You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 28 JUNE 2016 VOL 42 NO 72

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 28 JUNE 2016 VOL 42 NO 72

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 28th June, 2016

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

APPOINTMENT TO COMMITTEES

THE HON. SPEAKER:   I have one announcement to make, the following Hon. Member, Hon. C. Mutsvangwa, will join the Committees on Mines and Energy and Finance and Economic Development.

VISITIORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of students and teachers from Budiriro 1, Primary School from Harare Province, you are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. HOLDER: On a point of order Hon. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. HOLDER:  Mr. Speaker, today, in the Daily News on page 4, they speak about legislators coming to Parliament drunk – [AN HON. MEMBER: You.] – I am asking for your protection Mr. Speaker these are the characters that we do not want in this House.  I have this paper, The Daily News on page 4, under immunities because I raised the point of order during Question and Answer time on Wednesday and one of the Hon. Members stood up and actually shouted and said ‘Holder is drunk’.  It is a character assassination in my constituency currently and country everybody is saying Holder has gone to Harare to drink – [Laughter.] – So, Mr. Speaker, Hon. Maondera needs to withdraw that statement that I was drunk on that day. 

Mr. Speaker Sir. I am asking for your protection.  The same thing that happened to me today can happen to any other Members of Parliament in this House, simply because we want to be open; we want justice solved in this august House.  Also talking about the writers, the writer of this article, if I could bring this paper to you, her name is Bridget, should learn to report the truth.  Some of the issues, they do not have to character assassinate individuals here simply because we give them a hard time.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Your point of order is too pronged.  The first prong deals with the publication which is a matter that you should handle with the publishers.  The second aspect is one of an utterance and I will need to check in the Hansard how it was captured and we shall proceed thereafter accordingly. Are there any notices of motions?

          Hon. Cross having stood up to give Notice of Motion.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. All motions must follow due process.

          HON. CROSS: I submitted it two weeks ago.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you kindly sit down? What I was saying Hon. Cross is that all motions coming into the House have got to go through the Clerk of Parliament and then it must come through the Chair. Was that done?

HON. CROSS: Mr. Speaker Sir, I submitted it two weeks ago to the office on the first floor and I was told last week by the Deputy Clerk that I could present this morning.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It must have my signature. Did it have my signature?

HON. CROSS: Can I be assured Mr. Speaker Sir, that you will address this matter immediately.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Definitely.

HON. GONESE: On a point of order. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a point of order in terms of Standing Order No. 32 as read with Standing Order No. 68. The substance is in relation to Standing Order 32 and 33 but it is in terms of Standing Order No. 68 (d) which relates to points of orders.

I am happy that it is you who is in the Chair today, firstly because you appreciate issues and secondly, I believe you are a democrat and not just a catholic but a good catholic –[HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. No Member should be judgmental of the Chair. You can do that perhaps outside the House. Just simply address the Chair.

HON. GONESE: Point taken Mr. Speaker Sir. On Wednesday, 22nd of June, 2016, I rose on a matter of privilege and that was in terms of Standing Order No. 68 in relation to proceeding of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. When I raised the matter of privilege and it was actually captured in the Hansard, the point I made was that I raised several issues and the first point I made was relating to a purported meeting of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. There were also other issues which I raised in terms of …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can I get you straight Hon. Member. Did you say you raised a point of order when..?

HON. GONESE: On the 22nd of June, 2016.

THE HON. SPEAKER: And the Chair did not deal with that issue.

HON. GONESE: This is why I want to make reference to that Hansard, she did not. The chair who was the Deputy Speaker on that day promised – [THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I did.]- No, I do have the Hansard. Let me just check, I do have the Hansard Mr. Speaker and I just want to bring you to speed in relation to the issues that were under consideration.

The point of order was a matter of privilege which I rose on related to a purported meeting of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What does the Hansard say?

HON. GONESE: The Hansard indicates that I raised procedural issues. I pointed out…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Why don’t you read it?

HON. GONESE: I will read it then. ‘HON. GONESE:  Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege in terms of the provisions of Standing Order Number 68 paragraph (d) as read with the provisions of Standing Order Number 69, 32 and 33....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, would you please approach the Chair.’

HON. GONESE: After approaching the Chair and explaining my position I was then allowed to proceed and I am now going to read out what I said on the day in question.

‘HON. GONESE: Thank you Madam Speaker. As I was saying earlier on, I rise in terms of the provisions of Standing Order No. 68 (d) as read with the provisions of Standing Order Number 69, 32, 33 and other Standing Orders which I am going to refer to in the course of my presentation. In terms of the provisions of this Standing Order, it is a matter of privilege and such a matter in terms of  the provisions of Standing Order No. 69, takes precedence over other motions as well as Orders of the Day.

This matter is in terms of Standing Order No. 32 (4) in regard to the proceedings of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. Madam Speaker, can I proceed?

Madam Speaker, the issues which I am raising are fundamental for the good order and proceedings of this august House. The issues which I am raising are very fundamental. They are very crucial.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you please proceed?

HON. GONESE: Yes, I am proceeding Madam Speaker. In terms of Standing Order Number 32 and 33 there are elaborate provisions which are laid out regarding the convening of meetings of Parliamentary Legal Committee in particular.

Yesterday, Madam Speaker, when I came to the House, I was informed that a purported meeting of the Parliamentary Legal Committee had taken place. When I spoke to the Chairperson, he indicated to me that they had already prepared or agreed on a Non-Adverse Report. That meeting, I was not aware of it. Hon Majome is currently away participating in the public hearings which are being conducted by the Local Government Portfolio Committee and she was not even given notice of any meeting and there are five Members.

The Parliamentary Legal Committee is a very important Committee of this august House. It is the only Committee which is provided for in terms of the Constitution, Section 152 is very clear. It sets out the establishment of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  As I was pointing out, Madam Speaker, we actually had a group discussion on our WhatsApp group which comprises Counsel to Parliament and the Members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee where a suggestion…– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

 THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order at the back there.

HON. GONESE:…had been made that the Parliamentary Legal Committee meets at 12:30 p.m. yesterday.

I indicated that this was a very important Bill and I suggested that we could not proceed that way in the absence of one of our members who was away, not on a frolic of her own, but on Parliamentary duties as part of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  Having expressed these sentiments, my assumption was that, like all rational beings and one of our members, whom I will mention, even concurred to the suggestion that we meet on Monday to deal with the issue of the report of the Parliamentary Legal Committee regarding the Local Government Amendment Bill.

What I am saying, Madam Speaker, is fundamental because I think we need it for posterity.  Thereafter, Madam Speaker, I was informed by the Chairperson that we have already finished.  You were not here in Parliament.   Nicodemously and stealthily, I was present.  I was here in Harare.  I had gone to the bank.  I could not access money from the bank. I was told to wait for two hours.  I went back after two hours and I was still at the bank up to 2:30 p.m.  Then the Chairperson said to me, you were not in the House and this is the way we proceeded. 

But the long and short of it, Madam Speaker is that, I want to… - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order, Madam Speaker - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, order - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Members. 

HON. GONESE:  The provisions of Standing Order 32 are very clear, that the Committee must form its opinion through the collective knowledge and experience of the members.  The reason why I am referring to these provisions is because they are very important and critical.

In terms of paragraph 5, the periods within which the Committee must report to the House, the Vice President, Minister or authority referred to in Subsection 4, in the case of a Bill described in terms of Section 152 paragraph 3(a) of the Constitution, the period of 26 business days. 

This particular Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee on 7th June, 2016 and from my calculations, business days exclude Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and from my calculations, only 11 days have elapsed.  In other words, we still have got 13 days within which to examine the Bill.  I believe that those days were put in for a reason.  To allow us to consult, to seek other advice because as lawyers, it does not mean that we know everything.  We are legally qualified, but we also seek the opinions of others. 

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, I am not going to read the Standing Orders to save time.  They are very clear that all members are entitled to prepare their own reports.  If the Chairperson prepares a report and any of the members of the Committee feels differently, that member of the Committee is entitled, in terms of our Standing Orders, to prepare a draft report which is different to the one prepared by the majority of the members and the Committee is obliged and required to go over the two reports paragraph by paragraph…

we need confirmation that the purported meeting, from what the Clerk was now expressing, that the purported meeting which was nicodemously held yesterday is a nullity.  We need that pronouncement to be made in this august House and that any further meetings, Madam Speaker, you are aware that from tomorrow we have got a workshop...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, please!

          HON. GONESE:  We have got a workshop on Sustainable Goals in Mutare where some members of the Committee including myself and Hon. Majome are going to be in attendance.  We can only meet as a Parliamentary Legal Committee next week.  We do not want a situation where the Chairperson of the Committee who purports to be an independent Member of Parliament is more ZANU PF than ZANU PF itself, can then just come up with a meeting....

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, I think you have made your point.

          HON. GONESE:  Yes, if I have made my point, I was going to go to town but if I had made my point, if it is agreed - yes, I was going to read all the provisions which I am justified and entitled to do so that we really make the point that what was purported to have happened is not in accordance with principles of natural justice, not in accordance with the Constitution and is not in accordance with our Standing Orders.  That is my case Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, we are going to look into that matter and also get the help of administration, I thank you.

Then after that, Mr. Speaker Sir, I proceeded to Mutare.  Now, Mr. Speaker…- [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjection.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Then what?  What expired?

HON. GONESE:  What then transpired, Mr. Speaker, this is what I am now going to refer to.  Mr. Speaker, I got a message on my phone from Counsel to Parliament, which was to the effect, check your e-mails and I have printed those e-mails, Mr. Speaker Sir.

For your information, Mr. Speaker, all the members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, we are part of a WhatsApp group written Parliamentary Legal Committee which also includes Counsel to Parliament.  I am going to go over this because it is very pertinent to the submissions that I am going to make.  Mr. Speaker Sir…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  So, what was the ruling?  That is my concern.

HON. GONESE:  The Madam Deputy Speaker said, “Hon. Gonese, we are going to look into that matter and also get the help of administration.  I thank you.”

And I want to go over what I submitted earlier when I was reading this.  I had already indicated here in Parliament in the presence of the Clerk, to this Parliament, that I was not going to be available from that day until Monday, which is yesterday.  I said it in this august House.  I had also indicated that Hon. Majome was away and that she would not be available until Monday. 

The reason why I am now referring to our WhatsApp messages is because we had actually had a discussion regarding a suitable date for the meeting of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  So, Madam Speaker said she was going to look into the matter and that she was going to consult Parliament administration.  I had also raised issues relating to the procedures of the PLC which I did not go over in detail, but I just alluded to them whereby, in terms of Standing Order 32 and Standing Order 33, the processes of the PLC are different to those of any other Committee in the sense that members of the PLC, Mr. Speaker Sir, are required, if they do not agree to any draft report, to indicate.

 If you look at the provisions of those Standing Orders, which I can go to if necessary, the long and short of it is that in terms of those provisions, the minutes of the PLC must indicate how each member would have voted if there is disagreement.  Only if there is unanimous view points, then that will arise, but in the event that members are not in agreement, all members are entitled even to prepare, each one of them, a draft report and then the members of the Committee have to go over that report paragraph by paragraph.

Now, where I am going, Mr. Speaker, relates to the WhatsApp discussions and conversations.  I will also go to the e-mails because they are very relevant to what I am going to say – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  What I am getting to, Mr. Speaker, is that the non-adverse report presented to this august House was not…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Okay, thank you.

HON. GONESE:  And in saying what I am saying Mr. Speaker, I also rely on the provisions of the Constitution.  We are looking at the provisions of Section 119 which obliges us, as Parliament, to uphold the Constitution and to ensure that our processes are in accordance with the Constitution and not to violate and to mutilate the Constitution which is what I believe transpired in respect of this matter.

I am just going to those WhatsApp messages, Mr. Speaker… – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  They are very important because there was communication.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!

HON. GONESE:  Hon. Samukange, he says, “from my observations…”

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Would you want to go through all the WhatsApps and so on?

HON. GONESE:  It is important Mr. Speaker, because the meeting which they held was in bad faith.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is the report, did you ask for the report?

          HON. GONESE: Yes, I do have the report.  Mr. Speaker, what I am trying to drive at is that, that meeting was held mala fide in utmost bad faith because the Members were aware that the two of us were not able to attend and the draft Non-Adverse Report, I have got a copy is dated 23rd June, 2016 and addressed to you.  It says, “I have to inform you that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on the 23rd of June, 2016 and considered the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill.  The Committee is of the opinion that the Bill is not in contravention of the Declaration of Rights or any other provisions of the Constitution.”

          The minutes purport that we had given apologies, which is contrary to the whatsApp messages, that is why I am making reference to the whatsApp messages because they proved a lie that we sent apologies.  We did not – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - The point Mr. Speaker is that we also have emails, one of which I forwarded to the Clerk of Parliament and none of those emails were responded to.  That is the reason why I have all these documents, to establish the point which I want to prove.  The reason why I am referring to the whatsApp conversations; here comes the Chairman: “from my observations, I will be a minority and we will have to sign an Adverse Report but that is democracy,” that is Hon. Samkange.  This can be proved because I have got the phone and a whatsApp group but this is just a print-out.

          Then Hon. Chasi – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The notice of amendments which came from the Hon. Minister was not in accordance with the discussions that we had with the Minister –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think you have made your point.

          HON. GONESE: I do not know whether that is what happened on Wednesday.  My point is that in the course of our discussion, Hon. Chasi – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you wind up.

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker Sir, if you can allow me, for the benefit of all the other Hon. Members and yourself, our modus operandi in the Parliamentary Legal Committee was to seek consensus on a mutually convenient date for all of us and here we had Hon. Chasi, myself and Hon. Majome agreeing that we meet on Monday, the 27th – and it is here on the whatsApp messages.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you wind up.

          HON. GONESE: I am winding up Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am saying that Hon. Chasi said, “I am ok with Monday.” That was his message – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Let me just read what I have, I think it is important Mr. Speaker.  This is a very critical meeting, this is me now; “where all Members should be given an opportunity to attend, Hon. Majome is away on Parliament business and I suggest that we meet on Monday.  I am leaving tomorrow and there is a workshop on sustainable goals in Mutare starting from Thursday.  We are still within the time given to us in terms of the Standing Orders.”

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I quite understand your concerns.  Can I advise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Hon. Gonese approaches the Chair.

          HON. GONESE: To cut the long story short Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I will submit the whole whatsapp messages.  There was a deafening silence

          The Microphone having gone off.

          HON. GONESE: I do not have a recorder Mr. Speaker Sir – [AN HON. MEMBER: Wait for the recorder to be put on.] –

          The Microphone having been switched on.

          HON. GONESE: The tabling of the report was not done procedurally.  There is no report on the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  Last time this is what transpired.  I will only finish on the condition that we are not proceeding with the Bill in the absence of my submission on the 23rd of June as I would have wanted to.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The critical point is that, consultation was to be made with administration, which consultation was made and the raison d’etre of that consultation was that the Committee met on three occasions to consider the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill, [H.B. 1, 2016], and its notice of amendments.  The Bill was first considered by the Committee on 9th June, after notice had been sent to all the Members of the PLC, a day before the Committee met, all the five Members of the PLC attended this meeting. A number of concerns were raised that led to the Members seeking clarification from the Ministry, resolving that a meeting be held the following Monday, 13th June, 2016. 

At the meeting held on 13th June, 2016, the Committee was fully constituted and the Minister responsible for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Hon. Kasukuwere attended in the company of Mr. Nelson Dias, the Deputy Attorney General, Legislative Drafting Division and three officers from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Drafting Department of the Attorney General’s Office.  During this meeting, the Committee expressed its concern to which the Hon. Minister aided by those accompanying him responded, resulting in an agreement being reached by the meeting.  The meeting agreed that if the Minister was to produce a notice of amendments addressing the two concerns, that is, the appointment of the Tribunal and the appeal process that they believed the Hon. Minister did not adequately answer, they would issue a non-adverse report certificate. 

The last meeting that considered the Bill and its notice of amendments was held on Thursday, 23rd June, 2016 after notice had been given before.  The three Members attended the meeting which was sufficient to constitute a quorum.  The Committee resolved that the notice of amendments met the requirements that were made by the Committee in its previous meeting. 

It must be noted however that prior to the meeting, two notices of amendments had been received.  The first one barely addressed the matter of appeals relating to the decisions of the Tribunal to be established.  Accordingly, the Minister was notified and he submitted a notice of amendments addressing all the matters raised.  That having been done, and also the PLC, in spite of the notices of absence by Hon. Gonese and Hon. Majome, the three members who attended constituted a majority in terms of Section 23(3) of the Standing Orders.  It was on the basis of that meeting that a non-adverse report was written.

Also, there is nowhere in the Standing Orders that a PLC should constitute all the five members for them to arrive at a decision.  I think Standing Order 32(3) is quite clear on that.  What happened in terms of consultation with the Minister was done in terms of Section 152 (4) of the Constitution.  The Minister complied with all the concerns that the PLC had indicated – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] -  Hon. Gonese, can we follow our Standing Orders.  In that regard therefore, the non-adverse report was correctly before this House – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.]

HON. GONESE:  I now rise on a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is it on the ruling that I gave?

HON. GONESE:  No.  Mr. Speaker, first of all I was about to go over some of the contents of the WhatsApp messages – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  Those WhatsApp messages show that there was no agreement.  Mr. Speaker, this is the reason why they are now on record.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Just kindly take your seat.

HON. GONESE:  No.  Mr. Speaker, I have risen on a matter of privilege. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, I will come back to you.  I think what Hon. Gonese should really understand is that the Standing Orders do not require 100% attendance, it requires a majority.  Order, order!  Unless, there is a section of the Standing Orders which says all the five members must be there.

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, you are not allowing me to adumbrate the issue because I have not finished- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is not even about the quorum at this point.  Mr. Speaker, you made certain pronouncements which unfortunately you have been misled on some points.  There was no agreement.  If I refer to the WhatsApp messages, the Minister’s amendments come up with the Civil Service Commission, which was never part of our discussion.  This is now part of the conversations that took place between the members of the committee because the issue of the Civil Service Commission never arose during the course of the discussion.  So, Mr. Speaker you have been misled; you have been given wrong information by whoever gave you that information, it does appear that the administration of Parliament has now been compromised because they are now giving information which is not correct.  The WhatsApp conversations proved that what we discussed was Local Government Association and also the Institute of Public Accountants.  In the WhatsApp messages, there was an outstanding matter ….

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Member, if there are issues that will arise, why do you not debate these when the Hon. Minister….

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, it cannot happen that way – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, take a seat!

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, I have not finished.  First of all let me talk about the substance first, because you have made a ruling which contains information which is not correct.  It is not your fault Mr. Speaker, you have been misled.  I believe that as a matter of privilege, I have to correct that.  You are saying that the Minister complied with what the Parliamentary Legal Committee had said, which is not correct…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order but have you heard the Hon. Minister – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

HON. GONESE:  It is not correct because we have got the conversations.   Mr. Speaker, I have got the notice to the Minister, the first point in the notice which was sent to the Minister by the PLC related to the issue of suspension. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member, I hear you.

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, on the letter to the Minister and this is the letter to the Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Gonese, please take your seat.  The points of privilege have been made and if there are any issues, these will arise in the debate.   I call upon the Hon. Minister – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

HON. GONESE:  I have not finished.  I was only sitting down to have order in the House.  

MOTION

REPLACEMENT OF TEXT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (H.B.1, 2016)

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): With the leave of the House, I move that the present text of the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill. (H.B.1, 2016) which is currently at Second Reading stage be replaced with a new text.  The new text has incorporated the amendments which address the issues raised by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the initial text of the Bill.  The new text is the basis upon which the Parliamentary Legal Committee issued a Non Adverse Report on the Bill – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

Motion put and agreed to. 

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, I think you are not being fair.  I had not finished, I had only sat down in respect of your office. 

Hon. Gonese approached the Chair. 

HON. GONESE:  With due respect Mr. Speaker, I beg your indulgence Mr. Speaker. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you are not allowed to be taking pictures – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order!  I think I had ruled that the Non-Adverse Report was tabled here and it carries the day and can we proceed – [HON. MEMBERS: No, no!] -  The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing…

          HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, first of all, I want to correct the misleading impression which was given to this august House and the nation at large regarding the processes on the substance of the matter.  The longer and shorter of it – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - It is my privilege now as a Member of the PLC, to put the record straight.  After putting the record straight, I will make way for my colleague, Hon. Majome. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, with due respect to your office, the notice or the letter to the Minister also made reference to the issue of suspension. In our conversations which unfortunately, you prevented me from going over, there was very clear indication that there were areas of disagreement.  In terms of the Standing Orders, we were entitled, myself and Hon. Majome, to be present at the meetings raising all our points of disagreements and if need be, to vote.  Hon. Chasi, in his conversations with us said yes, we must strive to agree and this was the essence of our meeting – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Before I make way for my colleague, Hon. Majome, in terms of the Constitution Section 68, we as a Parliament, must not be seen violating the provisions of that Section where we are denied the right to administrative justice which is reasonable and impartial.

I submit Mr. Speaker Sir, with due respect, that your ruling flies in the face of the provisions of the Constitution and I want it placed on record that the information that you were given about having coming to an agreement, is not correct.  The only proper thing to be done in this case is to declare that Non-Adverse Report, a nullity and allow the Committee to sit as agreed by the Members – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  I think you are speaking in circles.

HON. MAJOME: On a point of Privilege.  I have two points of Privileges Mr. Speaker Sir, as a Member of this august House.  As a Member of this House, I was elected to this august House to do service to my nation.  My first point of privilege relates to the issue of the Parliamentary Legal Committee Repot and to confirm Hon. Gonese’s view that it is actually patently false that the Parliamentary Legal Committee made a pre-emptive commitment to issue a Non Adverse Report.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I raise this as an important issue because the issue of truth is necessary in our public affairs.  We should not mislead Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, at no point did the Members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, including myself, indicate that whatever it is that the Hon. Minister will change, will result in us confirming to a Non-Adverse Report.  It is simply not true Mr. Speaker and that needs to be reflected for the record.

My second point of privilege is on issues around the process and the procedure of this Bill.   I have a Constituency here in Harare and my point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir is that it is now a Constitutional requirement for members of the public to be given access to the proceedings of Parliament and particularly to Bills that are before the House.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the people of Harare were denied access to the proceedings of this Parliament in terms of this Bill particularly at HICC.  The people that I represent in Harare West were beaten up and driven away here in Harare.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now talking about Public Hearings? We are talking about the Non-Adverse Report.

HON. MAJOME: Yes Mr. Speaker.  It is an issue of public safety and public importance.  I want to raise it as a point of privilege.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is in your report.

HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not present a report, as a Member of Parliament…

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, it will come in the report presented by your Chairperson.

HON. MAJOME: I will raise it as a Member of Parliament for Harare West Constituency.  I have people who were injured in my Constituency, it is not in the Committee’s report, and it is a point of privilege.  Parliament is in Harare, the City of Parliament is Harare Mr. Speaker Sir and it is not acceptable that the people of Harare will be denied an opportunity to interact with this very Parliament.  It is not a matter of the Portfolio Committee and I wish to request through you Mr. Speaker Sir, that you cause a serious investigation to be conducted about the violence that happened at the Harare International Conference Centre as well as Machipisa. 

It is not an issue that should be swept under the carpet through a report Mr. Speaker Sir. We will be failing the public; it is unconstitutional to proceed without Parliament taking an interest and protecting Members of the public and Members of Parliament.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Alright.  Thank you.  The Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing seeks leave of the House to move that the present text of the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2016] which is currently at Second Reading Stage, be replaced with a new, a text which reads as incorporated, the amendment which addresses the issues raised by the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the initial text of the Bill.  The new text is the basis upon which the Parliamentary Legal Committee issued a Non-Adverse Report on the Bill.

HON. ZINDI: Hanzi ndimbomira.

HON. CHAMISA: On a point of order! Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.  What is clear is that fundamental issues have been raised around fundamental issues, around procedural improprieties, around violations - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – not just of the rules but the need to regard the Constitution.

          Hon. Speaker Sir, it is a fact that our democracy is not a parliamentary democracy.  It is a Constitutional democracy and what we cannot entertain or fathom is for the Speaker to be abused and asked to preside over fiction, asked to preside over a nullity and over things that are being tested at a Committee level because this so fundamental.  You are aware Hon. Speaker Sir, as a learned colleague and advocate, that once you have procedural issues raised in the process of coming up with a Bill, then it has to be corrected before we just nose dive or plunge ourselves into further error. 

You are aware the Speaker’s Ruling is being made in the context of certain misrepresentations - [AN HON. MEMBER: You are challenging the Speaker’s ruling!] – You are challenging yourself and you know that very well - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order address the Chair please.

          HON. CHAMISA:  Hon. Speaker, you know, we have terrorist Ministers. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Chamisa…

          *HON. MAKUNDE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.   Yaa tasimuka isusu manje, mira uwone!

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Chamisa, withdraw that statement, address the Chair please and do not answer them.

          HON. CHAMISA: Sure, Mr. Speaker Sir. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Chamisa…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order, I have asked Hon. Chamisa to withdraw that statement of terrorist Ministers. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, I hear what you are saying that I should withdraw.  I am very happy to withdraw …

          HON. MAKUNDE:  On a point of order - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Not only withdrawal, not only withdrawal.  It is too light. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Chamisa, may you finish your withdrawal statement please?

          HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My statement - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

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

          HON. CHAMISA:  I am happy Hon. Speaker Sir to rollback the statements I made with the full understanding that the concerned Ministers are also going to rollback their activities that border on terrorism  - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, you have not withdrawn anything.

          HON. CHAMISA:  No, I withdrew my statement…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order no, no, no. Honourable, I understand as a lawyer, you have put it through the backdoor.  Can you just make a straight forward withdrawal?

          HON. CHAMISA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I think in the interest of progress that statement stands withdrawn as I indicated and just to say that under the circumstances Hon. Speaker Sir; in the interest of preserving the integrity of your Chair and also to preserve the legitimacy and integrity of our Parliament, its rules and sovereignty, may we allow ourselves to give way to wisdom and then suspend this process until you have reached a full conclusion - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I know that people are saying let us vote but we cannot try to go to a vote to decide over a nullity - [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] -  We cannot try to take a vote to decide over something that is wrong, it is not necessary and I hope - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  I know Hon. Speaker Sir, that you are familiar with the decision of the courts in the matter between Biti and the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.  I also know that you are familiar of the matter of Mutasa versus Smith which decided over almost similar facts because we had … - [HON. PROF. MOYO: No, no.] - Prof. Moyo, you do not know about this, do not just say no.  You do not know it.  No, do not just shake your head, go and read - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, yes Hon. Speaker Sir, I am just winding up by urging your Chair to respect what has already been determined and allow this process to be corrected so that we then move to the next stage. 

          Otherwise the concerns raised by Hon. Gonese, Hon. Majome and other Hon. Members in the same Committee who may not have the courage to raise this issue.  We need to correct this matter so that we are able to move to the next stage.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order as Chair, I take full responsibility of my ruling and my ruling will stand and is subject to review in the future - [AN HON. MEMBER: But history will judge you!] – Yes, yes  - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  There is an outstanding matter, not the one raised by Hon. Chamisa …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Gonese, I have concluded …

          HON. GONESE:  Yes, may I beg your indulgence Mr. Speaker.  No, no, no, it is on a different issue Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is on a different issue?

          HON. GONESE:  Yes, not the one raised by Hon. Chamisa, there you have made a ruling.  You also made a ruling on the issue which I raised but, there was a different matter raised by Hon. Majome in relation to the public hearings which were disrupted. She specifically asked for a Committee of Inquiry to be set up to establish the circumstances under which those public hearings were conducted and also to have those public hearings reconvened. On that matter Mr. Speaker, there was no ruling and I believe that we cannot proceed when there is no ruling on a matter which has been properly placed before Parliament.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You are correct Hon. Gonese. Hon. Majome made a report and the matter will be tabled before the appropriate Committee and investigations will be done. Thank you.

          HON. GONESE: We have said no, divide the House Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, when the Chair is holding the floor, you cannot interrupt him. So, I think the eyes have it and the question is accordingly affirmed and the Bill is replaced.

          HON. GONESE: That is not proper Mr. Speaker. I rose to challenge your ruling at the time which I was supposed to challenge the ruling. You asked for those who are in favour to say ‘Aye’ and we said ‘Noe’, and immediately we said divide the House. We are allowed to do that Mr. Speaker. Those are the rules of division. Our proceedings, I have been in the House and when I say divide, you cannot make the ruling when I am challenging you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have heard you Hon. Gonese. Do not have BP for nothing please. Order, order Hon. Members, Hon. Gonese has asked for the division of the House.

[Bells rung.]

          [House divided.]

          AYES 134:  Beremauro G, Chapfika D, Chasi F, Chigudu M,

Chigumba C. C, Chikomba L, Chikuni E, Chimedza P. D. R,

Chimwamurombe A, Chinomona M. M, Chipato A, Chitindi C,

Chitura L, Chivamba K, Chiwa D, Chiwetu J. Z, Dhewa W, Dutiro P,

Gangarawa G, Gezi T, Goche N, Gumbo E, Gumbo J.M, Gumbo S,

Guzah K. N, Haritatos P, Hlongwane M, Holder J, Hungwa G, Jaboon J

Kadungure D. A, Kanhanga E. W, Karoro D, Kasukuwere S, Katsiru L,

Kaundikiza M, Khanye N, Kwaramba G, Machingura R, Mackenzie I,

Madanha M, Madondo T, Madubeko J, Maduza T, Madzinga P, Mahiya

M, Mahoka S, Makari Z, Makoni R. R, Makweya M, Mandiwanzira S,

C, Mangami D, Mangwende S, Mapiki J, Marumahoko R, Masamvu L,

Mashange W, Mashayamombe S, Mashonganyika D, Matimba K. M,

Matuke L, Mavenyengwa R, Mawere M. D. V, Mawere M. R. N. S,

Mguni N, Mhlanga N. J, Mhona F. T, Mukanduri S. T, Mukupe T,

Mukwena R, Muponora N, Musabayana D, Musanhi K. S, Musiiwa A,

Musvaire W, Mutezo M, Mutomba W, Mutsvangwa C, Muzenda T. M,

Ncube D. M, Ncube G. M, Ncube S, Mkandla M, Mlilo N, Moyo J. N,

Moyo L, Mpala M, Mpofu B, Mpofu M. M, Mpofu S, Mudau M,

Muderedzwa R, Mufunga A, Ndhlovu Alice, Ndlovu M. S, Ndoro L. F,

Nduna D, Nhambu B, Nhema C. F. D, Nkatazo M. M, Nkomo Mail,

Nkomo Malachi, Nleya L, Nyamupinga B. B, Nyere C, Paradza K, Phiri

  1. P, Runzirwayi J. M, Rungani A, Ruvai E, Savanhu T, Seremwe B,

Shamu W. K, Shava J, Shongedza E, Shumba K. D, Sibanda K, Sibanda

M, Sibanda Z, Simbanegavi Y, Sindi C, Sipani-Hungwe O, Thembani S.

Z, Tshuma J, Tsomondo C, Uta K, Vutete M, Zemura L, Zhou P, Zhou

T, Zindi I, Ziyambi Z.

          Tellers: Hon. F. G. Mukwangwariwa and Hon. J. Chinotimba

          NOES 46: Banda T, Bhebhe A, Budha – Masara S, Bunjira R,

Chamisa N, Chibaya A, Chidhakwa S, Chimanikire G, Chinanzvavana

 C, Chirisa F, Cross E. G, Gabbuza J. G, Khupe T, Machingauta C,

 Majaya B, Majome F. J, Makonya J, Maondera W, Maridadi J, Masuku

 P, Mataruse P, Matienga M, Matsunga S, Mguni N, Misihairabwi-Mushonga  P. M, Mpariwa P, Muchenje M. S, Mudzuri E, Mugidho M, Munochinzwa M, Munengami F, Murai E, Musundire A. L, Mutseyami P. C, Muzondiwa, E. S, Ndebele A, Ndlovu D. M, Ndlovu N, Sansole T.W, Saruwaka T. J. L, Sibanda D. P, Tarusenga U. D, Tshuma B, Tshuma D, Zvidzai S,Zwizwai M.

Tellers: Hon. I. Gonese and Hon. J. Toffa

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  I affirm that according to the

Tellers, the Ayes is 134 and the Noes is 46 and the Bill is accordingly

 affirmed.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 32 (5) AND 139

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Mr. Speaker, I move that the provisions –

          Hon. Murai having stood up to give a point of order

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I ruled on that point of order.  Hon. Mutseyami, can you sit down.  I am going to ask you to leave the House, you are not the Chair.  Hon. Minister, you may take a seat.

          HON. MURAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity.  I want to put this on record that the results of these elections which we have just conducted are not in any way reflecting the will of the Hon. Members in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker, there was a lot of intimidation from Hon. Members from your right.  At one point our Hon. Member from your left side was abducted, Hon. Chimanikire – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Member.  Those that are willing to be intimidated of their free choice chose to be counted accordingly.  The question of abduction.  Order, order.  The question of abduction – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Gara pasi kana Speaker vachitaura iwewe.] – Hon. Tshuma!  Order, order!  There were no alarm bells raised for the Sergeant-at-Arms to rescue the abductees.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 32 (5) AND 139

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the provisions of Standing Orders Number 32(5) and 139, regarding the reporting period of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Stages of Bills respectively, be suspended in respect of the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill (H.B.1, 2016).

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  First and foremost, I think that the Hon. Minister is not respectful of this august House.  He has not told us the reasons why he wants those Standing Orders to be satisfied.  You cannot take the Hon. Members of this august House who were elected by the people in their constituencies and who represent the people of Zimbabwe for granted by simply saying you want the Standing Orders to be suspended.  That is my first point.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we should be appraised of the reasons as to why the Hon. Minister would want to have those provisions suspended.

          Secondly and more importantly, I am looking at the provisions of Standing Order Number 32, paragraph 5.  This is a very elaborate Standing Order.  It speaks to the periods within which the Parliamentary Legal Committee must report to the House.  Firstly Mr. Speaker, in respect of a Bill which is described in terms of Section 152 of the Constitution, the Standing Orders are very clear that the period is 26 business days.  I believe that the provision was put in for a purpose.  The purpose is to allow the members of the PLC to properly look at the provisions of any Bill.  In respect of this matter, if there are going to be any amendments, some of the provisions relate to possible amendments and I strongly object to the suspension of those provisions. 

          More importantly Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Minister has not given an indication as to whether that period should be reduced from 26 days and 6 days respectively to one day, one hour or one second.  It is unclear Mr. Speaker.  If you just have a blanket suspension, it means that the reduction can be anything.  I believe it would be appropriate that if you want to deal with the reduction, at least have an indication as to how many days you are talking about.  We do not know whether Hon. Members here are going to propose amendments.  If they propose amendments, the amendments are then referred to the PLC.  When you have a blanket reduction, it could then be construed to mean one second.  From what we have seen in this august House, anything is now possible with regards to this Bill and anything cannot be ruled out.  That is the first ground of my objection.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, in respect of Standing Order 139 regarding Stages of Bills, we have a situation where the Hon. Minister has replaced the original text.  Hon. Members did not have the opportunity to see the new text.  Now you are saying, if you proceed from now, we then go to the Second Reading when Members have not even seen it because you are now suspending the stages within which the Bill can be debated.  I strongly object to that. 

Again Mr. Speaker, from the Second Reading, we go to the Committee Stage.  Under normal circumstances, two stages of a Bill cannot be held on the same day without the leave of the House.  We cannot give an advance leave of the House in terms of acceding to the request by the Hon. Minister when we do not know what he is going to be talking about.  As I have indicated already, we want Hon. Members to be afforded the opportunity after the Second Reading, to propose amendments.  If we are going to have two stages of the Bill to be debated and decided on the same day, Members are going to be denied that opportunity.  I believe that it is incumbent upon us as Hon. Members not to agree.

Lastly Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether these provisions are being suspended because of any urgency.  If it is on the grounds of urgency which the Minister has not mentioned, I am perplexed as to where the urgency arises.  We have had the new Constitution since 2013 and the Minister has had an ample opportunity to bring in a Bill to align the provisions of the Act with the provisions of the Constitution.  If the Hon. Minister was fast asleep – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I am only saying ‘if’ because it has taken him long to bring them.  It is not our fault Mr. Speaker Sir.  I do not know what urgency has arisen which would cause the Minister to want to suspend the provisions of those Standing Orders. 

The Minister has had sight of the new Constitution since 2013 and he knows which provisions are not in sync with the provisions of the two Acts, the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act.  He is well aware of the provisions that are not in sync with the Constitution and had ample time to do it.  Why he delayed is something that we do not know.  I do not agree Mr. Speaker to have a situation where we can fast track this Bill through this august House.  For those reasons, I strongly object to the motion by the Hon. Minister. 

HON. MUDZURI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise to support my colleague and say we are in this House to ensure that we do justice to the law which we passed in 2013, which is the constitutional democracy we have.  I have just picked up the Bill from the pigeon hole and I did not look at it.  Coming to this House, suspending the reporting period of the PLC does not help us because we need the PLC which is the legal mind to go through this.  When I looked through this, I can see that the PLC did not apply their mind and I need to consult other lawyers before I even come to debate this.  So, we need time to go and look at this and the PLC needs more time.  There is serious unconstitutionality which I see as a layman and I will need time to consult. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, all of us here no longer represent ourselves – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I said all of us, including myself.  We no longer represent the interests of the country.  If we go on the line of following our political party lines, of whipping and we are not looking at the law in toto;  all Members must debate freely and making sure that our children and grand children are going to benefit from these laws.  We have failed our nation and today I can tell you Mr. Speaker, my heart bleeds in the sense that we are wasting the tax payer’s money, when people have no salaries, to fast track a Bill to dismiss one person. 

          HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for recognising me.  On this Bill, this is one of the best Bills that have come to Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - The reason of my statement is that we need to bring sanity.  We come here, crying foul, talking about corruption and all sorts of things.  Mr. Speaker, we know political parties are funded by Government, there is an allocation.  Government does not have money and these people are now taking money from the council using these mayors – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It is important to empower the Minister so that the Minister will be able to take action.  If we look at all the councils that have been run - looking at the audited report and all that, I am sorry to say that some of these Hon. Members, come here, collect papers from the pigeonholes and do not even read and actually understand what is happening.  They want to come and say, they are speaking on behalf of the other Hon. Members; no they are speaking on behalf of themselves.  We are wasting time with the other Hon. Members who have caucuses in order to disturb what we are supposed to do at the cost of the nation. 

          It is sad, when they actually speak, they speak from an uninformed side.  They talk …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, can I direct the House.  We are debating the leave sought by the Hon. Minister in terms of Standing Order No. 32 (5) and No. 139.  Can we stick to that? 

          HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I was just trying to correct some issues.  I am in support of this Bill.

          HON. CHASI:  I also rise to support the motion by the Hon. Minister.  I support that motion on the basis of the report by the Auditor General which shows the extent to which corruption in our local government has stretched.  Mr. Speaker, local government is the point at which most people intersect or relate to Government.  What we have got here with respect to Harare City Council for example, we have a situation where people are operating dual accounting systems. It is contained in here, on the basis of this report, I believe that that is a good basis.  I want to say a situation where a local council is not able to account for a variance of US$200 000.

          HON. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is on parliamentary privilege. What we are getting here from the PLC member is that we are debating a Bill which is targeting a particular council.  I am saying we are supposed to have a Bill that is supposed to cover the whole nation.  The PLC should be looking at a Bill that works for the whole country, not a particular council.  My point of order is that the PLC member must not allow suspension so that they look thoroughly into these laws rather than defending the Minister. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you address the suspension of Standing Orders. 

HON. CHASI:  The suspension of the Standing Orders is justified by the exigencies of the situation.  I am referring to this audit report by the Auditor General and that creates a very urgent situation to enable the Minister to deal with problems in our local councils, in almost all of them not just Harare, every one of them.  Thank you.

          HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, you have not ruled on my request.  With due respect, I have asked you to make a ruling on whether we are debating a Bill for Harare. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, you were not listening.  I told the Hon. Member to stick to the leave sought by the Hon. Minister to suspend the orders.  That was my ruling. 

          HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise…

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker

 THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, what is the point of order.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, with all the due respect that I give you and you deserve, I think it is so paramount that the Deputy Chief Whip for ZANU PF must recognise your jurisdiction to appoint who to speak rather than to give you direction so that we always respect the office of our Chair.  We do not want your office to be demeaned at any time by whosoever, so that your respect is always maintained. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Hon. Member, the Deputy Chief Whip was merely bringing to my attention that there was an Hon. Member standing in as much as – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –the Chief Whip from my left asked that you be given a chance to raise your point of orders.  So, we are being fair, thank you. 

          HON. MAJOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for granting me this opportunity that I value very much, to lend my voice to the debate on whether or not the Hon. Minister’s motion for leave to be granted for him, in terms of the Standing Orders, to suspend the General Orders in terms of the speed with which Bills move through this House.  I wish to oppose that motion and lend support to Hon. Gonese.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we will be doing injustice to the people of Zimbabwe who are out there, watching and waiting for us to represent them in this august House.  If we allow this, it is a notorious fact that the generality of Hon. Members of this august House have not at all seen, as Hon. Gonese has indicated, the proposed amendments that the Hon. Minister has made to the particular Bill. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, if we proceed we will have allowed at our own peril, to have this august House willingly surrender itself to become a rubber stamp that we do not apply our minds, that we pass legislation, not only with eyes closed but with our minds also closed.  There is a reason why Bills are printed, they are meant to be read so that people can apply their minds and give weighty consideration to these matters.  At the beginning of each and every sitting in this House, we pray not only for God’s wisdom but for God’s wisdom to allow us to give due attention to the trusts that has been vested for the public.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a dereliction of that trust to just sit here and say that everything is okay with proceedings to want to pass a Bill whose amendments we have not even seen. That is a travesty.  That will be lacking respect, if we, Hon. Members of this august House do not take this business seriously, the members of the public will, indeed and even the Executive itself will not respect us if we do not decide to pay due attention to this Bill.  It would be a mockery of the Parliamentary process, apart from the other issues around this, to just even  agree to sit here and agree that we are going to pass something with our eyes and minds closed – that is not what we are meant to be doing in this august House. This Constitution was passed so that we represent our people. 

          In my opposition to suspending the motion, I want to submit that with all fairness, the Hon. Minister must indeed canvass the reasons why he does want to suspend the Orders.  What is the problem? Is there a matter of urgent public importance that requires that Members of Parliament just throw away their minds and diligence?  Without that justification being heard, I do not believe that it would be fair for that motion to be entertained.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, leave is actually sought, it is not a given.  Once we set a precedent whereby we just do things automatically without thinking, we are going to be a laughing stock, not only of ourselves but also of the public and of posterity.  I want to urge Hon. Members of the august House that can we give due respect to this august House?

          Thirdly Mr. Speaker Sir, in opposing that motion, even when the Hon. Minister gives us good reasons as to why he is in such a hurry, that does not end there.  Hon. Members of this august House must actually apply their  minds and decide whether or not it is justifiable that a Bill such as this one be fast tracked and we suspend the Standing Orders.   We will be insulting ourselves and shooting ourselves in the foot if we allow this Parliament to become a rubber stamp and not only a rubber stamp, but that does not have ink.

          I also want to remind the House that in terms of this particular Constitution, we are required to make laws for the order and good governance of Zimbabwe.   Not just any laws, but the manner in which we even enact the legislation must be reflective of good governance.  We will be lying to ourselves if we told ourselves that speeding through and rushing through at breakneck speed - Bills that we have not even seen is good governance.  That is not good governance.

 In terms of the Constitution again, this Parliament has the power that we must not surrender easily, to make sure that everyone - including the Executive is accountable to us.  The Hon. Minister must account to us as to exactly why he wants us to break the speed limit as far as passing Bills is concerned.  What kind of ambulance, is this what is the mischief, what do we want to achieve?

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to end by responding to what Hon. Chasi, my learned Hon. Brother has said. He has cited the contents of the Auditor General’s report - that is his surmise of what might possibly be the need to hurry the Bill that the Hon. Minister has not told us.  However, in any event, I think it is ironic that he has used that example for us to try and rush the Bill.  In fact the Auditor General’s Reports are before Parliament in terms of another Act of Parliament in their  own processes. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chasi corrected himself.  He said it applies to all local authorities, not only Harare.

          HON. MAJOME: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not speaking about Harare at all.  It will not be a justification for hurrying this Bill because of local authorities.  The Auditor General’s report was put in our pigeon hole, in terms of a whole raft of legislative architecture, the Public Finance and Management Act has ample architecture to look at pilfering and other misdemeanors in the Executive and local government. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the logical conclusion of that is because of all the endemic corruption that is in our nation, I will give examples.  Right now, in the public arena there is a dispute about a US$200 000 loan that has been advanced to the Hon. Minister of ICT.  There is also the very sordid issue of tender procedures that were flouted, by Ministers again not by Hon. Ministers who are brothers of Hon. Minister Kasukuwere, in the tenders that involve electricity infrastructure.  There is also the famed issue of the US$15 billion; the list is endless.  The logical conclusion of Hon. Chasi’s argument is that every minute now, we must be fast tracking Bills around tender procedures, electricity infrastructure, the ICT and the US$15 billion.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we have a Committee of this august House, the Public Accounts Committee which is responsible for that. In any event, this Bill does not seek to replace and repeal those other provisions that we have including the criminal law.  There are still criminal offences that people can be arrested for, it does not become urgent if there is suspicion of pilfering in local authorities.  There is corruption in Government Ministries as among Government Ministers themselves and that cannot therefore be the reason why we must fast track Bills because there is suspicion in local authorities.  The law has an opportunity to take its course.

          In conclusion, this august House must remember the only power that we have as Parliament is to hold Hon. Ministers to account.  We must not submit ourselves willingly to a noose for no reason at all.  There is no justification, especially for a Bill for amendments that we have not seen.  I only have seen them because I am in the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  However, Hon. Members, we will be making a laughing stock of ourselves if we agree to pass amendments at breakneck speed with our minds and our eyes closed.  That is not the purpose of this Parliament.  With that reason, I object Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order point of correction.  The Bill was put in the pigeonholes this morning at Nine O’clock a.m. and it is only eleven pages.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of procedure to say that last week the Minister gave notice that he will seek the leave of the House to suspend the motion and introduce his Bill, as per Standing Order Number 204.  If you read Standing Order Number 204 it says, “Save as is provided in Standing Order Number 49, any Standing or Sesssional Order or Orders of the House may only be suspended upon Motion moved after notice:”  The Minister fully satisfied that requirement last week by giving that notice. 

It goes on to say that, “Provided in cases of urgent necessity of which the Speaker must be the judge,” not the members, “any such Order or Orders may with leave of the House be suspended upon Motion moved without notice.”.

          So if you look at what the Minister said and relate it to this Section 204, everything that he did is above the law.  He did everything according to our procedure and if you go to Section 139 of our Standing Orders it says, “Not more than one stage of a Bill must be taken at the same sitting without the leave of the House.”  The Minister sought the leave of the House, so what Hon. Gonese said that we cannot do it in one sitting is false, according to our Standing Orders…

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Mr. Speaker, on a point order, with all due respect …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  In terms of which Order?

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  In terms of the privileges that I am entitled - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – In terms of the privileges that I am entitled to as a Member of Parliament in this august House I stand to say is Hon. Ziyambi lecturing the Speaker to the effect that the Speaker is not aware, or is he addressing a workshop?  What is he trying to imply to an Advocate who is the Speaker of this House? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Mutseyami, the Hon. Member was quoting specific Sections of our Standing Orders.  In your reply or point of order, you should also have quoted a Section.  Hon. Ziyambi, you may proceed.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I was trying to implore the House to the fact that the Minister sought leave to suspend the motion, he did that.  Even if, assuming but not admitting that he did not, of which he did, it is already in the Hansard.  If he had not done that, it is the Speaker who has the prerogative to judge what he has said - whether there is urgency or not and not members within the House.  I am saying in terms of satisfying the requirements of the law, the Minister has already satisfied the requirements. 

The other point that I wanted to point out is Hon. Gonese made reference to the period required by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC).  The period required by the Parliamentary Legal Committee is suspended if we present our report to the House.  We are no longer obligated to say we should wait for 21 days when we have finished our business.  So whatever happened, the report was tabled in the House and  - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  The period that is required by the Parliamentary Legal Committee has been overtaken by operation of law.

The other point is we have a constitutional democracy and if anyone is aggrieved by whatever we have done, they have a constitutional right to go to the Constitutional Court - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - For the Constitutional Court to rule on what has happened.  So in so far as what is happening in this House, at this particular juncture, we have not broken any law and the Minister has done everything above board. I would like to applaud him for giving notice last week, as opposed to doing it today.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Haudzoki!  You were singing for your supper Ziyambi!] –

HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I love our Prayer and the beauty of our Prayer is that you are the one who normally leads in saying that Prayer to the Lord.  In every sitting, we have a contract, not just a contract with men but a contract with the Almighty and that contract is to come here and defend the just government of men.  In that contract, we come here to stand on the shoulders of the poor people, the under-privileged that have no voice.  We are that voice.  So it is in the context of that very important pledge and contract with God and contract with the people of Zimbabwe that I make this submission.

I make these submissions fully aware that my learned brother Hon. Ziyambi has already mentioned the importance of making sure that whatever the Minister does is legal.  Yes, the Minister may be traversing on the path of legality, but we must understand that not everything that is within the confines of legality is lawful.  I want to say this fully aware of what I am going to motivate.

Hon. Speaker Sir, the Minister has come here to ask for a very important leave which is a sui generis remedy.  It is a sui generis remedy, meaning to say it is in a class of its own.  When we look at it, you do not just come here and ask us to grant you the leave without giving or telling us the reasons for doing so.  We are not robots as parliamentarians - [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – We are not automated bodies as parliamentarians, but are here representing a sense and a thought, conscience within society. It is for that reason that when we are here, we are here to defend those people whom we represent. 

This is why I am radically opposed to the prayer by the Minister and I have got five reasons for that.  The first reason is that the Constitution of our country, Section 119 (1), gives us the obligation to promote democratic governance.  What the Minister is seeking to persuade Parliament to do is to demote democratic governance - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - 

What the Minister is trying to encourage us to do is to overthrow

democratic governance.  What the Minister is trying to do is to persuade us to run away from the people and not be accountable to the people - [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – What the Minister is trying to do is to torpedo impose and parachuting his ideas on Parliament - [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – and we have a duty to defend the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  Similarly, Section 141 (b) gives us access and I wish Hon. Speaker Sir, if you may protect me. The Hon. Minister is again back to his default setting of thinking about power all the time. There is no G40 here. We are discussing a very important proposal he has made. I hope that he will restrain himself. Section 141 (b) behoves Parliament to make sure that we ensure public involvement of the people in all the processes. Public hearings are just but in part. We are also supposed to take back all these other developments.

          For argument’s sake, I wish we could also be able to apply our thought to these things. When we come here, we do not come to waste time. We come here to try and build our nation. Heckling, side tracking and shadow boxing is not going to heal our nation. It is unfortunate that some members have become professional hecklers. They do not come here to give any meaningful debate but just to heckle. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- 

          Hon. Speaker Sir, the request by the Minister is in bad taste. Why is it in bad taste, it is because he has not justified why consultation has become inappropriate in terms of the Constitution. He has not justified why consultations have become impracticable under the circumstances. He has not justified why, from a teleological and purposive interpretation of our laws, he has chosen to take the route that he has taken. I am saying this because we have a doctrine of the separation of powers in this country. The Executive cannot come and invade the space of the Legislature without a justification. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          This is a tried, settled, applied and well established principle in jurisdictions of democracy the world over. When the Executive chooses to come to Parliament, they must have a justifiable reason to infract on the rights that we have and the spaces that we have in terms of the Constitution. The Minister has not done so. So we have no reason and motivation to support him under those circumstances. Not only that, we are also urging the Executive to stop bullying Parliament. Some of us are not willing to be bullied. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

I am saying we are bullied because when the Minister comes here, he took his time from 2013 up until now, but he has come to us overnight and he wants us to suspend everything. Minister, you cannot come to us to suspend...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address the Minister as...

HON. CHAMISA: I really appreciate you calling me Hon. Minister. Thank you very much.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, address the Minister as Honourable.  Thank you.

HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I was just saying to the Hon. Minister, in as much as we respect the Executive processes, the Minister is coming here to ask us to do something that will in effect result in the suspension, not just of the rules, but the suspension of democracy. It is not the suspension of rules but the suspension of accountability to the various constituencies that we have. I can assure you Hon. Speaker Sir that we have a duty to also oppose the fast tract tradition. We must not microwave our Bills. We must not have microwave democracy where we are just coming here and fast track everything on a conveyor belt. 

Let us have time to ruminate over and chew the cud on the key issues that are supposed to be deliberated upon. People in Kuwadzana would want to hear what the Bill is all about and they want to hear their take. People in Manicaland and Matabeleland would want to have their take and the Minister is saying those are not important. The views of the Executive are important, to hell with all that, let us just endorse it. We are saying we cannot do it Hon. Speaker Sir. We have a duty to go back to those who gave us the mandate. We have a duty to our people and a duty in terms of our representative democracy to unlock that deliberative aspect of our Parliament. Let us deliberate on these issues instead of you to come and foist it down on our throats without necessarily having time to debate it.

In any case, the Minister has not given a case for urgency or emergency because this is a sui generis as I have said. He has not shown us how the probative value of suspending this is going to outweigh the prejudicial effect. He has not shown us, so it is very difficult for us to just take it at face value. We need the emergency to be there, to be palpable, and not to be self created. The Minister has created urgency. Self created urgency cannot be condoned by us. We are Members of Parliament. We stand in defence of democracy, freedom and accountable leadership. We need to allow this misconceived approach to be opposed and suspending 32 (5) of our rules entails making sure that the PLC will not sit at its normal times. We are also undermining the threshold of consultation of Members of the PLC on issues that are supposed to be considered.     

So, it undermines and erodes our constitutional democracy, more importantly, last but not least, everything we do should pass the constitutional muster. The grundnorm of our Constitution which is the grund norm is that we defend the people we represent. We do not come here to defend the Minister...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Address the Chair please.

HON. CHAMISA: Yes, kana zvandibata zvinondiwisira mumvura honestly. – [Laughter.] - I hear you Hon. Speaker Sir, thank you very much. It is very important for whatever we do to pass the test of constitutionality. I want to say this is the sort of leave that should not be granted at all cost. It flies in the face of democracy, corrodes our freedoms as Parliament and it also undermines the power of the Legislature to play its oversight role on the Executive, angered, tethered, and sinued on the support of the people. Thank you very much.    

*HON. MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to make my contribution. I am supporting the motion which has been raised by the Minister and I know when this Bill was introduced, there were lots of misunderstandings. Thanks to you. You made us vote and we supported the sides which we wanted and the side which was the side which said the Bill should be debated hence; we followed the rule of the majority.

I stand to support this Bill and this Bill has come at an opportune time. We thank the Hon. Minister for introducing this Bill and all the facets that go with it. There are two issues which we have to think of and your House is divided into two sides. The right side is saying there are problems within the local authorities and these have to be rectified. The Minister has done due diligence, investigations and seen that it is necessary that steps be taken to correct these problems, hence the introduction of this Bill.

As a result, we have stood up to support this Bill and all the steps the Minister is taking to correct that problem and that problem is corruption.  So, for how long are we going to sit on this corruption and let it go? We therefore thank you Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill and I am pleading with my fellow Parliamentarians that let us support this Bill.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank all the Hon. Members for their contributions.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are here because we are following the laws of the land.  We are here and we have presented this Bill before Parliament in terms of the law.

Hon. Gonese, in his presentation to us, talks about the period.  We have followed the periods in terms of the presentation of the Bill and what we are seeking to achieve – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjection.]- Certainly, and I was going to come to that later, is to bring about order in the local authorities.  Mr. Speaker, the amendments that the Hon. Member has talked about are all as a result of his advice to this very Minister.  We set with the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC), got their wisdom and counsel and we have implemented all that they wanted us to do.  Mr. Speaker, we gazetted this Bill on the 9th of May, 2016  and that certainly gave colleagues ample time to digest and to have a look at the Bill.  Certainly the Hon. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Hon. Zindi will be reporting to this House on the consultation that she has carried out across the country and with the Members of Parliament as leader of the Committee.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Gonese asks us why the urgency.  Apart from what Hon. Chasi spoke about earlier on, what is in the Auditor-General’s report, what we have in our Ministry and what we are going through on a daily basis where the majority - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.

HON. KASUKUWERE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sure that colleagues to the right will join me in trying to ensure that there is good governance in this country. Not only in Government at the Executive level, but also in our municipal authorities – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjection.]- 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Mutseyami, we are not discussing ZESA here.  We are discussion Local Government.  So, let us not divert.  Thank you.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. - [AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjection.] -    It is my privilege. Privilege, privilege.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what is obtaining now is that people are no longer giving you your due respect.  When Members of the opposition were making their contribution, we were quiet but now the Minister is presenting his speech and the Members of the opposition are heckling.  I plead with you Mr. Speaker Sir that may we please have order.  Mr. Speaker Sir, may you please maintain peace and order in this House because we have people who have their own set down agenda to disturb the progress of this House.  As I am making my contribution, they are heckling me and telling me that I am talking nonsense but their attitude is the one which led them to be defeated in the general elections.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chinotimba is quite correct.  When Hon. Members were contributing, you were not disturbed, so you have to give respect to the Hon. Minister to reply accordingly.  Let us have order.

HON. KASUKUWERE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have said and quite clearly that whatever we are doing here in this room, we are following the rules and regulations.  We are following the Standing Rules in terms of the suspension.  I have sought leave of the House for us to be able to execute what we think is very important in this country to bring about order in our local authorities.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I take it that most of their arguments are political and I take it that most of what they are saying -[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - flies in the face of the rule of law following what is agreed in our Standing Orders and I am worried and I cannot understand.  I am sure no wonder why we must have more urgency – this level of chaos and refusal to accept for us to bring out order in our country’s sanity shows that my colleagues have a lot to hide.  If they had nothing to hide, they would not be making this amount of noise.  Hon. Mudzuri in his presentation …

*HON. P.D. SIBANDA:  On a point of Order Mr. Speaker.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is based on Order No. 68.  We plead with the Minister to tell us the reasons where the urgency of his motion lies?  He is talking about the Auditor-General’s report and there were lots of these audit reports.  Therefore, what we may need is that we look at all the Auditor’s reports which were produced.  The Minister should start by informing us that the Auditor-General introduced her report regarding Local Authorities and how they were looked into.  We also have to look at the Bills which may be corresponding to that and maybe if he does that, we will be able to know why he says this is an urgent matter.  We thank you.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, the Minister is going to explain all these things which we are talking about, let us give him the chance.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE]:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Eng. Mudzuri raised issues to do with the constitutionality of what we are doing and I am sure this House cannot make a ruling in terms of the constitutionality of what we are talking about.  If he feels aggrieved, certainly the Constitutional Court is there for him to go. 

          I want to thank Hon. Chasi for his contribution and I am happy that he has also pointed out issues that are of concern to all of us.  My dear sister Hon. Majome, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is ironic that in her arguments, again there is no legal question that she is putting across, save for the political desire.  It is a fact that she launched a ‘stop Kasukuwere campaign’ which did not get the attraction she expected. We are here to discuss now about exactly what we think is right in curing the ills in the City of Harare.  She is correct, she lives in Harare and is a resident of Harare but quite sympathetic to the corruption in the City of Harare – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I think…

          HON. MAJOME: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. MAJOME:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is wrong for the Hon. Minister to abuse the opportunity you gave him to make unsubstantiated and very scurrilous remarks about my person and my character.  I would wish him to actually substantiate because it is highly defamatory and it is actually false.  I think it is totally out of order, can he withdraw that or actually substantiate it because I do not support corruption.  He must substantiate it.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Minister, the statement – ‘I think that she is sympathetic to corruption’ needs to be withdrawn because we have no evidence to that effect.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE]:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member of Parliament is not sympathetic to corruption.  I withdraw and I am adding to say that she is not sympathetic at all to corruption.

          Mr. Speaker, on the last contribution, I want to thank Hon. Ziyambi for chronicling the journey that we have travelled in terms of bringing forward this Bill, what we have done, how much we have followed all the processes.  Hon. Chamisa, my dear friend, I am sure   - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -         

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Hon. Members - that little group there has to observe the decorum of the House.   Secondly, we are not allowed to eat in here.  If you are diabetic, you get out of the House.  Thank you – [HON. CHIBAYA: NdiDingani arikudya.] –

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE]:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I listened intently to my colleague Adv. Chamisa and accepted there is no animus contrahendi.  I listened to the Advocate who is a renowned lawyer in this country but there was no law that he spoke about except an early campaign.  I am not sure what he is campaigning for and I do not want to associate it with – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  As I listened,

          HON. MARIDADI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. MARIDADI:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker, there are two issues that I want to raise..

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  In terms of which order?

          HON. MARIDADI: Privileges – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Let him speak, you allowed Hon. Chinotimba to speak on a similar matter, this is not fair.] -  Privileges in terms of Standing Order 68 (d).  We are here deliberating on a very important Bill and I think the Hon. Minister is supposed to address substantive issues; substantive issue is what the Minister is supposed to address.  Also Mr. Speaker, the Minister says that if Hon. Mudzuri can approach the Constitutional Court.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, the Hon. Minister was responding to Hon. Chamisa.  So, you cannot debate that..

          HON. MARIDADI:  No, no, no.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you stick to the response to Hon. Chamisa.  Respond to a point of privilege on what Hon. Chamisa said.

          HON. MARIDADI: I said two issues, one raised by Hon. Chamisa and the other raised by Hon. Mudzuri.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, you cannot do that.  Address one thing.

          HON. MARIDADI:  The Hon. Minister said you can approach the Constitutional Court and I am saying, why does the Minister want to abrogate the responsibilities of Parliament of making laws to the Constitutional Court.  It is a responsibility of Parliament to make laws and you cannot abrogate those responsibilities to the Constitutional Court.  The Minister must take note of that, I thank you.   

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE]: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I agree with my dear colleague, Hon. Chamisa – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Members at the back there.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE]: I agree with my dear colleague Hon. Chamisa, we are in agreement in terms of the need for good governance in the country.  Chapter 2, Section 9, the Constitution speaks about good governance and subsection (b) states that, “measures must be taken to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those holding political and public offices”.   Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot take any day longer in trying to bring about order in our local authorities.  I say so with full knowledge of what is happening, be it from the rural level up to the urban centre level.  We must fight corruption in this country.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. GONESE: Divide the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I hear Hon. Gonese but I want to refer you to Standing Order No. 125 (2). Do you have it? In terms of that ection, if however, the Chair is of the opinion that a division is unnecessarily claimed or is an abuse of the rules or misuse of the forms of the House, he or she must decline to direct that division  and must immediately declare the resolution of the House or the Committee as the case may be. So I declare. Therefore, the question is accordingly affirmed.

          HON. GONESE: The provisions which the Hon. Speaker has cited, I think there should be a logical basis for arriving at that conclusion. This is a different question because this is a question which goes to the root of constitutional order as Honourable Members on this side of the House have pointed out. There is a very strong possibility that Members will vote differently on this fundamental issue. It is my respectful submission – my point is to have a logical basis for the Chair to arrive at that conclusion that this is an abuse of process. I am seeking that clarification so that the Chair can appraise on what is the logical basis for coming to that conclusion.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Those who are opposed to the decision of the Chair, can they show by rising on their feet.

          All MDC Hon. Member rose in their places.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  In terms of the previous count it would appear the voting pattern has not changed.  Yes, it has not changed – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mudzuri, can you address the Chair.

HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to say…– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mudzuri, address the Chair.  Order, order! 

HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  Mr. Speaker, I do not have that talent of a very loud voice.  That is why I wait for them to cool down.  Anyway Mr. Speaker Sir, why I rise, I rise to say we want to respect your ruling, but what we are looking at here is we are making history.  We strongly feel – I personally feel we are breaking the law and we must be able to count those who are here in this House and those who are not, who feel that we are betraying the basis of our being in this Parliament.  So, the numbers and the names will show who is working for the nation and who is not – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Order, order!  While I agree with Hon. Mudzuri, you must, at the back of your mind, also think of the time that we are consuming, against the time… – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!  On the balance of scales and probabilities, the number that stood up is 35/46 compared to the previous, so I do not want us to be frivolous in this regard – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

*HON. MURAI:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Mr. Speaker…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, I have not recognised this side.  I recognise this side.  Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  You made a ruling according to our Standing Orders and you read the section very well.   In the wording, the import of it, does not say that you are supposed to go on and on explaining.  So, if you are to stand by our Standing Orders, the Speaker has already made a ruling.  Why are we going in circles, unless if you are telling us, Hon. Speaker, that from today on, if you make a ruling, we are supposed to ignore that ruling and we debate on your ruling.  Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I did not say I am going to change my ruling.  Yes, it is as simple as that.  I was asked for logic and I gave the logic in terms of numericals.

*HON. MURAI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  You had recognised me – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

    THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, I am not taking you. I am not taking you.

HON. MURAI:  Thank you.  Maita basa.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I have got a very important point of order – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Honourable, I have made my ruling.  No – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. GONESE:  It is a different dimension.  Mr. Speaker, it is a different dimension.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is a different what?

HON. GONESE:  It is a different dimension Mr. Speaker.  I just want to find out on which basis, on which Standing Order is the Chair ruling that the Chair is not going to recognise further points of order because you had recognised Hon. Murai and then you said no, you are recognising that side and after recognising that side – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

I am asking which Standing Order.  Hon. Speaker, you gave the impression that after recognising Hon. Ziyambi you would then recognise Hon. Murai and then all of a sudden, you then said that you are not recognising him.  So, I am asking, in terms of what Standing Order you are preceding, Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]–

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Okay, okay.  You have made your point.  Order, order!   I think Hon. Gonese, you must have missed it in terms of memory.  I recognise Hon. Mudzuri after my ruling.  So, it is not correct for you to say I recognised Hon. Ziyambi and then – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Can you sit down?  Can we have order?  I am aware of the emotional issues that are – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order! 

SECOND READING

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 1, 2016]

Second Order read:  Second Reading:  Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2016].

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir - [HON. MEMBERS:  Point of order! Point of order!] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, I am not accepting any point of order - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  No point of order.  Hon. Minister, carry on.

 HON. KASUKUWERE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill has been necessitated by the enactment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe … - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you sit down? - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

HON. KASUKUWERE: … Amendment Act Number 20…- [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you sit down?  Can you sit down?

HON. KASUKUWERE: … in particular Section 278 (2) and (3) which provides as follows - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  (a) An Act of Parliament must provide for the establishment of an independent tribunal to exercise the function of removing from office mayors, chairpersons and councillors but any such removal must be - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE) (SPK..)  must be on the grounds of inability to perform the functions of local councils, physical incapacity, gross incompetence, gross misconduct, conviction of an offence of dishonesty – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of the above, I hereby submit the   Local Government Laws Amendment Bill for consideration.  I beg leave of the House that the Bill be now read a second time. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

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

          HON. GONESE: I am raising a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you put your people in order, you are the Chief Whip. 

          HON. GONESE: I have a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker.  As the Chief Whip of the Opposition, I think you should hear me also.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: As Chief Whip also, can you make sure that your members are orderly?

          HON. GONESE: That is the point I want to address Mr. Speaker.  I think we all want to have order in this House and we are very desirous of having this Bill proceed through all the procedures and processes.  What is causing the problem is that when Hon. Ziyambi stood at the same time with Hon. Murai, you gave an indication that you were going to give Hon. Murai the floor.  I think this is where the problem arose. 

          I also asked in terms of which Standing Order you were….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.

          HON. GONESE: We are also desirous of proceeding in accordance with all the procedures of this august House.  I think that is where the problem arose.  There are two issues I would like to raise, the first point is what I have already mentioned about Hon. Murai, I do not know what point of order he had and I believe that it is within his right to allow him to raise the point –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          I have not finished.  I have a second point to make.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I think for us to be able to maintain order, we have got to hear each other.  Let us listen to each other Mr. Speaker so that we get to the same wavelength level.  All I am saying is that in the past, Members have raised points of orders, if they are frivolous, you rule accordingly, but there are times you can anticipate that someone is going to raise a frivolous and vexatious point of order yet that point of order might have substance.  I believe Mr. Speaker, for us to be able to proceed, it is important to hear Hon. Murai out. 

          Secondly, I saw the Hon. Minister handing over the speech, we did not hear the Second Reading speech.  We did not hear anything and I think we also want to be able to debate.  There are two issues, there was no Second Reading effectively Mr. Speaker.  I think it is important to allow order to prevail first, then the Hon. Minister – I propose that Hon. Murai be given the opportunity, after he is done, the Hon. Minister can then proceed with his Second Reading speech which we can all hear, so that we are able to respond substantively to the matters which he will have said.  As of now, we are totally in the dark as to what is the substance of his Second Reading speech.  Therefore, I implore you Hon. Speaker, to use your wisdom and to allow us to be able to proceed and I beg you Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Gonese, you spoke very well but the Hon. Chair must accord the Hon. Member the respect but if Hon. Members stand there in fours; fives and so on, saying point of order; point of order, that is not correct.  Hon. Sibanda, you are one of those who are shouting, point of order.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, please sit down.  Hon. Chibaya, ahh mune experience yakakura chaizvo.  You have a lot of experience in Parliamentary business, look at the Chair.  What I was saying is that the point of order, with all due respect, was overtaken by events.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Murai having stood up to raise a point of order

THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you overruling the Chair?  I have not recognised you.  Can you take your seat? – [HON. GONESE: Hazvina kumira mushe.] – I was going to say Hon. Gonese – ehe hazvina kumira mushe chaizvo.  Hon. Gonese, I hear your plea, but for this time may I ask you respectfully that if we may proceed, but I take note of what you said.  I am addressing Hon. Gonese.

          HON. GONESE: For the sake of progress Mr. Speaker, I feel very strongly and have no reason to believe that Hon. Murai’s point of order is frivolous and vexatious.  I believe that the point of order may also have a lot of validity and I am just asking you for the sake of progress to allow him to have his say and then you rule accordingly as is your prerogative.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you not say the opposite, that for the sake of progress we agreed that he was not going to...

          HON. GONESE: No, no, no.  I do not know Mr. Speaker, but I think that we will be able to move forward if you allow him and we hear what he has to say.  I believe that after we have heard him, we will be able to judge as to whether he was simply standing up for the sake of disruption or he had a valid point to make.  So, I am asking you Mr. Speaker to allow him.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, I agree.  Can your Hon. Members behave, you are the Chief Whip?

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That was my plea Mr. Speaker to have Hon. Murai who had stood up to have his say and you can judge properly as to whether it is appropriate for him in terms of whether he has something of substance.  Thereafter, we will be able to move forward. 

          *HON. MURAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I am seeking the guidance of the Chair and my question is, if the Speaker seems to be partisan, what should the House do with the Speaker.  This is because he is showing that he has an inclination to one side and we have no progress due to the Speaker’s attitude.  He is supporting one side against the other.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  You make a point of order and start shouting again.  I am going to ask you to go out now.

* Let me respond to Hon. Murai’s point of order.  The Hon. Speaker is one person who can handle any polygamous situation because he is very impartial. 

          There was a lot of shouting when the Hon. Minister gave his Second Reading and we want to capture it properly.  Hon. Minister, if you can do your Second Reading.

SECOND READING

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 1, 2016]

Second Order read:  Second Reading:  Local Government Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2016].

           THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill has been necessitated by the enactment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act (No. 20) 2013, in particular Section 278 (2) and (3) which provides as follows;

(2) An Act of Parliament must provide for the establishment of an independent tribunal to exercise the function of removing from office mayors, chairperson and councillors but any such removal must be on the grounds of  -

(a)     inability to perform the functions of that office due to mental or physical incapacity;

 (b)    gross incompetence;

(c)     gross misconduct

(d)   Conviction of an offence involving dishonesty, corruption or abuse of office; or

(e)     willful violation of the law, including a local authority by-law.

(3) A mayor, chairperson or councillor of a local authority does not vacate his or her seat except in accordance with this section.

Pending the finalisation of the new Local Government Act which is currently with the Attorney General’s office, there is need to align the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] and the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] – (hereinafter referred to as Acts) to the provisions of the new  Constitution.  This matter is urgent in light of the increasing number of cases of corruption, mismanagement, insubordination and other ills that are being exposed in various local authorities particularly urban.  We are also complying with the Justice Bere judgement whereby he directed that the tribunal be established.

          The current Local Government Act, as read with the Constitution, allows for the 45 day suspension of errant councillors but are out of line with the spirit of the new Constitution when it comes to the conclusion of the disciplinary action.  This has in essence created a free for all in local authorities.

          As we speak, a number of shocking cases of maladministration and corruption have been uncovered by the Ministries following reports from concerned and desperate members of the public and residents associations:-

  • A councilor, in connivance with council plumber, has by passed his water meter and those of his cronies, thereby prejudicing his own council of revenue for a service rendered.
  • A councillor used funds meant for a council medical aid society to pay for personal university tuition.
  • A councillor has awarded himself more than 20 stands in a single term, as yet uncompleted, in office.
  • A councillor has sold council land and pocketed the proceeds.
  • A councillor who was unlawfully driving a council vehicle and had an accident, framed a driver for the offence.
  • Several local authorities are also still operating without approved 2016 Budgets in violation of the Public Finance Management Act. Many are up to four years behind in the audit cycle.

          Such acts defy the basic values and principles of public administration as espoused in the Constitution and cannot be left unchecked. 

Mr. Speaker, the Constitution provides for Cabinet to prepare, initiate and implement national legislation.  As Ministers responsible for the Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Act, it is imperative that, in order to effect the entire Act, provision is made to sanction those who willfully violate parts thereof.  There is need to clarify that the establishment of local authorities does not in any way impinge on the constitutional  powers of Central Government to enforce compliance to national legislation. 

This proposed legislation has put in place measures to ensure the independence of the tribunal by having reputable bodies nominate the members thereof.  I must also bring to your attention the fact that where a councillor is aggrieved by a perceived lack of independence of members of the tribunal, she or he has the right to raise this in an appeal. 

May I point out that this legislation will cover all 1 958 councillors in the 92 Rural District Councils.  Currently, councillors across the political divide, including several from my own party; have cases pending hearing from this tribunal. 

To this end, there is an urgent need to amend the respective Acts to restore order, protect the public from abuse and misuse of council property and funds and to restore public confidence in their local authorities. 

The Memorandum of Principles for the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill was approved by Cabinet on the 26th of April 2016.  My Ministry has finalised the drafting of the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill incorporating the new constitutional requirements in relation to the discipline of mayors, chairpersons and councillors. 

It is in view of the above that I hereby submit the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill for consideration.  I therefore, move that the Bill be read a second time.

          HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker

         INTRODUCTION

         The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill (H.B. 1, 2016) was gazetted on 9 May 2016. Consequently, the Bill stood referred to the Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development compelling the Committee to exercise its function of scrutinizing bills in order to make the necessary recommendations. The Bill seeks to amend the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] so as to align certain provisions of the Acts with section 278 (2) and (3) of the Constitution which provides that an Act of Parliament must provide for the establishment of an independent tribunal to exercise the function of removing from office mayors, chairpersons and councillors on specified grounds.

METHODOLOGY

         This report is a product of an analysis of the Bill by the Committee informed by written submissions from the public and hearings held with members of the public and stakeholders in Mutare, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Mvurwi, Mutoko, Murewa,Macheke, Lupane, Gwanda, Umguza and Plumtree. The hearings were held from 13 to 16 and 22 and 23 June 2016, in fulfillment of Section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides as follows:

         Parliament must ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable

         The Committee expresses its sincere appreciation to all stakeholders who attended and participated at the public hearings and many others who made written submissions. Regrettably, there were disruptions and violence at the public hearings in Harare with the hearing at the Rainbow Towers proceeding after being halted for some time and the hearing in Highfield having to be abandoned completely.

         SUBMISSIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

POWERS OF THE MINISTER

          Some members of the public were of the sentiments that the Bill confers too much power to the Minister, which is inconsistent with the provisions of section 278 of the Constitution.  They argued that the Constitution does not give the Minister the powers to suspend or remove a Councillor, Chairperson or Mayor of a local authority.  It was pointed out that Chapter 14 of the Constitution speaks to the devolution of power from the central government to the local authority.  The Bill, if enacted in its present form, will be in violation of Chapter 14 of the Constitution.

          Some were of the view that the Minister should be conferred such powers to suspend, and or remove a councillor, chairperson or mayor from office who has committed acts of gross misconduct, corruption or abuse of public office as he is the head of local authorities.  They expressed satisfaction with the Bill and argued that the Minister should have power vested in him as the head of local authorities to remove mayors, councillors, or chairpersons from office for failing to perform their duties.

          Another view was that the Minister must consult the local people before suspending and the need for the Minister to investigate thoroughly before suspending or removing a councillor, mayor or chairperson from office was emphasised, citing that sometimes a Minister might act on a matter of grudges and not wrong doing.

APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL

          The establishment of an Independent Tribunal was hailed as a good idea but the Minister should not appoint members of the Tribunal to avoid partisan and nepotism appointments. It was suggested that a Parliamentary Committee should be responsible for the appointment of Tribunal members and it must be reflective of political divide and gender composition.  It was also proposed that the Secretariat to service the Tribunal should come from Parliament to ensure its independence and the Tribunal should report to Parliament.

          It was proposed that the Minister must be a complainant and must report to the Tribunal the allegations leveled against chairperson, councillor and mayor in matters involving misconduct, corruption and abuse of power.  Members of the tribunal must investigate allegations and report its findings to the Minister.

          Another suggestion was that the members of the Tribunal be nominated elected at the local level and be responsive to the needs of the locals. Residents Association were of the view that residents should be consulted in the suspension or removal from office of councillor, mayor or chairperson because they are the ones who voted them into power.  They felt that their importance was not recognised in the Bill.

Some were of the view that the Tribunal must be set by the Minister who has an oversight and supervisory role to the local authority so that accountability is achieved.  The powers of the Minister to suspend or remove councillors, chairpersons or mayors were welcomed citing that the Minister is needed to supervise his Ministry so as to curb corruption.  It was argued that the Minister has a right to choose members of the tribunal.

          Some participants proposed that the remuneration of members of the Tribunal must be determined by Parliament and that it must be published in the Government Gazette.  It was pointed out that there was no justification for a council that is being investigated to pay for the expenses of a Tribunal which has been appointed by the Minister.  The funds should go towards service delivery and the remuneration of the Tribunal be paid by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

The Bill was said to be silent on the time frame for the resolution of a matter referred to Tribunal and therefore a time frame should be set.  Some members of the public were of the view that the life of the tribunal need not necessarily be ad hoc.

          Another view was that there is no need to set a tribunal.  The Minister was said to be qualified enough and has been given the power to run the affairs of local authorities.  They argued that setting of a tribunal is an unnecessary cost.  Some members of the public also argued that those who commit crimes should be reported to police and if found guilty, be arrested and therefore no need for the Minister or Tribunal to be involved in matters that the police are qualified to deal with.

Some members of the public felt that the Tribunal must be set up by the Provincial Councils.

Some members of the public felt that the Minister should not have power to remove members of the Tribunal as that undermines its independence.

           ALIGNMENT OF THE BILL TO THE CONSTITUTION

           Some members of the public said that the draft Bill is unconstitutional as it addresses two issues and is silent on the wholesome local government laws that need to be aligned to the Constitution.  Some members of the public even accused the proposed amendment to be seeking to replicate provisions of Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act. Alignment of local government laws should start with setting up of provincial and metropolitan councils.   They were disappointed that the Bill addressed the issue of suspension or removal and ignored the issue of devolution of power as outlined in the Constitution.

Some accused the proposed Bill of replacing the powers of the Minister to control the local authorities that were taken away by Chapter 14 of the Constitution.  The Bill was said to be unconstitutional and should align with the Constitution.  It was argued that the Minister decided to act on two issues only when the nation was waiting for alignment of all local government issues and it seems the Bill is meant to address some grievances that the Minister has with certain mayors.  It was further argued that it was not an ideal situation to come up with a law to deal with certain individuals.  A holistic approach is needed and not piece meal alignment.

           It was also submitted that the Minister should not combine the Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Acts citing that the operations of Urban Councils and Rural Councils are different.

           It was proposed that the Minister should implement the Constitution as it is by setting up provincial and metropolitan councils so that councils will be responsible for monitoring developments in their area of jurisdiction.  The Bill was said to be an excuse by the Minister to justify what he has been doing and the public hearings were also an excuse to rubber stamp the Minister’s actions.

 

           Some participants expressed satisfaction with the Bill in its form and noted that it was long overdue. They felt that if the Bill had been enacted earlier, councillors, mayors or chairpersons would perform their duties well.

         Other Issues Raised by the Public

         Members of the public complained that the publicity was not adequate and urged Parliament to look for better ways to inform the people of public hearings.  People from the rural areas said they do not have access to newspapers and chances of seeing an advertisement are minimal.

         Lack of copies of the Bill and the Constitution was raised.  People were not able to contribute meaningfully because they did not know the issues.  They urged Parliament to make enough copies and to distribute them in advance.

         Parliament was also urged to start advertising public hearings two weeks before the event….

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  Madam Speaker, I move that debate do now adjourn. – [HON. MEMBERS: Why?] -  Madam Speaker, there are a lot of very important contributions being raised by the Committee and I am sure we also have to take into account some of the views that were raised by Hon. Members to my right.

          Like Hon. Chamisa said earlier, we want to chew the cud.  I so move Madam Speaker.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 29th June, 2016. 

          On the motion of THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER, the House adjourned at Seven Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 28 JUNE 2016 VOL 42 NO 72