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SENATE HANSARD 03 March 2015 24-21
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 3rd March, 2015
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(MADAM PRESIDENT in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MADAM PRESIDENT
CAPACITY BUILDING SEMINARS
MADAM PRESIDENT: I would like to inform the Senate that
Parliament is conducting a series of seminars that are meant to capacitate Members of Parliament in the conduct of committee business. In this regard, members of the Thematic Committee on Gender and
Development are invited to attend the capacity building seminar that will be convened in the Senate Chamber on Wednesday, 4th March, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. All committee members are expected to attend the seminar.
BUSINESS OF THE SENATE
SENATOR MOHADI: I move that Order of the Day, Number 1
be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the day have been disposed of.
SENATOR MATHUTHU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
*SENATOR MANYERUKE: Thank you Madam President for
giving me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech which was delivered on the occasion to mark the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament. I want to thank the President for the speech that he gave because he encouraged us as members of the Upper House to continue aligning the laws of the land with the new Constitution. I want to thank him for the words that he gave us that we should continue to do our work as a country. He mentioned a lot of things that touched on our country which included farming, education, mining and all our resources in this land.
We want to thank him so much because our agricultural season is not that good because we had a challenge with GMB that failed to fulfill the wishes of the farmers. Other areas did not get adequate rainfall while in other areas such as Muzarabani, there was rain here and there and others flooded, especially Muzarabani North. So, the season is not so good. We want to thank him for encouraging us to continue working hard. Madam President, I realise that we are doing our work as a united people and in the right manner.
In 1980, the President gave us an opportunity for all children to go to school without paying any fees. In Muzarabani, we had blessings of children who went to school during this period. After acquiring education at Muringazuva School they remembered their area, Muzarabani, and they managed to give back to the community by building a school, installed electricity and fenced the area. Prophet Makandiwa opened the school and handed it over to Bishop Muzenda who belongs to the Methodist Church. This gives us pride as people of Muzarabani because we now have a school that is well developed with good infrastructure and good school furniture for the children.
Although there are other things that are lagging behind, we realise that the development we talked about in 1980 is actually being improved upon and we see the light shining. We want to thank the President because he is the one who gave the vision that children should go to school and also realise the dream that the President had. We should always be cognisant of where we are coming from and where we are going so that the future can be bright.
Time permitting we will be able to get computers so that our children can be well versed in modern technology and that will alleviate this burden of us being a backward constituency. I also want to appreciate the fact that the President this year reached 91 years and our prayer is that God should continue to bless him so that his vision can continue to inspire and lead towards the development of the country. It has brought unity and development. We also want to thank the President and congratulate him for being the Chairperson of the African Union – the continent that was known as the “dark continent”. Because of independence that we have we now call it, the ‘light and independent’ continent which is being led by President Mugabe. We want to thank the Lord for giving us President Mugabe and for the strength that he has given him for us to live in peace and tranquility. We also want to thank him for the encouragement that he gave for us to continue working together for the development of Zimbabwe.
Madam President, I want to thank you for the time that you have given me to debate on the speech. I thank you.
*SENATOR MURONZI: Thank you Madam President. Firstly, I want to congratulate Senator Mutsvangwa, Senator Mupfumira, Senator Muzenda and Senator Mahofa for their ascendency to the Executive.
Secondly, I want to thank Senator Mupfumira for bringing the motion. I
was born and bred in the rural areas and farming is what I look up to. It is agriculture that has developed this country and I also enjoy it. If there is no funding, it is not possible to engage in farming. My request is that our Government should avail inputs towards agriculture.
We have realised that our agricultural yield is going down. It is actually on the decline. When we started in the 1980s, people were given loans. For us who lived in the rural areas, we organised ourselves into groups that were able to go and borrow money and these funds would be availed in August because a farmer needs to be well prepared for the season. Fertilizer should not be availed in December or January because no farming will take place. So, my request is that the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development if possible, should avail inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and all other farming inputs to the farmers in August.
Secondly, the issue that I am talking about here is the issue of the resettlement programme that happened either in 1983 or 1985. I was pleased with this programme. This programme actually came to the rural areas looking for farmers and it came with research specialists who knew where to get the good farmers. These people completed forms and they were resettled. The people were known by the village head and the research specialists to be good farmers. If only the Government could engage the same programme because I have realised that there are challenges that came with the land reform. There are others that benefited and acquired land yet they are not farmers and have no interest in farming. When I was growing up, my father used to say that if you date a man who has a plough and cattle, do not deny him the right to marry you because he could engage in agriculture. I am a farmer. If you get married in a family where there is no plough and cattle, you are assured of poverty because there is no starting point. Those people who benefited from the land reform - some of them did not even have ploughs, cattle or even dogs. This is what has led to the decline in our agricultural yield. I think this programme needs to be re-engaged, it should go to the village heads and the research specialists who know the farmers in various areas and they know where these farmers are found including us. I went to war.
Thirdly Madam President, I want to talk about the inputs that are beeing distributed in the rural areas. A person gets 10kg of maize, one bag Compound D and one bag of Top dressing. I remember last year when we invited Hon Minister Dr. Made and people were talking about the inputs that people are getting. Hon. Dr. Made said that hon. senators who are in the areas need to go and observe how these inputs are being distributed. There is a lot of corruption that is associated with this distribution. I went and observed. Mostly, the councilor acquires so many and those people with high offices are taking so many inputs and yet the disadvantaged and the elderly are not getting anything. That is a painful sight. I was deeply concerned when the councillor of Ward 25 were I stay makes sure he registers his wife, daughter and son. He requested that I carry their fertilizer to their homestead. I transported their fertilizer so that I could talk about it, the elderly are not getting this fertilizer. My request is that, if only the Government could desist and engage the old system they used during the resettlement programme. They should subsidise farming inputs and these should be sold at outlets at an affordable price because others are benefiting at the expense of the disadvantaged. These should be made affordable so that people can buy for themselves at subsidised prices. Madam President, inputs are not being fairly distributed and I observed it myself.
On the issue of education, I went to Marondera where my daughter is married, I was deeply concerned because the white men who were there did not built any schools. Let us not say the whites did not build any schools, they will look at us and say what are you doing since you took the land. Let us show and prove ourselves and build those schools
– [AN HON. SENATOR: On a point of order!]-
*MADAM PRESIDENT: Did I not call the senator to order, are you objecting to my calling the Senator to order? [AN HON. SENATOR: To the speech.]- Please know the rules of the Senate. My order was to appeal to the hon. senators. You are making noise and those taking notes are now unable to hear the hon. senator who is contributing. Please do not make noise. People want to hear what is being said. Hon. Senator Musaka, you can not object to someone who is debating, the best is for you to also debate and put your views across.
*SENATOR MURONZI: Thank you Madam President for protecting me…
*MADAM PRESIDENT: Order, let me explain to Hon. Senator Musaka, the hon. senator did not use unparliamentary language. She has not insulted anyone and so you cannot stop her from debating. That is not in the Standing Orders.
*SENATOR MURONZI: My granddaughter informed me that
she was afraid that the dilapidated tobacco barn they were using as classroom would eventually collapse on them as it had cracks all over. Let us stop mourning that the Government is not doing anything because it has no money. Let us be pro-active as leaders. In my ward where I stay we have managed to build five blocks of classrooms. Every parent had to supply 500 bricks and the fees that we pay is what we used to buy other material and pay the builder. A builder from the community provides the labour and we managed to build a school. I hereby do urge all of us here to go back to our constituencies and identify such challenges and assist our community instead of complaining about the Government not having any money. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear,
I have been moving around, there are some places that are painful to imagine children learning from bans. Children that learn from the barns end up not interested in learning. I am encouraging the hon. senators that where you stay, go with what I have said and not wait for Government. The Government is saying it does not have money what will happen? – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-
I now come to the issue of peace, the truth must be said. People do not want to talk about the truth.
Madam President, lastly, I am grateful that the year 2013 elections were held in peace. I want to thank the people of Zimbabwe for their maturity, knowing that when we talk of politics and elections, we do not need to engage in violence. For that reason, there was no violence. I want to thank you Madam President.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMNT (SENATOR MUZENDA). I move that the debate do
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015.
FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN
RIGHTS ON THE STATE OF THE JUSTICE DELIVERY SYSTEM
SENATOR NYAMBUYA: I move the motion standing in my
name; that this House takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the State of the Justice Delivery System in Zimbabwe.
SENATOR CHITAKA: I second.
SENATOR NYAMBUYA: Thank you Madam President.
1.1 As part of its oversight role, the Thematic Committee on Human
Rights conducted an inquiry into the state of the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe to better understand the policy and legislative framework that governs its operations, and to provide concrete recommendations to improve the situation.
1.2 The inquiry was undertaken in the context that a fully functioning and effective justice delivery sector is the foundation for the rule of law in
In its inquiry the Committee was guided by the following objectives;
2.1 To ascertain the policy and legal objectives underpinning judicial reforms in Zimbabwe;
2.2 To understand the state of the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe and challenges thereof, if any;
2.3 To assess the levels of public confidence in the country’s justice delivery system.
2.4 To appreciate the challenges being faced by the Judiciary in the execution of its mandate, if any; and
2.5 To make appropriate recommendations in respect of possible solutions to the challenges identified.
3.1 In order to fully appreciate the subject under consideration, the Committee invited the following stakeholders to provide both written and oral submissions:
- The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
- The Prosecutor General’s office
- The Judicial Services Commission
- The Zimbabwe Republic Police
- The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service Commission
- Law Society of Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe Association of Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation
- Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
4.0 COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS
4.1Alignment of laws impacting the justice delivery system with the Constitution
4.1.1 The Committee was informed of the need for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to align a number of laws impacting on justice delivery, with the Constitution that came into force on 22 May 2013.
4.1.2 Some of the priority laws include those that are related to criminal procedure, prisons, as well as the codification of crimes in the
Constitution. Of particular concern is the fact that the Constitution now offers additional rights to accused people that have to be respected by law enforcement agents.
4.2 Role ofZimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) in the justice delivery system
4.2.1 The ZPCS is an important and integral part of the justice delivery system. It is the responsibility of ZPCS to ensure that the accused persons attend to their trials. At the end of the justice delivery system, prisons become very important because they are mandated with ensuring that persons sentenced to custodial sentences are secured in prison for the duration of the sentence.
4.2.2 There are 46 prisons and 23 satellite prisons around the country that have a holding capacity of 17000 and any figure above this would be overcrowding. As of September 2014, there was a prison population of 17 318 comprising 14 462 convicted and 2866 unconvicted while 80 were juveniles and 308 females. Therefore, the prison population as of September 2014 reflected that the prisons were overcrowded, meaning inmates’ rights to proper shelter was already compromised.
4.2.3 The second schedule to Section 50 (a) of the Prison (General)
Regulations (1996) sets out the inmate’s diet. The socio-economic challenges of the past years that bedeviled the nation did not spare ZPCS and resulted in its inability to provide the right type and quantity of food.
4.2.4 The ZPCS has 23 prison farms around the country which could produce food for inmates assuming the weather conditions are favorable and inputs are availed on time.
4.2.5 Inmates are entitled to clean water and proper sanitation. Unfortunately, the prevailing situation is pathetic. This is as a result of water cuts and rationing by ZINWA and local authorities. Chikurubi Complex has been the hardest hit as it was reported that it has gone for more than 10 years without tap water.
4.2.6 Special categories of inmates include: women in general, women with children, pregnant women, mentally retarded and juveniles. Women inmates have their prisons but there is still a challenge in the provision of prenatal and post natal care and upkeep for children who are in prison with their mothers. ZPCS has no dietary scale for children accompanying their mothers in prison as gazetted in the Prisons
(General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2014 (No.12).
4.2.7 It was submitted that to successfully accomplish its mandate, the ZPCS needs adequate and consistent funding. It requires rations for inmates, fuel for operations, medical suppliers and services, among other critical needs. Monthly the department would require US$1, 400 000 in total as expenditure target. According to the statutory dietary requirements, US$1, 100 000 is needed for inmates rations; from the beginning of the year 2014 to September 2014 they received US$ 1, 976
- The prisoners’ rations remain a challenge owing to the erratic release of money from Treasury.
4.3 Role of Zimbabwe Republic Police in the justice delivery system
4.3.1 The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act gives the Police powers to arrest, detain, search and seize. In the exercise of these powers, the Police are at all times required to act on reasonable grounds.
4.3.2 Suspects should be brought to the courts within 48 hours, regardless of public holidays and weekends. The rule is that if not taken to court within the 48 hours, the suspect should be released according to section 50 of the constitution. The Police submitted that the 48 hours rule is difficult to implement in respect of rural and remote areas.
4.3.3 The Committee was informed that Police may also be appointed to appear as prosecutors in the inferior courts. The Police Prosecutor however can only exercise the powers of prosecution on written authority from the Prosecutor General.
4.3.4 The challenge of shortage of resources has hindered operations of the ZRP. Sometimes Police attend scenes without the necessary materials to collect evidence and samples, such as chemicals or rape kits. Most criminals are identified through fingerprints. Unfortunately ZRP is still using the manual system, which is unreliable, outdated, slow and laborious, thereby prejudicing the entire criminal justice system.
4.4 Role of Judiciary in the justice delivery system
4.4.1 Backlog of Cases
The Committee was informed by some stakeholders that the Judiciary was facing a critical problem of a huge backlog of cases pending before the Courts, which must be expeditiously tackled with tenacity and innovativeness. In some cases, pending judgments and rulings before a number of judicial officers had remained as such for long periods of time, resulting in the denial of justice to a segment of litigants and accused persons.
4.4.2 Public Perceptions of Incompetence, Political Interference and Corruption in the Judiciary,
The Committee gathered that there are continuing and persistent perceptions among the members of the general public that incompetence and corruption had permeated the judicial system. Issues had therefore, been raised, relating to the accountability of the Judiciary to the public, the quality of decisions passed by the Zimbabwean Courts and generally about the integrity of those that were entrusted with the responsibility of administering justice in the country. Further, concerns were expressed about political interference in the performance of duty by judicial officers in certain instances.
4.4.3 Procedural barriers to access justice
Some stakeholders submitted that there are no clear timelines of when urgent applications must be set down for hearing and finalized (with a ruling being handed down). In some cases, urgent applications have been heard and the ruling has been reserved, thereby defeating the whole purpose of filing the urgent court application.
4.4.4 Defiance of court orders
The Committee was informed of the defiance of court orders which is perpetuated by the weak contempt of court procedures. Defiance of court orders undermines the independence of the judiciary and erodes protection of the law, which the judiciary gives effect to in rulings and judgments.
4.4.5 Delays in justice delivery
Stakeholders voiced concern on the delays in justice delivery. They argued that, there are a number of court cases that have been pending for over six years. This has negatively impacted on the right to access justice for citizens and has also contributed to overcrowding in prisons.
5.0 COMMITTEE’S OBSERVATIONS AND
Based on submission from various stakeholders, the Committee wishes to make the observations and recommendations set out hereunder:
5.1 Alignment of laws with the Constitution
The Committee felt the immediacy of aligning laws with the new Constitution. It is however a mammoth task given the current challenges of inadequate resources faced by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Committee recommends that the Government should urgently align the laws with the new Constitution.
5.2 Access to Government legal aid services
The Committee observes that the Legal Aid Directorate is inaccessible to many as it is only located in Harare and Bulawayo. It therefore, recommends the Government to decentralize the legal aid services down to provincial levels.
5.3 Appointment of the Attorney-General
The Committee observes the delays in appointing an Attorney- General in terms of Section 114 of the Constitution as it is compromising the independence and efficiency of the Prosecutor
General who is doubling up as the Acting Attorney-General and the Prosecutor General. It therefore, recommends for the urgent appointment of the Attorney-General.
5.4 Composition of the National Prosecuting Authority
The Committee remains concerned at the continued engagement of police prosecutors in the justice delivery system. This compromises the independence of the NPA as police are members of the Executive, who as law enforcement agents, are tasked with investigating the same crimes that they then prosecute as police prosecutor.
5.5 Case management
The Committee is encouraged by steady flow of cases to the Constitutional court. It however, observes the need to provide court registries with adequate equipment. The Committee urges the
Government to expedite the construction of courts, as well as equipping the courts with relevant tools of trade to increase access to justice for citizens.
5.6 Conditions of service
The Government must improve conditions of services for all state institutions in the justice delivery system, which would help to minimise institutional lethargy, motivate employees, promote greater effectiveness and efficiency, and reduce corruption.
5.7 Resource mobilisation
There is need to increase funding on the part of Government to the correctional services and police so that detention facilities’ infrastructure could be upgraded, provision of adequate nutrition, clothing and other social amenities could be enhanced so as to meet humane standards of treatment for prisoners and detainees. Mr. President, I thank you.
SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President. First of all, I would like to thank Hon. Senator Retired General Nyambuya for ably presenting this report on behalf of our Committee. I would like to highlight on a few points.
The first point being on the alignment of laws - it has been stated in the report that the committee was very worried by the apparent lack of progress in the alignment of laws to the new Constitution of Zimbabwe. While the Minister responsible has been making a lot of pronouncements to the effect that it is being done, we have not seen tangible progress on the ground. So, I urge the Executive to expedite this so that at least this Senate can start seeing some laws passing through here.
The second point that I would like to highlight pertains to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services. The number of farms that are allocated to the Zimbabwe Prisons are some of the most fertile and potentially very lucrative farms available in the country. They just require a little bit of financing to ensure that these farms are operational – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – The presentation from the Commissioner General was that, if these farms had sufficient inputs, the prisons would be able to feed and clothe all the inmates including members of staff without any support from the Government. So, which is more expensive, to buy rations or inputs for the farms?
So, I think, the Government must be urged to seriously consider this issue because it is not a lot of money that they require to buy inputs for the prisons. It is very little money compared to what they need to buy rations. Can the relevant Minister consider this very seriously?
Lastly, it is the Legal Aid directorate. It has been highlighted in the report that it should be decentralized and capacitated. I am now appealing to the Executive to take advantage of our newly reconciled friends from the European Union to finance the Legal Aid directorate so that it is effective. We are now in a situation whereby if you do not have money, it is very difficult for you to get real justice. So, if we have people who are working on voluntary basis or maybe being paid by some European Union donor or even our Chinese friends at least we can say, justice is being delivered to all the people who need it.
*SENATOR MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Mr. President. I also want to thank the Chairperson of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights, Rtd. General Nyambuya. Before I go on to the report, I also want to thank the leaders of this Senate that you are doing well because we see senators ascending to higher positions. My congratulatory sentiments go to Senator Mahofa for being elevated to the post of Minister. It shows that the leaders in this Senate are doing a good job because senators are being elevated.
I am a member of the Committee on Human Rights and it is my second Committee after the Committee on Peace and Security. I am also the second person to debate in this Senate which is quite pleasing. The Committee received a number of people who came to give oral evidence and informed us of the challenges that they were facing. We were happy when they informed us that the prisons have always been there whereby people were told to get fourteen pound hammers to crush stones but now, inmates are going through counseling for them to be re-admitted into society. There are people who came from the prisons who performed certain acts of entertainment. When the audience realised that this person was a prisoner, they raised the sentiments that, if only this person could be freed. This shows that the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services have made people realise that a person can rejoin society after paying for his mistakes.
The other challenges that the prisoners faced were those of shortage of clothing and food. If the Zimbabwe Prisons and
Correctional Services have lost a book, they should look for it because there was once a system whereby they used to engage in the farming of vegetables and the money would be used to buy clothes and vegetables. They also used to engage in farming, livestock rearing, a piggery project as well as a poultry project.
As has been alluded to by my predecessor, the farms that were allocated to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services are very good farms. Those who can fund the farming activities should engage in contract farming and give some of the produce to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
Mr. President, on the issue of the law, it was stated that there are some who engaged in misbehaviour. This has resulted in the number of prisoners remaining very high. This time, I would like to thank the
Chairperson for bringing this report on the work that we did as a Committee.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (SENATOR MUZENDA): Mr. President, I move
that the debate do now adjourn. Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015.
FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON
INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE
OPERATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP
TRUSTS AND EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP SCHEMES
SENATOR CHIZEMA: I move the motion standing in my
name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Operations of the Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes.
SENATOR MAVHUNGA: I second.
SENATOR CHIZEMA: First and foremost, Mr. President,
I am now going to present my report.
1. 0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Under indigenisation and empowerment, Government focuses on broad based economic empowerment to ensure the majority of Zimbabweans are integrated into the mainstream economy and that they become drivers and beneficiaries of the economic activities in the country.
1.2 Some of the vehicles that are being used to achieve broad based economic empowerment are: Community Share Ownership Trusts
(CSOT), Employee Share Ownership Schemes (ESOS, Direct Equity
Participation, Procurement and Youth Development Fund among others.
1.3 Pursuant to its oversight role over the Executive, the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment resolved to undertake an inquiry into the operations of the Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes in order to assess the progress made towards the implementation of these schemes in accordance with the requirements of the indigenisation law. This report is a summary of the Committee’s findings, observations and
recommendations on the same.
The objectives of the enquiry were:
2.1 To understand the operations of both the Community Share
Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes;
2.2 To assess the extent to which the programmes have been implemented;
2.3 To appreciate challenges that may be hindering the implementation of these schemes; and
2.4 To recommend strategies that may enhance the successful achievement of indigenisation and empowerment.
To gather information on the implementation of the Community
Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes, the Committee held oral evidence meetings and received written submissions on the same.
3.1 Oral Evidence Sessions
3.1.1 On behalf of the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Mr. Sigobodhla, the Director of Indigenisation and Empowerment in the ministry, unpacked the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [14:33]. This was done in order to enhance the Committee's understanding of the indigenisation and empowerment legislative framework.
3.1.2 The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Board, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gwatiringa briefed the Committee on the achievements and challenges that the Board is faced with in various sectors in as far as the implementation of the indigenisation programmes is concerned.
3.1.3 The Committee received oral evidence on the operations of the following six Community Share Ownership Trusts:
- Bindura Community Share Ownership Trust; ii. Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share Ownership
Trust; iii. Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe Community Share Ownership Trust iv. Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust;
- Umguza Community Share Ownership Trust; and vi. Bikita Community Share Ownership Trust.
3.1.4 The Committee also received oral evidence on the operating modalities of the Employee Share Ownership Schemes of the following three companies: Meikles Limited, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and
Delta Corporation (Pvt.) Limited.
3.1.5 In addition, the Committee received written submissions from all the witnesses that appeared before it to give oral evidence on Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes.
4.0THE COMMITTEE FINDINGS
4.1 INDIGENISATION GENERAL COMPLIANCE
4.1.1 As of February 2014, the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) had processed the following indigenisation plans submitted by companies in different sectors of the economy:
Mining – 464, Manufacturing – 401, Finance and Tourism – 218, Other – 376, bringing the total to 1 459.
4.1.2 Challenges encountered in pursuing compliance include a misunderstanding of the programme, resistance by some companies, intransigence, avoidance and politicisation of the economic programme.
4.2 COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUST
4.2.1 The Community Share Ownership Trust is established in terms of Section 14B of the General Indigenisation Regulations of 2010 and registered by the Registrar of Deeds.
4.2.2 This scheme is a Government initiative under the indigenisation programme aimed at ensuring that communities have shares in companies that exploit natural resources in their areas and use the proceeds from the shareholding to fund developmental projects in their communities.
4.2.3 Foreign-owned mining companies operating in Zimbabwe are compelled to dispose of 51% shareholding to locals and at least 10% of this equity is seeded towards Community Share Ownership Trusts which are reserved for the local community in which the firm operates.
4.2.4 The pledge is a donation to the trust in order to enable it to start functioning. It is also important to note that advance dividend was also accepted as initial capital to kick start the activities of the Trusts.
The seed capital amounts have been given by businesses according to the capacity of such businesses. However, there is no legal instrument to enforce pledges, hence the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and the board rely on persuasion or the good will of the companies to ensure that the companies honour their pledges.
4.3.1 Not all Community Share Ownership Trusts have received seed capital. Only those with operating and compliant companies exploiting their natural resources have received seed capital. By March 2014, only 16 Community Share Ownership Trusts out of the 61 that were registered throughout the country were operational as some companies were yet to pay seed capital. A total of $116.4 million was pledged to the trusts by several companies across the country and of that, about $30 million was paid to the Trusts by March 2014.
4.3.2 BINDURA COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP
Freda Rebecca Gold Mine pledged US$10 million to Bindura
Community Share Ownership Trust. The arrangement is that Freda
Rebecca Gold Mine will disburse US$1 million per year to the Bindura
Community Share Ownership Trust for a period of 10 years. As at March 2014, the company had disbursed $1 million towards seed capital and an additional $1 million through an advance facility,
COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUST
Zimplats pleged $10 million to Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share ownership Trust and had disbursed the whole amount as at March 2014. The $10 million was to be shared equally among the three districts which are Mhondoro-Ngezi, Chegutu and Zvimba. The Pan African mines are among companies that are reluctant in terms of compliance,
4.3.4 UZUMBA-MARAMBA-PFUNGWE COMMUNITY
SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUST
Larfage pledged US$1 million to Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe
Community Share ownership Trust. The agreement is that Larfage will disburse the money in three installments of US$333 000.00. As at April 2014 the company had disbursed $326 000.00. Other companies operating in this community but are not compliant include; Rock Lick, Sullage Gold Mines, Natural Stone, Black Granite, Ground Rock Gold Mining and Light Weight Gold Mining, (see annexure 3).
4.3.5 GWANDA COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP
Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust had four qualifying companies that made pledges as follows: (i) Blanket Mine—US$1 million and disbursed the whole amount plus $4 million advance dividend loan. (ii) Pretoria Portland Cement—US$1.5 million and disbursed $1.4 million, the remaining $100 000.00 was being held by the company pending subscription agreement certificate from the
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board. (iii) Farvic
Mine—US$180 000.00 and disbursed $30 000.00 (iv) Jasmine Mine— US$500 000.00, and disbursed $250 000.00 as at April 2014.
Vumbachikwe Mine had not complied with the indigenisation law.
4.3.6 UMGUZA COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP
Pretoria Portland Cement pledged US$1.5 million to Umguza Community Share Ownership Trust and had disbursed US$1 399 700.00 as at April 2014. The outstanding amount of US$ 100 300.00 was to be disbursed upon the finalisation of subscription agreement documents.
4.3.7 BIKITA COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUST
Bikita Minerals made a pledge of US$1 million to Bikita Community Share Ownership Trust and had disbursed US$50 000.00 as at April 2014. Other non-compliant companies that are operating in the area are Bayrich Mine/Nan-Jiang African Resources and the Conservancy.
4.3.8 Of the six Community Share Ownership Trusts that appeared before the Committee, only Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust had received, in addition to their seed capital, dividend arising from their 10% shareholding in Blanket Mine. Bikita Community Share Ownership Trust received the least amount of US$50 000.00 towards seed capital compared to the other five that appeared before the Committee.
4.4.1 Section 17 of the Act provides for the imposition of “one or more levies on any private or public company and any other business operating in Zimbabwe” for the funding of the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board's mandate.
4.4.2 Though National Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Board made proposals and submissions on the levies, it still does not have the Statutory Instrument to collect the levy. Hence, the board depends on fiscal budgetary allocations since inception with the result that the programme has been grossly underfunded. In 2014 national budget, National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board was allocated $2.6 million against its request for $10 million.
4.4.3 The provision of financial assistance to business start-ups, rehabilitation and expansion as well as management buy-outs has been adversely affected by the perennial lack of financial resources. Thus, the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board has been redirecting some of the loan applications for business start-ups to financial institutions such as CABS and STANBIC, but has no power to approve on who should get and who should not.
4.5 ATTAINMENT OF THE 10% SHAREHOLDING
4.5.1 Of the six Community Share Ownership Trusts that appeared before the Committee, only one Community Share Ownership Trust, namely Gwanda had attained the 10% shareholding with Blanket Mine and has a member who sits on the board.
4.6 YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN THE COMMUNITY
SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS
4.6.1 Community Share Ownership Trusts are required to ensure that all infrastructure development projects engage youth through providing jobs. However, there remains a gap in Community Share Ownership Schemes to effectively address youth socio-economic needs. According to the written submission from the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, as of March 2014, Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust was the only Trust that was proactive in ensuring that youth in the local communities of Zvishavane were employed.
4.6.2 Circular No. 1 of 2013 of the Ministry of Youth,
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment outlines that a quota be set aside, such that at least 10% of the budget for all Community Share
Ownership Trusts is for youth empowerment programmes. Only two Community Share Ownership Trusts out of the 6 that appeared before the Committee had complied with this requirement. These are Bindura— US$100 000.00 and Gwanda—US$250 000.00.
4.7 EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP SCHEME LEGAL
4.7.1 The Employee Share Ownership Scheme is established in terms of Section 14A of the General Indigenisation Regulations of 2010.
The regulation provides that at least 5% shareholding in a company shall be considered as compliance by a company establishing an Employee Share Ownership Scheme. The purpose of this scheme is to ensure broad based economic empowerment by ensuring that the workers participate by way of having direct equity participation in the companies they are working for. It was envisaged that this will indirectly lead to the increase in productivity levels in the companies and low employee turnovers in companies that have implemented the scheme as employees derive job satisfaction and thus resulting in stable employment.
4.7.2 It is important to note that Employee Share Ownership Schemes are only established by means of moral persuasion. Companies have a legal leverage not to implement Employee Share Ownership Schemes especially when they have used other entities to achieve full indigenisation.
4.8.1 Meikles Limited had not empowered its employees through the Employee Share Ownership Scheme. The Company borrowed US$1.4 million from the Pensions Fund of its workers to establish the Employee Share Ownership Scheme. The Committee was also informed that Government owed Meikles Limited US$90 million. Of this amount, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had given Treasury Bills worth of US$49 million to Meikles Limited as at August 2014.
4.8.2 Schweppes Zimbabwe is performing very well business wise.
However, employees got US$240.00 as dividends for the years 2010 and 2011, thereafter, they did not get them due to the US$12.1 million outstanding balance of the US17.5 million loan that the company had borrowed from the local banks as capital injection. Employees expressed dissatisfaction over the group certificate that they own compared to individual certificates that the middle management of 6 people have.
4.8.3 Delta has issued a total of 120 million shares to staff under the share schemes since 2009 but has no control on how the employees deal with the shares they would have acquired through the Employee Share Ownership Scheme, resulting in most of them preferring to sell the shares for cash to fund their personal needs.
4.8.4 The tax legislation regards the capital gain arising from the share schemes as taxable income which is subject to Pay As You Earn.
4.8.5 When Zimbabweans buy shares from the foreigners in existing companies, this amounts to disinvestment by the foreigners and money leaves Zimbabwe within 7 days of the transaction; the end result is capital flight.
4.8.6 Non-managerial employees received shares for free while managerial employees bought shares through the Share Option Schemes.
4.8.7 Delta has 2 employee share schemes namely:
1(a) The Share Participation Scheme (established in 1990). The employees have since received a net of US$150.00 each per year in dividends in the last few years. The Scheme has about 14 million shares currently valued at US$20 million and has 2 450 participants.
1(b) Empowerment Scheme— 20 million Delta shares were allocated to permanent employees in Grade E and below in 2008 with each getting 5000 shares. The scheme matured in September 2013 and the bulk of the employees opted to cash in. A total of 14 million shares were sold for US$18 million with each getting a pay-out of about US$5 800.
(2) Share Option Scheme-Managerial employees participate in this scheme. They are offered to purchase a given number of shares at a price fixed on the grant date. The employee can walk away from the arrangement if the prices are not attractive. The Share Price is only payable on maturity after a minimum vesting period of 3 years. Currently, PAYE is payable on the discount offered by the company arising from the share options or the capital gain over the vesting period.
4.10.8 Delta also empowers sorghum and barley farmers through contract farming which it funds to the tune of US$60 million per annum.
5.0. COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS
The Committee observed that:
5.1 The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme is grossly underfunded resulting in some empowerment programmes e.g youth and women empowerment programmes, failing to take off.
5.2 The collection of levy is the only legal source of funding available to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, but does not have the Statutory Instrument to do so.
5.3 Some legislative and bureaucratic issues are hindering the smooth implementation of the indigenisation programme. These include among others:
- Lack of clarity on the Indigenisation and Economic
- the misinterpretation of the Act and regulations by the majority of people in the country;
- the disparity between the Indigenisation Act and other laws.
For instance, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment has to rely on other ministries to
ensure compliance, e.g. the Ministry has to get the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to assist them in as far as canceling licenses with Zimbabwe Investment Authority is concerned; and
- the delays by the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in processing the subscription agreement documents that ensures the attainment of the 10% shareholding by the Community Share Ownership Trusts.
- The apparent reluctance of most companies to allocate value to employees and to honour their pledges is a clear indication of the limits of the Act in dealing with broad based empowerment.
- There is communication breakdown between the Ministry of
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in terms of disseminating information regarding the mining companies that are operating in the country.
- Sitting allowances and other related allowances of the Community Share Ownership Trusts board members are not standardised.
- Failure by some companies to declare dividends due to debts that they need to offset first.
- Lack of understanding of the Employee Share Ownership
Schemes by the employees.
- Lack of trust between the employees and management.
- Employees cease to benefit from the Employee Share
Ownership Trusts upon retirement, death or when one resigns.
- Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and
Management training courses are expensive.
- Non-compliance by the qualifying companies, for example, Pan African Mines, Rock Link, Bayrich Mine/Nan-Jiang African
Resources among others.
- Poor investment portfolios as in the case of Gwanda Community Share Ownership Scheme which had its US$2 million locked in MetBank due to liquidity challenges.
- Capital flight negatively impacts on the successful implementation of the indigenization programme.
The Committee recommends that:
6.1 Government must allocate adequate funds and disburse it timeously to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board in every national budget to enable it discharge its mandate.
6.2 Government must put in place the Statutory Instrument that enables the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board to collect levies by June 2015.
6.3 Government must ensure that the misconception or misinterpretation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment is cleared immediately to allay fears to enable all concerned stakeholders to participate.
6.4 Government must immediately come up with a piece of legislation that requires companies to contribute a certain percentage towards the seed capital of the Community Share Ownership Trusts; and which also gives powers to see that the requirement is enforceable by June 2015.
6.5 Government must come up with another piece of legislation that provides for the application of punitive measures to those who fail to meet the requirements; this also applies to Employee Share Ownership Schemes by June 2015.
6.6 Effective information dissemination by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on all the mining companies that are operating in all the provinces in the country, is paramount to ensuring total participation by these companies in the indigenisation and empowerment programme.
6.7 Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment must standardise the sittings, sitting allowances and other related allowances of the Community Share Ownership Trusts of board members.
6.8 Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment must expedite the processing of subscription agreement documents to ensure the attainment of the 10% shareholding by the Community Share Ownership Trusts 2015.
6.9 Effective communication in companies is vital to ensuring that employees understand the Employee Share Ownership Trusts and are kept abreast with developments in the company in order to avoid mistrusts and misunderstandings between the management and the employees.
6.10 Companies in every sector of the economy should, where they are profitable, declare dividends to Employee Share Ownership Trusts for employees to benefit from the proceeds of the companies that they are working for.
6.11 The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment should consider institutions other than ZIPAM that will offer the training courses of the Community Share Ownership Trust board members at a reasonable cost.
6.12 Capacity building for the Community Share Ownership Trust board members should be an on-going process.
6.13 There is need for Government to strike a balance between owning business and creating new value and attracting foreign direct investment to address the issue of capital flight.
In conclusion, the Committee notes with concern the failure by Parliament to provide funds for the Committee to undertake fact finding visits to some of these Community Share Ownership Trusts. The Committee therefore, urges Parliament to put more effort in the provision of funds for Committees’ activities.
*SENATOR MAVHUNGA: Thank you Mr. President, I want to
support the report that has just been presented by the Chairperson of the
Portfolio Committee, Hon. Senator Chizema. The gist of the report is the emancipation of the once opposed majority so that it can emancipate itself. It is an issue which is of paramount importance to the majority the people of Zimbabwe, in terms of the means of production which was in the colonisers’ hands in a bid to empower the black majority. President Mugabe started with the Land Reform Programme and we now have the indigenisation which has a major thrust on the Community Share Ownership Trust as well as the issues relating to the shares that are going to be owned by the employees of these firms or companies. This programme needs to be treated with the respect that it deserves or it needs to be looked in depth.
Mr. President, yes, our Thematic Committee went on the lookout of the majority of the Zimbabwean people as well as players in the
Community Share Ownership Trusts who then gave evidence before the Thematic Committee. The evidence was deduced into a report which was presented by Senator Chizema. We hope this Government programme will come to fruition. It can only be achieved if there are good laws that support indigenisation. If such good laws are not in place, this will be treated as child play.
Community Share Ownership Trusts are different to people who were allocated a piece of land which they are now putting to use for sustenance of their families. By virtue of the definition, community is for the entire community. It will be looking into issues such as roads, provision of clean water, skills, hospitals and a lot of community projects that will enhance the livelihood of the same community. Some of these infrastructures being put in place are going to be enjoyed by the next generations. This is also coupled by the proceeds from the Sovereign Community Fund. As the august Senate, we should strongly support the drafting of laws that ensure the work of Community Share Ownership Trusts are carried to even greater heights. There should also be paper work to support this.
I urge that there should be a law that holds to account the contract that comes in between NIEBB, the companies and the Community Share
Ownership Trusts. If the majority of the people are not educated by
what we are discussing here, they will not take this issue seriously and there will not be any ownership of this project. If it were possible, we urge the Government to conduct more public education outreach programmes to companies so that the ordinary people, members of the community are able to follow it up with the organisations so that they know what is needed from them.
The same commission that we are making reference to, which we call NIEBB does not have enough resources and you then find corrupt tendencies crippling in between the NIEBB officials and the companies.
I reiterate once again that there should be proper funding for NIEBB.
Mr. President, I urge all senators to support this noble idea and that it is a means of bringing good living to all us as members of the community because these are community based initiatives. I thank you.
SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to make
a few comments based on what I have heard from the report. It is clear that the Community Share Ownership Trusts and the employee share ownership scheme do not seem to be working as expected. Listening to the senator presenting the report, it appears that the problem stems mainly from the regulations and law. For example, when you start enforcing pledges, I hear there is the word-pledge, pledge, being quoted all over. For example, such and such a company pledged US$10 million, and such and such a company pledged so and so, but very little was ever brought forward. This is the problem with trying to collect pledges. We cannot run a scheme like this based on pledges, it has to have a legal basis because if we are relying and depending on the goodwill of the person who is supposed to give the money, haisi church ka iyi,this is business. In most cases, we are actually to arm twist these companies to play ball and then we allow them to make pledges. Of course, they will give you pledges of US$10 million with absolutely no intention of paying a cent. So, the law should be cleaned up to do away with these pledges, seed capital, et cetera.
The other point I would like to make is, we need a more quantifiable method of measuring what the contribution should be. How do we measure what this mine should provide compared to that mine?
We need a more transparent and quantifiable method so that a similar mine in Mutare can be compared with the one in Gwanda, that will be doing the same thing and they should contribute similar amounts. Now, you get a situation where a big company says it has pledged US$10 million and we all cheer and a small company pledges US$1 million; it pays up the US$1 million and you think you are doing very well. That US$10 million, if you had a quantifiable way of measure, you may find that a company which was supposed to contribute US$50 or US$100 million but because we were relying on tipeiwo, mafunga kutipei gore rino, we never get there.
Mr. President, so urgently, I think the Committee did mention recommendations on things that need to be changed to the legislation but
I think this is the core. The legislation and regulations must not be based on someone’s benevolence. You want money from me and you think I will just give it to you, no.
Finally, I would urge the Committee to do a follow up assessment on a lot of this. I will not touch on the Meikles issue because it is coming in the lower House. But the way you spoke about Meikles, the fact that workers are being allowed to sell their shares; employees should never sell their shares. The shares of employees are held in trust. You only benefit as long as you are a member of that company and when you leave, you leave the shares there, what you benefit every year is the dividend. I have never heard of employee share scheme where the employees sell their shares. That is absolutely wrong because you are killing the scheme. If I am an employee of Meikles today, if I see that the shares are okay today, I sell the shares and still continue working as an employee but I have killed the scheme. The idea was the workers as a collective, not Senator Chitaka, as a collective must continue to benefit from the activities of the company. We are shareholders and shareholders get paid through dividends. So, I think maybe NIBB should be the one who are pointing this out but you tell me they do not even have a bicycle to visit these companies. So, whether we are going to empower any National Indigenisation Economic Empowerment Board or a special unit under the Ministry will need to tidy up our paper work.
I thank you.
*SENATOR MAKORE: I thank you Mr. President for affording
me this opportunity to add a few words. Firstly, I would like to thank Senator Chizema and Senator Mavhunga for giving us a very good report from their Committee. What I like most about the presentation that we got is that we would like to know what exactly happens in these companies, especially when it comes to employee share ownership trusts. What we want in these companies is that the employees should benefit, we want to know what exactly goes on there. Mr. President, it is true that laws should be made and people should understand what it means. The problem is things are presented to the people, yes people might accept what has been presented but now knowing how they can
I would like to thank Senator Chitaka for what he has just said because things should be made clear for people to understand what goes on in these companies. There is some politicization that goes on in such issues, especially money issues, owners of companies think that people are taking things away from them and yet things have changed, people should benefit as well. The other thing is that we are not aware of statistics. This is because of ignorance, and they want to keep people ignorant so that they never get to know what exactly happens. People should know about what happens especially when it comes to dividends. I agree with this research, it is true that it is not being politicized. This is changing because people never used to benefit from the companies but now they are, they have to benefit. People have to know about the benefit that they must get, and they must understand what indigenisation is all about. It is not that they should benefit from the share ownership trusts only, no, not that all those who run companies should benefit, but the whole idea is for everyone to benefit and that people should also develop economically.
I would like to thank this Committee, especially on the issue of communication, not only communication amongst the companies themselves but amongst employees that they should know what is happening. It is very important. Yes, I understand there are so many delays, when people started this thing just as I have alluded to what Senator Chitaka said. At times people do not get information in time and at times they do not get the results within a specified period but if the Government prepares and monitors these things in companies; not that they should start threatening people but they should start by creating good rapport.
We do not want to get to them as if we are fighting them but people should follow the law. People should just follow the law and benefit what they are supposed to benefit in good time. Mr. President, I just added a little to what has been presented by the Committee and I also want to thank the Committee for a good job. I was just trying to explain so that this can be adopted so that things can be rectified because
I think it is very important for laws to be aligned to the Constitution. We have a very good Constitution but if we do not use it adequately, things will continue moving in the wrong direction. I thank you very much Mr. President.
SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I move that the debate do
SENATOR MATHUTHU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION OF THE 65TH SESSION
OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE 37TH
CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY
SENATOR MAVHUNGA: I move the motion standing in my
This Senate takes note of the Report of the delegation to the 65th
Session of the Executive Committee and 37th Conference of the African
Parliamentary Union held from 29th October to 2nd November 2014, in Rabat in Morocco.
SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I second.
SENATOR MAVHUNGA: Thank you Mr. President. The
President of the Senate, Hon. Edna Madzongwe led the Parliament of Zimbabwe delegation to the 65thSession of the Executive Committee and the 37th Conference of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) which was held in Rabat, Morocco from 29 – 2 November 2014. The delegation was made up of:
Hon. Monica Mavhunga Senator
Hon. Watchy Sibanda Senator
Mrs. R. D. Makoni Director in the President of Senate’s Office
who was also Secretary to the delegation
Mr. G. Chinyemba Security Aide to the President of Senate.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate the President of Senate Hon. Edna Madzongwe for having been re-elected for a second consecutive term to the position of Deputy Chairperson of the Executive
Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (representing Southern
Hon. Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies who is also current Chairperson of the APU Executive
Committee chaired the opening of the 2014 Session. She was assisted by Hon. Rachid Talbi Al Alami, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Morocco, Hon. Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah, President of the Chamber of Counsellors of the Moroccan Parliament, Mr Azoumana Moutaye, Rapporteur of the Executive Committee and Mr N’zi Koffi, Secretary General of the African Parliamentary Union.
Delegates who participated were from the Parliaments of Algeria,
Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Mali,
Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe. This turnout represents 65% of the membership.
Also present at this session, invited as observers, were representatives from the Parliaments of the Comoros, Eritrea, Swaziland and Tanzania as well as representatives of organisations such as the World Bank, Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Consultative Council of the Arab Maghreb Union, Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Inter-Parliamentary Committee of the West
African Economic and Monetary Union and Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
THE 65TH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Official Opening of the 65thSession of the Executive Committee was conducted by the host Hon. Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah, the President of the Chamber of Counsellors of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco.
In his address, he commended the efforts of the APU, its Chairperson and General Secretary, who have continued to work assiduously to strengthen coordination and cooperation among African Parliaments at the continental and international levels. This, he added, will enable legislative assemblies in Africa to improve their work and strive towards entrenching democratic values, principles of human rights and good governance while ensuring sustainable development for their countries and Africa.
He further highlighted the relevance of items on the agenda of the 65th Session of the Executive Committee and the 37thConference. These include terrorism and sustainable development issues that are currently very topical and have caught the attention of Africa and the rest of the world.
He pointed out that the political and security situation in most parts of Africa, was worsened by the proliferation of terrorist groups in regions across Africa, the rise in ethnic and religious conflict and the development of transnational criminal networks involved in arms, drugs, illicit goods and human trafficking as well as maritime piracy.
Hon. Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah added that considering the aftermath of the Arab spring in some African countries and the effect of epidemics such as malaria and ebola, it is imperative for African countries to create a global and integrated African strategic partnership to strengthen peace and provide the needed stability for sustainable socio-economic development so as to ensure the respect of state sovereignty.
He further observed that, African countries, with their vast natural resources and young population are capable of achieving sustainable development and realising the dreams of progress, development and a decent life for their people.
He also highlighted the importance of the public-private partnership and the involvement of civil society in formulating effective development policies to ensure sustainable development while maintaining the rights of future generations. He went on to call on all African countries to face the future with a lot of determination and optimism and use all they have to fight underdevelopment, poverty and exclusion.
On her part, Hon. Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Rwandan
Chamber of Deputies and Chairperson of the APU’s Executive
Committee, in her address indicated that deliberations of the session would focus on the implementation of decisions and recommendations taken at previous meetings, the annual programme of work and finally, funding for the Union’s activities for 2015.
The Chairperson added that members of the APU must remain committed to efforts aimed at creating a stronger and more representatives A.P.U., which would bring together all the national parliaments in Africa. She called for a more visible Union of African Parliaments that would be a dynamic tool for inter-parliamentary cooperation for the benefit of national parliaments across Africa in the face of the numerous political, socio-economic and environmental challenges facing Africa and the World.
Speaking on the outbreak of the ebola epidemic that is raging in some countries, the Chairperson re-echoed the observation made by Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, that "This is not just an epidemic. This is not only a public health crisis. It is a `social, humanitarian and economic crisis and a threat to national security that goes far beyond the affected areas."
The business of the 65thSession of the Executive Committee ran from Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st October 2014 and its outcomes were presented and adopted by the 37th Conference of APU at its sitting of 1st to 2nd November 2014 as now presented.
- The Conference noted that the Union had not received any membership application even though efforts are being made to attract new member states.
- Members of the Conference reiterated the need for member countries to pay their subscriptions so as to provide the Union with the needed funds for its activities. It was also indicated that henceforth National Groups would be required to submit annual
Parliamentary activity reports to the General Secretariat of A.P.U.
- The 37th Conference agreed on the need to review the Plan of Action and Institutional Capacity Building Strategy of the Union of African Parliaments. Hence, it was agreed that the “vision” and “mission” statements of the APU must be reformulated, by including key objectives and identifying actions that would make the Union more effective.
- On reviewing the annual programme of work, members emphasised the need to organise thematic conferences that would provide Parliamentarians the platform to deliberate and share ideas with experts in special fields. With regard to the venue of meetings on the annual programme of work, members of the Executive Committee commended the proposals to host made by the following countries:
- Djibouti will host the 2ndAfrican Parliamentary Conference on
Migration in 2015;
- Guinea Bissau will host the 67th Session of the Executive
Committee and the 37thConference in November 2015;
- Cote d’Ivoire will host the 14thAfro-Arab Parliamentary Conference in 2015.
After the presentation of the proposed budget for 2015 by the
Secretary-General, members approved the proposal to adopt the
Euro as the currency in which subscriptions would be paid. This was seen as a measure to guard against United States Dollar fluctuations.
Members of the Conference then called on all member states to endeavour to honour their financial obligations towards the Union so that it can effectively carry out its activities.
Zimbabwe has outstanding subscription contributions, with arrears dating from 2012 to date accumulating to a total of US$84,082. While we appreciate the economic situation that our country is in, we urge the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to consider offsetting this debt, even in part. This is in consideration of the fact that Zimbabwe was once more elected to be Deputy Chairperson of the Executive Committee of A.P.U. It will be embarrassing for Zimbabwe as Deputy Chair to call on other members to honour their contributions while we owe for three consecutive years.
A.P.U’s proposed budget for 2015 amounting to One million, ninety five thousand, two hundred and seventeen Euros
(€1,095,217) was approved.
The Conference also renewed its confidence in the audit carried out by Algeria and Ethiopia for 2014.
- The issue of renewing the mandate of the Secretary-General was presented. Based on the endorsement it had given at its last session in Luanda, the Executive Committee reiterated its proposal to renew the mandate of the current Secretary-General Mr. N’zi Koffi for four years in accordance with the Statutes of the Union, this proposal was approved by the 37th
- Since no member country had as yet offered to host the 66th
Session of the Executive Committee, the Bureau and the GeneralSecretary were tasked to contact the various parliaments so that the
66th Session can be organised around May 2015.
The 37th Conference of APU was opened on Saturday 1st
November 2014 and its business ran according to the adopted agenda.
All three reports, (a) report of the Chairperson of the Executive Committee,(b) report of activities by the Secretary-General,(c) report of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians as well as the plan of action and institutional capacity building for the A.P.U which were presented to the 37th Conference by the 65th Executive Committee were duly adopted.
- Report of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians Election of the Bureau.
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians reported that at the 2014 Session, as required by the statutes, they had elected for two years a new Bureau made up of the following members:
Vice Chairperson : Senegal
Rapporteur : Morocco.
Committee of Women Parliamentarians Programme of
Activities for 2015
The Committee called for the revitalisation of its activities so as to make it more visible. This will be achieved through, the amendment of Article 33 of the Rules of Procedure in order to enlarge the Bureau of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians to include a committee member in its bureau. The Women’s Committee also called for the implementation of a special stand-alone budget drawn out of the main budget to enable the committee to carry out its activities.
The Programme of activities for 2015 was drawn as follows:
- Representation of the committee at parliamentary and international meetings to which the APU has been invited;
- Meetings between women parliamentarians at the national and subregional levels with partners of their choice and various institutions of the United Nations;
- Holding of forums of women parliamentarians on peace, democracy and security in Africa.
Item for Debate and Resolution
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians debated an item on Micro-finance as a means of fighting poverty in Africa and promoting the economic empowerment of women. Intense debate and fruitful discussions on the theme focused on the fact that micro-finance started as a poverty reduction effort designed to provide sustainable financial services to people, mostly women with no access to mainstream banks for their economic activities and help them create wealth.
It was reported that close to 3 billion people in developing countries remain unbanked, mostly women, they do not have access to mainstream financial services, which could otherwise help them increase revenue and improve their livelihoods. Access to various micro-financing services (savings, loans, money transfer) would enable poor families to invest in businesses, improve the quality of their nutrition and channel more resources towards the education and health of their children. It was agreed that Micro-finance has what it takes to be a strong catalyst for the economic empowerment of women. Consequently, the committee of Women Parliamentarians came up with a resolution that called on African Governments to among other issues (for full list of resolutions see Annexure 1);
Consider that the economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for instituting sustainable development and growth, with a view to reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals,
Be Aware that gender equality, as stipulated in our Constitutions, emphasises women’s empowerment as the opportunity for women to fully exercise their fundamental rights and elimination of poverty as factors that determine economic and social development. More of the resolutions are on Annexure 1.
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians Recommended:
- The introduction of appropriate government policies, the adoption of a comprehensive approach and commitment by all development stakeholders;
- More equitable access to resources and services, such as land, water, health services, education, technology, innovation, credit and banking services, to enhance the rights of women, increase agricultural productivity, reduce hunger and improve economic growth;
- The designing of infrastructure programmes that would enable people to benefit fully from the road network, transport services, telecommunications, energy and water, thereby contributing to poverty reduction;
- Ensuring access to markets for women;
- The emergence and expansion of an African middle class (not only individuals) to enable women to move out of the cycle of poverty.
2. REPORT OF THE FIRST WORKING COMMITTEE
The first working Committee set up by the 37th Conference of the APU met on 1st and 2nd November 2014 to examine and prepare a draft resolution on “African countries build national capacities and promote international cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms.”
Members of the Committee included representatives from the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Togo and Zimbabwe.
The First Committee, in which Hon. Senator M. Mavhunga participated, adopted the draft resolution which it presented to the 37thConference and it was adopted. Amongst others the following resolutions were presented (for full list of resolutions see Annexure 2):
- Considering that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, continues to be one of the most serious threats to global peace and security, and that all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable,
- Considering, also, that terrorism must not be confused with legitimate struggles for liberation,
- Noting with concern that in the past decade, the threat of terrorism in Africa has worsened, where entire regions are targeted by these terrorist groups,
Aware that combating terrorism entails mobilising all African countries and the entire international community by involving
Governments, parliaments and civil society,
- Convinced that parliaments have a major role to play in combating terrorism and eliminating its deep causes,
- Recalling all the relevant instruments of the United Nations and the African Union and other regional and international organisations on preventing and combating terrorism, in particular the 1999
Algiers Convention and its 2004 Protocol, adopted by the African Union, United Nations Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and1373 (2001), the 8th September 2006 United Nations General
Assembly resolution and action plan on Global Counter-Terrorism
Strategy, and African Union Security Council resolutions 256
(2009) and 1904 (2009) on terrorism financing,
Calls on African States to cooperate through coordination with various security organs of countries across Africa in order to strengthen cooperation, mutual assistance and improve the effectiveness of Africa’s collective action to counter terrorism, and encourage the various regional and sub-regional communities to cooperate more in this area.
3. REPORT OF THE SECOND WORKING COMMITTEE
The second working Committee met on 1st and 2nd November 2014 to examine and prepare a draft resolution on " Achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions, as a major goal for peace, security and social and economic progress in African countries ".
Members of the Committee included representatives from the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial
Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Togo and Zimbabwe.
The Second Committee, in which Hon. Senator W. Sibanda participated, presented its report that was adopted. Amongst others the following resolutions were adopted (for full list of resolutions see
Recalling that if sustainable development is to address current needs without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, it has to be rooted in three inter-dependent and synergistic pillars, namely economic development, social equity and environmental sustainability,
- Noting that in the past decade, Africa achieved an average sustained growth rate of over 50% per annum, positioning it among the most dynamic regions in the world, and concerned by the fact that despite the great strides made to reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty, this growth has not been inclusive enough to wipe out the inequalities, poverty and hunger besetting the continent, or to improve access to energy,
- Aware that economic marginalisation, illiteracy, poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment, particularly among the youth and women, inequalities and the feeling of unfair distribution of wealth are sources of conflict and a serious threat to peace, security and social progress,
Concerned by signs indicating that the manner in which the continent’s economy is growing cannot be sustained in the medium and long term, because it is based on exports of natural resources, which are not inexhaustible, and is not enough to create jobs, as the value added to the basic commodities being exported is woefully inadequate,
- Affirms that for African countries to consolidate their growth potential without excluding sustainable development, resources and appropriate policies, there should be good governance, transparent and responsible institutions, sound management of public finances and development of human capital, particularly in education and training;
- Reaffirms the importance of the role played by parliaments in formulating government policy and calls for all government policies on sustainable development to have concrete time-bound goals to ensure effective action and tangible outcomes;
Calls upon African Governments to table before their parliaments, an annual report on the measures taken to follow up on socioeconomic and environmental objectives, and commits parliaments to ensure that society forges gradually ahead towards the achievement of sustainable development;
- Commits parliamentarians to undertake systematic reviews, in their respective parliaments, of the implementation of regional and international agreements on sustainable development and apply all relevant provisions within their remit;
- Calls upon developed countries and development partners to keep to their commitments by providing technical and financial support to African countries, as well as transfer of existing technologies, to enable them to adapt to climate change; and also by facilitating access to various environment and climate funds;
- Recommends that Governments introduce a policy on the equitable distribution of wealth and revenue, in an effort to combat poverty, illiteracy, social inequalities and also to create jobs, especially for the youth.
The 37th Conference issued two declarations;
- On its concern about the ebola epidemic which was presented by
Hon. Senator W. Sibanda on behalf of the Conference and
- On the Conference’s concern about the situation in Burkina Faso.
The 37th Conference was closed at 1800hrs.on 2nd November 2014, by Hon. Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah, the President of the Chamber of Counsellors of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco. In his closing address he called on all African countries to face the future with a lot of determination and optimism and use all they have to fight underdevelopment, poverty and exclusion.
He also called for African countries to be united and support each other as brothers. The President of the Chamber of Counsellors of the
Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco concluded by calling on Western Countries to remove all sanctions against Zimbabwe.
SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I move that the debate do
SENATOR MATHUTHU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015.
BUSINESS OF THE SENATE
SENATOR MUCHENA: I move that Order of the Day, Number
6 be stood over until all Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
SENATOR MUMVURI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PROVISION OF FUNDING TO THE DISTRESSED AND
MARGINALISED INDUSTRY FUND
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on economic challenges resulting in individuals and companies being heavily indebted.
Question again proposed.
SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA: I move that the debate do
SENATOR MATHUTHU: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th March, 2015.
On the motion of SENATOR CHIEF CHARUMBIRA, seconded by SENATOR MATHUTHU, the Senate adjourned at Five o’clock p.m.