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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 APRIL 2017 VOL 43 NO 54

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 6th April, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

FIRST READING

CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT (NO. 1) BILL [H.B. 1, 2017]

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA) on behalf of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA) presented the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.1) Bill, (H.B.1, 2017)

          Bill read the first time.

          Second Reading:  Tuesday, 11th April, 2017.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  I move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America on the 22nd of April 2016;

WHEREAS the Republic of Zimbabwe is desirous of ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change;

 

WHEREAS Article 21 (1) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change provides that the same shall come into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe participated in the historic Twenty First Conference of Parties (COP21) which took place in December, 2015, in Paris.  The Conference resulted in the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  His Excellency, the President signed the agreement on 22nd April, 2016, in New York, thereby binding Zimbabwe to fully commit to its implementation.

Madam Speaker, 196 country parties reached a consensus on the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, thereby making the Paris Agreement a unifying treaty in the world’s effort to combat climate change. 

To date, 136 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement with over 30 countries being in Africa.  The countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement are already preparing and positioning themselves to benefit from the agreement’s provisions.

OVERVIEW OF THE AGREEMENT

·       The Paris agreement was developed to complement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that did not include the developing countries in climate change mitigation, especially with reference to greenhouse gas emission reduction.  Greenhouse gases cause global warming which consequently causes climate change – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, can we have order please, let us listen to the Minister. 

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you.

·       The agreement has an implementation framework that also highlights its objectives. The framework aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

·       Provision on the implementation of the National Determined Contributions (NDCs) elaborate their purpose, as building climate resilience and contributing towards keeping the global temperatures below 1.5 degrees celsius, through mitigation actions.  Zimbabwe’s focus is on energy and agriculture.

·       Climate change mitigation generally involves reductions in human (anthropogenic) emissions of greenhouse gases.  Mitigation may also be achieved by increasing the capacity of carbon sinks through such measures as afforestation, reforestation and reduction of deforestation.

·       The agreement encompasses the concept of adaptation with the aim of enhancing adaptive capacities, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change.  Adaptation entails anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise.  It has been shown that well planned, early adaptation action saves money and lives.

JUSTIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT

·       It is from the above background Madam Speaker, that I recommend to this august House to consider ratifying the Paris Agreement for the following reasons:

·       Ratification of the Paris Agreement will allow Zimbabwe to join the rest of the world in implementing the Agreement in order to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

·       Being part of the agreement will ensure that Zimbabwe is eligible to access resources provided for under the different frameworks and mechanisms for climate change adaptation and mitigation, particularly with reference to the intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

·       Ratification will also ensure that Zimbabwe can participate in the pre-2020 preparatory activities that will define the operational modalities of the Paris Agreement and, with other African countries, ensure that these modalities are not detrimental to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic aspirations.

·       Benefiting from the multilateral climate funds is conditional upon a country being a party to the Agreement, hence, Zimbabwe will be better positioned to benefit by ratifying the Paris Agreement.

I therefore plead with this august House to approve the Paris Agreement. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker for this opportunity and let me also take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Minister for so eloquently going through what is contained in the protocol. I also wish to take this opportunity to convey my condolences to the families of those that perished last night when a bus heading to South Africa from Harare got involved in an accident. The news that we have is that 30 died on the spot and that most of them were burnt beyond recognition. It is very saddening Madam Speaker. I would like to convey my condolences to the families of the deceased.

          Coming back to the business of the day, it is very important that Parliament approves this Paris Agreement. Madam Speaker, there are things that we must also be able to do because just acceding and  ratifying international agreements without us playing our part in this country is not good enough. We know that climate change is the way to go. Acceding to those conventions is the way to go because Zimbabwe is a member of the family of nations. We cannot say as Parliament we are not going to approve because it will not help us. So, approving it is the most logical thing to do.

          In this country we have a problem – the Minister must take steps to stop doing things that militate against climate change like constructing on wetlands. I will give you a typical example of Longcheng Plaza in Belvedere. That complex was constructed on a wetland and I remember residents of Belvedere presenting a petition to Government to stop construction of that complex on a wetland. What happens is that, when you construct a building like Longcheng Plaza on a wetland, it disturbs the integrity of underground water bodies. What it means is that in the passage of time, people to the south of that complex will not be able to get water from underground sources.

          It is the same thing in Mabvuku-Tafara, I remember growing up in that suburb, there was an area we would call “kumadhaka” because it was a wetland. Construction of houses has happened there, there are shops and now it is very difficult to sink a borehole in Mabvuku  because you must go 100m underground and yet in the early 80s it would only go 30 to 40m underground. These are some of the things that we must also take into account.

          Issues of cleanliness of our cities also militate on climate change. Harare used to be called the sunshine city because of its cleanliness but today you cannot possibly walk on First Street. I remember once upon a time First Street Mall was said to be one of the best mall in Africa outside of South Africa and Zimbabwe was called the Switzerland of Africa. Today, I doubt that there is anyone in this House who will be able to take his children for a walk on First Street. The place smells, there is so much litter.  At one time I had a very good laugh when the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate here said, we are going to ban airtime scratch cards because they cause a lot of dirt on the streets.  I said the Minister must be joking because what impact do they have to the cleanliness of Harare when there are heaps and heaps of rubbish that have nothing to do with scratch cards of airtime.      Hon. Minister, when you come with these protocols to this House, you must also then be able to tell us what you are doing as our Government to say this is the part that we are playing. No more construction of illegal structures on wetlands.

          On your way to Bulawayo just before Kuwadzana Extension, that whole area is a wetland. You need special foundations for you to be able to construct houses in that place. Houses are already going up and you wonder what our Government is doing.  The City of Harare will tell you they do not allocate people stands on wetlands. It is therefore somebody else who is not the City of Harare those stands are not in the books of the City of Harare. There is somebody who is parceling out land. Your Committee on Local Government did a fantastic job yesterday by naming Hon. Chigumba as one of the land barons.  To me the worst crimes on earth are raping a woman and stealing of land. For Hon. Chigumba to come to this House when he knows he has stolen land, I think it is unforgivable.

          Hon. Minister, some of the people that you must start fighting are land barons and start fighting in this House by fighting Hon. Chigumba who has parceled out land in Chitungwiza. The way they do it Madam Speaker is that they will take a banner with the name of the First Lady and they put it there and that is it. The police cannot touch them because the banner will be written “Amai Grace Mugabe Housing Cooperative Chitungwiza”. That is it. That is all the licence that they have. When they build their houses, you find one house that has been allocated to Maridadi – he builds a house, his bedroom is facing the toilet of the next door neighbour and his toilet is facing the lounge of the other neighbour. There is a pit toilet here and there is a well for drinking water there. Just imagine, what is happening underground? That is why there is typhoid.

          Madam Speaker, the Minister must now start putting measures in place to ensure that we have electricity and people do not cut down trees.      Tobacco is being sold at the auction floors and people are using firewood to dry that tobacco. Where do they get firewood from? They get firewood from the forest because there is no coal to dry tobacco and there is no electricity. Those are some of the things that impact on climate change – cutting down of trees and things like that.  So Madam Speaker, in summary I would like to say, thank you to Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill and that Parliament should support it, ratify and accede.  We also want to thank His Excellency the President for signing because I think that is the way to go because Zimbabwe is a member of the family of nations.  I thank you.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker I also rise …

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Thank you Hon. Speaker, just to kindly request Hon. Members to shorten their presentations.  This is a very important Bill and we are not going to do much to change it if we are in agreement with the ratification.  I think Hon. Maridadi has captured the issues… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I have not finished. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order can we have order – [AN HON. MEMBER: Counter, counter!] – No, please we cannot have that - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Can we have order in the House?  Hon. Members, there is no need to complain.  Hon. Chamisa is bringing his point of order saying we should shorten …- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  The Hon. Minister is ours - yes. If you look at the Order Paper, we are going to be supporting a lot of things on the Order Paper.  So, I think if we shorten and support our Minister, it is very good for us. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, in fact I do not intend to take a lot of time but just to say that …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Will you please shorten as well.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Indeed.  I know that the Hon. Minister is going to bring another Bill – she has two Bills.  I totally respect Hon. Zindi and others - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  but I am aware that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development intends to also provide us with a Ministerial Statement on cash shortages…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is a very important one and we are conscious of the time.  So, if we may also be sensitive to that Hon. Speaker.  I thank you. – [HON. MAONDERA: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, you cannot call to Hon. Zindi who is far across the other side. – [HON. MAONDERA: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no that is not your duty.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, while I appreciate the concern. I am waiting for your attention Madam Speaker…

          HON. HOLDER:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Hon. Chamisa raised a point of order and we have not heard the ruling from you yet Hon. Zindi is already debating.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I was supporting... - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – him and there was no need to make a ruling.  May you please proceed Hon. Zindi.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I just want to make my point as well.  While I appreciate Hon. Chamisa’s concerns but just to remind him that he is not the prefect in this House… - [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and also, I think it is your responsibility as the Speaker of the House …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order may you please get to your debate Hon. Zindi. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Hon. Adv. Chamisa having stood up to raise a point of order.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chamisa, please do not worry, may you please resume your seat - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – She is supporting you, so there is no need.  I was even supporting you so you do not need to keep on. – [HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Okay Madam Speaker.] – No, I do not think that it will work.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, the point has been driven home.  Nonetheless Madam Speaker, I also rise to support the Hon. Minister of Environment, Water and Climate’s statement.  In my support, I would like to point out the fact that we should support this statement and we need to ratify this agreement because it is the poorest countries, the under-developed countries with the poorest people who get affected with climate change.

          For example, the issue of drought and rising temperatures, it is the people in the less developed countries who get affected.  Therefore, we need to ratify this agreement.  For example, the green house gas emissions which will actually contribute to almost about 20C would actually be so catastrophic in terms of any cultivation of whatsoever and the consequences of such would be displacement of people with no savings whatsoever.  It is the poorest people who get affected.

          On that note, Zimbabwe is one of those countries in the less developed countries.  Therefore, Madam Speaker, with those kinds of effects of climate change affecting us as Zimbabweans, without really taking it seriously, I get a bit concerned when I see the attitude of the developed countries and in particular, Donald Trump’s attitude towards climate change. He seems not to be taking it seriously yet those are the economies that are contributing largely to these gases and climate change.  The Chinese, for example, we need to see these developed economies contributing more in terms of mitigating against the effects of climate change.  I can also give an example of Kenya as one country that has been affected economically.  They rely so much on agriculture and in the horticulture industry where they market their flowers to Europe.  They have had to suffer where the European countries are saying Kenya is actually contributing to climate change and yet it is insignificant if you were to compare to the developed economies of the United States of America, Japan and China.  Therefore, it is the less developed countries that are affected in terms of having to mitigate against the effects of climate change.

          I therefore need to urge, while we do ratify this agreement, that we as less developed countries should have it at the back of our minds at which ever international forum that we attend always, to put pressure on Donald Trump in order for him to actually revisit his attitude towards climate change because it is us in the less developed countries who get affected more as long as we do not oppose the negative attitude of Donald Trump.  With this contribution, Madam Speaker, although you are not paying your attention to my contribution, I thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My contribution will be very short.  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this agreement to Parliament pursuant to our constitutional provisions which dictate that such agreements do not take effect until they are tabled in Parliament. Once this agreement is in force and we have ratified, there are certain measures that are taken to ensure that State parties comply with the provisions of the agreement.  So, whatever fears that we have that have loophole here and there, they will be covered by the State reporting mechanism which will oblige us to take certain measures to ensure that we comply.  So, I think even the fears by Hon. Maridadi are going to be covered by this progressive piece of agreement that have been brought before the House. I thank you.

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order.  Concerning Order Number 63 of Privileges, we have Ministers that were appointed by the President, Cde. R.G Mugabe.  So, I do not know what is the way forward through your ruling Madam Speaker, that with us as the Members of Parliament, how we are going to work when we know that the ruling party has its monitors and stands infront of the nation and insult the Ministers.  Some of them are referred to as thugs.  I know that the term is used to insult.  A Minister that was appointed by the President is referred to as a thug; how are we going to work as Parliament?

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member.  Those are things that we heard from the press and once it is brought here in Parliament, that is when we will be able to debate.

          HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Like my predecessors, my debate will not be long.  I just want to highlight about two points.  Firstly, I think there is no objection to ratification of these protocols because this is the trend world over. However, suffice to say Madam Speaker, there are certain things that we need to do as a Government which I would wish the Minister to consider as we sign these protocols.  All other countries have signed the protocols, that is acceptable and that is good.  From the presentation that the Minister has given; what causes climate change as we have heard from the presentation of the  Hon. Minister, is due mainly to those obnoxious gases, the CFC’s, the chloroform carbons which cause the increase in temperature.

          Now, as Zimbabweans or as many other African countries and we all agree that we are not responsible for these gases; it is mainly the industrialised countries.  Madam Speaker, what the Minister knows is that we are doing a lot as a country to reduce those carbon emissions.  There are issues to do with our aforestation programmes which the Minister indicated.  We have a lot of big sanctuaries with game and flora which act as carbon 6; they reduce the availability of the obnoxious gases into the atmosphere by acting as carbon sinks.  We have our national parks; we have our big plantations all over.  Now, for that on its own, there is what they normally call the carbon credit for reducing the emission of carbon.  What are we getting as a country from those carbon credits? I am aware that the Ministry has done a very good job by establishing what is called the climate change office in her Ministry which is a good step.  However, let us do a bit more and benefit out of our efforts to reduce the carbon because many countries world over are getting more money out of these carbon credits.

          Secondly, as we talk of climate change, can we as a country positively say there has been climate change if we do not have accurate and consistent records over a long period of time of our weather elements?  Definitely, we cannot say so because we do not have much evidence.  This is because most of our weather collation centres are not properly capacitated.  Why not take advantage of this climate change protocol to ensure that most of our weather stations are supported by these world countries that are polluting the atmosphere so that we can positively say as a country, indeed there has been climate change.  For now, if you say there is climate change when you do not have records of the temperatures of the 18th century continuously up to the current, where do you compare, where do we base our comparisons?  Can we positively say in Zimbabwe there has been a temperature increase when most of our weather stations are unequipped?  I do not think we should just let these.  We should sign protocols, ratify them and pressure these developed countries to support our weather centres so that we can positively and accurately say, indeed there is climate change in the country. 

          Those are the two issues I thought we need to allow the Minister to reconsider because we cannot just be ratifying and get nothing out of it. We ratify and agree that there is climate change when actually our weather collation centres are in shambles.  Thank you.

          HON. DR.  SHUMBA: I rise to thank the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate and thank her indeed for moving this motion which must compel every reasonable Legislature to support. 

Hon. Speaker, when the Minister comes to this House, she comes to satisfy the constitutional provision that we need to ratify the following treaty, more specifically the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  Madam Speaker, already the Minister and her team has introspected, researched and attended to the specific issues that have specific outcomes that affect the signatories to this Paris Agreement. 

          Therefore, Madam Speaker, our job is to look at reasonableness of the quality work already done and whether we accept it as a country which we are in full support of and not pretend to be attempting to tear it apart here.  Madam Speaker, the Paris Agreement was not tailored for Zimbabwe alone; it is an agreement that was signed by international parties and therefore, I urge other Hon. Members to defer their appetite to contradict for other less critical issues. 

          I also would like to talk about points to do with the funding and pushing for foreign aid.  We are a sovereign nation and on one end, we are pushing to avoid foreign aid that comes with the various conditionalities or even opening ourselves as a nation to various western involvements in our economy.  Zimbabwe is going to have to attend to its obligations in terms of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

          I therefore move, Madam Speaker that we accept this and that accordingly, we applaud the Minister for a wonderful teamwork representing Zimbabwe. Thank you very much Hon. Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Members who have contributed to this very important motion and have supported the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Let me respond to some fundamental issues that were raised and I will start with Hon. Maridadi. I want to thank him for supporting the motion which is aimed at ratifying the Paris Agreement. Of course, he raises some fundamental issues to do with our wetlands in Zimbabwe which fall under EMA which has the sole responsibility to register all wetlands in Zimbabwe.

          Madam Speaker, I want to state that EMA came into existence when quite a number of these wetlands were sold to various house owners and we did not have much to do because this was a situation which prevailed before EMA came into inception. I want to state that we have been alert to the situation whereby we have been carrying out inspections with Local Government authorities to ensure that for those that were already constructing either houses or buildings, they adhered to our expectations within EMA. We will continue arresting those people that do not adhere to our expectations. We have had in the rural areas some traditional leaders who have been parceling out these pieces of land. I want to say that it is illegal and we have been taking measures which call for an offence or a levy of $1 000. So, we are doing everything possible to make sure that we protect our wetlands. 

          The second issue which he raised was the issue of cleanliness within the City of Harare. It is not just Harare which is affected by the issue of litter. The issue of litter is of concern to my Ministry but I want to say that we do have the climate change policy and also the climate change response policy. These two pieces of legislation outline what is expected of local authorities. It is not just EMA which has that responsibility. This is an agency which provides the regulatory framework to ensure that constitutionally, we enjoy a clean environment which translate in us breathing clean air and also have clean water.

          Therefore, the policies that I have indicated require that climate change is also mainstreamed whether by Local Government authorities to make sure that their cities are clean. It is our responsibility to ensure that these policies are adhered to. We will arrest where possible with the assistance of the police. So, where we catch people indulging in throwing litter everywhere, we work very closely with the police and it calls for $20 fine for individuals who throw away litter either through moving vehicles like buses and cars. We are not very happy about the progress in this area because we have our buses going to South Africa.

          Those passengers that board these buses throw litter from Harare right up to the border but when they reach South Africa, they change their behavour and they do not throw away litter. We are trying as much as possible to ensure that these fines are deterrent enough, but this is not a responsibility for EMA alone, but also the cities because they have got that responsibility to ensure that they keep their cities clean. We have also fined even the City of Harare for not providing a clean environment for their citizens within Harare. We have found them on several occasions but they continue with that behavior and we are looking at the possibility of even increasing those fines.  So, we may end up bringing Bills to this august House.

          The third issue which he raises is the issue of us providing electricity in order to ensure that the issue of desertification or the cutting down of trees is curtailed. On electricity, last year we witnessed that Kariba Dam was not producing the 700 megawatts which originally was the target which was set when it was constructed. We noticed that the generation of power had been reduced to about 290 megawatts. It shows that climate change is real to Zimbabwe. We cannot rely anymore on hydro-electricity, which is why Zimbabwe adopted the strategies of resorting to renewable energy which is solar and bio-gas. We are still using thermal power from coal, but we know that most of the gas emissions come from the generation of thermal power.

         

I can understand why Obama had to ban the use of coal within the United States which was reversed by Donald Trump. I am saying also that thermal power to us in Zimbabwe is still our policy. We should continue producing thermal power because developed countries have industrialised their own countries because they used coal as a means of driving their own industries. So, we are not going to be banning that. I am happy that even Trump in his craziest way was able to reverse this because the world still needs thermal power and it is much cheaper to use thermal power and also to use thermal power and so, my Hon. Member must appreciate that we are doing everything possible to ensure we address the issue of electricity deficit. 

Let me also address the issue of tree planting to say that since 1980, the country, through our President, introduced the tree planting programme which is an annual event.  It is in that realisation that in order for us to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and also for us to create the carbon sink, it is possible to plant as many trees as possible because each individual requires five trees the whole year to be able to get enough oxygen and also for these trees to be able to accommodate carbon dioxide.  So, we are very mindful of that, that is why we have a very ambitious programme.

Turning now to the issue of the tobacco farmers who use firewood in order to cure tobacco, I am sure you appreciate that Government put in place a levy which therefore, has been used by TIMB.  I understand this is a new development that they should ensure that those tobacco farmers replant or plant more trees to replace those trees that they are destroying.  In our climate change policy, we are encouraging the new usage of bio gas equipment and solar in the curing of tobacco.  So, we hope that in the future, we will be able - over and above these mitigation programmes, to reduce the cutting of trees.

Let me turn to Hon. Chamisa and thank him for supporting the motion.  Hon. Zindi also supported the motion and indicated that developing countries bear the brunt of climate change, which is very correct.  We all know that the suffering that we are incurring is a result of the very aggressive industrialisation programmes, where a lot of this coal usage went into place in order to create jobs and grow the economies of the developed countries, but I want to say that the difference between the Kyoto Protocol is that most developed countries were upbeat and till this day, they are not signatory to the Kyoto Agreement because that was really forceful where developing countries were saying, developed countries, you are responsible for these climate change problems and that you should pay for it, but we saw, in the Paris Agreement, that there was a strong principle of common objectives, but also looking at the different developmental issues that affected each country.

The issue of global warming as a result of greenhouse emissions - this one is affecting most of the small islands which are almost becoming extinct because of the high temperatures that are being experienced.  We saw that there is an accommodation of these small islands within the Paris Agreement itself.  Yes, the poorest people are the ones that bear the brunt.  We appreciated last year that when we had drought, we noticed the agricultural yields, even of the maize crop, was very low as compared to this year when we received some above and above normal rainfall.  We noticed that there was a drift of populations moving from the rural areas coming into urban areas, putting pressure on water, sewer systems and also creating an environment where you see people selling items on pavements, which has become a menace to our cities and this is one of the climate changes where people move into cities to look for greener pastures.

She did raise an issue of the attitude of developed countries, where they are not contributing to building resilience of small countries or developing countries in appreciation of the fact that they created this climate change problem, but she mentioned China.  Specifically that countries like China should also play their part.  I wanted to mention that China put US$60 billion, which they refer to as FOCAC for Africa to address its own climate change problems, looking at how agriculture has been affected in Africa, how the issue of hydro electricity has been affected.  So, we want to thank China, that they have taken the first step.  We are not very happy that the pledges that have so far been raised by developed countries have only managed to raise US$10 billion out of the US$200 billion  which they promised, but we are still yet to see whether this will be met because the cut off dates are 2020, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi also supported the ratification of the Paris Agreement and this is a constitutional provision where by any international convention or treaty requires us that we should ratify so that we domesticate some of these conventions.  So, we are looking forward today, to the approval of this Paris Agreement so that we join other nations so that Zimbabwe, like other nations, benefits from international donor funding.  Hon. Gabbuza supported the agreement, but indeed CFCs cause climate change.  Of course, the issue of aforestation, I have that this is part of our NCDs, our own national determined contributions as a country that we identified aforestation as one of the driving strategies to address the issue of green gas emissions. 

On carbon credits, this is an issue that we are currently working on by bringing in the private and public sector, to make sure that those who are participating in these programmes apply for the funding that is available - adaptation funds and green climate funds.  So, what we are currently doing is that over and above the climate change policy and the climate change response strategy, we have also put together a national technical team which is identifying projects which seek to address issues of aforestation, renewable energy and agriculture.  Water is a very important component.  So this technical team is responsible for putting together bankable projects which we will present to the Green Climate Fund.  So, carbon credits, those that are planting trees to address the issue of afforestation are those companies that are targeted.  So, we are mindful of ‘Road Plus’ and Zimbabwe must benefit. 

          I want lastly to thank Hon. Shumba for supporting this agreement for us to be able to ratify the Paris Agreement; funding for developed countries where he raised a very fundamental concern of conditions that come with this donor funding.  This is an issue which was raised by African countries and other developing countries and within the Paris Agreement itself.  There is an area which talks to the need for transparency where if a country is to assist any country in the developed countries that information will be made public.  We made sure that we are protected in the processes.  I want to thank you Madam Speaker.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE BILATERAL AGREEMENT WITH MOZAMBIQUE ON THE PUNGWE WATERCOURSE

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI):  Madam Speaker, I move motion standing in my name that:-

          WHEREAS Section 327(2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign states or governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

          WHEREAS Zimbabwe signed a Bilateral Agreement with Mozambique on the Pungwe Watercourse on 11 July 2016;

          AND WHEREAS Article 22(1) of the Agreement provides that it shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the parties;

          NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Bilateral Agreement between Zimbabwe and Mozambique on the Pungwe Watercourse be and is hereby approved for acceptance.

          Madam Speaker, the Pungwe River, which flows from Mount Nyangani in the Eastern Highlands and drains into the Indian Ocean, is a shared watercourse between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  The watercourse is managed under the Pungwe Basin Trans-boundary Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Programme, a joint initiative between the two Governments that was established by the Joint Water Commission.

Overview of the Pungwe Agreement

          The Agreement outlines measures jointly adopted by the parties for the sustainable utilisation of the Pungwe watercourse, which include:-

(i)                  The joint responsibility to prevent, reduce as well as to   control the pollution of both surface and ground water for purposes of enhancing the quality of the waters and the surrounding ecosystems;

(ii)              The obligation to exchange data and information, including rainfall figures, floods and river flow data; and

(iii)           The adherence to the Flow Regime contained in Annex 2, which limits abstractions from the Pungwe Watercourse to the levels agreed upon.

The governments of Zimbabwe and Mozambique now desire to

adopt criterion for the conversation, allocation and sustainable utilisation of the Pungwe water resources, through the proposed Bilateral Agreement.

          Justification for the Agreement

          Madam Speaker, the proposed Bilateral Agreement seeks, among others, to:-

(i)                  Safeguard Zimbabwe’s interests in the sustainable supply of water to the City of Mutare, as well as the utilisation of water from the Pungwe River basin in general, for afforestation, livestock management and tourism;

(ii)              Minimise potential water-related conflicts between the two countries; and

(iii)           Create opportunities for other forms of cooperation in different sectors.

This cooperation demonstrates the importance of transboundary

river basin management for economic and social development.   I therefore plead with this august House to approve the Agreement.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. MAJOME:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I raised this point before in terms of our very own Standing Rules and Orders, particularly Order No. 20, paragraph (c) that pertains to the terms of reference of Portfolio Committees.  It says that “Subject to the Standing Rules and Orders, Portfolio Committees must,” I underline the word must and emphasise the word must, “consider or deal with all treaties conventions and agreements relevant to  it which are from time to time negotiated, entered into, agreed upon”.  I am raising this because I am not aware that the relevant Portfolio Committee has indeed considered this treaty.  I rise because I have raised this before, this might be about the third or so time, and I think  last time it was in connection with Finance Agreement.

  My concern Hon. Speaker is that we are a Parliament that has made rules for ourselves.  I do not think it bodes well for us to ignore our very own Standing Rules and Orders.  If we do not think that that provision is relevant, my humble suggestion is that we amend the Standing Rules and Orders and just remove that requirement for Portfolio Committees to consider international treaties and organisations.  I believe there is a reason why this august House provided for this in this Standing Rules and Orders.  Up to now, not a single international treaty has ever been referred to any Portfolio Committee whatsoever.  If we do not take ourselves and our rules seriously, we cannot expect the Zimbabwean public to respect us as a Parliament.  I do not know why, with due respect, the staff of Parliament does not refer these treaties to Portfolio Committees through the Research Department.  We are just not abiding by our own rules.  I am embarrassed Madam Speaker, to say the least, that we are failing to abide by our own rules that we have made for ourselves, unless the Portfolio Committee considered the report.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Member, but this has been our practice ever since we have been in this House.  However, I think the Leader of the House may help us on this one.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, may I look at the provisions – [Laughter.] –

Hon. Majome handed the Standing Rules and Orders to the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for perusal.

HON. MNANGAGWA: Yes Madam Speaker, I think it was just a matter of oversight.  I think this should be done in future.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]  -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Majome for bringing up that issue.

Motion put and agreed to.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

CASH SHORTAGES AND QUEUES AT BANKS

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, last week the House asked that I give a Ministerial Statement on cash shortages or queues outside the banks.  It is now my pleasure to make my brief Ministerial Statement and this will cover two important issues namely:

·       The main causes of the cash challenges; and

·       The initiatives that Government is taking to address these challenges.

Causes of cash shortages

Madam Speaker, high fiscal deficit that is further exacerbated by the current account deficit have contributed to the current cash shortages and queues for cash at banks.  There is a direct association between high fiscal deficits and current queues at banks.

Government employment cost at above 93% of tax revenue, combined with Government legacy debt of over 40% of tax revenue means that Government expenditure is above Government revenue.  This shows that we are living beyond our means through borrowing from the market by way of Treasury Bills that translate into Government overdraft at the Reserve Bank on maturity.

Further, Government funds its employees’ salary accounts through electronic transfers over the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform.  On the contrary, employees would want to obtain physical cash from banks.  This misalignment is the greatest cause of queues at banks for cash as both the Reserve Bank and banks would be required to withdraw foreign exchange from their Nostro Accounts to meet cash demand.

Madam Speaker, non-banking of cash by traders is also a major cause of cash shortages and queues for cash at banks.  This indiscipline is counterproductive and cannot continue to be tolerated.  Money is like blood, it needs to circulate for the economy to survive.  Money should be circulating in order to deal with queues at the banks. To date, three traders have been hauled before the courts for not banking their sales proceeds in line with the laws of the country from as far back as June 2016. They have all pleaded guilty to the offence and they now await their sentences after the Easter holidays.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is also pressure for Government to monetise the overdraft or Treasury Bills to physical cash. Monetising Treasury Bills means that physical foreign exchange cash is being withdrawn from banks without a corresponding foreign exchange receipt to fund Government’s position at banks.

Strategies to address cash shortages

Mr. Speaker Sir, Government, through the Reserve Bank, is advocating for the use of plastic money in order to ameliorate the mismatch or gap between electronic salary transfers and the demand for cash from banks. Embracing plastic money preserves foreign exchange in the Nostro Accounts for use of foreign payments whilst at the same time mitigating against non-banking of cash by traders. Government is also considering removing the 5c tax on plastic money in order to reduce the cost of transacting.

The non-banking of cash by traders is currently being attended to by the Reserve Bank and the police under the Bank Use Promotion Act [Chapter 24:24] which compels traders to bank their surplus cash on a daily basis when banks are open for business. Best practice is that traders in the reserved sectors of the economy should be locals as is required in terms of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. These reserved businesses include the following:-

·       Transportation, passenger buses, taxis and car hire services;

·       Retail and wholesale trade;

·       Barber shops, hair dressing and beauty salons;

·       Employment agencies;

·       Estate agencies and Real Estates;

·       Bakeries;

·       Grain milling;

·       Tobacco processing;

·       Advertising agencies; and

·       Provision of local and craft, marketing and distribution.

In Zimbabwe, the opposite is true and as a result we have noted with great concern the deliberate disregard to the laws of the land by these traders. Such unscrupulous traders should not continue to enjoy the freedom of being in the reserved sectors without compliance. The net is closing on those players who continue to disrespect our laws.

Conclusion

Mr. Speaker Sir, the factors underpinning cash challenges are beyond banks. Banks find themselves in a difficult position where they are compelled to ration cash withdrawals in order to meet their customers’ demand. Banks have, therefore, continued to explore pragmatic measures to meet their customers’ demand for cash.

*HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  I want to appreciate Hon. Chinamasa for having made an effort to give a Ministerial Statement at a time when Zimbabweans have a crisis on the issue of cash flow. Hon. Chinamasa believes that he can bring sanity into the banking sector through the promotion of Bank Use Promotion Act. I believe that a lot of people in this country do not have a lot of money to the extent of keeping it at home. There are a lot of point of sale machines and you find people requesting for cash because they cannot access cash. If you want to arrest them, I do not know who is going to fill up these prisons. There is no money in circulation. We used to have the dollar and people would move around with loads of cash.

When you go to buy fruits such as oranges, you need hard cash. At the moment, there is no US$20 in the market. You just find US$10 notes and below. I urge you to look into this issue more seriously. If you go to OK Mart or TM supermarket where I normally visit, you find a person requesting shoppers that have hard cash to give it to him so that they can swipe for the goods that they are paying. If our intelligence organisations are doing their work, they should be able to give you this information on what the people are observing. I would want you to also observe that.  A lot of people receive their salaries through the bank, the people want to use the same method of swiping everyday but we have not yet reached that stage. People are having problems accessing their salaries.

The elderly people need the hard dollar to pay for their transactions. I once spoke about this issue and I even spoke to the Vice President and he said the money will be made available. You cannot say that a donkey and cow are the same. You cannot equate a bond note to a US$. I did say that there should be a dollar account and a bond note account. There should be several bond notes so that people can use them. People do not want to buy a donkey when they can slaughter a cow and eat the meat.

*HON. MANDIPAKA: We have heard what has been said by the Hon. Minister and we respect that. He has also given measures which we believe would aid the cash problem. May the Minister clarify on how much expertise do we now have as a country, in understanding  and looking into the issues of economic sabotage because there might be a few that have a lot of money that are mopping up all the money in circulation. They buy bond notes using US$ and they throw away the bond notes in trunk loads and use their US$ outside the country.  What is being done because there could be others that could use all the money they have, for instance they can do that in Mufakose and use all the money. I thank you.

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Hon. Minister for your brilliant suggestions to ensure that there is an improvement of money circulation on the market. The sanctions that the country is grappling with.. [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA):  Let the Hon member ask his question. This is not a time for debating. I would want to repeat, please Hon Member, ask your question that seeks clarification.

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you. If we discuss the issue just for the sake of discussing it without hitting the nail on the head, this is the reason why we are in this situation.  Be that as it may Madam Speaker, you said that  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, may you please observe order in this House.  Ask your point of clarification Hon. Mupfumi, straight to the point.

          *HON. MUPFUMI:  My point is on the sanctions, we should not run away from the problems that we have - we say whatever we want to say.  Very well Madam Speaker, I will confine myself to what the Hon. Minister said.  Hon. Minister, I know if all the money goes into the banks as you say, we request not to be limited in terms of the withdrawal amounts so that we access our money timeously.  The problem is that MDC… - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – does not want this country to progress.

          *HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member should not mention other people’s parties where there is peace and tranquil.  He must mention political parties where there is turmoil.  We did not demonstrate against anyone here.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order I will not allow anyone to debate but I want to make it clear that you are only seeking clarification from Hon. Minister Chinamasa’s presentation – that is all.  If you are going to be debating, I am not going to allow that.

          *HON. MUPFUMI:  Thank you, I am not yet through - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no I want to speak.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Please, round up Hon. Mupfumi.

          *HON. MUPFUMI:  I am saying, Hon. Minister we thank you for what you are doing but we will not progress for as long as those who are seated to my left will go behind your back and undermine your efforts so that things remain difficult for us. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order may you wind up your question?

          *HON. MUPFUMI:  We are not in any hurry; we have cash flow challenges in this country.  We request those on my left not to sabotage and destroy this country because overnight they are going to overturn whatever measures are put in place so that Zimbabwe is declared as a country that has failed to run itself.  I thank you.

          *HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I raised that question last week and I am a member of the MDC.  I would want to ask the Hon. Minister that if you go to the bank today, you no longer have the option of getting either the US dollar (US$) or bond note – you are just being given the currency that is there.  Does Government have in place measures to monitor the amounts of US$ that are in Zimbabwe and in circulation because the money that was deposited was in US$.  At the inception of the bond notes, we were informed we would have an option to withdraw US$.  I had to withdraw bond notes today when infact I had deposited US$.  Are there any measures that are being taken to correct that?  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  The Hon. Member with vehicle number ADI 8489, range white, may you please go and remove your car – it is blocking other vehicles.

          *HON. MAHOKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me say to the Hon. Minister that we would want clarity on the issue of plastic money pertaining to the police and spot fines.  Are there going to be swipe machines with police officers manning road blocks?  There will be many police officers from one station on the road that even when you go to the police station, they do not have swipe machines.  How are you going to look into that?

          Secondly, is the issue of tobacco farmers; a farmer leaves his communal home without any money to sustain himself. Are there any swipe machines with food vendors for instance, so that the farmer is able to buy food?  Our farmers are suffering.

          Again, the vendors that are on the roads, if you were to go five to ten steps, you will see people openly selling currency.  What action are you taking to ensure that people do not sell these currencies in broad daylight?  What measures are you putting in place to people like Mohammed Musa?  If I was to go and sit by the corner, I would realise that people will be buying until the end of the day.  If I was to do that and say all the money that is there should be banked, what are you doing in as far as foreign nationals like Indians, Asians and the Chinese are concerned?  I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, my question to the Hon. Minister is tied to Hon. Mahoka’s question.  Does the Hon. Minister have any plans or measures to ensure that all Government institutions and agencies are also able to accept plastic money?  She mentioned the police but there are also a lot of others like if you go to the airport – the parking service that is employed by the Civil Aviation Authority, they only accept cash.  There are also other Government departments of various kinds.  Is the Hon. Minister doing something to ensure that all Government agencies and ministries accept plastic money and also, what are the remedies that are available to members of the public who do not have cash through no fault of their own but are required to pay for those services when those services are not available in terms of plastic or electronic money?

          *HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will be coding switching to our mother tongue since it is allowed. Of the $200 million that was backed by Afrexim to support the bond notes, do we have a measurement to see how much money is now in circulation and how much is still remaining? As a result of the money that has been poured into circulation, what has been done to ensure that the existing problems are resolved?

          Secondly, if the banks do not give US$ to depositors, are we not in contravention of Section 71 of the Constitution where money is defined as a property.  Are our property rights not being contravened? Since you are unable to access the money that we will have deposited, what is Government going to do about this to ensure that there is no contravention of this section of the Constitution? Why is the Government not coming up with legislation that everyone should have a point of sale machine so that wherever one goes, they will be able do transactions and business people will not say they operate on a cash basis?  It should be illegal for someone to say they operate on a cash basis so that e-payments and e-transactions are backed by the law- regardless of a barber, commuter omnibus driver, or at the Avenues Clinic.  The hospital must have a point of sale machine so that work can be done properly.  Is the Government facing any challenges, if so may you please point out what these challenges are?

          Lastly, Hon. Minister Chinamasa, would it be difficult for the Government to have the United States dollar back so that everyone uses it.  If one fails to use the United States dollar, then they can use the South African Rand so that our country can regain economically.  People have their monies underneath their pillows whilst others do not have money because they cannot access the bond notes in the banks.  So, is it so difficult for the Government to go back to dollarisation?

There are very few Ministers that we meet at the bank, where are doing their own banking?  Some of them cannot even swipe.  Where are they swiping, maybe you are the exception but some of your colleague do not know anything about swipe machines.  We have never come across with Ministers in a bank, where are they getting their monies from?  I would want clarity on that issue as to whether you are also using the bond notes or not.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to seek some clarity towards the Minister’s statement.  First of all, I want to thank the Minister for coming up with this Ministerial Statement.  However, there are a few issues that I wanted to find out and get clarification on.  When the bond notes were introduced into this country, it was for change purposes.  Now, the biggest denomination that we are coming across in United States Dollar is most probably US$10 or US$20.  Most of the money that we get from the banks or from the different departmental stores in form of cash back is actually bond notes.  So, you would find that when you want $100, you would be having this big bundle of notes.  What mechanism is the Minister putting in place to try and restore the issue of money?  Although in the banking sector you have come up with bank promotions where you try to get people to have confidence in banking.  The Minister mentioned that there are some culprits that were arrested regarding the issue of not banking but you did not mention how much were they carrying, whether it was two, three or five million dollars, those are the issues that we want to know. 

          On the issue of swiping, plastic money, the e-banking system, most of the time you will find it is down.  Last week I encountered a major problem because I employ miners and farmers.  People who work on the farms do not have bank accounts and people who work in the mines are almost like makorokoza’s, they work one month and go. However, the mining sector where it is supposed to bring in money, you cannot buy explosives using bond notes, they want United States dollars cash, and they do not accept RTGS or anything.  They need cash in order for them to be able to purchase raw material to come and make sure that there are explosives, cynide and stuff like that, that is Intrachem, and they do not accept all these available forms of payment. So, there must be a system put in place. 

          Also on the issue of service stations that are selling fuel.  They swipe up to a certain amount and they will tell you that the machine is not working because they want the United States dollar so that they can be able to purchase fuel.  If they have bond notes they say they cannot change it because when they take the bond to the bank, they will be told there is a process to follow yet when you bank United States dollars there is no process.  So, I would like the Minster to clarify how much bond notes were released into the market because there is no more bond note, no more United States dollars and the swipe machines are not working.

 Credibility in the banking sector, we have a challenge - that is why people are not banking.  Eco-cash; people are no longer accepting it.  I also want to know what is the relationship between eco-cash and the banking sector, because I am not too sure how it works but there are a lot of eco-cash booths around the country.  When you go there you are only able to cash in and not cash out.  So, where is that money going and what mechanism have you put in place to protect that issue? 

          On the issue of TB’s, did we not release too many TB’s that are now maturing, maybe that is the reason of cash shortage.  Most probably you issued too many of these TB’s, so now they are maturing and people are cashing out.  So, the money has been mopped up; there is no more money in the streets.  As a country, let us be masters of our own destiny, let us make currency here.

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I need clarity on the issue of swiping machines.  If you go to the shops owned by people of the Indian decent in Mutare as well as Chinese in Kaguvi, they now have the swipe machines.  However, what they do is that since you want the product, they will simply tell you that their machines are non-operational. What measures are you going to put in place to ensure that people are not going to be hoodwinked to believe that the machines are not operational when they are actually functioning. 

          On the issue of swipe machines, I need you to remedy the issue of the price of a product because four prices are being used for one same product.  It has been mentioned in Parliament several times but nothing has been done out there.  There is one price for eco-cash, swipe, bond notes and United States dollar, those prices are different. 

          The other last clarification that I require is that of the people that are going to the banks to get their salaries, one is receiving $200 bond in the form of 50 cent coins to go back to the communal areas.  Are we not burdening our people?  What other measures have you put in place to alleviate that problem? 

The last part has already been mentioned by Hon. Mahoka, it is in regards to tobacco farmers. If they accrue $40 000 for their product, they are being allowed $1 000 at CBZ. When Agribank processes the money to CBZ, it takes a lot of days. The person will have come from Chiendambuya and he is now living under a tree. From the $32 000 that remains, he requires 7 or 9 days so that they can withdraw $1 000 each. So when they come back, the money will have been taken through expenses. Are we not burdening our farmers? What measures are you going to put in place to ensure that they receive reasonable amounts of money? I thank you.  

          *HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is that there is the 5% export incentive that had been increased. It was to be given to those that will have received the diaspora funding. Is it now 5% or 3% that we are supposed to receive? We observe that people are being given 2% and 2% remains with the financial institution. It appears that the Government is not truthful about what it is saying. So, those that were in the habit of sending money have now stopped because what you pronounced is not what the institutions are doing. They are now receiving $3 instead of $5 as incentive. May you clarify so that these measures can be corrected so that those that were defrauded long back can be refunded the $2 that were being stolen from every $100. I thank you.

          Hon. Ndebele having gone to the other side of the House.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order Hon. Ndebele, are you on the right side?

          HON. NDEBELE: I was visiting and this is why I am on this side.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: So I may not recognise you if you are a visitor.

          HON. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The clarification that I want to seek from the Minister through you is on the issue of the informal traders that go outside the country like South Africa and Botswana. When they try and use their swipe cards, they are always declined. I think there is no sort of arrangement between the banks in Zimbabwe, South Africa or Botswana. May I know from the Minister what measures they are putting in place to make it easy for those traders that go to Botswana, South Africa or even other countries for them to be able to swipe their cards and access cash from there for whatever savings, be it buying goods or even accommodation and staff like that. I have had an experience whereby somebody went out there with cards and when they tried to swipe for hotel accommodation, it was declined. When they tried to swipe for food it was declined and they ended up being destitutes there yet they had money in their local account here in Zimbabwe. That is the clarification that I want from the Minister. I thank you.

          Hon. Ndebele having stood up to debate.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Were you in the Chamber when I made this arrangement?

          HON. NDEBELE: I wish to seek clarification from the Minister in terms of the formula that the Central Bank uses to allocate money to various banking entities. I bank with the POSB and I believe that is where most of our poor people also bank their money. That bank goes for several weeks without cash and if at all cash comes, it comes in the form of coins yet those that bank with Standard Chartered and Barclays get notes more often than not. Is it possible for the Minister to look into that by way of providing relief, because most of those that bank with me at POSB are pensioners and rural folk who sometimes have to spend nights on end at the bank? Thank you.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Minister for a job well-done and also that he consults us whenever he has come up with ideas saying that we should come up with ideas so that we ensure that the money goes back into the system. There is no longer money in circulation. Why has that money gone out of circulation? I believe we should put our heads together and come up with suggestions. I am glad others have come up with their suggestions and I believe for us to have money in circulation...

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matambanadzo, please seek clarification only.

HON. MATAMBANADZO: I was saying, for us to have money back in circulation since - it is being brought into this country, those that have funds garnished against them like cross borders, since they have been crossing the border about three times a week to  buy and resell. There were about 5 million people, we were told by ZIMRA last time. On average they were going with $300. This means that they are now keeping this money in their pillows and are no longer banking that money. If you calculate $5 million and if each of them was using $300, it is $1.5 billion, which is now being kept out of circulation of the money system.

          Could you come up with measures to relax these things so that people can take their money back to the banks because they are the ones that earn this money? Car dealers are another issue. We observed that the majority of motor vehicles that were parked on the roads, it is a loss - but as a Grade 3 pupil that I am in these days, I observed that it is the currency that is not even banked. It is a benefit to the country. They were purchased by foreign currency and they are now being sold at a higher price, and they could be bought by Zambians or Malawians using foreign currency.

          That money was being banked because the person was able to withdraw it from the bank. That is why there was a lot of money in circulation. In terms of gold, we lost out. When you came up with daily limits, you will have observed that last year five tonnes of gold was banked. When you controlled the amounts to be disbursed...

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, those are the suggestions that you should give the Hon. Minister at his office and we only need you to seek clarity on the issues that he has made reference to. He will accept your suggestions because Minister Chinamasa operates on an open door policy.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: In the form of a question did the Minister observe that in three months we were able to raise five tonnes of gold, but when the withdrawal limits came into effect, we were supposed to come up with 30 tonnes, but we eventually came down to 21 tonnes. This year have you observed that in three months, we have been able to raise gold amounting to three tonnes and we failed to hit last year’s figure of five tonnes. As a result, no foreign currency is coming in. I thank you.

          *HON. KATSIRU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Though we are part of the House, where we are situated, it is difficult for us to be given a chance to speak.  You only pick on those that are nearest to you.

My first issue, Mr. Speaker Sir, if we leave this place and we are to go to Simon Muzenda Street, we find brand new bond notes that are being traded as we speak.  Where are these bond notes coming from?  Every day we find these new bond notes.  Where are they coming from and those that are being sold, where are they going to?   I believe money is being moped from the market and there is nothing tangible that we are doing about it.  That is the first issue.

My belief, which is my second point, is that if there are Chinese people that have bank accounts, out of 500, there will only be two.  The majority of them keep their monies in their pockets.  They leave this country with their money.  The Government goes to the Chinese, they are given a loan of US$2 million and the Chinese mop up US$3 million.  The Government is always in deficit.  I am not making just reference to the Chinese, but I am also talking of our other friends like the Nigerians.  They keep their money in a pillow underneath the bed and in their pockets.  That money is leaving this country through the border post.  Why can we not come up with laws that would bar people from leaving this country with such currencies?  

If you want, send four MPs.  They can go and buy money.  They can bring in thousands of bond notes.  We are making a lot of noise in here, crying about the difficulties in accessing cash when we do not have appropriate measures to protect our cash.  I thank you.

THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  It is clear that we are seeking clarification, but mostly suggestions are what you are bringing forward to the Minister, which is not the case.  If you are not sure, rather sit down and then we proceed with those people who would want to seek clarification.

*HON. GANGARAHWE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I need clarity on the issue of the use of RTGs and plastic money.  We have observed that those traders from the communal lands are failing to access swipe machines instantly.  They require a waiting period of two months.  Secondly, we heard that the banks were importing funds.  Why have they stopped importing the money?  That was the source of foreign currency which we seek.  Thirdly, we heard that US$102 million worth of bond notes has been printed.  Because of the suffering of the people, we know that we were given a guarantee of US$200 million.  Why did you not simply come up with bond notes equivalent to US$98 million? 

When the bonds came, you said they were for purchasing mazhanje, tomatoes and vegetables, but we now know that they can buy cattle and cars.  What measures are you taking to ensure that there are sufficient bond notes on the market?  You said there are certain sectors that are reserved.  How significant are they in our economy or you are talking of just those that sell wrist watches and jewelry which may not contribute much to our economy?  We have Command Agriculture and we would like to thank the Vice President who led this project.  We expect to realise a lot of maize.  Are we going to be able to pay these farmers when you are saying that Government is surviving above its limits?

Then I would like to talk about the queues that we are seeing in our banking halls.  They are bad for us as a Government and as leaders of the country.  The people in queues are taking the opportunity to insult the President.  They now appear to be opposition rallies.  I thank you.

*HON. MAONDERA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I need clarity on one point.  We know that a lot of people that are in here such as Ministers and MPs are businessmen.  Minister Chinamasa runs hardware and a service station at Headlands.  You say that you are going to force people to bank their cash.  Are we going to investigate to find out if Hon. Members and Ministers are also banking their money?  Are we practicing what we are preaching because others have mines in Zvishavane and they are not banking money like Hon. Holder, so that people can have confidence in our system?

*HON. TARUSENGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I seek clarity from the Minister.  When you say that there are certain businessmen who are about to be arrested for not banking their daily takings, I am one of those that are going to be arrested.  What are you doing to incentivise people to use the banking system because the money runs out when it is in the bank?  When we used to bank, we used to get interest, but you get to a stage where your account runs out of cash?  What incentives are you putting so that people can use the banking system?

*HON. MUZONDIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also need clarity on the payment of school fees for children that are outside the country.  You can no longer carry out any transactions using visa cards.  How best can we be assisted because once we get the bond notes, we go to the Road Port as Hon. Members and buy rands on the streets?  There are no rands in the bank.  They can give me 1000 rands if the rands are available.  I have no choice but to go and acquire the rands on the black market.  How best are you going to address that?  I thank you.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  I noticed the Minister has spoken very strongly on the participation of foreigners in the reserved sector and yet we know that if we amplify this, it might lead to xenophobia and killing of relationships between ourselves and other nations around us.  What is the Minister likely to do to avoid the possible consequences of xenophobia arising from expression in an amplified manner of a dislike for our neighbours.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and I thank all Hon. Members for the clarifications they have sought.  It gives us an opportunity to clarify so that Hon. Members and Treasury are on the same page with respect to this problem. 

Vamudzuri you asked – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is an Hon. Member.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Maybe varikuda kuti muti Vice President.

*HON. CHINAMASA: When we are here in Parliament, there is only one Vice President, who is Hon. Mnangagwa. We will use that title on others when we are outside of Parliament at their Party caucuses.  However, when we are in here, the Vice President who is here is Hon. Mnangagwa – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.

HON. CHINAMASA: We respect the Vice President of MDC-T, Hon. Mudzuri – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – who is one of the three Vice Presidents of MDC-T – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, let us move on – [Laughter.] –

*HON. CHINAMASA: Hon. Mudzuri, you asked a question on how tomato vendors operate, are they also able to use point of sale machines?  My answer is yes, they are able.  There are several vendors who are now using them.  We know that even those who stand by the roadside selling maize cobs and tomatoes are already using point of sale machines.  The only problem we have as an economy is that we need foreign currency to buy more point of sale machines.  Right now, throughout the country, we have more than 32 to 33 thousand point of sale machines and we still need more.  Some of you who buy goods at Siyaso Market, point of sale machines are already there.  If one does not have a point of sale machine, the business will be very difficult to operate because we are encouraging the use of plastic money.  With the current shortage of cash, it would mean that your business does not have clients.  So, I would like to say to Hon. Mudzuri, every individual who is in business is able to use point of sale machines.  This is what we are encouraging and even if we get foreign currency, we still want point of sale machines to be used more often.  That is our goal as Government.

Hon. Mandipaka, you spoke about suspicions that some people could be hoarding bond notes for the purpose of destroying them.  We have not yet come across such a scenario, if it is there, I do not subscribe to that for now.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the problem we are facing are people, especially those who deal with huge cash transactions, retailers and wholesalers, who are being paid cash and not banking it and we have a track record.

As I mentioned in my Statement, three traders have been held before the courts and pleaded guilty.  What we did is, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, through its financial intelligence unit, has been positioning people in these huge trade businesses to find out how much was banked yesterday or two months ago, cash sales for a given day and how much will be banked.  Already, three traders have been caught and we are going to intensify this process.

Further, Mr. Speaker Sir, it will not stop us from passing a law that provides that, any business person who is obliged to bank their money in terms of Bank Use Promotion Act and does not do so leading to conviction, we can withdraw the licence.  What we lack in this country is discipline, we have become too careless and basically, we do what we want.  The economy cannot grow whilst we do whatever we feel like doing.  We should have discipline and statutes in place.  On this one, I must give a very stern warning, licences will be withdrawn when we enact the legislation for businesses which are not banking. 

We have instances where, on a daily basis, something like US$1,5 million is received and the banking is only US$30 000.  In fact, what we suspect is that, if it is bond notes, they are hoarding it in order to try to seek forex on the black market and that must also stop.  We are going to take very stern measures to make sure that we bring these saboteurs to book. 

Hon. Mupfumi, I think I have already responded that clearly, where the legislation is already in place, we will enforce the law.  Where there are any gaps in the legislation, like I mentioned, cancellation of licences will certainly bring the law to make sure that we have that extra power to make sure that people follow into line.

Hon. Mpariwa, you said that one should have a choice when they visit the bank on whether to withdraw US$ or bond notes.  I think you miss the point, we have a multi-currency basket with the British Pound, Rand, US$ and bond notes.  Bond notes have been pegged at 1:1 with US$ and you will be given whatever is available on a one is to one basis – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – that is the law and that is what will be happening.

Hon. Mahoka, thank you very much for the clarification you sought.  Clearly, point of sale machines are also going to be introduced when resources are available, to procure point of sale machines.  They will certainly be introduced in all Government Departments, police road blocks, where there will be network because point of sale machines work where there is a network.  So, the thrust is to introduce point of sale machines and the progress we will make in doing so, will depend on availability of foreign currency to import those machines.

Similarly, there is nothing that stops those women who cook sadza at the tobacco auction floors to have swipe machines and basically, that is what we are encouraging them to do.  You also mentioned Mohammed Mussa, we are going to monitor all big traders to include Mohammed Mussa, T.M Supermarket, OK Bazaars, are they banking their cash every day – [AN HON. MEMBER: Choppies.] – Yes it will be included.  Every big trader will be under scrutiny.  Once again, I want to give warning, there will be severe consequences for those who do not bank their money, those who do not comply with the Bank Use Promotion Act.

Hon. Majome, yes, once we introduce point of sale machines, they will also apply to Government institutions and departments.  Clearly, those who refuse will get into serious problems.

Hon. Chamisa, you asked how much cash there is in the form of bond notes.  Currently, we should be in the range of 104 million worth of bond notes.  The issue of saying the shortages of cash is violation of property rights, I do not agree with you because no money is taken, neither has any property been taken – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –the property is there in a reserve.  For property rights to be violated, someone should have taken those property rights and appropriate to themselves, but the money is in the bank and it is still your money. What you are unable to do is to access your money at the period that you require it. So it has not been taken.

          I agree with Hon. Chamisa, the Vice President of MDC-T when you say that we should get to a stage – which I do not believe we can do it at the moment – that point of sale machines become compulsory because we do not have sufficient resources to acquire the point of sale machines. The problem is due to the fact that we do not have adequate foreign currency. There will come a time when we have adequate point of sale machines and there is no need or excuse for anyone not to use the point of sale machines. It is only in that environment that we can then come up with legislation to deal with the culprits.

          You talked about the Rand and the US dollar, what I would want to say is that no one is barring you from using the Rand because the Rand is part of the currencies that are in the multiple currency basket. You may use your Euro, Rupee or Renminbi. No-one bars you from using any of those currencies. The reason why the Rand is not in circulation is you because you do not like it. You only want to use the US dollar. It is our desire that the Rand be acceptable to Zimbabweans but the people are not accepting it. You see the point. I hear the reasons why it is being turned down. The reason is that it fluctuates all the time.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): May the owner of a Ford Ranger, registration number ADL 8927, silver in colour, go and remove your vehicle. It is blocking other vehicles.

          *HON. CHINAMASA: I am trying to explain that all currencies in the multi currency basket are acceptable. If you buy goods and give someone a pound and they refuse, in as far as you are concerned, you have discharged your obligation. There is nothing that stops Hon. Chamisa from using the Rands that are available. The problem that we face is that when we sell goods to other countries they want hard currency. We do not want to be paid in any other currency which we may not have knowledge on how best to use them. Therefore, we are discussing with South Africans so that when you buy from them we can be able to buy with the Rand.  We need to negotiate. If they sell to us, the South Africans do not want to be paid in Rands, they want to be paid in US dollars because they want to use the US dollar to also buy from other countries where the Rand is not accepted.

          It is easy to talk about the use of Rand but the practical matter of it is that people refuse to accept the Rand. They continue to refuse the use of the Rand. They may use it but the use of the Rand is not as frequent as it should be. There is nothing that the Government fears. We urge the people to use the Rand. When initially we started using the Rand and the US dollar, they were the same but when the Rand lost its value people stopped using the Rand. Ninety-five percent of our trade is in US dollar. The Rand became unacceptable in trade. This is the problem that we are facing. Please inform the people and encourage them to use the Rand. We urge you to do that because it gives less pressure on US dollar. We are not going back. We will not remove it. We are going forward Hon. Member. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are still stuck in the old era.

 I was of the belief that you had observed that we used to do as we please with the foreign currency but we are moving from that stage where you could do as you please with your foreign currency. You can no longer do that. We now have a managed foreign exchange market. For all the exports, the Reserve Bank is holding some of the foreign currency to buy raw materials and fuel. The other foreign currency remains with the banks. Things are now being prioritised for one to access foreign currency. We are moving from yesterday to today. We are not going backwards.

Hon. Holder said that the bond notes were introduced for purposes of change. No, it was never meant for that purpose. We were urging those that were exporting to use it as 5% incentive to exporters. We urge the use of bond notes so as to enable us to have money in circulation. That is what we said.  You further posed as to how much money had not been banked by the traders that we arrested, unfortunately I do not have the figures at hand.

One of the priorities on the priority list for usage of foreign currency as we go forward is purchase of raw materials and consumables – which we do not make here – such as he has mentioned, explosives, cyanide and so on. This is where the applications will be made through the Chamber of Mines to the Reserve Bank and we hope that over time, through availability of foreign currency, that problem will cease to be a problem. What I think Hon. Members do not accept is that unless we export more, we will not have foreign currency. Foreign currency is a function of exports of diaspora remittances. We must work very hard to export. Once we export and is in greater availability, much of the problems that we are talking about will cease to exist.

On the issue of service stations not accepting bond notes – Mr. Speaker Sir, the priority list issued by the Governor is giving priority to purchase of fuel. Service stations do not generate foreign currency. The foreign currency that they use, they are given by the exporters through the allocation that is given by the Reserve Bank. Of all businesses, service stations have no ground whatsoever to want to withhold or to keep foreign currency or US dollars. They have no basis at all. These are the measures which we are going to take to restore discipline into the market which may necessitate – when we get there – to withdraw the licences. They will never repeat it.

I have already replied to the issue about how many bond notes are in the market. They are around $104m that have been so far issued in the market.

On the issue about Ecocash not being as popular as it used to be, I think it is also arising from the shortage of cash. At the end of the day there must be cash at the recipient stage.

On the issue about Treasury Bills, I am going to issue another Ministerial Statement to do with Treasury Bills and I hope that I will have this occasion to do so this afternoon.

Hon. Mutseyami, you are quite right about the about the abuse of Point of Sale machines (POS), we are very aware of this problem.  More particularly with respect to some of the nationalities – we do not want again to mention the nationalities but we want to look at the business and not who owns it.  If the business is not complying with our law, we must make it comply or it will eventually like I said, if we enact the legislation – withdraw licences.

          I understand there is 40 year pricing system that we also know and will be taking measures basically to deal with that.  You made a statement about a tobacco farmer receiving $32 000.00 and only being allowed $1 000.00.  If there is one person who should have a swipe account, it is that person you mention because this is a lot of money and he should not be doing his business in cash.  We want to move away from cash based transactions to plastic money.  In any country, whether the United States of America or Europe, people do not move about with bags of cash – we all know that.  So we appreciate and understand that it is a mindset change and paradigm shift but progressively we are getting there.  We are overwhelmed by the manner in which the public embraced the plastic money system.  We are very encouraged and what remains now is to find resources to increase the availability of POS machines in the market but you should not encourage this person who has been receiving $32 000.00 to move with that $32 000.00 in his bag – no. 

          Hon. Saruwaka, I am going to look into the issue that you raised.  This pertains to diaspora remittances; you are basically saying it is not reaching the recipient as 5%.  What I suspect happened is what happened with the 10% at the tobacco auction floors.  The law provides and has been law for a long time that if you are receiving income, taxation is about income.  If we know you are an income recipient from whatever quarter, ZIMRA would want to know whether you have got a tax clearance certificate and the more substantial the amount, the more interest in ZIMRA to identify you as a tax payer – that is the manner they use to identify new tax payers or people who are generating a lot of income but are outside the tax net.  What they do is, the law says, if you sell any goods to TM or OK Supermarket – it could be cabbages or potatoes.  TM Supermarket must withhold 10% tax pending production of a tax clearance certificate from ZIMRA. In other words, it is just being withheld.  If you produce the tax clearance certificate to show that you pay taxes, you will get your 10% back.  I suspect this could be the case but I will look into it.

          Hon. Tshuma, the issue you raise about swipe machines with cross border traders - clearly visa cards have run into temporary problems in the sense that in order to swipe and pay through visa cards; you need to be guaranteed that there is foreign currency in the NOSTRO account.  So because of the challenges that we are currently facing which we consider temporary, there is some limitation on the use of visa cards for now but I am sure that problem, with the availability of foreign currency, can be sorted out.

          Hon. Ndebele, POSB is very much in the same situation as CABS.  Most civil servants, most workers open their accounts with CABS and POSB – the result is that most of these workers want to withdraw everything. If we pay salaries into an account today, they want to withdraw everything tomorrow – it is like these banks are just conduits to pass on money from the Government mostly to the worker.  So, again it is a question of discipline, why are they withdrawing everything?  And the demand always comes at the end of the month and there is no way that the POSB or CABS would have the requisite cash to be able to meet that huge demand for cash.

          *Hon. Matambanadzo, I thank you.  I have understood what you said that we should take measures to ensure there is money in circulation.  I knew that you would eventually end up talking about gold even if it was not relevant to this issue.  I am happy that you like issues pertaining to gold.  I agree with you that with the inception of Statutory Instrument 64, cross border traders could not bring in a lot of stuff that they were importing because it is now being produced locally – that is why our import bill has gone down.

          Hon. Katsiru, thank you very much for the point you make but you are asking a question to which I am going to further investigate.  From what I know, any bond notes that are issued are not issued to individuals – they are issued to commercial banks.  Now, when people go to commercial banks they withdraw and obviously it depends at what point they withdraw.  Some withdraw brand new bond notes and if they are so inclined, they will end up at Roadport in exchange for US$  - that is what could be happening.  I doubt very much and would dismiss that any new bond notes are issued directly to individuals by the Reserve Bank – it is always to the commercial banks.

          You make reference and make a very good point of some traders who do not open bank accounts.  Again, we are going to enforce the bank use promotion to insist that such traders open bank accounts and also deposit the money.

          You also make the point, of course which I do not support that we should issue all the bond notes up to $200 million.  We made it very clear, the bond notes are only issued relative to the exports – no exports, no Bond notes in the market and that we are going to stick by.  They are coming in as an incentive.

          You ask the question, how are we going to purchase the maize crop?  We are going to purchase, we have mobilised resources to purchase the entire maize crop.  We are also going to purchase the entire wheat crop when we plant it this coming season and also going to purchase the entire cotton crop – that which we supported through Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO).  COTTCO is going to buy that cotton on behalf of Government, it is our money and resources have been mobilised.  That kind of resources is very good because it is encouraging production and we should be happy when we see increased production like we have witnessed this agricultural season.  We are going to have a record maize crop and we are going to have, with respect to cotton, a record cotton crop that is something that we should feel encouraged.  It is one of the problems in this country, of low production.  You will recall that the theme of my 2017 Budget was that we should enhance and promote production across all sectors of the economy.  Right now, I am fully satisfied that those efforts to promote production are beginning to bear fruit.  In the agricultural sector where they are talking about sugar cane, maize, cotton - right across the board, ground nuts, tobacco and so on. The picture is looking very promising. 

          If we look at the mining sector, the same thing chrome ore exports are on the increase, platinum production is on the increase, nickel production is on the increase, and gold production is also on the increase.   That is what is going to achieve the economic recovery of our country.  We have of course, some challenges in the area of mining with respect to the the diamond sector and also with respect to coal, but those are issues that we are addressing.  We hope that we should be able to get on top of the situation.

          There was a question about deposit rates; it is a matter that the Reserve Bank is working on because if we are to encourage our people to put their money in the banks, it must earn decent interest rates. However, that is not happening and we have been engaging the commercial banks with a view to changing that situation.  The banks themselves explain it this way, that most of the deposits are demand deposits, that they cannot on-lend money that is deposited as demand deposits because it may be required anytime to be withdrawn, like we witness with POSB and CABS.  Money is deposited as salary today and tomorrow it is withdrawn which means that the banks cannot have comfort to on-lend that money.

So, for that reason they said why should we pay interest when we do not know how long it is going to stay with us?  So, those are the issues that the Reserve Bank is looking into and will clearly; we have been trying Mr. Speaker Sir, to encourage long terms saving and through my budgets I have given incentives to encourage terms six months, one year deposits and savings.  We used to have instruments which were Paid Up Permanent Shares, those were savings instruments.  We need to go back to that discipline.  Our savings culture is very low and when we compare ourselves with other countries, we are around only 5% savings when other countries are at 25, 30, 40 percent savings.  It is savings that will make production because there will be money for on-lending to the productive sector.

          I think I have answered the question about school fees and so on.  Go to your bank and apply for forex.  One of the priorities in the priority list is basically to meet the tuition fees of students who are studying abroad.

          Hon. Zvidzai, I do not know what the issue of xenophobia comes from.  Anyone who trades, whether a local or a foreigner must abide by our laws.  We are not targeting the fact that he is a foreigner; we are merely targeting the malpractice of receiving and not banking in contravention of our laws.  When we do target, we do not want to mention nationalities, we just look and focus on the business, are you doing what should be done in terms of our laws? If you are, no problem.  So, I do not see where the issue of xenophobia comes in. It does not matter whether you are Zimbabwean, you are Lebanese, you are Nigerian, Chinese, Indian, if you are doing business in Zimbabwe, please comply with our laws, irrespective of where you come from.  Thank you.

          THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, Section 323, of The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that every Commission must submit to Parliament through the responsible Minister an annual report describing fully its operation and activities.  In observance of this Constitutional requirement, I therefore, lay upon the table the Judicial Service Commission of Zimbabwe Annual Report 2016 – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-.

          On the motion of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA), the House adjourned at Two Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. unit Tuesday, 11th April, 2017.

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 APRIL 2017 VOL 43 NO 54