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NATIONAL ASEMBLY HANSARD 11 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 02

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

                                                                                                    Tuesday, 11th October, 2016

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MATUKE:  I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. CHIKWAMA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESSIDENTIAL SPEECH:  DEBATE ON ADDRESS

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:- May it please you, your Excellency the President:

We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  I second.

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence if I do not do justice to this motion because sometimes we do not know when we get the Presidential Speeches ready in the Papers Office.  We get them late and usually it is a week in between but this time around , it was only a weekend but I will do my best.

Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to debate this afternoon on the Speech that the President of Zimbabwe presented into this House on Thursday, 6th October, 2016.  Allow me to thank and congratulate the President for presenting a very clear legislative agenda for the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament, which Parliament should follow.

The President proposed several Bills to be tabled in Parliament during this Session and I will cite all of them Madam Speaker.  Bills to be tabled will be: the Constitutional Court Bill, the Rural District Council Bill, the Traditional Leaders Bill, the Prisons Bill, the Marriages Bill, the Coroner s’ Office Bill, the Small Claims Court and the Commercial Court and the High Court Bill, the Judicial Laws Amendment Bill, Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill, the Movable Property Security Interest Bill, the Insolvency Bill, Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill, the Bill for the Establishment for the National Competitiveness Commission, a Bill on the proposed Re-organisation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, the Regional Town and Country Planning Bill, the Public Sector Procurement Amendment Bill, Occupation, Safety and Health Bill, a New Labour Amendment Bill, the Public Health Bill, the Youth Council Bill, Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill, Electronic Transaction and Electronic Commerce Bill and Data Protection Bill.

It is a mouthful, Madam Speaker, that the Parliament has to follow this Fourth Session, which sounds to be very busy.  Amongst the Bills, I am going to pick the Marriage Bill, I think you will understand that it is my passion – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  Order Hon. Members, can Hon. Nyamupinga be heard in silence?

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for your protection.  The Marriage Bill is one of the Bills the women of Zimbabwe have been waiting for.  There are many conflicting pieces of legislation to do with marriage, for example, while Section 78 (1) of the Constitution provides that, everyone who has attained the age of 18, has a right to found a family,  the Marriage Act, Chapter 5.11provides that a girl between the age of 16 and 18 may, with joint consent of her mother and father, enter into civil marriage under the Marriage Act.  The Marriage Act does not permit a boy below the age of 18 years to contract a marriage.  There is need for a central registration of all marriages to comply with Section 80 and 81 respectively.

I will move to Prisons Bill, as I said earlier on that I will not articulate what all the Bills are seeking to do but my seconder, Hon. Mandipaka, will run through most of the Bills.

On the Prisons Bill, it is my hope that it will enshrine deliberate clauses that will promote the well being of women in the prisons.  Things like giving women sanitary wear, to avoid putting leg irons on women, more women to serve their terms on open prisons if there are light sentences so that they can visit their families because we all say musha mukadzi.  The longer they stay in prison, when they come back there will not be a home to talk about. 

If we have all watched some of the episodes that are run on ZTV about women prisons – we have seen that most of them by the time they come back, they have nowhere to go and usually they are unaccepted in the communities that they come from.  They are also not accepted in their families where they were born.  They will end up nowhere.  If they serve under open prison, they will have time to go home, see their children and also look after their homes.

It is my hope also that on this Bill, there will be facilities for children to allow those women to serve in prisons with their children.  This Bill must also spell out that the rations for the children must be provided in the prisons. 

The issue of rehabilitation and integration into society, including psycho-social therapy, so that they can integrate and fit well into the society should be provided for in this Bill.

I would like to applaud the Government for the launch of 2016-2026 STEM Policy that is coming soon because it is going to support Zimbabwe’s quest for industrialisation and modernisation. Most countries with good economies put emphasis on science and support science subjects.  It is my hope that the STEM Policy will have affirmative action clauses to promote girls to enter into the field of Science.

Regional Town and Country Planning Bill – The Bill seeks to encourage investors to put up infrastructure in a short space of time without delays of waiting for plans to be approved.  We all know that infrastructure is the cornerstone of development.

The Public Health Bill is actually repealing the old law that was enacted in 1924.  Since then, things have changed in the world in that the world has moved and there are lots of challenges in the health sector today, things like HIV & AIDS which was not there in 1924, things like Cancers just to name a few and many others.  We have seen medical societies short changing their clients.  The Bill is going to regulate some of these challenges.

The growing incidences of droughts in Zimbabwe due to climate change – I would want to thank the President for his vision to alleviate hunger and poverty through the Presidential Grain Scheme and also the Command Agricultural Scheme.  His motto of making sure that no one will die of hunger in this country is almost welcome.  The scheme has been expanded not only to the vulnerable but also to everyone and not only to rural areas but also to urban areas.  The impact of climate change has been felt in our country, hence the need for this House to ratify quickly the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising in their utilisation.  Once tabled in this House, it is my plea to this House that it be ratified as quickly as possible.

The other scheme which I spoke about - Command Farming -  my seconder will spell out how it is going to benefit the people of this country.

I would like to salute the President for proposing the Bill on the Ease to do Business Reforms with the objective of improving the local business environment that stimulates investment inflows.

As the Government embarks on the reforms, it should make sure that the plight of the people from rural areas including small enterprises and also rural farmers, for the ease of doing business should also be taken on board.  I will mention as an example a small scale farmer in the rural areas of Domboshava who is producing fresh vegetables and has to come to the market sitting on top of boxes of tomatoes in a truck and we are talking of ease of doing business outside before we even deal with ease of doing business in this country.  So I really applaud the President for actually looking at the reforms to compliment and support the local people.

I would want to suggest that when these reforms are being worked out or are being proposed, it will be good since this country relies more on agriculture to make sure that people in these areas where they produce vegetables like tomatoes; to avoid risking seeing them or having accidents while struggling in those trucks, we are expecting that the Government will make sure that these producers will sell from their areas where they produce and trucks are sent there to collect these vegetables and they are paid there because after they travel this risky journey sitting on top of tomatoes; they get to the market and makoronyera are waiting for them and they take everything.  The farmers then go back home discouraged to go back to their farms or gardens. 

This does not promote ease of doing business for rural people. Why do we not have these processing plants put in the areas where production is taking place.  There is no point in putting something as far as Norton when the producers are in Uzumba, Mutoko, Chihota and Domboshava.  For these farmers to get transport to ferry their vegetables will be a challenge.  In the end, they will perish and are thrown away.  We are expecting that when these reforms are being crafted, they will make sure that these processing plants are put in the relevant places where they will be utilised by the local people.  

I will move to the Manufacturing Sector, the President spoke loudly on the challenges being faced by our …

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order.  Thank you so much Madam Speaker and good afternoon.  The Hon. Member is doing a presentation of a Presidential Speech but she is skating around the issue of Robin Hood.  The issue of abuse of funds…she is not speaking about what is happening about Jonathan Moyo.  I think it is a good idea that that is included. Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members.  I would like to advise Members of Parliament not to abuse the Standing Rules or the Privileges that you have in Parliament.

The Hon. Member is still debating the Presidential Speech and there is nothing that I see as being out of order.  You are actually out of order Hon. Mutseyami. Hon. Nyamupinga, you can continue.

          HON. NYAMUPINGA: I will now move to the manufacturing sector. The President spoke loudly on the challenges being faced by our manufacturing sector which included among others cheap imports. The issue of cheap imports will not get this country anywhere. Our economy will not grow from cheap imports. Our people out there always cry that if Government bans cheap imports, how will they survive. I would like to applaud the Government for putting in place Statutory Instrument 64 which has already started showing positive results and I think because of these positive results, most of our people are now moving away from cheap imports. Why do we not all sign up to “Buy Zimbabwe” that when you get into a supermarket where there are local and imported products, one chooses to buy local products first before we even look at the imported products.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, I will also now move to the Movable Property Security Interest Bill which seeks to increase access to credit for the majority of our emerging entrepreneurs. I would want to thank the President for taking this move of having this Bill brought to this House as this is going to alleviate problems of collateral especially for the women who are the majority of the entrepreneurs who do not have immovable property since most of the land, houses and buildings  are owned by men. Women end up not getting loans because they do not have collateral but with the coming in of this Bill, I think most women will now be able to access loans from the bank and grow their businesses. All entrepreneurs out there have been waiting for this move Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          The new Companies Act which is going to be tabled in this session is most welcome because there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in registration and smooth operation of new businesses. Some investors end up giving up mid way. There is need for one-stop-shop to speed up some of these processes.

          I am pleased Madam Speaker Ma’am that the President in his speech, emphasised the issue of boosting local power generation capacity.  The Kariba South Power Expansion Project is near completion with 150MW expected to be ready by December 2017. The Hwange Power Station  Expansion Project and the Dema Diesel Power Generating Plant will also improve the generation of more electricity in this country and this will see mostly our farmers improving their activities at their farms – high production of wheat which is sometimes deterred by shortage of electricity. Production in the industries will now be 24 hours as there will be no shortage of security. With high production, there will be high GDP in this country and the economy will grow.

          In conclusion, it is pleasing to note that the President continues to preach messages of peace and tranquility. It is important for the Zimbabweans to maintain peace and tranquility for economic and social development in this country. Since the President is always on record of preaching peace, everyone should actually sign up to preach peace from our various constituencies as Members of Parliament and also as Zimbabweans at large. I thank you.

          HON. MANDIPAKA: Allow me to thank Hon. Nyamupinga for moving this motion which will facilitate debate in the presentation that was made by His Excellency, the President when he officially opened the Fourth Session of this Parliament.

          Allow me to congratulate His Excellency for finding time and energy to present himself in this august House and give us a clear road map of the work that should be before us during this session. As you are aware Madam Speaker, the President of the Republic singled out various Bills that will appear before this august House. I will not be able to comment on each and every particular Bill that was singled out in his speech but I will choose a few of those Bills that will be coming before us in which I am going to make some comments.

          This august House should be preoccupied with the duty to ensure that we realign the laws to the current new Constitution. The nation will appreciate that we have some challenges here and there to ensure that we completely accomplish that task. Be that as it may, it was important to notice that the President of this country is still aware that we need to realign the laws of the country.

          The legislative agenda was clearly set in this august House and in my view, it is instructive. What that means is that as we zero down on our day to day duties, we must give priority when these Bills come so that in the end they become law. What I notice from the Bills that shall come before us is that the Government of Zimbabwe was making tireless efforts to ensure that they address challenges that we find in the economy, addressing these challenges through legislative provisions. We need to applaud the Government of Zimbabwe and the President of the Republic  for taking time to look at those critical Bills that must be brought here so that we improve the welfare of our people.

          In his presentation, for lack of a better word, I want to view the speech as a masterpiece. I would want to look at the conclusion which was given by His Excellency. I was impressed by the call that the President made that of peace! peace! peace! Peace begins with an individual. Peace begins with a family unit. Peace begins with the community and generally, peace should begin with all of us as a nation. Once we want our economy to improve in an environment that is volatile, we are not going to get anywhere. There is need for this august House to preach peace and there is need for the nation to uphold and maintain law and order so that what we do is going to be a success to the entire nation. I was impressed by the conclusion that the President gave when he called upon all Members in this august House and the nation at large to uphold peace.

          I was also attracted by the fact that the President said Government is committed to better working conditions for Parliamentarians. He cited an example of a new Parliament building that is being constructed under the Chinese grant. I want to take this further to say, if Government is committed to the welfare of Hon. Members in this august House, it also has to look at certain incentives like our allowances to make sure that the allowances are at least escalated and brought to a level where we can get satisfaction and be able to perform our duties in our constituencies, then we are happy.

          I would also want to state that we waited in anticipation to hear His Excellency talking about the Constituency Development Fund Bill; apparently that was not to be. I can assure you Madam Speaker, if the Act is brought in this august House and funds given out to Hon. Members of Parliament, this will motivate Members of Parliament to be able to perform their day-to-day duties in our various constituencies. So we still call upon the Executive to bring the Constituency Development Fund Bill to this august House so that in the immediate future, we are able to get the monies and disburse for the promotion of development in our various constituencies.

          Madam Speaker, let me also look at ZIM-ASSET which the President talked about. ZIM-ASSET is our panacea for economic development. What is not impressive as we speak right now is that we are not aware of how much effort has been put in the implementation of ZIM-ASSET. We were going to be in a better place to get from the Executive what has been done so far in ensuring that the four clusters that are mentioned in ZIM-ASSET have been addressed. I want to strongly believe Madam Speaker, that the blueprint could be a very fine document, but we have not done so much in ensuring that the four clusters of ZIM-ASSET have been satisfied.

We talk of food security and nutrition; infrastructure and utilities; and value addition and beneficiation. I want to believe in the mining sector Madam Speaker, there is very little that has been done to satisfy this point on value addition and beneficiation. There is also social services and poverty eradication. So Madam Speaker, the call that we can make as Parliament is that ZIM-ASSET, whilst it is a very important national document, we need to make sure that we move with speed and implement what we have set ourselves to do in ZIM-ASSET despite the problems that we face as a country.

Madam Speaker, we accommodate amendments to the Special Economic Zones Bill in relation to labour laws. We understand that this Bill passed through Parliament and because there are certain reservations that were observed; when it comes back to Parliament, with speed Madam Speaker, we must be able to accommodate those reservations so that issues to do with labour are adequately and properly addressed – [HON. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Ndebele, let the Honourable members speak.

HON. MANDIPAKA: We also intend Madam Speaker as a nation, to establish these economic zones so that we attract foreign direct investment. It is very important that foreign direct investment is attracted. Madam Speaker, where we have differences as a country, politically we can always sit down, mediate, negotiate and come to an understanding. Once we do that, we are going to build this great nation of Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, let me also look at the Traditional Leaders Bill that is going to come before Parliament. I think it is very important to support this Bill when it comes because for a long time now, the welfare of our chiefs leaves a lot to be desired. We need to understand that our chiefs are the custodians of our culture, traditions, norms and values and as a country, we want to give due respect to our chiefs in terms of their welfare. So when this Bill comes before Parliament, Madam Speaker, I call upon Members of Parliament to support it.

We also want to thank Government for coming up with initiatives especially one to do with the ease-of-doing-business because we noted in the past that there was a lot of bureaucracy when people want to invest in this country. Because of the initiatives that Government has put in place, there is going to be an improvement and we are going to see investors coming to invest in this country.

Madam Speaker, let me also make some observations on the manufacturing sector and also applaud the promulgation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016. Madam Speaker, we need the Buy Zimbabwe which is a very important campaign because it necessitates our locals to manufacture their own products which will find market in this country apart from getting some inputs from various countries.

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, can you please sit down. You are crossing between the Hon. Member on the floor and the Chair.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Madam Speaker, we want to promote the very goods that our own people manufacture in this country. It could be cooking oil, soap, candles or whatever, instead of going out to South Africa and other countries to import these commodities, it is better that we promote ourselves.

Madam Speaker, there was mention of improvements in ARDA by His Excellency. We want to congratulate Mr. B. Nyabadza who is actually the Chairman of the Board of ARDA for the efforts that he has made in ensuring that we revive our ARDA estates. Madam Speaker, let me make a comment on parastatals and good governance. It is very important that if we want to avoid leakages, we must as a matter of urgency, be able to be transparent and accountable in the manner in which we deal with public funds because this is one area that is bleeding our economy, corruption Madam Speaker. I am happy to note that the President of this country talked about it but it is high time Madam Speaker, that we must see action being taken.

We also want to thank the STEM policy which is a very critical policy for our students in secondary schools because it is going to attract students to want to do science and mathematics subjects. This is important for the vision that we have for the country. Remember Madam Speaker, we are living in a world of technology and once our children are equipped with technological aptitude, they will be able to run this country even after we have perished.

Madam Speaker, the Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to the empowerment of youths. It is important to acknowledge that His Excellency at one time, if you remember very well, made clarifications in terms of indigenous economic empowerment and the Indigenisation Act. There is commitment to ensure that our youths are developed and empowered. We call upon the Executive and the nation to continue empowering our youths because they are the vanguard of our struggle and independence. With that Madam Speaker, I would want to rest my case. I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

ZANU PF CAUCUS MEETING

THE ACTING SPEAKER: The ZANU PF Chief Whip, Hon. L. Matuke would like to advise that there will be a Caucus Meeting for ZANU PF Members of Parliament and Senators on Wednesday, 12th October, 2016 at ZANU PF Headquarters at 0930 hours. Be punctual and you will be advised of the agenda. Please attend.

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I wish to thank and appreciate this very important address to Parliament by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, R.G. Mugabe. I want to appreciate this speech in two ways. The first is through appreciating the things that were mentioned and that are of paramount significance for national development and progress. The second one is to also highlight what I think was not said is to also highlight what I think was not said and ought to have been said by the President.  In saying this, I want to appreciate that fact that there is a realisation in the corridors of Government on the desirability and need of having e-policies and e-legislation, in particular the Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill, the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill and the Data Protection Bill that are very important.  But I must also hasten to say in as much as these Bills are very important; this is not the first time the President has highlighted that the Bills are supposed to come before Parliament.  If you remember two or three speeches ago, the President made mention of these Bills, but these Bills did not come to Parliament.

So, it is very important that the President has indicated that these Bills are going to come before Parliament because as it is, in terms of our ICT platforms, we have insufficient mechanisms to protect the consumers and the citizens particularly when it comes to electronic transactions, cryptography, digital transactions as well as digital signatures.  Those issues are not covered by the law and ought to be covered by the law.  So, I want to appreciate this very positive development, but let it not be a victim of principle versus practice controversy where we have a bold declaration in principle, but in terms of practice, we have a deficit of action, a deficit of traction and a deficit of direction.  We just hope that we are going to have these Bills coming to Parliament to also give significance to our national impetus and development.

I also wish to aknowledge what the President mentioned in terms of the energy sector, that in terms of us moving forward as a country, we definitely need to make sure that we have infrastructure in place, not just energy but also our transport, water and communication.  It is imperative - yes, it was mentioned, but I believe and I feel representing the people I represent in the august House that not enough is being done by Government to explore other sources of energy particularly the solar platforms and the wind platforms because we must be the first country on the continent to explore alternative sources of energy other than just the hydro platform.  It is possible.  We have the expertise; we have the engineers - let us go on to explore this alternative.  Let us also go on to explore the issue of water resources.  There is no reason why we should be having droughts in this country.  In fact, I was going through some of the plans that were done by Mr. Smith - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

Indeed, you must know that when you are serious about governing you must look at your history and check what was done and what was not done.  Mr. Smith had done a lot of work in terms of damming and dam construction in this country.  We simply have to revive the dam construction projects that were put in place for this country.  Those dams, if we are to resuscitate them, we are to rejuvenate them and revive them, our country is going to be  a green belt throughout the year, irrespective of whatever rainfall we will see, because we have a plan that is designed and we just need to revive that.  So, it is my wish that the Minister responsible is going to look at this very seriously to make sure that our country does not become a victim to the vicissitudes of weather and the climate.

It is very important, Madam Speaker, that in highlighting the positives that the President gave, I also wish to indicate the things that I feel the President did not touch upon.  Either he did not think about them or he did not say something about them or both.  Having said that I, just want to mention five critical issues I felt were supposed to be part of the speech of the President.

The first one, it is clear that corruption has become endemic.  In fact, corruption has become the stem of this Government.  You know that Prof. Jonathan Moyo mentioned about STEM.  Corruption has become the stem of this Government.  So, I thought that the President would have mentioned something about corruption.  You know that it is the President who blew the whistle on the disappearance of US$15 billion, but we have not seen corresponding action within the corridors of Government to deal with these malcontents, to deal with people who are parasitic in terms of resources of the State.

We have seen that we have vampire instincts within the corridors of Government, but those vampires continue to suck the blood of our economy ad infinitum, without any reprimand.  I would have felt and thought that the President would come here and tell us that so and so has been arrested, that one has been caught on the wrong side of the law, but alas! In the speech, in fact I looked carefully at the paragraph, the President was looking at the economy and the problems that are buffeting our economy.  He mentioned the issue of aggregate demand, being subdued, liquidity constraints, high interest rates, the issue of subdued foreign direct investment and limited fiscal space.

Of course, the good thing is that the President now has come to the world of reality.   He is no longer mentioning sanctions.  It is a very positive thing.  He realises that it is not an issue.  It is no longer about sanctions but it has to do with deficit of governance.  So, I want to applaud the President for finally coming home and coming to the party in realising that it is not about the figment of imagination when you think about the so called restrictive measures, it is about the deficit of our governance, it is about corruption; corruption which has become a national anthem in this country, corruption which has become almost a religion in this country, corruption which has become part of the fabric of who we are as a people.  You go to the Church there is corruption, you go to the police there is corruption, you go to the Government there is corruption.   You go everywhere there is corruption and you must be able to make sure we deal with this corruption which has affected the stem of the country.

It is our wish, Hon. Members, let us lead the charge.  Let us lead the charge in fighting corruption.  Let us lead the charge as Members of Parliament in the case of who stole our diamonds - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, order Hon. Chamisa.  Order, order!

HON. MUPFUMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member should speak facing the speaker, not addressing us as though he is - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order. Hon. Chamisa you may continue and please focus on the Chair.

HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you very much.  I will focus on you Madam Speaker.  I realise that Hon. Mupfumi is very jealous, but he forgets that I am no - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I am actually surprised.  I am surprised because the issue of corruption has nothing to do with the party.  The issue of corruption is supposed to unite Members of Parliament because it is a national problem.   It has nothing to do with ZANU-PF at this moment in this House.  It has nothing to do with MDC at this moment in this House, but it has everything to do with the corrosion and erosion of our national dignity as a people. If we allow corruption to be institutionalized, if we allow corruption to become a yardstick of how we govern ourselves, we are defeating generations that are yet to come.  We are simply squandering national resources on the basis of elements that are corrupt.  We have never seen the big fish being victims of their corrupt activities; if anything, our jails are full of the small fish – the Kapenta being arrested by the big fish who are equally if not more corrupt than the Kapenta. 

          We want to appreciate that even in our African tradition; we know that a fish rots from the head.  Whenever there is corruption in a country, you will realise that it is more endemic and more pronounced within the top echelons of power.  We need to make sure that as members of Parliament across the political divide, we stand up for good governance, we stand up for clean government, we stand up for condemning those who raid national coffers, those who raid national resources.  It is our as Members of Parliament.  We are paid by tax payers to defend them not to shepherd them to the slaughterhouse of corrupt sharks in this country.  We want to say in terms of corruption – I did not hear what the President has got to say.  In fact, the President has not pronounced himself on issues of corruption, particularly in this speech.   

          In the past he has said something.  It is good to be very bold on paper but in practice we seem to be lacking in terms of the action that we are supposed to take.  Corruption is just rampant across the political spectrum, religious spectrum; people have to be dealt with by a Government to make sure there is no corruption in the country.  Even in terms of employment - you investigate even in the corridors of Government, it is who is who.  Those who are not related to the big guys will never have an opportunity to be employed effectively and meritocratically. 

If you look at regions, again there is corruption there. You look at Air Zimbabwe the Government promised that there was going to be 2.2 million jobs, only one job has been created at Air Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter.] – this brings me to my second point, job creation.

It is clear Madam Speaker that jobs have been decimated, jobs have just disappeared.  It is clear that factories are closing but the President does not mention this, yet he indicated to the people of Zimbabwe that he was going to create 2.2 million jobs.  We would have wanted to hear how far he has gone in creating those jobs.  He did not say a thing.  So, that is what is missing in his speech.  I feel that the President is supposed to give us answers about where the jobs are going, he is supposed to give us answers about his plan to create jobs for the people of Zimbabwe instead of just coming here to lament about problems. 

People are not elected into Government to come and whine about problems, they are elected into Government to come and give answers and solutions.  You are aware that even Smith during his time, had sanctions imposed upon him but he had to look at a sanctions busting mechanism which is something...

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  Hon. Member, I would like to remind you that you have five minutes left.

HON. CHAMISA:  I am very conscious, in fact I am done.  I just wanted to mention the issue of corruption and the issue of the jobs that are not being created, except that one.  So, it is very important that the President is seized with the issue of job creation, but not only that, we also want to hear about devolution.  In the Constitution we have devolution clearly articulated but nothing has been done to devolve authority, to devolve the national wealth.  You look at the national question in Zimbabwe, people in Matabeleland, Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland, Midlands are complaining.  Why, because there is no equitability in the distribution of the national cake.  There is no equitability in the distribution of national wealth.  That issue has to be resolved.  We have a Constitution which brought about the issue of devolving powers, but the provincial councils have not been set up and have not been established, which is a fundamental problem.

The President does not say a thing about it, he has not obeyed the Constitution and he is supposed to obey that Constitution.  The issue of devolution is very important, we want to see the provincial councils in place, we want to see the accountability of Government in implementing the Constitution; nothing has been done about this.  Madam Speaker, I feel that the President said a lot, but he also forgot to say so much and some of the things that I have highlighted are very important.  

Last but not least is also the worry I have about our abuse of the President.  You know that in our tradition, we are not allowed kuti ugare pasi pemuti mukuru akabata gejo hazvibvumidzwe mvura hainaye.   

*His Excellency the President is our leader; we must give him the opportunity to rest.  As a country we have rights to let our President rest.  He fought an arduous war in leading our country; we must respect him for that and allow him to rest so that we have youthful leaders to lead our country.  We must respect our President as a war hero who fought for the liberation struggle. 

I was reading the Road Traffic Act, it says someone who is 65 years and above is not allowed to drive a commuter omnibus or a bus because of his/her age, what of leading the country?  - [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter.] – I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate.     

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Order, Hon. Members.  I think Hon. Chamisa, the last part of your speech where you are suggesting that there are unconstitutional things that are in His Excellency’s speech.  I think you are actually the one who is misplaced because the President has the right to state what he wants in his speech, because it is his speech.  So, I think there is nothing unconstitutional about his speech – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I would also like to clarify that the President is elected and constitutionally has got a right to stand at whatever age he has at this stage.

*HON. CHAMISA:  Madam Speaker, I thank you, maybe you did not understand, in my speech I did not say what the President did was unconstitutional.  I said in my considered view there are certain issues that were left out.

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): You have already spoken that he left out those issues, and that was unconstitutional.  It is on record.   

*HON. CHAMISA: May be you did not understand what I said -the record will show that I have pointed out what was left out and what was done in terms of the Constitution.  If it was unconstitutional I would have told him and not you, Madam Speaker.  I am putting on record what has been left out and I have every right to do that.  I want to set this country correct.  A lot of people are supposed to put this right for the well-being of the nation.  You cannot have your head shaved in your absence.  I do not have a grudge or hatred against the President for anything, I love him so much. If you were to consider who is loved more maybe I am much loved more by the President, for the person who tells you the truth is the one who loves you most.

*THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  I will go further to remind you that the same Constitution allows the President to remain as President of the country without anyone belittling him because of his age.  We should not set the Constitution of the people aside.  President Mugabe was elected by the people until 2018. 

*HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank you for the opportunity that you have afforded me.  First and foremost, I would want to thank the President for his speech.  I am glad that he has sent back to this august House a Bill that deals with the issues of the Economic Processing Zones, which touches on labour issues.  I am glad that he noticed that in this country, the workers have not been taken into consideration on how they should earn a living.  As Members of Parliament, when we look at issues of the workers, we have overlooked the fact that the workers were oppressed.

          Furthermore, in terms of job creation, Government wants to create a lot of jobs.  The clauses in that Bill have certain shortfalls that would not lead to a creation of a lot of jobs.  I would like to thank him and commend what has been said by Hon. Chamisa that the President should come to this august House and inform us how he is going to create the jobs and what duties he is going to carry out.  The major duty of the President is to give us an opportunity to go about our duties.  It is not his duty to talk about how we should create employment.  It is the duty of the private sector and Government to come up with how best we should create jobs so that our children can be employed and eke out a living.

          The President also touched on the issue of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).  He found out that these SMEs can create a lot of jobs.  We are now more inclined towards the informal sector than the formal sector and as a result, our children should be entrepreneurship bound instead of being job seekers.  We should accept this trend because we no longer have conglomerates that are creating jobs.  The informal sector is now creating jobs.

          The President also talked of challenges of the need for the formalisation of the informal sector.  The Bill that would formalise the formal sector is yet to be brought before Parliament.  We should accept that the economy of this country is in the hands of the SMEs.  The responsible Ministers should come up with ways to ensure that there is formalisation of these SMEs. 

          He talked about the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill and the exploration of other minerals.  That Bill is yet to be tabled in this august House.  A lot of gold that is being delivered to Fidelity is coming from small scale miners, the artisanal miners.  On the legal side, there is no corresponding legislation to favour this new position about artisanal and small scale miners.  Other companies are closing down because of various problems.  We now believe that small scale miners now hold the card for us to ensure that we revamp our economy.

          There should be legislation to decriminalise artisanal mining.  Currently artisanal miners and small scale miners are either being taken over by large companies or chased around by police officers for possessing gold.  We should have an enabling environment for the growth of small scale and artisanal miners so that they can carry out their activities without criminalisation.

          Artisanal miners who practice river bed mining are being arrested whilst large scale companies are doing this with impunity.  The issue of mining should be brought to this House as soon as possible so that we can set our economy on the right track.

          He also talked about Command Agriculture.  We do not have a policy regarding that programme.  We dealt with the issue of land reform and resettlement, but we did not come up with a policy to deal with the ownership of that land.  The President wants this country to prosper once we come up with such a policy to guide us as farmers.  He urged that there be proper management of parastatals.  ARDA has a lot of farms which should be put under cultivation so that there will be a lot of wheat production so that we desist from buying wheat from Brazil and other countries.  Prisoners should also be involved in agriculture so that they can be self-sustaining and be able to sustain the country.

          He also touched on the issue of bond notes, the legal framework that enables people to be confident about the use of the bond notes and coins so that people will be assured that they will not lose their money.  The situation we had in 2008 where people were converting the Zimbabwean dollar into foreign currency should not be repeated but we are seeing it coming back that people are likely to pay certain amounts of money after withdrawing their money from the bank because of the unavailability of hard cash.  We may be going back to the system colloquially referred to as ‘burning of currencies.’  This situation causes lack of confidence in the banking sector by the society.  We therefore need legislation to be in place to protect depositors.  Banks should also have incentives for wholesalers like Mahommed Mussa so that when they deposit their money and later seek to withdraw the money, the bank should be in a position to allow them to do so.  That will improve the liquidity crunch that we are currently facing.

          There are other shops which sell clothes and do not bank their moneys.  Recently, there was a report that US$60 000 was stolen from a certain Indian national, which shows that they are not banking their money.  It should be made compulsory for traders to bank their money.  People who come with money from the diaspora should easily access their money; they should be given an easy access to withdraw their money so that there is investor confidence.

          Diasporians should be given favourable conditions to invest in the economy of this country.  Zimbabweans should have a paradigm shift and invest our money in the manufacturing sector.  I say so because a lot of people are building houses on mountains in Highlands and Gunhill suburbs, which shows that a lot of people have a lot of money but they are misdirecting their funds.  If the money that is being used to construct these mansions was to be ploughed into entrepreneurship, the economy of this country would improve.  We should support the manufacturing industry and there should be legislation to that effect so that our economy can improve. Madam Speaker, that is all that I would want to say.  I thank you for the opportunity that you have granted me to contribute on the Presidential Speech. The various Ministers with various portfolios should have a positive attitude and work hard so that everything that is in the ZIM ASSET blue print should now be producing results.  ZIM ASSET should not be a talk shop.

          Lastly Madam Speaker, the previous speaker raised an issue that the President – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order!  This is an important debate; let us behave like an august House and not a beer hall.  I urge Hon. Members, those that would want to discuss should have their discussions in whispers.  If they cannot contain to whispers, they should leave the Chamber and discuss elsewhere.

          HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The last issue was raised by the previous speaker that the President should now retire.  When one is leading we look at the wisdom and the leadership.  Age is not a requirement, whether one is young or old, we talk of his wisdom and intelligence that he would lead people to greater heights.  Even a 60 year old or 45 year old, they do not have national intelligence, they will have difficulties. 

          We are observing that in here, a lot of money was given, people were sent to school instead of them coming up with bright ideas to take this country further; people are now saying they have had enough and they are taking to the roads for demonstrations.  So, it is not an issue of someone getting old.  Grants were made available; students went all over the globe, Cuba, China, to mention just but a few.  Mothers had to make sure that they make clay pots to ensure that they send their children to school as well as selling their cattle. When they came back from attaining such high qualifications; they asked the parents where the cattle have gone to – it is a mockery of the whole thing.  We are talking of the wisdom that people should have, that is why we want the President to continue because the young ones that we have do not have wisdom.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this noble debate which was moved by Hon. Nyamupinga.  I would want to thank Hon. Mandipaka for seconding that debate which is so good.  I would also like to thank His Excellency for presenting this speech which sets a lot of guidance towards this Parliament.

          However, Mr. Speaker as we all know that Zimbabwe has suffered a lot in terms of draught, anything that has happened right now, as we know water is life! Without water, we have no life.  The President did takes note that this country really suffered due to drought but I wanted to contribute and say this is also because of climate change and we need to adapt because our rain season, winter season and all our seasons have actually changed.   I would also wanted to say that what we need to do is to make sure that our dams in the rural areas, in different places need to be scooped and Government does not have the capacity to clear all the dams because some of them have been washed in 2000 when Cyclone Eline came.  Now, we are seeing cattle, goats and all sorts of animals suffering and even people travelling to long distances because there is no water.  I would also want to recommend that at least with the issue of dams, if Government could enter into a public, private partnership and de-silt the dams so that we could harvest more water and I think that will alleviate the problems we are facing in terms of water, food and irrigation schemes.

          I would also like to take note that the President spoke about low revenue collections, high interest rates.  We take note that currently we have financial constraints, you try to go to the bank where you are only given a US$100; you do a transaction today for a US$100 again the bank charges you; you transfer your money from the bank to Ecocash and there is another charge again.  So, obviously you are going to have high interest rates because of these transactions.  Every transaction you take, where you could get a US$1 000, you are going to pay so many bank charges and you find that it contributes to high interest rates.  If something can be done, I think I will ask the Finance Minister to look into that because as Members of Parliament, you may not take note but my father told me that take care of the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.  Now, if we do not take care of the cents, you find that the interest rates will be very high and we always wonder what is going on.

          I want to take another swipe at what His Excellency spoke about the ease of doing business; the One Stop Shop, which is a welcome remark. When we over regulate certain departments, we have a challenge where you find it is so cumbersome to do business.  When you want to venture into mining you have to be holding 22 Acts of Parliament that you have to adhere to, 22 different types of taxes including EMA, Local Authority, there is actually a duplication of collection of taxes, you have royalties, local authority which is the land development levy, MMCZ a tax again but all that is one and the same tax.  You find that has a lot of hindering in the ease of doing business.

          Mr. Speaker, there is an issue where the President spoke about collateral registry where we should be able to register immovable properties.  A lot of people do not have title deeds to houses but they have got the idea of doing business.  They do not have title deeds but they have got cars, cattle, different immovable property that you will be to register in order to get collateral.  So, I think that is a welcome remark because you find a lot of people, the moment you put something as collateral that shows that you are confident in what you are going to do and no one wants to lose anything.  Even you seating there Mr. Speaker, if you come and say Mr. Holder, hold my jacket and I will give you $50.00 and I say I will hold it and you will give me $50.00, you are more than confident that you will be able to pay me.  I think having that collateral registry will be a very good welcome remark.

Mr. Speaker, the President spoke and took note where he said, it is pleasing to note that gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries were on an upward trend.  The only challenge that I see is that when we, as a country got 27 tonnes of gold, it was simply because he who pays the pied piper gets to choose the tune.  We are giving out licences to different miners to acquire gold but we are not funding them.  We used to have grants of $2000 for anybody who is to go into mining.  That was also part of exploration.  The problem now is – you give somebody a licence, he goes and borrows money from Peter and uses that money to buy the gold and he surrenders the gold to Peter.  Whether Peter has taken it to Fidelity Printers and Refineries, it is up to him.  At least, if Fidelity Printers would give out the licences and the funding, you would find that they would have more gold that we have ever seen.

Mr. Speaker, when we look at technology nowadays, we just need to use satellite and it will tell us that at this corner, it has got large deposits of different minerals.  I feel that if we could expand on that when we talk about exploration, we could get somewhere. 

The President spoke about the Minerals Exploration and Marketing Board.  Exploration and marketing are two different issues.  If you are beneficiating and marketing, we would agree.  If you are exploring and mining at the same time, the two will go together.  I feel that the Bill should come separate because it makes it easier for us as Members of Parliament to do our oversight role. 

His Excellency spoke about the energy sector where he talked about Kariba and the Dema Picking plant.  When he spoke about that, it left a lot of question marks.  That diesel plant was supposed to produce an additional 300 megawatts but it is producing only 100 megawatts.  We do not have an oil plant; we import our fuel and so, it is unsustainable Mr. Speaker because the farming sector, the industrial and domestic sites need power.  Power is the heart for industry to grow.  What is happening here is that when Dema Picking plant was established, it was only the Executive that visited the plant to see whether it was a new machine or not.  The Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy asked for permission to go and see whether it was new, old or obsolete equipment but till to date, we have not been allowed to go there.  We begin to ask ourselves many questions because the papers have written a lot in terms of corruption regarding the Dema plant.

Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency spoke about the dumping of cheap imports and obsolete equipment.  Namibia ordered a machine to generate power same as Dema.  Whilst putting it up, the Minister who approved it got fired.  After that, the plant was moved to Botswana.  The then Minister of Energy in Botswana, after being paid $6 million was fired for the same issue.  Now that same machine has moved to Zimbabwe and it is now at Seke.  We do not know whether it is the same one or whether it is another one.  His Excellency has a vision but the problem is it is being misled.  There are cronies that are around there that are waiting to fill their pockets.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I say so because it is uneconomical.  You are importing power at 8 cents per kilowatt and now you are producing it at 15 cents per kilowatt.  There is an issue there Mr. Speaker.

I want to go on and say, His Excellency spoke about Zimbabwe being the regional transport hub.  When we talk about SADC, we talk about Beitbridge road through to Harare, Chirundu when you are going to Zambia.  When you are coming from South Africa, in Johannesburg, there is the N1 route and everyone knows it.  All the countries around Southern Africa use this road.  This is why so many lives are being lost.  It is because we are not drawing attention to the rehabilitation of that road.  I would like to thank His Excellency for approving the dualisation of the Beitbridge/Harare/Chirundu highway.  That is a very good welcome remark for this country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we have also seen the improvement of the Victoria Falls airport and the Bulawayo airport.  There is nothing so good when foreigners come into this country and see an airport with high standards.  If that can spread to Buffalo Range and to Zvishavane, it will make it easier for me to come to work instead of dodging donkeys the whole road.  I take note that His Excellency also spoke about buildings....

[Time limit]

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  He spoke about qualified practitioners approving buildings and settlement plans.  I took note of that because when we look at Mberengwa turnoff, you will begin to wonder the type of structures that are there.  You will find that there is a block of shops and at the back there is blair toilets and the standard of buildings in that area is very poor. In life we go forward, we do not go backwards Mr. Speaker. This is what I am seeing. You find that it is only one place that I mentioned, but how many other places are under the same impression where the planning is done so poorly like that.

          I would also like to thank His Excellency, the President when he spoke about ARDA’s recovery. ARDA used to be the hub when we talked about plantation. I worked in the lowveld in Chiredzi and Chisumbanje. I worked for Chiredzi Ranching Company and I used to be impressed with the amount of deliveries in terms of wheat and beans that were ploughed under ARDA. As we talk about ARDA, I was quite happy and impressed that Basil Nyabadza is the Board Chairman and he seems to know what he is doing. I would like to acknowledge that if we could have people of that ability, I will be excited.

I was actually excited that Winston Chitando at Mimosa Mining Company is now the Board Chairman for Hwange Colliery. I have got a lot of faith in what he is going to do. I think he is going to turn the coal industry around. Looking at it, he has made plans. I was reading his report, although they may not have achieved them, these are what I call teething problems, but I am sure he will overcome that.

Another issue that His Excellency, the President spoke about was about the Medical Aid Society Bill. Mr. Speaker, it is affecting each and everyone in this august House. We pay our medical aid subscriptions month in month out but when we go out there, we still pay cash because the Medical Aid Companies are not submitting and are not paying. We have a challenge Mr. Speaker. I pay $300.00 towards the medical aid and I do not even use one cent. I am about to exit Parliament, maybe in 2018, you never know what happens but I would have wasted all that money because I am not using it, yet I am contributing. I think this Bill needs to come as a matter of urgency.

Mr. Speaker, we all know the STEM issue. When STEM was spoken about; when I went to school, if you did not pass English, Mathematics and Science, you would not be allowed to proceed. I can see that it has come back and it is welcome. I have had the opportunity to be sent with a delegation from ZANU PF to go to China and see how special economic zones are done and how political parties run with governments. I had the opportunity to go to Shenzhen. It was just a fishing town, but if you see how it is transformed because of science Mr. Speaker... 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order Hon. Member. Your time has expired like I indicated earlier on.

          HON, HOLDER: Mr. Speaker, I know that my time has expired. Let me just close, I was coming to the end - just two lines.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Okay.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. May God bless you on that. One thing that I wanted to speak about was the Cyber Bill. The Cyber Bill is so important. We have seen Hon. Members of Parliament being threatened. I have been tormented for almost two years with messages which I did not know where they came from. So, I think this Cyber Bill will be something that would contribute even to the security of Members of Parliament like Hon. Chamisa who was complaining about messages and death threats. As that Bill comes through, I think we will welcome it and I also welcome it. I thank you Mr. Speaker.  

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 12th October, 2016.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHINGOSHO), the House adjourned at Nine Minutes to four o’clock p.m.

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASEMBLY HANSARD 11 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 02