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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 October 2015 42-14
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 15th October, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
HALF-DAY WORKSHOP ON MALARIA SENSITISATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that
the Ministry of Health and Child Care is inviting all hon. Members of Parliament to a half-day workshop on Malaria Sensitisation on
Wednesday, 21st of October, 2015 from 8 o’clock am to 12 o’clock
noon. The workshop will be held in the National Assembly Chambers.
WORKSHOP ON ECONOMIC LITERACY
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I would like to remind Chairpersons of Committees and members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Economic Literacy Workshop, which will be held from the 16th to the 17th of October, 2015 at Pandhari Lodge, starting at 0800 hours.
Members are requested to carry copies of their Constitution and the Economic Literacy handbook to the workshop.
Hon. Dr. Kereke having stood up to raise a notice of motion concerning the scourge of corruption.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Kereke, please approach
Hon. Dr. Kereke consults with the Acting Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: We are going to consult the Counsel
on the matter that has been raised by Hon. Kereke, if it is all in order, then he may proceed.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND
PROVINCE (MS. CHIMENE): Mr. Speaker Sir, good afternoon. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
*MR. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution to the Presidential Speech.
The President talked about aligning of laws with the new Constitution. This is a development which we have been waiting for, for quite some time because the Constitution is home grown unlike the Lancaster House Constitution which was imposed on us. This shows that the people of Zimbabwe put their heads together intelligently and charted the way they want to be ruled in the country. As a result, it is appropriate that all the existing laws which do not seem to align with the needs of the people of Zimbabwe be realigned with the Constitution and we are very grateful for that.
His Excellency also talked about attracting investors and charting ways of attracting new businesses. As people of Chipinge, we believe that we are going to benefit from this process because Chipinge has a lot of natural resources; that is where we get some baobab. We also have some people who believe that the baobab is medicinal. We may get some people who may be able to tap this natural resource into some medicinal projects.
Mr. Speaker, when you come to Chipinge and you misbehave; we do not throw stones at you but instead, we use fruits such as bananas and guavas. We believe that if we can have companies like Cairns to come to my constituency, they will open up canning factories. We also believe in cashew nuts, these are very popular in the market. If you can get some business people coming into the country, they will benefit. We usually sell these nuts in their shells and these are bought mainly by the Chinese. We are reliably informed that the nut is used in preparing different types of food. The shell is used in the manufacturing of furniture. Hence we are looking forward to get investors who are going to be involved in beneficiation and value addition.
Chipinge has avocado pears and many other fruits which are growing wild in the forest. We also have some natural fruits, indigenous and the exotic, these are plenty in the country. What is needed with the avocado nuts is value addition, they simply have to be packed in containers and exported. Avocado pears can also be used in the manufacturing of oil, edible and cosmetic oil. We are very grateful for
Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to change the procurement systems in the country because this is very essential. We have had that you have a company like NetOne which was complaining saying it is beaten on the market by companies such as Econet and Telecel because NetOne has to go through a rigorous process in following the tender procedures and yet these privately owned companies, like Telecel and Econet simply sail through without bureaucracy in procurement.
We also believe in that our local authorities should, also benefit from the procurement policy so that if they want to buy some goods and services, they will not go through the rigorous procurement process. We also look at the ways which should be used in protecting the workers. We have big companies in our areas such as Tanganda Tea Company, Ross Common and South Downs. These companies took advantage of the ruling which was made on the 17th July, 2015, whereby workers were fired on three months’ notice. When people have been laid off, their minds are idle and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, if we align our labour laws, workers will be protected and they will be working hard.
The President talked about land. We have realised that when land is being redistributed, we have people who have been put into the A2 farms, when the farm has been turned into the A2. These people are driven out of their land. In Chipinge Central, we have people who are staying wherever they want and they are in great difficulties. Therefore, we are looking forward to getting results from the land audits so that these poor people in Chipinge may have land allocated to them. We also encourage the people who have benefited from the land reform, to use it profitably so that the country will have more food and thus, fulfill our ZIM ASSET mandate.
The President talked about ICT. I will debate on this issue looking at rural schools. We are happy because in our rural schools, we now have computers and learners can now access the ICT knowledge. Therefore, we wish if ICT development could really encourage our youngsters and make them creative so that they can easily access the internet and the Wi-Fi. When they are working on research work, they can easily access information from all the other areas and enhance their learning in their academic circles.
I will end up my debate on the War Veterans Bill. This has the intention of uniting the war veterans with the war collaborators. We have realised that the war collaborators have not been compensated financially. They are not benefitting from their contribution to the war of liberation. We hope that when this Bill is introduced in the House, we are going to support it in such a way that war collaborators will also benefit from the sweat of their endeavours. I thank you.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing
me to contribute to this Presidential Address. Let me start by congratulating the people who voted for me in my constituency …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members, let us lower our
voices so that we hear what the hon. member is debating.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: I would like to start by congratulating the people who voted for me in my constituency in Zengeza West, in Chitungwiza. They voted wisely for a visionary Party. –[HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Mr. Speaker Sir, although generally Chitungwiza is ignored by the media houses, and being allocated approximately 30 kilometers south of Harare, Chitungwiza was formed in 1978 as small dormitory town…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. member, is that your maiden speech?
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTNG SPEAKER: Is it so?
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Yes.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: We will check on that. If not, I may
not allow you to read your speech.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: It is true that it is my maiden speech, I only asked questions.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You may proceed.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: I was saying Chitungwiza was formed in
1978 as a dormitory town of Harare. It came into existence after most black people who stayed in the townships like Highfield, Mbare,
Mufakose etcetera failed to get accommodation.
Later on, a small industry was created to cater for those who could not find jobs in Harare. However, most of the people in Chitungwiza are now unemployed because of the closure of companies. About one quarter of its population was once employed by a company called Cone textiles, which was later called Modzoni and it also closed. This problem has led to informal trade by residents who are now earning a living through selling vegetables in informal markets like Chikwanha, Jambanja, Huruyadzo etcetera. We appeal to the Government to find a way to lure investors to come to resuscitate this industry in Chitungwiza. In its hay days, this company which used to be called Cone textiles used to employ about
6 000 people.
Turning into infrastructure, there is only one main highway which connects Harare and Chitungwiza. This road Mr. Speaker, is seriously in need of maintenance and expansion …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please! What is your point of order honourable? –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- We are checking on that, it is not your business. What is your point of order?
- MUPFUMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe in MDC there was
never a point where they won in a by-election and if they say there is a maiden speech now, the hon. member has been talking for the past two years. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Okay, just take a seat. Order please!
- MUPFUMI: I need to be protected hon. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please! Just resume your seat.
- MUPFUMI: The hon. member has been contributing to this august House so many times. So, this cannot be considered as a maiden speech.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I could hardly
hear what he is trying to say. Just give him a chance and the Speaker will make a ruling out of that.
- MUPFUMI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe the hon. member has been contributing in this august House for so many times and this cannot be considered as a maiden speech. I believe in MDC, they have never won a by-election whereby we can consider them to be having a maiden speech. Thank you. –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order! What is your point of order?
- MAONDERA: Thank you hon. Speaker. My point of order
is, and I once stated it before. I think it is imperative that new Members of Parliament who won by-elections recently need induction so that they can grasp how we operate in this House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Okay, just take a seat. Order, order please! You may resume your debate hon. member.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was saying there is only one highway which connects with Harare and this road is in serious need of maintenance and expansion. It takes about two or more hours for a person to reach Harare during peak hours because of traffic congestion. In the next few years, people will not be able to come to Harare because of this congestion. We also appeal to Government to revive the railway line project which was proposed many years ago, if the transport situation in Chitungwiza is to be resolved.
The sewer system in Chitungwiza is falling apart because it was designed for very few people during those days. Even if the council repairs those sewer pipes, they easily burst because they cannot carry the load. The Government must see to it that the new sewer reticulation plant is built and new pipes installed to cater for the more than 2 million residents who now call Chitungwiza their home.
Turning to the issues of water, this town relies on water from
Harare provided at a fee, which is far beyond the reach of ordinary people of Chitungwiza. Even though the water is found at a fee, some areas receive the precious liquid once or twice a week.
This town required about 45 mega litres of water and Harare is providing less than 30 megalitres. Residents are now relying on unprotected wells in their backyards, exposing themselves to waterborne diseases as the city has no source of clean water other than Harare. Some residents who have boreholes are now complaining that the water levels have gone down because the water table is now very low. We are urging Government to complete the construction of Muda dam that should supply Chitungwiza town with clean water.
In terms of education, Chitungwiza has several schools such as Zengeza 1 High School, Seke 1 High and Nyatsime College, among others. These schools are well built and are of high standard. To my surprise, Chitungwiza has only one tertiary institution (Seke Teachers’ College) and not everyone wants to be a teacher. Some want to be doctors or engineers. I am also surprised that small towns like Marondera and Gwanda have their own universities, so does this mean that the Government wants the people of Chitungwiza to keep relying on Harare for tertiary institutions when Chitungwiza is a city? So we are urging Government to build a university in Chitungwiza in the near future.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think Chitungwiza is one of the cities that was most hit by land barons, and we are happy that the Government has started arresting these land barons like the Mabambas and Nyonganyongas, though there are some who are still scot-free as mentioned in former Minister, Hon. J.B. Matiza’s report. The law must be applied with equality without looking at who has committed the crime. We challenge Government to arrest all those mentioned in
Matiza’s report which the Government has in its offices, if it is sincere about fishing out corruption.
Still on the issue of accommodation, there is Nyatsime Home
Project whose main aim from the beginning was to cater for those who could not find accommodation in Chi-town, but now more than seven years have passed since people paid up their money but they are still waiting for the project to kick-start. We are urging Government to speed up the Nyatsime Housing Project. When we talk to the city fathers, they say the issue is still with the Government and they have not finalised the paper work for them to start the project.
We are very happy that the Government is arresting the land barons, but what is Government doing to those who have lost their money through the land barons. We are urging the authorities to find some sort of compensation, if not, find a place to relocate them to because they paid their money and their houses were demolished. These poor people have suffered a double edged sword. So we are appealing to the Government to assist these people since some of these schemes were connected with the local authorities as some of the papers came from the local authorities. The home seekers were duped into thinking that they were undertaking legitimate transactions. - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, it has been confirmed that it is his maiden speech. Hon. member, you may proceed.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the hon.
member who was so zealous has heard for himself. I said I wanted to end by looking at the health services delivery.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, looking at the health delivery services - yes, we have Chitungwiza General Hospital but to my surprise, some of the departments have been privatized such as the X-ray Department. It is now expensive for the ordinary people to access such services. These general hospitals are meant to cater for the poor, but it is no longer the case now. We are therefore urging Government to make sure that a general hospital remains a general hospital. The purpose is to cater for the poor so that they can afford minimum health services. We had people coming from surrounding places like Goromonzi and Seke for these medical services, but now it is a different story. Chitungwiza, being the second largest city, is also the poorest city. People have no money and are unable to go to hospital since other departments have been privatised and owing to high levels of unemployment. One general hospital for this sprawling city is not enough and we are appealing to Government to put plans to build another general hospital in the near future. I thank you.
*MR. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me the opportunity to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech delivered to us by His Excellency, Cde. R.G. Mugabe. I will start my speech from his conclusion. In his conclusion, His Excellency said even though we may have different opinions and views and also belonging to different political parties, the most important thing is that we are the people of Zimbabwe. My contribution is very different from what was said by previous speakers. I know there may be some people who may look down at my speech. In English, they say, ‘there is no need to cry over spilt milk’.
What we need to do is to look for solutions to the problems that are being faced by Zimbabwe. We are Parliamentarians and one of our roles is representation. We are representing the people who voted us into this House and we should formulate policies which improve their lives.
I will talk about nutrition and improvement of lives. It is very true that we are facing climate change, but as Zimbabwe, what are we doing about it? I would like us all, as Members of Parliament to come together and formulate policies because hunger has no discrimination and regardless of our political affiliation, our area of origin or religion, we will all suffer from hunger. Therefore, as a country we need not face the hunger scourge on an annual basis. We are now sourcing food imports from Malawi and yet we have the same fertile soils and climatic condition.
The President urged us to harvest water. We have also heard from the religious prophets, messages from God. If we follow these messages, our country will prosper. Our President is the Chair of the AU and yet our President is creating peace unlike us people who are pulling each other down instead of making progress in the House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as far as I am concerned with regards to agriculture, we need to subsidise the agricultural inputs so that an individual farmer will go and purchase these inputs at a cheaper price. Farmers should also have access to the funds from the banks. The banks will be responsible for going after defaulters. As Government we need to go and practice peer education- advising people on paying back the loans which they will have accessed. That money will create a revolving fund and if you have failed to do that, we will confiscate your field for a period of sometime whereby Mai Sibongile will be farming on your farm until all the loans have been paid up and then your farm will be returned to you.
The Whites were farming in this country before the Land Reform and I am one of those farmers who were there by that time. We had the Agriculture Finance Corporation, (AFC) which would go and offer the farmers the assistance. We had companies like the Windmill Fertilizer, these would come and give the farmer all the inputs the farmer needed and these would be repaid as the farmers sold his produce, because there was trust that the farmer would pay because he would be very reliable.
I am urging this august House that we need to go and talk to our electorate and advise them there is wisdom in repaying our farming loans because there is an English saying which says once beaten twice shy. If banks are cheated by farmers this season, they will not offer any loans in the coming season. We are saying the rain season is upon us. In the meantime, we are not supposed to be finger pointing amongst us but we should be asking ourselves what have we put in place so that our farmers may go and borrow money for inputs. Whether you are A2 or A 1 they, should have access to the funds for their farming programmes. We were informed that there was an amount of US$1 billion which has been put aside as a fund to assist these farmers.
Mr. Speaker Sir, well people are saying it is a joke that we have no hunger and there are no sanctions. I think this is hiding our heads in the sand and it is high time we faced the truth. This US$1 billion should be utilised by tobacco farmers and as a result the factories in Indo-China and Europe and Asia, their factories will thrive because we will have exported our tobacco leaf without value addition. If we had implemented what we agreed in Maputo on the CAADP, those who attended that gathering did a lot of discussion on the topic, I was one of the people who were there.
One of the agreements made in Maputo is the agreement which we are following. If only 10% of that amount had been used in food production and tobacco used in these billions, we should be aware that the people of Zimbabwe do not feed on tobacco. Hence, we need to invest on maize. We may say we do not have money because of sanctions but we are self-sufficient in food and therefore we are a happy
It is quite distressing that our fellow people; men and women are of a different biological nature, but they are brothers and sisters of the same family. What is happening in Africa, especially in a country like Zimbabwe, these people are denying that there are no sanctions in
Zimbabwe and yet the leader of Zimbabwe was pleading with President Obama and saying please remove the sanctions and President Obama did agree indeed that the sanctions were going to be removed. How come we have some of our fellow Zimbabweans who are denying the existence of sanctions? Therefore, we are calling for the removal of sanctions for the progress of Zimbabwe.
His Excellency said we may belong to different political parties, I may take the example of the fruit of the azanza it has so many parts but they all come from the same stem. I plead with the people of Zimbabwe let us be fingers of a hand. The fingers are different but they belong to the same hand and when they work in unison there is progress. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
- GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to
contribute to His Excellency’s debate presentation to the nation. Of importance I want to look at particularly one thing that His Excellency mentioned, the issue of industries-the importance of industries and how they contribute to the economy. Amounts those industries Mr. Speaker Sir, I have two particular industries that I want to talk about: ZISCO Steel and Sable Chemicals. I wish to show this House how intricate and how important those two companies are to the economy of this country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, ZISCO Steel was so important. When we went to school ZISCO Steel we never mentioned it as Zimbabwe Iron Steel Company, but it was Zimbabwe Integrated Steel Company. Why integrated Mr. Speaker Sir, this is what I wish to show. ZISCO Steel has been so important to the economy to the extent that even the Smith regime at some point in the 1970s, they used to meet as a Parliament at ZISCO Steel in the ZISCO Steel boardroom and that is part of our history. This clearly shows how important that the regime saw ZISCO
Steel to this economy. Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir, in the late 1970s, ZISCO Steel was one of those companies that was used to burst sanctions when Zambia and other countries closed out Rhodesia, ZISCO Steel was one of those companies that was used for sanction busting. Even up to now I think as an economy and as a country it is important that we see ZISCO Steel in that light.
How is ZISCO Steel related to the construction industry? Mr. Speaker Sir, on one of these days as I drove along Mvuma road, I counted up to 105 thirty tonne trucks carrying steel from South Africa. To my mind, I asked myself and said what would happen if these 105 tonne trucks were carrying steel coming from ZISCO Steel? That is quite a lot of money Mr. Speaker. To imagine that these trucks are traversing our roads on a daily basis and if you multiply the amount of money that we are wasting buying steel from South Africa instead of buying from our operational ZISCO Steel, I think the figures will be very surprising and important to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
If we look at SMEs, ZISCO contributed a lot to the SMEs in terms of providing angle irons for making scotch carts, deformed bars for the construction industry and many other things that we can think of that are made of iron. All these things we have lost and we are supporting the South African steel industries. I certainly agree with His Excellency when he talks about revitalising these industries so that they provide for the economy. It is quite saddening to note that after so many years of groundbreaking at ZISCO Steel nothing has started happening there. We must as a House look at this seriously and note how much we are losing in terms of economic growth.
There used to be a train called the ZISCO Train, which carried coking coal from Hwange. If you drive along Bulawayo Road the train wagons, I am sure they are more than 50, between Kwekwe and Gweru, they have been redundant because there is no activity at ZISCO Steel. The operation of ZISCO Steel would certainly assist the growth of Hwange Colliery which we all know that to date, workers are owed almost eight months of salaries arrears from last year. Certainly, if
ZISCO Steel was operational this would assist Hwange Colliery Company workers, the surrounding villagers and the Hwange community.
If ZISCO Steel was operational; we went through the ESSAR proposal for the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel; it was going to assist in reducing the shortages of power in this country. The excess heat from blast furnace, ESSAR had proposed that they were going to channel the heat to produce more energy, about 100 megawatts of power. This is what we are losing. If ZISCO Steel was operational, by now we would have an extra 100 megawatts of energy which we desperately need in this time of power shortages.
ZISCO Steel vis-a-vis Sable Chemicals; Sable Chemicals is a fertilizer company located near ZISCO Steel. Why was it strategically located there? Both ZISCO Steel and Sable Chemicals were so interlinked and currently both companies are not fully operational. How did ZISCO Steel support Sable chemicals? In the manufacture of fertilizer particularly ammonium nitrate Mr. Speaker, there is need for nitrogen and hydrogen, all which come from the ordinary air which goes through a separation plant which separates that air into nitrogen and hydrogen. There is oxygen which comes out as an excess. All that excess oxygen from Sable Chemical which it did not need for the manufacture of ammonium nitrate was channeled to ZISCO Steel to blast or oxygenate the blast furnaces, to oxidize the iron ore in the blast furnaces. ZISCO Steel did not get that oxygen for free; they were buying it from Sable Chemical.
As a result, it made fertilizer cheaper to buy. Currently, most of us are wondering why fertilizer has become so expensive compared to the regional prices, I am told from those who are in the know, outside Zimbabwe is in the region of $18 or no more than $20 compared to our current $35 for 50kg. It is expensive mainly because ZISCO Steel contributed by buying the excess oxygen for the by-product fertilizer manufacturing was actually subsidizing the price. The same can be said of Dyno Nobel, it bought the hydrogen from Sable Chemicals as a byproduct to make their explosives. That is why today you find Dyno Nobel an explosive manufacturing company, is located near Sable Chemicals. All these bi-products, when sold they made fertilizer cheaper because Sable Chemical was not selling fertilizer only. They would have made excess money from selling the excess oxygen sold to
ZISCO Steel and some to hospitals in terms oxygen cylinders for resuscitating dying people in hospitals. All the by-products assisted in making fertilizer cheaper and hence now the fertilizer is very expensive.
Mr. Speaker, it is also important that we realise how ZISCO Steel assisted some subsidiary fencing companies like Salwire, Fence Africa and Lancashire Steel, all these companies that I am mentioning are no longer there because of ZISCO Steel.
My point here Mr. Speaker is trying to advocate if it were possible, Government could put all the necessary resources. If we cannot get an investor why can we not put our own resources to make sure ZISCO
Steel starts operating as one of the issues His Excellency mentioned in His Speech? ZISCO Steel is definitely going to assist a lot in making sure that the economy of Zimbabwe starts ticking. If ZISCO Steel started operating today Mr. Speaker, I think one quarter if not 50% of our problems would be a thing of the past. It is so intricate and interlocked to all aspects of the economy of this country, ranging from mines, hospitals, agriculture and others that I have mentions.
It is my appeal that if we are to live by what His Excellency mention the issue of revitalising industries, if we can possibly as a Government prioritise the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel because this is almost a panacea to some or almost all of our problems in this country I thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th October, 2015.
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY,
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
- RUNGANI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
- MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th October, 2015
On the motion of MRS. RUNGANI seconded by MR.
MUKWANGWARIWA, the House adjourned at Quarter past Three
o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 20th October, 2015.