop, regardless of whether we have finished what we are doing or not.  So, what I explained earlier when Hon. Biti enquired what Government business we want to do is we are going to adjourn the National Assembly and this is the last sitting of the Second Session of the 9th Parliament.  What we want to do is to consider Government business on the Order Paper that we can dispose of before the beginning of the Third Session.  In order to do that, we need to suspend the adjournment time to enable us to go beyond 7 o’clock and consider whatever we can until we conclude, then we can adjourn at any time even tomorrow morning.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          Motion put and agreed to.

ANOUNCEMNT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that I have received a non adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Finance Bill [H. B. 4, 2020].

SECOND READING

FINANCE BILL [H. B. 4, 2020]

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Bill seeks to give effect to the fiscal measures that I announced through the 2020 Mid Year Review presented on 16th July, 2020 and in particular avail relief to tax payers and enhance disposable income, promote capital accumulation which is crucial in supporting the economic rebound and also to protect revenue sources.  In summary the Bill provides for the following:  Let me start with mineral royalties.  The proposed amendment requires that royalties on the sale of minerals should be paid in foreign currency if the amounts from which royalties are withheld are foreign currency amounts.  The clause proposes to deem all mineral royalties to be receivable in US dollars unless the recipients of the amounts can furnish invoices or other documentary proof to the contrary.  I now turn to PAYE tax-free thresholds.  In order to minimise the tax burden and also enhance disposable income, particularly during this period when a sizable number of households are yet to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown this Bill seeks to alter the income bands used in the calculation of income tax for the remainder of the year of assessment and also increase the tax free threshold to $25000 for the first five months beginning August to December 2020 of ZW$5000 per month.

The Bill also seeks to exempt from income tax the receipts and accruals of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFSE) as part of the incentive package to facilitate establishment and full operationalisation of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.  In addition, the Bill proposes a preferential rate of 5%....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Minister, you are not connected, please unmute your gadget.

PROF. M. NCUBE: Furthermore, the Bill seeks to exempt from capital gains tax amounts received or accrued on the sale of any marketable securities that are traded on the soon to be established Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.

          I now turn to the IMTT tax; the Bill seeks to tax electronic transactions or rather electronic transfers of foreign currency for transaction purposes.  Furthermore, it seeks to review the tax free threshold for local currency transfers from a RTGS100 to RTGS300 and revises the maximum tax payable from RTGS 25 000 to RTGS50 000 on transactions with values exceeding RTGS2,5m or a maximum of US$2000 on transactions with values exceeding US$100 000, That is the equivalent at the exchange rate which was in place when the Mid-Term Review Statement was issued.

          I now turn to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe’s Debt Redemption in Strategic Reserve Levy.  Madam Speaker, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is empowered to collect the Debt Redemption Levy for the amortisation of the NOIC debt and the Strategic Reserve Levy from oil companies that import their own petroleum products.  The Bill thus seeks to introduce differential rates for the levies for the importation of petrol and diesel, otherwise than through the use of foreign currency denominated free funds.

          Let me turn to withholding tax on cotton sales. Madam Speaker, section 80 of the Income Tax Act seeks that if persons or PAYEES who enter into contracts with the Government, or statutory bodies have not submitted income tax returns for the most recent year of assessment, the Government or the statutory body concerned is obliged to withhold 10% of all payments due to them under the contracts and pay the withheld amounts to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.  In view of the strategic nature of cotton as a source of sustenance for the majority of cotton farmers and citizens, the Bill proposes to exclude from the scope of the definition of PAYEE, growers and contracted growers of cotton making a delivery of cotton or cotton seed in accordance with the Agricultural Marketing Authority or Seed Cotton Products Regulations (2009).

          Let me turn to income tax exemption for university infrastructure special purpose vehicles.  The Bill seeks to provide for income tax exemption on the receipts and accruals of any special purpose vehicle or SPV initially wholly owned by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe wherein private sector contractors in return for a share in the equity of the SPV undertake to construct an on-campus student accommodation at any public institution of higher or tertiary education.

          I now turn to the tax exemption on COVID-19 allowances.  The Bill seeks to amend the scope of remuneration to exclude from the PAYE the COVID-19 civil servants allowances, that is the part of the salary of a civil servant or a civil service pension that is denominated in United States dollars.  Madam Speaker, I now move that the Bill be now read a second time.

          HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for tabling the Finance Bill in the manner he has done and wish to make a few contributions for his consideration.   Madam Speaker, if we look at the structure of our revenues in this country, it is very clear that the fiscal space is very narrow.  We have been grappling with this problem of creating fiscal space for quite a long time now.  Several Ministers of Finance have come in and gone and have actually failed to address this issue of expanding the cake, the fiscal space and also collecting enough revenue to fund, not only recurrent expenditures but also capital expenditures.

          Where I am leading to is the fact that perhaps Minister, it is high time you look at the structure of our taxes and revenue in a manner which makes mining the game changer.  As you are quite aware, Government has targeted mining sector as the lead sector to grow this economy because it is going to be a 12 billion dollar economy.  The taxation structure in the mining industry must reflect that critical position that mining occupies in the economy.  You know that mining has overtaken agriculture in terms of contribution to foreign exchange earnings, employment and GDP growth.  Going forward, I think the mining sector is going to be the leading sector where revenues for the State can be harnessed.

          In this regard, I wish the Minister to consider reviewing significantly corporate tax in relation to mining so that it reflects its strategic scaling in the revenue sources and also want the Minister to review the royalties currently obtaining, even doubling them from their current level. I also want the Minister to review the taxes from exports of our minerals especially considering that...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mashakada, are you connected?

          HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Yes, I am connected.  So, I am appealing to the Minister to leverage mining as a game changer in generating enough revenues for our country.  You know in economics there is this doctrine of natural resource case. We are exporting a lot of our minerals in their raw form and my heart bleeds when I think of platinum exports and then the bi-products that come out of that platinum and how we are losing revenue and even exporting jobs if we are not really taxing our minerals properly.  Therefore, let us avoid the natural resource case and be able to harness mining as the driver of our economy and not reap pittance by way of revenue from the mining sector. That is very critical because where we are sitting we are not receiving enough as FDI, we are not accessing international loans as much as we can.  Therefore, let us leverage our own natural resources.  In my respectful view, mining has not been adequately taxed because there are a lot of mining houses making huge sums of money.  Look at Marange Fields, the diamond companies, look at Arosa and all these huge multinational companies that have invested in Zimbabwe; at the end of the day, this economy must grow and get proof that we have got these multinational companies through taxes and channelling those tax revenues to fund the fiscus, to fund the budget.  I think that is critical.  I will appeal to you to review the tax regime applicable to the mining sector so that we can have more revenues going to the fiscal drag net.

The other issue with respect to your presentation is the tax free income for civil servants.  I think we are shooting a moving target.  From $5000 per month, it is now $25000.  It is a moving target because of inflation because it is impacting on the disposable income.  I do not know, what is your view in terms of being able to periodically review the non-taxable income?  Outside the normal annual budgeting framework, can we have a mechanism where the tax free component of civil servants income can be self adjusting or renewed periodically rather than wait for the midterm budget review or wait for the annual review?  So far, those are my few contributions for your consideration.  Thank your Hon. Minister.

HON. BITI:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I have a few comments for the esteemed Minister of Finance.  The first one is that it would be helpful to quantify to the august House the expected revenue inflows from the revenue measures that are expounded in the Finance Bill that we are debating.  It is clear that in the main, there will be an increase in gross revenues.  Purely, from a legal point of view, those revenues have to be appropriated to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.  They become money that is controlled by this Parliament because this Parliament controls the Consolidated Revenue Fund in terms of Section 300 and 305 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  That means therefore, Madam Speaker, as a question of law you cannot come up with a Finance Bill that seeks to actualise revenue proposals, that is, tax increases or tax adjustments without as of necessity also coming up with Appropriation Bill that transmit the new revenue proposals into the Consolidated Revenue Fund; which is why I said in my submissions to his Mid-Term Statement it is a Supplementary Budget and an Appropriation Bill was inevitable.  He does not like that because under ordinary circumstances, a Supplementary Budget is a sign of failure that you failed to plan properly.  In this case, you are appropriating, you are bringing a Financial Adjustment Bill that is proposing adjustments to the tax structure whether reducing as in some instances or increasing.  So that makes inevitable and legal the obligation to bring an Appropriation Bill that transmits the taxes into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The second point I wish to make Madam Speaker is that since the 7th September 2018, when the Minister took over, he has been intoxicated with a plethora of taxes that are very unprogressive.  A progressive tax regime is one that recognises the class status of the citizen, the inequality of the citizen.  The preponderance of this particular Minister has been to impose taxes and to rely on taxes that place uneven and unequal burden on the tax payer, irrespective of the status of the tax payer.  His most famous and most notorious tax is obviously the intermediated transaction tax of 2% which he imposed on 12th October 2018.  That tax Madam Speaker, if you put a 2% transaction tax to Hon. Ziyambi who stays in Borrowdale and to my mother who stays in Dotito, the two are not equal.  These taxes which are intoxicated including in the present Bill are unequal.  My appeal and submission to him is move away from unprogressive taxes that treat everyone equal.  His response foreseeable is that has been the best way of taxing informal sector.  There are many ways of netting in the informal sector.  Kenya has excellent paraphernalia of taxes that net in the informal sector particularly the matatoos and the transport sector.

The third issue Madam Speaker is the pretence that civil servants are earning salaries, the pretence that anyone still earning in RTGS dollars is earning a salary.  Through Statutory Instrument 133 of 2019, Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which dedollarised this economy, the Minister effectively devalued the salaries of civil servants including the salaries of esteemed Members in this august House.  The salary of a Member in this august House cannot buy a full tank yet in the community, you are an honourable Member of Parliament but your pocket is absolutely dishonourable because the Minister has devalued the disposable income.

Madam Speaker, it does not matter what tax-free threshold you may increase as he proposes to increase.  It does not matter whether it is $10 thousand because it does not make a difference as long as civil servants are earning in Zimbabwean dollars.  A Grade E5 teacher which is most teachers, who effectively used to earn US$700 as of the 19th February 2019, a day before S.I. 33 of 2020 is now effectively earning US$15.  It does not matter what exchange rate you are using, the $83 from the auction or the $113 from Fourth Street, your salary has effectively been devalued.

If you now go on the pricing structure of the economy Madam Speaker, there is a statutory instrument enacted by the President which obliges, through the exchange control regulations, every shop to reflect two prices.  The price in US dollar and the price in Zimbabwe dollar, but effectively, when you go into those shops, all the prices are indexed in USD and they actually increase the prices in USD so that there is USD inflation in this economy. Prices are going up in USD inflation but even when you go into that shop with your USD, they discount it at the official exchange rate of 1:83 but 90% of people cannot get money from the auction floor on Tuesday. We are getting our money from Fourth Street where we are getting it at 1:105. So the retailer now and this is a penalty of mismanagement or misgovernance that the ordinary citizens are paying in this community.

If your aunt from the UK or South Africa sends you US$100, when you go into the shop to buy your goods you are buying at an official exchange rate of 1:83 but when you look for that USD, you are not buying it at 1:83 but at 1:110/115. These distortions can easily be cured by accepting the reality, that is acknowledge in the RBZ’s last month acknowledgement which is the fact that the economy refused to de-dollarise because conditions for de-dollarisation were not there. The economy has remained stuck in the USD mode.

Madam Speaker, if you doubt what I am saying and you were to search all of us here, you will not find any of us with a single Z$. All of us in this room have USD, including the Minister himself because the economy has refused – [HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: These are Z$ notes.] – Ah, no you have some USD notes, you actually have millions. We need to bite the bullet and recognise that the regime of multiple currencies has refused to go through the front door. I say through the front door because we are doing it through the back door.

When the authorities pass a law to say there must be dual pricing in USD and in Z$ when you have not repealed Section 21, 22 and 23 of the Finance Act which this House passed as Finance Act No. 7 of 2019 on the 1st of August, 2019, that says the sole legal currency in Zimbabwe is now the Z$, then you are doing de-dollarisation through the back door. If you notice now the finance proposals that have been made by the Minister in the last 12 months have all been following the USD. Recently he passed Statutory Instrument 166 of 2020 which effectively now obliges those who use their free funds abroad to actually pay carbon tax in USD. The Minister of Transport too passed Statutory Instrument 123 (A) of 2020 which obliges Zimbabwean motorists to pay taxes and other vehicle licences in USD. So, if you are asking us to pay all these taxes in USD when we are earning Z$, why do you not bite this dog by the head and simply accept the return of multiple currencies.

Madam Speaker, we are not pushing for the de-dollarisation of the Z$. Let them exist side by side which is what the dualisation Statutory Instrument does but recognise now that multiple currencies are legal tenders in Zimbabwe through the repeal of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 as codified by the Finance Act No.2 of 2020 or No. 7 of 2019 which this House passed on 1st August, 2019. As long as our Monetary Policy is in a messy, the citizenry will suffer. Prices will continue to go up.

I see there is a lot of excitement particularly from the Minister and his friend, Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by the ‘stuckability’ of the exchange rate. It has remained stuck at 1:83 in the past three weeks – [HON. TOGAREPI: It is stable.] – It is stuck. Madam Speaker, economics is a function of supply and demand. Where supply cannot meet up demand the price of that commodity shoots up. The auction system, the Dutch – [HON. TOGAREPI: Inaudible interjection.] – Mira ka ndimbotaura kana uine shungu wobvisa magirazi wozotaura ndapedza …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members!

HON. BITI: Can you rein in on the Chief Whip, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, the Dutch foreign exchange is a fraud on the people of Zimbabwe. It is a fraud in this way; firstly, it cannot be an open auction when there is only one supplier of the commodity and the supplier of the commodity is the Reserve Bank. There has been no other actor who has been supplying the foreign currency, so it cannot be an open market. Many people here are tobacco farmers and every year from February to June, tobacco farmers know how a true market works. Every tobacco farmer, there are hundred thousand new tobacco farmers that were created by the Land Reform Programme. You go to the auction floor which you want, whether you want TLC or Boka, you sell your commodity. There are hundreds of buyers from all over the world, they buy the product.

Where you have got one supplier supplying the product, it is an artificial, rigged and deregist market as Hon. Mashakada would say. It is a controlled market. Secondly, the little bits of foreign currency that they have been supplying, sometimes US$15, 14 or 16 million are way beyond the country’s demands. What the authorities, including the esteemed Minister, should ask is what are those huge importers like ZIMPLATS who are bringing in millions and millions of dollars doing with their foreign currency which they are not selling on the foreign exchange? Madam Speaker, I can assure you that by hook and crook, that money is finding its way in Fourth Street and a lot of it is going into grey imports that are flooding this country.

If you go to Roadport everyday and I wish the Minister could do it, there are hundreds and hundreds of buses that are coming carrying all kinds of goods; televisions, what not what not. It is a grey economy. So because of this distorted Monetary Policy, we are now losing millions and millions of dollars that the malayitshas of this world are dealing with in South Africa, bring in grey imports into this country. The artificial controls are actually guaranteeing huge leakages.

Madam Speaker, to maintain the apparent stuckability of this artificial auction floor, the Government authorities have now moved into, for lack of a better word, a fascist mode. The Monetary Policy now says every exporter 70% of your foreign income is now taken. If you go into retail and you buy, 20% of the USD is immediately taken. We cannot do that Madam Speaker. It is illegal. The RBZ cannot impose a tax where others’ tax export surrender requirements are unconstitutional. They are not controlled by this Parliament. This Parliament controls the Consolidated Revenue Fund and those exports surrender requirements are an income which must be controlled by this august House through him, the esteemed Minister of Finance.

So, we are generating illegality upon illegality but most importantly, we are creating distortions in the economy. Let us have one single pricing system. The dual pricing system is creating havoc in industry. It is creating accounting nightmares. If you run a business, it means you now have two sets of accounts; one that deals with the USD economy and the other that deals with a local economy. Two different tax obligations and interest implications. There is a different interest for the USD and local dollar which does not work; it will not work. I urge the esteemed Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube of Cambridge University to revisit the issue of Monetary Policy and the exchange rate because it is throwing distortions.

In conclusion Madam Speaker, I asked the Minister in my contribution to his Second Reading that he revisits the issue of debt in this economy.  Debt is put in a premium.  His response was I cannot pay the US$1.2 billion which we owe to the World Bank, the US$500 million or so which we owe to the African Development Bank when there is poverty. Fair enough, I like that answer because I used to say so, but why then sign a US$3.5 billion compensation agreement to give money to world-wide people when we have not sorted the poverty in this country?  It is a contradiction. It does not work, it will not work.  I thank you very much.

HON. TOGAREPI: I would want to applaud the Minister very much for his progressive proposals, especially in relation to the minerals.  Generally, they are paid for in foreign currency and it will be an anomaly really, for those minerals then to be paid royalties for in local currency.  I think that is a very progressive effort by the Minister and I think we need to look at that widely in other areas where production is done in local or foreign currency.   Minerals are sold out mainly in foreign currency but when they pay tax, they pay in Zimbabwean dollars.  It is an anomaly and I am happy that the Minister has proposed this.

The other thing around minerals that I would want the Minister to look at is that we know a gold, chrome or platinum mine – outside it is known to be a platinum mine, but I am told by the informed local people that these minerals are associated with other minerals.  Are these minerals also contributing to our income as a country or they just declare platinum and they do not declare gold, diamond or any other mineral of that nature that can be associated with that main mineral they claim to be producing?

I also wish to propose to the Minister that most of these people that come to invest in Zimbabwe seem to look for all the financial securities from outside, yet we have vibrant structures that one can look at after some of these things and help Zimbabwe to earn an income out of that investment.  For example we have investor “A” who comes to Zimbabwe and brings in his insurance companies or everything that will manage his risks on the pretext that our systems or structures are not adequate, but there is no adequate insurance provision by any country throughout the world.  They share the risk throughout.

If you go to Britain today, Lloyds will share the risks they have insured in Dubai with local insurance companies in Zimbabwe.  So why are these people bringing their own insurance companies to insure risks they are exposed to in Zimbabwe?  I think the Minister should also come in as a way - because what we are trying to do is to have so much valuable money being retained in Zimbabwe.  If you were to tell your investors that we also have a local insurance structure – why do you not use that; whatever premium that is going to be paid after taking some or every insurance to other countries, this is going to benefit our own development as a country.

The issue around tax free threshold – I think it is a very good idea.  We cannot increase income beyond what we are able to finance, but if we play around with taxes, we will increase the disposable income of our people.  I think the majority of our low income people will benefit from this progressive tax regime.  I thank you for that.  It shows that as a country we are very sensitive to the plight of our people.  In my view, I think we should increase our tax net – many people should pay tax.  A council paying tax is critical, but there are so many people in Zimbabwe who are making huge monies but they are outside the tax net.  I think that will not help us because they will not be contributing to the economic development and financing Government expenditure.

I also want to applaud you for the incentives for the Victoria Falls security exchange.  I hope all those companies that are on our present stock exchange will participate on this one. If they are really Zimbabwean companies, they would want to see Zimbabwe growing – I think some of them have been involved in very funny activities and here comes a world class stock exchange; we expect everyone to go there and demonstrate that they would want to see Zimbabwe developing.  In a nutshell Minister, I think this is a progressive approach which will help us as a country as we have this Victoria Falls security exchange.  It will increase inflow in terms of investment.  With your object proposals, it will make our country a very attractive foreign exchange destination.  I applaud you for that.  Come up with many more of that sort to develop our country.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Members for their contributions, questions and input.  Let me start with Hon. Mashakada who made several comments in areas for consideration. He referred to the narrow fiscal space which needs to be expanded and one area or opportunity for expansion is through the mining sector which is set to grow to become a US$12 billion sector by year 2023, and he saw opportunity in raising more revenue from the sector through a review of the corporate tax and royalties upwards - but a general review of the fiscal regime fiscal regime governing the mining sector.  I must say, Madam Speaker, we are seized with this issue of basically reviewing the mining sector fiscal regime, but I must say that we also have to balance things as we review.  We are trying to promote this sector to become truly a US$12 billion sector.  So we have to use tax incentives as well as other measures to make sure that it gets there.  One of the things that we did, for example, was to make sure that royalties are tax deductable.  So that is the way to stimulate the sector because it needs incentives while in that growth mode.

In terms of corporate tax, again, we are of the same view that perhaps first of all you want a very simplified corporate tax structure.  You cannot have a special corporate tax just for the mining sector - different from agriculture, industry and the tourism sector.  It just becomes untidy.  You want a simplified corporate tax structure, but also we have said in our TSP we want a strong private sector led economy.  We cannot achieve that by keeping on raising corporate taxes in search for additional tax revenue.

So while I understand where he is coming from in terms of broadening the tax base also, you can increase your tax revenue by stimulating growth so that you collect more revenue even from lower taxes.  It is a balance that you have to play and also think about it, suppose we try to raise corporate taxes and royalties in the middle of COVID.  The economy is slowed down and it is trying to recover right now and I am pleased that it seems to be turning.  We cannot then impose onerous taxes on the mining sector or any sector for that matter.  It would be inappropriate, but it is correct that we are reviewing the fiscal regime for the mining sector.

Then on the tax free allowances that perhaps this is a moving target because of inflation and so forth.  Of course, inflation does cause these bands to be a moving target, but we are dealing with that through a more stable exchange rate, stable currency which is leading to more stable prices in our shops.  You will also see the purchasing power of wages stabilising and therefore it will cease to become a moving target.  In fact, our aim is to make sure that it ceases to be a moving target and this is happening already.  His proposal was perhaps that we should put in a mechanism that automatically adjusts salaries as inflation changes or that would be very untidy.  You cannot run policy like that, no.  That just would not work.  I think that what would work is to make sure that there is stability and that is what we are beginning to feel right now.  That is the way to go.

Let me turn to the Hon. Member Tendai Biti who has asked for a quantification of revenues before we introduce these measures.  Madam Speaker, if you notice that what we are trying to do with these revenue measures, we are not trying to really raise revenue.  What we are trying to do - we are trying to compensate for changes in the economy,  that is all.  I am not trying to raise a lot of revenue out of this.  We are trying to give relief, on the contrary, to civil servants.  We are trying to give relief to everyone by raising tax threshold.  We are trying to introduce fairness by making sure those transacting the United States dollars pay the 2% that those who are transacting Zimbabwean dollars are paying.  You pay in the currency of trade.  That is fairness.  It is not trying to raise extra revenue.

Now let me talk about revenue trend.  If you see what happened in the hot COVID months - March, April, May and June, actually our revenues were declining because obviously business activity was down because of the lockdown.  We have to do it because of COVID to save lives, of course at the expense of livelihoods, but that is what it is, lives first and then livelihoods later.  That has been our strategy.  Our revenues came down but we know that in the second half of the year which is about now going onwards, the revenues again will start picking up.  The increase in revenues in the second half of the year will make up for the losses in the first half of the year and kind of balance things out.

Our prognosis when I presented the mid-term budget review was that our revenue target would stay the same as what we projected in the 2020 budget speech in the first place which was about ZW$57 billion versus our expenditure target of the order of ZW$63 billion.  So because of that dip due to COVID and then a rise we saw that compensatory fact leaving us at the same level and also we just did not know where COVID was headed back then, so we had to be very cautious about revenue projections and then we found out that we even failed to meet the targets we had set out in the budget in the first place. We are comfortable with the current revenue targets therefore, I did not feel there was any need to then bring an Appropriation Bill to appropriate extra revenue when in fact our prognosis was that there would not be anything beyond what Parliament had already approved.

Let me turn to the issue of unprogressive taxes.  I know the Hon. Member has always had an aversion for the 2% but necessary tax which has brought a sense of fairness to those who have not been paying their fair share, including those in the formal sector as well as informal sector and it is progressive indeed we have a threshold that we keep raising due to inflation, naturally - and we are proposing these set of proposals today that that threshold be raised from $100 to $300 that should not be taxed at all, but above that one is due to pay the 2% tax, but also even for the corporate, for the high net worth individuals, we have put a ceiling.  So it is not unprogressive at all.  We have exempted pensions, we have exempted the payment of salaries, and we have exempted payments in terms of investments on the stock market because we know that our pensions are invested there.  There are a lot of exemptions we have put in place in the spirit of equity; in the spirit of making sure the tax is indeed progressive.

On civil servants’ salaries that have been eroded, I have dealt with this quite a bit that the threshold maybe are inadequate and so forth, but you know what, not only are we raising the threshold for which income tax PYE is payable, we are also reviewing the salaries.  As I speak, there are review processes, some engagement processes with the civil servants to review the core salary, the various allowances, the US$75 that we have put in place for civil servants as well as the US$30 for pensioners.  We are reviewing our policies around how these ought to be dealt with after the three months period has expired.  I am sure you saw some newspaper articles today referring to that.  I will not comment on that until we have concluded, but also you are aware that there is probably need to adjust to have a collar adjustment on the core salary of civil servants.

For the health sector workers we have something in addition which is the risk allowances for the various risk levels which again, are being reconsidered to make sure that we can restore the purchasing power of wages.  We continue to do this and that is what we do for civil servants and we expect the private sector to follow suit on that path.  The other thing that we are doing in order to make sure that the income is not eroded is to stabilise the currency, to stabilise the purchasing power in the first place and the currency is stable through the new auction system which is working very well, contrary to the claims.  You have used interesting words which I will not repeat, but clearly, it is working and the role of the auction really is not to provide all the foreign currency that Zimbabwe needs but is to set a price, to make sure there is the right market signal, right price discovery process that reveals the true value of our currency.  But in between auctions, you can then go to the bank and the bank will have been adequately guided that this indeed is the value of your account; it is 83 Zimbabwe dollars for US$1.  Therefore, if you are buying or selling currency to the bank in between auctions, it should be around that rate with the set margins being applied by the banks. Madam Speaker, let us not get too fixated on dollarisation and de-dollarisation.  That cannot be the heart of economic debate in Zimbabwe.  What should be the heart of economic debate is how stable our currency is.  How can we make sure that our domestic currency becomes a store of value not just something that is used for transacting.

          Madam Speaker, there was a poll that was conducted to find out how many people had US dollars and Zim dollars in their pockets. Most of the Zim dollars are in your phones.  Everyone has a phone, so I submit that we have more Zimbabwe dollars in this House than the US dollars – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections] –

On the issue of retention, of course there ought to be a retention.  The Reserve Bank has from time to time adjusted this retention ratio in a way that is meant to stimulate productivity especially in the gold sector.  It has been commendable, what they have done to move the retention ratio to 70/30 in favour of the miner. This is progressive indeed.

          On the issue of debt, Hon. Biti concurred that I have been right all along, that I should not go around the world trying to raise debt in order to pay off another debt especially in the middle of challenges around the pandemic, we need money to support the health sector, our vulnerable and money to buy food because we have had to import.  I cannot be borrowing money to pay off someone else in the middle of all that.  I should be borrowing to deal with those issues and that is what I have been doing.

          He then moves on to talk about the US$3.5 billion compensation for the farmers.  On this one, I think he is likely schizophrenic. He has already approved like all of us, that we compensate farmers in the last few years and we have been doing that.  Every year we appropriate out of this House an amount for payment of farmers.  So, in this current budget for 2020, it was just about 300 million. The previous year, it was 70 million and it has been going on for years.  So, all we did this time around was just to quantify what the size of this bill is.  Previously, we did not know. We were just paying, we were not even sure how deep this hole was, we had no idea but now we know.  That is what we have been searching for all these years.  We have finally found the answer and with this 3.5 billion dollars.

For us to get to this figure, we followed the law; we complied with the law and the appropriations that have been happening year to year to compensate the farmers are in line with the law.  Madam Speaker, this is is Section 295 of the Constitution and Section 72 of the Constitution which speaks to the right on the land by indigenous Zimbabweans.  It also speaks of the need to compensate the farmers for improvements on the land.  That is clearly spelt out in the Constitution but I must say that this House has been paying farmers already.  All we did now was to quantify the size of the liability - that is all.

          Let me now turn to Hon. Togarepi on royalties being paid in US dollars.  Yes, definitely I agree with you. That is what I presented in fact. He raised an important point Madam Speaker, around how the multiple all bodies are treated where some of them are said to produce a specific mineral, let us say platinum only but you find there are three or four other minerals in it.  Are we not having a leakage?  I agree with him and these are things that I think one will follow up with the Minister of Mines and see whether again we can plug these leakages.

          In terms of local insurances, I have come across this where local insurance companies came to see me.  They said Minister, we need to really push that foreign investors buy their insurance locally and not bring their insurance from outside; they are depriving us of business and so forth.  I sympathise but the challenge has been that since we moved to the Zimbabwe dollars as a unit of account, the local insurance companies have not been able to provide insurance products in hard currency.  Some of these foreign investors especially those in mining sector who bring in mining equipment which they source in US dollars would like this equipment to be insured in US dollars so that they can replace it upon damage.  They replace it by importing something else.  That has been the challenge but I sympathise with the insurance companies.  It is an issue that we are looking at to see how we can support local industry to access this business.

          On tax-free threshold, he concurred.  Madam Speaker, we are already in September and we will be back here again in November for the next budget.  So, we also even have more time to deal with anything that is left behind in terms of these suggestions.  Then he commended us for launching Victoria Falls Stock Exchange and the incentives that go with it in order to stimulate business for this exchange so that it drives foreign investment.  I thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage:  With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

FINANCE BILL [H. B. 4, 2020]

          House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 2 put and agreed to.

On Clause 3:

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Madam Chair.  I move the amendment standing in my name; On page 4 of the Bill, in clause 3, delete the proviso to paragraph (2) (a) (1) of section 14 (2) and substitute the following—

“Provided that where a person earns any part of his or her taxable income from employment in a foreign currency, there shall be substituted for the figures referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (vii) the following figures-:

  1.  In subparagraph (i), “three hundred and fifty United States dollars”;
  2. In subparagraph (ii), “three hundred and fifty-one United States dollars” and “one thousand five hundred United States dollars” respectively;
  3. In subparagraph (iii), “one thousand five hundred and one United States dollars United States dollars”” and “five thousand United States dollars” respectively;
  4.  In subparagraph (iv), “five thousand  and one United States dollars” and “ten thousand United States dollars” respectively;
  5.  In subparagraph (v), “ten thousand and one United States dollars” and “fifteen thousand United States dollars” respectively;
  6. In subparagraph (vi), “fifteen thousand and one United States dollars”; and, if such income is denominated in a foreign currency other than the United States dollar, the equivalent amount in United States dollars shall be calculated, being an amount obtained by applying the international cross rate of exchange of that currency for the United States dollar prevailing on the day the income is received or accrued);”.

Amendment to Clause 3 put and agreed to.

Clause 3 as amended, put and agreed to.

On Clause 4:

      THE MINISTEROF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Madam Chair.  On Clause 4, I propose the following amendment; on page 5 of the Bill, in clause 4, delete the second inserted table headed “Taxable income from employment in foreign currency” and substitute the following—

 


Section

Taxable income from employment in foreign currency

Level of taxable income

 

Specified
percentage
%

14 (2)(a1)(i) Up to US$ 350................................................................. 0
14(2)(a1)(ii) US$$ 351 to US$1 500.................................................... 20
14(2)(a1)(iii) US$3 1 501  to US$5 000................................................ 25
14(2)(a1)(iv) US$1 501 to US$10 000.................................................. 30
14(2)(a1)(v) US$10 001 to US$15 000................................................ 35
14(2)(a1)(vii US$15 001 and more.......................................................    40”.

Amendment to Clause 4 put and agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, put and agreed to.

Clauses 5 to 17 put and agreed to

On Clause 18:

THE MINISTEROF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): On Clause 18, I turn to a new part that I wish to be inserted as Clause 18.  It pertains to the Companies and Other Business Entities, Amendment [Cap. 24:31].

The Companies and Other Business Entities Act [Chapter 24:31] (No. 4 of 2019) is amended –

  1. In section 303 (“Repeals, re-registration of companies and PBCs, general transitional provisions and savings”) –

(i)                          In subsection (8) by the deletion of  “Subject to subsection (9)” and the substitution of “Subject to subsections (9) and (23)”;

(ii)                       In subsection (8) by the deletion of “A company or private business corporation referred to in subsection (8), must within a period of twelve months from the effective date” and the substitution of “ A company or private business corporation referred to in subsection (8), but not one referred to in subsection (23), must no later than 13th February, 2023,”;

(iii)                    By the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (22) which is now (23).  The following provisions apply to every company or private business corporation listed in schedule 1 to the Global Compensation Deed agreed between and signed on 29th July, 2020 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe, the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance- Zimbabwe and the Valuation Consortium (Private) Limited, in respect of the compensation for improvements on agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement purposes –

  1. a)Subsection (8)  applies to such company or private business corporation; and
  2. b)Such company or private business corporation is not required to re-register in terms of subsection (9) but shall be deemed to be registered without interruption of registration and without payment of any fee or the rendering of any statutory or other return in terms of this Act for a period of six (6) years from the date of signing of the Global Compensation Deed; and
  3. c)If any such company or private business corporation has been struck off the registers of the Companies Office under this Act or the registers of its predecessor office under a repealed law, such company or private business corporation is hereby deemed not to have been so struck off; and
  4. d)If the registration of any such company or incorporation of any such private business corporation had, before the date of signing of the Global Business Corporation Deed, lapsed for any reason, the registration of such company or the incorporation of such private business corporation is hereby deemed not to have so lapsed.”,
  5. In the Tenth Schedule (“Form for re-registration of Companies and PBCs”) –
  6.             By the deletion of paragraph 1 of the Form and substitution of
  7. “1.     According to section 303(9) of the new Companies and Other Business entities Act [Chapter 24:31] (No. 4 of 2019), every existing company registered under the repealed Companies Act and every PBC incorporated under the repealed Private Business Corporations Act must re-register no later than 13th February, 2023.  The effect of failing to re-register is that the company or PBC concerned will be struck off from the appropriate register with effect from that date and will no longer be able to carry on business as a company unless it registers as a new company or incorporates as a new PBC under the new Act after that date.”)
  8. ii)by the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Form and the substitution of –

          “3.     Together with this Form a fee of ten United States dollars (or its equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars on the date of submission of this form) must be paid, which will also cover the fee for the annual return referred to in paragraph 6.”

          Thank you Madam Chair.

Clause 18 as amended put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported with amendments.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move that we revert to Order No.1 on the Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON HARMONISATION OF SEED REGULATORY FRAMEWORK IN THE SOUTHERN AFRICA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC)

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): WHEREAS Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any Convention, Treaty or Agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign States or governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament.

          WHEREAS the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Harmonisation of Seed Regulatory Framework in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) was adopted to address regional seed insecurity through integrating smaller and national seed markets into one large SADC seed market;

          WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of acceding to the regulatory framework;

          AND WHEREAS in accordance with Article 13 of the MoU, the MoU shall enter into force 30 days after signature by two thirds of Member States and in terms of article 14 of the MoU, the MoU shall remain open for accession by any Members State:

          NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Memorandum of Understanding is hereby approved for accession.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I rise to add my contribution in terms of this debate.  I want to start by saying in principle, there will not be any problem in having us as this House ratifying this document and allowing SADC as a region to have a uniform policy and position in terms of seeds.  My only comment Madam Speaker is to do with our own because one of the things that we have realised over the years is that there were certain seeds that we have had as African community in our various rural areas which have been replaced over the years by big seed companies.

          What we want to find out from the Hon. Minister is what guarantee do we have that the small seeds which are actually on the verge of extinct being kept by our people in their various communities, what guarantee is there that they are actually safeguarded or we are actually creating a situation where the big seed companies may actually end up taking over.  I say this Madam Speaker, specifically understanding that South Africa is dominant within SADC in terms of their size of the economy and their push towards GMO related products.  Is there any chance and danger we may experience with South African GMO seeds literally taking over the entire SADC and thereby possibly threatening the lifestyles of the people?  As we know it, quite a number of our people prefer natural foods compared to the one that is GMO.       I just wanted the Minister to help on that aspect so that at least our minds are put at rest. I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Mushoriwa for his contribution. I thank him for having the principle that the agreement must be ratified and the concerns that he has raised in terms of the swallowing of smaller seed companies by bigger ones, it is always a danger that the big market players will always try to dominate.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister is your gadget unmuted.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you let me repeat what I have just said.  (Hon. Ziyambi repeated the first paragraph).  I note his concern in terms of our very small seed companies that will be swallowed by the big companies.  My understanding in terms of the negotiations that were done at regional level SADC, this is one of the things that they took into consideration, hence you find out that there is need now through this MoU to integrate the smaller National Seed Companies into the entire regional seed market.  The thrust also is not to leave them behind but to integrate and move along with them.  Our thrust is to deal with food insecurity within our region.  As a country, as Zimbabwe, we do not have a policy of growing GMO foods.  So, our thrust as a country will continue in terms of having our variety of seeds that are organic and we will leave the other markets that have allowed the use of these inorganic seeds or GMO seeds to get them but as of now, as a country, we should not worry about the GMO seeds because we do not have a policy that says we can grow GMO seeds.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: Thank you so much Madam Speaker.  I just want to respond directly to Hon. Ziyambi. The fact that there is no policy at hand, that has to be addressed and resolved because we already know that as Zimbabwe, we are already having a lot of GMO food and Zimbabweans are eating a lot of GMO foods.  There is a contradiction that the Government of Zimbabwe is burying its head in the sand, pretending that GMO food do not exist in the country.   We need to address that as a policy gap as a country - that we give leadership and direction because there is a lot of GMO food circulating in the country.  We are importing a lot of food as a country.  We are not self-sufficient.  We get a lot of GMO food, especially from South Africa.  I am challenging Hon. Ziyambi that the Government of Zimbabwe should show leadership and be realistic and protect the citizens of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The fact that we do not have a GMO policy where we say we ...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Madzimure, are you connected?

HON. MADZIMURE:  Yes I am.  The fact that we have a policy that does not allow us to grow or to use GMO seeds but at the same time we import a lot of food that is produced under the GMO method; do you not think that Minister we must now reconsider our policy?  The reason is very simple.  The moment we join this market where we allow to participate in the same open market, I do not think it will be proper for us to be so selective where we then demand other seeds from other countries to say is it GMO or not GMO.  Do you not think that we now have to review our policy?

The other reason why we should review our policy is that if you look at our productivity levels they have really gone down, but there is no real explanation why our productivity has gone down.  We are producing, meaning we are using a lot of land and in the process sometimes we are also losing a lot of soils because of erosion and the like, but we are not really sure why our productivity has been going down because there is a difference between production and productivity.

Production is simply producing but productivity is the yield that we get within a certain period.  In other countries the productivity is very high because of the GMO they are using.  So as Zimbabwe, do you not think it is now the right time for us to reconsider our policy and also to say why do we have that policy?  Are we protecting our people?  If it is to protect our people, why are we importing the GMO chickens?   The potatoes that we eat from South African even the Lays potato chips are all GMO products.  So Minister, do you not think that it is time we also review so that we move with the rest of the people.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETNARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Molokele and Hon. Madzimure for their contributions in terms of GMO foods.  I think we are having discussions and what we are encouraging is to continue the discussions and these discussions are the ones that lead to policy change.  To a certain extent, I agree that we need to evaluate our policy - but what I stated is the policy as it obtains now.  There is a lot of credence in some of the arguments that are advanced in terms of productivity like you said.  Certainly, nobody can argue that in terms of tonnage per hectare of any crop that you produce, GMO crops you get more per hectare than none GMO.

These are discussions that will be ongoing but I believe that this MoU will allow us to pull our resources and ensure that we are food sufficient in terms of the seed varieties that are there on the open market.  Therefore, there will not be any necessity for us to say we will be demanding non GMO as compared to others.  I believe the others like the GMO, so it will be free non GMO to us.  As such, I think the MoU in its present structure addresses the issues that we want to address but discussions on the use of GMO and cultivation of GMO is a discussion that is productive that we can continue discussing until we finally find a middle ground as to how to deal with it.  I thank you Madam Speaker and  move that the MoU be acceded to by the National Assembly.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETNARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 44 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 45 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE 63RD COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN ON SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS, ACCESS TO PUBLIC SERVICES AND SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS HELD IN NEW YORK

Forty Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women on Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls.

          Question again proposed.

HON. KWARAMBA: I would like to thank all Hon. Members who contributed on the debate on the Status of Women (CSW 63), issues on public services; security and access to renewable resources of energy such as solar were discussed. These issues are very important as they bring development in Zimbabwe that will also benefit both men and women. Allow me Madam Speaker, to thank all male champions who contributed to this debate.

I hereby wind up this debate and move that this House takes note of the Report of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women on Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls, held from 11th to 22nd March, 2019, in New York, United States of America.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day Number Two on the Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSSION FOR THE YEAR 2019

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I rise to move that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for the year 2019, presented to Parliament in terms of section 323(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that every Commission must submit to Parliament, through the appropriate Minister, an annual Report on its operations by not later than end of March in the year following the year to which the report relates. I so submit Madam Speaker.

Since there is no debate, I therefore withdraw the motion on the Order Paper.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION FOR THE 2019

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that that this House takes note of the Report of the Judicial Services Commission for the year 2019, presented to Parliament in terms of section 323(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that every Commission must submit to Parliament, through the appropriate Minister, an annual Report on its operations by not later than the end of March in the year following the year to which the report relates. I so submit.

HON. MADZIMURE: I am proposing with the indulgence of the Minister that the report be debated next week.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Business of the House be suspended for Five Minutes.

Motion put and agreed to.

Business was suspended at Twenty- Seven Minutes past Four o’clock.

Business resumed at 1656 hours.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Finance 2020 Bill [H. B. 4, 2020].

CONSIDERATION STAGE

FINANCE 2020 BILL [H. B. 4, 2020]

          Amendments to Clauses 3, 4, new part and Clauses inserted after Clause 17 put and agreed to.

          Bill as amended, adopted.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

FINANCE 2020 BILL [H. B. 4, 2020]

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE), the House adjourned at a minute past Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 22nd September, 2020.

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