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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 DECEMBER 2023 VOL 50 NO 19

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 12th December, 2023

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PETITION RECEIVED FROM PANGANAI CHIHOTA, SAMUEL HOVHA, WILLIAM MAJEZA AND ERIA MASHAVA

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on the 10th of November, 2023, Parliament received a petition from Panganai Chihota, Samuel Hovha, William Majeza and Eria Mashava beseeching Parliament of Zimbabwe to investigate and take corrective action and order fresh hearings on the victimised and dismissed National Oil Company of Zimbabwe employees. The petition was deemed inadmissible as it implored Parliament to perform a function that does not fall under its mandate. The petitioners have been informed accordingly.

Hon. Minister, your title, sometimes you are referred to as Minister of Finance and International Investments Promotion, sometimes Minister of Finance, Economic Development and International Investment Promotion. Which is which?

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): None of those Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON SPEAKER: Which is the correct one?

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I am the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Clerks-at-the-Table, please take note so that we are consistent. Again Hon. Minister, before you proceed, sorry for the interruption, I think I have got good news for you. Please sit down.

Those of you who follow the international media, I think local media as well, the Hon. Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion was nominated as the best Minister of Finance amongst hundreds of Ministers and was awarded a prize and recognition accordingly.  I think this was in London very recently, if not last Saturday. Congratulations Hon. Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. MARKHAM: On a point of privilege! Last week we were supposed to have Committee meetings and it was deferred to this week, which we accepted but we were never given a reason.  This week we had a Post-Budget Seminar set for today which was postponed to tomorrow and I hear now from the group that it has been cancelled again. I understand there are obviously reasons for it.  However, as Members of Parliament, we need as much notice as possible because my diary keeps changing every day and it is starting to be like a Mbudzi Roundabout.

          May we please have adequate notice so that we can keep appointments as learned people and also in consideration of the people we are supposed to represent. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: A very profound observation.  The major reason has been to allow Members of various committees to proceed as much as possible with their consultations with the public and it is hoped that what we may lose in a Post-Budget Seminar for this half day will be gained through the public consultations by the committees and we trust that will cure the lacuna

          Secondly, we have to work within the constitutional timeframe once we start the budget process this time of the year, it has to be completed within the time frames as guided by the Standing Orders.  We cannot spill over to next year.  I want to assure you that in the next budget, we ensure that we have the process starting two weeks before the month of December so that we are not under pressure for time.  So your observation is totally acknowledged.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to move that Order  of the Day, Number 1 on Today’s Order Paper be stood over in order to allow Committees to complete their consultations and that it should be deferred to tomorrow, 13th December, 2023.

The Hon. Prof. M. Ncube and the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. K. Chokuda were asked to approach the Chair.

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to withdraw the motion that Order of the Day, Number 1 on Today’s Order Paper be stood over.  We should proceed because the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee is ready with his report and we can proceed with the rest of the debate on the budget.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I may need some guidance in terms of the procedures. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me present the report representing the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion.  We were at stakeholders’ consultation meeting yesterday where we met stakeholders from the industry, CZI, ZNCC, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.  What I am going to present is what came from the different stakeholders.

         Let me start with the background.  In compliance with Section 131 of the Constitution, read with Section 728 of the Public Finance Management Regulations of 2019, the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Hon. Prof. Ncube presented the 2024 National Budget on the 30th November, 2023 with the theme - Consolidating Economic Transformation.  The 2024 Budget ushers in the last two years of the implementation of the First National Development Strategy 1 which is running from 2021 up to 2025, thus it is critical in determining the success of the NDS 1 as well as informing a sound implementation and summative policy evaluation.  The National Budget gives breath to the NDS 1 and can be used to determine the Government’s sincerity in striving to attain the goals and aspirations of Vision 2030. 

          The budget is being implemented in the context of NDS 1 which among other targets, seeks to create 760 000 new jobs and bring inflation down to between three and seven percent by 2025 and expand the economy by five percent on a year to year basis.  Therefore …

          HON. MARKHAM:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker, it is just a clarity.  Mr. Speaker, are we not supposed to discuss the input from stakeholders as a Committee first before we present the report or am I wrong? 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is your question again? 

          HON. MARKHAM:  Yesterday we were late, we listened to all the stakeholders’ input.  We did not discuss the input as a Committee. We were going to do that and from my understanding, yesterday we were going to do that tomorrow afternoon.  Is it procedural for our Committee to present that before we discuss what the stakeholders told us – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Chair, what modalities did we agree on? 

          HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The standard procedure is, we were supposed to meet but we only met yesterday and after that, I think we were supposed to discuss the report but we did not. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Just a minute, you met and the report was produced.

          HON. CHIDUWA:  Yes, Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Was it presented within the Committee? 

          HON. CHIDUWA:  No, Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What was the understanding of not discussing the report because in terms of Standing Orders, a report is debated by the Committee and the Chair thereafter will report accordingly? 

          HON. CHIDUWA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I think we are under pressure because of time.  This is why we said any other input will also come from the Members when they also do their budgetary submissions.  It is because of the time constrains.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Clerk and Government Chief Whip, please approach the Chair. 

          The Clerk and Government Chief Whip having approached the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER:    Hon. Members, I think we cannot sacrifice procedure at the altar of an expedience. The initial motion by the Honorable Minister then stands that we suspend the debate of the budget until tomorrow, to allow Committees to complete their consultations tomorrow morning. Am I understood?

HON. MATEWU: On a point of order….

THE HON. SPEAKER: On a point of order or point of clarification!

HON. MATEWU: Point of clarity sorry, Hon. Speaker. Tomorrow we are supposed to meet at 10 am, all Committees to consider the stakeholders reports.  I think it is only imperative that we then adjourn the debate until Thursday when we have actually met as a Committee and agreed on the reports in various Committees.         

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are meeting tomorrow morning, you must complete your meetings and wind up business because we have to ensure that National Assembly completes the debate by Friday. Next week the budget is debated in the Senate. So we meet tomorrow.

          HON: MATEWU: Will we have the time for all the 21 Committees to present their reports and also give a chance to all Hon. Members to also debate?

          THE HON.SPEAKER: Oh! Yes, the practice is that if it means us going until the morning hours of Thursday as we have done in the past, that shall be and that is the practice. So we proceed accordingly. We meet tomorrow at 10 o’clock and ensure that you do as much as possible and come up with your debates and the debate shall start tomorrow afternoon and ensure that we have done justice to the budget. We are likely therefore, to meet again on Friday if we do not get through tomorrow and Thursday.

          HON. MARKHAM: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir. I am talking on behalf of the Budget Committee. If we have a long meeting which I am sure we will tomorrow, will there be enough time for the Budget Committee to prepare the documents for debate or for presentation in Parliament tomorrow afternoon?

THE HON. SPEAKER: That should be our target.

HON. MARKHAM: Provided we are expedient about it. Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, that should be our target. I do not see any request for clarifications, so we are going to proceed…

HON. HAMAUSWA: I have a request Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you for guiding us on the procedure. My worry, with your indulgence, is that, last week the Committees were supposed to meet. This week it is like a crush programme, which I then go back to your leadership and the Chief Whips to see how best we can come up with a well debated budget. As it stands, we were supposed to have a post-budget seminar today, it was postponed again. So it was also on the part of the limited accommodation last week that we did not sit as Parliament and we could have managed everything last week. I am not sure if we cannot push up to Tuesday next week so that we feel that we have done justice to the budget which is so important to drive our economy and Vision 2030 for us. Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You have hit the nail on the head. We tried what we could last week, but there was no hotel accommodation. The same with Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, there was no hotel accommodation.  What l was advised was that an analysis would be done by selected consultants and their analysis of the budget will then be posted online to various Members of Parliament. Was that not done? - [HON MEMBERS: Not yet.] –

The Hon. Speaker having consulted with the Clerk of Parliament

I have sought clarification. The analysis was done and it will be sent right away via online platforms and l apologise for the mix up. Once it is sent, you study the analysis of the consultants and put that together with what you are going to discuss in your Committees, and that should be sufficient for you to start the debate tomorrow afternoon.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  l move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 4, be stood over until Orders of the Day Numbers 5 and 6 have been disposed of.

HON. SHAMU: I second Mr. Speaker Sir.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Fifth order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTUREAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I stand to contribute on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Pursuant to the State of the Nation Address (SONA), on 3rd October, 2023 during the occasion of the Official Opening of the First Session of the 10th Parliament of Zimbabwe by His Excellency the President, Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa; also, subsequent constructive debate by Hon. Members of the august House, allow me to contribute towards the debate through the lens of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

          Mr. Speaker, may it please you, your Excellency the President …

          HON. MATEWU:  On a point of clarity, may I ask if a Ministry can actually debate because he said that on behalf of the Ministry of Transport.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Correct, we expect many Ministers to respond accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. SACCO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for educating the Member from the Opposition.  I hope he has taken note. Mr. Speaker Sir, may it please you, your Excellency the President: We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament. 

Allow me to restate His Excellency the President’s commitment to infrastructural development by quoting an extract from his SONA when he said: “My Administration is committed to transform infrastructure in order to improve incomes and the livelihood of our citizens. To enhance connectivity, we continue to upgrade the road networks across the country through domestic resources.  I would like to emphasise ‘domestic resources’ nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.  We do not need anyone to come and build our country for us. Similar initiatives are being implemented with regards to rail infrastructure, with focus on recapitalisation, rehabilitation and refurbishment”.

          My Ministry is responsible for the development of transport infrastructure including road and rail infrastructure as highlighted by His Excellency the President, Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.  As such, in the upcoming budget period, a lot of work has been earmarked for continuous implementation of mandates in the transport and infrastructure sectors.

          With regards to roads, my Ministry has continued to respond to the demands for accelerating road transport infrastructure development, with the view to enrich all our road corridor networks. Deriving from the relevant targets in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), of increasing the number of kilometres of road network in good condition from 14 702 km to 24 500 km by 2025, we prioritised and accelerated completion of ongoing road projects and the rehabilitation of roads which are in bad state.

          Accordingly, we continue to bask in the sunshine of a myriad of success stories in road infrastructure development.  We have witnessed remarkable progress on projects such as Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Road, as we have managed to maintain remarkable momentum on the project.  To date, we have opened almost 500km of the targeted 580km to traffic. This road is crucial as it is an artery along the North-South corridor.  Linking this road is the upgraded and modernised Beitbridge Border Post, which has been refurbished under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), with the ZimBorders Consortium and the project was completed in the first quarter of 2023.  The roll-out of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) is ongoing.  To date, 35 645 km have been constructed, rehabilitated and routinely maintained across the country.  The Government engaged a contractor, TEFOMA, to carry out the construction and modernisation of the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange.  This is a mega project and progress on construction now stand at 54% towards completion.

          As we strive towards achieving the NDS1 targets, the Government is embracing private sector participation in the development of our roads and infrastructure. To that extent, Cabinet has approved several border and road upgrading and rehabilitation projects under the PPP framework.  Notable examples include Chirundu Border Post, Forbes Border Post, Harare-Nyamapanda Road, Nyamapanda Border, Harare Ring Road, Gweru- Zvishavane-Rutenga-Boli Sango and Sango Border, just to mention but a few.

          Roads are enablers of seamless movement of goods and people, and facilitators of trade and development. Tied to roads is the need for us to revamp toll infrastructure. Notwithstanding the challenges we face, I have made strong undertakings that we will spearhead the construction of new toll infrastructure. To date, we have relocated Shamva tollgate.

          We yearn to do more as we have embarked on a programme of action to put in place requisite policy and legislative instruments for the ZINARA to work closely with CMED and other contractors to commence the refurbishment of the tollgates around the country. I have called for close cooperation between my Ministry and ZINARA, to revamp toll infrastructure, install cutting-edge software technologies for seamless revenue collection and passage. That will boost revenue collection and boost the road fund for sustainable road maintenance.

          On railways, we continue to work towards the recapitalisation agenda of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), with the view to enhance our bulky ground logistics. We applaud the NRZ, which to date has signed a ground breaking MoU with RITES, State-owned railway company based in India.

          The aim of this initiative is to boost the rolling stock and infrastructure capacity of NRZ in order to support its operations. To date, NRZ and RITES have signed a contract for the supply of nine locomotives, 315 wagons and US$34 million for infrastructure rehabilitation. We will continue to midwife this deal and lobby for necessary Government guarantees to ensure that it is successfully consummated.

          We also have subsisting partnerships with Transnet of South Africa, CFM of Mozambique, Zambia Railways Limited and Botswana Railways, which are promoting regional cooperation and propelling regional integration, with railways connectivity at the centre of such integration, manifesting through the Southern African Railways Association (SARA).

          We are also taking advantage of the multilateral level mechanisms such as the Belt and Road Cooperation Initiatives championed by the Government of China.  We will ensure that we make follow-ups on such mechanisms so that we are not left behind.

On aviation and inland waters, His Excellency, the President’s guidance, by way of the State of the Nation Address, adjured us to “transform infrastructure… to enhance connectivity”.  His call dovetails with the global practices of intermodal transportation and mobility, which integrate all modes of transport.  As a result, our roads and rail transport systems are integrated to the aviation and inland waterways transportation.

On aviation, the RGM International Airport upgrading and development project, which was facilitated by Government through a concessionary loan facility extended by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, through the China Export Import Bank is worth mentioning.  The scope of this project is enormous and is now at over 80% progress towards completion.  We are upscaling efforts to ensure that the project is finalised within the stipulated timelines.

While airports upgradation projects are capital intensive in nature, we will leverage on public and private partners to upgrade and refurbish airport infrastructure in Kariba, Buffalo Range, Hwange, Masvingo and Charles Prince, as well as construction of the control tower at J. M. Nkomo Airport.

The aviation sector is showing positive growth in accordance with our planned aspirations.  The sector has seen new airlines coming on board as well as an increase in frequencies by some existing ones. To date, the following airlines, among others, are flying into Zimbabwe: Emirates, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Botswana, Eswatini Air, Zambian Airways, Comair, Fastjet, Kenya Airways, Martin Air Cargo, Mackair, FlySafair, South African Airways, Airlink, Eurowings and many more.  This is an eloquent testament to the fact that Zimbabwe continues to welcome investment and growth in the aviation sector, in line with the national policy thrust enunciated by His Excellency, the President Cde Dr. E. D Mnangagwa, of engagement and re-engagement and opening up Zimbabwe for business.

We are also alive to the urgent need to retool and recapitalise Air Zimbabwe.  Currently, the process of bringing the second Embraer ERJ145 is progressing well, in order to improve viability of the airline.  We will continue to play our part as Government to ensure that we propel the national flag carrier to success.

Transportation is a driver of regional integration and globalisation.  We will continue to take advantage of our location in the Southern African region to build a transportation hub, with Harare emerging as the centre. Through unfolding developments within the framework of implementing regional blue prints, such as the SADC’s Regional Indicative Development Strategic Plan, and those under COMESA and the African Continental Free Trade Area, a collective approach to the development of infrastructure and systems promotes intra-African trade.

Our participation within regional and global bodies on Transport and Transport Infrastructure avails vast opportunities for us to adopt international standards and good practices.  Our collaboration and participation in regional and international bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Inter-Governmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS), African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Inland Transport Committee (ITC) and many more allows us to learn and exchange best practices in the transport sector.

His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. Dr. E.D Mnangagwa has set the tone, by his trailblazing and enlightening State of the Nation Address, and our Ministry will be guided by the same, as we work to fulfil our targets, within the framework of the seminal blue print, the NDS1. His guidance injects impetus in us and strengthens our resolve to collectively unlock the value and potential endowed in the transport and transport infrastructure sector, with the view to attain targets contained in Vision 2030, which reflects the collective aspirations and determination of the people of Zimbabwe, to achieve a prosperous and empowered Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to start by congratulating His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for winning resoundingly the 2023 harmonised elections and also to congratulate his deputies Hon Rtd. Gen. Dr.  Chiwenga and Hon. Mohadi for the appointments and I also want to congratulate you Mr. Speaker Sir for your position which is very critical for bringing stability and continuity in the National Assembly.

The motion is very relevant where the State of the Nation Address came at a time when we had just finished our elections. The election that was won as I have already said by His Excellency where he entered into an election with his hands and feet all tied because of sanctions. It was very difficult for him going into an election that was so uneven because of sanctions. We know the manifestation of sanctions that are coming in various forms like ZIDERA Act, Executive Orders, OFAC, EU restrictive measures and AGOWA. All these were against him and we are happy that he came out victorious.

Going to SONA with regards to the issues that we are looking at as Government, the President talked about infrastructure development. Infrastructure development is an enabler to growth. Our agenda is clearly set out in Vision 2030 in terms of where we want to go as a nation. The realisation of Vision 2030 is in the form of national development plans, which is the TSP, NDS1 and NDS2. Under Vision 2030 as a country, we are guided by five critical pillars – the pillar on macro-economic development and stability, inclusive growth, infrastructure development, governance and social protection. These are the pillars that are guiding the development agenda that was set out by His Excellency in the State of the Nation Address.

Infrastructure development in all its facets we are looking at rail, road, air and water infrastructure and a lot has been done to ensure that we realise the goals as presented in the NDS1. We are being implored even where I am coming from, Zaka South. I am very happy that quite a lot has been done with regards to energy. A number of areas where we did not have electricity under the Rural Electrification Programme now we have electricity. This is assisting our people to be part of the financial strategy which was again launched by His Excellency under the financial inclusion strategy.

We are also happy with the road network. I know given the impact of sanctions, there is nowhere we are going to develop our road system as an event. It is a process and we have already started with Chirundu-Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway. Now, there is talk again of Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway. This is in line with what His Excellency said to lay brick upon brick, we are building our infrastructure, taking into account the resources that we are using. We are using domestically generated resources.

          I am also happy Hon. Speaker, to say that on infrastructure development, what has already been presented by Hon. Deputy Minister Sacco to say that when we look at our air infrastructure, we have already done the Victoria Falls International Airport, the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport, the Robert Mugabe International Airport and the smaller airports, that is, the Buffalo Range Airport and all that is meant to enable business operations in line with ease of doing business. I am sure as we go forward, the smaller airports will also continue to be developed.

          On food security, His Excellency mentioned the issue of development of water infrastructure. If we check on what has been done already, we have the Chivhu Dam which was started and is already functioning and there are irrigation schemes; there is the Muchekeranwa Dam, and there is the Gwai-Shangani Dam.  If you go to Matabeleland South, there is the Thuli-Manyange Dam, and all these are meant to ensure that we guarantee food security. Again, this is very critical for us.

          Where I come from, in Zaka South, we have the Manjirenji Dam, under the small holder irrigation revitalisation programmes they have already started irrigation schemes. There are also plans to have an irrigation scheme under the Bangala Dam and all these programmes are meant to ensure that there is food security.

          Hon. Speaker, the issue of economic stability is also paramount and it was also highlighted by His Excellency the President. If we trace where we are coming from since 2018 to date, when the Second Republic said in terms of where we want to go with regards to macro-economic management, we want a convergence of macro-economic indicators with SADC indicators. We are using local resources and from 2018 up to 2023, when we trace the budget deficit that we experienced, it has not exceeded three percent and this is in line with SADC indicators. It is no wonder that the Hon. Minister won accolades. Thank you, Hon. Minister, for that. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-     

          There is also the issue of the co-ordination of monetary and fiscal policies - the use of our own currency. I know these are painful measures that we need to take. We can wake up today and start using the United States Dollar and there is stability tomorrow, but does that mean that we have achieved stability? In order for us to achieve stability, we need to produce, we need to develop a diversified manufacturing sector and we need to export. It is from exports where we are going to stabilise our currency and this is why the painful measures of saying we need to make use of our currency have to be taken, and the position of the Government in terms of de-dollarisation is very clear.

          Hon Speaker, I implore even for us where we come from, we have been telling people that we will reach a stage where we are going to run out of United States Dollars because some of the funds are not circulating. This is so because you go and buy something outside the country, the moment you get the United States Dollars and the dollars are going outside the country, it is not sustainable.

          His Excellency spoke about devolution and decentralisation. Devolution to us Hon. Speaker, is a game changer. Quite a number of projects have been implemented in our constituencies. I can tell you where I come from, we now have Gumbire Primary School that was built solely using devolution funds. We have water schemes that are there, Machiva, and Benzi clinics - all these were constructed from devolution funds. What we are calling on the Hon. Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion is that given the importance of devolution funds, especially to us who come from rural areas, we need to ensure that it is constitutionally provided for so that we provide five percent of the National Budget towards devolution.  Surely, the whole five percent should be released – this is our call Hon. Minister.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of value addition and beneficiation, we can develop as a country when we are exporting raw commodities. This is stretching from agricultural commodities to mining. Zimbabwe is classified as one of the countries with the highest per capita in the world. We want to ensure that we benefit from the mineral resources that we have. This was clearly mentioned again by His Excellency to say that we need to beneficiate what we have. This is very critical and the Industrialisation Policy that we are working on, I am sure, will also add to His Excellency’s clarion call to make sure that we beneficiate what we have. This will generate export revenue, jobs and grow the economy.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to touch on the legislative agenda that was set by His Excellency, specifically to do with the portfolio committees that we shadow in Parliament. We have the Insurance Bill that is supposed to be tabled but I noticed that the IPEC Bill – somewhat, maybe it was mistakenly omitted, but we also feel that the IPEC Bill that had gone up to the second or third reading stage in the Ninth Parliament has to be part of the legislative agenda.

On the critical role of youth and women, His Excellency mentioned the role of youths, women, sports and small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) as one of the priority areas under NDS 1. We are saying where we come from, the issue of the youths taking drugs and substance abuse is also due to lack of opportunities. We have identified that SMEs are playing a critical role, especially with regards to contribution to the GDP and employment. This again has to be developed and we are looking at an economy-wide development of the SMEs and this will also be tapped into by our youths and our women.

          Hon. Speaker, if we go to the international agenda of His Excellency, I mentioned the issue of sanctions which came about because we had restored the means of production into the hands of the indigenous people, because of those who were owning the land illegally, Zimbabwe was then slapped with illegal sanctions.

  However, we are guided by the foreign policy which was again put forward by His Excellency to say ‘we are an enemy to none and a friend to all’.  This is what is guiding us and what has been done with regards to international engagement. A lot has been done, the EU Africa dialogue, the Zimbabwe EU dialogue and now we are engaging with the United States.

          On our arrears’ clearance, we have seen the engagement of Zimbabwe with the Paris and non-Paris Club Members.  All this is part of image building, engagement and re-engagement and we are happy with what the President said in the State of the Nation Address. 

          As I close Hon. Speaker, His Excellency, in his State of the Nation Address, mentioned that Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.  This is a clarion call for self-identity that as Zimbabweans, we need to work together.  As Zimbabweans, we can clamour for international help, we can grand-stand in Parliament, but at the end of the day, what is critical is to know that we only have got one Zimbabwe and this is the legacy that His Excellency is teaching all of us to say, we only have got one Zimbabwe.  Let us build Zimbabwe all of us.  Each one of us has a role to play and in the process, we will endeavor to ensure that no one is going to be left behind and no place is going to be left unturned.  This is what we are all being taught and this is what we are supposed to take down to our constituencies to tell our people that Zimbabwe is for all of us.  Zimbabwe can only develop when we have got a developmental spirit that protects Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

          HON. TSITSI ZHOU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th December, 2023.

MOTION

UNCONDITIONAL REPEAL OF ZIDERA BY THE US GOVERNMENT AND LIFTING OF UNWARRANTED AND ILLEGAL SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWE

HON. DR. MUTODI: I move the motion standing in my name That this House: DESIROUS to have the heinous and illegal sanctions, unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by the Government of United States of America after the enactment of the draconian Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) by the George Bush Administration, unconditionally removed to pave way for a prosperous sovereign state;

COGNISANT that the United States of America Government has not forgiven Zimbabwe for rightfully possessing the land that people won after a hard fought and protracted war;

DISMAYED that these evil sanctions have caused gross human suffering to ordinary Zimbabweans as they are not just targeted to individuals who are banned from visiting and operating businesses or bank accounts in the United States, but indiscriminately affect ordinary citizens who have to contend with severe economic hardships such as hyperinflation, exchange rate volatility and high levels of unemployment;

MINDFUL that the imposition of these illegal sanctions has led to massive skills flight resulting in our people migrating to seek employment and other opportunities elsewhere;

FURTHER COGNISANT that the Land Reform Programme is irreversible and will always be sustained;

RE-AFFIRMING ENGAGEMENT AND RE-ENGAGEMENT with all will always be sustained;

NOW THEREFORE, resolves that;

(a) A delegation from Zimbabwe Parliament be sent to the United States of America to present a briefing paper to the President of the United States of America and Congress requesting their administration to expeditiously and unconditionally repeal ZIDERA which has caused so much suffering to ordinary citizens of our country;

(b) The delegation engages the United States of America Congress to lift the unwarranted and illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe;

(c) Zimbabwe presents its case to the United Nations by the end of December, 2023 so that these illegal sanctions imposed on our country are unconditionally lifted once and for all;

and (d) The United States of America Government to engage with the Zimbabwean Government on terms that promote mutual benefit through economic and political cooperation.

HON. SHAMU: I second.

HON. DR. MUTODI: I move this motion for the unconditional lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe by the Government of the United States of America in 2001.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the motion to have the ZIDERA unconditionally removed is based on a report by SADC Permanent Mission in Geneva which was produced in December 2020.  The report discussed the impact on Zimbabwe and the SADC Region of the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States of America and the European Union.

In its introduction, the report indicated that Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme has led to the United States of America imposing illegal sanctions under the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 which was amended with a view to further tighten its provisions in 2018.  In it, the US Government inter alia instructs the US Executive Director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit or guaranteed to the Government of Zimbabwe or any cancellation or reduction in indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the US or any international financial institution.

 Supplementing these sanctions are executive sanctions, executive order 13288 of March 2003 which have been renewed on a yearly basis.  It is clear that the sanctions are all-encompassing, contrary to claims that they are ring-fenced and targeted against a few individuals. 

The EU also introduced its own sanctions regime in February 2002, while the EU lifted most of its sanctions in 2014, those against the Zimbabwe Defence Industry Company, senior Government officials and service chiefs as well as an arms-embargo are still in place.  The EU insists that it will maintain the sanctions under constant review in light of political and security developments in Zimbabwe. 

The US and EU sanctions against Zimbabwe are illegal and unjustified because they violate Chapter 41 of the United Nations Charter which states that sanctions can only be decided by the UN Security Council.  Cognisant of this, in its resolution 39/210 of 18 December 1984, the UN General Assembly called on developed countries to refrain from threatening or applying trade restrictions, blockages, embargos and other economic sanctions incompatible with the provisions of the charter of the United Nations and in violation of undertakings  contracted multi-laterally or bilaterally against developing countries as a form of political and economic cohesion which affects their economic, political and social development. 

The Vienna Declaration and programme of Africa which was adopted by the World conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 was more specific calling on the states to refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to trade relations among nations and impeach the full realisation of human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments, in particular, the rights of everyone to a standard of living adequate of their health and wellbeing, including food and medical care, housing and necessary social services. 

In September 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on human rights and unilateral cohesive measures.  The resolutions stressed that unilateral cohesive measures are contrary to the United Nations Charter, International Law and International Humanitarian Law and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations amongst States.  It highlighted that these measures result in socio-economic problems in the targeted countries.  In this regard, the council decided to create the mandate of the special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral cohesive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

The former late Special Rapporteur and the current Special Rapporteur, Ms. Elena Douhan stressed unquestionable negative impact of these measures on the enjoyment of all human rights and therefore, called on those States that have imposed sanctions against other states to lift them. 

          The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in its Nairobi Conference titled ‘Moving Towards an Inclusive and Equitable Group or Economic Environment of Trade and Development’ adopted at its full tenth Ministerial Session, clearly pronounced itself in paragraph 34 when it said the following;

          “States are strongly urged to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development particularly in development countries and that affect commercial interest”.  These actions where cited as to hinder market access, investments and freedom of transit and the well-being of the populations of affected countries. Meaningful trade liberalisation will also require addressing non-tariff measures including inter alia unilateral measures where they may act as unnecessary trade barriers. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I will move on to the overall impact of the US imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe has lost over US$42 billion in revenue over the past 19 years because of the sanctions.  This includes lost bilateral donor support estimated at US$4.5 billion annually since 2001, US$12 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the African Development Bank, commercial loans of up to US$18 billion and a GDP reduction of at least US$21 billion.  As a consequence, the significant progress that Zimbabwe had made in the development of its infrastructure as well as health education and other social service delivery systems has been severely reversed.  This has resulted in the most vulnerable sections of the population sinking in deeper poverty.  For instance, the proportion of the population in extreme poverty rose in the aftermath of sanctions. 

          Mr. Speaker, to this end, Zimbabwe’s quest to attain the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals has also been impacted on.  Further felt sanctions against Zimbabwe are affecting the smooth running of regional groupings such as the SADC.  The SADC macro-economic conversion targets of low inflation, sustainable budget deficits, minimal public debt, equitable current account balances as well as the formation of a regional monetary union and the movement towards attaining regional industrialisation agenda are being compromised by Zimbabwe’s inability to meet most of its target.

  Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now move on to the effects of the sanctions on the main sectors of the Zimbabwean economy. On the access to credit lines, Zimbabwe’s balance of payment’s position has deteriorated significantly since the imposition of the sanctions.  Zimbabwe access to international credit markets was blocked following the enactment of ZIDERA.  The country has been forced to virtually operate on a hand to mouth basis resulting in a significant build-up of external debt arrears.  This unfavourable development has worsened the country’s credit worthiness as the country’s international financial risk profile escalated.  Subsequently, this led to the drying up of traditional sources of external finance from the international financial institutions,  with the country receiving no support from the African Development Banks since 1998, the IMF since 1999 and the World Bank since 2001,  In essence, the IFIs stopped their support to Zimbabwe by instituting a number of suspension of balance of payment support, technical assistance, voting and related rights by the IMF and the declaration of illegibility to access fund resources.

Consequently, the country’s external arrears have continually increased.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are also noted impacts on the country’s financial services sector on the international financial transactions on the investment and growth of the economy and also on the agricultural sector impact on the industry and manufacturing sectors, impact on the mining sectors and also on the energy sectors.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will zero in on  the impact of the sanctions on the tourism sector.  Bad publicity has dealt Zimbabwe’s tourism sector a negative blow.  This is because Zimbabwe is falsely perceived as an unsafe and risk country to visit with the likes of the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Australia and others issuing negative travel advices to their citizens.  This drastically reduced the number of tourists’ arrivals from the West.  There is also an impact on the health sector and also on the current prevalence of Cholera and other waterborne diseases in Zimbabwe.

The Government of Zimbabwe was very successful in the containment of pandemics prior to the introduction of sanctions.  However, with the advent of ZIDERA, the ability of the country to fight diseases such as HIV and AIDS and Cholera has been affected mainly because of the lack of funding to fight these diseases. 

In conclusion, to the impact of sanctions, Zimbabwe is willing to engage with sections of the international community which imposed sanctions.  It is not a situation where we are not willing; we are actually willing as enunciated by our President when he took over Government in the Second Republic.  The latter, which means United States must remove the illegal sanctions immediately and unconditionally to allow the country to move forward.  Zimbabwe and its SADC partners therefore call upon the United States to unconditionally remove the sanctions which were imposed on the country in the year 2001 by the George Bush administration. 

It is in pursuit of the aspirations of the SADC report that this Parliament must do its part and take it upon itself to seek justice for the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered so long due to the sanctions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, on Section 4 part 5 (c) of ZIDERA under the heading - Multilateral Financial Restriction, it is stated that until the President makes the certification described in Section (d) and accepted as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States Executive Director to each of the International Financial Institutions to oppose and vote against any extension of the respective institution of any loan credit or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe, any cancellation or reduction in indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or to any International Financial Institution.  On Section 6 under the heading - Sense of Congress on Actions to be taken against individuals responsible for violence and the breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, the ZIDERA Act reads in part as follows;

It is the sense of congress that the President should begin immediate consultation with the governance of the EU member states, Canada and other appropriate foreign countries on ways in which to

-Identify and share information regarding individuals responsible for the deliberate breakdown of the rule of law, politically motivated violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe. 

- Identify assets of those individuals held outside Zimbabwe.

-Implement travel economic sanctions against those individuals and their associates or family members.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important to note that this Act has come upon us as part of an operation of the      U. S. Foreign and Defence Policy. It is imperative that I unpack the U. S. Foreign and Defence Policy especially highlighting the human error element that exists in its establishment, particularly pointing out that there are phases where the United States of America has come up with some irrational foreign policy decisions which affects millions of people worldwide, not only in Zimbabwe and particularly those in the affected countries.

I will give you striking examples where for instance, Congress blocked the rational foreign policy decisions by its President and on the other hand, instances where Congress supported irrational foreign policy decisions by the President of the United States. In doing so, I wish to bring this House to the understanding that the decision to impose ZIDDERA by the U.S. Government may have been arrived at through an irrational foreign policy decision making process by the United States Congress.

I will give you one striking example during the presidency of Bill Clinton where the President faced congressional defiance when he proposed the need for the U. S. to pay its dues to the United Nations and when he proposed the lifting of sanctions against the Republic of Palestine which he thought no longer accept U. S. interest and also in 1993, when he made a rational decision to send troops into Bosnia to enforce low prime zone and support NATO Operations sponsored under the United Nations. In Bosnia, U. S. troops operated on a multilateral neutral force and Clinton’s rational decision was stopped by Congress in a clear show of irrationality of the U. S. Foreign Policy.

There were also instances where the Congress supported irrational decisions by the President of the United States especially during the presidency of President George Bush. It is during this presidency that the United States…

HON. MATEWU: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe the 20 minutes allocated to the Hon. Member has elapsed.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order! Hon. Member, this will be the second time that you are being advised again to be educated. – [Laughter.] - The mover of a motion has no limit. This is not from me but from the Standing Orders. So I encourage you to revise your Standing Orders accordingly. Hon. Dr. Mutodi, you can proceed.

HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was indicating that during the presidency of President George Bush, we witnessed so many irrational decisions by the U. S. Government such as the invasion of Iraq where President Saddam Hussein was eventually assassinated under the claim of holding to weapons of mass destruction which later proved to be false. It is also under the same period that Zimbabwe was imposed or slapped with the illegal sanctions just because there was overwhelming support for the U. S. President in his foreign policy. It is clear that the foreign policy was baseless and based on unfounded facts which need to be fought by this Parliament.

Mr. Speaker Sir, having unpacked the irrationality of the U.S. foreign policy and having suggested that the ZEDERA was passed during a period of overwhelming presidential concurrence during President W. Bush’s administration, I am proposing that this House send a delegation to the United States of American to present a briefing paper to His Excellency the President of the United States of America and to Congress on the need for the U. S. Government to consider the repeal of ZIDERA and start a process of engagement and political and economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of both countries.

During the year 2023, I presented a briefing paper at the School of Government at the University of Birmingham on the Zimbabwe sanctions. It is this briefing paper that can be modified and panel beaten by this Parliament and then presented before the United States of America Congress and the President.

I will go through a few headings of the briefing paper. On its heading, it actually presents a question on whether the U.S should change its stance of sanctions against Zimbabwe. On its introduction, the briefing paper states that Zimbabwe is a country of about 15 million people located in the Southern African region. It is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU). Zimbabwe has formally been a British colony named Rhodesia from 1965 to 1979 sharing the border with South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

Its successive leaders since 1965, Ian Douglas Smith, 1965 to 1979, Robert Mugabe, 1980 to 2017 and Emmerson Mnangagwa, 2017 to date. Rhodesia first existed as Southern Rhodesia in 1923 when it was annexed at the British colony at the request of Cecil John Rhodes, a British imperialist. It was part of the British Monarch between 1965 and 1970 with Queen Elizabeth reigning as the Head of State. Between 1963 and 1980, there was war in Zimbabwe in which the black majority population fought for the independence of Zimbabwe from Britain in order to remove a white minority government led by Ian Douglas Smith and to install a majority rule.

The main grievances by the black nationalist leaders led by Mr. Robert Mugabe included racial discrimination which gave whites more rights than blacks including the right to vote, the right to education among other rights, land distribution imbalances where whites who constituted 4% of the population on the 90% of productive land and forced labour as blacks worked on the whites farms and factories for very low wages. The war, mainly a gorilla warfare ended in 1979 following a cease fire agreement for the Lancaster House Agreement where it was agreed that Britain would fund Zimbabwe’s  land reform exercise.

Zimbabwe therefore gained independence on 18th April, 1980 with Robert Mugabe elected as Prime Minister and it initiated a land redistribution exercise using the willing buyer willing seller system until the black population became restless due to the ineffectiveness of this system as the whites left were not prepared to dispose their land. Between 2000 and 2002, there were widespread farm invasions mainly by former liberation war fighters targeting white owned commercial farms. At last 4 000 white farmers of British, Germany, South African and American origin were dispossessed of their land and they were alleged human rights abuses on the farms during the compulsory acquisition of land during the period mentioned.

On the issue of sanctions, the briefing paper states that the United States Government, under President George W. Bush’s administration, imposed unilateral sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2001, following human rights abuses against some White farmers which allegedly happened on farms.  Some White farmers were reportedly killed in cold blood, while others were allegedly assaulted or forcefully removed from their farms.  There were allegations that some crops were destroyed and some investments were destroyed as well.

          So, this forms part of the background situation that then called for the sanctions. Then the United States Government responded to this situation through what is called ZIDERA.  It was passed into law by congress in 2001, to promote allegedly democracy and economic recovery of Zimbabwe.  Following the Land Reform Exercise, the Zimbabwean economy suffered major viability challenges including unstable currency, hyperinflation, high unemployment levels of over 90% coupled with a growing informal sector due to the retrenchment of skilled personnel, high levels of poverty and prostitution as well as high levels of HIV and AIDS.

          There were also increasing resent among citizens in increased support for the opposition parties and civic society advocacy groups, who were allegedly fighting for good governance.  The Government is allegedly to have responded through the media space, through Access to Information and Privacy Act, of course which they said was to limit the publication of falsehoods against the country and also perpetrating instability by these journalists who were publishing false stories in some cases.

          Due to this development, the sanctions were imposed by the United States (US) Government in two forms.  One of them being economic sanctions and the other being targeted sanctions.  I will move on to the targeted sanctions.  The US Government implemented targeted sanctions against senior Government officials and civil servants, who were believed to be at the centre of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.  So, the briefing paper also tackle the sanctions under that heading.  It also tackles the human interests of promoting democracy, ensuring that there is multilateralism and all that sort.  It also touches on the forced action, which the US Government takes, chief among them is the diplomatic engagement that needs to be taken.  Under this heading, the diplomatic engagement involves using diplomatic means to engage with the Zimbabwean Government on terms that promote mutual benefits through economic and political cooperation.  It is proven that where States cooperate for mutual economic gain, they are least likely to engage in any conflict that may disturb the attainment of absolute cause.

          So, it will also go on to talk about the costs that will be incurred during the sanction lifting process and the benefits that will accrue to both countries and the possibility of congressional support.  Already in the United States Congress, a Senator called Jim Inhofe has already tabled a motion in the US Congress to repeal ZIDERA.  The rationale for this motion is that the US sanctions are hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.  It is not the political elite that they are talking about.  Over the past 20 years, the US sanctions have failed to achieve their intended results according to their own interpretation and they are no longer relevant after President Robert Mugabe left office.  The sanctions have impacted severely on women and children, and a significant number of economically active Zimbabweans have left the country into the diaspora, mainly South Africa, the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia.  Many have left their wives and children, bearing the brunt of economic hardships, partly blamed on the US sanctions.

          The Briefing Paper will also look on the international support for diplomatic engagement and under this heading, it reads as follows; the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe happen during the leadership of Mr. Tony Blair, as Prime Minister of the UK.  Mr. Blair’s disagreement with President Robert Mugabe on the way in which the Land Reform would be funded inevitably resulted in the chaotic Land Reform Exercise which precipitated the sanctions against Zimbabwe by the US, EU and the UK.

          However, following the Brexit, which is the movement of the British State from the European Union (EU), the EU cannot continue to enforce these sanctions.  Also following the election of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as President of Zimbabwe, there is no longer need for the continued imposition of sanctions.  The President has fought to improve relations between Zimbabwe and the UK – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- President Mnangagwa has implemented a re-engagement policy aimed at normalising relations between Zimbabwe and the West, apart from instituting fiscal transparency and other economic reforms.  The Government of Zimbabwe has also applied to be re-admitted into the Commonwealth, a group of former British colonies, meaning that the Government is prepared for any reforms required for such admission.  The efforts of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in improving relations with the West therefore deserve international support.

          I will look on the downside risks, the implication on the wider US strategy and recommendation.  The recommendation is to have the US Congress remove the sanctions unconditionally and immediately.  This should be done through a delegation sent to the congress and to the President of the United States of America.  This delegation is being sent by this Parliament to ensure that they appear before the congress and the President and advocate for the unconditional removal of the sanctions. I thank you.

          HON. SHAMU: May I thank you for allowing me to add my voice in support of the motion moved by Hon. Mutodi, calling on the United States Government to repeal its Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act (ZIDERA). The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe through ZIDERA are indeed illegal. These illegal sanctions were not supported or approved by the United Nations.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, over the period 1980 until the end of 1997, Zimbabwe’s economic growth was only second to South Africa in Africa. Between the year 2001 to today, Zimbabwe has experienced serious challenges to its economic and social development due to the impact of the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States Government. I do agree and support the points raised by Hon. Mutodi, that poverty has been entrenched in the country, mainly affecting women, children, the elderly and disabled. Millions of Zimbabweans who are economically active, men and women of note left the country for the diaspora looking for employment opportunities and better standards of life which they have been deprived of due to the United States illegally sponsored sanctions.

          Zimbabwe has lost billions of US dollars in revenue because of the illegal sanctions. The illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America have had a serious negative impact on the economic performance of Zimbabwe, as they not only affect the key productive sectors, which are the mining and agricultural sectors, but also put a negative tag on the country’s image leaving investors and donors less than willing to support the country through investment and aid respectively.

          Thanks to the ingenuity of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is constructing its roads and bridges using it own resources. Most development projects of this magnitude are done using multilateral donors and not internal resources. The norm, the world over is that construction of roads and bridges is carried out basing on funding from such institutions as the World Bank. Zimbabwe cannot access the funding of that nature because of the illegal sanctions. Infrastructure of this nature indeed needs soft loans from such institutions as the World Bank. Zimbabwe is being denied the ability to float its own bond notes on the international market and raise foreign currency for infrastructure development.

          Zimbabwe was denied this right by the United States of America, simply because the people of Zimbabwe waged a justified war of liberation, defeated the enemy, defeated imperialism, defeated capitalism and now that they have taken over their birth right, are being denied the right to enjoy it. What we are witnessing here is history repeating itself. The American Government’s imposition of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe has no difference with what apartheid in South Africa as military aggression and destabilisation of the then Front-Line States did before apartheid was defeated. Billions of dollars and millions of lives were lost in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, in a calculated strategy designed to entrench economic dependency of the then Front-Line States on apartheid South African regime.

They wanted to stop the Front-Line States from supporting the just struggle of the people of South Africa led by the African National Congress in their just fight against apartheid.  The similarity of the evil activities of the United States of America to what apartheid South Africa did and was indeed defeated, lie in the fact that American Government does not want to see a politically and economically free Zimbabwe. They do not want to see us carry the revolution through to its logical conclusion which is complete control of the commanding heights of our economy. This is why SADC declared the 25th October the anti-sanctions day.

The motion that has been presented before this august House by Hon Mutodi deserves the support of this august House in as far as it has the potential to extricate Zimbabwe from the albatross of the illegal economic sanctions imposed unilaterally by the Government of the United States of America. The recommendation made by Hon Mutodi for Parliament to send a high-powered delegation – when l talk about high powered delegation, Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am indeed looking at your Chair.  Indeed, in the name of the Speaker of Parliament himself, Hon Adv. J. F. Mudenda to lead the delegation to address Congress and present a briefing paper to the President of the United States of America. Madam Speaker, this is a necessary initiative which should be supported by this august House. Indeed, the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must go and must go now. I thank you Madam Speaker.

+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I will debate in Ndebele. I want to support the motion regarding sanctions which was moved by Hon. Mutodi, seconded by Hon. Shamu. I am one person who supports the idea of the removal of sanctions and as Zimbabweans, we are innocent, we are not guilty. We need to unite and send a high-powered delegation which was mentioned by Hon. Shamu, which will be led by Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of Parliament to go and advocate for the removal of sanctions on behalf of our nation. This is indeed killing the general populace. It is affecting people regardless of political affiliation. Every Zimbabwean is a casualty of sanctions.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, from 2001 to 2002, during the Land Reform Programme, when Zimbabwe was taking its heritage, this provoked the British who responded. It was painful and difficult. When the sanctions came, they were really biting. They affected schools and even people in their domestic homes, in the industry, in the shops and the economy reeled from sanctions. We are one no matter which party. What we do not want is destroying the economy by these sanctions. I want to commend the Government which came in 2018, the New Dispensation and the Second Republic, when President E. D. Mnangagwa took over. He came in during a difficult period but he fought hard. With the resources we have, he managed to transform the Beitbridge Border Post to a One-Stop Border Post. He refurbished the roads through the Roads Rehabilitation Programme, regardless of parties. He has transformed the people’s lives.

Please bear with me, my tooth is aching but I am really pained by this issue of sanctions. I therefore, implore the Western countries to remove sanctions. We seek the Holly Spirit to come upon them so that they remove sanctions. If the sanctions are removed, then Zimbabwe with its resources, endowed with all which is needed by the British and Westerners, you will find that it is as if we are competing or running with both hands and feet tied. Madam Speaker, this is an emotional issue to me. Please bear with me. We need to stand together and fight sanctions. When sanctions are removed, we will have peace in the country. As Parliament, we will achieve and people will have sustainable livelihoods. I will not say much but I am very emotional when speaking about such issues which affect the disabled. To me, this is like victimisation. It provokes and invokes emotions because if sanctions are not removed, then it will be like we are not doing anything. Civil servants are suffering but Government is trying. Madam Speaker, this is painful. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUSA NCUBE): Thank you Hon. Mpofu. I am really sorry that you are not feeling well. Get well soon please. Thank you for your contribution.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I rise to debate a motion brought by Hon. Mutodi, seconded by Hon. Shamu on the unilaterally imposed Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) on Zimbabwe by the United States Government. Let me preface my debate by covering the historic trigger that led to these unilateral and genocidal sanctions. The primary reason and objective for the liberation war which was waged against the settler colonial occupation…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chiduwa. Just a moment. Hon. Hamauswa, can you please approach the Chair. You can continue Hon. Chiduwa.

Hon. Hamauswa approached the Chair.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The primary reason for and objective of the liberation war which was waged against the settler colonial occupation in pre-independent Zimbabwe was the restoration of land, forcibly seized by settlers from the indigenous Zimbabweans, without compensation over the century-long colonial occupation of Zimbabwe. It is important to underscore the cardinal importance of land to Zimbabwe, considering that it defines our identity as Zimbabweans and concomitantly its right for self-determination as enshrined in Article 27 of the United Nations (UN) Charter. When the Lancaster House Agreement was consummated, it was agreed that a cessation of hostilities, which then led to independent Zimbabwe was going to lead to the Land Reform Programme. Zimbabwe was committed to an orderly Land Reform Programme as long as the compensation for land was going to be done by the UK Government. Unfortunately, what then triggered the invasion was a statement which was submitted to the then Minister of Lands, the late Hon. Kumbirai Kangai, which was submitted by Clere Short. When Clere Short said, ‘I am an Irish and I am also a victim of what you went through as Zimbabweans’, because of that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the cost of land purchase. This was just a small paper which was submitted to the then Minister of Lands by Clere Short. So from there they denied responsibility for funding land but as I said in my prefix, the main reason why we waged the liberation war was because we wanted our land back.  We wanted the means of production, the land and whatever is underneath the land and what then comes after that.  Since this was coming from the Minister of International Development who was representing the Foreign Policy of the UK Government, it was very clear that the British Government would not honour its colonial obligation as agreed at the Lancaster House.   We then decided to take our land.  Revolutions do not have any order.  What we just needed was land, whether it was going to be done orderly or not orderly, we just wanted land so we took back our land.  You can define it the way you want but we then took the land.  As a response to what was done by the Zimbabweans, the UK Government, USA Government and the EU ganged up against Zimbabwe and imposed sanctions and as long as these sanctions were done against Article 41 of the United Nations, they are illegal. The unilateral sanctions that were imposed by the UK, USA and the EU on Zimbabwe are illegal and unjustified because Zimbabwe wanted to correct a historical imbalance, historical injustice and these sanctions came in various forms as already alluded to by the mover of the motion.  ZIDERA, where the USA President is the one with the full responsibility to certify if Zimbabwe should remain or should be removed from the sanctions restrictive measures.  Then there is also AGOA, Executive Measures, the OFAC and the EU Coercive and restrictive measures but what you may also want to know is that the USA is crying more than the bereaved.  It is the USA Government that came up with ZIDERA and not the UK Government.  We did not have any issue with the USA Government but the sanctions in the form of an Act which has to be repealed or imposed by the USA Government and this is why I am saying they are crying more than the bereaved. 

The Impact of the Unilateral Sanctions.  

The cummulative effect of the over 20 years of unilateral coercive measures has been immense, impacting negatively on all sectors of the Zimbabwean economy and its people as a whole, severely undermining the relations of the United Nations development goals, the ZIM-ASSET and the economic recovery programme.  These are some of the policies that we have implemented since the inception of these sanctions and the sanctions had almost threatened the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals.  During the imposition of the unilateral coercive sanctions, the enjoyment of human rights as enshrined in a number of international legal instruments and the Constitution of Zimbabwe has been violated. 

The Former US assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crooker, during US Sanctions Law hearings said ZIDERA was meant to make the economy of Zimbabwe scream. Crooker said if you want to separate the people from a ZANU-PF Government, you should make the economy scream.  This is why you see today the Hon. Minister of Finance has no fiscal space to implement Government programmes.  We can cry and say the fiscal measures are too tight but these are the impacts of sanctions.  ZIDERA shrunk the fiscal space for the Government. The Government is hamstrung. ZIDERA, to us Zimbabweans, is an antithesis of the problem that we want to realise as Zimbabwe and it has grossly violated the rights of Zimbabweans. Some of the rights that have been infringed are, inter alia:

  •      the right to life
  •     the right to development
  •     the right to work
  •     the right to health
  •     the right to food
  •     the right to housing
  •     the right to water and sanitation
  •     the right to education
  •     the right to clean and safe environment
  •      the right to human dignity
  •     the right to free trade
  •     the right to social protection
  •    the right to identity
  •    the right to free and fair elections.

The major gross violator of human rights in Zimbabwe is the, UK and USA Government.  You see, as Zimbabweans in Parliament here present, we were even supposed to be very close to each other as political parties but we were divided even by this ZIDERA because some of us were expecting sweets so you will see that this, as alluded to already, ZIDERA is an antithesis to who we are as Zimbabweans and this is why it is very critical for all of us as Zimbabweans to put our political differences aside and support this motion as moved by Hon. Mutodi and seconded by Hon. Shamu.  

Impact on the National Economy

The imposition of unilateral coercive measures in 2000

resulted in sustained economic contraction in almost all the sectors of the economy, resulting in a cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline by about USD21 billion. Some of the major economic sectors which have been directly affected by the measures include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism and the financial sector. These sectors are what we define as real economy. Zimbabwe has also lost over USD42 billion in revenue, USD4.5 billion in bilateral donor support annually since 2001, USD12 billion in loans from the IMF, World Bank and the African Development Bank and USD18 billion in international commercial loans.

The contraction of the economy is attributed to declining Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow as investors tend to shun Zimbabwe perceived as high risk. FDI inflows increased significantly from an average of USD8 million per year in the 1980s to an average of USD95 million in the 1990s, but declined to about USD20 million per year after 2000. Exports shrunk from USD2.4 billion in 1996 to USD1.5 billion in 2009.

Infrastructure across all sectors that include roads, railway,

telecommunications, energy generation, water and sanitation deteriorated, resulting in an infrastructural funding gap of USD34 billion as at 2017.

The issue on debt: Poor economic performance crippled the ability of the economy to generate adequate revenues for Government to provide basic social services in the areas of health, education, social protection, water and sanitation. Further, the Government failed to service its foreign debt which stood at USD3.1 billion as at 2000, but has since ballooned to about USD18 billion, of which about USD5.2 billion are arrears, further compounding the incapacitation of the Government to provide essential services.

Agriculture and Food Security

Agriculture is the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy,

contributing between 14-17% of GDP, major export earnings and a source of raw materials to industry. Unilateral coercive measures resulted in a sharp decline in agricultural investment, negatively affecting agricultural productivity and overall production. That is why you see now, having realised that for a country to function, we need food. The President guided Treasury to say we need to invest a lot in food security. Even if you check our National Development Strategy One (NDS1), food security is a priority area and we have done investments in water. The issue is not about the dam or water, but what are you going to use the water for? If you check the dams that have been constructed to cover industrial development, agriculture, food security –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chiduwa, you are left with five minutes.

HON. SHAMU: I propose that the Hon. Member be given more time.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chiduwa, I am sorry we are running out of time. We are supposed to adjourn at five o’clock so that we give our Members time to go through the budget analysis report. We want to adjourn at 5 o’clock exactly so we cannot give you more time. You are only left with five minutes.

HON. CHIDUWA: The production of maize, sorghum, millet and other cash crops continued to trend downwards since 2000. Maize yields declined from a peak of 1.2 metric tonnes (MT) per hectare (ha) in 2000 to an average of 0.749 MT/ha to date. Between the periods 2010 - 2016, the proportion of food insecure people increased from as low as 6% before the unilateral coercive measures were imposed, to a high of 42% in 2016. Zimbabwe, which used to be the bread basket of the Southern Africa region, is now a net importer of agricultural produce. Maize imports increased from as low as 876 MT in 2001 to as high as 308 267 MT in 2017. Wheat imports also increased from 5000 MT in 2002 to as high as 276 776 MT in 2018.

The unilateral coercive measures damaged the image of the country through negative perceptions by the international community, making it extremely difficult to access international agricultural financing. This has resulted in lack of development, rehabilitation, modernisation and deterioration of production and marketing infrastructure, ultimately reducing productivity and access to markets.  There was a decline in the number of functional tractors from 14 000 to 6 000 against a national requirement of 40 000 units. The combine harvesting capacity declined from 300 units to 130 functional units against national requirement of 400 units.  There is a shortage of cold storage infrastructure around the country. The state-of-the-art packing houses which are required to facilitate exports to European markets are also limited. Additionally, the number of functional irrigation schemes declined from 275 000 ha to less than 206 000 ha due to lack of repair and maintenance, rehabilitation and modernisation. Zimbabwe has the potential to irrigate up to 2 million ha.

AGRIBANK, the major agricultural financing institution, is not able to finance agriculture due to lack of offshore lines of credit. CBZ Bank, another significant financier of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, is also under unilateral coercive measures, which are negatively affecting its ability to access international lines of credit.

Previously, farmers used to export horticulture produce to The Netherlands and the UK. However, access to these markets was restricted, resulting in a significant decline in the horticulture industry. By 2005, horticulture exports had gone down to about USD72 million, with the value further tumbling to USD40 million by 2009. The horticultural industry’s contribution to the GDP fell from about 4.5% before the year 2000 to the current 0.8%.

Similarly, under the Convention on Beef and Veal Protocol, Zimbabwe had a preferential tariff quota which allowed it to export 9 100 MT of beef into the EU annually. Under the Sugar Protocol, Zimbabwe’s preferential tariff quota stood at 30 225 MT annually. It could increase its sugar quota by a further 25 000 MT under the variable Special Preference. All the quotas were scrapped due to unilateral coercive measures imposed on Zimbabwe.

The cotton industry is also being prevented from accessing the EU markets, except through middlemen, which has resulted in the loss of 5-10% of the value of produce. The cotton industry used to export products valued at USD50 million and it is now getting less owing to the inaccessibility of the EU markets. In addition, the industry is failing to pay for inputs, spare parts and machinery to companies outside the country.

Mining Industry

Zimbabwe’s economy depends heavily on its mining industry,

which accounts for about 8% of GDP, 70% of exports receipts and employs about 36 500 people. The two major parastatals, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), which provide vital services to the sector are under unilateral coercive measures and the following is instructive:

ZMDC, responsible for mineral production and development is prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with global business entities posing serious viability and liquidity challenges.  Sales from operational mines are limited to those who are willing to trade with Zimbabwe and thereby negatively impacting on the market size and mineral prices.

MMCZ, which is responsible for marketing the country’s minerals is also under unilateral coercive measures, constraining its operations. Sales proceeds are being confiscated and payments to creditors in US dollars are also withheld, with detrimental effects to the viability of the mining industry. A total of USD1.5 million belonging to miners, MMCZ, and Government has been blocked to date. Mining value chains and the industrial forward and backward linkages

Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing sector’s performance deteriorated markedly from 24% of GDP in 1999 to 13.1% in 2016. The cumulative effect of the coercive measures has resulted in high cost of borrowing (with interest premiums as high as 18%), obsolete technology, shortage of spares, loss of export markets, low levels of long-term finance to enable re-tooling and low aggregate demand. As a result, manufacturing capacity utilisation fell from 70-76% in the 1980s to an all-time low of 10% in 2008.

Strategic companies such as Chemplex and ZimPhos, involved in the production of phosphate fertilisers were negatively affected by the unilateral coercive measures, threatening their long-term viability. The impairment caused by the measures have increased the overall cost of production resulting in expensive fertilizers, which ultimately threatened food security. Large companies like Olivine Industries (a major player in the cooking oil industry) where the Zimbabwean Government owned equity, was forced to close shop in 2019 as a result of viability challenges. Closure of companies over the past two decades in the manufacturing sector has resulted in high levels of unemployment in the country.

The negative performance of the national economy, which has resulted in decreased agricultural output, has also impacted negatively on the manufacturing sector, given the backward and forward linkages between the two sectors.

Energy Sector

The energy sector has not been spared from the impact of unilateral coercive measures through low levels of investment, high cost of energy, decline in lines of credit, obsolete technology, failure to access spares, among other challenges. Electricity generation capacity now stands at less than 1 200 MW against an installed capacity of 2 000 MW, which has forced Zimbabwe to import electricity from the region with scarce foreign currency, leading to debt accumulation to the tune of around USD133 million. Considering that energy is a key economic enabler, restricted power generation capacity constrains economic activity, rendering domestically produced goods and services uncompetitive, locally and internationally.

Similarly, the absence of international lines of credit has constrained the capacity to import adequate fuel products to meet demand. This has led to the accumulation of external debt, worsening the public debt situation.

Financial Sector

The imposition of unilateral coercive measures on Zimbabwe

compelled traditional financial creditors to classify the country as high risk, limiting access to international capital, thereby making the country a target for de-risking. Currently, only 6 out of 27 commercial banks are able to transact internationally. There is an observed trend towards de-risking of money service businesses, foreign embassies, non-profit organisations, and correspondent banks, which has resulted in bank account closures, mainly in the US, the UK and Australia.

A telling example is when the Infrastructure Development

Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) failed to access correspondent bank relationships with Commerzbank AG, Societe Generale, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Standard Chartered Bank New York, Nedbank South Africa, Bank of New York Mellon and Barclays Bank Plc. CBZ bank, ZB Bank and AGRIBANK all under unilateral coercive measures have also failed to conduct international transactions. For example, the imposition by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of a USD3,5 million fine on CBZ Bank, the largest commercial bank, crippled its operations affecting thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans. In the same vein, ZIMRE Holdings had funds confiscated by the OFAC to the tune of USD1.7million, resulting in operational difficulties in trade and massive retrenchments without severance packages.

A German company, Giesecke and Devrient, Zimbabwe’s banknote paper supplier for over 50 years, unilaterally terminated the supplies of paper to Zimbabwe in July 2008. This resulted in loss of a fully paid up consignment of paper due for delivery to the Reserve Bank being denied exit from Germany.

Development Partners Support

The withdrawal of Official Development Assistance (ODA), in the wake of the imposition of unilateral coercive measures, precipitated the marked curtailment of development programs. This is best illustrated by the withdrawal of funds by both Denmark and Sweden, amounting to USD115 million a year. The funds were used to complement Government efforts in infrastructure development, health, food security and agricultural sectors

Transport

          The imposition of unilateral coercive measures on Zimbabwe adversely affected the transport sector resulting in marked declines in the operability of the road, rail and air transport systems. The measures curtailed the ability of these subsectors to access offshore lines of credit, receive multilateral donor support, acquisition of spares and equipment, among other challenges. Consequently, the safety, reliability and serviceability of road, rail and air transport systems were compromised. 

Air Zimbabwe

Air Zimbabwe was suspended from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) billing and ticketing system. As a result, the airline cannot sell interline tickets or international tickets via travel agents or other airlines. In 2019, the Airline failed to comply with international airworthiness requirements and to access aircraft engineering maintenance services for an Embraer aircraft it had purchased due to ZIDERA related restrictions. Resultantly, the Airline was forced to ground the aircraft for at least 2 years.

Air Zimbabwe has, since the end of 2018, been unable to process payments in USD, Pound Sterling and the Euro to its suppliers and service providers due to ongoing de-risking activities by correspondent banks. The Airline has also been affected by non-voluntary bank accounts closures by most international banks it has previously traded with such as Standard Chartered New York, Barclays Bank London and Dresdner Bank Germany.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ)

CAAZ has been operating without a Radar and Surveillance

system for the past 11 years because potential suppliers are reluctant to enter into business relations with an entity where the Zimbabwean Government is the beneficial owner for fear of violating coercive measures imposed on the country. This resulted in a number of foreign Airlines withdrawing services from Zimbabwe and these include Lufthansa Germany, British Airways, KLM Netherlands, Air France and Qantas Australia. Therefore, air transport lost almost 50% of traffic movements at its airports and airspace. In 1997, a total of 2,280,153 passengers were registered in Zimbabwe, but the number of passengers dropped by almost 63% to as low as 834,269 in 2003. These figures demonstrate retarded growth, lost employment opportunities and revenues, which had a direct impact on the tourism industry.

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)

The NRZ experienced a significant decline in serviceable rolling stock resulting in business volumes, declining from 12 million MT in the late 90’s to below 2.5 million MT to date. This loss of business translates to an average annual loss in business, amounting to USD133.1 million. As a result, the NRZ has laid off 5 200 employees, from a peak of 9 000 in year 2000 to 3 800, thereby compounding the unemployment situation prevailing in the country.

Tourism Industry

The Zimbabwean tourism sector has been adversely affected by the

negative perceptions that are engendered by the unilateral coercive measures. Room occupancy plummeted from a high of 60% recorded in the late 90s to below 40% in 2000 and bottoming out at 34% in 2006. Zimbabwe also experienced a drastic reduction in the number of firms operating in the industry, declining from a peak of 118 in 2000 to 56 by 2005.The decline in tourist numbers is a result of bad publicity and the spill over effects of the impact of the coercive measures on the aviation sector, where the number of airlines entering Zimbabwe declined.

Zimbabwe lost a significant market share owing to travel warnings and restrictions. The western press generally portrayed Zimbabwe as an unsafe tourist destination with the UK, USA, Germany and Australia at various times issuing negative travel advisories. Travel advisories drastically reduced the number of tourist arrivals from the west.

Social Services Provision

Social services provision has not been spared from the negative

effects of the coercive measures imposed on Zimbabwe; the sharp economic contraction severely constrained the Government’s ability to provide basic social services. As I have mentioned, if you want to separate people from their Government, you need to make sure that the economy should scream and these are some of the impacts. As a result, the country experienced a regression in key socio-economic indicators, such as gender empowerment, health services, water and sanitation, housing, education, food and nutrition and natural disaster preparedness and response among other key outcome areas. Accordingly, over 500 infrastructure projects were mothballed as a result of the financing challenges induced by the coercive measures. This has also contributed to an acute shortage of housing, as evidenced by the proliferation of informal settlements observed in urban centres.

Due to the unilateral coercive measures, water and sanitation infrastructure deteriorated. This engendered cholera and typhoid epidemics, notably in 2008 and 2018. The two outbreaks led to over

3 000 deaths and affected lives and livelihoods of countless more.

Zimbabwe is prone to natural disasters, experiences frequent and

severe floods and droughts. Therefore, budgetary constraints caused by unilateral coercive measures, have effectively prolonged disaster response times, with the country effectively still grappling with the infrastructural damage caused by Cyclone Eline (2000) and Cyclone Idai (2019).

Impact on Women, children and other vulnerable groups

          Women and youth organisations and other vulnerable groups like children, the elderly and the disabled were severely affected by sanctions.

          Besides, the livelihoods of women and youths have become precarious as they cannot access financial assistance and lines of credit from local banks. The group can no longer access development and entrepreneurship funding from regional and international financial institutions due to sanctions.

The sanctions caused a fall in the country’s revenues and

devaluation of national currency, resulting in high inflation and unemployment. This resulted in the deterioration of people’s overall welfare and lowering of their ability to access the necessities of a standard life such as nutritious food, healthcare and medicine.

In essence, the illegal sanctions have caused significant worsening

of public health conditions and economic well-being of the majority of Zimbabweans. While the number of people who could have died due to poverty is difficult to ascertain, the above figures reveal that the effects of sanctions directly contributed to poverty in the country which now perpetuates the cycle of poverty, resulting in poverty-related deaths.

Impact on the Region

  • The imposition of sanctions saw an increase in outward migration

of skilled and non-skilled labour force to neighbouring countries. This human capital flight heavily affected the economy of Zimbabwe which was already under stress. In turn, this impacted on resources in terms of social services delivery in the recipient neighbouring countries. The sporadic attacks on foreigners in some of the neighbouring countries could be directly attributed to sanctions as the recipients of our citizens have to put more resources towards social services.

  • Before 2000, Zimbabwe used to enroll and train a high number of

students from the SADC region in its colleges and universities. However, the situation has changed due to sanctions. Internationally, Zimbabwe has been struck off from a number of scholarships programmes that complemented Government’s human capital development efforts.

  • On infrastructure that support regional trade, Zimbabwe provides

road and rail links for many SADC countries due to its strategic central location. The deterioration of road infrastructure due to financing challenges has resulted in high cost of operations for road users from the region. Zimbabwe could not revamp the railway system that could have benefitted the region due to sanctions.

  • The long and winding queues of Zimbabwean travelers.

Impact on Regional Co-operation

          Sanctions are affecting the smooth running of regional groupings such as SADC and COMESA. The SADC macroeconomic convergence targets of low inflation, sustainable budget deficits, minimal public debt, equitable current account balances, as well as the formation of a regional monetary union and the movement towards attaining the region’s industrilisation agenda are being compromised by the sanctions. Zimbabwe has failed to meet most of the targets owing to the adverse effects of sanctions. For instance, while the average rate of inflation for the region declined from 29 percent in 2002 to 7.7 percent in 2012, Zimbabwe’s inflation around 2000 was in the three digit range while in 2012, it was in the negative territory and the economy was stagnant yet it desperately needed some growth to stimulate employment.

          Sanctions have also resulted in Zimbabwe failing to be effectively represented at some international meetings, where crucial decisions and commitments are made, as some targeted individuals especially high-ranking government officials are denied visas.

Labor and Migration

In response to economic hardships triggered by the unilateral coercive measures, economically active people, especially with critical skills and the youth (human capital), migrated in search of greener pastures, for instance in South Africa, UK, Canada, Australia and USA, compromising Zimbabwe’s economic development prospects. Statistics indicate that emigrants currently stand at approximately 3.6 million.

Poverty

The national poverty rate in Zimbabwe increased from 32.2% in 2001 to 38.3% in 2019, growing at an average annual rate of 10.32% as a result of the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the economy. The elevated poverty levels have led to an increase in the rate of criminality, substance abuse, mental illness and cases of suicide.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zimbabwe has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, ranking 34th in 2019 out of 183 countries, with the crude suicide rate of 14.1 people per 100 000. More so, when the rate is age adjusted, Zimbabwe ranked 5th in 2018 and 8th in 2019.

Unemployment

The number of persons working in the informal sector has increased dramatically. Before the imposition of unilateral coercive measures, the informal sector employed 490 000 people each year, but this number has increased to 1.65 million. This signifies high levels of underemployment and lack of decent work, given that degreed people are on the streets selling different wares e.g. cigarettes and airtime/phone credit. The most affected are the youth, with 94.5% working in the informal economy. This indicates that households have become more reliant on the informal sector, which has negatively impacted the Government’s revenue base due to lost taxes.

Further, coercive measures resulted in the exclusion of Zimbabwean students from international scholarships critical for human capital development. They also resulted in a reduction in the number of collaborations with research institutions, funding for research projects and limited exchange visits in critical areas.

Crime

The general deterioration and harsh socio-economic environment in the country, induced by the unilateral imposition of coercive measures, has over the years led to a pronounced increase in crime levels. Unilateral coercive measures greatly decimated formal employment opportunities, compelling a large segment of the population to enter the informal sector, whilst others have resorted to criminality in order to survive.

From 2000 onwards, the crime rate increased significantly by 84% in response to constricted employment opportunities, resulting in increased drug and substance abuse, illicit foreign currency dealings, robberies, theft, increased illegal artisanal mining activities and smuggling among other activities. Elevated household poverty levels have led to an increase in the practice of child pledging and early child marriages, as financial struggling families try to make ends meet.

Cases of violence against women are also on the increase, ever since January 2011 to date, an average of 2 900 rape cases have been reported each year. It is evident from the foregoing that unilateral coercive measures have not only had an adverse economic impact, but have also torn the social fabric, values and morals of the Zimbabwean society.

The above distressing crime statistics have been occasioned by the lack of operational effectiveness of law enforcement agencies due to inadequate financial and material resources, induced by the unilateral coercive measures; a case in point being the non-delivery of 1 000 Land Rover Defender vehicles, purchased from the UK in 1998. Initially, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was supposed to take delivery of 1 500 vehicles, however the unilateral coercive measures were imposed after only 500 had been delivered, leaving a balance of 1 000 that have not been delivered to date.

Despite all the socio-economic hardships caused by the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Zimbabwe, the country continues to comply with its responsibility of promoting, protecting and fulfilling its domestic, regional and international human rights obligations.

CONCLUSION

In order to facilitate the removal of the unilateral coercive measures, that have devastated the country, Zimbabwe has reached out to countries that have imposed these measures. However, the dialogue with the EU, which is currently at the Ministerial level, has been progressing slowly, leading to frustration. Zimbabwe, however remains hopeful that the Parties will be able to reach common ground in the immediate future.

Efforts have also been made to conclude the land reform question, through the signing of a Global Compensation Agreement with former commercial farmers to the tune of USD3.5 billion as compensation for the developments made on the land. The country has also implemented a number of economic and political reforms, for example crafted economic blueprints such as the Transitional Stabilization Program (TSP), 2018-2020 and the current National Development Strategy (NDS1), 2021-2025. 

It is the Zimbabwean Government’s fervent hope that all these efforts and measures would culminate in the unconditional lifting of all the unilateral coercive measures to enable citizens to fully enjoy their human rights.

I fully support the motion by Hon. Mutodi that there be unconditional lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe, let there be engagement. It is high time this House starts to talk about reparations given the excesses that were done by the British Government when they forcibly took land and enslaved our ancestors. I thank you.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my comments on the issue of sanctions. Let me be very clear that sanctions indeed affected our international financial transactions, but basically, what is important is that if you look at the ZIDERA, it is a foreign policy document which we may not have absolute control over. Let me be honest with you. Zimbabwe has its own foreign policy as well where it gives a framework upon which it works and relates with other countries. So, in my honest opinion, we want sanctions gone, but let us do this together. Let us work together to ensure that we give commitment to what has been highlighted in the ZIDERA itself. Let us show commitment. If we do not show commitment – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I understand Zimbabwe has created a roadmap to deal with the land issue and it actually agreed to set aside US$3,5 billion to compensate the white farmers. So, where are we? I would want this Parliament to tell us where we are now with that process. Where are we on good governance issues? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Where are we on issues to do with –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members!

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker, that testifies of the issue on human rights abuses as a reason of continued sanctions.  If you look at the Amendment of 2018, those were issues which were at the core.  This is what I am saying and that is why I am going back to those issues because they point to the problems that we are facing today as a country….

HON. NGULUVHE: On a point of order Madam Speaker!  My point of order is that the Hon. Member is debating off the issue on discussion. The issue under discussion is on the removal of sanctions but now he is debating on human rights. These are the same people who went to ask for sanctions on the pretext of human rights. So, we cannot tolerate that – the reason why there is ZIDERA is because we have individuals who complained on the issue of human rights and therefore, we had sanctions imposed.  So we do not tolerate such people. He is only speaking on behalf of the Americans. Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you.  I was saying that you cannot refer to the Mabvuku issue because you do not have full evidence of what transpired in Mabvuku. May you please debate on sanctions.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for the protection. One of the reasons why Zimbabwe is not getting assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not because we owe the IMF. It is because we owe other bilateral institutions…

HON. S. SITHOLE: On a point of order Madam Speaker!  Madam Speaker, he must first withdraw his initial statement…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Hamauswa!

HON. S. SITHOLE: He must first withdraw his initial statement before proceeding. – [*HON. MEMBERS: Ko KuMabvuku hakuna kufiwa here?] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Members! You may proceed Hon. Member.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. We are talking about sanctions and I was saying the reason why we are not getting money from the IMF for now is not because we owe them anything, but because we owe other bilateral institutions such as the Paris Clubs and the Non-Paris Clubs.  Do you know why that matters?

It matters a lot as the credit-worthiness of a country, there is nothing to do with sanctions on that one but it is because of credit-worthiness. What we are paying now are just tokens of commitment but not meaningful to get our country back on track. Let me be honest with you and say that there are issues that need us to address as a nation first before we go to the United States of America – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]– I would like to thank the Hon. Member who spoke last. He was so vivid that as Zimbabweans, we are one country, we need support.

Let us be honest with you, the American government owes Zimbabwe nothing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]– Let me be very clear on that one because it now appears as if they owe us something.  No, they do not owe us anything. What we need to do is to put a roadmap that will allow us to be re-incorporated to get soft lending, grants, credit lines and our country will move forward. I submit Hon. Chair. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

HON. MUKOMBERI: Thank you, Madam Speaker and good afternoon. It is my honour to be afforded this opportunity to add my voice on the illegality and need for lifting economic sanctions imposed on the Zimbabwean economy by its colonial masters and allies.

Madam Speaker, the thrust of my presentation is to elucidate on the devastating effect of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe on its economic war bank as a country. Therefore, the need for the lifting of such sanctions so as to stimulate the Zimbabwean economic growth to its full potential level.  Economic sanctions Madam Speaker, can have devastating…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Order, order, Hon. Hamauswa!

HON. MUKOMBERI:  Economic sanctions Madam Speaker, can have devastating impact on any country’s economic well-being. The impact is hefty especially on developing countries such as Zimbabwe that is still in the process of industrialising its economy in an effort to boost production to keep pace with the increasing demands relative to population increase as enunciated by the Commonwealth Malthusian Hypothesis on the association of food production growth and population growth.

Madam Speaker, sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West make it difficult for the country to trade with other countries and access foreign investment as well as foreign money from the international foreign institutions.  The adverse consequences of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe is detrimental to its economic growth…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member.  Hon. Hamauswa, I will ask you to leave the House if you continue making noise.

HON. MUKOMBERI:  The adverse consequences of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe is detrimental to its economic growth as it negatively affects the living standards of citizens. It is over two decades since Zimbabwe was put under economic sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States of America and their allies.  It is against common sense Madam Speaker, for a country to punish another country – a sovereign State for that matter, for the restoration of its own land from a colonial master.

Following the Land Reform of 2002, the Government of Zimbabwe has been accused of unsubstantiated human rights violations by these western communities.  The European Union and the United States of America have been claiming that the economic embargos were restrictive measures on particular individuals.  However, in contrary to the ridiculous proclamations, the sanctions imposed on the country are not ring-fenced only to individuals but are affecting and bear a hard grip as they are being felt all over the whole economy…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:   Order, order! Hon. Hamauswa, may you please approach the Chair.  Hon. Member, you may proceed.

HON. MUKOMBERI:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I was saying that the truth is that the hard grip of the illegal economic sanctions is being felt throughout the whole country, including critical sectors such as agriculture and mining.

Madam Speaker, the Zimbabwean economy is greatly dependent on agriculture and mining.  The famers cannot export the produce and this limits the revenue generation potential as the global market becomes a restrictive playground and also the country’s foreign currency income stream dwindles.  This contributes to the suffering of the majority of citizens particularly those that depend on the specific sectors.

Madam Speaker, without any logical basis, western communities have been arguing that sanctions were designed as a penalty imposed to ensure compliance with the law.  However, the coming in of a new dispensation was supposed to be considered as a new chapter with the new administration and that should have motivated the West to remove the illegal economic embargos imposed on the country.  A number of social, political and economic reforms have been implemented under the new dispensation. Dr E. D. Mnangagwa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe’s administration has been accommodating many retrogressive elements, some of whom are violent, intolerant and destructive. Such tolerance by His Excellency is a gesture of positive development that the US and its allies should have appreciated.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order! I am so worried by certain language coming out of this august House such as retrogressive elements being referred to fellow Zimbabweans at a time when we are saying let us be united and see how we can come up with a roadmap towards removal of sanctions…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Hamauswa!  There is no point of order there.  

          HON. MUKOMBERI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have been describing the behaviour of certain individuals as retrogressive – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – as it stands, the Second Republic has been working on building close relationships with Western countries through the engagement and re-engagement policy.  This is one of the country’s efforts to improve and maintain political, socio and economic relations with the international community. 

          The illegal sanctions imposed on the country like those imposed on other countries like Cuba, Iraq, and Libya, to mention but a few, will continue to harm and deteriorate vital economic institutions which are essential for the survival sustenance and continuity of human and economic well-being of the majority of Zimbabweans.

 Madam Speaker, the Western which sympathises with some colleagues in our mother land may have imposed economic sanctions to cause pain on Zimbabweans such that they would revolt against the Government.  It is against the voice of the people and the voice of God for a person in Zimbabwe to applaud the West and support the continuation of such satanic sanctions imposed by the same to Zimbabwe, only for one to gain political or personal mileage as the general populace of Zimbabwe is suffering.  No wonder some political party members lobbied for sanctions in a drive to manipulate Zimbabweans for the maintenance of their political objectives.

Madam Speaker, sanctions are controversial indeed. While some schools of thought believe that there are effective ways to pressure countries to change their behaviour, it is imperative to note that they are counter- productive and cause more harm than good.  The sanctions have failed to unseat a duly elected Government for over two decades now as anticipated by those who imposed them.  It is high time now for those who impose sanctions on Zimbabwe to be removed because they did not work on their side.

 Every year on 25th September, join hands in calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on our dear motherland Zimbabwe, and its people.  President Mnangagwa’s speech at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, focused on the negative impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe and other developing countries.  He called for the unconditional lifting of sanctions arguing that they were illegal and counter-productive.

          The President went on to list some of the negative consequences of sanctions including reduced foreign investment and trade, high unemployment and poverty, shortages of essential goods and services resulting in inflation and a decline in the quality of public services.  All these negative impacts of sanctions on Zimbabwe’s economic well-being are derived from the restricted interdependence of Zimbabwe with other economies in the global economy.

          Madam Speaker, God, in His wisdom, created the earth and different countries in their geographical locations were endowed with different economic resources so as to facilitate inter-dependence and trade in the globe.  Thus, trade embargos imposed on Zimbabwe limit it from its full inter-independence and trade with the external world.   

          Unemployment in Zimbabwe is a result of economic sanctions as industrial production dwindled ever since the sanctions were imposed as some of the imported inputs were put under embargos, and exporting of some agric-produce and minerals to certain markets are restricted by such illegal sanctions, to mention but few.

Inflation in Zimbabwe is also a result of economic sanctions and this is based on the fact that reduction in production due to sanctions mismatches supply and demand in the commodity market, resulting in shortages hence prices play a rationing function by naturally sky-rocketing.  Sanctions are therefore to blame for endless price hiking in Zimbabwe. 

Madam Speaker, to prove that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are baseless and illegal, heads of States of other countries are also calling for the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.  To be specific, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe arguing that sanctions are hindering investment in the country.  He said South Africa continues to call for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe citing that these restrictive measures have a devastating impact on the ordinary people of Zimbabwe and on the economies of the neighbouring countries which depend also on Zimbabwe for certain products.

Madam Speaker, let me bring your attention to the fact that Zimbabwe used to be the bread-basket of Africa but now to that end, we cannot remain the bread-basket because of dwindling production due to sanctions.

Madam Speaker, the Second Republic has however been working towards reviving the country’s economy despite illegal sanctions.  I want to invite the House, at this juncture, to help me clap hands for Dr. E.D Mnangagwa, our President’s administration – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The Government has implemented several reforms to try and mitigate and neutralise the effects of such inhuman sanctions.

 Zimbabwe’s economy has grown steadily in recent years despite the sanctions.  According to the World Bank in 2002, the country’s economy grew…

HON. CHIGUMBU: On a point of order!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order and which Standing Orders are you referring to?

HON. CHIGUMBU: To the one that was referred by…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Which Standing Order are you referring to?

HON. CHIGUMBU: I did not hear who gave a point of order specifically…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, sit down.

HON. MUKOMBERI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me proceed despite some disruptions from baseless grounds.  This growth has been driven by several factors including…

HON. CHIGUMBU: On a point of order!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Which Standing Order are you referring to?

HON. CHIGUMBU: Madam Speaker, we cannot allow such language to be uttered in this House.  We are all equal Members here…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, sit down.

HON. MATEWU: In terms of Standing Order Number 98 (1)  (d), says, “no Member whilst speaking to a question may use derogatory, disrespectful, offensive or unbecoming words against the President, Parliament or its Members or the Speaker or President of the Senate”.  I think he must withdraw his word ‘clown’ referring to us.  Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, did you mention the word ‘clown’?

HON. MUKOMBERI: No, I did not.

          HON. MATEWU:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I believe that you must treat all Members of Parliament with respect and as equal because you are in the Chair as our Madam Speaker.  We on this side of the House do deserve some respect.  I am sure if you check the Hansard, the word clown has been mentioned by the Hon. Member and he must withdraw his word clown. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I think you heard me asking the Hon. Member whether he said the word clown or not.  He said he did not say that. 

          HON. D. MOYO: According to Section 98, Hon. Speaker, I think it is wise that you also be part of this House so that you listen to exactly what is being said so that you respond accordingly.  The Hon. Member did say a lot of things that we are not comfortable with. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, you are saying a lot of things, what are those things.

          HON. D. MOYO:  The language that he is using is derogatory.  I expect the Hon. Speaker to be part of us so that you will not end up asking us these questions yet we are all here.  May you also treat us as equal in this House, we are building a nation together.  This is what we are demanding. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, may you please sit down.  You are saying I did not treat you equally but I have always given you the opportunity to debate and if you are out of order, I will ask you to sit down.  Go ahead Hon. Member.

          HON MUKOMBERI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, the 5.1% growth has been driven by a number of factors including increased investment in agriculture and mining.  However, had it been that sanctions were lifted, the economy of Zimbabwe was going to afford a higher level of living standards for the people than today.  Government has also invested heavily in infrastructure development in recent years.  This includes the construction of new roads, bridges, dams and power plants.  Government has also invested in the renovation of the city infrastructure, a move which has helped to improve the living standards of the citizens.  Therefore, every progressive Zimbabwean and those outsiders want to see the country prosper should standup in fighting these illegal economic sanctions …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member you are left with three minutes. 

          HON. MUKOMBERI:  The lifting of sanctions will help Zimbabwe to achieve its full potential. This will also give the country access to more foreign investment and loans which will boost economic growth and create jobs.  If these illegal sanctions are lifted, the country will be in a position to fully participate in the global economy.  Zimbabwe, as a nation, has great appetite to engage and reengage with every section of the international community including those who imposed sanctions on it.  It is therefore worth undertaking for the West to remove the illegal sanctions immediately and unconditionally so as to allow the country and its citizens to move forward to achieve the nation’s development dream by 2030.  I submit Madam Speaker.

          HON. TSITSI ZHOU:  Madam Speaker, as you indicated earlier on that we need to finish early to allow Members to go and prepare for a long day tomorrow, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. KARIKOGA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 13th December, 2023.

          On the motion of HON. TSITSI ZHOU, seconded by HON. KARIKOGA, the House adjourned at Eleven Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.    

 

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