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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 SEPTEMBER 2013 VOL. 40 NO. 3
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 24th September, 2013
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m
(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)
NEW MEMBERS SWORN
- ARNOLD TSUNGA and MR. GABBUZA JOEL GABBUZA took
and subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by law and took their seats.
- SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I ask Hon. Mutasa to move a special motion.
SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NUMBER 170
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL
AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (MR. MUTASA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, to cater for persons with disability, may I, with thd leave of the House, move that Standing Order Number 170 of the National
Assembly be suspended in respect of persons with disabilities who are Members of this Parliament, This will enable their aides who are members of the public to sit with them in the Chamber or in Committees of Parliament for the sole purpose of rendering their assistance. All the rules that apply to Members of Parliament in respect of disciplinå and decorum siall apply to the aides. For the avoidance of doubt, all the privileges attended with being a Member of Parliament shall not apply to tHe aibes, either in plenary sessions or in committees. I so move Mr.
Motion put and agraeä to.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR SPEAKER
- SPEAKER; I èave tk inform tha House that all hon. members who have not had(their photographs vaken are kin`ly reQuested to&do so ep to a half-past foõr p.m. in the members’ dining room tmday. The photos are required for uploading on the website and for the development of Members of Parliament charts. Hon. members are also advised to submit their e-mail addresses and other contact details to the Public Relations department in order to facilitate proper logistical arrangements on various parliamentary programmes.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
- SPEAKER: May I advice hon. members to kindly switch off their cellphones before business commences.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
- MBWEMBWE: Thank you. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me start by congratulating you on your election to the very important position of Speaker of the august House. Amhlope.
I would also like to extend my hearty congratulations to His
Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Comrade Robert
Gabriel Mugabe, for his victory and election as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. That was a massive show of support and confidence in his vision and leadership for the country, makorokoto.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me at this juncture to congratulate all the hon. ….
- SPEAKER: Order, may I interrupt the Hon. Mbwembwe. After you have done your notice, we need to second the motion. Who seconds the motion?
- A. NDHLOVU: I second.
- SPEAKER: Mr. Mbwembwe, please carry on.
- MBWEMBWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Allow me at this juncture to congratulate all the Hon. Members of Parliament for being elected to represent our people and for the expression of confidence in their ability to deliver on the high expectations of the people of this beautiful country. I am most grateful to the people of
Chikomba East for continuing to bestow on me the honour of representing them in this august House. I shall endeavour not to disappoint them.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe, for his comprehensive presentation at the opening of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, on the 17th of September 2013. The presentation laid the agenda for this august House and indicated the priorities for Government in the on-going struggle for us to build a robust economy and improve the lives of the majority of our people. It also set the tone and gave us insight into the enormity of the tasks that lie ahead. It was a call to dedication, a call to commit ourselves to the duty of serving the people of Zimbabwe.
As we work out the details, and seek to align the various pieces of legislation to the new Constitution, we must once again Mr. Speaker, congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for holding a peaceful election.
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]
It was an election that will continue to be an example not just to the region but to the rest of the world. It was a demonstration of what happens when a people come together and commit to a vision and an objective. Let us as Zimbabweans take the same patriotic approach to dealing with the complexities of the matters ahead and in implementing solutions to the challenges that we have.
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President, highlighted the pivotal role of the agricultural sector as the mainstay of our economy. The speeding up and the completion of various strategic water projects to address challenges of drought and climate change are very welcome, together with the livestock mitigation programme that government is set to continue. As these short, medium to long term plans get underway, the immediate task for government is the timeous availing of agricultural inputs for the impending season. Can the inputs be available to the communal areas; to Sadza, Pokoteke, Shumba, Murambinda, Mutoko and many others on time? It is that readiness, all things being equal; that lays the foundation for sustainable food security.
Food security must be addressed with the seriousness that it deserves. Already, the people we represent, moreso in the rural areas, are in need of food. A country undertaking a successful land reform programme cannot rely on food imports and handouts, His Excellency the President said. The Ministry of Agriculture will need to be more aggressive and more practical in dealing with the issues of viable agriculture and productivity. The importance of farming must start at primary and secondary schools, so that the farming culture is reinforced. There is need for an integrated production oriented approach. We must replicate the success of tobacco with the other crops such as maize, wheat, soya to mention a few.
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President spoke about prioritisation of pro poor economic development initiatives and the mobilization of funding for the revival of the critical sectors of agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing.
The manufacturing sector continues to suffer from low capacity utilization, the result of which is continued unemployment, reduced revenue inflows to the fiscus and widening trade deficit. Our industry needs recapitalization to be able to compete in the region and even before that, to be able to ward off competition from external players. The engagement of bilateral and multilateral institutions is paramount and must be pursued vigorously, whilst incentivizing for investment and exports.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the urgent need for the Mining Development Policy and the promulgation of the new Mines and Minerals Bill cannot be overemphasized. His Excellency the President was emphatic that the mining sector must play its pivotal role in the industrial development process. The lifting of illegal sanctions on ZMDC by the European Union, although self serving on their part, will give increased impetus to that catalytic role.
His Excellency the President in his address, spoke about the critical role of the energy sector and measures to be put in place to improve overall supply. That together with the operationalisation of the
ARDA-Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant will go a long way in ensuring sustainable power supply. The impact on the overall economy will bring relief to the country.
The tourism sector has recorded success and must continue with measures to ensure Zimbabwe is an international destination of choice. That will raise its contribution to the GDP, whilst creating the much needed jobs for the youths. The standard set in co-hosting the UNWTO General Assembly is a yardstick worth replicating in the other sectors of the economy.
Efforts to ensure sound transport infrastructure through publicprivate partnership arrangements are welcome. The country is badly in need of more modern transport infrastructure to cope with the increasing transport challenges.
Related to that in terms of infrastructure is the commendable arrangement for a US$144 million loan facility from China for the City of Harare to address poor sanitation and water related facilities. Replication of that arrangement for other towns and cities will be a great milestone in the development process of this country.
On the education front, the commitment by government to continue to set the pace on the African continent is highly commendable. In his wisdom, His Excellency the President said the focus must be on teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development.
That will be the backbone for national competiveness and success.
The parastatals and local authorities sector needs a lot of attention. They are underfunded and have corporate governance issues of lack of capacity to turn them around. The service deliver is very constrained. They need to run profitably and not continue to destroy value and relying on the fiscus.
The introduction of performance contracts and a Results Based Management approach for greater accountability and effective service delivery are most commendable. I urge government to speedily implement these measures including dealing with the debt saddling some of these parastatals to ensure operational viability for the good and success of the economy and the people of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President, outlined measures to enforce zero tolerance to corruption. I commend him for taking such measures to stop the draining of national resources for personal gain. Corruption is a cancer in our society and the measures to be put in place must be deterrent enough to create a better society.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the mainstreaming of indigenisation and empowerment programs is very welcome to improve and strengthen the value of the programs. The effective management of the community share ownership trusts must be guaranteed to ensure the benefits will accrue to the intended beneficiaries.
Alongside these measures must also be the inclusion of the supply chain approach to the empowerment and indigenisation agenda. Immediate empowerment can be realised when the products from the small communities in Chikomba East, Mutoko, Domboshava and all over find their way to the supermarkets in this country and not when tomatoes and garlic among others rot at Mbare and elsewhere because our supermarkets are full of tomatoes and garlic from neighbouring countries. That is shortchanging our people in terms of empowerment.
The supply model must be taken on board when reviewing empowerment legislation.
Tied to that is the great work that is being done in the micro, small and medium sector. The capacity to eradicate poverty as His Excellency the President put it, is enhanced if the whole process chain from funding to markets is addressed.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank His Excellency, President for his commitment to ensuring that the civil servants’ conditions of service and remuneration are improved. That will greatly improve their morale, engender a greater sense of belonging and translate to improved service delivery.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the agenda and programme outlined by His
Excellency the President are a call to action and to service. The new Government must hit the ground running. We ask the government to rise to the challenge, to lift our people out of poverty, address the challenges of the youths who now constitute about 60% of the world population, empower to create employment, accessible clean water, accessible roads, efficient health facilities and schools with adequate learning materials and electricity. Food and market for their products, that is what the people that I represent in Chikomba East are asking for. We ask that the ministries be run effectively in our struggle to fulfill the requirements and the expectations of our people. We ask that we all commit to a building of a better Zimbabwe and to sustainable development. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
- A. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Please allow
me Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency, President R.G. Mugabe on his election as the President of this Republic and consequently the Commander-in-Chief of our Defence Forces.
Allow me also Mr. Speaker, to congratulate you on becoming the Speaker of this august House and through you, congratulate all hon.
Members on their election to be members of the Eighth Parliament.
Well done to all of you.
Mr. Speaker Sir, President Mugabe’s victory is not just a victory for ZANU PF or Zimbabwe but a victory for SADC, Africa and the whole progressive community. It is a victory which signified a big blow to imperialism, which victory I want to call the biggest imperialist activity of 2013. In opening this session, His Excellency spoke about the manner in which Zimbabweans conducted themselves before, during and after the 31st of July 2013 harmonised elections. These elections, no doubt, indicated that Zimbabweans have become of age and the world has a lot to learn from us.
While opening this Parliament, His Excellency the President laid out the legislative agenda for the Eighth Parliament which includes harmonising various pieces of legislation to be in line with the new Constitution. The pieces of legislation will, among other things, ensure that certain institutions given birth to by the new Constitution such as the number of independent commissions, are supported by legislation in order to operationalise them.
While opening this Session, His Excellency spoke about the centrality of agriculture in driving our economy. It is very sad however, that agriculture has suffered recurrent droughts since 2000, coupled with climate change effects. I want to call upon Government to come up with a sound climate change policy which should see the use of ICTs in mitigating effects of climate change for food security. I also want to call on Government to set up the climate change fund, as climate change effects or environmental degradation effects are mostly felt by women and the young girls. It is the women and the young girls who walk long distances in the rural areas in search of energy in the form of firewood. It is still the women and the young girls who go long distances in search of water. It is therefore imperative that Government takes seriously the issue of dealing with climate change, since it has effects on the rest of our developmental goals.
Agriculture Mr. Speaker Sir, needs to be supported, both commercial and small scale. You will agree with me Mr. Speaker, that the larger part of our population is in the rural areas. It is therefore important that we support agriculture in a much more sustainable manner so that the livelihoods of our people are improved. It is therefore imperative that Government revamps existing irrigation schemes and introduce new ones in areas that do not have them and are prone to drought, for example, Mberengwa in the Midlands among many others.
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency also spoke about his
Government’s need to revive key sectors of the economy, notably agriculture, mining, tourism and the manufacturing sectors. This can only happen if Government is able to mobilise funding.
I want to move on and talk about the centrality of mining in reviving the economy and urge Government to set up value addition and beneficiation infrastructure so that the country is able to get more value from its God given resources, while at the same time creating employment which we so much need for our young people.
Rehabilitation of power stations is a positive development, but more still needs to be done in this area. As I congratulate His Excellency on his wise words Mr. Speaker Sir, I call upon…
- SPEAKER: Order. Will the officer dishing out papers do so in whispers please? Please carry on.
- A. NDHLOVU: I call upon President Mugabe’s Government with regards to energy to also look into renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which energy sources are also environmentally friendly. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank His Excellency the President for talking about his commitment to making sure that the ARDA Chisumbanje Ethanol Project is going to be embraced so that it is fully operational. This will no doubt create employment and improve the livelihoods of our people in Chipinge and Manicaland in general.
As I applaud Government in its effort in dualising our major roads, allow me, Mr. Speaker Sir, to call upon Government to also consider rehabilitation of roads in all rural areas in the country. Our people in the rural areas walk very long distances when they want to travel because transport operators shun those areas due to the poor road network.
It is my hope that Government will continue to solidify its efforts in ensuring that all its citizens have access to safe and clean drinking water. The loan facility from the China-Exim Bank, its disbursement should be done with more speed, Mr. Speaker Sir, as it has a potential to relieve all urban dwellers in Harare from water woes.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to thank His Excellency the President for his efforts to revive social dialogue through the Tripartite
Negotiating Forum Bill which he says will be tabled before this august House. This of course creates harmonious relations at the workplace and as you know, harmonious labour relations result in increased productivity which directly increases the performance of our economy. Harmonisation of our labour laws in line with international labour standards should continue as His Excellency the President mentioned so that our standards are in line with those of the ILO Conventions which the country has acceded to.
On the health care sector, Government needs to take measures which ensure that all its citizens have access to quality health care which is not only accessible but more importantly affordable. At this juncture,
I want to urge President Mugabe’s new Government to consider and ensure that all our public health institutions have specialist medical equipment such as that used for MRI scans among others. Also, to ensure that all our public institutions have at least one eurologist/Neurosurgeon. A lot of lives have been lost, lives which could have been saved had the services of Neuro-surgeons or specialists were available. These services are not only scarce but they are also unaffordable where they are available. So, I want to urge the government to look into this area and make sure that our people are saved from death that can be avoided.
Mr. Speaker, while on the same issue, I want to urge all Medical Aid Societies to ensure that their cover also takes care of specialist services/procedures among other things.
Progress made in the educational sector cannot be over emphasized but I want to urge government, in line with what His Excellency said, to relook at the educational curricula so that it is in line with the national agenda of economic empowerment; national pride and for it to also be able to instill patriotism in the young people of this country. The history of the country, including the Constitution should be taught in all our schools – right from a tender age. So that while we can differ politically, socially or in whatever area - each of us is able to know that first and foremost – they are Zimbabwean. That will also make it possible for us to avoid unnecessary conflict. While still on education, I want to urge government to relook at tertiary education funding.
We have seen in the past few years that our students in the universities are facing challenges with regards to school fees. I want this done because the girl child suffers the most from the effects of lack of a sustainable funding scheme by government. The young girls are made vulnerable and end up indulging in undesirable activities in search of education. It is also important for government to prioritise funding tertiary education because it is only after these women have been trained that they can be put in positions of leadership – among many other empowerment initiatives.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to salute His Excellency for attaching the word ‘importance’ to the plight of all civil servants. At this juncture, I want to salute the gallant sons and daughters who work in the civil service for their resilience and bearing the unfavorable conditions of service – notably in the past five years. His Excellency’s commitment to improving the conditions of service for civil service employees must be applauded.
Corruption is a cancer which has not spared us. His Excellency made it very clear when he opened this session that, he tolerates not corruption. I want to urge everyone – hon. members and every Zimbabwean that we have to be united and make sure that we do away with this scourge. The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Bill is a welcome development as the fund is meant to improve the livelihoods of the electorate and not benefit individuals.
Mr. Speaker Sir, one of the major reasons Zimbabweans went to war with the British – over and above the right to democracy which manifests through the ballot box was the need to control natural resources. It is, therefore, imperative that government consolidates indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes so that we bring meaning to the political independence that we enjoy. For that, I thank His Excellency for making a commitment to make sure that what the gallant sons and daughters of this country sacrificed so much for during the struggle, is made to come to pass.
On the diplomatic front, His Excellency said that, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy is anchored on the promotion and protection of the country’s political and economic interest and above all the country’s image beyond our borders. Promotion of regional and international peace shall continue to guide his government’s foreign policy and he must be applauded for such a vision - which seeks to strike a balance and does not compromise on the country’s sovereignty and territorial
Allow me, Mr. Speaker Sir, to congratulate Zimbabwe and His Excellency for being elected Deputy Chairperson of SADC. I want to wish him and his government all the best as they host the 14th SADC Summit of Heads of State in Government in August 2014 – when the country assumes the groupings’ Chairperson. Well done Zimbabwe, well done Your Excellency.
As I conclude, I want to join His Excellency in thanking the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe serving in our security sector – who do not only shine in many peace-keeping missions but more importantly play a very key role in safe-guarding the country’s territorial integrity and making sure that this country remains independent. Indeed, a State is as strong as its Generals.
His Excellency also saluted all Zimbabweans for showing amazing levels of tolerance and finding strength in their diversity and putting to shame the detractors of this country and all prophets of doom who had prophesied that Zimbabweans are not able to solve their own problems.
Thank you Zimbabwe, may the good Lord bless you all.
I want to urge all hon. members and every Zimbabwean to take heed of His Excellency’s wise words and conduct business in this august House in a manner which shows that we respect the confidence put in us by the electorate and do business not in a business as usual attitude. We need to take issues seriously and make sure that we deliver to the electorate.
Once again, congratulations Your Excellency; congratulations to you Mr. Speaker Sir; congratulations to each of us in this House and thank you to all Zimbabweans who made sure that on the 31st July by resoundingly voting ZANU PF and His Excellency, this country will forever belong to Zimbabweans and above all Zimbabwe does not become a colony again.
- MANGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me
this opportunity to add my voice on the Presidential Speech. May I begin by congratulating you and your Deputy for being appointed to the Office of the Speaker. Secondly, may I also congratulate His Excellency, Cde. R. G. Mugabe, for winning resoundingly in the just ended elections.
I have two issues to discuss today. Firstly, our President pointed out that there is need for introducing more irrigation schemes in this country. I applaud this idea because nature has not spread its wings evenly throughout the world so in some areas there is inadequate rainfall. For that reason, there is need for us to add more dams in this country to alleviate this problem caused by drought.
Secondly, I would like to look at issues which our President raised in terms of rehabilitation of roads - the continuation of rehabilitation of these roads is very important. Looking at my constituency, there is need to improve the Manoti-Gokwe road which connects our growth point
Manoti and Gokwe town. It is in a bad state, if that can be prioritized.
In addition, I also have Sahi road which also needs to be improved in accordance with the President’s Speech.
We actually know that Gokwe is a farming town. We used to carry our “white gold” which is cotton to various parts of the country for various reasons. It is an important asset for us to have these roads improved so that they are carried to different parts of the country. I will not have done justice to my Constituency if I do not make an urgent request to this House, to our Government for an immediate reclamation of gullies in Gokwe town. The town of Gokwe is under threat as I speak, there are gullies which are threatening our courts and it is just a distance of about 10 metres towards our Government Complex.
I will actually hand over to this House some of the pictures that are actually a sad story to the town of Gokwe. Allow me to give the Hansard these pictures to be recorded so that hon members can see the seriousness that has taken Gokwe under threat.
Definitely, if gullies are not attended to we might be forced to relocate because they look like Victoria Falls. If rains come before they are attended to – I am not exaggerating hon members, if you visit my Constituency you will find that what I am actually saying is the truth and nothing else as we did during our swearing ceremony.
Our Government needs to look at the issue of gullies through the Ministry of Environment because the soils there are just loose and some of the schools like Mlalazi Primary and Jororo Primary are also under threat because of gullies. In addition to some of the challenges that are in Gokwe, like I have said, we need to have electricity in most of our rural areas since there are few areas which already have electricity.
The challenges in my constituency are not exhaustive. Allow me to conclude by thanking the people from my Constituency for re-electing me to represent them. I promise that I will not betray their trust as I will tirelessly continue to work with them and actually receive advice.
- KEREKE: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to contribute to the debate at hand. Firstly, to congratulate Mr. Speaker for being elected to the position you do hold and also to concur with earlier hon members’ words of celebration and congratulating His Excellency, the President for the resounding victory.
The presentation by the President laid the road map which, as the august House, we need to traverse in our business during our tenure of this First Session. I want firstly to contribute to the debate on the subject on Constituency Development Fund where His Excellency underscored that as Parliament we need to set the rules under which that fund can be administered in a transparent manner.
I have no doubt that Parliament would set such framework as would give transparency but for the august House, under the representative format of our democracy, there is need to ensure that such funds are not set as a token. For instance, does the quantum that is put per constituency confirm to our notion of what development should translate to, to the people. I want to add to the debate by saying the
Constituency Development Fund route is the quickest route between Government as the machinery for the people and the actual people. By its construction, the institution of Government requires certain processes that would go from ministry to ministry, department to department and it takes time for certain developmental activities to reach the people.
The route of the Constituency Development Fund, to this extent, hon members on the ground are the tentacles that are in contact with the people, we want to urge that the route of the CDF in response to the guidance by the President be looked at as a legitimate significant intervention towards development and not as a mere token in terms of its significance.
The next area the President touched on was in respect of corruption. I think hon members will need to amplify the discussion and give the community the true sense of what corruption means, the various forms that corruption takes. When a public figure is supposed to discharge certain functions, they abrogate their duty, is that corruption? Perhaps it is. Corruption needs not to be looked at in one dimension. So we want to applaud His Excellency for highlighting the need to eradicate, the need to fight the scourge of corruption in all its manner in our public and private institutions.
There is also need to broaden the scope of fighting corruption by looking at the factors that give opportunity to this scourge to arise. If you are a farmer, you plough and you do not fumigate, you give opportunity for weeds to take charge. Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! We need to look at those issues in our society at both the individual and institutional levels that cultivate the culture of corruption.
Our institutions that are meant, under the statutory measures instituted by this august House, to fight corruption which include the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the law enforcement arms, there is need to ensure that they coordinate efforts in a manner that reads from the same page as regards the scourge of corruption.
The Speech by the President, touched on the need to ensure food security. Again, as we speak, the season is upon us. To be successful in agriculture, it is all about planning and timing. We need to ensure that the functionality of those tentacles of Government that ensure viability of farmers. Do our farmers get inputs on time? We are in the month of
September Mr. Speaker Sir. There is need to ensure that the call by His Excellency the President for food security is translated into reality through timely provision of inputs to farmers. We need to realise that under the land reform programme, which is a historic programme, an irreversible one as reflected by our Constitution, is supported through implementation that caters for the various forms of ownership of land.
We have the communal A1and A2 farmers. There has been a tendency to assume that the private sector under the auspices of the financial sector can create permanent and lasting solutions to the needs of farmers. I want to say the world over Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a known fact that agriculture can not function without the direct intervention of a people’s government, whether you are in Europe, America, Japan or China, wherever in the world, the government has to take a leading role even in giving support to farmers that are in A2. So the call by His Excellency the President in respect of agriculture requires rethinking our models of intervention when we support farmers.
By its nature, farming is more of a public good. In other words a public good is where the benefits tend to be far reaching especially when looked at from a society’s point of view, whereas the costs are localised to the individual farmer and to the individual company undertaking a given operation. So through this august House, through our deliberations, we would want to discharge the road map as laid out by His Excellency the President in respect of farming by ensuring that the tentacles of government lay not just the framework, but implement the programmes that are tangible, effective and on time to give impetus to agriculture.
His Excellency the President touched on the need for us to develop our health institutions. I want to say Mr. Speaker Sir, the health sector in the communities we lead, is a seriously impaired sector particularly in the rural areas. We have instances where expecting mothers walk for not less than thirty to forty kilometers to get to the nearest clinic which has got no electricity. They also walk to the nearest clinic which does not have the basic kit in terms of equipment to enable delivery of new borns. The effect is that we have rising mortality rates of new borns in the rural areas. Most of them go unreported because of the logistical gaps that still exist in terms of communication, in terms of transmitting reality to the tentacles of government.
So we would want through you Mr. Speaker Sir, deliberate efforts and discussion in this august House to say what is it that we can do to ensure meaningful transmission of government resources to close the health scourge that is there in the rural areas. In Bikita West, a constituency I represent, we have instances where expecting mothers are ferried on scotch carts, traversing gullies, and the pain, the horrors that they go through, must invoke a sense of urgency to our business in a way that responds positively to their call.
Infrastructure development, Mr. Speaker Sir is an area where the President underscored the need to ensure that our policies are also significant. We have ongoing projects that were initiated by previous governments in terms of dualisation of roads, in terms of maintenance of roads. We want through you Mr. Speaker Sir, to urge that such programmes be implemented not in a peace-meal fashion but implementation where one segment that is targeted must be seen to its completion prior to touching other areas and leaving them half baked for a length of time. Visibility of effectiveness of government would be there when we preside over projects that end.
So I want to say Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency the President laid a very solid foundation for us to deliberate in this august House to ensure that our programmes within the trinity of the structure of government, give results to the people. His Excellency the President also spoke about the need for regulatory reforms. In other words tying the Constitution to the actual day to day statutes under which the arms of government whether at national level or at local level, can then operate. I think that one is an urgent exercise which must preoccupy the business of this august House for it is only through clear, transparent and forcible statutes that the business of government can be discharged effectively the people.
I want to conclude Mr. Speaker Sir, by wishing hon. members in the august House fruitful deliberations and transparent representation to our people. I thank you.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, firstly, I would like to congratulate you for being elected as the Speaker of this House.
Secondly, I would like to congratulate His Excellency President R.G. Mugabe for being elected as the President of Zimbabwe. I would like to congratulate all of you members of parliament present. I would like to add my voice to this speech which is very pertinent. Talking about food security, I am referring to where I am coming from, where I represent.
The President touched on a lot of things but it is now up to you and me, for we are all aware of hunger.
In my constituency, there is a lot of hunger. I would also want to say if the Ministry of Agriculture is well resourced with money, there should not be any debate when it comes to this. It should be given finances so that it buys food for the people.
- SPEAKER: I think your microphone is not on, Hon.
Chinotimba, can you come forward.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: I was saying that the Ministry of
Agriculture, including the Grain Marketing Board, should be given money so that they buy food for the people. It should be well resourced so that the GMB or the Ministry of Agriculture sees to it that there is food.
For example Mr. Speaker, where I come from; Buhera South, if people do not plough in September when we have the rains, it means there is drought. It means they will not get anything including the sorghum that they usually plough. So, when the President was talking, it really touched me because I could not see what happens later when the President has given some instructions. I do not know what takes place in these Ministries, who will be having the finances. The President has said money should go to Agriculture, but you find that in that Ministry, no money goes there. Mr. Speaker, I am saying so because we are the representatives of the people, we should work accordingly.
Secondly, I would like to talk about the roads and dams which were talked about by the President. Where I come from, I heard other people saying their areas are worse; Buhera South is not in good condition. I know that people in Buhera Central have named roads. At first they say Kangai, when Kangai went out, the roads were now named Tsvangirai after the Prime Minister. Now we are there, they are saying they are now called Chinotimba – [Laughter].
Mr. Speaker Sir, our people always ask us, how is Buhera different from other places in Zimbabwe. They say if you go in this direction you will find roads being resurfaced, if you go in this direction as well, you see tars being resurfaced. These are questions which people are asking. You see that many are being killed in our roads, especially when you go along Beitbridge. Is it not possible that monies which are being realised from ZINARA should be seen only on roads but they should also be seen in these dust roads – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - because our people also vote for the MPs. They also stay in this country but at the end, they will say what are we suffering for whilst we are staying in these places which are dirty and where tars are only put in other places. If you look at the Mutare highway, you will see it is about three or five years but I am saying what the President has said should be implemented. We should see roads being mended, not that we should point fingers at each other that only resources are channeled to certain areas.
Mr. Speaker, to solve the problem, what we should do is we should look at all the dust roads countrywide , from Tsholotsho,
Binga to Bulawayo, no matter there is no tar at least they should maintain the roads. I think we should help each other when it comes to things like this.
Coming on to corruption which was touched on by the President, I looked for myself to find where corruption is starting from, the root. Then I realised that I do not think corruption is coming from the grassroots but it is starting from us here in Parliament. It starts with relatives, even the people that we appoint as Ministers. They are the ones who are corrupt or people who have been appointed to higher positions, they are the ones who are corrupt.
If you look Mr. Speaker, you find that corruption starts from here – [Laughter] – if you see people walking out whilst you are there in the Chair, that is corruption. That is the beginning of corruption, even laughing at each other, jeering at each other, you see these parties MDC laughing at MDC-T and MDC-T laughing at
ZANU PF, that is corruption – [Laughter] – Mr. Speaker Sir, corruption! corruption! corruption!
I hope we are going to leave corruption starting with me going down to the grassroots. We should stay away from corruption. The opposition will say President Mugabe’s Government but the
Government of President Mugabe is us who were elected by the people. That is the Government. So, I think we can get rid of the corruption if we come together in this august House and do what we were elected for by the people; that our ministries work for people and that we also work for the people. That is what I have stood up to say and to add my voice to this motion.
Whilst I was talking about hunger, I was called while in this House that where I come from in Buhera, there are now jackals attacking people in Buhera in broad day light. Mr. Speaker Sir, - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
MR SPEAKER: Order, Order, Order, can you listen to him please. Please carry on.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, some are laughing because they are not faced with such a challenge but if they bear in mind that people who are being bitten are the people of Zimbabwe, they would not laugh. Otherwise, that is where corruption starts from - [Laughter]. Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know what we can do.
We have heard that what the President said about looking after our livestock. He touched on all those issues. Where I am coming from, we are asking through this august House that could you please help us by controlling these animals. We cannot control them because of hunger. There is no water because of drought and they used to eat some small animals in the bush like rabbits but because of hunger, they are now turning to the people. So, I think when it comes to hunger, we should put our heads together and see what we can do.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate all the Members of Parliament and our President for being there. Our country is going to be a better country if we remain united. Thank you.
- E. GUMBO: I would like to thank you Mr. Speaker, for giving me a chance to contribute to this debate. I would like to congratulate you for being elected to your position, His Excellency, the President of the country, Comrade R. G. Mugabe and also I would like to thank all the hon. members of the National Assembly for contributing and I suppose your good campaigning to get into this House.
First and foremost, I would like to touch on four topics; mainly the issue of food, water, health and corruption. The preceding speakers have spoken on these subjects and obviously I will not dwell much on that but
I would like to highlight on some issues that affect the Matabeleland Region in respect of that.
My constituency, Gwanda Central, is really short of food and there is no water to drink and the health facilities are almost collapsing. I believe this can be true also for the province of Matabeleland South and possibly some parts of Matabeleland North.
To this effect, I would like to applaud the President R. G. Mugabe for taking the initial measures to import maize from Zambia directly to parts of Matabeleland North, a bit of Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. I think that is an act of good organisation. I would like to confirm that the first lot of the maize is already arriving to the people and I think that is a good achievement.
However, I understand the amount required for the community is a lot more than the resources provided. I think to treat it in the ordinary context of just saying food relief might not suffice for this case. I would go as far as to suggest that we make an emergency food relief programme that would not be hindered by the normal bureaucracy of all work, otherwise we will bury people and not cry that it is because of drought but that the Government let them die. I think us from ZANUPF will agree that we adopted the policy of caring for the people. Surely if we can feed them at this hour, they will appreciate it.
I would also like to point out that it is not that the people in this constituency are lazy or they cannot produce for themselves but dear comrades and fellow Members, I would like to point out that there has been severe drought for the last two years. There has been no rainfall in the Matabeleland Region. Even the wildlife has been seen dying in the National Parks. These are hard working Zimbabweans and our fellow Zimbabweans just asking for help. A bit of food from now just to see them up to May will do it but we need a special scheme Mr. Speaker Sir. I think that can be called on the level of an emergency to help these people.
Getting on to the issue of water, of course, it is a basic and fundamental human right. I think to deny somebody water is not right. God has denied it to the people of Matabeleland but we as fellow comrades can help. To this end, I am really looking at maybe calling for sustainable means for the provision of water, mainly in the form of dams. We do however have a big dam that would transform the whole of Gwanda area, the Thuli-Manyange Dam which has been on the cards since 1912. In the last 15 years, we have gone on to build nice suburbs for the engineers to start the dam but up to now, there are only houses for the engineers but the dam is not there after many years.
We appeal that may be this time we vote for something to happen to that. This is a total embarrassment that when the people cried for water, we build for them a suburb for the engineers to live in and build the dam but never built the dam. This is the true story of Thuli-Manyage Dam in Gwanda.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would also like to teach on the issue of health. Health as it is; we have got hungry people with no water, and they have to walk many kilometers to the nearest clinic. That is a recipe for failure and failure in this case means death. We really like to thank the President for setting out the Gwanda Community Share Ownership
Scheme (GCSOS) which is a fund that the mines have congregated to. This has gone a long way and we have built three clinics but many more are needed. I understand the fund is still available and it also has to be disbursed within the local community in Gwanda. I thank the President for setting that and that is one step towards the good things but I think the Central Government can also contribute to the efforts of the Gwanda
Community Share Ownership Scheme.
Thirdly, Gwanda is endowed with minerals and this can be said to most of Matabeleland South. However, these minerals are in the hands of a few people – mainly big companies. We do have a little bit of artisan mining but there are problems with some companies and that is derailing the whole programme of indigenisation by holding on speculative grounds, to claims and mining resources that really belong to the country.
We cannot allow this Mr. Speaker Sir, for people holding on to our resources when our people are starving, when our people have no food! They hold on to these claims in the same area where people are going with no food. I would therefore warn this Government to speed up and facilitate easy access of newcomers into the mining game.
It is also an issue that when we all look at our economy, one of the big players to improve our economy. I think you all admit, is the mining sector. It is preached every time that the mining sector has got a potential to lift our economy very quickly from the programme.
However, this sector has got a lot of corruption, sophisticated corruption that the ordinary layman cannot detect. This ranges from transfer pricing to simply mining the mine to where it will go to a dead end. Above all, there is always a claim that we do not have any money but why will these mines be there for so many centuries when they do not have money? Do you believe it? I do not. They will tell you there is no money.
Some of them are refusing even to pay into the Community Share Schemes that the President designed. I think the President made it very clear that they had to shape up or ship out. I do not know whether that was just a press speech or it is definitely a command. I wish we could put it into a law that these companies either they fit in, shape up or they should ship out.
I would therefore suggest that on the corruption in the mining sector, we do not need the ordinary fraud squad anti-corruption unit. We should set up a special mining anti-corruption unit comprising the people who understand what happens in this game, how this transfer pricing is happening; how these resources are declared finished when the ground is abundant with them. Maybe I would suggest that we make a special anti-corruption mining unit which will work alongside the normal anti-corruption unit to stop this big game.
As long as the mining sector is allowed to take resources out and as long as there is corruption in mining, our political independence is supposed to be realised through economic independence that entails us having a fair share of natural resources. Minerals are our biggest share of natural resources and I believe as long as they are plundered in a corrupt way, I think you have already heard what is happening. It starts with guys bringing money – corruption, when the resources are there, sidemarketing. How much of our minerals are side-marketed and people harvest the money outside and the money does not come back to us? It is on this concern, therefore, that I am calling for a special mining anticorruption unit.
- MUCHENJE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir ….
Mr. Speaker having mistakenly identified Mr. Mukwena as Mr.
Muchenje and Mr. Mukwena being advised to take his seat.
- SPEAKER: Order, what is happening? I recognised him and mistakenly, they said he was Muchenje. He, Mukwena is the one that is holding the floor. Hon Mukwena you can continue.
* MR. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, first and foremost, I congratulate you for being elected Speaker of the National Assembly. Secondly, I congratulate all the current members of the National Assembly for having made it as well as the President. I am going to be very brief Mr. Speaker Sir.
In His Excellency the President’s speech, he gave us a very good foundation on what we will be discussing during this session up until 2018. I implore you Mr. Speaker Sir, that as regards the programme that was laid out by the President, if we were to do it in the manner I foresee it as I now go to address the issue of the water problems, it is up to us as honourable members or as Parliament to do what is best to alleviate water shortages constituency by constituency. I think it is appropriate that we come up with teams to go into the constituencies to assess the impact of the shortages of water.
Coming to the issue of health, there are certain areas like resettlement and communal areas where there are no clinics and hospitals. Like the previous speakers have said, people travel about 30 km to access the nearest clinic. Others have to even travel to other districts and not their constituencies to access health facilities. It is our wish that you sit down with the honourable members and come up with a plan where we priorities some of these things.
We go to the issue of roads. Is it not possible that we go constituency by constituency since some of these constituencies are very big because the national budget cannot cascade down to these districts? If possible, there should be a budget based at district level because each constituency has problems that are peculiar to it and one constituency is different from the other.
The second should apply to the Constituency Development Fund
(CDF), that if it were possible Mr. Speaker Sir, it should be given to constituencies in terms of the size and the population in that constituency and the problems that they face. This will aid us in our development. We may have development at national level but if it does not cascade and get all round the country, it is of no use.
In terms of security, I implore that if it were possible Mr. Speaker and this august House, we should come up with water tapping so that we have a lot of water reservoirs. We do have a lot of big rivers and dams. We should have dams and we should have wells so that we can have small scale irrigation schemes. Zimbabwe should not be having a problem of food security but the point is that Zimbabwe has not yet come up with a master plan on how to utilise the water and identifying what the needs are and what can be done in each of these specific areas.
I will then move on to the poverty that we talk about here in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a rich country. What is needed is for us to sit down and come up with committees that address poverty alleviation in
On to the issue of corruption which has become endemic the world over, Zimbabwe included. If it were possible, there should be committees at district, provincial and national level because the committees at national level would not adequately cover this corruption. Each of the structures will feed to the upper structure so that there be forward and backwards transmission of this information, so that they can be able to know what is being done in each of these areas. People who are corrupt cannot be arrested because there is only one national committee.
We need these committees at district and provincial level. This enables the commission to remain visible in all these areas at district and provincial level. In our constituencies especially in my constituency of Chiredzi North, I believe it is the biggest constituency in Zimbabwe. It has the highest population in Zimbabwe and we have a lot of problems because during the Seventh Parliament we did not get any meaningful development.
There are problems of hunger and drought and people in that area are into cattle and cotton farming and there is a menace of wild animals. If it were possible, we want that there be food security which can only be achieved by the farmers that are there. If we are to look into the information, we are one of the best areas with farmers or we have the best farmers in the land but we face the menace of wild animals. These wild animals should be contained so that the farmers can live in harmony and be able to reap what they would have sowed. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- F. MUCHENJE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want
to join other hon. members of this august House in congratulating His Excellency on his election as the President of our country. I would also want to congratulate you on your election as our Speaker of this august House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to give reference to the speech by
His Excellency, specifically on agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
Scores of economists and business analysts have virtually run out of superlatives to describe the importance of these sectors but still the gap remains. I would want to define this gap. That is the difference between what things are right now and what they should be.
Mr. Speaker Sir, though these resuscitation plans are noble and principle, they can only be appreciated if they are implemented. So, in view of such a gap, I would want to suggest that some monitoring mechanisms be implemented so as to enforce, expedite and regulate these programmes to ensure that these groupings attain their desired results.
My Constituency, which is Makoni North, has observed with some concern on how these noble policies have fallen short on the implementation. Their wish is to see such programmes being extracted from both the electronic and print media and be placed right on their doorsteps. My Constituency, Mr. Speaker Sir shall always be a nagging client to the transport and infrastructural development. We have a cluster of rugged terrain masquerading as roads but the tragedy is that my Constituency provides a strategic link to three vital border posts.
So, its kind status right now is not compatible to its expected status. The transport operators have since shunned my Constituency and only those who charge exorbitant fares, may be as punishment for our rugged terrain are only available. It is in this vein that I can safely say we shall be grateful if our roads are rehabilitated because that would instill some confidence in our people.
Mr. Speaker Sir, may I conclude by saying that if these noble policies are not implemented, then it can all be described as a tragedy of good intentions. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear].
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL
AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (MR. MUTASA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th September, 2013.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR
PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (MR.
MUTASA), the House adjourned at Three Minutes Past Four o’clock p.m.