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SENATE HANSARD 07 December 2016 26-18
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 7th December, 2016
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE
INVITATION TO THE ZIPA MEETING
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to advise
all members of the Association of the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV that a meeting will be held tomorrow the 8th of December, 2016 at 0900hrs in the Government Caucus Room. Other members who are interested in issues pertaining to HIV and Aids are invited.
RATIFICATION OF A LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK
OF CHINA ON HWANGE 7 AND 8 THERMAL POWER
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam President, I move
the motion standing in my name;
THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the
President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, the Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China relating to Hwange7 and 8 Thermal Power Expansion Project being implemented by Hwange Electricity Supply Company Pvt. Ltd was concluded on the 30th of June,
2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe; and
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the
Constitution, this House resolved that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
It is within this context Madam President, that I present the
Preferential Buyer Credit Loan Agreement concluded between the
Government and the Export and Import Bank of China (China
Eximbank) which loan will be utilised in the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion projects as I will outline shortly.
Madam President, according to the Zimbabwe Economic blueprint ZIM ASSET, Government attaches great importance to the development of key infrastructure in areas which include energy, water, sanitation, transport and information communication technology. In its efforts to meet current and future power requirements as well as to improve current service delivery in the energy sector, Government has consciously focused on power generation, transmission and distribution under its power generation expansion programme.
Madam President, some of the major power stations which are earmarked under the Power Generation Expansion programme include Kariba South hydro-power station expansion, Hwange thermal power station, Bulawayo thermal power station and the joint project Batoka Gorge hydro power station. As this august House is aware, Kariba South hydro power station is under implementation and has recorded significant progress in terms of its completion. It is now, I believe at
65% completion and is earmarked to be completed by March of 2018. When completed, all things being equal, that should add some 300 megawatts into our power grid.
Within the context of the power generation initiative, the Government signed a Preferential Buyer Credit Loan Agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China for the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 thermal power stations and I shall now provide a general overview of the project and the amounts involved.
Madam President, the expansion of Hwange 7 & 8 Power Station entails the construction of two power generation units which will provide an additional 600 mega watts of power to the national grid. Currently, there are six units with an installed capacity of 920 megawatts. With the addition of two units, the total installed power generation capacity will be 1520 mega watts. The project is being implemented by Sino- hydro Corporation Limited of China which shall be the contractor. A special purpose vehicle will also be an implementer and this has been created for the purposes of overseeing the project development. This special purpose vehicle is called Hwange Electricity Supply Company (HESCO). Government and Sino-hydro will be joint owners of HESCO with Sino-hydro providing equity capital into the construction of this project.
In terms of an on lending agreement that will be concluded between the Government of Zimbabwe and HESCO, it will be HESCO that shall assume the responsibility for the repayment of the principal loan and interest from the proceeds of electricity sales. The project will be implemented over a period of three and half years. Madam President, the cost for implementing this project is US1.48 billion of which
US$1.147 billion is the contract price. Of the contract price that is $1.147 billion, 85% will be a loan of US$997.7 million. This has been secured through this preferential buyer credit loan agreement which we have concluded between us and China-Exim Bank. In turn, the balance of the contract price which is US$176 million which will come into the construction through equity participation by Sino-hydro and this will work out to 15% of the contract price. That is the US$176 million, will be paid by Sino-Hydro by way of equity and it will constitute 15% of the contract price.
In addition Madam President, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will be required to raise about US$307 million to cover the project development costs. Several efforts have been initiated to ensure that ZPC secures these resources. Insurance cover from Sino-Sure is also critical for the successful implementation of the project. Madam
President, I need to point out that any investments by the Chinese or any loans lent outside China are required to be insured by a State Insurance company which is called Sino-Sure. So, the insurance cover will also need to be put in place.
The loan of US$997.7 million from China-Exim Bank will attract an annual rate of interest of 2%; commitment fees of 0.25% per undrawn amount and a management fee of 0.25% on the loan amount. The loan repayment period is 20 years including a seven year grace period. Madam President, HESCO will enter into a power purchase agreement with ZETDC to off-take electricity from the constructed Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power Station. I need to emphasise that it is critical that as Government, we approve tariffs that are viable both to the producer and the consumer in order to ensure viability at all levels. We need a winwin situation; otherwise we will not get investments into the power sector. In this regard, a paper will be presented at a later stage that ensures that a viable tariff is charged.
Madam President, Zimbabwe’s current generating capacity stands at 1 200 mega watts per day against a current projected power demand of 1 700 mega watts. I need to say that, that current power demand of 1 700 mega watts is because we have a depressed economy – an industrial sector which is not achieving its optimum level and generally, an economy which basically is not growing at the level that we want. We now need to envisage what will happen. If we need to take off, we need to support any immediate take-off of our economy. This 1 700 mega watts as I have just mentioned, represents suppressed demand considering that industry is operating at below full capacity. This places real demand at around 2 200 mega watts per day.
Madam President, implementation of Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power Station expansion project is expected to yield the following benefits: increase Zimbabwe’s power generation reliability and efficiency; it will help reduce the supply/demand gap especially experienced during peak hours. It will help increase power supply which will ensure sustained economic growth and development as energy is a key enabler. The project is a lower cost alternative compared to other sources of power such as most independent power producers
and regional imports. Also, the expansion of Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power Station will allow the country to enhance its power generation foundation and make significant steps to being a net exporter in the future. Also the implementation of the project will create jobs for both skilled and unskilled Zimbabwean personnel. Knowledge and skills sharing will also be promoted and this will be impacted from the Chinese contractor in the construction, operation and maintenance of the plant. Also Madam President, the project will also have downstream benefits for local industry and related value chains. This will include subcontractors and suppliers to the project such as cement manufacturers, limestone manufacturers, coal and fuel.
So for the above reasons Madam President, I commend Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power Station Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Exim Bank of China for approval by this august House. I thank you Madam President.
*HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: Thank you Madam President for
according me an opportunity to talk in support of the motion that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has brought into the House that we should get this loan so that we have enough energy in addition to the little that we have, which is 1 200 megawatts per day.
Surely, the Minister is saying that if we work without enough electricity as we are doing, we can work with 1 700 watts. But if we have this loan, we can get 1 520 megawatts. This would be a positive development. For industry to tick, we need enough energy. Even in agriculture, if there is sudden load shedding, it will damage all the equipment because at times there are unanticipated power cuts. Some machines are sensitive to these power cuts. So we really embrace this loan and we also heard that there are jobs which can be created because of this. Also, we will gain knowledge from these people when they come to install power generation equipment. So I know that as farmers and as industrialists, we know that people will get enough energy so that more work will be created. As this House, we should support that we get this loan. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Madam President. The
facility Madam President, is very attractive and I think it is going to benefit the country but I have got a few reservations. When I looked at the document Madam President, a lot of things are looking or sounding very sweet such as the loan interest which is 2%, that is very cheap and welcome. If you look again under Article 2 on 2.6 where they say “the goods, technology and services purchased using the proceeds of this facility shall be purchased from China preferentially”. When I read the document, I found out that there is insurance in place. Are we not caging ourselves or putting ourselves into a corner if we say preferentially from China alone. Why should this string be accepted when there can be other sources and if we move further you also find that the grace period of 7 years is quite a welcome move; although, it will then force us to compound payments within the 13 years.
When I looked at Article 3, which talks of “first disbursement shall be subject to the satisfaction of the conditions precedent set out in
Appendix 1 attached here to”; it goes further to say “or such conditions precedent have been waived to by the lender in writing”. My question is, what if we do not meet the conditions? What if the lender does not waive the conditions in writing as stipulated here? You find also that on
3.3, the last statement which says, “Before the end of availability period, the borrower shall not without the consent of the lender shall cancel all or any part of the withdrawal of the undrawn facility”. Madam President, why should we be tied to that end because are we not again putting ourselves into a certain corner whereby we are not having any way out of this contractual issue.
Madam President, the other thing is I would like to know how the local companies or local organisations are going to benefit downstream on this loan. I should think that is it. I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS:
HON. SEN. GEN. NYAMBUYA: Thank you Madam President. I
rise to thank the Minister of Finance for bringing this Buyer Credit Loan agreement to this august House for its consideration. It is my view
Madam President, that this country is very much under provided for in terms of energy and for a long time, we have failed to use the resources which we were given by the Almighty God to the extent that when we die and go to heaven, the Almighty God is going to ask us why we did not use what he provided – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- starting from water to coal bed methane as the Hon. is saying. In Lupane, we have got coal bed methane gas which can be used for producing electricity. The downstream effects of CBM are just too many to mention. We can get AN, cheap AN from coal bed methane. Bitumen tar will revolutionise our economy once we are able to fully exploit that particular resource. In this instance, the Hon. Minister has brought to this House the resource of coal. Hwange 7 and 8 is all about coal. In this county we have got coal which we will not be able to use and non of us will be able to witness the end of the use of coal.
What I would like to warn the House is that the North is busy right now drafting proposals and actions of reducing the use of coal because its polluting the atmosphere and that is because they themselves have exhausted their resources of coal. So, it is high time we fully utilised our coal. What I would also like to point out is that there is so much appetite for electricity here in the region as well as up the in the North and Middle East and Europe; it is so much that it is time we fully exploited our resources and earn money from exporting electricity.
We have fully integrated our grid in the region. We now have an integrated grid called the Southern African Power Pool and other regions are following suit to the extent that right now you do not know where this electricity is coming from. It could be coming from Zambia, DRC, South Africa. We are going to reach a situation where you might not know electricity which you are using whether it is coming from Kenya or Ethiopia and that is how countries are developing and we need to be
part of that.
If I may specifically come to Hwange 7 and 8, I think it is a good project. It is actually coming late and that this should have been done a long time ago. Hwange 7 and 8 is going to add 600 megawatts into the grid and that is a lot. The lead time of having those 600 megawatts is far mach shorter than the hydro projects like Batoka for example which has got a far much longer gestation period but at the end of the day is going to bring far much more power. So, I fully support this particular Buyer’s Credit and I think it is the right thing. I just want to flag two points. The first one is that this contract is an EPC that is Engineering Procurement and Construction. So I am urging the Minister to ensure that this country does not lose out to the fact that it is an EPC contract. We need as much as possible to have the locals in Hwange benefiting from this
Construction of 7 and 8. The locals in Zimbabwe where the expertise is not obtained in Hwange, to benefit from the construction of seven and eight. We need to ensure that Zimbabwe benefits from the procurement of the goods and services so that, that money does not simply come from China and it goes back to China.
Sometimes, Eximbanks are very good in that they finance foreign projects, but it is the West which has used this way of Eximbanks whereby they lend you money with the left hand and they take it back with the right hand – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –. We need to ensure that we benefit by way of procurement, employment and by way of our resources being used in this project.
The second point which I want to flag, which I know is often dismissed or ignored by many people is the issue of tariffs. Madam President, the issue of tariffs is very important. We need to ensure that this country has got cost reflective tariffs. If we do not do that, then we are asking our utilities to dig a very deep grave and at the end of the day, we will have a dilapidated infrastructure which will not benefit anybody at all. I urge those who are responsible to ensure that our tariffs are cost reflective. In any case, we are borrowing this money and we must pay it back. We would not pay it back if we do not have cost reflective tariffs. We need to have a culture in this country of ensuring that we use electricity sparingly. We should be as economic as possible. I think it is long overdue that we ensure that each and every household, for example has got a solar geyser so that we reduce the cost of the electricity which is expensive.
The advantage of solar geysers is that you enjoy it 365 and a quarter days. The Lord All Mighty does not load shed his sun. It is always there and it is relatively cheaper. The second issue about tariffs is that as a country, we cannot invest and we cannot fund all our infrastructure projects, in particular energy projects. We need to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and no foreign investor will come into a country which does not have cost reflective tariffs because you need to recoup your investment. You will have borrowed from some bank somewhere to come and invest. So, the issue of reflective tariffs Madam President, I cannot over emphasise.
Otherwise I want to congratulate the Minister for negotiating this bias credit and for ensuring that Hwange 7 and 8, at last is going to take off. I thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. I also rise to give my comments on the loan agreement brought here by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Unfortunately, what I wanted to say has been covered by others. I think let me just pick those that I feel were not covered. The previous speaker said almost everything I had in mind including points on tariffs.
First of all, let me thank the Minister for bringing this Agreement. According to me, this has been brought in record time because it was signed in June, 2016 and he has brought it here today. In the past, we have complained of approving agreements which have been signed a year or two years back. So, on this one, I want to say, Minister, congratulations for bringing it early and timely.
No doubt that this is a welcome development as what has been said by those who have spoken before me. This development is aimed at increasing power generation through the construction of Hwange 7 and 8. I want to emphasise that we should be self sufficient in our own generation of power to be used locally. In the future actually, if we continue, we should be able to generate enough to export. At the moment it is us who are importing electricity from the neighbouring countries. As what Hon. Sen. Nyambuya said, we are endowed with many natural resources.
On the issue of tariffs which he has mentioned, I also want to say why are we importing electricity at 14 cents per kilo watt hours, yet here we charge 9 cents. The difference is costing the Ministry. I would like to commend the Ministry of Energy and Power Development for alleviating load shedding, which is now almost a thing of the past. I think they have managed to do this because of the installation of prepaid meters for electricity, the same with water, if the local councils are getting something because you now pay before you use anything.
This practice which Hon. Sen. Nyambuya has already said, we must have the culture of paying back what we borrow. People used to say if it has already been used, it is for the Government to pay.
Government has no money; it is us who must pay. Therefore, I urge the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to install more pre-paid metres, so that people pay and at the same time they repay the loan.
As I said, I do not have much to say except to join all those who welcomed this loan agreement. We should approve it, it sounds very attractive, 2% annual interest is too good, 20 years to pay back and seven years of grace period. The implementation is our weakest point as Zimbabweans. We must implement this attractive agreement in all earnest. Needless to say that there should be no corruption in the implementation of this. I thank you Madam President.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam President, thank
you very much. I want to thank all the Hon. Senators who have made contributions and who have supported that we enter into this loan arrangement. We have no choice; if we are serious about our economic growth, we have no choice because we need electricity to power our industrial growth and agricultural growth through irrigation. Without electricity all those things cannot take off. So, it is very important that we emphasise the need for adequate power, if we can have some for export, it is even better.
The situation that we are in at the moment as has been pointed out by Hon. Sen. Nyambuya is that there is an energy deficit in the whole region. We struggle to find imports when we want them. Each country will first look after its own interests before it decides to export to its neighbours or other countries. We should never be in a situation where we are perpetually beggars and always at the receiving end.
The issue I want to emphasise is that unlike other infrastructure projects, energy plants are very expensive and the gestation period is very long. You hardly get any energy plants which are of this size taking less than three or four years. This means that whatever we do or we are doing now, the benefits will probably come in four or five years time and not time. If we delay, it means we are also delaying those benefits from accruing to our country. I think it is very important that we emphasise that.
Senator Mavhunga, thank you very much for supporting the Loan Agreement. As you rightly say, electricity is a critical enabler to every economic activity that we do; agriculture, manufacturing, mining - especially when we are facing the smelting industry. If you load shed the smelting industry, you are basically damaging it. That molten metal will solidify and is damaged. We should never have a situation where we have that situation arising.
Senator Marava, thank you very much for the issues that you have raised because they give me a platform to further explain what an EPC contract is. Any loans other than from multi-lateral institutions are tight in terms of engineering, procurement and construction to the country from which you are borrowing. It is very important to say that when we enter into this, they will insist the design or engineering – yes we input but the design and the cost is at our own expense but done in this case, in China. That is an insistence. They do this in order to promote businesses and their own companies. They will insist that if there are any generators or any turbines that may be needed or manufactured, they must be manufactured in China. It is a must. They also insist that the contractor must be a Chinese company.
It is not just China. It is also India. When we look at the sources of our capital currently, especially infrastructure, we are looking at India and China and not much outside. Infact, even countries in the West are also looking especially to China for capital. Some of the projects which come here as Western, when you are engaged with them, you find out that they are borrowing from China. Obviously, they use their balance sheet and their assets to secure that loan. We need to be very clear there that as far as we are concerned, ndozviripo zvacho. In order not to lose time, I think we have to make sure that we enter into this arrangement.
I am happy to say that you mentioned the issue about local companies. Clearly, there are items which cannot and should never be procured from China –for example any sand, cement and a lot of materials. What we have been doing is to look at each contract and see how much we can secure locally. In our negotiations, there has been no problem. The cement can be manufactured here. If they want a particular quality, our cement companies are in a position to produce the cement quality that they desire. We are very agreed and there is no dispute on what can be secured locally and what they insist, of course should be secured in China which generally, is to do with machinery will be secured from outside for example the turbines.
Because we have no steel industry currently, it means all the steel that is going to go into this construction will all be imported from China, which is why we need to push very hard to resuscitate our steel industry because we are not going to allow this sort of thing to continue. Currently, we are importing steel into our construction industry or something like US$400-500 million annually. Imagine if this was produced locally. Imagine what we could save in terms of foreign currency payments.
Also, to benefit from this is labour. Do not listen to the stories that they will bring people to push the wheelbarrows. No, that is not the case. The personnel who have work permits here will be people with specialised skills and we actually go through an exercise to vet who can come in and what skills they have. We have done so for Kariba South and for what I know, there are no complaints. There used to be very abusive statements about bricks, cement and sand coming from China, that is not true in the case of Kariba South.
For your information, a local company was contracted to provide three million metric tonnes of sand. They are basically fulfilling that obligation. They have to go through to Gache-gache River to wash the sand, put it on a barge and transport it to Kariba South Extension. So, clearly, employment will be created through the construction of Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Expansion Project.
With respect to the issue about conditions precedent, anyone who lends you money; they may not put it as conditions precedent in the manner it is put. Anyone who lends you money will always insist that before disbursement, you have met those conditions precedent, otherwise money cannot be given willy-nilly when you are not ready. When they give you money when you are not ready, interest starts accruing. As you know, it is 0.25% on undrawn amounts. When you draw down faster, you pay less. If you delay, you pay more.
It is very critical for us that we expedite the implementation of this project. But because now the contractor is part of the equity partner with us in Hwange Electricity Supply Company, it will be incumbent even on the contractor to fast track the implementation of the project. So far, with respect to implementation of projects, I can say this without any embarrassment, the Chinese are the best in the world. What you agree with them to be done in three years, they will probably finish in two and half years if they have all the elements are in place. I have no fear with respect to the implementation, unless something untoward takes place.
I want you to know that the conditions precedent are important to be complied with in order to trigger disbursement. If we do not meet these conditions precedent, we delay the implementation or commencement of the project.
Hon. Sen. Nyambuya, thank you very much. I agree with you fully on issues that it is long overdue and also the fact a Thermal Power Plant has a shorter lead time than Hydro, but this one is quite huge – 600 mega watts. We need to compare maybe size to size.
I agree with you also on the high demand in the region. Currently, we are importing from South Africa and Mozambique. We used to import large quantities from DRC but since they started growing their economy, they also have nothing to export. Zambia is probably in a worse situation than we are because most of their power source was hydro. With the severe drought that has completely curtailed the power supply from Zambia, we used to import from Zambia but they have none to export to us. In this case because our energy is thermal based, we have come out of the drought situation better than other countries who rely on hydro-power plants.
I want to emphasise that yes, we capitalised the situation as giving with one hand and taking with the other. In a sense that element is there but it is happening with our eyes fully open. We know exactly what they are giving and what they are taking with the other hand, and we have said notwithstanding, we are going ahead. I think that is the attitude and approach we should take because at the end of the day we have no power. Those are the conditions and we cannot get any better conditions as of now.
The only loans that come without strings of that nature are loans that we secure from multi-lateral institutions such as the African
Development Bank, IMF, World Bank and European Investment Bank. In fact, those institutions actually insist that it must be open for tendering worldwide. So, if you borrow any money from there you cannot say we have a company in Zimbabwe. They will say yes, you have a company but let it compete in an open market. That basically is also the other conditionality, but in this case with the Chinese, we discussed with them because in the past they would give us a contractor. So, this time we insisted to say no, let us chose from amongst many contractors. So, we now do a tendering amongst Chinese contractors and take the best. That basically is now the new modus operandi.
The tariffs, I cannot agree with you more that they should be cost reflective. There are two aspects to what you have said Hon. Nyambuya. The first aspect is cost reflective to the cost of production, which is a function to the cost of running ZESA and its subsidiaries. Then also cost reflective to give a tariff that will not collapse our industries, especially the mining sector where if the commodity prices are falling, you cannot keep your tariffs at 12 or so when in fact the price has plummeted as in the case of platinum. It used to be around $2 000 per ounce but it is now around $900 per ounce.
A cost reflective tariff should be one which basically reduces the tariff to platinum miners so that they remain in business. Once they shut down it will be difficult to resuscitate them. That is one aspect of a cost reflective tariff. The other aspect is, like we are doing now, there are sentiments that ZESA Holdings is top heavy and I am sure that Hon. Nyambuya as former Minister of Energy will be aware of those sentiments. What we have done through ZERA, it has instituted a cost audit on ZESA so that we understand whether the high tariff that we charge to our people is contributed by their own cost of running ZESA or not, and if so to what extent and what can we shed off in order to make electricity more affordable to industry, commerce, agriculture and mining.
Hon. Sen. Mumvuri, thank you very much for the commendation on that the tabling of this loan agreement has been timely. It reflects the urgency that I have to push energy projects. We should never waste any time because if we do it means we are delaying our own economic takeoff. You mentioned the issue quite correctly. We are importing high, around 13, 14 or 15c per kilowatt hour and then we sell to you at 9c per kilowatt hour. There is no one who is paying the deficit and this is the point I made in my speech Madam President that we have to revisit that issue.
There should never be free lunch. If we want this benefit called electricity, we must be prepared to pay for it. That gap is not sustainable and can lead to load shedding if it is not managed in a proper manner. So, it is a matter that we are going to have or seek to address. It is a matter that worries me immensely but when people are used to their cheap electricity, to make that change is not easy yet it is possible because it then means you are more efficient in the utilisation of that electricity. It is a matter that we have to start to address.
The key issue which we have pointed out to ZESA is efficient revenue collection. When we started there were arguments on whether we should have prepaid meters. Some were saying yes we can have them in the homes but not at the farms and so on. Now, I think the policy is now accepted everywhere. Anyone who is a consumer of electricity must have a prepaid meter. That will mean efficient collection of revenue.
It also means there is better planning in the future and it is easy to raise money when the creditor knows what your cash flows are because sometimes with respect to loans, you can stretch it. What they can give you in ten years; they can give you over 25 years, only if they are confident of a constant cash stream and prepaid meters will achieve that, more so, in our country where there is no culture of honouring obligations at all. So, prepaid meters will help. If you do not want the electricity you do not buy and so on. We can even export if people do not want the electricity that we have produced.
Madam President, I want to thank Hon. Senators who have contributed and supported this loan agreement and I therefore move that the loan agreement be approved:
THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the
President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organizations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, the Loan Agreement between Government of
Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China relating to Hwange 7 and 8
Thermal Power Expansion Project being implemented by Hwange
Electricity Supply Company Pvt. Ltd was concluded on the 30 June
2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe; and
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF AN AGREEMENT FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AFRICAN LEGAL SUPPORT
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I move the motion
standing in my name:
THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (2) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament and does not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been incorporated into law through an Act of Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, an Agreement for the establishment of the
African Legal Support Facility, an affiliate of the African Development Bank (AfDB) that provides legal technical assistance in the negotiation of contracts and creates synergies between the private sector and African countries, was signed on 14 October 2008;
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(2) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
Madam President, as we negotiate these mega deals we are finding that we are short on technical skills to negotiate on an equal basis with those across the counter. It is for this reason that it is my singular honour to move that Zimbabwe’s membership to the African Legal Support Facility be ratified by this august Senate.
The African Legal Support Facility is an affiliate of the African Development Bank that provides technical assistance of a legal nature in the negotiation of contracts and advises on cases concerning sovereign debt litigation and commercial contracts amongst other areas. The concept of establishing the African Legal Support Facility was agreed during the Annual Meeting of Ministers in charge of Finance and Economic Development on 2nd June, 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the ministers recognised the skills gaps of African States in negotiating contracts for extractive natural resources.
Mr. President, considering Africa’s superior natural resource allocation, the facility offers an opportunity for African countries to train their respective technocrats in how to negotiate more favourable terms for natural resource exploitation and concurrently to promote growth and poverty alleviation in their respective countries and ultimately across the continent. This, in part, informs the need to subscribe to the African
Legal Support Facility.
Focus Areas under the Facility
Mr. President, in light of the above, the African Legal Support
Facility assists governments in the following areas:-
- Terms upon which extraction of resources such as minerals, oil and gas may be undertaken;
- Debt negotiations and agreements;
- Fair and equitable investment agreements;
- Mutually beneficial infrastructure and Public-Private-Partnerships in areas such as transport, water, energy and power; I need just to remind Hon. Senators that a week ago we signed a Public-Private- Partnership that is a concession agreement to build the road from Beitbridge to Harare and we hope that by the end of the year, all things being equal we will sign further agreements to construct the road from Harare to Chirundu.
- Structuring agricultural facilities; and
- Commercial Credit Litigation.
African Legal Support Facility Membership
Mr. President, membership to the African Legal Support Facility is open to all sovereign nations and international organisations.
To date, there are 59 signatories to the Facility Treaty, comprising 52 countries and 7 international organisations. Some of the international organisations include the Africa Finance Corporation, the African
Union, the West African Development Bank and the Islamic
The Zimbabwe Case
Mr. President, Hon. Senators will recall that Zimbabwe signed the membership agreement on 14 October, 2008 and the membership agreement has not been ratified by Parliament in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In this regard, I am submitting the Facility to undergo the process of ratification, in order for Zimbabwe to become a participating member of the Support Facility and derive benefits accruing as a result of such membership.
Expected benefits of membership
Mr. President, as I briefly mentioned previously in terms of Article 2 of the Agreement, the Facility is expected to yield the following benefits to Zimbabwe:-
- There will be provision of legal advice and services in creditor litigation where misunderstandings arise;
- There will be standing offers of technical assistance for strengthening member countries’ legal expertise and negotiating capacity in matters relating to debt management, litigation, natural resources and extractive industries management and contracting, investment agreements as well as related commercial and business transactions;
- A natural bi-product of subscription to this facility will be to strengthen the legal processes in Zimbabwe through skills transfer;
- The granting of funds to countries to assist in legal fees where advice from top legal counsel is required in the above mentioned areas; and
- Ensuring fair and balanced negotiations;
Functions of the Facility
Mr. President, in terms of Article 2 (2), the Facility shall carry out the following functions and activities in assisting the member countries:-
- Identify legal expertise within and beyond or borders on creditor litigation, debt management and other legal services specific to extractive industries and natural resources management;
- Provide financial assistance to African member countries for actual creditor litigation and negotiations of complex commercial transactions;
- Investing in and organising the training of legal counsel from member countries to equip them with legal expertise necessary to address creditor/vulture fund litigation;
- Establish and maintain a database of specialised law firms and legal experts to represent African member states in legal matters; and
- Promote an understanding of issues concerning identification and resolution of creditor litigation matters involving sovereign debtors against vulture funds and negotiations of complex commercial transactions such as natural resource contracts among others.
Mr. President, in terms of Article 6 (3) of the Agreement, financial resources for the Facility are derived from voluntary contributions by participating states, international organisations other than the African Development Bank, signatories to the Agreement, non-participating countries and other private entities.
To this end, Zimbabwe will not be obliged to provide any financial support to the Facility beyond voluntary contributions as a goodwill gesture.
In addition, the country will not be responsible for any debts, liabilities or obligations of the Facility.
Facility Governance Structure
Mr. President, in terms of Article 7, the African Legal Support Facility is overseen by a Governing Council, composed of twelve members who are appointed by the member states, the African Development, international organisations and parties to the agreement.
The powers of the Governing Council are provided for under Article 8.
Furthermore, the Governing Council is assisted by the Management Board, composed of five members appointed by the council, and a director who is an ex officio member of the Management Board.
Immunities and Exemptions under the Facility
Mr. President, each member state shall take all legislative action under its national law and all administrative measures to enable the facility to effectively fulfill its purposes and functions. To this end, the facility shall be accorded the status, immunities, exemptions, privileges and concessions set forth in the agreement under Articles 17 to 25. In this regard, the facility, its property, assets, income, operations and transactions shall be exempt from all taxation and customs duties. Furthermore, it shall be exempt from any obligation relating to the payment, withholding or collection of any tax or duty.
Mr. President Sir, in conclusion, Zimbabwe stands to benefit from membership to the facility, given the challenges we have in negotiating contracts for extractive natural resources, in particular, diamond mining. Furthermore, we also have skills gap in resolving creditor litigation matters involving sovereign debtors against vulture funds and in cases of complex commercial contracts within key economic sectors.
In this regard Mr. President Sir, the African Legal Support Facility will provide specialist legal expertise and experience to the benefit of Government and the private sector. The fact that to date, the facility has received 59 signatories comprising countries and international organisations, is a clear sign that the facility has potential to bring economic gains and legal strengths to our systems. Mr. President Sir, I commend the agreement on Zimbabwe’s membership to the African Legal Support Facility for the approval of this august House. I thank you.
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I want to
thank the Minister for bringing this item on the facility to this House. I only have one concern, if you look at the lapse in benefit, it totals 13 years from the time the Ministers met or signed that agreement and a total of eight years, during which you have been members of this legal support facility.
Hon. Minister, if we quantify that and look at the potential loss during that period in terms of opportunity, wise counsel or any other saving, it is quite a lot. What I am seeking to understand is, specifically, why do some of these agreements take so long? Do we find them unnecessary at specific times? In this particular one, why has it taken us up to eight years after membership for us to bring it to the august House and possibly be in a position to execute? I thank you Mr. President. *HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
this opportunity to contribute on the issue that the Minister has brought into this House. I want to thank the Minister for bringing this agreement into the House. I want to look at how Africa, Europe and America are related. The people in Europe have a lot of cash at their disposal, but in Africa, we have a lot of wealth. We have so many mineral resources in Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone but you find that we are the poorest countries. However, the countries in Europe are the ones which are developing using our mineral resources. Even after winning the battles that we fought against them 30 or 40 years ago, we are still lagging behind. I think when we do business negotiations, with the whites, they are ahead of us and the business deals are more beneficial to them than to us. Our negotiating capacity as Africans, is very low and this intervention is the link and we should embrace it as Zimbabwe and Africa at large. Without the capacity to negotiate, we will continue being exploited by the West because they want to sustain their economies with our resources and in the end, we do not benefit anything.
Zimbabwe has a very clear example of when our diamonds were usurped from us, we did not benefit. There is nothing that we can show from the exploitation of the Marange diamonds. Minerals were stolen and I think that if this facility is expedited and people are taught, it will help our country now and in future. We have taken long to do this and if this facility came earlier when diamond mining was started, I think we could have been able to handle the situation well. All in all, I think this facility should be implemented quickly.
*HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
this opportunity. I also want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this issue on African Legal Support Facility. This should help us so that we have a good standing in terms of knowledge on our things. I want to thank you Hon. Minister because when people realise their mistakes and seek help from elsewhere, it is a very good thing.
I want to support what Hon. Sen. Komichi said. Many a times we face challenges because shiri yakangwara inovaka neminhenga yedzimwe shiri. We know that the whites are robbing us. We accept everything that adds on to our wisdom by having skilful negotiators so that we know the status of our minerals and this will leave us on a better standing. I want to thank you once again Hon. Minister for bringing this agreement to this august House because there are a lot of packages provided in it. There is nothing that we can refuse, but we should be careful and wise in order to tap on the advantages so that our people will benefit. African things are of good quality.
When I was in Ethiopia, I saw very important developments and this means that the country is developing. There are buildings which I saw in Europe and we can also build the same in Africa if we support each other sincerely and do our things in unity. We cannot resist such a good thing Hon. Minister. We want to thank you.
We have looked at it and scrutinised it and we saw that it is a very good document. From what you are saying, it will help us especially in agriculture. We would want to see how it will go about in mining. To support what Hon. Sen. Komichi said, we did not realise anything from diamonds because we did not have the expertise. You will find that we lost a lot of money and I think you have heard it when something about the $15 billion was talked about. If all that money was channeled into our economy, all of us could be flying aeroplanes. Even yourself in your responsibility of sourcing for funds, you could be a very high powered person that you would just give commands. Other developing countries like Ethiopia, we would surpass them because our country is very small. We stand at an advantage because we are very few. In Ethiopia there are about 96 to 100 million people whereas in Zimbabwe we are talking of 13 to 14 million people. We are very few.
Looking at the resources that we have, there are so abundant and if we do it, looking at the small population that we have, for our country to develop, we could be somewhere in five or six years. I stood up just to thank you Minister for the good thing that you have brought here.
*HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Thank you Mr. President. I stand up
to add my voice to what has already been said by my colleagues. I just want to say that, this document or agreement as I see it, although it took long to come, I do not see anything that we should spend time debating.
I am happy that all those who have debated before me have come up with the idea that there is nothing that we can oppose – only that if it had been signed since the time that the negotiations started, probably we could not have lost in some areas where we have negotiated. It is very clear that when you look at this document, although I want to complain to the Minister that I have just seen it now. When I looked at it, I could see that it is a facility that will help us as a nation. When we are negotiating on our deals, we would know how to negotiate issues that will take us further as a nation and we will negotiate on behalf of our people. But, if we are not a member of this facility, we will just be grappling in darkness and in the end we will lose out because we would not benefit. We have come across that when we have made agreements with some people, sometimes they would give us machinery and they would bring their own mechanics. That means, if it is money, it would be going back to them in the form of salaries. But, if we are a member of this facility, we will have our negotiators who are skilled and qualified and they would be able to scrutinise professionally. With those few words, I would want to say, as a House, let us come together and support this agreement. Thank you.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President. I also rise to fully support the motion that was presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Even though I agree that this motion was supposed to have been brought long back, it is sometimes better to be done even though late than never because as we do some of these things, they are learning processes.
I really appreciate that maybe there should be more training on the extraction of our mineral resources so that we do not lose out. But, due to the fact that this facility does not need any money from us, we have to protect what we already have.
Mr. President, I also fully support the ratification of Zimbabwe to be an active member and also get benefits from this development. Mr. President, development is not about having or building big infrastructure or buildings, it is about developing a person and the person is ourselves. The way we live socially and economically, if it improves a person, to me, I have no doubt or any way to refuse that this motion should not be ratified. With those few words Mr. President, I thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I
would want to thank all the Hon. Senators who have made contributions. Hon. Sen. Sibanda, rightly points out the delay. I think the delay that we should worry about is from 2008, that is when the then Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the late Cde. Mumbengegwi signed the document. But as usual, after any signing, there are usually discussions on whether or not we should not go to the next stage; that is ratification and those discussions can be very protracted. I imagine that there was that delay because I am not fully in the picture of the reason why. I got to know that that document had been signed when the Chief Executive Officer of the African Legal Facility happens to be one who had worked with me when I was the Attorney General. He is a Ugandan and he is now heading it. So, when I went to Abidjan in mid June I think, he brought this matter to my attention that, are you aware that
Zimbabwe has signed and why is it not proceeding to the next level.
Otherwise, I had no wind of what had taken place before that – either because the official did not give it as much attention as obviously my predecessor had done. Anyway, that is now water under the bridge. We are anxious to be a member and there are already 59 member countries who have subscribed to the membership of the facility and if we had joined earlier, we might actually be in the governing council because notwithstanding our situation, we have a very strong voice on the continent in whatever fora you may talk about. People I think also look for us for leadership sometimes when we are discussing continental affairs. Be that as it may, Senator Mohadi said better late than never.
Senator Komichi, you are right that we are very diverse as a continent and also as Zimbabwe and I think what is incumbent on each and every one of us to interrogate that question why are we poor and yet so rich? I think that we have begun that interrogation and this is part of it to say, how are we faring in our negotiations with other regions and are we concluding agreements which are for our benefit, now and in the future. We are also interrogating the whole mining tax regime. We began an exercise about three years ago to come up with a mining tax regime. We hope that in the next year we should be able to conclude it. It is basically to understand what happens in the taxation in other countries of mining houses.
We are also interrogating even the taxation system that relates to member countries with multilateral institutions that work in our country. This is all under the theme that we should not have the out- force that is coming out of Africa more than the in–force. Development assistance pales into insignificance when we compare with the resources that are going out of the continent but you cannot tackle that issue unless you do it scientifically and systematically. Unless also you know what you are looking for and what is there. If you have no understanding of what is going on and you have no comprehension and capacity, you will never query anything. You will accept anything as given. Mr. President Sir, that is where we should start moving away from.
There is a lot that happens, for instance local companies, I am not saying Zimbabwe but the world over, where they deal with sister companies and their dealings with sister companies is not always on an equitable basis. They will tend to move resources, especially from where they think they are being heavily taxed to where they think there are low tax regimes. So, it will be where their investments are safe and stable.
Senator Komichi, what is critical in terms of development, as a country and as a continent is basically political stability, in my view. You cannot plan anything in a situation where there is political instability. Generally, you cannot even find any continuity. A lot of any development to be effective must be long term. Anything else is short terms. Any short-term development is usually consumptive not development.
If you are planning a road, it takes years to plan from Beitbridge to Harare; just to plan where the road is going to be; where the bridges are going to be. So, it is very important that there should always be continuity and political stability. Investors will not come to any country, even creditors will not lend to any country where they think their money will not come back. I think the continent when you look and see what is happening in the continent, you will understand why basically Africans remain poor. When I look at those refugees in Europe, granted the situation of refugees in Europe have been precipitated by those very countries. It puts a very sad story on our continent, where everyone is running away from resources to go and sit in a refugee camp – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
Unless we have political stability ourselves, we give opportunity to those who want to de-stabilise us because we are always rivals in the global arena with other countries, from an economic point of view, a political interest point of view and from a global geo-politics point of view. We are always rivals and some of the strategies used to trip rivals is to destabilise. It is a fact, now, if as a country, you are not united and you allow yourselves to be victims of de-stabilisation, you do not blame those who destabilising us. You blame yourselves because you are failing to be united; you are failing to find consensus amongst
yourselves and you allow yourselves to be victims of other people’s machinations.
Senator Makore, thank you very much for the support and you rightly pointed out that it is very important that we have the expertise. Senator Chipanga, thank you very much also for your support. The contributions from Senator Mohadi provoked me to say this. You are right to say that development is not the resources. Development is not what you own, development is about human capital. There are countries without any resources which have economies which are number two or three. Japan has no agricultural land, it is all mountains and probably earthquakes but they are the third largest economy in the world.
So, it is the human capital which is important, which is why our emphasis is on education, on technical training; this is why our emphasis now is on science, technology, engineering and mathematics so that these people create the jobs. These people can create industries and create employment. I agree with Senator Mohadi that development is not about resources. If you have resources and you have no knowledge, they will remain trapped under the ground. You need knowledge to exploit what is underground. I am happy to say that when all is told, continentally; I am not beating our chest. I think in terms of human capital we invested heavily in human capital. If nothing else, we have invested in human capital and in this regard on the continent, we are second to none. It is a fact acknowledged not just by ourselves but by many people who come. They are amazed at the extend and depth of our human capital, wherever they find Zimbabweans, whether it is in the United States of America, Europe or Australia, wherever on the continent, we are a leader in human capital. What is now left is to exploit that human capital to grow our economy. Currently, there is a disconnection between the performance of our economy and the depth of our human capital. It is like these two are parallel; never meeting in perpetuity. We should find a link; we should connect them. If they do, as we hope they will do, this economy will take off in a very fast way. I thank you Mr. President.
Motion for the Ratification of an Agreement for the Establishment of the African Legal Support Facility, put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 68TH SESSION OF THE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY
Third order read: adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the
Delegation to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Parliament Union.
Question again proposed.
*SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for according
me this opportunity to debate on the report of contributions made in Kartoum, Sudan on 2nd to 3rd June 2016 which was brought in by Sen. Goto.
Firstly, I would like to thank Hon. Senators for the contributions that were made there. It was highlighted that Africa is endowed with a lot of natural resources. In terms of minerals, there is an abundance of resources. This means that the resources in Africa are many but they said that things do not go on well because of exploitation which was caused by the ‘White’ oppression. A lot of African countries, for a long time could not be in charge of their resources. I think that this is a very big issue. I also want to say that when we got our independence, we wanted to turn things around so that we could benefit. This issue is very important to me. We should be serious if we want to turn around our economy from poverty. We need to be sincere and work hard. We should have a vision to show that we are people.
They went on further to talk about democracy, rule of law and governance. These are the things which caused us to be involved in the struggle. We want to be in charge of our resources so that we have Governments that work very hard. From the report, we see that those things should be upheld so that countries will be at peace.
The report also talks about terrorism and extremism happening in these countries which shows that these things are rampant but they are coming from the Government system; from democracy and unity. I also heard Minister Chinamasa referring to it that we should be united. Disagreements should end but some of them are brought by corruption because corruption bites a big chunk and people will be left in poverty.
Climate change was another issue that was raised. Because of climate change, we no longer receive rains on time. Long back, we used to grow rice. My father was a very big farmer. We would receive rains even in September. In October we would have finished planting. Rapoko would be planted in August and we could have bumper harvests but these days we do not have enough rains. Those who used to depend on farming cannot do so. There are no jobs. All this will cause conflicts and disharmony because people do not have anything to eat because of the scarcity of food.
We have abundant resources but we cannot benefit. Those who are in business do not have the skills. They do not know how to handle this. We were just talking about skills when we were talking about negotiations from the ratification that we have just done.
Taking a leaf from Sen. Mohadi, that people should be developed because they are the best resource so far; you find that those who get those jobs without any knowledge will not benefit anything because their skills are limited for them to achieve anything. All this will cause conflicts because if people do not have anything to do and eat, for sure, people die.
We can talk about unity here but if we do not solve the issue of hunger and employment, people will just roam around without any hope about the future, there is a danger.
The second thing which I think is important is about gender. We have talked about it here despite that I am the Chairman of the Gender Thematic Committee, but as an area we should look at it seriously.
From this report, it was found that in Article 14 and 16 of the APU, the requirement is that we should have women representatives. We found that there were no women when we got there, like the one I attended recently - which means that should be spearheaded so that women, in their numbers, should be in productive sectors not for them just to be married. There are so many people who are marrying, especially from the Apostolic Sect; they marry more than one woman. We find that there are more women but we should empower them economically so that we can harvest from them for the betterment of the people.
Mr. Chairman, a lot of issues that I have read from this report are very important. I do not want to waste a lot of time but it shows that conflicts in Africa are increasing because of poverty. We should have somewhere where we can seriously start and start implementing instead of just talking. Again, our governments should know what to do because they are the fathers. The governments are the fathers and should be able to look after their children in their countries. If children are crying in the country, if you just walk around doing nothing as the father, you will fight with your children because being born is not a crime. So, subjects are saying that we should create wealth so that we do not have any conflicts. With these few words, I thank you.
*HON. SENATOR MAWERE: Thank you Mr. President for
affording me this opportunity to add just a few words. Firstly, I want to thank those who went on our behalf to Sudan, Sen. Goto and her delegation. We heard what was articulated on Zimbabwe by other countries on the issue of resources. It was found that Africa is very rich and that is why we are still fighting with those from the west because they still want to come back as they know where the wealth is, where the mines are located and where the rich places are, as they are the ones who were oppressing us. It is very true that if we have so many resources they can end up causing conflicts if the mining and distribution of wealth is not done in a transparent manner.
If you look at places like the Midlands, there are conflicts there which we did not anticipate because the gold panners are engaging in gold panning in towns. We are afraid for the children and women. We have heard that some women witnessed these gold panners fighting for resources. We also heard about democracy. If we practice democracy as we are doing, but seeing that our democracy is being hampered by corrupt people who want to take everything as theirs. The problem that we are facing in Africa is corruption.
Mr. President, if the leadership in Africa can sit down and see how they can end corruption because some people are very wealthy while others are wallowing in poverty. If our leaders can sit down and urge each that whoever steals, because of those who steal, the monies are not kept in those countries but are transferred to offshore accounts. If those people can be convicted so that if someone steals and wants to externalise the funds, we should use Interpol Police as we used to do. I have seen it work before but it was just for a short time. In Africa that is the challenge we have. We just work for a few years and then become corrupt ourselves.
I was also happy about what all those African countries talked about on the issue of women. It was said women should be given an opportunity because if there is no mother in the homestead, even if you are a chief and you do not have a wife, it means there is a challenge. So, women should be high posts and respect, especially in production because if you look at corruption from the media reports, you find that men are the ones who are involved in corruption. If you make women rise in the companies, you find that women work very hard and know that if they steal and are convicted, it is the children who will suffer. So, many times women are very compassionate and do not steal.
Even for a country to be at peace, it is because of women. If women become corrupt or are involved in shoddy deals, that country will not have stability and peace. The peace and stability that we talk about in Zimbabwe is through the women. I think as men, you also saw that if your mothers were not good women, you would not be where you are today. In the homes, if we start criticising what is happening in our nation, it means we will all go astray.
I just want to thank those who went and represented us. I think we should urge all those countries to start implementing it like what Hon. Makore has said because in Africa we are very skilled when it comes to talking and seeing, but when it comes to implementation, we do not do anything. Thank you Mr. President for the time you have given me to add my voice on this report. For sure, without food and employment, conflicts arise.
HON. SENATOR. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for
giving me this opportunity of also adding my voice to this reportwhich was presented by Hon. Sen. Goto and seconded by Hon. Sen. Chief Dandawa. It is very important whenever a report is made because it embraces a lot of things. In their report they talked about the youth and we have a time bomb of these youth whom we have to look after. At the moment they do not have employment and yet they need food on the table. So, we have to provide food on the table for these youth. How can we provide the food? We should all put our heads together as a country and find a way out.
These youth need basic education and we should look at the issue of going to school. When I am talking about the youth, I am talking about boys and girls who should be provided with education. Our youth especially in the rural areas attend school from Grade 1 to Grade 7 and thereafter, what is next? We do not have any solution for that. If at all funds were permitting, to me secondary education should be compulsory because this is the time whereby our youth drop out from school and some of them end up going to look for work in the communal farms and mines which are not viable at all. If at all their education was compulsory up to ‘O’ level, maybe even their minds would be mature enough to think further of what to do because at Grade 7, they are still very young and they do not think of anything other than getting employed somewhere. As a country, we should think along those lines.
Mr. President, also in this report there is the issue of moving from
MDGs to SDGs and specifically looking at SDG 1, Eradication of Poverty and Hunger, we should look for systems and not only sing about eradication of poverty and hunger but also systems that will assist us in getting nutritious food because we have to live. Looking also at SDG 2, on Education, I think I have dealt with that one where I was looking at our youths and also looking at the enrolment of those youths who go to school. You find that at the beginning of the year we have enrolment of boys and girls in every school but as we go towards the end of the year, you find that that enrolment will have fallen especially looking at the girl child because of circumstances that are beyond them. There is need to look into that factor so that we can achieve these SDGs.
Looking at the SDG on Gender, most of the times we say we are doing something but Mr. President, looking at the aspect of gender here in Parliament especially with regards to quota system, I am a bit disturbed because we are going for elections in 2018 and in our Constitution we have to go for another five years. Then after five years, what is next? Are we going to achieve that SDG at all? We should think seriously about that because to win a war is not about going to fight but wars are fought on the tables. Let us come with a better solution on how we are going to achieve gender parity, the 50-50 representation. If we do not do that, you will find that by the end of the next five years we will come down instead of stepping forward. Mr. President, when we come to these issues of gender, I become so emotional.
Finally, let me talk about the report that was presented by the delegation that went to Khartoum. We should learn to pay our membership fees on time. In this report, we have gone for three years without paying our membership fees. I do not know whether it has been paid as of now but according to this report, we have not paid and I am urging our administration to look into this matter because if you go to such meetings when you are not a fully paid up member, it becomes difficult to contribute. Other members will just be looking at you saying you are very much fond of talking yet when we come to payments, you do not want to pay. You really feel out of place. With these few words, I thank you.
HON. SEN. GOTO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th December, 2016.
FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER
AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE STATUS OF CHILDREN’S HOMES Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on the Status of Children’s Homes.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: I think I would have closed this motion
perhaps by Tuesday as I promised but unfortunately, it was said that Ministers should come and respond to these motions before I close them.
So, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.
SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): We should follow procedure in terms of the rules of procedure. When there is a motion and we have debated, before it is closed, there should be a response from the responsible Minister and that is the procedure. What we have been doing by simply winding up and closing the motion is not procedural. I think it falls upon the authorities of Parliament to inform those Ministers that ‘this is the motion as debated; these were the debates and submissions, can you come and respond.’ I think we should insist on that, otherwise we are just here to drink some water, eat lunch, obtain some coupons and go back. I think we would not want to be of no force and effect to that extend. I agree, you are simply to adjourn the debate.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: On that note, I move for the adjournment
of this debate.
HON. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th December, 2016.
SECOND REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT ON EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on
Early Child Marriages.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MAKORE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th December, 2016.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE 39TH PLENARY
ASSEMBLY OF THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the delegation to the 39th Plenary Assembly of the SADC Parliamentary
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th December, 2016.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. GOTO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this
opportunity to contribute a few words to this motion. I would like to support the Presidential Speech. The President touched on a lot of issues and a lot of Senators contributed to this motion. I wish to speak on the issues which touched me most on this motion which I felt I could not resist. The President touched on the issues which affect both the poor and the wealth. This means that his heart desires for the people of Zimbabwe to live well and intends to provide for their welfare. He is at the highest level and we are the Government. The President may not be able to oversee what is on the ground but he delegates this august House to assess the various challenges which are being faced by our constituents, which include but are not limited to hunger and lack of basic resources so that we can report back to him for his assistance.
The President helps the nation through various means like provision of farming inputs and he believes that every citizen must benefit from these provisions. However, as leaders of the people, we are unable to distribute these resources equitably; we end up misappropriating through engaging in corrupt activities. Some people end up receiving these inputs whilst some are unable to access them.
The other issue which pleases me is that the President touched on the Bills which should be introduced to Parliament. I was mostly interested in the proposed Movable Property Security Interest Bill, which he talked about. It is mostly essential for us farmers in both A1 and A2 farms. We do not have immovable properties and this creates an opportunity for us to access credit from banks and increase production. However, when we access these credit lines, we should make sure that we are able to pay back in time. This is similar to the command agriculture, which was introduced by Government where everyone is free to participate. A lot of money has been used to come up with this programme and yet some people will fail to pay back and that is a culture of destroying the economy. I felt so happy to hear about the consideration of this Bill because as it stands, one can only access credit if they have immovable properties, which is in most cases a house and if one does not have a house, they are unable to obtain a loan from the bank. If this Bill is enacted into law, it means that I will be able to use the movable properties that I have which include livestock and others, as collateral. So, we will be independent and we should work hard in order to increase production so that we will be able to pay back the loans in harmony without any form of discrimination.
His Excellency also spoke about supporting Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) so that they boost their businesses to an advanced stage. Without taking much of your time, I conclude by saying, I feel so happy about what the President said because I am one of those people who intends to access credit facilities and I have realised that through the Movable Property Security Interest Bill, I will not have any problem in doing so. If people then fail to use such an opportunity, they will not be able to succeed as not many people have succeeded without accessing loans. You have heard the amount of debt owed by this country which the Minister of Finance and Economic Development was referring to, meant to increase economic growth. We need to obtain these loans and work hard in order to increase growth. With these few words Mr.
President, I say thank you for giving me this opportunity.
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th December, 2016.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU seconded by HON.
SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Ten Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.