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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 5 MAY 2022 VOL 48 NO 42
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 5th May, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter Past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to make the following announcements. The first one is straightforward. I have to inform the House of changes in the Committee Membership where Hon. M. Tembo will move from one Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
I have the rest of suggested Hon. Members into various Committees. When the list was drawn, I think there was a lapse of memory that Hon. Members only serve in two Committees and not more than two Committees so that you commit yourself. That is the decision of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. The reason is that you have time to commit yourself to your Committee work rather than flip-flopping from one Committee to the other, then to the other and to the other. Use that energy elsewhere.
As I read, those affected must indicate which Committee you are dropping for purposes of our records. The first one is Hon. T. Biti, to serve on the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development - no problem there. Do I recognise you today Hon. Biti – you look very much Nigerian.
HON. BITI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir and may God bless you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you and you keep it up. The next one is Hon. Hwende, to serve on the Portfolio Committees on ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and you added Public Accounts Committee. Which one is to be dropped?
HON. HWENDE: I will drop the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The next one is Hon. Madzimure, to serve on Portfolio Committees on Budget, Finance and Economic Development, Primary and Secondary Education and you went on to add Public Accounts Committee. Which one do you drop?
HON. MADZIMURE: I will drop Primary and Secondary Education.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The next one is Hon. Matsunga, to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Environment and Tourism, Energy and Power Development and the third one, Health and Child Care. Which one do you drop?
HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, perhaps those who are not present or are not linked to the Zoom facility, may they indicate to the Clerk of Parliament at a later date?
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, we want the record straight. The leaders can make a decision for them. Hon. Biti, the first one is Environment and Tourism.
HON. BITI: We drop the Health and Child Care Committee.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We have Hon. Tobaiwa to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and Mines and Mining Development and the third one is Health and Child Care.
HON. BITI: We drop Child and Health Care
THE HON. SPEAKER: Child and Health Care is dropped.
HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker, can we revisit that one, we drop Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation for Hon. J. Tobaiwa.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We drop Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. Hon. Tobaiwa will now take Mines and Mining Development and Health and Child Care.
Hon. F. Munengami to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Mines and Mining Development, Transport and Infrastructure Development and Health and Child Care;
HON. BITI: We drop Health and Child Care.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Health and Child Care is dropped.
Hon. H. Chidziva to serve on the Portfolio Committees on ICT, Postal and Courier Services; Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities and Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
HON. BITI: We drop Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities is dropped.
Hon. W. Chikombo to serve on the Public Accounts Committee and Portfolio Committees on ICT, Postal and Courier Services and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
HON. CHIKOMBO: I drop ICT, Postal and Courier Services
THE HON. SPEAKER: ICT, Postal and Courier Services is cancelled.
Hon. P. Mutseyami to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Mines and Mining Development; Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities.
HON. BITI: We drop Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities is dropped.
Hon. E. Murai to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development and Mines and Mining Development.
That one seems to be fine, there are two.
Hon. J. Matambo to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Environment and Tourism; Primary and Secondary Education and Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.
HON. BITI: We drop Primary and Secondary Education.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Primary and Secondary Education is dropped.
Hon. S. Chikwinya to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Transport and Infrastructural Development; Mines and Mining Development and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
HON. S. CHIKWINYA: I drop Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
THE HON. SPEAKR: Thank you. Information, Media and Broadcasting Services is dropped.
Hon. C. Matewu will serve on the Public Accounts Committee and Portfolio Committees on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services;
HON. BITI: We drop Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Information, Media and Broadcasting Services is dropped
Hon. A. Chibaya to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Public Service, Labour and Social Services; Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities and Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.
HON. BITI: We drop Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development cancelled.
Hon. K. Phulu to serve on the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
It is only one.
Hon. S. Mahlangu to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Health and Child Care; Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services.
(v)HON. S. MAHLANGU: I drop Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are dropping Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Thank you.
Hon. M. Zwizwai to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services; Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services and Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
HON. BITI: We drop Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We remove Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services. Thank you.
Hon. P. D. Sibanda to serve on the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. It is only one.
Hon. D. Tarusenga to serve on the Portfolio Committees on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and Industry and Commerce. Thank you very much.
I have received seven requests for statements of privilege on national interests. Remember our maximum is only four. So I will be guided by the first four.
HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I thought you were going to call for notices of motions first before points of privilege.
THE HON SPEAKER: I stand guided. Thank you.
Hon. Hamauswa having presented a lengthy notice of motion.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating. The question of water is provided for in Section 17 of the Constitution and it is enough. Is there anything else that you want to add other than that?
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order. I notice that there is a departure, out of your ruling, in the manner in which we are now supposed to present our motions. These motions are drafted and they come to your office for approval. When we present them as what the Hon. Member has just done, you have now ruled that they must summarise. I therefore, propose that perhaps….
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order my friend; I admitted that Hon Hamauswa should state his motion as has been approved.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Okay thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Unoda kundibata pahuro.
HON. BITI: On a point of order. You have ruled that the matters of national interest in terms of Standing Order No. 62 should be four. There is no restriction in the Standing Orders and in view of the fact that there are many Members in the House, can that number be reviewed upwards to accommodate Hon. Members.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We had ruled accordingly, so I cannot un-rule because that arose when at one stage we had ten requests and I said we must have a cut off point. We agreed on four.
HON. BITI: Four is a bit on the lower side – [HON T. MLISWA: He said he will see how it progresses] - . It is not a final ruling.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa is putting words into my mouth. I said I had ruled at one stage where we had received ten requests and I said can we stick to four so that we save time on other items on the Order Paper.
HON. BITI: Can Members stick to one minute and you revisit your ruling Hon. Speaker Sir?
THE HON. SPEAKER: No. I am ruling in terms of Order Number 215, which is final.
HON. BITI: But you can revisit it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, later.
HON. BITI: The standing time is just one minute and if Hon. Members stick to one minute, then we are fine.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No change for today. The Order Paper has many items.
HON. BITI: But this is just 10 minutes.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No.
HON. BITI: Perhaps if the speaker can revisit the number and then strictly stick to one minute.
THE HON. SPEAKER: In future.
HON. BITI: Yes, yes, thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members must stick to one minute.
*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My point of national interest arises from CDF. When the Budget Statement was announced, it was said that it will be $11 million. We thought it was good but looking at the current inflation rate, it is no longer meaningful at all. If we look for quotations, they quote us in US dollars and it comes down to around $15.000 or less. My request is may Parliament be allowed to go to the foreign currency auction system so that we can also bid to get forex?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you raise that issue when the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development presents his Ministerial Statement. It is a very important point, the question of devaluation.
HON. MARKHAM: Hon. Speaker, my point of national interest is my concern on Questions With Notice that are going unanswered or hazily put aside. I have a list of things that I personally have been promised and have not been done. I am glad the Minister of Finance is here. He said on global settlement deed of trust that he would avail the documents to us. As of now, nothing has happened and it is two months now. The same can be said about the 38 million of the Dutch loan. Even yesterday, we asked for the ZAMCO and the debt assumption that came in with the Budget, we have not been given what we asked for.
I also have two Ministries. The Minister of Local Government assured me we could have a meeting on the land problems that we have in Harare. To date, I have tried to contact them three or four times and as of now, I have not met with the Deputy Minister. The Minister of Transport has eventually met with me and I thank him for the meeting. One of the issues that we asked for was for the emergency road repair programme to be made available to MPs. As of now, that has not been done. Of the eight issues I have asked for and have been promised, not one has been met. I have left the ninth issue because you Mr. Speaker promised to look into the release of the Justice Uchena Commission and we had no feedback on that either.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Excellent observation. Can you favour me with a small write up? You summarise that so that I can deal with each Minister concerned, in a written form so that I have a record.
HON. MARKHAM: You will have that tomorrow. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: If you can do that today for me?
HON. MARKHAM: I will do that.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question of national importance arises on the identification and placement of ZISCO Steel as an institution of national strategic importance in the economic recovery of our nation. Accordingly, Hon. Speaker, this Parliament passed the ZISCO Steel Debt Assumption Act which enables any investor to be able to start on a clean sheet. Every other person owed by ZISCO Steel has been paid off except for the workers. I therefore call upon the Minister of Industry and Commerce to come before Parliament;
- To give us a roadmap as to when ZISCO Steel, a critical institution in our economic recovery programme is going to open; and
- When are the outstanding pensions of ZISCO Steel workers who are still owed going to be paid off?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, ZISCO Steel is a hub of our industrialisation. The point is taken. We will engage the Minister of Industry and Commerce to give a Statement. The Clerk, please do not forget.
HON. PHULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for this opportunity. I am from Nkulumane Constituency and on 7th April, this year, one of our young men from Zimbabwe was mugged and burnt alive in Johannesburg, South Africa. His name is Elvis Nyathi. This House recognises that this happened. I stand here after having attended his burial on 16th April in Bulawayo where his remains were interred at Imvucho Cemetery. The elders of the family, the community of Nkulumane and the people of Bulawayo have asked me to come and thank the State for the State assisted funeral that he received and all the other assistance including transport. I was told not to come back if I do not do this. I hereby extend that gratitude to the State, particularly the Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan, Mrs. Judith Mkwanda, diplomats resident in South Africa who did everything they could to ensure that Elvis Nyathi’s remains were brought home.
Having said that, I was also asked to raise a concern on the fact that our young men and women are dying abroad. I have seen recent incidents of a group of people who may be our nationals who were stoned to death. They are doing rounds on the social media. The request was for the State to intervene strongly and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to give a Ministerial Statement on the State of Affairs in South Africa vis-a-vis our people who are under grave threat. We think that serious diplomatic interventions are necessary in order to secure their lives and to ensure that they are not abused while they are abroad. This is my short statement, which is also obviously accompanied by the need to ensure that we have adequate employment in the country for our people to remain here. Elvis Nyathi earned 200 rands a month. When the people who murdered him talked to him, they wanted to be paid 300 rands. In fact, that is the amount. The amount they earn is not even enough to purchase a phone or to get a passport. This is how grave the situation is. This is the point of public importance that I have, underlining perhaps that it will be much appreciated if a statement could be made to the nation about the attack of our citizens in South Africa, in particular. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be requested to do so next week.
INSURANCE AND PENSIONS COMMISSION AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 6, 2021]
Committee Stage: Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Bill [H. B. 6, 2021].
House in Committee.
Clause 1 put and agreed to.
On Clause 2:
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Hon. Chairperson. Under Clause 2, the proposed amendment does not make sense. We thought we had agreed with IPEC. The question of a board, if you check the entirety of this Bill, it talks of members of the board, not directors. What normally happens in any entity is the board of directors are referred to as members of the board. So we do not understand the rationale of bringing this amendment under sub (a), where you say “by the repeal of definition of appeal, appointed member and the substitution by an appointed director”, because it is known that a board member is a director. So this amendment does not make sense and we believe that it needs to be removed.
Equally (b), there is no need for this amendment to even be put in there because if you are going to do that, what you need to do Hon. Minister is to then make sure that you probably clean the entirety of this Bill because 9 out of 10, where it refers to the board of directors it refers to them as members. We had an understanding that this one was not necessary, unless if you are going to propose several amendments in the Bill, which refers to members rather than directors. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Chair. I want to touch on the issue of those board members having been absolved in terms of pecuniary interest. The Hon. Minister agreed with me in the Second Reading when we were debating that there was need, even though that was operational to clean up the issues of personal interest of directors or board members, who should not themselves be involved in the insurance sector to the effect that currently some of them are insurance company executives and players, in particular the Chairperson of IPEC as we speak and also one other Mr. Chikono who is also an Executive at Champions Insurance, that needs to come out eloquently, clear and very loud that they should not. Zimbabwe is endowed with technocrats; we cannot have our cake and eat it. There is a lot currently happening at ZINARA as we speak because there is no clause that outlaws those members that are in Executives of private limited insurance companies and also involved with your board Hon. Minister.
It is my thinking that because you have agreed already, find a way to clean up the sector – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Members on virtual, please lower your voices you are making some interferences here.
HON. NDUNA: It is my thinking that because you have agreed already, find a way to clean up the sector so that we do not have somebody who has got dirty hands trying to get what they can and can what they get. This is currently what is happening. This is a multi-million dollar industry for argument’s sake, US$200 million annually coming from third party insurance and nearly the same coming from passenger insurance but going to one certain company which is embedded with 14 ZINARA outlets and they are the only people allowed to sell and vend with ZINARA. So, there is cohabitation which is incestuous which should not be allowed and this should be treated in this Bill by a statement. I have said there is no dearth in terms of corpus amounts, in terms of technocrats that we are endowed with as a nation and we should not have one person in a plethora of places where there is pecuniary interest.
HON. BITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Section 2 does not capture the concerns that were highlighted in the Second Reading speech. What is the fundamental illness and weakness of the regulator in Zimbabwe? The fundamental weakness of the regulator which was identified by Justice George Smith in the Smith Commission of Inquiry of 2017, is that you have got actors regulating themselves. You have got industry players regulating themselves. So the only thing to address that mischief is to ensure that IPEC members, whether board members or directors, if you follow Hon. Mushoriwa’s submission which is the Committee submission, they cannot be active players in the market and then go and be a regulator. So, you can own an insurance company, you cannot own and have shares in an insurance company and then go to IPEC and become a regulator, it is not possible, there is incest.
We would like to see in Clause 2, if you look at the second section 2 (b), it refers to an independent director. We would like to see all of them being independent directors. They should not be insurance players.
This business that actors or retired actors supervise themselves, it does not work. The Smith Commission Report is very clear about the misdeeds, the omission of the players paying themselves excessive salaries, buying houses, mistresses you name it, eating the capital base, you name it, failure to maintain records in the case of Old Mutual and First Mutual and failure to preserve value. We need independent people to be at IPEC to regulate the pensions insurance and assurance industry.
We ask the Minister to put in Clause 2 a clear prescription that makes it very clear that you cannot be on the board if you sit as a director or you have had prior interest. They are so many Zimbabweans, the population of Zimbabwe is 14 million and it is going to double by 2045. We have got accountants and so many professionals, they can sit on the board of IPEC to kill and address the mischief. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you very much Mr. Chairman, I thank the Hon. Members for this contribution. This clause is very simple. The issue of blaming an appointed director, this is a director who is appointed by the Minister, it has to be clear and it is just an issue of clarification to make sure there is no confusion between that kind of director and any other members. Also right through the document, there is reference to a member of this and a member of that.
For example, you have got a member annuity fund, we just want to be sure that the word member is appropriately used and that when it comes to a director who is appointed by the Minister, this is an appointed director and there is no confusion - that is all.
On the issue of dealing with the conflict of interest, I agree with Hon. Nduna and Hon. Biti that we want to make sure that members of the board or appointed directors should not be actors in the industry then they are regulating themselves. What we have done in this Bill is, we have taken care of that. It is in Clause 6, I would like to urge Hon. Members Nduna and Biti to look at that clause and then maybe we can wait and see if we can get there, and if this is adequate enough to deal with the mischief and conflict of interest. If they take a look, we will get there, just take a look and see what I mean. So their issue will be taken care of and let us leave it on Clause 6 under conflict of interest, issue around the disqualification of director of IPEC.
I really feel that in terms of interpretation, the idea of an appointed director is appropriate. There is no confusion and the issues of conflict of interest be reserved for Clause 6 where we just check whether this clause is adequate and all encompassing. I stand ready to have any revisions or addition to make sure that we have a water-tight disqualification provision for our directors. I thank you.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Hon. Chair. I think the Hon. Minister was going to respond. He said he was going to refer to this. If you check Clause 6, you find that this clause and as you go by that board of directors, the word is ‘member’ and it is not directors. Now, if the bulky of the Bill refers to the board members, then the inclusion of this definition of directors does not make sense unless you are going to say that where the word ‘member’ appears as we go by, you are going to change all those to directors.
It should resonate, you cannot put a definition but in the entirety of the Bill, that definition is ‘member of the board’ but here in Clause 2, you have started by the definition.
(v)HON. TOGAREPI: I have been directed by the Minister that the issue of membership of the board in terms of their being not members of any insurance company or pension fund would be dealt with when we get to Clause 6.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I think let me give comfort to Hon. Mushoriwa and concur with him. I think that there is no harm in really agreeing with him here just to make sure we have consistency right through the document. We will remove “appoint a director” and refer to member of the board, it will still work - there is no difficulty.
HON. NDUNA: On Clause 2, the Hon. Minister talks about giving comfort to us by appointing a director. I also ask that it also be included within that appointment, that pecuniary interest, the director that he would be appointing should, in a way, be as clean as a whistle in so far as it relates to that industry so that we do not have a square plug in a round hole.
So, there is a danger in getting comfort in that the Minister is going to appoint a referee or a director who, in some instances, might also be having some pecuniary interest.
In the second reading, the Hon. Minister agreed that immediately, even before the enactment of this Act and amendments on this Bill, there will be a cleanup exercise in the existing status quo which I believe we need to agree with you now to avert and completely eradicate further hemorrhage and instill immediate financial discipline.
The Chairperson of the current IPEC Board has not only pecuniary interest but has an incestuous relationship. Mr. Chikono who is also a referee has also got a very big interest. How can you have your cake and eat it? Once you clean up the sector now, money will start flowing to other sectors. Mind you, that insurance is the backbone of the economy because they hedge a lot of their funds on infrastructure development. So, I am pleading with you to clean up the sector immediately, irrespective of the fact that we are still going to pass this Act.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I concur with Hon. Nduna that we should clean up and examine every director on the current IPEC Board to make sure that no one has such a conflict of interest that they are both a player in the industry as well as a referee. We will just make sure that that is cleaned up immediately – I commit to that. Thank you.
Clause 2, put and agreed to.
On Clause 3:
HON. BITI: My submission is that this provision is poorly drafted, it mixes two things. It mixes an object and then it mixes guiding principles. So, (a), the object is to promote the mantainence, that is an objective but (b), (c) and (d) are not objects. “(b) be operationally independent, accountable, and transparent; (c) maintain a high standard …,; (c) meet high professional standards…” Those are not objects, those are principles guiding the operations of IPEC. So, there must be a delinking of the things that are covered under (b), (c) and (d) and the actual objects of which (a) is a proper one.
However, under (a), what is the key objects of IPEC? It is to regulate and oversee the pensions and insurance sector. So, that must be the first object to oversee, they are a regulator, so, it must be to regulate, oversee and supervise the insurance sector – that must be the first object because their main object is to regulate the insurance sector. IPEC is a regulator so that must be the regulator.
Secondly, to put order and you do not put order unless you have got penal powers, powers to suspend players or sometimes to cancel the licence. That must be put as an object because you are giving them power and we need to give them power because of the errand behaviour of insurance companies.
Thirdly, we must also give them the power to make regulations regulating the industry. They must have the power to make a statutory instrument regulating the industry - just like ZEC has got powers to make statutory instruments, just like ZERA has powers to make statutory instruments because they are the regulator. So there are things that do not require Parliament. IPEC must have the power to make regulations for the proper order and maintenance of the insurance sector. So they are poorly drafted and inadequate. I submit Mr. Chair.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I want to support what Hon. Biti has just raised. Hon. Minister, I am surprised that we do not have an amendment because when we spoke and met your IPEC team and the Attorney General, they agreed with our submission that there was only one object and they had agreed that they were going to come up with proper objects of the Commission and that they were going to delete (b), (c) and (d), because they are not objects. I want to submit that the proposal by Hon. Biti should be added so that the object of the Bill comes clear.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Chairman. I thank Hon. Biti and Hon. Mushoriwa for their contributions. I agree with them that at the end of the day the primary function of a regulator is to regulate; so that should be clear, and oversee whatever industry they are regulating. That should be clear as point (a) and (b) is also to be able to mete out sanctions for deviation; whether it is cancellation of licences, you should have those kind of powers and also powers to make regulations be on the principle. I agree with this and I think it is correct that these suggestions were communicated to the Attorney General’s Office but were not captured when the Bill was amended. That is true.
I also concur that (b), (c) and (d) should be removed but what we could do if members agree is to say in basically enacting or implementing these objects of the Commission, it will adhere to principles of operational independence, accountability, transparency and that could be added as a paragraph to enhance that paragraph. That is also in order. A stand alone paragraph is also in order to buttress that. I agree with that. Thank you.
HON. BITI: With the Minister’s assertions, it means that the AG must draft full objects that start with No. 1; the objects of this are to regulate and supervise a sector. Then to issue regulations, suspend penalties and so forth, the current (a) which is poorly drafted can be improved and be incorporated but it must be drafted. Then the separate stand alone now dealing with principles and I suggest when the AG does that, as the principles that are already in Chapter 9 of our Constitution which deal with principles governing public bodies’ transparency, fairness and so forth, the high sounding things that guide our public entities.
(v)HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I think IPEC should be involved in helping the insurance and pension funds industry. I think that way it will work.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: That was a very good suggestion by Hon. Togarepi that IPEC should be involved in developing the insurance and pension funds industry. We will add that item as well. In any case we are amending the whole paragraph. So, we will add it
HON.NDUNA: I want to say because the Hon. Minister has brought up the issue that really supervises the insurance industry – we have got a Bill or we have a petition that was brought before you Hon. Chairperson by a private citizen that seeks to establish what is called compensation for RTA victims or a Road Accident Fund. There is so much in the insurance sector going to third party insurance, passenger insurance and a lot of that. I ask if it pleases the Minister so that it becomes a bit loud in terms of regulating and supervising the compensation of those that are involved in road traffic accidents. I say this because there is a Statutory Instrument 45 of 2005 that actually extracts twelve and half percent from third party insurance. Also Hon. Minister, you have a Statutory Instrument that you have established, you are taking monies that have not been used for compensation from a pool of insurance monies in particular, leaving out the COMESA insurance, road insurance issues but looking at the domestic finances – so you got to that level and understanding because you had seen a lacuna, a gap in the utilisation of those copious amounts of resources which are only benefiting the insurance industry at the expense of those that are involved in road traffic accidents. Passenger insurances pay 15 dollars per seat in public transport; what is supposed to go to the bereaved families is USD4 000 and what is supposed to go to an injured person is USD2 000 but because the law is hazy in terms of both enforcement, regulation and supervision, I ask that there be a paragraph that is explicitly clear, crystal clear about compensation of those that are involved in accidents, otherwise you continue to have Statutory Instruments to tap into third party payments and the third party insurance because you have seen that there is no usage of that money. So, you might think it might be too big in order to go to this operation issues but the supervision of that needs somehow to have an iron fist. Thank you.
HON. BITI: Thank you. When the Minister revisits the objects, one of the functions of IPEC must be to ensure that there is no loss of value of policies and that insured persons are adequately or equitably compensated by the industry. This will then include the category of the insured that Hon. Nduna is talking about.
We have got an unfair situation imposed by Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act. This imposes limitations for compensation to third party victims in the case of an individual and Hon. Nduna says it is USD2 000, it is actually 2 000 RTGs. So if you are injured or lose life, it is 2 000 RTGs but how can my nose, my hand be 2 000 RTGs. If a bus kills people, let us say B & C kills 75 people, the maximum amount it can pay is USD20 000 but because of Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, it is actually 20 000RTGs. How can a human life cost 20 000 RTGs? There must be an addition; the object of insuring, number one, should be protection of loss of value of a policy and number two, the issue of adequate compensation to victims given the super profits that these houses are making. So, we make that proposal to the Minister.
HON. MKARATIGWA: Thank you. IPEC is there for the objects to actually speak to the protection of policy holders, be it monetary, indiscipline or challenges that are obtaining from time to time. I am not specific to a period but generally from time to time because those who are experts at economics always talk of addressing the root cause. We talk of inflation, vulnerabilities, loss of value of money, be it where banks are involved - where is the role of IPEC and how can it help integrated investments? We know insurance always creates hedge funds. In terms of managing risks, they have got portfolios that spread across the international divide to make sure they hedge against any inflationary effect. They convert the policies, the funds that they generate into brick and motor and yet when we have recession, economic doldrums, we end up with citizens who are vulnerable. Where is the insurance regulations and the objects? They must speak to this Hon. Minister. This is to ensure that where there is loss of value, be it pension or deposits in the bank, IPEC must be able to regulate and compel insurance industries and banks because they have converted the same into brick-and mortar. They have converted the same into hard currency in international jurisdictions that must cascade down to the citizens.
Many a times the Government is blamed and yet it should be the role of IPEC, the regulatory board to ensure that there is integration, even investments. When you look at international jurisdiction, Norway for example, they have pension policies and set up structures that dovetail into financial engineering. They invest across the international fraternity and they have got strong financial institutions that are integrated into this regulatory aspect of the insurance industry. Thank you.
(v)HON. TOGAREPI: The purpose of establishing IPEC was to protect the weaker who are policy holders who do business with these complicated people. They need the protection of policy holders to be clear on the object so that when policy holders see IPEC raising issues
or closing an insurance company or insisting on an insurance company to pay fair and equitable value to the member, it is because it is the duty of IPEC to protect the interests of policy holders. If that can be clear from the onset that whoever comes in the insurance industry to do business should know that the regulator would be protecting whoever they will be doing business with. I thank you
HON. BITI: I hope the Minister and his team are listening. They are having a politburo meeting. Hon. Minister, a regulator without teeth is like a policeman without arresting powers. No one will respect him. No one will listen to him. If you compare the powers that IPEC has and the powers that the Reserve Bank has over banks, there is a huge gap…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, please approach the Chair.
Hon. Biti approached the Chair.
HON. BITI: My submission is that if you look at the Banking Act, the Reserve Bank has got so much power because it is a regulator of the banking industry. It has so much power over banks. It can shut them down. It can cause a forensic audit to be carried out in a banking institution. Those same powers should be given to the regulator. IPEC should be given teeth and at the present moment it does not have teeth. One of their defences to the Smith Report was that we do not have those powers. We do not have a whip. Under the objects clause, let us give IPEC the teeth to regulate, supervise, monitor and protect the citizens against the errant behaviour of the insurance and assurance houses. I hope that can be found in that.
For those who are going to do the drafting, a comparison of the powers that the Reserve Bank has vis-à-vis the banking sector could be useful in crafting Clause 3(a).
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Members of the Committee at the moment have made some very important contributions. I will start with Hon Nduna referring to how the third party insurance issues are handled – whether compensation is fair or not, Hon. Biti talking about protection of value and ensuring adequate compensation and then Hon Mkaratigwa referring compensation even under some monetary and fiscal indiscipline issues. Hon.Togarepi talking about protection of policy holders and Hon.Biti coming back on the issue of adequate powers for IPEC similar to RBZ in terms of regulating members of the industry. These are very good suggestions. What I propose is that we defer this clause so that it is properly redrafted and can be considered again to make sure that everything is captured properly.
However, I want to add something so that we are all clear on the issue of the third party insurance that the Road Traffic Act also has a role to play. Currently they handle that. It is that Act that administers those kind of issues. We need to make sure the two Acts are aligned when it comes to dealing with third party insurance, the Road Traffic Act as well as IPEC. That is necessary for us to that alignment. Let us defer it.
Motion put and agreed to.
Clause 3 deferred.
On Clause 4:
HON. MUSHORIWA: I listened to the Hon Minister yesterday when he was closing the Second Reading of the Bill. He then said NSSA and the medical societies were not included in this Bill. His reason was that IPEC does not have the capacity to supervise NSSA and the medical societies. I am going to propose and suggest that we need to make sure that the Clause 4 (1) (a) in the principal Act should and must be amended to include NSSA and medicalaid societies under the organisations that are regulated by IPEC.
This is the platform that we have. We have to empower IPEC. We have to capacitate IPEC. Let us give IPEC as much powers as possible. It is wrong in my view, for the Hon Minister to say IPEC does not have the capacity and yet he thinks that the Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare has no capacity than IPEC or to say that the Ministry of Health has more capacity than IPEC. That is not good. What we want to do just like what Hon Biti was saying, if you look at RBZ, there is no banking institution that can do what it wants including state banks like ZB. If you look at all the banks where Government has got the majority shareholding, they are all answerable to RBZ. That is what we want under this.
Secondly, (g) where it says “to accredit actuaries, auditors, asset managers, credit rating agencies and other service providers” should be deleted from the Bill because the auditors are accredited under the PAAB, the asset managers are also accredited there and it says other service providers. What are other service providers? Does that include cleaners and fast food outlets? What does it mean? The best thing is to make sure that we delete that whole clause (g) where it says “to accredit asset managers, credit rating agencies and other service providers”. Those are my two remarks. Let us include NSSA and medical aid societies and remove (g). I thank you.
HON. BITI: The biggest insurance house in Zimbabwe is NSSA. NSSA is a cash cow. It receives contributions which are 3% for every worker that an employee and employer make. They employ inspectors. They visit our businesses and enterprises to ensure that we are paying. It receives a minimum of US$40 million a month and I do not know now with RTGS. It used to receive US$40 million a month yet it is not regulated. Surely that is critical. Three years ago in 2017, there was a Commission of Inquiry into NSSA that was conducted by Accountants Kudenga. That Audit Report was submitted to the Public Accounts Committee. It showed massive and rampant corruption at NSSA, some of which resulted in the ongoing prosecution of the Minister who was responsible for NSSA at the time. I shall mention her name. So, to leave this humongous, monolithic known as NSSA to go unregulated Hon. Chair, we will not be doing our job as elected Members of Parliament. NSSA must be regulated and de-regulated by IPEC. If the fear of the Minister is that IPEC does not have the capacity, let us give them the capacity now. If it is a staffing issue, let us deal with it now. If it is funding issue, let us deal with the issue now. If it is a limitation on their committees and sub-committees, let us deal with that now. We can create a sub-committee dealing with NSSA on its own in the Bill.
Hon. Chairperson, everyone is audited and supervised. Everyone has got a regulator. Why should NSSA be a black swan? What is so special about NSSA, particularly Hon. Speaker, when it is paying injured workers, retired workers 60 RTGs? If you live in Chiendambuya as I do, you have to wait for five months, to wait for a little contribution from NSSA to accumulate before you can board a bus to Headlands to come to Harare yet they are buying buildings. They have become the second largest investor on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, second only to the Old Mutual. They own hotels, banks, palaces and vehicles. We cannot do that Hon. Chairperson. We have to include NSSA amongst the institutions that are regulated by our regulator, IPEC. Ministers cannot regulate. If that was the argument then the Minister of Finance will be regulating banks but he cannot do that. His own job needs 36 hours, so he cannot regulate. The Minister of Labour has got other things, he is feeding people there. He is in Gokwe and Chiendambuya feeding people because one of his mandates is social welfare, so he cannot regulate this monolithic. Let the experts at IPEC regulate it. I know that this is a political hot potato. This is not about politics. This is not about territorial interests of Ministers because certain Ministers do not want their territory to be touched. It is not about that. It is about best practice and what is in the national interest of Zimbabwe. What is in the national interest of Zimbabwe is that every public body must have its armpits opened and examined and there is nothing special about NSSA. NSSA should be included as one of the bodies that IPEC has regulatory powers.
I come to the medical aid societies. A few years ago, we had a huge scandal at the Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). The Chief Executive was earning US$250.000 per month. The President does not earn that, not even David Beckham earns that. A basic director was earning US$60.000. Board members were being given US$50.000 to US$60.000 yet medical claims were not being met by doctors and hospitals. They were not accepting the PSMAS card. Here as Hon. Members of Parliament, we are members of PSMAS and we are members of a scheme called Pinnacle. No doctor in Zimbabwe would accept that card yet PSMAS should be the largest medical aid society in Zimbabwe by virtue of the fact that it covers all civil servants. It should be bigger than CIMAS but due to the mismanagement and abuse of funds, it is a late call. We submit Hon. Chair that medical aid societies should also be regulated by IPEC.
We can listen to an argument by the Minister or anyone that says let us create a separate regulator for them but to say they should just be let free, we as Members of Parliament would have been failing in our duties. One of our core responsibilities is that of supervision. Read Sections 114, 117 and 119. Let us protect ordinary persons, let us protect the citizens because they have been abused by these insurance companies, medical aid societies and so forth.
My own mother Hon. Chairperson is a member of CIMAS. She has diabetes, TB and she is now officially on my salary but she pays a lot of money to CIMAS. That is not good enough. I submit that we need to protect our people by making sure that these people are regulated. Thank you very much.
(v) HON. TOGAREPI: I also want to come in on the issue of regulation, for example, of the medical aid societies. One experience that I had was to see an insurance company that is running a health insurance. After being strictly regulated by IPEC, they would migrate to medical aid societies where they are not regulated. Where they are coming from, they have already stolen people’s monies and can now move to another line of business which does the same thing. Now because there is that freedom in that sector where people have not enough confidence to supervise the credential soundness of those companies, they will just move to medical aid societies and run away from IPEC. IPEC has got actuaries.
The major expertise that is needed in insurance is actuarial science and IPEC has got those competencies. There could be other reasons. If there are areas where medical aid would need doctors, association of doctors, the Ministry or anybody, those areas can remain regulated by those people. However, the credential part or the soundness part which will then cause problems when a medical aid society fails to meet its obligations must be regulated by a competent institution that can deal with credential issues.
I strongly support what the other colleague was saying. If IPEC would not be the best in the view of the Minister, why not establish another regulator who can deal with issues of credential supervision on the medical societies and NSSA. It is very critical that we also understand that these financial institutions, we can talk of them, medical aid societies, NSSA, et cetera are financial institutions with a lot of financial muscle that can cause distortions in the financial systems. I think the Minister as a guru in that area would know better. A big institution with a lot of money can dictate what happens in the insurance industry. Is it to our interest that whatever NSSA does ends up destroying the insurance industry that has financed and strengthened our infrastructural development? Is it good for us? Is it not good for us to come up with regulation, strong regulation, financial regulation.
That is where our issue is. I think in the NSSA Act, there is a section that says the Ministry will have a say on all financial issues related to NSSA. Why not give only that part to IPEC where it will then help the Minister because IPEC operates on behalf of the Minister. So if the Minister is doing that already, if that section is given to the actuaries running under IPEC, will it not give us more benefit in protecting the interests of policy holders who are contributing to NSSA?
The other issue is related to IPEC being given authority to accredit other professionals. I heard my other colleague saying it will be like IPEC invading other areas where there are already experts or established boards. The issue there is, if IPEC has no power to accredit actuaries for example, or auditors, we have had a lot of poorly done audit reports about insurance companies. If they had so presented good audit reports, we would not see failure in the insurance industry before IPEC Act because IPEC relies on these experts bringing correct reports. Correct image of these insurance or pension funds.
So it should be given to IPEC if an audit company fails to perform to the expectations of IPEC as a regulator because it relies on their reports. IPEC should have the authority to say you are not allowed or your reports would not be admitted or admissible to IPEC in making a decision on the soundness of the insurance company. It is not like the IPEC would be an audit regulator but it should be given the right to protect the policy holders where they get a service from an institution that is either not competent or reckless or fraudulent in the report. IPEC should be able to say you are not allowed to audit insurance companies. Only in as far as that, it is critical for the protection of policy holders. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just want to buttress debate on this issue. NSSA contributions are mandatory. That means every single civil servant has money deducted, there is no choice, in fact every worker. So the issue is, for the past 20 years, NSSA has nothing to show to 20 years of contributors. Every pensioner for 20 years, is now getting nothing but NSSA has buildings and some rich ex-employees. The issue with the Bill is to regulate everybody. You cannot give NSSA a green card to do what they want when they have that record. It is not right for 20 years of pensioners to have nothing and anyone who excludes them from this Bill is telling the future pensioners that the money that they are contributing for a pension in the current regime will not work and they will not get anything back from it. It is like a tax, it is not a benefit.
The same as medical societies; we had major issues on medical societies. You pay medical societies, we here being in Parliament, I got 6% of the payment. If you look at the local authorities, some local authorities, I will talk about the one I know. The urban local authority here is deducting workers’ contributions and not paying the medical aid society. This has to be regulated under the same regulations for everybody because if you start talking of competitive advantage, how can you give a competitive advantage to NSSA when there is no regulation? They can do what they want because that is what has been happening.
So to say that they are excluded, it cannot happen. The Auditor General, in our deliberations as a Committee, put on the screen the points and the only one taken up by the Cabinet was the one that NSSA must be regulated. So my question is, the Cabinet - as this House does represent the workers and the people of Zimbabwe, do not want the public service pensioners, main pension regulators to regulate them, why? There is no sense because you cannot say to me that IPEC is incapacitated because even in the incapacitation, I am sure and comfortable that they can do a much better job than what is being done for the past 20 years. Being established and providing the Bill as accepted and done in a good fashion, we can call them to order. We cannot say that they must continue in the current vein when basics like conflicts of interest exist in the current board. We cannot say if they cannot do simple good governance, they have hundreds of cases against them from abuse of office to defunct overcast projects to questionable fake answers. HH How can you let them continue like that and say now they can stand alone? Thank you.
HON. DR. MURIRE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have been listening to the argument but my question is, we have got IPEC which covers insurance and pension. I believe it should also be very explicit in terms of the regulation, what needs to be regulated here in insurance and pensions. We need to have a clear understanding of the difference between the two so that the regulations applied become effective.
In terms of insurance, it is governed as a business. In any business, there is an amount of money and in this case it is a business providing insurance and it includes the public service. NSSA was created by Government together with labour. I remember the negotiations that took place when NSSA was promulgated, it involved Labour and Government. Even the composition of the board was made of Labour and Government. If I recall, initially in the board, the late Hon. Tsvangirai was a member. He was very vocal on NSSA having to benefit workers and focus was on people employed in the private sector. As they move forward, it also encompassed Government employees. Now, what benefit is NSSA bringing to the workers? You will see that we have various pension schemes, local Government Pension Scheme, National Railways Pension Scheme, Postal and Courier Services Pension Scheme and NSSA comes in to fill in the gap but if we see today, people are actually involved in these various pension funds that they get from NSSA. What relevance is it offering? So I am saying, the law that we are intending to make should actually rectify this so that NSSA becomes relevant to the needs of the workers. If not, then it is not business. We talk about insurance being business like CIMAS, they are in business, it is not a public service but NSSA is not a business, it is a public service. PSMAS as well, initially it was a Government initiative to benefit Government workers and not a business but if you look at the activities that all these organisations are engaging in, they have ceased to be entities that should offer public service, they are now entities that are there to make profit, with individuals with specific personal interests and not workers. We must ensure that the regulation is so designed to benefit the workers when they retire. Then we can have the other section which deals with business so that a person can go there and invest his salary with the intention of getting extra benefits knowing very well that they are investing in an entity that is in business to make profit on their behalf like buying stock. It will be different from buying stock from the Stock Market so that you can get value. They are taking this as business, the idea is to take care of people when they are in hard times. So let us look at public service insurance being regulated for us offering public service for the benefit of our people.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Chairperson. I just want to stand on the same pedestal and platform that Hon. Mushoriwa spoke to and about and stood on, the issue of inadequacies in IPEC. There is need to have a separate entity, in particular that is going to regulate the health insurance industry. It is with a heavy heart and I keep mentioning issues to do with road accidents. In road accidents, I lost two children - no compensation from the medical aid society, no compensation from the road accident fund, third party and on full cover. I did not get anything.
Mr. Speaker Sir, 43 people are getting injured each day, 5 people are dying each day due to road traffic accidents and some die later due to the road accident injuries incurred in a road traffic accident with no compensation from the health insurance industry and also from the Vehicle Insurance Industry.
If there are inadequacies in the current set up, I ask that – because 15% of our people are living with disability and most of them because of road traffic accidents. It means every 30 minutes somebody gets injured. We as Parliamentarians are prone to that, we are able to become disabled in the next 30 minutes because you are using an automobile. My clarion call which I would have deferred but I am going to debate now is 70% of our people are dying because they have gone to a definitive place or a health care institution because they have no health care cover. Seventy percent of our people die because they have not been stabilised within the next hour after the accident and that takes money and a copious amount of blood infusion. That is enshrined and a preserve of the healthcare insurance scheme. How they have turned it from provision to a scheme of self benefit for canning what they get and getting what they can and moving off boggles the mind.
They have turned themselves into some business cartel as opposed to service providers. What happened to me should not happen to anyone again especially the opportunity to stand here and make a clarion call to have a change for the better. Let us make sure that as I have done in Chegutu West constituency, I have established an Accident Victim Stabilisation Centre which is too metres from the highway, Bulawayo/Harare 200 metres from the Surisuri turnoff that is about 110 kilometers from here. I intend to establish one in each and every town, an accident victim friendly stabilisation centre so they are one hour apart and they are less than an hour from the highway so that somebody can be stabilised. There is need to actually promote and couple that and make sure there is financial backing from the health insurance. How many times do you go to hospital after paying your contributions to PASMAS, maybe never but the only one time you need medical insurance, you will not get it because it is inside protected by a cartel who we call healthcare funders but they do not do that. It is my thinking that if there is a dearth in terms of capacity at IPEC, let us have regulators and enforcers of the law separate.
You can do another Bill because in my law school, it says if you have risen to think that there are deficiencies in the law and it does not protect the interest that you speak to and about, then change the law. You can change the law, propose another set of rules which is a Bill, let it come here and we debate. His Excellency will assent to the Bill and it becomes an Act of Parliament. I cannot over-emphasise the issue of health care insurance. It touches across the divide. Previously when I debated, I touched on the figures but they can be way much more than that. The amount that has gotten in third party insurance and passenger insurance, I remember because of the deficiencies of observation and regulation, when they appeared before a Committee that I chaired in the Eighth Parliament, the passenger service vehicles, 60 thousand of them were not insured, meaning that the innocent unsuspecting citizens who are seated in a bus to Dotito are not insured by both the healthcare insurance and also by the passenger insurance, so there could not be any issues to do with compensation in the unlikely event that there is an accident. A breadwinner can be lost in the unlikely event that there is a bereaved in that accident like we have seen in a plethora of accidents that have occurred recently. The Government, through the Minister has had to come in through the Minister of Public Service to give 50 kg of mealie meal, a coffin and most of the times there is also maybe Nyaradzo and other service providers who would have said the monies that you were paying for your insurance plan are now equal to half the coffin you paid for. There is a lot of delinquent behaviour occurring in the insurance sector.
Therefore, I ask that if there are deficiencies, let there be a stand-alone and also in that board of directors, there is need to be somebody who has first hand information, somebody who was born able-bodied who is now disabled because of RTA, who is now disabled because they have not had CIMAS and PSMAS pay for their ailment which in this case is sugar diabetes. I have Cde Wunganayi who has no legs, both his legs are amputated but I was in the military for 10 years, he was my instructor, second to none, he was trained in North Korea trained to fight imperialism single-handedly but the man is amputated. He is in a wheelchair because of sugar diabetes and because PSMAS or CIMAS could not pay care insurance for him to continue to have his legs. There is need to regulate, monitor and evaluate the operations of these health care insurance sectors, in particular the health insurance sector.
NSSA cannot continue to exist in the manner that it does, if it pleases you ‘Gold Finger’, I know it does. When it comes to the issues of upholding the Constitution, your heart is on the right side.
HON. MKARAKATIGWA: Thank you. Listening to Hon. Members’ presentations, I cannot help but concur with their emphasis on the need to either strengthen or capacitate IPEC as the current regulator that we have, or alternatively seriously engage in considerations to come up with another regulatory board which is going to be effective.
I am not going to repeat what they have contributed but what I want to do is to give my reason. It is just one reason and it is all clear for all to see. We are in the Ninth Parliament; we have a current Government, the new dispensation but the challenges that Hon. Members spoke to, for example Hon. Biti when he mentioned the scandals to do with medical aid is not the responsibility of the Ninth Parliament nor the new dispensation, it is a legacy issue. Let us agree to call it a legacy issue but what does that do the present and the future? It is responsible for the lack of confidence.
Market confidence is now lacking, every effort that you are doing, and every effort that everyone is engaged in is a zero sum game because market confidence has been lost due to reasons that have been spoken to by other Hon. Members. So I am calling upon you to take this seriously because creation of a system that is going to regulate, a system that is going to be accountable will make life easier, it will restore that lost confidence, it will make sure that what you are doing can be supported by the citizens even those that are chasing capital, the business people, they will support it when they have got that confidence.
Coupled with the issue of confidence Hon. Speaker Sir, is probably a correlation between the activities of the pension funds and the absence or seeming absence of the heavy hand of the regulatory authority in that necessary protection and how they relate to the judicial management. Many a time when there is failure, liquidation kicks in, there is judicial management, there may be corporate rescue practitioners put in place but these have become a haven of corruption because there is no effective rescue that results at the end of the day. What comes out is striping of assets. When insurance is still healthy like I said, they hedge their buildings, properties, assets but when judicial manager kicks in, those assets vanish, those assets are stripped. This can only be stopped by a very strong regulatory board and this will lead to restoration of market confidence. I thought I should emphasize on market confidence.
(v)HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Hon. Chair. The previous speaker has emptied all I wanted to say and I think the Minister has heard the concerns of the Hon. Members that any financial institution dealing with public funds is allowed to go freely without regulation. There are likely to be infringements on the reasonable expectations of those who contribute to that institution.
So, as for NSSA, now that issues have been raised, I think the Minister will call upon your expertise, your knowledge to ensure that NSSA is regulated either directly under your Ministry and a new regulator is put in place to deal with NSSA issues.
Looking at what has been given to IPEC at the moment, I think IPEC is going to come out of this Act stronger and able to regulate the private insurances companies and pension funds. So, our call Hon. Minister is that let us have regulation for every person who deals with public finances, people’s monies are important, they may be life time investments and if they are then lost people get worried. So for NSSA, I think what the Minister has already presented to us in terms of this Bill, let us leave NSSA get another regulator and the medical aid societies, especially medical aid societies are purely insurance in nature in everything they do. I do not know why they feel being regulated by IPEC would affect their operations. However, it is critical Hon. Chairperson, that we encourage the Minister after this Bill has gone through that he comes up with another Bill to deal with NSSA so that it can give comfort to the people of Zimbabwe who look up to NSSA to protect their future especially in terms of social security.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Hon. Chairman, I have noted the robust contributions from several Hon. Members of this august House on this issue of the regulation of NSSA and medical aid societies by IPEC. Naturally, this is a major amendment. I propose to move that we report progress and seek leave to sit again. I thank you.
Committee to resume: Tuesday, 10th May, 2022.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 16 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 17 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED LOSS CONTROL MANAGEMENT BILL
Seventeenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Private Member’s Bill.
Question again proposed.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I promised that I was going to support the mover of this Bill because this is a milestone in the history of Parliament. I think in the Eighth Parliament, there might not have been any Private Member who moved a Bill – I was in the Eighth Parliament but maybe in the Seventh Parliament, Hon. Gonese attempted to bring in a Private Members Bill but the fulcrum of this issue touches on regulation and also it is nothing out of the norm. I know for a fact, where I come from, there is the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers, there is also an Institute of Chartered Accountants, and there is the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
I have come to know that the Law Society of Zimbabwe has too much power and now it is getting a taste in the courts because the courts are established to interpret statutes. Now the Law Society of Zimbabwe is at variance with a number of lawyers who think that they are being over-regulated in their operations. The issue at hand is that Hon. Dr. Murire should definitely be allowed to have an institution set up that speaks to and about the issues of loss control. I say this because you will find that in a lot of bodies, I will give you an example of a department that I had close interaction with, that is TelOne. They have a Loss Control Department.
When there was over usage of telephone units as opposed to the amount that was coming in – I saw them visiting us at our house and my neighbours at a time when they were using analogue before the digital age. So you will find that an organisation like TelOne and there is another department like that at ZESA which then requires a Loss Control Institution that then covers all these plethora of departments dotted around the different organizations to harmonise, give impetus, power and also regulate their operations. This is a very important department which would have maybe curtailed the 300 km copper theft at NRZ that saw Dabuka Marshalling Yard becoming a white elephant.
According to the statistics at ZENT and ZESA what we should be having is maybe doubling of the clients that they are currently having. Was it not for the plundering and pilferage of long trucks of copper cables we could be having about 600 000 customers more for ZESA who could be paying had that material not been stolen. Because the copper cable material was stolen and there was no robust, resilient, effective and efficient loss control system, we now had to replace 600 000 worth of customer cables. There is no income coming in but just duplication of effort.
An institution such as the one that Hon. Dr. Murire speaks to and about is applaudable, required and just to establish one such as that one at a time such as this one. Hon. Dr. Murire will go down in the history and books of the Ninth Parliament as one Member of Parliament who is vociferous, effective and efficient in his way of dealing with issues. I hope he will come back in the Tenth Parliament because he has now effectively carried out his legislative role of making laws for the good governance and betterment of the people of Zimbabwe, not only his constituency, but also the people of Chegutu West Constituency.
The message from the 14 chairpersons that I preside over in my constituency is that keep moving Hon. Dr. Murire. The message to the other Hon. Members in this House is, do not just come to Harare to eat good food and live a lavish lifestyle but follow suit and make sure that we have an established loss control department that is going to regulate other loss control departments, so that we can curtail the pilferage of whatever it is that is protected by those departments. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously, effectively, eloquently and elaborately put across the points that the people of Chegutu West Constituency including Chairman Nyamarangwe, Mai Nyasha, Farai and also Mr. Green, and the 10 000 school children from the ages 15 – 18 who are in more than 10 schools put forward.
HON. BITI: W would like to debate and support the Private Member’s Bill but we are handicapped in that we have not seen the Bill. I do not know what can be done so that we can access the Bill. Unlike a national Bill, a Private Member’s Bill is not gazetted. So, I humbly request that the Bill be availed. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, I am being advised that you can get a softcopy from the Journals Office.
HON. BITI: May the Clerk undertake to circulate it. Thank you.
Motion to seek leave to bring in a Private Member’s Bill adopted.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill ordered to be brought in by Hon. Dr. Murire.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED LOSS CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT BILL
HON. DR. MURIRE: Pursuant to the order, I beg leave to present the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Management Bill. The Bill will provide for the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Management which shall be administered as set out in this Bill; to provide for the establishment of the Council and for the matters concerned with or incidental to the foregoing. I therefore move that the Bill be read for the first time.
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Order Numbers 18 to 29 be stood over until Order Number 30 is disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES ON THE STATE OF THE MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE
Thirtieth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services on the state of the media in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank everyone who debated on this report and I move that the report be adopted by the House.
Motion; that this House takes note of the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services on the State of Media and Broadcasting Services on the state of the media in Zimbabwe put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. T. MOYO, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 10th May, 2022.