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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 23 NOVEMBER 2011 VOL. 38 NO. 16

ADDENDUM

In the Hansard Vol. 38 No. 15, Column 753, before announcements by Mr. Speaker, the following Report by Mr. Madzimure was erroneously ommitted from the Hansard.

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET, FINANCE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION ON THE INFORMATION CHARGING A MEMBER

 

MR. MADZIMURE: I stand to make a report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion. On Monday, 31st October 2011, the Chairperson of the Committee and the Clerk of Parliament brought to the attention of the Portfolio Committee on Bugdet, Finance and Investment Promotion a letter dated 10th October, 2011 addressed to the Chairperson of the Committee Hon. Zhanda by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Chairperson of the Board, Dr. G. Gono. The letter, which was copied to the Clerk of Parliament contained information charging the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Zhanda with attempting to put pressure on the Governor in pursuit of his personal interest.

In his letter the Reserve Bank Governor made the following allegations:

"You yourself and myself know a little bit about what is behind this unseemingly unending 'harassment' disguised as innocent Parliamentary enquiries and the sooner we stop going round and round in circles the better. You know that I do have evidence of your approaches to me via your emmissaries to do 'certain things' in your favour or else the harassment will not end."

Prior to this , the Committee had held three meetings with the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe Board of Directors and asked for written submissions as part of its inquiry into the operations of the Bank.

Select Committee Rule No.13 states that :

"If any information comes before any select committee charging any member, the Committee shall not proceed further upon such information but shall report it without delay to the House."

 

Accordingly, the Committee hereby reports this matter to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: I shall study the matter and make a ruling on Thursday, 24th November

2011.

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

 

Wednesday, 23rd November, 2011.

 

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

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

OMISSION IN THE HANSARD

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to inform hon. members of the omission in yesterday's Hansard, Volume 38 Number 15. The report by the Hon. Madzimure on the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion on the information charging a member and the Speaker's response to the report were both omitted. The report and the Speaker's response will be reproduced in today's Hansard as an addendum.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

MR. CHINYADZA: My question goes to the Deputy Prime Ministerand it is in relation to -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members.

MR. CHINYADZA: It is in relation to unfair labour practice. I just wanted to find out from the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister whether the Government is now practising unfair labour practices? This is in relation to certain allowances which cannot be back dated.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Madam Speaker, as a matter of policy, this Government does not believe in the execution of unfair labour practices. We believe in respecting our own laws. We believe, in respect to all our people, including the Members of Parliament, we respect our labour laws. We do not practice unfair labour laws in the country.

To the specific matter the hon. member is referring to it is a matter under discussion. We agreed in principle that the allowances of the Members of Parliament must be raised to US$75 per sitting and the debate is whether that change should be implemented from the beginning of this Parliament, which is 2008 in September. I am one of the three Principals just for the avoidance of doubt and I have heard communication in the media that the Principals have said that it is only done from November 2011. I think, Madam Speaker, let us allow the discussions and the dialogue to continue between Parliament and the Executive. I will take it up with my colleagues so that a reasonable understanding is struck. I thank you.

MR. GWIYO: The follow up question is the issue of date of the effect. Is it an issue of discussion or it is a matter of interpretation because from a labour law point of view, it is clear when we were sworn into this House, so it should not be an issue of discussion.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Let me not pre-empt the conversation by answering the question prematurely, but the dialogue must continue between Parliament and the Executive. I have accepted the supremacy of observing the law. Let us leave it there. -[AN HON. MEMBER: Tinokudzinga]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, who said to the hon. Deputy Prime Minister tinokudzinga? We must respect the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

MR. MHANDU: Iwant to hear from the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister whether the issue of allowances was for MPs only? It is an issue that does not need the top brass of the country or Government to discuss. We do need these issues to be published in the newspaper because of the rule of law. Since, we became Members of Parliament, you have not been giving us enough remuneration. Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): The honourable member is right. We have laws in the country and we are preachers of constitutionalism and constitutionality, hence I want to leave it there and say the laws of the country will be respected by the Government and leave it there.

*MRS ZINYEMBA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. I want to ask that outside the sitting allowances, in 2008 we did not get any remuneration. In 2009, we started off with US$100 and then it was increased later on. We did not have a salary scale then because we did not know whether 2008 was voluntary or that the US$100 that we were getting, was the end?

*THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA: Madam Speaker, those words are being heard. What we are saying is that we have had laws of the country and we have to follow laws. The work that was done by MPs will be remunerated. I am speaking on behalf of the Executive representing the President, the Prime Minister and representing yours truly, Mutambara. So, let us follow the right channels and have direction and resolve this issue. We have agreed that the laws will be followed. We are going to address this matter within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe without breaking them.

*MR. CHIMBETETE: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Do you know that the MPs of Zimbabwe are the lowest paid within the SADC region? We are actually beaten by countries such as Malawi. The MPs of Malawi actually earn US$2 500 and above. Do you know that with the money that we get and the vehicles that you gave us and the way those vehicles were handled during the COPAC period - whoever has a problem comes to me, whoever wants school fees comes to me. So, how am I supposed to assist people in my Constituency? How am I able to get inputs that are acquired through partisan lines? I want to ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he is aware of the problems that some of the Mps are facing?.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): The Government is aware of the plight of the MPs, not only that, we also are very cognisant of the supremacy of Parliament as an institution. Yes, there is the Executive, Judiciary but the Legislature is the direct expression of the people's wish and consequently, we must respect that institution because that is the only institution that is directly produced by the people. We know, using regional and global based practice that our MPs are some of the most poorly paid. We are aware of that and we will act in accordance to our belief. What we need now is to walk the talk on this subject and I am committing myself as the Executive to address this matter before the next Session when I will be here to give you a report to this matter. I will liaise with the other colleagues and bring closure and finality to this debate.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. members. Can we have silence in this House especially when the DPM is responding.

MS. MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Regarding this issue of Parliamentarians, what is your Ministry's policy regarding allowances for MPs towards your Ministry, is there any assistance which we can get from your Ministry?

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (MS. MPARIWA): I want to thank the hon. member, I know that as a woman, as a worker and as a Parliamentarian in order for us to represent our constituencies, we need our welfare to be well looked after and also our appeal in public should actually be adored, so that it is acceptable. However, I am very sorry that this question does not belong to my portfolio, it belongs to the Public Service and I am not very sure whether it belongs to the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.

Madam Speaker, some of the MPs have worked since 2000 as a back bencher. I know the predicament and I would want to appreciate and thank the hon. member for the question.

*MR. MUCHAURAYA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister, is there any political will to pay Members of Parliament? If it is that the Government has no money, we see the cars that are being driven by the Executive, some of them are half a million. If you go to the airport, the same people are always there and are traveling and yet the MPs are suffering.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I want to thank the hon. member for that question, yes, the political will is there. If we have limited resources, the poverty must be shared across the board. So, we do believe that in-spite of the lack of resources, we must make sure that our Members of Parliament, this House gets its share within that framework. So, the political will is there, let us allow the Executive and Parliament to resolve this matter amicably as I have committed myself to do so. So, we want to say to the House, we are determined to resolve this matter in an amicable way between ourselves and Parliament. I thank you.

MR. MATIBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order members, can you give the member a chance to ask his question please?

MR. MATIBE: Minister of Mines, when is the next diamond sale happening?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR CHIMANIKIRE) : I would like to thank the hon. member for pausing that question. However, let me hasten to point out that, that is not a policy issue. The issue of sale of diamonds, it is a foregone conclusion that we sell diamonds. So, in terms of policy, we sell diamonds and for the Ministry to disclose the dates when diamonds are sold, it is a security issue and it is not a policy issue. The KPC's resolution 3 weeks ago authorised Zimbabwe to be able to sell diamonds and we sell them by manner of auction. So, for security reasons, we do not announce to the public, save to those that are authorised to buy diamonds, they are informed of the dates and security measures have to be kept in place to ensure that you do not get a robbery while you are auctioning the diamonds.

Yes, Government policy is that we sell diamonds and with the KPC resolution we should be able to sell more diamonds. I do not know whether this was in relation to MPs salaries but as Government, we do not only sell diamonds. We sell other minerals that also bring monies into the fiscus and we are hoping that in the next few months, our contribution is going to improve but we have to point out that currently, we are ensuring that dividends are paid into the fiscus to the tune of $23 million per month in order to supplement civil servants' salaries. So that is our current contribution and we hope to improve on it.

*MRS. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister, if he could assist us in explaining who the employer is for MPs? We do not know our employer, so we need clarification?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF MUTAMBARA): Madam Speaker, we are a constitutional democracy with functional separation of powers - the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. No one of the 3 is superior to the other -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- by definition of checks and balances, it means the 3 legs of Government, 3 legs of our democracy, the Judiciary, the Executive and the legislature must provide checks and balances among themselves.

What that means is that none of the 3 legs employs the other. The Executive does not employ Parliament. We are employees of the country, governed by our Constitution and that is why your grievances are justified because the impression given is that the Executive is superior and can make decisions without consulting Parliament. So, we are committing ourselves to sticking to constitutionality where the functional separation of powers is respected and in doing so, we respect our laws and make sure that what is due to the Members of Parliament is given to the Members of Parliament according to the laws of Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, thank you so very much for this opportunity.

*MR. KANZAMA: Thank you Madam Speaker, Hon DPM, if you agree in this House that there are separation of powers on the 3 arms of the State, why is it then that the SROC is composed of the Members of the Executive?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF MUTAMBARA): The constitution and make-up of the SROC was done by this Parliament through the chairmanship of the Speaker. If there are any irregularities in the structure and constitution of the SROC, this Parliament can rectify those irregularities.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for that opportunity to answer this question.

MR. DUMBU: My question is directed to the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. Hon. Minister, in line with the national policy on physical education and sport, it is every Zimbabwean child's right to have free access to PE and sport.

That is why there was this development of the creation of the post of PE and sports resources and resource teachers in schools. It is surprising now that there is a sad -[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I will now start naming and shaming you and the next thing is you will see yourself out of this august House. I am serious.

MR. DUMBU: My question is that in the wake of these teachers having been taken back into classrooms, we are aware that the children's rights are now being infringed by the same Government which authorised and approved that policy development in this country.

SENATOR COLTART: Thank you Madam Speaker. In terms of the Education Act, it is correct that every child is entitled to primary school education. The Education Act does not extend as far as secondary education and it is a deficiency in our education sector. It is also correct that there have been posts specifically for Physical Education and Sports. One of the problems that we face Madam Speaker is the lack of funding in the education sector and I am very grateful to the honourable member for the opportunity to illustrate this afternoon, especially the context of the budget coming tomorrow. To give you an example Madam Speaker, in the budget that was announced for the education sector last year, for this year, there was a figure of about $US66 million allocated for non-salary expenses in the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture.

The reality so far Madam Speaker is that this year, only $US14.8 million of the $US66 million has actually been disbursed to the Ministry of Education. That is to running 8,000 schools, to provide exercise books, to run sport, arts and culture and of course relevant to this question, to organise sport and physical education in our schools. Madam Speaker, you will see that from the actual disbursements to the Ministry of Education, we have very limited resources that have been applied to the ministry. Sadly, what has happened is that capex has been made in individual schools. Unfortunately it is often that capex has been made in the area of sport, arts and culture and it is an unacceptable situation Madam Speaker but it is a direct consequence of the lack of funding to the Education Ministry.

So I use this opportunity to urge honourable members that in the context of the budget debate, to argue extraneously as much as they can for this Government to make education an absolute priority but it needs to go beyond the mere theoretical figures contained in the Blue Book. It needs to go to the practical disbursement of funds so that the amount of money that we see in the Blue Book is in fact transferred to the Ministry of Education so that we can attend to the justifiable concerns for our children. Thank you.

MR. DUMBU: My supplementary question hon. minister is, you have been talking of budgetary constraints and lack of resources. Our worry is why cut on PE teachers. There are several other subjects which do not involve the wholesome development of a human being, PE does that. Why cut PE and sport?

SENATOR COLTART: Madam Speaker, perhaps I should make myself absolutely clear. There is no policy to cut back on PE and sport. What we have been trying to do is to manage our limited budget. What I am saying is that there have been capex right the way across the education sector of the paucity of funds. You will find that in most schools, sport is still played and PE teachers are there but in every aspect of the education sector, there have been cutbacks which I have no doubt the honourable member is referring to, but I just want to encourage the honourable member to say this regarding sport and PE.

We are in the process of starting a comprehensive review and report to our entire curriculum and there is an understanding that sport has not up until the present time been an integral part of our educational curriculum. There is an understanding regarding the change nature of the world that sport is no longer a recreation. It is in fact, a career path for many children and because of that, we have in the ministry appointed a director to be specifically responsible for sport, arts and culture. One of the key aspects of the process of curriculum review is going to be to integrate sport into our curriculum so that every stage in a child's life, sport will be a part in their curriculum. My hope honourable member is that when it becomes an integral part of our curriculum, sport will be accorded the respect that it deserves in our society. Thank you.

MR. BALOYI: My question goes back to the DPM. If the three arms of State are equal, can the DPM confirm that the allowances payment for the Executive and the Judiciary also started on the 1st November, it did not start before that.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Yes, we hear the comment from the honourable member and since this question keeps on coming up, I need to be very categorical about my commitment. I am going to come back to this House, joy or no joy, good answer or bad answer, in the next Question and Answer Session, which is next Wednesday, if Parliament is sitting, I am going to come back with an answer on this matter so that we harmonise it and solve it once and for all. So, I am committing with time-lines now. Tomorrow is budget and I do not know when we are sitting again but when we do sit, even if we do not sit, I will bring the answer to the Speaker to resolve this matter once and for all so that we can move forward in a team Zimbabwe fashion, in a team Zimbabwe spirit. That is my commitment to resolving this matter.

*MR. TACHIONA: Myquestion is directed to the DPM. Although he has said whatever he has said, do you know DPM that the Executive and the Judiciary first got vehicles from the Governor of the Reserve Bank Dr. Gono. Then they got the Mercedes Benz and then the Prado. They have got the police to provide them with security, their maids are paid by the State and we have nothing. Right now we are requesting that you give us just one vehicle but you are saying no. Do you know what I have just asked?

PROF. MUTAMBARA: Madam Speaker, those details can be verified and those details can be corrected but what we need to do is to harmonize and show respect to our Members of Parliament. By the next time I stand on this podium, I will be giving an unequivocal response to issues and I am committing myself to say that if Parliament is meeting on Tuesday next week, I will do it then. If it does not meet, I will communicate with the Speaker and authorities in Parliament, joy or no joy, so that we can have closure and finality on the subject. I thank the hon. member for that question which we will verify and analyze our status in the country. I thank you.

MR. S. NCUBE: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Mutambara. Is there any will from the Executive to reduce their spending since last year we were complaining on their spending which was over US$30m and now we are complaining about their spending which is over US$50m?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): The Minister of Finance will be presenting his Budget tomorrow and one of his key messages is about financial prudence and fiscal responsibility on the part of the Executive and the entire country so, yes we are determined to manage and control our expenditure so that we can dress according to our capacity so that if we have limited resources in our country, the Executive walks the talk in terms of managing our expenditure in our country.

*MR. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Looking at the issue of the poor remuneration and the challenges that Government is facing and the way that we are dressed, we also need to send our suits to the dry cleaners and we have to be presentable. As the Deputy Prime Minister, is it possible that you change the policy temporarily that members can dress any how whilst this issue is being looked into?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I want to thank the hon. member for that question but I am sure given the equality of the three arms of the State, it is not going to be a responsibility of the Executive to make that decision but rather a collective decision of this House to modify the requirements and so let us pursue it as Parliament and as a body that is in charge of its own destiny. If there is a serious proposal, it has to be addressed by member of this House.

MR. MANGWANA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Is he aware that there are no buyers of wheat in the country today and if there are any, they are buying at a considerably low price as compared to last year. They were buying at US$475 a tonne and now they offer less than US$400 a tonne and if he is aware of that, what is the Government doing to resource Grain Marketing Board so that it can be the buyer of last resort so that our farmers are not exploited.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF MUTAMBARA): That is a very technical and specific question which will get an answer from the Minister of Agriculture, however what I can say as a matter of policy is that we as Government, we believe in creating an enabling environment for an agriculture based economy, food security and that agriculture must succeed because it is a major input to the rest of our industries. We are in particular very keen to support wheat production and I know the Minister of Agriculture is seized with the matter of wheat price and also the production of wheat.

*MR. NAVAYA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Is it Government policy that within the three arms of the State, the Legislature does not have diplomatic passports and we have a problem that if you are traveling with your wife, you are treated separately? Is it Government policy that we do not have diplomatic passports?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Madam Speaker, I am informed that Ministers of Government and Judges have diplomatic passports and the Members of Parliament do not have them. I think it is a matter we can bring up in Cabinet so that we can have a rational position on that subject?

*MR. RARADZA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. We have heard his responses and we are surprised in this House and if this is true, can he give us a day when he can respond to the issue raised concerning the welfare of Members of Parliament because the Deputy Prime Minister is surprised that we the Members of Parliament are suffering.

*THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): If the Member of Parliament had ears, he would have heard that I said Wednesday next week, I will bring a response to this House and if Parliament is not sitting, I will talk to the Speaker. Members should listen when the Deputy Prime Minister is speaking.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Is it a policy that this House is used as a rubber stamp, for example, passing the budget when it is not even considered? Secondly, are you aware that we are the people who passed Amendment 19 to make this Government if so, why must we suffer? Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): We do not leave, we do not want a rubber stamp Parliament, that is why the dynamism and level of debate in this House today must be cherished. We must make sure that Parliament plays its role of oversight, making sure that they keep the Executive on the narrow and straight.

On the budget, there were consultations. There was a session in Victoria Falls and there were sessions throughout the country and MPs were involved. We want hon. Members of Parliament to be part of discussions and discourse behind the crafting of the budget. When the budget is presented in this House, it is the budget of Zimbabweans with inputs from Parliament.

We are very clear that the Parliament, the legislative framework are the creators of the laws. Yes, Amendment No. 19 was passed here and yes the Inclusive Government is a product of this Parliament, we acknowledge and respect the role of Parliament and we want to continue with that culture and framework.

MR. MATIMBA: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. I want to know what criteria is used in prioritising the payment of the 13th cheque to civil servants because I understand only the uniformed forces were paid their 13th cheque and the rest, teachers included, have to wait until December. What criteria is there to prioritise the payment of the 13th cheque first to the uniformed forces?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): A detailed response should come from the Ministry of Finance but we believe in respecting all our civil servants. Of course, we know the importance of matters of security and making sure there is peace and security in the country but I want to reserve my comments on that and allow the Minister to comment and I am sure he will speak on the subject of prioritisation in the budget tomorrow.

MR. MUDARIKWA: Good afternoon to you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe Prof. Arthur Mutambara. The issue of sitting allowances, when are we going to get the money? As a scholar of international repute, are you going to make sure that we get our interest on the outstanding sitting allowances?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): There are two things that we have to make sure that they are observed. The first one is to make sure that we observe our labour laws and the second one is to make sure we observe the laws of natural justice.

MR. BHASIKITI: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Having acknowledged that he has an assignment, a very important one to carry out, we think it is prudent, knowing as it is our culture that after presentation of the budget, there will be a break, that you just make it a point that on Wednesday, you have a joint session specifically targeted at answering those questions, whereby you will bring your colleague Principals, the two other Principals.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): We can make out a mechanism of how I deliver the good news. I am going to work on it soon after this session and if possible I can even deliver tomorrow but as a much more realistic proposal, I propose Wednesday. What is important Hon. Members of Parliament is the outcome of the good news. You do not need the three Principals, you need one who delivers the good news. In the event that I am successful and I am able to deliver the good news, there is no point in bringing the other two. I can deliver on my own. In the unlikely event of failure, then we can work on the mechanics of bringing the two so that we can come together.

+MR. MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. The other reason why we do not have money being available to the Executive is because the contracts that you give people to mine the minerals are very exploitative. When are you going to come up with policies to make sure that the minerals belong to the country and they benefit the people?

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): This is a Ministry of Mines question but I will just say a few words in broad policy terms. We are now moving to a framework where we are saying that the asset underground has value and when we give you a claim, it cannot be a free claim. For example, when we give you a claim to mine diamonds, we want to be able to quantify the asset underground and say the value of diamonds underground is US$2 billion, you as an investor, bring your US$2 billion so that we have an equity arrangement of 2 plus 2, US$4 billion. Thereafter, go and get your working capital and do your business. The emphasis here is, we are bringing a distinction between working capital and equity. In the past, we were blind, death and dumb and never put value to our asset underground and these miners, investors were getting an asset for free.

Hon. member, you are very correct we must make sure that the asset underground has value and that value is unlocked to benefit Zimbabweans so that Zimbabweans can be successful as a people because of leveraging our assets. I want to say let us get the details from the Ministry of Mines at some point in terms of the changes they are putting to the Mines and Minerals Act, in terms of the changes they are putting to what we call the Diamond Act. By and large, we are emphasising that Zimbabweans are not poor and have assets that are worthy billions of dollars and what we have not done is to leverage that asset to benefit our people and the Ministry of Mines is making on implementing these ideas.

Questions Without Notice interrupted by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 33.

WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

DISBURSEMENT OF BEAM FUND TO BULAWAYO PROVINCE

9. MR MAHLANGU asked the Minister of Labour and Social Services to explain to the House:

(i) How much BEAM allocation has been disbursed to Bulawayo Province so far this year and a breakdown for each constituency.

THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (MS MPARIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, you saw there was a bit of whispering because if you can remember you were the one in the Chair on the 5th of October when I did respond that this question was going to be answered on that particular day and with that section to be differed a little bit because my officials were to bring the answer. So on that particular day I did submit a copy of the answer to the Clerks at the Table and to the Hansard person but I can submit the answer as well.

ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

WIDENING OF MUSHANDIRAPAMWE-HWEDZA ROAD

20. MR GOTO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the road from Mushandirapamwe to Hwedza Growth Point will be widened.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. GOCHE): The widening of the road from Mushandirapamwe to Hwedza Growth Point would be re-submitted in the 2013 bid. It should be noted that my ministry had included this road section in the 2012 Budget for widening but because of the little funds provided by the Ministry of Finance on road construction all narrow Matabeleland widening projects have been removed from the 2012 Budget. However, my ministry will continue to maintain the road edges by re-graveling the road shoulders which a perennial problem to motorists using this road until 2013 when we will re-submit the narrow Matabeleland widening projects for funding.

HOUSES CONSTRUCTED BY GOVERNMENT SINCE 1980

28. MR CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Public Works to inform the House:

(i) how many government houses have been constructed or purchased by government from 1980 to date and if the Minister could give a breakdown of the houses by Province; and

(ii) how many government properties are there outside Zimbabwe itemizing them country by country.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (MR. GABBUZA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank the hon. member for raising this question. May I advise Mr. Speaker Sir that this question be re-directed to the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. Whilst we keep records the administrative files have been handed over to the relevant ministry of Housing. So if the question can be redirected but the second part of the question I have a detailed answer Mr. Speaker.

In total we have 61 properties of government world over. In almost every continent we have a government structure. Particularly these are buildings which are occupied by our embassy staff and as offices and residential accommodation. We have houses in Belgium, Europe, America and houses in Africa. Particularly the majority of houses is in South Africa up to 13 and in Mozambique up to 11 and the total is up to 61. We have only one house Tanzania, one house in Belgium and one house in Italy. I have also given the breakdown of the property address, the location of the property and the physical address and the value of each property as follows:

Number of Properties

 

Country

Number of properties

1

Belgium

1

2

Botswana

2

3

Canada

5

4

France

3

5

Italy

1

6

Kenya

3

7

Malawi

3

8

Mozambique

11

9

Namibia

5

10

Switzerland

1

11

South Africa

13

12

Tanzania

1

13

United Kingdom

2

14

United States of America

4

15

Zambia

5

 

Total

61

American Properties

Property No.

Property Location

Property Address

Property Value

1

NEW YORK

128-130E 56TH STREET, NY 10022

US$5,000,000

2

NEW YORK

167 GRANDINI AND GOOD AVENUE NY 10022

US$7,32,000

3

WASHINGTON DC

1608 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVENUE 20009

US$4,000,000

4

WASHINGTON DC

7116 HILLSIDE ROAD 20008

US$400,000

5

OTTAWA, CANADA

41, LILLICO ROAD

CAD275,00

6

CANADA

332 SOMEREST ST, WEST OTTAWA

CAD800,000

7

CANADA

26 BEAVER COURT 208877

US$270,000

8

CANADA

236 LOWER COUNTRY Dr 20877

US$270,000

9

CANADA

8323 COTTAGE 20899

US$270,000

EUROPEAN

10

BELGIUM

11SQ JOSEPHINE CHARLOTE

US$2,900,000

11

FRANCE

12 RUE DE MARNIES GARCHES

FRF6,000,000

12

FRANCE

CHANCERY - NO, 10 RUE JACQUE

4,693,000

13

FRANCE

12207 BERLIN BUHUHOFSRABE

GMD2,000,000

14

UNITED KINGDOM

429 STRAND LONDON UNITED

8,000,000

15

UNITED KINGDOM

SHELDON HOUSE BENEWOOD ROAD

1,350,000

16

SWITZERLAND

GENEVA CHANCERY

Sfr6,000,000

17

ITALY

ISOLA 56 LOTTO B LARGO OLGIATA

$1,850,000

AFRICAN PROPERTIES

 

SOUTH AFRICA

18

PRETORIA SOUTH AFRICA

STAND 1481 MERTON HOUSE 798 MERTON STREET, PRETORIA

ZAR5,000,000

19

PRETORIA

350 VICTORIA STREET, WATERLOAF

ZAR1,870,000

20

PRETORIA

ERF NO. 255 309 CANOPUS STREET WATERLOOF, RIDGE PRETORIA

ZAR659,000

21

PRETORIA

397 LAWLEY STREET, PRETORIA

ZAR650,000

22

PRETORIA

493 NICHISON STREET, ERF NO. 782/15

ZAR800,000

23

PRETORIA

399 DELPHIUS STREET, PRETORIA ERF NO. 893

ZAR690,00

24

PRETORIA

333 DERRICK STREET PRETORIA, ERF BO. 551

ZAR850,000

PROPERTY NO.

PROPERTY LOCATION

PROPERTY ADDRESS

PROPERTY VALUE

 

25

PRETORIA

48 Klop Street, Johannesburg ERF No. 21

ZAR 50, 000

 

26

JOHANNESBURG

187 Berly Rd, Johannesburg ERF No. 21

ZAR 50, 000

 

27

JOHANNESBURG

21 Nicol Rd, Johannesburg ERF No. 69, Capetown

ZAR 50, 000

 

28

JOHANNESBURG

53 & 55 Kuyeer Street Cape Town ERF No. 10027/8 The Consulate

ZAR 50, 000

 

29

CAPE TOWN

46A Tenenat Rd, Cape Town ERF No. 152435

ZAR 50, 000

 

30

CAPE TOWN

28 Salisbury Road, Cape Town ERF No. 4148

ZAR 50, 000

 

NAMIBIA

 

31

WINDHOEK

Stand 6835 (ERF No.s 83 & 83A) Grimm Kaiser Street, Windhoek

NAD 2,875,000

 

32

WINDHOEK

No. 4 George Hunter Street (ERF 190-Olympia) Windhoek

NAD 808,000

 

33

WINDHOEK

27 George Hunter Street, Windhoek

NAD 697,000

 

34

WINDHOEK

21 Daniel Joubert Street, Olympia, Windhoek

NAD 1,200,000

 

35

WINDHOEK

51 Springbok Street, Suiderhof, Windhoek

NAD 950,000

 

MOZAMBIQUE

 

36

MAPUTO

816-820 Kenneth Kaunda Avenue, Maputo, The Chancery

USD 600,000

 

37

MAPUTO

57 RuaJonquim Mara, Maputo, The Residence

USD 330,000

 

38

MAPUTO

274 Avenia Do Zimbabwe, Maputo

USD 225,000

 

39

MAPUTO

975 Ave Do Zimbabwe, Maputo

USD 235,000

 

40

MAPUTO

173 Rua De Manica 11 Siumerechield Maputo

USD 155,000

 

41

MAPUTO

141 Rua De Jao Maputo

USD 135,000

 

42

MAPUTO

326 Kenneth Kaunda Ave, Maputo

USD 175,000

 

43

MAPUTO

360 Rua Dar ES Salaam, Maputo

USD 65,000

 

44

MAPUTO

Beira Consulate

USD 200,000

 

45

BEIRA

Ambassador Residence, Macuti-Beira

USD 450,000

 

46

BEIRA

1 Block of Flats, Macuti Beira

USD 980,000

 

KENYA

 

47

NAIROBI

Nairobi Residence

KES 5,000,000

 

48

NAIROBI

Nairobi residence - Contents

   

49

NAIROBI

Nairobi Pavillion

KES 3,200,000

 

50

NAIROBI

Nairobi Chancery

KES 20,000,000

 

MALAWI

 

51

LILONGWE

Lilongwe Chancery

MWK 13,640,000

 

52

LILONGWE

Lilongwe Residence

MWK 400,000

 

53

LILONGWE

Area No.6 Lilongwe

Usd 125,000

 

BOTSWANA

 

54

GABERONE

Gaberone Chancery

BWP 3,000,000

 

55

GABERONE

Gaberone Residence

BWP 95,000

 

ZAMBIA

 

56

LUSAKA

Lusaka Chancery

USD 505,500

 

57

LUSAKA

Contents

   

58

LUSAKA

Lusaka Guest House

USD 29,000

 

59

LUSAKA

Junior Clerk House

USD 27,000

 

60

LUSAKA

Lusaka Caretaker's House

USD 23,000

 

TANZANIA

 

61

DAR-ES-SALAAM

Plot 32 Msasani Road, Oysterbay Dar-es-salaam

USD 310 000

 
               

POLICY REGARDING STUDENTS LOANS AND GRANTS

14. MS. D. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to inform the House what the government policy is as regards the students' loans and grants which the Ministry used to provide.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION (DR. MUDENGE) : Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. D. Sibanda for that very important question. Government ceased to provide loans and grants in 2007. The loans and grant policy is the traditional policy followed by my Ministry for years since independence. It is the arrangement favoured by virtually all the students. However, the loans and grants scheme was discontinued in 2007 because the fiscus could not meet the cost of the programme.

In these circumstances, in 2007 Government introduced a Special Cadetship Scheme primarily to assist the students without the capacity to pay school fees. The Cadet Scheme caters for school fees only. Students on the special Cadet Scheme are bonded for a duration equal to the period they are engaged as cadets. This year the Ministry of Finance provided US$15 million to amortize last year's outstanding debt of US$13 416 280 from all the universities and colleges. To date, US$8 million has been released for this purpose. To continue with the Cadetship Programme my ministry requires US$37 147 400 for 2011 in addition to the outstanding US$5 460 280 bringing the total debt to US$42 563 680. I must point out that US$7 million of the voted US$15 million still remains undisbursed by the Ministry of Finance. When that US$7 million is disbursed, then a debt of US$35 560 680 will still be owing to the colleges and universities. To put it simply, there is no money for loans and grants as announced by the Minister of Finance when he presented his budget last year and was approved by this House. In other context, this is described as playing the game of smoke and mirrors.

Through the loans and grant scheme, as was the case prior to 2007 an amount of not less than US$158 million was required. If the Ministry of Finance can avail my ministry with this amount of money, we will gladly implement the loans and grants scheme. We need more money to provide for students this year as in the meantime, 50 thousand students without the capacity to pay fees have applied for support. It has only been by the grace of God and the resourcefulness of the colleges and universities administrators and my ministry's verbal assurance that money somehow be found that the students have been allowed to carry on with their studies. This House voted for loans and grant scheme but unfortunately did not provide the money for it. This is scandalous.

MR. CHITANDO: My supplementary to the Minister. I am so grateful for your answer but I just want you to explain the reason why you had to revert to the cadetship when this House had passed the Grant Loan Scheme? You had to go back to the Cadetship without going back to this House. Was it that you violated the budget that had been passed in this House on your own as a ministry without consulting us?

DR. MUDENGE: Thank you. Maybe I was reading in English. Let me repeat, in 2007 there was nothing in the budget like that. In 2010, the Ministry of Finance announced loans and grants policy but forgot to provide the money for it. There is no money for loans and grants, there is a debt. So, I have not violated anything because I could not, I did not have the money to do anything.

MR. NCUBE: Hon. Minister it seems for the cadetship, for example, you pay for a student for one term and the other student benefits for three years but you bond them for the same number of years.

The other question is the issue of the Presidential scholarship students, I understand that there are ghost students there. If you can explain on that?

DR. MUDENGE: The students are bonded exactly for the years we support you at college. If it is one year, we bond you for one year, if your programme is two years we bond you for two years and so on.

The Presidential Scholarship does not fall under my ministry, therefore I am not in a position to answer that question. I thank you.

MR. CHITANDO: Let us take it on a practical point. Student teacher's colleges are given cadetships for one year and then they will be on teacher practice the other year. After completing that course, they are bonded for three years. Why is that so if they are given cadetship for one year? It is true, we have been to those colleges and we have seen it.

DR. MUDENGE: The programme for teacher training is for three years. Whether you are on attachment or not, you are being supervised by the lecturers and therefore we pay for your cadetship while you earn a little salary from the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. The lecturers will come and supervise you and it means we must continue to pay your cadetship.

POLICY REGARDING SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FEMALE STUDENTS AND MALE TEACHERS

6. MR. MUDARIKWA asked the Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture to explain the ministry's policy regarding male teachers who have sexual relationships with female students and explain to the House why one Blessing Kadungure, a teacher at Uzumba High School who was suspended in July 2011 for being intimate with a female student was reinstated in September 2011.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (MR. DOKORA): I have to inform the hon. member that if a member of the Public Service, whether male or female, is alleged to have had improper association with a minor, that is, school pupil boy or girl, a member is suspended from duty for three months so that investigations are carried out so that evidence is collected. When there is evidence that the member had improper association, a charge of misconduct is preferred and the member is given the opportunity to respond in writing and then he is called to attend a disciplinary committee hearing. After the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee forwards the record of evidence, together with its recommendation, to the Disciplinary Authority. It is the Disciplinary Authority who will then determine and impose a penalty to the member. This disciplinary process is expected to be completed within the three months of the suspension. If the suspension period expires before the case is concluded the member is allowed to resume duty awaiting determination and penalty. However, some cases might be complicated and require more than the three months of investigations to complete. In that case, the Disciplinary Authority will request the Public Service Commission to extend the suspension period. In the case of Blessing Kadungure, the member was suspended from duty on 16 June 2011, a hearing was conducted on 31 August 2011. The suspension expired on 16 September 2011 and the member therefore resumed duty after the expiry of the suspension period as provided in the Public Service Regulations. The delay in finalising the case had not been fulfilled and as such an application for the extension of the suspension had not been made. The member was not reinstated as the hon. member suggests.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as we speak right now, the case has since been finalised and the member has been discharged from the service. Let me also point out that my Ministry is committed to maintaining discipline among teachers and ensure protection of all members under our charge.

MR. KANZAMA: In view of what you have responded to, what is the Government's policy in relation to protecting girls from being abused by these teachers?

MR. DOKORA: I thought the response I gave indicated the procedural matters that have to be taken when a breach of trust has taken place between a teacher and a learner. We have to protect both the alleged perpetrator as well as the interests of the child and this is why we say there will be an immediate suspension for three months. Then the rest of the regulations follow which are part of the regulations of the Public Service Commission.

PRINTING OF TEXT BOOKS IN SOUTH AFRICA

7. MR. MUDARIKWA asked the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture to explain to the House why textbooks for secondary schools are being printed in South Africa.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (MR. DOKORA): My brief responds is as follows that the winners of the tenders were given the order, they chose to print their books in South Africa for lack of capacity to produce text books to the required quantities, quality with the binding and gloss cover. Specifications of binding were of durable and good standard. The printing of the books in South Africa is by the publisher's choice.

MR. S. NCUBE: If somebody wins the tender, it means he has the capacity to deliver, if they are not sub-contracting, I do not think they have the capacity.

MR. DOKORA: These tenders were run by UNICEF, partners in education. Specific requirements were expected on those that entered that tender. Whether you print in backyard printing outfit or in a modern state of the art factory was neither here or there. The important thing was that you should deliver the books that match the standard that had been established.

MR. MUDARIKWA: The problem that we have is if we start as Government to provincialise Zimbabwe as the province of South Africa and we get everything to be printed in South Africa, to create employment. We have companies who are owned by the Government …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order, I think you are now explaining, please ask your supplementary question.

MR. MUDARIKWA: As Government, is it in the interest of our nation to get all the textbooks printed out of Zimbabwe and yet the Ministry of Higher Education is teaching people about printing at Harare Polytechnic.

MR. DOKORA: I understand the perspective from which he is making that contribution. It would be useful if we could get all our textbook materials and other learning materials locally because it would help stimulate the local industry and so on. When you look at the mile you can do for the dollar, you will find that our industry has not been recapitalised in terms of machinery et cetera.

So, the product that comes from our local industry is likely to be more costly than what is produced say in South Africa or in India. I think in this case, because of the limited financial outlay, it was really to go for the maximum benefit in terms of quantities that met the quality requirements in terms of book production and other learning materials.

WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

SURFACING OF ROAD LINKING MANOTI GROWTH AND GOKWE CENTRE

24. MS. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House whether there are any plans to surface the road linking Manoti Growth point and Gokwe Centre.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. GOCHE): There are no immediate plans to surface the road linking Manoti Growth Point and Gokwe Centre. However, in the financial year 2011 the department of roads in my ministry did repairs to rain washed away sections and sport regravelling and road regradings from the 18km peg to the 54km peg.

The same road is in the 2012 financial bid for regravelling of the section from 57km peg to the 71km peg. Our policy is to link all growth points to service centres with a surfaced road. Our main constraint is the unavailability of funds for us to implement this policy.

MOTION

CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF

PROFESSOR ELIPHAS MUKONOWESHURO

Second order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the death of the Minister of Public Service Hon. Prof. Mukonoweshuro.

Question again proposed.

MR. MUDARIKWA: I rise at this moment to contribute on the life of Prof. Eliphas Mukonoweshuro who was born on the 22nd June in 1953 in Gutu, Masvingo Province.

Gutu and Chiweshe districts in Zimbabwe were declared to be overpopulated by 1945 and the way we grew up in the rural areas was very difficult, we had been displaced by the colonialist. Prof. Mukonoweshuro did his primary school at Shumba and Rafamoyo Schools and progressed to Zimuto and Tekwane Secondary Schools. He was a holder of a PhD from the University of Birmingham in England. He then proceeded to go and work in the then University of Rhodesia. He had problems there and he decided to leave.

He came back after independence. I knew him because he was very close to the late Politburo member of ZANU PF, Cde. Edison Zvobgo. He discussed with Cde. Zvobgo very constructive ideas for the development of Zimbabwe and Masvingo in particular. Each time he was discussing, Prof. Mukonoweshuro believed in the independence of the people of Zimbabwe. He also believed in what he used to call southern province which was meant to cover Buhera, Chikomba, Gutu and Hwedza. He did not believe in our policy of these big provinces. Prof. Mukonoweshuro was one of the few intellectuals at the University of Zimbabwe who realised that it was important to work with the workers, hence at that time it was Prof. Mukonoweshuro, Shadreck Guto and Kempton Makamure. Shadreck Guto was talking about Marxism/Leninism in the corridors of the University of Zimbabwe. They were later joined by Prof. Ncube here, who has just left.

They all talked and talked about Marxism and Leninism in the corridors of the University of Zimbabwe. It took them nowhere and they never got elected even to the Workers' Committee until they realised that it was important that they went to the trade unions to achieve their set objectives.

He was advisor to the MDC President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai. He was also on the foreign affairs desk for MDC. Each time you interacted with Prof. Mukonoweshuro, you saw that here is a leader. He never showed off that he was a Minister. He never spoke party politics. He even shared cigarettes with some of the Hon Members who had just been appointed, who were poor and could not afford to buy cigarettes.

He was a socialist par excellence. He believed in working with everybody. He also believed in the dignity of labour and in the development of the people in the rural areas.

Madam Speaker, Prof. Mukonoweshuro participated in the elections against Mrs Shuvai Mahofa in 2005. He got 12 000 votes and Mrs Mahofa got 15 000 but in 2008, the tables were against Mrs Mahofa who got 3 000 votes and he got 5 000. Here is an example of persistence without violence. He continued working, persuading the people of Gutu to realise that he had something better to offer. He served in the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe when he was appointed Minister of the Public Service. I had a long chat with him and he did not believe that MPs should work without getting sitting allowances. He believed in a decent salary for the civil service and he believed in the contributions of everybody to the development of Zimbabwe.

I went to see him when I had problems with Government pensioners and he assisted us. Prof. Mukonoweshuro was an intellectual. Most intellectuals in Zimbabwe have a problem. They have a lot of intellectual arrogance. They think they have monopoly of wisdom and yet they forget that wisdom is a gift from God which we must all share. When he introduced the Civil Audit in this august House, he told us that he was going to present the Audit Report once it is through and it is unfortunate that he died before presenting the Audit Report.

Let me explain Madam Speaker that when we talk about a deceased person, we must always realise that whatever we say today, will be delivered to members of his family. It will be kept as a record by members of his family. Prof. Mukonoweshuro believed that Zimbabwe was for everybody. He worked very closely with the Chairman of the Public Service, Dr. Mariyawanda Nzuwah and Mr. Langa his deputy. We never heard any stories in the newspapers that he is fighting with his deputy like what happens in other ministries.

We would also want to thank the Commander of the Defence Forces and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for providing him with a State assisted funeral. People came in their thousands to the burial of Cde. Mukonoweshuro. They gave him a heroic send off. On behalf of all silent MPs and on behalf of myself and my family, I wish to extend my sympathies to the Mukonoweshuro family and to the Honourable Prime Minister. He has lost a dedicated cadre, a minister of rare tenacity, a communicator of international repute, a minister who was not greedy and a minister who was not arrogant. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I want also on the same note for you

to accept my condolences for Parliament has lost one of its finest member. I thank you.

*MR. MUDAVANHU: I also want to express my condolences to the Mukonoweshuro family. It actually pained us since he was a minister who was from Masvingo. From Masvingo Province, he was the only minister that we had. So we mourn his death as a province because he was a minister. He was the minister who used to help us with ideas. When we started the party, that is when I got to know him as the MDC party and actually led to the success of the party in Masvingo. When he first contested in 2005, we realised that MDC as a party became strong and active. If we look at statistics for the votes, we will see that Hon. Mukonoweshuro is one person who actually led to the popularity of MDC. So we have lost a good cadre who used to advise our President and who was also our Minister in the Public Service. His work was not yet complete that he really wanted to see Government workers having a decent living as well as decent salaries and also that they are the real qualified ones, but God said that is enough.

We all know that death is a right of passage and we cannot delay one's death. I remember a singer by the name Leonard Dembo saying that some of the things that you plan, you cannot do everything that you will have planned. I believe that all those who have taken over from Hon. Mukonoweshuro will also work hard to fulfill the work and the hopes that he had. In short, I want to say that we mourn together with the country. Probably if he was here today, we would have been at a better situation concerning the welfare of Civil Servants. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th November, 2011

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: I now move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 to 8 be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 9 to 13 have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF INTERIM ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS, subsection 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention , treaty or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more foreign States of governments or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament.

WHEREAS the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement was signed in Mauritius on 29th August 2009 at a signing ceremony between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the European Union (EU);

AND WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, and is desirous of becoming party to the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Zimbabwe is conditional upon its acceptance by the parties in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of subsection (1) of section 111B of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Madam Speaker, in respect of this motion, I wish to say the following statements. Firstly the background to the Interim EPA, Interim Economic Partnership Agreement generally referred to as the Interim EPA. Madam Speaker, by the end of December 2007, Zimbabwe was among other five Eastern and Southern African countries namely Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and Zambia which had initialed the Interim EPA. This group of countries is generally referred to as the ETHA grouping. The Interim EPA Madam Speaker, replaces the trade regime provided for under annex 5 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement under which African Caribbean and Pacific ACP states enjoyed preferential trade with the EU but whose waiver expired on 31 December 2007.

It is important for the House to note that the Preferential Trade Arrangement which was contained in annex 4 of Cotonou Agreement was deleted in the second revised Cotonou Agreement. The preferential trade arrangement required a special waiver from the World Trade Organisation WTO on the grounds that it was by other non-ACP countries mainly India, Brazil and others to be discriminatory against them. The WTO waiver was expiring as I have indicated on 31 December 2007, which therefore necessitated that the parties, that is the EU and the ACP, needs to negotiate a new trade agreement which will be compatible with the WTO rules. When the revised Cotonou Agreement was signed in the year 2000, the WTO waiver was only granted on the understanding that the EU and the ACP countries would have concluded another trade agreement by the end of 2007. That would then reduce the preferences which had resulted in the objections which had been made.

Madam Speaker, it needs to be noted also that the waivers were obtained at a cost as those countries that challenged the agreement sought concessions for their exports into EU markets in the form of lower tariffs. This therefore meant that the preference to ACP countries was eroded and that the EU countries also lost tariff revenue on the affected products and in a matter of obtaining another waiver after 31 December 2007 was considered, unlike having regard to the full range of items which have to be negotiated. EPA still grants higher preferences to ACP countries that signed the interim of the EPAs. There are still technical provisions permissible under the WTO rules, that is the GATT Article 24, where they qualify as free trade agreements.

The Cabinet of Zimbabwe, at its meeting on the 18th of August 2009, approved that the country should sign the Interim EPA and subsequently the Interim Agreement was signed on the 29th August 2009 in Pot Louis in Mauritius and this demonstrated the country's willingness to be bound by the terms of that Interim EPA. Let me move on to explain briefly some of the salient features of this Agreement.

The option of completing the agreements was necessitated by both the EU and ACP countries but it was virtually impossible to conclude the full Agreement before the end of 2007. If we failed to meet that deadline and we did not have an EPA, Zimbabwe will have to trade with the EU under the normal Generalised Preferences of System. This would mean that virtually the Zimbabwean products that Zimbabwe produces will have to pay duty when they enter the EU market which is as high as 25% - 30%. That would have meant that our sugar, coffee, meat, etc., would attract that duty. Zimbabwe could not have benefited from everything but arms' system where the least developed countries such as our neighbours, Zambia exports to the EU anything which is not weapons without any duty or quarters being imposed.

Zimbabwe is not a least developed country and therefore cannot enjoy those preferences. It means it must have an agreement in order to enjoy those preferences. The only option which was left for Zimbabwe was to negotiate with other countries an interim EPA which will then allow us to continue to have preferential treatment for our products entering the EU markets. There was need to negotiate an interim EPA which will govern the relations between EU and ourselves before we conclude a full EPA. The negotiations Madam Speaker, have been contracted, are deadlocked and are still ongoing. I believe that it will be some time before we can conclude a full EPA.

In the meantime, we then sat as a country to protect our trade interest under the provisions of an Interim EPA, on an interim basis. Under this Interim EPA we have secured continuation of the preferences that we have for our products under the agreement that we have with the EU.

Let me just summarise very briefly what this basically means. EU will grant duty free quarter, market free quarter access market to the EU on all goods exported by ESA states and Zimbabwe is an ESA state except for sugar and rice which our Government has by separate agreements, its own time limitation. However in the Interim EPA, we managed to secure an additional 75 thousand tonnes of sugar which is going to the EU duty free beginning with the 2009 marketing season.

On textiles and clothing, the EU agreed to provide an Information Rule which means that we do not have to do a double transformation before we can export to the EU. In the old rule, it meant that for any textile product you would have to subject it to a double transformation. This basically means you would have to perhaps get the fabric made in Zimbabwe, then you make your suit, then you export it.

If you import fabric from Malaysia or China and just make a suit from a fabric made elsewhere, you will not be able to sell that suit to the EU because you will not have theInformation Rule. Under the Interim EPA, we have now secured the transformation, which means we have sourced the fabric from anywhere else in the world and then make whatever garment and still be able to export it to the EU under the duty free rules. This is the case in respect of preference in other products. In their part what the EU has asked us to do in the interim EPA is that we will liberalise to the extent of 80% of our imports from the EU. This basically means that we will open up our markets to the extent of 80%.

However, this opening up is over a 15 year period that means that in the first 5 years, you do not have to open up at all, then after 5 years you can open up gradually increasing to 80% on the 15th year. Furthermore, the Interim Agreement provides that we have a right to exclude sensitive product from liberalisation and Zimbabwe has produced its market offer and has put under the sensitive products a whole range of products such as products of animal origins, cereals, paper, plastic, rubber, textiles, clothing, footwear, glass ceramics, electronic consumables etc. So we will not have to apply these on the 80% market. Furthermore, we agreed on the insertion of an infant industry clothes which will allow us wherever necessary to re-impose duties in order to protect infant industries in our country, in particular reference to the economic situation and to the state of industry in the country today.

Madam Speaker, these are the core-provisions that you find in the Interim EPA that is before this Hon. House today for ratification. Let me just summarise provisionally applying this Interim Agreement means the following: It buys time for countries which are yet undecided to continue negotiations with the EU and a full EPA to be covered under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), buy countries time to allow their industries to refurbish and build their export capacities and allow the country time to improve infrastructure necessary for competitiveness, allow countries the space to see whether the pressure that will continue to be applied on the EU on the ongoing negotiation towards a comprehensive full EPA will yield any result.

These Madam Speaker, are the core-provisions of the Interim EPA. Let me just conclude by briefly sketching the implication for not ratifying the interim EPA, those implications are simple Madam Speaker. It means that Zimbabwe, not being one of the LCDs (Least Developed Countries) will no longer enjoy any preferential trade with the EU. It means that our goods will attract full duty when they lend in the European market and will immediately cost at least 25% more than they were costing. It therefore means that we will be completely uncompetitive and we will not be able to compete with the least developed countries that produce the same goods. We will not be able to compete even with the bigger economies such as India and Brazil who have had their own bilateral agreement with reduced duties with the EU.

It is absolutely important if we are to continue being competitive that on interim basis, this House ratifies this interim EPA so that we continue to have market access to the European Union. Their own market access as I have said is actually deferred. As I have said, thereafter, we can gradually phase down for another ten years.

That was just about the end of my speech and with those words, I implore the House and request the House, once debate is done to ratify the Interim EPA. I thank you.

MR. MUDIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, I notice that we do not have a quorum in the House.

Bells rung.

Quorum formed.

MR. CROSS: I rise to support the minister's contention that this is a vital legislation. I hope the hon. members will stay in the House until we conclude items 9 to 12. I think this is very important. The European Union is the largest trading block in the world. It is our biggest partner. This is a critical piece of legislation and if we do not endorse what the Minister has achieved here, which I think is a great deal, I think we will be doing our nation a disservice.

MR. MUTOMBA: I rise to present to this House the consideration that was made by your Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce in connection with this Interim EPA Agreement that is under review in this House.

1 Introduction

The Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce considered the Interim Agreement Establishment, a Framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement between the Eastern and Southern Africa State and the European Community and its member states.

2 Methodology

The Committee attended a workshop on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on 13 October 2011, where it learnt, amongst other things, the implications for EPAs for Zimbabwe. At the workshop the Committee had an opportunity to hear views of various stakeholders, namely, ZIMTRADE, the Horticultural Promotion Council, the Tobacco Industry and the Sugar Industry. The Committee also received submissions from Zimbabwe Sugar Private Limited. However, the Committee did not get views of ordinary Zimbabweans due to time constraints. It is imperative that the views of ordinary people be captured because they are directly or indirectly affected by the Agreement.

3 Background

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are a trade arrangement aimed at creating a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP). Prior to EPAs trade between the EU and ACP countries has been governed by successive Lome Conventions starting in 1975 and since 2000 and Cotonou Agreement which granted ACP countries non-reciprocal trade preferences to ACP countries. Such preferential treatment violates the requirement of non-discrimination among WTO members set out in Article 1 of GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs). As a result some WTO members successfully challenged the EPAs and EU and ACP countries were given up to December 31, 2007 to enter into new trade agreements which are WTO compatible. In order to beat the December 31, 2007 deadline an Interim EPA (I-EPA) was agreed on in 2008 with negotiations for a full EPA continuing.

There are six distinct groups in Africa negotiating EPAs and Zimbabwe is negotiating in the Eastern and Southern African Group (ESA), consisting of 11 countries, all members of COMESA. Of the 11, Zimbabwe together with 5 other ESA countries Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zambia initialled the I-EPA in 2007. Following the initialling, the I-EPA was signed in Mauritius on 29 August 2009. However, of the six ESA countries that had initialled the I-EPA, Zambia and Comoros did not sign the Agreement. These two are not affected as they are considered Least Developed Countries (LDC) and can benefit under what is termed Everything But Arms (EBA) which will see them remain with their preferential treatment.

Findings

These were some of the findings of the Committee:

If Zimbabwe does not ratify/opts out of the EPAs, she would no longer benefit from preferential (quota free) market access to the EU as of January 2014. The country also stands to lose the accruing advantages, such as: better prices than in alternative world markets, improved earnings, increased inflow of foreign currency into the country and guaranteed markets for local products.

Zimbabwe, as a non-LDC country would fall to Generalised System of Preferences (GPS) scheme, which does not cover some Zimbabwean exports to the EU such as sugar and ethanol.

L. MFN duty applied to raw cane sugar around 34 euro/100 kg

LI.MFN duty on ethanol is around 19 euro/hl

LII. Tobacco exports would be facing the average GSP duty of around 12%

LIII. The horticulture industry reported that it will face increased competition due to higher duties, and ultimately lose its European Union flower and vegetable market.

These are major Zimbabwean exports products which represented about 40% of the 298 million Euro exports to the EU in 2010. In order to continue benefitting from duty free - quota free access to the EU, Zimbabwe has to ratify the Interim EPA.

Conclusion

Having said this, the Committee recommends ratification of the agreement considering that various industries are benefitting from the exportation of goods to the European market. An illustrative example is the sugar industry, as shown by the following figures recorded by the Zimbabwe Sugar Sales (Pvt) Limited.

2005 - 06 60 257 tonnes

2006 - 07 60 230 tonnes

2007 - 08 62 310 tonnes

2008 - 09 86 924 tonnes

2009 - 10 109 000 tonnes

2010 - 11 115 275 tonnes

2011 - 12 125 000 tonnes

The assured market for Zimbabwean products will promote production thereby creating employment opportunities in our economy. The emphasis though should be on value addition. So, your committee is seriously recommending for the ratification of the interim EPA.

MR. GWIYO: My view on the proposals for the adoption for the Economic Partnership Agreement is that the decision to ratify, in my view, is probably premature for the following reasons. The first reason is that it should be a culture where we always take the people aboard when we ratify international agreements and in my view if you travel right round the country, people do not know what are Economic Partnership Agreements. We do not need to repeat the same mistake that we did in the 1990s when we also took aboard the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme.

The second point is that Zimbabwe, unlike other countries in the region, is acknowledged that in the last 10 years, our economy and our governance issues have been turbulent. I think Zimbabwe occupies different and special situation where by we can assume that things were the same from 2000 up to 2011. The truth of the matter is that in terms of production, it has been low volume.

In terms of exports to the EU, there was fairly nothing because of outstanding issues. There was a dispute between Zimbabwe and the EU and under these circumstances this dispute should create an opportunity for Zimbabwe as a nation to ask for a window with the EU so that the economic growth that we should honestly talk about is what has happened between 2009 and 2011. So, my view is that assuming we do ratify, we are actually doing what is called gallery politics or gallery dynamics.

Thirdly, if you look at the volume of trade that has been raised by the Chairperson of Industry and Commerce. The volume of trade that we are supposed to benefit is probably one tenth of what we could benefit if the sugar is put in China. The truth of the matter is that industry is not performing. So there is no persuasive justification. Industry is operating around 40% capacity and you cannot ratify an international agreement when you are saying you are producing nothing - one hundred and twenty thousand (120 000) tonnes of sugar for export. It is insignificant, it is not the correct volume, it is probably one quarter of what we were producing in 1995. So, there is no real motivation to do the ratification.

The fourth issue is that Africa as a continent is split - Zimbabwe is in a different group negotiating with the EU; South Africa is in a different group negotiating with the EU (European Union); some countries in East and West Africa are also in a different group negotiating with the European Union (EU).

The likely prejudice that will arise with the ratification is that we are beginning to see the decline/breakdown of the ideals of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) because already, there are multiple negotiators within the region - each one focusing on his/her country. So, in my view, there is a perceived risk if we were to endorse or ratify the agreement.

Madam Speaker, there are serious distortions. Let me raise the issue of agricultural products - sugar is included and other greens. It is not clear as to whether the ratification leads to immediate benefits to the nation. The agricultural sector needs to be prepared for export, the manufacturing sector that would probably process the agricultural products to semi-finished goods - its capacity is also suffering from the ten years of economic decline.

In my view, I am of the different view that I think, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Government would need to negotiate and create a window where we are saying Zimbabwe is in a different terrain, we have not been anything in the last ten years and we cannot assume that all things are the same. Thank you Madam Speaker.

MR. F. M. SIBANDA: If this appears to be a complex topic, I will attempt to ask the Hon. Minister in his reply to expatiate the following.

Imports versus exports - I feel we are an international supermarket for South Africa and other SADC countries. If we do not produce and then we sign this proposed Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, are we not going to open floodgates that instead of exporting, those people with big muscles will be exporting issues into Zimbabwe day and night where our people are going to lose employment?

Currently, I think, we have to be conservative we have 60 to 70% unemployment and industry naturally, they are virtually operating at 40%, particularly, Bulawayo, most of the companies are closing day and night. So, are we not going to be in the same predicament of ESAP where certain laws were put to us as prescription and at the end of the day we lost Social Services and many people suffered in educational and the hospital wise. So, I am very afraid that this might be the predicament for the future if we hurriedly accept it without critical analysis.

I would have implored the Minister to have told us which stakeholders he met before coming to the House - were commerce, industry, labour and farmers consulted? These are mostly the stakeholders in such issues. Farmers, are they in a position to produce and compete with the world. We have also the Indigenisation Act which people up to now are not yet very sure whether it is developmental or politically orientated - how are we going to link our industry, commerce with other countries? I would have much better if the Minister had given us sort of a Workshop so that we understand this because we do not want to take some of these half-baked decisions so that tomorrow our country suffers.

I feel, it might be good on paper but we lack a lot of knowledge and conception about these international concessions particularly on this one. I thank you Madam Speaker.

MR. NDAVA: Thank you Madam Speaker. First, I would like to thank the Minister for bringing this paper to Parliament. Also, let me thank the Committee on Industry and Commerce for having taken this issue probably to other players in the nation where they had a Workshop to solicit views from different players in the country - especially those that represent organized business.

First of all, let me just give a brief background. At the moment, Zimbabwe in our current situation - our industry is not able to compete with exports into the European market without preferential quarters because we have antiquated machines and all these other things. The reason why these papers are so important to the nation is that, at least we get a quarter preserved for the Zimbabweans to have something to sell into the European market. I think, this is the basis we must look at, all these issues to say, it is in this view that we are going to be given preferential quarters for us to export into the European Union - it has already happened.

I am from the lowveld where we grow sugar - these statistics that have been given here are only exports into the European market, not the sugar for the domestic market and the region. So, in terms of production, if I might correct Hon. Gwiyo - our production now is between four hundred and sixty-eight (468) to six hundred (600) tonnes of sugar per year - [MR. GWIYO: Inaudible interjections] - So, what we export to the European market is preferential one hundred and twenty-five thousand (125 000) tonnes.

Let me give you a small comparison - our sugar is the most expensive sugar in the world because we are getting preferential prices into the European market in order for us to build capacity - that is why the Government of Zimbabwe has signed what is called the Sugar Adaptation Strategy with the European Union which is an envelope of about $45 million Euros. I am privy to this agreement. Having said that, there was also a notion to sent sugar to China. China is one of the biggest sugar producers in the world, their sugar is going for US$400.00 per tonne; Brazil, India and all these other countries I am talking about. Talk about Mauritius, this agreement that this country is in today, it is this agreement in this circumstance that Zimbabwe is in this agreement at the moment. I want to thank the Minister for having negotiated between a year and 15 years in order to restrict the inflow of European goods into our markets. I think that was fair on the part of Government. We said yes we need imports but certain imports cannot come into our economy because we cannot compete, so I think with this agreement, in its entirety, it is a good agreement that I urge this august House at least to pass it through.

Let me turn back to the survival of the agricultural sector, sugar in particular. This provision has helped 867 farmers in my constituency to continue farming whilst the rest of the country was deep in problems that we are all aware. That is of money, hard currency for that matter so this agreement is not entirely to benefit Europe but it is only a fair way of dealing with upcoming economies like ours. So, I urge this House to support this agreement and then as we go, there is room to negotiate. I think the first interim agreement that was signed was also renegotiated. That is why we have got another interim agreement that we are trying to negotiate until we are able to ratify it.

We have to review this thing but I think at the moment this is one of the best things we can get at the moment.

MR. HOVE: Thank you Madam Speaker, I rise to just clarify certain matters that were made by earlier speakers before me. I belong to the Industry and Commerce Portfolio Committee and it is in that regard that I had an opportunity to interact with some of the constituencies that directly benefit as a result of us ratifying this agreement.

It is true that our economy, agriculture in particular, is very weak and productivities are very low but to just confine ourselves to trying to protect industry or to seek concessions that are favourable from the point we are, I think we will be trying to ask too much but if we fail to utilise this window of opportunity, Zimbabwe on its own and yet it is common knowledge to all of us that we do not have a good standing on the international scene, we cannot on our own extract any concession, more so with the European Union (EU) for that matter. We have a tag, a bad one for that matter, I want to agree with the honourable.

Madam Speaker, I want to implore this House that we ratify this because as a country, and on our own we cannot stand. On our own as a country we cannot negotiate. We will rather negotiate and further renegotiate rather than not having an agreement.

We had an opportunity to interact with the sugar society or sugar sales in the country. Currently, they are able to satisfy the local market with all our sugar requirements. Any of the figures that Hon. Mutomba was putting across is what we are failing to buy as a local market. So, if we are to take away that opportunity of selling sugar to Europe, who is going to buy our sugar. I want to agree with the honorable member that our current cost of production for a tonne of sugar is extremely high because of the low productivities.

So, I want to put it to this House that be that as it may, let us approve it. The problem is we cannot use this ratification to correct the anomalies that are bedeviling our land redistribution and agriculture. Let us not use this agreement to correct and we all agree and I know that the people who are not supportive of this are of the mind that probably the land will be taken away from them but that is not what we, from the party I come from, our position as a party, we do not intent to take away farms from people who already have them. What we are simply saying is that we want equitable distribution whereby land can be distributed through a transparent land audit. So I want to implore this House that this agreement is good as this is the best we can afford at this moment in time.

Another point I want to bring before this Honorable House is that we are able to export beef to European Union through this agreement. It is a pity that the Cold Storage Company (CSC) is failing to supply beef but this is not the problem of the agreement but the problem of our policies which we have enacted as a Government which we need to correct. So, I want to implore this House again, on the two points that I have made, that it is important that we ratify this agreement with EU, it is good for our farmers and it gives them hope.

Right now we have farmers who are failing to get paid for the produce they have delivered to GMB. Surely, if a few of our citizens are able to produce and sell to people who are going to pay them for what they delivered, surely, let us support them. They need our support and this is one small or big way that we can use to encourage them to continue producing and producing until us politicians can put party interests behind us and national interests in front. I thank you Madam Speaker.

MR. SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker, my contribution will be very brief. I am privileged, I come from the Lowveld where sugar is grown and I am also a member of the Industry and Commerce Portfolio Committee. Madam Speaker, I think this is the best opportunity for us as hon. members of the august House to ratify this agreement as the Minister has clearly stated.

For your information Madam Speaker, Tongat Hullett Zimbabwe which is based in the South Eastern veld through Chiredzi employs 13 372 permanent workers and 4 500 Seasonal workers. They run two hospitals. One is in Hippo Valley and another one in Triangle with 150 beds and 30 beds respectively. We have permanent doctors whilst in some of our provincial hospitals, it is sometimes a miracle to be quickly attended to by a doctor. In Hippo Valley and Triangle, they have got resident doctors and some of them are specialists in different aspects of health.

Madam Speaker, Tongatt Hulett has got provision of education facilities, 21 schools with an enrollment of 11 800. All what I am saying has got an impact on what we are going to export to the EU. If we stop exporting now it means there is no viable income to our coffers through the sugar industry. For your information, Chiredzi town is being assisted by Hippo Valley and Triangle in terms of water reticulation. ZINWA has no capacity to purify the water, this is a fact, you can go and see it for yourself. So when you say, let us not ratify, it means you are doing away with Chiredzi town and how many people are going to suffer?

There is a benefit in terms of procurement of goods and services in excess of US$180 million per annum from local suppliers to the industry. Hippo Valley and Triangle have got tractors, lorries, small vehicles and different equipment. The majority of companies here in Harare are benefiting and are surviving because of the Lowveld. So, without the sugar industry getting support from this august House, it means we will close some of our businesses. Some hon. members run businesses in Harare, you will be surprised, when there is no sugar industry, you will be out of business. The sugar industry assists in conservation especially in Gonarezhou. If there are people from Zaka here around Siya dam, almost every year, they donate some trees for plantations. Two weeks ago, about five lorries were dispatched from Hippo Valley and Triangle to Zaka, give some maize seed as a social responsibility. Why, because they have got a guaranteed income from EU.

Madam Speaker, this is a nucleus of development, yes, we do have problems in terms of our agriculture as a sector especially in tobacco. For your information, in horticulture, when our economy had serious problems, countries like Kenya took advantage. They were exporting about 20% in terms of horticulture to the western countries but now they are exporting over 60%. Now, here is a good opportunity where EU is saying, 35% of our production is guaranteed. So, why do we not take it from there, then we can improve our production.

The current out grower production is 413 000 tonnes sugarcane in 2010/11. Out grower production after rehabilitation programme should be 1.4 million tonnes sugarcane in 2014/15. Yes, our production is very low as some hon. members have alluded to but we have got to put some systems to rehabilitate our sugar industry so that we can improve our production. Sugar production forecast of 2011/12 is 362 000 tonnes. Current sugar exports to the high priced EU sugar export market is 125 000 tonnes. So I think it will be fair for this august House to ratify this agreement presented to us by the Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Domestic sugar sales estimate for 2011/12 is 237 000 tonnes. You know, these things support each other. There is no way the sugar industry can be able to produce enough sugar for domestic consumption when there is no access for export. So, if we say no to exports, we are saying no to eating sugar in Zimbabwe. I am very sorry for some of the hon. members here because they cannot do away without tea, which means that will be the end of their lives. We do have the motor industry, if you go to big companies like AMTEC and many others, they sell hundreds and hundreds of cars to the Lowveld because of the viability and reliability of the sugar industry. When you gave me the opportunity to speak, I said I will be very brief, so I would urge my colleagues to support and ratify the agreement.

MR. MATSHALAGA: I too, would want to support this agreement and only on two points that this is a multilateral agreement. This is not an agreement between Zimbabwe and the EU, this is an ESA agreement. We should never lose this opportunity to sign such a multilateral agreement. Why, because it involves trading blocks and it has what I will call a catalytic role in terms of business. Any investor who comes into this country will ask, what other trade agreements do you have? If you can show them that these are the opportunities - it is not just the sugar, but it is the other ramifications that will come from there. If for instance, for some reason we were misled by some mischievous people and miss this opportunity, it will be costly. Those people who you think you are protecting now will probably be asking us - what kind of people did we sent to Parliament. This is in the best interest of the country, the region and investors. I think it should be supported Madam Speaker, I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. There are one or two questions which were posed, let me answer those questions but before I do that, let me take the opportunity to thank the hon. members who have supported the ratification in their contributions and who have explained in the most clearest of terms what non ratification would mean for Zimbabwe. Indeed, many of the hon. members, Mr. Sithole, Mr. Hove, the Chairman of the Industry and Commerce Portfolio Committee, Mr Matshalaga and so forth answered the questions raised by Hon. Gwiyo and Hon. Sibanda who regrettably, are no longer in the House.

The long and short of it, is that we have consulted as a ministry. Infact, the negotiators who are involved in this include stakeholders. They have the stakeholders from the Trade Union movement and business associations who are in constant consultations with the negotiators who negotiated this Interim Economic Partnership Agreement who are still negotiating the full EPA. So accordingly, the stakeholders are always involved in the process. This is just an answer to Hon. Gwiyo's concern. Hon. Gwiyo raised the question that this has split SADC, COMESA and the like and gives an example of South Africa. South Africa does have its own bilateral preferential trade agreement with Europe on its own which is favourable and that is why sometimes we have problems in SADC because South Africa itself had its own agreement. Those who are negotiating under the SADC umbrella do not have an agreement and South Africa participates there, then there are problems because others are already covered. So you want to not use that example at all.

The next aspect that I want to refer to are the questions which were asked by Hon. Sibanda. Yes, it is correct that at the moment something like 70% of products in our supermarkets are imported particularly the basic consumer goods mainly from South Africa. It not also correct to say the industry is operating below 40%. Just for the benefit of the House, Madam Speaker, when the Inclusive Government came into being in 2009, the average capacity utilization was 10%. We managed to move that up to 30% by the end of that year. We moved it up to 43% by the end of 2010. As of last month it is standing at 57.2%. Just a few percentage points below the 60% mark where it was before the economic crisis started in 2000.

Industry is actually progressing and part of the reasons why it is progressing is that we are able to enter into these multilateral arrangements and bilateral ones because our local market is constrained because of our buying power in Zimbabwe. So we have to export as much as possible. As government we are cognizant of the fact that there are two things that we need to do very well. To attract investment both in domestic investment and external investment. Then also trade ourselves out of the problems we are in. This agreement is part for us to trade ourselves out of the difficulties. So I thought I should say those few things. Otherwise I thank the hon. members for the support, all of them who have spoken in support of ratification. In short as Hon. Matshalaga said, actually failure to ratify will be suicide for Zimbabwe. Simply we will be committing suicide as a country and I do not think we ought to be doing that.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE AGREEMENT

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: I move the motion standing in my name that:

THAT WHEREAS subsection (i) of the section IIIB of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that nay Convention, Treaty or Agreements acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more Foreign States or Governments or International Organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

WHEREAS the International Coffee Agreement was concluded in London, United Kingdom, on 28th September, 2007 at a conference convened by the International coffee Organisation (ICO);

AND WHEREAS the government of Zimbabwe is signatory to the International Coffee Organization, and is desirous of becoming party to the International Coffee Agreement 2007;

AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the said Agreement is conditional upon its acceptance by the parties in accordance with their respective Constitutional procedures;

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of subsection (i) of section IIIB of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Madam Speaker, this is the international Coffee Agreement that I am putting before the House and it has been circulated. Zimbabwe is a very important producer of high quality coffee. At its peak the coffee industry produced well over 17 thousand tonnes of coffee and regrettably at its lowest peak which is the year before last, we were down to a paltry 400 tonne. In terms of industry, we have installed capacity to process just below 22 thousand tones of high quality coffee in Zimbabwe. The government is working towards rehabilitating the coffee industry.

The International Coffee Organisation is the main international organisation that brings together coffee producing exporter countries such as Zimbabwe and consuming countries which are the importers. The organisation is made up 45 exporting countries and 32 importing ones. This organisation was established in 1962 under the auspices of the United Nations. The International Coffee Agreement 2007 being the 7th Agreement since 1962, was agreed by the 77 Members of the International Coffee Council Meeting in London on 28 September 2007. The Agreement that is before Parliament today whose objectives are to encourage members countries to develop appropriate food safety procedures in the coffee sector, encourage member countries to develop strategies to help local communities and to develop strategies to help local communities to benefit from coffee production. In the context of Zimbabwe we call these farmers out-growers. They are mainly located in Manicaland Province and they are very important. Under the auspices of the agreement, extension services are extended to them; and then of course encourage sharing of information.

The benefits accruing to Zimbabwe against this agreement is the exchange of views, coordination of policy at government to government level, the benefit from the programmes that are funded by the International Coffee Organisation and that has been the case in Zimbabwe for quite some time. The research into diseases that affect the coffee trees and how to combat such diseases. Promotion of value addition in the chain of production and also as I have said the provision of information worldwide.

Zimbabwe is a member as I have said and I have listed all the exporting countries and the importing countries in the table below. Let me conclude by saying Zimbabwe signed the agreement on the 28th of August and is required to ratify it. Hence I place the agreement before Parliament for ratification.

1.1 The International Coffee Organisation (ICO) is the main international organisation that brings together coffee producing (exporters) and consuming (importers) countries to tackle the challenges of this sector. The ICO is made up of 45 exporting and 32 importing members. Zimbabwe is among the coffee producing countries.

1.2 The ICO was established in 1962 under the auspices of the United Nations, mainly because of the great economic importance attached to coffee. Since then the International Organisation has administered six International Coffee Agreements (ICAs) with varying durations and different extension periods. The most recent is the ICA 2001, which entered into force in October 2001 and expired on the 30th of September 2007, and therefore a new International Coffee Agreement was negotiated to replace it.

2.0 The International Coffee Agreement (ICA) 2007

2.1 The International Coffee Agreement 2007 (ICA 2007), the seventh Agreement since 1962, was agreed by the 77 Members of the International Coffee Council, meeting in London on 28 September 2007. It was formally adopted by the Council through Resolution 431 and entered into force definitively on 2 February 2011. Membership comprises 32 exporting and 6 importing Governments (including the European Union with 27 Member States), with six new Members (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen) among the Governments to have completed membership procedures of the 2007 Agreement to date.

2.2 The ICA 2007 aims to strengthen the ICO's role as a forum for intergovernmental consultations to facilitate international trade through increased transparency and access to relevant information and promote a sustainable coffee economy for the benefit of all stakeholders and particularly of small-scale farmers in coffee producing countries. It is an important instrument for development cooperation and provides the legal framework for core activities undertaken by the ICO.

2.3 The overall objective of the Agreement is to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its expansion in a market-based environment for the benefit of all stakeholders.

1. Other objectives include:

· encouraging member countries to develop appropriate food safety procedures in the coffee sector;

· encouraging member countries to develop strategies to help local communities and to develop strategies to help local communities to benefit from coffee production and;

· facilitating the availability of information on financial tools and services.

2.5 The Agreement recognises the contribution of a sustainable

coffee sector to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly with respect to poverty eradication. The ICA 2007 follows the same principles in the ICA 2001, except for the new provisions included in the new ICA 2007.

2.6 The new provisions of the ICA 2007 include:

· Article 25 on promotion and market development with activities to include information campaigns, research, capacity building and studies related to coffee production and consumption. Such activities may be included in the Council's programme;

· Article 28 on the development and funding of projects. Member states may submit project proposal for funding;

· Article 31 in which the Consultative Forum on Coffee Sector Finance will facilitate consultations on finance and risk management issues, with particular emphasis on the needs of small and medium scale producers;

· Article 32 on strengthening statistical activities to include market structures, niche markets and emerging trends as well as quantities and prices of coffee relating to factors such as different geographical areas and quality. In this case, the ICO shall act as a centre for the collection, exchange and publication of all statistical information.

· Article 34 in which the ICO will assist member states through the promotion and preparation of studies, surveys, technical reports and other documents concerning relevant aspects of the coffee sector.

2.7 In the new ICA 2007, the Executive Board was eliminated and the highest authority of the organisation, the International Coffee Council shall be assisted by the Finance and Administration Committee, the Projects Committee and the Promotion and Market Development Committee.

2.8 Duration of the Agreement

The 2007 Agreement has a time span of 10 years with the possibility of extending it up for a further 8 years. On 25 January 2008, the Council approved Resolution 436 designating the International Coffee Organisation as the Depositary for the ICA 2007.

2.9 Signature, Ratification and Entry into Force

Articles 40 - 42 deal with the procedure for signature, ratification and entry into force. Under the provisions of the Resolution 446 of the 105 th Session of the International Coffee Council, Members should deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depository by 28 September 2011.

It enters into force when two thirds majority of the votes of exporting members and a similar majority if importing members deposit their instruments of ratification. It is important for Zimbabwe to timeously go through its ratification process so as to access the benefits from membership of the ICO.

3.0 Financial Obligations

It is an obligation for member states Signatory to the International Coffee Agreement to contribute an annual subscription fee. The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Finance has been facilitating the payments, which average £10 000 annually.

4.0 Advantages of ICA 2007 over ICA 2001

4.1 Zimbabwe can access information and benefit from the projects that are being conducted by the ICO. Specifically market information on coffee is critical as this includes potential markets, prices in those markets, qualities that are accepted and quantities that each market can take.

4.2 Benefits to Accrue to Zimbabwe as a Signatory to the ICA 2007

· The International Coffee Organisation provides Government representatives a forum to exchange views and coordinate policies and priorities at regular high level meetings. Zimbabwe can therefore participate and influence proceedings at the ICO;

· The International Coffee Organisation has programmes in which member states can access funding for coffee development and projects to improve coffee quality and marketing among other things. Several Zimbabwean projects have received funding from the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) through the support of the ICO. These projects include Coffee Marketing and Development, Intergrated Coffee Stem Borer Management Project in Small Coffee farms in Zimbabwe and Increasing the Resilience of Coffee Production to Coffee Leaf Rust and other Diseases. A new proposal entitled Enhancing Competitiveness of African Coffee through a value Chain Analysis in which Zimbabwe is participating has been approved by the Coffee Council.

5.0. Comments

5.1. The new Agreement is designed to ensure increased production of coffee by member states, increased flow of information on coffee and increased market access. This is the general import of the new articles, particularly Article 25. Zimbabwe as a coffee producer stands to benefit from this Agreement. The new focus is on small-scale producers and the coffee sector, after the land reform is made up of small scale producers.

5.2. In addition, the country stands to benefit from the consultative forum by producers and foreign consumers of coffee as enshrined in the agreement.

5.3. Trade in coffee not supported by trade agreements may not yield the same results as an agreement, as non-tariff barriers to trade are raised from time to time. Zimbabwe is a paid up member of the International Coffee Organisation and has benefited immensely from the Organization's programmes.

6.0. Recommendation

Zimbabwe signed the Agreement on 20 August 2009 and the Agreement is hereby presented to Parliament for consideration by Parliamentarians and approval for ratification.

ANNEX 1 MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE AGREEMENT 2007

(AS AT 3 AUGUCT 2011)

EXPORTING COUNTRIES IMPORTING COUNTRIES

MEMBER STATE (33)

MEMBER STATE (6)

Angola

European Union:

Brazil

Austria

Burundi

Belgium

Central African Republic

Cyprus

Colombia

Czech Republic

Costa Rica

Denmark

Cote d'ivore

Estomia

Cuba

Finland

Ecuador

France

El Salvador

Germany

Ethiopia

Greece

Gabon

Hungary

Ghana

Ireland

Guatemala

Italy

Honduras

Latvia

India

Lithuania

Indonesia

Luxembourg

Kenya

Malta

Liberia

Netherlands

Mexico

Poland

Nicaragua

Portugal

Nigeria

Romania

Panama

Slovakia

Papua New Guinea

Slovenia

Philippines

Spain

Sierra Leone

Sweden

Tanzania

United Kingdom

Thailand

Norway

Timor -Leste

Switzerland

Togo

Tunisia

Uganda

Turkey

Vietnam

United States of America

Yemen

-

Zambia

-

 

MR MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think for the EPA which we have just ratified, for it to really work, we have to look at other sectors of our industry and this particular Agreement is one of those things which we need to fully utilise the opportunities that have been created. It is unfortunate that when the Agreement was signed in 2007, Zimbabwe was not in a position to negotiate from that point of strength after what had happened to our coffee industry. I used to work for the Grain Marketing Board and I still remember when we commissioned plants in Mutare. Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe has invested a lot in coffee processing because it is another thing to grow coffee and another thing to process coffee. Zimbabwe trained a number of people to handle coffee, to operate the plants. We had installed one of the best art plant in Mutare which was able to actually grade the coffee bean to produce one of the best qualities.

Madam Speaker, what this means is that after what had happened from 2000 to 2010 when people went into farms, removed those who were on the farms and some even went up to uproot the coffee plant, there is need for Zimbabwe to reestablish itself and what is now needed is to take advantage of the Agreement and start growing coffee. I think at the level to which we are now, what is going to work for Zimbabwe is the promotion of our growers and I agree with the Minister that there is an opportunity for technology to be transferred through that Agreement. Coffee is also a delicate plant which needs to be natured very well and I encourage the Minster to liaise with his colleagues from Agriculture and Home Affairs to make sure that we now have relative peace in the Eastern Highlands where Coffee can be grown so that for anyone to invest more in the production of a commodity like coffee, you really need security of tenure. You really need to know how long you will be on the field and how long you will be there. Coffee is not like maize which you plant today and by the end of three or four months you are harvesting, coffee is a plant which grows over a period of time and there is a lot of chemicals used to nature the plants.

So, it is important that we quickly start to reorganise ourselves and make sure that there is good planning in the way of coffee and make sure that those who engage in coffee production are well supported in terms of tenure. We already have the infrastructure especially to process coffee, we have a lot of people who were trained on how to test coffee, who have now since left. Actually there is now brain drain in coffee production and coffee processing.

So, I think we will take advantage of the Agreement and make sure that Zimbabwe reclaims its place. We used to have good farmers like hon. Bennet, he used to have a very good coffee farm. He used to give back to the community and I think this is the reason why he was elected by people of Chimanimani even after he had first tried to stand on a ZANU PF ticket and they refused and then people told him to stand on a new party's ticket and he did that and he actually won the election. It is because he was using the proceeds, so, there is a lot of money in coffee as long as it is done the proper way. It is a very good foreign currency earner.

So, I support the Agreement because we can not negotiate on our own. At the moment we have got no muscles, we have to ride at the back of those other countries.

MR. MUTOMBA: Thank you very much. Once again, let me start by thanking our right hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce for presenting this Agreement to this House for its consideration.

Introduction

Pursuant to its legislative oversight role, the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce considered the International Coffee Agreement. I here now present its findings.

Findings

Its main objective is to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market-base environment for the betterment of all participants in the sector.

The 2007 Agreement will strengthen the International Coffee Organisation's role as a forum for inter-governmental consultations, facilitate international trade through increased transparency and access to relevant information and promote a sustainable coffee economy for the benefit of all stakeholders and particularly of small-scale farmers in coffee producing countries. It is an important instrument for development cooperation and will provide the legal framework for core activities undertaken by the Organization in the future.

Madam Speaker, important innovations include a new Chapter on the development and funding of coffee development projects and the establishment of a Consultative Form on Coffee Sector Finance, responding to the need for increased access to information on topics related to finance and risk management in the coffee sector, we had a particular emphasis on the need for Small and Medium scale producers.

The range of statistical data will be expanded, enhancing market transparency and a new promotion and market development Committee will oversee activities including information campaigns, research, capacity building and studies related to coffee production and consumption. There is currently low production of coffee in Zimbabwe particularly the coffee small scale farmers in the Vumba area.

Expansion of such schemes to other provinces such as Mashonaland West is recommended. These farmers will benefit from the Agreements in the various ways mentioned above. The Committee calls on Government not to disturb farmers through land redistribution as has occurred in the past to dairy farmers in Chipinge. The Committee requests the Minister of Industry and Commerce to explain the current position of coffee quota to the House.

In conclusion Madam Speaker, your Committee recommends the ratification of the International Coffee Agreement. However, your Committee requests the Minister of Industry and Commerce to further clarify the benefits of this Agreement to the country. Otherwise, your Committee Madam Speaker, recommends the ratification of the Agreement after the clarification that we have requested from the Minister. Thank you very much Madam Speaker.

MR. DZIRUTWE: It would be amiss of me not to contribute to this debate coming from a region in Zimbabwe where coffee growing has taken root. I come from very close to Honde Valley and areas like Sarupinda and Manga had really taken up coffee growing as a very serious commercial activity until the Grain Marketing Board let them down. The trees were there, the coffee beans were being harvested but there was not enough market locally for that production.

So, when we went on the Land reorganisation, in that part of Manicaland, it was not necessary to really move people to commercial farms because on a hectare of land, the people were reaping a lot of money from there but the GMB let them down. So, with this Agreement I am sure if government can seriously help the people reestablish coffee growing and marketing it, I am sure that region will economically improve and we will not worry so much about where to put our people because that area is very ideal for coffee growing. It can be expanded to other regions obviously. Madam Speaker, I would seriously recommend that we adopt this Agreement. I thank you.

MR. CROSS: Madam Speaker, the three most heavily traded commodities in the world are oil, coffee, hides and skins. Coffee is the second largest commodity traded internationally. A hectare of coffee as my colleague has said, will feed a family in Zimbabwe quite adequately and provide them with a good standard of living. It is an absolute tragedy that we have lost our position as a premier producer of high quality coffees in the world. We have the infrastructure, land and the people.

I think it is an absolute priority that we should see to it that our position, Madam Speaker, I am not sure whether Members of this House understand. I do not even know if the Minister knows that the European Union has offered us US$10 million for the reestablishment of small scale coffee production in Zimbabwe and we have been unable to spend that money in the last decade. The previous country representative of the European Union, Mr. Machel, put his heart and soul to that programme and he was unable to make any progress with the administration at that time.

Madam Speaker, I look at the House this evening, this is work. Ratifying this Agreement is not an optional extra for Zimbabwe. This is fundamental to the future of Zimbabwe and our people and where are the members? We do not have a quorum. Are we in a position to ratify this Agreement this evening without a quorum? Madam Speaker, we have to be serious. The Minister is here and he has committed himself to this evening and we have 2 other Agreements which are equally vital to the interests of our economy. Really, we have to be in business. We have to be serious about our role in this country.

I think Madam Speaker, of course we have to endorse this Agreement and it is not even debatable but where are our members? I think you should exercise some discipline in this regard.

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to thank all the hon. members, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Cross and all the members who have spoken in support of the ratification of this Agreement. I appreciate the words that particularly have been made by Mr. Cross of the importance of the coffee sector. Just to reassure him that as the ministry responsible for the trading part of coffee, we are in constant dialogue with the European Union, in particular, the funding which was being done under the STABEX Programme for our growers in much of Manicaland. We are still in constant discussion so that they can de-link that funding from some of the issues which remain in contention between us and the EU so that for instance the irrigation schemes that have been started and some of which are incomplete could be completed.

Government is very alive to the importance of this sector. This sector is very alive to the importance of taking advantage of that funding that the EU has offered. We definitely intend to revive the coffee sector and make sure that we get to the stage where we are producing as much as we were producing at our pick and more. The advantage as Mr. Cross rightly points out of Zimbabwean coffee is that it is the best quality there is and it is high premium coffee which fetches very good prices internationally. All we have to do is to get our Act right starting with ratification of this Agreement.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (PROF. NCUBE): Having regard to the importance of the remaining items for debate

Madam Speaker and after consultations with the Chief Whips or their representatives I now move that the House do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

The House accordingly adjourned at Twenty-four Minutes two Six o'clock p.m.

 

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 23 NOVEMBER 2011 VOL. 38 NO. 16