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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 JULY 2017 43-77
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 19th July, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order, I
recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery, of students and teachers from Gotora High School in Buhera and Speciss College in Chitungwiza. You are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
PETITION FROM HWANGE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on the 12th of July, 2017, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Hwange Residents Association beseeching Parliament to exercise its oversight function and protect the constitutionally guaranteed right of Hwange town residents to water. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
INVITATION TO THE HEALTHY CITY CLEAN-UP AND
WELLNESS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that the Office of the President and Cabinet invites all Members of the
Portfolio Committees on Health and Child Care and Environment,
Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to take part in the Healthy City
Clean-up and Wellness Awareness Campaign, which will be held on the 3rd of August, 2017 in the central business district of Harare.
MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have received apologies from the
following Hon. Ministers:
- Chidhakwa; iii) Hon. F. Moyo; iv)Hon. Dr. Mpofu;
- v) Mlambo; vi) Hon. Chikwama; vii) Hon. V.P. Mnangagwa; viii) Hon. V.P. Mphoko; ix) . Hon. Kasukuwere;
- x) Bimha; xi) Hon. Muchinguri; xii) Hon. Sen. Mupfumira; xiii) Hon. Sen. Mathuthu; xiv) Hon. Dr. Parirenyatwa; xv) Hon. Mumbengegwi; and xvi) Hon. Prof. J. Moyo.
- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Members, let us have
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was reading
- through you Mr. Speaker, if you may ask Hon. Chinamasa and Hon.
Made to listen to what I am about to say because it concerns Government.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. You may
force me to send one of you out.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: In terms of our Standing Order Number
63 as read together with Standing Order Number 26, Ministers who are not able to come to Parliament are supposed to seek the leave of the
Speaker and that of Parliament. You have mentioned a whole list of Ministers who are not present; did they seek the leave from you? Was the leave granted and did they explain the reasons? Why I am saying this is, this provision is not there for the mere asking. It is there to make sure that Ministers who do not come here because they have chosen to go to other pursuits or their own frolics, they are censured and reprimanded.
I am just asking you Hon. Speaker so that we are clear. As Parliament, we do not want a habit of Ministers who just come here to say I am not coming to Parliament. It is not adequate; it is not sufficient. If they are not coming to Parliament, they must give us a reason because we know that some Ministers abandon this august House for other small houses, which may be where-ever they are. We want this august House to be respected. If you may clarify this Hon. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What do you mean by small house, Hon. Member?
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: A house in Cabinet is a small house
compared to this august House. So, it is very important. You heard what I said.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chamisa, by the virtue that I
have this list of the apologies, that means they have been granted the leave they sought from Parliament.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development….
THE ACTING SPEAKER: May you raise your voice Hon.
Cross, I cannot hear you from here.
HON. CROSS: Minister, the Ministry of Transport and
Infrastructural Development is proceeding with a number of major contracts. I am referring to Beitbridge-Chirundu, refurbishment of the National Railways of Zimbabwe and also the re-capacitating of the Air Zimbabwe.
These three projects amount to nearly $3 billion of new Government of Zimbabwe obligations. I simply want to know from a policy point of view, what kind of authority should be gained for these major commitments from the House before they can be proceeded with. For example, I understand the leases on new equipment or second hand equipment for Air Zimbabwe is in the process of being finalised but we have not seen any documentation. We have not seen any sign of the contract. There is no transparency.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Cross. Hon. Mandipaka,
can you hear what Hon. Cross is saying?
HON. MANDIPAKA: I hear nothing because there is a lot of
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Yes, there is a lot of noise in this House. Hon. Members, can we please respect this Chamber. –[AN HON. MEMBER: Machinja arikuita noise.] – You are no different from those who are making noise.
HON. CROSS: I just wonder how these major contracts can proceed without any kind of Parliamentary oversight. I just want you to clarify the position of Government on this.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I
would like to thank the Hon. Member for posing those questions. It gives me an opportunity to clarify a number of misconceptions that the
Hon. Member is entertaining.
My understanding and I need to be corrected, the dualisation of Beitbridge –Harare is off the balance sheet of Government because it is a BOOT. It means that the contractor or the investor is bringing his money to do the road under an arrangement where he can recoup his investment over a period – I think in this case it is over 25 years. I believe you break even probably at 18 years and recoup in 25 years.
With respect to National Railways of Zimbabwe, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and I took to Cabinet a proposal that we be allowed to look for an investor on the basis of loan financing, or equity financing or both. That has not been happening but at least now we have a basis which we can engage would be investor.
If we find an investor who wants to put equity, we will say yes because we now have the full approval of Cabinet. If we find that we cannot get it fully financed through equity, then we need also to look for a loan. So, there is that flexibility and nothing has happened. We are still at a stage where we are looking out for investors. The same thing with respect to Air Zimbabwe; clearly Air Zimbabwe is an important public entity and my own position is that we want an entity which can just break even. It does not need to make a profit because there is an economic return by operating Air Zimbabwe which is to bring in more arrivals and more tourists to our country. If that is achieved, like we have already started to see happening in Victoria Falls, that is more than good for the Treasury, for the economy of this country.
So as of now, you mention about what you have been reading in the newspapers, I also must ask you where you are getting that from. When anything has happened, we will let you know. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development will also let you know.
We are pursuing a lot of ideas, a lot of initiatives. No one initiative should be concluded or determined as having succeeded before it succeeds. We would not want to have adverse comments on initiatives that we are taking before they materialise. So, I would want to say to the Hon. Member please, be patient. We are pursuing various initiatives, especially with respect to state enterprises. We are engaged in state enterprises reform. We want to make the state enterprises get to a position where they can contribute meaningfully to the GDP. So, we are pursuing a lot of initiatives, but we would not want to discuss initiatives before we even engage the investors. That will not make sense. We cannot negotiate in public. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I wish to thank the Hon. Minister for the explanation. Hon. Speaker, the problem we have with state enterprises is not that they lack capital or there are no initiatives to raise capital. The problem we have with state enterprises is that they are badly managed - firstly, by management which is in place and secondly, by Government interference.
We know that state enterprises are havens of corruption, rent seeking and patronage. Hon. Minister, you can raise billions of dollars to put into state enterprises. As long as they are badly managed, as long as Government uses them for corruption, for rent seeking and for patronage, they will not make money.
Hon. Minister, what have you done to change the paradigm at state enterprises and the paradigm in Government when it comes to
Government’s relationship with state enterprises? Thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: The question by Hon. Maridadi is not quite arising from the question that was posed by Hon. Cross.
Notwithstanding, I will respond to your question.
With respect to state enterprises, let us not make the mistake of blanketing all of them to be what you have alleged. Clearly, if you say they are all corrupt, it is not true. If you say all of them are badly managed - again, it is not true. There are some which are badly managed, there are also some where corruption may be residing. For us to know where corruption is, we kindly ask Hon. Maridadi to give us evidence.
HON. MARIDADI: Oh, Minister...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Maridadi.
HON. CHINAMASA: No, no, please, give us evidence so that we can pursue these matters. We cannot deal with these matters in general terms. We have to be specific. When you are alleging someone has committed a crime, we must come up with evidence and not to be very general.
Now, I agree with you for instance, that some of the challenges are to do with bad management, which is why we are bringing a piece of legislation here; Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill and to be gazetted this Friday. It took some time because the matters stand out to be more complex than we had originally anticipated. I thank you Mr.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Minister, thank you for your answer but I am quite aware that Government has taken over the COTTCO debt of about US$68 million. It has also taken over the debt of CSC so that it looks attractive to investors. Do you have any plans of taking over the debt of NRZ and also cleaning the balance sheet of Air Zimbabwe and maybe trying to revitalise Air Zimbabwe by making them engage IATA so that they are also booking for other airlines and vice versa? I speak like that Hon. Speaker because I am Chairman of your Committee, Hon. Speaker.
HON. CHINAMASA: Once again it is not arising from the question posed by Hon. Cross. The short answer to what Hon. Nduna has asked is that I already took a proposal to Cabinet about two or so weeks ago for approval to assume the debts, for Treasury to assume the liabilities of Air Zimbabwe, NRZ and Civil Aviation Authority.
I want the balance sheet of these entities to be cleaned up with a view to looking for new investors. As we do that, we are insisting that we will not put money into a parastatal until we get the management in that parastatal back on a proper footing. The Bills will come here. We are in the process of drafting the Bills and when they pass through the necessary procedures in Cabinet, we will be able to bring the Bills in here.
HON. ZINDI: Hon. Speaker, I just want to find out from the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development what advantage has it got for the Government to carry the burden of parastatals like we are suggesting – NRZ and all other parastatals? What advantage has it got other than having to shift the burden from the parastatals to
Government? Can the Minister explain so that we understand exactly the implications of Government to have to inherit all those debts?
HON. CHINAMASA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will not have time to go through parastatal by parastatal because when we make these decisions, we are looking at the pivotal role that the parastatal plays in the economy of the country. I can respond, say with respect to NRZ. A transport system without a railway system and I think that the debates in this House have indicated, it is not good enough. Currently, the lifespan of our roads is shortened because heavy traffic which should be moving on the rails is moving on the roads.
So, whatever happened in the past, we cannot run away from the fact that a railway system in Zimbabwe or in any other country is a very important cog in the transport system of any country. So, for that reason I took the decisions that we have to assume the liabilities of NRZ in order to make it possible for investors, whether through equity or through loan financing, to come in and invest in the railway system.
As you are aware Mr. Speaker Sir, the National Railways of
Zimbabwe is already a company under the Company’s Act. So, it has a framework which allows equity investment into the railways.
With respect to Civil Aviation Authority, it is the authority which runs airports. If you do not have it, you should not have airports. Again, it is very important. What I think is important is to go back to the earlier question asked by Hon. Maridadi. We must address the issues of management so that our resources are taken care of properly and are accountable but I do not think anyone can quarrel with the importance of Civil Aviation Authority. In the same way, I do not expect anyone to quarrel with the importance of Air Zimbabwe in the transport system also. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. CHIKOMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs. I know that there are spot fines that are charged on the roads. For those with companies, we cannot give monies to the drivers to move around with. Is it not possible to get duplicate ticket so that we go and pay later on. For spot fines, they cannot pay the money. I think it is better to give a duplicate and you give us seven days to pay for us with companies - to pay.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.
MGUNI): The new integration system that we are to unveil soon will allow a person not to pay there and then, but to carry the receipt because that receipt will also be known at the centre or data area so that every detail of that offender is captured. This means that it will be traceable so they will be able to pay within those seven days.
HON. SITHOLE: I just want the Hon. Minister to update the House and the nation at large the progress that they have made in terms of reduction of roadblocks on the roads, since he had promised that during the first or second week of July, they would have reduced the road blocks to four per province.
HON. MGUNI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I think the progress is really notable because I travelled to check out some of the roads that we were concerned about in terms of the number of road blocks. For example, the Bulawayo-Harare road, if everybody can agree because I travelled on Thursday last week; I met three roadblocks on the road, which was remarkable. I also travelled through the Masvingo one
-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Do you not
want to hear the Minister’s response?
HON. MGUNI: We are also continuing – when we hear the motorists saying that the roadblocks are too much, we go and check. We are still in the process. We will not stop until everybody is satisfied.
HON. SITHOLE: The point of clarification that I want from the Hon. Minister is that he must come up open to Parliament and to the nation at large in trying to explain what he means because a roadblock is different from a spot check. People are more worried about the presence of police on the road. People are not interested in seeing numerous numbers of police officers on the road. He might say they have reduced the roadblocks but still the police will be present and they will be saying they are not roadblocks but spot checks. We want the Minister to differentiate the two.
HON. MGUNI: The Hon. Member was making a comment but I
think I can clarify what he was saying. He is correct that there is a difference between roadblocks and spot checks. We had a meeting with the Zimbabwe Tourism Association and the Ministry. The Deputy Minister was also there. The Zimbabwe Statistics were also there. They made a survey and they briefed us and said yes, we have reduced the number of roadblocks. The problem now is the attitude of the officers. They are happy with the reduction of roadblocks and they now want to change the attitude of the officers. We made a deal that Zimbabwe Tourism Association will help us in training our police force. We have one group that has gone through. Other groups are also going to be trained.
I think we cannot completely do away with police on the road.
There should be visibility but now we need to change the officers’ attitude. They have to go for client diplomatic service. I thank you.
*HON. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon. Hlongwane. In our constituencies, we have sport clubs for netball and football at each Ward. For each of the disciplines, three clubs were required per each district. What plans do you have to ensure that the clubs that have been formed have the necessary equipment so that the clubs can be developed? I would want to find out what Government’s intention is in ensuring that these clubs have the necessary equipment that they can use so that they can have development, talking about football and such other things. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON.
HLONGWANE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let me thank the Hon. Member for his question. First and foremost, as Government, we are implementing the sport and recreation policy that we passed last year in August. The major aspect of that policy is that sport should be disseminated to communal lands especial those so called elite sport so that our sport reaches the grassroots. We agree that we should form clubs at grassroots level. The clubs will then be used for the development of the various sports and disciplines. What we did was to help with resource mobilisation for such programmes. There is a
Committee at district level; it is called District Sport and Recreation Management Committee. The functions of that Committee, apart from coming up with sporting programmes, inter-alia are to do a local resource mobilisation strategy. It is correct that as Government, we should be funding those programmes. We agreed that even if we do not have funding for this year, we should continue with this programme, do our monitoring and evaluation to see witnesses of the programme. We also asked our sport federation or National Sports Associations to receive grassroots sport development funds so as to develop our sport at grass root level. So, I understand that what you are asking me is more of feedback and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is listening, we will conduct discussions to see what should be put into the budget so that Treasury can fund us as a Ministry in the following budget.
HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I totally agree with the
Minister but what I want to ask the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development being the line ministry, why do you not allow Members of Parliament to bring in kits which are duty free for your intended goal of this sport policy?
HON. HLONGWANE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The position
of the law is that all sporting goods and equipment that include kitting and other materials, if they are donated to the relevant National Sport Association, they are allowed into the country duty free. So, the question that the Hon. Member has raised is particularly relevant and it is a question of coordination between ourselves so that we direct accordingly the paper work regarding whatever materials that they are bringing into the country in as far as arrogating that to a particular discipline is concerned.
The Acting Speaker having nominated Hon. Mupfumi to ask a question.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: You said after the previous speaker, I should rise and pose my question. I have observed that you have skipped me but you had previously recognised me before him.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: I was looking for the name of the
Hon. Member who is nearer to you. I had not specifically said I had recognised you but be that as it may, I will give you the opportunity to speak afterwards.
*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Welfare Services For War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, what is Government saying about war veterans that were injured during the liberation war, some of them are crippled, some are wheel-chair bound, some lost limps, legs and arms and they are being given the same amount as one who had a mere finger injury. What is Government policy regarding this issue? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF WELFARE SERVICES FOR WAR
VETERANS, WAR COLLABORATORS, FORMER POLITICAL
DETAINEES AND RESTRICTEES (HON. T. J. DUBE): I wish to thank the Hon. Member who represents Mutare, Dangamvura-Chikanga, Hon. Mupfumi for asking this question. To start withm, I must say that when this vetting was done of those who were incapacitated during the war, I agree it was not properly done. I would rather wrong you and myself than wrong the dead. The person who actually did most of this vetting was Dr. Hunzvi and I think he was overwhelmed when he carried out this vetting. They were hundreds of war victims who came for vetting; I do not think he gave enough time to each victim to determine the level of incapacitation. Some of them were considered 5%, 10% degrees of injury and so forth. So, it is not our Ministry that determines the rate of injury on a victim. We only accept what the doctor has written. I think now since we are better organised, those who feel that they were not fairly vetted can go back to a Government medical doctor and then he can determine the percentage of injury, we will accept it. Any recommendation from the doctor, we will accept it accordingly, I thank you.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: My question to our Hon. Minister of
War Veterans as a follow up to Hon. Mupfumi’s question is that you have explained that the assessment of injuries sustained by war veterans was looked into at the time of the advent of Hon. Hunzvi’s chairmanship in 1998 when the assessments began. What it then means is, if we look at the previous times, a few days or months ago when war veterans said they no longer want to be involved in politics; looking at this issue, is our Government really serious about redressing the plight of war veterans? I say so because the majority of our war veterans’ children’s fees have not been paid. Others have not yet had their matters sorted out like the life of the Late Chinx Chingaira was not what is expected of a war veteran, someone had to donate a house. As a follow up, I need to understand. I was going to pose a question if you allow me Hon. Speaker, I read in the newspaper when I was likened to a mosquito and this troubled me a lot... – [Laughter.] -
THE MINISTER OF WELFARE SERVICES FOR WAR
VETERAANS, WAR COLLABORATORS, FORMER
POLITICAL DETAINEES AND RESTICTEES (HON T.J. DUBE):
Hon. Speaker Sir, I thank Hon. Chamisa for raising this question. In answer to his question, I must say that our economic challenges do not allow us to give adequately what we can. So, this is the problem that we have. Just now, we have 18 000 registered war victims in our register. When I say war registered victims, I do not mean those who were injured by motor bicycles or something. I mean just those who were injured on war related problems. The real problem is that we are overwhelmed and not able to cater sufficiently for war victims but we meet basic requirements such as limps and some other areas that we can look after. As our economic situation improves, we shall do likewise.
HON. ZINDI: In relation to the question that has been raised to do with the issue of war veterans, I would like to find out from the Minister, what measures he is currently taking or is contemplating to undertake in as far as what is required to be fulfilled under the War Veterans Act in terms of setting up a board that should look into the issues of the war veterans. The last board, if my memory saves me well, was in
2000/2003. Ever since, there has not been any thinking along the lines of establishing a war veterans board to look into the welfare of war veterans. What is the Ministry thinking?
HON. T.J. DUBE: I wish to thank the Hon. Member for raising this question. We now are working on the alignment of laws to the Constitution where this matter is being raised. The question of the formation of a board is also one of those things that are being considered. It is now at Cabinet stage and from Cabinet, it will be coming to Parliament, and I think that will be very soon, maybe before the end of the year. That question will be covered then.
*HON.ENG. MUDZURI: My question is directed to Hon.
Minister Made. It is about farmers. I want to find out from Minister Made what Government policy is in communal lands which is the bread basket of Zimbabwe? There used to be District Agriculture Shows. I passed through Chivi and saw a group of farmers who were asking for donations so that they can hold their District Agriculture Show. How is the Ministry assisting such farmers in encouraging them so that they can get prices for their agricultural shows or is it the Ministry or
Government’s policy to give prices to these farmers so that they are encouraged to become better farmers? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE): The
question is two pronged. Part of the question is policy and what we can say is that all agricultural shows are held by Agricultural Show
Societies. It is not the Ministry’s area. The Show Societies are at different levels, starting from the cell or ward, province and they are in various forms depending on the commodities. It could be maize or soya beans only.
The Agriculture Ministry and our agriculture extension officers urge the farmers to conduct these shows and they play a pivotal role in ensuring that these shows are held as well as working hand-in-glove with the Show Societies so that these become successful. They look for prices from different organisations. Some of these are given by input suppliers. Our Hon. Members who are rural based also organise such prices. That is the position and it is not us who are responsible for urging them to give a particular item for a specific agricultural show. I thank you.
*HON. ENG. MUDZURI: My supplementary to Hon. Made is, I do not believe you understood my question. As Ministry of Agriculture, you represent Agricultural Show Societies and the Ministry, in regard to ensuring that farmers practice the best farming practices. Is the Ministry supposed to come up with a policy or not to ensure that you assist the farmers so that they can hold these shows which are in aid of farming?
Once there is competition amongst the farmers, you also raise the level of farming and then say for rapoko, in such an area we give a particular price. You could be doing that as an independent body and not being involved. What is Government’s policy if the society is not doing that work?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mudzuri, the way I understood your question, he has adequately covered and he came up with different societies and the Members of Parliament that can also assist. That was his response and I believe he has covered your question – [HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Aiwa, ndavati ivo seGovernment vanoita sei?] – Order, please. Let him answer.
HON. MAONDERA: My point of order is that Hon. Matangira is talking unparliamentary language here. Hon. Eng. Mudzuri has had his beans burnt today and we do not understand now when he is saying unparliamentary language which is hurt language, yet the Vice President has lost his property through arson. So, can he please withdraw what he said?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What unparliamentary language? I did not hear what he said. Can you say what he said? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, please.
HON. MAONDERA: He said ‘Ibva apo, gara pasi’ referring to
Vice President Mudzuri. – [HON. MEMBERS: Ehe adaro.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please. He said ibvapo, gara pasi does not relate to what you have been trying to say. It was only ibvapo, gara pasi and yes, it is unparliamentary but why these additions?
HON. MAONDERA: I am saying this to the fact that Hon. Mudzuri has lost his property through fire and he is grieving. So for someone to shout and say ibvapo, gara pasi is not proper – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Munengami, you are in
Parliament. I do not need to remind you that.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I am not the one Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I was watching you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order please, what is wrong with you. Hon. Matangira, if you said that, may you withdraw?
*HON. MATANGIRA: I am being marked by those on your left Mr. Speaker Sir because some of us are doing very well in our constituencies. I did not say that.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Matangira, did you say that?
If you did say that, please withdraw.
*HON. MATANGIRA: If you have gone to take a bath and a fool takes your clothes – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let me withdraw Mr. Speaker – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Zwizwai, I think this is the second time I have mentioned your name. The third time, I will ask you to leave the House.
*HON. DR. MADE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I believe I have clearly answered the question. In my response, I did mention that our land extension officers assist and they are in the forefront in ensuring that these shows are held and that there are various commodities, cattle for instance. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. ZINDI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister of Agriculture comes from Hon. Mudzuri’s question. He responded that as Hon. Members of Parliament, we could also raise funds to ensure that we have such agricultural shows. Will the Ministry of Agriculture provide us with the funds? I believe the Minister is listening because I think someone is talking to him. Are we going to be given the funds from his Ministry for us to be able to conduct these agricultural shows in our constituencies because the meagre salary that a Member of Parliament receives will not permit him to buy awards and move from one ward to another. Hon. Members are failing to do that, that is why in certain wards in some constituencies we are failing to hold these shows. I need clarification.
*HON. DR. MADE: I gave a clear example and I would want to thank Hon. Zindi – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Members, you are making a lot of noise in this House. Hon. Members, can you not be quiet for a while.
HON. DR. MADE: I thank Hon. Zindi for the question she posed. I gave examples so that she could understand. I said Hon. Members of Parliament in certain areas are assisting their farmers by looking for funding and I did not say that our Ministry is assisting those Members of Parliament. I thank you.
+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to find out from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, what Government policy is concerning the houses that were built under Garikai/Hlalani Kule, specifically in Maphisa Growth Point. The houses were properly built but the problem we are facing is that there is no proper sewer system. People have built sewer tanks but the houses are too close to each other such that when there is heavy rainfall, it becomes chaotic. This situation might lead to cholera outbreak on our people.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
CHINGOSHO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. At the Garikayi/Hlalani Khule, people were moved in the area before the necessary infrastructure was in place. We are working backwards trying to put the necessary infrastructure like the sewerage, water reticulation as well as electricity in place. This is what the Ministry is doing now. I thank you.
+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Hon. Minister even though you did not respond to my question in Ndebele. The truth is that people are really sad because this matter has not been looked into and though there are now many houses. I think you should look into the issue of setting up a sewer system as well as electricity. As I speak right now, some of the houses have no toilets and they actually relieve themselves everywhere.
Can the Government look into this issue at Maphisa Growth Point as a matter of urgency. Thank you.
HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member. I take what she has said as a comment; a comment which the Ministry should implement. I agree with what you are saying that the situation is bad. It needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency. I thank you.
*HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question to the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is - there must be sewer and other amenities before people build their houses. We are seeing private land developers constructing houses without this town council’s recommendation, but town councils are turning a blind eye and people are building. What is Government doing to stop those land developers in carrying that act; Government also included. It is flouting the same rules.
If you go to Norton, all the sewer is now going into the
Darwendale Dam. Fish in Darwendale are feasting on raw sewage.
What is Government doing to stop developers so that they can comply with the Physical Planning and Town Planning Act? I thank you.
*HON. CHINGOSHO: I would like to thank the Hon. Member
for what he has said. As I have already pointed out, we are in agreement with what you are saying that the state of affairs is not good. As a result of that, at the moment the Ministry has instructed local authorities; I think you all know that the responsibility of the areas that you are talking about falls under councils. It only came to the attention of the
Ministry recently that the developers are blatantly flouting those rules. So, the directive that was given by the Ministry is that no one is allowed to carry out any construction before the required infrastructure is in place.
Furthermore, the problem is that stand owners are supposed to pay certain amounts which they do not do. That is why it is taking long to make sure that this issue is resolved but the Ministry is trying its best to ensure that it is resolved.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question goes to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing again. Hon. Mpofu said that the Ministry is constructing houses for Hlalani Kuhle where they do not have the required amenities in place.
As Government, what does the policy say? We have people who are already in Kezi and you are saying you are writing letters to the councils so that they should not build those houses. Is there a law and what does it say? You are talking of writing letters.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mahoka, I heard the Minister
saying that at the moment no one is allowed to do any construction without having the necessary amenities in place. That is the letter that he is talking about.
*HON. MAHOKA: Maybe the letter was written yesterday but if it was written months ago, houses are being constructed. May be we should practically show the Minister where construction is actually taking place where there are no sewer lines.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: This is a pertinent question. If you know of a particular place, put your question in writing so that investigations are done and they will give you an answer which is accurate. I thank you.
HON. SITHOLE: My point of order which is a point of privilege is an issue of national interest emanating from the duties of Parliament as clearly stated in Section 119 of the Constitution, read in conjunction with Section 2, which talks about the supremacy of the Constitution.
I would want the House to request the Leader of the House for today Hon. Chinamasa to issue a statement in relation to the rising of political violence which the country has witnessed over the past two weeks. Just two weeks ago, we saw an MDC motor vehicle which was petrol bombed in Kuwadzana. Last night, a Kuwadzana councillor’s house was destroyed and lost property worth thousands of dollars. Early this morning, property belonging to Hon. Vice President for MDC, Hon. Mudzuri has been burnt through an act of arson. We would also want to know what the Government is doing?
As the investigations are underway, the Minister of Home Affairs has actually made conclusions that this is done by MDC members, which is not supposed to be the proper way of doing things. So, may Hon. Chinamasa issue a Government Ministerial Statement in relation to the rising cases of political violence? Even yesterday here in this august
House, we experienced political violence where Hon. Mukupe and Hon. Katsiru wanted to fight inside this august House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. While the
issues that you raised are pertinent, I am sure there is a time where you should raise those issues. Where you raise matters of public importance; there is a provision for that. If you could reserve it for the right time.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker,
before I pose my question we ask that Ministers that would have come to the House should not leave. I wanted to ask the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. She is no longer here. She just made an appearance and went away. It is my request that Ministers that would have come to the House only leave the chamber after we have completed asking our questions because they should not come here to put up appearances.
I wanted to ask a question to the Minister of Tourism and
Hospitality Industry, so I can no longer pose any question – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. You can direct your question to the Leader of the House.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you. Let me ask the Leader of the House.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Chinotimba, please resume your seat. Leader of the House, Hon. Chinotimba is not happy that the Minister came, she did not stay – two minutes later she went away. He had a question to ask her, so I want him to direct the question to you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Hon. Chinamasa, the Matendera Ruins
is a place of national heritage. It is in Buhera. My question is, there are no curators that can give a description of the place. There are no people who, when school children are taken to that area, can take them on a guided tour on the history of that area.
Our children waste money going to Victoria Falls and other areas at the expense of knowing about Matendera Ruins. When are we going to have a curator who can give the history of Matendera Ruins to visitors? I thank you – [AN HON. MEMBER: Your question is specific. You must put it in writing.]- It is not specific – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please! Hon. Chinotimba, take your seat. Order Hon. Members! Hon. Chinotimba, you have just asked a question and you are busy talking now. Order, order please!
I do not want to labour the Minister. Please put your question in writing. This is not a question on general policy. If you put it in writing, they will carry out an investigation and come up with a response to you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Shut up, I want to ask my question!
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members when there is a point
of order let us take our seats. What is your point of order?
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: I had a complaint that I wanted to ask a question and she came here and she is harassing me – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order!
*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government policy as regards the use of
Government property by political parties? What is Government policy on political party programmes? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir, for the question from the Hon. Member. Schools have authority to decide how they use their property, when and why –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
Hon. Speaker, the majority of schools are capable of raising funding through using their buses because they would have come up with concessionary rates with different organisations. Churches hire buses and as a Ministry, we do no mind as to who they hire out their buses to because the SDA of that particular school and that leadership control their assets. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. When I
posed the question, I said, what is Governments policy as regards the use of Government property and I gave an example of buses.
On my supplementary question, I am saying, there is an outcry in Zimbabwe from schools and parents about buses and lorries that are taken by the ruling party which uses these buses and lorries for their own political party programmes and that political party firstly, is not paying for the services of those buses, secondly, that the political party is not servicing these buses and thirdly, there should be no political interference at schools. Is it not good policy, we should leave the school environment and not abuse their property because we find that some assets will come back with used condoms and damaged. Would it not have been good that political parties refrain from using school assets without interference?
There are colleges and schools that are given instructions by the Minister to bring buses and school children to political functions. Can the Minister clearly explain the policy? Some of these properties are dumped at the conclusion of these political functions. I thank you –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! I believe the Hon. Minister has said that the use of such assets is in the hands of the SDA – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order please! If you have a specific issue please, write to the Minister and mention the school by name so that they can investigate the issue and give you a response.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I am not taking your point of order.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Hon. Speaker, you have only allowed one supplementary question but before you have been allowing other supplementary questions. Just because it has been raised from the opposition side you cannot take it. That is not fair.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Sit down.
HON. PARADZA: My question is directed to Minister
Chinamasa – [MDC HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please!
HON. PARADZA: Hon. Minister, some two years ago…
HON. MATSUNGA: On a point of order –[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I will send you out.
HON. MATSUNGA: Hapana hapo chakaipa. Ndinoenda kumba.
Ndati point of order –[AN HON. MEMBER: Hapana point of order.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The time for
questions without notice is up.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. PARADZA: Hon. Minister, two years ago there was a Commission of Inquiry –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – which was set up to investigate the losses caused by the conversion from the Zimbabwean dollar to United States Dollar…
HON. MATSUNGA: On a point of order…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have answered you. Can you take
HON. MATSUNGA: But Speakerka it is bad.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Take your seat.
HON. PARADZA: We have heard from newspaper reports that there are some squabbles within that Commission – [HON.
MATSUNGA: Simply because I am a lady.] – We want to know when we are going to have the results from this Commission and when are we going to have compensation from this Commission.
An Hon. Member having stood up.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Take your seat Hon. Member. You
are making a lot of noise and I am going to chase you out. Can you take your seat?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I thank the Hon. Member
for his question. The Commission of Inquiry which was appointed by His Excellency to look into the conversion of values from the
Zimbabwean dollars to the United States dollars has completed its work and have done their report. They are now waiting to be given time to present that report to His Excellency the President. It is after the presentation that the report will be made public. The Hon. Member goes on to ask, when they will have their compensation. He is now presuming the outcome of the recommendations. We do not know what the Committee or the Commission is going to report. We can only wait to hear what its recommendations are after their investigations and the presentation of the report to His Excellency. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING.
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order, the Deputy Minister is walking out. My point of order relates to the Deputy Minister. Hon
Chinotimba raised a very important…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Minister of
Environment. Can you just take your seat for a while?
HON. MARIDADI: Hon. Chinotimba raised a very important issue that he wanted to ask a question without notice which was going to be directed at the Deputy Minister and she was outside. When the Deputy Minister came back, Hon. Chinotimba I think received a lot of threats from the Hon. Deputy Minister and we are now fearing for the safety of Hon. Members of Parliament. We had a similar incident yesterday and it has recurred. We are waiting for your ruling.
I am told that the Hon. Deputy Minister threatened Hon. Chinotimba. He might be scared to go back to Buhera. Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, can we be protected and can we have your ruling so that Members of Parliament are free and protected from Ministers or Deputy Ministers because they carry guns and they have bodyguards or state security. They may shoot us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon. Maridadi, the concern which was raised by Hon. Chinotimba was that the Minister was around and she did not spend two minutes and was out and he was about to ask the question. I handed the matter to the Leader of the House. I think that has been dealt with – [AN HON. MEMBERS:
Ndezvekunyepa izvi.] – Wait a minute. You do not tell me what to say.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. ANASTANCIA NDHLOVU):
On a point of order, I did not spend two minutes in this House. I
actually came way before Hon. Chinotimba and I was here before half past two. It is very abusive for the Hon. Member to claim that I came for two minutes and so forth. With all due respect, Ministers are only human and just like any other Member of Parliament, they are also allowed to go to the bathroom. I thank you.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
PROGRESS MADE BY SMES AND FINANCE AND
DEVELOPMENT ON THE NATIONAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION
- 1. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development to:
- Appraise the House on the progress made by the Thematic working group on SMEs, Finance and development, specifically on the
National Financial Inclusive Strategy
- State what innovative financial products for the Small and Medium
Enterprises has the group come up with.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):Mr. Speaker Sir, the
thematic working groups under the Financial Inclusion Strategy are making steady and tangible progress. The main achievements of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy include the recently availed SME facilities by the Reserve Bank and the increase in the opening of low cost accounts in banking institutions.
Honourable Members may be aware that the Reserve Bank
recently availed facilities for SMEs including a facility for cross border traders. These facilities will enable SMEs to access affordable funding to invest in productive activities that generate employment, increase exports and reduce poverty. These facilities amount to US$90 million.
Another programme that has been successful is the opening of low cost accounts or “no frills accounts” with low Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements and minimal bank charges for SMEs, informal traders and low income persons. According to the January 2017 RBZ
Monetary Policy Statement low cost bank accounts increased from 229 264 in March 2016 to 1 230 052 in December 2016. It is anticipated that these low cost accounts will increase the number of beneficiaries of Government initiatives and facilities that are targeted at SMEs.
The thematic working groups under the Financial Inclusion Strategy are working systematically to make proposals that will create a financial system that is more responsive to the needs of all Zimbabweans. I thank you.
INSTITUTIONS UNDER JUDICIARY MANAGEMENT
- HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development to
- State the benefits of placing institutions which are underperforming under judiciary management.
- State whose interest does the judiciary management serve.
- State the institution by name that have succeed under judicial management and those that failed to perform and give reasons for such.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. The question raised by the Hon. Member is in three parts. My response in respect to the first part, - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Order Hon.
Members. Hon. Masuku order please – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Sorry
Hon. Speaker, I did not know that you are now on the Chair. Sorry
Madam Speaker.] –
HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker the response to the first part of the question is the objectives of a judicial management order is to avoid the drastic remedy of winding up when a company is in financial difficulties due to mismanagement, indebtedness or some other cause but where there is a reasonable probability that under more carefully controlled management it will surmount its difficulties. Section 300 (a) (ii) of the Companies Act [Chapter 24:03] expressly requires such a reasonable probability to be established in an application for a provisional judicial management order. The court has wide discretion in deciding whether to issue a provisional judicial management order and in exercising this discretion it will be reluctant to grant an order from which shareholders seek to benefit from keeping creditors waiting a long time for payment especially if there are few shareholders and the creditors could expect to be paid in full on winding up. But if the creditors are unlikely to receive anything on winding up the court will take into account that their position cannot be worsened and might be improved by judicial management.
Madam Speaker, the proposed Insolvency Bill which is being sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs seeks to simplify the law, regulate business rescue practitioners and introduce a code of conduct for those practitioners. If that Bill is enacted into law it will modify judicial management proceedings which will be called corporate rescue proceedings under which the company will be placed under supervision, if the board has reasonable grounds to believe that the company is financially distressed; and there appears to be a reasonable prospect of rescuing the company. This will allow viable firms to be revived, thus preserving jobs whilst allowing those companies which cannot be salvaged to be quickly liquidated.
Madam Speaker, with respect to second part of the question, this depends on whether it is successful or not. Judicial management does preserve jobs which liquidation does not. If successful, it will serve the interests of the company’s stakeholders which include its shareholders, creditors and employees as the company returns to viability. If the judicial manager is unsuccessful, the converse is true, all stakeholders will lose and the loss under a liquidation scenario is generally significant. The distribution of the proceeds of liquidation will follow the usual order of preference with secured creditors enjoying the highest level of preference.
With respect to the last part of the question, it is important to appreciate the difference between a company in financial distress and a company which is in economic distress. Companies in financial distress are likely to survive and are less difficult to fix than those suffering from economic distress. Companies which are in economic distress are unlikely to be revived as their products and processes are obsolete. The business model may no longer be appropriate.
As such, companies in financial distress with good management and support from stakeholders have tended to do well. Examples of companies that successfully came out of judicial management include:
- Cairns Holdings Limited ran for 2-3 years under judicial An investor, Takura Investment was secured. The company was able to benefit from policy intervention by Government protecting local producers from imports. I am referring here Madam
Speaker to Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016.
- Blue Ribbons Foods was also placed under judicial management following the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals in relation to indigenisation a Tanzanian investor Bakhresa invested into the company and thereby revived it back to life.
- Zimasco is currently under judicial management but is reported
to be now running viably and has made significant payments to creditors and retrenched workers. The company is exporting chrome ore following requisite policy support from Government.
- Zimalloys is under judicial management but an investor has since been secured.
Madam Speaker, other companies did not come out of judicial management. In terms of section 306 of the Companies Act, if at any time the judicial manager is of the opinion that the continuation of judicial management will not enable the company to become a successful concern, he/she may apply to the court, for the cancellation of the relevant judicial management order and the issuance of an order for the winding up of the company. For instance Gulliver’s and Apex Holdings were eventually liquidated although they began under judicial management because it was not possible to revive their operations. ZimGlass Pvt Ltd moved from judicial management to liquidation due to ageing and obsolete plant and equipment, amongst other things. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Madam Speaker, my supplementary
question is to do with this judicial management. Shabanie-Mashaba Mines closed more than 15 years ago and was put under judicial administration with 26 subsidiary companies. The board was dissolved and all powers were put to only one person who is an administrator. What policy have they put in place now to prove that the judicial management has actually done good to Shabanie Mine because right now it is actually in a worse state?
HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, with respect to the question which relates to SMM Holdings, Shabanie-Mashaba asbestos mine the short answer is that Government which has the majority shareholding in that company is looking for an investor to partner so that we can revive those mines. I thank you.
HON. HOLDER: The Hon. Minister has said that Government has the majority shares in Shabanie-Mashaba Mines, has Government got the share certificates to prove that they have got majority shares in Shabanie-Mashaba mines or is it just being said but there are no actual share certificates?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I think the Hon. Minister has
responded to your question. When the Minister says something he is talking about something that is official. So, your question has been answered.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to the Hon.
Minister is that can he confirm whether it is a fact that Mr. Mawere who used to run the business is prepared to come back and invest in the project regardless of the issue that you have just presented that you are looking for an investor. Already, there is Mr. Mawere who is prepared to come back, invest and revive Shabanie Mine to yesterday’s status. Is it a fact?
HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I am not privy to the
information that the Hon. Member has given to this House. I would respectfully ask him to put it down in writing and address it to the line Minister, in this case the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My spirit to this question, specifically to the Hon. Minister of Finance is not necessarily with line ministries but purely to do with the attitude of Government. You being the Leader of the House, basically you must have basics to respond to this. What is the attitude of Government having Mr. Mawere coming back to invest in Shabanie Mine?
HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I cannot add more to the
answer that I have given already.
*HON. PHIRI: My supplementary question to address the second part of the answer given by the Minister that judicial managers will have seen it fit that nothing is being produced and they hand it over. Judicial managers are beneficiaries to the properties that they are managing and in the majority of cases, they start selling the company properties. Does the Government have intervention measures in the event that judicial managers start asset striping? I give an example of David Whitehead where the judicial managers are selling the properties because they get a percentage out of the sales. What are Government’s intervention measures so that assets are not stripped?
*HON. CHINAMASA: I would want to thank the Hon. Member
for his question. Secondly so that we understand each other, if a company is properly running its enterprise the owners of the company are shareholders. In the event that the shareholders have difficulties in running the company and approach the courts to offer voluntary liquidation or when they go to court for judicial management, they are no longer in control of the company but creditors. They then request the judicial manager who now reports to the creditors on everything that he or she does. The shareholders are no longer in the picture. Therefore, if you see a judicial manager selling property it is not the brains of the judicial manager. He will have been instructed to behave in such a manner by the creditors.
First they hold a meeting and agree that it has reached this position, what should be done. He is advised to dispose of a particular asset so that they can benefit. That is my explanation to the Hon.
Member that once a company is under judicial management or liquidation, shareholders no longer play an active role in the running of that company. The creditors now have a say in how the company operates.
DEPOSIT-TAKING MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS
- HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development to inform the House on how safe the Deposit – Taking Microfinance Institutions are and to further state who will pay if they collapse.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Hon. Members would be
aware that deposit taking microfinance institutions are subject to prudential regulation by the RBZ in the same manner and way as other deposit taking banking institutions are. When I am talking about other deposit taking banking institutions, I am talking about our commercial banks such as Barclays, Standard Chartered, Stanbic or CBZ. These are deposit taking banking institutions. So, the rules which apply to CBZ also apply to a deposit taking microfinance institution.
In addition Madam Speaker, they are subject also to prescribed minimum capital and prudential liquidity requirements which currently stand at $5 million and 30% respectively. To start a deposit taking microfinance institution, you need minimum capital of $5 million and also you are required to keep a liquidity requirement of 30%.
Furthermore, the Microfinance Act Chapter 24:29 also requires deposit taking microfinance institutions to adopt good corporate governance standards and disclosure requirements.
The Deposit Protection Corporation Act Madam Speaker requires all deposit taking institutions to contribute to the Deposit Protection Fund that protects deposits. In the event of failure, deposits in the deposit taking micro financing institutions are covered by the deposit protection corporations. Therefore, in the event that a deposit taking micro finance collapses, depositors are insured by the deposit protection corporation to a maximum of $1000 per depositor. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. SANSOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to find out from the Minister whether the Minister has considered regulating the interest charged by such deposit micro finance institutions in view of the disparity between the interest paid out on deposits which is as little as 10 percent per annum and the interests charged from loans from such institutions which is 10 percent per annum compared to the interest charged on loans which is 10 percent per month in some cases which is about 120 percent per annum or more. I thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: I thank Hon. Sansole for that question. The short answer Madam Speaker, is that these issues apply not just to the issues raised by the Hon. Member, they apply not just to micro finance institutions but also to commercial banks. The question about what interests are paid on deposits; what interests are charged on loans, are matters that are regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. I think that Hon. Members need to be aware that there was at one time when commercial banks were charging anything up to 40 percent interest but through moral suasion, we do not believe, but only as a last resort, that we should regulate interest rates by law. The market should try to determine prevailing interest rates. However, through moral suasion by the Reserve Bank, they have succeeded to reduce interest rates to a maximum of 12 percent per annum. We are still not happy with that level and we are continuing to urge commercial banks including micro finance institutions to reduce their levels of interest rates.
You said they are charging 120 percent per annum, I am not sure whether that is correct but it is a matter that I will refer to the Governor to assess whether that is correct or not. Clearly, if that is so, we have a long way to go to basically make sure that they reduce it to where it should be. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. If you look at question numbers 4, 5, 6 and there are quite a number of questions that have been deferred from the 3rd of May. As you know with written questions, the relevant Minister is given adequate notice.
As you are also aware Madam Speaker, when it comes to written questions, the responses are prepared by the Ministry officials and it is the practice in this august House that other Ministers can be given those responses. I believe that it is not acceptable Madam Speaker, to have a situation where questions are continuously deferred on the basis that the relevant Minister is not there when in fact his Ministry officials have been aware of the question and they can prepare the answer. We have some Ministers here, we have Minister Mandiwanzira, Minister Made, Minister Chinamasa who could make the response on behalf of the relevant Ministers – another Minister has just walked in.
I want to put it on record so that we do not have a shortage of Ministers who are available and if the Ministry had done its work, we would have been able to do justice to those questions. I want the Chair to make a ruling and say that the Executive must take the business of this august House seriously. In that regard, they must have the answers prepared and delegate other Ministers who would be available to come to this House and give the responses. That is my point of order Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your point of order Hon.
Gonese has been noted. We take great task to make sure that we inform our Ministers to also take Parliament business seriously so that they can respond to these Questions With Notice. We will communicate to the Ministry of Health as it has been communicated.
ELECTRIFICATION OF JOMBE PRIMARY SCHOOL
- HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when electricity would be connected at Jombe Primary School in Ward 10 in the Mutasa Rural District Council, considering that the school had a transformer installed and electrified in July 2016 by Rural Electricity Agency (REA) while connection fees were paid for the teachers houses and the administration block in October 2016.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank the Hon. Member for his question. Madam
Speaker, Jombe Primary was disconnected for non-payment of bills. They then paid for meter separation in October 2016, required athena single phase and 13 phase meters. Shortage of meters has delayed installation of the meters at the school. Single phase meters are coming in batches and will be installed in due course. However, these meters are still not available although they are still coming into the country.
The rate is not as anticipated owing to foreign currency challenges. Priority will be given to the school once the meters are in stock. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. SARUWAKA: On a supplementary comment Madam
Speaker. On his last statement that they are going to prioritise the school, I want to take note of that position and thank the Minister for making that position clear so that as soon as the meters are available, Jombe Primary is back on line. I want to thank you for the last statement you made that you have considered it as your priority.
HON. DR. UNDENGE: He was noting a point and I have taken note of that point Madam Speaker.
HON. MAJOME: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am also encouraged by the Hon. Minister’s commitment to Hon. Saruwaka that his Ministry’s position is to prioritise the electrical supply of schools. On that note, I will also ask the Hon. Minister if he has any plans to expedite the restoration of electricity supply to schools that have electricity but whose transformers are down. I say this because in my constituency, there is Ellis Robins School that went for about five weeks without power but thankfully, it has been restored. There is Hallingbury School, Mabelreign Girls High School that have transformers that were vandalised and there is a lot of suffering. In light of the fact that, you are sensitive to the need to have schools have electricity continuously running, can you do something exceptional to ensure that if schools are hit, in line with your commitment, they are placed back on line quickly.
I thank you.
HON. DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, most of the
transformers are lost due to vandalism. I think in the past I have appealed to Hon. Members here to talk with the respective communities so that they protect and guard against destruction of such vital infrastructure of transformers. We have had cases whereby we replace transformers and soon after that they are again vandalised. I think we should become our own policemen to ensure that we watch what is happening and protect that infrastructure through public education and campaigns.
However, with specific response to the question, we will ensure that transformers become available with priority to schools because we need our school children to learn conveniently including households as well. I know how it is when families used to cook with electricity. For them to resort to other forms of energy for cooking, it becomes cumbersome. So, we want to ensure that there is access to electricity.
For all members of the community. I thank you.
TRANSFORMER AT FATIMA PRIMARY SCHOOL
- HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Energy and
Power Development to explain to the House when the transformer at Fatima Primary School in Ward 12 of Mutasa Rural District Council, which broke down in mid-2016 thereby negatively impacting on the activities of this institution is going to be repaired/replaced?
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Yes Madam Speaker,
the transformer supplying the school faulted on 24th February, 2016. This was a 50 kVA 11/0.4 kV replacement transformer. Shortages of transformers are negatively impacting on the restoration of supplies.
The school will be energised once a replacement transformer is in place. Again, we go back to that issue of shortage of transformers and we are making all possible efforts as a Ministry to ensure that we import those transformers. Those we can manufacture locally, we do so. If you look at Harare alone, it has about 5 000 transformers which are in place. Of course, some them are faulty and need replacement. I thank you.
HON. SARUWAKA: I want to understand from the Minister
whether they have a policy of response to a problem. I am asking this because according to his response, he alluded to the fact that it has been more than a year since that transformer was down. In fact, it was down last February and now we are in July, almost 16 months down the line.
Is there any policy position in relation to the Ministry’s point of view in terms of replacement? Is it going to take us another two years if they do not find a transformer? Is it until they find it or they can do something to ensure that a functional transformer is in place because we see them in other instances making frantic efforts to replace transformers for some institutions?
HON. DR. UNDENGE: As I indicated earlier on Madam Speaker,
we are making efforts to ensure that we speed up the processes. I said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has given us an allocation whereby we can manufacture some of the transformers and import some. So, I do not think it will take a long time. I cannot say with mathematical precision that we will do this by this date. As I said, these have to be imported
and subject to the earlier availability then we will have those transformers installed. I must say we have electrified a number of schools in the Hon. Member’s constituency and he is not acknowledging that.
ZIMBABWE’S ARREARS TO ESKOM AND HYDRO CABORA
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to inform the House what arrangements exactly have been made to ensure ESKOM and Hydro Cabora Bassa do not terminate supplies to Zimbabwe over arrears.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Thank you Madam
Speaker. ZESA has made payment arrangements with ESKOM whereby on a weekly basis they are paid a certain amount. Also, there has been some Government guarantee to secure the payment and
ESKOM are quite happy with the arrangement. We will review the agreement periodically. In the same vein, ZESA met with Hydro Cabora Bassa (HCB) and agreed on a payment arrangement to clear the arrears.
HON. MAJOME: Would the Hon. Minister care to advise how much because he said that in terms of ESKOM, there is an undertaking which I really thank him for working so hard to make sure that they get paid but he just said it is a certain amount. Can the Hon. Minister care to indicate what amount they will be paying as well as for HCB?
HON. DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, with ESKOM, the
arrangement is that $5 million is paid per week and with HCB, it is $500 000, which is paid weekly.
RESOLUTION ON THE ELECTRICAL POWER DEFICIT
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House what plans if any, Government has to ensure the resolution of the electricity power deficit.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Thank you Madam Speaker. As the Hon. Member may appreciate, a number of initiatives are being pursued in the short, medium and long term although the solution to the power deficit can only be attained in the long term. Some of these initiatives include:-
- Demand Side Management initiatives which are aimed at efficient utilisation of the available power;
- Licencing of Independent Power Producers which are contributing to the power supply;
- Re-powering of the existing Small Thermal Power Stations to increase capacity;
- Expansion Projects such as Kariba Power Station by 300 Mega
Watts, Hwange Station by 600 Mega Watts; and
- Various Power Purchase Agreements with Imports Agreement entered into.
TRANSFORMER FOR SUSWE BUSINESS CENTRE
- HON. MUDYIWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to inform the House when the Special single Wire Earth
Return (SWER) transformer for Suswe Business Centre in Mudzi District will be repaired considering that it has been malfunctioning since 2015.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): I thank the Hon.
Member for his question. Madam Speaker, the Single Wire Earth
Return (SWER), is a new technology that was carried out as a Pilot Project in Mudzi, Mutoko. The transformer and switch faulted due to a fault on the SWER line. Currently, a transformer has been secured and what is outstanding is the 18kV SWER switch which is not locally available. ZETDC is currently in the process of procuring the requisite spares and it may take up to October/November, 2017 for the equipment to be delivered. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, I am worried since the transformer has been down for over 3 years now and you saying the switch is not available. What other plans are there to ensure that electricity is brought back to these people because they had electricity before but now they have gone for three years without that electricity. Thank you.
HON. DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, I have said that this switch, ZETDC is in the process of importing it, and they are looking to have it at around October and October from now, we have three months in between because you place an order and the item is manufactured and it will then be shipped to Zimbabwe. It is not manufactured locally, so I
think three months to deliver is reasonable time.
She is talking about the past; I am talking about the present whereby an order has been placed by ZETDC. So, let us look to the future. The past is gone. You know we cannot reverse time. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the Minister is clear. They are doing something, I think, in the next three months.
HON. MUDYIWA: Is this single wire earth return system suitable for the rural users because I am told the most suitable system is the three wire system. The single wire can be overloaded because they connect the grinding mills, welding machines and everything and it then becomes overloaded, which was the cause of the transformer breaking down. Thank you.
HON. DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, this is new technology which is used in other countries and we have introduced it in Zimbabwe and it is working well in other areas, but where there is an overload, I think the technicians can rectify that. I thank you.
ELECTRIFICATION OF DENDA PRIMARY SCHOOL
- HON. MUDYIWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to inform the House when electricity will be connected to Denda Primary School, in Ward 8, Shinga Secondary School and Clinic in Ward 4 in the Mudzi West Constituency, in view of the fact that the connection fees were paid in 2015.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, the two
schools, Denda Primary, Shinga Secondary School and Clinic in Ward 4 were affected by theft of the 33Kv lines. A total 26km of 33Kv line was vandalised and the process of resuscitating the line is currently on-going.
The works should be completed by end of July, 2017.
Before I sit down, Madam Speaker, let me reiterate that people living in your communities, your local people, would have vandalised or stolen the cables. You come to Harare to ask the Minister to replace those cables which would have been stolen by the people you live with. That is why I say first and foremost, you must ensure that the infrastructure which is there is preserved. That is your first task as an Hon. Member, not to say when your people out there have committed a crime you come here, you descend heavily on the Minister for something which he has not caused and he is trying to prevent from happening.
However, we will do what we can to replace, but first thing, let us preserve the infrastructure which we have. As MPs, you will help us a lot and you will help Government if you ensure that those cables are not stolen and also the transformers are not stolen. We would have less problems and there would be continuity of supply of power. I thank you Madam Speaker.
REFUNDS BY PENSION FUNDS
- HON. N. MGUNI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to the House why Pension Funds that own buildings and other properties which they rent out in United States dollars do not refund the money that was wiped out by inflation.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, the short
answer to the question raised by the Hon. Member is that a Commission of enquiry was set up by His Excellency the President to enquire into alleged loss of values when the conversion from Zimbabwe dollars took place to United States dollars. As I indicated in my earlier reply to a question without notice, the Commission has since completed its task and is waiting to present its report to His Excellency the President.
It is only then that we will know what the recommendations of the Commission are and which of the recommendations can be accepted by
Government to be implemented. Before that, I have no answer to the Hon. Member’s question. I thank you Madam Speaker.
MEASURES TO SAFEGUARD PEOPLE FROM RADIATION
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services what steps the government is taking in ensuring that communities near base stations are not affected by radiation coming from them as required by Section 73 of the Constitution which guarantees that every person has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MANDIWANZIRA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank the
Hon. Member for the question. Firstly, let me say that in 2016
Government in conjunction with the Postal and Telecommunications
Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), organised a workshop to educate local operators, Ministry officials, the public and other stakeholders on the health effects of radiation from base stations which is commonly called Electro Magnetic Field Radiation or EMF.
Secondly, using the outcomes of the EMF workshop, the Government, through POTRAZ, has drafted regulations that provide for the protection of citizens from harmful exposure to emissions from Base stations. They provide for the estimation of exposure before a Base station is built as well as measurement and monitoring of
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation near base stations after they have been built. The regulations are based on the latest guidelines from the WHO, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Thirdly, POTRAZ is also procuring additional EMF measurement equipment which will be used for enforcement of the EMF framework.
The Invitation to Tender (ITT) has been completed. POTRAZ currently has only one measurement tool, but that tool does not distinguish between emissions from different operators, whereas the equipment that is now being put to tender for purchase will be able to distinguish which Base station or which network is emitting particular radiation. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MAJOME: I thank the Hon. Minister for paying attention to this hazard, but I would like to know if he can indicate what time frame it is that the Hon. Minister hopes that POTRAZ might be able to acquire this equipment that will be able to be more useful for the sake of health. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY (HON. MANDIWANZIRA): Thank you Madam
Speaker and thank you Hon. Majome for the follow up question.
The fact that the tender documents are already complete means that they are ready now to go for tender. I would imagine that this process should take no more than the second part of 2017. I would like to say that by the end of the year, this should be in place. But because the Hon.
Member has this interest, not only her but a lot more other people have interest to make sure that our communities are protected from this radiation, I am going to make sure that the Regulatory Authority fast tracks its processes to make sure that we procure this equipment.
IMPACT OF RADIATION FROM BASE STATIONS
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology to inform the House if the Ministry conducted a study to assess the impact of the radiation emitted from Base stations on relevant local communities. If such a study was done, what are the results and recommendations.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY (HON. MANDIWANZIRA): Thank you once again
Hon. Member for the continued interest in the work of the ICT Ministry, particularly when it relates to issues of radiation and how they are impacting on our communities.
To answer her question, I just want to say that studies that have been carried out in other countries by World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have not shown any adverse effects so far.
The measurements that POTRAZ has already carried out in the vicinity of a number of telecommunication installations have indicated that the EMF levels are well below the maximum WHO limits. POTRAZ will carry-out more measurements when the new equipment is purchased. As long as that is below the limits that have been set by WHO, I think we will be fine.
HON. MAJOME: Is the Hon. Minister able to direct those inquiries towards communities that have people who have hearing aids.
I am particularly interested because one of my Constituency institutions, Emerald School for the Deaf has children who wear hearing aids. Will the Minister be able to expand that testing to communities that have specialised equipment as well?
HON. MANDIWANZIRA: I am not sure of the connection
between radiation and the deaf but let me just say that there is a facility available within the Universal Services Fund that assists disabled communities to access equipment that helps them to access telecommunications infrastructure.
If there is a barrier to the community that she takes care of to any telecommunication services, they can actually apply for funding from the Universal Services Fund in order to provide infrastructure or any services related to their needs. There is a fund specifically for that but I have failed to connect radiation and the deaf. If there is that connection, it can still be dealt with under that specific fund.
PAYMENT OF RADIATION TAX FEE
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Information Technology if mobile operators who have Base stations are charged a radiation tax fee. If there is such a tax, what is the money used for.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY (HON. MANDIWANZIRA): Once again, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The operators are not charged any radiation tax. Operators have an obligation to ensure that all their telecommunication installations comply with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) limits. As can be read from the draft EMF Regulations, the intention is to ensure public safety, rather than using EMF radiation for raising funds. It would be immoral to allow public exposure to radiation for the purposes of raising funds. Of course, the punishment for any equipment that goes beyond the limits which we do not have at the moment would be simply to switch off that equipment and not to fine them and continue to affect the health of our communities.
ELECTRIFICATION OF MAVHUDZI AND NYAMWEDA
- HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Energy and
Power Development to inform this House on the progress in the electrification of Mavhudzi and Nyamweda Primary Schools as per assurance made by the Minister that the exercise would have been done by end of March, 2017.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): I thank the Hon. Member
for his question. Mr. Speaker Sir, Mavhudzi and Nyamweda Primary Schools were electrified by REF on 18th July, 2012 and 22nd July, 2015 respectively. All paid up new points of supply at both primary schools have since been connected. There are no outstanding connections to date at these schools.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64,
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I seek leave of the House to move that Order of the Day, Number 51 take precedence over all Orders of the Day.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE
KUWAIT FUND FOR ARAB ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, in
moving the motion, I would want to remind Hon. Members that the
Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development signed a Loan Agreement for Kuwaiti Dinars 6 million (Approximately US$20 million) to co-finance Zhove Irrigation
Project and the signature was on the 24th March 2017.
The loan facility has a tenor of twenty five years, inclusive of a five year grace period and will attract an interest rate of 1.5% per annum, inclusive of 0.5% administration charges.
Purpose of the Facility
This loan will support the production of citrus fruits in particular, as well as other cash and food crops (maize, sugar beans, tomatoes, groundnuts), the construction of a conveyance system to supply adequate and sustainable water from Zhove Dam to irrigate about 2 500 hectares of agricultural land.
The project is expected to benefit more than 5 000 households from the following communities and resettlements areas along the
Mzingwane River in Beitbridge District which will include; Ferguson
Ranch, Bishopstone Ranch, Cawood Ranche, Mtetengwe Communal Lands, Mabidi Communal Lands and Malala Communal Lands.
The implementation of the project should lead to enhanced socioeconomic development to the communities and resettled farmers in the project area and country at large in the following ways:
- Improve food security in the southern parts of the country;
- Create employment and income generating opportunities for farmers, youth and women;
- Support the juice processing industries in Beitbridge and will also
- Generate foreign currency through exports of citrus products and vegetables.
Project Financing and Repayment
The total cost of the project is US$35.7 million of which Government will contribute US$7 million and $20 million has been provided by the Kuwait fund. Government has since approached the Abu Dhabi for international development to provide the remaining balance of $8.7 million. The negotiations are at an advanced stage and we expect to reach the financial closure before the year end.
Madam Speaker, with respect to project implementation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development will be the executing agent responsible for implementation of the project. In order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project, a project management unit will be established under the Ministry to oversee the day to day operations of the project. The project is earmarked to commence before year end, 2017 and will be implemented over a period of five years. I therefore, Madam Speaker, commend the Kuwait Fund Loan Agreement for the Zhove Irrigation Project in the sum of Kuwait Dina - KWD 6million, which is approximately US$20 million for the approval of this august House. I thank you for your kind attention.
Let me also say Madam Speaker, that the key features of the facility is that we are the borrower through the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development. The lender is Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic
Development and the executing agency is the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. The loan amount as I have stated is Kuwait Dina - KWD 6 million which is approximately US$20 million. The interests rates are one and half percent per annum on the principal amount of the loan and this will be inclusive of 0.5% administration charges. It has a maturity of 25 years inclusive of a five year grace period. The principal repayments will be 40 semi-annual equal installments. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MAJOME: On a point of order or point of privilege depending on what it is Madam Speaker. I have raised this issue before that in terms of our very own Standing Orders that we made, particularly Standing Order No. 20 paragraphs (d) and particularly (e), it requires that subject to these Standing Orders, Portfolio Committees must and in paragraph (e), consider or deal with all international treaties, conventions and agreements relevant to it, which are from time to time, negotiated, entered into or agreed upon.
I am not aware or maybe it has happened that the relevant Portfolio Committee and in this case, that on Budget and Finance has actually considered and dealt with this proposed treaty which clearly sounds that it will be something that will benefit our country. But, our Standing Rules and Orders require that Portfolio Committees must do so. I am concerned that repeatedly we get treaties that are tabled for the House to approve but without any evidence of a relevant Portfolio Committee having addressed this mind. I am saying this because I am concerned that we will continue being a rubber stamp if we just approve treaties. I am sure the reason why we have it in the Standing Orders is because the relevant Portfolio Committees are the ones that are actually capable of sitting down as they are more knowledgeable than the rest of us. These are our very own Standing Rules and Orders and we do not seem to be using them.
I want to propose that maybe if we do not think that this provision is necessary, then maybe we should just amend the Standing Rules and Orders and remove this if we are not going to scrutinise it like we said we would. So, I would like to find out, maybe I am unaware - was this referred to the relevant Portfolio Committee and did they consider or dealt with it as they must in terms of Standing Order No. 20, paragraph maybe (d) but especially paragraph (e).
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, your point of
privilege is difficult to respond to since the Chairperson of the Budget Committee is not in the House but still, they will be able to respond even if the Minister has moved the motion.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Firstly,
I would want to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development for tabling this term sheet of the loan agreement between Kuwait Fund and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
In fact, it is true that if this Parliament withholds its consent, this loan will not be disbursed. So, I urge this august House to give the Minister the necessary consent but, I have some hygienic issues which I would want the Minister to respond to before the consent is granted by Parliament. The first hygienic issue Hon. Minister is that you seem to have conflated the Kuwait Fund with the Abu Dhabi Fund. I do not know whether that is conventional practice to conflate the two agreements as you have done in this case. We were under the impression that we were dealing with the Kuwait Fund exclusively for $35 million but I see that the Abu Dhabi Fund has been smuggled also into the Kuwait Fund. Yes, I can refer you to paragraph 4 on page one. This is a hygienic issue because you introduced the Abu Dhabi Fund into a loan agreement involving the Kuwait Fund. I think that it is a serious hygienic issue. - [HON. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, let Hon.
Mashakada speak for himself – he is able.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: You will respond but my point is that the Kuwait Fund should stand on its own and the Abu Dhabi Fund should stand on its own as a matter of record because other members are of the opinion that we are just dealing with the Kuwait Fund alone, yet there is also the Abu Dhabi Fund of US$8.7m. I think being a lawyer you understand what I am saying. The second thing is that this loan agreement, the Kuwait/Zimbabwe loan requires that the project contractor be approved by the Kuwait/Arab fund. Can the Minister advise this House how far the identification or the selection of the project contractor has gone?
Also linked to the terms of this Agreement, is the question of the Zimbabwe Government being required to come up with an implementation plan by March 2017. This Agreement requires the Government of Zimbabwe who is the borrower, to have come up with an implementation plan of the project by March 2017. Are we on course or we are running late as far as this requirement is concerned? On a related issue Minister, I think what you have done is very proper and I was just wondering whether you can also bring to this House the term sheet regarding the funding of Command agriculture since we are also borrowing. I know it is a bit outside of this but talking about these loans, borrowing and debt contracting, it would be prudent if you could bring the term sheet for the Command agriculture since we are actually borrowing. It is a public debt which will bind Zimbabwe and the posterity. I thank you very much.
*HON. MUKWENA: I rise to support the motion raised by Hon. Chinamasa in connection with the loan from the Arab State. It is a good motion that has been brought by the Minister who has explained the nature of the loan and the project for which the money is going to be used for. I believe that Matabeleland South was identified as the beneficiary, it is a befitting area to benefit from this loan, and it is a lowveld area just like Chiredzi or Chivi where the Tokwe-Mukosi dam was constructed. Minister we applaud you for this successful hunting. What I urge you Hon. Minister, as you have explained how the loan is going to be utilised; it is the use of that money where my plea is directed to. Should the money be used in the manner that you have described and timeously there will not be problems like the ones that emanated from Tokwe-Mukosi which was started in 1998 and was only completed this
We hope and trust that this money will be enough to cover the entire project and its construction. We plead with you Minister that the funding should be adequate for this particular project. On the other hand, we request that your Portfolio Committee should put its eyes there; there are two Committee that are tasked with oversight, Finance and Agriculture Committee. If they keep an eagle’s eye on what is happening, they will be able to ensure that this money is properly used. Beitbridge requires irrigation and the people in that area are headsmen and are into cattle ranching. You did your research well and despite the capacity of the dam being small and funding being little, we are proud that the little that we have done is important because a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Hon. Minister, in brief I want to thank you and support your motion.
+HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am also from
Matabeleland South and I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for working on this situation and getting loans for the people of Beitbridge to survive. We know that Beitbridge is a very dry place; there is need for water in this area. Our people from this specific area are surviving from working in South Africa. I do hope that this dam that we are speaking about will assist them and will make them realise that our Government at times has love for its people and it does remember that they are children of this nation.
I would like to emphasise on what was said by the previous speaker who spoke before me that the Minister needs to ensure that this loan is a loan that is going to be borne by Zimbabweans at large, therefore the Minister has to make sure that there is monitoring and valuation in order to ensure that this money that was borrowed works towards this job that we are speaking about. We know that our Government so often, when these loans are given, especially towards elections, the money is diverted such that it is used for different purposes as compared to the ones that it is intended for. As we are facing elections in 2018, this money could be used for a few months and when we have elected a new Government the machinery that could have been bought will disappear in Zhove. We have seen this in Gwaai and I bet to see it again. The Gwaai dam as we are approaching 2018 soon, you will see the machinery going there with stones and cement pretending as if something is being done. What I am saying is I want to advocate that this money be used for the specific purpose. We do not want to read in the press that people are fighting over this money that was borrowed using particular people’s names that should benefit from the irrigation scheme in Zhove.
I also want to take note of what was said by Dr. Mashakada who said that this loan was brought to this House, yes, we saw it and we would like to thank you for it. We are truly grateful; however, we want to find out why the Government would not want to do the same with the loan of Command agriculture. Yes, we have read in the press that the money for Command agriculture will be distributed privately and not in public. We would want the Minister to come to us and clarify how we got the money for Command agriculture, because it is a scheme that we really admire and we need that clarity concerning the loan. This loan will be upon the shoulders of all Zimbabweans and we will have to pay for it and even our great grandchildren will pay it. I thank you.
HON. MUZENDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to
congratulate the Minister on this agreement. The terms seem to be very positive for our country and the Zhove community. The interest rate seems very good and also the administration charges. The tenure is quite attractive. What I wanted to find out from the Minister is, there are some loans which have been granted and which we concluded but eventually they never come to a conclusion, for example the BADEA loan. Here we see that $28 million is from Arabs and $7 million from Government. Is our Government ready to fund its portion of $7 million? Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. SARUWAKA: What I just want to add on this motion
Minister with regard to the loan is that, I may have misquoted him when he was giving his explanation – is the loan for the construction of a dam or it is for irrigation equipment? I am asking this question because last week we went around the country looking at the dams in this country. We often used to hear about Kunzvi Dam and were hoping that there was a dam. When we went there we only saw a dam site. Is the Zhove Dam there? What is required are the pipes and pumps and what is its capacity?
Lastly, maybe what I would want to plead with the Minister when they start the construction of this dam, he should indicate that it has the blessing of both sides of the House because it is Government and not a party project. I thank you and wholly support this because it is good for our development. When you commence, remember that we have done this together and it is a Government project.
+HON. MUDAU: Firstly, I would like to thank the Minister of
Finance for what he has done for us. In Beitbridge, we really suffer a lot. We suffer from poverty and starvation. We do not get proper food. What has been done by the Minister of Finance is really admirable and we are much grateful because there are people who used to farm. We are glad that there is money that will be there to develop that Zhove Dam. However Minister, we do advocate that if this has to be done, can it be done as quickly as possible? We do not have food in that area because there is no water. If this development is worked on quickly, people in Beitbridge will be happy about it as they are suffering.
Right now, people were surviving by crossing the border to South Africa. Not all of them have proper documents and some of them cross the border illegally and are murdered along the way. Therefore, I am very much sure that if the Minister has looked at our plight and emphathised with us and is to do what I am requesting, we will be grateful. People really want to work on various projects but because there is no water we do not succeed. The region is very hot and fruits like oranges would really do well. I heard the Minister refer to it.
We have many small scale farmers who do some farming but they do not prosper because of lack of adequate water. I am of the view that if this dam is to be a success and command agriculture is done; I do believe that we will be able to get food from the usage of that dam. I want to thank you Hon. Minister for the wait is over in Beitbridge. Thank you so much. We are grateful. We are starving right now because we lost a lot of our cattle and livestock to drought last year which we survive on. However, we tried to plant some crops with the previous rains but we did not prosper. Thank you so much Hon. Minister. May God bless you!
HON. DR. MUKANDURI: Madam Speaker, first of all I want to thank the Minister of Finance for the effort, together with the entire Cabinet for they were able to get this line of credit. It is very difficult for our country because we have very few friends but we want to congratulate the Minister. The story that has been narrated by the Hon. Member from Beitbridge, Hon. Mudau is a pathetic one. We do not want to punish our people. We should try by all means to support the efforts and endeavours that are being done by the Minister of Finance. We should wholeheartedly support this loan agreement.
Hon. Speaker, when we are dealing with loan agreements, we should not try to mix things. I do not know how we are linking the command agriculture to this loan agreement. It is expected that there could be some people who were not happy perhaps with the results of the command agriculture. It is expected for various reasons but we should not link. These things should be de-linked. We have question time for the Minister and at that point, we can then raise questions to say can we get an explanation of how the command agriculture was arrived at or how it was funded. We do not want to punish the people of Beitbridge. We should support the effort that is being done by the Minister of Finance.
I thank you Hon. Ndebele, he comes from Matebeleland South. Of course, he was saying these agreements should not be linked to elections and we abandon them - no. I am together with Hon. Ndebele; if we start a project, let us continue with that project so that it benefits the people of that region. I thank you Madam Speaker and support the loan agreement.
HON. MAONDERA: I would like to applaud the Minister for
such a facility given the interest rate of one percent. I just want to understand Madam Speaker, what is our international relationship with Kuwait? Do we have a cordial relationship with Kuwait or it came about after this saga of human trafficking where most of our women were exported as sex slaves? Do you have any sort of economic-cooperation agreement or joint commission Minister, with Kuwait or it is just something that is coming because we have never heard much about
Kuwait being talked about? This is only coming about because of this
Zhove Dam loan. Is it not that because there were some issues with us concerning our women now that they are giving us this loan? Can the Minister clarify that?
The other thing Minister, we have so many dam infrastructures countrywide. It is nice to get a loan but is this not going to be another white elephant where we have a dam and it is not being utilised. There are so many dams and there was a recent report by the Committee on Lands and Agriculture on our irrigation schemes; so many dams have been lying idle, not being fully utilised. Is this dam not going to be one of the white elephants? We just borrow money, we pay back but we do not get any value out of it. Have they put a mechanism in place with their Cabinet with the colleagues in agriculture to make sure that once the dam is completed, we derive economic value out of that dam?
Lastly, Hon. Minister, I know there could be some clauses that you safeguard against diverting those funds to something else. Can you assure this House that because of other pressing needs that we have, I know there are so many demanding competing needs, are you not going to play some games to try and circumvent some of the clauses, divert the money and use it somewhere else and repay later. Can you please clarify? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I want to
thank Hon. Members who have contributed, all of them in support of the loan agreement but obviously asking for clarifications. This is what I am going to proceed to do. Hon. Mashakada, there is no conflating between the Abu Dhabi and Kuwait fund. If you read the paragraph that you referred to – Let me read it for you and this is in the Preamble.
“Where is the borrower, and the borrower is the Government of Zimbabwe - intends to obtain from Abu Dhabi Development Fund, the basis upon a loan in an approximate amount equivalent to US$8 700 000
(US$8.7 million))”. It is not saying we have borrowed. It is not saying we already have a loan. What happened in our negotiations with Kuwait, most of the loans we obtain from Arab funds, they agree to cofinance.
First, they require that as a borrower, we must also put our money on the table that is the seven million dollars that I referred to in my speech. In this case, Kuwait Fund is only prepared to lend $20 million and the advisors are Kuwait Fund who advised us to go and borrow the other $8.7 from Abu Dhabi. It will be on the recommendation of Kuwait Fund.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Was that done yet?
HON. CHINAMASA: We have already done that. We have borrowed. What happens is that the Abu Dhabi will lend us the US$8.7 based on the opinion of the Kuwait Fund. They will no longer go into detail to say give us this information or that information. They will rely and proceed based on the information that we have already submitted to the Kuwait Fund.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Will the agreement also come here?
HON. CHINAMASA: Yes, it will also come here.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chinamasa, please speak
to the Chair.
HON. CHINAMASA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The second
question is for the project contractor to be approved by the Fund. Yes, it has to be approved by the Fund. That is a requirement for us to obtain the loan and we hope that we have no problem with the requirement because we also want a project contractor who can perform. If the project contractor is appointed to the satisfaction of the lender, we are also happy and have no problem with that. As to whether the implementation plan is already in place, I have no clear answer but clearly, there will be no problem. Generally, you can ask for extension if we think that we are behind but I do not have the answer on my fingertips as to whether or not the implementation plan is in place. The reference you made to command agriculture is not quite relevant but I did promise to do a ministerial statement on this subject matter. You may not have been in the House but I did promise that when the time is appropriate, I will do so.
Hon. Mukwena, thank you very much for supporting the loan agreement. I think you draw comparisons with Tokwe-Mukorsi. In this case, the dam has already been built. It has not been exactly hundred percent idle water but because I know there are some farmers there especially the commercial farmers and those that are into citrus production who are already drawing water from this dam. We are now seeking to benefit five thousand households from this project. We are now seeking from this water to open up 2 500 ha of citrus and the other crops that I mentioned. It will have a very positive impact to the socioeconomic development of the Beitbridge district. I am aware that it is welcomed and it is long overdue. They have been looking at that water for a long time without drawing any benefit from it.
Hon. Ndebele, thank you for supporting the Bill. I want to allay your fears that there is no way – I do not think you understand how lenders look after their money. Each draw-down is based on a certificate of certain stage of work having been completed. Otherwise, you do not go to second stage until you have a certificate, usually from an engineer to say this is what has been done and then you can draw-down. They do not give you the full trench of $20 million at once. It is always subject to drawdowns against specified stages in the construction of the irrigation scheme. Therefore, the dangers you are mentioning are not quite true. Again, it is a four-year project. It is not like we are going to open it just before the elections. However, we are free of course to do the ground breaking ceremony just before the elections – [AN HON. MEMBER: As a campaign bribe.] – That is the advantage of incumbency. We will certainly do a ground breaking ceremony.
I appreciate very clearly that it is not just from Matabeleland South but it is a problem that is affecting all Matabeleland provinces. Young people leaving school to go down South with very minimum education - some drop out to go to South Africa after Form 2, some after Grade 7,
Form 3 and it is a problem that needs to be addressed by the people from Matabeleland. It will mean that for all the time into the future, the province will remain marginalised because it will not have qualified people to compete with the rest of the country. Those who go to South Africa will observe that. These youths, who go to South Africa, when they drop out of school, they take low-level jobs. Those who have remained in education up to university, when they go to South Africa, they take high-level jobs.
That structure is not good and needs to be rectified and that can only be rectified by us. We need to identify why pupils, students from the Matabeleland provinces – I know there is the proximity but there is also sometimes, there is unnecessary publicity given to very few who make it and come back driving cars with very loud music. To youths, it is their model of a successful person. So, those are the issues that I think we have to tackle Madam Speaker as we go forward.
Hon. Muzenda, thank you very much for supporting the Bill and also you acknowledge that the tenure, 25 years is a long time, five years grace period is very generous and the interest rate is also very generous for this type of loan and project.
Hon. Saruwaka, thank you for supporting the Bill and I think I have already clarified that this money is to develop the irrigation component. The dam is already there; the water is almost 90% idle for years and this is something that we have to correct.
Hon. Mudau, thank you also for supporting the project and I think you have no choice to support me on this one, seeing that you come from Beitbridge District. This will make a difference to the economic situation in Beitbridge District – clearly, and I think the sooner we get started, the better. This is an area which produces, because of its climatic conditions, very nice citrus fruits which are export quality and they do not compare anywhere in the country.
The sad thing actually about the citrus fruits from Beitbridge is that they are exported to South Africa, who then package them as their oranges to export to the rest of the world. So, when they go to the rest of the world, they are not Zimbabwean oranges but South African oranges. We hope that these are some of the issues that we can correct also so that a product of Zimbabwe can reach the wider markets as a product of Zimbabwe, and we can earn the reputation that we grow and produce excellent oranges.
Hon. Dr. Mukanduri, thank you very much again for supporting the agreement and you observed quite correctly that there is no relationship between this loan and Command agriculture. For those who have raised the issue, I will in some time make a Ministerial Statement to speak about the Command agriculture.
Hon. Maondera, thank you for supporting this loan. You asked whether this will be another white elephant. No, we are actually transforming what is currently a white elephant, the dam. We are basically seeking to make it productive. That is exactly what we are doing; we are not building a new dam here. The dam is already there, it has been a white elephant and we are now seeking to transform it to make it productive. With those remarks Madam Speaker, I move that the loan agreement be approved.
THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the
President or under the President`s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, a Loan Agreement between Government of the
Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic
Development relating to Kuwait Dinars 6 million ( Approximately US$20 million) Line of Credit to support the Zhove Irrigation Project in Beitbridge District, Matabeleland South Province.
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
TABLING OF THE ZIMBABWE LAND COMMISSION 2016
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you
Madam Speaker. In terms of Section 12(1) of the Audit Office Act, Chapter 22(18), I lay upon the Table the Zimbabwe Land Commission,
2016 Annual Report covering the period, 7th July to 31st December, 2016. Thank you.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA), the House
adjourned at Nineteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.