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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 3 NOVEMBER 2022 VOL 48 NO 90

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 3rd November, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

HOUSE DECORUM

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have one announcement, I have also made an observation, we are getting out of the COVID-19 impact, Chief Whips, can you make sure that we have at least a tenth of our Members of Parliament in the House. I say at least 10% of the Members of the House must be in the House.

          I have to advise the House that Hon. Members must desist from approaching the Chair or the Presiding Officer unless they are invited to do so by the Presiding Officer and be guided accordingly.  Yesterday, in particular, I will give an example where we got a troop of Hon. Members approaching the Chair.  That is disorderly behaviour in terms of Section 109 of our Standing Orders. 

          Also rising in a group is not permissible and shouting whatever you will be shouting, that is disorderly behaviour and we shall not entertain that from today.  We want Hon. Members to just rise and be recognised accordingly in an orderly manner.

          HON. JAMES SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker and Good afternoon.  My matter of national interest is to bring to the attention of this august House and the nation at large the decay in the delivery systems at national Government Central Hospitals. 

          I will give an example of what is happening at Mpilo Central Hospital.  I am referring to corrupt activities which are unnecessarily exposing patients that are already suffering to more suffering and to premature death. 

          There are patients that have been on the queue to go to theatre since December 31, 2021 and they have not been able to have the opportunity to go to theatre. The reason is that each time their allocated dates arrive to go to theatre, excuses are given.  They are told that there are no doctors to attend to them; they are told that there are no necessary materials in the theatre; they are told that their temperature is too high for them to go to theatre.

          However, the truth is that it is because they would have not paid a bribe to doctors that range between $300 to 700 or more.  Surprisingly, doctors are able to carry out procedures using the same theatres on their private patients without paying anything to the hospital.

          Secondly, the X-ray machine and the Scan, most of the time the machines are said to be out of order. So, if ever anyone is lucky at that time to be attended to, when they get to the other end where the doctor is looking at the X-ray picture, the patient is told the X-ray is not clear because the X-ray machine is faulty.  So they are referred to facilities outside or private operators where they have to do another X-ray.

          On the scanning machine, pregnant mothers who have to do a scan are told that there is no jelly but surprisingly, again, the officer operating the scan will be having their private jelly. So they only attend to their private patients from their private practice but who come and use the hospital scan with the jelly.  Anyone referred by Mpilo is told that there is no jelly, yet those coming from outside who will be their private patients will be attended to.

          The same applies to medicines, when the doctor has written a prescription and they are supposed to be given medicine from the hospital dispensary, they are told there is nothing yet it is not true.  When the patients are asked to pay directly to nurses in the ward, surprising the medicines are made available. 

          So, these are some of the examples that are happening at Mpilo Hospital.  Therefore, I would request that the Ministry of Health and Child Care carries out an investigation and bring a Ministerial Statement to this House.   I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You have raised such a fundamental and profound observation which I feel should have been raised yesterday when the Hon. Minister of Health was here. I concur with you because I had a relative son admitted at Parirenyatwa with a broken arm. He could not be operated upon for six months until I was informed and immediately called the hospital, only then was the young men operated upon.  So it is a real situation and I feel very sorry that you could not have raised this yesterday…

          HON. JAMES SITHOLE: I did not get the chance yesterday.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Next time, you speak to your Chief Whip and make sure that you are on the list to raise such very fundamental and profound issues that have to do with our health delivery.  We will proceed to engage the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care to make a statement on the issue of health delivery in terms of delayed operations at central hospitals. I thank you.

*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my issue is on constituency offices, this time we have auditors who are coming to our constituencies from the Auditor’s General Office and others from here.  They will not find us, there is communication breakdown.  I am appealing that we must be allocated constituency offices.  I know that we are about to close this Parliament but this will help a lot and this will help the new Members of Parliament also.  Some will make excuses not to be audited because of that.   Our constituency development office members are not given anything, they are sacrificing, so you cannot assign them to wait for an auditor for a week.  If we have offices then we will have a permanent person at the office.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Just to inform you Hon. Member and the other Hon. Members, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has been engaged, the tenders were floated and the winning company should begin the construction of at least 70... – [HON. TEKESHE: Inaudible interjection.] – nhai vaTekeshe, ndirikukupindurai mavekutaurazve.  Aiwa tsika dzenyu dzakamira sei - teererai, mabvunza mubvunzo wakanaka.  Programme iyoyo yekuvaka yavekutangisa.   We will start with 70; we will make sure that every Party is covered: MDC-T, CCC and ZANU PF.  The majority of Hon. Members of Parliament belong to ZANU PF Party so they are the ones who will get the greatest number of those 70. That is the proportional democracy. 

Before the end of next year, we will have finished 210 constituency offices so that you will meet those who intend to meet you in your constituency offices.  There will be personnel like secretaries, and there will be electricity and everything will be there.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Markham you are hesitating to stand up.

HON MARKHAM: I was a bit slow but I would like to bring up a point of order.  Mr. Speaker, you recall in this House I requested for the Chinese loans to be reported on by the Minister of Finance which he gave us.  I have spent a lot of time looking at this report from the Minister.  I am afraid and worried Hon. Speaker, about his figures that he reported to us in the House. I was in the office checking on the figures to make sure there were no typos. His figures do not balance by $873 million that he gave us.  He gave us a rough figure of $2.7 billion that we owe the Chinese Government, of which we have repaid $153 million not billion.  So the outstanding balance if you take those two figures apart, he says $1.7 billion, it is not, it is $2.64 billion that we still owe them.  To me, that is a shocking revelation purely because we are not thinking that the Hon. Minister did not check his figures, we are talking of a national debt here. 

What worries me is that the figure of the loan is actually understated by $71 million, I have checked that personally.  The repayment is overstated by $200 000 and the total difference is $873 400 000.  My concern now Mr. Speaker is if these figures are wrong like this, it worries me because yesterday we were supposed to get a full turn out of ministers but we did not and it just worries me that we are getting feedback of this information that is not correct. 

I thought the Minister is unwittingly fed this information or we have been fed a lot of rubbish.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I am sure you can say that differently.

HON. MARKHAM: I believe we are being fed untruths. Totally incorrect information and as a result could the Hon. Minister give us another statement. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What I suggest Hon. Markham, can you put that as a written question asking for those details and inconsistencies. From there, I am sure we could be able to have subsequent discussion emanating from his response to your observations.

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker but I would like to draw your attention, there is a lot of hesitance from the Minister to supply this and that question set for nearly 3 months on the Order Paper.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I will make sure that it is attended to.

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I want to raise another issue, Hon. Kazembe offered us on the registration of voters, three and a half months ago that they will not leave any people behind in no place, whatever he said, you back me Hon. Speaker.  Up to now following that statement, nothing has happened.  He has been very quiet since the registration process stopped end of September/October.  He has not given us a statement. Obviously, now he intends to go back and fit in the 2000 people that were left behind in Hatcliffe and the 500 that were left behind in Borrowdale.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  So you are pleading for extension of the registration?

HON. MARKHAM: In your own words Mr. Speaker, you stated that it was a directive from His Excellency the President and he must register all those people, so I would like him to register those people.  I did offer to take them to the head office but with that number it would be much easier if he will come to us.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I am sure   the mobile registration you need can be organized. I want that to embrace the whole country, there might be other areas also wanting the electorate to register before the elections ensue.

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I conquer.  However, I do suggest that they sort out the problems in Hatcliffe and Borrowdale first, before they get to the rest of the country. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: In our vernacular languages when you have two or three wives, you must make sure that you balance up your attention to them. You cannot be seen to be inclined to one family but your concerns will be taken as a priority.

HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, in my house I look after the elders first.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Clerk of Parliament, if you could ensure that we bring this to the attention of the Hon. Minister so that the outstanding areas that need registration of voters does take place timeously. 

HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of Order Hon. Speaker it is a small one.

THE HON. SPEAKER: How small is it?

HON. MADZIMURE: It is very small. I just want to remind the Minister of Home Affairs because he promised to bring the Ministerial Statement regarding how they have concluded the investigations on the disappearance of Itai Dzamara. The matter must be brought to closure because the family is not sure where the whole matter is and it will be better if he is declared dead so that they do the rituals and the matter is put to rest. The Minister promised long back and I even asked this past month for him to come and give a Ministerial Statement but this has not been done. Could the Minister be reminded to bring that Ministerial Statement because it is important for the family to know where the State is now and if he is dead, then he is declared dead?

          THE HON SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, just refresh my memory. A person that has been unfound, say for15 or 10 years, is it correct to presume that person to be dead?

          HON. BITI: It is much less Mr. Speaker Sir. It is two years. The duration is not of much importance but the circumstances. An application is made and then it is advertised in the Government Gazette. The idea being that if he is alive or at a small house, they will say he is there. That process needs to be done but it is quite problematic especially in Matabeleland.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, thank you very much for that clarification.

          HON. MASENDA: I rise on a matter of national importance which is based on the fact that we are getting into the new agricultural season. I want to request the Minister of Agriculture to bring to the House a Ministerial Statement to say at what prices are we going to plant our crops such as maize and tobacco. I would go further to say I would want the Minister to put the prices in US dollars and say which portion is going to be given as US dollars and which portion is going to be given as RTGS. I am a tobacco farmer myself and the price of tobacco has been stagnant …

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Member you are now getting into debate. Allow the Minister to give his statement on the pre-planting prices of the crops. Once he has done that, you then make a suggestion.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 21 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 22 has been disposed of.

HON. TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE BILATERAL VISIT TO RUSSIA

HON. SHAMU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the delegation report on the bilateral visit to Russia held from 26 to 30 September 2022.

          HON. MASOKA: I second.

          HON. SHAMU:

1.0    Introduction

         1.1    Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda,

Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, led a Parliamentary

Delegation on a Bilateral Visit to Moscow, Russia, from 26 to 30 September 2022. This, in fulfilment of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy as articulated by His Excellency, the President, Cde. Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, that “Zimbabwe is a friend of all and an enemy to none”. Additionally, the Bilateral Visit was to enhance Parliamentary Diplomacy. To that end, the visit culminated in the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the National Assembly of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on 27 September 2022.

1.2    The delegation comprised the following Members of Parliament who are also members of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade:

Hon. Webster Kotiwani Shamu, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade;

Hon. Nyasha Masoka, Member of Parliament;

Hon. Alignia Samson, Member of Parliament; and

Hon. Godfrey Dube, Member of Parliament.

1.3     From the outset, the delegation wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the following for their sterling work in ensuring that the Parliamentary engagement to Russia was successful, fruitful and memorable:

H.E. Mr. Nikolai Krasilnikov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Zimbabwe and his staff; and

Mr. Muponisi Dzapasi, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe and his staff.

1.4     The well thought out and comprehensive programme which was prepared by the Hosts included the following highlights:

  •     Meeting with Hon. V.V. Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation;
  •     Speaker’s address to the State Duma at the plenary session;
  •     Meeting with Hon. Valentina Matvienko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

2.0    Wreath laying ceremony at the Kremlin Wall

2.1    The official programme started off on a sombre note with the wreath laying ceremony at the Kremlin Wall. In honour of the memory of fallen heroes, the Hon. Speaker laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with Hon. Members laying bouquets of flowers. To conclude the programme at the Kremlin Wall, the delegation was taken on a tour of the tombs. Russian historical luminaries including Suslov, Stalin, Kalinin, Dzerzhinsky and Brezhnev are interred at the Kremlin Wall.

3.0    Meeting with the Chairman of the of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

3.1     On 27 September 2022, the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation led by the Hon. Speaker Volodin hosted the Hon. Speaker and his Delegation at the State Duma Buildings. In attendance during this meeting were multi-party representatives from the State Duma who despite their political differences were united in their quest to strengthen the existing relations between the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the Host Speaker welcomed this opportunity to exchange views on issues of mutual interest, particularly as it comes in the aftermath of the global COVID -19 pandemic which prevented face to face interaction.

3.2    Hon. Advocate Mudenda extended his appreciation to the host Chairperson for the excellent hospitality and special logistics put in place for his delegation. Within the context of the cordial relations that exist between Zimbabwe and Russia and by extension between the two legislatures, the Hon. Speaker underscored the importance of such interface which has been characterized by high level visits between Harare and Moscow, including the visit by H.E. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. Indeed, such interactions give impetus to development of permanent relations.

3.2.1 In this context, he welcomed the Agreement of Cooperation between the two legislatures as a tool that will compel both parties to implement areas of cooperation. Accordingly, the two Speakers pledged to strengthen the relations between the two legislatures not only through bilateral meetings and consultations, but also the interface of specialized Committees focusing on specific areas of cooperation such as agriculture and mining where Russia has expertise and Zimbabwe stands to benefit. The interactions must be pointed, dynamic and mutually beneficial.

3.2.2 Hon. Advocate Mudenda called for accelerated implementation of signed agreements if the two countries are to derive any benefit from the cooperation.

3.3    The two Speakers acknowledged the support the two countries have rendered each other at the international fora, with Russia having stood by Zimbabwe in 2008 when they vetoed a UN Draft Resolution that would have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe while the Parliament of Zimbabwe has supported the Russian position at such international fora such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The illegal sanctions imposed by the United States of America and the West have brought untold suffering the generality of the people. Hon. Advocate Mudenda chronicled the historical background of the land reform programme which attracted the wrath of the West. The two sides agreed to continue supporting each other at the international fora emphasising that friendships should be based on the principles of trust, reciprocity, respect for each other’s interests and sovereignty. In this context, national sovereignty must be based on the UN Charter which states that all states are equal.

3.4    Russia values its relationship with Africa hence the Russia-Africa Conference with African Parliaments. Due to the exigencies associated with the COVID – 19 pandemic, the Conference has been in abeyance. Consultations with African countries are underway on the suitable date for the next Conference. In this regard, an invitation was extended to Hon. Advocate Mudenda and his delegation to attend the Conference.

3.5    Additionally, Russia will send representatives to attend the 78th Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) and the 44th Conference of the APU scheduled for Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 5 to 10 November 2022. Russia has submitted a request for an Observer status at the APU. Hon. Mudenda assured his counterpart that the Conference which is being held in one of the world’s seven wonders will live up to its billing.

3.6    In acknowledging Russia’s big brother role in geo-politics, the Hon. Speaker encouraged Russia to continue on its positive trajectory in exercising its influence in the geo-politics of the world.

4.0    Signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the National Assembly of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

4.1    Following the fruitful interactions, the two Speakers proceeded to sign the Cooperation Agreement between the National Assembly of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The Agreement will govern the socio-economic and political cooperation between the two legislatures and is anchored on mutual trust and understanding.

4.2    Through engagement between specialized Committees, the two legislatures will share experiences and best practices for mutual development. (Refer to Annexure 1 for the full text of the Agreement).

5.0    Address by Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe to the Plenary Session of the State Duma

5.1    On this historic Bilateral Visit, the Hon. Speaker was accorded the rare privilege to address the Plenary Session of the State Duma. In his address, the Hon. Speaker referred to the existing strong bilateral relations between Russia and Zimbabwe which predate Zimbabwe’s independence when Russia proffered arms to the cause. Russia unflinchingly supported the country’s struggle for independence.

5.2    The Hon. Speaker gave a historical context of the Russian Federation’s special operation in Ukraine which is predicated on the legitimate historical security concerns arising from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) and the United States of America’s unrelenting expansionist policies which pose a danger to the Russian Federation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

5.3    Furthermore, he articulated Zimbabwe position which supports concerted efforts towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the spirit of multilateralism and solidarity as defined by article 2 of the United Nations Charter. In this context, the Hon. Speaker commended the Russian Federation and Ukraine for initiating dialogue seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict as led by President Erdogan of Turkey.

5.4    The Hon. Speaker condemned the use of sanctions as they result in untold human suffering, loss of life and infrastructural destruction on both sides of the conflict. He, therefore, underscored the importance of earnest and constructive dialogue. (Refer to Annexure 2 for the full text of the speech)

6.0    Excursions

6.1    Guided Tour of the Kremlin: On 26 September, the delegation was taken on a guided tour of the magnificent and historical heritage site which incorporates the Armory Chamber (Museum) and the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square comprising the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation Cathedrals among other majestic features. The impressive Armory Chamber is home to a collection of artefacts with a historical and cultural value preserved over centuries. The artefacts include state regalia, ceremonial royal clothes and coronation dresses as well as an extensive collection of gold and silverware.

6.2    Tour of the Zaryadye Park:  On the 27th of September 2022, the Hon. Speaker and his delegation were treated to an eight (8) minute interactive video which virtually transported them to some of Russia’s tourist attractions. In addition, the delegation was virtually transported to the formation of Moscow focusing on cultural monuments, protected areas and historical places.

6.3.1 Tour of the Patriot Park: Additionally on the same day, the Speaker’s Delegation undertook a guided tour of the Patriot Park which is the largest museum in Russia dedicated to the display of military armaments and weaponry  used by Russia and a collection from eleven (11) foreign countries used during the Second World War. The museum features armoured vehicles and weaponry in use then by the Russian Imperial Army, the Russian Empire as well as during World War I and II. The Delegation was impressed by the concerted effort of the Russian people to keep their military heritage for the current generation and posterity. For that reason, this Museum is open to the public, including young people and school children who interfaced with the delegation. The involvement of young people and school children in such tours affirmed the national policy which demands that such generations be exposed to the military patriotic education. As the delegation left the museum building, the delegation was shown an array of different types of war planes and jet fighters as well as helicopters that were used during the wars. These revealed the progressive development of air force models during the war period. 

6.3.2 After being treated to a military meal luncheon using military cutlery, the delegation then toured the majestic Main Cathedral of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. This Cathedral, with its impressive and magnificent architectural designs is dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War as well as the military victories of the Russian people in all wars. This Cathedral sits on two levels – lower level features painted murals of their victory and their outstanding Generals and it is also a venue for services held from time to time on military special services. The upper level which has a larger space is dedicated for use by a maximum of 5 000 military personnel when they celebrate special military events such as was the case when they celebrated 75th Anniversary of the Russian victory in the patriotic war. What also impressed the Zimbabwean Delegation was that the Cathedral is a venerated church in Russia whose domed conical spikes are enameled in pure gold and that the main Cathedral is the tallest in Russia.  

6.3.3 The delegation was overally impressed by the preserved military hardware and weaponry which was a revered Russian heritage.

6.4    Tour of the Central Museum of the Great Patriot War 1941 to 1945 and Memorial on Poklonnaya Hill: On 29 October 2022, the delegation was taken to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War which is also known as the Victory Museum. The museum is located in Moscow at Poklonnaya Gora.  It features interactive exhibits and memorials of the Eastern Front of World War II, known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War.” In a magnificent display of artistry, the Museum recreated exhibits with a striking resemblance to scenes from the war. In commemoration of the heroes on the home front, the museum also features exhibits on the contribution to the victory by frontline workers, ordinary citizens, scientists, health and cultural workers.

7.0    Meeting with the Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

7.1    On 29 September 2022, the Federal Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation led by Hon. Speaker Matvienko hosted Hon. Speaker Mudenda and his Delegation consequent upon Hon. Matvienko’s visit to Harare in June 2022.  The Federation Council Speaker expressed her gratitude for the warm hospitality extended to her and her delegation during the visit. In the same vein, she expressed appreciation for the unflinching support of Russia- Zimbabwe strong bilateral relations demonstrated by His Excellency, the President, Cde. Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who displayed a deep understanding of the historical perspective regarding the Russia military campaign in Ukraine. She informed the Delegation that as soon as she arrived from Harare, she briefed President Putin on her successful visit to Zimbabwe. Consequently, President Putin dispatched four delegations to Zimbabwe including a ten (10) member University Team from Russia who were tasked to implement specific agreements in their respective fields. As a sign of appreciation of Zimbabwe’s strong bilateral relations, President Putin directed that eleven (11) tonnes of wheat be donated to Zimbabwe to alleviate the impact of sanctions which had negatively affected the wheat stocks in Zimbabwe. Hon. Matvienko further expressed the hope that His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, would accede to the Russian invitation for him to attend the Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for St. Petersburg next year.

7.1.2 Regarding the bilateral relations between the two legislatures of Russia and Zimbabwe, Hon. Matvienko strongly hoped that the two legislatures would continually collaborate in support of each other’s positions at the international fora, particularly where the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their respective countries would be threatened. On that score, the Hon. Matvienko lauded the signing of the agreement between the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the National Assembly of the Parliament of Zimbabwe as a concrete testimony of cementing Parliamentary diplomacy between the two Assemblies. Relatedly, she looked forward to the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the Russian Federal Council and the Zimbabwean Senate in the near future. In the same vein the Hon. Matvienko informed the delegation that a Friendship Association had been formed between the two Senates as another way of strengthening the bilateral relations between the two legislatures. She hoped that a similar Friendship Association would soon be established between the National Assembly of Zimbabwe and the State Duma.

7.1.3 The Host Speaker appealed to the Zimbabwean Delegation that efforts should be made to ensure that the two legislatures promoted accelerated economic development between their respective countries, especially in the areas of mining, education, health services and energy development. The two legislatures were expected to enact laws that promoted the ease of doing business and expeditious financial business transactions in the context of fighting the illegal economic sanctions imposed by the United States of America and its allies. The Hon. Speaker Mudenda agreed totally with the suggestions of Hon. Matvienko on issues that she raised. However, the Hon. Speaker Mudenda decried laissez faire situation in which the signed Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements did not have time lined implementation matrix. So far, there are 18 signed Memoranda of Understanding/Agreements whose outcomes are yet to be realized. It was, therefore, incumbent on the two legislatures to exercise robust oversight in ensuring that the signed Memoranda of Understanding/Agreements were implemented expeditiously.

7.1.4 Hon. Matvienko also advised the Zimbabwe Delegation about the root cause of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine which hinged upon the coup that ushered in the current Ukraine administration which was supported by NATO countries and the United States of America thereby creating security concerns by the Russian Federation along its borders. In that regard, the Zimbabwe Delegation appreciated the detailed background on the Russian Federation military campaign in Ukraine. Accordingly, the meeting discussed the possibility of the Russia military campaign in Ukraine being raised as an emergency item at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Rwanda. It was underscored that the Russian Parliamentary Delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union should exercise extensive diplomacy manoeuvres to forestall that possibility. In doing so, the Russian Parliamentary Delegation should anchor its arguments that the founding fathers of the IPU, Cremer and Passy, advocated for the resolution of disputes through dialogue in terms of Article 2 of the United Nations Charter and International Law with the understanding that Russia has a fundamental right to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in terms of article 51 of the UN Charter.      

7.1.5 Hon. Matvienko requested the Hon. Speaker of Zimbabwe to pass on warm greetings to His Excellency, the President and the First Lady whom she admires as a leading champion in philanthropy targeting gender equality and the protection of women and girls in Zimbabwe. Hon. Matvienko informed the Zimbabwe delegation that the Zimbabwe First Lady had been invited to visit Russia in November 2022 where she would be expected to accept a donation on behalf of the Angel of Hope Foundation. She also asked the Zimbabwe delegation to relay her warm regards to Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate, as she appreciated the cordial meetings she had held with the Senate President in Harare and subsequently in St Petersburg. Hon. Matvienko was looking forward to Hon. Chinomona’s expected visit to Russia in December 2022 during which visit the Cooperation Agreement between the two Senates would be signed.

8.0    Recommendations

8.1    The Bilateral Visit which culminated in the signing of the historic Cooperation Agreement between the National Assembly of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation should now translate into tangible outputs for the mutual benefit of the people of Russia and Zimbabwe. To this end the strengthening of existing relations through the accelerated implementation of the Agreement is of paramount importance. The following activities may be undertaken for sustained relations:

Specialised Committee exchange visits in order to share views and best practices on parliamentary processes in specific economic sectors should be encouraged;

Concerted efforts by the two legislatures to ensure the implementation of Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements;

Rendering corroborative support at the international fora;

Participating at Conferences that further the cause of the two legislatures;

Parliament of Zimbabwe together with the Executive must strive to promote historical and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe which should be digitalised.

Domestic tourism is another area that Zimbabwe can learn from Russia as well as how to package and brand the different tourist attractions to not only encourage foreign tourists but domestic tourists as well. 

9.0    Conclusion

9.1    The Delegation extends its appreciation to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and Government for affording it the opportunity to undertake the high-level bilateral exchange visit. The Delegation, therefore, calls on Parliament to ensure sustained relations with the State Duma of Russia and the Federal Council anchored on mutual trust for the benefit of the people of Russia and Zimbabwe.

Annexure 1

Agreement on Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

The National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the Parties;

Attaching great importance to the development of traditional relations of friendship, mutual understanding, and cooperation between the peoples of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation;

Acknowledging the important role of legislative bodies in promoting multidimensional cooperation between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation in political, economic, trade, cultural, educational, and other spheres;

Desiring to further improve constructive relations between the legislative bodies of both States;

Advocating maintenance of peace, stability and security as well as recognising the necessity of active mutual cooperation in countering new challenges and threats;

Building on the belief that cooperation between the Parties will contribute to the preservation of democratic values, promotion of the rule of law, and observance of human rights;

Recognising that interaction in the said spheres is mutually beneficial and serves the interests of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation, have agreed on the following:

Article 1

The Parties shall promote the establishment of permanent links between committees, commissions, parliamentary groups and administrations of the Parties and exchange delegations in order to study the best practices of drafting and adopting legislative acts and parliamentary programmes.

Article 2

In order to ensure coordination of parliamentary processes in the international arena the Parties shall hold consultations, provide support to each other when issues of mutual interest are discussed in international organisations.

Article 3

The Parties shall regularly exchange information on their activities, legislative acts, printed periodicals and other materials relating to the activities of the Parties.

Article 4

All information, that the Parties have agreed to consider confidential, shall be treated as such, except in cases where the Party gives written confidentiality waiver of specific information.

Article 5

All information on the issues of this Agreement shall be exchanged between the Parties in written letters.

Article 6

The financial support for the implementation of this Agreement shall be provided by the Parties separately, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity and within the limits of the funds envisaged in the cost estimates of the Parties.

Article 7

The issues concerning interpretation and application of this Agreement shall be settled by the Parties through negotiations and consultations.

Article 8

Amendments and additions may be made to this Agreement by mutual agreement of the Parties in writing.

Article 9

This Agreement shall be applied from the date of its signature. Either Party can terminate this Agreement by giving a three months’ written notice to the other Party. This Agreement shall then terminate 90 days after the date of the receipt of such notification.

Signed_______ on ____________ 2022, in two copies in the English and Russian languages, both texts having equal legal force.

Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Chairman of the State Duma
of the Federal Assembly
of the Russian Federation

Annexure 2

Your Excellency, the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Hon. Vyacheslav Volodin;

Hon, Members of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation;

Members of my delegation;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Comrades and Friends

At the onset, allow me to tender my profound gratitude and that of my delegation for the gracious invitation extended to us by the State Duma. The hospitality accorded to my delegation and the related welcome logistics have been superb beyond expectation. We feel very much at home. I take this auspicious opportunity to bring to you warm fraternal regards from our President, His Excellency, Dr E.D. Mnangagwa, and from the entire citizenry of Zimbabwe. Lest we forget, Russia and Zimbabwe enjoy cordial political and economic bilateral relations which predate Zimbabwe’s independence. That independence would never have been attained had Russia not proffered arms and military hardware as well as demonstrating practically the unflinching moral and political support for our freedom fighters. Russia unwaveringly believed in Zimbabwe’s quest for self-determination, freedom and independence. We are here to cement that bedrock of our tested bilateral relations now being propagated by our current parliamentary diplomacy as undergirded by the need for mutual benchmarking visits such as this one to the State Duma. There is need for our two Assemblies to continually share best Parliamentary practices in order to enhance democracy, the rule of law and the upholding of human rights in our respective jurisdictions. Thank you for the invitation by the State Duma of the Eighth Convocation for this opportune occasion to learn from each other’s parliamentary best practices.

Hon. Members, our visit here in Russia takes place in the middle of the Russian Federation military campaign in Ukraine which started on 24th February 2022. The war is now in its seventh month and not abating.

The Russian Federation’s special operation in Ukraine, though demonised by western media, is predicated on legitimate historical security concerns arising from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) and the United States of America unrelenting expansionist policies which pose an incontrovertible danger to the Russian Federation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As is common cause, on Saturday 2nd March 2022 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that strongly admonished the Russian Federation for launching a special military operation against Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation and unconditional withdrawal of Russian military forces. The resolution was supported by 141 of the General Assembly’s 193 Member States with Zimbabwe among the more than 30 countries abstaining from voting. Five countries, including Russia, Syria, Ethiopia and Belarus voted against it. Zimbabwe’s position remains steadfast in support of concerted efforts towards a peaceful resolution to the current conflict in the spirit of multilateralism and solidarity as defined by Article 2 of the United Nations Charter.

However, this conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine is complex and deeply rooted in history and geopolitical dynamics. It is instructive to note that for centuries the histories of Russia and Ukraine were intricately intertwined. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus which is the current Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. The Russian religion and culture spread from there. Additionally, some of the most critical battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709, were fought on Ukranian soil. The Black Sea Fleet - Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean – is based on a long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. It is, therefore, axiomatic that the historical linkages between Russia and Ukraine are intricately coiled.

Notwithstanding this history, in the aftermath of the breakup of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the end of the Cold War, NATO continued its scorched earth policy of advancing towards Russia by progressively co-opting former Soviet Republics into its political wing. From 1999 to date, former Warsaw Pact members who include Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have joined NATO. They were later joined by Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The effect of this incorporation into NATO, which began to establish military bases in the respective countries, was that the Russian Federation was literally hemmed in by its Cold War adversaries. Overt attempts by NATO to incorporate Ukraine within its ambit, which shares a 2000-kilometre border with the Russian Federation and is the largest of former Soviet states, raised a sense of insecurity on the part of the Russian Federation. That political context should be understood in that respect. Accordingly, the Russian Federation justifiably feels threatened by the presence of a NATO nuclear arsenal within touching distance of its borders and the Russian Federation’s special military operation should be understood in this context. The military operation is thus a pre-emptive move intended to protect the Russian Federation from an inescapable Nato foe and now bolstered by the American hegemonic hankering for the unwarranted unipolar world that clearly cannot be trusted in maintaining world peace and security.

As Henry Kissinger prophetically observed that:

“The European Union must recognise that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine’s relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis.”

Zimbabwe is not convinced that the United Nations resolution condemning the Federation of Russia and the barrage of sanctions imposed against it is the correct way to bring an end to the current crisis. On the contrary sanctions actually add more fuel to the raging political fire, resulting in untold human suffering, loss of life and infrastructural destruction on both sides of the conflict. It is Zimbabwe’s considered view that an earnest and constructive dialogue is the only viable option out of the deepening crisis. For Africa, it is imperative that the diplomatic dialogue needs consummation in order to curtail the negative impact of the conflict on the African continent’s trade with Russia and Ukraine. Between 2018 and 2020, Africa imported US$3.7 billion in wheat (32% of the continent’s total wheat imports) from Russia and another US$1.4 billion from Ukraine (12% of the continent’s wheat imports). Similarly, Ukraine exported $2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to the African continent in 2020. About 48% of these products were wheat, 31% corn, and the rest were sunflower oil, barley and soya beans.

The disruption of trade as a consequence of the conflict, is a concern for the African continent, which is a net importer of wheat and sunflower oil. The disruption of shipments of essential commodities is adding to the general concern about food price inflation. Bread prices and cooking oil prices have been going up since the beginning of the war, pushing masses of Africans into poverty. On that note, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) buys half of the wheat it distributes around the world from Ukraine. With the war, supplies are squeezed, and prices are rising, including for fuel, increasing the cost of transporting food in and to the region. Food inflation particularly affects people in poverty, who spend more of their income on food even when consuming the lowest-cost options. The World Bank reported that in African cities, food accounts for 60% of total expenditures for the bottom 20% of urban households and 35% for the wealthiest, making it hard to absorb price hikes. People forced to spend more on basic staples have to adapt by purchasing lower quality food, eating less, and reducing essential non-food expenditures like health or education.

Firstly, as has already been alluded to above, Zimbabwe is alive to the geopolitics and the historical context which informed the Russian Federation’s reaction and the current Russia-Ukraine conflict. Secondly, as an unfortunate victim of the illegal and unilateral western embargo over the past two decades, Zimbabwe can closely relate to Russia’s situation and is convinced that cohesive measures will not result in any meaningful solution. That is why our President, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa, rejected President Biden’s call that Zimbabwe should support sanctions against Russia. President Mnangagwa retorted that victims of sanctions are comrades in arms against the sanctions battle. In the same vein, Africa abhors the H.R. 7311 – Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act now before the United States Senate, which is an affront to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of African Countries who may be deemed to want to support Russia. Its main objective is “that the United States

Should regularly assess the scale and scope of the Russian Federation’s influence and activities in Africa that undermine United States objectives and interests; and

 Determine how —

 To address and counter such influence and activities effectively, including through appropriate United States foreign assistance programs; and

To hold accountable the Russian Federation and African governments and their officials who are complicit in aiding such malign influence and activities”.

Zimbabwe firmly believes that dialogue is the only option for peaceful settlement of disputes as enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter and at International law.

Zimbabwe affirms that it is the duty of the international community to ameliorate conflicts. To that end, the international community must tirelessly facilitate honest engagement to find a durable solution to the current Russia – Ukraine conflict. In that regard, Zimbabwe appeals to the international community to foster this approach in order to curtail the emerging destabilization of the global economy with its attendant palpable imported inflation spiral.

Given this context, it is commendable that the Russian Federation and Ukraine have already initiated dialogue seeking an expeditious and peaceful resolution to the conflict as led by President Erdogan of Turkey. The two parties to the conflict are, therefore, encouraged to further intensify their efforts toward finding a lasting solution to the crisis which threatens the security interests of both parties and the consequential human calamities, especially the concomitant refugee crisis currently devastating the lives of women and children, let alone the destabilization of the world economic order. In that vein, the Turkish diplomatic manoeuvres should be sustained and applauded by the international community. Diplomacy through dialogue can only succeed where there is a mutual realization that states have a duty to affirm their sovereignty in a spirit of co-existence and without inadvertently unduly raising existential security concerns of other sovereign states. Given the obtaining historical and geopolitical paradigms, while it is accepted that in line with the UN Charter every state has the right to associate with any other state on the basis of the sovereign equality of nations, each State also has a sacrosanct responsibility to avoid overt and covert threats towards other States. The security threats to the Russian Federation’s sovereignty in this context are apparent and are of a historical nature since the 14th century. In that regard, it is only through dialogue between all parties to the conflict that a peaceful resolution to the dispute can be found. The dialogue must be predicated on a clear understanding of the root cause of the conflict, mutual trust, the need for flexibility and commitment to engage in constructive and peaceful dialogue. Cessation of hostilities is possible where both parties respect previous multilateral and bilateral treaties signed by them, including the unimplemented Minsk Protocol of 2014.

To this end, the United Nations Security Council has a duty to work without bias or undue influence toward an end to the current conflict. After the cessation of hostilities, the United Nations must facilitate the deployment of a credible monitoring team to secure unhindered access to post-war recovery and humanitarian operations. Guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity, and independence, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners should constantly review and scale up the delivery of life-saving support to refugees and internally displaced people in the war zone. Peace is possible where men and women of good will have a meeting of minds in respecting the principle of solidarity and multilateralism which espouses human co-existence on mother planet. 

I conclude by celebrating the State Duma’s parliamentary diplomacy which has enabled my delegation to be hosted here. It is my ardent hope that the State Duma will reciprocate our visit by sending a delegation to Zimbabwe at its earliest convenience. Allow me to express my delegation’s hope that peace and security will soon be attained in the conflict zone. The spectre of a Third World War which may be triggered by the incessant conflict is too ghastly to be contemplated and imagined. The consequences of World War One and Two where more than fifty million lives were lost and many more millions wounded should not be repeated. In that regard, our minds should be tickled to remember that both wars were ended by the Treaties of Versailles and Paris respectively. Herein lies the nugget of wisdom to end conflict through round-table diplomatic dialogue.

Long Live the Russian Federation under the leadership of President Putin!

Long Live the Republic of Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa’s leadership!

Long Live the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation!

Long Live the Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

Thank you for your attention!

          HON. MASOKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Good afternoon. I rise to second the report on the delegation to Russia moved by Hon. Shamu.  With utmost humility, I seek this august House’s esteemed wide attention towards a few pointers emanating from the Parliamentary expedition to Russia, which I was privileged to be a part of. 

          The visit was premised on the fundamental quest to harness and enhance inter-parliamentary relations between Zimbabwe and Russia across multiple facets of mutual interests viz-a-vis the matrix of crafting enabling mechanisms deliberated and designed to cater for humanity’s betterment within the context of strategic geo-political fundamentals.  After we have been duly accorded the chance by the Russian State Duma to have a look at the institutional major of rational self-introspection, audit profoundly underlined by the patriotic zeal and resilience, we came to realise that Russia got to where she is today through shear hard work, unity of purpose and innovation, not through subsidised mercy.

          In the same vein, Zimbabwe’s progress now has been crafting and championing home grown initiatives that are for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans.  Therefore, it is imperative to note that as a nation, we need to be bold and unwavering in addressing and bridging the gap of wholesome indifference, which ultimately has churned out a generation which is sadly detached from the umbilical code of the country’s history.  We need, as a nation, to take a leaf from Russia’s proactive stance in preserving the motions as well as the growing of its history.  We have to ensure by way of concerted efforts, that the generality of Zimbabweans and youths in particular are systematically weaned from distorted narratives and therefore avoid the tragedy of leaving a generation running astray, unadorned of the truth into the arms of manipulation.

          The fact that we have in our midst a generation of youths lost in the fog of cultural and historical identity crisis, calls for immediate measures to ensure that the virtues, ethos and exploits of our storied Chimurenga testament becomes the staple gospel religiously taught in our schools from a tender age.  The trifle still of holes in defence to our country’s history and identity as a nation ought to be addressed as a matter of urgency by investing and churning resources towards establishing the requisite institutional centres where the virtues of ubuntu, discipline and patriotism are imparted to the youths.

          I believe it is out of misinterpretation, the more or campus upside down, coupled with an existential patriotic deficit which compels you to find occupation in abusing drugs and ultimately themselves by holding the candle to detractors bent on undermining the nation’s economic, social, territorial and sovereign integrity.  We cannot fold our hands and watch as distant detached spectators whilst the tempestuous tide of youths delinquencies sweeps our youths into the shows of catastrophic ignorance.

          In that vein, I feel that the National Youth Service needs to be revived and revitalised in order to proffer a crucial narrative deliberately designed to ideologically rescue our youths who lost as they are in the confluence of confusion, have inadvertently found it fashionable to cut their feet in order to fit in the shoes of foreign borrowed ways, behaviour or conduct largely at variance with the ethos of ubuntu.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, youths constitute the bulk of our human capital.  As a nation, in order to harness the glorious dividend of patriotic, focused and innovative youths, the National Youth Service ought to be activated into motion with prudent immediacy so as to proffer ideological, cultural, as well as, social orientation which reflects who we are as a nation. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot afford to overlook the fact that we live in a world where we have to put up with the arrogance of those who wrongly view themselves as more human than others, in a world where hawkish demigods prescribe that where we cannot supply guns, we will supply the reason for war.  There arises a pertinent need to rekindle the candle of ubuntu and patriotism whose flickering light lies at the mercy of the prevailing whirlwinds of youths despondency feigned by ignorance at large. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, as is exemplified by Russia, the cornerstone of a country’s success is premised on unity and being true to itself.  Zimbabwe cannot afford the inconvenience of being discordant when it comes to denouncing the illegal economic sanctions strangulating our motherland.  There is a compelling need to reactivate our deleted consciences and ensure that none amongst us is dabbling in the business of selling the country’s economic soul to the highest bidder. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe will always be our motherland, never our ex-mother.  So in that respect, it is my fervent hope that we shall all, as progressive Zimbabweans, take a leaf from Russia, which in 2008 chose the path of reason and thus effectively vetoed concerted mercenary machinations to consign Zimbabwe’s economic fate to the Golgotha devised by the merchants of misinformation.  We need to put our heads together as Zimbabweans and effectively turn off the tap of economic sanctions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, as the tap of economic sanctions drips with the bitter water of mass pauperisation, I think it is high time Parliament comes up with a legislation that deals with those who are keen at mopping the floor instead of turning off the tap of misery. 

          Indeed Mr. Speaker Sir, the Constitution needs to do away with its conspiratorial silence which by default is making a lot of noise.  By the way, poisoning the pond cannot be a way of saving the fish.  Poisoning the economy can never be a way of helping its people.  History has taught us that you can take a fly out of the toilet but you cannot take the toilet out of the fly.  So it is imperative that this august House reigns in on unrepentant economic mercenaries who solicit and partake in asymmetrical assassination of our beloved country. 

          I believe that as patriotic legislators, we have an overriding obligation to craft and promulgate a curative legal remedy which ensures that those who hold the candle of economic saboteurs and their enablers are obliged to take a seat on the law’s proverbial last bus to repentance.  We need also to remember the prayer that we always hear that we have an obligation as legislators in this House, to speak with one voice and to defend Zimbabwe as one.  We might differ in our political persuasions but it is incumbent upon all of us to be patriotic and to fight for this country.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          HON. MATEU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  First of all, I want to thank the delegation that travelled to Russia, which included the Hon. Speaker on behalf of Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Parliamentary engagements are very important. I want to thank Parliament, including the Hon. Speaker for his address to the Russian Duma. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to give reference that the interface between Zimbabwe and Moscow is very important as it is important for us as a country to be friends to all countries.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I note that there are 18 agreements between Russia and Zimbabwe but these agreements have not been fulfilled.  I ask that when we plan our trips and engagements with other countries, we need to ensure that we are going there to do business that benefits the citizens of this country.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to turn to the report that was given by Hon. Shamu and I will turn to sanctions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there is no Zimbabwean who wants either their country or citizens to be under any sanctions.  However, I do want to say that we must ensure that the fundamental human rights as in Chapter 2 of the Zimbabwean Constitution are absolutely adhered to.  Because of the geopolitics that we currently live in, it also means that globalisation affects the way things go. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, as we speak in this House, there is a devastating war that is currently happening in Ukraine.  This House must condemn such a war as it is not beneficial to either the citizens of this country or indeed to the global citizenry.  The Ukrainian war reminds us of where we are as a country and world.  I want to tell you Mr. Speaker Sir, the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war.  Russia is a major producer of chemicals, especially fertiliser.  Moreso, Ukraine is a major producer of grain, mainly wheat.  A number of countries, I can mention about 18 African countries rely on wheat that comes from Ukraine.  In fact, countries like Ethiopia and Eritrea get their grain from Ukraine.  The current embargo that is there on the shipment of grain from the Ukrainian coast to Africa has been so much hindered because of the war that is currently happening in Russia.

 I would have wished that the Speaker of this Parliament would have been very abrupt in his speech to the State Duma that Zimbabwe and indeed this Parliament is against any war, does not take any sides within the politics of Russia or the Eastern bloc and that we are absolutely neutral and all we want is peace so that the repercussions of the current war do not affect us as Zimbabwean citizens.  We have seen how the prices of goods such as fuel are going up.  There is currently a big crisis of fertiliser in this country.  All this is because of the ongoing war that is currently happening in Ukraine.  Yes Mr. Speaker, we do want sustained bi-lateral relations with Russia for I think they are of benefit to us as a nation.  We also must tell Russia the truth about its actions in the global arena. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Second Report on the Russian Delegation visit recommended that we must have a revival of the National Youth Service, which I heard from Hon. Masoka.  I want to condemn this report Mr. Speaker Sir.  Zimbabwe is an independent country.  The basis of which we institute any service, be they to the youths or pensioners must be reciprocal to us Zimbabweans and they must benefit us as a nation for Zimbabwe.  I do not see, Mr. Speaker Sir, we are in a calamity as far as our economy is concerned.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are actually in a calamity in terms of the reports that we heard yesterday about the many child pregnancies happening in schools, about the abuse of drugs and alcohol in our institutions and in our youth.  Therefore, if there is any youth service that should start right from us addressing the issues that are currently affecting the youth of today.

There was a lot of talk Mr. Speaker Sir, about patriotism in the report.  I would dare not to think that there is any person in this august house who is not patriotic.  Being a patriot does not mean that you are in support of a particular political party,being a patriot means that you are first of all honest to your country.  It means that first of all you love your country.  Loving your country does not mean that you love any political party,it means that you love your country and you adhere to its principles and especially the Constitution that was enacted in 2013.

So, this idea of patriotism being that we must instill some kind of ideological persona to our youth must be reciprocal and must be condemned with the utmost condemnation because this would be tantamount to brainwashing of our youth.  We must live in a liberal social democratic country where people make free choices.  The choices that are given within the Constitution, that are guaranteed in the Constitution, Mr. Speaker Sir, that a person is free to choose any political belonging, there is freedom of association, freedom of whomever I want to hang with, freedom of whomever I want to vote for.  That is the Zimbabwe that we must beseech. 

The idea that the delegation from Russia is telling us that because they went to Russia, now that they have seen how people in Russia, especially the men, were being asked to go to the front-line, we have seen a lot of migration.  We see it on the news every day.  Men from Russia are actually leaving Russia because they are being forced to go to the frontline.  Never must we force our youth to be part of any national youth service that intends to brainwash them ideologically in the name of patriotism.  Patriotism means I love my country.  Mr. Speaker Sir I am a patriot.  First of all, I love my country before anything else, before any party.  That is why we are here to ensure that we, as Zimbabweans and the citizens of Zimbabwe benefit from everything. 

So, in conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Members who went to Russia and I hope that the engagements with Russia do continue.  However, these engagements must be thrust in the truth and nothing else but the truth.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Shamu for a well elaborate report on their visit to Russia in particular because of the intertwined relationship that we have with Russia.  It is actually an issue that speaks to the core, the heart, the pith of the umbilical cord that exists between these countries and the relationships cannot be washed or wished away.  This is why I want to second in the following manner Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the relationship with Russia dates back to the days before independence when a lot of our cadres in particular from ZAPU were trained during the liberation struggle in Russia.  Having said that - fast forward to 2008 when Zimbabwe nearly was brought before the Security Council in the United Nations when David Miliband was also the Foreign Secretary at the UN.  During that time, Russia and China vetoed the UN assertion to bring Zimbabwe before the Security Council.  So we were not friends and partners with Russia during the liberation struggle alone, we have gone further because Russia has a similar foreign policy as Zimbabwe, that of non-interference and non-intervention in foreign sovereign states.  This policy really does speak to the core of the heart of the developing and or the developed states in the mind, Mr. Speaker Sir, because there should not be any interference and there should not be any intervention in foreign states by the world’s powerful or perceived powerful powers Mr. Speaker Sir.

I want to actually go and delve into exactly what the vetoing or what the relationship meant in 2008 in the UN.  Mr. Speaker Sir it says Zimbabwe and Russia, as I have said, share a common foreign principle and policy - that of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of sovereign states.  Russia vetoed the UN Council sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2008 and the United States and the western members of the Security Council had supported the Zimbabwean authorities be punished for actions that in their opinion undermined the democracy and suppressed human rights in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, this was after a very comprehensive agrarian reform programme of 2000 and it was after having visited the constitution of the Lancaster House Agreement that spoke to and about 10 years after our independence where the British and their kinsmen were supposed to relinquish the land on a willing buyer willing seller basis. Having seen that there was some delinquent behaviour, the First Republic then went ahead to take back the land which was never paid for by the British and their kinsmen Mr. Speaker Sir.  To that end, the British and the West and the Europeans wanted to sanction Zimbabwe during the time when Russia and China vetoed those sanctions.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Russian Foreign Minister explained that verbatim, ‘Russia has taken into account that the situation in Zimbabwe did not pose a threat to regional, let alone international peace and security and therefore did not warrant the adoption of sanctions against Zimbabwe’.  That was a strong statement Mr. Speaker Sir and it speaks to the core, the heart, the pith of the relationships.  This shows that there are blood relationships between Russia and Zimbabwe.  So as I speak about the Russian relationships, they should be taken seriously Mr. Speaker Sir.  The eighteen agreements that exist between the countries should be ratified and should be carried forward for the mutual benefit of the countries.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the other issue I want to talk about is reverse engineering.  There is a lot happening in Russia.  If we take even some of the gadgets from Russia and do reverse engineering here, we can overtake and surpass the First World order Mr. Speaker Sir and continue to augment and compliment Education 5.0 and Vision 2030 by His Excellency, the President Cde. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. We have gone past the days of the liberation struggle. Now we need to emancipate ourselves economically. Russia vetoed the sanctions on us when we had undertaken the agrarian reform programme and there is what the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo always said about Lima.

          If you turn around that word Lima, it says ‘Mali’, meaning we can have copious amounts of monies because of just the agrarian reform programme. So when Russia vetoed this, it was alive to the fact that it had completely given us our freedom through the land reform programme.

          As I wind up, I want to go further and say what David Milliband then said, the British Foreign Secretary and U. S. Ambassador to the U.N. He stated that we are disappointed that the United Nations Security Council should have failed to pass a strong and clear resolution on Zimbabwe. Russia’s stance are incomprehensive and raising questions about her reliability as a G8 partner sticking her back out for Zimbabwe. The Russian Foreign Minister made clear Russia’s stance by stating that we, the Russians and the Chinese categorically reject the aspirations of certain Security Council member states to take this body outside its charter prerogatives, that is beyond the limits of supporting world peace and security order. We consider attempts like these to be illegitimate and dangerous leading towards unbalancing the whole United Nations System. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a strong statement that is routed in the values and relationships that are founded and grounded in the ethos and values of the liberation struggle. Zimbabweans fought a protracted liberation struggle. Some went to war without even the knowledge that they were going to come back for the liberation of this country. If anybody speaks against this relationship, they speak against the war of liberation, that which was wedged to emancipate and to empower the formerly marginalised black majority.

          As I take my seat, I want to congratulate the Speaker and the delegation that went to Russia that invigorated, rehabilitated, fostered and maintained the robust, resilient, effective and efficient relationships that we have with our comrades in Russia who have stood shoulder to shoulder with Zimbabwe as a big brother. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively and efficiently speak to this report that has been tabled by Hon. Shamu and that was supported by Hon. Masoka.  

          HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to thank Hon. Shamu, the Speaker and his delegation on their visit to Russia. I just want to raise two issues. We acknowledge and appreciate the role that was played by Russia in supporting the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe and no one would wish the continued relationship to go away. It is also important that the relationship should be refined and where there are errors in the relationship, it is important that if there is brotherly relationship, the errors are identified.

          One major issue is in the area of natural resources. I wish that Zimbabwean Parliament and Zimbabweans at large will also learn the issue that Russia considers in terms of sovereignty over natural resources. Here in Zimbabwe, we are giving away our natural resources and even Russia has participated in the mining of diamonds and alluvial gold resources. For example, along Mutare River, if you go to Manicaland in Penhalonga, this is where the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) where Russians were also directors and this company has its roots from the liberation struggle.

          It speaks of a parasitic relationship. I heard Hon. Nduna talking about a big brother. There is still this big brother mentality and Mutare River’s original purpose was diverted and the Russians through the DTZ were given exclusive rights to extract alluvial gold in Zimbabwe and they were disregarding the environmental rules in our country.

          Therefore I say inasmuch as we want this relationship to go, can it be a relationship which results in mutual benefits for both countries. As citizens of Zimbabwe, we cannot continue to lose out. We would also want to copy Russia how it also considers the aspect of natural resource governance. In Russia, it is not easy to open a mine if you are a foreigner. Why is Zimbabwe not copying from the Russians that the natural resources belong to the citizens of this country?

          If we address that area, we are going to enjoy and make sure that our citizens enjoy this relationship. This relationship should not just be an elite coercion where we just have the elites, those who fought the liberation struggle and the Russians who supported the liberation struggle just benefitting. We want the people of Chiadzwa to benefit and we want the people of Penhalonga to benefit from the engagements that we are having with Russia. We would want the technology transfer to also come to Zimbabwe. When are we going to end this praise and singing, just praising that we have all weather friends. Why are they not giving us technology? One day here it was discussed here that we have for example, Zimbabwe is known as a cattle country; we produce a lot of leather but we are not even able to produce leather belts or leather shoes, yet we are proud of having this kind of relationship with the big brother Russia. Where is Russia’s technology?  We would want the technology also to be transferred to our country. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, this is one important point that I thought was important.  Lastly, we want Russia and Zimbabwe to also improve on human rights records.  We do not want these countries to be on the wrong side in terms of international relations. Yes, Russia is doing well in defending Zimbabwe at the international fora but we also want the two countries to improve on the participation of the citizens in terms of governance, especially on the issue that I have raised on natural resource governance.

          HON. MUDARIKWA: I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Shamu and Hon. Masoka who seconded the motion.  I also want to thank those who debated before me but also try to correct what they have said.

          Hon. Hamauswa said we are not making shoes; go to Bata there, we have  the Bata Shoe Company, other indigenous companies and other people making shoes in Zimbabwe.  If you do not personally like Russia, do not try to create a situation of confusion. 

          There is this other Hon. Member who was talking against the issue of national service.  National service is a common thing in all countries. It creates a sense of belonging and also national service creates a situation where youths are given relevant skills to develop themselves but in a situation where there is political polarisation; in Zimbabwe, some opposition parties are there to oppose.  They tell you that sugar is sour, which is not true.

          Let me go back, when we debate anything, we have to look at the historical context of how Russia assisted the people of Zimbabwe.  We have people like Ambrose Mutinhiri, Cde Tshinga Dube, a former Member of Parliament, the late Robson Manyika, all these people were trained in Russia for the simple reason that go and fight against colonialism.

          Colonialism has a problem because it then sits in the lives of other comrades, it is neo-colonialism, and it is part and parcel of their mindset. Whatever you do, they do not believe that they are liberated.  They do not even see the value of liberation because of neo-colonialism and these are merchants of an element where people who do not believe in themselves. 

If there is anything that Russia has done, it is is to assist so that the sanctions that were initially proposed by the British through United Nations were turned down. The current sanctions were issued outside the United Nations, that is why they are illegal, they are outside any UN Convention, they were issued out of a race that they are white people, and we must collaborate.

There is a book I once read which was written by one of the Kenyan Mao-Mao Fighters. He says, one morning he met a guy who was laughing in the road.  He asked what is wrong and he said, today I had a dream.  I dreamt being a white person”.  So some of us, when they debate, they debate from a background of having a dream, one day when they will be white and they remain black, Africans, Zimbabweans, oppressed by the same sanctions.

Sanctions are not selective, they do not look at Mudarikwa or this one, and they affect the economy of Zimbabwe. So, we want to thank Russia for supporting us when Britain wanted to impose sanctions on us. The Issue of Russian Youth, we were there on a cultural exchange programme, the Russian COMSO begins with youths at secondary school level.  They are taught to understand who they are and what they represent.

For example, India was colonised by the British for 400 years, we were colonised by the British for 100 years but when you go to India, you will never see any Indian with a British name.  At one point when I wanted to be baptised in one of the churches which I cannot mention, they wanted me to change my name saying Simbaneuta is not a European name, when you die you go via Europe. All this is part of colonisation because the Christianity that came to Zimbabwe, Africa came via the London Missionary society. 

The London Missionary Society was a front of Cecil John Rhodes which looked into ‘how do you colonise the people’. When we were colonised by the British, there were again some sellouts who collaborated with the British so that the war could be defeated.

Even during the times of slave trade, there were some collaborators who collaborated with the British who came here to buy slaves.  They organised armies to capture, therefore, sellouts will remain there, even the time of Patrice Lumumba, he put up a nice battle to defeat Belgium but sellout Morris Chombe joined in to disturb the revolution of Democratic Republic of Congo. Until today, the selling out of Morris Chombe is haunting the people of Congo, so sellouts remain there in Africa, they will remain part of us but it is our role to pray for these sellouts that one day they must see the light.

The issue of bilateral agreements, there are 18 bilateral agreements which have been signed.  It is important that the Committee on Foreign Affairs look at these bilateral agreements and then create a system where we can implement because I understand some of the bilateral agreements have to deal with the development of our agriculture – how do we mechanise our agriculture. We must move away from every man, we must be a modern agricultural economy that uses tractors and everything and move forward.

The mining sector, Zimbabwe has got the largest deposits of different minerals.  The problem we have is we always believe that foreigners must come here and help us, it is our problem here.  We sign and pass bilateral agreements of Belarus Structure and not even one of us has got a tractor. We think as if we are not part of the whole thing.  So we must be participants in any economy.  You must not be spectators; it is important that the attitude of being spectators moves out of our minds.  So, the mining sector needs our support. 

The transfer of technology – technology transfer from these developed countries is very critical and that is why you see Russia where it is. If we cooperate with Russia, they will transfer certain technologies that are appropriate to our people and then we move forward. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, in conclusion, I want to thank the Hon. Speaker Hon. Jacob Adv. Mudenda for the speech he presented to the Duma, it was a well detailed speech.  It had a lot of in-depth insights but the only unfortunate thing is, I think in future when these types of events happen, we need to get even some CDs, they can be put on our phones when the Speaker is addressing the Duma. The Publicity side of our activities as Parliament must be enhanced.  All Hon. Members must have the speech of the Hon. Speaker.  Once he delivers it there, it must straight out go to our phones. 

          You can see we are I.T compliant; it is unfortunate some of these young guys are BBC, they are born before computers, and they do not really value the issue of I.T.  So Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you very much for allowing me to contribute on this very important debate.  I thank you.

          (V)HON. R. R. NYATHI: I also want to add my voice on this very important bilateral visit that was taken by our Committee and was presented by Hon. Shamu.  First of all, Hon. Speaker Sir, I think that these kinds of visits are very important to us as Zimbabweans.  As much as you know that in terms of development we are a bit behind from Russia.  What made me happier was the fact that in the presentation, we learnt that Russia became what they are today because they were focused, hardworking and we have a lot to learn from them because they did not become what they are because of assistance from other countries, but they worked hard by themselves to develop their own country.

          I also want to stress that these visits are very important because they bring to Zimbabwe the much needed foreign currency because of  the natural heritage that we have; natural historical sites that we have, for example everyone wants  to come and see the Great Zimbabwe ruins.  Everyone wants to come and see the great wonders that the Lord has bestowed upon our beloved land, Zimbabwe as you go and see the majestic Victoria Falls. 

          So, this will help us so much that if our Committees keep on visiting Russia they can bring the much needed foreign currency as people come and see what the Lord has bestowed upon our land.  I also want to mention that as we focus further and put the ideas together that have been brought in this House which I believe  if we put them in practice, Zimbabwe will never be the same again. 

          All Zimbabweans must learn to love their country, we must be patriotic as this is the only country that we call ours.  I was listening to some other Hon. Members as they were debating and they were talking about political factors affecting Russia and the war in Russia. I just want you to understand that the war that is going on between Russia and Ukraine is historical and anyone that wants to study history will see that this has got nothing to do with Zimbabwe but we must also make sure that we do not forget yesterday because of what we are today. 

          You must understand that in order for us to win our liberation, it was because of our big brother Russia who supported us with weapons and training the gallant sons of Zimbabwe. Some are still living and some are already late.  So that relationship we must always treasure it and keep it as important as possible. It is also important for me to note the fact that when we encourage our young people to go for a National Youth Service, we are not trying to brain wash the young people but we are trying to hand over to them the history of this country, how we became Zimbabweans and how it was before.  It is also important that we teach them to love themselves and to love their country.  We also teach them how they can develop their country economically, how they can work very hard so that they can become prosperous business people.   They can also study how Zimbabwe was liberated and the heroes that perished in order for us to enjoy who we are today.  It is also important that in that process, our young people must also learn of the evils of colonialism because we do not need any other person to tell us and to tell us what we should be and what we must be doing and what we will be.  We must tell our own destination of where we are coming from and where we are going and our youth must also uphold that vision.  That vision tells us who we are as Zimbabweans. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we have a lot of minerals in Zimbabwe and some of them, we have not yet discovered. We know that the most of the fights that are going on about our country are because our distracters are thinking that they will come back again and enjoy our mineral deposits and what Zimbabwe has been favoured by God to have like good weather, climate, minerals and everything.  So it is important for us as Zimbabweans to make sure that we uphold and hold fast without letting go that which the Lord has bestowed upon us.

In conclusion, I also want to thank the Hon. Speaker Adv. Mudenda for leading this delegation to go and study how we can develop Zimbabwe to a developed state like Russia. So I think that it is important also that if we learn more from these developed countries Zimbabwe will never be poor and we will develop from one stage to another and vision 2030 becomes a reality as soon as yesterday.  I thank you for giving me an opportunity to air my views Hon. Speaker Sir.

          HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to thank the Hon. Members who have contributed to this very important report beginning obviously with the seconder of the motion Hon. Masoka, Hon. Mateu, Hon. Nduna, Hon. Hamauswa, Hon. Mudarikwa and Hon. R. R. Nyathi - they have made the report  richer than it was before. In saying so, I would like to move that the report be adopted.

HON. MUTAMBISI: I second.

Motion with leave, adopted.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number 18 on today’s Order Paper.

HON. MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FOURTH REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE ON THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH QUARTER BUDGET PERFORMANCE REPORTS FOR THE YEAR 2021

HON. SHAMU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Fourth Report of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the First, Second, Third and Fourth Quarter Budget Performance Reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

HON. R. NYATHI: I second.

HON. SHAMU:

  1. INTRODUCTION

In tandem with Parliament’s oversight function, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade analysed all the 2021 Budget Performance Reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The analysis subjected the Ministry to a litmus test checking whether the Ministry managed to achieve its 2021 targets as well as whether it was on course to accomplish its mandate espoused in the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1) from page 171-176, by 2025. Having done that, the Committee came up with palatable recommendations that, if implemented, would assist the Ministry to execute its mandate in a robust manner for the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030.

2.0      METHODOLOGY

 The Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Herein after referred to as the Committee) analysed four Quarterly Budget Performance Reports for the year 2021 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade with technical assistance from the Parliament Budget Office. The Committee sought clarity from the Ministry on a myriad of issues that were responded to, through oral evidence sessions and written submissions. Subsequent paragraphs outline the Committee’s findings.

  • COMMITTEE FINDINGS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Vision and Mission

Vision: “To create the necessary conditions for a prosperous, peaceful nation and an effective participant in the community of nations.”

Mission: To promote the political and economic interests, image and influence of the Republic of Zimbabwe in the international community and to protect the interests and safety of Zimbabwean nationals abroad through.”

Website: www.zimfa.gov.zw

The Ministry has responded to the e-government drive positively. The majority of documents are available on its website, inter alia;

  • Foreign Policy
  • Service for Consular and Electronic Visa Application
  • Zimbabwe Trade Policy Vision 2030
  • List of Ratified BIPPAS

Ministry’s key result areas

These are as follows,

  •     Improved international relations
  •     Informed nation and international community
  •     Improved diaspora participation in national development
  •     Improved earnings from trade in goods and services
  •      Improved exports of services
  • Enhanced ease of doing business
    • Resource Allocation, Disbursements and the Overall Impact on the Ministry Budget Performance

Year

Allocation (ZWL$)

Actual Disbursements (ZWL$)

Variance (ZWL$)

% Actual Disbursements

% Variance

2020

2 642 948 204

1 512 068 097

1 130 880 107

57.2%

42.8%

2021

8 640 000 000

4 956 575 585

3 683 424 415

57.3%

42.7%

Fig.1: Budget allocations, actual disbursements and variance for 2020 and 2021

3.2    The table above (fig.1) illustrates a comparison of resources that were allocated and disbursed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for the 2020 and 2021 budget years. It is of paramount important to note that for the two budget years, the Ministry managed to get an average actual disbursement of 57% of the total allocation for each year from the Treasury. The resultant variance was around 42%. In light of the foregoing, the Committee was deeply concerned by the humongous amount of money that was not released by Treasury which had a negative impact on the Ministry’s attainment of its intended targets for the years under review.

3.3 The table below (fig.2) illustrates the 2021 budget allocations and disbursements per each quarter for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Committee observed that, the Ministry’s targeted budget for the first and second quarter, which is from January to June 2021 was ZWL$ 4 billion however, the actual disbursement from Treasury was around ZWL$ 828 million.  The resultant variance was ZWL$ 3.2 billion. Given a miniscule 31% of the total targeted budget that was disbursed by Treasury for the first half of the year 2021 and a whopping 79% of undisbursed funds, the Committee was displeased to note that the enormous amount of money that Treasury could not release was tantamount to derail the Ministry’s annual targets due to unfunded mandates.

Quarters

Targeted budget(ZWL$)

Actual disbursements (ZWL$)

Variance

% Disbursements

 

% Variance

1st Q

2 000 000 000

671 919 186

1 328 080 814

36 %

64%

2nd Q

2 000 000 000

155 853 472

1 844 146 528

8 %

92%

3rd Q

3 640 000 000

3 338 582 449

301 417 551

92%

8%

4th Q

1 000 000 000

790 220 478

209 779 522

79 %

21

Fig.2: Budget allocation, actual disbursements and variance per quarter for 2021

3.4 Further to the above, the Committee noted that, though Treasury disbursed 90% of the targeted budget of the Ministry for the second half of the year, July to December 2021 as illustrated in fig.3 below, the damage had already been done in the first half of the year in terms of missing the set targets for the year. This emanated from the fact that all the activities and programs that the Ministry could not execute in the first half of the year carried them forward into the last half of the year which was underfunded by 10% of the targeted budget. Also, that inflation took its toll on the disbursed funds resulting in the erosion of value/ buying power of the local currency due to exchange rate fluctuations. The situation was further exacerbated by late disbursements of funds by Treasury which had become a common phenomenon judging on the basis of the analysis of the 2020 and 2021 budget performance reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

3.5 Cognisant, that in 2021, Treasury released only 57% of the total budget allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, a scenario that is reminiscent of the year 2020. Also, bearing in mind that, Treasury disbursements were done in an erratic and unpredictable manner in the face of skyrocketing inflation, the Committee was deeply dissatisfied with Treasury’s lackadaisical approach in releasing the Ministry’s budget allocation. The Committee further noted with concern that, this precipitated a myriad of challenges for the Ministry in implementing its budget, chief among them being unfunded mandates which culminated into unmet targets for the year.

Fig. 3 B

Year 2021

Total Targeted budget(ZWL$)

Actual disbursements (ZWL$)

Variance

% Actual Disbursements

 

% Variance

January-June

4 000 000 000

827 772 658

3 172 227 342

31%

79%

July- December

4 640 000 000

4 128 802 927

301 417 551

90%

10%

Budget allocation, actual disbursements and variance for each half of the year 2021

3.6 To add on, in 2021 the Ministry had planned to rehabilitate four of Zimbabwe’s foreign missions namely, Windhoek, Geneva, Paris and Gaborone as well as to purchase 3 new Chanceries and 3 official residences in Ankara, Kigali and Abu Dhabi. Also, to procure furniture and equipment in Pretoria, Maputo, Windhoek and Washington. However, due to delays in release of funds as well as non-disbursement of the huge chunk of the Ministry’s total budget allocation, this was not fully achieved in 2021. In its fourth quarter submissions, the Ministry reported that, renovations were work in progress at embassies in Nairobi, Maputo and Windhoek.

3.7 Bearing in mind that, our Embassies are at the epicentre of the engagement and reengagement exercise, a bedrock for attracting both foreign direct investments (FDI’s) and diaspora investments. The Committee observed that there was need for Treasury to fully release the budget allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International so that the Ministry expedites the refurbishment and construction of Chanceries that befits the office of our Ambassadors.

3.8 It is of paramount importance to note that, Embassies are the official points of contact between foreign governments and the host government. Hence, Ambassadors serve as the personal representatives of the Head of state and government. According to page 33 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s 2021 Strategic Plan, the Ministry had planned to purchase 39 vehicles, 9 for the Head Office and 30 for our missions scattered across the globe. However, by year end, the Ministry purchased only 8 vehicles which were awaiting delivery. Thus, there was an enormous shortfall of 31 vehicles which was orchestrated by erosion of value of the Ministry’s budget due to exchange rate fluctuations and runaway inflation coupled with untimely release of funds by Treasury. Hence, without adequate motor vehicles the mobility of Ambassadors at our missions remains problematic. This affected the effective and efficient discharge of their duties particularly, luring foreign investors whose investments are vital in catapulting our economy into an upper middle income by 2030. In light of the foregoing, the Committee deemed it prudent for the budget of foreign missions to be provided in US dollars so as to circumvent loss of value of the budgeted funds.

3.9 Diaspora Participation in National Development

The Ministry successfully engaged the diaspora community resulting in growth in diaspora remittances.  The diaspora community showed its eagerness to support the home land/Zimbabwe by remitting through formal channels humongous sums of money amounting to US$ 1.430 billion. It is important to note that in 2020 diaspora remittances were valued at US$ 1 billion. This entails that there was a 40% increase in diaspora remittances in 2021. Hence, the Ministry’s efforts to increase diaspora participation from 25% in 2020 to 85% in 2021 as espoused in the 2021 Expenditure estimates yielded fruits. This is testified by the direct proportion between the intensified effort in engaging the diaspora community by the Ministry and the total amount of money that was sent back to Zimbabwe.  

3.10   International Trade and Investments

The Ministry has a vision of achieving the 7:14 targets by the year 2030 that is, having exports valued at US$ US$ 7 billion by 2023 and US$ 14 billion by 2030. As at 31 December, the country’s export proceeds were valued at US$ 6.94 billion. The Committee was pleased to note that the Ministry was on course to achieve its set targets, as the Ministry had managed to attain 49.9% which is almost half of the total 2030 target as illustrated in the table below.

Item

Actual proceeds in 2021 (USD)

Target by 2023 (USD)

Target by 2030 (USD)

Percentage export proceeds in 2021

Export proceeds

6.94 billion

7 billion

14 billion

49.9%

 

3.11    Moreover, the Ministry intended to create 5 new markets in 2021. As such, it established new markets for Phosphate and fresh flowers in Brazil. In a bid to enhance international trade, the Ministry participated at the Expo 2020 Dubai where it was envisaging to open up investment opportunities with the United Arab Emirates as well as 192 Countries that participated in the event. The year ended whilst the Ministry was still participating in the event which took place from October 2021 to March 2022. Hence, the impact of participating at the Expo would be reported in the 2022 budget performance reports. Though, establishment of markets for locally produced goods would improve earnings from trade, the Committee noted that, the Ministry could not on the annual performance of the Ministry with regards to the sum  of markets established in 2021.

3.12    Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation

The Ministry had planned to sign and/or ratify six (6) Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAS) in 2021, with Botswana, Mozambique, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.  Out of the six, only four were tabled before the Public Agreements Advisory Committee. The following agreements were signed; Zimbabwe-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation was held resulting in the signing of two Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs). MOU on Labour and Employment and MOU on Information Sharing. Also, MOU between Embassy of Zimbabwe with Asia-Africa Silk Road International Business Co and MOU on Trade and Investment Cooperation between the Zimbabwean Embassy and Tungshu Group Co. Limited. The Ministry engaged the Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation (CCL) who granted permission for the signed BIPPAs to be tabled before Parliament. The Ministry made a Commitment to the Committee to present them before Parliament during 2022.

3.13    International Relations

Through the engagement and re-engagement exercise, various meetings were held at Presidium, Ministerial and senior officials’ level with the People’s Republic of China.   Resultantly, relations between Zimbabwe and China were elevated from an all-weather friendship to strategic partnership. The cemented relationship increased the scope of China’s involvement in the development of Zimbabwe. As such, in 2021, China donated 400 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe to help the country combat the pandemic. However, the Committee noted that there is need for the Ministry to intensify its efforts towards re-engagement with the international community through prioritising re-joining the Commonwealth as a launch pad to unlock international good will in line with the NDS1 (page175).

3.14    Consular Services

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade had planned to assist 1100 repatriates in 2021. However, the Ministry’s performance surpassed the set targets by a very huge margin. In this regard, in 2021 alone, 60 989 consular services were offered to Zimbabweans locally and abroad.  The Committee commended the Ministry for such dedication to national duty and hard work which are a vital cog in the development of our nation notwithstanding a plethora of challenges underscored in the foregoing and the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic which almost grinded the world to a halt. 

 3.15   However, despite all the challenges outlined in the preceding paragraphs, the Committee was delighted to note that, the Ministry’s allocation of resources across its programmes was corresponding from the first up to the fourth Quarter Budget Performance Report. Programme 1, Policy and Administration got 5%, and Programme 2, International Cooperation and Diaspora got 95%. The resource allocation information reported throughout the year reconciled with the information in the 2021 Expenditure Estimates.

3.16 More so, the 2021 Mid-Term Budget and Economic Review reconciled with the Ministry’s consolidated expenditure outturn. As at 30 June 2021, the Ministry had utilized 18% of its resource allocation. The agreement of the figures as reported by the Ministry of finance and Economic Development against the Ministry’s quarterly reports figures give stakeholders confidence on the financial information that the Ministry presents. This was commendable.

 3.17 Lastly, the Committee was pleased to note that the Ministry was implementing recommendations made in the 2020 Auditor General’s report. These are disclosure of mission expenditure in the appropriation account, crafting a risk management policy, implementing a disaster recovery and the operationalization of the Ministry’s Audit Committee that was set up 2019.

4.0      COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

These are as follows;

That, the major challenges that affected the Ministry to fully achieve its 2021 objectives and would continue to do so if not abated, is Treasury’s late disbursements and non-release of full amounts of the budgeted funds.

That, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations eroded the value of the Ministry’s budget which thus affected its overall budget performance.

That, the budget for foreign missions should be done in United States Dollars so as to circumvent erosion of value of the budgeted funds. Also, to enable expedite the construction and refurbishment of our missions abroad for them to befit the office of Ambassadors.

  • COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee recommends;

That, in 2022, Treasury should release full amounts of the budgeted funds for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in much more predictable manner so that the Ministry would complete all the unfinished projects of 2021, particularly the renovations for embassies in Nairobi, Maputo and Windhoek.

That, during the 2023 National Budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should set aside a United States Dollar budget for foreign missions so as to enable the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to purchase the 31 vehicles, 3 Chanceries and 3 official residences in Ankara, Kigali and Abu Dhabi which could not be procured in 2021 due to inadequate funds.

That, by October 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade should ensure that its Audit Committee is fully functional as well as the Risk Management Policy and the Disaster Recovery Plan.

As part of the capital budget, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade must ensure that, the 2022 to 2025 National Budgets set aside funds to procure or construct at least 3 properties for our diplomatic Missions abroad annually so as to reduce rental costs.

The NDS1 provides for the need for acceleration of the rationalisation and streamlining of diplomatic missions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade should come up with a comprehensive strategy for the rationalisation exercise by 30 November 2022 so as to cut costs.

CONCLUSION

In light of the above, it is evident that with robust oversight of the Executive, prudent utilisation of public resources can be realised, paving way for the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030.  This has been witnessed in the reporting and submission of the Ministry’s financial performance reports. It is therefore imperative that release of budgeted resources be made quarterly and predictable so that meaningful outputs and outcomes can be realised.       I thank you.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MUTAMBISI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 8th November, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MUTAMBISI:  I move that the House reverts to Order of

the Day, Number 12.

          HON. MPARIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

INSTITUTE OF LOSS CONTROL AND PRIVATE SECURITY MANAGERS BILL [H. B. 5, 2021]

Twelfth Order read: Second Reading: Institute of Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill [H. B. 5, 2022].

HON. CHIDAKWA:

1.0    Introduction

1.1    Following the gazetting of the Institute of Chartered Loss

Control and Private Security Managers Bill [H. B. 5, 2022], the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services undertook public hearings in accordance with Section 141 (a) and (b) which states that, “Parliament must (a) Facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the process of its Committees; (b) Ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable.” The Committee took into account the technical nature of the Bill and decided to adopt a targeted approach in conducting the consultation. Thus, this report is a summary of the comments on the content, context and relevancy of the Bill made by the affected practitioners in the loss control and private security management profession.

1.2.      Methodology

The Committee held a meeting with Hon. Dr. Murire who unpacked the provisions and the general contents of the Bill.

Practitioners in the loss control and private security management field were invited to a targeted public consultation to submit their contributions in writing or make oral presentations before the Committee. The following corporates sent representatives to attend the public consultations:

Banking Sector

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, Ecobank and Stanbic

Telecommunications

TelOne, NetOne and Econet

Mining

Fidelity Gold Refineries, Mimosa and Hwange Colliery

Academia

University of Zimbabwe and Bindura University of Science Education.

Other Government Institutions or Parastatals

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife (Zimparks), National Social Security Association (NSSA), Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED)

Private Security Companies

Aldwyn Security, Rams Security, Zero-Crime Tolerance Security

2.0    COMMITTEE FINDINGS

2.1    Unpacking of the Bill

2.1.1 Hon Colonel (Rtd) Dr. Murire opined that currently there was no legislation that directly dealt with the professional conduct of personnel employed in the field of loss control and private security management. Unlike other professions such as engineering and accounting, occupations in loss control and private security were not recognised as such in the country. He said the need for an institute for such fields of work would go a long way in professionalising the private security industry and would ensure that prospective employers got value for their choices of employees.

2.1.2 The proposed law sought mainly to provide for the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Management Council. It provides minimum professional qualifications for admission of members and develops standards, guidelines, best practices and a code of conduct to be observed by members. While membership would be voluntary, he said such membership had several advantages in terms of performance and conduct of accredited members versus unregistered personnel. He went on to clarify that the law would not regulate how private security organisations operate, rather, it would focus on individual employees who would have registered as members of the institute.

2.1.3 Responding to the Committee’s concern over the mushrooming of private security companies in the country vis-à-vis State Security, Hon Dr. Murire suggested that a separate law that would regulate the specific operational activities and expectations of private security companies would need to be enacted in order to deal with that. He highlighted that the private security industry had the potential of becoming a threat to national security in the absence of a robust regulatory framework. The personnel in the private industry have outnumbered state security and there is more sophisticated equipment and technology in that sector. He therefore called for an expeditious review and possible amendment of the current Private Investigators and Security Guards Control Act (27:10) so that it goes beyond licensing but also regulate even the operations and extent of training of private security.

3.0    Submissions in Support of the Bill

3.1    The generality of participants applauded and supported the Bill on its objective to introduce professionalism in the conduct of loss control and private security management. They acknowledged the rationale for the need to ensure that practitioners in the aforesaid industry are formerly registered to reduce and subsequently eliminate incompetence in this very critical field in the corporate world. They asserted that the establishment of a professional council, like in many other professions, would guarantee credibility to the profession and boost the confidence of both employers and employees engaged in loss control and private security management. They purported that membership to an established council brings uniformity and security to practitioners as their conduct in the field of work would be guided by a common set of standards benchmarked against international best practices.

4.0    Areas of Concern in the Bill

4.1    Concern was raised against the title of the Bill and some of its clauses as follows;

4.1.1   Short title of the Bill

The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe raised concern on the title of the Bill which they felt seemed to be targeting a small group of loss control and private security professionals trained by a specific professional board (institution) and leaving out those who trained through other institutions like Bindura State University, National University of Science and Technology and others. They argued that it was very selective in its application as it seemed to exclude many key practitioners in the loss control and private security industry. They therefore recommended that it should allow every interested but eligible practitioner to qualify for registration irrespective of the curriculum under which he or she earned the qualification that he or she may possess.

It was proposed that the title of the Bill should read “Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Management.”

4.1.2 Clause 9 (m) and (n)

There is no clause giving effect to the creation of the Quality Review Board cited in Clause 9 (m) and (n).

4.1.3 It was observed that the Bill includes training as part of the functions of the institute and they felt this aspect should be left to universities and colleges and hence must be removed from the list of functions of the Council. It was further argued that by being a training institution, the Council will become both a player and a regulator should the Bill become law.

4.1.4 Clause 17

          The Code of Conduct must have a legal binding force and not merely a booklet.

A sub clause should be inserted to provide for what constitutes the disqualification of a member resulting in deregistration of that member based on the code of conduct.

4.1.6 It was further highlighted that currently there is no professional legislative framework providing for the registration of all professional loss control and private security practitioners hence they felt that the Bill should have a public perspective rather a private perspective.

4.1.7 Participants felt that there was need for wide consultation before the Bill was drafted and awareness campaigns so as to make people contextualise the content, objective and principles behind the Bill.

          4.1.8 Participants felt that the bill should spell out that the making of regulations by the Minister should be through a statutory instrument rather than to be silent on how they will be made and effected.

4.1.9 Members of the academia argued that paragraph 21 (1) sounded more of retaliatory than condition setting hence should be removed.

5.0    COMMITTEE’S OBSERVATIONS

The Committee made the following observations:

5.1    There is need to incorporate sub clause under Clause 9 to give effect to the creation of a Quality Review Board cited in sub clauses (m) and (n) of the same clause;

5.2    It is necessary to outline the conditions and procedure for deregistration or disqualification of a registered member. If this is to be provided through regulations, the Act must clearly provide for that;

5.3    The absence of a clause providing for the making of regulations through a statutory instrument by the Minister and after consultation with the Council leaves a gap in the application of the proposed law;

5.4    The Committee noted that some members who attended the consultation did not possess professional loss control and private security management qualifications hence they may not qualify as members of the institute should the Bill become law;

5.5    The Committee observed that there was little understanding of the difference between a private Bill and public Bill;

5.6   It came out clear that participants appreciated the need to professionalize the loss control and private security management, hence their call for a public professional regulatory framework for the loss control and private security management;

5.7    It was observed that the title of the Bill highlighted “managers” which referred to the regulation of players within the profession as opposed to “management” which denotes regulation of the conduct of the profession itself;

5.8    The Committee observed that a regulatory framework for private investigators and security guards does exist and is provided through the Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act Chapter 27:10. Section 2 (2) of the Act reads “The Minister may, by statutory instrument, designate an association of private investigators or security guards for the purposes of designated association in subsection (1) and;

5.9  There is urgent need to amend the Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act Chapter 27:10 in order to extend its scope and make robust and more relevant to the current trends in security systems in both public and private domains.

6.0    RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1    Following the above findings and observations, the Committee recommends that the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill (HB.5.2022) be allowed to pass with the amendments as outlined below:

  1.      The short title to read “An Act to provide for the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Management, to provide for the establishment of a council; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing”
  2.      A sub clause be inserted under Clause 9 to give effect to the creation of a Quality Review Board cited in sub clauses (m) and (n) of the same clause;
  3.      A sub clause be inserted in Clause 17 to provide for what constitutes the disqualification of a member resulting in deregistration of that member based on the code of conduct and;
  4.      Clause 21 of the Bill should clearly state that the Minister shall, through a statutory instrument, make regulations after consultation with the Council.

6.2    The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should expedite the amendment of the Private Investigators and Security Guards (Control) Act Chapter 27:10 so as to address this occupation which is now in need of being treated as a profession and join other professions like accountants, auditing and engineering. Specifically, clauses should be incorporated to provide for;

  1. The professional membership and regulatory needs of qualified professional loss control, private investigators and private security practitioners and;
  2. Broadening of its scope on the definition of security guards so as to include registration and regulation of other means of private security service provision such as drone surveillance, cyber, biometric and electronic security systems other than human guards.

6.3    Section 2 (2) which reads “The Minister may, by statutory instrument, designate an association of private investigators or security guards for the purposes of designated association in subsection (1) should be so defined as to provide a clear definition of designated association which should include professional associations.

          Structural similarities of the amended Act, with respect to professional regulation, may be borrowed from the public accounts and auditors board Act Chapter 27:12.

         The amendments should also take into account the need to bring on the regulation of in house loss control or proprietary security outfits in whatever name they may be referred to and practitioners thereof.

7.0    CONCLUSION

It is, thus, the Committee’s understanding that private law specifically services the interests of those affected by it and not necessarily the generality of the population or any other group with contrary interests. It follows, therefore, that the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill (HB.5. 2022) is a private law whose primary objective is to self-regulate the practice of loss control and private security management to ensure the integrity of the quality of service offered by registered members. In that respect, the Committee recommends that the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill (HB.5.2022) be allowed to pass. I thank you.

          HON. DR. MURIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Committee for its concise and up to point report, specifically for capturing all the aspects of the Bill.  I noted from the report that there were concerns about the establishment of an institute which may become a training institution.  Mr. Speaker Sir, a professional institute is not necessarily a training institution but purely it is a professional body as per the term. The mandate of a professional body is to regulate the conduct of its members so that they operate and conduct themselves within the confines of the profession.

          It is the mandate of the professional body to put in place parameters within which professionals should act, namely that there must be standards in such a manner that whoever joins that profession is restricted to observe the ethics of the profession.  Also, whoever conducts an assignment anywhere, any other independent professional within that profession can come and follow the same procedure and come up with the same result.  I will give you the example of the medical profession.  Medicine is a profession.  There are procedures that are followed when a doctor is operating a patient.  Those procedures will result in a patient being treated.  If ever there is any doubt as to how the operation was conducted, that is, in cases where perhaps the operation is not successful, any other medical professional would come and examine the procedures that were done in discharging that operation.  From that, it could be certified whether the procedure was done correctly or not.

          This is similar to the aspirations of the Security Management and Loss Control Profession.  We are saying, in this instance, if somebody goes to the Reserve Bank and designs a security system for that organisation, that can be validated by another independent professional who comes and examines the procedures and processes that were followed in order to pass or certify that system.  Currently, there are no such guidelines.  We have members or practitioners who design systems in organisations and those systems are not certifiable because we have no professional boards that set standards. This is what the Bill seeks to achieve.  The training issue comes in when the interests of the profession are supposed to be captured by training institutions.  For example, we now have University of Zimbabwe offering a Certificate in Security Management, that is an academic course.  We have Bindura University and NUST offering a Degree in Security Management.  All that came up as a result of the realisation that security management is now practiced at a higher level of knowledge, both technically and physically. 

          From that perspective, those people would now seek to be professionals.  Now, it is the responsibility of the professionals, who are members in the field to feed back to the institution and guide them on areas that they should train practitioners.  That is the only area where a professional board comes into the training domain.  Training institutions are also registered by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and the law under that Ministry governs how training is offered and delivered.  This act is not to be administered under Ministry of Education as a regulation for training purposes but as a professional law for regulating the practice of members.  Therefore, the fear that the institute will partake in training is not available.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I have noted what the Committee has come up with and what they captured from the presentations that were made.  Most of them are relevant and they need to be addressed.  The Committee has recommended that the Bill be passed with amendments.  This is a welcome move Mr. Speaker Sir and some of the amendments which they highlighted are already appended on the Order Paper and they will be addressed accordingly.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank as well Members who debated in the initial motion and I am happy that the aspirations of the practitioners in the Loss Control and Private Security Management will be realised by the adoption of the Bill.  With those remarks, I therefore move that the Institute of Loss Control and Private Security Managers Bill [H.B.5, 2022] be now read a second time.

          Motion put and agreed to.  

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage:  Tuesday, 8th November, 2022.

          On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Six Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 22nd November, 2022.       

               

 

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