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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 23 MAY 2019 VOL. 45 NO. 55

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Sibanda, you will admit you are talking on your phone.  Please leave the House.

          Hon. P. D. Sibanda escorted out of the House by the Serjent-at-Arms.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I was about to say Hon Biti, if you want a senior position you do it in a cool manner so that we do not disrupt the proceedings, otherwise you may not receive the blessings accordingly, but we wish you well.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: I rise on a point of privilege because of the sad news that we have received about the death of one of the members whose contribution to our liberation struggle cannot be forgotten.  A very humble man, no matter how difficult circumstances were.  He put country before people and was selfless, the late Dumiso Dabengwa.  He passed on today on his way from India where he was receiving treatment.  I want to bring this to the attention of this House so that we can recognise and give him the due recognition that should be bestowed upon him.  As Hon. Members we should go and commiserate with his family because we should go and pay our condolences at such funeral proceedings.  As an august House which is about to adjourn we should know that despite our adjournment we have lost a former Member of Parliament.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I recognise the observation made by Hon. Madzimure and in terms of family etiquette, I listened to the news and the family was going to give an official statement anytime after 14:00hrs.  Until the family has pronounced itself and Government through His Excellency, the President who I know has been assisting in one way or the other we shall stand guided accordingly.  So, for the moment we acknowledge that observation but let us wait for the family to pronounce themselves first.

          *HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr Speaker Sir.  We have an Hon. Member who spoke in vernacular but also used English.  My request is that he withdraws the statement that he made.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Matangira when the Chair has spoken you remain silent.  I was thinking that you had a point of privilege when you stood up.  So please can we go by our Standing Orders.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ON THE 2018 HARMONISED ELECTIONS

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I rise to move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the report of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission on the 2018 Harmonised Elections.  The report is being presented in terms of Section 323 (2) of the Constitution and it covers the work that the Human Rights Commission did pre-election, during the election period and post election period including the recommendations.  I submit the report for consideration of the House Mr. Speaker Sir, it is being presented in terms of Section 323 (2) of the Constitution and it covers the work that the Human Rights Commission did during pre-elections, during the election period and post election including the recommendation. I submit the report for consideration of the House, Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. T. MLISWA:  We cannot debate because we have not seen the report.

HON. BITI:  It is not in the pigeon holes, Hon. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, the Clerk at the Table has gone to check from the Papers Office to find out whether the distribution was done or not.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE YEAR ENDED 2018

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I rise that this House takes note of the Report of the Judicial Service Commission for the year 2018 presented to the National Assembly in terms of Section 323 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  I so submit Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to put the question first.

HON. T. MLISWA:  But, it is not there.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to put the question first before you can raise an issue.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you very much and a very good afternoon to you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think it is important that there is some professionalism which should be exhibited by the administration of Parliament to ensure that these reports come on time and they also check whether we receive them or not because the report on the elections is quite critical and it is also the biggest even in the country.  As such, it was marred with a lot of controversy and it would be good for us to read and debate on it, on how the pre-election and the post election were done because of the controversy.

The aspect of the Judiciary Commission Report again is quite critical because it is another arm of the State which we must also introspect and we equally need time to be able to read and debate in a manner which I think will ensure that we have done justice to the two reports.  So I do not know Mr. Speaker Sir, with your guidance, how it works that the report is tabled for debate when we do not have it.  How can you come up with a way of ensuring that these issues do not happen?  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Let me put it on record that the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs did distribute the two reports to Parliament and Papers Office and his has been confirmed by the Clerk at the Table whom I have just sent, and the Papers Office agrees that the two reports are there and they are going to distribute them now.  We will take corrective action to ensure that as soon as the reports come, they are distributed to the pigeon holes on time so that Hon. Members can peruse them and be able to be in a position to debate.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  On that note, I move that the debate do now adjourn.  

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

SECOND READING

MICROFINANCE BILL [H. B. 11, 2018]

Third Order read:  Adjourned debate on the Second Reading of the Microfinance Bill (H. B. 11, 2018).

Question again proposed.

HON. MHONA:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to present the Committee Report on this very important Bill;  Report on the public hearings for the Microfinance Amendment Bill [H. B. 11, 2018].

In terms of Section 141 of the supreme Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament is mandated to engage the general public in its legislative and other processes of its committees, that the intended parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament. 

In fulfillment of the constitutional requirement, the Portfolio Committee on Finance, Budget and Economic Development undertook public hearings for the Microfinance Amendment Bill, which was gazetted on the 21st of December, 2018.  The public hearings were conducted in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo and Bulawayo during the period, 8 to 11 April, 2019.

Purpose of the Bill

Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Microfinance Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Microfinance Act, [Chapter 24.29], which came into force in 2013.  The Act provides for the registration, supervision and regulation of persons conducting microfinance business in Zimbabwe.  Prior to 2013, the legal and regulatory framework for the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe was largely inadequate and fragmented.  Microfinance institutions were registered and supervised in terms of the Money Lending and Rates of Interests Act, [Chapter 14.14] and the Banking Act, [Chapter 24.20].  These Acts provided piecemeal provisions towards microfinance business.  Thus, in order to rectify that, the Microfinance Act was enacted.  The Microfinance Amendment Bill is therefore aimed at addressing some of the concerns and gaps that have been observed and the key players in the sector in line with international practice.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, the purpose of the Bill: The Bill seeks to rationalise the number of microfinance institutions that can carry out microfinance business under the Act and also to extend and strengthen the supervision that can be exercised.

Submissions received on the Bill and the Committee’s recommendations

Clause 2 – Terminologies and definitions

The Act had a lot of archaic definitions, which only aided in bringing confusion and not clarity to the sector.  The amendment to bring only two categories, which is credit only and deposit taking microfinance makes understanding easier and also aligns Zimbabwe to international best practices.

Recommendations

Clause 2 of the Amendment Bill adequately deals with the matter. 

Clause 7 – Renewal of registration

The main Act gave both credit only and deposit taking institutions a one year licence.  Clause 7 of the Amendment Bill proposes a five-year period of registration for credit only microfinance institutions and indefinite registration for deposit taking institutions.  Members of the public submitted that in order to facilitate long term investments in the microfinance sector and for the sector to support productive sectors like agriculture among other long term investments, there is need for perpetual licences for both credit only and deposit taking microfinances.

Recommendation:

The committee observed that a provision in the Bill proposing for a certification process for only five years for credit-only microfinance institutions was problematic as it would not allow for adequate planning.  Thus, the Committee supports the submission that a perpetual licence for both credit only and deposit taking microfinance institutions be awarded to promote the ease of doing business in the economy, unless the issuing authority determines otherwise.  Errant businesses should be blacklisted and their licences terminated.  The extension of the tenure of the license for the microfinance institutions would enhance the operational efficiency of the businesses by allowing for adequate planning, long term investments and long tenure financing. Clause 7 should therefore be amended accordingly.

Clause12 - Requirements for Agreements

Submissions were made against provisions of Clause 16 (2) of the main Act, which states that; “Any provision of an agreement which purports to allow the microfinance institution unilaterally to alter the rate of interest payable by the borrower, the repayment period, or any other obligation of the borrower, shall be void.”  It was proposed that in order to protect the borrower and the lender, the penalty shall not exceed 5% payable by the borrower.

Recommendation:

The Committee supports the provision in the Bill to protect the borrowers and therefore submits that any agreement entered into which is not in line with the provisions in the Act shall be void and will therefore not attract any obligation by the borrower.

Clause 19 -   Requirements for lending by Microfinance Institutions

Clause 19 of the Amendment Bill on conditions of giving out a loan allows the microfinance to recover unpaid capital but not the interest in the event that a loan is given without complying with the conditions set in Section 26 of the Principal Act. Members of the public consulted requested that the burden of proof lies with the borrower.  Under the current Clause 26, the assumption is that any complaint by the client/borrower automatically amounts to an infringement by the microfinance.

Recommendation:

Clause 19 of the Amendment Bill adequately deals with the matter by allowing the institution to recover unpaid capital but not the interest.  The Committee further recommends that the onus to prove wrong doing must fall on the lender who shall approach the competent court and not necessarily on the borrower.  However, a mere assertion by the borrower of not having understood the basic essential terms of the loan agreement should not prejudice the lender.

Clause 29 - Disciplinary Committee

 According to the submissions, Section 45 of the Principal Act did not include a consumer advocate in the mold of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe or its equivalent in the composition of the Disciplinary Committee.  The Amendment Bill has incorporated such a body, further buttressing consumer protection and bringing wayward actors to book and act as a deterrent to other potential errant players.

          Recommendation:

          Clause 29 of the Amendment Bill adequately deals with this requirement.

          Clause 4 - The Microfinance Advisory Council (MAC)

          The National Microfinance Policy pronounced the formation of a number of bodies which would lead to the sustainable development of the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe.  The same policy advocated for a creation of a coordinating body, the Microfinance Advisory Council made up of various players.  The Act did not bring in to fruition but the amendments have since created this institution.  This being a Microfinance Advisory Council, the members of the public requested that the microfinance sector be given three seats on the advisory council.  Moreover, they expressed reservations on the Registrar chairing the advisory Committee.

          Recommendations:

          The Committee is of the view that the Bill should put a limit as to the number of persons to be appointed in the Advisory Council.  This is to avoid having the Minister appointing a bloated council on the strength of Clause 4 (1) (j) in the amendment, which allows the Minister to determine the number of appointments in the advisory council.  The Committee also recommends that a neutral person be appointed to chair the Council.

          Microfinance Wholesale Fund

          It was gathered out that wholesale funds are a desired output of the National Microfinance Policy.  There is one in existence already called the Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund.  It is governed as a microfinance institution and under the Amendment Bill, it will get a 5-year lease.  Wholesale funds assist in providing for affordable credit to microfinance institutions which benefit should be passed on to the final lenders.

          Recommendation:

          The Committee recommends that the Bill should provide for the formation and licencing of private and public wholesale fund(s) and that the license tenure of such wholesale funds be perpetual.

          Clause 27 - Expenses of Investigation

          It was submitted that the cost of investigation be borne by the fines levied against institutions found guilty of an offence or offences.  The Committee recommends that in the absence of other reasons, investigation costs should be recovered from the funds levied against the practitioner who should have been found guilty.

          Clause 24 - Limits of Shareholding and Transfer of Shares in Micro Finance Institutions and Corporate Micro Financiers.

          There was extensive debate on Clause 24 of the Amendment Bill, which states that Registrar will permit such limits to be prescribed in regulations.  Since all the micro finance institutions involve private funds, shareholding should be put at 100% but as the micro finance grows and brings in more shareholding, this will be reduced accordingly and the Registrar being given the mandate to superintend over these.

 Enhance Sector Wide Coordination

The micro finance sector is still in a relatively nascent stage and relation to others like the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ). It is an erstwhile perception that some of the current challenges eminent from this nascent stage and lack of sector wide coordinated approach. 

The Committee Recommend

To rein in wanton malpractices and ensure compliance by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) should be given powers to ensure that all registered practitioners become members of an association or associations recognised by the RBZ. 

Consumer Education Protection and Financial Literacy

The current Micro Finance Act has massive consumer protection clauses in place and appropriate remedies.  These might not have been disseminated adequately to users of micro finance. 

The Recommendation

Again since the sector is still in its infants. Massive consumer education and financial literacy programmes need to be put in place.  This should involve RBZ, Parliament of Zimbabwe, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, Micro Finance Associations and other associated stakeholders.

The Rwanda model is recommended where Ministries of Education and Finance in collaboration with other stakeholders in the sector will start at primary school level with programmes like kids banking and youth banking in the education curriculum. 

Interest Rate Setting

Currently, interest rates are set by the RBZ through circulars and other instruments from time to time. 

Recommendation

Your Committee strongly recommended that RBZ continues to monitor and regulate the interest rates in the market in order to protect the borrowers.

Legal Liquidation of Placed Security by Micro Finance Institutions

Whilst it is recognised that there is the Small Claims Court in existence, the court related asymmetrical in some cases.  For example, the messenger of court might require $550 to collect assets and these are loans of less than $200 in some instances.  The process itself is long and customers tend to sell one pledged assets contrary to the thinking that micro finance institutions hold the assets. 

Recommendation

Your Committee recommended that the Minister by way of regulation prescribe a mechanism to allow the lenders to recover assets or loans which is less costly and beneficial to both parties.

In conclusion, Micro Finance Institutions are central to national development and poverty alleviation since they offer essential more comprehensive financial services to the small and medium enterprises as well as the poor.  Strengthening of the regulatory and supervisory framework in the macro finance sector is therefore pertinent in order to promote, not only borrowers’ rights but also to prevent delinquent service  providers from engaging in activities not promotive of public confidence in the financial sector as a whole.  It is our view that should the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development take into account the input from various stakeholders, it will be a well-rounded Act that will not be amended at whim.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A COOKING COMPETITION

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to inform the House that Hon. Members are cordially invited to a cooking competition at the Inaugural Zim-food and Cultural Festival on Friday, 24th May, 2019.  The competition will take place at the Harare Gardens, immediately after the official opening which s scheduled from 1100 hours to 2030 hours.  All female Members of Parliament are encouraged to take part.  For more information, kindly liaise with the Public Relations who are stationed in the court yard.  Thank you.

HON. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am grateful for the job that was done by the Hon. Minister in coming up with the Bill.  I think the work that has been done so far in coming up with this particular Bill, I am impressed particularly by the efforts that were put in capping the misdemeanors that were happening particularly in the Micro Finance Sector.  I am happy that the Bill this time around has managed to get recommendations to put a perpetual cap in terms of granting of facilities and taking deposit taking institutions from the micro finance.  I am particularly also impressed by the recommendations that came through in terms of design of the structure and the term sheets for all facilities that micro finance  house do provide, which to an extent is protecting the borrower in terms of malpractices.  I am sure the days of the Macdows who fleece of the people of their deposits will never go to see the day of the light anymore.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I will be very brief.  This Bill is quite applaudable as it seeks to regulate the micro finance industry and also create some structured way of dealing with the licencing part in particular for the creditors and those that are also deposit taking.  This comes as Government is also trying to create a Credit and Collateral Registry and also streamline the finance environment; also encouraging the consolidation amongst small businesses in order to enhance the operation of the micro finance institutions.

I applaud the Chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance in his assertion in terms of putting confidence in the micro finance system in that  as long as we limit their timelines in terms of registration we are removing confidence in the depositors or in the creditors; those that would want to operate in the micro finance system.  This is what impeded upon the operation or the modus operandum of these micro finance institutions to an extent that we had people that were calling themselves micro financiers but because they did not have themselves enough collateral, they did not have enough ammunition or assets in order to carry out their micro finance business to an extent that you would go and try to borrow money – these were called money lenders were not macro-financers but then at the time, in 2013, Government sought to regulate their operation and started giving licences to a plethora of the them who were scattered everywhere. This was a mistake by Section 10 (a) - Government now seeks to make sure that the creditor micro-financers have a 5 year tenure – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

          HON. NDUNA: And those that are taking deposits have a tenure or registration licence that is ad-infinitum or that is open ended Madam Speaker.  The money lenders according to Section 7 of that Act have now been excluded completely from being registered under this Act which is quite applaudable.  It is akin to trying to get the money changers at Meikles Hotel and around that area to formulate what is called bureau de changes.  This is a way of getting the confidence and the excitement back into the money system and removing it from the informal sector and formalising it.  It is akin to getting the artisanal miners from the peripherals of the economic emancipation into the Mines and Minerals Act which is what we seek to do with the Mines and Minerals Act when it comes to Parliament.  These are just but a few examples, Government has also used this Micro-Finance Act to address the shortcomings of the Micro-Finance Act which was providing perpetual licences for deposit taking micro-finances; extending the tenure of the licence to credit only micro-finance institutions. I make a clarion call in that as long we want to instill confidence in the micro-finance institutions, let us not limit the registration licences because already this is taken care of in the Finance Act. 

          I am alive to the Statutory Instrument of 2019 by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development which turned all the deposits that were in the banks as long as somebody was not depositing US dollars into RTGs balances.  Madam Speaker, there are a number of Acts in the finance sector that deals with the Micro-finance Act and all other money related Acts.  It is also my clarion call that this Micro-Finance Act also adheres to the ethos and principles of all these other Acts that are embedded in the Ministry of Finance that seek to regulate the operations of these micro-finance institutions.

          Madam Speaker, it is also my assertion that at present, all institutions are registered for one calendar year but now as the Chairman of the Committee has also alluded, it is going to have a tenure which I am making a call for it to be infinity, in terms of period so that we get confidence. It is also my assertion here that these would have applied 3 months before expiry of their registration and they would be obliged to disclose any material changes in the particulars they give the Registrar when they are granted the registration.

          This used to apply then but this has not been incorporated in the Micro-Finance Amendment Bill that reads that the Bill also reduces the variety of institutions that can carry out micro-finance business under this Act.  This is very appluadable in that we know where we are coming from and we know where we are going.  There is quite a lot of confusion Madam Speaker, in particular in the informal sector. If you want to go to the big established bank institutions, there is need to go and give collateral for any monies that are requested from there. So, people would have seen it fit and good to go and try and get monies from money lenders who would in a way operate on a barter trade system with a hope of recouping their assets that they would have given to these people as collateral, in particular the immovable assets, vehicles, bicycles, ICT gargets like laptops, televisions et cetera. This was now being used in a plundering manner by the money lenders.  So, this Bill is quite applaudable as it seeks, as I have said in Section 7, to outlaw the money lenders completely.

          It also reduces the confusion and overlapping. The Bill will amend the Act that I have spoken to and about and recognise only two institutions, the credit only micro-finance institutions and this is namely the companies that provide loans and credit to small scale borrowers, in particular those that are in the informal sector.  Secondly, the deposit taking micro-finance institutions namely the companies that accept deposits from small scale business and members of lower income groups.  Prior to this Bill Madam Speaker, Government has reportedly said it was seeking to establish lucidity within different classes of macro-finance institutions.

          Madam Speaker, as I close, the Bill also as enunciated in Clause 3, paragraph (c), removes reference to the money lenders which will no longer be covered by the Act.  When I spoke about Section 7, I was being very widespread.  I now have thinned it down and zeroed in on Section 3 of the Act that in totality seeks to deregulate the money lenders and throws them into the street. If they so wish to be registered; they now need to be business like.  They now need to formulate themselves into companies whereas then it was anybody would come up and say I have money, it is now time to make more money through unsuspecting innocent citizens’ monies. So this Bill certainly has sort to outlaw that.   

          Madam Speaker, finance companies were also accused of aggressively charging high interest rates to people who at times had limited finance knowledge of the commitments they are making. This in particular is also enshrined in the insurance sector where they is a lot of fine print but this Bill here has not sought to amplify whatever it is that is there in the Micro-Finance Bill in order that people do not go into any business, lending, or any of these institutions without the knowledge of what they are engaging in.  The Micro-Finance institutions that lend money must ensure that the borrower understands his or her obligations and also have reasonable prospect of repaying the loan.  So this is now supposed to be so clear like a nightmare in 3 dimensions....

          Madam Speaker as I conclude, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferously and effectively debate on this Microfinance Institutions Bill.  The people of Chegutu West Constituency can now benefit from the structured, registered and regulated Microfinance Institutions and their monies will not be unnecessarily abused by the money lenders.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. PHULU: I have stood up to lend my support to this Bill.  Maybe one way which one can debate this Bill is by first commending the report of the Budget and Finance Chairperson where members of the public have ably articulated themselves and contributed to the law making process in a very detailed way.  I would like to urge the Hon. Minister to take into account that report.  That is basically my debate.  I am saying the Hon. Minister must seriously take into account the recommendations of that particular committee, because it enriches the Bill.  I would also like to point out that other countries view very seriously the issue of money lenders who waylay members of the public by offering them large sums of money which in the end they will not be able to pay off. 

As a legal practitioner, I have seen over and over again people actually buckling under the weight of debt.  Some people get addicted to taking these loans, so if this is institutionalised in the manner that this Bill is proposing, then the Microfinance organisations who know what they are doing, who are well regulated, formalised and well trained will know how to avoid lending money to people who ought not to be given money, because in the end it becomes a scourge upon our communities. 

When people’s properties are auctioned people fall sick and families suffer under the brunt of bread winners who are addicted to taking money which they cannot pay back.  We would like to applaud the Minister for bringing forward this Bill and would the House support this Bill unreservedly.  I want to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to make a few observations on the Bill.

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

HON. SARUWAKA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to Resume:  Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MODI):  I move that Order of the Day Number 4 be stood over until all the other Orders have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1, 2019]

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

*HON. SAMSON:  I want to begin by thanking you Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.  I want to thank Hon. Kwaramba for moving the motion which was seconded by Hon. Musabayana.  Furthermore, I want to thank the nation for the resounding victory of our President, Hon. Mnangagwa for winning the 2018 elections as well as commending the peace and tranquillity that existed. 

I want to congratulate the women of Chiredzi where I come from who elected me to be a Member of this Parliament.  I want to thank them.  I also want to thank this august House which positively discusses the issues of empowerment of women.  Madam Speaker, I am a new Member in this august House and my expectations are to represent the people who elected me; to represent them fully, especially women and the young girls.

I also want to thank the nation for the legislation and policies that uphold the rights of women and I want to thank this august House for also coming up with policies that are alleviating the plight of women in terms of discrimination.  Mostly, the Marriage Bill which is now a harmonised Marriage Bill will recognise the children born out of wedlock which made such children face a lot of discrimination.

Madam Speaker, I thank the Government that is rehabilitating our roads, especially the Chirundu-Beitbridge Highway.  We want to thank the initiative as we have witnessed that work is already underway.  The rehabilitation of this major highway will reduce the high road carnage that is taking place currently.  I want to thank the Government for the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam in Masvingo Province which was eventually completed and I also want to thank the Government for relocating families who resided in that area.  I hope that the Government will give them first preference in terms of embarking on irrigation farming.

Madam Speaker, the area where I come from is facing a drought and there is a lot of hunger.  I want to urge the Government to bring in more food because the state of poverty in that area is so bad.  Hon. Speaker, I request that when food is distributed by the Social Welfare Department, it should be increased because in other areas there are people who are struggling and have not had the opportunity to be beneficiaries of the food from Social Welfare.

I also note especially the measures taken by Government, that in areas where irrigation is available people have been given land to irrigate their crops and that will contribute to food security.

          *HON. SAMSON: Hon. Speaker, most women who have been resettled have a challenge.  I think the Government should look into it and ensure that boreholes are sunk in those areas because the water that they are drinking is not conducive for drinking.  If the Government sinks boreholes, they can then have access to safe drinking water.

          On the issue of hospitals, there is need to build more hospitals in these resettlement areas.  Women bear the brunt of the challenges because when they get pregnant, the distances they have to walk to the health centre is too long and they are affected.

          Furthermore, I want to thank the Government for the measures that it took to come up with a Women’s Bank – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – This will give the women the opportunity to access loans, especially those in rural areas.  If the rural women do not get access to these loans from the Women’s Bank, those in the urban areas are the only ones who will benefit since they have more access to information.  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the measures taken by the Government where people in rural areas have been given an opportunity to embark on projects that they can do in different areas.  We applaud the Government because once women get such an opportunity, they will improve the livelihoods of their families because they know the challenges that the families are facing and will also ensure that their children get access to education.  I want like to thank you for giving me this opportunity.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

                   THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE (HON. M. MLISWA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 7 to 29 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 30 has been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE AFREA CONFERENCE ON MONITORING AND EVALUATION HELD IN ABIDJAN

          HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I rise to present a motion in my name:

          That this House takes note of the Report of the Zimbabwe delegation to the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) Conference on monitoring and evaluation held in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire from 11th March to 15th March, 2019.

          HON. CHOMBO: I second.

          HON. MAVETERA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Adv. J. F. Mudenda led a delegation that attended a Monitoring and Evaluation Conference in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire from the 11th to the 15th of March, 2019.  Other Members of the delegation were Hon. Felix T. Mhona, Hon. Sen. Chief Langton Chikukwa, Hon. Tatenda Mavetera, Hon. Omega Sibanda, Hon. Paurina Mpariwa and Ms. M. Mushandinga, who was Secretary to the delegation.

          The conference was facilitated by the AfrEA, a body whose mission is to promote robust evaluation practices through its members.  AfrEA was founded in 1999 as a result of Africa’s growing appeal for advocacy, information sharing, and capacity building in evaluation. 

The key emerging issues at the conference included the need for monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, political will, Parliamentary participation and accountability.  Technology was also identified as a key enabler for effective monitoring and evaluation.  Furthermore, there was need for member countries to benchmark, institutionalise and promote stakeholder participation.  Several African countries have set up formal structures for monitoring and evaluation to ensure Government programmes meet the oversight, accountability barometer. 

Countries which implemented formal systems of monitoring and evaluation have recorded significant achievements in the implementation of Government programmes.  Notable countries which have done this are Rwanda, Benin, Uganda and South Africa.  Other developed countries like Australia, Malaysia and Japan also have robust monitoring and evaluation systems to curb corruption and strengthened accountability of public institutions.  As Zimbabwe draws towards Vision 2030, it is imperative that it adopts formal systems of monitoring and evaluation and also monitoring and evaluating Government programmes in the context of development.  This will lead to effective performance from the national, provincial and district levels.  The New Dispensation is also very active in public works programmes like road construction, dam construction and reviving key sectors like agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing.  If ever we are going to engage into monitoring and evaluation matrix, that will enhance this capacity.

          To implement the M & E strategy, there is need to establish the current position that we have as Zimbabwe; submit preliminary M & E report consequent upon engaging various relevant stakeholders.  A National Monitoring and Evaluation Conference should be held in order to build a conceptual consensus on the phenomenon of monitoring and evaluation.  Further to that, there is need to cultivate a culture of M & E awareness across the country by disseminating information through the public media, social media, churches, workshops, conferences and civic society organisations.

          It is also considered that the adoption of monitoring and evaluation formal systems will be beneficial to Zimbabwe as it gears itself towards Vision 2030, also as it anchors towards attaining a middle income economy by 2020.  M &E is a tried and tested tool for socio-economic development in advanced and emerging economies.  Accordingly, it should be given an opportunity to drive Zimbabwe’s socio-economic agenda in the Second Republic.

          When we went to the AfrEA Conference, the theme was “Accelerating Africa’s Development; Strengthening National Evaluation Ecosystems”.  As it was led by AfrEA, AfrEA has a visions which says ‘an Africa rooted in the culture of evaluation for equitable and sustainable development’.  Again its mission is to promote robust evaluation practices through its members.

          The objectives of AfrEA are:

Supporting evaluations and contribute to real and sustainable development in Africa;

Promoting Africa-rooted and Africa-led evaluation through sharing African evaluation perspectives;

Encouraging the development and documentation of high quality evaluation practice and theory;

Supporting the establishment and growth of national evaluation associations and special evaluation interest groups;

Facilitating capacity building, networking and sharing of evaluation theories, techniques and tools among evaluators, policy makers, researchers and development specialists.

Some of the emerging M & E conference issues were to do with capacity building.  There is need for inertia of adoption and appreciation of M & E at national level as led to the realisation that there is a gap in knowledge and understanding of monitoring and evaluation. There is also a fact which says that there is lack of technical personnel and specialists to drive M & E agenda.  This has also created a dire need for continuous awareness, learning and improvement.

Political official need sufficient M & E knowledge so as to achieve high order goals of accountability and result based management.  In South Africa, this have been championed by such development partners as CLEAR-AA, Twende Mbele, Africa Development Bank and the Government whose engagement of both the private and public sector significantly improved the appetite and uptake of M & E.

Political Will

The political will is an essential contributor which has led to the success stories in countries such as Uganda, Benin and South Africa.  Therefore, there is need for this sector so that we can start having a vision of leadership which demonstrates commitment to fund and develop national M & E systems.  Also such political will is a pivotal driver as it deflects resistance to and a national monitoring and evaluation.

Parliament Participation

Parliamentary participation strengthens the development of M & E in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, Parliaments have been actively involved in their M & E frameworks. This has stimulated the use of M & E in the exercise of oversight roles so that Governments are called to account by ensuring that departments do implement development programmes with the highest degree of the economy.

Corruption and Accountability

M  & E is also a progressive tool to fight corruption through providing a platform of  accountability and transparency in service delivery.  In countries like Benin and South Africa, they have developed and implemented their evaluation systems so much that they now extend beyond national level, cascading down to provincial and municipal levels.  M & E is both a proactive and reactive mechanism in the fight against corruption since monitoring and evaluation systems are undertaken at the diagnostic, formative, summative and also longitudinal stages.

Fourth Industrial Revolution Technical (4IR)

The lack of adoption and integration of technology into monitoring and evaluation is retarding the development of National Monitoring Evaluation System (NMES).  This is because efforts to implement M & E are not backed by adequate ICT infrastructure.  This has compromised the integrity of the data so collected. 

Adoption and Implementation

M & E is gaining momentum in countries such as Benin, Uganda and South Africa.  Benin has had 15 evaluations between 2010 and 2016, whilst Uganda has had 23 evaluations between 2008 and 2016.  These have been milestone achievements for the said countries. This has holistically improved their efficiency and effectiveness both in the areas of governance and developmental programmes.

Benchmarking

The success of M & E is hinged on bench marking and pear learning.  Benin, Uganda and South Africa have made concerted efforts under a peer-learning.  We should take our note of Benin, Uganda and South Africa for they have also done well to make sure that M & E is implemented.

Institutionalisation

M & E has to be fused into the country’s national development plan agenda.

Stakeholder Participation

M & E requires elusive and all inclusive stakeholder participation, encompassing the Government, developmental partners, private sector and citizen participation. 

A Multi-sectorial Application

M & E is a enabling tool for a Government wide multi-sectorial development.  As such M & E complying countries like Rwanda, Ghana and South Africa have been actually successful in agriculture, health, energy, gender and even environment.

When we went to this AfrEA conference, these are the key recommendations that we had to come up with:

Institutionalisation of M & E

There is need to adopt Government-wide monitoring and evaluation systems in all relevant Government institutions.  There is need for us to bring M & E in order for us to achieve integration within Government sector.  M & E is critical in designing compliant Government policies and programmes which are in tandem with M & E standards.  Critically to the New Dispensation, this will give a new leverage in accelerating social and infrastructure development.

Capacity Building and Government support

It is recommended that key players like Government officials and Parliamentarians be capacitated through some awareness and appropriate training programmes. Other resources like motor vehicle, computers and other gadgets are also needed to fully equip officials with the requisite tools of effectively discharge and implement their mandate.  This will assist in the systematic implementation of developmental agendas for their constituencies, especially in this New Dispensation.

Budget allocation towards the establishment of M & E systems on our tertiary institutions is very important. South Africa is one of the countries which has been significantly capacitated with M & E institutions.  Therefore, we should adopt such in Zimbabwe.  To fully capacitate Parliamentarians, Government should also commit to supporting membership and participation in such regional groupings as AfrEA and APNODE which promote monitoring and evaluation ecosystems. 

Benchmarking

It is recommended that Zimbabwe should leverage the experiences of other member countries like South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda and Kenya.  In that regard Zimbabwe should engage the said countries under the banner of peer review for the purposes of adopting international best practices. 

Development Partner Engagement

Government is urged to angage friendly and cooperating developing partners in implementing M & E.  Countries like Rwanda have managed to coordinate efforts with such organisations as the Belgian Technical Cooperation and UNICEF, in order to make sure that they implement and adopt M&E as a model.  These partners have facilitated both capacity building workshops as well as providing the requisite technical knowhow with regards to setting up and operating an institutionalised M&E framework in their countries.

          Political will: It is recommended that political will is actually quite pivotal in making sure to effectively implement M&E.  The 2015 Zimbabwean National Monitoring and Evaluation policy is evidence of the political awareness of the importance of National M&Es.  What is now required is the political will to anchor the awareness as the 2015 policy has not been fully implemented.  As it stands, M&E efforts by various Government departments remain isolated and fragmented.  Political will must, therefore, be the critical ingredient that must propel Government institutions to adopt a holistic approach towards the implementation of M&E systematically.

          Stakeholder engagement: M&E must be a multipurpose mechanism which cuts across Government departments and institutions at all levels, including such players as civil society and, to some extent, private sector stakeholders.  This is so because state and non-state actors must play key roles in promoting the M & E paradigm shift.  It is therefore recommended Hon. Speaker, that all stakeholders share a common vision and mission in the application of M&E ecosystems in the national development agenda in order to achieve inclusivity in developmental programmes. There must be a buy-in by all relevant stakeholders.

          Youth Participation and Engagement: The youth must be recognised as the current future leaders in our development matrix.  Against this background, it is recommended that Zimbabwe should consider embarking on training and coaching schemes so as to develop youth experience in M & E application.  Bringing in young evaluators to do data collection on Government or private sector programmes will go a long way in incorporating the youth talent within the framework of monitoring and evaluation. 

          Climate Change and Agriculture; to combat climate change and so enhance sustainable food production, some Integrated Approach Pilot Programmes (IAPP) have been started in countries like Ghana and Zambia within their agricultural sectors.  These models provide policy and governance support to facilitate integrated planning in the context of M&E. Opportunities like Green Climate Fund from the donor community, however, remain untapped by several African countries. Monitoring and evaluation systems must compel such countries to act positively by utilising donor funding in this regard.

          Zimbabwe must tap into such donor funds and employ them in the presidential inputs scheme and Command Agriculture.  Monitoring and evaluation will thus come in not only to assess but to improve and stimulate the whole framework, thereby fostering accountability and transparency in these programmes.  With regards to climate change, M & E will come in handy for Zimbabwe which is yet to recover from the aftermath of the catastrophic Cyclone Idai. In this regard, it is recommended that Zimbabwe embarks on a concerted M & E peer review arrangement with fellow citizen nations like Malawi and Mozambique, in order to coordinate efforts in climate change mitigatory measures in the short term and long term compass. 

          In conclusion Hon. Speaker Sir, the urgency that comes with the need to adopt and also institutionalise M & E in Zimbabwe cannot be over emphasised.  It is one cause which calls for both political and national convergence.  Zimbabwe has come of age and it is high time the country rubs shoulders with other developing states in championing national and monitoring evaluation systems.  It is only through M&E that Zimbabwe can realise its high order goals both in terms of sustainable development and national objectives in an effort to implement SDGs positively in the context of achieving Vision 2030 wherein Zimbabwe must attain a middle income economy status.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

          On the motion of the MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI), the House adjourned at One minute past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th May, 2019.

Last modified on Friday, 24 May 2019 06:31
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 45 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 23 MAY 2019 VOL. 45 NO. 55