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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 20 October 2015 42-15
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 20th October, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS TO THE PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR IN
THE HON. SPEAKER: Travel arrangements to the Pre-Budget
Seminar are as follows:
Only Hon. Members from the following provinces will be driving to the Victoria Falls and will be issued with fuel coupons. These are Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Bulawayo, Midlands and Masvingo Province. Hon. Members from the remaining provinces will fly from Harare to Victoria Falls accordingly. Be advised that owing to budgetary constraints, Hon. Members who are not expected to drive will not be issued with fuel coupons.
Flight details will be as follows: The first flight is at 12.30 p.m. and the second is at 15.30 p.m. respectively on Friday, 30th October, 2015. The first return flight is at 11.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 3rd November,
2015 and the second return flight will be at 14.00 p.m. on the same day. Check in time is one hour before the departure time. I have asked the staff to put all these details in your pigeon holes and in your group
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Pre-Budget Briefing will be held at
Pandhari Lodge on Thursday, 22nd October, 2015, starting from 8.00
a.m. up to 1.00 p.m. the same day. The bus will leave at 6.45 a.m. sharp.
INVITATION TO A MALARIA SENSITISATION WORKSHOP
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Minister of Health and Child Care is inviting Hon. Members to a half day Malaria Sensitisation Workshop to be held in the National Assembly Chamber on Wednesday, 21st
October, 2015 from 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.
ECONOMIC LITERACY WORKSHOP
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Economic Literacy Workshop for Chairpersons and members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee has been rescheduled to Monday, 26th October, 2015, starting from 8.00 a.m. up to 5.30 p.m. at Pandhari Lodge. Each Chairperson should be accompanied by an Hon. Member from their Committee. Please note that payments have already been done for this seminar and attendance therefore is compulsory, otherwise we lose out on the payment plan.
APPOINTMENT AS GOVERNMENT CHIEF WHIP
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Lovemore Matuke has been appointed as the Government Chief Whip. Is he here? Congratulations.
TABLING OF NARRATIVE REPORTS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to bring to the attention of the
House that Section 12 of the Audit Office Act, Chapter 22:18 states that
‘Any report transmitted in terms of Section 10 or Section 11(a) to the Minister or (b) to the appropriate Minister, shall be laid by the Minister or appropriate Minister as the case may be, before the National Assembly on one of the seven days on which the National Assembly sits, next after he or she receives such a report. Where the Minister or appropriate Minister fails to lay any report before the National Assembly in terms of Subsection (1), within the period specified therein, the Auditor-General shall transmit a copy of such a report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, for the Speaker to lay it before the National
On Friday, 4th September, 2015, the Auditor-General submitted the narrative reports on Local Authorities for the Financial Years ended 31st December, 2013 and 2014 respectively, under the Ministry of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, in terms of the Audit
Office Act [Chapter 22:18]. In view of the fact that the relevant Minister has not tabled the said reports within the specified timeframe, I therefore lay upon the table the aforesaid reports in terms of Section 12(2) of the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18].
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1, 2 and 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been dealt with.
RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN TRADE INSURANCE (ATI)
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND
COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): I move the motion standing in my
WHEREAS, the African Trade Insurance treaty (ATI) was concluded in Grand Bay, Mauritius on 18th May, 2000 and was signed by Zimbabwe, in Lilongwe, Malawi on 14th October, 2011, at the 15th
COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit;
WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe is desirous of becoming party to the African Trade Insurance Agency;
WHEREAS in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe [Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013], provides that an International Treaty, Convention, Protocol or Agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;
WHEREAS the entry into force of the aforesaid (ATI) Agreement is conditional upon its acceptance by the parties in accordance with their respective Constitutional procedures and Financial Obligations;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe budgeted for and sourced some of the finances required for membership joining fee in order for a member state to fully benefit;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(3) of the
Constitution [Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013], this House resolves that the aforesaid ATI Agreement be and is hereby approved for accession/domestication.
1.1 In terms of Subsection (2) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, an International Treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority shall be
subject to approval by Parliament.
2.1 The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), is an agency of Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). Zimbabwe is a founder and signatory of COMESA.
2.2 The ATI was formed in 2001 as a multilateral institution open to membership from African countries, with the mandate to promote and support international and intra-regional trade and investment on behalf of African Member States through the use of insurance, reinsurance, coinsurance, guarantees and other financial instruments.
2.3 The idea of the ATI originated from a request from a group of African countries to the World Bank, to set up an insurance scheme to cover credit and political risk on investments and trade transactions into, within and out of Africa, that was hindering growth of productive activity in Africa.
2.4 The Agency has the capacity to provide as well as facilitate access to practical, cost effective financial risk mitigation to facilitate trade credit and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This is critically important in supporting exports and imports, attracting FDI, growth of productive activity and reduction of trade costs in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular.
2.5 Zimbabwe was invited to attend the Ninth General Meeting of ATI held in Kenya, in May 2009, at which an invitation for Zimbabwe to join the Agency was extended. As a follow up to the invitation, Zimbabwe submitted a letter of membership application in September, 2010.
2.6 The application was considered and approved at the Ninth
Board Meeting of ATI on 26th November, 2010, in Kenya, subject to Zimbabwe fulfilling all the remaining requirements as provided for in the Agreement Establishing ATI.
3.0 GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE OF THE ATI
3.1. The ATI is an Insurance Agency of the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
3.2 ATI is an international multi-lateral institution with international legal personality, autonomous and enjoys administrative and financial independence.
3.3 The ATI is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
4.0 MEMBERSHIP OF ATI
4.1 Membership of ATI is open to African member states as well as any other country/organisation that pays membership fees and purchases shares in the ATI.
4.2 Currently, there are 19 African Member States of ATI, some of which include Benin, Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ghana, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda,
Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
4.3 Among the 19 countries, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and
Zimbabwe are yet to ratify and complete full membership whilst Benin, Gabon, Ivory Coast and Togo are yet to sign, ratify and complete the membership process.
4.4 The ATI encourages equity investment from other entities in promoting trade and investment in Africa such as non-African States, international financial development institutions, export credit agencies and the private sector as well as co-operating partners.
4.5 Reputable institutions that have joined the ATI are COMESA
PTA Bank, PTA Re-Insurance Company (ZEP Re), Africa Reinsurance
(Africa Re), European Union and European Investment Bank (EIB), World Bank, African Development Bank (AFDB), USAID and AIG among others.
4.6 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
has applied to join the ATI as a block.
5.0 THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY
THE ATI AS WELL AS THE ATI BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP The current range of insurance products includes the following;
- Comprehensive non-payment insurance cover for private companies, parastatals and sovereign obligation.
This is an insurance police offered to protect accounts receivable from loss due to credit risks such as protracted default, insolvency or bankruptcy. ii. Unfair calling of bonds.
Unfair calling of bonds insurance protects exporters and contractors against the calling of on demand bonds, such as advance payment, bid performance, retention or warrant bonds where they are not in default of their contractual obligations.
iii. Political, violence, civil disturbance, terrorism and sabotage insurance.
The political risk is a risk that an investor’s returns can suffer as a result of political instability such as terrorism, riots and civil wars. iv. Political Risk Insurance for Trade and Investment (short, medium and long term);
- Mobile Asset Cover. Mobile assets are motorized equipment on wheels such as vehicles, fork lifts and tractors amongst others. Returnable or usable containers are also mobile assets and vi.Inter and Intra-Regional and Domestic Credit Insurance.
Credit insurance is payment protection cover.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the most important benefit of a regional scheme is the ability to remove investors’ perceptions of the high level of risk in doing business in Africa. Significant benefits will flow to members of ATI as it grows through increase in numbers of African countries becoming members.
5.2 Benefits of ATI covers political and commercial risk insurance compared with stand-alone institutions in Member States. The other benefits are:-
- Economies of scale in operating costs and marketing initiatives from pooled resources in comparison to small volume of trade and investment in individual Member States. This translates into lower transaction costs; ii. Credit insurance protection to exporter against risk of insolvency or payment defaults. Mostly, this package is in form of trade credit insurance purchased by businesses to ensure payment of credit extended by the business; iii. Reduction of the cost of doing business in Africa through the pooled approach; iv. Provides better credit terms to buyers to secure sales improving the competitiveness of products as a result;
- Enabling business to explore opportunities that are normally avoided for fear of non-payment which encourages the growth of businesses; and
- Underwriting skills, the regional approach makes more effective and efficient use of scarce underwriting skills in the region, developing new specialised skills, hence creation of a centre of excellence within the region.
5.3.0 However, the most important benefit of a regional scheme is the ability to remove investors’ perceptions of the high levels of risk in doing business in Africa. It follows that significant benefits will flow to members of ATI as it grows into a truly regional entity and as increasing number of African countries become members.
5.3.1 Zimbabwe will benefit a lot by membership to this insurance scheme as it covers safety and gives assurances, gives confidence to foreign direct investments and transactions by the private companies.
5.3.2 The cover extends to loans that the country will take with financial institutions. The ATI provides an alternative to letters of credit at a lesser cost.
5.3.3 Membership to ATI will provide insurance cover for political and commercial risk up to the value of $900 million. This will contribute to the ease of doing business and enable investments to come
5.3.4 ATI assists in providing debt collections services through their global networks for the private sector.
5.3.5 ATI offer financial intelligence service on buyers giving the financial statuses of buyers of Zimbabwean products. This will enable us to know in advance if our buyers’ financial status is deteriorating.
5.3.6 The ATI has “A” rating as a financial institution which increase the level of confidence for business dealings with countries that are members of the agency.
6.0 KEY ACHIEVEMENTS OF ATI TO DATE
6.1 The ATI is an international multilateral institution with international legal personality, autonomous and enjoys administrative and financial independence. The organisation has made significant strides in development which includes the following in 2009:
- Increased membership from an initial 7 to the present 22, that includes African countries and other organisations; ii.Opened up membership to non-African States and other international financial institutions; iii.Opened field offices in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to continue its expansion in Africa; iv.Provided medium terms political and credit insurance for transactions;
- Increased its shareholders paid up capital from US$46 million to US$96.1 million.
7.0 CAPITAL STOCK AND SHARE SUBSCRIPTION
7.1 ATI has an open-ended capital stock based on an initial authorised nominal capital stock of US$1 billion, made up of 10 000 shares with a value of US$100 000 each which is available for subscription by Member States in accordance with the ATI Treaty.
7.2 The determination of the level of capital investment per Member State is based on the size of the economy and the anticipated level of activity. These are the two main determinants of the appropriate level of capital investment per Member State. The minimum share capital for African States is 75 shares having a par value of US$100 000 each. This translates to $7.5 million which is the minimum share capital contribution required to be a member.
8.0 ZIMBABWE PARTICIPATION IN ATI
8.1 In order to complete its membership of ATI, Zimbabwe is required to
- Accede to the ATI Agreement; ii.Sign a Host Country Agreement; iii.Subscribe and pay a par value of the shares allotted or first installment within sixty (60) days of notifying the ATI of ratification of the ATI Agreement within (Article 7 paragraph
- Sign a Participation Agreement within (30) days of full payment for shares allotted or part payment of installment (Article 5 paragraph 4). That is after sending an instrument of ratification to the Depository of the ATI Treaty. The next Step will be to enter into a participation agreement with the ATI.
8.2 In view of the significant level of enquiries the Agency is receiving for Zimbabwe, the Agency has requested that the membership process be fast tracked so that they can start work in Zimbabwe. Normally, investors enquire to find out if a country has full membership at ATI in order for them to benefit from insurance cover from ATI or inquire about internationally recognised trade insurance cover institution before making a decision to invest. If indeed such enquiries have been made on Zimbabwe it shows that investors are indeed willing to invest in the country.
9.0 STATUS OF PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP
9.1 Zimbabwe’s allotted contribution is US$25 million, equivalent to 250 shares of US$100 000 each. Since Zimbabwe does not have an active programme with the World Bank or AfDB, it has therefore been proposed that subscription and payment for the allotted shares could be made by way of installments linked to the volume and value of trade and investment activities supported by the Agency.
9.2 The first installment would be equal to the minimum capital subscription in Africa States of US$7.5 million (75 shares). The balance of the allotted shares would be subscribed and paid for in two further installments of US$8.75 million (87.5 shares) each.
9.3 The first installment should be done within sixty days of depositing an instrument of ratification with the Depository.
9.4 Zimbabwe approached the African Development Bank (AfDB) to assist in raising funds to pay its subscriptions. A financial structure was arranged so that for every $1 raised by the AfDB,
Government will raise $2.
9.5 The AfDB indicated that it will provide a grant of US$5 million Zimbabwe will raise $10 million to make a total of U$15 million that Zimbabwe will pay towards the purchase of shares. The US$15 million is a portion of the US$25 million allotted to Zimbabwe. The US$15 million payment will surpass the minimum capital requirement of US$7.5 million, giving the country more shares.
9.6 A delegation from African Development Bank (AfDB) head office in Tunisia acknowledged that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had notified (AfDB) that, US$10 million dollars has been mobilised as Government contribution towards the required US$15 million.
9.7. The AfDB team will release US$5 million grant after the RBZ has completed the financial arrangement to release the US$10 million. The US$15 million will acquire shares for Government and enable Zimbabwe to be a member of the ATI. The US$15 million will unlock about US$900 million worth of insurance cover.
9.8 A host agreement will be signed between the Government of
Zimbabwe and the ATI to enable ATI to open a local office in
Zimbabwe that will process applications from Zimbabwe companies.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is therefore recommended that Zimbabwe accede to the Africa Trade Insurance Treaty. This will facilitate Zimbabwe’s membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency.
I hereby move for the approval of this Agreement.
HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Hon. Speaker, mine is not a
debate but I just want to seek clarification from the Hon. Minister. The idea of becoming a member of ATI is very noble, but I think there are two sticking points that I wish to seek clarification on. Firstly, is the issue of US$10 million dollars that this country must raise. One of the reasons we do not have good relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank is that, we do not pay our debts. Where are we going to get US$10 million because that money is needed immediately? We have already been given US$5 million and we need to match that amount, a dollar for two and we need to raise US$10 million.
Secondly, Hon. Minister, this organization is not only about credit insurance, it is also about investment insurance and political risk. The
Hon. Minister’s speech does not say anything about political risk and I think that is a very important factor for this Parliament to understand before we are able to say, can we go ahead and allow the Government to sign this Treaty. I want the Minister to say something about political risk. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
Allow me to initially congratulate the new Chief Whip, Hon. Matuke for being appointed Chief Whip for this Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear.] – I rise to support this deserving motion by the Hon. Minister. I would like to implore this august House to resolve to support the idea that we become a member of ATI because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages that are there in becoming a member.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this insurance policy is in line with what is anticipated from our economic blueprint, ZIM ASSET. The Minister has ably informed this august House that, if we become a member, we will be able to access funds which are important in infrastructure development, that is, the construction of dams, railway lines and a lot of things that we want to improve in our economy. We are quite aware that our economy has been ravaged by illegal economic sanctions and the persistent droughts.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I support the idea that this Government secures some funds to ensure that we become a member. Instead of spending our energy as a nation, in political bickering, it is paramount that we are indebted to the people of this country. The people of this country expect us to ensure that we improve their livelihoods and provide a service. I want to believe that the motion that has been brought before this House is in the right direction because once we become a member, we have a source of funding which we are going to use for the betterment of our people. I therefore support the motion.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there is talk of political risk, in a country that exercise multi-party democracy you will also anticipate political disturbances and riots. In the event of such political disturbances and riots where there is destruction, we need to fall back on something. Once we become a member of ATI, we will have a source of funding to recuperate and mend the destruction that may be caused by political disturbances or violence.
We envisage that the false impression created about this country by those in the west – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to retake that with clarity. I will repeat, the negative perception that has been built around this country by those in the west that we are a highly political and credit-risk country, has to be corrected. Once we become a member, I think these countries in the west are going to see us in a favourable light. I therefore support that
Parliament moves with speed to ensure that we approve this agreement.
Mr. Speaker Sir, by joining this insurance facility, we are going to undoubtedly improve or boost our economy. We are told that the benefits are immediate and I therefore implore this august House to support this motion. We need funding in various economic areas; some of our roads are in bad state and they need to be rehabilitated, macadamized and repaired. If we can have a source of income where we would get some funding to channel, specifically towards those areas that are very critical to the livelihoods of our people, it would be better.
This is in line with ZIM ASSET.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we must not forget that we are always hit by persistent droughts and the way out is to make sure that we install irrigation schemes in various communities. Therefore, the construction of dams and irrigation schemes is quite vital and relevant for the betterment of our people. We also need to be ensured against political risk and I will not emphasize. Enemies within and without, survive and prey on political disturbances and turmoil. As a country, we must be found prepared. I would like to congratulate the Minister for bringing this motion to this august House and implore Hon. Members to support the motion and resolve to agree that we become a member of the ATI. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to express a concern that we are being asked to support the motion; however, we are worried that the Executive is taking this august House for granted. Amongst other things, the relevant documents pertaining to this matter have not been availed to Hon. Members of Parliament. Therefore, we find ourselves in the predicament that we are not acquainted with what the Hon. Deputy Minister is really talking about.
I believe that it is good practice for the Executive to furnish us with the relevant documents by putting them in our pigeon holes. I do not know whether the documents relating to this particular matter have been furnished to us so that if need be, we can carry out our own research so that when we come to this august House, we are able to participate in a meaningful way. Mr. Speaker Sir, as it stands, we are simply being asked to rubber stamp, to simply endorse something which we are not sufficiently familiar with. I really would like to implore that when it comes to matters of this nature, it is important that these documents be circulated in our pigeon holes so that we can acquaint ourselves with the same and carry out some research.
I am not even sure whether the relevant portfolio committee has given its own input. I believe that in terms of the Constitution, where we are required to ratify anything, it is important that we do so from an informed position. I am therefore speaking as a matter of principle that at this point in time, most Hon. Members are at sea, they do not really know what we are talking about. That is my concern Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I rise to contribute to this very important debate. The Hon. Deputy Minister has brought before this House a very important proposal. She has put before us a desire for Zimbabwe to continue to improve its relationship with other countries, not only to improve its relationship with other countries but also to create the necessary confidence that is born out of building solid foundations of relationships between and amongst countries. The Hon. Deputy Minister has emphasised the need for Zimbabwe, through this august House to ratify our membership to the African Trade Insurance
Protocol (ATI) which was concluded in Grand Bay, Mauritius, on the
18th May, 2000 and …
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Member?
HON. MAONDERA: My point of order Hon. Speaker is that
Hon. Gonese raised an important point that as Members of Parliament, we did not have sight of that document. I am surprised that we are debating something which we did not see. These are the things that will lead – I saw some people clapping for wrong speeches here because – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We should not have a culture whereby, just because something has been raised, we just clap hands. So, I am suggesting that until we have seen that document, we stand over that motion until we have gone through it. Thank you.
HON. SPEAKER: Can I make some correction to your point of order? First, Hon. Gonese was not raising a point of order. He was simply making an observation and therefore, there was no need for the Chair to respond at that point in time. Order, order at the back. Secondly, at some point, the Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘they have got eyes they cannot see, they have got ears they cannot hear’. That is precisely where some of the Hon. Members find themselves. On the 30th September, 2015, 400 copies of the said Treaty were distributed into the pigeon holes. So, if some members did not bother to read it, they cannot come to this Hon. House and say we did not see the document. It was distributed and I have checked the record, accordingly the distribution was done. So, the debate shall continue – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I was at the stage of supporting vehemently the proposal made by the Minister for Zimbabwe to join other countries in Africa in ensuring that we bring confidence not only to Zimbabwe and the region but, to Africa and the world at large. As you have rightly pointed out, Hon. Speaker Sir, we have indeed had access to the documentation that was put in our pigeon holes by the Ministry but not only that, we have also had access to many other documents that are available for everyone to read further understanding where the Ministry is coming from.
Hon. Speaker Sir, what I feel proud about this proposal is the fact that it is an African initiative, originating from Africa by Africans. We are saying to those – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – who doubt our capabilities to be masters of our own destiny, here is an example of a fundamental factor that contributes to the teachings, the philosophy of people like the late Kwame Nkrumah that Africa must indeed become its own master in terms not only of political power and control but, also of economic independence.
I would like to thank the Deputy Minister and the Ministry for having come up with this noble initiative that buttresses the teachings of our own leader, His Excellency, Hon. President R. G. Mugabe is indeed
– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – a great proponent of the spirit of Africanism, that spirit of us being masters of our own destiny. Hon.
Speaker Sir, Africa needs to be united. We need to have in the future, the United States of Africa which can only be born out of such initiatives. The strategy is always to begin from your own region within your own area, your own hemisphere and eventually, the whole of Africa. This is but one step of our movement towards the creation of the United States of Africa. The Deputy Minister has indeed propounded various benefits. I will allude to some of the points that she raised. When we go into trade, not only in Africa but with the whole world, we create a condition where banks have confidence in us and this is but one of the benefits that will accrue from our membership and support for this initiative.
Secondly, to the contractors, they will now have the confidence of dealing with each other. We will have the confidence of us as Zimbabwe to deal with other people in other countries because we are assured of guaranteeing the safety of our own investment for exporters and importers, insurers, investors, manufacturers and indeed in our purchases of goods and services as African Governments and African Agencies. It would be a sad day when Zimbabwe will be found saying no to a process which has seen us offer our own lives in order for us not only to be independent, but to be free so that in our political independence, we can give birth to Africa’s economic independence. What the Ministry is trying to do here is to create a foundation for that very important philosophy. Therefore, I would like to stand up to call upon this august
House to totally support the initiative by the Ministry. I thank you Mr.
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I arise to
put my weight to this motion that has been presented in this House. Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe has some of the most expensive banking instruments in South Sahara and also in the world. I say this because any financial instrument that is raised by any bank in Zimbabwe is not recognised internationally. That instrument can only be guaranteed by an A-rated bank. As far as any financial institution in Zimbabwe is concerned, it is deemed not to be A-rated. In that regard, there is always need for a third party guarantee to any of our financial instruments.
Mr. Speaker, the coming in of the ATI buttresses the need for any financial instrument to be secured and also to be less expensive. I say so because any letter of credit that is raised in Zimbabwe at this point in time can only be guaranteed by another bank outside Zimbabwe. I want to give an example of a bank like Eco-Bank. If it raises an LC in Zimbabwe, it has to be guaranteed by an LC from Nairobi, Kenya. This means, our financial instrument from Zimbabwe cannot be guaranteed or accepted by any trade bank anywhere in the world. So, I think that the coming in of this insurance gives traders, those who import/export the flexibility to use financial instruments that actually originate from Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker, the insurance itself also gives us the ability to be contracted by other countries or find jobs in other countries where performance guarantees are also required. So, the insurance itself will give us the flexibility and the ability to have a performance guarantee that is acceptable internationally. Mr. Speaker, if a company from Zimbabwe is contracted by a company outside Zimbabwe to do or perform a certain contract; they normally require a performance guarantee. Performance guarantees that have actually originated from Zimbabwe have been rejected in the past because of the sanctions that this country is experiencing. In that regard, I think that the ATI gives us that leverage to also compete internationally in terms of huge contracts that require performance guarantee. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this motion into this House. I thank you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would want
to add my joy on the insurance issue that has been brought here by the hon. Deputy Minister. In life Hon. Speaker, if a person cannot insure even his/her family or even his fields, he/she is not safe.
At the moment, there are a lot of things that are being damaged in life and we fail to make good the loss. Insurance for a state is a noble idea and I will give you an example of what is happening in Libya and Syria, people are being murdered and whole towns have been razed to the ground. If a country is insured, at the end of a war or even when the country has a drought, they have a redress in the form of insurance. As reasonable hon. members who act with a common purpose, we should support this motion. I feel sorry for hon. members who are not supportive of such developmental issues. Some Hon. Members claim to be educated but they are busy heckling hon. members who would be making their presentations. Mr. Speaker, I urge you to show your teeth by ordering such wayward Hon. Members of Parliament out of the House.
I also come to the issue of our lives as Hon. Members of Parliament. We may be unfortunate to be involved in a plane crash on our way to Namibia in such an event; our loss would be compensated through this type of insurance. Hon. Deputy Minister, my considered view is that this House should have ratified this motion a long time ago.
This insurance is a must-have for our country and I urge all hon. members to endorse this ratification. I thank you.
HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, I would like to congratulate Hon. Matuke on his appointment as Chief Whip – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, regarding this motion that has been brought to Parliament by the Hon. Minister, I would like to remind this august House that the President did sign an agreement in 2012, at the COMESA meeting. Now, if we are people who are organised, we are supposed to make sure that we have got insurance. If anything happens to you, you have a life insurance. Your vehicle, if it crashes, it has insurance. Before you even collect a new vehicle from Croco Motors, you must have insurance. I am surprised with the negative attitude that some of our Hon. Members have.
When you tell yourself that you cannot and think you will fail, you will fail for sure but I am happy that the majority of this House is in support of this ATI. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am actually surprised that Hon. Gonese and Hon. Maridadi were asking for documents. I will be surprised if the Executive has actually presented what is supposed to be done for the country to go forward. Here you are asking for documents in Parliament, yet you were given two weeks to research and you did not research on this issue.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think this is a noble idea. I do not want to waste time repeating what other Hon. Members have said, but I think as a country, we should have an insurance policy. This ATI is one of the noble ideas which the Hon. Minister has brought and I think we should support it. I thank you.
HON. D. SIBANDA: Let me also try and add my voice to the motion currently under consideration. Firstly, let me also, like my other colleagues have done, congratulate Hon. Matuke on his elevation to the position of Chief Whip for the ZANU PF party.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think what I am getting from both sides of the House is that there is nobody who is entirely against the idea of insurance. What is only coming up are certain issues that we believe need to be clarified by the Executive. Amongst the issues that we think need to be clarified, is the aspect that this very protocol was discussed in 2000, according to what the Minister said and today it is 2015. There has been no movement at all to try and ratify this protocol on the part of the Executive. No explanation so far has been given as to why the Government has been hesitant to deal with this protocol for all these years up to now. Mr. Speaker, if we were to hear the reasons behind this delay, then I think it can be very informative to us as Members of
Parliament to then accede to the ratification of this agreement. Without any elaboration of that, it raises some questions and makes us speculate as Members of Parliament.
Secondly, one then begins to question as we are speculating whether this is the appropriate time for this agreement to be ratified. The Minister spoke of the financial implications, that is, the amount of money that has to be paid for the country to be a full member of the ATI. She indicated that $5 million will come as a grant but she does not elaborate where the other $10 million is going to come from and how that amount of money is going to become an extra burden upon the taxpayer of this country. The question that is raised is, at a moment when the Government is actually acknowledging that there is looming starvation and food shortage in this country, and that the Government is struggling to adequately purchase food for the population, then is it more urgent for us to ratify and pay such an amount of money to ratify an agreement instead of us to feed the hungry population in this country.
Those are the questions that I have Mr. Speaker.
I am sure when we talk of insurance, my colleague spoke about motor vehicle insurance. My belief is that you can only insure what you have. When you are talking about motor vehicle insurance, you are insuring a vehicle that you have. Now, when we are talking about trade insurance Mr. Speaker, I think it is only prudent to talk of trade that is in existence. In the case of our country, the only trade that is existent is that of going to purchase bales of second-hand clothes or vehicles. There is nothing that we are entirely manufacturing and selling outside this country. Therefore Mr. Speaker, if we have a one-way kind of trade which is an import trade, one raises the question on whether it is really necessary for us to insure against import trade because we are not exporting anything at.
Mr. Speaker, I think what has been touched on is that this insurance is trying to cushion us against perceived country risk that we have. Like the previous speaker said, I do not think that this will be the ultimate solution to deal with the country risk that this country has. What is happening in trying to move the ratification of this deal at this moment is what we can call in my language, Tonga kwampampa. It means just blindly trying to get a solution to a huge problem that you have got no idea on how to resolve. Mr. Speaker, kwampampa is what is happening here – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- .
We all know that in terms of country risk, including political risk and other sources of risk, this country ranks high amongst other countries. It ranks even higher than other countries like the DRC and Sudan that are at war. I believe that before we begin to blindly look for solutions to our economic problems, it is high time we deal with the real root problems of our country risk. Those are the most urgent things that we need to deal with rather than us engaging ourselves and blindly soliciting for solutions to problems that will not be resolved.
I believe Mr. Speaker, in any insurance and this particular type of insurance that we are talking about, is not like, even the Hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that nineteen members now belong to this scheme and that we will all be asked to contribute the same amount of money. I did not hear the periodical contributions that are supposed to be made by Hon. Members to this insurance scheme. I believe that country risk is different from country to country and therefore Zimbabwe as a country, its risk is rated differently from that of Zambia and that of South Africa for example. What periodical contributions are we required as a country to make towards this insurance scheme and do we think, looking at the level of our country risk, we have got the means to sustain those contributions that are supposed to be made?
It is my view, Hon. Speaker, that we should deal with the real causes of our country risk, the rule of law issues, the issues to do with human rights, our political dispensation and issues to do with whether we are a country that politically one can easily determine that future. Those are the real issues that we need to deal with when it comes to our risk factors. Not for us to go around and think that we want to solve our problems.
HON. CHASI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I also rise to add my voice in support of the domestication of this protocol. I think the real issue that we ought to be asking is why has it taken so long and not whether or not to. I think it is an important entry point for Zimbabwean industries to trade with other countries. This is a completely apolitical treaty. It is going to enable our banks to insure corporate loans, it is going to assist our insurance companies to insure goods that Zimbabwean companies are sending out or importing into this country. It is also going to enable investors to take a much more positive outlook on Zimbabwe as well as enabling contractors. We are busy right now negotiating with various investors that would like to invest in Zimbabwe and this is a key consideration that they will be looking at.
Zimbabwe is an active player internationally in trade. The fact that our economy is not at its peak does not mean that we cannot begin to prepare for the good times ahead. This is a regional arrangement through COMESA, of which we are a member and I do not believe that we should be putting ourselves in a corner and creating a pariah state out of ourselves. We should be actively engaging both regional and international players and I think this treaty is very important. So, on this note, I would like to compliment the Ministry for taking this initiative and opening the doors for industry and commerce to engage and prepare for further trade. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me an opportunity to lend my voice in support of this noble motion, this noble venture. I want to start at the tail end because every Hon. Member who is here in this House who knows that this Government is for the people, by the people, and with the people as enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution would agree with the engagement of the global community using one of these moves.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to repeat this prayer that the Ministry has.
‘Now therefore in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment Number 20 Act (2013), this House resolves that the aforesaid ATI Agreement be and is hereby approved for accession and domestication.’
So, why do I start at the tail end? Because it is given that the likeminded developmental Hon. Members agree that the re-engagement process with the global community starts right at the tail end.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we are working towards giving the global community the right perception, the positive perception about the ease of doing business here in Zimbabwe and those that we are trying to engage are in a global community which is now like a football team, where you know that all the ground is covered by a few people. So, it is folly for us to try and distance ourselves using or not going into policies that are globally oriented.
I want to add my voice and in the same vein, I would like to say Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of minerals. The former speaker did not know that Zimbabwe has got a lot of resources that it can insure. He lost the plot when he said you want to insure what you have. We have got more than what we are insuring now, if it was to be counted in terms of resources. I suggest that the former speaker, Hon. Sibanda sits down and listens to this. Now that he is running away, I still want you to
know that I am calling for the criminalisation of those that are calling for sanctions for this nation. We should be moving a motion in this Parliament to criminalise those that call for sanctions so that we speak with one voice in this House. The time is up where we should be calling for sanctions and still try and come into this House and pretend as though everything is normal – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Everyone should call for the removal of sanctions in-toto and call for the reengagement of the global community in in-toto.
Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst I call for the criminalisation of those that call for sanctions for this nation, I would want, as I wind up, to call for the decriminalisation of artisanal mining where we are getting a lot of our resources. I thank you.
*HON. MACHINGURA: [ Speech not recorded due to technical
HON. SPEAKER: Order, I think there is some breakdown in the interpretation system. Can the Hon. Member speak in English?
HON. MACHINGURA: I will try Mr. Speaker although I was
going to be very comfortable delivering my speech in the vernacular. I will therefore attempt to use the language that you have imposed upon me – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
There are priorities in life and sometimes we differ because our priorities also differ. I would take for example; if each of us here was given some money, some people in this House would dash to buy sanitary pads, – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - whilst others will go and buy maize. So, the timing … – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. MISIHAIRABWI MUSHONGA: On a point of order Mr.
Speaker. Our Constitution speaks about issues of equality and non discrimination and even in our language in the House; I think it should show that we are not being discriminatory. I think that particular issue of comparing sanitary pads to maize is problematic – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon Members. I do not see
where the problem is in terms of the point of order. We all know that sanitary pads are very fashionable and they are a necessity, so there should not be any derogatory inclinations about sanitary pads. Hon.
Member, you may continue.
HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am not going
to comment about the interruption, but I will proceed as I started from the word go. I was actually talking about priorities. The fact that the Minister brought in the insurance issue means that it is a priority at this moment on their part and we accept that whole-heartedly. We are also hoping that once we have insured our industry, we will also awaken it.
I come from a rural background where we have got large fields of agricultural products that bring in large sums of money into the country.
We do not want those to be disturbed by whoever or whatever thing. That is why I am supporting this motion whole-heartedly. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. SPEAKER: In terms of our Standing Orders, we should
avoid repeating what has been stated. So, those that will contribute now should avoid repetition please.
HON. NYANHONGO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I also rise to
support the motion brought in by the Minister. Yes, indeed, the trade insurance is going to be a very good mechanism for trade between Zimbabwe and other countries, because it is not possible for us to be smoothly trading with other countries without having that insurance. Also bearing in mind that most of our African countries have also already joined that insurance, therefore Zimbabwe must not be left out as it will be difficult for the country to be able to smoothly trade with other countries in the region as well as outside the continent. So, I rise to strongly support the motion that has been read by the Hon. Minister. I want to thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND
COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): I would like to thank the Hon.
Members for the lively debate that was quite enriching. All the points given are very meaningful to us as a Ministry as we forge ahead. I am saying as we forge ahead because the general view of the House is in support of the motion. I should say, what went into my ears is that it is being supported by both sides. There are concerns and issues needing clarity that have been raised by Hon. Members which I will attempt to address but I am riding on the premise that we are all in agreement and there is no one who is saying no to us domesticating ATI as a country.
The concerns that came from Hon. Maridadi are with regards to two issues; one on payment and the other on political risk. In my presentation, before I went to payment, I spoke about what this insurance is expected to cover; that is the political risk and the insurance risk. I explained briefly and I am going to attempt to explain again that under political risk, we are looking at political violence, civil disturbances, terrorism and sabotage, which will be covered by this insurance. The political risk is a risk that an investor’s returns especially a foreign investor could suffer as a result of political instability such as terrorism, riots and civil wars. To that end, it would mean that if we are insured then the prospective investors both local and external investors, would be able to allay fears. They know that when they come to
Zimbabwe, the issue of political risk of whether Zimbabwe is a very
high risk country or not, they will be assured that they are able to recoup through the insurance to get their investments and their returns on investments. Let me attempt to address the issue of financing.
I presented that we have had a grant from the Africa Development Bank. When we requested for the funds of this grant, negotiated for it and we got into an agreement with the African Development Bank, where the African Development Bank says, for every two dollars that you are going to raise as a country, we are going to put a dollar. At that time, we were looking for a minimum of US$7.5 million.
Now, the work that has been done has made us not only attain what we were looking for but we already have US$15 million which has been contributed. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has already put together this US$10 million, it is already available. It has been sourced from financial institutions within Zimbabwe who have said there are more benefits in Zimbabwe acceding to ATI for them as was well elaborated by one of the Hon. Member. I think it was Hon. Chakona. He said that our banks are not rated, they do not have an A rating. So, they are going to acquire this A rating through our membership to the insurance. So, it was in the interests of business fraternity, financial institutions, people of Zimbabwe and of course, through the Government of Zimbabwe that we put together some amount to contribute to shares.
Hon. Sibanda is not in the House right now but he raised the issue of the premiums and I thought perhaps I was not very clear that we are buying shares that have been allotted to us. If you buy a share, you have a share; there is no issue of premiums. I would have gone further if he was in but I thought that he should understand that we are contributing to that allotment that has been given to us. This is what is happening, we are buying equity.
Hon. Gonese talked about the distribution of copies in pigeon holes. Hon. Speaker stated that they were distributed, it was a voluminous document, perhaps not very persuasive to read but it was distributed. If it did not get to Hon. Gonese, kindly accept that I can give copies to those Hon. Members that did not get it from their pigeon holes but we did distribute as the Speaker said …
HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, is the Hon. Deputy Minister doubting the Chair’s information? The documents were distributed.
HON. MABUWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I was getting
carried away. Kindly accept my apologies – [Laughter] – I want to thank you for the precise ruling and I was ululating. Most of the Hon.
Members supported the adoption of the motion.
I want to thank the following Hon. Members: Hon. Shamu, I want to thank him for the observation that this is an African initiative, our own initiative that we should be proud of. I think I explained well, I included some members which include the World Bank, some renowned members which are now members of the ATI are now saying, Africa, here you are, you have come up with your own thing, and we should be proud of that. Our pride will be incomplete if we are not members ourselves.
Hon. Chinotimba gave an example of the political coverage where he referred to Libya and Syria, the wars that are going on there. In the event that we find ourselves in such predicaments, it means investors again, locally or outside would have somewhere to start from. Hon. Holder said that the signing was on 14th October, 2011. I think this was the issue also raised by Hon. Chasi, the issue of delaying. Where have we been? This ATI was born in Mauritius in 2000 and Zimbabwe signed on 14th October, 2011. In my view, perhaps the time that might have been lost is between 2000 and 2011. Since 2011 to this date, a lot of work has been going on for a country to go and append its signature.
This is what happened between 2000 and 2011.
From 2011 to date, what was really holding us is the issue of putting resources for us to become members. It was not going to be useful for us to come to Parliament and seek you to accede to the Treaty when we do not have the money. You need to have the money first. If today we are given permission by Parliament, we would then have the 60 days at which we have to lodge the papers and make the payment. If we had done that without having looked for the money, then that would have resulted in us defaulting or not being able to meet the obligations.
Hon. Nduna and other Hon. Members spoke to the issue of the contributions of us acceding to the ATI. Hon. Nduna spoke of the impact that it will have in our competitiveness and in our ease of doing business. You may want to know that ATI itself is looking forward to Zimbabwe becoming a member. This is because of the number of inquiries that were being made by the investors who are involved in trade business with Zimbabwe. They always ask whether or not Zimbabwe is a member of the ATI. Once we become a full member, we will see a lot of interest and investments coming into the country just because we are now insured and they will be assured that their monies are in safe hands.
Hon. Machingura talked about the positivity and prioritisation. His contribution helped to put across the issue, of saying why are we not putting all the money that we have towards perhaps feeding the nation. I think in my understanding, Hon. Machingura’s contribution was talking about prioritisation. Where he was saying it is a matter of prioritisation, do you buy pizza or do you buy a pad? To me, the priority is that you should buy a pad – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you for saying that.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Sibanda also shared the same sentiments that we should use that money to feed the nation. Acceding to the ATI also contributes to feeding the nation, it is only that there are different ways of feeding the nation. I think his contribution was to say we should give the nation fish but we should also give the nation the rod and acceding to ATI is tantamount to giving the nation the rod for fishing because we are going to attract investment, both local and external. This in turn will create employment, lubricate our markets and our pockets alleviate poverty and contribute to improved livelihood of our people. I therefore move that the Treaty be approved for accession.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): I move that Orders of the Day Numbers, 5 to 11 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 have been disposed
Motion put and agreed to.
RESTORATION ON THE ORDER PAPER: THE CRIMINAL
PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE AMENDMENT BILL, (H.B. 2, 2015)
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move the motion standing in my name, that the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, (H.B. 2, 2015), which was superseded by lack of quorum on Wednesday, 14th October, 2015, be restored on the Order Paper at the stage that it had reached in terms of Standing Order No. 73.
Question again proposed.
Motion put and agreed to.
GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (H.B. 3, 2015)
Second Order Read: Committee: General Laws Amendment Bill, (H.B. 3, 2015).
House in Committee.
Clause 1 put and agreed to.
Clauses 2 and 3 put and agreed to.
On Schedule Section 2:
HON. GONESE: Thank you Madam Chair. I believe that you are in receipt of a proxy given by Hon. Majome where I will be moving amendments on her behalf. On page 2 of the Bill, the Interpretation Act, I move the following amendments Madam Chair and that is to the Interpretation Act, which is under the Schedule which is now under consideration. On behalf of Hon. Majome…
HON. CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Gonese please, I think we are
going to do that part by part.
HON. GONESE: Yes, this is what I am doing now, the Schedule on Interpretation Act…
HON. CHAIRPERSON: Which part?
HON. GONESE: It is Part 1, on page 2 of the Bill that is precisely where I am Madam Chair. The amendments are on the Order Paper and the proposal is that there are some omissions. So, Hon. Vice President I think this is just to deal with several omissions which we have noted. I believe that there was an omission of the definition of the
“Administrative Court”, because the “Administrative Court” is described in the Constitution. So, the proposal is simply to have that included;
- to include the definition of “Administrative Court”;
Secondly, there was also another omission. I think you have the definition of “Defence Forces”, which is going to be deleted and substituted with “Defence Services”, and I believe that “Police Force” was omitted and we are simply proposing that;
- “Police Force” be deleted, and be replaced with “Police
(c ) Delete “Public Service and Public Service Commission” and substitute with “Civil Service and Civil Service Commission”.
This is just to improve the Bill so that we cover those amendments which had been omitted and I believe there will be no objection to that Hon. Vice President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Chair. There are three proposed
definitions put under Interpretation Act on Part 1. The one relates to the definition of “Administrative Court” and the one relates to the “Police
Force and the third one relates to the “Public Service and Public Service Commission”. The (b) and (c) cannot be deleted, they will remain as they are and that is the “Police Force and Public Service Commission”.
With regard to “Administrative Court”, we may include its definition.
With regard to (b) and (c), we will not accept the deletion. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: Hon. Vice President, my understanding is that these amendments are being proposed so that we bring the relevant Acts in line with the definitions which are in the Constitution. We may be enlightened by the Hon. Vice President as to the reason why he is not amenable to those deletions and substitutions, because this was purely in order to align the definitions which are in the Constitution so that what is provided for in the Act is consistent with what is obtaining in the Constitution.
HON. CHAIRPERSON: On what page is it Hon. Gonese?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): I got the section.
Amendments to Part 1of the Schedule, put and agreed to.
Part 1 of the Schedule, as amended, put and agreed to.
Parts II to IV put and agreed to.
On Part V:
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Chairperson. On Part V, I move the amendments proposed by Hon. Majome on pages 5 -7 of the Bill. The proposal is to delete references to “sentences of imprisonment’” and “administrative penalty” wherever it appears in the clauses of this Part V.
As you will recall Hon. Vice President, during the second reading debate, we expressed concerns that these provisions are in violation of Section 148 of the Constitution. Basically, the constitutional provision is that, Parliament may not impose a penalty other than a monetary penalty and I believe that, these provisions will be in violation of the
Constitution. Therefore, we delete that reference to “the alternative sentence of imprisonment”, so that if a person is found guilty and convicted by Parliament, only a monetary penalty may be imposed in line with the provisions of the Constitution and that administrative measures be used to recover the penalty.
In relation to the alternative administrative penalty, the concern that we have Hon. Chair is that it is purporting to introduce a sentence of imprisonment which again is in violation of the spirit which is enshrined in the Constitution. We propose that any administrative penalty should simply be of a monetary nature and to a sentence of imprisonment as currently provided for.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Hon. Chair.
I think we had some discussions with the Minister on this particular issue. Just to add on a new issue, I think that we may need to, as we look at the fine; we may Hon. Vice President, if you find it in yourself to do so, try and include the levels of fines. I say so because some of us are concerned that even if you were to agree that we are not going to move for any imprisonment and we are only going to do fines that the fine may be so exorbitant that one may not necessarily be able to afford it. Is there a possibility of considering putting a particular level to those fines so that it can guide Parliament in making a decision on what kind of fine that would be there? My understanding is that at least as part of the lobbying that we are having with the Minister, that it is possible for us to take out the issue of imprisonment and like my colleague says, it is very explicit in Section 148 that no such punishment should be of imprisonment. So, we delete anything else that is speaking to anything that is to do with imprisonment but even if we agree to a fine, that we are specific about the level of that particular fine so that it does not necessarily put Members of Parliament again in a situation where they are not able to afford it. I thank you.
HON. MNANGAGWA: In relation to Part V under Privileges and
Immunities and the Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08], the State Constitution, Section 148 refers to Parliament imposing a fine and it has no reference to administrative penalty. So, I would not take on board the amendment on Part V. In our law, it is permissible to impose a default custodial sentence for failure to pay a fine. This is why in the body of the amendment, there is the word “imprisonment” but Parliament can impose a fine.
With regard to the issue of prescribing the levels, that is by regulation, Parliament cannot itself prescribe the levels of fines. The custodial sentence is imposed by a court and not by Parliament when there is a default of payment of a fine.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Chair. The fine
really is not imposed by the court. Hon. Vice President, if you look at the formulation of the Clause, in fact, the alternative of imprisonment would actually be prescribed by Parliament, which appears to be in violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution which I think I would want to refer to the Hon. Vice President which specifically states that “Parliament or its members or officers to impose any punishments in the nature of a criminal penalty other than a fine” and what the court would simply be doing is to rubber stamp what Parliament would already have done. I think that effectively, it is Parliament which would have imposed the alternative. If you look at the formulation in the Bill, it actually says that it will simply be going to court as a matter of routine and that the court would simply endorse what Parliament would have done. In short, it would be Parliament which would have imposed that alternative of imprisonment and I still maintain the stance that that would be against the spirit, not just the letter but also the spirit of what is provided for in the Constitution.
When you look at the administrative penalty, it even goes a step further because specifically, that administrative penalty in fact speaks of a sentence of imprisonment where someone maybe in prison until the Parliament rises, which again is against not just the spirit but also the letter of what is provided for in the Constitution and I would ask the Hon. Vice President to reconsider his position?
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Under Section 148, it
is clear, if I could read that particular Clause, “But no such Act may permit Parliament or its members or officers to impose any punishment in the nature of a criminal penalty other than a fine for breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament”. What you may clarify for me is, let us assume that this person is unable to pay the fine that has been set by Parliament, is there no other alternative to make sure that they pay whatever that fine is. For example, to go and execute just like people do in civil proceedings. Why are we necessarily choosing the route of the criminal proceedings other than taking that particular route where you say, Priscilla you have been found in breach of privilege and we have set a fine of $1 000. We are therefore going to execute and we are going to take your car away from you, and sell it for $1 000. Why do you necessarily move automatically to criminal proceedings because I think that is in actual violation to that particular clause? I have no problem in saying let us make sure that if you cannot pay a fine, Parliament does get whatever it is that is due to them but what I have a problem with is, why are we choosing the criminal instead of necessarily going by the civil route where we execute.
HON. MNANGANGWA: Again, the honourable two members
are wrong. Section 148 gives Parliament where there is a breach of the privileges of Parliament to impose a fine. If an Hon. Member fails, he commits contempt of court and under contempt of court, Parliament can decide to send that person for a number of days in prison. We are not going to have Parliament itself, under its privileges bringing about criminal penalty. What we have said here is that under Section 148, Parliament will exercise where there is a breach of its privileges, impose a fine on the offender.
However, if that person commits contempt of court, there are provisions covering what Parliament can do where there is a breach by contempt of court – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Is it court or Parliament?] – Sorry, Parliament. Parliament cannot use the administrative penalty. Parliament has no jurisdiction to impose administrative penalties, that is not permissible. Again, I insist that this amendment proposed I cannot take it on board.
HON. GONESE: It appears to me that the Hon. Vice President is contradicting himself because on one hand, if I understand him correctly, he is saying that Parliament cannot in itself impose the administrative penalty. When you look at the wording in terms of the Bill, it actually says, “administrative penalty of imprisonment for contempt” and it is declared for the avoidance of doubt that any person
“…adjudged by Parliament…” This is where our worry is that if it is a “…person who has been adjudged by Parliament to be guilty of contempt which is not referred to …” but it is Parliament itself which should be committing that person to prison for such period during the current session of Parliament. In other words, it is actually Parliament which is being empowered to do what is in violation of Section 148 of the Constitution, which Section 148, I have already read and is very explicit that Parliament does not have any power to impose any penalty other than that of a fine and that it will not be permissible. Again, in his response I believe that the Hon. Vice President was in fact contradicting himself. In other words, he seems to actually be in agreement with us that Parliament should not be able to do it and insofar as that is concerned, I will then believe that the Hon. Vice President should actually agree with us.
HON. MNANGANGWA: The Hon. Member is wasting time. He has made the same objection many times and I have been kind enough to tell him that Section 148 of the Constitution refers to Parliament imposing a fine. That we accept and that is within the Bill. When a member commits contempt of Parliament, there are separate provisions which deal with contempt of Parliament. That is when the Parliament has a right to send somebody to prison. For this amendment, I am saying Parliament is being given powers to impose a fine. Full stop and please understand.
Amendment to Part V put and agreed to.
Part V as amended, put and agreed to.
On Part VI,
HON. GONESE: On page 9 of the Bill, Madam Chair, I move the amendment standing in the name of Hon. Majome that:
(a) in line 18 delete “ Minister may, after consultation with the
Commission” and substitute “Commission”; - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, I think you have got to listen to proceedings so that you understand what is taking place.
HON. GONESE: It is on page 9 of the Bill on sub-clause 5, the import of the amendment would be that it will be the Commission which will be empowered to make regulations and not the Minister.
The second part will be:
- in between line 30 and 31 insert the following paragraph after paragraph (c) –
“(d) mandatory automatic and electronic voter registration.”
- on page 11 of the Bill –
- insert new clause 17 to amend section 192(6) of the Act by deleting the “Minister” and substitute with
“Parliament” in approving regulations made by ZEC.
- Insert new clause 18 to amend section 40 by deleting the provisions enabling the Minister to determine the composition of observers accreditation committee and empower the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to determine the composition of the observers.
So that, that composition is actually determined, and we empower the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. I think that the spirit behind it Hon Vice President, is that we have got an election management body and we would like to give the power to that electoral management body as opposed to the Minister who is part of the Executive, so that insofar as the management and conduct of elections is concerned, including the issue of observers, that should fall under the purview of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. That is the spirit under which the amendment is being proposed and I think that is in line with the principles which we subscribe to that we want ZEC to be vested with the powers to administer and run the elections.
HON. MNANGANGWA: Thank you Madam Chair, the words
“the Minister may after consultation with the Commission” cannot be deleted because this is a sui generis section. The Commission cannot make regulations where it is an interested party, the dispute will be between the Commission and the Registrar-General and it needs someone who is neutral and that neutral person is the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
On (b), to insert paragraph (d), we are agreeable with (b) yes.
With (c), we are not agreeable with (c) because approving the regulations made by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an Executive function which cannot be done by Parliament. It also has to be noted that the Parliamentary Legal Committee is the watchdog of regulations made by Ministers and if regulations are ultra vires to the Constitution, an adverse report would be issued.
With regard to (c) (ii), we are not agreeable. The issue of observers is not an electoral but a political issue and the Minister has the right to determine that it involves the server of foreign relations and this falls within the Executive branch and not the Legislative branch.
Amendments to Part VI of the Schedule put and agreed to.
Part VI, as amended, put and agreed to.
Parts VII to XIX put and agreed to.
On Part XX:
HON. GONESE: That was just to detract the monotony of sounding like parrots – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
On Part XX …
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): On a point of order Madam Chairperson, it is extremely unparliamentary for Hon. Members to refer to other Hon.
Members as parrots. That is extremely unparliamentary.
HON. GONESE: It was just on a lighter note, I just wanted to explain … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Having said that, I withdraw that statement. It was just to lighten the occasion.
THE HON. CHAIRPERSON: Have you withdrawn?
HON. GONESE: I have already withdrawn. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. CHAIRPERSON: Order, order, the Hon. Member
has withdrawn his statement.
HON. GONESE: Yes, thank you very much Hon. Chairperson. On Part XX, I move the amendment that on page 22 of the Bill which is on line 5 that we delete “16 years” and substitute with “18 years”.
The motivation is to amend the provisions of the Code and bring them in line with what we have already provided for in the Constitution. I think in the Constitution, we clearly said that the age of consent to marriage in all circumstances is now 18 years old. I think there has been some debate around the issue and there is a broad consensus emerging that let us have the age of consent to sexual intercourse being synchronized with the age of consent to marriage.
In short Madam Chairperson, we will be having a contradiction. We are saying that until you attain the age of majority, you do not have the right to enter into a marriage. On the other hand, we are saying before you attain that age of majority, you can indulge in sexual intercourse. I am imploring the Hon. Vice President; I think that this is a line of thinking that is shared by a lot of organisations. We are even talking about the issue of bringing to an end child marriages where we have people who are below the age of majority … – [HON.
MNANGAGWA: There are no child marriages.] – Yes, I know but I am just giving the reasoning behind the motivation.
The other point Madam Chairperson, is that the intention of the Code is to deal with older persons who indulge in sexual activities with young persons. If we leave that definition of a young person as below the age of 16 years old, we are giving loopholes to those predators. I believe that if we put it at the age of 18 years old, that will make it easier to manage. I would like to ask the Hon. Vice President to give it serious consideration so that we substitute that provision that is in the Criminal
Code which came into place before we adopted the new Constitution.
With those words, I move the amendment.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam
Chairperson – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I do not mind hearing the aaahs from the men but I think that for women who have brought some of these issues to this House; we have a lot of motions that have been brought to this House, both in terms of gender violence and protecting children’s rights that have spoken to this thing. We have also heard this issue being raised generally from the women throughout the country. So, I do not think this is an issue that is just for us, which is why this is an issue that is just for us, which is why I said if there is any complaint; let it come from some males who think it is okay to sleep with a 16 year old girl. However, I expect women to really come out in full force on this particular clause.
There are two issues that I think are important Madam Chair, on this particular clause. There is an issue of criminal liability where we are saying if both a girl and a boy are engaged in what could be an indecent act, none of them is criminally liable…
THE HON. CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Members, could you
please lower your whispers.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: When we did our
Second Reading, we raised that issue of criminal liability and said there is a problem in us assuming that a boy of 13 years, for example, will not be able to commit rape but let me go beyond it. There are so many of these cases where we find young children particularly when they are at boarding schools or any other schools where they are raped by boys of their own ages. I would propose to the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs that we almost change the way it is written in the Bill. In the Bill, it is written in such a way that a Probation
Officer is the one who can ask for this person to be criminally liable.
Why can we not do the opposite and say, unless the Probation Officer says this person is not criminally liable then this person will not be that. However, in general, let us make an assumption that if there is an indecent act then it is an indecent act.
Let me give you an example, Hon. Chair. Let us assume a 13 year old rapes a two months old baby; is our attitude still the same – it just does not make sense. So, for me, the message should be clear. If you do an indecent act, you do an indecent act; you will be criminally liable for it but I am prepared to compromise and say, let us make that Probation Officer be the one who may say this person is not criminally liable.
In terms of the issue of the age of consent which has been raised, we said since we now have an opportunity during these general laws; let us make sure that we deal with the issue of age of consent. Madam Chair, let me take you to Section 81, Rights of Children, Clause 1. It is the one that is very explicit in whom we are defining as a child. Every child, that is to say every boy and girl under the age of 18 years has the right. So in fact, we are defining a child as 18 years.
However, with regards to my conversation with the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I would not be overjoyed but still be okay with consent at 16 years. Twelve years is totally unacceptable because at this time we have 12. So if you look at 12 and 16, they are completely different.
So, the first proposal is that the ideal for some of us would be 18 but I think some of us are prepared to negotiate to at least say age of consent is 16 years. Even if it breaks my heart to say so, but I know generally in the region, consent and issues of marriage are different. So, sexual consent maybe a bit lower and marriage a bit higher, hence I am prepared to negotiate between that. I think if we leave these general laws and we have not included that, then we would have not done anything. Like I said, it does not speak to the issue that we as women have been raising day-in day-out in this very House. Let us use that opportunity. This is not political but it is clearly an issue about children’s rights and we cannot let it go. Thank you.
HON. DR. LABODE: I just stand to support the issue of age of consent to be moved to 18 but I have a different view as a medical person who believes that the child marriages that we have are caused by poverty. If a child is kicked out of school at the age of 14 years, she will be hanging around the shopping centre, meet some guys and have sex whereby she will not be able to access a condom since she is young. However, she will have sex and get infected with a sexually transmitted disease which she cannot again go and seek treatment for because the Ministry of Health and Child Care says you have to be above 18, whatever age you can put.
So, I am asking the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs - I am not a lawyer but I am telling you that our teenage pregnancies are increasing; our adolescent HIV and
STD’s are ballooning. Even though we have been so successful, our problem is this age group and it is suffering because it has no access to services because we have put some ridiculous law. So, I am asking you to put a clause, even if you take it to 18 or where, put a clause that whilst you are sexually active you must be treated like an adult and the access to those services. Family planning, condoms, and all contraceptives must be accessible because it is happening. So we must face reality.
THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF
JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Hon. Chair, there are two issues we are dealing with and I understand the concerns of our colleagues here. Let me first deal with the issue of age of consent which was at 12 years. We have agreed with several Hon. Members who have approached me, to lift the age from 12 years to 16 years. The age of 18 years is of majority, meaning that you can now do things without even consulting your parents. This is not what we want our children to do; this is why there is a difference between a child and an adult. When you become 18, you are now an adult, but we obviously know that they are children among the families.
So, we have said that instead of the current one in the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act, which is 12, we have agreed to shift it to 16, that is with regard to the issue of consent for sexual relationships.
However, with regards to the question of criminal responsibility, like Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, you can have a boy of 13 or 14 years committing rape, but if we have the presumption that that person has no criminal capability to commit an offence, I do not think we will be correct. This is why in the Bill we make it a presumption which then can be determined by the Probation Officer but the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act must just make a presumption. Because of the age, the environment, the exposure that will be determined by the Probation Officer whether that presumption should apply or not, but criminally we have a presumption that a person under the age of 12 or so cannot commit a crime. However, because of the current environment and exposure of most of our children, modern life, this is why we have brought about the work by the Probation Officer to determine whether that presumption should be accepted or not.
So, I am replying to the proposal by Hon. Dr. Labode that it happens that we have girls who might leave school at the age of 13, 14 or 15. They mingle around and then they find themselves in relationships that might put them to danger, but that cannot come into the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
HON. GONESE: Yes, I would like to welcome that statement by the Hon. Vice President. I was simply going to ask if he could let us now have it properly inserted because I believe that he has accepted it in principle. So, what I think is necessary now, which I think we do not have at the present moment, is to have it now properly amended so that section 70…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That will be done.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam
Chair. I hope this puts paid to men who think they can have sex with anyone under the age of 16 will be liable to rape.
I still want to come back, Hon. Vice President, on the issue of criminal liability. I do not think I heard you properly. Like I said, if you read the clause on criminal liability it says, ‘Where extra marital sexual intercourse or an indecent act occurs between young persons who are both over the age of 12 years but below the age of 16 at the time of sexual intercourse or the indecent act, neither of them shall be charged with sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act.’
You are saying that the presumption is that you cannot rape if you are under the age of 12 and 16. I am saying, we know that those who are under the age of 16 can rape. Puberty happens at 13, so at 13 a boy can do full penetration. So, where is the presumption being set on because we know that they can have sexual intercourse when they are 13 years old? So, in other words we are saying it is okay, if they are 13 they can proceed to rape someone who is younger. It is unfortunate that the Vice
President has gone out but he is coming back. We want him to change... [AN HON. MEMBER: What is sexual intercourse?]. You do not know sexual intercourse? Sexual intercourse is when someone penetrates a
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Misihairabwi-
Mushonga will you please address the Chair. The Vice President is still consulting. Hon. Members, we should take advantage of some of these arguments so that we come to understand what we are passing here. Listen carefully and understand the argument here.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): The issue that she is raising, those who have the Bill, is on page 22. It reads in Section 70, ‘ Sexual intercourse or performing indecent acts with young persons’, by the insertion of the following subsection after Subsection 2, ‘where extra marital sexual intercourse or an indecent act occurs between young persons who are both over the age of 12 but below the age of 16’ – that is the group whether a boy or a girl, above the age of 12 and below the age of 16years – ‘at the time of the sexual intercourse or the indecent act, neither of them shall be charged with sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person except upon the report of a probation officer appointed in terms
of Chapter 5 : 6, showing that it is appropriate to charge one of them or both with that crime’.
That is the amendment we are putting in the Act. So, there has been a mix of interpretation by Hon. Members of consent and ineffective consent. A young person between 12 and 16 may indeed understand what he or she is doing when they willingly engage in sexual activity. Whether it is a boy of 16 or a girl of 16, they can - unless the probation officer says the contrary, but where there is consent between them who are of that age, then you cannot charge them unless the appointed probation officer, in terms of the Act, says it is appropriate to charge one or both of them for the crime.
So, you see, anyone who is below the age of 12, whether a boy or a girl, has no capacity to give consent, totally. Between the age of 12 and
16, they are called young persons and those 12 and below are children. This is the law. It is possible for a girl of 16 and a boy of 16 to give consent to have this relationship. This is what we are putting on board. If then the probation officer says although there is a presumption that this person is giving consent, if he declares that the consent is not effective then the other party is charged because the presumption is that the averment that there was consent is rejected.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I understand you Hon.
Vice President in separating that and I understand given the example that I had initially given of a four months. So, I understand exactly what you are talking about, but I still have a problem. Here is my problem -you are making an assumption that a girl and a boy between 12 and 16 are all equal, that it is okay between 12 and 16. What you are not taking into consideration is that it is not a girl who is able to rape, it is a boy who is able to rape – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Members, if you want to debate
you shall debate, I am still asking for further debates.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: For me it is about the
message, the message that we are sending by this is to basically say it is okay for boys to commit indecent acts on girls. You know naturally,
Hon. Members that are here would speak to this. When they are going kumombe or something like that, they would start perhaps sleeping with goats or something because they are able to penetrate at about 12 or 13 – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – a girl cannot do so.
HON. DR. SHUMBA: On a point of Order, Hon. Chairperson:
That is totally unparliamentary, disrespectful of the other sex.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I withdraw Hon.
Chairperson if that is causing any problems. The point that I am trying to illustrate here is that we are not being gender sensitive by assuming that both boys and girls are the same during the age of 12 to 16. All I am asking you Hon. Vice President is the very sentence that says the probation officer, why do you not show that it is inappropriate. So instead of saying appropriate, let us put inappropriate.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): The Hon. Member is saying the draft is in the positive application and she would want it in the negative application -
[HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Yes] – where we say neither
of them, that is between the age of 16, at the time of sexual intercourse or, neither of them shall be charged with sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person except upon a report of the probation officer appointed in terms of the Act, it is stated there, showing that it is appropriate. That is where the Hon. Member is saying this is in the positive, she would want the application in the negative showing that it is inappropriate to charge one of them with that crime. Yes, inappropriate changes the approach. Instead of appropriate, we put the word inappropriate, the result becomes the same but it is the approach – [Laughter]-
Amendment to Clause 19 put and agreed to.
Clause 19, as amended, put and agreed to.
Parts 20 to 108, put and agreed to.
On Part 109:
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Madam Chair. I
move the amendment to Part 109, which is on the University of Zimbabwe Act. The motivation for this amendment is in our own Constitution. Hon. Vice President, when you look at the provisions of the Constitution in Section 18, it is very clear that we should have fair regional representation. I will refer to the actual provisions which provides that, “…the State must promote the fair representation of all Zimbabwe’s regions in all institutions and agencies of Government at every level”
When you look at the spirit behind the proposed amendment, it is to ensure that in one breath, we are complying with the Constitution by ensuring that in appointing members of the council, the Minister shall endeavor to ensure that at least half the appointed members are women. In a similar vein, we are saying that, in addition to the fair representation of previously marginalised women, we also have a situation where, before the new Constitution was enacted, there were some regions which were being marginalised. This is the mischief that we sought to cure by inserting Section 18 of the Constitution.
In addition to ensuring that the representation of women is addressed to an extent that we have equal representation in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, we oblige the Minister to also follow the provisions of the Constitution. That is the reason why it is being proposed that after the word ‘women’, we also insert the words ‘and fair representation is achieved’, in Section 109. I think that will be applying the provisions of the Constitution and being consistent in such a manner that we do not remain with any sections of our society being marginalised as happened previously. I therefore – [HON.
MNANGAGWA: Are you talking about the University of Zimbabwe?] – The University of Zimbabwe yes. It is on the University of Zimbabwe so that after the word ‘women’, we then add the words ‘and ensure that fair representation is achieved’, so that in the Act, it is made clear in black and white that we want to ensure compliance with our own
Constitution which we adopted in 2013 with an overwhelming majority. The referendum had the highest turnout ever witnessed in this country in support of the provisions of the Constitution.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI–MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam
Chair. I think my colleague has said it all. Hon. Vice President, when you start on Part 109, it is basically 109 as it relates to the University of
Zimbabwe, Lupane University and Harare Institute of Technology Act. As alluded to by Hon. Gonese, when we were in the Second Reading you will remember that some of us raised it as to why we really feel that you may want to put that as an issue of principle that somebody should look at.
This is because we can see that even in the appointment of Vice Chancellors right now – for example in Matabeleland North, there is Professor Kuipa, who is not from that region. If you look at Section 18 in the Constitution, it does not only provide on promotion of representation, it also provides that “the State and all institutions and agencies of the State and Government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to promote their own development.” I think representation really speaks to issues of equitable access, even in terms of those positions. Whilst we are not particularly asking that they must, we understand that there are a number of regions. Unlike women, where you can say ‘equal’, because you can tell that there are 50 men and 50 women, in this case it may be difficult for one to juggle the number of regions which are here. However, we are saying that, in doing so, they should endeavor to ensure – it is not prescriptive, we are asking it to be included as a matter of principle so that somebody can in making that, and given the fact that we have seen that unless you insist on some of those things, they may not necessarily do so. Look at the things that are happening with women, even with this insistence, we are still not finding women being represented on those boards. So, all we are asking is a principle, we are not being prescriptive Hon. Vice President. We are merely asking for an endeavour to do so. We thank you.
HON. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Chairperson. I see that
Hon. Majome on page 58 of the Bill, in line 4, says the other word
“women”. I am failing to find where that line is, the words “women” for fair regional representation. I cannot see it in the Bill.
HON. GONESE: Hon. Vice President …
HON. MNANGAGWA: Let me now read it since I have found it.
This is under the University of Zimbabwe Act, line 35. By the insertion of the following subsection after the subsection (5) in appointing the members of the Counsel, the Minister shall endeavour to secure that at least half of the appointed members of the Council are ‘women’. Hon. Majome is saying ‘after the word “women”, the words ‘and fair regional representation is achieved”. The answer is no. Fair representation is already covered. It is in the Constitution. Let me look at the section.
HON. CHAIRPERSON: I hope the others are also referring to
HON. MNANGAGWA: You are correct. The Constitution says
fair regional representation. So we can add “and fair regional representation is achieved”. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Amendments to Part 109, put and agreed to.
Part 109 as amended, put and agreed to.
Parts 110 – 111, put and agreed to.
On Part 112:
HON. GONESE: Part 112 is also a similar one in terms of the Zimbabwe Open University Act.
Amendment to Part 112, put and agreed to.
Part 112 as amended, put and agreed to.
Amendment to Part 113, put and agreed to.
Part 113 as amended, put and agreed to Parts 114 to 119 put and agreed to.
On Part 120:
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Chair. I move the amendment standing in the name of Hon. Majome that on page 60 of the Bill, in the new section 97B, delete the current subsection (6) and substitute the following:-
“That the Minister by noticing a Statutory Instrument shall set forth the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and any regulations made under the Madrid Protocol, and shall amend the Statutory Instrument whenever necessary to record any amendment of the Madrid Protocol or those regulations’and that is a more simplified version which we are proposing Hon. Chair. I so move the amendment.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I just want to say Hon.
Vice President, you remember during the Second Reading that you agreed with us in terms of the universality of the Madrid Protocol and that there are already resources that have been allocated. I think what we are trying to do is to make sure that we are in good state on that particular issue. Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Hon. Chair, I see no problem. The section is very
clear as it stands just as it is now. It reads that, the Minister by notice in a Statutory Instrument shall set forth the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and we are anxious to do it because just now under the Madrid Protocol, there has been surplus revenue which is being shared to member states and we need to benefit. So, here we have said that the Madrid Protocol shall amend the statutory instrument whenever necessary to record any amendment of the Madrid Protocol or those regulations. So, whenever there is need, the provision so applies and provides. So, there is no problem with the current – they are trying to say we want it explicit and express in their own understanding but in my legal understanding, it is already express and clear.
Amendment to Part CXX put and negatived.
Part CXXI to CXXVI put and agreed to.
Second Schedule (Item 16 of Part VI) put and agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
On the motion of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the
House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.