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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 JUNE 2023 VOL 49 No. 48

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 13th June, 2023

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

         THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DR. MAVETERA): I wish to inform the House that there will be a Catholic Church Service tomorrow on the 14th of June, 2023 at 1200 noon in the Senate Chamber.  All Members are invited and non-Catholic members are also invited. 

         HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, allow me to defer to Hon. Biti on my slot.

         HON. BITI: Madam Speaker, I thank you very much. Last week the Constitutional Court issued a very important ruling on the legality of the Statutory Instrument in respect of which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission levied nomination fees of at least US$1000 per member of the National Assembly and US$20 000 for a Presidential candidate. The net effect of that judgement is that the Parliamentary Legal Committee must examine that Statutory Instrument from two points of view: whether it is constitutional or whether it does not infringe Section 67 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which allows free participation.

Secondly, whether the Electoral Act gives and clothes the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with powers of imposing such a levy?  I want to seek clarification from you as the head of the House whether in fact the Parliamentary Legal Committee has actually sat to determine whether that Statutory Instrument is ultra vires  the Constitution and ultra vires the Electoral Act and that PLC report must be brought to this House so that we have a final say on it.  So I need clarification Hon. Speaker Ma’am. Given the fact that the Nomination Court is sitting next week, the decision has to be made this week. I thank you very much – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

         THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.  I think this is a very important point of privilege and it is important for you to know what is at stake.  So for us to make noise, I think is a bit unfair for others – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – The PLC sat yesterday and we are going to publish the report between today and tomorrow.  We can wait for that and then all those answers will then be responded to.

         HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, good afternoon.  My point of national interest borders on a number of transgressions on our highways by motorists, both public and private transport.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, whilst we are having a lot of accidents happening on our roads, we have not been able to utilise optimally the toll plazas and the tollgates. My issue here borders on the issue of the utilisation of our resilient infrastructure that we have which is quite robust, which is efficient and can be effective if utilised well. 

         The toll plazas and the other 17 or so tollgates around the country – the toll plazas, 10 of them on the 821 kilometres Plumtree-Mutare Highway which can be utilised to gauge the speed of the mass transport systems; distance over time taken will give us the speed that mass transport has been moving on, especially as they hit the first tollgate and they go to the next one. 

         Madam Speaker Ma’am, I request that there be an immediate utilisation of these toll plazas and tollgates and also to ascertain, adjudicate and make sure that the vehicles that pass through the tollgates have vehicle fitness.  The vehicles should be capable of carrying passengers because they satisfy five issues, mass transport system, there should be licenced driver above 25 years of age, five years of experience, defensive driver’s licence and should have the right type of vehicle.  These are certified, satisfied at the tollgates by just making sure we equip those tollgates with the relevant manpower from the Vehicle Inspection Department and a plethora of our police officers to police those vehicles at the toll plazas.  This is my prayer Madam Speaker Ma’am from the people of Chegutu West Constituency, otherwise we are needlessly losing lives on our roads whilst we are holding on to infrastructure which can be utilised, second to none.  Thank you, Madam Speaker. 

         THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Nduna. I think that is a recommendation you are also giving to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  I am sure that will be communicated accordingly so that he can be able to consider that. 

         *HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to inform you that in our area D. C. Mutasa, a person called A. Manhiri was stabbed on Saturday by the National Parks guards whilst driving along Nyanga-Troutbeck Road. 

         *THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Member, you are saying he was stabbed by a gun? 

         *HON. SARUWAKA:  I think Shona is different, I am saying he was shot by the National Parks guards whilst driving along Nyanga-Troutbeck Road.  The whole community was disturbed by the incident.  You know very well that according to our Constitution, Chapter 4 speaks about the rights of the people.  The first right is the right to life.  The death of Mr. Manhiri who was shot by Government guards is very painful to all of us.  Madam Speaker, you know that we have death sentence in our Constitution but it is stipulated in Section 48 (2) that this can only be applied if someone kills a person through aggravated circumstances or conditions.  Up to now, we are yet to hear the reason why the National Parks guards decided to shoot and kill Mr. Manhiri. 

         I urge you through this House to make sure that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,  when the matter of the late Manhiri who was killed by National Parks guards is before the courts, it must be set as an example that we uphold the rights of the people of Zimbabwe.  We did not expect this incident to happen in our family.  This shows that those officers who use guns during their duties are not well informed and are not aware of the Constitution that they are infringing on people’s rights.  He was a family man who has left behind a wife and two kids.

         *THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I am sorry about the loss, may his soul rest in peace.  You mentioned that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should intervene, we must know that we always talk about three arms of State, so that is going to be handled by the Judiciary and I want to believe that the Judiciary is going to do its job in a professional way.  We usually talk about separation of powers, so we must respect that so that the Judiciary plays its role, and the same applies to the Minister regarding this matter but we cannot interfere with other people’s roles.  

         *HON. HWENDE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise over an issue that we deliberated on last week and there was a ruling. We appealed that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. M. Ncube should come and explain the salaries of civil servants and the price rise that are in the shops. When we talked about it, civil servants have not been paid. Soldiers and teachers were paid and they were paid same amounts that they were paid last month when the rate was ZW$900.00. The exchange rate has gone up.

The majority of them are being affected by Nyaradzo. They charge their subscriptions in USD. So, they are saying USD20 times ZW$6 000 which is the interbank rate of ZW$5 000 and PSMAS collects its money.

The Serjeant that I was talking to in Kuwadzana 2 said he was given ZWL68 994.90. In OK Kuwadzana it buys one full chicken and a kilogram of meat. He is expected to live for a month. I also met another police officer in Kuwadzana 3, who was paid ZWL62 115.31. That is what he was paid. This other one was given ZWL25 549.84 and that is what he was paid. As we requested last week, this is what people are being paid in this country. It is our plea…

*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Hwende. You once spoke about it and he said he would give evidence today. Thank you very much we have heard you.

*HON. HWENDE: You may not bar me from talking on behalf of the people. I am not yet through.  

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Give those papers to the Hansard so that we see the pay slips. Why are you muzzling me? I do not know whether that is authentic or it is something that you created. You must bring authentic things.

*HON. HWENDE: Give me a chance Hon. Speaker so that I finish up.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: I will not give you a chance because you may mislead the House without adequate evidence. Give it to the Hansard and we will verify. We are not debating this issue and I do not want to argue with you.

*HON. HWENDE: My plea is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should come. He is busy in Cowdry Park instead of coming here to answer issues. Last week on Tuesday, the Hon. Speaker said the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. M. Ncube would come to give a State of the Economy Address. I want to move an order that we suspend the business of the day until the Minister appears before this House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

*HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. M. Ncube was here last week, why did you not say what you are saying today? –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Molekela and Hon. Munengami, you were the ones who were supposed to say that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- What I wanted to say is, Hon. Hwende we have given you a chance. You once raised that issue. When you bring issues to this House, you bring authentic documents. This is just a message that was sent through the phone. I can easily write out such a message and sent it to you. Bring authentic evidence when you come here and not these papers that you have brought to us.

HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. We have a privilege of requesting the Executive to come and respond to issues of national interest. This is now the third week since the issue of asking Hon. M. Ncube to come and make a ministerial statement…

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mudzimure. Last week on Tuesday, Hon. M. Ncube was here.

HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, the procedure of Parliament is this, when you ask for a ministerial statement, when the Minister comes here, he asks for permission to present a ministerial statement. I was here last week and Hon. M. Ncube did not do that. If you do not do that, it means you are nowhere in a position to respond.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: I hear you and I am not speaking to myself. I am saying he will bring it.

HON. MADZIMURE: We are Hon. Members and we need the protection from your Chair and what you are now doing is, you are now debating with us Members - how do we respect you? Even if you chase all of us out, you will have set a dangerous C.V. for yourself. There is no civil servant today who can send his or her child to hospital on the pay slip that they are getting. This is a serious matter. They need to be comforted. We are sitting on a time bomb. If you defend them like this, you will not be able to defend them next time. Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, I said we are going to ask the Clerk to remind the Hon. Minister on that and he will come and give a ministerial statement. Thank you. That is the last point of interest. 

         HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity. My point of national interest concerns Members of Parliament. While we approve the budget here and there are matters in the Bluebook, for example, the one which Hon. Members were entitled to US$80 000 car then they got US$50 000 and the balance was US$30 000. This was something that was in the Bluebook and it is yet to be implemented but yet the Judiciary of the country – if I am not mistaken and I seek clarity – was given US$400 000 to buy houses. The Executive was given US$350 000 and we were given US$40 000. What is important from an aspect of national interest is that we need to give confidence to the Zimbabweans so that they do not think that we are busy plundering.

         Where and how did the US$400 000 come about. Was it in the Bluebook? The US$350 000 for the Executive was it in the Bluebook. I can stand and say the one for Members of Parliament was in the Bluebook. So, people now believe that we are on a plundering exercise. It is therefore important for the Minister of Finance to come to this House and explain to this House which is the House for the people where the US$400 000, US$350 000 and US$40 000 came from so that this institution maintains its integrity and dignity. Otherwise it is really a shame that we who pass the budget can approve US$40 000 for ourselves. We will never do that because our role of oversight requires us to be well capacitated. If there is anything, we must be paid more than the Judiciary and Executive because we are that institution that provides oversight. If these other institutions are being given more money than us, then how are we going to conduct our role of oversight when we are poor. That is why now the aspect of corruption is in the Portfolio Committees which are there, for example the agriculture one where Hon. Members are now working with other institutions to make money.

         The nation needs to know and that is the reason why I have said even our US$40 000 must be explained and I know that was in the Bluebook. What is now happening is that we are owed US$30 000 from the money which was in the Bluebook. When is that money going to come and I do not want to pretend as if I am begging for it? It is our right to have that money because it was approved by this august House. When are we going to get that money? US$80 000 was approved and we got US$50 000 and there is US$30 000 which is remaining. They were given duty free certificates for a second car which is US$60 000 and how are they going to buy that car if they do not have the US$30 000. The companies that we want vehicles from are prepared to give us a car for US$30 000 as a down payment and the rest they can structure it.

         I am then appealing to you to explain to this House, how we are not being given what belongs to us. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. We cannot be on our knees all the time on petty issues. This was a matter this House approved. Therefore, the Minister of Finance must come and explain the US$400 000, US$350 000 and our US$30 000 which is outstanding, which by right we should have by now. We cannot have Members of Parliament, leaving the eighth sitting of Parliament without getting what belongs to them. The stands that we have are a mere bush, they have not been serviced and so forth. Where do we go from here? That US$40 000, we still have it and we want to put it into our properties but yet those areas have not been serviced. What does it make of us at the end of the day?

         Government cannot lie to this institution. Let them lie to everybody but not this institution which is there for the people. We are the poorest cousins yet we have the most powerful of all the cousins and so forth. That must stop. We must get what we want. The credibility of this country will be lost if we do not do what we agreed. This is a simple matter.  The US$400 000 for the judges must be explained. The US$350 000 must be explained and where is it in the Bluebook. The US$50 000 we got is in the Bluebook. I can stand here as a legislator to say it was approved but the rest are not being approved. We cannot go into this election when people are being given US$400 000. They are entitled to loans but the process and procedure must be understood. We cannot be quiet on that or else the Government will be known to be a Government that wants to capture the judiciary. The judiciary must remain independent and they are entitled to loans but where did this money come from.

         THE ACTING SPEAKER: I think the Hon. Minister will come and respond to that.

         HON. DR. LABODE: On a point of order. I am really sorry I have to say this. I was at Mpilo Hospital yesterday and I noticed in Bulawayo a lot of people were wearing masks and I asked. They said doctor can you go to Mpilo. I went to Mpilo and a doctor took me to an isolation centre which was supposed to be for cardiac diseases and it has been converted to isolate children with COVID. When a child who is 3 years has COVID, how many people have been infected who were looking after that child. He then said to me even pregnant mothers, because COVID is on the increase. If you do not trigger an alarm now, you will go to elections under lockdown.

         The Minister must declare now that start wearing masks because COVID is back. For sure COVID is back and it does not want elections.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE GENDER COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR 2022

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHLANGA): I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission for the year 2022, presented in terms of Section 323(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

         Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) is one of the independent commissions established in terms of Section 245 (1) of the Constitution and operationalised by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act Chapter 10:31. The Commission discharges its mandate in the spirit of the objectives provided in Section 233 of the Constitution which are:

  •     To support and entrench human rights and democracy.
  •     To protect the sovereignty and interests of the people of Zimbabwe.
  •    To promote constitutionalism.
  •    To promote transparency and accountability in public institutions.
  •     To ensure observance of democratic values and principles by the state and all institutions and agencies of Government and all Government controlled entities
  •    To ensure that injustices are remedied.

Mandate of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission

The Commission has an obligation to promote, protect and advance gender equality and equity in all spheres to ensure the enjoyment of fundamental rights as enshrined in various instruments of the State constitution as subscribed in Section 246.  Specifically, the mandates of the Commission are:

  • To monitor issues concerning gender equality.
  • To investigate possible violations of rights.
  • To receive and consider complaints from the public.
  • Conduct research into issues related to gender and sexual justice and to recommend changes to those practices which lead to discrimination based on gender.
  • To advise public and private institutions on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality.
  • To recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality.
  • To recommend prosecution for criminal violation of rights relating to gender.
  • To secure appropriate redress where rights relating to gender have been violated.
  • Do everything necessary to promote gender equality.

MAJOR MILESTONES OF THE 2022 ANNUAL REPORT:

Investigation

In accordance with Section 246(h) and also (c), carrying out investigation of possible violations of rights relating to gender equality is one of the key functions of the Commission.  Further, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act also mandates the Commission to initiate public enquiries on possible gender violations buttressing its investigative role.  Key investigations pursued under the year in review include:

  • Conducted a multisectoral stakeholder’s enquiry in child marriages and sexual exploitation of young girls.
  • Received and investigated over 500 cases of child marriages and sexual exploitation.
  • Received and considered complaints which varied from sexual and gender-based violence, property rights, land and labour disputes among others.
  • Offered legal advice through its toll-free number and assisted walk in clients who visited the exhibition stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair as well as the Harare Agricultural Show.

Monitoring

Pursuant to its oversight role to monitor issues concerning gender equality with a view to ensure compliance with gender equality provisions in the Constitution and other regional and international instruments on gender equality and equity which the country subscribes to the Commission managed to;

  • Observe and monitor the 26th March by elections in all the provinces.
  • Issued several advisory notes that implored agents of public institutions to mainstream gender equality in their processes.
  • Issued recommendation letters to various duty bearers for compliance with constitutional gender equality principles in appointment of boards of State enterprises and mainstreaming gender equality in their institutions.
  • Dissemination to key stakeholders of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission monitoring and evaluation framework and sectoral questionnaires on the monitoring and evaluation system.
  • Implemented phase 2 of the Women Arise in Politics in four electoral districts, namely Chipinge, Bikita, Lupane and Gokwe.
  • Convened the National Gender Fora as per statutory obligation provided in the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act on Chapter 81. The fora were presided by those in the provincial gender fora and ran under the theme Gender and Economic Empowerment for Inclusive Economic Growth.
  • Participated at the 6th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which took place in New York, United States of America.

Research Management on Gender

  The following activities were conducted around research and knowledge management on gender.

  • The development of observation report on 26th March by elections.
  • Development of 2022 National Gender Forum Report.

Public Education and Information

In order to increase awareness and educate the public on gender issues while strengthening public understanding on the role of the Commission, the following activities were presented that include:

  • Conducted pubic lectures on sexual harassment at the work place and at tertiary institutions.
  • Carried out publicity campaigns in the form of media appearances on various platforms including social media – [ AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection] - Council we normally respect you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon Minister, may you address the Chair please.

HON. MHLANGA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I need your protection because when men are presenting, we pay 100% attention – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjection] –

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Order please.  Order Hon. Biti.  Go ahead Hon. Minister. – [HON. HWENDE: Inaudible interjection]- Hon. Hwende, please.

HON. MHLANGA: Finance, Human Resources and Administration – the department is responsible for ensuring good corporate governance principles in discharging the mandate of the Commission.

Key Challenges – Some of the key challenges that we have faced during the year include investigated cases.  Some of the challenges encountered included complainants developing cold feet and abandoning their cases. 

The second key challenge, ordinarily the Legal and Investigations unit must have a computerised case management system – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Members on my left please, lower your voices.

         HON. MHLANGA: The third challenge was lack of decentralised structure leading to delays in dealing with reported cases. 

The fourth challenge is inconsistent disbursements from Treasury, negatively affecting planned activities and procurement of resources.

The fifth challenge was the absence of a commissioner with legal background to provide technical guidance, which affected the work of the legal and investigation section. 

The sixth one was a continuous increase in office space rentals, making the need for own premises a priority.

         Recommendations:- Informed by our work during the period under reporting, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission recommends that Parliament of Zimbabwe do the following: there is need to promulgate a Sexual Harassment Act or to amend the Criminal Code to define and unpack the offence and criminalise sexual harassment. 

Second is alignment of laws to include passing of a Gender Equality Act with roles and powers of the Commission spelled out and detailed offences, section on violation and discrimination based on gender. 

Third is to ensure the alignment of the Electoral Act in line with gender balance as provided for in Section 17 in the gender equality clause, Section 56 (2) of the Constitution. 

Fourth is to consider the adoption of four Proportional Representation as a sole electoral system shifting from the current hybrid system, where there is a first past the post. 

Fifth is to strengthen oversight of implementation of gender responsive budgeting. 

Sixth is filling the two vacant posts arisen among the commissioners, with one to have a legal background. 

Seventh is to consider legislation for the regulation of activities of faith based organisations to eradicate child marriages and sexual exploitation and abuse of women amongst other harmful cultural and religious practices. 

Finally, the eighth one is to prioritise increased budgetary allocation for the Commission’s programmes and procurement of office building. I thank you.

         HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me begin by thanking the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs in the presentation on the report by the Gender Commission.  I want to appreciate that at least something had been done in terms of commissions bringing reports to this Parliament, especially with doable recommendations that have been highlighted at the end. 

Really to add baggage to her presentation, I would want to buttress the point on sexual harassment, which has affected our nation. This has not spared even the private sector. I am on record, I think this is the fourth time in this Parliament, for me standing up asking the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on what has actually stopped us from ratifying Convention 190, which deals specifically with sexual harassment. I worry of promises that will not be implemented in terms of things that we can do as a nation.  We are a signatory to ILO Conventions and each year, I think the Minister of Labour as we speak, is in Geneva as a delegation.  I worry on what report they are going to give in terms of ILO Convention 190.  The Minister has been promising me - perhaps through the Ministry of Women Affairs and the Gender Commission, if we can put pressure on the Minister to ratify Convention 190 because it is a scourge that has affected both sectors, the Government and the private sector.  Also, I am on record saying even in our own homes, men are committing sexual harassments to our domestic workers.  I thank you.

         HON. NDEBELE: I see Hon. Mliswa was going to take to the floor but with all due respect, I wanted to request that if possible, we be given time to look at the report and possibly debate it on Thursday.

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I understand Honourable, but the other Hon. Members are eager to debate, so we cannot block them from debating.

         HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The report definitely talks about gender but gender seems to be just aligned to women and not men, even the boy child is equally left out.  The abuse which women have faced, especially sexual abuse allegations, have not been seen to be taken seriously.  The ZIFA Executive members, I want to give an example of ZIFA in that, I am even suing the Minister of Sport for $300 000 stating that they were defamed yet the Minister’s statements were made in Parliament pertaining the abuse of women in sport. Basically, once you speak in Parliament you are protected by the Standing Orders and the officials themselves are bitter that they have been exposed. Being exposed is one of the reasons why they are not fit enough to represent this country because they have records of sexual abuse.

The FIFA delegation even visited Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission and the Sports and Recreation Commission was also part of it so that they could be able to establish the facts of that. FIFA came up with a report which seems not to support what happened. I say so because FIFA itself is renounced for sexual abuse; it is a cartel. So, you wonder if these people are sports administrators or they are in sport to sexually abuse women. That is the question which is there. Are they sexual abusers or they are sports administrators because they seem to have forgone their role of running football and now sexually abusing women which becomes difficult?

No wonder why you see that even as parents, we are scared to send our children, the girl child to these hyenas because they will be eaten up. No wonder why there is no participation of the girl child in this country in terms of sport because of these people. So, the issue of sexual abuse in sport is quite serious and what is important is that FIFA itself was supposed to stand for the women of Zimbabwe and it was about time that the sexual harassment was discussed because where there is no justice, a lot of people suffer.

You know the hash tag was “Stand with the Zim women” and FIFA must be for equality. Where there is no equality in gender, it becomes a problem. FIFA knew about these sexual scandals of Zimbabwe two years ago and that is the reason why besides the misappropriation of funds which these administrators are alleged to have had, the aspect of sexual abuse is serious. To me, they have not been held accountable. I do not know why the Gender Commission has not at all mentioned that. Why is the Gender Commission not bringing it up?

ZIFA has done it, it has been swept under the carpet. FIFA has come, it has been swept under the carpet. The Gender Commission which is supposed to be outstanding has also swept it under the carpet. So what role are they playing if they are not able to bring these issues to the fore? It is the duty of the Gender Commission to create an environment which is safe for women to participate. That is why they are there and why this august House in its wisdom supporting what they are doing so that they are able to do things properly and so forth.

When these things happen, global solidarity is important in doing this. So, globally, we would expect FIFA to do it. The Gender Commission has not, they have presented their report here but it is not really coming up with solutions in terms of how they are going to deal with this. Today is a dark day for women in sport because they were looking up to the Gender Commission to be able to expose this, mention it and to also give what measures have been put in place to ensure that this will not happen again.

 Madam Speaker, the issue…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Mliswa, that is Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MLISWA: It shows I am talking of a women’s issue. I am sorry, I am very passionate about that. I am sorry I keep addressing you as Madam Speaker.

So, now that the report is out and the recommendations did not indicate at all how the cartel occurred, the sexual harassment will go on and so forth. That environment that I was talking about is quite important. The most difficult thing about this is the lives of the people in sexual harassment. They are as good as dead. Self-esteem has gone. If you meet women who have been raped before and they narrate their story, it is no longer life anymore. It is like they are half dead. Not only that, what measures are being put in place for that healing to happen?

Sexually harassing a woman is more damaging to a society and we must see recommendations which are punitive instead of us coming up with recommendations to a Patriotic Bill for people to go to jail. These sexual abusers must go to jail. They are the ones that we were supposed to be pushing to go to jail, not this stupid Patriotic Bill and punitive measures to be able to punish people. Where are we as legislators here to ensure that you protect women from being sexually abused?

I am looking to the men and saying, where are you? Are you also part of the team that sexually abuses women? Where were the men, the gender champions? Why were you quiet if you the fathers do not speak and remember these are your children and relatives? Why have you not done that? I speak about this because it is a very strong issue. We need more gender champions and the only way we can also deal with this is the more gender champions that we have this situation will not be as much.

I want to appreciate the Hon. Minister for Sport for bringing this issue up here, standing firm for the rights of women. I might not agree with her with the way she runs sport but on this issue, I totally support her because it is an issue of national concern which requires all of us to be part of it. The Gender Commission itself must well be capacitated. They must also look at the boy-child. Today because of the absence of some men in the House, the young boys now become the sexual partners.

I noticed the report did not talk about the other gender in terms of the boy-child. What is the Gender Commission doing to protect the boy-child? Not only that, men are equally being sexually abused by being forced by their wives to exercise conjugal rights. Some of them are beaten up not to leave the House – [HON. BITI: How is that sexual abuse?] – until they are able to conduct the act – [HON. BITI: But that is why you married her.] – No, but I am not married, I am talking about those who are married. – [HON. BITI: But how is that sexual abuse? Kana wakaroora ita basa ka.] –

The problem is, why are you also taking a load which is not yours? Why are you having so many women when you cannot satisfy the one in the house? If you decide to do that, be single like me so that you are not questioned. You are not there in time for dinner because when you decide to get into this game, be faithful. Do not be unfaithful. So, men again are also in a way being abused because when they get home, they are tired and they do not act accordingly. The conjugal rights of the women are important and you know what I am talking about. Those who are married, may you also ensure that you are able to balance your games 50/50 and not that one is skilled to the small house and the big house is not getting enough.  That is not acceptable.  No wonder why they are now locking you inside and taking the keys and you end up beating them up because you cannot go anywhere.

         The Gender Commission must also be able to refrain women from being emotional and beating men and telling them not to go to work until the exercise has been conducted.  I would like to thank the Gender Commission for submitting a report.  It is also one of those conditions which really does try.  It does submit its reports on time and they are all over.  They must continue having gender champions especially the men so that we are able to protect the girl child and women so that sexual harassment does not happen. 

         Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important report from the Gender Commission. 

         HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to add my voice and seek some clarity on the Gender Commission report.  I want to applaud the Hon. Minister for bringing up that report.  It is constitutional and was supposed to come into this House and be debated in this matter.

         The other issues have been ventilated on by my hon. brother Temba Mliswa.  I just want to applaud the Hon. Minister of Sport for taking a stance even in the face of adversity in that where the fairer sex is abused, there is need for their protection because everybody is borne of a woman.  I am yet to see somebody who is born of a man.  I am a He-for-She advocate.  I am a gender champion.  I will speak in the same mould and voice like Hon. Mliswa has spoken in terms of chastising what happened in the previous executive of the ZIFA board.  If they had stolen money or otherwise, maybe that would have been condoned because they were first time offenders but the issue of women’s rights abuse is definitely unforgivable especially in this country where we have women that are more than men in terms of numbers.  There is no reason why you should abuse women who are in close proximity to you.  It is certainly unjustifiable and unforgiveable. 

         I just want to say that the Gender Commission should also cast its net wide in terms of conducting both their inquiry and also their business in terms of protection of women’s rights. The issues to do with poverty take the face of a woman.  You find that a lot of women are in the vending business.  I say this because where I come from in Chegutu West Constituency, with impunity, the Council there – Chegutu Municipality, will take the wares of the vendors without returning them because they have said the women are selling their wares at undesignated points.  If you look at the human rights as enshrined in the Constitution, what they are doing is ultra vires the Constitution. 

         My proposal to the Gender Commission is to look further afield and make sure that they probe the business of local authorities as far as it relates to their handling vendors.  Luckily, I have an order of the High Court that says Chegutu Municipality should give back the wares of the vendors predominantly and maybe 100% of them are women.  It is my hope that the Gender Commission should take interest in such court interdicts and orders that have been given by the High Court so that they can see the implementation and carrying out of that order that would have been handed down by the High Court so that the women feel protected by the Gender Commission. 

         Going to the next issue that brings about the issue of an infested approach to women by abusive men and the environment – the issue of housing. N23A houses three families of ten each, in a three roomed house and most of the family members are women and in particular the girl child ages.  Here is an opportunity for girls to be abused by a housing set up with its deficient of robust, resilient, effective and efficient infrastructure development.  The Gender Commission should take interest in interrogating the housing delivery system of the municipalities and the local authorities. 

         Where I come from, three quarters of the houses or the properties are owned by one person because of corruption and systems that are archaic, moribund, rudimentary and antiquated.  It is time that we root out this corruption using the Gender Commission.  I am alive to the issue of the Land Commission which is criss-crossing the width and breadth of this country looking at the ownership of the farms and also the title deeds for the properties.  I request that deliberately, the Gender Commission interrogates the issue of expansion and ownership of housing to avert, avoid and completely annihilate the scourge of the girl child abuse and women abuse.  Where there is ten people in one room, there is both no copulation, conjugal rights like my Hon. T. Mliswa has said and procreation that cannot be undertaken in such circumstances.  Here is an opportunity to completely remove this issue, the scourge of women abuses. 

         Mr. Speaker Sir, where there are so many people living in one room, the woman is tasked with going to the well.  In my case where there is no tap water, I have managed, however, with the help of the Second Republic His Excellency the President, to drill a plethora of boreholes in my constituency.  I started with 43, on a barter-trade with Mr. Jonga, the late - may his soul rest in peace.  He was in DDF and the local authority where I forced them to cede stands in return for drilling of boreholes, 43 first and then 63 later on, were championed by His Excellency the President through DDF again.  My point is the women are charged with bringing the water from either the borehole or the well.  As long as there is so many people in one place, there is bound to be a woman and girl child abuse. 

         Mr. Speaker Sir, it brings me to the last point that I want to talk about.  There is need, I am glad the Minister of Mines and Mining Development and indeed his Deputy are both here. Where I come from, the Great Dyke, the width is at its highest, 11 kilometres in my district, Mashonaland West.  It is my hope and fervent view that the Gender Commission can also tape the opportunity to have an interest in the mines and the mineral laws and indeed practically kumakomba ikoko in terms of women in mining and small-scale mining and artisanal mining.  This is because the women are the fairer sex, they are pushed out of the business in those places. 

         Mr. Speaker Sir, I say this because we have a Mines and Minerals Act which is quite medieval.  I am quite sure when it comes here, we can make sure that it does not have the power to reverse the gains of our independence in terms of the land redistribution and the Mines and Agrarian Reform Act of 2000 where we  think that Agrarian Reform Act can protect our women that are in mining.  Section 368 currently outlaws prospecting without a licence but whereas the A2 and A1 farmer, the woman is busy digging her backyard and she finds a piece of gold and Section 3 of the Gold Act says, you will be incarcerated without an option of a fine if you are found in possession of gold. 

         Mr. Speaker, it is my thinking that the Gender Commission should also, in tandem with the Ministry of Mines, try and repudiate some laws that are medieval and make sure that we create a safe haven for our women wherever possible.  There is need to capacitate their extractive industry, the women especially in mining because as a nation, we are endowed with ubiquitous amounts of mineral wealth and here is an opportunity to capacitate the woman and annihilate the scourge of women abuse through the Commission.  Those will be my submissions Hon. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to ventilate some of the issues that have been given to me by the women from Chegutu West Constituency, like Sarah Chikukwa, Marjory Ruzha, Patricia Nyamadzawo and a lot of others including L. Chipuriro.  Thank you. 

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

         HON. TORERAYI MOYO:  I second.

         Motion put and agreed to.

         Debate to resume: Wednesday, 14th June, 2023.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

         HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 6 has been disposed of. 

         HON. MPARIWA: I second.

         Motion put and agreed to. 

COMMITTEE STAGE

 RESUMPTION OF CONSIDERATION OF AN ADVERSE REPORT BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ON THE MINES AND MINERALS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10. 2022]

         Sixth Order read:  Committee to resume on the Adverse Report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill [H. B. 10, 2022].

         House in Committee.

         HON. MARKHAM: I have a point of order. As Chairman, who can he report to when we finish the Committee Stage?

         THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MUTOMBA): She is coming back anytime from now.

         HON. MARKHAM: Thank you.

         HON. BITI: We thought the PLC would come and present.

         THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: I am being informed it was presented on the 10th of May, 2023.

         THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): Good afternoon Hon. Members. I wish to respond to the Adverse Report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act and I will go straight to respond point by point to the issues which were raised. The first point which was raised is that the benchmark of ZWL100 million for one to mine strategic minerals is too high. It discriminates on the basis of economic status and allows for monopoly by foreign companies. That is the first point which I wish to respond to.

         Hon. Chair, it must be taken note of the fact that there is provision to reduce or increase the amounts in certain specific cases relating to certain specified strategic assets. Also, to note that when classifying assets as strategic, these are imported assets which require a lot of capital and are meant to be exploited on a large-scale basis. Therefore, it is important that there is requisite investor who has sufficient capital to enable ideal exploitation of the said assets.

         However, we wish to put in a provision to the effect that notwithstanding the minimum investment figure for exploiting a strategic asset, if following a report by the geological survey that the particular strategic mineral in a certain area can or is suitable for exploitation on a small scale basis without sterilising the greater exploitation of the resource in the whole area, then the Minister shall permit any such small scale miner or group of miners to exploit these deposits subject to the other provisions of strategic minerals being complied with.

         I wish to respond to the second item raised which is in Clauses 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 and I sum up the issue raised. The issue raised is that the members of the board must not be appointed for an indefinite period and that the composition of the board is biased towards Ministry officials yet some stakeholders are not represented. The response is as follows, it is important to note that this is a quasi-judicial board whose main function is to assist the Ministry in the administration of the bigger forms of mining and exploration titles such as exclusive exploration licenses, mining leases and special grants. Ministry officials are important members due to their expertise in the various technical fields of the mining value chain and knowledge of the mining titles.

         However, it is proposed that the term office for Ministry officials as observed by the committee be fixed at a maximum of four years just like any other members of the board who are outside the Ministry. We also concede that there must be balance on the board and accordingly, we propose to reduce the number of Ministry officials to five with the Permanent Secretary being the sixth.

         We also wish to put in a provision to the effect that to constitute a quorum wherever the board sits, at least three of the members present must be from outside the Ministry and three must be from the Ministry.

         The next point which I wish to respond to is that the question of law should not be referred to the Supreme Court as it is not a court of first instance. We concede and propose that this be amended accordingly.

         On Clause 35 (4), the issue which has been raised was observed and that the land holder who withholds consent to peg must not be penalized for not being allowed to peg for mining title over the same land for 10 years. That consent of the land holder must be sought at the stage of applying for exclusive prospecting license and that there must be compensation to the land holder for the damage that occurs due to mining activities. The sub stall resource as opposed to the surface resource does not belong according to the law and to the President. This is the law now and has been so far.

         We also would want that the first discoverer of the mineral to have the right to be able to work on the discovery. There is nothing which stops any farmer from securing mining rights on his farm if he has knowledge through his own unaided efforts of the existence of the minerals. The proposals that the consent of the land holder must be sought at the stage of applying for an EPL is not practical because when one applies for an exclusive prospecting license, they do not have any specific area that they want to prospect on. It is difficult to anticipate a discovery which might not exist. Also take note that here we will be dealing with land which is open to prospecting and pegging.

         On the issue of compensation to the land holder for the damage to the land, this is covered since there are provisions relating to the rehabilitation of the environment in the Bill. There is also provision for payment to the land holders on the provision of the right which must reserve 1% of his fund for this purpose.

         The registration of land for cultivation and grazing of animals disadvantages the communities and that the clause allows the PMD to usurp the powers of the Ministry of Lands. Our response is that on the contrary, this clause actually benefits the communities by allowing them to reserve land against pegging and prospecting. Without this clause, the land would remain open to pegging and prospecting by anyone and this actually helps the communities. In pursuing this process, the PMD is not exercising any powers belonging to the Ministry of Lands. The purpose of the application is to register land for cultivation and grazing purposes so that no mining title maybe issued on it.

         The next item is Clause 59 and the concern is that the decision on whether there was deception on the part of a mining title holder regarding the number of blocks registered should be made by the board to avoid abuse of power by the PMD. The response is that one needs to take note that the PMD is responsible issuing mining blocks of claims and there is no reason why he should not be allowed to administer them. It must also be noted that the decision on whether there was deception or not is only reached after all due process is done, the surveyor having gone to the ground and carried out investigations and the title holder is then also given an opportunity to make representations.

         On Clause 72 (8) and Clause 111, these clauses state that the decision of the board and the Minister are final. It is considered that no-one should be denied the right of appeal. To make things clearer, we will state in the Bill that finality in this context does not exclude judicial review of the board or the Minister’s decision.

On Clauses 130 and 131, it states that the concern that the cancellation of mining location situated in an area covered by mining lease affect the rights of those that already had mining titles and that the prohibition against impeachment of title once mining lease is granted also affects the rights of those who already have certificates of registration in the area. The response is that we should take note that a mining lease in simple terms is just a consolidation of contiguous mining blocks belonging to one applicant. One does not include mining blocks belonging to someone else when applying for a mining lease. The certificates of registration that are deemed to have been cancelled are therefore those belonging to the mining lease applicant as one cannot hold both the certificate and a mining lease over the same area. The cancellation is just an acknowledgement that the individual blocks are no longer valid as they would have been fused into one title. This makes it administratively easier.

As regards the title, it must be noted that before a mining lease is granted, all interested parties are given a chance to raise objections.  This is done to ensure that no land that is not open to prospecting is included within the mining lease area.  It would hinder progress in the mining industry for one to wait until the lease is granted and then object the issuance of the lease where there would have been ample time to do so.  Ample opportunity is afforded to all parties to ensure that their mining titles are accurately reflected on their rise.  In any case, a mining lease, once again, is a consolidation of current claims, hence the question why the objections arise now when claims were not challenged before.

         The next observation Chair is Clause 246 which states that the expropriated mining location should be transferred to the State and not the Minister and our response is as follows Chair.  The provision of the Constitution quoted refers to land.  However, under this clause, what is expropriated is a mining location not land.  So the Constitutional provision quoted, we are of the view that does not apply.  The transfer to the Minister is justifiable under the circumstances since the mining location would then be transferred to another person.

         Chair, the next observation is Clause 259.6, ‘Officials undergoing disciplinary proceedings must not bear the burden of proof’.  On this Clause, Chair, we concede and the provision will be amended accordingly.  The next observation is that a person who discovers precious stones and does not give notification to the Ministry must only be penalised if they have the requisite intention to benefit from that discovery to the prejudice of the State.  Chair, if a person has knowledge of the existence of precious stones and it is proven that they had such knowledge and they failed to give a notice, we believe they should be penalised if they had the knowledge and they intentionally withheld it.

The last point which was raised is that there are several drafting errors and omissions and that is acknowledged and that has since been corrected.  So I submit Hon. Chair.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Hon. Chair.  The issue of the minimum investment on strategic minerals, the Hon. Minister has said he has an obligation to actually have a variation of the US$100 million in particular for domestic investors or those that will be deemed small scale.  That needs to be put in writing, to say this is how we respond to this Bill.  Irrespective of that, there is what is called subsidiary legislation which is the Statutory Instrument and otherwise all policy makers are empowered to make subsidiary laws, that is Statutory Instrument.  However, in this main Act, for us to go through that clause, there has to be a clause that states that irrespective of the US$100 million ceiling, the Minister will be empowered to look at.  The drafting is another issue.  I will leave it to those that went before me, however it needs to be explicit. 

Then there is the last issue that the Hon. Minister spoke to and about, which is the discovery of   precious minerals.  The people that are out there are rudimentary.  They are not experts.  They cannot be charged for concealing knowledge that there is a mineral that they have discovered.  Firstly, for a mineral to be called a mineral, it has to go through assay and there has to be quantification or otherwise and adjudication to say this is a diamond, it is not gold, this is platinum it is not one of the PGMs or what have you.  So it definitely will be unfair to be open ended like that to say certainly someone will be criminalised on assertion.  I think that needs to be repudiated.  One cannot be criminalised even if they have  been told that, what you are holding is a diamond and you have been  holding it for five years.  It sounds as though they would have had knowledge that it is a diamond because of its value. 

So my prayer is that needs to be expunged and no one should be criminalised for that because they are not experts.  They are not mining engineers.  They are farmers who are being criminalised because of Section 368 trying to till their land.  It is my thinking on those two aspects.  The other Clauses 8 and 9, I am quite sure the colleagues can deal with it.  If they do not, I will come back again.

HON. BITI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  This Mines and Minerals Act is a dangerous one and we should support the report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC).  The Minister must go back to the drawing board and start afresh.  The problem with this Bill is captured primarily by the PLCs comment on Section 34 which they rejected.

The underlying philosophy of this Bill is to retain the colonial mentality, the imperial mentality, the post-colonial mentality that the holder of a mining right has superior rights to every other right that exists.  So the holder of a mining right, Chair, can do anything.  In terms of this Act, he is even allowed to start building within 50 or 100 metres from your main house if you own a farm.

The holder of a mining right, even if the mining right is discovered on your farm, can take away your land and when you ask for compensation, you can only be compensated for the value of the improvements and the buildings but not for the value of the wealth that is underground that would have been discovered whether it is diamonds, oil or gold.  So as long as that philosophy exists which permeates in this Bill, then we have a problem because it is a Bill that reinforces the capture of rich African resources by the colonial white master and to allow that, Chair, would be criminal.

Those land rights must supersede everything that is found underneath.  If someone explores and finds that, let us talk business, let us go into a joint venture but you cannot displace my rights.  So the cavalier response to Clause 34 by the Minister that says that is the law, rights vest in the President, is not good enough.  We see it reproduced in Section 4 of the Communal Lands Act - Black people own this country.  The White person came into this country in 1890: through various concessions; the Rudd Concessions, the Order and Council of 1890; they took over this land and its minerals.  That colonial subjugation is still being reproduced in this Act in its entirety, so we should reject.  The Minister must go back to the drawing board and come up with a Bill that recognises that land belongs to the owner and land includes anything below it.

         We support the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC)’s rejection of the draft provisions of the Bill in Section 8, 9, 11 and 12, the composition of the board. It is skewed in favour of the Minister and is skewed in favour of the Executive.  The Minister has got the final word, yet even as he was giving his response, the Minister concedes that it is performing a quasi-judicial function.  If it is performing a quasi-judicial, function, the more independent it should be.  The more the reason it should be staffed by functionaries other than officers of the Ministry.  So to have these whole board staffed, three quarters by staff from the Ministry is doing injustice to transparency; to openness.

         Right now, the Ministry of Mines is seen as a conveyor belt of Zimbabwe’s valuable commodities to sharks and right now our country – look at the way that the Chinese and Russians have taken over our lithium resources.  Chrome resources are taken over.  We are a rich country, with 64 minerals but we have nothing to show for it.  This country is poor, look at the state of the roads, even Nelson Mandela. We cannot pay for paracetamol in hospitals because our minerals are being drained by an oppressive piece of legislation which does not recognise beneficiation; which recognises extraction only; no value to the country.  So we should reject the Minister’s response to this report.  We should stick to the findings of the PLC. 

         We should ask the Minister to go back to the drawing board.  When he drafted this Bill, quite clearly, the Minister is oblivious to developments that have been made towards a new homogenous mining law that has been crafted at the African Union (AU). There is a new Mining Charter there that recognises that Blacks are the owners of these minerals and those minerals should benefit those that are the owners of the land.  Take for instance the Minister’s cavalier response to the issue of the – yes, the AU has massive literature and model legislation on mining law which seeks to de-colonise the current ethos in mining laws in African, based on extraction.  This law has not followed those African model laws and must be rejected.

         I want to come to the USD100 million, when you say strategic minerals can only be mined by someone with USD100 million, you are basically saying, no local Black person can mine the minerals because there is no local Black person with USD100m. Kana variko matsotsi acho handimazivi zvangu.   How can you pass a law like that in a country like this – how can you do that?  You are basically saying, we as Africans, Zimbabwean indigenous people, cannot have the best of our minerals, aiwa.  If you had said that and like Cde. Mugabe then said, we have got indigenisation and empowerment, you bring your USD100 million but in the USD100m, Mr. John Chibadura, Shumba Mutasa, Shumba Nyamuzihwa, Shoko Murehwa, Wezhira, must have a say, then we can talk, but to say you can only mine strategic minerals when you have got USD100 million, you are basically saying no Black person must mine.  What are you talking about Mr. Winston Chitando, because we are poor Black people…

         THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. DR. MAVETERA): Address the Hon. Minister as Honourable, not Mr.

         HON. BITI: The esteemed Hon. Minister, so you are saying our minerals should only be mined by foreigners who are rich.  The Zimplats of this world, the Unki mines of this world, the Mimosas of this world.  It is an insult to our black skin.  It is an insult to Black people, that clause does not make sense.  If you want to say these are high resource minerals that should be mined, because they require investment, say so.  Then in your next clause, incorporate, how we the poor Black people of Zimbabwe are going to mine those minerals. Perhaps create a State company which must be a shareholder in those companies but to come with a law to Parliament that is worse than Sir Coglan’s Mining law of 1923, 44 years after independence, is unacceptable; completely unacceptable.

         The Minister must do three things.  Go to the African Union, get their model law on responsible mining and we have many people who are going to the African Parliament, including our own Chief Charumbira, go to them, get them to get that law on responsible mining.  Go to the Extractive Industry Transparency Association, get their model law.  Go to SADC, get their model law.  Constitute a committee of Zimbabwean intellectuals; either appointed by this mine, who then do benchmarking; what is the model mining law in Australia, Ghana, Venezuela, Colombia, South Africa? Then, spend six months drafting the model law, then come back to Parliament.  You cannot come with a law that will make Cecil John Rhodes embarrassed; embarrassed by the way you are opening us up for further exploitation.  You cannot do that 44 years after independence. So, we should reject, if we are Zimbabweans; if we are patriots; if we are nationalists, we should reject this horrible piece of legislation.  I thank you.

         HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this controversial Bill.  I say controversial because from what we have seen from the public, certainly there has been a lot of issues which have been picked.  What is critical before anything happens is to quantify what you have.  Unfortunately, when I chaired the Mines Committee, I learnt that in 1963, Rhodesia had set up an exploration company.  For as long as you do not know what you have, you will always be short changed.  You will not know the value.  What has happened to the establishment of that exploration company, that should explore all our minerals and quantify them because what we are basically doing is, we are going to war without knowing the exit.  Everybody who goes to war must understand where the exit is; in case the war is too hot, you run to the exit and get out but we are not able to derive the value of our minerals.  The scary part is, Zimbabwe is so fortunate that it seems every year there is a mineral that is needed by the world.  Most of our minerals are within the top five - we are in the top five of being the biggest producer but that has not transformed the welfare and lifestyle of the people of Zimbabwe.

         We talk about production which is quite critical; the Minister is an accounts person, a finance person by profession.  He will definitely understand the aspect of accountability more than anybody else.  I think where you cannot account, it becomes a problem at the end of the day but what are we doing to protect our minerals?  How can we protect something that we do not understand?  You are a farmer, you have got 300 herd of cattle, you can longer go and take muzukuru arikumusha kuti auye kuzochengeta, anochengeta asi pane vet doctor who comes to monitor every weekend.

         The Minister must come up with a law that will empower the people of this country.  Section 13 (4) and Section 14 talk about the empowerment of local communities.  It is pretty clear that the State must ensure that local communities benefit from the resources in their area.  So, what has been done to ensure that we comply with the Constitution?  When local communities benefit, there is some transformation and not only that, Section 14 talks about the empowerment and employment creation that the State and all institutions at every level must endeavour to facilitate and take measures to empower.  What measures have been taken by this Bill to empower - through appropriate, transparent, fair and just affirmative action.  All marginalized persons, groups, and communities in Zimbabwe, at all times the State and all institutions of Government at every level must ensure that appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment.

         So just Sections 13 and 14 are good enough for Zimbabwe to be what it is.  We are not seeing that in the Act.  Madam Chair, Nigeria, no matter what you say about them, they gave their biggest resources or the refinery to one of their own, Dangote.  This is the chance for the Hon. Minister to shine for the people of this country and we must see more billionaires with their resources.  The only thing that they can do is bring the money here and not take it anywhere else because this is their home.  Dangote has the biggest refinery, where would that money go? The people of Nigeria will benefit too.

         We must also be able to come up with Bills that talk to the Constitution because if we now do not talk to the Constitution, it becomes very difficult for us to be a serious country in terms of quite a lot.

         To me, at what point will we stop the export of raw materials? We have spoken about beneficiation and why again are we just allowing people to mine when they have not given us money?  The Minister is African, so are all of us; unotoroora mwana wevaridzi usati waita mwana naye, ko ivo vacho vanotora ma resources vanodii kubhadharawo zvavawana chete, zvekuti haiite mwana zvinozoonekwa mberi as mari yauya kumhuri. 

         The minerals that we have are just going for free and then the people say to you, we will give you money when you start making money yet we need money right now with the resources we have.  Whether they do not make money from the resources that they have been given is a different issue but we now must have something for ourselves.  I am not seeing that a certain percentage will be paid by whoever wants resources prior to their mining.  Once we do that then we will have serious players coming in without the Indigenization Act; they are taking everything.

         Hon. Ziyambi, we have given you this concession, the only people who should be given these concessions over time are the Zimbabweans themselves but those who are coming have got the money already, they must leave money. 

I think to just close my contribution to this debate, we seem not to appreciate that Zimbabwe is on sanctions but the minerals are not on sanctions, so if there is any way of blasting sanctions, use legal, not illegal.  The sanctions on Zimbabwe has today are not on trade, it is not on minerals.  The very same countries that have lobbied for Zimbabwe to be on sanctions still want these minerals. 

I have friends of mine from America who have arrived today, they want lithium.  When you have got something good, no matter what it is, people will look for it and for us to blast sanctions, we must be trading with those who pact us on sanctions.  You keep your enemy close because what we want is money.  We cannot be emotional to the point where we now no longer do business with them because we believe we must close them out.

We have the minerals, and all these countries want the minerals as a result. I will end by still emphasizing my number one point that have we done exploration of all our minerals?  The Minister can choose a company that can come into a joint venture with Government and anybody who wants to do exploration here, the Government is responsible for the exploration so that they also have the right information.  Every area is being explored in this country but may Government take responsibility of exploration and be in charge, find a partner and you will see that we shall be a nation where we quantify things; we are able to understand the industry that we have, the worth of it.    You know, if you do not know the worth of what you have, we will be going round and round in circles.  May this Bill talk to that. 

         I want to thank the Committee on Mines and Mining Development.  It has not been easy, certainly going through this.  The issue of the farmer and miner – which is first?  Food or resources?  I thought the miner eats food and does not eat resources.  If you look at Zimbabwe, it is all minerals.  Wherever you go, it is minerals.  In Kwekwe, it is a town built but below, it is minerals.  So, at what point will we be able to then say, we also must be able to have food and have that self-sustenance.  Which one comes first?

         Can the miner be an agriculturist - no?  Can the agriculturist be a miner - yes?  You see, this is where the issue is.  So, what you want is the mining of these resources, better the person who is already on the ground.  An agriculturist or farmer can be a miner but 50%, a miner cannot be a farmer; a farmer can also go into that.  This helps the farmers to be able to have their own working capital because with the Land Reform that happened, they have no other ways of getting money from financial institutions because collateral is required.

         Yes, let them be given the first right of refusal, let them be told and then if they do not want to mine, it is a different thing all together.  Some are very religious and do not want to mine.  Then a joint venture can be done so that we utilise the resources that we have.  If you look at the map of Rhodesia Madam Chair, Shamva, the Hon. Minister is a good example of what Mimosa, ZIMPLATS and Unkie did. The areas for both agriculture and mining were reserved but today, the areas for agriculture are also mining yet enough food was still produced at the end of the day.  So, we have a situation where the mapping of the country itself, Shamva is where you see the great roads, if you go to Shurugwi-Unkie Road, it is great; MIMOSA, the Unkie Road, ZIMPLATS, the Unkie Road is great.  If you now go back to the mining, Kamativu and all the road network done by Rhodesia ages back, it is still strong because those were designated areas for mining and there were designated areas for agriculture. 

My dear Hon. friend here, Hon. Kashiri, will tell you that Hurungwe was an agricultural area and that is why if you go to Magunje, Karoi, Lion’s Den and Banket there are silos.  So, it was mapped in a way that here we do mining, and there we do agriculture.  So, that mapping is very important and we do not have to reinvent the wheel.  We just have to revert to the mapping that Rhodesia had and so forth.

         Ultimately, the small-scale miners, I know my Hon. Brother, Hon. Nduna is very much in the small-scale miners but the environment has been destroyed and if we were to bring in the big boys who are easier in terms of accountability, because there is no accountability with small-scale miners, yes as politicians, we get excited because we think they will vote but I do not know how many of them have identification documents.  Anyway, that is a chat for another day but we have been made to believe that the small-scale miners have contributed the most yet the commercial and big scale mining companies pay tax.  It is the very same tax that goes to empower the small-scale miners.  So, let us not make a mishap to be what we wanted out of mining. 

Let us not make a mishap because there is also the aspect of Intellectual Property Rights which, at the end of the day, must be respected.  If you look at companies like ZIMPLATS, the exploration that they did, areas like GDI, Unkie did the Todal Mine which was given to Billy Rautenbach and I must state that I helped him to get it though he did not give me anything.  He never mined but sold it for over $400million.  So, why can we not give Hon. Ziyambi or Hon. Kashiri that to sell and get $400 million? – [HON. MATARANYIKA: So, how much did he give you?] – He never gave me anything sekuru but I facilitated for that when the late Hon. Midzi was the Minister but did not get my facilitation fee.  People say that I was extorting yet I was just doing a genuine facilitation business.

It was in The Herald, the very same people who wrote in The Herald went and said, ‘Playing with Billy helicopter, Jonathan Moyo…’ they are the ones who got my money but then, they did not talk about trying to extort.  So, it is an example I am giving.  It was not mined but was sold to other people.  We are taking all these areas from reputable companies who have brought in money. GDI came through an area that was explored by ZIMPLATS; there is nothing happening; five thousand jobs were supposed to be created and all that…

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: You are left with five minutes Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I hear they are now trying to bring back ZIMPLATS again.  So, imagine if all these areas had been mined by the people who initially explored them.  Where would we be today?  GDI under ZIMPLATS would be producing and what the Hon. Minister is talking about is producing.  There is no production, the $12billion income that he is talking about becomes short-changed. 

So, it is also important Hon. Minister, in this Bill, to also be able to review that, have we achieved what we wanted by giving some of these claims to other people and if not, may they go back to the original owners so that they keep putting in money.  What we want is production at the end of the day.  There need to be a review, a revisit on that because it was speculation when people got them.  They did not do anything but opened a few holes, we were excited and all that.  Then the next thing, the company was no longer there.  It affects the growth of the economy because you would have budgeted for that.

Thank you very much Madam Chair for giving me this opportunity.  We do not have to rush Hon. Minister with this Bill.  We would rather do it properly, if we have to do it in the other term when others are not here, what is important is to come up with laws that are sustainable and will take us forward.  I know you have tried, there is pressure to do it but we did not also do much with even the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill.  We were overtaken by events but let us do this properly.  Let us make the people happy.  So, I really want to thank you for being here presenting this Bill.

The Parliamentary Legal Committee must also be applauded for having done a good work of it.  I think it is important that we also support them.  This is the committee that has got the legal minded people who put their legal minds to it and realised that there were certain issues that were not proper and had to be corrected.  We may be out of time but it can still be done at some point.  I thank you.

HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Madam Chair. I feel a bit touched that Hon. Mliswa did not give us a comment or his view on special stones. He has a farm in Hurungwe. There is Kazangarare and there are many special stones there. I just want to hear his thinking on the legislation as to special stones. If you would allow him five minutes Madam Chair.

HON. T. MOYO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: You want his time to be extended with five minutes.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Hon. Kashiri. Madam Chair, the issue of semi-precious stones is critical. I am pleased to say that Hurungwe is a very much spacious area. What I believe at the end of the day, the semi-precious stones are bigger than even lithium at the end of the day. The late General Manager of the MMCZ, Sekuru Tongayi Muzenda, may his soul rest in peace, was very passionate about semi-precious stones. He had already started making sure that areas like Hurungwe – the same way you pick gold in these areas like Chakari and so forth, is what you also see in Hurungwe. What has the Bill done to protect and to grow that industry of the semi-precious stones which really do not even harm the environment that much because already they are on the surface. What is important is to create a market. If I am not mistaken, the Chinese are quite big in that and there is already a market. There is nothing as great as coming up with a law in terms of minerals where there is a ready market. To me, I believe that is one of the biggest opportunities which I think had to be incorporated and the people of Hurungwe in particular, benefit a lot from that.

On my farm, you will pick up semi-precious stones left right and centre. They are all over and at some point, I probably thought I should get my entire farm pegged so that I protect that. It is also a very important one Minister.  If there is anything that we must do to remember the late Sekuru Tongayi Muzenda, it is to fulfill this semi-precious stone issue. It was close to his heart and he wanted it done. He had worked tirelessly and had put all the systems in place and I hope it sees the light of the day because the passion and the work that he put in cannot go to waste. I believe through a law; it will certainly add value to our people at the end of the day. That will be my contribution in terms of the semi-precious stones. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): Madam Chair, I move that you report progress and seek leave for us to sit again. I thank you Madam Chair.

Motion put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Progress reported.

Committee to resume: Wednesday, 14 June, 2023.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA)

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Statutory Instrument 144, published in the Government Gazette during the month of August, 2022. 

The Parliamentary Legal Committee met on the 12th June, 2023 and considered Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022 gazetted in the month of August, 2022.  The Committee is of the opinion that Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022, gazetted in the month of August is not in contravention of the Declaration of Rights of any other provision of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Five o’clock p.m.

 

        

 

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