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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 21 October 2009 VOL. 36 NO. 3

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

 Wednesday, 21st October, 2009

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

MR. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Arthur Mutambara. It is now a year you are in this Inclusive Government and we still have out standing issues, of the swearing in of Roy Bennet, Governors, Ambassadors, Permanent Secretaries and others. Why are they not yet addressed?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me start by saying the spirit of inclusiveness is in danger in this country. But, let me say that the spirit is not dead. We can work on it so that we can go back. We urge all members to work together in order to capacitate this economy. We are all in this august House as MDC T, MDC M and ZANU PF. What that means is that this august House has an opportunity to help the Executive. Do not let Zimbabwe die. Let us cherish and build inclusiveness, maybe you can assist us in this House to achieve this.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me make it clear on the issue of outstanding issues, some are saying the so called issues are not part of the GPA, that is a fiction. When you say GPA you must refer to two documents, one which was signed on the 15th of November and the second one that we know as the SADC Communique of 27 January 2009. As from 15 to 11 February 2009, there was no government in this country. Four months! Why? It is because there were disagreements and we went back into negotiations. The result was the SADC Communique of January 27 2009. It was an addendum to the GPA, I want to encourage all members to go and peruse the communique of 27 January. You will find that it is very clear. It speaks of the Reserve Bank Governor, Ambassadors, Permanent Secretaries and other issues. We are saying these outstanding issues are part of the Global Political Agreement and must be resolved for national interest.

If we do not do that, we are reneging our national agreement to ourselves. It is in that document that let us all form this government with the spirit of inclusiveness. We, as the Executive must answer to these charges. Going forward, we are going to attend to all these matters and it is not only these matters raised by the hon. member, there are other matters to build our country. In addition, we are saying to the world help us, help ourselves too. Sanctions imposed on our country do not make any sense. Mr Speaker, freedom of expression means you believe in freedom of expression precisely for the views you disagree with. In this House, I would want to encourage all hon members to be tolerant, to have a thick skin and be able to absolve those issues that they disagree with. The Executive/ Principals have a duty and obligation to solve and bring to closure and finality the matters that are outstanding. If we do not do that, we are undermining our own legitimacy, destroying confidence in this government and destroying the credibility of this creature called inclusive government. I thank you.

MR. MANGWANA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Minister, are you aware that financial institutions who have the responsibility to advance loans to farmers are asking them to pay 10% advance before they can access the loans? Is it proper for them to be asking for this interest to be paid before the loans have been used?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): The situation with regards to the financing of agriculture is as follows. There are two schemes, the first scheme is for small scale farmers, communal, peasant and some model A1 farmers. These schemes are being done and managed through the Food and Agricultural Organisation. The scheme was originally targeting one million households who received one hundred kilograms of fertilizers and ten kgs of seed maize.

The monies that have been raised will be enough to cater for six hundred thousand households. This scheme is being rolled out now and in some provinces it is working but some sections in the communities are not happy with it. If you have four cattle and above, you are deemed to be affluent enough to qualify for this scheme.

The second scheme is for Model A2 farmers, this is the scheme that the Hon Member of Parliament has asked about. This scheme is for 210 million dollars, it is being done principarilly between two companies, the ACP and the ARG. What happens in this scheme is that, the farmer goes to the bank and negotiates a contract slash loan. Once he has succeeded, he will go to the GMB and collect goods and commodities, fertilizers and seed maize that is equal to what he has negotiated.

In respect to some of these contracts that the banks are insisting for some kind of security. It depends on what kind of security you are providing, there are some people who are providing title deeds. If you are someone like Hon Paul Mangwana, then you will be providing title deeds to your house. In that case, some banks will then lessen the requirement of what they are calling 10% deposit which Hon Mangwana has described as prepayment of interest. The banks are calling it deposit.

What I have said to the Farmers Associations is that it is now your duty as farmers to go and negotiate for better terms with the banks that are distributing this facility because at the end of the day, the agreement is between the banks and the supplier and not between us and the banks. What government has done is to guarantee the facility to ensure that the local market is still there, our local producers are still producing grain. With regard to what local markets are producing, our SEDCO, Panner, ZFCs of this world craft the third scheme that will deal with this market.

MR. GONESE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance, what is the government's policy regarding its financing of trade rates under the IMF.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): It is very simple, the special trade rates are a special vehicle for balance of payment support created by the IMF to help those countries with distressed current account position for more than a decade. The current account is simply a reflection of your exports and imports. In our case, we import much more than what we export in respect of virtually other countries like Botswana, Malawi, Zambia. We are in a deficit position vis- a- viz our current account. In other words, our current account is about minus 9%. In

other words that is the gap between our imports and exports. We are a typical country that will be helped by this scheme.

It is like a Redan coupon. The first law is called the International Financial Organisation Act No. 14 of 1980. This Act regulated Zimbabwe's entry into the global financial situation. Many of you will know that the World Bank is basically three institutions, the International Finance Corporation, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the fund called the International Development and Association. So when we entered and rejoined those associations after 25 years of sanctions, government came up with an Act called the International Financial Organisation Act No. 14 of 1980 .

This Act prescribes that the Minister of Finance is a Governor of Zimbabwe's fiscal agent to both the WB family and the IMF. It is very clear Section 7 subsection 2 that the Minister of Finance is the sole authority on the issue of SDRs. However the bank is the bank and that is reflected in both the International Financial Organisations Act and in Section 49 of the RBZ Act. Then I come to the specific SDR that has been the subject of much controversy, malignament discussion in our national papers.

On 1st April 2009, a group of G20 countries met in London under the chairmanship of Gordon Brown and decided to come up with a package that will help all countries fight and mitigate the consequences of the global economic crisis which graduated into proper global economic crisis and generated about US$262bn of SDRs. When I say every country, I am basically talking of every country who is a member of the fund, automatically the World Bank. Sadly, the bulk of the funds actually went to developing countries with some countries getting as much as US$30bn, countries like China getting as much as US$6bn, South Africa got US$2bn, a little known country called Brunne getting as little as US$6m. We got a reasonable amount because of our voting rights in the IMF. Our voting strength in the IMF is 0.23% which is a lot if you consider that Africa's total vote in the IMF is actually 6%. This money was given to every country and no one can wake up one morning and say I looked for this money, I need to be congratulated -[ HON MEMBERS: hear, hear].

The second issue that is critical is that in terms of Section 5 of the International Financial Organisation, all SDRs are accounted for in terms of Consolidated Revenue Fund. The CRF is a budget which is prescribed in terms of Section 103 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. In terms of this Section, all expenditure from the CRF have to be approved by Parliament. In other words, if you read Section 103, a budget has to be approved within 30 days before the end of the year or 30 days in the new year. That is why the budget for this year was introduced in this House on the 20th January 2009. The bottom line is no one has a free say over SDRs except Parliament. It is Parliament that has to approve those SDRs. In short we will come next month and define what we intend to do with those SDRs. If Parliament approves the intended use, then those uses will be done. I need to make the following point Mr Speaker, that SDRs are not a grant. SDRs are a loan, at the moment, the SDRs that were issued on the 28th of August and 9th of September, are attracting 0.26% which is very cheap money indeed. However, because they are a loan and also a non concessionary loan, loans from the World Bank are concessionary. In other words, you do not get interest of more than 2% but if they are non concessionary loans, the interests are market related. So with SDRs, the interest will fluctuate and the interest follow the recovery of global economies vis-a-vis the global economic crisis. Interest rate is a tool to regulate your economy.

If there is low consumption and weak demand, there is basically no movement in the economy, any sensible Central bank or Minister of Finance will lower interest rates to encourage savings and stimulate demand. So vis-a-vis these SDRs, the decision to give them was in April when we were still in the eye of the storm of the global economic crisis. The interest rate was very low. Those of you who have been watching recent developments saw that there is general consensus that the world has graduated from the global economic crisis and interest rates are firming up. If you look at the IMF/WB indicator report produced in October 2009, there is a clear indication of growth projection for 2009 and 2010. They are projecting a rosier picture. What you are likely to see is that there is going to be a conservative non expansionary interest rate. In other words, interest rates are going to be raised. In this regard only two weeks ago, Australia was the first country country to actually raise its interest rates. In have no doubt in my mind that the current low rate of interest that is levied on these SDRs is going to go up.

The last time that they were issued in the 80s when the esteemed Bernard Chidzero was still Minister of Finance, those SDRs attracted a rate of 5.5%. If we have to pay an interest rate of 5.5% when we have an external debt of US$5.7bn, a very fragile debt situation - 150% of GDP, then you have a problem in simply taking on debt which you cannot use. Our position as Ministry of Finance, because of the precarious debt situation and the fact that we cannot repay this debt, it will be foolish and unwise to attract non concessionary debt under the present circumstances. That does not mean that we are not going to use this money. We are going to use it with wisdom, prudence and diligence.

MS. T. KHUMALO: I want to know why is it that there is no investment in this country

THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (MR. MANGOMA): The situation of economic investment in this country is most dear to all of us. We have since found out that it is not possible for this country to go and borrow for further economic development, and that the only way this country could develop is through attracting investment, so that our growth would be an investment led growth. In that regard we have been going round the world to talk about development in this country particularly about the inclusive government and how it has changed a lot of things. We have also had investment conferences, the one that we held in Harare in July and the Mining conference that was held last month.

There has been a lot of interest from prospective investors. We have also even gone to the extent of telling them to go to get investment opportunities as far as infrastructure is concerned using the PPT models. I think the majority of people have been interested and excited about the potential and a much larger economic development. However, a lot of the investors have a few concerns which, as government have not yet resolved. I will mention one concern which has been recently resolved which is the situation that they ask, we are from South Africa, we have assisted you, we want to invest. Why can we not have an Investment Protection Agreement. For a long time we have not been able to put the BIPA in place. I am glad to say, before the 1st of December we will be able to sign that agreement and we hope that some of the investors in South Africa will start to come through.

However, there are a lot more other issues; one of them has been the issue of indegenisation and the way it should be controlled. Certainly they do not feel that the 51% is something that is sustainable. It is something they have been talking about and making queries about the legislative framework, particularly when it comes to someone saying I want to invest, and there is someone who does not have any money but has got to be the majority share holder. It is a major concern. It has been a major concern to those who want to bring in money and to those who are currently invested in this country who want to expand because they feel that this could be a way of expropriating their investment. However, that is an issue still to be resolved. We also have a problem of what has been happening and the behaviour of government in terms of the situation and the general environment in the country. One of it has been spoken eloquently by the Deputy Prime Minister regarding the outstanding issues -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - I can give you some recent examples, we have our own police force firing at workers with live ammunition at Shabani Mine. -[AN HON MEMBER: Nonsense] -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Minister can you sit down. Hon Members you do not refer to a Minister as talking nonsense. [AN HON MEMBER: She was raped by a gang of thugs, ava kutopenga]- Hon members, it is the tradition of this House that when an Hon Minister is speaking we listen without any interference, let us abide by that. I shall ask a few members to move out if you feel that being in this House is not helpful. You can move on Hon. Minister.

MR. MANGOMA: I think it is important for us to realize that we are in control of our own situation and when we have done something at least let us agree that the environment we are creating is going to be judged by other people. That is why some of these issues remain outstanding. Investors look at the security in order to do their investment. Having taken an investment without paying for them and all their improvements, I am not talking about land, I am talking about land improvements. There are land improvements that we estimate cost, whatever method we use, between US$2.5 and US$4 billion. In terms of our constitution we are supposed to make good and we have not made good.

Therefore, we have not also made a proposal as to how this debt is going to be resolved. Even in the numbers that the Minister of Finance has been talking about, the Zimbabwean debt amount is still not enough, it is indeed important to realize that for people whose land improvements have not yet been paid feel that these have been taken by government. As government we have not made any proposals for their repayment. The other issue that has caused problems is the issue of, when there is a disagreement between two business people, like has happened between the shareholders in Meikles, we then move in swiftly to specify individuals and to suspend trading. Business people would look and say, what is this? The next time I am going to invest, particularly with the 51% shareholding I am going to be locked up in Zimbabwe and therefore, it is not worthy investing in Zimbabwe. We need to be able to make sure that we do not use these very strong handed methods when dealing with investors and businesses, which can be handled sufficiently using the normal code.

The other issue has been the issue of Nestle and Gushungo Dairy where we suddenly now have people 'toyi-toying' about you should do this and that to a business person. Business is certainly for people to conduct their businesses. It is important that the issues of contracts and so on are respected by the country and everybody else. Certainly again, when businesses feel that politics is going to be the major decision used as opposed to the economic environment itself, then we have problems.

Finally, we have farm invasions. In terms of the law of this country, once land has been gazetted that land becomes state land. When someone has been given an offer letter it does not entitle them to go and take the law into their own hands and bundle out whoever is there. It is the responsibility of the court of this country to be able to implement the laws. As long as people believe that they can take the law into their own hands, then the perception that Zimbabwe is not a law abiding country begin to stick. I think it is the things that we do that are scaring away investors. I am hoping that all hon. members will share the same concern with us, that our environment must become attractive because investment destinations are many in this world. Zimbabwe can be ignored and people move on with their lives. Therefore, for us to be able to improve the lot of our people and members here, as I heard someone seriously saying they want to compete and compare what hon. members get with what is happening in the other regions and in our own region, I think we must start to behave like those people in other regions.

MR MATUTU: In view of what has been said and in light of the legislative agenda as reflected in the GPA, are there any chances that you are going to bring in an Act of Parliament that will protect investors with a view to promote investment in Zimbabwe?

MR MANGOMA: We would like to bring in a new investment law that protects investors but also harmonise the way investments are dealt with in this country including the issue of making the Zimbabwean Investment Authority a one-stop show. It must be understood clearly by all members that if there is no investment in this country there will be no economic development. We cannot borrow our way to economic development or print money. The only way we can develop in this country is through bringing in investors. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to be able to make the investment climate the best that we can.

MR MAVHIMA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Minister of Finance went to a great extent to explain the indebtedness in which we find ourselves as a country by indicating figures of around US$5.7 billion or more. In view of that, do we not then qualify into a highly indebted and poor country? If so, are we making any efforts to either qualify to go into that scenario or is the executive in any way against application by Zimbabwe into HIPC.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. BITI): I want to acknowledge the excellent question from the hon. member. This again is one of those issues that has been misreported and in respect of which has been mal-alignment in respect of which a lot of ignorance has passed off as economic or nationalist common sense.

The fact of the matter is that whether we like it or not we are highly indebted. We owe unvalidated debt of US$5.7 billion. It is unvalidated in the sense that there has been no reconciliations with creditors. Particularly on issues of interest. For all intense and purposes, this US$5.7 billion will actually be more. In addition, the point that Hon. Mangoma raised, that we have another debt which we have not quantified, but which we believe to be between US$2.5 billion and US$4 billion arising out of the obligation in respect of improvements that constitutionally we are bound to pay and compensate in terms of Section 16 of our Constitution Amendment No. 17.

There are certain indices that are used to determine whether a country is highly indebted but more importantly whether this debt is sustainable. You do what is called a debt sustainable analysis and there are certain standard figures that are used to determine whether you are highly indebted for the purposes of reaching a situation where you get sustainability zero. In other words you cannot pay and all those indices Zimbabwe needs. I will just give you a few of them.

The first one for instance, it is agreed that your debt cannot exceed 60% of your Gross Domestic Product. That is an agreement that we in SADC have agreed upon in the Micro- Economic Convergence Agreement that was signed many years ago. The best line is 60% and in our case our debt is 150% of Gross Domestic Product. The second creteria that is also used is the per capita income. If your per capita income is $1 200, you are considered a reasonably well off - either a low, middle income or a high middle income, and you can pay your debts. Our per capita income is US$300 , compared to Botswana which is about US$8 000 per capita income. So, we are way off.

Then there is something that they call the Net Present Value of your debt to exports. The normal standard that is accepted is about 150. Zimbabwe is at 231. What this means Mr. Speaker is that our debt is 3 ½ times more than our exports. To put it in another way, our budget for 2009 was that of $1 billion. In the revised budget of 16th July 2009, we estimated that we will collect $970 million on the 31st of December 2009. So, if our unvalidated debt is $5,7 billion, it means assuming that we are living on water and air and God's grace, we are required to pay that debt for 6 years and clearly that is not sustainable.

There are other poverty indices - for instance the employment figures. There is debate on what is employment because classical economics does not define those people that are engaged in informal employment as people who are in employment. Zimbabwe has got employment levels of 95%and we know that this is true because the contribution of PAYE to our total revenue from January to April was actually 7%. In other words 7% of our total revenue came from PAYE. By June, it had increased. If you look at the pie chart, the contribution for PAYE was 15% of our total revenue. So, there has been capacity utilisation beteween February and now and it is actually around 55%. We will give the figures in the budget. So, we are poor.

We also look at other indices - for instance, what is the extent of your child mortality levels? How many children survive up to 5 years from birth? You might also look at life expectancy figures. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34 years for women and 37 years for men. All those things point to the fact that we are poor. So, not only are we highly indebted but we are also poor. So, we do qualify.

The next question that arises is what is the debt strategy? How do we get out of this situation? Firstly, in very crude terms let me say that there are at least four options that the country can use to pay off debts. The first is the decent option and it is to pay from your tax revenue and we used to do that until 2000. That was the last time we paid our debts. Where you have a situation such as ours where we have no money - between January and now our total collection has been about $580 million. Of that, two thirds has gone to salaries, which we increased in July 2009.

Our income has averaged from $4 million per month in January 2009 to $25 million in February, $40 million in March, to a high level of $98 million in June. But in June we reached a plateau. We have failed to break the $100 million mark. In June we were $98 million and in September we collected $90 million. So, we have actually reached a plateau vis a vis our collection and in the budget that we are currently working on right now, we are actually working on modest figures of estimates of collections of $110 million per month, which will give you a very shallow budget of $1,3 billion, which is why hon. Mangoma is correct when he says we just have to have investment in this country otherwise we are sunk.

So, the effect of using our monthly revenue is out. We can not even pay $54 million of wages before you include $9 million of pensions. So, you are already at $60 million when you have $90 million and you have to pay for electricity, travelling, school fees, hospitals etc. So, we are poor, but I think the problem in this country is that we have underestimated the mediocricy of our situation. We have further blown our trumpets to say tiri varume, tiri vakadzi when we are nothing.

The second option which we can use is our resources - basically our minerals. Again, there has been a lot of mis information about the quantity and value of the mineral resources in Zimbabwe. It is true that we have the world's second largest deposits of platinum. It is true that we have decent gold deposits. It is true that we have decent deposits of methane gas in Matebeleland North and it is very true that we have huge deposits of diamonds in Chiadzwa.

But, what is a fact is that most of the resources that we have are inferred. What happens in mining is that you go through three stages. The first is the inference stage and the last stage is the validation. You can not mine unless you have validated and unless you are 98% sure that there is ore. So, in Zimbabwe our country has suffered from lack of investments through geological exploration.

So, when you talk about these huge resources and when you infer and you have 28% chances that this mineral is there, but before you mine you have to go through the validation stage. If you have a piece of land that is supposed to have gold , when you extract you will get different grades and it is generally acepted that our ore grades in Zimbabwe are generally low. So, due to the deficiency in exploration, we can not say and we cannot value our mineral resources to such an extent that we cannot claim that we are a minerally rich country. Potentially yes but there has not been geological exploration in this country for many years.

The other thing which is a problem is that we have not been transparent in the issuing of claims. Claims are issued or were being issued like confetti. You will not have a piece of land and the Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara will confirm that - you will not have a piece of land in Zimbabwe right now that does not have somebody's claim and some of those miners are mining in your farm. Hon colleagues will know that. This is important and those countries that have used their own resources to pay their debts, they owned the resources themselves, take Angola, it has the biggest oil reserves and it is the biggest oil producing country on the continent. It is bigger than Nigeria. It pumps 4 million barrels of oil a day.

Angola did not contract a private company like Shell or BP. It contracted itself with a Chinese company. In other words, we have sold these things or we have given them out as claims, our only claim to resources will be payment of royalties and payment of taxes. Mining houses do not pay Corporate Tax because it is the only area of tax flow where you are allowed to carry over your losses. So, if a mining house pays tax, they must change the accountant because that accountant is poor. In any event, our mining tax in Zimbabwe is 8%. The corporate Tax itself is 15% of mining houses when Corporate Tax is 30%.

In reality mining houses do not pay tax. The whole of this year, from royalties, we have just collected $4 million and how many years will it take to pay a debt of $5.7 billion from $4 million and remember this $4 million is already incorporated in the budget of $1 billion. So it is a fiction and a myth to think that Zimbabwe can pay its debts using its own resources. It is not possible.

Thirdly, it is the moral issue - assuming that we renegotiate some of our contracts, for instance, our platinum contracts, and we do what we are supposed to do namely, ensure that we are paid for our equity, there is working capital and ensure that we get proper value; Zaire, DRC Congo is trying to do that. I have a problem, even if I had $100 billion, I have a problem in paying $5.7 billion to anyone when we have the kind of schools that we have, when we have the kind of hospitals that we have and the roads that we have. It is a problem morally for me to pay that debt even if we had $100 billion.

So that leaves me to the solution, as Minister of Finance, I would like a situation and a solution that we clear off this debt somehow but without using our own resources because we do not have them. That has been the challenge and so many arguments have been raised which are false. One of the arguments that has been raised which is false is the HIPC route for instance, and personally, I have not advocated for any particular route. I have simply said there are these 4 options. Let us pay from our resources, that is out. Let us use our commodities, that is out. Let us go the Paris rescheduling, I find that problematic because you are just postponing the problem because they give you a 23% window. They take away 23% and they leave you with 67% which you have to pay after 5 years and so forth. There have been attacks on the HIPC process which to me have not been founded on informed data. One of the biggest attacks on this process has been the issue of soverignty that you lose your sovereignty. I have said how do you lose your sovereignty when the creditor simply says I am cancelling your debt. It eludes my wisdom or the little wisdom that I have.

The second myth has been that we are too rich to be poor and that shocks me, for anyone that earns $100 or $200 like me, I think it is $180 -[HON MEMBERS: Seven Thousand dollars]- Hon Speaker, I thought that this House had a rule that we do not allow drunken Members of Parliament.

MR SPEAKER: Hon Minister address the Chair.

MR BITI: Hon Speaker, the fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe has a huge debt which is affecting the development of our country. We have to deal with these debts and we need a solution that is to the best interest of Zimbabwe. I will submit that Herbet Wilson Chitepo and Joshua Nkomo wherever they are will prosecute us and persecute us if we were to say we want to pay this debt from the little resources that we have when we have the kind of schools that we have.

Questions Without Notice interruped by MR SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

2009 EXAMINATIONS

3. MR. CHIMBETETE asked the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture to explain why a resolution was passed by the ministry on examination fees without consulting the three GNU Principals as this has led to many 'O' level students failing to register for their 2009 examinations.

THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS AND CULTURE (SENATOR COLTART): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the hon. member has asked this question. I am reminded that some people are confused about the facts. The first point is that the question itself reveals lack of understanding because it suggests a resolution which was passed by the Minister of Education was without the GPA Principals. It is wrong. He should be advised that ZIMSEC asked for certain fees, they were proposals for example US$15 be charged per subject. That came to a variety of Cabinet Sub-Committees and there were a number of vigorous debates in Cabinet. We would like to make up the shortfall required as alluded to this afternoon. Let me by way of reference mention to you that Cambridge charges US$40 per subject. This is a fact.

That is because of the vast amounts required in the production of papers, you have to write the papers, to contract the makers, deliver the papers and distribution. The whole proces requires a vast sum of money. I understand that when ZIMSEC asked for a figure of US$15, the other amount was to be paid by government from non-existent resources and the parents had to pay for that. The Minister of Finance was concerned of government's inability to pay the difference. The Cabinet understood the figure of US$10 would do. The US$15 rate was reduced to US$10. I hope this explains to the hon. member that this issue went through vigorous debates. It was a decision taken by Cabinet .

Second part of the question which was to the fact that this has caused many students to fail to register. It is my worry and that of many of my colleagues as well as the entire cabinet. The problem that we have as a nation sadly is that we do not have sufficient resources to subsidize as government should. Because of this, ZIMSEC will collapse. Should we allow it to collapse or ask parents to dig what they have in order to resuscitate ZIMSEC . The parents by doing that, they will be making their contribution to this exercise.

Many of these students worked very hard for four years but now are being denied the right to write their examinations. We need to stabilize the education sector together. It means hardship in long term, but short term we will be restoring ZIMSEC. I hope we are going to do that in a short time. I hope next year we will be able to charge an affordable rate to parents and guardians. All those who do not afford, the government will be able to subsidize.

FIRST READING

RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL[H.B. 7, 2009.)

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE presented the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H.B. 7, 2009]-

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to debate on the speech by the President.

Mr Speaker, the President in his speech alludes to the fact that the Official Opening was indeed historic in the fact that it comes against a back drop of the Inclusive Government being in place - ushering in the new era of mutual collaboration and togetherness. In this respect, I want to thank His Excellency the President for keeping his credentials intact with respect to that the aspect of inclusiveness which we saw on attainment of our independence led by then Prime Minister, now President Robert Mugabe now. There was the policy of reconciliation to accept the different political views that obtained at that time.

To that extent the Smith regime was able to be accommodated in the new era of independence Zimbabwe. We also saw that happening with the signing of the Unity Accord of 1987 which brought together two revolutionary parties so as to make sure that the Zimbabwean society is not polarized, but driven by the energy of unity for the attainment of national goals. I want also to thank the President for his speech which showed a lot of accommodation and tolerance. A speech which accepted that we are now living under the paradigm of an inclusive government. My view is that this is a legacy that we need to protect, perpetuate, change and maintain for the sake of future generations.

In most cases, Madam Speaker, people that elected us to come to this august House often say that there is nothing serious that get down here either in this august House or even at the seat of government. This they do say being frustrated by lack of delivery in projects that we are elected to deliver upon and various programmes that we are supposed to spearhead. I agree with them that in this august congregation of esteemed Members of Parliament, the spirit of tolerance has not shown itself to embrace the inclusive spirit that is building up our country. We are not able to discuss critical issues, to face our demons, to tackle issues that we think are important without being emotional - as the DPM said, being able to absolve those issues.

I want to say that instead of living in an inclusive government we are under the paradigm of an inclusive government. We are now living under the paradigm of an exclusive government - I think we need to move along Madam Speaker from a culture of unnecessary pulling down of one another and begin to engage in serious matters instead of engaging in unnecessary hackles. When a member says or rises to contribute a very important point, we have a tendency of making annoying, unnecessary sounds - we do not accommodate each other - [AN HON MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - it is a Vukuzela Orchestra, devoid of any meaning - no Beethoven, no Beastadt.

My pledge to this august House is that in the spirit of unity and inclusiveness, let us really begin as Members of Parliament do the work, which we were elected to do. We were elected to come here and tackle issues and show respect and tolerance to each other's views. Madam Speaker, in respect to that issue our colleagues in the MDC are a labour based party - they are all based on rights for labour. Surprisingly those that they deployed to government are on strike...

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS. MPARIWA): On a point of order Madam Speaker. Whilst I appreciate the youth debating in this honourable House - I was nodding and appreciating his debate, but am alarmedto hear him say that those that they deployed are on strike. I am the Minister of Labour and Social Services in this government, as I came here, I was coming from a workshop were I was officiating as a government official. We are all coming from our various ministries, we are not on strike. I think, the member has to desist from allegations that are untrue and unfounded. - [MR CHIBAYA: Uri mbavha iwe!, you are a thief!]

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon member, can you withdraw that statement that you just made please. Somebody said that you are a thief on this side. - [HON. MEMBERS: Chibaya! Chibaya!]-

MR. CHIBAYA: Madam Speaker, I heard somebody saying, you a thief! I do not know who said it. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon. members, let us be serious. Hon. member, can you please desist from saying provocative things.

MR. HLONGWANE: This is the very thing that I am referring to. We have a problem with the psych of our country Madam Speaker. A few days ago there was a press conference which stated that there was going to be dis-engagement from government. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - Whether or not this happened, it is a matter ....

MR. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think the hon. Member should be clear on what he is talking about. The dis-engagement is not from government but from ZANU PF.

MR. HLONGWANE: Madam Speaker, I believe this is a public matter which merits this kind of speech. I want to say that members must allow or must accept debate on this very important matter that has put this country into uncertainty. It is important that my colleagues -[HON CHIBAYA: Uri mbavha, wakaba ku ZBC]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : There is an hon member on my right who is always saying provocative words. Hon Chibaya, I think it is you. Can you stand up and withdraw what you said. Hon member I did understand what you said.

MR CHIBAYA : I withdraw.

MR HLONGWANE : Thank you for that. This is important for this country whether or not there is engagement or disengagement. It is an issue for public debate.

MR CHIBAYA : On a Point of Order, can the hon member stick to the Presidential Speech, otherwise he is bringing a new motion.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : Order! hon members you will be the first ones to be sent out of this august House.

MR HLONGWANE : The issue of inclusive government was raised by the President in his opening address of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament. The point that I was developing and raising is that it is necessary and it is important that we transit from being activists to policy makers. We move away from a position where we do not want to hear views that are on the contrary and alternative views. As far as I am concerned, I do not understand how under the paradigm of inclusivity, proprietors of political capital and shareholders in the inclusive government go on strike. This is a serious concern to the people that elected us to come and bear political office.

Elected officials cannot derelict on duty. We are elected to come here in Harare and to deliver not only on promises that we made for our people but promises that government has made. What this current situation is showing is that Zimbabwe is in serious trouble - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

The Leader of the House made reference to the question of outstanding issues in the GPA. I realise that this is an important issue. I am worried by the amount of energy that is spent on romanticizing the issue. People must not be lazy. People must perform their duties. There are mechanisms in this country and there are mechanisms in this region to deal with whatever outstanding issues there are. Every Monday the three principals meet to discuss outstanding issues and how to run this country -[HON. MEMBERS: It is now two years]- Why do people behave on Friday as if there is not going to be a Monday. The Hollywood stunt which is meant for the pleasure of the cameras should stop.

If we are serious about the inclusive government and if we are serious about moving our country from the poverty that we are in and if we are serious about moving our out of the economic doldrums, we should stop this culture of being cry babies - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : I do not want to send any of you out of this august House but you are tempting me. You will be the first ones that I am going to send packing. If you want to debate I am going to give you that chance.

MR HLONGWANE : This kind of action comes at a time when the agricultural season is upon us, when the debate around the budget has gathered momentum. We are very worried that actions like this are the very actions that will cause people not to invest in this country, but even those that are here will disinvest in our country. We need to send correct political signals to those that are intending to come into our country and invest. Political stability is an important issue as far as we are concerned. It is important that we do not forward lazy arguments that will cause us not to work in this government. Also, various farmers look forward to us to deliver as far as the issue of loans and inputs is concerned.

MR HOVE : On a Point of order, the hon member should withdraw the statements on disengagement because they were made much later after the Presidential Speech, unless of course he wants to debate the Prime Minister's speech which was made last Friday.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : Your Point of order is overruled.

MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you Madam Speaker: What is disturbing is that MDC is moved by the arrest of Roy Bennet. The true colours of MDC have come to light. The MDC is an imperial project.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon member. Stop provoking others.

MR. HLONGWANE: I need to submit that this is a major issue of public affairs. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stick to the motion hon. member.

MR. HLONGWANE: What it means is that we are going to disturb the SADC initiative. The matter of stability within government should be addressed as a matter of urgency, whether we are going to see tomorrow is a question which needs to be resolved. The issue of inclusivity - there is this issue that has been raised in this House, the issue of violence. Our hope is that the Inclusive Government is going to offer, not only a paradigm shift but a situation where there is peace and stability in our country, where political parties accommodate each other. That is very important. There are people who are claiming to offer moral capital in this country, let me say there are no 'gods' on the issue of political violence, all parties are responsible in one way or the other. There can not be one party responsible, there is a shared responsibility, it is a question of national healing.

MR. MATUTU: I would also want to add my voice concerning this debate about the Presidential Speech. One thing I thank God is that when this speech was presented I was not in the House. -[AN HON MEMBER: That is why it was peaceful]- Not only that, I spared a lot of my energy by not listening to one such speech which I believe was either -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- ZANU PF hon members moved out -[MDC HON MEMBERS: Out, out]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members

MR. BHASIKITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker, it is very clear -[AN HON MEMBER: Resilient Bhasikiti]- it is disrespectful of an hon. member to talk of derogatory statements in reference to the Head of State. That is disgraceful, especially when coming from a learned hon. member.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Matutu can you please repeat what you said.

MR. MATUTU: I said this is one such speech which should not find itself in this Hon. House because it is repetitive and prevaricating.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matutu can you withdraw what you have said.

MR. MATUTU: I withdraw. Hon Speaker, it is a regurgitation of what has been said over and over since this House's various parliaments have been opened. There is no improvement in terms of language, quality, vision and content. The assumption is that the audience is not alerting us in order to look quite clearly that this speech is so tired, exhausted, misdirecting and is failing to have substance to this nation. The Head of State is taking us for granted. It does not even take into account what he said when he opened Parliament in the First Session, what has happened to those Bills which he said were going to come before Parliament when he opened the First Session. They are not being carried over, he starts to bring other issues which shows us that he is not serious. What he is sure of doing is to drag, whatever he said is going to come into this House, it is not going to see the light of the day. This man is assuming that if he says this over and over again we are going to buy it, we are saying we are alert - we are not inmates Mlondolozi, we are Members of Parliament who have been elected and we know what is actually needed and what is good for the nation. This practice must stop where Members of Parliament sit here and listen to a speech of no added value and then at the end of the day some hon. members will ululate to a speech that adds no value. A speech which when you go through it, you would believe that maybe it was crafted by a secondary school teacher. It is very dangerous. Let me say that from looking at whatever I said, the reason why I am saying this speech is of no value is because it has very serious omissions and contradictions. I will deal with omissions.

If you go through this speech, it does not touch the real issues that are disturbing our nation at this point and time. For example, there is nothing about national healing. Why should the Head of State come here to address hon. members who are coming from various constituencies where the subject of national healing is topical and says nothing about national healing. How do you expect to integrate this society when the Head of State does not address how he is going to deal with the issues of violence that occurred during June 27 2008? Why is he quiet about it? Is he a foreigner who does not know what happened? Does he not know that people were killed, assaulted, homes were burnt, people were raped and incarcerated? How can he omit such an important thing?

MR BHASIKITI: On a point of order, it is very clear that the hon. member is trying to create another speech. He is not contributing to the Presidential speech. He is not a Head of State. There is nothing that the President said which he is talking about, he is creating another speech.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Bhasikiti, there is no point of order.

MR. MATUTU: The hon. member should be reminded that the Presidential speech is open. It is not confined to the four corners of this book, he must appreciate that. Let me come to what I was saying, these are some of the issues that we believe the Presidential speech should have addressed. Why, because that was going to show us how sincere we are as a nation. Are we serious about the issue of national healing? The fact that it has been ommitted from his speech shows that we are not committed to national healing. The reason why we are not committed to the national healing is simply because this aspect of violence will proceed to touch some of the members here in Parliament because they know they are part and parcel of the violence.

What we are saying, if we are to be honest to ourselves as hon. members, we should be able to face the truth. The truth is that we should be able to deal with the mess that some other members here did during the run-off, that is why we are saying we need national healing. As long as this speech does not touch the issue of national healing, then we have a very huge deficit in terms of what we want to achieve. That serious omission in itself is a serious indebtedness on the speech itself because it is not sufficient to the extent that it was not directed to the kind of people who experienced that kind of violence.

The second point of the speech is that it does not touch the issue of elections. It is clear that we are in this inclusive government as a result of something that went wrong especially on the election side. It is very critical for the Head of State to have addressed this issue of elections. For example, what happened on the June 27 and March 29 elections. How are we going to safeguard or ensure that that does not happen again? Why is he quiet about that? What measures are we putting in place to ensure that in future we are going to have free and fair elections and when are we going to have them and under what condition? This nation is not waiting for some ratification of some weapon bill or protocol. This is of no use to them. It is not a bread and butter issue. People have been brutalized by these elections. People have been traumatized by what have been happening in the police stations so what they would want to hear from the Head of State is what guarantee or measures are being put in place to ensure that future elections will not repeat the mistakes that occurred during the previous elections.

It is of no value - [MR BHASIKITI: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, order Hon. Bhasikiti can you withdraw what you just said.

MR. BHASIKITI: I withdraw.

MR. MATUTU: The issue of elections is one critical issue that people wanted to hear. If you address the nation and you know you are in the GPA because of elections that you defrauded, then you do not address it to the nation. You avoid critical issues. We are saying these are shortcomings of that speech.

Point number three, is the aspect of the GPA. We believe the GPA should provide a vision on how we are going to run this nation as long as we are in this inclusive government. You go through the whole speech, there is nothing other than the fact that he mentioned that the GPA gave birth to the inclusive government. What has been happening to the inclusive government? Why does he not tell us that he was given the nominee to be the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and he has decided not to swear him in. He must tell us why. Instead he went on to arrest him. Why did he not tell us that he unilaterally appointed Tomana which is pulling back the inclusive government. This is what the nation wants to hear. Or else he has a very good reason why he has appointed Gono and Tomana without consultation with the other executives and justified. How do we expect the nation to move forward? How do we expect Members of Parliament to support the Executive when the Executive is not transparent of what is happening in the Inclusive Government? The only part is that he said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are members of the Inclusive Government. So, what we are saying is that this speech is full of deception because if the truth was going to be told, issues in the Global Political Agreement would have been discussed.

MR. BHASIKITI: Madam Speaker, this hon member is not right to intimidate me. It is not right for an hon. member to come here and intimidate me. He was complaining that a gun was put on his head and he is coming here for the direct purpose of intimidating me.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, there is no point of order. Please let us stop turning this House into a playing field or a bar. Hon. Bhasikiti, there is no point of order.

MR. MATUTU: On the fourth point there is the issue of sanctions. There is a prayer there at the end of the speech with the Head of State wishing that the sanctions or restrictive measures may go away. But there is one subject that they must understand. Kana ukandoromba zvikwambo do not wish them away until you say wakazvitsvaga sei -[MR. BHASIKITI: Mr. Speaker, he says President vakaenda vakatsvaga zvikwambo .He can not use that derogatory language to the Head of

State] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, it is very unfortunate that I do not follow Shona quite well and so I did not quite get what Hon. Matutu said. However, I did understand that it was derogatory language. Can you please stop using that type of language which is disrespectful or unbecoming against the Head of State. Can you please stop using that type of language and withdraw.

MR. MATUTU: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the difficulties you have in understanding Shona, but let me interpret what I said in English. I said, if a person invites evil upon his family, then do not wish it away, you have to take the necessary steps to exorcise that evil spirit so that it leaves your body. The evil spirit of sanctions is what we wish to exorcise and I am saying that if you want to exorcise the devil called sanctions, then you must know how you first of all brought those sanctions.

For that reason I am saying that my colleagues from ZANU PF have been talking of the issue of sanctions but the problem is that these sanctions have fallen in the hands of very seriouly challenged laymen who do not fully understand the subject of sanctions. It has fallen in the hands of people who are good at misunderstanding the issue of sanctions. The question is how did these sanctions come along? You used to go about beating up people and then you want us to go to America to say lift up those sanctions.

So, what we are saying is that whether they exist or do not exist , the truth of the matter is that there are people who have invited them and they are none other than my colleagues in ZANU PF. My challenge is therefore to call upon my colleagues in ZANU PF to comprehensively put a plan to remove these sanctions that they have invited, and to remove this evil that has come upon this nation. Can you please, with immediate effect, stop this evil that you have brought upon this nation. We would want to find out within the next few weeks that you have put mechanisms to call off these sanctions. We do not want to even adopt your baby called sanctions, it is your child and so ask God to help this nation. -[MR. BHASIKITI: Koakaenda ku America kunowakumbira masanctions anditi ndiTsvangirai] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : Hon members, order.

MR. MATUTU : Then there is silence about the legislative agenda, which really touches on freedom of speech. In his speech, where is the issue of POSA? What about AIPPA, it has not been mentioned? AIPPA is the vehicle through which you invited sanctions. So, what we are saying is that if you do not talk about the laws that are going to restore the freedoms of the poeple of Zimbabwe - then what are you talking about? The people of Zimbabwe need these freedoms - the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, the freedom from POSA, the freedom from AIPPA, the repealing of stringent laws and opening up of airwaves. This is what people are crying for, not these kind of Bills that have nothing to do with the welfare of the people. If you really want to bring investment into this country, there is no Bill brought here that is going to safeguard the investment that people are going to put in Zimbabwe. We want an Act of Parliament that actually guarantees that whenever you are going to invest in Zimbabwe, you are not going to do that for personal gains.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER : Order Hon. Matutu, you only have five more minutes.

MR. MATUTU : We want laws that will safeguard the interests of the Reserve Bank. We want laws that will promote the freedoms of investors and the people of Zimbabwe. We want laws that will open up the airwaves so that we do not listen to ZBC alone, which is biased. At least the President acknowledged the wisdom, the craftiness and the shrewdness with which the Minister of Finance is tackling our economic challenges.

What he is saying is, if there is goodwill and if the opportunity is given to those people that have the brains, this country will move forward. He must go further and make sure that at the end of the day it is dealing with the outstanding issues if he wants this country to move forward. So he must be able to swear in the Governors as agreed. He must also swear in the Deputy Minister of Agriculture so that there is sanity in the land reform. The nzwisa that he was given by Minister Biti. We are saying to him what he saw in Mr. Biti zvishoma.. .

Part of speech not recorded due to technical fault

MR CHINYADZA: I would like to thank you for the opportnity to debate this motion which I think is a very important motion. I am very disappointed with the tenor and content of the Presidential Speech.

I do come from a rural constutuency and definitely if you go through the Presidential Speech, it has no bearing whatsoever to the hardships and difficulties which the communal area people are facing. The bulk of the speech has little or no relevance to the issues facing the communal areas, yet they comprise about 68% of the population in this country.

The people in the communal areas are marginalised and they were marginalised before independence. They were marginalised and brutalised after independence and continue to live in poverty, squalor and in fear not only for their well-being but also for their children and those who come after them. They are dejected and they are still homeless by the day and yet the Presidential Speech does not touch their lives.

These people are being harrased by local councils who are asking them to pay Unit Tax on small-scale farms which they own. Some of the issues have been outstanding for years, yet they are just emerging from a drought. All their pensions were dessimated by hyper-inflation which has risen over the years. Any residual savings, they had has been demonitised. Bank borrowings are nothing now because banks are rejecting their only assets and land be it in the communal area or small-scale farming area because of ZANU PF policy - land assets have been reversed to the State. In short, the state of ......

MR BHASIKITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker, two hon members have turned this House into a bedroom -[Laughter]-

MR CHINYADZA: When Central Government devises programmes, these are targeted for what they call vulnerable persons. A really serious farmer needs cash to purchase his agricultural inputs that make farming viable. That cash is impossible to come by in my own area. Under this scenario, communal areas will never emerge. They will always remain perpetually poor and will forever be dependent on hand-outs. This situation where a significant proportion of the population is condemned to be beggars for the rest of their lives is totally unacceptable. I am, as a result, thoroughly disappointed that the President of Zimbabwe, in his programme for this Parliament has willfully ignored the plight of these people whom he claims to love so dearly. This smirks of hypocrisy of unimaginable proportion especially in view of the uninterrupted 29 years of ZANU PF rule in this country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I urge the President to re -prioritize the urgent needs of his people because these people are in desperate need of empowerment, and movement out of the abject poverty that assails them. We recognise that he has failed to do so in the last 28 years of his rule, but it is my hope that since he declared undiminishing will and zeal to cling on to the the helm of politics in this country, he has to demonstrate to these people that he cannot continue to ignore their plight.

Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a litany of bills which the President intends this government to introduce in Parliament. I am in no position to demean the importance of these Bills he listed in his presentation, but I am appalled by his willful disregard of those issues, and hence those Bills which make our economy tick. The issues about the basic and fundamental freedoms of the people in this country are indeed the prerequisite for investment, Independence of thought and action, and for innovation. Accordingly issues about rule of law, property rights, the political freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of association, independence of the judiciary, corruption, etc, are critical in creating an environment conducive to peace and development. Peace precedes development, hence failure to address the relative lack of peace in Zimbabwe is a clear testimony that our government is not concerned about the poverty debilitating the entire nation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, ZANU PF has a special knack of always wanting to find scape goats whenever confronted with failure. The task of finding viable development strategies has never been an easy process but to succeed here it requires men and women of character and granite resolve to face the truth and the use of above average intelligence and wisdom to devise programmes which extricate the country from its woes. Attempts to indulge in the blame game has never brought reprieve to the starving people of Zimbabwe .

Mr. Speaker Sir, day in day out, we see ZANU PF pouring a lot of vitriol blaming every body else other than itself for the poverty that has become the spectral companion for our people. At one time, it is capitalism, at another it is international monitory system, it is ESAP, it is the British, it is the EU, it is the USA, it is Canada, it is Australia, it is the puppets, and it is the drought. Yes Mr. Speaker, these people have become masters of deception, whose special penchant is to create chaos, confusion and mayhem purely to mask their inabilities to steer this economy out of the abuse resulting from their omissions or commissions.

Surely the issue of illegal sanctions is now a platitude which invokes revulsion to the fair minded Zimbabweans inspite of the massive brain washing programmes which have been directed at the unsuspecting and biddable citizens of this country. Today I want to unveil the indisputable facts about this issue in the hope that members of the opposition who continue to stick slavishly and sheepishly to this phenomenon disabuse themselves of it.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I implore everybody in this august House to listen carefully to what follows as this chronology of events will help clarify the issue once and for all.

Through economic mismanagement, undemocratic practices, unsustainable budget deficits, and the deployment of troops to the DRC, the then government of Zimbabwe rendered itself ineligible to participate in the World Bank and IMF programmes, which will otherwise have provided substantial resources required to finance recovery and modernization of its economy as happens in other countries elsewhere in the world. Members of this House are aware that the bank community cannot continue to offer loans to a client who clearly demonstrates his unwillingness to pay back loans and in addition who demonstrates that level of profligacy will ensure that the loans offered are not being put to good use and will never be paid back. We are all aware that in 1996, our country publicly castigated these very institutions and told them to go hang. And after consideration of Zimbabwe's spending patterns and total lack of productive investment in these programmes which would enhance self sustaining development, the international financial institutions withdrew their support to Zimbabwe. This Mr. Speaker Sir, is going to have untold negative repercussions to our economy.

Mr. Speark Sir, in September 1999, the IMF suspended its support under a stand by arrangement , approved the previous month for economic adjustment and reform in Zimbabwe. In October 1999, the International Development Association suspended all structural adjustment loans, credits and guarantees to the government of Zimbabwe as a result of its failure to meet fundamental policy and developmental targets which were the basics on which those funds were predicated in the initial instance. In May 2000, the International Development Association suspended all other new lending to the Government of Zimbabwe when it became clear that the exhortation of 1999 had not been taken seriously.

In September 2000, the International Development Association further suspended the disbursement of funds for on-going projects under previously approved loans, credits and guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is instructive for all members of the House to know that these actions by financial institutions were unsolicited by any government of any country as they constitute the financial prudence any baking institution would necessarily follow in their invaluable task to husband the resources and assets of its shareholders.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) was only passed in August 2001 and its targets are well-known inspite of ZANU PF's puerile attempts to brainwash the people of this country into believing that it targets all and sundry. This lists of specified individuals and companies associated with them is well known. In addition, what is required to be done for these individuals and companies to be de-listed is well documented. But ZANU PF and its cohorts refuse to do anything. Mr Speaker Sir, this House cannot afford to swim in the murky sewer infested ocean of propaganda churned by ZANU PF and its surrogates, and the propaganda which is melodiously chanted by members of the opposition in this House. I say so because the imperial evidence of the impact of the so called illegal sanctions is there for all who have eyes to see. It is my honourable task Mr. Speaker Sir to reveal the hard core evidence of this in this House today in this address.

Mr. Speaker Sir, trade statistics show the extent to which a country does business with other countries in the world. I have analysed data provided by both our own CSO and other institutions to shed light on this vexed subject. I have trends in trade between three groups of countries i.e those countries which are reputed to have imposed the so called illegal sanction, the friendly African countries, and thirdly countries in Asia which are the prime focus of the country's "Look East Policy". This table will be appendixed to this statement for all to see and scrutinize. Suffice to say that the results are not only interesting but startling as they dispassionately debunk the hypothesis propounded in the ZANU PF dogma.

The analysis shows that:-

1. the annualized total trade between 1990 and 1998 are significantly higher than those of the period 2000 to 2008.

2. On the average, total trade increase from a low achieved in 2000 up to and including 2008 for all the three categories. This supposedly implies that total trade between Zimbabwe and each of the country groups identifier above was adversely affected by the so called illegal sanctions.

3. Admittedly, trade booms and bursts were experienced during the period 2000 to 2008 with lows recorded in 2001, 2003 and 2008 for all groups. The interesting association is that these lows coincide with the years in which ZANU PF instigated unparalleled and gratuitous violence against the people of Zimbabwe. Year 2000 experiences unparalleled violence following the referendum on the constitution and the onset of the violent Land Reform Programme; Year 2003 trade figures were also affected by the violence of the 2002 presidential elections; Year 2005 trade figures were once again adversely affected by the violence which punctuated the parliamentary elections and the Murambatsvina debacle.

4. Finally the violence, chaos and mayhem which followed the Presidential elections re-run in 2008 seriously affected trade figure for that year as it was evidenced the worst trade performance through out that period.

It is clear from these statistics that sanctions have nothing to do with our performance as the low performance was experienced throughout whether a country imposed restriction measures or not. Accordingly, the major reasons explaining the country's poor trade performance has to be traced to indigenous factors, that is factors which relate to capacity problems in industry, poor product quality, non-productions in the agricultural sector, high cost production structures, the unattainable exchange rate regime, the lack of rule of law, lack of investment, inability to access new technologies, the role of the RBZ and its expropriation of export revenue, the militarized price control regime, the much publicised and deleterious macro-economic instability which prevailed during the period, the state sponsored violence that has become the hallmark of ZANU PF. In particular, ZANU PF must exorcise itself of the ghost of country-wide sanctions and concentrate on the targeted smart sanctions we know to exist. We must stop ascribing our failures to the issues of sanctions but face fairly and squarely the issue of governance which hound this economy.

We are aware that these targeted smart sanctions may be hurting the few individuals and companies affected. But we too bear scars of the violence and economic mismanagement foisted on us by the ZANU PF government. We have lost a lot of property, business, carriers, friends and relatives due to ZANU PF's misrule. Our children's future cannot be guaranteed. The majority of youths of this country may not be employable for the rest of their lives due to ZANU PF's totalitarian approach to governance. However, whilst we continue to bleed profusely from this, we are prepared to help ZANU PF and its cohorts to clean its soiled pants.

We want to forget the past but it can never be a one sided affair. ZANU PF, MDC T and MDC M willingly went into an agreement last year. We say, respect that agreement and respect your own signatures you affixed to the GNU and implement it in toto. Our parties are prepared to bury the hatchet and move the country forward. We are ready to assuage the wounds you inflicted on us for the sake of posterity but this has to be predicated on mutual respect of our independence of thought, action, association and more importantly on restoration of our democratic rights. There is nobody and I repeat, there is nobody who is more Zimbabwean than another.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. A. MUTAMBARA) : I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 22nd October 2009.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER , the House adjourned at Three Minutes to Five o'clock p.m.

Last modified on Monday, 18 November 2013 14:12
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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 36 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 21 October 2009 VOL. 36 NO. 3