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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 February 2015 41-18
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 18th February, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- GONESE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development who sits in Cabinet. Can the Minister please shed some light as to whether it is true that Cabinet has approved the construction of a new capital city at Mount Hampden with a new State House, Government villas, state-ofthe-art residences, freeways and so on?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I want to
thank the hon. member. Of course the question he raises is a policy issue and it is in the public domain that indeed there are proposals to build a new Parliament. It is not a secret. As to the details he went into, that I would request that he puts in writing so that the Minister of Local Government and Urban Development can adequately respond to that question.
*MR. ZWIZWAI: On a point of order. Madam Speaker, last week
I raised a point of order complaining about the absence of ministers. If you look at your right side, we have 42 ministers and there is only one minister present. All these hon. members have questions that they have been given by people from their constituencies. We cannot be asking all the questions to Hon. Dr. Made.
We also talked about the Leader of the House and we requested that we know the Leader of the House before we sit. When we look at the right side we realise that nothing is happening. We are not happy as Parliamentarians that ministers are not doing their job. We are requesting that they take this House seriously. They have not heeded to the caution by the Speaker of Parliament to respect this House. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Last week I answered you this
question that your point is noted but the person who does that is going to work on it, not today but in his own time.
*MR. CHAMISA: On a point of order. Let me speak in vernacular. The issue that was raised by Hon. Zwizwai that you gave a ruling on, that we accept. My view is on the issue of privileges given to Parliament which is now being violated by the ministers. If it is a day that they should come and answer our questions, they should come and answer those questions. If they are not yet here, why do we not agree as a House to wait and summon them to the House and resume the question time when they appear?
*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: For us to defer the question time, it is not possible because…
*MR. CHAMISA: Madam Speaker, we did not say that we would stop doing business but we are saying that we can defer the question time and do other debates and then summon the ministers who are not concerned about the country to come whilst we the serious ones continue with the debate. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a proposal that has been put before the House that we defer question time, is there anyone who seconds the proposal?
Motion put and negatived.
MDC-T hon. members broke into song singing “into oyenzayo siyayizonda.”
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order…
ZANU PF hon. members started singing “Sorry yayaya sorry”.
MDC hon. members joined singing ‘ZANU yawora baba’.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, let us have order. We are proceeding with Questions Without Notice…
MDC hon. members started chanting we want ministers!, we want
- GONESE: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I stand on a point of Order on a matter of procedure Madam Speaker. The point of Order on a matter of procedure is very clear, simple and straight forward. The Hon. Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana East stood up and pointed out that in view of the fact that we do not have adequate ministers; it is not a new point. It has been a continual and flagrant violation of not only the Standing Orders but also of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, showing total disdain and contempt of this institution.
We have pointed out before Madam Speaker, that a political party has scheduled meetings of a political nature on a day when we are supposed to have Question Time. The Honourable Member of
Parliament moved a motion that for today, we stand over the issue of Questions Without Notice until such time that the Executive take the business of this House seriously. That motion was seconded …..
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
- GONESE: I have not finished, that motion was seconded and
if it is seconded, we believe that it is a substantive motion and a matter
of procedure, it should be then put to the House and then if there is no agreement, there must be a division….
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
- GONESE: I have not finished articulating, I am still articulating the point. So, I am still putting across my point; there is a lot of noise, if the hon. members on your right can keep quiet so that I complete articulating my point…
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
- GONESE: We have got only three substantive Ministers out of a total of ….
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
- GONESE: So, my point Madam Speaker is that the motion by Hon. Chamisa should be put to the House…
Mr. Gonese approaches the Chair.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, my ruling is that there was an objection when the proposal was put across so, we are proceeding with Questions Without Notice…
MDC hon. members started chanting, we want ministers!, we want ministers!
- MAJOME: On a point of order. Thank you Madam Speaker - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - My point of order is that - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - I can hardly be heard Madam Speaker.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon. Majome order, please resume your seat. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order hon. members you have been talking for more than twenty minutes, do you want the whole Parliament to keep talking for the whole day? – [MDC MEMBERS: We want Ministers!
We want Ministers!] –
Order, order Hon. Mandiwanzira. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - - [MDC MEMBERS: Gara pasi!][ZANU PF
MEMBERS: MAJOME gara pasi!] -
Hon. Mandiwanzira resumes his seat after having been given the floor by the Deputy Speaker due to the interjections.
Order, order! May I have order in the House! Yes, you called for a point of order, what is the point of order? Hon. members, can you go to your Standing Rules, Standing Order number 77 says that if we continue making noise, I will - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. members if you have something to say you stand up and speak.
- MAJOME: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
- MAJOME: My point of order is, in terms of Section 107 of the Constitution, subsection 2 provides that ‘every Vice President,
Minister, Deputy Minister must attend Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – must attend Parliament in order to answer questions. – [AN HON. MEMBER: What she is reading is not a new thing. She must sit down, you have already made a ruling.] -that requires that every Minister or Vice President must attend Parliament in order to answer questions concerning matters on which they are collectively or individually responsible. Madam Speaker, it is our duty as Parliament to ensure that this Constitution is upheld, and in that case Madam Speaker, there cannot be a vacuum in this House. Each and every Minister is responsible for each and every question but they are not there - [HON. MEMBERS. Inaudible interjections] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order in the House. There is an adequate number of Ministers in the House to respond to the questions.
Order, Hon. Majome mentioned Ministers and Deputy Ministers –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – MS. MAJOME: My point of order is therefore..
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, I do not want to send
- MAJOME: Madam Speaker, you did not hear my point of
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am answering you.
- MAJOME: You did not hear me finishing Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, you did not listen to my point of order, I have not finished because everyone here is making noise. Madam Speaker, my point of order therefore is that the Ministers who are present cannot avoid questions because they are collectively responsible. Hon. members have a right to be answered questions whether to the Leader of the House or not. If they are here, they must answer all questions of policy because they are also collectively responsible. If they are avoiding questions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is there anyone with a question without notice – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. According to
Standing Order No. 77, I am sending Hon. Madzore and Hon. Thabita
Khumalo out –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
MDC Members of Parliament broke into song ‘Into oyenzayo, siyayizonda’ and surrounded Hon. T. Khumalo beyond Sergeant-at-
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order!
Hon. Thabita Khumalo eventually walked out of the Chamber
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Business is suspended
for ten minutes.
Business was suspended at Three Minutes past Three o’clock p.m. Business resumed at Twelve Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Since last week, there have been complaints from hon. members across the board that we need ministers, but for today we proceed with our business as usual. -[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
- MAWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Minister Made. There have been repeated calls from this House in regards to the ban of agricultural imports and there have also been repeated answers from the Minister in regards to the same, but nothing has been done because the local market is still being flooded by the same produce. So, we want to hear from the Minister what action is being taken and if there is no action, what is the course of action to follow. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (SENATOR DR. MADE): I
want to thank the hon. member and make note that the concern is being attended to in the sense, that there are certain commodities that we are now monitoring to make sure that there is a balance between what is produced and even processed locally, but sometimes we have certain areas where we have agreed commodities according to the various associations that give us the information. I can assure the honourable House and the hon. member that this is a matter that we are indeed implementing in terms of monitoring the goods that come in.
I also want to say there are however, other commodities that we agreed on as COMESA and SADC that we also take in as we are also exporters of certain commodities. The concern of farmers has indeed been heard, that we should not continue to undermine their produce. Thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
- HOLDER: Madam Speaker, I request that time for Questions Without Notice be extended.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members on my left, at times I
think we need to behave. One hon. member stands up and objects but you are all shouting. Why are you doing that? –[AN HON MEMBER:
Ndozvamakamboita.]- No! We are not doing what we did last time.-[AN HON MEMBER: Sorry Madam Speaker.]- There is an objection, so we are proceeding to Questions With Notice.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
REDUCTION OF FUEL PRICES
1 MR. CROSS asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to explain steps being taken by his Ministry to ensure that fuel wholesalers and retailers immediately reduce their fuel prices in line with the 30% decline in global crude oil prices?
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT
(DR. UNDENGE): Fuel prices are determined through a fuel pricing model agreed to between oil companies and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). The model sets the permissible maximum pump prices after taking into account the cost of doing business in the fuel sub sector. Fuel retailers engage in price competition but this must be below the price cap applicable at any point in time.
The first cost element in the fuel pricing model is the price at which oil companies procure the fuel. As this price changes, the model captures the movements and adjusts the maximum pump price accordingly. The same applies when the other cost elements in the model change.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority constantly monitors pump prices and following our recent experience, they can now penalise retailers found selling above the price cap in terms of Statutory Instrument 20 of 2015. Hon. members may be aware that during the same period that fuel prices have been falling on the international market, Government increased duty on petrol and diesel by 5c per litre on petrol and another 10c per litre for both products. This resulted in duty on petrol increasing from 30c to 45c per litre and that of diesel increasing from 25c to 40c per litre.
Madam Speaker, the increase in duty had the effect of increasing fuel prices at the pump during the months of August to September 2014 and took away a significant portion of the price gains that had been achieved. It is important to note that since then local fuel prices have been reducing in line with the fall in the price of crude oil on the international market.
At the beginning of November 2014, the price of petrol was as high as $1.56 per litre. By mid December, the prices were between $1.49 and $1.53 per litre. The price of diesel had also fallen from around $1.44 to between $1.38 and $1.41 per litre. On 8th January 2015, I gave a press conference at which I called upon the local oil companies to reduce further fuel prices in line with the falling price of crude oil. This resulted in prices falling to around $1.29 per litre for diesel and $1.44 per litre of petrol.
It is important to note the following; the fluctuations of the crude oil prices do not immediately reflect on domestic pump prices because it takes time to get the cheaper product onto the local market. I have directed that price reviews be done every two weeks because our estimation is that this is time enough for old stock to have been sold and new stock received.
Although price comparisons with other countries are useful, other important factors also come into play. Countries with ports and refineries tend to be at an advantage compared to land locked countries.
Some countries subsidise fuel and others impose minimal taxes on fuel.
In Zimbabwe, taxes and levies on petrol amount to 63c per litre and on diesel the amount is 46c per litre.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, fuel prices in Zimbabwe are currently within the agreed price cap as per the fuel pricing model in use. The prices are moving in tandem with the movement of crude oil prices on the international market. In addition, oil companies continue to compete ensuring the consumer gets value for money. I thank you.
- P. D. SIBANDA: Supplementary question. It is said that the pricing of fuel in this country is influenced by a cartel of 3 or 4 oil companies that are operating the majority of fuel stations in the country. What policy measures are you going to put in place to ensure that this cartel does not influence the pricing of fuel in the country?
- UNDENGE: I hope the hon. member was listening when I was explaining the pricing model which we use which determines the pricing of fuel in the country. It is not determined by any cartels. I explained here in response to a question which was asked by Hon. Cross, how we utilise the pricing model which we have and using that pricing model, it is the one which controls prices and follows the movements in international prices. We sat a period of two weeks whereby if the price of fuel goes up, companies should not immediately raise prices. They should wait for two weeks.
I agree with you that in the past the moment when prices went up, oil companies increased prices at the same time. Whereas when prices go down they maintain the high price. They do not immediately lower that, hence this directive which I gave that we need a period of two weeks to ensure that there is a change in price upwards or downwards depending on the price movement on the global market. I thank you.
- NDUNA: Besides our fuel being a little bit dearer than that of South Africa, I believe the viscosity or quality is a bit on the lower side because for the same quarter tank of fuel, with South African fuel that you buy in there, you do a little bit more in the number of kilometers than you would do here. What is it that we are putting in place to make sure that our quality also matches the quality that is around our borders?
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, I would like to assure this
House that the quality of our fuel is not less than the quality in South Africa. We always monitor its quality; it is not true that our fuel when used here has less mileage than in South Africa. I call upon the hon. member to come to my office with that empirical evidence. Thank you.
- BHEBHE: Madam Speaker, there has been some disparities
in terms of pricing. According to the Statutory Instrument, there are three categories of pricing. There is the price for the oil company, the price for the wholesaler and the price for the dealer. That price was regulated by Statutory Instruments that were different. I remember it was changed during the shortage of fuel. What measures are you taking to try and bring back that regulation that categorises the three pricing systems as per your Statutory Instrument?
- UNDENGE: Our pricing model which I will avail to the hon. member, addresses every stage of trading, the margin for the wholesaler and at the retail end. That formula, is all encompassing. It is an inclusive formula, it caters for everyone in the fuel chain. So, that is addressed hon. member.
- MATANGAIDZE: The danger we have with the whole fuel
pricing Madam Speaker is in ensuring that you get value for money, that means you get one litre when you have bought one litre… THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the question.
- MATANGAIDZE: The question is there is a system called a-sizing, where ZERA is supposed to be checking these meters that they are delivering the liters as required. We want to know the progress on doing that.
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, I am trying to decipher the question asked by the hon. member. Perhaps he is saying that when one goes to the pump, you are short changed in terms of the quantity of fuel you get, that it may not be up to a litre. If there is that exercise and you suspect that any garage is cheating, let ZERA know or let us know and we will immediately institute appropriate action. I thank you.
PROGRESS MADE WITH REGARDS TO MAKING HARARE A
REGIONAL CENTRE FOR THE SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION
OF REFINED FUELS
- MR. CROSS asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House on the progress made with regards to the project aiming to make Zimbabwe a regional centre for the supply and distribution of refined fuels to the whole of Central Africa.
THE MINISTR OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): The Government policy is to
make Zimbabwe a hub of fuel trade in the region. Being centrally located, Zimbabwe is strategically placed for this exercise. It is a natural advantage which we enjoy, in other words, we do have a competitive advantage because of our location. In addition, the country has huge fuel storage capacity through the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe of 537 million litres. This is more than the storage capacity at Beira which stands at 320 million litres. In other words, we have more storage capacity in Harare than in Beira.
Turning Zimbabwe into a hub of fuel trade and transportation in the region will not be achieved overnight. However, it is important to ensure that steps are consistently taken towards the achievement of this goal. This is progressively being done. Madam Speaker, hon. members may be aware that in the past, international oil traders used to station their fuel at Beira from where local oil companies would purchase and transport the same into the country, either by pipe line or by road. Taking advantage of the huge storage capacity in the country, the Ministry convinced international oil companies to station their fuel in Zimbabwe, in bond.
Local oil companies can therefore, now import fuel from within the country, greatly reducing the turnaround time. Some regional countries, namely Zambia, Malawi, DRC and Botswana, get some of their fuel supplies from Zimbabwe …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, can you please lower your voices; those who are at the back of the Chamber would like to hear what the Minister is saying.
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, local oil companies can therefore now import fuel from within the country, greatly reducing the turnaround time. Some regional countries namely, Zambia, Malawi and DRC and Botswana get some of the fuel supplies from or through Zimbabwe via the pipeline.
Fuel exports from Zimbabwe to the region are still low, though averaging 10 million litres per month, this is but the beginning. Efforts are underway to increase the exports and to make Zimbabwe the preferred route for these regional countries. Currently, these countries get the bulk of their supplies through Dar es Salaam. As a first step, NIOC recently reduced storage charges for export bound fuel by US$10 per cubic metre, this is from US$80.50 cents to US$70.50. It is however, still early to judge the impact of such a move. It is hoped that measures of this kind will also help in capturing regional tracks that still transit through Zimbabwe to pick fuel from Beira when fuel is available at Masasa.
Zimbabwe cannot become a hub of fuel trade without adequate transportation infrastructure. Hon. members may be aware that the pipeline reached its designed capacity sometime in 2011. It pumped a maximum of four million litres per day. With fuel consumption averaging four million litres per day, this state of affairs, hindered the building of stocks. Madam Speaker, in November 2013, at the
Ministry’s direction, pipeline owners began to introduce a drag reducing agent into the pipeline. The drag reducing agent is a substance which if injected into the pipeline makes fuel move faster. As a result, the pipeline can now pump a maximum of six million litres per day. The drag reducing agent dispates during pumping, hence does not affect fuel quality. For this reason, it is used internationally.
Further pipeline upgrades are planned. The next phase is to install three additional booster pumps along the pipeline resulting in a throughput of 7.5 million litres per day. The subsequent phase will involve the replacement of existing pumps with bigger ones, resulting in throughput of 16 million litres per day. In addition, a second pipeline is being planned and of course, effective demand will detect the timing of these projects.
Madam Speaker, in order to enhance the loading of tankers, a third fuel loading gantry has been constructed at Mabvuku. Its completion will result in one fuel loading gantry at Feruka which is important for loading tankers destined for Malawi and two in Harare at Msasa and Mabvuku. The Mabvuku fuel loading gantry will have the capacity of loading eight tankers at a time. In addition, in order to facilitate both fuel storage and loading in the western and southern parts of the country, the National Oil Infrastructure Company recently purchased a fuel depot in Bulawayo. This will also facilitate the loading of fuel destined for Botswana. The Bulawayo fuel depot is currently being refurbished and fuel storage at the said depot shall be increased.
Clearly Madam Speaker, the process of rendering Zimbabwe as a significant player in fuel distribution in the region is already underway.
I thank you.
PROMOTION OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES
- MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development what the Ministry is doing to promote the use of alternative sources of energy in both rural and urban areas.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, the Ministry
is formulating renewable energy policies, strategies and action plans to promote the use and uptake of renewable energy technologies as alternative sources of energy. An energy policy was launched in 2012 which includes modalities for the promotion of renewable energy.
The Ministry is now in the process of developing comprehensive renewable energy and bio-fuel policies which will have guidelines, strategies, action plans, targets and incentives for promotion of the use of renewable energy; working with research institutions in the country such as SIRDC and Agricultural Research Institution, carrying out research and development on renewable energy technologies and identifying, developing and facilitating implementation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies and techniques.
A number of projects in the following categories have been carried out or are in the process of being carried out as pilot projects to promote awareness of the renewable energy technologies that is in the area of solar energy projects. About 400 solar minigrids were installed in rural schools and clinics with a capacity of 0.84kilo-watts and two large solar water-heating were installed at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) with a capacity to meet the hot water requirements as well as space heating in the incubator ward at United Bulawayo Hospital. We also have bio-gas progammes and two major programmes are underway.
Madam Speaker, we also have small hydro-power projects. The Ministry has facilitated the development of small hydro-power stations which include Nyamingura hydro-power project which will be a
1.1mega-watt; Duru hydro project will be a 2.2 mega-watt; Pungwe Phase A will be 2.7 mega-watts and the other phase B will be 15 megawatts. So, such small hydro-power projects will add on to our energy capacity.
Madam Speaker, I think I have answered the first question that was asked by Hon. Nduna.
- DUBEKO SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, I think it is very clear that we are struggling to meet electricity requirements in this country and that production of electricity is generally expensive. It is known that we have huge gas deposits in Lupane and gas is a cheaper and cleaner alternative source of energy. Mega deals have been signed to produce more electricity but what is the position in as far as production of gas as an alternative source of energy in this country is concerned has gone?
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, let me commend the hon. member for being a technical conversant with energy production. As we have already pointed out, there are a number of measures that are being taken to ensure that the electricity deficit that we have is overcome and we move to a stage where we can start exporting electricity to the rest of the region.
As categorized in my answer to Hon. Nduna’s question, we have essentially four main categories of power production. The first one is thermal, hydro, bio-gas and to some extent, wind power. Turning to gas utilisation in terms of producing electricity, my Ministry is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce so that we tap the coded methane gas in Lupane. You will witness some activity in terms of preliminary drilling when you get there, so that we utilise that gas but of course, it is the cheapest form of producing electricity. I thank you Madam Speaker.
*MR. ZWIZWAI: Hon. Minister during the generation of electricity, I am looking at the issue of Community Ownership Trusts which is a Government policy. When electricity is generated from Kariba, the Tonga people have their own resource Lake Kariba and electricity is generated at Kariba and sold in different areas. What is the Ministry’s policy so that the Tonga people can also benefit in terms of
the Community Share Ownership Trust?
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, what we have done as a Ministry because currently, as you know sino-hydro is building units seven and eight. Each unit will produce 150 megawatts. So the two units under construction will produce 300 megawatts at completion. As a Ministry, we have said ensure that you employ the local people; and only confine where you require skilled labour like engineers, those you can import from outside. As regards your question, it relates to indigenisation and I thought you should have asked that question to the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
Perhaps I advise you to reserve that question for the respective Minister.
I have answered the part which concerns me as Minister of Energy and Power Development. I am conscious of the need to employ local people where we can so that they benefit from the project which is taking place and that is what we have done in conjunction with the local leadership in
Kariba. I thank you.
- ZVIDZAI: My supplementary question to the Minister of Energy and Power Development is to sewage plants in this country are cheap sources of energy and if you combine the possible generation capacity from sewage plants throughout the country, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Kwekwe, that can amount to something like 200 megawatts of energy, for free. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that that is used as an alternative source of energy?
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, the question is very pertinent
and it falls under the domain of bio-gas. If you listened to me careful when I was outlining out energy policy, I said there is also a focus on bio fuel, bio-gas and certainly, this is something we are looking into. Perhaps you are talking about the pace but already we are into expansion of hydro projects, we are into exploitation of coal, methane gas and also expansion of hydro projects and bio gas occupies us and we are doing that in conjunction with research institutions which I have pointed out earlier on. Interestingly enough, you cannot only use sewer for production of energy alone. You can also use it for production of water at home. The Minister of Energy and Power Development was telling us that there is some technology whereby you connect to your toilet system, then it gets to the tape, the water immediately goes under cleaning and at the end you drink it, so that is how advanced technology is. It is not only for energy production. Even that sewer water can be used for drinking. Immediately after you flash it, it goes into a cup for drinking after having been cleaned. That is how wonderful our technology is.
DEVELOPMENT OF A BIO-FUELS POLICY
- MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development the progress that has been made towards developing the Bio-Fuels Policy as envisaged under ZIMASSET.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, as I alluded to
above earlier on in my answer to the first question, my Ministry is in the process of developing a bio-fuels policy. It is already catered for.
Perhaps, in order not to waste members’ time, I think the question has already been adequately answered.
- NDUNA: I have got a follow up; I see the question was answered; what might be as a need to know basis is what the progress in that direction is. I think it is the only key issue that we might need to know.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the Minister has adequately answered your question Hon. Nduna. I am now going on to question number 5.
ELECTRIFICATION OF INSTITUTIONS IN GOKWE-KANA
- MR. O. NCUBE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when the following Institutions in the Gokwe – Kana Constituency will be electrified:
- Dzuke School
- Paradza School
- Maboke School
- Marirangwe School
- Ndarire School
- Tachi School
- Mapiwa School
- Lutochani School
- Mwambani School
- Lukukwe School
- Mudzimundiringe School
- Muyambi Primary School
- Ndodza Clinic
- Mateme Primary School
- Mateme Secondary School
- Chief Jiri homestead
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, in line with ZIM ASSET funding, the Rural Electrification Fund REA plans to extend the electricity grid network to all rural public institutions within
20 km of the existing grid network and to electrify those beyond 20 km’s using solar technology by 2018. Madam Speaker, I actually have a table which gives the time lines for the various schools listed when electricity will be connected.
|Item No.||Name of
|Distance from Grid Network||When to be electrified||Source of Energy|
|1||Mateme Primary||14km||June 2015||Grid|
|2||Mateme Clinic||14km||June 2015||Grid|
|3||Mateme Secondary||14km||June 2015||Grid|
|4||Dzvuke School||6.2km||By 2018||Grid|
|5||Paradza School||12km||By 2018||Grid|
|6||Maboke School||8km||By 2018||Grid|
|7||Marirangwe School||4.5km||By 2018||Grid|
|8||Ndarire School||7km||By 2018||Grid|
|9||Tachi School||15km||By 2018||Grid|
|10||Mapiwa School||25km||By 2018||Solar|
|11||Lutochani School||33km||By 2018||Solar|
|14||Lukukwe School||14km||By 2018||Grid|
|Jiri Primary School||Underline||By 2017||Grid|
|Mudzimundiringe School||0.8km||By 2017||Grid|
|Chief Jiri||15km||By 2018||Grid|
These schools will be electrified within the framework of ZIM ASSET which is that up to 2018, all these schools will be electrified at different stages. So Hon. Ncube, go and tell your people that electricity is indeed coming. I thank you Madam Speaker.
STRATEGY REGARDING THE CIVIL PROTECTION UNIT’S
ABILITY TO MANAGE DISASTERS
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing the Government strategy regarding the Civil Protection Unit’s ability to manage disasters particularly where citizens die in a stampede as was the case at Mbizo Stadium.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC
WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. MADE): Madam
Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member and respond as follows. The stadia in Zimbabwe are constructed in compliance with international specifications and consequently, none of these structures has ever collapsed. The hon. member gives an example of Mbizo stadium as a case in point. The Mbizo stadium accident was occasioned by a stampede of the congregants, which is a function of the absence of organised crowd control by however is leasing the property. Drawing lessons from the disaster, the Department of Civil Protection is in the process of liaising with managers of all stadia in the country to put in place measures to be adhered to by whoever is leasing the stadia. Thank you Madam Speaker.
REHABILITATION OF ROADS
- MRS. MUDAU asked the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing to inform the House plans by the Ministry to rehabilitate the Masera via Toporo-Swereki to Malibeng and Tokwe to Bulawayo-Beitbridge main road.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): On the
question of Masera via Toporo road, the hon. member should direct the question to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development as they are the responsible authority on that.
On the Tokwe to Bulawayo-Beitbridge main road, plans are underway for the rehabilitation of the road and it has been scheduled to start in earnest in 2015.
INCREAMENT OF EARTH MOVING EQUIPMENT
- MRS. MUDAU asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing whether the Ministry would consider increasing the number of graders and earth moving equipment required for the road construction in the Beitbridge West Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): It might be
interesting for the House and the hon. member to note that Government is working on the recapitalisation of all local authorities and has already engaged a Chinese firm which shall set up a manufacturing plant in the country to the value of US$100 million. Local authorities will access the equipment on credit. Efforts have been made to continue with recapitalisation initiative as outlined under the ZIM ASSET with the Constituency having received one motorised grader from ZINARA across the country.
- D.P. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, you have spoken of graders that have been given to local authorities. It is said that those graders are slow graders and they are not suitable for our climate.
What policy measures is your Government and Ministry putting in place to try and recover the amount of money that was used on unsuitable graders.
- MADE: First of all, we must establish whether the graders are unsuitable for our climate. That is a position that has been asserted. I want to assure the Hon. member that we will look into that matter but we should not just assert that they are unsuitable. We have to look at each item. It could also be a question of adjusting the engines adequately.
I am aware from a mechanisation point of view that you have to look at that particular aspect. We must have hard facts to see which graders have failed and what the technical reason is. It remains an administrative issue and it is a thing we should look at technically –[AN HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- No, no! I should not be addressing the member directly.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, hon. Minister, you must
speak to the Chair.
POLICY GUIDELINES ON HOUSING COOPERATIVES
- MR. CHIWA asked the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing to explain:
- the policy guidelines on housing cooperatives;
- whether an employee of a local authority can double as a chairperson and owner of a housing cooperative within the same local authority and
- measures in place to protect other competing cooperatives from being side-lined and also curbing corruption.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I
would like to thank the hon. member for affording me the opportunity to apprise the august House on pertinent matters relevant to housing provision.
1) In September this year, my Ministry came up with the approved National Housing Delivery Programme which speaks to the basic tenets of human settlement and development and also serves as the medium or vehicle to drive the National Housing Policy (2012).
In turn, the strategy is operationalised through attendant guidelines crafted by my Ministry in October, which guidelines serve to summarise the processes, procedures, relevant statutes and timelines to be adhered to prior and during the delivery period and the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders.
To that end, the following guidelines apply to housing cooperatives intending to access land for housing provision:
- cooperative members must be first time prospective home owners and on the respective local authority’s housing waiting list. ii. be 18 years and above. iii. the cooperative should produce a registration certificate. iv. produce copy of the cooperatives by-law.
- produce a membership register signed by the Registrar of
Cooperatives. vi. produce proof of initial income and ability to implement the project.
vii. apply for land in accordance to the size of their membership. viii. submit a detailed project proposal with financial projections.
- open a cooperative bank account with a financial institution of their choice and urge their members to pay subscriptions through the same.
- produce latest audited accounts of the cooperative.
- Liaise with my Ministry and their banker in identifying and selecting a reputable and credible land developer and/or contractor. xii. prepare a Memorandum of Understanding with developer and their banker stipulating the roles of each party.
- seek certification from the Ministry as well as the local authority for the works completed before processing payment certificate to ensure acceptable standard.
- refund members opting to withdraw or are expelled from the cooperative. xv. return 10% of the serviced stands at no cost to Government as commonage.
xvi. cooperatives are not land developers hence a cooperative is expected to disband upon the successful completion of the project.
However, registration as a housing cooperative does not guarantee automatic allocation of land as every cooperative applying for land should sufficiently justify why such land should be allocated to it.
- Mr. Speaker Sir, I assume that the import of question (b) to imply whether a local authority official can act as a chairperson/owner of a housing cooperative within the same local authority; the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development is mandated to administer the Cooperatives Societies Act (Chapter 24:05) and the attendant regulations and by-law, which govern the operations of cooperatives, inclusive of housing cooperatives.
To that end, question (b) should ideally be directed to the Ministry that I have referred as it squarely falls within the purview of its mandate.
- MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. With all due respect, Hon. Minister, having challenges with regard to people who need residential stands, with all the presentations that you have laid out in accordance with the statutes with regard to co-orporatives, what mechanisms are you putting in place to address challenges whereby we are having people who are taking their stands and actually staying on the site, building houses or cottages while there is no sewer, water or roads, but already people are staying there in situ, full time, regardless of sanitation and water requirements?
This trend is happening across the country. This is a challenge that is happening across the country and it seems like it is now a normal process whereby we have people staying in towns without water, sewer or roads. What mechanisms do you have to address these challenges?
- MADE: I want to thank the hon. member for highlighting
that situation, that is almost as if it is normal now. I want to assure you that through ZIM ASSET and as I have highlighted already, this is a matter that is of great concern.
I think combined with some or the responses that have already been given under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and I am sure even on some issues that are raised under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, this is a critical sector that we must concentrate on. I think it is also expressing the urgency with which the housing matters and servicing of stands should be treated as a critical issue in terms of providing for those services to our communities that are in the urban areas. It is a true expression of the reality on the ground,
but I plead that we concentrate on focusing on that particular aspect.
But it is a very pertinent question and I seriously take note of it.
- C. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister,
what is your Ministry doing to assist local authorities in situations where co-operatives are sprouting in cities and possibly, settling themselves in areas such as swampy areas and other areas that are not designated for settlement without the authority of local authorities, especially giving an example of Harare. That is where we are witnessing those kinds of things. What is your Ministry doing to assist local authorities in that regard?
- MADE: Madam Speaker again, that is a very pertinent observation. In our laws and in our statutes, that is a situation we should not accept. You have also witnessed even now, with the rain, a number of those communities have been affected with flooding taking place even in proper areas where settlements have been granted. We have to be careful with that and I think we should always be responding first and foremost to EMA, which is responsible for defining the areas where the locations should be, but we should also improve on our greater drainage systems in order to take care of the climate as it is so reflecting right now very heavy down pours, I think in the area that we have seen receiving over 140mm of rainfall. It means really we must comprehensively reface the areas that we have defined as wet lands and further improve on the way we relate to the construction, but the councils are again encouraged and we are monitoring that they do not allocate the pieces of land where it is not suitable for our people because at the end of the day, we are lucky that we have not lost lives, but the danger must be taken care of, that we do not reach those particular proportions. Thank you Madam Speaker.
MEASURES PUT IN PLACE TO ADDRESS BOUNDARY
DISPUTES IN SILOBELA
- MR. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House the measures that the Ministry has put in place to address the boundary disputes involving chiefs, in particular Chief Sigodo in Silobela.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Madam Speaker,
again I want to thank Hon. Mpofu. The Ministry is currently in the process of coming up with a holistic approach to deal with all boundary disputes once and for all. It is one of our priority programmes this year.
We are aware of boundary disputes everywhere throughout the country.
In line with Section 29 of the Traditional Leaders Act, Chapter 2 (17), we are required to place all resettlement areas under the authority of the traditional leaders and because of the boundary disputes, that needs to be resolved and solved. We have done the four districts so far and the remaining districts will be done this year. Thank you
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING A VEHICLE ISSUED TO AN
EMPLOYEE OF BINDURA MUNICIPALITY
- MRS. T. BANDA asked the Minister of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing to explain the circumstances where a vehicle issued to an employee in Bindura Municipality was seen being driven by his spouse for the purposes of ferrying sand and bricks and state whether this is permissible.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS
AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): First and foremost,
I would like to thank the Hon. T. Bhanda for the question which focuses on conditions of service for senior employees of councils and Bindura Municipality, in particular, with personal issue vehicles who include town clerks and heads of departments.
The town clerk and the head of department are allowed to use council vehicles allocated to them for business and personal use. In the same view, their spouses are allowed to drive those vehicles as long as the officers do not use other council vehicles at the same time. So,
Bindura Municipality is no exception. Thank you.
PAYMENT OF MEDICAL BILLS FOR THOSE WHO ARE INJURED
IN NATIONAL DISASTERS
- MRS. MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House whether the Ministry pays medical bills for those who are injured during national disasters.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION
AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE) on behalf of
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Madam Speaker,
hon. member I want to respond as follows; the Ministry only pays bills for those disasters declared national disasters by His Excellency the President. Thank you.
- C. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, there was a disaster involving a ZUPCO bus and another bus. It is said that all the victims of that accident and other ZUPCO bus accidents were not covered by insurance and therefore, their medical bills were not paid. How far true is that and is it Government policy that a parastatal like ZUPCO should not insure its passengers against accidents? Thank you.
- MADE: I want to thank the hon. member for that follow up question. That is a detail and I can only undertake to thoroughly investigate that matter and provide the hon. member with the answer.
MS. ANASTANCIA NDHLOVU: Hon. Minister, still on
disasters, I would like to find out from you what Government policy or what Government plans are with regards to reviewing the disaster risk management system because I know that as a country, we are still using the 1989 provisions which in my view, are outdated and are failing to deal comprehensively with disasters in this country. I thank you.
- MADE: I want to agree with the hon. member. As I have already said when I was in part responding to areas or wetlands and flooding and also that the phenomenon that we are seeing in climate is that we have to be better prepared, not account of being ill prepared at the moment but the fact that the situation as we are seeing requires indeed that we review the statutes that we are using. It is a very clear position and direction that has been proposed by the hon. member. That process is already under way. I can say after the Tokwe-Mukorsi disaster, already there are many reviews that we are taking including the experiences that the Committee is seized with. That Committee is headed by the Ministry that I am representing. I thank you.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH,
INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ON
GREEN FUEL CHISUMBANJE ETHANOL PROJECT
- WADYAJENA: I move the motion standing in my name that
this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on Green Fuel Chisumbanje Ethanol Project.
- CHIBAYA: I second.
1.1 In line with its oversight role as provided under Standing Order
No. 160 (c), the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment undertook an enquiry into the progress made in the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment laws. The enquiry was occasioned by the Committee’s desire to fulfill the objectives of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET) Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster. The ZIM ASSET economic blueprint states in Chapter 3 that, “By coming up with the ZIM ASSET, Government seeks to address on a sustainable basis, the numerous challenges affecting quality service delivery and economic growth. The plan is expected to consolidate the gains brought about by the Land Reform,
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and Employment Creation
Programmes, which have empowered the communities through Land
Redistribution, Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes, among others”. In this regard, the Committee noted that the realization of sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenization, empowerment and employment creation lies in compliance with and full implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment laws.
2.1 In its inquiry, the Committee was guided by the following objectives:-
- To assess the levels of compliance to the Indigenisation policy by qualifying businesses; ii.To assess the extent to which the indigenous have benefitted from the programme; iii. To verify and ascertain the situation on the ground in the wake of conflicting and contradictory statements about developments in
- To proffer recommendations on the achievement of community empowerment.
In undertaking this inquiry, the Committee adopted the following methodology:-
3.1 Oral Evidence Sessions
The Committee held oral evidence sessions with the management of Macdom and Green Fuel on the level of compliance with the Indigenisation policy as well as their corporate social responsibilities on community empowerment. The Committee also accepted a request for interface made by the Platform for Youth Development (PYD) to appear before the Committee on Chisumbanje Ethanol Project. The Committee also received evidence from the Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa traditional leaders as well as the Environmental Management Agency
3.2 Written Submissions
The Committee received written submissions from PYD, Chief Garahwa, Headman Musuki Matambanadzo and Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd
3.3 Fact Finding Visit
The Committee undertook a fact finding visit to the Ethanol Project in Chisumbanje on 11th July 2014 with the main aim of verifying the existence of community projects that Green Fuel claimed to have initiated for the community.
The Committee conducted a public hearing at Chisumbanje Primary School on 11th July 2014 to gather the views of the community on the Ethanol Project and its impact on their livelihoods.
4.1 In early 2008, Green Fuel represented by Macdom
Investments, acquired the right to lease land measuring 5 112 hectares from ARDA, where it built an ethanol plant. The land has since increased to 9, 375 ha and is under sugarcane. The project was initially welcomed as it was anticipated that it would lead to the employment of people in the area and uplift the quality of life of households in Chisumbanje.
4.2 Based on the geography of the area, most of the land came from adjacent land owned by communal smallholder farmers. This was to be done through progressive accrual until the fully acquisition of the proposed 45 000 ha of cane by 2020.
4.3 In the process, the company started to encroach into surrounding communal land in Chisumbanje, Chinyamukwakwa and Matikwa villages without adequate consultation with the community, as the said land was not vacant but was used by the villagers for their crop production, livestock grazing and for other cultural uses.
4.4 An Inter Ministerial Cabinet Task Force headed by the then
Deputy Prime Minister, Professor A.G.O. Mutambara, was dispatched to
Chisumbanje in 2012 to help solve the simmering crisis besetting the Green Fuel Ethanol Plant and the community. The Task Force made several recommendations, one of which was the need to expand the District Ethanol Project Implementation Committee (DEPIC) to include other stakeholders.
4.5 The recommendations carried in the Inter-Ministerial Cabinet
Taskforce Report suggested that:
4.5.1 Land acquisitions to the project were supposed to be regularized by Chipinge Rural District Council in accordance with the Communal Lands Act (Chapter 24:04) and that Council decisions enabling this particular land acquisition be reviewed, harmonized and aligned according to the Inter-Ministerial report.
4.5.2 The company should immediately compensate and resettle the 117 households that had offer letters and were displaced from ARDA estates. The farmers and the company were to engage directly to negotiate terms for the farmers to continue to live on the estates as out growers and producers to the Ethanol Project.
4.5.3 The company should immediately compensate households that lost crops in the process of developing the project’s dams and canals in accordance with the assessments of crop damages that were carried out by the Department of Agriculture Rural Extension (AREX) officials and further corroborated with information obtained directly from the affected communities.
4.5.4 There be an asset audit (i.e. land, livestock, crops, buildings, equipment and family size) for each displaced household so that compensation and resettlement is meaningful and that some of the displaced households must be accommodated as sugarcane out growers, and producers of other products and services to the Ethanol Project.
4.5.5 The grievance that not enough local people are being employed must be addressed.
4.5.6 In order to avoid future acrimonious community relations, Government and ARDA should maintain an effective oversight of the implementation of the project and that the District Joint Implementation Committee should be broadened to include the Council Chairperson, all local chiefs, the local Member of Parliament, two councilors, two workers union representatives and four representatives of the displaced and affected households, two being from Chisumbanje and two from Chinyamukwakwa.
4.6 It was against this background that the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment visited Chisumbanje on 11th July 2014.
5. 0 Findings
5.1 Compliance Issues – Indigenization and Economic
5.1.2 The Committee gathered that, whereas the Indigenization and
Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) as read with the
Indigenization and Economic Empowerment (General Regulations, 2010) stated that investment should be 49/51% in favour of local investors, and that local communities should benefit from such investment through 10% share community ownership. This is not the case in Chisumbanje where the investment has a contentious 90% stake through Macdom Investments and the Government owns the remaining
10% through ARDA. ARDA has an irrevocable option to acquire up to 51% shareholding, but it is not yet clear how this is going to be achieved. It was also noted that Green Fuel was granted an ethanol blending licence despite not fulfilling the 51/49% joint venture with
Government according to the spirit of S.I 17 of 2013 on Mandatory Blending.
5.2 Community Projects
5.2.1 The Committee was briefed by Green Fuel management on the Ethanol Project as well as community projects that the company claimed to have initiated for the benefit of the community. The Committee was informed that the Green Fuel was the first large-scale ethanol producing factory in Africa producing anhydrous ethanol from sugarcane. The joint venture partnership with the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA), saw 40 000 hectares of Chisumbanje land earmarked for the project. Currently, only 9 375ha of land is being utilized with a total production of 6 million litres of ethanol per month.
The Committee heard that, at full capacity, the current plant can produce 120 million litres per annum, which translates to approximately US$120 million.
5.2.2 Green Fuel management informed the Committee that 10% of the project land was set aside for the community as part of its corporate social responsibility scheme. To this end, the Green Fuel officials told the Committee that the company had developed 1060 ha of land for farmers in the community at a total cost of $10.6 million. Of the above-mentioned hectarage, 660 ha was set aside for two groups of outgrower farmer; 250 ha for war veterans, and 410 ha for “settlers”. The remaining 400 ha is under a community irrigation scheme. The company claimed to be assisting these farmers with land preparations as well as provision of inputs such as irrigation water, fertilizers etc.
5.2.3 The officials also indicated to the Committee that the company, through ‘Vimbo-hope of a better future‘ was also involved in social services infrastructural rehabilitation and development at schools, clinics, roads and boreholes. The Committee was also told that Vimbo was setting up of a Technology Centre, a Sewing workshop, training workshop, bee project and indigenous tree nursery project.
5.2.4 On its guided tour of the community projects, the Committee was only shown some plots in the plantation which the officials claimed had been set aside for out-grower farmers and war veterans but there were no beneficiaries present to support the claims. The Committee did not see the other projects which were mentioned by officials to the Committee during the briefing meeting in the morning.
5.2.5 After the tour of the “community projects”, the Committee conducted a public hearing at Chisumbanje Primary School later in the day. The super-charged public hearing was well-attended by community members, amongst them youths, women, out-grower farmers, Green
Fuel workers’ representatives, war veterans and traditional leaders. The gathering did not mince their words to the Committee. They informed the Committee that while they did not object to the project per se, they had burning grievances which had remained unresolved despite several
Government delegations that had visited the area in the past dating back to the Government of National Unity (GNU) when Government set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into their grievances.
5.3.1 The community dispelled the claims by Green Fuel during the oral evidence session that it had compensated the community for land and livestock losses suffered due to the Ethanol Project. The Committee observed that the issue of non-compensation by Green Fuel to affected communities in Chisumbanje Village, Chinyamukwakwa Village and Matikwa village became very emotive and thus captured the mood of the community regarding the Ethanol Project.
5.3.2 The Committee gathered that most villagers whose land was
“swallowed” by the project have not been compensated up to this day despite undertakings by Green Fuel to do so when the project was first established. The affected villagers told the Committee that as a result of the expropriation of their land, they no longer had any source of income as their livelihood depended on small-scale farming, especially cotton.
5.3.3 The Committee heard that when the project was first established, displaced farmers were not given a chance to harvest their crops but instead they were promised compensation, which has not been forth-coming. The community pointed out that while Macdom had given them small pieces of land, measuring 0.5 ha, which are not adequate for the needs of each household and their livestock, it had not yet compensated them in monetary terms in accordance with the agreement they had made.
5.3.4 The Committee gathered that no compensation has been paid as yet to businesspersons who lost shops and grinding mills which had to make way for the project, for example, in Matikwa where ARDA had encouraged a businessman to erect a shop to service the area.
5.3.5 Members of the community are now in their sixth year without receiving any compensation. They are concerned that the company has not erected a fence between their grazing land and the small pieces of land they had been allocated for irrigation purposes, as promised.
5.4 Grievances of Out-Grower Farmers
5.4.1 The Committee noted that even those villagers who were accommodated in the Green Fuel project as out-grower farmers bemoaned the insufficient size of their plots, averaging 3 ha per family.
5.4.2 The out-grower farmers also expressed fears regarding lack of security of tenure over their allocated plots in the plantation. They said there was no clarity as to who the land belongs to. Hence they recommended that they be given permits or some form of security of tenure.
- 3The out-grower farmers accused Green Fuel of exposing them to harmful toxic substances, which has a taken toll on their health. EMA provided the Committee with evidence (backed by an independent expert) that Green Fuel is illegally discharging millions of litres daily of harmful and acidic effluent (vinasse) from its plant into the environment. Vinasse is very acidic due to high concentrations of potassium and sulfur among other substances. They also said the company was releasing these toxic substances into the river system, thus affecting their livestock and the ecosystem.
5.4.4 The farmers complained about the pricing model of their sugarcane, which they described as day-light robbery. They bemoaned lack of transparency with the scheme since Macdom controls the whole process from land preparation. The absence of a weigh bridge to weigh the cane made them feel shortchanged. The settler farmers were concerned that the current price of US$4.00 per tonne which Macdom is buying their cane at is not realistic, even after factoring in improvements and other costs. Green Fuel did not allow them to sell their sugarcane to other buyers offering better prices. The out-grower farmers told the Committee that Hippo Valley was buying sugarcane, for sugar production, at prices up to $70 per tonne.
5.4.5 The out-grower farmers also informed the Committee that they had not been fully paid for their sugarcane by Green Fuel since 2010. Farmers have been negatively affected by the non-payment of their sugar cane. The company owes farmers US$300 000-00 according to a valid contract they signed with the company at the rate of US$4.00/tonne. Farmers prefer to get one-off payments instead of part payments as is currently obtaining. The reason they were given was that they owed the company $2.4 million from contractual arrangements, a debt they did not agree with.
5.4.6 The Committee gathered that land sizes have remained stagnant since 1967 when the settler programme was introduced. The farmers feel that they should be allocated more land size for sugar cane out growing as part of the process of empowering black people. They have been farming 3 hectares since 1967 and feel that cane growing needs to be done on larger pieces of land for it to be profitable.
5.5 Limited alternative Land for People Displaced by the
5.5.1 The Committee noted that there is limited alternative land for the people who were displaced, as the 0.5 hectares have not been allocated to all those whose land was taken up by the investment. Some of the beneficiaries of the 0.5 ha travel long distances of between 10-15 kilometers to the allocated land. The Communal Land Act [Chapter 20:04], Section 12 requires that those who suffered dispossession or diminution of their right to occupy or use the land be provided with alternative land or be compensated. This has not been the case with the Chisumbanje community.
5.5.2 The Committee observed with concern the resettlement problem faced by Mr William Mhlanga of Chinyamukwakwa village under Chief Garahwa, who was negatively affected by the introduction of the Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant which took the greater part of Ndooyo communal lands for sugar cane plantation fields. He has a family of 58 children, 600 cattle, 70 goats, 6 donkeys and 24 sheep. His homestead is about ten (10) meters away from the sugar cane plantation fields and as such, his livestock has nowhere to graze. He was ploughing 30 hectares which have been engulfed by the project and his wish is to get another piece of land anywhere in Chipinge as he is having challenges securing pastures for the livestock. The situation has not improved in spite of appeals made on his behalf by Headman Chinyamukwakwa to the DA Chipinge and various letters from Mr Mhlanga himself to the DA.
5.5.3 The Committee gathered that those displaced by the project should be allocated at least two (02) hectares per household to grow sugar cane for sale to the project as a source of income. The community stressed that further displacements from the land they had been living on historically should be stopped forthwith as land for resettlement is no longer available.
5.5.4 Chief Garahwa informed the Committee that families are now running short of food and occasionally going hungry as they no longer cultivate the larger pieces of land that they used to. The current 0.5 ha is so inadequate that the harvest cannot satisfy the nutritional requirements of an average household. Hence, he advocated for chiefs and other traditional leaders to be allocated an additional four (04) hectares for ‘zunde ramambo’ to augment food security and fulfill their cultural obligations to the community.
5.5.5 The community also informed the Committee that the Ethanol Project had taken up grazing land for their animals. Livestock farmers said they had no alternative pastures to graze their cattle and as a result they were forced to sell their cattle at give-away prices. They also have not received any compensation for livestock lost due to the chemicals in the effluent water discharged from the plant which they are exposed to.
5.5.6 It emerged that due to this land challenge, villagers now preferred to return to the previous status quo where they would go back to their original homesteads and continue farming on their land as before, while the ethanol plant uses ARDA’s land only.
5.6 Lack of Genuine and Inclusive Consultations
5.6.1 Members of the community were also riled by lack of adequate consultation by the company of all stakeholders in the affected community. They bemoaned the lack of genuine consultations and accused the company of selective consultation which they said was done just for window-dressing purposes. The Committee noted that the designing and implementation of the land deal lacked transparency and accountability. It was further worried about the lack of a clearly shared implementation plan of the investment.
5.6.2 The Committee learnt that the community was greatly concerned about the disbandment of DEPIC which had been set up in line with recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Taskforce led by the then Deputy Prime Minister Professor A.G.O. Mutambara in 2012. The Committee gathered that DEPIC has been disbanded by the former Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Dzikamai Mavhaire, acting in cahoots with the Member of the National Assembly for Chipinge South Constituency, Hon Enock Porusingazi, and the company, principally to safeguard and advance the interests of Green Fuel at the expense of the communities in the general area of Chisumbanje. It emerged that the community suspected that money and/or other inducements had changed hands between the trio an allegation disputed by the former Minister in a letter he wrote to the
Committee. As a result, this has deprived the community of a platform through which to raise their grievances and share ideas on how best the company should serve the interests of the local community.
5.6.3 It was felt that DEPIC was better able to represent the interests of all stakeholders, and thereby help avert any potential source of conflict but that since its disbandment, relations between the company and the community had deteriorated.
5.6.4 Some of the villagers at the public hearing accused Government of siding with white capital and of having lost interest in their welfare. The company owners and management were also accused of arrogance and lack of respect to traditional leaders as well as lack of appreciation of cultural customs and values. A case in point is the alleged assault of Headman Chinyamukwakwa by a white Green Fuel senior employee.
5.7 Employment Opportunities
5.7.1 The other bone of contention regarding the Ethanol Project was the issue regarding employment opportunities for the locals. Chief Garahwa informed the Committee that the people of Chisumbanje, which hosts the project, should be given priority when it comes to employment at the project. The community expressed disappointment at the investor for failing to employ them since most of the employees at the company, especially general-hand workers, were from other provinces at the expense of the unemployed youths in the Chisumbanje community.
5.8 Unfair Labour Practices
5.8.1 Green Fuel’s labour relations are less than satisfactory as workers are not allowed to have a Worker’s Committee and those who try are victimized and often end up losing their jobs. The responsible union, Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU), is not allowed to intervene on behalf of the workers. The Committee gathered during the public hearing that the workers were not affiliated to a relevant NEC, in breach of existing labour regulations and statutes. It also emerged that the company does not have a job grading structure. In addition, the workers go for months without being paid.
5.8.2 The Committee was further told that seasonal workers were made to work for long hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a daily rate of $2.50. Ill-treatment of workers was also cited as rampant at the company.
5.9 Unfulfilled Community Projects
5.9.1 The Community was not amused by Green Fuel’s failure to fulfill promises that it made at the establishment of the project, especially those projects meant to benefit the community by alleviating poverty. Hence the community members questioned the Government’s sincerity on its Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Policy and its current economic blue print, ZIM ASSET, which both stipulate that investors should plough back 10% equity to the communities they operate from.
5.9.2 The Committee gathered that, the company has not fulfilled the promises it made to the villagers and as a result, their quality of life has deteriorated as they are no longer earning the income they used to get from cotton prior to the coming on-board of the company. Some children have stopped attending school as the parents’ source of income has been removed.
5.10 Pollution & Health Issues
5.10.1 As gathered from the community and EMA, Green Fuel has been discharging toxic effluent into Jerawachera stream, Musazvi River and eventually Save River. Livestock and aquatic deaths have been recorded due to contact with polluted water downstream. This was in contravention of the Environmental Management Act (Section 57) which stipulates that it is an offence for any person to discharge or apply poisonous or toxic, noxious or obstructing matter, radio-active waste or other pollutants into the aquatic environment.
5.10.2 In its defence, the company asserts that it carried out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and submitted it to
EMA on 22nd February 2011 and that in terms of Section 100 of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27), in the event that EMA does not respond within 60 days after the submission, the EIA report shall be deemed approved. Green Fuel argues that EMA did not respond within the requisite time frame and thus, the EIA was deemed to be approved.
5.10.3 Upon further investigations, the Committee on 23rd
September 2014, heard from Environmental Management Agency
(EMA). EMA verified that the ethanol plant is a prescribed project in terms of Section 97 (1) of the EMA Act and therefore, should only be implemented upon granting of an EIA certificate. The Committee was informed that at the onset of the project in June 2010, Green Fuel was required to do a full EIA study, but they proceeded to implement the project without it, thereby contravening the law. The agency informed the Committee that during a couple of inspection visits in February 2011 and September 2012, they issued Green Fuel tickets for violating the law, and issued an order to cease operations and regularise, which the company received but refused to sign and continued operating. In between these visits, on 22nd June 2011, Green Fuel partially submitted an EIA document to EMA, which to date has not been processed since the company does not want to complete the submission procedures, among them payment of a fee. Despite receiving of tickets and instructions on what to do to safely handle effluent, Green Fuel has to date not complied but argues that it is expensive implying that they find it cheaper to continue polluting the environment and paying fines. EMA, on 24th September 2012 opened a docket for operating without and EIA.
The matter is yet to be finalized after the company had got away with a $20 fine, before EMA applied for the docket to be re-opened.
5.10.4 The Committee gathered from Mr Dhliwayo that his younger brother, Robert Chivaura, had been affected by ‘dhanda’ water on his legs, which has vinasse, potash and other chemicals from the plant, as a result of which he has wounds and could no longer walk properly. The victim, Robert Chivaura, was present at the public hearing and the Committee was able to physically witness his state and even took photographs of him. Since he was affected, he had been failing to secure money for medical treatment as the investor did not want to help him. It emerged that many other people in the village had fallen ill due to the contaminated water coming from the plant, pointing out that there is need for urgent health intervention for everyone in the village.
5.11 Inadequate Consideration of the Balance between the
Investment and Food Security
5.11.1 The relationship between the investment and food security and vulnerability was not given adequate analytical attention. The community was concerned that, in the absence of a clear set of operational guidelines on investment, land use, access to market and credit, land transfers under the investment could have tremendous implications for livelihoods, food security and social justice.
5.12 Traffic Accidents
5.12.1 The Committee gathered that the community was up in arms against the company for its reckless drivers who have caused 15 fatal accidents of children in the area. Members of the community said that the company did not even have the courtesy to assist with burial costs but arrogantly referred parents of the victims to its lawyers. As a result, the community has now developed an aversion to the employment of unlicenced drivers by the company.
5.13 Preference for an Alternative Model
5.13.1 The Committee learnt that, in light of the problems currently facing the people, there is preference for a model where resettled households themselves are given inputs to grow sugar cane and sell it to a company of their choice, just like the model used by cotton companies where farmers are given seed, fertilizers and pesticides and sell the cotton to the contractors. It was felt that the envisaged model would be more effective in empowering farmers than the one Macdom was using.
5.14 Insensitivity to Local Culture and Customs
5.14.1 The community was concerned about the insensitivity and disrespect shown by the company to local culture and traditional practices, for example, when it tempered with graves and burial places during excavations.
6.1 In view of the above findings, the Committee recommends:-
6.1.1. That the decision to disband DEPIC be immediately reversed and that the role of the former Minister of Energy and Power
Development, Hon Dzikamai Mavhaire and the Member of the National Assembly for Chipinge South Constituency, Hon Enock Porusingazi be investigated to establish the truth of what transpired.
6.1.2. That the ARDA Board Chairman, Mr Basil Nyabadza, clarifies the issue of land ownership between ARDA, Green Fuel and the community.
6.1.3. That land sizes allotted to farmers resettled in 1967 be reviewed upwards in line with their needs.
6.1.4.That the audit on land, buildings, livestock, crops, family sizes and business enterprises lost to make way for the project be expedited to facilitate meaningful and realistic compensation before the
2015 farming season.
6.1.5. That human, animal or avian victims of ailments arising from contact with contaminated water be adequately compensated and that the company takes urgent measures to facilitate their treatment and rehabilitation.
6.1.6. That the local component in the entire investment by Macdom, Rating and Green Fuel be progressively increased in line with the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33) and that a Community Share Ownership Trust for Chipinge South and
Chipinge District, in general, be set up during this Second Session of the
8th Parliament along the lines of the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust.
6.1.7. That Green Fuel fully complies with the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment process by December 2015, and that the penalties for non-compliance with provisions of the Environmental
Management Act be immediately reviewed upwards.
6.1.8 That Green Fuel lives up to its undertaking to rehabilitate roads, schools, boreholes, clinics and animal health infrastructure, among other Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
6.1.9. That Green Fuel takes immediate, deliberate measures to reduce fatalities due to accidents caused by project vehicles around the plant, fields and access roads.
6.1.10. That Green Fuel respects the traditional leadership, as well as the norms, values and customs of the local people, including the allocation of an adequate number of hectares to each traditional leader for the ‘zunde ramambo’.
6.1.11. That for any further recruitment, Green Fuel gives priority to the employment of qualifying and train able people from the local area and adheres to standard labour practices.
The Indigenization and Economic Empowerment (General)
Regulations, 2010 (IEE), in its enshrined Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) scheme, offers a lucrative 'quick gain' in line with the
Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET). The Committee appreciates that the ceding of 51% stake in foreign controlled entities is not an overnight fast-track task. However, the 'sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation' of communities like Chisumbanje can be surely be done with immediate benchmark gains through more robust and evaluable social responsibility schemes like CSOT. It is high time Government make a strong statement of intent and also reviews the shambolic way in which the IEE Act, especially its community empowerment objective is being implemented by entities like Green Fuel with whom it has joint ventures. It is sad to note that the state has not shown any urgency to bring to order the evident dis-empowered of the people of Chisumbanje, but has shown more concern to support the business side of the Ethanol Project.
- CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Madam Chair, I rise to support the report presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on Youth Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. Madam Chair, as Parliament, we are there to make laws and to provide a representative role as well as provide oversight role. Madam Speaker, your Committee visited Chisumbanje ethanol plant as has been alluded to by the Chairperson of the Committee. The purpose of the visit was to see if the company is actually following the laws of the country, that includes of course, the Indigenisation law and the Community Share Ownership Trust.
Madam Speaker, I would like to indicate or to highlight to this august House that as far as Community Share Ownership Trust is concerned, there is no law which enforces the companies to actually do projects to communities. So, I would like to recommend to this august House, if the Minister can come up with a law which will be actually be followed by the companies or which enforces companies to actually do projects to the communities where these companies are established.
Madam President, I would like to reiterate that when this company was established, the people of Chinyamupapa and other villages that have been mentioned by the Chair of the Committee were expecting that their lives where going to actually improve but it is sad to mention that the people from Chisumbanje area who owned shops and also those villagers were actually displaced. When these people were displaced, there was an agreement which was entered into between the company and these villagers but what is sad is that the company did not compensate these villagers. By the time we visited Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant, the villagers were complaining that the company did not honour its promises.
The other issue is in regard to those villagers who grow sugar cane.
Their concern is about the price. The company is buying sugar cane at
US$4 per tonne as compared to US$70 at Hippo Valley. If we subtract
US$4 from US$70 we get US$66. You can see the huge difference.
That is clear exploitation.
On the issue of employment, the people from Chisumbanje were complaining that when the company was established, they thought that the local people were going to be given the first priority when it comes to employment. What actually happened is the opposite. They were not given the opportunity and 70 to 80% of the people employed there are from outside the area. They are saying there is nothing for them to celebrate. They are not enjoying the fruits of the company whereas you know that if there is a company established in an area, the local people expect to get the benefits. The truth of the matter is that the people benefited nothing.
When it comes to the issue of Community Share Ownership Trust, the management of ethanol plant in Chisumbanje, is that they did some projects at schools and also the community. When we carried out our visit, there was totally nothing which means that the company lied to the Committee and to the people from that area.
I also learnt that the people from Chisumbanje were surviving through growing and selling cotton. The land they were using for that purpose was actually taken by this company. What it basically means is that their children were going to school through the sale of cotton. It means that these people are now suffering as a result of that company but I think this company was supposed to serve the community.
When this company was established, the people from
Chinyamukwakwa complained that there was inadequate consultation. They were not even consulted. They only consulted the local leaders; these are the councillors and the Members of Parliament. I do not want to labour much on that issue because it has been alluded to by the
Chairman. The local leaders did not also report back to the community. This basically means that there was lack of transparency and accountability. It is a clear sign that these local leaders were actually benefiting at the expense of the community.
I want to urge hon. members in this august House to visit their pigeon holes so that they can have sight of the report because frankly speaking, there is need for Government to take serious measures about what is happening at Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant. The people there are suffering. If they do not have anyone to represent them – according to what they called your Committee, they said that the Member of Parliament from that area is benefiting. The hon. member is Hon.
Porusingazi. I think it has been alluded to by the hon…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Speak to the Chair hon. member.
- CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Madam Chair… THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Madam Speaker.
- CHIBAYA: Madam Speaker – [Laughter.]- Madam Speaker and Madam Chair I think is almost the same thing. The people from that area where complaining that they are not being represented by their local Member of Parliament. Surely, this august House needs to take measures against the hon. member because he was elected by the people from that same area. They expect that if they have problems in the area, they go to present their grievances to their Member of Parliament and he or she is there to solve those grievances, either in that area or here in Parliament.
I would like to end by saying that hon. members in this august House should kindly support the report presented here by the Hon. Chair Mr. Wadyajena. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have an announcement. May the hon. member with vehicle ACM 0258 kindly go and remove your car as it is blocking other members.
- MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I would like to thank the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee that has presented this report. It is very thorough and it is eloquently presented.
Madam Speaker, the issue of Green Fuel touches on the core of some of the issues that we have debated in this House. It touches on the core of leadership and corruption in this country. I would want to take you back. If you browse the internet and look at who owns Green Fuel; it is owned by a person who is known as Billy Rautenbach or Muller
Conrad Rautenbach. He was born in 1959 and is listed as a
Zimbabwean millionaire and entrepreneur.
If you look at his profile, it is very interesting. It is littered with corruption, lack of corporate governance, swindling and theft wherever he has gone to do business. It says here that he owned a trucking company called Wheels of Africa in Zimbabwe. I remember Wheels of Africa was operating from Msasa and there were so many people coming from my constituency Mabvuku-Tafara who were employed by this company as drivers. Today, there are so many women that were left as widows as a result of their husbands dying on the roads as drivers of
Wheels of Africa because they were not getting enough time to rest.
That is number one.
Number two; Mr. Billy Rautenbach had businesses in South Africa and Botswana. His businesses in both countries were placed under judicial management or liquidation. He left a debt of one billion rands in South Africa and 900 million pula in Botswana. He went on to do business in the DRC during the time of Mr. Laurent Kabila. He was declared persona non grata in DRC.
Again in South Africa, he came to a settlement of 40 million dollars after he had been implicated in some shoddy deals. And not only that; in 2009, he admitted in a South African court of law that he had given US$100 000 to a convicted drug dealer called Glen Agliotti to pass it on to the Commissioner of South African Police, who is now late, Mr. Jackie Selebi because he wanted the Commissioner of Police to sort out his mess in his businesses.
Madam Speaker, this is the same person who was given a licence to take more than 5 000 hectares of land and put under sugarcane, moving hundreds of families and not compensating them. What makes it so painful in this country is that Mr. Billy Rautenbach will tell you that no one will touch him because he is connected. The report that has been presented by the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee alludes to that. He was being backed by the Minister of Energy and Power Development and an hon. member who was elected by the people of Chisumbanje to represent them in Parliament is actually getting money from Mr. Billy Rautenbach so that he protects him. That cannot be accepted Madam Speaker.
Hon. Porusingazi should have been sitting in this House to hear what the members of the Portfolio Committee was going to present because he is a member of that Portfolio Committee, but he decides to bunk this Parliament and maybe go and meet Mr. Rautenbach and tell him that chabvondoka muParliament - [Laughter] -.
Madam Speaker, as the seconder of this report has said, something must be done. I think the former Minister of Energy and Power Development must be brought to answer questions and must be held accountable to the people of Zimbabwe. Also, if it means the political party that Hon. Porusingazi represents in Parliament must recall him, it must do so.
One of the biggest problems that we have in this country, Madam Speaker, is that of corruption and that is an issue that has been debated so passionately by members of this House. All Committees have discussed this issue very passionately and to hear that someone has moved families, he has not compensated them and nothing has happened to him; he has been given a licence and yet he has not complied with the
51/49 percent. What you must realise is that the senior management of Green Fuel is made up of white people only and some of them are actually expatriates. They are not Zimbabweans but these are people that are taken from other countries who come here with expertise which we have in this country. What does the law say about employing expatriates? It says that you can only employ an expatriate if the skills that he is going to bring are not available in the country, but we have people employed as company secretaries at Green Fuel and yet we have so many people who have CIS qualifications who are lawyers who could actually work as company secretaries.
Madam Speaker, on the issue of polluting water in people’s main source of domestic water, what has happened is that Green Fuel, because it is a rich company, discharges toxic substances into sources of drinking water and what does EMA do? EMA goes there and makes them pay a fine of US$ 5000, which Mr. Rautenbach can actually pay from his change, that is petty cash that he uses to give to Mr. Porusingazi and to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
Madam Speaker, I am going to say this without fear or favour because this is a report that has been presented to this Parliament and the Portfolio Committee did a wonderful job because they actually went to great lengths to come up with these issues. That is why when he was still Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Dzikamai Mavhaire came to this House and stood his ground and he said that he was going to force fuel to be blended. How do you come up with a policy as a Minister of Government, which benefits an individual at the expense of fourteen million Zimbabweans and this is an individual whose skin colour is not as dark as ours?
Madam Speaker, I think this report must be given the due consideration that it deserves and it must be implemented. We must go to implementation if it means this Parliament is going to drag one of its own over the cause, so let it be. If it means that the Senate is going to drag one of its own over the cause, let it be. I think Hon. Dzikamai Mavhaire and Hon. Paul Porisungazi should be put to the wall on this issue here.
In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I want to say - why is it that Billy Rautenbach is untouchable? If you browse on the internet, three quarters of the Cabinet of Zimbabwe are personal friends of Billy Rautenbach. This is how Mr. Billy Rautenbach, after Zimbabwe got into the DRC war, was one of the people who was on the road to go to the DRC and to get involved in mining. Madam Speaker, the issue of
Mr. Billy Rautenbach was raised by a Member of this Parliament, Hon.
Themba Mliswa and he was booed. The issue of the Chairman of ARDA, Mr. Basil Nyabadza was raised by Hon. Mliswa, that he benefited a house from Mr. Billy Rautenbach and he was also booed.
Madam Speaker, this issue must be investigated and all those that benefited, especially if they are members of this House, must be dragged over the cause and they must be put to the defence. I thank you.
*MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker for the time that you have given me. We thank you for the report that has been presented before us. I am going to say a few words in connection with this report.
Firstly, the firm that is being talked about, the owners of Green Fuel company, are taking more than 42 000 hectares. They are taking what is known as Greater Chisumbanje; from Chisumbanje to Hakata, going further to Garahwa. This is an area that was inhabited by people since the 1950s. If you look back, you will find that there is a programme that was brought into this country. It was said that the black man had to get land and this programme came in 2000 and the black majority got land. After acquiring this land, we then look at the issue of Green Fuel and we see that Africans are now losing their land again in the areas where they used to stay since the 1950s where they used to farm their crops and rear their cattle. These farms were taken and there was no compensation that was paid to them. They are not respected in any way as children of Zimbabwe and this land is taken and given to one person.
This is what we were talking about; that the idea that was there was that people would get land and engage in farming, but this was land that was already for the black man in the rural areas, not that it belonged to anyone. They are the ones who cleared the area and grew their maize and other crops, but today that area is being given to Rautenbach to engage in sugar cane production.
Looking at the policy of land to the people of Zimbabwe, it is different. It is an issue that needs to be looked into. If we look at those people who lost their land in the Greater Chisumbaje area, these are people who had grown their maize. Some of their cotton was already budding but it was destroyed. They put canals which are so big and wide and when the cattle go there for water which is not ideal because the cattle end up dying as the canal is deep. There is no fence that separates the people’s homesteads from the canal. The canal was put in the middle of the night and there is nothing much that the people can do. They need protection from the police. If you want to do anything you are arrested. Some of them actually said they have people and a number of cases are before the courts for them not to lose their land. The land is being lost by the people of Zimbabwe and that person has nowhere else to go because that land is his area but it has now been given to Billy Rautenbach. This is affecting the whole country.
Madam Speaker, if you consider this issue, if the project is to come as a good development to the country, then it should benefit those who stay within the community and they should be given first preference to farm sugarcane. They should be given adequate knowledge and research assistance in ploughing so as to add beneficiation to the sugarcane, not that Billy Rautenbach ploughs the sugarcane and he has the trucks that carry the sugar to the plant.
Again, he also has the plant that processes the sugar and after having the plant that processes the sugar, he would then transport the sugar from Chisumbanje to Harare. He is the one who was given all the fuel that we are using in Zimbabwe. For every litre there is a percentage of sugar from Billy Rautenbach. Do you not realise that you have given one person so much? Twenty percent for each litre of petrol that is sold, there is 20% belonging to Billy Rautenbach. I think that issue needs to be addressed.
We went as a Committee and I was there on that particular day when the Committee went there. Hon. Minister Mutasa, Hon. Minister
Made, Hon. Minister Mangoma and the Deputy Prime Minister
Mutambara during that period were there. People said a lot in
Chisumbanje at the township. A report was compiled and taken to Cabinet to be actioned. People were promised compensation and that they would be assisted to engage in sugarcane farming but up to today nothing has been done.
What we are requesting Madam Speaker is that, Parliament should also stand for these people and represent the people of Zimbabwe so that their concerns and challenges are taken into consideration and that they can be addressed. There are people from Chipinge and there are now Ndau people. They are losing their land and does this not pain you hon. members because I am greatly pained that a person loses 30 ha that he used to plant cotton on which he was able to buy farm implements like tractors, look after his wives and send his children to school. Now, he has lost 30 ha and he is given 3 ha to engage in tomato production. Can you really feed three wives on such a small plot of land? So the Government should assist.
I thank the Committee for the report that has been tabled. We also need to look at something else. We heard that there was an accident involving a Green Fuel truck that had a head-on collision with a lorry carrying a family that was going to bury their relative where 27 people died. These people are survived by wives and children, and do not have a bread winner anymore but there was a promise that Green Fuel would assist the children to continue with their education but they have not paid anything. Green Fuel had also promised to employ a child above 18 years to ensure that they can sustain themselves and be able to pay fees for the surviving children but nothing has taken place.
We also agreed that the graves should be laid with tombstones but if you look at what has happened today, they were just supplied with bags of cement. The tombstones that we agreed on, that they should have the names of the dead and also the fences that were supposed to be put up - nothing. We had graveyards that had 10 – 15 people but up to today, we have not seen those tombstones. Green Fuel had promised all that. We are saying that Green fuel is not experiencing challenges that it makes it difficult for them to get the tombstones and yet it gets 20% for every litre of fuel that is sold but up to today, nothing has been done. The fence is not even there. I heard from the relatives that the dead are not happy with what is happening because one of the graves has a huge crack reflecting that something is not right.
Green Fuel should honour its promise to the Muyambo family to ensure that these people rest in peace. That is corporate governance but it is not there. What we see here is the spirit that was there during the colonial regime. Hon. Minister Made is here and what I am saying is nothing new to him. He heard the people say it themselves. Even the war veterans were complaining that they are losing their land and were asking what they would do.
I am requesting Madam Speaker that you assist us to ensure that our country develops. We agree that Green Fuel has brought development in Chipinge. If we are to count the buildings in Checheche, they were built before Green Fuel came. The buildings that are in Checheche and the development in Checheche, Hakwata and Mabehe were constructed because of the cotton that was planted long back. That is what actually developed the area. We then had a cotton ginnery. Now, there is fuel and what is happening is that this has brought hunger and poverty. It has threatened food security as people now are not able to engage in farming.
If you look at the few Ndau people who were employed by Green Fuel, most of them are in arrears of their salaries for 3 – 4 months. So what we are requesting is that the report that was tabled be acted upon so that we can see tangible fruits so that the people can realise that their concerns are being addressed. The people in Hakavara, Chisumbanje, Vheneka, Chinyamukwaka, Jerauchera, Mabehe and Rukandare should see progress on this issue.
I want to thank those who debated on the motion. I am sure Hon.
Minister Made will ensure that something is done. I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Wadyajena for presenting a report that shows a true picture of what is on the ground and we are looking forward to seeing fruits from this report, the Government should step in. We can say that probably it was not acted on, because Hon. Mutasa was the responsible Minister who benefited in some way. Now, that he is no longer on the picture, we want to see what the new Minister is going to do about the Chisumbanje issue. Thank you.
*MR. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Firstly, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee. Mr. Speaker Sir, if all Committees would bring such reports, I think as Parliament we can then say we are now working. It shows that they were able to put their heads together and researched. The Committee gave a report that reflected that at one time we thought there was no more discrimination but we have realised that it is still there. The white man is now disrespecting even the village heads; he is causing more problems and disturbing what he is not supposed to. The traditional leaders in those areas are now being ruled by the white man.
What concerns me is the contract farming that is done by this white man. He is not the only one who is discriminating but even those who are engaged in tobacco plantation, people are doing national service, and are not benefiting at all. This will continue and it affects us, we thought that by chasing away the white man we had done the right thing but now, people are being paid US$4.00 per tonne. So, I think the issue of contract farming should be looked into. We might just think of what is happening in Chiredzi but the whole country is in trouble. Contract farming should be investigated, be it in tobacco farming or anything; we need to look into the issue of indigenisation because it is now causing more poverty.
This man called Billy Rautenbach, we have problems with him again in Shamva, he is the one who is buying gold and smuggling it. It surprises us that there are white men who are doing such things. If there are people who are benefiting and not doing anything about it, that is what is causing havoc. In Shamva, there is no more gold because this white man called Billy, is buying it all. If a child is caught with gold, it will be for Billy. The way the white men are coming is that they are now using our fellow black people. They are benefiting, are given certain benefits and are allowed to operate. I do not know what this white man really did because the blood that was shed during the liberation struggle was for the liberation of the country. If we are to consider the cost of all the people who died during the war, I am sure that this white man cannot compare to that. If people are benefiting from our resources, they should make sure they give back to the community but this white man is just getting a lot of resources without giving back to the community.
In Kariba, people got a tender to build, they are charging very high prices but in Zambia, the charges are very little and then in Zimbabwe it was six times what they charged in Zambia. So, can we sit back and think we are being assisted; it is like you are losing your wife to someone else. If a project costs US$3 million, if they buy using the
right prices, they multiply it by 4 or 5 here in Zimbabwe and they continue milking us to an extent that we end up poor. So, I think the policy of Indigenisation should be interrogated and investigate people like Billy investigated.
Even the way EMA is operating, if a service station allows fuel to run into a stream, the owner of the filling station should be dealt with. These people are causing a lot of harm and damage and it affects the vegetables and animals. In Shamva, if the gold panners get into the rivers with torn gumboots, they will be arrested and expected to pay US$5 000 fine but people like Billy use our resources and benefit from them for no reason. If I were one of those people, I would go and brew beer to ensure that they perform a job that they are supposed to be doing as EMA.
Even the assistance that we are getting as Zimbabwe, we need to look into it because there are some who come with the aim of assisting but at the end of the day, it affects us negatively. So, this affects the whole country. What is happening is not only in Chiredzi but it is in the whole country. Those who are into chrome mining are also being exploited. They cannot even afford a bicycle tyre yet they are miners and yet Billy is on the other hand taking kgs of gold. It is said that his fuel costs 92 cents yet other fuel is 60 cents and no one has questioned that. Even if it is corruption, it has reached alarming levels because it affects everyone.
We talked about the issue of the white man using the black man in the forefront and this has become an issue. Most black men who are shareholders are just there as holders but the people who control the companies are the white men. I think we should also tighten our legislation; people like Billy should be exposed because people are living in poverty because of him. After independence, people hoped that they would end poverty and be able to sustain themselves but this is not what is happening. This report has exposed what was not supposed to be exposed because we have now realized that we thought we were liberated but that is not the case. When people come, they say a lot of positive things and we are fooled into thinking that it is right and yet that is not the case.
I was touched by Hon. Mutseyami, he was able to explain that the Ndau people have been affected and they are angry with what is happening. I am also concerned with gold in Shamva which is my constituency. People end up having offices and when the police come, no one is arrested; a person is arrested if he is just a gold panner but when Billy is caught with a kg or 20kgs, he is left scot free. So, I thought the legislation needs to be revisited and made stiffer. Hon.
Wadyajena and your Committee, continue to do the good work. Hon. Chibaya and others, continue working in this manner. It has reflected that we are learning every day. Thank you.
- MAONDERA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would want to
add my voice to such a splendid report which actually shows the corrupt or underhand dealings that are occurring at Chisumbanje. First and foremost, I would want to congratulate Hon. Wadyajena and his
Committee for the excellent work that they did.
In as far as I know, the manner in which Billy Rautenbach behaves, you might have been tempted by being given a sack full of money but you turned it down because you are not prone to corrupt tendencies, you remained steadfast. The corrupt activities that we have heard taking place in Chisumbanje, especially those involving the former Minister of Energy and Power Development and the hon.
member of the National Assembly representing that area should not be swept under the carpet. If an investigation were to reveal that underhand activities were done, they should be incarcerated and that the keys to the jail should be thrown into Lake Chivero so that they can never be found.
It is quite painful because at times I travel along the Chisumbanje road – the state of disrepair of that road is not acceptable. It is now pot hole infested yet we have a major company that is carrying thousands of litres of fuel where they are making a profit out of that but there is no corporate social responsibility. The people of Chisumbanje have no cattle at the moment because they died from drinking contaminated water. This sets back the activities that are being done to restore the national cattle herd. Most people in Chisumbanje are now paupers. Those that are responsible for the environmental management should relook into the issue and see what damage has been done to the climate change because of this company.
We also expect the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to also look and see what the welfare of the workers at this company is like. We have also learned that the workers are being ill treated by the management of that company that is mostly composed of whites. This is slavery at its worst because of the legislation or rules that they are made to abide by. Furthermore, they are being subjected to hazardous environment when they do not have sufficient protective clothing.
The Committee that is led by Hon. Chikwama should also look into the welfare of the workers. It is painful. The head of this company Mr. Billy Rautenbach has shown that he has thrown caution to the wind in that he is disrespectful. I do not know how much money is being given to these persons who are working in cahoots with him to the extent that he now believes that he is an untouchable. This august House should not countenance such activities at all.
The most important assets in any environment are the local people.
There are a lot of companies in Zimbabwe such as Zimplats and Mimosa. They are doing quite well in the area of corporate social responsibility. Of course, there may be complaints in certain quarters about the corporate social responsibility but these companies that I have mentioned are doing quite well. I do not know why this company under discussion is being allowed to get away with murder.
Why is it that several Government officials, including Dr. Made paid a visit to the area? Some of the people that were alleged to be residents of Chisumbanje were hired a crowd. They were bussed in. We should not play hide and seek with the lives of these people. These people know the type of lives that they live in and there is no need to hoodwink anyone by bussing any people from outside that area. We should never countenance such behaviour. If such behaviour is not countenanced at all in Zimbabwe, we will be oppressing the rights of the people in that surrounding community to the same factory.
Furthermore, the same company does not respect the traditional leaderships, the chiefs. In terms of our culture, we are very rich in our tradition and values and we respect the office of the traditional leadership. The chiefs are the custodians of our culture and it does not matter how much money an individual would have brought to any given company. We should never overlook the value of our tradition because money has been brought. We also want the relevant ministry to look into the welfare of the chiefs to see if they are happy about the conduct of such companies. Should they be unhappy, the matter should be taken further up.
Lastly, this august House is known for speaking against corruption and we are known for having done that from the onset. Both sides of the House will never countenance corruption at all. The issue of corruption has been mentioned on several occasions and we would want them to be used as an example to show that we are walking the talk. This will act as a deterrent to likeminded offenders.
I want thank you Hon. Wadyajena and Hon. Chibaya for continuing unearthing such unethical and unbridled activities because from time to time, we hear that as the Chairperson of the Committee whether that is true or not, you are being threatened. We appreciate the good work that you are doing. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I move that the
debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 19th February 2015.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT, the
House adjourned at Sixteen minutes to Six o’clock p.m.