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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL 50 NO 14
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 15th November, 2023.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following announcements. I have apologies from the following Ministers and the Vice President, Hon. Dr. C. G. D. N Chiwenga; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Dr. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. Prof. Ncube, Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion; Hon. O. C. Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Brig. Gen. Rtd. Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of Mines and Mining Development and Hon. D. Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information Communication and Technology.
HALF-DAY SENSITISATION WORKSHOP ON 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GBV
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Parliament of Zimbabwe will host a half-day sensitisation workshop in preparation for the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence, on Friday, 17th November, 2023, in the Multi-Purpose Hall, New Parliament Building. All Members of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and He-For-She Champions are invited to attend this workshop. Friday interface starts from 0830 hours in the morning and it will end at 1300 hours.
Just to let the Hon. Members know that I am advised also by the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, that Cabinet is sitting now. As you might be aware, His Excellency the President has been away on international duties and we have here Hon. Ziyambi, Hon. Prof. Murwira; Hon. Garwe; Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. Mnangagwa and Hon. Bila. This does not excuse Deputy Ministers. I hope they are here. I can see some. It is a good idea that if the substantive Hon. Minister is away on duty, the Deputy Ministers should be in the House. For Example, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, there are two Deputy Ministers. I hope they are here – [AN HON. MEMBER: Havamo] – You see and there is no apology but Hon. Muchinguri has sent an apology, do not speak about something that you do not know.
HON. C. HLATYWAYO: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, yesterday you informed the House that you had received a letter from one Tshabangu, illegally recalling CCC Members of Parliament. We informed you Mr. Speaker that there is a court process that was underway and a judgement from the court was there to stop any recalls from one Tshabangu. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, you promised the House that you are going to reinstate the Citizens Coalition for Change Members of Parliament after receiving that judgement. I understand, Mr. Speaker that you have received that judgement and we expect you to then action your promise to reinstate Members of Parliament who were illegally recalled by Tshabangu.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You must be very careful in interpreting legal language. The court made an interim relief and the interim relief was made after I had made the announcement. The delivery of that relief was given after the announcement, you must be very logical. Further, the notice of recall is effective from the date of the letter which is the 7th of November 2023.
If you read paragraph four of that interim relief, it says the respondent, Tshabangu, was indicted from making any further recalls from that sitting of that court. There is no way the Judge would say no to make any further recalls when in fact the recalls were made. So, in my discussion with Hon. Hlatyawayo, in the presence of Hon. Hwende and Hon. Gumbo, the lawyer in my board room, I explained to them having been sent as emissaries by CCC Members of Parliament that as the judge indicated, the matter will be finalised, that is the urgent application, will be finalised on Monday. After the finalisation of that matter on Monday, the National Assembly Speaker and the Senate President will be directed in terms of the status of the first respondent, Tshabangu, that is what we agreed on yesterday. I thought we understood each other.
So, the recall of the 7th of November stands and is, not affected by the interim relief and further, do not be misled by News Day and Daily News who totally misunderstood that interim relief. So, I rule that the notice read yesterday stands and those Members who were affected can they kindly leave the Chamber.
HON. HWENDE: On a point of clarity!
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is nothing clearer than what I have stated. I am going to wait for the determination on Monday in terms of not only yesterday’s calls and those that have happened before – [HON. HWENDE: Can I approach the Chair] – but I was with you yesterday and I thought you understood me.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. PINDUKA: Thank you, Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. I would like to ask what Government policy is on corporate social responsibility with regards to mining taking place around our country? My understanding is that we recorded a phenomenal growth in the mining industry from 2, 7. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you do not engage in a debate. You just ask your question. If your question has not been answered satisfactorily, you may ask a supplementary question.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which relates to Government policy in terms of social corporate responsibility within the mining sector. We do not have a concrete legal position to say mining companies must do 1, 2, 3, 4, but it is a moral suasion to say that if you are in a community, you must be able to plough back into that community. Currently, we do not have a legal position to say that they must do 1, 2, 3. We attempted that, but it has since been abandoned. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, how would you interpret Section 13 of the Constitution? Do you have the Constitution there?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That section can be interpreted in several ways. All the monies that are supposed to be collected by Government in terms of the same Constitution, must go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Currently, as Government, we are disbursing devolution funds where we are saying at the local level, you must decide what you do in terms of the resources that you are given. We have a structure which says you must benefit directly from resources that are there, but at the same time, we have a system which obligates all of us to say whatever is collected must go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. We then come here and say let us budget for devolution and that is how the local populace benefits from the resources that they have. I so submit.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for your response. I thought you would give an expansive interpretation of Section 13 (4) of the Constitution. Be that as it may, perhaps it would be necessary to find out generally what should be the position in terms of community trust schemes.
*HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. We have an issue regarding the community share ownership scheme in Mhondoro. Our Chief has been pursuing the matter which arose from promises that were made by a platinum mining company that they would build schools. The schools were not built. Even the children from that area were promised jobs but nothing came to fruition. As Government, what is your plan regarding that? Government officials moved around displaying cheques, but this has not happened. What is your response Hon. Minister?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I want to clarify the issue which was raised by Hon. Hwende and what he said is not a true reflection of what transpired. Despite the fact that his question is specific to Mhondoro, it speaks to determining whether what was anticipated was done. My response is that the Mhondoro-Zvimba Community Trust is not chaired by one Chief. According to their Constitution, it encompasses a number of chiefs. It does not make sense for one Chief to pursue the issue because this is a community issue in the Mhondoro area.
If the Hon. Member puts it in writing stating the specific agreement which was made, then I think the Minister of Mines would carry out an investigation. In short, a Chief must not pursue an issue of this nature alone, but he must move around with the committee pursuing the issue. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of Government Business, I think you were very polite and indulged the Hon Member. We are dealing with policy issues that should not only apply to Mhondoro, but must encompass the whole country where such economic activities are prevailing. So, as the Hon. Minister has indicated in his indulgence, please put your question in writing and it will be dealt with accordingly next week.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was thinking as you have explained that if the Minister was given a task to look at the community share ownership schemes regarding the plight of the Zimbabwean people who are expressing concern on the fact that they are not getting community share ownership benefits in places like Mutoko, the Leader of Government Business was supposed to explain to the House whether there is a specific programme without looking at the Devolution Programme. Regarding Section 13 which you read and noted that minerals are benefiting Chinese citizens and the local people are left with big open pits, where I come from in Warren Park, there are people who are living in poverty. Our minerals which are God-given should benefit the residents of that community.
THE HON. SPEAKER: A point of order is not a debate. I thought the Hon. Minister indicated that an investigation will be done. Hon. Minister, do you want to elaborate?
* HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I had left out that mining companies are charged a levy by the local authorities where they will be operating from. The responsible municipal authority takes a certain percentage. For those mining companies which avoid paying such fees before they are given their operating licences, they should produce papers which prove that they have done due diligence regarding the paying of taxes to the local authorities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, local communities must benefit and they benefit from levies which are charged by councils. Mr. Speaker, it is not bad to review so that we determine whether they should be an extension of the benefits that are given to the local communities from the proceeds of different mining activities in their areas or not.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, we want to thank you for that clarification. I would like to implore Hon. Members from different constituencies, if there are such concerns from your constituencies, please put your questions in writing and submit the questions so that the Minister of Mines will respond with specific answers. That is my request Hon. Members. Hon. Hamauswa, the Hon. Minister is the Leader of Government Business in this House. The Minister is speaking on behalf of Government but I am the head of Parliament and I am in charge. I wanted to clarify that.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is; given the fact that the indigenisation law that we used to have was actually adulterated; I just want to find out on the process that the Government is engaging. Is there a mechanism that we could actually have a share scheme which is legally based so that the local community can be entitled to say 10% or 20% which is legally supported rather than this moral persuasion that we refer to?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought we tasked the Hon. Leader of Government business to pursue the matter with the Minister of Mines and at the appropriate time, a response should be given as to the actual position on community ownership schemes where these mines are. I thought that was the agreed position.
HON. MARKHAM: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker. Thank you for what you have just said. Just to add on to that, could the Minister consider whether it is the iron and steel plant going up now, Chiadzwa or it is gold? When people apply for those massive concessions, they give us a corporate social responsibility programme. I have been involved in a couple of these, not in this country where it is imperative that they keep up to the social-corporate responsibility programmes. So, when the Minister responds, could he tell us how many of these people are keeping up with the corporate social responsibility programmes that they promised us in their application for that concession. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I thought that aspect of the question will be covered through the enquiry and conversation between the Leader of Government Business and the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Perhaps if need be, the Leader of Government Business and the Hon. Minister of Mines could make a Ministerial Statement on that issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – so that it is clear [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, do not make presumptions.
HON. MAHACHI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What is Government policy regarding tobacco contracting companies who, after getting tobacco from farmers, fail to pay the farmers on time and in some instances, paying them the following year or after two years? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, that question was asked last week and it was extensively dealt with by the Hon. Minister. May I suggest that you refer to last week’s Wednesday Hansard, you will find a detailed response there from the Hon. Minister.
+HON. F. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What plans have been done by Government to assist small-scale gold miners for them to dispose of their gold to Fidelity Bank. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTRER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Government is doing a number of measures to assist the small-scale miners by availing expertise through taking visits from our Ministry officials who go to the ground and educate the miners on proper ways of mining, exploring of gold and also educating them on safe methods of mining. Besides that, Government also availed USD5 million to capacitate small-scale miners. A miner can go to our provincial offices and apply for that facility and Fidelity Printers is also issuing some loans, especially those who have registered mining claims for them to buy equipment for mining which may include some pumps, now that the rain season is upon us. I would like to take this opportunity to alert our miners that it is now rainy season and they should mine safely. If the ground is wet, they should not go underground. We have witnessed many accidents in the recent past and we would not want to continue witnessing such. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you did not hear the question. The question is, facilitation of sell of gold to Fidelity by small-scale miners and artisanal miners; what measures are in place for that facilitation? That is the question.
HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Government, through Fidelity Printers, has put a number of buying centres throughout the country, especially in those areas that are rich in gold and they have partnered some banks which include ZB Bank and CBZ Bank as buying points for gold. Fidelity Printers has also availed mobile buying units where they can go and set up buying points for a day and move to the next so that our miners can easily access that facility. Thank you.
+HON. Z. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question emanates from the fact that small scale miners are paid 25% local currency and 75% USD, but they usually operate far away from buying centers, how can they be assisted?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister, the buying centres are a bit far in between, what measures can be put in place so that the small-scale miners and artisanal miners can be assisted in selling their gold because the gold centres where Fidelity does the buying from are distant?
HON. KAMBAMURA: Can you come again Hon. Speaker Sir?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Dep. Minister, the supplementary question is, there are few buying points; so, there are distances between the areas of mining and where these miners can sell their gold. How can Government come up with a policy to assist them because of these distances?
HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. Like I have indicated, Fidelity Printers have come up with mobile gold buying units whereby they will be going to those places that are remote for miners to sell their gold to the legal market. Besides that, we are also giving licences to private players who can go to where that mining is taking place and buy that gold.
As long as they are licenced, the small-scale miners should feel free to sell their gold to them. So, these are some of the measures that Government is doing. Besides that, we are also setting up gold milling centres throughout the country. We have started this project in Makaha whereby a gold service centre will be a point where the miner can access cash and also some expertise or technical assistance in terms of safer methods of mining. Thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: The Minister stated clearly that he is issuing licences to private players. I want the Hon. Minister to explain why they buy at a higher price than Fidelity Printers. I want to understand where they sell their gold.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question, but the question is very specific. If there is any buyer purchasing at a higher price, please show us that buyer because as Government, we have set prices depending on the international market prices on a daily basis just like when bread is priced at a dollar. If we find you buying bread at $10.00, we would need an explanation as to why you are buying at such a price when Bakers Inn is selling at $1. Thank you.
+HON. GUMEDE: My question directed to the Minister of Mines is; are small scale miners documented? These are people who get into communities and leave with other people, we do not know who they are and how to access them. So, I am just asking regarding the documentation of small-scale miners, are they documented? Is there a database?
+ THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a new question Hon. Member. The first question was with regard to the disposing of gold by small scale miners. This should be an independent question because it is different from the original question.
*HON. TSHUMA: My supplementary question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members on my left, you swore to the oath that you are honourable and you must respect each other from either side. When one Hon. Member is taking the floor, be attentive and allow the Hon. Member to speak and give him the dignity that they deserve accordingly. That must apply to all of us.
*HON. TSHUMA: My supplementary question to the Minister of Mines is, we heard him alluding to banks such as ZB Bank that are buying gold, but in buying gold, small scale miners according to the new law, are supposed to be paid partly in USD and the other part in USD. So, the challenge is that when they receive their RTGs in the same bank, for them to buy the ZIGs referred to by the Minister of Finance, there is a challenge because they want to ring-fence the value of their money. The ZIG value then differs in terms of the rate when compared to the USD that they got that they are buying after selling the gold in that same bank. This means they will be getting money in different values in the same bank. The question then is, how can they retain the value of the money when they dispose of their gold?
* HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I want to thank Hon. Tshuma for the pertinent question. His explanation that there is a challenge in maintaining the value of the money between the USD and RTGs value, I think there is need for engaging the RBZ by our Ministry so that we ring-fence the value of the money that is received by small-scale miners. I believe that is what should transpire.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. After you have carried your investigations Hon. Minister, are you going to come and give feedback to the august House?
*HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Indeed, we will bring our findings to the House together with the Minister of Mines.
HON. MAHERE: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. Section 219 (1) (c) obliges the Police Service to secure the lives of Zimbabwean people. Section 48 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life and Section 53 guarantees that no person maybe subjected to physical or psychological torture or cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment. Over the last four (4) weeks, we have seen an escalation in abductions, enforced disappearance – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, can I be protected.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Yes, conclude.
HON. MAHERE: Over the last few weeks, we have seen an escalation in abductions, enforced disappearances and unexplained murders. What is the Government policy on ensuring that the police investigates? – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You cannot raise a point of order when another Hon. Member is still speaking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I thought I got your question.
HON. MAHERE: Mr. Speaker, my question is this. Over the last four weeks…
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no. I thought I got your question.
HON. MAHERE: I had not asked it yet because I am being interrupted.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, your question was very clear. I thought your question was clear, what is Government doing to assist the police.
HON. MAHERE: No, it is not about assisting the police.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the question?
HON. MAHERE: Yes, that is what I want to come to Mr. Speaker and this is the question. What is Government policy on ensuring that these murders, abductions and enforced disappearances are impartially investigated by our Police Service in line with the constitutional obligation under Section 219?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and what is particularly pleasing is that the Hon. Member spelt out what our law is like. We have a policy that informs what the laws must be and we have a Constitution that clearly indicates that we must protect the right to life. We have a Constitution that prohibits enforced disappearances. So, the policy of Government is already there. What is needed is, if there is anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of these individuals that they are alleging ‘abducted’ or did whatever they did, they must provide the investigating officers with that information so that they can investigate fully and ensure that they are prosecuted. The policy position really of Government is that we are a peaceful nation. We do not want anyone to be harassed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We do not want anyone to barricade their houses before they go to sleep. So, if anyone knows anyone who is doing things that are contrary to our laws, they have to be reported and exposed. I thank you.
HON. MAHERE: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised by the response of the Leader of Government Business in light of the fact that the Permanent Secretary for Information, just this week, justified the violent wielding of an AK 47 by a person who has not been investigated by the police. In each of the abductions that have taken place over the last four weeks, we have just seen empty statements from the Police Service, no investigation, arrests, prosecution and efforts by the State to ensure that those who are responsible are brought to book. In fact, what we have seen in the past from the State is that the victims of these abductions and enforced disappearances are the ones that they get…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are now debating. What is your supplementary question?
HON. MAHERE: My question is, what is the policy to ensure that the Police carry out the constitutional obligations? So far, we have seen the Government letting the Police get away with making statements that are not followed up by any investigations, arrests or prosecutions?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, my dear Hon. Sister here, I do not know what is confusing here, I do not know what is confusing her. I indicated that – [HON. MEMBERS: She is an honourable, not sister] – If she has information …
HON. MAHERE: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAHERE: I am not a sister and I actually take offence on the gendered response. I am an Hon. Member and he must address me as such.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of Government Business, I think we should not overstretch the nomenclature. What I understood from the Hon. Leader of Government Business is just being cordial, my Hon. Sister in as much as you can say, my learned brother, even if he is not your brother – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Do not be too sensitive. I am really appealing that let us not overstretch sensitivities. I am sure Hon. Mahere understands what I am trying to say.
HON. MATEWU: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You cannot debate my remarks directed at Hon. Mahere. Please sit down.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I thought the Hon. Member was listening when I was speaking but I think she did not. I indicated if she has concrete information that the police are not acting, then the Minister of Home Affairs is available for her to bring that information and we deal with the Police Command why they are not doing that. I have indicated that as a Government, we want this nation to be peaceful. We do not want lawlessness; we do not have a policy at all of murdering each other.
If there is anything, it is contrary to our beliefs as Government and as a party. If she has information about the non-investigation of that particular issue, I am sure from what she is saying, she has a lot of information and the Minister will be glad to listen to that and be able to summon the Commanders of the Police why they are not taking that information and acting upon it, to ensure that those allegations are investigated and improved. The courts are there and the people will be taken to court. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker. With due respect to the Leader of the House, the question was that we need someone independent to handle these issues because we do not believe the Ministry of Home Affairs is doing its job independently. Yesterday…
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. MARKHAM: My question to the Minister is very simple. Why were 100 people evicted from their houses yesterday and the police did not react? The Member in Charge of Central refused to react to the issue until the houses were burnt onto the ground. When you ask for information, we have the registration of the vehicle used and the names of the people who did it but no one will take the report. Yesterday, there were 100 families whose houses were burnt yet he gives us that sort of response.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, let us follow our Standing Rules and Orders. The original question had nothing to do with evictions. So if there are issues pertaining to that particular incident, the Hon. Markham can put that question in writing because it is a specific incident which the Hon. Minister responsible can then respond to.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I thought trauma was an issue.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you content with my ruling?
HON. MARKHAM: I am not content, that is why I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I am concerned because we appear to be dealing with people who can be abductors; how do they know that these people have not been investigated [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Chief Whip, I thought the Leader of Government business had covered the issues very substantially. I move now to Hon. ….
HON. MATEWU: Supplementary on Hon. Mahere’s question…
THE HON. SPEAKER: I will not allow your supplementary because you are addressing me whilst you are seated. Thank you.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, good afternoon. My name is Dr. Caleb Makwiranzou from Mutoko North.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Inga ndazvitaura wani nhai Hon. Makwiranzou – [Laughter.] - Hoo ndasiya Doctor. Sorry about that.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: My question, Mr. Speaker Sir, is directed towards the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. Mr. Speaker Sir, my constituency like many other constituencies, is being ravaged by the monster called climate change. Firstly, I want to be thankful for the borehole drilling programme. Secondly, I want to tell you that there are three sources of water – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Makwiranzou, can you ask a question that relates to national policy?
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to know if Government has got a specific desilting programme or policy for earth dams and if it does, what percentage of those earth dams have been desilted to date because the best time to desilt these earth dams is this October. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Makwiranzou, the moment you couch your question with statistics that are required then it becomes very problematic because it is no longer part of the first part of your question on desiltation of dams. So if you can be so guided, you leave out the last part of your question because that requires a written submission so that the Minister concerned can do his research.
HON. DR. MAKWIRANZOU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to know if there is a definite desilting programme for earth dams. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Doctor for the question which is very important. Yes, Mr. Speaker, my response is that as a Government, we have a policy to ensure that we maintain our water bodies. The reason why we are doing that, with your indulgence, is because of climate change, we are moving towards irrigation more as opposed to the line on rain fed agriculture, so the need to maintain our water bodies is more critical now than ever and we are actually expanding the water bodies by having more dams. We have that policy and if there are water bodies that the Hon. Member believes are neglected, he can write to the Minister so that he can investigate and ensure that they are maintained with a view of expanding our irrigable areas that we can put under agriculture. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, there are so many Ministers here. I think I would urge you to spread your questions accordingly.
HON. NJERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I want to know the legal framework that is in place to prosecute banking executives and directors who were responsible for misappropriation of large sums of money and other financial improprieties such as huge non-performing loans and poor credit risk management between the periods 2012 to date. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have got a good question that needs quantification of issues and that question should come in form of a written question next week.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Hon. Minister, I would like to enquire whether it has now become the policy of Government that all the road projects that you commence in various constituencies in this country are not finished? Has it now become Government policy that you just start the construction of a road and you do not finish it two years down the line? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I thought Hon. Mushoriwa was going to commend Government that we have resumed all stalled projects, in particular Harare Province where such roads were stalled due to the budgetary constraints, but we have resumed all paused projects Mr. Speaker Sir.
Also to answer to his question, the Government policy is to have our roads trafficable so that it becomes an enabler of any given economy. If you have got a good road, you also have got a good economy. So precisely, this is Government policy. It is the desire of Government that against very meagre resources, we attend to the infrastructure requirements and precisely this is what the Government is doing, but however if you feel that there is a road that has been stalled, we are happy as a Ministry so that we attend to such roads.
We cannot do all roads at a given time, Mr. Speaker Sir, given that we have got a 90 000km road network in this country, we must take cognisance that we are against sanctions and we are using our own resources, contrary to other jurisdictions where roads are rehabilitated using the funds from World Bank and IMF. Contrary to this assertion, Hon. Speaker Sir, we are using our domestic resources. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Minister for your response. Hon. Minister, I just want to find out from the Government’s position given that where the Government has done road projects, your Ministry has actually done sign posts which say that this road is actually being done by the Ministry, but if you check, for instance in Harare where all those sign posts are on all those roads, nothing has actually materialised and I am just wondering, Hon. Minister whether that is an admission of failure by the Government in respect of making sure that all roads are trafficable.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, you have now titivated to specifics. If there are such roads that you have indicated, I think put your question in writing for next week so that the Minister can answer accordingly. Thank you.
+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My name is Sichelesile Mahlangu, MP Phumula. My supplementary question is that I want to know how the Minister prioritised the refurbishment of roads? I am talking about the selection of which roads to habilitate, looking at some roads which have been in a bad state for 20 years now. For example, Bulawayo-Nkayi Road which was stalled so many years ago. What criteria is used by the Ministry in terms of rehabilitating roads? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question Hon. Minister is pertinent, but is similar to Hon. Mushoriwa’s question. If there is a specific road which is not complete, may you please put it in writing Hon. Member so that the Minister will come back with a response after investigating why the road has not been completed. This can be done next week.
+HON. BAJILA: My supplementary question is, why is it that roads that fall under the local authorities are being attended to by the Ministry of Transport? I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Mr. Speaker Sir, if I heard correctly, the question is on the council roads which were taken over by the Ministry of Transport. I believe that is where the issue is and whether the roads will be returned to the responsible authorities. I want to thank my Hon. brother, indeed the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme 2 was stalled because there was need to look at what was happening at that particular time because our roads were filled with water, potholes and other issues.
Going to the Road Act, subsection 5 (4) stipulates that if a local authority fails to discharge its duties, then the Ministry of Transport will take over that responsibility and rehabilitate the road. The road will eventually be submitted back to the local authority. Indeed, we rehabilitate such roads and hand them over for maintenance to the municipal authorities. That is why you see most urban roads being refurbished. When we take over, it means that someone has failed to do their job. We appreciate the fact that the roads that were alluded to by the Hon. Member are going to be rehabilitated and we will take them back to the municipal authorities.
HON. MAHERE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My question to supplement that of Hon. Bajila is, you indicated that council is not looking after the roads. In terms of the Roads Act that you made reference to, ZINARA is meant to give councils funds. What measures is Government taking to ensure that ZINARA gives local authorities sufficient funds to enable them to carry out that legal function?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank my learned colleague, Hon. Mahere for that very important question which also gives me platform to articulate issues relating to how funds are disbursed. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have got four road authorities under the purview of the Ministry where we are talking of Department of Roads, Local Authorities, Rural District Councils and RIDA, which was known as DDF. Apparently, after having graduated from this academy, Mr. Speaker Sir, where you were telling us to be transparent and accountable, we then introduced a system in the Ministry where quarterly, we broadcast whatever we disbursed. Precisely, this is what we have been doing Mr. Speaker Sir. On a quarterly basis, ZINARA will flight what they have disbursed to local authorities, contrary to other times where figures were not being articulated in terms of how much was disbursed to a local authority.
This new system we invented within the Ministry would articulate issues to do with where funds were misdirected, whether they were paying salaries, which was the trend within local authorities. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINARA is collecting and disbursing. This is in the public domain to follow the trend, for instance, for the past five years, how much was coming from ZINARA towards local authorities.
The question must be where we said local authorities are now for licencing. You would find that anyone who would have his or her car plying our roads in Harare might register under a different local authority which was problematic in terms of lining and distributing the purse. Currently, we have got a pot where ZINARA is collecting and disbursing. If the Hon. Member is not happy, we are also privy to the point of giving precise statistics in terms of what has gone to a particular local authority, Rural District Council or Department of Roads or RIDA. This can be availed Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Supplementary question your Honour. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon. Minister…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you say your Honour?
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Honourable Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When you address someone in the Chair as your Honour, you are talking about a Mayor.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Okay, noted Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Hon. Minister, I have heard you speak of ZINARA as a solution because some road users were going to different municipalities. Was that the only solution that we could have? Does it make sense that we collect from the local municipality through the road users in the town? We give ZINARA, which uses the bulk of the money for administration only to give back to the municipalities. I believe if the problem was cross pollination of road users…
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member. What is your supplementary question?
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: My supplementary question is, ZINARA is an expensive solution for distribution of funds. It uses the bulk of the money – there is no need for ZINARA, the municipalities should – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member.
HON. ENG. MHANGWA: The question is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, please give me a chance. Mr. Speaker …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member. You are protected by the Chair. You do not have to engage yourselves. Ask for protection from me and I shall protect you.
HON. MHANGWA: Indulge me Hon. Speaker, I am still new. Hon. Minister, evidently, ZINARA is an expensive solution to cross-pollination of drivers. Please…
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. MHANGWA: What measures are you putting in place so that we have an inexpensive solution to our road maintenance, without the use of ZINARA?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank my Hon. Member, the Chairman of the Energy Committee. Hon. Speaker Sir, I am happy that the Hon. Member is proffering a solution, to say it is an expensive way but ZINARA is a conduit pipe. It just collects and disburses, unlike the ZINARA that you know where it was also involved in procurement issues. The ZINARA that we have is just to facilitate easy movement of funds, collect and disburse to the relevant road authority. Precisely, this is what we are doing. When the Hon. Member says it is an expensive option, I do not understand that but the question as posed by the Hon. Member, my response is, yes, if you have got other solutions; that is why we also have Committees in this august House, who interrogate issues, proffer solutions and as a Ministry, we will also be in a listening position. I thank you.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to direct my question to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy regarding people who advertise international jobs on radio, television and newspapers? Eventually, people end up being taken advantage of because they will be desperate for jobs; hence they end up being trafficked. You find some even beheaded, others even being taken advantage of by traditional healers and faith healers who also advertise their work and end up abusing them. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The issue he raised is quite worrying. Indeed, we need to engage with the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Defence so that we come up with a position determining the extent of the prevalence of this human trafficking scourge. I note that this is quite a concerning issue which needs specialised investigations by the responsible ministries so that a determination will be reached whether there is an issue and what can be done by the law through the prosecution of perpetrators. I thank you.
*HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. My question is, what is Government planning to do regarding obstetric fistula which is normally associated with women during child birth. What is Government planning to do regarding that disease and what public awareness programmes is Government planning to do in order to educate women on what they should do and who should they approach and how can they be assisted? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Nyamupinga for that question. The Government policy and what Government aims to do is to treat people and ensure that diseases which are found should be investigated and mitigation measures done. Government’s policy is to treat patients and at the same time educating them about the disease which was mentioned by Hon. Nyamupinga.
*HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the response but it does not address the question in depth because this is quite a comprehensive ailment which affects women. It is also in tandem with the current period that we are facing, the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. This is not only affecting older women, even young girls who give birth while still under age suffer the same. I think we need the Hon. Minister of Health to come to this House with a Ministerial Statement which addresses in depth on what should be done regarding this disease which affects women where you find women feeling uncomfortable because they will be having a pungent smell. I thank you.
*HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was really touched by the Hon. Member’s concerns. Indeed, this affects us because no one wants to be ill but illnesses happen. What I think is that the Hon. Member is requesting that the responsible Minister should bring a comprehensive Ministerial Statement addressing this illness. This is indeed allowed. I leave that to the responsible Minister. I thank you.
HON. MATSUNGA: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a minute. Once the Executive has accepted to come up with a Ministerial Statement on the subject matter raised by the questioner, we cannot have supplementary questions. Why do we not wait for the detailed Ministerial Statement and if we are not satisfied, we can then ask questions after the Ministerial Statement? So, Hon. Nyamupinga, the Ministerial Statement will be given in detail in response to your question.
*HON. MATAMBO: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What plans does the Government have regarding the protection of firearms for those who are in service, like the police and other arms of the State in terms of safeguarding them?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question may be better answered by the Minister of Home Affairs.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member who asked such a pertinent question. People who use firearms are trained and that is why they are trained for a long period of time. Our Police Service, the Army and other organs of the State know how to protect and safeguard these firearms. They are kept in an armoury and they can only be taken after due procedures have been done. If the officer is not on duty, they are expected to return the weapons to the armoury or to those who are on duty. However, if there are other civilians like us who are licenced to have firearms, you are supposed to take your firearm in a safe under lock and key.
*HON. MATAMBO: Hon. Speaker, are there ways of protecting such weapons? In Mabvuku, we have a case of someone who was kidnapped and eventually killed. So, the question is, there are some who might use weapons for political expedience. Are there any mechanisms put in place so that this does not continue?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, that is a question that relates to specific cases and here we are dealing with policy. If there are issues that relate to some specific cases, such specific occurrences must be reported immediately to the nearest police.
*HON. MATAMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, we shall continue reporting such cases to the police.
*HON. CHINODAKUFA: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development. What is the Government policy concerning the availability of agricultural inputs especially for those small-scale farmers who are prepared to farm throughout the year using irrigation?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENT AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I also want to thank the Hon. Member for raising that pertinent question. From the research conducted by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, they say you have got 35,000 villages in Zimbabwe. After that research, they came up with a plan to help the people who stay in rural areas since they have another role to make sure that there is development in the rural areas under the Rural Development Programmes.
The Government has started a programme whereby in rural areas where there are no dams, boreholes are being rigged. Where there is a dam or a borehole, villagers must unite and work in the community gardens so that there is development in those areas. Right now, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is looking for rigs in different areas and they have already started surveying. If there is a dam, they are going to use water from the dam for irrigation so that villagers can venture into horticulture and other agricultural produce.
In some other areas like Lupane, Hon. Nyoni can testify that there is a big dam. Many people from that area are now farming. If you go there during the week, you will find that they will be working on their farms and when they harvest, they are going to get their profits depending on the harvest. Therefore, that is the Government policy to make sure that people in the rural areas do not stay idle, but they must continue farming using irrigation schemes throughout the year. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Leader of Government Business, you answered very well. That was a very comprehensive response. I do not see a supplementary question.
*HON. CHIGUMBU: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. Is it allowed for a recalled Member of Parliament to do Parliamentary work?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is that Member of Parliament? Is he or she here? Where is that Hon. Member? Who is that Hon. Member who is still doing Parliamentary business?
*HON. CHIGUMBU: The Hon. Member is not in this House. I just want my question to be answered.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us not ask presumptuous questions. In any case, anything to do with recalls at the moment, the matters are before the courts and we cannot debate them here. I thank you.
*HON. ZIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Does Government have a law regarding the establishment of a satellite school to a substantive school? Is there any timeframe for a school to graduate from a satellite school to a well established school because many schools are now satellite? We have a problem because most school children are not permitted to write examinations at satellite schools.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking that very important question to do with our education. It is Government policy that we have universal access to education. However, not all schools are at the same level. In order to spread access to education, you would find that certain schools are rather satellite schools. There are conditions that have to be fulfilled for those schools to graduate as schools. Therefore, the time that it takes varies. We want it to be as quick as possible, but sometimes it is a question of resources. The issue is basically to make sure that satellite schools graduate into examination centres as fast as is possible. The policy is very clear. The practice on the ground then depends on the availability of resources. I thank you.
*HON. ZIKI: My supplementary question is that, what can be done to make sure that satellite schools are upgraded in terms of infrastructure so that they become examination centres? How best can the Ministry officials help us to make sure that satellite schools graduate to be well established schools and have centre numbers because most of the children from satellite schools travel long distances to write their examinations?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Hon. Member is very passionate about making sure that we expedite …
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. May the Hon. Minister respond in Shona since the Hon. Member asked the question in Shona?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: You are correct Hon. Member. Hon. Minister, can you kindly answer in Shona?
* HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, I had taken it as if you have started using one language. You can continue using that language. Let me try my best. The Government policy and the laws of the country is to ensure that every child receives education. We do not have time to waste or to leave anyone behind. Everyone must work and be educated; hence we see it fit that the Government increases the number of schools. These schools are at different stages. There are those schools who are starting, those being referred as satellite schools then those who are well established where there are centre numbers and examinations being written at those schools.
Although there is zeal and passion, you will see that schools which are being referred to as satellite increase in terms of numbers but those which are established are fewer. Mr. Speaker, we know that Zimbabwe has got few schools. We need about 4 000 schools which we do not have in the country but the problem is not difficult to understand, it is the problem of resources. The policy is very clear that education must be free and accessible to every child. We do not have enough resources most of the time but if there is an issue of some other satellite schools which have been developed and meet the standard to fit in well established schools, we want to know those schools so that we can take action and make sure that they are now registered schools. Thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
Some Hon. Ministers having left the Chamber.
HON. KARENYI: Good afternoon Madam Speaker. Today is a very important day for Members of Parliament to pose questions to Ministers. I am seeing all Ministers are getting out of the House. It is important for them to stay in the House so that we also get answers from them.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUSA NCUBE): Thank you Hon. Member, the Deputy Ministers are here, you can ask questions.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
INTRODUCTION OF THE MONO CURRENCY REGIME
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House:
a) When the mono currency regime would be introduced in the country; and
b) What measures have been put in place to deal with price shocks and inflation that may arise when the mono currency is introduced into the country’s money market?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Good afternoon Madam Speaker. I do not have any written answers to the questions but I can endeavor to answer with your indulgence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, it is allowed please. Hon. Minister, you are allowed to defer your answers so that we get comprehensive answers.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I had sought your indulgence given the importance of the questions but I can defer the questions as requested by the Hon. Members and through you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MAHERE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Last week at Question Time, the Hon. Minister Prof. Ncube was asked the same question by the Hon. Member. He again said he was not ready, had not prepared the answers and he deferred it to today. It is utmost disrespect and contempt of Parliament for his deputy to come back for a second week and say he is not ready. They have to take the business of the House seriously.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I am ready – [HON. MAHERE: A point of order to a point of order!] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mahere, may you sit down please. Order, order please. Hon. Deputy Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Just wait, you are not the Chair – [AN HON. MEMBER: You have not ruled Madam Speaker.] – Hon. Members, sit down - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-Order Hon. Members please! Sit down Hon. Mahere. Because of the movement from the Old Parliament to New Parliament, there were some hiccups in terms of transmitting the messages to the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order Hon. Members, we want to proceed. I have not finished my statement because you interrupted me.
I just wanted to ask the Minister whether he is ready or if he is not ready, just show me that Standing Rules and Orders where it says if the Minister is not ready….
Hon. Mahere having stood up
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mahere, I did not give you the platform. May we please have order? Hon. Deputy Minister, are you ready?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Yes, I am.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister, you can go ahead.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament Hon. Mutodi. The first question was, when the mono-currency regime would be introduced in the country. I think the question when we would assume that is when there is a date. As Government and as Treasury, we are committed to coming up with a roadmap. The road to de-dollarisation will not be an event, but rather a process. You find that there are measures that the country is putting into place. This is part of the de-dollarisation programme.
After thorough consultations with all stakeholders, that market will come up with a published roadmap that will be available to all, but to answer in a nutshell, there is no definitive date, it is going to be a process. It is not going to be a big bang. We are here, but gradually we are getting to the mono-currency. That will be my submission to his first question.
The second question was on measures that have been put in place to deal with price shocks and the question that arise when the mono-currency is introduced into the country’s money market. I would ask that the Hon. Member also draw the answer from my previous answer, but to add to that, you will find that there has been some stability, both in the currency exchange rate and prices. This is due to the policies that are in place which we endeavour to sustain as Treasury just to ensure that we do not have spikes in your exchange rate which also fuel inflation.
You will find that there will always be economic agents who are predatory. We are going into bonus season and you will find that just because of that fact, there is someone who might want to become a predidator on civil servants’ salaries. That has nothing to do with fundamentals, but some of the behavioural challenges which we have which we will be addressing.
The other question from the Hon. Member is…
Hon. Members having stood up
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, please sit down. Markham, can you please sit down and switch off your mic. –[AN HON. MEMBER: He is an Hon. Member and you need to address him correctly]- My apology Hon. Members.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of Order Hon. Speaker. My point of order is in two parts. The first part is that the Hon. Deputy Minister, the failure of having a prepared answer implies that he fails to answer the questions in a proper manner. The second part…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, that is not a point of order. How do you say he failed to answer a question - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*HON. DHANZI: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me in this House. If people know answers to questions they are asking, why do we waste our time asking these questions? I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, just on a point of clarity for procedure purposes. When the Minister responds to the first question from Hon. Mutodi, are we not supposed to have supplementary questions starting with him first before we go on to the second question? Hon. Mutodi has five or six questions and there is no way the Minister can answer them all and then we ask supplementary questions. We will get totally confused because some of us cannot follow more than one point at a time. So, once he is done with the first one, can we have supplementary questions? I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is okay Hon. Markham. I think we are done with question one. We can have…
HON. MAHERE: Supplementary, I have got a supplementary question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mahere, order please. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order please, I have not finished. Order Hon Members, order please.
I was just saying the Minister has finished question one and I will now ask for supplementary questions. You wait Hon. Mahere.
HON. DR. MUTODI: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that since an announcement was officially made that there eventually will be a mono-currency, was it not prudent on the part of the Minister to clarify to this House the period he is expecting to have the mono-currency introduced, perhaps beyond 2030 where the vision of the President to stabilise the economy and grow this economy to its potential would have been realised; realising that the shift to a mono-currency has had some dire effects on the economic situation of the country especially the emergence of hyperinflation and price shocks. That will be my follow up question.
HON. D.K MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Mutodi. If I understood the import of his follow up question, I think he is trying to draw a parallel between the extension of the multi-currency up until 2030 and the de-dollarisation roadmap. I would hasten to say that the extension of the multi-currency regime to 2030 is actually within our de-dollarisation plan. As I mentioned before, it is not going to be a big bang approach to de-dollarisation of mono-currency. That means that you want to have a market driven demand for the local currency. It means that you have to be responsive to the market rather than reactive to situations. So, at every stage, we are consulting with the market which is not extremely big by the way. So, you will find that all the measures that are in place are to ensure that we have got a smooth transition to the Zimbabwean dollar. The best scenario is that everybody wakes up actually desirous to use the Zim-dollar without having been compelled by law, so to say. We will allow the market forces to determine. I so submit Madam Speaker.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, just to clarify the Minister’s last answer. Can the Minister confirm that the multi-basket of currencies will be used till 2030 because at the moment, we are seeing a reduction in US dollar loans because they are worried the US dollar will be used up to 2025? I thank you.
HON. D.K MNANGAGWA: I would say that the extension to 2030 is meant to cure the borrowing that I guess was being impeded by the 2025 deadline. What we have is a situation that gives comfort to lenders and pension funds in as far as the use of the multi-currency is concerned. These conversations need to evolve into when we do go into mono-currency, how are we going to grandfather all those who have exposure in as far as loans are concerned, in as far as the pension funds, insurance and also, we have a discussion on free funds. Again, this has to be a consultative process that encompasses everybody involved. Common belief would be business does not want mono-currency. I think they are the biggest proponents of wanting to have local currency to increase competitiveness, but it has to be done properly and orderly. So, this is what we are doing as Treasury and as Government. I so submit Madam Speaker.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I have a supplementary question Madam Speaker. In his response, the Deputy Minister indicates that they do not seem to have a big bang plan. I want the Hon. Minister to explain to this august House their de-dollarisation plan. When does it start? What measures so far have they put in place in respect to the roadmap to the mono-currency and the failure to have the measures clearly put by Government and saying you can leave the market to determine? Would that not be a bad thing to do given that the market has never, in any sphere, done the process leading to the mono-currency, especially after years of using the multi-currency that we have had. I thank you.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I believe your question was answered. We will have a de-dollarisation roadmap that will be shared with everybody. At this present moment, there is still consultations with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the market and business is not disrupted. I think you will appreciate that this is an all-encompassing process and to ensure that we are not going from where we came from, we have to do this right but we are on a de-dollarisation roadmap. As we speak, you will find that some of our ZIMRA obligations even if you earn in USD one hundred percent, they have requested 50% in USD and 50% in local currency. That is part of the de-dollarisation roadmap. Naturally, this is how this process will be seen to unfold. So, there will be a proper blueprint that will be shared after the right consultations and the Minister will bring it before Parliament, and also get your buy-in on that. I submit Madam Speaker.
MEASURES TO ENSURE ACHIEVEMENT OF AN EFFICIENT FINANCIAL MARKET
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure the achievement of an efficient financial market in light of information asymmetry and arbitrage opportunities that have promoted speculative borrowing and pricing as hedgers attempt to outperform the market.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): I will say, you find situations of information asymmetry arise when you are not following market conditions. So, you will find that in some of the policies that are being put into place, we are heading towards a market determined exchange rate that deals away with speculation or arbitrage because the market ultimately decides what the rate is removing any arbitrage. However, further to that, the Ministry and Treasury is improving on its communication so that there is no confusion on our policies. At times, maybe it is just a statement that comes out without any context. I think this is something that we are improving upon as a Ministry to ensure that the general citizenry has enough context and background as to what these Instruments actually mean.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Could the Deputy Minister explain to this august House, he speaks about Treasury and his Ministry trying to do away with policy inconsistency but what I want to find out from the Hon. Minister is that - does Government…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You are saying the Minister talks about policy inconsistency, what do you mean? Can you ask a supplementary please? Do not debate.
HON. MUSHORIWA: This is the question and I am simply asking the Hon. Minister to expand on the issue of …
HON. DR. MUTODI: On a point of Order. My point of order is that I think the issue of policy inconsistency does not arise from this question and neither does it also arise from the answer by the Hon. Minister. So, the Hon. Member should ask a supplementary that is in line with the original question that I asked.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, ask a supplementary question. Do not debate the policy inconsistency.
HON. MUSHORIWA: With all due respect, that is what I am doing…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Do not debate, ask a supplementary question.
HON. MUSHORIWA: If you allow me to ask, I will ask a question and I am simply asking the Hon. Minister to advise this House on what mechanisms are there to make sure that the policy inconsistency, not only from Treasury, but across all the tiers of Government ,are addressed if we are to make sure that there is actually order in the market.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I would like to believe that Government is consistent in their policies unless there are specific instances where the Hon. Member feels that Government position or policy has been contradictory.
HON. MATEWU: I think the original question asked by Hon. Dr. Mutodi was basically on arbitrage and speculative borrowing. I want to ask the Minister because arbitrage and speculative borrowing happens when the Monetary Policy is not in tandem with the Fiscal Policy. Now, what we have seen is that in this country, there is a lot of speculative borrowing which then raised the borrowing rates. What is the Hon. Minister doing to ensure that the Monetary Policy from the RBZ is actually in tandem with the Fiscal Policy to ensure that we have a stable market?
HON. D.K. MNANGAGWA: I can assure you that the Monetary Policy and the Fiscal Policy are actually in tandem and these are two very different policies. In terms of speculative borrowing, that is dealt with setting of the interest rates for borrowing which, as a Ministry, we are always monitoring. As you are aware, borrowing is another source of money supply. So, when you find that it is a bit stable as what the market was, then it becomes a bit more expensive to borrow. You find the Ministry lowering the rates as what happened just a few weeks ago, from the 150% to 130%. So, any discrepancy that you might believe is existent between the monetary and fiscal might be coming out of probably a lack of understanding on what Treasury and the Central Bank are trying to achieve but I can assure you that both Treasury and the Central Bank are in tandem in terms of policy. I thank you.
HON. MAHERE: My question is to supplement the one raised by Hon. Mutodi to the Deputy Minister. He spoke about listening to the markets and sorting out the exchange rate. My question is, are you going to float the exchange rate?
HON. D.K. MNANGAGWA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising the question in this House and not delaying to throw me on Twitter. I will say what we do want is a market determined exchange rate but this has to be done responsibly. What we are facing in Zimbabwe is very unchartered territory. Zimbabwe is probably the only country that has a multi-currency regime. You find that all texts, economists and experts have only dealt with either local currency regime or USD regime. So, we find ourselves where we are actually writing a book on what is or how it is to function within a multi-currency regime and given where we are coming from where there is some past trauma based on savings being eroded due to inflation.You will find that there is a behavioural element that is compounded to the fundamentals; we have the economic and the behaviour issues.
So, all these have to be approached in a very delicate manner so that we do not disrupt the market. Ideally, we would want to set the record today, but I can assure the Hon. Member that even if all fundamentals are right, that behavioral challenge that we have in the market will still distort. So, what we need to do is to do consultative process as I have mentioned, to make sure that all players, bit by bit, buy in to the de-dollarisation plan and we reach where we want to get without disrupting the market. What we do not want is to disrupt the market. I submit.
SUITABILITY OF REFORMS AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to inform the House what measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure the achievement of an efficient financial market in light of information asymmetry and arbitrage opportunities that have promoted speculative borrowing and pricing as hedgers attempt to outperform the market.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank Hon. Dr. Mutodi for the question. I would like to draw a parallel between policy inconsistence and policy requirements. You will appreciate that when the Second Republic came in, the market was hugely distorted, which meant that there were a whole host of policy reforms that needed to go through. Some of them would work, some of them would not, but what will then happen is that for the ones that do work for us, they need to be refined in a highly fluid market that we have. We need to make sure that the policies that are working are refined further for industry- specific. A few questions which came earlier on were industry specific. This means that when these questions come up, we go back and refine policies not necessarily changing.
The second part of this question was how an ordinary Zimbabwean is expected to deal with these financial challenges. You will find that wherever policy brings hardship on the ordinary person, Government comes up with the necessary social safety nets. These are social protection programmes. So, you will find that we have our Presidential Inputs programme, BEAM, cash transfer programme, albeit they will have some challenges and some problems, but these are meant to cushion our citizens from any policy reforms or changes that we might be going through. I submit.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Madam Speaker, my follow up question is on the issue of gold coins as a policy. Is that policy also intended to serve people in the rural areas who might not even know how it works because this policy is intended to be understood by mainly commercial players but it has not been extended to rural people who may also want to use the facility? I thank you.
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and the Hon. Member for that supplementary question. The gold coins, the ZiG, the digital version of the gold coin is meant to be an instrument that provides an alternative store value for those who might be holding local currency and would believe that if they will continue to hold on to it, it will lose value. They will then convert it into the instrument that will preserve that same value on being reconvertable into that same local currency.
These coins and digital currencies are actually available to those who have interest in them. So, you will find that those who have shown interest, especially for the gold coins, have been corporates and high networking individuals because the smallest coin was of high value. You will find that when ZiG has been broken down into very small transaction units, that will allow more financial inclusion to those in the rural areas. I submit.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker, mine is a very simple question, I just want to know if the digital currency he is talking about is backed by the metal?
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member. It means that by actual bullion, there will be a process of third part verification through auditors as is reassured by the Central Bank. I think more information will be coming as it is published, but I can reassure you that it is backed by bullion.
HON. SAKUPWANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is in relation to the ZiG and the gold coins, these are long term. Is there a time limit to the policies of ZiG or the gold coin? Is it going to be affected in any way by 2030 deadline or us moving into the mono-currency or these supersede that deadline?
HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Sakupwanya for giving me the opportunity to disambiguate and clarify again that the gold coins and ZiG are not a currency. So, when we speak of multicurrency, we need to separate that conversation. These are financial instruments, or I will say alternative stores of value so it is not tied in any way to any of these timelines. When you purchase your gold coins, you can keep them in your house, perpetuate and pass them onto your children or to your grand children if you so desire. So, let us view these as financial instruments, or alternative stores of value as not necessarily a currency so that we do confuse the discussion around the ZiG, the gold coins and the multicurrency regime. I thank you.
ESTIMATE ZWL AND USD MONEY SUPPLY ON THE MARKET AND ITS PROJECTION GROWTH
- HON. DR. MUTODI asked the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion to explain to the House;
- a) What is the estimate ZWL and USD money supply currency in place on the market : and
- b) How the Ministry foresees money supply growth over the period up to the end of 2024.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and Hon. Dr. Mutodi for the question. You asked estimate amounts of the US and the Zim dollar money supply currency in the market. We do have figures, the latest being the August 2023 depository Corporation survey where we are at 13.4 trillion within the market. About 75% is made up of US dollars which will be about 2.2 billion US dollars and the remainder 3 million plus being the Zim dollar component in circulation. I must say when we talk of US dollar component, we are talking about the banked component. You will find that the pillow banking and the money that is in our pockets is not actually included in these statistics. We can endeavour to try to estimate, but we will fail. I will say that there is probably more outside the system than the inside, but again this is a failed attempt to try to estimate the US dollar supply.
You asked how we foresee the money supply growth of the period of the end of 2024. We project the money supply growth to go to 35.5 trillion, again almost the same ratio when we have 75% being in US dollars and the 25% being in RTGS, with the growth being spared by our growth and GDP projections and our estimated inflation. I submit.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Hon. Minister for the very clear answer. Since you expect the economy to have a month’s supply of say 35 trillion, do you also anticipate that the economy would be growing at the same pace as the money supply growth or you anticipate that it would be monetization? What is your view on that aspect Hon. Minister?
HON. K. D. MNANGAGWA: Thank you for that follow up question. Our projections for the growth of money supply are based on our anticipated GDP growth. You will find that on the budget paper that is coming out, we anticipate a slowed growth of 3.5% as opposed to our current 5.5% due to the El Nino and climate induced patterns that we are seeing. So you will find that is number one, a measure for what we will be using for the money supply growth and secondly, our month-on-month inflation that we predict will be between 10% and 20%. So that is the quantum and variables that we have used to determine the money supply growth.
I would think your question was leaning towards, are we anticipating seeing more money creation that might create inflation. I think we will be continuing to sustain the tight monetary and fiscal consolidation policies that we have and ensure that all spend is coming from revenue and any growth is coming from our GDP growth. I submit Madam Speaker.
HON. SAGANDIRA: My supplementary question is directed to the Deputy Minister. What is the Ministry doing to encourage spending?
HON. DR. MUTODI: Point of order Madam Speaker. The supplementary question he is asking does not arise either from my question or from the Minister’s response.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mutodi.
MINISTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR DRILLING AND MAINTENANCE OF BOREHOLES
- HON. MUTODI asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House the Ministry that is responsible for drilling and maintenance of boreholes in view of the many departments that claim to be responsible such as the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA), the local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, the ultimate authority in terms of water in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe National Water Authority. It is the one that administers the Act. In fact, all our water including the water that is in our yards does not belong to us, it belongs to the President and the Act indicates that even when you want to drill, you have to go and make an application and pay to ZINWA. So the starting point, all the water belongs to ZINWA. ZINWA also has the responsibility to ensure that we have access to water, so they drill boreholes.
RIDA’s main thrust is to ensure that they develop rural infrastructure. They also have a responsibility to assist rural local authorities with provision of water. Our rural councils or our district councils have a duty as councils, to ensure that their residents have got access to clean and potable water. So there is no confusion. All these have the responsibility to ensure one way or the other, that the generality of our people have access to clean and potable water. I submit Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. MUTODI: Hon. Minister, thank you for the answer, however, I would want your clarification because villagers in the constituencies are being asked to contribute $1 to repair broken down boreholes. So it would be important to really know which of the three you have mentioned – RIDA, local authority or ZINWA is specifically responsible so that villagers can then approach that unit directly when they face water crisis.
The many organisations that claim to be responsible bring confusion even to the MPs and most of the organisations are not capacitated Hon. Minister. Like RIDA, it has no staff and equipment. Sometimes they say come with your cars and ferry equipment to go and fix boreholes. So, we wanted clarity on that Hon. Minister.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I indicated that ZINWA, which is under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is responsible for water. Overally, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is responsible for water. The question that he asked of villagers being asked to pay $1, perhaps he was supposed to explain who is asking the villagers to pay $1. I will then be able to answer appropriately because my understanding is that it is the duty of local authorities and they can get assistance from RIDA or directly from the Ministry if they so request, but I am not very clear on who is requesting the villagers.
As for the question that RIDA is not capacitated, it is now a fiscal issue whereby they need to be capacitated to ensure that they do their job. So perhaps, when we are now doing our budget, we must remember that we have RIDA that needs capacitation so that they can also play their part to ensure that our rural populace get the necessary infrastructure to uplift them. I thank you.
HON. MHANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, when it comes to urban areas, there is an additional layer in the form of catchments like Middle Manyame. Please clarify the roles of ZINWA and Middle Manyame in the form of catchments.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Catchment areas are not only in urban areas, but even in rural areas. So, the question is not very specific. What about the catchment areas because even in rural areas the catchment areas are there.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 2 has been disposed of.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PROVISION OF A BILL FOR THE ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY
HON. MUSHORIWA: I move the motion standing in my name that leave be granted to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to provide for the abolition of the death penalty in Zimbabwe: to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07], Section 4 of the Genocide Act [Chapter 9: 20], the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act [Chapter 9: 32] and Section 3 of the Geneva Convention [Chapter 11:06]; and to provide for the matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
HON. MARKHAM: I second.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I would want to premise my debate to this motion by just bringing to the Members the definitions of a death penalty which is also regarded as capital punishment. This is a State sanctioned practice of killing a person as a punishment for a crime, which, in case of Zimbabwe, is murder with aggravating circumstances. The sentence Madam Speaker, ordering that an offender be punished in such a manner is what then is referred to as death sentence. The act of carrying out the sentence is called the execution. A prisoner who has been sentenced to death Madam Speaker and awaiting execution is condemned and is commonly referred to as being on a death row. In our culture, the death penalty was never part of the Zimbabwean culture. Our traditional justice criminal system was based on compensation and restorative justice. The murderer was always forced to pay reparations to the victim’s family or alternatively, our people then believed that there would be some spiritual consequences to that.
The traditional system believed on ubuntu which focused on peace and rebuilding trust damaged by the death of a community member is incompatible with the concept of retribution that underpins the death penalty. The people that brought the death penalty into this country Madam Speaker, are our colonialists. You will recall that Mbuya Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana was hanged in 1898. You will also recall that during the war of liberation in this country, all members that were fighting for the liberation who were designated as terrorists, their punishment was death sentence. A lot of our people were hanged in the process.
The current position in regard to the law Madam Speaker, is that Section 48 of the Constitution indicates that death penalty may be imposed only for murder committed in aggravating circumstances and only on men aged 21 and 70 years. Madam Speaker, it means that no woman can be sentenced to death and no person who is below 21 years can be sentenced to death and no man who is older than 70 years can be sentenced to death. It is only restricted narrowly to men who are between 21 and 70 years.
The Constitution does not say that the law must provide for the death penalty. This is important and very crucial. It does not say people convicted of aggravated murder must be sentenced to death, that is not what it says. It leaves it to Parliament to decide whether or not a law should provide for the death penalty. The death penalty Madam Speaker, will be abolished if we as Parliament, passes an Act amending Section 47 of the Criminal Law Code and repealing Sections 337 to 342 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. This is the reason I am bringing this motion.
In respect to the opinion, generally in respect to the death penalty, I want to bring to your attention Madam Speaker, that one of the proponents of the abolishment of the death penalty in Zimbabwe – we saw it during the time when we were negotiating the 2013 Constitution. You will see that the question, when we brought in to say that no woman should be hanged, no persons under 21 should be hanged, it was actually a compromise. One of the movers then is the current Head of State, vaMnangagwa, who in 2019 stated that, he wholeheartedly agrees that the death penalty constitutes an affront to human dignity. He decried that death penalty, because he also is one person who was saved by age, otherwise we would not be having a person called E. D. in this country if he had been hanged during that time. He had been advocating to say no, the death penalty is bad for this country.
In addition, our current Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi has similarly denounced the death penalty, implying that the current set-up is that the President and the Minister of Justice, all agree that death penalty is actually bad and needs to be abolished. Then let us look into the death penalty status as it stands. If you go to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, they will tell you that we have 62 inmates who are on the death roll, but the country does not have a hangman. Zimbabwe has not done any hanging for the past 17 years. Even though no execution has been carried out since 2005, the fact that we still have a law that says death penalty can actually be a sentence and that our courts are currently doing that, means that we need to re-look into our laws.
If you look internationally and regionally, there has actually been a move towards the abolition of death penalty, worldwide. Even in the SADC region, our neighbours have actually done that. South Africa has abolished death penalty. That is a move in the right direction.
I need to just explain to you Madam Speaker, the reasons why death penalty is bad. The first thing that I need to raise is that death penalty by nature, is irreversible. Every justice system in the whole world, people make mistakes. Judges are human beings; Magistrates are human beings. They also make mistakes, but once a person is executed, even if it is then discovered that no, the person was actually condemned wrongly, everything is done, you cannot reverse and that is not right.
The second issue that I need to raise and this touches me, is that if you check on the 62 inmates who are currently at Chikurubi Maximum Prison and Harare Prison, you will discover that most of the people that are affected and most of the people that are there are those who come from poor families. People that come from Dzivarasekwa; people that come from rural areas, who do not afford legal fees to pay for top-notch lawyers to represent them. People who have got the resources and hire good lawyers to represent them more often go scot free and get away with murder, so to speak.
The other reason is that death penalty, by nature, also generates more anguish and it also perpetuates the psych of violence. It is not only the victim; the person that was murdered, it goes on to affect not only the person that is going to be hanged, but even the family of that person. Just to imagine that we have somebody who has been at Harare Prison from 2005 who was sentenced to death, imagine the anguish that those families, their immediate family members and everybody around feel. Generally, it is also inherently cruel and inhuman.
The fact that death sentence is done by the State does not remove the question that it is inhuman to kill another person in a cold blooded manner. When a State carries death penalty, as a society we would have lowered ourselves to the level of a criminal. I think we should not do that. If you go to prison, you will notice that some of the people who are on the death roll are not mentally stable. They have actually deteriorated so significantly. You wake up in the morning, you do not even know whether you are going to spend the entire day alive. The anguish destroys a person. It does not matter how strong that person was before.
The other issue, which I had mentioned earlier is that if you check in the history of the death sentence, in Zimbabwe, it has not been carried and applied in a just manner. I know most of our freedom fighters, some of the people that we grew up seeing, carrying guns and the like, who were caught and were hanged for crimes that ordinarily should not have actually made them get killed and we would want to make sure that such laws are removed.
The other issue which is also important – death sentence by nature is not victim friendly. Imagine, somebody murders me and then the murderer is sentenced to death. For my family and all my dependents, nothing is done to them. What the State will do is just take the perpetrator , put him at Chikurubi so that they hang him, but there is no way to make sure that even the victims themselves – my dependents that had a way of living which evolved around the person, would actually benefit. That in my view is not right.
The other issue which is crucial, Zimbabwe is a religious nation. We are a nation where most of us are Christians and others are Muslims. We have got people of various faiths, the general view amongst religious people and amongst Zimbabweans is that they do not want the death penalty. I know there are quite a few people who believe that we need to make sure that we use the death penalty as a punishment. We need to use the death penalty as a measure to deter other people. If you properly do an analysis, you will realise that the death penalty, by nature, does not deter people from committing crimes.
What deters crime is proper policing; it is actually a question of our morals and also the education. One of the things that has become clear in this country is that if you see the people who are actually on the death roll, if you go through their stories and what led them to commit those crimes; it is not that there were other people who have been sentenced to death. They would understand that it is there, but the motivation; the things that pushed them to do such a thing is the very thing that need to be corrected and needs to be sorted out.
You know that in countries where they use other laws, like for instance you steal a cattle; they cut off your hand and other stuff, severe punishment by nature does not work and this is the reason why some of us, and I believe most of us in this august House will agree with me that our movement in the abolishment of the death penalty will be a move in the right direction.
The last issue with respect to the reasons, there is actually a time lag with respect to the person to be hanged. A person commits a crime, goes through the court process, is sentenced, goes to jail and then the hangman hangs. During this process, a person can actually repent by the time that the person is hanged, a person could actually have gone through a process of repentance. So, we need to have a mechanism for coming up with a punishment that has a human face and we do not want to cause the State to partake in criminal activity and equalise the State with ordinary people who commit these crimes.
Madam Speaker, I want to submit that the retention of the death penalty is actually bad. I think it is crucial and important Hon. Members, to make sure that we take advantage of this moment to support this motion for the abolishment of this penalty. I am quite convinced and confident that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi, and the State President, Hon. E.D Mnangagwa are going to sign this law to abolish the death penalty. If we do that, I believe that as a country, we will be moving in the right direction. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: I thank Hon. Mushoriwa for moving this very important motion on the abolition of the death penalty. Madam Speaker, I find it ironic when we are talking about such a barbaric practice that came over a hundred years ago to this country …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, withdraw your statement, we do not have barbaric laws here. It is just law.
HON. MARKHAM: I withdraw. It is ironic that we do not have corporal punishment. A couple of years ago, we stopped corporal punishment in schools, yet we continue with the death penalty. Regarding the issue of the death penalty, the Constitution clearly states, you may, by this House, change some Acts; we can abolish the death penalty.
Already in SADC, there are seven or eight countries that have abolished the death penalty. We are now considering this in order to be competitive, particularly in the scope of human rights, we should seriously consider the abolition of the death penalty as we see it now.
Hon. Mushoriwa has spoken very eloquently about the history and how the death penalty has been misused in the past, it has been used to oppress the people. Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe that it is time to move on. There is no reason for us; if we look at the Zimbabwean culture as Christians, there is no reason for us to continue with the death penalty. There is always recompense, and there is always ubuntu. There is always a long timeline for a person to repent and families to reunite. Those people who have had the death penalty often have a problem in the length of time. The last time the death penalty was carried out is 2005, we are now talking of 17 to 18 years since then.
The people sitting on death row, not only are they going through the trauma, but their families. Those who have had wrongs done to them have come to terms with the issue and a lot of them are saying, not in our name do you hang someone. What would happen if a hangman was appointed tomorrow? What will you do to those 62 families? I do not want to say it is too late, but 17 years down the line, we must now look at this law and look at what has occurred.
My issue is, internally when it comes to human rights, most countries have moved away from the death penalty and we should follow suit in the interest of globalisation. We have a major issue here where in this country, we purported to be 80% Christians, yet we believe we have the right to judge and to take away a life if we are Christians or any religion that stands up for the death penalty. So, there is a problem somewhere and I would like to believe that we are slow in changing the laws. I move that this House seriously considers, as quickly as possible that this punishment be put aside.
In closing the issue, I cannot push hard enough the issue of human rights. The fact that we still have death penalty, the effects are standing internally when it comes to human rights. So, I pray that this House seriously considers what we are talking and we get done quickly so that this new Parliament can start off on a very good foot. I thank you.
HON. MUGWADI: I do not want to oppose or support the motion that has been brought by the Hon. Member because I think a clear evaluation of the reason that he has submitted makes sense.
The aspect that I am going to raise, as I said initially, they are not meant to dismiss the motion or take a position, but at least to qualify some of the environmental aspects that I feel should be considered before such a position could be taken.
Firstly, Madam Speaker, I am sure you are pretty aware that there is an emerging threat to national security and the security of human beings more than the death sentence itself as a stand-alone. I speak about this in view of the emerging global threats to human security and national security to the extent that we have hybrid warfare that takes a lot of forms and manifestation to target nations and human beings. While I acknowledge the reasons submitted by the Hon. Member, what will this decision leave this country and its people in terms of their security because my understanding is that the death sentence thus far, has been able to work as a deterrent to the commission of serious crimes of treason and murder in aggravating circumstances. Although of course it has not been essentially effective as a preventive measure, but I am trying to look at it from this content. When the death penalty gets abolished, I am trying to imagine the celebrations that will happen in the pockets of prowling armed robbers that have infested this country. I feel that the death penalty, in the format that it is now, maybe probably, it is a question of timing of doing that.
In terms of hybrid warfare, you know very well what is happening east of our country on the Cabo Del Gado issue. There is a growing threat to national security, particularly in Africa sponsored and pampered by western nations to destabilise and that is serious treason. I feel that the death sentence played a crucial role as a deterrent measure. I am trying to imagine what will happen especially appreciating too well that we have a group of individuals or organisations that are existentially agitative and have a penchant to retreat, to using unorthodox means of unseating and unsettling Government. So, certainly, while I understand the rationality of the Hon. Member who has spoken, I feel that this is a very serious question that has a bearing on national security and human security in this country that needs to be looked at without unnecessary haste.
I must also respond to Hon. Mushoriwa when he said that death sentence has not been part of our history. I am not sure whether the Hon. Member reads history selectively. You know that when the British colonialists first arrived in this country and having convinced King Lobengula’s trusted lieutenants to enter into spurious treaties which gave them the go ahead to colonise this country, the indunas Lotshe and Skombe were killed under King Lobengula’s instructions for betraying the king. So, I thought that I should bring this free historical lesson to the Hon Member – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
I must go on to say if you check what is happening, contemporarily, threats to national security take various forms but what is a common denominator about them is that they are sponsored by hostile nations and the nations, for example to this republic, are well known. They have not hidden their hostility. The rise of mercenaryism – at some point not so long ago, Zimbabwe security forces intercepted a man then called Simon Joseph Mann who was on a British sponsored expedition to go and topple the Government of Equatorial Guinea led by President Theodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Had it not been with regards to rules of extradition, I put it to this House and the Hon. Members, what do you think should have been the punishment befitting of a man like Simon Joseph Mann?
I am raising all these issues to the attention of the House especially to Hon. Members on my side that there are certain things that we know. The rise of mercenaryism globally and all that attest to the need to apply caution when embracing the motion.
Once again as I sit down, I salute the Hon. Member for bringing that motion. What I have just done is to raise issues which I feel must be given adequate attention before we can proceed. I thank you.
HON. BAJILA: I would like to applaud Hon. Mushoriwa for bringing this motion before the House and Hon. Markham for seconding. Death penalty is a polite name for judicial murder. People get murdered for offences that they will have done in different jurisdiction. In terms of the architecture of the laws of Zimbabwe, understand that death penalty is a wrong thing. That is why they have exonerated the majority of our population from it. Firstly, women who are 52% of our population are exonerated from death penalty, being an understanding that this thing is wrong. This much of our population must not be anyhow under harm from death penalty. It does not end with the 52%, it goes further to include even men below the age of 21. It goes further to even include men above the age of 70.
Ultimately, the death penalty legislation in our country, if we were to make a liberal estimation, targets only 40% of our population and that is the extent to which this law is unwanted by the architecture of our Constitution. The architecture of our Constitution then left it to this House to say Parliament may bring a law around these issues. Having exonerated so much of our people, Hon. Mugwadi brings some very important points around the implementation of death penalty. If you check the countries that still maintain this law, how unconstitutional changes of governments are happening in those countries compared to countries that no longer have it. In 2022, the Republic of Namibia abolished death penalty being the latest in the SADC to abolish death penalty. They realised that the last time a Namibian was executed was in 1988. There are some Members of this august House who were not born by then. This shows the amount of time that it had taken and said this law exists in our statutes but is of no assistance.
The international justice network indicates that one in every eight people who are on death row and have made an appeal have actually been exonerated. This means that people actually get erroneously found guilty of the kind of crimes that fall under the death row and because of time that, Hon. Mushoriwa explained, some people on death row use that time to make some appeals. People are being found innocent while they are on the death row. There are so many crimes that are there and there are so many sentences that are around correctional services but correctional services is hinged on limitations of human rights. You are limited in terms of the right to travel. You are limited in terms of your right to social life because you have committed a certain offence and therefore you are taken into a correctional centre. What death penalty actually does is an ultimate denial of anyone’s right because there is no other right that you can enjoy once you have been sentenced to death or once you have been executed. It is imperative that this House looks at it that way and say this offender has done this to our society, but what is it that we can do to reprimand the person; to put the person into correction without bringing out that person is the ultimate denial of human rights.
Madam Speaker, there are alternative sentences that exist, lengthy sentences or life prison without the option of parole. These are some of the sentences that can be brought. We always believe that someone can be rehabilitated. The existence of the death penalty in our statutes is a sign of our lack of confidence in our correctional system. If we want to improve our correctional system, we will be able to correct all offenders. Accordingly, Madam Speaker, I so move that we adopt Hon. Mushoriwa’s motion that there be a Bill for the abolition of death penalty in Zimbabwe.
HON. TOGAREPI: I rise to debate, inspired by the President of this country when he said a death penalty is an afront to human dignity. It constitutes cruelty and human degrading treatment and is contrary to the right to life. By just reading that statement, you would see that a motion brought up by Hon. Mushoriwa needs to be supported. When somebody is condemned to death and the death penalty is carried out, the person is executed, two days later, you discover that this person did not commit the crime, how do you reverse the action? You live with that guilt conscience that you killed an innocent person. You can accuse the judge or anyone, but you have denied that person the right to life.
Madam Speaker, I was reading something here very interesting. The former President of Tanzania commented at one point, if you allow, I will read – I was reading the statement and I find it touching that everyone among us, feels that a death penalty is based on to deter people from committing crimes. For 17 years, we have not had one person who has come forward to accept the job of a hangman. So, why are we not getting one of us Hon. Members volunteering to get that job? The former President of Tanzania said I know there are people who were convicted of murder and waiting for the death penalty, but please do not bring the list to me for the decision because I know how difficult it is to execute.
Madam Speaker, he knew that there were people condemned to death who were ready to be executed, but the former President of Tanzania gave them that reply saying it is actually me who is going to sign for the death penalty to be carried out. It is me who is killing the person. It was difficult for him to then put his signature for the person to be executed.
Madam Speaker, it is human nature, everyone has that feeling. If somebody dies may be not through murder but hit by a car, you will see how people will come together in pain upon seeing the deceased person. What about executing somebody, if it was possible for the person who was murdered to resurrect and kill the person, it will be very good for me, but the person who is not performing the execution is somebody else making a conclusion out of the facts. People are good at dramatising unconvincing statements that you will believe the person who murdered is this one, when actually it is the other person even when the person who is being accused is guilty of murder. I think we can have other better ways of punishing the murderer.
Looking at the statistics throughout the world, the death penalty where the death penalty is administered, like in the United States for example, you see a group of people shooting school kids. It is always happening, they always kill. So, it is not deterrent enough, we cannot use a death penalty as a deterrent, it will not help, it has failed that test. I really recommend and support the motion, but I think we can have better ways. I agree with the other Members on life imprisonment with no option of parole. The person remains in prison forever and should there be a discovery that he was not the person involved in the matter, the person can then regain freedom, but if we had already found him guilty – and for Zimbabwe again like the other Hon. Members have stated, we have already demonstrated that we do not want to kill. For 17 years, nobody has come forward to perform the execution. Why are we sticking to death penalty, is it helpful, if it is not helpful why do we not put it aside and recommend through that private Member’s Bill to come up with deterrent measures to ensure that those who kill others are punished? Not by way of death penalty.
I am also looking at a situation where the President in 2018, used Chapter 112 to commute some of the death sentences to life imprisonment. Already, the President is demonstrating that he is not for the death penalty. I know there are people who will use the opportunity of not having the death penalty to commit treason or murdering others. I think we can still come up with sentences that will deal with such behavour without ourselves soiling our hands with peoples’ blood and sometimes innocent blood.
I would like Members to pray to this House to remove the death penalty from our laws. Let us look at our laws and if anyone amongst us would want to be executed or even myself being innocent, but then found guilty - can you raise your hand to say if I am found guilty, but I am innocent because the law says I must be killed, let it be? I am saying the death penalty has failed on all fronts. It has not been so good in protecting human dignity, even in the right to life or to heal. So, it has failed in all the fronts and it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that those who will sit in court and find somebody guilty, there is a probability that they are also making a mistake.
If you look at it from every angle, there is a chance of killing somebody or executing somebody on a crime that he or she has not committed. Why do we need something that is already not full-proof? We all have our leaders, our President, and I quoted the leader of Government Business, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as one of the people who really said openly to the people of Zimbabwe that this is a heinous sentence and we do not need it. The best thing we can do as Parliament is to support that Bill and ensure that it sees the light of the day and it becomes a law.
When you look throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are already abolishing the death sentence and I think we cannot remain behind in making such a decision. We have a President who, in his early ages in the liberation struggle, was sentenced to death, but saved by his age. He is one person who can stand up and tell you, me and everybody how he felt for the days that he was waiting for his execution. It is traumatic, is it not? Imagine somebody just holding a knife threatening to kill you. You will spend ten years uchivhumuka, seeing yourself dead.
Life is not something that you can lose and people say sorry, we were wrong and you will come back. I really support the motion by the Hon. Member. What I recommend is, when we go into the making of this law, we should not forget that there are those among us in our communities who may be inspired that they are not going to be killed and so, they may want to kill many people. The laws that we will deal with in crafting that Bill must be watertight and deterrent enough so that we deter those who may have the profanity to kill others.
In real terms and as a Christian nation, we have Moslems amongst ourselves. We have our culture that respects life. Let us give it a chance and also together with the sentences, that we may give reparations, can also be important. Somebody goes to jail for the rest of their life, having property or assets, we may take those assets and try to help the surviving family of the murdered citizen. It is another way and we are also incorporating how we have been dealing with it in our culture as the people of Zimbabwe.
Every day we sing about Mbuya Nehanda who was hanged by the British. Apparently, they have got her head as a trophy of conquest in Britain. Whenever we think about it, it is painful and it invokes a lot of emotions and we would not want to see that happening again. We should stand together with the mover of the motion and our President to abolish the death sentence. If we can do that, we will become a very civilised country. The people will respect the dignity and human rights. That is the ultimate right a person can have.
So, madam Speaker, I hope together with you and all the Hon. Members in this august House, that we support this Bill and ensure that when it comes out, it also covers the areas of concern that Hon. Mugwadi raised. We also want those to be covered, but we do not need a death penalty. I thank you.
THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Chief Whip. That was a very lengthy debate. I am going to encourage the Hon. Members who are going to speak after Hon. Chief Whip to try and consider time constraints. I understand we could debate until morning, but due to time constraints, I urge other Hon. Members to be time conscious. I can see people standing before being accorded a chance to speak. Hon. Members, would you kindly sit down. We should also bear in mind that the motion has 21days to be debated and we still have more time to debate on this. Thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 16th November, 2023.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. MUSHORIWA, the House adjourned at Sixteen Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.