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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 SEPTEMBER 2017 44-02
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 19th September, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE CONSTITUENCY
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have two announcements to make. I have to advise Hon. Members that copies of the Draft Constitution for the Constituency Development Fund have been placed in your pigeon holes. Hon. Members are requested to study the Constitution and submit their input to Counsel to Parliament’s Office, Number 306, Third Floor, by the end of day on Friday, 29th September, 2017. Hon. Members are urged to treat this as a matter of urgency so that we can move forward in order to put in place the CDF Fund.
APPOINTMENT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that
Portfolio Committees will continue their operations as constituted during the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament pending appointment by the
Committee on Standing Rules and Orders of new Committees for the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament. Thank you.
Hon. Matangira having complained that the Speaker was only recognizing female MPs to give Notices of Motions
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, at the back, Hon.
Matangira! You know I am in court, listen very carefully. There is a jury on my neck and the jury says, be very careful we may rule against you because you are not gender sensitive. So, I am very much alive to that now, I do not want the jury to rule against me.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
HON. D. M. NCUBE: I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:-
May it please you, your Excellency the President:
We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.
HON. MLILO: I second.
HON. D. M. NCUBE: It is my pleasure to contribute to the Speech by His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. As is the norm with speeches from this iconic figure, it was well thought out and regally presented. The agenda set by His Excellency is quite daunting but achievable. Above all, it requires that all of us and I mean all of us work as one unit towards the fulfillment of the legislative agenda.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know how many of us realise that in his opening remarks, His Excellency put us on notice by mentioning that this is the Fifth and final Session of the Eighth Parliament. After this session, Parliament is going to be dissolved and elections are beckoning.
Elections by their very nature are unpredictable.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon
Ncube is a very good friend of mine. I am just requesting in that friendship if he can refer to the notes and not to read.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Ncube, you are allowed to refer to your notes. Thank you.
HON. D. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will refer to my notes from time to time. Elections by their very nature are unpredictable. His Excellency in one simple sentence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Let me not be persuaded to remove some Hon. Member out of the House. Can we listen to what the Hon. Member is saying?
HON. D. M. NCUBE: I am not quite sure where I was before I was disturbed by Hon. Munengami. Elections by their very nature are very unpredictable. We cannot be certain how many of us are going to come back in the Ninth Parliament. So, what His Excellency has done is to put us on notice so that we now work hard and ensure that we fulfill the legislative agenda set before us.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me just go through some of the legislative agenda which was articulated by His Excellency. The Child Justice Bill, to provide a dedicated child justice system. The Marriage Bill, to outlaw child marriages. The Disaster Risk Management Bill, to strengthen our disaster responses and mitigation strategies. The cyber crime and Cyber
Security Bill as well as the Land Developers’ Bill. This is just a synopsis of some of the Bills which will be presented to this House. I would like to speak a little bit more about climate change particularly addressing the Disaster Risk Management Bill. Climate change, by its very nature will affect every person on the planet, no matter where they are and who they are. It will threaten food and water security as well as human health and political stability. By degrading and depleting the very resources on which life depends, climate change could reverse many of our development gains and would also hamper our development efforts. We must be proud that our President and our Government are well alive to the perils of climate change. To contrast this to one American President, Donald Trump who claims that the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make USA manufacturing uncompetitive; now that our President is in New York, he should take the opportunity to speak to President Trump and tell him about the perils of climate change.
Generally disaster arises when an extreme natural event, for example a storm, earthquake or flood strikes. Whether a natural event becomes a disaster depends on the coping mechanism. Our very own President is aware that as a country, we must improve our disaster responsiveness and resilience mechanism, hence the tabling of the Disaster Risk Management Bill.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the joys of information technology are right around us. However, there is one serious element which His Excellency, the President wants us to guard against as a country and as a people and that is cyber crime. The effect of cyber crime can be very upsetting, particularly to the victims. The victims may feel that their privacy has been invaded and may seem powerless. As our reliance on technology increases, the incidences and cases of cyber crime are likely to increase, hence the need for the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill. It has come at the right time Mr. Speaker Sir. Sophisticated criminals are able to exploit vulnerabilities in computers in three ways; firstly by unauthorised access or hacking when someone gains access to your computer or device without your permission or malware. Malware is malicious software which monitors your online activity while you are online. The third one is denial of service, which is an attack that floods your computer data base. The website causes an overload and prevents it from functioning properly. There are also cases of identity theft on computers. Criminals gain access to your information, then use it to steal your money and other benefits. As a country, we should have the capacity to regulate the distribution and accessing of certain online contents such as online child pornography. The importance of the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill cannot be over-emphasised.
I would like to also address the issue of land developers, particularly pertaining to the Land Developers Bill. We have seen a number of people who claim to be land developers turning out to be actually land barons. They have been stealing a lot of money from unsuspecting people. These land developers do not even know the regulatory frameworks of the local authorities or the compliance requirements from the different local authorities. So, it is a very good idea to have this Land Developers Bill. I am aware that some Members of Parliament are also land barons and so they will not be properly regulated. They takeover open spaces meant for church buildings under power lines and parcel those spaces to unsuspecting people. That is not right. Soon we are going for elections and we will be facing the very same people that we sold dummies to. So, the Land Developers Bill is going to provide the right framework to ensure that people qualified to do the job do it properly. There is also the issue of corruption. His
Excellency, the President has spoken on corruption a number of times. We speak about it, we abhor it but we tolerate it. The small fish are the ones hauled before the courts. Corruption is a scourge and all of us must stand firm and condemn it.
Mr. Speaker Sir, my delivery would not be complete without articulating some of the success stories of this Government, particularly with regard to agriculture. Yes, it was the first time to embark on command agriculture and indeed, in some cases, some inputs did not arrive on time or they were disjointedly delivered but by and large, command agriculture has been a resounding success. It has exceeded all our expectations. Despite all these drawbacks, the evidence is there for all of us to see. Visit the GMB depots in Karoi, Lions Den, Chegutu or even in Zhombe and see for yourself the stacks of maize. In some cases, some of the GMB depots are clearing more land in order to accommodate the inflows. However, as we move forward, it is true that one swallow does not make a summer. Therefore, as we move forward, we should try to replicate the successes of Command Agriculture. Indeed, it complimented the Presidential Inputs Scheme and ensured that in the coming two seasons, we exceed the inflows in our GMBs and we are back as a bread basket again. Those who used to say we are a basket case and claimed that the Land Reform Programme was a disaster, I am sure they are now eating their words. Indeed, our Land Reform Programme is likely to be a template that will be used in South Africa – that is unavoidable.
The other success story is the dualisation and rolling out of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway. This is a very important national road which will boost economic activity on the north-south corridor but we need to move away from the rhetoric and get onto the ground. We need to see bulldozers and graders working. So, to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, while this is a noble programme, we want to see the evidence on the ground. The work has got to start now.
The other success story Mr. Speaker Sir, is the revival of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). We cannot develop as a country if we do not revive the NRZ. So the partnership with Transnet is a very good development and has got to be speeded up in order for goods and services that are not supposed to be on the roads to be moved by rail. There are also plans to revamp some of our road networks throughout the country. That is very important and those are the few success stories that we are going to take to the electorate.
Indeed Mr. Speaker Sir, the future is bright but let us do our part to fulfill the legislative agenda that was set out by His Excellency the President and prepare ourselves for a new lease of life under the Ninth Parliament.
On a lighter note, Mr. Speaker Sir, on the day of the Official Opening, I and my colleagues saw some Supreme Court judges going out. They were wearing long wigs - are these not old fashioned, uncomfortable and remnants of the colonial era? Why are our prominent legal minds being subjected to the trappings of our former colonisers? I propose that the Judicial Service Commission holds a competition so that we can come up with appropriate and dignified regalia for our judges. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. MLILO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will not glorify my colleague Hon. Members from the opposition by responding to them – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- I would like to take this opportunity Mr. Speaker Sir, to seek the protection of the Chair because of the melancholy and bad behaviour that does not show that the Hon.
Members seated on your left are honourable – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.]- May you kindly protect me Mr. Speaker Sir. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members on my left – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order Hon. Mliswa! If there is an issue that you are in disagreement with, you raise a point of order rather than shouting.
HON. GONESE: On a point of order. My point of order relates to the opening remarks by the Hon. Member. Without any provocation, I think he is the one who precipitated what transpired thereafter. He started by insulting Hon. Members from the opposition for no reason because if he had anything that he was not happy about, he should have raised it with the Chair. We do not know what he was referring to but I believe that he is the one who has actually brought it upon himself and I think if he can withdraw what he said, the insult to the Hon. Members of the opposition.
We are a loyal opposition Mr. Speaker, and I believe that we want to participate in all the proceedings in this august House. I think it is only appropriate for the Hon. Member to withdraw, then he can proceed with his debate. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Sibanda order! Hon.
Gonese, what you have done is exactly what I was requesting the Hon. Members behind you there. Hon. Mlilo, kindly withdraw your opening remarks.
HON. MLILO: Mr. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence and a lot of respect, I would not want to withdraw and I will tell you why – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Allow me to at least give you my reasons – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Hon. Sibanda here was insulting me when I stood up. He even continued to insult me by saying that I was – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, if you had an issue with an Hon. Member, you should have raised it with the Chair – that is the correct procedure. So, I ask you to withdraw and if you do not want to withdraw, then you may sit down. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
HON. MLILO: I understand Mr. Speaker Sir, that two wrongs do not make a right and as such, would like to withdraw my statement. Furthermore, with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to lodge a complaint against Hon. Sibanda – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Mlilo, do not get into
contestation with the Chair. No withdrawal is conditional, please withdraw your statement straight and forward.
HON. MLILO: I withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, you may proceed.
HON. MLILO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to debate and air my views on the massive worded speech that we were given by His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe. The opening remarks in his speech were motivating Members of Parliament and Parliament of Zimbabwe to finalise Bills that come before us and to show seriousness as we carry out our duties diligently and also to be objective as we scrutinise the bills that come before us as we deliberate and finalise on them. I think because of that, this shows that His
Excellency, the President takes the business of Parliament seriously. This is why he is imploring us as Members of Parliament to work very hard and be well presented and articulate in attempt to carry out our legislative mandate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency did state that there are certain bills that are coming into the House which include the Child Justice Bill and the Marriages Bill. With regards to the Child Justice Bill, I believe this shows that our leader, His Excellency, is a leader par excellence – because for one to really care about kids or children, it shows that you are a leader above the rest. This is because the children whom we have are going to be our future. So, I would like to congratulate and support the President, His Excellency, for motivating his team, the Executive into bringing such important Bills to Parliament because the Child Protection Act comes at such a time when so many children are being abused and need someone to look after them. It is now imperative and it is serious that we as Members of Parliament look at that Bill, deliberate on it and protect our children.
When it comes to marriages, we realise that there are too many broken homes nowadays. You will realise that we have an average of 27 divorce cases on a daily basis in the High Court and as such, the sanctity of marriage has lost its value. I would like to believe, implore and congratulate the President for at least looking towards that direction, for motivating the Ministry of Justice to come up with a Marriages Bill that can protect the sanctity of marriage as an institution.
His Excellency also spoke about the backbone of the economy being our agriculture. This comes at such a beautiful time, after implementing the Command Agriculture where there were no tests, notes, theory or formula on how to carry it out but it has become a raving success in our country. It has become a big success in Zimbabwe to the extent that the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development yesterday stated that the silos have reached 1 million tones. I think the Command Agriculture was a success and this will eradicate hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe and it is taking
Zimbabwe back to its glory days of being called the bread basket of Africa and indeed, I am sure we are actually going to be the bread basket of Africa, if not the world this time around.
With regards to Command Agriculture and harvesting of water I would like to believe that as a Government, we have shown that we take the harvesting of water very seriously. This is why there is a dam called Tokwe-Mukorsi that was constructed and is benefitting so many people in Masvingo and part of the Midlands area. This shows how serious the country is with regards to harvesting of water. At the same time, we have Command Fisheries, not only do we want to harvest the water, but we also want to utilise it. So, I think the direction that the Government is taking of Command Fisheries under the theme of Command Agriculture, surely defines the root and direction; and also shows how serious His Excellency and his team, the Executive are, with regards to poverty alleviation and providing adequate food to the masses of Zimbabwe. We all know that an angry man and a hungry man are synonymous.
With regards to climate change, we do realise that climate is changing rapidly and the good thing is that in Zimbabwe, as a Government, obviously through His Excellency and the Minister in charge of the environment are parties and signatories to so many charters associated with climate change. However, at the same time, he also talked of disaster risk management. I think our President, through his Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, clearly showed that we become prepared for disaster management. You could tell and actually see it sometime last year when we had floods in certain areas. The Ministry diligently assisted the people and minimized the death rate and I think that now the Bill is coming in order to regularise operations. I would like to believe that the Ministry did a very good job and they need to be commended for the sterling job that they did.
His Excellency, in his speech, touched on the issues regarding the Labour Laws amendment. Previously, last year, there was a time when most people were chased away from work due to the ‘Zuva judgment.’ The judgment was so callous and did not consider how many years a member had served at his work place. It only gave them pittance and it brought poverty where so many kids stopped going to school because their parents were unable to even clothe or feed them. As such, I would like to commend His Excellency for seeking or directing Parliament to review the labour law so that the employee gets protection.
It is high time that the employee gets protected. As you can witness, the only security that one has as an employee these days is working for the Government. I would like to commend the President for bringing back this Bill and the amendment that will create harmony, stability and security for the employees who have suffered so much.
Mind you, it is not only the employee who suffers, it is the children. Behind every employee there are four or five dependants and I think we as Parliament need to take this Bill seriously and forget our parties and put the lives of Zimbabweans first and assist them – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Excuse me Mr. Speaker, can you kindly protect me from Hon. Sibanda.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is he saying?
HON. MLILO: He is telling me that I gave Ice Cream to poison the V. P – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – he said that.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mlilo, what type of protection, what has he done?
HON. MLILO: Mr. Speaker Sir, his insinuations are damaging to my character. He cannot insinuate that I, in any way, was involved in the alleged poisoning saga which is coming from him. He cannot as well, in any way say that I am talking about factions in ZANU PF. We are not talking about ZANU PF, I am carrying out my legislative mandate. As such, I request that you protect me from him Sir. May he please retract his statements – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Sibanda, will you allow the
Hon. Member to proceed with his speech without unnecessarily…
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Speaking in Tonga.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Ndanzwa. (Speaking in Tonga.) Thank you.
HON. MLILO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am well appreciative of the fact that we have got so many languages in Zimbabwe, but as the raiser of the complaint in English, I would like to be brought alive to his statement so that at least I understand.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please carry on.
HON. MLILO: Zinapezeka. His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces touched and made note of Zimbabwe’s accidents to the relevant annex of the 1947 UN Conventions on Privileges and Immunities under the UN World Tourism Organisation. I would like to appreciate that from the past six months, Zimbabwe’s tourism has increased and this has partly been a benefit which brought about the opening of the skies. With the advent of the new Victoria Falls Airport that was commissioned, you realise that the skies were been opened and Zimbabwe is a country which is recording quite a significant number of tourist arrivals and that will seriously boost our tourism sector.
It is beautiful and it is good that Zimbabwe as a country is endowed with natural resources such as the Victoria Falls and we have got so much in terms of livestock and in terms of wildlife where we boast of the big five. I think the tourism sector should be commended for the sterling job that they are doing and for the direction that they took from His Excellency that they have indeed turned into policy and direction.
I would like to touch on corruption Mr. Speaker Sir. His Excellency - all the time when he is given an opportunity to speak, he talks of corruption. Corruption is the mother of all disasters in any State...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, can you lower your voices please, otherwise I cannot follow what the Hon. Member is saying. Please carry on.
HON. MLILO: Talumba Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to touch on corruption. Corruption is the mother of all catastrophic disasters that can occur in any country. It is epidemic and the most beautiful thing is that His Excellency our President speaks about it all the time. He does not condone such behavior of corruption at any level, and as such, we need to take his book seriously. I know that at times people are tempted to be corrupt but it is bad and evil. We have got a beautiful justice system that is very effective that jails such people.
His Excellency also touched on the Teaching Professions Council.
This touched me very much Sir. When you talk about the Teaching
Professions Council, this can at least dignify the teaching profession. You realise that from time immemorial, you would find people with O levels being employed and those with A levels being employed as temporary teachers in schools. That took away the dignity and value of the teaching profession. As such, the coming up of this Teaching Professions Council Bill will at least create some sanity in the teaching profession and at least bring some professionalism into the teaching profession. It would at least bring back the much needed and awaited dignity in such a profession because the temporary teachers had really created a mess in this profession.
To fnalise my debate I would like to touch on the issues of rape and also the issues of women that I also believe the President touched on. Every man and woman here is a product of a woman. This shows the value of a woman in our lives and for the fact that there are so many rape cases in Zimbabwe; it gives us so many sleepless nights as to who will protect our women, evolution and our future plan if our women are not protected. I would like to gladly affirm the fact that I am well alive to the fact that the Ministry of Justice has been looking at measures of extending the jail terms for people who rape women.
I think they should take them to life imprisonment because women are people that we respect so much. We are all products of women and as such, we should respect and protect our women who happen to be our mothers, not forgetting the boy child. The boy child gets assaulted in every different way, but I would like to believe that with the Bills that we have and with the statutes that are coming in, we will be able to protect the kids and not only protect them, but also protect the adults at the same time.
I would also like to take this opportunity to partner with His Excellency to thank the Defence and Security sectors of Zimbabwe. The only thing that makes Zimbabwe a marketable tourist attraction centre and the only thing that makes Zimbabwe an attractive destination is because of the peace and tranquility that is prevailing in the country.
Indeed, the Defence and Security sectors are playing a pivotal role and they are doing an immaculate job in creating that serenity in the country of Zimbabwe.
At the same time, I would like to implore them to keep that serenity prevailing towards elections and even after elections and going forward. This is because peace begins with all of us and it is more serious and it is very imperative that peace be restored in the country of Zimbabwe which we already have. So, I would like to commend the Service Chiefs, the Defence and the Security Industry for the sterling job that they have done. Lastly but not least, I would like to thank His Excellency the President for such a... [Time limit]
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, your time is up Hon. Member. Thank you. Before I call for any further debate, allow me to recognise that one of us, Hon. Khupe has been respected and honoured by being capped at the University of Zimbabwe with a doctorate degree. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - Order, order! I am aware that about five more amongst us are working towards attaining that level of academic excellence and I wish to encourage them to complete their doctorates in the footsteps of Dr. Khupe. I am also aware that there are others who are proceeding with their Master’s and first degrees, please do not give up,
you will not be disappointed in the end.
HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You have a point of order, okay.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: May I start by congratulating Hon. Dr. Khupe for the doctorate. My question is since we are Zimbabweans and whenever one of us is sick, as a family we are also affected. My question is directed to the Vice Presidents of the Opposition Hon. Mudzuri and Hon. Chamisa. May these members inform this House on the condition of the MDC T party leader Mr. M. Tsvangirai and are they not preparing for the takeover of the party should he die?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. With all due respect to Hon. Chinotimba, when an announcement is made, you expect a follow up on the similar vein but do not come up with something so different and has nothing to do with the announcement from the Chair. In as much as I think, all people of good will wish Mr. Tsvangirai a speedy recovery. Thank you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Mr. Speaker
Sir, allow me to congratulate Dr. Khupe for what she has attained and hoping that the MDC will put her to good use. Mr. Speaker, allow me also to glorify the Speech that was given by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Cde. R.G. Mugabe. From the Speech, I want to make just a few comments – [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Members, go back to your Standing Orders. The House deserves decorum. You are on serious business here, so please respect that. There is no point of the Chair always calling you to order unnecessarily. Thank you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was saying I want to join other Members to congratulate Dr. Khupe for what she has attained in educational circles, hoping that the MDC is going to put her to good use. Mr. Speaker, I also want to take this opportunity to glorify the Speech that was given by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Cde. R.G. Mugabe. From the Speech, Madam Speaker I will dwell on three if not four issues that I find to be very important, pertinent, critical and relevant to the well-being of this nation.
The President talked about Command Agriculture Madam Speaker, which was a very successful activity in this country in that we hear from the relevant Ministry …
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order. Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. My point of order basically trails what the Hon. Speaker had indicated in congratulating Dr. Khupe on her achievements but after seeing you coming to take the Chair, Hon. Speaker I would not manage to simply sit except to stand up and say we stand with you; we stand with you Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member.
Hon. Member, you can proceed with your debate.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Madam Speaker, I would want to make
some observations and a few comments on three if not four issues that were brought to therefore by His. Excellency – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon.
Members, can you not whisper? If you cannot, this is when I call you to go to the lobby. I want to hear what the Hon. Member is saying. Hon.
Member, can you proceed.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me start
by the last comments by His Excellency in his Speech where he talked about our behaviour in Parliament. He called upon Hon. Members of this august House to have impeccable Parliamentary behaviour. Mr. Speaker, let us not take that with a pinch of salt. Let us take that as a proper guidance from His. Excellency because the electorate out there would want to hear us debate issues that affect the nation. I am hopeful that as I make my presentation Hon. Members will be quiet, listening to my arguments arising from the Speech that was given by His Excellency.
Firstly, he talked about Command Agriculture, which I view as a successful activity for the betterment of this nation. Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate the brains behind Command Agriculture and those that were steering the programme who are in Government. It was a successful programme but we resolve as Parliament that this programme should cascade from commercial farms, plots to the villages so that villagers from where we come from also benefit from Command
Agriculture which is a noble and well thought out initiative. In that vein
Madam Speaker, we also want to call upon the relevant Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to ensure that as we approach the agricultural season, inputs are distributed on time. Presidential Input Scheme is a very noble scheme but were we expect and anticipate that the seed, fertiliser and chemicals need to be distributed on time so that our farmers are kept alert.
Madam Speaker, we anticipate a good season similar to what we had last time and we are going to fill up our granaries. We call upon the relevant Ministries to activate their processes so that farmers in the villages and farms get adequate inputs so that we are always prepared as a nation to have food security.
Secondly Madam Speaker, I would want to talk about corruption. It is not enough for us as a nation that we carry out several launches to give information. We need action and more action. Once allegations of corruption are leveled against individuals in society no matter their stature, we expect the Anti-Corruption Commission, the ZRP’s CID department to be equal to the task, investigate these cases and bring people to book so that at the end of the day members of this particular nation have confidence in the Executive. So we want to call upon as Parliament the Executive agencies that are involved in investigating cases of corruption to be up and equal to the task so that we have confidence in the Executive. Launches are not enough; we would expect action. If it is Mandipaka or Holder, let justice take its course.
Madam Speaker, lastly I want to make a comment on the observations by His Excellency on the Defence and Security Forces. The peace that we enjoy Madam Speaker, I have always mentioned in this House is because of the efforts of our sons and daughters who are in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Police Force, Air Force and ZNA. We need, as a nation, to hold our Defence Forces in high esteem and desist from the habit of destabilizing our Defence Forces for the good of this nation because these sons and daughters have committed their energy to protect us, our territory and sovereignty. We must hold them in high esteem and give respect to our security forces.
Madam Speaker as we go to the Budget, I also want to call upon the relevant Ministry to be able to furnish financial resources which are adequate for the cause of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Defence Forces so that we remain peaceful as a nation. The time of vilifying our security forces is over because our life, security and safety depends on our security forces. So, I am making a call through this august House that we need to respect our security forces - the police, the army and the airforce for what they have done. All the time the President gives speeches, it might be at Heroes Acre or here in Parliament, he has always commended our defence forces. Equally the same with us as citizens, we want to take time to commend our defence forces and encourage them, help them, give them direction and work together with them for the betterment of our nation.
Lastly, Madam Speaker, let us all as a House congratulate the President for he has been able to acquit himself. He has always come before this Parliament, opened Parliament and given speeches and guidelines so that we are able to follow. So, he has acquitted himself quite well and he continues to do that. That is why, Madam Speaker, in 2018 some of us are going to vote for him. I thank you.
HON. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, first of all, let me say a very good afternoon to you. Secondly, let me equally congratulate Hon. Dr. Khupe. It would be amiss for an independent candidate not to also append their signature to such a welcome move. I also want to say in line with the Speaker, we wish the President of the MDC-T a speedy recovery. I think that is quite sincere. I think he has been a true democrat for this country and it is only befitting that speedy recovery happens. Equally, the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa and head of
Government Business, we read through the interfaces and listened to the President having to narrate on the ordeal that he went through. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Madam Speaker, I want to begin by agreeing with Hon. Mandipaka on the aspect that the President truly acquitted himself in terms of being here in the House, which he has done very well, but I also want to look at his speech in the First Session of the Eight Parliament - from his previous speeches to the recent one. There was a second, a third and a fourth and this is the fifth.
When I decided to go through everything, I still have not read anywhere where from the first session speech there has been any improvement in terms of the economy of the country. I see that it was left out and as such, it is really what makes this country move forward.
While we enjoy the peace through the defence forces of this country, peace without economic transformation is not peace. In fact, where the economy is so tough, that very same peace can turn into unknown issues because hunger by its nature – when people are starving and are not doing well, they are likely to respond to that. So, I want to really emphasise on what it is that has been achieved. It is pretty clear that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members on my left,
could you please try and lower your voices.
HON. MLISWA: It is pretty clear that the ZIMASSET, the economic blue print, is now not being talked about. Neither have they come up with anything to replace ZIMASSET. It is not talked about and there is nothing to replace it. So, which economic path are we on?
So ZIMASSET, in terms of it ensuring that the economy comes in, there is a 10 Point Plan again, which came through to try and convince the electorate that ZIMASSET was operational. The 10 Point Plan again, nothing has happened. I would have loved hearing the President responding to ZIMASSET. I would have loved the President to respond to the 10 - Point Plan – how effective has it been in addressing the issues that he set up.
Up to day, and I say this over and over again, the Executive’s expenditure is way too high despite the Executive, especially the Cabinet
Ministers, not being able to discharge their duties professionally. Parliament, I must commend, despite us being underfunded, we still have managed to come to Parliament. We are going into elections and the CDF is not there and many of my colleagues that I am looking at are likely not to come back, not because they have not worked, but because there are no resources. The CDF of $50 000 will go a long way in ensuring that people, even the very same ZIMASSET document is supported because if I am given $50 000 and I dig a borehole or build a school, it is within ZIMASSET.
So, even as Members of Parliament, I am sad to say that while some of us are fortunate enough to have a bit more resources than others, but the aspect of resources must not be the one that puts a person into power. It must be the policies that the Government of the day has. So, in terms of the CDF, it is in a mess. We have not seen that. This is the final session. They have promised people what they will do because of the blue print document which is there, the manifesto and the policies which were there. They now cannot go back to the people because the people are saying they are lying. With all this publicity people think we were given the CDF. We have not been given the CDF. So, I would have liked the President to ensure that Members of Parliament are equally capacitated because Members of Parliament who are capacitated are able to do more for the country and so forth.
I am going through the legislative agenda. I see that out of the 206 pieces of legislation identified as requiring alignment to the Constitution, only 30 remain outstanding. That is misleading, totally misleading. We have got 455 that need to be aligned. Out of the 455, we have not even done 50. This is serious. We have not done 50, so what are we doing? So, I do not know who misinformed the President. It was well worded that out of the 206 pieces of legislation identified, what about the 455? There are some which certainly were supposed to come which are of fundamental importance.
You have got the provincial governments which must be there. It is in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, the Constitution says that there must be provincial councils in place. It is not there. You talk about not having resources, so why in the first place did we even have a Constitution with that when we do not have resources. So to me, it shows that we have failed. We have failed the people of Zimbabwe by not having to deliver from a constitutional point of view because all of us here have the mandate to respect the Constitution and to ensure that the Constitution moves on. We are seen wanting.
Elections were held, people used resources for them to be there and they are still waiting for the Constitution to work. That is not happening. How will people have faith in the Constitution? When they were told to go and be elected, they were elected but they are still waiting for offices up to now. Another election is coming and nothing has been done in this Parliament to address that. Whether to amend it or not, nothing has been done. It is still there. So to me, when you do not respect your own Constitution, then you do not respect the will of the people and if you do not respect the will of the people, then there is anarchy. It builds from that when we do not respect the Constitution and I think constitutionalism is important.
You have got the aspect of the police as well, in terms of the human rights governance which must be there. I personally was involved in the elections in Hurungwe West, where the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission was very clear in saying that the police in this country and many others, must undergo training before elections. This addresses that very need because whether you like it or not, without addressing that, people will complain that the elections were not free, fair and credible because a certain section of the Constitution was not aligned. So to me, it is very important that as we are pushing towards that, this is done. We cannot pick what we want and say this we have done and so forth.
We also have the one on the public officer’s accountability. As Parliament, as you know Madam Speaker, we are leading in ensuring that there is a lifestyle audit on us. That is okay but what about the public officers, the Ministers, the President and the Vice Presidents. Everyone must go through this because you cannot talk about the public officers not coming and telling us what they have before they are in power. No wonder why this corruption goes unabated because all they do is plunder and nothing else. When you plunder and know there is somebody watching you, you are likely to stop because you know they are going to ask me what I have.
Right now, we must be able to know that when I got into
Parliament or as a Minister I had three cars, after that I have got four cars emanating from a, b, c, d. We cannot ask our Ministers about that. The public officers cannot be asked about that. So, here is a loophole for people to just plunder, especially where the Ministers have the power to appoint the boards. These boards are being appointed just to plunder.
Whenever one is going according to what the Minister wants, the board
Parliament, we have oversight but we do not have powers like the South African Parliament has to scrutinise and appoint these parastatal heads. I want to thank the President for having recognised what Parliament did in saying, we cannot have Madam Mildred Chari being taken out and bring in Ndudzo, yet she clearly was doing her job in exposing. So, if you look at the exposure that she has done, the
President must be briefed by the Auditor General in terms of how Government has been functioning. That is the only way the President can fire his Ministers. This Ministry’s performance is like this, but there is no framework that is used.
The Auditor General’s reports and recommendations are critical in terms of doing that and I think if as Parliament we push for those recommendations, Parliament will go a long way in achieving a lot. There will be more credibility for us than anything else. I want to really thank all Members of Parliament for having pushed that. That showed that we were one when it came to corruption; that showed we were serving people. I would like to applaud that and that spirit must continue, especially Members from ZANU PF. I really saw Mbuya Nehanda rising on that one, that manga magarirwa musi uya muchitaurira vakuru venyu kuti aiwa zvamurikuita handizvo. Rambai muchizviita, musingasarudze faction aiwa. Rovai chokwadi sechokwadi.
On the Land Developers’ Bill - Madam Speaker, I am in an urban constituency, which whether you like it or not, I have to say this. This Government, which is a ZANU PF Government, is the godfather of the land barons. There has never been any other Government since 1980, except the Government of National Unity (GNU). They must deal with land barons. Failure to deal with land barons, you are losing elections.
People have no title deeds; their money is fleeced left, right and centre. To me, the reason why the Land Developers’ Bill is coming is admittedly ZANU PF admitting that we cannot deal with land barons. I am emotional because I am in Norton and I am seeing Kingsdale,
Galloway, ZAHA, and these companies which are there, and absolutely people without title deeds who have brought their properties 20 years ago, fully paid for. The land barons are coming again saying no, you have to pay VAT but 20 years ago there was no VAT. So, how are we waking up just one day and things have changed? One family, the father passes on who bought the land, the mother is kicked out with the kids and they re-sale that to somebody else - that cannot happen.
It is happening because without title, you have no ownership. In the rural areas, people must have title. This is the way we should go. Title brings ownership and there is no intellectual property rights, imperative investors coming into our country. They want to know what you have. Even in terms of the land reform, the failure in the land reform; as long as you have taken State land, there must be title; they must be privatised so that they have title.
The reason why the banks are not giving money is because they are saying there is no title. Everybody agrees that the land reform happened but give people title so that when they fail to pay back, the bank is able to sell that farm or repossess it and recover their money. You cannot nationalise land. Kenya has privatised land, Mozambique is privatising land and why cannot Zimbabwe privatise land? All what we want is production at the end of the day. To me, it is critical that this Land Developers Bill is certainly looked into but without us naming certain big people, we are wasting our time.
I really implore with my heart because the people in Norton belong to ZANU PF, MDC and so forth. They are suffering because there are certain heavy weights that you cannot name in your caucuses. I implore the Chief Whip from the ruling party to come hard on Ministers and so forth, they are accountable to you at the end of the day. Whatever name they have, if you want you can even invite me to your caucus and I will give you the names of the people.
It is pretty clear that when Minister Chombo was Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, he presided over this. So, for the first time, whether he differs with Minister Kasukuwere or not in terms of the land barons, he is a small boy. I repeat, Hon.
Kasukuwere as Minister cannot deal with this issue because it has to be dealt with by Hon. Minister Chombo who was the Minister of Local Government for a long time. If you look back and I talk about the evidence in Norton, all these land barons in Norton were born during his tenure. And; being born during his tenure, how can you then investigate him when he is now the Minister of Home of Affairs? These policemen will go to him and say, chef I have come for you - this is the corruption which I speak emotionally that is killing this country.
There are people sitting in these offices letting the President down. They are busy parcelling land to the people, even to the First Family because they want to be in power yet people are suffering. We shall not hesitate as this Parliament to name and shame and this Land Developers’ Bill is incomplete without the Hon. Minister Chombo being investigated as the Minister who was in charge of this. By the time Hon.
Kasukuwere came into this Ministry, there was no more land. Land had been finished. I speak on behalf of the people of Norton who have cried, even ZANU PF people who have cried about this. To me, it is critical that we name and shame in this last Session so that we are known to be true Members of Parliament who stood for people. We cannot have a nation which has people without title deeds. That does not work, so this certainly means that…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think you are
left with very few minutes.
HON. MLISWA: Again on corruption, once all this is happening, I totally agree with Hon. Mandipaka in terms of corruption, there is no political will on the governing party to deal with corruption. We now have a situation where, with due respect, I respect the First Family and the First Lady but the First Lady cannot interfere into the duties of the
Executive. She cannot stop …
HON. MARIDADI: I move that we increase the Hon. Member’s
time so that he can talk and finish his debate. Thank you.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I second.
HON. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, with due respect, Hon. Vice
Mnangagwa was very clear when he responded to an issue which happening at rally. He said it is a ZANU PF issue, it is non-Executive, but when the First Lady is interfering into the work of the Executive then we are asking - what Executive powers has she got to stop an investigation on Jonathan Moyo? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – If I go through my Constitution, I do not see the Executive powers of the First Lady. I see the Executive powers of the President.
For me, corruption is no big deal, we will not deal with it because the First Family itself is not willing to deal with corrupt issues. The President comes here all the time in Parliament - zero tolerance on corruption. The level of corruption when he talked about it was at 30% but now it is at 120%. It is even irreversible. So, what is he going to explain to the nation about that? Parliament has many a times stood up and pointed out the US$15 billion which went missing and nothing has been said about it.
Now, we have issues where we have got shortage of foreign currency in the country which the President was supposed to talk on, we see luxurious cars being bought and it is there I the public. A US$45 million rand house is being bought when hospitals do not have medicines or ambulances; when children do not have schools and so forth. Where are we going at the end of the day? The aspect of forex is critical – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. You
are making a lot of voice. ADI-8920, a Ford Ranger and silver in colour is blocking others. Hon. Member, can you proceed – [HON.
MARIDADI: Nyatsorova pana First Lady, patsokodzere.] –
HON. MLISWA: If any of you are on tweeter, face book or on any social media – two Rolls Royce worth $5.4 million have been bought. We need to be sensitive to the plight of the Zimbabwean people
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. You will get your own chance to speak – [AN HON. MEMBERS:
HON. MLISWA: We need to be sensitive to the plight of the Zimbabwean people and no matter how much money you have, there is a time when you must buy a good car and there is a time when you must not buy a good car and bear with the public. What do the people say about such expenditure? All the foreign currency which is being preserved is going into extra spending, on extravagant things.
[Hon. Maridadi having handed a bottle of water to Hon. Mliswa.]
Thank you Hon. Maridadi. If the water had come from that side, I would have doubted but it is alright that it has come from you – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Let me just close by saying that it is important that we really have the plight of the people of Zimbabwe and in our expenditure, we cannot be extravagant at this point in time when there is even no foreign currency to do anything. The Command Agriculture has been excellent but that must be complemented by industry taking off. Without industry, we still have not gotten to where we are supposed to get to.
Thank you very much Madam Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. CHASI: Thank you Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not the issue, would you please leave the Hon. Member to debate – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – Order!
HON. CHASI: This is exactly the conduct… – [HON.
MARIDADI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, you will get your chance to debate – [HON. MARIDADI: Zvirikungobuda, handisini ndikutaura, zvirikungobuda.] –
HON. CHASI: This is the conduct that the President asked us not to engage in – [HON. MUNENGAMI: V.P munhu anorespectiwa but momutuka futi kuBindura.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order, order Hon. Maridadi. May you proceed?
HON. CHASI: I just want to touch on very few points. The
President’s speech presented us with a very loaded –[+HON. D.
SIBANDA: May you speak aloud, we cannot hear you.] -
+HON. CHASI: I am trying to speak up but as I speak, the Hon. Members are making more noise. We should take note that as Hon. Members, we have a lot of work to do. Therefore, it is not expected of us to behave like children and making so much unnecessary noise. This is an august House and we need to respect it. We also need to respect one another – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members on my
left, this is my last warning.
HON. MUNENGAMI: May the Hon. Member use one language. He has been using Ndebele, Shona and English. May be, he will end up using sign language.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chasi, which language
are you debating in?
HON. CHASI: Well, I am being accosted with so many languages – [Laughter.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member! You are
entitled to use only one language out of the languages that you know.
Just use one language.
HON. CHASI: I will oblige Mr. Speaker, but can I just make a point. Can I just explain myself? I am being accosted by so many languages and I happen to be privileged to be able to speak so many of the sixteen languages that are contained in the Constitution.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. I hear
you but I have said, out of the sixteen languages that you know, you only use one language.
HON. CHASI: I will speak in English and I am going to address a few points that arise from the President’s speech. We have a very loaded programme and if we are organised which as of today, if we continue with the approach that I have witnessed today, we are not going anywhere near completing this programme.
I want to suggest a few approaches that I think if we adopt, we are going to be able to finish the task at hand. I am suggesting that we have a number of protocols which if we prioritise, we will be able to dispose of them very quickly because in terms of the Constitution, once we have signed International Agreements; there is really is not much debate. We are required by law to internalize them as a country and dispose of them very quickly.
I want to suggest that we carry out an audit as a country, of the Constitution because there is debate as to whether the laws that are said to be outstanding from the point of view of alignment with the
Constitution are in fact correct. I am suggesting that we must carry out a Constitutional audit and see whether in fact the figures that are being bandied about are in fact correct so that we have an implementation matrix for each Ministry. Each Ministry can then work out the statutes that they are supposed to come out with in terms of the Constitution. I do not think that without such a process, we will actually adequately work towards finalisation of the alignment process. We are already way behind in terms of this process. That is my suggestion.
I now want to focus on a very important Bill which was brought in by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, which is in respect of State owned enterprises with respect to corporate governance. This is a very important Bill. There has been discussion here centering around the turnaround of the economy. My understanding is that we have well in excess of seventy (70) State owned enterprises; most of which are really in an extremely bad state. From my research, I think there is probably one I have found which is in compliance with internationally accepted corporate governance principles. I think that is Tel One which has been able to publicise its financials. It is running according to generally accepted corporate governance principles.
Now, State-owned companies are very important in our economy and if they run properly and are properly managed, they would play a very important role in terms of turning around our economy. I want to suggest that I have had a very detailed study of this Bill and I see that the proposal is to have a unit in the President’s office which is responsible for manning these State-owned enterprises from a corporate Governance stand point.
Some of them go for years without a board; some of them do not publicize or publish their financial reports and so forth. Some of them do not even make profits and profit is not a consideration et cetera. Of course, with State enterprises, that may not be the primary concern and I do not think that a unit would be the appropriate structure to run the numerous concerns that are in our State owned parastatals. I would suggest that we actually have a corporate governance regulatory authority, because these parastatals are so numerous and with too many issues to have a minute unit in the President’s office to be considering all these issues.
I thought I should just raise this very important issue which I think would have a huge impact on our economy. That Mr. Speaker, in a much summarized form is the issue that I thought I should raise. This is a matter that we need to prioritize in Parliament because it has a huge impact on the economy. I also think that the proposal in the Bill of having a data bank of people that would be directors or board members in State owned enterprises is very important. I do not think it is proper that the appointment of board members should be a sole effort by the Minister, because we have a problem that every time there is a reshuffle, there is also a similar shuffle of board members in parastatals without a proper consideration of the necessary skills that we need to run the specific parastatals.
So, one asks the question to say what is the real motivation for the changes in those parastatals. So, if one has an independent board of corporate governance experts who would extrapolate from a big board of skills and get people that would then be experts to run specific parastatals, I think that would be very good for our State -owned enterprises. That is my five sense worth of contributions for today. I thank you very much.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I
move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume, Wednesday, 20th September, 2017.
RESTORATION OF MINES AND MINERALS AMENDMENT BILL
2015 [H.B. 19, 2015] ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir, tomorrow Wednesday, 20th September, 2017, I will move that the motion on Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill 2015 [H.B. 19, 2015], which was superseded by the prorogation of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper, at the stage at which the Bill had reached in terms of Standing Order No. 161(1).
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT, (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA), the House adjourned
at One Minute past Four o’clock p.m.