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SENATE HANSARD 21 October 2015 25-10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 21st October, 2015.
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT
INVITATION TO A PRE-BUDGET BRIEFING
HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to
remind Hon. Senators that all Members of Parliament are invited to a Pre-Budget briefing to be held tomorrow Thursday, 22nd October, 2015 from 0800 a.m. to 1300 at lunch time at Pandhari Hotel in Harare. The bus leaves Parliament Buildings at 0745 a.m. All members are advised to be punctual.
RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN TRADE INSURANCE (ATI)
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND
COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): I move the motion standing in my
THAT WHEREAS, the African Trade Insurance Treaty (ATI) was concluded in Grand Bay, Mauritius on 18th May, 2000, and was signed by Zimbabwe, in Lilongwe, Malawi on 14th October, 2011, at the 15th
COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit;
WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe is desirous of becoming party to the African Trade Insurance Agency;
WHEREAS in terms of Section 327 of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe [Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013], provides that an international treaty, convention, protocol or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments or international organizations shall be subject to approval by Parliament; WHEREAS the entry into force of the said (ATI) Agreement is conditional upon its acceptance by the parties in accordance with their respective Constitutional procedures and financial obligations;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe budgeted for and sourced some of the finances required for membership joining fee in order for a member state to fully benefit;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the
Constitution [Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013], this House resolves that the aforesaid (ATI) Agreement be and is hereby approved for accession.
Thank you Mr. President Sir. I would like to thank you for affording me, on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, to move a motion to Parliament wherein the motion was moved yesterday in the Lower House where it was comprehensively debated and at the end of it adopted. Now, in procedure after adoption by the Lower House, it then comes to the Upper House for your consideration and for adoption.
Mr. President, in terms of Subsection 2 of Section 327 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe [Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) of 2013], an international treaty (convention, treaty, protocol of agreement) which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority shall be subject to approval by Parliament.
2.1 The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) is an Agency of
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Zimbabwe is a founder and signatory of COMESA.
2.2 The ATI was formed in 2001 as a multilateral institution open to membership from any African country, with the mandate to promote and support international and intra-regional trade and investment on behalf of African Member States through the use of insurance, reinsurance, coinsurance, guarantees and other financial instruments.
2.3 The idea of ATI originated from a request from a group of African countries to the World Bank to set up an insurance scheme to cover credit and political risks on investments and on trade transactions into, within and out of Africa, that was hindering growth of productive activity in Africa.
2.4 The Agency has the capacity to provide as well as facilitate access to practical, cost effective financial risk mitigation to facilitate trade credit and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) . This is critically important in supporting exports and imports, attracting FDI, growth of productive activity and reduction of trade costs in Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular.
2.5 Zimbabwe was invited to join the ATI at its Ninth Annual General Meeting held in Kenya, May 2009. Zimbabwe applied to join in September 2010.
2.6 The application was approved at the Ninth Board Meeting of
ATI on 26th November 2010 in Kenya subject to fulfillment of membership conditions, that is payment of subscriptions and ratification of the Agreement.
3.0 GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE OF THE ATI
3.1 The ATI is an insurance Agency of the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
3.2 ATI is an international multilateral institution with international legal personality, autonomous and enjoys administrative and financial independence.
3.3 The ATI is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
4.0 MEMBERSHIP OF ATI
4.1 Membership to the ATI is open to African member states as well as any other country/organizations that pays membership fees and purchases shares in the ATI.
4.2 Currently there are 19 African Member States of ATI namely,
Benin, Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ghana, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
4.3 Among the 19 countries, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and
Zimbabwe are yet to ratify and complete full membership whilst Benin, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Togo are yet to sign, ratify and complete membership process.
4.4 The ATI encourages equity investment from other entities with an interest in promoting trade and investment in Africa such as nonAfrican States, international financial development institutions, export credit agencies and the private sector, as well as cooperating partners.
4.5 Reputable institutions that have joined the ATI are COMESA
PTA Bank, PTA Re-Insurance Company (ZEP-Re), Africa Reinsurance
(Africa Re), European Union and European Investment Bank (EIB), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), USAID, AIG among
4.6 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has
applied to join the ATI as a block.
5.0 PRODUCTS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE ATI
AND ATI BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
5.1 The current range of insurance products includes the following among others:
- Comprehensive non-payment insurance cover for private companies, parastatals and sovereign obligations. This is an insurance policy offered to protect accounts receivable from loss due to credit risks such as protracted default, insolvency or bankruptcy; ii. Unfair calling of bonds cover. Unfair calling insurance protects exporters and contractors against the calling of “on demand” bonds, such as advance payment, bid, performance, retention or warranty bonds where they are not in default of their contractual obligations; iii. Political Violence, Civil Disturbance, Terrorism and Sabotage
Insurance. The political risk is a risk that an investor’s returns could suffer as a result of political instability such as terrorism, riots and civil wars;
- Political Risk Insurance for Trade and Investment (short, medium and long term) such as currency, inconvertibility. Currency inconvertibility is a situation where one currency cannot be exchanged for another currency because of foreign exchange regulations or physical barriers or political sanctions;
- Mobile Asset Cover. Mobile assets are motorized equipment on wheels such as vehicles, forklifts and tractors amongst others. Returnable or usable containers are also mobile assets; Inter and Intra-Regional and Domestic Credit Insurance. Credit insurance is payment protection cover;
5.2 Benefits of ATI covers political and commercial risk insurance compared with stand-alone institutions in Member States. The other benefits are:
- Economies of scale in operating costs and marketing initiatives from pooled resources in comparison to small volume of trade and investment in individual Member States. This translates into lower transaction costs;
- Credit insurance protection to exporter against risk of insolvency or payment defaults. Mostly this package is in form of trade credit insurance purchased by businesses to ensure payment of credit extended by the business; Reduction of the cost of doing business in Africa through the pooled approach; iv. Provides better credit terms to buyers to secure sales improving the competitiveness of products as a result;
- Enabling business to explore opportunities that are normally avoided for fear of non-payment which encourages the growth of businesses; and vi. Underwriting skills, the regional approach makes more effective and efficient use of scarce underwriting skills in the region, developing new specialized skills, hence creation of a centre of excellence within the region.
5.3.0 The most important benefit of a regional scheme is the ability to remove investors’ perceptions of the high levels of risk in doing business in Africa. Significant benefits will flow to members of ATI as it grows through increases in numbers of African countries becoming members.
5.3.1 Zimbabwe will benefit a lot by membership to this Insurance Scheme as it covers safety and gives assurances and boosts confidence to foreign direct investments and transactions by private companies.
5.3.2 The cover extends to loans that the country will take with financial institutions. The ATI provides an alternative to Letters of Credit at an even lesser cost. Credit risk insurance is a cost effective alternative for buyers because Letters of Credit are costly as have charges such as domestic interest costs, bank fees, amendment fees and discrepancy fees, hence it is cost effective alternative to Letters of Credit.
5.3.3 Membership to ATI will provide insurance cover for political and commercial risk up to the value of $900 million. This will contribute to the ease of doing business and enable investments to come
5.3.4 ATI assists in providing debt collections services through their global networks for the private sector.
5.3.5 ATI offers financial intelligence services on buyers giving the financial status of buyers of Zimbabwean products. This will enable us to know in advance if our buyers’ financial status is deteriorating.
5.3.6 The ATI has an “A” rating as a financial institution which increases the level of confidence for business dealings with countries that are members of the agency.
6.0 ACHIEVEMENTS OF ATI TO DATE
6.1 The ATI has made significant strides in development which includes the following since 2009:
- Increased membership from an initial 7 to the present 22 that includes African countries and other organisations;
- Opened up membership to non-African states and other international financial institutions; Opened field offices in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to continue its expansion in Africa; iv. Provided medium term political and credit insurance for transactions;
- Increased its shareholders paid up capital from US$46 million to $96.1 million.
7.0 CAPITAL STOCK AND SHARE SUBSCRIPTION
7.1 ATI has an open-ended capital stock based on an initial authorized nominal capital stock of US$1 billion, made up of 10 000 shares with a value of US$100 000 each, which is available for subscription by Member States in accordance with the ATI Treaty.
7.2 The determination of the level of capital investment per Member State is based on size of the economy and the anticipated level of activity. These are the two main determinants of the appropriate level of capital. The minimum share capital for African States is 75 shares having a par value of US$100 000 each. This translates to $7.5 million which is the minimum share capital contribution required to be a member.
8.0 ZIMBABWE’S PARTICIPATION IN ATI
8.1 In order to complete its membership of ATI, Zimbabwe is required to:
- Accede to the ATI agreement; ii. Sign a Host Country Agreement; iii. Subscribe and pay a par value of the shares allotted or first installment within sixty (60) days of notifying the ATI of ratification of the ATI Agreement (Article 7, paragraph 5); and iv. Sign a Participation Agreement within thirty (30) days of full payment of shares allotted or part payment of installment (Article 5 paragraph 4). After sending an instrument of ratification / accession to the Depository of the ATI Treaty, the next step will be to enter into a Participation Agreement with ATI. The Participation Agreement ascertains and shows full agreement of assuming full membership, allowing the member to begin taking part and being actively involved in ATI.
8.2 In view of the significant level of enquiries the Agency is receiving for Zimbabwe, the Agency has requested that the membership process be fast tracked so that they can start working in Zimbabwe. Normally, investors enquire to find out if a country has full membership of ATI in order for them to benefit from insurance cover from ATI or enquire about any internationally recognised trade insurance cover institution before making a decision to invest. If indeed such enquiries have been made on Zimbabwe, it shows that investors are indeed willing to invest in the country. It might also mean that investors regard highly insurance services offered by ATI and is also one of the determinant factors that are considered by an investor.
9.0 STATUS OF PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP
9.1 Zimbabwe allotted contribution is US$25 million, equivalent to 250 shares of US$100 000 each. Since Zimbabwe does not have an active programme with the World Bank or the AfDB, it has therefore been proposed that subscription and payment for the allotted shares could be made by way of installments linked to the volume and value of trade and investment activities supported by the Agency.
9.2 The first installment would be equal to the minimum capital subscription for African States of US$7.5 million (75 shares). The balance of the allotted shares would be subscribed and paid for in two further installments of US$8.75 million (87.5 shares) each.
9.3 The first installment should be done within sixty days of depositing an instrument of ratification with the Depository.
9.4 Zimbabwe approached the African Development Bank (AfDB)
to assist in raising funds to pay its subscriptions. A financial structure was arranged so that for every $1 raised by the AfDB, Government will raise $2.
9.5 The AfDB indicated that it will provid0e a grant of $5 million, meaning Zimbabwe will raise $10 million to make a total of $15 million that Zimbabwe will pay towards the purchase of shares. The $15 million is a portion of the $25 million allotted to Zimbabwe. The $15 million payment will surpass the minimum capital requirement of $7.5 million giving the country more shares.
9.6 A delegation from African Development Bank (AfDB) Head Office in Tunisia acknowledged that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had assured them that US$10 million has been mobilised as Government contribution towards the required US$15 million.
9.7 The AfDB team will release US$5 million grant after the RBZ has completed the financial arrangement to release the US$10 million. The US$15 million will acquire shares for the Government and enable Zimbabwe to be a member of the ATI. The $15 million will unlock about $900 million worth of insurance cover. The private sector and parastatals, banks and other entities will be expected to buy / pay for the insurance cover from ATI, which they were initially unable to access when the country is not a member of ATI.
9.8 A Host Agreement will be signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and the ATI to open a local office in Zimbabwe that will process applications from Zimbabwe companies.
Mr. President Sir, it is therefore recommended that Zimbabwe accede to the African Trade Insurance Treaty (ATI), which will facilitate
Zimbabwe’s membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency.
I therefore move for the approval of this Agreement.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: Thank you Mr. President. I stand to support that this is a positive move for the country and that we should all support the presentation that has been given.
I would like to make three appeals; the first one is that we have serious discord in this country regarding Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI). I think as a Government we must be very clear, we do not want a situation where one Minister would say we want FDI, another Minister stands up and says we do not want FDI. That causes a lot of confusion. So, as we try to move forward and ratify, we really need to make sure that we clear the discord in terms of our position on FDI.
The second one is on political violence. I think we should put a stop to that nonsense in the country because no country would want to trade with us when they are not sure what would happen when we start operating together with them. My appeal is that, we should as a country put a stop to political violence.
My third appeal is that once we join, we must be consistent. We must make sure that when the time for dues is on, we pay up. Our problem at times is that when we are supposed to pay certain dues, we fail to pay those dues. Then we are just seen as a bad partner in trade. I want to appeal to the Government of Zimbabwe that once we sign these treaties, we then comply and become consistent. I thank you Mr.
HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President. I also rise to support the agreement brought by the Minister. Let me first of all thank the Minister for bringing this to this House of Senate. I think it was long overdue. It has taken long to approve. As for me, the aims which were outlined by the Minister are well intentioned and quite noble. Among them is that it seeks to promote import and export volumes between and among African States. That is very good. It also aims to cover investors against incidental risks. That is an assurance for future trade and that is what it should be.
Zimbabwe is not an island unto itself, therefore, should be integrated into the continental ventures and this is one way of going about it. However, my first concern is that the relationship between the Legislature and Executive comes when we want to approve such agreements. When such agreements are approved, the Legislature is forgotten. What I am talking about is this, what assurance is there that the Legislature’s presence is also there in the delegations which would go out to negotiate these treaties – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – We have relevant Committees, we have Indigenisation and
Empowerment Thematic Committee here and in the National Assembly is a Committee which over shadows their Ministry. It is my appeal that we must continue this so that we can debate in an informed and well advised position, so that we are together, the Legislature and the Executive.
I think let us put that into our mechanisms when we bring this. I do not want to waste a lot of time. I think the previous speaker was talking about violence, I do not think Zimbabwe is violent at all. It is the most peaceful country at the moment – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – I think it is perceived violence. I am not answering on behalf of the Minister, but as a citizen of Zimbabwe. I think we are very peaceful and we are all the political parties are co-existing very well. On default, I do not think we can talk about non-payment. I think we have been paying our dues and we should pay and continue to do that. All in all I want to welcome the agreement brought by the Minister and appeal to everyone to support it. I thank you.
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I would
like to support this proposal. However, I need a few clarifications.
When the Minister mentioned the participating countries, South Africa was missing. I want to believe that any assurance programme depends on the muscle of the participants. Now, when the big guys are not in, you start saying what is the viability when the boat is rocked. That is one.
Secondly, I would like to emphasise what Senator Chimhini said about payments. Essentially we have been granted a loan as mentioned by the Minister and that increases our borrowing obligations. We are already unable to pay regularly and we should not ignore prudent advice.
Thirdly, and lastly - does the agency also cover Government borrowings? What is the national risk when we find ourselves unable to pay and people are recalling what we owe? Thank you.
*HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me
the opportunity to add my voice to this very important proposal which was brought before this House. We would like to thank you Minister for bringing this proposal to this House. It is an important proposal. I know we may want to debate at length but the fundamental fact is that Zimbabwe is to be economically developed, we need money. We need to develop as Africa and develop our African continent. We should be aware that Foreign Direct Investment is every country’s expectation.
We may want to make a lot of contributions and show our experiences in Foreign Direct Investment but my plea is that this is an important proposal, let us support it. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. SEN. HLALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this
opportunity to also thank the Minister for this agreement which she is seeking us to approve. It is a very welcome move for the Ministry to do that. Its projectory is looking at trade, which is one of the things which Zimbabwe needs. If we were to go back to years when Zimbabwe was the second biggest economy after South Africa, that had a lot of bearing in what our people used to experience that there were of a lot of jobs. So, may be this is the beginning of opening up of new opportunities for our people because if investors, as the Minister was saying, have their check list, that when they come to a country they would say – I had the privilege of also travelling to China some years ago. When we travelled to China some years ago, when we were asked questions such as, ‘What is your minimum wage?’, by the Chinese. We were left wondering as to why they would be enquiring about our minimum wage when we were in China. Somebody then said, ‘No, these people have a benchmark, if the salary is too low they say no, the people may revolt and their investment will go down in ashes’. That is the thinking of a businessman.
I think the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. The other thing that the Deputy Minister did not say was to explain what our not being in the treaty has cost us in terms of would be investors because we did not have that facility. I know for sure that there were times when local business people would insure through Lloyds of London if you were running a business from one country to the other. The other country would want insurance and in most cases, Zimbabwe was unable to offer that insurance. You would then get the insurance from London. I know that for a fact because I used to run a transport company and we would communicate with London to get insurance to pass through Mozambique.
These are some of the things that have been having a negative effect on our investors. If we did not have that as one of the things that we have ratified, they would then foresee that they would be negatively exposed to these unforeseen circumstances where they might lose. I stand to support this move and say that since this treaty was signed in 2011, it is almost four years since it was tabled in this House. I think in future we should try and expedite some of the things that assist business to do their business in the correct way. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MUSAKA: I also rise to make a contribution to this debate and thank the Minister for bringing the motion.
Mr. President, the international practice or procedures of doing business is to be internationally insured. This motion is appropriate and I would urge my hon. colleagues to support it. I just have one observation where I may call it contradictions or inconsistencies.
The idea of insurance is to, in the event of a mishap; put you back to the position where you are and not to make you any richer or poorer. Now the only observation I want to make is to appeal to the Minister to check against having joined, acceded and done everything else. You are advised, ‘Aaaah your records of human rights’, you heard fellow Hon. Senator saying, ‘No, I do not want to do business with you, you are rioting where there is violence’. It has been mentioned that there is no violence here.
It is that kind of inconsistency that I am saying perhaps the Ministry or our legal experts should guard against very carefully. When you want to make a claim in the event of a mishap; you are told your record is no good, you cannot claim. Otherwise I support the motion, I thank you Mr. President.
HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: I rise to add my voice to those who
have spoken before me, particularly I wish to urge all the Hon. Senators here to support the proposal brought by the Minister.
I want to note also the fact that insurance is an important component in doing business throughout the world. Even if you want to buy or register a car, it has to be insured. This is to ensure the other party that should you default or anything go wrong or should the ship that is carrying the commodity sinks then they are assured of repayments.
Let me also touch on the fact that it has taken long for the Minister to come to this House after the signing of the treaty in Malawi in 2011 and this is 2015. I felt that I should mention this point because there are others who would say, where were you and why has it taken you so long? The truth of the matter is if you rush to sign some of these things, tomorrow you will have yourselves to blame.
It is on record that there are some countries that rushed to sign the
ICC Convention and now they have to relook at themselves and say,
‘why did we do it?’ They are now in a process of trying to move out of the agreement that they signed. I wish to commend the Minister and hope that all the necessary work was done to ensure that what we are going to approve here has been thoroughly looked at.
Although I would have loved that before we came here, we should have had an opportunity of looking at the treaty closely so that we would be able to debate on every aspect of the treaty. All the same, I trust that our legal personnel in the Ministry and Government had a thorough look at the treaty and that we are approving a treaty that is watertight.
As for violence, I want to say that it has become common talk in this country that if you want to appear on the front page of an international newspaper, you must talk about violence in Zimbabwe.
Otherwise it is out of question, I thank you. – [HON. SENATORS:
Hear, hear.] –
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Mr. President, may you kindly allow me
to deliberate whilst seated because I have a problem standing with my leg.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT (HON. SEN.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I would like to applaud the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce for bringing this motion to this august House. Before I make my contribution, I would urge Hon. Senators to check in their pigeon-holes for all these documents that we are talking about, so that they are informed when they come here. If they do not check in their pigeon-holes, we will find such documents will be in the pigeon holes and no one will ever look at them.
Mr. President, as I have said earlier on, I want to thank Zimbabwe for being given a chance to be a member of the African Trade Insurance. When the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce presented her speech, she talked about Zimbabwe being an observer. Hon. Members, you can imagine how painful it is to be an observer because even if you have got a valid point, you can never say it anywhere, it will die within you without having contributed anything.
I would also like to share with Hon. Senators that we are an independent country; we do not have to listen to other countries. If we want to make a decision, then it is our own decision as Zimbabwe without even working for those countries which are said to have big industries like South Africa. We are a sovereign country, we take our own decisions and when we do that, we can go ahead with what we want to do.
Mr. President, without taking much time, I would like to thank the African Development Bank which assisted Zimbabwe to become a member and also taking into consideration the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which has promised to settle the other US$10 million which has to be paid. I think if we have shares in the region, it is a good thing because they will be ours. I heard other members’ concerns that what will happen if we fail to pay? Even if we fail to pay, our shares will be brought back to our country, they will not go forever. So, we stand a very good chance of doing business with other countries within the region. With these few words Mr. President, I would like to thank you.
*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Mr. President. I
have stood up to thank the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce, for the motion that she has brought in, concerning the insurance of the Treaty. Hon. Minister, we really want to thank you. I have stood up to support you that you are in the right course. Zimbabwe is a growing country, we still want to build and this will make us to be known by other nations.
In a war-torn country, there will be no development. If you sit down, you should be people who are full of love and who have a direction. When it comes to uniting with other nations, they will ask other family members if they are not at war because investors do not invest their monies to people who are fighting. So, Zimbabwe as a nation claims to have violence but there is no violence. Mr. President, there is nothing like that.
If people want to do business in Zimbabwe, they come with their conditions, spell it out, but if it does not go down well with us, we will not adhere to that. In Zimbabwe, we are looking for investors. We want to grow our economy so that our children get employment. If we keep on talking about wrong things, our country will not develop.
To be honest, insurance is very good, I remember long back when I was employed by ZISCO Steel, at global market they would want to know more about the Managing Director, whether he had read the
British Steel Making, a name that was not familiar. If the Managing Director was not a product of that university, it meant that their steel was not good. So, we should also come together with other nations. Insurance is very important. I also remember when my clothes were stolen; I approached the police who asked me whether the clothes were insured. I was not aware that if you insure your clothes, you will be rereimbursed. So, my question was - what if I live for 50 years and my clothes are not stolen yet they say if you lose your clothes, you do so in a day. So, Hon. Minister, we say thank you and go ahead.
HON. SEN. MAKONE: Thank you Mr. President. I was not
going to talk because I thought that the acknowledgement that had been given to the Hon. Minister by my colleagues was quite adequate but as the debate went on, it became very clear that in Zimbabwe we tend to behave like ostriches; we hide our heads in the sand. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this very necessary motion to us. We support it and make no mistake about it. It is not in anyone’s interest other than us, the people of Zimbabwe.
However, when we talk about violence, we are not pointing a finger at anybody; we are talking about our everyday lives, perceptions, real or unreal. In fact, if you are peaceful there is no need of mentioning the word violence, there is no need to campaign or de-campaign that word but we do not help our senior politicians when they go out to the public domain. Allowing the ZBC and ZTV to record them advocating violence, threatening other people with violence should they come into certain areas and making other areas unreachable for other parties – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Those are the things that give the perception of a potentially violent country, whether it becomes real violence or not, is another issue but it creates that perception.
Hon. Minister, you can work as hard as you can and sign as many agreements as you like with as many institutions as you like, but unless we are perceived to be a peaceful country that can fight amongst itself as Opposition parties, verbally, peacefully, intellectually and not physically, we will not get the kind of support that we need.
We are our own worst enemies as Zimbabwean people. We like the best for ourselves but we do not behave the best that we can because we are capable of peace; we are capable of having 20, even 100 political parties with different positions or some with just different heads but agreeing on everything except the head of the party. We should do it peacefully and not just peacefully but we must be seen to be doing it peacefully.
I am a beneficiary of insurance companies. Some of us started working long before we lost the value of the Zimbabwean dollar. When vehicles were still manufactured here in Zimbabwe, with Z$6 000, you could go and buy a brand new car. If you went and insured yourself for Z$50 a month and your vehicle was written-off, it was replaced there and then. We know the value of insurance. Today, most of us only have third party insurance not because we do not want our vehicles replaced when we are involved in an accident, but because it is unaffordable.
There are not enough insurers out there who are prepared to actually replace your vehicles. For a start, the vehicles are not even properly valued because they are not locally manufactured. We want an industry that is supported by insurance.
We want the Government of Zimbabwe to be perceived to be a country where goods and services can be insured, where stability is a reality and not subject for discussion. Let us not make political capital out of nothing. Let us not try to score points here. We want the same thing. We want this thing to go through and be successful. Let us help our country to be seen as a peaceful country. Thank you Mr. President.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND
COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I am
very delighted to have had the opportunity to listen to Hon. Senators, who if I were to say in summary, they were ten contributors and all I repeat, all of them supported the motion. That gives me pleasure. -
[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- Thank you very much.
Having supported the motion, there was word of advice, caution, and encouragement; there were questions from Hon. Senators. I would like to thank the Hon. Senators for those contributions because they all contribute to building Zimbabwe. The languages that were used might be different but into my ears, came a lot of ideas that I am taking back home for us to be cognisant of and also make sure that we stand guided by yourself.
If I were just to summarise in a nutshell, there were questions; the first contribution came from Hon. Sen. Chimhini who alluded to serious discord within Government, where one Minister would say we want FDI and the other one says we do not. I would like to allay any insinuation that might have been interpreted from Government that we do not require FDI. We do require FDI but I would be quick to say that we are politicians, let us contextualize what is being said and give it the appropriate interpretation. If I were to talk about indigenisation and I speak mostly in my own language, you will hear the same mouth that is very much convinced that we need FDI pointing to encourage participation of Zimbabweans by wanting to say your participation as Zimbabweans, if it was adequate for us to get money here we would not require FDI. If you translate that in our vernacular, whether it is Ndebele or English, you find that one might interpret you as if you have said you do not want FDI. There is no discord, we are singing from the same book. We require FDI and participation of the local capital within us as Zimbabweans and FDI together, we will resuscitate most, if not all of our economy.
Political violence came in, Hon. Senator Chimhini said, let us not have that in our vocabulary. That is an encouragement again that as a people - let me give a synopsis of a woman like me - if I am going to be saying each time a husband comes into the bedroom and we have small quarrel and I go out to tell the whole world that mumba umu hamugarike, it is something else. It depends on how you want to shape it and what you want to achieve. In my language, we say hauzvifumure hapwa/awuzembuli amakhwapha, meaning that there is no level playing field where you can say no country has its own issues. Let us be grateful that we have a peaceful nation comparatively if you want to compare. If you want to compare with our own neighbours, we can be number one, we are number one. Let us be grateful especially to the people of Zimbabwe.
We have just been in our election of 2013 where it was recorded that not even a clap was given, whether as a joke or in any political violence. We had a violence free election and we are still enjoying that election outcome and we turn our backs and say violence is there. I do not think we will be fair to the generality of Zimbabwe. I thought I should speak to the political violence but it does not mean that we do not have to insure.
It has been elaborated by the Hon. Senators, they were giving examples of micro-level insurance but it does not mean that if I have a car and I do not insure for accident because I am saying there is not going to be an accident in my entire life. It is good to have cover, but let us enjoy the peaceful nation that we have as a people.
I would like to end this by saying the more we say and pronounce it ourselves, it contributes negatively to the competitiveness of our country. If you look at the 12 pillars that measure competitiveness, these pronouncements that we say with our own mouths negatively impact the ranking of our competitiveness, contributing to the negativity in the ease of doing business in our country.
It also came from other Hon. Senators that once we join we must be consistent and pay our dues. The dues that remain for us to pay, we are participating in equity and not a premium where we have bought shares or allotted shares of 25 million of 100 000 each. We have already bought 15 million of those shares.
If I may, allow me Mr. President Sir, to refer to a paragraph here that would allay the very important fears that are coming through. Where are we going to get the balance of 10 million which remains after paying 15 million? We have said, “it has therefore been proposed that subscription and payment for the allotted shares could be made by way of installments, meaning the 15 million. These installments will be linked to the volume and value of trade and investment activities supported by the agency,” which means it will pay itself. We are going to be generating and enjoying benefits that are going to come in monetary form and we are going to take part of that and make the balance payment of 10 million.
Having said that, there was also an issue, while I am talking about payments we have not secured a loan. This fifteen million does not have a loan component. It is grant of $5 million we have been given by the African Bank gratis. We have $10 million that has been raised within our self. I would like to put it on record that this money came from financial institutions within the country that have seen that it is noble for Zimbabwe to accede to this and we have not been able to secure funds. Therefore, there was bringing in of funds and financial institutions are going to be gaining a lot. We have had contributions from Senators here talking about the benefits of being insured and there was an example of the businesses or corporate insurances coming as far away as London. Now, we have got our own and the banks have seen this. They have come together and led by the RBZ to put in the $10 million and the banks are going to be using that to get the much needed ‘A’ rating and the lines of credit opened especially for business.
Senator Mumvuri is concerned about relationship between
Legislature and Executive. I think there are lessons we are learning from there and I know that the Legislator has an oversight role, so the Executive has got to be accountable at every step. But, at the same time, you will find that; I think we have a very cordial relationship in my view, in the sense that, where you call us, we are always there. But, perhaps there is need for syncrhonisation of our diaries that we need to know what the Legislature is doing. We also sit back and say, Ministry of Industry and Commerce at one time they were in this factory and I said but at least these legislators, why not inform us for us to at least sweep our house before they come in because they have got the oversight role. So, we as your babies, we also have some small complains but I think the relationship is so harmonious. We just need to synchronise our diaries. Let us know where you want to be then we prepare for you. Let us know where you want to go and then we see the feasibility and then we prepare for you. I thought it was more of just administrative issues and not very big issues that we may need to improve on and with me, I have learnt a lot from this contribution.
For participating countries, South Africa is not there, he is a big brother. Why are you going where South Africa is not? Mr. President
Sir, I will borrow the response which I thought was adequate from Hon.
Sen. Mohadi, that we are a sovereign state. Why should we be where South Africa is and do they consult us when they want to make their own decisions. Why do we not show that we a sovereign people? We are grown ups and we can make decisions. I want to exemplify that there are some situations where we have taken the lead and they have followed. Why should we say they are our think tanks? We are a people, let us be proud of who we are and take our independent decisions and move on [HON. SENATORS. Hear, hear.]- In this instance, they are not even members of the ATI, perhaps I do not know whether they like it or they were not even invited like we were invited. So, after invitation, we run to South Africa; no, no, we are a sovereign state we do our own things.
Does the Agency cover national borrowing? Yes, it does. I spoke of the threshold that we are covered with now and also as we continue to pay and other member states continue to improve, we continue to have this coverage.
I think I left a paragraph that I thought I should have talked about I was going through summarising but I think this one is perhaps critical. I know you are going to have it in the Hansard but I would like to mention that reputable institutions that have joined the ATI, remember I said now we are 22 when we have 19 countries. COMESA, the PTA
Bank, the PTA Reinsurance Company, Africa Renaissance, European
Union, European Investment Bank, the World Bank itself, AfDB, USAD, AIG, among others. These are already members of the ATI. So, this insurance is an African initiative were we find that even those who used to lead in their own insurances have come to join in, because they see the benefit of coming in with us and that obviously when they come in they become members. If we borrow now from the EU it will be covered and that was from Hon. Sen. Sibanda.
Hon. Sen. Makore, implored the idea and it came also from the other Senators. The issue of us opening and giving assurance to prospective investors, just the idea that they do not know us as a people, perhaps they read one thing and they find out yes there is violence like I heard from the Hon. Member that if you want to be on the front page. Let me say one wanted to be on the front page and writes about the violence which is not there then the prospective investor reads that article. If they know that now there is an insurance, violence or no violence I can still go and recoup in case of anything, get away with my investment together with the yields of that investment that is a score. So, this is one reason - we are sort of insuring. If we are insuring against perceived or otherwise risk, we also insure against those people who just want to pronounce things that are not there and that when they pronounce them, it will not deter the investors.
Hon. Sen. Hlalo, I continue to thank you with the rest of the Senators who contributed and indeed, when you welcomed this initiative, you encouraged us that we go for it. This is going to contribute to the ease of doing business and you spoke and exemplified, you gave a comparison of the Lloyds of London where now the Lloyds are going to be a stone throw away within our own country where you can just walk and enjoy those benefits.
Hon. Sen. Musakwa, internal procedures and the idea of insurance. Thank you again very much that these international procedures of doing business do require that we have an international insurance as well. We did not have it in the country and now we are going to benefit from our own child that we bore within the African State which is the ATI.
Hon. Sen. Chipanga, yes I am just picking on the points that you said which I have not commented on. You, together with other Hon. Senators were looking at the period between 2011 and 2015. I thank you very much that you explained that it is not just about signing and then coming to say let us ratify it. However, the procedure between 2011 and 2015 also included studying and making sure that all the ‘t’s’ are crossed and sailing through all the process, including and most importantly, the need to come and seek domestication from the Parliament of Zimbabwe according to the laws of the country.
After domestication, if you give us the go-ahead, whatever day which I pray that it becomes today, the next step would be for the Government of Zimbabwe to file to the ATI Agency to say, yes our country through its legislative processes, has endorsed that we become a full member. We will be given 60 days to bring in at least $7.5 million. If we have done that, prepared good papers and come to you without the resources within those 60 days, we will then be stampeding to look for money but now we thought that let us look for money first, which we now have, $15 million above the minimum threshold and we are ready. Once you give us the go-ahead, we will then do the procedures and within the 60 days, we will have satisfied or fulfilled the requirements of having paid.
Hon. Sen. Mohadi, I have already exemplified your contribution. Thank you very much for notifying the House that we sent in copies of the Treaty that is under discussion today. It came and I am sure since you were talking about pigeon holes, it means it was circulated.
*Hon. Sen. Machingaifa, I thank you for the support of the Protocol because you have said we should work with other countries in industry and commerce and whenever we have any suggestions, we will bring them up for the development of the economy of the country. You also supported the fact that Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and we are known for peace. If we watch television, we always see wars in other countries; we have seen refugees going to seek refuge in other countries. There are some people who are suicidal. I watched a video of a man who wanted to throw himself in front of a moving car because he was frustrated. As Zimbabweans, if we have a small quarrel and we start calling it violence, that is a misnomer.
I will now turn to Senator Makore, when we describe ourselves as ostriches who hide heads in the sand, in my view, I would rather have someone describing me like that than branding myself. If you do not brand yourself, you get branded. We are branding Zimbabwe and if we brand our country as an ostrich hiding its heads, what would our detractors say? I can humbly say that let us resolve our problems as a family and perhaps brand Zimbabwe as the best destination for an investor. This will give jobs to our children, brothers and sisters. They expect a lot from us as the people that they elected to represent us. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEETINGS
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I am informed that
since all Members of Parliament are invited to the Pre-Budget Seminar at Pandhari Lodge tomorrow, there will be no committee meetings in Parliament but the Senate will meet as usual.
PROMOTION OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to promote sports development in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
*SENATOR MAWIRE: Thank you Mr. President for allowing me to make my contribution on the motion which was raised by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri. It is very true that sport is very essential, not only in Zimbabwe but the world over. When I look at sport, I encourage the Government of Zimbabwe, companies and all potential sponsors in the business industry to sponsor sport in Zimbabwe such as soccer, athletics, swimming, archery and different games. I beg my Government to support these children because not all learners are academically gifted but others are industrially gifted.
I would like to say as the Senate, we congratulate the girl child for winning and beating the Lions of Cameroon and they really did us proud. We are looking forward to going to Brazil and this is history in
Zimbabwe because no other team has ever done this since 1980. That is why in Zimbabwe we are gender sensitive and we are saying let us give equal opportunities to the girl and boy child. The girl child has done us proud.
When we also look at sport, it is a unifier and a pacifier. We have noticed that even if people have their differences but when it comes to sport, they cheer their teams in unison. We look at sport as a healthy body enhancer. We notice that the elderly people who do sports either in the morning or in the evening, jogging around, they really look healthy. Therefore, sport is very essential.
I may go on and say, sports will also create jobs. I remember in the past, I made a contribution that sport created jobs for our boys and girls. We have heard our sports people going out of the country and coming back with medals and money thus putting Zimbabwe on the map. Looking at the disabled, we have an athlete like Mujaji, who raised the Zimbabwean flag high at the sports for the disabled. This shows that sport is very important and essential. By so doing Zimbabwe was put on the map
I also want to talk of Kirsty Coventry, she did us proud. She brought gold medals for Zimbabwe and the flag of Zimbabwe was raised high. World sponsors brought in money to Zimbabwe. As a result, she created a name for herself. I will not forget boxing, His Excellency, the President R. G. Mugabe was so excited by the achievement of Manyuchi that he held a banquet for him because he had done Zimbabwe proud.
We see that Zimbabwean athletes are progressing. When I was watching television this morning, I saw the video of a 16 year old
Zimbabwean who is doing very well. She is really lifting the flag of Zimbabwe very high because she is excelling in the sport. This shows Zimbabwe is developing in sport.
My wish is that as Zimbabwe, we need to hold youth festivals in our provinces. The provinces would hold competitions in different sporting activities like volleyball, soccer and many other games. Scouters would pick those who would have excelled, giving them the opportunity to advance. We also wish that Government and other sponsors or scouting bodies should support sport so that these sport scouts would move into the rural areas and identify those who are talented but are obscure because of the areas which they live.
Therefore, I say Senator Chimbudzi, thank you for your motion and Senator Mumvuri, for seconding this motion. This is a very great motion but I know because of misconceptions, parents will not be interested in seeing their children going into sport. Even those who would want to go into music and play their banjo, the parents would discourage them and say sports and music is for the ragamuffin of the society but we have now seen that we have influential and affluent people who are have developed through sports. We have even created relationships with other countries like Europe and other countries of the world.
According to my observation, I think sport is very important and it builds the good character of children. In these days whereby we are running short of jobs, most of youths are unemployed. Sport will keep them off mischief. As the adage says ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. We know we have the Kilimanjaros, we have youngsters who play soccer even in their makeshift football fields. They stand to benefit from sport. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. HLALO: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on the motion raised by Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and seconded by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri. I would encourage that as Zimbabweans, we need to praise whatever has come out of the playing field in Zimbabwe. I want to give life experiences of what I have come across.
When we talk of sport and administration, we say sport needs proper administration because nobody can develop from poor administration but our sportsmen and women can develop because sport has been properly managed. Yes, we may have odd examples whereby some people have excelled under poor administration. I want to give you an example of somebody very popular in Zimbabwe sports. We all know of our soccer star Peter Ndlovu. He managed to rise high and we may want to look at how he managed to progress. Some of us may not be aware of the path he followed.
The reason why Peter Ndlovu developed into such a superstar, who even managed to play overseas in Britain, is because of a junior policy of the Highlanders team which was developing and scouting the youths. It was a very good policy because they were training these youngsters starting at a tender age, putting them into different age groups. We also noticed that the Bulawayo City Council was pro-sport. They had a training arrangement with other foreign cities. The city council was twinned with Aberdeen, a town in the United Kingdom. These countries which are developed also have junior policies of developing sports; because of the twinning, they asked Bulawayo City Council to send talented youths to Aberdeen on an exchange programme. When they went to Aberdeen, Peter excelled so much that the Aberdeen soccer administrators identified and picked him up.
When we are talking of soccer, we should say when we talk of people who want to lead the ZIFA soccer are they people who have the soccer administration at heart? Are they aware of the roles and functions of the president? Do they know the challenges which are faced by the ZIFA president? In most cases, these people are only interested in the prestige which goes into the leadership of this popular sport in Zimbabwe. The willing president would take his councillors and pay them corruptly so that they vote for him. The councillors would vote for him, regardless of whether that person is aware of how soccer is run, but because money that time was power, they elected the wrong person. It is not his fault that he is poor in the administration of soccer but due to corrupt activities, we elected him. Therefore I implore fellow Zimbabweans; we have been given a chance to elect a new ZIFA leadership, let us have a policy that we want somebody who loves sport and soccer because this is an incident that has since died down.
We also realise that even teams such as Highlanders that nurtured Peter Ndlovu no longer has a youth policy. So, how can we look forward to going to the World Cup when we have a national team that has no policy to develop the juniors? When the youths are playing, you can easily identify your future soccer stars because you nurtured that talent. Our elders used to tell us that you can only identify a bull when it is still a calf and you say, ‘this is going to produce a very good breed.’ Owing to our poor farming methods, we now just pick any adult bull, we do not know the qualities of a high breed bull or its lineage.
I will emphasize my point, when we elect new ZIFA leadership, let us look into the background of would be candidates; has he ever made any contribution to sport? Has he ever contributed to soccer and has he ever done anything progressive in his life? So that when we talk to him, we will enquire as to what he has achieved. In the past, we had soccer administrators with soccer at heart such as the late John Madzima and the late Isaac Chirwa. They had plans for the players.
My plea is that we should elect somebody who is results oriented so that he aims to take Zimbabwe to the World Cup. Our youths will also look at us and say, ‘we are the leaders therefore; we should lead them to the World Cup’. I am surprised because I heard some of my hon. colleagues, whom I will not mention by name, saying they want to go into soccer yet they do not have an idea of how soccer is administered, but because they are money bags, they are aiming to make the soccer fraternity their cash cow. The Bible cites money as being the root of all evil.
We want to encourage people that even if somebody has money, let him bribe you, spend the money but do not vote for him so that you curb corruption. As alluded by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri, corruption has never brought development to any country. In my life time, I have not heard of a country that has developed due to corruption, but all around us, corruption has proven to be destructive and poisonous. Therefore, we have been given a chance to lead, we should have the courage to tell an individual or people the truth about any corrupt would be candidates. Let us not run away from the truth.
In some countries, when you send your name for nomination into a public office, people will come up and describe you as they know. If you are corrupt or have embezzled some funds, they will make a public declaration that the person is not fit for office due to his corrupt tendencies. We have seen in most cases these corrupt people succeed in holding offices because people will only look at the individual and say, ‘He is a smart and very clean man, let him lead us’. If somebody knows your criminal background he should inform people not to vote for you.
I thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi and Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for this essential motion. Hon. Senators, you tabled this motion at an opportune time whereby we want to elect the ZIFA leadership. We should ensure that these corrupt people are not given the chance to lead our sports as corruption is both destructive and negative. I thank you.
+HON. SEN. MAKORE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion on sport. Sport is a development that comes to an individual. I have a lot to share so let me just get to the point.
I have seen a lot of people being developed by sport, even those who were academically challenged have become someone in their lives.
Sport is development to both individuals and to the nation at large. Hon. Senators, I would like to applaud you for thinking thus far because the country should be full of entertaining sport. These days you find that even young people are stressed as some want to become politicians.
You will be stressed by that as after being a politician for 12 years; you are bound to be stressed.
We should enjoy our Independence with many sporting activities, even choirs with people competing in traditional dances. It is very interesting entertainment as it will ward off stress and people live long. I want to thank the Hon. Senator because the sport that we are looking at these days brings in money to individuals.
I recall that after Independence, there was an allocation of Z$5million that was channeled towards sport. We were not aware of it, but our Government set aside Z$5million for sport. At that time, many people thought that it was a waste of money. We realise that most our children are not employed, we should encourage them to engage in sport so that they realise their talents. They can play netball and soccer.
I support all that has been put forward because that is social development as it occupies and develops our children. As Senators, if it is financially possible, sport should be included in our budget. We have realised that it helps a lot of people to engage in various sporting activities. Old as I am, I used to play soccer in the ‘boozers team’, as I am very competitive. Even us, as elders should get some time to engage in sport, Hon. Senator Goto once alluded to the fact that we should exercise, we should do sport, we should even compete against each other and it will be very interesting.
I just stood up to support this noble idea; we have embraced it as the Senate, that sporting should be given its place in the nation so that we can market ourselves internationally. Locally, our children will be physically fit including ourselves as well. Thank you for according me this opportunity.
*HON. SEN. MATIIRIRA: Thank you Mr. President, for
according me this opportunity to add a few words on this motion which was brought to this House. I want to thank Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi for bringing such a very important motion which was seconded by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri. Surely, sport should be valued in this country. Looking at the areas where we come from, we have children who are gifted in sporting. So faced with that especially from the rural areas, you would find that when it comes to sporting activities, schools pay what is called affiliation fees. If a school does not participate, the School Development Committee will sit down and investigate why the children did not go for sporting because it is very important in areas where we come from.
I also want to thank the Mighty Warriors for their resilience. So, I am saying that this motion is very important to us, thank you so much Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi. I think the fact that this motion was brought up from this House is very good for us because we have seen that sporting is very important to us as a nation. It is very true that some students are not academically gifted but they can do very well in sports; they can become rich through sporting and be an asset in the areas where they come from.
As this House, we have embraced this motion; we want to urge the Government to also value it. Even if things are difficult, those who are able to support us, I think should continue doing so. I would also want to thank Prophet Magaya for rescuing the Warriors. We just want to encourage him to go ahead and for some players to come in as well. It makes us proud when we see our flag being raised high up. I thank you.
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd October, 2015.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd October, 2015.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MASUKU, seconded by HON.
SEN. MOHADI, the House adjourned at a Quarter past Four o’clock p.m.