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SENATE HANSARD 29 MAY 2019 28-47
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday 29th May, 2019
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE)
ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARIANS CAUCUS
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I wish to inform the
Senate that all female parliamentarians are requested to attend the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus meeting scheduled for tomorrow Thursday, 30th May, 2019 at 0845 hours in the Government Caucus Room.
COMPANIES AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES BILL [H. B. 8A,
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on Second Reading of the
Companies and Other Business Entities Bill [H. B. 8A, 2018].
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you
Madam President. I move that the Bill be read a second time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: With leave forthwith.
COMPANIES AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES Bill [H. B. 8A,
House in Committee.
Clauses 1 to 194 put and agreed to.
On Clause 195;
HON. B. MPOFU: I wanted to ask on Clause 195, for private companies. I see that there is no limit of directors for private companies with more than 10 shareholders but for public companies there is a limit of up to 15 directors. Is there any reason if that is the case? Secondly, Clause 195 (iii) says that the Chief Executive Officer cannot be a Chairperson of the board. I have seen executive chairpersons, how does that relate?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon.
Chair. I think there is no restriction on private companies but you appreciate that public companies have to do with accountability, so you need to ensure that it is controlled. If you open it up there may be abuse. So, it is neater and it gives more clarity in terms of public companies to ensure that you limit the number of directors as opposed to ensuring that there are many.
Your second question was on executive chairpersons, that is poor practice. We need to separate the two and that is the reason why this legislation is going to do away with that in terms of having one person having two roles and we think accountability will not come out appropriately in that regard. I thank you.
HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: I agree with the Hon. Minister and thank
you for the clarification especially on the executive. It is not explicit. It is explicit on the chief executive officer not being the chairperson but we see many executive chairpersons who then act as executive directors as well. Maybe that could have been more explicit in the legislation. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much, I think the way it is couched it is going to take care of that when it says, chief executive officer and executive director. I think when you are an executive director you are more or less like a CEO. That is what is being addressed here, to say that if you are a CEO or a director who becomes a CEO you are now termed an executive director. That is the mischief that we are trying to cure to ensure that there is balance and there is no abuse. I thank you.
Clause 195 put and agreed to.
Clauses 196 to 304 put and agreed to.
Schedule 1to Schedule 5 of Section 9, put and agreed to.
Schedule 6 of Section 18, put and agreed to.
Schedules 7 to 10 put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendments.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith
COMPANIES AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES BILL [H. B. 8A,
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. President, I
now move that the Bill be now read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
REPORT OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S
BILATERAL VISIT TO THE SHURA ADVISORY COUNCIL IN
HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE KHUMALO: I move the
motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Adv. J. F. Mudenda’s Bilateral Visit to the Shura Advisory Council, Doha, Qatar, 30th March to 4th April, 2019.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: I second.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE KHUMALO: Thank you Mr.
President for giving me this opportunity to present the report on the
Report on the Speaker’s Bilateral visit to Qatar. Please allow me to say something. I just want to say I was humbled to join the team led by the Hon. Speaker. I know that it is not easy to join a team led by the Hon. Speaker for reasons that other people can tell you; either positive or negatively. I think he is very passionate on time and doing the job properly. If you do that, you would love to join him but if you are not committed to time and not committed to work, I think you better not join him.
Mr. President Sir, in tandem with Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts led by His Excellency the President E. D. Mnangagwa and in pursuit of Parliamentary diplomacy, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, led a delegation on a bilateral visit to the Shura Advisory Council of Qatar from 30th March to 4th April 2019. The visit was timed to coincide with the onset of the 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly hosted in Doha, Qatar, from Friday 5th to Wednesday 10th April 2019.
1.1 Background to the Bilateral Visit
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda, has embarked on a complementary diplomatic charm offensive aimed at strengthening bilateral relations with Parliaments in
Africa and beyond in line with the Second Republic’s operative mantra, “Zimbabwe Is Open For Business.” Pursuant to this, the Hon. Speaker had occasion, during the 139th IPU Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, to meet with the Speaker of the Qatar Shura Advisory
Council, His Excellency, Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.
The meeting revealed several areas of mutual interest between Qatar and Zimbabwe. His Excellency, Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud had extended an invitation to Hon. Speaker Advocate Mudenda to visit Qatar in his capacity as the Speaker of the National Assembly of the
Parliament of Zimbabwe and as the Chairperson of the Africa GeoPolitical Group at the IPU. The bilateral visit, therefore, was a concretization of that invitation compelled by the following objectives:
- To strengthen bilateral relations between the Qatar Shura Advisory
Council and the Parliament of Zimbabwe;
- To explore areas of mutual interest and engagement between the Qatar Shura Advisory Council and the Parliament of Zimbabwe;
- To discuss areas of co-operation between African Parliaments and the Shura Council;
The delegation, led by the Hon. Speaker, comprised the following designated Members of the IPU and officials:
- Senator Chief Mtshane-Khumalo, Deputy President of the
National Council of Chiefs;
- Senator Tsitsi. V. Muzenda;
- Kennedy M. Chokuda, Clerk of Parliament;
- Martha Mushandinga, Principal Executive Assistant to the
- Clive Mukushwa, Security Aide to the Speaker; and,
- Ndamuka Marimo, Director in the Clerk’s Office
Hon. Tinoda Machakarika, a Member of the National Assembly and Parliament of Zimbabwe’s representative on the Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the IPU, failed to travel as he was still recovering from an operation. On the Qatari side, the meeting was attended by Hon. Mohamed bin Ali al-Hanzab, Member of the Shura Advisory Council and the Chairman of the Qatar-Africa Parliamentary Friendship
Association and three other Members of the Association as well as the
Secretary General of the Shura Advisory Council, Mr Fahd bin
- Meeting Between Hon Speaker Advocate J. F. Mudenda and His Excellency, Ahmed Bin Abdullah Bin Zaid Al-
- Introductory Remarks
The meeting between the two Hon. Speakers was held at the
White Palace in the bustling city of Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday 2nd April
- The White Palace houses the Shura Advisory Council, that is, the Parliament of Qatar as well as the administrative offices of the Ministry of Health. His Excellency, Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud, extended a warm and fraternal welcome to Hon. Speaker Mudenda and his delegation. He expressed his appreciation for the Parliament of
Zimbabwe’s support for Qatar in hosting the 140th IPU Assembly. The host Speaker informed his guest that a record attendees would grace the 140th IPU Assembly. In the interests of Parliamentary diplomacy, His Excellency, Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud, undertook to reciprocate the visit in the near future. He also highlighted his passion for peace and development in Africa by chronicling the work he had undertaken in facilitating the peaceful resolution of the Darfur crisis and helping to rebuild that country in the aftermath of the crisis.
An enthralling revelation from the Hon. Speaker’s introductory remarks was the invention of a micro-chip to be inserted in the brain, from which human beings could download any information they required without having to pore over the pages of books or the internet. While the Hon Speaker of Qatar expressed excitement over this recent invention, he also cautioned on its implications with respect to the redundancy of some professions such as teaching and lecturing. That notwithstanding, the invention underlined the strides that the world was making through technological advancement and the necessity of investing in research and technology to spur national development through digitalisation of education.
2.2 Brief on the Shura Advisory Council
The Hon. Speaker of the Shura Advisory Council briefed the meeting on the composition, roles and functions of the Shura Advisory
Council. He highlighted the following:
- The Shura Advisory Council is a unicameral legislative assembly with 45 Members of Parliament comprising 30 Members elected through universal suffrage and 15 appointed by His Excellency, the
Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad al Thani;
- The Legislature is empowered by the Constitution to:
- Approve the national budget; Monitor the performance of Ministers; and, iii. Draft, debate, and vote on proposed legislation, which only becomes law by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total Membership of the Shura Advisory Council and upon assent by the Emir.
- These constitutional obligations are carried out by the Shura
Advisory Council through five Portfolio Committees, namely,
- Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee ii.Financial and Economic Affairs Committee iii. Internal and External Affairs Committee iv. Committee on Public Services and Utilities; and,
- Cultural and Media Affairs Committee.
The Council may also form other permanent or ad-hoc committees as and when necessary. Furthermore, the delegation was advised that the work of these Committees is bolstered by the engagement of technocrats with expertise in various fields from within and outside Parliament, and in particular from various universities, including foreign universities with fully-fledged campuses in Qatar. These reputable institutions of higher learning include, among others, the Qatar University, Cornell
University, Georgetown University, The Canergie Institute, North-
Western University, and North-Atlantic University.
Of interest to note from the Hon. Speaker’s presentation was that the people of Qatar had expressed their collective desire to do away with elections and move towards appointment of people’s representatives on merit. The tacit agreement among the generality of Qataris was that, once a Member of Parliament was elected, quite often the MP focused on self-aggrandizement at the expense of serving the people. To that end, public opinion had swayed towards meritocracy rather than holding democratic elections.
It was apparent that the roles and functions of the Shura Advisory Council, notwithstanding their small numbers, conform to the three universally recognised roles of Parliaments, namely, legislation, oversight and representation. The Shura Advisory Council has also played an active role in national economic development particularly in the wake of the illegal economic blockade imposed on Qatar by her sister Arab States.
2.3 Role of the Shura Advisory Council in Economic
Development in the Face of Sanctions
The Hon. Speaker of the Shura Advisory Council chronicled the history of the illegal sanctions imposed on Qatar by her Arab and Gulf neighbours, particularly Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt,
Bahrain, the Maldives, Comoros, Senegal, Djibouti and Jordan in June
- In the Hon. Speaker’s opinion, Qatar had differed with her neighbours on a matter of principle which would have undermined her sovereign right to make decisions for the greater good of the people of
Qatar. The Saudi-led coalition had proceeded to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar, expel Qatari diplomats from its countries, and ban Qatari airplanes and ships from entering its airspace and sea routes respectively while Saudi Arabia blocked the only land crossing into Qatar. Qatar could equally have reciprocated the embargo. However, it did not retaliate cognizant of the immeasurable suffering this would bring to the over 300 000 Egyptian nationals living in Qatar as well as the people of UAE who depended heavily on Qatari liquefied gas.
Far from decrying the negative effects of the illegal blockade, the Hon. Speaker welcomed the sanctions for inspiring inward-looking innovation and inventiveness among the Qataris. In a compelling rendition that confirmed the time-honoured adage that says “necessity is the mother of invention,” the Hon. Speaker indicated that prior to the illegal blockade, Qatar had been importing all but 1% of her agricultural products. However, in the aftermath of the blockade, the country had embarked on a massive production drive led by His Excellency, the Emir, which had culminated in the country reaching a commendable level of agricultural self-sufficiency. In fact, Qatar had already started exporting milk and was set to export its first farming produce beginning that year. The country had also invested heavily in industrialization resulting in the growth of numerous industries, among them steelproducing conglomerates. It was a measure of the country’s resilience and refusal to break under the weight of the illegal economic sanctions. Consequently, it had steadily grown to be one of the leading economies in the region.
The Hon. Speaker affirmed the central role that the Shura Advisory Council had played in mitigating the effects of the sanctions within the remit of its constitutional obligations. The Shura Advisory Council had adopted His Excellency, the Emir’s vision to look inward for solutions to the challenges posed by the illegal sanctions and expeditiously passed legislation that improved the ease of doing business in Qatar and facilitated domestic investment. The Shura Advisory Council had also used its control of the purse to allocate adequate resources towards manufacturing and agricultural production, both of which spurred the growth of the Qatari economy.
The Legislature had also taken the Minister of Finance to task regarding the sanctions busting strategy and the post-sanctions strategy for the country. Pursuant to this, the Minister had been summoned to Parliament to present the sanctions-busting strategy and the postsanctions plan to the House. This ensured Qatar’s preparedness to embrace a shared vision in overcoming the sanctions as well as an assured developmental trajectory post-sanctions that every Qatari could identify with.
However, what was also clear from the Hon. Speaker’s rendition
was that the success enjoyed by Qatar in fostering self-reliance in countering the effects of the illegal sanctions, was premised primarily on the unity of the people of Qatar in driving the inward-looking vision espoused by His Excellency, the Emir, as well as in speaking with one patriotic voice in support of the country’s principled stand against the Saudi-led coalition. The lesson is thus very clear for Zimbabwe which has been a victim of illegal economic sanctions for over 20 years and yet continues to be riddled with discordant voices in the call to end the illegal sanctions.
2.4 Relations between Qatar and African countries
The Hon. Speaker of Qatar acknowledged the cordial relations that existed between Qatar and Africa which had inspired the establishment of a Qatar-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association chaired by Hon. Mohamed bin Ali al-Hanzab. Through the Qatar-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association and in liaison with the United Nations, Qatar has been able to provide philanthropic support to:
- Human capital development through the provision of scholarships towards the education of one (1) million girls in Africa. Qatar was targeting to enhance support to the girl child in Africa by increasing the quantum of scholarships to five (5) million.
- Infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, schools and health facilities through the Qatar Investment Bank.
- Humanitarian aid for countries in need through the Red Cross and
Red Crescent Society.
The Hon. Speaker of the Shura Council was at pains to emphasise that the assistance rendered to African countries by Qatar had no strings attached but was premised on ensuring that everyone lives in dignity and peace. Pursuant to this, he revealed that the theme for the 140th
Assembly of the IPU ‘Parliaments as platforms to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of law” had been deliberately chosen to bring the spotlight on the need to support education in Africa and garner financial and material support for the same. He stressed the fact that without education there is no development and without development there is no peace. Accordingly, the Shura Advisory Council intended to leverage on the 140th IPU Assembly to spread the message that Parliamentary diplomacy is necessary in helping the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. To that end, the Hon Speaker of the Shura Advisory
Council expressed Qatar’s willingness to strengthen bilateral relations with Zimbabwe and invited the Parliament of Zimbabwe to join the
Qatar-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association.
In response, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate
- F. Mudenda, expressed his appreciation and that of the Africa
Geopolitical Group for Qatar’s unconditional support to human capital development on the African continent. He informed his Qatari counterpart that the African education system in general and
Zimbabwe’s education system in particular was gradually moving towards a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a bid to enhance research and technological development. However, the major hindrance remained that of inadequate funding for the construction and equipping of laboratories to enable students to pursue science subjects. Related to this was the need to electrify schools in the hinterland so as to provide internet services that would allow students in the rural areas to compete on an equal footing with their urban counterparts as the world moves unrelentingly towards the digital economy.
With respect to Qatar’s humanitarian aid initiatives, Hon. Advocate
Mudenda briefed the meeting that Zimbabwe was in dire need of assistance in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai which had displaced over 120 000 people and claimed over 200 casualties to date. He acknowledged the assistance rendered by countries in the region and beyond in terms of food aid, medical aid, and infrastructural reconstruction efforts. He also expressed optimism that with this benevolent assistance Zimbabwe would be able to rebuild and recover from the horrendous effects of the natural disaster.
In relation to Qatar’s investment drive in Africa, Hon. Advocate Mudenda reiterated His Excellency, President Mnangagwa’s clarion call that “Zimbabwe Is Open For Business” and assured the meeting that Zimbabwe is generally a peaceful country that is conducive for investment. He indicated that investment opportunities abounded in mining, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development and even in liquefied gas, which Qatar was a leading producer of, following the discovery of gas deposits in Muzarabani. He undertook to ensure that
Zimbabwe joins and actively participates in the Qatar-Africa
Parliamentary Friendship Association.
The Hon. Speaker commended the Shura Advisory Council, the government and people of Qatar for uniting in the face of the illegal economic blockade and using their own initiative and resources to overcome the sanctions. He indicated that Zimbabwe, which has similarly been under illegal sanctions for more than a decade, must draw lessons from the experience of Qatar and find home-grown solutions to overcoming the effects of the illegal sanctions. The Hon. Speaker pledged Parliament of Zimbabwe’s unwavering support for the theme of the 140th IPU Assembly and the intentions of the Shura Advisory Council to elicit support for human capital development in Africa and other needy countries.
In turn, His Excellency, Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-
Mahmoud, noted Hon. Mudenda’s responses and promised to engage the government of Qatar to extend relief aid to Zimbabwe for those affected by Cyclone Idai through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. He also undertook to actively pursue the issue of investment in the liquefied gas production in Zimbabwe. The Hon. Speaker of Qatar further expressed his desire to create strong trade and tourism linkages with Zimbabwe and undertook to engage the government to link Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls via Qatar Airways direct flights.
3.0 Update on Preparations for the 140th IPU Assembly
His Excellency, Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-
Mahmoud reiterated Qatar’s gratitude for the support to the 140th IPU Assembly by the Parliament of Zimbabwe. He indicated that an unprecedented 2 217 participants had confirmed their attendance comprising 147 Member Parliaments, 80 Speakers and 65 Deputy Speakers. This was much more than the anticipated number of 1 500 participants. The Hon. Speaker underlined Qatar’s readiness to host the 140th IPU Assembly and push for support to human capital development in Africa.
4.0 Conclusion and Recommendations
In the final analysis, the Hon. Speaker’s bilateral visit to Qatar was invaluable and timely in consolidating bilateral relations and mutually beneficial co-operation between the Shura Advisory Council and the Parliament of Zimbabwe and, hopefully, between the governments of Qatar and Zimbabwe. It must be noted that:
- The Qatar-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association provides a unique platform for the two Parliaments to enhance co-operation for the mutual benefit of the two institutions and the citizens of Zimbabwe particularly the girl child, through the scholarships offered by Qatar. Parliament of Zimbabwe, through its IPU delegates must actively pursue membership of the Association.
- The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Kuwait who also covers Qatar, Ambassador C. Marongwe, must be obligated, as part of economic diplomacy, to engage the Qatari authorities without delay and market Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination to lure investment in liquefied gas production, mining, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development.
- The Zimbabwean Embassy in conjunction with the Ministry of
Primary and Secondary Education as well as Higher and Tertiary
Education must follow up with the Qatari authorities on how
Zimbabwe can access the scholarships that Qatar has availed to the girl child in Africa. The potential for the expansion of the scholarships to five (5) million provides an opportunity for
Zimbabwe to tap into and benefit from the scholarships.
- Parliament of Zimbabwe, through the office of the Hon. Speaker, must also expeditiously follow up on the undertaking by His
Excellency, Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud .to engage the government of Qatar to provide relief to the victims of Cyclone Idai through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
- The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development must engage their Qatari counterparts, through the office of the Hon. Speaker, to explore the possibility of establishing direct flights between Zimbabwe and Qatar which will enhance trade, tourism and investment.
HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Thank you Mr. President. I also want to
add to what Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane has highlighted on the visit to
Doha, Qatar. Firstly, let me also say it was quite an eye opener in that
Doha is a city which is built on a desert but it is very smart. They indicated to us that for example, one of their hotels which is similar to our Rainbow Hotel called ‘The Sheraton’ built in 1979 is really spectacular. I kept on comparing it to our Rainbow Hotel.
Let me go to the details of some of the highlights I want to indicate. Although the Qatarians had been imposed with sanctions from the Arab States, they did not lament. They looked inwards to say, how are we going to go forward. I suppose their culture is of resilience because they managed to identify expertise within their country and to date, they have become a power house. They did not retaliate when they were imposed with sanctions. They could have chased away the many Egyptians who are in the country and other surroundings but they did not do that because their motto is that all humanity should be treated equally and they told us that they did not want to retaliate because of their belief.
The other highlight I want to indicate as alluded to by the mover of the motion is that the Shura Advisory Council which should be equivalent to our Parliament does not only elect their Members but they look at everybody who has expertise from university, business, NGOs and so forth. Maybe that is why they are doing very well in their administration. They also indicated that their unity makes them go forward in the difficult circumstances. Thus, I think really as
Zimbabweans, it teaches us that we have to have a vision of togetherness irrespective of where we come from. I think that is one thing we learnt from the Qataris.
The relationship between Qatar and Africa is very good. I think we have not, as Zimbabwe, tapped into some of the advantages we can use. For example, we had Chief Khumalo indicating that to date they are sponsoring more than 1 million girl children in education. So, I was wondering - of course the speaker then indicated that he was going to look into that because in a very short period they will be sponsoring more than five million girl children in the whole of Africa, particularly also looking at what we are emphasising about STEM. Therefore I think as a country, it would be very good if we were part of that offer.
The other point we would want to indicate is that they are very passionate about human capital development through the provision, of course of this scholarship, also infrastructure particularly in schools and health. They were also sympathetic to our Cyclone Idai and they had indicated that once proper papers are given to their Government, they were readily going to be able to help us through their Red Cross, similar to what the United Arab Emirates had done to this country.
Mr. President Sir, may I maybe to conclude, indicate that we also can use them since we know Qatar is a desert. Our mantra of saying Zimbabwe is open for business; they virtually import everything - peas, carrots, any vegetable and meat. Therefore, since Qatar Airways now travels to Victoria Falls, I think again in the tourism and agricultural sectors we can make inroads in that country. May I, on that note, say we should be serious about joining the Qatar Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association, particularly as Zimbabwe so that we tap into their offer and kindness. Thank you very much Mr. President Sir.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE KHUMALO: I move that the
debate do now adjourn.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 29th May, 2019.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF
LAUNCH OF THE PROCUREMENT REGULATORY AUTHORITY
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: There is a
function which was supposed to be held today and I am told Hon. Senators have got cards in their pigeon holes. It has been postponed and it is now going to be held tomorrow. The time and venue remain the same. This is the occasion of the official launch of the Procurement
Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.
On the motion of HON. SEN. MUZENDA seconded by HON. SEN. MOHADI, the Senate adjourned at Twenty Two Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.