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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 8 DECEMBER 2022 VOL 49 NO 5

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 8th December, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

          HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My point of national interest is requesting a statement from the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Currently, we are aware that the Government has yielded and received 255.000 tonnes of wheat.  That has been in stock now for nearly two months and no wheat farmer that I am aware of has been paid anything yet.  Wheat farmers are due to receive $200 to $220 per tonne and also ZWL 255.000 but none of this has been paid. 

          I think it is a matter of national importance in that this House asks for a statement from the Minister as to the delay in payment.   There are also rumours that a farmer has to stomach the price as the cost of storage and the marketing of that grain because the Government cannot pay them.  The matter is seriously urgent because any farmer who grew winter wheat and cannot fund his crop for this coming summer season in inputs as he does not have payment is affected this summer.  The farmer only has one option which is to go into the market and borrow the money at 200% interest.  I have no idea what the Ministers of Agriculture and Finance are thinking in order to solve this situation.  We have always stated the need to peg the producer price in US dollars.  There is nothing more urgent than now.  Could the Minister bring a statement to this House?  Thank you.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):  Thank you Hon. Markham.  Your request will be attended to and the Minister will advise. 

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE REVISED GEORGETOWN AGREEMENT

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Georgetown Agreement created in 1975, is the Framework Act of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States which aims to ensure sustainable development and poverty reduction within the ACP’s Member States. Zimbabwe, together with other Member States are progressively adopting policies and implementing measures in accordance with their obligations in terms of the Agreement and exercising political will by calling for the transformation of the ACP Group of States into an international organisation which will act as a multilateral body, taking into account the changing global geo-political context;

AND WHEREAS the Revised Georgetown Agreement was opened for signature in 2019, and came into force in April 2020, the Revised Agreement endorses the Organisation’s change of name from the ACP Group of States to the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS). Other significant changes include among others, a revision of addressing the challenges to development in all its dimensions with respect to environmental matters, climate change, peace and security, gender and private sector development:

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

HON. BITI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, in principle we have no problem with the ratification in terms of Section 327 of the said Georgetown Treaty of 1975.  We wish to place on record two challenges that we have.  Firstly, is the delay in the ratification of these treaties - there is now a constant regime of delaying the approval of these treaties.  If you look at the majority of all the treaties that we have ratified in the last two years, there is actually a timeline of at least five years between the time that the country signs on to the treaty and the time that the treaty is brought to this august House. 

In fact, if you look closely at Section 327 of the Constitution, the signing of the agreement is actually preconditioned to Parliament approving, so there has to be prior parliamentary approval before the Minister or His Excellency the President accedes his signature to the document.  What is happening invariably in all the situations is that there is a signature and then we are called upon to ratify.  So we are then used purely as a doormat, purely as a nominal approval board yet in terms of the Constitution, the power of  approval lies with this august House.

On selection application, there are some important conventions that we have signed on but we have not ratified. One of those is the Convention against Torture.  Zimbabwe signed same way back in the 90s but we are still to ratify that.  It is a mystery and a wonder Mr. Speaker why we are not ratifying that because our Constitution in Section 53 already outlaws cruel torture or degrading a treatment, so there is no reason why we should not be ratifying conventions such as CAT the Convention against Torture.  I urge the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs forthwith to bring the instruments for ratification before this august House so that we can act in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Thirdly Mr. Speaker Sir, it is nice to be a member of a proliferation of these organisations.  I really wonder the benefit of Zimbabwe in joining this particular organisation. The history of the ACP is re-linked to the European Union and the Cotonou Agreement.  So the ACP is created within the context of poor countries that trade with Europe who get equal and preferential treatment in terms of the Lemo Convention and in terms of the Cotonou Agreement.  So, I appreciate  the South-South Cooperation but what really are we getting from this association which we are not getting to our heather to existing ACP cooperation within the context of the European Union?  Mr. Speaker, the motion before you speaks of promoting the environment but we are already a member of the Cop process, the climate agreements of the UN.  Only recently we were in Egypt, only recently we were in Scotland, so we are already part of the global infrastructure of dealing with the environment. 

Sometimes we are happy to be a member of proliferation of tripod institutions, the CommonWealth is one of them, beyond  tea what is the benefit?   This one is another tripod institution, let us strengthen our membership of the African, and let us mention our membership of the ACFTA, let us make good our membership of SADC, UN and the UN General Assembly.  After all we join these organisations, we do not pay subscriptions.  If you look at the budget before you, we have not paid subscriptions to most of the organisations that we are members. 

On those words of caution Mr. Speaker, we will support this motion but can the Hon. Minister bring other instruments that need to be ratified, in particular the Convention against Torture.

HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I support the motion by the Hon. Minister Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that Zimbabwean Parliament, we must support the ratification of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States in line with the Georgetown Agreement of 1975 which was revised in 2022.  Hon. Speaker Sir, the provisions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-  The Hon. Members are making noise.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.

HON. T. MOYO: Hon. Speaker,  the provision of the Georgetown  Agreement of 1975 that was reviewed in April 2020 is very important.  Issues to do with climate change, environment, peace and security and gender issues are so topical Mr. Speaker Sir.  Just recently, the Zimbabwean Government launched what we call ZIMSAT 1 where we had to launch satellite into orbit, into space that is very important particularly on the economic implications on how we can use the satellite to detect mineral deposits which have not been found in Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe is endowed with a number of resources; one of the minerals that I need to mention is the issue of uranium. Two weeks, the Zimbabwean Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia because of the challenges of electricity. We are going to resort to nuclear energy.  We have uranium in Gokwe, all those mountains are endowed with uranium, so this agreement is very important because we need to protect our environment. 

The other provision that is very important is, issues to do with sustainable development are very important and that will culminate in poverty reduction. No-one on this planet is against the issues of poverty reduction.  It is my clarion call that we need to embrace and support the Government to ratify this international convention because it is very important for us.

On gender, Zimbabweans are known for having ‘HeforShe” champion; I am one myself and we were having 16 days of activism against gender based violence.  So we are saying this convention is also important because it will be very important for us males who will support the need to protect and also to capacitate women in line with SDG Number 5 where we want to ensure that women are capacitated so that they are able to compete with their male counterparts and that is also very important, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I so submit.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Members for the debate and largely the support that we need to ratify this agreement.  I just want to make a few comments with regards to what Hon. Biti said.

The Constitution is very clear that what starts is the President executing and signing an agreement and the other process is to give effect to that agreement and will follow the necessary domestic procedures in any country, which is what we are doing.  You do not start by having Parliament approving the signature of the agreement before the President has appended.  So the process that we are doing is exactly the correct one, not the other way round.

Secondly Madam Speaker, this agreement is very important and like he rightly alluded to, being party to this Georgetown Agreement will certify a country to become a member of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States and it will allow us to access rights and privileges and other benefits of being a member.  Contrary to what Hon. Biti was saying, there are actually privileges that will accrue to a member and the country will be eligible to access funding, benefits from OACPS projects and technical capacity building from negotiations for an economic partnership agreement with the EU like he mentioned, and that Zimbabwe is currently undertaking.  Zimbabwe has benefitted immensel, Madam Speaker, from OACPS projects and programmes mainly in the agricultural sector through the Trade Com 1 and 2 projects which saw farmers in Chimanimani receiving funding and know-how on growing pineapples, avocados and cashew nuts for export to EU.

Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe has also been a beneficiary of European development funds which assisted in the education and health sector and on 21st November, 2022 the EU Ambassador signed two agreements with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  Order Hon. Members.  There is a lot of bickering.  Please may we try to maintain silence so that the Hon. Minister can be heard in silence?  Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was saying Zimbabwe has also been a beneficiary of European development funds which assisted in the education and health sectors and only a month ago on 21st November, 2022, the EU Ambassador signed two agreements with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for the disbursement of funds amounting to 47 million Euros to support the health sector and the electoral process.

Additionally, the private sector has received funding from the European Investment Bank to the tune of 50 million Euros which was disbursed through three banks, namely NMB, CABS and NED Bank.  If Zimbabwe does not accede to the revised Georgetown Agreement, the country will not be eligible to sign the Post Cotonou Agreement which gives eligibility to EU development corporation and funding.  The prerequisite to accessing funding from the new neighbourhood development international corporation instrument which came into force on 14th June 2021, is that one has to have acceded to the revised Georgetown Agreement and signed the Post Cotonou Agreement.

So Hon. Biti was correct to a certain extent but he did not have the fuller information that there are several benefits that would accrue if we accede to this.  I therefore move that the House do agree that we ratify the agreement.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Finance Bill.

Question again proposed.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I think the second order which has just been read which we are about to debate is the motion for leave to bring in a Finance Bill, but I notice that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic development, I have tried to check and I know that my eyes are getting old but I am not seeing the Hon. Minister. 

Yes, the Hon. Deputy Minister is here and the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is here but the National Budget is a very important instrument and to that extent, when we have a presentation of the budget, everyone, all the Hon. Ministers attend, including the President, and therefore it is in that context Madam Speaker, that the nation deserves an explanation as to the whereabouts of the Hon. Minister.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I explained yesterday.

HON. GONESE:  No, you did not say it officially because yesterday when the issue was raised we did not get it on record as to where the Hon. Minister is.  I believe that we need an explanation.  The nation, the Hon. Members of Parliament who are representatives of the people must…

HON. ZIYAMBI:  The Hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development is here and I myself am here.

HON. GONESE:  Yes, we appreciate that the Deputy Minister is there but in the past if you look at the convention, if you look at the precedence which we have set as this august institution, the Hon. Minister has been personally present painstakingly taking notes.  It is not about getting it from the Hansard.  When it comes to the National Budget, I have already emphasised the importance of that National Budget because it is the one which actually shapes the destiny of our country.  As a result, I think it is incumbent upon our colleagues seated on your right to explain to us why the Hon. Minister is not present as has always been.  I know that we have sat up to  midnight and the Minister has always been present.  It is not just about what would have transpired, he must also be able to see the demeanor of the Hon. Members as they are contributing to the debate and to see the whole environment which you cannot discern from  reading  the Hansard. It is in that context that before we can debate the Order of the Day, the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs who is privy of the whereabouts of the Hon. Minister of Finance informs the nation so that it is placed on record to know whether he  indisposed; is he admitted into a hospital, we do not know - although there is someone who looks like him who is in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – we need to know Madam Speaker.

          HON. BITI: Madam Speaker, the making of a budget is personal to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development; Section 6 of the Public Finance Management Act defines the function of Treasury but if you go to the definition section, it defines the Minister as Treasury.

          Section 7 of the Public Finance Management Act defines the duties of the Minister and one of the duties of the Minister is to provide the macro-economic policy of the country, to present before this august House the macro-economic policy of the country, the accounts of the country and the budget of the country, it is persona to the Minister.

          Section 305 of the Constitution says the Minister shall present estimates of expenditure and revenue for the year, so it is persona to the Minister.  If the Minister is out of the country, something which the esteemed Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs did not disclose yesterday, then there must be appointed an Acting Minister of Finance who will carry out the duties and the Acting Minister of Finance sits in Cabinet.

          The danger is that we cannot make submissions when the Minister who has been given the power personally is not around, we are breaching Section 6 and Section 7 of the Public Finance Management Act, the later and spirit of the Constitution captured in Sections 305, 306 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  So, the Minister himself, esteemed Mthuli Ncube suspended Standing Orders for sitting on Tuesday when he was in this august House, we will wait for him when he comes, we can sleep at midnight when he comes from Malabo, Angola and Georgia.

          Finally, the most important function of a Minister of Finance is the National Budget.  What  Minister of Finance and Economic Development disrespects his own work?  This Minister is unique, unprecedented, he makes Chinamasa looks like a genius when Chinamasa was not a genius.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): According to our Standing Orders, a Minister is defined from being a Minister and also the Deputy Minister, all of them are encompassed for us to define a Minister –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!

          The Hon Deputy Minister has on a number of occasions represented the Minister and has presented Bills on behalf of the Hon. Minister of Finance.  So it is not a surprise that today he is doing that because he has always done that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Order! The Hon. Deputy Minister will take notes and then will present to the Hon. Minister and he has got capacity to also respond.  The Minister is out on official business.

          HON. S. BANDA: - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Let me reiterate what I have said.  According to Standing Order Number 1, on definition of a Minister, it says ‘Minister means the Minister of Government of Zimbabwe and this includes the Deputy Minister’.  So I do not know what you are talking about when you are talking about a Deputy Minister not being a Minister especially in this House. So we are going to proceed with the Deputy Minister – [THE HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order! With due respect, we have got to follow procedure, the budget is announced by the Minister of Finance.  I have not seen anybody else other than the Minister of Finance and that is the reason why he has that ‘briefcase’.  Hon. Ziyambi cannot carry that ‘briefcase’; Hon. Ziyambi can carry a briefcase on Justice, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs.  To me, you must understand the whole processes.  The Ministers too should be here to respond to the performance of the budget.  They must be here: Hon. Ziyambi is here, fine, Hon. Mhona is always here.  They must respond to the budget that we pass, they must also respond to the performance.  We need the Minister of Finance and Economic Development here; we need the Minister of every portfolio here for them to be able to respond.  Hon. Ziyambi has done well, he deserves to be reappointed by the President at any other time but – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Parliament has no power to appoint an Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development. 

          Madam Speaker, I would like to see a letter from the Office of the President and Cabinet appointing the Acting Minister of Finance.  Deputy Ministers do not sit in Cabinet, why do they not sit in Cabinet? The President finds another Cabinet Minister to act, so if you are telling me that you are now the Head of State, then we did not know that you have such powers of appointing Acting Ministers here.  It is the prerogative of the President and do not take the President’s powers, no wonder, Hon. Chiduwa, with due respect he is here but cannot act as the Minister of Finance ....

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Mliswa.

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Let me finish Madam Speaker.  These are the procedures we know, we do not want to do things which will get us into trouble tomorrow.  You are an upcoming young Speaker and I would like you to adhere to certain protocols – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – can we have a letter from the President appointing an Acting Minister of Finance....

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa, I was very clear!

          HON. T. MLISWA:  We cannot debate outside this, this will be challenged in the courts, the whole world is watching this.  This is a budget for a specific Minister. Hon. Ziyambi has done very well being here but this is not Question Time.  Ngatiite zvinhu zviri right zvoita kuti nyika iyenderere mberi.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.  Hon. Members, there is no-one who ever talked about being appointed  or appointing anyone, but we are following our Standing Rules and Orders.  Our Standing Rules and Orders are very clear on that one, we are going to proceed, that is what I am telling you, and I do not want send people outside – [HON. S. BANDA: Ndidzingei.] – It is okay, you can excuse yourself.  Hon. Banda, continue making noise and you will see what will happen.  We do not need to undermine each other,  that is what I can tell you. 

          HON. T. MLISWA:  My point of clarity is; we want to understand the powers of Parliament.  Parliament cannot have Executive powers.  I also want to know if it is now standard that Parliament can appoint an Acting Minister because it is the prerogative of the President.  We must believe and follow the doctrine of the separation of powers.  That is critical and I am saying Standing Orders mean nothing according to the Constitution.  Let us go to the Constitution and read the powers of the President.  If we want to read the Bible, let us start from Genesis to the end, let us not read where we want.  What does the Constitution say about the Ministers - who appoints Ministers?  We must be very clear.  Parliament does not appoint Ministers; it only plays an oversight role on Ministers because we are now encroaching into a territory which is not ours.  Be guided properly, we cannot continue doing this.  The Minister of Finance is responsible for the budget; the Ministers should be here to respond to what we pass in the Budget and so forth.  Let us go to the Constitution, do not be misled.  Madam Speaker, I have said you are an upcoming great Speaker, young lady, vibrant youth, do not destroy your career by being misled – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let us allow the President to appoint the Acting Minister of Finance.  Clerk, can you please advise the Speaker properly.  The prerogative of appointing Ministers remains with the President not anyone else.  Parliament must not be on record of usurping the powers of the President, we cannot usurp the powers of the President, let us be honest. 

          Hon. Chiduwa, if he wants to present the budget, let us have a letter from the President appointing him as the Acting Minister of Finance, that is it.  Deputy Ministers do not sit in Cabinet, why? The President appoints an Acting Minister, you know that.  We shall wait for the Minister of Finance to do his job and to respond to issues. 

          HON. T. MOYO:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think we set precedence yesterday that all Chairpersons should present.  I think we are left with one or two, if Hon. Members may allow the Chairperson of Defence to present. 

          HON. T. MLISWA:  I support Hon. Moyo’s point, the Committee Chairpersons can present, Hon. Chiduwa can take notes and the Ministry officials as well and give those notes to their principal to respond.  Only, Hon. Minister Prof. Ncube can respond to us. 

          HON. NGULUVHE:

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

          INTRODUCTION:

1.0 Global Overview and Analysis of the Ministry’s 2023 Budget Allocation

1.1      The Ministry has three programmes, namely Policy and Administration; Defence and Security and the War Veterans department. 

1.2      The Ministry is grateful to Treasury for availing US$15 million for the purchase of vehicles through the current contract between the Ministry of Defence and Croco Pvt. Ltd.

1.3      However, Treasury allocated $331.1 billion against an ideal requirement of $800.8 billion, thereby compromising the Ministry’s capability to fulfil its constitutional mandate. The allocation leaves a funding gap of $469.7 billion, and this will have multiple negative effects on the Zimbabwe Defence Force’s operational activities and hence the entire nation’s peace and security.

1.4      Your Committee noted that the Ministry has key expenditure items that cannot be half-funded because of their interconnectedness in nature.  For example, adequate fuel, military equipment and food are required to complete a full training programme since training cannot be half-done.

1.5      The budget shortfall affects employment costs, recurrent and capital expenditure in the three programmes as follows:

Programme

Ideal Bid

Budget Allocation

Budget Shortfall

Policy and Administration

$40.54 billion

$8.94 billion

$31.6 billion

Defence and Security

$725.54 billion

$317.3 billion

$408.3 billion

War Veterans

$34.72 billion

$4.9 billion

$29.8 billion

TOTAL

$800.8 billion

$331.14 billion

$469.7 billion

 

2.0     Major Highlights of the Ministry’s 2023 Budget

2.1 The Ministry has a heavy debt burden amounting to $6 billion which has resulted from low budgetary support and the suspension of all payments by Treasury in August 2022.  The temporary suspension has resulted in some service providers withdrawing their services. As a result, the Ministry expérience;

  1. Inadequate supply of rations,
  2. Low stock levels of drugs, fuels, oils and lubricants,
  3. Delays in the procurement of essential spares and failure to maintain military equipment.
  4. Late payment of school fees for veterans’ children,
  5. Late payment of medical bills for the war veterans.
  6. Stalling of PSIP projects which could have helped to ease accommodation challenges.

2.3      The Military Salary Concept has not been fully implemented hence a budget bid of $258 billion would have adequately covered this item. A budget shortfall of $215 billion will result in the Ministry losing its key personnel to greener pastures.

2.3.               Goods and services constitute the bulk of the Defence and Security budget and cannot be half-funded. An allocation of $84.3 billion falls far below an ideal bid of $257.9 billion. Critical components which will not be covered given this small budget include:

  1. Health services for both serving and retired officers yet it is their constitutional right,
  2. Procurement of specialized military equipment which require an ideal budget of $93.6 billion. This is required to cover carry-overs from 2021 and current creditors who are owed $15.2 billion
  3. Utilities have accumulated carry-overs (on rates, water and hire of services) from 2021 financial year to present. Treasury allocated only 18% of the required bid of $10.4 billion.
  4. Institutional provisions were seriously underfunded despite carry-overs dating back to 2021. An allocation of $23.8 billion against an ideal bid of $84.44 billion will result in the Ministry failing to provide adequate rations and uniforms to its members. Members will have to supplement from their paltry salaries thereby causing serious adverse effects on health and morale.

2.4    Travel expenses (both domestic and foreign) must be fully funded. Treasury allocated $522 million against a bid of $6.12 billion to cover travel and subsistence, hotel accommodation, workshops, trade fairs and community assistance trips. Indiscipline in the military will be rampant due to lack of these institutional requirements to cover travel expenses.

2.5    Fuel, oils and lubricants are part of the institutional requirements, and this includes special aviation fuel which is very expensive but is needed for various activities. A paltry budget of $16 billion was allocated against a bid of $41.05 billion despite the presence of a total of $68.4 million payment carry-overs owed to creditors which dates back to 2021.

2.6    Progress has stalled on several high impact PSIP projects that would ease accommodation problems in the military. These projects include:

  1. Dzivarasekwa housing units,
  2. Imbizo housing units,
  3. The Manyame Hospital, and
  4. Rehabilitation of selected buildings within cantonment areas;

2.7      The War Veterans Affairs Department has key expenditures items that were grossly underfunded. These mandatory expenditures include:

  • Social welfare benefits that are paid to war veterans and their dependents and dependents of deceased war veterans. The benefits include medical benefits, funeral benefits and educational benefits. These require an ideal budget of $19.8 billion, against an actual allocation of $2 billion. This means that veterans of the liberation struggle shall remain neglected despite their contribution to the freedom of Zimbabwe.
  • There is a pending mop up vetting exercise to identify additional war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees. This exercice requires $300 million.
  • The capacitation of War Veterans District Offices requires an ideal amount of $3.8 billion. These offices are meant to bring services close to the beneficiaries at low cost.

3.0     Recommendations

In light of the importance of national peace and security which is primarily provided by the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, your Committee recommends the following:

3.1      Treasury should review upwards the allocation to the Ministry by at least 45% of the current allocation. This means increasing funding by at least $150 billion so that the minimum barest allocation is about 50% of the Ministry’s initial bid of $800.8 billion.

  The Ministry will then reprioritize and fund its most critical expenditure items that are inescapable.

3.2      The Military Salary Concept must be fully implemented to avoid loss of skilled personnel to other greener pastures and general brain drain.

3.3      The military construction regiment should be capacitated so that it can compete for construction bids and be allowed to retain the funds generated. The funds would help to ease some funding challenges in the Ministry.

3.4      Treasury should support partnerships and joint ventures which the Ministry has, for example in construction projects.

3.5      Adequate funds must be allocated to cater for the payment of the Ministry’s payment runs or carry-overs in order to ensure an uninterrupted service delivery by service providers.

3.6      Inescapable expenditure items must be prioritised and be adequately funded. These include institutional provisions, acquisition and maintenance of military equipment, training and development needs; fuels, oils and lubricants.

3.7      The war veterans’ affairs must be reviewed upwards to cater for their benefits and outstanding allowances. Their revenue generating projects must be fully supported and ensure that everyone who qualifies to get the benefits has access to them. The mop up vetting exercise earmarked for 2023 should be fully supported.

3.8      The PSIP projects in the Ministry are low-hanging fruits hence should be completed in order to ease accommodation problems. Treasury can consider capacitating the construction regiment so that it can finish off these projects.

          MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE - VOTE 18 ($293.1 BILLION)

  4.0    Global Overview and Analysis of the Ministry’s 2023 Budget Allocation

  The Ministry has five programmes; namely, Policy and Administration, Civil Registration, Police Services, National Heritage Management and Migration Management.

4.1      The Ministry prepared the 2023 budget guided by the Budget Strategy Paper, Treasury Call Circulars of 2022 and the National Development Strategy (NDS1) policy document. 

4.2      Your Committee is grateful to Treasury for increasing the Ministry’s budgetary allocation from the initial allocation of $185 billion before the Call Circular to $293 billion after the Call Circular. 

4.3      The expenditure items whose budget allocations were increased after the Call Circular include:

  • Goods and services earmarked for Policy and Administration were allocated an additional $39.2 billion.
  • Capital expenditure budget allocation increased by $6.5 billion.
  • Employment costs have an additional allocation of $61.6 billion.
    • However, the Ministry has expenditure items under various programmes which were seriously underfunded despite the additional budget allocations.
    • Major budget allocation shortfalls affect the following programmes:
  1. The 2023 mop-up mobile registration exercise to be done by the Civil Registry Department requires an ideal bid of $29.8 billion.
  2. Capital and recurrent expenditures for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to enhance its readiness for the 2023 harmonised elections requires an additional $496.8 billion.

Specific expenditures that are underfunded in the ZRP are:

  1. ICT equipment,
  2. Fuels, oils and lubricants,
  • Institutional provisions and
  1. Domestic travel expenses.
  1. Acquisition of electronic documents and records management system (EDRMS) software and hardware for Records and Archival Management Department requires $1 billion.
  2. Computerization Programme in the Migration Management to enable an online management of Zimbabwe’s borders requires $3.8 billion.
    • The Ministry’s allocations (excluding employment costs) in the 2023 National Budget of Zimbabwe are broken down as follows:

Programme

Ideal Budget 

Actual Allocation

Budget Shortfall

Policy and Administration

$20.9 billion

$6.2 billion

$14.8 billion

Civil Registration

$81.9 billion

$11.05 billion

$70.9 billion

Police Services

$560.9 billion

$64.1 billion

$496.8 billion

National Heritage Management

$23.1 billion 

$6.8 billion

$16.3 billion

Migration Management

$14.1 billion

$4.9 billion

$9.2 billion

5.0  Analysis of the 2023 Budget Allocation for the Ministry

This analysis focuses on expenditure items whose allocations were grossly underfunded. These are the priority areas which will enable the Ministry to fulfil its constitutional obligations in 2023. The budget shortfalls by Programme are as follows:

5.1  Civil Registration

  5.1.1 This department plays a crucial role in the upcoming 2023 harmonized elections plebiscite through the issuance of civil registration documents required for voter registration.

5.1.2 However, the department has a huge financing gap of $70.9 billion which is likely to derail the department’s efforts of decentralizing services beyond district level. 

          5.1.3 Key expenditure items that require an upward review of funding include:

  1. Outstanding mobile registration allowances for the years 2022 which require an ideal budget of $15 billion yet Treasury allocated $3 billion only. These outstanding balances will negatively affect staff morale who participated in the 2022 mobile registration exercise. This will affect even the upcoming 2023 mop-up mobile registration exercise.
  2. The impending 2023 mop-up mobile registration requires a budget allocation of $29.8 billion yet nothing was allocated hence it will not kick-start. Some citizens will be denied their constitutional right to access certain services and the right to vote.
  3. Domestic travel expenses and allowances to be incurred during the mop-up mobile registration exercise was allocated $0.6 billion against a requirement of $53.1 billion.

However, these are institutional requirements which must be provided.

          The mop-up mobile registration exercise also requires adequate office supplies and services such as computer and computer consumables and stationery; printers, photocopiers, generators and photographic equipment. These items require an additional budget of $7 billion to ensure an uninterrupted issuance of civil

  1. Registration documents. Treasury allocated just $3.1 billion for goods and services and this is inadequate.
  2. Fuels, oils and lubricants required for vehicles travelling long distances between sub offices, district, and provincial and central registry offices must be fully funded to the tune of $6.2 billion. Treasury allocated a paltry $0.3 billion, leaving a budget balance of $5.9 billion.
  3. Transport equipment (including all-terrain vehicles) which is required for management and staff mobility was allocated $0.3 billion against an ideal budget of $1.1 billion. This means that some remote areas will be left out during the mop up mobile registration.

5.2 Police Services (The Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZRP)

5.2.1 The ZRP plays a crucial role in Zimbabwe’s security sector through crime management, maintaining public order and protecting people and property.  However, the ZRP service standards have fallen to unprecedented levels due to gross underfunding that has persisted for more than ten years now. Police officers have remained loyal and continued to provide their services despite lacking the requisite tools of trade, operating from sub-standard offices without furniture and stationery and without institutional requirements. Therefore, the ZRP cannot modernize its policing without modern gadgets to detect, deter and investigate crimes, and with limited mobility due to continued use few and inefficient vehicles. 

          5.2.2 Analysis of the 2023 ZRP Budget allocation

          The organisation was allocated $64.1 billion against a requirement of $560.9 billion, leaving a variance of $496.8 billion. The allocation is grossly insufficient to meet all the critical operational and administrative requirements associated with policing elections, dealing with increasing crimes, VIP guards and escorts, tracking and escorting dangerous and armed criminals among other key police duties. The following are ZRP’s priority expenditures:

          ICT equipment such as advanced radio equipment, computers, modern PABX telephone switch boards, traffic equipment and other specialized military equipment require an ideal budget of $10 billion. Thus, an additional allocation of $4.9 billion is required.

(a)       Fuels, oils and lubricants are a major priority in the organisation’s operations to enhance mobility, police deployments and visibility in all parts of the country before, during and after elections. An additional budget of $8.2 billion is required to enable the organization to acquire adequate fuel, oils and lubricants for the ZRP’s vehicle fleet. Currently, the organization is receiving between 7% and 10% of its monthly fuel requirements.

(b)       Institutional provisions are mandatory in the ZRP but a paltry budget of $8.4 billion was allocated against an ideal requirement of $25 billion. This caters for uniforms, food, bedding facilities and hygienic items for detained suspects. These constitutional obligations should be met hence an upward review of the budget allocation is required.

(c)       Budget allocation towards domestic travel and expenses require an upward review to cater for the welfare of officers deployed away from home stations and curtail corrupt tendencies by the ZRP officers. A total bid of $50 billion was submitted but Treasury allocated $14.32 billion. 

(d)       Several ongoing construction works, refurbishment and rehabilitation work taking place throughout the country will remain work in progress if Treasury fails to increase budgetary allocation from the current $4.1 billion to $376. 7 billion towards this expenditure item. Priority is given to the following ongoing high impact projects:

(a)     Chimoio flats

(b)     Dotito, Hwedza and Chirundu Police Stat

(c)     Acquisition of institutional accommodation,

(d)     Refurbishment of office buildings and staff houses.

          National Heritage Management           

          The programme has two departments, namely the Heritage Preservation and Presentation Services and Records and Archival Management. The most seriously underfunded department is the Records and Archival Management whose key priority is to digitalise all national records through the use of electronic documents and records management system (EDRMS). Thus, the department requires an ideal bid of $1 billion to support the acquisition of the EDRMS software and hardware equipment and modern laptops. However, nothing was allocated towards this important programme.

          The department of Heritage Preservation and Presentation Services will also upgrade all provincial Heroes Acres across the 10 provinces in Zimbabwe to avert the general deterioration of heritage sites. It is disturbing to note that no funds were availed for this new responsibility in the department. The programme requires an ideal budget of $2.7 billion.

Migration Management

          The department has two key priority items which were grossly underfunded. First, the department is migrating to online border management system (OBMS) by computerizing all its operations. This programme requires a minimum support of $4 billion. However, a paltry budget of $1.36 billion was allocated towards all capital projects for the department, leaving only $200 million available for this OBMS capital project. This project has overarching implications on the operations of the department, particularly in tightening the country’s security and plugging revenue leakages through smuggling.

          The department also requires an adequate supply of stationery such visa and permit stickers. These items require an ideal budget allocation of $1.2 billion. However, Treasury allocated a paltry $200 million, and this will compromise the operations of the department.

          Recommendations for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage - Your Committee proposes the following key recommendations to Treasury:

          Treasury should prioritise clearing all outstanding payments that the Ministry has to make. These include:

(i)        Payments due for the 2022 mobile registration, 

(ii)      Rental and hire service arrears, 

(iii)     Outstanding utility bills, and

  1. iv) Backlog on T and S allowances for service members.

6.2      Treasury should allow the ZRP, Civil Registry, Immigration Control and the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) to retain funds to sustain their operations.

6.3      In addition, Treasury should facilitate private-public-partnerships and joint ventures so that critical projects and programmes can be completed on time. Such priority projects and programmes include the digitalization programme in the department of Records and Archival Management of Zimbabwe and the OBMS being executed by the Migration Management department. Such partnerships can also be extended to construction projects in the Ministry.

6.4      Funds allocated to the Civil Registry Department should be reviewed upwards by $70.9 billion to cater for the following 2023 priority expenditures:

(a)       Goods and services, and transport and equipment required during the 2023 mop up mobile registration exercise;

(b)       Domestic travel expenses and allowances earmarked for the 2023 mop up mobile registration exercise; and

(c)       Completion of the Central Registry building.

6.5       Similarly, Treasury should increase funding earmarked for mandatory expenditure items in the ZRP by $496.8 billion. These include:

  1. transport and equipment required for increased mobility before, during and after the 2023 harmonised elections.
  2. Institutional provisions that cover rations, uniforms and travel and subsistence (Tand S) allowances.
  3. Acquisition of modern and specialised tools of trade;
  4. Fuels, oils and lubricants which are part of the institutional requirements for the ZRP.

6.6      Treasury must adequately fund ongoing and near-complete construction projects throughout the country particularly institutional accommodation and offices projects.

7.0       Conclusion

  It is evident that both ministries have huge financing gaps on their inescapable expenditures. However, these expenditure items should adequately be funded to avoid total disorder in the country during and after the upcoming 2023 harmonised elections. It should be known that State security, law and order are very expensive yet are prerequisites for any peaceful and prosperous economy. Therefore, Treasury should exhaust all the financing options at its disposal to avail adequate funds to the ministries’ major expenditure priorities earmarked for the year 2023. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. HWENDE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, there is no quorum in this House.

          [Bells rung].

          [Quorum formed].

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, we now have a quorum, so we can proceed with business.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 13th December, 2022 – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I move that we...

          HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, there is no quorum in the House, there are only 64 people.

          [Bells rung].

 [Quorum formed].

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, I think it is only proper for us to act honourably as we may seem because I think we are taking this place as a kindergarten whereby we can just do things.  I do not think we are supposed to do that.  Hon. Members, I think let us all try to be Honourable as our names proclaim. 

*HON. T. MLISWA:  These are Parliament rules.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  We cannot continue doing it whereby whenever we seem like we want to settle some scores then we continue doing that.  That is not it Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 to 13 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 14 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  We are 71, I hear what you have said.  Hon. Ziyambi has gone and we are 70, so can you tell all these members not to get out as well.  If they get out we will be 69 – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  But I am trying to tell you the truth.  The rule is 70.  If we are less  than 70, Parliament cannot continue – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-    On a more serious note, we also need to stay here, that is my point because the moment that they walk out, the number goes down, we have to be 70.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, let us not go out of the Chamber so that we do our work for the day.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order! Hon. Sacco is not wearing a necktie.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Sacco, may you put on a necktie.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE LOSS CONTROL AND PRIVATE SECURITY MANAGEMENT BILL [H. B. 5, 2022] ON THE ORDER PAPER

          HON. DR. MURIRE: Madam Speaker, I rise to move that this House resolves that the following Bill which was superseded by the end of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper at the stage which the Bill had reached in terms of Standing Order Number 171 (1) (a), the Chartered Institute of Loss Control and Private Security Management.

          HON. T. MOYO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of HON. T. MOYO seconded by HON. GONESE, the House adjourned at Twelve Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 13th December, 2022.

 

 

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