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SENATE HANSARD 24 November 2015 25-17
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 24th November, 2015
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE
INVITATION TO A CATHOLIC SERVICE
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I wish to inform
the Senate that there will be a Catholic Service tomorrow, the 25th November, 2015 at 1200 hours in the Senate Chamber. All members who are Catholics and even those who are non Catholics are invited.
INVITATION TO A POST BUDGET SEMINAR
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also wish to
inform the Senate that all members are invited to a Post-Budget Seminar which will be held on Monday, 30th November, 2015 at Pandhari Hotel from 0830 hours to 1300 hours. Buses to Pandhari Hotel will leave Parliament Building at 0745 hours.
DECLINING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE COUNTRY
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House :-
CONCERNED about the socio – economic conditions in the nation which are a direct result of;
- A heavily underperforming agricultural sector;
- A collapsed and continually collapsing industrial sector;
- Unchecked corruption perpetrated at the higher echelons of society;
NOTING that there have been no concerted and consistent efforts over the past 20 years to stem economic decline, except during the brief period of the Inclusive Government, inspite of the numerous economic blueprints produced by Government including ZIM ASSET;
WORRIED about the looming food shortages especially in the southern and eastern regions as a result of inter alia, continued poor performance in the agricultural sector;
ALARMED by the number of organisations, including the private sector, parastatal and Government itself, that are either downsizing or downright closing down;
FURTHER CONCERNED about the collapse of the formal sector
and close to total substitution of this sector by the informal sector;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon Government to;
- Convene a national stakeholders Indaba to address these critical national economic challenges;
- Stop high level corruption which will emasculate recovery programmes;
- Make concerted efforts to resuscitate international FDI and domestic investment to jump start the economy; and
- Improve domestic productivity through export incentive and productivity based remuneration.
HON. SEN. HLALO: I second.
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President for
giving me this opportunity. First of all, I would like to thank this House for giving me the opportunity to debate this motion. I think it is a critical motion. It is about the Zimbabwe of yesterday, today and of the future. It is not good Madam Chair that every day you read in the international …
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I am not Madam
Chair. I am not chairing a Committee.
HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: Madam President, forgive me.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Aiwa,
HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: Okay. Every day you read
international and local news, our economy is described variously as comatose, in a tailspin state or in limbo and this is not good for our ears and minds. We would derive better pride if our economy was described in different terms. In terms of our Constitution, Chapter 2, Section 13,
(1) (a) to (c), the onus to lead this country economically is placed on the leadership of the country. Therefore, all of us have singularly an important role to play with regard to our economy.
I for one, measure the competence of leadership on the basis of its ability to satisfy the economic needs or the economic well-being of its citizens. If we look at the development of economic policy in Zimbabwe, you will note that over the past 35 years, we have had ten economic policy frameworks starting in 1980 up to the present time when we are dealing with ZIM ASSET. What I observe is that none of these frameworks have been particularly successful and I am concerned why out of ten economic policy frameworks, we have had limited success. I think later, we will find the answer to this argument.
I am particularly interested in agriculture. We feed our people through agriculture. We have also accepted that we are an agricultural based economy. We may not share the same views on why Zimbabwe
should be agriculturally based in the 21st century, but that is a fact. I feel that we should be graduating towards an industrial economy, looking at our natural endowment. If we look at maize Madam President, we have in the history of this country been able to achieve 2.2 million tonnes of maize and today, if my statistics are correct, we are hovering around one million tonne figure. I am saying that is a challenge that as the leadership of this country, we should be looking at and asking ourselves the question why. I have had various explanations about the drought and other factors. My argument is that Zimbabwe should not starve unless we have had three consecutive years of drought and our dams are running dry.
Secondly, I think Zimbabwe should have the capacity from a manpower point of view, to marshal all the resources at its disposal to avert hunger within a limited period. The biggest challenge lies in the sense that traditionally, 90% of our maize output has come from the rural areas. The rural areas have grown in terms of size after the land distribution effort. However, productivity has not grown in proportion to the level of land distribution. It therefore says there is a question as to what is going wrong. If we look at wheat for example, which is an important element for the feeding of this nation, productivity has declined from at one stage, a peak of around 300 000 tonnes to as low as plus or minus 70 000 tonnes. Once again, I raise the question, what has gone wrong? You will also notice that small grains have hardly changed in terms of the level of production. They have remained small and insignificant. I also think that there are areas that would benefit from a sustenance point of view if both the acreage and the output from small grains increased.
Having talked about crops, I would like to move to livestock which is an important element for the African person in terms of economic survival. Our people value their livestock. It is these elements that are a source of pride, livelihood and a source of income for them. Regrettably, the cattle population in this country has not increased significantly. The lowest we ever had was around three million and has stabilized around to 5.1 million as of now. What is of concern however is that the quality of the cattle that we have has on average depreciated largely due to factors that we can control. I think if we invested effort in managing the cattle herd per area, it would increase both the quality and numbers of the cattle.
I think that we need to invest more in strategic planning in terms of our agriculture in order to ensure that there is growth in all the various agricultural elements. What disturbs me in general in all these facets is that instead of registering growth, except in very minor areas, in the majority of areas, we are registering a decrease and what that says is, we are not moving forward as a nation in terms of increasing our wealth.
Maybe to go back to livestock to just illustrate a point, what is affecting us is largely the birth rate in our cattle. It is also the high mortality rate. I am told that we should actually be aiming at 2 to 3% mortality rate per 100 but we are in excess of that to the extent of 4, 5 or 6% in terms of mortality rate. There is also overgrazing, which we tend to shy from. I do not know the reasons but I hope we are not associating reduction in cattle volumes with the colonial period where we resisted to our best ability, the call to reduce cattle population. We should be doing that now in order to produce a better cow that fetches an exciting market price. The other challenge is lack of finance. Our history has it that if you want your agriculture to be successful you have got to ensure that there is in place affordable finance which farmers can access largely with the support of Government.
The last challenge I want to look at is that the breeding stock in this country has declined. Some of it due to the factors that I have mentioned and other factors also do come in due to the way that the breeding stock was depleted during the land re-distribution exercise. Coming from the southern area, I would say that the amount of investment that Government has put into growing crops is disproportionate to the amount of investment that Government has directed towards the breeding of cattle. I urge that Government considers that a good proportion of, sometimes the inputs is directed towards the development of the cattle industry, together with the cropping industry.
I have mentioned before that generally we find excuses for the state of agriculture but I think we should focus on this. If our dams have water, we have no reason to starve. Secondly, I believe that there are millions of litres of water that go into the Indian Ocean. I do not see why we should donate that water to the Indian Ocean because it belongs to us. If somebody has not taken it before we do, we must increase the size of our dams or the number of our dams.
Again, irrigation infrastructure is derelict with the onset of the drought in the various years that we see these days. It is critical that we focus on irrigation. Unless we focus on irrigation, I think we are doomed for the future. I also think that we have stuck to the traditional methods of farming for far too long. It is important that if Israel can produce enough food to feed itself in the desert, I do not see how and why Zimbabwe should starve in the face of the plentiful water that we have.
Another point that I want to raise is the development of human capital relating to agriculture. We have lost a lot of skills because people have emigrated. I also think we have got a residue of human capital in this country but we need to utilize that human capital to the extent that it can add value to our agricultural processes. I therefore suggest that we revisit our deployment of agricultural officers, both in the rural and resettlement areas. I am sure that once we have a full stomach, as a people, we can then look at our industrial set up.
I think our problems started in the 1980s and 1990s when there was over concentration of power in Harare and firms moved away from places like Bulawayo to Harare, thus rendering a place like Bulawayo an industrial graveyard, whereas it used to be the industrial hub when we used to call it Kontuthu ziyatunqa. The first thing you met as you drove or walked into Bulawayo was the smoke generated by industry. Now, we do not have that. Bulawayo is a sleeping giant and in effect, it is sad to walk through the industrial sites of Bulawayo, which also applies to the industrial sites in Harare. They are in a sad state.
Secondly, there have been negative developments since we are classified as a high risk nation. I think to some extent we have contributed to that. There is also unavailability of finance and when it becomes available, it is expensive. I continue to argue that in an economy that is growing at about 1.5% and that economy borrows at anything between 18% and 25%, business will continue to be relatively an unviable adventure. I also seriously think that the indigenisation business model needs revisiting. I am not against indigenization but I think our model does not work. There are models in Kenya and other countries that we can visit, study and derive informed decisions.
I cannot escape mentioning the role of corruption. Once people label you as a corrupt nation, it is both an embarrassing and painful label but worse still it drives away investment. I for one, have believed that we need to deal violently with corruption, not violently in the negative sense but in other words, let us deal strongly with corruption and it will open some investment gates. It will treat our liquidity challenges.
Lastly, in terms of enhancing our industrial performance, I would urge Government to ensure that there are no internal Government contradictions in terms of policy. There are of course some elements that are not within our ability to control in terms of the industrial base and those may include capital; we do not have our own capital. We have allowed our machinery to be antiquated. If you visit other productive centres, in fact maybe in the same industry, you will find that there is a huge difference between the quality of the industrial machinery that we are using. We are still using some hand driven machines, maybe four or five centuries after the industrial revolution elsewhere.
There is also the challenge from imports; imports have deflated our ability to produce, our ability to be competitive in our own market and I believe Madam President that necessary steps have been taken to curtail the negative impact of imports. One other thing that was within our ability to control was inflation, particularly in the 2008/2009 period when we were rendered - I do not know whether to call it the best inflation rate in the world or the worst inflation rate in the world, which killed everything that we had.
Currently, Madam President, I understand and I think I know that the business confidence index is as low as 30% and similarly the capacity utilization in our firms is as low as around 30%. It is totally uneconomical to run industry at that level. One indicator of the state of our economy is the stock exchange which generated only 12.8 million turnover in the past month – which is way, way below the 50 millions that we have heard of before.
Lastly but not least in terms of our constraints are the challenges associated with energy. We have no energy in the country, we are ambitious to turn around our industrial fortunes, and the big question is how do we do it? Once again people are coming in, they are trying to look for opportunities to generate electricity but that is too late. Each time I think about our economy, I say sometimes we behave like a driver who is tired and asleep. It is when his car hits the dust road, the dust side of the tarred road that he will wake up, it is too late. Two things will happen; you can wake up and control your vehicle and the other option is you wake up and you land on the stones. I therefore, urge that we have strategic plans as a nation in order to deal with various things that can happen in our history. How do we tackle these challenges? I know that as Zimbabweans we sometimes do not always want to consult each other. A bit of history teaches us that whatever the level of conflict or the level of misunderstanding, you end up at the table.
The liberation war ended up at the table at Lancaster House. The conflict in the 1990s ended up with Zimbabweans talking to each other. I therefore, urge that we seriously consider having our own internal detent not a political detent but a national detent where we are going to say we are in crisis, we must accept the state in which we are as an economy. We must sit down as say, we are Zimbabweans, we have a country, we have an economy to preserve, how do we move forward?
That is one suggestion Madam President.
Secondly, I have already referred to corruption; I think we need to take more robust attitude against corruption. Thirdly, I think we need to get rid of all the road blocks that will block people from refraining from being eager to invest in our country. It may be as we have said corruption; it may be anything else that makes us to be perceived as negative.
Last but not least, one of our problems which stretches from agriculture to the manufacturing sector is poor productivity. I happen to know and have attempted to work with the productivity center in Zimbabwe. We have a productivity centre here which we have set up and failed to develop. I believe that when we increase our production to maximum levels per unit or per time unit, it is then that we are going to reap positive benefits from our attempt for economic revival.
Madam President, I think that economics deserves that we shelve politics as a priority and focus on economics as a priority for a limited space of time. It is my view that if we spend four years between the elections focusing on economics and one year focusing on our politics, we would achieve better results than we have so far achieved. At this point, Madam President, I thank the Senate for listening and I thank you for the opportunity. Thank you.
HON. SENATOR HLALO: Thank you Madam President for
giving me this opportunity to also weigh in on what Senator B. Sibanda has just put across to the Senate. This is something which is a concern to me when we look at the state of our economy which is not doing well. What we need to do is to look at how best it is that we can make amendments to whatever is needed for the economy to move forward. When the economy is not doing well, it means we have less people who are employed by the economy. We should look at what exactly is the problem with the economy? The first thing I look at is the level of our foreign direct investment are very low as compared to what is happening in other SADC countries. This is a concern because if we do not do something, it means that all these things will carry on as they would be. So, we need an intervention and intervening is looking at how we can attract foreign direct investment. We should look at how other countries
When I am talking about this, the first thing which comes into my mind is that, there is this animal which is called NEPAD, an acronym for New Partnership for Africa Development. This is a project which was initiated by the former South African President Mr. Thabo Mbeki. It was something which we should have taken upon ourselves that we embraced it because as you know South Africa, of late it is now the second biggest economy after Nigeria but all this time South Africa was the biggest economy. If we go back to history, Zimbabwe was the second I think biggest business partner to South Africa, which meant that there was a lot of volume of business which was coming through from that area.
You then see that our handicap or rather something which makes us not want to participate is that there is something in NEPAD which they call peer review. Peer review is something which you voluntarily put yourself to that you are going to put yourself to be examined how you conduct yourself in terms of governance, your corruption levels et cetera. So, I think that it is the Government’s duty that we should offer ourselves to this peer review so that we can also participate in NEPAD.
There is another project which is also called AGOA which is very far and this is to do with trading with America but then we should start at home and home is NEPAD. So, unless and until we start looking in that direction that we offer ourselves for peer review, we can be putting all these other schemes to no avail because there is no country which can operate on its own. Even the oil rich countries find that they need to operate with other countries for the sake of getting more volume of business. So for us, I think that it is necessary that as we move forward, that we also put ourselves to the scrutiny of peer review to see how other countries are doing so that as these investments open up. Obviously the economy grows and when the economy grows, the cake grows also, which then it can be able to come down to almost everyone who wishes to partake in business. I think that this is where we should be looking at.
When we do this, it might help us deal with the corruption which is endemic in our country. Those people who would be charged with seeing to it that we put ourselves under scrutiny of NEPAD will have to work hard to deal with the corruption which is the problem. There is a corruption index which any business person who wants to come into your country looks into to see how we fare in that area. If our score is very low, investors tend not to want to come. This is an important object which we should be looking at and also attempting to deal with.
So with these few words Mr. President, I would want to thank the House for listening to me and also hope that we make moves towards engaging ourselves in that direction.
HON. SEN. CHIPANGA: Mr. President, I rise to make my contributions to the motion moved by Hon. Sen. B. Sibanda, seconded by Hon. Sen. Hlalo. This is an indeed very important motion in that it is one motion which in the past few months has attempted to look at the economy of our country. But, the few concerns that I have are that we seem to be debating as people who do not live in this country. We are talking about the decline in the number of livestock in this country, the decline in the quality of the livestock in this country. We also are talking about the flight of human capital from this country as if we were writing a thesis from some remote university in the Pacific Islands.
Mr. President, we all know that the biggest problem – and I am happy that the mover has indicated and touched on a number here where he says confidence in this country has gone down to 30%. I think this is where we want to start from. Why is it that there are no investors coming into this country? Why has confidence gone down to those who want to come and invest in this country? That is where we want to start from and when was this? To start talking about encouraging investors, like I said that it is like people who are not here. We all know that everyone including the Americans, the British and so on is rushing to get foreign investors in their countries. We have seen not so long ago the
British Prime Minister courting the Indians to go and invest in the UK.
We have seen a number of delegations going to the Capital City of China to try and woo the Chinese to go and invest in Europe. In other words, we are all competing for one small cake that is a small number of investors who should come in and invest not only in Zimbabwe.
South Africa is in a similar situation. Those who read the economies of our countries will know that for instance, South Africa is now in a serious situation where companies are also folding, where unemployment is rising. This is where I then say, what is it that we want to talk about rather than simply saying it is the duty of the Government to ensure that the economy is put right.
I suppose the point the mover is trying to drive is what he calls the national indaba. Mr. President, from 2009 to 2013 we had a Government of National Unity and I am not sure whether we need a better and bigger indaba than that one. I am not sure. Where all the best brands were brought from all the political parties, where the Ministry of
Public Service, Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development, the Ministry of Energy and Power
Development, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development were given to a party that is now saying the Government is not doing enough. A party that is now saying since 1980 we have seen a lot of blue prints, we have seen a lot of documents which have come to no avail; it is the same people who are now saying we need another indaba. I think there is something wrong. We need to address the issue and say where is it? When did it start?
I just want to remind this honourable Senate, that our problem started when we embarked on the Land Reform Programme. That is where the problem started from. If anyone wants to critisise the Government, they should simply come up and say you went wrong when you decided to take that which was yours to yourselves. Then, you can agree because that is when the problem started.
Mr. President, to say the indigenisation model is wrong; I do not know what we are talking about. It could be a question of implementation. Who in this world would say they want a situation where the entire economy is controlled by foreigners. I can tell you, Mr. President, that there are certain industries even in the United Kingdom and the United States where the Government simply says ‘no thank you’, but we are saying, let us share in those areas which we know are mainly to do with mining because nobody has ever said, for all I know, that if anyone wants to come and open a bookshop we want 51% from them. What we are saying is that there are certain areas where we should share. If that is what you call a wrong model, then I do not know what the correct model is.
Corruption - nobody in this world or in this Senate would endorse corruption. I repeat, nobody. Let me also say there is no one single country that is corruption free. I am not condoning corruption, but I am saying instead of turning to say corruption in this country is in the higher echelon of Government as if it is only concerned with those who are in Government or higher echelon of Government, I think that it is wrong.
Let us come with ideas and views.
I know there have been views here that no one has been arrested for corruption, which is totally wrong. I have tried to give names of those who were arrested in this country for corruption, but because at that time, some of you were not interested in politics. You simply say it did not happen. Not so long ago, we had people who were arrested at the Harare International Airport for corruption and their cases are still pending. In the 1980s, we had Ministers who were alleged to have been involved in corruption and they were fired from Government. The
Government is still concerned with corruption.
Corruption, Mr. President, the one problem that I would want us to understand from today is that it is one and the only crime in this world where both the corrupted and the corrupter are in the same bottle. Because they are on the same side, it is therefore difficult for the police, even the best police you have in the world, to deal with such a case. Cases are easy to detect and prosecute where you have one person who has been cheated and the other one complaining for having been cheated, but where people agree to do the wrong thing, it is difficult. It then remains to us as leaders, to come up with ideas and views on how to curb corruption.
Rather than simply saying we know there is corruption, where is it and who is corrupt? When someone drives their nice car, they are corrupt. Some people are working hard to earn what they have but of course, like I said, there is no one country that does not have people who are corrupt. So, as leaders, we need to address the issue from that angle; how do we stamp out corruption in our country rather than make allegations about other people who are corrupt.
Mr. President, I have already alluded to the issue of indaba and I have indicated how an attempt was made when a Government of National Unity was put together in 2009. I saw somewhere where it said during that period 2009/2013, there was some improvement in the economy. Only those of us who are politicians and maybe historians would buy that point. The truth of the matter is the economy improved during this period because of the introduction of the United States dollar or multicurrency. That is the only reason. There were no new industries which were established during this period and I challenge anybody to come up with companies that were either resuscitated or were formed during this period. What simply happened was that there was some stabilisation in the economy. Inflation came down, prices of commodities came down and when that happens, it does not mean that the economy is growing. It simply means that there is stabilisation in the economy. When you have such a temporary stabilisation, there will come a time when it comes to a point where the prices either begin to rise or fall. It cannot be sustainable. For starters, the currencies that we are using today are not ours because the US dollar is from America.
What happens is that the Reserve Bank has now become one of those banks, whereas in economic terms, the Reserve Bank should have been the bank that would make sure that there is stability in the movement of currency.
In other words, when there is no money in the economy, they will print some more money or reduce or increase interest rates. That is how they work to ensure that there is always money in the economy. When the money is not yours, you cannot increase interest rates, neither can you reduce it. You cannot even print the money because the currency is not yours. If and whenever you will establish your indaba, what we want to address in this regard is the issue of currency. I know it will be fool hardy for me to stand up and say time has come when we should start looking at the re-introduction of the Z$ because nobody will support me, but it will be worth Mr. President, that as leaders, some people would call us vanasorojena, the senior Members of Parliament. We should start looking at ways of ensuring that the economy of this country is put right, not by shouting or by making accusations. There should come a time and I agree, when we should put our heads together as leaders and say, where are we going?
As long as we turn to make accusations and allegations, I can assure you that we will not go anywhere. Allegations like the Government has been in power for this long and all we have seen is about 10 economic blueprints and nothing more. Surely, there is no one Government, in the world that does not come up with ideas. Some of the ideas fail and some of them succeed. If the Government had not introduced even a single economic blueprint, I am sure we should have been saying in this country, what are they doing? They spend most of their time drinking tea and doing nothing but, here we are. Every effort is being made to try and correct the economy of this country. I believe it is time that we look at our issues and start critising the Government without offering ideas.
Mr. President, let me end up by saying …
HON. SENATOR S. NCUBE: On a point of order Mr. President.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.
SEN. TAWENGWA: What is your point of order Hon. Sen. Ncube?
HON. SENATOR S. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I think the Hon. Senator’s time has expired.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: No, it
has not yet expired. He still has three minutes to go.
HON. SENATOR CHIPANGA: It is just a warning, when the
light comes on, that one is showing that I still have five minutes to go. Sorry, time yangu yaakutopedzeswa manje. Mr. President, let me end up by saying, nobody is opposed to the idea of NEPAD, luring in foreign investment in this country and nobody is opposed to stamping out corruption, but what we need to do is to look at the issues objectively without pointing fingers because the moment you do that, then human beings being human beings, there will be some resistance. I thank you –
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
HON. SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. I also
wish to thank the mover and the seconder of this very important motion.
The way I understood the mover and the seconder when they debated this motion - they were talking about an economic indaba; hence, the Hon. Member spoke of reducing the time on political talk and increase or transfer that time to economic talk, which is a very noble idea for our country – [ HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- We cannot indicate right and turn left because the whole world is looking at us. We cannot pretend to be hiding behind our fingers because fingers are not big enough to create the shed that we can hide in. Completely, no one is yearning or hungry for another GNU. No one is feeling orphaned by the departure or the expiry of the GNU. It brought its good things and its beautiful and tangible fruits that we all touched. It brought its wealth to the citizens of Zimbabwe, some of who had not tested bread for 30 years and now for the first time, children of Zimbabwe were able to buy four loaves of bread for $1. That is something we must be proud of because it was achieved by Zimbabweans alone.
When Zimbabweans sat down and solved their problems, they agreed that they could not kill their grand children with hunger. That is the only time that this country realised that inflation could fall from one million per cent to 1%. We are still there – around 2% to 3%. That was brought by the GNU and that GNU had the best brains like the Hon. Member has said. He correctly said the GNU had the best brains in the country. Very good and thank you very much. It really had the best brains in our country and we pulled them together to fight one common enemy which is poverty – [AN HON. MEMBER: And what did you achieve?] – What we have achieved is that people are still building right now from the residues that were left by GNU. People are still eating, we still have a bit and people are clothed. We still have clothes and even the Hon. Members are looking very smart. It was difficult Mr. President for them to dress properly – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
I remember Mr. President in 2009 – 2010 when we went to a seminar at the Rainbow Towers and we were taught on how to dress. They did not know what dark and light colours are for and what colours are wanted in Parliament. They did not know that. Even the ladies were taught how to dress and that was all the benefits of the GNU. Mr.
President, for anybody in this country to stand and say GNU did not bring anything, that person, I want to tell you that nobody must think that he/she is hiding in this building. The people out there are hearing you and the people out there know that GNU brought something – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The people out there know how good GNU was and they are hearing us right now and we must walk with them. When things are alright, we must say things must work with them. When things are alright, we must say things are fine in our country. When things are bad, we must agree and say things are bad in our country. We cannot sweep corruption off the ground because it is not something small but something very big. We have got hundreds of convicts who are walking out there free. Mr. President, we once asked a question in this House on why these people who are caught after misusing millions of dollars are still walking scot free? The answer we got from a certain Minister was, we will be waiting for a complainant to come and yet thousands of people would have lost their jobs on a clean job, which will have been seen by Government auditors who know that a company cannot survive if it bleeds to that extent.
Mr. President, we have been talking about indigenization, no-one is against the point of indigenising or empowering our Zimbabweans. It would only be a fool who would go against indigenization but you will also be a fool to go and encourage thieving in the name of indigenization. You would also be a fool to go and encourage the tall people to enslave the shorter people and take their wealth because they are taller. No, that will not be accepted by anyone. We are all crying that we are competing for a few investors whom we are trying to lure to come to us. Countries such as Russia, Jamaica, America, Botswana and Mozambique who we are asking to come and invest in Zimbabwe. We are luring a small niche of rich people who have their own wealth. Which fool amongst those people will ever agree to come and lose 51% of his shares the moment he drops off at the Zimbabwe airport? The moment he lands at the airport, he loses 51% of his hard earned wealth. No-one will do that. So, we can kiss foreign investment goodbye as long as our ….
HON. SEN. MAWIRE: On a point of order Mr. President. Can Hon. Marava withdraw the word fools? We are not fools, we are human beings here and we are all adults here. He should not take us like his children. He is insulting us.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT (HON. SEN. CHIEF
CHARUMBIRA): Senator Marava, if you used the word fool, that is un-parliamentary and it should be withdrawn.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Mr. President, I withdraw the word fool
and I will use the word naughty. I was actually referring to the investors when I said, who would be out of his senses to come to Zimbabwe to lose 51% of his hard earned money and not to the Parliamentarians.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Can you repeat the
statement using the non derogatory word?
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. It would be a naughty person who would want to come to Zimbabwe and lose his 51% and end up with 49% of his investment. It would indeed be foolishness to lose what you have hard earned.
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Order, Sen. Marava, I think
there are certain words or language that is just un-parliamentary whether you are talking of the investor or Parliamentarians.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President, they would only be unreasonable people. Only unreasonable people would come and ….
HON. SEN. MASUKU: On a point of order, this is an honourable
House where we have to demonstrate that we are Hon. Members.
[HON. SEN. MARAVA: Inaudible interjection]
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT: Order Senator Marava, you
may then forfeit the floor if you continue with such behaviour.
HON. SEN. MASUKU: I was saying this is an honourable House and we should demonstrate that we are Hon. Members. We would love to see Hon. Members debating without emotions so that such unparliamentary words are not used in this House. Can we maintain our honorable dignity?
HON. SEN. MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President, I am now using the word unreasonable. Only unreasonable so called investors may come to Zimbabwe to lose 51% of their hard earned cash. Some of us are used to speaking loudly because we were teachers before. Teachers have to raise their voices in order to be heard by those students who will be far from the teacher. So, if we deal with our own in-house issues, definitely – you remember very well Sir, when Zimbabweans would not pick up a rand if they saw it on the ground. They would say handinonge zuda because our economy was very strong.
We should also know by now what it means to attain the age of majority. When one has attained that age, they are supposed to look after themselves and be able to survive. That is why we say 18 years is the age of majority and we let our children go free into the world and learn to fend for themselves. That is exactly the same with Zimbabwe. We are now 35 years old and we cannot be heard crying and pointing fingers at other countries. We should be strong and learn to stand on our own feet. Every year we celebrate independence, which means growth in age. We must now fend for ourselves. If anybody slaps us with sanctions, we should slap back and not be cry babies all the time. If we are cry babies at the age of 50 years, then something is wrong. If we do not correct that wrong thing, it means we will have to suffer for a very long time. So, I just want to say to the lovely Hon. Members in this House, the more we unite and scold the evil doers or the evil things together, I know we can do it. The same way we are all now shouting about corruption. Everybody now is shy to be on corruption’s side and I like that. Although some are still supporting quietly, it is fine because no one is preaching the gospel of corruption now. We like that.
What is left for us is to fight the one common enemy, which is poverty. If we live in poverty, our children and our great, great grandchildren will laugh at us. They will ask what we were doing and yet this country is good and the economy can be resuscitated. I know it can be revived, otherwise we would not be here by now. I think we should try even harder though we think we have tried. We have not yet started; we must start with being honest and have real love for each other as Zimbabweans. We will be alright and now, if you look at our economy Mr. President, I know we have done our very best and some of us are crying for our Zimbabwean dollar which is a very good thing that we have our own currency. If we have our own currency, we can print it the way we want and we can use it the way we want. We forget one thing that our currency has to be measured with our productivity.
The money that we print has to be balanced with what we produce.
Even this US dollar, you can see, it is starting to disappear and why? The reason it is disappearing is that we have been very careful about managing the inflows of the US dollar and when it goes out, we do not care where it goes and we do not care whether it will come back or not. This is the time we have been given and that we should have worried about making sure that our US dollar comes back - we have prepared what to sell so that we can also demand. We should have created madebtors so that we are creditors who are paid in US dollar.
Imagine Mr. President, the debtors are not there, we are not selling anything. We are only getting monies from our toll gates and the issue of toll gates is alright because we have to pay. It is high time we worry about real production because even manufacturing costs – we have now forgotten of manufacturing in this country. Nothing is being manufactured, nothing is being imported for resale, and nothing is done properly so that we can be sure of incoming revenue into the country. The country is crying for revenues, we can do a lot and we can export a lot and we can expect a lot and create our own debtors and build our own economy. I want to thank you Mr. President.
HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: Thank you very much Mr.
President. I stand to support the motion moved by Hon. B. Sibanda. I think as mature people we should face the reality. For anybody to think this motion is targeting somebody, I think it is misdirection. We are debating a serious motion. It is a fact that in this country the economy is collapsing and we are saying as senior citizens what is it that we should do? So, the first thing we must agree upon is that we need a political will and it is the duty of everybody to talk about the problems we are facing and talk about solutions because we have the solutions – [HON.
SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
Every time if we listen to the media, we have so many analysts, economists, the question is, are we putting them to good use? Let us create an opportunity where they can contribute positively so that we resuscitate the economy of this country. It is not a blame game, we should not be pointing fingers at anybody but say and agree that we have a problem as a country then let us look for solutions to those problems –
[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] –
We all talk about natural resources which we have in this country. Why are we a poor country with all the resources? If we are a rich country in terms of resources, why are we failing to turn those resources into an economic giant that can make lives better for everybody? Why do we have vendors today? We need to ask ourselves. Why have we failed? Is it because of the sanctions people want to talk about? It is simply that we have failed as a country and we have failed altogether, we now want to get a solution and we must be debating how to get out of this quandary.
I think time is gone where we must pretend the GNU really made a difference, it is a fact and for somebody to say we learnt nothing, we never benefited, I think it is misdirection. What the mover is proposing is that when he talks about the Indaba, let us sit down and discuss the problems in an objective manner. He is not calling for another GNU but we are not hiding behind another GNU and we are saying what did you do? You had all the economic ministries, what did you do? We did a lot or the MDC did a lot, it is a fact. So, I stand to support the motion and propose that we need to sit together as a nation, discuss the problems in an objective manner, get solutions in an objective and can move this country forward. I thank you Mr. President.
+ HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. President. I
would like to add my voice on the motion that was raised by Senator B. Sibanda and seconded by Senator Hlalo. As a nation or citizens of this important country, with well educated people and well balanced economy but we do face hunger sometimes. We are a nation that is well educated and we have people who sell airtime, tomatoes and all those are people who are degreed. Therefore, this motion was moved not as a way of blaming anyone. When I was listening to the mover of the motion, he said we as Zimbabweans not pointing to an individual.
The problem that we are facing, we are facing it as a nation not as individuals and as a nation we know that this nation had very good economy. People used to work very hard. I love all fellow Zimbabweans as they work so hard regardless of how difficult the situation or the circumstances are. We realise that most people love Zimbabweans for example South Africans – most of the workers whom you find in the farms in South Africa are Zimbabweans. Most of the people who are working so hard in South Africa are Zimbabweans and sometimes I get disappointed when I look at how the South Africans treat Zimbabweans. I know if Zimbabweans move out of South Africa for example in Hillbrow, that is the time they will realise it was important to treat Zimbabweans well.
What we want as a nation is for people who migrated to other countries to come back. As Zimbabweans who are mature, especially people from this Senate, we should take note that our economy is going down. As Senators we should not disagree that our economy is doing badly and even the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has highlighted that. He has written even in the newspapers that our economy is performing badly. As Senators we are therefore saying, it is our wish that we could earn a better salary. When you go to other countries, other Members of Parliament are proud of what they are earning for example US$13 000 or US$7 000. When you look at our situation and when we ask the Minister to review our salaries, the answer that we get is that our economy is performing badly. I would like to remind all the Hon. Senators that we are regarded as the House of people who are so mature. Let us also take into consideration some of our children who are not working because it is only the elderly people who are working. This is a question that each and every one of us should ask himself or herself that, what exactly is happening with our economy?
We should sit down as Senators and as elderly people to talk with one voice in trying to check where exactly did we go wrong or where we missed it.
As Zimbabwe, we used to be a country that was the bread basket of Africa. We never used to depend on the rand or on the pula. We are a rich country, I know about that but most of the Zimbabweans are so poor because of our poor planning. We should therefore go back to the drawing board and ask each and every one of us to try and check where exactly we went wrong and stop pointing fingers at each other. We should try to find a solution so that we can revive our economy. I know that we have people who are able to plan properly. Maybe, it is the issue of looking down upon each other which has contributed to the issue of the economy performing not so well.
I therefore urge all Hon. Members in this House to sit down and consider this issue with high priority and serious consideration so that even when we are farming, we try and use inputs that will give us good yields at the end. We should also try as Zimbabweans to show especially those that we took the land away from that we can work hard and improve our nation. We should stop being cry babies because we have everything. If you have human resources as a country, that means you are able to do everything. What we can only import is maybe, the knowledge that we can then use in trying to improve the economy of our country. We should therefore sit down as a nation and find ways of improving our economy.
I would like to again urge all the Hon. Members that as a nation, we will never improve as long as we keep on pointing fingers at each other and at the end, we will be the laughing stock of other countries. We used to be the richest country in the world and it is our wish that Zimbabwe as a nation will go back to its flying colours and all the other nations could look at us and wish they were Zimbabweans. As Zimbabwe, we realise that we are so rich and blessed because we are a country that is full of peace. The only problem that we have as a nation is drought and we should therefore take advantage of the peace which other countries do not have. As a nation, we can try to fix all the loose ends and not to wait for someone from outside the country to come and solve our problems.
At the end, the next coming generation will look at us as elders and laugh at us and say that our forefathers who are elders failed to fix our economy because they were busy pointing fingers at each other and failing to solve the problems that they had. It is my wish especially as Senators that we sit down and try to encourage Cabinet to say, let us try and change the way of looking at things so that we can improve the economy of our country. We wish that next year Hon. Members, we must be friends and not enemies so that as Senators we are able to support each other and talk with one voice. For example, if it is on an individual issue that we are talking about, yes we can use different voices. If it something that is affecting everyone in the country, we should speak with one voice and not argue. We are old enough and we are senior citizens who are supposed to work and correct everything that is wrong in our country.
Mr. President, I am therefore asking that we sit down and try to unite and work together in fighting the issue of drought. If you go outside the country and say I am a Zimbabwean, everyone would just turn and look at you for the reason that all the Zimbabweans are very poor people.
I know that even our Head of State is against even the issue of corruption. We realise that the issue of corruption has actually caused us to be almost at the bottom of all the countries and we are counted as the most corrupt country. If there is someone who is corrupt, he should be arrested and should return all the things that he stole because when you are stealing from Government, you are destroying even the future for the next generation.
Mr. President Sir, I therefore ask that we look at this motion, try to priorities it and not look at it in a way that it was raised by a member from whichever party. That way, we can be able to improve our country. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MARAVA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION
TO THE 7TH WORLD WATER CONFERENCE
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Delegation to the 7th World Water Conference.
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. SEN.
SEKERAMAYI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR
Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on great strides made by Government in raising the literacy rate of the people in the country.
Question again proposed.
HON. SEN. GOTO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
PROMOTION OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT
Forth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to promote sports development in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SEN. MABUGU: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on the motion that was raised by Senator Chimbudzi and was seconded by Senator Mumvuri concerning the issue of sports and the promotion of the discipline in our country.
I want to thank Senator Chimbudzi for raising this motion because sport is very important to any nation. I say this because firstly, they enhance physical fitness if one is a sports person. Secondly, they are also a form of entertainment to those who will be watching sport and thirdly, it also provides a living for those engaged in sport.
I remember one year on the issue of sports, I think I will start with soccer. There was a soccer star named George Shaya. I was still growing up and did not understand English; there was a song that was sung in English. I cannot remember whether they were saying it is your desire or what, but when we used to sing that song we used to dance to it and it was during the period when George Shaya was still a soccer star.
We used to dance to the song singing his name, George Shaya. Even my young brother also enjoyed the music and really admired him. So, the moment people heard George Shaya, they all got excited and he was a role model to most of the young people.
Now, looking at the issue of traditional dancing which was done in
Gutu, known as Mbakumba, there were expert dancers who came from Mukaro area and they used to play the drums using certain styles. Their dancing techniques were extra ordinary and we used to enjoy this. My father was a teacher at Mukaro Mission but we used to go to the rural areas from there just to go and watch the traditional dancers. So, I just want to urge the promotion of sports.
I also want to come to the issue of table tennis. When I was still growing up and was still a teenager, there was table tennis that was played at clubs. It was organised by the council. We used to enjoy table tennis because it also made us enjoy the game and we became experts. It also enhanced exercise and we were physically fit. Not like now, we are not healthy anymore. We are not physically fit because there is no exercise. Even walking is a challenge because if you walk a short distance, you end up complaining because we are not exercising. So sport is very important.
On the issue of soccer, the Warriors are doing a great job and I feel they should be supported financially so that they can engage in their sport without any worries, but because they do not have some of the resources that they need, it affects their performance. So, as
Government, I urge that we try and support the Warriors, a team that has made us proud as Zimbabwe and has proved that it is also good in soccer. If we continue to support soccer, it will lead to the development of the nation and Zimbabwe will be on the lime light.
Different sports need to be supported because if one can earn a living from sport, I feel it is important and it is a good profession. It can sustain families and also these people can engage in the different competitions in different countries, hence, improving their livelihood.
With these few words, I want to thank you Mr. President.
*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON.
SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA): When you look at a motion, it is important to check what was raised in the motion. I am referring to those who will debate on this. This motion is talking about sports. It is not talking about traditional dance. So, traditional dance is not part of sports, just to assist those who will debate this motion. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. SENATOR
SEKEREMAYI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (HON. SENATOR SEKERAMAYI), the Senate adjourned at Eleven Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.