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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 01

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 6th October, 2016

(OFFICIAL REPORT)

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT

The National Assembly met, pursuant to Proclamation, in the Chamber of the National Assembly

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

          THE CLERK OF PARLIAMENT read the Proclamation of the President of Zimbabwe summoning Parliament to meet on this day for the dispatch of business.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that at Twelve o’clock noon today, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe will declare the causes of his summoning Parliament to meet. Business is now suspended.

          HON. CHAMISA: Sorry Mr. speaker Sir.  Hon. Speaker Sir, appreciating your indulgence and appreciating that the address by the President is a very important address to the nation, I wish to place it on record that it has become a tradition that each time the President is coming to Parliament for such an important occasion we are witnessing harassment, death threats that are sent to Members of Parliament. I happen to be one of them and not the only one. There are Members of Parliament – I could actually count, almost all Members of Parliament from the Opposition who have received serious threats against their lives.

          This is a very serious issue because we are not Members of Parliament by virtue of a political party but by virtue of having been elected by the people of Zimbabwe and also by virtue of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The President cannot be a President without Members of Parliament. This is a very serious issue that borders on threatening national security. We are raising it because last time when we raised it…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Because of the time constraints, in any case the matter has been raised by the Leader of the Opposition and we have discussed the process on how to deal with it and the process will be put in place accordingly after discussing with the Leader of the Opposition.

          HON. CHAMISA: I hear you and I appreciate that commitment but we were hoping that we would have…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chamisa, I had suspended business – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          HON. CHAMISA: It is a very serious issue and it is not a threat to you.  So you cannot take it seriously.  You cannot have a country where a Member of Parliament is threatened.  It cannot be.  It has to be raised and this is not the first time.  So do not stop me from saying what I am saying.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I had not finished.  We will give you the opportunity to state the facts in full.

Hon. Chamisa having approached the Chair

HON. CHAMISA:  We have conversed and we are going to defer to your better judgment in terms of us then presenting the request at the appropriate time. It has to be noted and recorded because this is a very serious issue. It is the third time and I hope it will be taken note of . I thank you very much.

          The Hon. Speaker left the Chair at Twelve Minutes to Twelve o’clock noon.

Business of the House was suspended at Twelve Minutes to Twelve o’clock p.m.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in attendance.

          HIS EXCELLENCY, THE PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE, being seated in the Chair, was pleased to address Parliament as follows:

Madame President of the Senate,

Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends.

The Fourth Session of the 8th Parliament comes at a time when the process of realigning our laws to the Constitution is still work-in-progress. As such, several Bills will be brought for realignment by Parliament during this Session.

Bills to be brought before Parliament include the Constitutional Court Bill, the Rural District Council Bill, the Traditional Leaders Bill, the Prisons Bill and the Marriages Bill. The Coroner’s Office Bill, which will pave way for the setting up of the Coroner’s Office responsible for medico-legal investigations, will also be brought before this august House.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

The growing incidence of droughts in Zimbabwe presents a clarion call for all of us to build capacity to effectively cope with disasters related to climate change. Government has embarked on the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes throughout the country. This Session of Parliament is thus expected to ratify the Paris Agreement which allows the country to benefit from programmes on climate change. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation, will also be tabled for ratification and accession.

          Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Our economy faces a number of challenges, which include the subdued aggregate demand, liquidity constraints, high interest rates, subdued foreign direct investment and limited fiscal space. This, too, is further compounded by low revenue collections arising from depressed production, rampant revenue leakages, as well as poor mineral commodity prices on the global market. As a consequence, the economy registered a gradual decline, with the estimated growth rate for 2016 now projected at 1.2 per cent.

Government, in the context of the ZIM ASSET, is implementing a battery of initiatives to address the prevailing economic challenges. For instance, it has embarked on the Ease of Doing Business Reforms with the objective of improving the local business environment that stimulates investment inflows. In line with this thrust, a new Companies Act, which will significantly reduce registration delays and facilitate the smooth operation of new businesses, will be tabled for consideration by Parliament during this Session.

The Small Claims Court, the Commercial Court and the High Court Bills are going to be merged into the Judicial Laws Amendment (Ease of Settling Commercial and other Disputes) Bill 2016. Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill, which will provide legal underpinning to the One Stop Shop Investment Centre, will also be brought to this House during this Session.

The Diaspora Policy, which provides incentives to stimulate remittances and inbound investment by Zimbabweans outside the country, is now in place. Some amendments have been made to the Special Economic Zones Act after its recent passage in Parliament. The amendments, which will soon be tabled herein, pertain to some labour law provisions designed to protect workers in the Special Economic Zones. The legislation will boost the country’s capacity to attract world-class investment, employment creation, technology transfer and innovation in strategic areas of the country’s economy.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

This Session of Parliament will also consider the Movable Property Security Interest Bill, which seeks to increase access to credit for the majority of our emerging entrepreneurs. A Collateral Registry will be established to facilitate the use of movable property, including cars, livestock and furniture, as collateral for loans. 

The Insolvency Bill and amendments to the Insurance Act, the Pensions and Provident Funds Act, and the Insurance and Pensions Commission Act will be tabled in this Parliament, as Government moves to incorporate international best practices and to also protect policyholders and members of pension funds. In addition, the Microfinance Act will be amended to incorporate the registration of deposit taking Microfinance Banks, in view of the evolving role of such institutions in the provision of credit and the mobilisation of savings. Funds have already been earmarked for the capitalization of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

It is pleasing to note that gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries are on an upward trend. Aurex, the jewellery manufacturing firm owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, is now on a recovery path. Even though mining remains a leading source of export earnings for our economy, there is still need to maximize the sector’s earnings through encouraging local value addition and beneficiation as well as the effective exploitation of mineral claims.

The long awaited Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill will thus be tabled before Parliament. As a matter of fact, the growth of mining is anchored on intensive exploration of mineral deposits. To facilitate increased mineral exploration, therefore, the Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill, which will integrate the current Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and the Mining Promotion Corporation, will be brought before this Parliament.  Measures to plug mineral leakages outside the country and other underhand dealings that deny the country full enjoyment of rewards from its mineral endowment will be intensified.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

In the energy sector, the prime focus is on boosting local power generation capacity. To this end, I am pleased to note that the Kariba South Power Expansion Project is now about 60 per cent complete, with the first 150 MW unit expected to be ready by December 2017. The Hwange Power Station extension project is expected before the end of this year, thus paving way for commencement of the actual work in the first quarter of 2017.  For this reason, Government has come up with the Dema Diesel Power Generating Plant.  Work is also underway to establish a natural gas powered electricity generating plant and three 100 MW solar power generating plants. The Ministry is in the process of crafting, for presentation to Parliament, the Renewable Energy Policy and an Independent Power Producers (IPPs) Framework which should help to enhance private sector investment in the energy sector.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Our manufacturing sector faces numerous challenges which militate against our capacity to compete in the regional and global market place. The challenges include dumping of cheap imports in our country, reliance on obsolete equipment, high cost of utilities and lack of access to cheaper lines of credit. The Bill for the establishment of the National Competitiveness Commission, which will coordinate the crafting and implementation of measures to improve the competitiveness of local companies, will be tabled in Parliament during this Session. The Bill will also repeal the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act, which has outlived its purpose.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

The realization of Zimbabwe’s immense potential to become a regional transport hub is steadily turning into a reality. The rehabilitation and dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway, is expected to commence soon.  Parliament will hopefully expedite the necessary loan approvals and ratification processes for this supremely important national project to come to fruition. This Parliament will also consider a Bill on the proposed re-organisation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. This will facilitate establishment of joint ventures in the development of airports infrastructure in the country.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

          The provision of amenities infrastructure should always be underpinned by sound planning. This Parliament will, therefore, receive for its consideration, the Regional Town and Country Planning Bill, which, among other provisions, will require that only qualified practitioners approve buildings and settlement plans. Enactment of                          the legislation will lead to a reduction in timeframes for the processing of planning applications. Environmental protection, as well as the provision of work space for small and medium enterprises, will become mandatory for all new settlements.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

The reform of the state enterprises remains a critical lever in the country’s economic turnaround process. I note, with satisfaction, that ARDA is now on a firm recovery path, thanks to its joint venture partnership with some local private sector players.

Government recently approved a turnaround plan for the Cold Storage Company, as part of the programme to revive the country’s beef industry. The Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill which will foster adherence to good corporate governance by public sector entities, regulate remuneration packages for Boards and senior members, as well as enhance transparency in the financial affairs of public entities, will be tabled in this august House during this Session. This Parliament will also be expected to consider the Public Sector Procurement Amendment Bill, which seeks to improve efficiency in the public procurement system through the decentralization of the procurement function to Ministries, State enterprises, parastatals, and local authorities.

          Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Parliament will also consider the updated and harmonised Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which establishes a tripartite Occupational Safety Council. A new Labour Amendment Bill, which seeks to harmonize the country’s labour laws with the Constitution and relevant international conventions, will also be tabled in this august House.

Greater protection will be accorded to our young citizens through amendments to the Children’s Act. The Public Health Bill, which seeks to repeal the current Public Health Act, which was enacted in 1924, will be tabled before this Parliament. Additionally, the Medical Aid Societies Bill which provides for the establishment of a regulatory authority to govern Medical Aid Societies in Zimbabwe will be brought for consideration by this Parliament.

Government is to launch the 2016-2026 STEM Policy Strategy to support Zimbabwe’s quest for industrialisation and modernisation within the framework of the African Unions Agenda 2063. The Manpower Development Act will be amended, while the enabling statutes of all higher and tertiary education institutions will be reviewed to ensure greater focus on their core mandates.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Government remains committed to youth development and economic empowerment. The Zimbabwe Youth Council Bill, which provides a legal framework for youth development activities, will therefore be brought to this House for debate. It will be recalled that I issued a Statement to clarify Government’s position regarding the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Policy on 11th April, 2016. The relevant Act will thus be amended to bring it into consonance with the enunciated policy position.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

My Government is committed to the provision of a conducive working environment for the Legislature, in spite of the prevailing resource constraints. I am happy to inform this august House that, following approval of the designs for the New Parliament Building to be located in Mt Hampden, implementation of the project is now proceeding under a Chinese grant.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Increasing reliance on the use of plastic money and other on-line applications, which characterizes the modern era, comes with the attendant rising risk of computer and cyber crimes. As a consequence of this lingering threat, Governments, the world over, are grappling with the threat of cyber crime.  As such, it is my fervent hope that this Fourth Session of Parliament will constructively and objectively debate the Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill, the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill, and the Data Protection Bill, which will be tabled in this august House.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker, Sir,

In conclusion, I wish to remind you, Honourable Members of Parliament, of your sacrosanct duty to enact laws and build institutions that promote development, in an environment of peace.  You not only have the duty to enact laws but to also respect and adhere to them, and indeed to our Constitution, in word, deed and spirit.

 I now take this opportunity to declare the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe duly open.

I thank you.

          THE PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE, having caused a copy of the Presidential Speech to be delivered to Mr. Speaker, was pleased to retire.

          THE HON. SPEAKER resumed the Chair at Twenty Minutes to One o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

          THE HON. SPEAKER laid upon the Table a copy of the Presidential Speech which the President of Zimbabwe has been pleased to deliver this day.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PRE-BUDGET BRIEFING SEMINAR

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that there will be a Pre-Budget Briefing Seminar to be held at Pandhari Hotel in Harare on Tuesday, 11th October, 2016, at 0800 hours and that buses will leave Parliament from Nelson Mandela Avenue at 0745 hours.

RECOMMITAL OF THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES BILL

THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that Section 131 (6) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides as follows:

“when a  Bill  is presented to the President for assent and signature, he or she must, within twenty-one days, either—

(a)    assent to it and sign it, and then cause it to be published in the Gazette without delay; or

(b)     if he or she considers it to be unconstitutional or has any other reservations about it, refer the Bill back to Parliament through the Clerk of Parliament, together with  detailed written reasons for those reservations and request that the Bill be reconsidered.

Section 131 (7) further provide that:

where a Bill has been referred back to Parliament in terms of Section 136(6)(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Speaker must without delay convene a sitting of the National Assembly, which must—

  1. Reconsider the Bill and fully

                   Accommodate the President’s reservations; or

  1. Pass the Bill, with or without amendments, by a two-thirds majority of the total membership of the National Assembly;

And in either case, the Speaker must cause the Bill to be presented to the President without delay for assent and signature and must give public notice of the date on which the Bill was sent to the President”.

On the 12th September, 2016, the Clerk of Parliament, pursuant to Section 131(6) (b) of the Constitution, was informed that the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R.G. Mugabe had expressed reservations on certain provisions of the Special Economic Zones Bill. More specifically, His Excellency the President noted that the application of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01] in relation to licenced investors operating in special economic zones will be ousted by Section 56(1) of the Bill. This would violate Section 65 of the Constitution which provides for labour rights.

His Excellency the President proposed amendments that are meant to cure the constitutional infractions in the Bill. Thus, in order to address the same and to facilitate the reconsideration of the Bill, the Bill now stands recommitted to the Committee of the Whole House pursuant to Standing Order 144 of the National Assembly.

APPOINTMENT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Committees appointed during the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament will continue as they were until such time that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders appoints new Committees.

COLLECTION OF NEW COPIES OF STANDING RULES AND ORDERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to advise Hon. Members to collect copies of the new Standing Orders for the National Assembly from the Journals office.  Hon Members are kindly requested to sign for their copies and read them – [Laughter.] -

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  As per our agreement that we have to raise this issue, this is the only Parliament we have.  Being Members of Parliament, I have also received similar complaints from Members of Parliament who have been threatened with messages and I want to place – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker Sir, I have got my phone here and other Members have their phones – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Can you carry on Hon. Chamisa.

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is very important that Parliament, being the august House, is supposed to receive formally and officially, if there is any Member of Parliament who is threatened with death.  In other jurisdictions, this is a very serious matter.  It is clear that in terms of our laws, it is possible for the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), ECONET, NetOne, Telecel or any other operator to figure out.  I was a Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), I know the competences and capacities of Government because we instituted those capacities.  It is possible for Government to know who did what and at what particular point in time.

Our clarion call to you Hon. Speaker Sir, is for this Parliament to put in place a mechanism of making sure that these messages are investigated.  I have Members of Parliament, if we may show those who have received these messages so that you see the number of Members of Parliament who have received messages – [Some Hon. Members stood up in their places.] – Hon. Speaker Sir, you can see – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You can see Hon. Speaker Sir, your Members of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

For the purposes of the record, I may need to read out to you Hon. Speaker Sir, what is on the messages.  They are consistent to those Members.  I may need to read out to you the messages because this is going to be affecting Members of Parliament, not just from one side of Parliament.  The messages I received yesterday Hon. Speaker Sir, at quarter past four - “You may have a false immunity as a group, but remember that after you will be alone again.  You will be remembered for a few days before you die and are history” – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You can actually listen to Members who are celebrating. 

This is a very serious issue Hon. Speaker Sir.  You remember that we came here with the issue of Itai Dzamara, some Members were making a joke out of it.  We are making a serious issue about life.  This is one of your own… - [AN HON. MEMBER: Point of order.] – But this is a point of order; you cannot have a point of order on a point of order.  I have a point of order, I have the floor – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I am saying this Hon. Speaker, the second message I received yesterday at four minutes past five o’clock, the message reads - “Be reasonable as you think of what you intend to do in the august House.  Your family is better around you and with you.  You are too young, you are too handsome and we want to protect you [Laughter.] – This is a message – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Speaker Sir, I am actually surprised.  This is a serious threat because the last part has to do with the warning and that it is going to be executed.  The last one but not least Hon. Speaker Sir, I want this to be recorded by Parliament because it has also affected other Members of Parliament who are on this side.  ‘Do not be used by those planning to demonstrate in Parliament for their selfish ends.  You may be one of them but you must know that your colleagues who are demonstrating with you will not be with you when the dark cloud of death engulfs you.  We are trailing you, we are following you’.

Now Hon. Speaker, the reason why I am raising this is because this is a very serious threat.  I know Members of Parliament may want to think that this is a joking matter – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – This is serious unless we put a stop to this Hon. Speaker Sir.  The President made mention of the importance of Parliament and it is our submission Hon. Speaker Sir that for us to put a stop to this thing, to put a stop to the harassment of Members of Parliament, to put a stop to the Government by fear, Government by violence, Government by intimidation, Government by abductions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Government by threatening people, investigation must be undertaken and Parliament must be clear about this conduct on fellow Members of Parliament.

Hon. Speaker, I place this before Parliament so that we are able to come to a conclusion.  I am glad that we also have the two Vice Presidents in the country, Hon. Mphoko and Hon. Mnangagwa.  We hope that they will also be able and even the Minister of Home Affairs, will be able to look at this issue.  It is a very serious issue so that we are able to deal with these issues. – [HON. DR. CHOMBO: Tiwone message yacho!] -  He wants to see the message, let me just show him. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, I now place it before Parliament for consideration.  Thank you very much.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say that the matter raised by Hon. Chamisa is a matter of great concern to all of us as Hon. Members of this august House on both sides.

Whoever is responsible for such messages, threatening the lives or security of an Hon. Member or even a citizen, such messages cannot be taken lightly.  It is important that we do everything at our disposal to remove suspicion and insinuations if we leave the matter unraveled because we may go out thinking that these messages are coming from a particular section when indeed it may not be so.

However, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say that when you Mr. Speaker said, ‘Business of Parliament is suspended’.  I believe that it is proper and it is practice and convention in the House that once business is suspended by the Speaker, Hon. Members must observe such suspension – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and desist from raising issues post suspension by the Speaker.

I however wish to say Mr. Speaker, you were very kind to allow the Hon. Member to debate an issue after business was suspended.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order thank you Hon. Vice President for your intervention, appropriately so.  I would like to thank Hon. Chamisa for his submission and as the Hon. Vice President said, it is a serious matter.  No citizen should feel threatened unnecessarily and more so Hon. Members of Parliament.

So, we shall refer the matter, that is my ruling, to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders so that we set up a Privileges Committee that will go into details.  Those affected shall submit their official complaints and the investigation process will then proceed accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

In terms of Standing Order Number 12 (2) (b) the House is adjourned to what date Hon. Vice President?

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS: In terms of what provision?] -  In terms of Standing Order Number 69, good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.

My point of order is that it is very painful to note that many Hon. Ministers were dozing whilst the President was delivering his speech and this must be rectified.  My plea is for Hon. Ministers to be served with energy drinks so that they do not doze during such important occasions – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Chibaya please, please.  I am sure the cameras must have picked that and I have no further comment on that.  Those Hon. Ministers or Members of Parliament who were sleeping, I think that was a disservice and disrespect to the Head of State.  When the Head of State is addressing this august House, all of us are expected to be attentive and awake. 

I withdraw my earlier reference to Standing Order Number 12 (2) (b) and now call upon the Hon. Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

MOTION

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the Committee of Supply be appointed in terms of Standing Order Number 115.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE HON. SPEAKER adjourned the House without putting any question in terms of Standing Order Number 12 (2) (b) at Thirteen Minutes to One o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 11th October, 2016.

 

 

National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 01