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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 17 MAY 2022 VOL 48 NO 46

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 17th May, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have been away and when the Sergeant-at-Arms announced the Speaker’s procession into the House, someone whom I identified said ngaauye.  Why do you want me to start on a wrong note, ngaauye – [HON. MEMBERS: It means welcome, it is different from saying mukomana ngaapinde.] – Ibvai, that is not acceptable.  I told you Hon. Members that the Speaker’s procession must be conducted quietly.  In Shona they say gudo guru peta muswe kuti vadiki vakutye.  Teedzerai tsika dzedu dzekunyarana nekuremekedzana.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

 

NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following announcements. The first one – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Biti, my learned friend, please be attentive.  I wish to inform the House that I have received Non-Adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following Statutory Instruments:-

Statutory Instrument Nos. 34-40, 40(a), 42-59 which were gazetted during the month of March.  Statutory Instrument Nos. 60-68, 68 (a), 69-72, 72 (a), 73-76,78,79, 80, 80 (a) 80 (b), 81, 82 and 84 which were gazetted during the month of April 2022.   

PETITIONS RECEIVED FROM EVERNICE MUNANDO, WOMEN’S COALITION AND LUCY CHIWASA, WOMEN’S ACADEMY FOR LEADERSHIP AND POLITICAL EXCELLENCY

  THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on the 28th April, 2022, Parliament received a petition from Evernice Munando representing Women’s Coalition, beseeching Parliament to launch an inquiry...

On Togarepi having stood up proceeding towards the Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chief Whip, I am on the floor can you please sit down – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – to launch an inquiry into the statutes of the nation’s state of preparedness on the implementation of gender responsive approaches towards the mitigation of climate change in Zimbabwe.  The petitioners further requested Parliament to summon the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on the same.   The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. 

I also have to inform the House that on the 13th May, 2022, Parliament received a petition from Lucy Chiwasa representing Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellency, beseeching Parliament to enact an all inclusive and stand alone Sexual Harassment Act that deals with cases of sexual harassment that take place in both the private and public spaces; including workplaces schools, tertiary institutions, politics, queues, boreholes, public transport, ranks and vending sites.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education.   

          +HON. MATHE: Thank you for the time that you have given me Mr. Speaker. At the same, time welcome back home, having been away for a while.

          Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have stood up on a point of  national interest. I am happy as a representative of the people that the Government of Zimbabwe has since realised hardships being faced by citizens - that is the high prices of basic commodities.  I therefore, commend the Government of Zimbabwe being led by His Excellency, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa.

          We are grateful to him and his Cabinet, he has realised that people are having a hard time.  I visited a certain shop and I will not mention its name, I picked an item for $899.00, when I reached to the till, the price had changed to $1400. This indicates that people are facing economic hardships.

          We are very grateful for the leadership, may the good Government continue to look after its own people. .

          HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I stood up to hereby request from you with regards what is happening with prices in the shops.  Prices are just going up even in foreign currency.  I do not understand why, so I hereby request the Minister of Industry and Commerce to come and give a Ministerial Statement explaining what her Ministry and the business community are doing to ensure that prices of basic commodities are affordable to citizens. 

          We realise that in the past it was as if the business people were somehow rejecting the local currency but we realised that even in foreign currency terms prices have doubled. I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Togarepi, please approach the Chair

          HON. BITI: On a point of order! There was a ruling on that one.

          HON. A. NDEBELE: I want to seek clarity so that I do not look like I am against your ruling. Could you kindly clarify what you whispered to the Government Chief Whip?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende and Hon. Biti, I think they have clarified issues.  That was the basis of the whisper.

          HON. BITI:  I rise on a matter of national interest in terms of Standing Order No. 62.  I humbly request that if the Minister of Foreign Affairs can present to this Hon. House a statement of clarification to help our country.  Hon. Speaker, you know that almost a million people were killed during the Rwanda Genocide in April 1994.  Hon. Speaker Sir, life is important, no one wants genocide particularly given our own history in Zimbabwe. 

          We learnt with sadness that the UN has excavated the body of a wanted genocidal known as Protais Mpiranya here in Zimbabwe.   Mpiranya was responsible as one of the main perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandese genocide.  So, we kindly ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to come to this august House to explain why he was in Zimbabwe, why he was using the false identity and why he was buried in Zimbabwe and why he was not surrendered to the UN Commissions on Rwanda?  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, we will have some conversation with the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.    

          HON. MOKONE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, good afternoon.  Hon. Speaker. Seven miners are dead in Matabeleland South in Colleen Bawn area close to Gwanda Town.  These miners improvised the rope to use to go underground because they had no machinery to use and the rope broke off.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this incident happened on Friday and today it is Tuesday, only one body has been retrieved.  Six of them are still underground and from the information that I got, they are getting pieces of bodies from underground as they are trying to rescue them.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, this is worrisome because across the country, we continue to witness such tragedies because it is not only in Matabeleland South but it is across the country.  My prayer through you Mr. Speaker, is that we get a Ministerial Statement as far as the safety of the miners is concerned.  Secondly, we get a Ministerial Statement as far as the preparedness of the Ministry is concerned when such tragedies happen because I am taking note that it happened on Friday and today is Tuesday.  In that regard Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you. We will pass on the message to the Hon. Minister of Mines so that he can present a Ministerial Statement on the safety of the miners in our mining operations.

          HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Owing to poor health, I have not been to the House for some time.  Let me welcome you colleagues from either side of the House and more especially lawyers that have come back, the profession my senior brother, cannot be prouder of.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I have a reason to make a demand of our esteemed ruling party.  I feel it is my duty as a representative of the people of where I come from to make this demand.  The theme of our Independence Day Celebration aptly says ‘Zimbabwe at 42, Leaving no one and no place behind’, quite timeous as well as instructive.

          It is ironic Mr. Speaker Sir, that the celebrations were held in Bulawayo, the very centre of what we know today as the Matabeleland Region.   We, the people of Matabeleland and those who live there, feel and bemoan the effects of exclusionary politics in our dear beloved country.  I am lobbying for the appointment of a Second Vice President of our country in line with the unity accord which was forged by the founding fathers of this country.  The Unity Accord Mr. Speaker Sir, is irrevocable and it says as much in its articles, I think it is Article No 1. It is a fact Mr. Speaker that the leadership of our ruling party committed to uphold the provisions of that 1987 Unity Accord. 

          It is also a fact Mr. Speaker Sir, that in the politics of our country, the presidium, for all intents and purposes, is a very powerful body in the Second Republic drive towards the promotion of national unity, devolution and decentralisation.  The appointment of a Second Vice President Mr. Speaker Sir, is more needed now more than ever before because our society is highly polarised.  I therefore, as a representative of the people where I come from, demand specific performance from our esteemed brothers in the ruling party for the appointment or the commitment to implement the ‘living no one and no place behind policy’.  I so submit Hon. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The direction of your request says to the party, now the party is not the appointing authority as such.   The ruling party is not the appointing authority of Vice President.  I think as the esteemed lawyer, you are aware of the provisions of the National Constitution, apart from the sentiments that you capture arising from the mantra ‘leaving no one behind and leaving no place behind’ as we celebrated our 42nd independence in Bulawayo. So in that regard, I am not sure whether you are quite accurate to address yourself to the ruling party because the ruling party is not the appointing authority.

          HON. NDEBELE: If I may Mr. Speaker Sir, as you have directed...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have not directed but I have corrected.

          HON. NDEBELE: I want to speak to that correction as well. I do not want a one-on-one with you Hon. Speaker, but I was rising from the provisions of the Unity Accord, which specifically refers to the First Secretary of the Ruling Party. That is where I was coming from, but in line with your correction, I would happily address His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa. Thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and good afternoon to you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Good afternoon.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is not in dispute that the disposable income of most Zimbabweans due to inflation has eroded and it is not a secret that Members of Parliament are also part of Zimbabwe. As a result, they are equally affected. Members of Parliament have a right before they get to you and that is why the Chief Whips are there. Unfortunately, I do not sit in any Caucus, that is why I stand representing myself and others. There must be a joint sitting, which is a right for Members of Parliament which addresses such issues.

          It is unfortunate that the Government Chief Whip seems to be not encouraging it. The last time we had it, Hon. Mpariwa will agree with me when it was called - he instructed Members from ZANU PF not to attend. The agenda is not political because it is about the welfare of Members of Parliament and other business such as their stands and all that. We do not want to come to you all the time. We want a joint sitting and you being the leader of Parliament, you have that responsibility to ensure that Hon. Members’ rights are observed and they are not suppressed. There are members who are being suppressed because of the whipping system which I refer to 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution, but that cannot at all deny members an opportunity to express themselves for what they believe is not right.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, may you help us in ensuring that there is joint sitting so that we can air our views. The late Hon. Mguni, may his soul rest in peace, I miss him. He pushed for that and he did not care but he looked at what the Members of Parliament wanted and he pushed for it. We all went into the Government Caucus and caucused and had a meeting to do with issues concerning us. We cannot have a Parliament which we think things are normal when they are not normal. There are channels and that is one of the channels and that is the reason why you see Members of Parliament ending up speaking to you directly because the leadership which is responsible for our wealth is not at all worried about us.

          It is sad, no wonder why I say it will be good for parties moving forward, to elect a Chief Whip rather than have one appointed because you lacked one who is believed to stand for your rights. For me, I demand my right - I want the Government Caucus where I can be able to submit issues of my welfare and hopefully others can. It is our right and we cannot be denied our right, I do not belong to any party. My right is with me and Government, it is okay on a one-to-one. We have had meetings with you Mr. Speaker Sir on our welfare. We have heard about the cars and we do not burden you with that. May the responsible office bearers take the task to task? Thank you.   

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. The idea of a joint meeting is there and it is acceptable and there is no harm, but there is also an institution that is constitutional that is in place which is the administrative arm of Parliament and that is the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Hon. Members, I think you are cultured enough to listen. If you have an issue, you can raise it and that is the protocol. Do not start shouting before I conclude what I am going to say as if you are very prophetic.

          I was saying the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is composed of Members of Parliament from our parties here in the House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - You have just arrived please – something is being done for you. In that Committee, issues are raised and for your own information because I have got long ears although they appear very short, I have heard from a distance in Abuja, the concerns and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is meeting on Friday this week and one of the agenda items is the welfare of Members of Parliament.

          So, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders is very much alive to that issue and the attack should not be on the Government Chief Whip. It must be on the whips, all of them, because they constitute the welfare sub-committee of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders and it cannot attribute whatever shortfalls are there to the Chief Whip because they work as a Committee of all Chief Whips and who must present issues concerning the welfare of the Hon. Members. In the past, they have done so and the issues had been resolved. I agree with Hon. Mliswa that the context of the request is against the hyper-inflation that has hit us and will consider the issues against that background on Friday this week. Thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: I thank you for your response and you have taught us to follow protocols. Protocol demands that our representatives are well informed and they must be informed from a Caucus. Unless they are going there to just represent themselves but not us. That is why I talked about it because it then becomes sound because it is the basis, it is the foundation for them to table our views because there is an attack on the Chief Whips that you are sitting pretty because you do not care about us - they must show some concern and that foundation is critical. It becomes easy because there will be some unanimous resolution from everyone and whatever decision is taken should have come from the people. The people in this regard are Members of Parliament.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you for the clarification. The big person in the configuration is myself as Head of Parliament. I am concerned about your welfare. Let us wait for the results of our meeting on Friday.

HON. ZWIZWAI: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir. You have penciled a meeting for Friday and you have made an observation that as CCC we are still new. Are you going to announce before Friday the constitution of the body which is going to attend that meeting to deal with these pertinent issues and beyond so that CCC is adequately and proportionally represented in that meeting?

THE HON. SPEAKER: That will be taken care of. It cannot be discussed outside the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. Nyaya inoenda padare. Musakurumidzire dare. Inkundla izahlala phansi.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10, 2021]

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H. B. 10, 2021].

Question again proposed.

HON GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this Bill. This Bill was gazetted last year and it was introduced in this august House by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in his Second Reading speech on 12th April 2022. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare presented the Committee report last week. I listened to the Second Reading speech of the Hon. Minister and contributions made by Hon Members.

Firstly, I want to say that this piece of legislation and before I go into the meat and flesh of the contents of the Bill, I want us to ask ourselves a very critical question why we are here. In terms of Section 117 of our Constitution, it is clear that we are here among other things, to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe. We need to ask ourselves that critical question. Is this law, if passed, going to add  to the good governance of Zimbabwe? If we go further to Section 119, it is incumbent upon us as Members of Parliament and representatives of the people to ensure that we hold the Executive accountable and we articulate the views and aspirations of the people who voted for us. My question is, are we doing that if we were to proceed to pass this particular Bill?

The second question which I want to pose is - why now? I want to remind Hon. Members who may not be aware that in 2004 we had a Bill which was brought before this august House. It was called the NGO Bill and Hon Biti et al who were in this Parliament at the time, may remember that we burned the midnight oil debating that Bill which was a draconian piece of legislation which threatened to take away the rights of the people of Zimbabwe, particularly the right enshrined in Section 58 of our Constitution, the right to freedom of association.

At the end of the day, I am happy to say that sanity prevailed and ultimately the Bill was not passed. Unfortunately, several years down the line, today we are seized with a Bill which in my opinion is actually worse than the one which we had at the time. I will explain why I say it is worse. Among other things, it is trying to interfere with even trusts, for example, which are not covered by the provisions of the current Act, universitas and so on and so forth. I believe that we must interrogate, introspect and say to ourselves; is this good for our country? Mr. Speaker Sir, after having listened to the debates last week, it is very clear that we live in a polarized society.  Again, another question we must ask ourselves is, why do we have so many NGOs in Zimbabwe?  This is the question that we have to ask, and that is the question that we have got to address Mr. Speaker Sir.

          In my view, we have got various NGOs and PVOs that deal with a wide range of issues.  What we must deal with is why we have got so many organisations that are trying to help the people of Zimbabwe.  We have got organisations that deal with health, education, governance and human rights issues.  I believe Mr. Speaker Sir, that our Constitution has got a very elaborate chapter on the issue of human rights starting with the Declaration, and the elaboration of the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms that are enshrined in Chapter 4. 

I have already alluded to the provisions of Section 58, and also go further Mr. Speaker Sir, to remind all Hon. Members that apart from the provisions in our Constitution, we are also party to International Human Rights and Instruments.  The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights, and those instruments, together with our Constitution, speak to the same thing.  As already alluded to, we have got Social, Economic, Civil and Political Rights and they are all important and not divisible – that is a point that we must be alive to. 

The intention of this particular Bill Mr. Speaker Sir, is very sinister. In his Second Reading speech, the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs asked us to look at the memorandum and I have done so.   When you look at the memorandum, you will see that there is a very long paragraph… - [(v)HON. KASHIRI: We cannot hear anything Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member is not connected.] -  I will just confirm; I think I am connected but let me speak to the microphone.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, you are connected.

          HON. GONESE:  Yes.  The point Mr. Speaker Sir is that the memorandum is very long and it talks about compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  However Mr. Speaker Sir, as Members may be aware, on 4th March this year.  Zimbabwe was removed from the grey list, from the list of those countries, that were at the time when the recommendation was made, deemed not to be in compliance.  I want to quote the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development on what he said on 5th March – that was after Zimbabwe had been removed from the FATF grey list following an onsite evaluation exercise carried out in January this year. 

I want to quote the Hon. Minister to illustrate my point.  “I am pleased to inform stakeholders and the nation at large …”

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Sorry, you want to quote who?

HON. GONESE:  The Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please proceed.

HON. GONESE:  That said, “I am pleased to inform stakeholders and the nation at large that following an onsite evaluation carried out in January, 2022, the FATF has on 4th March, 2022, announced Zimbabwe’s removal from the list of countries that are considered to be insufficiently compliant in implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Standards...”  So the actual reason that is given in the memorandum has to a large extent fallen away.  However, my point Mr. Speaker, that was never really the intention is actually hidden in one sentence that is within the memorandum that I will just read out. “Secondly, provisions have been added as a way to ensure that Private Voluntary Organisations do not undertake political lobbying.” that is the real intention of the Bill.  The reference to the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism is not a reflection of the actual intention behind the real meaning of this Bill.

I also illustrate that point by stating that when we look at the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Reserve Bank, when we look at their reports and the people that it fingered, there is not a single Private Voluntary Organisation or Non-Governmental Organisation that has been cited.  Instead, those are private companies that have been fingered.  So at the end of the day, the Anti-Money Laundering activities that they are ostensibly trying to prevent by bringing this Bill do not actually apply to the Non-Governmental Organisations or Private Voluntary Organisations whose activities or existence is threatened by the passing of this Bill.

Yes, I heard the Hon. Minister loudly and clearly saying that NGOs should not fear.  I have heard the contributions from my colleagues on your right but when you look closely at what they have been saying, and what has been said outside this august House, for instance by Mr. Chris Mutsvangwa relating to Private Voluntary Organisations, you can then discern, and clearly identify what the real intention is.  My submission Mr. Speaker Sir is that it is not necessary to bring in this Bill because among other things, we have adequate laws that can deal with issues of money laundering – we already have those in place, and there is no need to add any further laws.

Secondly, we do not have a serious problem at present, of organisations that are being funded from outside, that are carrying out any terrorist activities.  Even if we had Mr. Speaker, we have adequate laws – we have the Criminal Code, it can deal with those issues.  At the end of the day, it is my respectful submission that we do not need this piece of legislation.  I read the report of the Portfolio Committee.  It is very clear Mr. Speaker that we have a polarized society, but we must also ask ourselves, why are civil society organisations concerned about this particular Bill?

It is because of the excessive powers that are intended to be given to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in terms of registration and even affecting organisations that are not currently affected by the current PVO Act.  You are having virtually a retrospective application of the law because even those organisations that are already in existence are actually threatened if this Bill were to be passed into law. 

I want to implore Hon. Members across the political divide, to put the interest of the nation first and not partisan political interests.  I read the claim that a lot of our organisations are delving in political activity.  When you look at Clause 5, it is a very dangerous provision which can be abused.  When we are talking of political lobbying, when we are talking of opposing or supporting a political party – that clause is just too wide.  It can be interpreted in any manner that anyone wants to use it to suppress or deregister civil society organisations because when we say involvement in political activities, what does it mean?

Let us look at issues or problems that are bedeviling the country.  We have got serious problems in terms of human rights, and that is why we enshrined in our Constitution provisions enabling institutions to be set up and in particular, I want to refer to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has tabled reports in this august House that speak to matters, incidents where there have been no observance of human rights and this is an independent body.  I am not going to quote other sources of information.  I want to confine ourselves to our own institution, and because we have such problems, you will find that there are civil society organisations that are involved in governance issues. 

It is not a crime, I have already pointed out that in terms of our own Constitution, we are required as representatives of the people to ensure that all the laws that we pass speak to the provisions of Section 117, which specifically relate and refer to issues of good governance.  Section 119 empowers us as Parliament, to ensure that we hold the Executive accountable and that is the reason why I am saying that as Members of Parliament, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we do not violate those constitutional provisions by being party to the passage of laws that actually inhibit the enjoyment of human rights by the people of Zimbabwe.

I want to go further Mr. Speaker Sir, and say that when the Public Hearings were held, it was very clear that we are a divided society.  The civil society organisations are very worried and I believe that they have got good reason to be concerned because of the provisions that I have already alluded to.  I know that we may say that we will sanitise them by trying to make amendments and so on, but let us look at the basic principle.  Do we really need that Bill?  I want to urge the Hon. Minister and his colleagues to go back to what we did in 2004.  If you realise that what we must address are the root causes of the problem, why do our people want to demonstrate?  It is because some of them are hungry; some of them do not have enough to eat and so on.  When people are expressing their rights, we should not suppress them by bringing in obnoxious pieces of legislation and furthermore, we have organisations which will assist on issues and matters relating to good governance.  We will talk about civic education, the right to vote.  If you look at Section 67 of our Constitution, it is very clear; it actually gives every citizen of Zimbabwe the right to be elected into office and the right to vote. I have already made reference to the other provision which is very clear in bestowing the rights to the people of Zimbabwe. I want to say that we must not have a scenario where we have got this attitude of ‘us and them.’ 

What we must be looking at Mr. Speaker, is that we have got a governing party today; it does not mean that it will always be a governing party.  At some stage in time, it will find itself as an opposition. By the same token we have got an opposition party, at some future stage, it will find itself as a ruling party. If you go back to what happened at independence when the Law and Order and Maintenance Act was passed by the Smith Regime, when we got our independence, that law was still in place and it was then used by the then liberation movement which was not the governing party.

I want to say to my colleagues, let us not pass dirty pieces of legislation; you do not know here you will be tomorrow...

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are left with 5 minutes Hon. Member.

HON. GONESE: I will try to wind up Mr. Speaker Sir.  My plea to my colleagues is to say this: we have got other measures which we can put in place.  Let us address why it is that we are having so many organisations in the country. If you look at our health issues, Mr. Speaker, we have got a serious problem, we have got our hospitals, there are not adequately equipped. You look at the major referral hospitals, Sally Mugabe Hospital, it does not have something as basic as a cancer machine, and people are dying of cancer. 

You look at other hospitals and even X-ray machines are in short supply. You look at issues of medication, this is where various non-governmental organisations have been coming in here and there.  I want to appreciate that the target of the Bill may not be those organisations, but the long and short of it is that if the Minister is given excessive powers, he or she can abuse the powers which will be given in the Act if it were to be passed by Parliament.  Instead, we must try to find each other as Zimbabwe.  Try to find each other as a nation so that we can jointly address the root cause of the problems, why we are in this economic quagmire.  We have the issue of corruption - this is what we must be looking at collectively so that we tackle that because you find that if we were to resolve the issues of corruption, you will find that everyone in Zimbabwe would have enough to eat. 

This afternoon, Hon. T. Mliswa was talking about issues of the welfare of Members of Parliament.  If you look at the civil service in our country, you look at the down trend, you will find that the majority of our people are not even working and at the end of the day, you need to have a situation where you can find solutions for them.  When you have got various non-governmental organisations, they are also providing employment. I know that there is an intention to target some of these non-governmental organisations and in the same way that in the past we actually did not proceed with the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, I really exhort my colleagues to say that at this point in time, let us look at the interest of Zimbabwe.  Future generations will frown and spit at our graves if we do not have that collective responsibility.  Lastly, I will say that we must put our heads together.  We must come together to build a new great Zimbabwe nation, I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.   I just want to add my voice on this Bill, I will be very precise because when you have something that you want to deal with and the law does not permit, the other learned colleagues would know that there is need to then change the law to follow your thinking.  There is nothing untoward about the Bill and indeed any other laws that we are here for because Mr. Speaker, according to the Constitution Section 141, it says make all parliamentary processes public. To that end, the Committee that speaks and about the Bill that is before us has undertaken public hearings, section 149 of the Constitution goes further to say anyone, including Members of Parliament is allowed to petition Parliament on any issues that they might feel strongly about Mr. Speaker Sir.   Having said that I want to actually give comfort to the society at large and indeed the people of Chegutu West Constituency in that as long as there is nothing that any non-governmental organisation, public voluntary organisation is impeding, Mr. Speaker Sir, on the law existing or otherwise, there is no fear there should not have any phobia of the law.  A lot of NGOs and public voluntary organisation have not found themselves on the wrong side of the law.  There is no need therefore, to have any fear Mr. Speaker of the law.  What I encourage – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I ask for your protection Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Proceed.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you.  What I encourage therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, is a continued trajectory on the path of righteousness and on the right path that speaks to and about the laws of Zimbabwe. We have the universal laws, the articles in the continental laws that have been domesticated.  We are a signatory to the laws of the United Nations and  have domesticated the same. We have the mandate as a nation to make laws for the good order and governance of the people of Zimbabwe

          I do not want to be judged for having come into Parliament, eaten good food and led a lavish lifestyle and not made good laws.  I want to make history as having come here into Parliament, not slept on duty and made laws.  If there is anything that needs to be corrected, make or change the law, I am here to make history and change the law.

          The issue that deals with our laws here in Zimbabwe speaks to the pith, heart and core of our mandate here. I will encourage everyone in this House and indeed, including myself to make sure they do not forget the other part of their role as legislators – that of lawmaking.  Not only to take up the subject of law as I have done but indeed to walk the talk. To make laws even if some are not lawyers, they are mandated by the supreme law of the land which is sui generis, in a class of its own to make laws.

          Section 58 of the Constitution, indeed all other sections closer to that - Section 70 and Section 69 that is for arrested persons and all other laws, there is no infringement that I see happening, in particular on Section 58 by the amendment of this Act.  There is no reason whatsoever for anybody to fear, ‘mboko chena inoparira parere nhema’ There is no reason for anybody to have fear of the unknown. 

          I heard other Members debate and I want to allay their fears.  They cannot procrastinate, prevaricate, and think about what the organisations are thinking.  They had an opportunity, whoever wanted to put across their notion and also their thinking to appear before the Committee and indeed they did.  It is my thinking that there is now need to weigh the pros and cons and make sure that we make laws that are going to be in tandem with the ethos and values of the good governance of Zimbabwe.

          I cannot talk about the Tenth Parliament, when it comes into the august House, let them repeal the laws that they think are not in sync with the ethos and values of that time.  Let there not be a self serving attitude of taking the laws into their own hands.  A good example is that if Hon. Temba Mliswa owes me money, let me go after Hon. Temba Mliswa,  let me not take his child and keep him at home.

          I definitely want to support that Private Voluntary Organisations continue to follow the law.  This is Zimbabwe, there is one issue that I am proud about this county; it makes laws, it does not shy away from making laws and it does not impede on anybody’s progress without the rightful law.  Here we are debating the issues of righting the wrongs.  When it comes to issues of following the law, the heart that is mine is on the right side, I want to follow the law and so indeed, I ask that whoever it is that the law has been made for, to follow the law. 

          There is a reason why we do not go about murdering people. It is because it is not right, not just, not allowed and it is against the law.  If we leave a void in the law, there is going to be transgression of the law because it does not exist.  Here is a law and I ask that if anybody has any submissions that they want to make and indeed there is still an opportunity for those organisations and anybody else to present before Parliament their concerns Mr. Speaker.

Indeed, the people of Chegutu West Constituency whom I represent here are quite elated by the way I vociferously, effectively and efficiently put across the points of these organisations and the Private Voluntary Organisations Bill and indeed, that intends to curtail and put the rights to where there were any wrongs.  I thank you.

          HON. SVUURE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker…

          HON. GONESE: On a point of order!  If my memory serves me right, Hon. Svuure debated this particular Bill on Wednesday, 11th May, 2022.  I think his confusion might be that he thinks it is the report - that report of the portfolio was speaking to the Bill, so he cannot bite the cherry twice.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Svuure, you cannot bite the cherry twice.

          HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  A very good afternoon to you Hon. Speaker.  I rise to add my voice to this debate about NGOs in the country.  What I want to explicitly say first is on the abbreviation NGO.  Non-Governmental Organisation spells out who those people are.  They are not Government and as such, they should not be engaged in any governmental issues that run the country.  They are an organisation which has come to assist, to augment Government programmes.  They are good friends, we like them, we love them and we cherish the work that they do.  They assist the Government in schools, in construction of clinics, assist the vulnerable, the society and they also give food hampers; they assist with fees and so many good things that they do.  We cherish that.  They are here for a purpose, we like that. 

          Mr. Speaker, the problem arises when they divert their attention. If they stick to their mandate, there is no problem with having NGOs in the country.  If they begin to divert from their MOUs, from their mandate which they have come here to do, then we stand to differ and we will not mince our words, we will not like them in the country – [AN HON. MEMBER: Who are you?]  - As Government, we will not like them.  When they begin to support different parties which are not within their mandate and begin to speak about toppling the Government, we will not accept that in the country and they must just leave Zimbabwe if they have come for that.  If they want to buy people in the country using their monies so that people speak against the Government, let them know that they are not a Government. They will only come to assist and they must stick to their MOU and their mandate.  If they divert their attention we have no time to pat their backs. 

          Mr. Speaker, I have a few proposals about NGOs, they bring a lot of money clandestinely and I want to suggest that their monies be audited by the Government of Zimbabwe because they come to assist the Government.  If they bring monies clandestinely, that NGO must just leave the country.  If anyone receives that money clandestinely that person must be charged.  Everything must be done under the Government and it must be very transparent.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I think when a country has so much polarization, there must be a voice of reason and it is only an independent Member who can be the voice of reason.  Mr. Speaker Sir, yes, history is in two parts; there is good history and bad history.  When we are here, we must talk about the good history that we want to create. We have Section 58 which talks about the freedom of association.  We tend to have a knack for rushing using resources to come up with great blue prints, in this case it is the Constitution itself.  The Constitution itself, most of the issues have never been attended to.  We believe and must appreciate that the Constitution is for the good governance of the country. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we live in a global village and Zimbabwe is on a re-engagement crusade and when we talk about a re-engagement crusade, we are re-engaging America and Europe, there are terms for that re-engagement.  One of the terms which is clear on the template is the respect for human rights.  The respect for human rights and rule of law becomes critical.  The land reform was a noble cause, the Americans never opposed it, but the British opposed because it affected their kith and kin. The Americans opposed because of the human rights violations in terms of deaths, violence we all do not appreciate.  With that in mind, an attitude was then built around and that was a build up to sanctions more than anything else.  Why are you killing your own people politically, and the majority of the people who die are black. I have never seen a white or an Indian person dying out of political violence in this country but it is our own black people.  Why do we have to allow our own when we successfully fought for this country and God and our ancestors gave us permission for blood to spill once because we wanted to liberate ourselves, not second, not third? 

          Section 2 of the Bill is long, and when you see such a long clause, you then say really will people comprehend this law.  You then go to Section 5 itself of the Bill, which really targets anything political, in fact it is political, when any private voluntary organisation that supports or opposes any political party, we have a well equipped security sector; the Central Intelligence Organisation’s role is economic saboteurs, not beating up people as it is alleged.  That is the main war, to see that who is it that is sabotaging the economy, who is it that is sabotaging the country.  We have got the Army with the Military Intelligence Department who are critical for the security aspect.  We have got the Police Intelligence who are also there, they are the watchdog of making sure that a lot does not happen. 

          Financially, as the other speakers alluded to, you have got the FIU, which monitors transactions. Surely, there are laws which can curb all these rather than us wasting tax payers’ money to come up with an amendment when the very same laws that we have are not enforced.  The problem with this country Mr. Speaker Sir, is of non-enforcement of laws and that cannot make you change the Constitution or change the Bill. It might as well change the personnel. Maybe there must be capacity building amongst people who are responsible for superintending these laws. That is a question which is for another day but a very critical point is that how much did they comprehend? Do our people understand the Constitution? Do our people appreciate the Constitution?

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we have over 300 Statutory Instruments passed. I was with a friend in South Africa and he said, probably what they have done is seven only and we are over 300. It talks about panic. The recent pronouncement on the monetary issues has just been reversed. All they have is confidence that these laws are bad and they equally be reversed. It is just that the law cannot be reversed as quickly as the pronouncement.  Was this done thoroughly, properly? I am glad that the Minister of Finance, when he came here Mr. Speaker Sir in your absence, I asked him to go and revisit these pronouncements because they are not good for the country. I must give credit that it takes a leader to listen to another person to go and revisit. They have revisited those pronouncements and now they are taking corrective measures.

          The same that I ask of this Bill is that we are going towards elections – why are you panicking? Have you been told that you are going to lose? Why is there panic every time we go towards elections, laws must be changed. Certainly elections are not won by changing laws – elections are won by an economic situation. What we must be pushing for are economic reforms which better the lives of our people in terms of welfare. However, we see nothing in terms of the economic reform. This House has been seized with draconian punitive Bills coming through.

          We dealt with AIPPA and it is no more, POSA as well it is no more. My good colleagues came up with the Patriotic Bill again. So to me, there is the ZACC Bill which is supposed to be in this House for us to curb on corruption but it has not come. So what is more important in terms of priority? The ZACC Bill in curbing corruption or this law?  Political power is never through the Constitution. Political power is through the people, the Constitution does not vote and these Bills do not vote but it is the people who vote. You must be able to gage the mood of the people.

          Zimbabweans at this point in time, no wonder you mention that these public things were polarized. I am no longer interested in all these Bills. We must also be able to read the ground or the leader; no wonder why any leader has an advance team to go and assess the situation on the ground to see if there are people or there are no people. The President is said to be going to Mashonaland Central. The meeting is cancelled because there was an advance team that told him the truth that there will not be people in the stadium and so do not come. It is postponed.

          So it is important for us to be really thorough in what we do. We lack seriousness when it comes to the good governance of this country, when it comes to the law. To say the least, we are reckless, absolutely reckless to the demise of the ordinary people who are innocent. Why do we have to do that when we are such a great country with great loving people? Why should we plant hate? The politicians have planted hate in our people and our people are not of a hate character. They are good people. You go anywhere, they are respectful and they will greet you but when you are now having such Bills coming through the House, it becomes extremely difficult for us to really appreciate these...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Minister and Leader of Government business, no matter what an Hon. Member may be saying, I think every Hon. Member deserves the attention of the Hon. Minister so that you can give a comprehensive response accordingly. I am requesting the Hon. Minister to please pay attention to what the Hon. Members are saying so that the issues are disbursed accordingly to the satisfaction of the House. I know you have some scribes at the back who are assisting you but personal attention is better than secondary information. Thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. There are institutions in this country that have assisted with education. The Higher Life Foundation which is led by Mr. Strive Masiyiwa through Econet - was he not a talk in the country, an allegation that he was pro-the opposition, but in the 2013 elections, they advanced Government money for elections. The licence that they were supposed to pay - the time was not up but they advanced Government because Government had no money for elections and paid for that.

          So how then all this time there was a negative opinion of him but later on you then go and ask him to give you money to pay in advance for a licence? He paid because we had no money for elections. You have got these examples where the Government makes decisions knee-jerk. I have never experienced such kneejerk reactions by any Government. It is the worst that we have seen and at times I said people who are advising the President, are they on Guka or are they on mutoriro? Maybe the drug must go to these people because I do not understand. The pronouncement of the President talk about shows that he is definitely ill advised. He is advised wrongly and it is only this House which can advise him the truth and we have that responsibility. We have the responsibility of oversight. 

          This law does not fit the shoes and it will not be respected. We are part of the global village. Members of Parliament here some who are hypocritical have benefited from these NGOs. You have come into this House through these NGOs. They have put boreholes in your constituencies, they have paid school fees, they have paid for books, they have given gadgets to kids to work and you have been failing to see the good and you want to talk about the bad which you have not seen. If there is bad in the work that they are doing, why do we cite the bad, we cannot talk away the nation and laws on speculative issues. We cannot speculate Mr. Speaker. I speculate that someone wants to kill me without evidence. We have not been presented with any evidence of any NGO which has acted out of order. If it has, the laws are already in place to deal with them. What is the point of the law enforcement agents?

          If they have been corrupt, what is the point of that? We must have checks and balances in whatever we do Mr. Speaker Sir and I am totally against this law. In my constituency, Hon. Ziyambi knows as Mashonaland West Constituency, there is a school Jinks Town Primary School which was built by Direct Aid. This area had a farm and it is brand new. There is a boarding school and kids go there and now they have totally stopped because they will be looting and vandalizing all the equipment. What does it say of our country of resources coming from Kuwait and these NGOs are Kuwait based and we are friends of Kuwait. We have written letters to say how can Kuwait be an enemy of Zimbabwe yet it is a friend.

          The Ambassador in Kuwait has tried to say but can you help these people but still the school is lying idle... Children will suffer. Why are we not generous and kind to this? I want to close by saying as you always say Mr. Speaker, gonzo ukariwana mumba, hamupise imba. This law is about one person who is wrong and you are punishing everybody. Zveshuwa here kuti gonzo ropisisa imba yese nema suit enyu akanaka nehembe dzamai nenyaya yegonzo. Ko madii kuteya gonzo nemushonga uripo moona kuti harife here? Madii kutsvaga kiti kuti riwuraye gonzo? Gonzo ropisisa imba here? Ndapedza.

          +HON MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that you have given me. I want to contribute to this Bill in connection with those who assist us in this country. We welcome those who assist us and we are grateful for everything that they have done to us. They have helped our girl child, some have helped vulnerable children and others have helped orphans. We wish that they continue helping us.

          Allow me to say that this Parliament is like any other Parliament in the world. It has a responsibility to enact laws that correct our wrong deeds. I am glad that the Minister is hearing what I am saying so that the people in Matabeleland North can hear me.  Parliament of Zimbabwe has a responsibility to enact laws that govern the nation. Zimbabwe is like a homestead and if you realise that you had put a fence and then you now want to put a perimeter wall, no one should deny you the chance to put that perimeter wall.

          Zimbabwe is like a parent who has realised that her children are indulging in different crimes such as early pregnancies and then puts a rule that no child should come home after 8 p.m. in the evening. It would be unfortunate if these Hon. Members are not in a position to make rules in their homes and they want to start making laws here. If they make laws in their homes, then it would be easier for them to make laws in this House.

          I am disappointed that when laws are about to be enacted some feel that the laws are meant to punish them. We enacted our laws and took land from the white settlers and today we are what we are because of these laws from Parliament. It is good that Zimbabwe makes laws that those who are helping us should assist us accordingly. We really want these donors but they should do lawful things that uplift the lives of our people. As parliamentarians, we must make sure that we do our duty and role to see that Zimbabwe is protected.

          Those who do not like such laws are those people who are doing things that are illegal or against the protection of Zimbabwe. Let people decide who should be their leaders instead of people being paid US$10 for them to choose who should lead. That is a problem Mr. Speaker Sir. We are not in tandem with such behaviour. Therefore, we are putting these laws to curb such behaviour from our partners. We thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill. I wish this House can support this Bill in protecting Zimbabwe.

          It is unfortunate that there are some who have not lived outside Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is our home, we feel comfortable and protected when we land at Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport. These human rights that they talk about when they are outside the country are not good. There is disorder outside. Let Zimbabwe continue enacting laws that protect its safety, progress and prosperity. I thank you.  

          HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker!  My Hon. Sister, Hon. Stars Mathe referred to us as comrades, we are not comrades.  We are Hon. Members of Parliament, we are not comrades in this House and we must use parliamentary language.  May she withdraw that, we are not comrades.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  Yes, that is very true … - [HON. MUCHIMWE: Hon. Speaker!] – Order, order Hon. Muchimwe – [HON. MUCHIMWE: On a point of order!] – Hon. Muchimwe order! – [HON. T. MLISWA:   I do not know what he is doing here.  Ana Hon. Muchimwe havana kubaiwa vaccine ava!  Vari kuita chii muno umu?  Havana kujungwa ava! What is he doing in here?] – Order Hon. Mliswa… - [HON. T. MLISWA: On a serious note, what is he doing in here!  Haana kubaiwa Muchimwe and he can go on virtual.  On a point of order, we agreed and those are the rules of this House.  Unless kana akajungwa ngaapinde muno.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. T. MLISWA: No, it is a serious issue.  He can go on virtual; we do not want him here.  He will spread COVID to us here especially mapositori vanonamata vakawanda!] – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Akabaiwa!] – [HON. T. MLISWA: Where is his card?  Nyabani, I think it is best for you to stay out of this.  No, it is a serious issue Madam Speaker.  Our lives cannot be at risk!] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa, you have raised two points of order.  I have not responded yet you keep talking,  let me respond. – [HON. MATHE:  Madam Speaker…] – Order Hon. Mathe, I am going to make a ruling on what Hon. Mliswa requested for.  On the first point of order, indeed Hon. Mathe, we do not relate to each other as comrades here but as Hon. Members.  So on that one; you need to make sure that you address people as Hon. Members.

          HON. MATHE:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, allow me to withdraw to say comrade to my comrade.  Otherwise, he is also my colleague.  Allow me to withdraw to say comrade.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mathe, we do not need to be sarcastic about it.  The issue is about us being clear to say, we do not relate to each other as comrades in this House.

          HON. MATHE:  I withdraw Madam Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  On the second issue which was on Hon. Muchimwe… - [HON. MUCHIMWE:  Thank you very much, on a point of order…] – It is not a point of order. Hon. Muchimwe order, have you been vaccinated? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – May you please go to the microphone and advise me as to whether you have been vaccinated? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MUCHIMWE:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, when I am on virtual…] – [HON. MATHE:  It is his privacy. No, he cannot be asked here to produce his vaccination card!] – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MATHE:  He needs to be protected. No, no, he needs to be protected.  It is between him and the Hon. Speaker.  No, no, we cannot accept that.  Who was ever asked to produce a vaccination card here?  No one ever produced a vaccination card in this Parliament.  He needs to be protected; it is between him and the Hon. Speaker!  He will go and speak to the Hon. Speaker.  No one produced a card in this House, and why him?] – Hon. Muchimwe, may you please approach the Chair? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. T. MLISWA:  He cannot speak! Approach the Chair.  We cannot have people who have not been vaccinated coming into this House!] Order Hon. Members!  Hon. Muchimwe, may you please approach the Chair?  Hon. Muchimwe, please come here? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Hon. Muchimwe exited the House after speaking to the Temporary Speaker.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move that the debate do now adjourn. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Order!  I had earlier on recognised Hon. Toffa.  So we will adjourn debate soon after Hon. Toffa.  Thank you.  Hon. Toffa, you may proceed. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Toffa haana kubaiwa uyo!  Haana kubaiwa, ngaaburitse card!] – May you please proceed?

          HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for this opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, this Bill should not see the light of day … - [HON. ZIYAMBI: Inaudible interjection.] – Yes, Hon. Minister…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  May you please connect?

          HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, thank you for… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Ndiri kukumbirawo kutaura? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker Ma’am, please may I have your protection? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am grateful for the opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate.

          I would like to say that this debate has a lot of negativity.  What is most important is the impact that it will have on the citizens, especially the impoverished citizens.  A few weeks ago, whilst at Parliament, I was called by the Vendors Association and BBTA of Bulawayo.  They were very distraught and distressed.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, Hon. Nduna spoke to Section 141 which talks about Public Engagement.  

          In Bulawayo, there was a lot of chaos.  The citizens of Bulawayo were not given an opportunity to air their views… - [AN HON. MEMBER: Vakapihwa mari!] – There were people who were sponsored to create chaos Madam Speaker Ma’am - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think Hon. T. Zhou knows who they are.  It was said that the non-governmental organisations and the PVOs are committing acts of terrorism against the Government.  At this presentation, the Vendors Association representatives said our Constitution has – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – please, may I be protection Hon. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Hon. Members order please. Hon. Leader of the House, Hon. T. Mliswa and Hon. T. Zhou, can I have order please.

          HON. TOFFA: Hon. T. Mliswa, I listened to your debate.  Madam Speaker, the Vendors Association and the citizens of Bulawayo asked what measures is Government taking to cover these gaps that will be left by the NGOs and the PVOs because the children’s school fees, medical bills are all being covered by the PVOs.  Madam Speaker, because most issues have already been said, I felt it important to stand up and speak as a representative.  Hon. Gonese articulated most of the concerns very well, so I do not want to spoil it by repeating.  What they said that touched me very much was the fact that it was said the PVOs and NGOs were doing acts of terrorism against the country.  The citizens of Bulawayo are saying by passing this Bill, the Government will be doing an act of terrorism against its citizens because right now they have nothing, they have no food, they cannot send their children to school and this is the role that the NGOs and the PVOs are playing.  As I conclude, I implore the Minister, Hon. Ziyambi that this Bill must not see the light of the day, if it is the citizens that you care about.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFARIS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker I move that we revert to Order of the Day No. 5 on today’s Order Paper.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

HEALTH SERVICES AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 8, 2021].

Fifth Order read: Second Reading: Health Service Amendment Bill [H. B. 8, 2021]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMETNARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I rise to present the Second Reading speech on behalf of the Hon. Vice President who is also the Minister of Health on the Health Services Amendment Bill.  I am pleased to bring you a Bill that is very important for the better delivery of Public Health Services, it will amend the Health Services Act to bring it into line with the Constitution and improve the conditions of health service workers.  Let me remind you that Section 29(I) of the Constitution says that and I quote “The State must take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic accessible and adequate health services throughout Zimbabwe”.  The Health Service Board was created by the Health Services Act in 2005.  It was supposed to fix the minimum conditions of service of health workers and health service standards at Government hospitals throughout the country. Under that Act each Government hospital had its own hospital management board which could hire and fire staff including professional staff.  Now we have noticed that there is too much surrendering of responsibility by the board to the hospital management boards and too little coordination between them. 

          This led to lack of uniformity of conditions of service among public health workers and to cares in the public health delivery system.  By this Bill, we propose to change the health service board into a Health Service Commission with similar functions to the Public Service Commission.  When this Bill becomes law; no staff can be hired or fired at Government institutions without its permission. 

          Madam Speaker, I will not repeat what is said about each Clause in the explanatory memorandum to the Bill. I will only stress a couple of important points.  Not so long ago, we saw that the public health service was affected by spread strikes, walk outs and refusal of service by public health workers.  There were in many cases misled by union representatives who promised that they could achieve the impossible that is to say to compare the Government to give them conditions that were beyond the capacity of Government’s financial ability to offer.  We as Government highly value our public health service workers but they are not the only public service workers we have to care for.  They, like other workers in the public sector, are entitled to decent working conditions and Government will never stop hearing their reasonable grievances about their material well being but we must balance the aspiration with the reality that in any state, the delivery of affordable public health service is a basic public health good that cannot be withdrawn from our people because of a labour dispute. 

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, also there is a limit beyond which we can tax our already financially burdened people to pay for health services.  We are not yet a high middle income country but our training facilities for health service workers are very good and they are frequently sought after by other countries.

          Accordingly, the Bill will declare that health service to be an essential service. This means that the service cannot be withdrawn by ordinary methods of industrial action.  Instead Madam Speaker, negotiations must be undertaken leading to compulsory arbitration if there is a deadlock between the parties.  At most withdrawal services during collective job action cannot exceed 72 hours in any week.

          Clause 5 of the Bill is a very important clause in this connection, it makes it clear that the calling of a health service worker is not simply a job but a vocation to help, heal and save the lives of our people.  What is more noble than that? Sub clause (4) of Clause 4 says that a member of the health service is under an obligation to provide the professional skill expertise, care and service expected of him or her as a member of the profession to which he or she belongs.  It goes on to say that even during any collective job action, a member of the health sector is under an obligation to provide the professional skill, expertise, care and service to patients in a medical emergency or needing critical or intensive care.

          Madam Speaker Ma,am, health service workers who breach these fundamental obligations will force professional disciplinary proceedings, just like any other health service worker in the private sector will face the same.

          In conclusion Madam Speaker, I urge Hon. Members to pass this law to improve the status and prestige of our public health service workers and professionals.  I thank you and move that the Bill be read a second time. 

I move that the debate do now adjourn to allow the Committee report to be tabled before the House.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 to 15 on today’s Oder Paper be stood over until Order Number 16 has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Sixteenth order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADIRO): Pursuant to the State of the Nation Address of 7th October 2021, by His Excellency the President, E. D. Mnangagwa and subsequent constructive debate by Hon. Members of this august House, allow me to contribute towards the debate by way of an update on what the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has executed so far.

          Madam Speaker Maam, if it pleases His Excellency the President, allow me from the outset to restate his commitment to infrastructural development by indicating that “Government has prioritised capital spending with 34% of total expenditure to date having been earmarked for infrastructure development”.

          The Government is prioritising development of infrastructure to enhance domestic connectivity and global integration in the transport sector.  With the guidance and bold leadership of His Excellency the President and a deep understanding that transformative measures in infrastructural development are required to underpin the drive towards the attainment of Vision 2030, we have been focused on road infrastructure development aviation, modernisation and expansion and railway resuscitation.

          The ongoing Phase 2 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme is indeed transformational across all provinces, districts, cities and towns. Phase 2 focus is on full rehabilitation and reconstruction of sections of the road network.

          Madam Speaker Maam, echoing His Excellency’s assertion that    “ local resources are being put to good use while local contractors are empowered and the commuting and trading public is experiencing added convenience”, the Ministry took the bold decision to engage local contractors to do the programme projects and the works have been exceptional.  As part of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, Government employed Provincial Road Engineers for the Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan Provinces to oversee the construction and rehabilitation of major urban roads in the two major cities.  As such, one of the projects is the Masotsha-Ndlovu Road while 6, 9 km of the road has been rehabilitated to date, of which 5 km of the road has since been completed and opened to traffic.

          The remaining 1, 9 km is outstanding with base construction in progress.  The overall progress is exceptional and has resulted in smooth flow of traffic connecting Seke Road and Simon Mazorodze Road.

          Further, Government rehabilitated Masiyapambili Road in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province which saw 2, 3 km being rehabilitated and asphalt overlaid, 7 km resealed and 6,7 km pothole patched and grass cut.  The project was successfully completed on 9 December 2021.  As you may be aware Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Ministry engaged private players to assist in the rehabilitation of the Harare-Seke Road. This is a major road that supports daily commuters from Seke-Chitungwiza to Harare.  The road was in a bad state with serious damages, particularly from Dieppe Road turnoff at Coca-Cola depot to Chikwanha Roundabout in Chitungwiza. This caused major delays and congestion and damages to motor vehicles.

          Madam Speaker Maam, the road received funding and my Ministry engaged a contractor who carried extensive rehabilitation works of the indicated stretch of road. 

          It is imperative to note that regardless of the works done to date and works that were being done during the rainy season, progress on rehabilitation of the majority of the roads was delayed and in a number of instances, potholes and breaks occurred in some of the rehabilitated areas.  This was due to the high rainfall during the period from February to April.  Allow me to venture into the statistics of ERRP.  Under the auspices of ERRP, as of 30 April, 2022, road authorities have managed to do reseal and overlay of about 110km.  Construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation is now at 70km, while 370km of road have been graveled and re-gravelled.  A total of 2 171 km of road have been graded so that it becomes trafficable.  Further, 144 drainage structures have been repaired and constructed.  Bush clearing has been achieved to the tune of 1 315.3 km and a total of 2 390 km of road have been pothole patched.

          Madam Speaker, using resources, the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has opened 303km of Harare-Beitbridge Road to traffic so far.  This road is currently being rehabilitated by five contractors; namely Bitumen World, Fossil Contracting, Tensor Systems, Masimba Holdings and Exodus and Company.

          Madam Speaker, with regards to modernisation, my Ministry has re-designed the Mbudzi Interchange to unlock congestion.  The construction of the Inter-change and by-passes is currently being executed and construction is scheduled to begin soon.  This area is known for its congestion and other hosts of challenges and criminalistics. The Mbudzi interchange is a national flagship project earmarked to bring sanity to the intersection feeding into the community residential areas and providing passage for traffic out and into Harare. 

          As a major project, Mr. Speaker Sir, Government encourages the use of other routes particularly for traffic in areas from Waterfalls to Glen Norah, Budiriro and Glen View.  It is also imperative to note that some of the companies and institutions in the designated area will be affected one way or the other; by relocation or otherwise.  I call upon the communities and citizens of Zimbabwe to bear with Government as work in this area is expected to increase and cause major delays to traffic.  As such, it is very important for motorists and the public to make use of the detours and sub-lanes being constructed to allow for traffic flow and movement.

          Madam Speaker, road transport management is key to unlocking the value of improved infrastructures.  The establishment of electronic systems for the integration and computerisation of the Vehicle Inspection Department, Central Vehicle Registry, ZINARA and related stakeholders has far reaching impact on our national transport management system.  This is in line with the SADC Protocol and the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) which is focused on harmonisation of Vehicle Load Management, Harmonised vehicle and driver regulations and standards, transport registers and information platform system and Corridor Trip Monitoring Systems (CTMS) implementation. 

          Madam Speaker, the development in transport management have led us to the upgrading of the existing drivers’ licence to an electronic drivers’ licence.  This is in line with SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology on Harmonisation of Road Transport Standards and Systems.  Once finalised, the electronic drivers’ licence will contain the drivers’ information linking it to the ZIMTIS system. 

          The Ministry began a roll-out of the computerisation and integration of transport management in Zimbabwe. This is a major project designed to manage the transport sector, particularly the registration and licencing of vehicles and drivers. Rollout of the project started at VID, with the computerisation of Electronic Learner and Testing (ELT) and computerisation of the garage inspection.  To date, 14 depots have been computerised across the country.  In addition to VID, the Ministry in decentralising the RMT offices to the various provinces, managed to complete the computerisation of the operators’ licence, which can now be issued at all provincial RMT offices.  The next phase will involve computerisation of the Certificate of Competence, vehicle inspections and driving testing.

          Madam Speaker, in the aviation sector, following the completion of the reconstruction processes.  Air Zimbabwe is now en-route to operating viably. The shareholder has procured an Embraer ERJ145 and processes are underway to procure another Embraer ERJ145.  This will further capacitate the airline to operate more domestic and regional routes. 

          Government, through the Airports Company of Zimbabwe, is upgrading the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to improve the capacity from 2.5 million to 6 million annual throughput.  The project is being funded by a concessionary loan from China Exim Bank.  Progress is satisfactory and currently stands at 61% to completion. 

          On Buffalo Range Airport, with funding from PSIP, the runway was rehabilitated, thus improving the safety of the airport and patronage by private players has since improved. 

          Madam Speaker, allow me to thank His Excellency the President, for his continued direction and support in the development of the transport sector, infrastructure and management systems.  With his full support and financial injections from Treasury, we are set as a Ministry to achieve our mandate. 

          Allow me to thank all Honourable Members of this House for always supporting us, asking pertinent questions and proffering ideas and solutions.  This assists us as a Ministry to diligently implement and execute projects for the benefit of the motoring public and our economy as a whole.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Deputy Minister for coming through and responding on the State of the Nation Address.

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

          HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MUTAMBISI:  Madam Speaker, I move that the all the other items be stood over until Order No. 21 has been disposed of. 

          HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT ON A SELF ASSESSMENT OF THE DIAMOND SECTOR

          HON. MKARATIGWA:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development on a self-assessment of the Diamond Sector in Zimbabwe.

          HON. NYABANI: I second.

          HON. MKARATIGWA:

1.                INTRODUCTION:

         The Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, diamond producers, the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and civil society organizations (CSOs) embarked on a self-assessment of the diamond sector to gauge if the country was compliant with the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).  This initiative emanated from a resolution that was made by the Committee on 26th  July 2021 to set up a sub-Committee with the sole mandate of conducting an inquiry into the diamond sector, in particular to assess its level of compliance with the KPCS. To this end, the sub-Committee was empowered to spearhead engagements with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, CSOs and other stakeholders. 

The sub-Committee held meetings with key stakeholders in the diamond sector whereupon it was established that Zimbabwe was due for an assessment by the KPCS Review Mission however, there were delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  A resolution was made on  18th  August 2021 to jointly conduct a self-assessment of the diamond sector. The inaugural meeting was attended by Members of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development; Honourable W. Chitando, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Honourable P. Kambamura, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Mr. O. Moyo, the Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development and Mr. T. Muzenda, the General Manager of MMCZ. Officials from the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and CSOs represented by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and the African Alliance for Responsible Mineral Sourcing and Fair Trade (AARMSOFT), were also in attendance.

 The major objective of the self-assessment was to share information and ideas amongst the different stakeholders in the diamond sector in preparation for the actual visit by the KPCS Review Mission.  This self-assessment exercise was conducted from 13th of September to 17th November 2021. It was the first of its kind for the country and aroused a lot of interest amongst various stakeholders.  There was free exchange of information between the Committee and the stakeholders that participated in the programme.  

2.    COMPOSITION OF THE SELF-ASSESSMENT TEAM

The joint self-assessment team comprised of the following:

 

Name

Organisation

1.

Hon. Simbaneuta Mudarikwa

Parliament of Zimbabwe and Team Leader

2.

Hon. Edmond Mkaratigwa

Parliament of Zimbabwe - Chairperson of the Portfolio

Committee on Mines and Mining Development

3.

Hon. Davison Svuure

Parliament of Zimbabwe

4.

Hon. Tafanana Zhou

Parliament of Zimbabwe

5.

Hon. Jasmine Toffa

Parliament of Zimbabwe

6.

Hon. Joel Gabbuza

Parliament of Zimbabwe

7.

Ms. Angeline Gutu

Parliament of Zimbabwe

8.

Ms. Evelyn Masara

Parliament of Zimbabwe

9.

Mr. Masimba Chandavengerwa

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe

10.

Mr. Ezekiel Mafara

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe

11.

Mr. Effort Shoko

Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe

12.

Mr. Enoch Moyo

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company

13.

Mr. Sugar Chagonda

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company

14.

Mrs. Jacquiline Munyonga

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

15.

Mr. Arnold Mukombachoto

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

16.

Ms. Lindsay Dzumbunu

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

17.

Mr. George Zhara

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

18.

Mr. ShamisoMtisi

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

19.

Mr. Farai Maguwu

Centre for Natural Resources Governance

20.

Ms. SimisoMlevu

Centre for Natural Resources Governance

21.

Mr. Joshua Marufu

African Alliance for Responsible Mineral Sourcing and Fair Trade (AARMSOFT)

 

3.    METHODOLOGY:

         The self-assessment was guided by the core document used by KPCS Review Missions. In order to gain a full appreciation of the country’s level of compliance with the KPCS, the Sub-Committee held a series of meetings with key stakeholders and conducted visits to diamond producing companies and diamond sorting houses.  The fact-finding visits and meetings included the following:

  1. Visits to diamond producers: Anjin Investments Private Limited and ZCDC in Marange as well as RZM Murowa Private Limited in Zvishavane;
  2. Visits to the ports of entry and exit in the country which include: Forbes Border Post and

Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport;

iii.Visits to the sorting houses, namely that of Anjin at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and that of ZCDC at the MMCZ offices in Harare;

  • Visit to Aurex, a diamond cutting and polishing centre as well as meeting with the Association of Cutting and Polishing Companies in the country, the Diamond Beneficiation
  1. Association of Zimbabwe (DBAZ);
  2. Meeting with the Mrs. Mildred Chiri, the Auditor General;
  3. Virtual meeting with Alrosa Head Office in Russia; and
  • Meetings with communities affected by diamond mining and exploration activities in Marange, Arda Transau, Rimbi community of Chipinge and the Sese Community in Chivi District.

4.    FINDINGS:

Legal and Policy Framework in the Diamond Sector:

The diamond sector in Zimbabwe is regulated by the Mines and Minerals Act [Chapter 21:05], the Precious Stones Trade Act [Chapter 21:06], the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 21:04] and Diamond Policy of 2019.  While the Mines and Minerals Act regulates the issuance of licenses for special grants to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe, the MMCZ Act and Precious Stones Trade Act regulate the export, sale, stockpiling, possession and dealing in diamonds. The Diamond Policy of 2019 outlines the investment opportunities and requirements to be observed by diamonds producers who operate in the country.  One of the major loopholes in legal and policy framework is the non-recognition of artisanal and small-scale miners who are largely fuelling the smuggling of diamonds to other countries, particularly through Mozambique. Furthermore, it was noted that the Diamond Policy is not widely known by the public and it was therefore, imperative for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to disseminate the policy.  

Import and Export Controls:

         At Forbes Border post and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the Committee met with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Airport Authority of Zimbabwe, Immigration and Security officials.  These were the key findings of the Committee:

         4.2.1At Forbes Border Post, ZIMRA officials were trained on the KPCS requirements but the other agencies such as Immigration Department had not gone through the same.  Secondly, border officials highlighted that they were not trained to identify the features of a diamond.  To address this gap, MMCZ indicated that it intends to post some of its officials at the border posts.  

         4.2.2 There were no scanners to detect diamonds and other precious minerals at both Forbes Border Post and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.  The Committee was informed by the Airport Authority that there were plans to purchase the appropriate scanners in the year 2022. 

         4.2.3Forbes Border Post had not recorded any official export of diamonds to other countries. All the diamonds were being exported through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

         4.2.4 Officials at Forbes Border Post were not aware of the features of an export certificate used in the trading of diamonds.  The customs officials requested MMCZ to supply them with a copy, so that officials would not be caught off-guard in the event that diamonds are exported or imported through that Border. 

         4.2.5 The security personnel at the Forbes Border Post indicated that they had not recorded any incidents of diamonds being smuggled from that gateway.  

         4.2.6Zimra officials at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport requested KPCS officials to train them on how to identify tampering of diamond seals.  

         4.2.7The authorities at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport highlighted that the facility and infrastructure was being upgraded including the security system to curb the smuggling of diamonds and other precious metals.  

Diamond Production Statistics:

         There are four diamond mining companies in Zimbabwe, namely Alrosa Private Limited, ZCDC, RZM Murowa Private Limited and Anjin Investments Private Limited.  Officials from Alrosa Private Limited indicated that the company had not yet begun production and was still in the exploration stage.  Conversely, ZCDC and Murowa diamonds were actively involved in the mining of diamonds during the Committee’s visit. ZCDC indicated that it was in the process of ramping up its production and this would be achieved through exploration in the Marange area.   

         For the year 2020, ZCDC produced 1 375 455 carats of diamonds.  For 2021, production was on the increase during the first half of the year, with production levels yielding 1 410 570 carats of diamonds.  By  30th  November 2021, ZCDC had produced 3 691 731 carats.  

The Committee learnt that RZM Murowa located in Zvishavane has the capacity to produce 600 000 carats a year and 80 percent of the diamonds are of gem quality.  The sorting of Murowa’s diamonds is done in Harare and 10 percent of the diamonds are sold locally to cutters and polishers while they were being traded with Antwerp. 

Anjin was embarking on a re-building exercise after its operations were disrupted in February 2016. The company resumed on-site operations in 2020 and for the period January to December 2020, it produced a total of 724, 497.92 carats.  For 2021, the company did not produce anything and was focused more on exploration activities.  However, at peak, the company has a capacity to produce 7 million carats per year. 

Security Systems at the Mining Sites and Sorting Houses:

Anjin Investments Private Limited:

     Anjin Investments Private Limited operated between the period 2010 and 2015 and then resumed on-site operations in 2019. The company found most of its equipment and security system vandalised and therefore, was in the process of re-building its operations.  Its security system comprises of CCTVs, boundary fences, sniffer dogs, private security company and the police. The Committee was informed that the company had experienced 3 attempts of diamonds theft which were reported to the police. As part of efforts to strengthen its security, the company intends to migrate to an integrated security system in 2022 which entails off-site access to information by the MMCZ and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.  Anjin and ZCDC security personnel meet on a regular basis to share intelligence information.

ZCDC:

ZCDC upgraded its security system and put in place an integrated system with on-line access by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and its Head Office in Harare.  The company’s security system comprises of CCTVs, drones, reaction teams, private security companies and boundary fences. The company also has a tip off anonymous but it is restricted to internal personnel. The major security threats for both Anjin and ZCDC were the villagers who reside near their concessions but an intelligence team has been established which works with the community to address this challenge. In the process there has been increased flow of information from the community members to the companies on illegal mining activities.   Another risk raised by ZCDC was that of penalties charged for the illegal possession and mining of diamonds.  This was not deterrent enough for would be offenders.  This needs to be addressed through policy reforms, particularly amending the Precious Stones Trade Act.

RZM Murowa Private Limited:

RZM Murowa is mainly involved in kimberlitic diamond mining located deep in the earth hence there are no incidents of security breaches by artisanal and small-scale miners.  The security architecture at Murowa mainly comprises of boundary fences, CCTV and private security companies.   

Exploration Work by Mining Companies:

Anjin, ZCDC and Murowa diamonds registered their intentions to increase their production capacities, hence, they were actively involved in exploration work.  Both Anjin and ZCDC were conducting exploration in the Marange area, whilst Murowa was engaging in exploration activities in the Sese communal lands in Masvingo Province. Alrosa has not yet begun production but was actively involved in exploration work in the Chipinge and Bubi Districts, at the time of the Committee’s visit. 

Artisanal Mining of Diamonds:

The Marange Community informed the Committee that smuggling of diamonds was a common occurrence in the area.  It was highlighted that panners usually operated at night and the diamonds were allegedly smuggled through the Mozambican corridor.  Civil society members indicated that this was orchestrated by a well-known syndicate operating in Mutare and the police was called upon to act to apprehend the syndicate. The situation was compounded by the fact that the Zimbabwean law does not recognize artisanal mining of diamonds. 

Auditor General’s 2019 Findings on the Diamond Sector:

The Committee held a meeting with Mrs. Mildred Chiri, the Auditor General, wherein she highlighted that her role was to ensure that Government departments, parastatals and agencies adhere to the public finance principles as enshrined in the Constitution and other laws of the country.  The parastatals in the diamond industry that were recently audited by the Auditor General include the MMCZ and ZCDC.  Both MMCZ and ZCDC indicated that they would attend to any issues that may be highlighted by the Auditor General, so as to ensure that the companies and country remains compliant with the KPCS. 

Community Concerns in the Diamond Sector:

Community in Marange and Arda Transau:

The major issues that were raised by communities in Marange and Arda Transau include the following:

  1. There were no written agreements or contracts on the relocation program. As a result, communities could not hold the companies accountable for unpaid compensation.
  2. The community at Arda Transau stated that they did not have title deeds for their houses which makes them insecure about the future. The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works was called upon to address this issue. There were also complaints that some of the houses had already developed cracks and needed repair.  Furthermore, the community had no access to clean water and electricity.  A call was made for more land to be acquired to depopulate the community at Arda Transau.
  • At Chirasika, in Arda Transau, concern was raised over the shortage of classroom blocks, toilets, teachers’ accommodation and water storage tanks. The community also highlighted the need for a vocational training centre for skills development particularly for the youth.  
  1. ZCDC and Anjin were accused of shirking corporate social responsibility programs. The communities had to beg the companies to implement corporate social responsibility activities.
  2. There was a perception that the companies chose to associate themselves with a few members of the community, such as the Chief and Headman and exclude the rest of the community.
  3. There were complaints that the USD$ 5 million that was given to the Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) was eroded by inflation hence it did not achieve its intended objectives. A call was made for an audit to be conducted to ensure that all the monies that were disbursed through the CSOT could be accounted for.  
  • Community members located in the mining concessions of Chiadzwa expressed concern on change of chieftainship in the event that they are relocated to Arda Transau. A call was made for dialogue between the two traditional leaders, Chief Marange and Chief Zimunya before more people were relocated.  
  • There were allegations raised that members of the security services deployed in Marange were involved in corrupt activities, whereupon they take bribes to facilitate illegal panning of diamonds during the night.
  1. ZCDC and Anjin were called upon to hold monthly meetings with the community living near their concessions to discuss any security and human rights issues.
  2. ZCDC offered the community a concession as a strategy to empower the locals and reduce incidents of illegal mining activity in the area. The concession would be mined by ZCDC on behalf of the community starting in 2022.  The community welcomed this initiative.
  3. During the visit it was gathered from community members that the level of human rights abuses and violations by state and private security agents had significantly gone down. The situation was considered normal, compared to previous years where reports of beatings and other forms of abuses were reportedly rampant. However, some community members were of the view that the area was still a protected area and in some cases, people were searched or asked for identification by the police or military personnel which restricts freedom of movement in the area.

Community in Sese Communal Lands:

Murowa Diamonds has been conducting exploration of diamonds in the Sese Communal lands for the past 3 years and a total of US$2,5 million was invested in the project.  The Committee was informed that the company had not yet discovered an economic kimberlitic pipe in the area.  The exploration activities were being conducted at various sites including; a sporting field of St Simon Zhara Primary School, at a farm of a local villager and in other places in the Sese area.  However, there was tension between the community in Sese and the diamond company over its exploration activities, particularly at Danhamombe High School.  This had led to several court battles and holding of intergovernmental meetings to try and resolve this conflict. The bone of contention was that the Sese Community wants the mining company to relocate its camping site from the High School in order to pave way for the construction of boarding school facilities.  The mining company was also being accused of disrupting learning activities at the school due to noise pollution from the drilling rigs.  However, Murowa Diamonds informed the Committee that not all the community members were against the presence of the company in the area and most of the allegations levelled against the company were not true.  

The company noted that extensive consultations had been done before exploration began and acknowledged that it might have left out a few key opinion leaders during the process. Some members of the local community refuted this assertion and told the Committee that they were never consulted on the exploration activities of Murowa diamonds.  The community went on to allege that the presence of the miner had created new challenges for them such as water shortages, environmental degradation, disruption of farming projects, loss of cattle due to poisoning due to operations of the company.  Additionally, the miner was accused of failure to engage in any corporate social responsibility activities in the area.  Despite the claim that community members were never engaged, the Committee noted that a total of 15 meetings had been held between all the key stakeholders to try and address these challenges.  

Rimbi Community in Chipinge District:

The Rimbi Community is based in Chipinge and in the early part of 2021; Alrosa Private Limited began exploration in their area.  The community expressed concern that Alrosa did not comply with the country’s laws, particularly on community engagement before exploration started.  Members of the Community informed the Committee that local government authorities were also not consulted on the exploration work by Alrosa.  Only a few people were consulted yet the exploration activities were affecting more than 10 villages.  The Rimbi community expressed their wish to be involved in the process from the beginning, in line with Part 19(3) of the Mines and Minerals Act, according to which “the Secretary shall send written notification of the issue of a special grant to every occupier or, if there is no occupier, owner of land falling within the area covered by the special grant”. Alrosa Head Office in Russia, represented by Mr. Peter Karachiev indicated that his company subscribes to best international practices in the sourcing of diamonds such as the System of Warranties which observes human rights, labour rights and anti-corruption. In turn once mining operations begin in Zimbabwe, these principles and practices which are applied in the entire Alrosa Group will also be applied in Zimbabwe.

Diamond Cutting and Polishing Industry:

The Committee held a meeting with the Diamond Beneficiation Association of Zimbabwe where they outlined the following key issues:

  1. The cutting and polishing industry in Zimbabwe was still in its infancy stage. There were less than 20 operators in the country but there was potential for the industry to grow into a multi-million industry in the next few years.
  2. The diamond cutters and polishers have control over the manner in which rough diamonds were handled once they were purchased from the diamond producers such as Murowa Diamonds and ZCDC. The controls included filing of records on rough diamonds purchased by the cutters and polishers.  Furthermore, periodic audits were conducted by MMCZ to ensure that all rough diamonds can be accounted for.  
  • The premises of the cutters and polishers were secured by a boundary wall, CCTVs and private security companies to reduce any incidences of leakages.

5.                OUTCOMES OF THE SELF-ASSESSMENT PROGRAMME:

There were some positive outcomes that emerged as a result of the self-assessment program:

5.1      Zimbabwe was endorsed to become the vice-Chair of KPCS International for 2021 and will assume Chairmanship in 2023.  This is partly attributed to the self-assessment program where Zimbabwe showed its willingness and commitment to adhere to international standards in the production and trading of diamonds.

5.2      The Self-Assessment Program brought together Government officials and CSOs in the diamond sector that for a long time had an acrimonious relationship.

5.3      Some of the diamond companies that include Murowa Diamonds and ZCDC began addressing some of the concerns that were raised by communities during the factfinding visits by the Committee.

6.                COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS:

6.1      Most of the government agencies that were visited, including custom officials were generally conversant with the KPCS requirements nevertheless, regular trainings were necessary particularly for new recruits. 

6.2      The diamond producers in the country Anjin, ZCDC and Murowa Diamonds showed commitment towards compliance with the requirements of the KPCS as demonstrated by the security systems at the mines and sorting houses. However, it is important for the companies to ensure availability of documentation on request during such visits.

6.3      Diamond producers that include Anjin, ZCDC and Murowa Diamonds expressed their willingness to address challenges raised by local communities in the short-term whilst others would be addressed in the long term.

6.4      There were too many community-based organizations in Marange and it was clear that they were not always speaking with one voice, hence making it difficult for mining companies to address all the challenges facing the communities.

6.5      There is a policy gap on how to address the challenge posed by artisanal diamond miners who are contributing to the smuggling of diamonds out of the country.

6.6      The approach by ZCDC to initiate a self-assessment on its human rights impact on communities through the Initiative on Responsible Mineral Assurance (IRMA), was viewed as a positive step towards promoting responsible sourcing. 

7.    COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS:

7.1      The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should review the Diamond Policy and submit a bill amending the Precious Stones Trade Act by 31 August 2022, particularly to integrate artisanal and small-scale miners in order to curb the illegal smuggling of diamonds in areas such as Marange. Alternatively, stiffer penalties can be introduced to curb diamond leakages.

7.2      The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should provide financial resources to ZIMRA for purchasing modern equipment such as scanners for detection of diamonds and other minerals at the country’s ports of entry and exit by 31 July 2022.

7.3      The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should ensure that all mining companies develop guidelines on Responsible Sourcing Standards and community engagement, so as to reduce tension between producers and communities by 31 October 2022. To this end, companies are urged to closely work with civil society organisations. 

8.                     CONCLUSION:

          The self-assessment program achieved its intended objective, that is gauging whether Zimbabwe’s diamond sector was still compliant with the KPCS requirements.   Generally, the country’s level of compliance with KPCS requirements was good.  However, more work should be done towards addressing the gaps identified during the self-assessment.  To this end, the stakeholders acknowledged the need to constantly work together as a team, in light of the fact that Zimbabwe would be assuming chairmanship of the KPCS in 2023.  This will enable the policymakers to get accurate and timely information of activities in the diamond sector so that where necessary, corrective action can be taken.

As we speak the KPCS team has jetted into the country. They came in during the weekend and hit the ground running.  They are carrying out their own assessment. I must say, from the information that we get when they carry out an exercise of this nature, their visits to other countries comprise of six, if not less than ten countries but we have about 18 countries that have visited Zimbabwe to carry out this noble exercise which will guarantee that Zimbabwe continues to exploit existing and future diamond markets.  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Let me say a few words on the tour that we had when assessing the diamonds.  It is very true that the Committee went around the companies involved in diamond mining.  As we were touring, it is true that we saw they were very strict on the control of the movement of diamonds.  They do not have the equipment.  If we look at Forbes Border post, you find that there are only two ways, the entrance and the exit points but as you go further, there is no security and there are no drones which can move around.  There might not be diamonds which went in and out through Forbes Border Post but we can say maybe there were diamonds which found their way out of the country.  When we looked at the border, there was no security there and some people living at the border do not have knowledge about diamonds.  These people should be taught on what diamonds are like and there should be machines that are able to detect diamonds in case of smuggling out of the country.

We also looked at the companies there that are working in those areas and we found out that they can do whatever they want without the input of the locals.  Those companies go about looking for places where diamonds are found without the knowledge of the local people. It looks like our minerals are just being grabbed by those companies and the locals are not benefiting.  If they mine without informing the locals, it means that our local people will not benefit through our social corporate responsibility. 

As Government, we want investment.  What we mean by investment is that they must leave some infrastructure so that locals will benefit from the mining activities in their communities after the mining companies are gone.  In this country, there are a lot of diamonds to the extent that if companies do the proper things, our country will also benefit.   The locals and the mining companies must work together so that locals are given rights to mine gold. Our people must be also allowed to mine on a small scale basis and get permits to sell their diamonds to the Government.  It was also discovered that those diamonds are sold in Harare.  There must also be auctions nearby mining places so that these areas will develop and money will circulate. 

In conclusion Madam Speaker, we found that the country is mining diamonds legally, that is why it was appointed to be the Vice Chairperson of Kimberly which means that in the future, it will end up chairing.  This means that Zimbabwe is mining their diamonds lawfully. With these few words, I want to thank you.

HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam President. I just want to quickly add a bit on the report that has just been read by the Hon. Chairperson. I am part of a team that participated in the self assessment exercise from the Committee on Mines and Mining Development. I would have this to say.  It was a rare exercise whereby by all diamond companies, all stakeholders that included mining companies themselves, members of the Portfolio Committee and the Ministry of Mines came together and exposed themselves to a situation or to an environment supposedly under which they will be assessed by KPC. It was like a mock examination where you expose yourself to the same conditions of the examination. This was quite a rare exercise which we undertook.

This was also an opportunity for the Committee to be able to see and go through the diamond value chain to be able to physically and practically understand what goes on in the diamond industry.  We indeed appreciated the process from various stages amongst the four diamond producing companies that we visited. It was also an opportunity even from the confession and testimonies of the four companies that it brought the diamond producing companies together for the first time in a very long time. They confessed that it was something that they had never done in a long time and they really applauded the idea behind self assessment.

I will quickly get to the positives of this exercise, like have been already mentioned by those that spoke before me. It placed Zimbabwe at a level where the International Diamond Community, before the KPC even came, I think three or four months after this exercise, have appreciated and gave a thumbs up to the way Zimbabwe produces its diamond, to the value chain that Zimbabwe goes through to the point that they put Zimbabwe as a Vice Chairman of KPC and subsequently the chairperson of KPC come 2023.

This is an acknowledgement that to a large extend, the production or the value chain or the manner in which diamond is being produced in Zimbabwe is to a very high level in as far as the international standards are concerned.  We were also exposed contrary to aspersions and the thinking of other players or other people from other cycles, about the security under the production chain, the security exercise of the whole process which goes through.  We were hands on in seeing and going through and appreciating the various stages that the gold production process goes through.  Of note was what we witnessed at ZCDC, the level of their security, where their close circuit television security system is linked like the report produced by the Ministry of Mines Headquarters where the Ministry of Mines from the comfort of their office can see what is happening at the various mining companies.  They can see every single stage and process that happens, they can be seen from the screens in their various offices.

This dismisses the assertion that the production of diamond in Zimbabwe is not done according to the world standards and we are happy to say few months after the self assessment process, the KPC itself is in the country and it landed in on Saturday and will be here until the 21st of May which is next Saturday.  We are hopeful and we have got no doubt at all that by the time this team finishes their exercise, we will indeed confirm that Zimbabwe’s diamond is being produced within the rules and it is being produced within the given guidelines according to international standards. This indeed is something that we should be excited about as a country.  We also appreciated the value chain like I mentioned earlier on that not all of our diamond is exported as raw, there is also diamond cutting and polishing. 

We were taken to Aurex, one of the local companies that does diamond cutting and polishing and we appreciated what goes through there, the producing of jewelry and many other diamond products from there and also how diamond is then exported having gone through MMCZ.

          So I would like to say indeed, Zimbabwe is poised for greater heights in as far as diamond production is concerned, not only in terms of the volumes that the four companies that we are talking about are aiming at producing, but also in abiding with the international standards according to the KPC as will be testified by what the KPC team which will report after their tour that will take a week. 

          In short, the exercise according to the report that has been tabled in this august House, was a worthwhile exercise because during the time that it was being undertaken, it eliminated some of the areas that would have exposed us, made us not reach the standards that KPC was looking for because of the opportunity that the industry took to assess itself way before the KPC came over.  I thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me begin by thanking the Chairperson for a very worthwhile report and well presented at the opportune time when the KPC is also in the country, following on the works of the Committee, if I may put it that way.

          There are a few things that came out of our tour and out of the report as presented by the Hon Chairperson of the Committee.  As a country, we must appreciate that when we are mining diamonds, these are high value products and the world over there’s a general concern that the proceeds of diamonds must not be used for conflicts. As a nation with an abundance of deposits of diamond, I think it is important that we keep checking ourselves to ensure that we are in line with the international norms at KPC.

          However, there are certain things that create the noise in the mining of diamonds and these are some of the things that we established as a Committee, I will highlight some of them.

          Madam Speaker, when an investor comes into a country to mine, particularly in the mineral sector, generally there is a need for consultations, the communities where the deposits are must be consulted.  Unfortunately, as a country, we lack a legal framework to enforce that. The investor comes, there is no legal requirement for him to get to the ground and consult the stakeholders, the community and the people who are looking after those minerals. 

They may not know that there are minerals underground, minerals of high value but the fact that the investor comes in, there is generally or definitely expectations from the communities.  However, when communities are not consulted, there is a general tendency to have a lot of noise about those minerals and this is exactly what the KPC system does not like. 

          Therefore, the Committee needed to know and ensure that in areas where there is potential noise, that noise must not come out loudly, otherwise it will affect our mining of diamond in the country and eventually lose out as a country. 

          As a country, we need to ensure that our laws are put in clear legal terms that before you get to the communities, before you start your activities, whether it is exploration or the actual mining, the stakeholders, particularly the communities living around must be consulted.  We saw this all over, in Hwange, Binga and elsewhere, there is a lot of noise not only for diamond sector but mainly because the miner is not legally bound to consult the communities because it is not a requirement in terms of our statutes.  So that is one area that we need to emphasise as a Parliament and see what we can do. 

          Similarly, when a miner comes into the area, the community expects a bit of corporate social responsibility. They would have damaged roads, the mining activities damage environment but again there is no obligation in terms of the law for the miner to plough back into the community.

          The argument of the miner will be that “I am only exploring and exploration does not give me money, I am spending, I am sinking money” but the community does not make a difference, if they see drilling machines and a lot of samples being taken out, they expect a bit of return from their minerals.  Unfortunately, this argument will always be found all over the country and we need to sort it out as  so that we reduce the noise associated with our mineral deposits,

          Again, the issues of rehabilitation, our laws are very clear but as we went around, it looks like all over, people are crying that the mining is causing a lot of environmental damage.  Sometimes their fields are affected, the water bodies are also affected and when they see no benefit, seeing their rocks being tramped out of the community, it creates a lot of noise.  As a country we have good laws on this one in particular but there is no enforcement. 

          The agent EMA which is trusted with this duty does not seem to have the capacity to enforce the environmental laws while they ask for an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, they stop there.  Rehabilitation is never done and that creates a lot of problems.

          We need to have serious scrutiny on these high value contracts between mining companies and Government or mining and Government agency.  I think there is need to ensure that before we enter into such contracts, it goes through thorough scrutiny by Parliament because eventually when these contracts end, our rocks are gone, the environment is damaged and there is very little left to the country.  We all know that minerals are finite and they will not always be there and exactly what the Committee established, where we thought there was so much deposit of diamonds which were conglomerates in the Marange area but now there is almost no conglomerate or easy to diamonds, it is actually very difficult to mine the now re-mining.  The miners have been mining in the country and there is very little benefit that we have benefited from our diamond. 

          So I think these contracts of high value minerals must be seriously scrutinised.

          Lastly, one thing that came out clearly, is the level of corruption and the level of linkages in our minerals.  Clearly in eastern highlands in Mutare particularly, the communities indicated that known smugglers of minerals are never arrested.  This means there is a lot of connivance between smugglers and our law enforcement agency.  If we have to benefit as a country, we need to put strict measures to close these loopholes so that we do not continue to bleed as a country.  We have got a lot of things that might require funding as we all know but if we continuously have leakages, it does not benefit the nation but the particular individuals.

          With those few words, I want to commend the report and thank the Hon. Chairperson for presenting the report.  I thank you.

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

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.  

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 18th May, 2022.

On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at a Quarter to Six o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

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