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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 26 JUne 2019 VL 45 NO 66

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

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

DEATH OF HON. KASTON RINGIRISAI GUMBWANDA

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, it is with profound sorrow that I have to inform this august House of the death of the Member of Parliament for Zaka East Constituency, Hon. Kaston Ringirisai Gumbwanda, last night, Tuesday, 25th June, 2019.   May I invite Hon. Members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Member of Parliament.

           Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.

          May his soul rest in peace – [HON. MEMBERS: Amen.]

AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARIANS NETWORK AGAINST CORRUPTION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Sibanda, take your seat.  I have to inform the House that following an inaugural meeting of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), it was resolved that the following Hon. Members of Parliament become the standing Executive Committee for the duration of the 9th Parliament.  The Executive stands as follows:

          Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga – Chairperson,

          Hon. Kindness Paradza         -        Vice-Chairperson,

          Hon. Tatenda Mavetera        -        Secretary-General,

          Hon. Willias Madzimure      -        Treasurer,

          Hon. Nokuthula Matsikenyere      -        Vice-Treasurer,

          Hon. Tapiwa Felix Mhona             -        First Committee Member,

          Hon. Trevor Saruwaka         -        Second Committee Member,

          Hon. Precious Masango        -        Third Committee Member.

          Other Hon. Members who are interested are invited to join APNAC.

                    VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from King Solomon Private College, Harare.  You are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Leave of absence is from the following Ministers: Hon. O. Ncube – Minister of State for National Security;

Hon. Mathema – Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;

Hon K. Coventry – Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation;

Hon. J. G Moyo – Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing;

Hon. J. N. Mhlanga – Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing;

Hon. Madiro – Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;

Hon. Prof Ncube – Minister of Finance and Economic Development;

Hon. S.B. Moyo – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;

Hon. V.P Chiwenga;

Hon. V.P Mohadi and Hon. Mupfumira – Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, remember what I said yesterday, we shall not abuse points of privilege.  I shall allow only two, Hon Misihairabwi-Mushonga followed by Hon. Tekeshe.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  I stand on a matter of privilege and if you could just allow me to set the context of this matter because I am going to be requesting that your office facilitates on two issues. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, yesterday I said not more than two minutes.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  I will try and make it two minutes but it is really critical.  Mr. Speaker, we have come to this House many times and raised questions as far as Ministers are concerned.  Our Government is not responding and we have got to a point where we have hit a crisis in this country and not accepting that is putting our heads in the sand.  Mr. Speaker, you have just read a list of Ministers that are not here.  As Chairpersons of Committees, we are unable to operate.  Either the Permanent Secretary is travelling or the Minister is out travelling and the Director is at a conference eating cakes and scones.  This country is not operating.  Last time we came here and said we had an electricity problem.  Today the headline was screaming and saying we are moving onto phase 3.  I do not know what that means because there is no electricity in this country and we have not heard a response at all in this House.  Therefore, what I am asking you to do now – because I do not even know what ZBC is doing here because no one can watch the television at the moment.  They might as well pack up their cameras and go away.  Mr. Speaker, I am requesting you in my personal capacity and those other Chairpersons that are agreeable with me because we are wasting your time and everybody’s time. 

When Hon. Gumbwanda died yesterday, I am very sore; he died in a room on his own.  No one was watching him.  I came in three minutes before he passed away.  There was no doctor or sister running around and I think that is the level of inertia that is in this country.  You will find it in this very Parliament and in the Executive.  I think we are only left with one thing and one thing alone Mr. Speaker – [HON. SIKHALA: The Government must go.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - 

Section 140 (3) provides for us an opportunity to engage with the Head of State.  I am therefore asking you Mr. Speaker to request that meeting, initially, perhaps not for the full House but for Chairpersons together with his Executive.  Could he also call his Executive back into the country because there are only two people that should be travelling, the President and the Foreign Affairs Minister?  The rest of these people should be here.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - We are supposed to have our hands on the deck.  What I have a problem with Mr. Speaker is that we are not – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order Hon, Members.  Can you please sit down?  Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga can you conclude.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Mr. Speaker, this is not about political parties, this is about Zimbabweans.  This country has to work – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  We cannot continue like this.  So that is all I am asking you.  I am asking you, Mr. Speaker Sir, to please request the President and tell him that what he is saying at that level, no one is taking seriously at another level.  He is on his own literally.  So please, can we meet him as our Committee of Chairpersons and engage with him so that he can hear from all of us what is happening and like I said, I say it with greatest respect – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Order Hon. Mutseyami.

HON. TEKESHE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, please I seek your indulgence.  It is quite an important issue, Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You will speak and I will make a ruling on the first point of privilege.  Be brief.

*HON. TEKESHE:  My issue regards the issue of our monetary system, whether our finances should be kept under the pillow or be taken to the bank.  In 2008 we lost all our monies – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  We lost all our savings that were either at home or in the bank.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Hon. Member, I ruled yesterday that the question of monetary policy will come through a motion by Hon. Musabayana.  So, we cannot debate that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  You want me to chase you out.  Sit down – [AN HON. MEMBER:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Order, order.

TABLING OF REPORTS

ZINARA AUDIT REPORT

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of Section 12 (1) of the Audit Office Act, Chapter 22:18, I lay upon the table the report of the Auditor General being report on the examination of affairs and transactions for The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), Annexure Volume 1 and Annexure Volume 2.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  As I indicated last week the report is voluminous, it has 400 pages.  It will be distributed into your pigeon holes and I encourage you to study it – [HON. BITI:  Inaudible interjection.] -  Hon. Biti, you are an experienced lawyer and a Member of Parliament, switch on your microphone.

HON. BITI:  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for laying a very important report, the ZINARA report, but Hon. Speaker you had already made a ruling on the NSSA Special Forensic Audit Report and the time limits defined in Section 11 and 12 of the Audit Act have already expired.  So I am enquiring, Hon. Speaker Sir, when the NSSA Report will be tabled.  I thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, you remember your commitment; if you could respond?

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I quote the tail-end of the question but I know what the question is about.  It is about when I will present the results of the NSSA forensic audit I tabled here.  I have now done enough consultation; there is no legal obligation for me to table it.  However, I can table it once annually.  If they read it – I can present it only once on an annual basis, that is what it says. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Biti can you take your seat?  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Minister if you recall at our meeting two weeks ago, you indicated – first you had wanted to have 30 days, then later on you said you would bring the report to Parliament within 14 days.  What I would like to know from yourself is what has changed – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Order, order Hon. Mliswa, do you want an answer or not.

          HON. MLISWA: I want an answer.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you listen? 

          HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: Mr. Speaker Sir, what has changed is that I have read the Act and I am also guided.  I have read the Act – [HON. MEMBERS: Which Act?] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

          HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: I am supposed to table it, however the Act does not give me the timeframe, I as Minister can make a decision to ensure, I would – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can you finish?

          HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: The forensic audit is going to be available but right now it needs to be unpacked by legal experts, and when it is unpacked and palatable and easier to understand, I shall bring it here Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! A question of law has been raised, I shall attend to the question of law together with the Auditor General and if you can avail yourself Hon. Minister, first thing tomorrow morning at 9:00 o’clock.  I will make a determination accordingly.  Thank you. 

          Hon. Biti and Hon. Sikhala having wanted to raise points of privilege.

I have ruled, no more points of privilege.  Can you sit down please?  There is no compromise here.  I said I will come back and make a ruling tomorrow.  Can you please take your seats?  I have not completed the process; there is nothing that is being hidden here.

          HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker, oppressing the voices from the legislators does not auger well with many Members of Parliament.  They wanted to express themselves.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can you sit down?  The issue raised by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is valid, and in consultation with the Leader of Government Business, we will organise that meeting as requested so that is cleared.  Thank you. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  The First Lady launched a very good programme on customer care in our hospitals.  What is your Ministry doing in order to make sure that we have good customer service and quality service delivery in our hospitals?  This is coming from the complaints that we are getting from our constituencies.  Thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  Naturally, the issue of quality health care is a subject of major interest in our institutions.  Without quality health care, we will be wasting money and resources.  Therefore, she is quite right that there is a programme which was launched – the customer care programme and that programme is going to be carried out countrywide. 

The first of such programme was at Chitungwiza Central Hospital previously, which is a quality health care institution.  This has been taken also by Parirenyatwa Hospital.  They have just completed a full course on customer care and we are going to go province by province.  There are going to be courses which are going to be run at all the provincial hospitals and that is where we are going to be improving our quality care provision for all our customers.  I thank you. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Mutseyami, your power must be felt horizontally. 

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question as it relates to customer health care also goes in tandem with the operationalisation of the leadership in those health institutions.  Have you rectified Hon. Minister, the appointment of your Chief Executive Officer, Harare Hospital?  The last time that we saw there was no Chief Executive Officer.  After the departure of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nyasha Masuku, I think. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, we want embracive policy issues.  The policy is on customer care and not a specific doctor at Parirenyatwa.  So, what is your supplementary question?

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  As it relates to customer health care, it goes with the manning issues.  I would want the Minister to let us get to be aware of the issue of the Chief Executive Officer of Harare Hospital in terms of his manning levels because this certainly Mr. Speaker speaks to the issue of customer health care.  It starts with the manning levels, in particular with the head of that institution.  That is what I want to get to hear. 

          HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  To start with, I want to advise the Hon. Member that the post of Harare Hospital Chief Executive Officer was already fielded.  There is a CEO who is there, a Dr. Dobbie who is doing very well.  The young man is excellent and he is pushing as much as he can and in line with customer care, he is also coming up with this training programme just like what has happened at Parirenyatwa Hospital.  He is also moving in line with Parirenyatwa Hospital itself, that is where we have a gap and the Acting Chief Executive Officer has wonderfully managed to carry out the customer care programme there at Parirenyatwa Hospital. 

          So, like I indicated, Harare Hospital is moving and we are moving in line with customer care.  Quality health care is the motto.  We want to see quality health care delivery in all our health institutions countrywide.  Not just at the public hospitals but also in the private hospitals because we are looking at making sure that Zimbabwe gets back to normalcy in terms of health care delivery.  I thank you.

          HON. A. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care.  Minister, what is Government policy regarding the practice by some medical aid societies refusing to pay for services rendered by service providers chosen by the patient and insisting that they will only pay for services rendered by service providers that the medical aid society itself chooses.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Hon. Minister did not get it.  Can you repeat your question?

          HON. A. MPOFU:  My question is to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child care.  Minister, there is a practice by some medical aid societies to insist that they will only pay services rendered to a patient by service providers that they themselves choose and not by any other chosen by the patient himself or herself. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has not understood your question. 

          HON. A. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I will rephrase it – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Members on my left, I think you are going overboard.  Hon. Member, kindly repeat your question please? 

          HON. A. MPOFU:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will rephrase it.  My question is, there are medical aid societies who refuse to pay.  When a patient goes to a certain doctor or a hospital, they refuse to pay and insist that the patient should go to service providers they themselves as medical aid society choose. Thank you.

          HON. DR. O. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir. I think this is a very important question, very critical question indeed. We do not want medical aid societies who self refer to themselves. What has been happening is that you find a medical aid society will not pay if a patient does not go to their facility where there are service providers as well. This is why we are now coming up with a Bill for this Parliament to consider and ensure that that does not happen again. If you are a CIMAS member or a PSMAS member, they insist that you should just go to their facilities which is in medical terms, medical ethics unacceptable, totally unacceptable. That is what we refer to as merger referral. Normally a doctor cannot refer their patient to their own other services.

          As in medical aid society, if that is what is happening, that is what we have to put a stop to and the Medical Aid Societies Bill will ensure that we cut this off completely. Thank you very much to the Hon. Member for bringing that up and it is something which we will move with vigour. Right now, the Bill is with the Attorney-General’s Office and being finalised and it should be with the Parliamentary Legal Committee shortly. I think we are moving in the right direction and I thank the Member for bringing this up so that we can have that impetus. Generally, it is not allowed, it is unethical and it should not be practiced. I thank you.

          HON. R. R. NYATHI: Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Mines and Mining Development and in his absence, I redirect it to the Leader of the House or the Deputy Minister of Mines. What is Government policy to ensure increase in gold production especially among the artisanal miners?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is working tirelessly to mobilise gold production. What we have done is to decentralise issuance of mining title to all our eight mining provinces scattered throughout the country. One does not need to travel to the Head Office to apply for a mining title. We have also set up a gold centre rollout throughout the country with the first gold centre which was set up in Bubi.

          Currently we are working on setting out four gold centres, one in Mt. Darwin, Shamva, Silobela and the other one in Penhalonga. This is the second phase. Also on the third phase, we will be rolling out these gold centres to the remaining provinces. We are also in the process of making some titles for alluvial mining or river bed mining which will see an increased gold production and deliverance to Fidelity Printers. As you are aware, Cabinet has approved eleven companies to do river bed mining, but we are calling for all other people who had withheld licences which were cancelled in 2014 and who have imported mining equipment to do river bed mining to come forward and form joint ventures with ZMDC. Thank you.

          HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is interesting that the Minister has mentioned gold centres throughout the country. I would like to know from the Minister what policies have you put in place to make sure the gold finds its way to the gold centres because there is a lot of leakage? Thank you.

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The setting up of gold centres, as I have said before, is an initiative where Government is trying to mobilise gold delivery to Fidelity or the direction of gold through the legal market which is Fidelity Printers. Each gold centre will be a buying centre for Fidelity Printers where there will be an agent who will be buying gold on behalf of the Government.

          So, we are in the process of putting up structures and also each provincial town will have Fidelity Printers office and buying agents. We are moving away from the historic way of doing things whereby in a province, we have only two gold buyers where they will be given targets like you need to bring 6 kgs per month and those people are failing. So, we are coming down to those small buyers who can bring a specific amount of gold; let us say 100 grams per week and we can have those people like 20 or 100 of those small buyers bringing 100 grams per week to the Government, it will mean a lot. I thank you.

          *HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wanted to pose a question to the Minister on the matter that has been asked.  It is on Administration.  We have got a number of river beds and a lot is being done in mining. There are so many gold rushes in this country currently. The mines that have been closed are now operating. My question is that, the Ministry of Mines is the one that ensures that Fidelity Printers gets the gold. How much gold is finding its way to Fidelity Printers?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and he wants to know how much gold is finding its way to Fidelity. Each and every month we give records of the gold that we will have acquired in a month. So, my request is that he puts his question in writing so that I can give him a convincing response citing the gold output from each mine. He also talked about hot spots where there are gold rushes that are happening throughout the country because our nation is blessed and money is available. So, those areas are areas that have not been pegged or do not have owners. I am urging that if there are such places and you find minerals in an unregistered place, they should rush to our offices to ensure that it is registered, but you find that there is a lot of violence that characterises such places because it is not registered. We work with the ZMDC to ensure that there is title so that we can have control over that particular area. I thank you.

          An Hon. Member having stood up to make a supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, we have had enough supplementary questions. Thank you.        

          HON. G. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, seeing that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is not around.  Firstly, I will lay my point out before I ask the question; ZINWA is demanding its dues on invoicing, which is low but the companies that would have supplied the Government, ZIMRA will be demanding its dues when they have invoiced.  However, in most cases, the Government departments always take…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Please ask your question.

          HON. G. BANDA: Yes, I am going there Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Go to the questions, do not explain. 

          HON. G. BANDA: What is the policy on the offsetting of ZIMRA dues against what the companies will be owed by the Government?  What is the policy in place so that the companies that are going down under can be sustainable – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The first part of the question is indeed correct, that once you invoice the ZIMRA dues are due, and payable at the end of that month.  However, what I know is that there is an arrangement where if you can go to them and show that you have not been paid, they have arrangements to deal with such scenarios, but ZIMRA does not offset what you owe them in terms of VAT or taxes when you present invoices that you owe the Government.  I thank you.

          HON. MUSIKAVANU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care as follows; Hon. Minister, what is Government policy on ensuring that unfulfilled conditions of service issues for health workers are addressed, in view of a potential collective job action?  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I think your question has been overtaken by events, if you follow what has been going on.

          HON. S. K. MGUNI: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  I would like to know what the Ministry is doing to empower, youth, women and war veterans.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat your question please.

          HON. S. K. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Ministry of Mines, I said what is the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development doing to empower youth, women and war veterans?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker Sir, currently, the Ministry is in a process of restructuring the loan that it will be getting from China to try and capacitate...

          Hon. Members having been making a lot of noise.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Hon. Mguni, you ask a question and you are talking, you are not listening.

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry is currently in the process of restructuring a fund that it will be getting from China.  The fund will bring in equipment that will be used to capacitate women in mining, war veterans and youth.  What we will be doing is what we have called Command Mining or grouped mining where groups of youth, war veterans and women will be capacitated with mining equipment and also given mining titles. 

          We are also considering these groups on river-bed mining; we are going to parcel out some rivers to these groups so that they are empowered and capacitated.  However, all this will be done on condition that all gold will be channeled to the legal market, which is Fidelity Printers and Refineries.  Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I would like to know from the Hon. Minister is; in terms of the quantum of this gold mobilisation fund that he spoke about, how much is it?  Of that amount, how much is going to gold-buying, how much has he apportioned to gold-buying and how much is the quantum in terms of value from the Chinese Bank?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: Mr. Speaker Sir, currently the funding that we will be getting from the Chinese is to the tune of US$100 million and when it comes, it will be the work of the Ministry and Fidelity Printers to distribute in terms of economic viability of the provinces or where mining will be taking place.  We will not be distributing it equally but it will be in preference of the areas where we will be getting more of that resource.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary is that, we are happy that there is a programme on empowerment for war veterans, youth and women.  On this left side where we are seated Mr. Speaker…

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Ask your question.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI: It is coming.  My supplementary question Mr. Speaker Mr. Speaker Sir is that, we as MDC party, are just like the Tonga, Shangaan and other minority groups who are not catered for by the Government.  Hon. Minister, I want to find out how we can be part of those Committees so that when such resources come, especially in those mines – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: Please take your seat.  I will not accept such a question because Members of Parliament elected by the electorate, if you are ZANU PF in that constituency, you represent all.  If you are an MDC Alliance Member of Parliament with a constituency, you represent all people in that constituency – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, order!  I am asking all Hon. Members that you shall behave accordingly.

 The same with a councilor, that councilor is elected on a political ticket, once elected and sworn in; he/she will represent that ward, all the people. Even an independent Member of Parliament, you represent all people in your constituency.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. No wonder why I attend the ZANU PF Congress and the MDC Congress and I am awaiting invitations from other parties because I represent everybody in my constituency.

          My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  Are you aware that there was a facility, again, which people were promised during the tenure of Hon. Chidhwakwa – the old regime, which never came through?  So which other facility is this which you are talking about, it was 100 million again?  Is it the same facility or not? So it is important that the Minister tells us if this is another facility or it is the same facility.

          What is the criterion used in choosing people, probably just to support my colleague in terms of how then the money is disbursed?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There is a vehicle ACR 0721, it is a Land Cruiser, it is blocking other vehicles.  If it is not removed now, it will be clamped and towed away.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): I would like to start by answering the question on criterion which will be used to give equipment to miners.  We are treating everyone as equal whether you are black, red, white or yellow.  Irrespective of which party you are coming from, it is the same criteria that we are using, even in the issuance of mining title.  Anyone who comes to our offices seeking issues of mining title, we are not looking at which background you are coming from. So, it is the same criterion that we are using, what we are much worried about is gold mobilisation to the Government.

          Whether the facility is the old one or it is a new facility – in the old regime there were two facilities which were availed to the government.   The first one was from South Korea and the other one was from China.  These did not progress well, we tried to follow up the first one which was from South Korea and we did that without success.  We followed again on the one from China and we were successful.  So it is the same facility which was not availed last time which we have resuscitated.

          HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  my question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  it relates to the issues of the shortages of power in Zimbabwe.  I want to draw the Hon. Minister to an incident that happened today in my constituency.  Today, in Harare West….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member can you restrict yourself to a policy question?

          HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you very much for that.  I said my question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development that the shortage of power supplies in this country is now affecting critical institutions like High schools, Primary Schools and also hospitals.  So,  I would want to understand from him what is the plan or what is the Government policy relating to supplying power to these critical institutions for example –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

          HON. MAMOMBE: The reason why I am touching on these critical institutions, particularly the high schools is the issue of education because you find that even in the Constitution, education is a right and there should be a conducive environment, particularly issues of power.  The students are now engaging in demonstrations and marches because they cannot have time to study due to power shortages in our high schools.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): I must thank the Hon. Member for raising a very important matter.  This is a very important question.  Hon. Speaker, I must begin to answer this question by putting our current calamity on power in context…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order! Hon. Members, can you reduce your whispers. Hon. Minister, if you could raise your voice.

HON. CHASI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I must begin to answer this question by putting our current calamity on power in context. The country as a whole owes ZESA $1,2 billion. I want to appeal to Hon. Members here, each and every one of us and our constituencies, to spread the message that we must pay our bills regardless of anybody’s social status. We simply must pay our bills. It is very easy when we have a crisis like the one we have now to point fingers. The generality of the public owes ZESA in excess of $350 million, commerce and industry a similar amount, local authorities a similar amount and that is in part, the explanation for where we are now.

I have said in the past that if there is anything that should bring us together at this moment in time, it is this very important matter of power. The resolution of the challenge does not reside in the Minister of Energy, on ZESA or Government, it is all of us. I think this is a very serious matter. People can heckle me but if we do not work together, there will be complete darkness. So, the situation that the Hon. Member has referred to is very sad. We need to make sure that we pay our bills locally and our external bills. Government has paid its part. US$20 million was paid by the Finance Minister because we must insist that we all have a culture of paying our bills to ZESA.

Government is also, in the next few days, going to pay another US$20 million. What are we going to do with that money? I have made it very clear to ZESA that money must be directed towards energy generation, issues of coal for example are very key but equally, we ought to look at the demand side of power. Going forward, we would like as much as possible to disengage. Places like hospitals; we would like our arrangement to take care of hospitals by making sure that we have solar grids on site.

The talk about generators, they are very expensive. Diesel is also very expensive. Hospitals and schools are not awash with money. So, we need to come up with new strategies that help us to generate more power and we would like to go solar. There are other things that we need to deal with which are compounding our problem, thefts. I am told now we need about 4 000 transformers. A lot of thefts are happening in our constituencies. Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga, in her area in Acturus, I think that is why she is so bitter with me but I do not make electricity.

A long piece of conductor was stolen there. It is happening every day, even in the suburbs, people are now operating in gangs and taking down transformers, taking oil and copper wire. Just to be very direct with the Hon. Member, we need interventions that help to insulate critical institutions and I think the list is endless as to who is critical. Schools, hospitals, clinics, mines and we are all critical here. We just need to get to that point where we stabilise the supply of power and I am happy to say that my expectation is that in the next few weeks, given the measures that Government has taken, more particularly the payment of $10 million to ESKOM with whom we are engaged, we should be able to unlock more power therefrom.

We will be discussing as well with our Mozambican colleagues to get more power from there but the underlying premises is very simple, we do not pay, we do not have power. So, there is no need for us to be emotional about this issue. We just need to be pragmatic. Power is very expensive and that is an area that we now need to look at the tariff because the tariff is important for at least two reasons. The first one is viability of ZESA. The second one is that it will make us attractive for investors who want to come and give us power in the various energy mixes that we are choosing. I think that is really what I can say at this moment in time. Thank you.

HON. MAMOMBE: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister, he has rightly put it to the House that it is our responsibility to pay the bills, but as of now, the Government has highlighted that we need to pay the bills in RTGs or Bond. How are they going to use that money to buy power from ESKOM because we need to pay it in US$? How are they going to deal with that?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, you had requested a Ministerial Statement and the Minister had agreed to give that Ministerial Statement. What I am suggesting now is – [HON. BITI: But he must answer this particular question.] – Eh, Hon. Biti, ndichiri panyanga, do not worry. We shall allow the Hon. Minister to answer that question and proceed straight away to give the Ministerial Statement.

HON. CHASI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we must separate issues. We need to separate the issues of liability to ZESA and I am sure the Hon. Member agrees with me that we all must pay our bills. As to how the payment to ESKOM is operationalised, that is an entirely different matter. They should leave that to us – already 10 million has been paid before this RTGs arrangement – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, may you discard these ….

HON. CHASI:  It is just this is a very important point which is why I think that people demanded this.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Correct.

HON. CHASI:  So let us separate issues.  Pay your bill then you can ask later the party is not paying external creditors – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I think these are separate issues.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Ministerial Statement shall be given now. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I rise to move for the suspension of business so that the Minister of Energy and Power Development can deliver his Ministerial Statement. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for prioritising the issue of power – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

UPDATE ON LOAD SHEDDING

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI):  Mr. Speaker Sir, this statement was asked for last week.  The next day, I came here with the statement because I believe that it is of fundamental importance that Hon. Members must be given pertinent information as well as the generality of the public.  I have got the statement and I will go through it. 

I would like members to understand that our load shedding is arising from the deficit of power that we experience every day.  It has gone down a little bit below 400 megawatts but that is the figure that we must load shed every day. Why must we load shed?  In my first Ministerial Statement, I indicated the hydrological condition of Kariba.  The live water that is used to generate power has continuously been receding, I do not know since when, with the result that at the moment, we are at 28%. What does that mean?  It means that we must have a plan. Government is working on integrated resource plan. This means that we have got to come up with a multiplicity of sources of power and not just rely on hydrology or hydropower which, as we all know, is being affected by climate change.  

Mr. Speaker, I have a fairly lengthy Ministerial Statement and I have no intention of reading it to the House.  It will be available and Hon. Members can read it at their own leisure. 

The hydrological situation at Kariba is part of the reason why we are where we are but we also have challenges around our thermals which are completely antiquated – over 80 years old.  We have constant breakdown almost on a daily basis and significant machinery is taken for repairs every day.  We have also had challenges around the area of coal supplies which, as I indicated in response to an earlier question, we have directed ZESA to make sure that it applies part of the money that has been given to us by Treasury in fulfillment of its liability to ZESA towards ensuring that we procure sufficient coal on a daily basis to ensure that the thermals are able to give us power.

Let me come to the annoying topic of load shedding.  Load shedding is going to be with us until such a time when we have ensured that we are able to access our power from power exporters, which is HCB as well as ESKOM.

As I indicated earlier on, Government has paid 10 million towards the ESKOM debt.  We are currently engaged with them to get an indication as to how much and when we can begin to access more power from them.  We are getting 50 mega watts at the moment.  In theory, we can get as much as 400 mega watts which, as you can see, relate very well to the shortfall that we have got on a daily basis. At such a time when we have sufficient information, we will be able to update the Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Members, may you lower your voices please.  Can the Minister be heard in silence?

HON. CHASI:  Mr. Speaker, we have two levels of load shedding and what is it that informs that load shedding – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Go ahead Minister.

HON. CHASI:  May be there is no point in reading this.  Let me just answer.  We all ….

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am quite disappointed to see Members of Parliament walking out when we are talking about power and I wonder – are they really representing anyone?  Power is the most important thing and right now the country is at a halt because of power and you see them walking out.  Are they really for the people or they are for themselves?  I do not understand – especially members from the ruling party.  People are suffering because of this power issue but they are not paying attention to the statement.  Who do they represent?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members! You can go ahead.

HON. CHASI: The first stage of load shedding happens – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker Sir ….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order. Order Hon. Gonese.

Hon. Members, this is a very crucial Ministerial Statement and the noise that you are making in this House is surprising because Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga raised this issue on privileges but unfortunately you are not listening to the Minister. How are you going to ask questions to him.  Can we maintain our silence and stop moving in and out.  I have asked the Chief Whip to correct that anomaly.

Minister may you please speak up so that you can be heard in the whole House.

HON. CHASI:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I had decided against reading the statement but let me just read it because that will help us to make more progress.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  May you please read it.

HON. CHASI: Mr. Speaker, the country’s power supply situation remains constrained, with demand far outstripping supply.  Internal power generation ranges between 1180 megawatts to 1530 megawatts while demand is between 1750 megawatts and 1800 mega watts.  This has come about as a result of the following:

1.    Reduced generation at Kariba South hydro-power plant due to low water levels in the lake.

2.    Reduced and inconsistent generation levels at Hwange Thermal Power Station and the three small thermal power stations, Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati due to antiquated equipment. 

3.    Low imports due to foreign currency constraints as I have indicated.  We have a total of ZW$90 million owed to those from whom we import power.  High import debts leading to curtailment supply from South Africa and Mozambique as I have indicated. 

4.    Increased electricity consumption and demand in this winter period.  Consumers regularly switch on electric heaters, geysers and boil water for domestic use among others.  The maximum demand is currently reaching 1800 megawatts and may continue increasing, given that it is getting cold.  As I came in through the entrance I saw a heater.  They are huge consumers of power but we are expecting that we will continue to experience increased demand.  This is why I have indicated that we also need to deal with the demand side of things.  I will speak to that later on.  So, this results in load shedding.

5.    Part of the load shedding arises from the fact that we have not been paying our bills as a country.  US$1.2 billion to a very central institution and I want to repeat what I said earlier on to urge all of us to do what we can to ensure that we pay our bills and bring ZESA, after a number of other interventions, to a situation of viability.  Without that, as long as we do not reduce our appetite for free things, we are digging a very big hole for our country. 

So there are basically two stages of load shedding:

Stage One: is when the power supply shortfall reaches 500 megawatts, and as I said we are already experiencing this increase due to the fact that it is cold and people want to take measures to become warm.  Domestic consumers in the main cities, that is of Harare and Bulawayo in particular, are load shed either in the morning or in the evening alternately.  That is from 6am to about 1pm and 1pm to 10pm. 

Stage Two: kicks in when the supply shortfall is above 500 megawatts.  At this stage domestic customers are load shed from 6am to 10pm.  This stage is reached when generation at Hwange thermal power station is below 500 megawatts which is usually caused by equipment breakdowns due to aging.  I have already averted to this in my earlier statements.  Please note that stage two load shedding is what we experienced on the 4th June 2019, as a result of multiple faults at Hwange power station.  I want to underline this point Mr. Speaker, to say that our thermals are antiquated.  They really need to be replaced because they are obsolete.  We need to address those as a matter of urgency, but this is not something that we can do immediately to give us relief for the situation that we are in. 

For Harare and Bulawayo, the load shedding is usually in the morning or evening peak periods alternatively.  However, for towns and cities which are mainly rural or agriculture-based, load shedding is done for full days alternately.  This is Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, depending on supply.  I want to underline the fact that our load shedding is dependent on the power that is available.  The less power we have, the more of a spike we have that we have to deal with on a day to day basis.  This is why we cannot focus simply on supply issues because we also need to deal with demand issues. 

Disparities In Load Shedding For Customers

ZETDC has a mandate...

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of the fact that the Hon. Minister has already indicated that the statement is fairly lengthy, my suggestion would be that he just reads through the speech then he reserves clarifications when we seek clarification from him otherwise we will be here forever.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Please can you take heed of the Hon. Member’s advice.  You can explain during question time.

HON. CHASI:  ZETDC has a mandate not to load shed some critical sections of the economy.  These include the essential services like hospitals, sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants and water pumping stations.  In addition, some State security areas like Airports, Air-force bases and major army barracks are also exempted.  Some of these critical areas have dedicated transmission and distribution lines to ensure that no other customers are connected thereon.  However, in some cases it may not be cost effective to have all essential services on dedicated lines such that they share connections with some ordinary clients and suburbs.  In such cases these customers will not be load shedded.

Imports

ZETDC has import arrangements with regional utilities to improve power supply.  Currently ZETDC imports 50 megawatts from HCB of Mozambique and 50 megawatts from ESCOM of South Africa on firm arrangements.   That figure is on account of our inability to clear our debts and can be improved.

Other Challenges Facing The Sector

The power sector is faced with a number of challenges resulting in inconsistencies in power supply.  Some of the challenges are spelt out below

1.    Faults – there are faults in the power supply system, which are caused by vandalism of equipment which has reached frightening levels in this country.  For example, transformers and conductors are vandalised by people who want to steal transformer oil and copper wires.  Conductor wire is stolen and I think that is what is affecting Hon. Misihairabwi’s area around her residence.  It is also important to note that our backbone transmission infrastructure was constructed some 50 years ago and needs to be modernised.  System faults also become more frequent in winter due to extreme temperatures which can cause breakage of conductors. 

2.    Limited foreign currency availability, I have spoken about that, which is why we have been unable to pay our creditors outside.

3.    Import debt – ZETDC has accumulated high import debts to the tune of more than US$90 million as of today.  This has resulted in ESCOM reducing its firm supply to 40 megawatts.  As I speak, we have been put on notice by ESCOM, this was before the US$10 million regarding their desire to actually do away with the 50 megawatts that I am speaking about here.  However, with the payment of the US$10 million we expect that we will be able to enter into more detailed discussions and we will be able to unlock power. 

4.    Coal supply challenges – I have spoken about them.  The coal miners have been agitating for increased price for their coal and we have come to some agreement with them on a temporary basis to allow continuity of generation of power.

 

What is it that we need to do to improve power supply?  We have to secure more letters of credit – [HON. ZHOU:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Zhou please.

 HON. CHASI:  ZETDC through support from RBZ has secured a letter of credit.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order.  The way Hon. Zhou is sitting - you are busy squeezing the Hon. Minister.  Can you please remove yourself from there – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Okay order, order Hon. Members. Order Hon. Zhou. 

HON. CHASI:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, I agree with that proposal by Hon. Mliswa.  So ZETDC, with the support of the RBZ has secured a letter of credit from Stanbic Bank.  This will see ZETDC importing a further 100 megawatts through the Southern African Power Pool Day-Ahead-Market during off peak hours.  The arrangement will help us to save water at Kariba during off peak and use it at peak times.  As I said we are already discussing with our counterparts in Mozambique at the moment.

We also plan to establish a state of the art modern customer care centre with a tender that was advertised in May 2019.  This will improve communication of faults by customers and reduce on the time for attending to complaints by customers.  I have emphatically made this point to ZESA that the public must have a platform which is responsive to which issues of complaints can be addressed.

To deal with the demand side of things, we also need to come up with energy efficient equipment and lights.  Customers are being encouraged to reduce their demand through efficient use of electricity, particularly with the use of energy savers, solar geysers, smart metres, switching off switches amongst others.

I believe, Mr. Speaker that it may be necessary for Government to come up with a Statutory Instrument that motivates this and helps the public to ensure that we only have energy efficient pieces of equipment that we use so that we permanently manage efficiency.  There is also construction of Hwange 7 and 8.  In the medium to long term, ZESA will commission a 600 MW thermal power plant in Hwange.  The first and second units will come on stream in 2021 and 2022 respectively.  This will increase internal power generation and reduce imports.

Construction of Batoka Hydro power plant – feasibility studies for the 2400MW power plant to be shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe has been completed.  This plant will be expected to be completed around 2025.  So, it will not give us immediate relief.  Government is expected to appoint financiers and contractors soon.  The procurement for those is already underway. 

We are also going to focus significantly around licencing of private developers.  More than 60 independent power producers have been licenced by ZERA and are expected to commence developing their projects soon.  A few renewable energy projects are already under development, but going forward -  Government, through my office, is going to manage the execution, the implementation of all these licensed producers of power to ensure that there is clarity as to when what power is going to be generated.  We are moving away from a situation where people have licences and they keep them in their drawers for speculative purposes.

Customers owing ZESA

It is important, Mr. Speaker, that I must go through this list of debtors.  ZESA is owed by its customers to the tune of US$1 092 370 864

Debtor category

Balance

Percentage contribution

Government

21 235 765

2%

Other parastatals

43 535 183

4%

Local authorities

358 697 184

33%

Mining

68 978 997

6%

Industrial

94 960 505

9%

Farming

143 737 725

13%

Commercial and lighting

92 435 085

8%

Domestic

257 363 104

24%

Exports and other debtors

11 427 316

1%

Total

1 092 370,864

100%

 

– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, may the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please.

HON. CHASI:  That is our situation, Mr. Speaker.

Measures to improve on debt collection.

To improve on debt collection ZETDC is applying a number of measures to different categories of debtors.  Some of the measures are as outlined before. 

Domestic customers

For those who are not yet on prepayment platform, ZETDC is resorting to disconnections pending full payment or part payment with a comprehensive payment plan submitted.  Members of the public are encouraged to approach ZETDC to avoid inconvenience and to agree on a payment plan that is acceptable to both parties.

For domestic customers on the prepayment meter platform, ZETDC is recovering the debt by deducting a percentage from each electricity purchase.  Some customers have been blacklisted and their names have been sent to vending agencies to ensure that they will not be able to open new accounts or do any electricity trading until the outstanding debt is clear.

Business customers (industrial, commercial and mining)

Over 40 000 of these are on the prepayment platform thus the debt is recovered as they purchase electricity.  For the rest they are required to submit prepayment plans or else face disconnection.

Farmers

We have over 3 000 farmers who are on the prepayment meter platform.  Some need to either submit payment plans or face disconnection.  For those on command agriculture a stop order platform was initiated and it is working well.  There is also litigation and about US$51 million debt has been recovered through that platform.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hon. Members, the challenges being faced in the electricity sector are mainly due to the reduced water levels at Kariba, limited investment in generation, vandalism of power infrastructure and old equipment at our coal thermal power stations.  We need to take drastic measures to ensure that we deal with this situation and we must be able to work together to come to the resolution of the prices.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I want to first thank the Hon. esteemed Minister for his Ministerial Statement.  I am concerned however that there is no evidence of a plan to deal with the crisis that we are facing.  It is clear Hon. Speaker that the real issue is that we suffer from old equipment which should have been de-commissioned years ago, both at Hwange 1 to 6 should have been de-commissioned in 1984.  At Kariba, we keep on blaming low water levels instead of pointing out to the governance issue that the generators themselves are ancient just like the machines at Hwange.  It is really the issue of ensuring that we come up with new plants because both Kariba and Hwange are suffering from old machines which should have been de-commissioned.

          Therefore, in the short term, for us to get out of the mess, we simply have to import and if we have to import, we need to pay the US$90 million that we owe to HBC, Carbora Bassa in Mozambique and to Eskom.  The Minister has confessed that Eskom has placed us on notice because we are not paying.  Therefore, we need to devote all our foreign currency to this issue which is affecting schools, mines, industry, commerce and daily lives.  Mr. Speaker, it is a pain to live in a country of darkness; 15 hours of load shedding.

          So, I propose that Government finds urgent solutions to pay the US$90 million that we owe to Eskom but also to find a permanent solution of paying at least US$10 million we need per month for both HBC and for Carbora Bassa.  It is also strange that at a time that we need to be generating foreign currency we are passing a Statutory Instrument S. I. 142:2019, that is actually de-dollarising the economy.  It is ironic that we are supposed to be turning left but we are committing suicide, canibalising ourselves by turning right and de-dollarise the economy.  So, I urge that this House demands serious permanent solutions from the Minister of Energy and I need to say to the Hon. Minister, whom I like very much and who is a personal friend that everything he has said we have not found a solution to the problem of energy in this country.  I seek clarification.

          HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister has a tough task.  He is an honest person and he is very competent but the situation at hand, no matter how competent and how honest he is, does not require that.  Those are not the requirements.  What is required is production.  As we speak, production has gone down.  As much as the Minister is demanding for payment from those who owe, how do they pay when there is no production? So, already there is no production whatsoever, it has declined.  The gold that we talk about; the gold centres which the Minister was talking about building with the Deputy Minister of Mines mean nothing without power.  So, there is no production, there is no payment.  The Minister must understand that.

          We have also a situation where – there are two factories which I visited in my constituency today; Whelson Furniture which exports furniture to America and Lucas Batteries.  Lucas Batteries need their machines to be heated for 24 hours.  There is one that only goes off and they go and service it, it has to be on.  Now, for eight hours, it is on and then it is off.  We have a situation where Whelson Furniture and other companies in Norton had agreed to pay in foreign currency and an S. I. 142 comes and they do not know what to do?  So, while the Government requires foreign currency to pay, the companies in this country are willing to shoulder that and pay so that there is generation of electricity.

          We have got schools, which are not manufacturing companies.  Universities which are not manufacturing companies, we have got the new curriculum which the Minister has been pushing for a long time; ICT. Parents went and bought iPads, tablets for them, they are of no use now; there is no power.  So, we have a situation where schools - literally everybody is seated.  Nandos is a good example- the companies in Norton said we have simple policy at the end of the day where there is no power; there is no work we do not pay. So, the workers ultimately who are going to work where there is no power are not being paid and they have got bills to service.  At the end of the day, these situations, the Minister as brilliant as he might be – this is what is being talked to.  My last point which Hon. Misihairabwi spoke about is that this country needs reconstruction. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, raise questions or points of clarification.

          HON. T. MLISWA: The point that I am talking about is the reconstruction even in the energy sector; 37 years under one President it was destroyed.  It is only proper for us to admit that reconstruction will not be done by one political party; it will be done by all Zimbabweans.  To me it is important as such that all these problems which we talk about are more political problems which require us to be together.  

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to seek clarity on the issue of Kariba.  At what point did we get to know about the low water levels at Kariba because the Ministry, I am sure knew about the low water levels in Kariba well last year or a few months ago, so what is it that you did to ensure that you conscientise industry and to make sure they prepare for these power outages?

          Then, the issue of paying in foreign currency; is there a framework where mining companies or other horticultural exporters can pay direct to those entities like Eskom so that they will be able to get dedicated power into their organisations?  Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of antiquated equipment, we have a lot of equipment that we use in our farms that is then used in industries and this antiquated equipment is also…

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order.  The Hon. Member of Parliament supported S. I. 142 and the moment you talk about S. I. 142, you cannot talk about any foreign currency payment whatsoever.  So I just wanted to remind you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think the Hon. Member does not understand.  There is no contradiction whatsoever.  There are people who do direct exports and those people can use their forex and the forex has not been banned. 

          Mr. Speaker, my other question is on the issue of incandescent lights.  These lights, we still see them in shops and they are still finding their way through our borders.  Why are we not banning them and what is the Ministry doing to ensure that we ban them and we stop these from being sold in our shops.  Then the issue of long term strategy – Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to hear from the Minister, if there is a long term strategy to ensure that the infrastructure development in terms of our power – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members on my left, he is addressing me.  He is addressing the Speaker and the Minister is listening because he would want to respond to what he is saying.  Please, do not make me do things that I do not enjoy to do. 

          HON. MUSABAYANA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My last issue is on the issue of prepaid metres. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Musabayana.  This window that I am giving the Hon. Members, is not for you to debate but to ask questions or raise points of clarification. 

          HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My last point of clarity is on the prepaid metres.  Do we have enough stock or supply of prepaid metres so that it can help in curbing free riding in terms of electricity consumption?  I thank you. 

          HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  May I thank the Minister for bringing his statement at the appropriate time?  The first one is that, if there is a load shedding like the Minister has alluded to, why is it that the whole country and all suburbs are switched off at one time?   The last one is, may I ask the Minister to bring the list of all the debtors and what is owed. 

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and let me join my colleagues in thanking the Minister for coming in with a Ministerial Statement today.  I think my question is almost related to Hon. Biti’s.  I think my direct question is, when are we actually going to have a proper plan and by plan, I am saying, we are communicated to say for example, today this is your headline, ‘Load Shedding to Intensify’.  What does that actually mean because at the moment, we are getting electricity at midnight and it comes back at Five o’clock and I am sure that is true of everybody else?  So can we have a proper communication thing that says to us, this is what is going to be happening in the next week, in the next two months and in the next three months. 

          The second one is again to do with the issue of tariffs. Your tariffs structure does not work because you are subsidising.  What are you going to do with your tariff structure?  Again, in your presentation, we did not get what is happening with the tariffs structure. 

          The third one is to do with solar as an alternative.  I wanted to ask the question that as we speak right now, when you are importing solar or putting the solar implements, you are still charged unless you are importing the whole implement, otherwise if you do solar panels on their own, you are charged.  What does that mean given the fact that now we have to go into an alternative way of energy? 

          The fourth and last one is again to go back to your tariff structure.  Can you explain to me why companies that are exporting and are able to make foreign currency are charged at the same tariff structure?  My final comment Minister is, we cannot continue in this way giving general statements.  Your ZESA people do not answer faults lines.  Like I said last time, only one person answers a phone in ZESA – Mr. Katsande.  The rest of your people, engineers, nobody picks up the phone.  So, no one talks to any of us and I think it is important that you respond to us and tell us where we are going.  Thank you. 

          HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am not too sure if my question has been asked before but it goes like this.  Hon. Minister, we applaud the Ministerial Statement that you have presented to the House.  Thank you very much for that. 

          I would like to assure you Minister that, chinhu chinogadzirika ichi.  Minister, what we want you to clarify to the House is, what strategy have you come up with to encourage people to pay up the money that they owe?  It is a very simple question; let us know what strategy you have come up with so that people can pay what they owe. 

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issues which I am seeking clarity on, as a take note are; (1) it is to do with the first two that you have just moved to Parliament which Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga has just talked to.  I am sure in terms of information; you are not up to date.  So, you need to get details from your secretariat.  As we speak, the six to ten programme is already underway and it has been there for the past two months.  So, it will not be fair Hon. Minister to give things which are not true to the nation.  You need to verify that.

          Then Hon. Minister, with regard to the improvements that have been done in terms of investment in power generation, this country since 1980, we have not invested in anything with regard to power generation.  You can check the records – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  Members on my left, I do not think you want to force me to do things that I do not enjoy. 

HON. MUTSEYAMI: The Kariba project was put in 1952.  The Hwange thing was put in 1946.  Take note Hon. Minister – Kariba has been there as a picking plant but as we speak today, Kariba is now a constant supplier of electricity to the country vis-à-vis its programme which was done well back as a picking plant.  So, you need to explain on that with regard to the picking plant being Kariba and having Hwange which is supposed to supply power constantly to the country.  But now, here we have a problem with Hwange which you need to clarify? It is with regard to the supply of coal at the ZPC Hwange. There is a problem. The miners who are supposed to supply coal to Hwange to the Zimbabwe Power Company are failing to supply the coal well in time and they actually...

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Mutseyami, I think I have actually reminded the House that this window is for the purpose of raising questions and raising points of clarification not to debate. Hon. Mpariwa set an example that was very good because all that all of you would want to ask some questions.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: It is noted Hon. Speaker. We have three companies which are failing to supply the coal to ZPC to generate power and of these three companies, ZPC had a claim which they are supposed to mine their own coal and that claim was taken from ZPC. You need to explain on that and the worst thing with regard to that claim by ZPC is that the claim has been given to one business person who happens to be owning another claim, Billy Reutenburg, of which they are already failing to supply coal to ZPC, but he is being given another claim on a wrong playing field. So, you need to address that. Thank you Hon. Minister.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that we are going to overcome the current challenges that we have. That is what motivates the application of my energies towards what we are going to do. I am delighted that there is a good appreciation of the challenges that we are facing at the moment. The last speaker has been very good at the history. All that he has said that this was constructed in this year and so forth is correct, but my challenge at the moment is not to deal with historical issues.

          Members here are demanding a solution for now, and I want to expend my energies on that –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- That is it. If you keep quiet I will speak. So, I do not want to pretend that the new Statutory Instrument has affected things and that we are not going to succeed. We are going to turn around the power situation in our country. Hon. Mliswa made a very pertinent point which I made at the inception of my appointment that we must work together. The business of looking at me as the sole solver of this problem or ZESA or any individual person cannot help us to resolve our issues.

          We must work very hard, all of us. There is no excuse Mr. Speaker. I am not going to stop talking about consumers paying for the power that they have consumed. It is a very dangerous approach to try and find excuses when you have consumed the power. People must pay and as I have indicated, it does not matter who you are. If you are accessing our power at ZESA, you must pay for it. It is really that simple.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, a lot of the questions that the Minister is addressing were actually raised from Hon. Members from on my left. Why can you not just give the Minister a chance to answer your questions than interfering whilst he is speaking?

          THE MINISTER OF ENGERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): Hon. Musabayana, to be quite frank, I think it is neither here nor there when we became aware that Kariba is in its state. We are faced with a Kariba that is in its current state. We must deal with what is there at the moment. There have been works that have been done. If one goes today at Kariba, you find that there is work that has been done. There have been additions to capacity that have been put in there. I must accept the point that we did not plan sufficiently, given our situation. We needed to have been managing the risk – that ought to have been clear.

          It ought to have been clear that the water at Kariba was receding at a significant rate that would affect our capacity to generate power. So, we are working on a plan, because I have identified that as a key issue for us to go forward.  What should the plan do? We must look at the balance sheet of power that we have and the deficit in that balance sheet and come up with projects that are going to knock off megawatts from the deficit. I do not want to stop there. I believe that we can export power as a country. There is massive interest by investors in this country.

          I was recently in Portugal and I have got investors that are coming here on the first. This is only about a week ago that we were there. There is a lot of interest in our country. What is it that we must do? –[HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection]- There is no major deal here. What is it that we must do? We create a congenial environment.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address your Speaker.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): Yes, I am just distracted Mr. Speaker. So, yes, I accept that our equipment is antiquated and as we move we do have plans to renovate where that is possible or totally pull down something and start with something else that works. Hon. Mliswa has spoken about the reconstruction of the company or rather or the country  I am not sure precisely what he means about that. I think what we are doing now, correcting the mistakes of the past can be viewed as a way reconstructing our power sector.

          Hon. Mpariwa has mentioned that the entire country is being load shed at the same time. I am not sure how she was able to establish that. It may or may not be a fact but I think it is neither nor there. At the end of the day, we must be in a situation where we generate more power and also have responsible use by consumers of their power. Where it is necessary, we will come up with the necessary instruments that deal with consumption issues. We can come up, it is within our power to come up with a requirement that new housing projects must be solar based. We can also come up with rules which set standards for the quality of solar equipment that we are going to be using.

          We are also looking at – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection] – I think nyararai titaure because I will not come every...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister go ahead.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): So, Hon. Misihairabwi has spoken. Their area is a victim of the vandalism that I have spoken about. This is why I am emphasising that all of us must work together. We need to look at where the market for the copper is that people are stealing? Who is responsible, who is licensed, and we have already started to look at this in a comprehensive way so that as we are not a copper mining country, ubiquity of licensed needs to be interrogated and we need to understand where the copper is going and who is responsible. She also made reference to the issue of tariffs.  It is problematic to have a tariff that is not cost-reflective.  The tariff must be cost-reflective.  We need ZESA to be a viable entity which has got a capacity in oaths right, to be able to borrow on the basis of its own balance sheet. 

That is also the additional reason why it is important that all of us must pay the amounts that are owed to ZESA.  The tariff, if it is – as is the case, sub-economic; where in the region, we are basically giving people power for free, we need to agree on this and we have already started a detailed enquiry into – basically interrogating the tariff structure and the philosophy that has governed it to date.  When that task is completed, obviously, I cannot tell you tomorrow, but we are working on this every day. This is an urgent issue and impatience is not going to give us electricity.  We need to be methodical in the way that we are arriving at policy positions.  I am not just going to rush and say, we want a tariff increase of 300%, we must take a very detailed inquiry into the structure of the tariff. 

As I said Mr. Speaker, the tariff is important for a variety of reasons.  Viability of ZESA, the attractiveness of Zimbabwe as a destination for renewable energies investment; that is a key enabler for that type of investment.  So, we have to look at it and come up with a proposal that will be acceptable to the Government.  Of critical importance Mr. Speaker, is that we need a ZESA that is efficient, that contracts on the basis of…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members on my left – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Member on my left…

HON. CHASI: I am about to finish Mr. Speaker.  The tariff must be cost-reflective and we need an efficient ZESA so that we do not feed into the tariff inefficiencies that obtain in the organisation.  What do I mean by this?  If procurement is porous and the organisation does not get real value for the money that is spent, at the end of the day, that inefficiency in procurement is going to feed into the tariff.  So, that is a very important area that I am focusing on, to ensure that we bring an efficiently run organisation in the form of our utility so that the inefficiencies are not passed to the public.

Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga has spoken about solar, yes, we are looking at that and it is a very important issue.  The equipment, depending on how one imports, is supposed to be duty-free but there is VAT.  However, we need to come up with incentives that are significantly effective to encourage importation of equipment, but we also would like this – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member!

HON. CHASI: What we would like Mr. Speaker is to have all those because the level to which we want to take solar energy requires that we have these materials readily available in Zimbabwe.  I have had discussions with several possible investors who would like to make panels here and make batteries and storage facilities – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – you know, we can trivialise these things but I do not think when we get home and there is no power, we would be laughing about it.  We must work and sort out this problem.  The business of pushing the matter – many Hon. Members have called me here – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – thula phela – [Laughter] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.

HON. CHASI: If one is not a Minister and you ask the Minister to come and speak to you, at least listen and then criticise me when I am gone – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think you are forcing me to send you out.

HON. CHASI: The other Hon. Member was historical, almost like my fellow Hon. Members.  We are talking about history; we need a solution now, a plan – going forward.  Our plan must have a good mix of energy sources so that we are not dependent on one source of power.  It is correct to say that we ought to have done that a long time ago but we must now do that as a matter of urgency.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Togarepi was asked to approach the Chair.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, may you take your seats.  It would appear that this Ministerial Statement has raised a lot of interest.  Now, because of that, we need to give each one time to raise questions on areas that you need further clarifications, not debating.  Are we together? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – Thank you.

  Hon. C. Kashiri having stood up on a point of order was asked to approach the Chair.

HON. KASHIRI: Mr. Speaker, my point of order is that; we really appreciate the Minister’s Ministerial Statement.  At the same time, let us be mature and give the Minister time to explain without disturbing him – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  The other side is disrupting the Minister, therefore it is of no use for the Minister to continue debating – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – This is the kind of behaviour we are talking about.  We cannot have this kind of behaviour in the House.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Your point has been noted.

          HON. NDUNA: To avoid the issue of vandalism in quest of the need to export copper, I ask if the Minister would see it fit to confer with his counterpart, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development in making sure that there is no issuance of copper licences immediately and cancelling of the existing ones.

          Secondly, the inclusion of drones in policing and protection of our infrastructure, in particular the cables, aware that drones can carry a lot of payload and they are used in various jurisdictions to carry dangerous payload but if they can carry cameras to police our cables.

Lastly, the Minister spoke about the 50 mega watts from S.A Eskom and HCB 50 mega watts.  My question is, because of our legacy debt have we been cut off and if we are going to resume, when is the resumption of that supply of 50 mega watts from South Africa and 50 from Mozambique in relationship to the US$10 million that we have just paid. 

          HON. T. KHUMALO: The Minister mentioned the stealing of copper and oil from transformers and he said we should work as a team, which I agree to.  So, what we have done as Members of Parliament in our respective constituency in Bulawayo, we have come together, the residents, ZESA, the police and others.   We have managed to apprehend the copper stealers but the challenge that we are facing is the law which gives them fines.  The next day we see the stealers walking in the streets and they will come and still again.  So, this means there is a cartel of people who are stealing copper wires.  As a Ministry, what measures are you putting in placE and deterrent sentences to apprehend these people? As we speak, Woodville Park has not been having electricity for two months because cables are being stolen but the residents are fighting day in and day out to apprehend these people. 

          HON. S. BANDA: What is the Dema Diesel Generation Power Plant helping to the current electricity grid?  Secondly, what is the latest on the tender?  I think the Minister spoke of renewable energy and there have been tenders, for instance, Pomona West to generate electricity as renewable energy which can generate about 28 mega watts.  What is the Ministry doing to ensure that we generate electricity from Pomona West?

          Lastly but not least, the Minister spoke passionately about defaulters, when are they going to name and shame them especially the biggest ones including Ministers and even Hon. Members of Parliament if they are here? 

          Do you think that president Chamisa’s dialogue can cause electricity to improve, if, let us say, we discuss with him.  Thank you.

          HON. SIKHALA: How many private players do we have in Zimbabwe who are complementing the National Grid to supply electricity in our country?  Secondly, there are other companies for example, Triangle, it generates its own electricity but it has the capacity to generate electricity that can supply the whole of Masvingo.  What is Government thinking about the private companies who are generating extra electricity to assist the country? 

          Thirdly, as a follow up to a question that was asked by Hon. Banda, I still remember three or four years ago, maybe I do not know whether it was for the interest of generating a coup d’etat.  The former President R.G. Mugabe’s electricity bill was publicised the whole world that he owed ZESA about half a million in terms of the bills.  How many of our current debtors do we have?  Can the Minister compile them and bring the names here in Parliament so that we know who owes what to ZESA in order to enforce the law?

          HON. KARENYI: I understand that you cannot just go and buy copper in any shop.  Who are the licenced people to buy or to export copper?  We want to know how many are there in the country so that we trace these culprits.  Each and every time they steal the copper, where are they selling that copper? So, we want them to be brought before Parliament.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that you have given me to seek clarifications.  My question to the Minister of Energy and Power Development is that we have been asked to pose questions and to also suggest solutions.

 Minister, you talked about old machinery or old plants at ZESA; have you gone to Kariba and satisfied yourselves that this is the actual position in Kariba?  During the Eighth Parliament when R.G Mugabe was still the President,  there were some old transformers when we went to Kariba South.  There were marked U.K and some English, and those that were in my Committee when we visited can witness that point. There were two old plants but three transformers were removed. In fact, the parts of those transformers were removed and new ones were being installed. The old grey type of transformers was being removed and the new ones were marked mains and are from China.

The construction company that had done the construction in Zambia or the expansion in Zambia was the same that was doing the work on the Zimbabwean side. They brought the same transformers to Zimbabwe. They did not come for the new southern station. They came with transformers to cover from the old to the new extension. All the transformers that were installed were brand new. In terms of turbines, they were new and intact but you now tell us the machinery is old and that is why we are facing the problems with ZESA, which is not correct. As a Committee, we were carrying out our oversight role and once we observe issues, we record them and put them to memory.

Madam Speaker, we also look at the issue of receiving water. You are new in this set up Minister. There are some pipes that are there and water drops from the dam onto the turbines to produce electricity. We requested that the issue of the dead water and active water be reduced, and they said they were going to do that. The first power station was built on higher ground while the second one was on lower ground and they had no problems with it. When they went to the second station, the turbines would not give them problems but for the first one, they were going to be stopped. That was the issue Madam Speaker. The one that was done on the extension was constructed at a lower level ...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Matambanadzo, one thing that you should note is that you are not supposed to debate observations that you would have made as a Committee because the Committee report is going to come into the House. So, may you please seek clarifications which are not in line to what you observed? Thank you.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: To set the record straight, the Eighth Parliament made this report which do not think is going to be presented in this Session. I am talking history and we keep history. This is history. So, Madam Speaker, what I am saying is that the South Extension was constructed at a lower level and we were told that we will never run out of electricity because it generates at high speed and at the same speed. I do not know whether he also observed that same thing because we were told the same thing. We have come here to sharpen the Minister. There are some conmen and unscrupulous characters that may soil the Minister’s reputation and the country suffers.  

We also went to Hwange and it was under construction, new things were being put in place. We were told that they have acquired new things and that certain countries were assisting us. We heard that we had run out of coal. How can coal run out at the same time that the water would have run out? That is what we fail to answer when we are asked these questions in our constituencies. We cannot run out of water and coal at the same time. Would that be the case Madam Speaker? I do not know how you see it Madam Speaker.

My last point of clarity Madam Speaker is that last week but one I spoke about ZESA and posed a question to his deputy. I had asked whether it was not the issue of competent staff that had been fired. When the President heard about it, I saw in The Herald that he had ordered them to go back to work. I was so happy and I celebrated. As I was celebrating, my wife asked me and I said my advice has been heeded to by the President for they had returned the CEO who had been fired during President Mugabe’s time.

He was returned to his position and we had electricity. They have now fired him and the electricity became unavailable.  He was fired because he refused to sign for unscrupulous funds that were being stolen in that area. Tell the President the truth so that competent people can be returned to work. Competent people were fired at ZISCO Steel such as J. J. Masango and in three months time, ZISCO had tumbled down. In three days time, he was returned and he ran it for seven years and they then fired him for the last time. They closed and to date, they are still closed.

You should look after the same person and the same Minister will look after the work. The one who does not know should be fired and come and sit back with us Minister because there are many Members of Parliament who can do so.

HON. MUSHAYI: My point of clarity to the Minister is in his presentation; my fear is that I did not hear his recommendations or clarification in terms of when we are going to expect the power situation to improve. I did not hear him say according to these measures that we have put in place, we expect that the power situation will improve at this particular point in time. Therefore, my question is, are we going to have load shedding and no power into perpetuity?

The next question Hon. Minister is, you have talked about introducing Customer Care Service Centres. There have been a lot of complaints around the lack of information and response from, particularly ZETDC members. By when are we going to have this particular Customer Care Centre because we do not want to be promised something which has no timeline? Thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MURAI: Minister, you said that load shedding starts at six and ends at ten. Is there no other means of getting electricity for people to use during the day? Maybe we can have two or three days for people to enjoy electricity during the day because what is currently happening is that electricity load shedding begins when we are sleeping and ends when we are in bed again. So, for this to happen every day is painful. My request is that we have some days when people can get electricity during the day.

On the issue of transformers, it is taking long Hon. Members for a transformer to be repaired in the event of a problem. It is taking too long. For example, in Highfield, the transformer broke down in January and we were told the parts were not available. I do not know why you do not keep such parts in stock. So two weeks ago, the problem was addressed but now we do not have transport to take the transformer to its relevant place and people are still concerned that there is no electricity.  People are now worried that the transformer is now working but there is no transport.  Is there something that can be done to ensure that the transformer is restored as soon as possible?

          HON. MOLOKELE-TSIYE:  I have two questions; the first one is with regards to the legacy debt.  I heard that it is 1.2 billion.  In terms of repayment process, are we saying that amount is going to be re-paid in the new current set up that was launched on Monday or it is in the previous one because as a legacy, it has developed over the years – I need clarification in terms of the actual value.

          The second question is with regards to debt collection.  Any normal company in the world has got a debt collection system. If we are owed 1.2 billion for ZESA, what is the current system of correcting the debts and why is it not adequate to make every one accountable?  Right now, more debt is being accumulated by ZESA.  What is the method they are using in terms of debt collection because as far as I am concerned, other companies end up having private debt collectors or other means or amnesties but the bottom line is, there has got to be a clear system of debt collection.  From where I stand, it is a debt that is accumulating all the time.

          HON. GABBUZA:  We know the Zambezi has never been an issue because the level of water has always been a problem because of our hydrological problem.  It is not the first time.  My surprise and the question that I want to pose to the Minister is, the new plant constructed by the Chinese – Sino Hydro Plant is still taking water from the same level of intake with the old plant because we have always complained that after a certain level, the old plant will no longer be able to pick up water, but now you have put in the new plant. You have however designed it to pick water from the same level which you are complaining about.  What is your position about that?

          You have talked about people that we owe and that are able to give us power but you have not mentioned DRC who have always given us power. Why are you not talking about them now?

          The thermal equipment is antiquated – it is not like it became antiquated this month or last month.  We have always known that this is old equipment but old as it is, the equipment has been giving us power.  What is it that you have not done which suddenly caused too many breakdowns?

          Is the Minister aware that these breakdowns are being caused by the wrong quality of coal which is being supplied to the power generators, mainly because the supplier of coal is saying the coal price is wrong?  I need a better price for the coal and they are now supplying high sulphur coal which is causing the breakdown because it is not burning with the right amount of energy.  If the Minister is aware, what is he doing about that because this is a big problem in all the thermals that are getting the substandard coal?  The supplier is saying let us agree on the price.

          The thermals need periodic repairs or statutory repairs but they have not been repaired because of shortage of foreign currency.  What plans have you done such that there is constant supply of foreign currency to buy the much needed spare parts to replace those that are on the equipment?

          HON. WATSON:  The Hon. Minister’s predecessor but one had a plan that he brought to this Parliament and it was a short medium term and long term plan.  It encompassed a lot of what you are now bringing here.  One of the issues that has never been answered and never resolved in my mind and my colleagues from Matebeleland North – Hon. Banda brought up the issue of gas from waste. 

The coal bed methane gas is a huge resource in Lupane. Why are we still hesitating at exploiting it?  We talk about the level of the Zambezi River. We talk about Batoka Gorge which is a huge debt burden to an already overburdened debt country Zimbabwe, whereas you have seen investors, and one would hope there were investors who want to invest in power and not consumers of power. Are the people who want to invest not out there and are they not Zimbabweans who have those special grants where the gas is not a pilot plant which shows the feasibility of using the gas? It was a paper done by a University of Zimbabwe Professor in 2013 which showed the equal benefits that can flow from the coalbed methane gas. The onward products are diesel, fertilizer and clean water. 

The Hon. Speaker brought this up at a budget seminar in Victoria Falls.  Why are we silent about it?  What is the problem?  Is it one of the things that Government as Hon. Chidhakwa said at that particular budget seminar that Government is still waiting to figure out how they get their share whilst Zimbabweans suffer without power?  I thank you [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order, you have indicated that Hon. Watson is the last to ask the Minister.  I wanted to find out whether there would be another round of questions and clarifications or whether that is the end of it.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  I think I had highlighted that we are having one round of questions and this is the final round of questions.

HON. GONESE:  I will defer to the Chair’s greater wisdom.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI):  I will start with Hon. Nduna’s questions on issues around copper.  It is necessary that we take measures against this because any investment in power will be affected by these people who are enemies of our country who on a day to day basis are causing havoc.  He mentioned drones – what I have indicated to ZESA is that they need a comprehensive plan to deal with these issues of theft.  If drones are the best, I am trying to conceptualise in my head what this actually means across the country because it is not as if the thefts are confined to a specific geographical area.  It is across the country.

I think that whilst they may help and  I will leave the decision to ZESA as to how they can operationalise the security arrangements against transformers, but I think that we need to attack issues of law around copper, issues of licensing and that process is underway.  I need to understand who has been licensed and how many licences do we have given the fact that we are not a copper mining country.  That is work in progress.

We are still getting 50 mega watts from ESKOM.  We are also getting 50 mega watts from HCB in Mozambique.  I agree with Hon. Khumalo on the issue of studying the legal framework.  This is a very serious matter and I think we have precedence in Government where Government dealt decisively with the matter of cattle rustling [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, can the hon. member be heard in silence please?

HON. CHASI: Matter of cattle rustling.  So, yes that is an area that I am zeroing in to see what we can do to the law to make sure that this problem is dealt with once and for all.  We need people who engage in thefts of copper or any other appliance that is connected with power generation or distribution to be sent away for a very long time.  We have areas where people are facing double trouble from load shedding then thefts of transmission cables and so forth so, I agree with her that it is a matter that we need to look at very urgently. 

Name and Shame – I really think people should just pay.  Let us just make sure but I do not know how many consumers are on the ZESA list and to be very open with you, for us to come here and examine that list, I do not think it will help us to get power.  What I am doing now is emphasising to everyone that we must pay our bills and also insisting to ZESA that they must get that money from those who owe them.  I do not think it will take us far.  Private players in the area – Government does not believe that it should be the one that is investing.  We need to create an enabling environment for private players and we do have some.  We need to grow that number and as I said there is considerable appetite for investment in our country.  We have already done preliminary work in the area of wind and solar in terms of identifying places that are optimum for purposes of solar production.  However, we are even going further.  I have asked that we get an indication of the roofing space that we have in our towns which can be used for purposes of installation of solar power.  I think we will continue to develop that area and the incentives as well as the information that investors would like to have access to in order for them to come and invest here.

          Hon. Karenyi, Who is licensed, I am not able to give that information regarding who exactly is licensed at this moment in time but I think what is important is for us to carry out the exercise that I am currently carrying out, which concerns understanding who has been licensed, who are they, where are they sourcing their copper and where is it going to.  As an initial response which can be corrected or an initial observation is that maybe we have too many licenses. I believe that we have too many licenses.  We need to interrogate them and see whether a specific number of companies that are in this business can collect copper legitimately from whatever source.  So we need to streamline that area and increase the penalty to make sure that those that conspire to participate in the theft of copper or other material used in the generation or transmission of electricity – we increase those penalties.  In fact, in my view, even the inconvenience that this occasions to the country generally when power is lost as a result of these thefts – really, we need to be looking at a custodial term.  There should be no option for somebody to go and withdraw money that they have made from the copper that they will have stolen.  So, people need to understand that we are treating this matter seriously and that when they are caught, they will not come out for a significant period.  I think we all appreciate the challenges that we are facing.

The day after I was appointed, I was in Kariba and I have seen things for myself.  Tomorrow I am off to Beira, I want to see things with my own eyes so that when you ask me questions I answer you from things that I know.  So, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the conscientisation. I was not aware of it and that has helped me significantly.  That is our approach.  I am not aware that coal is finished.  That is not the information that I have.  I actually know on a real time basis what each company is distributing to our thermals, and I suspect that the Hon. Member’s information may not be accurate.  I am not in the business of interfering with parastatals, except to the extent permitted by law.  So I am not going to tell them who to employ or who to fire.  Once we have put a corporate governance structure in place, we expect that structure to deliver.  So I do not know the individuals that were fired at ZISCO and really I do not want to know them.  All I just want to make sure is that the leadership at ZESA operates professionally in all respects, including respect for workers’ rights which is very important. 

If I can move to Hon. Mushayi – load shedding in perpetuity, I cannot give you a date now because I do not know when you are going to pay your bills which are relevant to us giving power to ZESA to buy transformers and other things.  People must pay their bills.  I cannot be asked when load shedding is ending because I have explained the challenges that we have.  I have no reason to skirt around issues but I am saying things as they are.  Everyone must pay their bill.  It does not matter how much I am heckled, but if those bills are not paid you lose your moral right to be critical of ZESA.  Everyone must pay their bills.  I am not going to stop talking about that- the bills must be paid.

Customer Care

I have made it very clear to ZESA that there are many complaints which I receive from time to time.  I have asked ZESA to make sure that they are responsive to the public when they complain.  There is a multiplicity of issues.  People that are asked from time to time in the suburbs to contribute by some junior officer, we cannot have that.  Things must be formal and properly done by ZESA.  It is not the duty of the public to look for a crane.  If the Hon. Member is still here, he should give me that information.  ZESA must make sure that that transformer is taken and connected.  It is not for the consumers to have meetings and kanzatu kanzatu, no.  They (ZESA) must do it.  So, I will be keen to get that information to the leadership at ZESA to make sure that we do things properly.

We need to understand the concept of load shedding and I get the distinct impression that we are still not there.  Our problem starts at around this time.  When people go home, the heaters are on, the geysers that consume so much power are also on all the time and swimming pools are on all the time.  So, we have got a peak.  The choice of the hours, it is not just someone sitting somewhere saying now I want to load shed Mount Pleasant, it is not like that, but there is a recognition that we have a shortfall of certain amounts of megawatts which we are trying to deal with on a day to day basis.  So, it is that spike in the graph.  I spoke about it in the first Ministerial Statement and I hope that people now understand.

It is not possible to say I am the Energy and Power Development Minister, my house should not load shed.  It does not work like that.  We are on the same line.  Even if they want to do it, they cannot skip me and go to the next guy and do me a favour.  So, even if it is a farm, they have to be able to load shed.  If you are on that line, you will be load shed.  This is why we need to be speaking about this matter very seriously because we can joke about it now but if we are not working together, helping each other to ensure that we sort out this problem; we will have more serious problems downstream.

Debt collection – because people will be making a lot of noise, I mentioned that ZESA has collected UD$51 million.  It has lawyers; it is also using the prepayment arrangement.  So, it is not as if they are sitting and doing nothing about the debt, but what we would like to encourage each and every one of us is to be conscious of the fact that when we do not pay our debts, we lose the moral high ground to be critical of the organisation that generates power.  I want to appeal to…

HON. GONESE:  Sorry I do not want to interrupt the Hon. Minister.

HON. CHASI:  You are interrupting me.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is it that you want to say?  Is it a point of order or what?

HON. GONESE:  Yes it is.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I am sorry, for now let us allow the Hon. Minister to finish.  He is answering.

HON. GONESE:  Yes, we want to allow him but I think I want to raise a point of order.  It affects the…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, Hon. Gonese, thank you.  May the Hon. Minister be allowed to finish off.

HON. GONESE:  Yes, we will allow him to finish off but I think it is a right, Madam Speaker.  If I stand up on a point of order, it is a right for me to raise the point of order because I think it is not fair to preempt what I am going to say, Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you, may the Hon. Minister continue.

HON. CHASI:  Debt collection – I mentioned US$51 million– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address the Chair.

HON. CHASI:  Transformers – as I told you, the transformers are very expensive.  They are being stolen every day and I like what Hon. Khumalo indicated that there are community efforts to try and deal with these issues.  It is not the Ministry of Energy and Power Development who will stop thieves but we all need to appreciate the seriousness of the matter and work together. There are things that I can do.  I have indicated that we are looking at strengthening the legal provisions dealing with criminals, people who steal copper that we can do, but I would be interested if there is a formula that allows us to see who is stealing transformers at every point in time and I think that what Hon. Khumalo has indicated is going to go a long way to help us to identify these people, to deter them from stealing and so forth.

Hon. Gabuzza, the thermals are antiquated, they are very old.  If we do not accept that reality, we will continue to fool ourselves that they have a limitless life; they are old.  We need to come up with plans with respect to other energy sources and we also need to invest in maintenance of our equipment regularly.  I think it is a fact that we have not fared so well in that regard and it is something that we really need to be looking at.

There have been, I think, a lot of technical statements that have been made about turbines not being at the right level.  I am sorry, I am not able to answer that.  I am an engineer who has been microwaved in the last months and so if there are specific issues, I would be quite happy to consult my team within the Ministry and at ZESA to give that information, but I respect the professionals in my Ministry and at ZESA.  I have interacted with them, I have seen them.  They were very convincing in the explanations that I was given, but I do respect the point that has been made.

Hon. Watson – a very pertinent point regarding gas.  As I indicated, we need to develop other sources of power. The point at which we are at the moment is not a point where we can have pies in the sky.  We want to be able to have projects and implement them against a definitive energy plan for the entire country, not just the short term that we need to deal with, but long range.  In order for us to get to that point, we need to be able to understand what sort of economic activity we are expecting by such and such a time and project what power requirements are necessary in order to take our economy to that level.

DRC – I am not aware of that. On my list of imports, I do not have DRC.  I am aware that they have a massive project that they are doing in DRC but meant primarily to benefit the South Africans.  Our major sources of power are the Day-Ahead-Market as SAP, Eskom and HCB.  We may import from here and there little amounts but going forward, we need generation of power across the country.  We also need to have a power generation that is focused on particular economic activities.  What do I mean?  I mean that we should never allow mining activities to discontinue.  We also should have in our minds the need to generate power that supports agriculture, just as examples.  So, we also need to disengage many organisations during the day, which means we need to invest in the renewable, particularly solar, to make sure that we have consistent supplies of power. 

Finally, allow me, Madam Speaker, to say that as Government and as a Ministry, we are committed to be coming here and giving Hon. Members the necessary requisite information so that we are all at the same level. This is the context within which I decided that upon appointment, I should issue a Ministerial Statement so that we have a clean platform from where we are starting.

Now if I am asked about thermals and this happened in 1950 and so forth, it is relevant history, but it is not things I was involved in.  I cannot really comment on them and I prefer that we look ahead to go forward to resolve this issue and each one of us plays their part in ensuring that we do not get to these levels again.  That is my commitment.  I do not come here to lie.  I may make a mistake, but I do not think it is correct to say that I am saying things that I have no motive to do.  I actually believe that Parliament and I owe that duty to Hon. Members to get all the information.  There is no reason to hide anything.  Let us say things as they are so that we address the relevant problem.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: This  brings us to the end of our clarifications from the Hon. Minister’s Ministerial Statement.

          HON. KASHIRI: On a point of privilege Madam Speaker Maam. Tonight at 7 o’clock, Zimbabwe Warriors will be taking Uganda.  I would like to urge all Members of Parliament to support the Warriors tonight.  You should say ‘Go Warriors Go! Go warriors Go!

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI), the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

 

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