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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 MARCH 2022 VOL 48 NO 32

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 15th March, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

+HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to rise on a point of privilege.  Madam Speaker, when you travel in our rural areas, it is so disturbing that you fail to speak out or even to greet the people when you pass by the road.  The first phase fields which were planted in early November have all withered.  This is the situation in all fields regardless of how many vehicles you have in your yard or how special one is.  Everyone is facing the same challenge in the field. Those who planted late have almost the same story.

          HON. T MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think it is rude for people to talk when somebody is speaking.  Everybody is making noise in the various corners.  It is disrespectful yet the issue she is bringing up is a very important matter of national interest.  What more do you come for here?   If you want to gossip, go outside and gossip.  Some of us come here for serious business.  May you respect the House or you go out.  I thank you.

          +HON. MATHE:  Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to continue.  May I also thank Hon. Mliswa for taking note of how important this point of privilege is to this House?  The crops that were planted late could not get rains after application of Compound D fertilizer.  That became the end of the crops.  It is not easy for a Member of Parliament to go around in the nearby fields because there is no hope that people will harvest a little.  Madam Speaker, there are a lot of challenges out there.  We may recall that we have World Vision and World Food Programme trying to assist people but they choose each other by raising a hand.  This year it does not need such a selection criterion but it should be upon this House to come up with a strategy of how we are going to assist the residents of Zimbabwe.  How are we going to take care of them to avoid deaths?  There is not even sugar cane, which is a sign that drought is upon us.  This is what I thought I should table for this House to take note of.  Let us sit down as MPs and come up with ways of helping our people.  I thank you.

          +THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mathe.  The issue that you raised is very important.  It is very true that this year there is a drought, although the smart agriculture programme inputs were distributed.  We received rains but many people will not be able to harvest. 

          However, I encourage you to pose that question to the relevant Minister tomorrow, Wednesday, 16th March,2022 during Question Time so that the Minister responds as to how they are going to assist.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, if you have been following the events in Parliament, for the past three weeks, the Minister of Agriculture has been here.  Last week, I moved that a Ministerial Statement must be issued by the Minister of Agriculture to talk about the hectarage that was done and how much was lost due to a lot of rainfall.   That would give us an indicator of where we are going as a nation and the mitigating measures he is going to take. 

The Minister must speak on the issue of those farmers who took loans from the financial institutions, how are they going to pay back when this drought is not a human issue. 

So Madam Speaker, if you were following events, that Ministerial Statement was supposed to have been here.  The Ministers have a tendency of not coming with these Ministerial Statements.  I have been waiting for him for the past three weeks and the Speaker then gave the task to the Leader of Government Business to ensure that the Ministerial Statement is presented.  I thank you.

Thank you Hon. Mliswa.  Your point of order is very valid, I am sure the Government Chief Whip has taken note of that. 

HON. MASENDA: On a point of priviledge! Thank you Madam Speaker Maam.  My point of priviledge is on the funeral of the late former Member of Parliament for Hurungwe East, Sarah Mahoka.

I stand here to put the record straight.  I read from the Hansard sentiments that no one went there to represent Parliament.  However, as a Member of Parliament for Hurungwe East, I would like to correct that impression.

On the day before the burial which was on a Sunday, I led a delegation of 20 people mostly from my party ZANU PF, including two Central Committee members, 6 provincial members, three councillors and just the ordinary people.  I also saw the Chairperson for the Women’s Caucus in Parliament at the funeral, Hon. Kwaramba.

So I went to the funeral on three capacities, firstly, to represent Parliament, secondly, to represent my party ZANU PF and to represent myself as a Member of Parliament for that constituency.

When we went to the funeral, it was for the purposes of paying our last respects to the late former Member of Parliament.  However, as we were going around, we were at one point humiliated because we were denied on three occasions, entry to pay our last respect in the room that the body lay in state.  Only on the fourth attempt were we allowed to go in. We did pay our last respects and came back for the burial on a Monday where we faced another humiliation in that at most funerals that I have attended in the constituency, there will be recognition of the presence of the Member of Parliament, Councillors of which that was not done at this funeral.  We stayed on until the burial proceedings were completed. 

I wish to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the chance to put the record straight. 

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order! I brought the issue that Hon. Masenda has spoken about.  If you recall Madam Speaker, I was saying to the Speaker, can the Parliament send a delegation and the Speaker responded accurately saying the Standing Order Rules do not allow us to do that. 

So, it was from a Parliament’s point of view when I brought it up that can Parliament have a culture of sending delegations to former Members when there is a funeral. The Speaker was right in saying unfortunately, the Standing Order Rules do not allow us unless it is amended.  So I also wanted to correct the Hon. Member by saying that he cannot represent Parliament but his constituency.  He must limit himself to Hurungwe East and not beyond.  I thank you.

          HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker and good afternoon.  Thank you very much for this opportunity. I am so pleased that the Minister of Education just walked in because what I am going to raise touches her Ministry.  Madam Speaker, I have been doing constituency development work in my Constituency and had the occasion to visit all the schools in my Constituency.  Madam Speaker, I must express, for the record, that morale amongst our teachers is at its lowest level.

 It is not just in my Constituency Madam Speaker. I express dismay and shock on behalf of all the teachers in the country and the way we, as a Government, treat our professionals,, in particular the teachers.  I am shocked to learn that we have suspended 1 500 teachers owing to the industrial action which was undertaken recently by almost all the teachers in our land.  It is amazing Madam Speaker, why professionals are treated like enemies.  We are talking of people who have invested years and hard earned money to get the best education available and acquire requisite skills, a mastery of their careers.

Madam Speaker, having invested so much to be able to deliver the best they have to offer, they are denied a living wage.  I will tell you for a fact Madam Speaker, that throughout the country, our teachers are now going for Red Cross training to acquire a mere care certificate so that they can go overseas.  Is there no better way of addressing teachers’ grievances than making this country a training ground for other progressive countries?  We must do something as a Parliament to curb this brain drain.  We are losing teachers; it is a fact we do not have to lie to each other.

Is it outlandish Madam Speaker, to ask for a salary that is fitting a service that is delivered?  I wish to implore the Public Service Committee, I know they were talking to the Minister last week but could they take it upon themselves to also invite teachers’ unions to appear before them so that we come up with a win-win solution and restore dignity to the teaching profession.  May I remind you Madam Speaker that Jesus was also a teacher?  Thank you. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Ndebele.  You have raised a very valid point and I am sure the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education has taken note of that. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I move that all Orders of the Day be stood over until Orders of the day Nos. 24, 27 and 13 have been disposed of.

HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON AN INQUIRY INTO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVOLUTION

Twenty Fourth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on an Inquiry into the Implementation of Devolution in Zimbabwe. 

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me give the response to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on the implementation of devolution funds in Zimbabwe.  The Ministry concurs that there is need to relook at some of the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act Chapter 22.14 especially as they relate to procurement processes.

Councils have severally complained that processes are generally long and sometimes not necessarily bring value for money which should be one of the main aims of spending of public finances.  There have also been a number of previous engagements to this effect with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe as well as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Whilst we note that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act Chapter 22:23 needs a number of adjustments to ensure the smooth flow of the procurement process, we can only hope that such adjustments are made sooner rather than later.  Councils have been encouraged as procuring entities in their own right to continue engaging on any challenges arising from these processes.  As a parent Ministry, we remain keen on facilitating such dialogue where necessary.

While we also note challenges of revenue inflows, especially in the first quarter of the budget year, we also continue to lobby Treasury on behalf of local authorities for the timely release of funds so that service delivery is not negatively affected.  Section 301 of the Constitution provides for allocation of revenues between provincial and local tiers of Government.  The Ministry has from time to time engaged local authorities with regards to utilization of devolution funds.

A circular on their utilization was dispatched in 2021 while officials also undertook monitoring visits to the respective local authorities so as to make sure that the funds were utilised as governed by the Ministry circular.

Essentially, the circular directed local authorities to make use of devolution funds and tangible service delivery areas such as WASH infrastructure and clinics on the capital grant component while the operational grant potion would address such issues as procurement of Enterprise Resource Planning, (ERP) systems.  It is also the Ministry’s expectation that local authorities consult widely when prioritising developmental projects.

As a matter of fact, one of the conditions for budget approval in terms of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19), wherein devolution projects are a component, is  proof of consultation.  The budget guidelines which the Ministry dispatches before the commencement of the budget cycle for every year also underscores the need for stakeholder consultations. 

The Ministry’s core department, that is the department of Rural and Urban Local Authorities, with the support of key service departments such as Finance and Administration have one of their key mandates as monitoring and facilitation of local authorities.  While some councils do have the monitoring and evaluation section in their establishments, the Ministry has also been advising those that are yet to establish such units to make provisions in their next budgets, noting that this is a key function and also in sync with the Government’s thrust to strengthen monitoring and evaluation as indeed, enunciated in the monitoring and evaluation framework developed by the Office of the President and Cabinet.

It is incumbent upon the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to look at the possibility of exempting local authorities from intermediated money transfer (IMT) tax.  The Ministry may only add its voice of support to such a suggestion.

The Ministry is currently laying out the implementation of the Local Authorities Digital Systems (LADS) with a view of enhancing the operational efficiency of all local authorities.  The Ministry is collaborating with the Harare Institute of Technology, (HIT) as the technical partner.  The institution has developed the requisite software which will ensure the migration from manual system to an automated package.  This process is in response to the National Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle income economy.

In addition, the digitalisation of local authorities augurs very well with the National Development Strategy 1, 2021 to 2025, which promotes the use of Information Communication Technology for sustainable development.  Thank you.

HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for coming to respond to our devolution report.  I am also happy that they have said that they are working with one of the universities here to make sure that all the local authorities will have the skills that we have raised that we need.  I also want to thank all the Hon. Members of Parliament who debated this extensively, all of them did very well, I cannot mention one by one because I will spend the whole day.  However, I want to thank them and hope that in future we will have our ministers come to respond in time.  I thank you Hon. Ma’am.  I therefore move for the adoption of the report;

That this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities to the Kenyan Parliament on a Benchmarking Visit on Implementation of Devolution.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON THE HATCLIFFE EXTENSION RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION PETITION ON LACK OF REQUISITE INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT, MULTIPLE BILLING AND SECURITY OF TENURE

Twenty Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on an inquiry into the implementation of devolution in Zimbabwe.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa what is your point of order?

HON. T. MLISWA: It is important that it goes on record that most of these reports are really read by the ministers who sit in Cabinet.  This Parliament does not know who the Minister of Local Government is anymore, is it Hon. July Moyo or Hon. Marian Chombo.  He does not attend the Portfolio Committees, he does not come to Parliament for answers, he does not do anything at all.  It only shows there are special ministers; it is important for us to know who the special ministers are who are untouchable so that we do not talk about them.  It is a disgrace that all these issues are done, he is not here.  We have had this issue several times with the Hon. Speaker but again, we do not know why action is not taken yet there is corruption in his Ministry from the Morton Jaffrey to devolution and so on.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, are you commending the Minister for coming up to respond to the motion.

HON. T. MLISWA: No, usually it is the Minister himself, I will commend her for being present but she is a deputy Minister, unfortunately.  If I was the President, I would have made her the Minister in charge but unfortunately I am not - but the truth of the matter is, there is a Minister designate who sits in Cabinet; she does not sit in Cabinet.  The Minister must at least respect this House and giving a report. He is never present Madam Speaker. Is he special? Are there special Ministers who are untouchable so that we know? Where is he? But panorwiwa hondo dzekuMidlands haashaikwe.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 107 (2), “Every Vice President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and parliamentary Committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible.”  That includes the Deputy Minister. So the Deputy Minister is also responsible; she is allowed to come to this House with the response – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection.] – Thank you.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON THE PETITION FROM HATCLIFFE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION ON LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT, MULTIPLE BILLING AND SECURITY OF TENURE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. It is indeed true that the Hatcliffe Extension still remains an unfinished project as it does not have all the attendant off and onsite infrastructure before it can be formally handed over to the City of Harare. The Ministry shall, with reasonable despatch, assign this task to the Committee on Dysfunctional Settlements to assess the extent of the requisite infrastructure so that funding can be sourced from Treasury to conclude the long-standing project.

The Ministry, as a key stakeholder in the delimitation process, takes not and shall duly ensure that the concerns by Parliament are addressed – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – As it were, the Hon. Minister has previously presented to Parliament a paper with a number of proposals on provincial, district, ward and traditional leadership boundaries that need to be realigned as the next cycle of the delimitation exercise approaches.

Presently, Harare City Council is not offering any services such as refuse collection and water reticulation because there is no infrastructure. This can only commence when a certificate of compliance has been issued upon completion of the project. What council is only charging to Hatcliffe residents is property tax amounting to ZWL$326.80 for the 200m2 stands and the others are charged on a pro rata basis. Property tax is charged on all rateable property and exemptions are on those properties specified in terms of Section 270 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15.

The need for coordination between the Ministry and its national housing and social amenities need not be overstated in this project since both have invariably been involved in its development, having at one point been a single Ministry with the other existing as a department. We will thus be converging from time to time to ensure that whatever processes are taking place in Hatcliffe Extension are in harmony.

The Ministry concurs that allowing people to settle on unserviced land is indeed problematic. This is the background against which the Committee on Dysfunctional Settlements which the Ministry chairs was formed. While going forward such practices need to be avoided at all costs. It should be appreciated that there is a backlog of such dysfunctional settlements which Government has to redress against a backdrop of resource constraints.

HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for responding to the Report on Hatcliffe. Since they said they now have a Committee which is looking into that issue, I hope they will give us some reports after three months. There are some women there who have lost their money because of these houses. I hope from what they have said, they have taken concern and they will do something about it. I also want to thank all the Hon. Members who contributed to this motion.  I therefore recommend for the adoption of the report.

Motion that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on the Petition from Hatcliffe Residents Association on Lack of Infrastructural Development, Multiple Billing and Security of Tenure, put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE HELD IN GLASGOW

HON. MUSARURWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I move the motion stating in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Delegation that attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

HON. NDUNA: I second.

HON. MUSARURWA:

  1. Introduction

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism Hon. W. Y. Musarurwa led a delegation that travelled to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was held from the 31st of October to the 12th of November 2021.  Other members of the delegation were; - 

Hon. J. M. Wadyajena, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement;

Hon. P. Dutiro, Member of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate, and Tourism;

Mr. N. Samu, the Parliamentary Programmes Coordinator and newly appointed Member of the Consultative Group of Experts; and

Mr. J. Mazani, Principal Committee Clerk. 

The broad objective of the delegation’s attendance was to enable them to appreciate the processes and procedures involved in tracking progress with respect to the implementation of the various provisions of the United Nations Climate Change Convention, Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. The specific objective of the delegation’s attendance was to participate in Parties’ negotiations on climate change issues and enhance the oversight role of Parliament as provided for in sections 119 and 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

  1. Objectives of the Conference

The annual conference brought together parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement to discuss matters related to the implementation of these international instruments and negotiate on their rules, modalities, procedures, methodologies, and guidelines for implementation, analysis and assessment. It also brought together regional economic commissions, United Nations agencies, academia, civil society organizations, multilateral development banks, climate change activists, and private sector representatives to discuss funding opportunities, on-going research, best practices, innovations, and the climate change society-science-policy nexus on the side-lines of the formal UNFCCC negotiations. This year special attention was given towards the conclusion of negotiations relating to article 6 of the Paris Agreement which focuses on carbon trading, and common reporting tables and formats under the Enhanced Transparency Framework. On the political front, the United Kingdom Presidency was calling on Parties to make better and more ambitious commitments in relation to emissions reductions and move towards net-zero emissions by the mid-century. 

  1. World Leaders Summit

The Government of the United Kingdom invited Heads of States and Governments to participate in the World Leaders Summit which was held on 1 and 2 November 2021 alongside the COP26. The Summit was aimed at increasing the political ambition and action towards securing global net-zero emissions and keeping the 1.5 degrees’ temperature rise threshold in reach, adapting to protect communities and natural habitats; and mobilizing finance. Zimbabwe was represented by the Head of State and Government, Hon H. E. The President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa who delivered a statement at the Summit. His Excellency reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to emissions reduction in line with its revised Nationally Determined Contributions and called upon the developed world to provide the required finance as envisaged under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. He emphasized that the unilateral sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were having a negative impact on the country’s development and resilience-building initiatives and called for their unconditional removal. 

  1. 4th High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Long-Term Finance

A High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Long-term Climate Finance was held on 3 November 2021.  The Minister of Environment Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry was accompanied by Ms. Veronica Gundu and Mr. Nesbert Samu the Climate Finance negotiators for the Zimbabwe delegation.  

Discussions centred on issues to do with enhancing support for developing countries and realising the $100-billion-dollar goal, supporting a financial system for a net-zero future, and scaling climate finance to mobilise the trillions needed in developing countries.

Countries considered this for the first time, in a platform for the exchange of views on how much, and how developed countries intended to provide climate finance in order to assist developing countries to plan their mitigation and adaptation activities and to guide developed countries on coordination of their climate finance spending. Of interest to Zimbabwe was the announcement by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) which indicated that it launched the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme to advance adaptation in Africa. AfDB also indicated that it will optimise its balance sheet for climate financing. The Bank further indicated that if African countries were to seed part of their Special Drawings Rights, the AfDB would be able to leverage that financing four times, shifting from billions to trillions that are required for climate transformation, since resources required for decarbonisation are huge.

Furthermore, the dialogue highlighted that, in terms of disaster management, governments can structure catastrophic bonds, arrange ex-ante disaster management financing, and set up National Disaster Funds. There is a need to ensure that money is going to the right places and incentives to deliver climate action are put in place. To unleash resources required for climate transformation will require de-risking the role of the private sector, structuring catalytic instruments and special emissions management vehicles, providing project viability gap funding and guarantees. Noting that climate premiums do not reflect the benefits, there is need for public and development financing to create the enabling environments for financing. 

Insights on climate finance flows included that, although climate finance continues to grow, accessing funds remains a challenge and finance flowing to emissions-intensive industries remains high to the concern of developing countries.

  1. 1st High-level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance Under the Paris Agreement

The COP Presidency convened the first biennial high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance under the Paris Agreement. The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry was accompanied by Mr. Nesbert Samu of Parliament to this high-level dialogue.  The dialogue was aimed at enhancing the predictability of climate finance, improving the scale and effectiveness of adaptation finance and future trends in climate finance mobilisations. Important points that emerged from the discussions included:

The need to find a solution to climate change-related problems, not consultancies that effectively return resources targeted for the vulnerable to the funding countries.

A need to move from a project to a programme approach where it is then possible to build resilience over time. Sustainability should then be built in the support to ensure that what is built subsists for a long time. 

For those nations supporting developing countries, the financial support should be affordable, accessible, and fast deploying. 

A need to unlock private sector potential for adaptation for the sector to support and grow small scale adaptation businesses 

From the African Development Bank (AfDB) point of view, only 6 billion is deployed as climate finance on the African continent when the continent needs 30 billion per year as a minimum. The 30 billion should be delivered with speed, at scale, and has to be predictable. Before we start talking about new money developed countries should make good the 100-billion-dollar pledge. 

AFDB has set up several initiatives which include the following: 

The African Adaptation Advancement Programme – this programme will benefit all African member countries. It allows members to stretch their balance sheets with support from the AFDB. 

The Youth Adapt Initiative extends 1 million grants to innovative Adaptation projects by youths. 

The Africa Disaster Risk Facility – it aims at de-risking private finance with a view to benefiting member countries.

Climate change discussions should not be held outside the economic development strategy of countries and technology should be viewed as a game-changer in mitigation and adaptation and not only for transitioning but for creating new opportunities in e-transportation, Renewable energy, Agriculture and building-back-better. Future finance trends need to take into consideration just transition and the long-term strategies towards the net-zero emissions. Developed countries should demonstrate the political will to fund transition and the long-term development strategies of developing countries.  Future trends should be fit for purpose to deal with just transition, greening the economies and dealing with stranded assets. The World Bank has set aside 25 billion per year over 5 years to support climate change and of this 50% will go towards adaptation. This amount will be more than 60% grants. As Zimbabwe up-scales its climate action, it is critical that the Treasury with support from the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry engages with the World Bank and starts positioning itself towards tapping into these resources.

  1. Outstanding Work Related to the Paris Agreement Rule Book

The Rule Book for implementation of the Paris Agreement has provisions in which countries are given time to comply with a standard set of reporting rules rather than following their own set of rules. The set standards will enable countries to take stock of progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The outstanding matters under negotiations related to common timeframes, electronic reporting formats and market mechanisms that could not be finalized at COP24, and a new deadline of COP26 was set to conclude these issues.

  1. Common Time Frames for Nationally Determined Contributions

COP26 reached an agreement on common time frames for NDCs. The conference reaffirmed the nationally determined nature of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Parties were encouraged to communicate in 2025 a Nationally Determined Contribution with an end date of 2035, at the next submission in 2030 a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with an end date of 2040, and so forth every five years thereafter. This decision ensures continuous enhancement climate action and the associated means of implementation.

  1. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

When countries completed the Paris Agreement’s implementation rules, modalities, procedures, and guidelines “Paris Rulebook” in Katowice in 2018, one key piece was missing. The Rulebook includes guidance and procedures to allow countries to interpret and implement the Paris Agreement in a similar way. But they could not find common ground on Article 6—a set of three issues that govern the trade in internationally transferable mitigation outcomes, a new market mechanism, and a framework for non-market-based approaches.

Progress in the negotiations has remained slow. Without formal negotiations over the past two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Presidency convened a series of events, including technical workshops and ministerial roundtables to help negotiations move forward in Glasgow. These issues were multifaceted and complex, with widely divergent views.

  1. Guidance on Cooperative Approaches (Art 6.2)

The conference adopted guidance on cooperative approaches which is meant to guide the generation and acknowledgement of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs). ITMOs are emission reductions and removals, including mitigation co-benefits resulting from adaptation actions and/or economic diversification plans or the means to achieve them. When internationally transferred from the country of implementation and accounted in another country, the funding country is likely to get into a bilateral arrangement. 

  1. Rules, Modalities and Procedures for the Sustainable Development Mechanism (Art 6.4) The conference adopted the rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism and designated the body that will supervise the mechanism with its membership and rules of procedure. Parties are invited to nominate members and alternate members for the Supervisory Body. At least two meetings of the Supervisory Body shall be held in 2022 and the Supervisory Body was requested to develop provisions for the development and approval of methodologies, validation, registration, monitoring, verification and certification, issuance, renewal, first transfer from the mechanism registry, voluntary cancellation and other processes. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SABSTA) was requested to develop, on the basis of the rules, modalities and procedures contained in the annex, recommendations for consideration and adoption by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement at its fourth session (November 2022).

iii. Work programme under the framework for non-market approaches (Art 6.8)

Parties adopted the work programme under the framework for non-market approaches and decided that initial focus areas of the work programme activities will be the following: 

Adaptation, resilience, and sustainability,

Mitigation measures to address climate change and contribute to sustainable development,

Development of clean energy sources.

The conference requested the Glasgow Committee on Non-market Approaches to develop and recommend a schedule for implementing the work programme activities which may contain the timeline and expected outcomes for each activity, including specifications for the UNFCCC web based platform such as its functions, form, target users and information to be contained thereon, with a view to supporting the effective implementation of the work programme, for consideration and adoption by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement at its fourth session (November 2022).

  1. Climate Finance
  2. Developments Leading to COP26

Ten years ago, developed countries pledged to provide or mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020. The resources were earmarked to come through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) where all Parties would then apply from.  The promise remains unfilled. Current estimates by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that USD 79.6 billion was provided or mobilized in 2019 towards climate financing, roughly similar to 2018 levels. Developing countries have linked the provision of finance to the success of COP26. At COP25 in Madrid, the African Group and the G77 + China separately stated their willingness to withhold agreement on the priorities of developed countries (especially transparency issues) until finance was adequately addressed. Signals since then remain strong—for COP26 to achieve progress on key issues, developed countries must build trust that they will meet their financial pledges. So far, the European Union has announced it would increase its contribution by EUR 4 billion and the US announced it would double its current commitment to a total of USD11.4 billion a year by 2024.

Developing countries wanted the long-term finance work programme to continue assessing the delivery of the USD 100 billion annual goal, whilst developed countries wanted the agenda item to be closed. Divergence included how to reflect language on unfulfilled commitment and how adaptation finance is to be reflected in the decision.  A multilaterally agreed definition for climate finance was also requested by developing countries. This was reflected in the draft text, that is, to welcome or to take note.  For adaption, the contention was on the doubling of adaptation finance including from public and grant-based resources.  The developed countries did not see the need for a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance and argued that this should be discussed/an issue under the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF).  The other issue is whether resources should be new and additional.

On the new collective goal for climate finance, the main area of divergence was on how to organize the work that needed to be done in order to come to a final collective goal. There was general agreement on principles Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN), G77, and China and the Arab Union (ABU) all advocated for a transparent and inclusive process. AGN and Least Developing Countries (LDCs) advocated for a technical committee with membership from the regions organised under COP. The discussion would then be closed by 2023. Developed countries also proposed an ad-hoc committee with representation from every country and workshop with technical meetings under the CMA but there was no convergence. There were issues to do with the amount where developed countries said it needs to be incremental per year. Developing countries wanted 1.3trillion/year by 2030.

  1. Matters Relating to the Adaptation Fund 

COP26 welcomed the decision of the Adaptation Fund Board to increase the finance access cap per country from USD 10 million to USD 20 million and the number of accredited national implementing entities per eligible developing country Party from one to two. It further welcomed the financial pledges to the Adaptation Fund made by the European Commission, the Governments of Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, as well as the governments of the Brussels-Capital, Flemish and Walloon Regions of Belgium and the provincial government of Quebec, equivalent to USD 356 million.

Of concern were attempts by some developed country parties to place conditions related to changes to the Adaptation Fund Board in relation to the provision of resources into the Adaptation Fund. The position for AGN is that membership to the Adaptation Fund Board should remain as is and if there are any changes in regard to membership, the developed countries can change amongst themselves as opposed to adding an extra member. There was no agreement made on this agenda item.

  1. Mechanism to Address Loss and Damage (WIM)

The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Mechanism realises the role under the Convention of promoting the implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change in a comprehensive, integrated and coherent manner. The mechanism recognises that climate change has already and will increasingly cause loss and damage and, as temperatures rise, impacts from climate and weather extremes, as well as slow-onset events, will pose an ever-greater social, economic and environmental threat. 

The negotiations recognized the negative impacts of climate change and explored coping strategies as the Paris Agreement does not make provision for compensation. However, progress was made towards the operationalisation of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage which was established in 2019 at COP25 in Madrid.  

  1. Impacts of Response Measures

The Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures convened jointly under the SBSTA and the SBI. The Forum is implementing the six-year work plan of the Forum and its Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) (2020– 2025). The recommendations from the Experts’ report are more on the challenges associated with the just transition to cleaner energy and its impacts on social and economic sectors and the need for adequate financial support to developing countries to transition, the role of international collaboration in the just transition, the risk of premature withdrawal of foreign investors and stranded assets and the rebalancing the portfolio of national assets and possible barriers to sustainable development and role of international collaboration to minimize the negative impacts.

There was a divergence between the developed countries and the developing countries with regards to financing the implementation of the recommendation on just transition and stranding of assets. Zimbabwe and the rest of the developing countries pushed for financing to implement the recommendations for example priority will be on an assessment of the fossil resources available in countries and cost the potential economic losses of avoiding the exploration of the existing fossil fuels. 

  1. Matters Relating to Adaptation

The effects of climate change are clear. Developing countries have long argued that adaptation should be given the same amount of consideration and funding as mitigation. That balance is still elusive. Most climate financing, for example, goes to efforts to reduce emissions rather than to build resilience to climate change.

  1. Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation

In 2019, the African Group requested a new agenda item on the Global Goal on Adaptation, which is enshrined in the Paris Agreement. COP26 Decided to establish and launch a comprehensive two-year Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation and that implementation of the work programme will start immediately and work should be concluded by 2023. The objectives of the work programme will be to enhance the understanding of the global goal on adaptation, including the methodologies, indicators, data and metrics, and support needed for assessing progress towards it; to contribute towards reviewing the overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation as part of the global stocktake; enhance national planning and implementation of adaptation actions; and facilitate the establishment of robust, nationally appropriate systems for monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions. Parties decided that four workshops should be conducted per year, namely two virtual inter-sessional workshops and two workshops in conjunction with the sessions of the subsidiary bodies, starting at their fifty-sixth sessions. 

  1. National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)

On NAPs, the COP decided on the following actions and steps necessary for the Subsidiary Body for Implementation to initiate the assessment progress:

  • Invite Parties and relevant organisations to submit to the secretariat, by 1 February 2024, information on their progress towards the achievement of the objectives of the process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans, as well as on their experience, best practices, lessons learned, gaps and needs, and support provided and received.
  1. Change and Gender

On Gender and Climate change, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation crafted a decision recalling decision 3/CP 25 and the Paris Agreement. The decision recognises that the full, meaningful and equal participation and leadership of women in all aspects of the UNFCCC process and in national and local level climate policy and action were vital for achieving long-term climate goals as women are agents of change and it invites Parties to engage youths and indigenous peoples in climate actions, including consideration of inclusion in Parties’ delegations.

The decision also takes note of efforts made by Parties in integrating gender considerations into their Nationally Determined Contributions and encourages Parties to make greater efforts in integrating gender into nationally determined contributions and national climate change policies, plans, strategies and action. Zimbabwe has systematically integrated gender in its revised NDCs and a Zimbabwe

Climate Change Gender Action Plan is now in place which was also showcased at the Zimbabwe Side event held on 8 November together with the NDC and prominent interest in funding Zimbabwe has been expressed.

  1. Matters relating to Climate Change and Energy

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development delegation attended a number of events including the World Leaders Summit and the Energy Day events. The major highlight of the conference related to decarbonisation which includes the phasing-out of coal use, reduction in the use of petroleum products, adopting clean and renewable energies, promoting energy efficiency among others. 

  1. Decarbonisation

Decarbonisation was one of the most topical issues discussed during Energy Day. A global Clean Power Transition Statement by COP Presidency urged countries to commit to: 

End investments in coal;

Scale up the adoption of clean power (renewables);

Ensure a Just Transition;

Phase out coal by the 2030s in advanced economies, and

Phase out coal by the 2040s in developing economies.

Given that Zimbabwe has abundant Coal resources and equally huge reserves in gas (Lupane) and Oil (Muzarabani), it is critical that the phasing out of coal is done slowly and gradually in a manner that does not jeopardize our developmental priorities. A timeframe spanning to 2050/60s may be considered.

Against this background, the Government through the Ministry of Energy has to develop an elaborate “Decarbonisation strategy”. A number of partners such as the AfDB, the Clean Coal Alliance, the NDC partnership, GCF and GEF among others will be engaged to provide the appropriate Technical Assistance in developing the Decarbonisation Strategy. Preliminary discussions with respect to this were held at COP26.

The transition will be led by our NDCs, the Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and the Renewable Energy policy.

the transition will be a process not an event and it will be over years

For this to happen commitment to financing by developed countries is key with respect to common but differentiated responsibilities.

The transition has to consider respective capabilities and national circumstances

Compensation for stranded assets and job losses is key

There will be a need for retraining of people currently employed in the fossil fuel sector for them to be relevant for a green economy.

  1. Implementation of NDCs by the Energy Sector

Through the revised NDCs, the Government of Zimbabwe has committed to reducing its emissions by 40% per capita by 2030. The Minister responsible for Environment unveiled our new NDC commitments during one of the dedicated side events at COP26. In the same spirit, Ministry of Energy and Power Development officials managed to attend various events that were related to NDCs. The NDC Partnership did promise to help the Energy sector to implement its NDCs through technical assistance, capacity building for Government officials, policy and strategy formulation as well as facilitating linkages to investors. The UNFCCC also emphasized that high ambition implementation of NDCs may be facilitated by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and MoEPD is looking at being capacitated to tap into the benefits that might accrue from carbon trading.

  1. Clean Cooking

The Global Clean Cooking Alliance pavilion hosted a number of side events. In these meetings, it was highlighted that clean cooking is a cross-cutting issue that spans the energy, environment, gender, forestry, health and other sectors. Experiences from previous clean cooking programs have shown that clean cooking programs are often tossed from one ministry or department to the other to an extent that they end up with no ownership. In our deliberations, the Alliance expressed its willingness to assist Zimbabwe to establish a Clean Cooking Hub that will coordinate all activities at the Government level. The Hub will also work with development agencies to procure funding and to make sure all activities are properly coordinated. Follow-ups will be done with respect to this matter.

  1. Electric Mobility

The COP26 event also witnessed the launch of a “Declaration on accelerating a transition to 100% zero-emission cars and vans” program. As part of the World Leaders Summit, 30 countries have agreed to work together to make zero-emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030 or sooner. Zimbabwe will join these pacesetters as soon as the E-mobility policy is approved. A World Bank Trust Fund will be established to mobilise $200 million over the next 10 years to decarbonise road transport in emerging markets and developing economies. Against this background, and as part of the E-mobility Policy that the Government if finalizing, it is proposed that:

There be duty-free importation of E-vehicles in order to reduce cost as well as to allow the market to grow from the current infant stage,

Government offers some tax incentives and exemptions to companies that assemble and manufacture e-vehicles,

Remove or reduce VAT on e-vehicles and associated equipment such as charging station infrastructure,

Remove taxes on raw materials and components of e-vehicles,

Offer incentives to companies that manufacture batteries particularly to promote the Lithium battery value chain.

Deliberations during Transport Day were clear that by 2030/35, major car manufacturers will all stop the production of petroleum-powered vehicles in favour of electric vehicles including tricycles and motorbikes.

  1. Wind Power Development

Ministry of Energy officials attended sessions on wind power and also held successful meetings with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The Council revealed that a recent report by IFC and the World Bank shows that Zimbabwe has huge potential in wind power at various isolated sites. The Ministry and GWEC will continue to collaborate with the aim of ensuring that Zimbabwe’s energy sector is capacitated on wind power, policy and strategies, research and development and accelerating investments in the wind power sector. 

Going forward, feasibility studies at the identified sites will be conducted in partnership with GWEC, AfDB, IDBZ and the Ministry of Finance’s Project Preparatory Facility. A pipeline of projects will be established for auctioning to potential investors.

  1. Establishment of a Green Fund for Renewable Energy Projects

Various sessions on financing renewable energy projects were attended. Matters arising from those meetings were to do with developing bankable project proposals and access to affordable loans and grants as well as co-financing.

It is worth noting that our Renewable Energy Policy of 2019 provides for the establishment of a Green Fund whose main purpose will be for project preparation, grants, seed funding and concessionary loans to Zimbabwean companies. As part of our internal discussions, it was proposed that a Green Fund portfolio/window under the approved Climate Finance Facility be established. As such, the Green Fund portfolio will initially be hosted and managed by IDBZ. The Fund will finance renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate mitigation-related projects. Lessons from the Rwanda Green Fund, which were exhibited at COP26, will be considered.

  1. Other Energy Related Engagements

The MoEPD had discussions with the following:

An investor who wishes to develop a 250MW solar power plant. We agreed that the Investor will visit Zimbabwe soon to meet all stakeholders in the sector. The meeting was held at the Zimbabwe Consul offices in Scotland, Glasgow.

The Dutch Government, represented by SNV had established a $200million facility for projects in the Energy-food-water nexus. A follow-up will be done with SNV-Zimbabwe.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) who have invited the Government of Zimbabwe to join their OSOWOG (One Grid, One Sun, One World) program and their flagship Solar parks project for ISA member states.

The main message from COP26 for the energy sector is that the country should implement its NDC energy commitments in order to reduce GHG emissions by 40% per capita by 2030. In doing so, we need to seek funding for projects and to be compensated for Decarbonisation. We reckon that the phase-out of coal and internal combustion engines is inevitable, so as a country we should be prepared.

  1. Side Events and Bilateral Meetings
  2. Zimbabwe Delegation meeting with UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre Kampala

The Zimbabwe delegation led by Mr Nesbert Samu from Parliament held a bilateral meeting with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Regional Collaboration Centre – Kampala on 11 November 2021. The Regional Collaboration assists regional states in implementing or participating in the UNFCCC governed certified emissions reduction trading schemes for carbon trading. The meeting was to get updates on ongoing work by the two parties and identify areas for future collaboration. During the meeting, discussions focused on the ongoing negotiations with more focus on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement which is directly related to the work of the RCC.

The Zimbabwe delegation expressed concern about the delayed completion of the Article 6 negotiations which is expected to facilitate carbon trading under the envisaged Sustainable Development Mechanism with a proposal for mandatory levying the share of proceeds to feed into the adaptation Fund to benefit Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe expressed readiness to engage for the RCC facilitated capacity building on the modalities, procedures, and guidelines of Article 6 once agreed. A request was also made for the establishment of a national registry for carbon trading projects, trading mechanism. The RCC indicated that from experience at the national level there might be very few projects to sustain a trading system but indicated that they had initiated discussions with SADC towards setting up a regional trading platform and registry system in line with the SADC Climate Change Response Strategy (2021-2030). The RCC expressed its readiness to work with Zimbabwe on the Article 6 capacity building as well as support project development. In the end, both parties agreed to a number of action items and promised to resume the discussions and commence implementation once the Article 6 negotiations have been finalized in order to align the capacity building and projects development with the adopted modalities, procedures and guidelines.

  1. Measuring the Climate and Job Effects of Just Transition Plans and NDCs Side Event

Zimbabwe was featured at the side event organised by International Labour Organisation (ILO) which sought to demonstrate that climate action can be a driver for inclusive growth, job creation, rights and social justice. Hon. Members and Mr John Mazani represented Parliament.  It also presented a few results from implementing the green jobs assessment model in order to understand climate investments and the link to employment creation amongst others to which Zimbabwe was one of the case countries supported on this note. Panelists discussed practical means through the NDC formulation and implementation to achieve a just transition for all and consider policy frameworks that countries can employ. Furthermore, lessons for the future implementation of NDCs and ILO offered under the Climate Action for Jobs were presented under the banner of the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative. 

  1. Meeting between Global Environment Markets and Zimbabwe Delegation

The Zimbabwe delegation met with the Global Environment Markets. The meeting discussed the importance of establishing a carbon market registry for Zimbabwe as a basis for compliance to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement as well as positioning the country for the trading of its carbon credits in the future in-line with the Country’s NDC implementation. The Zimbabwe delegation was convinced that establishing the Carbon Registry for the Country was long overdue and a plan to establish the Registry was set as a target. It should also be noted a SADC or AU regional carbon market registry is being proposed by other countries.

  1. Recommendations

12.1 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should prioritize the enactment of laws and regulations that require public investment and incentivize private investment in green infrastructure, especially in cities and urban areas, which produce the majority of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by December 2022.

12.2 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should enact legislation that contributes to creating jobs in green infrastructure and enhances green infrastructure-related business opportunities by December 2022.

12.3 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should also enact legislation that mainstreams sustainable consumption and production including by requiring public authorities to use green procurement practices (procuring goods and services that have a reduced environmental impact) by December 2022.

12.4 The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry should expedite the setting up of a National Climate Change Fund that provide the co-financing resources as required by multilateral climate financing mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund by August 2022.  

12.5 The Ministries of Energy and Power Development, Transport and Infrastructural Development, Industry and Commerce as well as the Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry should consolidate their policies and strategies as provided for under the Paris Agreement to avoid the impending stranded assets in coal, oil and gas in view of the importance of coal extraction in our economic trajectory by August 2022.

12.6 The Ministry of Energy and Power Development should promote laws that contribute to short- and long-term renewable energy policies introducing carbon pricing measures that increase national revenues by December 2022.

12.7 The Ministry of Energy and Power Development and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should enact legislation on low-carbon activities that promote energy efficiency, including energy efficient public infrastructure and industrial equipment, and clean technology research and development by December 2022.

12.8 Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development should introduce laws that incentivise green investment and the creation of green jobs (such as in sustainable transport and energy efficiency), and that dis-incentivise unsustainable investments by December 2022. 

12.9 The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in collaboration with relevant Ministries should develop a watertight implementation matrix for Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) supported by a Climate Change Bill by October 2022.

12.10 The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should adopt legislative provisions that support sustainable consumption and production (such as extending producer responsibility), and provide legislative incentives, including tax breaks or financial support, that encourage industries to adopt more sustainable production practices and increase the life cycles of their products by December 2022. 

12.11 The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should complement Parliament’s efforts by also giving incentives to all companies, industries, institutions and individuals, embracing green technology mechanisms to encourage renewable energy transition acceptance by August 2022. These incentives may take the form of tax exemptions for specified timeframes, reduction of registration fees for green businesses and adoption of the electric mobility.

12.12 The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should develop policies and strategies that pave ways for the exploitation of rare earth minerals in our country and enhance the manufacture of Lithium batteries for electric vehicles in Zimbabwean industries in the wake of the just transition to the Renewable Energy era by December 2022.

12.13 The Executive should hold a summit with the other SADC Member States to exchange ideas on the phasing down of coal by October 2022 to cushion the huge initial investment costs through availing a window for multi-lateral climate finance. 

12.14 Parliament should allocate budgets to oversight activities that ensure that existing environmental requirements are applied (including in the implementation of recovery measures), and encourage the adoption of innovative solutions and safeguards to enforce existing environmental laws and standards.

13 Conclusion

It is notable that Zimbabwe has done fairly well in its efforts to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. We commend the work done by the relevant Ministries to date. As highlighted above, there are still many outstanding issues to be concluded at the climate change negotiations. While the nation strives to transition to cleaner energy, it should be alive to the realities of the response measures and endeavour to cushion the sectors that would be affected. Finally, the country needs to position itself to benefit from any available financial window. With the above submissions, Mr. Speaker Sir, I now commend this report for consideration by this august House. 

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will endeavour to second the motion on climate change from the delegation that went to Glasgow because climate change is a broad subject. It is not only confined to Europe, Africa but all other regions in this world. Chief amongst the issues that have been brought by this report eloquently put across speak to, amongst other issues, the reduction of fossil fuel utilisation at the tail end of the recommendations, the Hon. Member spoke of the issue of optimally beneficiating our ubiquitous mineral wealth, in particular our lithium and uranium for renewable sources of energy.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as a student of law, I will endeavour to recognise content and those who have said and written articles before me.  I have ten or so issues that I want to touch on that are key as to why we need to mitigate on climate related exigencies or impediments.  The website that I wish to get information from is wwf.org.uk so that there is no plagiarism, no perjury or unnecessary attributing information to oneself which I have not originated.  I want to recognise content from other sources.  It is called either bibliography or referencing. 

Having said that, there are reasons why climate change will mean big changes.  The first one is for animals around the world.  So if we care about incredible species, we must care about how climate change will make it harder for them to find food and decrease their habitats from the forest to see ice on the rivers.  The second issue that is key when we talk about climate change is: if you are one of those who need your tea or coffee, as you get it in the morning, it may become green and you might not get it.  The effects of climate change on issues like coffee are well documented and coffee producers are already seeing reduced harvests and more pests because of it.  Even if you are caffeine free, you are not in the clear.  Wine production may also be hit by climate change.

Thirdly, finding Nemo and Dory may become harder as their beautiful homes crumble under the stress of climate change.  Warm air and ocean temperatures cause coral bleaching where corals lose their colour and may die.  Ocean acidification from an increased carbon dioxide, that is CO2 in the temperature compounds the problem.  Today, the ocean is 26% more acidic than it was in 1990.  The Great Barrier Reef has just experienced unprecedented back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017.  Climate change is very bad news for anyone hoping to see the great barrier riff one day.

The fourth issue; did you know Mr. Speaker Sir, two in every three people worldwide live in regions of severe water scarcity?  Even a small increase in global temperature will destabilise the water cycle and could make water scarcity much worse.  Climate change affects rainfall patterns Mr. Speaker Sir, meaning both drought and flooding will be more common and intense although it is hardly commendable with life threatening floods. Climate change may already be making you late for work.  You have seen how much snow comes down in snow regions.  In a square kilometer, humongous and copious amounts of snow drop in not so much time, in a little or pittance of time because of climate change.

The fifth issue relates to global temperature records – that has been broken in recent years and flooding…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, I am very much interested in hearing what your mind is saying regarding that report, not so much about the quotations, so please if you can just reduce the number of those quotations.  I know that is research which is quite fine but I think you have actually overdone it. 

HON. NDUNA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  There are just maybe two or so more points left before I conclude.  I want to vociferously, effectively and efficiently support the report from Glasgow Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to eloquently support this report and I will not leave any stone unturned in my quest to make sure that the issue of climate change is engrained in our heart and the heart of the issues that relate to climate change.

Year after year, we have seen politicians wedding through floods, hopping into ditches yet what causes these floods is the issue of climate change and the reduction of fossil fuels and planting of more trees can reduce the issue and scourge of climate change.  I believe that if we go a step further than just lamenting on the effects of climate change and go on issues to do with mitigating the same, we as politicians can do a lot better in terms of saving the global community from the hole that is created in the ozone layer, the ozone depleting substances should be themselves be depleted.

Unique irreplaceable and often described as the world’s lungs, the rain forests are some of the most precious habitants of the planet.  They are really amazing and if we continue to make sure that we protect the rain forest, we will actually be mitigating on the issues of climate change.  As I conclude, it is only right and just that we are fortunate to live in a beautiful, diverse, nurturing and inspiring planet.  Our children and future generations deserve the same, we owe it to posterity.  The climate mitigating measures that we are talking about today are supposed to make sure that there is longevity for our children.  Our day has dawned, Psalms 90:10 speaks to and about that a man is appointed to live 70 years.  We have children who have been born, those that are just eight years of age, these are the people whom we are trying to protect this planet for.  We owe it to posterity.  As we debate here, we should know that we owe it to our generation, our offspring and their offspring, zvizukuru zvevazukuru vedu. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently debate on the Glasgow Report on Climate Change in the manner that the people of Chegutu West Constituency would want me to debate. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, let me begin by saying that you hit the iron whilst it is still hot. This report has come in a bit too late. Where the President is part of the delegation, it must be given priority. There is no way it cannot be given priority. It is disappointing that the President was there, invited and it is something that caught the world and it was the first time the Second Republic has been there. So it was important that it be debated at the opportune time because the discussion was live then.

I want to thank Hon. Musarurwa for tabling the report before the House but equally to say that some of the Members who go on these delegations must be responsible enough to also second. Hon. Nduna seconded but he was not part of the delegation. You wonder what they had gone to do on those delegations. It is important that they see themselves being part of this. Mr. Speaker Sir, the world has changed and already there are issues which were critical in this agenda of the green energy. First of all, we are already suffering from a drought and we talk about cloud seeding. What did we come up with so that we mitigate the drought? This is one of the issues which I wanted to understand, how far did we go with cloud seeding and how is cloud seeding helping us?

We hear that cloud seeding was started in the country but we have not seen it. Where has it started? How is it being done and the effect of the cloud seeding that has happened? Do we understand cloud seeding and do we have what it takes to cloud seed? We do not want to be a country that attains but is not able to implement these things because of resources not being there. If cloud seeding is important, what has Government done in terms of intervention to come up with a supplementary budget? It is critical in the food security of the country. These are some of the things we believe are critical in us mitigating the drought because of the climatic change which is there.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is the issue of the $200 million fund which should be there but this is for countries which will comply. How ready are we in complying so that we benefit from that fund as well? Are we ready and what are we doing to get ready if we are not ready? These are some of the issues which we are left behind in yet we would have attended and understood. I am glad that a number of technocrats were there and many people who went there have some experience in dealing with this. When we are represented as Parliament, we come back, the onus is on the technocrats to now craft documents which are in sync with what happened there. From there, the relevant Ministries then come with the documents and say this is what we intend to do as a result of the climatic changes which the world is facing. We are yet to see any Ministry coming through to say, because of that we are changing this. Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, the general policy also changes for the Ministry because the Ministry could have these policies that they are following but because of the world taking a different turn, you are forced to adapt to that world policy because we do not do things in isolation.

What have we done now to be part of that world policy which we will all say this is the direction that we are going? For us to be at COP26 was the understanding that we will also be able to implement what has been agreed. What has the Minister done to ensure that we are there with what the world expects us to do in terms of the world policy? Mr. Speaker Sir, I like the issue of the engagement with the UN framework and all the Kyoto Protocols which were there. We have a tendency of attending but not reviewing what Kyoto Protocol was, what did we achieve from it, moving forward? What measures have been taken? What review did we come up with to be able to also contribute at the end of the day? When you go to these conferences, you also have to contribute from your own country’s perspective, from your region’s perspective. We are in the SADC region, the African region which at the end of the day, suffer some of these climatic conditions as much as we go into Europe.

Most of the European countries push their agenda -  what are we doing to push our agenda too so that we meet half way? They have a tendency of bringing in African countries to rubber stamp what will make them better at the end of the day. They are always ahead of us and they always believe that for them to be a powerful force, Africa must always be there but as a back bencher and not as a front liner. We need to position ourselves to being a front liner because the conditions that we have in Africa are the best. Do we also need to do what they are doing? We need science and research to come in and say we are there. As far as we are concerned we are okay with our climate conditions in Zimbabwe, we are okay with our climatic conditions in Africa, we do not have to adopt their ways. That argument has got to be debated through research and institutions that we have which have got all these faculties. How far have they have gone in research?

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is also the issue of the fossil fuel. The most dangerous part which is critical for this country is that our coal deposit is estimated at $11 billion and if I heard correctly from a report, by 2022 October, we must stop using coal. Is that possible for Zimbabwe? Already, the thermal power stations are all based on coal. For us to be a beneficiary of these schemes and yet coal is supposed to turnaround our economy from an energy perspective, how are we then going to deal with it? $11 billion deposit, do we just take it away? Not only that, Australia already has come up with ways of mitigating and ways of seeing how best coal can be cleaned. They have come up with machinery, what are we doing to import machinery which will clean that coal up so that it is no longer a danger and is acceptable in turn to the green energy protocols which are expected? This is a serious issue because we might as well do away with coal but we cannot do away with it.

The issue is what Government is doing at this moment to ensure that we will now do it like the way Australia has done it, bringing in new mechanisation, clean it so that we are part of the green revolution. There is no ways we cannot be part of it but at the same time, we also must be able to say but hold on, this is where we are. They have built their cities and economies through this coal and when they do not think it is important and realise it is trying to kill their people, they now do not want it. To us, it is a resource which can turn around our economy.

The other reason is why do we delay in us not being able to dispose of the coal? How long Mr. Speaker Sir has the coal been there for? What have we done? For years we have been sitting on these resources yet our people are suffering when we are sitting on $11 billion deposits of coal in the country. We could already utilise this for the benefit of our people from an infrastructure point of view - education, health and even from employment point of view in terms of industry. We have got people exporting coal and they will tell you that Zimbabwe’s coal is the best but also cheap. Why do we have to sell our produce at very low cost and at the expense of our own people benefiting at the end of the day? Why is it that people are sitting on claims yet they are not producing anything from them.  Why does Government not take those claims and give them to people who are prepared to work and generate an income?  There is no point having a pantry full of food and bread yet your children cannot even have bread in the morning.  That bread rots if you do not want to feed it to them.  So we have a pantry full of food but you are not prepared to give the food to our children.  That cannot be the answer.  So this is one of the biggest issues that we need to deal with and I think Government has to respond to this.  I am glad that the Chairperson for the Environmental Committee, Hon. Musarurwa is here.  You have got to put Government to task pertaining to the new green energy revolution and coal being out- maneuvered. What measures has Government taken and how are they going to guarantee employment?  How are they going to guarantee that this resource will help us at the end of the day? 

Mr. Speaker Sir, these are some of the critical issues which I thought were very important in this report which came through. It was great that the President was there and I think it was refreshing for the nation.  I also think all these sideline meetings are quite critical but many-a- times, even these Parliamentary Committees have gone to Kenya and all over to benchmark and see how much other MPs are being paid.  However, they come back and do not even say it themselves that Kenya MPs are being paid $15000 a month, they have got two vehicles and three assistants.  They come back and keep quiet, but I say if people are not prepared to come and report back, they should not go on these exercises because it becomes a waste of time and money because you are not changing us at all.  People are suffering, Members of Parliament in this institution are known for selling the cheapest coupons ever.  We are known to be like that.  We are now a laughing stock to the nation because we are serving the nation honestly.  I am very serious about this. 

I never thought ever in my life I would go around and hear people say if you want the cheapest coupons go to Parliament, they are very poor and they sell their coupons at low price.  If you want to see Mr. Speaker Sir, on a Thursday or Friday, people are out there like they are at a market place.  Why are we being reduced to this as Hon. Members?  Mr. Speaker Sir, you cannot allow this to happen.  So, I am saying benchmarking must be improved.  If the Kenyans are doing better, why can we not also do better than them?  How can we represent people effectively when we are suffering?  This is pathetic and sad to be part of an institution where nobody cares.      Today’s headline in the news was MPs seeking CDF in US dollars.  We do not put the CDF in our pockets.  It is a way of devolution, helping the Government to be able to grow.  None of the MPs here has ever bought anything from CDF, if anything, we always supplement from our own money.  We are now given a duty free allowance for a car of $40000 yet there is no money for the $40000.  Who says I want a car for $40000? What if I want a car for $120000? It is like we are in jail and we should accept whatever we are given.  May this institution be respected?  I say this emotionally, if this institution is not respected, then the people of this country are not being respected.  The Hon. Members have done a good job coming here though they are equally incapacitated.  May that benchmarking exercise and may the truth you did to COP26 show a difference that you have gone, learnt and there is change.  Until the MPs benchmark is shown in changes, then can we say we are going anywhere at the end of the day.  It is tiring if somebody has to think twice whether to go to Parliament or not or just stay at home.  It should never be like that.  We still want to serve our people.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. MUTAMBISI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for allowing me to add my voice on the motion raised by Hon. Musarurwa, seconded by Hon. Nduna.  I think as a country, we should start fronting new overseas fuel protests.  Our people need protection from the impact of climate change.  We should also get compensation from these developed countries for the damage that we are seeing in our country. 

As a country, we should also adopt clean cooking as presented by Hon. Musarurwa because it lessens the effects of climate change through emissions.  Last but not least, it is not too late to act on climate change issues.  I thank you.

          HON. BUSHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to add my voice to this debate.  The first thing is that I could not connect when I was sitting behind there.  I think we do have an ICT problem and I think there is need for us to address that.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the motion that was put across by the Environment Committee and the subsequent report was very good and I was very impressed by that.  In fact, the visit to Glasgow was worth it and understandably, His Excellency the President, ensured that Zimbabwe was supporting the issue of climate change and I think Parliament must take this issue very seriously. 

As I listened to the report from Glasgow, I noticed that a lot of issues were raised and we are talking about financing to ensure that climate change is successful but I am uncomfortable because the financing programmes have not been reaching the third world countries including Zimbabwe.  I am wondering whether we should stop and follow this programme which seems to be half heartedly being implemented in terms of the financing programmes.  We do have a lot of coal, methane gas, natural gas but the issue is whether the commitment is there from the countries that are promoting the climate change programme.  Our commitment seems to be very serious particularly from the report that was given and the recommendations that were given by the committee on environment. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, in our own country, this particular rain season is a true reflection of climate change.  The report by our Committee is a true commitment to ensuring that issues related to climate change are looked at seriously.  The thing is we cannot implement these on our own; we cannot be successful on our own.  The global players because of their interests - are they prepared to pay for the opportunity cost of not using our resources?  I think that given what the Environmental Committee has given to us or has presented to Parliament, I would like to implore Members of Parliament to adopt the recommendations and adopt the report in its entirety.  I thank you.

HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me an opportunity to contribute to one of the topical issues in the world today that is the issue of climate change.  We are today experiencing a drought in our country which is an effect of climate change.

I want to thank the Environment Committee for the report that they have tabled and the visit to Glassglow which was led by His Excellency to attend the summit on Climate change.  It is true that the climate and the environment that we live in; we must be good stewards in terms of keeping and protecting the environment and the climate.  Indeed, as Africa we have been good stewards.  We have exemplified good stewardship for many years.

Mr. Speaker, changing technologies and adopting new technologies in order to conform to the changes in climate and environment and in order to protect the environment is a welcome move by the world as Africa and in particular as Zimbabwe we must join the world.  however, here is the paradox, our very existence as a country and as a continent is premised and underpinned by exploitation of our natural resources, that is what we have as a people to survival and to progress  and reach the levels that the very countries that advocate for protection of the environment today are at.

As Africa and in particular as Zimbabwe, our pollution to the world is insignificant if it can be calculated, if it is there by any chance.  While we agree that we have to be part of the world and part of the ecosystem of the world in protecting the climate and the environment, it must not be done at the detriment of our own existence.  It must not be done at the detriment of our own progress, it must not also be done at the detriment of our own industrial revolution which by not our own choice has been delayed but by the reasons that are well documented, that we have been colonised. 

We are not backward, we are not unindustrialized  because we cannot but we have lived under the shackles of the powers that be that today prescribe that coal is dirty, fossil oil is dirty, that we must go clean, indeed we must go clean. 

We must not be taken in the same race and pace that our yester year oppressors used the same resources, including human capital from our own continence and countries to reach where they are and today have a prescription for protecting the world.  We must be given an opportunity to progress, to develop, we must be given a fair platform, a fair premise to be able to participate and partake in the debate and the exercise of protecting the climate and the environment.

Mr. Speaker Sir, today we speak of human animal conflict where we have herds of elephants that we cannot sell the tusks because of certain agreements that we have signed.  As I have said, our development is premised and underpinned by our ability to exploit our natural resources.  It is the same natural resources that we are being told that we cannot exploit.  It is the same natural resources that we are being told when we exploit them, it is abuse. 

When we move from exploitation of natural resources, our countries and our governments are under shackles of economic sanctions premised on falsehoods and abuse of human rights.

So, how will Africa develop itself? How will a small country like Zimbabwe develop itself? You turn left there is a barrier; you turn right there is a barrier.  I pray that the issues of climate change are not an entry barrier for underdeveloped countries, for developing countries, for emerging markets to participate in world economy.  When we use clean energy, our cost of production is going to go up, we will not be able to export our products when our cost of production goes up that means we cannot compete.

There are already tariffs that are on our products from World Trade Organisations.  We cannot compete!  So as we discus there must be a model that allows products that are produced by smart technologies within the developing countries to be able to be sold and to compete to be competitive on world market. 

As we speak, we are a dumping site for the developing world for products.  We cannot compete, we cannot export and yet our governments are accused by the same prescribers of failing to generate jobs.  How do we then generate jobs? We want our people to go and work in coal and various mines - that is how we generate jobs, yet we are saying coal is dirty and again the Government of Zimbabwe which is sitting on deposits of coal must generate jobs.  As we participate and debate this, we must be alive to the fact that as a nation, we must chart our way forward, knowing that our development, our future, the prospect of our country to be part and parcel of the world economy is premised on our natural resources and it is our right to explore them.  I thank you Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr.  Speaker. I rise to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Musarurwa, seconded by Hon. Nduna regarding the issue of COP 26 that was focusing more on climate change.  When we talk about the issues of climate change, these are issues that affect all of us, the whole world over but the way it affects all of us differs from each region.  If we compare the developed and the developing nations, we see that the effects of climate change differs and that is why there is a talk of climate justice like what other Hon. Members have said that all of us agree that there are effects of climate change amongst us but the way we should deal with these effects should also take cognisance of one country, as we move from one country to another.

  We understand that the developed countries have developed their systems using the resources from the developing countries or the resources that they do not want the developing countries to use like the issue of coal that has been mentioned by a number of Hon. Members. As they are pushing for the ban of coal, we are also not hearing the corresponding mechanism that they are also giving to the developing nations to say instead of you using your coal, these are the funding mechanisms that we are putting in place and these are the ways that we want you to do your business in your nations. 

          Mr. Speaker, we are only hearing that they are saying we must move away from coal and move into clean energy but this clean energy costs us money. As a country, I think we need also to see a serious commitment from these developed nations when we talk about the issues of climate change and when we are looking at the issues of climate justice.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this is putting a lot of financial burden in developing nations.  It is not only Zimbabwe that is suffering from these effects of climate change that we did not also equally contribute to.  Much of these issues have been caused by these developed nations.  I want to touch on one issue that I also want to encourage us as Hon. Members and all of us as Zimbabweans that we need to borrow a leaf from what our First Lady Amai Mnangagwa is doing in dealing with deforestation.  We are seeing her - she is moving all over the country planting trees.  I want to encourage all of us to learn one or two things or for us as Members of Parliament to rally behind our First Lady and make sure that we also, once a year if possible,  we plant a number of trees so that we deal with these issues of deforestation. We want to make sure that at least we play our part as individuals, to make sure that we deal with the effects of climate change because climate change is real.  It is outside there, we are seeing it like in this year, of 2022, we are seeing that we are faced with a serious drought, it is because of climate change. 

          I want to encourage us as citizens and as leaders, as Members of Parliament, politicians, for us to be even campaigners, if possible, in these issues of climate change.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. 

*HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Musarurwa and the seconder Hon. Nduna who raised the motion on Climate Change.  The weather patterns are changing everyday, thereby affecting our daily lives, including peoples’ health, crops and animals.  I want to thank His Excellency, the President who saw it fit to go and attend this Conference.  Climate change is causing so many problems; including floods, droughts and hailstones.  In our province, in Mwenezi, it is a very hot area but we were surprised to see hailstones, this shows that things are not going on well because of climate change.

  I agree with many Hon. Members who have said that as developing nations, we have done very little damage to climate change but the developed nations caused many of these issues.  We can talk of minerals or whatever but what is causing climate change? I think that there should be specialists in our universities where we can make use of our graduates who can do research on more ways that can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change.  

I thought that the developed countries which are advanced were using coal and natural gas which caused pollution.  They should give us an opportunity to learn their new technology which is non pollutant to the ozone layer so that we stop using the energy sources which cause pollution of the environment.  As a country during the beginning of the farming season, we received rains every day and the surface was very wet but our first plants failed to grow due to excessive rains.  After the first three months of the rainy season, the rains stopped for good and the plants which were re-planted failed to grow due to lack of water. 

It is therefore important for us as a country to come up with ways of feeding the nation and making sure that our animals get supply of water.  What should we do?  I think we should resort to irrigation and finding more ways of using clean sources of energy to reduce the effects of climate change.  The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement should sit down and come up with a plan on how to mitigate the effects of climate change.  For the past 15 years, we have not had a stable rainy season like it used to be in the yesteryears before then.  This means that the effects of climate change were minimal during that era but now the effects are huge in a very short period of time. 

It is therefore important for us as a country to come up with more ways of mitigating the effects of climate change.  We should come up with farming techniques that are in sync with the existing climate change.  Our energy sources should be adopted from those who are already advanced in technology of clean sources like solar or water power generation.  If we do not resort to clean energy sources, our people will perish of hunger.  The ministers responsible for this issue should come up with strategies to correct the effects of climate change.  They should come and tell us what they are doing in order to protect us from the effects of climate change. 

Our people in the rural areas or in Zimbabwe in particular, are they aware of the problem which we are facing and being caused by climate change?  Are we educating our people so that everything that they do, they should be wary of the danger of doing things that end up causing climate change?  There is therefore need to go out there in the rural areas and educate them on the use of clean energy sources and help them generate electricity so that they stop cutting down trees.  As the First Lady did, she moved around planting trees so that we can have woodlots or create forests where we plant more trees and mitigate against the effects of pollution which in turn is causing climate change.  Let us give our Committee an opportunity to move around the country educating people and listening to their concerns in a bid to come up with clean energy sources and work towards rescuing our environment from the effects of climate change.  The Committee will in turn educate our people on the expertise that they learnt on how this problem can be resolved.  This will be helpful to every household so that they would know how to protect the ozone layer and reduce the effects of climate change.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(v)*HON. MPAME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue of climate change is something that is before us, this is visible through the hunger within the country.  Since 1972, when I was still young, I have witnessed more than 11 drought seasons, meaning that the environment is changing whilst we watch.  Our elders say aive madziva ave mazambuko, in Zvishavane where I come from, indeed things have become bad. 

For the Government to help people, they should construct dams on every river which receives water between the month of November to date.  As individuals, we should commit ourselves to stop cutting down trees.  If you move around our roads as we speak, you will observe that some of the people who were allocated land are no longer farming but they are harvesting firewood.  The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) should implement the existing laws to punish the people who are continuously cutting down trees. 

In addition, the Forestry Commission should prepare a lot of tree nurseries so that we can ask our people to plant trees.  If we ask them to plant trees without the nurseries they will ask us where they can get the nursery to do so.  I was in my rural home last week in Zvishavane and I visited EMA and Forestry Commission, they do not have the nurseries.  The plants that I saw have been donated by Mimosa Mining Company.  This means that in every district, there is EMA and Forestry Commission but they do not have nurseries for us to do reforestation.  Therefore our Ministry responsible for the environment should make sure that their Forestry department do their work to come up with a nursery of trees and EMA should move around suing every individual who will be found cutting down trees.  In the past, the chiefs used to call for a fine of a beast if one was found cutting down trees.  EMA should be capacitated so that they are able to do their work while we wait for money from donations by our former colonisers to assist in reforestation – [Technical glitch] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you reconnect?

          (v)*HON. MPAME: - [technical glitch] – the issue of reforestation is important. Other countries like Saudi Arabia for example, have set a target in the next five years of planting 10 billion trees. Us also as a nation should do like what others are doing so that we develop. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to add my voice to this very important motion that was raised by Hon. Musarurwa, seconded by Hon. Nduna, which talks about climate change. We thank the Parliament delegation that went to Glasgow Climate Change Conference. I would also want to thank Hon. Members who debated before me. I will dwell on a few things which I think would help us as a country. I have learnt that combating climate change starts with us. That means every one of us has a role to play in conservation of our natural resources and ensuring that your surroundings are protected. We should ensure that we plant trees at our homes and in the community. We are experiencing storms that are destroying buildings and we can overcome these situations when we have trees at home. We should plant fruit trees so that when we do not have a good harvest, we can survive on fruits such as guavas, mangoes, oranges and many others depending on where you are staying. As Zimbabweans, we should desist from  causing veld fires. Government is losing a lot of money in trying to cut down on veld fires.

We are asking EMA to hold awareness campaigns educating people on the effects of veld fires and the cutting down of trees. If we destroy the trees, that will contribute to the climate change. We get medicines from trees, so trees are life. We are having a challenge on the mining issue. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am a Member of Parliament for Shurugwi North Constituency where there is a lot of gold, platinum as well as chrome but we now have people mining everywhere. People are now digging on tarred roads and even in the rivers resulting in land degradation. The creatures that live in the water will be destroyed by chemicals from the illegal mining practices. We should not engage in illegal practices so that we do not destroy the our good  image out there. We should leave a legacy for the coming generations.

It is important that we work towards achieving the 2030 middle income economy and we should starting educating our people on proper farming and mining systems and that they should develop their communities in rural areas. People in rural areas should start using solar energy systems because Zimbabwe has got a lot of this product. This will reduce the cutting down of trees. We should construct contour ridges in our fields as a mitigatory measure of soil erosion and contour ridges also harvest water. His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa is always talking of water harvesting at every ward and every community. We should construct weir dams for water harvesting so that we can start community projects.

There is also the mention of Paris Agreement in the Report which has got funds set aside to assist developing countries like Zimbabwe and others. We will see other countries benefiting from these funds whilst Zimbabwe is left out. Mr. Speaker Sir, does that mean if a country is under illegal sanctions and they are experiencing climate change, they cannot benefit from these funds. I think these funds should benefit all the nations in need. The issue of global warming begins with us. We should work together. Vakuru vanoti chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda or ndarira imwe hairiri kana kuti gomana rimwe harigone kukomba churu. We should work together so that the coming generations will appreciate us. I thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for the time you have afforded me to support the motion raised by Hon. Musarurwa, seconded by Hon. Nduna who always talks about how important his Chegutu Constituency is. I thank you.

          *HON. SEWERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to this motion raised by Hon. Musarurwa, seconded by Hon. Nduna.  A lot of countries are developing because they are using electrical vehicles, necessitated by climate change.  In Zimbabwe we have lithium which is found in Goromonzi.  Lithium is being used to produce batteries which are being used   on electrical cars.  If you go into most of the shops you will find that lithium batteries are used for solar systems.  Two weeks ago, Zimbabwean citizens were complaining about fuel prices but these electric cars can be useful since we mine lithium and we will not be complaining about fuel prices. This will also help us because the funds we currently use to purchase fuel from other countries will be reduced because we will be using lithium.  I am advising the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Energy to take a close look at this issue and do something for us.  If we can have a law as a country that if a person is building, it should be mandatory to have a solar system and electric system so that the electricity grid will have no pressure.  Another speaker alluded to water harvesting.  Where I come from in Murehwa West Constituency, along the road which takes me home there is a lot of rain coming down the mountainside and this water needs to be harvested in dams so that it is not wasted by just flowing away. 

          Lastly I would like to encourage people to plant trees.  I wish the same committee should be given the opportunity to educate people to plant trees and all the Hon. Members will help them to educate people in their constituencies to plant trees.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          (v)*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving the opportunity to talk about the motion on climate change raised by Hon. Musarurwa and seconded by Hon. Nduna.  We live in a country which was destroyed by the whites and they took our minerals which caused us to be under-developed, yet they are developed because they took our mineral resources to their countries.  They must give us funds so that we can develop our country.  Climate change affects us as women as we look for food for our children since it is our responsibility to look for food for our children.  It becomes difficult for us to sell vegetables after experiencing cyclones like what happened in Chimanimani during Cyclone Idai.  Vegetables were destroyed and that caused domestic violence in homes as there was no money in homes.  Women are responsible for looking for firewood. So the country must encourage people to use bio-gas and solar so that the women will not have a lot of problems cooking for the family.  It should also be mandatory to have solar in all new homes to lessen the burden on women to look for firewood.  Women have a lot of responsibility where they stay and they should be encouraged to put all the fruit seeds they will have eaten in the ground because they all grow. 

I would like to thank the President for the idea of growing trees.  People must be taught about the importance of trees as they create a wind break.  I still remember in Tanzania, President Julius Nyerere did the green revolution.  He took different tree seeds and got into a plane then scattered them in different parts of Tanzania.  So we should encourage each other to do the same in our county.  We also urge our representatives who go abroad to come back and teach us what they will have seen and learnt.  We take what they learn then develop that as a country. This will help us so that we do not have problems like people being washed away by a lot of rains.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. MURIRE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to support the motion which was raised by Hon. Musarurwa. As Hon. Members of Parliament or even those in charge of educating the public, working on the issue of climate change, when we go around the country, we are seeing heaps of firewood but nothing is being done to those perpetrators who are selling firewood.  Others are also involved in the cutting down of trees and gathering the firewood for use as a source of energy.

          One of the reasons we are experiencing climate change is that we no longer have the trees as compared to long back.  If you look at the communities, we used to have a lot of trees around us but now it is a different situation, things have totally changed.  Communities no longer have trees; people continue to cut down trees.

As Generations come and go, people leave their families to go and start a new life.  We no longer have land for people to build their homes, so whoever wants to start a new home will cut down trees creating space for a homestead.  Therefore, the generations to come will not have trees.

          It is my thinking that the department responsible for climate change must engage the general public to educate them on these pertinent issues because the situation might be worse from what we are seeing today.

          The Government must come up with stiffer penalties, a legislative framework that inhibits people from continuing to take part in deforestation and cutting down of trees.  How can we have the rains and a normal environment when people continue to cut down trees? Definitely, we will not experience the rains as we anticipate them.  People should be brought to book for such crimes and face stiffer penalties.

          In the months of June and July, we have high incidences of veld fires. So can measures be put in place so that people are educated on the issues to do with the environment and climate change?

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

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th March, 2022.

         

MOTION

THIRD REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON THE SPECIAL MAIZE PROGRAMME/COMMAND AGRICULTURE

  Sixteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the 3rd Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the special maize programme Command Agriculture.

  Question again proposed.

  HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to add my voice to the report on the special maize programme by the Public Accounts Committee as a Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I have read and understood the report that was presented in this House and  I have a feeling that there are some issues that were left out of that report that are very critical most probably because there were a lot of pages.

I agree with the report as it stands, however, I want to add my voice in so far as it relates to the suppliers that were mentioned in that report. The report did not make it clear that the suppliers were not the originators of the Treasury Bills and that these suppliers did not receive the US dollars. Also, the suppliers were not contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture and that the suppliers were either supplying fertilizer or suppliers of seed.  I will zero in on FSG and I will take about two minutes to run down as to what exactly occurred in so far as it relates to the supply of both fertilizer and the seed.  Also the evidence that they gave to the Committee was eloquently presented and the information that was received by the same Committee Mr. Speaker Sir and that information because of the amount of space, is not inside the Report. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Report does not show how the questions that were answered before the Committee were answered, which questions were raised too by the Committee to FSG and that FSG was a contractor to the special maize programme.  In interrogating FSG the supplier in the special maize programme, we sought to get FSG to exonerate themselves in so far as it relates to the amount that they were receiving according to what had been presented before them. 

          Mr. Speaker, also the type of monies that were being received whether it was the US dollars or whether it was the Treasury Bills.  These were the three key critical issues that the Committee sought to know. Mr. Speaker Sir, in its submission before the Committee GSG under oath, it is important to note that FSG supplier was contracted by Command Agriculture - in fact the supplier of fertilizer and seed into the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme, the supplier was never contracted by RBZ.  It was contracted by the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme and it supplied fertilizer.  This information is key and it is critical because it was given under oath to the Committee Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          Yours truly was also in that Committee.  This information is being extracted from our minutes and it will be right for me to present this information.  The amount almost of $400 million was to cover the supply of these inputs that were delivered in 2016, 2017 and 2018.  This programme focused on small scale maize and cotton farmers and it distributed to over $1.6 million vulnerable households. 

          It is also my submission that the information was not prevaricated because it was under oath.  If it was prevaricated, if it was any perjury, the Committee would have rebutted or would have sought clarity on that information.  There was no rebutting, there was no point of clarity and it is my view that this information should be presented in the manner I am presenting it before this august House before the Minister comes to this House and responds. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the company that I speak to and about FSG never received money in US dollars but the money that was received or the payment that was received was in Treasury Bills.  It is important that if there be a separation - because there is insinuation that there was foreign currency externalization, whereas FSG used what is called lines of credit through Treasury Bills and would receive the fertilizer from Mauritius or from offshore after they had been cleared.  It is important to note that there was never any form of externalization in the process.   Mr. Speaker Sir, it is also important to note that the company that I am talking about fully carried out its mandate of delivering what it was paid for even before full payment was received, full delivery was actually exhibited. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now go to the second company that is also in the table of companies in the Public Accounts report, the company is Valley Seeds and also Valley Seeds was never contracted by Command Agriculture but supplied inputs to the Presidential Inputs Support Programme.  It is very important that this be clear in the manner that it is. Valley Seeds was also never paid in US dollars, it should be very clear, otherwise nothing can be further from the truth than that if at all the form of payment for Valley Seeds was RTGs. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the files that were brought to Parliament - I attended the oral evidence session that these companies came through, showed,  the Committee was very happy with the information of the RTGs and the TBs that was used as a mode of payment.  It will boggle one’s mind why now the Report speaks to the issue of US dollars.  It would......

The Clerk-at-Table having approached the Chair.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Nduna, it would appear that you seem to be going against your Committee’s Report.  You were supposed to have raised these issues during your interaction. 

HON. NDUNA:  I am not going against the Report. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  This is exactly what you are saying.

HON. NDUNA:  I am adding into the Report.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna you seem to be saying that the Report is talking about US dollars.

HON. NDUNA:  This is why I said Mr. Speaker Sir you need to be very careful what you are receiving from the Assistant Clerk.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, no Hon. Nduna the report has been tabled and you seem to be hitting the points that are contrary to your report.  You produced this report together with your other Members.  So, please if you would like to continue, you are supposed to be adding some points and not contradict what was actually reported in the report.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think there must have been typo-errors in the report because we agreed and there are a lot of Members…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Nduna.  You do not have to debate with me.  I am only directing you to follow the protocols of the House.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  All the goods and inputs ordered for the Presidential Programme for more than 1.6 million vulnerable households; in particular from Valley Seeds were paid in RTGS. I am not going against what is written in the Report because I do not think this was mentioned in the report.  I think I am just adding it.  The proof of delivery of inputs to various GMB Depots was provided and the Committee was very happy.  I think this is mentioned that the Committee was very happy, if it has not been mentioned, it is an omission and I am adding.  There is nothing wrong in what is written in the report if the pages never went to as far as acknowledgement that the Committee was very happy.

As I conclude, Valley Seeds proved that they did not receive any other payments in the form of Treasury Bills or Bonds.  I want to make it categorically clear that they received only RTGs and I do not think I am at variance with the mother-report.  I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity because it is just and right for us to get through the straight and narrow both in terms of carrot and stick for those who would have been mentioned in the Auditor-General’s Report so that there is no recurrence of any delinquent behaviour if at all there was any delinquent behaviour.

It is the duty of your thematic Committee on Public Accounts to chastise and give advice to those who would have been mentioned in the Auditor-General’s Report and also to be very specific, truthful and make sure we support the suppliers, in particular the Command Agriculture under the circumstances of an acrimonious relationship with the West and their allies who have put in sanctions and where we have companies that try by all means under the circumstance, to supply the nation for the special maize programme.  That should be applauded.  I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, eloquently  and effectively contribute to this report on command and special maize programme in the manner and mould that the people of Chegutu West Constituency would have me debate.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion which was brought in by Hon. Dube who is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.  I am a Member of that Committee and the work that resulted in this report took a long time to complete for us to debate about it today.

The issue before us is very important to our economy, well known as the Special Maize Programme, later known as the Command Agriculture Programme.  Parliament is bestowed with the oversight role on the Executive and on public funds, that is what we did so that we ascertain the amount of money which was used from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  We ended up probing the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  Through the investigations that we did, we also managed to collect oral evidence from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on how money was used on the Government Programme.  We also gathered oral evidence from those who were involved through the distribution of inputs and we collected a lot of evidence.

However, the most important issue is that this Government Programme was a result of previous years of drought and hunger.  As a result, the Government came up with a plan to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe are well fed.  That is how the programme was started.

I would also want to say that most Zimbabweans do not know what was happening on the issue of this programme and there is a lot of misinformation.  The Government’s intention is to help the poor who are unable to buy farming inputs like seed and fertilizer.  So the Presidential Input Scheme was put in place and it is implemented every year.  When we did our investigations, we observed that some money which was paid off by the Ministry of Finance was in support of that programme.  However, when others reported on the Presidential Input Programme, they combined it with the Special Maize Programme as one programme.  I believe that the explanation which was done in our report was very clear that the money used for both programmes was coming from the same budget and we do not know whether it was intentional so that Zimbabwean citizens fail to comprehend what was really taking place. 

Presidential Input Scheme is a programme intended for the poor farmers and this programme has always been there.  Our Government cannot watch while the people of Zimbabwe suffer when they have the strength, passion and land to do their farming.  That is why this programme was implemented and supported.  The Special Maize Programme, well known as Command Agriculture, is a programme which was on a larger scale and was intended to help and support commercial farmers and middle scale farmers.  That is the major difference which is there on the two programmes and yet some people combined the two programmes to mean the same.

The money that was allocated to Command Agriculture was not as huge as it has been reported in the media when others said they found the documents from Parliament, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Most of these stories are distorted and untruthful.  We did our investigations and we saw the Treasury Bills and proof of payments from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  Some of the monies that are being spoken about, we never witnessed it. 

In the year 2017 and 2018, even though we did not have a bumper harvest, there was a rise in harvest as compared to the two or three previous years before the introduction of the Command Agriculture Programme.  I would like to thank the Government for their insight on the production of maize and wheat so that as a country, we might have adequate food for our citizens and cut the bill of importing maize and wheat from other countries.  I would like to thank the Government for what was done.  You will realise that during the course of farming itself, some of the funds are not paid back because when the Government came up with that programme, it also came up with another fund or scheme where the supported farmer should sell their harvest and pay back through that fund which was supposed to be a revolving fund. 

In our investigation, we realised that indeed, there were some challenges, some of the people who got the support did not manage to pay back that money whilst some managed to do so.  As we speak, we observed that it was a lesson to the Government on how to support and perfect the programme that is meant to avert hunger and provide food security to the country.  We realised that from the current situation, there are lessons leant from the 2017 programme and that is why the Government came up with the CBZ Agro-yield programme where those who get support from the Government through the Presidential Input Scheme will continue getting that support, but other commercial farmers should approach banks to get their financial assistance. 

I realise that it is work in progress and it is a lesson for all of us as a nation on how best to implement national programmes so that they become successful.  Through this special model, we got a lot of yield by farmers and even this year, there is potential but the problem is the shortage of rains.  However, we realise that Zimbabwean citizens are very eager to produce high yields in their farms. 

The land reform programme has become successful through these yields that we are getting right now.  I refer to this because we had become a laughing stock in other countries.  They were questioning us on what we achieved by getting back our land but right now through the President’s vision, we are realising that the farmers are increasing their yields.  These programmes only need to be improved as we move forward, instead of stopping it altogether because if we stop them as a country, we will also suffer because we will need to import food.  In the end we will have starvation in the country. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say that this Government programme is a very good one and we realise that it is being improved in order for it to fulfill the vision of the country’s leadership.  We cannot achieve that vision if we blame the programme because it is a process.  We should also not do that by spreading falsehoods about it.  As Members of Parliament, we are also supposed to tell the truth and speak positively about our Government because if we mislead the nation, that does not take us anywhere, it is retrogressive. 

I say these words with a heavy heart because the Zimbabwe that we have is just one country and if we develop a culture of accepting inflated figures, that can be sold out there in other countries for example, $2 billion or $3 billion.   Let me give an example, if we say $20 billion or $30 billion, such issues are very retrogressive.  I think that is an abuse of office because those people who come here to Parliament and give us evidence rely on us and trust us that indeed, it will be confidential information that can only be released when the right time comes.  This is the issue that I would like to address that as Hon. Members of Parliament, we must be factual and speak the truth that can be relied on.  Sometimes we hear of billions of monies being stolen and everyone questions in their mind as to who could have stolen it and the answer will be on names flying around.  During this time of sanctions, we will have very few people willing to work with us.  If people go outside spreading falsehoods, that is not good, we will be tarnishing those people who work with us as Government. 

I would like to encourage the use of truth when such information is released.  The report that was released by the Chairman is factual and it stated who benefitted what, how much did Valley Seeds get and how much they contributed to this programme and how much did they earn in line with their contribution?  So that is in accordance with the information that we got from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as well as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. 

The last part that I would like to talk about is our Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – the report also requested that - I would like to reiterate that, there are some funds that are paid as direct payments to suppliers.  I think in between ministries, using the whole Government approach systems that they are using now, when such payments are being done, they should be done properly and in a transparent manner so that both ministries involved get to know because at the end, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance, there was a sort of conflict or misunderstanding.  With these few words, I would like to add my support to the report brought by Hon. Dube to this House.

          *HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I was listening but I am not a Member of this Committee but I was paying so much attention.  I also read that report and realise that we as Parliament, do we have the power to take action on someone who peddle falsehoods using Parliament name?  That person will be trusted but they tarnish the image of some companies as well as the country, what can we do?  So what can we do if Hon. Members or the Chairperson of the Committee say something that is false or not correct, what can we do?  If we are an Honourable Parliament, let us look at the difference of what was said and what was reported.  That person who brought a false report must be charged.  Secondly, all those things that are being peddled are just falsehoods about Treasury Bills and other payments.  I realise that those falsehoods were targeting black people and not the whites who also received these Treasury Bills.  So, is it meant to tarnish black business people by saying only whites carry out good business practices.  This report has actually exposed the truth so that the whole nation knows who was misleading and lying about this report.  People have to know who did what regardless of their skin colour because the blacks are being tarnished.

          The Command Agriculture Programme indeed transformed the agriculture sector in this country.  The black farmers were empowered just as the whites were empowered through the Agriculture Finance Corporation where they got a lot of funding and they never returned that money, yet they are regarded as good farmers while the black farmers are being bad mouthed in their quest to become successful farmers.  The black farmers are doing very well and the silos are full of grain but no one acknowledges that but just look for the negatives so as to tarnish the image of the blacks. They rush to talk about the falsehoods of Treasury Bills but never stop to praise command agriculture.  Why only focus on the negative issues about this country?  All those who lied about this should be brought to book and should be punished by this august House.  I thank you.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday 16th March 2022.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

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