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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 27 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 10

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 27th October, 2016

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON.DEPUTY SPEAKER

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

THE HON. SPEAKER:  On 25th October, 2016, Parliament received communication from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on the election of an independent member of the National Assembly with effect from 23rd  October, 2016,  Hon. Temba Peter Mliswa representing Norton Constituency.

Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule.  Section 128(2) states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.

I therefore call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the oath

NEW MEMBER SWORN

HON. TEMBA PETER MLISWA subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took his seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, Madam Chinomona. I just want to indicate that prior to my assuming of this platform, I had conversed with you that we are going to approach your good office to just find a way of having an amicable resolution of what we feel are fundamental issues of invasion of Parliament. So, on that account Madam Speaker, I am just placing it on record that we will approach your office to be able to deal with these issues. It may be important to appreciate that these are fundamental issues that do not require a partisan approach to it. They require all of us to know that the integrity of Parliament is our collective responsibility. It is not the responsibility of a party but of a people elected by the people of Zimbabwe. So, I just wanted to say that issue is already before you and we hope to take it up with you so that we find a good solution for our country. Thank you.

          HON. MPARIWA: I rise on a point of privilege that after my submission you may need to put some instigation in terms of the allegations about what I want to say. Hon. Speaker, you may recall that some of the Members of this House are not here. They are out there doing Public Hearings, specifically the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs which is chaired by Hon. Majome. I was called by the women who are in that particular Committee, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga for example. There have been some violence and disruptions in terms of the sitting of the Committee today when they wanted to convene. There were youths who are ‘alleged to be’ ZANU PF – [HON. MEMBERS: Haa-a] – ‘alleged to be’. Note the English please– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon. Speaker, may I be protected?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Can we hear what the Hon. Member is saying? Order!

          HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I take great exception to Members who actually want to judge or trivialise things that are actually going to be found out to be true or not to be true but one of the Members called me crying. Hon. Speaker, it is my submission that as head of Parliament, you need to find out about the safety of the Members who have been delegated by this Parliament and as women as well because that includes women. I want to believe that justice will be carried should it be found out that the happenings are true.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It will be very appropriate to wait for the official report of the Committee so that if they need security, I think the administration will help us by communicating with the team which is down there. So, we will look into that and get the official report.

          HON. CHAPFIKA: You have taken words out of my mouth Madam Speaker. That is exactly what I wanted to say that, in what capacity is Hon. Mpariwa making that intervention because the Chairperson is Hon. Majome who is not here. Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we will wait for the official report. There is no problem with our proceedings.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE LAND COMMISSION BILL (H.B.2, 2016) ON THE ORDER PAPER

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. CHIKWAMA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I move the motion standing in my name that the Land Commission Bill [H.B.2, 2016] which was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee and superceded by the end of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament be restored on the OrderPaper at the stage it had reached, in terms of Standing Order Number 161 (1). I thank you.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MATUKE:  Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH:  DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. CROSS:  Thankyou Madam Speaker.  I appreciate the opportunity this afternoon.  I welcome the opportunity to debate the President’s speech to the opening of this Session of Parliament as an opportunity to raise a couple of issues of what I regard as national importance.  I want to deal this afternoon with two issues specifically.  The first is the issue of corruption in the State and the second is the rule of law.

Madam Speaker, a respectable group of economists have calculated that the total cost of corruption in Zimbabwe since we gained our independence, has been in excess of US$60 billion.  That is equivalent to US$4 500 for every living Zimbabwean, man woman and child.  It is equivalent to US$1.7 billion a year in corruption.  Now, there are many features to this corrupt activity and I will not bother going back historically in any kind of depth, but I do want to emphasise this afternoon that this excludes specifically the cost of Marange.

If we examine the Marange issue, Marange was discovered around the year 2000 and it was abandoned by De Beers who found the discovery in 2006 – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Order, order.  Just take a seat Hon. Member.  Order Hon. Members.  Who is that Hon. Member over there near Hon. Guzah?  Who is that?  Hon. Members, if you feel you have a very important issue to discuss with your colleague, you just walk outside and go to the lobby and do your discussions there.  When you are here, lower your whispering please.

HON. ZINDI:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to bring to your attention that I had almost fallen down as a result of this arm rest on this bench.  So, I thought I should bring this – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order please!  What is wrong with you?

HON. ZINDI:  I thought I should bring this to your attention because in the event of an Hon. Member falling and perhaps a serious injury occurring, Parliament can be sued.  So, if this can be rectified.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Zindi.  Administration will look into that.  There are some repairs going on in Parliament at the moment in this Chamber.

HON. CROSS:  I was referring to the issue of Marange.  I have investigated Marange extensively, Mr. Speaker Sir, and it was discovered in 2000 and was abandoned by De Beers in 2006.  It was then handed over to Small Scale Miners in 2006 by the State and it was taken over by a number of companies in 2008 and they ran Marange for the next six years.

During this time, it is my estimate that US$17 billion worth of raw diamonds were produced at Marange.  The average production per annum was US$2.8 billion and I think it is widely recognised that, at this time, Marange was supplying 25% of global raw diamond demand.  Mr. Speaker, if you add US$17 billion to the US$60 billion, which is the estimate for corruption since 1980 and you get US$77 billion.  That is equivalent to five years of our GDP.  Five years of hard work by the country which has been completely consumed up by greedy individuals and companies.  Also, it should be noted that this was equivalent to another US$1200 per head.  In addition, I estimate that in 2016, the total cost of corruption in Zimbabwe will be equal to US$1.7 billion. 

I will be raising this tomorrow in the Budget and Finance Committee meeting which is being held to consider the 2017 Budget, because in my view, at least US$1.4 billion of that loss to corruption could be recovered by this House if it took effective action.  This represents a do or die situation for the nation.

We are a nation which is struggling to pay its staff; we are a nation which is struggling to buy medicines for our hospitals; we are a nation which cannot put books on the tables in our schools; we are a nation which cannot finance BEAM and yet there are these very considerable sums of money which are being consumed by corrupt elements in our society in front of us.  We know how it is being done, we know who is doing it and we know how much is involved.  I am going to ask the Budget and Finance Committee to make a tough stance at the next weeks Budget Seminar in Bulawayo and to demand for example, that we tackle these issues now with vigor, as a country and as a Parliament.

In addition, Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to point out that if we, as Members of Parliament, completed the asset disclosure forms which should be made available to each Member of Parliament…

HON. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  We want the Hon. Member to be heard in silence.  There is a lot of noise coming from the right side of the House – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, we are here to represent people and to hear whatever is being said in this House.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, I am surprised she is the Chief Whip of the Opposition, but she was making noise over there.  So, please desist from that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order please!  I mean everybody.  Let us hear the debate in silence.  I am not going to repeat that.  If I get anyone, do not blame me, I will send you out.

HON. CROSS:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to point out that if we as Members of this House were to honestly disclose our assets and if ZIMRA conducted lifestyle audits on us, we would in fact discover many Members of this House who possess assets vastly in excess of what they are capable of financing from their own resources.

          It is my view that the time is long gone when we should be declaring our assets in this House on a transparent basis. I would appeal to you as Speaker of the House of Assembly to insist in coming weeks that this exercise be undertaken as soon as possible. I think members who are living beyond their means must explain where the new wealth is coming from. They must be able to satisfactorily explain to the House that they have paid their taxes on that wealth. Otherwise, they must be condemned as being guilty of corruption along with all the others.

          In addition to this issue on the question of corruption in Zimbabwe, I want to point out to the House that for some years, we have observed that the total customs duties and Taxes collected at our border posts on US$6bn worth of foreign trade amounts to a paltry US$384m, which is 5% of the trade. More than US$1.5bn worth of motor cars are imported annually. The import duty on those motor cars ranges from 60 – 100%. On motor cars alone the duty should be more than double the total amount collected at our border posts.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Member next to Hon Guzah, please leave the House.

HON. CROSS: We have the spectre of the Commissioner of Taxes being found to possess a luxury motor vehicle worth more than US$170 000 which was declared at the border as a second hand Toyota car worth US$5000. Really, when are we going to get to grips with this situation? This is massive corruption on a large scale and the fact that we cannot finance our Government and this House properly is due to the fact that we are not taking action on these issues.

The other issue which concerns me is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development declared to this House a couple of weeks ago that US$500m worth of duty free certificates were issued to Government agencies. The two principal agencies involved in this trade was the President’s Office and the military. It covers all sorts of things but it includes large amounts of fuel and even bulk consignments of alcohol. I have evidence which I have taken to ZIMRA and given to them that these goods are being sold on commercial markets in Zimbabwe but coming into the country duty free. Mr. Speaker Sir, this kind of thing – duty free of US$500m a year, that is a lot of money. This simply should not be allowed to happen.

We have the problem of the abuse of public funds. I sit on the Public Accounts Committee and there is not one Statutory Fund account that we have examined in the last 4 years which is being operated properly. Every single fund, we find the Permanent Secretary or the Chief Executive Officer has got his fingers in the till. The latest disclosure about ZIMDEF involving Ministers in this House is just a tip of the iceberg. I can add ZINARA – the chief executive officer of ZINARA was arrested the other day on a US$1.4m scam at ZINARA. He was immediately released by the Vice President, Hon. Mphoko and has not been subsequently charged.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! We need to be very careful with the facts we are talking here. If you are asked to substantiate that, you need to be very careful.

HON. CROSS: Yes, I can substantiate that. I look at the total value of the statutory funds, last year in the Bluebook they were declared at US$828m. That is a lot of money. It is 20% of the National Budget and none of that money goes through this House. None of that money is subject to budget. None of that money is allocated by this House. None of that money is subject to detailed scrutiny by this House. We have said to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, it is time that these monies were consolidated into the Consolidated Revenue Fund where they can be properly accounted for because the Government’s accounting principles are working well.

For example, last week we interviewed a Permanent Secretary running a fund worth US$30m in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. This fund is much bigger than the budget of the Ministry which is US$7m.

 

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order. If I heard Hon. Cross clearly, he is saying Ministers were involved in the ZIMDEF issue. Is it all Ministers? If it is one or two Ministers, he should not blanket to say all Ministers were involved. He should give us real facts. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. You may continue Hon. Member.

HON. CROSS: These funds more than 100 of them are badly administered and managed. In the case of the fund involving the Weights and Measures Act, there were no accounting procedures in place even though this fund has been in existence for some years.

Then there is the mystery to me as to why the fuel prices are so high in Zimbabwe. Fuel prices in Zimbabwe are averaging about $1.16 a litre. International bulk wholesale prices for petrol and diesel are $0.32 a litre. I have examined the fuel situation very closely and I have the details to show to the House, if required. It shows to me that about $0.25 a litre is disappearing from the fuel account. I ask the question to this House, why do we import 22% of our imports from Singapore.  18% in 2014 and 22% in 2015. Twenty five cents a litre is disappearing and almost all those payments go through Singapore. One company in Zimbabwe is involved in nearly monopoly conditions here. The name of the company is Puma. This company controls the pipeline to Zimbabwe. This requires investigation and involves up to US$400m a year. One cent on the retail price is US$1.2m a month. This is a lot of money.

What I am saying is that I do not believe that adequate attention is being given to this issue of corruption by either the President, his subordinates or this House. I really think that it is time – I hope next week we will have time to debate this in detail and deal with the nitty-gritties as to how these things are happening and then take action as a House to ensure that these holes are blocked so that the revenues can come to the State; and we can run our country properly on the basis of the resources that we have generated inside Zimbabwe.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, the owner of a vehicle ADI 9382, is blocking other vehicles.  Can the owner please go and remove the vehicle?

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on the Presidential speech.  Good afternoon Mr. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.

          HON. NDUNA: It is an ice-breaker Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the President of this country and First Secretary of ZANU PF, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe touched on a lot of issues that are very key and pertinent.  We should take these issues to heart, as a nation, as Parliament, as leaders of the people and constituencies that have accorded us this opportunity to come and voice their concerns in this august House.  If we attend to those issues without any impediments effectively and vociferously and with a lot of impact, we can do our constituencies a lot of good.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to touch very quickly on that which His Excellency touched on.  He touched on the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET), which is a torch being a local and national strategic document to the effect that if we are guided by it, we can do our economy a lot of good.  With the political emancipation that we have as a nation, we now need to emancipate ourselves economically.  That is the reason why the ZIM ASSET was put in place.  As I talk of the ZIM ASSET, in particular - page 73 - touches on transport management system which is very effective and which speaks to computerisation of all revenue collection systems in the transport management systems.  Also, integration of all systems in transport in order to avert and avoid leakages.  Touching on that, I am alive and aware of the agenda and what Minister Chinamasa for his 2017 Budget, what his agenda really speaks to in terms of domestic resource mobilisation and enhanced utilisation of the same.

          So, computerisation of the transport management system is going to make sure that we get what we want from our God-given resources that we already have without adding any cent and without taxing any of our citizens any further.  So, I say to the hon. members, if we can utilise what we already have without reinventing the wheel and adhere to the national agenda, we can optimally and effectively feed it into the SADC Industrialisation Strategy of 2015.  Also going into the Africa Agenda 2063, at the tail end also - it speaks to value addition and beneficiation.  Again, feeding into the universal agenda which speaks to the 17 sustainable development goals and three of those also speak to infrastructure development and effective transport system.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to dwell two more minutes on how we can integrate our transport system both to save lives and to enhance revenue collection – utilising the already existing national agenda.  If we integrate the driving schools, the VID, Road Motor Transport (RMT), ZIMRA, ZINARA and CVR, what it means is that we can ward off and remove corruption in all those sectors without any impediments.  This archaic, moribund and antiquated way of receiving and collecting revenue, we can no longer continue to go that route if we want to enhance domestic resource mobilisation.  We have to be dynamic and we have to engage our sectors and departments into ICT.  Mr. Speaker Sir, how I wish the Chairperson of the ICT Portfolio Committee was listening.  However, he is busy talking to the Chairperson of the other Committee.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, continue with your debate.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I will now concentrate on you.  Utilisation of ICT can get us out of the economic doldrums that we currently are embedded in as an economy and as a nation.  I am alive and aware that if we integrate all these sectors in the transport system that I spoke about, we can remove corruption at VID.  We can make sure that all those that are seeking to have certificates of competency are utilising registered driving schools which, without computerisation, we can never get to know who it is that is registered.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, on the issue of public service vehicles, if we integrate our systems, RMT who are the Road Motor Transport custodians or custodians of the operators’ licences, they can produce using computerisation unimpeded.  To borrow from the Leader of the Houses’s words; he says, ‘we have no drought of such mechanisms as in terms of computerisation of enhancing efficiency and also, of making sure that we ward off corruption in the sectors such as RMT’.

          On the issue of public service vehicles, who is supposed to be operating those public service vehicles is supposed to be 25 years of age, supposed to have defensive driver’s licence and also supposed to have a medical certificate.  As a policeman stops that kombi operator or driver at a roadblock, as long as we have not computerised our system; the policeman is just there for a purpose of just stopping without enforcing the law effectively because they have no link with RMT…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Just take a seat Hon. Member.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Lands Commission Bill (HB. 2, 2016)

PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR LOGISTICS

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members are kindly requested to check in their pigeon holes for all the information relating to the logistics on their hotel accommodation in Bulawayo during the Pre-Budget Seminar to be held from 2nd to 6th November, 2016.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. If we have the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) linked to Road Motor Transportation (RMT), Vehicle Inspection Department  (VID) and the driving schools, it means what we can have on the road is a police officer who will be holding a tablet or an ipad like the one I have here.  They can utilise a simple bar code to confirm that the person behind the wheel will be the right person.  Due to an antiquated way of dealing with modern day issues, what is currently obtaining is that we are using manual ways of doing business which lead to leakages on revenue collection.  It also leads to a lot of illicit outflows and does not promote the coffers of Treasury and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

However, if we computerise and integrate that system Mr. Speaker Sir, we will not lose lives unnecessarily.  I am alive and aware of the fact that the Zimbabwe’s average in terms of road carnage per day is five and higher than the global average of three.  As your Committee Chairperson on Transport and Infrastructure Development, my heart bleeds everyday when I read the news where there will be a lot of carnage.  Some of it happens because of lack of integration, the wrong people in the right place and driving the wrong vehicles.

Mr. Speaker Sir, if we can also have a system where RMT is linked to Central Vehicle Registration (CVR) and Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), it will remove corruption at RMT.  What is currently happening is that at RMT, there is the issuance of operators’ licences for public service vehicles.  There are 86 000 public service vehicles registered at CVR after they have gone through RMT.  In addition, there are 150 000 public service vehicles registered at ZINARA, which is the ultimate licencing authority.  There are 50 000 vehicles registered at RMT, one wonders where the other vehicles have gone. 

As people move from the operators’ licence department to CVR, what happens at RMT, because we are manually oriented and one can tear off the receipts and pocket the money.  This is the variance Mr. Speaker Sir and we speak of corruption in one of those departments.  It means that the only credible information is that from ZINARA who have 150 000 public service vehicles, because they are the ultimate licencing authority.  The RMT are responsible for the initial licencing for operators’ licence and as soon as one goes out of their door, they will tear off the receipt book and pocket the money.  This can be treated by computerisation and integration of all transport management system issues.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will move on to agriculture in terms of cotton beneficiation and value addition.  His Excellency touched voluminously on cotton and agriculture.  I am alive to the fact that there is the issuance of free inputs to the cotton farmers for three seasons.  I am also alive to the fact that Government has taken over the Cotton Company (COTTCO) debt of US$68 million. 

What a better way of a continued integration in that system in terms of value addition than to resuscitate the textile industry.  I speak like this because I come from a constituency which had a company that used to employ more than 4 300 employees in the name of David Whitehead Textiles.  Currently that company is under the albatross and the yoke of Judicial Management Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is termed final Judicial Management after undergoing three Judicial Management systems.  One wonders what the aim of that Judicial Management is.  Whether they have come through the Judicial processes or otherwise – as long as they do not turn the credit which is currently standing at US$20 million into equity, handing over the company to the majority creditors, who are the former employees and owed more than US$15 million, by a company which is worth US$20 million, one would say, there will not be any beneficiation and value addition to the cotton industry which our Government has taken pains to resuscitate.

Mr. Speaker Sir, moving on to mining, I am sure you were waiting for this one.  The Bill that is going to come before this House which His Excellency alluded to is overdue.  This is because it is in the form of a historic piece of legislation, which was enunciated, tabled and passed in 1951.  How many of us Hon. Members in the 8th Parliament were born in 1951 or before that time Mr. Speaker Sir?  It can only mean that this piece of legislation is quite antiquated and we should do away with it.  What we need to do is to make sure that we remove the software and leave the hardware or framework so that the input we are going to have here will incorporate artisanal miners, the formerly marginalised black majority.  The former Mines and Minerals Act was meant for the whites, the former and neo-colonialists of this nation.  They have got the rights to the mines that supersede the Land Act Mr. Speaker Sir.  What then happens as they will be armed with their pieces of certificates?  They can immediately remove the farm owners. 

What initially happened in this country was that the Pioneer Column moved around prospecting for minerals and got farms later on.  So, they have rights to the land that we have given to our people, but the Mines and Minerals Act and the certificates contain powers and a lot of rights over the Agrarian Reform Programme Lease Agreements that we have.  So, I say, as it comes to this House, Hon. Members should be alive to the fact that this was never meant for the blacks, it was never meant for the black majority...

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, you are left with two minutes, if you can wind up your debate.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As I wind up, I want to say, all those mining claims that are being held for speculative purposes should be handed over to the small scale and artisanal miners because it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that they have upped the game.  It has been alluded to by His Excellency that gold deliveries have had an upward trend, from one tonne to three tonnes, from small scale miners, what a better time that we can utilise to empower the nation by empowering our artisanal miners. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, in the same vein, we need to empower the women because what men can do women can do better.  Do I get an Amen -from the women? –[AN HON. MEMBER:  Yes.]-  Whatever we discuss in this House, whatever empowerment programmes we have got, we should not forget our women.  If you read carefully where man is derived from – it is called ‘we men’.  We are derived from women.  I thank you for the time you have given unto me and I also want to thank you that this debate is not going to go in vain.  We are now going to skewer the resources of this nation towards the formally marginalised black majority.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, good afternoon.  I have just a few points that I would like to refer to during this debate but let me state that I am pleased at the opportunity to debate this motion on the Presidential Speech.

On behalf of the people of Magwegwe, allow me to express our gratitude to His Excellency for taking time to deliver the opening address.  May I also thank his good lady for taking time similarly, off her busy schedule to grace the occasion.  Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, we have not had the opportunity to interact with a hard copy of the same speech.  Agreeably, some of us or most of us were born before computers and we feel better when we read from a hard copy. 

I understand that is the state of things in our economy but I sometimes pity Parliament staff when they have to violently shake cartridge in order to be able to print documents for Members of Parliament.  It is really sad because under your nose Mr. Speaker Sir, Parliament staff are suffering burn out but on the Speaker’s panel, we hear and see that you travel almost weekly muchienda ku SADC Parliamentary Forum and one wants to ask the rhetoric question kuti ko munotsvagei? 

The Library there has no lights.  It is dark in the Library there.  For you to get a book, the Library Assistant has to use her own cell phone as a torch to assist a Member of Parliament but members on the Speaker’s panel travel all over the world. Murikunotsvagei? Fix the Library first. –[HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]-  I am doubtful if the Leader of the House is aware that in this building …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, I am calling for order.

HON. HOLDER:  I have a point of order Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is that the Hon. Member is mixing languages. Can he use one language please?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I did not recognise you Hon. Holder. 

I was going to say to the Hon. Member debating that he should be factual in his presentation to this Hon. House.  I happen to be one of the Speaker’s panel, so be factual with what you are saying.

HON. NDEBELE:  I need to take due notice that some on that panel have not been fortunate enough to travel.

Hon. Speaker, the beauty of the Presidential Speech is that it gives us an insight into what is in the mind of Government but it does not only stop there as it allows us to talk back to Government by way of indicating what ought to seize their minds. 

I want to refer to the one million men march so that I am able to quote His Excellency on the advice that he gave to the nation on unity.  Allow me to quote Hon. Speaker; “Let us ensure that unity starts with the family.  The family must be united. Families within our villages must work in harmony.  They must be united.  Our regions must be united.  The various tribal groups here must be united and that we must show as we deliver its service that it is working for the people as a whole.  Working for a united people that finally and nationally, we are united.”

Hon. Speaker, I notice a wide disconnect between the words of the President and what obtains on the ground.  What is disheartening is that national healing, peace building and rehabilitation which should be cornerstones to nation building have not been given due recognition and deserved attention.  I believe that current approaches to nation building are half hearted, selective and not genuine.  They are half hearted Hon. Speaker in that even up to now, the specter of Gukurahundi reigns supreme as victims and survivors still fear its recurrence. It is selective in that while Government seems to prescribe national healing, it also promotes forgetting of the pain that thousands still endure without efforts towards closure.  I am not going to just open wounds without proffering solutions because we on this side of the House are ready to govern.

Genuine nation building should open up a national dialogue on Gukurahundi and allow the issue to transcend partisan, ethnic, regional and the racial divide.  It should also acknowledge Gukurahundi  as a non-deniable part of our legacy shared by all Zimbabweans across the ethnic, racial, regional and political divide.

Hon. Speaker, the abuse of Gukurahundi memory, especially threatening its recurrence should be a punishable offence in this country.  As Hon. Members have already indicated, we need to raise awareness on Gukurahundi and other violent episodes in the history of our country, pre- and post-independence. We should teach this at schools so that Zimbabweans collectively ban violence as an instrument of politics or for any agenda for that matter. True, the Ndebele speaking people, especially those that were in ZAPU or those that were in ZIPRA suffered the most, if not, irreparable damage, but the memory and legacy is shared by all Zimbabweans and humanity in general.

Apart from merely setting up a legislative agenda, a young man like me, who wants to see a united Zimbabwe is asking the question, why is Government allowing for reburials without acknowledging in the first place that yes, Gukurahundi occurred. I am aware, through reading newspaper articles that to date, Hon. Vice President Mphoko has donated about 18 000 chicks. I know he is also the Minister responsible for the portfolio of National Healing and Reconciliation and I ask my question; are these chicks reparation for the Gukurahundi atrocities. If they are, is this genuine reparation? If we estimate, about 20 000 people were killed …

HON. M. G. NCUBE: My point of order is in regard to what the Hon. Member has said about Vice President Mphoko. I think he has to be reminded that Vice President Mphoko is a victim of Gukurahundi, not a participant. So, there is no way he can therefore participate in the reparations. I think the statement is seriously misplaced on the part of the Vice President. Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you may proceed but let us be cautious of what we say.

HON. NDEBELE: I was under the impression that he is doing this in his capacity as Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, just proceed with your presentation.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, the Constitution is sui generis. We argue that it is in a class of its own. What it demands cannot be derogated from. We should follow it lavishly. We must be, as Members of this House, disciples of the Constitution. We should follow it without questioning. I must not be misunderstood Mr. Speaker, to mean that the Constitution cannot be amended. It can be amended if proper channels are followed. Section 119, enjoins Parliament to protect the Constitution and promote its values.

In that regard, before I go into the merits or demerits of the President’s speech, let me recognise and put on record that the provisions of our Constitution as they stand currently, do not provide for an Opening Address by His Excellency. I am not being disrespectful. We may amend the Constitution so that we provide for that. Members should remember we are no longer living under the Lancaster House Constitution but a new constitutional dispensation.

I know a ruling has been made against Hon. Chamisa’s input regarding this but if you ask the Leader of the House who is a lawyer himself; if a thing at law is void, it is a nullity. It is not only bad but incurably bad. So, the very ruling that precedence has provided that such an address occurs runs afoul with the Constitution. We cannot be disciples of a wrong precedence. The recurrence of an illegality does not make it in anyway legal Mr. Speaker. Let us take due notice. 

The law determining what addresses His Excellency may make to this Parliament is enshrined in Section 140 of the Constitution, but nonetheless Mr. Speaker, the President rightfully noted that the realignment of laws is still work-in progress. In fact, let me quote the Leader of the House, the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa. On the 6th June, 2016, he said “the ones” referring to statutes “that have not been processed are from line ministries where Ministers have not been able to process in time the areas of their concern or mandate”. Mr. Speaker, it is now 40 months which translates to four years and nothing has been done.

For how long will the alignment of laws still be work-in-progress Mr. Speaker? Are we giving this process the attention it deserves? No, it is the incompetence of some Ministers as stated by the Vice President in the Senate that has held the hands of time instead. Surely, there must be a deadline at which this process should be finished. In his speech, His Excellency unfortunately failed to put an indication on such a deadline. Surely, this was a gross oversight by His Excellency.

I realise that His Excellency spoke about drought. I am going to dwell on this for a while. I have rhetoric questions that I am asking myself. Is the ratification of international instruments like the Paris Agreement and Nagoya Protocol the best that can be done in order to fight drought to alleviate the problems caused by drought? Are we ratifying as a matter of principle or we are merely interested in the benefit from resources that will flow from such ratification? Hon. Speaker, experience teaches us that such resources will be abused by certain Ministers. I am not interested in going into names.

Sometimes when you read the newspaper you can sometimes be forgiven for thinking that this country is run by a loot committee – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members. Allow him to finish his debate.

HON. NDEBELE: This country seems to be administered like a tuck-shop. Our hardworking vendors can do better than what obtains here. I do not know why Ministers are not copying from our hardworking vendors out there. It also baffles the mind Hon. Speaker, when you get up one morning to read in the newspaper that a whole Minister of Finance has borrowed money from the Treasury. It is not a loan disbursing institution. Are you as Parliament able to borrow me money because of all the people here, I am broke.

If you interrogate ZESA, those who provide water, those with outstanding phone bills that have not been paid for more than 10, 15 or 20 years, you will discover it is Ministers.  I agree with Hon. Chamisa when he argues that this country has very dangerous Ministers.  Look at the Presidential Scholarship. Currently, it is benefiting children of Ministers, people who are able in their own right to send their children outside the country at the expense of very poor children.

I also want to attempt the question - what has this Government done in Magwegwe to alleviate the effects of drought?  Hon. Speaker, I want to reiterate in this House that the Government of Zimbabwe belongs to all the people.  Why has the ruling party abandoned the human rights posture?  What has happened to the concept of isotsha elipetu mtwana?  Why is the ruling party in the forefront of partisan distribution of food?  What is happening?

[Time Limit]

HON P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I apply that time allocated to the Hon. Member be extended by at least five minutes.

HON. MUPFUMI:  I object.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  There is an objection.

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

HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 15th November, 2016.

On the motion of HON. MATUKE, seconded by HON. MUKWANGWARIWA, the House adjourned at Twenty One Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 15th November, 2016.

 

 

National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 27 OCTOBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 10