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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 14 MARCH 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 26

Wednesday, 14th March, 2012.

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-Past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

LAUNCH OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AT SIYACHILABA KAPENTA FISHING MARKET

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Hon. Minister for Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development is inviting Members of Parliament from Matabeleland North, to attend the International Women's Day national launch to be held at Siyachilaba Kapenta Fishing Market, Binga District on Friday, 16th March, 2012 from 1000 hours to 1300 hours. All members are advised that this is not a state occasion. Therefore, Parliament will not issue coupons for the trip.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

MR. F. M. SIBANDA: I would like to ask the Deputy Minister of Youth, Hon. Matutu. What policy can you tell this House regarding the Youths Development Fund disbursed by CABS, for youths are finding it cumbersome, demanding a lot of paper work and selective. Do you have any policy to get rid of this selective adherence to certain people in disbursing these funds and also, the progress of Stanbic that you spoke of last time.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (MR. MATUTU): Let me thank the hon. member for the question. The facility that CABS is administering in respect of the disbursement of funds to youths is an initiative that is between the Ministry of Youth, Development and Empowerment together with Old Mutual. Basically, this fund is being distributed to people who are between the age of 18 to 35, who will qualify to be youths and there will be no need for collateral security. As a ministry, we have taken advantage of the 2.5% shareholding that we have in Old Mutual and then ceded the share certificate as collateral security. So, the youths will not provide collateral security. Remember also that the ministry is not the one that is processing those loans. The loans are processed by CABS. You have to obtain a form from CABS and you have to comply with the requirements that are there. Basically, the requirements that are needed are simply that the nature of the business that you should bring must simply add value. In particular we are looking at projects with issues to do with agriculture, manufacturing and any other service, if it is to be considered.

I admit that at the end of the day as a result of the lack of knowledge and capacity on the parts of the youths, most of the applications have been turned down. As we speak, only 101 youths have since benefited from that particular project. I also take this opportunity to urge the hon. members to ensure that at least they educate the youths in their constituencies that they come up with viable and bankable projects to ensure that at the end of the day, they are able to access those loans.

As regards the Stanbic facility, it is still on going and we shall be up-dating this House as and when a deal has been concluded.

MR. KANZAMA: I would like to ask the Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Mutambara, following your recent visit to Chiadzwa as Cabinet, in terms of policy, should we, as nation, expect any policy change from what you have experienced from your visit.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the hon. member for that question and say that we had a delegation of ministers led by the Prime Minister that visited Chiadzwa. Our findings in Chiadzwa are going to have major policy implications at three levels.

The first one is that we, as a Government are going to do things differently, in so far as distinguishing between working capital and equity capital. This means that we must understand how these two are different but before I even explain that, the lessons from Chiadzwa are not about Chiadzwa, but they are about the entire mining sector. They are not about the mining companies that are in Chiadzwa but they are about the entire mining sector. So, what is the challenge we feel that we need to address?

When we contract a company to mine we must say that there is value to the claim. In other words the asset under the ground has value. What we have been doing all along is to say a company comes we give them a claim and we do not put a number value to the claim. Consequently, we have been heavily disadvantaged as a people, as a country across the board, Zimplats, Mimosa, Murowa and the mining companies in Marange. We are going to show some numbers to show you what we are saying. In Chiadzwa for example, there is a company that brought in $43 million to invest and they got a claim for free which is worthy half a million dollars. Their investment is $43 million, the value of the claim is half a million dollars over four years and in two sales, they are able to get their money and they have recouped their investment. That is a travesty of justice in our country.

What we need to say is, we will come to negotiate and say the people of Zimbabwe have brought a claim worthy half a million dollars. Where is your contribution to equity. Then you can go and bring your $43 million as capital. That is lesson number one, to say as a country let us be street-wise and financially literate because there is financial illiteracy in the country. ZIMPLATs, you have heard about the issue and I am happy to say they came to an agreement yesterday. The claim itself by ZIMPLATS which it has gotten from us is worth $4 billion. ZIMPLATs has brought $700 million. $400 million borrowed from banks within the country, meaning that from their own pockets they have brought $300 million. We, the people of Zimbabwe, have given them $400 million for free.

What we are saying on Chiadzwa is that we must have a re-look at all the contracts and make sure that when we have agreements, there is a sense of the value of the asset on the ground. When we say 51% of ZIMPLATS, when we are talking about the share of their money, we are saying we made a contribution of $400 million and so in fact our share should be more than 51%. I go to ESSAR, we have had another dump deal. The iron ore that we have given to ESSAR is worthy $20 billion dollars but in our methamatical negotiations, we never spoke about the value of the iron ore asset and we have given them $20 billion. That is lesson number one from Chiadzwa.

The second one is to say, we must always insist in natural resources that we are 51% or higher. We must look at MIMOSA, Murowa, SynoZim and all these companies and not just Chiadzwa, to make sure that our people are not short changed so that we can develop our people around the contribution we are making towards equity. The last one is about value addition, we will never grow our economy and we will never do well as a country as long as we are selling raw copper, raw diamonds and platinum. We must process these in the country and that is the third lesson we are getting from Chiadzwa. These lessons are not about Chiadzwa, they are about the entire mining sector. These lessons are not an attack on the Chinese, they are an attack on our mindset. We have got to be clever and make sure we negotiate better at ZIMPLATs and MIMOSA. There has been some confusion in the media that we are attacking the Chinese by some simple minded analysts with no brains in their heads. We are attacking ourselves that we must make sure that everywhere where our natural resources are concerned, we will negotiate better and benefit our country. Those are the issues that will affect our policies in mining.

MR. MUDIWA: What is Government policy on those ministries or ministers and accounting officers who flout Treasury instructions, for example, the fact that they were 10 000 ward officers who were employed without following Treasury instruction?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Very clearly our Ministers belief in respecting our laws and following regulations from Treasury. If the hon. member has evidence that a minister or ministers have violated Treasury regulations, let him put it in writing and the Minister of Finance will respond and take it up with the relevant Minister concerned and take punitive measures. We will not tolerate any violations of regulations by Ministers by anybody in this Government. We believe in following and respecting our own laws and regulations. I suggest the honourable member puts it in writing and then we can respond accordingly.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. member you can put your question in writing specifically to the Minister responsible.

MR. MUCHAURAYA: I want to know the Government Policy regarding the current state of the police commissioner. Is he in acting capacity or is he substantive?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I think the hon. Minister is here. I would love to answer that question but I am a super democrat.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR. K. MOHADI): I have been asked a question which is purported to be policy yet in the true sense of the word is not policy at all...-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. Members, let us utilise this opportunity to ask questions. You are fortunate honourable member, I do not want you to stretch me too far.

MR. K. MOHADI: The question with regards the appointment of the Commissioner General of police is not a matter that is done by the Ministers of Home Affairs. It is a matter that is done by His Excellency, the President and I am not in that board which presides over such appointments. I would like to believe that the Principals are in a better position to do that, but if the Deputy Prime Minister has no answers on that, then I too have no answer, because the Principals have got to decide which head of department has to take which position. If he does not have the answer, allow him to go and consult his other two colleagues.

MR. MUDARIKWA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. I want to find out whether it is national policy or the policy of the GPA or the individual design that we have had several agreements that have been signed in this country worth billions of US dollars. Mr. Speaker Sir, none of these agreements have been brought to this august House but when anything now goes wrong, people start saying this and that. Why do we not have a situation of transparency when we are getting into these deals, for example, diamond deals. When an agreement is done, it must be brought to this House for ratification before implementation. Some of us here are professionals in mining, we know this area but there is no room for consultation. Why do you not utilise the individual skills in this House which we will give you voluntarily for the benefit of our country and good governance?

THE DEPUTY PRIMINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I want to thank the hon. member for that question and comment. We totally agree with him, what we need to do in this country is to put our best foot forward. In the ministries when we negotiate, let us make sure we do it transparently and also deploy our expertise like our lawyers and our engineers. Our technocrats must advise us when we engage foreigners and when we have structured an agreement, the agreement must be brought into this Parliament, either through Committees or through this august House so that Parliament plays its oversight function. This is to avoid ending up with agreements that are dogging. We are going to make sure that we deploy our technocrats when we negotiate so that we negotiate in a transparency manner.

Secondly, Parliament must be given an opportunity to act as an oversight institution to protect ourselves and to protect us from our foolishness, so that we do not undermine our people. This is a serious matter when you say ZIMPLATS has a claim of US$4 billion and we never talked about that and they are bringing US$700 million in this country, US$400 borrowed locally and then you say we are asking for 51% of their money. No, we have put on the table US$400, and on the Iron Ore deal, the resources are US$20 billion but that was never in the conversation. So we are saying yes, guilty you have charged, we hope to be wiser and smarter in the future.

MR. GWIYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. Can you clarify the Government policy in relation to the failure by schools to absorb 'O' level students into 'A' levels in preference to candidates from other schools. The students who will be denied the opportunity would have enrolled at that school with the best passes of four points on Grade 7 results, but we are having a situation where they are being denied the opportunity to proceed to A levels at the same school.

THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (SENATOR COLTART): Thank you Mr. Speaker, the policy in all individual schools is to attract the highest caliber of students to go through to 'A' level. Because of the intense competition in Zimbabwe for 'A' level places, inevitably, there will be some children who do not get sufficiently higher qualifications at 'O' level to progress to 'A' level. The Ministry, as a policy, does not try to interfere with individual schools. We believe that it is important to decentralise decisions down to provincial education directors, district education officers and indeed headmasters themselves because they are on the ground, so they understand pupils that they have. I agree that the point raised by the hon. member is a very important point. As we have seen this year Mr Speaker, fortunately we are appearing to be pulling out shock-dying, the education sector was in. I am gratified to see that both the 'A' and 'O' level in the past couple of years, we have seen an improvement in the pass rate, which means there are more students who get the necessary 5 'O' levels to go on to 'A' level.

The problem that we face however, we once again had inadequate funding, our plan is to go and build more schools and more classrooms throughout Zimbabwe. As you might be aware, for example in Harare, there are many secondary schools with hot sitting, we need to be building more schools and the same applies to 'A' levels. We need to be developing some of our existing secondary schools to A level and of course we need to expand the total number of secondary schools in the country but the bottom line is that it is an issue that concerns all of us in this House, 'A' level schools. For as long as education is under funded, we can not even maintain the existing schools that we have. As you know, last year we were allocated US$14.8 million out of the US$66 million.

As Zimbabwe, if we are serious about education, if we want to make it a number one priority, collectively we must ensure that we get the largest slice of our domestic financial cake allocated to education, only then can we address this very valuable concern raised by the hon member. Thank you.

MR. KANZAMA: Do you not think if you say the headmasters will have a mandate to make a decision without a policy from Government. Do you not see it bringing corruption in your system?

SENATOR COLTART: Mr. Speaker, it does appear with respect that the honourable member was not listening to me because I clearly enunciated a policy and the policy is to allow decentralisation, to allow our headmasters to operate freely to ensure that those who get the best results will go through to 'A' Level. That is the policy and so there is no question of there being no policy. The second policy is that we recognised that unfortunately, in the short term, because of the inadequate places at 'A' Level, there will be children who are not able to find 'A' Level places, but the policy is clearly to argue in this honourable House, for more money so that we can build more chemistry blocks, labs and the likes that can take 'O' Level schools through to 'A' Level. Thank you.

MR. MHANDU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare. Is there any Government policy on the provision of treatment of dialysis patients at district or provincial level putting in mind that it costs about $600.00 - $1 000.00 per week to treat dialysis patients. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think what I can say in general is that the Ministry of Health is responsible for the provision of health and medical services to all Zimbabweans but at the moment, we do not have dialysis services at district level or provincial level, mainly because we do not have the machines. Secondly, we do not have the personnel, that is, trained nurses, trained doctors to manage those services at that level. However, at all our central hospitals, that is Harare Central Hospital, Parirenyatwa Central Hospital, Chitungwiza Central Hospital, Mpilo Central Hospital except UBH, we now have dialysis services and we are in the process of establishing another dialysis service at UBH which we hope by the end of this year, we will be operational. Therefore it is not an issue of policy but it is an issue of saying at this stage, we have not yet moved those lower levels because of certain restrictions. Thank you.

MR. MHANDU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Is the Ministry of Health admitting that there is no policy to protect patients suffering from dialysis in this country? Thank you.

DR. MOMBESHORA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May be I am not understanding what the honourable member mean by protecting because what we are talking about here is provision of services not protection. What we are saying at the moment is that the Ministry of Health is not providing dialysis services at the level of district hospitals and provincial hospitals due to the reasons which I have just outlined but when he talks about protection, I am not really sure what he is referring to. Thank you.

*MR. CHIMINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. So does the Hon. Minister mean that the ministry is agreeing that people can actually die in rural areas just because there is no medication to treat dialysis patients...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Minister, there is no question that has been asked and so you do not have to answer anything. I think you have adequately answered the question. So I do not think there is anything more to answer.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare. I would like to find out, honourable Deputy Minister, what Government policy is with regards to the attainment of MDG No. 5 on maternal health recognising that we have received several media reports indicating that women are not able to access maternal services. At Parirenyatwa, some members of the community have had part of their children's clothes taken by the hospital until they clear their bills. So I would like to find out what Government policy is with regards to protecting female citizens in this country? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE (DR. MOMBESHORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Firstly, let me just say the Government policy on maternal health is that we should be able to provide free treatment, free services to pregnant women in Government institutions. We have taken various steps to achieve that and one of the issues that have been done is to say all pregnant women who need transfusion will get at least three units for free. We are aware that some of our hospitals are charging certain amounts to pregnant women and some of them are also going to the extend of refusing discharge of those who have delivered. It is not our policy to do that and we always ask all those involved in such activities to be reported to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and we will take stern measures against such actions. It will be very difficult for me to actually go all the way to explain what measures we have done to achieve MDG No. 5 but I think in short, our policy is to make sure that every woman who needs maternal services in a Government hospital should get it for free. Thank you.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs here present Hon. Mohadi. The police continue to demand spot fine for road traffic offences and that it be paid there and then or else the car is impounded. What is the ministry's policy with regards to spot fines of road traffic offences in terms of payment on spot or payment later at the Charge Office.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR. MOHADI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank first and foremost the hon. member who has raised this question. It is the question that we were debating on, yesterday. It was debated thoroughly in Cabinet that it seems like there is no merit in spot fines.

When I replied, I said Cabinet should come up with a policy as to how the spot fines should be treated. Whether we are saying the people must be given tickets so that they can pay at the nearest police station or court; that has to be decided by the Executive and they are seized with that matter. Cabinet Ministers here present can bail me out.

MR. CHEBUNDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is, is the Minister aware that it is a breach of the citizens' fundamental right that they should be heard in the court of law?

MR. MOHADI: Thank you Hon. Chebundo. He always asks sensible questions and he is a sensible friend of mine. It is actually against the fundamental rights of an individual. We need to make the Road Traffic Act more amenable to the users of the road. Thank you.

*MR. GWIYO: Hon. Minister, why would Cabinet be seized with that issue when it was never Cabinet's decision to put spot fines? Why is it now in Cabinet?

*MR. MOHADI: Thank you for giving me an opportunity to give a fair account. We are not talking about spot fines. We are talking about the policy process, concerning the spot fines. We must distinguish the difference between the two. If we are saying if people are asked to pay the spot fine, that was an operational decision by the ZRP but as Cabinet, we are saying, we want to come up with a policy. That is a fundamental question that he asked. We are going to come up with a policy which says; no spot fine, but that a person will be given a ticket and has to pay his/her fine at the Police Station or at the nearest Court. That is what we are saying.

MR. CHITANDO: My supplementary question is; does the money which is collected from the spot fines go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund account?

MR. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, the money that we collect as Zimbabwe Republic Police in the form of spot fine goes to the Ministry of Justice. It does not go to the Ministry of Home Affairs. We do not know what they do with it. If they take it to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, it is their business.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Finance, I will direct my question to the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Mutambara. When will Government release funds to kick-off the Voter's Registration, realising that the process is long overdue?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): As part of the process of the Global Political Agreement, we are working on a new Constitution, electoral reforms and political reforms. That goes to the Voters' Roll and Voter Registration and we are concerned with getting that work done. So, in terms of when the money is to be released, it is a question that the Minister of Finance will address to us. As a Government, we are making sure that our next elections are going to be incredible, so that those who are going to be losers will be able to congratulate the winners and the Government will not be challenged. So, addressing this issue is very important to us but the Minister of Finance will be able to address the question in detail.

MR. M. SHOKO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question will go to the Deputy Prime Minister and it is on ZESA transmission boxes that are being damaged and residents are required to contribute to towards the purchase of new ones or repair the old ones. Is it the policy of the Government that residents have to buy ZESA transmission boxes and when they buy, will the transmission boxes be theirs or ZESA's? If it is ZESA's, why should people buy?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. member, I would allow the Deputy Prime Minister to answer but I think it is a more substantive question that would require the relevant Minister to answer, so put your question in writing.

*MS. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, let me speak in Shona. My question is directed to the Co-Minister of Home Affairs that, is it a Government Policy that your officers from the Registrar General's Office request to be given chicken, love and other gifts from people who want to get Registration documents such as Birth Certificates and National Identification Cards?

*THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR. MOHADI): Let me answer this question in Shona, since she has asked in Shona. What is there is that, there is no policy that a person should ask someone to love you before they process the papers for them or to give them chicken. Report these people to the police and let them be arrested because they are tarnishing the image of this whole Government because of one officer. Thank you.

*MR MUDARIKWA: The issue of the National Identity Documents and the issue of the voters' roll, can they not be issued to people for free before we go for elections. The Registrar's office is asking for US$20 for one to get an ID, so if the person fails to get it, it means that person may not be voting.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR. MOHADI): The policy of the Ministry of Home Affairs or the policy of the Government is that, if you lose any form of the document that you receive from the RG's office and you require a replacement, we require a token from you. However, if you are getting it for the first time, it is for free. When you lose it that is when we require you to pay so that we do the searching for you.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: I would like to find out from the Co-Minister of Home Affairs how Government can assist the citizens of this country to access documents. For example, where a woman is married in Chachacha kuShurugwi and they come from Marange in Manicaland, they are then required to go and get an affidavit by the Sabhuku arikuChipinge when they do not even have the bus fare.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, that becomes a substantive and a different question.

MR. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to the Minister of Housing, Hon. Mutsekwa. There are quite a number of housing co-operatives in the country and they are charging exorbitant prices that makes it quite difficult for our people to afford. So, can you update this august House whether there is a policy these housing cooperatives should follow.

THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (MR. MUTSEKWA): I would like to thank Hon. Chibaya for asking that pertinent question. Firstly, I think this Government and myself as a Minister of National Housing owes to cooperatives who have stood in during hard times, especially the last 10 years, when the Government had no funds to fund the construction of housing in Zimbabwe. I want to acknowledge, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the cooperatives did a magnificent job. However, it is also true as observed by the hon. member that there also has been quite some problems in the construction industry regarding land developers, in that many of them, whom we at times refer to as bogus business people, have also taken this opportunity because of the shortage of accommodation in the country to swindle our citizens of their hard earned cash.

This has therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, persuaded my ministry to come up with a Bill, that is, the Land Developers Bill; the principles of which were presented by myself to Cabinet yesterday. This Bill seeks to rectify the wanton and willy-nilly of people wanting to be land developers and swindling our citizens. Much out of the Bill Mr. Speaker Sir, seeks to establish a council whose main duty will be to regulate anybody who has got intention of wanting to develop land by building houses for our people. So, yes, it is true hon. member that we have had a problem in that regard, but my ministry has taken some steps and we are bringing in this Act. Cabinet has been seized with it before I bring it to this august House so that we can protect the generality of our citizens.

MR. MUTSEYAMI: My questions is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr. Made. What is Government policy with regard to the grain loan scheme, bearing in mind that we have seen sloganeering at the distribution points in some centres of this programme.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT( DR. MADE): There is nothing I can say because there is no policy issue that has been raised.

MR. KAPESA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines. We have seen of late that mining fees have been hiked to almost 400 to 500 percent. Is it Government policy whereby you are raising fees to counter the indigenisation policy.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHIMANIKIRE): I would like to thank the hon. member for raising that question. It is not Government policy to raise fees in order to oppose indigenisation and the two are not linked at all. I am sure the hon. member was in this House when the Minister of Finance was presenting his Mid-Term Policy on Finance and also the presentation of the last Budget. The Ministry came under scrutiny and criticism for not contributing much to the fiscus. Yes, it is Government policy to review the fees that are paid by miners time and time again. Indeed, in Zimbabwe we do charge application fees, ground rental fees, registration fees as well as inspection fees in order to ensure that any miner legally owns the mine and has to avoid forfeiture. In fact previously, fees that were being paid to Government by mining companies and individuals were too low, in fact they were paltry charges. Furthermore, lack of special fees on prospective and active mining for mining companies is causing unnecessary conjections. For example, we have individuals who claim to be small scale miners and actually holding more than 200 as individuals and actually holding those claims for speculative purposes.

The reasons why we have reviewed the fees to where they are at the moment, is in order to discourage holding mining claims for speculative purposes. For example, in February 2010 we did issue 20 special grants for coal mining and only 14 companies have done something in the past two years. The rest of the miners have not even done any exploration or prospecting for the coal. Information available to the Ministry is vanhu varikuedza kutengesa maspecial grants iwayo vachiti vanoda mari yechedumbu. In other words they are asking for money in advance so that it is for speculative purposes that they are doing that.

As the Deputy Prime Minister has pointed out, we allowed, those in Government then, allowed miners at Chiadzwa to go in mining for

$100 000 and yet one scoop of a front-end loader will be able to recover that kind of fees. As Government, we looked at it and said we have to charge viable fees. There are processes that are done within Government. That is why tiri kutadza kubhadhara vanhu. Ndiri kuona vaBhasikiti vari kuzunza musoro. We cannot pay civil servants because we are not making the users pay the fees that is adequate to reward those that do the processes. In other words, our fees are there to unlock value of the ground through release of ground for its exploration and development by serious investors. We would also want to generate revenue for the fiscus and capacitate the Ministry of Mines so that it is able to carry out inspections and ensure that there is transparency in the ownership of claims. So it has nothing to do with this indigenisation but we believe it will promote active indigenisation and serious indigenisation in the mining industry.

Questions Without Notice interrupted by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 33

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PLANS TO INCREASE POLICE PATROLS AROUND CHEZIYA, MAKWA AND MSUNA AREAS

MR. SANSOLE asked the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to inform the House:

i) whether the Ministry is aware that armed gangs from Zambia are invading the Lower Zambezi Valley and driving out stolen herds of cattle from the Cheziya, Makwa and Msuna areas across the Zambezi river into Zambia; and

ii) if there are any plans to increase police patrols in these areas in order to curb cattle rustling.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MRS. MAKONE): Cattle rustling is no longer rife in the border towns and not only Zambians were or are doing it but also Zimbabwean nationals were/are also involved.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police last received cases of cattle rustling in September 2009 in Jambezi, Victoria Falls. In another case 12 cattle were stolen in Dhabula village and seven were then recovered in the grazing areas.

The issue of cattle rustling by armed gangs from neighbouring countries is not limited to the areas the honourable member has mentioned, but also all areas lying along borders in different provinces.

The police has initiatives in place where they are incorporating their counterparts in the neighbouring countries in conducting joint operations meant to curb cross border crimes.

As in the case of Jambezi, Matabeleland North Police Chief has held several meetings with his Zambian counterpart and the result of such engagements is seen in the several recoveries of cattle on the other side of the border and arrests of criminals. Recently, there was operation Zim-Zam which was meant to curb cases of this nature.

The police have identified twelve illegal crossing points and has established Police bases that are manned by members of the Police Support Unit and resultantly there has been a marked reduction of stocktheft cases in the Jambezi area.

May the honourable member be advised that cases of stocktheft in Jambezi are almost nonexistent. The police using the various tools of crime analysis always have strategies to curb cases of this nature.

The honourable member may have been referring to cases which happened longback. Currently there are no cases of this nature happening in the areas mentioned by the honourable member.

POLICY ON ILLEGAL REPRODUCTION OF AUDIO VISUAL MATERIALS

3. MR. CHIMHINI asked the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to inform the House whether it is Government policy to allow audio visual material to be illegally reproduced and sold on the market as evidenced by a memorandum date 5 April 2011 written by the Chief Staff Officer Operations to all Police Officers Commanding Provinces: Ref: INFOR DCC Temporary Measure: Protection of International Films.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MRS. MAKONE): It is not Government policy to allow the illegal reproduction of audio visual material. It is important to draw the attention of the Hon Member to the background or the circumstances under which the memorandum referred to was crafted. The ZRP is mandated to enforce to enforce all the laws in operation in the country. The cited memo is very specific about which class of 'reproduction' should be ignored. It specifically highlights that the reproduction of international films should not concern the police. The Copyright Act Chapter 26:01, the piece of legislation that the police base their actions on dealing with any copyright infringements seems to be silent about international films. This then becomes the basis for the operational instruction as enunciated in the said memo. There is not much that the police can do that is outside the provisions of the law.

SHATTERING OF WINDSCREENS

BY THE POLICE

2. MR. CHIMHINI asked the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to explain to the House:

(I) Whether the police are acting within the law when they deliberately shatter windscreens of commuter omnibuses for alleged traffic offenders when there are other lawful ways of arresting offending motorists.

(II)The risk to other road users caused by the windscreens shattered by the Police;

(III) The Ministry's Policy regarding vehicles with shattered windscreens remaining on the road; and

(IV) Whether the Ministry has a policy for compensating vehicles with shattered windscreens.

THE CO-MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MRS MAKONE): The hon. member wanted to know if there is an advantage of breaking windscreens of commuter omnibuses by the police using button sticks. There is no advantage to talk of but suffice to say that in those isolated cases where the police are compelled to use button sticks, their lives and those of the travelling public would be at stake. In normal policing situations where the police are stationary at a block side, the most appropriate equipment to use in order to immobilise any errant motorist are spikes that are used to deflate vehicle tyres.

Officers are forced to use the long button sticks to impair the vision of the driver, thereby forcing him or her to stop in circumstances where drivers willfully, intentionally and negligently disobey lawful police orders clearly violating the provisions of the Road Traffic Act. The commonly violated traffic laws by the commuter omnibus drivers is when they pick up passengers at undesignated points. In most cases they remain stationary at dangerous places, blocking other road users. This then causes unnecessary congestion. In a bid to arrest these drivers, police officers have either been killed or injured due to the abundance of reckless driving by the drivers.

It is in such cases that the police are left with no option but to do the only necessary precaution to stop and arrest the drivers.

I think there is a second part to the question why the commuters with broken windscreens are not fined.

It is indeed an offence to use a motor vehicle with broken or shattered windscreens. The Hon. Member of Parliament is assured that the police and Vehicle Inspection Department arrests such vehicles on site and in most cases they are immediately issued notice prohibiting use of the vehicle, the RT16. Commuter omnibus drivers and owners are aware of this predicament and as a result they play hide and seek with the police.

Through our Public Relations Department we have also carried out road safety campaigns discouraging the public from boarding public service vehicles with shattered windscreens. All law abiding citizens are encouraged to report to the nearest police station any such vehicles that move around with shattered windscreens.

On the fourth part of the question, whether the ministry has a policy for compensating vehicles with shattered windscreens, Mr. Speaker, I will have to speak off the cuff on this one.

I think the police have explained the circumstances under which they shutter windscreens and in their response, it is clear that they do not shatter windscreens when there is no cause. So, I am assuming that the hon. member is saying that this is a case where there will be no justification. Obviously, if there is no justification, this is something that will be established through a court process and I would assume that that responsibility would fall within the jurisdiction of the courts. I thank you.

POLICY REGARDING GENOCIDE

PERPETRATORS

MR. MUSHONGA asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to inform to the House:

(i) Why the Zimbabwe Government is refusing to handover Protais Mpiranya who was the commander of the Rwandan Army's Presidential Guards during the Rwandan Genocide; and to explain

(ii) The Government policy on genocide perpetrators in Rwanda and Ethiopia particularly those who committed rape, sexual offences including violence and murder.

THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MR. MUMBENGEGWI): Mr. Speaker Sir, by way of background, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 955. The ICTR was established to try people responsible for the Genocide and other serious violations of International law in Rwanda, between 1 January and 31 December, 1994.

Let it be borne in mind that all resolutions by the United Nations Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter are binding on all UN member States. Zimbabwe, as a UN member State, is under international obligation to observe them. The ICTR has jurisdiction over the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Crime and Genocide

3. Genocide is a crime on a different scale from all other crimes against humanity and implies an intention to completely exterminate a targeted group of people. It is for this reason that it is classified as the gravest of the crimes against humanity.

4. The United Nations defines genocide as an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, targeted as such. Anyone accused of having committed this heinous crime must be brought to book under international law.

An international Warrant of Arrest of Mr. Mpiranya has been issued under international law; and as an active member of the United Nations who upholds the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, Zimbabwe is duty bound to honour and respect the International Warrant of Arrest issued by an International Tribunal established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution. In this regard Zimbabwe will effect Mr Mpiranya's arrest, should he be found to be on Zimbabwean territory.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I therefore appeal to all Zimbabweans, including Hon. Mushonga, who may have information on Mr. Mpiranya to inform the nearest law enforcement authority, I see that, the other co-minister has gone, the co-Minister of Home Affairs present in the House, I thank you.

MR. MAHLANGU: Supplementary. The country of Zimbabwe is on record for being said that it is protecting individuals that have done human right abuses in other countries. For example, we have Mengisto, in Ethiopia, he left a lot of destruction and we are keeping him here in Zimbabwe. You are now telling this Parliament today that we have that person in this country who has done those same human right abuses and you are agreeing that he is supposed to be deported and the Government is saying they do not know where he is. This Government has got State Security agents and they can take this guy, are you not protecting this guy as a Government..........

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, that becomes a new question, it has nothing to do with this question.

PROTECTION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS FROM HIV/AIDS

MS. D. SIBANDA asked the Deputy Prime Minister Khupe in her capacity as the President of the Global Power Women Network Africa, to inform the House what key interventions have been advocated for in order to ensure that women and girls are protected from HIV/AIDS infections.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (MS. KHUPE):

Background to Global Power Women Network Africa

Let me begin by explaining that the Global Power Women Network Africa came about as a result of a conference that was organised by UNAIDS in collaboration with Global Power which was held in September 2010 in Washington DC.

The conference brought together women Members of Parliament and Ministers from twelve African countries namely; Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The conference aimed to support the leadership of women Members of Parliament in Africa to implement the comprehensive UNAIDS Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women and Girls; Gender Equality and HIV.

The participating female leaders agreed to create a Global Power Women Network Africa as a powerful tool to promote and accelerate action for women, girls, gender equality and HIV on the African Continent. The Global Power Women Network Africa members committed to promote, facilitate and support development and implementation of concrete programmes that would contribute to upholding women's and girls' right and ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, in line with the global and regional commitments made by the African Governments.

At the conference held in Washington DC, a committee for the Global Power Women Network Africa was formed. I was elected the President of that Committee which also has two Vice Presidents, one from Mali and the other from Ethiopia; the Secretary General is from Tanzania and we have an Executive Council.

In November 2011, I hosted members of the Executive Board of the Global Power Women Network Africa. This meeting was attended by the Vice President of the Global Power Women Network Africa, Hon. Sina Maiga of Mali. the Secretary General - Hon. Lediana Marufu Mng'ong'o of Tanzania and Hon. Greener Gambatula of Malawi, an Executive Committee member.

At this meeting, we adopted the concept not for the launch of Global Power Women Network Africa which will be held in May 2012.

Our Vision as Global Power Women Network Africa is to have a continent which has:

2. zero new HIV infections;

3. zero AIDS related deaths

4. zero mother to child transmission

5. zero child and maternal mortality

6. zero to hunger and poverty.

We wish to create an enabling environment for people living with HIV/AIDS, especially Women and young girls.

Facts about Zimbabwe

(V) Zimbabwe's population used to be 14 million but due to the HIV/AIDS scourge and migration, our population is now around 12 million.

(VI) Out of 12 million, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.

(VII) Of that 1.1 million, about 105 000 are children.

(VIII) And about 600 000 are women which constitutes approximately 60% of the people living with HIV/AIDS. This means that HIV/AIDS wears a face of a woman.

(IX) Young women of between the ages 15 - 24 are three times more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS than young men.

Factors predisposing women and girls to HIV infection:-

2. Poverty undermines the ability for young girls and women to protect and support themselves from the epidemic as most adopt coping strategies that expose them to the risk of HIV/AIDS.

3. Gender inequality and unequal power relations between women and men to influence the spread of HIV/AIDS epidemic.

4. Gender inequality in wealth and access to and control of resources causes economic dependency on men by women and girls resulting in higher infections

5. Stigma and discrimination often prevents people from getting tested and closing women from testing.

6. Sexual works undertaken by women and girls after the death of husbands and fathers (breadwinner); because many women largely depend on their spouses' income, when their husbands die some women are forced into the street for economic survival.

7. High population mobility and internal displacements.

Key Interventions

1. Economic Empowerment

If we are to succeed as a country in reducing new HIV infections, we ensure that the majority of our population in this case, women, are economically empowered. If women are economically empowered, we will reduce new infections and re-infections within the 60% of the people living with HIV/AIDS.

2. POVERTY ERADICATION

When we talk about HIV/AIDS we must talk about it within the context of poverty. Every HIV infected person needs food on the table. As much as we give people ARVs, that medication, if taken without food, can do more harm than good among the infected with HIV/AIDS. It is important that those people who are receiving ARVs are also given food hampers for a whole month. What is happening right now, you find that people are just given ARVs but they do not have food and they end up dying. It is important that we eradicate poverty, the Minister of Agriculture is here and the Minister of Labour is also here. I think that they will do something to make sure that those people receiving ARVs at least they have food on the table.

3. ADVOCACY: Education and Awareness

A lot has been done to educate and inform the populace about this scourge, especially by civil society but as Government we still need to come up with more programmes that will allow us as a country to get to zero. We still need to talk about the ABC-Abstinence; behavioural change (stick to one partner) and condom use.

i) Eradication of Stigma and Discrimination.

You find that majority of people die, not because they are supposed to die, but they die because of stigmatisation and discrimination. The mind kills people, Hon. Moyo was telling me that he saw this programme on CNN - this man was wrongly diagonised with HIV and within six months, he had gone thin, because of the mind, then after six months he went for a second opinion and then he was told that he was not HIV positive, he did not have the virus and he regained his weight. I am saying this to try and illustrate that the mind kills you. It does not matter what disease you are suffering from, whether you are HIV Positive, whether you have got cancer, do not be afraid because most of the people are afraid of what is my family going to say, what is the community going to say. It is absolutely none of their business, what you are supposed to worry about is your health, take your medication, you will be fine -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - These days if you take ARVs, you live for 50 years because our scientists are moving with time. If you are told that you are HIV positive, take your medication and be normal. Do not worry about so and so.

Mr. Speaker, I was diagonised with breast cancer, because in some instances when one is told you have got cancer, they think they have been given a death sentence. I never looked back, I continued with my work and I never bothered about who was going to say what. This is why you see me going bold. I am saying these things so that you know that the mind kills. So, from now onwards, it does not matter what disease you have, you should take your medication and you will be fine.

We have a 3% Aids levy and because of dollarisation, it is a substantial amount and more people will have access to treatment. I was reading the newspapers when they were saying now they are going to give ARVs to more people, I think now they are collecting more money. This is something we are supposed to be proud of ourselves to say at least we have got something to keep people going.

CONCLUSION

In June 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, Heads of States and Governments and representatives of States and Governments assembled to review progress achieved in realising the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

They also re-affirmed their determination to achieve all the MDGs and recognised the importance of rapidly scaling up efforts to integrate HIV prevention, treatment, care and support with efforts to achieve these goals.

REDUCTION OF MORTALITY RATE

(X) MS. D. SIBANDA asked the Deputy Prime Minister Khupe, in her capacity as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign on the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality, to inform the House the progress that has been made in scrapping the user fees as part of the Millennium development Goals aimed at improving maternal health so that the mortality rate is reduced by at least 75% by year 2011.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (MS. KHUPE): CARMMA is an African Union initiative which was launched in 2009. Its key objectives and priorities are derived from the African Union policy framework on sexual and productive rights in Africa. The main objective for CARMMA is therefore to increase access and use of health facilities that are crucial for the reduction of maternal mortality, Research has proven that there is a direct impact between the reduction of maternal mortality and child mortality.

DEFINITION OF MATERNAL MORTALITY

Maternal mortality refers to deaths caused by complications of pregnancy or child birth.

In 2010 it was estimated that Zimbabwe experienced 725 deaths out of 100 000 live births annually, a figure too big for a fairly small population of our size. In 1980 Zimbabwe's maternal mortality rate was 138 out of every 100, 000 live births, according to the World health Organisation research findings. In 1990, the maternal mortality rate increased to 570 out of 100 000 and in 2005 the figure short up to 1 100 out of every 100 000 births. There are a number of socio-economic factors that contribute to this high mortality.

CAUSES OF HIGH MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE

8. High fees

9. Lack of trained midwives

10. Unavailability of blood

11. Lack of telecommunication systems

12. Lack of transport - no ambulances

KEY INTERVENTIONS AND PROGRESS MADE SO FAR

1. Through CARMMA, I have consulted widely with local authorities in the past on how best pregnant women could be assisted to deliver babies at health clinics and hospitals with minimal or no costs at all. At a meeting that I chaired in 2010, local authorities from throughout the country agreed to either waive or reduce maternal costs of expectant mothers. Harare Hospital declared that it would reduce user fees from US$50 to US$30 at that particular time.

2. My Office organised a fund raising dinner in 2010 under the banner CARMMA and the board of CARMMA agreed to use the proceeds to buy blood pressure machines which will be installed at health institutions throughout the country.

3. As the Goodwill Ambassador of CARMMA, I partnered with local business people and painted the Harare Hospitals maternity wing and put new curtains and bed linen.

4. DFID also partnered with CARMMA to restore infrastructural development in Zimbabwe's six major provincial hospitals. These refurbishments included replacement of the steam reticulation pipes at Harare Central Hospital, installing a new incinerator and steam reticulation pipes at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo; putting a new autoclave machine and washers at United Bulawayo Hospitals.

My role as National Goodwill Ambassador of CARMMA has been to advocate and create awareness and attention for heavy investment in the welfare of women. The Health Transition Health fund launched in 2011 was in response to my lobbying efforts.

If there is anybody who should be happy with the recent launch of the five year US$436 million health transitional fund today, it is the women of Zimbabwe, especially the grassroots women in rural areas. The fund which has been set up with support of UNICEF and was launched by the Prime Minister in Marondera came about as a result of my persistent calls that, no woman should die while giving life. As far as I am concerned, giving birth is performing a national duty and therefore women should not pay a dime when performing that national duty. I am sure that as from next month pregnant women and children under 5 years will not pay a cent in all Government hospitals.

CONCLUSION

Every honourable member sitting in this august House comes from a woman's womb. Women carry babies for nine months, they give birth to them and they nature them to be who they are. Hon. member you are who you are today because of your mother. Can you imagine if women were to go on strike today and say, "No woman should fall pregnant". What do you think will happen to this country. It is very important, what do you think is going to happen. At some point believe me, this world will come to an end because you will not have any new generation because they will die and die until everybody is dead. I am saying this to you so that you realise how important and how powerful the women are. I want to say that it is high time that women are treated with dignity and respect. We should not allow our women to die because they are pregnant. That should be a thing of the past and I would like to say thank all the people who contributed to the health transition fund and I am happy to announce that from now onwards, pregnant women will not pay a cent and children under five years will not pay a dime when they go to give birth. Thank you very much.

MS. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, as much as we appreciate that the scrapping of the user fee, what mechanism are you putting in place with regards to the supply of the sanitary wear to the pregnant women in the hospitals?

MS. KHUPE: When a woman goes to give birth, the hospital is supposed to have a full package of what they are supposed to use. They will have everything like sanitary wear, food, blankets you name it. All these things will be supplied on all our maternity hospitals. So, it is not going to be a problem. The blood which is not available is going to be there, sanitary wear is going to be there, food is going to be there and everything that they will use is going to be available. This health transition fund is going to cover all that so that when a woman gives birth, she is giving birth in an environment which is conducive, in an environment which is beautiful. I thank you.

WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

EVICTION OF OF GOLDEN KOPJE MINE EMPLOYEES

10. MR. GARADHI asked the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development to explain the Ministry's position with regards to former Golden Kopje Mine employees who are being evicted by Chinhoyi City Council because of their party affiliation

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, URBAN AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (DR. CHOMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me state sincerely that the eviction in question was administratively procedural and legal. The golden Kopje Mine and Chinhoyi Municipality entered into an agreement which gave council the platform to possess the houses whenever the mine ceases to operate. Fortunately, the aforementioned agreement, by no means, left the employees in oblivion as they were conscious of the conception of same in the clauses of the agreement. The issue has been in court and the municipal decision is by and large pro judicial opinio-juris, thus the principles of natural justice were established in any element surrounding the case. Hon. member, my ministry has no role to play in the agreement per-se and the issue of party politics is non-existent given the realm of the ideal flesh of the case as I elaborated above. However, the honourable member can avail evidence of interplay of politics should it exist in any framework especially in light of this issue.

On Question 2; the response Mr. Speaker Sir, is that the said Town Clerk was never in any way reinstated nor is he still in office as you alluded. The investigation team which I constituted in terms of Section 311 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29: 15) found the incumbent answerable to a number of issues bedeviling the local authority hence he was suspended. He has never been at council premises subsequent to his suspension and a committee for disciplinary hearing has been instituted to tackle the issue surrounding his suspension. My ministry never provided orders of whatever kind in relevance of the named incumbent but was the one which unearthed gross mismanagement at the municipality and this ultimately paved way for the suspension of the said Town Clerk.

RESUSCITATION OF THE ALASKA SMELTING PLANT

11. MR: GARADHI: asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the Ministry's plans regarding the resuscitation of Alaska smelting plant whose closure has had a negative impact on the people's lives both socially and economically.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (DR. MPOFU): The Alaska Copper Smelter and Refinery plants in Chinhoyi started operating in 1959 and 1980 respectively, processing copper concentrates from the Mhangura and Alaska Group of Mines until year 2000 when Mhangura Copper Mine closed down due to viability problems.

Small quantities of copper concentrates from some gold mines in Zimbabwe such as Renco Mine in Masvingo, Muriel Mine in Mutorashanga and Athens Mine in Mvuma were also toll-smelted and refined at the Alaska facilities.

The closure of the copper mines and the smelting and refinery plants at Alaska were mainly caused by unsustainable low ore grades of known resource that had fallen to about 0.65% copper. At the time of closure, the Smelting and the Refinery plants had capacities of about 54 000 tonnes of copper concentrates and 20 000 tonnes of high purity copper per annum respectively.

Availability of Copper Concentrates for the Smelter and Refinery

Resuscitation of copper smelting and refinery plants at Alaska requires availability of a sustainable supply of ore concentrates, sourced from either local copper mines or imported from international producers.

With the closure of the large copper producers in Zimbabwe and the lack of an alternative supply agreement with international producers, the Smelter and the Refinery had to close down as there was no sufficient supply of copper concentrates to sustain smelting and refining on a commercial scale.

Copper concentrates generated by some local gold mines are negligible to sustain the Smelter and Refinery operations, and therefore can not be considered a viable option to support resuscitation of the Alaska complex. Reputable copper producing countries like Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are potential sources to provide enough copper concentrates to run the Alaska Smelter and Refinery if:

- These countries have excess concentrates and have no processing capacities in their own countries;

- The Alaska Smelter and Refinery gives incentives to international copper producers to enable wooing their production to the Alaska comples; and

- The Zimbabwean railway system to Alaska is made reliable in order to move the concentrates and the refined copper efficiently.

In the late 1990-s the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) imported some low-grade concentrates from Gecamines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These concentrates needed to be blended with local concentrates to improve on recoveries as they were found not to be amenable for treatment on their own.

State of the Alaska Refinery and Smelter

Currently, the Alaska complex is in a state of serious deterioration. As can be appreciated, the complex particularly the smelter has been lying idle in a disused state since 2000 after more than 50 years of existence. Suffice to say, the Smelter is in a state of collapse, and as a result would require rehabilitation or total replacement of critical components.

Possibilities for other use

With the advent of increased exploration and development of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) properties in Zimbabwe since 2000 there have been concerted efforts to convert the Alaska Smelter and Refinery from copper processing facilities to PGMs Smelter and Refinery. As a result, during the period from 2004 and 2007 several companies including Norinco of China, Amari of South Africa and Mineral Trading of the UK investigated the possibilities of converting the Alaska Copper Smelter and Refinery into PGM Smelter and Refinery.

The outcomes of these investigations were that the Alaska Plants conversion would be more expensive than setting up a modern technological process as the PGM Plants are more complex and tailor-made for PGMs.

Conclusions

Whilst the Alaska Smelter and Refinery Plant are national assets that must not be left to lie to waste, there are serious challenges to the efforts of resuscitating the copper smelting the refining complex. Currently there is no guaranteed source of sustainable supplies of copper concentrates in Zimbabwe due to lack of commercially viable known copper ore deposits and a lack of an international supply agreement for the concentrates.

Over and above, the Alaska copper Smelter and Refinery are dilapidated and need serious refurbishment, complete overhaul or replacement with appropriate modern technology to ensure viability. This may only be possible if there is a reliable source of concentrates for feeding the Smelter. It is imperative, therefore to take note that there is no possibility for resuscitating the Alaska Smelter in the medium term outlook due to the lack of a sustainable sources of copper concentrates and the dilapidated state of the smelting and refining facilities.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

BANNING OF NGOs

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS. MPARIWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, there has been some confusion in the media regarding Inclusive Government's policy on NGOs. As the Minister responsible for registering, de-registering and setting the conditions of operations of NGOs, I wish to clarify the current Government position.

Honourable members, in each of your constituencies, there are NGOs offering various services and support to the people you represent. There are cases where the presence of the these NGOs is a matter of survival.

All registered NGOs are entitled to carry on their operations in any part of Zimbabwe where their humanitarian and developmental services are needed. Only de-registered organisations are prohibited from carrying on any work.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to make it clear that as Government, we have not de-registered any organisations since the formation of the Inclusive Government and as such no NGOs have been lawfully banned from carrying on their operations in Zimbabwe. I wish to encourage NGOs to operate within their lawful mandate as captured in their conditions of registration. Any de-registering or banning of NGOs can only and lawfully be done within my Ministry.

I wish to thank the NGOs who have braved the economic and political problems over the years and have kept their doors open to the Zimbabwean people throughout. Because of financial and other constraints, our Government alone is unable to provide the citizenry with all their needs NGOs countrywide have complemented Government efforts to feed, defend, clothe, offer medical assistance and indeed offer developmental funding and other support to communities. Government through my ministry commends their efforts and encourages them to assist them as and when they can.

Three weeks ago, I was in Masvingo. The food situation remains dire in parts of the province and Government alone can not claim to have the capacity to deal with food insecurity and averting starvation. Government will need NGOs to complement its efforts to provide relief in many districts of that province.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe honourable members will agree with me that the situation is the same in their constituencies and this means we will require the assistance of NGOs. It is not Government policy, Mr. Speaker Sir, to ban those who are there to help us. I urge honourable members to work with these organisations most of whom are complementing Government efforts to assist and serve the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you.

MOTION

REPORT ON THE THIRD QUARTER BUDGET PERFORMANCE OF THE MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT FOR THE YEAR 2011

MS. KARENYI: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Urban Development on the Third Quarter Budget Performance of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development for the year 2011.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

2. The Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development provides the policy framework for local governance and rural development. It administers physical planning to local councils, and is in charge of all the traditional leaders. It also facilitates and monitors development initiatives at the local authority and rural community levels. The Ministry consists of two distinct divisions namely:-

3. The Administration and General which has the following divisions:-

(XI) The Administration, which comprises among others, the offices of 10 Provincial Governors, 10 Provincial Administrators and 72 District Administrators.

(XII) Traditional Support Services Department which is responsible for the administration and management of matters on the functions of traditional leadership institutions;

(XIII) Department of Civil Protection which is responsible for disaster preparedness and risk management in the country;

(XIV) Rural and Urban Local Authorities which regulate, monitor, supervise and facilitate sound local governance in local authorities.

4. The Physical Planning Department is responsible for the provision of coordinated and orderly spatial development promotion of efficient urban public transport system.

2.0 Proceedings of the Committee

2.1 As part of its oversight function your Committee proceeded to request for written submissions from the Ministry on how it had disbursed funds allocated for its activities and programmes during the nine months of the current fiscal year. In its submission to your Committee the Ministry indicated that it had been allocated a total budget of US$93 569 000 for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2011. The breakdown of the allocation reflected that US$92 305 000 was for the Ministry's sub Vote I, which comprises Administration and General and US$1 264 000 was for sub Vote II which covers the Department of Physical Planning. It was abundantly clear that 80% of the Ministry's Budget was for capital expenditure while only 20% was for the recurrent expenditure.

2.2 Your Committee examined evidence which showed that employment costs were allocated US$3 629 000 while cumulative Expenditure of US$ 2 948 000 was incurred leaving a Budget Balance of US$631 000 as of end of the Third Quarter of 2011. It was quite commendable to note that funds for Employment costs were being timeously disbursed and pay dates deadlines were always met. However, it was of grave concern to the Ministry that the remaining budget balance for the year would not be adequate for the last three months of 2011.

2.3 The sub-head on Goods and Services was allocated US$3 592 000 and there was a cummulative Expenditure of US$2 577 000 leaving a Budget Balance of US$1 015 000. Out of this amount, an allocation of US$925 000 of the sub head vote was channeled towards the hosting of State Occasions.

The Ministry had extreme difficulties in settling the huge debts that it had incurred for telephone Bills, particularly with Tel One, which amounted to US$958 000 against an allocation of US$105 000. Telephone expenditure constituted three percent of the allocation on Goods and Services. Furthermore, all the telephone bills incurred by the Ministry during the period under review related to Tel One landlines only, countrywide. There were no other service providers involved. Your Committee was informed that by the end of September, 2011, the Ministry had only managed to pay US$92 000 of the owed amount.

Accommodation costs at the Rainbow Towers Hotel were also quite high as they amounted to a tune of US$133 583. Your Committee requested for a detailed breakdown on how such accommodation expenditure was incurred. The Ministry supplied the breakdown of accommodation expenditure at the Rainbow Towers for the nine months ending 30 September 2011. All the expenditure related to accommodation expenses for the seven Hon. Governors and Resident Ministers which was broken down as follows:-

GOVERNOR

PROVINCE

AMOUNT

Hon Dinha

Mashonaland Central

US$37 454

Hon Machaya

Midlands

US$28 823

Hon Mathema

Bulawayo Metropolitan

US$25 823

Hon Maluleke

Masvingo

US$16 452

Hon Mathuthu

Matebeleland North

US$13 110

Hon Masuku

Matebeleland South

US$11 454

Hon Mushowe

Manicaland

US$ 353

Hon Chidarikire

Mashonaland West

Nil

Hon Chigwedere

Mashonaland East

Nil

TOTAL

US$133 583

2.4 The sub-head on maintenance was mainly to cater for the Ministry's fleet of vehicles. Your Committee was informed that an allocation of US$805 000 was made during the period under review, while a cumulative expenditure of US$152 000 was incurred leaving a balance of US$653 000.

2.5 The item on current transfers had an allocation of US$395 000 during this period and a cumulative expenditure of US$228 000 leaving a budget balance of US$167 000. The breakdown of the allocation was as follows:-

Civil Protection US$ 300 000

Liquior Licensing Board US$ 30 000

Local Government Board US$ 50 000

Subscriptions US$ 15 000

Total US$ 395 000

More than half of this budget was availed to the Ministry .

Your Committee also noted that owing to the numerous accidents that took place during the year, quite a large chunk of this money was unavoidably utilised by the Civil Protection Unit. A sum of US$ 183 000 was used by this Department. Most of the accidents that occurred were declared national disasters and the Civil Protection Unit was compelled to assist the victims of these tragic accidents.

26 The subhead vote on Programmes was allocated US$11 054 000 giving a cummulative expenditure of US$6 365 000 by the end of September 2011. A budget balance of US$4 689 000 remained for this item. The bulk of the expenditure was spent on monthly allowances for the 269 Chiefs, 474 Headmen and 753 Chiefs and Headmen messengers and about 30 000 Village Heads from all parts of the country. The breakdown of the monthly allowances was as follows:-

Chiefs US$ 50 000

Headmen and Village Heads US$ 500 000

Messengers US$ 34 000

Incidentals US$ 36 000

The monthly allowances differed for various Chiefs depending on their category as some of them were not substantive incumbents.

Your Committee also received submissions to the effect that the Ministry had directed that emplacement of resettlement areas under Traditional Leadership Authority be prioritized during the 2011 financial year. The resultant effect was that some unforeseen expenditure was incurred in the drawing up, gazetting and procurement of maps during the emplacement exercise.

It was also brought to your Committee's attention that by the powers vested in the Minister, Investigation Teams had to be appointed from time to time, to look into various Chieftainship issues as well as Traditional Boundary issues or disputes. Five such Investigation Teams were appointed during the year under review thus further straining the limited financial resources of the Ministry.

2.7 Your Committee also learnt that as part of its programmes for Chiefs and Headmen, the Ministry intended to procure at least twenty vehicles for distribution to some Chiefs countrywide who had been installed as new incumbents. The last batch of vehicles to be allocated to Chiefs was bought in 2010. An additional 100 vehicles were said to be urgently required to replace the first batch that was procured in 2004.

Other programmes of the Ministry included Local Government Promotion and Administration. During the year, the Ministry hosted the SADC Local Government Ministers Forum at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, where 13 Ministers from the SADC countries including their Secretaries and Directors attended at a cost of US$105 000, which was provided by Treasury from the unallocated resources.

2.8 During the period under review some core functions of the Ministry were dealt a debilitating blow. For instance the Department of Local Authorities which monitors operations of all councils in Zimbabwe, supervises and evaluates Public Sector Investment Programmes (PSIPs) undertaken at Local Authority Level failed to conduct its activities due to the non availability of suitable vehicles. Authority was not granted by Treasury to procure two project vehicles for supervision and monitoring.

A total sum of US$16 160 000 which was disbursed during this period could not be followed up to ensure its usage for purposes intended. This money was disbursed to Local Authorities to cater for rehabilitation of water and sewer infrastructure. Some of the money was channelled through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe. (IDBZI) The Local Authorities that received the allocation were as follows :-

Mutoko Rural District Council US$ 560 000

Chiredzi Town Council US$ 150 000

Chitungwiza US$ 650 000

Chegutu US$ 550 000

Ruwa US$ 2 000 000

City of Harare US$ 2 000 000

Gokwe Town Council US$ 375 000

Tongogara Rural District US$ 245 000

Chinhoyi US$ 1 500 000

Gwanda US$ 720 000

Chipinge US$ 580 000

City of Bulawayo US$2 000 000

Masvingo US$ 300 000

Murewa US$ 450 000

Mutasa US$ 200 000

Runde Rural District Council US$ 280 000

Chivi Rural District Council US$ 450 000

Gweru US$ 1 000 000

Mutare US$ 1 000 000

Redcliff US$ 550 000

Rusape US$ 600 000

2.9 Your Committee is seriously concerned that failure to put mechanisms to ensure that the usage of such funds was for purposes intended may be a recipe for financial improprieties and might lead to cases of misappropriation of money going undetected for a long time.

Furthermore your Committee is not convinced that the Ministry honestly failed to conduct a follow-up on the disbursement of the funds. Other alternatives like the hiring of vehicles could have been done to overcome the challenges of transport but it would appear the Ministry ignored this route.

 

2.10 Your Committee is also cognizant of the Minister of Local Government's powers to appoint Investigation Committees to look into various cases of suspected mismanagement and fraud in Local Authorities. Naturally such appointments come at a cost to the Ministry as qualified lawyers have to chair such Committees. The allowances paid to such Committees varied from one Committee to the other and the total funds paid out ranged from anything between US$ 6 000 to US$ 35 000

During the period under review an allocation of US$270 000 was made for the acquisition of Fixed Assets resulting in a cummulative Expenditure of US$3 400 and leaving a balance of US$266 600. The Ministry disclosed to your Committee that no meaningful releases were made for the procurement of assets during this period.

2.11 On the subhead on payments to Local Authorities, a total sum of US$6 500 000 was paid out to clear off bills overdue by various Ministries of Government and Departments. The Ministry had not budgeted for this item hence Treasury had to provide funding from unallocated reserves.

2.12 The Department of Physical Planning of the Ministry overspent its budget allocation by US$34 000 on Rental or Hire Expenses during the period under review. The explanation given by the Ministry for such over expenditure was that the allocated funds were inadequate to meet the demand for planning services including meetings in all the sixty Rural Districts of Zimbabwe. At the same time CMED changes were economically unsustainable as they were proving to be too high for permanent use. Efforts by the Physical Planning Department to open two new offices were unsuccessful as funds to purchase furniture were not released. In any case the Department has to replace old furniture and to buy basic essentials such as heaters, fans in addition to other equipment needed for the trade.

2.13 The Department of Physical Planning had budgeted to prepare Spatial Plans for 3 border towns of Chirundu, Beitbridge and Plumtree in addition to the Victoria Falls Master Plan. However, work could not proceed as US$300 000 was required for a small town like Chirundu. Without adequate funding for materials and fees for the outsourcing of private planning services, work stalled. Consultancy fees to prepare a small local plan was tagged at ±US$200 000 and for a master plan it was US$400 000. Therefore, an allocation of US$100 000 could only be used for preparatory workshops and meetings.

(ii) Recommendations

(iii) Your Committee is seriously concerned that programs of the Ministry have not been implemented because of the late release of funds and therefore recommends the following;-

-- that the money for projects and other critical activities of the Ministry be released timeously so that they can be undertaken in the budget year to which they relate.

2. that the Ministry should hire vehicles to ensure that follow-up action is taken wherever disbursement of funds is done.

3. That the Ministry ensures that there is fair distribution and allocation of National resources when it comes to allocation of funds to Local Authorities.

4. That demographic consideration should also be taken into account when allocating resources. Your Committee could not fully comprehend how allocation to some local authorities was arrived at.

5. That there be clearly defined separation of duties when it comes to the Governors allocation of resources. Your Committee observed that some of the expenses were incurred by the Governors when they attended their Party business. This was further confirmed by the Ministry Officials

4 .0 CONCLUSION

4.1 Your Committee is extremely perturbed by the delays in the release of funds for the programmes of the Ministry and strongly implores the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the money meant for these critical activities of the Ministry is released in good time if the Budget allocation is anything to go by. It is sad to note that even at this eleventh hour of the Ministry's budget there is no guarantee that the remaining allocation would be released before the end of the year.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, I thought that the seconder was going to take his place but I notice he is not doing so. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 15th March, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MR. CHINYADZA: I move that Order of the Day, No. 2 be stood over until the other Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

MRS KARENYI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Mr. Speaker, I move that the motion captured as Number 3 be stood over until all other motions have been dealt with.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE OPERATIONS OF THE NATIONAL RAILWAYS OF ZIMBABWE

MR. CHEBUNDO: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the Operations of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

MR. CHINYADZA: I second.

MR. CHEBUNDO:

1. Introduction

(iv) As part of its executive oversight, the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development resolved to conduct an inquiry into the operations of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

2. Committee Objectives

2.1 The Committee sought to establish the following:

(XV) Operational challenges faced by the NRZ

(XVI) Policy relevancy and effectiveness

(XVII) Causes of perennial industrial actions

(XVIII) The state and security of the infrastructure

MR. KAPESA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order.

MR. KAPESA: Mr. Speaker Sir, we happen not to form a quorum although the issue which is being discussed is noble.

Bells rung.

Quorum formed

MR. CHEBUNDO:

3. Methodology

1. On 10 and 11 November 2011 the Committee visited the NRZ Head Office in Bulawayo and Dabuka Marshalling yards in Gweru where meetings were held with the management and staff respectively. The Committee also toured the premises, workshops, and, together with the management, rode the commuter trains, chatting and interviewing passengers on board.

4. Committee's Findings

2.14 The NRZ plays a critical role as the country's major transporter of bulk goods. Its core business is Freight Services, Passenger Services, Real Estate and Investments. NRZ's clients comprise organizations in the agricultural, industrial, mining and energy sectors that require bulk rail services for the movement of their inputs and outputs both locally and across borders. NRZ also provides passenger train services to cater for the bulk movement of passengers between cities as well as intra-major cities. NRZ's Real Estate business unit is responsible for the management of NRZ's real estate assets which include land, office accommodation, houses, warehouses and commercial developments at stations and along railway tracks.

2.15 NRZ's major resources are the track infrastructure, traction power units (locomotives), rolling stock (wagons and coaches), heavy duty workshops and the human resource base. These are essential for NRZ to be able to fulfill its mandate. The infrastructure consists of the 2700km rail network, signals and telecommunication equipment.

2.16 The Committee was informed that the rail network has eighty cautions (speed restrictions) covering an area of 362.7 km. The Committee learnt that cautions mainly arise when temporary speed restrictions are imposed on certain portions of the track due to its poor state. About 60% of the network was designed to be under the automatic Centralized Train Control system but due to theft and vandalism coupled with obsolete, the system is no longer functional.

2.17 NRZ has 168 locomotives but only 71 are currently serviceable. This was attributed to many years of failing to carry out scheduled maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of old and obsolete equipment. The Committee was informed that the mainline locomotive fleet, the DE10A is now beyond its designed economic life span. The electric locomotives are no longer operating since the decommissioning of the electrified section and this has put a further strain on the diesel locomotive classes which must be used as substitutes. The Committee learnt that DE11A locomotive fleet is unfortunately made up of 13 units only and is left with six years before the end of its designed economic life span. Useful life of locomotive is 25 years. Only 13 of the 168 locomotives are within the life span with 6 years remaining.

2.18 NRZ owns 8 682 wagons of which only 3 427 are operational, and targeted to transport over 6 million tonnes of goods per year. The Committee was informed that all NRZ's wagons have long gone beyond their designed economics life span of forty years. NRZ owns a fleet of 309 coaches but only 130 are in service and are in a deplorable and unsafe state. NRZ Officials stated that with adequate and state of art coaches, NRZ would be able to introduce premier class services such as the ones offered by the Rovos and Shongolo of South Africa.

2.19 The Committee was informed that there has been no meaningful capital investment over the years resulting in the deteriorating state of equipment and infrastructure. There is need for recapitalization of NRZ.

2.20 The economic down turn over the years has resulted in NRZ facing a number of challenges. As mentioned above, the available number and state of locomotives, wagons, coaches and other support equipment such as Lorries (RMS), tamping machines and workshop machinery is insufficient to meet the bulk transport demand of the productive sectors of the economy. NRZ expects to move 6 million tones of freight traffic in 2012 and this would require 80 locomotives and 4300 wagons. NRZ would need 9 more locomotives and 873 wagons to be able to carry the 6 million tones.

2.21 The poor state of track infrastructure which results in prolonged transit times and may lead to derailments is also a hindrance to the achievement of this goal. Lack of funding for many years has led to deferment of maintenance and rehabilitation programs. The track cautions, signals and telecommunications equipment are malfunctioning and require replacement. The decommissioning of the 313 km electrified section between Dabuka and Harare also has an adverse effect on the capacity of the entity to carry more goods.

2.22 The management was of the view that, since the NRZ's infrastructure, locomotives, wagons, coaches and support equipment has exceeded the designed economic life span it is critical that the organization carries out a phased recapitalization program. NRZ is however unable to do so without funding from the shareholder or the fiscus because the funds required cannot be raised by NRZ alone.

2.23 The Committee was informed that NRZ is incurring an average monthly deficit of $3 million. The major item of expenditure is salaries which in 2011 accounted for 86% of total revenue leaving only 14% for all other operating expenditures. The poor cash flow resulted in NRZ failing to meet its day to day operational requirements such as purchase of fuel, payment of salaries on time and purchase of critical spares for locomotives and wagons. Currently NRZ's salary arrears are two months behind.

2.24 The Committee learnt that because NRZ cannot deny other parastatals services especially for the transportation of strategic commodities such as drought relief, it faces challenges in securing payment for the services rendered. At the time of the Committee's visit NRZ was owed a total of $8.4 million by the Grain Marketing Board and Ziscosteel. Recovery of this debt will go a long way in alleviating NRZ's cash flow problems.

2.25 It was stated that staff costs are as a result of a bloated labour force of over 8 000 employees and was said to be excessive compared to NRZ's current levels of business. The management said the optimum staff strength would be around 5000 employees. The workers however argued that in 1980 NRZ had 18000 employees against a track that stretched over 2700 km. The line is ageing and needs manual repairs and the NRZ management cannot claim that it was over staffed with a workforce of 8500. They claimed that there is now more frequency of repairs requiring more employees. Workers also noted that the continued seconding of 191 Army personnel to NRZ was an unnecessary cost as the reason for which they were seconded is no-longer holding. NRZ pays the Army personnel '75% allowance for the individual's corresponding NRZ grade, in addition to the government salary'.

2.26 While NRZ was pursuing programmes aimed at bringing back into service some of the resources that are currently lying idle, it faces some challenges in the rehabilitation of wagons, locomotives and coaches because of the unavailability of monoblock wheels, traction motors and consumable materials.

2.27 A good rail network infrastructure is needed and NRZ has been focusing on the need to elevate the state of its infrastructure. The Committee learnt that NRZ was able to reduce the area under speed restrictions from 454 km at the beginning of 2010 to 362.75 km. Officials also mentioned that focus is on the restoration of the telecommunications network on the mainline corridors, installation of a GPS system on locomotives as well as revamping of the lighting and water systems on coaches.

2.28 It was also stated that in an attempt to initiate phased recapitalization, NRZ in 2004 concluded contracts with CNR of China for the supply of 10 locomotives, 8 commuter train sets and 64 mainline coaches at a total cost of US$110.4 million. Each contract required the establishment of a letter of credit covering the total price of the equipment, against which a 10% deposit would be drawn for production to commence. NRZ paid US$2.5m in 2006 and an additional US$400 000 in 2008 towards deposit for the equipment, leaving a balance of US$8.5 million. In order to take advantage of the US$2.9 million deposit already paid and in view of NRZ's challenges to raise the balance, NRZ and CNR have since revised the contracts to prioritize the supply of 14 locomotives for a total of US$29 million for which the deposit already paid becomes sufficient. Regrettably NRZ has still not been able to secure the lines of credit or government guarantee for the remainder of the purchase price.

2.29 NRZ has been operating without a board of directors since June 2009. The management informed the Committee that the Secretary for Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development supervises the management in the absence of a board. Workers however feel that NRZ management operates without supervision, and is therefore not accountable to anyone.

2.30 Workers are also of the opinion that there are too many directors and managers resulting in duplication of duties for example, Director Operations and Director Marketing, Audit and Inspectorate, Operations Management Centre and Trains Control. Workers believe that the current NRZ structure is top heavy as compared to the 1992 Organogram. In 1992 NRZ had a staff compliment of more than 12 000 with one General Manager and two deputies. The tonnage moved by NRZ in 1992 was 12 million. Currently, the NRZ staff compliment stands at 8 000 and has a General Manager, five directors, three Area Managers and five Army Personnel at Director Level.

2.31 Workers accuse NRZ management of vandalism of electrical overhead catenary system rendering it obsolete. They assume that the public notice by management advising of the suspension of the running of electric trains and introduction of private security companies (Masimba Security) contributed to the vandalism. These private security companies have no capacity and knowledge of the NRZ system.

2.32 Workers further allege that NRZ management violated tender procedures resulting in the NRZ paying more than double the price of certain commodities causing them to fail to honour the payments and ended up being taken to court by creditors for example Railway Wheelset. Further allegations were that 'Wheelset was most likely an inside creation'. Management acknowledged outside court settlement of payment with some creditors.

2.33 Workers also alleged violations of 'Human Resource Issues' such as the non implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements, violations of Code of Conduct where employee representatives are summarily dismissed for representing others [Mutare branch was given as an example], issues of 'Health and Safety where no meaningful action is taken against employee exposure to hazards. Workers informed the Committee that these and many other labour violations by management were the source of industrial actions. Further, before embarking on industrial actions, workers had tried all available recourse beginning with engagement with management, Collective Bargaining, engagement with Minister, as well as with the Vice President, but all to no avail, hence resorting to collective action as last resort.

2.34 NRZ had noted that the extensive nature of the funding requirement for the maintenance of infrastructure makes it impossible for NRZ to fund the activities and proposed that government takes over the role of infrastructure provision and maintenance while it concentrates on operations.

2.35 NRZ also proposed an introduction of a legislation to safeguard rail friendly cargo. NRZ urged government to legislate for heavy cargo that can only be moved by the rail. NRZ had noted that most of the cargo that used to be moved by rail was now being carried by haulage trucks and this has the effect of damaging the road network.

5. Committee's Observations

1. The Committee observed that NRZ is an entity which can generate a lot of revenue from its operations and still make a profit. However because of its current state, the parastatal needs rescue in terms of funding. The Committee noted that NRZ management has no clear strategy on how it is going to make NRZ viable in the event that the shareholder injects some working capital. The Committee's concern is that if government were to make available the required funds without 'visionary' management the funds would go to waste.

2. The absence of a Board for more than two and half years has contributed to negative policy management for the parastatal. Issues such as production of clear strategic plans, enforcement of adherence to procurement policies, observations of sanctities of life ('health and safety) and others, could not be missed where a board of directors is in place.

3. The Committee noted that NRZ needs assistance and government can fund it through PSIP for the rehabilitation/refurbishment of infrastructure, locomotives, wagons and coaches that have exceeded their economic life span.

4. The Committee observed that NRZ's Orgono-gram has too many directors and managers that seem not to resonate with the staff compliment of 8 000. When contrasting the past and present staff compliments, and work trends, it can be observed that the challenge is not that of staff complement but strategic planning.

5. Whilst it is both normal and noble for the Army to come to the rescue of both public and private entities in times of need, it should, however, not become permanent part of the entity as it will strain both the resources and corporate governance.

6. The Committee supports the possibility that vandalism and theft of NRZ equipment was aided by change from NRZ Security to private security companies and also the public announcement that NRZ was suspending the running of electric trains. The Committee questioned the rationale of these motives.

7. The Committee noted that the amount owed NRZ by other parastatals is quite substantial and that it can go a long way in alleviating NRZ's cash flow problems. There is need for government to come up with some policy that regulates the 'inter-parastatals debts system'. It is important that all services rendered must be paid for so that these parastatals remain in business.

8. As the Committee responsible for the transport sector, it is aware of the damages done to the road network due to heavy loads carried by haulage trucks. Government should come up with a legislation that stipulates what cargo can be carried by rail in order to protect the road network. The rate at which the road network have deteriorated in the last decade, i.e. the same period that saw NRZ gradually going down and significant bulk transportation moving from railway to roads, is empirical evidence for the need to regulate for the protection of these infrastructures.

9. The Committee observed the need for government to look for a partner for NRZ

The Committee supports the idea of separation of infrastructure and maintenance management and Operations management. To this end, the government can appoint or incorporate a company to provide the infrastructure while at the same time opening up railway network on a "pay-as-you-access" basis. The NRZ will concentrate on operations. This arrangement in a way, indirectly levels the competition field between the road and railway. With the current economic trends for the country, it is impossible for the NRZ alone to meet the extensive funding requirement for the maintenance of infrastructure.

6. Recommendations

6.1 The Committee recommends that the Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development appoints a Board of Directors for NRZ as soon as possible.

6.2 The Board in turn has to revisit, and restructure both management and to look into the staff compliment

6.3 The NRZ management to come up with a turnaround strategic plan before requesting for funds for recapitalization.

6.4 Management to observe, as a matter of paramount importance, the issue of 'Health and Safety' as well as good corporate ethics.

6.5 Legislation must be put in place to safeguard rail friendly cargo. In turn NRZ must be properly managed and be efficient by exercise good corporate governance.

6.6 A policy or legislation that regulates the inter-parastatals debt settlement is recommended.

6.7 The Committee recommends that an investigation be carried out on the allegations of violation of tender procedures, specifically, starting with the 'Wheelset Company deal'.

6.8 In the meantime, Committee recommends government to fund NRZ through PSIP for the rehabilitation/refurbishment of infrastructure; locomotives, wagons coaches and that have exceeded their economic life span.

6.9 The Committee recommends the rehabilitation of the GPS for communications, as a matter of urgency.

6.10 The Army should be thanked and reverts to their core national role.

6.11 The Committee recommends the setting of up a committee to investigate the motives for introducing private security company and the vandalization of electrical cables

6.12 The Committee recommends for government to look for a strategic partnership arrangement for NRZ such as is the case with the Bulawayo Beitbridge Railway [BBR] arrangement.

6.13 The Committee recommends separation of infrastructure and maintenance management from Operations management.

6.14 The government should guarantee the contract between NRZ and CNR of China by establishing a letter of credit for NRZ to be supplied with the 14 locomotives for a total of US$29 million.

MR. CROSS: This is a valuable contribution but I just want to say that the Press Gallery has been empty since three o'clock. I really think the press should have been here to hear several of these presentations today and this one in particular. There can not be an economic recovery in Zimbabwe until the railways has been put back on its feet.

Some 15 years ago, we had 18 million tonnes of colliery here and I do not think that the reduction in colliery handled to the present levels has done a country any good whatsoever. I also want to point out Mr Speaker, Sir, that on the question of staffing, I do not believe that the railways are overstaffed at this moment in time, I think that the infrastructure is there. I want to point out to the House that for the past year, 500 heavy duty trucks passed through Zimbabwe bringing a million tonnes of goods that have been through rail that have no difficulty with viability whatsoever.

I think the fundamental problem is management. I think the recommendations of the Committee are absolutely timely and in fact urgent. Mr. Speaker, I do not think that any organisation can be expected to function properly without a decent board of directors. I think this is a matter which should be brought to the attention of the leadership of the Government in the earliest possible occasion. I would hope that this report, will be forwarded to the Prime Minister and the President, as quickly as possible. The Committee has raised a number of extremely serious allegations, for example the theft of 380 kilometers of electric cable from Gweru to Harare in broad daylight, passing through a number of towns amounting to a value US$110 million, 100 tonnes of products, it is removed from Zimbabwe, through the boarder of Beitbridge and you mean to tell me that we can not find who did it, I do not believe it is true.

I think we should listen to what the workers of the railways have said and we should follow that with the greatest urgency. Sometime ago, we asked the Minister of Home Affairs to report to the House on the state of the case involving this theft. In fact she gave us some information about what they had done, from the look of things, we do not know where the case is at this moment in time.

I think the other incidences in terms of the abuse of tender procedures must be investigated as a matter of urgency. I would want this House to forward the report to the Auditor General - [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - we must request that she take action as soon as possible. We now have an Anti Corruption Commission, it is working, it is active, it is engaged all over the country carrying out investigations. I think it would be worthwhile handing over this report to the Anti Corruption Commission ….

MR. BEREMAURO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, there is no quorum in the House.

Bells rung.

A notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 25 members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum being still not being present, The Temporary Speaker adjourned the House without question put at Six Minutes past Five O'clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 27.

NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Beremauro, G.; Hon. Chambati T.S.; Hon. Chebundo, B; Hon. Chimhini, D.A.; Hon. Chinyadza W.; Hon. Chitando, J.; Hon. Cross, E.G.; Hon. Garadhi, S.; Hon. Gwiyo, C.C.; Hon. Jiri, M.; Hon. Karenyi, L.; Hon. Mabhena, G.; Hon. Madzimure, W.; Hon. Mahlangu, T.; Hon. Makuyana, M.; Hon. Masaiti, E.; Hon. Mudarikwa, S.; Hon. Moyo; Hon. Ndava, R.; Hon. Sibanda, D. and Hon. Sululu, A.

The House adjourned accordingly at Six Minutes past Five O'clock p.m.

 

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