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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 23 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 NO 48

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. RUNGANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. NDUNA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

          Sixth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MAKARI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker, rising for the first time, I seek the indulgence of the House which it always extends to those who address it.  It is indeed a priviledge to stand before you.  I owe this priviledge in its entirety to His Excellency the President and First Secretary of ZANU PF, Head of State and Government, the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for a sterling ideology which I represent. My sincere gratitude also goes to the people of Epworth who have given me this priviledge.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the decisions we make in Parliament shape our future and guide our destiny of this nation and in our own personal capacity.  Thus realising the immense responsibility that accompanies this position, I intend to represent the people of Epworth to the best of my ability - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order can we give the Hon. Member some ear please and lower your voices please. Especially that corner there by the door and this corner here on my left.

          HON. MAKARI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would, at this time, like to honour the contributions of my predecessor the late Ambassador Midzi.  We will continue to advocate for progress and development in Epworth – may his dear soul rest in eternal peace.

          At the dawn of Zimbabwe’s independence, it was deemed fit that the only place which symbolised the very essence of Zimbabwe would be represented on the national currency.  The Chiremba balancing rocks of Epworth took front and center stage as ambassador of the new Zimbabwe.  People from all over Zimbabwe and many others from across the boarders have made pilgrimage to Epworth to view the wonders of nature such as Dombo raMwari and Dombo remaziso while so many other wonders that Epworth has been endowed with have been printed indelibly in the psych of  Zimbabweans.

          Epworth has always been a spiritual center from pre-colonial times.  As the custodian of the Seke chieftaincy, Epworth was a recognised shrine where people came for spiritual nourishment and supplication.  The colonial settlers realised the significance of this holy place.  It is no coincidence that the Epworth that we know today was established by the Methodist Church as its mission in Zimbabwe.  When the mission was established, evangelists from all over the country made Epworth their home and one such evangelist was Peter Tendai, the very first head teacher of Chizungu Primary School.  He was my grandfather and today his grave is in Epworth, together with other members of my family.  Just as he was an instrument of transformation to modern Epworth, the people of Epworth have found it fitting that his granddaughter bear the mantle of their servant-in-chief and advocate for the development of my home, my constituency in Epworth.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, Epworth has a strong tradition and proud legacy.  It consists of hardworking citizens who everyday strive to be self-sufficient in providing for themselves and their families.  The people of Epworth are enterprising; they have made an immense contribution to the nation both in skill and resources from kumajecha where sand and building materials are sourced to the quarry where gravel and stone have helped to build the whole of Harare.  Epworth has indeed made its contribution.

          In His Excellency Cde. R. G. Mugabe’s address to the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament …

          Hon. Mlilo having passed between the Hon. Member on the floor and the Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Mlilo you cannot do that.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Alright that is fine Hon. Member, you may continue.

          HON. MAKARI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, in His Excellency Cde. R. G. Mugabe’s address to the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament, a commitment was made to all small and medium enterprises under the Cooperative Societies Act which will be tabled in this august House.  This will benefit my constituency by not only giving the growing sector a boost but providing a legal framework under which they can be protected.  Small to medium enterprises are the order of day in Epworth.  They almost account for 80% of the population, they are self-employed.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, in line with His Excellency President R. G. Mugabe’s ZIM ASSET economic blueprint, we have ambitious goals and we would like to see them to fruition.  We have a population of 200 000 plus residents pegged on the outskirts of Harare.  Epworth has mainly been an unregulated dormitory town with none of the characteristics a settlement of its size should have.  The main issues stifling the controlled growth of Epworth were lack of tenure of land, title deeds and residential stands.  Working together with the Epworth Local Board and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, we are now engaged in a regularisation exercise where proper town planning is being undertaken. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Epworth Local Board has been allocated two

farms neighbouring Epworth to administer and facilitate the transparent resettlement of tenants.  Areas have been surveyed, pegged into land sizes for different land use.  The correct zoning of land, coupled with the demarcation of residential, recreational, commercial and industrial zones goes hand in hand with the social services and poverty eradication cluster of ZIM ASSET.  This thrives to enable the Government of Zimbabwe to improve the living standards of its citizenry for an empowered society and a growing economy.

          According to the findings recommended by the Nziramasanga Commission in the late 90s; Epworth was in need of 13 primary schools and five secondary schools.  The population at that time was 114 000.  Conversely on the ground, we have eight primary schools and four secondary schools.  This year, we have commissioned two new schools Glenwood Primary School and Mabvazuva Secondary School respectively – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  We are aware that more schools need to be built but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 

The healthcare system in my constituency Mr. Speaker Sir is of great concern.  We only have three polyclinics namely, Epworth Polyclinic, Overspill Polyclinic and Epworth Mission Polyclinic.  The last one to be mentioned is being administered by the Methodist Church. Statistics have proven that the polyclinics are providing maternity facilities to 250 babies a month.  The number of clinics available and the population size in my electorate does not correlate at all.  However, we have been working and have been on the ground.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care has pledged to transform the Epworth Polyclinic into a district hospital which will better service the population.  I will be glad to note that as of two weeks ago, we have been given two resident doctors who are resident at the Epworth Polyclinic – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - 

Mr. Speaker Sir, infrastructure and industry development are catalyst to the growth of Epworth.  We have already started rehabilitating major roads such as Delport road which connects Epworth to Mabvuku and Tafara and also connects Epworth to Chitungwiza.  Much more work is waiting to be done and once regularisation process is completed, we will have more new roads and highways in our constituency.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Shamu, if you want to attend to your cell phone messages, you can either stay here or do it outside.

          HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not have a cell phone. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Why was your head down? Hon. Chakona, please be attentive as well. 

HON. MAKARI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The energy and water infrastructure is a challenge but we are looking to engage the necessary stakeholders according to His Excellency’s 10 point plan.   Government has focused on giving us the necessary infrastructure, particularly in key areas like ICT.  We have a resource centre in Epworth.  Presently, we have a total of 54 boreholes in the constituency, 46 of them are fully functional while sinking of boreholes is a stop gap measure, and we have undertaken consultation to ascertain the best long term solutions with regards to water reticulation and sewage.

 I will be pleased to inform you Mr. Speaker, that we are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with a company that will put in water reticulation and sewage in the next couple of weeks.  Once the regularisation process is completed, this will make the task of providing electricity and household water connections more feasible.

Approximately 85% of Epworth did not have access to electricity.  I am pleased to announce that even as we speak, ZESA is in Epworth.  The residents of Ward 6 are being set up with electricity connection.  In regard to public safety and social amenities, the Ministry of Home Affairs has given us a great boost.  Through negotiations, we expect that we will have more than two police stations that we already have in our constituency.  We have also Mr. Speaker Sir, through the help of your office, sat with the Registrar General and in the next couple of weeks, Epworth will have a sub-station for identity cards, birth and registration.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I firmly believe that information, communication and technology are the way to transform our nation, the way we live and what we earn in the future.   The ICT industry will without doubt, be the biggest catalyst towards social change, employment and development.  With this in mind, we have engaged the Ministry of ICT and established a resource centre where the youths and other residents can utilize computers and access the internet, in the process of gaining skills and the pre-requisite knowledge to equip themselves in today’s world. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the past couple of months saw the ground breaking of Olympic Africa Sports Centre which will be the first project of its kind in Zimbabwe and I would say, in Southern Africa.  The Olympic Africa Committee saw it fit to grace Epworth as a custodian of its endeavours in Zimbabwe.  With the facilities that they will provide, we will definitely put Epworth under mark.

Mr. Speaker Sir, whilst these are but a few of the issues and accomplishments that I have in my constituency, since becoming a legislator for Epworth, we have only scratched the surface in what needs to be done in achieving my own personal vision and the vision of the people of  Epworth themselves.  By the grace of God, by the hard working and the sweat from our brows and with the endowment of determination, mental faculties, I am certain that Epworth will claim its long forgotten birth right as a place where God printed his footprint upon a rock for remembrance and claim its place under the African sun as a centre of excellence, hardworking people, rejuvenation and hope in Zimbabwe.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the House for its indulgence. I thank you. God bless Zimbabwe; Ishe Komborerai Zimbabwe, Nkosi sikelela iZimbabwe.

HON. ENG. MUDZURI: I thank the privilege of debating the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, R.G. Mugabe.  In his speech, the President speaks of the measures he has taken through ZIM ASSET to ensure that the economy comes up.  The President speaks of implementing policies which are supported by Government actions to revitalise agriculture, infrastructure, development, unlocking potential to small and medium enterprises and also encouraging private sector investment, fostering financial sector stability and observance of zero tolerance to corruption.

I want to talk around these areas to say, while the President is talking of zero tolerance to corruption, in another paragraph he talks of ease of doing business.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the President left out a number of measures which should be taken to ensure that our country has ease of doing business.  Out of the work which is being done with the 10 point plan, the absence is clear on the ability of the Executive to ensure that they stop the corruption that is taking place. 

The first incident which comes to play is the initial US$50 000.00 which the President mentioned about.  Secondly, the ZIMDEF half a million dollars which disappeared, the President never mentioned about what is being done to recover that amount of money. The third one is the presence of the police road blocks in the city. Mr. Speaker Sir, the roadblocks in the city and in the country have actually made it so difficult for people to do business.  I have had experience of police stopping my vehicles doing business, people being asked to pay bribes on the spot.

 In the Transport Committee, they have discussed this with the Ministers to say this should stop but the Government has never taken any action against the police who continuously harass citizens who are driving.  It has become a sin for a citizen to own a car in this country.  If you drive and you are not an MP and they do not see your car with a sticker of an MP, once you are stopped, your car is searched as if you have stolen something.  They will look from the front and go around. The will even tell you your car is dirty and they want to charge you some US$10 or some US$20 and they will be asking for a bribe.  That is the clear state of the nation in this country, that the police have been used to collect money from anybody with a car, who might not be of influence to the Executive.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, anyone who has travelled in this city will know that the state of the nation is such that the police are demanding people to pay money which is not available and the President should have helped us by saying how he is going to ask his Ministers to ensure that this stops forthwith, in terms of where he says we have to do observance of zero tolerance to corruption. 

He also speaks of the reforms that are meant to rejuvenate the economy and contribute to poverty reduction.  Mr. Speaker Sir, who monitors the police?  There are more than five judgments so far – you are a lawyer yourself, Mr. Speaker Sir - which have actually come out to stop police from harassing residents.  I can give an exhibit of three which I have managed to collect, but there are five judgments which actually speak to the fact that police should not harass people by forcing them to pay spot fines.  I will leave them here for inclusion in my speech.

The police continue to demand that they do not use Form 265 just because they want to take money from innocent drivers.  They also go to the extent of saying a car which has been designed – myself as an engineer, I know a car is designed at a certain standard.  They have become vehicle inspectors.  A car has been designed to use four wheels.  During the day they will search for a tyre and if they see a biscuit tyre, the police will insist that this is not the same size of tyre.  To me, it is ignorance of the police because that is the same size of tyre which you can fit and you can travel from point A to point B.  The engineers have done a proper design and they will fit that tyre where it suits, but today there is not a single policeman who has been taken to task for arresting people and forcing them to pay a fine for saying your tyre is different from the other. 

It has happened to me several times and I continuously say please, take me to court.  There is an understanding on the roadblocks that they tell you they have been asked not to use Form 265.  Form 265 allows you, Hon. Speaker Sir, to relate to Statutory Instrument 29 (2015).  The Statutory Instrument speaks of anyone who is caught on the wrong side of the law must be proven guilty, but the police continue to demand money and they pretend that you are paying willy- nilly.  This House has a duty to aid the President and ensure that this law which has already had several judgments is followed so that we reduce corruption.  We also insist that our police must know that they are policing everyone, not to police only those people who use cars.  You can go and have something stolen next to a police station and they will not attend to you.  They will only attend to vehicles.  This is real.  I do not know if you have looked at it, Mr. Speaker Sir.  If you have not witnessed it, I urge you to talk to common people, you will hear them complaining.

What is also absent in the President’s speech is the state of the nation, in terms of the closure of companies.  It is clear that in 2016 we lost 262 companies that closed.  While we lost 262 companies, he did not mention what measures are being taken to ensure that we do not have further closures.  What is absent again from the President’s speech is that we have over 80% to 85% unemployment.  What measures are being taken to ensure that we create new employment, we get new jobs coming, and we get everybody on board as Zimbabweans to ensure that the economy ticks.  Instead he is talking of Statutory Instrument 64.  Statutory Instrument 64 which has just brought in more poverty to people who have been going to do imports.  There is no strict mention of which companies we are protecting by the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64.

Mr. Speaker Sir, what is also absent in the President’s speech in terms of the state of the nation is that in a year or so, we are going to an election , it is measures which are being taken to ensure that we have a peaceful election to come, measures which are being taken to ensure that ZEC is properly funded, measures that are being taken to ensure that all political parties and all stakeholders and civic society play their part.  It is completely silent on the state of the nation as we approach the next election.

What is also silent as the President spoke of the introduction of bond notes, is how these bond notes were likely to help the economy.  It was so evident that time that the state of the nation was that every Jack and Jill who wanted to get his money from the bank could not get it and today it is even getting worse, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I have had questions for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and for the Leader of the House in terms of what the banks are now doing.  The banks have written conditions; the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has written conditions to say, you cannot take your money outside the country to use it unless you prioritise imports and exports.  The introduction of bond notes was meant to incentivise exports, but while it is doing that, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has given conditions which are not favourable to the common man, to the middle income person and to the low income person.  The conditions are such that you cannot collect your money from the bank, even the bond note you cannot get it.  You have no choice when you get to the bank.  So, there is need for the President to address the situation with his Cabinet, to ensure that people have a normal life. 

The business environment which he is talking about is seriously constrained that a person who is in the village cannot buy tomatoes with EcoCash.  There is no cash in the banks.  If you go to FBC today, you will be told that you get US$300 or 300 bond notes per week for companies.  US$300 a week is too little for a company.  For the common man, you get US$50 a day and for a civil servant who earns US$300 or US$400, to go every time to the bank to withdraw money, it is so difficult and you are forced to pay a certain amount.  So, I am saying, while the President says we have introduced bond notes to help the situation of cash transactions, he has actually helped the situation where the bad money has chased good money and the master card which you use when you travel without travelling with cash has been abolished.

If you check, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Standard Chartered Bank has introduced a situation where anyone who wants to travel, I do not know whether that applies to Ministers, but for you MPs, if you want to travel outside the country, you cannot travel and use your visa card even if you have your dollars in the bank.  What they are saying is, you have to seek permission with invoices of where you want to sleep, what you want to do and that is invasion of people’s privacy to say you want to travel to a certain country, you are supposed to tell the banker that I will be in such a hotel at such a time and I want to be making transactions with A, B, C.   That does not make ease of doing business, nor does that help in terms of people’s rights to make sure they can travel and come back.  At least if the banks were to introduce a certain figure where you can negotiate to say you are allowed to travel with US$2000 or US$3000, then if you want extra you can apply.  There is nothing like that they are saying you must bring invoices of where you are going to sleep.  I have never heard such a thing in the world. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, you must appreciate that I am from the opposition.  Sometimes, I do not feel secure to just write where I am going to sleep because I do not know who is going to attack me.  Politics is dangerous, it is very dangerous - even you Hon. Members from the opposite side, you do not know.  What is clearly absent is the situation with our health sector, our health sector is collapsing.  The state of the nation is such that we need a lot of assistance, we might not get a lot of funding coming from outside.  We need to ensure that our health sector is properly revived.  The doctors have just gone on strike and the nurses are not being employed.  If you pass your nursing or teaching diploma today, the state of the nation is that you are not likely to get employment.  We are training people who are going to sit at home and they are trained for special courses like being a teacher you have to be in a class, being a nurse you have to be in a hospital and being an engineer you have to be either on the road or industry doing something.  All these people are sitting, this is the state of the nation I expected His Excellency the President to address to say how are we going to harness and likely to address the circumstances of all these people.

          Last but not least, is the scenario of civil servants; the State of the Nation was done in December, the President could not address how he is going to tackle the situation of civil servants in terms of their payments -civil servants, including public servants like Members of Parliament.  Civil Servants are not certain of their pay day even up to today and that is the state of the nation.  Members of Parliament are not certain of their allowances for the past four years and they are likely going to leave this Parliament without knowing when they will be paid their sitting allowance or traveling allowance for coming to work.  So that is the state of the nation which could not be addressed by His Excellency the President and we are all sitting here and saying we are checking over the Executive. 

Whoever wrote that speech deliberately left those things out and it is up to this Parliament to raise issues with the Executive to say what is the state of the nation, how are they going to address these issues of the public servants salaries and Members of Parliament failing to come to work.  You see this House is almost empty; it is because they cannot live, it is half full because they are also looking for money to survive.  So, we have a crisis in the country, not just in Parliament but in homes.  The situation in homes right now is that it is difficult to touch a dollar and you will not know unless you live in the back or beyond. 

I have travelled across the country, there are people in their lives who have never touched a US$1 and they are being punished.  They have never touched it; they just want to use it for going to the grinding mill or doing something.  Today, they are not going to see it forever, and they are not even going to see the bond note.  So, I am trying to say as Parliament, we need to address the issues of the real state of the nation, the state of the nation where we have to change the situation as it is.  The situation where everyone is so poor and does not know what will happen tomorrow and people are worried about tomorrow’s election, worried about how many police roadblocks he is going to meet. 

          I want to urge you Mr. Speaker Sir, to say this Parliament must pass a resolution where no policeman should ever force anyone to pay a spot fine because there is a form 265 which should be given to anyone who has failed to pay who admits guilt and will pay within 7 days, especially in the circumstance where they is no cash available in banks.  You do not swipe when you do not have money in the bank as well, so you must be given time to look for the money if you are proven guilty by the police.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. J. TSHUMA:   Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can I interrupt you one second.  There is a vehicle ADL 4212, it is a Ford Ranger, dark grey in colour, it is obstructing other vehicles.  Can the owner please re-park that vehicle; otherwise the police will clamp it.

          HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also rise to add my voice on a very important speech that was given to us by the President of our nation Cde. R. G. Mugabe.  As we look at this motion of the State of the Nation, it got me really thinking, I compared the yesteryear of Zimbabwe and our today situation and I asked myself, in 1980 a person like you was probably maybe 25 years or so.  When I look at it...

          THE HON. SPEAKER: How did you know that?

          HON. J. TSHUMA: It is simple guess work, taking into consideration that now it is about 37 years after 1980 and I want to believe that you are not yet 60.  Anywhere the point is... 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Anywhere Hon. Member that is a compliment.

          HON. J. TSHUMA: My point is the nationalists who brought the independence of our country, at that tender age of between 20 to 30 years had a certain mindset that mindset, which made it possible for them to get our country to be independent.  I can imagine people like our Late Cde Tongogara at 25 years, his mindset, what he was thinking of then, he was thinking of how he was going to get Zimbabwe to be free so that we can enjoy the freedom of our nation.  I am looking at today’s generation, at 25 they are still being kept at their parent’s houses.  They are living under their parent’s allowances, they are not thinking at all of how we can turn this nation around to start to work for us again. 

You find people today, instead of finding out how we can improve our economy, instead of trying to find out how we can create jobs, but thinking it is a Friday, and somebody is thinking of which bar to visit.  Somebody is thinking of immaterial things that cannot get a nation to work.  What I am saying here Mr. Speaker Sir is that, there is need for a paradigm shift on how we are going give thought to issues of this nation.  Seriously speaking, if people like you back then in the 70s and 80s were thinking like us today, who would have freed this country?  You could have asked yourself why you would go to the liberation struggle without a pay slip or medical aid, but your generation saw it fit to sacrifice and go out there without any guarantee of coming back, health or a salary.  However, you went and fought for a cause, hence, our nation was liberated.

Today, we see ourselves, even here in Parliament, we demonise our own country but for crying out loud, this is the only thing that we have.  This is our only heritage.  Instead of looking at how we attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), resuscitate industries or give attention to issues where boards are appointed clandestinely and performance becomes zero, we do not do that.  We zero in on useless things that will not give us food at all or change the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  We are now even involved in useless factional fights that will not increase our economic expedience.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am asking, where are we going as a nation?  One thing that we need to realise is that nobody is going to come from outside to fix these things for us.  It has to be upon us to make sure that we get this country running.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I was so saddened, when I came to Parliament, I had the verve of talking about Cold Storage Commission, which has its headquarters in Matebeleland and Bulawayo in particular.  However, up to today, that thing is still closed.  How many of our people in Matebeleland could have been employed but are not employed?  I came here and talked about Ekusileni Hospital, the hospital that was coined by our late Vice President, Father Zimbabwe, Dr. Joshua Nkomo.  I can tell you Mr. Speaker Sir, if that hospital was here in Harare, it would be running today, but it is not and my question is why?  Are we looking at these things in a positive way or we are looking at them in unclear ways?  We need to demystify that in this House and to the nation.

It is a known point that a company once came to Ekusileni Hospital to try and open it but the efforts were frustrated.  We did nothing about it.  Today, we have some people, some of whom are dying of cancer.  We have no cancer machine in Bulawayo and yet there are cancer machines here in Harare.  Two of the cancer machines were brought in and one was put at Parirenyatwa and another at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.  The Parirenyatwa one is working today but the Mpilo one is not working.  What are we doing, who is fooling who?  That is where I want us to go to as we talk about the State of the Nation.  The State of the Nation is not being derailed by anybody or anything; we are to blame for all the rot that we are facing today. 

We need to start looking at this thing with the reality that it deserves.  This is not about politics; this is about national issues and getting our nation to work.  Our nation will not work if I am putting money into my pockets, and only want to put my relatives to chair on boards, and appoint managers who do not have qualifications to mann companies.  For the nation to work, we need to be real and let us have proper board appointments so that proper boards will appoint proper management.  If we have proper management, we will not have statements like ‘National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is dead.’  That statement really worried me Mr. Speaker Sir.  If one is saying NRZ is dead and yet it employs thousands of our people in Matabeleland, what are you saying?  What are we doing as Government?  That is where we now need to come up as Parliament and bring up issues that are going to repair and restore such things.

I remember in my Presidential debate speech, I talked about ZISCO Steel.  I will not repeat it today.  However, all I am saying Mr. Speaker Sir is that, for our nation to work, let us remove all these hindrances that we have in our minds, issues of factionalism, individualism, regionalism and even nepotism.  They must all go and then we start looking at this thing as a national issue.  Once we look at things in the national perspective which we ought to, we will begin to have our state of nation in a sound manner.  So, as I conclude Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to implore everybody, wherever they are, who are engaging in any corrupt activity to know that they are not only doing a disservice to their families, but to the nation at large. 

Even if you are a police officer mounting road blocks – I have actually complained one time when I saw within a distance of 10km, there were five road blocks, what for?  Why are we harassing people?  Why are we harassing even the tourists whom we need to come?  Now, when they start tweeting and talking bad about Zimbabwe, we suffer as a nation.  Why are we not correcting these things as we go? What we want at the end of the day is a sound nation and economy.  It will not come by sparing each other and patting each other on the back when we are doing rubbish.  We need to do what is correct, corporate wise, nation wise and even family set-up wise. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, when we achieve that, we begin to be a nation that is moving towards making sure that we resolve issues of Zimbabwe and the country is for us all, regardless of being on the left side or the right side.  I want to also say that even those people who find themselves demonising Zimbabwe, are doing a disservice to their own country.  If you go out there and say do not come to Zimbabwe, it is ungovernable, it has no rule of law, what are you doing?  You are killing your own country and disadvantaging your own next generation, so we need to have a patriotic mind.  We need to look at Zimbabwe as our own, all of us and when we get to that stage Mr. Speaker Sir, we will begin to build the nation and then the state of the nation shall be well.  I want to leave you Mr. Speaker Sir with one voice to say, no to corruption, unfair appointments of boards of people who are not competent to run them and appointment of management of companies and parastatals to people who have no competence whatsoever to run them because they are running them down and to the detriment of our nation.  I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for this opportunity.  His Excellency, the President came to this House and delivered his State of the Nation Address.  I was seated just a few metres away from him and I listened attentively.  I would like to say thank you.  I also want to thank the mover of the motion to give a respectable response or responses to the State of the Nation by His Excellency.  That is exactly what I am going to do; give a respectable response to the State of the Nation Address that His Excellency was pleased to deliver to this House.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commit my debate in the name of the Almighty who in his infinite wisdom and providential goodness has appointed this office of Parliament.  I am going to be assisted in my debate by two books.  This one here, report of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2015on Appropriation Accounts, Revenue Statement and Fund Accounts and also this book here - report of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2015 on State Enterprises and Parastatals. 

          Mr. Speaker, the background is that 84 state enterprises were audited and analysed by the Auditor-General and 40% of those were given opinions relating to going concern status.  There are basically two types of opinions that the Auditor-General gives after going through the numbers of either a ministry or state enterprise.  It is either modified or unmodified – I am not going to talk about unmodified because unmodified is a clean report.  I am going to talk about modified.  40% of the parastatals whose books the Auditor-General looked at got modified opinions.  An auditor will give an opinion based on the numbers that he/she has looked at.

          Mr. Speaker, under modified, there are basically three opinions that the Auditor-General will give.  It is either a qualified opinion – when the auditor gives a qualified opinion, basically she is saying there is a particular number that I do not agree with that you have put in your financial statements.  I do not agree with that number and you do not agree with me as the Auditor-General so we disagree on that number so I give you a qualified opinion an example is POTRAZ on page 26. 

          The Auditor-General can give you an adverse report.  When an auditor gives you an adverse report, he is saying the numbers that you have given me are not reflective of the true position of your organisation.  When the Auditor-General gives a disclaimer opinion, he is saying, ooh ndazvitadza, I have failed and cannot do anything about this.  God help me.  That is what the auditor is saying.  Harare Hospital got a disclaimer and it is on Page 189 of the Auditor-General’s report which states, ‘Ever since I was born, I have never seen shambles like this’.  That is what the Auditor-General was saying.  The Auditor-General says, ‘I have audited the financial statements of Harare Central Hospital for the years ended 31st December, 2013 and 2014 and issued a disclaimer of opinion.  The hospital prepared financial reports in line with guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.’  The Auditor-General goes on to say, ‘owing to the nature of the accounting records, I was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence relating these transition adjustments through alternative procedures.

          I remember when His Excellency the President was commissioning ZISCO; he said and please allow me to say it in Shona.  Zvanzi, ‘veduwe dai simbi dzaiwora pano tainhuhwirwa tikafa.’  So the Auditor-General was saying dai Harare Hospital iri nyama, dai ndanhuhwirwa ndikafa and this is a hospital which is supposed to give life to people yet its financial report is in such a state that the Auditor-General almost died by merelly looking at it.  – [Laughter.] –

          Mr. Speaker, 40% of the parastatals looked at had problems with going concern issues.  When the Auditor-General says, ‘you have going concern issues’, he is saying, looking at your numbers, it is unlikely that in the next 12 months after this audit report has been signed you will not still be doing business because your liabilities outstrip your assets.  Let me give you an example and bring it closer to home and be graphic.  The parastatals that are under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and it used to be Ministry of Transport and Communication.  The National Railways of Zimbabwe, Tel-One and Net-One – The National Railways of Zimbabwe’s current assets are outstripped by current liabilities to the tune of $171 million; Tel-One current liabilities outstrip current assets by $163 million.

          Mr. Speaker, this is not small change, $163 million.  If you put $163 million into Harare even stray cats in Mabvuku will tell you that something is happening in this town.  Stray cats not even dogs but stray cats in Mabvuku will tell you something is happening in this town.  That is the extent of the loss that has been incurred by the parastatal and you find men and women still going to work wearing ties, drinking tea at 1000 hours and having lunch at 1300 hours.  What are you doing when a parastatal has made a loss of $163 million wearing a tie and going to work?  Before I go any further, Air Zimbabwe has not been audited since 2009, yet Air Zimbabwe has had ministers who go to Cabinet every Tuesday.  What are you going to Cabinet to do?  Actually I saw Hon. Goche seated here and I was saying, aah but what is wrong with this man?  He was Minister of Transport with Air Zimbabwe under his purview yet it was never audited.

          Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what a minister who allows a parastatal under his purview not to be audited for five years deserves.  We must strip him naked, put him out there and whip him to death like a   donkey– [Laughter.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Maridadi, surely what law will you be using to do that? – [AN HON. MEMBER: Sharia law!] –

          HON. MARIDADI:  Sorry Mr. Speaker, this is what happens in other jurisdictions - Philippines and China will horsewhip you to death.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  And in Zimbabwe?

          HON. MARIDADI:  In Zimbabwe we do not do that because we respect the rule of law so we do not do that.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          Mr. Speaker, let me go to …

          HON. NDUNA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am listening so attentively to his debate and we call it ‘sledging’ in the queen’s language.  Mr. Speaker, I am quite sure as a former broadcaster, he would know what this means.

          I ask, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, the tone that he is so eloquently using to deal with the issues that he is articulating;  not that it be constant, the spikes should be limited to acceptable tones – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]  This is my prayer Mr. Speaker Sir and as I have alluded to, as a former broadcaster, he would know what these nyaudzosingwi might do to his debate.  I am hoping that I have not distracted him but let sledging be toned down.  I thank you.  – [AN HON. MEMBER: Ucha dhibetawo!] -  [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]        THE HON. SPEAKER:  I hope Hon. Nduna, you were listening very carefully when I intervened and asked which law he was using to do the whipping of someone who is naked and subtly, the Hon. Member realised the problem.  We go by the rule of law here.  Hon. Member, you can continue.

          HON. MARIDADI: I commit this debate in the name of the Almighty who in his infinity wisdom and providential goodness, has appointed the offices of the rulers and Parliaments, like this one.  So, help me God. 

          Mr. Speaker, parastatals; let me go to the parastatal called ZESA, it is an economic enabler.  It operates three power stations, Hwange, Kariba and Harare.  The other two power stations are now obsolete, Munyati and Bulawayo.  Hwange has an installed capacity of 900 mega watts; it is dispatching 350 mega watts.  Kariba has an installed capacity of 750, it is dispatching about 700.  Harare has an installed capacity of 80 mega watts; it is dispatching 15 mega watts.  In total, ZESA is dispatching 1 350 mega watts, the remainder of the mega watts that we need as a country, we import from South Africa, Snel and from Namibia. 

          Mr. Speaker, the structure of ZESA is such that there is a holding company which has a chief executive, directors, company secretary and senior managers.  Below ZESA holdings, we have Zimbabwe Power Company, whose job is to generate, we have Zimbabwe Distribution and Transmission Company, we have ZESA Enterprises and Powertel.   So, under ZESA there are five business units. 

Mr. Speaker, ZESA’s structure is blotted because each business unit has a chief executive; it has a finance director, an operations director, a company secretary and so on.  You can put the executive at each business unit of ZESA at about seven, so you multiply seven by five business units and it gives you 35.  Then you take the holding company which also has a group chief executive and a set of directors including a group finance director, group corporate affairs director, you have another 11 people.  So, ZESA is manned by about 50 people. 

          ESKOM of South Africa, let me refresh your memory, ZESA generates 1 350 mega watts, ESKOM of South Africa generates 37 500 mega watts.  ESKOM generates power and they give power to about 40% of Africa.  ESKOM’s structure is managed by eight people, there is a group chief executive, there is a transmission director, a generation director, distribution director, finance director and corporate service director and then those other ones are managers.  Eight people make up the executive of ESKOM which generates 37 500 mega watts; ZESA which generates 1 350 mega watts has about 50 people, its top heavy.  Let me break it down. It is like taking a five year old, then you give him a head of an elephant and you expect them to walk. They will not be able to walk; they will buckle under the weight of their head. 

          Mr. Speaker, these parastatals were here, I wish the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, ZESA in particular; when you ask them to give you their pay slips, they will give you pay slips which will tell you that Mr. A earns US$3 500 a month, that is the money that comes through payroll.   Parastatals have a benefit called ‘cafeteria’.  The way ‘Cafeteria’ is calculated is such that your salary is equivalent to the ‘Cafeteria’ allowance that you get two weeks after getting your salary and it does not come through payroll.  So, when books of parastatals are being audited, you are auditing a finance director who is taking home US$4000.00 and yet in actual fact they are taking home US$8 000.00 because they have that ‘cafeteria’ allowance which does not go through the payroll. 

          The Minister of Finance and Economic Development must investigate that.  I will leave that one aside and go back to the Auditor General’s report.  Mr. Speaker, there are 80 fund accounts that the Auditor General has looked.  Let me tell you what a fund account is. Government would have realised that there is a need that should be addressed by creating a fund and that money should be put into that fund.  A typical example is the Number Plate fund.  Our Number Plates are securitised.  It says here on page 209, of the Auditor General’s Report, “the new vehicle security registration number plate revolving fund for 2013.  Objective of the fund - the fund was established to import blank registration plates of the specifications stipulated in the vehicle registration licencing regulations and incidental materials for the production of vehicle registration number plates and to sell plates to vehicle owners.  “I have audited”; this is the Auditor General speaking, “the financial statement of the new vehicle security registration number plates revolving fund for the year ended December 31, 2013”.  Here is the opinion of the Auditor General, “in my opinion, because of the significance of the matters discussed in the Basis for the Adverse Opinion paragraph, the financial statements do not present fairly the financial  position of the New Vehicle Registration Number Plate Revolving Fund as at December 31, 2013 and its financial performance for the year then ended.

          Mr. Speaker this fund has so much money to the extent that Ministry of Transport has taken 30 million out of this fund and given it to Air Zimbabwe without the authority of the Ministry of Finance.  The Constitution of the fund says, if you are going to spend money from that fund or extend it to another arm of Government, you must get authority from the Ministry of Finance, they did not get authority.  However, that is not even worrying that they have put $30 million into Air Zimbabwe but by his own admission, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport says, it does not matter how much money you put into Air Zimbabwe, the airline can never be revived because of the Business model that they are using but he is the same man who then authorises $30 million to be into that business.  It is like you are taking $30 million and throwing it down a blair toilet and you know if you put money in a blair toilet, you cannot it back.  That is exactly what the permanent secretary has done, $30 million dollars into Air Zimbabwe from this fund, Mr. Speaker that is worrisome, I think something must be done about it. 

          Mr. Speaker, I go to the Ministry of Mines.  It has a fund here called Mining Industry Loan Fund which was established to assist the mining industry and promote the production of minerals in such a manner as the Minister of Mines and Mining Development in consultation with the Minister of Mines shall from time to time determine.  How do you give such an open cheque to a Minister?  A minister is a person.  Why should we give the Minister such a blank cheque.  Hold on! Under the same Ministry, there is another fund which is listed on page 155 of the Auditor General’s Report.  By the way Mr. Speaker, what I am saying here handisikuzvipihwa, it is from the Auditor General’s Report. This is not prophesying but it is knowledge available in this book presented to Parliament. 

There is a fund here called the Mines and Mining Development Fund.  The fund was established to support and sustain the operations of the computerised mining title system.

If you look at the constitution of the fund and the constitution of the fund that gave earlier, why can they not be harmonised so that we have one fund?  Bureaucrats in Government will not want these funds to be harmonised for very obvious reasons because that is where corruption takes place.  Of the funds that were audited by the Auditor General, most of them got modified opinions; they are not working well, Mr. Speaker.  I will put this book aside because I shall deal with it in a latter debate.

What I am talking about here, Mr. Speaker, the state of parastatals are reflective of the state of the nation.  If there is anybody in his wildest dream who does not believe that the state of parastatals represent the state of the nation, that person must have their head examined.  That person can actually be given a certificate of madness by a competent doctor like Hon. Dr. Mataruse here. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you have five minutes left.

HON. MARIDADI:  Five minutes is a lot of time, Mr. Speaker.  I will do justice to the five minutes.  Mr. Speaker, the state of the nation is reflected by parastatals because parastatals are of the cool face of Government service delivery.  Government delivers service via parastatals. Essential services like electricity, water, road infrastructure, transport and so forth.  So, parastatals were formed by Government to take care of Government service delivery.  Parastatals must participate in business at a profit.

[Time Limit.]

HON. D. SIBANDA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I propose that we extend Hon. Maridadi’s time.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  So, when State enterprises were formed, Government realised that if you leave private companies to give essential services, they will charge exorbitant prices and people would not be able to afford.  So, electricity, water, road infrastructure and so forth are services given by parastatals because parastatals participate in business on behalf of Government. But parastatals must declare a dividend – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members on my left, please keep quiet.

HON. MARIDADI:  Parastatals, Mr. Speaker, must declare a dividend to Government, but as we speak today, if you go through the Auditor General’s report, there is not a single parastatal that has declared a dividend to Government - not a single one of them.  Parastatals are all perennial loss makers.  It could be Zim Post, it could be Cold Storage Company, whatever it is, they are perennial loss makers and when they make a loss, they go back to the shareholder and the shareholder is Government for bail-out. 

The reason Government will continue to give bail-out to parastatals is because they realise the importance of parastatals in the scheme of the economy of the country.  So, you cannot blame Government.  You cannot blame the President to say, I want ZESA to continue to survive.  When the President says they must continue to survive, he is saying ZESA must continue to survive because there are poor people out there that benefit from the provision of electricity at an affordable price. 

The President is saying, for businesses to operate, they must get power from ZESA but unfortunately, the people that the President appoints to run those organisations are letting him down.  If a Minister who was appointed by the President to run Air Zimbabwe does not present books to be audited by the Auditor General for seven years, that person is not doing any good to the President and the President must fire such people.

Mr. Speaker, in 1980 at independence and Hon. Mnangagwa seated here was a Minister and he was younger, he was in his early 40s, he can vouch for me that parastatals contributed 40% to the Gross Domestic Product of this country and the other 60% came from private companies. Let me give you a typical example of ZUPCO.  ZUPCO, Mr. Speaker, is supposed to give transport to Zimbabweans because if you want to see the success or failure of a Government, you see by the urban transport system.  When I grew up in Mabvuku, there used to be ZUPCO buses coming from Mabvuku, going straight to industrial sites on time, buses that took us to school written ‘schools,  as destination light industry, heavy industry, Msasa’ and so forth.  ZUPCO was making a profit. 

There is a chairperson at ZUPCO called Prof. Chipo Dyanda.  Mr. Speaker, if you go to ZUPCO today in Willowvale Industries, you will moan because ZUPCO is almost dead.  The buses at ZUPCO are like seeing bones of people that died in the Second World War, but Mr. Speaker, the same Chairperson who presided over the demise of ZUPCO has been given another mandate to be Chairperson of Air Zimbabwe.  Mr. Speaker, it is like you take a person who you know has full blown AIDS and you have given him a wife and the wife is dying because she has contracted AIDS from the husband.  As if that is not bad enough, you say okay, my virgin daughter who is 18 years old, please go and live with that man and please produce children for him.  What are you saying?  The daughter is going to die.  That is the situation of ZUPCO,

Air Zimbabwe and Prof. Chipo Dyanda.

Mr. Speaker, the state of the nation  is such that the Auditor General’s report must be respected and when an Auditor General produces these two huge volumes and they are put in our pigeon holes, these books are not supposed to be taken home and put somewhere for children to play with.  These books are meant to be read.

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend I was coming from a beer drink with friends and I was so excited.  I said look, this is too much excitement and my wife said no, you are too excited, please can you read the Auditor General’s report.  I went through two pages.  I was so devastated; I went to sleep like a baby and woke up the following morning.  Mr. Speaker, if you are so happy, you are excited about something and you want to be angry, read this book.

Hon. Vice President, when people from the other factions of the party are saying things about you, please, give them the Auditor General’s report – [Laughter.]-  They will stop talking about factionalism because after reading this book, it sobers them.  You cannot talk about factionalism after reading this book.  Hon. Vice President, I urge you to produce copies of this book, give one to Hon. Sarah Mahoka and give the other one to Hon. Sandi Moyo.  Problems will be solved – [Laughter.]- 

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the state of the nation is such that our youth do not need residential stands.  Young people need jobs.  They earn money, they save their money, they buy stands, they continue to save and they build houses.  That is the state of the nation. If you give a residential stand to a 27 year old who does not work, it is like giving mapatapata to a person who does not have toes.  What does he do?  I will tell you a typical example of what is happening in Mabvuku. You give a residential stand to a 25 year old, what they will do is look for somebody who is going to buy that stand for US$3000 and they spend that money. 

          Mr. Speaker, I was able to buy my first house at the age of 24, Hon. Nhema is here, I had an interview with Hon. Nhema during my early days on radio, I was 23.  Hon. Nhema said to me, young man, never live in a flat where you are paying rent to somebody because that flat will never be yours, buy a stand even if it is for US$100 in Epworth, save money and buy stand.  I was able to buy my first house in Mabvuku through the advice that I got from Hon. Nhema. I went to a bank and I got a loan for fifty thousand dollars which I paid over a period of six years because of the advice Hon. Nhema did not say go to a political party and get a residential stand.  He said save money and buy a residential stand – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and that is what we need.  Mr. Speaker, I will quote from the Bible and say, ‘with these- go ye therefore’, I thank you.  

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the story has now reached climax because the former speaker was well prepared.  This issue that we are debating on parastatals; I am very happy on how it has been handled.  What we want to look at, is what we can do for things to move well, what solutions we have.  Looking at ZUPCO why it is not operating, it is because the people there do not have a vision.  It is only looking at conventional buses but we have other options of commuter omnibuses and small cars. If they were visionary people, they would have introduced commuter omnibuses as well.  So, in this country, it is business as usual but people are supposed to think outside the box.

          What causes that is because the board of directors is appointed on nepotism. A person with a catering degree is given a position in transport.  So, this board of directors issue is the one which is making our things not to flow well.

          Looking at Air Zimbabwe, comparing with other countries like Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates, how are they doing it for their things to move well?  They have airlines all over Africa and Asia but when we look at our country, you will find that our aeroplanes will just be parked there and they get dilapidated.  For us to get airlines from South Africa, you find that our routes are not being utilised.  Our domestic routes are being taken by other countries whilst we are just watching, which means that we should be visionary. Even when we are defeated, we should go back and plan to see why we have been defeated.

          If you look at National Railways of Zimbabwe, in other countries like China, they now have tube trains which are quicker.  In this country, you find that it is taking long for us to go that route and I think it is being caused by the board of directors or the workers that are there who do not think ahead.  I think we should introduce speed trains as well.  For us to still use ancient trains which take the whole night to travel, the people will opt to use buses that take 3 hours.  So, people should be visionary and look at how we can cope with the emerging trends especially this board of directors’ issue. 

          The Minister should not appoint board of directors.  Some of the parastatals in other countries like Rwanda produce money that they take to the fiscus.  We should not go to Victoria Falls for our pre-Budget Seminar but to ZIPAM which is quite near.  When I look at the money that was paid by my parents when I went to school, comparing it to people who send their children to learn outside, I think it is not right. We should use our resources locally and not export resources so that they are brought back to the coffers of Government. 

          If we look at what is happening in jails, China has made money with prisoners because they work in mines and farms but here we give prisoners farms like 30 000 and they have workers. This command agriculture programme, prisoners should have been mandated to produce 5000 tonnes per hectare. Prisoners will work in the fields so that when they leave prison, they are given money which would have been realised from the fields.  Why should prisoners sleep during the day?  I think we should look at our laws so that we will be able to produce things that will alleviate our poverty.  The Army should have farms where they grow maize and small grains so that if there is no war, they feed the country instead of us importing maize from Malawi.  Long back, we used to think that Malawians are backward but now it is us who are going there to buy food. I think the planners should look at things that will alleviate our poverty.  Prisoners should be engaged in mines instead of them playing games and then the money will be taken to the fiscus so that when they leave the prisons, they will be given some money to start some projects.

          Looking at the prisons as well, if we look at SMEs, a lot of them are involved in tailoring. Prisoners should be involved in tailoring so that the country can buy clothes from them.  That is what China is doing because many prisoners are making clothes which are being sold.  In China, the prisoners make furniture and even laptops. This would help us if we do the same.  It is now expensive to imprison people because we buy food and we need money for their day to day expenses, be it blankets, sanitary pads and this consume a lot of money.  So, I think we should look at these areas and make sure that we make money out of them.

          Coming to the councils on running beer halls, I remember when I was growing up in 1975; there was a petticoat bar in Magaba. That time councils used to make a lot of money, but nowadays, councils cannot run even a simple bar in order to make money.  The Councils are just crying foul that they do not have money yet people running those councils have degrees in accounting. They are being outwitted by the people in the rural areas who are not educated but are able to run bars. 

          Coming to stands, the council should take over the business of running stands and parceling out land to people.  Councils were given equipment to service land, but you find that they are doing nothing but are contracting companies to do that.  They can peg a stand even without the money.

Coming to agriculture, I want to thank the Hon. Vice President because of Command agriculture.  Command agriculture is doing very well.  If Command agriculture should be taken to command mining it could do well for us because we have a lot of money underground which we have not realised yet.  If people go into mining like what they did in command agriculture, we could realise a lot of gold which is underground and sell it. 

We once said the illegal gold panners should be formalised, I think it is taking long.  Coming to my area in Shamva South, you find that there is a lot of gold there and I have a lot of women who are involved in gold panning.  They obtain about 5 grams a day but they cannot take it to Fidelity because they will be convicted.  That gold is from Zimbabwe and it is our way of living.  However, because of the law, they are not free to take their gold there.

Coming to agriculture, Command agriculture in particular, if I talk to the Vice President, we are talking about a post-harvest programme.  Now we have grown our food, we should be engaged in beneficiation.  In South Africa, they are making diesel out of maize.  They are also making baby food out of soya beans.  So, I think we should look at value addition and make it the same as Command agriculture so that our people are able to obtain value out of the grains that they grow.

Our farmers should not only be trained in farming, but they should also be trained in beneficiation because many countries are involved in that.  Let us not just look at growing maize only, we should also look at fish-farming, Namibia is doing that.  Here we have an opportunity to come up with fish ponds where we can realise a lot of fish and can it for export.  Those are some of the things we should look at.  Our agricultural colleges like Chibero should engage in maize growing and not just eat but to help the nation. 

Coming to Matebeleland, we have a lot of cattle, but the cattle found there are not growing.  We cannot get into Command agriculture of cattle farming, we should revamp our breed.  In Rwanda they have artificial insemination centres where farmers go and buy the artificial insemination equipment.  It is like a shop and people go and buy the breed that they want and do artificial insemination.  If we come up with good breeds, they will be saleable and that will bring more money to the fiscus as more money will be realised.

We have found out that people are very educated but they cannot work using their degrees.  Coming to education, in 1978 and 1979, schools were divided into two, the F1 and F2 schools.  In F2, there were practical subjects and it was recommended by the Nziramasanga Commission.  However, these days, the graduates we are coming up with have masters’ degrees, but they are unemployable because they did not learn any other practical subject.  Things have changed these days, so we cannot come up with graduates who end up selling firewood.  It means that our education is now cheap.  We should look into that.  I know people are not happy about this new curriculum, but I have realised that it will help the graduates to be employable on the job market.  People who are involved in research are unable to research on how to make tooth-picks or even sanitary pads.  So, we want to support Hon. Dr. Dokora so that people who come from primary, even if they lose their parents at Grade 7, they can engage in sewing clothes.  That is what China is doing and their education is not looked down upon.  These days there are no companies to employ people but people should be employers when they leave school.

Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, I will talk about corruption.  I think in the courts, there should be a definition of what corruption is because you will find that when people have been convicted on corruption, the investigating police officers, do we have them?  This is because many people who are accused of corruption have not been convicted because maybe we do not know what corruption means.  To say that one is corrupt, what would they have done?  The investigating police officers, how articulate are they in those areas?  Many of those who were prosecuted at Air Zimbabwe were all discharged because they could not put a finger where the corruption happened.  I think we need to look at that as well. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for the Presidential Speech which was given by the President when he opened Parliament.  I think we should do more so that the country moves forward.  Command Agriculture, I think we should grow more of small grains.  Malawi did it and that is why we are buying food there.  They are no longer relying on sadza as staple food but they are eating a variety.  This means that those in schools should engage in research and we should have hybrids of small grains which will produce more from 1 hectare.  If we eat small grains, they are nutritious and we will fight the diseases that we are coming across these days.  So, the agricultural research department should look at that so that our country moves well.  Thank you.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

          On the motion of the VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA), the House adjourned at Six Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.

 

 

 

 

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