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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 NOVEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 18

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 15th November, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

*HON. TEKESHE: On a point of privilege Mr. speaker sir. The point of privilege relates to Standing Order Number 68 (d). An accident occurred in my constituency and 50 people lost their lives. I heard you make a ruling that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development should come and give a ministerial statement as a result of road carnages.  We are wondering what type of people are going to be accessing this type of support. A lot of people in my constituency are worried and posing questions to me as to the criteria that is being used for people to access that.  Up-to-date, the Hon. Minister has not come to give a ministerial statement to this House.  I thank you.  

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Member. I want to believe that the ministerial statement will address some of those issues if not all of them.  Furthermore, I am advised by the Leader of Government Business in Parliament Hon. Ziyambi that there is a Bill that is coming to this august House that will be able to encapsulate some of the issues that you have raised. Thank you.  

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. I need to put to the attention of the House my sincere apologies to a situation which happened on Tuesday. As a result of having heard a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament. I hereby put it forward to you.  Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I do confirm what Hon. Mutseyami has stated and I must thank him for that statement and accordingly my ruling that I made yesterday concerning the matter raised by Hon. Nyathi is accordingly suspended. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. MATHE: On a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The Chair during that time on Tuesday had asked the Hon. Member to withdraw and not to apologise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Mathe, Hon. Sikhala please hold the fire. 

          Hon. Mathe having stood up.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mathe, please take your seat.  An apology has been tendered so the matter is not open for debate.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          First Order Read: Adjourned debate in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to take this opportunity that you have granted me as a representative of Chiredzi West Constituency, to respond to the motion moved by Hon. Kwaramba and supported by Hon. Musabayana, in response to the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa on 18th September, 2018 at the Official Opening of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe in the Second Republic.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me on the onset, to congratulate His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for winning the Presidential elections that were held on 30 July, 2018 – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – after creating an enabling environment for Zimbabwe to engage in the most peaceful harmonised campaign process in our post independence history. 

          I also wish to extend my congratulations to you Mr. Speaker Sir and your Deputy, Hon. Gezi on being elected to lead this august House.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I applaud President Mnangagwa for walking the talk on his ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra as demonstrated by the legislative agenda that he put before this august House through 27 Bills that seek to address the social economic and political challenges facing our Second Republic.  The legislative task before us as the Ninth Parliament is to give impetus to this noble agenda that President Mnangagwa outlined for us.  President Mnangagwa presented important Bills that we have the collective responsibility to urgently translate into law. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I represent an agro-industrial constituency with a population of 97 000, which is 31% of the 310 500 people who reside in Chiredzi District.  Chiredzi West Constituency is a fairly complex Constituency with a third of the population being urban; another third of the population is in the agro-industry where sugar is produced.  The final third of the population is in the resettlement area where the population is evenly split between Tongaat Hulett employees and people who benefited from the Resettlement Programme, which areas were formerly Tongaat Hulett livestock paddocks.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Constituency had 38 779 registered voters in the June 2018 biometric voter register.  Of these, 33 387 voted in the Harmonised Elections held on 30 July, 2018 giving an 86.1% turnout.  Chiredzi Town, which is the capital of Chiredzi District is within Chiredzi West Constituency and it is where the referral hospital for the whole district is located.  All the Government departments which provide services to Chiredzi District are located in Chiredzi Town.  The eight largest banks in Zimbabwe are also located in Chiredzi Town which gives indication of the economic importance of Chiredzi West Constituency.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, Chiredzi Constituency’s economy is centred on the 45 245 hectare sugar industry, with an annual revenue generating capacity in excess of US$0.5 billion.  In addition to sugarcane, cotton, livestock and tourism are also key contributors to the Constituency’s economy.  Support economic activities in Chiredzi West include light industry operations whose primary focus is on maintenance of trucks and tractors.  The supply of farm inputs including protective clothing, agrochemicals is another key support economic activity.  The informal Small to Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), including vendors have in recent years become a major source of employment and economic sustenance across the Constituency.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there is scope for Chiredzi West Constituency to venture into fisheries and horticulture.  Growth opportunities also exist through value added manufacturing industries, including increased white sugar refining, ethanol production and electricity generation at the sugar mills.  Garment fabrication and oil expression at the two cotton ginneries, processing of specialised meat products and hides from the livestock industry, fish and fruit canning are other economic potential activities in Chiredzi West.

          The message from His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, that agriculture remains a key sector in the resuscitation and growth of our economy and that modernisation and mechanisation of the sector is imperative, talks to the potential that Chiredzi West has, to consolidate its position as the economic hub for Masvingo Province. Mr. Speaker Sir, the single largest economic driver in Chiredzi West Constituency is Tongaat Hulett, a South African agriculture and agro-processing business.  The company farms on 55% of the 45 205 hectares currently developed for irrigated sugarcane growing for sugar production in the South Eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe.

          Tongaat Hulett operates the only two sugar mills in the country with a combined installed sugar milling capacity of 600 000 tones which is processed from 4.8 million tones of sugarcane.  The total refined sugar capacity is 60 000 tones and the Triangle Ethanol Plant has an installed capacity of 41 million litres over a 48-week production season.  The two sugar mills generate electricity from biogas during the sugarcane crushing season, which normally runs from April to November.  Tongaat Hulett is also the largest beef cattle producer in Masvingo Province.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is by virtue of this economic dominance that Tongaat Hulett features prominently in the social economic development plans for Chiredzi West Constituency in line with the vision of His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for Zimbabwe to become an upper middle income economy with an average per capita earning of $3 500 by 2030.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there is an urgent need for Tongaat Hulett to match best practice in conditions of employment for the 18 thousand employees at the company’s Hippo Valley Estates and Triangle Sugar Operations.  The call by President Mnangagwa in his SONA address to strike a balance between labour productivity and workplace harmony through greater collaboration between all social partners speaks directly to the need for Tongaat Hulett to upgrade the wilfully inadequate wages, accommodation, ablution, educational and recreational facilities that the company is currently availing to its employees. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, improving the viability of farmers who supply 45 percent of the sugarcane – [HON. NDEBELE:  You are allowed to look at the Speaker.] – [Laughter.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, improving the viability of farmers who supply percent of the sugarcane to the two Tongaat mills at Hippo Valley Estates and Triangle sugar operations is an integral part of the call by President Mnangagwa for an improvement in the ease and cost of doing business. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the monopoly enjoyed by Tongaat Hulett gives that company unfettered powers to deny the 2000 sugarcane out growers a fair social economic return for their investment in this lucrative crop.  The vision pronounced by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for equity in the business environment presents the Ninth Parliament with an opportunity to repeal the 1964 Sugar Control Act so as to create a level playing field for sugarcane growers and the miller.  Mr. Speaker Sir, despite being a key foreign currency earner, sugar is not considered to be a strategic crop by Government.  Strategic crop status accords the farmer special operating provisions such as foreign currency allocation for recapitalisation and importation of key inputs such as agro chemicals.  Scope exist for the Ninth Parliament through its Portfolio Committees to combat this glaring anomaly. 

Madam Speaker, in the new dispensation, as envisaged by President Mnangagwa in his SONA Address, all urban dwellers are entitled to adequate service delivery by corruption-free councils.  There is urgent need Madam Speaker, for improving transparency and accountability in the collection and disbursement of rates by Chiredzi Town Council.  This is vital for residents to gain confidence in the rate payment system.  The Central Government will be engaged to rehabilitate and upgrade road network, water and sewer reticulation infrastructure, health institutions, refuse handling and recreational facilities in Chiredzi town. 

Madam Speaker, the setting up of vending markets and public transport ranks that meet with minimum Government public health sector standards is a necessity for Chiredzi town to avert the potential recurring outbreak of diseases such as cholera.

 As I get to my conclusion, infrastructure development in the resettlement areas across the whole country is seriously lagging behind.  Wards 27 and 28 in Chiredzi West Constituency with a combination of 2150 villages is no exception.  There is a need for serious upgrading of access roads, drilling of boreholes, building of clinics, schools, cell phone booster towers, service centres and electricity provision to service centres.  There is a call for Tongaat Hulett to partner Government in this work through its corporate social investment programme given that significant numbers of the company’s employees have established homes in this resettlement areas. 

May I conclude Madam Speaker, by saying that the turnaround of our national economy will be a process and not an event as outlined...

Hon. Mataruse having passed between the Member on the floor and the Chair.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mataruse.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Madam Speaker, in his SONA Address, the message that we got from President Mnangagwa is that, I will use a metaphor here, a rabbit’s pregnancy takes 30 days and within 30 days of giving birth, a rabbit is ready to mate again.  An elephant takes 24 months to carry its pregnancy and that pregnancy is fraught with morning sickness and everything.  That is exactly what we are dealing with as Zimbabwe.  It is not going to be an event, it is a process.  The President elucidated that clearly in the SONA Address.  May I end by saying, the transitional stabilisation programme and very fruitful Parliamentary Pre-Budget Seminar held in Bulawayo from 7th to 10th November 2018, clearly bore testimony to the fact that we are dealing with a process that requires that we all have patience, we put partisan issues aside and we operate as Zimbabweans first and foremost.  We require this House Madam Speaker, to operate with a sense of urgency and maturity because we are all in this together. 

May I conclude by stating my firm conviction that I am in total agreement with His Excellency, President Mnangagwa’s SONA Address that Zimbabwe is on a trajectory for recovery by 2030 notwithstanding what detractors may say to the contrary.  May God bless Zimbabwe.  Thank you.

HON. NGULUBE:  Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech in contribution to the motion moved by Hon. Kwaramba and seconded by Hon. Musabayane.  Madam Speaker, let me start by congratulating His Excellency, E. D. Mnangagwa on his resounding victory in the elections which where were peaceful, free, fair and democratic.  Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the Speaker and yourself for being elected to lead this august House.  In our language, I would say, rivhatamela mashudu mavhuya takwatandabala.  To all the Members of Parliament, congratulations for the mandate we have been given by the people of Zimbabwe to represent them in the Ninth Parliament.  To the people of Beitbridge East Constituency, for braving the weather and spending hours in the queues to cast your vote for me, thank you.  Mwana wanu undonishumela  ndimurunwa wanu.  I am your loyal and faithful servant and will serve you wholeheartedly.

Madam Speaker, in his maiden speech, the President called upon all of us to be servants who listen and work hard to advance the welfare of our people, that is the purpose which is the drive that should keep us on our feet towards a better Zimbabwe.   I therefore, urge all of us to heed to this call.  The people of Zimbabwe are expecting to see a change in their livelihood.  We all have a part to play. 

Madam Speaker Maam, in his address, the President spoke of his commitment to economic development as a strategic response to the pressing need to leapfrog our economy to a middle income status by 2030. He also spoke on the job creation and bringing an end to corruption. On issues of improving our social services and in the provision of requisite infrastructure, Beitbridge East Constituency appreciates the upgrading of the border post where the ground breaking was done by His Excellency, the President. We look forward to this project creating jobs for our local people. The Beitbridge to Masvingo highway is an urgent infrastructural development project that requires urgent attention which I feel will go a long way in the quest to improve the livelihood of our people.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, on the issue of water and sanitation, Beitbridge town has a serious shortage of water besides the Government having commissioned the water works recently. Due to the dilapidated water pipeline system, the municipality continually faces burst pipes. The current holding sewer ponds cannot cope with the ballooning population of the town. These problems continue to exist regardless of the new water works because there are not enough water holding reservoirs. I, therefore urge and call upon the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to come in and assist in this regard.

          The ownership of the water treatment plant is another cause for concern. Currently, the plant is owned by ZINWA, whilst the municipality does the distribution of water. Efforts to take over the plant have been made but the municipality is still waiting for the outcome from the Commission of Inquiry which came to investigate the issue in 2017.

          The Tshikwalakwala Irrigation Scheme is defunct; its resuscitation would create employment and enhance food security. I am in a constituency falling under agricultural region 5 where droughts are frequent. With the presence of springs that produce a lot of water being available, these can be harnessed for irrigation of vast pieces of land to reduce poverty. Boreholes can also be drilled to facilitate small scale farming. My constituency can turn into a green belt if given the financial support it deserves.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, the President raised a concern on economic order, growth and improving social services. In Beitbridge East Constituency, human trafficking especially of learners after Grade 7 is rife. Secondary schools in Beitbridge do not have science laboratories to equip learning with productive skills. In the interest of Government STEM Programme, the issue should be looked into as a matter of urgency. There are no colleges for students completing Ordinary or Advanced level examinations, further worsening the social challenges faced in the constituency.

          On the issue of healthcare which was mentioned by His Excellency, the situation in Beitbridge is pathetic with Beitbridge Hospital being the only referral hospital in the whole district. The facility caters for a high volume transit population passing through the border post, the busiest border post on SADC region connecting South Africa with the rest of the countries up north. Beitbridge Hospital caters for 18 health facilities with the total resident population standing at 130 000 and transit population of 14500 people, about 1000 heavy vehicles and 1700 light vehicles passing through the post daily.

          Having recently visited the hospital, I discovered that besides its endeavour to offer quality health services, Beitbridge District Hospital is confronted with several challenges. The facility has insufficient health personnel across the board; posts left vacant have not been filled. The hospital has an aged fleet of cars characterised by frequent breakdowns and high maintenance costs. There are also challenges in servicing the vehicles as they are taken to Bulawayo which is 320km away as compared to Musina in South Africa which is 18km from the hospital. The hospital does not have a waiting mother’s home. Currently, the facility makes use of a room in the Family and Child Health Care (FCH) Department to provide accommodation for the waiting mothers. These expecting mothers also come from surrounding districts like Mwenezi and Gwanda.

          On the day of my visit, there were 18 mothers sharing one room such that other expecting mothers slept outside in the open. In addition, the hospital has ancient equipment experiencing recurrent breakdowns and high maintenance costs leading to disrupted service provision. This is at odds with the quest for effective service delivery.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, Beitbridge as a district faces increasing levels of disaster risks and over the years, it has faced a wide range of water hazards, including disease outbreaks, drought, cyclones and severe temperatures that trigger hardship and starvation. In addition to these natural human induced threats and regardless of ongoing efforts to extend essential services to poor urban and rural communities, many people are vulnerable. Soaring temperatures have forced Beitbridge Hospital to stop blood tests after 10a.m. because there are no air conditioners.

          Members of the House may wonder why I am mentioning all these things; the hospital services everyone who pass through the border town going to South Africa. I want the House to know that here are no private hospitals in Beitbridge. I am therefore urging that this particular hospital be fully equipped to take care of any eventualities. It might be you or your relative falling sick or involved in an accident to and from South Africa. Solutions ought to be found and urgently.

          In my constituency, some villagers walk for 15 to 20km to access the nearest road. Transport system is inconsistent because of the poor roads. The Beitbridge to Masvingo highway has caused many deaths over the years. It is my plea to this House to make it a priority to this road as part of the ongoing infrastructure development drive.

          The President also mentioned the issue of ending corruption. Corruption is a serious ill, is harmful and unacceptable. It is one of the major obstacles to sustainable economic growth and development. Corruption has a negative effect on every sphere of our economy. Zimbabwe is amongst the world’s top 25 most corrupt countries. It is ranked number 154 out of 175 countries in terms of the Corruption Perception Index. As we debate on how to fight and end corruption, I think it is prudent for the Hon. Members to engage in some self introspection and start the fight within ourselves. True leadership demands personal leadership and walking the talk ahead of anything else. This is the way to go in the fight against corruption. Some of us might be involved in corruption without knowing that we are involved in corruption and therefore ignorance has no defence.

          Let me conclude by quoting the words of one of the great sons of Africa, Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania who said, “The key to a Government’s effectiveness and its ability to lead the nation lies in a combination of three elements. First, its closeness to its people and its responsiveness to its needs and demands. In other words, democracy. Secondly, its ability to coordinate and bring into a democratic balance the many functional and often competing sectional institutions which groups of people have created to serve their particular interest and thirdly, the efficiency of the institutions (official and unofficial) by means of which its decisions are made known and implemented throughout the country”.

          With these words, I humbly submit to the House. I thank you.

          HON. MASENDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the motion moved by Hon. Kwaramba and seconded by Hon. Musabayana. Allow me to congratulate His Excellency the President Hon. E. D. Mnagagwa for organising and winning the July 30 harmonised elections which were the most peaceful in the history of independent Zimbabwe. Madam Speaker, also allow me to congratulate you.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Musikavanhu.

          HON. MASENDA: Madam Speaker, allow me to also congratulate also your and the Speaker for being elected to lead this august House in the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe. His Excellency the President opened up the political spectrum and allowed all other participants to take part in the harmonised elections. The President encouraged everyone who wanted to form their political parties to do so and they were thoroughly threshed during the harmonised elections. Indeed those parties, I repeat, were thoroughly threshed in both the Presidential and the Parliamentary elections. The harmonised elections were free, fair, democratic and credible.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, I now implore my fellow colleagues Hon. Members of this august House to rally behind His Excellency the President’s vision to promote economic development during the new dispensation and the reign of the Ninth Parliamentary Session. Madam Speaker Ma’am, let us all share and champion ED’s vision of creating a middle income economy by 2030. Madam Speaker Ma’am, in order to grow the economy in line with ED’s vision, we must work hard to remove the illegal sanctions imposed on our economy over the past decade or so.

Madam Speaker, sanctions inhibit economic growth. Sanctions close the doors to the inflow of the much needed foreign direct investment. Sanctions cut off lines of credit and starve the economy of the much needed foreign currency. Sanctions closed the doors to our exports. Sanctions shut out the inflow of new technologies which is needed for our mining and agricultural production; which are key elements to the growth of our economy.

Sanctions also inhibit the inflow of tourists which should bring in the much needed foreign currency. I therefore urge this august House to unite and join hands in getting the sanctions removed. Let us rise above party political affiliation and put national demands above everything else.

Madam Speaker, I am aware that some of us in this august House were party to the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe. This is in no way a condemnation of each other but let us strengthen each other in coming up with strategies to get rid of the sanctions in-order to achieve objectives of the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’.

Madam Speaker, economic growth eradicates poverty in the constituencies we represent. Let us therefore all rise above partisan politics in order to increase the per capita GDP to US$3 500 by 2030 as envisioned by the visionary leader Hon. E. D. Mnagagwa.

His Excellency the President urges us all to fight corruption as it also destroys the fabric of economic growth. Corruption is evil. It is a cancer. It is a demon which must be exorcised as it retards economic development.

His Excellency continued the use of the multi-currency economy while efforts are being made to bring about currency reforms. I should hasten to say that there is existence of bad money in the economy so the President’s vision of continued use of multi-currencies is indeed a very noble idea.

The President put agriculture as one of the key sectors which champions economic growth. Command Agriculture was introduced to help eradicate hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe. In my constituency Hurungwe East, Command Agriculture is suffering from bureaucratic red-tape. Beneficiaries are finding it hard to access Command Agriculture yet Mashonaland West is the bread basket of the country. Of the one million tonnes of maize already delivered to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) this season, 400 thousand tonnes of that is from Mashonaland West. This is as per the GMB publication of October 2018. I therefore urge the Ministry of Agriculture to intervene so that beneficiaries access Command Agriculture before the onset of the rain season.

His Excellency the President guaranteed that there must be ease of doing business and so be it, let us walk the talk. In Hurungwe East there are sizeable gold deposits which have to be exploited. I urge all stakeholders to assist small scale miners with modern and efficient equipment to help them in their mining business. I also urge the Ministry of Mines to issue licences to these small scale miners so that they can officially sell their gold without fear of being arrested.

In line with economic development as enunciated by His Excellency Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, roads in Hurungwe East needs to be upgraded. This will enable the easy transportation of tobacco, maize and cotton grown from my constituency to the market.

His Excellency E. D. Mnangagwa highlighted the need to introduce Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in our endeavour to grow the economy. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) cuts across the whole economic spectrum of the country.

An Hon. Member having passed between the Chair and the Member speaking.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. You may continue Hon. Member. 

HON. MASENDA: The President highlighted the need to introduce ICTs in our endeavour to grow the economy. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) cut across the whole economic spectrum of the country and indeed the whole world. In line with what I have just said, if sanctions are not removed, the inflow of ICTs will also be inhibited and thereby delay the economic growth of our country. Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President further emphasised the need to include small SMEs, women and youths in our endeavour to grow the economy. These groups if properly organised and assisted will increase job creation and innovation which will go a long way in growing the economy.

The creation of the Zimbabwe Women’s Micro Finance Bank and the Empower Bank targeted at women and youths respectively is a positive development which will help accelerate development of the economy by these groups. Madam Speaker, the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the devolution of power to the Provinces which will enable the Provinces to be masters of their own destiny. Provinces should therefore take advantage of the devolution of power and champion development in their own respective areas. Provinces should be held accountable for whatever they do in dealing with public funds in a transparent and progressive manner.

No one and I stress, no one is above the law. Anyone found wanting should be dealt with. I want to use this word, harshly. His Excellency has laid on the table the legislative agenda for the 9th Parliament in the second republic which is meant to accelerate economic growth.  The agenda seeks to review several statutes which include among others the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill and the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill which aims at creating one stop investment.  This Bill will strengthen the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.  Madam Speaker, this Bill will shorten the period of establishing business in Zimbabwe.

  The creation of Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bills is a welcome development as it protects not only individuals, but the State and the private corporations from falling victims of criminal activities related to the use of ICT.

Madam Speaker, I would also propose the promulgation of a Bill which deals specifically with political corruption or for lack of a better term, political delinquency.  Some pronouncements from some individuals or political concerns border on treason.  As such, a law to deal with political hooliganism would go a long way in enhancing the peace and stability of this great nation Zimbabwe. 

God bless this august House, God bless our President, E. D. Mnangagwa, God Bless Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

HON. S. SITHOLE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. S. SITHOLE:  Madam Speaker, according to Standing Order number 44 (1) it stresses that the State of the Nation Debate should not exceed a maximum of 35 hours.  So, I was begging you to cumulatively check the number of hours that we have debated on this motion so that I can propose that the motion be now put to rest.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, it has only been eight hours and 25 minutes – [AN HON. MEMBER:  On a point of order, Madam Speaker.  It is my first time to be in this august House.  This is my first term.  I want to ask, what are you doing with Hon. Members who are just coming for sittings, register to get allowances, coupons then they leave the House.  Madam Speaker, what are the Parliament laws.  I thank you.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You are out of order Hon. Member.

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

HON. NDUNA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 20th November, 2018.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MGUNI:  Hon. Speaker, I move that Order of the Day Number 2 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 3 on today’s Order Paper has been dealt with.

HON KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

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

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

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Madam Speaker, the mover of the motion and the seconder are members of the Mines and Minerals Committee.  The mover and the seconder are preempting the work of the Committee and Hon. Mudenda, sitting in your Chair, ruled that the Hon. Members of a particular Committee cannot enjoy the privileges of preempting Committee work.  This is exactly Committee work which they are bringing out.  This is why when this motion was tabled, the Speaker ruled that he has to consider it first.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  The fact that the motion is on the order paper means it has been approved by the Speaker.  So, the Hon. Member can continue.

MOTION

AFRICA MINING VISION ON MINERAL RESOURCES

HON. MATANGIRA:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House:

COGNISANT of the Africa Mining Vision which outlines a road map to a transparent, equitable, optimal exploitation of mineral resources underpinned by broad-bases sustainable growth and socio-economic development in Africa.

CONCERNED that the artisanal and small scale mining sector in Zimbabwe dominated mainly by indigenous people, particularly in the gold sector, continues to be marginalised and suffer a myriad of challenges such as lack of skills, modern equipment and financial support, despite deliveries to the formal market having increased over the recent years.

          ALSO CONCERNED that the colonial mining legal framework which was enacted to promote the large scale mining sector and suppress the informal small scale mining sector through prohibitive licensing fees and requirements has remained in force 38 years after independence.

          NOW THEREFORE, calls upon Government to:

a)    Urgently review the Gold Act of 1940, the Mines and Minerals Act of 1961 and the Rural District Councils’ Act in order to legally formalise the small scale mining sector and create an enabling environment for its growth;

b)   establish affordable financing, skills development and technical support services to ensure increased output by the sector; and

c)    provide incentives to the small scale mining sector which encourage deliveries to the formal markets.

HON. NDUNA: I second.

          HON. MATANGIRA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, when there was the scramble for Africa in Berlin, the Europeans were fighting over the resources of Africa.  They demarcated areas amongst themselves to plunder and enrich their own countries.  This motion seeks to say, as Africa, we are endowed with a lot of mineral resources which have to benefit Africa.  The whites came to Africa and did geological surveys and they know which minerals are there but the information was not released to the relevant countries from which these minerals are.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, we now say, we need that information to be handed over to Africa, in particular, we speak about Zimbabwe.  We have had a lot of exploring companies from Australia, Canada, Germany as well as Britain which was the coloniser.  They have this information but it has not been divulged to the Government of Zimbabwe.  Why? This is because of their oppressive act; the divide and rule technique that they use amongst brothers so that they hate one another for their benefit.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, you know that in any African country, the opposition is funded by the same people who came and colonised it in the name of democracy when they themselves do not follow or practice it.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, we are concerned about artisanal miners.  The artisanal miners are people who work so hard.  They do not use machinery but for the purpose of this House to acknowledge the deliveries they have made from 2016 – 13 tonnes, 2017- over 24 tonnes.  They have superseded production to the fiscus more than the big mines we have in Zimbabwe.

          However, not many people acknowledge that because of the knowledge they are using.  They are very much marginalised.  They do not have equipment, skills except for a few who have worked in mines and because of retrenchments as a result of sanctions, they are now forced to go and work as artisanal miners.  However, they are productive and they need to be funded by the Government.  They need machinery from the Government to produce for the country. 

          I want to say, once upon a time, I also worked as an artisanal miner and I know what it means.  It is eking out one’s life but it is a big employer.  You can imagine how many artisanal miners we have in Zimbabwe to produce 24 tonnes; it is a lot of them.  People cry foul that there is no employment.  Yes, there will be no employment if you want to be fed by a spoon, especially if you put holes on the bottom of the same pot you intend to cook your sadza. How will you be able to cook the sadza?  You cannot. 

          The sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe are the ones that have killed the economy.  When the economy is killed, no industry will be functional.  That being the case, we are saying, the artisanal miners are faced with a lot of challenges.  They have to dig the ore out, they do not have trucks to ferry the ore to a milling site.  When they go to the milling site, they are charged for the milling and the gold is bought by the milling operators and they lose because they will only be recovering…

          HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  This was always going to be a very difficult motion because the Hon. Member fully knows the Ministerial interventions being currently done by the Minister under which the Minister came to this House and outlined the interventions which the Ministry is doing to support the small scale miners.  This is why in this year, we recorded 29 tones.  We cannot allow the Hon. Member to continuously lie when we are Members of the Committee who are equipped with the data which we can present to you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister came here and talked about gold milling centres which the Hon. Member knows very well, which is a support initiative by the Ministry of Mines.  This is why we are getting 29 tones – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – He is misrepresenting the House and as a Member of the Committee I cannot sit.  This motion has misplaced – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of order overruled.

          HON. MATANGIRA: The problem with a people who go to a race and always want to win is that when they do not win, nobody else is right.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, thank you very much.  We are saying, the artisanal miners are faced with a lot of difficulties which have to be alleviated by the Government and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – [AN HON. MEMBER: You are pre-empting...] –  

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, order.

          HON. MATANGIRA: When they lose the gold to the sands after milling, the sands will still be carrying money because the recovery rate is38% of what would have been brought in to the milling plant.  We now seek from the Government, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development that they ensure that any ore that goes to a milling plant is taken an assay of and found the head grade, after milling the recovered gold, the lost gold that goes to the sands must be recovered through, either elution and synidation or carbon in pulp and the artisanal miner has to be given a percentage.  Madam Speaker Maam, we are also saying, the artisanal miners never mind, they are very much like chicken miners.  They do not have machinery to develop a mine.  They do not have the money to put the infrastructure - headgears, hoists and the like.  What they are mining mostly is ...

HON. TSUNGA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  A lie is defined as a deliberate attempt to mislead.  As alluded to by another Hon. Member that the Member speaking is undermining the work of a Committee of Parliament.  Having said that Madam Speaker, I think the mover must be stopped in his tracks. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Point of order overruled.

HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Maam.  Maybe what is irking our fellow Hon. Members here in Parliament is, I decided to debate in English and with all indulgence, if I would want to revert to Shona that they know me debating all the time.   *Thank you Madam Speaker, ....

HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, on a point of order.  He cannot change languages in the middle of debate.  We are in contempt of procedure.  Also, Madam Speaker, let me point out that I think this motion escaped the attention of the Speaker.  This is motion in anticipation.  He is pre-empting the work of the Mines Committee.  Can you stop these proceedings Madam Speaker, to check with presiding officers and make a ruling later.  He is pre-empting our work and the matters that he is raising are before our Committee.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Point of order overruled.  I have already ruled.  May the Hon. Member continue.  Hon. Ndebele sit down.

HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, I am not contesting your ruling, could you furnish us with reasons why you are overruling that point of order.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Sit down Hon. Ndebele.

HON. NDEBELE:  If you continue with that motion, we will make the situation ungovernable here.  Tototanga kuimba panapa, tichiimbira iwewe.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Sit down Hon. Ndebele.  If you continue with that disruptive behaviour, I will send you out. 

HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Maam.  I am very happy that at least, I am allowed by this House to talk about what befalls the artisanal miner.  If the sands would be treated and artisanal miners would be given the remainder of their toils, it would be fair.  Madam Speaker Maam, we are saying these people are contributing a lot to the fiscus, at the same time those will be the pros.  The con is we have a situation where environment is destroyed.  This is why we are saying, if the Minister of Mines would not have people sitting in the offices, rather than have them with the artisanal miners, show them the right way of mining.  The environmentalists from the Ministry of Environment must be with them showing them that deforestation is not right.  We have to leave something to the young and oncoming generation.  We now, call upon Government to say, they have to repeal the Acts of the past that favoured the colonisers, because any African who was found in possession of gold would be arrested.  Those laws have to be repealed so that we come up with new laws that will allow all. 

To the big mines who have plenty of ground in terms of claims or mines, we are saying the Ministry of Mines and Government have to team up together and have them see beauty to the artisanal miner.  The tribute formal is 5% to the owner of the claim.  Whoever would be working those claims, feels ownership, legitimacy as well as being found wanting to deliver to the fiscus.  However, the present situation we now have is 70% or 60% will be paid in forex to the artisanal miner and the other percentage would be paid in RTGs or in bond. 

We are now calling for the Minister of Finance, having said nostro accounts have to be opened by those who would be wanting to do mining.  Madam Speaker Maam, yes the cash that they receive from Fidelity or from Reserve Bank may be found on the streets doing money exchanging.  Government would say, if nostro accounts provided, that allows the money to be controlled by the bank of New York so that there will be no abuse of the same money if we have it in our banks.  The CBZ does not have a direct link with the bank of America.  Some of our banks do not have that.  They would now have to work through those banks that have other branches and banks in the outside the world.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, we ask Government to afford financing to the artisanal miners.  If you give an artisanal miner a compressor and he does not have a jackhammer, he cannot use that compressor.  If he has got financing for working capital and  has got a mill on site where he is working, he is still losing money because he has to ferry the ore to a milling plant where he is not treated well and fairly.  If miners would get together with artisanal miners, they form groups and it is empowerment to them.  They are working for the country and affording the country to access foreign currency that is so much needed.  We are saying, if this could be done for the artisanal miners, it would enhance more production and meaningful yields from the mines in Zimbabwe. Having said that Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would have liked to say Government has to acknowledge what these people have done for this country. They have superseded the production of big mines and we have got to have them normalised and formalised. Formalisation in the sense that if we have got artisanal miners mining in an area that is pegged by another company, they have now to be given a right to be working there in agreement with the claim or mine holder. I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for according me this opportunity to second the motion moved by Hon. Matangira on artisanal mining and small scale miners. I will preface my secondment with the words that, it is a fact that small scale miners and artisanal miners have extracted effectively and efficiently the gold ore, in particular in Zimbabwe and have delivered it to Government much more than what has been done by the large scale miners.

          Having said that, what it means is that Government does not produce money but it gives an environment that gives the business people the latitude to extract in the extractive industry, to mine in the mining industry and to do business effectively and efficiently. The monies that we earn here as parliamentarians, 210 constituency based Members plus 60 proportional representatives Members, come from the royalties whose gold has been delivered to Fidelity and Ministry of Finance and by extension given to Hon. Members.  So, when we debate about artisanal miners, it is incumbent upon Members of Parliament to know what it is that they earn here being royalties arising from the deliveries of gold by artisanal miners to Fidelity.

          I want therefore to be given an opportunity as to how the conditions of these artisanal miners can be enhanced in terms of quality so that it can be known going forward that if there is any impediment upon the extractive sector by these artisanal miners, there will not be any remuneration coming to Members of Parliament.

          Artisanal miners give a percentage quantum delivered to Fidelity; they are charged 1.5% and large scale miners are charged 3%. What it is that arises from these deliveries as royalties is what it is that we earn. I want any of the Members of Parliament that contest that they are earning from artisanal miners, vakatosengwa sezvizvi sema saga nema artisanal miners, in terms of remuneration, I want them to rise up and say where it is that their monies for salaries are coming from. The National Assembly is not an exporting industry. We are not here to do any business save to legislate, represent and to play oversight. There are people out there who are working for us in order that we carry out our three roles effectively and efficiently.

          Having said that, I therefore call on Government first and foremost who are the custodians of ZMDC claims and all the mines around the country to cede some of those claims, EPOs and grants that they are holding for the future to artisanal miners so that these people can have some title that is attributed to them. If they have no title they continue to practice unsafe mining methods. They continue to dig holes everywhere and leave the land in a deplorable, dilapidated and disused state.

          It is now time that we empower these people. We have the Agrarian Reform Act of 2000…

          HON. P. MOYO: On a point of order. Madam Speaker Ma’am we no longer constitute a quorum.

          [Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

         

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, order. We still have 75 Members in the House, so the Hon. Member may continue.

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I was on ZMDC and on ceding of claims and not only to cede claims but to cede them to artisanal miners. It is my clarion call that ZMDC is Government and let us lead by example in ceding some of those claims. Then Madam Speaker, I also make a clarion call, in the same vein, for all that are holding claims for speculative purposes to cede those claims; aware Mr. Speaker that when the Pioneer Column invaded this nation, there was nothing to do with the issue of agrarian ethics and agrarian ethical conduct. Those people’s eyes and sight were set on the ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth that resides in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia.

It is time therefore that we have mining reforms that speaks to and about the issue of empowering our formally marginalised black majority using the ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth that we have. We have had an agrarian reform programme Madam Speaker, and it is time that we have a mining reform programme. This is one way out of many that I am suggesting, through which we can empower our people by this mining reform programme that should lead to ceding some of those claims that are held for speculative purposes.

Madam Speaker, there was a company called ACR which used to sit and patch in Marange diamond area. That company has mutated into Vast Resources, Brake Ridge or any other name but ACR. It is now patched in the largest gold reserve in Africa in Pickstone Peerless in my constituency in Ward 25. Madam Speaker, my point exactly is that for a very long time, these places that they bought from Rio Tinto which is now Rio Zim had been left and held on in a speculative mode.

The company that I am talking about is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is further listed on the Australian Stock Exchange using the wealth and weight of our gold reserve which is at Pickstone Peerless. I am saying there are a lot of companies that are listed on global stock exchanges premised in terms of their quality and weight on the amount that they derive from the mineral wealth that we have got yet we have not quantified as a nation.

I make a clarion call therefore that lest we fall into the doldrums of economic dependency Madam Speaker, we immediately empower our artisanal miners by giving them those claims that are held to disempower us and for speculative purposes by those mining houses I am talking about. I shudder to think what would happen if we continue to have the largest gold reserve in the whole of Africa residing in Chegutu West Constituency in Ward 25 in Tiverton District and not being extracted to the fullest but being held by the erstwhile colonisers for speculative purposes. They continue to have the power that you always knew they had pre-independence during colonisation. Madam Speaker, we need to get that power and give it to the owners of that power. That power belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. That power resides with the people of Zimbabwe.

If we do not empower our people, it means all the reforms that we have got and have had are going to come to nought. Madam Speaker, I will tell you how the agrarian reform programme or the Land Act of 2000 can be reversed just by a piece of a prospective licence or a piece of a licence that is attributing ownership to a claim. During this empowerment programme that we speak to, we need to also align our laws. The Mines and Minerals Act has power over any other Act in Zimbabwe. It has power over the Land Act Madam Speaker.

We have the Land Act of 2000 but how can we reverse the Act? If you go Madam Speaker, to a land owner or somebody who has got an offer letter and you say my mine is here on your land, it has the power to reverse the gains of our independence; the gains of our agrarian land reform programme. I am saying therefore Madam Speaker, there should be no Act that supersedes the other or that has power over the other. I ask therefore through this debate that the clarion call or the prayer is granted as has been asked or prayed by Hon. Matangira.

Further to that at that point, the alignment of our Acts should take root and in particular, the Land Act should be aligned to the Mines and Minerals Act so that there is no Act which has got power over the other. How can you reverse the Land Act? You do it by just producing your prospectus or producing your mining licence and immediately Madam Speaker, he who has the A1offer letter can immediately vacate that land yet it is the formally marginalised black majority who are going to vacate that land accosted if they are approached with a prospectus or with a mining licence. I ask therefore that we protect our formally marginalised majority and that we protect the artisanal miners.

I will now go into the point that if we protect our artisanal miners what is it that we are doing? Madam Speaker, there are more than 500 thousand artisanal miners that are criss-crossing the width and breadth of Zimbabwe and their only purpose is to empower Zimbabwe economically. It has been said that the small scale miners and artisanal miners have contributed more than 18 tonnes already that has been delivered to Fidelity Printers out of the 24 tonnes. Madam Speaker, I came here and said these people are the ones that have to go 40 metres down into the tunnel and into the shaft and extract, mill it and we are then paid as Parliamentarians. I repeat again that we get paid through royalties of 1.5% and 3% respectively.

Madam Speaker, if we empower the artisanal miner, it means we are going to have regularisation of the informal sector; we are going to formalise the informal sector. We are going to register our people that have no registration and birth certificates. A lot of our artisanal miners do not have birth certificates and this is why there is now proliferation of crime all over Zimbabwe. That is because somebody commits a crime fully knowledgeable that you will never go after them because you cannot find them since they are not registered anywhere and they have never produced their fingers for registration Madam Speaker.

It therefore means we have a lost generation. We are losing a generation and generations to come because kana baba vasina chitupa and the mother does not have a birth certificate, the child cannot have a birth certificate.  It therefore means, Madam Speaker, by supporting artisanal miners, you are supporting the regularisation of citizens of Zimbabwe.  By supporting artisanal miners, you are empowering a woman.  If you empower a woman, you are empowering a nation.  What men can do, women can do better.

Madam Speaker, I see there are people clapping for women.  I want to tell you where the word ‘men’ arises from.  The word ‘men’ means we men and women are numerous men, so we should not belittle women.

The issue of empowering artisanal miners is going to result in the drop in criminal activities.  If you are 40 metres down in the shaft and in the tunnel, you cannot rape, indulge in sexual harassment, you cannot indulge in cyber crime as what happened when Chivayo and that other man took my money using cyber crime.  Madam Speaker, you cannot indulge in wife beating if you are 40 metres down there because there is no…

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

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Nduna. What is your point of order?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  The point of order is, it is unparliamentary to mention any other member of a society who has got no right to reply.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, withdraw that statement.

HON. NDUNA:  I withdraw, Madam Speaker.  What I want to end by saying is, if we do not empower the artisanal miner, it means even our census and our population, we cannot therefore say we have 15 million people while some of them are not registered - we are using a source that does not include the artisanal miners, that does not include a lost generation, that does not include those people that are residents of our nation but are not well documented. 

Madam Speaker, what it means by empowering the artisanal miners is that we have our minerals and our monies going to the right coffers and we reduce illicit outflows, we reduce and we cartel revenue leakages and we make sure we give impetus to formalisation of the informal sector.  Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the artisanal miners in an effective, efficient and vociferous manner. 

Going forward, I ask that this motion makes sure that we align our laws for the good order and governance of the people of Zimbabwe,  In particular, we repeal the draconian Act of the Gold Act, Section 3 that speaks to and about the incarceration of artisanal miners without the option of a fine if found in possession of gold and we also repeal section 368 of the Mines and Minerals Act which is archaic, moribund, rudimental and antiquated to the effect that no one should be arrested for prospecting without a licence.  I want to thank you.

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

HON. NDUNA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 20th November, 2018.

-         [AN HON. MEMBER:  This is Committee business, why do you want to debate Committee business.] -

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Madam Speaker, we are being misled that this is Committee business. It is not Committee business.  I am in the Committee of Mines.  This is not Committee business.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASVINGO PROVINCE (HON. RUVAI), the House adjourned at Four Minutes past Four O’clock p.m. until Tuesday 20th November, 2018.

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 NOVEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 18