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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 AUGUST 2022 VOL 48 NO 72

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 25th August, 2022

The National Assembly Met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

 CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I  have to inform the House that connectivity challenges that have been experienced of late by some Hon. Members are mainly due to gadgets that need to be updated.  Hon. Members are therefore kindly requested to avail their gadgets for updating by the ICT officers who will be stationed at the Members Dining Room from 12:00hrs every sitting day until the completion of this exercise.  In addition, Hon. Members are urged to periodically update their gadgets software to ensure that they perform optimally.

PETITIONS RECEIVED FROM CENTRE FOR NATURAL RESOURCE GOVERNANCE AND MR. C. KAHARO

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on Thursday, 18th August 2022, Parliament received the following petitions:

  1. From the Centre for Natural Resource Governance represented by Trust Maanda beseeching Parliament to exercise its legislative and oversight roles on whether the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is properly executing its mandate of monitoring environmental management and compliance with regulations by Redwing Mine.

The petition was deemed admissible and has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development. 

  1. From Mr. C. Kaharo requesting the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to intervene and assist in reviewing apprenticeship wages to reasonable levels to enable them to meet their daily requirements.

The petition was deemed inadmissible as it does not contain a prayer that is within Parliament’s mandate.  The petitioners have been advised accordingly.

HON. BITI: Madam Speaker ma’am, I rise on a matter of national importance, which is on the conditions in the public hospitals in Zimbabwe.  I was at Parirenyatwa hospital recently.  My grandfather is not feeling well; he has prostate cancer.  They are forcing you to buy bandages, syringes and even painkillers.  The public health system in Zimbabwe has collapsed.  Yesterday in this august House, we heard from Hon. Matewu that in Chipinge, they are having to take citizens bitten by dogs to be treated for rabies in Mozambique.  It is a national crisis, there are no dialysis machines, no basic equipment in our hospitals and only yesterday in South Africa, we were treated to a video clip of the MEC, the provincial Minister for Health in the Limpopo province Dr Phophi Ramathuba chiding Zimbabweans that they are being treated in South Africa, what is wrong with their health system in Zimbabwe.  So we ask that the Minister of Health and Child Care be summoned to this august House to present a status of our health and how the Government is going to deal with this urgent issue.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti.  I ask the Government Chief Whip to convey the message to the responsible Minister so that he will come to the House as requested by Hon. Biti.  I also wish you grandfather a speedy recovery.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, my point of privilege is in connection with what the previous speaker said.  Truly, we are seeing that medicines are scarce in the country.  I will go back and say what can we do as leaders since the Government does not have enough funds and they do not have any source to borrow from. 

In Parliament Madam Speaker Ma’am, we need to work together and look for a way forward and the reason why we have shortage of medicines.  We need to find out the reason why we are incapacitated.   Some of us might have gone and closed our sources of medicines so that we do not have enough supplies because they no longer supply us.  Some went and asked for sanctions. They should go back and tell the same people that we are now working as one, so that they remove the sanctions. 

Madam Speaker, we must not continue crying for the same reason because we are responsible for the lack of medicines.  My colleagues closed the sources of medicines, that is why we are having shortfalls and not because we cannot buy the medicines.  The country does not have adequate medicines for sure that cannot be disputed.  We have heard and we know who is responsible for that.   We all know them and they called for sanctions so that medicines will not be supplied.  They want people to get sick because they say the people will still vote for them.  That is the reason why I am making this contribution so that we work together as leaders of Parliament in Zimbabwe.  We need to go back and tell them that gone are the days we used to fight.  We are currently representing our people so that they have enough medicines.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

*THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Matangira.  There are some things you are expected to do in this House that makes us to live well in our country.  If some of us are busy putting spanners in the works, we will not move forward.  So let us work together as one.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day. Numbers 1 to 17 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day on the Order Paper have been disposed of.

HON. MUTAMBISI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Eighteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MUTAMBISI: Today I rise to move for the adoption of the motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.  Before I do so, I would like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all the Hon. Members who contributed to this very important motion.  It is worth noting that a number of Members contributed to this debate as their maiden speeches and their impact was felt.  Thank you very much.

However, it was not possible to get responses on some of the critical issues raised in the debates as expected and this is a learning curve for us to correct our weaknesses.  We hope to do much better in the next session.  I therefore move for the adoption of the motion.

Motion that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows: May it please you, your Excellency the President. We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament, put and agreed to.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order with regards to the motion which has been adopted.  Hon. Mutambisi was correct to say that certain issues were not responded to.  If it is the State of Nation Address, any Minister who is mentioned must respond.  It is important for Ministers to understand that His Excellency sets the tone and Ministers must respond but they did not respond and this does not make sense.  It is important to have a list of the Ministers who did not respond so that you can announce it in this House and it is on record that these Ministers did not respond to the State of the Nation Address.  It means absolutely useless if the President sets the tone and the Ministers do not respond.  Can we have a list of the Ministers who did not respond so that they are announced in this House?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mliswa.  The list of the Ministers who did not respond will be availed.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF AUTOMATIC ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the provisions of Standing Order Nos. 33 (6), 53, 66 (2), 68 (5) and 147 regarding the Reporting Period of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Automatic adjournment of the House at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m. and at Twenty-Five Minutes past one o’clock pm on a Friday, and stages of Bills respectively be suspended until business relating to the Supplementary Budget has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURE

          Second Order read: Resumption of Committee of Supply: Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure.

          House in Committee.

          On Vote 13 (Continuation of debate):

          HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Hon. Chairman, for the Local Government, I think Hon. Minister, this is a very important section.  I just want to impress on our water infrastructure.  Most of the local authorities have infrastructure that was built during the Smith era.  I will give an example for Marondera Municipality.  Their waterworks were built in 1975 when the population was just 20 000 but now we are reaching 100 000 people and still using the same infrastructure.

          I think this is a perfect opportunity to put more money into the expansion of waterworks for councils like Marondera and several others across the country that do not have sufficient water infrastructure to ensure that people get clean water.  I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE:  Hon. Chairman, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works is on record saying that the money that was meant for devolution for Harare is going to pay for the Pomona Deal.  Is it included in the Supplementary Budget and why? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          HON. MARKHAM:  Hon. Chairman, may I ask you to control the House please?

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. KHUMALO):  Order, order please Hon. Members!

          HON. MARKHAM:  Hon. Chairman, on Local Government, I would like to just seek clarity – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Chairman, a point of clarity here.  Are we debating the Local Government Vote including the inter-Government fiscal transfers or not, or is it inter-Government fiscal transfers is going to be debated as a separate entity or debated as a stand-alone?  I stand guided.

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Hon. Member, please look at Vote 13, Local Government.  Look at that and debate.

          HON. MARKHAM:  How are the inter-governmental transfers going to be voted or discussed? – [HON. ZIYAMBI: Kwete!] – They are not?  Thank you but we will get a chance to debate the Appropriation, I just want clarity.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to just draw your attention to the Local

Government budget on Programme 2 under Mass Transport.  It is now called Urban Transport Advisory Services.  I note that the budget has overrun by nearly double for the first six months, in fact closer to triple.  However, the Supplementary Budget Appropriation for the next six months is the same as last time.  How does the Hon. Minister expect to control when they have already subsidised urban transport three times more than they budgeted for originally?

          In addition, could the Hon. Minister also tell us what he is budgeting as inflation for the next three weeks?  I thank you. – [HON. ZIYAMBI: Please repeat!] – You were talking to each other there and not listening. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  You were both late as well to Parliament.  You have no intention to listen to anything we say... – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. ZIYAMBI: Dzokorora kani?] – Handidzokorore!

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Order, order.

          +HON. MOKONE: Hon. Minister, did you give Government departments that owe local authorities funds for services rendered?  In my constituency, they are saying they do not have funds for servicing  water pipes because the Government departments owe them a lot of money.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order! Hon. Chair, to be honest with you, I have conceded to the fact that human beings are on earth but God uses all of us. We have tried to fight for this to be heard, so, today may you just concentrate on Vote number 2 and we go home because all this is nothing for us.

 Vote number 2 is what Parliament is for, so I move that we pass everything else and we go to Vote number 2. If we do not do that, we will be tired by the time we get to Vote number 2; which is our own.  For once, let us think of ourselves, therefore, let everything else sail through because we are tired of this – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Hon. Matewu talked about water infrastructure as to whether we have allocated enough budgets for that.  First of all, I must say that the issue about water infrastructure in the urban areas is also an issue for the local authorities themselves.  They should be collecting their property user charges, put the right systems in place and collect user charges which can be used for developing water infrastructure. 

          I recall at the City of Harare many years ago, when we used to trade City of Harare bonds which were gate instruments issued on the back of user charges that were collected and those bonds could be serviced, the loans in the form of bonds were then used for the development of water and maintaining water infrastructure.

          So, this is a shared responsibility and local authorities must really get their act together in this regard.  We urge them to, but obviously Government does land support from time to time on these issues.  We have worked hard as Government to provide raw water, building dams around cities and we continued to do more. 

          Hon. Madzimure, the issue of Pomona – this is not for the supplementary budget. From what I have heard, just like him, not officially, was that the city council will make use of its current allocation.  I do not know, they will advise me but we have not made provision in the supplementary budget though it should be taken care of in the current allocation.

          Hon. Markham; he refused to repeat the question, I only heard half of it Hon. Chair but I think he was talking about the budget for the transportation subsidy around ZUPCO.  Of course, the cost of transportation has gone up because fuel has gone up, cost of maintenance has gone up, so the supplementary budget speaks to that.

          Hon. Mokone asked a very important question as to whether we have set aside budget in this Vote 13 to support Government departments that owe local authorities for services provided.  That budget is provided across the respective ministries, not through the Ministry of Local Government but we have done that and they will be able to clear their obligations.

          Finally, on the proposal from Hon. Mliswa, I agree with it, he feels that we have done a good job in the proposed Appropriation allocations for the various ministries that are remaining and perhaps we should just focus on Vote 2.  I thank you.

          HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order! I agree with the proposal raised by Hon. Mliswa however, on the issue of the Local Government, there is one key issue which the Minister of Finance should address. 

          We understand roads that are being rehabilitated by the Central Government.  The Government has suspended financing of road construction.  As a result, there is a problem in local authorities where those roads are not being completed.  So, I would want to hear from the Hon. Minister that when are they going to lift the suspension of funding the local contractors who are rehabilitating the roads?  It is giving a lot of problems not only in Harare but in all other areas.

The Minister of Finance, may they consider through the Cabinet to also allow private players to come in local authorities? You are talking of user fees on waste management, why can the Government not come up with a policy that allows local authorities to partner with private players and focus on refuse collection? This lessens the burden on the local authorities because they will not be concerned with repairing the fleet for refuse collection and what is needed is a backing policy. Currently, residents in Harare are paying extra money to private players but the policy can come in a sense that will not deprive local authorities of the needed revenue. Maybe they can collect a dollar or two per household and the other money goes to private players. It is happening in other countries and we can see our cities being cleaned because the private players will be dedicated. Their contracts will be signed in terms of performance. If they do not perform, the Government can cancel the contracts. These are some of the things which we think the Minister of Finance, through the Cabinet, can come up with those policies and we lessen the burden on local authorities. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I thank the Hon. Member for the two contributions. He referred to the suspension of funding for roads in the urban areas. We did not suspend funding for roads in the urban areas. We are just subjecting these contracts to a value for money process to make sure that Government is getting value for money. This is a good thing that Government resources ought to be used properly and we should discourage pricing on the back of speculative parallel market exchange rates and forward pricing and so forth. It is just a value for money process kicking in and likely so.

The second point which is a good point, and I like it where he is referring to public-private partnerships where local authorities can partner with the private sector. We are already allowing that. It just needs to be subjected with the normal approval processes through ZIDA. I am aware that in Bulawayo there is PPP around parking services that went through Cabinet and ZIDA processes. That is allowed and we encourage it and I agree with the Hon. Member.

Vote 13 put and agreed to.

Vote 14 - Health and Child Care - $62,210,527,000.00:

HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Chairman, there is one issue that I need the Hon. Minister to clarify. One of the things that we have noted from the Supplementary Budget – Hon. Minister, I need you to listen not to do what you did when Hon. Markham was speaking, he was not paying attention. The Auditor General’s 2021 Report which was given to the Hon. Minister and he failed to present it to the House but was then done by the Speaker, does raise some fundamental issues pertaining to various ministries and even this Vote we are talking about, in respect to the abuse of fund accounts. The AG says that $771 million was transferred unprocedurally from fund accounts to cover for appropriations and that most of the fund accounts are not being properly managed. The Hon. Minister, in his maiden budget to this august House, had made an undertaking that he had given a directive that all fund accounts except those that were backed by an Act of Parliament were going to be closed. Four years down the line Mr. Chairman, those fund accounts are still in existence and they are not performing as per the manner in which they are supposed to be performing. Worrisome is the finding by the AG that these funds are being taken willynilly. I want to find out from the Minister whether ministries that are abusing fund accounts to cover appropriation expenses, what remedy or mechanism is there for the Hon. Minister to censor such ministries? We cannot have a situation where there is a double dipping from the fund accounts and from the appropriation funds that have been given by Treasury. That is my only request for the Hon. Minister to clarify.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I thank Hon. Mushoriwa for that intervention. He wishes to know what sanction or perhaps regulatory practices we should be putting in place to regulate those ministries that are moving money between fund accounts and appropriation accounts. He is right. This is not allowed. It is an abuse and we do not condone it as a Ministry. Going forward, I can assure him that this will stop. We are aware that some of the accounts perhaps are in place due to the fact that donors also want to see some kind of counterpart funding and so forth for programmes and Ministry of Health hase a bit of donor funding. We are aware of this imperative where donors what to see that there is some commitment for a specific programme but it does not mean that the fund should be abused. His insinuation is that we must clamp down on this and I agree with him. We will clamp down on it.

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. The issue by Hon. Mushoriwa is; you had said that they must close and they keep functioning. My recommendation is for you to go back and see whether they have taken that instruction from you because some of them have not closed and they continued after you promised this House that they would close. Four years later they are still functioning.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you very much. I will close them.

Vote 14 put and agreed to.

HON. T. MLISWA: Remember we have not done Vote Number 2.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mliswa, we at Vote 15 now.

HON. T. MLISWA: Yes, but we said we will suspend it and I am also rising to say may you lift the suspension and can we deal with it now, Vote Number 2. I am the one who brought it up to be suspended waiting for the Speaker to be here and I am coming back saying can you lift the suspension. Let us debate Vote Number 2. Those who have the energy for the other Votes can stay behind and do it. I want to focus on Vote Number 2 which had been suspended.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mliswa, we agreed that we are going to come back to Vote 2 after finishing, so we are proceeding.

HON. T. MLISWA: I am worried that others are tired here and by the time we get to Vote Number 2, they will not have energy.

THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Mliswa, please take your seat. Let us proceed.

          Vote 15 – Primary and Secondary Education – $103 924 500 000 put and agreed to.  

          Vote 16 – Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development – $35 036 000 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 17 – Women Affairs, Community Development, Small and Medium Enterprises Development – $3 038 964 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 18 – Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage – $62 077 103 000 put and agreed to.

          On Vote 19 – Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs - $18 187 061 000.00:

          *HON. MUSARURWA: On Vote 19, can the Minister consider women. We do not have blankets for prisoners. 

they do not have farming equipment such as tractors and so on so that they can have sustainable projects which they can use to supplement their diet while in prison. More-so, when we were working with the Justice Committee, we discovered that our prosecutors do not have accommodation and laptops to use. In addition, their incentives are very low. We are kindly asking for cars for our Justice Officers. Again in Matebeleland South, the jails are too small.  Officers are incapacitated and there is overcrowding in the jails. May you please build more spacious jails so that they live comfortably? They are incapacitated in terms of accommodation. May you please help them so that we reduce overcrowding? May you please increase the budget to $20 billion? Thank you.

          *HON. T. MLISWA: I am kindly asking you Hon. Minister to supplement money for jails especially in the VIP section. There is too much corruption, so we want a section done so that the VIP members do not mix with the general public. May you please do that as it is done in other foreign countries especially for members from that other side? May you please increase money for rehabilitation of jails because I am foreseeing a lot of them going to those jails? May you please build VIP jails with good gyms and other facilities for them so that they do not mix and mingle with those who will have committed crimes like armed robberies and murder and they will not get stressed?

          HON. MOKONE: There is a Gwanda Provincial Correctional facility that has been on the cards for quite some time now. Every year we are told that it is going to be built. I actually asked the Minister of Justice one of these days and he responded that they are going to build it. May you kindly provide funds for that project so that it is done expeditiously?

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Hon. Members, please remember that we are allocating the supplementary budget to the previous budget. We are not bringing in new projects.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I thank the Hon. Members for their contributions. Basically without going into the detail, the request is to increase the budget for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. I propose that we add another Z$1 billion and I also take into account Hon. Mliswa’s proposal. The Gwanda project, we will deal with it in November. Thank you.

          Vote 19, as amended, put and agreed to.

          Vote 20 – Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services –

$1 002 833 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 21 – Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation - $3 768 515 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 22 – Energy and Power Development - $2 309 706 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 23 - Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services - $4 793 622 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 24 - National Housing and Social Amenities - $6 894 719 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 25 - Judicial Services Commission - $3 083 046 000 put and agreed to.

          On Vote 26 Public Service Commission – $48 800 031 000:

          HON. MPARIWA: We said that we are targeting probably the wrong area but our request is that may there be finances which are enough to cater for the civil service. There should be money for uniforms for police, soldiers and prison officers. I would like to request that the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice be properly capacitated with enough resources. You are aware that some uniforms for the police are now old. You find some officers with torn uniforms. This is a line Ministry which looks after Government workers. My request is that the civil service should be paid well. Our civil servants must receive decent salaries. So, Hon. Minister, may you review salaries of civil servants so that it reduces disgruntlement among the civil servants. There are protests and complaints among the civil servants but if the Hon. Minister gives the permission to allocate money to the civil service, then this would assist the civil service. I thank you.

          +HON. MAHLANGU: May I add my voice to the debate on the floor. May the Minister increase the allocation that is being given to our elders. It is now a long time since the elders have received the harmonised cash transfers - [AN HON MEMBR: This is Public Service Commission and not social welfare].

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (HON. M. KHUMALO): We are debating Public Service Commission.

          *HON. TOGAREPI: I would like to implore the Hon. Minister to address the welfare of civil servants so that they receive decent salaries from now until December because this is a time when they spend a lot of money. My viewpoint is that like what we did in the previous Vote, maybe there should be an addition of $2 billion to the civil service so that civil servants receive decent remuneration.

          *HON. MUSARURWA: I would like to support what has been said but I believe that there is need of a review of the budget allocated to the uniformed forces. They do not have proper uniforms and some officers engage in corrupt activities. They earn low salaries which makes them prone to corruption. Looking at neighbouring countries like Botswana and South Africa, their police service earn salaries which are equivalent to P12 000 and R15 000 respectively but our police are earning meagre salaries.

          *HON. RAIDZA: My point of order is that the Hon. Member is leading us astray because our uniformed forces do not fall under the Public Service Commission. I think we need to concentrate on the Public Service Commission that we are debating.

          *HON. MUSARURWA: Hon. Minister, I believe you heard what I proposed. I thank you.

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I want to thank Hon. Members for the concerns. This Vote really pertains to the Commission which plays a supervisory or regulatory role. The salaries of the various Commissions are in their respective ministries and what you see here is just 10% of the overall civil service salary bill which is about 53% of the entire Supplementary Budget. We feel that for the Public Service Commission, adequate budget has been set aside. What you see budgeted under Public Service Commission is only about 10% of the entire civil service salary budget. For the Commission which plays that employer role is only about 10% of what has been allocated to the entire civil service. We feel that the budget is adequate for just this one NDA. The rest of the salaries are in the line ministries. If it is police, then it is under Home Affairs Ministry, if it is the soldiers, it is under Defence Ministry. I thank you

          Vote 26 put and agreed to.

          Vote 27 National Chiefs Council - $500 000 000 put and agreed to.

          Vote 28 Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission – $527 448 000.

Vote 29 - National Peace and Reconciliation Commission - ZWL$390,358,000 put and agreed to.

Vote 30 - National Prosecuting Authority - ZWL$1,518,280,000 put and agreed to.

Vote 31- Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission - ZWL$351,394,000 put and agreed to.

          On Vote 32 - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - ZWL$32,693,455:

          HON. MATEWU: On Vote 32, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, I once heard when the Chairperson of ZEC was being asked the reason why we do not have a diaspora vote.  The reason that she gave was that there were no adequate resources for Zimbabwe to follow other countries in the SADC.  Is it possible that the Minister could allocate the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission money so that we can enable our citizens in the diaspora to vote in the harmonized elections in 2023? 

          HON. TOGAREPI:  Thank you Mr. Chairman. The issue related to ZEC accepting diaspora vote is not financial in my view but it is the law.  If the law is not there then we cannot have a diaspora vote.  So, let us forget about that.

          HON. MADZIMURE:  I only have one issue.  Hon. Minister, can you please assist ZEC with modern equipment.  What they have now is always dysfunctional.  Can you assist so that they can speed up the registration process?  If you look at the statistics of number of people who are registered versus the population, there is a huge variance.  Could the Minister provide adequate funds so that ZEC can use modernized equipment for voter registration and also for them to carry out another voter registration blitz?  This is based on the statistics.  The preliminary results of the census which show the number of people who are registered and the population itself, we are under registered as Zimbabweans.  Zimbabweans must participate in the governance of their country and it is their right.  That is exactly why people went to war; it was because of only one vote which must be ensured by simply making sure that enough funds are given to ZEC for them to do voter education, voter registration and procurement of equipment used even when they are transmitting results to election centres during any election.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  I thank the Hon. Members for their contributions.  On the diaspora vote, I think it is clear that it is an issue of policy and not an issue of resources.  When the policies change, we will be able to respond accordingly with resource allocation regarding the diaspora vote. 

Then Hon. Madzimure talked about a voter registration blitz.  I agree with him that this is very important but we have allocated US$32 billion.  This is an additional US$33 billion between now and December and come January we will have the 2023 budget which will then take care of the bigger election in 2023.  So we have two shots, including the 2023 budget but we feel that for now US$32 billion is a very good start in dealing with the issues that he has mentioned.

Vote 32 put and agreed to.

Votes 33 - Zimbabwe Gender Commission - ZWL$507,286,000 put and agreed to.

Vote 34 – Zimbabwe Land Commission - ZWL$4,688,411,000 put and agreed to.

Vote 35 - ZWL$238,214,000 - Zimbabwe Media Commission put and agreed to.

House reverted to Vote No 2.

On Vote 2- Parliament of Zimbabwe - ZWL$2,800,748,000 put and agreed to.

*HON. SEWERA: I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for the effort he put on the CDF vote to supplement it with US$9,5million.  All these Hon. Members in this House had started on a number of projects which are still to be completed.  Let me give myself as an example; in my constituency I have nine wards and I cannot be seen to be favouring one ward.  There will be an issue with politicians and the people.  So most of the Hon. Members had spread out the projects in all wards but when the US$11,400,000 was disbursed, the rate was 1:600 yet when you budgeted it was 1:120. One would have promised people to finish valid projects such as clinics, school blocks and other projects. I was reviewing ongoing projects and I have realised that this will not be enough to complete them.  Some Hon. Members have 25 Wards but I have only nine.  May the Hon. Minister raise the budget to ZWL15 billion?  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: I want to support the previous speaker.  You will appreciate Hon. Minister that there has been inflation.  When we got this, it was at about one hundred and something – because of inflation, things have gone up.  Let me be honest and say unfortunately, our leaders who are supposed to look into our welfare did not give you specifics in each area.  We do not blame you; we will talk to our leaders.  They were supposed to give you exactly what we wanted at every point, so it is difficult for you to come up with a figure without you getting something from Administration to say in this department, we want this, information centre we want this and so forth.  My clarion call to you without wasting much time is to say the CDF is critical because it is more or less complementing Government efforts in many things.  You saw what Zambia has done.  The President has given 1.2 million.  Those programmes are supporting the Government – either you built a school or clinic, you will be assisting the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education.  In a way, you will have done a lot.  We are on the ground and we are also able to supervise that things go well. In a way, you are giving money to these ministries in terms of building certain things.  Give to the MPs under CDF.  What is only needed is monitoring and evaluation. I am sure you are seeing the angle.  Take some money from these ministries to do roads, clinics and so forth – information centres or public institutions.  You do not give them but you give us and we get them to come and build.  Monitoring and evaluation is what is important because we are on the ground and that is decentralisation or devolution.  To me, it is very important that you think along those lines and in terms of that – I see there is two billion for the additional money required.  If we could get a good 20-25 billion including CDF, 30 billion and so forth – that is value for money.  I like your term.  I see you smiling because you can see value for money.  Once you give us this amount of money, we will not let you down.  We are monitored; CDF is accounted well; the CDF way of using money has been strengthened.  We no longer put money into our accounts. The oversight aspect is excellent. Thirty billion will be good until the budget time.

In terms of the cars as well, I think you have heard that most MPs are dying because of fatigue and driving; that needs a human face to say can we get some money on that.  If possible, why do we not get loans in RTGs and we go to the auction, we get USD.  If people think we want things for free, no we do not want.  We even propose that you give us loans in ZWL and we get the USD.  It will certainly help.  This is what I really want to say because we understand where you are coming from – if you could just come in with that lump sum and then we sit down with CSRO and tell them where we want the money to go with your Ministry officials there and so forth.  That would be my clarion call as my Hon. brother Nduna who is not here would say but just to remember him – my clarion call – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – No he is alright, I spoke to him.  It happens and it is part of the game. 

HON. MATEWU: I have got three items that I want to talk about.  The first one, I just want to buttress the point that has been made by Hon. Mliswa about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).  I think it is a very essential fund which is helping communities from where we come from.  For example in my constituency, we erected a solar powered borehole which is now benefiting the community.  Since the local authority said they cannot afford it, I think giving the money to the Hon. Members to do their various projects would be beneficial for us in our community.  The two billion that has been added for the CDF is nowhere enough for Hon. Members of Parliament (MPs).  When the initial 12 billion was allocated last year, it was almost equivalent to USD50 000 but with today’s inflation rate, that money is now useless.  To get another nine million as is in the Supplementary Budget is nowhere near enough to what we need.  We want the Minister to consider this one and ensure that we get enough CDF for our MPs.

The second issue is to do with offices for MPs.  It is embarrassing when members of your constituency come to you and say where is your office and you direct them to your house.  I think we are one of the few countries in Africa, let alone in the world, which does not avail offices to Hon. MPs because our work is about the community.  The last three budgets, there has been a talk of allocating money for Hon. MPs to get their offices but this has never been implemented.  Can we ensure that in this supplementary budget, there is money so that Hon. MPs can actually rent offices in their constituencies?  I think it is very essential and important that people must know where they find their MP and not to go to their homes which are private places where their families are.  I think it is important that we get money in this budget for offices for MPs.

My last point is for something that we have always talked about for a very long time – just one staff member for an MP.  I think it is unfair that MPs in this country do not actually have any single paid staff.  The Hon. Minister of Finance like me has lived in the UK for quite some time.  He knows that for example MPs have offices and several staff.  They have staff at Parliament and at their constituencies who are paid for from the fiscus.  In this country, we do not have a single member of staff that is paid by the Government.  This is abhorrent because you expect the MP to do all the paper work, travel across the constituency and do research in Parliament on their own.  I think that is unfair.  We have put this for a very long time but there must be at least one paid member of staff for a Member of Parliament or a secretary who can then be assigned to do administrative work.  I implore the Hon. Minister to consider this in his budget and ensure that Members of Parliament have a member of staff who is paid by Parliament.  I thank you.

          *HON. MUTAMBISI:  Thank you Hon. Chairman, I would like to add my view to this debate.  As women, we have a lot of activities that we need to undertake but I would like to ask the Hon. Minister to allocate more funds for water because we need that.  You heard other Members of Parliament speaking so, if you can increase the budget allocation for water, people can have access to water.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Hon. Minister, the issue is that it is important that you respond to Hon. Members because we may spend the whole day talking about what we want.  The real issue is you heard what Members of Parliament said and it is now up to you to decide whether to put an additional ZWL15 billion or ZWL30 billion to the Parliament Vote because Members of Parliament want to return to their constituencies.  This is to your advantage because when building clinics and other projects, we would have assisted you as the Executive.

          For instance, I am going to invite you to come and officially open the clinic that I completed in my constituency next week.  You will see the beauty of what I am saying Hon. Minister because this money is not going into my pockets.  There is no Member of Parliament who has an account in their name but this is a constituency account with designated signatories to withdraw.  We cannot steal that money but Hon. Minister; you need to respond to Hon. Members. 

          The issue regarding to the Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) is very important and we want you to sleep well.  We want you to go home early and rest.  So, if the CDF is reviewed to ZWL30 billion then we will divide it by apportioning it to different projects.  We want that to be done after deliberating on the issue so that you consider Members of Parliament.  There are also negotiations even during lobola ceremonies; this is what we are doing.  We want negotiations so that you review the CDF.

          On the issue of payments for Members of Parliament, this issue was discussed at length.  Members of Parliament are not people who are a laughing stock.   If people see what we do when you give us ZWL30 billion, they will respect us.  So we want you to do that Hon. Minister, give us that allocation, else we may spend a long time discussing but all Members of Parliament concur that we want to pass the Supplementary Budget so that you go and rest.  People are really concerned since we started debating; we want to know the allocation and also that you concur with our proposal.  I thank you.

          *HON. RAIDZA:  Thank you very much Hon. Chairman.  My request to the Hon. Minister is that looking at the budget outturn in six months, we were a bit low at 33% with several projects that we wanted to do as Parliament.  I would like to urge the Hon. Minister to consider Parliament especially funding the oversight role which is quite intensive.  So without a good allocation, we will end up compromising accountability and transparency due to lack of funding.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Thank you Hon. Chair, I thank the Hon. Members for their contributions.  Basically, there is one request which is please increase the budget to Parliament.  Let me explain then I will make some proposals.

          Any increase in the Supplementary Budget has to come from the Unallocated Reserves.  Currently, we have got about ZWL63 billion and it is down to ZWL62 billion after allocating a billion to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; ZWL300 million to the … - [HON. MEMBERS: We cannot hear him!] – Oooh, I was hugging the microphone.  So basically, we have about ZWL62 billion under the Unallocated Reserves, and within that, we have set aside or rather our anticipation is that ZWL43 billion is contingency resources towards civil servants’ salaries. So that leaves us with about ZWL19 billion to play with right across Government, Parliament and everyone.

          So I am thinking first of all, I do not have the ZWL30 billion.  Even at ZWL15 billion, I think we will be in trouble.  I found that in the last two years,  the contingency requirements especially around dams, halls are really huge.  So it would be a big risk if we increase this supplementary Budget too much.  I am going to propose that currently, we set aside ZWL2.8bilion in terms of parliamentary supplementary aspect.  I propose an additional ZWL2 billion.  Can I add another ZWL5 billion?  This will take us overall to close to ZWL10 billion… - [HON. T. MLISWA: At least put it at ZWL15 billion!] – you heard me talking about the figures… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON:  Order, order Hon. Members.

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  Hon. Members and through you Hon. Chair, you see, as of June, Parliament had only spent about 33% of this budget.  So there is still some way to go in utilising the current budget before the $10 billion or so supplementary.   I really feel that this is not too bad.  If we are hamstrung as a Government in terms of allocated resources, we will be in trouble.

          There is only three effective months to go before year end – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let me consult my accountants.

          The Hon. Minister consulted his Accountants.   

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: After consultations with my technical staff, I now propose that we move this supplementary budget from 2, 8 million to 15 billion – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: Order, order!

          Vote 2, as amended adopted

          THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON: In view of the amendments that have been proposed in the Audit Office, Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Vote 5 for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development shall stand committed to the Committee of Supply.

          On Vote 5 – Finance and Economic Development - $127 647 990 700.00:

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Before we took a short break, I was consulting on the figures. I did indicate that we need to make changes to the Finance and Economic Development Vote. We are going to take resources out of the allocated reserves. I therefore, want to make the following amendments to Vote 5. There is Programme 3 which is entitled National Budget Formulation and Implementation. This is where we are going to take away the $16.3 billion that has been allocated to Parliament, the Auditor-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. The new figure then will be $94,588,887,700. I am only referring to Programme 3. The total for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will then be $111,347,990,700. I thank you Sir.

Vote 5, as amended, put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Supplementary Estimates of Expenditures reported with amendments.

Report adopted.

Bill ordered to be brought in by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in accordance with the Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure adopted by the House.

FIRST READING

APPROPRIATION (SUPPLEMENTARY) 2022 BILL [H. B 8, 2022]

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE) presented the Appropriation (Supplementary) 2022 Bill, [H. B 8, 2022].

Bill be read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. L. SIBANDA, the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four O’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 30th August, 2022.

 

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