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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 22 JANUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 24

Wednesday, 22nd January, 2014.

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

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

MR. MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Minister, the role of the banks is to ensure that depositors, as they deposit their monies in banks, are supposed to be paid as and when they want to withdraw the same from the banks. Can you explain the role of your ministry to ensure that the policy is maintained as and when people want to withdraw their monies, that their money is safely kept in the banks?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the hon. member for his question because it affords me an opportunity to put on record that the banking sector is not sick, as he seeks to portray.

We have in all, twenty-one (21) banks in the country, of those, three had challenges with respect to liquidity when customers came to demand their deposits, the rest had no problems. So, to characterise the problems of three and extrapolate and suggest that the entire banking sector is having problems, is not correct.

There is a liquidity problem, I understand but, the issue that the hon. member is raising is addressing the problem where customers came to withdraw and the bank had no money at that time. This needs me to try to explain, basically, the factual problems with the banking sector and we are all responsible.

When we deposit our money, it is all demand deposits, short term, which means there is no money to lend long term. Now, banks lend your deposits because that is how they make money. When they lend your short term deposits and make assumptions that you will all not come on the same day to withdraw. So, when you all go, then they have problems. That basically, is what affected the three banks that were making publicity in the press.

I would want to take the opportunity to say, if we are serious about the development of our economy, we have to nurture and inculcate a culture of savings not just short term, but long term so that the banks have the space to on-lend to their customers. At the moment, I think, 99% of deposits are short term demand deposits and we should avoid that if we are to seriously talk about the prosperity of our country.

So, the banking sector is sound. In fact, with the pounding that it has received, I think, if it were not so, it would have gone under but it has remained resilient and for this, we should be very grateful to the financial institutions in this country. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. MADZIMURE: Minister, even though my question was not based on anything sinister but as a responsible legislator, I had to ask.

Minister, are you then justifying the fact that my cash that I deposit in the bank on short term; the bank should use its prerogative to give long term loans when they are fully aware that at the moment our people cannot deposit anything for long because even the salaries that they earn are insufficient like in the case of civil servants who earn less than $300.00.

Are you saying that you are justifying the onward lending of banks with some of the owners lending to themselves? Are you justifying inside lending these managers or owners of some of these banks are doing?

MR. CHINAMASA: The hon. member should not put words into my mouth. I was merely explaining the position on how banks operate.

The banks lend your deposits to their customers on the premise and assumption that not everyone will come to demand his/her money on the same day and in the same hour. Now, when all of us go to any bank here to demand our deposits, no bank will survive. So, I am merely explaining to you how banks operate.

In this instance, clearly, three of the banks were caught with their pants down where the assumption and the premise upon which they lend did not work. I am not defending what they did but I am merely saying that those three banks are still standing and we will do everything in our power to make sure that they remain standing because it is very important for the financial system for our banks to operate and to operate efficiently without the risk that they pose to depositors.

The issue that I am most against, which is not the case with some of these, is where there is insider borrowing. That is, shareholders and managers borrow from the banks and when they borrow, there are no risk criteria issues which are taken into consideration when borrowing. That is where I would unreservedly condemn. I think we should be more understanding that the things that have affected the three banks that I am talking about, can happen to any bank. The fact that they are still standing, also testifies to the resilience of the financial institutions concerned. I thank you.

MR. MUNENGAMI: Thank you hon. Speaker. I do not know Mr. Speaker, whether to direct my question to you for the simple reason that we only have one minister in this House. We have so many questions we might want to ask, but unfortunately, we have no one to ask. I do not know whether it is Government policy - [HON. MEMEBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you suggesting that your question should be a Parliamentary one on policy. I do not think that you are suggesting that. You should have simply asked your question and directed it to the minister and see if the minister would or would not appear. So, ask your question.

MR. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I will rephrase my question. Is it Government policy that when we want to ask the ministers, especially during this question day - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]…

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. I shall indulge you.

MR. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am directing this question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. Is it Government policy that when we want to ask ministers questions, they are not supposed to be here in this House. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC PLANNING (MR. CHINAMASA): Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is not an issue of policy but I will undertake to convey to my colleague ministers the imperative of attending Parliament, especially at question time - [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].

MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I direct my question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. In the last Government, there was what seemed to be a national conversation around the issue of the indigenisation of banks, which was not quite resolved. Is there clarity around that matter now, seeing as it may that you are responsible for that portfolio.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC PLANNING (MR. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, it is correct that I am responsible for the financial services sector but in Government, we have what is called division of labour and I would respectfully ask the hon. member to refer his question, specifically, to the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. He will get his answer more authoritatively from the relevant ministry. So please I will ask you to direct your question to the relevant ministry.

MR. HLONGWANE: I am told that the deputy minister is sitting in here. Maybe he can assist with the answer.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDEGINISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (MR. TONGOFA): I want to say that there is no sector which is spared from indigenisation. The Act is very clear. We will just implement the regulations as they are.

- [HON. MEMBERS: Hanzi maapapi?] -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. I will not entertain conversations like maapapi. Maapapi can be replaced by asking a supplementary question.

MR. HLONGWANE: If the minister could update the House on the progress with regards to the implementation of such measures around the banking sector.

MR. SPEAKER: Your question, Hon Hlongwane, is not policy.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed

to the leader of the House, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Chinamasa. I appreciate that you attempted to respond to the question raised earlier by the hon. member, but my question is to appreciate the Government policy in circumstances where…

MR. SPEAKER: Point of correction. The Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning is not the Leader of the House - [HON. MEMBERS: He said acting.]-.

MR. SPEAKER: No, he is not even acting - [Laughter].

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that perhaps now I am playing around with very dangerous political zones. I appreciate that my question is directed to the Minister of Finance on behalf of Government. I want to appreciate hon. minister, the policy of Government - this Government; in circumstances where you find that ministers are almost on a semi-permanent absence without leave. Not only that, our ministers are almost on a permanent button and mode of underperformance and almost playing truant …

MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order! Hon. Chamisa, can you ask a straight forward question on policy that relates to the Hon. Minister of Finance. I think your question was leading to a misdirected area.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Speaker, I want to be guided. Whoever is responsible for the business of Government in this House from the Cabinet side, to kindly respond to my genuine question -[HON. MEMBERS:Ngwena, Ngwena, Ngwena! Hon. members shouting as the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Mnangagwa enters the Chamber]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chamisa, the question of absence of ministers in the House was articulately answered by the Hon. Minister of Finance who undertook to take the message that his colleagues would attend. So, please do not belabour that one. Can you now ask your question?

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Speaker. In fact, I had just added an ancillary element but the core element of my question was to say - and I would direct this to Hon. Minister Mnangagwa. What is the policy of this Government on ministers that genuinely and deliberately underperform on national responsibilities, judging from the dispersed occupation of the bench that you are currently occupying? -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Thank you hon. Speaker, Sir. May I, before I reply to the question by Hon. Chamisa, extend my gratitude to all hon. members for having all arrived into the new year together. I hope that 2014 will see us work together constructively as the National House of Assembly and also as legislators representing our respective constituencies in the country.

Now, there are two levels at which the performance of a minister or any Member of Parliament are assessed. The first pace is that, he who appoints, determines the performance of the appointee, not any other. The second element is that the public is fully aware about how we perform and when elections come, they cast their votes in such a manner determining who is doing what … -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Minister, I really want to know how much your predecessor when you assumed the Minister of Finance's position left in terms of debt?

MR. SPEAKER: The question does not impinge on policy.

MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy now that we have the deputy minister in here. So, I will throw the question to the deputy minister. Thank you.

Deputy Minister, what is Government policy with regards to the pricing of ethanol within the local market, bearing in mind that we have ethanol which is being sold locally from 90c from green fuel project whilst we have the same ethanol from Triangle being sold at 60c for export? Can you explain the disparity?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (ENG. MUTEZO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hon. member for his question. I am not aware of the export price of ethanol as Government does not export ethanol but, I am aware that the price (from one of the suppliers of ethanol) that is often quoted is X-Works and that X-Works price does not include transportation to Harare which is where the market for blending is; that is Harare and other centers.

So, we are aware that currently, they are supplying and the prices they are supplying at is 80c, X-Works and when you bring it to Harare, the price becomes 90c. Others are supplying at roughly the same price +-3 - 5c. So the prices being quoted are not the prices obtaining on the market and I know that green fuel is supplying at about 93/95 cents. With the other supplier, it lands in Harare at about 90 cents. So the difference in price is not that significant.

MR. MUNENGAMI: Can the minister explain the economic benefit the country has accrued from mandatory blending of ethanol?

ENG. MUTEZO: As you are aware, ethanol in Zimbabwe is produced from sugar cane. Sugar cane is grown by farmers in Zimbabwe and specifically in Chisumbanje as well as Triangle Estates. Growing of sugar cane is labour intensive. That is a direct economic benefit.

Besides that, the processing of sugar cane into ethanol involves work in factories and again, several jobs are created in those factories. There are also support industries that maintain and manufacture components for the different factories. All those are economic benefits to the country. In terms of direct employment, the production line from the farms right up to the processing and all related works has created over 4 500 jobs. I believe as a nation, we require those jobs.

We are also saving foreign currency for our nation and we anticipate that we save about US$100 million a year. I might as well indicate that internationally, Zimbabwe is part of an organisation called Irena involved in promoting green energy. This is both for electricity and liquid fuel. I have just come back from a conference where there were extensive discussions.

Irena represents 80% of the world's consumers of fuel and energy and the target internationally where all the big super powers are, as well as African and Asian countries and elsewhere; the target is that by 2030, the world is aiming to have 30% of their fuel and energy including electricity generated from renewable sources. So I think Zimbabwe is on course to achieve green energy in terms of targets.

MR. D.P. SIBANDA: Is it in the national interest that you limit the supply of a controlled product to only one supplier instead of allowing market forces to determine?

ENG. MUTEZO: The policy as it stands and as enunciated is that anyone who goes into a joint venture with Government is allowed to participate in the sector in terms of the mandatory blending. That is policy as it stands now. It was done by the minister's predecessor and I also believe that it is in the national interest to do so.

MR. MUTSEYAMI: On my first question to the hon. minister with regards to the response he has given, I would appreciate through you Mr. Speaker Sir; can the minister avail details with regards to research. I was referring to the export price market of ethanol vis-à-vis the local price market of ethanol in Zimbabwe; the 90 or 65 cents or so that I presume, which is on the international market. I appeal to the hon. minister if it is possible, to avail details after research.

My supplementary question is to do with the shareholding capacity and green fuel project. What percentage does the Government has and what is the percentage to the investor?

ENG. MUTEZO: I hope the hon. member is aware that there is a case pending in the courts to do with this particular issue. A lot of the issues he is raising are also raised in that case. However, as for research, I think if we can request Mr. Speaker that a lot of the questions being asked are issues of detail. Can the hon. member present them to us through you? But otherwise, we have made informed decisions and those decisions are in the national interest.

MR. MADZIMURE: Another supplementary Mr. Speaker…

MR. SPEAKER: The policy has been stated, I do not know what the supplementary question is all about. Are you not satisfied Hon. Madzimure?

MR. MADZIMURE: Well, I can excuse the minister and allow other questions to be asked.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you for your indulgence.

MS. ZINDI: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, VaMade …

MR. SPEAKER: Order. The Standing Rules say, you address the ministers as honourable. Please, you are reminded accordingly.

MS. ZINDI: Tsika ndodzinondinetsa. Thank you Mr. Speaker. Like I said, my question is directed to Hon. Minister Made and it has to do with the maize producer price. It looks like he has since reneged on announcing the producer price for maize and as we speak right now; people have since planted without knowing exactly what is going to be the price per tonne of maize. Can he explain to the House so that people can plan likewise?

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I would like to thank the hon. member for asking the question so that I can clarify. The policy is very clear. I have not reneged on announcing the maize producer price. The maize producer prices are announced when the season comes to the end. We are not yet at the end of the season in terms of marketing. So, there is nothing that is amiss. If the hon. member is talking about pre-planting price, we do not announce a pre-planting price for maize. Thank you.

MS. ZINDI: Thank you hon. Speaker. The practice, if I recall had always been that the minister would announce the maize producer price before planting because we are taking farming as business and you want to know your figures correctly, whether it is viable for one to plant maize or look for other crops. My question is, I have heard the minister before announcing the pre-planting maize price and he has since reneged on that. We are in the middle or almost at the end of planning how many hectares one should have for maize and one is just groping in the dark without knowing exactly how much a person is going to be able to get from the maize as a crop in order for somebody to plan and go back to the fields. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: I am not sure whether I should allow that supplementary question because the hon. minister categorically has said, they do not announce, as a ministry pre-planting prices for maize. Do you expect the minister to say more than that? I doubt.

MR. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question in the absence of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is directed to the Deputy Minister, Hon. Kagonye. In view of the extremely bad state of our high ways in Zimbabwe, would the deputy minister please explain Government policy as regards to monies that are collected at the collection points, tollgates throughout the country? Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS. KAGONYE): Thank you for asking such a question but the two things that you have asked are not necessarily related. With regards to the highways, we are actually working on them. If you were checking in the papers, we have already advertised inviting expressions of interest so that we can come up with a plan for the national roads. However, in terms of collection of ZINARA money, the way they are being used is guided by an Act of Parliament, so the two are not directly related. Thank you.

MR. CHIMANIKIRE: I think I am more concerned Mr. Speaker, on the fact that ZINARA has been collecting money for such a long time and no visible changes have been observed in terms of road service. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Is it Government policy to collect money that is not put to good use? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chimanikire, your supplementary question was drowned. Can you kindly repeat it?

MR. CHIMANIKIRE: My question was - ZINARA has been collecting funds for quite sometime and yet there is no visible evidence of where these funds are being applied.

MS. KAGONYE: I would like to appeal to the hon. member to rephrase his question and maybe, ask the question as to how ZINARA has been using the money that it has been collecting and we can give a detailed account of how they have been using the money. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: I am sure Hon. Chimanikire will do what the hon. deputy minister has said. The hon. deputy minister has suggested a written question so that details can be given accordingly.

MR. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. I noticed that in the National Budget, there is a five cents levy on all mobile transactions. However, mobile transactions are operating outside the National Payment Systems Act and they do not have any settlement. What measure is the ministry going to take in order to make sure that it accounts for every cent that is raised outside the settlement system of this country? Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Chakona, may I direct as follows. In terms of Order No. 62 of the Standing Orders, Subsection F, a member cannot anticipate the discussion of any other subject which appears up on the Order Paper. In determining whether a discussion is out of order on the ground of anticipation, the Speaker shall have regard to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the House within a reasonable time. That matter arises from the Order Paper item on the budget.

MR. MAKUNDE: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and this concerns our livestock especially in Mashonaland East. Is the ministry aware that there is an outbreak of a cattle disease called black lake in the province of Mashonaland East? We have also noticed some non-governmental organisations like farmer organisations like ZFU, going around vaccinating cattle. What is the ministry's policy on such outbreaks of diseases? Is it the NGOs that go vaccinating or it is the ministry that can intervene?

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I want to thank the hon. member for asking that question. I will start with the outbreak first and I hope I am correct. What the hon. member is referring to is an increased outbreak of tick-borne diseases and this time, we have that right across, but it is also correct to say that it seems to be prevalent in Mashonaland East. We have to increase the dipping frequency.

When it comes now to development partners or what he is referring to as NGOs, they have their role for as long as it is agreed that they are contributing to that programme, but they do not work alone. If they are working alone, yes, that will be a problem. They should be working under the guidance of Veterinary Services.

MR. MLISWA: Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, are you saying that black is tick borne?

DR. MADE: No, I did not say that. I said that, what is prevalent is tick-borne diseases. I would not refer to the disease he is talking about in terms of his observation because he made a remark without telling me whether that is what the Veterinary Service has confirmed. What I said was, what is prevalent in Mashonaland East are tick-borne diseases.

MR. CHIBAYA: My question to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Made is, the price of cotton does not motivate cotton producers. Can you shed light to this august House, what your ministry is doing in order to motivate these cotton producers because if they stop to produce cotton, that has got a negative impact to the whole country.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I will indulge the Hon. Chibaya, your question is not clearly policy but it was intimated indirectly. Hon. Minister, if you could assist.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): Yes, the issue of cotton and cotton pricing is a very difficult issue as it is, the farmers are indeed moving away from cotton on the basis of that. The farmers generally are price-takers, but they are also making that decision. To us as Government, cotton is a very vital crop. It is not only the lint from there, it includes also the seed itself where we get edible oil as well as stock feeds manufacturing.

Obviously, the farmers now are totally dependent on contractors and the biggest complaint by farmers is that, when they get inputs, they do not know the cost of those inputs. The inputs costs are determined at the end of the season. That is the major complaint that is coming. There are two things that as Government we are doing. First of all, is relooking at the structures as it relates to the Cotton Marketing Board that used to be there. Secondly, also to look at the question of the cost of the inputs and what we can do in that regard.

However, there is a marginal stability in this season's cotton even though we are still assessing the hectarage. Indeed, Government is seized with this matter and engaging both the farmers and the industry but the problems are well understood. Sometimes the farmers are not being given the full package by the contractors. They are given partial package but there are also complaints from the contractors as well, as to the behaviour of the farmers and so on in terms of side-marketing but it is a matter that we are looking at.

Questions without notice were interrupted by MR. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 34.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

CONSTRUCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICE COMPLEX AT SIAKOBVU GROWTH POINT

1. MR. MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing when the construction of the Government Office Complex at Siakobvu Growth Point in Kariba will be completed?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the hon. member for raising this question. The construction of Siakobvu Composite Offices temporarily stopped around 2007 due to financial constraints. At that time, the project was at foundation stage. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me assure the hon. member that Government is still committed to the construction of the offices, and if adequate financial resources are provided, the project could be completed in 2 years time. My ministry has factored in this project in its 2014 budget, for consideration by Treasury. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

ALLOCATION OF FIRE TENDERS TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES

2. MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain to the House the Government policy on the allocation of fire tenders to local authorities?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I wish to inform the hon. House and the hon. member that ordinarily, it is the role and duty of councils in their wide mandate of service provision to provide emergency vehicles inclusive of fire tenders for convenience of the sick, fire fighting and rescue purposes within the areas of their jurisdiction. As an interim measure, some local authorities have successfully exploited twinning arrangements with other external citizen towns to acquire used but serviceable emergency vehicles to augment their capacity. Other local authorities have also solicited and acquired some through various innovative means. Annually, my ministry supports bids for local authorities in respect of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which among other things, caters for service provision requirements. This is in recognition that emergency vehicles and indeed, other service provision demands of local authorities command a considerable cost which is a burden to the planning authorities. The economic sanctions imposed by the West at the instigation of some misdirected people amongst our list -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, Order.

DR. CHOMBO: The economic sanctions imposed by the West at the instigation of some other people have not spared local authorities in their quest to purchase emergency vehicles. My ministry has however, engaged friendly external governments for support. The Japanese Government through the Fire Fighters Association of Japan, has over a span of seven years supplied us with 27 fire and emergency ambulances. These vehicles have been distributed to various local authorities based on the need and strategic location among other factors.

Mr. Speaker Sir, occasionally, Government accords the purchase of emergency vehicles national status priority. Through such a programme, my ministry coordinates the global purchase of emergency vehicles for local authorities. During such capacity building projects, selection, and preparation of technical specifications and the allocation of vehicles is done in full consultation with participating local authorities. I, therefore, crave the support of this august House to lend weight to our bid for the fiscal support in the fourth coming debate on the budget.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Japanese have donated ambulances and fire tenders and they have been distributed as follows: In 2007, the following towns received fire tenders: Beitbridge, Gwanda, Victoria Falls, Rusape, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Kariba, Marondera, Chiredzi and Kwekwe. In 2009, fire equipment was given to Mutare, Masvingo, Hwange, Mutoko, Plumtree, Pfuya, Karoi, Chipinge, Chikomba and Gokwe. In 2010, Lupane, Chegutu and Beitbridge received fire tenders. In 2011, Harare and Bulawayo benefited and in 2013, Gwanda and Zvishavane benefited. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

PLANS TO CONSTRUCT SHAGAR DAM.

3.MR. MADUBEKO asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisastion and Irrigation Development Department to explain to the House;

(i) The circumstances behind the delay on the reconstruction of the Shagari Dam which has continued to affect the irrigation scheme in the community.

(ii) The ministry's plans to reconstruct the dam.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I did indicate -[HON. MEMBERS; Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon. members on the other side, it is unparliamentary to disrespect the minister standing to answer the question. The Standing Orders are very clear on that.

DR. MADE: Mr. Speaker, I think I indicated on the issue of the Shagari dam that this falls under the Minister of Water. It is the scheme that falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. So, as long as the dam is not yet fixed by the ministry for the dams, there is nothing we can do in terms of the other side. But, this is a matter that we are looking at jointly because the two ministries relate to each other. That is on the first part of the question.

The second part relates to the Minister of Water. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Madubeko, if you can redirect your question to the relevant minister.

PLANS TO RE-OPEN THE ARDA IRRIGATION SCHEME IN MAPHISA, MATOBO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

4. THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): The question relating to the ARDA irrigation scheme at Maphisa relates to the financing of the agriculture and rural development authority. This scheme is subject to us funding adequate resources to re-open that scheme. That scheme is fully understood that it is being worked on in a relationship of the re-capitalisation programme for ARDA. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

AVAILABILITY OF RESERVOIRS IN GOKWE

5. MS MANGAMI asked the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Development to explain how Government intends to improve availability of reservoirs such as dams in Gokwe so that irrigation activities can be undertaken.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR MADE): Mr. Speaker, the issue relating to the 5th question as I have said, relates to issues of dam construction, which is under the Ministry of Water, but as I have said, since most of these dams are for use in agriculture, these are the dams that we are working together with the Ministry of Water. The specific question of construction of dams falls under the Ministry of Water. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

MONEY RECEIVED BY KARIBA DISTRICT FROM ZINARA

15. MR MACKENZIE asked the Minister of transport and Infrastructural Development the amount of money distributed to Kariba Town by ZINARA over the past five years to maintain the following roads:

i) Makunde Kariba Road;

ii) Siakobvu Negande Road;

iii) Mola Mahuyu Road and

iv) Jongola Road

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Mackenzie would want to know the amount of money that has been distributed to Kariba Town by ZINARA over the past five years to maintain the following roads:

i) Makunde Kariba Road; US$30 341,50 has been disbursed

ii) Siakobvu Negande Road; US$41 344.00

iii) Mola Mahuyu Road; US$125 084.50; the total is coming up to US$458 443.00 including the US$201 000 for a motor grade.

I thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon Minister whilst you are up standing, did you answer Roman numeral number (iv), in case I did not hear you properly.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): US$37 907,75.

MR. SPEAKER: Jongola road?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): Yes.

RESURFACING OF ROADS IN KARIBA

16. MR MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the following roads were last resurfaced;

i) Mola Makuyu road;

ii) Jongola Road; and

iii) Siakobvu Negande Road in Kariba and whether there are plans to grade them.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. member has asked when the following roads where last resurfaced and whether they are plans to resurface them, namely Mola Makuyu, Jongola and Siakobvu Negande Roads. The roads referred to come under the District Development Fund. These roads were last graveled during the rural roads programme and have been under a comprehensive 3 years cycle maintenance programme. However, for the past five years, the DDF has been receiving very limited resources, which were not enough to meet the maintenance needs of these roads.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I point out that these roads have outlived their design life span and as a result have become technically challenging to maintain. Had resources been made available, specifically for roads rehabilitation as per our 2014 budget bids, then the roads will be reshaped and re-graveled. However, as we have all noted, the 2014 budget has not been able to provide for this. I thank you.

AIR ZIMBABWE FLIGHTS TO KARIBA

17. MR MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development the current position with regard to Air Zimbabwe flights to Kariba and the proposed upgrading of Kariba Airport.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): The Hon. Minister has asked the current position regarding….

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): The hon. member has asked the current position with regard to Air Zimbabwe flights to Kariba and the proposed upgrading of Kariba Airport. Air Zimbabwe is going into a route expansion programme in its strategic plan and will be introducing the Harare-Kariba-Victoria Falls ram using an MA60 aircraft. Air Zimbabwe technical team carried out an Airport inspection of Kariba Airport on 26 July 2013 and cars will be doing the necessary one way repairs including various renovations at the airport.

At the moment the MA60 is the only aircraft within Air Zimbabwe fleet that is suitable for Kariba until the runway has been upgraded to accommodate other aircrafts. The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe has not had the capacity to maintain their airports for the past 10 years. As a result, most of its airport infrastructure is in a state of dis-repair. The current budget for the repairs of Kariba Airport amounts to a total of US$20m.

GOVERNMENT'S POLICY TO AWARD LOCAL CONTRACTORS TENDERS FOR ROADS CONSTRUCTION

18. MR NDUNA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development whether it is Government's policy to ensure that local contractors are awarded tenders for roads construction in light of the indegenisation and economic empowerment programme.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE): Mr. Speaker, Sir, engagement of contractors is governed by the Procurement Act and regulations. Section 34 (2) of the Act states that a Procurement Entity may restrict participation in procurement proceedings to persons who are citizens of or ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe if it is authorised to do so by the Procurement Regulations. Section 21 of the Procurement Regulations of 2002 states that locally based contractors and suppliers should be allowed a 10 percent preference of purchase or contract price over external contractors.

Section 20 subsection (2) of the Regulations also states that previously, economically disadvantaged contractors should be allowed a 10% preference on purchase or contract price over external contractors. It therefore follows Mr. Speaker Sir, that yes, indigenous contractors have an advantage over external ones.

PLANS FOR COMPREHENSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE IN MATOBO SOUTH

19. MR. S. NCUBE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development whether there are any plans by the Ministry for a comprehensive road infrastructure in Matobo South, given the fact that there are no tarred roads at all in Matobo South.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS KAGONYE) : Mr. Speaker Sir, construction of the Bulawayo-Kezi road which traverses Matopos was suspended in 2006 due to shortage of funds. The road was being upgraded from a narrow mart to a 6 metre bitumen surfaced road. The project is still on the PSIP programme and construction will resume when funding becomes available.

CONNECTION OF ELECTRICITY TO NEWLY STABLISHED RESIDENTIAL AREAS IN CHEGUTU

26. MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to clarify to the House the Government's policy with regards to connection of electricity in newly-established residential areas such as Forit Township in Chegutu, which has not had electricity connected for the past 15 years.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (ENG. MUTEZO): The policy relating to electrification of new establishments is that, wherever possible, resources to electrify would be availed, but as you are aware from the last budget presentation, Government is now urging off budgeting financing. We have been urging developers that as much as they develop other infrastructures, they should also include the provision of electricity as part of the infrastructure. This is how that particular housing estate has been affected by no budget being set aside for it.

We very much appreciate developers who are coming on board to team up with Government in terms of providing infrastructure and ZESA would be able to then do the technical work to make sure that the infrastructure is brought to use.

MS ZINDI : I just want to find out from the Minister with regards to his response that it is now a policy that developers are expected to also consider para-development. In this instance, the project has since been undertaken before the development of the new policy. What then is going to happen to that project since the developer has since developed for the past fifteen years?

ENG. MUTEZO: As you are all aware, there are several developments that are happening in housing and a lot of them are done by private developers. These private developers provide their own infrastructure such as roads, water and sewage as well as electricity. There is nothing new to that and I think it is something that has been done and it continues to be done. So there is no departure from Government policy.

MR NDUNA: In light of this situation at Forit, is there anything that is being done at the moment with regards to putting that township under electricity.

ENG. MUTEZO: I am sure we are all aware of the budget that was presented here. I do not see any provision for Forit in particular, so I think my answer suffices.

MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT POLICY HOLDERS RECEIVE THEIR BENEFITS FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES

27. MS MANGAMI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain measures that the Ministry is taking to ensure that policy holders receive their benefits from insurance companies when they mature.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR CHINAMASA): We were not able to formulate a response because the question is not specific. One should take it for granted that policy holders get the benefits of their policies on maturity but if there is any specific problem, maybe the hon. Member should bring it to my attention so that I could look into it. Otherwise the arrangement between policy holders and insurance companies is that you get the benefits upon maturity of the policy.

MR. MUTSEYAMI : Supplementary. With regard to the question that you have just gone through which you said has a bit of ambiguity, we have, as of today, Insurance Companies who have clients whose insurance policies have since matured and there are challenges of Zimbabweans accessing their monies which have matured as a result of their policies. This is a challenge of the Z$ and the dollarization aspect.

MR. SPEAKER : If I understood clearly, the hon. minister said please can I have specific cases so that he can respond accordingly. The supplementary question still remains vague in that regard.

For our record, the name of the ministry seems to be interchangeable. One time it is called Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the next it is called the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. For purposes of our records, may the House be given the correct nomenclature?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA) : People were almost treating me like a chameleon - called me one thing today and the other tomorrow. The official designation Mr. Speaker Sir, is The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

MR. SPEAKER : Thank you very much Minister for your indulgence.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NUMBER 22, 109 AND 205 (5)

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA) : I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Orders No. 22, 109 and 205 (5) regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at five minutes to seven o'clock p.m. and at twenty-five minutes past one o'clock p.m. on a Friday; Stages of Bills and reporting period of the Parliamentary Legal Committee respectively, be suspended until business relating to the budget has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NUMBER 22, 109 AND 205 (5)

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA) : I move that the provisions of Standing Orders No. 22, 109 and 205 (5) regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at five minutes to seven o'clock p.m. and at twenty-five minutes past one o'clock p.m. on a Friday; Stages of Bills and reporting period of the Parliamentary Legal Committee respectively, be suspended until business relating to the budget has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA) : I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 14 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 15 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Finance Bill.

Question again proposed.

MR. CHAMISA : I am going to present the post budget analysis of Vote 25.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Ministry was established in February 2009 with a mandate to promote the development and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Zimbabwe. Post-2013 election, it was reconstituted to become the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services with an added mandate to oversee the activities of NetOne, TelOne, ZARNet and Zimpost.

THE NATIONAL CONTEXT

The Mobile penetration rate is at 103 % with the internet hovering around 39.5%.The fixed line is at 2.5%.Interestingly, the mobile money transfer is 40% of the mobile subscriber base. With the globally approved postal density located at 11000 people per post office, Zimbabwe has 60 000 people per post office.

THE GLOBAL CONTEXT

The rise of the internet of things, the explosion of digital business enthusiasm abounds. Over 121 billion people have access on the social media.6.4 billion people have access to mobile phones. However, the actual number of subscriber base is 4.3 billion people since many have several subscriptions.

With Nest on the horizon (A home management app that was recently acquired by Google) you can now manage all your home appliances and activities remotely via you smartphone. With Google glass, which will be able to see through clothing and current apps in development will enable the gadget to perform CT scans and other health related scans.

Every person is becoming a technology extension as the digital industrial and knowledge economy kicks off. As data grows exponentially, the virtual and the physical will collapse into one business reality

The Internet of everything will mean governments and companies will compete with a whole new set of players. Knowledge workers will be replaced by smart systems they trained. And the teacher will face extinction on many fronts if they can not react and innovate fast enough.

Let us look at some of 2020 projections and do a reality check.

· 20 percent of computers will learn not just process in 2017 but actually action things.

· Lobola including Rusambo, Matekenyandebvu and Rugaba will be paid online, just look at ecocash which is only but the beginning.

With the new webagogy from the old pedagogy, the teacher is changing with the black board and the chalk up for permanent burial.

· Commuter Payments and Buss Fares will be paid online, mukombi chaimo. Either on the M-Platform and E-Platform.

· By 2020, one in three knowledge workers will be replaced by enterprise owned smart machines they trained. Again, this prediction makes sense. IT is being automated and people will too.

· The Internet of things will create economic value for all organisations and sectors and create an additional $1.9 trillion for the economy by 2020.

· By 2017, 65 percent of data center capacity will be private, down from 80 percent today. Enterprises are not going cloud happy en masse. The run to the cloud may be slower - due to depreciation and other non-IT issues. It is safe to say that if you bought a server today it is going to be really hard to justify a purchase three years from now.

· In two years, the combined IT and telecom market will hit almost $4 trillion, or 5 percent of global GDP. A believable statistic - someone has to network the Internet of things.

· By 2020, 30 billion things will be connected as every product more than $100 will be smart. I can see the reasoning as sensors are embedded everywhere. The things projection is largely a guess based on a growth rate.

· 3D printing will revolutionise the supply chain. This one is totally believable and on-demand parts will be critical for both new and mature products.

The Internet is progressing at such a blistering pace that by 2020, we are probably going to see a lot of changes, hopefully for the better. For example, right now here in 2012, we are seeing a vast amount of data being uploaded to the cloud, as more and more people abandon concepts such as hard drives and CD/DVD disks, in favour of cloud services such as Google Music and Evernote. We are also seeing file storage solutions offer us even more space in the gigabytes and terabytes, while wireless Internet connections continue to proliferate everywhere in offices, homes, bars, coffee shops and other public places.

This will mean more people, from a wider area of the world, from a wider variety of backgrounds, will be able to enjoy the benefits of the net and it will not become a toy of the privileged richer nations. This tells our story in Africa.

But as usual, every good thing has its price. With more people, services and infrastructure going online, the Internet becomes an even bigger and rewarding target for criminals and hackers who want to take advantage.

The internet dividend that is sure to come is akin to a baby that is still a pregnancy. As parents, we have a choice to make before the baby is born. Either we spend our all on beer and other side pleasures at the expense of pampers and other baby clothing for our sure to come baby. The advantage we have is that the pregnancy is a warning of the responsibilities to come. Fortunately, during preparation time, clothing is God given through the mother's womb but this is for a short time.

Lest we parent a naked baby, we need to buy the pampers, we need the budget and we need to budget

1.1. MINSTRY OBJECTIVES

Some of the ministerial goals for the period 2014 to 2016 include but not limited to;

i. Develop appropriate policies and strategies that enhance provision of ICT, telecommunications, postal and courier services.

ii. Develop an enabling environment for the creation of a knowledge-based society that transgresses across all levels of society.

iii. Spearhead the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks that facilitate the promotion of information communication technologies, telecommunications, postal and courier services.

iv. Champion and promote ICT literacy and utilisation in the country in order to enhance regional and international competitiveness as a nation.

v. Develop ICT access channels e.g. information kiosks and community information centres for the less privileged members of society to have access to developmental information.

vi. Establish and manage an e-government framework, structures and applications at national level.

vii. Evaluate the impact of ICTs, telecommunications, postal and courier services across all sectors of the economy.

viii. Champion, promote and coordinate national ICTs, telecommunications, postal and courier research and development of cost effective software, hardware and infrastructure so that it reaches best international standards.

ix. Develop supportive and enabling communications infrastructure to ensure equitable access to ICTs by all citizens including disadvantaged groups and rural communities.

x. Introduce and enforce stringent quality of service standards in the provision of ICTs.

xi. Create a conducive environment for investment in the areas of ICTs, telecommunications, postal and courier services through public private partnerships (PPP).

xii. Manage parastatals and state owned enterprises under the Ministry.

1.2 INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES VOTE ANALYSIS

From an overall bid of $35,300,631 for the 2014 budget, only $11,592,000 was made available to the Ministry representing an under allocation of 67.16%. However, the allocation is 3.09% more than the 2013 allocation ($11,244,000). From the amount allocated for 2014, the Ministry will only utilise $10,882,000 since the balance ($710,000) will be offset by Current Transfers ($580,000) and Capital Transfers ($130,000) for ZARNet. This budgetary allocation will most likely create operational challenges to the Ministry in discharging its mandate.

In 2013, the Ministry was allocated $7,244,000. However, only $4,839,370 (66.81%) was released in that fiscal year. In that regard, the Ministry was 'forced' to accumulate a debt of $2,006,497.80 in order to sustain its activities which created a debt overhang for 2014. If this scenario persists in 2014, some of the Ministry's goals may not be achieved.

The Ministry has skills challenges with massive resignations that have resulted in an accumulation of 49% vacant posts in the ministry.

Table 1 shows the Bottom 10 ranked ministries in terms of vote allocation.

Table 1: Bottom 10 Vote Allocations for 2013 and 2014

From Table 1 above, Ministry's priority listing dropped from 20thposition in 2013 to 21st in 2014. As a result of the drop in priority listing, the ministry's vote allocation marginally fell from 0.33% in 2013 to 0.32% in 2014. It therefore becomes a fact that the Ministry will find it difficult to execute its duties given it has added responsibilities in terms of parastatal oversight.

An Analysis in percentage terms of changes in the major components of the budget allocation to the Ministry is shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Percentage Change in Budgetary Allocations from 2013 to 2014 

In Table 2 above, Current Expenditure is expected to increase by 7.26% from $3,414,000 in 2013 to $3,662,000 in 2014. Notable increases in Current Expenditure are Employment Costs (15.52%) and Current Transfers (18.61%).Employment Costs are a function of staff establishment in the Ministry, which is operating with only 51% of staff establishment. The shortage of both skilled and unskilled personnel has serious implications on achieving set goals. The financial resources available for 2014 will not allow recruitment of additional staff even though the Ministry is in dire need of additional people to fill vacant posts. In addition to constrained resources, there is a post freeze by the Civil Service Commission.

The Capital and Current transfers are all attributable to ZARNet, a parastatal yet to become commercially viable as opposed to NetOne andTelOne.

Zimpost had placed a bid of $3,200,000 for urgent projects to enhance its operations but nothing was allocated in the 2014 budget. However, by failing to secure projects funding, this development will not negatively affect Zimpost's operations in the current year.

For Goods and Services, the Ministry's bid was $3,284,256, under Admin and General, and $2,898,264 for Central Computing Services (CCS). The 2014 budget only makes available $1,191,000 and $381,000 for Admin & General and CCS respectively. This allocation is inadequate considering there is need for staff training, foreign and domestic travel, property rentals and car hire costs in the pending year.

The Ministry also saw a decline of 40.85% in the Maintenance budget from $825,000 in 2013 to $488,000 in 2014. This allocation reflects an underfunding by 83% for CCS and 70% for Admin and General rendering maintenance of technical equipment and vehicles problematic in the year ahead.

Since the Ministry intends to improve the regulatory environment through policy and legal reforms, $300,000 has been made available in that regard under Programmes. However, this is considered to be highly inadequate. The fight against pirated software will remain a pipeline dream if inadequate resources become the order of the day.

It is a fact that genuine software licenses are not cheap [1]. It is therefore imperative for Government to negotiate group licences especially from Microsoft, SAP, etc. With inadequate resources, the Ministry will not achieve this objective.

While Capital Expenditure allocation marginally increased by 1.28% from $7,830,000 in 2013 to $7,930,000 in 2014, the allocation for Fixed Capital Assets increased by 105.26% and that of Capital Transfers shot up by 333.33%.

· The Ministry has a surplus of 34% on its bid to achieve E-Government systems and operations in 2014. Part of this surplus will be used to pay off debts owing to service providers [2] from 2013.

· The Ministry had an objective to construct a Computer Lab per School. However, only $1,500,000 was allocated against a bid of $7,588,206, which represents an underfunding of 80%. Of the 100 Computer Labs planned, only 20 will be equipped in 2014.

· There was an objective to commission 10 Community Information Centres (CICs) in 2014 and a bid of $2,207,780 had been forwarded to Treasury. However, only $1,500,000 was allocated for these projects. Given this position, the Ministry will only commission 6 CICs in the year ahead.

· From a bid of $1,666,000 to procure 340 laptops for legislators, only $500,000 was allocated. This means that only 166 laptops can be procured.

· For the establishment of a Data Centre, The Ministry had placed a bid for $56,820,000. However, only $1,540,000 was allocated or only 3% of the bid.

· National Software Systems upgrades require $10,435,044, only $600,000 was allocated. This includes software licenses payment to service providers such as Oracle, SAP, etc.

· Last Mile Connectivity was allocated $600,000 from a bid of $2,785,000. As a result of this underfunding, only 13 districts out of 63 will enjoy a seamless connection to the SAP application software.

1.2 OVERVIEW OF PARASTATALS

1.2.1 TelOne

TelOne has a strategic plan to augment its waning fixed line business with multimedia services. Included among its objectives for the period 2014-2018 are infrastructure development, revenue growth and profitability. The company needs budgetary support for capital projects only since it can sustain operations from business revenue as a going concern.

The recurrent budget is sustained from revenue generated from the company's operations. However, TelOne has a debt overhang of $300 million inherited from a PTC loan facility guaranteed by the Government of Zimbabwe. There is need to find a solution to extinguish the debt which is crippling TelOne's efforts to borrow funds for capital projects.

Capital expenditure projects include revamping fixed-line infrastructure to enhance the ADSL business and rolling out a fibre network throughout the country. TelOne requires $90 million to complete the project and there are prospects to secure funding from a Chinese financier. The company has been forced to diversify to new products and services due to declining fixed-line subscribers and business. However, this seems to be the norm in most African countries and Zimbabwe seems to be hanging in there and is rated number two in Africa to Telkom, in terms of subscriber base.

It was noted that TelOne has invested in the undersea fibre optic cable and currently a carrier of carriers in bandwidth provision and has capacity to provide fast broadband services to Government departments, agencies and ISPs. Currently, some Government departments, colleges, schools, parastatals, etc, are getting internet services from private players instead of TelOne or ZARNET. It is important to note that there are some disagreements between Econet and TelOne on termination of international traffic. This logjam is preventing TelOne from realising potential revenue through termination of international traffic.

1.2.2 NetOne

NetOne's objective is to provide a wide-ranging mobile telecommunications services throughout Zimbabwe at affordable rates to its subscribers. In 2013, NetOne achieved most of the set targets, chief among them being;

i. achieving a revenue target in excess of $100 million,

ii. setting up of 100 base stations and

iii. making a profit.

The financing of capital projects, has proved to be a major challenge until a $45 million loan was availed by the Chinese Exim Bank. In addition to this, the company secured a $219 million loan facility which is at an advanced stage of approval. The loan has a favourable term-sheet that includes;

i. 5 year grace period

ii. repayment over 10 years and

iii. 1.5% interest rate.

On the domestic market, interest rates on loans are pegged between 19% and 20% with repayment periods of between 6 months and a year. This loan facility will culminate in NetOne improving internet connectivity [3] on a large scale with the hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goal on ICT. In addition, about 175 new green-field base stations will be commissioned once the loan is approved.

It is important to mention that NetOne inherited incorporation and set up debt from its founding father, PTC, when it was incorporated. This debt ballooned as a result of some set up costs that were financed through an interest bearing loan facility. However, on a positive note, NetOne reduced the $10 million loan facility to $3 million which it intends to pay off within the next 7 months.

1.2.3 Zimpost

Zimpost has an obligation to provide postal and related services to the people of Zimbabwe irrespective of whether it is running at a profit or not. Currently, Zimpost has 229 post offices throughout the country and has not received any fiscal support since 2009. Technological changes and evolutions have seriously affected its core-business of handling mail, which has dwindled by 85% since 2000. Zimpost has, therefore, been restructured to adapt to the changing business environment through related diversification. The company aims to be the Government's preferred services provider by offering all Government services at every post office. However, this will only be achievable if Government has a Data Centre and all Zimpost offices are entirely computerised and seamlessly connect through a wide area network (WAN).

In the year under review, Zimpost posted a net profit of $26,000 without any fiscal support. In order to remain profitable, Zimpost intends to introduce post-buses to every part of the country it has offices. This development will significantly and inevitably reduce operational costs by removing long distance mail vehicles. Mail vehicles will only be deployed to urban centres only. The acquisition of buses and vehicles will be financed, partly through funding received from POTRAZ and own sources.

1.2.4 ZARNet

ZARNet has been relying on fiscal support since inception. However, the company has set a target to be self sustaining and eventually, be profitable in the foreseeable future through financial sustainability, broadening products and services, strengthening internal capacity and improving productivity. ZARNet continues to enjoy fiscal support by way of Capital and Current Transfers. Its bid of $1.6 million for Current Expenditure and $9.2 million for Capital Expenditure was reduced to $580,000 and $130,000 respectively. ZARNet had hoped to transform its financial fortunes in the current financial year had funds been made available.

1.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

After carefully considering submissions by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, the Committee strongly recommends the following;

· There should be a budget allocation towards research and development (R&D) on ICTs.An on-going R & D for the Ministry will certainly create employment and capacity for researchers, avail new ICT technology and solutions for the nations, and reduce the import budget on ICT related products and services.

· The Ministry should consider private public partnerships (PPPs) as opposed to waiting for an already overstretched Government Budget. This will be achievable if Government and/or Cabinet finalise guidelines for the formation of PPPs.

· Government should streamline operations of parastatals in the ICT sector to avoid duplication of operations by creating areas of specialisation within Government.

· The Ministry should involve communities and Members of Parliament (MPs) in the set up of Community Information Centres (CICs).When the community and MPs are involved, the set up cost will be reduced through the provision of some infrastructure. The Ministry will then be limited to providing computers and internet connectivity only. This development will go a long way in reducing set up costs of CICs thereby creating fiscal space.

· Parastatals which fall under the Ministry's budgets must form part of the Ministerial budget despite the parastatal's financial status. This will make the oversight role seemingly easy.

· There must be timeous and consistent release of financial resources to remove operational bottlenecks and delays in the implementation of projects.

· The Civil Service Commission freeze on posts ought to be lifted/varied for certain key Government ministry requirements, especially key posts which require specialised skills.

· Parastatals' activities and business models should be streamlined and restructures to ensure viability and profitability. The time for parastatals to continue making losses is over.

· The Government is the regulator and therefore should expeditiously resolve the Econet-TelOne standoff which is affecting TelOne's profitability.

1.4 CONCLUSIONS

The Committee concluded that the Ministry and ZARNet are seriously underfunded which may eventually affect the Ministry's performance and delivery on key areas that are critical to both Government and the public. The Ministry has set targets and objectives that have to be funded in the current fiscal year/period. The failure by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to provide adequate funding will not only cripple the Ministry's operations, but will dampen the spirits of those entrusted to run the Ministry.

ZARNet has been relying on fiscal support for a long time and it is important that it be funded once and for all and be weaned off the Ministry's budget. However, with underfunding, it may be very difficult to wean it off.

The other parastatals, NetOne, TelOne and Zimpost form part of the Ministry's portfolio through the oversight role. However, this is not reflected in the budget presentation as these parastatals' representatives are only worried about how much they can get from Government for projects and not what they did with what they got in the year under review. Again, they do not publish their financial statements for public scrutiny and view. The Committee was then left guessing what happened during the year under review and pending.

The Ministry's objectives will not be achieved if;

· Creating Community Information Centres whose aim is to narrow the technological gap between the urbanites and the rural population and improve access to information, distance learning, and training among other essential services.

· Developing a Data Centre which will house critical government information for the achievement of E-Government services and products. The amount allocated will only be sufficient for preparatory work only.

· Weaning off ZARNet to create fiscal space in the preceding years, to expand operations and turn around its balance sheet. Once ZARNet becomes profitable, it will reduce pressure on the parent ministry for resource.

· Develop appropriate policies and strategies that enhance provision of ICT, telecommunications, postal and courier services.

· Develop an enabling environment for the creation of a knowledge-based society that transgresses across all levels of society.

· Spearhead the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks that facilitate the promotion of information communication technologies, telecommunications, postal and courier services.

· Champion and promote ICT literacy and utilisation in the country in order to enhance regional and international competitiveness as a nation. I thank you.

MR. WADYAJENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Before I present my report, I want to express our condolence. On behalf of the Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, people of Gokwe Nembudziya Constituency, Midlands Province in general and indeed on my own behalf and my family, I would like to take this opportunity to extent my condolences to His Excellency, Cde R. G. Mugabe, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and grandmaster Commander of the Zimbabwe Merit Award. The First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, relatives and the nation at large on the passing on of Tete Bridget at Parirenyatwa Hospital following a long period of hospitalisation.

B.Z. as she was fondly called, was indeed a true cadre, teacher, unifier and a cultural ambassador who promoted our rich cultural heritage as the First Family, party cadres and the nation at large continue to draw inspiration from the emblem of values and legacy of self reliance and pride in being Zimbabwean and indigenisation and economic empowerment that she saw bringing the wealth to us.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to present my report on the post-budget analysis of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

1.0 Introduction

Subject to the requirements of Standing Order No. 160, the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment considered submissions from the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on its 2014 Budget Estimates. The Ministry has two (02) key Sub Votes which are: Administration and General on the one hand and Vocational Training Centers on the other. The Ministry is mandated to guide and coordinate the implementation of the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme as well as the youth development agenda, through the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33), the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act (Chapter 25:19 as amended in 1997) and the Revised National Youth Policy. The Ministry thus has a key role to play in accelerating economic empowerment and development in the country in conformity with ZIM ASSET Key Strategy No. 3.8 (iv) which reads as follows:

" Availing and increasing economic opportunities for women, youths and the physically challenged in communities in conformity with the Indigenisation, Empowerment and Employment Creation thrust."

1.1 Key Result Areas of the Ministry

The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment has laid down its priority objectives for the 2014 Financial Year as:

· Implementation of the Ministry's programmes in line with ZIM-ASSET;

· Youth transformation and vocational skills training;

· Youth participation and leadership development;

· Economic empowerment of the youth and indigenous Zimbabwean citizens, and

· Indigenisation of the Zimbabwean economy.

1.2 Major Achievements During 2013

During the 2013 Fiscal Year, the Ministry achieved the following:

a) Prioritising the payment of civil servants' salaries without fail, even under the 'throttling' and difficult conditions occasioned by the continuation and non-lifting of the illegal and debilitating economic sanctions.

b) Successfully providing access to concessionary loans for 2 110 projects for youths with an employment creation potential of 5 275 jobs.

c) Developing a framework for the implementation of indigenisation in the reserved sectors of the economy (General Notice No. 66 of 2013).

d) Facilitating the operationalisation of 20% of Community Share Ownership Schemes/Trusts.

e) Enabling one thousand six hundred (1 600) youths to start their own businesses through various Youth Development Funds and entrepreneurial development facilities.

f) Launching public awareness campaigns in the cyber, electronic and print media and thereby bringing in more transparency in the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (Chapter 14:33).

g) Enabling seventeen thousand eight hundred (17 800) youths to benefit from the Ministry's advocacy and leadership development programmes.

h) Enabling three thousand five hundred youths (3 500) youths to receive training in entrepreneurial skills development in the Ministry's 42 Vocational Training Centers (VTCs).

i) Enabling one thousand three hundred and fifty-one (1 351) youths to access training under the Integrated Skills Outreach Programme (ISOP) in all provinces.

1.3 Ministry's Policy Priorities for 2014-2016

The policy priorities for the Ministry for the period 2014-2016 are to:

· Infuse ZIM-ASSET into all the policy priorities for the Ministry.

· Promote youth participation in civic and national development programmes.

· Increase entrepreneurship and skills training opportunities for youths.

· Increase the availability of data and information on youths to stakeholders.

· Indigenise the Zimbabwean economy, and

· Enhance empowerment opportunities for youths and indigenous Zimbabwean citizens.

2.0 The National Budget

The overall Budget Estimate for 2014 is projected at US$4 120 000 000-00, which is an increase of 6.7% from the 2013 Budget of US$3 860 000 000-00. The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment received an allocation of US$44 450 000-00. In comparison with 2013, the Budget Estimate for the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for 2014 increased by 4.97%. The Ministry's vote represents an allocation of 1.07% of the National Budget. Table 1 below ranks and compares the Budget allocations for 2013 and 2014:

TABLE 1: COMPARATIVE NATIONAL BUDGET ALLOCATIONS FOR 2013 AND 2014

Ranking

Ministry

2013 Allocation (US$ 000)

% of Budget

Ranking

Ministry

2014 Allocation (US$ 000)

% of Budget

1

Education, Sports, Arts & Culture

754,937

19.6

1

Primary & Secondary Education

865,669

21.01

2

Health and Child Care

380,980

9.9

2

Defence

368,054

8.93

3

Defence

353,699

9.2

3

Home Affairs

364,183

8.84

4

Home Affairs

308,042

8.0

4

Health and Child Care

337,005

8.18

5

Higher & Tertiary Education

286,781

7.4

5

Higher & Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development

335,231

8.14

6

Finance

218,076

5.6

6

OPC

206,054

5.00

7

OPC

161,024

4.2

7

Finance and Economic Development

199,552

4.84

8

Agriculture

147, 839

3.8

8

Public Service

168,707

4.09

9

Public Service

140,441

3.6

9

Agriculture

155,256

3.77

10

Justice & Legal Affairs

124, 365

3.2

10

Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs

108,957

2.64

11

Local Government, Public Works & National Housing

113, 892

2.9

11

Environment, Water & Climate

93 474

2.27

12

Environment, Water & Climate

101, 494

2.6

12

Local Govt, Public Works & Nat Housing

88 350

2.14

13

Foreign Affairs

63, 204

1.64

13

Transport & Infrastructure Dev.

69 001

1.67

14

Transport & Infrastructure Deve.

62 484, 500

1.62

14

Foreign Affairs

63 884

1.55

15

Youth, Indigenisation& Econ Empowerment

42 343

1.1

15

Youth, Indigenisation & Economic Emp.

44 450

1.08

16

Energy and Power Development

20 766

0.54

16

Energy & Power Development

23 445

0.57

17

Civil Service

16 872

0.44

17

Civil Service Commission

22 602

0.55

18

Judicial Service Commission

16 618

0.43

18

Parliament

20 967

0.51

19

Parliament

15 316

0.394

19

Judicial Service Commission

18 875

0.46

20

Information Com Technology

11 244

0.29

20

Lands & Rural Resettlement

14 115

0.34

21

Rural Lands & Resettlement

11 192

0.289

21

ICT, Postal & Courier Services

11 592

0.28

22

Women's Affairs, Gender &CommDev

10 136

0.26

22

Women Affairs, Gender &CommDev

10 804

0.26

23

Small and Medium Enterprises & Cooperative Dev

9 492

0.245

23

Sport, Arts & Culture

10 450

0.25

24

Tourism & Hospitality

9 412

0.24

24

Info, Media & Broadcasting Services

8 730

0.2118

25

Industry & Commerce

7 656

0.198

25

Small and Medium Enterprises & Cooperative Dev

8 695

0.2110

26

Media, Information & Broadcasting Services

7 347

0.19

26

Mining & Mining Development

8 646

0.21

27

Mining and Mining Development

7 078

0.183

27

Industry and Commerce

7 369

0.18

28

Sports, Arts & Culture

4 922, 100

0.13

28

Tourism & Hospitality Industry

6 194

0.15

From Table 1 above, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment was ranked fifteenth (15th) in the overall Budget allocations. This is comparable to the previous fiscal year where it was ranked the same. The Ministry's overall allocation of US$44 450 000-00 is 1.08% of the national Budget, which is a marginal decline from the previous allocation of 1.1% in 2013. However, Your Committee feels that, given the importance of the Ministry in driving ZIM-ASSET and the indigenisation and empowerment agenda, the mandate of the Ministry should be prioritized and allocated more funding.

3.0 Proposals by the Ministry

The Ministry had filed a bid of US$85 553 000-00for all its policy priorities, employment costs and general operations but was allocated US$44 450 000-00 or 51.96% of the bid. This means that it will be difficult for the Ministry to achieve its set objectives for the fiscal year because of inadequate funding and in light of the fact that accrued debt obligations from the previous fiscal year should be met from the current budget, leaving the Ministry with inadequate funds. The accrued debts amount to US$2.5 million. The debt overhang emanated from the non-release of 76% of the Ministry's 2013 allocated Budget, excluding employment costs which had a 100% release. The disparity between the Ministry's bids and funds allocated under the two (02) Sub-Votes is illustrated in Table 2 below:

TABLE 2: DISPARITY BETWEEN BIDS AND ACTUAL BUDGET ALLOCATIONS

ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL

 

Ser.

 

ITEM

 

ALLOCATION

 

BID

 

SHORTFALL

 

a.

Employment Costs

US$31 016 000-00

US$31 016 000-00

0

b.

Goods and Services

US$2 353 000-00

US$3 000 000-00

US$647 000-00

c.

Maintenance

US$696 000-00

US$1 000 000-00

US$304 000-00

d.

Current Transfers

US$5 237 000-00

US$25 400 000-00

US$20 163 000-00

e.

ECF

US$200 000-00

US$500 000-00

US$300 000-00

f.

NYC

US$988 000-00

US$3 700 000-00

US$2 712 000-00

g.

NYS

US$700 000-00

US$8 000 000-00

US$7 300 000-00

h.

Youth Grants

US$100 000-00

US$200 000-00

US$100 000-00

i.

YDF

US$1 000 000-00

US$2 000 000-00

US$1 000 000-00

j.

NIEEF

US$2 249 000-00

US$8 000 000-00

US$5 751 000-00

k.

Programmes

US$258 000-00

US$500 000-00

US$242 000-00

l.

Acquisition of Assets

US$40 000-00

US$500 000-00

US$460 000-00

m.

Capital Transfers

US$ 400 000-00

US$2 000 000-00

US$1 600 000-00

n.

Total

US$40 000 000-00

US$63 416 000-00

US$23 416 000-00

 

VOCATIONAL TRAINING

 

Ser.

 

ITEM

 

ALLOCATION

 

BID

 

SHORTFALL

 

a.

Employment Costs

US$2 137 000-00

US$2 137 000-00

0

b.

Goods and Services

US$1 345 000-00

US$12 000 000-00

US$10 655 000-00

c.

Maintenance

US$548 000-00

US$7 000 000-00

US$6 452 000-00

d.

Acquisition of Assets

US$420 000-00

US$1 000 000-00

US$580 000-00

 

e.

 

Total

 

US$4 450 000-00

 

US$22 137 000-00

 

US$17 687 000-00

 

With respect to vocational training, the major focus in 2014 is to accelerate economic empowerment, in conformity with ZIM ASSET Key Strategy 3.8 (iv), by increasing the skills base among the youths, including those who are physically challenged and those who are lacking post-primary qualifications, by providing them with market oriented technical, vocational and entrepreneurship skills. To this end, enrolments of youths at the Ministry's forty-two (42) Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) will be increased from the current 7 300 to 42 000. With regards to the indigenisation of the economy, the Ministry will focus on enforcing compliance with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. Emphasis will also be placed on promoting youth participation in civic and national development programmes, and in increasing the availability of data and information on youths to stakeholders.

4.0. Economic Classification of the Budget for the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment

From the economic classification of the Vote, current expenditure and transfers take US$43 590 000-00 which constitutes 98.7% whereas capital expenditure takes US$860 000-00 or 1.93%, showing that the nature of the budget is generally more consumptive than developmental.

Table 3: Table Showing Comparison between Recurrent and Capital Expenditure

Administration and General

 

2013

 

2014

 

% Change

Current Expenditure

US$37 825 000-00

US$39 560 000-00

4.6

Capital Expenditure

US$ 450 000-00

US$440 000-00

-2.2

Vocational Training Centres

     

Current Expenditure

US$3 818 000-00

US$4 030 000-00

5.6

Capital Expenditure

US$250 000-00

US$420 000-00

68

Table 3 shows that in both departments, the bulk of the allocations go to recurrent expenditure and very little to capital expenditure.

However, the substantial increase of capital expenditure of 68% for Vocational Training Centres is commendable, if followed up by the timely release of the funds and allocations.It is hoped that this generous allocation will go some way in catering for the anticipated massive enrolment at the Ministry's forty two (42) VTC's throughout the country in order to empower them withvocational, technical and entrepreneurial skills in line with ZIM-ASSET.

5.0 Goods and Services

The Ministry was allocated US$3 698 000-00 for goods and services, with Administration and General receiving US$2 353 000-00 and Vocational Training getting US$1 345 000-00. This subhead caters for communication and information supplies, educational materials at training centres, food provisions and rations, travel and subsistence for Ministry officials, rentals for office accommodation and many other day to day running expenses in the Ministry. The anticipated increase in the intake of trainees will mean more expenditure on teaching and training materials and institutional provisions. In addition, in order to access remote areas where most VTC centers are located, such as Nyamuroro VTC in Gokwe-Nembudziya, Ministry officials must be equipped with reliable motor vehicles and this means more expenditure on rental and hiring services as the Ministry will be hiring these from CMED (Pvt) Ltd.

The major component of this budget provision of US$3 698 000-00 will be spent in offsetting the current debts amounting to US$494 357-00 which were accumulated during the 2013 financial year, mainly due to non release of the budget provision in that year. The major creditors are for communication, utilities supplies like water, electricity and service charges. The outstanding debts should be settled during the first quarter of the year to avoid legal action from these creditors.

6.0 Maintenance

The state of physical infrastructure in the Ministry's institutions is deplorable, as some of them are prefabricated and have outlived their useful lifespan. It is critical for the Ministry to carry out basic maintenance works at most of these institutions to make them habitable.

Most of them are located in rural farming communities and the Ministry needs reliable vehicles to access them. A greater part of the current fleet at the Ministry has outlived its lifespan and therefore needs constant servicing and repair at high cost. The Ministry's bid to procure vehicles was turned down, meaning that the old vehicles will continue to be used at high cost. In addition to this, there is an outstanding debt amounting to US$90 076-00 for the service of these vehicles which was accumulated during the 2013 financial year and not paid due to the non release of the budgeted allocations.

7.0 Current Transfers

7.1 The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund

The major item under this subhead is the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund which was allocated US$2 249 000-00 against a budget request of US$10 million. The huge shortfall between the request and the actual amount released is set to have a negative impact on the implementation of the indigenisation programme. Out of the US$2.2 million allocated to the Fund in 2013, only US$637 989-00 was released by Treasury, resulting in the organisation accumulating debts of over US$1 million which have been carried over to this financial year. In effect, this means that only US$1.2 million will be available for this year's operations.

This must be considered against the background that the focus in 2014 is to enhance economic empowerment opportunities for indigenous Zimbabwean citizens through the provision of project financing to achieve 51% indigenous shareholding in most of our economic sectors with full compliance in the reserved sectors.

The small allocation provided to the Fund, coupled with the absence of the requisite approval from the Minister of Finance to authorise NIEEF to collect an 'Empowerment Levy' will negatively impact on NIEEB's empowerment programmes for 2014. The absence of the empowerment levy will make it impossible for NIEEF to mobilise funds for economic empowerment as a robust and well capitalised NIEEF is vital for the full realisation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment agenda.

7.2 The Youth Development and Employment Creation Funds

The two funds were allocated a combined total of US$1.2 million. The funds will be distributed equally among the ten provinces translating to US$120 000-00 per province, to be distributed evenly to their respective districts. Each district will eventually receive less thanUS$20 000-00. Considering the amount of interest from the applicants, and the burgeoning demand for the funds from promising entrepreneurs, the allocation is likely to have a low impact, resulting in many youth projects remaining unfunded.

7.3 The Zimbabwe Youth Council and National Youth Service

Current transfers also provide funding for the operations of the Zimbabwe Youth Council and the National Youth Service, which were provided with US$988 000-00 and US$700 000-00, respectively. The two institutions have also been saddled with the burden of 'accumulated debts' carried over from 2013 and emanating from the non release of voted funds from Treasury. The National Youth Service also has additional debts from bills charged for utilities like water and electricity. It owes various creditors US$250 000-00 while the Zimbabwe Youth Council owes US$90 000-00. The outstanding bills have to be paid from the current budget, thereby affecting programmes.

8.0 Programmes

The programmes were allocated a total of US$258 000-00. The major programme, the Development of Youth Data Bank, was allocated US$200 000-00, which is supposed to cater for the funding of the installation of the youth information system. The funds are only adequate for the feasibility study of the project, while HIV/AIDS awareness will be used to fund awareness of this disease among staff and students in the Ministry's institutions. A provision for monitoring and evaluation has been made in order to properly manage the above Ministry programmes.

9.0 Acquisition of Fixed Capital Assets

This sub vote caters for the acquisition of fixed assets like office furniture, motor vehicles, computer equipment and construction of buildings.

9.1 Furniture

The provision for furniture and equipment is only US$120 000-00, Administration and General US$40 000-00 and Vocational Training US$80 000-00. These amounts are grossly inadequate since most of the training centres do not have adequate furniture, which is a critical requirement to facilitate teaching and learning. Likewise, the Ministry's district offices lack basic furniture, with the allocation of US$40 000-00 totally inadequate.

9.2 Public Sector Investment Programme

Only US$340 000-00 was provided under the Public Sector Investment Programme to cater for the construction of the irrigation schemes at Kaguvi, Magamba and Chaminuka Training Centres. Although the funds are adequate to complete the three projects, the Ministry wanted more funding for the following additional projects:

a) Construction of Lupane Vocational Training Centre.

b) Construction of Shamva Administration Offices.

c) Acquisition of offices for the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board.

d) Procurement of twenty (20) motor vehicles for provinces and training centres.

e) Retooling of training centres.

10.0 General

10.1 Release of Allocated Funds

In comparison with the 2013 allocations, there is an improvement across all sub-heads. However, the major concern pertains to the release of the allocated funds. Unless the allocated funds are released, the Ministry will not be able to achieve set targets, especially those pertaining to capital development.

11. Recommendations by the Committee

In light of the above and with a view to fulfilling the mandate of the Ministry to effectively guide and coordinate the implementation of the national indigenisation and economic programme as well as the youth development agenda, your Committee, Mr. Speaker Sir, recommends that:

11.2.1 On the Goods and Services sub-head, your Committee, Mr. Speaker Sir, recommends that an upward review of budget estimates be made to meet the expenses expected from the anticipated increase in the intake of trainees as well as in amortizing the debt overhang accrued during the non-release of the budget provision in 2013.

11.2.2 On the maintenance sub-head, your Committee, Mr. Speaker Sir, recommends that an upward review of estimates be made to enable the physical infrastructure in the Ministry's institutions to be functional, rehabilitate the current vehicle fleet and amortize the debt accrued from 2013 amounting to US$90 076-00.

11.2.3 The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund be adequately capitalised to enable it to amortize the debts it accrued due to the non-release of the funds which were due to it in 2013, and to perform its statutory function of facilitating indigenisation transactions.

11.2.4 More funding be availed for the Youth Development and Employment Creation Funds to accelerate development of the youths, 'stampede' the empowerment process and create employment. The current funds are so inadequate that some constituencies only receive a mere US$3 000-00 which is hardly adequate for meaningful youth development and empowerment activities, resulting in the budget being presumed to be 'anti-youth'. I pray that Hon Members will appreciate that, if this matter is not attended to urgently, most of us will not be returned to this House in the 2018 elections.

11.2.5 Parliament approves an upward review of the funds proposed for the Zimbabwe Youth Council and the National Youth Service to enable the two institutions to amortize outstanding debts, meet operational costs and effectively deliver on their constitutional mandates.

11.2.6 Adequate budgetary provision be made to enable the three programmes under the Ministry, namely, Development of Youth Data Bank, HIV/AIDS Awareness and Monitoring and Evaluation Programmes to fulfill what they were set up for.

11.2.7 More funding be availed for the purchase of new furniture and rehabilitation of existing furniture to enable vocational training institutions to meet the minimum requirements of teaching and learning.

11.2.8 Funding be availed for overdue PSIP projects like Construction of Lupane Vocational Training Centre, Procurement of twenty (20) motor vehicles for provinces and training centres and retooling of training centres, among others, to be undertaken.

11.2.9 Voted funds be timeously released to enable the Ministry to meet set targets and avoid litigation from creditors and service providers.

11.2.10 The House approves an upward review of allocations across all sub-heads to enable the Ministry to consolidate on the firm foundation it laid in 2013.

11.2.11 The Ministry and Government, in general, be commended for prioritising the payment of civil servants' salaries without fail, even under the 'throttling' and difficult conditions occasioned by the continuation and non-lifting of the illegal and debilitating economic sanctions imposed by Western imperialist countries and their allies.

Thank you.

MS. ZINDI: Vote 13 - US$88, 350,000

 

1. Introduction

1.1 The mandate of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works

and National Housing is the promotion of sound local governance and the construction, management and maintenance of sustainable human settlements. Its key result areas include social service delivery and the construction and maintenance of Government buildings.

2. 2013 Budget Performance Review for the Ministry

2.1 In the 2013 financial year, the ministry was allocated US$113.89

million in the 2013 financial year. Of this amount, only 59% was

actually disbursed for programmes and operations. With these resources,

the following was achieved, among others:

· Commissioned and concluded a local government capacity needs assessment;

  • Successfully inducted 1 958 councillors;
  • Appointed substantive traditional chiefs;

· Completed the refurbishment of lifts in 4 Government buildings; Marondera Hospital theatre extension, radio therapy centre at Parirenyatwa, Chitungwiza General Hospital nurses dormitory; Marondera Provincial Maternity Ward, 6 blocks of flats with 64 units; among other projects;

3. Ministry Key Objectives

3.1 The ministry's major priorities for the period 2013-2016 are;

i. Improving access to basic municipal services, that is, water, sewer, roads, lighting, transport, amenities and solid waste management;

ii. Strengthening the local Government institution;

iii. Increasing Government office accommodation;

iv. Maintaining 30% of plant and equipment; and

v. Reducing the housing backlog of 1.25 million.

4. Overview of the 2014 Budget

4.1 The 2014 budget is projected at US$4.12 billion, that is a 6%

increase from the previous financial year. The greatest percentage

(72.7%) goes towards employment costs, then capital expenditure

(11.9%), operations (15%) and interest (0.4%).

4.2 The ministry was allocated US$88.35 million which is a 22.45%

decrease from the 2013 revised budget estimate of US$113.89 million. If

Treasury is to revise the figure downwards and then disburse less than

The revised allocation, it means that the ministry shall actually have

fewer resources at its disposal.

5 Allocations to Sub-Votes

Sub-votes in the ministry and their allocations are as follows:

Administration and General - US$25.5 million (49% decrease); Physical

Planning - US$1.7 million (6.5% increase); Public Works - US$46.9

million (8.1% increase); and National Housing and Social Amenities -

US$14.2 million (25% decrease). More than 50% of the allocation went

towards public works.

6 Current Expenditure versus Capital Expenditure

Current expenditure accounts for 60% of the allocation, the bulk of

which is for employment costs, while 25% went to capital expenditure.

In the previous year, 67% of the funds allocated to current expenditure

were disbursed as opposed to 8% for capital expenditure. If the status

quo is maintained in the 2014 financial year, not much ground will be

covered in terms of ministry objectives.

7.0 Budget Analysis Meeting Output

7.1 Your committee held a post budget analysis meeting on

Wednesday 15 January 2014 with ministry officials and departmental heads led by the Acting Permanent Secretary. The following output came from the meeting:

7.2 The Acting Permanent Secretary informed your committee that

while metropolitan and provincial councils are supposed to be allocated

5% of the budget (US$206 million) constitutionally, only US$12 million

was allocated. This amount will be channelled towards the

operationalisation of these councils to the extent that the funds can

cover.

Your committee observed that while councils were complaining about

lack of funds, they were ignoring potential sources of revenue generation

such as hut, herd, dog, bicycle and land taxes, in addition to the

development levy. Furthermore, your committee wonders why councils

cannot profitably run beer halls, yet the private players who have taken

over are making money out of them. This is another area which

possesses great revenue generating potential.

7.3 Furthermore, according to Section 305 of the new

Constitution, the Chiefs' Council is supposed to be allocated funds. The

Ministry submitted a bid of US$2 million but no allocation was made.

Your committee is of the view that this is tantamount to violating the

Constitution, thus rendering the budget unconstitutional. Furthermore,

your committee observed that most of the funds allocated to chiefs are

for administration with not much being allocated for developmental

activities.

7.4 The ministry officials also said that allocations towards

construction, rehabilitation and maintenance were far below

requirements.

Considering that only a small percentage of allocations were actually

disbursed in the previous budget, there shall be need for reprioritisation

of projects to focus on outstanding projects which can be completed.

7.5 Your committee was also informed that the Urban Development Corporation is likely to face viability problems since the sole mandate of auditing local authorities has been given to the Comptroller and Auditor General under the new Constitution. This was the corporation's major source of income. Your committee enquired whether UDCORP had the capacity to compete with other private auditing firms on the market. The officials said the entity had the capacity but penetrating the market was difficult because of very big players who have large market shares and contracts which run for years. Given this state of affairs, your committee is concerned whether UDCORP is still a relevant institution.

7.6 With regards to national housing, the ministry officials said that there is a housing backlog of 1.25 million units, with 25 000 units expected to be built per annum. This annual target cannot be achieved with the allocated funds. With off-site infrastructure supposed to be

expanded as houses are built, the allocated funds are way short of requirements.

7.7 Your committee was seized with the state of affairs at ZUPCO with regards to auditing backlogs and viability challenges. The acting CEO informed your committee that ZUPCO was doing fairly well commercially and are currently recapitalising at the rate of 100 buses per year from internal resources, the main worry being their old debt. As such they were not seeking funds from the fiscus at the moment but would welcome assistance which can enable them to recapitalise at a larger scale. He also said that accounts were audited up to 2012, the only outstanding issue being the pension fund which has an actuarial valuation shortfall which needs to be dealt with before signing.

8. Summary of Recommendations

Your committee recommends that:

8.1 The Chiefs Council be given its constitutional allocation in line with the ministry's bid of US$2 million.

8.2 Increase the allocation to Chiefs and Headmen Administration to 3

million to cater for vehicles.

8.3 The allocation towards national housing be increased to 10 million

in view of the 1.25 million deficit.

9. Conclusion

Your committee observed that the allocation to ministry is way below their requirements, hence not much will be achieved. Nevertheless, the allocated funds need to be disbursed fully and on time if any progress is to be made.

MR. PORUNGAZI:

1. Introduction

The Committee on Foreign Affairs has an oversight responsibility on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is mandated to promote the political and economic interests, image and the influence of Zimbabwe in the region and international community and to protect the interests and safety of Zimbabwean nationals abroad.

The key result areas for the ministry are;

· Strengthening existing political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical relations with all countries, regional and international organisations

· Promoting and protecting the interests of Zimbabwe nationals

· Provision of protocol services to the Government of Zimbabwe and the diplomatic community and other stakeholders

· Provision of sound financial, administrative, human resources and audit management.

2. Overview of the Ministry's 2014 Budget

The allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2014 has marginally increased by 1.07% from US$ 63 204 000 in 2013 to US$ 63 884 000 in 2014. This increase, although inadequate, was welcome by the ministry. The challenge however remained whether Treasury will be able to release the money on time.

The ministry's budget is split into two, that is, the Head Office and Diplomatic Missions, with percentages of the total allocations of 12% and 88% respectively. The ministry had made a bid of US$ 88 845 000 and was allocated US$ 63 884 000, which is 71.9% of the total amount bided for.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be compared to the front office of a financial institution or the marketing department of a corporate entity. The image of the country, whether positive or negative, depends very much on how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs executes its functions.

2.1 Head Office

The ministry was allocated US$7 846 000.00 against its bid of US$12 697 000.00, thus the budget allocation fall short by 38%. The committee notes that the allocation has marginally increased from the 2013 figure of US$7 654 000.00.

2.1.1 Maintenance

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the face of Zimbabwe, therefore should portray a good image to the international community. The ministry's plant and machinery, office equipment and general building outlook have suffered years of neglect due to inadequate funding. The committee is concerned that, with the upcoming hosting of the SADC summit, the image of the ministry should be representative of the country. Therefore, the committee requests that where possible, extra funding should be provided for maintenance of Foreign Affairs Ministry buildings, plant and machinery.

2.1.2 Current Transfer.

This caters for Zimbabwe's subscription to international organisations such as the SADC, UN, and AU. The country's due amounts are normally assessed using UN index which is based on the country's economic performance during the previous year. The committee was advised that in 2013, the ministry paid subscriptions worth US$ $2 184 181 to various International Organisations and in 2014, the ministry received the US$ 2 300 000. However, given the economic performance of 2013 compared to that of 2012, the subscriptions are likely to go up. The committee notes with concern that this is likely to affect the country's ability to pay its obligations to international institutions.

2.1.3 Acquisition of fixed Assets.

The allocation fell from the 2013 figure of US$ 280 000 to US$ 180 000 in 2014. Of this amount $80 000 is earmarked for replacement of obsolete furniture and equipment. The committee is advised that there is extra staff from the former Ministry of Regional Integration, and also ambassadors who have been recalled. Therefore, the allocation from Treasury would be insufficient for fixed assets. The ministry would also have to refurbish guest homes to allow for saving on hospitality costs of all Special Envoys and other guests accommodated by the ministry. The committee would welcome additional funding towards this expenditure item as it has long-term benefits and savings.

2.2 Diplomatic Missions.

The 2014 allocation of US$ 56 038 000 is a marginal increase from the 2013 allocation of US$55 550 000. The percentage increase is 0,8% which is minimal considering the appalling state of our diplomatic missions. The country has 40 Embassies and 5 Consulates across the globe.

2.2.1 Employment Costs.

The employment costs of US$32 400 000 for 2014, which is the same as for 2013 is deemed adequate. The committee commends Treasury for this allocation. The salaries for staff are usually paid late and they are always in arrears. The committee understands that part of the salaries are usually diverted to operations in order to avert evictions and other associated consequences. The committee also notes that the ministry has arrears for school fees for officers in diplomatic missions. Additional funding has to be provided to clear arrears.

2.2.2 Goods and Services

The allocation for this expenditure item has fallen from US$ 17 405 000 in 2013 to US$16 870 000 in 2014. This is against a bid of US$29 880 000 for 2014. Diplomatic mission operations are largely on contractual basis as most office and residential accommodation is rented. The reduced budget support will negatively affect the ministry's ability to provide training to staff, holding of Joint Commissions and most importantly, provision of school fees for Foreign Service officers' children attending school in Zimbabwe.

2.2.3 Debt (Domestic and Diplomatic Debt)

There is continuous escalation of debt since the ministry is always getting less than adequate allocations. The debt is largely made of school fees arrears, salary arrears and utility arrears. The committee is advised that the ministry has a total debt of US$ 13 264 000.

2.2.4 Fixed Capital Assets

The committee welcomes the allocation of US$ 4 250 000 towards renovations which will go a long way in sprucing the image of the properties. The major challenge for the ministry is that most of the properties are rented. Rentals are exorbitant and unsustainable in the long term. Thus, as a long term cost cutting measure, we may need to own properties in our missions rather than renting. The ministry has a target to purchase 3 or 4 properties a year but this has not been possible due to lower budget allocations and non-release of funds by Treasury. By owning the properties, the Government makes a lot of saving in rentals as it is cheaper to own the properties than renting them.

3. Observations

3.1 The committee notes that Zimbabwe, in August 2013 assumed deputy Chairmanship of SADC. This means in 2014 and part of 2015, Zimbabwe will assume Chairmanship of the regional body and will also continue serving on the SADC troika until August 2016. The 2014 summit will be held in Victoria Falls. The ministry is the SADC national contact point and is mandated to provide a strategic leadership. To host such an event successfully, there is need for extra financial support beyond the usual annual budget allocations. To this end, the committee commends Treasury for ring-fencing the budget for hosting of SADC summit outside the provision of the ministry, the ministry has bided for US$ 21 362 000.

3.2 The committee observes that 2013 budget was a paper budget as Treasury did not disburse allocated amounts. Considering that in 2013 Treasury allocated US$ 63 204 000 but as at November 2013, unaudited expenditure shows that Treasury had only disbursed US$ 35 230 405. See Annex 1 on the variance between allocations and disbursements using expenditure figures to November 2013.

3.3 The committee observes that the amounts allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are inadequate.

3.4 Motor Vehicles used in most embassies are now high maintenance vehicles due to aging. With the Embassy in France being the most notable example which is using a vehicle purchased in 1996.

3.5 The ministry is in arrears on rentals; utilities; school fees for staff children and salaries.

4. Recommendations and Conclusions

4.1 As a short to mid-term measure, the committee recommends a leaner foreign service which is fully funded. Therefore, there is need for strategic realignment of the Zimbabwe's Embassies abroad looking at the economic and political interests of the country.

4.2 On the issue of staff being transferred from the former Ministry of Regional Integration, the office equipment of the former ministry should also be transferred to the Foreign Affairs Ministry as a cost cutting measure on the purchase of office equipment.

4.3 The ministry should prioritise its core areas considering the limited financial envelope.

4.4 There is need for Treasury to allocate more funds for the ministry to clear arrears of US$ 13 264 000.00 for the Diplomatic Missions.

4.5 The committee concludes that the money allocation for the ministry is inadequate. There is also need for the disbursement of all allocated funds so that the 2014 budget is not reduced to a paper budget, and if it so happens that there will be a supplementary budget, additional funds should be allocated to the ministry.

Annex 1-Variance between Disbursements and Allocations in 2013

 

Revised Budget Allocation 2013

Disbursements as per unaudited expenditure for 2013 as at November 2013

 

Variance

A.ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL

     

Current Expenditure

     

Employment Costs

$1,046,396.00

$1,474,000.00

$427,604.00

Goods and Services

$1,403,815.00

$3,345,000.00

$1,941,185.00

Maintenance

$159,094.00

$255,000.00

$95,906.00

Current Transfers

$2,184,181.00

$2,300,000.00

$115,819.00

 

$4,793,486.00

$7,374,000.00

$2,580,514.00

Capital Expenditure

     

Capital Expenditure

$0.00

$280,000.00

$280,000.00

 

$0.00

$280,000.00

$280,000.00

B. DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS

     

Current Expenditure

     

Employment Costs

$29,788,000.00

$32,400,000.00

$2,612,000.00

Goods and Services

$599,421.00

$17,405,000.00

$16,805,579.00

Maintenance

$49,498.00

$1,695,000.00

$1,645,502.00

 

$30,436,919.00

$51,500,000.00

$21,063,081.00

Capital Expenditure

     

Capital Expenditure

$0.00

$4,050,000.00

$4,050,000.00

 

$0.00

$4,050,000.00

$4,050,000.00

       

TOTAL

$35,230,405.00

$63,204,000.00

$27,973,595.00

MR. MANDIPAKA : As an introduction, the former Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture was reconstituted, post-2013 elections, to become the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture. The mandate of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is provision, promotion and development of inclusive, holistic, quality and relevant Infant, Junior, Secondary and Non-Formal Education. Some of its objectives include improvement in national examination pass rates, improvement of textbook-pupil ratio and reduction of teacher pupil ratio. Education is a very important pillar in the development agenda of any country. Attainment of set objectives will result in improvements in human capital, a key driver of economic growth. Some of the challenges that have bedeviled the Ministry for years include poor educational infrastructure, congested classes (hot-sitting), limited number of textbooks, inadequate furniture and delayed disbursement of the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) funds.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION BUDGET ANALYSIS

The budget allocation for the Ministry rose from $750,137,000 in 2013 to $865,669,000 in 2014, a rise of 15.4%. This is a welcome development since the rise in the ministerial allocation exceeds the increase in the overall budget (6.74%). This may point at the importance attached to this sector. It is also worth noting that the combined budget for the Education ministries is $1,2 billion which is 29.15% of the total expenditure. This is well above the 12% benchmark from the Dakar Framework of 2000, as well as the 22% SADC benchmark. This is a clear indication of the priority assigned to these two ministries as development of human capital is critical to the development of a country. It is necessary to visualise the top 10 allocations of the budget to study the composition. Table 1 shows the top 10 vote allocations to ministries in the years 2013 and 2014.

Table 1: Top 10 Budget Allocation for 2013 and 2014

 In Table 1, the rank of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has remained unchanged in the 2013 and 2014 budgets. While maintaining top priority, the Ministry's share of the total budget actually increased from 19.43% in 2013 to 21.01% in 2014. This increase in the proportion of the vote allocation may go some way in improving the Ministry's performance as well as achieving its goals. Despite these positive developments, it is of essence to examine budgetary allocations net of employment costs to examine the residual to be used for operations. Thus, Table 2 shows the top 12 list of ministries with the largest allocation for operations.

Table 2: 2014 Budget Allocation Net of Employment Costs

 While it is a welcome development to see the Ministry ranked first on the overall allocation, Table 2 paints a different picture. The Ministry is now ranked a distant 12th as the employment costs constitute 95.69% of the total budget allocation, a rise from the 2013 figure of 94.63%. The Ministry has no control over these employment costs as Treasury keeps such monies on behalf of the Ministry. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has to make do with $37,329,000 for its operations in 2014 which might be inadequate for the Ministry to fully discharge its mandate. Given that there are 833 satellite [4] schools, serious attention must be paid to building and improving school infrastructure for proper learning to take place. It is also important to see the distribution of budgetary allocation within the Ministry. Table 3 shows the distribution of the Primary and Secondary Education budget.

Table 3: Distributional Expenditure

The expenditure framework in Table 3 shows that the Current Expenditure component of the budget allocation marginally increased from 97.61% in 2013 to 98.30% in 2014, an increase of 0.69 percentage points. This may be a welcome development as this might translate into higher salaries for the staff in this Ministry. Higher incomes tend to motivate employees to exert themselves more on the job. The Capital

Expenditure component marginally decreased from a proportion of 2.39% in 2013 to 1.70% in 2014. This may suggest underinvestment in capital expenditure especially infrastructural development that plays a key role in uplifting standards of learning.

While we note that the budget is heavily skewed towards recurrent expenditure, with employment costs the major component, it is necessary to analyse the distribution of the ministerial allocation across the five sub-votes namely; Administration and General, Education Coordination and Development, Secondary Education, Junior Education, and Infant Education. Table 4, thus, shows the distributional expenditure between sub-votes.

Table 4: Distributional Expenditure between Sub Votes

From Table 4, the allocation of funds among the sub votes has been consistent for 2013 and 2014. The only difference is the newly created line item which is Infant Education responsible for early childhood development. This line item has been created to standardise learning by infants so that at Grade One level, all children are almost at par. In Table 4, the top two allocations are Junior Education and Secondary Education with shares of approximately 63.96% and 32.64% respectively over the two years. These two sub votes were about 96.9% of the total budget which is suggestive of the focal point of the Ministry.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE BUDGET

The Ministry put in place a bid of $1,229,965,112 but was allocated $865,669,000. From a colossal allocation of $865,669,000 in the 2014 budget the Ministry remains with only $37,329,000 after deducting employment cost.

A bid of $37,854,352 was placed for Admin and General but Treasury could only allocate $6,736,000, which is 17.79% of the initial requirement. Under Curriculum Development and Technical Service Department, $6 million was allocated. This was said to be adequate to fund only 45 out of 135 projects. The Ministry accumulated bills amounting to $1.4 million primarily from security services, cleaning services, elevator maintenance and office accommodation. It is the Ministry's hope that Treasury assists in this regard so as not to further compromise the operational budget.

As for Secondary Education, a $63,753,300 bid was placed and Treasury could only allocate $8,254,000, meeting 12.95% of the requirement. The under-allocation will lead to the downscaling of planned operations compromising attainment of set targets. Related to this, Junior Education was allocated $10,318,000 from a bid of $197,507,500. This under-allocation of resources to Junior Education may lead to a decline in pass rate due to shortage of textbooks, poor learning conditions in satellite schools as well as congested classes. From a bid of $854,425,000, Infant Education was only allocated $4,760,000 which is just 0.56% of their requirements. This will create serious problems for the young learners as some will go without textbooks. In some cases where ECD centres cannot be constructed, children may be forced to walk long distances to school. This under-allocation of resources will also limit the capacity of the Ministry to acquire age-appropriate furniture for the young learners. This will likely result in increased drop outs and low pass rates.

Grant Aided Institutions (ZIMSEC)

A bid of $2.8 million was placed for the administration of the 2014 Grade 7 examinations. This is against the background that parents do not pay for these exams. If no funds are availed from Treasury, ZIMSEC will not be able to conduct this important set of examinations.

In conclusion, the Ministry has maintained number one ranking in terms of vote allocation. However, the ranking massively falls to 12th after removal of employment costs which constitute 95.69% of the ministerial allocation. While the Ministry will strive to achieve set targets, this will be extremely difficult given the current resources allocated. The key challenges that were cited include; poor educational infrastructure, congested classes, limited number of textbooks, inadequate furniture and delayed disbursement of the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) funds.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration on submissions by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Committee strongly recommends the following;

1. The Ministry should consider private public partnerships (PPPs) and/or find ways to benefit from Share Ownership Trusts and Sovereign Fund in the development of learning infrastructure. In addition, community assisted construction of schools will also reduce the burden on the fiscal authorities.

2. Related to (1) is that Share Ownership Trusts should incorporate Members of Parliament to ensure implementation of infrastructure development from the budget.

3. An important component like the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) must be administered under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to reduce red tape.

4. The Ministry should consider other coping strategies (off-budget finance) from successful models in the world.

5. ZIMSEC ought to be allocated financial resources to successfully administer the 2014 Grade 7 examinations.

6. An examination printing centre is needed for ZIMSEC to print its own exam papers as well as generate revenue from printing exams on behalf of other exam boards.

7. Heads who send children away for non-payment of fees should be dealt with by the Ministry.

8. Ballooning fees in private schools must be curbed and closely monitored.

9. Establishment of private schools should be allowable only if an area has ready access to a Government school.

ANALYSIS FOR THE MINISTRY OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (VOTE 29)

INTRODUCTION

The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Cultureis responsible for development and promotion of sport, arts and culture in social development, social integration and nation building. Some of the policy priorities for 2014 to 2016 include successful hosting of the 2014 Zone VI Youth Games in Bulawayo, construction and rehabilitation of sport, arts and cultural infrastructure, promotion of anti-piracy, protection of intellectual property rights as well as raise awareness in the dangers of doping in sport. The Ministry has, under its guardianship, three parastatals namely the National Arts Council, the Sports and Recreation Commission, and the National Gallery.

SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE VOTE ANALYSIS

From a bid of $90,070,920 the 2014 budget allocated $10,450,000 to the Ministry representing 11.35% of budgetary requirements. However, this allocation of $10,450,000 is 112.31% greater than the 2013 allocation of $4,922,100. This sharp increase far exceeds the 6.74% increase in the overall national budget, a reason that could be attributable to the high ministerial set up costs. This increase may also be a reflection of how the Sport, Arts and Culture component could have been overshadowed by the Education component in the former Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. Given this allocation, the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture was far from satisfied as this allocation only meets 11.35% of their resource requirements. Table 5 shows the Bottom 14 ranked ministries in terms of vote allocation.

Table 5: Bottom 10 Budget Allocations for 2013 and 2014

 Table 4 shows that the ranking of the Ministry increased from 28th in 2013 to 23rd in 2014. The proportion of the total budget also increased significantly from 0.14 % in 2013 to 0.29% in 2014. This again indicates the priority that has been placed on this Ministry. Table 5 shows the percentage change in the major components of the budget allocation to the Ministry.

Table 5: Percentage Change in Budgetary Allocations from 2013 to 2014

Current Expenditure is expected to increase is by 46.98% from $4,572,100 in 2013 to $6,720,000 in 2013. Notable increases in the current expenditure components are Goods and Services (441.03%) and Maintenance (151.75%). Programmes (28.93%) and Current Transfers (21.22%) also increased by a sizeable margin.

Whilst the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture was allocated $1,266,000 from a bid of $5,090,126, the Ministry feels the amount to be inadequate as it meets 24.87% of its requirements. The Ministry will likely encounter challenges in training and development of staff as well as job profiling which will require outsourcing consultancy services. For Current Transfers, Treasury allocated $3,707,000 representing 17.52% of the ministerial bid of $21,159,696. These Current Transfers are attributable to the three parastatals as well as subscriptions to various organisations. The Ministry can achieve very little under Programmes as only $1,234,000 was allocated (5.53% of the $22,321,745 bid). For Culture Development and Promotion the Ministry will reprioritise its targets in line with allocated resources. State Occasions was allocated $86,000 from a bid of $1,011,850. This was deemed inadequate as Independence Celebrations, alone, require $250,000.

The allocation to Capital Expenditure has increased by 965.71% from $350,000 in 2013 to $3,370,000 in 2014. This allocation was made from a bid of $49,942,617 which was inflated by the desire to construct a games village for the Africa Zone VI Youth Games. The Ministry has since resolved to find alternatives through renovating Hillside College for accommodation of the expected 3000-4000 athletes. This is a much cheaper option that could cost below $5 million dollars. In addition, only three vehicles can be purchased from the allocated $100,000. The Ministry's hopes of decentralising to district level will be compromised if vehicles cannot be acquired. Furniture acquisition will also be difficult due to under-allocation of resources. The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture is housed at the former Ministry of Regional Integration and there is no furniture. Capital Transfers are attributable to the three parastatals with each being allocated $30,000.

Given the inadequacies in resource allocation, the Ministry requested assistance from the Portfolio Committee for acquisition of a casino as well as lottery licence to fundraise and augment budgetary allocations.

OVERVIEW OF PARASTATALS

Sports and Recreation Commission

From the allocated $30,000 in the form of Capital Transfers, the Commission cannot afford to purchase a single vehicle to augment its old fleet. The Community Development Programme is currently in two districts per province and the plan is to spread to all districts. Current allocation will not allow this to happen in the 2014 fiscal year. Grassroots sports development and administrators' training will also not be feasible. The dream to have a high performance centre will not be realised if funding is not availed. However, regional initiatives have been mooted for a high performance centre but funding will be required to send talented sports persons once the regional structure is set up.

Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) is an affiliate of SRC. Their bid was $3.7 million for national teams. Thus far $88,000 has been released from the 2013 budget allocation. The plea by ZIFA is that Government take full responsibility of national teams especially with pending Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the Warriors as well as a tournament for the Mighty Warriors.

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee bid $50,000 for administration and was allocated in full. As for the $160,000 bid for operations, this is yet to be allocated.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

An allocation of $953,000 was made. The major challenge cited was that of delayed disbursement of funds which results in complications where undertakings will have been made with partners. This may result in withdrawal of partners and jeopardising of planned events. It is the Councils wish to have a National Arts Centre which could generate resources and ease the pressure off fiscal authorities. The Council has outstanding bills to the tune of $218,000 from unpaid rentals, telephone bills, electricity bills as well as audit fees. They are currently grappling with two notices of eviction from some of the offices they occupy.

RECOMMENDATIONS: SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE

After careful consideration on submissions by the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Committee strongly recommends the following;

· The Ministry and the parastatals should get assistance in securing off-budget finance. In particular, the Ministry should get maximum assistance in the quest for casino and lottery licences from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

· A proposal on tax incentives for sponsorship needs to be followed up to create attraction when it comes to sponsorship of sport, arts and cultural activities.

· Treasury ought to expeditiously release financial resources when needed by the Ministry and its parastatals.

  • Audits on all affiliates of SRC must be done.

· Accounting and declaration of funds generated from sponsorship must be presented to justify budgetary gaps that will require fiscal financing.

MR. BUTAU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to present the report of your Committee on Agriculture and Lands. Mr. Speaker Sir, I present this report in terms of Standing Order Number 159 with special terms of reference to Standing Order Number 160.

Introduction

The Zimbabwean economy is agro-based and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development plays a pivotal role in Zimbabwe's economy. The agricultural sector provides employment and income to 70% of the population and provides 60% of the raw materials required by the industrial sector as well as contributing 40% of Zimbabwe's total export earnings. In acknowledging the importance of the agricultural sector in turning around the economy's fortunes, the Government's ZIM ASSET plan places the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster at the centre of various clusters whose outcomes should see Zimbabwe regaining her bread basket status and realising positive economic growth and development. However, performance of the agricultural sector has since nose-dived as seen by declining productivity levels. This decline in productivity owes to a multiplicity of challenges including sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries. In recent instances, underfunding of agricultural activities appears to be one of the major concerns. The ministry's key objective is therefore, to restore the agricultural sector to its 1998 productivity levels when the country was the SADC region's bread basket. National priorities in agriculture as envisaged in the ZIM ASSET plan include food security, employment generation, wealth creation, and beneficiation, among other aspects.

The 2014 national budget makes significant strides in addressing concerns of the agricultural sector. However, the budgetary allocations made to the agricultural sector are mismatched to the emphasis placed on the importance of the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster in the National Economic policy plan (ZIM ASSET). There is a discrepancy of $335 261 518 between the ministry's bid of $490 517 518 and $155 256 000 which was actually allocated. In fact, the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development was allocated 32% of its original bid, a situation that may be worrisome considering what this ministry means to the Zimbabwean economy. It should be clearly noted that without adequate resources that guarantee the intended outcomes for the agricultural sector the ZIM ASSET plan itself is likely to remain on paper.

There is urgent need to support parastatals within the ministry, as these are key in turning around the economy's fortunes. Such parastatals include the Grain Marketing Board which requires support to the tune of $425 188 019.10. Unfortunately, GMB was allocated $101 600 000.00 thereby creating a variance of 75%. The Cold Storage Company needs to revive operations that will boost meat production in the country. However, CSC's bid of $27 000 000.00 was not allocated and this requires the minister's revisit. The other parastatal is Agribank whose operations are crucial and will surely impact on the economy's viability. In spite of the important role Agribank plays in supporting the agricultural sector, its $50 000 000.00 bid was not considered. Rather the bank was allocated $4 000 000.00, a situation that may cripple the entire agricultural sector. The only exception would be ARDA where the position of the budget should stand and be supported.

Overview of the 2014 Budget

On 19th of December 2013, the honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Patrick Chinamasa presented a 4.12 billion national budget for the year 2014. The budget is largely "short on money and long on policy". The 2014 budget of $4.12 billion represents a 6.74% increase from that of 2013 which stood at $3.86 billion. The 6.74% increase shows some restraint on the part of the budget in which emphasis has now shifted to policy implementation so as to steer the economy towards empowerment and growth as is, in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio- Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET). The 2014 national budget was largely crafted in line with ZIM ASSET's major goals of sustainable development, social equity, indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation. The budget itself has noble intentions and seems to realise that lack of productivity in various sectors owes to issues of policy implementation and enforcement rather than resource limitations. Unfortunately, the agricultural sector analysis shows that whilst being "long on policy" is crucial, the adequacy of resources is equally a major issue.

Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Vote 8.

The 2014 national budget allocates a vote of $155,256 000 to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. The allocation represents a 5% increase from that of 2013 but constitutes 31.7% of the sector's budgetary bid and is summarised in the table below:

TABLE 1: 2014 BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS AND VARIANCES

PRIORITY AREA

BUDGET BID

ALLOCATION

VARIANCE

National Food & Nutrition Security

330 000 000.00

46 108 000.00

(283 892 000)

Livestock Production & Veterinary Services

33 371 554.00

8 131 000.00

(25 240 554.00)

Crop Production & Research Services

19 746 692.00

6 190 000.00

(13 556 692.00)

Agricultural & Corporate Services

104 837 272.00

8 560 000.00

(96 277 272.00)

Agricultural Sector Co-ordination

2 572 000.00

680 000.00

(1 892 000.00)

Other Operational Requirements

 

8 587 000.00

 

Salaries & Other Emoluments

 

74 832 000.00

 

Total

490 517 518

155 256 000.00

(335 261 518.00)

The above table shows startling variances and this is likely to cripple agricultural activities if the honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Development does not consider adequate adjustments to budgetary allocations.

The National Food and Nutrition Security

What the 2014 national budget proposes to do under Food and Nutrition Security is a lot at variance with ZIM ASSET. In fact, going by the proposed allocation there is not going to be any National Food and Nutrition Security. The National Economic Policy Framework requires the creation of a self-sufficient and food-surplus economy. The policy seeks to build a prosperous, diverse and competitive food security and nutrition sector that contributes significantly to national development. This would ideally start with adequate allocations for strategic grain reserves (SGR), input subsidies and irrigation development. These three key areas have almost been completely ignored, with SGR receiving $33m when farmers are already owed for grain previously supplied and those prepared to deliver to the GMB have slim prospects of getting paid at all.

Another critical aspect in relation to national food and nutrition security is on the Grain Marketing Board's infrastructure. All depots throughout the country should be ready to receive grain from farmers and have adequate storage facilities. The repairs to silos, for instance, are so critical and the budgetary allocations should have considered it. Polices should be in place to ensure that the prices of farming inputs are reasonable. High prices of fertilizers, for instance will stifle progress and activities on the farms.

Livestock Production and veterinary Services

The National Economic Policy Framework (ZIM ASSET) is clear in outlining strategies for increased cattle herd and increased national meat production. These include measures for livestock restocking, resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company, strengthening livestock pest and diseases surveillance programme, among other strategies. There is a serious danger that nothing meaningful in terms of the expected deliverables will come out, especially given the serious level of underfunding in which the budgetary allocation is just 24.4% of the bid. Moreso the resuscitation of Cold Storage Company which is so important for the nation's meat production and which the ZIM ASSET plan underlines so well, was not even budgeted for. This only goes to say, ZIM ASSET plan's promises will at best remain promises.

Crop Production and Finance

The national economic policy on which the national budget is based has crop production as one of the major key result areas. This is tied together with marketing of produce so as to gain access to regional and international markets. Cluster output includes recapitalisation of Agribank, establishing institutions for integration of small holder farmers, and many others. The problem regarding an area as crucial as Agribank is that the recapitalisation may not take off. Agribank had bid $50m for recapitalisation of its operations. The bank has been allocated $4m for this purpose. This essentially means farmers will have serious challenges in accessing funds and so meaningful production may not quite take place. The implications on the projected 9% growth in the agricultural sector are terrible. Adequate recapitalisation of Agribank would have meant guaranteeing not only the bank's viability but also the viability of the agricultural sector.

Agricultural and Corporate Services

The budget considered this area, though again there is a serious problem of underfunding. Ideally, such issues like capacitation of parastatals, infrastructural development, and capacitation of the ministry itself should have been addressed. Adequate budgetary provisions would mean that the parastatals currently facing serious liquidity challenges like CSC, ARC, ACFD, and Agribank, all revive their activities. The Cold Storage Company, however, needs restructuring of its management given the level of collapse and decay in the parastatal and under the management of the current leadership. Some of these parastatals have reported attachment of their assets for failing to meet financial obligations for services rendered to them. The parastatals alluded to here are not just any organisations. Rather, these are organisations of strategic importance to the nation and hence ensuring that they are viable is crucial.

Agricultural Sector Co-ordination

This sector was allocated 26.4% of the ministry's budget request of $2 572 000.00. This money was to be used on market development, finalising on the comprehensive Zimbabwe Agricultural Policy Framework (2012 - 2032), and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Investment Plan (ZAIP). It would again finance agricultural sector co-ordination where the ministry is establishing an Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) and a monitoring and evaluation system that will keep track of the performance of the ministry.

Major Budgetary Components

The 2014 national budget in relation to Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development slots its allocations to realistic components in general. It goes ahead to give prominence to livestock production and development, though not to the extent of being in line with the ZIM ASSET plan where emphasis is more on increasing both the cattle herd and crop production. The table below summarises major budgetary components and the projected changes since 2013.

 

2013 ESTIMATE

2014 ESTIMATE

% CHANGE

ADMIN & GENERAL

51754000

51501000

-4%

CROPS & LIVESTOCK RESEARCH

9023000

10318000

14%

TECH & EXTENTION

32203000

36183000

12%

VETERINARY TECHNICAL SERVICES

2202000

2716000

23%

VET FIELD SERVICES

18842000

19393000

0.3%

TSETSE CONTROL

4495000

4303000

-4%

RESEARCH SERVICES

4622000

4167000

-10%

ENGINEERING & MECHANISATION

4398000

4760000

8%

IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT

15379000

15218000

-1%

LIVESTOCK PDN & DEV

4916000

6697000

36%

TOTAL

147839000

155256000

 

From the table above, one quickly sees how the Minister of Finance deliberately emphasised livestock production and development, veterinary technical services, as well as crops and livestock research. However, this could be aligned to changing needs as reflected in the ministry's budgetary bids. With adequate financial resources, the other important factor becomes the commitment of farmers in livestock production. The budget is not adequately loud on irrigation development. Especially given that some key areas like sugar cane production and wheat production rely more on such infrastructure.

Whether the projected 9% growth for the agricultural sector will be attainable now depends on the performance of individual subheads.

National Policy Framework and Budget Appropriateness

The current national policy framework is reflected in the ZIM ASSET plan. Like its predecessor policy frameworks, its thrust is in favour of value addition, and in the case of agriculture - agro processing. The ZIM ASSET 5 year plan projects an upward growth trajectory of 6.2% in 2014 with agricultural production itself growing by 9%. In fact, apart from requiring an effective implementation of value addition policies and strategies, it is actually emphasised when it comes to activities in the agricultural sector. The current national policy framework, thus underlines value addition and beneficiation in the agricultural sector as a key driver of economic growth. The 2014 budget is appropriate in its intentions to go in the direction of the current policy framework, but under allocations in the agricultural sector will surely stifle any budgetary efforts to attain ZIM ASSET's goals. However programmes to support value addition and general viability of the agricultural sector should also have been, as underlined on budgetary allocations as they are on the policy framework. One would have expected some concessionary funds for businesses venturing into further processing of agricultural products alongside policies to incentivise value addition initiatives, as this may be sure to steer the economy in the desired growth path.

The Proposed Growth of the Agricultural Sector

The 2014 national budget projects an overall growth of agricultural production by 9%. Given the continued decline in overall agricultural production growth rates from 37.6% in 2009 to -0.3% in 2013, it is now important to look at what the budget has now put in place to ensure that the 9% increase will be realised. The budget bases the projected growth on such drivers as maize production (62.8%); cotton production (27.8%); soya bean production (26.7%); and groundnuts (56.8%).

Generally, the budget projects positive movements in major growth drivers emanating from increased hectrage and anticipated support from private investors, especially regarding soya bean production. With adequate funding, this would be largely workable, though we would also want to see how the budget incentivises those companies prepared to invest into areas of national interests. Another key aspect which we may not need to ignore is on expecting production boost on the basis of anticipated increments in hectrage. This may raise an important issue as to what has been causing this idleness of land and what mechanism is now in place to ensure that such tracts of land given to new farmers do not remain idle and unused.

The entry by new farmers into sugar cane production in the low veld is positive and a welcome development. This should naturally boost production, with the possibility of Zimbabwe being a net exporter of sugar. Our question should then be on the allocations made to rehabilitations of irrigation systems and the problem of power outages. Unfortunately, the allocation to irrigation development has actually moved downwards by 1%, an issue the honorable minister may need to revisit.

Livestock Production

The budget makes significant strides in stimulating livestock production. The Cold Storage Company should run depots in all provinces. This is important, ensuring availability of meat products and again, in stabilising prices as well as in the introduction of new breeds. However, attention in terms of budgetary allocations may need to be more on Midlands and Matebeleland regions where such production traditionally does well. This, again makes for equity, given that most crops tend to do well in other regions. On livestock production, the idea is to rebuild livestock for Zimbabwe, and rebuilding the herd, for instance, is well in line with the ZIM ASSET plan. Questions should now be on the adequacy of the allocations to livestock production in terms of resuscitation of pastures and the proposed policies on improving damming levels. The budget has acknowledged this in allocating significantly to veterinary services and livestock production though there is still serious under funding in relation to the ministry's bid. The issue may now be on policy implementation and regions of focus, with Matebeleland and the Midlands deservedly supposed to attract the minister's attention in this line of production.

Consultations during the Budgetary Process

Largely, the 2014 budget allocations show that there were wide consultations during the budgetary process, which is what makes the budget reflective of citizens' priorities. Going through the budget statement, one can quickly see new needs included as evidence of a budget coming from a consultative process.

Recommendations

The budget allocation should be revised upwards to the ministry's original bid or some other figure close to that.

Re-capitalisation of AGRIBANK to the tune of US$50 million as per prescription, so as to enhance viability of farming activities as well as the viability of the bank itself.

Funding of GMB should be revised to its original bid to enable it to meet obligations for Strategic Grain Reserve, repairs of infrastructure including silos among other commitments.

Resuscitation of pastures and improving of dam levels, to make for the viability of CSC should be considered a priority so that meet production is boosted in line with ZIM ASSET projections.

The current budgetary position regarding ARDA is correct and should be supported

Conclusion

The honorable minister of Finance came up with a budget to stimulate the economy at an extremely difficult time. World commodity prices themselves are falling, and this, coupled with liquidity challenges, should make budget formulation very difficult. However, given the crucial role that agriculture in Zimbabwe should play in turning around the economy's fortunes, there is a serious need to revisit the allocations made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. The current 31.7% of the ministry's bid is unrealistic given the intended goals as prescribed by the ZIM ASSET plan. The ministry's parastatals like GMB, Agribank, CSC are crucial and need adequate budgetary attention.

Ministry of Lands and Rural Settlement Vote 26

Introduction

The Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement is entrusted with the task of improving livelihoods of all Zimbabweans through equitable distribution, effective and sustainable utilisation of land. It seeks to distribute land equitably and provide security of tenure. The ministry has two sub votes which are; Administration and General as well as the Surveyor General. The former is mandated with land acquisition, valuation, estates and information management, resettlement, legal services, finance and administration, human resources, and internal audit. On the other hand, the Surveyor General's office provides high quality land survey and mapping products and services. With offices in all the country's provinces, the Ministry of Lands has a staff establishment of 560 who are currently in posts and an approved staff establishment of 1844. This gives 1284 vacancies which are supposed to be filled to enable the ministry to effectively deliver on its mandate.

Trends in Budgetary Allocations

The ministry, though critical in such areas as land administration and management, land acquisition and resettlement, as well as management and safeguarding of human, material and financial resources and state property, has not quite received the required attention in terms of budgetary allocations and disbursements. In some cases, funds would be allocated but when it came to the actual release of the budgeted funds, this would not be done in full. The table below shows this trend for the years 2011 to 2013.

FISCAL YEAR

BUDGET

FUNDS RELEASED

UNRELEASED

2011

9 692 000

9 093 811

598 189

2012

9 912 000

9 155 815

756 185

2013

11 192 000

9 685 985

1 506 015

One can see that whilst budgetary allocations were made for each of the years from 2011 to 2013, not all the funds would then get released to the ministry. Rather, significant amounts would not get to the intended destination. Funds that actually get disbursed again would be in small monthly instalments which make planning very cumbersome.

2013 and 2014 Budget Allocations for Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement

 

2013 Budget

2014 Budget

Variance

Administration & General

9 488 000

12 045 000

2 557 000

Surveyor general

1 704 000

2 070 000

366 000

Total

11 192 000

14 115 000

2 923 000

The table above shows that 2014 has seen the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement being accorded a hike in terms of budgetary allocations. The 2014 budget is 26.1% higher when measured from 2013. This is quite a welcome development though when looked at, alongside the ministry's mandate and what it is set out to achieve in line with the Government's ZIM ASSET plan of attaining a 6.2% in terms of economic growth, there is need to up the allocation from the current 19% of the ministry's original bid.

The Ministry has a number of priority areas which include:

- Provision of Security of tenure to farm beneficiaries.

- Managing land information.

- Commissioning and maintenance of international boundaries

- Land acquisition and rural resettlement.

- Valuation and compensation of farm improvements

- Establishment and operationalisation of Zimbabwe Land Commission.

- Policy formulations, reviews and pronouncements

- Management and Safeguarding of human resources and state property.

The Ministry's main Challenges and Constraints

- Inadequate manpower as seen by the current establishment strength of 30%.

- Unattractive working conditions which makes it difficult to recruit requisite skill.

- Obsolete equipment which hampers effectiveness in service delivery.

- High operational costs which continue to be underprovided.

- Inadequate financial and material resources which retard timely implementation of planned activities.

- Very low monthly budget release relative to the number of cost centers.

- Very low staff mobility owing to inadequate vehicles.

- Lack of modern survey equipment to expedite A2 farm Title Surveys.

- Legal and technical challenges in registering 99 year leases.

- Farmers failing to pay charges determined by valuation section for 99 year lease processing.

Recommendations.

- Upward revision of the budgeted amount to the ministry's original bid.

- Land Commission and Land Audit will not work well unless the office of the Surveyor general is fully equipped. In this regard therefore, unless the Surveyor General's Office is fully equipped, there won't be any need to devote resources to Land Commission and Land Audit.

Conclusion

The future of Zimbabwe lies in the nation's ability to exploit its resources including land. Proper management and administration of land resources is therefore vital. It is highly recommended that the ministry responsible for such land resources be adequately provided for. Otherwise there will be serious challenges around issues of land acquisition, ownership, title surveys etc, all of which retard progress and in the end the nation remains stagnant in terms of economic progression. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 23rd January, 2014.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Six Minutes past Six o'clock p.m.



Last modified on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:42
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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 40 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 22 JANUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 24