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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 17 October 2017 44-14
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 17th October, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
I just want to acknowledge and congratulate, I know it is unparliamentary to call a Minister a stranger in the House but we want to appreciate the new Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Minister, welcome to Parliament. I do not know how you are going to manage, it is a very difficult platform, this one – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you want to
instill fear in the Minister. Hon. Member, can you proceed.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: He is also my Minister from the
professional side because I am a legal practitioner, he is our Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Welcome Hon. Minister –
[HON. ZWIZWAI: No more dark glasses.] -
TABLING OF REPORT
ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REPORT 2016
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. BONYONGWE): Madam
Speaker, allow me to start by acknowledging the very warm welcome remarks which have been extended to me by Hon. Chamisa who spoke before me and of course all the very good congratulatory messages which I have received from some Hon. Members of the House. Thank you very much indeed.
Madam Speaker, in my capacity as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, allow me to table the report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for the year 2016. In that regard, Section 323 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that every Commission must submit to Parliament through the responsible Minister an annual report describing fully its operations and activities. In observance of this Constitutional requirement, I therefore, lay upon the table the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission Annual Report for 2016. I submit Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: I move that Orders – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Aiwa
Leader of the House varipo….] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Zwizwai,
I am the one who is presiding, what is wrong with you – [HON.
ZWIZWAI: Aah zvavaiita zviya zviya na Vice President ….] – Hon. Zwizwai, I can send you out because you are talkative. You do not behave like an Hon. Member of Parliament, why? – [Laughter.] -
HON. MATUKE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I move that
Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders on today’s Order Paper have been dealt with.
HON. RUNGANI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION
TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO Agreement.
HON. KWARAMBA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 31st October, 2017.
INSOLVENCY BILL [H.B.11, 2016]
Fifth Order read: Second Reading: Insolvency Bill [H.B.11, 2016].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. RTD. MAJ. GEN.
BONYONGWE): Madam Speaker, I move that we adjourn debate on
the Insolvency Bill for the reason that there are some public hearings which are still underway. We also have some consultancy whom we are awaiting a report on the said Bill.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 31st October, 2017.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: I move that Order of the Day Number six be
stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day are disposed of.
HON. RUNGANI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RECOMMITTAL TO COMMITTEE STAGE
LAND COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 2B, 2016]
Seventh Order read: Recommittal Committee: Land Commission Bill [H.B. 2B, 2016].
House in Committee.
On Clause 2:
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you
Madam Chair. Between lines 32 and 33 on page 9 of the Bill, it was suggested in the Senate to insert the following definition, I submit that the inclusion of the National Council of Chiefs in the interpretation section is not supported since the reason for its inclusion is to introduce subsequent clauses. Since those subsequent clauses are not supported then, this amendment falls away.
Amendment to Clause 2 put and negatived.
Clause 2, as amended, put and negatived.
On Clause 3:
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you
Madam Chair. The suggested amendment is between lines 35 and 36 on page 9 of the Bill where it is suggested to insert the following clause in part two of the Bill, the remaining clauses being renumbered accordingly. I submit that the establishment and composition of the Commission are provided for under Section 296 of the Constitution which states that members be chosen firstly for certain qualities, integrity and competence in and knowledge and understanding of the best practices in Land Management and Administration and secondly, the membership must reflect the diversity of Zimbabwe’s population in particular, its regional interest and gender balance. Chiefs who have the requisite qualification are included in this constitutional provision. There is thus no need to single out a category of people for appointment to the Commission. Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much, I would like to concur with the Minister in that if you look at the Constitution, it sets out the parameters of how Commissions are to be set out, whereas the amendment seeks to smuggle in a further procedure to appoint members of Commissions into the Constitution, which is unconstitutional.
The other reason is that if you look at the Constitution in Section 2 on the Supremacy of the Constitution, it speaks about the institution of Chiefs as the custodians of our culture. In other words, the chiefs are the custodians of our customary law. What they are now intending to do is, they want to be included as a specific group in an area which is not dealing with customary law and they are now extending their mandate which is not provided for in the Constitution to areas which are governed by general law.
I will point out that if you go to the Traditional Leaders Act, Section 29, it speaks about the jurisdiction of the area of chiefs and it specifies that chiefs have got jurisdiction over communities in the area in which they control and if you go to the definition section it will clearly state that the communities means people, it does not mean land. So, whatever that amendment seeks to do, it is at variance with the Traditional Leaders Act and the Constitution. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Hon. Speaker, it is just to buttress...
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Members.
Can Hon. Nduma be heard in silence?
HON. NDUNA: Just to buttress what the Hon. Minister has alluded to and subsequently what Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, Chairperson of the Justice Parliamentary Committee, has also buttressed. Madam Speaker, it is my fervent view that irrespective of the fact that everybody has been included in terms of a bias towards qualification in the Commission, it is stated in the Constitution that the State must also take reasonable steps to have both affirmative action and also a bias toward ameliorating the plight of the differently abled or the disabled.
It should be an unspoken rule of thumb that the Minister, the appointing authority, should also somehow have a bias towards the differently abled or the disabled of our community in the same way that they are going to be appointing the Commissioners, aware that 10% of our population is differently abled and also aware that every able bodied person is five minutes away from being differently abled or from being disabled due to road carnage. So, it is my prayer and fervent hope that let it be an unspoken rule of thumb that the Minister can also have a bias towards the differently abled of our community, I thank you.
HON. DR. MOMBESHORA: Thank you Madam Chair. I just want to say thank you very much for all those members who have contributed. I think everything is very clear. I think we can move forward. Thank you.
Clause 3, as amended, put and negatived.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Chair, there has been some bit of manipulation and distortion of the will of the people, particularly the will of Parliamentarians. I am not so sure what we are voting for – [AN HON. MEMBERS: Wangausipo.] – yes, we just heard the noes have it. We do not know what we are saying no to – [AN HON. MEMBER: It has been on the Order Paper for the past months.]
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Chamisa, can
you please speak to the Chair. What is your issue? The issue is that this Bill was given to all Members of Parliament a long time ago and you are supposed to be knowing what is happening right now.
On Clause 37:
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Madam Chair, it
was suggested that between lines 43 on page 21 of the Bill and line 1 on page 22 to insert the following sub-clause, the remaining sub-clauses being renumbered accordingly. I submit that chiefs can approach the
Minister directly and ask to have names of suitably qualified – [ HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Members.
I think the Minister is saying something. You are supposed to be listening - Hon. Sithole, over there.
HON. DR. MOMBESHORE: Madam Chair, allow me to repeat. I submit that chiefs can approach the Minister directly and ask to have names of suitably qualified members considered as assessors. There is no need to write this into legislation. It is an issue that has an administrative remedy. I submit, Madam Chair.
Clause 37, as amended, put and negatived.
Bill reported without amendments.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
LAND COMMISSION BILL [H. B. 2B, 2016]
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENTS (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Mr. Speaker, I
now move that the Bill be read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker I move that Orders of the Day
Numbers 8, 9 and 10 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. RUNGANI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Eleventh Order Read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. NHAMBU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, allow me to make my contribution towards the speech by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe on 12th September, 2017. My contribution shall also constitute my maiden speech as an Hon. Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana Constituency.
Mr. Speaker Sir, before I dwell much on the details of my speech, allow me to begin by acknowledging the support that I received from His Excellency, Cde. R. G. Mugabe and Amai Dr. Grace Mugabe, my party ZANU PF on my journey to this august House… - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order Hon. Members, please let us listen to the Hon. Member in silence.
HON. NHAMBU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, the people of Kuwadzana Constituency, I recognise you for the continued support during the pre and post election era. Credit goes to my beloved people of Kuwadzana Constituency for trusting me and I promise to work to the best of my ability.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you and also thank fellow Hon. Members of Parliament across the political divide. I value your warm welcome and the conducive environment you created whilst I learnt and acclimatized to the rules and procedures of this august House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the speech by His Excellency the President, Cde.
- G. Mugabe is alive to the situation in my Constituency. Kuwadzana
Constituency is in Harare Metropolitan Province, total population as per 2012 census was estimated at 90 292 with a 55 to 45 female to male ratio. Due to the ever increasing rural to urban migration and the evident pressure on social amenities, I estimate the revised … - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members, I
can hardly hear what she is debating. – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Inaudible interjections.] – Then you are making noise as well, may you proceed Hon. Member.
HON. NHAMBU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. His Excellency
the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe set direction for the session of
Parliament to consider among other things the Marriages Bill. My Constituency has been spared by the curse of early child marriages. This has seen a rise in children dropping out of schools. The death rate of young girls during labour is also on the rise in my constituency.
Related to early child marriages and the health challenges associated with this curse, my constituency has only one satellite clinic. With the population statistics given above, the clinic cannot cope with demand. Provision of more health facilities in my constituency and other constituencies will assist in managing the mortality rate of those who have been exposed already to early child marriages.
His Excellency Cde. R. G. Mugabe touched on yet another important legislation to be tabled before this House, the Child Justice Bill. This Bill will be handy in handling children who are at variance with the law. The Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill targeted at fighting technological crimes are very handy in this era of technological advancement. The Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Abuse is also important in curbing the scourge of rape. Mr. Speaker Sir, my constituency is supportive of all these developments. However, let me bring to your attention that Kuwadzana Constituency does not have a proper police station. Our police officers are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of cases and crime scenes they are supposed to attend to due to the population size of my constituency. Mobility challenge is also a huge problem to the police’s effectiveness. My constituency is therefore appealing to the relevant Ministry for the construction of more police stations.
My constituency stands by the President’s words on economic revival through agriculture and mining. However, our efforts to complement the call by the President are often suppressed by outdated local authorities laws that prohibit agriculture in urban areas. It is high time such pieces of legislation are repealed to allow the urban population to contribute towards food security of the country.
My constituency has not been spared by the effects of climatic change largely owing to human actions. The non-collection of garbage and malfunctioning drainage system has caused flooding in urban areas. I am certain that the Disaster and Risk Management Bill will bring relief to some natural and man induced disasters which we are facing in the urban areas.
Mr. Speaker Sir, people continue to be robbed of their hard earned income by land barons and immoral people. A number of such cases continue to be recorded in my constituency. The two Bills namely: Land Development Bill and Co-operative Societies Amendment Bill are therefore a welcome development which I have no doubt will address comprehensively the challenges imposed by these fraudsters in our communities.
This is my contribution towards the Presidential Agenda Setting Speech. Allow me this moment to seize this opportunity to touch on other areas very crucial to my constituency.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a shortage of schools in my constituency. The research I conducted on school going population in the three wards of my constituency compared to the available public schools revealed that on average, each ward has got more than 3500 secondary school going population and more than 6200 primary school going population. With the current one secondary school and three primary schools in Ward 38, on average, each school must contain 2065 children for primary and 3500 for secondary education. For Ward 44, the one available primary school will accommodate 2065 children and the remaining 3500 will not go for secondary education since there is no secondary school. In Ward 45, each primary school will accommodate 3100 and 2065 for secondary since there are two primary schools and one secondary school. With the current available facilities, the teacher pupil ratio is not acceptable. The obtaining shortage in public schools has seen the sprouting up of private colleges whose fees are very high and unaffordable to most of the parents. I therefore kindly request our Government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and relevant stakeholders, to consider construction of more schools.
Empowerment programmes for women and youth
Small and Medium enterprises as well as cooperatives continue to play a critical role in the provision of employment and livelihood for a large number of families. It is not a secret Mr. Speaker Sir that Zimbabwe is currently going through a difficult phase economically because of the illegal sanctions imposed by our enemies. This has seen a number of our industries being closed and those that have remained open are operating at very low capacity. The local costs of production are unbearably high for a final product to compete with imported similar or substitute products. Resultantly, the once vibrant sources of employment, the industries have closed leaving a majority of our economically active age groups in the streets. A majority of the women and youth in my constituency are unemployed and suffering. Some go for days without meals.
In light of the above, I therefore, implore the relevant Ministries in line with Indigenisation and Empowerment Act to allocate land for home industries, Vocational Training Centres (VTC), provide soft loans for our youths and women for projects and city council to regularise the vending stalls, flee-markets and car parks in the constituency.
Clean Water Provision
I would like to give many thanks to the Ministry of Water for the support they always give to my constituency and I humbly ask them to continue supporting my constituency. Mr. Speaker, Sir, due to an ever increasing urban population, there has been a significant pressure on the provision of adequate and reliable clean water. At least four days of the week, my constituency does not have running water. This creates a real health hazard. I therefore, kindly request the responsible Ministry to prioritise drilling of boreholes, not only in the rural areas but in the urban centres too.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the roads in the location are now an eyesore. I implore the relevant Ministry, in conjunction with City of Harare, to move with speed to rectify the situation, especially in Kuwadzana
Projects and Works Completed to Date
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me bring to your attention that we are not folding our hands waiting for Government Departments to come and do various projects in the constituency. We have been very innovative and with limited resources from cooperating partners and sometimes we are forced to dig deep into our pockets, we have implemented a number of projects prior and post election period. These include, rehabilitation of five main feeder roads in all the wards in my constituency, drilling boreholes in each district and rehabilitation of non-functioning boreholes, repair of non-functioning tower lights and still facilitating the erection of new tower lights in areas where they are non-existent especially in Kuwadzana Phase and Kuwadzana Extension, facilitating of land for residential stands and commercials. I would like to give many thanks to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and
National Housing for the land to the youth and the people of
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me extend a warm hand to all stakeholders in the constituency and from across the political divide. Let us unite for the betterment of the people of Kuwadzana. A successful Kuwadzana is a successful Harare. A successful Harare is a successful Zimbabwe. I thank you.
HON. MUSABAYANA: I will start my speech with a quote from
the Book of Ezekiel 24 verse 27. “At that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and will no longer be silent. So you will be a sign to them and they will know that I am LORD”. So my long wait to speak in this august House is over today. I will be participating in all the debates.
My name is David Musabayana. I hail from the peculiar Constituency of Hwedza North. You will know why it is a peculiar constituency. In rising to give my first speech, I am deeply humbled and greatly honoured that Hwedza North Constituency elected me to this Legislative Assembly. It is a privilege and a heavy responsibility bestowed on very few Zimbabweans and I extend my warmest congratulations to all other new legislators. While optimistic about the future of our Zimbabwe, I am neither blind to the challenges confronting us, nor unwilling to tackle them. As is tradition in a first speech, I will share a snap shot of my constituency profile and the story of my life and how it will shape my approach in this Eighth Parliament. I am the sixth legislator to represent Hwedza North Constituency after my revered predecessors, the late Cde Simon Musanhu; Cde Gibson Mujeyi, a respected war veteran of the armed struggle; Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, an esteemed historian of our time; the late Cde Stanlake Marwodzi and our forerunner Member of Parliament, the late Joseph Jekanyika. My constituency is in Mashonaland East Province. My constituency is a combination of rural wards where 7 wards belong to Hwedza Rural District Council and 2 wards (5 and 8) belong to
Marondera Rural District Council. The constituency population is 42
645, comprising 21 204 men and 23 041 women as per the Census
Report of 2012. The constituency’s population houses about 10 273 households with an average household size of 5 people. The population is generally characterised by more females than males, which is a national trend. Wards 5, 6 and 15 of Hwedza District are communal lands and the rest are self contained plots, A1 model and A2 model schemes and farms owned by the indigenous commercial farmers. My constituency has three chiefs namely Chief Nyahuye waSvosve, Chief Gahadza waSvosve in part of Ward 5 and Chief
Nyandoro of Ward 8. I am a descendant of Chief Nyahuye waSvosve, so
I named my farm “Origiland Farming” meaning I have come back to my roots. We are the “Jena” clan.
What is peculiar about Hwedza North? Hwedza North
Constituency has a great mining heritage. According to Golden
Guvamatanga’s article on June 2017 publication titled The History of Pre-colonial mining in Zimbabwe – Iron forging technology that produced complete hoes without any welding was developed around the Hwedza Mountain. This is where I hail from. The mining industry of today has a lot to learn from pre-colonial Great Zimbabwe and all colonial mining prospecting has to acknowledge that it was guided by pre-colonial workings. Disappointing is the fact that modern day Zimbabwe has dismally failed to ride on this great mining heritage. It is in the early Iron Age that a new economy driven mainly by mining, spread rapidly from about 1000AD. Mr. Speaker Sir, this underpins the fact that part of the development of this country owes it to the exploitation of Hwedza North’s medieval resources.
The fast track Land Reform Programme started in Hwedza North
Constituency. The launch pad for the Third Chimurenga was Hwedza
North Constituency. In June 1998, the Svosve people of Marondera and
Hwedza Districts undertook a series of the then called “illegal farm occupations”. As we all know today, it has become the legal thing that every Zimbabwean aspires to have. This was in Ward 5 of Marondera in my constituency.
This is the only place in Southern Africa where you find the white and black intensive rhino breeding station taking place. Imire Conservancy Game park has the big four animals, except the leopard and it is home to a diverse species of birds and animals. We are planning to introduce the leopard so that the constituency is home to the big five.
The fourth reason why Hwedza North is such a peculiar constituency is the issue of tourism. Hwedza Mountain is sought for its historical and cultural heritage. It is a sacred mountain and it is registered under the National Monuments. Mhakwe Mountain is also a sacred registered national monument with spectacular bush mountains. Mudzimu Weshiri Falls is a sacred falls that are reminiscent of the
Victoria Falls. For those who find it expensive to go to Victoria Falls, you just come to Hwedza North Constituency and visit the Mudzimu Weshiri Falls. There is everything if not more of an environment befitting to be called a Five Star tourist destination.
HORTICULTURE AND TOBACCO FARMING
The horticulture and tobacco farming, the central watershed borders my constituency, hence the niche climate that supports quality tobacco styles, horticulture and dairy farming. Horticulture exporters are Rolex who are the former Mitchel and Mitchel.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I have been talking to you in the last few minutes and maybe you are wondering who this man is. I am now going to talk about my history. I have much to be thankful for being born in Mutare in the decade I was for the close, supportive and loving family that I have; for my partner who is my flesh and my bone of my bone, Nyemudzai and for my friends who have supported me along the way. I am also grateful to my wife and generous mentors for the opportunity they have encouraged me to pursue.
I arrived in this place after diverse and rewarding careers in farming, tourism and hospitality industry, baking industry, information and technology industry and the mining industry. I graduated from the University of Zimbabwe not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. After so many years in a white collar job, I had found my first great passion in life, thanks to the timely Land Reform Programme. Now, I am a very proud tobacco farmer. Thirteen years of tobacco farming and self-management has shaped me in innumerable ways. I would not have changed a day of it even the toughest ones when I arrived home dirty, exhausted and tested beyond what I thought I could endure. As a tobacco farmer, I have learnt to work results and not time, a philosophy which this august House can also adopt in order to dispose of all the outstanding Bills to align our laws to the Constitution.
Like thousands of other land reform farmers, I have quietly and seamlessly blended corporate skills into farming life. From my post graduate strategy programme, I was taught critical-thinking skills, to analyse problems, recommend solutions and put forward implementation and follow up templates. You never take a problem forward without having options to address it and an implementation strategy. Most Government programmes are beautiful on paper but they fail on implementation. Effective implementation is lacking in most of our policies and Government programmes.
The Nottingham Trent University taught me how to plan, manage and work as teams to deliver results. I am sure that most of you will agree with me that Zimbabwe has great scholars but the challenge is working as teams to achieve great results reflecting level of skills. We lack goal congruency in our approach to our challenges which bedevil this economy.
Mr. Speaker Sir, coming into Parliament on the 35th birthday of the ZANU PF party, I have reflected on why I am ZANU PF and the values that continue to shape me. I joined the party in 1994 as a university student. Having been lucky to get a job as a research assistant in the Minerals Economic Department, we were tasked to do a pilot study on gold panning in Chiweshe and the party card was going to be handy as a passport. I had to travel all the way to Highfield Suburb to get a passport, little did I know that the journey into politics at default had begun. Slowly I found my philosophical roots and my second great passion in life. I also found lifelong friendships, some of whom are in this Chamber today on both sides of the aisle. With my short stint in this august House, I have found that policy making becomes easier when you have clear philosophical and moral principles to guide you.
I am a product of an extended family of 19 children that has always worked hard for its success. I started to supplement on my education from Grade 7 to university level. Through this tough experience, I have experienced what it takes to start, fail, restart and grow businesses, big and small.
I bring to this august House my different participatory roles as an ex-parastatal employee, a corporate employee, farmers’ union leader, farmers’ association leader and a practicing entrepreneur. I have been inspired and forever changed by the lives of the people that I worked with in this country - their stories and their courage in fighting for what we take for granted.
In contrast, our country was born out of talk and war. Our nation is a testament to what can be achieved peacefully and with an enduring spirit of co-operation and compromise. The extensive deliberations and compromises of our own founding ancestors - the Sekuru Kaguvis, the Mbuya Nehandas and the Lobengulas delivered us an enduring and robust country, but not a perfect one.
I have also witnessed that democracies overseas succeed and sometimes fail. I now understand that there is no perfect democracy or a perfect Constitution. It is up to all participants, and especially us in this place to make the rules that we have work and to find a way to come back together after a conflict and division.
To maintain and strengthen our democracy, we must first truly understand it like said by President Franklin Roosevelt - “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express the choices are prepared to choose wisely”. The real safeguard of democracy therefore, is education, which is what our Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Cde. Robert Mugabe has done since independence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, now allow me to take a bite on the piece of cake that was delivered by the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde. R.G. Mugabe. Allow me to thank the
President for delivering a smart agenda for the final Session of the
Eighth Parliament. I call it “smart” because the business that we have to do is very specific. We know the laws that are to be amended – easy and very measurable because if we fail we know the business we would have failed to dispose of.
The work cut out for us is quite attainable if all Members take the business of the House seriously. I am proud of you Hon. Members that we can attain this fit. Given our mandate and the aptitude and dexterity of handling legislative matters in this august House has displayed that the President has set a very realistic task. Mr. Speaker Sir, Let it be clear in every Hon. Member’s mind that we were given a specific window to complete the work clearly and smartly out for us.
The Head of State, in his opening remarks, talked about the successes of Command Agriculture and the bright future ahead. Mr. Speaker, economics is very simple because it says - just concentrate on what you are gifted on and you will make money. Zimbabwe has a comparative advantage in agriculture and thus, any development of capital in this sector will yield results. Because of our niche climate conditions, agriculture is one of the low hanging fruits. Mr. Speaker, Command Agriculture was a breath to the dry bonds of our farmers. All forms of land owners have been resurrected to another economic life. Hwedza had a thousand participants but only 50% got the requisite inputs to produce a decent crop. Most of the inputs did not reach the farmers on time.
This 2017/18 agricultural season, more than 5 000 farmers have registered for the Command Agriculture. However, our farmers most of whom could not fully pay because of excessive rains and inadequate inputs, unfortunately the responsible authorities have directed that only fully paid up farmers get 2017/18 inputs without looking at the circumstances that affect the farmer.
May I hasten to say, while we celebrate the buoyance brought about by Command Agriculture, there are some hygienic issues that need sanitising before the demon/vampires of corruption creeps in to feed on unsuspecting farmer. How does the Government of Zimbabwe allow a farmer to sign a contract farming document without input prices? Is this not like signing off a blank cheque? Last season, farmers were made to sign contract documents without prices for inputs.
Government is now working to consolidate agriculture through, among other things, investing more resources in water harvesting and irrigation development. Mr. Speaker Sir, Hwedza North has huge water bodies, perennial dams, perennial rivers and seasonal weirs, both manmade and natural. However, utilisation is around 15% due to lack of irrigation equipment and electricity to power irrigation schemes. Not a single meaningful irrigation scheme has been rehabilitated or initiatedin Hwedza North Constituency. Mr. Speaker, your heart will bleed if you visit Bita Dam – 170 hectares irrigable land but ZESA has failed to repair 19 pylons that fell in 2009. Sheffield, Bolton Chimusoro Dam Ward 5, Maphimha Irrigation Scheme in Ward 2, Mhakwe Irrigation
Scheme in Ward 2, Leads, Chard, Collace, Igudu, Ifudu, Zana, Hare Irrigation Scheme and Scorror Dam are all lying idle. Crops dry off while the community is starring at water bodies. We talk of draught yet constituents are drowning every week. Unfortunately, these dams are just for fishmongers because the laws prohibit daylight fishing.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the water harvesting investment will go a long way in mitigating adverse weather patterns and assist in winter cropping for Mubaiwa Ward 6, Makwarimba Ward 5, Zana Ward 4 and Ward 8 of Marondera. These wards do not have dams. Borehole drilling, weir drilling and dams will come handy for these farmers. His Excellency, President Mugabe said a number of Bills to improve the business environment would be tabled for debate.
In addition, the Labour Law Amendment Bill which seeks to address stakeholders’ concerns relating to labour market flexibility and job security will soon be tabled before this House. The Public Entities and Corporate Governance Bill already before Parliament will bolster the fight against corruption and other corporate governance Bills afflicting our public entities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, while Zuva Case opened a Pandora box by pushing industrial relations out of perspective, our labour laws are out of speed with global and international standards. Labour markets are now skewed towards perfectly competitive markets. Laws that make it difficult to dismiss employees will inadvertently shift the labour demand curve, thus increasing unemployment levels. Stringent labour laws meant to protect jobs unfortunately have a self-fulfilling prophecy of reducing demand for jobs, thus increasing unemployment. Whereas softening labour laws will in the long-run reduce labour capital substitution and thus increase employment levels. However, the Zuva
Case was a diabolic thump suck plot. It is sad that the country is
labelled as high unemployment yet there is serious seasonal shortage of labour in tobacco and horticulture sectors during peak demand. While laws alignment will solve half the employment problems, our mindset about employment also needs realignment with the job market dictates.
To enhance national economic competitiveness and the country’s appeal as an investment destination, Government has embarked on reforms to improve the domestic business environment. I understand therefore, that Government does not generate national wealth; productive and competitive free markets does. I believe in enabling initiative, competition and productivity, not in killing it through protection, subsidies and red tape. I believe we must legislate sparingly and wisely so as not to impede the majority of hardworking Zimbabweans who are doing the right thing. I believe governments must provide equality of opportunities, not seek equality of outcomes. I believe in the principle of freedom through the law but I also understand that in a democracy, freedoms are never fully free. So, we must all be eternally vigilant to ensure their protections and limit their restrictions.
Thus, the alignment of these laws as articulated by the President, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, His
Excellency President Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe should be within the principles of justice, simplicity and enabling business to prosper.
Mr. Speaker Sir, President Mugabe said the sustained growth of the mining sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP hinged on the full implementation of beneficiation and value addition. He called for the expeditious finalisation of Parliament scrutiny of the Mines and Mineral Amendment Bill and the Mineral Exploration and Marketing
Corporation Bill. Furthermore, to curb mineral leakages, amendments to the Gold Trade Act and the Precious Stones Trade Act will be tabled for consideration during this Session. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think we are serious about prosperity as a nation. We behave and act as if all is well. This country is heavily endowed with mineral deposits but an albatross of colonial laws hamstrung us.
Mr. Speaker, volumes and volumes of researches and recommendations on the best way to align and deal with mining laws, particularly for artisanal gold panners are accumulating dust in our libraries. Mr. Speaker, a must read book for this debate is the book titled, The Socio Economic and Environmental Impact of Artisanal
Small Scale Gold Panning in Zimbabwe, co-authored by Dr. O. Maponga and yours truly, Musabayana David (1996). It is an expose of the retrogressive nature of our mining laws. The colonial laws ignored the fact that some deposits are not viable for commercial exploitation but just small-scale operation. Hwedza North has huge deposits in Gomo reHwedza, Nyamidzi, Save and Jekwa areas. Communities have shunned the enterprise after seeing their friends rot in jail for trying to fend and earn a living from dignified work. After all the sweating and bleeding, you are treated and sentenced at a higher scale than an armed robber.
Our President spoke emotionally about gender-based violence in his December 2016 SONA, and again he has asked for the disposal of the Child Justice Bill and the Marriage Bill to establish a child justice system and outlaw child marriages, his agenda setting speech. Indeed, Hwedza North has not been spared the wrath of gender based violence particularly the girl child. In areas taken over by the land reform, there are very few secondary schools. Children walk an average of fifteen kilometres one way. Most girls are either seduced or raped on their way back from school as they reach home in the wee hours of the night. It is sad to note that the Government arms have not prioritised these schools. Sig is standard $4 500 per annum and has not done enough to increase schools. Mr. Speaker Sir, Hwedza Growth Point has been hit by a new spate of rape cases where mothers who sell sex and bring their clients home have exposed their girl child to rape cases. Rape cases of mentally disadvantaged children are also out of hand as these children are left unattended. It has been very difficult to bring these perpetrators to book.
In light of the above, I concur with His Excellency’s concern at incidences of rape. As people of Hwedza North, we cannot wait for the Bill to provide mandatory sentencing to be brought to Parliament. Mr. Speaker Sir, on the Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill meant to strengthen regulation of cooperatives, Hwedza North has readied itself for this legislation. This year alone, we have registered more than 100 cooperatives. Thus to say, Hwedza is moving in season with executive thinking and constitutional realm of this country. Comprehensive Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill will go a long way in protecting cooperatives from dysfunctional behaviour and group storming that degenerate into unfair disbandling of cooperative assets. I have seen cooperatives cutting a layers’ hen into four pieces in the name of sharing cooperative assets.
Mr. Speaker, on the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill, it was long overdue. Any further delay in expediting and disposing of this Bill will spell doom to this nation. Nations have seen uprisings, the Arab Springs and the failed attempts in Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot underrate cyber terrorism, fake news manufactured and disseminated through social media. Our nation has gone through the current challenges of cash shortages after a bank rum on the eve of the bond note introduction. Fake news were generated to the effect that the Zimbabwe Dollar was being smuggled back under the guise of bond notes. Although this was meant to spur the economy by incentivising exports, there was a rebuff caused by the resultant bank rum.
The President also talked about the use of ICT to do commerce. Mr. Speaker Sir, while we accept and embrace electronic commerce of doing business, with the cash shortages, surely plastic and mobile money are the way to go but there is no platform to do it efficiently in Hwedza. The mobile base stations in Hwedza North are only three, for the other two are right at the borders with other constituencies. The network coverage is about 25%, meaning only 25% of the population have access to mobile and plastic money. We need at least 15 base stations for Hwedza to be included in the e-commerce platform.
Mr. Speaker, the President talked about aligning laws so that we enhance the ease of doing business and raise our competitiveness barometer. This is only a dream for Hwedza given its remoteness. Hwedza, is only 100km from Harare but due to roads in bad shape, my constituents pay bus fares commensurate to people travelling to Mutare,
270km away. The Mhendamwe/Mushandirapamwe strip road to
Hwedza Centre is now called the strip death. Every other day you hear of accidents reports and most of them are fatal. Mr. Speaker, the ease of doing business is about accessibility to the business supply chain; competitiveness is about accessibility to markets and suppliers. This is not possible in Hwedza given the lack of mobile accessibility and the road infrastructure inaccessibility. The Government has to dignify the people of Hwedza by developing their infrastructure. I thank you Mr.
HON. RUNGANI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 31st October, 2017.
BUISNESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. RUNGANI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 11 to 14, be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 15 has been disposed
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: I second. Motion put and agreed to.
CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS AND IMPLEMENTATION REGISTER
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move the motion
standing in my name:
That this House –
RECOGNISING that in 1999, Parliament adopted the final report of the Parliamentary Reform Committee (PRC); and one of the recommendations contained in the report was that of establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethics and Implementation Register for Members of
ACKNOWLEDGING that the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in
Section 198 provides for the enactment of an Act of Parliament which must provide measures to enforce the provisions of principles of public administration and leadership, including measures to –
- Require public officers to make regular disclosures of their assets;
- Establish codes of conduct to be observed by public officers; and
- Provide for the disciplining of persons who contravene the provisions of Chapter 9 of the Constitution or any code of conduct or standard so established.
NOTING that the recommendation by the PRC and the
requirement by the Constitution culminated in Standing Order 49 of the
Standing Rules and Orders of the National Assembly;
COGNISANT of the approval of the Code of Conduct and Ethics and Implementation Register by the Committee on Standing Rules and
Orders on 21st April, 2016:
NOW, THEREFORE, resolves that the Code of Conduct and Ethics and Implementation Register be adopted.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: I second.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker
Sir. I seek to move the motion in my name pertaining to the code of conduct and ethics for Members of Parliament. I must indicate that this is as a result of extensive discussions and consultations of Members of Parliament, in particular what we have done within the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. This has been a product of our discussions as
Members of Parliament to make sure that we are in conformity with the Constitution of our land, in particular, Section 198 that provides for an enactment of an Act of Parliament, which must provide for measures to enforce provisions of the principles of public administration and leadership. These require public officers to make regular disclosures of their assets, Members of Parliament have to establish codes of conduct to be observed by public officers, provide for the disciplining of persons or people who contravene the provisions of Chapter 9 of the Constitution or any code that has been so prescribed.
This recommendation was also buttressed prior to the Constitution in 1999 when we adopted our final Parliamentary report regarding the reforms that we are supposed to put in place. One of the key recommendations that were put in place were to establish and put in place this kind of conduct so that the code of conduct defines and refines what has to be done in terms of the recommendations of the Constitution. Hon. Speaker Sir, we have also seen that this recommendation …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order, Hon. Members at the back. There is a lot of noise going on in this Chamber. Please, if you feel you have some discussion, can you move to the lobby. May you continue Hon. Chamisa.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. This is
very important because it is going to affect all the Members of
Parliament. You know that the Speaker is very particular, especially on this one. Hon. Speaker, because of this recommendation, we have seen that in the Standing Rules, particularly Orders 48 and 49 of the National Assembly and also the Standing Rules of the Senate, there has been an establishment of the necessary and conducive environment for the correct behaviour which Members of Parliament are themselves supposed to observe as elected representatives serving their country with honour, honesty and the highest of recognition for this democratic institution.
This obviously has brought about the necessity of this code of conduct which we shall so lay particularly considering the fact that this code is going to speak to what is expected of Members of Parliament morally, in terms of integrity, in terms of declaration of assets, interests and whatever interests, whether financial or material. The purpose of this code is to make sure that there is an informed description of the purpose of this code by inserting a certain section which is very important in terms of protecting the integrity not just of ordinary members but also the Parliament. The code aims to ensure certain standards of conduct amongst Parliamentarians in the endeavor to increase public confidence and curb corruption.
Let me just touch on the scope of the code Hon. Speaker Sir and Hon. Members. The section covering the scope of the application of this code indicates that it was introduced in order to clarify on the extent to which the code applies. It will deal with your family interests. It will also deal with the number of wives or husbands you have so that there is full and total accountability in terms of the definition of the family. That is the scope of this very important code of conduct. It is in line with the Constitution; that is what the people said, that is what the law has demanded and dictated. The broad approach we have taken is to develop a code that provides a tool of public scrutiny and also one which enhances accountability of public officials, starting with Members of Parliament.
This section is obviously in line with the widely accepted standards of Parliaments in other jurisdictions. They have done so in
Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, et cetera. What we are simply doing is to make sure that we raise the standards in terms of our accountability and integrity. The financial interests that are supposed to also be dealt with Hon. Speaker Sir, provide for the disclosure of financial interests of members, family or any business partner of that member. That is done for the purpose of making sure that we promote good governance and we ensure members advance public interests as required by the Constitution.
This section obviously prevents members from pressing for financial benefits in the conduct of their Parliamentary business, meaning to say, Members of Parliament are no longer able to go and ask for a stipend or benefit out of the execution of their duties. Even as they do their duties in their constituencies, they are not supposed to solicit for a bribe or to seek to extort people in their particular constituencies. This is to curb against undue influence of Members of Parliament over their constituents, particularly when it comes to business interests or other interests as defined in a particular constituency. This has also been necessitated by the need to deal with the difficulty in defining on what amounts to a conflict of interest in any set of circumstances.
You will realise that most of the Members of Parliament are obviously going to be affected by this code. Hon. Speaker Sir, there was extensive debate in the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, particularly in terms of the remit or circumference of limits that are supposed to be acceptable. This is what then has necessitated what we have also attached as a form that has to be filled in by each and every Member of Parliament.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I would have wanted to go on and on. There is a confidentiality clause, particularly which we have said has to be respected. Who is able to access the information that a Member of Parliament would have given in terms of financial interests and family interests. We need to protect the privacy, because it is also a constitutional requirement. So, it has to be in compliance with the Constitution. This clause will spell out who has access to the register, specifically the confidential party. Access is limited to those who are designated, including members of the public but they have to then go through certain mechanisms for them to have access to it. The mischief that this section seeks to address Hon. Speaker Sir, is the appreciation of the abuse of office that can be as damaging as the actual abuse of power by a Member of Parliament. There is therefore, no need to provide for provisions which protect the integrity of Parliament through the aspect of transparency, which is provided through the disclosure of financial interests by Members. It has to be understood that disclosure does not necessarily remove the conflict between private interest and the public interest, but it helps to identify circumstances or instances where potential conflict exists and it makes it easier to detect it when it occurs.
The form and timing of the disclosure of financial interests by Members is divided into categories: one is ad hoc and the other is routine disclosure. Ad hoc disclosures require Members to declare financial interest before participating in a debate. You know that we had a problem when we had a debate around BHOPELA and the issue of the RBZ Assumption of Debt. Then this is going to be a requirement to disclose your interest before you start or commence debating and you are proscribed from participating in that debate. These ad hoc disclosures require a member to declare financial interest before participating in a debate, committee hearing or voting where financial interest is likely to result in a conflict of interest. Whereas routine disclosure demands that Members must declare their financial interest on taking up the position as a Member and to have regular intervals thereafter.
The amended code will deal with these things Hon. Speaker Sir and I do not need to go into the debate because this is going to be tabled for Members of Parliament to then debate and also consider the register. I will leave my seconder, Hon. Dr. Shumba to give the doctoral touch to this code, because it is a joint effort on behalf of the SROC and the
Parliamentary Legal Committee. I have given an advocate’s perspective. So, you also need a doctoral perspective. I do appreciate that is not a learned colleague because a doctor is not necessarily a learned colleague but he will give the necessary colour to the document. I so submit Hon.
Speaker. He will continue from where I have left as a way of just seconding this Code of Conduct. That is how we have discussed with the Speaker as a way of tabling it. With your indulgence Hon. Speaker, I so leave it for your determination.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: As seconder, I will start by stating that Adv. Chamisa is indeed in the learned fraternity but not necessarily exclusive to him as learned. I am sure the doctor has achieved greater accolades than the Hon. Member.
This Code of Conduct Hon. Members is so critical in our lives as representatives of the electorate in Zimbabwe. It gives us assurance for responsible behaviour and advances the interest of the public that elected us into office. My colleague has dealt with the broader issues but I would like Hon. Members to embrace this Code of Conduct as it facilitates the adherence to normal corporate governance and issues of
Of note, is the issue of declaration. Hon. Members, sixty days from the Opening of Parliament or the Swearing-In of a New Member, members are supposed to complete the Declaration Forms in respect to assets, revenue and many other things that relate to issues of conflict of interest that may arise as a consequence of lack of disclosure. This is pursuant to Standing Order Number 49 for the interest of Members to deal with. In particular, Members would have to declare their interest in businesses, shareholding, dividends, salaries, other remunerations, directorships, partnerships, consultancies, sponsorships and this is important so that Members are an open book for the public to introspect and check on.
I have in our proposal that an amount of $4 500 per calendar year would be required to be measured for gifts and hospitality. That is for entire year and it is important for Members to take note of this, because it affects the limit with which you can receive gifts. So if you are going to debate, debate knowing whether you want an extension of this figure or the $4 500 is adequate as a window of annual gifts and hospitality received by the Members. I have my opinion and would have wished to propose that be extended to $20 000 but anyway, it is up to you Members.
We are going to have to declare other benefits that accrue to Members, including foreign travel that Members may benefit from. This will apply to his/her international travel outside Zimbabwe. I am proposing that there be consideration to such travel that is sponsored by spouses and other family members. For instance, I have a daughter who is studying abroad and it is important that should that daughter afford to sponsor a trip for me to visit her overseas, that should be seen in the context of what we are talking about. I am mentioning that by way of example.
Members have to declare land, assets, properties that you have and everything – [HON. D. SIBANDA: Hatina kana mbudzi kana huku.] – Your goats will have to be declared – [Laughter.] – It is important to take cognisance of the confidentiality part of the register which every Member is going to fill in. every Member will fill in this register and is able to annually give an update as to the things that he needs to increase.
However, the public has the right to come to Parliament and request to inspect the register to see if it is consistent with your lifestyle and that it is consistent with what you have declared in the avoidance of any conflict of interest.
I must mention that this Code of Conduct is also binding to Hon. Members who are in the Executive. Here I am talking about Ministers and Deputy Ministers. They are bound by this Code of Conduct in addition to the other codes that may apply to them in respect to the portfolios that they may hold. Hon. Speaker, Members are encouraged to continue to acquaint themselves with the Code of Conduct so that they understand how it affects them and to debate robustly to this motion.
Thank you very much.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, let it be a
genuine point of order.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: It is. I always rise to give genuine things.
My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir came up through Hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Mandipaka with regard to the welfare of Members of Parliament. The Speaker, who was in the Chair then last week, put it across to Members of Parliament that a response was going to be put across in this House this week on this Day of our Lord in the year 2017. As we speak now, the day is almost coming to a close and nothing has been made to that effect.
Mr. Speaker Sir, for the good of the House since tomorrow will be Government Business, it will be Question Time and might not be given priority, if we can have a hearing with regard to the response on that issue on the welfare which was put across last week by Hon. Mandipaka.
I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
As I consult, I will allow you to continue with your debate Hon.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I want to thank the
Committee led by Hon. Adv. Chamisa and the motion seconded by Hon.
Dr. Shumba. Hon. Speaker Sir, you are one of the members in the
Public Accounts Committee and one of the issues that actually boggles down the work of the Committee is lack of accountability by public officials. Let me also highlight that Members of Parliament are also public officials that need actually to be exemplary. I want to appreciate and I want really to thank the pair for having come up with such a motion. Really, Hon. Speaker, we cannot be legislators who actually make laws on behalf of the people and we do not have anything that binds our actions out there.
It is really good for the public to actually have some kind of respect in terms of Members of Parliament. Anyone who actually doubts that we have to behave like public officials through a code of conduct actually will not be somebody who respects the rule of law and the Constitution. My rising up is actually to emphasise on the fast tract in terms of the recommendations by the pair so that we get going. The idea that the Speaker has, he has spoken over and over – we have seen documents that have actually been put in our pigeon holes and nobody has filled those forms. I hope and trust that when we do have legislation, it will be compulsory for every Member of Parliament to actually adhere to the code of conduct. I want to thank the mover of the motion and the seconder and I also support the recommendations and the formulation of such a code of conduct. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami, the issue
that you have raised is being considered. The work is still young and there are some two days to go, so you will be notified in due course.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: My point of privilege is that I see Hon.
Minister Khaya Moyo who is now in charge of our Media and Publicity. We want to appreciate the Hon. Minister, he is a good citizen and we are happy, we must acknowledge and congratulate him for the post. He is a fair man and some of us are not ashamed to acknowledge fair men Hon.
Speaker Sir, asifuni ubumbulu, – [Laughter.] – he is a very straight forward man and we really appreciate that. We just hope that he will also take the opportunity for the coverage of parliamentary debates on Wednesdays - to make sure that if funds permit, we are able to cover all the debates and our Committee programmes so that we are in line with what is in the Constitution and what is also in terms of modern parliamentary democracy. I thank you very much Hon. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Adv.
Chamisa for welcoming the Minister. I thank you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to add
my voice to this motion which has been brought before this august House by Hon. Adv. Chamisa. Let me begin by appreciating the efforts by Hon. Chamisa to bring this motion in this august House and also applaud Hon. Dr. Shumba who seconded the motion. Mr. Speaker Sir, the underlining point here to discuss and to debate on is emanating from the role of Parliament. We come here Mr. Speaker Sir, to make laws for the good governance of this country. I think we must be seen as well to be implementing what we make here in Parliament. So, the laws that we make should be positively implemented. I think we must lead by example as an august House. There is nothing bad to adopt a code of ethics or code of conduct for Hon. Members of Parliament....
A cell phone having been ringing.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. There
are some Hon. Members attending to their cell phones, may you please go out if you need to attend to your cell phone.
HON. MANDIPAKA: There is nothing bad Mr. Speaker Sir for
us all to abide by the Constitution and the dictates of our Standing Rules and Orders. In that vein, there is nothing bad to adopt a code of conduct, ethics or standards of operation that will guide us as Hon. Members of Parliament. Mr. Speaker Sir, suffice to indicate that it is high time the authorities revisit the perks of Hon. Members of Parliament because you cannot be asked to declare assets where you have nothing at all – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- You cannot be denied to look for other sources of income because you want to augment the little that you are getting. I think it is paramount that the authorities, it could be the Executive or the Government or the nation at large to understand the problems that Hon. Members face. The perks that we get, in all honesty are not very fair because the work that we do – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – we do quite some enormous work for the betterment of the poor in rural areas, but look at what we get in turn and nobody seems to care. Here we are, we are trying to adopt a code of ethics and I am asked to declare just a scotch-cart or a bull that I have. I have nothing, so, I think it is high time as we adopt the code of conduct; it is high time that the perks of those who are Hon. Members of Parliament remain honourable as well. We must not have a wider difference with the Executive and this is what we have to look at. That is why we hear an outcry about the welfare of Members of Parliament. It is more important that we keep on talking about our welfare until we become honourable in terms of perks because as of now, we are not honourable at all, I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. May
I also add my voice to this important motion that was brought into the House by Hon. Adv. Chamisa seconded by Hon. Dr. Shumba. Mr. Speaker Sir, just as the previous speaker, Hon. Mandipaka has already hit it on the head. It is very important that we as Members of Parliament in this august House definitely abide and set an example to Zimbabwe as a whole as to how governance is supposed to be. Why we are at it Mr. Speaker Sir, time and again, we have spoken on this issue that the State has got three arms and it is the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature. When you come to look at it in reality, there are only two arms of Government that are treated with respect and recognised properly. The other arm seems to be actually weak and powerless – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- and yet this is the very arm that is supposed to be supervising and overseeing all the other arms of Government.
Why are we being short-changed Hon. Speaker in our mandate as Hon. Members of Parliament? You go out of here, in town, you are called honourable but where is the honour when it comes to certain levels. The Executive is treated special than the Hon. Member and the Judiciary is treated more special than the Hon. Member. Right now, as I speak Mr.
Speaker, the Executive and the Judiciary, even if you go to their houses now, they are guarded by State police, we are not. That is fair and fine. Look at the perks that they have. They are given one off-road car and another one that is Executive and we are not given that. We are meant to pay for what we get to go and service the constituencies that we come from.
So, when you say let us declare, what are we declaring because this thing I am paying for and I am working hard for it, what do you want me to declare. Give us something to declare then we are going to happily declare. What I want us to look into is to say that let us first correct the issue of treating each other in fairness. Let us all be equal and let the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislator all feel equal and we will begin to talk the same language.
As we speak right now, when Hon. Members travel outside, they are treated like nothing. We have failed to get the diplomatic passports, why? You find some people that are not even honourables have got diplomatic passports and you say that we are honourable. Where are we honourable? Treat us fairly Hon. Speaker and let everybody know that we want to definitely come up and declare assets and carry out the code of all the ethics for good governance. Treat us honourably and make us feel honourable and that way, we are singing one song. But for now, we do not feel honourable at all. So, my plea is that can you make this playing field level and equal for all of us. I thank you.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will not take much of your time. Whilst I hear the pleas of my colleagues about our welfare, how much they put into the constituencies, I think they are obviating the necessity for declaration of assets as outlined by Hon. Adv. Chamisa and Hon. Dr. Shumba. The fact of the matter is that the declaration is not aimed at increasing or decreasing the welfare. It is aimed at curbing corruption. Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt
African countries. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Corruption is what is killing a lot of our economic activity and ability to grow the fiscus. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.].-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please!
HON. WATSON: The fiscus will not grow as long as there is corruption and if the leaders which Hon. Members and I agree, all of the Executive and all the Arms of State cannot bring themselves to a simple declaration of assets, whether you have them or not. It is not necessarily the point. The point is to have a starting point so that after five years, if you have accumulated millions of dollars of assets, you have to know that that is what happened or somebody knows that that is what has happened because that is corruption. Thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think this is a very good debate, but it is a bit misguided and a bit misdirected and I will say the reasons why. I think the problem that we are dealing with is a structural problem. The problem that parliamentarians are treated as ugly cousins from the village by the other two Arms of the State is a structural problem. The Government has the Public Service Commission which looks after Government employees. The Judiciary has the
Judiciary Service Commission which looks after the Judiciary and Parliament has no such Commission and yet we are the people that make the laws.
We should have put in place a Parliamentary Services Commission. Employees of Parliament are not civil servants and that must be understood. Throughout the whole world, employees of Parliament are employees of Parliament. Employees of the Judiciary are employees of the Judiciary and they must be treated separately. Employees of Parliament are treated like Public Servants. The reason is because it is structural. Parliament does not control its own purse. The purse of Parliament is controlled by the Executive.
Mr. Speaker, one who pays the piper calls the tune. If the Executive today decides that Parliament is going to get their salaries on the 6th of the following month, so be it because we have no structure which determines when we are going to get paid and which determines how much must be in our kit. What should happen is that this Parliament is responsible for making laws and it must make a law which makes it mandatory that when Government is discussing its budget, a certain percentage of that budget must go to the other Arms of the State like the Judiciary and the Legislature.
When that has happened, the Legislature then has its own budget which it controls. If a Member of Parliament wants to travel to South
Africa where you need to buy a ticket and where you need per diem for $650.00, you must apply to the Executive. If the Executive decides that there is no money, you will not go. That is the reason why you find a director holds a Diplomatic Passport and a Member of Parliament does
I have attended many functions as a Member of Parliament in my
Constituency in Mabvuku where a senior Government Official, a Deputy
Director is also officiating at the same function. A Government Deputy
Director is recognised more than a Member of Parliament because Government has no respect for Parliament. Let us face it. What we need to do is that we must make a law and debating it here in Parliament, we can debate until we turn blue in the face and until the cows come home.
As long as there is no legal framework to deal with this problem, this problem will persist until the second coming of Jesus. What we need to do as Members of Parliament is that we have the power.
Zvekungotaura izvi hazvibatsire. Let us come up with a law because we are the ones who make the laws. If we go today to the President, he will say ah, but you are the ones who make the laws. Let us make a law which makes it mandatory. Soon we are going to be discussing the PreBudget Seminar and I can guarantee you that we are going to talk about everything else, but the budget of Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, I am one of those Members of Parliament and the last time when we were debating the budget in this House, and the former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa was seated there, I told him that the money that you have allocated to Parliament is too little. Mr. Speaker, Members from the other side booed me and I will tell you the reason why. It is because they think the Executive is superior. If you think that the Executive is superior, why do you complain when you are treated like second cousins?
Hon. S. K. Moyo, the new Minister of Information is here and if I ask him a question, back benchers there will stand up and say hee, urikunetsa Minister wedu as if it is your duty to protect Ministers. Your duty as back benchers from the ruling party is not to protect Ministers. If we are asking Ministers public questions, let them answer. Why do you think it is your obligation to protect them? That is the structural problem – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Handiti murikuvanzwa, listen to them.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order please! Order at the back, if you have something to debate, I will give you a chance to stand up and debate.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker, can the Hon. Member
just stick to the subject than to criticise us here.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
There is no point of order.
HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker, the level of debate in this
House must not be Mickey Mouse. If you want to stick to Mickey
Mouse debate, we will continue to be treated like second cousins. That is why the pay days of Members of Parliament is said rest of civil servants. You are treated like civil servants because of this attitude. If you want to be treated honourably, you must behave honourably. Mr. Speaker Sir, if we are in this House and do not raise the level of our debate to a level where Hon. Minister Simon Khaya Moyo will say; ‘here is a debate by
Hon. Members,’ he will go out and continue to treat us like second cousins.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there are two things that we must do. Firstly, let us come up with a law. Let us sponsor a Private Members’ Bill that first and foremost will set up a Parliamentary Services Commission. This commission will bid to Government to say, ‘this Parliament needs so much, US$300 or US$400 million for us to be able to operate. Last time we were allocated only US$16 million. It was through the benevolence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that US$30 million was viremented from some projects and brought to Parliament.
This Parliament was meant to be operating on a budget of US$16
million per year and yet the budget of Government is approved by this Parliament and not at Munhumutapa or at the High Court. Members of this Parliament voted unanimously to approve a budget which allocated them US$16 million. Why should the Minister not treat us like second cousins when we behave like that?
Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Minister Chombo is going to bring in a budget here. When he brings the budget here and we are not happy with the allocation to Parliament, we must not pass that budget because we have got the power. However, if we pass that budget and after that we say, ‘aah, you did not give us money,’ - what are we talking about? Mr.
Speaker, Members of Parliament must start thinking outside the box. There is need for a paradigm shift; it cannot be business as usual if you want to be treated honourably. Why should we apply to Government to get diplomatic passports?
The Parliamentary Services Commission must be able to say, these are the requirements of Members of Members of Parliament, a, b, c, d or e and they are given to the State. We are lucky that our Head of State and Government is also a Member of Parliament in so far as he approves the laws that we send to him as Bills. He then gives his Presidential assent to make them laws. So, the President will understand us because he is one of us when it comes to making laws. We do not have much of a problem. However, we must raise the bar on how we think and start thinking outside the box. Izvi zvekungoti ho ho ho! Hazvibatsire. When we are debating issues here Mr. Speaker, let us debate seriously.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say, why do we need Cabinet authority when a Member of Parliament is going out on business? We are not Members of Cabinet; we are not civil servants - why should we get an authority signed by someone working at Munhumutapa? I do not even know who that person is. If you want to see a Member of Parliament excited, tell them that there is a Cabinet uthority authorising them to travel to South Africa. The Member of Parliament will be so happy kunge gudo ranhonga pito.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.
HON. MARIDADI: I will speak in English; like a baboon which has picked a whistle. Was it the problem that I used two languages.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, your language.
HON. MARIDADI: Alright. However, we do not need Cabinet approval. Our trips must be approved internally by the Presiding Officers here. We have our Clerk here, Mr. Chokuda; he must approve it. Mr. Speaker, the level of the Clerk of Parliament must be the same level as the Secretary to the President and Cabinet in terms of his salary and all the other benefits like the vehicle and so on. I raised it in this
Parliament once upon a time. The Deputy Clerk of this Parliament’s level must be the same as the Deputy Secretary to the President and Cabinet, but it is not like that.
The directors in Government have better perks than the Clerk of
Parliament and yet the job of the Clerk of Parliament is very important. You actually have a Clerk of Parliament who writes documents which end up on the table of the Head of State and Government, His
Excellency and yet a Deputy Director can never write a document which ends up on the desk of the Speaker because he does not communicate with the Speaker. It is actually provided for in the Constitution that the Clerk of Parliament must generate this document which goes to the President or that the President must generate a document which comes to the Clerk of Parliament.
In conclusion, Members of Parliament, before we start complaining and pointing a finger at the other arm of the State, let us look at the other four fingers which are pointing at us. We actually have a problem. Let us make laws; it is our responsibility to make laws which will make us better. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Nduna having stood up.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, are you trying to
debate or introducing a new debate?
HON. NDUNA: Yes Mr. Speaker, I am trying to debate.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you, I will give you a
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I do not have much to say but I think what I want to say is important for us to hear. Before coming to Parliament, Hon. Members of Parliament here came from all sorts of backgrounds. Others came from the business community, poor society and various societies. I have a problem with the declaration form that has been brought forward by Hon. Chamisa. The simple reason is; I went to Zambia with some Parliamentarians the whole of last week. In fact, we went to view the Batoka Gorge in Victoria Falls and then Kariba. The Zambian Parliamentarians were part of our Committee.
However, Mr. Speaker, I want to say to you it was a very sad and sorry sight where our Members of Parliament were made to board small or little planes where we had to crawl in and the Zambian delegation came in an honourable way where they were flying with perfect planes, the latest ones. They got better allowances than us local Members of Parliament and they looked down upon us although they were not in agreement in so many things. The reason why I am pointing this out Mr.
Speaker, is that other Members of Parliament pointed out the part where Hon. Members need to be catered for properly in terms of our remuneration. If you look at all the other countries within Southern Africa, it is really sorry for us to be here.
The biggest challenge we are facing is that we are saying; declare your goat, cow and all your past – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Is it an EIA that we want to do on each Member of Parliament to say that after five years – I am sorry to hear the other Hon. Member saying that it is a way of dealing with corruption, I disagree with that. The reason why I disagree with that is that all of us who are in this House came from the people. We were voted in by the people because you cannot be a leader when you do not have anything. You cannot even look after your own house and then you want to be a leader of a society. It does not work that way.
I am saying I do not mind declaring what I get from Parliament. I am very open to even walk with my pay slip and say this is what I earn – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – or even to tell them that these are the coupons that I get. Mr. Speaker, the Code of Conduct that they are asking for, I think we need to fine tune. I am not refusing but Members of Parliament, there is a starting point of declaring. Let us declare what we get from here. The Executive get new cars - four each, they get allocations, they travel. As Parliamentarians, we just get a phone call and we are told to jump and we jump. We are told to pass a Bill and we just pass. If you came to Parliament through whatever political party, that whipping system will wake you up; they will tell you that if you want to still remain in Parliament, you must do as we say.
So, I am just saying that sometimes we are very silent on a lot of things but let us deal with issues that affect us on a day to day basis as Hon. Members of Parliament and then we can declare the things that you want us to declare. But if you are going to ask me how many goats or every time my goats give birth, I must write an EIA to say I have got four more goats that have come – is it corruption? I do not think it is fair Mr. Speaker.
However, I think we need to re-look. Hon. Maridadi said a lot of good points - do not get me wrong. You may have been upset because of me heckling or other Members of Parliament heckling but he had some good points. The only problem with him is that he gets emotional and I am not getting emotional here. Mr. Speaker, I just want you to understand that we need to come to a situation where Hon. Members of Parliament are happy and then we will also perform better.
However, there is a problem where we are being treated as second cousins because of the Executive and the Judiciary. There is a parking bay outside - no Member of Parliament will park near where the Judges cars’ are parked. We can go and park anywhere else but not near their cars, they have a system. Why are we being controlled by other departments when we cannot even look after our oversight role; we cannot even do it because there is no money for Parliament. We always have to ask for supplementary. Our cars even get to be clamped. Even members who are not Members of Parliament have taken our parking space. The Hon. Speaker spoke to us saying they will remove all the wrecks in the parking lot but he has not lived up to his word.
So, I am not complaining but we need to start somewhere. The Bill that is being proposed is a good Bill but let us fine tune it to what you get. You cannot come and ask me about Shu Shine buses that my father worked for, from 1948 up to now and I must declare them here because I am a family member - no. Some people inherit a lot of things; we cannot be declaring our inheritance. Yes, I understand that when you come into Parliament, fair and fine; if you are in business or you are holding certain positions, you relinquish them to other members of your family – that is fine.
However, here in Parliament, if you give me a Ford Ranger, I will declare it. If you give me a 100 litres of diesel, I will declare that; if you give me 1000 dollars, I will declare such and after all, we are paying for it – it is correct. There is nothing for nothing. When I go to the constituency, if people see me in that big Ford Ranger, they think it is their car, they have a right to it, and must sit in there.
We also want the honourable thing to be treated also in a nice honourable way. I think our institution needs to be improved. We need to make sure that people’s remunerations are done properly. Right now, we were cut off when Hon. Mutseyami spoke and said Hon. Mandipaka brought up a motion and the answer - was we are looking into the matter, it is work in progress. That is not what we want to hear. We want a definite answer here and there, to say yes you are getting your money and your allowances. Who knows - some of us will not be able to make it in the next Parliament and maybe some of us do not even want to come back because we spent more time here playing jokes, teasing each other and telling each other off. When we go to our constituencies, the people will ask what we are doing in Parliament because there is no sugar, soap, cooking oil in the shelves and cash at the banks. They will ask - what are you doing as Hon. Members of
So, I just wanted to say that the Bill is fine as long as it is what we get from here. They need to look into what other countries around
SADC are getting. We were getting $75 sitting allowance per day yet Zambia was getting $455 – such a difference. It is really sad. The corruption is on the Executive but is side because our duty is to have an oversight over the Executive but it is because Parliament cannot control its own budget. Right now, we are talking about our CDF, nothing has come through and our terms are just coming to an end. So, there is no continuity. Every time a new Member of Parliament comes here, there is no continuity. Who knows – the other guy comes with his new thoughts and his new thoughts are just a dream as well because he will end up with the same story that we have ended up with, the short end of the stick.
Mr. Speaker, I think he that hath an ear let him hear. I think I have spoken, I have said what I think should be said. Corruption is not here but it is in the police force, in the Executive and the Judiciary. Here, we do not touch money; we just pass laws – that is all we do. We come and debate and look at the pros and cons. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: On a point of information! I think that
will really help the House because there are very important points that are being raised. Hon. Speaker, let me just explain the historical context. You remember that we had a workshop at Sheraton Hotel, wherein we debated these issues. I am sure Hon. Holder was very active in his participation. So, what we did was a workshop. Now, we cannot have a workshop codified into law; a workshop is a workshop. What we now need to do is to table it before Parliament and get it adopted. Debates are very good. However, the remit and limit of our debate has to do with the declaration of assets.
When it comes to salaries, there is actually a Bill that is coming on salaries and benefits. In fact, I was discussing with Minister Zhuwao this afternoon because we have finished giving our proposals as Parliament in terms of how the structure of Parliamentary salaries and benefits are supposed to be designed. All those things are coming through the Minister. He said the principles are before the Cabinet. I am only saying this because I am responsible for the drafting side from the Parliamentary side – [HON. ZINDI: Inaudible interjections] - I personally understand how people are agitated, it is fair agitation but the point is that we cannot be debating a Bill that is not yet before
Parliament. What is before Parliament is the declaration of assets which is this code of conduct but when it comes to the salaries and benefits, we will then have debates that have been raised coming then to be debated.
We can actually have debates which are not very helpful. This Bill is supposed to come and I was impressing on Hon. Zhuwao who is now the new Minister - we had actually done a lot. Those who understand how Government works at times, it is a bit of a problem to push things.
We have been pushing so hard to say, Minister please bring this forth. Just like the CDF constitution - we need the constitution to come. The money has already been transferred on to Parliament but we have not been able to access that money because we must have an enabling legislation and framework. We have done the CDF Constitution and we have circulated it to all members but only two members contributed. The rest have not. For us to be able to move to the next stage, it has to be adopted by this Parliament. We will bring the CDF Constitution so that we facilitate and catalyze those processes. I thought that it is important so that we do not divert our focus – and start to discuss our remuneration and benefits now before we are ready and able to debate. It is very important and I hope it will help Members of Parliament. I thank you.
HON. ZINDI: My point of order is based on the information that Hon. Chamisa is giving us. I, personally, am of the opinion that what should have been brought before this august House is what commensurate with the expectations of Members of Parliament in as far as their welfare is concerned before we could delve into debating this code of conduct. What are we to declare when Members of Parliament have nothing to declare? What should come first is something to do with the welfare of Members Parliament and then we go on to say – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - and then we go on to say, Members, declare whatever. That is my point of order.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will just bolster on a few issues say –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order please! –[AN HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let Hon. Nduna debate.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, he will respond.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I know, I will give him the
HON. NDUNA: I would like to reiterate on issues to do with the three arms of the state because the other then should not be undermined. The other members have completely ventilated the issue of the disparity within the three arms of the state - that is the Judiciary, the Executive
Hon Zindi having walked towards Hon.Chamisa.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zindi, I will ask
him to respond to your queries. Just take is easy.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. You had read my mind.
HON. NDUNA: I will take it again. The issue of the three arms of the state should certainly live to its expectations. What has occurred in terms of the issue of disparity is what has caused the demise of the quality of input, debate and all that in Parliament. This is what has caused Hon. Dr. Mashakada to even envy the position of Town Clerk of Harare, because you would then say, it is better to be an accounting officer of a town or city than be an Hon. Member. If there was that envy and the decorum that befits a Member of Parliament, we would not have these people jumping the gun or the boat.
I am trying to imagine the Chairperson of the Judicial Service
Commission (JSC) – Justice Rita Makarau trying to apply for a Town
Clerk’s job in the Harare City Council. That will never happen. That will never occur. She is busy trying to apportion the budget that she has been given to other arms that fall under the JSC. This is her mandate and role and she is doing that effectively and efficiently. She has no outlook or ambition of even becoming the Mayor of Harare. She has no ambition of even becoming the Speaker of the National Assembly.
That brings me to the next point. I have gone on one of our visits to Indonesia - Yogyakarta after Jakarta with our Speaker of the National Assembly. I asked myself if the armoured vehicle which had a lot of security around him. He was moving alone. I thought the bus was for all of us. The way we treat Parliament here in Zimbabwe leaves a lot to be desired. We have a ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth. We can use that as a spring board to enhance the capacity and decorum of Parliament including the dignity of Parliament. Why should we – tife nenyota makumbo ari mumvura?
We are not saying we should get a lot of money out of taxes because we do not want the unsuspecting innocent citizenry to be further taxed in order to capacitate and to finance the business of Parliament. No. We need to use our resources – aware that only twenty of them have been exploited so far and there are forty more, including uranium which we have not even touched on. We need to - kana vasingagone kuti tiite extract…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you use one language
HON. NDUNA: Thank you for the guidance Mr. Speaker Sir. Sometimes when – kana zvakubata; when it touches you it throws you into the water. You then want to speak in vernacular at times.
I am saying the disparity and the differences are quite glaring, humongous and enormous within the three arms of the state. That should be seen. It is weighing on the negative side when it comes to Parliament. The issue of the delegation I have spoken to and about – now it is a few months left before the elections. Now, we are asked in terms of declaring assets. As has been alluded to by Hon. Holder, when we came to Parliament, some of us were better off than how we are now because we are financing Parliamentary business in our constituencies and in the Constituency of Parliament.
I will give you an example - just to recap your mind or to nudge you conscience a bit on what the issue of Parliament speaks to and about – the ethos, values, pith, core of what Parliament is all about. It is
Parliament that has spoken to and about the establishment of the Special Economic Zones which His Excellency, the President has asserted to as an order. Recently, Dr. Gono was appointed Chairperson of that board for the Special Economic Zones and yours truly here moved a moved a motion for the establishment of that and the whole country is awash with economic development because of the impending established of Special Economic Zones. This is your Parliament Mr. Speaker that I am talking about.
The issue of making laws for the good governance and order of the people of Chegutu West and Zimbabwe in general; the issue of the repealing of the Mines and Minerals Act which is on Second Reading was crafted and is being debated here in the National Assembly, without which it cannot go to the other third arm of the State for implementation. So, this is how critical Parliament is. When you ask to make us declare, give us something to declare. Give us something to declare –[Applause.] –
The issue of quantifying our mineral resources in the whole of this nation and the issue of the Exploration Act or Bill has come about as a force or nudging of the Executive by these Parliamentarians that sit here and burning midnight candles, and yours truly did that and is being supported by other Members of Parliament. My point exactly is, it cannot be implemented if it does not pass through this mill that we are talking about, which is Parliament. If we do not talk about the issues that touch on the needs of the electorate; the other Arms are just complementing a void. The Acts of Parliament and the Bills are established here and assented to by the Executive. There is four months or a few months left before elections, we might as well do it for posterity; for the future.
Parliamentarians; if we stand our ground now and make laws not only for the good governance, order and peace of the people of Chegutu and the people of Zimbabwe - but also for the Parliamentarians, we are doing it for the good. Why do I keep mentioning these few months; the issue that was spoken to by Hon. Maridadi is the issue of the budget. We have just come from LCC and we have said, a report is going to be tabled, but let me just take some contributions from there that was wanting to have a budget of nothing less than US$100 million for Parliament. If we do not get that money, it is my thinking and a lot of other Members’ thinking that let us not pass the budget, and chances are we might get dissolved – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – If we get dissolved it is just before Parliamentary elections anyway. So, let get what we can and can what we get and be measured around that.
As a Chairperson of your Committee on Transport and
Infrastructural Development, I should not look forward to become a Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, yes kana zvichiitikawo, ngazviitikewo but Mr. Speaker Sir, I should be comfortable in that role of playing oversight on the Executive. When I start thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, it means somehow I am handicapped. I will break the fence and start wanting to debate what is happening on the other side of the fence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the reason why we always think we should be ambitious – ambitions yes, obviously the ladder now has been set such that if you become a Parliamentarian and you are in a Portfolio
Committee, the next step is like that and so forth, that is politics, yes but let it not be the primary line of thinking. The only comfort I have is when I travel with my Committee; as the Committee moves around in the Parliamentary bus or otherwise, I am allowed to use my vehicle, but fuel compensation is not compensation for the wear and tear of my vehicle. There should be much more given to Hon. Members in that regard, in the same manner you proposed that we get the red passports.
Thank you for that.
That as it might be, let the decorum and the esteem of Members of
Parliament remain, because where we go to in terms of our
Constituencies, they regard us in high esteem.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you wind up Hon.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will ask that you add my time later through another Member, if I have not finished. Mr. Speaker Sir, let the way we are handled by the electorate in terms of our esteem be the same way we are handled in Parliament. Let us – I am quite aware that there are about 220 000 vehicles, a good number of them are not licenced and they are Government vehicles. When Government is termed Government, it is the Executive; it should also fall on Parliament to also have such a condition. I do not think that is asking too much, so that at least we can be treated like our cousin, but not differently abled cousin from the Executive and the Judiciary. I will reiterate my point that I started on, I am trying to imagine Hon. Simon Khaya Moyo, Minister of Information and Publicity being ambitious to the extent of wanting to be a Town Clerk. It does not occur but we are having Members of Parliament going that route because the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence. That cannot be condoned and it can only not be condoned if we have the right perks and the right conditions, then gage and mark us against those values, not against the inheritance that I have got that I have brought to Parliament. I thank you.
HON. BHEBHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, there is nothing wrong in declaring one’s assets but there has to be a reason why somebody has to declare his/her assets. It is unfortunate that the Standing Rules and Orders are very clear on issues of declaring of assets. Standing Order Number 49 (4) “failure by a Member of Parliament to declare his/her own financial interests within 30 days of taking the oath or presenting a false declaration shall constitute contempt.”
Now, I wonder if all of us sitting here today are not contemptuous to this Parliament because these are the Standing Rules which are our
‘Bible’ and we have not adhered to them. I am actually surprised if we are standing up today debating what is already a rule. We sit here and debate what we have already agreed to. If other people that are listening and hear us trying to debate against what is here that we actually took an oath here that we are going to abide by the rules of Parliament. Today, we are saying we are debating not to abide by the rules of Parliament. I am equally surprised Mr. Speaker.
Nonetheless, I want to say at sometimes we agree to these things without looking into them thoroughly. We made a mistake by adopting this thing and we did not go through it, thoroughly investigating what it means to us. I have a serious challenge when someone says I should as a Member of Parliament first time around, come and declare my assets. I will be coming from a position of an ordinary citizen of this country and if I come as an ordinary citizen, are you saying all the ordinary citizens should declare their assets? I believe no Mr. Speaker. My belief is if we are talking of declaration of assets, it is those positions that are responsible for a certain budget that they are bound to be corruptly acquiring through that budget.
Here in Parliament, the Parliament budget comes as one, which is the budget of Parliament. It is does not come as an individual budget of every Member of Parliament. Therefore Parliament and its administration is the one that is charged with the running of that budget. Therefore if you are saying I am exposed to corruption, that I need to declare assets lest I am found wanting, that I have stolen or I can pilfer somewhere, where can I pilfer in this Parliament? Nowhere. Therefore, it means when we agreed to this, we made a fundamental mistake and we should abide by it because it is our mistake and it is our bible.
When it comes to the code of ethics, Mr. Speaker, I do agree that as Parliamentarians, we should actually have a code of ethics. The code of ethics will actually enable Members of Parliament to have a good conduct in terms of representing the people in our constituency. Mr. Speaker, when we talk of a code of conduct, we should always remember that we are talking of a code of conduct of one of the three pillars of the State which I so believe that we are all equal.
I have a challenge that you want us to come up with a code of ethics which is not in line with the issue of the three pillars of State. My biggest problem is, we have always come do debate the budget in this House, a budget that will be presented and created by the Minister on his own. I have a challenge to say as a Parliament, we are being allocated money by a Minister, by a Ministry or by one pillar of State, of which we are equal. My suggestion is when we think of the code of conduct, Mr. Speaker, we should always remember that as one of the three pillars of State, let us actually have a standing order that Parliament should get a percentage of every budget that comes into this House, not to be allocated by a Minister.
If the budget of Zimbabwe for instance is $5 billion, if we are saying Parliament should get 15% of $5 billion, let that budget come in and be passed in Parliament in conformity that we are getting our percentage that we are going to run ourselves as Parliament, then we are going to come up with a proper code of conduct. Not for us to actually live in the benevolence of the Minister, that if he wants us to pass a budget, he will then say this month come end of October, we are getting our allowances.
We are not children, Mr. Speaker, that you want to lie to us that because you want us to pass a budget you want to say okay, come end of October you are going to get your allowances. That is wrong, Mr. Speaker. The code of ethics should actually eliminate that because we are not children here that if you want to send him to the groceries you have got to give him a sweet to run to the groceries. We cannot have that. We are Members of Parliament that are equally charged and we are equal to the Executive, we are equal to the judiciary, we should get our own allocation that is equal to the amount of work that we are supposed to do because if we continue this way as a Parliament, Mr. Speaker, this is why we cannot actually pass quality laws at times. This is why we make such mistakes and agree to the declaration of assets, then we turn around and say no because we are so poor that when we debate here we are not thinking properly. We are so poor and thinking of our poverty then we make such kind of fundamental mistakes.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear that in terms of the declaration of assets we can debate here, it is for academic reasons. We cannot change it until and unless we amend this blue book. If we have not amended it, Mr. Speaker, as you sit there, maybe because I am one of those that has not declared because I have got nothing to declare, all of us here, including you Mr. Speaker, are charged with contempt of Parliament. So who is going to charge another when you are also one of those people that did not declare? So, we are actually caught in this fix because we come here and debate on empty stomachs.
I remember when I started being a Member of Parliament in 2000, you know what? I was surprised I did not know that one day I would smuggle a loaf of bread in a hotel because I could not afford to buy myself supper. I did not believe that one day I was going to be smuggling fruits from my constituency in my bag when I am supposed to be a Member of Parliament. It is because of poverty. So therefore, our code of ethics should deal with the issues of poverty first. When we come here, we should not come here as paupers because if we come as paupers, we are going to come up with legislation that is actually equal to the pauper itself. So, we need to be very careful, Mr. Speaker, when we come up with these kind of things.
Finally, it is good that we have a code of ethics because when we come up with codes of ethics, we should always consider what other Parliament experiences are and if we consider what other Parliament experiences are, it will actually guide us on how Parliamentarians should be remunerated.
I have a challenge. Every time when newspapers hear that Parliament has bought so many vehicles for Members of Parliament, they go to town that Parliament is looting. You cannot say I am looting when in actual fact there is nothing to loot. Remember we are not looting those vehicles because we are charged for those vehicles. The only thing that happens is the Ministry lends us money that we pay back to buy those vehicles. So, you would find newspapers going to town that we are now looting, Parliament has gobbled $30 million. Which
$30 million when you lend me money, I am going to pay back?
It is that kind of understanding, that we are so poor that together with the journalist, journalists are sponsored to write stories that hammer us. We come here and debate and come up with laws that will actually pin us down. It does not work. We need to sober up and come up with a code of ethics that will untie this web that we are in now. We come up clearly with what we want and then we are going to be a better
Parliament. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker with those few words.
HON. MUSANHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Chamisa, I think the code you have raised is about transparency and you have to be transparent from something you have and show that you did not take it. Here in Parliament, we have got virtually nothing that we are taking out of here except to come and debate. If you want us to declare that, we can declare that, but the assets that we did not get from here - I want to agree with Hon. Holder who actually mentioned this very clearly because we are not coming here to make money. It is like we are coming to help the society.
If you listen to the prayer for this Parliament, if you listen to it very carefully it says, ‘...the just government of man’. That is what we are coming here for and we do not think there is anything that we can declare that comes from this place. A lot has been said and I do not want to repeat what has been said by Hon. Nduna and Hon. Holder but I think your code seeks to be transparent and in order for you to be transparent, you have to be transparent from something that you are holding.
In terms of Parliament, Members of Parliament here, I do not think they have got anything that they have to account to the public. I do not think so. There is nothing for us to account to the public except the debate that we come to do and represent my people in Bindura North and Zimbabwe. That is all. I do not think there is anything else other than that. So, I do not think it will be prudent for this Parliament and Parliamentarians to come and declare what they have. We are not coming here for competition. We are not coming here for competition to show what you have or what you have done and I do not think it will work at all. It will not work because we have to declare what we are getting from here. I thank you very much.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon Chamisa please respond.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Hon Speaker, I really want to appreciate the contributions from Hon. Members which are very valid...
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, this cannot go unsaid. The Hon.
Member, who was standing, Hon. Musanhi is one of those Hon. Members who is financing the business of Parliament. Who, at the drop of a hat loans us his aircrafts in order for us to undertake Committee work on Transport and Infrastructure. I thought this should be put on record and known and bolster the notion that we cannot function as Parliament if we are not getting our own resources to deal with parliamentary issues.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, I really want to thank the Hon. Members who have contributed very passionately. You can tell that there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm but also there is, from the contributions by Hon. Members, a realisation that we are also bound by the laws of our land. As law makers, we cannot be the first ones to break the law, we are supposed to be the definers of law, the writers and authors of law and for that reason, we are going to be bound.
I realise, Hon. Speaker Sir, that we seem to have a lot of interest from Hon. Members. I would have asked for an adoption and take note which is perhaps not necessary at the moment so I will defer that so that we allow more Hon. Members to debate and reflect on some of the things. The debate is not really about whether or not we should have a declaration of assets but the nature of the declaration of assets and the forms because we are bound by the Constitution and Standing Orders and that is what we are simply doing. We cannot be a law-making House without the necessary laws and without the law-making intention and capacity that we have being exercised.
So Hon. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Members for the debates and I think may this debate be adjourned for now with the understanding that it will be continued. I thank you.
HON. D. SIBANDA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday 18th October, 2017.
On the motion of HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. D.
SIBANDA, the House adjourned at Nine Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.