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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 June 2020 46 47
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 18th June 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: On a point of order Mr.
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): What is
your point of order? We have not debated anything
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, my request pertains to the Hansard that I am holding. The Hansard should record the debate in the mother tongue used by the Hon. Member when debating. The electorate want to understand the requests that are forwarded by Hon. Members of Parliament. May the Hansard be written in all the indigenous languages spoken in this country? I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much; Hon. Members are conferring with the Hon. Speaker on that. Thank you very much indeed.
HON. BITI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to make a statement on a matter of public national interest in terms of the new Standing Orders of this august House. Mr. Speaker Sir, we are gravely concerned about the continuous shifting of our Monetary Policy. We are concerned particularly about the constant changes to our Monetary Policy. In 2009, we introduced the basket of multiple currencies. The basket of multiple currencies lasted until 2016, when in November 2016, the Bond Note was introduced through amendments that were made to the Reserve Bank Act. In 2017, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of
Finance spent the bulk of the year convincing Zimbabweans that the Bond Note was on par with the US dollar. They ran an expensive campaign called Operation gedye gedye, persuading the people of
Zimbabwe to accept that the bond note was equal to the US dollar. We were shocked Mr. Speaker Sir when on the 1st of October 2018 banks were suddenly advised by the Reserve Bank in an exchange control directive that they had to separate people’s accounts into nostro FCAs and nostro RTGS. We were further shocked when on the 20th of February 2019, Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 was introduced which said we now have a new currency called the RTGS, which initially was at 1:1 then 1:2.5 and then was floated.
In June of 2019, Mr. Speaker Sir, we were advised by the esteemed Minister of Finance that the country had dedolarised; that the regime of multiple currencies were no longer legal tender in Zimbabwe; that the Zimbabwean dollar had been restored as the sole currency in this country. Mr. Speaker Sir, some people protested and made the point that the country was not ready to introduce its own currency. We made the point that conditions did not exist for the introduction of our own currency. We were further confused yesterday when the Minister of Finance...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. When this window was created, it was announced that you are supposed to take only a minute but it would appear that you are debating. It is more than a minute.
HON. BITI: I am now winding up Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, the Minister of Finance effectively dedollarised by the introduction of a US$75 allowance to civil servants and US$30 to war veterans. It is our contention Mr. Speaker that the Minister of Finance owes Zimbabweans an apology that he should not introduce dollarisation through the back door; that he should repeal Statutory Instrument 33 and Statutory Instrument 142 and the Finance Act. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister of Finance has failed in absolute terms and must resign.
I thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. On a point of public emergency, after realising that the Corona virus pandemic had hit Zimbabwe, the Executive responded accordingly and declared that it be a public emergency situation. To that extent, soldiers were deployed in our communities and soldiers are deployed only in terms of Section 213 of our Constitution. Section 214 then requires that the President must cause Parliament to be given the details of deployment. I therefore call you Hon. Chair to rule that we respect the provisions of Section 214 that Parliament be informed of the details and the manner under which the soldiers are being found in our constituencies. This arises from the fact that there are now reports that there are activities being done by the men of the military which we want to interrogate either the representative of the President or the Minister of Defence. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr Speaker Sir, I want to bring to your attention that the coupons which Members of Parliament get are in RTGs. The going accepted price is in US dollars so the coupons that we have are as good as useless. Parliament had said that there would be dedicated service stations for Members of Parliament. To date nothing has happened and yet these coupons that you give us mean nothing. Is it possible for Parliament to give us coupons in US dollars, because that is what is on the market?
We cannot continue lying to ourselves as people who represent people when we come to this House we are told one thing and are now wondering who is really supposed to have oversight because us who are supposed to have oversight also do not know what is happening. So, I implore your good office to stick to what you say to
Members of Parliament that fuel will be in these centres and we would like to get a response from you today before Members of Parliament leave. Are you going to facilitate service stations for them to get fuel so that moving forward we know clearly what is happening? Members of Parliament are not free to debate when they do not know how they are going to get home. So it is important that the matter be resolved today and we get the way forward from you.
The other issue is on the allowances and salaries given to Members of Parliament. I brought this issue up the last time and I said it was as good as US$50 per person. We are not at all immune from what happens. We equally are citizens of this country and pay whatever price of commodities on the market. The amount of money that we are being paid is not helping at all. I even said how you do you feel as our leaders going to bed knowing that your Members of Parliament are getting US$50 per month. With Covid-19 which is there right now they are not able to travel, there are no allowances oversees and it is even harder for us. You will soon be reading stories of Members of Parliament pick pocketing, stealing things in supermarkets and so forth and then the next thing you will be blaming us saying that we are not setting a good example.
Do not tempt us to do the wrong things when this Government and this institution can protect us by giving us a fair salary at the end of the day. Ministers are given coupons, they go to CMED and everything is fine for them but we are not doing well. I think the leader of Government Business Hon. Ziyambi must feel for us and I think must do something in terms of our packages at the end of day. Surely US$50 for a Member of Parliament! How many times have we gone to Kenya for benchmarking but when we come back the benchmarking does not mean anything. They are paid US$10 000 to
$15 000 per month, ten personnel in the office, a 4x4 and a Mercedes Benz. We only get one car after five years. Even the things that we are getting right now are actually minimal at the end of the day so the welfare of Members of Parliament must be taken seriously.
Others have died and they never got their cars. Even the vehicles which they are supposed to get, some of them have not gotten the vehicles but the Ministers have gotten two cars each. So how do we move as a nation when the very same arm that you expect to have oversight is compromised at the end of the day. We are spending time in Ministers offices begging for coupons instead of us coming here. How do we then ask them questions when they are giving us coupons and they are looking after us? We can no longer be compromised, we are not children,. We came here to serve the nation. Give us the tools to serve the nation. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you
Mr. Speaker Sir. The welfare of all civil servants and Members of Parliament is being looked at and the first step was yesterday when the Minister of Finance and Economic Development decided that as an interim measure he gave a 50% increase and a US$75 amount to everyone and then we look at it holistically so that we get a lasting solution. So, it is a matter that is receiving urgent attention and Hon.
Members will be advised soon. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of the House can you
please shed light on the fuel coupons issue.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr Speaker Sir. The fuel issue really is for Parliament administration to approach Treasury with an alternative scheme. I cannot comment on that. It is entirely up to Parliament administration to deal with. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. speaker Sir. Is this whole
issue to be decided by the Executive or to be decided by Parliament? Thank you. I repeat my question Mr. Speaker. Is the issue of benefits and salaries for MPs to be decided by this House or to be decided simply by the Executive at their whim?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you
Mr. Speaker Sir. Parliament decides but we must also be aware that all the funds that Government gets, go into one account and that is the reason why you will always find that there is always need for Treasury concurrence. Parliament does not generate any funds. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Hon. Ziyambi being the Leader of Government Business says that Parliament does not generate any income. So, does Government generate income? Government is the one which is busy stealing. Ministers are the ones stealing because their parastatals generate income which does not come into the Treasury and no wonder why we are poor. There has been a lot of looting with these Ministers and he says Parliament does not generate income. We never came to run projects here. We get money from the fiscus but it is the plundering which the Government is doing and which is making us suffer and the people of Zimbabwe. We must understand that and how can he say Parliament does not generate an income. Did we come here to run chicken projects so that we generate an income? We came here to represent people and he must withdraw that. We do not generate any income but it is the Government that generates an income through the resources that we have which go into the fiscus and we are paid but because they are stealing, nothing is coming to us.
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Order in the
House. We have an Hon. Minister who would want to give a Ministerial Statement.
REOPENING OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR DURING THE
COVID- 19 PANDEMIC
THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS,
COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
I would like to give my Ministerial Statement on status of the informal sector. My Ministry would like to appreciate the support that His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. E.
- Mnangagwa continued effort to extend towards the development of the SME sector. Last week’s pronouncement for the informal sector to reopen through the SI 136 of 2020 has given hope to a lot of people who earn a livelihood in this sector. In order to ensure that previous disorder does not come back, the Ministry working with sector associations and other key stakeholders have come up with a strategy to facilitate the reopening of the sector. The proposed strategy involves opening the informal sector market hubs in a case by case basis after ensuring that all Covid- 19 public health and safety requirements are met.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the informal sector contributes more than 60% of the total employment and has become the safety net and source of livelihood for those who cannot go to formal employment. Continued closure of the sector means that hunger and most of the households in the cities and towns. It also implies that more people who would need food and the complexes are more acute in the urban areas. It will also strain the already burdened fiscus.
The sector also plays a critical role in augmenting the formal supply chains. It is also involved in manufacturing of food items, clothing, furniture, chemicals, equipment, machinery and other goods as well as services. The sector supplies various finished products in a number of retail shops and having the sector come back into operation, would ease the shortage of some of the products including sofas, beds, kitchen units, chairs, window and door frames.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me now go into the strategy that the Ministry has put in place. The strategy being proposed for the reopening of the informal sector helps to formalise the sector and ensure sustainability even post Covid- 19 era.
The fenced approach basis of micro market hubs are focused and fenced approach on a case by case basis will be employed to reopen major market hubs taking into account all the precautions and respect what the health guidelines are saying, Markets such as Emtonjeni Flea Market, Fort Flea Market, Unity Village Flea Market in Bulawayo, Avondale Flea Market, Mupedzanhamo, Chinhoyi
Street Flea Market, Kwame Nkrumah Mall in Harare, Chinhoyi Street
Flea Market, Chicken Inn Flea Market in Gweru, Paddy Golf Flea
Market in Bindura and Durawall Flea Market in Marondera and
Village Flea Market in Mutare have been identified for reopening. Each individual market will be required to satisfy the Covid- 19 public health guidelines which include temperature checking at entry points, sanitisation, wearing of masks, social distancing in markets and other measures unique to the respective informal sector or hub.
In cases where there are workplace constraints, a rotation system would be employed where operators alternate based on their own agreement on who comes to trade and on which day.
The markets will be capacitated to have adequate water for hand washing and ablution facilities. If the local authorities cannot immediately make the facilities available, a public private partnership will be employed where operators can contribute to ensure that the facilities are made available as soon as possible and they will offset their contributions with future rentals till they recover their contributions. Alternatively, mobile toilets would be made available.
Association leaders or management Committees will be given
the responsibility of self-regulation, ensuring that all the regulations are followed. The informal sector players will be called upon to exercise high levels of discipline in observing laws and regulations.
Failure to comply will result in the respective market being closed.
Stakeholders with assistance from the Zimbabwe Republic Police will work together to eliminate space barons in order to facilitate revenue collection by local authorities.
Informal sector traders operating from designated workspaces owned by local authorities and those requiring to be allocated working space are therefore being encouraged to approach their respective local authorities to regularise their operations to resume trading.
For informal traders operating from privately owned workspaces, the call is for them to formalise their tenancy with their lessors and obtain proof that they have notified the lessor of the type of trade or operation they are engaged in.
Decongestion of Markets
The agricultural produce markets such as Mbare Musika are being decongested through setting up other decentralised agricultural markets. The plans are already underway and the local authorities need to expedite the setting up of these markets and provide the requisite infrastructure especially water and sanitation facilities. In Harare, four new sites have been identified in Hatcliffee, Mabvuku, Budiriro and Kuwadzana.
The Ministry, through its 2020 budget provision has started working with local authorities to put up new workspaces with proper sanitation facilities such as water and ablution blocks.
Operators will be facilitated to get shop licences or other licences from a local authority and operate the business in question from a specified premise. In order to incentivise the operators, the local authorities are called upon to revise and differentiate their tariffs according to the size of the enterprises. Of concern is the recent astronomic rise in the shop licence fees by local authorities which prompts traders to evade the payment of such fees. The application process should also be easy and straight forward especially for the informal sector and micro enterprises.
The informal sector operators will be registered for taxation by ZIMRA for suitable income tax heads. The operators will be facilitated to register their enterprises with the Registrar of Companies where possible.
Only registered micro enterprises will be facilitated to access the $500 million SMEs support fund put forward by Government to aid the recovery of the sector.
Comprehensive Database of MSME and Informal
Workspaces and Beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and
Medium Enterprises Development in collaboration with Ministry of
Information Communication Technology and Courier Services,
Government Consultants and respective local authorities, MSME Associations and informal sector associations will develop an up-todate inventory of the informal sector members according to sector and location to inform future evidence based planning and programming.
An institutional framework to deal with immediate issues to bring the sector back into operation will be put in place through a
National Steering Committee comprising of the following institutions.
- Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium
Enterprises Development (Chairing)
- Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities
- Ministry of Local Government and Public Works
- Ministry of Health and Child Care
- Zimbabwe Republic Police
- Registrar of Companies
- Associations of Urban and Rural Local Authorities
- Development Partners and
- Informal Sector Associations.
The composition of this Steering Committee would be replicated and devolved to provinces and districts and include the offices of the Minister of State for the respect province and the relevant local authorities.
|Roles and Responsibilities|
|Ministry of Local
Government and Public
|• Monitoring and supervision of local authorities to ensure what is planned is implemented
• Spearhead the planning process to ensure clustering of
• Facilitate the provision of additional land for workspace development
• Work with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to remove space barons from all workspaces around the country
|Ministry of Health and Child Care||• Advising on COVID-19 public health regulations
• Certification of sites that meet COVID-19 public health requirements
|Ministry of National
Housing and Social
|• Construction of MSME physical infrastructure
• Maintenance and renovation of MSME physical
• Mobilisation of investment capacities for construction of MSME physical infrastructure
|Ministry of Women Affairs, Community,|| Development of database for MSMEs and informal sector players|
|Small and Medium
|Organisation, clustering and training of MSMEs
Coordination of all stakeholders to ensure the objectives are achieved.
|||Mobilisation of investment capacities for construction of MSME physical infrastructure.|
|Ministry of Youth,
Sports, Arts and Recreation
|||Mainstreaming youth empowerment in infrastructure provision
|Ministry of Information
Technology, Postal and
|||Provide information communication technologies|
|Offices of Ministers of State for all the respective provinces||||Provincial coordination and supervision to ensure that the decisions are implemented in line with central government initiatives.|
|Local Authorities||||Construction of suitable access roads to and from the sites|
|ZIMRA and Registrar of Companies||
|Facilitate the registration of informal sector businesses. Register informal sector players for tax|
|Sector Associations||||Organize MSMEs and Informal sector players by sector and location and providing of databases of membership|
|||Contribute towards infrastructure development|
|||Ensure discipline in the sector|
|Private Sector and
|Financing the development of MSME workspace Construction of MSME physical infrastructure|
|||Technical assistance to transition the informal to formality|
|Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe||||Promote financial inclusion in the informal sector
|||Assist in maintaining law and order at the markets|
|Media Houses||||Information dissemination to educate the informal sector and policy makers.|
For this strategy to succeed, it is imperative that the various
Government departments and local authorities work closely together. Discipline among sector players would ensure that the plan achieves the expected results, thereby allowing members in the sector to resume operations and earn livelihoods.
*HON. MURAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for her Ministerial Statement as a Minister who has been with the ministry for 20 years, I am convinced she is experienced enough. I want you Minister to take this opportunity to find solutions because sanity must prevail now. There are a lot of leakages in the informal sector. The Minister alluded that the informal sector contributes 60% of our revenue, it is true and it is even more than that. She listed a lot of informal sectors, I did not hear her mention Machipisa, it is critical and very big. There is a section called Mukambo, everything is in order, they have everything to comply with the Covid-19 prevention methods, they have clean toilets and what is left is for them to be given a directive to open so that our revenue increases. I also want you to note...
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Murai,
you must seek clarification or explanation not to debate.
*HON. MURAI: I am not debating but I wanted to ask. There are some people who want to use this opportunity. Can the Minister hear me?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Go on, after all you are addressing me.
*HON. MURAI: I was saying in some areas, there are some people who are trying to go in because there are some people who were at work places but because of the lockdown, some people cease to use those work places and now some people want to take advantage of that and use other people’s workplaces. So what measures are you going to take to protect people so that they may resume work from places they were using before the lockdown because those people who were operating in those areas are also not getting revenue? People were also getting services from the informal sector and now we no longer get services such as maintenance, for example plumbing equipment because the suppliers are now closed. How long will it take? May the issue be resolved immediately so that the informal sector may also start getting income so that people may also get services. I also wanted to ask about certificates. Can people get certificates to operate in a very short period of time?
+HON. M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister whether there will be some money that will be available to help people in the informal sector, also, those who were affected by the demolitions, whether they will be helped. I thank you.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would
like to thank the Hon. Minister for delivering such a statement. It was long overdue because we were also failing to give answers to those in the informal sector who were affected. May the Hon. Minister clarify to us; there are some places that attract people such as tourism activities including places such as Mereki where there is an open barbeque facility. I wanted to find clarity on when such people will start operating? Of course I understand they will be looked at place by place. What about places like those along highways and roads places like Headlands on the highway market, what is Government going to do to provide ablution facilities for such places as well as ensuring safety so that people may not be run over by motor vehicles as they try to sell along the road.
There is also no place or involvement of the local Member of
Parliament in terms of addressing these issues. Where you talk about Government and local authorities, involve Members of Parliament as well in that taskforce because they are the people that deal with people and hear the suggestions from various stakeholders. So I am asking what will be the role of the Member of Parliament in all that the Minister said?
There was also the issue of associations in the informal sector.
In my constituency in Warren Park, such associations do not exist. When the illegal structures were destroyed, I discovered that there were no informal sector associations, so I kindly ask that you work with them even if they may not have registered associations. While they try to process the registration, may you work with them and assist them to regularise such associations.
Finally, may the Minister clarify; we were told that there would be money disbursed to those in the informal sector on radio. People need clarity on the beneficiaries and also how do you apply for such money to assist those in the informal sector. They want to know how to process that. We would like to go and explain to our electorate.
There were illegal structures that were destroyed. I believe in each constituency they were destroyed. So, you need to be transparent on where areas allocated for home industries are so that people may know because some people may end up going back to those undesignated places to operate from, but as Members of Parliament, we need to know which areas they may operate from or which areas are illegal and if such places are designated, they should not be taken away from the people. I thank you.
*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for delivering such a speech. It shows that Government is organised but I wanted to understand if there were complaints from people who were working in markets. Some of them were saying they used to work within a wider space but right now after the lockdown, those spaces were reduced. What does it mean in terms of social distancing because the spaces have been reduced? *HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to understand on the opening of the informal sector. The informal sector has been on lockdown for the past two to three months but I understand that if they want to resume work, they must have tax clearance. So Minister, could you explain to us whether it is true that they need tax clearance in order to resume operations because these informal businesses may not have the resources to meet such demands. Does it mean that those informal traders operating in rural areas may not be able to resume operations because they will not be having tax clearance? I thank you.
*HON. KARENYI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Most of the issues have been mentioned but what I need clarity from the Hon. Minister is, I know that there is Covid-19 and some of the industries that have been opened and sectors that have been opened really cover male dominated work places but my request is, may you please open more flea markets because those cater for women. If you look at areas like Mutare, it is only village yet in the residential areas they have not started working.
Finally, there is a speaker who said what should be done in order for people to get capital in order to resume work for those who lost their structures that were destroyed during the lockdown, how will they resume work because they need capital to resume work. For those who lost their structures which were destroyed during the lockdown, does the Government have any plan to ensure that they rebuild structures or they are being given capital to resume their businesses only.
THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS,
COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. NYONI): Thank you very much Mr.
Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Members for the very pertinent questions that they have asked. I think most of them are similar and I may just bundle them together and give an answer. The first one was about the associations – how it will work and how long it will take. We want to start immediately. The associations will give a list – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You said how will we know who is registered. We have been working Mr. Speaker Sir, we did not stop during Covid to work with the…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
HON. DR. NYONI: We opened a chat with all the informal sector leaders so we kept in touch with them and their leadership. We exchanged ideas so that when we start, we are also starting with them. Some of them are giving us very good advice. So, the list is coming from the Association leaders but also the Ministry and local authorities for those who are not in the association. The local authorities also have a register that we are going to use.
Let me assure Hon. Members that we will make sure that it is done in an orderly manner – those who are registered and given a number to operate on a specific site by the local authority, we will start with those. I would like the Hon. Members to be aware that, the land barons or space barons as what the Hon. Member was talking about who will then come and try to occupy space that is not theirs, we are going to be very careful about that to make sure that those who were there will be given the first preference. The SME’s operators know each other and they know who a legitimate space occupier is and those just came to occupy the space.
The demolishing of spaces; Hon. Members, I think the structures which were demolished were those which were not designated by the local authority, those which were designated were left as they are. The aim of the Ministry is not to let people go back to that untidy squalor, but we are working closely with the informal sector. We want to reconstruct so that they go back to dignified spaces.
There was also a question on places like Mereki and other areas which are tourist attractions; I did not mention all but if they are organised and follow the guidelines of the Public Health, we will facilitate their opening. Let me assure Hon. Members that case by case also means those that are ready. We will make sure they are facilitated. Involving Members of Parliament in the stakeholder framework; yes, they are part of the team and I am sure they are also working very closely with Ministers of State. For instance in my Ministry, when we went to Mupendzanhamo, the Hon. Member was there, giving his ideas, the councilors were also there. So this inclusive approach is very useful. We would like you Hon. Members to also participate, especially when it comes to speaking to people so that they are patient. The idea of the Ministry is to build proper structures for them rather than them putting up those pole and plastic infrastructure. I think that is an eyesore. I want Hon. Members to be assured that the Ministry, wherever we are going, we will ensure that our Portfolio Committee Members are also informed so that they advise us and they come with us.
The spaces that were demolished, will the people go back there? If they were not designated, they will not be allowed to go back but if they were designated, they will go back. The Ministry has lobbied banks, development partners and the Ministry of Housing and Amenities to come and work with the Ministry so that we can construct proper structures. One Hon. Member brought an issue that people needed to bring certificates; I think that is not true. As long as you have your registration, you will be able to go back to work. The informal sector has been closed for a long time and they need clearance tax certificates; I think let me state categorically that the tax clearance certificate is not needed, let them come back to work.
I think there were about two or three questions asking about financing; how will these people be financed, will the demolished structures be reimbursed? Those who were in designated places will have joy in that instead of them putting the illegal structures again, we will now construct proper infrastructures for them. The different stakeholders are coming together including women in construction – I am glad to say that, who will have a woman’s touch in some of the infrastructures that we will provide.
I want to agree with the Hon. Member who said that most of the women are in flea markets. If you go to most of the cities where enclosed flea markets are, you will find that those were led by women. I can give examples of Bulawayo and Marondera and there are some women who are in flea markets who need to move from there and build their own shops because they have done very well
Let me now talk about capital injection, the question which ran right through. The Government has put $500 million for the SMEs, we have divided this money into three structures. The first one is the Green Field; there are some of the informal sector people who have lost everything, who may want to start afresh – we will have funds for that to help, train and relocate them.
Then the informal sector that still has a bit then we will fund them accordingly and make sure that they are growth oriented and are supported to grow. Then the SMEs that partially closed and have designated areas – there will be a specific fund for them.
Let me end Hon. Speaker by saying my Ministry – I am sure as
Minister, I am going to be very unpopular as we look into the revised Indigenization Act (2018). There are certain sectors that are reserved for Zimbabweans but where you find a lot of foreigners occupying those sectors, a case in point is retail – if you go into greater Harare and this is where I will also need the support of other ministers, all stakeholders and even maybe the local Members of Parliament. You will find that a lot of these places are occupied by foreigners who are into retail and wholesaling. The sector is reserved for locals while
Zimbabweans are selling outside in the streets – [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] –
The ministry is saying, ‘Let us unite for the local authorities and those that are giving permits to foreigners to trade. Please, let us try to persuade to leave’, because they came into this country to invest.
They do not invest but instead they replace the SMEs and take the space of SMEs instead of going into green fields and construct their own structures. They are taking over where our people should be.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, these are the people who are siphoning out our foreign currency. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It is not the local SMEs and therefore, I will need a lot of support as we try to regularize and ensure that our people in the informal sector are given the dignity that they deserve. I thank you.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: You omitted the question on the highway markets!
HON. DR. NYONI: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir, yes the highway markets are …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! My apologies Hon.
Members for the interruption - we just wanted to make a small handover. Hon. Minister Dr. Nyoni, please take the floor.
HON. DR. NYONI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, there was a question on the highway. I think if the highway vendors were on designated areas – they would go back. We have a lot of interest to make sure that they now have proper vending areas or market space where they also have ablution blocks and water. So that it is something that gives them the dignity of a workspace – we are looking at that, if their space was designated, we will make sure they go back.
We are now following all the designated areas and make sure that they are provided for with the amenities that will make them do business in a friendly way. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Nyoni for her speech and also to thank the Hon. President of the country for the great job that he has done in allowing the informal sector to open their markets. In allowing them to open up their markets, I have realised that the same ministry has advertised – I do not know how I can put it across in IsiNdebele. They have advertised in newspapers and on television and put announcements to say,
‘There are certain people who are supposed to be looking after the development of those who are supposed to open.
I am realizing that there are differences in other districts where there are about four names that have come up in one constituency yet the four are supposed to have been coming from four districts. The district in reference is Nkayi whereby four names came from Nkayi North yet Nkayi South does not have a single name from it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, when a Ministerial
Statement has been given, you rise to ask for clarification. You do not make statements… – [HON. SIKHALA: Not contribution!] – Hon. Member, do not interrupt me. Hon. Mathe, can you then zero in on your point of clarification for the Hon. Minister.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my point of
clarification Hon. Minister is why is it that the advertisement of those who are supposed to open up their small businesses has been taken from only one constituency, yet the other constituencies do not have people who have been selected? I just want to find out if this the practice nationwide? I thank you.
*HON. KUREVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. KUREVA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. There are those who sell their wares coming from their homes into town. Where do they get letters to travel? For example, my constituency Epworth, there are no registered structures. All the structures they were using were illegal and were demolished. What is the Minister going to do to fix this problem? People survive on informal sector in this area. I want clarification on those who operate commuter omnibuses but they are not registered. What are you going to do about this issue since Zupco is failing to ferry people? Thank you.
*HON. MATAMBANADZO: I am very happy Hon. Minister
that you are working very hard and your sector is contributing 60% to the economy. Because of Covid 19, people heeded the call to stay at home and they are still at home but their vending sites have been demolished. Are you still going to achieve that 60%? The sites they were using were distanced by one metre and were marked by the local authority. I think if they can return to work wearing these masks we are wearing here, they will be able to operate. They are struggling whilst at home. How long will this take before they start operating? Who gave the order for those vending sites to be demolished? Is it your Ministry or not? Are you failing to protect your sector in Cabinet? For example, Britain has allowed its informal sector to operate. China which has over a billion people, the informal sector is operating in the streets. My question is, is she failing to protect her sector? I think those who are demolishing places where small businesses are operating from are doing something that is wrong. In
India where there are over 1.1 billion people are selling in streets. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Minister
said that in Harare and other urban areas, foreigners are the ones who are dealing in retail whilst our citizens are selling their wares along verandas and flea markets. When they came, were they coming as investors? How come they are now retailers? Do we have a law to prevent foreigners from taking sectors meant for citizens of this country? Thank you.
*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Hon.
Minister agreed that vendors are the ones who are driving this economy. Are you putting offices in various districts that the small scale business people can register and stop being harassed?
*HON. GOZHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would want to understand about second hand clothes. People were not affording clothes from retail shops and now that we have Covid 19, how are the people who were selling second hand clothes going to survive? What plan do you have as a Ministry to prevent the disease from spreading through second hand clothes?
HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Noting of course that there have not been adequate safety nets from Government to cushion the citizens from the lockdown regulations that have prevented them from going about their business in terms of livelihood activities, I think the case for opening up the informal sector is plausible in my view. However I have a few questions arising from what the Hon. Minister has just said. Firstly, I just want to understand why there is so much appetite for demolitions before finding alternative operating spaces for vendors? It may be important to demolish because the sites are not designated but why is there that appetite over the years to demolish before finding alternative places? Secondly Mr. Speaker Sir, the $500 million support scheme that the Hon. Minister has just alluded to, I just want to understand from the Hon. Minister what safeguards are there against corrupt practices potentially in the selection of beneficiaries? Are there any safeguards in that regard because we have previous negative experiences of Government facilities that have been looted or funds that have been siphoned, resulting in intended beneficiaries not getting what is due to them.
Another issue Hon. Speaker Sir relates to the allocation of work spaces; whether this is going to be left entirely to local authorities as per their mandate in terms of the local government regulations or laws because why I am asking is that we have read in the papers that elsewhere in this country there are some individuals who have nothing to do with local authorities or the administration of by-laws who have been co-opted into some committees for the purpose of allocating work spaces. So, do they have that mandate at law or it is supposed to be the responsibility of local authorities given that they are in those offices for that purpose. Mr. Speaker Sir, lastly, I just want to understand from the Hon. Minister whether there is any deliberate consideration for rural and peri-urban areas in terms of construction and reconstruction of vending stalls, factory shells or work spaces. Many a time you find rural and peri-urban areas are an afterthought in government processes. I thank you very much Mr.
HON. DR. S. NYONI: Again I want to thank the Hon. Members for their questions. I will start with the Hon. Member that asked about the employment of officers at district level. I would like to thank the Member for her observation and advise her that she should direct that to the Public Service because it is the Public Service Commission that employs. The Public Commission will look at a whole district and then they will see where the allocations are needed and then they will give HR in the Ministry the allocation according to their staffing demography. I am sure they will help and I will also follow it up to find out what actually happens and I will give her feedback.
The next question was about Epworth where people will get letters to get back to trade. In each district there are officers of the Ministry. If they are approached they will be able to give those letters. We will produce amass from the Headquarters and make sure there is a template that is given to districts and wards for people to then be given to fill so that they can go back to work. In Epworth, I want to agree with the Hon. Member, we really do not have a lot of designated areas. I think the taskforce that has been put in place – we need to discuss with the local authorities. The role of local authorities is to designate areas, to plan the cities and make sure that there are designations for operations where people will live.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, the Hon. ‘threesome’
there, you ask for a Ministerial Statement and you are busy talking. If you do not want to listen then leave the Chamber. Sorry Hon.
HON. DR. S. NYONI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was saying that the role of the local authorities is really to plan cities and to ensure that designated areas are made available for different sectors of the population to live in or to operate from. You will notice that local authorities will designate areas for large industry but very rarely do they designate areas for SMEs or the informal sector. This is what we are dialoguing with them to make sure that they do but I have
good news for the Hon. Member that my Ministry working together with UN Women asked the local authority in Epworth to give us a piece of land and we are building there a market that is going to be an example of what we are talking about. It will have all the components that will give dignity to the vendors as they work. That is the ablution blocks and water. I am sure the Hon. Member will be proud of what will come out of there. He also asked about the transport. My Ministry is following what the President pronounced in S.I 136 as transport was excluded but once it is pronounced we will also see how we can work with the small scale transporters together with the Minister of Transport.
The other Member agreed with me that the SMEs are producing 60% of our revenue and why can we not protect them and learn from China so we can copy from China. Let me assure the Hon. Member that in this new dispensation we want to do things differently and my Ministry is taking Covid-19 not just as a curse but also as an opportunity. Like I said before, we are working with the informal sector and also the local authority so that what was happening before does not happen again. This is a tall order but we hope that we will be able to get somewhere. We want to assure the Hon. Member that all will be done to accommodate and rehabilitate and to make sure that the informal sector is respected.
I want to agree with the Hon. Member who asked the question whether the foreigners who come here to do trade come here to invest. Indeed when they enter Zimbabwe they are entering as investors but some of them I am sure sneak in and trade. The stand that my Ministry will take and we hope that I will be supported by the House and other Ministries is that when people come to Zimbabwe to invest they must be given what to invest in but never be allowed to enter the sectors that are prohibited for international investors. It is our hope that this will come to an end.
There was also a question that is there a place where people register so that they are not harassed by police. Yes, people register through the associations and sometimes directly to the Ministry but the local authorities have been registering the people. What worries Hon. Members also worries the Ministry and this is why we now want to bring order so that we do not have vendors being chased by the police all the time. We hope that this will succeed. There was also a question on the old clothes that a lot of people were really surviving on. On the second hand clothes, I want to agree with the Hon.
Member but if we all are united and we all campaigned for dressZimbabwe, let me assure the Hon. Member that we have a lot of women that are excellent designers. All we need to do is to import reasonable fabric and set up people in Zimbabwe to make the fashions for us. For your own information Mr. Speaker Sir, there are people in
Mupedzanhamo who are marketing especially children’s clothes that they make at home in the evening and they come during the day to sell them, there is no difference. It is just as good and I think instead of us investing in second hand clothes; let us invest in our people producing the clothes for themselves and for the market.
On why there is so much demolition before people find alternatives – I also want to agree with the Hon. Member that we want to stop people just trading anywhere and everywhere as that does not give dignity to our cities and it does not also give dignity to our people. This is why we now want to have a new approach to say, let us make sure that people are registered properly. People are clustered according to your cluster so that when you are doing leather and leather products, you all know that there is a designated place and that place must be well built and well catered for them to operate properly.
The other Member was asking about the funds – how we will safeguard corruption. I think it is a concern for most Zimbabweans that corruption erodes the economy and the poor suffer more and the informal sector suffers more from corruption than those that have got the connections maybe. My plea to Hon. Members is that, the 500 million is going to be disbursed through the SMEDCO and the
Women’s Bank. These two institutions fall under my Ministry and if any Member of this House finds any corrupt practices, please bring it to our attention and I want to assure this House that we will deal with it accordingly. We will not sit and bury corruption because it is an ill, it is a cancer and it is making the poorest of the poor suffer and it is making the constituency that is being run by this Ministry suffer. Let us work together to curb it.
On the allocation of space and that there are some people who are not qualified or who have no responsibility but they find themselves there; let me say that we will do everything possible and we have set this Committee so that there is transparency. The institutional framework that I read here is to curb this shadow allocation of spaces but also to curb corruption, to foster transparency and as you said, we need also to involve the Members of Parliament and I want to appreciate your support. Wherever I have been, a lot of you have been there with us.
The last one was about the construction of workspace in rural areas and peri-urban. If you look at our policy that we are going to launch very soon, we want to focus on rural industrialisation and we are saying, rural industrialistion will not take place without SMEs. We need the infrastructure to move together with the small businesses. So, let me assure Hon. Members that together, we will make Zimbabwe great through rural industrialisation because that is where resources are and that is where our people are but all they lack is workspace and infrastructure; which means enablers like water, electricity, roads and anything that enables them to operate. Let me assure Hon. Members that as we do rural industrialisation, peri-urban centres will also be considered. I thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to appreciate the responses from the Minister. Normally we rise complaining when we are not satisfied by the responses.
THE HON. SPEAKER: It is a point of privilege and not point
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. But, today I
really want to appreciate that we got good responses from the Minister as she was really responding to the issues that are happening on the ground. I would just want to say well done to the Minister and it is my hope that what the Minister said will really be implemented. I
also want to encourage other Ministers to emulate what the Minister is really doing and this will make Zimbabwe great. Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are just coming
from outside and you have not heard anything. Please do not spoil the soup.
HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wanted to say to
the Minister, I am quite aware that the Public Service recruits but it only recruits after it has been given a demand by a particular Ministry.
In this case, I believe that for those that are being recruited in Nkayi North, it is because the Ministry has requested for such in that particular Constituency hence I saw the advert and it covers all the provinces and in each district, there are four members who are being requested by the Minister and her staff. So, I am really worried why in Nkayi they wanted only those 4 names and they are from one constituency and Nkayi South was not mentioned. Thank you very much.
HON. DR. S. NYONI: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I think I did
say to the Hon. Member that I will look into it and I even said I will come back to her. The truth of the matter is I never preoccupy myself with tasks that are assigned to other ministries or departments. I keep to my lane and my lane is to deal with the mandate of the Ministry. Since the Hon. Member has concerns, I ask her to go and consult with the Public Service but I will also look into it. My suspicion is that maybe when the Public Service looked into this, there were more workers at ward level in Nkayi South than in Nkayi North.
If this is not the case, let us look into it and then let us send the word back to the Public Service. I want to maintain my stance, I keep on my lane and that is the prerogative of the Public Service not my Ministry.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon.
Mathe’s question is a matter that can also be directed to the Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare so that we approach the problem from these three fronts and I am sure we will come with a solution expeditiously.
An Hon. Member having walked in wearing a scurf with colours of a Zimbabwean flag.
HON. MURAI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MURAI: We have an Hon. Member who has just walked
in wearing prohibited colours in this House. You actually gave a ruling that these colours are not allowed in this House – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -
The Hon. Member having took off his scurf.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Member has quietly
complied so I do not think there is any issue anymore. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE
CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.
- NDLOVU): Thank you so much Mr. Speaker Sir, for the opportunity. May I, with your indulgence take off my mask?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes.
HON. M. NDLOVU: Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministerial
Statement is in response to a report by the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism on wetland Management which was submitted in this august House in February 2020. Unfortunately, it is no longer on the Order Paper so I requested to present it as a
Ministerial Statement. I am saying this because in some of the areas, I might be referring to the Committee the response was crafted in that response.
My Ministry received the report on issue relating to wetlands management and greatly appreciates the findings and recommendations thereof. It is indeed critical for the country to find a lasting solution to current environmental problems of wetlands degradation as a result of various developments and agricultural activities being done on wetlands. Furthermore, a strengthened legislative framework ensures effective and efficiency in the coordination system of the wise use of our important wetlands landscapes.
Update on Portfolio Committee Recommendations
My Ministry takes note of the eleven important recommendations proposed by the Portfolio Committee for consideration by the Executive. The recommendations are critical for strengthening of the legislative framework for management of the wetlands in the country. My Ministry is pleased to provide to you an update report on progress towards implementation of the recommendations. I turn to the recommendations that were submitted and the progress that we are making as a Ministry.
Establishment of Environmental Commission
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my considered view that the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism in itself is a measure put in place to ensure that the environment sector is managed in a manner which shows accountability. Therefore, the proposed establishment of an environment Commission in my view may perpetuate duplication of roles. The Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) also has a provision for the Environment Council which is meant to provide policy direction and ensure that all other sectors implement policies that are environmentally conscious. Perhaps the key limitation on activation of the Environmental Council was its membership; an issue I am currently addressing after which I believe will see a lot more traction.
On this one, it is therefore my considered view subject to your further consideration that the existing structures of the Portfolio Committee and National Environment Council continue with their oversight role and influencing mainstreaming of environmental issues in all sector ministries and the private sector.
Recommendation 6.2 and 6.3: Review of National Environmental Plan and Development of Local Environment
The environment planning process in Zimbabwe was initiated at a local authority level since 2003. The majority of rural and urban local authorities have been trained to develop local environment plans.
Technical and financial support for implementation of these plans by local authorities was provided over the years by the
Environmental Management Agency.
My Ministry did an evaluation of this planning process in 2019 and we are now at the stage of consolidating the National Environment Action Plan based on experiences learnt in implementation of Local Environment Action plans by Local
In compliance to this recommendation, my Ministry targets to produce the National Environment Action Plan by December 2020. Further, to ensure that local authorities produce their local plans, a directive in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works will be issued for local authorities to comply with this legal provision by December 2020.
Recommendation 6.4: Establishment of the Environment
This recommendation is welcome. An environmental tribunal works hand in hand with our current proposal in the medium to long term to establish environmental courts in the country to deal with environmental crime. However, I fully aknowledge that establishment of specialised courts is an expensive exercise which also has to be considered with a national perspective. In the meantime however, my Ministry will put emphasis on enforcement using the current legislation.
My Ministry has put up this proposal in the amendments of the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) which I hope will get your Members support when the Bill is tabled in Parliament.
Recommendation 6.5: Amendment of the Environment
Management Act (CAP 20:27)
My Ministry is already working on the amendments which cater for most of the amendments proposed by the Committee.
I would like also to add that the provision of the Environment
Management Act as they stand especially regarding Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) provide in section 98 for the issuance of an order to stop any development which does not have certification and in the alternative where it has shown that the project paused irreparable damage to the environment to have the works destroyed, albeit through a court’s decision.
My appeal to the Committee and by extension to this House, Mr. Speaker Sir, is on increasing awareness to the citizenry to avoid illegal settling on ecologically sensitive areas and support by this Committee on the implementation of such court orders when they arise in the future.
Recommendation 6.6: Carrying out of private land ownership audit in wetlands
My Ministry takes note of this recommendation to step up environmental audits in privately owned land.
Currently there are two processes. One is that of the gazetting of the ecologically sensitive areas and the other one is that of developing ecologically sensitive areas management guidelines which are being done for the Harare Metropolitan province which will also assist on this issue.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, the audit will be coordinated by my
Ministry with close consultations with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and we hope to have started this process by July 2020.
Recommendation 6.7: Domestication of the provisions of the
Ramsar Convention by Local Authorities
This, Mr. Speaker Sir, is a welcome suggestion and it is part of the raft of the current amendments to the EMA Act to be submitted to Parliament once the requisite stages are fulfilled.
Furthermore work has been done through the development of
Environment Management Model By-laws for implementation by local authorities as provided for under the Environmental
Recommendation 6.8: Review of EIA certificate inspection fees
The recommendation, Mr. Speaker Sir, is welcome. I would like to inform the Committee that the Ministry has already initiated the process and the proposal is awaiting gazetting.
Recommendation 6.9: Complying with requirements of submitting reports on activities on the Environmental
The statutory requirement is noted and will be complied with.
On this one Mr. Speaker Sir, I might add that the agency’s annual report covering its activities up to 2018 has been published and the fourth state of environment and outlook report is ready for tabling before Parliament which I will do before the end of July 2020.
Recommendation 6.10: Suspension of ongoing and proposed developments on Harare wetlands
I wish to inform the House, Mr. Speaker Sir, that I will engage the office of the Attorney General and other arms of the Executive and proceed as guided within the confines of the law. There are various rights which need to be considered, especially property rights particularly when people have title, hence the need to get legal advice and proceed within the confines of the law, but I aknowledge the importance of the matter.
Recommendation 6.11: Review of development permits with
This recommendation is an ongoing exercise which my Ministry through EMA has been focused on for years.
Strides have been made to harmonise the two entities actions with regards to wetland management and we hope that this endeavour of working together will continue and improve in the future.
In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to say that my Ministry is grateful to the support the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism continues to offer on updating of the environmental law framework of the country. May they continue to guide my Ministry as we thrive to protect the environment which supports the majority of resources critical for attaining vision 2030 as pronounced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde. E. D.
Mnangagwa. I thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. PARADZA: I move that all Orders of the Day be stood over until Order Number 38 on today’s Order Paper has been
HON. CHIDAKWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON
ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM ON ELEPHANT
MANAGEMENT IN HWANGE AND GONAREZHOU
Thirty-eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism on
Elephant Management in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks.
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE
CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.
- M NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to table a response before this House on the report which was submitted by the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism on Elephant management in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks. Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank the Committee for a well articulated report and very clear and instructive recommendations they made.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to go through some of the issues raised to offer more clarity but I will dwell more on the recommendations they made. On the submissions from wildlife producers and Hwange RDC Councilor, there were two issues which were raised by the wildlife producers; the first one is on the security of tenure that did not persuade them to make long-term investment decisions. Mr. Speaker Sir, my Ministry has given appropriate authority to private wildlife producers and 58 rural district councils under the Parks and Wildlife Act.
Conferring of appropriate authority gives the land owner the custodianship of wildlife and user rights over wildlife in their farms.
So, neither the Ministry nor the Zimbabwe National Parks are responsible for the administration of agricultural land or land outside the Parks and Wildlife except where the area of communal land not under a rural district council has not been appointed appropriate authority according to the Parks and Wildlife Act. Wildlife producers are urged to approach the Ministry of Lands for the appropriate land tenure issues.
The second issue they raised was on the compensation of wildlife victims. This matter, I will cover substantively under Section 4.4 later on in this report. I wish to now turn to the issues that were raised by Chief Nekatambe. Items (a), which is the lack of community benefits from wildlife and CAMPFIRE proceeds not benefitting communities at all; on this Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to advise the Committee that in an effort to ensure that communities benefit from wildlife and other natural resources, the then Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management instituted the CAMPFIRE.
This Community based natural resource management programme has the following objectives which are still applicable, I will just mention a few; the first one is of the enhancement of rural livelihoods and strengthened economic prospects of the community by involving local people in economic benefits and management of wildlife. The other one is to give control of wildlife management to rural communities so that they would invest in wildlife and habited conservation and in turn receive dividends which is the devolution of management of wildlife and benefits from wildlife and other natural resources to local communities. It also helps to develop positive attitudes surrounding animal conservation in order to ensure the longterm sustainability of the wildlife resource and its habitat and reduce human-wildlife conflict and illegal hunting.
The cornerstone of CAMPFIRE is the devolution of rights to manage, use, dispose of and benefit from wildlife resources to communities. In general, the CAMPFIRE initiative has managed to score some notable achievements and these include;
- The devolution of wildlife management outside protected areas;
- The direct benefits in the form of household incomes which have been realised in most CAMPFIRE areas, including
Hwange unlike during the pre-CAMPFIRE era;
- From the initial phase of CAMPFIRE, we witnessed reduced human-wildlife conflict incidences and poaching;
- Wild animal population such as elephants and buffalos increase outside protected areas.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to highlight just a few challenges on the
CAMPFIRE Project. There have been challenges faced by
CAMPFIRE leading to reduced household benefits and these include the following;
- For the last few years, unprecedented poaching of elephants and other wildlife through use of poison in and around Hwange
National Park, which is an indication of failure on the part of
CAMPFIRE to satisfy communities;
- We have also observed increasing human population which now averages at least 16 people per square kilometer in some key wildlife areas which hampers wildlife conservation, hence affecting CAMPFIRE income;
The other issue that I wish to clarify Mr. Speaker Sir is on the human and wildlife conflict, which is a very important issue. This issue is an unavoidable cost of living in communities living in proximity with wildlife, which is difficult to eradicate and is a common phenomenon throughout the country. I will just highlight a few statistics Mr. Speaker Sir, which are ranging from 2016 to 2019;
People killed by elephants in 2016 were 26, in 2017, they were 40, in 2018 they were 20, in 2019 they were 42. For these four years, they give us a total of 128 people. Injured by elephants, they total 98. The livestock killed by wildlife; cattle in total for four years is 462, for donkeys it is 94 and for goats it is 544. The Hwange District forms one of Zimbabwe’s four main wildlife regions and hence a focal point of human-wildlife conflict.
There is a table which highlights the situation in Hwange from January to February, 2020. We have already lost two lives, lost 10 catttle, one donkey and 14 goats. I will touch on a few drivers on human-wildlife conflicts, particularly in Hwange District. The first one, there is high elephant population beyond the ecological carrying capacity and human population encroaching into the elephant habitat and movement corridors. Climate change has also seen increased frequency of droughts – elephants mostly move outside the park estates in search for water and foliage since they are water dependent and require large amounts of feed, thereby intensifying humanwildlife conflict. There is also incompatible land-use planning which is a key issue as encroachment into wildlife habitat and movement corridors continue, thereby reducing land for wildlife. The conflict arises when the community enter the park or move around the park. For example, looking for their domestic animals. There is also lack of a buffer zone which means that wildlife in the park have easy and direct access to communal areas adjoining the parks.
There was an issue Mr. Speaker Sir which was raised on the non-employment of locals. The local people are employed as either contract workers, rangers, lodge attendants, guides and are notified of vacant permanent posts that they may be qualified to apply for. Of all the five new rangers who were employed in Hwange in 2019, 100% of them came from the local communities.
In 2018 Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimparks recruited 22 rangers from Matabeleland North and South provinces which was 22% of the national total countrywide intake. There was also the issue raised where Zimparks is not contributing to the development of the local community infrastructure. Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to highlight that the development of infrastructure is the specific mandate of CAMPFIRE where RDCs are a part of. However, I wish to highlight also that there are a number of community projects that have been facilitated through national parks. I will just name a few but they are quite many. They include the construction of the classroom block in Nekatambe School; the restocking of the Sidinda Conservancy with wildlife from Zambezi National Park and the construction of the Mabale Community Centre which is in progress from KAZA facilitated funds among others.
There is the issue of lack of compensation Mr. Speaker Sir. It is true that Zimparks does not offer direct compensation for loses suffered as a result of human wildlife conflict as this is not enshrined in the country’s statutes nor in the national parks policies. The issue of compensation is further complicated by the fact that in Zimbabwe, communities are the custodians of the wildlife in their areas, who are empowered to benefit from the wildlife as a result of the fact that RDCs enjoys appropriate authority status to manage the wildlife in the communal areas for the communities benefit to ameliorate losses suffered by the communities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I now want to shed more light on the issue raised concerning the research in human and wildlife conflict in Hwange. Research into human wildlife conflict in Hwange and other areas in Zimbabwe, both by Zimparks and other local and international researchers facilitated by Zimparks is ongoing. The human wildlife conflict is one of the most comprehensively researched areas as far as wildlife management in Zimbabwe is concerned. Some of the studies have been published while others have not. Work mostly focused on human elephant conflict but considerable work has also been done on other conflict species and on human wildlife conflict in general. The bulk of the work focused on mitigation measures for human wildlife conflict and there is also some research on the dynamics of human wildlife conflict in the area and reporting systems.
I now turn to the recommendations that were made by the
Committee. The first one is on elephant sale and export, Zimbabwe’s elephant population together with those of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are on CITES Appendix II while for the rest of Africa they are in Appendix 1. Appendix I listed species are threatened with extinction and may not be traded internationally for commercial purposes. Appendix II listed species may be subjected to controlled international trade. There are trade restrictions, however and these are as follows: -
The first one is the CITES stricter domestic measures. Zimbabwe is aware that international cooperation is fundamental to achieving the objectives of the convention. Zimbabwe is concerned that stricter domestic measures taken pursuant to Article XIV, paragraph 1 of the Convention have an adverse impact on the conservation status of its wildlife species. Trophy hunting generates income that is ploughed into wildlife conservation and used for rural community development programmes and projects. Zimbabwe has always challenged the appropriateness of such stricter domestic measures by importing countries and expressed its position against such measures and has justified its position on scientific basis.
The other challenge is on CITES quotas, the utilisation of elephants, crocodiles, cheetahs and leopards through trophy tourism or hunting is controlled through CITES approved quotas. The maximum quota limit for trophy hunting are 500 individual animals which gives us a thousand tusks for elephants; 200 individuals for crocodiles; 50 for cheetahs and 500 for leopards.
The other challenge is that of placing species on CITES
Appendix I, wildlife species such as rhinos are listed on CITES Appendix I. The listing of species means that the wildlife concerned may not be internationally traded on commercial basis. The listing on CITES Appendix I means that Zimbabwe may not be able to get the full value of its wildlife particularly the rhino.
I turn to the definition of the acceptable and appropriate destinations under the conference of parties of CITES. An addition to our Appendix II listing was introduced and this referred to the new definition of acceptable and appropriate destinations as referenced to the external trade in live elephant and rhinos. The effect of this amendment is that African elephants can only be sold to another African country a position which we opposed as SADC - unfortunately unsuccessfully so.
Elephant ivory and rhino horn stock piles, currently Zimbabwe has 130 tonnes of elephant ivory stock piles and about five tonnes of rhino horns in its vault which it cannot trade because of CITES trade restrictions. The last CITES approved elephant ivory sale was done in China and Japan in 2008. The ivory and rhino horns stocks continue to accumulate in the stores. There are many costs associated with the management of the stock piles including the provision of manpower to provide a 24 hour security. Also there is limited physical storage space, the monitoring infrastructure and equipment, record keeping and other administrative tasks. The stocks are worth over USD$600 million. We continue to explore options for legal trade in these assets despite the heavy restrictions imposed by CITES.
The other challenge is on the impacts of trade restrictions. The impact of ban on importation will adversely affect communities who have invested land and service to conservation of wildlife for decades. There will be huge negative, social and economic impacts in
Zimbabwe particularly on local communities. For example, 65% of
Zimbabwe’s annual elephant export quota is utilised outside the State protected areas i.e. the private and communal lands. The potential losses in revenue will result in loss of confidence in community based natural resource management programmes such as CAMPFIRE and will reverse the gains that had been achieved in conservation.
Mr. Speaker Sir on this one, I think there is an omission of a critical statement that there are major source countries for our imports which is the United States of America and Britain who are currently having legislative processes to ban the importation of trophies.
Recommendation two is on co-management of wildlife, my ministry, through the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Plan (2018-2023) recognises the need for co-management of wildlife in Zimbabwe. Co-management is a relatively new concept with long term binding arrangements and therefore needs to be approached with caution.
Recommendation three is on devolution of the management of wildlife. Zimparks through their Act has a national mandate to manage wildlife in the country. However, we recognise the importance of communities as custodians of wildlife resources in communal areas. The review of the CAMPFIRE policy seeks to further extend devolution right down to the ward and households, as opposed to district level which is the current status quo. Devolution of wildlife management to the lowest levels, that is communities, has always been a principle the authority has upheld as evidenced by the critical role which it placed in the formation and support of CAMPFIRE. It needs to be taken into account however that 100% devolution has to be taken with caution. This is because some level of oversight is necessary to curb elite capture of community programmes. CAMPFIRE while seen as a form of devolution nationally, may be regarded as a centralised system by local communities, who wish for greater decision making at their local levels. It is one of the reasons that the CAMPFIRE review was undertaken.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the next recommendation is on whistle blowers. There is no provision for whistle blowing in the current Parks legislation. However, Section 129 (5) provides for a reward for surrendering prescribed trophies which are found. The legislative review process being done under GEF6 presents a window of opportunity to include whistle blowing issues. It is an issue I believe is worth considering when the current Act is reviewed.
There is also the Reward system which was raised. Currently, in terms of Section 129 (5) of the Parks and Wildlife Act, the Minister can make regulations which provide for a reward for surrendering prescribed trophies (e.g elephants products, rhino, pangolins, et cetera) found by people lying around. My Ministry is considering a Statutory Instrument which expands the provision to make it comprehensive and consistent with current issues such as whistle blowing on poisoning, pollution, setting of traps, among others.
On the issue of the deterrent custodian sentence e.g for illegal possession of cyanide, this will be taken into consideration as my Ministry moves to review the current Act.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the last recommendation refers to the prioritisation of law enforcement in the elephant policy and elephant management plan. Zimbabwe has an elephant management plan for each of the four major elephant range areas, which include the
Zambezi Valley, Sebungwe, South East Lowveld and North West Matabeleland. The Elephant Management Plan (EMP) recognises mechanisms in place for enhanced law enforcement within the country and also the fact that Parks and Wildlife Act establishes it as the lead agency in elephant management, that is, protection, research and monitoring establishes it as the lead agency in law enforcement.
The EMP advocate for deployment of highly trained rapid response anti-poaching units in high threat areas and also prioritises the following:
- Enhanced informer system;
- Enhance community involvement;
- Reduced illegal settlements;
- Enhanced international and transboundary co-operation. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORT FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY
THE HON. SPEAKER: Before I call for points of
clarification to these two important presentations by the Hon.
Minister, I have to announce that there is a non-adverse report on the
Census and Statistics Amendment Bill, [H.B. 3, 2020]. The
Committee is of the opinion that the Bill is not in contravention of the declaration of rights or any other provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Thank you.
HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir for
giving us the room to do both reports. I will start with the first report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism on Wetland Management. May I ask from the Hon. Minister if the Minister has considered the logic in the issuance of EIAs that the inspectorate is paid by those that are being inspected? Does it not lead to rampant corruption? When you need to be cleared of your land to go and develop, you need an EIA Inspector and that person is to be paid by the one who needs to be inspected. Could that not lead to corruption? Is there an inter-ministerial platform where Local Government and Environment Ministries share notes in order to enforce production of local authorities plans to avoid the friction of allocating of land for development on wetlands and designated
Ramsar sites as we see in the Monavale and Borrowdale vleis.
On development permits Hon. Minister, how are stakeholders going to have a say on the dilapidation and degradation of wetlands as they are on the receiving and affected with the are subsequent loss of water when rivers run dry – [HON. M. NDLOVU: May you repeat the last question?] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Minister, you should be
up standing and ask for clarification of the question. You cannot do it on the bench.
HON. N. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for the
correction. I was requesting that the Chairperson repeat the third question, I have missed it.
HON. CHINANZVAVANA: How are stakeholders, which are
the communities going to have a say on the dilapidation and degradation of wetlands as they are on the receiving end and affected with the subsequent loss of water when rivers run dry as we are developing on the wetlands?
On the report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment,
Climate and Tourism on Elephant Management in Hwange and
Gonarezhou National Parks, may I put it to the Minister that has the Hon. Minister considered the relocation to other less congested areas of our elephants within the nation to avoid the congestion in the Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks. How much can we translocate to international by authorised sites? Can that not help us a little bit in the crisis that we have with our herd of elephant? I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. K. PARADZA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have one question to the Minister pertaining to his second presentation. The Minister said we have 130 tonnes of elephant tasks and rhino horns valued at about $600 million. Year in, year out, we are mourning that we have these. Can we not as a country value add these tasks and try to make some necklaces and bracelets for export.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I seek clarity on the first presentation by the Hon. Minister. Firstly, let me thank him for his comprehensive presentations. The first issue concerns the international convention on wetlands, the RAMSA Convention of 1971. To what extent is the Ministry respecting the provisions of the convention and how important is the convention in wetlands management?
Turning to the second ministerial statement, I will start with the numbers game. In 1980, we had a total elephant population of 20000. Zimbabwe has a carrying capacity of 55000. Now the elephant population is 85000. That creates a crisis for Zimbabwe. Human wild life conflict becomes imminent. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the excess animals are not endangered given the two years drought that we have experienced? What is the Ministry doing.
Areas like Tsholotsho never experienced rainfall and it is close to the National Park? In terms of availability of water, what is Government doing and in terms of feeding, what is the Ministry doing?
Then the issue of CITES; why should we continue to respect provisions of CITIES when we have some challenges economically?
Why not pull out of CITES then we sell the stockpile which is a lot?
We have 85000 elephants and we can sell the excess elephants.
Then there is the issue of compensation – it is sad that people who are killed by elephants, their families are not compensated and destruction of crops is not compensated. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that these people are given compensation? Then turning to the issue of enforcement; small aircrafts – drones, do we have them to ensure that would be poachers will not be given the opportunity to poach? I think in the interest of time, I will end there. I thank you.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the two ministerial statements. The issue of wetlands is associated with vegetable production in communal lands and it is my plea that a strategy must be worked out where we introduce high yielding varieties to farmers utilising wetlands so that there is a better yield and a better benefit and then they understand the value of the wetlands.
Allow me to comment on the issue of the EIAs in Zimbabwe. A certain percentage of the cost of a project goes to EMA before the project starts and this percentage paid to EMA does not find its way back to the communities affected. EMA has no laid down procedure of corporate social responsibility. They take and go. The other time they took 1.5% of the value of the project. That was it - nothing goes back to the community. Then the EMA document, when it is produced is only available – the consultation takes place with everybody but the final document is only available at EMA offices. The council, MP and Chiefs do not have this EIA, so there is no collective management on any project and there is a need to review this. Also there is a need to review the structure of EMA on the basis of the old one which was called Natural Resources Board where there was a committee at local level and provincial level but now we do not have a committee at local and provincial levels. We just have the national and then EMA offices and officers.
Allow me to comment on the issue of EIAs and stream bank mining in our constituencies, especially Uzumba, Maramba- Pfungwe. There is massive stream bank mining by foreign companies. If you go there Mr. Speaker Sir, you will be shocked with the massive destruction. EIAs have been produced in Harare, the local people and Chiefs have not been consulted. We chased away our indigenous people who were doing gold panning which we inherited from the Munhumutapa kingdom. What are we doing in as far as allowing our people to participate in these activities other than just giving everything to foreigners? Even construction of certain things, we just give to foreigners yet we also need money. Money has not gone out of fashion. We have tasted the value of money, we know what it does to our life so that is the element of the first report.
On the second report, the elephant population in Zimbabwe has gone up by over 50 000. Hon. Minister, I appeal to you to open butcheries where at least one day we will taste elephant meat. Our people hardly get the meat yet this is our inheritance from God. This is our God given resource. If the population is in excess – an elephant weighs more than a tonne and that is more than 1 000 kgs. In Zimbabwe and in Harare, if you look for game meat, you will never get it. Even in Victoria Falls, you will never get it but if you go to countries that do not even have elephants, game meat is available and coming from Zimbabwe because there are these guys who come in as trophy hunters, they get the trophy and the meat.
You must say, you want to come here as a trophy hunter, get the trophy but the meat goes to the indigenous people then they will have value. Then, there is this fulfillment of our traditional systems where we say, hukama igasva hunozadziswa nekudya zvinonaka, not zvisinganake. So, that element where we deny our people basic right - because to get meat from the game is a basic right. We have allowed foreigners to come, they do their trophy hunting but they must get the trophy and the meat belongs to the people.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are now debating.
HON. MUDARIKWA: I am sorry Mr. Speaker. Then lastly, Mr. Speaker Sir, as Zimbabweans, we moved too much into these international conventions. We have accepted every convention that is there on this planet and CITES is managed by people who have destroyed all their wild animals. They used to have all these animals and there are no animals in Japan because they wiped them out and now they put a condition for us to say if you want to trade in your elephants, you must do this and that. How can you teach me to look after my children when you have killed your children? Zimbabwe must pull out of CITES on whatever the cost is and CITES is also associated with sanctions. Countries that are threatening us on CITES are the same countries that have given us sanctions. You are giving with this hand and you are producing a knife with the other hand. So, as Zimbabweans we must realise that we have a country to protect.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have made your
point that you want the meat.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, lastly, one day, I do
not invite you to look back because there is an elephant tusk at the back of your Chair but I do not think that here when we had a catering company we had an opportunity to taste game meat at this Parliament but there is a lot of wildlife in Zimbabwe. But where you are seated, you are shadowed by elephant tusks.
HON. TSUNGA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I appreciate his passion for Zimbabwe to excuse itself from CITES and such other organisations but certainly, not at whatever cost because I think that is a bit on the extreme side. Because whatever cost might also mean cost to our own lives and the future of our children and their children. I would rather he withdraws that particular aspect and say, at some cost that is within a tolerance range rather than ‘whatever cost’. That is too much. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You sound like you are in Rivonia Trial of Nelson Mandela. Please conclude Hon. Mudarikwa.
HON. MUDARIKWA: I am concluding Mr. Speaker Sir but,
just as a passing comment, when I went to school, I never did English Literature but I concentrated on science subjects. So, whatever he is saying, I do appreciate.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are forgiven.
HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you very much. But also, there
are other areas where we went in Matabeleland North where there is no drinking water for people and given that scenario, there is also no drinking water for wild animals but we need to invest even in bowsers to say we know how many elephants we have and how much we require. Why do we not buy bowsers to move water to those areas where there is wildlife? If there are so many elephants, we know how much water they require then we move the water but now when the elephants have no water, they go to the villages for water and there is conflict there. In Mbire District, the same things are happening but the Zambezi River is full of water. Let us organise National Parks that this year and next year we must have tankers that move water. Zambians move diesel from Beira to Zambia and we move diesel from Beira to DRC. So, why can we not move water for all our wild animals in that area? There is a drought and there is no underground water. Our planning is like that maybe God will do this for us yet some of us do not even go to church on Sunday. We have no social contract with God and so, we must provide the water to all the wildlife. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. KARENYI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I
just want clarification from the Hon. Minister about the issue of EMA. I know very well that they want to do the evaluation and monitoring assistance. I understand that as a Ministry, at one point I think that the Committee reported that EMA is not fully funded and I just want to find out from the Minister that, is EMA now fully funded? Are they now doing their monitoring and evaluation because at one point, I know very well that they had no vehicles to do their monitoring and I think that the issues of staff was also a problem and also a challenge. How far have they gone? Thank you.
*HON. P. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question to
the Minister is that, when the animals cannot find water, they go to the villages to destroy homes and they also kill people. What are you doing or what plans do you have so that the National Parks officers can come to shoot these animals and help the villagers? I have seen in many areas that the National Parks officers would not be having even a single bullet. I thank you.
HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Minister
clearly highlighted the issue of human and wildlife conflict in detail. My question is, has the Ministry been looking into a legislation to include or take care of compensation for those who lost their livestock, or relatives who have lost their lives?
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wanted to
ask the Minister on river bank mining. What is the Ministry doing about this because in Mazowe companies are mining near rivers? If we phone EMA, nothing happens. As a Ministry what are you doing?
People are killed by elephants and the elephants are eating people’s crops. Does your ministry have people at heart or you only protect the elephants? If we phone your Ministry, they will say they do not have fuel and vehicles to travel.
HON. MADHUKU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
My first questions is to do with the first presentation which he has made where he alluded to the fact that when a question was asked whether they cannot be suspension of development on wetlands and I seem to have heard the answer that sometimes it is difficult because of property rights. Now may I get clarification from the Hon. Minister whether legislation on the protection of wetlands does not supersede those property rights? To me it appears that if somebody has some property rights, then the legislation is made useless.
My second question is on the second presentation on humanwild life conflict, where the issue of compensation is very critical. I want to say that we leant some lessons from other countries like Malawi and Namibia where there is some compensation which is done for the loss of life, crops and loss of domestic animals. I am asking this because we are aware that sometimes even when there is this kind of conflict when the National Parks rangers are called, another Hon. Minister said that sometimes we tend to believe that animals are more important than human life...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member not Minister.
HON. MADHUKU: Yes, Hon. Member Mr. Speaker. The wild
parks rangers come and sometimes they say that they are now allowed to kill, but to scare away the wild animals and this creates a big problem with people who lose their livelihoods from these wild animals. May also the Hon. Minister explain sometimes we have these problems because they are private operators who do not repair or mend their fence so we end up having some of these problems? In the Save Conversancy, the fence has fallen down, they do not repair the fence and we have also been made to understand that at one time there was some grant from the EU and they wanted to come and mend the fence, but nothing has happened. In the same vein these private operators do not offer anything to the local communities in form of social corporate responsibilities and this creates problems.
Lastly, you talked about the Campfire programme which I is not operational in certain national parks like Sabi Conservancy, there is no Campfire. So, may the Hon. Minister explain why this principle is practiced in certain areas and not in other areas? I thank you.
+HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I will ask the
Hon. Minister to explain on his second presentation. We heard about
Hwange claims regarding especially what came through from the
Committee’s recommendations which was highlighted by Chief Nekatambe. Minister, in Hwange National Park they are children that are circled around Hwange National Parks who were born and bred and went to school in Hwange, especially in Dete under Chief
Nekatambe. Children are not being employed yet they are learned.
They know their area, how it is run but they are said to be the ones that are killing these wild animals. As Government, please help us in making sure that these children get employment. Minister, can you also explain to us about this Campfire that you are referring to because this Campfire has built community halls, especially in
Hwange. However, there are other places where Campfire money is not reaching those places. May you please find out from RDC where this money is going to, because it is benefiting some wards, yet it is not reaching other wards. I am also not getting it from my area.
Minister, I also want to say I do not know if you heard that yesterday an elephant killed a person in Victoria Falls. Hon. Speaker the elephants that I am referring to are encroaching into our areas looking for bananas, mangoes and different fruits. In my yard, an elephant came to look for mangoes. When we were growing up elephants used to be killed quarterly in order to reduce their population, then have the meat was distributed to the community or sold the meat to local butcheries. Our plea to the Minister Mr. Speaker Sir is to reduce the number of elephants. This person who died in Victoria Falls was mentally disturbed and no one knows who he is or where he comes from. So who is going to bury this person? Our plea Mr. Speaker, we are asking you to help us so that our children get employment because they are suffering, yet the people that are offered jobs in this area are people from elsewhere.
HON. P. CHIDAKWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker
for giving me this opportunity. I direct question to the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Is it still worth our while to remain in CITIES when we cannot benefit from our resources? The US$600 million is lying idle yet our country is reeling under foreign currency shortages. Thank you.
*HON. KARIMAZONDO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to commend the Hon. Minister with his good presentation. My question to the Hon. Minister is who monitors the registered consultants because some of them mislead the people, some of them mislead when they present programme proposals. When they apply for EIAs they apply differently and yet implement a different project all - together. They do not compensate people when they encroach or disturb the irrigations. Some of them are operating where there are schools.
At Dindingwe School they have built their projects 20m away from where there is a school. If you look at it, the certificate that they got, they did not deserve to get it because it pollutes the water that the people use. So how do they compensate people? In fact, they are supposed to compensate people before they start operating but it is now the other way around. Thank you.
POINT OF PRIVILEGE RAISED BY HON. T. MLISWA
THE HON. SPEAKER: Before the Hon. Minister responds, there was a point of privilege raised by Hon. Mliswa, is he here? How did you know I was going to respond? The point of privilege raised by Hon. Mliswa touched on several issues. One of them is the question of the value of coupons. I did not quite appreciate and when I checked the value of coupons, if it says 20 litres you get your 20 litres. Whether it is petrol or diesel you have to get your 20 litres, so there is no depreciation in terms of the value of coupons unless there are issues that have arisen, which issues should have been brought immediately to my attention through the Clerk of Parliament. Those are administrative issues that need urgent attention.
If this is true, but I have checked with the Principal Director of
Finance and he says when you have got a coupon reading 20 litres for diesel, you get that 20 litres of diesel – [HON. MEMBERS: Where? We are then forced to sell them.] – Order, order. Who said I had finished my response. Do not cross over.
Then related to that is the question of the availability of fuel itself. Again, a very pertinent point of privilege currently starting last week there has been a shortage of fuel - the whole country. Now, my understanding is that the fuel is within the tanks somewhere at Msasa. What is required immediately is foreign currency to pay for the fuel so that the suppliers can supply us with the fuel.
Coming specifically to Members of Parliament, a letter was written on 4th March, 2020 that Treasury must increase its allocation of foreign currency to Petrotrade, CMED and as agreed last time, I think it was Hon. Shamu’s service station as well as Puma. That letter was written on 4th March and my administration has been chasing after that. Reminders have been written to Treasury and as of late this afternoon, there has not been any response. So what I have instructed is that we have to engage the Governor of the Reserve Bank directly so that some foreign currency is released so that the stations where
you get your fuel from can have fuel for you to top up your vehicles and be able to go back.
Relatedly was Hon. Mliswa’s issue of salaries that have lost tremendous value in terms of inflation. This is a national issue and has partly been addressed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for civil servants. Hon. Mliswa, you were not there yesterday when I made the directive that the Hon. Minister must come to address this august House on the economy of this country and all pertinent issues that affect the Members of Parliament will be raised during that interface with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, but more importantly, it is my expectation that because of the high inflation that has hit us and covid-19 where the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is requiring some money.
As I addressed the Committee on Liaison and Coordination of Chairpersons, I indicated that Treasury would be coming soon to Parliament to present a supplementary budget. It is during that supplementary budget that you must watch out to what extent the issue of the conditions of service for the Hon. Members have been captured. Having said that, a letter was written last week by the Hon. Minister of Finance where he said he was going to do everything in his power to find money to respond to the areas of concern including constituency funding and other related matters. That letter was addressed to me and it is there. We also have to appreciate the difficulties that the country is going through.
However, I think the most important thing is to get the Minister to appear before us here to give the Ministerial Statement on the economy in general and on issues that affect us as Hon. Members so that we get some timelines as to the fulfillment of the promises that he must make to the Hon. Members accordingly. So, Hon. Mliswa your point of privilege is pertinent and we will pursue it to its logical conclusion.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, as you can see – [showing off coupons] – I have got some coupons. I have had these coupons for a good three weeks – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The issue which your Members suffer from is not the absence of coupons; it is the unavailability of fuel. For that reason, they have no choice but to use the borrowed forex to get to the next point, the foreign currency that they have, if they have it. There are those who do not have, God is surely with us because I do not even know how they manage to get here. You have ruled that it will be certain and it is a humble appeal, can there be service stations sincerely allocated to Members of Parliament. We are seen carrying drums because if you go home you will not come if you do not get the fuel, you carry drums to pay back the fuel you would have borrowed amongst other farmers because you fear that you will not get here.
In between all that the Minister is saying, how do we get the fuel? I left the House because I was trying to get fuel, that is the truth and that is why I am back and I left the driver in a fuel queue for foreign currency and not for coupons. So, even with the forex, there is a queue. The issue of mitigating these issues while he is coming up with an answer; the truth of the matter is that we are not children, we must be told the truth. If the Minister of Finance knows things are difficult, which we all do, the money that we get, the rate as of today is 1:115 as we speak. That is the rate at which we now change some money and I must be honest, which is not honourable for a Member of Parliament. I need to get the fuel.
So, the Minister of Finance, for a very long time, comes and he gives money to other ministries without coming to Parliament. However, when it is Parliament issues, he wants to do a supplementary budget. The truth is known, how many times has he allocated money without coming to Parliament? Why is it that in this situation we are in, being a very important institution, he cannot give what we require then come to Parliament to seek condonation, which is allowed? He has done that several times, giving money where it is not needed. The Health Board of this country, the board members are given brand new range rovers recently and yet we do not have what it takes. So, we are not children and I think it is important for him to respect us and tell us the truth. We are with him together and we have never failed to come for duty – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We have never failed to come for duty because we respect you in the Chair, we have an obligation and a mandate from the people, we keep coming. I will conclude by saying, it is like George Floyd who was killed when he was pleading for mercy. This is where we are until we die, is that what we want?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I share the empathy that has been laid bare before me as head of Parliament. Hon. Members, I want to state to you now, do not allow the situation to reach such scales without letting me know – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The example he has given that he has had coupons, I am sure all of you have had coupons – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order. My office is open. I am telling you today, if there are issues that seem to be stuck in the bureaucracy of our administration, do not hesitate to choose one to three Members of Parliament and bring the issues straight to my office – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – as indicated by Hon. Mliswa, it is unbecoming to have Hon. Members engaged in borrowing fuel there and there and borrowing foreign currency here and there, in the end, you are compromised. So, can we take it today that I have heard it from the horse’s mouth; the first thing tomorrow, I will have to hunt for the Governor and ensure that you have your fuel and agree that those three suppliers be given priority so that you can carry out your responsibilities exceptionally well in terms of the Constitution. I must applaud you for the sacrifice that you have done – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I wish the electorate out there, knew what you are going through in order to carry out your three roles of representation, oversight and legislation. I wish they would know and I hope from today, they will know the sacrifices that you are going through. I will definitely not make a phone call, I will walk across to the Reserve Bank tomorrow – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your response, it is indeed very comforting for us as Members to hear you say that. I know that you are a man of your word; you take it to task like a headmaster leading his teachers to assembly. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I want to apologise to you for keeping you waiting. I thought the Hon. Members were very anxious about the issues that were raised under Privilege and if you can bear with us and go through your responses. You can see Hon. Members are waiting to hear your response. In fact, Hon. Members, I was on Skype, contributing to the International Parliamentary Union.
When I heard the signal that Hon. Mliswa was raising a very critical question and I decided to excuse myself from that skyping to come back here – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Minister, please you may take the floor.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE,
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. N. M.
NDLOVU): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for this opportunity to respond to a number of issues that require me to clarify. I also wish to thank the Hon. Members for the questions that they raised and they are quite many Mr. Speaker Sir. What I will do, with your indulgence, is to try and summarise these responses with the hope that I will be able to cover all the areas of concern raised. I may not respond question by question – some of them are quite related so I will try to elaborate where possible so that I cover what other Hon.
Members may have raised.
The first issue had to do with the logic where the EIA – the process involves what I would call an investor going to a consultant to get them to do the EIA and paying them. Whether there are no instances of possible corruption and maybe moral hazard.
Mr. Speaker Sir, my understanding and belief is that we are dealing with professionals who are approached to conduct a professional assignment on environmental impact assessment. Which assessment is then verified and approved by EMA. I want to believe there is a considerable separation of duty in the process of approving the EIA and EMA generally before it approves, makes sure that there is conformity to specific environmental protection guidelines. I want to believe that unless there are specific issues, the process ordinarily works well.
I want to thank the Hon. Member for highlight the possibility of sharing notes on the production of local plans. This is an area we are exploring because often times we find ourselves having to deal with plans that would not have fully considered the impact of the environment particularly on wetlands. So, it is an area that I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising and we are considering that.
There is in fact, some work being done although we want to upscale
There is an important question also on the stakeholder involvement as they watch the wetlands getting dilapidated. I will give two scenarios to this, the first one is that the process that we are currently seized with of coming up with wetlands guidelines but also coming up with a map particularly in Harare because Harare is pretty much a wetland city. We will give clarity to which specific areas are wetlands but also guidelines on what can be done in those wetlands. So, we also believe that EMA has that duty to protect communities but beyond that whatever activities will be permissible will be subject to approved EIAs which EIAs involve community involvement. So, we will of course be looking closely as to whether communities are fully empowered in this process but we believe there are provisions to that effect.
There was a question on whether we are considering the relocation of our elephants from overcrowded areas. This process is currently ongoing but unfortunately we are currently victims of our good conservation methods over time. There was an Hon. Member who gave statistics of how our population has increased. We are running short of areas that can accommodate elephants because of these numbers. We have established trans-frontier conservation areas that are allowing the movement of wildlife, mostly elephants across borders.
We believe that through this natural process, for most of the countries, in the KAZA region and also within SADC. We are seeing movement once in a while from one country to another without deliberate human intervention. We want to believe that this is much better approach but we are also trying to explore options of translocating some our elephants to those countries who have one or two elephants but are very vocal in CITES. We want them to have a real experience of taking care of wildlife Mr. Speaker Sir. So, it is something that we will duly consider.
There was also the issue of value adding our tusks for purposes of export. This is happening but within limits and mostly because there are also significant constraints in unlocking the markets for these and still CITES overreaches there and it imposes certain restrictions. Also the size of the stock that we have would require a fully fledged industry to value add and export which would require a market of the same size but it is an important point worth noting Mr.
There was a question of whether we respect the Ramsar Convention. We are both signatories and we have ratified to the convention – we commemorate it annually. Currently, our guidelines on wetlands are precisely based on the provisions of the Ramsar Convention so there is no question on whether we respect the Ramsar Convention.
There was a question again from Hon. Moyo where he was highlighting the populations of our elephants and that what are we doing to make sure that there is adequate water in the national parks? I know that Hon. Members in this House fully understand the effects of climate change. We are in a second successive year of drought and this is impacting negatively on both our wildlife as well as human life.
Within that are the constraints that national parks is facing where currently, they do not have a specific allocation from Treasury. They therefore, rely mostly on their revenue generated and also from donations – mostly for conservation. Within those constraints, Zimparks have sunk boreholes in our national parks. They have also changed from generator driven – most of these boreholes are now solar powered, also trying to mitigate or reduce our contributions to climate change or to emissions. This will be an ongoing exercise due to resources constraints but I can assure Members that we are as concerned as they are about the situation of water within our Parks and Wildlife. Beyond that, I want the Members to extend this concern to areas where communities are the ones managing wildlife because we are seeing higher human to wildlife conflict in these areas and CAMPFIRE has not fully mitigated this crisis. So, it is a crisis that we are fully aware of and we are taking measures to address though it is a mammoth task.
There is a question which I know I once attended to in this
House when I made a Ministerial Statement after I had attended CITES last year. Mr. Speaker Sir, there is a question on whether or not we should continue respecting the provisions of CITES which restrict us from selling our tusks. Related to that were other questions on whether or not we should continue being a member of CITES, why not pull out and be able to sell our tusks. Mr. Speaker Sir, it must be emphasised to this House that our markets for our tusks are members of CITES. You can only sell to a member of CITES subject to the provisions of CITES. Should we pull out of CITES, it means we cannot sell to those who are members of CITES. We are therefore taking ourselves out of the market for our tusks. Major markets are Japan and China. They are not willing to pull out of CITES. If they were willing, we would have pulled out together with them, then we are able to trade outside the provisions of CITES. So, it is an important consideration that we have made.
However, CITES has a provision within its regulations that should there be a change in any of the regulations within a specified period, a member country can place a reservation, which reservation will allow the country to trade with that particular species or product outside the provisions of CITES. We lodged our displeasure at
CITES during the conference and after conference we agreed as
SADC that we are lodging a reservation with regards to elephants and we duly submitted that to CITES. Having done so Mr. Speaker Sir, we remain constrained by the fact that our markets are members of CITES and they have not lodged reservations to the same. So yes, we have fully demonstrated our displeasure but we have not unlocked the markets for our tusks. That is the dilemma or crisis that we are facing with this.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to address the issue of compensation. It is an issue which we have debated. I have asked for presentations from the technical team within my Ministry. It is an issue which is not easy to address. I have noted that Members, most of them are of the view that we come up with statutes or legal provisions that will compel compensation for losses. Firstly Mr. Speaker Sir, it is very difficult to come up with a formula to compensate for loss of life. It might be easier to compensate for losses in wildlife in our domestic animals and crops but we can never compensate for the loss of lives. It will be weird to compensate for these other losses but there is nothing going towards the loss of life.
The other dilemma we face Mr. Speaker is who compensates. As I have highlighted in my statement, wildlife by and large belongs to the same communities who are benefiting mostly through CAMPFIRE. Will they be willing to come up with a compensation fund? I may not Mr. Speaker Sir, regrettably so, provide a full response to this issue because it is an issue that I believe requires wider consultations and debate so that it is a position taken by Zimbabwe and not necessarily by the Ministry. However, there are issues that are critical which have to be considered as I am highlighting. I hope we will find a way of getting the nation debating on this issue. We are a wildlife based tourism country and wildlife is very important to us. I think it is important that this issue is resolved.
There was an issue also raised on enforcement whether ZIMPARKS is adequately equipped. I want to state Mr. Speaker that definitely not. They have challenges that they are facing, particularly aircraft. I do not think they have any running currently. Also, we have been receiving, I must admit, from other organisations, certain donations which include mostly drones and other equipment which our rangers are using. We can do with more support with this regard, particularly now where there are increased cases of poaching which we are experiencing.
There was a suggestion, I think it was Hon. Mudarikwa that we promote the growing of high yield crops in wetlands so that communities can value the importance of wetlands. I want to thank the Hon. Member for this. It is a very important strategy. In fact, we are doing this in some areas. Two or three months back, I visited a community in Masvingo. I think it is in Jobo community where a wetland eco-system has been developed and because of those efforts, there is a dam nearby which now is able to store water throughout the year and we have planted fish there. The communities there are seeing the benefits of conserving and preserving wetlands. We are in a programme of intensifying this so that nationally, all communities where there are wetlands, we come up with similar projects.
There was the issue that there is a percentage of EIA payments which go to EMA but EMA has no social responsibility. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to correct the Hon. Member and highlight that we have numerous projects EMA is running with communities. The one I have just described is an EMA project. However, EMA also relies mostly on these fees. There was another question. I might as well also respond to it which says is EMA adequately funded. They are not Mr. Speaker Sir. The Act provides for EMA to benefit from the carbon tax. We are in discussion with Treasury that these funds be transmitted to EMA because over time, they have not been and we believe that this will go a long way in making sure that EMA is adequately funded.
We will address the issue of EIA documents not being availed to other critical stakeholders like local authorities. I really was not aware this was happening Mr. Speaker. I commit to look into this. The Hon. Member also highlighted that there is no Committee on Environment at local level. I know I might not quote the exact section in the Rural District Councils Act but it should be Section 61 which provides for the establishment of committees and there is a specific committee on natural resources and environment. In that committee, there are sub-committees. I know at local level, EMA is also present, so I know there are committees at local level Mr.
Speaker Sir to this effect. I really can confirm this. There is the issue which was raised and is very critical, that of the stream bank mining and it was citing a specific area in Uzumba where there is massive destruction. I want to highlight to the Members here Mr. Speaker, that tomorrow morning, I am going there with the Minister of Mines and Mining Development and the Minister of State to see for ourselves. We have received this report and we are very worried.
There was also the question why we are not including locals in stream bank mining. I think Mr. Speaker, this question I am not suited to address. I do EIAs for those who would have applied unless the question is whether through the EIA process there is an observed pattern that penalises locals.
There was also the suggestion that because of the population, we should open butcheries for wild life and game meat but from what I have seen and as a matter of policy Mr. Speaker Sir, trophy hunters only carry trophies. In most cases, the meat is left to the communities and this I know is happening. I do not know, there could be isolated cases but in most instances, the meat is left for communities. There was also this brilliant suggestion that we should use bowsers to ferry water for areas where there are acute shortages. I think this is welcome. However, I would go for the idea of maybe diverting the water flowing especially within Zambezi into some reservoirs. I can imagine one bowser - an elephant can easily take it down. It might be a mammoth task but what I take from this contribution is the concern that our elephants and other wild animals are struggling to get adequate water. We are intensifying efforts, National Parks are sinking boreholes but they are nowhere near enough Mr. Speaker Sir.
I have addressed the issue of the funding for EMA that we pray that the carbon tax be paid to EMA so that they can have more resources at their disposal. Then there was the issue that Parks do not respond to distress calls where there are instances of human - wild life conflict. I want to urge Members also to feel free to advise my office should there be such instances but I know for a fact that I get reports regularly on the response Parks will be making to areas where there will be wild animals encroaching upon human settlements and I have also reports on television where Parks will be present. The policy also is that – particularly for these predators, should they attack domestic animals, they are killed because once they develop this habit of killing domestic animals, they become lazy to hunt but more importantly the frequency of attacking domestic animals increases.
So, the policy is that those are usually gunned down together with other animals that kill humans. Should an elephant kill a human being, it is gunned down, that is policy. I heard an Hon. Member highlighting that Parks sometimes refuse to do this. I appeal that they advise me and I will be able to provide guidance on the matter. On this, I also want to urge Members as they lead communities to fully conscientise them that human wild life conflict is not only about wild life encroaching our settlements but it is also the other way. As we perpetuate this, there are some animals that have good memories, so we need to create this harmonious relationship continuously.
I want to attend to a critical question on mining in protected areas which in this instance refers to Parks as well as forestry land. We have lost more than 65000 ha to illegal mining, why? It is because pre-independence is when these areas were gazetted protected areas and most of them were rich in minerals. I think this country is rich in minerals by and large. Post independence, we saw mostly the rangers were the first but communities caught up in this illegal mining syndrome.
Now, 65000 ha is just about 1.31% of the total area which we are managing under Parks which is 5 million ha. It might sound insignificant but the damage it is doing both in terms of reducing the habitat for our wild life and also in tourism losses; it is an eyesore to watch where people have done illegal mining and left. Parks started the process of formalising mining in those areas where there is illegal mining for purposes of compelling those people to rehabilitate that area. We are putting strict guidelines in terms of Section 119 of the Parks Act which will compel first that mining is restricted to those places where there has been illegal mining but also for a defined period which will not be more than five years. After which that area should be fully rehabilitated and returned to National Parks. The idea is to ensure that in five years time we want that 65000 ha back and habitable by wild animals.
There was the issue of development in wetland areas and property rights. Mr. Speaker Sir, EMA can only stop development following a high court order. They cannot stop any development directly to the people developing. That is why in my response. I highlighted that we have to liaise with the Attorney General so that we get legal opinions on these matters. I say so because previously we have had cases which have been lost on the basis that we are stopping development in areas where people are holding title.
We therefore want to be very careful how we approach this which is why we are coming up with a wetlands map and guidelines on what should be done in these wetlands which would have been indentified so that it becomes easy for anyone who wants to do any development within a wetland to comply with the guidelines. By and large brick and mortar will not be allowed.
I think the issue that compensation in other countries is being done, let us study further the challenges that they are facing with this. Some of these countries and as we were discussing, we had to review this. They are struggling to deal with the claims that are coming through. What their fiscus had put aside has been wiped in the first three months. So they have created a system which is now giving them more problems and that is why it is important to carefully consider what course of action we believe is most appropriate in this regard.
There is the issue of Save Conservancy which is a bit more specific but the Hon. Member was highlighting that there is no maintenance of the fencing. What I can share with the Members about the Save Valley Conservancy is that there were settlements – illegal and some legal and in those settlements, we had people taking down the boundary fences. Now the question is who should replace that fence. Yes, we had a facility which we had hoped was going to help in that regard the EU facility but that facility has since been withdrawn as of January 2020 I think, but we are working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Water, Climate and Rural
Resettlement first on the issue of regularisation of settlements there but also in trying to come up with ways where we create corridors because most of these settlements are in animal corridors and animals will always remember that this is the path they take in a particular season. So, we are working closely with the Minister of Agriculture,
Lands, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to address this issue.
The issue of employment of children in areas near parks, I highlighted in my statement first that last year, the five people who were employed from that area to work in Hwange National Park, all of them came from Hwange. Yes, we may have had challenges previously on this issue but, it is an issue that we are serious about and it is an issue that Parks have been advised to take seriously and they are already implementing that. I also highlighted in my report that nationally, last year 22% of the people who were employed by
National Parks came from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland
South in areas where we received most complaints of marginalisation. I want to believe Mr. Speaker Sir that there is good progress made there and more can still be done. We also know that in terms of antipoaching, it is not the best strategy to deploy children to the areas where they grew up. It is very difficult for them to apprehend people who are their relatives and whom they know. So, there is this strategy also to rotate that once you have recruited, you rotate them so that there is effective anti-poaching that is done.
I want Mr. Speaker Sir to acknowledge that I heard of the loss of this life in this House yesterday in Victoria Falls, and it is with
sadness that I heard this. I had not yet been apprised of that and we grieve with the family. It is an issue that I really had no idea happened.
Maybe it was the last question which was to the effect where the Hon. Member was asking whether communities are compensated before or after mining takes place. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not want to run the risk of misinforming this House. It is an area that I would want to go and research on, but I know that the EIA mandates that whoever will be making any development compensates the communities. They come up with an agreement of compensation and by and large, I want to believe that this compensation will be over, because of the operations but I might want to come up with a definitive response to this issue.
I realised that I was skipping one or two questions which I thought was related to what I had already answered and I hope I have done justice to the questions. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHINANZVAVANA: If you will allow Mr. Speaker
Sir, may I move for the adoption of one of the reports.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us exhaust the process first.
There are three critical questions which I recorded. One was that with these stockpiles of ivory, why do you not do value addition and get some trinkets out of that and export these, rather than keep those mountains of ivory there. I thought that was a very important question that needed your response so that the House is properly apprised, otherwise these mountains of ivory will continue to grow.
The second one was that why do we not do the culling to create a balance between nature and the habitat that cannot carry the population of elephants. Then the other one, you indicated that there are committees, but I think if you recall the Natural Resources Board had committees established at provincial level and these committees were not connected to local authorities while the Rural District Councils Act indeed allows for the establishment of environmental committees within council but there is no link at law between EMA and those committees. I think there is need for clarity there.
Finally, your hesitating question which should not detract from your good responses, the Chair is speaking here traditionally where a life was lost either through conflict between human and human. There was kuripa in Shona and X number of cattle were to be given to the family that had lost a life as a result of the conflict between two people or some groups of people in the vicinity. Ukuhlangula ngeSindebele. Why should the concept not be found generally admitting that life is priceless? You cannot say someone who has lost life is worth US$200 000 or 200 000 pounds. Life is priceless but a token of some measure, I think it is a matter that can be considered following our African culture.
These are some of the areas for food for thought if you may conclude.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you very much. Hon. Minister, you are aware of the Chinese factory in Norton. 1) it is on wetland and there was no way it was supposed to be there. Secondly, they failed to comply with everything. There was a group of Ministers that visited the factory – yourself as Minister of Industry and Commerce, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Justice, Legal and parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, but there was no Minister or Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. There was a report by the department at province and at district level which was totally negative. You then came and gave the picture that everything was okay until I wrote to the President to say your Ministers lied to you, and for sure he called me to his office and said I was correct. I equally asked the President, is there any big heavyweight in this factory because it has destroyed the entire environmental degradation including Makonde where Hon. Paradza is Member of Parliament. I would implore you to tell me why as EMA you have not closed that factory. It is not even bringing foreign currency; the foreign currency that they are generating is not going to ZIMRA. Who is really behind it, why should our environment suffer at the expense of Chinese who do not respect our laws and EMA is still weak to do that?
Lastly, may I invite you after you have been to Hon. Mudarikwa to come and see the mountains behind Norton, the degradation, there are videos I have done on that. There is no reason why that operation should continue. Why you can we not move it to another place which industry can happen that is not on wetland. I thank you.
HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Mine is on elephants. The SPCA Zimbabwe has sensationally claimed that Zimbabwe is selling baby elephants to the Far East. I just want the Minister to confirm or decline this assertion that it is capturing baby elephants and selling them to the Far East – [HON. MEMBERS:
Vhara muromo.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not take my position; I have allowed one or two members to speak without their masks on because they have health problems. Do not speak when you are not the Chair, wait for your time to rule will come.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE
CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.
- NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. Speaker for raising the issues which I may have not addressed fully. The issue of value addition, I did attend to it Mr. Speaker Sir, to say there are still constraints with trading in these products within CITES. The reason for stopping the trade in ivory and its products if because they claim, and unscientifically so, that it contributes to poaching - which is why our argument has always been that we want a scientific conclusion to this. We stopped the trade of rhino horns, it is even in Appendix One but poaching of rhino horns is on the rise.
The other issue which I had raised is that for a stockpile of the nature we have, we will need a massive market for those products and generally we have challenges accessing such markets. We have small scale industries which are doing this processing but we know there is a constraint in markets because CITES over reaches to the processed products as well. They are still products of wild life. The issue of culling is an issue which I believe is open for discussion; we last did culling some years ago. We had over the years been doing hunting which has been sustainable utilization of our resources and that has been to some extend working because communities and parks were benefiting from this. Our main concern now is the trend where the main sources of people who are buying or where hunters are coming from there is an emergency of legislation which is banning the importation of trophies. In the US it is still the state of California but we know that once one state passes such legislation, it will just easily extend to others.
We have made representations, I have also written to the Senators there with our submissions in terms of our concerns about the move they are about to take. We believe it is not also well informed and not scientifically based. The issue of local communities, it is an issue that I will take on board but I know that
EMA are invited to be part of the committees at local authority level. However, we are still to be represented in every district which still creates a gap so it is natural resources at local district level that Committee which I was talking about and also I will pray that the provincial councils should there be sub-Committees they create a specific sub-Committee which looks at natural resources.
The issue of compensation, you will recall in my presentation that I said it requires robust discussion. Your example is also clear that there will be a problem in compensation in wild life because we will fail to identify who should compensate. Who is the owner of the wild life that would have attacked and killed a human being? That question is not easy to answer, communities are custodians and I was told by the technical team that technically no one owns wild life in Zimbabwe, which is why it can move to another country and we cannot claim losses or compensation but we are custodians. These are some of the technical issues that will have to be considered when we are looking at this. I agree with members that lives cannot be lost and nothing is done. May be we might look at - I had a term in mind which is an alternative to compensation fund where grieved families can draw maybe for purpose of meeting certain costs which will be established at national level, but properly maybe guided and supervised by Parliament.
The danger is to put the burden on National Parks for a number of reason - they are a national institution but most importantly they are only in charge of 12 ½ percent of the areas that are under wild life. Communities also have 5 million hectares which they are controlling, including private ownership. So, we might create a situation where we are unable to manage the expectations that will be coming from communities. Nonetheless, from the applauses that came from the House, I want to believe that maybe there is room to discuss this further. I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for the issue that he has raised. Interestingly, we remember that when I went there I was still Minister of Industry. Maybe in terms of the environment they are a bit conflicted because I was seeing industries grow. I must admit I have not received a specific environmental report on this issue, but there is a letter which you are talking about which I forwarded to EMA and I will make a follow up on that. I thank you for raising this issue. EMA has full powers to stop operations where they have reasonable evidence that there is violation of the provisions of the EIA agreement. So, I want to believe that they have the power to look into that. It is a matter that I will look into but also I welcome the invitation. You know how you invite me. Today you invited me through this process but whenever there is time I will visit and we see these mountains, but I was not sure whether you were saying the mountains are coming from the factory or it is a different land degradation issue. That was not clear.
HON. T. MLISWA: I would like to clarify – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: It will be clear when you meet.
HON. T. MLISWA: Can I please clarify – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Why is it that you do this every time? Who are you? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, do not be drawn to
attacking. Let the Chair do the attacking on your behalf. That is the procedure. Secondly, the Hon. Minister has graciously agreed to your invitations so the nitty gritties of where the mountains are, it is a matter of discussion on site.
HON. T. MLISWA: I withdraw. I remain behind it, it is in order.
HON. N. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will be brief. There was the issue on selling of baby elephants which was raised. I want to guide this House to the fact that whatever sale of live species we did as a country, we fully obliged and complied with the statutes of the provisions of CITIES.
Following the amendment on the acceptable and the appropriate destinations we can only now sell our live species to range areas, to areas that are of the same climatic conditions as Zimbabwe, that process has since been discontinued. Most of our markets for that really were China, Singapore areas and because they are no longer under the acceptable and appropriate destinations, that has since been stopped. You cannot sell any animal outside the certification of CITIES. It went through all that robust process and we were quite happy as a country that we obliged to that up to the time when the provisions have changed and we have since obliged to it. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is to really appreciate the Minister, his responses.
THE HON. SPEAKER: It is a point of privilege.
HON. T. MLISWA: Okay it is a point of privilege. Thank you. Mr. Speaker, you know I am known for criticising Ministers when they do not perform, but equally I must be honourable enough when a Minster has done good to say we are proud of such work. It was refreshing to hear a young, vibrant, patriotic Minister responding to issues like that. It is a beauty and yes, it is good to invest in such young people and I see the party has got young vibrant people. May it continue to give them a chance. Excellent work.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I want to say thank you for your complimentary point of privilege. The Hon. Minister is relatively young.
HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir for
awarding me this opportunity. Unfortunately, I also wanted to compliment the Minister, but the words have been taken out of my mouth. I can also add on to thank the Hon. Minister for his timeous response to our reports. Thank you so much Hon. Minister. Could I also thank all the Members who have helped in debating and putting up points of clarity. Thank you so much, you have made our report come to a conclusion. So, Hon. Speaker Sir, I move that the motion be adopted.
That this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism on Elephant Management in Hwange and Gonarezhou National Parks.
Motion put and agreed to.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I want to indicate that while I was chairing I sent our Deputy Chairman of Committees on the Speaker’s Panel, Hon. Mutomba, to look for the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development as well as the Governor so that we can have that urgent meeting tomorrow. Both of them were not answering their phones. I will try tonight to look for them and if they are not there we will make sure that we get to their deputies. Should there be a delay in getting the fuel on time it has been requested through the Acting Chief Whip of the Governing Party that Members who will be in that predicament and fail to travel, can they be allowed to stay in the hotels and my answer is yes, they can stay, but we will report back – I think you have got some group chat. We should come back to you before 11:00 a.m. tomorrow so that you are advised accordingly.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (HON. N. M. NDLOVU), the House adjourned at
Twenty Six Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020.