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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 DECEMBER 2022 VOL 49 NO 7

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 14th December, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE PROTOCOL TO THE CONSTITUTIVE ACT OF THE AFRICAN UNION RELATING TO THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move the motion standing in my name that:-

WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any Convention, Treaty or Agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign States of governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

WHEREAS the AU Assembly adopted the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union Relating to the Pan-African Parliament at its Twenty-Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly, held in Malabo Equatorial Guinea on the 27th of June, 2014;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe signed the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union Relating to the Pan-African Parliament on the 21st of March, 2018;

 WHEREAS the Protocol continues in existence, the Pan-African

Parliament as established by the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament and defines the composition, functions, powers and organisation of the Pan-African Parliament;

  WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratifying the Protocol;

        AND WHEREAS Article 22 of the Protocol provides that the Protocol shall be ratified by member States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures;

  NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved.  I so move Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Whilst 

I do not have any problem with the ratification, my concern Mr. Speaker, is that as a country we have developed an ugly reputation of being last minute people. As the Minister has indicated, this protocol was adopted in 2014 and as Zimbabwe, we signed the protocol in 2018 which is four years ago. I do not understand why it has taken this long for the Hon. Minister to bring it to the august House. He is aware that in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, Section 327, it is imperative for this august House as the representative of the people of Zimbabwe to ratify. To make matters worse Mr. Speaker, one of our own, Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira has been elected President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) when we ourselves as a country have not ratified. Remember a few years ago we had the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which enquired on 11 ratifications which used to be called 11 before 11. As Zimbabwe, we were not part of the 11. We twiddled our thumps, took our time and it was only done at a much belated stage. I would therefore request the Executive not to sit on their laurels.

When we have signed some of these protocols, they must speedily be brought to this august House so that we do not have the embarrassment of being a country, one of whose citizens was duly elected as President of the PAP and yet we are only signing it at the last minute. Why should we always have this last minute rush when we are going to the end of the year? The point I am making Mr. Speaker, is that the Executive must expeditiously bring to this august House these instruments. We already have a situation relating to the Convention against Torture. Other Members have already said it previously that we signed this protocol a long time ago. I remember in the Fifth Parliament, the late Hon. Mike Auret moved a motion in this august House for us as Zimbabwe to ratify that particular convention and it is now more than 20 years down the line; we still have not done so and one wonders whether we are not in agreement with the principles, but I do not think that is the problem because we would not have signed. It is just the same way with the one we are talking about today.

I think we should not continue having these delays. That is really my point. We are supportive but I know that there are so many of these Conventions and I would really request all the Portfolio Committees to check with the relevant Ministers so that we bring up to speed these and they are ratified timeously. Those would be my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. DR. MAVETERA: Good afternoon and thank you very much Mr. Speaker for recognising me. I thought I should also add my voice to Hon. Gonese’s sentiments which I feel that PAP is a Parliament which has got Members of Parliament, including yours truly, being part of the delegation which also goes there because of having the same view of having one Africa and one voice. Mr. Speaker Sir, it has been long overdue indeed. If you look at other countries, there are a lot of countries which have ratified that. For us as a country to be found lacking, I think that leaves a lot to be desired. Let me also say that as Zimbabwe, we are fortunate that we have got our own, His Excellency Chief Charumbira, who is also the President of the PAP. Again, we also have got myself who is the First Vice Chairperson of the Youth Caucus.

I really want to thank His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for affording us as Zimbabweans, even before the ratification, a chance to be able to go there and also having young people to participate. I do not want to lie to you Mr. Speaker Sir, you will realise that Zimbabwe is one of the very few countries which has got young and energetic people coming through to that august House.

On that same note Mr. Speaker Sir, we also had to speak about sanctions which are issues which have been talked about very much for us as a country. In PAP, we went on and spoke about sanctions. On the 25th of October where SADC commemorates sanctions and say no to sanctions, especially for Zimbabwe, we had to go on and celebrate that at PAP. I am very happy that this has come to this august House and we are saying that it has to be ratified with immediate effect. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I support the motion by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that Zimbabwe should ratify the protocol. In fact, the provisions of the PAP were ratified in 2018 and as Parliament, we need to support that. It is important because the PAP is an opportunity for member States to respect the objectives of the PAP. Also, issues to do with good governance and human rights will be discussed at that level. It is important because Zimbabwe is a signatory of that international convention that we as Parliament support the idea of ratification of that international treaty because that would be important for us Zimbabwe as a democratic country. We will have a platform where member States, especially Zimbabweans who will be representatives in the PAP, we are happy Mr. Speaker Sir, that one of our own, Hon. Sen. Chief Fortune Charumbira, is the President of the PAP. That is highly commendable. As Parliament of Zimbabwe, we want also to support that because it is important for issues of human rights, good governance and rule of law that we respect them as Government of Zimbabwe. At that level, it would be overseeing measures that will be undertaken by African governments. In short, it is very important for us as an august House to respect and also support the ratification. Thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am in total support of the ratification of the protocol. I used to think that the Executive cherry-picks protocols to bring to the House for ratification but I now realise that the Executive normally sleeps on the job. We have got several protocols that still have to come to the House. One of it is the Protocol on Torture. Talking about this protocol Mr. Speaker, imagine if anyone had raised the issue of Zimbabwe not being part to this protocol at the time Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira was being elected or campaigning; I tell you we could have lost it completely. We could have lost the opportunity because the Executive, even at that particular time, alarm bells should have rung in the minds of the Executive that there is something that we have not done.

I think the Minister of Justice can also explain why at that particular time they did not realise that our own had a perfect opportunity to lead this Parliament but we had not ratified.  Ratifying is simply saying we agree to the contents of the protocol.  One of the contents is how the Parliament will be run and we expected Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira to be at the helm.  So it was also part and the responsibility of government to support Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira through making sure that the protocol is ratified.  Otherwise the protocol is well meaning and it gives an opportunity to Members of Parliament in Africa to present certain issues that sometimes may elude their Parliaments and even start new things that can improve the way which our people are governed.   I strongly support the protocol but the fact still remains the same that the Minister must bring more protocols that he knows he has on his shelves that are gathering dust so that this Parliament can also debate the contents of the protocols before they are ratified.  I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion that was brought by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi on the ratification of this protocol which speaks to domesticating this Africa Agenda 2063 at the pith, core and heart of the movement of Agenda 63, which agenda was launched in 2013 and is a 50 year agenda that is going to come to fruition in 2063. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, this agenda definitely cannot move forward without ratification of this protocol that gives power to the body of Pan African Parliament.  As has been alluded to by Hon. Madzimure on the issue that we are heading this august body as we speak, using none other than the Hon. Chief, His Excellency, the President of the PAP, Hon. Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira; it is critical, just and right for us to be seen to be singing from the same hymn book in terms of advancing the ethos, values and indeed, the positive ratification of the agenda that speaks to having this PAP both to have executive powers in their modus operandi

          I would want to read an excerpt in terms of the Africa we want which is the agenda 2063 Mr. Speaker Sir, which is an African blueprint which can only be helped by the ratification by Zimbabwe and the rest of other continental jurisdictions in Africa in terms of this agenda.  It says: “the declaration marked indeed the rededication of Africa towards the attainment of Pan African vision and integrated prosperous and a peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens representing a dynamic force in the international arena”.  The Agenda 2063 is the concrete manifestation of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50 year period from 2013 to 2063.  The Africa of the future was captured in a letter presented by the former Chairperson of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma.  The reason I have read this   excerpt is so that the Members of this august House can see it in their hearts that en-masse they ratify and also affirm their voices towards the ratification of the PAP.    Agenda 2063 encapsulates not only Africa’s aspiration for the future but also identifies key flagship programmes which can boost African economic growth and development and heed to the rapid transformation of the continent. 

          The rapid transformation can come in when there is the Yamoussoukro Declaration of the Open Skies policy and it can also come in with one voice and one might in engaging on the Inga Dam Energy construction project Mr. Speaker Sir because it is going to produce 10 000 megawatts of electricity and can definitely bring about change in the energy sector, not only in Zimbabwe but continentally.  The issue of the continental free trade area comes into fruition because of our ratification and the leadership that is currently at the helm of the PAP.

          As I conclude, I want to say as it relates to the ratification of this protocol, my heart is on the right side and the people of Chegutu West Constituency, in particular Cde. Lameck Nyamarango of Bosbury District, Patricia Nyamadzawo of Kaguvi 2, Sarah Chikukwa, the administrator of our office in Chegutu and indeed Mr. Speaker Sir, Mr. Zivhu of Ward 24 as well as all the right minded and right thinking Aldermans and Councillors – the fifteen of them in Chegutu West Constituency who have sent me to vociferously, effectively and efficiently present their position in-so-far as it relates to the ratification of this protocol.  It is my hope and clarion view that we are going to sing from the same page and hymn like the people of Chegutu West Constituency.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Nduna.  I thought your heart was on the left side.

                HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My contribution is to the Members of the IPU, PAP and SADC PF, I think it is important that instead of blaming the Executive themselves, they must also look at the various protocols that need to be ratified. I think it is quite important and I think we need to bring in the Foreign Affairs Committee as well to take stock of what needs to be rectified so that things are done properly. I think Parliament has those institutions to be able to do that. It also exposes that they seem to enjoy travelling than also working and making sure that when they represent Zimbabwe they are also up to speed with what needs to be done. I think they need to pull their socks up. Instead of blaming the Executive, what are they also doing to ensure that these protocols are ratified at the end of the day?

I think when they are presenting their reports as well, it is important to indicate that there are some outstanding protocols that need to be ratified.  With that, a lot can happen but with your indulgence Mr. Speaker, if the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade can immediately be given that task to ensure that we are up to speed so that we can be known as a Parliament that dealt with many outstanding issues, I think this is one that can certainly make us look like a Parliament which really represented people.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, be advised that your suggestion has been taken on board and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has started working along the same lines that you suggest, which will assist the Executive to respond accordingly in bringing these protocols before this august House.

HON. DR. MUTODI: I rise in support of the motion raised by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for this august House to adopt the existence of PAP. Hon. Speaker, the world is moving towards an institutional order that guarantees a peaceful and...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Members from the right door there, the five of you can you listen to the debate.

HON. DR. MUTODI: The world is moving towards an institutional order that ensures that there is prosperity, democracy and cooperation between the nations. The PAP must be supported as an inter-governmental organisation that mimics already existing international organisations such as the European Parliament with a clearly defined international role. The ratification of the African Parliament is a progressive development as it ensures collective security and cooperation amongst African countries.

I emphasise that the world is moving towards an institutional order which emphasises the need to establish a peaceful, prosperous and democratic world and as such, the Zimbabwean Parliament ratification of this protocol is essential to ensure that Zimbabwe takes its part in ensuring a progressive, peaceful and democratic world. The ratification of PAP also ensures that we adopt community ethos as an African community of nations necessary for the positive development of our continent. I thank you.

HON. MUDARIKWA: I rise to support the ratification of the Pan-African Parliament but before that, I need to support what I am ratifying. The issue that we are looking at is if we look at the European Union, the whole of the European Union stands as one country. You do not need a passport to travel in Europe once you are a member of the European Union. The trading side of it, I remember the other time when Zimbabwe was selling beef to Britain, they would go and negotiate in Brussels with the European Union. So there is need for Africa to have one voice.

The issue that was raised by the other Hon. Member who stated that since we had not ratified, Hon. Charumbira should not have been elected President. The fact that you are black and you live in Africa, you are supposed to be there. All these boundaries were created by our colonisers and we do not recognise these boundaries. As long as you are in Africa and you look like the colour of the earth, then we are ratifying yes but I am saying to justify the election of Hon. Chief Charumbira, he is elected because he comes from Africa. The issue of boundaries which were created by colonisers - the problem with many of us is that we remain indirectly unknowing agencies of imperialism and neo-colonialism because you will be trying to criticise something that is non-existent.

You look at the situation of Kwame Nkrumah who announced in Addis Ababa when they formed the Organisation of African Unity that “Africa is not free when any other African country is still under colonialism”. That speech alone is what made Hon. Chief Charumbira to be elected because he is part of Africa. The long term situation we must do as Africa is to look at what was happening during the times of the liberation struggles where other African countries felt that Africa was not liberated until Mozambique got its independence. They went on to say Mozambique is not liberated until Zimbabwe is freed but the situation we face in this country is anything that promotes the development of Africa automatically promotes the economic free trade of Africa which is the ultimate objective of Africa.

The element of Pan-African Parliament in future must look at the overall free trade of Africa and having one passport for Africa. The other time I was going to Burundi, you go to this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, it is necessary for some of you to understand what is Pan-Africanism. The element of illiteracy, the day when you know you were illiterate is the day you will start learning. This is the problem of illiteracy. The day when you realise that you do not know is the day you are liberated. So, many people are not liberated and this is the struggle that Africa faces today.

We must continue educating our brothers so that they understand that we are one people so that Africa will never have all these wars that are happening. The African Parliament, long term, must have legislative powers to deal with people who go outside the country appealing for sanctions to have Zimbabwe under sanctions and sanctions issued outside the structure of the United Nations. Anything that is issued outside the UN has no relevance to the people of Africa – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You see ignorance is like death, you will never know that you are ignorant – [Laughter.] - A dead person will never know that he is dead. So this is the situation. With these few thought provoking words, Mr. Speaker Sir, I support the ratification of the Pan African Parliament. Thank you.

          HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also want to add my voice...

          HON. MADZIMURE:  Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  It appears we all agree and there is no point in repeating.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Hamauswa, did you hear what your colleague Hon Madzimure said?  Are you coming up with something fresh?

HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I appreciate what Hon. Madzimure said but I think I am bringing in fresh issues.  Also as someone who represents the people of Warren Park Constituency who are hosting the African Museum for the African Liberators, it is also important for me to add my voice to the ratification of this protocol relating to the establishment of Pan-African Parliament. 

More importantly is that the preamble says this protocol is ensuring that there is inclusive governance whereby the people of Africa, their organisations including those in the diaspora are included in decision making.  Therefore, as we are ratifying this, I am actually at pains to notice that when the Museum for African Liberators was established in Warren Park – there was actually a fight which ended at the courts whereby a cooperative of cultures called Kubatana, whom I think can actually be part and parcel of the Museum for African Liberators; Government wanted to chase them away but they had to fight and luckily they won the case.  In remembering the preamble which says that the people of Africa including those in the diaspora are supposed to be included in decision making, it is my call to the Executive and Legislature that we should remember the people of Africa and also those in the diaspora. They want to be involved in this.  We know the Pan African Movement, it also took the participation of artists – the negritude movement was a movement which spearheaded the spirit of pan-Africanism.  When you find the Executive establishing something that is good like the African Museum and you are excluding the local people who are not being consulted, then it is against the spirit of pan-Africanism as embodied in the preamble to this protocol which relates to the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament. 

Therefore Mr. Speaker, beyond the ratification, I encourage that we need to inculcate a culture of inclusive governance and a culture that respects the people that we represent.

I also want to take note of another important provision in the preamble which says ‘determined to promote democratic principles and popular participation to consolidated democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance.  This is very important especially to countries like Zimbabwe where the democratic record has not been impressive.  We also have to make sure that the Pan-African Parliament will ensure that the principles of democracy are promoted; popular participation is really promoted through this Pan-African Parliament.

I would like to end by picking just two objectives of the Pan-African Parliament. Objective (a) says - to give to a voice to the African people; to facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the AU and to promote the principles of human and people’s rights in Africa.  These are very important objectives and this is why I am supporting the adoption and ratification of this protocol that if you give the people of Africa a voice and those in the diaspora, this also calls for all African governments to make sure that the people in the diaspora are given space.  They also participate in economic and political development. They should actually vote.  This is why some of us are calling for the diaspora vote because this is actually in line with the protocol that we have just ratified.

Why are we not allowing the diaspora to vote because they are important?  They are the ones who started the PA movement.  If you check in the 1900 when this Pan African Movement started, the people in the diaspora were at the forefront of promoting African unity. 

I will end by also highlighting that the other important objective of pan-Africanism is to have a Pan African economic community.  We need to do away with borders.  It is my hope that the Pan African Parliament will give us an opportunity to come up with legislative procedures to harmonise our legislative issues and policies.  Even when we look at treatment of Members of Parliament,  it is something that we need to look at from a regional perspective that they are treated with the decorum that they deserve as is the case with other Parliaments in Africa. 

I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, especially to represent the people of Warren Park. They need to be heard especially on issues relating to the establishment of the Museum of African Liberators.  Warren Park is actually called the liberation city but the people are not liberated.  We need to make sure that we give a voice to those people. 

          HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I rise to support the ratification of this important protocol. Mr. Speaker Sir, when the Organization of African Unity was set up in 1962 under the leadership and mentorship of the late and great Kwame Nkrumah, the big debate that was in the Chamber was whether we needed separate individual African states or we needed a unified Africa.  I remember Hon. Speaker, when I was in Government, spending some hours with the late President R.G Mugabe; he was in Ghana at the time and he was invited as a guest to listen to the conflicting debates amongst luminaries.  There was one luminary, there was one camp led by President Nkrumah and another led by the late and great President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who argued that we should remain as separate countries and another which said that we needed to form one continent.

          My respectful submission is that we cannot continue perpetuating the vestiges of the Berlin Conference of 1884 and remain little splintered countries despite our huge population of over a billion to give actualization to the dream of Pan Africanism.  We need to break the artificial boundaries that were created in Berlin by Otto von  Bismarck and others in 1884, that will then give power to the Pan African Parliament.  At the present moment, it is a talk show because it does not have any policy or legislative power making authority.  It does not make anything that is binding on the nation and State.  The simple and good reason is that African elites and African leaders have refused to let go of their national authority.  I submit that we should move for regional total African integration - destruction of those borders, nation, and states in Africa as we know it today.

  This agenda is urgent for three reasons, one of them is the implosion of conflict on the African continent, as I am talking to you right now, the biggest war is raging in Northern Ethiopia where the Ethiopian Government is at war with the citizens of Tigray and thousands of people are being displaced across the region.  Only last week, more than 24 people, Ethiopian citizens were found dead in Zambia, previously it was in Malawi because of the offshoot of the civil war that is raging in Ethiopia.

  There is a conflict in the horn of Africa; Eritrea is unstable, Somalia and Mogadishu is caught up with terrorism.  There is conflict in Somaliland which is trying to become an independent State.  There is vicious conflict in Southern Sudan, sometimes the peace holds and other times the peace does not hold.  There is a conflict in Sudan itself which has moved from military dictatorship under Bashir to a people’s revolution.  Back to the military – again, there are coups on the African continent. We have seen a coup in Benin, in Mali, in Burkina Faso, there is civil disturbance in Cote d’Ivoire, there is a conflict in Cameroon where English speaking citizens and French speaking citizens are against the leadership of President Paul Biya who is the second longest serving President in Africa after the President of Equatorial Guinea who just won an election by 93% a few months ago. 

There is a conflict in Central Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in Eastern DRC.  Eastern DRC illustrates my point on these artificial boundaries.  Eastern DRC, they speak the same language between those that are found in Rwanda, so Rwanda the city is called Goma and in the DRC, it is called Gisenyi but it is one city which is separated by a river.  So the conflict is taking place amongst people who speak the same language. 

If you go to Rwanda, there is underlying conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis, they are people who speak the same language. If you go to Burundi, there is an underlying conflict between people who speak the same language; Kenya, Rwanda, the Hutus and the Tutsis. If you go to the Central Africa Republic, there is nothing republican about the Central African Republic; it is a State permanently in conflict since the days of Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa.  If you go to Togo, same conflict; if you come into our region, there is conflict in the Democratic Republic of Mozambique arising out of terrorism in Northern Mozambique.

 So, the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa is battling under the scourge of war, civil war or coup, which means we must empower the continental bodies, the African Union and the African Parliament but this can only be done if we discard our little national flags and national anthems which were imposed by Bismarck and others in Berlin in 1884.

The second reason is economics. We have a population of more than a billion and by 2045, this population will double but we are not reaping the economies of scale that come out of the huge population.  We have the same population as China but China is reaping the economies of scale that comes out of a huge population; scientists call it the demographic dividend because we are not integrated. 

So I submit that the idea of the African Continental Free Trade Area which was signed by African Heads of State in March of 2021 must be actualised so that it becomes a full bodied customs union. We remove trade barriers, we remove passports, borders but that also must apply to the political bodies.  We need regional integration so that we can harvest the demographic dividend, the huge population of a billion people.  Zimbabwe has got an effective market of less than two million; there are less than 500 000 people with actual domestic aggregate demand that can support an economy.  If we were to integrate as SADC alone, Zimbabwe will suddenly have a market of 300 000.  If we were to integrate on the African Continent, that is a market of a billion people. Think of what benefit our farmers, miners, manufacturers will derive; 65% of our economies are informal and I am referring to the recent World Bank note produced in September of 2022. 

 That informal sector, I want to give an example of Glenview. If you go to Glenview, you will find the latest couch being made under the tree.  Can you imagine if those people had a market in Mozambique, Burundi, Kisangani, Zaire, Mogadishu and Zanzibar - it would transform this e economy.  So the issue of establishing one free Africa should be seen as the ultimate developmental and transformation agenda. The esteemed Minister of Energy and Power Development Hon. Soda is struggling because Zimbabwe has got an installed capacity of energy of 2000MW  but at any given time, less than 600MW are being produced. In DRC on the Congo River, there is Inga Gorge which is capable of producing 40000MW of energy enough to light the whole of Africa and export to southern Europe to Spain and Portugal which were knocked out of the World Cup.

          It pains me that the World Bank and others have not provided finance to Inga because they know the liberation effect that Inga will have on the ordinary wanachi on the African continent. We have lost 40 decades of independence pretending to run countries when we are running little tin pot countries. I would rather own 10% of an elephant than 100% of a rat. Our small countries are little rats, let us come and form this giant called Africa. It pains me that if I want to go to Tunisia, I have to go to Charles de Gore Airport first and then come down. There is no direct flight from here to Mali, from here to Dakar Senegal, from here to Togo because of the old colonial infrastructure. Even here in sub-Saharan Africa, it will cost me US$800 to go to Cape Town but I can buy a ticket to London for US$400 because of the colonial vestiges. Look at all my learned friends, they are putting on neck ties and they cannot put on an African dress like me because colonisation is in the mindset. I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir, including yourself – [Laughter]. The only exception is Hon T. Mliswa. We ought to have our own dress and language so that we can be pontificating in isiZulu or kiSwahili. We are not able to do that.

          Yes, we support this motion but it must raise deeper issues about our omissions as a generation that has failed to unite Africa and bring Africa together. I thank you very much.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to appreciate the debate and contribution by Hon. Biti. I must say it is really refreshing and educating to have somebody with such a brilliant mind, who is able to put things in such order. I am sure that the Minister of Energy did pick one or two things which I think are quite critical to raise in Cabinet in terms of how best as Africa we can have power which is key for our economies to grow. Chakanaka chakanaka. It was quite a brilliant presentation.

          (v)HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion that has been raised by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I want to say that Africa has a population of 1.4 billion people which represents 16.72% of the world population. The setting up of the Pan African Parliament is now coordinating all the issues of these people so that when we speak, we speak with one voice.

          You will also understand that the reason for the creation of Pan African Parliament was basically to make sure that the economic development and integration of the continent should be coordinated as one thing. In that way, we can have discussion on decision making on problems affecting Africa.

          Part of speech not recorded due to network challenges.

          He mentioned a number of countries where there are a lot of problems which is the reason why there was the setting up of the Pan African Parliament. I stood up to agree with all other Hon. Members that have been speaking on this matter to say Zimbabwe must also be part of the Pan African Protocol. I therefore, support the approval of the ratification of the protocol and thank you so much Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me the opportunity to add my voice. I find no reason why we must continue debating this issue because all Hon. Members that have spoken, have supported the motion that has been raised by the Minister of Justice. I thank you.

          HON. PROF. MASHAKADA: I wish to acknowledge the debate that has been contributed by my fellow Hon. Members regarding the ratification of the Malabo Protocol.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for bringing this motion before this august House because when we are at the Pan African Parliament, we are taken to task by those countries that have ratified.  It would have appeared that Zimbabwe is flawing against the spirit of Pan Africanism yet we are taking time to ratify.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to debate this protocol in the context of the African Union (AU) itself.  As you are quite aware, the AU was preceded by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.  Then in 2002, the OAU was transformed into the African Union and today AU has various organs including the court of People’s and Human Rights; the African Union Commission itself and the Pan African Parliament which is the third organ of the African Union. 

          Ranking number three, in the hierarchy of the organs of the AU, the Pan African Parliament still did not have legislative powers.  All it could do was to recommend and pass advisory motions, it did not really have the teeth to bite but in the context of its advisory and recommending roles; yes, the Pan African Parliament has also accomplished certain milestones.  For example, it has been able to pass, in its current recommending role, model laws on disability, model laws on free movement of people and so forth but this has been limited because model laws are just model laws.  They are not binding to anybody.

          So, the context of this protocol is that PAP will now have legislative powers to pass laws that can bind the African Union itself and can bind other organs of the African Union.  So this motion is very important.

Hon. Biti has already spoken about the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) which is a major milestone of the African Union but for this ACFTA to gain currency, PAP has to legislate more subsidiary laws to govern the practical implementation of the ACFTA.  So, if PAP becomes a legislative body, it can then come up with a number of laws to implement the ACFTA; not only the ACFTA but there is the question of Africa’s single air market transport that will also have to be ratified.  There is also the question of the free movement of people and free movement of goods that will also have to be ratified if PAP becomes a legislative body. 

So, this Malabo Protocol is long overdue.  This Parliament must ratify this protocol so that PAP becomes a powerful institution but there has been resistance also from Heads of State.  Their argument has been that the AU is not like the European Commission, it is not a continental Government.  Therefore, you cannot have a legislative Parliament for the continent when you do not have a continental Government.  I think that is neither here nor there.  We start building the blocks gradually.  We had the racks as building blocks for the African Continental Free Trade Area.  So, if we start with PAP as a legislative body, we are building the blocks for eventually establishing one continental Government like the European Commission which would be the equivalent of the African Union.  So, we will get there but for now, if we ratify this protocol, I think it would be a very good development.  I think the protocol requires 24 ratifications and I think we will then aide the total ratification of the PAP Protocol so that PAP can become a truly legislative body.  So, I truly support this protocol and want to commend the Hon. Minister for tabling it.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  In terms of Standing Order Number 111, we have to avoid repeating what has been stated already.  So I am now going to put the question.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Just a few responses Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Sorry, I should have called for any further debate.  Hon. Minister, please proceed.

HON. ZIYAMBI:    Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for recognising me.  Firstly, I want to thank the Hon. Members for the robust debate.  I must say, it is one protocol where Hon. Members debated widely and I presume maybe it is because it concerns Parliament and …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Order Hon. Minister, please be connected.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am sure now technology is in agreement with us.  Mr. Speaker, I was saying that I want to thank Hon. Members for the robust debate.  In fact, so many Hon. Members were eager to debate this protocol and I think it is a commendable thing.  Often times we pass these protocols without much debate, this is actually refreshing.

Going to the debate, I want to thank Hon. Gonese.  His concern was that we are not bringing these protocols for approval frequently enough.  His sentiments were echoed by Hon. Madzimure who indicated that we are sleeping on duty. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me indicate that since the Second Republic came into being, in fact His Excellency is one who wants us all to obey the rules and whatever we are supposed to obey.  In fact, in upholding the rule of law, he is very excellent in that regard.  He wants us to ensure that we comply with whatever we are supposed to comply with. If you have noticed Mr. Speaker Sir, for the past four years, the number of treaties that have been approved by this august House is actually more than what has been approved in several years.  It is an indication of the kind of man he is.

We went further and brought an International Treaties Bill to this Parliament, it is now an Act which then allows us to publish all the international treaties that we would have ratified.  So, in terms of the appetite to ensure that we are in compliance with our legal obligations, I would like to applaud His Excellency, he has pushed all of us to make sure that we satisfy that; not only that, even reports from independent commissions.  You have noticed how we have managed to ensure that we come up to date by presenting them to Parliament.

However, I also have to indicate that once a treaty has been signed by the President or a representative, it is not automatic that we must rush to bring it to Parliament.  We also need to ensure that it goes through all the requisite legal processes in-country, before submitting to Parliament.  We also have to scrutinise it; there are certain things that even though the President has signed, you may find that we have reservations about certain clauses or articles.  So, we also had to go through the necessary Cabinet Committees and because of the number of treaties that have been coming to Parliament, these committees also have been overwhelmed, notwithstanding that we also had COVID for about one and a half years. I just wanted to clarify on that issue to say that it is not a deliberate thing but we are very much for the ratification of most of our treaties.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I agree with the majority of the presentations. In fact, we have artificial boundaries and I agree with the presentation by Hon. Mudarikwa and Hon. Biti that have affected us as a country.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Chief, you cannot be up standing when an Hon. Member is having the floor. You should have sat next to your colleagues there to whisper whatever you wanted to whisper. Hon. Minister, please proceed.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was just indicating that I support that as a continent, perhaps at the top we need to relook the issue of our borders and move towards integration. The article does not speak to that.  In fact, this is one step towards that. I believe we need to move in that direction. You also commented on what Hon. Mliswa presented. I will not go beyond what you said because I agree with that, that perhaps our Parliament Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and Parliament at large, must also take an active role in reminding the Executive of their duties.

I did not see any connection with Hon. Hamauswa’s diaspora voting inclusion. It is not even there in the protocol. Perhaps he was speaking his mind about issues that he is passionate about but that are not a subject matter of the protocol. Having said that Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Members and yourself and move that Parliament do approve the protocol. Thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you did make a request last week and yesterday for a Ministerial Statement on the energy situation in our country. The Hon. Minister of Energy is here and he is prepared now to present that Ministerial Statement accordingly.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

ENERGY SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON.  SODA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me this opportunity to present a Ministerial Statement on the state of electricity supply that is currently obtaining in the country. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a depressed power supply situation which was exacerbated by the reduced power production from Kariba Power Station. Besides the usual challenges of aged equipment at the country’s thermal power stations, climate change effects have hit hard on us at the Kariba South Hydro Power Plant where the dam that supports generation of power has received much reduced water inflows due to the poor 2021-2022 rain season. The water levels at Kariba Dam have gone down such that power generation at the dam had to be curtailed. You might be aware Mr. Speaker Sir that on Friday, 25th November this year, the Zambezi River Authority notified the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) that the utility had exhausted its water allocation for 2022 and there was need for the power station to be completely shut down.

The shutdown of the power plant would have had the following impacts: about 70% of the country’s power supply would have been lost as a result of shutting down the power station. The network stabilization would also have been disturbed which ordinarily would be done through Kariba Power Station. The Ministry engaged its counterparts in Zambia through meetings which were held at board level and also there was a recommendation from the board to allow the two utilities to engage. It was through those engagements that the Council of Ministers had an Extra Ordinary Meeting to allow ZPC to continue generating from Kariba Power Station but this time at a reduced capacity of between 250 to 300 megawatts. This effectively resulted in loss of about 300 megawatts capacity on our grid, increasing our power deficit to over 500 megawatts.

The country’s current available internal generation capacity gets to around 800mgw and the power is contributed as follows: from Hwange there is a generation of up to 400mgw which we are currently obtaining.  Kariba is running between 250mgw and 300mgw and then from the small thermals there is a contribution of 30mgw, which we are currently having.  Independent power producers are contributing a total of 56mgw to make up for the 800mgw which we are generating internally.  We are also getting some imports of electricity from Eskom, which is supplying us with 100mgw and another 50mgw from utilities in Mozambique called HCB and EDM also supplying 50mgw.  ZESCO of Zambia has an agreement with ZESA for the supply of 100mgw and in total, we are getting 300mgw as power imports. 

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, in order to mitigate the current shortfall that was occasioned mainly by the reduced power generation from Kariba Power Station the Ministry together with ZESA have come up with some measures.  The first one is to increase our imports, which I have already indicated that we are currently receiving 300mgw.  We intend to increase by an additional 500mgw which we are targeting to get from Mozambique and from the Southern African Power Pool.  Discussions are currently underway for an additional capacity of 150mgw from Mozambique, particularly from EDM power utility.  We will also get another 50mgw from the participation of ZESA at the Southern Africa Power Pool Electricity Market to give us an additional 200mgw over and above the 300mgw which we are currently importing.  Another measure is to ramp up local generation.  There is potential to increase generation at Hwange Power Station and I have already indicated that at the moment, we are getting 400mgw and the intention is to have it staying on the grid and sending that 400mgw.  Then from the small thermal power stations, we are intending to increase production and to obtain a contribution of 45mgw.  The independent power producers who are currently connected to the grid would be expected to contribute around 75mgw with special focus on ZEE which is to us a low hanging fruit currently sending out 17mgw but their capacity is 40mgw.  They have depressed power generation as a result of incapacitation, which we are currently working on in terms of the coal which they require for power generation.  To that end, a rescue package has been proposed from the Government to cover for additional imports, coal supply and transport costs which have been an inhibiting factor to have adequate coal supplies at the small thermal power stations. 

          Discussions are currently underway with Treasury for the release of the rescue package.  The other measure is to work on the demand side management.  Intensive power users are being engaged to reduce the load and also employ efficiencies in their operations.  Domestic customers are also encouraged to implement energy conservation measures like switching off switches and also to work on the restricted use of electricity geysers and use of efficient gadgets such as efficient lights, fridges and other appliances.  Various platforms are being used like the radio, social media, television and newspapers for members of the public to be aware of the need to conserve the available electricity. 

ZESA is expediting the installation of prepaid and smart meters to improve the management of electricity consumption.  The other measure is to get the excess capacity through the net metering facility which allows customers with excess capacity from their generators like solar systems on rooftops to be connected to the grid.  There are some advantages which can be enjoyed by the producers of electricity themselves.  You are aware that a normal solar system should be having some storage facilities but through this facility, you only need to have your solar panels and you will use the grid to bank your electricity which you will be withdrawing during times when you are out of production.  Currently 5 megawatts of capacity have been connected to the grid and we are targeting an additional 7mgw.  ZESA is working flat out to ensure that these customers with excess capacity of 7mgw are immediately connected to the grid. 

There shall also be an immediate review of the hydrological situation at Kariba Power Station.  The reduction in the power generation capacity has been occasioned by the low water levels in the Kariba Dam.  The minimum operating level of the dam is 475.5mt above sea level.  What it means is that any water that is above 475.5mt becomes the live lake storage which will be used for power generation.  For 2022, we had a total allocation of 45 billion cubic meters provided by ZRA, which was shared by our two utilities, ZESA and ZESCO.  ZESA exhausted our 22.5 billion cubic meters but inflows have just started to collect into the dam and there shall be an immediate review in January 2023.  We hope that is going to ease the current load curtailment which is obtaining. 

In the medium term, there shall be some interventions especially by way of the rehabilitation of the current Hwange station on the existing units 1 to 6.  Already, work is in progress and the detailed project report giving the scope of works to be done at the power station has been finalised and it was accepted by the project owners which are ZESA Holdings and we are seized with ensuring that my Ministry and the Ministry of Finance engages the Indian Exim Bank to also endorse on the detailed project report so that disbursements can immediately commence for the purposes of the rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station.

The intention is to bring that power station, the current Units 1 – 6 to the installed capacity of 920 mw, which if added to the expansion project which we are expecting to produce 600 mw, the total that will be coming from Hwange Power Station will come to 1520 mw. In the long term, there shall be massive exploitation of hydro-power potential along the Zambezi River and the immediate one is through Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme which has a potential of producing 2 400 mw and as we speak, a feasibility study was concluded and the environmental impact studies have also been endorsed.

          Another measure is on Government giving support to the independent power producers. The focus will be on solar PV generation projects. Currently, a total of 100 licenced projects have been licenced by ZERA. My Ministry is engaging the Ministry of Finance to help de-risk the independent power producer projects through provision of Government implementation agreements for projects which have been awaiting Government guarantee to reach financial closure.

          As we speak, three pilot projects have so far received Government implementation agreements and standard power purchase agreement documents. My Ministry is also finalising on the formulation of competitive procurement framework. This is work in progress and we hope by the first quarter of 2023 this will have been finalised.

          I now come to the progress on the Hwange Expansion Project through Unit 7 and 8. The project involved the installation of 2 x 300 mw generation units at Hwange Thermal Power Station. The project has surpassed 97% completion. The completion of Unit 7 is currently under way with the unit expected to be synchronised to the grid before the end of this month and we will be getting around 300 mw once the commission tests reaches commercial operations but as we commence the synchronisation or commercialisation, we will not immediately get to the 300 mw. There shall be some connections and disconnections and testing of various performances during this process but this synchronisation will be achieved before end of this month.

          Commissioning of Unit 8 will follow immediately after Unit 7 has achieved commercial operation and is expected to take not more than two months after reaching commercial operations of Unit 7. These interventions will ease the current power supply situation and the Government is seized with the implementation of these measures. I submit.

          HON. NDUNA: Would we have contemplated the issue of non-availability of electricity in the six months or three months before the water levels dwindled in the Lake Kariba? Does it mean we have got square plugs and round holes in the form and mould of the board which could have appraised the Minister that six or three months before we are going to have a challenge? Secondly, what is it that we have as a mitigating strategy or modus operandi to ameliorate the current situation both for the festive season and the months to come? I thank you.

          *HON. TEKESHE:  I wanted to seek clarification from the Minister that yes, we have a shortage of electricity but the challenge we have is that production happens during the day and in the evening everyone will be sleeping. Surprisingly, electricity is availed to us during the night from 2300 hours to 0400 hours. So, what are we supposed to do and how should we produce in terms of production? I think it is best that they avail electricity during the day so that we sleep at night. I was shocked with the issue of coming up with measures to produce yet the electricity is not available. I thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  Madam Speaker Maam, I seek clarification from the Hon. Minister, firstly on the issue of incentives for independent power producers.  I have read an article that says that independent power producers produce a lease in terms of energy in Zimbabwe.  What incentives are there to motivate these independent producers so that they produce more, compared to what is happening and obtaining in South Africa and Zambia?

Secondly, I would like to seek clarification on the amount of megawatts that are produced at Kariba.  ZESCO is allowed to produce 800 mega watts, ZPC Kariba 250 and 300 mega watts; why do we have these disparities and yet production is happening on the Zambezi?

The third issue is about obsolete equipment at Hwange.  Is it not prudent to decommission two of the units because they are persistently giving problems to ZESA so that we remain with units that are reliable, for example Unit 6, 7 and 8?  Those are my submissions.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Hon. Minister, would you inform this House as to why ZESA is no longer giving timetables with regards to load shedding?  If there is a timetable, one is able to plan and see how best to manage their work.

Secondly, what happened to the solar farm in Gwanda – that big investment which was going to help us a lot in terms of alleviating this situation?  What is the position?  I am sure it had an investment of plus US$5 million.

Last but not least, Hon. Minister, you have to take note during the part of your history as the Hon. Minister of Power and Energy Development – this is the first time this country has suffered a lot in terms of accessing the world cup.  It is a real sad story in the history of our country.  I think it is important for the Hon. Minister to apologise to the country for that sad situation.  I thank you.

(v)HON. NDIWENI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for his Ministerial Statement.  I would like to seek two clarifications.  Firstly, can the Minister clarify on the condition of Unit 4 in Kariba?  We have seen information circulating on the social media on the state of Unit 4 in Kariba. What does the Minister intend to do to the tariffs as it stands as a long term solution to solving power problems that we are facing?

(v)HON. MOKONE: I would like to know why load shedding is more pronounced in other towns than others especially in Matabeleland South in Gwanda town, ZESA is switched off every day at 5 am up to around 10 am.  Why can the Minister not provide a proper load shedding schedule that he adheres to? In the past you gave us a load shedding schedule but you did not adhere to it. I would like to know how far the Minister has gone with the plant in Blanket Mine in Matabeleland South because you once said that very soon it would be generating electricity.

(v)HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD). MAYIHLOME: I am particularly concerned about the time taken to authorise permits for independent power producers.  If I heard you correctly, you said there are about 100 applications that are awaiting permits from your Ministry and the Ministry of Finance and only three are being considered and will be allocated soon. What will happen to the 97 – what is going on? What is the problem when we have got such a crisis?  Why do you have the luxury of taking so much time to issue these permits?  I know some applications that have been outstanding for more than four years in your Ministry and Ministry of Finance.  If we do not have expertise, why do we not use consultants to deal with particular problems?

          HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I have got several points on which I seek clarification.  The Hon. Minister in his Statement informed us that they received communication from the Zambezi River Authority, were they not aware that as a country we had exceeded our allocation.  I would have assumed that we were all aware because in Kariba North, they do not seem to have a problem which means that Zambia were within their allocation.  Can you explain to the nation why they were sleeping on the job to the extent that they were only to be alerted by the Zambezi Water Authority that as a country we had exceeded our allocation?

          The second point is that we have been going around in circles in terms of conservation.  The Hon. Minister time and again has talked about measures which are supposed to be put in place to conserve energy.  What in practical terms have they done to ensure that people are not just conscientised but people are able to implement those measures which are necessary to conserve energy?  For example, we are looking at the issue of cooking, what efforts have they made to encourage people to move away from using electricity for cooking and use gas instead.  I think in most of the developed world, you will find that gas is the preferred option and what measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that perhaps gas is cheaper and also that gas stoves are affordable and more available so that people can move away from the use of electric stoves.

On the issue of solar geysers, this Government talked about new houses not being allowed to put up electric geysers but that is still happening so there is no implementation.  May the Hon. Minister explain why they are not implementing their policy pronouncements.  Why do we continuously have these policy reversals or lack of implementation?  As a Ministry, what are you doing to ensure that people start using those smart gadgets in terms of availability?  Otherwise it is just idle talk. 

HON. NYOKANHETE: The first question is that are you financially fit to do all the intervention as you were just alluding?  Are you not going to push the cost to customers especially when you are going to do this intervention of increasing imports and doing whatever you were just mentioning?

Secondly, we have bigger inland dams like Muturikwi and Tokwe Mukorsi in Masvingo.  What plans do you have with these dams for local generation of electricity?

(v)HON. MUSAKWA: My point of clarification is to do with Kariba.  It seems we have got the same generators of the same capacity as Zambia and we run them at almost similar terms and conditions.  Why is it that ours exhaust their allocation and theirs they do not?  Is it inefficiencies on our side or there are some technical issues.

Secondly, On the Harare-Munyati and Bulawayo power stations, I heard the Minister saying that he is going to ramp up production to 45 mega watts but if you look at it, 45 megawatts is around 20% of their installed capacity. So, you are running something at 20% of its installed capacity, can we really call that ramping up because I think it is highly inadequate.

Thirdly, independent power producers, can we not give them a viable tariff, for instance just to pay them parity with import tariff that we use to import but at least they will be generating locally and will be more reliability as well as generating jobs locally.

(v)HON. SHAMU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I have been listening to the Minister as he was speaking; he said he is now coming up with the issue of ramping up existing channels of provisional energy.  Do we have to wait for a crisis of this nature in order for us to come up with innovative methods of increasing our supply of energy?

HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for affording me this opportunity to talk on the current crisis that we are facing as a nation.  I have a few clarifications that I want to seek from the Minister and a few suggestions as well. 

What is the Ministry doing to minimise the issue of loss control of power because there are so many people that are using electricity without paying for it.  Is the ZESA Loss Control unit really working?

Another clarification, what is the Ministry doing because if you move around right now, be it in commercial or domestic properties, you will find that if the power is there, the lights will be on during the day. What is the Ministry doing to deal with that because that is loss of power?

          The third issue is having so many subsidiaries or entities under ZESA. ZESA has so many entities and what is the Ministry doing to deal with that because if we look at it closely, there are boards that need to be remunerated and the executives receive huge perks? I believe that if those entities are merged, then a lot of saving will be done which will enable ZESA to import electricity as well as to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

          The other suggestion is the setting up of solar farms in each and every town for domestic use and the power that will be generated by Kariba and Hwange will be used by the industries.

          (v)HON. R. R. NYATHI: I was listening to the Hon. Minister and I want to find out about the situation with regards to electricity in two weeks and in a month’s time. What are Zimbabweans expecting in the next quarter so that at least we can prepare ourselves? I did not hear the Minister telling us when we are going to see the situation improve.

          HON. SODA: On the first question which came from Hon. Nduna where he wanted to know if there were some plans to improve the power supply situation before Christmas, this is what we are working on. I indicated that already there are some discussions to have an additional capacity of 150MW from EDM of Mozambique and also to participate at the SAPP market. We are finalising on the actual agreement with the power exporters; that is EDM and also the conditions for participation at the SAPP market. Those are being looked into but they are running along with negotiations or discussions with the Ministry of Finance for a bail-out package which I have already indicated.    It is our hope that within the next week, all these processes will be finalised and we would also have wanted to have this additional capacity being wheeled to Zimbabwe before Christmas.

          Again, Hon Nduna asked whether the board did not know about this risk of low water supply that would arise at Kariba Power Station. I would say ZRA, as the managers of the water resource, communicates from time to time with the ZESCO and ZESA. We knew about this situation on the fast receding water levels at Kariba Dam but we were advised at a time when we could not stop some of the units for purposes of water conservation especially that we were in winter. We had a crop that needed to be protected in terms of adequate moisture that was required during winter cropping season. This was known in terms of the water levels but our hope was the coming in of Unit 7 which was supposed to coincide with the reduction of power generation at Kariba at a time when this Unit 7 was supposed to be connected to the grid, bringing in that difference. It was the coincidence that we hoped for which did not happen.

          Concerning the question by Hon. Tekeshe, what happens with electricity at national level is the same with what happens at domestic level. If you are to use a lot of gadgets at your home, you may experience your electricity breakers tripping. In the evening it is easier because there is less use of electricity and that is what happens with electricity nationwide.  At any given time, the amount of power circulating is known and the power is distributed accordingly.

          From Hon. Moyo, he was seeking clarification as to what incentives are available to expedite development of independent power producer projects.  We have a number of incentives that are on offer.  The Government of Zimbabwe is assisting investors in the provision of land for the development of these projects, just to start with.  Also, there are a number of tax incentives that are on offer. IPP is bringing in some equipment into the country, especially for renewable.  There are tax rebates that are being offered. Over and above that, they are also offered some tax holidays, as a way of expediting projects in the IPP space.

          The other question was - why ZESCOM is allowed to generate electricity currently at 800 megawatts (mg), whilst ZESA has been asked to reduce to 300 mg.  From the explanation that I gave, the total water allocation which was provided for in 2022 was 45 billion cubic metres of which 22.5 was the allocation for Zimbabwe.  We exhausted our water allocation, until ZPC was then ordered by ZRA to suspend generation.  We had to get the current generation after extensive negotiations with ZESCOM.

          As we speak, to be very honest, we are actually using their allocation of water to generate the 300 mg that we are obtaining from Kariba Power Station.  The other question from Hon. Moyo was on why we are not decommissioning Hwange Power Station.  It will be unwise to immediately decommission Hwange Power Station which is contributing 400 mg, like I indicated in my statement.  We intend to then decommission at a time when the two units; Unit 7 and 8 will be connected to the grid and start feeding the 600 mg and that would be most appropriate for decommission these units.  We will not decommission them all at once.  We shall be decommissioning two units at a time to allow the remaining units to continue to be contributing whilst those that would have been decommissioned will be undergoing rehabilitation through the loan facility which I have spoken, also the progress that I have indicated that we are now at DPR stage and soon some disbursements will commence from the Indian Exim Bank.

          From Hon. Mutseyami, why ZESA is not seen availing the load shedding schedule -  Madam Speaker Ma’am, like I have indicated, we are currently seized with the additional capacity, which is being sourced from Mozambique and also from the participation at SAPP market.  It is only when that would have been concluded that a timetable will be given because we are still expecting an additional capacity of about 200 mg.  Once that is finalised, then a timetable will be provided.  I am aware that there is need for this timetable to allow for people to plan on the use of the available electricity.  Certainly, this will be provided once we are done with the additional capacity which we are intending to procure.

          The other question was on what happened to the Gwanda Solar Project.  That project suffered a false start.  That is what I would say and there are currently some wrangles with the contractor who was given the work to develop the project.  What I can say in short is, this project has been halted at the moment.

           On the condition of Unit 4, I cannot remember this Hon. Member who spoke about Unit 4 at Kariba.  I know there were some rumours that there is a unit which is beyond repair at Kariba Power Station, which is Unit 4.  It is not true.  Unit 4 lost a turbine blade, which turbine blade is being procured and once that blade is mounted, the unit will be ready to generate electricity.  It is also among the units that have been taken out of production, owing to the issue of water that is not available for generation.

          The other question was on the tariffs.  We are aware of the issue of tariffs that have been in use by ZESA for some time but we have just started to implement cost-reflective structure.  As we speak, exploiting customers are paying a tariff of around 12 cents, which is near cost-reflective tariff.  According to the cost of service tariff which was conducted by the World Bank, the appropriate cost reflective tariff should be around 16 cents.  This is a process and we have started at 12.2 cents.  ZESA shall be guiding on the cost reflective tariff but in consultation with other stakeholders that are one of the regulator action consumers themselves.  There have to be some considerations as well as to affordability of the tariff.

           Hon.  Mokone wanted to understand why load shedding is more pronounced in some towns than others.  I would not want to confirm on this one but I can always check as to why that is happening.  Also, she spoke for the need of the load shedding schedule, which I said we will be working on it and it shall be published once they finalise on the issue of the additional capacity which they are currently procuring.

          She also wanted to understand on the progress at Blanket Mine where there is an IPP project of 12 mega watts capacity which is being developed.  According to the latest reports which I received, this project is supposed to be commissioned I think this year before 31 December, 2022.  We expected this project to have started to feed power into the grid.

           Hon. Mayihlome’s concern was on the issue of permits.  I think there were some misunderstandings.  Permits are being issued in the form of licences by ZERA.  I have indicated that about 100 licences have so far been issued to independent power producers but what is not happening is the actual development of the projects.  There have been issues around the development of these projects, especially some funders who wanted to have some mitigation against some perceived risks, one of them being currency convertibility and also the risk of payment from ZETDC itself.  We have sought the intervention of the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which is going to issue Government implementation agreements or guarantees. So far, three projects were selected to test on the conditions that were issued by the RBZ.  Once we get to financial closure through the use of those conditions which were provided, we will then be rolling out.  It is just a pilot on the three projects that were selected to implement the conditions that were offered by the RBZ to de-risk on the risks that were indicated by the independent power producers or the investors. 

          From Hon. Gonese, it was also the same question as the one that was asked by Hon. Nduna as to why as the Ministry of Energy, together with the power utility we did not take action on time until the water levels got to those critical levels to warrant the reduction in power production.  I have already responded to this question that yes, there were some reports and communication between ZRA who are the managers of the water resource with our two utilities, that is ZESCO and ZESA. Unfortunately, we could not stop generating electricity during the time when the call was made because we had a crop that needed to be supplied with water for irrigation.  Another concern from Hon. Gonese was on the implementation of efficiency measures that I have just spoken about.  We are currently coming up with a policy on energy efficiency.  It is currently being put together and we hope that it would be ready by the first quarter of 2023, which will speak to some incentives and also some punishments for failure to observe regulations which would be provided through this policy.  Already, we have some regulations which ZRA is implementing not to allow houses that would have connected electricity geysers to pass the inspection test.  We have such regulations but we are currently putting up a whole policy that will speak to energy efficiency issues. 

          Hon. Nyokanhete wanted to understand whether there was a ready funding for the interventions that I have spoken about.  Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I have indicated that the Ministry of Finance has been engaged for the purposes of a rescue package, specifically for the additional capacity which we intend to import and also participation at the SAPU market and for the payment of coal which has been the cause for the outages of the small thermal power stations, that is Harare Station 3, Bulawayo and Munyati.  This is an avenue that we think we will have some bail out to allow for the additional capacity to be immediately imported into the country. 

          The other concern was whether the funding will result in raising of tariffs or not.  For now, I would not want to say it will result in additional tariffs unless some other considerations are made because all that is going to happen is just to procure the electricity.  Obviously from the sources, the weighted average cost per unit may not change much and which may not result in the movement of the tariffs but some evaluations can always be made to ascertain whether the additional capacity is coming at a higher cost than the current cost.  If that happens, obviously there will be some adjustments to allow for capacitation for ZESA. 

          The other question was on the plans that the Government has to have power generated at our dams.  It is Government policy.  I think this has been spoken about several times that for all new dams that the Government is constructing, there shall be power generation.  It also goes with some evaluations that have to be made in terms of the height of the dam wall to allow for the fall which will drive the turbines.  Some evaluations have to be made but we have a whole Government policy that speaks to generation of electricity to all inland dams. 

          Hon. Musakwa asked why ZESA exhausted their water allocation at Kariba.  It was because we increased generation when we had challenges with our thermal power stations.  There were some outages at Hwange.  In order to suffice for the power that was required in winter, generation was above what was recommended by ZRA and we had to exhaust the water allocation.  The other question from Hon. Musakwa is an observation that came out when I mentioned that we shall be ramping up production at our small thermal power stations.  His concern is whether producing a total of 45 megawatts, which 20% of the capacity is ramping up.  For now, I would say it is ramping up because you will notice that some of the small thermal power stations are out of service because of a variety of reasons, some as a result of faults and some as a result of inadequate supply of consumables like coal.  In the interim, we will ensure that each and every small thermal will be making a contribution until proper rehabilitation or re-powering exercise is conducted. 

          Can we not pay IPPs viable tariffs?  The observation has been that there is a tariff which is paid for power imports which he wanted to be matched to tariff that is offered to the independent power producers.  When these power purchase agreements are entered into with the off taker and in our case ZETDC, there are negotiations.  This is not a one size fits all.  It is all determined by the size of the investment and other considerations.  So the tariff is not the same for all IPPs but there are negotiations that are being done in order to arrive at a PPA. 

          Hon. Shamu’s concern is similar to the concern from Hon. Nduna together with Hon. Gonese as to why preventive controls were not implemented well before we got to a point of exhausting our water allocation, I think I have already attended to a similar question. 

With regards to Hon. Chinyanganya - what is the Ministry doing to reduce loss of power?  Yes, we are aware that there are some losses that are obtaining from time to time through some illegal connections and also some power thefts that are happening and no wonder why ZESA has a department for loss control.  Some people are being brought before the courts and some punishments are given for violations of this nature.

This is a continuous process and with regards to reduction of these losses, we are also aware that from the statistics, there is a loss factor of about 18% of the power which is generated from any sources until it gets to where that power is used.  There are some efforts or some works that are being done on the transmission and distribution system of ZETDC in order to reinforce the existing infrastructure so that we do not continue to incur losses through wheeling of our electricity

Another question from Hon. Chinyanganya was the measures that the Ministry is implementing to deal with inefficient use of power.  I have already indicated that we are coming up with a policy, a framework which will be dealing with inefficiencies which will have some incentives and also some punishments which will go with inefficient use of electricity, especially on the example that he has given that sometimes you will find during the day, lights are on and nobody bothers.  It is also about our culture on conservation of available resources, so it is that culture which must be erased so that we conserve our electricity.

The other observation from Hon. Chinyanganya was on the boards and his observation was that we have various boards for the subsidiary companies under the ZESA Holdings Group. It is a correct observation but this is going to be dealt with through re-bundling.  We have already started the process of re-bundling and our intention will be to have a vertical structure and the current subsidiary companies will become departments under the newly formed structure or the newly formed company and we shall be having a single board.  We are aware of the costs that are being incurred especially by the boards that we currently have. 

There was a suggestion again from Hon. Chinyanganya of having some off grid systems that will be serving some towns.  This is a welcome suggestion and already we have a similar approach through the Rural Electrification Agency.  They are doing similar projects especially in rural areas where instead of extending the grid to give access to electricity to people in rural areas, they are now developing off grid solar systems that will provide electricity to some communities and that will not be connected to the grid. We have one such project that was concluded by REA in Tsholotsho for the Bemba community and it has a capacity of around 60 kilo watt hours and it is serving around 30 households including some public institutions.  So that is a welcome proposition and we can always consider that if we have investors that will show interest in investing in that space. We can always have those discussions with them. 

From Hon. Nyathi, he also wanted to get assurance as to our ability to provide electricity within the next two weeks or before the end of this month.  Like I have already alluded to, this is premised on the negotiations which are currently under way with the power exporters especially EDM where we are targeting the 150 and also participation at the market and it is as well premised on the provision of the rescue package.  Thank you Madam Speaker, I think I have done justice to the questions posed.

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

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

(V)HON. SHAMU: Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister is bunching questions into one response, so my question was not responded to where I asked whether we have to wait for a crisis of this nature in order for us to come up with innovative methods of increasing our supply of energy. .

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, Hon. Shamu is saying that you did not respond to his question.

HON. SODA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Obviously we do not have to wait for an alarm to be made. Thank you.

HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Minister did not answer the question that was asked by Hon. Tekeshe unless if the Minister is saying the electricity is only used in the evening and not during the day. Hon. Tekeshe asked that how come ZESA comes during the night when everyone is asleep and it goes as early as 4 a.m.  Unless if the Minister is saying there is no longer electricity for household consumption, I will agree but I think he did not answer Hon. Tekeshe’s question.

*HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I have two questions.  The first one is that I heard the Minister saying that there are over 100 people who applied and were given licences.  My question therefore is; those whom you are giving licences, have you done due processes to investigate if these people really have money to invest

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Hwende, please may you be connected?

*HON. HWENDE:  My question has got to do with people who are being given licences.  What are you doing as a Ministry to see whether those people you are giving licences have money to invest?  What are you then doing with people who are working in your offices who are following those who have been granted licences wanting to be included in those companies?  I am talking about corrupt activities by officials from your Ministry.  A case in point is the issue brought up by Strive Masiyiwa three weeks ago in which he said he approached the Government intending to invest in the electricity sector but was frustrated by those who wanted corrupt activities. 

Secondly, what are you going to do with the US$5million that you gave to Mr. Chivayo?  Most of the money bought shoes that we see in pictures circulating on social media.  What are you going to do to return this money to the people because if you get $5million you can buy electricity?  The situation in people’s homes is terrible, people are suffering. 

Thirdly, as you can see there is no other Minister besides you who is in this House.  You are giving each other solar panels worth US$12 000 as Ministers and Deputy Ministers.  Are you even thinking of the ordinary person?  Today if you have installed solar for your homes, where are others going to get electricity from? Your response is not showing the urgency that this issue deserves as expected by the masses.  The way you are seated there, given the US$12 000 that was given to you, it seems everything is well with you.  Ministers have run away from this House.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Hwende, please ask your question. 

* HON. HWENDE:  My question is: we know very well that there is electricity that you are exporting to Namibia as a result of the agreement that you have.  When is this going to end?  As it is, can we not cancel the agreement so that we use the electricity locally instead?

Lastly, it is my request as Parliament that if you can kindly relay communication to His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa to say the Minister has failed.  Can you relay that communication?  As Parliament, we are saying we need someone else who can work on this situation. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Hwende!

*HON. HWENDE:  The Minister was given a task and he failed.  He never made his maiden speech in this Parliament.  He has never said anything in this Parliament. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, please Hon. Hwende!

*HON. HWENDE:  What it means is that he does not know anything with regard to electricity.  We kindly ask you to return the Minister who was there before him.  We are pretty much sure that he is very good in that area.

HON. T. MOYO:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  My point of order arises from what Hon. Hwende was saying.  He was digressing from what he was supposed to concentrate on.  He was supposed to seek clarification.  Now the issue to do with the appointing authority is out of order.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Hwende, you were supposed to ask questions in line with the Ministerial Statement.  What you are now asking is very wrong.  You should withdraw your statement.  You cannot come into this House and start asking about performance and competence of a Minister. 

*HON. HWENDE:  The truth is that the Minister failed.  Your house has no electricity, my house has no electricity.  I cannot withdraw when my house has no electricity.  People in Kuwadzana have no electricity.  The Minister has failed in his job.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am the Hon. Speaker and I am in charge and leading.  I am saying you should withdraw your statement. 

*HON. HWENDE:  I am saying the Minister has failed his task.  I do not know why he was brought into this office.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Hwende, can you withdraw your statement.

*HON. HWENDE.  I withdraw.

*HON. BITI:  My question to the Hon. Minister Hon. Zhemuis,  as difficult as the situation is right now, why do you not allow everyone in Zimbabwe who has the ability and who can afford to import whether lithium batteries, solar panels, inverters or even poles, anything to do with solar products so that we can actually make it duty free so that people get assisted in that area?  Maybe that can cushion the problem we are having.

Secondly, normally internationally it costs US$1 million to produce a megawatt. So the 300 megawatts that is going to be produced at Hwange Furnace 7 could have cost us US$300 million.  Furnace 8 has 300 megawatts and so it could also have cost us US$300 million, but the cost of both furnaces 7 and 8 is US$1.5 billion.  Why do we have such a bloated figure?  This is where we see corruption.  Where we were supposed to pay US$600 million we are now paying US$1.5 billion.  This is where corruption comes in.

What are we doing about Batoka so that we get 2 000 to 2 500 megawatts working together with Mozambique?  We cannot continue importing because we do not have that money.  The Government has failed to import.  What have you done about Batoka Minister?

*HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  My question to the Hon. Minister is that you mentioned you are going to undertake studies to see if dams in this country can produce electricity.  My question is, how long does it take to establish if our local dams can produce electricity?  How long will that take?

          Secondly, may you inform the nation that as ministers and deputy ministers are getting solar products worth ZWL12million but the actual market value is ZWL3 500.00?  Is this true?  Is it ZWL14 000.00 or ZWL3 500.00?  Can we have clarity on that?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Madzimure, please may you switch off that mic.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, I seek for two clarifications from the Hon. Minister.  Firstly, there are some low hanging fruits that we could easily implement but we do not see much appetite from Government.  For example, there are places where the water current is fast enough and is perennial which we could simply put in our turbine and it starts generating.  Zambia is doing it on the Victoria Falls but on the Zimbabwean side, we are doing nothing. 

Hon. Minister, we have water around just downstream of the Victoria Falls, it is always there and always flowing.  We have water from Mutirikwi Dam, it is always flowing.  We have water from Tokwe-Murkosi Dam and all those are potential places where we could simply put our generator or even water coming out of the generated Kariba electricity, downstream we could put some turbines, low cost and we start generating.  Why are you not considering that?

Secondly, we are generating electricity at 475 from the statistics that you gave us, meters above sea level – that is where our turbines are taking their water at 475 meters above sea level.  When we put the second extension at Kariba south, we went back to 475 meters and put turbines there to draw water.  Why could we not go a bit lower because we knew that there is a shortage of water, go a bit lower, maybe just two meters then we would have an extra two meters of volumes of water times the distance up to Victoria Falls but you still went where there is no water and put our turbines to uptake water from there.  Thank you.

*HON. MADZIMURE:  Firstly, I would like to comment on the ruling party’s manifesto which relates and assured everyone that we would have access to electricity in five years.  Where did we get it wrong according to the manifesto?  What is that we missed and did not do correctly? What happened to the adage, Magetsi ngwee?

Secondly Madam Speaker, why did we fail to pay contractors so that we have electricity in the country?  Since we failed to pay contractors on time, we told each other that we would be done with installation of Hwange 7 and 8 by November.  As we speak, Hwange 7 is going to be online but Hwange 8 will take quite some time.

Another question Madam Speaker is, why are we failing to emulate Zambia?  In order for Zambia not to get water from Lake Kariba and still have electricity - the reason is, as alluded by Hon. Gabbuza, Zambia is generating more electricity using all the resources that they have.  Why do we not have a similar plan also in this country?  Dema had said it would break electricity into the grid and we gave the Tagwireis a lot of money.  What has then happened because Dema is not working properly and not even a single megawatt is coming onto the grid?  – [HON. MUNETSI: Yave kutoshanda!] – Dema is actually dilapidated before it even starts working.  Can we get clarity on that issue of Dema because nothing has happened and it is not bringing anything onto the grid?

Madam Speaker, we have people who can bring their money into the country but we hear a lot of people complaining that we are not getting the licence simply for the reason that the requirements are very complicated and not everyone can meet the requirements.  Is it because of Mr. Gata that we brought back to Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)?  Now he is back again, if we look back at what he had done before.  Mr. Gata left everything in a very shambolic state and now he is back and everything is dilapidated; just a short period that he is back, nothing has improved.  Is it possible that Mr. Gata continues as Executive Chairperson of ZESA as difficult as things are right now?  Do we still need Mr. Gata on top of things?

Lastly Hon. Minister, things are not looking good when we look at industries.  This budget that we are talking about is meaningless when the situation in the industry remains as dire as it is now.  Until 2300 hours, there is no electricity, we actually have electricity late into the night and it goes so early in the morning – it is meaningless.  There are people who are getting electricity, those who are irrigating their crops but they are not paying anything towards ZESA.  Those in industries are paying their money   to date yet we have farmers who are just using electricity for free, without paying a single cent.  There are people who have prepaid electricity but they do not have anything.  I am saying to the Hon. Minister these are the people who are giving us a problem. 

I am into foam rubber manufacturing, if I am not informed of when electricity is coming or going, what happens?  We are talking about producing foam rubber using five chemicals and an additional sixth chemical of five milligrams that costs only a dollar; if we are not informed of when electricity is coming back or going, it means you are going to ruin the whole production cycle of a block worth $500.00; if we lose that input, the whole production is going to waste.  What will the Hon. Minister do to assist those in the industries for them to continue with their production?

There are some rich people who can afford three phase generators in their homes.  Those are the people who are well financed; they do not worry about the electricity situation in the country.  These are the mbingas of this country; they are not even bothered and are also responsible for destroying the economy.  How can the Hon. Minister assist us so that we continue working and continue moving forward as a country?  I thank you.

*HON. CHIDZIVA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity. My question to the Minister is; what plans do you have in mind because we have got communities such as Highfield where there are a lot of old people who are on medication and they require the medication to be refrigerated. They can no longer access electricity and their medication is being affected. A lot of deaths are now occurring in these areas. I had to attend to three funerals for elderly people yesterday because their medication had been ruined. What plans do you have in order to compensate or take other ameliorating measures as a Ministry because you preside over that particular sector? 

Minister, robberies have increased and there are now too many thieves. What do you have in mind to quickly attend to this as a result of the loss of lives that is occurring in these particular areas?

I would also want to know that in this country, apart from the challenges that we have, do we have the capacity to produce sufficient electricity for ourselves? If so, would it not be better for you to use the resources that you are using on importing to repair the infrastructure that we have so that the country can be self-sustaining instead of importing electricity because it is too expensive to import? The loss of functionality for our accessories or infrastructure such as Hwange and Kariba, why are we importing accessories when ZESA has trained various forms and types of engineers that are able to manufacture equipment or machinery? Why are we constantly going to procure expensive machinery? It would appear that ZESA is now normalising the abnormal. People are relaxed as if going without electricity for long periods is the norm. It is not normal and Minister, you must avert to this lack of electricity as quickly as possible because this is abnormal. I thank you Madam Speaker.

(v)*HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My debate is focused mainly on what is happening in the communal lands. The electrical poles are falling down. The transformers are also malfunctioning and people are not attending to these faults quickly in these rural areas. As a result, people may be electrocuted but the interim would be giving such problems to the relevant offices in our areas. At times the technicians come and promise to come back but they will never do so. What is the Minister doing about such problems and how is he going to alleviate the problem? I thank you.

(v)*HON. R. R. NYATHI: Madam Speaker, I was very much disturbed when the Minister said that we are losing 18% due to illegal connections. What is he doing to ensure that we do not have such losses? The Hon. Minister should approach the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education and share his problems with the learners as they are busy coming up with electricity hubs so that they address their minds to the issues to do with electricity. This would then assist in the management of electricity outages. If 18% from the grid is being lost, then the country will come to ruin. My advice to those that have attended electrical studies or engineers should come up with ways to ensure that our electricity is now full proof to theft so as to minimise the gap. Thank you Madam Speaker.

(v)HON. S. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing the Ministerial Statement in the august House. I would have loved to hear the Hon. Minister speaking in regards to solar systems because we have a crisis. The only solution to it is the solar system because we have the sun and everything, besides having the gadgets themselves. So I would have loved to hear the Hon. Minister speaking to issues that relate to solar, maybe talking about incentives to those who can solarise especially businesses because that would be a big project. Again, the solar systems have gone around and I have heard of a complete solar system which I hear is $14 thousand from what we have just gathered this past week. Minister, what is Government doing to make sure that someone in the rural areas can afford to solarise their businesses and their homes? If it is $14 thousand, then how many people can afford to buy the solar system? I want to find out how much would be a complete solar system with batteries, with solar package and maybe bringing a solar geyser as well from the neighbouring countries if you pay tax on that. Let us hear the Minister explaining about bringing solar systems from outside the country because they are affordable as compared to the prices of solar gadgets in the country.  So let us hear the Minister speaking to that so that he can make decisions on whether to buy solar systems outside the country or in the country.  Can the Minister also explain what government is doing to ensure that the solar systems are affordable in the country?  Is there a company which is housed to manufacture solar panels and batteries so that they are affordable locally?

          (v)HON. WATSON:  My point to the Minister is; I think he should bring a statement to the citizens of Zimbabwe on how on short term, medium term and long term measures - for example the Batoka Gorge can only be described as a long term measure but it is not going to bring Zimbabwe anything in the short term. I would also like to ask the Minister to confirm that one unit of Hwange 1 to 6 is actually completely burnt out and we were told as the Budget and Finance Committee that it is unrepairable and unrehabilitable.  It cannot be refurbished.  He did say 400mgw from the remaining unit but Hwange is yet to produce more than 200mgw maybe 300mgw but certainly never 400mg based on what ZESA has put out.  Is that really part of the solution or is it just waiving a carrot in front of people in order to try and cope?  I would also like to find out if any progress has been made in terms of the coal bed methane gas being converted to power.  We have heard about it before but nothing seems to have happened.  I would also like to say that if every consumer, particularly in Bulawayo, is to have their copper wire stolen, transformers vandalized, it is a challenge being faced by ZESA and they spend months trying to put the money together to reinstate the vandalized equipment while people go without electricity for that period.

          *HON. SODA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The same question that was posed by Hon. Mahlangu was asked by Hon. Tekeshe to the effect that, why are you saying you want the country to have electricity during the day when we are only having it during the night.  I had earlier on responded that we are having outages because we do not have sufficient quantities hence you find that some areas that do not have electricity during the course of the day are able to utilise power during the night or day.  This is done alternatively with those who would have received it in the afternoon and vice-versa.  It is not possible at the moment to do away with load shedding.  When we talk about load shedding, we are merely stating that we have insufficient electricity on the grid and what then happens is that people are given time slots to utilise electricity at different times.  As a result of this, some people will not get electricity in the evening.  So it may so happen that those who might not have the need to use it may not but those with businesses can use electricity during that time of the night.  However, I am also alive to the fact that thieves have now become a menace because of the darkness that is now prevailing and measures can be put in place to ensure that the thieves are deterred from doing that. 

          There is a question that was posed by Hon. Hwende about the issue of licencing of private players amounting to a 100 and you wanted to find out if due diligence was carried out in terms of raising sufficient finances to finance the projects.  We look at all that but people can use some expertise in getting the licences because there are some people that are speculating over the use of licences.  All these things are being done to ensure everything is okay.  When the licence expires and one has not done anything it will be cancelled.  We now have an added requirement and when one wants to be awarded a tender they should show proof of source of funds. 

The other question was on the Gwanda Solar Project.  At the moment I am unable to give you an answer because this is a matter before the courts and I cannot comment on the issue.  After the court ruling we will then see what position we can take.

          All corrupt activities should be reported and we should not just talk about it.  If there are any bribery cases or corrupt activities, there is ZACC and people should go there and report.  If an investor is coming and there are corrupt people who do not want to see the light of day for that project and if reported, investigations will be carried out and the police and ZACC will be involved.  Investors cannot be deterred from making investments in Zimbabwe.  All corrupt activities should be reported. 

          There is also an issue that is coming out that Ministers and their deputies are having solar systems being installed for this particular group of people.  That is false, nothing of that sort is taking place but what I know is that through the Public Service Commission, there are incentives that are going to be introduced by the Ministry to civil servants without specifically mentioning any category. This is where mention was made of assistance that would be rendered to civil servants for installation of solar systems.  It is a lie that Ministers and their deputies are receiving solar installations.

          On the question of why we are still selling electricity to Namibia  when we have power shortages or the suggestion that we should stop exporting electric to Namibia, the genesis of the agreement with the Namibian Power Supply is because of the loan that we got when we were expanding the electric source in Kariba. We entered into an agreement whereby we had to supply them with power and an account was then ring-fenced where the payments made by buyers would go into which we call ring-fenced funding or amount and that money should always be seen in that account. So according to the agreement that was made during the expansion of Kariba South, that money has to continue to be availed in that account, otherwise we will be breaking the agreement we entered into when we got the loan to do the expansion. We have to honour that agreement because it is the same manner in which we can source money to be able to pay the loan.

          Hon. Biti wanted to know why there are no opportunities for ordinary people to import solar equipment and accessories duty free. Maybe he is unaware that people are allowed to bring solar accessories duty free. They are given exemption to bring in solar equipment and the same applies to those that would want to set up solar power stations. They both benefit from the duty free of importing the equipment. The other question from Hon. Biti was why is it that the money that was used for expansion of Hwange Power Station amounted to US$1, 5 billion is not being used for solar energy because it is his view that we are using $1, 5 billion to raise 600 mw which could have just used US$600 million.

Our energy mix as a country should have a provision for base load. This is the electricity that is not affected by the weather conditions, whether it is raining, night or day or any other conditions but there are times when solar energy is not used during the night. So the solar energy is supported by base load. Our base load is coming from Kariba and whenever we have enough water, we are assured of being capable of raising energy. We cannot just go to solar energy because solar energy without base energy cannot be able to supply electricity to the country at all material times. Hence, we had to then expand Hwange Power Station and use that particular amount without turning our attention to solar energy.

The question that came from Hon. Nyamudeza where he asked about the dams that we have in our country as to why they are not being used to generate electricity, it is not every dam that we have in this country that can generate electricity. We have to do feasibility studies to see if the fall of the water from the dam can be able to turn the turbines and produce electricity. There is a certain height that is required for the generation of the electricity. So it is not every water body that has water that can generate electricity. What the Government is doing at the moment is that we need to bear that in mind at the design stage of the dam wall to incorporate the generation of electricity so that once the dam wall is constructed, there is provision of generation of power. If there is no provision, the dam and water will be there but it cannot generate electricity because the power generation will not have been incorporated at the design stage. The policy of the Second Republic is that all the dams that are being constructed should be designed in such a manner that they can generate electricity.

Hon. Nyamudeza also spoke about the issue of $14 million worth of solar energy systems that the Ministers are having installed at their houses. That I cannot confirm because I know naught of where this arrangement has taken place and the amount stated is also not true. Hon. Gabbuza asked about the rivers that we have that can be used to generate electricity through run-off the river action and wondered why we not generating using that. It is true there is room or scope for that because we have rivers such as Pungwe in Manicaland where we have electricity that is being generated by the run-off the river action. Once it rains, turbines are turned and electricity is generated. What is not there are the investors to invest in the construction of such infrastructure of such rivers. At times we only have access to water without power generation because of lack of an investor.

Hon. Gabbuza also posed a question as to why we did not allow the new turbines that were installed at Kariba Power Station as the expansion project to be below 475, 5 metres above sea level which I have just indicated as the lowest operating level. That was not possible because of ingression. The water that is below 475, 5 metres is not available for power generation. It is not because of the intake levels of our power generation units but that is supposed to be the dead level of the dam. That water cannot be used for power generation.

Hon. Madzimure asked a question as to why Hwange was not switched on time and why it did not give us electricity at the stipulated time.  I hope we all remember that we now have the opportunity to sit in this House and debate but because of COVID-19, we have not been doing it for almost a year and a half. We were in lockdown and this also affected the construction of Hwange Unit 7.  Nothing was happening because an EEC procurement, construction and engineering says that all the material should be coming to China, hence we were not able to do that on time.  It was our considered view that Hwange Unit 7 must have been completed by now.  We were also affected by the lack of water in Kariba and that poses as a scenario where it appears we did something wrong but Hwange 7 was delayed by the pandemic.

This also answers Hon. Madzimure’s question - ‘where did you go wrong’ for us to have the power station generating electricity?  We did not fall far from the target.  The gestation period from the onset of project up to completion requires a lot of years.  It so happened that during the years that we were planning, we had not foreseen that for one and half years, there will be no work due to the effects of COVID.  I believe that we are not way off the mark in terms of the completion of this particular power station.  It is our expectation that now we can recover because Unit 7 is almost complete.  We hope that this unit will be able to produce electricity at the end of this month followed by Unit 8.  There is also an assumption that Unit 7 and 8 will produce electricity but at the same time, that is not correct. From ab initio, it has always been very clear that Unit 7 would come on the grid first followed by Unit 8.  They were never meant to come simultaneously on the grid. 

There was also a question about the Dema Project and why it was not feeding power on the grid.  This is an independent power project.  We once considered that it should be looked into to see if it has the capacity to be able to be on the grid and generate electricity.  It was observed that Dema has been decommissioned and as of now, has no use to us.  In the short time, it cannot be producing electricity. 

There is also a school of thought that investors are being deterred by the ZESA conditions so that they can come and set up power generation sites.  These are national projects that are of national interest and the safety of consumers or those that work at the station should be safeguarded.  When such big projects are to be embarked on, national interests and feasibility studies should be carried out – and also find out how much the project will cost and how much the power that is going to be generated is going to be sold; at what price a unit and is it affordable to the people.  Environmental Impact Assessments reports should also be done to see the impact of the project on the environment.  This was not clearly spelt out where the delay was coming from but certain standards have to be met and research done to find out if the project is not going to be detrimental to the community.

There was also the issue of lack of electricity in the industrial areas.  As a result, entrepreneurs are failing to carry out their work.  I symphathise with them and understand the predicament.  It is true that electricity drives our economy in terms of industry.  Electricity is a driver of growth and it is the major enabler – we are alive to this and that is why you see that we are busy looking for alternatives to ensure that the industrial areas have electricity all the time hence the economy will not be disturbed.  Whenever we see challenges that are detrimental to the economy’s growth, we look for ways to see how best we can alleviate power shortages so that the industries can continue functioning.

He also spoke about the chain of production and raw materials that are affected once power is cut during the production process.  There is bound to be losses.  We are going to ensure that this is attended to in the short, medium and long term.

Hon. Chidziva spoke about the plight faced by people who are on medication and when power is cut, the medication goes bad.  He wants to know what we are doing as Government.  We have short, medium and long term plans to ensure that we have adequate electricity generation in the country. 

The construction of new electricity power stations in the short term – we are in NDS1 era.  This was also looked into and discovered how much would be required in the form of electricity generation for agriculture, mining and other industries plus new households.  That information is common cause.  That is why you have seen Hwange 7 and 8 being brought in as well as the rehabilitation that is going to take place once Unit 7 and 8 are in place.

There was also a question as to why we are failing to manufacture our own equipment that we use.  This is not a very clear question but if there are solar panels, the manufacturer of solar panels will require invertors. 

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you please respond to Hon. Sithole and Hon. Ndlovu’s questions in English.

*HON. SODA:   I am still responding to Hon. Chidziva’s question Hon. Speaker.

Hon. Sithole has talked about the issue of power line poles that fall down and they are not quickly attended to.  I have noted this one.  If there is a specific area that this is prevalent, please let us know so that we can look into this specific issue. It is true that sub-standard work might have been done; Government’s policy is to ensure that everything is done timeously, that electricity should be readily available to all who need it and that once poles have fallen down they must be attended to.

Hon. Nyathi said he is worried about my explanation that 18% of our electricity before they get to where they are utilised, power generation is lost.  He wanted to find out why there is such a loss and he said there must be a research between the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education so that there could be solutions. The reason why we are losing electricity from source to user is because of old equipment that we are using which is now obsolete.  Therefore, the panacea of the problem lies in new technology, so where we have old conductors, there is need to replace them with new conductors. We are in the process of importing 1 400 transformers, the said transformers are now being installed.  These were the ones that were malfunctioning and those that had been attacked by faults.  Power lines that did not carry heavy loads need to be replaced so that heavy load power lines are installed in order that the required load can then be transported along that particular power line.

    A question from Hon. Ndlovu, she was saying that I did not speak to solar systems whilst we have abundance of solar and also the need for incentivising big projects.  I thought I had articulated on solar systems when I indicated that they are mainly done through the independent power producers where there are some incentives on offer, especially for development of projects. When equipment is being imported into the country, there are some tax rebates which are being offered and tax holidays which are also on offer.

          We also have net metering facilities as an incentive and this allows one who would have done a solar system not to be bothered about the storage of the power that would be generated.  The power that is generated from solar panels is immediately sent to the grid and the storage is done through banking into the grid.  The consumer can then withdraw from what would have been deposited into the grid – so that is another incentive that is on offer, especially in the solar energy space.

          Then this question continues to arise as to how many people can afford the $14 million which is being provided to Ministers; like I indicated earlier on, I am not aware of this $14 million which is being offered to Ministers for installation of their solar systems. Again, the cost of solar systems, if it is true that they are costing $14 million, I cannot confirm this because I think some evaluation has to be made.  What I believe is that the cost goes with the size of the equipment that one would be installing. 

          What is Government doing to allow affordability of solar systems – there are some incentives which I have just spoken about.  If one wants to import some equipment, they can enjoy some tax rebates among other incentives that are on offer. 

The question which was raised by the Hon. Watson, she said in my presentation, in the Statement that I issued, I did not indicate the short term, medium term and long term measures.  Maybe there was some misunderstanding.  I indicated that the short term measures would be to import the additional capacities which I just spoke about and the targeted markets being: - the EDM power utility of Mozambique and also our participation on the SAPP market, those will be among the short term measures.

          Another short term measure will be the review of the hydrological situation at Kariba which is going to happen next month in January 2023.  Once that happens and already some inflows have started to get into the Kariba Dam, and when that situation is reviewed with a possibility of having additional water allocation then with the readiness that is already at Kariba Power Station, with the availability of the power units then generation can immediately be resumed.  So that is among the short term measures and we are also looking at the coming in of 300 mega watts from Hwange Unit 7 as one of the short term measures. 

          The medium term measures that I spoke of include the rehabilitation of the existing Hwange Power Station which is currently in progress with a detailed project report having already been issued to guide on the scope of works that will be conducted through the rehabilitation of Hwange. Among the long term measures, that is when I spoke about the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme. 

          The other question from Hon. Watson was on a unit; again this time Hon. Watson is indicating that it is a unit in Hwange which is said to be beyond repair.  I am not aware of this, the same with another unit which is being alleged to be beyond repair, again at Kariba Power Station, I am not aware about that development.

The other question was on the Coal bed Methane Gas from Lupane as to why that is not being harnessed for electricity generation.  The reason has been on lack of investments.  There have to be investments for exploration of the gas first and once that gas is explored and we obtain some commercial reserves then that can be utilised for electricity generation.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon Minister. I really want to thank you for those elaborate and extensive responses that you gave in response to the Ministerial Statement on the State of Power and Energy in the country. We really need to applaud you for those responses. This was quite a well awaited Ministerial Statement which everyone was waiting for. Thank you very much.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA), the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

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