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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 MAY 2021 VOL 47 NO 51
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 18th May, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I rise on a matter of public importance and my matter has to do with the issue of implementation. Madam Speaker, as a country, we are very good at coming up with programmes, projects and plans. For instance, we had ZIMPREST, ZIMASSET, TSP, and NDS. Our problem has to do with implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Of late, I saw the Minister responsible for Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation going around on a monitoring tour.
Madam Speaker, we want to know whether those projects which are in NDS1 are being implemented to the letter and spirit in which they were written in that document. I would like to propose that the Minister who is responsible for Implementation and Monitoring comes to this
House and give a Ministerial Statement in regards to all the projects so that we see whether there is progress or lack of it. When NDS1 says there is going to be drilling of 35 thousand boreholes, people want to see those boreholes being done. When it says we are going to create 760 thousand jobs, people want to see those jobs, they want to touch and feel them. When it says we are going to build 100 schools, people want to see those schools.
I would like to urge you Madam Speaker, so that the Minister responsible for Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation comes into this House so that he tells us whether there is progress or lack of it in terms of these projects. In order for you to see whether there is progress, a project is supposed to be implemented. Thereafter, it must be monitored and evaluated. Therefore, we what to see whether there is any progress or lack of it in terms of projects which are being done by this country in terms of NDS1. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Dr. Khupe.
You have raised a very valid point. I will ask the responsible Minister to come to the House with a Ministerial Statement to give us update on the implementation of all those programmes. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker and good afternoon
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Good afternoon Hon. Nduna.
HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I have a point of privilege that I want to put across on a point of national importance; in particular, where I come from in Chegutu West Constituency, in the past three or so days, we have had road carnage or road traffic accidents that have claimed close to 10 lives. The reason I rise on this point Madam Speaker, it is as enshrined in Section 119 of the Constitution that speaks to my role as a legislator, role of representation of law making as well as on playing oversight on the Executive in the manner they carry out their mandate.
Madam Speaker, the road that was constructed by Group 5 and
Intertoll 821km also passes through the constituency where I come from.
The distance between Chegutu and Kadoma is 35km and it is in the
Genes Book of records as the longest straight stretch under the sun in South of the Sahara in the Southern Hemisphere. Drivers get tempted to speed on that road and as a country, we have about five deaths per day due to road carnage but the past three days have seen those five deaths per day reside in my constituency along this road I am talking about. Madam Speaker, I therefore ask that the Minister of Transport comes to this House and share with us what it is that he has done in terms of implementation of some of the recommendations of your Committee on Transport in the Eighth Parliament that speaks to establishment of the accident victims stabilisation centres especially on all tollgates so that the people that are involved in road carnage and road accidents can be ferried to those accident stabilisation centres within the first hour after the accident. That is the first issue Madam Speaker.
Your Committee left it at the stage where the operators, Intertoll, of those toll plazas were amenable to the establishment of those accident victim stabilisation centres. Your Committee was going to further propose along the same lines that Statutory Instrument 45 of 2005 has been established to take at least another 5% from the third party insurance and make sure that they capacitate those accident victim stabilisation centres so that there can be serving of life.
Madam Speaker, the second issue, I hope that it is going to cut...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No second issue Hon. Nduna.
HON. NDUNA: No, it is just paraphrased on the same accidents that occurred. Madam Speaker, the issue of Traffic Safety Council was given 121/2% from third party insurance so that they can carry out traffic safety awareness and establish teams in order that they avoid, avert, reduce and eradicate the accidents on our highways. It would be important for the Minister of Transport to come and tell this House how that money is being spent if not for the said activity.
Still on that same matter, it is my clarion call, fervent view and hope that if that money which, according to the amount of vehicles that are in Zimbabwe, comes up to about US$10 million yearly, it would be important to see how that money is being utilised with a view of making sure that what occurred in Chegutu on that highway cannot recur.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity and I ask that the Minister of transport comes into this House and completely ventilates on the point so that we can interrogate him after his statement.
I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nduna. We
will ask the responsible Minister to come and give this House a
Ministerial Statement. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mine is on national interest importance. We saw a statement by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi on the judges. My understanding is that in the doctrine of separation of powers which we must all understand, the Judiciary is independent, so is the Executive and Parliament. Each one of us has a role to play. What I understand and what I think the Minister should do is to come with a Ministerial Statement to explain why when a matter is subjudice, he decided to comment on it. Now that the matter has been appealed, already the judges that are handling this matter are already compromised. They are under threat. It has never happened where a Minister of Justice who is the father of justice issues a statement like that and goes political in saying that some judges belong to the opposition. We never knew anything that any judge belongs to the opposition as much as we believe that his discharge of duty as a
Minister is for the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. It is important
that the Minister comes and issues a Ministerial Statement because there is now a constitutional crisis in the country pertaining to that and it is important that, that statement will be able to get us to understand. Other than that, he must resign but he must be given a chance because his credibility and that of the justice delivery system of Zimbabwe which must exercise judicial prudence has been failed by one person. I think it is important that he does right for the country, puts the country first and hence his resignation. Before that, it will be good for us to hear what he has to say pertaining to that.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, I would like to
urge you to ask that tomorrow on question time.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I stand guided by you. Knowing that you are in the Chair, I am very much assured that I will be given the chance to do that.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will give you the chance.
HON. NDEBELE: I have one more issue of national importance.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 2.2 million persons in
Zimbabwe have a disability and 2.2 million people is almost the size of the population of Botswana. Put differently, this is too large a section of our society to ignore. As a country, we have a long way to go...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, I am
reminding you to raise your issue in one minute. I am discouraging you
HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I am doing that but if you allow the principal desk to continue behaving in this way, it will take longer for me to do it. I was going to keep myself within a minute. I know the rules perfectly well but it is discouraging if the principal desk is going to be behaving like this.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Behaving like what?
HON. NDEBELE: Handing love letters and tagging on what
Ndebele should do or not.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you please ask your
question Hon. Ndebele.
HON. NDEBELE: I will leave it and raise it on another day if it pleases you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PENSIONS AND PROVIDENT FUNDS BILL [H.B. 17, 2019]
Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on Second Reading of the
Pensions and Provident Funds Bill [H.B. 17, 2019].
Question again proposed.
HON. NDUNA: I would like to ventilate the issue on Clause 17 that provides for payment and remittal of contributions to the fund and also penalise non remittal of contributions by participating employers making certain persons civilly and personally liable for non remittal of funds. For a very long time, the issue of non remittal has been going on with impunity, in particular where I come from – Chegutu West Constituency and Chegutu Municipality. Chegutu West Constituency in general and Chegutu Municipality in particular, this only comes out when employees want to claim their pensions and when they are told that the contribution have not been remitted to the fund. This is very key in that it only comes to the fore after the member or contributor has left the service and it is quite something that is acrimonious and should not be allowed to continue recurring. Having said that, I think Clause 17 that is being proposed is quite progressive in that it enforces the issue of
Clause 19 goes further to talk about the minimum benefits to be provided by a Fund to its Members and beneficiaries. Just yesterday or the last question time, the Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare spoke about the increase of the quantum of pension funds from the current $25 to $65 by December. It is because this has never been provided for in real monetary terms. We are trying to make sure that we race after our local monies that have lost value. At the time when the pensioners were contributing, it would have been worth $80 for them to get back their remittances, but currently it is $25.
So this Clause 19 is quite progressive in that it protects the value and the minimum benefits which pensioners can get. I am hoping that the fund regulators can actually have it cast in stone from the time that the contributors are contributing to the time of the pay out. Putting that Clause in place ensures that it protects the pensioners. When we dollarized, they used to pay out $80 but currently the pensioners are getting $30 to $25 dollars. It means there was a dearth in terms of
The legislator did not contemplate at the time that our money was going to lose value but this Clause 19 has foresight and a futuristic meaning in terms of protecting value for the pensioners. I say this because currently with US$30 the pensioners cannot pay for utilities. They cannot pay rates contributions at council because everyone who owns a property in Chegutu West Constituency is at pensioners level because we have a void of about 25 000 houses and we have 20 000 houses. What it means is with a population of more than 50 000 it means everybody who owns a house is a pensioner. So, they cannot afford to pay rates because Clause 19 was missing in the previous Fund. I applaud the Minister for proposing that Clause. It shows that it is an amendment in the main Bill that is subsisting.
I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently deal and dispose of that Bill in the manner that I have because of Chairman Nyamarango, Chairman Mungwa, Chairman Chidemo from Ward 25, Chairman Charles Makoni in Ward 1 and Mr. Green who have asked me to come and contribute in the manner that I have in relation to the Pensions Bill. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: I am rising ostensibly to seek clarity on the rule that you were standing on when you interjected my contribution. The rules of this House are written in black and white. Until it is clarified I stand on two positions that you either stopped me because I belong to the opposition or because of where I come from. On which rule did you make that determination that I must not contribute when I am a fully sworn in Member of this House?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon, Ndebele before you I
recognised Hon. Khupe so it is not about your party because if it was about your party I would not have recognised Hon. Khupe. Secondly, Hon. Khupe comes from the region where you come from so there is no regional issue there. Thirdly, it is there in our Standing Orders. It is only that we do not have hard copies for now but it is there in our Standing Orders that your statements must be one minute statements. I will ask the Clerk to bring it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow so that
I will show you and the whole House where it is written in the Standing Orders.
HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, what I find unbelievable is that you could then predict that my presentation was going to ...
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No Hon. Ndebele I did not stop you
but I was just urging you not to take a long time.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Nduna had four to five minutes to speak and even in his last instalment, he was naming people from wards and from his constituency. We represent people as a nation here and you never made a determination after his instalment. I thought you would make a ruling spiking what he had said.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, he was still in his time because he had 20 minutes to debate.
HON. NDEBELE: But you stopped me from speaking. I know the rules I am a lawyer. I was going to be within one minute.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I did not stop you Hon. Ndebele. I
was just urging you ...
HON. NDEBELE: If this Parliament is for a people coming from a particular part of this country, say so. I will be happy to go back home.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sorry if you think like
that Hon Ndebele but it is not about regionalism or partisan.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order, my proposal is that can you give him a chance tomorrow to put his point of order. I know you are in the Chair.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will give him on Thursday.
Thank you Hon. Mliswa. It is there in our Standing Rules and Orders on Order Number 61 (1) where is it written a Member who is not a Minister may make a statement for one minute on a matter of public importance.
HON. NDEBELE: Very true but you cannot anticipate what I am going to say in one minute.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was just urging you. Hon
Ndebele, may you allow the business of the House…
HON. NDEBELE: I am also part of the business of this House. I must be heard.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes you are but I did not stop
you from talking. I only urged you to take one minute.
HON. NDEBELE: You stopped me.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: I think there are sections of the Bill which need to be redressed. When you go to Part 5 on Management and Administration of Fund, I believe that all those members should not have any material or specific interest to the Pension and Provident Fund business except for retirees who should be part of the board. The board will then be assisted by competent and independent private experts on any area they are conversant with. I am saying so because we have found out that those who are managing pension funds sometimes just use the money willy-nilly for the wrong things while the pensioners themselves are suffering. Therefore, as part of the fund and the Commission itself, it should have at least one retiree as part of the board or the Commission.
Clause 23 (1) restricts the board to five members unless otherwise. While I agree that the numbers of board members are supposed to be odd which is perfect, the Bill suggests that “at least one half shall be elected by the members of the fund and the other board members being appointed by the participatory employees”. This seeks to divide the two sides over which side is going to have the majority, is it the employee side or the employer side. That Madam Speaker, is an area which has to be looked at when we are at Committee Stage.
The other issue where there is a fundamental problem with the Bill is that it ignores members who have not been part of the pension scheme during their working lives. At the moment, you will agree with me that the Zimbabwean economy is now an informal economy where most workers are no longer in the formal sector; whereas the Bill seeks to cater for those who are in the formal sector. In other words, by the time those in the formal sector retire, they will have nothing to sit on and we are actually promoting their poverty. We need to look at both contributory pension benefits and non-contributory pension benefits so that we cater for the bulk of employees who are 80% of the working
There is also the issue of how much pensioners are earning. Those who live below the poverty datum line are extremely poor in South Africa. This definition matches our systems in Zimbabwe. Here is the difference Madam Speaker. The poverty datum line was R561 while the lower bound poverty datum line was R810 in 2019. The upper bound poverty datum line was R1227 for the same period. Consequently South African pensioners were not living a worse life although they could receive more. That is what we are also trying to say. We need such a system.
I want to go to Part 1 Clause 6 (1) (b) of the Bill which concerns the registering and deregistering of fund administrators. This Clause 6 gives too much power to the Pension Commission and it does not clearly state in this legislation the process involved until later on in the Bill or Schedule. We need what is in this Schedule to come to this section so that the power that is given to fund administrators or Pension
Commission is known.
Lastly, Part 3 on the Rules of the Fund, is very dear to us because it seeks to protect members’ benefits. It preserves the economic value when the fund administrator changes or when currency is changed or when there is a conversion on defined contributions or when there is any other changes that affect the rights of members. Pensioners have lost four times since 2008 and the rules of the fund have to be made strong so that when any of these things eventually happen, whether unforeseen, or foreseen the pensioners’ funds are guaranteed. I thank you.
HON GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the
opportunity to debate on this particular motion. This Bill seeks to amend the Pensions and Provident Fund Act wherein it wanted to seek or to provide the registration, regulation and dissolution of pension funds –
[Virtual network challenges.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gandawa, are you there?
I think we lost him.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, there is an Hon. Member who is trying to log in using a Huawei Y9 Prime. Please ensure that you log in with your full details in order to be allowed into the Chamber debate.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, I
move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th May, 2021
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 9 to 14 be stood over until Order of the Day
Number 14 is disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONTRIBUTION OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR ON REVENUE
HON. CHINGOSHO: Madam Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name that this House;
COGNISANT that the economy in Zimbabwe is largely dominated by the informal sector which deprives the country of the much needed revenue as most businesses in this sector are not registered enterprises; MINDFUL that the informal sector is usually accompanied by unofficial activities which give rise to the parallel black market;
CONCERNED that the activities of the informal sector have far reaching consequences to the entire economy in terms of fiscal measures that are aimed at the collection of more revenue in the form of taxes;
NOW THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive-
- To encourage the informal sector to contribute to the fiscus by lowering taxes so that such informal businesses can come forward and register instead of operating under the cover of the parallel market.
- To promote small scale businesses in the informal sector and at the same time, attract foreign investment through a raft of urgent measures which will in the long term revive the country’s economy.
HON. KAPUYA: I second.
HON. CHINGOSHO: Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I will start off by giving the introduction. The informal sector is defined as a set of unincorporated enterprises owned by households which produce at least some products for the market. There are two forms of informal sector namely; informal owned account enterprises, i.e. those that are not registered under specific forms of national registration and enterprises of informal employers, i.e. all those with less than a specific level of employment and with employees not registered.
The informal sector plays a major economic role in stimulating the growth of the market economy, promoting a flexible labour market, stimulating productive activities and absorbing retrenched labour from the formal sector.
The informal economy in Zimbabwe has been growing vastly since the 1990s to this day and over 60% of the total GDP is in the sector. This has seen the rise in inter-transaction business at community level and complementing of some economic efforts that have not been covered well by the shrinking formal economy. Since the collapse of industry due to the hyperinflation crisis of the 2000, the informal sector in Zimbabwe has formed the back bone of the economy, almost 5.2 million trade in the informal economy, 65% of whom are women.
According to the informal International Monetary Fund (IMF), it has shown that Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world following Bolivia. This suggests that revenue collection through formal sectors is limited, thus growth in the informal market therefore leads to lower tax revenues for the State. Youths and women are the primary empowerment and job creation target, inasmuch as they are the majority who make an important contribution as productive workers, entrepreneurs, consumers and agencies of change. The country stands to realise demographic dividends by harnessing women and the youthful populace to productive use through inclusive growth.
In support of this sector, Government disbursed a total of over $77 million by end of September, 2020 and these funds were channelled through local empowerment financial institutions such as the Women
Development Fund, Community Development Fund (CDF), Zimbabwe
Women’s Microfinance Bank, Empower Bank and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) benefiting a total of
6 763 micro small and medium enterprises.
Challenges Faced by the Informal Sector
The informal sector is at the bottom of the economic pyramid and they often face challenges in accessing financial support from mainstream financial institutions, yet their development is vital to employment creation, poverty alleviation and economic development. Informal activities are often characterised by low levels of capital skills, access to organise markets and technology, low and unstable incomes, poor and unpredictable working conditions. Tax clearance is sometimes an impediment to compliance formalisation, for example, in order to licence with the local authority, one needs tax clearance.
Multiplicity of regulatory requirements, for example, there are nine procedures to be followed for one to start a formal business in Zimbabwe. In sub-Sahara region, the average is seven procedures. This results in high levels of informality. Limited access and high costs of finance, banks perceive SMESs as a high risk and they restrict extension of credit to the sector. SMEs lack suitable collateral and the majority do not maintain financial records and are very informal. Many SMEs have weak corporate governance systems, no succession planning which is required for a sustainable business operation, limited access to appropriate workplace and infrastructure, especially for retail and manufacturing SMEs. High rentals for the available workplace render SMEs to be uncompetitive. Informal activities are often outside the scope of official statistical enumeration and Government regulations and beyond systems of labour and social protection.
The effects of the CORONA virus pandemic, COVID-19 on the informal economy in Zimbabwe has gone beyond the general lockdown hunger, social economic and political effects on these groups have taken place. Domestic violence, harassment, loss of jobs, sickness, nonavailability of working space, mental stress, and debts of outstanding water, electricity and rental bills are part of the realistic effects on the ground. The majority do not have descent operational spaces in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19. This is a new shift which is further destroying the little hope for the greater part of the informally reliable livelihood. If it is not lawfully addressed, this is a catastrophic environment which may cause serious effects in the march towards the
The recently announced increases in mining fees will have implications on the participation of locals in the minerals value chain. Recently, there have been effects to revamp the industry to make sure that it contributes the expected US$12 billion to the economy. The change in the licensing fees at a time the artisanal mining sector is in chaos due to inaccessibility of mining titles and the high prices – these are likely to make it unaffordable for some locals. Most of the locals who have been participating in the artisanal mining sector are unemployed youths who have limited capital to increase their production or participate fully in the mineral value chain. The high fees are now exclusionary and will force the local artisanal miners to engage more in illegal low tiers of the value chain and exacerbate corruption and illicit smuggling.
The advantage of having locals participate at the high stages of the value chair is that the economic benefits are most likely to benefit the nation and it also encourages them to operate in a formal way. It remains a challenge when the growth of artisanal miners is not supported and promoted by favourable policies to encourage formalisation.
The artisanal and small scale mining sector is a source of livelihood for several mining communities. The sector has been producing more through gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. There is need to formalise the sector and create decent work for these communities in an effort to promote sustainable development and transform the economy into the upper middle income economy as
Membership in formal trade unions
Formalisation can and should take different forms which include shifting informal workers to formal jobs, registering and taxing informal sector firms, providing business incentives and support services to informal sector firms, securing legal and social protection for informal workforce, recognising the organisations of informal workers and enabling their representatives to take part in rule setting, policy making and collective bargaining processes.
There is no single one-off overriding policy goal or prescription that can address the concerns linked to categories of informal sector firms, activities or workers. A comprehensive policy framework will include broad goals to address informality, create more protection to the informal sector workforce, particularly the working poor and increase the productivity of informal firms and the income of the informal workforce.
Case studies of formalising the informal sector
Ghana’s informal sector efforts to formalise the informal sector often involve the coming together of multiple forms of best practices. The key to formalising the underground economy is to create incentives for those operating informally to see the value of becoming formal, that is to create an environment in which the benefits of formalising outweigh the costs of remaining informal. In doing this, informal sector firms are more likely to voluntarily opt to formalise. Efforts to formalise the informal economy often involve coming together of multiple forms of best practices in microfinance, formalising informal training
(including the best practice in skills recognition), best practice in reforming formal skills training for the underground economy, best practice in formalising in formal trade and community associations, best practice in formalising informal social protection in formalising land
Zimbabwe can adopt the following strategies that were used by
Rwanda to formalise the informal sector:
Engage local authorities and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises in the formation and formalisation of informal traders’ blocks for ease of tax administration. Structures are already there in some areas such as the Mbare complex along Simon Mazorodze Road,
Mupedzanhamo, Mbare Musika, Avondale Flea Market and Glen View
Home Industry complex;
Policy changes that are targeted at introducing flat tax rates or flat tax amounts for informal sector traders;
Tailor made educational workshops for each category of current and potential taxpayers;
Specialised training for revenue authority staff in handling different categories of taxpayers;
A study tour to Rwanda to enable Government to have first-hand experience on how Rwanda manages its informal sector. The study tour team can comprise of representatives from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, local authorities and the Ministry of SMEs.
Block Management System: Rwanda Revenue Authority vs
Kabeza Market Vendors
The Rwanda Revenue Authority closed the Kabeza Market following the non-remission of taxes by the owner of the market. The market houses over 1 000 vendors in a block management system who sell various commodities. These vendors remit their taxes to the owner of the market for remission to the Revenue Authority. The case shows the ease of administration by the Revenue Authority where more than 1 000 informal vendors can be managed through one focal person who is the owner of the market/bloc for tax purposes.
Zimbabwe’s starting point
Informal sector blocks are already there in some areas such as the Mupedzanhamo Flea Market, Glen View Home Industry complex; Avondale Flea Market, Mbare complex along Simon Mazorodze Road, as well as home industry and produce markets in other towns and cities. These can be used as a starting point in the journey of formalising the informal sector for ease of tax administration.
The database of informal traders can be obtained from local authorities such as the Harare City Council where informal traders pay their market
The Ministry of SMEs can be engaged in the training and buy-in workshops of informal traders for ease of implementation of the formalisation process.
The informal sector can best be taxed in blocks – that is in demarcated areas where traders conduct their business.
- Taxpayer education is important with tailor made courses for each category of tax payers.
- Specialised training for Revenue Authority staff is also essential to equip them with skills to tax different categories of taxpayers.
- Flat rates of tax make compliance easy for the informal sector where record keeping is poor.
- Given the fact that at least US$4 billion is circulating in the nation’s informal sector, taxing this booming sector is a better move. However, there is need for formalisation first as a precondition to taxing the hidden economy, thereby widening the tax base. Taxation of this sector is a matter that deserves some considerable attention. Before this, the sector needs to be incorporated into the formal economy first.
- The informal economy is the economy of Zimbabwe. It requires a separate Ministry that should focus on developing people in the informal economy to becoming part of the mainstream economy
that contributes to taxes and improve their livelihoods to become part of the decent work agenda.
- Tax policy needs to become responsive and targeted at revenue base growth.
- A huge investment needs to be made in tax education starting at primary school level. Government/ZIMRA needs to be seen as being with the people, not against the people.
- Zimbabwe needs to create an environment and culture where tax compliance becomes a norm and way of life.
- Indirect taxation of the informal sector. The simplest way to tax the informal sector is indirectly through:
- VAT is one of the most common ways of taxing the informal
- The informal sector buys from the formal sector.
- VAT is less economically distorting.
- VAT covers a wide range of goods and services.
- May encourage formalisation in order to claim input VAT.
PRESUMPTIVE TAX IS PAYABLE BY:
- Operators of taxicabs
- Goods vehicles, driving schools
- Licenced and unlicensed bottle stores and restaurants
- Cottage industries kuma Gaba
- Glenview Area 8
- Excise duty – cigarettes
- Excise duty – Motor vehicles
- Excise duty – Airtime
- 10% withholding taxes
- ATM – taxes
- Intermediated money transfer tax
- Proper and inclusive formalisation of the informal economy which will uphold informal economy workers’ rights.
- Policy reviews and formulation to ensure and safeguard decent work in the informal economy, i.e BILL – ACT (spearheaded by the responsible Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.
- Ratification, adoption and implementation of International Standards OR the informal economy workers.
- Infrastructural development and access to markets for informal economy workers.
- Access to social protection that provides for an opportunity for everyone to be covered.
- Access to social dialogue that promotes participatory engagement in decision making bodies.
- Decriminilisation of informal economy operations
- Access to finance and skills empowerment from informal businesses to grow.
- Contribution to a fair and simplified tax regime.
FORMALISING THE INFORMAL SECTOR
Formalisation of the informal sector can mean different things to different interest groups. To some, it means shifting informal workers to formal wage jobs. To others, it implies registering and taxing informal workers to formal wage jobs. To others, it implies registering and taxing informal businesses. To informal traders who already pay taxes, for example in Zambia, it means gaining access to legal and social protection as well as support services and being allowed to organise and to be represented in relevant rule-setting, policy making and collective bargaining. To informal wage workers, formalisation implies obtaining a formal wage job-or formalising their current job-with secure contract, worker benefits, membership in a formal trade.
It is primarily important to ensure that formalisation offers the benefits and protections/guarantees that come with being formal and does not simply impose the costs of formalising. Formalisation is not a one-step programme; rather it is an ongoing process of extending benefits of formalisation incrementally to informal sector traders. In asking informal economy traders to register and pay taxes, policymakers should offer traders in this sector some benefits/rewards of formalisation.
APPROACHES TO FORMALISING THE INFORMAL
Formalisation of the informal firms
- Registration and taxation
- Simplified registration procedures
- Progressive registration fees
- Apposite legal and regulatory frameworks, including
- Enforceable commercial contracts
- Private property rights
- Use of public space
- Occupational health and safety regulation
- Benefits of operating formally
- Access (unrestricted) to financial support and information on markets
- Access to public infrastructure and services
- Enforceable commercial contracts
- Limited liability
- Lucid bankruptcy and default rules
- Access to government subsidies/support/incentives such as procurement bids and export promotion packages.
- Membership in formal business and industrial associations as CZI
- Access to a formal system of social security
- Formalisation of informal sector jobs
- Legal recognition and protection as worker.
- Rights and benefits of being formally employed
- Freedom from discrimination
- Minimum wage
- Occupational health and safety measures
- Employer contributions to health and pensions
- Right to organise and bargain collectively
The formalistion of the informal economy into mainstream economy is a critical need. This will include fighting and closing corruption gaps and bringing hope to women, youth and people with disabilities who have been operating as outcasts of the nation while fighting for survival. There is need for the government to respond positively to the grievances on the informal economy workers. This can be achieved through engagements with all stakeholders – informal economy workers, government, policy makers, legal representatives, trade unions and others. This will enable social and economic development for the whole country as the government moves to attaining a middle income economy by 2030 and leaving no one and no place behind.
HON. KAPUYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am here to second a very important motion by Hon Chingosho. Formalising the informal sector should not be about taxation only, which is the norm when you hear ZIMRA saying we want to formalise the informal sector so that we increase the revenue base. I urge Government to give rebates to the informal sector in the form of taxes. In local authorities if a company or a business applies for a stand, they are given concessions either tax rebate, or free water during construction period. I feel the same should be accorded to the informal sector for them to grow.
If a project is granted National Project Status, it carries with it a lot of benefits. I urge the same to be done to the informal sector. The benefits of the informal sector today is that it increases or improves the living standards of the people vis-a-vis the idea of increasing the tax revenue. The informal sector improves infrastructure, roads, electricity and telecommunications. For example, if you visit Mupedzanhamo today, the roads are poor. How do you tax such a person? How do you improve the infrastructure? What Government has to do is to improve the infrastructure together with the local authorities because they collect rentals on a daily basis. In fact, some local authorities, on an hourly basis thereby milking the income of the informal sector.
Challenges of the informal sector are lack of knowledge, financial discipline and management skills. Therefore we urge some universities to partner with these informal sectors be it welding section, home based kapenta drying, so that they instill the management skills and financial discipline in the informal sector thereby improving the living standards of the people. That is key. If you look at the informal sector in Zimbabwe today, all the Hon Members who are in this Parliament trade informally in one way or another to supplement the income they earn from this Parliament. As Hon Members, we should make sure that this sector is looked after by Government. I thank you.
HON T. MLISWA: The informal sector is critical to the growth of the country and the role that they play is not just about receiving, but paying taxes. There is no economy that grows without business paying taxes. The amount of money which is allocated to them at times does not even assist them because of inflation. As long as we do not manage inflation in this country, we will just be excited about figures, passing budgest and when the money is disbursed, it means nothing. The informal sector while it receives money from Government, this money is coming from big players in the economy who are taxed heavily and that money is disbursed to the informal sector.
The informal sector’s question is how much money do they contribute to the fiscus. It is the same thing as the artisanal miners where people say that they are critical to the growth of the country, but if you look at the damage in terms of environmental degradation and the smuggling of gold, it is all happening because of that. There has got to be a system which clearly makes them pay tax. When any business is doing well, there must be a cutoff point that if you generating so much you must pay tax. When they are paying tax, there is income generation which certainly goes to the fiscus then the country is able to sustain itself. You cannot have a country where you are taking from one and giving to
The problem with the informal sector is that it becomes political. The artisanal mining becomes political. It is those who are aligned to a certain party who benefit, others do not. Politicians must desist from creating structures so that ultimately they are politicised. Programmes relating to empowerment of the people must totally be of national interest. If you look at the housing cooperatives for example, the people who run them belong to a certain political party and when they do that, they do not give others. This means it ceases to be a national project, it becomes a political agenda. The same thing as Pfumvudza, the
Presidential Input Scheme, it also does not touch on the population of
this country. You need to have a village head involved, who is politicised and be able to do a slogan, you go to a councilor who is able to do a slogan, yet this money would have come through the channel of Government.
There is no political party in this world which is not allowed to produce its own fertilizer or seed. If there is a political party called
Temba Mliswa, let me go and make bags with my brand and give them openly but the resource is mine, but then not to use Government resource to grow your own political structures. It does not work. Informal sector is now suffering because we are used to giving handouts and they do not pay back. There is no bank which can sustain itself without interest. There is a collapse. Where is this money coming from for it to sustain itself? You do not touch on depositors money anymore. If we are running a proper banking structure, depositors’ money with good interest, must be the one used to be able to be given these people in the informal sector. Equally, can we do a study on how many informal sector players do we have? How many have graduated to the next level?
You cannot be a baby all your life. You must be able to crawl, walk, jog and run, but they are comfortable.
It reminds me of a certain political party where even if you are 40 years you say I am still a youth yet your Constitution talks about being
16 to 35 years. Today ‘the youth’ in these ‘political parties are 45 years. The same thing about the informal sector, who is growing. The challenge the mover of the motion did was to say we want to see them growing. We want to be able to celebrate somebody coming from the informal sector, anotengesa mabhero mangwana ave ne shop muna First Street, mangwana ave kusupplier, avane shop kuGweru, avane mashops kuma branches ese. So that growth is important and that growth happens when there is a system that is monitoring that. Which system is monitoring the informal sector? It is all words.
Hon. Khupe today hit the nail on the head that too many documents, no implementation. We need to have statistics that the informal sector has grown from this number to this number. Those who are in the informal sector, because there is a banking record system, have grown. Tell me, how many have defaulted on loans? The number is astronomical; you cannot even talk about it. So, it becomes a basis of the fiscus, there is this money for the informal sector, it is going and there is this money for all this and that. Any country that plans its future for a year or five years is not a country.
China for where it is today, it was 20 to 25 years – 30 years, a country is like that. A company is five years but we have documents that are written. We had ZIMASSET, like she said, where was the informal sector in ZIMASSET? ZIMASSET was great. I am one of the Members of Parliament who was really duped by it because I never took a car as a Member of Parliament saying I wanted my car to be made by
Willowvale Motor Industry. I never got the car because I believed in it. I said, yes, our industry must grow. When we are now manufacturing and this is the critical issue which Hon. Chingosho, the mover of the motion brings up. When we have an industry, the informal sector grows but without industry it does not grow. So when industry is pumping, industry now requires the informal sectors to supply then we are growing. So without industry growing, we talked about the informal sector being the biggest player in the economy but when you look at it, it is not like that. I will give you an example of a gold mine.
Let us look at the artisanal miners who are mining gold and they are three thousand. Their output is probably 2kgs per month, compared to a company which is well-structured and Edington are doing 5kgs. One, they are observing environmental degradation and these ones are not but they then say, no, let us now close these big companies and focus.
We are not making them the kind of giants that they are supposed to be. We are comfortable with them being small. So whilst they have a role to play for a second time, but from a business economic point of view, it is not sustainable. You can only go to a clinic in your rural area but you will need to go to the hospital and get surgery – that is where the surgeons are. The surgeons are not found in rural clinics, they are found at the hospital where everything is. So what am I trying to say? We now need to grow that clinic to being a hospital. So the informal sector must grow to being the big player.
The other issue that is critical on what he said was that, what are we doing to also get the informal sector to be buying some of these companies? That is the other issue because if you have people doing well, knitting, clothes and everything – why do you not get them to buy some of these companies that are here and not doing anything? Already they know, they move in as a consortium and they are making money but you allow big business people who we do not know to be taking charge of this country. All the industries, all the good asserts of this country belong to people who are outside yet Zimbabweans are commended. We also must reward the informal sector by giving them good business that is lying idle. IDC is sitting on many businesses, so why then do we not say, okay, can you have a consortium?
When we are also looking at this, we should also look at the demographics of the women, youth and the disabled. It is very clear that it is difficult in this country for women to become great business people because of the competition that is there and so forth but within a consortium, they grow and they are given an assert. There are so many businesses that the small to medium enterprise has but we do not see that being channeled towards that they know are contributing to the fiscus of this country. So it is really a double-edged sword and you cannot sustain a double-edged sword. At some point you want a sword to just be a single-edged sword and not a double-edged sword. One minute it is doing well and the other minute it is poking you.
It is therefore important for us with the education and the resources that we have in terms of human resource, statistics must be coming through to really see what their contribution to the GDP is. We are talking about devolution right now. Devolution is critical, Madam Speaker so that you know; on Friday, I have decided to have a GDP programme for Norton. It is going to be the first constituency that is coming up. I brought in five economic professors to say what does Norton contribute to the GDP to the commercial big companies, to the small scale Katanga, durawall, how is business there? Then we understand the role that each player plays at the end of the day.
So without us investing time and finding professionals to do it, it becomes very difficult. The academia is critical in research and development. There is no country that thrives without research and development. What does research and development say about the informal sector today? Is it the way to go or it is not the way to go? What results has it brought? What are the figures? We talk about 60% but we talk about 60% in an economy that is not thriving…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERE): Hon.
Mliswa, please be connected.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you. We talk about 60% in an economy that is not pumping the way that it should. You know Madam Speaker, it is the same as a diet and it is important for Members of Parliament because this is what I learnt at school in sport that your diet is 70/30. 70% is carbohydrates and 30% is protein.
Now when you have a situation where you have 70% of the diet and protein is there, can you say it is a balanced diet? It is not and in fact if there is anything, we encourage athletes to turn the protein into energy. So where it now becomes 70% protein and 30% carbohydrates then you are now using the protein as a source of energy and not the carbohydrates. What I am trying to say here is, you cannot now say that things are going well when a child is only eating porridge, come lunchtime they cook potatoes with soup then come in the evening, they cook rice with peanut butter. The intake there because there is no option, we now need a situation where we have statistics that really tell us because without statistics, we are applauding something which at the end of the day will not take us where we want to go to.
With the resources that Zimbabwe is endowed with, it is everybody’s cry; in fact there are so many resources that some of them are smuggled and we do not even lose sleep when resources are smuggled – this is how rich this country is. We have gold that is leaving the country – how much of that would go to the informal sector? To me, there is the aspect of the laws and this is where I really want to touch.
Hon. Chingosho, your motion is critical.
If you look at Botswana, they have just brought in a law to support its local informal sector people. We have repealed and suspended the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act where today, we are competing with foreigners in terms of the informal sector. The Chinese and Indians are there with us. So what is then left for the people of Zimbabwe? Who is supplying airtime because they come with the resource and that resource they now realised the best way is cash and when they control the informal sector, the money market goes crazy because what they want is their money back in foreign currency. You could blame there and they are not many people who have money to be changing money. That money is coming from people who are foreign, who come in with their foreign currency and what we want is foreign currency; they do not have to go through the RBZ but putting a law to empower people so that the native players of this country must enjoy this field. They have nowhere to go and can only be here.
You know you might say a lot but the late Genius Kadungure, I remember training with him one day and he said, you know people may say a lot about me and if they say I am stealing, at least I am stealing and bringing to Zimbabwe. There is nothing that I am taking out. To me, it is important to also appreciate that we need to have players who benefit who are Zimbabweans and where we have laws; while the informal sector has played a key part in propelling this economy, what has the Government done to come up with a law? They suspend a law saying because of FDI. Statistically if we look at FDI, how much money has come in?
The late Hon. Minister of Foreign and International Trade, Hon.
S.B. Moyo, one of the last times he contributed in this Parliament, it was a point where I asked him to give us a breakdown of the foreign direct investment (FDI) which has come into the country. We are able to make our people suffer, the indigenisation law (49:51) was critical. The whole world had accepted it. Now, if you look at the community share ownership trust where 10% is supposed to go to the local communities, you are pushing for the 10% share certificate because that was money which they were supposed to get. If you look at the platinum houses and gold players, they are making profit. So 10% of that money was supposed to go to the community share owner trust. When it comes to the community share ownership trust, they then come up with programmes which then help their people on the ground, be it agriculture or education where schools are built. We are bemoaning the infrastructure of the schools in our country yet we had an opportunity through the laws to be able to grow even bigger.
All the industry which is happening, the women from the procurement point of view, this is something that they must look at. How many know that 30% of procurement in a company must go to women? Where are they? If a company is not complying with that, it is important to let the women supply tissue, sugar and other small things and grow from there. To me, without an enabling Act or law that protects our people, we are once again speaking yet the people who are running the informal sector, 60% of the informal sector that we spoke about, Zimbabweans are probably 10% of that. That is the reason why you cannot control people who brought in their money and now are in the informal sector. We need to be able to protect people who will propel a country to a certain level.
I want to thank you Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to also thank the mover of this motion and say that the informal sector is very critical but we must see it grow. We must be able to come up with laws that protect them. When we come up with laws that protect them and they make money, we tax them and then they grow. A country only grows when people are paying tax and tax is in the fiscus and then it goes to other areas. Thank you very much for this
(v)HON. TOFFA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. First of all, I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Chingosho and also the seconder. As I contribute on this motion at hand, I would like to add my voice on this important sector of our economy. There is a vacuum of the informal sector that provided reliable and constant source of employment, and assured even employed citizens of a steady income for breadwinners to provide adequately for their families needs such as schools fees, access to medical aid, pensions at the time of their retirement so as to be self-sufficient and not to be a burden to the family and members of the community at large.
Madam Speaker, when you look at the informal economy, it has become the backbone of the economy of Zimbabwe. As we speak and as I listened to Hon. Chingosho contributing, talking about taxation of the informal sector, as much as this is a good thing, I think that before we even go that route, we need to first of all recognise the importance of the informal sector and the role that they are playing in the country.
The mover of the motion spoke about presumptive tax and customs duty. This is because the informal sector is cross-cutting in most of the industry in the country. As Hon. Mliswa spoke about agriculture, mining and so on, I think what we need to do as we talk about policy and maybe coming up with an Act to tax the informal sector, we need to first of all as we prepare the formalities of taxing the informal sector, to make sure that the informal sector benefits from their taxation. By this, I mean that from that taxation, a portion or percentage of that taxation must be put -
a tithe into a health fund so that the informal sector has access to medical aid for their families.
Most of the informal sector is run by women who actually take their children to work with them. As we tax, we must not always look at a way of taking from the citizens of Zimbabwe, in particular the informal sector that have sacrificed, screamed and prayed to start their businesses in most instances without the aid of Government and loans. They have worked hard to sustain themselves and their families. It is important Madam Speaker, that some kind of a fund be set aside for the informal sector. Look at the contributions that we are getting from the mining sector. They are the low hanging fruit and one of the highest contributors of the economy yet we always talk about them as though, I mean we call them makorokoza and we call them informal sector. Now because we want to tax them, we have not even thought of the welfare of the informal sector. In essence Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think it is of paramount importance that the informal sector, such as the small to medium enterprises, agricultural sector and the mining sector, their welfare needs to be taken into account.
When I look at the informal sector, in particular, the one in the urban areas as I spoke to earlier on to say that women take children to their areas of work and as they work in the formal sector, you will find that there are no toilets. Women and young girls do not have a place where they can change, for instance, when they are going through their menstrual cycle, they need to change their pads. So, we need to make sure that we provide for the informal sector as we want to tax them. It must be a win-win situation.
This is a very important motion and I am sure as the informal sector listens to us debate, they should be able to appreciate it. We must make them see that we appreciate what they have done because they are filling that vacuum. As I said earlier on when I started to contribute to this motion, they are filling a vacuum that was taken by the formal sector because there is no factory and yet the informal sector is doing its part to help themselves or even help Government play their role. So, in ending my contribution Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would like to say that before we tax the informal sector, we must sit down with those stakeholders and make sure that due process has been followed and the needs of the informal sector that we want to formalise are taken into account. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am
for this opportunity that you afforded me to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Chingosho, seconded by Hon. Kapuya about the informal sector. The informal sector is an important sector in our economy as Zimbabwe. This sector really needs the attention of our Government as to find ways of how to support it so that it can grow in a way. The larger population of our country is in the informal sector.
I am going to look at the issue of the people that are employed in the informal sector. We understand that many of these businesses that are operating informally are also employing other people. The challenge that we have in the informal sector is that the labour issues in that sector are not regulated in any way. Their labour relations with their
employees are not regulated. So, it is a good thing that if the
Government can look into the issue of informal sector, most importantly in the area of labour relations to make sure that those one or two employees in these small businesses are also afforded equal protection of the labour laws in this country. It will be good for our country so that this sector can grow. It is difficult for the informal sector to grow when it is having a number of illegalities that it will be conducting in the operations of their business.
So, I want to support the formalization of this sector so that they will be accountable in many areas, one of which is the labour that I have already mentioned. On the issue of taxes, we understand when we were debating our budget in 2020, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was talking about presumptive tax; the tax that was supposed to be charged on these informal businesses. Many of these businesses if we were to find out from the Ministry of Finance, we will still find out that they are still not paying that presumptive tax. The Government needs to come up with some mechanisms of how this sector can also contribute to our economy.
It is very important that each operating entity in this country contributes to our economy because wherever they are operating from, they will need infrastructure. Our infrastructure is financed through these taxes. Basically, what it means currently when they are not paying taxes, it means they are enjoying the services and the infrastructure in this country whilst they are not contributing anything. Whatever that they will be getting from their businesses, they will be just be putting in their pockets. If we move around this country Madam Speaker Ma’am, we see a lot of developments that are going on but if you go around and ask to say who is building this house, you will hear that maybe he is doing a small business somewhere. Then you will ask yourself a question to say, with that small business, how are you managing to build such a mansion. You will realise that this person is also not paying tax.
At the same time, where you are building your house, you need services, you need water, roads and other social amenities, but there is no way that you can get those social amenities when you are not paying your tax.
So, I want to encourage our Central Government that they need to take this subject very seriously and they must take it to the informal sector and give them education on the importance of supporting the economy. There is no way a business can operate successfully in an economy that is also not performing. You will end up wondering how these people are doing their business.
I want also to touch on the issue of infantry industry protection. Here in Zimbabwe, if you go for instance like where they call down down here in Harare, in those places you find there a lot of foreigners who are operating “tuckshops” in that area. There are a lot of people and they are making huge amounts of money there. However, if you look at the income they are getting from there, that income is not accounted for in our economy. Where is that money going? If you can put the whole money that they are making in down town, you will realise that they are making millions and millions but this money is not accounted for in our economy. I would want to encourage our
Government that they must find a way of protecting our own citizens. When you are dealing with your local people or your own citizens, it is very easy to deal with them and they will understand some of these issues that we are talking about but if our industries are open even to foreigners to do some of these small businesses, then some of our local people will not be in a position to compete. So, for our people to be in a position to compete, I want to encourage the Government to try and come up with policies on how to protect the infant industry. Thank you.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate. I realise no one has greeted you since you sat on the Chair. Good afternoon Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Good
HON. MUNETSI: I have been thinking deeply about this debate and I want to thank the presenter of the motion Hon. Chingosho and the seconder. I want to thank them for coming up with such a wonderful motion that would help us as a Government to assist and come up with ideas on how to help people in this country. I was looking at the definition of informal economy and I discovered that it is some form of economy that is neither taxed nor monitored by Government. There is no tax, there is no monitoring, so people are just operating haphazardly. There is no regulation in the informal sector and there is no protection whatsoever. It is casual work; you just go by what comes by the day.
Now, you discover that informal sectors have their own advantages and they also have multitude of disadvantages. I am so happy that this debate has come so that Government can fit itself in the informal sector. I was shocked when you said we are number two after Bolivia to have people operating informally. That is quite a big number and I have no English equivalent to explain that. The informal sector has got its own effects, coming from the word informal. The informal sector has no access to financial institutions because they do not have any form of collateral security, none whatsoever and no one would want to give money to them so that they can grow within the limits of Government. They grow by themselves. They have very limited access, no collateral, no financial records; they just get their money, put in their pockets and go home. They have no succession plan, they cannot plan, may be when they are at home. They have high rentals at work places, they have no Government regulations which they follow and there is no social protection. They are the same people who are affected greatly by political activists. They have no decent space to operate on. They have no policy to encourage them to grow. They are just picking ideas about informal sectors.
Now, those who operate in the informal sector, they make a lot of money because they do not pay tax. At times their salaries are very good because when you are given your salary, you do not pay tax but they lack the security that a person needs to survive. I am talking of places like Mupedzanhamo, Magaba, Glen View Area 8, Mbare Msika et cetera where people do informal business. There is no security in their businesses. They do not have formal policies like Nyaradzo, Doves for their burials. It is coming in now because the companies are trying to get to them but at a very slow pace. Informal sectors can hire and dismiss their workers willy-nilly, no one can query them. There is no insurance. The goods that they have are not insured, there is no protection. I want to believe that Government can assist these people by formalising what they are doing.
Madam Speaker, if they can make it easy for informal traders to join the Government structures, they will join just by simply formalising their jobs. They register their companies, then they plan a very formal wage. They extent some good benefits to those informal traders, benefits which are also enjoyed by people who are formally employed. If they simplify such things, it will be easier for informal traders to join the mainstream. If companies would want to be registered and it takes ages and a lot of money, then even myself I would prefer to trade informally because I will be pumping out money in order to join the mainstream. So, if certain regulations are relaxed, if they are given enough space or the space which they have is simply regularised and it becomes their space, something like that, they can join the mainstream.
Madam Speaker, if they are also accorded some support in form of
Incentives to import and export what they want just to relax some of the rules, it will assist the Government to get tax and the economy will grow. We need to do it in order to avoid corruption. Some things that are sold in the informal sector come from the formal business simply because when I take it there and you do not see me taking it there, it is sold there and I get all my money there – simple. If we just relax rules, formalise everything, it will make us avoid corruption and then the Government comes in to assist those people then the informal sector will grow the economy of this country.
HON. DR. KHUPE: I would also like to add my voice to the motion which is being discussed and has to do with the informal sector. I would like to prefix my contribution by alluding to the fact that the informal sector can contribute to the fiscus but can only do so if they are supported financially. Zimbabwe is highly informalised with more than five million people in the informal sector. Out of the five million people,
78% are women. I would like to look at the Women’s Bank and Empower Bank – the youth bank.
When we started the idea of a stand-alone Women’s Bank, we were looking at a bank which was going to be operated in line with the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh where women are not asked for collateral, interest rates are very low and repayment periods are longer. If we look at our own Women’s Microfinance bank, women are asked for collateral, interests rate are very high and repayments periods are very long – same with the Youth Empower bank. As we were going around during the feedback sessions, women and youth were telling us that they were not borrowing money from these banks because they cannot afford the loans. They are very expensive. These two banks were allocated each US$37.5 million to enable women and youth to borrow money so that they are able to grow their businesses from micro to small, small to medium and medium to large enterprises. When their businesses get to large enterprises, they will contribute to the fiscus. They can be formalised such that Government will collect corporate tax and income tax because many people will be employed and have buying power. Let us look at what is happening right now. Most of the informal sectors are operating at micro level.
Statistics have shown that if you lend money to women, they will work very hard and will repay their loans, hence if you look at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, it is sitting on billions of US$. Government and corporates are borrowing from this bank. That is the reason we came up with the idea of a stand-alone women’s bank so that women would have access to capital in order for them to be able to grow their businesses from micro to small, small to medium and medium to large enterprises. Whilst their businesses become large, they will be able to produce more people and Government will collect tax, hence contribute to the fiscus.
What is happening at the moment is that the Women’s
Microfinance Bank and Youth Empower Bank were each allocated
US$37.5 but as we were going around, women and youth were telling us that they are unable to borrow that money because the loans are very expensive. The few that have borrowed, their properties are about to be attached because they were used as collateral. We are looking at a situation where collateral is not demanded in the traditional banking sense but rather they should harness the trustworthiness of women as an asset in business, which is what is happening in Bangladesh so that many women and youths borrow money – work hard, grow their businesses and pay back those loans.
I would like to urge the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs to have a relook at the Youth Empower Bank and the Women’s
Microfinance Bank in terms of the conditions that are required. They must make sure that they operate in line with the Grameen Bank. We must copy from what other countries are doing because those banks are very successful and more people are borrowing money and growing their businesses. Like I said, 78% of people in the informal sector are women. Women are doing wonders but if they were to be supported together with the youth, this country’s economy will grow because they will be able to produce and employ more people. Right now, nobody is able to do anything. If anything, they have been reduced to paupers. Some of them have closed their businesses and some have remained at micro level for years; they are at the ground – they cannot even do anything.
It is important that these banks are looked into because as long as you do not support the informal sector, there is no way you can ask for money from the informal sector when you are not supporting them. Let them be supported. Once they have access to capital, they will be able to grow their businesses and produce. My plea is that we should have a relook at the Women’s Bank and the Youth Empower Bank to allow our youths and women to borrow cheap money. I know they will be able to produce and pay back the loans but right now that is impossible.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I am
delighted and at the same time saddened by the fact that we no longer have jobs in this country. A lot of companies closed down and most people where left jobless. People are in their homes. It is better for some who are still employed because some can gather in groups and have something to do. If you go to Meikles Hotel along Third Street, you will see a lot of people selling vegetables and fruits. These people are from Domboshava, Makumbe and other areas. Some of the women carry babies on their backs. I feel deeply concerned but at the same time disturbed because once the rain season kicks in and if the police descend on the informal traders, women bear the brunt as they are arrested and loaded into the police vehicles. That is saddening Madam Speaker because those who sell their wares in alleys are better off because in English they say half a loaf is better than nothing.
Madam Speaker if you were to take a tour of the buildings that you find down town, there are people who are taking these buildings and possessing them. My own niece who is struggling and wanting to sell second hand clothes is expected to pay a fee of US$5 a day. That person is not able to do anything else besides getting the US$5 to enable them to trade the next day where another US$5 is required. Are we also looking into that because Madam Speaker for one to survive he/she has to exploit the other but the woman who spends the whole day selling wares is just wondering where the US$5 for the next day will come from.
A lot has been said. We are debating this motion during this COVID-19 period. These people do not have the adequate preventive measures for COVID-19. They mingle a lot as they order and sell their goods. No-one really cares whether one is vaccinated or whether one has sanitizers. That is one of the issues we need to look into because health is important. The issue of the rights of the workers has already been debated that they do not have any legislation that protects them.
That is revenue that remains untapped.
If these people are equipped with machinery and equipment this can be obtained through a loan system. Once someone takes a loan, they will ensure they work hard to pay off the loan. I am talking about women who sell tomatoes, guavas, vegetables etcetera, for them to value add their products into juices or tinned foods. These value added goods even have a lifespan of more than a year because currently we see that we have tinned foods well stocked in all supermarkets, but very little of it is produced by the locals.
My request is that the Minister of Industry and Commerce and that of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development should embark on research and gather the relevant data on the number of people in the sector as well as their locations. If you are to leave this place – we were in Mutare recently and from Ruwa everyone is selling tomatoes and the same can be said of the Domboshava highway. If equipment is availed for value addition, most cross borders will no longer import goods from South Africa but they will order what we will have produced.
Hon. Speaker, this year the farming season was favourable. However, if we are not careful, the informal – we all buy tomatoes and vegetables from the streets so these people should be assisted for them to be in good health and a source of livelihood to ensure that what they are selling and where they are operating from is conducive enough not to cause health hazards. I am talking of availability of water to drink and use and other sanitation facilities. It is sad that tomatoes are just spread on the pavements over a spread cloth and we just buy despite the dust.
A vendor selling vegetables may have taken protective measures against COVID but what of the buyer. Is that person protected? Those are issues that we need to take into consideration.
I also think we need to look at the budget so that when we craft the budget, we need an item that provides for informal traders to receive grants for them to sustain themselves through buying and selling. At the end of the day, there should be sustainability. Being poor does not mean one is dead but assistance is needed for one to be able to assist the nation as well. These people can even be able to get more money to pay taxes to government because our government survives on these taxes and exports.
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this motion because it is a motion that affects mostly women and the youth. This year most students did not pass their examinations. They are surviving on selling airtime and phones in the CBD. They are the same people who are selling chargers as we pass through in our cars.
We need to come up with programmes for those youths and conscientise them that street trading is not right. This is only possible if we avail adequate vending sites through the programmes where their dignity and rights are upheld. We are now in the winter season and they need protection from the cold. They will then be protected from police harassment, of which most of the affected are women. I thank you.
(v) HON. WATSON: Thank you Mr Speaker for giving me this opportunity to express my thoughts and views on the motion by Hon. Chingosho. It is a very important motion in terms of the Zimbabwean economy, but I have a slightly different view about how we are generalising about the informal sector. I think the informal sector exists in three separate sections which are the small industries and places like Glenview where furniture is manufactured and where there are labour issues. Then you have the artisanal mining sector which is again another variation, then the ordinary street vendors who are out there selling their wares on our streets and simply trying to survive.
It is my thoughts that the informal sector came about through the hyper inflation which resulted in the development of poverty levels and instability in the country which, to some extent remains and for me, that is where we go when we discuss taxation and the informal sector not paying tax or whether they should pay tax. The problem is that there is a feeling that they earn a lot of money. Perhaps there are a few who do, but I think there are a lot who actually barely survive on what they make vending.
So we need deep examination and know facts and figures. We do not know enough about the volumes, conditions, the earnings and location of the entire informal sector that is supposed to represent 80% to 90% of our so called economy. If we want the economy to grow, for me that is about recreating industry and we will recreate industries in Zimbabwe by just looking at the informal sector. We want the fiscus to grow and for the fiscus to grow the economy has to grow. Growing taxation in itself is not an indication that the economy has grown, it is an indication of scrapping a barrel.
A couple of years ago the Minister of Finance Hon Prof Ncube, redenominated our GDP and one of the examples that he gave was all the mshika mshika, the Honda Fits on our roads be removed. As a formation of capital, that might have been the case then. Those people are now effectively, illegally in business and out of business. Now you have to ask yourself, where are those people and what are they doing now in order to make a living to survive and support their families. We really are talking about something that we have not examined in great depth and I do agree with Hon Khupe that access to financing and understanding of it is not within our grasp at the moment. We have not created that situation with the Women’s Bank or Empowerment Bank. It has not really happened. We need to formalise.
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Mr Speaker Sir, for giving the opportunity to contribute towards the motion introduced by Hon Chingosho. I would want to say that Government must be seen to support the informal sector in order to promote growth in the economy. The informal sector is easy to set up. One wakes up with an idea and they get on to it the next day without going through the registration process because it creates opportunities for people that would like to do whatever they would like to do to support their families. There is no need for registration, thereby cutting the bureaucratic red tape which we find affecting most of the companies that need to register and start operation. You think of an idea and the next day you are on it.
The informal sector creates opportunities for local citizens to contribute towards the growth of the economy. I would want to urge, Government to put regulations which stop certain areas of the informal sector being run by foreign citizens like transport, tuckshops and other small things being reserved solely for competing against foreigners who might have funding from their countries of origin. I would also urge from an administrative point of view, the formalisation of the informal sector by putting regulatory and administrative policies and procedures to support the informal sector by regulating the way they operate, and promoting all legal activities and areas in which they operate by providing formal ways of financing the informal sector.
I would urge along those lines, the creation of no matata loans. No matata here means it is not a problem. You walk into the bank like the Women’s Bank with an idea which is assessed and is seen to be feasible, you walk into a bank today, you make an application and the next two or three days, the money is out without having to produce the collateral. Most of our people do not have collateral. The women and youth, where do they get the collateral before they start operating. I would urge Government to make sure that they provide a clear way of financing the informal sector so that people who have a productive idea can be supported. We should support the informal sector by providing training schemes in different sectors in which they operate like farming, gardening or manufacturing of shoes. Government must be seen going into the informal sector to identify different sectors and say here are the skills which you can use to improve your production. Such ways will ensure the informal sector will start to produce goods and services which are competitive with those in the formal sector.
I would like to urge Government to find the market for the products and services coming out of the informal sector because some of them produce but they are not able to sell their products or services because Government is not helping them to get out there and grab the market. I was at Zimtrade the other day and they had trinkets from Lupane, Checheche and Birimahwe which they had taken and they were telling us that these trinkets had a variable market in Europe. If we organise these in such a way that we find the market for them and make sure that we collect the trinkets and sell them out there, not just that because they earn foreign currency but they will make the informal sector grow bigger into medium scale or large scale businesses.
Finally, I would like to urge Government to formalise the makorokoza sector of the economy where people are mining without licences and we hear that the police or army will get there and say you do not have licences, give us your gold and you have been arrested. Government must endeavour to formalise those sectors because they are contributing a lot to the mining sector. So, I urge Government to ensure that licences are given to the smallest informal miner who is trying to mine whatever it is. They must be given licences in order for them to operate without being threatened with arrest. I thank you.
HON. PETER MOYO: I would like to thank the two Hon
Members for coming up with such a very noble motion. Let me first say that I am really flabbergasted by the behaviour of the Women’s Bank. The Women’s Bank demands collateral from women who have never worked and are from school. I will give you a typical example that happened in my constituency. These women applied for a certain development to take place and I gave them my own property to start from. On the forms, they were requested to produce or to bring collateral in the form of title deeds. Where do you expect a woman who is from selling tomatoes to have acquired a certain piece of land to develop? Where do you expect that woman to get title deeds from?
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Women’s Bank does not serve any purpose as it stands. I suspect that those who are politically connected are the ones who are benefitting from the Women’s Bank or those employees are connected somewhere somehow and then they fund their relatives or cronies to get these loans because the ordinary woman in Zimbabwe is suffering and cannot get that money. As Members of Parliament, we give the Women’s Bank money to distribute to Zimbabweans so that they also contribute in the economy of our country but alas these women who are working at the Women’s Bank need to be scrutinised Mr.
When I visited their offices as a Member of Parliament representing those women, I hardly found anyone in the office – you are asked to book. A Member of Parliament is advised to book to see a director who is hardly in the office – maybe that person will be busy farming or doing something else that has got nothing to do with the
Women’s Bank. I therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, propose that the Auditor-
General’s Office intervenes and audits the systems of the Women’s
Bank. The Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development came to Parliament and eloquently gave responses that are none existent on the ground.
Mr. Speaker Sir, these ministers are good at answering questions but there is no action on the ground. I think that the Presidium must whip them, fire them and put competent people. We do not want this kind of thing of writing proper vernacular and a lot of useless jargon that does not produce any result. We want ministers who are pro-active and ministers who are sensitive to what is happening in our economy. The informal sector Mr. Speaker Sir, is the way to go the world-over. You do not expect Lever Brothers to employ people who are coming from school; you do not expect that but this is happening everywhere.
Government is losing a lot of money through the informal sector because it is not formalised. You go to Mbare Musika in the morning to the bus termini – you will find thousands of United States Dollars in people’s pockets, money that is not even going to the fiscus. Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, I humbly request your good office to instruct the
Auditor-General to conduct a forensic audit in the operations of the Women’s Bank. We are tired of ministers who come to Parliament to give vague Ministerial Statements that are not happening on the ground. What they are answering, most of the ministers answer questions properly in Parliament but when you go on the ground, it is absolutely zero – there is nothing. How do you expect our country to move forward with such people?
I asked the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Hon. Sithembiso Nyoni and she responded very well. I thought that was happening on the ground yet there is nothing. Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, I really request your good office as a matter of urgency, because this motion is very important and as Parliament, we must be found working and having teeth to bite. So the Auditor-General, as a matter of urgency, must audit the Women’s Bank and if the Minister responsible cannot whip these people, she should resign. Otherwise she has to fire the entire board of the
Women’s Bank because it is useless and does not serve any purpose. Our people are suffering out there yet they have brilliant ideas but nobody is assisting them.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Watson was nailing it and therefore thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for the time that you gave me. This is a topical issue that can drive our economy. I thank you.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank Hon. Moyo who spoke of very critical issues for us going forward. Let me first start by thanking Hon. Chingosho and Hon. Raidza for coming up with this motion.
Hon. Speaker Sir, when you look at this motion, it really speaks to the young people, a constituency that is very close to my heart. I am going to speak about it even though I know I am going to be speaking about issues that I think will be a bit digressing but there is no way Hon. Speaker that we can then be able to speak of the economy especially the informal sector if we are not going to speak about the young people.
Hon. Speaker Sir, let me first start by bringing a background to this whole issue. We know we really appreciate where we are as a country and really appreciate all the efforts that our Government is putting in place to make sure that at least they address issues of the young people and let me also be able to applaud what His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa is doing towards even compositing or constituting most of the critical spaces of this economy. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me speak on this issue of why we have a highly informal sector. This is because we also have a high unemployment rate in the country. The reason why this is so Hon. Speaker Sir, is because indeed young people are unemployed but for us to be speaking about young people not being employed and not getting solutions, I think we are doing a disservice to ourselves.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I feel that it is important for us to be looking at NDS1which speaks of three critical sectors that the economy is supposed to be founding on and these include mining, agriculture and tourism. When I look at these three sectors, I will start with agriculture – I really want to applaud the efforts that Government is currently doing towards making sure that at least as young people we are to be benefiting from the land and this land is the land that is supposed to be allocated or re-allocated after a land audit has taken place.
The question that I have right now is we are now calling upon even the Minister of Agriculture to be able to give us a list of the young people that have managed to benefit from this land. It is critical because if you look at it and we always say it, when land was distributed, we were still in school and we could not benefit as youths. Let me also say be it the claims, most of the claims that are there are housed or part of the people that are much older than we are because when those claims were done we still in school. Let me speak again on the tourism sector, we really appreciate and right now I will speak of Wedza where there are new falls which were discovered, which I greatly appreciate for we see that indeed as a country there are new things that we are getting going forward.
Mr. Speaker, as much as we have got a high informal sector I think it is also important for us to be able to look at the prices that are there in terms of taxes. Right now, I really want to approve and also appreciate what we got as a country whereby we realise that, especially in the last budget, we had the $30 presumptive tax which was supposed to be paid but when I look at it, do you think we are capable to be getting this $30 youth incentive as the informal sector or maybe we need to be able to look at a minimum figure and go forward and start raising the figure as we go.
Even if you look at it as it is, we also have the youth employment tax incentive. My question then comes to the Minister of Youth and say, how many young people have managed to be employed by that? We are saying this is part of the taxes that Hon. Raidza and Hon. Chingosho were talking about. As much as it, the incentives which are been given for employing the young people, my question is where are we as the young people. How many young people have been employed by the youth tax incentive and there is need for us to be getting these numbers so that we know how many people are been employed so that we know how many are going to be decreasing from the informal sector that we have.
Let me also speak of the $500 million that we got from the last budget which is supposed to go to the Youth Empower Bank. My question especially on the Youth Empower Bank - I appreciate that it has been decentralised, which is quite good for us but the issue that I think we are actually having is that of a lot of bureaucracy. If I tell you the issue of the Empower Bank whereby you realise that the money is there and is being availed to the young people and we greatly appreciate but the bureaucracy for you to be able to access that money. I understand there is a requirement whereby you are supposed to be having a guarantor. Let me applaud them for that. You submit the name of your guarantor so that you access this money which is good but the process, whereby today you are going to go with a project proposal, tomorrow you need to take some assessors then you need to continue going and taking these assessors. Tomorrow again you need to go and show this
Mr. Speaker, there is need for us to reduce this red tape if we are going to be going forward as a country. We really appreciate that the bank was put there for the young people, the same with the Women’s Bank. What we are saying is there is need for us to be addressing the issue of us getting loans in terms of the informal business that we are into. If we are going to be getting these loans,we are calling upon - for us to be able to be getting this, not really on a silver platter but I think we need to be able to reduce the bureaucracy which is involved.
Let me say again that I think it is important for us as a country; we have had the Money Laundering Act which came into play which we greatly appreciate, which was quite specific to money changers. We are saying if ever we are going to make sure that we capacitate the formal sector, then what it means is that is even the informal itself will actually not be prevalent because at the end of the day the young people are getting into formal things. Not that I am saying it is good to be involved in changing money, but like what Hon. Kapuya said and it was quite clear when he said it, he went to say most of us here are involved in illegal things. Not because we want to get involved in illegal things which I should say very clearly, but the issue is we get involved indirectly. The reason has been that, we will not be having clear measures that would allow us to be able to access the formal. So we need to make sure that this environment is set for the young people to be able to access all this going forward.
As I conclude, I think there is another sector which I think is also critical especially for us to get land to operate in, even commercial stands. As it stands right now, we do not have adequate funds which are currently there as young people to be able to access commercial stands. So if possible through the Minister of Housing and Social Amenities, we hope that as young people we will then be able to access land that will be cheaper or which has got some terms so that we will be able to get into the informal sector. Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for all these efforts that are there, but as young people the solutions that are there are for us to be able to make sure that we accommodate all of us so that we will be able to contribute towards this economy going forward. Thank you.
(v)HON. R. NYATHI: Mr. Speaker, I want to also add my voice on the motion that was given by Hon. Chingosho and many other Hon. Members that have debated before me. First of all, I would like to thank the SMEs for the great work that they have done in order to keep Zimbabwe’s wheels lubricated. Even during the COVID-19 period, if you look at it Mr. Speaker Sir, we have SMEs that are hardworking and because of their hard work, I foresee that the vision of the President, Vision 2030 will be achieved.
Why do I say so? There is a saying that says love little things because little things have a propensity to grow. So, I foresee that if we give much effort to support the SMEs business it means that come 2030, we will be having a lot of big organisations in Zimbabwe. I want to say Zimbabwe has got the highest number of SMEs if you compare our populace to the number of people that are doing their own business, I think that Zimbabwe is doing quite fair and if we have a favourable condition in our country, there is every reason that after five years from now, much of our small business enterprises will be quite big and thereby be able to provide the much needed employment and the growth that we are looking forward to in our industry.
I also want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe through the wisdom our President, Cde E.D Mnangagwa, where we brought about such projects like the Dutch ovens that we saw a lot of our women going into projects that sustained them and that saw them through the most difficult times as we were going through the COVID-19 and at a time at which our country did not receive much rain, and we were going through drought seasons and those projects really helped. Even now as we speak, we also acknowledge the vision that was given through the Pfumvudza Programme which I think our country is completely out of poverty if we saved the much needed foreign currency because we are no longer going to import maize and other cereals that we normally import every year. I also want to comment on the vision that was given in bringing about the Women’s Bank and Empower Bank, the benefits that they have also given to communities including the women and youths.
Yes, there is another Hon. Member who has spoken about how these banks are now operating professionally. I will not argue on that point but what I know is that those people that came up with that idea, the idea behind it is very solid and good and it is good for our community and our country. I also want to give a testimony Mr.
Speaker Sir, that you recall sometime at the close of the year, His
Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa came to Gweru to open up a special programme that was intended by the Women’s Bank to give women some mining equipment of which Shurugwi North Constituency got the highest number of women that were given these mining equipment. Right now as we speak, many of those women have grown up and managed to provide bread and butter for their children, and their children are going to school. Some of them have already started doing some programmes of purchasing and so forth, so that programme is really paying in Shurugwi North. I also want to thank the President and Government for coming up with such programmes. There are very good schemes that I want to encourage my fellow Hon. Members to also implore and take such programmes in their
However, Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to comment on small scale miners. I speak so because Shurugwi North has got a lot of mining activities and I have an idea as to the difficulties that small scale miners are going through. I think that the number of charges that are being leveled against small scale miners are quite big so much that at the end of the mining period or the end of the month, they will carry very little money home. If you look at what the rural district council takes from a miner and what EMA is taking, the small tax that also Fidelity is taking and even nowadays that the miner deposit gold at Fidelity, Fidelity has gone back whereby you deposit today, you do not get your money today, you get it after a week or so which is not very good for small scale miners because they will not be able to go back and do their work.
You also see Mr. Speaker that they also have unforeseeable expenses that an ordinary person is not able to see. This person digs holes into the ground for a long period of time maybe 3 to 4 holes for a period of a month or two and when he starts to extract the gold, he would have gone through a very tiresome and expensive period and a number of expenses, including explosives, hiring other people to help and things to cater for. When you start to reap, then the taxes that you are to pay become too big. One of the Hon. Members mentioned the process on how these people must be given some mining licences. Even when you go to provincial mining director’s office, you will find that the processes in which one should get a licence is also very tiresome and difficult. They are still using a system whereby when you apply and they think that the area is very lucrative, there could be some minerals there, you might find that the moment that you apply, you find somebody coming in the evening saying this is already my area. So, I think that also needs a bit of monitoring Hon. Speaker Sir
I want to comment on the last point Hon. Speaker Sir. Some other Hon. Member has commented about the commuter omnibuses. You will realise that Hon. Speaker Sir, the commuter omnibus drivers and operators used to give us a lot of revenue. They have a process of applying for licences and they are also required to pay taxes and that was done every month. Nowadays as we speak, there has been a shift whereby if you have some commuter omnibuses, you are told that if you do not have any authority from ZUPCO, you are not going to be operating. I think that we have thousands of people that have got some commuter omnibuses and medium buses like 30 seater and some have got some 42 seater. It means you are already driving those people out of business.
The Government must see that our small scale business persons are promoted in order for them to grow. I want to say Hon. Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to also air my views on areas where I think that the relevant ministers that are listening to me and those that have got the SMES that I have discussed about also look into it and try to improve in those areas so that come 2030, we will be having many of our SMEs that will be fully fledged. I thank you Mr. Speaker. *HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. A lot has been said. I want to thank Hon. Chingosho for bringing this debate into the House. Mr. Speaker, those people who sell zapnacks are people who live far below the poverty datum line. They find peace towards election and it is their wish if elections were to be held every six months because that is the only time they are allowed to sell freely and get some money. The Government must know that it is the right of its citizens to sell and fend for their families. These people do not want to be rich or get anything else. They sell just to get some food so that they can survive. I am appealing to Government to see what they can do with these people. I receive phone calls from Rusape that people have been arrested. When you ask them why they were arrested, the charge is that they were selling in the streets. Sometimes they are put in cells over night and their goods are taken and asked to pay fines.
The majority of people are suffering Hon. Speaker. Police officers are the ones that are benefiting taking bribes. I was suggesting that the Government should enact laws that these people be allowed to vend because currently there are no jobs in the country. The Government does not have the capacity to put these jobless people under Social Welfare as what happens with other countries and hence these people are fending for themselves. This money that is given to police through bribes will go a long way in helping Government if it enacts a law that will allow vendors to vend and they pay a small fee to Government. We applied for money from SEDCO, no one got those monies except the top people. I also came from the informal sector and I am better because I am now paying tax. I never got any loan all my life because of collateral. Indigenisation is benefitting a few people even though we cannot mention their names. The money was being misused and no one benefited from it. There should be a law that allows informal traders to be given open spaces where they can sell their wares. If they are given a place where they can sell their groceries, they will compete with such big supermarkets like OK because they will be on their own and their prices will be good. There should be a legislation which protects the informal traders from being sued by the police every now and then because we do not have jobs. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th May, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day Nos. 15 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day No. 17 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. SIBUSISO BUSI
HON. RAIDZA:I move the motion standing in my name that this House expresses its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on of the late Senator for Midlands Province and Minister for Foreign Affairs and
International Trade, Hon. Sen. Sibusiso Busi Moyo.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity regarding the passing on of Rtd. Lt. Gen. Dr. S. B. Moyo who was the Senator for Midlands Province and also Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Rtd. Lt. Gen. Dr. S. B. Moyo was a man who contributed to the liberation of Zimbabwe. He sacrificed himself from a tender age. We are told that he left his education in 1977 to pursue the liberation struggle and we are told that even after independence, he continued working for the development of Zimbabwe in the military and he did exploits. He was promoted several times and was given different tasks which were great.
He was a genius looking at what he did until he was made a
General. Eventually in 2017, we all remember that that is when the Second Republic was born, which is being led by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa. We saw that General Moyo among others worked hard. We saw him on television announcing that things were being restored. We also noticed that he was dedicated to resuscitating the economy of Zimbabwe and to making sure Zimbabwe’s legacy is restored. After the operation, we also noted that His Excellency the
President, E. D. Mnangagwa believed in Hon. Rtd. Lt. Gen. Sen. Dr. S.
- Moyo and he appointed him Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade. We all know that this was a critical time for Zimbabwe and it was really difficult for Zimbabwe to re-engage with other countries but Hon. S. B. Moyo worked hard in his endeavours for re-engagement. We saw him moving around the globe engaging different diplomats, working towards re-engagement efforts on behalf of His Excellency the President. This means that he was committed to the development of Zimbabwe.
As Mberengwa East, we feel the loss of our national hero. As a new Member of Parliament, I was not familiar with a lot of procedures but he used to educate us, assisting us with resources for different projects in Mberengwa. For example, in Mberengwa East where I come from, there are a number of places which benefited from the Late Senator S.B Moyo’s efforts. At Mbuya Nehanda, there was no internet connection. We know Government had such an initiative but the Late Senator S.B Moyo took it upon himself to identify this particular school so that children are taught how to use and operate modern technology. The development did not just benefit school children but it also benefited teachers, business people and school authorities.
Looking at water reticulation in Mberengwa, you will discover that he worked hard in his quest to provide water in Mberengwa East and the rest of Mberengwa. He was a man who had passion for educating children. This culminated in him paying school fees for a lot of vulnerable children. He even went a step further. He would say that Government is doing this but as an individual, I desire to assist more vulnerable children so that Zimbabwe generates graduates.
The late Senator S.B. Moyo did a lot of things in our community. He started a number of projects, for example, “kutsanana” which is a project which was aimed at housing women going for maternity. He did not choose whether to assist men or women but in this case in
Mberengwa, he targeted all clinics with mothers’ shelters or “kutsanana” so that women benefit from such programmes. These are some of the initiatives that were introduced by Hon. S.B. Moyo.
There is a bridge which is called Kujeka which he was passionate about. At one point, he came to Mberengwa and we drove to this bridge and saw the developments that were happening. He was a committed patriot; a man who could sit down with other people and discuss developmental issues. As Mberengwa, we feel the great loss as a result of the passing on of Hon. Senator S. B Moyo. We say may his soul rest in peace. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have a few
words that I would like to share, supporting what the previous speaker was saying regarding the passing on of our national hero, Hon. Sen. Rtd.
Gen. S.B. Moyo. I heard what the Hon. Member said, particularly talking about Mberengwa but I would like to talk about my experience in this august House. What I learnt was, firstly when asked some people would say that I did not go to school because I participated in the liberation struggle. However, the late Hon. Sen. Rtd Gen. S.B Moyo went to school after the liberation struggle and he excelled. When he was appointed, I felt inspired because of what he did by empowering himself through education.
I also learnt that he was a person who was humble. He was very humble and he could work with other people. Mr. Speaker Sir, most of us when appointed to higher positions, we sometimes do not humble ourselves. At times, we would aspire for people to polish our shoes but not the late Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo, he was very humble. I also learnt that when he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, when you would see him speaking, he would become emotional because he was a man who was passionate about his country.
The previous speaker spoke about the Second Republic. During that time, he was one of the people who united all political parties in the country, which culminated in unity across the political divide. This taught me that people can unite regardless of political affiliation. The last point, I would like to say that what I learnt by observing his lifestyle is the humility which was a significant attribute in his life. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to add my voice to the motion which was brought by Hon. Raidza. I learnt a lot from the late Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo. We heard Hon. Raidza saying that the late Hon. Senator S.B. Moyo left secondary education at a tender age but this did not end there. Now, it is up to us as young people and those who are of school going age to learn that despite the fact that he left school at Form Three, he managed to come back and go back to school until he attained a PhD. So, it does not matter whether you left school at Grade 7 going to join the liberation struggle, what you need to learn is that we can continuously empower ourselves.
The other point is that Hon. S.B. Moyo was a true patriot who was passionate about developing Zimbabwe through different initiatives.
Even when he was in the Army, he used to lead Operation Maguta. This demonstrates that he was passionate about food security.
Looking at Mberengwa Constituency, we learnt that he did a lot of developmental projects at Mataga Growth Point, where young people were being taught vocational skills. He also worked on road infrastructure in that particular area from Buchwa to Ngungumbane because his desire was to tar this road so that the road infrastructure will be improved. This is what he desired deep down in his heart. So, we need to continue remembering him for the good work that he did.
We are also told that he was passionate about the provision of water. For example, at Jeka Clinic, he installed piped water in that area. He also wanted to empower young people, he wanted to draw them from the streets, from being involved in unproductive activities and he engaged them in different productive ways like supporting football in this area. We also continue remembering him for the good things that he did in Midlands. As Midlands, we lost an icon. I thank you Mr. Speaker
*HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also want to add my voice to the debate raised by Hon. Raidza and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa. I was not aware that Hon. S. B. Moyo comes from Mberengwa. I used to think that he comes from our area because he was very humble. When I was a Provincial Administrator in Mashonaland East, there was the land distribution exercise and Hon. S. B. Moyo would come and would stand in the queue. He wanted land but I did not know that he was a very senior person in the Army until he came to where I was and he introduced himself. I was surprised by his humility.
Mr. Speaker, through his humility, he got a big farm in Goromonzi. At that farm, he demonstrated that he was capable. When you go to his farm, you will discover that he was a master farmer. Then coming to elections in 2018, the Goromonzi constituents had nominated him to be their Member of Parliament because of how he worked with people until he stated that he wanted to stand in his rural constituency, otherwise people of Goromonzi Constituency had suggested that he became their
Member of Parliament.
When he was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I appreciated the appointment because I knew that he deserved that position. He was good at it. The point raised by the previous speaker of passionate, like you noted, sometime back when he was out of the country, he was attacked by the people who were jealousy. They did npt lie what he said in defence of his country. His death was a tragedy loss to the nation. With these few words, I would like to say that may his soul rest in peace. I thank you.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution. To me the late Senator S. B. Moyo who was from Midlands is a man I got to know when he announced Operation Restore Legacy. It takes courage to do what he did but when we saw him speaking, we got assurance that everything was okay. Every time I saw him in this august House, I used to go and say how are you my brother because we share the moyo totem. He was very humble and would associate with people, he was not selective. He was comfortable to discuss issues with Hon. Members of this House.
I saw him at one point when he was not feeling well then he said may you remove your mask so that I identify you, we continued joking. When I was seated there, I was just thinking that Hon. S. B. Moyo passed on as a result of COVID-19. This pandemic took many national heroes and it pains that it was not possible to attend his funeral because of COVID-19 restrictions but I believe that his spirit is in this august
House and wherever he is, I believe that he hears us.
My plea is that he continues looking upon Zimbabwe, the achievements that we attained through Operation Restore Legacy. His efforts on reengagement improve the country’s image. I believe there are a lot of things that he managed to achieve and this was supposed to culminate in Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth and other international platforms. So, his desire was that Zimbabwe attains its former glory. I would like to say to the family of the late Hon. Sen. S. B. Moyo, we are together. We will continuously mourn him. May his soul rest in peace. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on this motion.
(V)*HON. PETER MOYO: I would like to thank Hon. Raidza for raising the motion to this august House so that we deliberate on the life of our national hero, Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo. The late national hero was a remarkable man because of his character. There is no adequate description that I can give to the late Hon. Sen. Moyo to my satisfaction because his life was beyond extraordinary. Of course, the late S.B.
Moyo hails from Mberengwa but he was a son of the soil. The Second Republic ushered in a new era which culminated in every Zimbabwean getting to know the late Senator who was passionate about the development of Zimbabwe. All Zimbabweans watched him on television when he was passionately talking about the Second Republic. Everyone forgot the satellite television as they watched ZTV listening attentively to the future of Zimbabwe which was being outlined by the late national hero. He articulated Zimbabwe’ position in relation to other countries, he spoke passionately about Zimbabwe’s vision as a sovereign state and as a unified state which was working on resolving Zimbabwean issues within its borders. This is one of the people who was supposed to live long. Sen. S.B. Moyo’s death really affected Zimbabweans. He is one of the people whom we were looking forward seeing developing Zimbabwe, educating the nation on the direction to take.
He was a leader with an open door policy, which is not found amongst other Cabinet ministers where sometimes we hesitate to approach their offices because we do not know what response to expect. Sometimes you book for an appointment and you spend three months without seeing the Minister but this was not the case with Sen. S.B.
Moyo. He would attend to people who visited his office promptly. Sometimes he would talk whilst he was finishing what he was doing something else and he would resolve the issue as soon as possible.
I would like to compare him to other ministers like Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu who has an open door policy and this is commendable. These are ministers who discharge their duties with fortitude and do not indulge in political grandstanding. They do not segregate people on tribal grounds, political-religious affiliation but they assist all people who go to their offices. The late Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo would give people his correct contact number. He was cultured and was a true patriot who loved Zimbabwe passionately. Those who did not like him eventually appreciated him when he was addressing the nation and everyone ululated including those who are in the opposition, who said that this man is brilliant.
I would like to request that the President appoints people of the same calibre like the late Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo. These are people who are able to drive the economy of the country because they are genuine patriots. He was straight-forward and it is painful as I ask myself how and why he was taken from us as a result of COVID-19. Truly speaking, some ministers who tarnish Government’s image should think twice and they should emulate the legacy that was left by Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo. To him, it did not matter which position he held. You would not know whether he was a civilian or a teacher. My request to other ministers is that they should emulate his attributes. I gave Hon Mangaliso Ndlovu as an example so that we emulate his character even whilst he is still alive. He must keep it up. To me, this demonstrates that we have young people who are mature. These are young people who reflect that they went to school whilst there are some who are unruly and believe in violence and hatred. This is not correct. We want people who are true patriots, who love their country before being given a position as a Minister or whichever Government position, you must love your country. On loving your country, you will love your people. If you do not love your country then you will not love your people.
The late Hon. Sen. S.B. Moyo was a loving man. He cared for his country and his people. There is no one who dies in Zimbabwe and is buried in a foreign country like Zambia or America – but everyone is buried in their motherland. Patriotism should be taught to all citizens instead of teaching people hatred. This mentality should not be perpetuated in Zimbabwe. We request God to continuously watch on Zimbabwe so that he does not take away its patriots like what happened with the late S.B. Moyo. I belong to the opposition MDC-T and I had access to the Hon. Minister’s office. I was never barred from his office. I would feel at home every time I visited his office. These are the leaders that we want and we are looking for. Hon Speaker, may God help us that our Ministers receive the Holy Spirit. If they do not pray to God, then they should pray.
Right now there is a lot of poverty, hunger, potholes and a lot of arguments as a result of contentious leaders. The President usually says that when you look at the 2018 election, it was a unique election which has never happened since 1980. People never believed that there would be such a peaceful election and this can be attributed to leaders like the late Hon. Sen. S.B Moyo. So, let us continue in the same path. May his soul rest in peace. Rest in peace son of the soil. We would like to say you are quiet wherever you are. One day we will join you son of the soil.
God took you away from us. We accept that and we cannot refuse what
God has done. We are pained. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. RAIDZA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 19th May, 2021.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Seven Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.