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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 09 MAY 2019 VOL 45 NO 48

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

          *HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker you promised that the Minister of Health and Child Care would come and give us a ministerial statement during the course of this week as regards to what the state of affairs is in the health delivery system. This is a kindly reminder that he comes and does the honourable thing – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – My apologies Mr. Speaker I withdraw my request.  I hear he has already done so.  I am very sorry, I am going to check the Hansard.  Thank you. 

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise on a point of privilege. During yesterday’s question and answer session, the majority of the questions were referred to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. It is my humble submission that with your indulgence the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should come to Parliament, possibly next week to give a Ministerial statement on the state of the economy; considering that prices are being hiked within our retail shops and almost every basic commodity is out of reach whilst the revenue base is shrinking.  I thank you.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Thank you Hon. Member noted.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. O. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. May we defer Notice of Motion 1 and 2 on today’s Order Paper and go to Order of the Day, Number 1.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: I would like to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Msasa Academy, Harare Province.  You are most welcome! – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

SECOND READING

COMPANIES AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES BILL [H. B. 8, 2018]

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill [H. B. 8, 2018].

          Question again proposed.

          HON. PHULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to contribute to the debate which is the Companies and other Entities Bill.  Indeed, everyone agrees that it was high time this Bill was brought before the House because our Companies Act has served its purpose for a very long time.  It is a piece of legislation that was passed before our independence, and certainly a lot of things have changed in Zimbabwe and the world.  The push for the ease of doing business also necessitated the need to revisit this Act to make the way in which we do business better and also to meet international standards so that Zimbabwe can be an easy destination to do business. 

However, the Bill comes at a time when there has been a lot of political change and political contestation.  So as we put the provisions in place, we must try by all means to resist the urge to put in clauses that can be used for political manipulation, political control of businesses and political abuse of  perceived opponents as well.  However, we welcome the fact that this Bill has been placed before the House and I would like to briefly go through the Memorandum. 

          Part of the objectives of the Bill, one of the main things is that there is going to be an introduction of an electronic registry.  This is a welcome move that stakeholders have been calling for for a long time, so that it does not take forever to register companies and also to search for important documents that would have been lodged in that office.  That move is welcome and maybe later on after further reading - the devil is in the details.  I would therefore urge the House to look at the details very carefully to ensure that we come up with an electronic registry that actually works.  It is easy to get rid of our manual approach of doing things and put in place an electronic registry that may not work.  So I will invite Members, as we go deeper into those clauses dealing with the electronic registry to try and look at the details which I will not go through now. 

          The other objective is to update and modernise the registry, reregistering all existing companies and PBCs as well as removing defunct companies and PBCs within 12 months of the commencement of the Act resulting from this Bill.  The clauses again in that regard must be examined, particularly in light of Section 68, which is the right to fair administrative justice to ensure that those companies that are being removed are given an opportunity to make representations.  So the broad clauses must allow for the right to fair administrative justice and the right to have a fair hearing in terms of Section 69.  The right to property must also be respected and as we go through the clauses in detail, I would urge Members to look out for those parts of the clauses to ensure that those companies being rendered defunct are allowed the necessary appeals and the right to make representations.  I am sure there are a lot of companies which will be caught in the process for not having filed returns and for many different reasons. 

          We also have the establishment of an inspectorate to better enforce the provisions of the Bill.  Again, as we go through those provisions that deal with the inspectorate, we must ensure that we do not create a registrar of companies who is a law unto himself, who is a company’s Tsar and will end up being open to corrupt practices.  I notice that there are some very strong powers that are given to the registrar and I would invite Members to look at those clauses to ensure that we moderate the powers of the registrar to the extent that they do not infringe on people’s freedoms and we do not over regulate business, but allow business people to make their own decisions.  So, these kinds of clauses must not be allowed to be used to create a gravy train.  For example clauses which allow forfeited assets or any part of the proceeds thereof to go to the registrar.  I am happy that the actual clause says that once properties are forfeited and are given to the State, those will be disposed of through public auction.  I think it is an improvement on the clauses that were there in an amendment that we previously debated.  This is a welcome approach but we would need to inspect those clauses in much more detail. 

          We welcome Clause 27, which confirms the abolition of the ultra-vires rule to ensure that companies can be flexible in the manner of doing business and are not restricted to merely the objectives that they wrote down at the time of registration.  That is also a welcome move.  Clause 30 is another one that we may have to look at carefully.  It requires every company and PBCs to incorporate in their business letters in legible characters the name of every director.  That is normal practice which encourages transparency and makes it easy to see who the directors are from the letterhead.  However, I am not sure whether this is an error as it requires every director and every member of a PBC, it will depend on the wording how many members a PBC can have, and depending on the number of those people, it would make letter heads very clumsy.  So, we may have to inspect those provisions very carefully, taking into account the practicality of doing this - because directors can be few but members of the PBC can be a large number.  Would it then be possible to have them - particularly on the letterhead?  Is there not any other document – I am sure they will already have been mentioned in documents that are filed in the registry.  Those are some of the clauses that we may want to have a look at. 

          Section 53, I am sure Mr. Speaker, when the Hon Member argues, it will show to what extent he will have read - but this clause talks about the principle of bona vacatia.  This is a key clause that we will have to examine because it is the one that gives power to have defunct properties and we submit that this is a far reaching power which could possibly breach the right to property in many respects, also the right to a fair hearing and the right to administrative justice.  We must ensure that we put in safeguards to ensure that there are objective reasons that the Registrar must be able to put forward before he can take moves to have a property declared bona vacantia. 

However, it would also be very welcome if that process could be subject to a court confirmation when we finally read the provisions in detail.  Perhaps, we must find a space where we should allow the decision of the Registrar to be subject to confirmation by a court before it could be operational so that all the appeal processes that are suggested could in fact commence only after a court has confirmed that the decisions have been taken in an objective, lawful, fair and reasonable manner.  The principle of fairness and reasonableness should be emphasised when it comes to that clause. 

The role of the Registrar in investigating companies, in deciding a large number of issues, and also to prosecute on behalf of companies - the Registrar is given power under Clause 46 to prosecute matters on behalf of companies.  So, if the Registrar decides that a company was not being run well or is not being run well, even if the company has not been wound up, the Registrar has the power to initiate civil proceedings in the name of the power to recover damages.  This is after he has seen a report that his officials would have gone to investigate.  We submit this Clause and we will debate when it comes to detail that this clause be removed in total because it gives the Registrar too much power.  For any reason on the basis of the report which has not been examined in sufficient detail to be removed and we submit that this clause, the Government could actually consider removing or framing it in such a way that it is not invasive. 

We submit that this is the most objectionable clause in the entire Act in my submission and certainly, it will not sit well with anyone who is a business person or anyone who is running a successful company for the Registrar to have power at any stage to institute civil proceedings on behalf of the company to recover damages.  Because every time that happens, the company also bears the responsibility to pay the costs and sometimes these damages may not be due or may be damages that may be written off.  So, let us allow businessmen to make some of these business decisions which have an impact on the bottom-line. 

There is an introduction under Clause 49 in terms of which the Registrar may impose restrictions on transactions involving shares that belong to a company or PBC subject to an investigation under the part.  Again, this is a welcome clause although we submit that it should not be applied in a way to restrict businessmen from being able to decide when and how to sell their shares. 

The last clause that I will deal with Mr. Speaker Sir, is the clause that deals with associations - Clause 56 which basically talks about associations or associated companies.  The Companies Act makes it an offence for a director or a member of the business to deal in a certain way with companies that are close to him.  The definition of associate is defined to include family members, business partners and other businesses incorporated or not over which you have controls.  That raises the danger that the schedule could be defined for me.  There are some people who maybe biologically related to me – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Members, may we have a triangular relationship in this House – that is the Speaker, the contributor and the listeners.  We do not want interference from any angle.  Let the contributor contribute so that you can also be given chance for you to contribute. 

HON. MADZIMURE: I move that the Hon. Member’s time be extended.

HON. T. KHUMALO: I second.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Members.  In fact, the Hon. Member was about to finish off his contribution.  So, you can go ahead and wind off your debate.

HON. PHULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I will wind up.  This particular Clause 56 should be examined to show that it allows for a more case specific interrogation of whether a person is an associate or not and whether a company is actually an associate or not especially in light of those companies over which I may have control which are not incorporated.  But on the whole, we submit that the Bill has been subjected to consultations and stakeholders are happy that it has come before the House and subject to us modifying a few of those sections that I have highlighted.  We submit that the Act should get a thumbs up but only after ensuring that it does not contravene certain sections of the Constitution and that it is factual and good for business.  I thank you Mr. Speaker. 

HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise to debate on the proposed Companies and some Business entities Bill tabled before Parliament which is repealing the current Act of 1951.  Honestly speaking Mr. Speaker Sir, the current Bill is outdated and there is justification for us to come up with a new Bill.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as has been alluded, the current Act that we are using was passed before independence in 1951, more than 50 years ago and it means that we are still doing business in yesterday’s environment which does not work. I am looking at a Bill that we are using and most of us as Members of Parliament here were not yet born.  Even their parents had no spouses at that time and we are still using that old system. It is quite unacceptable and I applaud the Minister of Justice for coming up with a new Bill for the new administration. Mr. Speaker Sir, a lot of factors influence policy and we are talking of a lot of factors that have changed as we speak. We are looking at technological changes, population growth, political dynamics and a lot of social, political and economic factors that have changed that will influence the current Bill that we are trying to come up with.

The current Bill seeks to expedite the process of company registration and commencement of business which is the ease of doing business as has been stressed by our President in our mantra that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”. In terms of ease of doing business, we are looking at, for example, our country in the previous administration was ranked almost 165 out of 180 economies by the World Bank rating index in terms of ease of doing business but of course, we have moved to about 155 which is commendable. It means we are trying to come up with a conducive environment for doing business and this is commendable. When we talk of ease of doing business, we are talking of the time it takes, the cost of forming new companies, and the procedure to follow when forming new companies.

If we look at the top 20 economies, in terms of doing business, they have very little time in terms of forming companies and at very low cost and most African countries are ranked below average according to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index. This proposed Bill is going to look at that and I see it as creating that conducive environment in terms of Ease of Doing Business. A lot of indicators are looked into like I have highlighted; the time it takes for one to form a company, the ease of individuals to import and export and this also means we also have to make it easy for our people here who are doing business to import or export (trade). This is the ease of doing business that I am referring to.

I am also very happy when I look at the current Bill and how it seeks to include everyone in doing business, for example, the issue of not only considering English language as the language to do business. The proposed Bill is looking at using any language. Companies are encouraged to use any of the languages that we have in the country in terms of doing business. Zimbabwe has 16 languages and I am happy Mr. Speaker because as we use English, it excluded other people in business. In this case, we can look at women who have already been marginalised. If we encourage the use of all languages, it means we are not going to exclude anyone and this is the inclusion that has been highlighted by our President in the new administration.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the whole Bill is looking at increasing transparency and good governance. If you look at Clauses 38 – 51, it allows for investigation and inspection of companies. This promotes good governance and gives confidence to our investors. We are talking of pulling investors into the country and this Clause is looking at investing or attracting more investors because they will have more confidence if there is that allowance for investigation of our companies.

If I also look at the issue of computerisation of the Registrar of Companies, we applaud this Mr. Speaker because we are going to make sure that our systems are not subject to corruption and we will not lose anything when everything is computerised. So, this is a move in the right direction. The proposed Bill, like Clause 202, requires the disclosure of directors’ salaries and pensions in the accounts of a company in a general meeting. This is transparency at its best. We have had a lot of companies that were liquidated because funds were being abused by directors of companies. This is going to make sure that there is transparency.

Clause 203 Mr. Speaker, is also looking at disclosure of loans that are given to officers within public companies which is also transparency at its best. With this level of corruption in our country, it means the new administration is doing its best in terms of curbing corruption which we applaud. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SIKHALA: I also would like to add my voice in support of this Bill to be passed by this House, specifically for the few reasons that I am going to say out. The first one is the reason that has been mentioned by the two previous speakers on the issue on how this new Bill is going to have a major turnaround in as far as the administration of the registration of our companies in our country is concerned. For too long a time, Zimbabwe is the only country now in the whole world that was still basing its registration of every important documentation in our country through paperback system. Paperback system is when people are asked to prepare documents in files.

The way we have joined the rest of the world in having the electronic system being the centre of the administration of the companies registration in this country will really be a welcome development in our country. Like what Hon. Phulu submitted in this Hon. House Mr. Speaker, notary publics and conveyancers for too long a time since the 1990s had been calling upon our Government to move with times that the whole world is now centred on modern technology. Modern technology is the system that this Bill is now calling upon our country to adopt where our company registration system is going to be electronic.

Why are people supporting the electronic registration of companies? It has a lot of expedience. Mr. Speaker Sir, it now facilitates Zimbabweans who are even living in the diaspora; in the United States of America, United Kingdom or those who are living in South Africa to easily register their companies and also for them to be able to buy shares from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. This Companies and Other Business Bill is not only good for registration but also for the improvement of our business where access to company profile is more easier to be accessed by anybody in the world. If an investor wants to know about Tregers Zimbabwe, he simply just goes into our companies registration system to see the profile of the company to see whether the investor who wants to invest in the company is genuine. This is a revolutionary aspect that was lacking in our laws for a long time. 

          Secondly, like what the previous Hon. Member submitted in this Hon House, this law was put in place in 1951 by a political party that was called the United Party of Rhodesia; even before our parents were born or before even Ian Smith dreamt that one day he will be Prime Minister of this country.  If you could have gone on forums of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and other business forums, the call for the amendment of our Companies and Other Entities Business Act was one of the loud voice that was being heard in this country.  So, it is honourable for this Parliament to pass this Bill.

          However, what is difficult about this Bill is that it is too technical. The majority of people do not understand it – ah! What is Companies Bill, I do not care about it because one day I will not own a company. To become a business man is something that will visit anyone of us one day.  I remember when we were going for public inquiries as a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; in Mutare at Holiday Inn, we only found two people waiting to hear the submissions of this Bill.  In Masvingo, at Flamboyant Hotel, we were also ashamed just to find nobody there to put an input into this Bill; only us as Members of Parliament were there for more than an hour.  When we went to Bulawayo, we only found about six to seven people who wanted to have an input in this Bill. So this Bill is too technical, it can only be understood by all those Hon. Members in this House that want to do something good for our country.

          The other issues that this Bill is going to do and curtail are briefcase companies.  The Zimbabwean Economy and the Old Company’s Act have created millionaires in this country who do not own a teaspoon but own a briefcase.  A briefcase that has all the office, files, details and directors; they bid for tenders, given huge contracts yet with no profiles and other requirements.  So, this Bill is going to deal decisively with briefcase companies.  The time for briefcase companies is going to be dead the moment we pass this Bill.

          The other aspect we also have to look at is the issue which was one of the major issues in our businesses in this country; the protection of minority shareholders.  Generally, the majority shareholders, for example, Econet, if Strive Masiyiwa is the major shareholder, it means he is the first and last voice in the company.  The minority shareholders who will be having 5% to 10% do not have voice in the running of that company.  However, this Bill is now equalising the shareholders in a company.  As long as you have got your investment in that company, your voice must also be heard in the determination on how that company is going to be run. 

Correctly, like the previous Hon. Member of Parliament said, a number of many directors have been abusing the company money. There are several companies that have gone under liquidation and companies that have closed down on the basis that shareholders and directors abused company money to the detriment of minority shareholders.  So, this Bill will protect minority shareholders and the money of investors in a company.  So, I urge that this House, across the political divide, should support this Bill.  We are revolutionalising the Company Registration in our country.  We are not going to have the private business corporations not being registered; the partnerships are going to be registered, all the private companies are going to be registered.  Everything also is going to be under the scrutiny of the administration of the Registrar of Companies.  This will help the State in terms of taxation. People have been running partnerships without paying tax to Government but now partnerships will not be able to operate in our country without being registered.  Private business corporations will not be operating in our country without being registered, so they will be subject to paying tax in our country. So, I would like to thank the Hon. Members, the business Community in our country and also outside the country for giving their input to pass this Bill into law – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I thank you.

HON. MATEWU: Given that the last Bill was done in 1951 as the Hon. Member has said and we are now 39 years after independence yet no one ever thought of ensuring that the Bill is amended; I want to thank the Hon. Minister who stood up to make this happen.

The first clause is about electronic registration. While this is a welcome thing that companies can now register their companies on line, there are also some issues which come with on line registration.  For example, in South Africa, someone hacked the system and was able to take all the personal details of all the directors.  A similar thing happened in the United Kingdom again, where some of the information was being sold to market companies.  So, I think there has to be some clauses on confidentiality on the Bill.  

I have read Section 219 of the Bill which talks about corporate governance.  What I did not see is that in this day and age, companies have a responsibility to the communities which they come from. So, there was nothing that talked about corporate social responsibility for companies.  You find that a company is on a road that has potholes all over, the company earns 20 to 30 million dollars in profits yet they will never think one day of upgrading that road, making it right.  There are companies whose headquarters are in areas which are very socially deprived for example, in Chiadzwa, the companies are making billions of dollars but they do not think about the community surrounding their companies.  So, Hon. Minister, there is need to add a section on corporate social responsibility to ensure that companies take a responsibility to the communities that they come from. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that you have afforded me to add my voice to this Bill for easier registration of businesses by our population in real time so that we can improve on luring investors and improve our economy – this is a good Bill.  Those that have spoken before me, praised provisions in this Bill. They have pointed out that it has been 39 years after we have attained our independence and we do not have such an amendment.  History repeats itself but we should know that history is not always pleasant.  People come up with history because of the manner in which people would have lived.  For us to have been here, we have attained 39 years of independence without such a Bill.  For the past 39 years that we have been in power, what were we doing?  How were we ruling?  It means that we were not ruling but we then came up with foundations and principles that we laid. 

Hon. Sikhala has shown me my communal home.  It is true I come from that side.  The time we went to school and the 39 years of independence, it took you time to be educated as you are today and being able to see there was a lacuna in terms of the law.  It was President Mugabe who sent you to school but you are now mocking him.  If we want to build this country, let us ensure that we build and not belittle other people.  The lack of respect for other persons has caused many problems in this country. 

Good as the Bill might be, we should not look down upon other people.  If we were to take that route, it would spoil the spirit of this Bill.  This is one reason why this country is not respected by investors.  They say we do not practice what we preach, hence law is passed and within three months amendments to that law are sought.  Laws bound in China have been in place since the 1870s and they are still in place.  Why do we have a different system in Zimbabwe?  A system whereby Mr. Speaker, upon close examination the disease that we have is that we are too educated as Zimbabweans and we are now confused.  We no longer appreciate our history and we do not know how to uphold it.  We have been at each other’s throat for the 39 years that we have been independent.  Can we now come up with ways and means to ensure that we put in laws that work to our advantage?  That would be a good thing.

That is all I have decided to add my voice and point out these issues as we come up with our Bill.  We must closely scrutinise it and it should only be amended after a hundred years by a new generation that will add more in terms of technological advances in that field.  Investors are outraged with the wayward manner in which we conduct our business where we were vacillating from US$ value today, coming up with RTGs value the next day.  If there is a change in the currency, is there going to be security of the currency or capital that would have been invested?  We need laws that safeguard the investors’ capital.  I have observed that people are good at keeping their history. 

I would want to add Mr. Speaker Sir, that I have heard speakers that talked about Mr. Masiiwa who owns Econet Wireless but in that business there are shareholders.  They have some 2% or 5% but for people to earn all those shares, they become part of the company and the share ownership should be recognised and shares should be respected.  The laws that we are coming up with should also respect the shares that people have.  There are lawyers that are there who represent accused person and when I look at them, they are the most criminal persons in this country who represent the accused person. 

Lawyers represent a murderer today and successfully defend the murderer but in the public domain we would have foreseen the accused person murdering a person in full view.  In future, when we make laws, lawyers should not be in the forefront of the law making process.  When they draft these laws, there is a committee comprising of five members - they put lawyers who in turn serve their interest and ensure that they can reprieve their clients because they will be looking after the interest of the accused person.  For example, there are many people mourning over CBZ. 

They bought shares but they are told the shares are now worthless and they have never been sold.  It is legal but the law is not being followed.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the leader of CBZ is an educated person but is failing to give people their dividends, even if there is zero profit.  There is nothing which is happening.  That is my contribution to this Bill Mr. Speaker Sir.  The law should be respected and we should not be amending the law when it is still a good law.  We should only fix that which is broken.  I thank you. 

HON. MGUNI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. S. SITHOLE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 24th May, 2019.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE RESTORATION OF MOTION ON THE

TRIPARTITE NEGOTIATING FORUM [H. B. 5, 2018] ON THE ORDER PAPER

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA) on behalf THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I seek leave of the House to move that the motion on the Second Reading of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill, [H. B. 5, 2018] which was superseded by lack of quorum be restored on the Order Paper as Order No. 1 in terms of Standing Order No. 73.

Motion put and agreed.

 

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE TRIPARTITE NEGOTIATING FORUM BILL [H. B. 5, 2018] ON THE ORDER PAPER

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA) on behalf THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that the motion on the Second Reading of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill be restored on the Order Paper as Order No. 1, in terms of Standing Order No. 73.

          Motion put and agreed to.

FIRST READING

MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER BILL [H. B. 3, 2019]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA) on behalf THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MATHEMA) presented the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill [H.B. 3, 2019].

          Bill read the first time.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

ZIMBABWE INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BILL [H. B. 2, 2019]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA) on behalf THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MATHEMA) presented the Zimbabwe Development Agency Bill [H. B. 2, 2019].    

          Bill read the first time.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.        

MOTION

          BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that we go to the business which has just been restored by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development which is now Order No. 1. Thank you.

          HON. CHINOTIMBA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

TRIPARTITE NEGOTIATING FORUM BILL [H. B. 5, 2018]

          First Order read: Second Reading: Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill [H. B. 5, 2018].

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MATEWU: I have gone through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill and I have also gone through the recommendations that were made to the Portfolio Committee.  I also happened to go into where it was happening in Marondera.  I have noted with concern that the recommendations from the Committee have not been taken into consideration.

I will give you the first example; this is where the Committee rightfully said you cannot have a Tripartite Negotiating Forum which should be in my view equal among the three; the Government, labour body and the business entity.  You cannot have the Government having 14 members yet those from the labour are getting seven and those from the business are getting seven members.  I think there should be equality in terms of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum if it is to have any impact and teeth.  Otherwise, you will end up with a situation where the Government overrides the labour body and the business community.

The second recommendation was to have the civil society as observers on the Tripartite Negotiating Forum but I have noted that in the Bill, Part 2 Clause 40 (d) – it says, “two observers will be drawn from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and the National Economic Consultative Forum”.  I think it is important to have the civil society as they are the main body that deals with human rights issues and we all know that because of the economic collapse in this country and because of the deterioration of the RTGs, we have a situation now where members of the public – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member,  face the Speaker please!  You must debate facing the Speaker.

HON. MATEWU:  My other concern is the fact that the main TNF will only meet twice a year.   I think with everything that is happening in this country and the economic collapse as I have rightfully said, there is need for the Tripartite Forum to have at least quarterly meetings – which is four meetings in a year.

Another point is that the technical committee of the TNF will be led by the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President.  I think that is bad precedence.  The technical committee should come at least from the labour body.  That will make it more representative and plausible in the eyes of many Zimbabweans.  It will be something that will be accepted by everyone.

I have also noted that there are three clusters which are: economic, labour market and social cluster.  To my concern is Clause 34 which says, “that the Chairperson of the technical committee shall appoint senior officials from the relevant ministries to chair each of these clusters”.  It means that the Chairs of these clusters are actually coming from ministries.  This seems like it is just a Ministry which is basically running the TNF.  I think the economic cluster must be chaired by someone from the business community.  The labour market cluster must be chaired by someone from the labour organisations and the social cluster must be chaired by someone from the Ministry itself.

I think this is a good way of going forward but it is too heavy-handed on the Government.  The Government has its jaws into the TNF and I do not think with its current state it will be good for the labour organisations and the business community.  I think the first port of call must be to ensure there is equality in terms of the members. I think it should be seven members each; seven members from the Ministry, seven from the labour organisations and seven members from the business community.  I submit my case.  I thank you.

*HON. TARUSENGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to add my views to the TNF Bill.  I know that the TNF Bill involves the discussions between the employer and the employee at a national level but it starts at a planned level where the employers and employees discuss and come to an agreement.  Whatever the agreement is, it is implemented. It then goes to the secretarial level where people will also discuss and make agreements and the agreements are implemented. 

In terms of tripartism, it is a creation of the ILO Convention 144.  They talk of labour legislation.  I have observed that our Bill does not talk about labour legislation.  Furthermore, it says that there should be recommendations and states that agreements should be made.  As I look at the stake that I have constructed in terms of the tripartite agreement, everything should be binding because our Bill says this tripartite agreement should then be referred to Cabinet.  Government is represented by 14 members; business and labour each have seven people.  I suggest that this Bill should be recast so that what would have been agreed at the tripartite level should be binding rather than referred to Cabinet. If it were to be referred to Cabinet, Cabinet may reverse the decision that will have been made by the tripartite players.  As a result, our Bill becomes malfunctional. 

Furthermore, I would like to speak on the issue of the representation.  On the council it is 14 for the Government, seven for the employer and employee respectively.  Our labour history since 1980 to 1990 has shown that the Labour Relations Act was more favourable to the workers.  As a result of that, Government and workers were together and the employers were alone. At the inception of ESAP in 1990, you will observe that the law regarding the workers is in favour of the employers.  This is because of the labour market flexibility.  What this indirectly means is that at the moment with regards to this particular law, the Government and the employers are on the same side.  The issues that should be discussed at the tripartite level in terms of the ILO 144 convention that I made reference to should be looking at the laws that govern the employees. 

You will observe that it will not come out well because of the miscued representation that we now have 21 members against seven. So it is Government collaborating with the employers against the employees. That needs to be redressed.

Finally, I would like to say that labour guards against extremes that can be found in the labour market.  At the moment, that is why we see that there is a lot of profiteering in the country to the extent that our Government is now saying that what is happening is sabotage because we no longer have checks and balances.  So, it is my request that this Bill provides for labour legislation more than what it is providing for at the moment.  I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I just want to add my voice to the debate before us.  Mr. Speaker, it is true that our labour market is now dominated by the informal sector.  If you look at the 95% employment level that we are talking about in Zimbabwe which a lot of people will dispute that it is not gainful employment, the majority of the people are now in the informal sector, which means that whenever the Tripartite Negotiating Forum is negotiating it is actually representing those in informal employment where people pay taxes, contributions to pensions and contribute to funeral policies.  So, it excludes the majority. 

The problem Mr. Speaker, is that all the issues that they want to prevent – during the hearings there was a mention of the January 14 stay-away; the biggest players in such demonstrations are no longer the employed, it is those who are unemployed.  So, whenever the negotiations are being carried out, they represent a very small percentage and it is important that the Ministry considers seriously how those employed in the informal sector will be involved.  As long as a law is made and meant to cater for the minority, it will not be effective and it will not work – [Laughter.] – On the representation, the labour representation is so diluted. 

If you look at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare which will chair the tripartite forum, it adds to those numbers of 14 from Government, seven from labour and seven from the business community.  Business communities like the Government are employers.  Effectively, what it means is that labour is a third of the tripartite and because some decisions are sometimes subjected to a vote, it means the workers will always lose.  The whole idea should be that the basis of a Tripartite Negotiating Forum should be based on consensus and agreements should be made binding instead of recommendations.  I wonder to whom the Tripartite Negotiating Forum will be recommending to because it includes all those players as far as the labour market is concerned.  So, I strongly feel that the composition needs to be looked at.

There is also something that I think is very important, the issue of chairing the Tripartite Negotiating Forum.  By having the Government always chairing is a problem because it depends on the Government’s feeling on what it intends to achieve at a particular time for it to call for the forum to sit.  My observation is that the chairmanship of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum should be rotated amongst labour, business and the Government.  If that happens, it will encourage each section to wish to also chair a meeting on a particular period of time.  Mr. Speaker, these are my submissions. 

I think it is important that we have the Tripartite Negotiating Forum and have it legislated even though we have taken too long as Zimbabwe, considering that some countries domesticated the ILO Convention some years back.  Nevertheless, it will still be prudent for us to do so but ensuring that the law that we are putting in place is sincere and will govern the people, especially the labour market in a fair and just manner. 

Yesterday, I was looking at the effect of us not having such Bills that promote dialogue.  The workers for a certain Chinese company in Dzivarasekwa are made to work in those hot ovens, handling hot bricks without even the gloves.  We look at the salaries that are paid, they are the least.  We now have colonisation coming a different way.  I think those are some of the things that will make it important that labour is well-represented in such a forum.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

*HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Firstly, I rise to thank the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr. Nzenza who brought up this Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill which involves the Government, workers and employers.  I also want to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon. Ncube who gave a detailed report of the public’s contribution to the Bill.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am in full support of Government’s view that it has accepted that there should be such a Bill called the Tripartite Negotiating Forum. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, if we were to look at the Bill that we are debating today, we will observe that it has been a long since we discussed ways and means of turning round the economy as well as looking at the relationship between Government, workers and employers.  All of them have been unable to deliver or to live up to our expectations because there was no law governing the practice of the relationship between the 3 parties. I totally support such a law.  I say this because when we look at the way the Government and companies operate and their relationship with their employees, there is suspicion. 

          It is our considered view that the relationship between the three should ensure that there is no distrust among the three players in the TNF.  So, the Bill gives a solid foundation for uniting the three players so that when they discuss and come up with an agreement, the agreement should be respected, binding and implementable.  For all this to happen, Mr. Speaker Sir, we need a law that regulates the conduct of the three players, hence the current discussion in this august House on the Tripartite Negotiation Forum Bill. Labour forms part of the cost drivers in the Zimbabwean economy.  It is important to award wages that will stimulate demand, that will sustain productivity and increase markets for companies. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there is need to balance labour costs with productivity.  It is important that from time to time, there be a review to see whether the minimum wages that are being earned by people are in sync with the state of the economy at the time or not.  Labour costs should not go faster than productivity.  Our costs competitiveness will suffer.  Our exports will be impacted upon negatively. Has there been enhanced production?  Is this contributing towards the development of the economy?  In monetary terms, are they in line with the salaries that people are earning? All I am saying is that the salaries that people earn and the state of the economy should be balanced in all the different sectors of the country.    We need to introspect deeply and come up with meaningful legislation. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the world over, the TNF is chaired by Government.  All this will ensure that what has been agreed upon is in line with the Constitution.  If we do not do that, we will be in contravention of ILO statutes in terms of what the Tripartite Negotiating Forum is all about and the laws that govern the conduct of the TNF.  Our laws should be in line with international best practice.  I therefore, Mr. Speaker urge this august House to accept the TNF Bill.  As Members of Parliament, we must ensure that the nation understands and appreciates what the Bill stands for.  This is what the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare expects of us.  This position is in line with the presentation made by the Chairperson of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Committee.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, it is abundantly clear that the introduction of a legal framework will positively impact on the Tripartite Negotiating Forum.  I thank you. 

          HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to add my voice to this motion.  This Bill is long overdue and it has gone past the 8th Parliament with no end in sight and I think the community at large welcomes this move that the 9th Parliament has prioritised it and we will see the fruition of it. In this regard, we have to make sure that whatever we do to this Bill will have to make sure that we have addressed the aspirations of all the stakeholders out there.  The moment that we pass the Bill and it does not address what they are anticipating, we are going to fall short of their expectations.

          This Bill will help a lot with assisting our environment especially in the economy and they bring stability to the economy.  Had it been passed in the 8th Parliament, it would have addressed the unrest that happened in January, that strike that took place, had we had this Bill, that could have been avoided.  So, this is a welcome move which everybody is supporting.  I also do not support the idea that the informal sector has been left outside. We know very well that they are the ones who are now controlling the economy, so it is imperative that we revisit their inclusion.

          I do not have any problems with the composition of the Management Committee although it is not moving in tandem with what is happening in the real world.  Right now, we are fighting for gender inclusion but the TNF Bill does not address anywhere that one of the Committee members should be a woman.  It just says it has to be a citizen of Zimbabwe and it is silent on gender; yet we are pushing the management or the other institutions to be composed of women at the management level and let alone, at this TNF, nothing speaks of gender inclusion.  So, I think it is something that has to be addressed and make sure that it is included. 

          I like the idea of on arbitrator if let us say there is a deadlock. They are proposing that there should be a retired judge or an ex-president from another country.  I think having a foreigner coming to try to arbitrate will bring harmony to the negotiating table.  I am a little bit concerned, it is silent, and we know the TNF Bill is supposed to address labour issues but it is not so prominent on how those labour issues are going to be addressed.  So, I feel a little bit more should be done to it, just to panel beat a little bit more vocal on the labour issues and very, very vocal on the inclusion of gender.  I thank you.

          HON. S. BANDA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think the TNF as earlier alluded to has come at an opportune time.  I only have a few points to make because most of them have been made.  There is the issue of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, it is going to be superceded by the Consumer Protection Agency and I think it will be better to replace the word Consumer Council of Zimbabwe with Consumer Protection Agency.  Who is at a disadvantage in the tripartite forum?  It is the worker or labourers who are at a disadvantage and so if the social contract proposed here does not dwell much on labour issues, then it is not solving what it intends to solve.  Therefore, the social contract mentioned by Hon. Chombo should place more emphasis on labour issues.  She also mentioned the need for an independent arbitrator but unfortunately the report captured the issue but at the end did not put it as a recommendation.  It would have been good if the report had indicated among its recommendations that we need an independent arbitrator, especially a foreign former president because the judges that we have these days – some of them I will not speak about that.  My last comment is that we really love this TNF Bill and we support it hundred percent.  Let it start working as it will help us to cushion ourselves against most of the problems that Zimbabwe is facing.  I thank you.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this Bill.  I think that if we take our advice, we will be seen to be a country moving in the right direction and we will be appreciated by other countries that surround us.  The Labour Bill is painful.  It is quite painful bearing what is happening at the moment.  The reason why we are constantly debating this Bill is because of the outlook of the economy.  I am talking about the situation in terms of the outlook of this particular country. 

I rose to add my voice after having heard fellow members debating Bill.  If my suggestions are to be taken on board, it would assist in crafting a good Bill.  The problem is that the workers are constantly mourning about the change of the money that we are using.  We have had the bond and RTGs from the US dollar.  We are coming from a multi-currency era which I am referring to as the US dollar era.  At one time it used to be 1:1 but when the Government then said the RTGs rate to the US dollars is 1:2.5, what it means is that if a grounds man was earning US$100, he is now being given 100 bond and there is a disparity now in the values as it should now be 250 bond in accordance with the set rate of 1:2.5.  Why should people be evasive?  Let us tell each other the truth and implement the truth.  The law should be respected and we should stick to what we will have agreed upon.  We must have clear policies.  Anything that is pegged in US dollar, once there is a change in terms of the strength of the RTGs should correspond with the current exchange rate.  If you are to go to the bank rate, it is 1:3.2.  Why not just change the US$ to the RTGs rate so that people can earn meaningfully?  I have seen this, so why are you failing to see it, is it because you are too educated?  What we earn as Parliamentarians is known.  If we are earning RTGs 2000, why are we not getting an equivalent rate of 2.5 which is the Government rate?

          It is very easy and when this law is being crafted, call me, a grade 2 MP and I will be able to tell you.  There is a classification of jobs and we have grounds man, administrators, skilled workers such as artisans and management.  We are in tears but it is known that all these workers are paid so much in US dollars. A few months back, they used to earn such salaries before there was a migration from the US dollar.  That is what people have been earning, so they should be given the equivalent of the RTGs dollar.  Everyone in this country would be happy. 

The Government is now being looked down upon.  All our Ministers are degreed.  Ask the President to appoint me as a minister so that you can see me doing the job and I will show you what the educated ministers are failing to do.  It is very simple and basic.  It is not difficult Mr. Speaker Sir.  Is it because we are being selfish and we are greedy? Management is earning a lot of money and we must be honest.  You then talk of your allowances and so forth.  You give yourself a lot of allowances and a lot of money is coming there.  Is the grounds man going to Victoria Falls to attend a meeting?  Is he ever called to Victoria Falls to go and sweep there?  Are you not seeing that we are being cruel and we are not raising salaries of our workers?  The law should reflect what I have highlighted as a grade 2 MP.  I reiterate that every salary should be pegged at the US dollar rate.  We are in a war situation, so let us behave as people that think.  The sanctions that we always mourn over daily are no different for ZANU- PF, NPF or MDC.  For ZANU-PF to stay awake, it is because they are challenged by MDC.  Look at what NPF is saying now.  It will make you function rather than leave you to sleep on duty.  So we should also show them and fight the sanctions easily just like Smith did. How can we be beaten by a white man who fought the sanctions and won until the British came and knelt asking for help from him though he was under sanctions?  Was he thinking in an electronic system or he was thinking in a blood system like us all here?

 Where are we going wrong?  Robert Mugabe educated us.  He left us all educated but we are busy denouncing him badly rather than thank him for what he did.  So, his spirit will lead us in a good direction.  Why not – we are busy but if you look closely at those who blame Robert Mugabe, they are those who have been in this Parliament for many years because of him but they stand up and blame him everyday, unlike me who came yesterday.  I respect him up to today.  I respect His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa because of history.  He is the one who fought for this country together with Robert Mugabe, so I respect both of them.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member.

           *HON. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I have seen that the Hon. Member is now off topic.  I am saying that the Hon. Member is now off tangent with the Tripartite Negotiating Forum.  I am saying that he is lost.  Thank you. 

          HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me just explain in English so that he understands. I think that he is a learned person and maybe I was talking in Shona and he did not understand. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member what you are saying now is unparliamentary. Can you withdraw that statement?

          HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I stand guided. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that what I am here to say is a State thing.  It might touch my colleagues but I am saying the truth about the Bill and what caused the Bill to be written in a State manner or way is because of beating about the bush and trying to run away from the road which is very straight.  As I said, let us peg our labour money or mari yevasevenzi.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are reminded to use one language.

          HON. MATAMBANADZO: Okay - for the workers.  Let us peg it in US dollars and change according to the market system, through the bank and not the black market on the street.  I thank you.

          *HON. MADIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for this opportunity.  Let me debate on the TNF what we are talking about.  I agree with the previous speaker that it was long overdue before the TNF could be amended.  All I am saying is that what has been done is very good that we have such a Bill today.  What pleases me most is that the Government of the day is concerned about the relationship between the employer and the employee, which is a good thing.  It brings understanding and dialogue between the three parties.  I am quite happy that with the discussion, there is no winner or loser.  They end up with a win-win situation. 

What the President said that he wants a turn and it is there in the economy and industries – this one promotes that vision.  I congratulate the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare who has made a positive move that every two weeks, they would want to meet with the unions and come up with the problems that are bedeviling workers so that there would be better relations between the employer and employee.  It shows that the Government is concerned about its workers and wants the creation of a good relationship between itself and the workers. Government has gone a step ahead and also as an employer, Government has its own workers and it has given non-monetary benefits to civil servants.  There is a $60 million facility for housing and that is an example that the Government is leading by example, therefore we urge the private sector to also emulate that in regard to their workers. 

          The President’s invitation to investors in the country ensures that there is ease of doing business and also creating better relationship for our workers as well as enhancing the way they work.  It is a good Bill which was long overdue.  I thank you Mr. Speaker. 

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I have just been reminded that this country is endowed with a ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth by Hon. Gabbuza, of which there are more than 60 minerals and only 20 of those have been exploited.  That will be my first point to add to this Bill. 

          It is appreciated that this Bill is coming in at a time such as this one.  We are late in bringing it onto the table to regulate and to regularise its existence by making sure that now it is promulgated into an Act of Parliament.  I want to thank the Executive for bringing this Bill to Parliament so that we can effectively and vociferously debate on it and make sure that it is also incorporated in the laws of this country.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, a country is respected in the same manner it respects its own Constitution.  This Bill also aligns with the Constitution because it speaks to and about the rights of the labourers and the rights of EMCOZ or the business entity and also the largest employer, who is Government.  It also speaks to the rights of the people who are in Government. 

Having said that Madam Speaker Ma’am, you would have observed in the past years that at some point in history, we had an operation that was conducted by the police and it was called Chikorokoza chapera.  In that year, gold deliveries to Fidelity fell from 18 tonnes to one tonne.  This means that the artisanal miner should not be left in the fringes of the economy or in the fringes of any Bill or any development, in particular in this Tripartite Negotiation Forum.  I see in all fairness that we have embraced the past in that the formalised entities are the same entities that we continue to harp and BAP on.  But, the informal sector which the country is endowed with, the people who I am talking about, there is more than a million artisanal miners out there and these are the people who are bringing in the only tradable commodity, which is gold.  You have seen some issues that are being brought in are agricultural in nature and they are seasonal but extraction of gold and minerals, these are not seasonal. There are minerals all the time but a lot of the mining it is skewed towards the informal sector and the artisanal miner in this regard.

I talk about this because we have got a Mines and Minerals Act that has been instigated by Parliament in terms of coming into this House so that it can be repealed. The archaic, moribund, rudimentary and antiquated piece of legislation which is the current Mines and Minerals Act is fraught with irregularities. It is quite historic and was promulgated in 1951. There was never any room for the informal sector in that Bill and Act. Now, the Act is coming into Parliament so that we realise or recognise the informal sector or the artisanal and small scale miners. It has not come through and has now been sent back by His Excellency for renegotiation or re-debate so that we completely incorporate the artisanal and small scale miners and give them their space. that is formalising the informal sector madam speaker so the loss of taxes that experienced through illicit outflows and revenue leakages – these can be streamlined towards the formal sector and Government.

Government cannot survive without taxes. As long as we continue to ignore the artisanal and small scale miners Madam Speaker, we are shooting ourselves in the foot and we are going to have a broke Government. I have already said the year that the Chikorokoza Chapera Operation was promulgated; we fell from eighteen tonnes to one tonne. I therefore make a clarion call, that we embrace these people using this TNF and that of the clusters that are there, they also chair one of them because ane mari ndiye mukuru. He who has the money calls the tune or he who has the money pays the piper. We need to put our money where our mouth is.

Let the artisanal miners chair the economic cluster in the TNF. Let Government chair the whole issue because they are the Government of the day. Zimbabwe will never immigrate to Zambia or South Africa. There will always be a Government in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe can never move elsewhere. The other Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, they moved out of the Rhodesian entity but Zimbabwe remained in Zimbabwe. So this is what I am saying Madam Speaker. We need the Zimbabwean Government to chair the TNF and that is out of question and we need to make sure that it stays like that.

Madam Speaker as we formalise the informal sector, I have already said the artisanal miners are not well represented. One might argue and say the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines does have a representation of the artisanal or the small scale miners. Some of these people we are talking about are nomads and do not have birth certificates or identification documents. Some of them are engaged in rowdy behavior, knowing or cognisant of the fact that they have no print with the Central Registration of identification certificates. Some of them have never seen the door of a school, some of them - but they are gullible enough to go 40 metres deep and extract minerals for the good order of the unsuspecting innocent citizens of Zimbabwe. These are the people we should be celebrating by this Bill and we should be incorporating in this Bill.

All the other issues that have been spoken about, as long as they left these artisanal miners in the fringes of this Bill, they are waxing lyrical and are not serving the interest of this nation. We need to incorporate these people so that the one percent arising from the taxes or the royalties paid by the small scale and artisanal miners can be streamlined and channelled to Government through E-governance system, which brings me to the next point Madam Speaker.

As long as we have not computerised our revenue generation and collection systems, we are not plugging revenue leakages or illicit outflows. So we need to embrace E-governance system because it is called and spoken for in our Constitution and in some of the Acts of Parliament. It is my fervent view Madam Speaker, that this clarion call that I have made here today shall be taken and taken seriously because even the Bible says, ‘In the days that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…’ Let us today, because of this Bill, incorporate these artisanal miners so that we do not have a recurrence of the Chikorokoza Chapera Operation scenario where we got deliveries coming down from eighteen tonnes to one tonne.

Madam Speaker, I see there is a lot of fighting for the representation of the artisanal miners. The leaders are trying to fight but let us not forget that as long as we do not have the roots of where these people are coming from, the artisanal miners are the roots, we certainly will not have the leadership of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation. People are now trying to claim victory for these artisanal miners, but it is a known fact that these artisanal miners have fought for their emancipation so that they can expeditiously deliver the only tradable commodity to Fidelity so that this country and us as the non productive sector can benefit.

Government does not produce anything Madam Speaker. It depends on the taxes from the payment of the wages of people like me, Hon. Gabbuza, Hon. Muchenje, Hon. Gonese and Hon. Madzimure there. So it is us who are supposed to make laws for the good governance and order of these artisanal miners so that they continue to pay these 210 Members of Parliament who are here plus 60 and the Chiefs and Senators in the Upper House. Let us not ignore these people. Let us give them their space. Experience is the best teacher and these people know where to put the money.

Let them lead the most powerful cluster in the TNF which is the economic cluster, because they have brought their money without anybody asking them to bring it. As they bring in that money, let us regulate and licence them so that we get what we can and can what we get. We use what we have as a nation to get what we want. I want to thank you Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. NZENZA): I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Hon. Members who have contributed to the debate this afternoon. Your observations and recommendations have been taken aboard and I am going to deliver everything to the Minister responsible who will come and give her response, I am sure next week.

I move that the debate do now adjourned.

Motion put and agreed to

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 14th May, 2019.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA), the House adjourned at Twenty-five Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

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