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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 July 2015 41-57
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
INVITATION TO A DIALOGUE SESSION
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Speaker of the National
Assembly, Advocate J. F. Mudenda is inviting all Portfolio Committee
Chairpersons, members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to a dialogue session on the General Laws Amendment Bill and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill. The overall objective of the dialogue session is to strengthen the capacity of Members of Parliament in legislative analysis and understanding the key provisions and the constitutionality of the two Bills. Representatives of Civic Society organisations will also attend the dialogue session. The dialogue session will be held in the Jacaranda Room, Harare International Conference
Centre, starting from 0815 hours on Friday, 24th July, 2015. All
Committee Chairpersons, members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) and members of the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Portfolio Committee are expected to be punctual.
SUBMISSION OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that all hon. members are urgently requested to submit their e-mail addresses to their respective committee clerks. This is meant to facilitate communication with all Members of Parliament on any issues which may arise from time to time.
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that
Hon. D. S. Sibanda has been nominated to serve on the Portfolio
Committee on Foreign Affairs, in addition to the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services and the Finance and Economic Planning.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Misihairabwi?
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order
Madam Speaker. Having been so privileged that I am a niece to the President of this country, I know that he arrived at 2.00 a.m. yesterday, and the ministers are only going to have Cabinet on Thursday. We are wondering that we still do not have ministers when we know that the President is back in the country.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- MUNENGAMI: I will preface my question and direct that question to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon.
Mzembi. Hon. Minister, today it is a sad chapter in Zimbabwe in terms of sport tourism and my heart bleeds actually together with other fellow Zimbabweans who love soccer in our country, for Zimbabwe was booted out of the World Cup yesterday because of its failure to pay a mere
$67 000 to a Brazilian Coach Valinhos. What is the effect of that expulsion in terms of sport tourism in our country? Are there any chances whatsoever for Zimbabwe to be readmitted again in future competitions?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think that question is for the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.
- MUNENGAMI: Sorry, on a point of order Madam Speaker.
My question is actually on sport tourism. That is what I want the Minister to explain, not in terms of the failure by ZIFA to pay Valinhos but in terms of sports tourism because soccer attracts tourists from other countries.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): The hon. member asked a question on
sport tourism. The technical side of it is the disqualification of
Zimbabwe which I think can be dealt with judiciously by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. However, on sport tourism, I want to inform hon. members here that on the 30th July, 2015, I have been asked to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture to give a very elaborate briefing on sport tourism. I wish not to pre-empt my presentation to the Portfolio Committee on the day.
I would invite the hon. member and other Members of Parliament who may have an interest on this subject matter to attend this hearing because I shall be very elaborate in my response, not just to this question, but to sport tourism in general. Notwithstanding that, let me assure him that the future is very bright in the area of sport tourism and I will be unveiling a few secrets in the subject that you have asked on the day. I thank you.
- MUNENGAMI: Hon. Minister, indeed you rightly said that you will appear before the committee on a later date which you actually said, but coming back to the issue of soccer and sport tourism, yes you are going to explain later but something has already happened as we speak whereby Zimbabwe has been expelled from the World Cup. What effect is that going to have in as far as sport tourism is concerned?
ENG. MZEMBI: Because the hon. member is asking and persisting on hearing the policy position on sport tourism, may I share Madam Speaker, with the hon. Member of Parliament that just the previous week, we have had a very excellent repositioning of Zimbabwe within the sport tourism global mindset when Zimbabwe repeatedly played cricket against India in matches that were watched by over two billion in audiences. This Minister actually had an opportunity to join in the commentator’s box to reposition brand Zimbabwe. So, there are a lot of positive things happening in that rehab.
With regards to sport, the hon. member will be the first to know that just last year, the Minister was accused of being a dreamer when he positioned Zimbabwe’s ambition to host World Cup 2034. I did that in the background of my own understanding that we could do it but from this side of the House, I was accused of being a dreamer. Let me restate that, that dream is achievable within the context of the now Lazarus moment of the Member of Parliament that we can do it in sport tourism. So, I will just plead with the hon. member to be patient until the 30th July, 2015 so that I do not pre-empt some of the surprises that I want to share with him.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, a Ford Ranger ADL
0696 is blocking other vehicles.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. L. Sibanda lost a khaki envelope with some bank cards and coupons. Would hon. members please hand over the envelope back to her?
- MARIDADI: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the flow
of debate in this House is continuously disturbed by your announcements of cars that are not parked properly in the car park. Can the Administration do something because there are so many cars that are parked there which have been parked for as long as I came to
Parliament? Those vehicles do not move, can the Administration of
Parliament ensure that the parking space is available and it is for Members of Parliament who are coming to do business? This idea of you continuing to announce cars that have been blocked is so irritating.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, you are out of order,
because if it is your vehicle which is blocked, you want an announcement to be made but now you are criticizing as though I am inviting those announcements. Those vehicles are yours hon. members.
- MARIDADI: I understand Madam Speaker, but the fact of
the matter is that those announcements are disrupting the debate in the House, whether it is my car or whosoever it is.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- BEREMAURO: I would like to find out from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what Government policy is on regularizing the establishment of ECDs under church organisations? Despite meeting the required conditions, your ministry is denying such an establishment.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): I think that the broader question is to ask: what are the conditions that must be met in order for any responsible authority to have a registered ECD centre?
Any responsible authority and that includes churches, local authorities, companies or individuals should meet the requisite requirements which include an establishment which is safe for small children. Furthermore, the conveniences for those young children should be of appropriate dimensions. By this, we refer to small size toilet seats and children should have access to safe and secure water and proof that the person in charge of that centre, on the management side and not the proprietor, should have the requisite professional educational qualifications. For further details on these requirements, they can consult any one of our district education officers. There is no prejudice as to the status of a responsible authority. What may be objected to by our line managers across the country may be to use a church facility as an ECD centre where the conveniences are not tailor-made to make it safe for children to use.
- MUZONDIWA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Public Service, Labour and Social Services. May I know the Government policy regarding the welfare of the vulnerable especially the elderly and people living with disability?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (MRS. MUPFUMIRA): We have a department
of Social Welfare which is responsible for ensuring that the vulnerable are looked after. These include the elderly, orphans and people living with disabilities. Due to financial constraints, Government is unable to disburse public assistance as they would normally do but we have Provincial and District Social Welfare officers who have the responsibility of identifying the needy in the various constituencies. We assist with food and finances when available, clothing and other things including assistance with hospital fees, also subject to availability. We are all aware that Government is not able to do what it would really want to do, but we care about them and our people interface with them.
- SARUWAKA: My supplementary question is; what is your
Ministry doing to ensure that the support you are giving out goes to the right beneficiaries without being politicized. I will use an example where the rice that you spoke about, maize and bales of clothes have not been going to the intended beneficiaries. What are you doing to ensure that everyone benefits including those from the other political parties?
MRS. MUPFUMIRA: As alluded to earlier on, we have
Provincial and District Social Welfare officers whose responsibility is to look after the vulnerable regardless of political affiliation. I want to state that the Government of Zimbabwe has never purchased rice but it was a party to party donation, which has nothing to do with Government.
- CHIBAYA: Are you aware that it is actually a breach of the
Constitution not to look after the maintenance of elderly persons.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members! If you
make a lot of noise, the Minister will not understand what she is being questioned. Please, lower your whispers down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Munengami, this is the first time, the next time I will send you out.
- CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Hon.
Minister, are you aware that it is actually a breach of the Constitution not to look after the maintenance of the elderly persons?
MRS. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you. I am aware and I have said it
in two previous questions that my Ministry does its best under the circumstances to look after the needs of the vulnerable, including the elderly.
- MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the Government policy regarding the withholding of results and certificates for students who have not paid their fees?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you hon. Speaker and I thank
the hon. member for raising this question. I would like all hon. members to be aware of the fact that the vicissitudes of the economy also are current in the education system. We have agreed in the sector that parents can have part payment arrangements with the school heads and their SDCs to ensure that from the first term to the end of the year, the obligations of the parent towards their children are discharged. I therefore find the question implying that we go through the year without discharging our obligations to the school, at the same time expecting the school to perform at its optimum level. It is not policy to withhold results but it is not policy not to pay and settle the levies for our children. Thank you.
- S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My
supplementary question hon. Minister is, the mushrooming of colleges in churches and houses everywhere is an indication that the schools are not enough. What is the Government doing to make sure schools are everywhere and children are accessing proper facilities in schools?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is not a supplementary question
but I have just recognised it.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam Speaker for
pointing out that words have meaning so that I can deal with the question as a substantive one. The Ministry in 2013 undertook an infrastructure conference where we marked out the exact needs of our nation in terms of school infrastructure and sites for new schools. It is common knowledge and I have spoken on the floor of this House to the effect that the cumulative total that we have as a deficit or debt to our people to this country amounts to 2 056 schools.
After we received a Cabinet Authority to proceed, we have since February this year, started to look for the joint venture partnerships so that we can use private capital, Government participation to approximate the delivery of these school institutions. To that extent, I am happy to indicate to the National Assembly that I am expecting within the next few weeks to be able to begin conclusive contractual arrangements with the private entities that have indicated their willingness to begin the journey of delivery on this school delivery programme. Thank you.
*MS. MAHIYA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. I would want to know what the Government has put in place in considering areas that were once populated by wild animals but they are no longer there, for example Gokwe Gumunyu Area 2 in Gokwe North. What plans do you have as a Government?
*THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you. The question that was asked is a pertinent question because the areas that were once infested by animals are now inhabited by people. The way our country is set up is that it has five natural regions; region one to five. When you get to natural regions three, four and five, those are areas that do not have arable land for farming. There are lots of forests and mountains. So, those areas can only do well with wild animals. Our plans are that we reclaim this land and give our animals a right to resettlement because people are resettled and the animals also have a right to resettlement.
Our plan is that conservancies should be created. Those conservancies are not there naturally but they were created. So, we want those areas to be supported and have conservancies where wild animals can be kept. Where there are so many animals, we can actually take them to the areas that you mentioned. We also need a model whereby the animals and the people can live together harmoniously, so 10% of the area in Zimbabwe can actually be created into conservancies. We want to create these conservancies; we should not fight for those that are available but we should increase them so that we can share and have full ownership.
*MR. MURAI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is on the issue of wild animals. I do not know what the law says concerning animals that will have moved from their area of inhabitance. As we speak, we have lions in areas such as Bambazonke, Masase and Bikita. As it is Madam Speaker, a person was attacked and eaten by lions in Zaka. I do not know what policy says such animals should leave their territories to affect the lives of the humans. Thank you.
*ENG. MZEMBI: Madam Speaker, the supplementary question is good but I think it requires the presence of Minister Muchinguri
Kashiri, she is the one who will be able to clarify issues on this matter. In my Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, we market the country in terms of tourism of those wild animals.
My suggestion is that you put your question in writing so that I can give it to her in Cabinet tomorrow since I sit next to her. I will advise her that the question should be addressed next week. Thank you.
- KEREKE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development but I would like to seek the indulgence of the House to prefix it.
It is a fact that there are critical areas in Government that do not have funding, examples of which are Parliament that has quite extensive arrears and the National Prosecuting Authority is literally grinding to a halt. My question is - firstly, what is Government policy with regards to the in duplum rule when repaying loans?
Secondly, what is the policy reason why Meikles, as a creditor, was paid over US$50 million even before the law had been passed on the RBZ debt take-over?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you Madam
Speaker, the hon. member asked two questions. The first question has to do with the in duplum rule and my answer is that Government … -
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, you are
making a lot of noise.
- CHINAMASA: With respect to the in duplum rule, my
answer is, Government respects the law of the land as interpreted by the courts. Therefore, we will ensure that it complies with the in duplum rule to the extent that it applies.
With respect to the Meikles issue, I wish the hon. member could put his question in writing so that I can investigate the circumstances and be able to give him a more detailed answer. I thank you.
*MR. CHAMISA: My question is directed to Hon. Mupfumira,
the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services but before I ask that question I want to thank Parliament of Zimbabwe, especially you Madam Speaker, for the Bibles that you allowed to come into this institution because there are some who believe that it is only traditionalism that work. The Bible is the only asset that is adequate here. So, I want to thank you for the Bibles.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. member, may you
please get to the point because a lot of hon. members would also like to pose their questions.
- CHAMISA: My question is directed to Hon. Mupfumira, our Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Hon. Mupfumira, we have just seen the recent pronouncements of our Supreme Court of the country as regards the law relating to Labour
Relations. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, who is that one? – [HON. MEMBERS: Ndi Zhou! ndi Zhou!] –
- CHAMISA: My question to the hon. Minister is that, in light of the recently pronounced position that Section 12(4) allows employers to terminate a contract on notice of three months. Is
Government considering to make any amendments concerning …
- HOLDER: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think it is unfair if we start interfering in court processes here, he was representing that case and now he is bringing it to Parliament yet it was just in the Constitutional Court.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order the hon. member is a Member of Parliament even though he is a lawyer, he is allowed to ask questions. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
- CHAMISA: Minister Mupfumira, is Government
considering to make any policy changes to cushion the workers, particularly in light of that position vis-a-vis the common law in our country?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MRS. MUPFUMIRA): I want to thank the hon. member for the question. Yes, Government as a concerned and responsible authority and part of the tripartite negotiating forum, has noted with concern the judgment passed by the Supreme Court.
We have started consultations with the tripartite members to actually understand the ruling and the way forward. As it is, it gives the employers almost a master/servant relationship whereby the worker can be summarily given notice.
At the moment, we are looking at the Labour laws and certain aspects were left out in the current Labour Act, some regulations in 1985. We are looking at those with a view to ensuring that the rights of the worker and the employers are protected. We want a win/win situation when we are talking about tripartism, it is equality not that one is master of the other one. The judgment is being reviewed by the Attorney-General and other legal departments within Government and we will come up with a position shortly.
- CHIBAYA: I want to thank the Minister for the response and also the hon. member, Hon. Chamisa. Hon. Minister, we already have over 700 employees whose employment has actually been terminated because of the ruling. So, what are you going to do as a Ministry to those employees who were affected by that ruling?
MRS. MUPFUMIRA: I want to thank the hon. member. As I said, we called for an urgent TNF meeting yesterday. All the issues were presented, we are consulting and remedial action of fairness will be taken. These issues are being attended to. We are consulting – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. If we
continue taking supplementary questions I do not think we will get anywhere. We will continue going round and round with one person.
- D. SIBANDA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, if plans are there, why is it taking long for the Ministry to bring the amendments to this august House?
MRS. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the hon. member. Labour revolves around social dialogue and tripartism. We have already started the process of reforming the labour law. The draft is being considered by the tripartite members. Whilst we were reviewing it, that is when this judgment came, so obviously in our reforms we are going to look at all the implications of the judgments as well as any other amendments to the law. I thank you.
- MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I
think this issue is a serious issue. In actual fact, I think if we had time this is the issue which we really need to be thorough with because as we speak right now, workers have been affected. If the Minister can try to make sure that at least we thoroughly discuss this issue so that at the end of the day we are seen out there as doing something. Thank you Madam
Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you saying all these other questions are not serious? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –.
- MUNENGAMI: Some of the workers have been dismissed and as we speak right now, Pelhams has dismissed workers and TN Holdings has actually fired people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member we
cannot solve things here.
*HON. MATANGIRA: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation development. Hon. Zhanda is in the House. We are saying the country is insecure in terms of food security. I want to find out where we are right now in terms of preparation for the 2015-2016 summer farming season. What has been done so far? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (MR. ZHANDA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank Hon. Matangira for that question concerning Government measures concerning the farming agricultural season that is approaching. We all know that we are facing financial challenges, so what the Government has done is that it has realised that it is important for the farmers themselves - Hon. Speaker, if I may go back to speaking in English. When people applied for land one of the conditions was that one would attach…
- MATANGIRA: On a point of order Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -. The questions that we ask here in Parliament are not meant for us Parliamentarians, they are meant for the constituencies, meaning the people who elected us. The reason why ZBC is in this House today is for the people to hear – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -. My response is that he responds to the question using vernacular so that the people out there can understand and hear for themselves.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister asked for permission to speak in English and I think we have been speaking in English nearly every day, so if he is prepared to answer in English please, leave him to answer the question.
- ZHANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was saying when people applied for land allocation, one of the conditions which was attached to that application, especially A2 farmers, was that they must attach and exhibit the financial resources to carry all the activities on the farm and most of them did that to prove that they had the financial muscle and resources to carry out activities at the farm when they are allocated land and I want to believe that Hon. Matangira is one of them. Except in A1 and A2 farms where it is recognised that those farmers will continue to want Government support, hence the Presidential Input Scheme which has always been availed every year.
Government expects A2 farmers to borrow from their banks, also to enter into contractual obligations with contractors who contract A2 farmers for the growing of various crops. Therefore, it is unfair for A2 farmers to continue to look at Government for support especially with the fiscal space limited as it is. I thank you.
*MR. MATANGIRA: My supplementary question is, we are not saying that a person should go in his own personal capacity, what I want to know is as a Government, what are we saying about the farmers in the rural areas. It is not about borrowing money because we have title deeds but we are saying the whites who are farming in Zambia are farming on land that is owned by the Zambians who have the title deeds. Why can we not do the same? We are saying if a person has cattle, why not use that as collateral for that person to engage in farming with the bank?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (MR. ZHANDA): I want to thank the hon. member for
his question but it does not follow that if he insures his livestock that will guarantee him access to finance. I would also like to give advice to the farmers that at the moment, the cost of borrowing as well, at the end of the day does not render the issue of viability, if one borrows a 23% and 25%. Therefore, if Hon. Matangira and other farmers who feel have the livestock, my advice is that they should unlock value in their livestock by selling them and buy fertilizers.
One of the issues that Government is also looking at is the issue of capitalization for Agri-bank. I am sure the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will concur with me that it is very high on the agenda on how to capitalize Agri-bank in order for farmers to access borrowing from the bank. I thank you.
*MR. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity
that you have given me to pose a question. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. T. Muzenda. The issue of load shedding is on the increase and it is mostly affecting the wheat farmers because they cannot draw water from the dams for irrigation. So, I would like to know what the Ministry is doing to ensure that the winter wheat farmers as well as most of the industries that require electricity are not disturbed in order for us to improve on our economy. There are power stations in Hwange and Kariba, what are they doing to ensure that electricity is available, especially considering the issue of winter wheat ploughing? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUZENDA): I want to thank the hon.
member who has posed that question on the issue of the shortage of electricity here and there. However, there are some areas where the service is good, we are trying by all means as a Ministry and Government to improve on that.
He has asked about the power stations in Hwange and Kariba in terms of their production. I would want to advise him that in the last period, everyday the situation is improving. In reference to the paper that I have here, I have realised that the power station in Hwange is doing well but here and there, there are shortages. The megawatts which have currently been produced by Hwange is 589. Above that, we expect 750 megawatts, so we have a deficit of 161megawatts as of today.
In Kariba, currently, we are getting 709 megawatts, available capacity is 750 megawatts and the deficit is only -41 because we are trying to restructure new units. We are also looking forward to the power in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare, they need to be restructured as well. In Harare, the funding is already available whilst in Bulawayo negotiations are still underway between the Government of India and Zimbabwe but we are expecting that in the next 2 months, before year end, all will be in place – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
*MS. R. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I will speak in
Shona for my Minister to get a clear understanding of what I want to ask
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
*MR. CHAMISA: Madam Speaker, my point of order concerns
the words of intimidation that are unparliamentary that were used by Minister Nyoni. They were intimidating the hon. member who was about to debate. She should be allowed to debate in a language that she is comfortable with. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, order! Hon.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, I will name you and you will go out because you have been talking on top of everyone. You have to behave like a Member of Parliament. – [HON. MEMBERs: Inaudible interjections.] -
Order, order hon. members let us have order here. Order! Hon, R.
Mpofu, you are free to ask in any language you feel like using.
+MRS. R. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands or his Deputy can answer me. What is the Government policy……
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister is not in.
+MRS. R. MPOFU: Can Hon. Minister Zhanda help me?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister Zhanda does not
allocate land, he only looks at issues about the farmers.
- MATANGIRA: On a point of order. This House is not supposed to be tribal. I am born and bred in Mozambique, if I want to speak in Ndebele, I will speak in Ndebele and if I want to speak in
Shona I will do so. The people that harass this girl here, it is not right. –
[HON. MEMBERs: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order! Hon. Zwizwai, I
will be forced to throw you out.
MRS. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans, Hon. Mutsvangwa. You came here and you gave a Ministerial Statement concerning the welfare of the war veterans. You mentioned that you were allocated very little money. My question is, the little money that you were given, when will this money be deposited in our accounts because people in our constituencies want to know. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF WELFARE SERVICES FOR WAR
VETERANS, WAR COLLABORATORS, FORMER POLITICAL DETAINEES AND RESTRICTEES (MR. MUTSWANGWA):
Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the hon. member for the question.
Yes indeed, we received US$3 million from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and as I mentioned, this money was given but we needed about US$19 million. We were only given US$3 million.
We were supposed to have been given US$19 million since 2013 when the war veterans last got money to pay school fees for their children. This US$3 million is paltry. We have already started issuing this money to the banks. If there are others who have not received this money, it is because the money has run out. We have distributed it to the banks. I will continue to engage the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that they keep on allocating more money so that the war veterans’ children can access school fees because it is not adequate. I thank you.
- NDEBELE: Thank you for recognising me Madam Speaker. I remember when I was growing up that the first black person that bought the largest shoe company in Matebeleland had a letter of guarantee from this very Government. We celebrated that in our naivety but a day later, that gentleman was asset striping. He was selling machinery from that company. My belief is, if he had a Government letter of guarantee, there is no way he could have acted outside his agreement with the Government. In that respect Madam Speaker, this Government is pursuing a policy of frustrating development in
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your question hon. member?
- NDEBELE: I am getting there; everyone was allowed to prefix their questions.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, this is
question and answer session and I want you to ask the question to the Minister that you want.
- NDEBELE: I am prefixing the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No, get straight to your
question, what is your question?
- NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, pursuant to that, Government remains adamant in the face of calls to revamp indigenisation laws that are still frustrating foreign direct investment into Matebeleland. Madam
Speaker, this very Government sent the former Minister of Home Affairs to negotiate with his South African counterpart that the children of
Zimbabwe mainly from Matebeleland…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Ndebele.
- CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order! My point of order Madam Speaker is that the hon. member is not posing his question, he is debating. He should be direct and pose his question. We are not debating, he should ask the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have accepted Hon.
Chinotimba’s point of order and I am going to remind the Member of Parliament that if you are want to ask the Minister a policy question, please do so.
- NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the
Minister of Finance and Economic Development. When is this Government going to stop pursuing separatist policies when it comes to the treatment of Matebeleland?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you hon. Speaker. I
did not get the question well.
- NDEBELE: Madam Speaker. At the distribution of
resources in any country are the pertinent questions - why, how, what when and where. When is our Government going to stop pursuing separatist policies in the distribution of resources, particularly with reference to Matebeleland?
- CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I still do not understand the import of the question. I do not know whether the hon. member wants us to discriminate against Matebeleland. His use of the word separatism, I do not know what its import is. The point is that,
Government treats all parts of Zimbabwe equally – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – when we deploy resources as Government, we do not discriminate against any part of the country.
If anything, we may seek to favour those regions which have been marginalized in the past as part of affirmative action. However, I want to assure this House that we do not discriminate against any part of the country in terms of deployment of resources. I thank you.
*MR. ZWIZWAI: My supplementary question Madam Speaker is that, in giving his response, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development mentioned that in terms of allocation of resources, he allocates to areas that were marginalised. We want to know who had marginalised these areas because we have one Government since 1980.
- CHINAMASA: VaZwizwai, you are aware that during the colonial Government, there were areas that were marginalised and now they have roads. There were areas which did not have schools and now have schools. There were also areas where there were no clinics, but now they are there. You know that it was the colonial Government that did not care about the ordinary black person.
- D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I think it is unparliamentary for the Minister to address the hon. member as VaZwizwai, can we be addressed as honourable.
*MR. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, the word honourable is English. In terms of respecting Hon. Zwizwai using the Shona language, I call him VaZwizwai. Therefore, it is respectable in our Shona language. Thank you.
- J. MHLANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maâm. My
question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Hon. Minister, is it Government Policy that School Heads should have a teaching class, especially in rural areas, given that he also has to do some administrative work? If so, is this not a disadvantage to these particular classes? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank
the hon. member for raising this question to assist us all to clarify the eventuality in which we might find a school head with a teaching load.
The allocation of teachers to a school is based on a ratio – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. You
have asked a question and the Minister wants to be heard in silence.
- DOKORA: The allocation of teachers to a school is based on a ratio and the ratio proceeds as follows; at the infant school level, that is the Early Childhood Development (ECD) to Grade – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. members what is your
problem? The hon. Minister is responding and you are busy making noise in the House. May he be heard in silence!
- DOKORA: I was illustrating the fact that the allocation of teachers to a school is based on a teacher- pupil ratio. At the infant school level, we start off with the Early Childhood Development
Module; it is one teacher to 20 pupils. From Grade 3 all the way to Grade 7, it is one teacher to 40 pupils. It is in a lower secondary level as well as Form 1 to Form 4, that similar proportion is pursued in the allocation of teachers.
At Form 5 to 6 levels, that ratio drops to 1 teacher to 25 students, to allow for the greater detail and attention to individual needs at that level. What then happens is that when a school has a total enrolment of say 130 pupils, you then see as a primary school, say how many are in the ECD, how many are in the junior school segment of that school and then teachers are allocated to us by the Public Service Commission. It may very well be that some of the small schools do not command a sufficient enrolment; therefore, it will lead to the head of that station to also assume some teaching function in order to close that gap. I thank you.
- CHIKWAMA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that time
for Questions Without Notice be extended by ten minutes.
- ZWIZWAI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
MRS. MNANGAGWA: Madam Speaker, My question is
directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation
Development. The Brazilian equipment that came was allocated to the intended A1 farmers. Now, when is the equipment going to be dispatched so that they get prepared for this agricultural season that we are now facing?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE
(LIVESTOCK) (MR. ZHANDA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want
to thank the hon. member for the question. I am aware that the distribution has already started. What I cannot give the member is the exact figures as to what has already been distributed and what is outstanding. As a Ministry, we are aware that the equipment must be at the farms as quickly as possible. Probably, the delays might be caused by certain logistical issues but I know that the distribution is in progress.
I thank you.
+MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Madam
Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development, Mr. Chinamasa. ….
- WADYAJENA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, you are giving too much time to the opposition -[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Zwizwai.
What is your point of order Hon. Wadyajena? -[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections]- Hon. Wadyajena, address the Chair.
- WADYAJENA: We raised this concern last week. If you look at it Madam Speaker, the revolutionary party must have at least ….
-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members!
Order, order hon. members on my left side! -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order hon. members! May I take this opportunity to advise the House that, according to the Standing Rules and Orders of this Parliament, they have not yet brought the amendment in our regulation book. So, we will be waiting for the statistics that they will give us on this matter. So on this session, we will remain at the judgment of the Speaker.
So, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, continue with your question. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order hon. members! Order Hon. Matangira. Can we allow Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga to ask her question?
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Ndichakurova ….. no,
no, no, I think you have gone too far.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Misihairabwi-
Mushonga, I will not allow you to continue with the question if you conduct in that behaviour. Order, order hon. members.
Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga I have given you the opportunity to speak to me as the Chair and ask the Minister a question.
+MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I am directing my
question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. What is Government saying on its policy of allowing second hand underwear into the country, particularly for females? I have brought the exhibits with me here. How is Government going to rectify this matter because this underwear can infect you with diseases if you put them on? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I want to
thank the hon. member for her question. She could have made the same point without having to give exhibits. I understand her concern which is that, we are allowing used clothes which have unhealthy implications on our population. I agree with her and I will see whether in the Mid-Term Review Statement next week, I can make an intervention to ban such material. I thank you.
After Minister Chinamasa’s answer, Mrs. Misihairabwi-Mushonga
placed a small plastic packet of the ladies underwear on the table in front of Minister Chinamasa. She straight away proceeded to where Mr.
Wadyajena was sitting (in the front row where Ministers sit)
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Misihairabwi-
Mushonga; Sergeant-At-Arms, can you escort her out of the House? [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, order hon. members!
Mrs. Misihairabwi-Mushonga was escorted out of the House by the
Serjeant-At-Arms. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! I will not
hesitate to throw people out of this House if you continue with this behaviour. Order, I have recognised Hon. Sibanda. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order hon. members. Can you please take your seats?
- MAONDERA: My point of order is that we have extended
Questions Without Notice and the time is up. – [HON MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will not allow anyone to
direct my job here. The hon. member in question crossed the floor to the right from the left which was a breach of Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders. That is why I booted her out. Order! Order! I will not entertain any point of orders at this juncture.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have received Non-Adverse
Reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following:
- Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill [H. B. 2, 2015].
- Joint Ventures Bill 2015 [H.B. 4, 2015]
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
AVAILABILITY OF LOCAL BROADCASTING SERVICES IN
AREAS FROM MWENEZI RIVER, LIMPOPO RIVER INCLUDING
SENGWE COMMUNAL LANDS
- MR GWANETSA asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to inform the House when local broadcasting services will be made available to the population living in the southern part of Zimbabwe, particularly the area from Mwenezi River
(Chikombedzi) down to the Limpopo River, including Sengwe Communal Lands near the Mozambican boarder since these areas continue to have no radio reception 35 years after independence?
THE ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA
AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (SENATOR MUPFUMIRA):
Madam Speaker, my Ministry would like to assure this august House and Hon. Gwanetsa’s constituency in particular, that all things being equal, many disadvantaged areas without broadcasting services will begin to enjoy these services by the end of the year at the earliest, and by March 2016 at the latest. The timeframe is informed by the progress we are making in the process of migrating from analogue television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting. I am sure, that most, if not all hon. members of the House, recall my Ministry’s submissions to the House regarding the country’s digitalisation programme presented by my predecessors.
The Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project commenced in February this year following the signing of a contract between the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Huawei
Technologies of China and this was pursuant to the Memorandum of
Understanding signed between the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr.
Patrick Chinamasa and Huawei Technologies during the historic visit to
China by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R. G. Mugabe, in August last year. Apart from addressing the issue of digital television broadcasting migration, the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project is also providing a solution to the challenges that the broadcasting sector in Zimbabwe has faced over the years due to lack of capital re-investment in the country’s broadcasting infrastructure. In this regard and through this Project, the country’s FM radio transmission network is also being revamped in order to improve the reception of radio services in all parts of the country. Assuming there are no inordinate interruptions in the implementation matrix of this Project, the digitalisation project must be completed within the timeframe I have indicated in my opening remarks.
Madam Speaker, hon. members may be pleased to note the progress we have registered to date as follows:
- Identification of the required additional 24 transmitter sites has been completed; ii.Civil works on 11 out of 17 new transmitter sites has been completed; iii.Tower foundation works on six new transmitter sites has commenced; iv. Seven out of the eight required transmitter equipment room expansion have been completed;
- Five out of the six transmitter site de-installation has been completed; vi.Thirty eight out of the 44 transmitter site power installation and upgrade have been completed; vii.Civil works for the Satellite uplink have been completed; viii.Head-end equipment is being installed as I speak; and ix. Digital equipment worth US$7.2m has been received in the country.
There is considerable progress taking place on the ground. When the project is completed, it will provide Zimbabwe with a state of the art platform for the delivery of broadcasting services in the country, increased capacity for the provision of more television services to the Zimbabwean public, improved access to radio and television services across the country in support of ZIM ASSET and an opportunity for the growth of the local arts industry.
To make sure that universal access will be achieved, our engineers have used technology software planning tools to identify the specific location of transmitter sites for maximum coverage of the whole country. They were also able to pinpoint coverage gaps arising from the nature of the country’s geographical terrain and the solution will be to deploy transmitters in those areas to fill the gaps.
Indeed coverage gaps were identified in Chikombedzi and
Chipinge along the border areas. Two transmitter sites at Bakasa and
Matopo were found to be redundant and have been relocated to Chikombedzi and Chipinge as gap fillers. The point I am making is that the national digital broadcasting migration project is being implemented with the principle of universal access of broadcasting services to all Zimbabweans wherever they reside in mind. The contractor is obligated to put in place a transmission network with coverage such as would ensure universal access of broadcasting services to Zimbabwean by the completion date.
Madam Speaker, the problem of poor or lack of broadcasting services in Hon. Gwanetsa’s constituency is being addressed, if not by the end of this year as I have said, then certainly by the first quarter of 2016. I, therefore, plead with hon. members to bear with us in this interim as we work flat out to complete the digital migration project.
With your permission, may I also tender the same response to address a similar question raised by Hon. Nleya. The hon. member is concerned about the poor broadcasting services in parts of southwest Zimbabwe, particularly Bulilima West Constituency. May the hon.
member rest assured that the primary digital transmission infrastructure for broadcasting services we are carrying out will resolve the problems currently being experienced in his Constituency within the same timeframe as with the Project completion date, if not earlier, since the roll-out transmitter infrastructure programme starts from the periphery along the country’s border areas and moving inwards. My Ministry has promised the House regular updates on the Digital Migration Project and we shall be coming back from time to time with status reports. I thank you.
UPDATE ON PROGRESS MADE TOWARDS ACHIEVEMENT OF
SET TARGETS IN THE ZIM ASSET
- MS. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to give an update on the progress made towards the achievement of targets set in the ZIM ASSET Blue Print?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA):
Honourable members, as you may all be aware, the ZIMASSET framework covers a number of issues across well defined clusters.
We need reliable infrastructure and a strong production base in order to achieve sustainable development.
Further, confidence in the financial services sector is central to the achievement of the ZIM ASSET goals. The financial system plays an important intermediary role that involves mobilizing domestic resources and efficiently channeling them into productive activities. Further, financial sector confidence is enhanced when the Central Bank is empowered to play its proper role.
With this background, I will highlight the major developments.
Infrastructure and Utilities
We have seen some interests in the areas of renewable energy, thermal power generation plants, rehabilitation of railway infrastructure and construction of dams and water reservoirs. Some of the projects currently on our radar include:
Kariba South Hydro Extension and repowering of Harare Thermal Power Station that have been completed.
Increasing power generation capacity at Hwange. The power generation capacity has since been increased to 690MW from 450MW.
Four mini hydro schemes have been initiated although only Pungwe B is currently generating electricity.
Various road rehabilitation projects have since been undertaken country wide.
NetOne has since secured funding for the expansion of its network.
Food Security and Nutrition
We continue to explore ways of enhancing productivity in the agricultural sector. Government is currently rolling out a mechanisation programme targeting the small scale farmers with a view to raising productivity under the “More Food International Programme” with the assistance of the Federal Republic of Brazil.
We have also been promoting investment in irrigation and water supply infrastructure in order to raise productivity in the local communities. Investing in irrigation infrastructure will go a long way in addressing the adverse effects of the climate change and also enhance productivity in the agricultural sector.
Value Addition and Beneficiation
We see huge value addition and beneficiation opportunities in agroprocessing and mining industries in the country.
Reasonable progress has been made in the mining sector to promote value addition in platinum in particular. Some platinum producers are in the process of submitting to Government their plans for the establishment of refineries.
A lot of work has gone into the area of diamond cutting and polishing where various models are being explored.
Social Services and Poverty Eradication
Our budget remains very sensitive to the social services sectors such as health, education and agriculture among others. We are also working with the Development Partners to ensure that these sectors are “fully funded”.
Servicing of high and medium density suburb stands in Bulawayo and Harare has also been done.
Restoring confidence in the Financial Sector
We have also taken action to restore confidence in the financial sector through recapitalizing the Reserve Bank, establishing the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO), demonetising the local currency and resuscitating the interbank market activities.
Recapitalising the Reserve Bank will enhance its ability to supervise the banking sector and assume its central banking functions which are crucial for the financial sector stability.
ZAMCO will help free the banking system from the burden of high non-performing loans that limit the bank’s ability to extend credit to the private sector and keep the cost of credit high.
The demonetisation process that started on the 15th of June will run up to the 30th of September 2015. A total of US$20m has been mobilized for this exercise. This is an important step in our pursuit to restore market confidence.
Addressing the country’s external debt is a key focus area. We are stepping up our efforts to build consensus among all development partners on ways to address our arrears that continue to limit our ability to participate on the international financial markets. The arrears have had a negative effect on Zimbabwe’s ability to raise cheap international debt and also access concessional funding from the Development Financial Institutions.
Government established a Debt Management Office in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that is responsible for coordinating all the public debt related issues. The office has so far created a database, is in the process of reconciling the debt figures and has developed a Debt Resolution Strategy that we have since shared with the creditors.
We have also been running a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We met all quantitative targets and structural benchmarks for the reviews done to date since the first programme.
Efforts to enhance credibility
Exports, inward foreign investment, diaspora remittances, loans and grants or aid are among the main sources of liquidity.
A number of initiatives have been implemented in order to promote liquidity, for instance, restoring banking sector confidence, promoting exports – Cabinet on the 4th of June 2015 approved the temporary lifting of the ban on the export of chrome ore and chrome fines, centralisation of gold buying by Fidelity Printers and Refineries among others. Gold deliveries have improved significantly.
Ease of doing business
Currentl, efforts are underway to address both the cost and ease of doing business in the country. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is championing our efforts to enhance the country’s competitiveness.
According to the World Economic Forum (2015), Zimbabwe’s Global Competitiveness Index improved from 131 to 124.
We are working on the legislation to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZ). This is a vital step towards implementing the SEZ.
The Joint Ventures Bill is now before Parliament. This will help reduce pressure on Government as it will allow for Joint Venture
Partnerships and opportunities to leverage on private sector financing.
IMPLEMENTATION OF MEGA DEALS SIGNED BETWEEN THE
ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT, CHINA AND RUSSIA
- MR. D. TSHUMA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain whether in view of the recently signed deals between the Zimbabwe Government, China and Russia, the Ministry has come up with short to medium term strategies to facilitate implementation of the mega deals and resuscitate the economy?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker,
Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of implementing the signed mega deals with China and Russia.
However, background work is required prior to the implementation of any project. A snapshot of the stages that have to be followed is as follows;
- Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
- Conducting pre-feasibility and feasibility study.
- Conducting Environmental Impact Assessment Studies (EIAS).
- Appraisal of feasibility reports.
- Carry out due diligence exercises by both parties.
- Signing of loan agreements.
- Release of funds.
- Project implementation.
Madam Speaker, allow me now to turn to the economic cooperation between Government of Zimbabwe and the Peoples Republic of China. A number of projects are at various stages of implementation. I will highlight some of the major projects.
Kariba South Hydro Power Station Extension Project
Madam Speaker, in the energy sector, Government and China
Exim Bank signed a US$319.5 million Preferential Buyer’s Credit Loan Agreement for Kariba Sought Hydro Power Station Extension Project on 11th November, 2013.
Two generating units of 150 megawatts each, giving a total of 300 megawatts, will be added at Kariba South Hydro Power Station. The target project completion date is 2017. This project is currently implemented by Sinohydro Corporation. To date, a total of US$100.4 million has been disbursed.
Hwange Thermal Power Station Expansion
Madam Speaker, the Government of Zimbabwe is currently negotiating with China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation for US$1.3 billion financing of Hwange 7 and 8. The project will add an additional 600 megawatts to the national grid.
Net One Network Expansion Phase 11 Project
Government and China Exim Bank signed a Concessional Loan Agreement to provide funding of up to US$218.9 million for the implementation of NetOne network expansion Phase 11 project on 25th August, 2014. To date, a total of US$65 million has been disbursed.
Upgrading of the Victoria Falls International Airport Project
A facility amounting to RMBI (Chinese currency) 1.025 billion which translates to approximately US$150 was secured for the purposes of developing the Victoria Falls International Airport. Cumulative disbursements to date are US$79.9 million.
The development and rehabilitation of the City of Harare Municipal Water and Sewage Treatment Works of US$140.2 and the medical equipment supplies, US$89.9 million are progressing well. Cumulative disbursements to date are US$68.6 million and US$71.9 million respectively.
Economic cooperation between Government of Zimbabwe and
The Government of Zimbabwe and Russia signed an agreement on cooperation in the implementation of the Darwendale Platinum Group Metals Deposit on 16th September, 2014. Subsequent to that, His Excellency, the President launched the Darwendale Platinum Project and Brook Metal Deposit Project on the same day.
The project is in three phases and is as follows;
- Phase 1: 2014 – 2017
- Phase 2: 2018 – 2021
- Phase 3: 2022 – 2024
With respect to the first phase Madam Speaker. The first phase involves exploration and designs among the preliminary works. The initial annual platinum group of metals concentrate production is estimated at 265 000 ounces with an estimated capital outlay of US$550 million.
The project is currently underway with over, 40 000 metres of exploration having been covered to date.
The production and capital investment targets for the second phase are 500 000 ounces and it will cost US$770 million dollars respectively.
Production is expected to increase to at least 790 000 ounce. An additional investment of US$460 million will be made during this phase.
I thank you Madam Speaker.
- D. TSHUMA: While I agree to what the Minister is saying, I think those are mega deals which are long term in nature. I am very much interested in the short term measures that will reboot and kick start the economy. What is the Government doing to resuscitate the economy as of now?
- CHINAMASA: The hon. member asked progress on ZIMASSET, I have given them. The ZIMASSET projects are primarily addressing issues of infrastructure. We have to close the infrastructure gap. In this respect, the priority infrastructure is power generation seconded of course by road construction, dualisation, water and sanitation, ICT infrastructure and so forth. With respect to other aspects to do with support to the productive sector, currently we are engaging various multilateral and bilateral financial institutions in order to secure lines of credit to the productive sectors. But Zimbabwe, for the reasons that we all know, the sanctions and so forth, we are unable to have access to the capital markets. We are encouraging the commercial banks to secure lines of credits for their clients.
- GABBUZA: May I know from the Minister how Government is ensuring that our very capable local companies are benefiting or are going to benefit from some of the scope of works of these projects.
- CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, I can speak more
authoritatively about the Kariba South Extension. There have been a lot of local contractors, contracted to supply materials for the construction of that project, in particular, river sand, it is supplied by local companies. Anything that can be locally produced has to be sourced locally but of course equipment is manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China but everything else that can be sourced locally, is being procured locally to the benefit of local suppliers.
- CHIMANIKIRE: Madam Speaker, from the Auditor
General’s Report, Grain Marketing Board failed to raise a deposit in order to secure US$51 million loan. Can you appraise the House as to what percentage does the Government of Zimbabwe has to raise as a deposit to any loan agreement before they can secure it? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT MR. CHINAMASA): I think it is very clear that we are digressing from the question. The question was on mega deals, now the supplementary question is talking about GMB. Madam Speaker, at the moment you need to be more specific. For instance, if you are talking about the mega deals that I have talked about Kariba South, Victoria Falls International Airport is 100% a loan, no equity, no contribution from our part apart from the fact that we are under obligation to repay the loan plus interest.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. member, I will advise
you to put your question in writing so that his Ministry can also get into the details of the GMB issue.
DOUBLE TAXATION FOR DIESEL GENERATORS AT MINING
COMPANIES BY ZERA AND EMA
- MR. MUDARIKWA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to the House why there is double taxation on carbon tax for diesel used in generators at mining companies by both Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and the Environmental Management Agency, S.1. 72/2009.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you Madam
Speaker and I thank the hon. member for his question. As hon.
members may recall, in 2001 Government introduced carbon tax with a view to supporting budget expenditures on environmental issues.
Notwithstanding the fact that taxation issues are under my purview, the question raised by the hon. member should have been directed to the responsible Ministries of Energy and Power Development or Environment, Water and Climate.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate is responsible for
Air Pollution Control Regulations promulgated as Statutory Instrument
72 of 2009. This Statutory Instrument mandates the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to issue licences to polluters of the environment, including the mining houses that use generators and other industrial machines in order to prevent, control and abate pollution.
The fees and charges levied by EMA are on the issue of a licence to operate machines which emit dangerous substances to the atmosphere and not on diesel.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is responsible for the mode of payment of carbon tax, which is currently based on fuel consumption in line with Petroleum (Fuels Pricing) Regulation 2013 and Statutory Instrument 80 of 2014, which require that carbon tax rate of US$0.013 per litre be embodied in the price of diesel, irrespective of the end use of the product.
Hon. members, it is clear that there is no double taxation on diesel used in generators at mining companies. Double taxation arises when income taxes are paid twice on the same source of earned income, for example, income tax levied on corporate income and then on profits when distributed as dividends to shareholders. I thank you.
ELECTRIFICATION OF COMMMUNITIES IN GOKWE
- MS. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to state plans in place to electrify communities in the Gokwe Constituency in view of the fact that they paid for connection fees in January 2015.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUZENDA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I
would like to thank the member for the question. There are currently fifty eight customers under ZETDC Gokwe Client Service Centre who paid connection fees but have not been connected due to non availability of prepaid meters. The customers are distributed as follows:- Gokwe Centre has 33, Manoti has 9 and Nembudziya has 16. These will be connected as meters become available.
TRANSFORMER REPLACEMENT AT METETA ONE BUSINESS CENTRE IN GOKWE CONSTITUENCY
- MS. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to inform the House when the Ministry will replace the transformer at Mateta One Business Centre in Gokwe Constituency which was damaged in March 2015.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUZENDA): Thank you again Madam Speaker. The 100KVA, 33/0.4KV Transformer at Mateta One in Gokwe Manoti was struck and damaged by lightning on the 3rd of March, 2015. ZETDC Kwekwe District under which Gokwe Manoti falls did not have any spare replacement transformer. A procurement order for a replacement transformer was placed with suppliers and the transformer is still being awaited for. ZETDC does not currently have spare transformers in place due to high demand for transformers to replace vandalized transformers, general fault maintenance requirements, and new reticulation requirements.
PRIORITISATION OF ETHANOL FOR BLENDING FROM
- MR. CHIWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development why Government is prioritizing supplies of ethanol for blending from Chisumbanje when the commodity is selling above 95 cents per litre and from Triangle where it is selling at 60 cents per litre, and can the Minister further explain the reasons for not allowing the two suppliers to compete for the production of ethanol.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUZENDA): Thank you Madam Speaker.
According to Statutory Instrument 17 of 2013, ethanol purchased for the purposes of mandatory blending shall be obtained from licensed ethanol producer who is in a joint venture partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe. Green Fuel is the only licensed ethanol producer that meets the above mentioned requirement. The
Government of Zimbabwe through ARDA, has a 10% shareholding in the company and is working to acquire 51% shareholding in line with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy. Therefore, purchase of ethanol for mandatory blending from Chisumbanje is in accordance with the legislation, regardless of the availability of a cheaper commodity elsewhere.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to inform the hon. member that the correct prices for ethanol are from Triangle, US$0.78 cents per litre as mill gate prices because Triangle does not deliver the product while that of Green Fuel is US$0.88 cents per litre mill gate price and US$0.95 cents per litre delivered to Feruka or Msasa depots. These prices exclude US$0.05 cents duty.
In the past, when Green Fuel faced production challenges at the Chisumbanje plant, the Ministry had to intervene and allowed the supply of ethanol from Triangle in these particular exceptional circumstances so as to avert a potential supply crisis. Even then, in order to facilitate the purchase of the ethanol, Triangle was issued with a temporary licence to allow for the supply of ethanol for the mandatory blending market. Triangle has been asked to comply with the shareholding requirement of being in partnership with Government and is yet to oblige. Government would therefore like more players in this area so as to boost competition.
- GABBUZA: I think in terms of the Statutory Instrument clearly explained by the Deputy Minister, that company must be licenced to supply ethanol and it certainly must be in partnership with Government. That is what the Statutory Instrument says. So, in the event that Triangle was supplying and yet it was not in partnership with Government, what remedies were done because we were in breach of the law at that time?
- MUZENDA: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon.
member for the question, but I think it is a bit technical and may I ask that question to be submitted in written form? Thank you.
POLICY ON ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION BY HIPPO
VALLEY AND TRIANGLE LIMITED
- MR. CHIWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power
Development to explain whether the Ministry’s policy provides for the production of electricity by Hippo Valley and Triangle Limited for their own use without supplying it to surrounding communities.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUZENDA): Thank you again Madam
Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. member for raising such an important question. As the hon. member may be aware, Government introduced reforms in the power sector to bring in more players in the electricity supply industry which had been characterised by a sole supplier, ZESA. This allowed for competition in the generation and distribution of electricity. According to Section 40 of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19), anyone operating an electricity undertaking which generates, transmits, distributes or supplies electricity in excess of 100
KW should have a licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory
Authority (ZERA). Licences come in three categories, namely
Generation, Transmission and Bulk Supply and Distribution and Retail.
Although Government’s intention is to introduce more players into the distribution of electricity, currently direct competition is mainly in generation as most investors have opted for generating power especially for use in their operations. Where they generate in excess of their requirements, they then sell the excess to ZETDC which has the sole responsibility of distributing electricity to all consumers. In this case, they enter into a Power Purchase Agreement with ZETDC after acquiring a generation licence which restricts them to generating as opposed to distributing power.
Madam Speaker, Government policy provides for Independent Power Producers to produce power for their own use and, where possible, sell the excess to the grid. The two companies - Triangle and Hippo Valley which the hon. member is referring to, have capacity to generate 45 MW and 33 MW respectively using residue from their sugar cane plantations. These companies generate for their own consumption and have a banking arrangement with ZETDC in which they let ZETDC use the excess power they produce on the understanding that they will get equivalent power from ZETDC when they need it. This is so because their production of power is seasonal and during their off-season, they do not generate power.
In short, Government policy provides for IPPs to generate power for their own consumption and restricts holders of generation licences only to generating power. However, the excess power available after consumption is fed into the ZETDC grid. The power eventually benefits all consumers including the communities that are in close proximity to the Independent Power Producers, through ZETDC’s distribution system. I thank you.
CLARIFICATION ON ROADS THAT FALL UNDER THE
PURVIEW OF THE MINISTRY OR LOCAL AUTHORITIES
- MR. M. S. NDLOVU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to clarify whether the following roads fall under the purview of the Ministry or Local authorities –
- Masendu-Khami and (c) Matjinge-Ndolwane.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. MPOFU): Thank
you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the hon. member for raising that question. The Plumtree-Tsholotsho road falls under the jurisdiction of my Department of Roads. The road requires regravelling, but this repair work requires a substantial amount of funding and this has not been availed as yet. Due to the limited funding availed, the province was only able to carry out maintenance grading around the end of 2014.
Regravelling will be carried out when the required funding is availed. We also have request from the Tsholotsho community to have that road tolled, but that is a complicated request which we are consulting on. However, we would like to thank the Tsholotsho community for being proactive and quite progressive in their request.
On the Masendu-Khami and Matjinge-Ndolwane roads which fall under the purview of local authorities (RDCs) in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South respectively, both roads would ideally require regravelling as the method of repair. However, the unavailability of adequate funding is hampering the repair of the roads. Thank you.
- GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I appreciate the
Minister’s concern that it is quite expensive and there are no resources
for regrading, but how about putting the road synergies which the…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba and Hon.
Ndlovu, can you please listen to the hon. member who has the floor?
- GABBUZA: The road synergies which the Minister said they are trying to coordinate with SADC, this should not be expensive. When are we likely to see these road signs on these roads?
- MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank my colleague Hon. Gabbuza for raising that question which he raised last time. I am going to give the same answer as I gave last time, that we are actually in the process of implementing those requirements. It is a process, if any funds come in, we move a bit forward and when they are not there, we wait until we get interventions.
That will be done and I want to thank you for your persistence and concern hon. member.
CONSTRUCTION OF PLUMTREE VIA DOMBODEMA TO
MAITENGWE BORDER POST ROAD
- MR. NLEYA asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development when the construction of the road from Plumtree via Dombodema to Maitengwe Border Post will resume.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. O. MPOFU):
Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I want to thank the hon.
member again for raising that question, Hon. Nleya. The Plumtree via Dombodema road to Maitengwe Border Post road is 114.5 km long with only 1.5km surfaced from Plumtree.
The first 85km is gravel road to Madlambuzi and was last graded in May, 2015. The last 28km to Maitengwe Border Post is an earth road which was last graded in October 2014. While it is my Ministry’s wish for this and other strategic roads to be tarred, I regret to advise that due to financial constraints we cannot give a date when this will be done. Our priority now is on the rehabilitation of the main state highways then we will attend to other national roads like the one in question. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members,
the Hon. Minister is responding to your questions so may he please be heard in silence.
REHABILITATION OF DAMAGED ROADS IN GOKWE-
GUMUNYU AND GOKWE NORTH
- 30. MAHIYA asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to state plans in place to rehabilitate the bridges and roads that were damaged in December 2013, in Gokwe Gumunyu and Gokwe North. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker,
what the hon. member said is true. I actually came in contact with the under-garments that Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga brought in so now I have a terrible cough.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, I
expect you to be well behaved in Parliament and should not joke and take the business of this august House lightly.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. O. MPOFU):
Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mahiya for raising that very important question but I also want to take this opportunity to sympathise and empathise with Hon. Chinotimba for his ailment.
Madam Speaker, my Department of Roads is aware of the numerous washaways that have occurred in the Midlands Province, including the Gokwe-Gumunyu and Gokwe North constituencies. They have compiled the information on all the washaways and requested for funding to carry out the repairs. The total budget for repairing washaways in the Midlands Province which includes the mentioned constituencies is $2.3 million. This funding has not been availed as yet. The repairs will be implemented in a prioritised manner when the funding is availed.
DUALISATION OF HARARE-NYAMAPANDA ROAD
- 31. MUDARIKWA asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to explain to the House the progress made on the dualisation of Harare-Nyamapanda road in Mashonaland East Province.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. O. MPOFU):
Thank you Madam Speaker. Again, I would like to thank my colleague and friend Hon. Mudarikwa for raising that question.
Madam Speaker, the Harare-Nyamapanda road is one of the major highways that serve the country. It is also part of the North-South corridor which is vital for trade in the region as it connects to neighbouring countries.
My Ministry intends to dualise all the major highways in order to improve connectivity. To that end, we have prioritised the highways in preparation for dualisation and the Harare-Nyamapanda road is part of the first phase that is going to be put to tender. The intention is to get an investor who will carry out the rehabilitation of the existing road as well as dualise the route. The tendering is going to be done in the near future and it is our intention to implement the project soon afterwards.
AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO FIX STREET LIGHTS BY THE
BULAWAYO CITY COUNCIL
- 32. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development whether ZINARA has availed any funds to Bulawayo City Council to attend to street lights.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. O. MPOFU):
Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Masuku for his question. ZINARA availed, especially on Bulawayo, that is very important Hon. Masuku because there have been some misguided comments on what has been availed to Bulawayo.
The official position is that ZINARA has availed US$224 809.00 funding to Bulawayo City Council this year for the first quarter for routine maintenance of its roads. There is a lot of activity taking place in Bulawayo in terms of road rehabilitation and it is quite commendable.
The city is doing a wonderful job with these interventions.
The prioritization of the activities carried out which include pothole patching and street lighting repair rests with the road authority, which in this case is the Bulawayo City Council. It is my hope that they will attend to some of their street lighting before the end of the year as they receive more funding for routine maintenance of their roads for the second, third and fourth quarters.
This is really the intervention from the licensing fees. When we introduced the Urban Tolling, they will be getting more and more of our roads will be rehabilitated in urban cities.
RESURFACING OF ST. MARTIN ROAD CONNECTING
EMGANWINI IN NKETA AND RANGEMORE IN MGUZA
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to state when the Ministry is going to resurface St. Martin road which connects Emganwini in Nketa Constituency and Rangemore in Mguza Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. O. MPOFU): I
want to thank Hon. Masuku for that question.
Madam Speaker, St. Martin road and Rangemore road belong partially to Bulawayo City Council and to Mguza Rural District Council. The sections under Bulawayo City Council are in a fair Condition but those under Mguza Rural District, whose Member of Parliament is the one talking, are in poor condition and would ideally require rehabilitation which includes resurfacing. The responsibility of rehabilitating the two roads falls with the respective road authority which is Mguza.
Should the respective road authority set aside funding for the rehabilitation and resurfacing but find that they do not have the capacity to do the work themselves, then they are free to engage my Department of Roads, any other road authority with the desired capacity or a private contractor to outsource the work on their behalf will be appreciated.
WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
RESTRICTION ON MOVEMENT OF CATTLE FROM
DISTRICT TO DISTRICT IN MASVINGO PROVINCE
- MR. GWANONGODZA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain the policy regarding the restriction of movement of cattle from one district to another in view of the fact that in Masvingo Province there are reported cases of outbreak of disease in the district.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (MR. ZHANDA): Hon.
Member, Foot and Mouth Disease has been reported in Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Chivi and Masvingo Districts in Masvingo Province. The disease is one of the notifiable diseases which when detected, movement of animals from the affected areas is restricted through quarantine as prescribed in the Animal Health Act. However, following the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2014, there is partial restriction of animal movement in Zaka, Bikita and Gutu Districts in the same province.
Once the disease has been controlled, animal movement restrictions will be lifted and movement may commence to districts of choice. Movement of animals requires a Veterinary Movement Permit which is issued by the district veterinary officer even when there is no disease outbreak.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE,
HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON THE
IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT AT THE FORBES BORDER POST.
- C.C. SIBANDA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Immigration Department at the Forbes Border Post.
- CHIMANIKIRE: I second.
- C. C. SIBANDA:
1.1. The Ministry of Home Affairs’ mandate is to make the country a safe and secure place to live in through the maintenance of public order security, control entry and exit of people across Zimbabwe’ borders, issuance of personal documents and preservation of cultural heritage.
1.2 As part of its terms of reference, your Committee paid a fact finding visit to the Forbes Border Post which falls under the Immigration Department of the Ministry. The purpose of the fact finding visit was to enquire into the operational challenges bedeviling the Forbes Border Post.
1.3 Your Committee would like to express its appreciation at the candid manner with which officials from the Immigration Department cooperated and responded to issues raised during the visit.
2.0 Forbes Border Post
2.1This is a Border post in Mutare, Manicaland where Zimbabwe’s boundary with Mozambique is. Your Committee was informed that the Border Post handles an average of 65 000 travelers who enter and exit the country monthly. Such a volume of traffic translates to an average of
780 000 people passing through the Border in a year. Most of the travelers are Zimbabweans and Mozambicans who conduct trading business between the two countries.
2.2 Your Committee was further informed that Zimbabwe being a transit country, truck drivers also ply through the same border on a daily basis, ferrying imported goods from the Port of Beira. Others go through on their way to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, D.R.C and Malawi. Evidence before your Committee given by the Acting Regional
Immigration Officer in Charge of the Eastern Region Mr. Roy Tambandini, was that long queues were seldom experienced. This was attributed to the Immigration staff being able to serve their clients within three minutes as stipulated in their Clients Charter. However, such service was contingent upon presentation by travelers to Immigration Officers of relevant travelling documents.
2.3 The Border Post was also used by other stakeholders such as
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the President’s Office, Military Intelligence, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police in uniform and in civilian clothing, Environmental Management Agency, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, and Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA). Each of the stakeholders have their own terms of reference.
3.0 Operational Challenges
3.1 In terms of its operations, the Immigration Control is mandated to efficiently and effectively ensure the smooth passage of bona fide travelers as well as the maintenance of security and peace in the border area. However, your Committee was informed that the staff at the Immigration Department at the Border Post were confronted with a myriad of challenges. Chief among them were incidents involving taxi drivers and touts who frequently sneaked into the border area to tout for travelers who would be coming into and traversing across Zimbabwe.
This had the effect of congesting the Border Post for no apparent reason. Travelers coming into the country often found themselves being hassled and harassed by touts as they tussled to get clients. Suffice to say that any port of entry in a country is a reflection of the image of that nation.
Forbes Border Post is no exception. It is the face of Zimbabwe.
3.2 It was therefore disturbing to your Committee to learn that such incidents of harassment were rampant at the Forbes Border Post. The touts were conducting their activities with such impunity as if the law did not exist to curb such activities. An ideal situation would be the one where travelers have to choose their own mode of transport to whatever destination in Zimbabwe without being harassed. When they arrive, they expect a peaceful environment. However such actions by taxi drivers and touts portrayed a bad image of the country.
3.3 Your Committee was further concerned to hear that the challenges posed by touts and taxi drivers were exacerbated by lack of cooperation from the police. They allowed a free flow of taxis into the border area. As a result, some officials had to leave their office duties to man the outside gate as a way of keeping out such taxi drivers and touts.
However the situation was compounded by the fact that each time the
Immigration Officers approached the taxi drivers, they quickly sneaked out and only to come back in numbers to continue their business. A number of them had been arrested on several occasions and each time they got away with payment of twenty dollars admission of guilt fines. These fines were not deterrent enough as evidenced by their resurfacing in the border area after such payments. Each time they came back, they would be having their twenty dollars to pay again.
3.4 The Acting Principal Regional Officer bemoaned the provisions of Section 50 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides limited detentions of accused persons to forty-eight hours only before appearing in court. Such provisions impacted negatively on the operations of the
Immigration’s Control at the Border. It has also clipped the powers derived from Section 8 (1) of the Immigration Act Chap 4: 02 which used to provide powers to detained accused persons for 14 days pending investigations. Such a period was adequate time for the verification of nationalities for the illegal immigrants caught without documents yet claiming to be citizens from a certain country. Evidence led before your Committee was that this period would have enabled the Immigration Control to gather enough evidence to present their case before the courts.
3.5 Your Committee was further informed that other challenges faced were in the form of tracks used by the military outside the Forbes Border
Post. The Forbes Border Post is fenced and it’s only accessible through the gates. The outside track is only used for security personnel by the Police and the Army. The Immigration Control has no control over the people using these tracks outside the Border area.
3.6 Mozambicans also come to the no man’s land to trade and change money and mill around all day in the presence of security personnel from both countries. Generally, the boundary between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, while infested with landmines has proved quite porous as evidenced by revelations that on several occasions, trucks carrying contraband and busses breached undesignated crossing points along the border where the locals had provided safe passages. Suffice to say illegal activities such as importation of goods were rampant and some unscrupulous individuals benefited from such entry and exit points along the border.
3.7 Your Committee received evidence to the effect that on a number of occasions, informal traders transported bales of cotton and other goods, presumably for resale in Zimbabwe. The informal crossing points along the border were said to be too many and the Immigration Department find it extremely difficult to control the movements of such people. Inevitably, this is very disturbing news to your Committee in view of the realisation that millions of dollars’ worth of revenue which should be accruing to the country are lost. Further to that unlimited entry and exit from the country provided other challenges such as those associated with Human Trafficking.
3.8 The Immigration Department had to deal with Cases of students from neighboring countries who, from time to time, attended Institutions of Higher learning in the country? A case in point was the Africa University which is closer to neighbouring Mozambique. Your
Committee is of the opinion that the authorities at Immigration should formalise the entry into Zimbabwe of school children from neighboring countries into Zimbabwe.
4.1Your Committee found the Border area with Mozambique extremely porous. A lot of illegal entry points along the Border were being abused by locals, traders and even criminals to enter into and to exit from the country. In its deliberations on its fact finding tour of the Forbes Border Post, your Committee also found that touts and taxi drivers were an extreme nuisance at the Border. The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that some of the taxis that were posing challenges were in fact owned by some Government Officials who were employed at the Border Post within the various sister Departments. Your Committee heard that other than the official route that passed through the Immigration Post, there was another track that was for use by Security Personnel. It was the unauthorised use of the said track which resulted in evasion and unlawful entry and exit by travelers. The Immigration Department at the Border Post found it difficult to contain exit and entry into the country
by such people. Further to that, your Committee observed that there was no coordination of activities among the various Departments at the Border, a situation which gave rise to security breaches of the Border Post.
5.1 Accordingly, your Committee came up with the following recommendations:-
- That the taxis that are normally found at the Border Post should be moved from the gate to a service station which is some distance away from the Border Post. Such a move would deter taxi drivers from coming back to the Border area to tout for passengers. This would also assist travelers to walk up to taxis of their choice without any jostling and harassment by touts and taxi drivers.
- That deterrent fines be imposed on offenders where such fines have to be reviewed upwards from twenty dollars to a hundred dollars.
- There is need to engage other stakeholders at the Border Post so that illegal activities are contained by the security personnel particularly the police. This could be in the form of periodic meetings where various departments would have to upraise each other on the security situation and what needs to be done at the border post.
d)That Military personnel and the Police should control movement of any travelers and touts who are in the habit of using their track. In addition, they were also expected to clear the no man’s land possibly for any people loitering and trading.
- That the Immigration Department needs to come up with measures to curb illegal movement across the border through regular patrols with the assistance of the Zimbabwean Republic Police.
- That stringent laws should be put in place before the end of the year to bring to an end challenges bedeviling the management of our borders which have seen a lot of revenue being lost.
- That there is need for an inter-ministerial Committee to deal with issues of coordinating activities at the Border Posts and the AntiCorruption Commission has to be visible to handle any nefarious activities that take place around the border posts in the country. Generally, there has been a public outcry about corrupt practices at the border posts countrywide. It is your Committee’s considered view that there is need to move staff at Border Posts on rotational basis as a way of curbing rampant corruption by officials who overstay at Border Posts.
Your Committee found the operational challenges at the Forbes Border Post a cause for concern and therefore urges the parent Ministry to consider this report seriously with a view to taking remedial measures as a matter of urgency.
- CHIMANIRE: Thank you Madam Speaker. First and
foremost, I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Committee most probably because he is a retired soldier, he was very much in control of our travel. It took us five days to reach Forbes Border Post having traversed through the land mine area of Crooks Border, coming from Beitbridge and from there, we went to Burma Valley. After that, we went to Chikwalakwala on the Zimbabwean side and finally, to Forbes Border Post. It was a gruelling journey.
You can imagine tall men like me sitting in that small bus with legs actually fitting into one corner. Each time we had to be standing passengers for more than ten kilometres because it was so uncomfortable. The contextual First Lady was also with us, Hon. Mnangagwa and it was her first trip with the Committee but she kept us smiling all the way telling us a lot of jokes as we went around.
Getting to Forbes Border Post Madam Speaker, it is very worrying what is happening at our borders. The border post is supposed to be the face of Zimbabwe in terms of services, hospitality and the general environment. The sight of touts itself actually demeans the whole status of the country into which one is entering into because that is what people see. They think we are disorganised, forcing people, almost snatching their bags from them in order to control them in terms of entry into our country, which is actually a very shameful thing to happen at a border post.
Observations as a Committee member, we cannot run away from
the impression that there is lot of revenue loss that is being encountered at our Forbes border post. Again, when you listen to the briefing coming from the officials, it is evident that human trafficking is happening at that border post. No record is being kept and nobody cares whether it is young girls or boys being taken across the border never to return, maybe sold in other foreign countries. What we actually observed generally is that there is no control of any sort that is effective. It is like everybody is saying, I mind my business, I do not care what the other department is doing. That is not conducive for a border crossing. I am sure that most of our colleagues here who have crossed borders into other countries, have seen that effective controls are in place. From the Zimbabwean side, it does not seem like that. There is smuggling of goods, especially mabhero embatya. That is the entry area where they are coming through into our country.
There is uncoordinated administration as earlier on reported.
There is no rapport between the Army, Police, Immigration and ZIMRA.
Each department is on its own and they are not coordinated at all. I think the recommendation that the Chairperson has actually read is good, where we should have an inter-ministerial set up which shares information and is able to effectively ensure that the Anti-Corruption Commission sets up a sub-office at each and every border post.
We had other submissions from other members who are resident in Harare who have joined the Committee recently, that in Mbare there is a block of flats where mabhero embatya are stored. These belong to immigration officials and officials that are at the border. This has to be investigated. It is unsubstantiated but coming from other Members of Parliament, it is information that we cannot afford to just ignore. As a result of the smuggling goods, we must also indicate that the Mutare border post which is at Forbes Border Post is very important because from that area, there is mining of diamonds. From my experience in the Ministry of Mines, I remember that when I visited there in the past, evidence coming from women miners was indicating that there was smuggling of diamonds and that they used the method of bribing the police using what they call ngoda to be able to cross with the other loot that they would be having. As a result, you find that on the Mozambican side, although we did not get there as intended as we did not have time, I have information that it is more developed on the other side because they have to resell our diamonds and have more earnings than what we sell them for.
The route that was referred to in our report, it is a route which is accessible to the army and is under their observation. They allow people that have been turned away by immigration to pass through that route, go to no man’s land and conduct illegal trading. This is under the watchful eye of the police and the army. The police who are at the entry gate, when we passed through even as a delegation from Parliament, did not notice that we were passing through. They were looking at the other side. You can imagine what happens when it comes to those who are crossing illegally at the border. This is an issue of great concern and it is also detrimental to legal controls that are supposed to be at a border post if the police are not as active as they are supposed to be.
The most disturbing thing was that the Senior Immigration Officer, Mr. Tambandini admitted that he does not report to senior police officers or senior Central Intelligence Officers (CIOs); he reports to juniors that actually collaborate with him at the border post. Whilst he is aware that there is a Joint Operations Committee where senior officers sit, he has never bothered to report there, but he was complaining that the police are not cooperating. So, it shows how he is collaborating with juniors and is afraid of reporting to seniors simply because the seniors will take action when there are such negative reports. Although he is senior, he chooses to speak to juniors at that particular border post.
The issue of Africa University, it is not only that, even primary school children come and attend school until graduation stage, that is when the immigration officials noticed that there are visitors coming in for a graduation for a student that has never been registered at the border that they cross from Mozambique to come into Zimbabwe. So, this is an issue. We will have illegal immigrants who come here and study, use some of the resources that the Government is struggling to amass in order to be able to fund Zimbabwean students. It is only noticeable when visitors come in to attend graduation ceremonies that someone has been in this country for six to seven years and has been studying, coming in and out across a border post which is manned. This is very disappointing Madam Speaker to us as a Committee when we observed that particular issue.
The other issue is a lot of illegal crossing areas which are very common on the Mozambican border. Most of us who know that when the guerrillas used to cross from Mozambique, despite the landmines, they still could make it into Zimbabwe. It is these crossing areas that are being used by smugglers to cross into Zimbabwe. As the report has mentioned, even buses are driving across through unregistered crossing points carrying a lot of loot which is then traded in Zimbabwe. Sometimes they carry passengers who will be trading on illicit goods in Zimbabwe. This is a cost to Government.
We observed as a Committee, that our border posts like Forbes
Border Post could be a high revenue-generating area. However, this is not the case, the volume of people who cross to and fro do not match the amount of revenue that is generated at that border post. As such, some of the recommendations that we have proffered can also be reinforced by regular audits by internal auditors to ensure that there is accountability on the part of funds that are collected. Remember as a Committee, we observed a box that was almost full of fines which were paid by people who break the law, but paid US$20 fines as has been pointed out. It is too low and people continue to break the law deliberately knowing that the fees that they pay will be nothing compared to what they will have earned illegally.
Therefore, frequent internal audits must be carried out at various border posts and the rotation of staff is a very important issue. Once you allow an officer to stay – the indications were that, the officer we were talking to has been there for seven years. In seven years, you become a professional smuggler and endorser of various illegal activities because you feel you are the chief operator there and you end up becoming a chief culprit.
Madam Speaker, what is applying at Forbes Border Post, we suspect that it is applying at various other border posts and sometimes at a large scale in places like Chirundu and Beitbridge. I stand by the recommendation that the Committee has made. We hope that we will be able to visit other border posts, in particular Beitbridge and Chirundu, and present a report that is more detailed. I thank you Madam Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I move
that the debate do now adjourn. Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 23rd July, 2015.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA), the House
adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.