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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 17 December 2015 42-28
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 17th December, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on all Statutory Instruments and General Notices gazetted during the month of November, 2015.
HON. SPEAKER’S RULING
POINT OF ORDER BY HON. ZWIZWAI ON HON. CHINAMASA’S
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yesterday, I promised that I will make a short ruling on some statement so alleged.
On the 16th of November 2015, Hon. Zwizwai raised a point of order where-in you averred that Hon. Minister Chinamasa has personalised debate made by Hon. Maridadi by stating that what the
Hon. Member had contributed was nothing, I quote “nothing”. The Chair promised this august House that he was going to listen to the digital audio recording in order to make an informed ruling. The Chair has listened to the audio recording and observed that the statement by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development was not completed as it was interrupted before he could finish it. What was indeed uttered, neither impugns on the integrity of Hon. Maridadi nor does it amount to personalisation of the debate. Therefore, it is hereby ruled that the point of order raised by Hon. Zwizwai is devoid of merit and is hereby dismissed.
LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE ON
DEFINITE MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of a definite matter of urgent public importance relating to trapped artisanal miners at Pickstone and Gadzima mines in Chegutu.
HON. SPEAKER: I consider the motion to be one contemplated by Standing Order Number 59 (1) and accordingly call upon members who support the motion to rise in their places.
More than 25 members having rose in their places
HON. SPEAKER: As no fewer than 25 members have supported the contemplated motion, I declare leave of the House to discuss the motion to have been duly granted and at 1715 hours, I shall call upon Hon. Maridadi to move the motion accordingly.
RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker, I move the
motion standing in my name:
THAT WHEREAS, Section 327(3) of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind
Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, a Loan agreement between Government of
Zimbabwe and Export – Import Bank of India relating to a US$87 million dollars Line of Credit for the renovation and upgrading of
Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant being implemented by Zimbabwe
Power Company was concluded on the 27th day of October, 2015 in
New Delhi, India; and
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
I take the opportunity to advise the august House that on 27 October, 2015, the Government of Zimbabwe and the India EXIM Bank signed a loan agreement for $87 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant. The purpose of the loan facility is to rehabilitate and upgrade the Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant from the current generating capacity of 30 megawatts to 90 megawatts. Thus, facility was arranged after Government had taken cognisance of the challenges of power shortages faced by the nation.
Furthermore, it has been noted Mr. Speaker Sir that the demand supply gap is resulting in reduced industrial and agricultural production leading to the economic decline of our country. Under the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant Project, generation of electricity will increase from the current 30 megawatts to 90 megawatts through:
- replacement of existing boilers and turbines with circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) boilers (2x60 MW) and (2x60 MW) turbo alternators, and
- rehabilitation of existing balance of plant (BOP).
Mr. Speaker, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will be the executing agents responsible for the implementation of the project. The project is earmarked to commence in 2016 and will be implemented over a period of two years. The total cost of the project is $87 million. The loan facility has a tenure of 10 years with three years grace period and will attract an interest rate of 2%, commitment fee of 2% and management fee of 0.5%. The loan will be repaid by the Zimbabwe Power Company.
The implementation of the rehabilitation and upgrading of
Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant will help to improve the availability and reliability of electricity supply resulting in increased agricultural and industrial production, and increased economic activity. I therefore plead with the Hon. Members to approve the loan which is in the interest of our economic recovery. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CROSS: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am concerned about the water
aspects of this particular project proposal and I just want to ask the Minister – I have welcomed the loan agreement, I think it is a good one and we should welcome it as it also has good conditions. However, Bulawayo is perpetually under water rationing and increasing the power generation to the Bulawayo Power Plant is going to require quite substantial additional water. I would like to see the extension of this project just to cover the supply of recycled water from Khami Dam rather than drawing on clean portable water from our existing water system, just to protect the remaining residents of the city with their water supplies.
HON. MUDARIKWA: The Committee on Mines and Energy
was in Bulawayo and the issue of water has been clarified. They will be drawing water from Khami Dam. There is enough water to supply the project, which is critical. Any economic development without electricity is doomed to fail. It is critical because Bulawayo is our industrial hub and Government has done the right thing to support our industrial hub.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I want to thank Hon.
Cross and Hon. Mudarikwa for their support for the project. The concern on water has been answered correctly by Hon. Mudarikwa but I also want to say that in the long term, we are looking to Gwayi-Shangani Dam to supply Bulawayo with water. We have also recently commissioned the Mtshabezi pipeline. I know your concern is that we should not use clean water for doing this but I think we should do everything in our power to make sure that there is power and water in Bulawayo.
As you know, there are initiatives to have Bulawayo as a Special
Purpose Zone with respect to leather and leather products as well as cotton and cotton products. We are already very much geared to making Bulawayo a Special Purpose Vehicle so that we resuscitate those two industries. Already, with the developments that are taking place in the leather sector, I am very pleased with the direction that we are taking. As you know, Hon. Members will remember that through my 2014 budget, I banned the export of raw hides in order to find throughput into the tanneries. I am happy to say that the measure is now beginning to bear fruit. At least all the tanneries who are coming to my office are reporting that they are now reaching optimal utilization of their capacity.
So, the next thing is to proceed beyond weight blue leather.
Bulawayo is well situated given the fact that it is at the centre of the livestock industry. Yesterday we were also talking about what we could do to intervene given the devastating drought, which is causing havoc to the livestock industry in Matabeleland. I discussed with Dr. Made and we are working out a policy of intervention so that we support the livestock farmers in the areas where livestock is the mainstay of the economy. I want to thank you very much and I now move that the loan be approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND THE OPEC FUND FOR
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I move the motion
standing in my name;
THAT WHEREAS, Section 327(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind
Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, a Loan agreement between Government of Zimbabwe and the OPEC Fund for International Development relating to a US$20 million Line of Credit for the construction of twelve (12) primary and five (5) secondary schools in rural areas in eight (8) provinces, provide relevant equipment, furniture and standard teachers’ houses for the targeted schools.
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to seek approval of this august House to the Loan Agreement that I signed with OFID that is OPEC Fund in LIMA, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank. I signed a
Loan Agreement for US$20 million, under the First Education Project Facility and the signature was on the 9th October, 2015. The purpose of the loan facility is to construct 12 primary, five secondary schools and standard teachers’ houses in the rural and newly resettled areas in eight provinces of the country. The project will also provide relevant equipment and furniture for the targeted schools. This facility was arranged after Government had taken cognizance of the challenges faced by pupils in rural and newly resettled areas in accessing quality education. These challenges include walking long distances to access a school, inadequate learning and teaching materials, deteriorating education infrastructure and poor supply of water and sanitation services. Furthermore, it has also been noted that most of the satellite schools in the newly resettled areas were below the minimum stipulated requirements for a standard school, namely; two classroom blocks, two teachers’ houses, reliable safe water and sanitation services.
Under the First Education Project, the Government of Zimbabwe has prioritized the development of five secondary and 12 primary schools in rural and newly resettled areas of Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo,
Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Midlands Provinces. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will be the executing agent responsible for the implementation of the project. Mr. Speaker, in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, a project management unit will be established under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Its mandate will be to oversee the day to day activities during the implementation of the project.
The project is earmarked Mr. Speaker Sir to commence in 2016 and will be implemented in three phases over a four-year period. The total cost of the project is US$22 million with OFID contributing a loan facility of US$20 million which is 90.9% of the project cost, whilst the Government of Zimbabwe will contribute the balance of US$2 million constituting 9.1% of the project cost. The loan facility has a tenure of 20 years with five years grace period and will attract an interest of 1.5% and a service charge of one percent. The loan will be repaid by the Government of Zimbabwe from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The implementation of the project Mr. Speaker Sir will help to improve learning outcomes and the performance of school pupils in the rural and newly resettled areas through firstly, improved conditions for teaching and learning, secondly, increased access to quality education. Mr. Speaker Sir, thirdly, is the provision of reliable water and sanitation in schools and lastly, the strengthening capacity of teachers and school management staff. With these remarks, I submit and call upon the august House to approve the loan. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. CHASI: I rise to support the approval of this agreement and to commend the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for working expeditiously to implement this agreement. It is quite clear from the terms of the agreement that it is going to fill a very clear void in the educational system, pursuant to the Land Reform Programme. The Land Reform Programme has affected the distribution of education in that a lot of children are now in areas where they cannot easily access education.
I am also delighted to note that the loan agreement is all embracive; it covers the construction of the schools, accommodation, furniture, water and all that is required. The terms are also quite attractive. Accordingly, I urge that the House approves this agreement.
HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also rise to support the motion. This loan will go a long way in improving the standard of education in satellite schools because pupils in these schools walk long distances to attend school. Most of these schools are very poorly built, actually pupils learn in barns which were used by the former white people. So, I would like to support this agreement especially that teachers’ houses are going to be constructed and also that the schools are going to be equipped with furniture. Also, the equipment is going to be provided. I am also particularly impressed that more primary schools are going to be built and five secondary schools. I note that the loan conditions are very favourable, 1.5% interest is very reasonable. Thank you very much.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I stand to
acknowledge the good thing for this loan. I believe it will go a long way in helping this country to have a better future with regard to the education system of this country. Mr. Speaker Sir, my appeal to the Hon. Minister is to look strongly into how the project will be implemented on the ground. In this I appeal to the Hon. Minister to manage strongly the element of corruption when allocating contracts for the schools which will be built.
On that note as well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appeal to the Hon. Minister to do his job diligently in terms of allocating schools in certain areas which really have need to have those schools, not necessarily looking at the aspects of how an area is supporting a political party – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Mr. Speaker Sir, this is so paramount. When distribution will be done for the schools to be built, it will be important for all the factors that the Hon. Minister has said to be looked into. Mr. Speaker, to prioritise in terms of need and in terms of desperation because we have seen challenges across the country especially in rural areas and the resettled farmers, whereby we have pupils who are walking long distances. So, I appeal to the Hon. Minister to look into that and to make sure that is done well above board.
However, the other thing Mr. Speaker Sir, with these loans, I appeal to the Hon. Minister to work more strongly for this country to do much more production, to create finance rather than looking into much of donations or looking into much of loans – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We need to make sure that we sustain ourselves regardless of whether it is a loan or whatever but let us stop this behaviour of depending on loans. Let us work on a system of sustaining ourselves as a result of the minerals that we have, so that we create more funds to do our structures and everything else rather than coming to this Parliament on a daily basis, with loans to be approved. This will go a long way in affecting our future generation to pay these bills. So, it is important for the Hon. Minister to have a long future of appreciating a future generation which will not be burdened by all these loans so that they will be free to do their new things without burdening themselves with the loans that we get. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise just to seek
clarification from the Minister. If I heard the Minister correctly, he is talking of eight schools for $22 million in eight provinces. Basic computation would show you that each school is going to be built at about $2 million which I think is a lot of money. Now, given the gravity of the problem in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in terms of rural schools, I was going to suggest that if it was possible, in the scope of works in the implementation of the programme, are we not able to just do the basic two classroom blocks and two standard houses which will cost about a $100 000.
In that process, if we spend a $100 000 per primary school with two blocks and two teachers’ houses standard, then we could build about twenty primary schools in each province, which I think will go a long way. Just building one primary school in a province of about eight districts or so, I think it will be a drop in the ocean. Clearly of course when these figures are computed, people have a tendency of inflating the prices but a standard teacher’s house from experience is just $25 000 and standard classroom blocks 22 metres long, is not more than $30 000.
That is why I am proposing that if the Ministry of Primary and
Secondary education standards are that we can build the minimum standard two classrooms and two standard houses, why do we not just build that and the rest the SDCs are going to finish up.
Besides, these are satellite schools and they would not need 12 blocks. They just need three or four blocks which can be built by way less than a $100 000, then we multiply the number of primary schools that we would build in a province. I really feel that if that would be possible, it would go a long way because there are so many satellite schools and so many schools in the provinces. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also want to support Hon. Chinamasa. Hon. Chinamasa, I think that once you get such an opportunity, you are in a better position and it would be good for you to build schools in newly resettled areas because these areas have a history that will never be forgotten. So that history, it does not matter whether you are going to be ridiculed by others who did not expect this resettlement but you should not listen to such ridicule. Continue building and building until people understand that the Government has the interests of people at heart. So, I just stood up to thank you Hon. Chinamasa and to say that this was a great leap forward and I heard you being applauded by those on my left and other Members of Parliament that you have done a good job. I was saying to myself, they now know that ZANU PF Members of Parliament can deliver. So, I want to urge you to continue working hard and continue building in the areas where we are now resettled and become independent. I thank you.
HON. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir. I
also want to take this opportunity just to amplify my thoughts on this very important discussion and debate before the House. My intervention Hon. Speaker Sir is quite to the contrary of what Hon. Chinotimba and other hon. members have contributed. I think that we must also exercise caution when we are adopting loans as Parliament, whereas the cause might be noble, we must also be circumspect and introspective. When one looks at the debt overhang that we have in the country and when one looks at the $8 billion that we are supposed to be dealing with which is debt. Contracting debt is a very bad culture. It is symptomatic and indicative of a culture of consumption beyond our capacity. It shows a runaway appetite and an expenditure that is above what we are able to produce and for that simple reason, this is a very important aspect that has to be covered in the country.
The culture of contracting debt is not a good culture. It starts at a household level, it cascades into the nation. It is not a good culture because we are consuming resources on behalf of future generations and it is wrong, particularly in the context of our national dignity and sovereignty. Once you start to contract loans, you are also flying in the face of your dignity as a nation and to have a begging bowl cannot be something that we celebrate. I do not think that we should come here to celebrate having a loan. We cannot come here to sit as Members of Parliament with so much resources to say we are here, we want somebody to come and build our own schools for our own children.
Surely, these are some of the things that we can deal with Mr.
Speaker Sir. I say this particularly when one has regard to the
Constitution. If you look at the Constitution Section 300, there is supposed to be an Act of Parliament to limit borrowings by the State. This Act is supposed to be there constitutionally because there is a realisation that it is very easy for Government to be tempted beyond its capacity. Why are we supposed to have this Hon. Speaker Sir? It is because the State should be given a green light by Parliament on the payment and repayment of those loans that are guaranteed by the State.
Now, you will find that that is very difficult for us to exercise oversight. We do not know if Hon. Chinamasa is going to expedite the introduction of this Act which is going to be very useful. Because, within 60 days of a loan having been concluded, we are supposed to then have the Minister coming to Parliament. It does not end there – [HON. CHINAMASA: That is what I am doing] – You are supposed to then tell us how it is performing by way of a Gazette.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Address the Chair.
HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. He is being very provocative.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, address the Chair.
HON. CHAMISA: I hear you Hon. Speaker Sir. It is a human
instinct to be very protective but, I hear you Hon. Speaker Sir. I was making the point that we have a duty to delimit and define the conditions and circumstances within which at least the loans are supposed to be guaranteed. Now, we cannot do that in the absence of an Act because that is the enabling legislation. We need in our quest to align our legislation and laws to have such Acts before we have the Minister being allowed to just come and contract, go into loans without our ability to prescribe the terms and conditions. It is in the Constitution. So, in as much as we would want to support the Minister and he is trying his best under the circumstances, this is why I want to limit his galloping ambition to be contracting loans. We want to make sure that he is within the confines of the law. Otherwise, if we allow the Minister to go and borrow willy-nilly, we are going to have a problem. We will end up borrowing for recurrent expenditure. It is not good for the country. We are honourable men and women and we do not want ten or twenty years down the line when most of us will not be there, to defend for our future generation to say, why did these men and women sit to preside over the mortgaging of a country.
The mortgaging of our future, we cannot afford to do that Mr. Speaker. This is why we must exercise caution in approving loans. We cannot just give carte blanche an open cheque. There has to be – [HON. CHINOTIMBA: What are you saying?] – I appreciate Hon. Chinotimba
is confessing that he is lost. I will try to interpret to him after I have completed my presentation. – [Laughter] –
Hon. Speaker Sir, without saying a lot, I honestly feel that we need to expedite the law that gives certain parameters. I will not support any contracting of a loan. So, given the chance, I would actually vote against. In fact, I believe that all progressive Zimbabweans should not just play a yes man. We do not want to be coming here and nodding to the Minister as he is driving the country into debt and mortgages. This is a debt that we are contracting and we cannot afford just to come here and support him for the sake of it. We have supported him in the Budget and we cannot support him on these aspects. If anything Hon. Speaker Sir, let there be expenditure retrenchment within Government. Let us reduce the number of our Ministers. Let us go and borrow from Magufuli. Just go and be under Magufuli for one week in Tanzania. He will tell and teach you how to cut expenditures Hon. Minister. That being done, I do not support any contracting of a loan by our Government at this particular juncture.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon.
*HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am deeply
disturbed that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development said he cannot provide 30% for local authorities because there is no Act of Parliament but today, we hear that he is able to get this loan and yet there is no Act of Parliament as in Section 300. So, what I am saying is that if we are not careful as an august House, we will be led astray and they will do what pleases them. For that reason I am saying that we will be led astray because they do not want to come up with legislation that is beneficial to the country. We need to consider that Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we have such legislation because right now, they are borrowing at will because there is no Act of Parliament that limits me, and so, I can do whatever I want. We need to be careful. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister will respond to that.
HON. MUKUPE: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me the
opportunity to participate in the debate. In as much as I would appreciate that the Hon. Member who has just spoken before me is well versed in legal matters, and might not necessarily have an appreciation of financial matters, – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It might be necessary for some of us to be able to elaborate. I think the first thing that I would want to put across…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. The Hon. Member is far at
the back and I need to follow exactly what you are saying. Can you be heard? Are you alright there?
` HON. MUKUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the
opportunity to give my thoughts on the matter at hand. I think the first thing that I just wanted to point out was that in as much as I appreciate that the Hon. Member who has just made his contribution is well versed in legal matters and might not have a full appreciation of financial matters, – [HON. MEMEBRS: Hear, hear] – I felt that it was necessary for me to just put across some key basic points when it comes to finance.
If you find an institution giving the entire loan…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Member, you have to be very careful with your statement otherwise -[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections]- Order, you may by accident mean that the Hon. Minister who is a lawyer may not be versed in financial matters –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Order, order. If the Hon. Member could stick to the facts and not the professional background?
HON. MUKUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the point of
correction. I think I will be more specific in the sense that I was referring to Hon. Chinamasa. I would want to address the issue of the loan that is coming from OPEC. I think the key thing that I want to bring out is that when you read our Budget, it was very clear in terms of how we were going to fund the entire infrastructure that was related to schools, that there were all sorts of levies that were going to be introduced. These levies were going to take care of any funding that we were going to borrow out there. As an institution, if you are going to go out and make any loan application, and that loan application is approved, what those who are giving loans are saying, that like your house is in order, you are doing a good job, and you have got the capacity for you to be able to pay back the loan. So in essence, for us to be able to get this loan from OPEC, what they were doing is that they were giving a vote of confidence in the plans that Hon. Chinamasa had put in front of them. They are saying that he is doing a very good job, he is a very good Finance Minister and the programme he has got in essence is a very good programme. So, this notion that loans are bad, is a notion which is archaic and it is a notion where someone does not comprehend and totally understand how financial institutions work. I thank you Mr.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Members, I will not allow repetition of what has been said. We are guided by the Standing Rules and Orders, so if you agree, just stand up and say I agree or I disagree. Let us have something new.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to add something that has not been said before and it is very pertinent. I also support the loan but it is my wish and believe that as we move with the SDGs, as these schools will be build, we also consider putting aside a budget that we build somewhere where women and girls will put their sanitary wear because there is a lot of messy in these schools because girls have nowhere to put sanitary wear.
Looking at those with disabilities, as we build these schools, they must be user friendly to the – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.
HON. NYAMUPINGA: They must be user friendly to people living with disabilities because in rural areas we are having so many parents accompanying their children to school, even though they have wheelchairs. When they get to school, they will have to lift the wheelchairs to get into the class. As they build these new schools, I hope that there is a budget aside for them to put ramps for them to move their wheelchairs. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. You took a while to recognize me and my point is almost escaping me. It is a fresh one anyway – [Laughter] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. The Chair will not accept veiled criticism. You are many here and we have to spread the debate alone, so please withdraw that statement.
HON. NDEBELE: I do Hon. Speaker with due respect. Hon. Speaker, first of all let me thank the Hon. Minister for a job well done under the circumstances. Hon. Chamisa, it is in the DNA of the ruling party to keep accruing debts. Under the circumstances, the Minister has done well this time because it is a debt not about supporting individuals in their own farms but it is a good debt in that it will go towards the education of our children. It has been said several times in this House that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is one of the most hard working. At times, at Church, we are asked to pray for our leaders and I pray for him, that in breathing life into a comatose status of things, he does not breathe life out of himself, Mr. Speaker.
The eight schools, I am told will go to eight provinces but it is my submission that all the schools could have easily gone to Matabeleland. Why? Often times it is said that we are not training children in sciences so that we feed into the National University of Science and Technology. That assumption is based on the fact that we are producing a good number of arts students from Matabeleland, which we are not. Show us statistics of those children that are doing arts in universities across the country? There are none. The number is equally poor. This owes to the fact that in Matabeleland, in some wards in the rural areas, you will find that there is no primary or secondary school at all, yet in some parts of the country a mere walk to the Holiday Inn, you come across about two or three primary schools and an equal number of secondary schools.
That is why my position is all those schools should have gone to
Matabeleland, truly speaking.
I also agree that resources are limited, so is it possible for the Minister to consider spreading the resources thinly so that they go far beyond the eight provinces. I know of communities in Matabeleland that are ready to receive material and start working towards building their own schools. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. DR. MUKANDURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for
affording me this opportunity. First of all, I would like to say I support the loan agreement that has been contracted by the Hon. Minister of
Finance and Economic Development on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe. We should be cognisant of the fact that when the land reform started, not all of us supported that move. Even the NGOs that were operating and are still operating in Zimbabwe, did not support any infrastructure in terms of schools and health institutions in those areas where the land reform took place.
We are not surprised to hear some of our colleagues debating against this motion because it is natural. Those people who were against the land reform will never ever support any institution, be it academic or health in those resettlement areas for good reasons. We are aware that it is expected that if these schools were in the urban areas, some of our colleagues here, basing on the fact that they think that they have support in those areas, they would support this loan agreement.
This was the second motion on the loan agreement. We have debated the first motion that was introduced by the Minister of Finance concerning the rehabilitation of the Bulawayo power station and we were all in agreement. It is very difficult for the Minister of Finance to get loan agreements. We should also be cognisant of the fact that even those developed countries like the USA or China depend on borrowing and they are heavily borrowed. So, I honestly support the motion Mr.
*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support Hon. Minister Chinamasa on the $87 million loan as well as the $22 million that he has allocated towards education. We would want to thank Hon. Chinamasa as someone who was given a Ministry, it is his job as Minister of Finance and Economic Development to see how he can run the economy. It is a great stride that he made in getting this US$87m.
*HON. CHIBAYA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
*HON. CHIBAYA: My point of order is that I do not know if we are in the same august House because the US$87m that he is talking about, I have no idea where it is coming from. What we are talking about is the US$22m, so I think he is a bit lost. We are not at the same level. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The correct figure we are dealing with is US$20m.
*HON. MUKWENA: Sorry Hon. Speaker Sir. I had got the
figures mixed up. I want to thank the Minister for the US$20m that he has acquired for education. Our request is that this money be given to Minister Dokora so that he and his ministry and officials can work out a way of assisting the schools that require assistance. If we look at the schools that were given US$20m, there are 17 schools in the whole country. So, in English we say that there is no impact that will be felt if the schools have been built.
We all know our economic position. So we request Hon.
Chinamasa that the money that you have given to the Ministry of
Education be used for the purpose. I want to support the idea by Hon. Gabbuza that even if a school is given two blocks and maybe two houses for accommodation for teachers, we will feel the impact of the development, which means that next year it will actually add to what will have been done in this year. So, this money should be given to Hon. Dokora to cover schools that have a need.
In the rural areas, most schools do not have two blocks and above. Minister Dokora should sit down and see how he can allocate this money to the deserving schools. We have Matedzi Primary School, it has 1900 children. Most schools in resettlement areas have above 1000 studies. So, if we have at least two blocks, we will appreciate knowing that our Government has made efforts to assist these schools. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, the Hon. Minister of
Finance and Economic Development is required in the Senate. So, I will only allow Hon. Mudarikwa as the last speaker.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Hon. Speaker Sir, thank you very much
for allowing me to contribute. The issue here at stake is in the resettlement areas. We want to establish schools like Goromonzi where our sons and daughters will be able to have Science laboratories at ‘O’ level, Science laboratories at ‘A’ level and then we are able to produce scientists. All the nations that have done well - Japan and other countries, have relied on science. We cannot continue with this current situation where this nation has produced the largest numbers of priests and reverends than any other country in Africa.
We must now concentrate on the production of quality and this will help develop the country. The other theme that we must look at is where we have had a lot of people moving from urban areas, moving from rural areas into the commercial farming area and these commercial farming areas naturally have been disadvantaged. There were no schools at all, now people are learning in the barns and everything so, we need quality in this whole arrangement. Also, let us realise as legislators that 80% of our people live in the rural areas and this is where we must also focus our support because we cannot talk of democracy when there is no economic democracy. When we come here to contribute on roads for urban areas, it is easy it is said 135 for City of Harare - everybody claps hands.
We have 20 million for rural areas covering the whole of
Zimbabwe. People are saying it is wrong; we cannot live on these loans. Some of us who have a religious background realise the value of education in any given society and we must develop as a nation together in Harare and in Bulawayo and also in rural areas.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development because even if you have the capacity to borrow; we produce a lot of tobacco, we produce a lot of maize in resettlement areas, they are able to repay without any problem. It is in the urban areas whereby when they are given loans, they buy 4 x 4 vehicles and nobody raises hell about it. We need to concentrate and realise that this is going to our brothers and sisters in the rural areas.
Thank you very much.
THE HON. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.
I want to thank all the hon. members who have contributed to this debate. All of the contributors are supporting the loan except the Hon. Chamisa and for very wrong reasons. Hon. Kwaramba, I want to thank you very much for supporting the loan. Hon. Mutseyami, you raised a concern about corruption. I want to assure you that this project will be implemented with efficiency and transparency. The Project
Management Unit within the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been established to oversee the implementation of this project and I do not anticipate any problems.
Hon Gabbuza, you made a very valid point and I am going to follow it up. The valid point you made is that with US$20m we could have more mileage, build more schools - that we are going to enquire and find out whether we can build and achieve what we wanted to do within and beyond – so, I take the point. You make reference of course to the fact that the loan is too little. This is not the only initiative that we are doing or we are undertaking as Government to put infrastructure at our primary schools. In the Budget that you just approved, I made reference to an infrastructure bond to put classroom blocks and laboratories in our primary and secondary schools, to take into account the new emphasis on promotion of Mathematics and Sciences. We want to start it early in primary and for that we need adequate and appropriate infrastructure. For that to happen, we are going to float a bond and I advised that in the 2016 Budget, which will be underwritten by school development levies.
To this end, it is also an answer to Hon. Chamisa that we are just not borrowing will-nilly for consumption. When you are spending money on education of your children, that is not consumption. You are investing in the future – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – The future is children. What would the future mean for this country if we are going to be faced with an illiterate population and that is the thesis of Hon. Chamisa that we should not borrow. He makes a very absolute statement that he is completely opposed to borrowing. What would the commercial banks do if Hon. Chamisa was to succeed? Commercial banks are there to lend money ...
Hon. Chamisa having stood up on a point of order
HON. SPEAKER: I have not recognised you Hon. Chamisa and so far there is no problem – [HON. CHAMISA: There is.] – No, there is no problem. Can you allow the Minister to conclude his statement?
Kindly allow the Minister to conclude his statement.
HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I did not heckle him as he was making his statements and if you read the Hansard, he was very categorical that he is opposed to the contracting of debt. I am saying, show me a country which does not borrow. The number one economy is heavily indebted to the People’s Republic of China through Treasury Bills. Show me a business which can start with its own resources without borrowing. The same applies to Government. Show me a Government which does not borrow. Show me one.
What is critical Mr. Speaker Sir, is the purpose for which you borrow the money. If you are borrowing it to eat it, yes that is wrong but if you are borrowing to create assets on the basis of which the economy can grow, that is purely justified. That is exactly what we are doing. The Hon. Member also forgets that it is not everyone who goes out into the debt market to borrow and gets the loan. So, we are given the money, it is a demonstration of confidence in our management of the economy – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Of course, they do not lend to you if you have no capacity or do not demonstrate capacity to pay. They do not lend you money if in fact they think you are mismanaging the economy. So, this is a demonstration of our sound macro-economic management and for that we should be congratulated.
Hon. Chamisa also is of the view that there is no limit to what we should borrow. There is a limit. There is a law and over and above that Mr. Speaker Sir, under our staff monitored programme with the IMF, we undertook an artificial ceiling below what the law provides because we wanted to build a track record and we have not exceeded that limit. So, the point raised is again not valid.
Hon. Chinotimba, thank you very much. I agree with Hon. Chinotimba. If I can borrow $1 billion now to put up the entire infrastructure in all our schools and the lender is willing to lend me the $1 billion, I will sign it without asking anybody. It is very important because you will gain the benefits now and you pay over a long period. If you wait until 20 years to have the resources, what will have happened during the period of 20 years? A wasted human capital and what we need in this country is human capital. We are number one in terms of human capital development. We cannot allow, permit or lag behind in the development of human capital. We must remain the leader in this area and our people are our greatest asset. We must invest in them without any apologies. We must be unapologetic in terms of resources we deploy towards investing in our people.
Hon. Mukupe, thank you very much for reinforcing what I am just saying. It is a vote of confidence in the country that we are able to secure loans and we are not using these loans for consumption. The loan is for the creation of very necessary infrastructure and I have already mentioned what we are going to do in 2016, that all these loans will be underwritten by school development levies.
Hon. Nyamupinga, I take the point you make and I will certainly refer it to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. In particular, your reference about appropriate facilities for the girl-child that I think is a matter which may have been overlooked. With respect to whether buildings are constructed to accommodate disabled persons, I think all buildings in terms of the law require that they should be appropriately designed to accommodate disabled pupils or teachers.
Hon. Ndebele, I think I have already answered him in my response
to Hon. Chamisa, I am also addressing him. This country, even on the basis of the loan as it stands, if this country did not suffer from the burdens which we all know – [HON. MEMBERS: Sanctions. ] – Yes, the sanctions. If we had a performing economy, our debt is nothing. This House also needs to know that when we negotiated with IMF, we did not qualify for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), which would mean that they regard our economy not as bad as all of us think. We do not qualify for HIPC which is why we did not, I can show you the assessments of our economy – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no, you do not know what you are talking about.
We did not qualify for HIPC because when they assessed our performance they said we do not qualify on all the indices that should establish whether you are a HIPC or not. Do not plead poverty when you are not poor please – [HON. CHAMISA: That was your argument.] – No, no, we are not poor. We are running through difficulties and we will overcome those challenges. We know why we went into those challenges. It was a price we had to pay to gain our resources. We now have our resources – [AN. HON. MEMBER: You are just corrupt.] –
Hon. Dr. Mukanduri, I thank you very much for your support and again, you make the point of course that there is no country on earth which does not borrow, either domestically or externally and more recently, I think we have had classic cases of huge sums of money running into billions being borrowed at any one show. Hon. Mukwena, thank you very much for your support also. I think you made the point that we need more schools. We are going to address this through the
Infrastructure Board that I made reference to in the budget. Hon. Mudarikwa, thank you very much for the support and also for emphasizing that what Zimbabwe now needs is quality education and it is within a short grasp of our country. We speak of quality education, science education, technology and mathematics. This is the emphasis we are going to give in our curriculum, both in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education. There will be a bias towards promotion of the sciences. Mr. Speaker Sir, with this response I accordingly move THAT WHEREAS, Section 327(3) of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind
Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, a Loan agreement between Government of
Zimbabwe and the OPEC Fund for International Development relating to a US$20 million Line of Credit for the construction of twelve (12) primary and five (5) secondary schools in rural areas in eight (8) provinces, provide relevant equipment, furniture and standard teachers’ houses for the targeted schools.
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE ON A DEFINITE MATTER OF
URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE: TRAPPED ARTISANAL MINERS AT
PEAKSTONE MINE - CHEGUTU
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): I rise to move the adjournment of the House on a definite matter of public importance. The matter relates to the trapping of artisanal miners at Peakstone Mine in Chegutu. This matter is raised in terms of Standing Order No. 59.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to debate a very important issue. It is very important that I brought this motion to this august House because we are in this House to represent the interests of Zimbabweans. Without the people out there, there is no Parliament and as such, I felt it would be very important to debate this motion. As I speak, Hon. Nduna, the Member of Parliament for where this saga that I will unfold in the next few moments is in Chegutu right now, at Peakstone, where seven artisanal miners are feared dead because they are trapped underground. Hon. Nduna has staged a one man demonstration to stop those that are driving artisanal miners out of Peakstone and Gadzema and is urging the authorities to be civil in the way they handle evictions. The last time I heard from a source, it was said that Hon. Nduna parked his vehicle and said instead of the authorities doing what they have done to these artisanal miners, they must go past him first. So, he has put his life on the line and is telling the authorities to kill him first before they can get to the miners because those are the people that he represents. For that, I want to salute Hon. Nduna. [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear]
Mr. Speaker, there is a term that we use in Zimbabwe called kukorokoza. It is a derogatory term in that it says you are doing things that are illicit in order to eke a living. 70% of the rural population in Zimbabwe survives on artisanal mining. 70% of that population is into gold mining while the other 30% will then go into other semi-precious metals like chromites etcetera. There was a time that the ZRP embarked on an operation called Chikorokoza chapera. When they embarked on this operation, they drove artisanal miners off claims and the level of gold that was then remitted to this country plunged by over 55%. What it means is that most of the gold that sees its way through Fidelity Refineries comes from artisanal miners. Artisanal mining in Zimbabwe employs 500,000 people directly and of this figure, 153,000 are either men or children. This is the money that they use for survival and school fees because we know that the Zimbabwean economy is heavily informalised.
When I go to England, I go to a place called Big Ben. When you look at Big Ben, it is pure gold that came from Africa and most of it came from the rural areas of this country, yet Zimbabweans are not able to enjoy that natural resource. That will be depleted in the next few years because it is not a renewable resource.
This incident has come at a time when just yesterday, the price of gold went up after having been down for the past 6 years because of speculative behaviour in the market. What this means is that all other artisanal miners are going to move off their claims and the level of gold being remitted to Fidelity is going to plunge. In 2008, Zimbabwe was only able to get three tonnes of gold. When you get less than ten tonnes of gold, it means you cannot export directly as a country; you need a threshold of ten tonnes. What it means is that Zimbabwe, then had to go through South Africa in order for us to export our gold. When artisanal miners were allowed to mine, the level of gold that is going to be received only this year, is 24 tonnes. I wish the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was here to vouch for me. Mr. Speaker Sir, 24 tonnes are going to be remitted to Fidelity and 60% of those 24 tonnes is coming from artisanal miners.
Mr. Speaker, the information that I have concerning what happened at Pixton and Gadzema is that there are gold claims there that are held by a company called ACR. ACR is an international mining company which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange. For the purpose of this discussion, I will say they are holding those claims for speculative reasons because there is nothing happening on those claims.
So, people in Chegutu, knowing that there is a precious resource underground, decided to go in there and do artisanal mining. They dug their pits and started mining. The information I have is that ACR approached our courts and they were given a court order to evict the miners. Obviously when you get a court order to evict, you are accompanied by the Deputy Sherriff who will then may be elicit the help of the Police to drive away people that are occupying a piece of land
Mr. Speaker Sir, when they got there, they got there with bulldozers for the purpose of chasing people out and also for the purpose of filling up the holes and the shafts that have been dug. As they were driving out people, there is one person who came out of a pit and indicated as he was running away from Police, police dogs and so on; that I still have three of my friends that are underground. Regardless of this, the bulldozers went and filled that hole with three bonafide
Zimbabweans; shareholders to this country. People who hold national
IDs like I do, like you do, like everyone does, in the ground and they have been covered. Mr. Speaker, as if that was not enough, as one of the artisanal miners was running away from the Police, he was also shot.
Now, Hon. Nduna with the help of other artisanal miners brought that to the attention of the authorities and then they went and started to excavate. But the machine that they were using could not reach the depth that the soil had gone to. So, people are now doing it manually. As, they are digging, they have realised that some of the pits are now filled with water. What it means is that it is unlikely that there is anyone living underground there.
Mr. Speaker, I say this with a heavy heart. Why should
Zimbabweans be treated like trash in their own country? If people in Chegutu cannot enjoy life at Pixton and Gadzema, where should they go to enjoy life? Zimbabwe belongs to all of us – [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] – Mr. Speaker, I urge the authorities and I am happy the
Hon. Vice President of this country Hon. Mnangagwa is here, that the
Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Home Affairs, should be stationed at Gadzema and Pixton to ensure that excavation takes place.
Mr. Speaker Sir, not, only that, they must give the nation updates of what is happening but not only that, I think a Ministerial Statement will be in order to tell the people of Zimbabwe, the citizens of this country, what happened because what we are seeing here is another Marikana. In my eyes, there is no difference between losing six lives and losing 34 lives, the only difference, is in the number but the style of the loss of life is the same. This is not acceptable. As I am debating, I was looking to see if Hon. Matambanadzo is here, I know Hon. Matambanadzo is one person who deals with artisanal miners and he understands this field backwards. I would have wanted him to give a narration of the contribution that artisanal miners have done to this economy.
The problem we have in Zimbabwe is that we respect people when they are called with their titles, for example Dr. Maridadi, or Mr. so and so but the ordinary people that make this country are not recognised.
What has happened in Chegutu is a typical example of how this country is failing to look after its own citizens. It is typical and Mr. Speaker, I think the Government must be held to account.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Nduna cannot be with us here because he is there trying to fight the authorities to put across the case of the people of
Chegutu. When I last spoke to him, I promised him that after this
Parliament Session, I will also go to Chegutu and join him – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – There are three people in this country that have staged one-man demonstrations, it was firstly Dambudzo Marechera at the then University of Southern Rhodesia, when he staged a one-man demonstration from the University into town. Secondly, it was me, when I staged a demonstration in this House, when Members of Parliament in 2000 were debating the Budget and I staged a demonstration that resulted in the closure of this bar here, during debate. The third person who has done that is Hon. Nduna and because I know what it is when you feel strongly about something and you want to put a point across, so for that reason, I will go and join him in Chegutu and
also stage a two-men demonstration with Hon. Nduna. We will stage a demonstration until the authorities have given us a statement and have assured us that the heavy handedness of the police will not happen again. With that Mr. Speaker, I rest my case – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to also talk about this very sad, sensitive and touching event that has happened in Chegutu. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this event must actually make us wake up and see that our country is now for long, still running on laws that were actually created by the white man to oppress us the black people – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It is now our responsibility as the august House, to now quickly look into these laws. I am actually one of the practical artisan miner, I do artisan mining as well in Matabeleland, and I remember at one time I was in Shangani where there was a gold rush there, the police came there, they treated us like we were nothing. They treated us like we were crazy people and yet we were normal Zimbabweans who were trying to make a living.
Mr. Speaker, here is a person who is avoiding to go and steal, murder or to commit any crime to make a living – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – While they are doing that, here we are, our police force comes on that person. What are they trying to do? Are they trying to push that person from earning a decent living to being a criminal. At times I ask myself, are we trying to create candidates for our jails as if our jails are not empty, our jails are already full, why are we allowing such things to happen? This is not alright; this is not the way we are supposed to administer our beautiful country. Our elders fought for, it, blood was lost, so it is now high time that we start respecting the blood that was lost for our people.
Now, I want to call upon this House, I am also very glad because our Hon. Vice President is here. I think he will be able to help us to go through this thing because this is happening every day Mr. Speaker. Right now, I can tell you, last week, the boys in Matopos area were running battles with Police but they are trying to make a living, they are not stealing from anybody. The worst case scenario is that we are allowing these same white people to actually hold vast numbers of claims. There is a white man in Bulawayo called Van Rooyen who holds over 250 mining claims. This is one person and each mining claim is 10 hectares. So, you have somebody with 250 claims and which is about 2 500 hectares for one individual, yet one claim can sustain a family for their whole life. Why are we allowing such greed to happen – because he has money, he can be able to go and renew his mining licences and then we say it is correct? It is wrong and we must look at it that way.
Our people are suffering at the expense of people with money. Let us be honesty to ourselves and be sincere in this august House and say enough is enough – let these things stop. If they are not stopped, we are going to have a nation of very disgruntled and poor people. So, what I want us to zero on is to say from today, we have learnt a hard and painful lesson through what is happening in Chegutu. There are some other places which have not been reported like this but since this has come up to light, what are we doing from here and how are we going to correct it? It is up to this House and I sincerely hope Mr. Speaker Sir that the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, the Minister of Home Affairs and everybody who is concerned is going to take this thing seriously.
Let people go and mine and that gold will eventually come. Actually, the Makorokozas are not taking the gold out. It is the white man who has money who can afford to bring a plane and smuggle gold out. Those ones are actually selling the gold into our system. So, let us support them because they are the ones who are bringing in more gold for us as a nation. Let us legalise and make it easy for them. With that Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say, my condolences to the families there. The people are dead. Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope that this is going to teach us a lesson to be sincere. With that, I want to thank you.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I also rise to add my voice with a heavy heart because being Zimbabwe and 35 years after independence, we are still talking of repressive laws which were instituted by the Rhodesians. We still have those laws in place and we are using them against our own people, which is exactly what made us take up arms personally, as young as I was -13 years old. I had to go to war to remove such repressive laws instituted by the Rhodesian Government but we are still using them. I am equally old now but those laws are still in place and I have a heavy heart because of that.
Hon. Speaker, I do not know how many times I have heard this word Makorokoza, referring to our own people as Makorokoza. The very system that has been put in place by the very same people whom we are calling Makorokozas, we are looking down upon them. We are the system, the leadership, we are seated here in Parliament and we look down upon those people by naming them Makorokoza, yet those are the very same people who are voting and giving us the sits to be seated in this Parliament and appointed as Ministers. Those are the very same people and the majority of them when we go for campaigns we always make sure that we woo those Makorokozas to vote for us as Members of Parliament. We then have the privilege to be appointed as a Minister, which is because of those people but we are doing nothing in terms of having to alleviate their plight as artisanal miners, we call them Makorokoza.
I have a problem Hon. Speaker, with our system which only sees the foreigner as an investor but no Zimbabwean can be an investor. Most of our laws are crafted around the idea of FDI at the expense of the local investor. Why is it that we look down upon ourselves that we cannot have a local investor? I could go on naming the whole least of companies of Zimbabweans which have actually folded as a result of our system which is so despiteful of its own people at the expense of the foreigner whom we see to bring in the money. Alas, most of these foreigners that we think are the ones who bring money in Zimbabwe are coming and actually raising the money on the local market.
How many cases have we read in the papers, if I am to make reference to some of them? On the local market, coming with his or her briefcase with nothing and raise the money that foreign investor, raising it on the local market. The Kurotwi case is one of them. It came out in the paper and all visits were done in terms of an inspection in loco in South Africa to establish the foreign investor who had invested in that diamond company but, the truth of the matter or the evidence as we read in the papers was that it was a non-existent company. The money was raised on the local market, hence it folded up. This is the quest that we have as a system for the foreign investor, why at the expense of the Zimbabwean investor.
That is exactly the same thing which is happening in the case of the Pixton and Gadzema Mine incident, which is a foreign investor at the expense of the local investor whom we then call the Makorokoza. Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times it has been raised in this House in terms of having to review the laws but still, I wonder what is holding us. It is the system, the Ministers, the Cabinet and the Executive who initiate these laws in terms of having to change and repeal those Acts which we think are not enabling in terms of facilitating for business opportunities for our local people. If we cannot facilitate for our local people and we can only facilitate for the foreigner, then I think that we are starting the whole thing from a wrong point of view altogether. We always hear that charity begins at home and it has to begin with us. Let us try and make it enabling for our local people and then we can always also look at the foreigner and together we can facilitate a system and move on and together.
Mr. Speaker, licencing fees - right now there is the topical issue of saying, Zimbabwe has to be investor friendly and it is again focusing on the foreign investor without also looking at the local investor – taxes, levies, you name them, everything has to be made user friendly and reformed but we are always looking at the foreigner. Why do we not also include the local investor because he or she would have created employment, contributing to the fiscus through the taxes and what have you. So, I think that together we need to move. Let us look at the local investor as well. Mr. Speaker, the mover of this motion talked about speculative purposes. I would also want to add the aspect of the law that we inherited from Rhodesia, where it gives importance of what is underground at the expense of agriculture and at the same time, ignoring the interests of the owners of that land. I think we need to be proactive and take the interest of both the owner of the land and at the same time, the investor. We need to come up with such laws which create a harmonious relationship other than having to create conflicts always as we are seeing today.
Our laws always want to create conflicts. I think it is high time we need to be living in harmony and create a peaceful society. We are the ones to make the laws. So, let us take cognisance of all interests and have a win-win situation. That is my recommendation on that. For instance, my constituency where I come from or where I am representing my constituents, it is a gold area, Penhalonga. I do not think that there is much that we want in terms of having to facilitate and enable our people to be able to be productive.
I give an example of the Russians. The Russians came with their equipment through DTZ, and just going about alluvial gold mining along the Mutare River, diverting the routes and what have you as well as diverting the route of the original flow of the river getting gold. If you were to visit that river, it is no more the same. I am not saying I am against the foreign investors, but I am saying the way things are being done is not good. Meanwhile, these makorokozas, mayouth who voted for me are folding their hands and watching the Russians making money.
I think we have since lost about two or three lives, the youth and the artisanal miners. It is rather a difficult word for me to pronounce but just bear with me. We have lost two or three lives. When these youth were now following where the Russians would have mined looking for muvhuru-vhuru, you know what I mean, I have always been asking myself a question and say, what does it take for the Government to just come up with exactly the same equipment. It is not anything that is very expensive in terms of equipment. I am looking at a dozer and this is what the Russians are using. I am looking at whatever they use to sieve through the rubble that they would have dug along the rivers and then they wash it using the same river and they bring out their gold.
When you look at it, it is simple. All what we need is to have the capital equipment. I am saying, what does it take for Government to facilitate and enable these makorokozas, these youth we are talking about to have that equipment. It is possible because it is not any equipment that is out of this world that I have seen the Russians using. I am making a recommendation to say, why can we not do that as a system to facilitate and remember what they have said in terms of the other contributors ahead of me, that this gold being mined by our own people is the one which is following the right channels in terms of being sold to Fidelity, other than these foreigners that we are talking about.
Mr. Speaker, I have a heavy heart when I am contributing to this motion. I may go on and on but I am saying, the laws of the Rhodesians, it is high time we should close that chapter and come up with a Zimbabwean law which we went to fight for. We cannot continue to be governed by Rhodesian laws when we say we are Zimbabweans. What is it that we fought for when we continue to be governed by Rhodesian laws? I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for
affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this important motion. It is a painful motion. I believe that those that have been trapped will be found. It hates Mr. Speaker, to observe the manner which we are being treated in our own country. Before we go any further, I would want to thank the Minister of Mines and Mining Development for what he has done to us in Kwekwe. I would also want to thank the President because he has allowed us to work with any type of people in this country. We have the British and the Chinese. They have come to take over ZIMASCO and I am just coming from Kwekwe.
I thank the President for what he has done and may you send my thanks to the President because ZIMASCO had closed and it has opened. I know that you are not interested in the re-opening of ZIMASCO. As I go further, I would also want to express my gratitude for being given licences. All of us Hon. Members have now been given licences to buy gold, even those that are speaking now or heckling me have those licences to buy gold – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon.
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the Hon. Member is talking about what he has been doing today. I thought the mover of the motion introduced a motion which is talking about the tragic situation in Chegutu. It has nothing to do with licences and ZISCO Steel. So, I beg that the Hon. Member be guided on what he is supposed to be debating about. Thank you.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Member, the issue is about the people that have been buried alive in a mine in Chegutu, that is the motion in this House which has been moved by Hon. Maridadi. Do not stray in that regard.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you for the guidance Mr.
Speaker. I am overjoyed about the work that the Vice President is doing. I was praising him so that he would be aware of my appreciation. I am happy about Hon. Nduna’s position that he is going to fight until the bodies of those trapped are exhumed. I would want to give you a history about those that have been trapped, the artisanal miners. There is a time when we had to conducted feasibility study to find out who was producing more gold between the commercial miners and the small scale miners or artisanal miners, that was in 2004, we were given a target of 20 tonnes, 21.3 tonnes were produced and 60% was produced by the artisanal small scale miners. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has those statistics. In 2005, they were given a target because of what they had earlier produced, 60% of the previous years. They were given a target of 35 tonnes of gold to produce. They requested for machinery and the previous hon. member mentioned this. I spoke with the RBZ Governor, Mr. Gono and thereafter, they were arrested. A programme was embarked on called ‘chikorokoza chapera’. Our Vice President stood up in Kwekwe when 300 artisanal miners were arrested and jailed in Kwekwe. I wondered what was going on; I went there pleaded with the police and they were released.
In 2005, 35 tonnes were not reached because of the ideas or advice that was given to Government; where the advice emanated from, I am not aware. The point is that they failed to mine and less than 8 tonnes were produced. That was a sharp decline from 23 tonnes. I urge the Government to seriously look into this matter but I see where the problem is and where we are being confused is because of the legislation. A colonial legislation that was left behind by the whites; that legislation is against the small scale miners. Once they have achieved something, they will then point to the law and say they are not entitled to do that and their operations are set back. They want the Government to re-think and declare that artisanal mining is not good.
These things were being done by people who were not happy with the way that miners were producing. They wanted to sabotage us. Our target for this year is 92 tonnes but where did it come from? It came from the small scale miners. We introduced such a system which we had in 2004 and advised them to use the same modus operandi. The small scale miners produced 1.4 tonnes and this year, we produced eight tonnes. We did not have adequate support. They were licensed to buy gold and as hon. members, we also decided to move into that field so that we would find out the truth of the matter. We decided to acquire these licences and today, we have produced eight tonnes from a production of 19 tonnes.
What it simply does is that it defeats the targets that would have been set by the Government. It is the Government that is not meeting its target. How best can we be able to overcome such difficulties? My plea is, look into the colonial laws and assist us by removing these laws.
Secondly, what I have just said is that in Midlands more than 6 000 mines were forfeited. People were actually removed from those mines because they were failing to pay their fees or levies. The Minister said that they would be a reduction of those levies and licences and before that came into effect, the mines were confiscated. It is quite painful. Where are we going to get the gold from because the tariffs were too high? Even if they were not paying, we asked the Government to reduce the fees required.
These are some of the factors that lead into the sad scenario that has occurred in Chegutu; all such factors hamper the production of gold.
I have been remonstrated with earlier on and I will not repeat but Hon. Speaker, I urge you to be happy that even members of the MDC-T received these gold licences. They should know that the current Government is good. I thank you.
HON. MAJOME: I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, for giving me an opportunity to lend my voice to this very tragic and very somber issue that unites us as Zimbabweans across the political divide. If you will pardon Hon. Matambanadzo, I believe he is not actually quite aware that the mover of this motion is in fact an MDC-T Member of Parliament, Hon. Maridadi, who is doing so not because he is MDC-T but he is doing so in a collegiate manner because he does not come from Chegutu. His constituency is right here in Harare in Mabvuku. It does not have artisanal miners.
I want to understand that he rose to support his colleague Hon. Nduna who is in ZANU PF he is not here but is a Zimbabwean. I say that so that we just remember that we are all Zimbabweans and all of us are moved by the loss and any tragedy that happens to a fellow Zimbabwe and as Hon. Members of Parliament, we must always desist at all cost to bring in issues that detract from the somberness and tragedy of this issue.
Hon. Speaker, I rise because I am deeply touched, grieved and alarmed by what has befallen these artisanal miners in Chegutu. I rise to lend my voice and to make my points to see what we can do as a nation and as indeed Members of Parliament, to do something about this urgent tragedy.
My approach is that this issue has happened in a mining context but I think the fundamental issue that is here is the lack of respect for human life and human dignity. Today, it is an artisanal miner, the next thing it will be another one. If we all as human beings remember that we are all just humans and the next human being, whatever their occupation in life, their political party or whatever it is, they have the right to their life.
I am applauded at how a bulldozer can be driven by a human being on the instructions of another human being and also with the support of what should be called law enforcement agency, to cover a mining shaft without taking any measures and any care to find out if there might still be any other human being that is there and to take all measures to ensure that they do not bury human beings alive. This is what alarms me and this is what makes me rise.
As we debate this, I would want us to focus on that fundamental issue on the value, the primary basic value of human life. I say this because it is a tragedy indeed, I think it is Hon. Tshuma said it is three days since this tragedy and Hon. Mpariwa was saying that she fears that these young people might actually be children. She was explaining that in artisanal mining, the mine shafts are very narrow and small. One who can fit in there is likely to be a child Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is a blow on all of us. I say this because I think as a nation, we need to re-awaken our values and rally around certain core values that make us human beings and that is respect for the human rights of others starting with the right to life Mr. Speaker Sir. This kind of thing should never ever happen.
I can only again refer to our Constitution and say, whenever we keep on talking about the Constitution and its implementation, and issues like this bring to the fore the importance of inculcating in each of us those basic values and the human rights of others. Indeed, our Constitution now does not only require that the Government respects our rights. I am saying this to remind all of us Hon. Members and to do what we can in our constituencies and in our different ways, to remind each of us that each one of us as human beings has a duty to respect the human right of another being. Of course, the Government must also do so because if we get to that stage we will not find a person driving or using precious diesel that people cannot find, fuelling a bulldozer and burying other people alive.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to make particularly the point that Hon. Maridadi indicated that the Zimbabwe Republic Police are the ones that were enforcing the eviction order that they should, I suppose enforce in terms of the law. However, I am disturbed and have difficulty believing that the police would indeed supervise something like this and the loss of a life. I say so because the Constitution changed our police from being a Police Force to a Police Service.
I want to read here the functions of the Police Service because in writing the Constitution this word ‘service’ there were a lot of fights on whether it should be ‘force’ or ‘service’ but thankfully, the use of the word ‘service’ prevailed and we have the Zimbabwe Republic Police which are a ‘service’. I want to read something from Section 219 (1) (c) that says that ‘(1) There is a Police Service which is responsible for ...
(c) protecting and securing the lives and property of the people; ...’ of Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker, if indeed the police had been involved in the very reckless and negligent behaviour, surely I think something drastic must happen.
I rise Mr. Speaker Sir to say that sadly, it is three days ago that these people seem to have perished. I worry also whether indeed they can be found alive. I hope that this august House does not lose the urgency of the matter. It has happened in certain countries where there were earthquakes and even little babies have been found alive two or three weeks later in impossible circumstances Mr. Speaker. I want to urge this House that we remember that wherever there is life, there is hope and we must leave no stone unturned in excavating this pit very urgently to find out whether those people are indeed alive. I am glad that the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
I want to urge Hon. Maridadi to amend his motion, maybe to indicate that this House resolves that the Civil Protection Unit gets out there right now and does everything that it can, employs all the machinery and resources at its disposal to dig that pit and find out if those people are there. They could be alive and there is need for urgency. This is a disaster and that is really very sad. I am therefore hoping that Hon. Maridadi may amend his motion so that it may cause the House to resolve that a Select Committee of Parliament be appointed in order to investigate this activity. That it investigates it from the mining point of view, the livelihoods, the desperation that young people and children are in, who have no other means of livelihood, to investigate it also from a means of the way we deal with investment and share resources, and the welfare of others. Mr. Speaker Sir, even the issue of corruption because usually when something like this happens, somebody has some undue influence that they can use to manipulate.
Mr. Speaker, the committee to also investigate even from the issue of law enforcement and the role of the police and its role as a police service. I say this in particular Mr. Speaker, because I am saddened, in a lot of respects, as a Zimbabwean, to see the police usually playing a role, doing everything else except what they are supposed to do and that is, to serve and protect the lives of the people of Zimbabwe and make the people feel secure. Just yesterday during the Budget debate, the issue of roadblocks was raised that the average Zimbabweans and even the nonaverage, that is if Hon. Members of Parliament can be non-average, feels really harassed by the police. I seem to see the police at roadblocks stopping traffic, disrupting the flow of traffic and just doing all sorts of other things that do not really make us secure.
If indeed the police are involved in this very horrible tragedy, I think it is time that we really do something in terms of a cultural mindset. Let us not keep on talking about the Smith regime and that the Smith regime did this. I do not think the Smith regime is in the police that are there today. I think we as Zimbabweans need to take up the challenge to decolonise also our minds so that we stop aping those very terrible things that we saw the Smith regime doing. Let us behave with respect for each other so that we do not keep on acting like the way our colonisers did because we will have no one to blame.
I say this and do hope that the motion can be amended as I indicated to have the Civil Protection Unit go, dig out and find those people, and hopefully alive. Secondly, that there is a Select Committee of Parliament that is formed to investigate so that something like this never happens again. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. HARITATOS: Mr. Speaker Sir, I do agree that there are certain Rhodesian wrongs that we have got to change but we cannot change too many. There are lessons in mining that we have got to change that is why we keep on having accidents because we do not follow the regulations. You see, when you are mining, mining is a very expensive game. It is not like farming. In farming, if you got $5 000 you can grow crops and make money but in mining if you have got $5 000, you buy three wheelbarrows and that is the end of the story.
First of all, in Zimbabwe, what we are doing in mining, we sink the shaft on the rift because we take the extract out and sell the gold and try to make money but mining is not like that. Mining on rift is you have got to go about 200 to 300 metres further down. Most of the mines in Zimbabwe are inclining so you go 400 to 500 metres away from the rift and sink a vertical shaft. You go down to 100 metres and then sub-lift your shaft.
Before you do anything on the mine, you have to get the explosive to work, which is very expensive. Each borehole you drill is more than $50 000 to $60 000 and unless you have investors, you cannot do good and safe mining. The proper mining, when you go below the ground you leave pillars of one metre or 1.5 by 1.5 metres. What we do, we cut mapango from a tree and you put underneath and hope that it is going to hold. Mining is not that easy, it is like njunga ...
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I appreciate that the Hon. Member is actually a miner but we are not here to be lectured about mining methods and whatever. We are here to discuss the tragedy in Chegutu. Mr. Speaker, I beg, can he be reminded instead of debating about 200 or 300 metres.
HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Haritatos, can you be pointed in your debated please as far as the tragedy is concerned.
HON. HARITATOS: Yes, safety, unless you spend money on the mining, you cannot make mining safe. So you have got to spend money to make the mines safe.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: I would like to thank Hon. Maridadi for his very incisive and somewhat emotional presentation which is clearly an explanation of how heavily vested his heart is in the painful issues that he enunciated. The beginning of this whole issue ought to be dissected very carefully. We ought to understand the processes and exactly what happened. I have heard presentations from earlier speakers who have clearly elaborated the causes of artisanal mining and the issues relating to the economics thereof.
I am aware that as Parliament, oversight recommendations have been made for the formalization of this sector. But more focus has been given to the revenue collection processes and not to the complete mining processes in order to avert possible accidents on mines. I know we have delved on issues of ownership, which may have led the courts to issue the judgments that may have led to the eviction, maybe in an overzealous manner, hasty manner or non coordinated manner. These have come out here. I have also noted the cause from my other Hon. Members for enquiries and committees to be set up, but what is key to understand is due process. What does the law say, so that we, as Parliament, cannot be trigger happy and circumvent processes.
In terms of the Mines and Minerals Act, processes are enunciated clearly as to what happens during accidents. What has been said in here maybe very true but it is also possible that there may be errors with the information that we are getting here because the professionals - the mining inspectors that are on the ground, have not identified the truth that we now hear in this House. We have not been given, in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act; categorically the names of the individuals that we profess have demised in these mines. It is very important if we declare that people have demised and we call for all sorts of punitive measures. We ought to be sure that what we are saying is both correct procedurally and right at law. What is true is that the Mining and Engineering Inspectors are on the ground as we speak. This accident occurred on Monday and they have not as yet asserted whether there are indeed people that are underground.
We can come here and become emotional about it and cause a stir in the nation as well as cause emotions to flow but the truth is we must abide by the legal processes that are provided. I am very much touched myself and it is possible that people may have demised. As the Chairman of the Mines Portfolio Committee, I indeed want to go and demonstrate. I would also want to go and dig out these people but there are experts – the engineers and mining inspectors. It is provided for by the laws of this country and we ought to follow them. - [HON
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
Those that are shouting are the ones that most ask for adherence to the law of Zimbabwe. Now let us follow the law unless we are declaring that the experts on the ground are incompetent. What we are attempting to do here in circumventing this process is becoming alarmists and cause the situation to deteriorate. If indeed there are people who have demised in this accident, it has to be a matter of fact and the facts can only be ascertained through the use of due process, which entails that we follow the rules as enunciated in the Mines and Minerals Act. The Act is clear that mining inspectors have got to come up with a report, identify the people that are missing by name and identity. Every Zimbabwean has got an I.D, names, locus- standi and jurisdictions. So, we should not come here, start being trigger happy and cause the nation to panic. In the event that we do not find people underground, are we going to be able to retract the damage that we would have caused?
It is important that this motion be brought to this House as it is so important except that it has been prematurely tabled.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I also rise to contribute to this motion and in doing so, I want to explain to the House what happened in March, 2015 at Peakstone. There was a young man who was positively identified to have disappeared in a shaft and the shaft collapsed. We knew the person that we were looking for, and we went there in the company of the police, unlike some of the alarmist sentiments we are hearing that the police are doing this and that. We spent two days – day and night with the police trying to retrieve a person we knew, from the shaft. Luckily, we managed to retrieve the body and we duly buried the young man, may his soul rest in peace. Why am I saying this? I have never heard the names of the missing people who went into the shaft and were reported missing. What we are merely hearing are alarmist stories of people who went into the shaft and now it has almost been six days of digging and no one has been found.
I rise to support Dr. Shumba when he asked why we do not allow due process to be followed. My learned colleague said we should follow the laws. We have talked about Rhodesian laws but Mr. Speaker Sir, in 2013, we passed a new Constitution with a whole Chapter (4) and if you read it carefully the statutory interpretation that we have now enjoined us to have regard to Chapter 4 in interpreting any law. If we have any law that is inconsistent with the declaration of rights, we have to follow it. In fact we have gone to town about realigning laws or whatever but the Constitution is very clear on what we have to follow. If anything is inconsistent with the Constitution, we have to follow the Constitution. I am saying, why are we going to town about something that we have not even given due regard to the Minister or the Police to come and report to us that this is what has happened and then we go on and say, can we now move a motion to investigate whether the company has flouted any laws of the country. I believe, this motion is premature, let us give the Police time to do their job – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – I happen to have worked with the Police from my previous post, they do an excellent job. I have alluded to the fact that at Pixton where this mishap is alleged to have happened, we spent two nights with the Police there, trying to retrieve the bodies until we retrieved them, I believe that, why not allow the due process to go on? When we have tangible evidence that so and so was buried in the shaft and this is what transpired, we then deliberate about it. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have listened
to the last two speakers, a motion was introduced in this House based on information that has come out through the media. I remember, when I heard the news, it was a few days ago and the report was precise to say people had been buried underground. When you dig people out from a mine shaft, it does not take two or three days, it can even take longer.
We had this experience in Chile but however, I am suspicious Mr. Speaker that the two previous speakers could be shareholders at Pixton Mine.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: The Hon. Member needs to dissuade
himself of the wondering mind that causes him to be suspicious of everything.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us not make very wild allegations. If we do not know, we do not know. Let us not allege that which we do not know. There must be an element of probability. If it is not there, then we cannot proceed to allege. I ask the Hon. Member to withdraw the statement that the previous two Hon Members might be shareholders of Pixton Mine.
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I want to qualify my statement, I said, I am suspicious that the last two speakers but however under those circumstances, I withdraw my statement but I was suspicious. Mr. Speaker, Pixton Mine as reported in the media, the role of the media is to inform and educate. I believe that when they make these reports, they carry a certain amount of truth but what is it that we should be focusing on. I think Mr. Speaker, the process of formalising the status of the so called makorokoza has taken unnecessarily too long. I remember, Mr. Speaker, in October 2010, when I was Deputy Minister of Mines, I was the first to propose the formalisation – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – after a tour of duty, familiarising myself with what was going on …
HON. ZIYAMBI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is the speaker is now talking about formalising artisanal miners, we have a situation of alleged young people who are buried in a shaft, that is the original. I understand the speaker was speaking strongly about confining ourselves to the motion. Now, he is talking about formalisation of artisanal miners which is not the original content by Hon. Maridadi.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please stick to the
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I appreciate what the point of order was
all about but the same speaker does not believe that we are talking about people who are buried underground. So, it is very interesting, when it suits him…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, the Hon. Member cannot
rule against the Chair, you are being very unprocedural, withdraw that statement.
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my statement.
The issue that I wanted to emphasise was that as we focus on what is alleged to have occurred at Pixton Mine, there is need to also look at areas where the so called makorokoza become victims. We have
Kitsiyatota in Bindura - [AN HON. MEMBER: Haasati anwa mapiritsi] - A few months ago, people were driven out into the roads and in the cold weather, they were ordered ….
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is very important for us to be parliamentary. Hon. Mukupe said kuti vaChimanikire varikutaura the way he is speaking because havasati vanwa mapiritsi – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I think he should withdraw.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I did not take note of the interjection but
in any case, it is a wild statement if it was stated, pills can be pills for anything – [Laughter.]
HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I shudder to think in terms of the
attitude that other people are displaying in view of the seriousness of this topic. Taking it as a joke to talk about drinking Viagra or otherwise, because that allegation came from a woman, that is why I think it is Viagra she is talking about but she has not tested me at all.
I was talking about how the so called makorokoza have been illtreated in this country. I was giving an example of what happened in Bindura where they were driven out in their hundreds, left by the road side and in cold weather. The system is such that we can talk about laws but the system is so cruel against these people who are contributing to the fiscus in one way or the other. They have no accommodation, there is no health and safety that safeguards them, they are even exploited at the mills because they only get 30% of what they are supposed to get from what they will have actually unearthed from underneath.
Mr. Speaker, I believe in various mines, there is Primrose mine in Kwekwe where the so called Makorokoza are only allowed to dig six metres and after six metres they are supposed to go to the mills and whatever ore they produce is then milled. In actual fact, they are being exploited as explorers, they do the exploration on behalf on the mine owners. So left, right or centre, these people are being ill-treated under laws that are allowing to remain in force when we could have changed them. The proposal first came in 2010 and I remember we passed it in the Ministry. Several consultations were done. So, what I am recommending, in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, is that if it is confirmed that people died in Chegutu, if it is confirmed - please do not point at me, you are not a policeman.
ACR, which is actually the company which is alleged to be owning claims in this particular area, should have their licences withdrawn because of the inhuman nature in which they have approached this issue, disregarding the value of human life in that area. Also, the person who drove the caterpillar or otherwise, should also be arrested should it be proven that people died in this particular mine shaft.
Yes, ACR is a Canadian Company. They did exploration in this country and flew out of the country without giving us details of where the diamonds were. So, these are culprits that are well known that we have allowed to get away with murder. This time they should be made accountable. In the mean time, this is what I am appealing to the Ministry. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, either through a Statutory Instrument, should actually bring about a moratorium against the prosecution of makorokoza in the interim before they bring the Bill to this House.
Why am I saying that, Mr. Speaker? Some years ago during a drought situation, the makorokozas were allowed to mine. So, why should the Minister of Mines and Mining Development right now not bring a moratorium for the makorokozas simply because he is the one who has delayed the tabling of the Bill. There has been talk about the
Bill coming, but we are still waiting for it to come. There should be a Statutory Instrument at the moment, to allow the makorokozas to be able to earn a living since we are approaching another drought through El Nino. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Firstly, I wish to thank you for indulging me to bring this motion to this House and I wish to thank all Hon. Members for their contributions. In winding up the debate, Mr. Speaker, I want to say the reason why there seems to be disagreement between debaters is that we have not been able to get the authorities, the Executive, going in there and giving us information. So, the reason some are saying there are people underground and some are saying there are no people underground is because we have not been given information. The information that we are relying on…-[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Please allow Hon.
Maridadi to wind up.
HON. MARIDADI: I am being challenged to give the names and it is for the reason that the authorities have not given a statement. This is why we are not able to give names. This is why we are not able, with certainty, to say how many people are underground. What we are urging the authorities to do is move in there, ascertain what has happened, give us information on the events that took place and give us the correct information on the position of affairs right now.
The reason why Hon. Nduna is not in this House is because…
HON. SHAMU: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. What he is saying is a terminological in exactitude. He is casting aspersions that the
Executive is not seized with the matter. I have just spoken to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Moyo, and he informed me that he was seized with the matter. He also said that the Chief Mining Engineer, Mr. Paswavaviri, is on the spot. Now, what I wanted to say, Mr. Speaker is that, we are discussing this issue without having investigated it fully. Without full investigation, one has no right to speak. So, what Hon. Maridadi is saying is based on hearsay. We should wait for the facts to be presented by the Minister responsible for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Chidhakwa -
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Perhaps it is a question of communication. What the mover was simply saying was that there are two views. One view is definitive; the other is not and is appealing for due process to be completed. That is all he was saying. Can you wind up?
*HON. MARIDADI: Let me use our mother tongue so that it may be understood. The point I am making is that the Government should have given us the information when the allegations were made that people have been buried alive in a mine. If the issue had been ascertained, I would have not raised such a motion because I would be knowledgeable, I would know the truth.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying that the Executive should be running this country...
*THE HON. SPEAKER: I would have thought that you have understood what Hon. Shamu said. He said that at the moment, there is a Deputy Minister and the Chief Engineer who are at the scene to investigate and come up with the correct position of what transpired. Do not then prejudge the issue. It is being looked into - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.]-. Order, order there at the back.
*HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe that what Hon. Shamu has said is going to be given to us in formal communication so that the majority of the people of Zimbabwe would know and appreciate what is transpiring. I thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): I had moved that the House adjourn, but I also wish to comment on the motion by Hon. Maridadi. It is true. There is a tragedy there, but effort is being made by the Executive to find the facts which will be made public to the nation -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- I move that the House do now adjourn.
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When the Chair is holding the floor, it is disrespectful to take the floor unrecognised. We have come to the close of business and no other business can take place.
On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Hon. Members a happy new year and a prosperous 2016. Please travel well and regards to your families.
Motion put and agreed to.
The House accordingly adjourned at a Quarter past Five o'clock
p.m. until Tuesday, 2nd February, 2016.