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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 SEPTEMBER 2015 VOL 42 NO 01

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 15th September, 2015

                                          (OFFICIAL REPORT)

MEETING OF PARLIAMENT

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

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

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

  1. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that at Twelve o’clock noon today, the President of Zimbabwe will declare the cause of his calling Parliament to meet. To ensure the smooth flow of the address by His Excellency, the President, I implore all hon. members to behave honourably and exhibit conduct befitting the dignity and decorum of this august House. Standing Rules and Orders empower the Chair to order a member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the precincts of Parliament; the Sergeant-at-Arms must act on such orders. Any member who willfully and vexatiously disrupts proceedings shall be guilty of Contempt of Parliament. I ask hon. members to accede to this appeal so that we proceed with business of the House in a dignified manner. Kindly be guided accordingly. Business is now suspended.
  2. GONESE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of privilege. Members on this side of the House are very concerned; several members have received death threats from anonymous telephone numbers. As a matter of privilege, I rise on behalf of those members to point out that this is a matter of grave concern and I just thought that it should be recorded –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
  3. SPEAKER: Order, order, I had suspended the business of the House. The matter, nonetheless, is of concern to the hon. member who raised it. I will deal with the matter after we resume our business, that is after the Presidential Speech.
  4. SPEAKER left the Chair at three Minutes to Twelve o’clock noon.

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

          MADAM PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in attendance.

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

Madame President of the Senate,

Mr. Speaker Sir,

Members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends.

Once again, it gives me great pleasure to address this august House, this time, on the occasion of the opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe.

This Session commences at a time when the alignment of our legislation to the Constitution being accelerated as required in terms of the provisions of Section 324 of the Constitution.

The Electoral Amendment Act and the National Prosecuting Authority Act, which were prioritised under this exercise, are now operational. The General Laws Amendment Bill, which will effect non-consequential changes to over 158 statutes, together with the Gender Commission Bill and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, are already under consideration by Parliament.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

In order to stimulate both local and foreign direct investment inflows, Government is carrying out a raft of measures to improve the business environment in the country. In this regard, the Company’s Act and other pieces of legislation, which have hitherto hindered the ease of doing business, will be overhauled. Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill, which seeks to convert the Authority into a true One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre, will be tabled for consideration by this august House.

The State Procurement Amendment Bill, which seeks to improve efficiency in the public procurement system, will also be tabled before this Parliament. The Bill provides for the conversion of the current State Procurement Board into a non-executive standards setting and compliance monitoring body, while decentralizing the procurement function to ministries, public enterprises, and local authorities.

The Special Economic Zones Bill, which seeks to promote exports, boost industrialization, and enhance skills and technology transfer, will also be tabled during this session.   In order to promote the revival and growth of the local manufacturing sector, action is being taken to limit the importation of goods for which there is adequate local production capacity. In order to provide anchorage to the efforts at turning around our economy, the Banking Amendment Bill, which seeks to strengthen the banking regulatory system, will be presented in this Parliament.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The Supreme Court ruling on the common law position regarding the termination of employment contracts triggered job losses. Regrettably, the compelling need to move with speed on the matter found the social partners rather unprepared. This resulted in some of their proposed amendments not being factored in at the time the Labour Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament. Government, nonetheless, remains committed to take on board the social partners’ concerns for further amendment of the Labour Act.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The mining sector remains the centre-piece of the country’s economic revival as envisaged under the ZIM ASSET. However, to realise the sector’s full potential, it is necessary to invest in an intensive exploration programme, and in mineral value addition and beneficiation. To this end, the Mineral Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill, which aims to transform the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe into a fully-fledged mineral exploration corporation, will be tabled before this august House. The Bill will provide for a competitive and investment-focused legislative framework. The Bill for the establishment of the Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology, which will offer post-graduate training programmes in mineral value addition and beneficiation, is also set to be tabled in this august House.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Section 296 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of the Land Commission to replace the former Agricultural Land Board. The Land Commission will carry out the land audit and is also mandated to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency in the administration of all agricultural land. Accordingly, the Land Commission Bill will be presented to Parliament during the current Session.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The Consumer Protection Bill will be tabled during the current Session in order to promote consumer rights and fair business competition and marketing. The Zimbabwe Standards Regulatory Authority will be operationalised to ensure compliance with quality, health safety, and environmental standards for imports and exports. A Bill will be tabled to repeal the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act, and to establish the National Competitiveness Commission, which will have the mandate to spearhead the improvement of the country’s business competitiveness.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

To improve the state of the infrastructure and clear the administrative bottlenecks at the country’s border ports, the National Border Ports Authority Bill will be introduced in Parliament during the current Session. Already, a model border post for the country has been developed. The process of selecting companies to construct such border posts is currently underway. The underlying objective is to facilitate the free movement of tourists, investors and goods.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Government has embarked on a US$125 million digitilisation project which, on completion, should see us achieve universal coverage for both radio and television. Furthermore, as the project rolls out its fibre-optic terrestrial backbone, other ICT-based applications, especially for schools and rural business centres, will immensely benefit from this vast investment. The e-Transactions Bill will also be introduced to govern and manage e-Commerce across our networks. An e-Government policy is being formulated to facilitate efficient ICT-enabled operations within and across public sector entities.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Small and Medium enterprises as well as cooperatives continue to provide employment and decent livelihoods for a large number of families. To further grow the sector, an appropriate legal framework shall be introduced in order to facilitate the sustained growth of the sector. The Cooperative Societies Act [Amendment Bill] to, inter alia, incorporate the operations of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, will be brought before this august House.

In order to unlock external investment, it became necessary to simplify and rationalize the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act so as to render it more flexible. This was done in order to empower relevant ministries to negotiate investment thresholds, taking into account peculiarities prevailing in their respective sectors.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The Local Authorities Bill will be introduced in Parliament during this Session. The Bill will consolidate the current Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act. It will also establish a Tribunal to deal with issues of the dismissal or discipline of councillors, mayors and chairpersons of local authorities. The Bill will, in addition, spell out provisions under which the status of local authorities can be upgraded or downgraded on the basis of changed circumstances.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The provision of quality education remains a key priority on the national development agenda. Work is currently underway on the Education Amendment Bill in order to align the Education Act of 2006 with the Constitution. The entire Primary and Secondary School Curriculum is being reviewed to render the country’s education system appropriate for the current and future developmental needs of our country. Government has also come up with a policy framework to facilitate the provision of infrastructure at our institutions of learning, within the context of public-private joint venture partnerships.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Effective health care provision is the cornerstone for our national well-being. Accordingly, the Public Health Bill will be tabled during the course of the current Session. The Bill seeks to adequately address current public health challenges, among them the issues of non-communicable diseases, maternal health, cross border risks as well as the involvement of non-state actors and communities in health care provision. A Regulatory Authority for Medical Aid Societies will also be enacted to provide the much needed recourse for improved governance, and to ensure clarity of roles between insurers and service providers.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Government continues to prioritize the implementation of programmes and initiatives to empower the youth. In this regard, you may recall that our young people brought forward numerous positive contributions and proposals during the June 2015 23rd Session of the Junior Parliament, and these needed to be explored further. Extensive stakeholder consultations on issues affecting children having been completed, the Children’s Amendment Bill, which seeks to address matters pertaining to children’s welfare, will be presented in this Parliament.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

In compliance with Section 245 of the Constitution, Government has now set up the Gender Commission, which will monitor the implementation of gender-inclined constitutional provisions, recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equity, and ensure redress for gender rights violations.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

A Bill to combine the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act into one Act, now incorporating the war collaborators, will be tabled before Parliament during this Session. Efforts are also underway to construct three Zimbabwe Liberation War Memorial Hospitals in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, through a joint venture partnership with a foreign contractor.  

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The scourge of corruption continues to rear its ugly head at all levels of our society. Government will therefore ginger up its systems to effectively respond to this challenge. As part of this effort, a code of conduct will be put in place, in terms of which, all high level public office holders shall be required, to disclose their assets upon assumption of office, or to declare their interests on matters that may create scope for conflict of interest. A National Code of Corporate Governance Bill, to bolster the fight against corruption, will be brought for consideration by this Parliament.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

The National Security Council Amendment Bill, which provides for the establishment of a National Security Council to advise Government on national security policy and strategies, will be brought before Parliament during this Session. The Zimbabwe National Defence University Bill, providing for the transformation of the National Defence College into the National Defence University, will also be brought before Parliament during this Session. The university will act as the national think-tank, and provide higher education and training in national policy and strategy formulation for military and civilian leaders.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Let me take this opportunity to express my utmost disgust towards those of warped minds, who heartlessly rape even six-month old toddlers. We are re-examining our laws with a view to imposing mandatory sentences against perpetrators of this heinous crime.

As I conclude, may I remind all honourable members of this august House of the need to always conduct business in a manner that does not erode the stock of trust reposed in us by the electorate.   We indeed carry on our shoulders the hopes and aspirations of our people.   Let us channel our collective energies towards the development of our country, guided by our economic blueprint, the ZIM ASSET. This, of course, demands all of us to always cherish the crown values of peace, hard work, and the unity of purpose.

Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

Allow me, at this moment, to declare the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe duly open, and to wish you fruitful deliberations in pursuit of national development. I thank you.

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

  1. SPEAKER resumed the Chair at Twenty Eight Minutes to One o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

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

NEW MEMBERS SWORN

          MRS. MAGNA MUDYIWA AND MR. JOSHUA MOYO subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by Law and took their seats – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

CAPACITY BUILDING SEMINAR

  1. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that all Committee Chairpersons and members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee are invited to a two day Capacity Building Seminar which is meant to build capacity of hon. Members of Parliament in matters relating to the economic literacy, policy formulation, financial management and accountability in Zimbabwe. I would like to advise the invited hon. members that attendance of this seminar is compulsory.
  2. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. Again, I rise on a matter of privilege. As I mentioned earlier, Members of Parliament have received death threat messages from anonymous telephone numbers. This is important Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – The members in question Mr. Speaker…
  3. SPEAKER: Order, order!
  4. GONESE: If you could just hear me Mr. Speaker. I believe that it undermines the integrity of Parliament…
  5. SPEAKER: Yes, I take it you are reminding me of your earlier point of order before we suspended business of the House. That matter really is of great importance and I would like to advise all members who received such messages to report to the police and the police – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order, I have not finished, please take your seat.

Hon. Gonese has given me further information. The members concerned must report to the police and the police will make the necessary investigations. I am sure modern technology will be able to trace the source of the messages. The members concerned are Hon. Chibaya, Hon. Mutseyami, Hon. Maridadi, Hon. P. Sibanda, Hon. J. Majome, Hon. Gonese and Hon. Chamisa – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MOTION

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): I move that a Committee of Supply be appointed in terms of Standing Order Number 115.

Motion put and agreed to.

  1. SPEAKER: I am being reminded by the Clerk of Parliament that all hon. members and those specifically invited guests by the Hon. Minister of Local Government can proceed to the Harare International Conference Centre for a luncheon to be hosted by the Hon. Minister of Local Government.
  2. SPEAKER adjourned the House without putting any question in terms of Standing Order Number 12(2b) at Six Minutes to One o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015.
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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 SEPTEMBER 2015 VOL 42 NO 01