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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 23 NOVEMBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 15

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION TO THE MISS TOURISM CHARITY BALL

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry is inviting all Hon. Members of Parliament to the Miss Tourism Charity Ball and Finals to be held on Friday, 25th November, 2016 at 1800 hours at the HICC. The Guest of Honour will be Her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Mugabe who will be accompanied – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Order, order! I was just saying Her Excellency will be accompanied by a special guest, Her Serene Highness, Princess of Monaco. All Hon. Members are advised to bring their Parliament identity cards to enter the hall through the VIP entrance; I think it is on the north-west. Please be punctual in terms of time.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in particular regarding gold buying centres for a number of gold producers that are dotted around the country.  What is Government policy regarding the establishment of gold buying centres, particularly in those areas that are endowed with artisanal miners and a lot of small scale miners?

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Nduna for the question.  The policy of Government is that all gold is bought and delivered to Fidelity Printers as the sole buying agent on behalf of Government and also the sole refiner. 

It is the policy of Fidelity Printers to place buying points wherever there is gold being mined or panned.   In particular, we are talking here about gold which is being bought or delivered by artisanal gold miners.  If the Hon. Member feels that there are places which are not well covered, he can advise me, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe or Fidelity Printers so that they can put more buying points to cover all the gold producing areas.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.   My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.  What is the Government policy regarding the resuscitation of ARDA estates across the country to ensure food security and hence preventing hunger and poverty?

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  As already set out, ARDA has invited private partners for other estates.  I am not sure of the particular one that she is talking about which is still yet to get some partners, but a lot of ARDA estates are operating, producing quite sufficiently.  Particularly, if I give an example of Matabeleland where wheat has never been grown and wheat is now being grown in some of the estates in Matabeleland, producing at least eight tonnes per hectare, which is a welcome development.  So, ARDA has been resuscitated to the extent that it is producing; unless it is a particular estate which I am not aware of.  I thank you.

HON. M. KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture responsible for livestock.  What is the policy of Government in terms of Command agriculture happening in the country, taking note that yesterday we approved a loan regarding development of livestock in Matabeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland?

What are they doing in terms of Command agriculture in livestock, particularly small animals, goats, sheep and chicken in relation to the loan that we approved yesterday and the programme that is going on in the country?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, did you include chickens? – [Laughter.] –

HON. M. KHUMALO: Yes, the small animals, goats, sheep and other small animals – [Laughter.] –

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Order, Hon. Members.  Can the Hon. Minister be heard please?

HON. ZHANDA: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question – [HON. CHAMISA: Why?] – Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of command agriculture in terms of livestock, particularly in Matabeleland, we are developing various approaches and systems to address the problems confronting the farmers in Matabeleland.

First and foremost, what we are trying to do is to commercialise the minds of livestock farmers throughout the country so that they can realise the value of their livestock.  The main challenge that we are facing as a country is the low-calving rates, which are below 40% at the moment.  It means in every 10 cows only four cows are giving calves every year.  That is where the biggest challenge is.  As a result, it makes livestock farming very unviable.

As for small stock, we are talking about sheep and goats.  We are trying to establish a formal market for that small stock because at the moment there is no formal market.  It is a problem when one wants to sell sheep and goats.  So, we are establishing a small market and we hope that during the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) abattoir in Bulawayo, there is also a section of the small stock which we also hope it will be operation within the next shortest period.

What we are also trying to do is fodder harvesting.  Even when it rains in Matabeleland, no matter how much it rains, even in a good year, but periodically when we come to August, September and October, there is always a shortage of grazing.  We normally want to rush to do fodder harvesting when there is a drought, but we are saying we should not wait until there is a drought.  We should make it a calendar event that there is fodder harvesting, every summer season, every year. Those are some of the things we are trying to do.

Along that side again, we have a serious challenge in the marketing of livestock, particularly in Matabeleland, where they were using the Bulawayo showgrounds as an auctioning floor, we are saying we not going to allow the Bulawayo showgrounds to be used for congregating all animals from various parts, Nkayi, Lupane, Tsholotsho and Matebeleland South to the Bulawayo showgrounds.  That is what has resulted in the serious outbreak of foot and mouth.  We have started promoting, in actual fact it is working now, that every auction must take place where the animals are being produced, including encouraging private abattoirs to establish abattoirs in the districts so that we restrict the movement of cattle.  We will also make sure that it gives advantage to farmers who will then, obviously, be made to move cattle for longer distances.  That is what we are also doing.  I thank you.

          HON. M. KHUMALO:  The Minister has not answered me.  I am asking this question because we are seeing agriculture benefiting from the Command agriculture programme. Millions of dollars are being channeled towards the production of crops like cotton.  As Matabeleland, parts of Midlands and Masvingo, we are a livestock region.  We are losing out from this budget that has been put into cropping. 

          Can the Minister tell us what they have done for the people of that region because we are losing out as a people?  I thank you.

          HON. ZHANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I got the question correct.  As a department, we have identified 600 000 families and we have equated the cost of beneficiaries with what other beneficiaries are getting in Mashonaland; which is almost US$100.  We have also put in a package of livestock equivalent to US$100 for the 600 000 families.  We will be starting the distribution of this package within the shortest possible time. 

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  What systems are you putting in place to address the issue of leakages with regard to the Command agriculture?

          We have seen that in areas where Command agriculture is being implemented, diesel is being sold on the black market.  Part of the seed inputs and fertiliser that are being allocated is being sold on the black market at very cheap prices.  One can get a 50kg bag of fertiliser for less than US$12 leaking from the Command agriculture…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, please address the Chair.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Sorry Hon. Speaker my Advocate – [Laughter.]- what systems are you putting in place so that you curb these challenges that we are having in this country, bearing in mind that this money is coming from quite a struggle - but we are having diesel and fertiliser being sold on the black market at cheap prices?

HON. ZHANDA: As a Ministry, we are not aware of what the Hon. Member is alleging.  We cannot be aware by just a mere allegation.  If the Hon. Member has got evidence to substantiate that, we will be more than happy to get that evidence to see who did what and make a follow up.

However, as to what we have done to make sure that there are no leakages, the system which is there obviously is that every member who has benefited from the programme is expected to deliver maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).  Should they not deliver maize to the GMB, obviously, criminal charges will be laid against those people who would have abused the system. 

*HON. ZWIZWAI:  Good afternoon Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. 

We are faced with forthcoming elections in 2018.  Most of the work for these elections will be done in 2017.  What measures has the Ministry and Government taken to ensure that funding has been put aside for us to have a biometric voters’ roll which Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said will be used in 2018 by your Ministry.

The issue of biometric is important because it enables the people in the rural areas to have an opportunity to register and get identity cards.  There is supposed to be a new registration which should take place.

With the poverty that is in our nation, has your Ministry been able to set aside funds to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe are able to get new identity cards? For those who lost their identity cards, they have to pay US$10 for replacement of identity cards and also that people can get their identity cards in areas that are accessible to their communities than for them to travel long distances.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  The straightforward answer is that all the concerns raised by the Hon. Member will be taken care of in the 2017 Budget. 

HON. MASHAKADA:  My question is directed to the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa.  We all know that the liquidity situation in the country is alarming and that the banks are running dry.  In view of the liquidity crisis that the country is facing, what are the prospects of Zimbabwe getting fresh funding from the IMF now that the country has cleared the outstanding arrears?    

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I thank the Hon. Member for this question. 

There are two aspects to it; the first one has to do with the liquidity situation.  With respect to that, that is a problem of shortage of foreign currency in our country, which is why we are going to introduce Bond notes to enhance exports so that we can increase the availability of the US dollars in our market.

We are also moving away from an over liberilised foreign exchange market to one which sets priorities on the usage of our foreign currency and that already is taking place.  The issue of the liquidity problem – I consider it temporary and we are in a transition from over liberilised foreign exchange market to one which is managed.

From now on, we are saying any foreign currency that we earn as Zimbabwe is going to be prioritized with respect to its usage.  We will no longer allow foreign currency to buy trinkets which have no use at all for the development of this country. 

The second aspect of your question which says when are we entering into a programme with the IMF; I would like to say that we are not yet entering into any kind of programme.  As you know, yes, we have settled to the IMF but the rule is that we must under the Pari-passu rule, settle arrears for all three multilateral institutions which are the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.  Until we do that, it is too early to talk of any programme to be funded by the IMF or by any of the two multilateral institutions.   I thank you.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Hon. Minister, do you reckon or do you think that …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You have a problem Hon. Members.  You address the Chair.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, does the Minister suggest or imply that the bond notes are the only variable that can stimulate exports alone?

HON. CHINAMASA:  Of course not.  The bond notes are primarily seeking to achieve two purposes.  Primarily, as an incentive for exports, because all of us are earning money in US dollars which we do not make unless we are exporters.  So, in order to ensure that there is great availability of foreign currency, we have to incentivise those who make exports so that the availability is enhanced.  The other purpose of bond notes is basically to avoid capital flight or leakages.  I can say Mr. Speaker Sir, that if we brought in US$3 billion now into this market, it will all go like through a sieve out of the country and that we cannot afford.  Another issue, just to educate the Hon. Member - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- all of us need education Mr. Speaker Sir, including the Hon. Member.

The point that I want to highlight Mr. Speaker Sir, is that the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank are not a panacea of our economic challenges.  The responsibility is on us to do the right things so that we create an environment which is conducive for both domestic and foreign investment.  We have to restore discipline in everything that we do.  For me, that is the primary consideration.  Outsiders yes, they will come but they will only come to complement our own efforts.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is very fascinating Hon. Speaker, that our Minister chooses to say we are introducing the bond note to deal with issues of foreign currency so that we also boost our export earnings.  Now, my question is, if the problem is the disappearance of foreign currency being shipped out of the country, what guarantee is there that the export earnings on account of the bond note are also not going to be shipped out?  In fact, my biggest problem which is a supplementary question Hon. Speaker, is that the Minister seems to be prescribing norolon for an HIV positive patient.  I say that it is an inappropriate thing, because the issue is confidence.  Right now, you are aware that the issue of the queues is because of lack of confidence.  Even the bond note itself, it is supposed to be a currency that is a store of value and also a transactional value mechanism.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Ask your question.

          HON. CHAMISA:  The question is, do you have confidence that you are going to cure the problem of lack of confidence through the introduction of a bond note?  Thank you very much.

          HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very happy that the Hon. Member has joined the ranks of those who want to be further educated - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- and I take that responsibility.

          HON. CHAMISA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  The Minister should desist from the habit of thinking that he is the sole repository of knowledge because we will then expose him for what he is.  Hon. Speaker, please protect your members.  The Minister cannot hide behind the veneer of wanting to introduce education.  Yes, we have no problem with education but he is the one who should actually be educated because that is the region of lower concentration - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Well the point of order has been answered by Hon. Chamisa himself because he has correctly interpreted the use of the word ‘educated’ – ‘to be informed’, that is what the Minister is saying.  It is not being derogatory.  You can google that and you will find that it means ‘to be informed’.

          HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you very much for coming to my rescue.  The reason why questions are asked is so that we give answers which are informative - [AN HON. MEMBER: Not education.]- It is the same thing.

          Let me inform the Hon. Member of Parliament that bond notes are not being introduced to build confidence.  They are being introduced like I said, to enhance exports so that we have more available foreign currency here.  We earn our foreign currency primarily through exports.  If we have no exports, we have no US dollars to transact business, to use for importing goods and also to use as a medium of exchange.  So, the thrust of the introduction of the bond notes is to support the hens that lay the golden eggs – the exporters.  That is what we are looking for.  The more exports, the more foreign currency that will be available and the more we have foreign currency to pay ourselves the wages, because all of us do not make US dollars.  We do not export, yet we earn it as far as salaries are concerned.

          With respect to building confidence, confidence is built by a multiple of factors which include clarity on our policies.  We try to avoid inconsistencies in our policies and those are the issues that we take in building confidence.  The measures that we are taking Mr. Speaker Sir, to improve the ease of doing business, all those things go towards improving confidence levels by our Zimbabwean citizens and also by people from outside. That is the issue, so I want the Hon. Member to separate.  Bond notes are being introduced primarily for two reasons, to give incentives to our exporters so that we increase the availability of foreign currency.  The problem here is whether what foreign currency we earn will not go the same way, we think not because we are moving away from an over liberalised foreign exchange market to a managed one and all exports are acquitted through the Reserve Bank.  So, we know what we have earned in foreign currency and the Governor of the Reserve Bank has already established a committee to do allocation of that foreign currency, giving priority to things like importation of fuel, raw material, capital goods and so on. 

          I want us to be very clear that bond notes are coming, not for building confidence.  Confidence building is the responsibility of all of us.  What we say is what builds confidence to external investors.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. P. D SIBANDA: My question is that values of currencies by nature are maintained through confidence.  Right now you are introducing this currency, your currency into this market which you are literally foisting– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, please do not make a statement.  Can you ask your supplementary question?

          HON. P. D SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, the value of a currency is maintained through confidence in that currency.  Now you are introducing a currency in a market in which the entire –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You are making another statement again. Please ask the question.

          HON. P. D SIBANDA: No, it is not a statement Mr. Speaker.  I just want to get the question.  You are introducing a currency in a market that is literally resisting that currency and you have pegged that currency at one unit of that currency to one US$.  How do you intend to maintain that exchange rate where almost the whole market is resisting that currency?  Thank you.

HON. CHINAMASA: Firstly Mr. Speaker Sir, I dispute the allegation that the whole market is resisting.  In fact, there is nothing being foisted on the public.  The truth of the matter is that the criticism we get from those who are going to benefit from the bonus scheme is that, it is too little.  The criticism is that the 5% incentive is too little.  They would wish it was 15%.  Like I said, we are targeting those who export.  If you are not exporting, you have nothing to worry about; you are just a consumer of what these people have done for you without even working.  So, we need to make that clear.

          The issue he raises about the value of a currency being supported by confidence, it is true – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Members, you represent people out there.  If you ask a question, you must listen to the answer so that you are able to ventilate that answer and be carriers of correct information.

          HON. CHINAMASA: I was saying that the Hon. Member is correct that the value of any currency is supported by confidence and that is the case with the United States dollar.  It has no intrinsic value, it is what they call a fiat currency, just by order to say; this is a currency and everybody accepts it.  It has no value at all; it is not supported by gold or anything as used to be the case.  So, I agree that it is supported by confidence, which is why it is very important as we go forward to restore whatever we are going to do with confidence.  Do not withdraw it because if you do, you do it at the peril of yourself, families and businesses.  That is the truth.  So, it is important as a nation that we give confidence to what Government is doing, including the introduction of bond notes.  If you do not give it confidence, businesses collapse as they are collapsing because there are not enough US$ in the market.  There is no medium of exchange in Zimbabwe right now because there are no US$ cash. 

Let me remind Hon. Members in this august House that when we receive money, when money is transmitted into this country, it does not come as physical cash.  Right now, our bank deposits are something like US$6.3 billion, but it did not come as physical cash, we have to use our precious foreign currency to import US$ from the United States, foreign currency which we could otherwise use to buy important things.  Now we purchase that physical cash and it disappears like that and we are blamed for that disappearance. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me just conclude.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking this question.  Let me just say Mr. Speaker Sir, there is no other country on the continent which uses US$ to pay salaries for its nationals, to purchase tomatoes and mazhanje using a global reserve currency, that is madness – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. MLILO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.  Right now, Zimbabwe is at the backdrop of serious shortages of hard currency in the form of US$.  For that reason, I would like to believe that the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector, if well utilised and with good policies, can be used to stop those leakages.  Therefore, what Government policy has been put in place if there is any currently to avoid foreign currency leakages in the telecommunication sector through the under-declaration of incoming calls?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MANDIWANZIRA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question.  The telecommunication sector is indeed, one of the sectors that have the potential to earn the country significant amounts of foreign currency.  Actually, it currently does.  For every call that is routed to this country from outside the country, there is revenue that comes into this country. 

          However, we are equally concerned that there appears to be under-declarations of revenues on the amount of calls coming into this country with the inflation of calls that are leaving the country where we have to pay foreign currency outside.  We have been concerned, particularly because the licencing regime allows for all operators to have their own international gateways.  Because these international gateways are the conduits for traffic outside and into the country, we are only able to determine how much has come through and how much has gone out through their reporting, without any particular system by ourselves to audit and make sure that those statistics are transparent.

What we have done Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we have asked the regulator, which is the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority to consult and give the Ministry advice on what we can do to make sure that we do not continue to lose foreign currency through the dealings that are taking place at the moment. 

Just to make the House aware, we have discovered that there are companies that are in the telecommunication sector in this country that know that the minimum amount you can terminate traffic into a mobile phone in Zimbabwe from outside the country, is US$0.22.   What they have begun to do is mobilise traffic in foreign markets to come to this country and they use related companies based in Mauritius and many other places to sell minutes into Zimbabwe.  Some of them sell for up to 36 cents but they declare into the country 22 cents. 

One of the challenges we have in this country which consumers complain about is the cost of data – that our data is very expensive.  We have also discovered that the same companies are using Mauritius registered companies, which are not themselves, owners of any bandwidth to buy bandwidth internationally and resell to related companies in Zimbabwe so that part of the margin is being kept outside.  So, we are working on a number of measures which we are still consulting on.  Once we are ready, we are going to take action.  This is an opportunity Mr. Speaker Sir, to warn the companies that we are watching you and we are coming at you. 

HON. MLILO:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for adequately addressing my question.  However, I am particularly worried about the financial services that are being offered by the telecommunications operators, that is EcoCash, TeleCash and others.  Currently, Econet through Steward Bank, has gone on a massive marketing programme in the United States, basically in the diaspora..

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the question?

HON. MLILO:  The question is, do we have any systems in place to monitor and analyse the amount of funds that are coming into the country through these telecommunications networks?  If we are not able to do that, at the end of the day, so much money gets externalised as well.

HON. MANDIWANZIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Again, I want to thank Hon. Mlilo for the question.  The current situation is that while the platforms that he has mentioned such as the One Wallet, TeleCash and EcoCash are provided by mobile phone operators which are licenced by POTRAZ; that aspect of their business which relates to financial services is also regulated by the financial regulator which is the Central Bank.  There is dual regulation with regards to mobile money services.  The aspect he has asked is largely the aspect that is looked at by the financial services regulator which is the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. 

What we have done, because we have received significant complaints from the public and from those in business that the biggest purveyors of the US dollar cash are now the mobile phone operators because of the money they are getting from selling vouchers on the streets.  We have asked the regulator that we do not want the sector being tainted by these allegations.  Therefore, if they at all are doing it, they must desist to ensure that we have a clean industry which is a telecommunication industry.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SITHOLE:  My supplementary question is on the issue of data bundle prices which are on the high side.  What is the Ministry doing in order to reduce the price of data bundles of WhatsApp, Facebook and the general internet bundles?

HON. MANDIWANZIRA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question.  This is a question that the majority of mobile phone subscribers are asking on a daily basis. They are saying, why are we paying more in Zimbabwe for data when others are not paying that much.  Secondly, they are also asking, why are we paying for data which is disappearing from our phone balances without using it?

There are two reasons why our data is expensive, one of which I have already mentioned is that we have companies that are in the mobile phone business in this country which buy bandwidth from related companies outside the country.  The price we end up paying in Zimbabwe is inflated because they want to keep some of that money outside the country.  That is what we have said we are looking into.

The second reason why our data is expensive Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we are a landlocked country.  The bandwidth comes through undersea cables in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, therefore coming through other countries where we pay a high premium.  That is a genuine reason and we cannot do much about that except to bulk buy the data into the country.  The last point – [HON. CHAMISA:  Chinja system yako.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the former minister wants to give me some advise, he is welcome to my office.

Mr. Speaker Sir, to be very specific to the Hon. Member’s question, what we have done is that there is a survey currently underway to see the charges that are being levied on the people, to the extent to which they can be justified overally, looking at the cost of data coming into this country.  Some of it is unjustifiable and we are looking into it. 

The disappearing airtime is a huge concern, not just for me but for millions of Zimbabweans.  The regulator has come up with regulations over quality of service by the providers.  They have installed equipment which monitor the quality of service and that includes the pricing by operators, which is interconnected.  We have received allegations that some of this equipment is being tampered with by the operators and they are misrepresenting.  We are investigating that matter but we have also asked the regulator to step up its game to make sure that it is not played, havatambwi nemaoperators.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

*HON. MUFUNGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and in his absence, I will refer my question to the Leader of the House.  Hon. Chinamasa is here, what plans have you put in place to assist us here in Zimbabwe.  We realise that in Harare, it is difficult to move around because of haphazardly parked vehicles everywhere.  What plans have you put in place to ensure that we are able to drive and manoeuvre our way in the city?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please ask a straightforward question on policy – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Let us give him a chance.

HON. MUFUNGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is, what plans has the Government put in place concerning the congestion and the many vehicles that are parked in Zimbabwe so that we can maneuver our way in the city. I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the responsibility to keep our city clean and to take measures to avoid congestion in our capital is the primary responsibility of the City of Harare. They will be assisted and working with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing but, it is the primary responsibility of the Municipality of Harare. I would refer the question to the Municipality of Harare. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that you have accorded me. Firstly, I am like an orphan in this House. When you request people to write a list of Members and their parties to debate, I do not have any party. So, I will also write my name and submit a paper for me to debate. Mr. Speaker Sir, as an orphan, I will not desist from asking questions. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon. Chidhakwa. I am sure Hon Chidhakwa remembers a mine that was opened in Ward 14 in Norton by the Russians. I was Chairman of the Province and the President came and opened the mine but since 2014, that mine has not been operating. So, when will the mine start its operations?

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question. The Great Dyke Investments which was officially opened some time ago was on a programme to do exploration and up to March this year, they were doing exploration. First of all, they have done their exploration report and they have done their development plan. What we are now doing is to look at where they will locate the actual physical facilities.

The first facility being where they will start mining the open cast mine and secondly, where they are going to locate their crushing, milling and the concentrator equipment. The other things will come much later but, doing so also requires that where we place these facilities, we also explore those areas to make sure that we do not build facilities on top of mineral resources. So, that work is almost complete and I want to assure the Hon. Member of Parliament that mining ventures ordinarily take long to mature but, this one is now very close to maturity. We are very happy with the progress that has been achieved so far. Thank you.

*HON. MLISWA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response. Was the official opening done before the exploration? How did you know that there was a mine before you explored because before you open up a mine, you start with investigations. Are you saying that exploration was not yet done by the time of the opening and you went ahead and opened the mine without any exploration which you have now started? Why did you not tell us that it was just a dream that you had for that mine to operate? I thank you.

HON. CHIDHAKWA: The Hon. Member is right. It was not official opening of the mine. It was the ground breaking ceremony for the mining to start taking place. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Sorry, the first thing is that some drilling had taken place prior to the allocation of this concession under ZIMPLATS. Therefore, we knew what was in the ground but we needed to establish the actual resource in the ground, but we knew that there was platinum. So, what we did on that particular day was to ground break the process so that we can enable the actual activities to roll out. The official opening of the mine will come when we finish building the mine and putting up the concentrator. Thank you.

HON. MASHAKADA: Hon. Speaker Sir, what guarantee can the Minister of Mines give us that the so called exploration is not actually going to disguise mining? We have seen this before when DeBeers discovered diamonds.  For many years they were saying they are doing exploration when they were actually doing mining. How do we vaccinate against that kind of hoodwinking? Thank you.

HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. When you mine for platinum, you must extract the rocks, crush, mill and take them through a concentration process so that you concentrate the ore by 300%. That cannot happen with the kind of infrastructure that is currently sitting there. The difference between this particular type of mining and Marange is that you can actually pick a diamond or you can dig and pick a diamond which you can sell. But, this one is a whole process of extraction, milling, crushing and all sorts of things. So it is not possible for them to do it without us knowing that this is what is happening.  

*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa. Since the bond notes will be introduced next week, I want to find out whether civil servants will get all their bonuses before we get to January? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Clearly Mr. Speaker Sir, the question of bond notes is not related at all.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  It is not and those issues are matters that would be discussed in the framework of the 2017 budget. I thank you.

HON. ZWIZWAI: The first supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Do not mislead me.

HON. ZWIZWAI: It is arising from Hon. Majaya’s question.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Minister has just been talking about bond notes. My question is specifically to do with the statement on bond notes...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry, it must be a supplementary question.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: It is a supplementary question. What confidence is he building throughout the country bearing in mind that personally -  Ah! vambori busy kutaura navaMatuke…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry you can start your question.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, what system is the Hon. Minister putting in place, bearing in mind the issue of bond notes. 

*Recently, we have noticed that many of the big shops in this country are not accepting plastic transactions.  This is being witnessed especially in shops that are owned by foreigners such as Indians, Chinese and Asians.  The reason why they are refusing plastic money is because no money is going into their accounts.  What measures are you taking to enforce such shops to accept plastic money?  These are shops such as Choppies and others. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON SPEAKER:  Order, order, the trio on my right.  The original question was related to bond notes in so far as paying civil servants bonuses, so your supplementary question does not arise.

HON. PHIRI: I would like to find out from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what policy changes he is putting in place in terms of the funds that are being received at schools?  Recently, there were reports in the papers alluding that the Ministry is wresting funds from parents and it is not very clear what is happening.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The reference to a newspaper article is noted.  However, I would like to believe that this was in the last edition of the Sunday Mail where I also read that article.  What is at play is that in the Education Act, there are certain provisions that operationally have not been run with the current regulations.  Therefore, underway, is the harmonisation of that Education Act with the provisions of the Constitution and subsequent to that, the Statutory Instrument that will then go into the regulatory business that the Hon. Member is referring to.  So, it is too early to make conclusions on a matter that appeared in the newspapers.

HON. GABBUZA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  We have over the years seen a lot of joint ventures between Government and mining investors who want to resuscitate closed ZMDC mines.  However, we have not seen these joint ventures taking off and what quickly comes to mind is the case of Kamativi.  What in the Minister’s view is responsible for the failure of these joint ventures taking off?

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  We went into a number of joint ventures which included as the Hon member rightly alluded to, Kamativi.  I want the Hon. Member to note that when we went into Kamativi for instance, there were problems on our partners’ side.  We approved the project and when we were about to start, they had problems amongst themselves as joint venture partners.  When we were about to withdraw the joint venture relationship they came back to us and told us that they had resolved their problems and were able to proceed with the project.  We told them we wanted proof that they had the capacity to do that, which proof they had provided in line with the original agreement that we had signed with them. 

So, they had to disburse money into the joint venture account.  However, what is happening, particularly on Kamativi is that when the mine was closed, it was mining tin and a little bit of tantalite.  What we want is for the whole range of seven minerals which are available in that all body to be mined. For us to be able to explore the entire body, we need a technology that enables us to extract the tin, tantalite, beryl, beryllium and the other minerals.  So, the samples have now been taken to China where they are working on the processing technology for each one of them.  Once that is finished, they will be brought back and activities will start.

Other operations have really been an issue of the fact that in some projects, we do not have the exploration data that sufficiently demonstrates to the investors that the all body is large enough for them to proceed.  It is however important to note that when you are in a situation such as this one, investors will hope that you are at your lowest and they will want to pick the asset for nothing.  When you resist and tell them the asset is a rich one, they say they are the only one that is available.  So, in many instances we have refused to proceed on the basis that we cannot let an asset go simply because we under difficult circumstances.  Therefore the reasons for non-performance in the various joint ventures are different.   I hope I have given sufficient examples of what is happening in some of our joint ventures.

HON. G. M. NCUBE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce.  Last year at the ZANU PF People’s Conference in Victoria Falls – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I stand to seek your indulgence and move that Questions Without Notice’ period be extended.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I object – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Malaba, its time up and the extension of time has been objected to, so, next week.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

POLICY ON TRADERS

1. HON. GWANONGODZA asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to explain Government policy on traders who apply dual pricing system on cash and plastic money transactions.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I think it is high time now we name and shame an Hon. Member and you go down for a cup of tea. Can we listen to the answers from the Hon. Ministers?

HON. MABUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Gwanongodza for asking the question.  Hon. Members are aware that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been promoting the use of plastic money as one of the measures to enhance financial stability in the country.  The banking public has now embraced the use of plastic money and increased its usage over the last few months.  This development has also benefited business, including traders whose activities could have been negatively affected by the liquidity crunch that the country is currently experiencing. 

Having highlighted the above, may I advice that it is against Government policy for traders to apply a dual pricing system on cash and plastic money transactions.  May I take this opportunity to call on traders to desist from such practises and also to request members of the public who may have been subjected to this behaviour to report such cases to the Ministry.  I thank you.

ASSISTANCE TO DAVID WHITEHEAD TO FACILITATE REOPENING

2. HON. PHIRI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce what assistance the Government is giving David Whitehead Textiles, to facilitate its speedy reopening.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MABUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Phiri for asking the question.   Restoration of Electricity - Hon. Members might be aware that David Whitehead is currently closed, following the disconnection of power supplies by ZESA in mid-August 2016 over an outstanding electricity bill.  The Ministry has since engaged ZESA to reconnect power supplies to allow the company to re-open whilst servicing the debt based on an agreeable payment plan.

Amounts owed to the Company - Mr. Speaker Sir, David Whitehead is owed huge amounts by various debtors who have been failing to pay the company on time whilst on the other hand suppliers of raw materials are demanding cash up front.  As a result, the company is failing to raise the required working capital to satisfy other orders as well as to pay service providers.  The Ministry has since engaged some of the debtors with a view to come up with a debt settlement mechanism.  This should result in an improvement of the company’s working capital position so that it starts processing the orders that it has received.

Working Capital - The Company has also struggled due to inadequate working capital.  The Government is currently negotiating with potential financiers for lines of credit to be extended to DWT at concessionary rates.

Scouting for Potential Investors – The Ministry is currently involved in marketing DWT as a potential suitor to prospective investors in the clothing and textiles industry.  Several efforts are being pursued in order to attract investors.

Shortage of Cotton Lint – The Shortage of cotton lint on the local market has negatively affected production at DWT.  To alleviate this challenge, the Government has negotiated with ginneries to avail cotton lint to the local manufactures, including DWT.

Import Restrictions on Cotton based Products – Government implemented S.I 64 of 2016 which removed cotton based products from the Open General Import License.  Several Government-related and private sector players have started making enquiries and placing orders with David Whitehead whilst others have requested the company to prepare samples for them.

Conclusion – Government will continue to engage all the stakeholders, including service providers in order to come up with a win-win solution to the challenges currently bedeviling DWT.  I thank you?

HON. PHIRI: Where a company is strategic, does Government have a policy where it can intervene or take over that particular company?

HON. MABUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question which is perhaps more focused on whether or not Government has a policy to take over ailing companies.  May I please request the Hon. Member to put this question in writing so that I provide an adequately researched answer?  I thank you.

ALLOWANCES FOR HEADMEN

15.  HON. M. M MPOFU asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to state when headmen will be given their allowances.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Is the Minister here.  Who said the Minister is here?  Please, do not mislead the Chair – [AN HON. MEMBER:  The Minister is sleeping.] -  Order.  May you withdraw your comment please?  You said the Minister was sleeping.  May you withdraw that? – [AN HON. MEMBER:  I withdraw.] -

THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A. NCUBE):  I would like to state that headmen or traditional leaders are not more than three months in arrears as assumed by the Hon. Members.  The headmen have been paid their allowances up to August this year.  As you are aware, as we speak, some of the civil servants and pensioners are yet to be paid their September allowances.  In this regard, we cannot regard the month of September as being in arrears as Treasury is in the process of mobilising resources. 

However, I would like to bring to the attention of the House that the allowances for May were not disbursed by Treasury and we continue to engage them so that the allowances for all traditional leaders are paid.  It is therefore clear that headmen or traditional leaders are in arrears for a month effectively.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA:  Mr. Speaker, given the response by the Minister, is the Minister considering upping those allowances given that sometimes it is not worth while going for that very small allowance and spending a lot of bus fares?  Is the Minister considering upping the allowances to cushion the bus fares that they use to go and pick the small allowances?  Hon. Speaker, the Minister wishes me to repeat the question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  It has to come through me, not the two of you dialoguing.  Minister, may you refer to the Chair if you did not get the Hon. Member.  Can he repeat the question if you did not get him.  You want him to repeat the question?  Hon. Gabbuza, may you repeat your question.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary question is, is the Minister considering revising the allowances upwards given that sometimes the traditional leaders are not able to go and collect their allowances because the cost of going to get their allowance is more than the allowance itself.

HON. A. NCUBE:  I think that is a difficult question because I cannot simply say something here that is to be discussed between my Ministry and Treasury.  I thank you.

HON. SARUWAKA:  I did not get him clearly when he was trying to explain that September allowances are not in arrears because the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is mobilising for resources.  I wanted to get his understanding of arrears because for as long as the money has not been paid, it remains in arrears.  That the Minister is mobilising resources, does not clear that.  So, I wanted to understand his explanation because the question suggested that there are arrears and is he denying those arrears because the Minister is simply raising the money.

HON. A. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member’s question, unfortunately his voice was very low.  May I kindly request that the Hon. Member raises his voice.  I thank you.

HON. SARUWAKA:  My question to the Hon. Minister was, during his explanation, he appeared to infer that because the Minister was raising the allowances for September, that means they are not in arrears, but I am still saying for as long as the allowances have not been paid, they are in arrears.  So, can he please clarify his explanation that there are no arrears because the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has been raising the money.  Is he now saying there are no arrears based on the explanation that the Minister is mobilising resources?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You were not quite clear.  Say exactly what you want to say.  You were not quite clear even to me.  Can you repeat that one?

HON. SARUWAKA:  Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Minister is saying, because the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is raising the money, therefore the September allowances are not in arrears and I am saying no, it cannot be like that.  As long as the allowances have not been paid, they remain in arrears.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  So what is your question?

HON. SARUWAKA:  My question is, what is the Minister doing to clear those arrears because he seems to be indicating that there are no arrears yet there are?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Okay.  So you want the Minister to indicate when he is going to clear the arrears?

HON. SARUWAKA:  Yes.

HON. A. NCUBE:  Yes, we are still in arrears in terms of the allowances for headmen and other traditional leaders.  But well, Government is busy; we are looking into that.  It will be rectified actually in future.

RESUSCITATION OF THE EXCHANGE IRRIGATION IN SILOBELA

  16.  HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to state when the Ministry will resuscitate the Exchange Irrigation in Silobela considering that it is currently operating one engine for irrigation purposes.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Hon. Member, the Exchange Irrigation Scheme in Silobela is among the schemes targeted for rehabilitation and upgrading under the Small Holder Irrigation Rehabilitation Programme to be launched in 2017.  I thank you.

HON. M. M. MPOFU:  I did not hear the answer from the Minister.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  So, is that your supplementary question?  You are saying that you did not hear him?

HON. M. M. MPOFU:  No, I did not hear the explanation from him.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  So, that cannot be a supplementary question.  You are asking him to repeat.  Hon. Minister, may you repeat your response.

HON. ZHANDA:  I said in response to Hon. Phiri’s question asking the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to state when the Ministry will resuscitate the Exchange Irrigation Scheme in Silobela considering that it is currently operating with one engine for irrigation purposes.

That is why I said the scheme is subject to, among other schemes, targeted for rehabilitation and upgrading under the small holder irrigation revitalisation programme to be launched in 2017. I thank you.

RESUSCITATION OF GRAIN MARKETING BOARD KADOMA DEPOT

17. HON. PHIRI asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to inform the House when the Ministry would resuscitate the Grain Marketing Board Kadoma Depot considering that it has been lying idle for several years. Mr. Speaker Sir, may I ask that it be skipped because it was wrongly written there. It should be Dairy Marketing Board instead of Grain Marketing Board. I have already talked to the Minister about it.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You need it rephrased.

HON. PHIRI: Yes.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I hear you. Hon. Minister, since there is this confusion would you have an answer that would respond to what he is trying to ask.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): The issue of resuscitating the Dairy Marketing Board plant in Kadoma does not fall under the Ministry of Agriculture since Dairiboard is a private company. I will not be able to deal with that, suffice to say from what I know that the Dairiboard plant in Kadoma was dedicated for cheese making and as a result, the milk intake that we are getting now is very low. In actual fact, the information says they attempted to open it but because of the antiquated equipment they found out that it was not going to be efficient to produce cheese with that kind of antiquated equipment. So they are looking at investing more money in modern machinery. I thank you.

PROMOTION OF URBAN AGRICULTURE

18. Hon. Phiri asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development what the Ministry is doing to promote urban agriculture in Zimbabwe.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Ministry recognises the importance of urban and peri-urban agriculture as it contributes to household food security and nutrition and family incomes. However, urban and peri-urban agriculture is governed by city by-laws that are enforced by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

MECHANISMS IN PLACE TO PAY FARMERS ON SUBMISSION OF WRONG BANKING DETAILS

19.    Hon Mahiya asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain to the House the mechanisms put in place to alert the farmers in the event that the Grain Marketing Board discovers that some farmers would have submitted wrong or inadequate banking details for the payment of their deliveries to be effected.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (LIVESTOCK) (HON. ZHANDA): Hon. Member, in instances when farmers have provided inadequate banking details for payment of their deliveries, the payment does not go through and the Grain Marketing Board contacts the respective farmers to obtain the correct details.

MINING DISPUTES IN SILOBELA

20.   Hon. M. M. Mpofu asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain to the House, indicating specific timeframes:

(i)      what action the Ministry is taking to solve mining disputes in the Silobela Constituency since Midlands Provincial Mining Office has taken more than two (2) years and seems to be overwhelmed by such conflicts.

(ii)    explain whether the issue of solving such disputes is due to incompetent staff or interference by high offices.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. We appreciate Hon. Mpofu’s frustrations and concerns. The Ministry endeavours to finalise disputes judiciously and in as short a space of time as possible. However, some of these disputes might be awaiting court processes and therefore as a Ministry, we would be unable to take any action as we await the court processes to take due course.

          We currently have about 30 disputes before the Dispute Resolution Committee. This is not a large number but it is a number that does affect the performance of our mining entities. The Ministry has a Disputes Resolution Committee that handles appeals from clients in the event that clients are dissatisfied with decisions that would have been arrived at by the Provincial Mining Directors. These appeals also lengthen the timeframe for resolving disputes and in some cases the Dispute Resolution Committee has to redo the verifications.

I want Hon. Members to take note that when we did our initial surveys, we used the old technologies but now, we are using the GPS. When we use the GPS, there are sometimes differences in the coordinates and that already creates disputes and this is why sometimes you find that there is a lot of overlapping between concessions because the technology that would have been used to do the pegging will have been not as accurate as the GPS that we use today.

          May I also hasten to point out that the Disputes Committee presides over appeals from all the eight mining provinces and sometimes due to shortages of resources such as finances and vehicles to conduct on site inspection prolongs completion of the cases. When there is a dispute our surveyors go onto the ground because we know that in some cases, some of our miners actually remove pegs by night and move them to where they think the resources are. Therefore, we take our GPS equipment, we go onto the ground, we restore the pegs where they are supposed to be and then they bring the information to the Dispute Resolution Committee. I want Hon. Members to bear with us because there are a lot of disputes particularly in the Midlands Province but we have taken note and we are doing the best we can to resolve the disputes.

          The competence of the Ministry of Mines officials, I have never had any doubt about their competency but I cannot defend when it comes to issues of corruption. We have had situations where some of our miners have corrupted some of our officials and we have had to take stern measures on them. I want to take this opportunity to ask this House to send a message out there that we will not tolerate people who corrupt our officers. Our officers must also know that we will not tolerate corruption and we want matters to be resolved in as professional a manner as possible to ensure that everybody is happy. Even those that abuse when you do it professionally, they know that they are wrong and they will respect the decisions if they are professionally done. There is a long presentation but it says almost what I have just said. I thank you.         

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir with the leave of the House, I move that Question Numbers 23 up to 35 be stood over until Question Numbers 36 and 37 has been disposed off. 

          Motion put and agreed to. 

MEASURES TO CURB THE PROLIFERATION OF THE BLACK MARKET

36.  HON. MAHIYA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the mechanism in place to curb the proliferation of the black market which is likely to emerge as a result of the introduction of the bond notes.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Black market or parallel market is not caused by bond notes. Throughout the world parallel markets are caused by the excess of demand over supply and not by the medium of exchange.  Currently in Zimbabwe, due to limited foreign exchange, there are premiums charged on RTGS funds in exchange for hard cash, ranging from 5 to 15%.  This is akin to black market.  In the case of bond notes, the rationale of introducing them, as we have said time and time again is to incentivise exporters of goods and services so that we increase the availability of foreign exchange in the country thus addressing the shortage of foreign exchange which causes the market.  The positive side effect of bond notes is that they also mitigate against capital flight as they cannot be externalised. 

          This feature also encourages business and consumers to bank bond notes as their intrinsic value is realisable when spent or banked.  This is contrary to USDs which are susceptible to hoarding and externalisation. 

STRATEGIES FOR ATTRACTING DEPOSITS IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

37.  HON. MAHIYA asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to the House the contingent strategies for attracting deposit in the financial sector to encourage banking of money by the informal sector.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Government, through the Reserve of Zimbabwe, has put in place a National Financial Inclusion Strategy to ensure that the unbanked are taken care of and that they save.  The strategy is designed to encourage the effective use of a wide range of quality, affordable and accessible financial services.  This entails access and usage of a wide spectrum of products and services provided by various players in the financial services sector; including banking, insurance, pensions, microfinance and capital markets.  Access to these formal structures at reasonable cost by the informal sector will go a long way to enhance savings in this sector. 

HON. PHIRI:  What measures have the Hon. Minister put in place to make sure that those who are in the informal sector and those who have already been mentioned like the Chinese issue receipts to customers so that whatever transaction that they do is traceable and you can actually check that they are banking their monies.  Many times, people have gone to these shops and they are not given receipts yet they sell good for thousands of dollars.  I thank you.

HON. CHINAMASA:  I was not aware Mr. Speaker Sir that that is the practice which the Hon. Member has elaborated upon.  We will take steps to engage those who are alleged to be responsible for such practices with a view to encouraging proper business practice which require receipting for any business transactions effected.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, so we revert to Question Number 24.

PROFIT REALISED FROM THE MINING PROJECT AT GACHE-GACHE RIVER

          24.  HON. MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House on the following:

a)    The profit that has been realised to date from the mining project at Gache-gache River in Kariba by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company;

b)   State the number of local people who got employed at the project.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I have got a very short answer for the Hon. Member Parliament.  The Gache-gache Mining Project was still at exploration stage before operations were stopped by the Environmental Management Agency for environmental non-compliance concerns.  This has since been addressed.  People have applied for the necessary papers and they have not been sorted out.  We have resumed operations, we are back at the site doing exploration.  I do hope when we have done exploration, when we have established what is there, we can then say how big an operation are we going to set up at Gache-gache but at this stage, it is still exploration.  Thank you.

HON. MACKENZIE:  There is a company already extracting sand for the SINO Hydro project in Kariba.  I understand we are building a golden wall in Kariba.  Why can we not allow them to   extract gold from that sand which they are taking to the project for the benefit of the country?

MR. CHIDAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The decision by Government on riverbed mining is that only Government can do riverbed mining.  The company that is being referred to by the Hon. Member was allowed to go and extract sand and that decision has not yet been made.  We have since discussed and agreed that that company will only take sand which will have been processed by the concentrators which belong to ZCDC.   So, the way it will work is that ZCDC will extract the ore, it will take out the gold and then it will pass on that to the company so that the construction of the power station will continue.

We already had a stockpile of sand which had already been processed through the Nelson concentrators and we had establish that there was no gold in that particular sand.  It is that sand which they are currently ferrying to the bridge.  So, before that, yes, it is possible that some gold may have been included on the wall but once ZCDC went on site and put in its concentrators and all the equipment, the sand that they are collecting now comes after it has gone through our Nelson Concentrators.  Thank you.

HON. SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary is based on the fact that the Ministry had actually done some work at Gache-gache without doing exploration and without following what I would think is the proper procedures of consulting the Environmental Management Authority.  Also from his previous response regarding Hon. Mliswa’s question, the Ministry did the same thing regarding the mining in Ward 14.   They had not done exploration but they had already gone to the extent of doing ground breaking ceremony.  The same also happened previously in Chinhoyi; you know the diesel saga.  So what I would want to know from the Minister is what are the internal control systems or the procedures that the Ministry must do before it does ground breaking ceremonies for these mining firms?  Thank you.

           HON. F. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Member.  Ground breaking ceremonies are not only limited to mining activities.  You can actually do ground breaking for exploration activities.  What the company requested was to do a ground breaking ceremony for exploration activities.  The intention was to give prominence and focus on the project so that the funding institutions outside the country would be able to know that there was something that was happening. 

You will recall that the Foreign Minister of Russia flew into the country and their Minister of Industry was also here in order to give prominence to the activity so that the financing institutions would then back the project and that is basically what happened.  However, the process as it should be is that we issue out an exploration licence and exploration is done.  After the exploration has been completed and an exploration report has been presented to our geo-survey department, they look at it and ask the company to prepare a mine development programme.  The mine development programme is submitted to the Mining Affairs Board (MAB), which looks at the exploration report, findings, how much of the mineral is there and the development plan.  They look at the development plan and say if you have discovered for example, 100 000 ounces of platinum and you are going to mine at the rate of 1 000 ounces, it means you have 100 years to mine. 

So, we would have to say to you the mining development programme does not exhaust the resource within the 25 years that we are supposed to give you a mining lease.  After that has been presented, we then decide on how much of the resource we must give to the investor, based on what is on the ground and the pace at which the investor is going to mine.  That will help us to determine how much we can give to the investor.  Basically, the process is mining exploration, development report, pre-feasibility study, feasibility study and we issue out a mining lease.  That mining lease is what then says you will mine for 25 years.

What happened on Gache-gache is that we went to Gache-gache and the intention was that we would get our teams to go and do the work but the press ran on to it and gave the impression that we were already mining when in fact we were doing the necessary activities that enable you to start the exploration activities.  What you can also do is you can pick samples, take them to the laboratory and they will show you how much of the mineral is there and that enables you to actually go on to the ground to do proper exploration, where you do the drilling and get the coal out at intervals.  After that, you decide how much ore there is and whether it is economic to go for that mining activity.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

CHIEFTAINSHIP WRANGLE IN MAKANDE AREA

25.  HON. MACKENZIE asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to clarify:

a.     The Chieftainship wrangle in Makande area of Kariba;

b.    The double appointment of kraal heads in Makande where each village has two kraal heads, one appointed by Chief Musambakaruma of Kariba and another appointed by Chief Nematombo of Hurungwe.

THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. NCUBE):  Thank you Hon. Speaker for the question raised by Hon. Mackenzie.  Makande area is a game reserve just like a resettlement area and is not under the jurisdiction of any traditional leader until the area is emplaced and gazetted according to the Traditional Leaders Act [Chapter 29:17].

However, just after independence, an agreement was reached at that Chief Musambakaruma shall oversee the administrative issues while Chief Nematombo of Hurungwe District will perform the traditional rites of the area until such a time when the area is emplaced and gazetted under a certain chief.  Paperwork to this effect was done.  However, arrangements are in place to create a new chieftainship in this area. 

The chiefs in Kariba superintend over two wards each and therefore it was agreed that giving Chief Musambakaruma two additional wards would result in him having a vast area which will be difficult for him to administer.  Chief Nematombo is transcending the district boundary and is appointing village heads in Chief Musambakaruma’s area.

The second question is on the double appointments of village heads in Makande where each village has two village heads, one appointed by Chief Musambakaruma of Kariba and another by Chief Nematombo of Hurungwe.  Currently, there are 11 officially appointed village heads under Chief Musambakaruma and they have been getting their allowances for some time now.

A village head is someone who has been appointed by the Permanent Secretary according to Section 11 of the Traditional Leaders Act [Chapter 29:17].  Makande area has witnessed new settlements and it should not have any legally recognised traditional leadership authority.  The double allocation of village heads by Chief Nematombo and Musambakaruma is illegal until emplacement is finalised.  The chief who will eventually cover Makande area will be in charge of the appointment of village heads in that area.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

CONSTRUCTION OF CHIGWAGWA SECONDARY SCHOOL

3. HON. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education when the Ministry is going to give authority to construct Chigwagwa Secondary School in Zaka since the Community and local Member of Parliament have already mobilised material for the block.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Chigwagwa Secondary School has challenges of viability.  This is only one feeder primary school which is Chigwagwa Primary.  Other secondary schools within 7km radius are:- Muchimwi and Pamutevhure.

          The first site for the school met challenges of displacing some of the villagers who had been legally settled.  The Department of Physical Planning is working together with the local authority to identify a suitable site for the school before authority to establish and construct the school can be granted.

          Background information – the last discussion on the issue was in 2014.  The Rural District Council has remained quiet, indicating that they have failed to identify a suitable site.  Other secondary schools in the vicinity have low enrolment figures.  Pamutevhure has 300 learners while Mutimwi has less than 400 learners also.

DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DONGAMUZI RURAL HEALTH CENTRE

35.  HON. M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to indicate when the Ministry would disburse to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, the US$200 000 budget allocation promised in the 2016 National Budget for the construction of Dongamuzi Rural Health Centre, in view of the fact that the communities have raised resources for government support.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, health services delivery, particularly for the rural areas is critical if we are to achieve inclusive growth and development.

          As you may be aware, implementation of public sector investment projects is done through the line Ministries and other public entities with Treasury availing budgeted resources to facilitate implementation of the project.

          With regard to the Dongamuzi Rural Health centre, Government allocated US$200 000 in the 2016 National Budget. 

          To facilitate implementation of the projects, Treasury has already availed US$155 000 of the budgeted amount to the Ministry of Health and Child Care towards the project.

          I am informed that stock type designs and schedule of materials are in place.  However, the site requires special designs and foundations, which the engineers from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is currently working on.  Completion of the designs will allow commencement of works on the project, whose completion will improve access to health facilities for the surrounding communities who are having to travel long distances to access health facilities. 

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that question time should now come to an end.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA), the House adjourned at Twenty-Six Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.      

Last modified on Thursday, 01 December 2016 14:52
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 23 NOVEMBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 15