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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 January 2017 43-26
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 24th January, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
LEAVE TO MOVE SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NO. 51
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I seek
leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Order No.
51, regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to
Seven o’ clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty
Five Minutes to One o’ clock on a Friday, be suspended for the series of sittings in respect of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill
[H.B. 12, 2016], Budget debate, Appropriation and Finance Bills.
Madam Speaker, the urgency is obviously with respect to the Budget which we should have debated and resolved in December so that we start the new financial year with the new budget. It is my desire that we expedite the resolution of this matter. Motion put and agreed to.
SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NO. 51
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I want to thank Hon.
Members for agreeing that I move, which I am now doing, that the provisions of Standing Order No. 51 regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to Seven o’ clock p.m. on sitting days other than a Friday and at Twenty Five Minutes to One o’ clock on a Friday be suspended for the series of sittings in respect of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H.B. 12, 2016], Budget debate, Appropriation and Finance Bills.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I think
that as a matter of principle, this is not a good practice. We were all aware that the last financial year was coming to an end and towards the end of last year; we had ample time to have debated the Budget. We have said it before Madam Speaker, that all political parties must know what the priorities for this country are. If you schedule your party conferences towards the end of the year when we should be dealing with important matters which are affecting the nation, it means that we are losing the plots. This is something which has been happening time and again. When the Budget was presented, we did have some time, to have deliberated on the issues without rushing through the process. What we find – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, can the
Hon. Member be heard in silence.
HON. GONESE: What we find objectionable from this side of the House Madam Speaker, is a situation where we now have to rush through the process as a result of which we are not going to be able to do justice to the matter and really apply our minds simply because we have run out of time.
I, Madam Speaker, and my colleagues feel very strongly that we must not continue having such a practice. We should have given this ample time and in particular, we should have dealt with this business in December without rushing through it. Then perhaps wind up the process at the beginning of the year. Today is the 24th of January, we are now coming to the end of this current month which is actually the time period or timeframe within which we should have passed the Budget. We just want to raise our reservations about the manner of conducting business in this manner. We want to say to the Hon. Minister, that in future, we will not condone such practices and we are not happy with this state of
I feel that as representatives of the people, we must raise these concerns so that they are recorded. What is going to happen now is that because we have run out of time, today we are just going to rush through the motions. We are not going to be able to make the necessary suggestions and perhaps the necessary input where the Minister will have time to reflect upon what would have been raised but because we have run out of time, the Minister will simply want to pass it through so that we are in compliance with the relevant provisions.
So for these reasons, Madam Speaker, I feel that we must record our reservations and say that this is a bad practice and we are not happy with it.- [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam Speaker, I just want
to add to what my colleague has said.
Honestly, we are elected to ensure that we enhance the Executive to do their work. We had the whole of January, from the 1st of January and today it is the 24th. We could have been in Parliament earlier and done proper business to deal with these issues – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.]- This is not about a rally but about a country. We know that it is difficult to get resources and we need to ensure that the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order in the House!
HON. ENG. MUDZURI: We need to ensure that the Minister has reasonable contributions from Members of Parliament. Our difficulty is that when we stretch our days to the end, people get tired. There is what they call, incised meeting returns and at the end of the day, we will not have deliberated enough to ensure that we have a reasonable Budget to run the country.
So, I want to appeal to the Minister that next time, in spite of the shortage of money that you might look at, let us have enough days to debate. There is enough that has gone through Parliament where Parliament has been staffed to the extent that they have no offices, they have nothing yet you can accord them one thing, enough time to research and come to Parliament and spend reasonable time so that they are able to contribute to assist you. I thank you.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to
debate on the issue of the Finance Bill. Whether or not we have delayed, the time to debate is there as nothing stops us from debating the Finance Bill. Even if we had debated the Bill last month or last year, it is the same.
We are saying, as proposed by the Minister, let us debate today even if it means debating until tomorrow, it is fine so that the country moves on. This matter of pointing fingers is neither here nor there pertaining to the Finance Bill. The fact that we went to Masvingo has nothing to do with this Bill.
I am saying; let us debate what has been tabled by the Minister. All those who are prepared to debate should do so because we have no time. I thank you.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I stand to
contribute to this debate. What has been said by my colleagues is good but we need assistance so that we do not stop debate at 1900 hours. We want assurance as to when debate will finish because we do not want to be rushed during debate. If the Minister of Finance and Economic Development allots five minutes debating time then Committee
Chairpersons are allotted two minutes each, that is fine. If members of the Committee on Transport want to debate on the issue, they should be given ample time to do so before the other Committee comes in.
In this House, history has shown that Committees present in series and thereafter debate ensues, thus there is no time for debate to flow smoothly under such circumstances. After the Chairperson has made his/her presentation, other members of the Committee should be able to debate and comment until tomorrow if possible because you have given us that time. Please do not rush us and inform us that we have run out of time. It will be acceptable if it means even debating up to Saturday. I thank you.
*HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Madam Speaker. What is
surprising is that we want to rush when we have these matters yet other urgent matters like our deplorable road conditions should be declared as national disasters – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member,
you will have time to debate on that.
*HON. MAONDERA: No, I am not debating. I am saying Ministers like Hon. Chinamasa, yes the issue of the Budget is very important but why does he not move for suspension of business on debating on issues pertaining to national disasters?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I want to
thank Hon. Members who have spoken raising concerns about the process. I want to assure you that there will be no suppression of debate as all Members of Parliament will have ample time to debate on this issue – the Budget.
I attach great importance to the economy and debates around the economy and want all views of Hon. Members to be put on the table of this House so that they are considered and taken into account if they are worth to be taken into account. I do not want to suppress any debate. I thought that Hon. Members would thank me because they had ample time to consider my Budget Statement and the Budget itself; that is, the long text of the Budget. They have had enough time to read those documents; so they cannot have excuses that they had no time. I also want to say I had initially asked that we meet.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. It
is not that we are saying we did not have time. We would want the Minister to understand us. It is not that we are saying we do not have time. We had enough time and we went through the Budget and today we came, sat and discussed in our Portfolio Committees and made our reports. We have come because we want to debate. We do not want to be suppressed or forced; our request is that we want time to debate. His aim is kuti vatimbunyikidze. We are all human beings and when we take a long time, our concentration diminishes. The Budget is very important and we should make it an important thing because it is important. What time are we going to take debating because by 8 o’clock, our concentration will have diminished? I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister will answer in
various ways. If we say that the Minister has failed, that is being disrespectful.
HON. CHINAMASA: Madam Speaker, let me repeat. There will
be no suppression of debate and as to the manner of the debate, how the Portfolio Committees will make their reports, the Chair will guide that debate and clearly not the Minister. For me, I want all views about the Budget to be put on the table of this august House so that we take those views into consideration. Zvekumbunyikidzwa izvi, clearly if it happens, it will not come from the Hon. Minister. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
MOVABLE PROPERTY SECURITY INTERESTS BILL [H.B. 7,
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA) presented the Movable
Property Security Interests Bill [H.B. 7, 2016].
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 12,
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H.B. 12, 2016.].
Question again proposed.
HON. ENG. MUDZURI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I thank you
for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (Bond Notes Bill). I want to add my voice to a number of people who have presented their cases in terms of this Bill. I would rather change and speak in Shona.
*Madam Speaker, the issue of the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill arose from the Emergency Powers. Then, the people gave their opinion on bond notes and it is a pity that the bond notes are now in use. We have never heard of a country that came up with a law and insisted that different entities are the same. The problems that the people are facing are that when one arrives in a banking hall, people do not know what type of currency they would be receiving. I questioned the Leader of the House and he answered by saying that; upon your entering into the bank, you are told that you are going to receive so much US dollars and so much bond notes being withdrawn from one account. But, I would remember that people were forced to have Foreign Currency Accounts that they used to transact in US dollar notes. The banks can now decide whether to give you bond notes or US dollar notes which you may not want to use. But the Leader of the House in response to my question said, I would be given a currency of my choice and I should specify what currency one receives after they have deposited what type of currency.
We started with the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development who indicated that these bond notes initially were said to be for incentives on export earnings but it is the currency that is now being used to take place of the foreign currency that is in our accounts ... *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I can
see you cannot whisper, please lower your voices. We also want to hear what the Hon. Member is debating and the people at the back also want to hear.
*HON. ENG. MUDZURI: What we are saying is that you should hear what the ordinary men and women in the streets are saying. It should be made clear that the people refused to accept the bond note and that if it is going to be used in this country, there should be separation of accounts, one in US dollar and the other one in bond notes. When one wants to go out of the country, they will withdraw from their US dollar accounts. The same would apply for the bond notes. There are shops in town where prices are different for one who is using cash, swiping and using bond note. If you have a US$100 note and a US$50, it has a different value. We should not take this country backwards. A lot of people suffer and the majority of these people are accessing their salaries in the form of $200 to $300 notes. There are bank charges on a daily basis for minimum withdrawals ranging from $30 to $50 per day.
If the Reserve Bank comes up with limits, they tend to work to the disadvantage of the ordinary man because he incurs expenses arising from bank charges. That erodes the people’s savings. We should have a law that allows people to use a currency of their choice. I do not know whether one can come up with nine accounts for nine currencies that we currently use. I would want the Hon. Minister in his response, to address the issue whether you could have a Yuan account, US$ account, Rand account, Pula account, Euro account and all those currencies that are in use in Zimbabwe. We are having problems in opening accounts for these currencies.
The problem at the moment is that we are promoting money changers that are on the streets. They are busy exchanging currencies. There are a lot of people who are creating other accounts outside this country. If you want to deposit money into a certain account, they say bring the US$ and they post that money to Dubai and other such places and they will charge you 10% or so. So, we are creating another problem because of the introduction of the bond note and we do not know how best it can be controlled. We should not have brought the bond notes. The US dollar should have remained in circulation. People are not accessing the money because of the bond notes. We need assurance as we finalise debate on the Bill that the US dollar that we are saying is equivalent to the bond note, if we had done that in 2008 and said one quintillion was equal to US$1, we could have been somewhere.
We are now eroding the US dollar account and eventually, we are going to hear that all our accounts now have bond notes. Our US dollars should not disappear from our accounts because we use them for travelling, paying school fees and importing goods. How best can we access our US dollars without being controlled by the RBZ? I thank you.
*HON. MUSUNDIRE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I conducted
research in my constituency as regards the bond note. People did not accept it and even up to now, they do not like it. If we look at our economy, from 2008 to date, the money in circulation is more than $600 million at any given time. If you look at the bond note that is in circulation, it is supposed to be $200 million but they indicated that $70 million will be in the form of $2 bond notes. What is currently on the ground is that Government has already disbursed more than $500 million worth of bond notes.
There has been a glut of bond notes and it has exceeded what we have agreed. The bond note and this legislation is here to steal people’s money. Let us revert to the US dollar or even the Rand. This is my contribution. I thank you.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to add my voice to the debate. Firstly, I would like to thank the Hon. Minister and the Governor. The thinking behind the bond note and its introduction to this country is of the highest degree. The people of Zimbabwe are very happy because the bond notes have helped us. We no longer have problems if you go to the banks. When tobacco farmers produce their crop, ....
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members.
Allow us to hear what the Hon. Member is saying.
*HON. MAHOKA: We were given a lot of money because of tobacco. You see us beautiful with glowing skins and our husbands have developed large stomachs, it is because of the money that you have paid us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members.
*HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
*HON. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, my point of order is on the point that ‘our husbands now have developed large stomachs.’ Does the Hon. Member have a single husband and if she has many husbands, how many does she have? May she display her status?
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
*HON. MAHOKA: Some Hon. Members take this House lightly. They came to Parliament with trivial matters not putting at heart representation of the people. We should know that we came here to represent people and not to play – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, let us
understand each other in this House.
*HON. MARIDADI: I do not believe that we do not respect this House but she is the one who does not because she is the one who insulted the Vice President in public. She is the one who does not respect people. She scolded the Vice President of this country. Before she would want people to be orderly, she should start with herself because she insulted the Vice President of this country in public and it hurts us.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Members. I have heard what the Hon. Member said. She said, let us respect this House. Can we go ahead with our debate.
*HON. MARIDADI: The Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa is the Leader of the House, whether he is in Shurugwi or Mutoko, he carries the image of this august House. He should not be insulted by nonentities. – [Laughter.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
Can we have order in the House? Can we please mind our language in this august House. Hon. Members, please listen. Hon. Maridadi, you were referring to Hon. Mahoka that she insulted the Hon. Vice President and then you said she is a nonentity. She is an Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Withdraw that statement. What does pombi yadonha mean?
*HON. MARIDADI: My understanding of a nonentity is just an ordinary person, a not so important person. It is not an insult. While in Parliament, we ordinarily say this Hon. Member is a back-bencher.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, there is no
ordinary person in Parliament. Can you please withdraw that?
*HON. MARIDADI: I am withdrawing my word ‘nonentity’ but I
am also a nonentity because I am not a Whip or a Chairperson of a Committee but I am a back-bencher. So, we are both nonentities. Hon.
Mahoka and Hon. Maridadi we are the nonentities. I thank you.
*HON. MAHOKA: I was talking about the need to be serious in this august House. The people who elected us are observing how we are belittling or disrespecting this House. Our words should be proper. We should not just trivialise issues here in Parliament. Some people are “vana muti ngauwe tinonge tsotso”.
*HON. MARIDADI: It is even worse; she said the Vice President is an ordinary person.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, we
complained about the need for us to forge ahead with our work. Let us be mindful of the time, you do not just rise and debate without recognition. Stand up and say your point of order, I did not hear what you said.
*HON. MARIDADI: I have been hurt but as a man, I cannot shed tears. She has referred to the Vice President as an ordinary person and she should withdraw. This is something she should not say in Parliament. It hurts me so much Hon. Speaker. May she please withdraw her words because it is painful for her to insult the Vice President of this country. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Hon.
Mahoka, I urge you to speak plain language because what you said is now being taken with a different connotation altogether.
*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I believe the issue of bond notes is important and it should be debated in depth. The people in the communal lands are happy with the bond notes. Well done Hon. Minister, you really realised the challenges that this country was facing. You intervened and came up with an important note called the bond note. The 10 provinces are happy because of the bond notes. We went round in all the provinces and they all accepted it. Farmers are happy. Those who do not own any land may be hurt.
There should not be a glut of bond notes on the market but, as it is, it should be maintained. You have done very well and you are doing quite well. Keep it up. You should have a double portion in terms of being a Minister because you have exceeded your performance.
On the negatives of this bond note, in the communal lands, we have not witnessed a situation where prices differ in terms of which currency you are using. That is if you are paying using bond notes, the item is expensive and if one pays in US dollar the price is lower or if you do a transfer, the price becomes dear. We do not have that in the communal lands, may be it pertains to the urban areas. The communal people are happy with the bond notes. I have risen to support the
Minister that what you and the Reserve Bank Governor did is very good. Keep on thinking along that track so as to ensure the improvement of our economy. In this House we have been thinking about it so that our country grows. I thank you Minister.
*HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to add my voice on the issue of bond notes. In Shona they say, “kuramba yechidembo ndokunge yetsuro iripo”. Beggars cannot be choosers. So, because of the plight of our economy, it is good that we use the bond notes. Long queues to withdraw money have now subsided. I urge you Hon. Minister that there is need for people who dig gold to be decriminalised. I believe that there is need for us to beneficiate our chrome so that we do not depend on diaspora remittances. Those people that are building big houses should actually be buying machinery and be given incentives because a lot of money is being used in real estates. Instead of stowing our values in real estates, we should be using it toward the acquisition of equipment and machinery to enhance our industry. We should wear the right type of clothing at the right time. I thank you.
*HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to contribute on the issue of bond notes. The introduction of bond notes to the country is causing problems. We were of the view that the introduction of bond notes would improve the liquidity crisis in the country. People are still sleeping on the streets. Bond notes are not available. The situation is worse than before the introduction of bond notes.
People who are in the communal lands and in the farming areas do not have bank accounts or access to Eco-cash. They are having serious problems in accessing their money. If you have such a worker – you go to the bank and you are given seventy dollars or fifty dollars and you need to pay your worker one hundred and twenty dollars; it means that that person cannot receive their salary at once. That amount you receive from the bank will be used for your requirements and payment to your workers.
As Hon. Members, we have not yet received the Constituency Development Fund. We have development projects in the constituency but we fail to access funds because of the Reserve Bank law. The Reserve Bank has written instructions to the banks that a certain figure has to be disbursed on a daily basis. As people’s representatives, we have problems in accessing that money. Personally, I am having difficulties in doing anything else due to the inaccessibility of funds at the banks. Even if we approach bank managers to give us money, they say, as legislators, we should come to Parliament and change the rules so that we can get more cash. The banks are saying they do not have cash.
If you receive fifty dollars at the bank, it will be US$20 and thirty dollars bond notes per day. If you have a motor vehicle that has broken down and you may want to do certain transactions where you cannot use your card, it is difficult. At road blocks, police require cash but they do not have swiping machines. So, we urge the Hon. Minister to revisit the issue of bond notes. He must come up with other solutions. We are going to the bearer cheque era and we are going to have useless papers with us.
The bond notes are not available. My life has become difficult as a result of the bond notes. I can no longer assist orphans or those that are being affected by floods because cash is not available. People in the communal lands do not have accounts. I thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to debate.
*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The issue of bond notes is a job well done by the Government. We thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for so doing. If he comes to Uzumba, I will slaughter a cow for him.
Mbare Msika was no longer in business. People did not have cash to transact with. Our farmers are now able to transact because of the bond notes.
*HON. TARUSENGA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member who is debating is not properly dressed. He is wearing a leather jacket.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member how are you
dressed? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
Hon. Member, we have observed that you are wearing a leather jacket. May you go and wear a formal jacket?
*HON. MUDARIKWA: Madam Speaker, I am pleading with you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: How am I expected to hear what he is saying? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - *HON. MUDARIKWA: May I be allowed to debate as someone who is coming from – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, if you are
not properly dressed, you are not allowed to debate. May you please go and correct that anomaly. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
Hon. Madondo exchanged his formal jacket with Hon.
Mudarikwa’s leather jacket –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
HON. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. My
point of order Madam Speaker is, we have noticed that the Hon. Member has just been given a jacket by another Hon. Member. There is need for us to respect this House Hon. Speaker. It is not a dressing room.
If they have to exchange clothes, it has to be done out of this august House. Thank you very much; not in the Chamber.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member. I still
remember the Hon. Member who was putting a point of order one other day. Someone queried the type of dressing but at the same time, something happened and she changed her dressing and we continued.
Yes, I remember. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
HON. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I will insist that we respect this august House. Madam Speaker, when I was putting on my African attire for your own information, I had a scuff which I used. I never took off my dress and put on another like what the Hon. Member has just done.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I am
also advised by the administration, yes they can advise me because they help me when I am here on the Chair. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - Can you please proceed Hon. Mudarikwa.
HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Ko munondirambidzirei kutaura kana ndine point. Madam Speaker, according to the Standing Rules and Orders No. 76 (viii). Tika enda pa attire for female members, “… shall include the following; suits African wear full dress, skirts and blouses.” The Hon. Member who was raising a point of order is not wearing a suit, is not wearing a skirt, nor African attire. So there is a problem.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, can we have order
please. Can we have order in the House Hon. Members here, Hon. Holder you are out of order please.
*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was
talking on the issue of farmers. We have SMEs. SMEs are now operational because of the money that is available. Those that sell tomatoes, crotchet work are able so do it because there is money in circulation. The economy of this country has improved through the reselling of goods that one produces and resells to the other.
We have a lot of gold this year because the buyers of gold are accessing the economy. I believe next year the gold industry will produce more than fifty tonnes. So our SMEs and our farmers are in the same boat. You will not be surprised that those that have constituencies in Harare do not want the use of bond notes. Some of them were money changers, so they benefited from that.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MUNENGAMI: My point of order Madam Speaker, is that
I am pleading with Hon. Members of Parliament that are in Harare to please rise. I am not through with my point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, would you
please take your seat.
*HON. MUDARIKWA: The mainstay of this country Zimbabwe
in the growth points because of bond notes, our farmers are able to buy
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My point of order is that Hon. T. J. Dube
is fast asleep, may they please wake him up.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, he is not
sleeping. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections.] –
*HON. MUDARIKWA: Furthermore Madam Speaker, I have
said that our farmers in the communal lands are now able to buy fertilizer because there is now money in circulation. They now have bond notes to buy fertilizer. During Christmas time in my constituency, a lot of people paid lobola because a lot of people now have cash. Bond notes are encouraging people to pay lobola and they are ensuring that people love one another.
The bond notes will not stop because people are going to marry one another and live as families. We are grateful, the issue of bond notes is good. We want the Minister to have the highest note as $5. Even our social economic life has improved. Bus operators and commuter omnibus operators are operating their businesses well because the commuters are now using bond notes to pay for their fares. The problem with politics Madam Speaker, is that the party would have come up with good initiatives such as bond notes which are being opposed by the opposition, then understand that you have done very well. We know that they hate the bond notes but this is what we are now going to be using.
We were at a party where a relative was wedding. There is a song but because of the ruling that we cannot sing in Parliament, I will instead bring compact discs of people praising the advent of the bond notes in the communal lands. They even play the drum, so the Ministry did a good job and we urge them to go further. People are even coming up with prayers in church for Hon. Chinamasa to have a long life on this planet because he has done very well to ensure that our economy improves.
I thank you so much Madam Speaker for chairing very well. I wanted to say that I am just coming from Dubai and I did not have time to change into formal wear but because of the important debate of bond notes, I had to come clad in a leather jacket to add my voice to the debate. I thank you.
+HON. TOFFA: Madam Speaker, the introduction of the bond notes in Zimbabwe, people in the villages are crying and complaining.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker,
some of us are repeating. She once debated this issue.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will check our records
to see if she has already debated.
+HON. TOFFA: Madam Speaker, people in Bulawayo are
complaining about bond notes. There are no factories in Bulawayo and there is no employment at all. People are not getting these notes from the bank because they are not getting any salaries. They are getting money by selling goods out of the country. This year, a lot of women failed to raise money to send their children to school because they cannot get US dollars. When the Minister was talking about bond notes, he said they were going to assist people in Zimbabwe but the problem is that old people stand in queues for ages despite being sick from different ailments and there is no-one to assist them. These bond notes have created problems for people and people are now blaming MPs for just agreeing to the introduction of bond notes. Hon Chinamasa said he got a loan of $200 million but what is surprising is that they are releasing this money in small batches. They should release the money in large amounts at a time. People are now thinking that maybe we do not have the $200 million loan guaranteed. It is not fair for the elderly to spend the whole day queuing for money. Children are no longer going to school. When we also look at gender issues, women were affected a lot by the introduction of the bond note. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you for affording me the opportunity to add my voice on the issue of bond notes. We do have the Western Union in this country where we can receive money from outside the country but we cannot send money outside when we have bond notes. I come from Mbire in Mashonaland Central and in Ward One (Kanyemba) near the border, we are using the Kwacha as a substitute because the bond note cannot be exchanged into the US$ currency. It is a hard currency for those people in the communal areas. If you are given a US$100 in the form of bond notes - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon Members; let us
be serious about the business of this august House. There are those Hon. Members who came into this House to make a lot of noise thereby disrupting the activities as they speak across the table of the House. I will not tolerate that. If you want to speak to someone, go next to that person and talk to them rather than shout. It is demeaning as Hon Members of this august House. As Hon. Members, I expect you to behave like Hon. Members.
*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Madam Speaker for ensuring that
they listen to my debate in silence. The bond notes are too bulgy and it is self evident when you move around – especially for the old people who will have bulgy pockets from their sales proceeds. If you go into shops and you want to buy a tyre which costs US$150, you will be asked to pay $180 bond and if you are going to transfer the money, it is $200 bond. There is a price disparity as a result of the advent of the bond notes. The people that went around were told that the ordinary people of Zimbabwe were not accepting the bond note. The situation should be corrected and we should discontinue the use of the bond notes.
*HON. ZEMURA: I want to thank this august House for the
debate, especially the ones in support of the advent of the bond notes. Those of us who are in the communal lands were having problems, our mealie meal provisions were getting exhausted. I thank the Minister for bringing the bond notes as well as bond coins for purposes of transacting. Some of us suffer from sugar diabetes. We were given sweets as a form of change. I do not have grand children no one eats the sweets. The bond notes will ensure that we will be able to pay for grinding meal fees as opposed to using maize as a form of payment. Some people park their vehicles metres away from the toll gates asking for money to pay toll fees. It is now easy, people are getting in and out of Harare easily. So the bond note has brought developments to the lives of the people.
Old people, after selling tomatoes and vegetables, keep their monies tied in their Zambian wrappers. We thank you for introducing bond note so that we can use it in the granary. We want it to circulate in the country and it must not be used outside – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, allow
her to debate her opinion.
*HON. ZEMURA: Mozambicans were bringing in clothes
popularly referred to as Zambian material and bales of second hand clothes because they were taking a lot of US dollars out of the country. Now with the introduction of bond notes, they are no longer coming here; they were stealing from us. We want to thank the Minister for a job well done. If the Minister has done well, ordinarily people do not want to praise him. We thank you Minister, continue with the bond notes so that as we sell our maize, we do not struggle for cash. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you. My point of order is in terms of Order No. 86(d). Madam Speaker, I am kindly putting this through you to the House as our Hon. Speaker that the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr. J. M. Gumbo, if he can come to this House as a matter of urgency within the very near future to give a statement to the country about the plans that he is making towards addressing the state of our national roads, specifically – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, if the Hon. Minister could come to this august House to give a statement to the country, to Parliament in terms of the plans that he has to address the challenge of roads across the country; I am specifically talking to the road from Birchenough Bridge, Tanganda right up to Chiredzi –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member!
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I am just closing, let me close my
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, Hon. Member.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: It is a point of order which I am entitled to and I am about to close...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I have to
guide you. You are not supposed to give him what to say in the statement because you said the whole country. Now you are citing particular roads, why?
HON. MUTSEYAMI: We are having a challenge of accidents on
the road from Tanganda to Chiredzi; it is ridden with potholes. It is important for the Hon. Minister to come and address that. I thank you.
You have to take note that I am a very senior member in this House and I cannot go through a workshop on how to address issues. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will talk to him.
*HON. MUTOMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording
me this opportunity on the issue of the bond notes. First and foremost, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for his wisdom in dealing with the problem that this country is facing. May God continue to guide you by giving you this wisdom; this country was facing problems and challenges. The queues have now disappeared from the banks.
I also have another view point. The awareness that is being created by the bond notes, I believe we are now going backwards because all countries are now using plastic money. It is my request Madam Speaker, that if that same publicity, the advertisements of bond notes could be done to promote the use of plastic money or electronic transfers. In the region and the world over, they no longer do that but we are remaining with our culture of moving around with hard cash.
It is my plea that we should strongly and aggressively market the use of electronic transfers or plastic money, that is my plea. We should put a lot of effort in that direction. I am also of the view that our markets are in a bad state. People used to go to Fourth Street and exchange dollars and Rands. What is happening on the market is that companies now charge different prices depending on the method of payment you are using. There is a price for US dollars, for transfers and for bond notes which in most cases the bond note is inflated a bit. If possible, this must be monitored or there should be a toll free number to make complaints on companies that are doing this and it is my plea that such issues be implemented. What will then happen is that everyone will be forced to keep their money in the bank. It will force everyone who has a company to bank their money with the banks so that the outflow of cash is now controlled, the money supply point is now controlled. Money supply will improve if everyone is using their money through the banking system. This is what I am talking about and I thought I should add my voice to this issue and talk about the monitoring of bond notes. There should be publicity for the use of bond notes, which runs parallel with the promotion of the use of plastic money. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Firstly, I would like to applaud the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa. Secondly, a country that does not have its own currency is dead. Each country should have its own currency, if we do not have our own currency, we will suffer. If we use other people’s currencies like the US$, some people will export money out of the country and at times hide it in their pillows so that the Government is blamed for shortage of money.
Those people who are not supporting the introduction of bond notes are supporting whites because blacks are suffering. If a black man is suffering and bond notes are introduced into the country, they should not complain that there is something wrong with that. I think bond notes are better than foreign currencies. I am blind but I can feel that it is a currency because it has weight. I would like to thank Hon. Minister Chinamasa for bringing bond notes. I wish we could have our own money so that those people who were watching and thinking that
Zimbabwe was going to suffer, will be disgraced.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we were all elected, we are brothers and sisters, let us go out there and tell people that bond notes are very important. It is better because you will find an elderly person in the rural areas with $2 note going to buy something. Disabled people can also get something when they are begging. You find blind people carrying children begging. We ask pastors, priests and witch doctors and other fortune tellers to pray so that we have our own bond notes and use our own currency. Everyone is happy now. From here we are going to get paid. You can visit a bank and get 200 bond notes. Although it will be bulky, it is better than not getting anything at all because you can buy something for your children. You can buy fuel and every week we are now getting fuel coupons because of the introduction of bond notes. We can now do Parliament business because of bond notes. We would like to thank Hon. Minister Chinamasa for that.
As Parliamentarians, we should go and tell people in the rural areas how good bond notes are. We can have opposing opinions, but we must all know that we want to build our country. The problem was that there was no money in the country, but now we have our own currency of bond notes, it is better than before. With bond notes, you cannot take it out of the country but with the US$, people were exporting money out of the country. It is now better because we have a local currency which we can use here.
My child got married and they used bond notes because sons in law can now pay lobola using bond notes, there is no way you can refuse to take that money. The other thing Mr. Speaker Sir, is that small business people are happy because they are now receiving money since people are buying using bond notes. Women like me are the ones who suffered the most, but with bond notes we can go and buy relish but if you do not have money, your husband will go to a small house or a mistress who will be buying. I do not have much to say. We should know that we were elected by people, we are all adults, we did not come here to play and should behave like adults. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not here to criticize anyone, but I was saying this in a polite way. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.
+HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would also like to add a few words on bond notes. I would like to thank Hon. Minister Chinamasa. He assisted the people of Zimbabwe by introducing the bond notes because people in Zimbabwe were suffering. Yes, people were starving but the shortage of money was also adding on to the problems. People were failing to raise even a dollar to buy food.
For us who come from rural areas, we really embrace the bond notes. The elderly in the rural areas can now sell their mushrooms and produce using bond notes as the medium of exchange without any difficulties. They can even afford to buy cigarettes. From where I come from, ladies have stopped assisting each other through interest free loans amongst themselves because of shortage of cash. However, now that there are bond notes, they are able to engage in monthly investments out of their monthly earnings, which they then use at the end of the year to pay school fees for their children.
In addition Mr. Speaker Sir, the introduction of bond notes in
Zimbabwe is a development on its own. If someone says that they do not want to use bond notes, that person is not from Zimbabwe, it is like someone outside this country. This is a currency that shows that we are a free country that uses its own funds. Thank you very much Hon. Chinamasa. If you start introducing the $5 notes, release them in little batches so that we will use them wisely in this country to buy food.
*HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for this opportunity to add my voice on this issue concerning bond notes. The people that I represent want to know why bond notes were introduced. It is because there was no money on the market and what was causing that is because the money that was being exported was more than the money that was coming in. People were going out to buy things than people coming here to buy food. This was because companies were closing down and we do not even have companies that are producing buttons or zips.
So, the reason that we do not have money in the country is because our industries are down. We should reform our industries so that people will come and import things from here. The Minister should have investigated and got views from people as to what they were thinking. If you look at the money that was used to print bond notes, advertising and the contracts that were awarded, we are looking at thousands of dollars, about $12 million.
All this money that was used, if we wanted to buy swipe machines, they are very cheap in China because they cost less than $200. We should have entered into plastic money and do business on line. We should have imported about 8 000, which means each and every province would get about 800 machines because we have about ten provinces. This would have helped even our vendors to get access to POS machines which would be subsidized by Government and we would have no problem of cash shortages.
As it is, many shops do not have swipe machines. Even our service stations are refusing people who want to use plastic money. They say that their machines are down. So, the Minister should have investigated and come up with better ideas. If the Minister and Government try to force things on people, it will cost the country. That is why in other countries like Gambia we have ECOWAS coming in. I think as Members of Parliament, we should unite so that we should also be members of the ECOWAS so that when this continues, they will come and help us. Thank you.
+HON. N. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me
this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on bond notes. We can spend the whole day debating, but the obvious thing is that people did not want the bond notes, but you forcibly introduced it. People had no choice because we were already using it. I come from Matabeleland North. We have a very big problem because of bond notes. We survive by selling cattle. In that area, we sell cattle and it is difficult for us to raise school fees, because people are refusing to accept bond notes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, people are refusing to accept bond notes for their cattle because there was a time when people sold their cattle with bearer cheques. They got a lot of bearer cheques which were useless. They still think that is what is going to happen again. If you go to a filling station and you want to buy 60 litres of fuel, they will say you can use 20 litres on bond notes and 40 litres on US$. It is very difficult for people. So, what happens is that if you come here and if you want to go back with things, you know that people do not buy because they do not want bond notes.
People are skeptical about the issue of bond notes because if you make a mistake like now during the rainy season and put the bond notes in your pocket, if it gets wet, the colour will fade and no one would want to accept it. As it is now, Warriors were beaten because when they were playing, they were thinking that they will get bond notes which are useless and they can use it to buy nothing. Thank you.
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister of Finance for being innovative and creating a medium of exchange and also creating a unity of account in the form of bond notes. Mr. Speaker, the day the Reserve Bank Governor announced the idea of launching the bond note, there was concerted efforts in this nation to sabotage the economy by withdrawing the US$ from most accounts by the economic saboteurs of this nation. I am aware of banks that have created parallel accounts of US$ that are now being banked in cash not into an account. They have created what they call vaults for each and every account holder in a way to dry out the US$ out of the market.
In place of that, I just want to read the definition of money from Wikipedia. It says money is an item of variable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debt in a particular country or socio-economic context. So, when a unit is introduced in a nation and it is being used as a medium of exchange in that country, it does not say cross country. Mr. Speaker, I hear Members of Parliament that are debating crying for money to go and pay outside the country. It is not the US$ that is used to go and buy items out of the country. It is money that is in an escrow account which is supposed to be used to settle international debts, not US$ as cash.
So, we look at nostro accounts which are supposed to be loaded with US$ that are used to import money into a particular country. In this case, we are crying for US$ cash to go and import items out of this country, which is not normal trading in any country internationally. Mr.
Speaker, there is something that we observed as soon as the bond note issue started to be discussed. We saw a lot of people that are queuing to withdraw money. People that are not employed and all of a sudden, they are loaded with money in their bank accounts and withdrawing cash on a daily basis. They are not productive and not employed. Where is their money coming from?
Mr. Speaker, there are people who are sabotaging this economy.
There are people who are depositing money into people’s accounts. We need to do something and verify and use the money laundering system to detect where people are getting that money that is getting into their bank accounts. In this case, Mr. Speaker, it is a method and a way of eradicating money launderers in this nation.
It is common knowledge that most people that are employed in Zimbabwe are earning not more than $1 000. All of a sudden accounts are loaded with thousands and thousands of dollars. Where is that money coming from? Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate that the introduction of bond notes is another way of eradicating money laundering in this nation. It is another way of protecting our export earnings in this nation.
Bond notes were introduced as an export incentive in this nation.
In that regard, I am one of the beneficiaries of that export incentive. The
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is paying 5% and Western Union is paying 3% of whatever you get as an export incentive. I see the introduction of bond notes as a way of trying to eradicate money laundering in this nation.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to add that I am a retailer. I also operate a retailing business. In the last month to date, almost 70% of the money we are handling is now bond notes. Of that 70%, only 30% is United States dollars. In terms of electronic transfers and point-of-sale payments, Mr. Speaker, if I look at my sales now, almost 80% of my sales are composed of point-of-sale and EcoCash or mobile payments. In that regard, what it actually means is that people have embraced electronic payments, they have embraced mobile payments.
So, instead of sitting here or spending time discussing the introduction of the bond notes, we should actually be thanking the Minister for introducing a medium of exchange that is used in our nation, a medium of exchange that is being used in place of the United States dollar and that is at par with the United States dollar. The Minister and the Reserve Bank Governor stood to say the bond note is going to be 1:1 with the Unites States dollar. As a retailer when I go to deposit my money, the US$2 and the $2 bond note are all classified as the same currency. In that regard, Mr. Speaker, the bond note has stood the test of time. It has actually maintained its value as the Reserve Bank has alluded to.
Mr. Speaker, internationally most countries are circulating very little cash in their monetary system. Most people are now using electronic payments. They are using mobile payments as a mode of transferring value from one person to the other or business to business using electronic payments. In 1859, a man by the name Charles Darwin said, “it is not the intelligent or the most powerful that survive, but it is the one that is most adaptable to the environment who survives”. In that regard, Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe is not an island that survives in a different environment from everyone else. We need to adapt to technology. We need to adapt to the modern ways of doing business.
We cannot stick to old ways of carrying cash everywhere.
On Thursday last week, one of the buses that ply between Chiredzi and Harare was robbed of $700 by robbers at 3.00 a.m. Why? Because they were carrying cash. The moment we embrace the usage of electronic and mobile payments, we eradicate certain forms of crime in our nation. So, the bond note coming in smaller denominations is another way of eradicating crime in this nation.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Minister for enabling business to operate normally and also bringing in the bond note as a medium of exchange in our nation. We should be proud as Zimbabweans to have our own currency. We should be proud as Zimbabweans to be owners of our own destiny in terms of our own economic transformation. We own the means of production; we own the means of medium of exchange. It is ours. We have to determine the quantum of money that gets into our monetary circulation.
So, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to air my views and also contribute to this noble idea. I expect that we embrace the bond note and allow it to circulate freely in our nation. If anyone does not need bond notes, the United States dollars are there. Let us find out how much United States dollars they have generated.
Mr. Speaker, this other day I gave some people a lift and they were crying for money saying they were not getting United States dollars and
I asked them from the first to the last day of the month how much United State dollars did they generate. If I ask all these Members of Parliament in this House who are crying saying bond notes must be abolished and say how much United States dollars they have generated; just this month alone, how much United States dollars have they generated? You will find that they have generated nothing. Those who are doing nothing are the ones who make the most noise. Mr. Speaker, the exporters themselves are not even saying they do not want bond notes. They are very happy to receive the 5% incentive in bond notes. I thank you.
+HON. MLILO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My opinion is different from others because the United States dollars is a trading currency. It is not money that is meant to be used to buy tomatoes or round nuts. The introduction of bond notes in Bulawayo and in farms or areas around Bulawayo has changed many lives. In towns or big cities, if you go around, you will realise that there are no more queues at banks. Even the elderly, the pensioners, can now go and get their money. Civil servants can now go and get their money. Even if you go around in the locations, those people running shops in the locations, their shops are now functioning because before the introduction of bond notes, people were no longer able to buy because of shortage of cash, but now after the introduction of bond notes, people can go and buy salt, milk, bread and even cooking oil. They can go and buy from the small shops around in the locations.
The reason why I said my opinion is different is that those who do not have constituencies, you will hear them say they want to go to South Africa or Botswana to order goods from there, but now people can go and order from the farms. They can order their tomatoes, potatoes and other things. That is, our farmers are now productive.
The bond notes were meant for Zimbabweans by the
Zimbabweans. Why are we as Zimbabweans interested in other people’s money instead of our own? Those who do not want bond notes should go and live in America. But now the introduction of bond notes has stopped those long queues at banks and even businesses are now growing. Soya beans manufacturers can buy using bond notes. We have heard others saying garages are refusing to accept a bond note; that is not happening in Bulawayo, people are accepting the bond notes – OK and other shops are accepting it. They are accepting because they know that is our currency and we can only use it here.
I have never seen anyone in America going to board an emergency taxi with a US dollar. We should embrace the bond note because we can now afford to board kombis.
Those on my left, I mean my brothers like – Hon. Tshuma and Munengami, some of them are rearing pigs, now you can afford to go and buy stock feed because in the rural areas you will not find anyone with a swipe machine but you can do a lot with bond notes.
Hon. Minister, I would like to urge you to ensure that the network is always online for those who want to use plastic money. If you go to the bank now, you will find that there are more bond notes than US dollars. If people are given 500 bond notes and US$500, those people will use the bond notes locally and hide the US dollar or even export it. So, in Shona, I would like to say ngatishandisei ma bond notes. I thank you.
+HON. J TSHUMA: I would like to thank you for affording me
this opportunity to debate on this matter. I would also like to thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for introducing this very beautiful thing called bond notes. We had a better Christmas because we had money to buy meat, rice and even those who drink could afford to buy their beer.
Mr. Speaker Sir, a lot has already been said, so if I keep talking I will be repeating what has been said. The reason why I stood up is because I would like to give evidence as a witness. I come from Matabeleland South where people keep cattle. I sold my cattle using bond notes and I managed to pay school fees for my children using those bond notes. It is not true that people do not accept bond notes. If you go to a lot of places like beer halls, very few people were now going there but because of the introduction of the bond notes, sales have improved because of the use of the bond notes.
Hon. Chinamasa, you have managed to untie Zimbabwe where it had been tied to, there is now development. However, those people who are saying the bond note is not good for the country are liars. They want people to say that the ZANU PF Government has failed. However, the
Vice President of the Opposition party, Hon. Chamisa, whom I worked with together with my late father on a certain contract - we paid him in bond notes; it was very good because he received his notes. He alluded to me that the introduction of bond notes has made things easier for them. We paid his firm over US$7 000 in bond notes.
HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order! Parliament is a House
that is supposed to be a House of record of the truth. Hon. J. Tshuma is indicating things that are outside the dictates and condos’ of this
Parliament that is also very untrue. The matter he is referring to, as a matter of fact, was actually done almost a year ago and the bond note was not yet there. I was not representing him but the church and that is outside the context of this Parliament. So, if facts could actually be stated as facts so that we do not cast aspersions unnecessarily. I would not mind receiving money from him if I am to represent him but I have not received any money from him.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Vice
President of the Opposition, there is no point of order.
+HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Bond note is
money that is acceptable; you can use it for whatever services. Today, I will be seated with him, talking amicably because I do not owe him anything because I paid him using bond notes. Hon. Chinamasa, I would like to thank you very much, especially Matabeleland because we managed to pay school fees using bond notes, we managed to trade using bond notes and that has made life easier.
In conclusion, on Sunday we went to bury a certain man who was working at a Sabbath school who was killed by robbers. They killed him thinking that there was money at the school but they did not find any cash. However, with the introduction of bond notes and swipe machines our schools are going to be safe from robbers – [Hon.
Tarusenga having stood up.] - sit down there I am still talking.
THE TEMPORARAY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member. You
do not just stand up and keep quiet. What is your point of order?
*HON. TARUSENGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of
order is that the Hon Member has talked about selling cattle, so I want to understand whether he is referring to the chickens that they are getting in Matobo because he does not have a ranch. I thank you.
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, do you not
know the difference between cattle and chickens? Hon. Tshuma, you may proceed. There is no point of order there.
+HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Lastly, I would like to ask other Hon. Members, those who know that bond notes are useful, let us applaud and clap hands for our Minister. I thank you.
HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I take this opportunity to wish you my complements of the season as well as to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who I am hoping will consider my very humble and considered views on this Amendment Bill that seeks to create something that seems to be money but is not quite money.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to raise four concerns around this introduction of the bond note by legislation in Zimbabwe. I am firstly deeply concerned by the aura of opaqueness, mystery and lack of transparency and indeed lack of truth around fundamental issues that surround the manner in which the bond note is being introduced.
I will firstly relate to one of them which has been raised in this House. We were informed by the Hon. Minister that in introducing this bond note, that he is doing so with the support of a facility. Well really, he called it a ‘facility’, because I remember I asked the Hon. Minister a question as to whether or not the loan that he said would support these bond notes was processed in terms of the Constitution. In particular Section 300(3) of the Constitution requires that, any loan entered into by the Government must be published in the Government Gazette for 60 days within 60 days. The Hon. Minister very cleverly of course avoided that responsibility by indicating that, that particular $200 million that is said to support the bond notes was not infact a loan but a facility but I am hoping that the Hon. Minister tells this nation the whole truth and nothing but the truth surrounding this whether there is a difference between a facility and a loan?
In the event that there is a difference between a loan facility and a loan itself, I want to request that the Hon. Minister tells Zimbabweans that in the event that it was a facility, it would therefore mean that a facility has a parent and that parent is a loan. It means that there must be some parent loan agreement somewhere which then gave rise to this thing that he is calling a facility which he says is not a loan but indeed is a loan.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to believe that this august House has a right to know and Zimbabweans at large have a right to know therefore whether indeed that parent loan that is said to give rise to this facility was indeed processed in terms of the Constitution. Firstly whether indeed and I hope the Hon. Minister will tell us when he replies to the debate, when it is exactly that that parent loan that gave rise to this $200 million facility was published in the Government Gazette together with its terms. If it did not, I think, he should care to tell this august House and the nation at large exactly what the terms of that parent loan that gave rise to this $200 million facility came about?
It is also my request that the Hon. Minister will proceed to tell the august House how that loan is performing? I say so because I do not recall, since this Constitution was passed, the Hon. Minister coming to this august House to tell this august House at least twice a year in terms of Section 300 (4), to tell the august House how the loans particularly this loan that gave rise to the $200 million facility is performing? It is my humble request, through you Mr. Speaker Sir that the Hon. Minister does indeed because it looks like it is clear that this Bill is going to pass whether or not anybody likes it and that the Hon. Minister will remember to fulfill his obligations in terms of Section 300 (4) to report.
It says, at least twice a year. We are in January right now, so before
December 2017, we must have had a report from him to this august House about the performance of that loan.
On the same vein, I would also want the Hon. Minister to also care to advise the august House, because I am very curious as to that score, as to when the parent loan that gave rise to what he calls ‘the facility’, when it is that this Parliament approved it in terms of Section 327 (3).
As you know Mr. Speaker Sir, that provision provides that, “No loan agreement shall be binding on Zimbabwe unless this august House approves it”. Whilst the Minister says the $200 million Afrexim Bank facility is not a loan but a facility, therefore he must then tell this august House the details of the parent loan that gave birth to this facility as to when it is that it was approved by this House? Also whether or not it was referred in terms of the Standing Rules of this House to a relevant committee for it to consider the terms?
Mr. Speaker Sir that is my first concern that, I hope that the Hon. Minister will come clean and remove the aura of suspicion, mistrust that surrounds this facility because there is a belief that this facility does not infact exist. Or if it does, the loan that gave rise to it was not possibly concluded in a constitutional manner.
Then Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to raise concern around the way that we are legislating in this House and in this country. As we sit here, these bond notes are in circulation and we are using them whether we like it or not and I want to say that the people from the constituency that I represent in Harare West are extremely unhappy with these bond notes for various reasons that I will not go into. The fact of the matter is that these bond notes were imposed by the Presidential Powers.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to believe that history will judge us very harshly in this Eighth Parliament for becoming; I cannot find a better term, a rubber stamp. This debate that we are concluding here is fait accompli – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It is true, whatever we say, I am hoping that the Hon. Minister will take note of this and also Hon. Members will take this. As the sun goes down on the Eighth Parliament, I worry that this Eighth Parliament might go down into the annals of Zimbabwean history as the most scandalous, possibly rubber stamp because these bond notes are circulating and they were foisted onto us in terms of the Presidential Powers regulations whose constitutionality is now in great doubt because the Constitution elevated and amplified the power of this Parliament as the supreme legislative body.
It is not a secret that this Bill only then came to this august House only when it was a ‘quick fix’, after the courts pronounced that there must first be legislation in order to bring the bond notes. My question which I hope the Hon. Minister will address is that, why must we wait for a judicial pronouncement to do the right thing? When the idea of introducing the bond notes was mooted, the Hon. Minister should have known that legislation is required to be passed first. To first moot it, conclude and even give dates because we were actually told that these bond notes were coming on a particular date but there was no legislation passed by this august House. It took the Judiciary to tell the Legislature what to do. I want to believe that does not auger well with just the dignity of this House and also even of the Executive. Then also to bring Presidential Powers Regulations, then only now to bring a Bill to this august House when this is already murky water under the bridge. Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope we can take corrective action and take this House seriously.
Another point that I am concerned with is around the issues of honesty, and what is what exactly. I am hoping that the Hon. Minister can tell us indeed as we pass this Bill because it is going to be passed whether we like it or not. We have been told that these bond notes are being introduced because we have a cash shortage.
The question is, is it a cash shortage that we have or is it a money shortage that we have? The truth must be told here Mr. Speaker Sir because, I believe that if we pass the legislation purporting it to be for a reason when it is not so, we are not solving any problem. I ask this because, if it is a cash shortage, it must be a shortage confined to the borders of our beloved and beautiful country. If it is a cash shortage indeed, why is it that if I travel across the Zambezi to Zambia and I use my Visa Card, I bank with a local bank, my bank gives me a limit of $50 - why is it that if it is a cash shortage, when I go to Zambia, I can only withdraw the same $50? I have a limit kept on my account and in
Zambia there is no cash shortage at all.
So, what I am saying is that, I worry that we might be; I do not want to say we are having legislations pulled over our eyes. But, it appears that we are treating something that is not the disease. There is more than meets the eye here. I am hoping that the Hon. Minister can really apply the solution that there is because if it is a cash shortage, we would not be restricted to only that. So, my worry is that we are passing this Amendment Bill purportedly to solve a cash shortage when really the problem is something much deeper. It is not a cash shortage and may be, can we just call a spade a spade.
Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to hope that the Hon. Minister does all that he can if he has powers to solve the real problem and actually get to the bottom of the problem as was said. I support what Hon. Sithole said, to say what are the root causes of this problem? It will not help us to bring this green and purple pseudo money notes if we do not address the fundamental problem. The question is, is this patch sustainable? Yes, we are going to pass the Bill whether we like it or not but, is this going to be a sustainable solution to the problems that are bedeviling our country? The real problem surrounding productivity, around confidence in the economy, and around corruption where even only the very well placed are able to ship money out of the country of $1.3 million at once and $500 million.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that this august House must do justice to the people of Zimbabwe out there. Let us deal with these matters of money and our national finances with honesty and let us tell Zimbabweans exactly what it is. Let us not hopefully pass this Bill purporting to solve cash shortages when in fact, may be the problem is not really cash shortages. Let us not - [AN HON. MEMBER: Wadzokorora.] - I am winding up. It is permitted to wind up and I am doing so in winding up.
I therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, end by a plea to the Hon. Minister and the Executive that they must be sensitive to the plight of Zimbabweans and listen to them and really respond to their protests. If they are not happy about something, let us not force things on them but let us get to the root cause of the problem. If we cannot solve the fundamental problems of the economy, let us say so and let those who can solve them solve them. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me first of all thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Reserve Bank Governor for coming up with the initiative. Of course, they are the ones that had to come up with the initiative and no one else. We are in this situation because of them and they came up with the response.
I think that the issue is really not the bond notes but it is about the financial discipline that the Government must have. The issue is about sustainability. For how long can we go on with the bond notes and I think what is critical is for the people of this country to understand and to know …
*HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. The Hon. Member is taking Hon. Mliswa photographs because both of them were once Chairmen.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is no point of order Hon.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think what is important for the nation of Zimbabwe to know is really the way forward in terms of the legality of this. I think Hon. Majome was very clear that the Minister must do whatever is necessary to ensure that the Zimbabweans understand the legal implications of this. We are where we are right now and people have doubt because there is not much in terms of communication coming to them. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development working with the Reserve Bank Governor must at least be able to give us an update on the progress in terms of how much money is being banked and how much is being withdrawn so that we are able to see that there are results which are going on.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will talk about the role of the Government in funding Parliament. Section 325 (1b) of the Constitution – I am hoping that now that the Minister has bond notes to use, Parliament can properly be funded as well. There should be no excuse why we cannot get adequate funds as Parliament. It is equally important that the CDF that the Minister spoke about, I do not mind having it in bond notes Mr. Minister. I think what is critical is for us to be able to meet the obligation as Members of Parliament and what we did promise the people at the end of the day.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I equally want to add that I think the aspect of corruption is equally important. The reason why there is a shortage of foreign currency or US dollars in this country is a result of the corrupt tendencies – the money that has been siphoned out of this country. I always and I will always remind the Minister that for as long as we do not have a system to deal with and we do not act hard on people who are corrupt in this country, certainly, we are not going anywhere. I am glad that the Hon. Vice President who is the Acting President is sitting in the House. It is equally important that the Executive is seen to be working in terms of dealing with those who are corrupt at the end of the day. We cannot have a situation where the Executive folds its arms when there are Ministers who are stealing money while us as Members of Parliament in our oversight role have brought a lot of issues to the fore. As such, we expect the Executive to walk the talk on corruption because it is them that were saying corruption has led us into this situation. For as long as we do not arrest it, these very same bond notes will not mean anything because those who have a tendency to rear their heads on corruption will equally do that. This is a challenge which the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will always have in terms of
Equally Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not think that if we were dealing with bond notes, we would have leaders in this country being extravagant in terms of expenditure. If people are buying rings for over a million dollars, if they were bond notes, would they buy the rings for a million dollars – no they would not. I do welcome bond notes and to also stop those leaders who are extravagant in terms of using taxpayers money to be able to expend on luxury items like rings which absolutely mean nothing to the welfare of the people of this country. We have hospitals, schools and many things. I personally am a Member of Parliament in Norton and there is not even a decent mortuary at Norton Hospital so that people can be put there but we hear that the First Lady is spending and I will not hide this. It is in the public domain and it is equally important for us to say that we cannot have the First Lady spending over a million dollars on buying a ring when the masses of this country are suffering. We must prioritise expenditure and the bond notes will create that discipline in ensuring that whatever money is disbursed to the Executive is money which is used for things which are important.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. We do
not mention names of people who cannot defend themselves when we are in the Parliament.
HON. MLISWA: I think Mr. Speaker Sir, it was in the public domain .....
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, but may you withdraw
HON. MLISWA: I said the First Lady, I did not mention a name.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, the First Lady is only
one, there are not many.
HON. MLISWA: My wife is the First Lady in my home.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, she is not here
to defend herself.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, I did not name the First Lady and I did not put a name to it. Your wife is the First Lady in your house unless she is not. My mother is the First Lady in my house.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mliswa,
there is only one First Lady in this country, so may you withdraw that.
HON. MLISWA: Are we now going towards the mug that this is the boss again. I am also the boss in my house and I do not know where you are going.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, may you
withdraw that please so that you continue with your debate. Just withdraw that and continue with your debate.
HON. MLISWA: I think, Mr. Speaker Sir, I need to be told which section or Order does restrain me from talking about the First Lady, then I will be guided. We are a House of rules and it is equally important for me to be told which rule you are exercising in order for me to withdraw. I have the right to know and I think it is important that I know the rule. I represent people and in representing people, I must state facts. So for me Mr. Speaker Sir ...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, I have made a
ruling, you may not mention somebody who is not in the House.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not at all arguing with what you are saying. What I am saying is that you must equally point out the section which does not allow me to do that, then I will be guided by that because we are a House of rules.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):
On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you take your seat, there
is a point of order.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL
HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILLIATION (HON.
MPHOKO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think the Hon. Member is using speculative information. What is in the public domain cannot necessarily be the truth. I think it is important that what you are saying, it will be important for you to withdraw because what is in the public domain cannot be regarded as the truth.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please. Hon.
Mliswa, if you recall in this Parliament, the Hon. Speaker, Hon. Jacob Mudenda made a ruling on the same issues of that nature but in any case, this is before the courts, so we should not talk about it in this august House. You may proceed but avoid that.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am pleased that you are exercising your powers because even the President has no right to stop me from debating in this Parliament. We are controlled by you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, may you
proceed with your debate.
HON. MLISWA: Thank you very much. I want to reiterate that there has to be financial discipline in terms of the expenditure of the Executive. The Executive shall, at least be guided by the fact that we do not have enough US dollars for them to be going on luxurious trips and using the money on non-productive issues. The Minister of Finance, I think might equally extend the bond notes as an allowance to the Ministers as they also travel outside the country. I think that would certainly make sense in that the bond notes are quite important. There is no point in having a currency which you cannot use outside the country. So I want us to ensure that the bond note is maximised in a manner that will ensure that revenue grows in the country.
Like I said before, there should be an update from the Reserve Bank Governor in terms of the confidence that the people have in the bond notes. I want to also reiterate that it is important that the Minister of Finance deals with all the issues which relate to Government debt. If Government is owing any Government institutions, I think it will also be important for them to use the bond notes to be able to offset some of these. I do not know what problems the Minister could have in terms of using the bond notes to offset some of the debts that they have.
There are a lot of Members of Parliament who are still owed money, myself included. Like I earlier on indicated, I have no problem in receiving bond notes. The issue is, when will the Minister be able to avail those bond notes to Parliament so that the money owed to parliamentarians is paid back.
The issue of producer price is equally important as we seem to be having quite a good agricultural season. It is important that in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the producer price for maize and for any commodity is announced early and quite clearly. The peasant farmers who seem to suffer the most when they are selling their products, be it at the tobacco floors or at the GMB are forced to be there for at least a week to two weeks having their money. It is important that the Minister of Finance makes an announcement to say that they will certainly be getting their money on time instead of being there for a long time.
It benefits usually the rural community because of the mere fact that they do not tend to go outside the country as much as we do. So it is a relief – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members
on my left, you are not in a beer hall. This is an august House. You may proceed Hon. Member.
HON. MLISWA: My point was that it certainly assists the rural community because they are the most honest, most hard working and they do not travel as much as the Executive does. In so doing, if they can get their money on time when they are selling their produce at the time, it would assist a lot. I know that the Minister of Agriculture is listening to this and I think they prefer having bond notes, like I have said. Those who prefer bond notes must get them because earlier on, it was mentioned by Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa that the US dollar is not for the little things like matohwe nezvakadaro. The US dollar must go towards commodities that are equally important.
What is critical Mr. Speaker Sir, is for production to increase in this country. While we have the bond notes in circulation, how are we in terms of production? Are we producing our own food, are we producing our own tomatoes and are we able to manufacture our own cars so that there is not much pressure on foreign currency? For as long as we do not produce, there will always be problems in terms of foreign currency because we need foreign currency to be able to import whatever we need for this country, which is unfortunate. In importing, you are certainly using a lot of foreign currency in that regard.
The Minister of Agriculture, I am sure, even the bumper harvest that we are likely to have will certainly assist in terms of us reserving that foreign currency for the key issues. I say so Mr. Speaker Sir, because the aspect of the SI 64 was key in that it has seen not much foreign currency going outside the country but that has got to match with the production as I have stated. It now puts pressure on industry in
terms of manufacturing as well. It is important that the industry which was not manufacturing starts to manufacture and produce what it has to produce because it does not put pressure on the little foreign currency that we have. I would also like to urge the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that there is less expenditure in terms of the Executive. I think if the Executive is able to spend less, it will assist. That only comes about if we have more bond notes being printed.
May I, on a lighter note say that the bond notes have also been helpful, especially for me who belongs to an extended family. Each time people would come and ask for money from me, I would end up producing US$10 or US$100, but now I am able to produce that $2. So, you actually share with more people than less people. That is something that has also happened. In terms of change, I would like to support the Hon. Member of Parliament who said that we were becoming an unhealthy nation. Instead of getting our change, we were now getting sweets and so forth. At least now, we have those coins that we can use.
I think it has been well received.
I would like to sincerely give my appreciation to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who has been honest and the Reserve Bank Governor in discharge of their duties. I wish that most
Ministers on that side would be able to work as hard. I think the Hon.
Vice President Mnangagwa who is the Acting President is hearing what I am saying. I would like to commend one of your good Ministers for the good work that he is doing. I hope you can also promote him to another level. Thank you.
The Temporary Speaker having named Hon. Gonese to contribute to the debate on bond notes.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order. We are repeating the same people who have contributed on this motion, unless if you are saying that what happened last year is no longer considered because Hon. Gonese debated. We did not pass this Bill because of Hon. Gonese. How can he want to debate again? Everyone who spoke on this motion should sit down. We want to pass this Bill – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members. Hon.
Chinotimba, if you have raised your point of order, you can sit down.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Not only Hon. Gonese, even on our side because we want to pass this Bill. All those who debated on the motion on bond notes should not contribute.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will be guided by the records that are here before I make any ruling - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
Order Hon. Members, do not be excited. We will get the records.
Hon. Gonese, I am sure, be honest with yourself.
HON. GONESE: I did not contribute. I was not even here.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, may we continue Hon. Mandipaka?
*HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I do not want to take a lot of time for this House. As a representative of Buhera West and also a member of the ruling party, I am overjoyed. This shows that the party that I am in is the right one because if you see a party being given credit by an independent, it means that it is the only party which knows what it is doing. It is the party which has Ministers who have been given all the support.
So, Hon. Chinamasa, we want you to go ahead with the good work. If you are talked good about by people in opposition, like Hon. Mliswa, it is good for us. I would also like to thank the Government of President R. G. Mugabe, which works very hard and brings out laws which are good for the people. They came up with bond notes so that people will have a medium of exchange and the lives of people would move ahead. Even if we look at the other people from the opposition, we have read from the public domain that Hon. Chimanikire was keeping pigs in town. It is because of bond notes.
Bond notes have really helped us. They have alleviated our lives.
We just pray that it would continue to work like that. People from Buhera West, especially the elderly to the young are happy to use bond notes. As a representative of Buhera West, I want to thank the Government and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
You should go ahead. Thank you.
*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to support and thank the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for coming up with such a noble idea. If you look at the history of our country from independence in 1980 up to 2000, things were moving well. The state of affairs was good but because of sabotage, our economy went down. We thank the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for coming up with measures to ramp up the economy which has been ravaged by sanctions.
I am surprised that those who are educated; who are degreed the world over; it is not Zimbabwe which has started the issue of bond notes. In 1948, America suffered great depression and it came out of that depression through the use of bond notes. The world over, there is not even a single country that did not experience the use of bond notes. I believe that bond notes have been helpful. I would want the Minister to consider the fact that this issue has been accepted but Hon. Minister Chinamasa, we want the quantities of the bond notes that are in circulation to be increased so that there would be no queues at the banks.
He sat down with his advisors who included economists, intellectuals, experts or technocrats in that field and gave him their considered views. As a result, the Minister came up with the idea of bond notes. We accept bond notes and Hon. Minister, I urge you to reconsider Parliament’s budget because we want a meaningful portion of that budget. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I have noticed that this debate has generated a lot of interest among Hon. Members. That indicates to me that this is a very important issue that we are talking about. My concern arises from several factors.
First and foremost, I would like to talk about the issue of process. We are now dealing with the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill at a time when in fact, we had the Presidential Powers Temporary Measures Act being used. We had the relevant Committee going out on public hearings at a time when the bond notes had already been introduced. In a manner of speaking, it is like we are almost closing the stable door when the horse has already bolted.
However, I would like to go to the merits and substance of the matter. The concern which most Zimbabweans have is whether we are not just treating the symptoms. What we must look at is, what is the fundamental cause of the problems that are bedeviling our nation. I think if we answer that question, then we can then look at what is the appropriate remedy. If we do not deal with the root cause, what will simply happen is that we will come up with short-term solutions.
My worry is that we could be sitting on a time bomb. It is almost like someone who is sitting on a sewage pipe. It is alright as long as the pipe does not burst but when the pipe bursts, that is when you have a problem. That is almost what we are dealing with or what is confronting us as a nation. We have got a scenario where the bond notes have been introduced …
HON. MUKUPE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, the analogy that the Hon. Member is using he is trying to say that Zimbabwe is sewage. I think he has to withdraw that statement because what you are saying is all of us tirikugara mu sewage. Tiri kunhuwa. If the pipe bursts, the sewage is going to come out. I do not know what he is trying to say. So, please, Mr. Speaker, I think he needs to withdraw that statement.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. There is
nothing amiss on what he is trying to say. You may proceed Hon.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much for your protection Mr.
Speaker. All that I am trying to illustrate is that sometimes, you come up with temporary solutions but at the end of the day, the question is, is that solution sustainable? We have gone through this route before where you come up with a lot of euphemisms. I remember during the time of the former Reserve Bank Governor Gono; we had a situation where there was rampant inflation in the country. Instead of introducing higher denomination notes, he came up with this innovation but we are not actually introducing higher denomination notes but we are introducing bearer cheques. In other words, he was trying to give the impression that bearer cheques were not money and were not coming up with higher denomination notes. At the end of the day, the difference is the same.
It is a distinction without a difference.
We then had what was called five billion, five trillion or ten quadrillion bearer cheques. At the end of the day, those were like higher denomination notes. By the same token, what you are now saying to mislead Zimbabweans is that no; we are not introducing the
Zimbabwean dollar. The time is not ripe for that course of action. Instead, what we are doing is to introduce what we call a bond note. If you take out a bond note, it is written on it; Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe two dollars.
At the end of the day, for me, there is no real difference if you use this and say this is not currency. This is a bond note. It is almost the same as if you had introduced a note and say that this is a Zimbabwean dollar. I know that as time goes on, they are going to say Zimbabweans are clamouring for higher denomination notes and they are going to introduce higher denomination bond notes and that is how they are going to introduce the five dollar bond notes. Before you know it, we will have the ten or twenty dollar bond notes until we get to the one hundred dollar bond notes. We will then try to maintain the fiction that they are at par with the US$. That fiction will only operate for a time.
I remember last year when the bond notes were introduced. If you went to the banks, initially the ATMs were not dispensing the bond notes. What you would do is that you would get the US$ outside and that would be normally a maximum of US$50. When you get into the banking hall, you would then get another fifty dollars in bond notes. Later on, they then calibrated the machines so that they could now dispense the bond notes. We had a scenario where at some banks, if you try to withdraw one hundred dollars, you would get fifty dollars in US$ and fifty dollars in bond notes. Before you know it, some of the banks, when you went to the ATM, they were only dispensing only the bond notes. If you go into the banking hall, you will find that a lot of the banks are only giving out bond notes.
For me, it is just a time bomb. It is just a matter of time. Within a short period or sooner rather than later, you are going to run out of US$. The fundamental issue is that what we need is to have the currency which retailers can use when they want to import goods. We want to have a currency which people who want to have some transactions out of the country can use that currency.
With your bond notes, the challenge is that it is clear; they cannot be used outside Zimbabwe. If you are going to have more and more of those notes, it is just a matter of time. This is my worry. In short, we are just introducing the Zimbabwean currency. That is the point that I am making. If we are going to talk about other currencies …
HON. J. TSHUMA: On a point of order, we seem to be having people repeating things that have been said over and over. What he is saying has been said already and we are trying to have progress. The Hon. Member is simply repeating.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order please. I do
concur with the speaker who has just raised a point of order. Hon.
Gonese you are repeating what other people have said already. Let us bring in new ideas and then we proceed on that.
HON. GONESE: I am not aware whether some other person said it but for your information Mr. Speaker, when this debate started, I was not even in the country that week. So I am not aware of what transpired.
Be that as it may, I still believe that I have got a right to emphasise the point I want to emphasise. The point is this; we are maintaining a fiction that we are not bringing back the Zimbabwean dollar through the back door. If we are going to illustrate a point by saying that in Zambia they use Kwachas which cannot be used outside Zambia, that is a point but they are honest about it. All I am saying is that, let us be honest about it. South Africa is using their Rand and they say that they have got their own currency. Malawians use their Kwacha and they are honest about it. They say we have got our Malawian Kwacha. The same with the Mozambicans, they are honest about it. They say they are using their Meticals.
What is happening here is that we are being dishonest. We are trying to maintain the fiction that look, we have demonitised the Zimbabwean dollar. We are saying that the Zimbabwean dollar is not legal tender as we speak but in reality we are bringing it back. For me, we are not resolving the fundamental problems which we have as a country. That fundamental problem is that we are not having enough in terms of production. We are not having enough in terms of exports and that is a challenge that we must confront. That is the solution that we must deal with.
One of the other problems is because we have got a Government which spends more than it actually generates. I know that my colleagues on the right – some of them have got this belief that money grows on trees or that it just falls from heaven like manna. That is not the case. When we are dealing with the issue of money with the issue of currency, it is about trust. When you look at that piece of paper, like the US$, it is because people have got confidence in it. Otherwise, at the end of the day, money is almost like the same. It is just a piece of paper but the issue which you have got to deal with is that of trust.
This is the reason why we have got serious reservations about this Bill because we are afraid that at the end of the day, we are not going to be resolving our problems because we are simply dealing with the symptoms rather than dealing with the root cause, rather than dealing with the fundamental cause of our problems which is Government profligacy. Lets us deal with that, first let us ensure that we spend what we have produced. If we do that, I am sure we will be able to find a lasting solution to the problems which are confronting our nation. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I want to place it on record that we are not in support of this Bill. We believe the people of Zimbabwe, the majority - and the other fiction which you have Mr. Speaker is that people have embraced the bond notes. People simply do not have a choice. If you go to the bank and you are told that the only thing they have is the bond note, what do you do? You cannot have access to the currency that you have got confidence in. So, it is not as if people are accepting it willingly but people are simply doing it because they have no other option.
Initially, we were told that those and I remember the Governor actually used those words that, no we are not going to force people to use the bond notes. Those who do not want to use it are not going to be compelled to do so. Then another time you are then told that look, and I think it is the Minister of Finance who said it. That if someone has got a debt and that person discharges their obligation by using the bond notes, then the creditor is obliged to accept that as a discharge of the debtor’s obligation. Is that not compulsion? If that is not compulsion, then I think I need to go back to school to learn and understand what the word compulsion means. For me, that is very clear if you are saying that people are obliged to accept a discharge of an obligation of using bond notes and you go on to say that this is not for buying matohwe or mazhanje, then you are simply saying that people have no option but to use the bank notes.
In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, we are going to be vindicated in the fullness of time. Just mark my words. As we go down this road, you will see that they will bring more and more of these bond notes and you will start having inflation. You will start having a situation where these notes are now being exchanged at a premium. I rest my case Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to this debate. We have in total spent three hours. This suggests that we consider this subject matter very important. So, I will equally give it the importance that the matter deserves in my response to the various concerns which were raised.
I need to also observe that the debate which transpired before the adjournment has now shifted and it is no longer opposition. At that time, people were querying the quality of the paper, the alignment of the security features and now I do not see it any more. So, in my response, if I had responded before this debate and I will do so anywhere. I had also put together some rand notes and bond notes just to show that there is practically no difference. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me make some general remarks before I come to specific responses to the contributions made by Hon. Members. The general principles underlying the issuance and introduction of bond notes was to achieve two purposes. The first was to achieve and promote production. The Hon. Members here were saying, let us address the root causes of our problems. The root cause is that there is no production and so we need to address ourselves to that issue of production. This is why the 2017 National Budget is addressing and giving various fiscal incentives to those who produce. Mr. Speaker Sir, those who produce and are exporting are on cloud 99 over the issuance of bond notes because they see a recognition by the Government, of those who sweat to earn the foreign currency.
The foreign currency that we are defending here - the US$, we do not make or generate it. It is only generated by that class of producers who export. If they do not export, we do not have US$ or foreign currency for that matter. So, the main purpose or primary purpose was to push production and that in fact Mr. Speaker Sir, has already been achieved – the contributions by Hon. Mahoka about tobacco farmers. The contributions which were made I think by Hon. Mudarikwa about gold miners is good testimony that we have put our finger on where it matters. That is to support those who produce for export.
The second purpose for which bond notes were introduced was to stop evaporation of the US$ from our market. As I think, another contribution has already pointed out people who were coming here to sell trinkets, cheap things just to get hold of our US$ and to an extent they succeeded. They succeeded because the temporary problem that we have at the moment is shortage of foreign currency. It was all wiped out and the nostro accounts became empty. We are only beginning now to build and accumulate foreign currency through the exports that we generate. We hope to do so more quickly when the tobacco auction
Another principle I want to highlight Mr. Speaker Sir, is that the bond notes as the Governor pointed out, are interchangeable, that is 1:1 with the US$. This means that each one of us just has to maintain one account and you deposit into that account bond notes and US$. When you go to withdraw, the banks will give you what is available. It could either be bond notes or US$. I am happy to say that since the introduction of bond notes, the scheme has exceeded our expectations in terms of the way it has been implemented and that it has become acceptable to the generality of our people. Bond notes were not introduced to stop cash shortage but they were introduced to stop capital flight - the US$ flight from our market and they are already beginning to achieve that.
I also need to point out Mr. Speaker Sir, that bond notes will be printed up to 200 million dollar as per facility that we concluded with Afrexim Bank. They will be introduced into the market and they will be drip-fed into the market, which is why Mr. Speaker Sir, according to our observations, there is not much parallel market to talk about. Clearly, who is stupid enough to dispose of more bond notes when in fact they are 1:1 with the US$. In any case, they note the quantities available to do that kind of business.
So, Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say to the Hon. House, that I am thankful for the support that this House has given us, the Governor and I, the Government, and the Executive with respect to the introduction of the bond notes. I am very grateful to the public for accepting the bond notes. The problem at the moment Mr. Speaker Sir, is the shortage of foreign currency which is why we have some teething problems in respect to the supply of foreign currency for purposes of importing raw materials and essential commodities. However, we think that we can go over that problem once everything is stitched up.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to point out that with the introduction of bond notes, we have moved away from an over-liberalised foreign exchange market to one which will be managed and sets out priorities over the usage of the foreign currency. That is already being implemented and I am very pleased with the results. I am also pleased with what is happening, we are now beginning to see redeposit of bond notes, which suggest that, it is now accepted as a medium of exchange and circulating. A medium of exchange must circulate, if it is not circulating, we have no economy. The problem we had with the US$ was that people commoditised, they took it as if they were cows, putting them into a kraal, in their pockets. As a result, it was not circulating and it created the shortage that a lot of Members are complaining about. The US$ was being kept and withheld from the market and was not circulating and obviously, that created a shortage in the medium of exchange which the bond notes has now cured and we are in the process of completing that exercise.
Hon. Members who spoke honestly said that the queues are no longer existent – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – certainly, if they are there, it is in Harare. Just go out of Harare and you will not see any meaningful queues – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please.
HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also say that we are succeeding in changing the mindset of our people by introducing them to the usage of plastic money. A lot of shortages that we are talking about have largely been addressed by the usage of plastic money and this is worldwide. Read about what is happening in India right now, they stopped the use of cash and encouraged the use of plastic money.
Obviously, there will always be room for cash, for petty transactions.
However, any big transactions should be through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transfers and also through usage of plastic money. I am encouraged and excited by the way plastic money usage has taken route, including at Siyaso, those selling vegetables by the roadside, payment of bereavement funds and lobola. That has been introduced – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – that is a tremendous mind shift in the praxes of our people and we need to thank and encourage them for that.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me now turn to the specific contributions. I thank Hon. Chapfika, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development. I thank him and his Portfolio Committee for supporting the initiative and addressing and raising concerns. He mentioned fears; we understand clearly that, because of what happened in the past, there are fears and lack of confidence in any introduction of bond notes or future introduction of any currency that we may introduce for our country.
I understand these fears but we must never leave and get entrenched in the problems of the past. We have to move on. I also understand that the value of money is in the confidence we put in it and it is also about discipline. For example, how much money we print, which is why the Governor of the Central Bank came out very clearly that the introduction of bond notes will be ‘drip-fed into the economy,’ to use his own words. This is basically to allay the fears of those who keep harping on the past. So, I want to assure the Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Hon. Chapfika that, every initiative will be taken to make sure that we are disciplined in the issuance of bond notes. We will do and bend over backwards to ensure that the process is transparent and do not go beyond what we have told the public. It is more important for us than it is for the public.
We have a reputation to defend, the Central Bank Governor and myself and we will not do any foolish things that will not even win us the votes. It is very important and 2018 elections are around the corner, we cannot afford to do foolish things which we are being accused of. We are not foolish people; we will do the correct thing which will maintain the value of the bond notes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the quality of the bond notes was made reference to in the Report of the Portfolio Committee. In particular, the point I want to make at this juncture has to do with the security feature, which was said to be improperly aligned on the bond note. I brought to the House Hon. Speaker Sir, a R100 note. It is not an issue as the R100 demonstrates or the R50 also demonstrates. The issue was that the security line is not properly aligned, that sometimes it is found between bond and note and sometimes it is found stretching through bond only and not in-between and so on. That is not an issue; the issue is whether there is that security line. I want to assure Hon. Members that there is no basis whatsoever in challenging the quality of the bond note.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also took note Hon. Chapfika, that we need to publish progress on the issuance of bond notes. As I speak, I think there are 79 million bond notes which are in circulation. This has largely been to pay the incentives to tobacco farmers and also to the gold miners and other exporters but largely, that group of exporters have harvested in a big way which is why it is all smiles. The smiles of tobacco farmers and gold miners should also be our smiles as the economy because it is showing that they are going to produce more and it is showing that they are very productive. We should celebrate with them. I am sure that we could also celebrate with the gold miners.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I took note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee that we should publish on quarterly basis the value of bond notes and also exports. I think this is already being done by the Reserve Bank. I will certainly bring this to the attention of the Reserve Bank. The facility is a guarantee not a loan. Hon. Dr. Mashakada, I am sure you no longer say the same thing about the queues. At the time they may have been an issue but they are no longer an issue. You mentioned about the aggregate demand. The point Hon. Dr. Mashakada, is that the root cause of our economic decline is low production and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that production is pumped up.
This year, this season and God willing, agriculture should perform better than I anticipated in my budget speech. But, all things being equal, the rains continuing as they have been and also looking at the standing crop, it gives me courage and confidence that agriculture should exceed its targets as of now. What will happen in February, you know what assumptions are, and some of those assumptions may fall by the way side. I do not believe that from March onwards, after we are clear about the season on maize, we will need to import maize into the country.-
[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] -
It is very good to look at the negative side. Pane chirikunyura, pane chakamira zvakanaka, and you should understand that. Pane chakatsvuka chisina fertilizer, pane chakasvipirira. Imimi muri kungoona chakatsvuka chete and that this by hectarage, comparably, it is not much by way of hectarage. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say that the bond note and this is in response to Hon. Dr. Mashakada, is anchored on the facility from Afreximbank. I want to say this and this is a point which Hon. Ziyambi made. The value of a currency does not need to be anchored on anything like a facility. It is important and it is anchored in the confidence of the people.
When they accept, that is enough legitimacy and the fact that they have already accepted, I am on cloud 9. Hon. Ziyambi made a very important point. He produced the dirtiest $1 note which you only find in Zimbabwe. This bond note Hon. Ziyambi reminded us has no value outside Zimbabwe. It has no one accepting it except Zimbabweans. You are only giving confidence to a valueless paper. You use it, but they will not accept it in Zambia or anywhere except in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank Hon. Ziyambi for highlighting that the introduction of bond notes was to stem the leakages of foreign currency.
He supported the gradual introduction of bond notes and the introduction of bond notes. Hon. Nduna was very clear and specific. He supports bond notes and he comes from Chegutu. His constituency has gold miners and they are smiling all the way to Fidelity Printers as we speak. He mentioned that we need to enforce the usage of plastic money. That issue will be addressed by the Central Bank in a manner that is market friendly. We do not want to arrest anybody unless we have to. So, please bear with us. What is important is market acceptance and we are already getting that market acceptance.
Hon. Chinotimba, thank you very much for supporting the use of bond notes. Hon. Gabbuza, I agree with you. Bond notes will not solve our problems. What will solve our problems is more and more production and if you look at the 2017 Budget, you will see a multiplicity of incentives to look after those who produce for exports. So we are addressing the real problem – [AN HON. MEMBER: Gabbuza
haapo.]- It is for the record by the way.
Hon. Chamisa, I got the impression that you were supporting because you were saying the debate just now is an afterthought, there is nothing we can do now to stop these introductions. I thought Hon. Tshuma went to suggest that you had already embraced bond notes, which we appreciate very much. Hon. Speaker, if we had a way of searching all of us here, we will find bond notes in our pockets. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Handina bond note.] - Hauna mari, wagara usina marika. Munhu wese anemari iye zvino, tikasecha, vane bond note in their pocket and yet they were debating kuti hatiride but I take point.
Hon. Chamisa, you again said, let us address the underlying causes and the underlying cause is raw production which we are making every effort to address. You also said we should promote the use of point of sale machines which already has happened. The use of point of sale machines has lipped by a high percentage and we commend the public for that. Hon. Maondera, you were worried about the quality of the bond notes. I think I have already explained. Hon. Ndebele, I think he was more insulting than contributing. There was nothing that he said about bond notes but about dictatorship and things like that. I do not think he deserves that I answer him.
Hon. Mudzuri, today the bond notes are interchangeable with the US$. That is what is happening and I want to emphasise this point. Bond notes constitute legal tender like the US$ and all the currencies in the multi- currency basket. What this means from a legal stand point, is that if I owe you money and I tender payment in bond notes, if you do not accept the law recognises that I have discharged your debt. So, there is no choice about whether to accept bond notes or not. It is legal tender in Zimbabwe. I can discharge your debt using bond notes and if you refuse you cannot take me to court that I have not paid for your debt.
Hon. Musundire, you made a very false statement, sorry to say. You said that there were 500 million bond notes. Please, let us not mislead the public. If we put 500 million bond notes into the market, you will feel it. There will be high inflation - [AN. HON. MEMBER: He did not say so.]- He did. I wrote it here. He said so. It is not good to make unfounded statements which have no basis, in fact it undermines confidence of the people in the economy, in the people who administer the economy. We should not make unfounded statements.
Hon. Mahoka, thank you very much for the support. The issue of price differentials will be addressed. Hon. Mapiki, thank you very much for the support and we take note of the statement you made about not arresting gold miners. I share that sentiment and we will see what we can do to stop that.
Hon. Muchenje, I took note that in fact what you were saying is that rural people cannot use plastic money, but already they are using EcoCash and they are also basically using bond notes. Hon. Mudarikwa, thank you very much for wearing a smaller jacket to make your very important contribution. In fact, what surprised me was the ruling that a leather jacket is not acceptable because a leather jacket is more expensive and should demand more respect from that point of view, but thank you very much Hon. Mudarikwa for that support.
Hon. Toffa, thank you very much although the statement you make about people failing to pay schools – most, rather all schools now have bank accounts. So, you can pay through RTGS. A lot of them have got swipe machines. Now, if you have cash you can go and pay cash. If
you do not have cash and it is in the bank, you swipe or you make RTGS transfers.
HON. TOFFA: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. The
Minister did not understand my contribution. The point I was making is that the women in Bulawayo live on selling outside the country and the point I was raising is that without the foreign currency, they will be unable because they cannot use the bond notes outside the country. They have been unable to raise funds to go back and buy so that they can raise school fees for their children. That was the point I made.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Maybe it was a question of
language. He did not understand. You spoke in Ndebele. So you have now clarified.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELEPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I thank the Hon. Member
for the correction. Let me thank Hon. Mutomba, Hon. Mpofu, Hon. Molly Mkandla and Hon. Sithole for supporting the issuance of bond notes. Hon. Ndlovu, I think I have already addressed the issue about school fees. Hon. Chakona, thank you very much for an eloquent lecture to us on economics.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. I think maybe the Minister did not get what Hon. Mutomba said. He raised a fundamental point on the difference in prices of the bond notes, the swiping machine and the United States dollar, but surprisingly I am just hearing the Minister saying I want to thank Hon. Mutomba for supporting the bond notes. I think he also needs to clarify…
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): He supported.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Can I just finish. I think the Minister
needs to clarify on that point because I think that is the major problem which we are – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order!
HON. MUNENGAMI: I think that is the major problem which
we are facing in the supermarkets - the differences in prices. If he can clarify on that. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): He supported the
introduction of bond notes clearly and then he raised his concerns which
I was going to address and then you stand up to introduce… HON. MUNENGAMI: Ehe chiyendayi mberi.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): The issue here Mr.
Speaker Sir, I had already answered it. The price differentials are a matter that we will certainly look into, but you cannot protect foolish people. If you accept to be short-changed by accepting less United States dollars and you give away more bond notes which are interchangeable 1:1 which you can take to the bank and they give you
1:1, you are foolish and maybe you do not deserve our support.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir -
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]. This is serious – [AN HON. MEMBER: Haisi question time iwe Munengami.]- The point which I want to make to the Minister is that it is not about us as Members of Parliament. Let us be real and let us talk on these real issues. We have got people who are outside there. These people are being taken advantage of and for them to think in the way the Minister is explaining to us that if I see a radio priced at US$150 and 200 bond notes, I am supposed to go to the RBZ. I think we all know what is taking place on the ground.
What is important is for the Minister maybe to put a legislation to address the problem because that is very important. We may laugh in here, but the statement that the Minister just said will not stop what is happening right now. Please Mr. Speaker, protect us so that the Minister responds to the issue. His comment that people are foolish does not justify what is happening on the ground – [HON. MEMBERS:
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order at the back. At the
back, may we please hear the Hon. Minister in silence. I think Hon. Minister, what is being raised here is quite pertinent that you really have to put your foot and get people to know that it is not fair for someone to part with his United States dollars.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I take note of your
concerns and will look into the matter.
I thank Hon. Mliswa. The point I want to highlight from Hon.
Chakona’s contribution, I thank you for your lecture to us on the economy.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Can he withdraw the statement that those people who are out there are foolish people – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.]- Please, that is important. If he can withdraw that by saying that maybe he did not understand because for him to say that they are foolish people, honestly I do not think that it is fair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Member,
it is a way of expressing. I think Minister vacover ikoko already. He has covered that.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank
you very much. Hon. Chakona, thank you for emphasising that bond notes are a medium of exchange and not a way of taking money out of the country. It is actually to stop people who want to take our valuable foreign currency out of the country that is one of the purposes of bond notes.
I also want to emphasise the point he made that bond notes have already stood the test of time and also that it is helping to eradicate certain crimes which were prevalent when you are using US dollars.
Hon. Mlilo, thank you for supporting the issuance of the bond notes and I took note of the concerns that you raised. Hon. J. Tshuma, thank you very much also for highlighting the issues that in fact are now taking place in Matabeleland South especially increasing and promoting greater economic activity in the country. Hon. Majome, thank you for the concerns you raised and I want to say that everything that we are going to do will be in accordance with the law. So, you need not to worry about what the law says, we will comply with the law.
Hon. Mliswa, thank you for emphasising that discipline is at the core but we will not use bond notes in order to meet expenditure – that is not the purpose of bond notes. The purpose of bond notes is to act as incentives for those who are producing. Hon. Mandipaka, thank you again for supporting the bond notes. Hon. Mukwena, thank you for also supporting the bond notes . Hon. Gonese, again I think the point you are making is that we must address the fundamental cause. I have already said that the fundamental root cause of our economic problems is low production and that we are addressing. Introduction of bond notes is not to address the fundamental cause. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I now move that the Bill be now read for the second time.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: On a point of order. I just want the
Minister to respond to one of the issues I raised precisely that the bond note was introduced as an export incentive. The legislation does not reflect that spirit behind the introduction of the bond notes as it appears. The legislation just treats the bond note like any other currency not going back to the primary reason of it being an export incentive. So, no reference whatsoever is done to that issue in the legislation and he did not quite answer me on that issue.
THE HON. MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, what the
Hon. Member is raising is not necessary and it is not in the legislation.
We do a lot of incentives that we give; we do not put it in the legislation. Incentives are a complete set of issues. In this particular issue, we said from April or May, we are going to give incentives to tobacco farmers and at that time it was merely an intention but we had not yet introduced them. By the time we introduced the bond notes, they had accumulated almost all exporters to something like US$75 million. Right now, like I pointed out what has been issued is about US$79 million in circulation as a mere export incentive. We are only giving to exports, so the point I answered, not because you raised it but someone else did, I think it was the Portfolio Committee.
Let us have figures of exports and bond notes so that we can compare whether it is 5%; in some cases it is not 5%, it is two and half percent. We do not need it in the Bill. What is important is that this is a medium of exchange, once it is given 5% in the bank account it is given as 5%. You ask the tobacco farmers and the gold miners, they got in their bank accounts 5% of their sales. Do you understand? They know they received the incentive and those bond notes are then issued into the market. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, I now move that the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill [H.B. 12, 2016] be now read a second time.
Motion put and agreed to Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: Wednesday, 25th January, 2017.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA), the House
adjourned at Four Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.