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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 JANUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 27

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to draw your attention to an error on today’s Order Paper where Order of the Day No. 31, relating to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill has not been numbered.  The subsequent Orders are therefore renumbered accordingly.

INVESTIGATIONS ON THE ALLEGED THREATENING MESSAGES TO MDC-T MEMBERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Chair would like to inform the House that the Privileges Committee appointed to investigate allegedly threatening messages sent to some members of the MDC-T party is continuing with its inquiry.  In this regard, all Members of Parliament who received the allegedly threatening messages must approach the Assistant Clerk of Parliament, Mr. J. Gandiwa with any information or evidence which may assist the investigations - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order; so that we can conclude the investigations accordingly.

          Hon. Majome having moved a Notice of Motion.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Majome, all motions must have the nomenclature of the Speaker.  I do not recall seeing that motion before me because there are certain issues that needed clarification so that the motion stands corrected accordingly.  So, the motion therefore should be withdrawn until I have seen it properly.

          HON. MAJOME: I stand guided Mr. Speaker Sir.  I filed this notice on Monday to the Journals Office and this afternoon, I was following it up and was of the belief that it has since been seen by the Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the Journals Office is not the Speaker’s Office.  Please can you withdraw that motion until I have seen it?

          HON. MAJOME: I withdraw the motion Mr. Speaker Sir and request your assistance in the motion coming to your office.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

HON. PHIRI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Now that you have asked the mover of that motion to sit down, my question was, what happens in a situation where a Member is a Member of a Committee and smuggles issues before the Committee’s report?  Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue is in our report in the Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Committee.  So what happens?  That is my question Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Phiri, I do not think it was necessary for you to raise a point of order after my ruling.  In future, be guided accordingly.

          +HON. NDEBELE:  On a point of order.  Good afternoon Hon. Speaker.  It has been four months after I requested Hon. Mupfumira to give a Ministerial Statement on the distribution of food in the country.  A year has lapsed since she has done that.  Maybe she is just disrespectful to me but I am seeing that she is actually in contempt of the House and the people.  I do not know what really we can make on that one because, that work of food distribution along partisan lines is continuing all over – in Magwegwe, Luveve and all over the country.  Why is it that she is not able to make a Ministerial Statement on that?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mupfumira, please approach the Chair.

+THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Ndebele, I have talked with the Minister and she has said she will bring the Ministerial Statement tomorrow.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to direct my question to the Minister of Finance.  I asked him yesterday but I want this put on record.  Minister, people are being robbed of their money especially the old women who want to live in peace; they are being robbed because we are using plastic money and swipe machines.  You will realise that when you buy a loaf of bread using swipe machine for just a $1, the bank charges you $5 for that transaction.  That means the cost of bread is $6. If a customer buys a shirt for $20 from a shop...

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Chinotimba.  May you please go straight to your point?  Do not give narratives, please ask your question.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My question Mr. Speaker Sir is that good practice or it is daylight robbery that when you swipe, the bank charges are so high.  When you buy bread for a $1, the bank charges are $5.  If you make an RTGS transaction, an amount of $5 is deducted as bank charges, if you withdraw cash, you will also have some deductions made on your account but if you are using cash, there are no deductions.  Now does it mean that we are being encouraged to use plastic money so that we may enrich financial institutions?  May we please have an explanation to this daylight robbery that is going on to people who use swipe and yet receive such high bank charges?

*HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank Hon. Chinotimba for asking such a pertinent question regarding financial transactions using swipe machines, whereby an individual who buys a loaf of bread for $1 and the bank charges are $5.  This means the cost of bread is now $6.  My response is, if that is happening in the banks, this is daylight robbery.  I will hold discussions with the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr. Mangudya so that this anomaly is rectified.

My request to Hon. Chinotimba and other affected victims of this daylight robbery, I would like them to submit proof that they bought something for such an amount such as bread and the transaction cost is $5.  On this particular day, I withdrew a certain amount and $10 was deducted.  I am appealing to the people of Zimbabwe, the business people of Zimbabwe and individuals to submit proof to the RBZ Governor and this problem will be resolved.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is, he is the Minister of Finance under whose his ambit the RBZ falls.  Why should he advise me to hold talks with the RBZ Governor yet  my plea is that we have told him of the problem and it is up to him to solve this problem instead of advising me to go to the RBZ Governor.  He, as the Minister of Finance should go and hold meetings with the RBZ Governor to solve this problem. 

*HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I completely agree with the sentiments raised by Hon. Chinotimba.  Before I hold talks with the RBZ Governor, he would have heard this question because this is live broadcast but why I am advising him to approach the Governor is that the Governor will ask for proof because we cannot debate on something that has no proof.  Hence, we need to give him tangible evidence that he can operate on so that we are aware of the particular bank that is conducting this daylight robbery.  We will take remedial measures but if this is generalised, we will not be able to take punitive measures against the bank.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Chinotimba, you asked a question and when the Minister was responding you were holding your own talks with Hon. Zindi.  You must pay attention.

*HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is that, we are grateful with the response by the Minister but we have heard information from members of the public who try to seek a meeting with the RBZ Governor.  The protocol is very tedious; hence, we want the Minister to be aware of the fact that it is not easy to hold meetings with the RBZ Governor.  The road you have to follow is very long.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the supplementary question?

          *HON. ZINDI: My supplementary question is that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor  should be aware of the fact that it is not easy to meet with him because there are a lot of protocols which have to be followed before you meet with him.  Therefore, we are asking the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to go and talk to the RBZ Governor to reduce some of these hard conditions to hold meetings with him.

          HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I will try and intervene in order to create an enabling environment that is easier for people to meet with the RBZ Governor.  My request to the House is that they should bring evidence that this is the bank which is the culprit and promoting daylight robbery.  When the bank is named and shamed, the solution is going to be found.  I would like to know some of the people who would like to meet with the RBZ Governor and I will arrange for the meeting to be held.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister may you please give further explanation in reducing the route which is needed to meet with the RBZ Governor because when people try to meet with him they have to go through a hilly and rugged terrain to hold the meeting.

          *HON. CHINAMASA: Hon. Speaker, I think you did not understand me properly when I gave the explanation.  I said I will hold a meeting with the RBZ Governor and try to solve this problem.  I thank you.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Minister, maybe I did not express myself well in Shona.  May you please clarify, we have a lot of people who want to hold meetings with him and it may be difficult to hold meetings with different people at different times.    Would you make an arrangement so that it can be easy for the meetings to be held?

          *HON. CHINAMASA: I understand you.  What I know about the RBZ Governor is that he is somebody who is not rigid.  You can meet him whenever you make an appointment with him.  I have known that he had held various meetings with many groups who wanted to meet with him.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you will discover that some of these people who say they cannot hold meetings with RBZ Governor, have no evidence that they made an effort and failed to meet with him.  The Governor operates on an open door policy.  If you want to have a meeting with him it is easy.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: I think the bottom line of the matter is that the Hon. Minister will hold a meeting with the Governor to straighten this protocol.

          *HON. MAZIWISA: On a point of order.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The point raised by Hon. Zindi is that we have been informed that it is difficult to hold a meeting with the RBZ Governor.  As a legal practitioner, what people are saying is just hearsay.  As an individual, I have evidence that it is easy to meet with the RBZ Governor.  Otherwise, what we are doing here is wasting precious time talking about hearsay. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Members, do not invite the Chair to send one of you out.  When I call you to order, you must listen.  Your point of order is out of order.

          *HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Still on the question raised by Hon. Chinotimba, my supplementary question is, may the Minister of Finance and Economic Development explain on the three tier price which we find in the shops, where the same goods are sold at different price depending on how you pay.  A product can cost $100 when you are swiping, if you are using cash it will cost US$90 and if you want to buy in bond notes, that same product is sold at $120.  So, we have a three tier system of cost of goods in our shops.  Why should that be happening when we are assured by the Government that the value of the bond note is equal to the US dollar?  Why should we have this anomaly? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

          HON. CHINAMASA: I thank the Hon. Member for his question and I take note of the concerns that he has raised.  The Reserve Bank Amendment Bill which is before this House, is addressing those concerns.  It is coming up with a law to penalise and criminalise that kind of conduct.

          *HON. MUNENGAMI: On that same note Hon. Speaker….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I did not recognise you.  Hon. Members, that issue of bond notes, I think it is being debated under the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill.  So, can you raise your concerns there?  Can we go to new questions?

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, my point of order is that we have not done justice to this issue of bank charges because the real issue is; they are obscene bank charges in this country and what the Minister is …

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order.  I think the Hon. Minister has responded to that.  Investigations will be made.  We cannot belabour the point.

HON. CHAKONA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  My constituency is in the rural areas and there are no point of sale machines that are available for shop owners.  What is Government doing to ensure that point of sale machines are available to operators especially in the rural areas because they do not have access to these machines?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I thank the Hon. Member for his question – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mutseyami, can you leave the House?

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. CHINAMASA:  I thank the Hon. Member for…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order.  When a question has been asked by an Hon. Member and the Hon. Minister has to respond, you have to listen to the response and no interjections should be made.  If you have to ask a supplementary question, you will have to wait until the Hon. Minister has finished.

HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for his question and I agree with him that as of now, we do not have sufficient point of sale machines to distribute countrywide.  These machines have to be imported.  Resources are being mobilised on a daily basis to ensure that we import more point of sale machines which eventually should be able to reach every shop where there is connectivity.

HON. J. TSHUMA:  My supplementary question is on the issue of the same point of sales.  I have discovered that most of the time, it is difficult to transact.  What is the Ministry doing to try and improve the efficiency of the connectivity of transactions so that they are user friendly?  At times one has to wait for more than ten minutes before a transaction is concluded and this becomes an inconvenience to the users.

HON. CHINAMASA:  My understanding is that where it is difficult to transact, it is a problem with the network or interconnectivity.  We have referred this issue to the Ministry responsible.  Clearly, it is a network issue.  If there is no network, there is no transaction.  It is a matter that will be addressed more appropriately by the relevant Ministry.

*HON. MAJAYA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Dr. Gumbo.  It has come to my attention that the bad state of roads in Harare has been declared a national disaster.  Are you also going to include rural roads in this programme of declaring them a national disaster so that people may travel comfortably and safely?

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to respond to this important question. 

The disaster on road conditions was declared by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing yesterday who is responsible for urban areas and transport.  I am responsible for disbursement of the money which is used on the repair of these roads in the four categories.  One of the categories is RDC in rural areas, who also work hand in hand with DDF.  We also have the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development who also operate in those areas maintaining the roads  through the Department of Roads. 

I understand your concern.  From 09 to 22 January 2017, I was moving around the country examining the state of the roads.  During this expedition, we held discussions with local road authorities in your areas. We got first hand information that in some places, there were no roads left to talk about.  The tarred roads are now full of potholes.  Some of the roads are no longer usable.  We had meetings with the road authorities and promised to give them money for repairing and constructing those roads.  I urge you to be patient because when they get the money, it may take time to work through all the projects.

*HON. MANDIPAKA:  My question goes to the Hon Minister of Sport and Recreation, Hon. Hlongwane.  Hon. Minister, you are aware that Zimbabwe is a soccer loving nation.  Given that background, what is Government policy that ensures that we have high performance and better results achieved when our national team goes out to play in international soccer competitions given what happened in Gabon; that frustrated a lot of our citizens? I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION (HON. HLONGWANE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question which is current and is contemporary in respect of the performance of the Warriors in Gabon.  As Minister of Sport and Recreation, on behalf of the sports sector, I apologise to the nation for the performance that was shown by the Warriors in Gabon. I acknowledge that the whole country, to a larger extent is a cemetery of dead emotional bodies owing to that performance which was under expectation. 

Going forward, in respect of the particular question around high performance or the setting up of high performance centres in the country, that is a matter that Government was seized with.  One of the priority areas in the National Sports and Recreation Policy is around the development of the academy in so far as it speaks to two critical issues.  The first is that the academy situates around the development of selected talents within the provinces, districts as well as at the national level.  We are working in collaboration with institutions of higher learning most of which are endowed with well equipped sports facilities to accredit them to become centres of sporting excellence which, in other words leads to a high performance sector feeds into the high performance programme that we think will go a long way in terms of assisting the incubation of talent by institutions of higher learning at the levels of colleges as well as universities across the country.

          The second is that we are working with the Ministry of Lands in indentifying country clubs across the country. We have since concluded that process; we have indentified 105 of those. Most of the country clubs are endowed with multi sport court facilities to train cricket, soccer, netball, rugby, swimming, et cetera. It is our view as Government that we must engage in a process that will get the Ministry of Sport and Recreation involved in so far as turning those clubs into academies across the country so that the incubation of talent from all over the country is realised in those areas. I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. MATUKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am directing my question to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Infrastructure. My question is with regards to the toll gates and pertains to the MPs.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The issue is on supplementary question.

          *HON. MUKUPE: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister Hlongwane. We have noticed that the press is telling us that each individual in the Warriors Team was given an amount of US$85 000.00.  The question is - do we have a policy whereby these players can be taken to a national service centre so that they work for the money they were given.  It is such a large amount yet they produced nothing.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order, Hon. Member in a checkered jacket, can you leave the House. Hon. Mukupe, your last part of the question is not quite clear. Can you clarify it?

          *HON. MUKUPE: The last part of my question is - these players were given lots of money and they courted the send off. We expected that having paid them handsomely they should perform as per expectation. As a bitter nation, we are saying as Government, can we not punish these players because it was done in some other African countries that players who performed dismally despite the support were taken to army barracks and worked hard for the money.

          *HON. HLONGWANE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon. Member for such a question. What I can confirm is that we gave ZIFA the money which they requested for. We are working hand in hand with the Sports and Recreation Council and at the group stages where they participated, they were paid before they even played the games. As Government, we did our best to financially support our boys in order to motivate them and to have a better welfare. As Zimbabwe, we do not have a policy of detaining our players in military barracks. May be for 2019, we need to be working towards creating a team which may lead us to the finals of the AFCON instead of taking such punitive measures against our players.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think we take note of the assistance which was given to the Warriors by the Government. However, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is whether Government has got a policy of discrimination because we had the Mighty Warriors who went to the Rio Olympics, – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Who also went to the continental championships here in Africa?  They were not given anything and as far as I recall, when they returned from the Rio Olympics, those from Harare were given US$5.00 to return home and those from outside Harare were given US$15.00 only. – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Ahh.]-We have a situation where the Warriors were given up to US$15 000.00 just for appearance fees alone. Does the Government want to discriminate?  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Why Government cannot assist the Mighty Warriors who actually represented Zimbabwe at a higher level than that where the Warriors went to the Africa Cup of Nations?  If, the Minister can respond to that.  – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Thank you.] -

          HON. HLONGWANE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me state categorically that Government does not have a policy of discrimination on the basis of gender. If anything, a multiplicity of policies in various Ministries do speak to the very important need of realising gender parity, gender equality across most of the work that we do. In respect of the particular matter that the Hon. Member raises, he gives an example to do with the Olympics. Now, there are structures that   manage different competitions. In respect of the Olympics, we have the ZOC which is an appendage of the International Olympic Committee. It is that organisation that runs all Olympic activities including budgeting and financing.

          They did request I must make this point Hon. Member, they did request for funding from Government we requested for that kind of assistance from the Minister of Finance who is here. I must express my most sincere thanks to the Minister of Finance that he did extend a hand and we did fund the Olympic delegation to the tune of US$120 000.00 as Government - that we did. Now, the management processes, the administrative processes around how much an individual athlete is paid et cetera do no not situate within Government structures. Those are done by the responsible authority and in this particular case, the ZOC. It is regrettable that there was serious miscalculation on the part of ZOC to the extent that they paid out a mean transport allowance to the Mighty Warriors.  The untold story around that is that their full participation allowance was actually paid whilst they were participating in Rio by the ZOC.

The payment of US$5, et cetera to the Mighty Warriors was not supposed to have happened especially given that they had a travelled a long trip coming into Zimbabwe. Ordinarily, the way we arrange our things is that they would have been provided for an overnight accommodation for them to be able to rest and then proceed to their various destinations the following morning. That did not happen and corrective action is being taken in respect of that. I thank you.  

          HON. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, there were two aspects to my question.  The Mighty Warriors participated in two major tournaments, one was the Rio Olympics and the other was the African Cup of Nations for the ladies here in Africa.  His response was related to the Olympic Committee but I want to believe that the same principles which applied to the Warriors’ participation at AFCON would also be the same principles which should apply to the Mighty Warriors participation at the female version of AFCON.  They were not given similar treatment like the Warriors who were given over a million dollars resulting in each player pocketing up to $85,000.

          HON. HLONGWANI:  Let me just restate that Government does not have a policy of discrimination on the basis of gender or other basis.  In respect of the AFCON, it is true that the Mighty Warriors were not paid as much as the Warriors were paid.  They were not paid $5 but it was certainly not as much as their male counterparts.  The way Government operates is on the basis of the National Sport and Recreation Association submitting a budget to the SRC for onward transmission to Government.  This becomes the basis on which processes then begin to be engaged.  The requests around the Mighty Warriors campaign for AFCON did not get anywhere near a million dollars as was the case for the Warriors.  I do not have the specific figures right now but I am prepared to bring those figures next week to clarify that particular matter.  However, the matter around the funding of the Mighty Warriors, I did as the Minister put together a committee made up of corporate members to come in and try to mobilize resources. This was after it had proven to be very difficult for us to extract funding from Treasury in respect of that particular trip.  I also want to report that even as we put together a committee of members of the corporate sector, it was not easy for a meaningful mobilisation of resources to be realised.  This speaks to the general attitude and national psyche around women sport in the country.  This is a matter that all of us have to deal with head on.  I thank you.

          HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I stand here as a holder of a degree in sport.  I want to be very clear in the debate on sport in this country.  The Minister did apologise to the nation but I do not know why he was apologising over a loss.  The issue that has to be addressed is what is Government’s policy pertaining to the success of sport in this country.  There has got to be preparedness.  He admits that there were not enough resources so the team was not going to win.  Therefore, he cannot then say that from a policy point of view the issue is not about the players or establish academies in the country.  We have the players but what we do not have is Government’s involvement in sport.  I sit on the Sports Committee... 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the supplementary question?

          HON. MLISWA:  The supplementary question is; what amount of money has the Minister put forward for his plans to be supported from a policy point of view.  He cannot stand here and talk about the academies he intends to set up without us as a committee having had cite of the amount of money he requires.  What it means is that he is not telling the truth because the budget does not involve the academies he is talking about.  What is critical is the Government’s involvement.  The Zambian Government funds the national coach and all the national teams so that they do not have any problems.  So what is Government’s policy in ensuring that we do not experience losses because Government comes in as the biggest stakeholder and not the corporate world?  That is what he must respond to in terms of their involvement as a department.  I thank you.

          HON. HLONGWANI:  Thank you for that important question.  I am happy that he has a degree in sport.  Hon. Speaker, success by any national team is not a function of financing alone.  Success in any sporting activity - podium performance is realised as a function of a comprehensive package of activities being put together.  I am surprised that he dismisses the whole question of academies as feeding into the performance process.  That is an agreed principle in sport across the world that as part of your structures you do need an academy system in place to process talent.  It comes in as a laboratory to process talent so that at the end you are then dealing with elite athletes that come out of that process.  That is what we are doing as part of feeding into the process of realising podium performance results. 

          In respect of funding, the sport and recreation sector is an integral and intravenous part of the rest of the economy.  It does not operate in isolation.  The challenges in respect of resource mobilisation that Treasury is faced with are well documented and we all know that.  We know that there are instances when we request funding and we get the funding but there are instances when we do not get that funding.  We are all quite clear about that.  Let me just demonstrate our intention as a Ministry in terms of funding of sport.   In 2016, we put up a bid of $35 million to Treasury to fund our activities. What we got was about $2.5 million.  This year we put a bid of $15 million and we got something like $4 million.  That was the vote that was appropriated to the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.  So, I would want the Hon Member to understand and appreciate that there are things that we are able to do and some that we may not be able to do.  Right now we have finished working on a proposal on funding sport that I am not at liberty to disclose until Cabinet has disposed of that process.  It is my hope as the Minister of Sport that if we have a meeting of minds in respect of that particular document, then we should be able to realise a new dispensation visiting us from a funding point of view, as far as sport and recreation is concerned.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My supplementary question is that when you gave money to the Warriors what was your target?  You targeted one month but they were only there for four games and did not complete a month.  Where is the money, they should return it because the money that you gave them was for accommodation but they did not use all the money.  So, this House is saying they should bring back the change since they did not stay a full month.  Where is the money, they should return it.

*HON. HLONGWANI:  The money that was paid to the Warriors was for the three games that they played.  It included appearance fees and bonuses.  Even if it was not on the contract, ZIFA chipped in to pay the bonuses for the draw because they were saying if they did not receive that money they would not play the next match.  So, we went out of our way to encourage them to forge ahead knowing how important soccer is and how the people of Zimbabwe love soccer.  So there is no change which should be returned Hon. Chinotimba.  I understand what he is saying that the people where going there to perform and they were supposed to deliver but they did not deliver.  So, they should look at their remuneration.  The reason why we paid them before they played is that there should be trust between the players and ZIFA.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, the question is, were the players paid for one month.

          HON. HLONGWANE: No.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  If they were paid for one month then they must bring back the change.  That is the question.

          HON. HLONGWANE:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I did clarify that they were paid for the three matches that constituted the group stages of the tournament.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Not one month?

          HON. HLONGWANE: Yes, everything to do with that.

          *HON. MATUKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I direct my question to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development concerning the Members of Parliament.  They are supposed to pay toll gates when they are doing their duties in their constituencies.  Most of the Members of Parliament when travelling are representing the Government and they will be helping the constituents so we want the Minister to explain if what came out in the papers is true?

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker for the question asked by Hon. Matuke.  Hon. Speaker we did not mention that Members of Parliament should pay toll gates.  They have an exemption which is effected by ZINARA.  If there is any information pertaining to that, it is not true they do not pay at toll gates – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Ziyambi.  You cannot ask a supplementary question on manyepo.  Thank you.

          *HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Hon. Dr. Mombeshora.  I want you to clarify the Government policy concerning people who have been resettled whether they can change the land use from farming and subdivide the farm into residential stands pocketing the monies in the process.  What is the Government policy in such circumstances?

          *THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question because it is very pertinent.  Our Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement is there to allocate land for agriculture.  So, the land that we give to people, whether it is model A1 or A2 is for farming, it can be animal farming, crop farming or ranch farming.  That is what we look at when we give out land.  At times we can allow the change of use of land if it does not exceed 10% of that land.  We come across people who want to build factories or shops on the land that we give them.  We look in that area to see whether the thing they want to erect is useful in that area.  If there are no shops or grinding mills we can allow that.

          If it is for residential stands we do not allocate land for that use.  What happens is that the people who engage us is the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing because it is under their prerogative to do that.  If they do not have any land, if they are any farms which are near towns, the Minister will approach the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement asking for that land.  We go and look at that land and see what you would have put there, if you have settled people there we will ask them for lenience before we relocate those people. 

          So, when we give that land to Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing we do not give it to individuals.  Now it is up to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to allocate that land for residential stands. We do not encourage them to engage our farmers to be developers because we have seen that most of them were running along those lines and most farmers where now speculating around that area.  So, we do not allocate land for residential stands.  I thank you.

          *HON. PARADZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Chinamasa.  Mr. Speaker, cotton growers throughout the country want to know when they will also benefit from the current 5% export incentive scheme for exporters which is enjoyed by tobacco farmers. This is because cotton is also exported as lint.  Can the Minister please clarify the Government position on this issue? I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  What I want to say is that I am taking it up and we will look into it then I will bring the answer back.  I thank you.

          HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Dr. Dokora.  I would like to hear from the Minister to ascertain the feasibility of the implementation of the new primary and secondary school curriculum given that by the beginning of term we had no new syllabi to commend the curriculum on the ground in the schools and as well we still do not have new text books to commend this new curriculum.  What publishers, if any, are there that are publishing books on mass displays as well the concentration span of the junior scholars, ECD to Grade 3 of 7 hours per day could be too much psychologically on the scholar.  Has he ascertained the feasibility of the curriculum?  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am happy to be able to respond to the Hon. Member who raised questions relating to the mainstreaming under Phase 2 of the new curriculum.  In the first instance, the reference to the existence of the syllabi, which in common language is the group of activities and learning targets designed for a particular grade or form level, she makes the reference that this does not exist in the system…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Member makes a reference.

          HON. DR. DOKORA: Yes, the Hon. Member makes a reference.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Not she.

          HON. DR. DOKORA: I take guidance from the Chair.  I wish to state therefore in categorical terms as follows; that the soft copies of the syllabi were distributed to all school institutions in the period, last week of September and the beginning of October.  That distribution earmarked each of our Better Schools Programme (BSP) centres and these exist in every one of the 72 administrative districts of this country.  Those BSP outfits are kitted with some of the latest printers and photocopiers and other equipment.  Teachers and school heads ordinarily congregate at those centres in order to receive, get educated, instructed and oriented in terms of the new syllabi.  That was the first instance. 

          The second instance was the distribution of the physical copies of the same by the beginning of the term.  In other words, once the soft copies are available and teachers and heads are able to use them and the facilities for printing and reproduction at the BSP, the pressure for the actual hard copies was lessened.  That is the first part.  I take particular interest in the orientation of the second part to say that, ‘where are the books?’  A process of working with the book publishers has been under way since we begin the reform consultation process.  Indeed, in the beginning of 2016, located at ZIPAM, the Ministry devoted weeks on end with support from the education partners, UNICEF and others.

          In looking at the material that is in existence and in use at the moment and say in each of these materials, what group of chapters are still relevant as they speak to the shift that we are making in the new curriculum, there is that bit.  There are entirely new disciplines, which include one that the Hon. Member had spoken about.  Guidance and Counseling at Form One going forward to Form Six, which everyone would agree is an important area of learning for all our kids.  That already has material which is available on the market.  Before I came here, I was in a meeting where we were deliberating on how to supply by providing some budgetary support to schools to be able to acquire some of these materials.  So the existing material has been evaluated to ensure that it is aligned.

          Further, the new materials are on the market, designed for support to the new curriculum.  The specific instance of mass displays – let me say this Hon. Speaker; in 2012, way ahead of the curriculum reform, the Ministry dispatched some under 35 by age, teachers drawn from all the provinces to China.  They spent a good seven to eight months there oriented towards the acquisition of skills in mass displays.  Those of you who watched the displays at the last independence celebrations last year will appreciate the degree of finesse that was achieved at that display.  That is the recognition of the skills that these teachers acquired on their sojourn in China.  They also decentralised that training to their provinces and districts.  It is not as if we are starting at zero; there is a basis therefore to mix that skill from the Chinese specialised training and what our colleges in this country have been producing in terms of physical education and sport teachers.  I would like to think that I have done justice to the questions that have been raised.  Thank you.

          HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Given that the array of issues that are coming up and need answers seem to be momentous, may we ask for a Ministerial Statement from the Hon. Minister so that we clear all the issues and if need be, we go back to the people and ask.

          HON. DR. DOKORA: I would like to defer to the Portfolio Committee because they had already made some indication.  We could engage at that level and then perhaps subsequently make the Ministerial Statement.  However, I am quite happy to engage here.  The Portfolio Committee had indicated that they have engaged my officials and they will be happy to engage with me as well.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, are you suggesting that we get the report first from the Committee and at that stage, you can give a comprehensive response?

          HON. DR. DOKORA: Yes.

          Hon. Members having stood up to ask questions.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I am looking at the watch.

          HON. K. SIBANDA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I propose to extend the time by 30 minutes.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Pardon!

          HON. K. SIBANDA: Can I propose to extend the time?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Is that what you wanted to say?

          HON. K. SIBANDA: Yes, that is what I wanted to say.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Clerk, clerk. Is the Clerk sleeping? Is there any objection?

          HON. MUSVAIRE: I object Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Sit down. Order Chief Whip. Order please!  Because there was an objection, we cannot extend the time. I do not want us to waste time.

          HON. CHAMISA: I am sure that the Hon. Member is not objecting Hon. Speaker. I am very sure because he did not quite get you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Okay, order, order! Hon. Member, did you object or not.

          HON. MUSVAIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I am objecting.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Chief Whip, you are the first one to listen to the Chair.

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, before Question Number 2 is deferred, I have a point of order. You will note that these questions relating to the Minister of Health and Child Care have been on the Order Paper, the first question was on the Order Paper from the 23rd of November, 2016 and the second question was on the Order Paper from the 30th of November, 2016. This particular Minister has now become a stranger in this House. I do not recall the last time I saw Hon. Minister Parirenyatwa. I believe that he is not taking the business of this House seriously. I will request that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who normally acts on behalf of the Leader of the House, advises the Minister of Health that this House is seriously concerned by the disdain being shown by the Minister of Health on answering questions because he does not have to attend personally. His Ministry officials can prepare a response and another Minister can come and read out the response. Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Minister Chinamasa. I believe you are the Acting Leader of the House and you have heard the concerns, the request that you have a tete-a-tete with your colleague Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care to kindly respond next week.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I will do so Mr. Speaker Sir, but I must observe that all these questions were there at the end of November. We had the festive season and yesterday was the first day that we met. Most Government offices would have been closed or half closed during this festive season, but I will bring this to the attention of the Hon. Ministers. Most of the questions on the Order Paper are end of November preceding the festive season.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, are you suggesting that Parliament should have waited until these officials came back from holiday or whatever?

          HON. CHINAMASA: No, I am saying that for the greater part of this period, Parliament was not in session and a lot of Hon. Ministers have been on leave and are still on leave. I am not proffering excuses but just an explanation so that we understand that the default is not intentional.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I am sure you have heard what the Hon. Acting Leader of the House has said and hopefully next week, we should have some responses accordingly. Hon. Maridadi, did you want to say something?

          HON. MARIDADI: Yes Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I hope you are not against the ruling.

          HON. MARIDADI: No, I am not against the ruling Mr. Speaker but quite honestly, for a Minister to come here and give an excuse that Ministers are on holiday and are on leave when we know that every Ministry has a Deputy Minister. The Minister does not research for the answers. Those answers are researched by officials that are at work and that is a lame excuse by a Minister and it is not acceptable. It is an insult to this nation. People are waiting for answers and the Minister has the audacity to say they are on leave. Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order! When the Chair has ruled, I asked you very clearly whether you were going to contest my ruling and you said no, and you do the opposite. I do not think that is honourable. I said let us wait for the Ministers to respond next week. Is there an Acting Minister of Local Government if the Minister of Local Government is away?

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I am not aware. I think the Minister of Local Government is at work. He is at work because I have had occasions when I have had joint events with him and he was coming from his office.  So, I want to assume that he is at work and only yesterday he had a joint event with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  He also has a deputy.

          I have no explanation why he is not here and accordingly, with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to move that all questions pertaining to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing be deferred to next week and these will be questions 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.  The Hon. Minister of Mines and Mining Development is here and he has got his answers.  So, if all these questions from 3 to 17 be stood over until questions 18, 19 and 20 have been disposed of.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Acting Leader of the House, by your own admission the Minister is around and not on leave.  I think that is the issue Hon. Maridadi wanted to raise and I think the House takes serious objection to non attendance by the Hon. Minister because he has not written to Parliament to say he will be on some other engagements.  I have got a list of Ministers here who have written to Parliament to say they will not be around because of other commitments and those that are on leave.  So, I think the House will request the Acting Leader of the House to convey the message that we are not happy at all.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I take note and I will raise the issues with the relevant Minister or relevant Ministers.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Appreciated Hon. Minister.

CEDING OF CLAIMS NOT BEING MINED TO SMALL SCALE MINERS BY LARGE SCALE MINES

          18.  HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain to the House in detail the Cabinet decision that large scale mines should cede claims that are not being mined to small scale miners and if this policy also applies to Government owned mines, for example Jena and Sabi Mines which are owned by the Government.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.  The Minister of Mines and Mining Development encourages efficient utilisation of mining concessions.  In that regard, large scale miners are encouraged to cede mining claims which they are not currently operating to small scale miners in an effort to empower the indigenous people and to enable new investors to participate in the mining sector.

          With regards to the chrome sector, Cabinet made a decision that ZIMASCO and Zim Alloys which owned 80% of chrome claims in the country, release 50% of their claims to Government so as to open up opportunities for other players in the sector including small scale miners.  The ceding of the claims is in line with Government’s use it or lose it policy which seeks to ensure that mining claims are utilised and not held for speculative purposes.

          In the previous years ZIMPLANTS was also requested to release some of its ground to pave way for investment in the platinum sector.  However, it is imperative for Hon. Members to understand that Government mining concessions such as Jena and Sabi are strategic economic planning and development projects of Government and for the country therefore, Government would seek strategic partners to implement projects where necessary for the benefit of the nation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, let me just add and say that I keep referring to Government policy.  The real solution to dealing with speculative holding of mining claims is in fact the passing of the Mines and Minerals Act which sits before you.  One of the clauses in the Mines and Minerals Act calls for a ‘use it or lose it’ so that we convert that policy position into a legal position.  What then happens is that it becomes incumbent upon the Minister to look at who is holding too much ground and cannot use it. 

What I am doing at the moment is to go to companies and beg them to release ground for the purposes of reallocations, but once the Mines and Minerals Act is passed by this House, it will empower us to reduce the large tracts of ground that are held by some companies and encourage other mining companies to also start their activities.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MARIDADI:  I think the question here then relates specifically to Jena Mine and Sabi Mine which are owned by Government according to Hon. Mpofu.  Those mines are owned by Government and the Hon. Member of Parliament is saying those mines are not in use, which means Government is not mining them or if they are, they are not mining them efficiently.  So, the question is, are you holding on to those mines for speculative reasons until the Mines and Minerals Act has passed through Parliament?  What is the position in respect to these two mines?

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you for that supplementary question.  I think the Hon. Member refers to Jena, Sabi and I add Elvington and others.  One of the things that we have been accosted on by Parliament is the failure by us to resuscitate the operations of these Government companies and so it is upper most for us this year to ensure that Jena begins to operate.  We will be providing equipment to Jena, Sabi and Elvington from a gold mining perspective and for us therefore, to release the gold concessions to the private sector when in fact we are trying to rebuild these companies to come up would be to defeat the original idea of having ZMDC being rebuilt. 

So, I want to accept that as it is, the fact that the concessions are redundant does not speak to our policy of ensuring efficient utilisation, but to the extent that we want to resuscitate the companies on the back of these concessions and I want to assure this Parliament that we are close to finalising a deal for equipment for the purposes of resuscitating the said mines.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Minister for your eloquent answer, but my question to you is…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Order, order Hon. Members.  Order please.  Please try to lower your whispers.  They are getting louder and we cannot hear what the Hon. Member is saying.

HON. NDUNA:  My question to you relates to where you are saying there is going to be a ‘use it or lose it’.  Where does the concept ‘abuse it and lose it’ come into place where I speak of depleting the road infrastructure in those areas where your mines that fall under your ambit or multinationals have actually gone on to the road and road servitude and excavated the road in form of open pits or open cast mining in particular areas in their locality with impunity and not rehabilitated or provided any other options.  So, in my view this is abusing their mine and mineral rights.  Is there a way that there can be ‘an abuse it and lose it’ concept in the same way you are going to employ the ‘use it or lose it’ concept; in particular where they are going into mining areas depleting the road infrastructure, excavating and putting open pits or open casts mining on the existing road, depleting it, eradicating and removing it from the face of Zimbabwe.

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The provisions relating to servitudes are very clear even in the current Mines and Minerals Act.  You cannot mine several metres on either sides of a road, a rail, a power line. You cannot mine several from even a residential house, and you cannot go 450 metres from a residential house.

          Therefore, if there are any miners who are doing that, they are actually doing it in violation of the Mines and Minerals Act.  We have been discussing with the Portfolio Committee – we will be tightening those because we have also noticed that people have done so with impunity, not just the large scale but even some of our small scale have gone into schools without due regard to the service that those institutions such as schools, hospitals are giving to our country.  So, if there is any such activity that is taking place, Hon. Nduna, I would want to sit down with you, I was in your constituency yesterday and I had a beautiful time but  I want to assure you that we will take action if anybody is doing that.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I just want to find out from the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  He spoke about Sabi and Jena mines, now that there is the ZCDC consolidation of the diamond mines, does ZMDC have the capacity to resuscitate those mines without triple P?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Yes, we have built capacity.  We have been negotiating capacity for the purposes of resuscitating those mines. We have for a long time been looking for partners and all the proposals that if we had signed any of the proposals that we received from prospective investors, I think this House would really take us to task.  A lot of the proposals were merely taking over the Government companies without anything they were prepared to put into the businesses.  I want to assure you that as we speak, we have finalised a facility for equipment, I was in Jena and Sabi and we have now finalised a facility for the provision of equipment to all these institutions. I thank you.

NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT PROJECTS CONDUCTED BY ZMDC

          20. HON. CHIMANIKIRE asked the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development to inform the House the number of Government projects conducted by ZMDC and to explain the contribution they have made to the FISCUS in 2016.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  ZMDC has a wide array of investment projects covering gold, chrome, graphite, copper, emeralds, tantalite, asbestos, tin and various exploration projects for platinum and energy minerals such as coal, coal- beth methane-gas and uranium. 

          However in 2016, the company has been targeting the revival of four operations, these include the Kamativi Tin Mine, Alaska Smelter and Refinery, Elvington Mine, Sandawana, Shabani and Mashaba.  Suffice to mention that with regards to Mashaba Mines, the corporation has diversified to chrome mining in view of the spirited efforts by lobby groups and international community to ban the use of asbestos.  A joint venture agreement was signed between Beijing Pinchang to resuscitate Kamativi Tin Mine and the necessary due diligence carried out by ZMDC.

          Progress at Alaska Smelter and Refinery for copper extraction and refinery residues recovery continue.  Refinery Arnold’s slag has been sent out overseas to potential buyers for assessment and offers since there is no capacity to extract locally.  The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development plans to revive Elvington by raising funds through the sale of Elvington group dumps but as I said we also have a facility for equipment that is going to be provided to Elvington among the other two gold mines.

          Furthermore, ZMDC engaged well side shaft sinkers intending to re-open Stalin shaft which collapsed leading to closure of Elvington mine, drafting of joint venture agreement is underway.  The mine will open opportunities for resuscitation and future expansion of Elvington.  Just by way of explanation, when Elvington collapsed, it became difficult for us to use the same shaft that had collapsed so for you to resuscitate Elvington, you have to sink another shaft and that is basically what is being referred to here. 

          The joint venture Sandawana Mine Project between Poly Mining and Sandawana mine and Trans Minerals for the mining of Adrian section was signed in mid- September 2016.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members, I do not need to remind you again that you have turned this Chamber to be like beehive, lower your voices.  I can hardly hear what the Minister is trying to put across.

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: The JV Sandawana Mine project between Poly Mining Pvt. Ltd and Sandawana Mine and Trans minerals for the mining of Adrian section was signed in Mid September 2016.  The joint venture operationalisation plan was drafted and is now being implemented.

          ZMDC is experiencing a revenue deficit; therefore no dividend has been paid to Government since 2016.  Hon. Members ZMDC, from an asset point of view is probably the largest company in Zimbabwe but when you look at how those assets have been utilised or underutilised over the years, you can see – you have a good example of how we have not taken advantage of the asset as a country.  I think that it is important for us to spend a lot of time on ZMDC, it is important for us to target the more lucrative aspects of ZMDC which are the gold side of things, we will be also pushing the platinum companies which are in joint venture with ZMDC which have not done anything over the last 18 months.  We are now in a position to withdraw the concessions if those companies are not ready able and willing to progress with the projects as they were approved.  There are about three or four new platinum concessions that were issued out and where not much work has happened. 

          Therefore, we have been writing to them to say we are now ready to withdraw those concessions if they are not willing to progress with them.  So, I do hope that the effort that we are putting into ZMDC, this year 2017, will enable ZMDC and its subsidiary companies to come back on stream.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chimanikire, Hon. Mpofu has a supplementary question; we give him first preference.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to make a correction as a point of order.  He answered my question in place of Hon. Mpofu’s question.  He answered question No. 20 instead of question No. 19.  So we can go on my supplementary question, then Hon. Mpofu’s will come in.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: In that case then, we may give you the opportunity to answer your supplementary question and then we will revert to question No. 19.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE: I just want to ask the Hon. Minister that in view of the fact that Government took over the operations of Mashaba-Shabani Mine but has done nothing ever since then up to 2016 from 2010,  should we not be looking at Kamativi, Elvington Mine and Mashaba?  Mashaba was involved in what I would call a legal wrangle between Government and Mr. Mawere.  Should we not hand-over some of these assets back to Mawere so that he can operate?  As far as Elvington and Kamativi are concerned, should we not be looking towards privatisation rather than biting more than what we can chew?  That is my opinion.

          HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is not Government policy at this point in time to privatise any of the mines.  Government policy as of now is to look for strategic partners who will work with us as partners in the joint ventures.  The reason behind it being that, I know that it is a difficult proposition – if we operate them and operate them well, Government will be able to get a dividend.  If Government gets a dividend, and a lot of these companies have done so before - Hwange Colliery and all these companies were making money and they were declaring dividends to Government.  We believe that we can bring them to that status and be able to operate them on that basis.  So, I do hope that I have answered your question but at the moment, it is not Government policy to privatise any of the institutions but to look for strategic partners.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I am going back to what was being said by the Minister regarding Shabani-Mashaba Mines.  Shabani-Mashaba Mines have gold claims, chrome claims and lime claims.  Why are we not utilising those because we are only relying on investors?  Why do we not start mining that and then try and sort out from there?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: I am sorry I did not quite hear but the part that I heard was that Shabani-Mashaba Mines have gold and chrome claims and why are we not utilising those claims?  The issue is capitalisation.  Do the companies have the equipment, because a lot of the equipment are actually broken down and what we are doing now on both the earth moving equipment and the plant is to actually refurbish the plant particularly when you talk about Shabani-Mashaba, you have to refurbish the plant at an estimated cost of about $7 million and then you will have to bring in earth moving vehicles (EMVs).  They do not have operating earth moving vehicles.  So, that is where the problem is and that is what we are working on now.  This is why I kept referring you to the fact that we now have a facility that is going to buy equipment for the purposes of resuscitating the said Government companies.  Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  We are quite aware that artisanal miners are forming a large constituency in terms of deliveries of gold to Fidelity or to Treasury.  I am quite alive to the fact that you were in my constituency yesterday and you saw some of them.  These miners are engaged and indulged in resource extraction in some of those claims that you are not holding for speculative purposes but you are still to engage in resource extraction yourselves.  Would it be prudent therefore, to partner them seeing that they have no overheads whatsoever?  They are individualistic in their nature – excavating as and when they can willy nilly.  Would it not be prudent for you to group them, partner them and get a share from what you are not getting presently, because they are on the ground in your claims and they are excavating and delivering to Fidelity but without you getting anything.  Would it not be prudent to formalise a partnership with them?  Tributary would be one of them but, a partnership would also give you dividends in the present status quo.  Would it not be prudent to go that route?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  There are many ways of looking at different projects and different structures for progressing the projects.  What you are recommending is a proposal that as Government, we can think about but, let me just say that even as you do that, the small scale companies do not do mining the way large scale companies do.  They go mostly for the high grade ores because that is where it matters.  They can simply follow a belt and go for the high grade ores but when you do large scale mining, because of your economies of scale, you are able to do even the low grade ores and blend them with the high grade ores.  Therefore, you do not sterilise resources.

          One of the things that worry us right now is that in all the areas where the small scale miners are mining, all the low grade ores are being left out and they are mining the high grade ores.  When you then get somebody to come and do the low grade ores, they have nothing to blend the low grade ores with.  Therefore, that resource then becomes useless unless you improve the technological capacity to extract the low grade ores.  But I hear you, there is the business side which I think you are speaking to – that why are you leaving a resource idle?  There is the technical side which you would also have to consider as you look at your proposal and I want to say we will think about it as we go through the various proposals and various companies and see how we can best deal with them.  Thank you.

POLICY ON CLOSED MINES WHICH USED TO PRODUCE GOOD QUALITY GOLD

          19.  HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development what  the Government policy is on closed mines which used to produce good quality gold during their operations, for example Mali green which used to produce 45 to 50kg of Gold per month and Dundrum Mine which produced 80kg of gold in three days.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDHAKWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, and thank you Hon. Mpofu for the question.  Closed mines are in various situations – either the resource is exhausted and the mine has reached its lifespan or the mine has closed due to various other challenges, particularly when the prices of commodities go down.  Most mines will go into care and maintenance and if the prices do not recover, the companies will close down.  Many of our companies closed down when prices were very low.  Some of them are trying to resuscitate under the new pricing regime.  If you look at copper, for instance, its price is sitting at about $5 700, therefore companies are finding it very difficult to sustain themselves.  When Kamativi Tin Mine closed, the price of tin was not possible to run the operations; but the price of tin today sits at between $22 and $23 thousand a tonne.  Therefore, there is reason to resuscitate such mines.

The decentralisation of the Ministry to all provinces in the country, excluding Harare and Bulawayo enables each mining province to take an inventory of all mining concessions under its jurisdiction, inclusive of productive, idle and closed mines.  This is a report Mr. Speaker Sir, which as soon as we finish, we will present to Parliament so that Parliament gets to know what the status of our industry is.  The Ministry will therefore, inquire on the status of closed and idle mines and establish information, including but not limited to the following, registered owner of the mining location, size of the mining concessions, historical production and reasons for closure.   

The Ministry will ensure that claims will are not held for speculative purposes.  Furthermore, the Ministry is clear that in the future, no one should maintain mining title by simply paying annual fees but must use the claims for mining exploration or production purposes.  This is a phenomena which is quite prevalent where you have, particularly the large mines, they simply go to the office at the end of every year and make their payments.  Once they make their payments, they hold the concession and they are not doing anything with it.  This is why I keep saying to you and my Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee, that we need to finalise the Mines and Minerals Act so that we can stop those practices of holding concessions merely by paying.  You should hold a concession by using it, not merely by paying.

The Ministry tries to expedite resolution of mining disputes to enable mines to resume operations where mining activities would have been suspended due to disputes of ownership.  Let me clarify this Hon. Members.  I know that people say the Ministry of Mines is not resolving the disputes, therefore, mining is not taking place.  What happens is that, when we take a decision on a dispute, the other party that is unhappy with our decision simply goes to the High Court.  When they go to the High Court, the matter is sub judice, therefore both miners cannot go onto the ground.  Sometimes they do it with impunity, to go to the High Court knowing that they do not have a case but simply to punish the other one who has received the positive order and delay them from mining.

It then becomes difficult for us from an executive point to interfere when a matter is under the judicial processes.  There are quite a number of mines like that sitting idle because the dispute continues and they become very bitter disputes because there is a lot of money in some cases that is involved in the disputes.  We have a Dispute Resolution Committee and we keep trying to resolve the disputes.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. M. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister, there is no dispute at Mali Green Mine.  It was closed almost fourteen years ago and by the time of its closure, it was producing almost 45 to 50 kgs of gold per month.  It was closed for no reason.  Did you ever investigate to find out why it is still closed?

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Mr. Speaker, I did not quite hear him but I assume he is talking about Mali Green.  Mali Green is a mine in Midlands Province.  Again, it is an issue of where the owners are and what they are doing with the mine.  It is possible for us to declare a mining location as abandoned.  When you declare it as abandoned, you then send a letter to the owner of the mine to say, show us cause why we should not repossess the mining location.  When you do that, if the mine owner gives you a programme that gives you confidence that they are going to resuscitate the mine, you can allow them to continue; but if they do not give you the kind of confidence that you are looking for, you can repossess the mining location. 

We have done so with a number, but I need you to understand that the legal processes do have their own way and time period that it takes.  Sometimes, we have to wait for long periods of time for us to get the Gazette.  It refers to a number of mining locations that we have gazetted.  I am not so sure whether Mali Green is one of those that we gazetted because we perceived it as an abandoned mining location.  I will check and advise the Hon. Member of the status of Mali Green so that we can work together to ensure that we resuscitate it.  Thank you.

HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question arises from the mention of Kamativi Mine by the Hon. Minister in his response.  Would the Minister substantiate that Kamativi Mine should have been revived by now, but the investors who were supposed to have been reviving that mine or who have since paid the required fees to have Kamativi Mine revived, are somehow being constrained to undertake their job at the mine by the Hon. Minister’s Ministry.  Is it the Ministry officials or the Minister himself in his capacity who are saying they are in a position to revive Kamativi Mine?  Can the Minister substantiate that?

HON. CHIDHAKWA:  Thank you Hon. Zindi for the question.   When we signed an agreement with a company called Beijing Pingchang which was at that time a subsidiary of China Railway, they had disputes between themselves and Beijing Pingchang separated from China Railway.  We were now not sure whether they would have the financial resources to be able to progress with the project because we had received confidence from the fact that they were underwritten by China Railway.  So, it took a bit of sometime to establish the fact that they indeed had resources to be able to progress.  In line with the agreement that was signed, it is 41:51 percent ownership with the Government of Zimbabwe, through the ZMDC owning 51% of the shares.  There was a requirement to release US$1 million, which would be used to do the preliminary work; geological work to establish the ground and what it has.  That money was released.  It took a bit of sometime but it was released and a team of eight geologists; four Zimbabwean geologists and another four another four from China, spend I think six months at Kamative working on the geology.  Their report came out at the end of December, 2016.

          We will be receiving the report now, so that they will tell us how they are going to proceed with the mining.  Once you have established the geological position, you can now size the project, do development plan, you now know for how long you are going to be mining and so forth.  For now we are not stifling it, we have an agreement which we have signed.  They are living by the agreement, so far so good and we will continue to push that the project is revived.  Thank you.

          *HON. PHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Minister said it well in terms for
 the concessions for the big mines.  My question relates to former farm owners who had claims or concessions that have not been used for long periods.  If ever they are using them, the small scale miners who are mining on these claims are receiving very little in the form of percentage for their efforts.  You have not touched on those former farm owners, what is the position?  You have suggested that mines of the big companies who are not operating you will be given a list of them, what about such miners?  In terms of the policy of ease of doing business, how long should it take for one’s papers to be processed in your offices?

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  By the Act of Land Reform, we did not also take over mining claims.  Mining claims remained in the hands of those that had them.  This is why I keep saying if this House gives me the law – these are the issues that we were discussing and we resolved, because they do not only refer – “use it or lose it” does not only refer to big mines who are holding ground for speculative purposes.  It also refers to those who sit in their houses, have claims and are not using them.  In that case, those also will be affected.  It is very difficult to do it when you do not have the law.  When you are simply using policy, the law is much more important; much stronger and a solid basis for us to do what we want to do.  So, even the farmers who were there, who are still holding concessions, legally I cannot take them away from them as long as they are keeping them current.  If we change the law and say you cannot hold it unless you are using it. That will give us the power to take those claims back and give them to others that are willing and able to do the work.

          Finally, the issue of how long it takes to process mining certificates.  Our Provincial Mining Directors when it comes to claims you are supposed to get your prospecting licence over the counter.  That should be easy.  When you then make a discovery and come back to apply for the actual mining certificate, to tell you the truth I do not know how long they are taking now.  Now that you have raised it I want to find out from all the provinces how long it takes them to process a mining certificate.  I also want to say that when our officers issue a certificate to someone, they also must go to the people who are on the ground and advise them that so and so has applied for a mining certificate.  We are allocating this mining certificate to the person, so that somebody just does not see a person who comes and say I am now mining here and the farmer does not know anything.

We have said to our Mining Directors, their people must go on the ground and alert the farmers that somebody is coming to do the mining so that the two, the mining activity and the farming activity can co-exist and give us the benefits that we are looking for.  I thank you very much for drawing my attention to that item on ease of doing business as it relates to the time it takes our people to process the mining certificates.  I will deal with that. 

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, thank you for your answer but you seem to be addressing the issue of mines that have gone from a production to recession.  The issue that I want you to address is for those that have gone from recession to production.  In particular, ACR who are now called Brackridge, who are now producing 100 kg per month.  Also RioZim, who are now producing 100 kg per month and Zimplats who are the second largest producer of platinum in Africa, who are not giving back to the infrastructure, in particular to road development in their areas?

          ZIMPLATS have seven people of the same family die in a  low-lying bridge in a road within their locality; where RioZim are depleting the 821 km Plumtree-Mutare Highway, without giving back any resources to rehabilitate it and where they have gone into a strip road and killing beasts from the farming community.  Where Brakeridge have depleted Kadoma- Mamina road completely and all the areas and infrastructure within their locality, what is it that you are doing to those miners, not only the resurgent ones but all those that are getting what they can and canning what they get without ploughing back to infrastructural development so that we take it back to where it was before independence.

          HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I hear the Member.  He is putting a much wider issue but if I go to Zimplats and say yes, you want - you will always want more.  Zimplats puts in place a US$10 million facility for the Community Share Trust, which has been used by the communities in Zvimba and Mhondoro-Ngezi.  Whether the monies were directed to that which you would have wanted it to be directed to, it is another matter.  I think that it is also important to acknowledge that when it comes to roads, I have always said to the companies they move their ore and final products on the roads, it makes economic sense for them to have good roads in the area so that they are more efficient, faster and so forth.

          I agree with you, but you can only do it to a certain point because the  will also be saying we are also tax payers and our tax goes to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  The expectation is that the taxation must also contribute towards infrastructural development. 

I agree with you and I have raised this matter with all companies that I visited.  Yesterday I met ZIMPLATS and they were briefing me about their 2016 programme and giving me a programme for 2017.  One of the things that I said to them was that they needed to look after their infrastructure.  They need to contribute towards infrastructural development even if it means they will help us to underwrite loans so that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development can borrow money to put a power station which will benefit you and you will be repaid in the process – I have raised all these proposals with them and we are looking at some of them. 

It can never be perfect.  We keep going and we keep raising what we can and putting pressure so that we get more benefits from the companies that are operating in the country.

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

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that all the Orders on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order Number 31 and 33 have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

COMMITTEE STAGE

RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL (H.B.12, 2016)

Thirty first Order read:  Committee Stage: Reserve Bank of

Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (H.B.12, 2016)

House in Committee.

Clause 1 put and agreed to.

HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.  I think we are now less than what we are supposed to be in terms of our quorum.

Bells rung.

Quorum formed.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. In compliance with the standing Order 171, I have ascertained that we have 84 Members present meaning that we more than the required threshold. So, we will proceed with the Committee.

Clauses 2 to 4 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.

THIRD READING

RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 12, 2016]

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  I move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

Thirty-Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave

be granted to bring in a Finance Bill to make further provision for the revenues and public funds of Zimbabwe and to make provision for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. CHAPFIKA:

           INTRODUCTION

The Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee met with stakeholders who included Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Chamber of Mines (COM) and the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion on 17 January 2017 to solicit their reactions regarding the 2017 Budget. Their input was synthesized with the budget analysis done by the Parliament Budget Office and this report summarises the Committee’s analysis.

The Committee emphasizes the need to focus on efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of this budget in order to ensure value for money. This entails timely exchequer releases to enhance predictability of resource availability and focusing on a few strategic capital projects until complete, otherwise the budget will not achieve its intended objectives if its final outturn does not lead to improvement in service delivery as well as timely completion of projects. The results based budgeting framework adopted must be actualized by linking resource allocation and results.  Inherent weakness in the implementation of the previous budgets including delayed disbursement of funds and current year expenditure pressures that necessitate budget revision above the approved levels should be guarded against.

2.0           ANALYSIS OF THE 2017 BUDGET

2.1    Overview

The theme of the 2017 National Budget ‘Pushing Production Frontiers to Potential Levels Across all Sectors of the Economy’ captures Zimbabwe’s aspirations in order to take the economy forward. Without production, the economy will not be able to solve the liquidity crisis, fiscal deficit and debt trap among other challenges. The Committee commends the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for incorporating several measures proposed by Parliament and other stakeholders in the 2017 Budget.

The Budget Statement, however, summarizes some of the key challenges facing the country but does not comprehensively seek to address the identified challenges. There is mention of efforts to stimulate the productive sectors, reengagement, enhancing competitiveness, undertaking structural reforms, rebuilding confidence in the financial sector and re-orienting fiscal resources towards ZIM ASSET, among other measures, without specific intervention strategies which bring tangible results. This is despite the acknowledgment by the Hon. Minister in the budget statement that, “In the absence of a robust fiscal adjustment and structural reforms, the persistent deterioration in the macro-economic environment will continue to affect the country’s ability to honour its obligations to all its creditors and to move forward”. The statement has not taken into account the global economic outlook and outlook of key trading partners and how these will affect Zimbabwe’s exports.

2.2   Compliance with broader Macroeconomic goals

     The Budget statement complies with Section 305 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that:

“(1) Every year the Minister responsible for finance must present to the National Assembly a statement of the estimated revenues and expenditures of the Government in the next financial year.

(2) The estimates of revenue and expenditure must be presented to the National Assembly in terms of subsection (1) on a day on which the Assembly sits before or not later than thirty days after the start of each financial year.”

It is also in compliance with Section 28(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) which provides that:

“The Minister shall lay before the National Assembly the annual budget for the forthcoming financial year, not earlier than thirty days before or not later than thirty days after the start of the forthcoming financial year, stating—

a)      estimates of the revenues, expenditure and financing requirements for the Government of Zimbabwe for that year;

b)      for each vote of expenditure, a statement of the classes of outputs expected to be provided from that vote during the year and the performance criteria to be met in providing those outputs.

The statement is in line with the broader macroeconomic objectives enshrined in ZIM ASSET.  The budget, however could have made provisions to support the monitoring and evaluation processes of ZIM ASSET which is in its penultimate implementation year so that the outcome will inform future national economic blue prints.  The budget could have made reference to the specific efforts towards implementation of the prioritised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which Zimbabwe, among other 200 family of nations, adopted at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.  It is also pertinent to point out, right from the onset, the need for the budget to provide the framework for development of a long term vision, a successor to vision 2020 from which economic blueprints like ZIM ASSET will be drawn.

 

Summary of Vote Appropriations to Ministries and Statutory Bodies

 

Expenditure area

2017 Proposed Vote US$

% of budget

2016 vote %

Primary and secondary education

803 771 000

19.6

20.26

Home Affairs

364 308 000

8.89

9.90

Defence

340 522 000

8.3

8.94

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development

292 696 000

7.14

3.63

Health and Child Care

281 976 000

6.88

8.27

Finance and Economic Development

281 191 000

6.86

3.86

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development

200,886 000

4.9

7.61

Public Service, Labour and Social Services

193 789 000

4.73

4.35

OPC

175 643 000

4.29

4.37

Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

91 379 000

2.23

2.97

Transport and Infrastructural Development

55 838 000

1.36

0.97

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing

49 707 000

1.21

1.14

Environment, Water and Climate

40 100 000

0.98

0.83

Foreign Affairs

32 473 000

0.79

0.92

Parliament of Zimbabwe

30 713 000

0.75

0.51

Welfare Services for War Veterans, Detainees, Restrictees and War Collaborators

22 080 000

0.54

0.52

Public Service Commission

18 744 000

0.46

0.48

Industry and Commerce

18 547 000

0.45

0.44

Youth, Indigenisation & Economic Empowerment

17 192 000

0.42

0.44

Rural Development and Preservation of Cultural Heritage

15 751 000

0.38

0.36

Judicial Services Commission

14 099 000

0.34

0.39

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

9 761 000

0.24

 

Women Affairs, Gender & Community Development

8 434 000

0.21

0.33

Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services

6 355 000

0.16

0.16

Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development

6 131 000

0.15

0.13

Energy and Power Development

6 288 000

0.15

0.17

Macro-Economic Planning & Investment Promotion

5 927 000

0.14

0.15

Mines and Mining Development

5 395 000

0.13

0.15

Sports , Arts and Culture

4 319 000

0.11

0.11

National Prosecuting Authority

3 636 000

0.09

 

Auditor General

3 262 000

0.08

0.10

Media, Information and Broadcasting Services

3 329 000

0.08

0.10

Council of Chiefs

3 130 000

0.08

 

Tourism & Hospitality Industry

2 674 000

0.07

0.07

Human Rights Commission

1 951 000

0.05

 

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission

2 180 000

0.05

 

Zimbabwe Land Commission

1 546 000

0.04

 

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission

1 149 000

0.03

 

Zimbabwe Gender Commission

1 105 000

0.03

 

Zimbabwe Media Commission

670 000

0.02

 

 

 

 

 

SUB-TOTAL 3 426 289 000

3 426 289 000

83.86

 

Debt Service: Interest Bill

180 000 000

4.39

2.75

Pension

477 600 000

11.65

11.94

Other Constitutional and Statutory Appropriations

16 111 000

0.39

0.36

 

 

 

 

TOTAL Expenditure & Net Lending

4,100 000

100%

 

 

 

The Committee notes with concern that Ministries that drive sectors which are key to economic growth (Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Industry and Commerce; Mines and Mining Development as well as Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development) did not receive adequate funding reflective of the thrust of pushing production frontiers. The Committee is of the view that allocations to these Ministries should be reviewed in line with the focus of the 2017 budget of supporting productive sectors. The specific programmes will be explained later in this report under the specific sectors.

The sharp rise of unallocated reserves in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development vote from US$5437 in 2016 to US$106 million (2.59% of the budget) in 2017 requires an explanation.

For the purposes of sustainability, the allocation to the Ministry of Health needs revision in light of the fact that health is a basic and fundamental human right.  Approximately 79% of the Ministry’s budget will go towards salaries, a clear indication that the country has entrusted development partners to fund procurement of drugs and medical equipment, among others. Moreover, the allocation falls short of the Abuja declaration threshold of 15% of total budget and the WHO per capita Health expenditure of US$34 as indicated on annex 1.

It is the Committee’s view that during peace and tranquillity periods, some of the Defence Forces should be deployed in infrastructure development as well as technical assistance in government departments which will have a positive impact on the high Defence allocation thereby creating room for the Hon. Minister to virement any subsequent releases to other departments such as Parliament whose allocation must be increased.

The allocation to Parliament of US$30.7 million is a far cry from the requirements. Parliament needs at least US$48 Million broken down as US$10.5 million CDF, arrears to MPs of over US$9 million, US$ 10.3 million salaries over and above programmes and other recurrent expenditure requirements. This is consistent with Section325 (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that:

 

 The Government must ensure that adequate funds are provided to Parliament, to enable it and its committees to meet whenever necessary”.

In other countries, Parliament’s budget bid is not subject to review. It is therefore the Committee’s view that Parliament as one of the three arms of the State must manage its own funds. In view of the above observations, the Committee seriously urges the Hon. Minister to effect the above recommended adjustments on Parliament’s Vote to enable the institution to effectively carry out its mandate as provided in the Constitution.

2.3    Macroeconomic Projections

A credible budget requires a credible macro-fiscal framework.

Coming up with a credible macro fiscal framework remains the most

crucial constraint to achieving the country’s envisaged growth.However,

analysis of previous budgets indicates that this has not been the

case. The original projected macro-economic growth of 4.8% in the

Hon. Minister’s Budget Strategy paper was revised to 1.7% on

presentation of the 2017 Budget.

2.3.1 Credibility of the Economic Growth forecast

The Committee is of the opinion that the projected growth of 1.7% is feasible given a good rainfall season, anticipated moderate improvements in international commodity prices and the impact of current Government efforts on the ease of doing business reforms.

However even if the country is to meet the 1.7% growth target, this is still too low given that the government targets an average growth of 7.9% (ZIM ASSET) as ideal for poverty reduction and that it falls below the population growth rate of 3%. It is however important to note that a favourable weather season does not guarantee increased agricultural production as there are other underlying factors that affect agricultural production such as productivity, finance, mechanization, land tenure, efficiency in processing and marketing of agricultural products as well as timeous inputs availability. For us to achieve the envisaged growth of 1.7%, these underlying factors need to be addressed.

Over the years, the Budget Policy Statements have had optimistic targets for economic growth which are based on various assumptions. Consequently, this has led to higher projections of revenues giving more space for increases in expenditure. However, the trend has been that most of the economic growth targets have not been achieved forcing revision of revenue targets downwards resulting in Government borrowing on the domestic market to fund the budget deficit.

The Committee is concerned about Zimbabwe’s growth trend as it implies that earlier periods of high growth rate were not anchored on sustainable policy framework. The growth was largely driven by mining and agriculture and any shock on global commodity prices or inadequacy in rainfall on which Zimbabwe’s agriculture is fed, then the economy will negatively respond. It is imperative that the economy anchors its growth on a sustainable growth engine. China has an export driven model which has served it well for years and is slowly shifting towards a consumption driven growth path as the volatility of exports and investment has contributed to economic imbalances. The focus therefore should be on shifting resources to highly productive sectors like manufacturing and services as well as enhancing total factor productivity growth. Higher total factor productivity entails improving labour productivity (Zimbabwe wages very high) and capital productivity which can be enhanced through revamped business investment, research and innovation to increase capital output. Improving the ease of doing business environment can also act as an investment pull factor particularly FDI where capital productivity will be higher. To guarantee sustainable development, the Committee strongly recommends that adequate resources be deployed towards Research and Development (R & D).

2.3.2 Credibility of the Inflation Forecast

The annual average inflation for 2017, projected to be 1.1%, up from -2.4 % anticipated in 2016 is credible on the back of assumptions for price increases pushed up by increases in fuel prices after OPEC decided to cut on supply.SI 64 restricting the importation of some goods may also lead to a slight increase in inflation. However, the weakening of the rand, poor demand due to low income levels and liquidity challenges are likely to ensure that inflation, though positive remains subdued. Deflation however is not desirable as it is an indication of low investment and spending.

2.4           Public Finance

2.4.1 Revenue

A careful review of the successive budget revenue estimates and end of year actual revenue points to systematic overestimation of revenue. Ambitious revenue targets tend to fuel more spending requests and indirectly appear to drive overall deficit and consequent borrowing. The 2017 revenue projection of US$ 3.7 billion is realistic provided measures to plug revenue leakages are implemented.

2.4.2   Expenditure

Expenditure has largely remained skewed towards recurrent expenses. The high share (91%) of employment costs to total expenditures remains a cause for concern, crowding out capital and social spending, and other productive sectors which are critical to the revival of the economy.  Although Government acknowledges the need to reign in the high wage bill, indications of discord in Cabinet with regards to proposals to achieve that is a cause for concern. Short term solutions to the plight of civil servants without enough weight on longer- term benefits and costs of such decisions will create policy and fiscal problems in the immediate future. The Committee is of the opinion that it is high time the Executive takes a paradigm shift aimed at downsizing the size of government by streamlining government Ministries and departments to make it leaner and more efficient thereby avoiding duplication of effort and resources.

It is also anticipated that implementation of the Public Service Wage Bill rationalisation measures will result in financial savings of an estimated US$140 million, which is 0.99% of GDP. This shows that the approved cost cutting measures are not adequate. It is imperative that Cabinet reconsiders some of the measures proposed by the Hon. Minister of Finance in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement in September 2016 such as review of the maximum wage bill and the rationalisation of some of the benefits. Treasury should also consider promulgation of a statutory instrument to limit parastatals, state enterprises and municipal wages.

Reforms must include strict monitoring and evaluation on the public service to justify the high wage bill. During the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review Statement, the Hon. Minister had indicated that these savings could result in combined saving of $453 million (3.2% of GDP). Although it is inadequate in the context of rising budget deficit, it is a good starting point while further measures are being explored.  For this intention to be a reality there is need for all stakeholders to generate a social contract and make painful sacrifices for the good of the economy. It is therefore high time to resuscitate the Tripartite Negotiating Forum, including all critical stakeholders.

The proposal for capital expenditure of US$520 million, which is 3.6% of GDP, in 2017 is a laudable attempt by the Minister in a tight fiscal situation. It has been observed however that government capital expenditure in the last 10 years has not led to an increase in national assets due to the following reasons:

                                     i.            Large number of uncompleted projects competing for scarce resources;

                                  ii.            Weak project appraisal and prioritisation processes; and

                               iii.            Inherent weak project management, monitoring and

  evaluation systems.

As such, project completion rate has been slow e.g. CID Headquarters, New Makombe Building and Kunzvi dam but to mention a few. The Committee therefore recommends that uncompleted projects be given priority to realise value for money from such investments.

2.5           Fiscal deficit

Anticipated expenditures of US$4.1billion against projected revenue collections ofUS$3.7billion presents a financing gap of about US$400 million, which is 2.7% of GDP. This undesirable situation is exposing the country to a number of risks, which include domestic debt trap and accumulation of arrears to salaries and service providers, among others. The high recurrent expenditures inclusive of employment costs renders the country highly consumptive and, hence anti-developmental. The mismatch between revenues and expenditures therefore requires that the thrust of Government for the 2017 Budget be expenditure rationalisation in line with sustainable financing capacity and minimise continued treasury bill issuance for the reasons already stated above.

Accordingly, the 2017 National Budget proposal of gradually reverting back to the cash budgeting framework tenets, through ensuring that all line Ministries adhere to allocations and spend as and when resources are available is therefore a welcome development and should be implemented as soon as possible. This will be complemented by restrictions on hiring, continuous monitoring and audits for flushing out ghost workers, as well as the restructuring of the Public Service.  Of concern however is the lack of adherence to this policy discourse as evidenced by continued growth in employment figures despite the freeze on recruitment.

The budget has no clear indication on how fiscal prudence will be achieved, apart from proposing reverting to cash budgeting. There is need for clear strategies of expenditure rationalization to identify and remove expenditure overlaps and wastage.

2.6           Budget Deficit Financing

The acknowledgement by the Hon. Minister that Treasury bill issuances pose challenges of capacity for Government to repay such obligations is welcome. In 2014 the supplementary budget was US$492 million against revenue collection ofUS$3.7 billion. In 2015 and 2016 the Minister introduced supplementary budgets of US$154 million and US$253 million respectively. Continued funding of budget deficits through Treasury bills pose serious challenges on the ability of Government to honour such obligations on maturity. Given the above challenge, the Committee urges Government to seriously consider securitisation of the country’s vast mineral resources to unlock the much needed liquidity

2.7           Revenue Measures

The Budget proposes measures to enhance the support that has already been availed to industry through tax relief and modest protection as well as enhancing revenue and efficiency in tax administration. The majority of these measures are of a protectionist nature meant to promote local production and preserve jobs in the wake of sanctions imposed on the country. They should thus take a short to medium term approach until the economy stabilises. The Committee is concerned that despite the numerous trade protection measures instituted the local companies remain uncompetitive. The manufacturing companies must consider other measures to improve their competitiveness including looking for technical partners to improve the quality and productivity in their relevant industries. Business needs a paradigm shift and implement serious cost cutting measures contrary to pursuing the hyperinflationary pricing models with high margins of between 50% and 100% in most cases.

Revenue collection can be enhanced by taxing betting activity industry which is on the growth path in spite of a shrinking economy.

The effective date for most of the proposed measures (1 January 2017) must be adjusted to 1 February 2017 in light of the challenges associated with applying the law in retrospect.

2.8           Revenue Collection Measures

The suggested revenue collection measures are more of an administrative nature which may lead to small revenue gains. These measures are good in so far as improving the efficiency of VAT collections and enhancing tax administration. In the long run the improvement of revenue hinges on stimulating production and thus growing the tax base and improving the tax-to-GDP ratio.

The Committee recommends the tax rationalisation and transparency in the mining sector with a focus on increasing non-tax revenue from mineral resources. Transparency must go beyond the consolidation of the diamond mines and the amendment to the Minerals Act. It should include other transparency initiatives such as the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) adopted by African Heads of State and Government in February 2009 to create a transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources; the World Bank’s Extractives Transparency Initiatives (EITI) which is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of extractive resources as well as the Southern Africa Resource Watch Barometer which is a set of clear principles that empower parliaments to measure transparency, accountability and equity in the exploitation of the region’s vast natural resources that was developed by the SADC-PF and the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW).

The Committee recommends that all revenues be paid to the consolidated revenue fund, without exception save for special cases, in accordance Section 302 (b) of the Constitution This guarantees transparency and equity in resource allocation in line with Section 307 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and also addresses the challenges raised by Auditor General of rampant abuse of these retained revenues.

2.9           Tax Relief

For the individual consumer and worker, and even for corporates, the 2017 budget statement offers few tax relief measures, perhaps a reflection of the tight rope treasury is walking on. Nevertheless, it can be noted that the Hon. Minister made efforts to streamline the country’s taxation by removing some burdens on the taxpayer. There are notable instances where the Hon. Minister removed double taxation, while at the same time there are instances where the Hon. Minister saw opportunities for expanding the tax base. The effort to incorporate the SMEs into the mainstream tax system is a major highlight which should be embraced.

The Committee note with appreciation the introduction of tax incentives on Special Economic Zones. The Hon. Minister should however put in place mechanisms to guard against unscrupulous investors who abuse these concessions.

Cases of tax evasion other malpractices must be addressed decisively to ensure tax loopholes are permanently sealed. There is therefore need for a revenue generation-tax law with high penalties. There is also need to consider the original intention on zero rated or exempt goods. If the intention was to cushion consumers, then a change on these policies will adversely affect aggregate demand and standards of living.

Zimbabwe’s tax collection as a share of GDP is high by sub-Saharan African standards. Therefore attention must be directed on improving tax administration efficiency. Moreover, in light of the fact that personal and corporate income taxes are the most distortive taxes as they have sizable adverse effects on employment, productivity and capital accumulation. Government needs to adopt a more growth-friendly tax system and any increase should be on indirect taxes. This can be achieved by shifting the tax burden away from direct income toward consumption, immovable property and the environment.

2.10     Remittances

Diaspora remittances which account for 30% of the country’s

Foreign exchange earnings are anticipated to have declined 17% from

US$935 million recorded in 2015 to US$780 million, in 2016. More

needs to be done to incentivise the diaspora community, to complement

the 3% incentive scheme on diaspora remittances. There is need to

establish the Diaspora Directorate in the Ministry of Macroeconomic

Planning and Investment Promotion to deal with issues affecting the

Diaspora and facilitate their investment, remittances and philanthropic

work.  Government must continue to offer incentives to the diaspora

community to ensure sustainable flow of funds from this community.

There is also need to put in place strict measures to guard against the

Abuse of the 3% incentive on diaspora remittances to mitigate against

possible recycling of the same money.

2.11  Banking Sector

The high lending rates continue to constrain private sector growth and lenders blame it on high customer risk profile and high country risk

profile which implies a high rate at which they obtain the funds.  The

Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report 2015 notes that at 18% per

Annum which is the maximum prescribed interest rate in Zimbabwe, the

cost in real terms is high compared to other regional countries using

their local currencies with higher exchange risk exposure. The report

also notes that in addition to the 18%, banks also charge establishment

fees (3-5% of loan amount), administration charge (3% of the loan

amount, despite the client having credit balances with the bank where

administration and maintenance charges are also deducted

every month). Other banks also charge credit insurance which depends

on the tenure (averages of 2.03% for 12 months), and 3.10% for 24

months etc.  Treasury must guard against the Hyper Inflationary

environment mentality of profiteering which Industry and Commerce

still maintain in the current stable multicurrency environment. The

current deflationary conditions dictate the need for very low interest

rates. Moreover, the introduction of bond notes should result in direct

interest rate reduction. Bond notes were printed on the back of an

Afrexim bank loan obtained at very low interest rate which should

translate to dilution of lending rates to encourage production.

The Hon. Minister must expedite the promulgation of the RBZ

Amendment Bill to curb illegal open market operations.

The nature of deposits which largely remain short term and transient in nature, and not ideal for long-term credit creation is a cause for concern. A higher deposit to GDP ratio implies that more resources will be available to be channelled towards productive sectors. The limited ability of banks to mobilize deposits is partly associated with lack of confidence in the banking system, perceived high bank charges, liquidity challenges, restrictive account opening requirements, and high concentration of banking infrastructure in urban areas, among other factors.  Stakeholders reiterated their support for bond notes, which however are not a panacea for liquidity constraints but an export incentive, on the basis of their use as an export incentive and issuance within the Afrexim Bank facility limit. The Committee therefore recommends policy consistency, further review of bank charges, enhancing efficiency of electronic money by improving availability and connectivity of POS machines. Moreover, consistent with increase in the use of plastic money, banks should realign their manpower to cut costs.

3.0           Analysis of Interventions to Stimulate Production

3.1    Agriculture

The command agriculture scheme is a good initiative with the potential of reviving the whole agribusiness spectrum. The Committee observes that there is need to improve the timeliness in distribution of inputs with reports suggesting that some farmers have not received some inputs. The Government must provide the right institutional and legal framework that supports agricultural marketing and investments in irrigation. To mitigate against effects of relying on rain fed agriculture in the wake of climate change, Treasury should seriously consider supporting rainwater harvesting and irrigation development. The Hon. Minister must put in place mechanisms to ensure that command agriculture farmers, whose payment will require approximately US$1 billion, are paid in time to build confidence in the programme

3.2    Mining

The sector is currently contributing above 10% to GDP, more than 50% to national exports, around 13% of fiscal revenue, more than 50% to foreign direct investment and creates more than 45 000 formal jobs. Mining sector should be contributing much more than the current status quo. It is therefore critical to plug leakages and comprehensively support small scale miners. Supportive interventions measures are required in order to promote the growth of the sector by reviewing and standardising Rural District Council fees as well as charges such by Environmental Management Agency. There is also need for Government together with all stakeholders to come up with a beneficiation strategy to ensure that the companies are given adequate and appropriate time to move towards value addition.

3.3    Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector could be the key to Zimbabwe’s future economic growth given its forward and backward linkages to both the agricultural sector and the retail and wholesale sectors of the economy. The implementation of SI 64 is reported to have contributed to capacity gains across several sub-sectors, with overall capacity utilisation increasing from 34.3% in 2015 to 47.4 % in 2016 according to CZI. The sector’s projected marginal growth of 0.3% in 2017is not in sync with the theme of the budget. However, the budget offers very little by way of specific funding arrangements for the manufacturing sector outside of the existing lines of credit and the intention to pursue external lines of credit. Current reengagement efforts therefore are a step in the right direction.

3.4    Tourism

Tourism has the potential to contribute significantly to the

country’s growth in the short term. A decision has to be made to reduce

the number of non-security/crime roadblocks on the roads.

Insistence on multiplicity of roadblocks without regard to the ease of

doing business environment can damage the country’s image in the

wake of stiff competition regionally from countries with similar tourism

products.

3.5    Competitiveness

The country must work towards long term solutions to its

competitiveness to avoid relying on protectionist measures every time

manufacturers are under pressure. The recent 2016 World

Bank Doing Business Index Report ranked Zimbabwe at 161 out of 191

countries from 157 in 2015 due to a number of weaknesses which

include unreliable supply of utilities, limited access to affordable

financing, delays at ports of entry, as well as multiplicity of licences and

fees, among other business and investment constraints that raise the cost

of doing business. It is also crucial that Government walks the talk with

regards to improving the business environment as in many cases what is

reported is different from the situation on the ground.

3.6    Investment

Negative domestic savings of -11 % imply a huge savings investment gap which can only be filled by foreign capital mainly FDI.

Operationalisation of the One Stop Investment Shop is long overdue.

There is need for Government to set up multi-stakeholder Committee to

Operationalize this dream in the same way ease of doing business

thematic Committees were set up.

The Budget statement must indicate efforts to address other determinants of investments including aggregate demand, interest rate, uncertainty/policy credibility and property rights among other issues.

4.0           Social, Pro-Poor and Gender issues

4.1    Overview

The 2017 budget is a survivalist budget in which these issues are scarcely addressed directly. Its focus is on macroeconomic issues not specific segments of society such as the poor and gender issues, besides suspension of duty on sanitary wear which came as a huge relief to most women. There seems to be an overreliance on development partners for social service provision. The government must do more to create the necessary fiscal space for it to provide the basic services especially to the marginalised groups of society such as women, children and the disabled.

Support to the already existing and new women and youth initiatives notably the Women’s Bank and youth development funds (strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of the same) among other initiatives is noted but the appropriated figures are inadequate.

4.2           Health

It is worrisome to note that 79% of the health budget goes towards salaries. A significant chunk of health provision support over the past years came from development partners thus the country is over-relying on partners for the provision of this critical service. Government should also seriously consider converting some of the public wards in public hospitals into private wards to enhance viability. Chitungwiza Central Hospital is one success case in mind.

4.3           Education

As is the case with health, over 97% of the education budget goes towards salaries. It is imperative to reintroduce student loan schemes and bursaries where students will be bonded to repay the loan over a stipulated time after graduation. There is also need to prioritise timeous funding of the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) so that more orphans and vulnerable children have access to education. The Committee is concerned on the very substantial reduction in Higher Education allocation from US$270.6 million in 2016 to US$201 million in 2017 despite the increase in the number of Universities.

4.4           Water and Sanitation

Urgent disbursement of the US$16.4 million budgeted towards water and sanitation programmes is required in the wake of heavy rains and cases of typhoid outbreaks that have been reported. Availability of water must be high priority given the burden it places on mainly women and children.

4.5           Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

The Budget Statement does acknowledge that the Zimbabwean economy has largely gone informal, and SMEs are increasingly becoming a major driver of economic growth and development. Strategies to tap into this new economy in order to boost Government revenue and to ensure growth and formalization of this sector should be vigorously pursued given that over 80% of the population sustain their livelihoods from this sector. More needs to be done, however, with regards to creation of a conducive legal and regulatory framework that encourages formalization. The proposed establishment of a credit reference bureau is a noble initiative in a normal operating environment. However, implementing this initiative under the current economic situation would be a disincentive to the SMEs who are already struggling to survive under the current harsh economic environment. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe failed to honour its debts hence the introduction of the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill. Government failed to honour its obligations with multilateral financiers hence the current efforts to reengage. Banks too, could not survive with large non-performing loan portfolios hence introduction of ZAMCO. It is only SMEs and individual borrowers who were left exposed. There is therefore need for the RBZ to introduce a moratorium for this sector to renegotiate an agreed repayment plan.

5.0           Policy Inconsistency

2016 has witnessed several cases of policy discord within Government relating to bonus payments, civil service wage bill rationalisation measures and interpretation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations. These policy inconsistencies have far reaching consequences for the economy including undermining the current reform process and reengagement with creditors as well as dampening efforts to attract investment. Policy shifts are interpreted as signs of a dysfunctional government, lack of political will or appetite for reform which are both damaging to the economy. The Committee welcomes the decision to have all policy pronouncements coordinated from the Office of the President and Cabinet. There should be political will for an inevitable paradigm shift on bold decisions needed to move the country forward.

6.0           Debt Clearance Strategy

Zimbabwe has been unable to access external financial support resulting in a tight liquidity situation due to debt overhang.  Zimbabwe adopted the “Strategy for Clearing External Debt Arrears and the Supportive Economic Reform Agenda”, better known as the Lima strategy in 2015after the realisation that it does not qualify for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).

It is equally imperative for the citizens of Zimbabwe, at all levels, to uphold a culture honouring their obligations, both Government and private sector. This applies to personal loans, contract farming obligations, municipal rates, utility charges as well as agricultural support under the More food for Africa programme from Brazil, among others.

7.0    Corruption

It is crucial that Government strengthens institutions which are involved in fighting corruption to curb this scourge in both public and private sectors. This also calls for adherence to the corporate Governance framework, public transparency, honesty, integrity and accountability in both the public and private sectors, which are key to lure investment and achieve fiscal prudence. There is need to implement the recommendations from the Auditor General reports which exposed rampant corruptions in Government institutions.

8.0    Other Considerations

Inherent weaknesses in the implementation of the previous budgets including delayed disbursement of funds and in-year expenditure pressures that necessitate budget revision above the approved levels are a cause for concern. There is need for institutionalisation of budgetary reforms after the country adopted a Programme Based Budgeting approach. There is also need for all Government departments to adhere to PFMA reporting guidelines. In order to ensure there is adequate information on budget performance in real time, Treasury should issue exchequer releases by vote and programme and the same should be published on a monthly basis in a Government Gazette. This will not only enable Parliament to take appropriate actions but the general public will be adequately informed hence enhancement of budget transparency...

[Time Limit]

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the Chairman continue with the report by five minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

          Motion put and agreed to.

HON. CHAPFIKA:  Thank you.  Let me go straight into recommendations, Mr. Speaker Sir.

9.0           ConclusionS and recommendations

The 2017 Budget Statement is couched around fiscal adjustment, structural reforms, stimulating productivity across all sectors and poverty eradication designed to put Zimbabwe on a growth trajectory. There is need for unity of purpose by all stakeholders from the politicians, business, labour, civic society and citizens if the country is to move forward. A genuine social contract is needed where all stakeholders negotiate in good faith for a common good. As such, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum legislation must be finalised and become fully operational.

There is no doubt that the country is facing serious challenges. In order to solve these challenges, there is need to take a new paradigm shift and move away from the business as usual approach that it is currently in. There is therefore need for economic reforms including austerity measures to cut the wage bill so as to free some resources for capital expenditure. The Government needs to walk the talk with regards to economic reforms and fighting corruption. Reforms must not only be seen as a way of meeting the IMF-SMP but in the context of creating the much needed fiscal space for the government.  There is the real danger of service delivery collapsing and the government failing to pay salaries altogether in the near future if this is not urgently addressed. The emphasis of the statement must be policy consistency and implementation so as to restore confidence in the economy.

On the other hand, interventions in the key sectors of the economy like agriculture and mining must be attended to as a matter of urgency. Policy coherence and consistency is crucial in solving the country’s challenges. At the same time implementation of agreed policies must be done timeously.

The Committee therefore recommends the following:

a.           All revenues from all sources should be consolidated into the CRF and then allocated through the main budget as previously recommended in the last few years. This would raise revenues by approximately $700 million and bring all expenditure under the control of Treasury;

b.          The Hon. Minister should consider upward review of allocations to the Ministries of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, Health, SME’s, Women Affairs, Higher and Tertiary education as well as Tourism through virementing savings from the Ministry of Defence deployments in infrastructure development and technical assistance resulting in release of revenues for this purpose;

c.           Treasury should review upwards the allocation to Parliament to US$48 million to enable it to carry out its mandate as already emphasised in this report;

d.          Government must undertake to adopt and make structural reforms to rationalise the civil service in order to adjust recurrent expenditure to at most 70 % of the budget within the first quarter of 2017 thereby releasing addition US$700 million to fund other critical areas of the budget;

e.           Treasury must consider adopting the following measures which have the potential to grow the cake

                                        i.               A complete review of the fuel trading arrangements via the pipeline and adjustments to levies and duties to increase revenue to the State and to halt illegal and corrupt activities. This could yield another US$400 million a year

                                     ii.               A complete review of all border charges and duties and setting a target to double these revenues from $380 to $800 million a year

                                  iii.               A review of excise duties to raise the costs of liquor and cigarettes to regional levels to discourage smuggling;

f.            Government must strictly adhere to the cash budgeting system as proposed by the Minister of Finance;

g.           To accommodate changes in tax regimes, the effective date for the budget must be moved to the 1st of February 2017;

h.          Government must continuously support vulnerable members of the community with inputs to ensure food security;

i.             Government must expedite operationalisation of a private sector driven Commodity Exchange, subordinate to the Agricultural Marketing Authority before June 2017;

j.             The Government must ensure policy consistency through effective policy coordination and harmonisation across different ministries and departments;

k.          Government must ensure transparency and accountability in the Mining sector through adoption and implementation of such measure such as Africa Mining Vision (AMV), Extractives Transparency Initiatives (EITI), Southern Africa Resource Watch Barometer and the SADC mining protocol to curb leakages and spur development in the mining sector;

l.             Government must make deliberate efforts to support, promote and regularise operations of small scale and artisanal miners;

m.        Government must expedite the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms through provision of requisite infrastructure, addressing cost and availability of utilities reforming the regulatory framework and removing all impediments to exports except for critical commodities like maize;

n.          There is need for supporting local production through adherence to minimum local content rules;

o.          The government must put in place robust mechanisms to plug revenue leakages and corruption including implementing measures to curb smuggling;

p.          The Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion must ensure speedy implementation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) by establishing a Board to oversee the implementation and applicable incentives;

q.          There is need urgent need to provide temporary protection of SMEs and other private companies under reconstruction through a legal instrument with a moratorium of about 6 to 12 months to facilitate for renegotiation of acceptable loan repayment period;

r.            Government must adequately resource the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation (SMEDCO) and the proposed Women’s Bank in order empower women who were formerly marginalised;

s.            There is need for all stakeholders to adopt internal devaluation. This should see a reduction in interest rates and consequent reduction in utility charges and other costs of doing business which are way above regional best practises; and

t.             Government must attempt to honour its regional and international obligations with respect to budgetary allocations to specific Ministries details of which are highlighted on the attached schedule (Annex 1).

Zimbabwe has the highest resources per capita in the world even ahead of Saudi Arabia yet it is the fifth poorest country[1] in the World in terms of GDP per capita. We are not a poor country, neither are we poor of brains, the poverty we have is where most politicians put politics ahead of economics yet economics drive politics.

 

Annex 1: Adherence to international conventions and protocols

 

 

YEAR

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

 

2017

Min Threshold

SUB Saharan Average

Health budget as a % of total budget

8.58

9.33

8.64

9.9

8.2

7.3

8.3

 

6.88

15 (Abuja declaration)

11.3

Health budget as a % of GDP

1.8

2.3

2.8

2.8

2.4

2.4

2.3

 

1.99

 ……………

3

Per capita health expenditure USD

15.07

20.79

27.78

 28.33

 

23.2

24.64

 

20.97

34 (WHO)

$146.29 SADC average

Education Budget as a % of  total budget

22

23

25

27

18.5

22.7

20.3

 

24

12(Dakar Framework)

 

Agriculture, Lands, water & Environment

14

8

8

4

8.3

7.8

4.6

 

8.26

10(Maputo Declaration)

 

 

HON. ZINDI: 2017 Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Post Budget Analysis Report Vote 13 – US$49,707,000.

1.    Introduction

The mandate of the Ministry is to ensure that functional human settlements are promoted and sustained in all urban local authorities backstopped by sound local governance and provision of quality, well-maintained Government infrastructure. 

2.                Budget Allocations for 2016 and 2017

3.                In the 2016 financial year, the Ministry was allocated a revised estimate of US$50.7 million of which only US$37.2 million (70%) was disbursed. For the 2017 financial year, the Ministry was allocated US$49,707 million which is marginally lower than the previous year; with 30% going towards capital expenditure and the bigger chunk (70%) channeled towards recurrent. If only 70% is disbursed like in the previous year, the Ministry can expect to get about US$34 million. This is way below the Ministry’s requirements and will certainly retard service delivery.

          Budget Analysis Meeting Observations

On the 17th of January 2017, your Committee held a meeting with Ministry officials and the following observations were made:

Your Committee observed that for the fourth year running, Treasury continues to be in breach of the Constitution by not making the constitutional 5% allocations to provinces and local authorities in line with Section 301(3) of the Constitution. While it is Treasury’s excuse that the allocation requires an Act of Parliament, your Committee is well aware that Section 301 (3) is self executing.  Instead an Act of Parliament is required for Section 301 (1) for the equitable allocation of capital grants between provincial and metropolitan counsels and local authorities.  The Ministry of Local Government should ensure that the required Act of Parliament needed for Section 301(1) is put in place to facilitate capital grants allocation.

It was also noted that there seemed to be no effort being put in the alignment of laws with the Constitution. A case in point is the Local Authorities Bill which continues to go back and forth with no progress. The officials advised the Ministry that given the long alignment process, they had resorted to the route of amendments for progress sake.

Concerns were also raised on why well known land barons continue to invade and profit from State land, prejudicing local authorities who should service and allocate stands legally. Your Committee was advised that some arrests have been made and the phenomenon is now decreasing.

Your Committee also noted that civil servants are paying high rentals for Government houses despite their low salaries and the dilapidated nature of most of the houses. In response, the officials said that the marginal rental increases had allowed Treasury to remit some funds for refurbishment and also pointed out that people should rent houses which tally with their pay grade. Nevertheless, it is this Committee’s thinking that the rental rates should tally with the housing allowances.

Officials were also asked on the extent to which the 30/70 of salaries service delivery and top management salary caps were being adhered to by local authorities.  They highlighted that they were facing resistance and regarded as interference but compliance was slowly improving.  Some authorities still find ways of circumventing this directive.

Your Committee also observed that Government is the biggest debtor to local authorities.  Government non-payment of these debts is depriving local authorities of the much needed revenue thereby negatively affecting service delivery.

On revenue generation Madam Speaker, the officials said that liquor licencing was one of their major cash cows and efforts on improving its administration and enforcement are in progress. However, nothing was coming from ZUPCO and UDCORP as they are struggling to find their feet. Revenue from roadside advertising space has decreased due to PPP agreements which provide for the companies installing street lights to recoup their costs through advertising for a specified period.

Your Committee notes with concern the fact that the condition of our roads has deteriorated ever since ZINARA took over collection of vehicle licencing.  The little disbursements made by ZINARA are not enough.  Furthermore, ZINARA is double dipping given that it is both a regulator and also a collector.  Your Committee strongly feels that vehicle licence fee collection should be brought back under local authorities.  Once collected, local authorities can retain 20% which will be ring-fenced for roads while 80% is remitted to central government for redistribution as per need country wide.

It was also noted that the now defunct council beer halls were a source of revenue. The resuscitation would need to be preceded by putting in place regulations that restrict the issuance of liquor licences to private players.

The officials also advised your Committee that prepayment of water, though unpopular, was a great revenue mobilisation strategy which would be very attractive to investors needed for projects such as the relaying of old water pipes. They are advocating for the upholding of the user-pay principle especially against the background of non-payment of bills by both public and private entities which continues to hamper local authorities’ operations.

Your Committee was also concerned why illegal rank marshals were collecting money at the expense of local authorities which in view of your Committee is another potential revenue source.

          Summary of Recommendations

Your Committee recommends that:-

(a)  The Ministry of Finance to comply with the Constitution and effect the 5% allocation to local authorities in accordance with Section 301(3).  It is a very clear section from the Constitution that the provision does not need an Act of Parliament for it to be effected. 

(b) Provincial councils should be appointed and stop being used as a scape goat for the non-allocation of the 5% to local authorities.

(c ) Full alignment of laws with the Constitution should proceed with expediency. Amendments will not suffice as what is obtaining. The Ministry should also ensure that an Act of Parliament.

Hon. Mhlanga having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Mhlanga, you are not allowed to cross in front of the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.  You will have to come back through this way.

          HON. ZINDI: The Ministry should also ensure that an Act of Parliament required for allocation of capital grants between provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities are according to Section 301 (1) should be put in place. 

d)  Local authorities should decisively deal with land barons and take over the servicing and allocation of stands

e)  The Ministry should revisit and evaluate the 30/70  principle to see whether it is applicable to our under-mechanised councils that rely on labour intensive technologies for service delivery.

          f)  The Ministry should continue to monitor local authorities ensuring that they adhere to the top management salary caps. 

g)   Urban local authorities should collect liquor licence fees in the urban areas while the rural local authorities collect in the rural areas. Furthermore, while the move towards e-governance through online liquor licence applications, the rest of the process is still centralised in Harare.  The Committee recommends that the whole process be centralised to enhance convenience and efficiency. 

h)   Government should settle its outstanding bills with local authorities. 

i)   Local authorities should root out rank marshals and take-over the activity for revenue generation.

In conclusion Madam Speaker, the Committee remains seized with the continued violation of the Constitution by Treasury with regards to Constitutional provisions relating to Section 301:3 on the 5% allocation to local authorities and Section 301:1 for the capital grants.  This is severely constraining service delivery by local authorities.  Your Committees continues to categorically make it clear that Section 301:1 is self-executing and need not be preceded by an Act of Parliament.  As such, the Ministry of Finance should make the allocations in compliance with the Constitution.  Furthermore, the alignment of Bills with the new Constitution needs to be expedited.  However, the Ministry needs to come up with more innovative ways in resource mobilisation and monitoring of the operations of local authorities.

          This brings me to the end of the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ministry.  Madam Speaker, I need to just remind you that my Committee oversights two Ministries.  Now, I am going to the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture.

1.                Introduction

1.1           The Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of Culture and Heritage is mandated with improving the livelihoods of rural Zimbabwean communities through an inclusive participatory approach that leverages on the preservation and promotion of unique culture and heritage to attain sustainable development.

1.2    The Ministry has structural challenges arising from its formation Madam Speaker which need to be addressed.  The first one relates to resource sharing with the Ministries of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Ministry of Sport and Recreation which has seen it not having decent offices and furniture for its officials up-to-date.  In addition, there are other areas such as Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) which could rightfully come under the Rural Development Ministry for smoother monitoring given existing reporting structures.  Furthermore, there are issues that relate to internal disharmony in the operations of the Ministry, especially with regards to handling of the Council of Chiefs and other traditional leaders.

2.      Budget Allocations for 2016 and 2017

2.1    The Ministry was allocated US$13.652 million of which only US$8.08 million was actually disbursed.  For the 2017 financial year, the Ministry was allocated US$15.75 million.  This is less than their bid of US$32 million.  To augment these resources, the Ministry has entered into an agreement with the UNDP for a three year US$5 million funding for capacity building of rural local authorities in computer, finance and management training.  It is also working with the Association of Rural District Councils in training local authorities in the setting up of PPPs and promotion of business ventures.

3.      2016 Ministry Achievements

In the previous year, the Ministry achieved the following:

          i)       drafting rural development strategy which was developed.

          ii)      systems audit tool for monitoring of Rural Local Authorities revised and adopted;

          iii)     facilitated the appointment of 17 chiefs, 20 headmen, and more than 300 heads;

          iv)     three provincial councils and one chief’s council meeting held.

          v)      successful staging of State occasions at national and provincial level;

          vi)     submitted three Statutory Instruments (SIs) to the AG’s office in preparation for gazetting; among many others.

.4.0   Post Budget Analysis Meeting Output

Your Committee held a post budget analysis meeting with Ministry officials and departmental heads led by the Permanent Secretary on Tuesday 17 December 2017. The following was observed:

4.1    Your Committee observed that this Ministry has serious structural problems with regards to resource sharing between itself and the Ministries of Local Government and Ministry Sport, Arts and Culture from where it was formed. The Rural Development Ministry got very little equipment such that it does not even have decent offices right from the Minister’s Office. This matter needs to be attended to with urgency in light of the fact that allocations for the rehabilitation of their new Mukwati offices and acquisition of office furniture were way less than their bids. The situation is so desperate that officials have had to take furniture from the scrap yard, which has to be supported with bricks.

4.2    Of greater concern, your Committee observed that, for the fourth year running, Treasury continues to be in breach of the Constitution by not making the constitutional 5% allocations to provinces and local authorities in line with Section 301 (3) of the Constitution.  While it is Treasury’s excuse that the allocation requires an Act of Parliament, your Committee is well aware that Section 301 (3) is self-executing.

4.3    Furthermore, even in terms of revenue streams, they are not receiving anything from the land tax collected by the Ministry of Lands; ZINARA disbursements are grossly insufficient and also nothing is coming from liquor licencing administered by the Ministry of Local Government yet a lot of liquor stores are found in the rural areas.

4.4    With regards to the $2 rural development levy which should come from $5 collected by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, nothing significant is remitted to RDCs since only 3% of the potential revenue is being collected due to the Lands Ministry being thin on the ground.  It is the view of the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture as opposed to the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment by virtue of their core mandate of rural development.  Under the current set up, Rural District Councils do not even report to the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment; thus the new arrangement will ensure proper monitoring and evaluation.

4.6    Concern was also raised on the anomaly that the Ministry is administering the funds for the Council of Chiefs, yet it is not disbursing resources meant for the training and installation of traditional leaders.  Furthermore, there are areas where chiefs and acting headmen have not been officially installed, resulting in them not receiving allowances thus breeding inequality.  In some areas, lack of gazetting of land to demarcate between communal and resettlement areas has been cited as the reason for delays.

4.7 Your Committee also noted that little progress is being made with regards to the vehicle loan scheme and houses for chiefs. No disbursement were made on the 2016 allocation of  US$3 million and this year the allocation has been revised downwards to US$2.5 million.    If disbursed, this will only allow the acquisition of 70 out of a requirement of 219 vehicles. The current state of affairs makes it very difficult for chiefs to discharge their duties.

4.8 Concern was raised by your Committee on the fragmented nature of artist’s organisations which demand subscriptions. There is need for monitoring.  Asked on whether the Ministry gets something from something from artists, the officials highlighted the fact that its parastatals, such as the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe; National Art Gallery and National Museums and Monuments do collect funds which they retain and use for their programmes and development.

4.9 Another issue of great concern is the encroachment of urban local authorities into rural district land which has caused much disharmony to the disadvantage of rural society. Cases in point are those of Zvimba, Goromonzi, Umguza and Mazowe; where land is being taken and allocated to land barons who then benefit while prejudicing RDC of potential revenue. The Ministry would like to be involved in meetings and processes that lead to the transfer of this land so that they protect the interests of rural district councils.

5.0.   Summary of Recommendations

Your Committee recommends that:

5.1 The Ministry of Finance to comply with the Constitution and effect the 5% allocation to local authorities in accordance with 301 (3).  It is very clear from the Constitution that the provision does not need an Act of Parliament for it to be effected.

5.2 Enough resources be allocated towards the refurbishment and furnishing of the Ministry head office. This office needs to be given the respect that it deserves.

5.3 Liquor licence collection be split between Local Government and Rural Development with the former collecting from urban areas and latter, rural areas.

5.4 The RDCs be allowed to collect the $2 rural development levy on their own.

5.5 The Community Share Ownership Trusts should be administered by the Ministry of Rural Development Trusts where the beneficiary RDCs have existing reporting structures.

5.6 More resources need to be allocated towards the chiefs’ vehicle loan scheme to reduce backlog taking note that no disbursements were made in the previous year. 

5.7 The three Ministries responsible for Local Government, Rural Development and Lands should be involved in negotiations to do with urban expansion to ensure that no party is disadvantaged thereby lessening conflict.

6.0 Conclusion

Your Committee is very concerned with the structural challenges bedevilling the Ministry of Rural Development and calls for the urgent allocation of resources for setting up a decent head office.  Furthermore, the implementation of Section 301 (3) with regards to the 5 percent allocation to provinces and local authorities needs to be expedited so as to release much needed resources.  Moreover, harmonisation with its former partners in Local Government and Sports; together with putting the Community Share Ownership Trusts under its administration will go a long way in proving operational efficiency.  The Ministry also still needs to harmonise internal operations to remove discord and enhance efficiency. 

HON. MUNENGAMI:  The Ministry of Health and Child Care

 (MoHCC) is mandated to provide health care services to all Zimbabweans in line with the Primary Health Care approach as set out in the National Health Strategy. In line with the country’s economic plan –ZIM ASSET (2013-2018), the Ministry’s main targets are to reduce morbidity and mortality due to priority diseases and conditions with special emphasis on HIV, TB, Malaria and NCDs. Under the ZIM ASSET programme, the Ministry falls under the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster as well as the Social Services and Poverty Eradication Cluster.

2.0    KEY CHALLENGES FACING THE HEALTH SECTOR

The following are some of the key challenges facing the Ministry:

2.1    The country’s health sector is facing numerous challenges,

ranging from the shortage of skilled professionals and health-care staff; an eroded infrastructure with ill-equipped hospitals, many lacking functional laundry machines, kitchen equipment and boilers; and a lack of essential medicines and commodities. Most of the country’s hospitals and clinics do not have enough linen, electronic equipment as well as enough beds to cater for patients.

2.2    The country continues to experience a heavy burden of

disease dominated by preventable diseases such as HIV infection and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrhoeal diseases and health issues affecting pregnant women and neonates. Every year, one in every 11 children in Zimbabwe dies before his or her fifth birthday. In other words, 35,500 Zimbabwean children under the age of five die every year.

2.3    The health sector challenges are currently being exacerbated

by an imminent humanitarian crisis in the form of typhoid and cholera outbreaks, with some cases of typhoid symptoms being reported in Harare and in some other parts of the country.

2.4    Government occasionally clash with doctors over their

remuneration while the ratio of doctor to patient has remained high. In line with this, Zimbabwe has suffered immensely from a brain drain of doctors. Recent statistics show that there are now 1.6 doctors for every 10 000 people. Most Government rural health centers are manned by two doctors who have to perform multiple tasks. Linked to this, there are just seven nurses and trained midwives for every 10 000 people in the country, and yet some trained nurses lie idle selling tomatoes in the streets because Government has frozen their posts and the staff establishment has not been reviewed in line with the current demands in the sector.

2.5    In September 2016 Harare Central Hospital suspended all

 elective surgeries because of a critical shortage of medical supplies. Mpilo hospital once closed while Gwanda hospital is facing acute water shortages

2.6    Due to poor funding of the health sector, 98% of drugs used

in public health centers are funded by donors (UNICEF, 2016).

 

2.7    Some Zimbabweans travel long distances to access health care in

clinics and hospitals despite constitutional provisions compelling the Government to provide this basic right to its citizens.

3.0    MINISTRY’S BUDGET ANALYSIS

3.1    The overall National Budget was reduced by 17.14% from

 $4.9 billion in 2016 to $4.1 billion in 2017. Similarly, the Ministry’s allocation was also reduced by 14.76% from $331 million in 2016 to $282 million in 2017. The 2017 allocation is distributed among three major programmes, namely Policy and Administration ($16 308 000), Public Health ($19 120 000), and Primary Health Care and Hospital Care ($246 548 000).

3.2    The 2017 National Budget allocated $281.98 million,

representing 6.7% of the total budget to the MoHCC, making it the fifth highest vote. Other Ministries such as Primary and Secondary Education (19.6%), Home Affairs (8.9%), Defense (8.3%) and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development (7.1%) complete the top five allocations. 

3.3    Ministry Budget Trend

3.3.1 The Ministry’s budget allocation is on a downward trend

since 2012 when it surpassed $360 million. The allocation declined from $337million in 2014 to $330m in 2016 and to just $282million in 2017. As a share of the total budget, the 2017 allocation is 1.6 percent lower than the 8.8% in 2016 (Figure 3).The Ministry’s share of 6.7% in the National Budget falls far short of the 15% threshold stipulated under the Abuja Declaration target and the Sub Saharan Africa average of 11.3% (UNICEF, 2016). The declining trend in health allocation partly reflects a weakening fiscal environment constraining government spending in general, and health and child care in particular.

3.3.2 As a percentage of GDP, the Health and Child Care budget

is 0.9% lower than the Sub- Saharan Africa average of 3%.The estimated per capita budget allocation has worsened from US$26 in 2015 to US$21.29 in 2017, which is far less than the WHO recommended per capita allocation of US$60, and the SADC average of $146.29. Neighboring South Africa, for example, spends an average of $650 per person each year, while the Angolan Government set aside $200 to cater for each person’s health care needs in 2016.

3.3.3 The share of employment costs to the total heath and

childcare budget increased considerably from 37.7% in 2010 to 60.5% in 2016. This share slightly declined to 55.4% in 2017, and this is a positive development.  The net effect has been the crowding out of capital investments, maintenance and other expenditures for programs and service provision. Capital expenditures continuously declined from a pick of 34.1% of the budget in 2013 to just 7.5% in 2016, after which they slightly increased to 10.4% in 2017. Other current expenditures also declined cumulatively from 47.4% of the budget in 2010 to 32% in 2016, and slightly increased to 34.2% in 2017.

3.3.4 Although significant gains have been achieved in the health

 sector in recent years, especially in maternal and child health, sustaining these gains requires further fiscal space for health (UNCEF, 2016). With the continuous falling trend in healthcare financing, the celebrated gains can soon be reversed. There is thus an agent need to prioritise health and child care.

4.0    EXPENDITURE BIDS VS EXPENDITURE ALLOCATION

4.1.   The Ministry had submitted a bid of $198 750 000 for Policy

and Administration but was only allocated $6 308 000, leaving a funding gap of $192 442 000. Primary Health Care and Hospital Care was allocated $246 548 000 against a bid of $795 000 000. There are huge funding deficits across all of the Ministry’s programmes. 

5.0    ECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION OF THE 2017 VOTE

5.1    The bulk of the current transfers ($61,503,000) go towards

Primary Health Care and Hospital Care, while the remainder goes towards Public Health ($6,726,000) and Policy and Administration ($2,706,000). Goods and services were allocated $10,447,000

6.0    GRANT AIDED INSTITUTIONS

6.1    The 2017 budget proposal has reduced the allocation for the

 strategic grant aided institutions like Mission Hospitals, Parirenyatwa  Group of Hospitals and Local Authorities by US$572 700.00. This will definitely increase the burden on these institutions to meet the ever increasing healthcare demands.

7.0    MISSION HOSPITALS

7.1    Operations support for the Mission Hospitals has been

slightly reduced from $463 750 in 2016 to $460 000 in 2017 while capital support has been increased from $380 000 in 2016 to $400 000 in 2017.

8.0    OBSERVATIONS

8.1    Government is not prioritising health, as shown by its

position (number 5) on the expenditure allocation priority list. This is a very sad development given the challenges facing the health sector.

8.2    The current staff establishment for the Ministry of Health and

Child Care was adopted in 1980, 36 years ago and yet the Government continues to use it today. Currently, the establishment is not commensurate with the increased population which has almost doubled, the increased disease burden of HIV and AIDS, malaria, cancer, and other NCDs. 

8.3    The 2017 budget allocation is heavily skewed towards health

 worker salaries. In other healthcare systems it is recommended that employment cost be about 48 to 60% of the total budget.

8.4    The 2017 health budget allocation gives a per capita health

 expenditure of $21.29.  However, the ideal funding should be at $86 per capita to cover all conditions and to create an enabling environment for healthcare delivery.

8.5    Government funding mostly goes towards health systems

costs while partner funding goes towards disease specific activities such as medicines and commodities.

8.6    Funding partners have consistently contributed about 50% of

the total resource envelope which has been critical in sustaining the health sector.

8.7    Several disease management programmes receive a larger

portion of funding from funding partners exposing the programmes to risk if donor priorities shift or if funding ends

8.8    The current allocation of resources does not reflect the

 institutional mortality figures by disease area.

8.9    Doctors and nurses that are being trained are not being

absorbed into the institutions leading to poor service delivery.

9.0    RECOMMENDATIONS

9.1    The health care sector should be given more priority in

budgetary allocations so that we progressively approach the 15% Abuja declaration target. It is important to remember that the health of the nation is equally important as the security of the nation therefore to this end, the health budget allocation should be moved from 5th to 1st priority as this will go a long way in offsetting donor dependency syndrome.

9.2    Increase Government funding towards NCDs which are now a leading cause of morbidity and mortality.

9.3    In line with the above recommendation, the proposed

 National Health Insurance programme should be expedited to allow universal access to healthcare services by all citizens and hopefully boost drugs and sundries supplies.

9.4    In view of fiscal constraints facing the Government, focus of

 public spending should be to improve the quality of expenditures in health. Better targeting of expenditure, especially primary care, medicines, and supplies, while reducing the share of employment costs (both overall and in the health sector), should be a key policy priority for the Government.

9.5    Disbursement rates in health should be improved if the

Ministry is to offer effective and efficient health care services.

9.6    In the short term and in view of the sluggish economic

 outlook, development partner support will remain critical. However, given the unpredictability of donor support, such resources should be considered complementary to domestic resources, in the short term whilst domestic resource mobilisation recovers. Sustainability requires that the Government increases its domestic resource mobilisation efforts including innovative financing mechanisms such as public–private partnerships, and private investments to increase resource flows into the economy in general and the health sector, in particular.

9.7    The proposed Health Fund Levy of 5cents for every dollar of

airtime and mobile data purchased is well appreciated and it is the right direction towards increased domestic Health financing. However the Minister should assure this August that the funds will be managed in a transparent, efficient and accountable manner if the envisaged benefits are to be realised. I thank you.

          On a point of order.  There is no quorum. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DZIVA): Order Hon. Members.  I have recognised the point of order of Hon. Munengami, can the bells be rung.

          Bells rung.

Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 70  members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not being present, THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER adjourned the House without question put at Six Minutes past Five O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 56.

NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Beremauro, G; Hon. Chapfika, D; Hon. Chibagu, G; Hon. Chikuni, E; Hon. Chinamasa P.; Hon. Chitindi, C; Hon. Chitura, L; Hon. Chiwetu, J.Z; Hon. Dube, S; Hon. Gonese, I.T.; Hon. Holder, J; Hon. Hungwa, G; Hon. Katsiru, L; Hon. Kaundikiza, M.; Hon. Kwaramba, G; Hon. Madubeko, J; Hon. Mahiya, M; Hon. Mangami, D; Hon. Mapiki, J; Hon. Mashange, W; Hon. Matambanadzo, M; Hon. Matimba, K.M; Hon. Matsikenyere, N; Hon. Matuke, L; Hon. Mawere, V.M; Hon. Mawere, R.N.S; Hon. Mhere, E; Hon. Mhlanga, J.N; Hon. Mkandla, M; Hon. Mlilo, N; Hon. Mpala, M; Hon. Mpofu, B; Hon. Mpofu, S; Hon. Mukwena, R; Hon. Munengami, F; Hon. Munochinzwa, M; Hon. Musvaire, W; Hon. Ncube, G.M; Hon. Ncube, H; Hon. Ndlovu, N; Hon. Ndoro, L.F; Hon. Nduna, D; Hon. Nkomo, Mail; Hon. Phiri, F.P;  Hon. Rungani, A; Hon. Shava, J; Hon. Shongedza, E; Hon. Sibanda, K; Hon. Toffa, J; Hon. Tshuma, J; Hon. Uta, K; Hon. Vutete, M;  Hon. Zhou, T and Hon. Zindi, I.

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Global Finance Magazine

National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 JANUARY 2017 VOL 43 NO 27