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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 APRIL 2016 VOL 42 NO 53

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 14th April, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

THE HON. SPEAKER: The House is not properly lit and I thought by the time I came back, the electrical gadget would have been fixed. We will try to make sure that we have sufficient lighting, particularly towards the back there. It does not look nice. Kindly bear with us as we try to look for the required funding to ensure that corrective action is taken.

[Cellphone rings]

THE HON. SPEAKER: Whose phone is that? Please before you come to the House, can you make sure that your phones are either switched off or they are on silence?

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to draw attention of the House to an error on today’s Order Paper where the Notice of Presentation of the Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology (PAMUST) Bill (H. B. 10, 2015) should be by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development and not Mines and Mining Development.

FIRST READING

PAN-AFRICAN MINERALS UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BILL [H.B. 10, 2015]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA) presented the PAN-African Minerals University of Science and Technology Bill [H.B. 10, 2015].

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

MINERALS EXPLORATION AND MARKETING CORPORATION BILL [H.B.11, 2015]

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA) presented the Minerals Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill [H.B. 11, 2015].

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

RECOMMITTAL TO COMMITTEE STAGE

GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 3B, 2015]

First Order read: Recommittal – Committee: General Laws Amendment Bill, [H.B. 3B, 2015].

House in Committee.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Chairman, I move the amendments standing in my name;

On Part XX of the Schedule,

Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]

  1. On page 22 of the Bill line 41 delete “section 195A” and substitute with “section 196(1)”.
  2. On page 24 of the Bill line 18 delete “subsection (3)” and substitute with

“subsection (2)”.   

  1. On page 24 of the Bill line 20 delete “(3)” and substitute with “(2)”.
  2. On page 22 of the Bill after line 17 insert a new section as follows—

              “15(1) By the repeal of section 96.”

                 (2) By the deletion of the word “criminal defamation” in the Second, Fourth and Fifth Schedules.

Amendments to Part XX put and agreed to.

Part XX, as amended, put and agreed to.

On Parts CVII, CIX, CXII, CXIII, CXIV, CXV, CXVI, CXVII and CXVIII of the Schedule:

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Chairman, I move the amendments standing in my name that;

  1. On page 54 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CVII.
  2. On page 55 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CIX.
  3. On page 56 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXII.
  4. On page 56 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXIII.
  5. On page 57 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXIV.
  6. On page 57 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXV.
  7. On page 58 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVI.
  8. On page 58 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVII.
  9. On page 59 of the Bill, by the deletion of PART CXVIII.

Amendments to Parts CVII, CIX, CXII, CXIII, CXIV, CXV, CXVI, CXVII and CXVIII put and agreed to.

Parts CVII, CIX, CXII, CXIII, CXIV, CXV, CXVI, CXVII and CXVIII, as amended, put and agreed to.

On Part CXXVI:

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):   Mr. Chairman, I move the amendments standing in my name;

Traditional Leaders Act [Chapter 29:17]

On page 63 line 33 of the bill delete subsection (4) and substitute with-

“(4) Subject to this section and to subsections (5), (6) and (7), the Chiefs Council as it is constituted on the date of the dissolution of Parliament continues in office and to function as such until a new Council is elected in terms of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13].”

Amendments to Part CXXVI put and agreed to.

Part CXXVI, as amended, put and agreed to.

Schedule, as amended, put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported with amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 3B, 2015]

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

COMMITTEE STAGE

GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B. 9, 2015]

Second Order read: Committee Stage: Gwanda State University Bill [H.B. 9, 2015].

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 34 put and agreed to.

Schedule, Section 2 and 31 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING    

GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY BILL [H.B. 9, 2015]

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GANDAWA): I move that the Bill be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.

          MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. CHASI: I move that Order of the Day Number 3 be stood over until all the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. MAHOKA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I am sure you have the Order Paper before you. Right, the time that has lapsed for this motion is thirteen hours eleven minutes and this is a debate on the Presidential Address. We are short of thirteen more hours to conclude debate on this motion. Now, I did not see anybody rise to debate and yet Hon. Members have said they want to debate. My question is where are you? Where are you? Ha-a! We cannot keep on printing and increasing costs where Hon. Members must rise and debate. We have our minimum hours that are required in terms of our Standing Orders and we conclude debate on that motion.

I hope as they say in Shona, chiri mumusaka saka chinozvinzwira. I was going to mention certain things but I am saying chiri mumusaka saka chinozvinzwira. Kumwe uko munoti imimi hatipihwi mukana wokudebater. Hezvo ka! Hezvo ka! Muri kupi? Where are you? Lingapi! I hope you take note of that. We cannot be having motions on the Order Paper continuously and we do not conclude. I am asking the Whips to whip the Honourable Members.

          HON. RUNGANI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

          Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe.

          HON. RUNGANI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. RUNGANI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 and 7 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 8 has been disposed of.

          HON. NDUNA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Again, I make an observation on Notice of Motion Number 6. It has been sitting on the Order Paper for too long now. Is Honourable Shamu here? He is not there. If he does not want to debate it anymore, then it should be expunged from the Order Paper.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LANDS, AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT ON THE OPERATIONS OF ARDA AND CSC

          HON. CHITINDI: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the operations of the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and Cold Storage Company (CSC).

          HON. RTD BRIG GWANETSA: I second.

          HON CHITINDI:

Introduction:

          The national economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation identifies agriculture as the backbone of the economy and the need to restore the sector to its former glory as the bread basket of Southern Africa. This is further buttressed by the Ten Point Plan highlighted in the 2015 State of the Nation Address to Parliament by His Excellency, the President, Cde R. G. Mugabe which calls for the revitalisation of agriculture. This can be partially achieved through reforming under performing state owned entities such as Grain Marketing Board, CSC, Cottco among others.

          The Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development resolved to conduct an inquiry on two key state owned companies that have been under performing namely CSC and ARDA in order to understand the binding constraints and the opportunities in agricultural productivity. The objectives of the inquiry were as follows:

  • To assess the state of operations at ARDA and CSC;
  • To identify challenges being faced and their recapitalisation plans;
  • To offer policy.
  • Methodology
  • Oral Evidence Session
  • On the 30th June, 2015, the Committee conducted an oral evidence session with Mr. W. Mbona, the General Manager for ARDA and his management and with Mr. N. Chinogaramombe, the Chief Executive Officer for CSC and the Board of Directors were also in attendance. The oral evidence session focused on the state of operations, challenges being faced and their recapitalisation plans respectively.
  • Study Tours
  • The Committee conducted a study tour and a verification exercise of the ARDA Estates and CSC premises from the 7th – 11th of August, 2015. The Committee visited Nijo Estate, Doreen’s Pride Estate, Antelope Estate, ARDA Sanyati, CSC Harare, CSC Kadoma, CSC Gweru and CSC Bulawayo. This visit proved valuable as the Committee witnessed first-hand the challenges both policy and administrative that CSC and ARDA faces. We wish to extend our utmost thanks to UNDP for their assistance.
  • Workshop
  • The Committee further conducted a capacity building workshop from the 24th – 27th September, 2015 at Golden Peacock, Mutare to discuss, among other issues, the Agricultural Financing in Zimbabwe, Livestock production in Zimbabwe, Agricultural Commodity prices and Market systems, progress made towards fulfillment of ZIM ASSET Cluster No. 1, Food Security and Nutrition as well as a historical overview of the performance of the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe. Presenters included the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Made, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. J. Chitsiko, among others. The capacity building workshop afforded the Committee an opportunity to seek clarifications and share ideas with the Agriculture Authority. Again, the Committee extends its gratitude to UNDP for the adequate financial assistance.
  • FINDINGS
  • Cold Storage Company (CSC)
  • CSC was established in 1937 in terms of the Cold Storage Commission Act, with the mandate of procuring, processing and marketing beef, lamb, goat and related products. Government is the only shareholder in the company and owns three abattoirs in Chinhoyi, Bulawayo and Masvingo. The company was commercialised in 1995 and also owns a canning and a tannery subsidiaries, both which are located in Bulawayo. The canning company is not operating because of lack of inputs from the parent company. The tannery is currently under judicial management.
  • Operational Performance of CSC
  • The Committee was informed by the Board of CSC that since 2009, the company has been operating at less than 10% of its capacity. Out of a total of about 77 000 national slaughters in the first quarter of 2015, CSC only slaughtered about 5 000, which represents 7.3% of the total. Currently, the company has a total national herd of 792 cattle. The company’s dismal performance is attributed to a number of factors, and the major one being lack of capital.
  • Financial Position of CSC
  • The Committee was informed that CSC posted a loss of US1.3 million in the first quarter of 2015. The company owes over US$28 million to its creditors, mainly to public utilities such as ZESA. Employees are owed about US$3.5 million for wages and the company has had some of its assets attached by employees over outstanding wages. The company is paying its salaries and other expenses from revenue generated from leasing of some of its properties. Furthermore, the company has been unable to borrow from local financial institutions due to the high interest rates and short term financing facilities, which make it difficult to service loans.
  • Turnaround Strategies for CSC
  • In the last decade, CSC has been suffering from severe under-capitalisation and required US$83 million to commence its operations. A few investors have shown interest in partnering with the company, which include Royal Ostrindo, when in 2009 it had offered an investment of US$57 million with the Government retaining a 50% shareholding. Unfortunately, the investor withdrew after delays in the approval of the investment. The Committee could not get adequate reasons for the collapse of the proposal, because it failed to meet with the Minister after repeated invitations to attend the Committee’ Sessions. Currently, CSC is negotiating with another investor known as Alternative Initiation for Development of Africa, who plans to inject a capital of US$80 million. However, the Committee is concerned that this agreement may fail again, because Government seems to have taken a lackadaisical approach in handling potential investors keen on investing in CSC.
  • The company further informed the Committee that it intended to mobilise funding internally through the disposal of some of its assets that were lying idle. The assets have an estimated value of US$4.5 million. CSC made this proposal to Government in 2012 but the disposal plan has not been approved pending a forensic audit. Whilst the Committee agrees that a forensic audit should be conducted, the process seems to be taking long with adverse effects such depreciation in value of some of the company’s assets as well as the ballooning of the CSC debt due to interest charges. The Committee had an opportunity to visit some of the properties earmarked for disposal in Harare, Kadoma and Gweru and noted with disappointment that some of the assets, such as the Kadoma branch had greatly depreciated in value after being gutted by fire.
  • The Committee noted with concern that there was a lack of dialogue between the Board and the Minister of Agriculture, who is supposed to give policy direction to the company, in line with Section 31 (1) of the Cold Storage Commission Act. The Committee was informed by the Board that since its appointment in 2011, they have never held any meetings or discussions with the Minister. This has the potential to jeorpadise any turnaround strategies being proposed for the parastatal.
  • Severe Competition from Private Abattoirs
  • The beef and livestock industry was liberalised in 1992 and it is estimated that there are over 600 registered and unregistered abattoirs and slaughter poles. In 1992, CSC dominated 50% of the market share and by 2002; this had declined to 6% especially after the suspension of exports to the European Union (EU). The Committee noted that CSC has huge infrastructure which incur large overheads costs in the form of electricity and water. This makes CSC uncompetitive against the small private abattoirs. On average, the electricity bill for CSC per month is US$$35 000 irrespective of the volumes traded whilst that of a private is about US$5 000.
  • Secondly, most private abattoirs are located on farms and pay lower rates to Rural District Councils (RDCs) whereas CSC operations are located in major towns where urban authorities have higher tariffs than RDCs. The Committee was also informed that there are different hygienic standards that are applied on CSC factories and on private abattoirs. CSC factories are categorised as class A, whereas private abattoirs are under category B or less, for example, an abattoir of CSC requires 62 people to be on the factory floor regardless of the volume while a private abattoir requires only 10 workers for the same service. In order to remain functional, CSC offers slaughter services to third parties and in order to attract business, it had to reduce charges to the level of private abattoirs, but customers prefer to slaughter at private abattoirs because the is a low risk of condemnation of the product. At the same time, private abattoirs are unable to fully observe veterinary regulations in the movement of cattle and this poses a challenge in containment of food and mouth outbreaks.
  • Furthermore, private abattoirs were not willing to work with CSC and there seems to be an acrimonious relationship between the two institutions.
  • Beneficiation and Value Addition
  • The Committee was informed that CSC has the capacity to obtain full value of its bi-products from the slaughter process, such as hides, heads and hooves, tallow, blood, bones and condemned carcasses. Private abattoirs are unable to provide some of these services, especially the disposal of blood and condemned carcasses. Some of these bi-products are critical for the growth of downstream industries, such tallow which is used for soap manufacturing, hides which are used for manufacture of leather products. The entire value chain has the potential to create more jobs and wealth for the country.
  • Suspension of the Export Quota

In the past, CSC had access to offshore loans made possible through exports to the European Union. However, these credit lines were suspended after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. The Committee was informed that the major advantage that CSC has over private abattoirs is that it has the requisite infrastructure with capacity to export beef to the EU. Currently, there is huge demand for Zimbabwean beef in the EU market.

Re-building of the National Herd

The 2015 Mid-year Fiscal Review Statement highlights that approximately US$1.7 billion is required to finance crop and livestock farming. About US$1.3 billion is for crop production and the balance of US$400 million will, in essence, be for livestock. CSC is the appropriate institution to spearhead the re-building of the national herd of cattle which currently stands at 5.4 million. Private abattoirs tend to operate in serving their own interest whereas CSC should have national interest as its focus.

Pricing Model in the Livestock Sector

The Committee was informed that the four dominant private players, that include Montana Meats, Surrey Meats, Bulawayo Abattoirs and Koala Park Abattoir behave as a cartel, where they manipulate the price of livestock on the domestic market. These private players do not bid against each other as a way of pushing CSC out of market. This is further compounded by the fact that the local market is more interested in the cost of the product rather than quality, due to lack of disposable income among the general populace.

The most disadvantaged group are the farmers who do not get full value for their livestock. The Committee, through written submissions for interested stakeholders, was informed that the industry should introduce a pricing model that takes into account the grade and weight of the livestock. Cattle should also be traded through an auction system like in South Africa and Namibia, thus ensuring there is price fairness on the market.

Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA)

ARDA was established under the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority Act with the mandate of planning, co-ordinating, implementing, promoting as well as assisting agricultural development in Zimbabwe. The entity owns 21 estates which are located in different ecological regions of the country. The State-owned enterprise has been experiencing mixed fortunes because out of its 21 estates, only 12 have secured funding under different joint venture agreements.

Estates under Joint Venture Agreements

The 12 estates that are under joint venture agreements include: Chisumbanje, Middle Sabi, Katiyo, Mkwasine, Sisi, Nandi, Faire Acres, Jotsholo, Antelope, Ngwezi, Sedgewik and Doreen’s Pride. The Committee managed to visit Doreen’s Pride estate in Kadoma district and Antelope Farm in Kezi, under Matobo district. Both estates are under one investor known as Trek Petroleum. Doreen’s Pride was officially commissioned in 1986 and has over 9 000 hactres of land, of which 270 is irrigable. The authority entered into a joint venture agreement with Trek Petroleum and at the time of the Committee’s visit, the investor was in the process of installing centre pivots and irrigation infrastructure in preparation for the summer cropping season.

The estate had begun intensive livestock farming and has imported over 600 different types of cattle breeds from Namibia. Currently, the farm employs 12 permanent and 78 seasonal workers, largely drawn from the local community. The estate management indicated that there was high morale amongst the workers following joint venture agreement. The joint venture agreement is 40 to 60 percent in favour of Trek Petroleum and will last for a period of five years. Some of the challenges at the farm include the lack of electricity for irrigation purposes and the risk of farm invasion by illegal mining operations. The estate has lost part of land to illegal miners.

Antelope farm is situated in Kezi and also entered into a five-year agreement with Trek Petroleum. The Committee had an opportunity to witness wheat planted on 690 hectares of land. The wheat was almost ready for harvesting and had already secured a buyer. The Committee was informed that plans were in place to expand the estate to 3 000 hectares of land and 150 hectares from the total hectarage will be reserved for out grower schemes, as a way of empowering the local communities. The out-growers will receive assistance in the form of surety for loan applications, sourcing of markets as well as tillage and irrigations services. The estate relies on both flood and overhead irrigation schemes and derives its water from Antelope dam.

From the time of investment, in February 2015, the estate has employed over 150 people largely drawn from the local community. The major challenge faced by the estate is unstable power supplies from ZESA, meant for irrigation purposes. The farm has the capacity to grow crops throughout the year, such as wheat, cotton, maize, soya beans and sorghum. The estate also plans to add value to some of its produce such as maize for sale to the local community. The Committee noted with appreciation that there was intensive production and high morale at the farm, in light of the joint venture agreement.

Estates wholly owned by Government

The estates that are being wholly managed by Government include: Balu, Sanyati, Muzarabani, Mushumbi Pools, Nijo, Katiyo Main Estate, Rusitu, Magudu and Kairezi. The Committee had an opportunity to visit two of the estates, namely Sanyati Estate located in Sanyati and Nijo Estate located on the outskirts of Harare. The two estates are in a sorry state with dilapidated infrastructure and machinery. Both estates have rich soils and are strategically located in terms of access to key institutions within the agricultural sector.

On the visit to ARDA Sanyati, the Committee noted with concern that there was no visible security at the premises and most of the machinery and equipment at the farm was being vandalised such as centre pivots, irrigation pumps and transformers. It was evident that there was gross negligence and undue care over Government assets. There has about 1 600 hectares of land, of which 800 is irrigable with a capacity to grow crops such as wheat, maize, cotton, soya beans and sugar beans. The estate also has 85 herd of cattle, most of which are affected by common livestock diseases. The cattle are not getting adequate veterinary services, hence the poor health. The Committee further noted with concern that the local community is bitter about the unproductive estate and its poor management. This may be attributed to the fact that the estate owes wages to over 100 employees, dating back to 2012 when the farm ceased operations. Furthermore, the estate has assets such as houses which are being occupied for free and yet revenues can be raised through rentals in order to pay outstanding salaries. The estate urgently needs an investor to kick-start its operations. The estate has good soils and a nearby source of water for irrigation.

On the visit to Nijo, the Committee was informed that the estate was in the process of securing a partnership to boost productivity. The farm is located on 1 000 hectares of land, of which 420 is arable. the farm has both crop and livestock production. The crops grown at the farm include commercial and seed maize, commercial and seed soya as well as horticulture. The estate also has small herd of dairy which supplies milk to the local community. The major challenge at the farm is that it does not have adequate sources of water for irrigation purposes. The farm relies on borehole water and most of the boreholes have low capacity due to competition from the nearby human settlements. The farm had its electricity transformer vandalised hence affecting its horticultural production.

Furthermore, the farm does not have adequate security, hence is vulnerable to theft of its produce and assets. During the Committee’s visit, it noted that the estate had experienced acts of arson, where a sizable portion of its field with maize ready for harvest having been burnt. The estate also faces the possibility of losing sections of its land due to the expansion of City of Harare and the fact that most of the estate largely remains under-utilised. There is a high possibility that certain portions of the estate will be annexed either by legal or illegal land developers.

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

Cold Storage Commission (CSC)

  1. Whilst the Board and Management of CSC are keen on revamping the operations of the company, there does not seen to be the same zeal and commitment by the Executive because one potential agreement collapsed and the current proposal is threatened with the same fate of lack of interest from the Ministry.
  2. There is a lack of collective responsibility between the Board and parent Ministry. The Minister is supposed to give policy direction in line with section 31 (1) of the Cold Storage Commission Act, but there has never been a meeting between the Minister and Board since 2011, when the Board was appointed. The result is that any turnaround strategy or proposal has a high risk of failure.
  3. There is a high possibility that private abattoirs are selling meat that does not meet health and safety standards. As a result consumers may be exposed to eating meat and related products that are not safe for human consumption.
  4. A cartel has developed within the trading of cattle and marketing of meat and related products locally. The cartel comprises of family owned businesses with self-serving interests. In the process, vulnerable livestock owners are being forced to sale their cattle at sub-economic prices. CSC does not have the capacity to compete with them or bring sanity in the trading and marketing of meat and related products on the local market.
  5. CSC has the potential to create more jobs and wealth, through value addition of the products from the livestock sector, such as leather products and canning of beef and related products. This is in line with the ZIM ASSET cluster of Beneficiation and Value Addition of the country’s natural resources.
  6. The executive seems to have neglected its investment into CSC and needs to take urgent measures to address this matter.
  7. Key players within the livestock sector, such as private abattoirs are excluded from decision making bodies such as CSC Board. They are needed to provide their knowledge and skills in enabling the country to re-build the national herd and resume exports to the European Union and elsewhere.
  8. CSC infrastructures is deteriorating at an alarming rate, in Kadoma it has reached a dire situation.
  9. CSC owns a vast number of movable and immovable properties that are lying idle and run the risk of further deterioration.

AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL DEVELOPME/NT AUTHORITY (ARDA)

  1. There is vast difference between estates under partnership and those still under ARDA, with the latter exhibiting productivity and the former in a dire situation.
  2. The Committee witnessed hostilities towards ARDA Administration by local communities in Sanyati, and such tendencies have the potential to scare away potential investors.
  3. Without joint venture partnerships, both Nijo and Sanyati, will remain unviable.
  4. Government assets are not properly secured at both Sanyati and Nijo and are prone to theft, arson and vandalism.
  5. Relations between ARDA and the local community in Sanyati are very volatile and these need to be mended before a new investor comes into place.
  6. Estates with joint venture agreement are set to make meaningful contributions towards agricultural productivity and food security.

RECOMMENDATIONS (CSC)

  1. The Executive must finalise CSC joint venture agreements in the

earliest possible time, by June 2016, a partner should be indentified and appointed, to avoid unnecessary delays which might cause another investor flight.

  1. The Minister and the Board must convene a meeting within two months (April 2016) after presentation of this Report to iron out all the issues and report to Parliament on the progress made.
  2. The Executive should give a time-frame within which to conduct a forensic audit. This is critical in order to arrest the depreciation in value of some of the company’s assets. A maximum of 3 months should be enough for a forensic audit.
  3. A regulator, in the form of a revamped CSC is required to control the trading of cattle on the market to protect vulnerable farmers. A state regulator is needed to protect the general public from consuming meat and related products that may otherwise be condemned.
  4. A fair pricing model should be introduced to enable farmers, especially those in the communal areas, to get full value for their livestock. The pricing model should be based on grade and weight.
  5. Meanwhile, CSC should be authorized to dispose unnecessary immovable and movable assets so as to recapitalise and upgrade the cattle herd in their estates. This will also improve their bargaining power with the investor.
  6. CSC Board should include members from the private abattoir, to provide knowledge and skills in enabling the country to rebuild the national herd as well as build synergies between private players and the public institution.

AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL DEVELOPME/NT AUTHORITY (ARDA)

          Estate under joint ventures are proving to be the panacea to food security through improvements in productivity, ARDA should be applauded for establishing joint ventures.

The Government should ensure there is adequate security at its ARDA farms to avoid vandalism and theft of its assets. (this will also improve their bargaining power with the investor).

ARDA should try to lure investors to start joint ventures with those estates that are still wholly owned by the Government within six months in order to boost productivity and improve food security.

The new investors on ARDA estates should be encouraged to source their inputs from local manufactures to boost the local industries.

Local communities should be involved and educated on the importance of the joint ventures as a strategy to minimise disturbances on productivity through land ownership disputes.

CONCLUSION

CSC and ARDA play a crucial role in guaranteeing the food security in Zimbabwe. In line with the 10 Point Plan, the two parastatals should be encouraged to venture into Private Public Partnership (PPP) as a strategy to recapitalization. Outstanding achievements can be noted on estates that ARDA has entered into joint venture such as Doreen Pride with Trek Petroleum. Efforts should be intensified so that all ARDA estates are revamped and productive through PPP. CSC remains in a dire situation with most of its infrastructure deteriorating at an alarming rate. CSC and other agricultural parastatals a priority so as to achieve food security.

HON. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me the opportunity to make the contribution on what has been raised by the Chairman of the Committee on Lands Agriculture and Irrigation Development. Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe is well known in Southern Africa as the breadbasket of the region. This is due to the expertise in agriculture exhibited by the people of Zimbabwe. We are also good at animal husbandry but when we moved around as a Committee, we visited areas which has CSC and ARDA. We noticed that four of these areas especially ARDA was the best farm in that area and this is where we are supposed to get expertise because that will be taken from ARDA in that they are experts.

On the other hand, the CSC is an organisation which is an expert in animal husbandry and we therefore expect these farmers in husbandry can go and get ideas from CSC. What we witnessed and what we saw in those areas did not show the importance of these CSC. I am going to talk about the areas and institutions that we visited and within the CSC animal husbandry. We started by visiting Nijo which is near Harare and in ecological region 2. This is a rainy area and there is a ready market even if you want to grow maize.

What we saw there was very pathetic Mr. Speaker. A lot of equipment such as tractors has been vandalised and hence could not be used and they were beyond repair. This is machinery which was acquired by Government. We also realised that the workers in that area were just staying there and not doing anything because they have not been paid for quite some time. There are people who are dejected, there are workers who have no zeal to work because of non-payment, yet we are talking of ARDA which has a good rain season and good rainfall but unfortunately, no one is utilising that natural facility.

The second institute we visited was Doreen Pride. We realised that at Doreen Pride, there was development because of the joint venture with Track. Tractors were busy on the land and the animals which had been imported from Namibia were doing very well and if we continue on that trend, Zimbabwe is going to develop.

The third area we visited was ARDA Sanyati. ARDA Sanyati is very poor. All the equipment on the farm was vandalised. Not only that, but there was not even a single ARDA worker in that area. We realised that there is a perennial flowing river which is Sanyati and the water in this river is now getting bad because of under utilisation. The ARDA farms are now lying fallow. They are derelict and whoever is going to start any agricultural venture is going to start afresh because it now resembles a forest and yet we should be getting farm produce from that area. Unfortunately, we are inviting hunger into Zimbabwe. We are saying pay us a visit and yet we can utilise that facility.

The Chairman of the Committee is calling for joint ventures to come and join ARDA in Sanyati, but it is going to require a lot of money to revive this area. The last area we visited under ARDA was Antelope and this was a place which had a lot of development. We are very proud of it because of the joint venture which was going on there. I am very glad because even when the Chairman of ARDA, Mr. Bezel Nyabadza was using that place, he was very proud of it and the progress which was going on there.

Let me now turn on to animal husbandry. Your Members of Parliament, Mr. Speaker, nearly died of heart attack because of what they witnessed when they went to the Cold Storage Commission in Harare. There was a lot of grass and by coincidence when we got there someone started a veld fire which nearly choked us to death. This was because of the neglect that was going on there. We later discovered that the Cold Storage Commission premises were now being utilised by small scale business persons. You cannot even tell that this was the pride of the nation, the headquarters of the Cold Storage Commission is in a sorry state to say the least. Cold Storage Commission in Harare is in a pathetic situation and it is dying slowly. We cannot talk of development in that area. We would have expected to have been invited to a meal. Instead of feeding on class 1 beef, we ate something which resembles dark meat. It only shows that everything has gone to waste.

We then visited the Kadoma Cold Storage Commission. Mr. Speaker Sir, as a nation, we have to be very serious because the Kadoma Cold Storage had been let out to an individual. We realised that when this tenant had fallen out of favour with the powers that be, he was an arsonist and burnt down the structure there and it was in a state of advance neglect and destruction. We then paid a courtesy call on the Cold Storage Commission in Gweru. This is where 9 000 tonnes of beef were exported to the EU, but what is happening currently is that fish is now being sold there. This is not only fish from Kariba but fish imported from other countries. It only shows that we are now lacking patriotism. We do not even know that it is the Cold Storage Commission of Zimbabwe by allowing it to lie derelict and fallow. This was our foreign currency earner from Gweru because we had a lot of beef being exported to EU. Now, it is in a state of neglect. I remember in your case, Mr. Speaker Sir, when you were headmaster, I am sure you would have gone there and whipped people into line because of such neglect.

The last stop and Cold Storage Commission which we visited was in Bulawayo. This is a cattle country and during its hay days 800 cattle were slaughtered a day. When we visited this area, I am sure the officials had been informed that the Portfolio Committee was paying a visit; they had 37 cattle lined up for slaughter just to show that they are capable of doing something in that place. One is left wondering when was the last beast slaughtered in that place where 800 beasts were slaughtered a day and now we are talking of 37. This shows a lack of care and patriotism.

When we said we wanted to have a meeting with the board members, they were not prepared to come and meet with us because they were ashamed with the indiscipline and the lack of structures in those areas. We embarked on a land reform programme and we said Government was going to be the leader in the agricultural sector and development. It shows that as a country we have failed, as a country we are let down and as a country we should be ashamed of ourselves.

We are saying both board members in ARDA and the Cold Storage Commission, had no linkage. There was no synergy with the mother Ministry and it shows they were working without any direction and leadership from the Ministry. Hence, to quote from the bible, ‘the children were punished because of the sins of their forefathers.’

The Chairman mentioned that from the year 2011 to the time that we visited these places, the bodies of these two institutions, the Cold Storage Commission and ARDA had never had a meeting with the parent Ministry and in such a situation there is no progress. As members of this Portfolio Committee, in our role of oversight, we have to tell the truth as it is. It may hurt but let us say the truth. There is no development.

From my background as a soldier, a soldier marches on his stomach. How can I, as a soldier, march or operate without any food. We can only be a healthy state when we have beef which is slaughtered under sanitary conditions, but we are in a sorry state. We are acquiring combine harvesters, tractors and any other agricultural equipment, but unashamedly we are taking it to waste. We are a shame, we are a disaster. We need to get some light into whatever it is we are doing. I thank you.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on the visits we had as a Committee on Agriculture. We visited these areas, ARDA Estates and the Cold Storage Commission institutions.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, in this country of Zimbabwe with the climate change which we are currently experiencing and El Nino instituted drought and looking at the ARDA estates, they are supposed to be our survival kit. They are supposed to supply us with nutrition in the country because we are lacking food. When we look at the operations of ARDA, these people were given land in the most fertile areas and with the best rainfall in those climate regions. What was happening when Government was allocating that land, they looked forward to having bumper harvests.

There was a lot of administration given to those places but unfortunately, the prevailing condition is that nobody cares or is worried about the irrigation equipment, tractors or even the animals in those areas. Nobody cares a cent or hoot. All these things are lying to waste. They are deteriorating and I have never heard of anybody who was arrested because of misuse, destruction or selling these things illegally.    The number of hectares allocated to ARDA in our country, especially when we look at the induced drought caused by climatic change through El Nino, ARDA was supposed to be the leader in supplying maize and food because they were the shining star of the country. We also discovered that there was a lot of corruption and when we talk of corruption that is the centre and mother of corruption. The officials in those areas are personalising ARDA estates and running them as personal portfolios. People are now building empires in those areas using ARDA for their personal benefits. They are not even thinking of the development and benefit to the country, especially in areas which are in regions 6 and 7, if ever there are any such regions. The ARDA estates which are supposed to be leading and spearheading by example, unfortunately, are doing nothing. They are neglected. Even the proposed ZIM ASSET cannot come to fruition with such attitude displayed by ARDA.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, with the God-given opportunity you have, may you keep on looking for funds so that your Portfolio Committees can play their oversight role by visiting the many areas in the country because what we later discovered was that, when you pay an in situ visitation, you really have a firsthand experience. You play oversight role in a proper manner because we realised that table management and desk research is giving false information and data. We have to be on the ground.

Our Government had a foresight by putting all these plans in the Cold Storage Commission. Government had good intention because not only was land given to ARDA in the best soils and rains in the area but equipment was also given, including irrigation equipment and tractors that were supplied to these people. As I speak, my heart is bleeding with pain because the equipment has been vandalized. When we went to …

*THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Member is advised not to code switch. Use your language of preference.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the advice. I will continue making my contribution in my mother tongue which is Shona. Mr. Speaker Sir, we would want to ask for your assistance in that the inventory of these ARDA Estates is carried out so that we take into account all the properties and the inventory which was given to each of these ARDA Estates. Where is this equipment? Where has it gone? Who took it? Who was responsible for the distribution? Who is the current owner because the Government ploughed a lot of money into the ARDA Estates?

          I will now turn to the Cold Storage Commission. The previous speaker did talk about the Board of Governors in these areas. In these boards, you find there is only one female board member. In one of them, there was only one member who showed that she was very intelligent and proactive. This shows that if we can have more females in these boards, there will be development. I will talk about what really touched me and I was very emotional about it.

          The equipment in the Cold Storage Commission is very expensive and needs expertise in operating. It should be taken care of but it has now gone to waste. To use blunt language, it has gone to waste and it will take us time to resuscitate the operations of these machines. Machines need to be maintained and serviced. We are asking you Mr. Speaker, to have space so that when we have individuals who want to rent State institutions, there should be a careful selection. The individuals should be clearly vetted, have their CVs and backgrounds so that we know when we are giving somebody an institution and the corresponding equipment, there is going to be development. I call upon the Government to go on a revival mission of the equipment in these estates so that we can progress and develop according to our ZIM ASSET.

We realised that the care given to the equipment, especially looking at the hides which are kept at those places, there is poor management and administration of the hides. As a result, when they go for sale, they fetch poor prices. We know in the past, we used to benefit by selling by-products from the slaughter of cattle in the cattle industry. Therefore, when we look at beneficiation and value addition, we need to have a rethink. Let us go back to the drawing board and look for ways of going on outreach programmes and on-site visitations so that we have firsthand information. We also need to do follow ups because if you only go once and then come back, people will relax and say they are not coming back. Mr. Speaker, look for funds so that we can go back and resuscitate those ideas.

HON. CHASI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, following on the report that we had on GMB, I think the gears have gone up in terms of the levels of irresponsibility and neglect of Government property. This is extremely shocking to such an extent that it is unbelievable. I want to start my contribution by dealing with governance issues. I think the Executive must be deprecated in this instance for taking the period that we are being told about to say since 2011, there has been no contact between board members and the Ministry. I do not know whether Parliament must actually descend into the arena and go and run these institutions. How does Government know what is happening if there is no interaction with the board? In that vein Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Parliament for the hands-on approach that has been taken. It is clear that these outreach programmes help us to understand precisely what is happening.

The law through the Public Finance Management Act has provisions that allow Government to deal with people that act in as irresponsible a manner as we are seeing here. There is absolutely no point in trying to attract investors to some of these institutions unless we have sorted out management and governance issues that affect these entities. The Ministry must take active interest in the parastatals that operate under it. This seems not to be happening at all. The level of depreciation of Government property that we are seeing in the pictures here is unprecedented. The fact that people could be producing maputi at some of these premises like CSC is on its own evidence of the great…

HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order. My point of order is that and I am sorry for a bit of digression but I am extremely concerned that some of us are ICT savvy and we research on statistics because this is a very important report that is being presented. We are researching on statistics that are around the historical bit on CSC, I do not know who, from the people who are in the gallery, took pictures of some of us and then they have posted on Twitter that Members of Parliament are on WhatsApp. They are misleading the world that we are on WhatsApp, we are frivolous and we are wasting taxpayers’ money. This cannot be accepted Mr. Speaker Sir because I actually discussed with Mr. Speaker that I want to use my gadget to research.

Now when you mislead, you tell the whole world that Members of Parliament – and they have taken Honourable Chasi. They took some Honourable Members from that side and some Honourable Members from this side. It is not good. This is a very serious issue. It has been posted on Twitter under “Open Parly”. I get to receive it because I receive all the highlights and signals of tweets that have been posted about myself. If this could be dealt with, we cannot accept this. Somebody who is posting on “Open Parly”, it is abuse of platforms and it has to be dealt with.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): I find it very difficult in the first instance as Members of Parliament, we are not allowed to use our gadgets as we sit in this House –[AN HON MEMBER: We are allowed]-. I am just going through what you have said. But if the Honourable Member has approached the Chair and sought permission to do his research while he is seated within this Chamber, then it is definitely something else. Overally, we are not allowed to use our gadgets when we are seated here. I will check with the Hon. Speaker whether that permission was granted. If not, definitely we cannot use gadgets when we are in Parliament. If you want to do your research, there are other places where you can do that and come back and debate. I still have to check with the Speaker and then hear what he says then I will come back to you.

HON. CHAMISA: Yes, but I hope you check with your rules. We are allowed to use ICT gadgets in this House if it is related with debates. If it is to do with debates, the rules are very clear. We are allowed. So your ruling has to be sensitive to that, because this is a very serious invasion, not just of privacy but also of privileges of Parliament. It is a serious issue.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKR: I hear you and let me check with the Speaker who has been here and I will come back to you. You may proceed Honourable Chasi.

HON. CHASI: I was getting to the point where I was talking about attracting investors and I think that any efforts to attract investors to the entities that we are talking about today will not help us at all. I want to urge Parliament to take action on this matter. The law is very clear. Those people that are responsible for Government property whether it is money or other property have a responsibility to look after the said property. There seems to be completely no interest in carrying out that responsibility at ARDA and CSC. What is most disconcerting about all this, is the fact that the relevant Ministry does not seem to be concerned or interested in Government property.

          We have been told that there is no security at these premises. People are doing what they want. There are incidences of arson which go uninvestigated. Property is just dealt with in the manner any individual wants. Quite often we blame sanctions for some of our troubles and I think it is high time that we should now look at how some of our own people are the greatest saboteurs when it comes to Government property. The evidence is there in the pictures. It is quite clear that the management both at the Ministry and at the relevant parastatals have completely abandoned the responsibilities that were given to them and something has got to happen. Some people have got to be made to pay for the waste that is going on. The law is there and it must be applied to set an example to anybody who has the responsibility to run Government property and premises. I thank you.

*HON. MAHOKA: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution on a motion raised by Honourable Chitindi on a very important topic. We also observe that the Portfolio Committee has shown that development can only come into Zimbabwe through agriculture and Zimbabweans went to fight a liberation struggle because what they wanted was land and agriculture would lead to the development of the country.

          The previous speakers mentioned that since 2011, the boards which were installed then had never held any meeting with the parent Ministry to give them direction and views of the state of these companies. What I have observed is that we only have one problem and the problem is that the Minister has no money to go to the premises which are under his ambit to observe what is happening in those institutions. My suggestion is that an amount of $5 should be deducted from each of the Members of Parliament and the funds will be used by the Minister to visit the many facilities and institutions under his ambit. We may continue talking whilst the country is going to destruction.

We thank the Committee on Agriculture which has made the observation that the country is going through a very lean spell and so, by dedicating this $5, people will know that we are responsible representatives. What pains me most is that a lot of money is used in buying equipment which is let down by people underutilising it. We heard the last speaker talking on lack of irrigation in ARDA Estate Sanyati, and yet Sanyati River has a lot of water. When we listen to our media, television, radios and papers, we are told of the acquisition and the importation of farming equipment which comes into the country but, this is distributed to ARDA which does not fully utilise this equipment, instead of giving it to capable farmers who will fully utilise it.

We thought that ARDA was going to be the breadbasket of Zimbabwe. ARDA should be filling the granaries of Zimbabwe but alas! ARDA is in a sorry state. It is being destroyed. We are only talking of ARDA in nominal terms when in actual fact, it is poor. It is destroyed and non-existent, to say the least. If I do not have such equipment and yet Government equipment is put to waste, destroyed and vandalised. Arsonists are at work. I think this is putting the country to shame. We are telling each other falsehoods when we say Zimbabwe has no money.

My observation is that Zimbabwe has money but it is poorly utilised. Money should be allocated, giving priority to necessary infrastructure. When the country imports farming equipment and gives 200 tractors to ARDA, and these tractors are vandalised, stolen and burnt down, we are doing a disservice to ourselves. I once visited a place called Munetsi in Masvingo. There were tractors which had gone to waste and the iron had rusted and you could not even tell whether this was once a tractor or what. What was happening was that the workers or any passersby would slaughter a beast for individual consumption, not for the State.

As far as I am concerned, my suggestion is for us to do away with ARDA. Let us cancel it out of existence. Let us devastate it because it is only there to destroy the funds allocated by Government. They are a waste and they are doing us a disservice. Let us do away with such institutions or if you want to continue with them, let us choose new boards of governors. The Committee has also told us that there are some fields which are let out to those willing individuals and institutions. You need people who will utilise these facilities without looking for partners. You ask yourself, what is this partner bringing in which is lacking in ARDA? The institution of ARDA is fully equipped with enough brains and all the people who are there.

We are saying the people who are leasing ARDA and Cold Storage institutions are friends of these board members. So as a nation, why should we suffer when other people are benefitting from ARDA? The workers of Parliament are in a poor state. They cannot even afford descent clothing and yet ARDA Estates are misusing the funds. Mr. Speaker, I think as Government, we need to put our foot down and work instead of waiting for the benefit of individuals. We need to do something and let us take corrective measures. Let us not support these people who are corrupt.

          The pictures on our screens are showing us the equipment which was allocated recently by the Government. What happened to the equipment which was issued in the past, we did not see it. Who took it? It means some individuals benefitted from this equipment. When new equipment was brought in, they took the old equipment for their own individual needs. When we came in, equipment was allocated. We need to make a follow-up. Where is the allocated equipment, who benefitted, and what are they using it for?

We also need to assess the partner who is coming to join ARDA and Cold Storage. What is the partner bringing in, what capital and what expertise are they bringing in? This is because as Parliament, we need to put a recommendation that we remove these board members and elect new ones because the current board is benefitting corruptly. I would like to say all the board members of agriculture should be removed. I also beg that these new boards which will be appointed, more women should be put into place. We have seen women doing wonders, especially in the way of liberation; women did a lot of work. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-  

My proposition on the ratio is that for every two men, there should be seven women in the board and that way, we will have progress. What is obtaining is that men by nature, are a failure because they do not become pregnant and give birth and feel the pains of birth. They just see things coming to their benefit. What happens is that if a Minister is appointed to a Ministry, he appoints a board which is made up of his relatives, friends and cronies. We need to have people on the board that can be controlled by the Ministers. If these people are not related to this Minister, they will be arrested if there is an audit which incriminates them, but if these Ministers put their relatives into the board, friends and cronies, they will not punish them.

I plead with the Ministry that this status that is given to ARDA, we should see our granaries, our national silos in the Grain Marketing Board being filled with grain from ARDA. We were told of Kadoma. I also come from that province. We have problems with our children whom we educated but, they have no jobs. That facility of Cold Storage in Kadoma is given to an individual who then burns down that institution because of misunderstanding. We have kombi crews utilising those facilities and underutilising them. The Cold Storage in Kadoma was a well intended facility which was supposed to bring development into the area but it is going to waste because it is underutilised.

We have a lot of engineers in the country of Zimbabwe. My question is what are these engineers doing to develop Zimbabwe? They should be coming into such institutions as ARDA and Cold Storage, and utilise these facilities for the benefit of Zimbabwe. We have agricultural experts and some of the graduates do not seem to give us confidence in that they can make progress. We all know that some of graduates are only theoretical graduates but we now need practical graduates. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am glad that you have seen that the Committee on Agriculture is an important Committee in the country and you allocated it funds for their oversight role. Therefore, it should be allocated more funds so that it moves around areas they play the oversight role and see what institutions are doing.

We cannot play our oversight role whilst seated in Parliament when people managing those institutions are corrupt and awarding themselves a lot of money. We cannot take pride in that. We have summoned the Minister to appear before the Committee and we are seated and there is nothing going on. We need to go out there and make physical examination so that we do not rely on second hand information and rumours. We need to develop Zimbabwe.

Talking of our properties, if you have cattle in some farm and you do not visit the farm, the herdmen will mistreat those cattle and sell them for their own benefit. You need not to be an armchair farmer or cellphone farmer. Visit your farms.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe is languishing in hunger when we have lots of equipment being imported into the country, some from as far as China and Brazil. These equipments are allocated to people who are misusing them resulting to sorry state in the country. I am now appealing to whoever is distributing the machines and tractors that they should be allocated to bonafide farmers who will do justice to Zimbabwe. For example, if we have 2 000 farmers, give them enough equipment and support and they will fill up our granaries. It is shameful that Zimbabwe is now importing grain from Malawi and Zambia, yet we are practical people. We may not be degreed in farming but by nature, Zimbabweans are hard workers. If these tractors being allocated to ARDA are allocated to A2 farmers and are given a target to fill up the Grain Marketing Board silos, I tell you, these silos will be filled and feed Zimbabwe.

We have also agreed as Parliament that all the boards under the Ministry of Agriculture should be dissolved and have new appointments. I thank you.

HON. KANHANGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. From the foregoing discussion, it can be deduced that there is a serious deficiency of corporate governance and a serious deficiency of management in these two parastatals. Starting with the boards – the appointment of the boards should be based on competence and ability to direct operations of the parastatals. The line Minister must be made accountable because it is him who appoints the board and the board appoints the management. He must be taken to task or even questioned by this House on this sorry state of affairs that is prevailing in the two parastatals.

Coming to the appointment of the management, I think, Mr. Speaker, due diligence must be done in appointing who is going to lead which parastatal. I do not believe that we need a qualified man like a doctor to run ARDA. I do not think we need a doctor to run CSC – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – What we need are probably, at the highest level, we can have an agronomist, somebody who has been trained in running a farm, to be able to run any of these two parastatals. If you go to the offices of these two parastatals, what you will find are beautiful vision, mission statements et cetera. What do they mean to us? We are looking for productivity. We are not looking for these beautiful pieces of paper which are meant to entice you when you get there.

We need to make sure that management, if appointed, must work on targets which are given to them by their boards. There should be constant reviews of these targets, probably on quarterly basis or on an annual basis and so on, so that we improve productivity. If we have put all that right, the management, the boards et cetera then, let us resource these two parastatals. I believe they have a role to play and if well run and well resourced, they can deliver. I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me an opportunity to add my view on this report. Before I say anything Mr. Speaker, I would want to applaud your Committee for a very fantastic report that they have given, which is quite constructive and comprehensive towards making sure that this country develops. I also have noted some worries that have been highlighted by most of my colleagues that have debated earlier on.

The first concern that I note Mr. Speaker, is the nature of attitude of Government towards its entities which are supposed to be national assets that produce wealth for this country. Mr. Speaker, to hear that we have got an investment of Government in the form of ARDA and in the form of CSC, where a Minister has the audacity to appoint a board but still stays for close to five years without interacting with that board, is quite worrying. It is like an investor who takes his money, throws it into a project and does not go back and look at what is happening to that project. Honestly, with that kind of attitude is that?   One wonders whether this country can be developed by Ministers who act in that kind of manner.

One wonders Mr. Speaker, what the Ministers will be busy doing, to the extent of neglecting a key component of their ministerial responsibility. Our expectation and that of the nation is that when a Minister is appointed to a certain portfolio, that Minister should be hands on, in terms of ensuring that everything that falls under his portfolio is being looked after and catered for and he must be supervising it. If we have got a Minister who appoints a board and does not follow up to see what the board is doing, it means that the lack of seriousness by the Executive means that the management of the boards of these parastatals are on a free play. Since they also know that they are not made to account because you can only account if someone is supervising you. If you have a Minister who appoints a body and leaves it to run things as they wish without going to supervise them, then you are assured Mr. Speaker that there is nothing that is going to come out of that kind of an entity.

          These entities in my view are not only key because of their socio-economic positioning in the country but also they play a significant role in the production of agricultural products in this country. Not only do they improve the GDP of the country but also the welfare of the majority of the people of this country. If you have that kind of entity which is also drawing money from the fiscus and tax payers going on for years operating without any profit, Mr. Speaker, I do not think or see us going anywhere as a country. In fact, this situation that your Committee has highlighted in these two entities is an indication and a reflection of the state of all our parastatals. I do not think it applies to these two parastatals but it applies to almost all the parastatals that we have in this country.

          I do not see any reason why a parastatal that is doing business can fail to make profit when other entities in the same area of business are making profit. It is also sad that Ministers do not feel obligated towards ensuring viable operations in the bodies that are under their control. I do not know whether it is because our system does not make Ministers directly accountable to the people or what, but it is quite worrying that a Minister can neglect a board that is under his Ministry without taking care for it for that long. What is worrisome Mr. Speaker Sir, is that when you look at the Minister concerned, the Minister that oversees these two parastatals that have been highlighted by your Committee, I believe he is one of the Ministers appointed in terms of Section 104 sub section 3 of the Constitution. He is not an elected MP; the President appointed him because he possesses certain special qualifications which made him to then come into Cabinet.

          Therefore, if that person was appointed on the basis of possessing special qualifications, we begin to question whether these qualifications are really there if this person is failing to supervise parastatals that are under his Ministries. If you look at Section 104 sub-section 3, it says the President can appoint 5 people outside Parliament because those people have special qualifications which are not present in Parliament. So the assumption is that Hon. Made has got special qualifications that are not found here in Parliament. Those special qualifications should be reflected in the performance of CSC and ARDA. What we are seeing is the opposite such that one would say it would have been better if the President had simply come into Parliament, appointed a farmer who is an MP to go and run that Ministry, otherwise things would have been going on very well than what is happening currently –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          So it is my view that Hon. Made owes us an explanation especially after the presentation of this report by your Committee. He owes this nation an explanation and therefore, I believe that this Parliament should make him to come and explain not only to Parliament but to the nation why he has neglected CSC and ARDA by not supervising them in the manner that the Committee has reflected. I believe that Minister Made should be summoned to come before this Parliament and explain why he has acted in the manner that he has. Leaving without coming to explain will put the name of the President into disrepute. Like I indicated the President appointed him because he is said to possess special skills and those special skills now are not being shown by what we are seeing and the report that came from your Committee.

          People are going to begin to question why President really appoint him because he has got the special skills or what. So Minister Made has to come and explain why he is failing to do what he is supposed to do –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I really appreciate your indulgence realising that the time is up but this is one of the best reports we have ever received. It is very candid. I am sure you will remember just about some few weeks ago we had a good report from Foreign Affairs and it does not end there. We continue to have good reports; powerful, effective reports. Here is our problem; and this is what we must resolve as Parliament. Very good recommendations but no follow up. Very good conclusions, no executions and we are simply being ignored as Parliament [AN. HON. MEMBER: Yes.]- We need to come to a point in time if we say a Minister is not performing, a parastatal is not performing, not only should we just haul and shout to say they should come here. We must give them specific time lines to execute certain things. If they fail to come within those time lines Parliament must have teeth not just to bark but to bite. –[AN. HON. MEMBER: Yah!]- we must bite those who are not performing if we are to save institutions in this country.

          My plea Hon. Speaker Sir, is to say let us review the rules of Parliament to make sure that we have power not just to summon Minister -[AN. HON. MEMBER: Yes.]- But in our exercising of our constitutional mandate of oversight, let us bring measures and censure on Ministers and parastatals that are not performing. So how do we do it? Let us go back to our Standing Orders and Rules. Let us go to the Public Finance Management Act. Let us go to the Privileges and Immunities Act and give Parliament power to bite and consume Ministers who are not performing; to bite and consume parastatals that are not performing. To bite and consume those that are wasting tax payers’ money –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- that is the only way we are going to have an effective Government, an effective State and an effective country.

          How do we do this and look at the money that we spend Hon. Speaker Sir? I looked at the recommendations, beautiful recommendations if we were just to implement two or three of the total recommendations that are here our country will be different. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- We are simply ignored and we are reduced to being a talk show. We are simply taken as providing lullaby to the Ministers. We are simply giving them some sweet music and entertainment but we must draw a line in the sand as Parliament. Let Parliament be effective. This has nothing to do with parties; it is all to do with our country –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- We must do things that are supposed to be done Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to thank you. I will not waste a lot of time and I have seen that a lot of issues have been raised. We are united as a people and as a Parliament to have an effective country because a good country is not good for a party but for all of us and it is good for citizens and this is what we want. I thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND PROVINCE (HON. CHIMENE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 3rd May 2016.

On the motion of THE MNISTER OF STATE FOR MANICALAND PROVINCE (HON. CHIMENE), the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016.

 

 

 

                                  

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 APRIL 2016 VOL 42 NO 53