[featured_image]
Download
Download is available until [expire_date]
  • Version
  • Download 9
  • File Size 510 KB
  • File Count 1
  • Create Date September 29, 2020
  • Last Updated November 6, 2021

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 68

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 29th September, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PETITION RECEIVED FROM MR. NARE OF THE COMMUNITY

DEVELOPMENT TRUST

       THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on

Wednesday 23rd September, 2020, Parliament received a petition from Mr. Nare of the Community Development Trust based in Gwanda; requesting Parliament to enact laws to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the youth to be fairly represented at all levels starting from the district to the national level. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and

Recreation.

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to draw the attention of the House to an error on today’s Order Paper where Notice of Motion No. 18 by Hon. Chikukwa was erroneously captured. The Notice of Motion should read as follows: ‘That this House takes note of the Report of the

Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National

Housing on the Fact Finding Visit to Selected Local Authorities on the

State of Service Delivery in Zimbabwe.

        THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is that a notice of motion?

HON. D. SIBANDA:  It is on privileges Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes proceed.

HON. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I wish to request that the Leader of the House and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs issue a Ministerial Statement in response to my motion on the abolition of the death penalty.  The motion lapsed before the Hon. Minister could respond.  I request that the statement be done this week, Mr. Speaker Sir.

Your intentions are very good but that is

unprocedural.  The Clerk of Parliament will write to the Hon. Minister to respond to your report or to your motions accordingly.

HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise on a point of privilege.  Yesterday there were interviews on the Constitutional Court judges and there were only two women out of eight interviewees.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Constitution which the Constitutional Court will be dealing with also provides for Section 17 on gender balance.  Our concern as Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, is will we ever get to 50/50?  I want this concern registered, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  A very good notice on privileges but unfortunately it does not invite debate.  Why did you not come up with a motion?  I advise you, Hon. Member, to come up with a motion so that you can entice debate on the motion accordingly.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Mine is a

matter on national importance, not privilege. May I proceed?

 

I am asking for privileges.  Notice of

national interest, you bring it at 4.45 p.m. or somewhere there.

Honourable, you got my advice?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise on a point of privilege.  Parliament is in an attempt to achieve the issue of 50/50 representation in leadership and again as has been raised in Section 17 of the Constitution, it is an attempt to make sure that there is gender parity in whatever we do in Parliament, parastatals and in our commissions, but Mr. Speaker, I have realised that the issue of victimisation and the subjection to torture is also one of the key problems whereby women are not going to be encouraged to stand up to be in local government, to be in Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, may I also draw your attention on the issue of the right to health.  Hon. Speaker we are encouraging young women to be

Members of Parliament and we have got one of our Members of

Parliament, Hon. Joannah Mamombe.

Order, order!  Can you second a motion

that will be tabled by Hon. Kwaramba?

HON. KARENYI:  Yes, Mr. Speaker I agree with you but that one was more important on the issue of health whereby I am worried about her health.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, you have to do it under a motion.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, but I was trying to draw your attention on her health because it is more important before we raise the motion - [HON. MEMBERS – Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hakuna mabut, but.  You have ample time under a motion.

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to raise my concerns over the manner in which you dismissed a very important issue which Hon. Karenyi wanted to raise.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue which Hon. Karenyi wanted to raise is an issue concerning one of the Members of Parliament.

Order, order! Can you please take your

seat?

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  I move that

Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 9 be stood over until Orders of the Day

10 to 15 on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA

ON THE PROMOTION AND RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF

INVESTMENTS

 

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  I move the

motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the agreement between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Government of Korea on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments was signed in 2010 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 16 of the agreement provides for entry

into force duration and termination;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.

HON. BITI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Section 327 of the

Constitution is very clear.  Any treaty signed under the hand of the President or any agreement that imposes fiscal obligations to the country need to be approved by Parliament first before it is signed.  So, the precedent, including the treaty which we are discussing was already signed and we are now being asked to rubber stamp.  My respectful submission Hon. Speaker Sir is that Parliament should not be used as a rubber stamp to give authority to actions by the Executive that would have been done outside the Constitution.  The Executive must understand the full import of Section 327, which is that you come to Parliament first.  When you have been given approval by Parliament, you then go and put your signature there or your squiggle, whatever it is you are putting.  Mr. Speaker, we have no objection to this treaty but can the Constitution be respected?  I thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I hope the Hon. Minister will refer to

Section 327 appropriately and respond accordingly.

HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I want to thank the Minister for bringing that treaty here for ratification but Hon.

Speaker, I just want to draw your attention to a few issues that the Hon. Minister is bringing these protocols in a piece-meal manner.  There are a number of outstanding protocols, in excess of 35 of them and they are somewhere within the Ministry.  We have since requested the Ministry to bring these protocols here for ratification.  One most important protocol Hon. Speaker, is that of the Pan African Parliament.  It was signed by the former President in 2003 and the Ministry has been having that protocol in its shelves for all these years.  I would want to urge the Minister to bring that here because we are embarrassed.  Our team which goes to PAP tells me that they are always embarrassed when this issue is brought up there.

We have since as your committee Hon. Speaker, requested that the Minister sets up a kind of an office and dedicate an officer to follow up on all these outstanding protocols from Government departments so that they are brought here.  We have a number of them as I said.  So, I hope instead of the Minister coming here with one or two, he must try to bring these treaties so that we ratify them.  I agree with Hon. Biti that Section 327 is very clear and the International Treaties Bill is now law; so that must be observed.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  In view of the submissions by Hon. Biti and Hon. Paradza, I would urge the Hon. Minister to bring the various treaties due for ratification to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs so that the committee can do some kind of due diligence on the various treaties, submit a report to Parliament and it becomes easier for Members to debate the various treaties before they can be ratified.  That is my submission Hon. Speaker, that the Hon. Minister brings the treaties to the relevant Portfolio Committee so that the Committee may be able to make an analysis and submit a consolidated report on the various treaties to the House and ratification can be much faster and easier. Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Let me thank

the Hon. Minister for at least respecting Parliament to the extent of seeking our condonation with regards to domesticating the treaty before the table.  I understand the circumstances why it came late. I also want to concur with the Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, that instead of doing it in piece-meal or instalments, can we have all the treaties that we have signed to, to be brought before Parliament so that we respect the provisions of Section 327 (2) (a) and (b) that bind us as a country with regards to the policy that we would have signed to as a treaty and then domesticate it into our legal statutes.

Whilst I am at that level, may I highlight to you that Zimbabwe is a signatory to the convention against torture which we signed to in 1992. This speaks and I speak so in the comfort of the new dispensation which must do things differently.  This convention speaks to the safeguard of human rights with regards to how people are handled and with regards to state security agents.  It also speaks to the State’s obligation to prevent torture as a way of extracting information from any individual…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Member, may you

stick to the motion raised.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I had said I understand the reason why this treaty is being brought for condonation; it is because it was signed in 2010 and the new Constitution was promulgated in 2013.  So, I would forgive the Hon. Minister for that.

However Hon. Speaker, this issue speaks of Zimbabwe’s treaty as a signatory to issues of trade and investment.  Adjoined to issues of trade and investments are the country’s good image, so the Minister of Foreign Affairs is our Ambassador with regards to portraying a good image to other foreign nationals to the extent that they should feel comfortable for them to come and invest in Zimbabwe.

One of the key elements of investors as they approach any country is to look at the environmental scan of that country.  They look at the peace and stability of that particular nation and the human rights situation of that country.

Hon. Speaker, we have gold in Malawi, Zambia, South Africa and

Zimbabwe.  What is it that informs an investor to go and invest in Zambia ahead of Zimbabwe?  I have seen on many occasions, the Head of State trying to portray a good Zimbabwe that has a good investment destination in regards to the treaty that has been signed now or that was signed then in promotion of investment and trade.

However, we have underlying issues in our country that then deter these investors to come and satisfy the provisions of this treaty.  One of it is a violation of key human rights in our country.  We have an Hon. Member of Parliament abducted, incarcerated, sent to a hospital, taken away from hospital, again sent back to a hospital institution not of her choice, whilst we are still inviting investors to come and invest.  We do not seek any favour as Members of Parliament but let the law take its course and let also the human face of Government…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, why not come up with a

motion on the issue of the treaty on human torture so that you have got ample time to debate it and the Minister responsible can reply.  At the moment, we are on a knife edge because this matter is still sub judice in the courts but bring a motion and find out why some treaties have not been acceded to including the one on human torture.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I remember watching the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs on a zoom television…

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is difficult to bring a motion?

HON. CHIKWINYA: I agree with you Hon. Speaker.  I now come to the treaty before us which is Investment and Trade.  I watched the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs having an interview on some zoom meeting with a South African Television station.  He was at pains in terms of marketing our country. We have departments especially the

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority which has gone out of its way to portray Zimbabwe as a tourism destination.  How can tourists come and invest in Zimbabwe, trade with Zimbabwe when we have underlying issues which need to be corrected.

I say so on the basis that there are things which are in separable.

These are things which are a reality, things which are married to the treaty which we are speaking to here.   Post to this treaty we are now supposed to come up with laws that support the intention of the Executive when they sign this treaty.  We have got ZIDA for example which tries to ensure that a trade investment is done in a manner that is friendly to investors.

We have done our best as Parliament to come up with a one-stopshop but we must ask ourselves that why is it that our economy is not performing?  Why is it that we are failing to attract investment and trade? As Parliamentarians coming from the people having the alter ego of representation in Parliament, we cannot shy away from the underlying factors.  It will be a disfavour if we are going to put a blind eye to the fact that these issues are the ones which the investors are looking at.

I would come to the issue of local investment itself, what is it that we have done Hon. Speaker as we go to international fora to go and sign a treaty on trading and investment.  What is it that we have done for our local people to be able to invest locally?  What support mechanisms have we put? I am saying so on the basis of Section 327 (2b) to the extent that this convention is now supposed to become part of the law.  When it becomes part of the law we are going to put in the enabling factors which are supposed to support this convention.  We must then put it in our mind that why is it that we only have people like Strive Masiiwa having managed to prosper in this environment? Can we not create 10 more people like Strive Masiiwa and more investors of an indigenous nature in the gold, chrome and in various industrial and agricultural sectors?  I am trying to stimulate the mind of the Hon. Minister here present that as he responds and in collaboration with the efforts that have been made by the Executive in signing this treaty, we must address the underlying issues.

There are issues to do with corruption.  We have shied away from this but it has a direct effect on trade and investments.  How easy is it to get a licence? It has been raised by Hon. Mudarikwa that one needs an excess of about 17 licences for them to get a bottle licence.  You get a fire arm, ZINWA, EMA, City Council licences for a small investment portfolio like a bottle store.  Is this what you want Hon. Minister as we support you in an effort to join the global world with regards to trade and investment?

Certainly if we do not move along with times and if we do not agree to the underlying factors, we are going to be left behind.  We have competitors who are our brothers in the SADC region, South Africa,

Zambia for example.  Go to Livingstone, we had a workshop in Victoria Falls. We crossed over to Livingstone just to go and see. It has changed ever since the World Tourism Summit that happened between Victoria Falls and Livingstone – they have changed.  So we must ask ourselves, why is it that we are still having conferences in tents and in Livingstone, they are already building hotels.  What is affecting us Hon. Speaker?  So, I am challenging the Executive member representing the Minister here that let us look at the whole basket of issues for us to be able to properly support you as Parliament as you come up with a model that is supposed to see Zimbabwe joining other nations like Rwanda, South Africa and other prospering nations of our continent.  Thank you Hon.

Speaker.

HON. MATARANYIKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I was not

really going to debate ….

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, are you linked up.

HON. MATARANYIKA:  Anyone with a tablet.

HON. BITI: Where is your tablet?

HON. MATARANYIKA: Ndinayo?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Why do you not bring your own Ipad?

HON. MATARANYIKA:  I have got mine, I am an apple person

so I have problems with the sumsang.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Why do you not contact ICT Department to help you, you can go ahead now?

HON. MATARANYIKA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

I am not yet ready to debate on the contents of the motion brought by the Minister but I wanted to respond to the statement that the President cannot sign and then seek approval from Parliament later on – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the process of ratification is a long process – [HON. SIKHALA:  He is not the Minister, he cannot respond on behalf of the Minister. We are putting these contributions for the Minister to respon. Hon. Speaker, why are you allowing him to respond on behalf of the Minister] …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] – Order, the Hon. Member can debate.

HON. MATARANYIKA:  Thank you.  When the President

executes a Treaty, in the process he signs to confirm the execution.  It is only after that that he brings the Treaty to Parliament for approval.  As far as I am concerned, this is the process that took place and I am surprised that an Hon. Member can stand before this august House to say that the President signed the Treaty first and then he is seeking approval which I think is misleading.  I thought it was necessary to correct that misleading statement – [HON. BITI: You are a bush lawyer. Give us one court judgement that you have made.] – Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Biti, you are not the Chief Justice, who was asking such questions yesterday.  Hon. Biti, can you please withdraw the bush lawyer statement.

HON. BITI:  He is not a bush lawyer he is a city lawyer.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I want to raise a point of privilege….

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You remember we agreed that we allow

only three points of privilege and three have already been exhausted.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA:  Thank you

Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to respond to very important issues raised by Hon. Members.  I will start with Hon. Biti who took the floor first.  He raised the issue around the provisions of Section 27 of the Constitution.  I agree with him according to that provision but like one other Hon. Member has said, this Treaty was signed in 2010.  It was before this Constitution came to force in 2013.

Although the provisions were similar but the old provision actually allowed the Executive a prerogative to design and sign the Treaty and later bring it to Parliament for ratification.

So, I agree with Hon. Biti but within the reengagement spirit, we are saying we had committed ourselves before and one of the issues that is being raised whenever we go out for reengagement programmes is that they are saying there are these outstanding Treaties that are signed but never got to see the light of the day, what is happening to them.  So, in the spirit of reengagement and also in the spirit of the new dispensation, we are making sure that we dispose of all these old treaties and make sure that we create the correct perspective that we are law abiding and we are also consistent.  So, this is why we are bringing this to Parliament.

Hon. Paradza, I take note of your concerns about the slow processing of treaties that have not been signed.  Yes I agree, but as you know, not all treaties or protocols are the responsibility of International

Trade and Foreign Affairs.  We are saying with the International Treaties Bill that is now to become law, I am sure this would be  taken care of. As a Ministry we are doing everything necessary to ensure that every Treaty that has been outstanding has gone through this Parliament for ratification.

You also highlighted the fact that we must come to the Portfolio Committee with these Treaties before they come to Parliament.  Yes, I agree with that spirit although it does not seem to be a provision in the

Constitution – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – within the Constitution, we do not have that provision.  In the spirit of consultation, we still engage our Portfolio Committee whenever we have Treaties that are on the table so that we work together with them.  I think I have also answered Hon. Tsunga in the process.

Hon. Chikwinya brought up a few issues. I will answer a few of them that I think are relevant to our Ministry, especially the investment and trade.  Yes, I agree that as a Government, it is our responsibility to ensure that we set a macro-economic environment that is conducive or has the rightful ambience to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and also domestic investment, of which I think that is exactly what is happening in this country.  Why I say so, I underpin it with the ease of doing business index.  We were 155 last year, 2019 and we came down to 140 and Zimbabwe was quoted as one of the top 20 reformers in the world in 2019.  If we take that into perspective, we will realise that indeed, we are doing a lot of reforms and surely that we are a conducive investment destination.

If we look at the stability that is now obtaining in our country, in terms of the currency stability and balance of payments, it is also a positive sign that the environment is becoming more stable and conducive to international investor.  I agree with you that there is a lot that needs to be done in terms of reforms to ensure that we have ease of doing business and move fast in licencing and also the turnaround time of licencing should be much shorter.

Hon. Chikwinya highlighted a number of issues, also issues to do with human rights.  Yes, we have human rights issues that have been alleged, but we have given the police the mandate to investigate and whenever they have investigated they have proven in some instances that some of the human rights abuses that are being talked of do not exist – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjection.] – As Government, we still urge and even as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we still urge all Hon. Members who have information of where people have been abducted or people have disappeared, to bring it to our Ministry and also other relevant Ministries so that we work together to ensure that those people are taken to book and accounted for.

If you check even the world over, there is no nation without underlying issues.  Even if you scan around our neighbours, they have their own underlying issues.  Even the West, they have their own underlying issues.  No nation will exist without underlying issues but the important thing is how we are dealing with these underlying issues.  The important difference I have also observed is that when some of those nations have had their own underlying issues, they try to deal with them internally.  They seek internal dialogue and resolve their problems, not to go on top of the mountains and shout – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -   So, I also urge Hon. Members - while we accept that we may have underlying issues, let us come to the table, this is why we have a platform like POLAD.  It is a platform for dialogue where we present our issues.  We may see things differently but when we present them at such for a, we can actually get to converge.

You have also raised an issue to do with the local investor. I think the Government has done a lot in terms of opening up for the local investor.  Even farming itself, the land reform is actually a way forming up for the local investor.  If we look at the way we have dealt with the artisanal miners, where gold centres have been planted in the country and also a lot of waivers have been put in place to allow our youths and women to also engage in meaningful gold mining activities.  The Empowerment Bank that has been set up for the women and disadvantaged groups, those are some of the ways that Government is doing to open up to create space for the local investor.  Having said that, our challenge is not just the local investor, we also need international investment.  This is why we are coming up with these BIPPAs so that we encourage international investment.  I hope I have answered some of the important questions pertaining this issue and I move that the motion be adopted.

Motion put and agreed.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC ON THE

PROMOTION AND RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF

INVESTMENTS

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON.

MUSABAYANA): I move the motion standing in my name that  WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the Agreement between the Republic of

Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments was signed on the 13th of September, 1999 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 12 of the Agreement provides for entry

into force, duration and termination;

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid

Agreement be and is hereby approved.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC

OF ZIMBABWE AND THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN ON THE

PROMOTION AND RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF

INVESTMENTS

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON.

MUSABAYANA): Thank you madam Speaker. I move the motion in my name, THAT WHEREAS Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of

Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been

concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the Agreement between the Republic of

Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Sweden on the Promotion, Reciprocal Protection of Investments was signed on the 6th October, 1997 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 10 of the Agreement provides for an

entry into force duration and termination;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.   

         Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ON THE PROMOTION AND

RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF INVESTMENTS

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON.

MUSABAYANA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that the International which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the agreement between Republic of Zimbabwe and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on promotion, reciprocal protection of investments was signed on the 16th June, 2018 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 19 of the agreement provides for entry into force amendments, duration and termination;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (a) of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and hereby approved.

HON. BITI: Thank you Madam Speaker. This particular one, I think as Hon. Members of Parliament, the esteemed Minister of Foreign Affairs should have circulated it so that we go over it. Past agreements with the particular country have included provisions around land-use and water rights because that particular country is a desert. So I go back to my original point that these agreements should be circulated and should not be engaged without us going through them. I am concerned by the indifferent lackadaisical, slack, disrespectful approach that the Executive offers and gives to Parliament. I remind the esteemed Minister of Foreign Affairs that Parliament is the third arm of the State but calling it third does not mean a subordinate. In terms of Section of 117 and Section 119 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, it has an oversight function over each and every body in the republic of Zimbabwe. So I urge the esteemed Minister of Foreign Affairs to treat this esteemed House with the respect, dignity and decency that it deserves. I thank you very much Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti. I am

being advised by the Clerk that it was sent on every Hon. Member’s email by the administration. So I think...

*HON. BITI: If they could help us by telling us the date because I did not see it and even the Chairman of the Committee Hon. K. Paradza did not see that agreement. Thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE

KINGDOM OF THAILAND ON THE PROMOTION AND

RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF INVESTMENTS

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON.

MUSABAYANA): I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT an international treaty which has been concluded or executive by or under the authority of the President does not bind

Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the agreement between the Republic of

Zimbabwe and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on

Promotion, Reciprocal Protection of Investments was signed on the 18th

February, 2000 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 12 of the agreement provides for an

entry into force;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON THE PROMOTION AND

RECIPROCAL PROTECTION OF INVESTMENTS

  THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  I move the

motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327A of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind

Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the agreement between the Republic of

Zimbabwe and the Government of the United States of America on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investment was signed on 20th

January 1999 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article 19 of the agreement provides for entry into force and termination;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327A of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.

HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  This

agreement is very important but unfortunately, the American Government has imposed sanctions on us through ZIDERA and so it is going to make it difficult for us to trade right now with American companies.  Through you Hon. Speaker, I would like to call on the American Government to remove these illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe and also to repeal ZIDERA so that we will be able to trade freely with companies in the US in a normal situation, not as it is now because most of our companies are unable to borrow money offshore and they are unable to buy new equipment because of these sanctions.

So Madam Speaker, while we are going to approve this agreement with the American Government, let it be noted that Washington should at least remove these illegal sanctions on us.  Thank you Madam

Speaker.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  At the beginning of the debate, around these motions by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, was the issue of the respect given to the Head of State as he represents the country in signing treaties and conventions as per the mandate given to him by the Constitution and I do not doubt that as the Head of State puts his signature to these treaties, he exercises due diligence and wisdom.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, are you connected?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Oh sorry.  I was saying at the beginning of the debate around these treaties. From motion number 10 up to now, there was recognition of the powers given to the Head of State by the Constitution and over and above the powers given to the Head of State by the Constitution as he represents the country, is certainly his respected wisdom and due diligence before he puts his pen to paper.  So

I do not doubt that when the Head of State signed an agreement with the Americans he did not know the relationship between Harare and Washington.

I enter my debate on the level of sanctions, Hon. Speaker.  The issue around this motion seeks to promote investment between Harare and Washington and what we have are travel restrictions that have a background.

Hon. Speaker, during my debate, it is fact that there are travel restrictions. It is fact that there are thawed relationships between

Washington and Harare but it is also a fact that the Head of State and

Government appended his signature intending to trade with the

Americans. There was certainly dialogue that there is opportunity for the two nations to do trade and investment.  Now, what are the conditions that are underlying which are inhibiting trade and investment?  It comes again to the issue of human rights; it comes again to the issue of our own conduct as a people of Zimbabwe.

The Americans have been clear.  We cannot do trade with you when that money is promoting the abuse of human rights –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  The Americans are clear that we cannot fund human rights abuses in Zimbabwe by giving you opportunities to do business with us.  We cannot use American tax payers money for you to abduct Joannah Mamombe –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  We cannot abuse the American tax payers money to fund a regime that does not respect its own people.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam

Speaker, the Hon. Member is alleging that the State abducted Hon. Mamombe.  Can he substantiate that or withdraw that statement?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, we cannot

debate about that issue in here because it is under the courts.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  The Hon. Minister has asked for further particulars.  So he has asked me to substantiate and I am going to do that with respect to the Executive and with respect to the Chair –[HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  I am prepared to do that.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, I am the

Chair.  I am telling you that we cannot debate about that issue because that issue is under the courts.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will not mention the specificity around Joannah Mamombe.  I will mention the issues around human rights abuses in general by the State which I can substantiate.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, the rules do not allow to divert from what we are debating.  He wants to debate about issues that are outside the treaty that is being discussed.  Can he confine himself to what the Hon. Member is seeking to achieve, not what he is debating –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

Hon. Biti having stood up to debate.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Biti, I have to make a ruling first, please may you take your seat –[HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.]-  Hon. Members, I am advising you to debate on the motion not to bring other issues not included on this motion please.

HON. BITI:  Hon. Speaker, Hon. Paradza strayed into the forest and you allowed him to go into the forest.  You cannot close the ship when you are now in the forest.  So Hon. Paradza must pay the price of going into the forest, so we are now debating sanctions Madam Speaker.

THE HON, DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Biti, I will not allow

you to do that.  You have to debate the motion, not to debate other issues which are not on the motion – [HON. NYABANI:  Ndosaka uri ngochani iwe.] –

HON. BITI:  Madam Speaker, I do not take that kindly.  He is now accusing me of being gay.  He must withdraw Hon. Speaker –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members!

HON. BITI:  I am not homophobic but he cannot accuse someone of being gay.  I am not homophobic.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Who said you are gay?

HON. BITI:  This Hon. Member.  He said that Madam Speaker.  He said that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  No, we do not use unparliamentary language.  It has got the intonation of homophobia, so he cannot use language of intolerance. He has to withdraw Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I asked you Hon. Biti - who

said you are gay?

HON. BITI:  Hon. Nyabani from Mt Darwin.

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyabani, please may

you withdraw that? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –         HON. BITI:  Madam Speaker, Hansard captured that.

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members. It is

okay.  We will refer to Hansard.  Hon.  Chikwinya, please may you proceed.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  At the inception of my debate, I raised the intelligence and the wisdom of the person representing us in signing treaties to a bar higher than all of us, out of respect.  I do not want to think that at the signing ceremony and at the deliberations by his team which advises him, he was not cognisant of the issues raised by Hon. Paradza.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, may I guide

you on that.  You are not responding to Hon. Paradza.  Please may you debate the motion, not to respond to Hon. Paradza.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I stand guided

but I believe that in my debate, I am allowed to refer to any Member who spoke before me because that is the essence of debate.  We have got to place our ideas on the market place so that at least the Minister can then be guided accordingly.  I thought I am correct on that level.  As I move forward Hon. Speaker; you see it is very hot, I am seeing you having sweats and I feel sorry for you.  The air cons are not working, I am sure the administration can sort that out.

Hon. Speaker, the issues of trade and the underlying issues of how a nation portrays itself to the international community, in particular the country which it wants to trade with are mutually inclusive; they go together.  We are trying to trade with America here and this treaty was not signed yesterday.  It was signed some years back, so we must be asking ourselves why the ball not is moving.  I agree with the previous speaker before me, that there are issues at hand that they have raised.  It is also my responsibility, representing Mbizo Constituency, to also give the counter-side so that at least the Executive takes on board both issues in their re-engagement efforts.  This motion cannot be separated from the efforts by the Executive in their re-engagement process, which is on public record that they are doing.

Hon. Paradza has led various delegations in the EU trying to reengage so that at least we realise the aspirations of this treaty and America included.  So, why are we shying away from talking about the underlying issues?  It is the duty of Parliament Madam Speaker, to make sure that all agents of Government respond to what the people are saying.  My duty is to come from Mbizo and tell Parliament through you Madam Speaker, that the people are saying we are failing to trade with America because we are continuously abducting our own people.  We must be able to face that.  If it means that the Head of State is not on Zoom, put him on Zoom so that at least he can listen to what the MPs are saying, in case the Minister is shy to tell him that the MPs are saying we cannot achieve trade and investment by the Americans if we are continuously abusing the people’s rights with the intention of using the American taxpayers’ money.  That is the issue which we are having

here.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  On a point of

order.  You have already ruled and the Hon. Member is continuously straying into an area that you have already ruled on.  Secondly, this is a trade agreement that was signed and all the things that he is saying about the relationship between Zimbabwe and America were there.  Can he stick to the contents of the treaty and address that as opposed to straying to areas that you have said are before the courts and you have made a ruling that he should not stray to that.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.

Hon. Chikwinya, may you please stick to the debate.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Yes, I am stuck – [Laughter.] – My

conclusion Hon. Speaker, is that I want to depart the debating table with the question to the Hon. Minister which I am glad he has been managing to respond so far.  Having signed this treaty years back, why is it that we are still failing to trade with Washington?  Thank you.

HON. NYATHI:  Hon. Speaker Ma’am, because I do not have the

papers that were being read by the Hon. Minister, I just have one question.  I just want to substantiate the speech that has been given by my other Hon. Member here when he brought up the fact of ZIDERA and sanctions – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyathi – [HON.

CHIKWINYA:  “Haikona, haikona.  Hanzi ikoko hatisvike.”] -  Hon.

Nyathi, please may you proceed, but I beg you to stick to the debate.

HON. NYATHI:  I just wanted to know when this treaty was signed and when the sanctions came.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND

INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  Thank you

Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I want to thank Hon. Paradza for the issues that he raised around United States of America.  The President has always said that engagement is a process, so we continue to engage the good friends and despite the fact that we have Zidera upon us, we will continue to engage the United States of America.  That is the whole reason why we have re-engagement as our mantra.  Also, just to add on to that, you find that the United Nations, the African Union and SADC have also added their voices to the removal of economic sanctions.

Coming to Hon. Chikwinya, he debated the issue around the underlying issue which I thought I had answered when I said every nation has its own underlying issues.  We cannot name nation by nation, even the nations that we think are some of the best nations in the world in terms of democracy also have underlying issues.  So, I will focus and concentrate on proving the point that Zimbabwe has moved a step further with the coming in of the new dispensation, we have started trading with the United States of America.  As you all know, GC Electric has actually partnered to invest in Batoka Gorge, we also know the John Deere facility that was unveiled this year by His Excellency, E.D Mnangagwa of 51 million and they said they are going to add more equipment to it.  That is an attestation to the relationship that is now growing.

We also know that United States of America has given us more than 200 million towards social welfare issues around Covid-19.  So, that goes to show that the relationship is improving, notwithstanding the fact that the sanctions are still there.  America has got more than 330 million people, it is a diverse nation and different people think differently.  However, we have our own in America who are also supporting our cause.

On the issue of human rights; like I have said earlier on that bring  on all the evidence of people who have been abused.  We have realised that a lot could be going on behind the scenes, you all know the sad story of one of our soldiers who was killed and injured.  Those are rogue elements in the society and it does not mean that they represent the State.

We also have underlying issues as highlighted by the Minister of State Security yesterday that we have people of this nation who have decided to go for broke because they failed to go into power.  Now, some of those people are engaging in subversive activities and there are possibilities that the same people could be abducting people to create an impression that people are being abducted.  However, we will make sure that as a nation, we account for all those people.  We also have an underlying issue which is critical, that of denial. When someone has lost an election; we have people who still believe that they won an election when they lost.  Seriously, it is an underlying issue that is creating political challenges, so we actually need maturity for people to accept that they have lost elections and we move on as a nation.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that

Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 on Today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 4, on today’s Order Paper has been disposed off.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

CYBER SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H. B.

18, 2019]

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on the Second Reading of the

Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill [H. B. 18, 2019].

Question again proposed.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing

me to add my voice on this important piece of legislation as it is a game changer in our way of living.  Before us today is a Bill that speaks to issues that have defined the normal way of living of anyone with a computer gadget and that includes a cellphone or a laptop.

First and foremost, allow me to speak to the fact the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill addresses two spheres, the first sphere is the Cyber Security itself and the second sphere is the data protection sphere.  It is my humble submission that firstly, these spheres should have been addressed by two separate laws for us to deal with them extensively.

There is an issue of the cyber sphere and in the cyber sphere, there are multiple stakeholders. The State itself is an actor in the cyber space, business, the public, internet service providers, POTRAZ being the regulator is an actor to take care of interest of all these people who define the cyber space, it is my humble submission…

Hon. Chikomba having been talking on his cellphone 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Chikomba!

HON. CHIKWINYA:  I am saying we are talking of two worlds, the cyber space as a world, and the data protection management as a world on its own.  So, it is my humble submission that we should have dealt with these two worlds or spheres independently and I had described the actors in the cyber space who demand adequate attention which has not adequately been covered in this Bill.

I will move over, having proposed that we need to separate this law to the issue of POTRAZ being a data protection authority.  POTRAZ is appointed by the Minister who represents the executive and therefore has an interest of the State.  I had defined earlier on to say the cyber space has multiple actors, the state included, the public and business.  We have experience to the extent that towards elections, members of the citizenly found themselves having messages from a particular political party being an actor into the election that was soliciting for votes. It means that POTRAZ being a regulator had allowed mobile network operators to give data to a member of a political contestant without the data subject knowledge.  This is not in line with the expectations of a data authority.  A data authority must act in the best interest of every subject member of the cyberspace.  So, it is my humble submission therefore that POTRAZ cannot act independently because it is appointed in terms of the Executive.  POTRAZ is appointed by the Minister and therefore reports to the Minister; it does not report to the public.

It is my humble submission that so far in our statutes, the Constitution included, the only board that is capacitated to take care of the interest of every cyber stakeholder is the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.  We are talking of data and data is my right.  The handling of my right can only be taken care of by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission because the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, by its function and mandate in terms of the Constitution, is the only board that has got an independent eye.  It can take every other member in the cyberspace with equal care and attention.  Therefore, I submit that at the particular stage, I shall propose as such.

Hon. Speaker, I move over to the cyber security centre.  The cyber security centre again being established in terms of this Act is to be superintendent by POTRAZ once again.  The same reasons apply.  Again around the 14th January, 2019, in 2019, there was an internet shutdown where the Minister responsible for State Security instructed POTRAZ or internet service providers who are regulated by POTRAZ to shut off the internet because there were threats of demonstrations.

Now, demonstrations are enshrined in terms of Section 59 of our Constitution but POTRAZ went ahead to listen to the Minister.  Yes, they are supposed to do that because they have to listen to the Executive because they are an arm of the Executive. Had it been an independent board, they were going to do as the courts then later on prescribed that the Minister had no right to cause for the shutdown of the internet waves.  Only an independent board can have such an independent eye not to only listen to the Executive but to listen to everyone.

With regards to the cyber security centre, I would propose that again we split these two.  There is cyber security with regards to the enjoyment of the citizenry of their rights to interact and to interface with the rights so enshrined and available on the internet.  Then there is a security threat or security threat as exposed within the State Security Sector.  So, we must be able again to separate the threat posed to the country, to the sovereignty of this nation with regards to the access of internet.  For example, we have known that hackers can shutdown this whole country in terms of even electricity which can be a security threat.

So, that level of threat is supposed to be taken care of by State security agents but you have got a cyber security in terms of – I am supposed to communicate on facebook, why do you need people as State security agent to be in a board where I am supposed to enjoy my right on facebook.  I would want the Minister to think deep that when we speak of cyber security and we have identified the public and the citizenry as an actor in that space, we must also promote the enjoyment of their rights in that sector.  This Bill does not give rights to the enjoyment of rights.  This Bill simply gives rights to the taking away of rights.

I will therefore move over to the provisions which are toxic, archaic and draconian. These are as contained firstly in Clause 35 under definitions, that is on remote forensic tool and it is defined as such.  Remote forensic tool an investigative tool including software of hardware installed on or in relation to part of a computer system.  It is used to perform tasks that include keystroke logging or transmission of an IP address.

Hon Speaker, first and foremost, what I should have said in the beginning is that this Bill is very technical.  I was part of the team that went out to Public Hearings.  The input so coming was very minimal and I am glad that the Chairperson representing the three Committees that went out on behalf of Parliament aptly captured it as such that it came up during our public consultations that this Bill is very technical,  therefore, the input was minimal.

Remote forensic tool Hon. Speaker, what it means is that the State is now legalising a process whereby they can remotely access my computer gadget; this Samsung tablet in the comfort of their offices in Mukwati Building.  Whatever I am doing on my computer gadget, they can see it.  Whatever I am putting out, they can see it.  Whatever I am receiving, they can see it in anticipation of seeing whether I am committing a crime or not.  So, accountants here will tell you that forensic audits are done post facto  and not pre fact but the Government is giving itself the legal mechanism to do a pre facto of my computer gadget.

So, if I am a suspect to any crime, I just want to relate this to the statement by the Minister of State Security yesterday where he alleges that they have picked up information that there are people who want to distabilise State security in the country.  So, if they suspect Hon. Biti for example, what they do is to then put in what are known as keystroke loggers to take Hon. Biti’s phone and stay with it in the comfort of their State Security Offices in Mukwati.  They will see what Hon. Biti is getting and what Hon. Biti is not getting.  In my view, it curtails freedom of expression because now once we pass this law, I cannot freely communicate with people because I know that my phone as a politician has been cloned and someone is looking at it in Mukwati.  Hon. Members, through you Mr. Speaker, we must make laws post our generation.  This law can be abused at any other given time by anyone else.  We are political animals and we must be alive to factions in our political parties.  Today you might be enjoying that it is happening to the opposition but imagine when tomorrow you lose elections and you are now the opposition and someone is watching your phone.  Is that fair?  This provision is in contravention with Section 57 of the Constitution which is the right to privacy.

So, the State is interfering with my privacy and they are entering into my phone which you know very well that these phones at times contain literally my whole life and no one is safe.  The State here is not introducing anything new.  They have been doing it but they simply want to find a legal way of then presenting these findings in a court of law but we cannot allow that especially if it is in contravention of

Section 57, which is the right to privacy in our Constitution.

Hon. Speaker, I move over to Clause 163 which is Part of the Bill.

It simply tries to take away the provisions of the Criminal Law

Codification Law Reform Act as contained there and bring it to this Bill. Once we pass this into law, this now takes precedence and we have repealed the same sections as referred to in this Bill.  This provision now speaks about the criminal offences that are now proposed to be in this Bill.

Firstly, there is the issue of hacking.  When people speak of hacking, we must be specific which type of hacking.  There is hacking which is necessary, and hackers have argued international hackers, there is actually an association of international hackers which are used by governments to hack certain systems because they are being used by terrorists so they are done in the promotion of public interest.  So you must be specific in our Bill which type of hacking are we outlawing here.  There is hacking which is necessary and the Hon. Minister of ICT will know that.  There are recognised associations which are actually employed by Government to do hacking for the purposes of public interests, where there are people who intruded in public ICT system and Government has got no capacity to counter that.  So, Government employs these associations to then manage to counter that.  Here what are we trying to outlaw because we are not specific?  We need to be specific.

Secondly this Bill, right now as I am speaking, people are on their cellphones, some are receiving messages, this is what is happening in Parliament.  So you receive a message to say Hon. Chikwinya has punched Hon. Ziyambi in Parliament with a fist, someone has typed and then you want to verify.  You forward that message to your colleague

Hon. Tekeshe, the person who has generated that message to say Hon. Chikwinya has punched Hon. Ziyambi is guilty in terms of this law; the person who has forwarded that message with an intention to verify is guilty.  So generation of fake messages is an offence.  The transmission of such messages is an offence again but we must understand at times why people transmit information.

Last week and there is nothing personal about this, I received an audio message of one Hon. Member on a telephone interview with another member of the society.  I wanted to verify whether it is true because this is my Hon. Minister in this august House, I have to forward it to a certain group to say is it Honourable who is really being – it was out of concern that my Hon. Minister cannot do that.  What we are doing now Hon. Speaker is to curtail freedom of expression, which is natural and normal.  This august House passed a Marriages Bill, where a newspaper, The Herald to be specific had a misinterpretation on the clause about lobola.  So they ran a headline, “Parliament abolishes lobola”.  That was the interpretation of The Herald but it was not true.  So should The Herald editor and the journalist be arrested for spreading fake news?  Is that the intention that my interpretation of a particular sentence which may be wrong, is the intention to spread fake news?  Is it the intention of The Herald to say there is a clause about lobola, which has been passed by Parliament and in our interpretation Parliament has abolished lobola but it turned out that their interpretation was wrong.

So, are they supposed to go to jail for five years for spreading that falsehoods?  I do not think that is true.

My other question is why should we then criminalise such Act?  If I had said a lie about Hon. Karenyi and this lie has got an emotional consequence to her, which is an emotional injury as contained in this Bill, she must certainly seek legal recourse through civil avenues, why should it be criminal?  Hon. Speaker, I see that we may differ on this Bill on the basis of some who are enjoying power today but I tell you we are going to kick ourselves in the foot one day, to say were we in

Parliament when this law was passed, because it criminalises everyone.

I will move over to the issue of transmission of data messages, inciting violence for damage to property.  Hon. Speaker, when the Executive sits to draft these Bills, they must not make laws for the opposition.  They must make laws for the nation.  You cannot come up with a draft to say we will catch the MDC on this one, no.  People must be able to use the internet facility to mobilise for the realisation of

Section 59 of the Constitution.  Then we must have a law which says in the enjoyment of Section 59, if there is property damage, the person who has caused damage to that property must be arrested in terms of that particular law, which is MOPA.  Why should it then curtail my right to be able to mobilise people for the realisation of a demonstration which is enshrined in the Constitution.  Why should we then criminalise mobilisation of people because the moment I mobilise to say let us go and meet at Harvest House, let us go and demonstrate for the rights of water and then during that demonstration, someone breaks a window, I am now liable in terms of Section 164 of this Clause.

I want us to be able to put our minds together to say, we have a law that deals with criminal elements of our society who take advantage of demonstrations and injure people’s property.  We have that law in our Maintenance of Order and Peace Act.  Let us use that provision and let us not complicate matters to put the courts to again interpret what we want in terms of this.

I will move over Hon. Chair to the issue of child pornography.

Child pornography entails that we are assuming – pornography in its general terms worldwide, is an act between consenting adults.  That is how it has been used.  So if you say child pornography, the assumption now is that you are saying the child consented to that act.  The submission that we got from stakeholders is that we remove the word pornography, we put child sexually offensive material because the child is not deemed to have consented to this act.  Pornography is associated with consent.  When we are dealing with child pornography for the lack of a better word, we must use child sexually offensive material because the child does not have the capacity to consent to these sexual activities.

That is what we managed to get.

There is also another new form of crime and it is happening in

Zimbabwe because of the long queues for transport, especially at ZUPCO.  It is called up skirting, it is not captured in this Bill and I will propose that at the material time, up skirting; we used to do it when we were boys at school.  You take a glass and you put it underneath a woman’s undergarment – way back then it was just a glass.  You would just see and leave but now people are putting phones, but here is the catch.  This Bill, when it speaks of…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon.

Chikwinya, may I remind you that you are only left with about five minutes to debate.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Chair. This Bill describes

intimate pictures of the woman’s private parts without underwear.  So, you are assuming that if I take a picture of a woman’s private parts whilst she is putting on underwear is not a crime.  I do not think that is correct.  Up skirting means that I would access the woman’s under garment without her consent and circulates that.  Imagine your sister, your wife, whatever undergarments being circulated.  I, then at the material time propose that we include that even if those privates are in an undergarment it is still a crime.

My last point Hon. Speaker is on the issue of jurisdiction under which this law can apply.  This law applies in terms of citizens, this law assumes that if someone commits this crime whilst in South Africa through the internet to a Zimbabwean, they are not bound by this law.  I think it must apply to every Zimbabwean citizen even if you harass someone - internet bullying whilst you are in the United Kingdom and you bully me whilst I am in Zimbabwe, I should have the capacity to be able to seek legal recourse and I think that should be captured.

Over and above that, whilst I have debated at length, I request that the Hon. Minister at the end of the Second Reading, can he go back and consult further with stakeholders - especially on  the issues that I have raised.  I do not think we need to hurry this Bill, it is too technical.  Most of the Members of Parliament Hon. Speaker do not even understand this Bill.  I think a workshop with the majority of members of Parliament is necessary to bring us on board because our constituents will begin to ask us the moment they begin to be arrested because of the provisions of this Bill.  It is very toxic, it is actually taking away the provision which we have put when we made those laws that repealed IPPA, the Freedom of Information Act, the ZMC Bill, and it is actually taking away all those rights which we had put in there and bringing them back.  So the reengagement efforts which we trying to do are all being squashed and terminated by one single piece of law which again the same people we are going to be approaching will tell you that you have gone back to the pre-first dispensation era.  I thank you – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] –

        *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Order

Hon. Biti.  Just for the record I would want to address what Hon. Chikomba did.  Hon. Chikomba, you are not allowed to speak on your phone in this august House.  I called your name several times and you failed to hear me addressing you because what you were saying when you were talking was disturbing me and disturbing the business of the House.  So next time you must desist from such behaviour.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, allow me to

also air my views on this very important Bill.  The importance of this Bill Hon. Speaker is that it is the first law that we as a nation are crafting to try and manage a new platform that has emerged within our country as a result of technological development.  At the same time, we are a third world country that itself is not very much technologically advanced.  Therefore, you then get to a situation of apprehension, you get to a time of apprehension and a lot of fears that are created especially in the Government, part of the result is lack of understanding of what really can happen in the cyber space on its own creates fears.

We cannot have the Minister of State Security coming on the public broadcaster to tell everyone in the country that there is insecurity within the country. That is the background we are facing as we are crafting this law. Clause No. 7 and 8 which is in part III of the Bill deals with Data Protection Authority, the Regulatory Mechanism and if you look at the regulatory mechanism, we find that in my view it will be burdening an already burdened institution. It is my view that I think it is wrong for us to make POTRAZ the data protection authority.  Beyond that, in my view POTRAZ are already in that sector, let us leave it as it is. Let us come up with not only a different board but different bodies that can be established to manage what has been bundled together as one

Act called Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill.

In my view and in our engagement as we were putting up this Bill and as we were carrying out public hearings, soliciting for information from members of the public; what came out clearly is that there are three issues here that need to be dealt with.  The first issue that need to be dealt with is data protection, the second issue is cyber crime and the third issue is cyber security.  Those are three different things and you cannot then take all of them and put them in one basket and say let them be controlled by POTRAZ. I actually observed arguments from my colleagues who sit on the other side of the bench, from ZANU PF.  Within the ruling party itself, there is disagreement on whether POTRAZ is suitable or not because others are saying these are security issues that State security should be responsible with as the responsible authority.  However, personally I think both sides of their arguments are wrong and they do not advance our democratic desire that is actually espoused in our Constitution.

HON. KASHIRI: Order Hon. Speaker.  We are following Hon. Sibanda but he should not be debating on hearsay, let him confine himself to facts.

HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am in the Chair and it is the Speaker who gives the answer Hon. Chikwinya.  Hon. Sibanda, with all due respect, please could you dwell on the Bill itself; do not mention party names.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I doubt that it is a correct position that I have strayed from debating this Bill.  The sole reason why I am saying so is that I am talking of Parliamentary processes that involves Section 141, that has been conducted by committees.  Remember, I chair one of the Committees that went on a public hearing, so I am talking of things that are on…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Sibanda,  I am the

Speaker who is actually in the Chair. I have instructed and directed you not to mention party names.  We are debating a motion that concerns the nation and not parties.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, the suggestions that have come out – as I indicated earlier on, this is a new phenomenal to a country that is actually busy with trying to deal with basics like food, water shortages and worsening poverty levels.  So, we are still seized with basic things to deal with; issues of cholera outbreak even today.  So for us, technology is something so distant to an extent that whenever we are crafting this law, we craft it with that apprehension of seeing something from a distance.  Hon. Speaker, because of that kind of scenario, if we craft this Bill and agree that it passes in the manner that it is, it will not be long before we see trouble with this part of the law.  Therefore, others are proposing that let us create a body that shall be responsible for data protection.  That body should be independent of the Executive and reports to the National

Assembly and it will be dealing with data protection alone.

When it comes to cyber security Hon. Speaker, in my view, we have got security services in this country, therefore we can create a body that is made up of our security sector with a view to deal with cyber security on its own as an authority.  On cyber crime, we come up with a body that deals with crime. We have got units of Government already which are responsible for crime control and therefore, they had that part of the body.  In fact, other suggestions say that this Bill is supposed to be unbundled into about three Bills; one for data protection, one for cyber crime and the other for cyber security and then they come. Hon. Speaker, this way of just cutting Bills out of apprehension, insecurity and fear will be cured and we will have a law that will remain relevant to our needs as a country for a long time.

Hon. Speaker, remember that we craft legislation for posterity. We do not look around ourselves and say, now can I make a law to say what happened with someone sitting next to me - that is not it.  We make laws for a long and foreseeable future. Therefore, for us to make a law for an unforeseeable future, I propose that the Bill be unbundled into three different Bills and that in each Bill, there is a separate authority which is different from the other.  I think that way we will have a very efficient and effective law Hon. Speaker.

I also want to briefly speak about Clause 164.  Hon. Speaker, I have trouble with Clause 164. Let me just read it as it is written here and as it appears on the Bill and maybe I can be able to explain myself better -any person who unlawfully by use of a computer or information system makes available, transmits, broadcasts or distributes a data message to any person, group of persons or to the public with the intent to incite such persons to commit acts of violence against any person or persons or to cause damage to any property, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.’  Hon. Speaker, this is not an ordinary sentence. The punishment that is laid here is not an ordinary punishment; it is a punishment that causes shock to anyone to whom it is passed on.

Therefore, it is my proposal Hon .Speaker that, if we want to impose such a heavy fine, let us have some measures that we can use to protect the citizens from being arrested willy-nilly on spurious allegations most of the time without much evidence.  I will give you an example Hon. Speaker. I am in Harare and my family is out of Harare. Let us say I receive a data message on my phone that says people of Bulawayo or Binga wherever my wife is, we are going to attack such and such groups of people on such and such a day.  Let us say it is a message that incites violence but it concerns an area where my family is domiciled and then I send that message to my wife warning her that,

‘please stay away from that, look at this message’.  I am warning my family, but if that message is discovered in my wife’s phone, it appears as if I will then have the burden to prove that I did not have the intention to cause or to incite violence.  I will be doing it to warn my family but obviously in the eyes of the State; obviously my wife can also transmit it to another colleague, friend or relative to try and alert those people of the danger that might be existing.

So Hon. Speaker, in my view, the level of liability that we are putting on a person is a strict liability. We are simply saying, because you have sent a message there is no other explanation. The issue of intention, we really do not have to explain on intention.  However, at the end of the day, the State cannot really prove the intention. They will simply say, ‘you have the intention to do that, you send the message, yes and those are the essential elements.  In my view, Hon. Speaker, we need to cure this clause.  We can cure it either by reducing the punishment that is proposed to something that is lesser or else we put in more measures to ensure that the burden of proof on the part of the State becomes as heavy as possible.  That will assist us.  Our fear is that even if the court might at the end of the day acquit the individual, we will see a lot of people being arrested and detained on the basis of violating human rights, that every citizen is supposed to be entitled to.

It is my view Hon. Speaker, that we revise that particular Bill and that particular clause in the manner that I am suggesting.  I thank you

Hon. Speaker and thank you to the Hon. Member who was calling for points of order.  I understand him; he is a bit shallow, he does not understand – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

        HON. SHAMU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have taken the floor in order to add my voice in support of the report presented by Hon. Gandawa which represents the views of the general public and conclusions reached and recommended by the three Parliamentary Portfolio Committees namely; Information, Media and Broadcasting, to which I belong, ICT Postal and Courier Services and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security. Mr. Speaker Sir, leaders around the world have raised serious national security concerns. Cyber security threats are universal in that they affect Governments, individuals and organisations.

Designation of the Data Protection Authority under POTRAZ is welcome. However, I have a problem with the issue of Cyber Security Centre being placed under the same institution. There is a clear distinction on the functions of the Cyber Security Centre and that of the Data Protection Authority. Even in the Bill, this distinction is crystal clear. Cyber Security Centre is under Section 5 and Data Protection Authority’s under Section 7.

Legislative intent is to establish two distinct organs with different functions. The first one is specifically a Cyber Security Centre and then the other is a Data Protection Authority. There is need to be cognisant of the sensitivity surrounding a Cyber Security Centre. For example, in other jurisdictions such as the United States of America, they have a Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency which is a standalone. Further Mr. Speaker Sir, an analysis of their war on cyber-crime will reveal that the United States Department of Defence has 11 key departments such as US Cybercom.

Zimbabwe’s war on Cyber-crime is an aspect that should not be taken lightly as we have to be wary of the technological advancement that can have devastating effects even on the sovereignty of this very nation.

There is a need to have the Cyber Security Centre, independent of

POTRAZ.  The Bill should be crafted in a manner that places the Cyber Security Centre in its right place considering national security.  The person who heads this department should have direct access to the President.  I thank you.

        HON. BITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to join in this very important debate on a very important Bill.

Hon. Speaker Sir, the war of liberation was fought for freedom, the attainment and protection of our civil liberties which were denied by the settler regime.  Therefore, if you look at our Constitution, the most important provision of our Constitution or the most important Chapter of our Constitution is easily Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which contains basic rights.

There is a challenge with the underlying philosophy of this Bill.  The underlying philosophy of this Bill is to proscribe, take away or liquidate certain human rights which I am going to name and are identified in the Constitution.  The Bill instead of celebrating and ensuring the enjoyment of people’s rights, its underlying philosophy is actually to subtract, to detract and to de-legitimise certain rights.

These rights include the right to human dignity codified in Section 51 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. As I will demonstrate later on, the Bill gives a carte blanche ride to authorities to take away their own personal information including health information in Sections 8 and 9.  That is an affront to the right codified in Section 51 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Section 57 protects the right to privacy; it is an extensive provision.  Allow me to read out the imperators of Section 57 of the Constitution.  It says; every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have and it is one of the few rights which actually imposes a negative obligation on the part of the state.  Most rights have got a positive obligation, like the right to life and then the State is obliged to protect the right to live; the right to health – the State is obliged to put mechanisms for the enjoyment of the right to life but this right is unique because it is a right which says the State cannot do the following things;

I will read the right – in Constitutional jurisprudence, it is a negative constitutional right. It says, every person has the right to privacy, which include the right not to have a) their home premises or property entered into without their permission; b) their person, home, premises or property searched; c) their possessions seized; d) the privacy of their communications violated and e) their health condition disclosed.  I will demonstrate later on Mr. Speaker Sir that this right is in fact infringed and breached upon in terms of the draft Bill that stands upon you.  The third right that is infringed by this Bill is the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media codified in Section 61.  People have a right to say certain things.  I do not like trolls but unfortunately, the Constitution protects their right to say whatever they say.  Our

Constitutional Court, in a fundamental judgement, the case of

Constantine Chimakure in outlawing the law of criminal defamation was very clear. The judgement of the Deputy Chief Justice, now the current

Chief Justice Malaba CJ that, ‘I might not like what you say, I might not like you as a troll but you have got a constitutional right that is codified in Section 61’. Unless you cross certain lines; those lines are defined in the Constitution namely and largely hate speech.  This Bill goes beyond that.  It goes beyond the parameters of Section 61 of the Constitution.

The forth right Mr. Speaker Sir that is infringed by this Bill is the right codified in Section 68 of the Constitution.  Section 68 says no administrative decision can be taken against you without your right to be heard, without due process.  If you look at this Bill Mr. Speaker Sir, the right to obtain personal information is taken away from a citizen without respect to the right to be heard. In fact, there is no oversight.  Some Bills for instance the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act at least has the semblance of due process.  A policeman has to go to a magistrate to obtain a search warrant, a warrant of seizure.  This Bill has no pretence of that.  Any one of the categories of persons can seize your personal and private information.  This Bill Mr. Speaker Sir, in the brief life of the Ninth Parliament, represents the most vicious attack on our civil liberties, in particular those rights that I have defined - Section 51, the right to dignity, Section 57 the right to privacy, Section 61 the right to freedom of information and Section 68 the right to due process.

Mr. Speaker, I want to move to the structure of the Bill.  I want to say that the Bill is an attempt to mix the unmixable.  The Bill is seeking to address so many mischievous issues but the end result is an unpalatable Frankenstein.  Frankenstein was a creation by an author called Shelley Bysshe.  The monster with someone’s nose, someone’s

hands and so forth.

This Bill tries to deal with four issues.  These issues do not mix together, there is a tension. There is unnecessary amalgamation of issues but that amalgamation of issues creates irreconcilable differences and tensions which demand as a matter of fact, that the Bill has to be unbundled so that the different issues that the Bill seeks to address are dealt with separately.  There is the issue of security and cyber crime.

That is independent, that is separate.

The security authorities of this country in terms of Chapter 15 have got a right to protect the security of Zimbabweans.  No one can question the fact that ICT can be a platform for that but that should be dealt with separately from the Bill that deals with data protection.  Data Mr.

Speaker Sir, is now a human right.  Data is now inexplicably connected to the dignity and the reproduction of an individual.  I cannot for instance Mr. Speaker Sir survive without my iPad, survive without my iPhone.  My whole life is reproduced in these gadgets, my emails, my research, my pictures, my videos, my music, my books, my bank accounts.  I cannot live without that, I do internet banking.  That aspect of the human being cannot be mixed in a Bill that is dealing with State security.  It is separate.  The person presiding over that also must be separate.

The third challenge which again sits very comfortably in this Bill is the attempt to criminalise these rights through the part that starts with

Section 165, the entire amendments to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.  They sit uncomfortable.  One example is the criminalisation on child pornography.  We are all disgusted by child pornography.  I appreciate the submissions of the Committee through Hon. Chikwinya that let us call it a different name. I have no problem with that.  What I have problem with is if we are going to protect children Mr. Speaker Sir, let us have a separate Bill that deals with children’s rights.  Let us have a new Child Protection Act that deals for instance with an outstanding issue, the issue of child marriages for instance.  As way back as the 16th January 2016, the Constitutional Court in the Mudzuri Matter outlawed child marriages.  Four years later, that law has not been harmonised.  We still have child marriages, we still have children being pledged in families.  Let us have a separate Bill that deals with that.  In other words Mr. Speaker, this Bill needs deconstruction.  The esteemed Minister of Information needs to go back to the drawing board and sift out the ideas that are there which can then be expanded and developed and there is massive public consultation in terms of Section 141 of the Constitution so that we have a sustainable

Bill not the, for the lack of a better word, the dog’s breakfast that we currently have. The one which many dogs would not touch anyway.

Those are my respectful submissions Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I want to go to particular provisions.  I am particularly concerned and previous speakers have made this point.  This issue of the cyber security centre described in Section 5 is a security issue for the security agencies of this country.  It is already there, maybe they call it JOC.  It cannot be in this Bill.  POTRAZ cannot be that security centre because POTRAZ is the regulator.  POTRAZ is the overseer.  You cannot expect the overseer to then play an executive role, an executing role.  Let me read to you some of the functions of the cyber security centre.  To advise Government and implement Government policy on cyber crime, what do they know?  They know that Econet has raised the price of data.  That is what they know.  They are not qualified but a CIO such as the comrade who spoke last week knows about these things.  The one from Beitbridge, they know about these issues Mr. Speaker.  Let the security agency be in charge of the cyber security centre.  It is already there and it does not need to be put in an Act of Parliament. It is the one Mr. Speaker which identifies areas of intervention, which coordinates cyber security, which establishes protection assured – all those things Mr. Speaker, they cannot be.

I come to the second creature that is being sought to be created which is the data protection authority.  When you look at the functions of the data protection authority under Section 8, they are basically a human rights function.  They are basically protecting now the right of the individual to have access and protection of his data.  The right to go on a search uninterrupted, the right of not having anyone see what your internet footprint is, the right of an individual to watch net for instance, surely that is a civilian function and that is not a regulatory function. POTRAZ should not have anything to do with this function. If you want to put it under the Human Rights Commission, my respective submission is that it is already clogged. Let us create a separate body that deals with it but it cannot go to the Regulator because the Regulator is not an executioner. The Regulator will now look and say is data being really protected, not POTRAZ. I submit that the structure Hon. Speaker is not correct. You cannot have the Cyber Security Centre, the Regulator and the Data Protection Authority being one person. You have to create three separate distinct bodies.

I want to go to Clause 13 of the Bill. There is personal information which, as I have alluded to in Section 57 of the Constitution, is protected and the Bill itself has a definition of personal information which is very wide. In Section 2 or Clause 2, the definition section – personal information is defined to include the following: the Person’s name and address - no issue, the person’s race, national or ethnic origin - no issue.

The person’s age, sex but listen to this Hon. Speaker. Sexual orientation, marital status or family status, an identifying number there is no problem. Finger prints is key, the same applies to blood type or inheritable characteristics and Information about a person’s health care history, why would the Authorities be interested with anyone’s health history? The point I want to show is that of protection. The individual’s personal views or opinions, we are now infringing on another right, the right to freedom of conscience, personal correspondence pertaining to home and family life. That is the definition of personal information.

Section 13 says in relation to the processing of sensitive personal information, the processing of sensitive data is prohibited unless the data has given consent. That is okay. Subsection (2) says the provision of subsection (1) shall not apply. In other words, your personal information, which includes all that paraphernalia of private information, you are not protected under the following circumstances.

[Time Limit].

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon.

Biti, I give you five more minutes to wind up your debate.

HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and May God bless you. The exception now is that what has been given with your right hand is now being taken away with your left hand. So, the provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply where the processing is necessary to carry out the obligations and specific rights of the controller in the field of employment. So, when you are looking for a job, you have no right to privacy. That is not the law. I have got a right to say to my potential employer yes, I want you to know my medical records and my personal opinion. I have to give consent.

The processing is necessary to protect the vital interest of the data subject or any other person. I should be the only person to determine what is in my best interest and not any other person. The processing is carried out in the course of legitimate activity by a foundation, association or any other non-profit organisation. Why are we giving these NGOs control over my data? If I consent, it is different and therefore, it does not have to be there, but here it is not subject to consent. The processing is necessary to comply with national security

laws. – [THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Can you read

again the whole of (c).] - It is too long and it is eating into my time. Let me read again (c). The processing is carried out in the course of its legitimate activities by a foundation, association or any other non-profit organisation with a political, philosophical, religious, health insurance or trade union purpose and on condition that the  processing relates solely to the membership of the organisation. My right to join a membership cannot be determined on the right of that organisation to spy into my own personal life unless I consent to. This Act is giving a blank cheque, a right for that organisation to inquire into my personal information which is protected by Section 57 of the Constitution.

The processing is necessary to comply with national security laws. We do not agree Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me just finish the categories. The processing is necessary with appropriate guarantees for the establishment exercise or defence of legal claims. So, if someone is being sued in a matter he/she can get my data to defend himself but under what circumstances would that arise? These are involuntary now. Subsection (1) of Section 13 says my information is secure but subsection (2) says it can be taken away under these categories and the same applies Hon. Speaker and I will combine so that I just make one holistic argument.

The same applies to Section 14 which deals with genetic data, biometric sensitive data and health data. It says the processing of genetic data, bio-metric data and health data is prohibited. The prohibition is there which is constitutional but like Section 13 (2), it takes away and it says the provision of subsection (1) shall not apply and it reproduces the same derogations that are contained in Section 13 (2) – whether you like it or not, your sensitive personal data is taken by the authorities defined in those categories and there is no due process..

[Time limit]

HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of Order Hon. Speaker. I

propose that the Hon. Member’s time be increased by 5 minutes.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. BITI: So, you cannot have without due process, without a court order, any individual your employer, trade union or whoever having this right to obtain information carte blanche. I respectfully submit that you are breaching Section 57, you are breaching Section 51, the right to human dignity. You cannot do this - Section 13 and Section14 are patently unconstitutional.

I go to the next one which is very concerning. Section 17 says any person having access to the data and acting under the authority of the

Controller - the Controller here Hon. Speaker is POTRAZ. Any person having access to the data and acting under the authority of the Controller or the Processor as well as the processor himself/herself may process data only as instructed by the Controller without prejudice to any duty imposed by law. This Section admits to a multiple number of data processors and people who have got access to data. Only in exceptional circumstances, we have to allow State Security Agents to have access to data but this thing allows anyone to have access to data. I think it was Hon. Sibanda who spoke about factions and rivalries in political parties just to name a few. You cannot do that Hon. Speaker. You cannot open up people’s data to anyone. So, Section 14 perpetuates the mindset of this Bill that you can have data just being given to anyone.  You cannot do that Hon. Speaker.  I want to move on to another one which is very concerning.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You need to be mindful of

your time.

HON. BITI:  Yes, Hon. Speaker. I wish you had given me 10 minutes.  Section 23 Hon. Speaker – ‘the authority shall keep a register of all automatic processing operations’.  An entry in the registry referred to in Subsection 1 must include the information.  Now, automatic processing operation means permanent access to data by certain persons.  It is equivalent to the key logging component that is referred to in the part dealing with Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.  So these permanent operators, Hon. Speaker, are now people that are continuously logged onto your gadgets.  Can you imagine the invasion that someone is permanently logged on your iphone, ipad or Samsung notepad?  Minister, you know that this cannot be right.  You have been a victim already of this kind of invasion.  We are not safe, Hon. Speaker.  This is the biggest invasion that can ever happen – the permanent logging of data.

Then the Bill keeps on referring to principles.  So I want to give an example, Section 24.  Section 24 says the data controller shall take all necessary measures to comply with the principles and obligations set out in this Act, but the Act itself does not actually define the principles of data protection.  So what actually should have happened is that there should have been a section that says that these are the principles and the principles would be like a charter of rights to say these are the rights, but they are missing in the Bill.  The Bill does not contain those.  So they should be there.  The Bill should codify and say these are the principles and this illustrates and gives probative value to my contention that there are competing interests here, but the competing interest that wins is that of security and invasion.

If we had a separate Bill on data protection those principles would be there because the Data Protection Bill would have been written from the point of view of the individual, from the point of view of the consumer, but this now is written with a security mindset.  We want to get information but that cannot be right, Hon. Speaker.  We have the Constitution which is the supreme law of the country and anything and any conduct inconsistent with the same is invalid to that extent – section 2 of the Constitution of the country.

[Time limit]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I think there are

some important points that we are capturing.  With your indulgence just allow him to finish.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. BITI:  Mr. Speaker I want to deal with the criminal provisions which are contained in here.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I think it was going to help

you more if you had actually tabulated your points on a separate paper than going through your phone because it is taking much of your time.

HON. BITI:  Just bear with me Mr. Speaker.  We are already prosecuting people without this schedule that is being imposed on us.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am very much interested in

what you would want to contribute not what you are saying at the moment.

HON. BITI:  My submission, Mr. Speaker Sir, without going through specific provisions is that the Criminal Codification Act together with other laws already has criminal liabilities for the things that we are seeking to criminalise in this particular chapter.  Not only that, we have certain rights that are now being taken out.  For instance the clogging provision which Hon. Chikwinya refers to is actually in this particular provision.

So my submission Hon. Speaker is that the entirety of part 2 of the Bill should actually be removed but what the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should do separately in an omnibus general laws amendment is to seek to revisit the areas of the Criminal Codification Act he may want to deal with to deal with internet based issues, particularly the issue of hate crime.  It does not need this Bill.

So my submission is that take away part 2 and the philosophy of part 2 again is wrong.  You have got sentences of between 5 to 10 years.  One of the provisions says if you tweet or do anything that hurts an individual, you are liable to at least 5 years.  If I say – I was going to say to the Minister but he might not like it, to an Hon. Member here you are an idiot, the worst that can happen to me is I am fined.  If I tweet that and say the Hon. Member is an idiot in terms of this law I can go for 10 years.  That is absurd, Hon. Speaker.

So my submission, Hon. Speaker is that take away part 2 but let the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in his esteemed capacity as the person who presides over the administration of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, let him take one or two things that he may then put in the criminal laws of this country, in particular the issue of hate speech.  Everything else is totally unnecessary.  If I had time Hon. Speaker, I wanted to give you cases of prosecution that are already taking place which we are defending without this heinous draconian Bill.  It is not necessary.  Do not criminalise information; do not criminalise the fights that take place on twitter.  If someone says something that I do not like on my facebook, and trust me Mr. Speaker I get attached every day, I just block.  So there is already a civil mechanism.  Twitter and Facebook allows you to block.  I do not know about Instagram because I am not a beauty queen, but I am sure it has got a blocking facility.

So Hon. Speaker, let civil processes take place and let the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs then in the few areas use the privilege of the General Laws Amendment Act to amend the Criminal Codification Act.  I thank you so much Hon. Speaker and may God bless you.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  I move that debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Hon. Speaker.  At 2.20

p.m. this afternoon the Hon. Speaker ruled that at 4.45 p.m. I could raise my motion on national interest.  I had not done that at that particular time because an Hon. Member was on the floor and out of respect, I had to let them go.  May I be allowed to raise that point of national interest?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I will accommodate you, but I had already recognised Hon. Bushu.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My point of

national interest is with regards to the state of our education now, post 28th September when schools opened for examination classes.  Hon. Speaker, teachers are not reporting for work, citing incapacitation.  I therefore propose that the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education comes to Parliament on Thursday to give a Ministerial Statement on how they intend to solve this crisis where children have paid school fees, have gone back to school but teachers are not reporting for duty citing incapacitation.  I propose Hon. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Thank

you very much.  Leader of the House, if you could actually link up with the Minister.

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker.  I will convey; I will ensure that the Minister comes with the Ministerial Statement.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Hon.

Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 45 on today’s

Order Paper be stood over until Order Number 46 has been disposed of.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE RE-ENGAGEMENT VISIT TO THE UNITED

KINGDOM OF SWEDEN

Forty-Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the re-engagement visit to the United Kingdom of Sweden by a Parliamentary delegation led by Hon. Advocate. J.F. Mudenda from 9th to 19th September, 2019.

Question again proposed.

HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I rise to thank the Hon. Members who contributed to this report and as you are aware Hon. Speaker, it is our foreign policy now to re-engage and engage and this was our first phase of going around to those capitals that matter and Sweden was such one of the capitals that are important in our journey to re-engage.

Hon. Speaker, I must thank the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J.F. Mudenda who led this delegation and also my colleagues who were part of that delegation.  It was made up of all the parties that are represented in Parliament and our discussions there were very robust.  The Swedes understood our position and were sympathetic to our position.  Hon. Speaker, I must also commend the Government for bringing up as you saw this afternoon, we just approved the bi-lateral treaty between Zimbabwe and Sweden in terms of investments and trade and it was one such issue that was also raised when we were in

Stockholm, to say we have signed this agreement but until now you have not ratified it as Zimbabwe.  So we have done that and I am happy about

that.

Hon. Speaker, the re-engagement process is an on-going programme and we as Parliament, must at least do our part and make sure that we complement Government efforts in terms of re-engagement.  Hon. Speaker, when we discuss with most of the people in the Western world, in other words, the international community, they are sort of in a hurry.  They think that we are too slow in making sure that we do some reforms in terms of law reforms, but they are not aware of our parliamentary process that there are some procedures to be done.

However, we are happy that at least we are engaging but what is disturbing is that there is a lot of misinformation and fake news that is going around about Zimbabwe, including fake abductions and so forth.  Some of these things are not doing us any good as a country and it is time we focus on developing our country as one people, as a nation. I urge my colleagues, especially those from the opposition to say this is our country.  We have no other country apart from this one and therefore we must all be patriotic to this country, our motherland Zimbabwe.

Hon. Speaker, I think at some point, we need to come up with a law similar to the Patriotic Act in the US where each and every one of us as citizens is required to make sure that we are loyal to our country.  On that note Hon. Speaker I move that the Report of the re-engagement visit to the United Kingdom of Sweden by a Parliamentary delegation led by Hon. Advocate. J. F. Mudenda from 9th to 19th September, 2019 be adopted.  Thank you so much.

Motion put and adoted.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move that the House revert to Order of the Day, Number 18.

HON. BUSHU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL

GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING ON

THE STATE OF SERVICE DELIVERY BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES

HON. BUSHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name that:

This House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the State of Service Delivery by Local Authorities.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

        HON. BUSHU: The Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing resolved to conduct an inquiry into the state of service delivery by local authorities as part of its oversight role.  The Committee was concerned by poor service delivery throughout the country.  The Committee noted that service delivery was very critical and opted to give it priority.

It is the wish of the Committee to have a clean environment that is free from litter and has clean and potable running water and good road network.  It is indisputable that service delivery is critical to ensure a healthy population since lack of it may result in deaths caused by communicable diseases.  Therefore, the provision of basic services by the entities that are mandated to provide such services is key to human and economic development.  The issue of access to clean water is a fundamental human right which no Zimbabwean should struggle to get.  Refuse collection is also a basic service which local authorities must provide to ensure that the communities are clean.

         Objectives

  • To assess the state of service delivery by the local authorities in their respective jurisdictions.
  • To determine the challenges faced by the local authorities in their day to day operations.
  • To proffer recommendations towards mitigating and/or ameliorating the challenges noted.

         Methodology

The Committee visited Binga, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo,

Kadoma, Chegutu and Zvimba Local Authorities from 2 March to 10 March 2020.  The Committee held meetings with local authorities officials and councilors.  The Committee also conducted tours of some water and waste treatment plants, clinics, schools and roads.  

Committee’s Findings

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Service Delivery

The Committee noted that most of the local authorities were facing challenges in terms of provision of adequate clean water because the WASH Sector was in a deplorable state. The collapse of this crucial service in service delivery has been a culmination of multiple factors which include pollution of water bodies, lack of capital injection, the compromise of wetlands as well as drought resulting in the drying up of water sources such as dams which supply most of the urban and rural areas with water. In addition, service delivery was also affected by the chronic power shortages and the shortage of foreign currency to procure essential inputs such as water treatment chemicals.  Resultantly, the crisis in the WASH sector has led to the outbreak of several water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery particularly in the urban areas. The Committee learnt from the various local authorities visited that they were facing acute challenges in providing water services due to the huge losses of water that occur due to aged water reticulation infrastructure.

The Committee learnt that Binga RDC had 315 boreholes, 536 deep wells, two major dams and 12 weirs.  The Committee was informed that the district had established 18 piped water schemes with assistance from partners whereby after putting up a borehole, Binga RDC go a step further and install water pipes to pump the water from the boreholes to the communities.  At the time of the Committee’s visit, Binga RDC had managed to provide pumped water directly from boreholes to six schools as well as to 12 communities.  The Committee learnt that some of the piped water schemes run into distances of 10 kilometers.

The Committee learnt that four out of 92 local authorities had part of their water owned by ZINWA.  Hwange Local Board is one of the four local authorities that wish to have 100% ownership of water supply.  Hwange Local Board complained that they have no control over the amount of raw water provided by ZINWA yet local authorities are the ones responsible for supplying water to residents. Hwange Local Board submitted that an ideal situation was for ZINWA to hand over the management of water to the remaining four councils to avoid complications of the two institutions dealing with the provision of water. They also pointed out that if they had control of water, their revenue flow would improve and they would be able to provide adequate water to the residents of Hwange.

Hwange Local Board had two waste water treatment plants, one at

Baobab which was rehabilitated three years ago and another one at Empumalanga which was not functional.  The Baobab Treatment Plant catered for the low density suburb of Baobab and parts of the medium density suburb of Chivondo.    The council stated that there was need for capital injection from central government to enable the council to resuscitate the Empumalanga water treat plant in order to improve the water supply situation.

Victoria Falls Municipality is also one of the local authorities which had its raw water extraction point owned by ZINWA.  The

Committee was informed that whenever there was a breakdown at Victoria Falls raw water extraction point, Victoria Falls Council could not move efficiently to restore the water supply as this was the preserve of ZINWA. It was mentioned that ZINWA had no technicians based in Victoria Falls but relied on technicians based in Binga and it takes two to three days for the technicians to come from Binga and attend to faults.

As a result, the town goes without water for longer periods.

The Committee was informed that about five years ago Victoria Falls used to supply water to its communities at least 21 hours a day but at the time of the Committee’s visit they were able to supply water for 18 hours a day.  The authorities explained that Victoria Falls

Municipality was increasing in population and the hospitality industry was also growing.  This development was putting a strain on the water infrastructure which was old and had not been expanded to cater for the growing population.  After the realisation that the town was growing, Victoria Falls Council came up with what they termed Victoria Falls

WASH Project.  The project was aimed at rehabilitating, upgrading and expanding the water infrastructure from the abstraction to the end user.  The cost of that project was estimated at US$16 million and the project had not yet been supported in terms of the funding.

Bulawayo City relied on two dams for its water supply and the dams were said to be virtually empty because of the poor rainfall season.  The Committee was informed that the dams might probably run dry by May 2020, meaning the city was going to have challenges in supplying water to its residents. At the time of the Committee’s visit, the city was supplying water three times a day to the community with the exception of the central business centre, industrial areas, university and hospitals.  Bulawayo City Council drilled 355 boreholes with the assistance from donors in the high density areas to augment its water supply.

Bulawayo City Council said its biggest problem was that about 70% of its sewer was flowing into the environment due to the collapsed sewer infrastructure and the sprouting of illegal settlements in

Mbundane and Emthunzini without any WASH service provision amenities, thus increasing the risk of enteric infections in the area.

City of Kadoma gets its raw water from Craw Dam.  The city had two water treatment plants with a total capacity of 20 mega litres per day.  In terms of augmenting its water supply, the council drilled 57 boreholes and also provided water tanks in cases of emergencies.  In terms of waste water management, Kadoma City had four waste water treatment plants.  The Committee was impressed to learn that Kadoma City Council had a compliant landfill as most local authorities visited were battling to develop a proper landfill and were still using dump sites.

The Municipality of Chegutu abstracts its raw water from Mupfure River and Clifton Dam.  The water supply system consisted of one water treatment plant constructed in the 1960’s.  The infrastructure was said to be aged and had been upgraded many times but needed replacement.

The inadequacy of potable water supply in Chegutu was attributed to non-revenue water, (treated water that is not charged because it is lost in the process of distribution due to aged infrastructure). Funding permitting, Chegutu Municipality would replace the aged water and waste infrastructure.

In terms of WASH, Zvimba Rural District Council had managed to do maintenance works to 256 boreholes in 2019 with the assistance of development partners.

Health Facilities

The Committee also had an opportunity to tour some of the health facilities in the local authorities visited. The Committee learnt that local authorities had a statutory mandate to establish and provide primary health care facilities within their localities. As such, health facilities should be within an eight kilometre radius from the place of residence. The Committee learnt from the local authorities that plans were in motion to increase and improve their health facilities. However, in most areas, the nearest health facilities were beyond the 8 kilometre radius.

Binga RDC has four clinics which provide primary health care.  The council through resources from government (devolution funds) and their own resources, was in the process of constructing the Malaliya and Chipale clinics. The Committee toured Malaliya Clinic which was under construction.  The project was started in November, 2019.  The community was providing local materials for the project. The Committee was informed that the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area also contributed towards the project through the Constituency Development Fund.

Hwange Local Board has one clinic called Empumalanga Clinic which was supposed to service the residents under Hwange Local Board’s jurisdiction. However, this clinic was also servicing people from wards outside Hwange Local Board’s jurisdiction and this was said to be a strain to the clinic as it could not cope with the demand. The clinic was fully funded and constructed by Hwange Council.  The Committee had a chance to tour the clinic which was functional but not yet fully equipped.

In Bulawayo, the Committee learnt that the city has 19 clinics with seven of them having maternity centres and one infectious disease hospital. All clinics that are run by Bulawayo City Council are antiretroviral initiation centres.

Kadoma has seven clinics but its new suburbs do not have any health facilities. The Committee was informed that there were plans to have clinics in the new suburbs.  The council’s clinics provided 8 126 clients with ART services.

Chegutu Municipality runs two clinics, namely Pfupajena and Chinengundu.  The Committee was informed that the two clinics had high volumes of patients because of the issue of affordability.  It was submitted that there were plans to open a maternity ward at Chinengundu Clinic.The Committee noted the renovations that were being carried out at Chinengundu Clinic for the maternity wing during its tour.  Chegutu Municipality had seven nurses but its health establishment should be 13.  They were in the process of recruiting the outstanding number but still more nurses would be required after opening the maternity wing since the Chinengundu Clinic will operate for 24 hours.  The clinics offered immunisation programmes, HIV and TB testing and treatment.

Education Facilities

The Committee sought to understand the status of the education system in the localities visited. The Committee observed that most local authorities had made great strides in ensuring that all the students at primary and secondary education level get access to affordable education in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4. However, most schools owned by local authorities had shortage of class rooms resulting in hot sitting.

Binga RDC has 120 schools run by the council and out of the 120, 41 are secondary schools. The Committee also learnt that the local authorities were actively involved in the renovation of schools. Particularly in Binga, the local authority had managed to renovate classroom blocks in 13 schools whose roofs were damaged by the strong gusts of wind. Binga RDC was also in the process of constructing two teachers’ houses at a satellite school in Chibondo.

Hwange Local Board has two primary schools and one preschool.

The district has one secondary school which is owned by government.  The Committee was informed that in terms of secondary schools, the one school was adequate but there was need for more primary schools. Council indicated that the one primary school conducted hot sitting classes because of the increase in the number of pupils.  The Committee was informed that the council was going to construct another block with three classrooms using devolution funds.  Plans were in place to build another primary school in a new area known as Empumalanga West.

Victoria Falls Municipality runs one primary school and one secondary school and were said to be functioning well.  However, it was highlighted that there was need for one additional primary school and one secondary school as the municipality was increasing in population.

Bulawayo City Council has 30 primary schools and was in the process of building another primary school in Cowdray Park.  The council has also one secondary school. It was submitted to the Committee that Bulawayo City Council has a backlog of 29 primary schools that have to be built to meet the demand and avoid hot sitting.  It was further explained that the city needed to build about 30 blocks in all primary schools that are currently operating in order to meet the demand.

Kadoma City Council has six primary schools.  The Committee learnt that Kadoma had a shortage of schools and as a result, some schools were conducting hot sitting classes.  The council indicated that there were plans in place to build schools in the new suburbs.

Kadoma City Council indicated that there was a pressing need for institutions of higher and tertiary learning.  The council then offered 30 hectares of land to Chinhoyi University of Technology to building a campus so that the university can operate in Kadoma as a way to solve the problem of lack of institutions of higher learning. However, the Committee learnt that Chinhoyi University of Technology was yet to take up the offer. The Women’s University in Africa was also invited and had been operating in Kadoma since late 2019 using council property.

Chegutu Municipality has two council primary schools, namely, Kaguvi and Chinengundu.  In terms of educational facilities, the council indicated that its schools had no Early Childhood Development special classrooms as required.  The primary schools were also in need of computers for the pupils.  The Committee was informed that the enrolment in schools were going up due to new suburbs coming up, thereby increasing pressure on schools in terms of classroom facilities, textbooks and furniture.

The Committee was impressed by the progress made by the

Zvimba Rural District Council which had almost completed its Early Childhood Development Classroom Block.  The Committee was informed that the council had renovated ten schools and one clinic that were affected by heavy storms and Cyclone Idai using devolution funds.

In general, the local authorities visited pointed out that they were unable to raise adequate revenue from their coffers to support their schools in terms of construction of more schools and accommodation facilities for the teachers.  They underscored the need for Central Government to support the construction of learning facilities.

Road Construction and Maintenance

The Portfolio Committee toured the roads networks within the jurisdiction of the local authorities visited. The Committee noted the need for local authorities to construct and maintain feeder roads in their respective jurisdictions. Funding for these initiatives also comes from the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA).  The Committee was informed by local authorities visited that ZINARA funds were being disbursed toward the end of the year when the money would have lost value due to inflation pressures. As such, the local authorities were facing a huge backlog in terms of servicing roads resulting in poor road networks.  They emphasized that the funds being disbursed were just enough for routine maintenance and not periodic maintenance.  Routine maintenance is when the roads are just being patched, for example

filling in potholes and periodic maintenance is whereby the roads have to be resealed.

Binga RDC has a total of 868 kilometers of road network to maintain.  The Committee was informed that the district’s road network continues to expand because the communities are expanding into new areas due to population growth.  Binga had only two kilometers of surfaced roads, that is around Binga Town.  The gravel roads stretch up to 350 kilometers and earth roads up to 512 kilometers long.  The Committee was informed that Binga RDC had wanted to surface another two kilometers in 2019 but was unable to do so because of limited resources.  The council received $689 817 from ZINARA and the funds were used to do some roads works in Kaani high density suburb and along Nakaluba Road.

The Committee was informed that Binga District experienced some flash floods which affected communities in Sinavoma Ward.  One life was lost and 37 households were affected in terms of their infrastructure.  Council was involved in the efforts to mitigate against the negative effects of the flash floods that happened in February 2020 by contributing 1000 litres of fuel that was used to construct a 7.5 kilometer road that was destroyed.

Hwange Local Board has a total of 32 kilometers of sealed road network and 70% of the roads required periodic maintenance.  The council was having challenges with rehabilitation and maintenance of the roads because of inadequate funding.  In 2019, Hwange Local Board was allocated $1.2 million for road maintenance and rehabilitation from ZINARA but the council said it only received ZWL$178 955 in the last quarter of 2019.The amount was grossly inadequate and the council could not accomplish much in terms of maintenance.  The Committee was informed that the works done using the $178 955 allocated in the last quarter of 2019 were washed away by the floods in February 2020.

It was submitted to the Committee that Victoria Falls road network though not perfect was in a good condition.  Victoria Falls Municipality has 56% of its road network tarred and the rest are earth and gravel roads.  The Committee was informed that 91% of the road network was trafficable throughout the year and the remaining 9% gets affected during rainy seasons.  In 2019, Victoria Falls received $371 000 from ZINARA which was for road maintenance.  The council complained like many other local authorities visited, that the funds were not adequate to undertake any meaningful road works.

Bulawayo City Council has 2400 kilometers of road network and 1742 of that network are sealed, 566 kilometers are gravel road and 92 kilometers are earth roads.  The Committee was informed that the bulk of the earth roads were in Cowdray Park and Garikai Hlalani Kuhle areas where people settled without servicing.  The city said the quality of their roads were in a fair condition.  However, it was submitted that the city would need about $670 million to bring the infrastructure back to its standard.  The city uses disbursements from ZINARA and funds from its own coffers to maintain the roads.

Chegutu Municipality has a total of 120 kilometers of gravel roads and 40 kilometers of surfaced tarred roads.  The Committee was informed that the council was only able to carry out routine maintenance such as grading using their own resources but was relying on ZINARA funding for periodic maintenance.  In 2019, they got $1.8 million which was not adequate for periodic maintenance and was used to do routine maintenance works.

Zvimba Rural District Council received $577 414 and $212 550 in 2018 and 2019 respectively from ZINARA and managed to do maintenance works to 433 kilometers of its road network.

Refuse Collection

In Binga, refuse collection was done once a week in Binga Centre but the collection may be increased depending on the amount of garbage that would have accumulated.  Binga RDC had not yet developed a landfill but was using a dump site for its garbage.  The Committee was informed that the council was unable to develop a landfill because of the cost involved in establishing one.  However, the council had identified the landfill and an environmental impact assessment was done.

In Hwange, refuse was collected once a week.  The council complained that some residents dump their garbage at illegal dumping points.  Hwange Local Board had no proper designed landfill and used a dump site for their garbage.

Victoria Falls had three refuse compactors but one was not functioning. Council was collecting refuse daily in the CBD and once a week in residential areas. It was mentioned that there were disruptions in the collection of refuse due to erratic fuel supplies. Victoria Falls had no proper landfill and was using a dump site for its garbage.  It was pointed out that the council was unable to develop a landfill using its own funds.  It was submitted that would cost the council $US2 million to come up with a standard landfill.

The Committee was informed that Bulawayo City collects its refuse daily within the Central Business Centre and commercial areas.  In high density areas, Bulawayo City Council partnered with the communities in terms of refuse removal.  The council provided big vehicles which are parked in an area and the community picks the refuse within the locality to fill in the trucks.  The garbage in the trucks was removed on a weekly basis.  The council said this was working very well especially when there is shortage of fuel.

Chegutu Municipality’s policy on refuse collection was to collect refuse on a weekly basis in residential areas and daily in the CBD.  However, council was no longer able to maintain the schedule because of unavailability of fuel resulting in council collecting refuse after 2 or 3 weeks.  

Devolution Funds/Budget Performance

The Committee was informed by the councils visited that they were operating in an unstable economic environment and that affected their budget performance because of the constant changes in prices.  The constant increase in prices of goods and services was affecting the implementation of projects.  It was explained that after all tender processes were done and councils were ready to start a project, contractors would adjust their prices citing inflation.

The Committee was informed that Binga RDC was allocated a total of $6 200 000 as devolution funds in 2019.

Hwange Local Board was allocated at total of $3 240 000 but only

$2 919 000 was disbursed as devolution funds in 2019.

Victoria Falls received $3 284 754 as devolution funds in 2019 which was used to rehabilitate water works.

Bulawayo City Council got $30 324 799 as devolution funds which were used to construct two classroom blocks, ablution block, an administration block and small bridge and some roads.  The other part of devolution funds were used for rehabilitation of water works and also renovate the Barbourfields Stadium.

Kadoma City Council was having challenges in terms of what they bill and what was being collected.  The council said the collection rate was very low in terms of figures and stood at 38%.  The low revenue collection impacted negatively on the production of water because of the production and supply of water. The council said its non revenue water stood at 60%. In 2019, Kadoma City Council was allocated $9.1 million as devolution funds but only $3.2 million was disbursed.

In terms of revenue collection, Chegutu Municipality has an average collection of 65% for water supply.  This was said to be an improvement from previous years because of the engagement the council was doing with rate payers.  Chegutu Municipality got a total of $4 613 000 as devolution which was for water and sanitation.

The Committee learnt that Zvimba RDC’s 2019 revenue collection stood at 87%.  In 2019, Zvimba RDC received a total of $11 727 700 from government as devolution funds. The funds were used to attend to schools that were affected by the storms and cyclone disasters which the district experienced.  Six schools and one clinic were renovated using devolution funds. Equipment

All local authorities visited indicated lack of capacity to buy the required fleet for their day to day operations to ensure satisfactory service delivery.  In terms of equipment, Binga RDC had one grader and were in the process of procuring a front loader as well as a tipper truck.  The council indicated that lack of adequate equipment was affecting service delivery in Binga and that the council needed financial assistance in terms acquiring equipment.

Hwange Local Board had also challenges in terms of equipment.  The council was in need of a grader, tipper and a bull dozer for use in the discharge of its duties.

In terms of equipment, Victoria Falls had two tipper trucks, three refuse compactors and one water bowser.  The council’s major challenge was lack of a grader and were unable to buy one using own resources.  The council emphasized the need to have a grader as it was key to the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads.

The Committee was told that Kadoma City Council had a grader, one compactor working out of three, two tractors out of three, a front loader and one excavator.  The fleet was said to be old and was affecting service delivery.  Just like other local authorities, the council was unable to buy equipment from the revenue they generate.

Chegutu Municipality requires a grader, tractor and compactor.

Most of the council’s fleet was aged and not functional.  It was

explained that if the council could be assisted in buying the mentioned equipment, it will be able to do most of its roads works and only hire specialist equipment from contractors.

City Status

The Committee was informed by Hwange Local Board and

Victoria Falls that they had applied to then Ministry of Local

Government, Public Works and National Housing for an upgrade in the status of their councils. Hwange Local Board believed that it was one of the biggest local boards with the largest wards but had remained a local board. The Committee learnt that over the years Hwange Local Board had been pushing for an upgrade either to a town or to a municipality.

Victoria Falls Municipality said it also applied for a city status in 2017 and were still waiting for a response from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  The council hoped that when granted the city status they will be able to compete with other cities in terms of attracting tourists.  The Chief Executive Officer of Victoria Falls explained that tourists search for cities when they want to go on holidays and not towns or municipalities, hence the need for the upgrade to city status.

Hwange Concession Area

The Committee was informed that Hwange Local Board was established in 1974 primarily to service the concession area.  The concession comprises Hwange Colliery Company, National Railways of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Power Company. The concession area was mainly set up to house the workers of the three above mentioned companies.  Initially, Hwange Local Board had only seven wards in the concession area however, seven other wards were later created under a delimitation exercise.

The Committee was informed that Hwange Local Board was facing a challenge in terms of service delivery and revenue collection in the fourteen wards. The Committee learnt that Hwange Local Authority had no administrative jurisdiction over the seven wards in the concession area but people from the concession were coming to the seven wards under the local board for basic services such as health and education services. The council indicated that Hwange Colliery, Zimbabwe Power Company and National Railways of Zimbabwe were no longer able to offer services to the people in the seven wards that were under the concession area.  Lack of provision of basic services in the concession area resulted in the residents coming to the seven wards outside the concession are for services.  This was said to be a strain on the Hwange Local Board considering that there was no revenue being collected from the concession area.  Hwange Local Board explained that even the councilors from the concession area were getting allowances from revenue collected from the seven wards created under the delimitation exercise.

The Committee was informed that Hwange Council requested the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works that the seven wards in the concession area be incorporated into the council’s jurisdiction but were still waiting for the Ministry’s approval.  It was explained that once the incorporation was done, Hwange Local Board would be able to collect revenue from the seven wards in the concession area and in turn provide service delivery.

Committee’s Observations

The Committee made the following observations:

  1. The WASH sector is in a deplorable state mainly due to the obsolete infrastructure.
  2. The lack of access to foreign currency has affected the local authorities’ ability to procure chemicals required for water treatment.
  3. Late disbursements of funds by ZINARA was affecting implementation of projects by local authorities.
  4. There was inadequate fiscal support from central government to local authorities in terms of big projects since all local authorities cited the incapacitation to raise funds from own coffers.
  5. Lack of fuel and refuse collection trucks were affecting the collection of garbage resulting in illegal dumping of refuse, thus exposing residents to diseases.
  6. Local authorities were not implementing by-laws in terms of revenue collection and dumping of refuse at illegal places because general service delivery was poor.
  7. There was poor attendance by councillors during the Committee’s visits in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo and this reflects lack of respect for the Committee by councillors.

 

Recommendations

The Committee, therefore recommends the following:

ZINARA should release the funds meant for road maintenance to local authorities within three months of allocation to ensure timeous implementation of projects and avoid erosion of the funds due inflation.

Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that local authorities enter into Public Private Partnerships in WASH project in order to improve supply of water to communities by January

2021.

Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that Victoria Falls is accorded city status by January 2021 considering that the upgrade will improve in attracting tourist. 

Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that all local authorities implement by-laws to enforce compliance by the communities in terms of payment of bills and illegal dumping by January 2021.

Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should look into the issue of jurisdiction of the seven wards in the Hwange Concession area and define how the companies in the concession and Hwange Local Board can work together in terms of providing service in the concession area by December 2020.

There is need for local authorities to be supported financially through loans and Public Sector Investment Programmes or to engage into Public Private Partnerships to enable them to buy equipment by

January 2021.

Councilors should attend meetings whenever the Committee is visiting local authorities.  This will enable the Committee to interact with policy makers and the management resulting in a good working relation by all parties involved.

Conclusion

Local authorities are quasi governmental entities and therefore, should not rely on fiscal support for service delivery.  Local authorities should come up with ways of generating revenue and improve on efficiency in revenue collection. This way local authorities will be able to collect more revenue to enable them to offer basic service delivery to the communities.

*HON. P. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to support the report that was presented by the Local Government Portfolio Committee. The Committee did a good job.  They mentioned a number of important things, particularly that our councils should discharge their duties with fortitude.  We have natural resources that can be used by councils.  So for councils to leave hospitals and other infrastructure not being maintained waiting for the annual budget, that is retrogressive.  We know that councils are not performing well because they do not have adequate resources.

The Committee moved around the country and noted that the road infrastructure is getting enough attention from the Government. For example Beitbridge-Chirundu Road which had potholes, now

Government has decided to use monies that are collected from ZINARA and it is evident especially looking at some patches that have been completed. Refurbishment of the road is evident.  When we moved around we noted that Government is really serious with refurbishment of that road.

I would like to urge the Committee to continue investigating and looking at how councils are operating.  There are schools that are found in resettlement areas especially in new resettlement areas, our councils should focus on such schools to see whether they are doing a good job or not, I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I wish to add my voice to a report that has been submitted by the Hon. Committee. The report for all purposes and intent, I see to be critical and important for the development of our country. Hon. Speaker, the importance of local governance in Zimbabwe can be easily seen from the provisions of section 264. From the report by the Hon. Committee, one would conclude that the solutions to those challenges lies mostly in Section 264 and other parts of the Constitution.

I will therefore Hon. Speaker, approach my debate in this manner. I will firstly want to entirely associate myself with recommendations of the Committee in their entirety. I think it is important that the Committee has resolved that Victoria Falls Municipality and Hwange Local Board should be upgraded in terms of their status as they would apply. One would have wished, I am not so sure whether procedurally that have been right but one would have wanted a scenario where the Committee, before presenting the report, would have approached the Ministry to say, if people are saying they have applied to you to upgrade their status and you have not attended to their problem up to this day, what is your problem?

I am quite sure Hon. Speaker that one would have generated a more informed and factual debate around that issue. Now that we are not provided with an insight why the Ministry has not been acting in the manner that is expected of it, one would not avoid then to say maybe let me give you what we have seen from a distance and what we think will be the sort of problems that are affecting them. The problems that are associated by the local authorities as indicated; some are of a national level and I will place them entirely on Central Government. For example, the shortage of foreign currency that has seriously affected the delivery of services such as water to the citizens fairly lies on the ambit of the Central Government and I think I will leave it to Central Government in all its entirety to deal with.

Let me turn to Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe looking at it together to what I preferred earlier on to say I will make my own assumption on why things are not moving well in local authorities.

For starters Hon. Speaker, I have got a very serious challenge with the Ministry of Local Government. The new Constitution which was passed in 2013, now after seven years we do not have an Act that deals with the issue of devolution. Seven years down the line, if you look at that part of the Constitution that speaks about devolution, you will understand that the when citizens were making contributions towards that Constitution, they were aware that there is a way in which we need to solve those problems that are currently being highlighted by the Committee but we have never heard about the Bill and we do not know why.

If you look at the effect of not having that Bill, one would think that in a normal democracy, the Hon. Minister of Local Government should not continue to have been in this position up to this date. His duty is to craft a law and make sure that law comes to Parliament. In my view, there is serious negligence of duty in that Ministry and that Ministry we need to put more pressure in terms of our oversight. If you think I am unrealistic, look at the applications that, for example, have been highlighted on Victoria Falls and Hwange Local Board. One would ask why the Ministry is not attending to those applications. I know that some of the applications were actually made 4/5 years back. One would ask why they are not attending to them and you will not get an answer.

Ask in the same way why they are not attending to the Devolution Act, the answer is simple Hon. Speaker. That Ministry is headed by someone who is negligent of his duties. I am not so sure why he is basing that on save to say he is totally negligent of his duties because if he was not, some of these things should have been attended to Hon. Speaker. Now, we want to see the Devolution Bill and the outcome of that is that firstly, we are seeing local authorities being given what are called devolution funds.  Those devolution funds are coming in terms of which law because in terms of the Constitution, we are supposed to enact a law which is going to talk about how national finances are going to be devolved.

The Hon. Minister is silent about it. He does not talk about it; he is only quick to react to letters that are being written to recall people from local authorities. That is what he is only efficient for. He is not efficient for building instruments and institutions that are supposed to enhance service delivery in local authorities. If you look at section 264 Hon. Speaker, it talks about devolving the governmental powers and responsibility. These responsibilities include the power to hire and fire senior management of local authorities.  We cannot put up a law because as central Government, we want to continue interfering in the hiring and firing of senior managers of local authorities.  Hon. Speaker, some colleagues might disagree with me but one of the reasons why we are seeing inefficiency in our local authorities is because most of the local authorities in terms of their top management have allegiance to political parties.

I have got the draft of that and I can actually state here.  We have town clerks, chief executive officers of local authorities that are known to be members of the governing party and therefore, whatever happens in a local authority iF the Chief Executive Officer oR a town clerk does not perform, the local authority on its own cannot dismiss that person because they have to get approval from the Ministry. It is the same procedure that is used when it comes to employing  - I am aware that in terms of the procedures, local authorities have to interview candidates and make three recommendations three but even if they make recommendations of those and leave out someone else, the Ministry is empowered to say we reject these three, can you bring the one who was number four and hire them.  So, it becomes like a creation of jobs for the boys and girls that are close to those that are in the Executive.  Because of that Hon. Speaker, I do appreciate that in most local authorities, most of our councillors, both urban and rural might not have the sufficient capacity to lead and govern local authorities to an extent that they can flourish and do very well.

By appointing the management of local authorities using central Government, it means that they can also fire them using central government. It means that in reality, those managers are not accountable to the councilors; they are accountable to the Ministers of Local

Government and his bureaucracy. At the end of the day what it means

Hon. Speaker, is that the management of local authorities have no obligation and no motivation for them to work closely with councillors so that they produce good results because councillors cannot do anything to them; they are protected by central government.

Hon. Speaker, it is my belief that when you are appointed to the position of a senior manager, you are being appointed to that position because you are competent.  Regardless of the incompetence of councillors, if we have got competent management, our councils would perform in a better way.  So, we are saying let us not be afraid to devolve some responsibilities like what the Constitution provides.  Let the Hon. Minister bring the law of devolution to Parliament so that we can allow local authorities to deal with their own issues without unnecessary interference from central government.

Just look at this Hon. Speaker, the Executive itself, when it hires its employees, who does their approval, to whom do they send three names so that that board would then appoint on their behalf? To nobody. They employ and they fire their own employees.  Why do local authorities have to get permission to hire or to fire their own staff?  I believe this is as good as saying, go into a boxing ring whilst your hands are tied at the back.  We do not expect local authorities to perform.  Hon. Speaker, if you look at the preamble, Section 264, besides devolution, it also talks of right to collection of revenue that emanates from local resources within that local authority or within that Local Government.  It is my argument Hon. Speaker and that argument has been made for so long. Look at Victoria Falls Municipality for example, one of the richest local authorities that we have in terms of the resources that surround them.  How much money is generated from the falls and from the rain forest per annum and how much is accruing to the local authority?   Zero is accruing to the local authority. Look at this, all the tourists that visit the Victoria Falls area need water and that water is supplied by local authorities.  They need good roads and those roads are maintained by the local authorities.   They need their garbage to be carried away but that garbage is carried away by the local authorities.  How much is local authority gaining from entrance into the rain forest? Zero!

In my view, behind the back of my mind, I think when citizens where contributing towards section 264, they had that in mind.  I think that was the intention of the legislature to say you should not have Victoria Falls having the same amount of finance, revenue coming to it like Chinhoyi for example...

[Time limit]

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon.

Sibanda, I am giving you just five minutes for you to wind up your debate.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker may you allow me an

extension, I wanted to also touch on the issue of the...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, you cannot ask that on

your behalf unfortunately, I cannot take that.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I thought one of my colleagues will do that Hon. Speaker.

THE TEMPROARY SPEAKER: But stand guided that I have

given you 5 minutes.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: So, in my view Hon. Speaker, let us push the Ministry of Local Government to come on board and let them start to do what they are supposed to do.  There is no need to delay the bringing in of the law. There is no need to delay the application by Victoria Falls Municipality to get a city status if that city status is going to improve the flow of tourists into the country so, I think the Ministry should avoid being negligent of their duties.

Now, on the issue of the Hwange concession, Hon. Speaker, you have dissimulated Hwange Local Board to the local authority and within that local authority, you have got vast pieces of land that amount to 7 wards that are controlled by the Hwange Colliery Company as a concession and therefore, what does that mean to the local authority?  The local authority has got no power to collect revenue from those areas that are regarded as concessions because they are owned by a different entity.  Here we are Hwange Colliery company is partly owned by Government, the local authority is a quasi-government entity, why cannot Government do the transfer of that land into the local authority?  It is not all of the Hwange concession but only that part which accepts the local authorities so that the local authority can then be able to make sure that they maximise in terms of collection of revenue from within their areas.  You cannot say you cannot collect revenue from this area but you are supposed to deliver services in those areas and there are councillors from those areas that come to sit in the local board.  How does it happen, how do you have a councillor sitting in a local government meeting to decide on the affairs of other wards whilst their ward cannot be governed by the same local authority?  That is an anomaly.  Honestly speaking, a Minister who is duty conscious and duty bound, that is something that should cause them sleepless nights and that is an issue that should have been attended to long back, but they are not doing it.  In my view Hon. Speaker, the blame lies squarely in the office of Hon. Minister July Moyo.  I believe that it is high time he stops going around and doing other things and attend to issues that we think are critical.  It is my view that the issues that are being raised here are issues that do not only enhance democracy but they enhance economic development as well.  Therefore, to any normal Hon. Minister, that should be a priority.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your time is up, thank you very much Hon. Member.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.

On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE,

the House adjourned at Eight Minutes Past Six o’clock p.m.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment