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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 OCTOBER 2022 VOL 48 NO 85
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 18th October, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I have one announcement. I have to inform the House that the 2023 Pre-Budget Seminar will take place from Friday, 21st to Monday, 24th October, 2022 at the Harare International Conference Center. Hon. Members from outside Harare who require accommodation will be accommodated at the Rainbow Towers and Ambassador Hotel. Hon. Members are expected to check in on Thursday, 20th October, 2022. Further updates pertaining to the seminar will be shared during the course of the week.
HON. T. MLISWA: We thank you Hon. Speaker for the announcement of the Pre-budget Seminar which is starting from the 21st t October. I think it is also important for you to know that the conditions which the Members of Parliament are facing are rather sad. Not only that, just the decency and dignity, we are fast losing it because of the accommodation crisis, we have Members of Parliament staying at places like the Harare Club, which is a no star and a brothel. Our human dignity is at stake. I think if at all there are no means of accommodation, it is good to advice Members of Parliament not to come, rather than exposing them to such places. Others are married and being seen in such places does not augur well. It causes a lot of pain and disharmony in a family.
The challenges which we are facing right now, reflect on a number of issues. On our terms of conditions, being a Member of Parliament, I have never signed a contract or agreement to my terms or conditions of my salary, allowances, the package of the car, pension and so forth. I think it is important that once that is done, it sets a good precedence, moving forward. Even if Parliament itself is not able to do that but there is a written document, which guides Members of Parliament on what they are entitled to.
Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, we have several times said why can we not be given money to find our own accommodation and cook our food because the health we are exposed to in terms of food in the hotels is not healthy. If we had been given money to pay for our accommodation and food, these issues would not be happening monthly. Right now, I know certain things are probably beyond your control but we are just lost sheep. I am glad that the Hon. Vice President is here. Hawasisina kwekugara vana wenyu maMembers of Parliament and it is becoming difficult for us to conduct our responsibilities, our mandate by standing here.
I do not know Mr. Speaker Sir, you have Ambassador Hotel, what class hotel is it? What class hotel is a Member of Parliament entitled to stay in? You have got the Rainbow which is probably Four Star or Five Star and then the other Member goes to a Two Star hotel. So whether there is discrimination, how then are we equal when one is in a Five Star hotel and the other one is in a Two Star hotel?
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member. I thought you had made your point.
HON. T. MLISWA: In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, it becomes very difficult. If we cannot at all afford, then I think it is best we go home and we just continue without work until Parliament has enough funding for us to continue our mandate, but we are doing this in a much compromised position. I want you to know that.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. When you speak of some contractual agreement, we are now toward the tail end of the 9th Parliament and some of you were in the 8th Parliament, others in the 7th Parliament, others in the 6th Parliament and so on. In the structure of Parliament, you have your whips minus yourself of course, who is an independent. Your whips are directly responsible for the welfare – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Can you listen? Either you want me to respond to the point of order, so please behave. Thank you.
The issue I was saying, you have the whips and they are expected to bring such proposals to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. The whips come from the political parties – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Please can I finish or else I keep quiet and save my energy to attend to the Hon. Vice President.
So if there are certain perhaps miscommunication and so on, you have the accounting officer, the Clerk of Parliament and you have me. Bring these things to our attention and we will act accordingly. When I was away there has been some proposal or decision from Treasury, which decision we have attended to as of yesterday and I want to believe as we go forward, the issue will be sorted out accordingly. There were two major issues as far as I was informed – the housing loan and the second vehicles. Those were the outstanding issues. As far as accommodation, the hotels; this has been a problem not only for Parliament but also for ministries of Government and Treasury is coming up with some solution. That is why we are able to secure accommodation at the Rainbow Towers.
There are differentials Hon. Mliswa, I agree. I am not sure whether the Ambassador is a Three Star hotel. What is important is, while we come to some finality with Treasury, the Minister is arriving only today and we should be able to iron out some of these issues that affect you directly. Indeed, you deserve the dignity as law makers of this nation. No country can operate without the law and Parliaments make the law, and that is why you are Hon. Members. In that regard – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Hon. Madzimure, do you want to listen to me?
To that extent, that honour needs to be respected and protected. So as a way forward, we will ensure that by tomorrow when the Minister is within the country, we iron out some of these issues which not only affect Parliament but have affected all the Government ministries because they owe the hotels. Some hotels have been owed from six to nine months. Are you listening Hon. Mliswa? They have been owed for a long time and what they are owed now has been eaten up by inflation. These are the concerns also from the hotels. They also want value for money. So these are the issues and we will sort it out. Any challenges are there to be sorted out and get solutions accordingly and I am sure we should be able to find lasting solutions to that effect. So your point of order Hon. Mliswa, is understood in that context. Thank you.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Hon. Speaker Sir, on a point of clarity if you indulge me. I see you have papers in your hand Hon. Speaker Sir. I was wondering since I am on virtual, whether my name is also appearing in your bunch of literature Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nduna. I am not holding a bunch of papers. You must be very careful with your language – [Laughter.] - I am an English teacher. So I am not holding a bunch of papers. I have got some papers with a list and I got this list only from two parties, CCC and MDC-T. I have not received any list from ZANU PF, so I go by the list as agreed.
HON. BITI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a matter of national importance. On Friday, 14th October 2022, six young children perished in the foggy area of Juliasdale in Nyanga due to an unfortunate road accident. Road traffic accidents are now so numerous in our country such that they have now become the third highest killer of persons in our country after non-communicable diseases, Tuberculosis and then road traffic accidents.
A lot of these road traffic accidents are happening due to negligence. Unlicenced drivers, drunken drivers, speeding drivers, tired and exhausted drivers and unfit vehicles are on the streets. So we want the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the esteemed Hon. Mhona who is here, to ensure that there is a revolution, a revisiting of the Highway Code so that we have got a strict regime of driving, driver qualifications, retesting and a points system.
Mr. Speaker, I am also concerned about State failure. When that accident took place in Nyanga, there was no emergency service. The bus plunged into a canyon. There was no emergency service in Nyanga, Rusape and Mutare to lift the children from the gulley that they had sunk into. There was no Fire Brigade. There was nothing – State failure. Mr. Speaker Sir, we are losing unnecessary lives and the Government of the day must come up with measures to ensure that we do not lose lives to unnecessary processes. I therefore kindly ask the esteemed Minister of Transport, Hon. Mhona, to come and present a Ministerial Statement on how he intends to deal with this scourge of our people being killed unnecessarily through negligence and State failure. I thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Biti. Our condolences go to the six youngsters definitely; who passed on prematurely. Hon. Minister of Transport, I am sure you have heard for yourself the concerns, if you could kindly bring a Ministerial Statement accordingly and indicate the way forward...
HON. ZIYAMBI: Point of clarification Mr. Speaker. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care to clarify something because there was an allegation that the State failed yet there was adequate response. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - Iwe usanyepe, wanyepa, so I request that Mr. Speaker Sir – [AN HON. MEMBER: Rwako ruri rudo, siya mukuru.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Leader of Government Business for your intervention but I had not finished my response, mandibata pahuro. I was saying Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, if you could come up with that Ministerial Statement. Also as someone who traverses these roads as well, I hinted to you that small moving traffic must keep to the extreme left, they do not, and they are one of those elements that really cause traffic jams in terms of not keeping to the rules and so on.
There was an allegation that the State did not come in, Hon. Vice President, you wanted to clarify some issues?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (THE HON. GENERAL (RTD). DR. CHIWENGA): I rise to clarify on the issue raised by Hon. Biti. Sure, we are all sad and the entire nation is sad about what happened to the young children who lost their lives at that prime age. These are the leaders of tomorrow and we expect that they grow up to maturity. When the accident happened, the first clear mistake was that it was during the night, children should never travel at night and that accident occurred during the night. That matter is being addressed by the relevant Ministry which is the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
We have discussed that matter. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is also going to be holding seminars to address that issue of drivers on highways and what needs to be done. Once he has done that programme which he has been ordered to do, he will come with a Ministerial Statement to Parliament. He will advise Parliament on what Government is doing to alleviate this problem.
Coming back to the issue of the accident scene, let me inform Hon. Members that we bought new ambulances which we have deployed to districts, especially districts that are far away. Nyanga is one of those district hospitals; it was given two brand new ambulances and we have given all far away districts like Chimanimani, Binga and all areas which are very far away from getting help if an accident occurs. When the accident took place, we had ambulances from Nyanga Hospital, ambulances from the Ministry of Defence at All Arms Battle School, Mars and everybody.
We managed to evacuate everybody within the golden hour and what we call the golden hour is, if one hour passes before somebody gets help, in this case we could have lost more lives. Those who perished, five died on the spot and one died on the way to hospital but thereafter, we managed to save lives. It was because of the reaction, not only from the Ministry of Health but from everybody whom we laid our hands on. They came and Mars came as far as Mutare and we managed to evacuate everybody. I wanted to clear that point.
The issue of our driver not behaving well on the roads is being attended to and Parliament will be advised on the measures which would have been taken. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Vice President for that clarification. Those who were involved to rescue lives, definitely are highly commended. As you rightly said Hon. Vice President, we might have lost more lives if that hour was not attended to.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The issue is not only for the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. I think the policing aspect on the roads also needs to be revisited. Police officers are also amongst people who are causing some of these accidents. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Transport also need to engage so that at least we can find a way forward.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am sure the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development will liaise with his colleague, the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you and good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I just want to raise five quick issues. The first one is I requested the list of the debt acquired from ZIMCODD, key debt I have not received. What I have received is the same list which I got four months ago which is inadequate for the acquisition of a debt of over a billion dollars for the national fiscus.
My second question is: we have been prejudiced under the justice internal report on the handover. We have been prejudiced as a nation on the intrinsic value of land of over USD3.07 billion and we cannot get a copy of the justice internal report, I begged for it. I have also asked for an ERP roads so that we know which roads are being done, whether in our constituency or nationwide so that we either participate or watch. To date, we have never received the ERRP as Members of Parliament.
There are two statements that I asked for Hon. Speaker. About four months ago, I asked the Minister of Home Affairs and it was yourself at the time and the question was on the issue of registration as to why many people, particularly in my constituency Hatcliff, we are being left behind on the registration and in your ruling, you said that the President had said no man must be left behind and they must fix the problem. The problem to date has not been fixed.
I have seen the Minister of Home Affairs since then and he said he would have a statement to deliver which has not been delivered. Secondly, at the end of September, when the current programme was finished, he would come back and pick all those people left behind and to date, nothing has happened.
My final one and am glad the Vice President is here. Four months ago, when I asked on a point of national interest as to why suppliers to the Ministry of Health have not been paid for six months – my question is if it is a problem, we need to know but secondly, the Ministry of Finance stood up and said anything that is being requested has been paid. These payments had not been requested and that is my issue. Is the Ministry of Finance delaying payment or is the Ministry of Health delaying calling for it? All this has effect in the national budget which we are about to discuss for next year. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The last bit was not included in the first four batches. Why do you not ask that as a question tomorrow to the Minister? The rest of the questions – before I left for Kigali, I had instructed that we want detailed responses by Thursday this week. That was the deadline. I am hoping that we should be able to get responses to those four major items you raised last time.
HON. MARKHAM: I thank you for your intervention Mr. Speaker.
*HON. MATAMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on the issue of the intensity of the war in Russia. This is what is happening in areas where there are elections in Zimbabwe. Currently, we have heard of issues that have happened where people are campaigning and guns have been used. If you look at what is happening, there are people who are in this House. As we prepare for 2023 elections, my request is that the violence that is happening and conflict ends in Russia and not spill over to Zimbabwe to intimidate those who are going to contest. This also reminds us of Gukurahundi and the sound of gunfire continues to intimidate the people. So, my request is that as legislators in this august House, that might be encouraged and spill over into Zimbabwe. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Mr. Matambo, I do not get the connection of Russia.
*MR. MATOMBO: Our nation Zimbabwe is not engaged in armed conflict and as legislators, we are silent on what is happening in certain areas. If you look at what is happening, a lot has happened and if you look at videos that are on social media, there are some vehicles with party symbols of people who are causing violence. I am saying that violence should not be found in Zimbabwe but let it be done in other countries. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I think we all want peace and we work towards maintaining that peace. You can ask a question tomorrow as to what measures the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs is taking to ensure that there is peace in the country.
(v) *HON. NDUNA: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir. Seeing that my hand has been up from minute number one, would it please you Mr. Speaker Sir, seeing you did not receive a list from the ruling party ZANU PF because of connectivity or otherwise, will it please you over and above the net that you have received to indulge me on just one point of privilege at the tail end of other Hon. Members’ submissions.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. I sympathise with you Hon. Nduna but I must follow the rules that you passed here. The matter should be resolved between yourself and your Chief Whip.
HON. GONESE: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir. It is in relation to what Hon. Nduna has just said. It is in terms of Standing Order...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, please approach the Chair later on. Can you allow Hon. Madzimure to proceed?
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The issue that I want to raise is concerning buses that ferry people in urban centres, the ZUPCO buses. We have quite a lot of buses that we received from Belarus such that when one is traveling from Harare to Bulawayo, you are supposed to meet over 20 buses but currently there are no buses on our roads. If you leave this House around 5p.m. and you travel to Copacabana and Simon Muzenda termini here in Harare and you also go to Egodini in Bulawayo, you will find the public packed like sardines in mshika-shika vehicles. If such a vehicle is involved in an accident most people will perish. People are using those small vehicles as transport because the buses are not available. We have bought a lot of buses. I urge the Minister of Local Government to come and explain to this august House what is happening with the buses from Belarus. How many buses did we import and how many are in use?
The money that is being used to hire buses that are not roadworthy for public use, where is it going? He promised that we will have a reliable transport network and that has not yet been achieved. Currently, we do not have a reliable urban transport system. ZUPCO is not in operation and I urge the Minister to come and explain to this House the measures that he has taken as to whether we are progressing or regressing because there is no public transport for the people.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Your question needs to be put in writing so that it is answered accordingly because you want details that you have to be satisfied with in terms of your question.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 7 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
HEALTH SERVICES AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 8, 2021]
Eighth Order read: Committee Stage: Health Services Amendment Bill [H. B. 8, 2021].
House in Committee
*HON HWENDE: On a point order. This House represents the people. We are bound by the fact that we represent the people; the Bill that you have brought before us was rejected by the people out there and the report was brought into Parliament. I do not know what you want us to do as Parliament.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): That is not procedural that once a public hearing has been done, a Bill is withdrawn. You capture points and they are debated - [HON. HWENDE: Inaudible interjection] –The true representative…
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Hwende, I have not recognised you. Please may you take your seat? [HON. HWENDE: Inaudible interjection] – Hon. Hwende, may you sit down please. I have given the Minister of Justice the floor, may you sit down. He is supposed to respond to what you have said.
Hon Hwende having resisted the request of the Chair.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Hwende, I do not think you would want to compel me to send you outside. Please, Hon. Hwende.
HON. HWENDE: If you want to send me out, you are free because we are going to sit here and discuss a Bill that was rejected by the people. If you want to send me out, go ahead. I do not have a problem.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Can you resume your seat.
HON. HWENDE: I have a right to raise concerns like what I did.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: You have got a right, I have given the Minister a chance to respond - [HON. HWENDE: It is procedural, you are supposed to respond] – You are not supposed to argue with me Hon. Hwende. [HON. HWENDE: But you are being unprocedural.]- Who? – [HON. HWENDE: yourself.] – Out – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – [HON. MADZIMURE: You cannot do that.] - Hon. Madzimure, may you resume your seat.
Hon. Mushoriwa having wanted to raise concerns also.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mushoriwa please, the Minister is trying to respond to what Hon. Hwende has just raised. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: I thought procedurally you are supposed to make a ruling when a Member raises an issue.] – This is the reason why I have asked the Minister to respond – [HON. MUSHORIWA: The Hon. Minister undermined the seat of the Chair…] - May you give the Minister a chance to respond?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Chair. I just wanted to respond to say that there is no procedure in our Standing Rules that says after a public hearing, you withdraw a Bill. Parliamentary processes must be followed; the report presented, debated and the relevant Minister will respond to those issues and the relevant organ that passes laws which is this august House, will make a determination, not to come with premature arguments that we must withdraw the Bill because of public hearings. I so submit.
HON. GONESE: Mr. Chair. I have listened very attentively to the submissions made by the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I would like to draw his attention to the provisions of Section 141 of our National ‘Bible’, which is our Constitution as read with the provisions of Section 119. Firstly, as legislators, as representatives of the people and also the Executive must take into account what the Constitution requires. We must not just look at the letter but the spirit behind the provisions that are in our Constitution.
In this regard, I want to refer to the issue of public access to and involvement in Parliament. Parliament is actually required and the words used are ‘must.’ Parliament must facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its Committees, if the Portfolio Committee embarked on public hearings as required by the provisions of this Constitution. It is my respectful submission that the Executive must take into account those submissions. Whilst I agree with the Hon Minister that there is no legal requirement but this is the reason why I am referring to the spirit behind those provisions. When we look at the provisions of Section 119, it talks about Parliament making laws for the peace, order and good governance of the people. Is it good order and governance if we as the legislature, ignore the views of the public?
I believe that when this Committee Report was presented, it was quite clear that throughout the country, there was unanimity as regards the Bill, the spirit of the Bill and so on. I would enjoy the Hon. Minister together with the Hon. Vice President, to look at that report again and in that respect, to really consider again perhaps at this appropriate stage, to report progress and seek leave to sit again so that they can consult. After consultation, they may find that it is actually wise not to proceed with this Bill, which the people of Zimbabwe as represented by those who participated in the public hearings have expressed and have indicated that they are not in favour and are not in agreement with the intended legislation. I therefore seriously request my hon. colleagues to take that course of action. I request you as the Chair, to report progress to the Speaker and seek leave to sit again so that they can do those necessary consultations. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Hon. Chair. I am very happy that the Hon. Member has indicated that there is no procedure but he is just appealing. Where public involvement is a must, it is expressed like that in the Constitution, where we are required to go to a Referendum after passing something. In this regard, the Parliamentary processes must be followed. If there are issues that were rejected by members of the public, they are subjected in the debate during the Committee Stage, not to say that once a public hearing has been done on sample size, that is undetermined; we do not stop everything. That is totally wrong.
I believe we must proceed with the business of the House and if there are issues that they believe were strongly raised, then they can be debated in here, not to come up with processes and procedures that are not within our Statutes. If the public is required to make a determination, the Constitution is very clear that we go to a Referendum. These are public consultations and he is very right, the public was involved in Parliamentary processes and it is also very correct that they must and Parliament must do that, which is what we are doing but not to say that once a report has been done by a Committee, all the processes are stopped. I so submit.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Chair. I am confused, I need your help. What is the point of public hearings and Committee write-ups if you will ignore what they said? What the Minister has just said, he has told us categorically, irrespective of what people think on the Committee they will proceed. They will alter what they want and then they will just proceed. Why do we not stop that and do what they want. I so submit.
HON. T. MLISWA: It is prudent that the Chairperson of the Health Committee, Hon. Labode also talks about it. I think it will be proper for you to also ask her pertaining to what people are saying. She chairs the Committee and she must be able to give a true reflection of what happened.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: This is the reason they went out to the people. This is the purpose of this Committee to debate on those clauses that you feel that you have received issues that are not acceptable by the people that you are representing. So, I cannot understand why. You have got the room to highlight those areas when we reach the clause that you are concerned about. You will debate and raise those issues. Please can we just proceed?
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order, I think it is important that we follow the rules. Those who have objections must raise them while the debate is continuing. That is the procedure.
Clause 1 put and agreed to.
On Clause 2:
HON. DR. LABODE: Thank you very much. When we went out for public hearings, a lot of health worker stakeholders felt very strongly that when the Health Services Bill was coming in to insert a commission, it was going to be like other commissions in the Constitution and not a department in the Ministry of Health. I feel strongly that maybe we need to go back to the drawing board and redraft this Bill so that it sets up an independent commission. Thank you.
HON. BITI: Hon. Chair, Clause 2 is the nub of the Bill. The Bill from a drafting point of view, with great respect to those who drafted it, leaves a lot to be desired. What commission are we setting up here? From the preamble of the Bill, it looks like we are setting up a commission to deal with labour issues, to look after the interest of employees and to employ health personnel. In other words, we are weaning out of the Public Service, now known as the Civil Service. We are weaning health workers from the Public Service Commission. If that is the intention, then it must come out in Clause 2.
When you look at Clause 2, it is marrying two processes. It is marrying the labour component, the process of weaning out health workers from the Public Service Commission, which is not a problem. It also has components now of oversight, of looking at grievances and issues in the health sector. Those two are now more consistent with an independent commission that Hon. Dr. Labode was talking about. If the function of this commission is to deal with labour issues, it is an executive commission and not an independent commission.
If, however, this commission’s functions are to play an oversight role in the health sector, then it is an independent commission covered by Chapter 12 of the Constitution. You have got a problem now with Clause 2 because it is a hybrid. It is a half donkey, half horse, half mule, half cow because the people who drafted it are not clear what they are trying to achieve. Are we trying to create an executive commission that deals with employment issues, negotiation of salaries and so forth? This clause Mr. Speaker Sir, is badly drafted.
If we go on the hybrid as it seeks to do, then surely it must have more powers. One of the powers that we must give to the commission is the power of oversight over the health sector. There are so many shortages of drugs and so on. If we are going to create that oversight component, which is incorporated in Section 4, then let us give them that function.
Of concern as well Hon. Chair, we have three provisions that are disturbing. The first one is the curtailment on the power of the commission to make regulations, except with the approval of the Minister. That is not how it works. The Minister of Justice, the Leader of the House, will confirm that ZEC will make regulations on their own because it is a commission. Any other commissions have got powers of making regulations. Here, they cannot make regulations. They have to be approved by the Minister, which is why Hon. Dr. Labode is saying are we creating a department of the Ministry. If we are creating a department of the Ministry, then we cannot call it a commission. If it is a department of the Ministry of Health, that is a contradiction in terms of the law.
Second problematic thing is the provision in Section 2 that says the commission will operate on policy directive from the Minister. It cannot. That is why we are separating the Executive and this commission to the extent that we have got some Chapter 12 components of independence. The Minister is nowhere near. They work together but they are nowhere near, just like ZEC works with the Minister of Justice. They work together but they are nowhere near.
Thirdly, you have got a provision, I think it is the last provision on Sub-section 2 that says, “in fixing salaries, allowances and other benefits of members of the Health Service, the Health Services Commission must act with the approval of the President, given on the recommendation of the Minister”. If it is a labour issue, when the Public Service Commission negotiates with labour unions in Zimbabwe, it does not need the consent of the President. Article 98 of the ILO Conventions is the independence of the tripartite mechanism codified in our Labour Act. Unions negotiate. Once unions negotiate and agree, the Executive is out, particularly the President. It is collective bargaining and if you look at the preamble of the Bill, it says we want to promote collective bargaining. If there is collective bargaining, the employer and the employee have agreed where does the President come in? The commission is not an extension of the Ministry and a department of the Ministry. So I see a mixture of bad philosophy, ideology and drafting because it cannot sail. This provision as it stands right now, cannot sail Hon. Chair. Thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Hon. Chair. I just wanted to say that I completely concur with Hon. Biti. The purpose of making laws is trying to make things better and clarify grey areas. As far as this section is concerned, it shows that we are not trying to clarify but we are trying to complicate issues. We are trying to involve people who are not supposed to be involved in some of these issues. The spirit of making laws Hon. Chair, should always be based on the fact that we want good governance. We want to allow people to enjoy their work. We want our people to be proud to be health workers, we want our people to know that they are loved by their Government. So, whatever we do in this House should be done for the sole reason of making life easier for our people; to make our people love their country. So we must not in any way try even to outfox people, try to make sure that we put them in a corner, it does not help anyone.
So if this Commission is going to be an independent Commission, then that would be better but if it is an extension of the Ministry, then it does not help anyone. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: I have been looking at the particular Clause 2. Firstly, the intention of that clause is to replace the existing Section IV in the principal Act and substitute it with something entirely new. I want to associate myself with the remarks that were made by those who have eloquently spoken before me and that is to the effect that when we look at the problems that have been bedeviling the health sector, the idea of having a Commission is to wean the health workers from the Public Service and to have a Commission that is responsible for all matters that relate to health. It is in that vein Mr. Chairman Sir, that I propose to submit that what we require is what has been already mentioned by others that we now need a Commission that is autonomous, that is able to make decisions for the efficient running of the health sector. If we are going to do that Mr. Chairman, we therefore need to appreciate that the intended provisions in this particular clause are actually misplaced because they negate and defeat the whole purpose if the intention is to ensure that matters under the health sector are run efficiently and independently of the rest of the civil service.
There was recognition that we must actually have a Commission, which is why that Act was enacted in the first place. What we are supposed to be doing now is to improve on it and not to take two steps forward and then take four steps backwards. I am saying we will be taking four steps backwards if we have provisions that actually entail the Commission to get approval from the Minister. Otherwise what is the purpose now of having that Commission? Again, we will be going several steps backwards if we subject this Commission to directives by the Minister, which is what is provided for in sub-Clause 2; sub-Clause 3 and sub-Clause 4.
I therefore submit that if we want to improve on the existing Act, we must therefore enact provisions that actually enhance the independence, the effectiveness of this particular Commission. We cannot do that if we have interference or the hands of the Executive poking their fingers into the affairs of the health sector, which is not supposed to fall under the purview of the Commission. I therefore submit that the Hon. Minister and I can see that he is consulting with the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs whom I am sure is appreciative of the points and submissions that we are making.
Therefore, this particular clause cannot be passed as it stands. Unfortunately, we have not had time to make an appropriate draft and I would submit that if the Hon. Vice President appreciates the points that we have been making, then they should then consult the drafters to remove those offending provisions in that particular clause so that we remain with a Commission that can then perform its functions effectively and independently of the Ministry, and the Executive so that they can then make decisions that will increase and enhance the work of the health workers. These will be my submissions Mr. Chairman Sir.
(V)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Chairman Sir. Hon. Chairman, I am happy that we have an attempt to align the Acts of Parliament. The challenge that we had, I speak like this before I deal with Clause 2, is that we did not put timelines in terms of accomplishing the issue of aligning our statutes with the Constitution. Whereas the Kenyan Constitution of 2015 gave timelines to say, okay by such time you will have to have aligned your Acts of Parliament with the Constitution, the issue that I seek to understand is that first, I applaud the Executive for bringing the health services in alignment with the Constitution. I want to know if it would not be prudent to align the Health Services Act with Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 Commissions as it is because leaving it in the current form, as we speak, does not speak to the issues of alignment, and the General Laws Amendment Act that came in the Eighth Parliament consequentially amended a lot of laws. I think more than 100 to 142 or thereabout laws but you will find that the Health Services Act did not fall under this ambit. It would be prudent to take the Health Services Act and align it with the Constitution. My suggestion would be, would it not be prudent to put it under Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 Commissions?
In my view, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, independent as it is, for budgetary concerns and otherwise, and for appearing before Parliament or to have a representation in Parliament, they fall under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Hon. Mataranyika. We bring them to that Portfolio Committee and it is not only fair that we have a reporting avenue and station by the Health Services Commission, which is the Ministry of Health and Child Care led by the able Hon. Vice President Chiwenga. So it is my thinking that let it fall under the same ambit and modus operandi like Chapters 12/13 Commission, where if these people are going to be interviewed they come through Parliament or the names are submitted to His Excellency and then those commissioners are appointed, and in equal measure, they are disappointed through the same vein. Even if it is the argument, I ask that let the alignment take root of the Chapter 12 and the Chapter 13 Commissions and then everything else, this is as I debate Clause 2, should fall under the same ambit. I have no clue if ZACC is allowed to actually go on a riot or otherwise. So we are going to come to those clauses and it is my thinking that let us align the Health Services Act by making sure those Commissioners are appointed according to the Chapter 12 or the Chapter 13. This is my submission Hon. Chair.
HON. GONESE: I just want to clarify Mr. Chairman in regard to the speakers on the gadgets on those monitors because I have noted that I could only hear Hon. Nduna clearly when I went to my gadget. There was a day I was making a contribution from outside virtually and Members were indicating that they could not hear me and I had to cut short my contribution. I just want to find out from an administrative point of view as to whether our monitors there have got speakers which can enable Hon. Members to hear from the speakers on the monitors without having to use their gadgets because I thought that the purpose of having those screens is to enable those in the House to see the Hon. Member contributing on the screen as well as to hear the Member on the virtual. I just want clarification. I think it is an important issue.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Does he want me to come again?
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Nduna do not worry, we were hearing you loud and clear.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Chair. Just a small proposal and just a minor contribution on the role that we might actually belabor the Commission with issues to do with collective bargaining which are adequately covered in the Labour Relations Act. I note that we have the Labour Act before the House in the form of amendments. We could actually remove all the issues to do with collective bargaining negotiations to the Labour Relations Act and then we let the Commission run smoothly without any issues to do with the labour relations because Zimbabwe is on record for violating ILO Conventions in violating the role of the humans when it comes to negotiations and collective bargaining. So I submit that at least if we could take all issues to do with collective bargaining with the workers and then we just leave the Commission to do its work independently. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: What section are you debating on Hon. Mpariwa?
HON. MPARIWA: Clause 2 (4).
HON. BITI: I propose Mr. Chairman, to the esteemed Minister that we make the Commission a Chapter 12 Commission because the components are already there in section 2 on the functions. We then create, whether you call it a board that now deals with employment issues; so we separate the functions of the Commission and the labour collective functions.
The problem now is; we are conflating the two functions. That is why when you go to Clause 3, the Chairperson of the Commission is the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, is the Chairperson of the Civil Service because the concern is labour issues but the functions under Clause 2 are not labour issues; they are health issues. It is our health functioning. If that is the concern, then it is a Chapter 12 Commission which must be independent, but if it is a labour issue then the Chairman of the Public Service can chair. They are labour issues, they are trade union issues, which is why Hon. Mpariwa’s point makes sense that we then harmonise that with the Labour Act because the problem now is that Clause 2 has currently been framed as hybrid. It does not know what it is trying to do. Is it trying to deal with oversight matters which are covered by Chapter 12 Commission or is it trying to deal with labour issues? You cannot marry the two. That marriage does not work. You divorce before you have consummated the marriage. It does not work.
HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Hon. Chair. I think we can easily cure this issue that Hon. Members are raising by amending or removing the last three points 2, 3 and 4 because 2 is the one that is turning the Commission into a department of the Ministry together with number 3 and number 4; that one that is dealing with fixing of salaries and allowances. So my suggestion is, let us remove those ones and see how the remaining sections can be dealt with. Thank you.
HON. GENERAL. (RTD). DR. C. G. D. N. CHIWENGA: Hon. Chair Sir, I have followed the debate from Hon. Members. First, I want to clear the issue of Commissions. There are two types of Commissions in the Constitution. The first, you are dealing with independent commissions like ZEC, ZGC and ZACC. This is Chapter 12. Now, this is a Ministry and just like a Ministry, it is under the Executive, it is not independent. The Ministry of Health and Child Care is not independent. That is why it has a Minister in the Executive. So the employees in the Ministry are treated just like any other employees in Government.
Then the second one is the other types just like the Civil Service Commission. We have got the Uniformed Service Commission, we have got the Police and when you go into these, I will talk now to the bible as the other Hon. Member has talked about.
If you take section 203 of the Civil Service Commission, the section is the same and it is not verbose, it is very clear. When you now go to page 84, subsection 4, it says, “In fixing the salaries, allowances and other benefits of members of the civil service, the Civil Service Commission must act with the approval of the President given on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Development and after consultation with the Minister responsible for Civil Service”. You go to Section 18 which is the Defence, it is the same. When you go on the Defence Ministry, it is on subsection (3). In fixing the salaries, allowances and other benefits of members of the Defence Forces, the Defence Forces Service Commission must act with the approval of the President given the recommendation that the Minister responsible for finance and after consultation with the Minister responsible for Defence Forces and you go to the Police. It is the same and it is in this Holy Bible, the Constitution of the country.
Now where Hon. Members are getting mixed up is that Chapter 12 is dealing with independent commissions. This is not an independent commission. It is a Commission under the Executive and as it is under the Executive, the Health Service Commission plays a major role. We all fall sick here including Hon. Dr. Labode, and when you fall sick, you cannot treat yourself, nyoka haizvirume. You have to go and get treated and there has to be order in that. Whilst this is special, this is why it has to be manned in its own corner to make sure that the conditions of service are well looked after.
So, I do not see where Hon. Members have confused themselves. Even those who were asked when consultations were done, people might not have consulted the Constitution. The Health Service Commission is not a labour movement. It is a profession which is charged with the safety of all citizenry of this country and if we do not look at that, we are taking them from the Health Service Board and we want to put them into a Commission but with special attention just like the Defence Forces and the Police Service Commission. They have their own but it is a Commission and it is not an independent Commission. I submit Chair.
HON. BITI: Mr. Chairman, we hear the comments of the esteemed Vice President and also Minister of Health and Child Care, but he must listen to Hon. Members as well. It is clear that there is need and the evidence received from Zimbabweans shows that there is need for an independent Chapter 12 kind of situation over Public Health Delivery System in Zimbabwe. That function is not an Executive function. Health is the right to life. The right to life in Section 48 is the most important right in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. So what Hon. Members are saying is that let us have an independent Chapter 12 kind of Commission that is dealing with Public Health Service Delivery in Zimbabwe and that can easily be created by this amendment by separating what the Bill and what the Minister wants to achieve.
The Minister wants to achieve an Executive Employment Commission that takes out Public Health workers from the Public Service Commission just like the Defence Service Commission, the Police Service Commission, the Prison and Correctional Services Commission which is spelt out in the Constitution. We have no problem with that. If that is the case, we go to bad drafting because I want to compare Section 2 with Section 218 of the Constitution.
Section 218 establishes the functions of the Defence Forces Commission. So, streamline Section 2, you can just reproduce Section 217, simple. What is the function of the Defence Service Commission or what is the function of the Health Service Commission? It is to employ and grade people. It is to negotiate their salaries and we have no problem with that.
This Section 2 is more expanded. So simplify, I go back to my point that this provision, Section 2, is drafted inelegantly and we say to the drafters, just go and cut and paste Section 217 on the Defence Service Commission which the Minister and Vice President knows a lot about. Just cut it and paste and we know that we are just dealing with an Executive Commission that deals with employment issues, conditions of service and collective bargaining of health workers. We have no problem with that but still, there is a lacuna.
There is a gap - Zimbabweans including these Hon. Members are saying there is need for a Chapter 12 Commission to oversee Public Health Delivery in Zimbabwe. Let us create it namhla, let us create it khatesi. There is no problem because health is so important. The right to life is so important and the esteemed Vice President has said, every one falls sick and when you fall sick, you cannot treat yourself. We all need that Commission.
We have a Gender Commission, Human Rights Commission and we have the Media Commission. So let us have a Health Commission so that we can begin to see where the people are getting the service and that Commission will give a report through the Minister whether there are cancer machines and other machines. There is nothing wrong with the request that we are requesting from you the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care and Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Thank you.
*HON. HWENDE: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I was looking forward to the Minister who is the Vice President to touch on issues that were raised by Hon. Members in this House. On that issue I want to thank him for his presence in the House. Last week, I am sure you remember that we requested that he comes to the august House so that we could see him because from the time we were elected in March, we had never seen him in this House. I want to urge him that tomorrow during Question time; he may also be present because we have a number of questions that are related to his Ministry. Some hospitals are failing to provide medication and also food. The examples given by the Minister – the same commission that is under Defence Forces is not delivering. That is why the conditions for armed forces are terrible. Why should we copy something that is not delivering?
Even if you see the way the Bill was rejected by the people, it is the same issues that we are raising. If you look at all the Members of Parliament that have contributed, everyone is saying the same thing. Not even a single one is supporting this Bill. It was rejected by the people and it is being rejected here in Parliament and that leaves only the Minister. My appeal to the Minister is, let us take it bit by bit so that we can create a commission that helps you to save lives because people are dying.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to again emphasise to the Hon. Vice President the reasons why we are saying that we must depart from the norm. I want to reiterate that when we look at matters or our health, they are very critical and this is the reason why on this continent we have got the Abuja Declaration. I am just giving that as an example to illustrate the importance of matters affecting our well-being. We do not have a similar declaration on any other Ministry but in respect of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, there was a specific declaration adopted by the African people that we must have 15% of the budget going to health. I am simply using that as an example to illustrate the importance of this particular Ministry as well as the importance of the health sector. That is the reason why it deserves special treatment. We cannot equate it to the other executive commissions which have been put in the Constitution.
As lawmakers, we have got that latitude to create a commission which gives independent powers. The Constitution does not preclude us from doing so and this is the reason why we are pleading with the Hon. Vice President, together with the Minister of Justice who is sitting next to him that look, we have got a unique situation which needs a unique solution.
Right now we have a brain drain. Our doctors and nurses are leaving the country and one of the reasons is the issues in the health sector. A lot of the doctors who have complained have indicated that sometimes they do not have the tools of trade and these are some of the issues which we want an independent commission. Obviously when I say independent, we cannot have it under Chapter 12 but it can be similar to the commissions which are under Chapter 12. This is all that we are asking. There is nothing in the Constitution which prevents that course of action from being taken. There is nothing on any of our statutes which prevents us and we are asking the Hon Vice President to reconsider and at this moment in time it may not be possible for him to agree. That is the reason why I am going to submit that this is a clause on which perhaps if the Hon Vice President is not able to agree at this point in time but since he is the Vice President, I want to believe that he consults the Ministry officials whom I believe are in this august House.
When we dealt with issues under the Ministry of Finance, the Minister was able to consult while we are here. If he is able to consult his Ministry officials and realise that what we are saying is in sync with what the people said and if we are going to make laws for the good order and governance of this country as envisaged by Section 117 of our Constitution, we can adopt that course of action. He can consult and he can agree to amend some of those offending provisions which still leave the commission under the control of the Executive. Let us have an independent commission which is then able to actually perform its functions in such a manner that is going to improve the health sector to the extent that all the issues which fall under that particular sector are then adequately dealt with without being hamstrung or affected by bureaucracy which affects and permeates the rest of the civil service. Those will be my submissions and my plea to the Hon Vice President.
HON MADZIMURE: The fact that our health workers are leaving the country in their numbers is an indication that there is something that is not right. We cannot pay a blind eye to that. I see this as an opportunity to do our best in making sure that we restore what used to be a profession that anyone else wanted to be part of. What we are saying is not to embarrass the Minister or the Vice President but just to amplify the voices of those people whom we represent. These are their feelings that we must take this opportunity to do the best that we can.
My plea is that let us use this Bill as a window of opportunity to make sure that we correct all the things that we have failed to do all this while as far as the health sector is concerned so that we retain the best brains. We now have specialists everywhere. Our children have gone out there to study medicine and we want them back. The conditions must be suitable for them to come back.
It is so important for those people because they also follow parliamentary proceedings for them to be encouraged by how we show our concern towards their welfare and issues. I strongly feel that this commission must be an independent commission that is effective. What people are saying is that we are trying to put the health workers in a box where they will have nowhere else to go. This I think is not very good.
HON. RTD. GENERAL DR. CHIWENGA: I have been listening very attentively to Hon Biti, Hon Madzimure, Hon Gonese and Hon. Hwende. I know I did not want to talk about what you are saying. – [Laughter] – Let me say it is this august House, the lawmakers who have said in 2013 they passed this Constitution. After passing the Constitution, they said all the other Acts must be aligned to the Constitution. We cannot then find ourselves running away from that Constitution where we went, all of us out to explain to the people of Zimbabwe to adopt this Constitution. Before we have even gone an inch to follow what the people of Zimbabwe said they wanted, we want to tear this Constitution apart. No, we do not do things like that.
There is no independent commission under the Executive. I hear they have talked about those other independent commissions like ZACC, I am the line Minister. PRAZ is a commission, I am the line Minister but I never interfere with them. All what I do is, when their work cannot be done, that is when they come to my office to say we want an amendment here and we make those amendments. That is all what we do. This is public health we are talking about. Public health cannot be independent. This is why Zimbabwe ranked number one in the African continent when the pandemic struck. Even if we did not have, we took everything we had to serve our people.
Right now we are the only country who forked out 84% of our own resources and put $305 million to make sure every Zimbabwean is safe from this pandemic. –[HON. BITI: Zvakabiwa] – My dear, let us not talk about what we read in social media. This is why we have got ZACC. We are an effective country when it comes there; you steal, we arrest. We do not give – of course Hon. Biti when he puts on his other hat, he goes and defends those criminals – [Laughter] – When he comes here, he is putting another one, now he is saying no, no. So what we want here is to make sure that our health delivery system is put in the right perspective.
I want to tell the Hon. Members, may be when we went out, people were still with that hang-over of the First Republic. This is the Second Republic. I have heaps of letters in my office where they are saying now everything is good. To advise you, doctors and nurses are coming back to Zimbabwe. It is cold out there –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]– You were Minister of Finance, how is the Euro performing against the Dollar - it is now 97 cents. So what will be the price of a pound of meat?
Now we have to work. Ndosaka tiri kuti nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, haivakwi neumwe munhu. It is you and me who are going to build this country, not anyone else. Tombosiya zvimwe zvepolitics paside, tovaka nyika yedu. Kana tava kunopinda mugame repolitics totaurirana zvepolitics, yava imwe game iyo asi kuvaka nyika. What are you going to be known for when you are gone, when I am gone, when she is gone, wakasiya waitei? So what we are saying is independent, you cannot say now in the Executive there is an independent commission. We are putting everything to make sure that all our members, professionals – why they were running away; why they were so disgruntled is because Hon. Labode and others when they were still running the hospitals, they put administrators who had doctorates like me but I am not a doctor and say go and run Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
We want to put professionals. This is why we structured the Ministry of Health. If you now come and see – this is why it is now completely different. Hospitals are being run by professors and physicians. That is their job, to run the hospitals. Everybody else who has got no business in the hospital is out. We have restructured the hospitals to where we have the medical gaps, a clinic and then a district. In between the clinic and the district, we have now put two hospitals; one, a 20 bed hospital with two theatres and another, a 60 bed hospital with three theatres. So it is not an overnight thing Hon. Hwende. I think you are seeing on our - if you have a chance even on the social media, it is there, we have just finished Harare South. We are now building the Cowdry and we will be building hospitals in between the district hospitals.
When you go to Lupane Hospital, it is different. We are putting accommodation for a floor sweeper to a professor who will be running that hospital. The structures which were there, some left by the regime which we kicked out of our country in 1980, they were not concerned about health workers. These are the things which we are correcting.
When we say conditions of service, we are talking of accommodation, transport, and salaries come at the tail end. We want to deal with what it is that the doctor or the professional in the hospital wants. Equipment, we are now buying – it is a matter of time. We do not want to shout about it that we are now re-equipped; we have bought the equipment for the hospitals. We want you to see it.
This is why our professionals are now starting to see reality and this is what we are pleading with you as Hon. Members of Parliament to say let us pass the Bill as what we have recommended. We have not changed anything - this will be the best health delivery system in the world.
We do not want to be a replica, what you are saying that there is an independent health system; I would want to know which country has an independent health system in this world. We want a county which has got an independent health system, if it is there, then I am not sure and we would want to find its record what it would have done.
Hon. Chair, I think from what the Hon. Members were asking, this is what I would say. On the issue of an independent – I think they have gone far away, they are no longer aligning what we have agreed that we want to align every act to the Constitution. I thank you.
HON. LABODE: Just this morning we were in a zoom meeting with the Ministry of Health officials on the budget. I am asking where would the money come from to create those rosy beautiful conditions of service, yet in the last budget 8 billion was allocated for drugs and only one point something billion was actually disbursed. This explains why there were no drugs in any hospital. So, if we cannot even provide a drug, how do we provide a house, how do we provide a car? Simple drugs that we would find in a khaki paper long back in the1980s, we used to go with a khaki paper at Mpilo Hospital and you would be attended by a doctor without even paying a cent.
The picture that we received from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, it was frightening, Members could not even debate. There is not even money for medicines, let alone for luxuries for the workers.
THE HON. CHAIRPRESON: Unless the Minister has got something to say, your point is a bit out of Clause 2.
*HON. BITI: On Clause 2 Hon. Chair, I want to thank the responses from the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. During the liberation struggle, we used to call him Dominic Chinenge – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- I was there and we were intensely involved in the liberation struggle with Cde. Chocha and Cde. Shiri who are now late. On the issue of an Executive Commission, we seem to be in agreement but we are saying that there are provisions that are under Clause 2 that are not properly worded and are not consistent with other provisions like in 207. So, if that wording is removed, then it would be clear. Permission which deals with employment conditions of our health workers which harvest them from the Public Service Commission and places them on par with Police Service Commission, Defence Services Commission, and Intelligent Services Commission.
What we are talking about Hon. Minister, if we remove the provisions that we have highlighted, what we are saying is that when we fought the liberation struggle, we fought for the people. So, we are saying that separate from the Executive, that is not independent. Let us look into the issue of the public health delivery system and how it is functioning because life is vital and it is only possible if there is health and that is superintend by the health workers in the Ministry.
Under Section 210, we have independent complaints mechanism and that only assumes that something is wrong, that is why I said that we need to take Section 2 but we need to tweak those provisions that we have highlighted so that 207 and section 2 are in alliance. So, let us have foresight so that there is oversight. The work of the board will then look into the public health system to see how it is operating. So it will look at the issue of the budget to see whether Hon. Minister M. Ncube has availed enough funding to the Minister of Health in line with the 15% Abuja Declaration.
The board will also look into issues of whether the hospitals are functioning well, which is similar to the Gender Commission that we have as well as the human rights Commission that we have and the Media Commission that we have as well as the Child Rights Commission that the Minister of Justice intends to bring to the House.
We have heard about the Executive because right to life is important. If we have a Human Rights Commission with provision of rights to human dignity, then it means we need to put dignity to the right to life as provided for in the Constitution. I thank you.
HON. DR. MURIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I clearly understand and heard what Hon. Members are saying. If I understood them very well, we are agreeing on the need of the Executive Commission and there is no problem. Now, I would have thought that if members are in need of an independent Commission then that could be the business of another day and that can be passed through a motion in this House, and the matter will be looked into- [HON. MEMBERS: Ko chii nhai?] – I have the floor. So Mr. Chairman, my proposal is that we proceed, dealing with the...-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – keep quiet and listen to me, you had your time and I was listening –HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – iwe uri mbavhaka Biti wakaba 20 million tinoiziva iyoyo so let us not talk about it.
Mr. Chairman, I thought my proposal is that we proceed with the business of the House that is the Bill which is under discussion, not a separate issue that is being suggested. I submit Hon. Chair – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*HON. GEN. DR. (RTD) C. G. D. N. CHIWENGA: Mr. Chairman, I hear what the Hon. Members are saying but what they are running short of is to say what is it that they do not like here. If we had passed 2 (II) then we go on to 3, and we finish the Bill. After that then they will say on this clause, we want it to be modified in this manner but we are not getting it. We are not really pointing out the real issues. We are not really saying out what it is you do not want.
You must not go round in circles; I urge you to highlight those things that you do not want and the reason why you want these clauses amended; whether certain clauses are in ultra vires the Constitution, you must state. When women go to the borehole, the will be talking and discussing their issues and when men hear this, they will be also discussing that today I want to beat my wife. Others will just talk but when they get to their houses they will not beat their wives, they will be beating the walls and when you hear that you start beating your wife. Surprisingly in the morning, you will see my wife going to the borehole scratch free yet you will have beaten yours.
We want to know what the real issues are Hon. Chair, I am requesting Hon. Members to highlight what exactly it is they want and what they do not want in that Bill, then we look at it and address the matter. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Dai maigara henyu muchiuya tisina maproblems kana dai izvezvi tiri mumahotel.] –
*HON. HWENDE: My first two points are that under functions of the new Commission and you compare with those of the board that was in existence, you have taken away the supervising and monitoring of the health policy, planning and public health, so it means our board has less power – [AN HON. MEMBER: What did you say?] – supervising, monitoring, health, policy, planning and public health was there but now it is no longer there; then also monitoring the technical performance of the hospital management boards and of State aided hospitals and setting financial targets for them; you also removed this. Despite the fact that you have elevated the title to a Commission but you can see that it is now coming with less powers and my humble request is, let us reinstate those two so that we can move forward, I thank you.
HON. GEN. DR. (RTD) C. G. D. N. CHIWENGA: Thank you Hon. Chair, (f), (g), explicitly cover what Hon. Members are saying, (f) says ‘to ensure members of the health service carry out their duties efficiently and impartially’, (g) ‘to advise the President and the Minister on any matters relating to the health service’, that is monitoring and supervising. Unless if they are saying let us cut and paste, but it is exactly the same and when you go up at (d) to investigate grievances and to remedy the grievance of the members of the health service concerning official Acts or omissions - now Hon. Member, you are a lawyer and you are supposed to understand these issues. Well, we have no problem with adding the two points but we think over killing has no problem. We are going to add the two points.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Can we have the proper amendments Hon. Hwende?
HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Hon. Minister. I think the first point, you are saying supervising and monitoring health policy planning and public health. The second one we are saying, monitoring the technical performance of hospital management boards and of State aided hospitals and setting financial targets for them. This is what was in the old Act that we are currently amending. If you are agreeable, you can leave it as it is. Thank you.
*HON. BITI: Mr. Chairman, 4 (d) is saying to investigate and to remedy the grievances of members of the health service concerning official Acts or omissions. I am proposing that it should read, to investigate any grievance so that it gives members of the public the right to complain to the thing. The way it is worded, the word to investigate ‘grievances’ is limited in nature by saying, grievances of members of the health service. As a lawyer, you know that words of a general nature are limited by words of a particular nature. In English, it uses the generic rule. So I am proposing that it should read, to investigate any grievances. Thank you Hon. Minister of Justice Sir.
Amendment to Clause 2 put and agreed to.
Clause 2, as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 3:
*HON. BITI: Thank you Mr. Chairman. It is now nine years since the existence of the Constitution and there are two issues which we are paying lip service to and possibly the most important one is the issue of gender which is codified in terms of Section 17 which makes it clear that all board or commission appointments must be 50:50. The second one is Section 18 which must ensure that there is fair regional representation. So we are paying lip service. Even this Bill pays lip service. The Bill says in subsection (3), “in appointing members of the commission, the President shall pay regard to the provisions of Sections 17 and 18”. Paying regard is different from being bound. I propose we remove Section 3 and simply say, ‘half the members of the commission shall be women’.
All these members must pay regard to equal regional representation and we leave it like that because the discretion does not lie with the President. The President has no discretion when it comes to equal gender representation. The President does not have discretion when it comes to fair regional representation. It is the Constitution that says there must be equal representation of men and women. There must be fair representation. So let us remove the permissive, “the President shall pay regard…” and replace it with “…the peremptory of the members of the board, 50% shall be women”. Also, I propose that if the chairperson of the commission is a man, the deputy chairperson must be a woman and vice versa. That way we are no longer paying lip service to the ideals of this Constitution that we went to war for. Takaenda kuhondo but we are now respecting the substantive provisions of the Constitution. I thank you Mr. Chairman.
HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you Mr. Chairman. My issue is on the Chairperson of the Commission who must double up also as chairperson of the Civil Service Commission. I think there will be work overload there. Like what the Minister of Health says that there are a lot of people coming back, let us try and look for someone who can take responsibility of being commission chairperson than to load persons with double load. Also in the health service, there are a lot of stakeholders, let us not look at doctors alone. Let us have a wide spectrum and make sure that we pick from all the stakeholders. Thank you Chairman.
HON. LABODE: Thank you Chairman. I am just buttressing what Hon. Lindiwe just said. I was one of the lobby people who lobbied for the Ministry of Health workers to leave the Public Service Commission. It is because we felt they could not represent our needs and we felt that we were mismanaged. So how do you then take it – you are saying you are creating a commission and yet taking us back to the Public Service Commission through backdoor. That was rejected and that should be removed. Thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: I just want to emphasise the issue of one person doubling chairing this Commission of the Health Services and Defence Services Commission, and everything. I cannot even understand the logic because it does not add value and in any organisation, if you draw an organogram with such a structure, it is bound to fail. It does not work.
HON. GONESE: I want to associate myself with the remarks which have been made by the Hon. Members who have spoken before me. However, I just want to make an additional point on the composition which refers to the Deputy Chairperson appointed by the President from recommendations from the Minister. Again, I would submit that whilst I appreciate that this is an Executive Commission but I believe that we should not have that appointment being made on the recommendation of the Minister. I believe we have got associations which represent the health profession and I would propose that recommendation should be made from the various associations. I do not know how but I believe this will be a better way of dealing with it so that we do not have too much power imposed in the hands of the Hon. Minister.
So, in addition to the points which have been made by the other Hon. Members, I propose that we remove that power otherwise it ends up being a Ministerial appointee which I am not very comfortable with. We want to have a Commission which is going to look into issues related to the health sector. I believe that the people who are affected should have a say as to who is going to be appointed. That is my proposal that let us have that formulation to be amended so that it is not imposed in the hands of the Minister.
HON. CHIWENGA: I hear what the Hon. Members are proposing and saying. Firstly, let me answer about the Chair. All the Executive Commissions have one Chair because where we take our budget is one pot and that one pot has to be properly looked after. Before, I heard the talk about the Abuja Declaration but I did not answer it. We are the only country that had 22%. Abuja has got 15% but we went to 22% of the budget – [HON. MEMBERS: Ah!] – Ehe, zvakapaswa muno. Hon. Hwende, motozoita manhingi acho. – and so they will be one but when there is a Chair, it does not mean that it is the Chair who has got the overall say. The Chair has got a Committee he chairs. It is like now you are there chairing and the Hon. Speaker is not there. Are you not chairing? You are chairing and we are dealing with this very important matter. I want to advice all the Hon. Members that all Executive Commissions have one Chair and this is in the Constitution.
Now, going to the question of fair representation. As Executive, we are very aware of that and this is why the Executive had to extend the issue of women. His Excellency the President extended. The women representation was supposed to end but it had to be extended and we are happy that this august House accepted that. We are very aware of that and we are saying having done that, the women must still go and fight the men in their constituencies. That is the democratic process but we must make sure we have protected them. In this manner, when you look at all the Commissions we have put in place, if the Chair is a man, the deputy is a woman. If a woman is the chair, a man is the deputy. So, we do it and that is what the Constitution says and we have followed the Constitution to the letter and spirit.
Over killing issues Mr. Chair, I do not think it is the purpose of making laws. I will support Hon. Biti where he was saying “fair”. There must be fair representation because equal representation might not be possible. Here we are talking of five members and we have ten provinces, how do we do it? There is fair and there is a mechanism which will make sure that all the four corners of the country are represented. That is how the issue of amending Section 3 came about and we put fair representation. I have no problem with it because when you say we want equal, it might not be possible but if there is fair representation, it is possible.
You know, now we have boards where they are all women and I have got one board I chair which is Food and Nutrition. More than half of the members are women and they do a perfect job, and are doing well. We are very aware of what we need to do. Mr. Speaker was in Rwanda where Rwanda has managed to have half-half, even Members or Parliament and all the other areas but we are going there. That is what we want to achieve and that is why we are encouraging our women to be active. People have got to be appointed.
Hon. Members who have been asking me, you cannot take me into your law firm. What am I going to be doing there? I would be an administrator but then do what? You want me to at least have done some articles so that I can understand what you want me to do? So we want our women to be fairly represented but we are also encouraging them to be active and not to sit and wait for the men to appoint them to various posts. Soon we are going for elections and you think we are going to say Hon. Biti stand down so we can put a woman there - no, we will say this is democracy, let us go for elections so everyone can get a position fairly. That is why we have said we will put aside that quota for women but we want to encourage women to participate when it comes to these issues. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: I did not know that the Hon. Vice President is actually my father-in-law because my wife is also a soko. Later on I will acknowledge him properly as the son-in-law but at this point in time, I think that the Hon. father-in-law of mine has conflated two issues. When Hon. Biti made his submissions, he actually separated the issue of gender and that of regional representation. So I think that is the point which has eluded my father-in-law. In the last Parliament, I was a Member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and we had situations where appointments were being made which were not in compliance with the provisions of Section 17 of the Constitution. As the PLC, we actually passed adverse reports as a result of which changes were made. I am making this point to support the point that there may be situations where there is no compliance and to vaccinate ourselves against that scenario. Presently, the Hon. Vice President is gender sensitive and he would ensure that such appointments are in compliance. However, there may be a male chauvinist who will be in charge of that particular Ministry and if we do not have a specific provision, there is no guarantee that the principles of equal gender representation will be adhered to. If you look at the Constitution of this country, in terms of the independent commissions, it has not said that there must be equal representation of men and women. The people that have been marginalized are the women and so the formulation simply says at least half must be women. That is how we should put it. When there is an odd number, I have two suggestions which are: increasing the number to an even number and then put the provision; half must be women or we can say at least two if the number is maintained as five. That will ensure that we do not have one or zero which is very possible if a male chauvinist is making those appointments. We want to have a situation where we have to rely on the PLC because we have no guarantee as to what composition the PLC will have. The Hon. Vice President must distinguish the issue of fair regional representation. I think in his response, he was conflating the two. Let us separate the two and with women let us be very specific because we lose nothing by so doing.
Then lastly, on the issue of the Chairperson, the Constitution does not actually say all executive commissions are going to be chaired by the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission. Look at the provisions of the Constitution in relation to the Judicial Service Commission, which is not a Chapter 12 institution. At the end of the day, there is no provision in the Constitution which makes it peremptory for the Chairperson to be Chairperson of the Public Service Commission. It actually gives us latitude and what it means is that as long as we have doctors like Dr. Vincent who is the chairperson now, we will then have a situation where there will be no women who will chair any Executive Commission as long as we have a male chairperson of the Public Service Commission. So, I believe that if the Constitution is permissive to have some executive commissions chaired by independent chairs, I believe there is no harm in making that provision.
The next point I want to make submissions on is on the appointment of Members of the Commission. I notice that I made submissions on the Vice Chairperson and even the other five members are recommended by the Minister but I believe it is not in accordance with the principles of democracy and good governance. When there are changes in ministerial appointments, each Minister comes with their own appointments of members of the board and I believe that we should move away from that scenario where we are giving too much power to the Ministers. The Hon. Minister did not respond to my submissions. I believe that particular clause should also be amended so that we have latitude to have the professions which are represented in the Ministry of Health having a say in who should be a board member. I think you can start with this one because in all the other provisions, it is the Minister who makes those appointments but that is not good practice. So, let us start with this particular Commission to move away from that practice.
HON. MADZIMURE: I would like to put emphasis on the issue of the Chairperson. The previous Civil Service Commission Chairperson was male and the current one is male as well. So, it means you will never have a woman chairing and this has been the case since 1980. Is that what we want? So, we can use this one as a starting point because it is not provided for in the Constitution but it is administrative. I do not think there is any problem with the Vice President starting from this one and making sure that even a woman can chair this Commission. We have a lot of women who are very capable and we cannot always have a woman as the Vice Chair and the Chair always being a man. That is not acceptable and even in the eyes of women we will not be portraying ourselves as people who are gender sensitive.
HON. MLISWA: I differ with my Hon. colleague Members of Parliament. I think there are enough laws which have been passed to empower women and we cannot be constantly on affirmative, everything to do with women and youths affirmative, yet women are 50,5% of the people who vote but you still want to feel sorry for them. Why can they not vote themselves into power? You also want to put a law that the majority will always have a woman president. That is the next thing but the 50,5% of the people on the voters’ roll are women. Why are they putting them and not putting themselves in power? It is a mindset approach and we cannot deal with it.
The issue of the board chair is the prerogative of the President from a constitutional point of view. Certain powers are there. If you are not happy, change the Constitution and cut down the powers of the President. It is like the Ministers are appointed. We cannot say why have he appointed all men. It is his prerogative when he is in power. So, maybe you want a woman to be President and it will be all women. Some of these issues, I think are really to do with performance more than anything else. The merit of somebody doing a job is more important than the agenda.
We have got women here who are on PR. How many of them speak on behalf of women? They do not. I raised the issue of sanitary wear here but I am not a woman. Did it take a woman to do that? Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Hon. Majome supported it. Where were the others? These two by the way, Hon. Majome had a constituency, she was not PR. You cannot take a donkey to the water and force it to drink. We must move. It is a cultural issue. Let us have competent people running things. That is what is important at the end of the day.
Hon. Dr. Labode is a good example. She was one of the first Provincial Medical Directors. Learn from her. There was no law to make her the first woman Provincial Medical Director. She went to school and she excelled. Was there a law? She chairs the Portfolio Committee on Health. Where does it say that there must be a woman in the Standing Orders? Why are you so behind? Let us allow people who are competent to move on and do things which are critical. Women must also pull their socks and not vote for us men if they want to run the show. Time for election is coming where there is democracy. Democracy is coming. In the last election, we had Mai Mujuru, you did not vote her; Thokozani Khupe, you did not vote her and now you want to bring a law. We cannot be doing that all the time. Let us move with people who are competent and that is it. “Mune hondo dzenyu dzisina basa.”
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Chair, I just want to comment on Clause 3 (3), where it says “in appointing members of the commission, the President shall pay due regard to provisions of Section 17 and 18 of the Constitution”. What Hon. Members are debating is already covered. When the President is supposed to have regard for those sections, which even indicate – [HON. HWENDE: Point of order.] – There is no point of order. You are just trying to rise up and disturb. Section 17 says the State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society. It goes here to say the State must take all measures including legislative to ensure that both genders are equally represented. So, it is there, it is covered. Even Section 18 on fair regional representation is equally covered, so I do not think it is necessary to overkill it. Thank you.
HON. BITI: Thank you. Hon. Chair, I think we must make it clear that the composition of the commission must comply with Section 17 and that there is no discretion. I agree with the esteemed Minister, the Vice President that the issue of fairness on regional representation is a different thing but we are not conflicting gender equality with regional representation.
The fresh point I want to make Hon. Minister relates to Section 3 (4) and Section 3 (5). Section 3 says Section 320 of the Constitution shall apply with necessary changes to the Commission and Subsection 5 says the Second Schedule shall apply to the qualifications of members of the commission, their terms and conditions of service and the procedure to be followed. There is a contradiction. Section 320 says the conditions of service are set by the President but the Second Schedule says the conditions of service are set by the Minister, so there must be reconciliation. Subsections 4 and 5 are not speaking together and the Constitution overrides the schedule. *The Second Schedule is in the original Act. In the Act, conditions are set out by the Minister but Subsection 4 says, we apply Section 320 with modifications. If you read Section 320, it states that conditions are set out by the President. So, we now have a schedule that speaks about the Minister and Section 320 which speaks about the President. The Constitution is supreme to the schedule. Thank you Hon. Chair.
HON. GONESE: Before the Hon. Vice President responds, I just wanted to point out that the Hon. Minister of Justice quoted the provisions of Section 17 and I do not know whether he understood the import of what he was quoting. What he was quoting was that the State must take legislative measures. These are the legislative measures because when you are enacting an Act of Parliament, that is the legislation Hon. Minister. “Inga muri gweta wani.” *What you have quoted supports our point to say we now need Acts of Parliament that will reinforce the provisions of Section 17. What it means is, if it is passed into law, it will stipulate that 50% should be women. Section 17 talks about the inclusion of women. When the Hon. Minister responds, I hope he will take that consideration that there should be gender balance. These are the legislative measures and they empower the provisions of Section 17. I thank you.
*HON. CHIDZIVA: Thank you Hon. Chair. Mine is a small issue. I wanted to check that when we are working on this Bill, it should serve employees who are under the health services. We need to take into cognisance the point that there are unions which are known which work with the Ministry. Why not allow such unions the opportunity to second two or three people who would sit on the commission? I thank you.
HON. GEN. (RTD). DR. CHIWENGA: Thank you Hon. Chair. I hear what the Hon. Members are saying. First, let me answer Hon. Gonese. I suppose Hon. Members are aware that we have got the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act (PECG). It is the one that keeps all the registers across the entire country, no minister goes out there. Yes, it could have happened in the First Republic that you go and employ a relative, maybe it used to happen during the First Republic but this is the Second Republic – [*HON. MEMBERS: Manga murimo muFirst Republic!] – Aaah we were not there… – [Laughter.] – But Hon. Member, you were a lawmaker then… – [HON. BITI: Ndimi manga muri soja guru reFirst Republic!] – Ayehwa tanga tisingaite mutemo, iwe ndiwe wayiita mutemo handiti?
So that PECG keeps a register, I think there was a confusion here Mr. Chairman where I thought we always think Hon. Members have sharp minds that they will remember what they would have passed here. We have the PECG Act and in the PECG Act, we also have the Corporate Governance Unit which is known as the CGU; that is an independent unit that keeps the register. When there are members who are required to go to a board, the Minister goes including the President and me. We go in there and say, we want people and they give us the lists that they have. It is only procedure where you cannot put an administrative unit in the Constitution or in this Act but they are there. When the PECG Act was passed by Parliament, I think Parliament was quite aware that it was addressing a thing, whether it was happening or not happening, where people were not being selected properly. So they are there, there is no minister who would go from his house and pick whoever he/she wants … - [*HON. BITI: Aaah uyu arikupika magirlfriends, uyu weku Agriculture uyu, girlfriend yakaiswa kuCOTTCO!] – So I wanted to clear that.
This Corporate Governance Unit is responsible for that to take up individuals to be considered. When we go now to this Act, there is a Chairman of the Public Service Commission. I suppose Hon. Members here know that the Deputy is Miss Ndiweni, the Deputy Chairperson of the Public Service Commission and there are five members. So, the issue where he was saying we want six is covered; Chairperson plus five, they become six or Chairperson or they may want to include the Deputy there then they become seven – whatever the number. It is clear on (c); it says a minimum of two and maximum of five members. So, that is covered in that area. I thought this was the issue.
We agreed with Hon. Biti that the issue of fair representation must be put and that is given. So, these other things are just … - [*HON. BITI: Tirikuda kuisa vakadzi ipapo chete!] – You are now asking me to propose an amendment to the Constitution. The Constitution in Section 17, is clear and it talks about appointments and how these appointments are to be made and this is covered in the Constitution. The list that you gave me has no proper gender representation and what have you but this point that you are raising Hon. Member is already covered in the Constitution. Mr. Chairman, do we now want to put something that is not there? Aaaah we are over carrying the issues. I thank you.
*HON. HWENDE: Just a small intervention there. The minister is not paying attention.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES (HON. MUTOMBA): You are not connected Hon. Hwende.
*HON. HWENDE: Minister Ziyambi, may you allow the minister to pay attention? Let me start by thanking the Hon. Minister for his response and acknowledge that I am very impressed with his articulation of what is to be done … - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -in the health sector. I think the challenge that was indicated by Hon. Dr. Labode; your plan is clear and well thought-out but the issue of budget allocation to the Ministry of Health and Child Care; you mentioned the 22% from Abuja and we need to correct it. Hon. Mthuli Ncube sometimes budgets a certain percentage and that money is allocated but is not disbursed to the ministry.
I stood up to appreciate and we are going to support your Ministry when we engage in budget debates in this august House. We also request that you continue coming to this august House because if you come, then we will continuously engage each other and enjoy the rapport. I thank you. – [*HON. ZIYAMBI: And may you continue in that spirit!] –
HON. ZIYAMBI: Hon. Chair, I move that we report progress and seek leave to sit again.
Committee to resume: Wednesday, 19th October, 2022.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Vice President, you see how your presence has mesmerised the Hon. Members of Parliament. Good to have you around.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that we stand down Order of the Day Number 1 and revert to Order Number 2 on today’s Order Paper. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS IN MOBILE EQUIPMENT ON MATTERS SPECIFIC TO AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I move the motion standing in my name that;
WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
WHEREAS the protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment entered into force on 1 March, 2006;
Whereas the Republic of Zimbabwe is a party to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment;
WHEREAS Article XXVI (3) of the aforesaid protocol provides that any State which does not sign the protocol may accede to it at any time;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament resolves that the aforesaid Protocol be and is hereby approved.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I feel humbled at this particular moment to the Hon. Members who have graced the debate of today until this far and to say the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has a convention to the accession to the protocol to the Convention on International Interests in the Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment.
Hon. Speaker Sir, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to this House for allowing me to move and debate on this very important motion to consider the Accession to the Protocol to the Convention on International Interest on Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment by the Republic of Zimbabwe.
My Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe have seen it prudent for the country to go through the processes to accede to this protocol so that the country can fully benefit from international agreements relating to aircraft equipment like this one.
Mr. Speaker Sir, section 327 (20) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament. The protocol before you was signed at Cape Town on 16th November, 2001 and entered into force on 1st March, 2006. Thus, under the conclusion of the protocol, Zimbabwe is able to accede to it anytime in terms of Article 26 (3) of the protocol. Furthermore, Zimbabwe is already a party to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment and the Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO), which was signed at Chicago on 7th December, 1944.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the protocol addresses the need to adapt to the Convention to meet the particular requirements of aircraft finance and it extends the sphere of application to include contracts of sale of aircraft equipment,
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! There are Hon, Members who are exercising their teeth. That is not allowed in the House. So please stop the munching. If you want to do the munching, you may leave the House accordingly.
HON. MHONA: Hon. Speaker Sir, the protocol addresses the need to adapt to the Convention to meet the particular requirements of aircraft finance and it extends the sphere of application to include contracts of sale of aircraft equipment. This protocol sets up a legal framework to facilitate asset based financing of aircraft by improving predictability as to the enforceability of security, title reservation and leasing rights in aircraft and therefore protecting lenders and lessors and allowing borrowers to better access to credit and at lower costs. It is intended to protect interest of aircraft vendors and financiers by overcoming disparities in national laws through establishing a legal framework. Consequently, this will significantly reduce credit risk and the cost of financing associated with equipment that moves rapidly between jurisdictions, including aircrafts.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in light of the above, it is pivotal that Zimbabwe accedes to this international legal framework to fully benefit from these aviation mechanisms. I so move Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. T. MOYO, seconded by HON. GONESE, the House adjourned at Sixteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.