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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 SEPTEMBER 2013 VOL. 40 NO. 4
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 25th September, 2013
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m
(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER
- SPEAKER: I have to inform hon. members that there will be an induction seminar for all Members of Parliament to be held on Monday, 30th September and Tuesday, 1st October, 2013 starting at 0830 hours. Hon. members are advised to check in their pigeon holes for the induction programme. The venue will be confirmed in due course.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
- SPEAKER: May I once again remind hon. members to please switch off their cellphones before business commences.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- CHIBAYA: Firstly, I would want to say congratulations, amhlope to you Hon. Speaker. I cannot see the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, so in the absence of the Minister, I will refer my question to the Leader of the House, Hon. D. Mutasa.
What is the Government’s plan in terms of responding to the needs of
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL
AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (MR. MUTASA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, the Government’s response to the needs of the civil servants has already been published very widely in both the independent and government press. Briefly, it means that we are very concerned about the meager resources that are being availed to civil servants and it is the
Government’s intention to raise the salaries of all civil servants. I think at the present moment, there is dialogue between the civil servants and salaries and the Government towards that end. I thank you.
- MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. Hon. Minister, it is common knowledge that ZISCO Steel is not functioning and has not been functioning. There is a crisis that faces the people of Redcliff, especially those who used to survive on ZISCO Steel. Can the Minister update this House on the status of the agreement that Zimbabwe entered into with ESSAR and can you also assure the people of ZISCO Steel when they will get that relief of going to work and earning for their starving dependents.
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (MR.
BIMHA): I would like to thank the hon. member for the question which I think is of importance to us all. Let me preface my response by just mentioning that the ESSAR Government deal is a big investment and strategic tool and hence the implementation process is not smooth but I would like to comfort you that it is on course. There are no issues to do with policy at the moment. If you recall Cabinet approved the deal and at the same time made certain resolutions. What remained was the implementation of that agreement. An implementation committee was put in place comprising officials from the Ministry of Mines as well as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. It was chaired by the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. A number of issues have already been resolved. The very few issues, as I am told, which are outstanding are more of procedural issues rather than policy issues.
Yes, there have been issues to do with workers and to do with their school fees particularly. These issues have been attended to and we now have a joint management committee comprising of the ZISCO management as well as the ESSAR management that is looking into the day to day issues of ZISCO. What remains is the closure of that agreement and we would want to support the implementation committee. In terms of the remaining areas that need to be attended to, it is our hope and belief that we should see operations resuming before the end of this year. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- J. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Madam Minister, we are having many students who have passed ‘A’ level but are failing to enter into universities because they are failing to get school fees. What is the Government policy regarding the cadetship?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. MUCHENA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the hon. member for the question and say briefly that my Ministry, first and foremost, is the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. I would urge hon. members to say it in full because Science and Technology is not a second cousin of Higher and Tertiary Education. They are equally important.
The Minister of Finance and I are already engaged in conversation on the cadetship scheme which has not gone very well because of lack of resources. It was a scheme put in place to cater especially for those students who are coming from disadvantaged families first and foremost; but because of the paucity of resources, the system has not gone very well. However, we are going beyond that Mr. Speaker Sir, looking at other creative ways of student support, not just cadetship. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- PORUSINGAZI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. David Parirenyatwa to elaborate the position regarding the issuance of condoms and contraceptives to teenagers. We have just seen reports but since you are here, can you elaborate?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR.
PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me thank the hon. member for asking that very worrying question. In the Ministry of Health and Child Care, we do have a policy on sexual and reproductive health that was enacted in 2012. The policy really looks at reproductive health for everybody up to the very aged people but in that policy, clearly, we do not accept and we must rebut that there is no room for giving any contraceptives of any sort to children who are under age; particularly and specifically the ten year olds that you mentioned about.
Our policy says no to that.
However, in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we have put up a programme or a syllabus which takes into account the normal growth of our people. So that sex education starts right in primary school but it is graduated and specific for age. So we do not give complicated education on sexual and reproductive health to ten year olds but is graduates as they get older. Specifically, we also say to ourselves that in terms of reproduction and sexual health, we are saying we must, as much as possible, delay sexual debut. This simply means the age at which it starts, sex.
We are fighting HIV in this country, fighting it very vigorously and we must be seen to be fighting HIV and fighting it very vigorously. So, in terms of our policy, we do not give contraceptives to underage children. The age of marriage is 16 years, so from 16 years onwards, we can give contraceptives. So, the policy is clear on underage, no contraceptives but education, information, education and information all across. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- MUDZURI: My question goes to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. What is your policy on student attachment? I have recognised that a lot of universities are insisting on student attachment and some of them taking as long as a year and there is no real link between the industry that employ the students and the colleges and also when these students are attached, they are not remunerated. They go and work effectively but they are not remunerated. So, I would want to understand your policy on addressing the discrepancy between attachments for the whole year vis-à-vis the remuneration and the reports that are going to be generated.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. MUCHENA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the hon. member for that question. The ideal higher and tertiary education policy on student attachment is that as much as possible, students should have a practical experience as part of their training. However, the practicalities of that are very much dependent on the existing socio economic situation in a given country; Zimbabwe in this instance. There are some universities such as Midlands State University which has a whole department that exists to service students’ attachments and other universities where each department, depending on their programme, will have varying periods of attachments. The reason for that is; many at times in higher and tertiary education; you are giving people a sound theoretical basis of whatever discipline they are engaged in. You would also want them to have an equally capacitating practical experience.
Students are not supposed to be remunerated. First and foremost, institutions or companies are asked if they have opportunities for students’ attachment within their arrangements. If they have, they will give certain conditions. But generally speaking, students may get allowances but not a salary. The companies have no obligation to pay the students. It is the university which is requiring that attachment which is supposed to work out arrangements for their upkeep. It is not an employment scheme.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we are looking at that. There is a relationship between academic institutions and industry or employers. It may not be as vibrant as we are planning it to be but it has been in existence. That is why we have the organisation called NAMACO and ZIMDEF where companies contribute levies that will enable us to engage students in some of those practical experiences and vocational education.
Mr. Speaker Sir, with the leave of the House, I will bring a statement when we are fully briefed. Thank you Sir.
- MASHAKADA: My question is directed to my colleague,
the Minister of Industry and Commerce. My question is in two parts. The first part is; what is now the new policy thrust of Government to reverse de-industrialisation especially in Bulawayo as well as create employment and promote investment in the manufacturing sector.
The second part of the question is; what measures is the Minister beginning to put in place to reduce the import bill?
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (MR.
BIMHA): I would like to thank the hon. member for raising these issues. I think that he knows that is work in progress as he was still part of the establishment. However, let me respond to the two aspects of the question.
The issue of de-industrialisation is a national issue. Yes, the extent of Bulawayo is known because it has always been the hub of the manufacturing sector. However, let me point out that companies have closed across the country; hence it requires a solution of a national character. I will take you back to twelve months ago when the Ministry of Industry and Commerce came up with two policy documents – the Industrial Development Policy as well as the National Trade Policy. The National Trade Policy focused on a number of areas which came as a result of very wide consultations with business associations and captains of industry. One particular focus was coming up with an institution which is dedicated to funding industry. That was more of medium term to long term. The debate was; do we make use of existing institutions which should be reconfigured? Should we come with a completely new institution for that? That debate resulted in some studies that have been carried out which I believe that this is the time for us to review the recommendations that have been made.
However, Government came up with short term schemes and DIMAF was one of them. It was aimed to address the issue of deindustrialisation. Unfortunately, DIMAF did not succeed. There were a lot of problems associated with DIMAF, apart from the fact that it was inadequate. There were also issues to do with implementation and also issues to deal with inconsistencies; remarks coming from Government itself, and hence it did not work as expected. Obviously, I can understand the concerns of industry because Government promised something but did not deliver.
What I can assure you hon. member is that we are prepared more than ever before, to revisit DIMAF and improve upon it in terms of the facility and implementation process. As I said, it is not just an issue of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce but it is an overarching issue which requires the commitment and team work of a number of other ministries. I am glad that the ministries that I have approached so far – including the Ministry of Finance; I am happy with the responses that I have received and what we need is to continue to build the confidence and reassure our business fraternity that Government is committed to ensure that we get to a point where we should be. I thank you Mr.
The question of imports has no easy answer because there are a lot of manifestations that come from it. I think imports are not the issue. Probably what we are talking about is cheap imports and there are many aspects to it.
The first one is what I referred to earlier on that our industry is not functioning to expected levels. A lot of our industries are operating below capacity. What this means is that you will be in a situation where you do not have enough goods to service the nation, hence you get other businesses coming up in an effort to find a substitute for that. So, what we need to do in terms of solution is again to get our industry ticking. If we get our industry ticking, we can then have our industry producing the goods that we want.
Secondly, we also have to look at the whole issue of our tariff regime which our Ministry is undertaking at the moment. However, we can only do that by striking a balance between the need to protect industry as well as the need to honour agreements that we have entered into in those regional groupings that we belong to. We belong to SADC, COMESA and to a number of these regional groupings which in essence, means that we have to honour certain agreements that we have gone into in terms of duties et cetera. At the same time, we also have an obligation, as Government, to ensure that we protect infant industries, more so from the era that we are coming up where we had a bad patch and more so because there was no money available to give to industry.
There are associated issues as well in terms of imports coming and in terms of a porous border - corruption and issues that I think have been raised in this House. All these issues also contribute to the fact that you get some of the cheap imports coming in but at the same time, we should not pretend that this will end tomorrow. Even our business people, cannot just remain and hope that Government will protect them. Yes,
we have an obligation to support and to ensure that infant industries are supported but at the same time, our industrialists must produce products of quality. Our industry has to be competitive, otherwise we continue to be closed and we will be out of business. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- MADZIMURE: Hon. Minister, I think you are very much
aware that what has caused the closure of especially most of our clothing factories are the cheap imports from countries like China. There are cheap imports from those people who bring in bales of clothing into this country. When will the Government be bold enough and make a clear statement that it needs its own industry to develop. Right now, on the issue of equipment, we cannot be competitive because people have been not been updating their equipment for a long time.
So, when is Government going to take a bold decision and protect its industry?
- BIMHA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, and thank you Hon.
Member for the question. Mr. speaker, I think that the importance of our clothing and textile industry cannot be over emphasised against the background of Zimbabwe being a country where cotton is grown and obviously the need to ensure that there is backward and forward linkages. I think I would suggest that our Ministry gets a written question to this issue so that we can really give a very comprehensive answer on the issues surrounding clothing and textile industries. I thank you.
- MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is Government policy regarding the provision of health centres in the rural areas as people are walking long distances?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR.
PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. We have a very long standing policy regarding the distances between clinics. The policy has always been that a person should not walk more than ten kilometers before they bump into the next clinic. This has always not been fulfilled and the idea therefore, that is why this Government is now saying, let us build up to 1 100 clinics to fill that gap and I think that will satisfy a lot of our rural constituencies.
It is important that our people do not walk long distances, especially mothers who are pregnant. So, it is so critical that we all support as a team here, the building of more clinics, strengthening of infrastructure and putting up strong provincial institutions. For example, Lupane Hospital needs to be built, also Gwanda Hospital and Masvingo needs to be changed to be campus. There are many areas and Esigodini is one area which needs a district hospital. There are many other clinics that we can specify but essentially the policy is that we should not walk more than ten kilometers before we bump into the next clinic. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- HOLDER: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. I want to find out what the Minister of Mines is doing in terms of the policy to separate big and mechanised mines from small scale mining policy?
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker
and let me thank the hon. member for that question.
We recognise the need to amend and in fact, repeal the current Act of Parliament. We thought that it was important for us to come up with a Minerals Development Policy. I am happy to note that my predecessor was able to undertake an Outreach Programme that met with communities and stakeholders across the country to get their input into the Minerals Development Policy that we are working on.
One of the things that we recognise in the Minerals Development
Policy whose spirit, we hope, will then feed into the repealing of the Act is that it must consolidate the various pieces of legislation that have been used to administer the mining sector. So, we need to harmonise the many pieces of legislation in that sector through an Act of Parliament that takes care of everything and everybody. But, within that Act of Parliament, we are clear about the need to specify the already latery framework for the administration of SMEs, because the interests of the SMEs - the small and medium scale miners are different from those of the large scale miners. We then need to specify how we are going to administer the small to medium scale miners.
Within the policy also, we need to identify the kind of support that we would need to extend to the small scale miners. We are currently working on facilities that will extend that support but the first thing is that we must clearly articulate those positions in the Minerals
Development Policy; then make them legally binding within the context of the Minerals and Mines Development Act which will be brought to Parliament for consideration and approval. I thank you.
- ZWIZWAI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for recognising me. My question is directed to Hon. Minister Muchena. If you could explain to the nation the policy nexus between your ministry and the Ministry of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (DR. MUCHENA): I want to thank the hon. member, for his question and would like to ask the indulgence of the House for me and my colleague to bring a joint statement after we are fully briefed. I wanted to say by way of definition – mostly people who learn other things like what I have referred to when responding to another question, there should be smooth flow between the body and the mind.
*Normally, people learn in the mind and not be able to do it. So, what is meant by psychomotor is that there should be engagement between the mind and how to do it.
- K. S. MUSANHI: My question is directed to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. The people in my Constituency are very worried about the equipment that is coming into Mazowe River where we draw our water for Bindura Town. Is it a policy that we are starting to mine in the rivers now?
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (MR W. CHIDHAKWA): For two reasons, I
request that a written note be sent to us because in the first instance, the question boarders between mining and environmental considerations. Therefore, the answer must take both the mining perspective as well as the environmental consideration.
Secondly, that it is specific to an area that he refers to his
Constituency. If we got a specific question, we would then ask to see the area that is being referred to, so that our response is able to address the geographical issues of that particular area.
- ZINDI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. First and foremost, I should applaud you for the Press Conference which you held yesterday in regard to the distribution of contraceptives to children from as young as ten years.
When I read about this article about a week ago, some official was quoted in your ministry as to the fact that there already are centres where these contraceptives are being distributed. I want to know, and you to make it very clear to the public in regard to that, whether you are going to close those centres since you have come up with a policy statement that – we will not allow it. I want you to be clear to the public as to what is going to happen to those centres, if at all those centres are there?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR.
PARIRENYATWA): I would like to thank Hon. Zindi for asking that follow up question. The truth is, when we read this article, we eventually investigated on it and clearly there was a lot of misinformation on it. What we have done is to look at everything that has been said in that article, including the follow up whether in fact there is any distribution going on.
As I speak my staff is busy investigating which centres are we talking about and is it really true. As soon as I get that report, I can make it available to this august House.
- T. KHUMALO: My question is directed to Minister Muchena. The School of Mines has been sending away students for non payment of fees. What is your policy, bearing in mind that these students need to write examinations in the next two months, after having spent three years at the School of Mines? Are you going to let them go and not let them write their examinations after having spent so much money?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. O. MUCHENA): I thank the hon. member for bringing that matter to my attention. Since it is a specific question, we will follow it up urgently and we will bring the response to the House.
Oral Answers to Questions without notice were interrupted by
- SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.
DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
- MIDZI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to commence my contribution by joining other hon. members of this House who yesterday, congratulated you and other Presiding Officers for having been elected to lead this House. I would also like to, at this juncture, join other hon. members who contributed yesterday and touched on a number of issues that were raised in the next selected programme that was articulated by His Excellency the President.
I would want at the beginning to say to this House that going through the delivery of His Excellency the President, you can easily see that there are a number of issues that are cross cutting that were enunciated. One of them is to do with the issue of accountability. Accountability, not only as it touches various ministries and departments of Government, but accountability as it touches the sole of this nation. His Excellency made it very clear that we have as a country and as a nation, a programme that we target to achieve during the next five years. For us to be able to achieve these targets, we must underline our involvement with the issue of accountability.
Accountability Mr. Speaker Sir does and as I said earlier on, cut across a number of issues. When we speak or refer to the issue of corruption, we have to ask ourselves as to who is accountable for whatever contribution is made towards corruption. Do we ask ourselves as hon. members of this House, the general society of this country that question, as to what extend we are accountable in as far as corruption is concerned? His Excellency also touched on the issue of credibility. When we look at his Speech, analyse it, you find that the issue of credibility comes out very clearly that whatever we do as a nation, whatever we are going to do as a Government, and whatever we do and whatever we contribute as members of parliament, to what extend are we adding credibility? The credibility that I am talking about is not individual credibility.
I am talking about credibility of the nation, Government and collective credibility. Going through the Speech again, one clearly sees that there is an issue of stability which cuts across. This is stability, not only stability in terms of politics, but stability in terms of development.
Therefore I think it is important for all of us here as hon. members and any players in the country, to take heed that whatever we do and whatever contribution we make, we must add to the need and the critical need for stability for our nation.
I would also want to say that His Excellency in his delivery did articulate for us and for all of us the spirit of nationhood. That spirit of nationhood which does not forget where this country came from, that spirit of nationhood, which does not in any way discriminate among ourselves and that spirit of nationhood that makes us focus on a successful future. I would also want to make reference to the issue of vision. When you look at the legislative programme, it is a five year legislative programme. It is a programme which is guided by a vision. The vision is embedded in the history of this country, embedded in where we came from. Therefore, I would want to exhort all hon. members to ensure that whatever we do, whatever we encourage government to do, we must not forget that there is a vision, a vision which is embedded in our history.
With reference to the issue of corruption, really when you think about it, the question is, do we all of us believe in what we say as hon. members? When we criticise corruption, do we believe in what we are saying? To what extend do we contribute towards corruption? What can we do collectively to fight corruption? Others have referred to corruption as a cancer. Can we deal with that cancer? Do we have the capacity? I think at the end of the day, it is important that His Excellency exhorted all of us to confront this cancer head on and I take it that all hon. members judging from yesterday, have accepted that we as a nation, have a responsibility to deal with the issue of corruption.
If we leave it as it is, unattended to, we are actually committing national suicide because we may not on a day to day basis, be able to judge the extent of the damage that is taking place. Having said that generally, and having said that His Excellency’s delivery and the legislative programme gives us a collective national aspiration as a people. I would want to refer to a number of issues which we as a nation have to pay attention to in a focused manner.
The issue of HIV and AIDS is an issue which I think all of us as a nation have to collectively deal with. Sometimes it may not be so easy to see how widespread the problem is. It only takes a little effort to interact with families. In this case I have not talked of Epworth, a constituency which I represent here. The levels of HIV and AIDS occurrences in the Constituency are alarming. The impact on families is alarming but I can only say that may be that situation is a microcosm of what is happening throughout the country.
His Excellency also did, in a very articulate manner, make reference to the issue of the economy. We are all aware and I am sure most of us here on a day to day basis, are affected by the current economic conditions. Yes, there is no doubt that sanctions have had a devastating impact on this economy. Yes, there is no doubt that these sanctions have made it very difficult for various sectors of this economy to operate as expected. At the same time, as we recognised that the scourge of sanctions have ravaged our economy, we need also to recognise that the people of Zimbabwe have been very resilient. When you look around, see what has happened; see the responses of so many
Zimbabweans to the scourge of sanctions. You can only marvel at what Zimbabweans can do. The small scale sector, it could be in industry, it could be in mining, it has demonstrated that Zimbabweans collectively can achieve and withstand pressures.
I also want to make reference to the issue of infrastructure and infrastructural development. The road network in this country needs urgent upgrading. We tend to look at roads in the rural areas, and it is so obvious that when you go to rural areas, you see that the roads need attention. I also want to ask the Minister responsible for Transport and Infrastructural Development that yes, in urban areas, local authorities, urban councils are responsible for the road network but I suppose we should ask that the Minister help urban councils in repairing the roads. I know to some extent, that is already being done, repairing and even developing new roads. The issue of infrastructure, is not only limited in this particular case to road network, it does cut across the economy.
The issue of housing; one could say it is the responsibility of the
Minister responsible for public housing. The Minister of Infrastructural Development is partly responsible as well because you will find that in areas where housing development has taken place, the road network there is nothing to talk about.
The water issue, again I know that there is a Minister responsible for water but the infrastructure that brings the water to where it is supposed to go needs attention. May be, as a Member of Parliament who represents a semi-rural urban constituency called Epworth, I would want to appeal to all ministries to also pay attention to some areas that are semi forgotten. If you go to such areas, you find that the people who live in these areas on a day to day basis, are suffering from a number of deficiencies, it could be deficiencies in terms of infrastructure, health or deficiency in terms of food. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my appeal that I am making to Government to ensure that such communities are not forgotten.
The other area which I want to make reference to before I end my submission, is the area of environment. When we talk of environment, yes, sometimes we easily think about elephants because they are big, we think about huge things but there are other environmental issues that we may not pay attention to.
I am going to talk about urban areas. Just driving or walking around, it is sickening that you see people you do not expect to be damaging the environment doing so. You see people driving in beautiful cars, after having enjoyed may be a plate of sadza and chicken, some pizza that they bought from Chicken Inn or somewhere else, they literally throw the empty packs through their windows into the streets. Mr. Speaker, if you do that, whom do you expect to clean the environment? We can talk about elephants, I am not saying it is a good thing, I am saying it is because it is easier. I am saying we ourselves may be unknowingly contributing to environmental damage. It is my appeal and a suggestion that I would want to put to this House if I am allowed to Mr. Speaker. Let us have a day where all hon. members of Parliament, including Senate, can go into the streets, sweep the streets – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - let us go and contribute as a way of educating people because sometimes we leave it to the youths to do the cleaning. Let us be exemplary to some of our colleagues who would rather move on top of the range vehicles and keep their windows open but not because they want fresh air but they want an easy way of throwing rubbish into the streets. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
- KURUNERI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am Chris Kuruneri from Mt Darwin East. Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to respond to two issues that His Excellency raised and which touched my nerves as well as my soul. His Excellency the President touched on the Zambezi Water
Project and he also touched on Kariba Gorge - Kariba South Projects.
Let me tell you why I say this. Firstly, most of you have been reading all kinds of unguided statistics in our newspapers about unemployment and we are told that unemployment has now reached 95% in this country. Sometimes I wonder what sampling frames are being used to achieve those numbers, and let me tell you why the Zambezi Water Project pleases me.
First and foremost, if we were to implement this project in the manner that it is supposed to be done, we will be able to create no less than 5 million jobs in one swing. Let me explain to you how this happens. If we look at the water that we are losing to the Indian Ocean via the Zambezi River, it is 800 cubic meters of water per minute, twenty four hours per day and three hundred and sixty-five days in the year.
This is sufficient water, if properly harnessed, to irrigate 1 million hectares of land. We talk of food security and hunger, right! One million hectares – and just listen to my eroded mathematics here but I am sure Mr. Nkomo here knows what I am talking about. He used to be in the Ministry of Water. If we take 200 000 hectares from my 1 million model, and we put maize in winter and summer, we will get a yield of 2, 4 million tonnes of maize and our national consumption is 2 million. We will remain with 400 000 tonnes surplus which we must not export. We should factor that 200 000 tonnes into the production of maize meal, hupfu handiti, so that maize meal is sold in the market cheaper than the current cost.
If we take another 200 000 hectares and we put it under wheat and we assume 3 tonnes yield per hectare, that is 600 000 tonnes of wheat, right! Our national consumption of wheat is 400 000 tonnes per year. Wheat plus maize equal food security, is that right? But, it also equals to something else. Before we get employment, it equals food security and it also equals billions of United States dollars in savings that has otherwise gone to imports of food.
MR SPEAKER: Order, if I may trap to the hon. member. Hon. Chirisa, I think you would like to read a newspaper. Can you proceed and do so outside the House.
- CHIRISA: Sorry Sir.
- SPEAKER: Please carry on.
- KURUNERI: It also equals US$11 billion savings that have gone into imports of wheat and maize and let me tell you what US$11 billion can do for us. If we took US$3 billion of that 5 years ago, and if we had paid off both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, we would have paid off our total international debt which would have the impact of opening up all dried up or the closed lines of credit that have been otherwise available to our manufacturing sector, mining and agriculture for production purposes.
If we had taken US$1 billion of that and used US$500 000 for petrol, diesel and paraffin, that would give us enough paraffin for one full year. If you take the remaining US$500 000 and targeted electricity, that would have been electricity for two years in a row. Electricity plus diesel plus petrol plus paraffin equals to energy, is this not it? But, it also equals something else. It equals prices stability. It equals confidence, is it not so? It equals to jobs.
Two years of our ZESA paid in full would mean no power outages for two years, is it not so? Right! I know a number of my friends including this one here. He was once in a queue wanting to buy meat, holding a piece of meat and the manager of the supermarket came from behind him with a stamp and changed the prices in his hands. He got so angry and he said, “Chris look at this man, he is changing the prices”.
But that happens where there is no price stability.
And, let me also come to the issue of jobs. We are being told that 95% of our people are unemployed. I said earlier, what sampling frame are they using to come to those numbers? I actually disagree with those numbers. What they are doing is that, they are measuring formal sector jobs and they are not touching the informal sector. They are not going to Siyaso and measuring how many people are working there. Even worse than that, they are not defining what is meant by employment or unemployment so that we understand what they are talking about.
Let me give you not my definitions but the definitions as they appear in economics. Employment is anything that yields income and/or anything that yields output. It is also a recognition aspect, when you recognise yourself as being employed. Nobody can tell you, you are unemployed if you think you are employed, he-e. If that is the case, you wonder then where 95% unemployment is coming from. That is not economically realistic.
This is why, the reference to the Zambezi Water Project touched me because it will change the economics of this country overnight. If we then add the Kariba South Project, with its 1 600 megawatts output sufficient to power the entire SADC region. We want to talk about economic development, those are some of the things that we must focus on. We all have a challenge in this august House to pursue and implement what His Excellency has put on our tables to work on.
I am pleased that my big brother is also sitting here, Cde.
Mnangagwa. I call him bad news brown. I went with the late Hon. Msika to Phoenix, Arizona to see what the Americans are doing in the desert with water that they are getting 1 500 miles from the desert all the way to Phoenix. We should be able to do the same here in Zimbabwe.
Zambezi is not 1 500 miles away from Midlands, Matebeleland North,
Matebeleland South or Masvingo, no, no. We could even switch it to
What the Americans have done there, is they have created farms along the water highway. We can also do the same. We can create farms along the main water highway all the way to Masvingo and Manicaland. Believe you, me, that entire system is operated by two people who man their computer centre. Every person who has a farm there has a name and there is a button. Kana riri purazi ravaMutasa, panenge paine zita kunzi vaMutasa nebutton ravo. Vari kurimeiko? Matomatisi. Big tomatoes like this and the people who man the control centre know exactly how much water he needs. They push a button and he gets his water. They push another button and he is billed before he has a chance to run away. If the Americans are doing it in the dessert, why can we fail to do it here in Zimbabwe? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.].
Let us come to the fiscal side as well. We are talking about five million jobs there. Five million jobs and if they are getting $300 per job per employee, how much money is that per month? $1,5 billion, is it not? If we take 10% of that going towards taxes, then the fiscus has sufficient money to sort out potholes on the roads.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think people are getting bored here but some of these things I discussed them with you if you remember, in Victoria Falls many many months ago. I have discussed these with some of my friends here, vakawanda sitereki including the Hon. Chasi over there. If we want change, we have the challenge to make change ourselves. There is no need to be corrupt, we simply have to work hard and put our efforts where they are needed the most, which is to create jobs and create incomes for our people. Mr. Speaker Sir, if we are serious, these things are achievable. If we go to sleep on them, nothing will happen.
- SPEAKER: As the hon. member walks to his seat, I cannot help but recognise the degree of commitment from someone who is indisposed but has been able to debate in a very intelligent manner with all the statistics – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -. I can only hope and trust that others will reach that level of commitment and also, I have no doubt that your constituency Mt. Darwin East is properly represented
– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -.
- MANDIPAKA: May I also express my appreciation to the wonderful address by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde. R. G. Mugabe on Tuesday, 17th September, 2013. The speech in my view, Mr. Speaker Sir, set the tone for what this great nation can do to ensure economic growth and development, that would better the lives of many Zimbabweans. I take it that the President’s Speech was instructive apart from it being some work of brilliance on areas needing attention; for example, aligning certain existing laws to the Constitution, agriculture, revitalisation of our industry, the mining sector, tourism, transport and road infrastructure, corruption, et cetera.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to dwell on two of those aspects affirmations and I want to talk about agriculture, transport and road infrastructure. In Buhera West, Mr. Speaker Sir, we applaud the
Government of Zimbabwe’s initiative to construct Marovanyati Dam which would supply water for irrigation purposes, water for people and animals’ livelihood and provide employment to the locals during construction. It would appear this wonderful project has been abandoned to the detriment of our people. We pray that the Government of Zimbabwe’s intervention in seeing the completion of Marovanyati Dam in Buhera West will be timely.
His Excellency was quite apt and clear in his speech when he said
“Government will also expedite the completion of various strategic water development projects”. Buhera West Mr. Speaker Sir, experiences perennial droughts and the need for continued supply of drought relief aid cannot be overemphasised. It has become public knowledge that Manicaland Province is rich in diamond reserves and the possibility of more reserves in parts of Buhera cannot be ruled out. In that vein, it becomes paramount to rehabilitate our road infrastructure.
Buhera West, Central, South and North as well as the honourables from those respective areas would agree with me that it will be very exciting to see Murambinda/ Birchenough Bridge Road being tarred for easy of accessibility. It is easier for people from Chipinge and Birchenough Bridge to use that road to Harare and it is economically viable. The road will definitely attract local and foreign investors doing mining operations in Manicaland and Buhera in particular. Currently, the road is in a very bad state and one needs to drive along that stretch road once to appreciate the unfriendliness of that road.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to be precise and concise and this is my contribution to the address by His Excellency, the President of the
Republic of Zimbabwe. I thank you. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear].
+MRS. MUDAU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you for election to that post. The way you handle issues in this House is different and it shows that you are a person who knows how to do your job. Secondly, I would want to congratulate the President of the State Cde, Robert Gabriel Mugabe for a job well done after winning the elections that were held on the 31st July.
I want to congratulate the President for that.
Yesterday, the Parliament that we had, we realised that there was so much noise and there was nothing that was achieved in this august House. We also realise that for the past five years, there was nothing that was achieved. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Inclusive Government withdrew so many things and we realised that we were not going forward. After the election of your post and after a month, I hope that most of the problems will be solved in this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I come from Beitbridge West Constituency – our President has highlighted on the issues of drought and there is severe drought in my Constituency. I thank the President for realising that there is severe drought in other areas of the country and he is supplying food from other countries like Zambia to the people. I appreciate that Mr. Speaker Sir. This country came of the bloodshed of the liberation struggle and so we realise that this year, the Zimbabwean people have corrected the mistakes they made in the past.
Mr. Speaker Sir, from my constituency, Beitbridge West, there is a place called Tokwe, even a bus cannot travel in that road. Also there are no buses using the road from Beitbridge to Masera and Toporiseri because there are no good roads. I believe that Zimbabwe has been taken by people who know how to rule this country. From
Independence most things were moving well although there were no schools but the President realised the need to have many schools and many hospitals and he even introduced the Presidential scholarship scheme. I thank the President, Mr. Speaker Sir for the job we done.
After colonialism, we realised that there were no universities, but the President Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, working in conjunction with the late Cde. Joshua Nkomo was able to improve many things. The President has managed to take over from whatever Cde. Joshua Nkomo was doing. Yes, we agree we had eyes to see and ears to hear but were not able to do anything. Now that the country has been taken by people who know how to rule, Mr. Speaker Sir, I agree that we are now able to work with the eyes open and able to see. Children are now going to school and are able to get help from hospitals. Zimbabwe has managed to attain its independence and I believe that it will rain and this will be the end of drought because the country has been taken by people who know how to rule. Even our opposition, I know that no one will agree that they are wrong but I know deep inside they are able to realise everything wrong that they were doing. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
- MAVIMA: I would like to join the debate on the statement by the President on the occasion of the opening of this Session of the 8th Parliament. I would like also to join my colleagues in congratulating you on being elected to the position of Speaker. I would also want to congratulate all my colleagues in the House for being elected as members of this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think there are three or four pertinent issues that the President raised during his presentation to Parliament. The first issue that I would like to address is the issue of agriculture. I come from a Constituency as well as a district whose economic mainstay is agriculture; mainly the production of cotton. I come from Gokwe. We, at this particular point in time, are faced with a difficult situation especially with regard to the low prices offered to cotton producers. A whole district’s economy is imperiled by this situation. I think what this does is to say we should put on our thinking caps and think of ways in which we can diversify our economies. We should come up with new production systems, new crops alternatives to the traditional crops that this district and other districts in this country have relied on for a number of years. While I am at that, I would like to encourage a general consideration for revamping our entire small scale agricultural system. In order to do that, we can never over emphasise the importance of water development – especially the harvesting of water in smart ways; ways in which we can conserve both water and the soil on which we plant.
There are, as we speak in this country; productivity systems which could raise the yield per hectare of maize to levels like eleven to twelve tonnes if we employ the appropriate technology. I think this country does not have a crisis of agricultural land but it does have the crisis of water. We can use technologies like drip irrigation on small pieces of land like half a hectare to two hectares per family. We can also introduce a system where we can harvest three times a year. It will be possible to achieve some of the statistics that Hon. Kuruneri referred to.
This country needs to take serious attention to those issues.
There has been debate in this House about the revitalisation of industry. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that debate has, to a larger extent been barking up the wrong tree. I hear every one referring to the revitalisation of the old industries that we had. Most of them have become archaic and unproductive. There is way in which a new orientation can be taken to the development of industry and a small industry approach with a lot of agility led probably by young Zimbabweans under our policy for indigenisation and economic empowerment, but using technologies some of which come mainly from the East; small, agile and competitive. We have the advantage of having an educated population of youngsters who can lead this development.
These industries need to be predicated upon agriculture and mining. We have abundant resource in agriculture and mining. We need to take advantage of our empowerment policies in order to ensure that we develop a new industry that puts Zimbabwe at a level of competiveness.
Mr. Speaker Sir, all this development can only take place within the context of a massive infrastructural development programme.
Infrastructure is an enabler for everything that we do; for energy, water, ICT, roads and transportation. I am glad that His Excellency emphasised the need to pass the Bill on triple Ps during this session of Parliament. Triple Ps will allow us to utilise an innovative way to fund our infrastructural development. It ropes in the technical capacity and financial capacity of the private sector in the development of infrastructure. It can allow us to develop infrastructure throughout the full gamut of our sectors including schools and hospitals.
In the funding of such infrastructural development, this country can leverage its abundant mineral resources in order to come up with payment arrangements over a period of time. I think we are in a good place to make these developments a reality.
The last issue that I would like to touch on, Mr. Speaker Sir, is the issue of higher education. We can never have ample economic development without a corresponding, innovative, dynamic higher and tertiary education system. The funding situation that currently exists in our higher and tertiary education system is a good thing that has positive externalities. If someone gets it, the benefits are not to that person
alone, but to a wider society and to industry. If we leave families and individuals to provide this important service without adequate Government contribution, we are going to have inadequate provision of the service. It behoves this Government Mr. Speaker Sir, to urgently address the issue of Higher Education funding in order to make sure that those young bright minds that we have in our school system can access grants and soft loans that will help them to pursue their aspirations and dreams as far as their education is concerned.
On that note, I would like again to thank the President for a precise and concise statement on the programmes of his Government as well as his Government’s legislative agenda for this Session of Parliament.
- MUSANHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on being elected as Speaker of this august
House. Secondly, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for winning resoundingly in the harmonized elections. Thirdly, I would like to congratulate my fellow members here for being elected to this august House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to touch on the President’s speech on
agriculture and it being the mainstay of our economy, I see it fit that it should be supported. I am happy that the President in his wisdom actually said that we have to empower our farmers by giving them inputs. But, I would like to add on to this, by saying that, if inputs are given to the farmers, they have to be given timeously and I repeat timeously. Mr. Speaker, because being a son of a peasant farmer, who grew up on land, my father used to plant the maize in October and we were assured of a very high yield. It was in excess of ten tonnes per hectare.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we were not using any modern equipment in terms of irrigation. My father used to have a water-cart that had two drums on it. We would then dig some deep holes and you would fill those holes with water and plant the maize. The maize would always come to the knee level if you put water to that level. Most of it would actually meet up with the rain that would be coming from the sky but would already have germinated.
The President also touched on the pay increases for our civil servants. I think it is a very noble idea that civil servants be well remunerated and maybe this will reduce the so called cancer of corruption. If people are well remunerated, I think that they will see value in their jobs and start doing the right thing. I do not want to agree with some tendencies that corruption is here and it is cancerous. I feel that corruption is still curable in this country. I have been to countries in our region and there are some countries where you cannot depart without paying money. This is whether you belong to which party or whether you do what, you still have to pay something and that is very open corruption. That is in other countries, but in our country it is still happening clandestinely.
I feel that corruption is sometimes caused by need and if we give our workers increments, it would reduce it.
On roads and dualisation, I feel that in terms of the corruption tendencies that we see, some of them are so technical that you cannot see them with a naked eye. Some of these things, you need to bring in people who have the ability to unearth them. This is by reducing the materials that are used to dualise our roads by half and the roads can run on for a few months or years, then you will start seeing potholes again. But, you will find that the road was constructed well and no one is able to notice that there was something wrong.
By not putting proper mechanisms to look at the standard and the quality of what is being done on the roads, we will still be somehow shortchanged. I think we need to actually employ technical people to look at how our roads are being constructed.
On the environment Mr. Speaker Sir, it is very disappointing that very soon our wildlife will become extinct because of poachers who have become very technical in poisoning most of our animals. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that this is a cancer which is still in its early stages and if proper measures are taken, this can be stopped. Without putting deterrent measures, we will not be able stop the type of poaching that is taking place in our wildlife sector.
It has become common knowledge that some people are exploiting minerals in most of our rivers. At the end of the day, we are going to have no rivers at all as all will be silt. I think, urgent action needs to be taken to stop the exploitation of minerals in our rivers.
On that note, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to end here.
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: Thursday, 26th September, 2013.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS IN THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (MR. MUTASA), the House adjourned at Twenty-eight Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.