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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 29 NOVEMBER 2012 VOL. 39 NO. 5

Thursday, 29th November, 2012.

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

TOUR OF NGEZI AND SELOUS MINING OPERATIONS

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to remind the House that ZIMPLATS is inviting hon. members to a tour of their mining operations at Ngezi and Selous on Monday, 3rd December 2012. Transport will leave the Nelson Mandela Entrance for ZIMPLATS at 0830 hours on Monday. Those interested should register with the Public Relations Desk at the Members' dining hall from Tuesday until today.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

*DR. J. GUMBO: I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:-

May it please you, your Excellency the President:

We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

MR. MAZIKANA: I second.

*DR. J. GUMBO: Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker, I would like to support the statement which was given by the President of the country, His Excellency R. G. Mugabe when he addressed this august House on the 30th of October 2012. I echo his sentiments because I look at the time in which we find ourselves in now. Some of us, it may be the last time that we are debating this speech before we go for the elections and this will give us the chance as Members of Parliament to debate issues which are very pertinent to the constituencies that we represent.

I plead with my colleagues to use this time to debate issues which are pertinent to what we are supposed to do because we are coming to the end of the session, we may not have any other chance or session to debate these issues especially when we look at the problems that are faced by our constituencies. The President in his statement touched a lot of issues which are pertinent to the welfare of the State especially the advancement and prosperity of our country, peace and industrial development in the country. I will only debate on five issues raised since we are supposed to give each other time to debate because we are coming to our last moments of debating in this hon. House.

The President, in his speech talked about COPAC, he thanked the players for a job well-done especially in putting together the statistics which have been gathered around the country in preparation of the draft Constitution. The President also praised what was done by the second All Stakeholder Conference and he pleaded with the Committee to expedite this so that whenever they complete this job, the draft will be debated in this House and after that, a referendum will be held which will lead to the holding up of elections.

The people talked on elections and encouraged people of Zimbabwe to hold elections peacefully. We are the people and we live in one country and it is good for us as members of Parliament to pass this message across to the different constituencies that we represent. We can only have elections after we have drafted our new Constitution. As representatives of people, it is important to educate our constituencies on peace during elections so that the whole world will know that we are a peaceful country. As stated by His Excellency when there is peace in the country there is going to be development because this attracts investors to come and invest because they will be assured of protection and peace. The other issue raised is the attraction of tourists as this is important in the development of the country. We are going to hold a World Tourism Organisation General Assembly and this will be hosted by two countries at the border - Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) and Zambia (Livingstone). This will be a joint venture and in order for us to attract investors this will only be done if we have peace and friendship in the country, if there is violence, we will not be able to attract investors.

The President also talked about the Constituency Development Fund. Yes, we know the Minister of Finance promised to give us allocations for the development of our constituencies in this present Budget that we are debating. What I want to plead with my colleagues is that, if ever there is a thing which was done by the inclusive Government which has shown openness was the introduction of the Constituency Development Fund. When this amount was disbursed in 2010, members of Parliament cited the projects which were necessary to develop their constituencies - it showed that the members of Parliament did developmental projects and this also showed that people did projects which were good for their constituencies. We do not deny that in some instances we had some cases of people who misappropriated these funds but we know that in all the systems, they are some loopholes which are abused by people. Let me hasten to say, the majority of Members of Parliament used the CDF properly.

Madam Speaker, you find that as Members of Parliament, at times we know issues are debated and we are not given time to defend ourselves because you find that when these funds were allocated to us, they were given late and we were also told that if the money was used until the 31st of December, this money would be refunded to Treasury and we were told to quickly embark on projects. In such a short time, we were able to do whatever we could in that short space of time.

In the following year, that is when we were given guidelines which had to be followed in using the CDF. As a result, you find that people had used these. In English they say, you are closing the stable after the horse has bolted. This means we were given the money first before we were given the rules and regulations of using these monies. Like in any system, you find that they are teething problems because this was a new thing. We also find that even Treasury had not been prepared for such a venture. Therefore, it would be unwise for us to stop this noble cause because of the few mishaps we encountered in the use of the CDF.

I now believe that all the people in Zimbabwe, the electorate know what Constituency Development Funds (CDF) is because for once in their life time or in their meetings or gatherings, they have discussed this CDF. We should not stop this noble cause, otherwise as far as I am concerned, I propose that this CDF be increased. We find that we are, unlike the central Government which has prepared plans which are well in advance, whereby they know that to build clinics, schools or roads, the feasibility of Government can only be reflected through the use of the CDF by Members of Parliament.

The Head of State also debated industries. If we are not able to recapitalise our manufacturing sector to revive our industry, we will find that we will never ever be able to develop our country. Our industry will never develop because we need to have functioning factories which have been closed down. Therefore we plead with those in the Executive Government to look around and see the different areas in this country such as agriculture, ZESA, water, so they can inject monies in those areas so that those people who are experts in those areas can help in the resuscitation of our industries.

They should be money which can be borrowed at low interest from the banks because you find that at the moment, the money is earning very high interest, thereby dissuading industrialists from borrowing. Also we plead with the monetary financiers to give us money at a cheaper rate for the development of the industry and the country and the state of the country.

Let me end my contribution and I also want to talk of the people who I represent, especially Members of Parliament in this House. I am discussing this because I may not be able to debate all the issues that were stated by the President because I have to give my colleagues time to debate these issues because if I handle these issues, I may deprive my colleagues of a chance to debate the pertinent issues.

I would like to talk to people so that they may know what we want. I now look at Mberengwa West, in the Mberengwa Province where we have the following problems: Mberengwa West is one of the dry regions of the country where water is a problem, especially for projects like agriculture. It is appropriately a ranching or farming area. Therefore, the people in this area need food. They need to have dams so that they can have irrigation but then this is a problem. That is why you find that they said they want to have CDF used in creating gardens so that people can support themselves in times of starvation.

You find that Mberengwa West is far away from Harare and from many other areas. You find that there are problems in accessing facilities of radio and television. People of Mberengwa access Botswana and South African television and that is a problem. I plead with the powers that be that, 32 years after independence, Government should make radios and television to be accessible in those areas, especially in areas such as Mberengwa, Muzarabani or Chiredzi. We should be able to view Governmental projects in our local television because we are bombarded by foreign stations. Therefore, we need to have a good reception in those areas. Yes, we do have some access of some sort especially when regarding the access of use of mobile telephones.

In the areas which are so remote as our areas, you find that people have no access to clean water and therefore, I would plead with the Government to invest more money in the accessibility of water in those areas and also construction of roads so that people in these areas will see themselves as people who are living the same lives with people who are in Harare, Gweru or Mutare who can access some of those good things. These should not be found in towns only. I plead with Government to have a positive act towards these people.

I plead with the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Health and Transport and Roads that they have a bias towards the rural areas and to put more funds in the rural areas because you find that over 70% of people in these areas live in villages. Therefore, they need to be taken care of by our Government. We should be aware of the fact that these people want to live a good life. They also need to live the life of those in the towns because we find that when we are in towns, we forget about the welfare of people in the rural areas.

Madam Speaker, thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate the President's speech because you find that in his speech, the President emphasised that we should be proud of being Zimbabweans. We should have unity. We should not be separated by our differences in political affiliations, but work together and when we are going to the elections, let us do that and agree to be different. We have our own differences. Yes, we will be contesting against the Morgan Tsvangirai and the Ncube parties. We should know that we are all Zimbabweans. Our leaders are talking about peace during the elections. We are Zimbabweans, we need unity, we need development for our country and we need to strengthen our relationship so that whenever we go to rest after we have done our stint in Parliament, we should promote peace and stability. I have noticed that in this august House, we are now saluting each other, we now accept that we are people of different political parties but when we see each other we respect each other. Thank you Madam President.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER'S GALLERY

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to acknowledge the presence of members of the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice and students from Sacred Heart in Matabeleland South in Umzingwane Constituency, which of course is my constituency. You are most welcome.

*MR. MAZIKANA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the Presidential Speech. I would like to thank Hon. Dr Jorum Gumbo for moving this motion of thanking His Excellency, The President of Zimbabwe on the speech which he delivered in this august House. In short, I would want to go back to 2008, when the President came to open this august House. Remember we had just come from elections and there was a lot of animosity amongst honourable members of this House. We never imagined a time when we would sit at the same table and working in the same committees. There were fierce forces fighting against each other but we know that time heals because as time went on, we ended up accepting each other as people of Zimbabwe. Hon. Matibe in Buhera is my brother in law and we also come from the same family. This unity amongst parliamentarians assisted in that we ended up having robust debates in Parliament. We thank the Head of State for encouraging politicians to shun violence and create friendship amongst people.

We have people from Chipinge, Buhera, Mvuma and Kariba. Peace should prevail so that people from the Catholic Commission on Peace and Justice when they write their reports, they will talk about positive things in our country because there will be peace in the country. There are people who agree to be different and yet still associate. Therefore, we should not mock each other, we should shun fighting each other and abusing each other.

Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that we have colleagues in the House of Assembly and the Senate who passed on and we say, rest in peace. When we came to Parliament, we were anxious and ambitious to set up developmental projects in our constituencies. New members were fired up with energy and they thought that if they go to Treasury they would ask for any amount of money for developmental projects and they would be given that money. After a few days in Parliament, they were faced with reality; it is not easy to get money from the State. You have to go through certain procedures. Be that as it may, next year we will be telling people the truth because we now know what we are supposed to be doing. In Mbire, where I come from, I hope that I will be able to work with agencies like REA so that they electrify our schools and clinics especially secondary schools and clinics. I also hope that people from Mbire will not starve because Government introduced a Grain Loan Scheme in my area whereby villagers can go and borrow grain which they can repay after harvesting.

May I also thank Econet for building base stations which makes it easy for people to communicate wherever they are. These mobile phones have made it easy for people to communicate with people within the country and outside the country. We also have clinics which are able to disseminate and distribute ARVs because the HIV pandemic is in the country and people need to access medicines wherever they are. In the past, people used to travel 100km so that they could access ARVs but thanks to the Government, people now access ARVs in their communities.

Madam Speaker, may I also talk about our roads. We have big rivers which have no bridges and we have had some of our people especially school children dying when they tried to cross these flooded rivers. We need to construct bridges so that our people can easily cross.

May I also talk about cotton farmers. These farmers had invested so much into the crop and they were paid peanuts and most of them have said they will quit cotton farming. We also suffer from climate changes in areas especially in Mbire, rivers, boreholes are drying up. I plead with the Government to look for ways of mitigating the effects of climate changes which are slowly creeping into the country. I also wish Parliament to introduce an award which should be given to Members of Parliament who would have excelled in performing their duties after every five years. The Members of Parliament should be given an award or a golden hand shake so that people work hard. I am not looking at constituencies like you are saying but I am looking at the Parliament.

We would also want to look at the leadership of the country especially in this House. Madam Speaker, we would select those people who are able to manage their private lives. We are role models in our constituencies; therefore we need to have a clean private life. If you are a leader who has his life in shambles you will have problems in trying to convince people to vote for you. I plead with Parliament to look at these awards so that people would be able to live an upright life…. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, can you give the hon. member time to debate.

*MR. MAZIKANA: Thank you Madam Speaker, when you find that you have touched on a raw nerve definitely people will react because they will feel the pinch of your speech. Whenever you look at democracy especially in the USA as of now, you find that the CIA Director resigned, the Chief of Defence also resigned because they were promiscuous. They were womanisers and resigned because of that. This shows the importance of upholding our dignity as Members of Parliament.

Also, we find that amongst the people who left their jobs because of womanising and prostitution is Strauss who was head of the IMF. If you go to the people and talk about democracy, we should compare democracy of Zimbabwe and other countries. We should remember to talk to the people and tell them that we should shun people who are corrupt and we should shun prostitution. These people should not be made people representatives because they do not set a good leadership example.

Madam Speaker, a country should be led by leaders who have that dignity and aura because you know that we used to have members whom we used to talk to about the problems we faced. What we need to do is to shun violence in future. Thank you Madam Speaker.

*MRS ZINYEMBA: Thank you hon. Speaker. Let me add my voice to the Speech read by His Excellency on the Official Opening of Parliament. I would also want to thank the mover of this motion who said we should thank His Excellency for such an excellent Speech. Let me repeat this, it is about unity of purpose. Like what has been stated by the previous speakers, we used to have problems when we started in 2008 but as for now, we find that we are now talking to people of different political parties. We are now friends to people like Hon. Mahlangu; we are one and the same people.

The President articulated his Speech on peace properly. Some of you will remember that in 2008 when the President came to address this august House there was noise; people were clapping, making noise and beating up benches. However, the President kept his cool and continued with his Speech because he knows that we can have problems amongst people; in any nest you can find that there is a bad egg.

I would like to thank the President because whenever he talks, whatever it is he will be talking about, he does not talk of division and he does not talk party politics. He talks about what is good for the country and he always say Zimbabwe first. I find that this is good for the country. It brings people together and peace to the people. What we should know is, as far as parties are concerned, some may be ruling this term and in the next term they will be out. Some of these parties may also vanish but as human beings we continue living in the same country.

When a Government is in power, they should put a brick of construction and the next Government that will come should also add another brick. The people who disturb the growth of the country are politicians who do not have professional qualifications, who would just come because they are voted in by people. What happens is, this can not lead to the development of the country because we find that wherever we are we have people who do not want to work as a team.

I am proud of what the President said. He said, we are all Zimbabweans, we are people of Zimbabwe and we should talk of development. Therefore, we should love Zimbabwe more than we love ourselves, we should not be selfish. I know that the Minister of Finance presented the Budget and talked about problems we face as a country. My wish is Government should also look at the most important things in the development of the country especially in areas like agriculture. Agriculture is very important because people can only do whatever it is they want when they are well fed. Even if we look at a religious Minister, you may give him nice suits or clean water but if you deprive him of food you will turn this man of God into a thief. Therefore, we need to invest more funds into agriculture.

I would like to say thank you to the Minister of Finance for putting more funds into education. The President also upholds highly the education sector. If it was not for that we would not be number two in the adjustment of education in Africa. President Mugabe's Government came into power and opened a lot of educational institutions such as colleges and universities. You will also find out that the Ministry of Finance also supported the President because he put more money into the Ministry of Education. In as far as I am concerned, my priorities are that firstly, money should be given to agriculture; secondly, money should be given to education because we need to be enlightened. Also when we look at the farms especially, when I look at my area in the Mazowe Valley, this is the bread basket of the country. I only have one reserve but most of the areas are in resettlement areas and we do not have schools. I was very happy when I heard the minister saying he was going to pour some funds into the constructing of schools in these resettlement areas. Also the teachers should have good houses and they need to feel that there is some incentives for staying in these resettlement areas and this will lead to the development of the constituencies.

As far as my constituency is concerned, I also ask for the Minister of Finance to put more money into mining because when we look at Mazowe South, it is a gold mining area, but you will find that when these people are in their businesses and they go to the Ministry of Mines to source funds for equipping their ventures, there is no money. If they are to access the funds, the funds have high interests charged on them. Therefore, this draws back the funding venture. The funds can only be accessed by the big miners and these small scale miners cannot afford borrowing the money.

Therefore, this means that whenever they are selling their produce, they follow illegal means. So my plea to the Government is to ask the Ministry of Mines to have a re-think on the charges which are levied from these mines. I may be talking about Mazowe South, but I am looking at the whole country, looking at agriculture, looking at water and then electricity. Farmers have a problem especially when we look at electricity. Nothing moves when there is no electricity, but as of now, we find that we have a very big problem in the shut downs which have been done to the farmers because they have failed to source funds to pay for their use of electricity. Therefore, I am pleading with the Government to look for ways and means of supporting these farmers so that they can be able to pay for the charges of the electricity which they use. You will find that when the foreign currency, American dollar was introduced, people remained paupers but people still have these levies to be paid. Despite the fact that we had these changes, ZESA looked at the metre reading and the farmers had used these monies in farming. As Members of Parliament, we were earning US$100 but you will find that your ZESA bills would have US$140 and US$90 bills. You also had to fund for your school fees, you also have to look at the agricultural inputs and all these monies had to be paid from the US$100. How would you pay for that?

So as a result, many people defaulted in their payments. I know some of us, Members of Parliament who are here also faced these problems. We were in debt because all our banks collapsed and we were paupers. Therefore, I plead with the Government to assist us, look for ways of doing whatever they can do, even if it means subsidising farmers so that they can be able to carry on with their farming venture. My real idea would be to encourage the Government to make people start afresh because it is quite impossible for somebody to pay the funds or the areas from the time we introduced the US$ to the current state. You will find that farmers continued using electricity in generating their tobacco bans and also running the water for irrigation but they were not paid anything despite the fact that they have sent their produce to the tobacco auction floors, the Grain Marketing Board but they received nothing for their sweat. We know we have got problems which were only created by people who deliberately ignored what they were supposed to pay because of the financial condition which was prevailing at that time.

As a Member of Parliament who comes from a constituency which has farmers who use electricity in irrigation, electricity in farming, I think Government has to have a re-think on subsiding their fares. I think if this is done we will have done a great service to our farmers. I know the Minister of Finance, Minister Biti talked about the finances, I also sympathise with him because he said the source of funds have really dried up and yet I know that the Government passed the law which says the state should look after the elderly people of this country.

Now my plea is that proper measures should be put in place so that these elderly people should be looked after by the State. Some of these elderly people are professionals, doctors and some of their children are professionals, but it is not their obligation to look after them but these people are looking after their parents as much as they can. This should be the obligation of the State to look after these elderly people because these elderly people worked for the country by producing doctors, soldiers, policemen and all those professionals who are making the country run. Therefore they should not be punished because of their children.

Let me now turn to the issue of the CDF. You will find that when the CDF was introduced, no explanations were given on the use of the CDF. No terms and conditions were set when these monies were disbursed, but you will find that some of these monies were just used willy nilly in as much as people wanted to use these funds. So they used these funds where they feel they wanted to use it. In the first place, constituencies were given US$50 thousand per constituency and some people used them properly.

In my constituency, I have a small town which is called Glendale and in this small town, raw sewage was flowing in the streets and the council could not rectify this problem. I also took these funds and used them for that. You will find that we had honourables like Hon. Raradza who were telling people to go to some areas because there was raw sewage. Therefore, you will find that in some areas, we did use these funds wisely. The minister has given monies and has priorities which are to be used and disbursed according to where people want. Some of these funds which are given out for schools are put in one or two provinces. When the US$50 thousands were used, Members of Parliament used them to build schools, drilling boreholes and introducing submersible pumps. This was development in these areas and as far as I am concerned, the CDF should be increased and there should also be some oversight on the CDF to see that these funds are properly used. You will see that people in these areas will also benefit from these CDFs. Now, my plea is, as Members of Parliament, we are now living peacefully. As Members of Parliament, we do not segregate each other according to our political partisan politics and I remember in my constituency, I also travel in the same car with Hon. Mushonga and Hon. S. S. Moyo. When we travelled together in 2010, there was a lot of suspicion and I thought maybe something was going to happen but to my utter surprise - we travelled peacefully.

Now, as Members of Parliament, if we can live peacefully, if we can put politics aside and say, we are Zimbabweans we need to live as Zimbabweans we should pass this message of peace to our constituents. Because in the past, you would go to these constituencies in our areas and people were fighting each other. I remember in some constituencies people used to carry stones and catapults and whenever we were travelling in those areas and you find people whistling when you are passing through, you would be assured of an attack by those catapults. I asked the Almighty to protect us so that we live as people of Zimbabwe.

*MRS. MATAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution on the Presidential Speech by His Excellency Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe. This was a challenge to many people especially the people on the other side of this august House.

The speakers before me were speaking of oneness of the people of Zimbabwe. His Excellency said, no, no, no to Zimbabwe and he is preaching peace wherever he talks but what is worrying me is that, whenever the President is talking about peace - the ZANU PF people are also listening to what the President is saying and are prepared to implement that. Why do I say that? When you look at the constituencies, especially in Gokwe - we have soldiers who have been deployed in areas and these soldiers are also intimidating people in these areas. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]Madam Speaker, am I protected?

You will find that as of now, people are being intimidated by the uniformed forces in this country. Yet what surprises me is that the Head of State and the leader of the Party is preaching peace; he is preaching harmony yet the people from his party are doing the exact opposite of what he is saying.

May I please remind hon. members in this august House that whenever we are in peace and not in war - the soldiers have a great job to perform. They have to go to do some civilian jobs such as construction of schools and dams - all that happens in a country when there is peace and this is what I am expecting to see in Zimbabwe which has peace. Yet as of now, we have soldiers that are carrying out mining projects - they are in diamond mining and we now do not know whether it is part of the mining which should be done by these soldiers. After doing this, they go and become candidates so that they can be voted for to come into this House. This instills fear in people like myself because we have been abused for quite a long time yet I hope what has been said by the President is put into practice.

We also have the Grain Loan Scheme which is there to prevent people from starving but this scheme has been abused - why? Because the Grain Loan Scheme is now being disbursed on party schemes - you have to be asked which party you belong to, are you ZANU PF or MDC? Also even in the agricultural farm inputs, they have been put into party politics. Yet I believe that the leader of the country, the President of the country is everybody's President regardless of their party affiliation. I implore His Excellency to look at what his people are doing because these people are preaching a completely different gospel from the one he is preaching. He is preaching peace but they are doing the exact opposite - they are preaching party politics and yet people should access all the things that are accessed by the people from the State.

I also read and found that the President spoke about Copac and he thanked Copac for a job well done. He said the Constitution took three years to be drafted yet it was supposed to be completed in eighteen months yet it went beyond eighteen months and took two to three years. When people are listening to this speech, people have the feeling that Copac was responsible for the delay in completing this job yet this was supposed to be completed at a certain time. Yet the progress of Copac was disturbed by party politics because we had people who played party politics in the Copac Draft Constitution.

As we stand, the COPAC Draft produced but we do not know where it is. Where is it? It should be introduced in this House so that we come and debate on it and prepare for the elections. Therefore, Copac has man-made problems - as members of this august House we should be discussing this document because the GPA said it is the responsibility of Members of Parliament to work on this document. When we are through with this document, we should look into it, scrutinise it and see whatever needs to be done. If there are things to be rectified in the document, we rectify them; unfortunately, we do not see the document. Who is responsible for this? I say, the blame lays squarely on ZANU PF - ZANU PF is in Parliament. As a result, I say, when you make a contribution …

MS. A. NDHLOVU: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think, it is not fair to speculate and say that ZANU PF is delaying the Copac process. Because it is speculation, she must withdraw.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. Hon. Ndhlovu, your point of order is overruled.

*MRS MATAMISA : Let me leave this COPAC issue, we know it is one of the delaying tactics. As for my party, we want elections as of yesterday - I know ZANU PF is not interested in these elections. I know when they are ready for elections; they will bring this document to Parliament.

I now turn to Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and support what was said by my colleagues. This Bill is going to be introduced to this House; we are going to welcome it as people's representatives in the respective constituencies. We also hope that when the Bill is tabled, people will go and work on their projects using the CDF - definitely these funds are very essential. And development in these areas will be a two pronged attack with the Government carrying out its own projects and the Member of Parliament carrying out developmental projects for the benefit of the constituencies.

We want to thank the President for the statement he gave us because as MDC, we gave clever and intelligent ministers who were able to work for the development of the country. In as far as Kadoma is concerned, we built a very good musika and we also realised that we had cholera attacks in our area. When we looked at the causes, we saw that it was because of the vegetable market which was dirty. Therefore, we had to construct a modern and updated market place so that whenever the rains or winds come, the food ise protected and therefore the fears of cholera are limited.

The Finance Minister given to us - I am sorry I have to talk about the Minister of Finance in the Presidential Speech because the Minister is a God given messenger. He has distributed his money in a way which meets the needs of the nation. He was faced with many requests by individuals but he did his best to disburse this small cake. You will find that each deserving department was given what it deserved. Therefore, we thank the Minister who is God sent. I also believe that, if these Ministers go and sit down with their officials and look at their areas of need, they will find that they can do some progress in their areas.

Therefore, I plead with the President since he is the one who is responsible for the Mines and also the Minister of Mines, he is a ZANU PF member. I plead with the Government to push the Minister of Mines so that he directs all the money from the mines to the development of the country and we have more money for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and everybody will be happy. If the mines put all their money into the Treasury, the Treasury will give the money to the CDF for the development of the constituencies. I hope I am protected.

Still talking on development, the President is one man I have known who is craving for the development of this country. Madam Speaker, the President also talked about rural electrification. Every woman, I am also a woman, I believe women in the rural areas long for the time when they will access electricity so that whenever they do their household chores, they will be using electricity and even our children would also be happy to use electricity when studying. When this project was supposed to be carried out, the money was used for wrong purposes. It was misused and abused by the Central Bank. Thanks to Minister Biti who has really started funding the rural electrification programme and this is a very good project which we should support. Therefore, I plead with the President to work on this source of fund and if he can put more emphasis on the Rural Electrification Programme, it should be a Government programme and no funds should be deducted from the workers.

You find that, the poor workers who are getting very little funds as their salaries are staying in poor lodges, some of them are lodging either in the cottages or quarters, they also have deductions on their salaries, money which has to be used for electrifying the rural areas. We know that in rural areas, people use firewood thus leading to the deforestation of our areas and therefore, the money should come from the Government coffers and not from the poor worker. I plead with the Government and the powers that be to sympathise with the people especially the poor worker who is not even in the Poverty Datum Line.

Madam Speaker, I would have wanted to discuss my Constituency because I want the people of Kadoma to live a healthy and a happy life because in Kadoma and Gokwe-Sengwa, the people of Gokwe-Sengwa have a better life because there is a coal mine and people go there to sell and get money for improving their lives. But, you find that the people of Kadoma have a problem in that they do not have even a single industry which they can get funds to develop their lives. I also plead with the Government so that whenever there is anybody who is to come after His Excellency or after other Members of Parliament, they will carry on with the project and resuscitating the industries such as the David Whitehead in Kadoma.

You find that David Whitehead was the Organisation which was upholding the lives of the people of Kadoma and Gokwe because when cotton was farmed in Gokwe, it was brought to David Whitehead for processing. You find that people lost their jobs when David Whitehead closed down.

We all know that not only Minister Biti is responsible for creating money but we have people who should be collecting money and bring it. What is happening now is, we are collecting money from the toll-gates to be used for development. Then, also you find that, if you were to go to a road-block which is manned by the police, policemen will be collecting money and yet you find that, that money collected by the policemen, unfortunately, is not directed to Treasury.

I say that because you come to some roadblocks and you will find that some of these policemen are not aware of Parliamentary stickers. So, when they see us, they also treat us as other motorists. I remember this happened some two weeks ago to me. I was stopped by a lady officer who started by demanding $20 from me. When she saw that I had no money, the officer then demanded $10 and saw that I had no money, he then directed me to the officer-in-charge of the road-block. I then went to the police officer who was head of that shift who looked at the Parliamentary stickers on my car, he realized the mistake they had made and he apologised. I would have wanted to see the force number of that police force and I would have raised at that.

Madam Speaker, I wonder why people make noise when we are talking of corruption? Does it mean to say that these people are part of this system because when we are talking of corruption they are supposed to be supporting me in that we have to root out corruption within our systems?

Let me look at the other issue. Kadoma has no water. Madam Speaker, my apologies for calling you Madam President, I do not know where I got this habit from. Kadoma has a perennial water problem and we need to have some ways and means of solving this problem and this has been there for quite some time. When the water reticulation system was put, it was meant for a few people. Unfortunately, the number of people has increased and the pipes are overwhelmed. What we now want is to reconstruct these water systems - introduce larger pipes for carrying this water. That is why we had an attack of cholera and many people died and some few weeks ago we had typhoid. That means we need to take measures to rectify the water anomaly in Kadoma. The Government should take steps for solving these problems.

Kadoma really needs the assistance of Government whereby some funds should be injected for the water reticulation system and I plead with the Government to give us more water so that the people of Kadoma would live a happy and healthy life like all the people who live in towns. Kadoma has a hospital, but we also long for the unfreezing of these posts in these hospitals because the service for these hospitals is poor since Government froze all the nursing posts. I plead with the respective people to unfreeze these posts. We read in the newspapers that in Kadoma there is a certain lady who committed suicide because she was pregnant and did not receive adequate service and through frustration she went and committed suicide. If we had adequate nurses, this woman could not have killed herself, of which she did through frustration and pain. We lost two lives, that of the mother and the unborn baby, as a Government let us do something about it, is it shortage of nurses or the fact that they are uncaring nurses in these institutions or they have no incentives.

I plead with the nurses because they took an oath to serve lives and therefore they should prioritise peoples' health and lives and not let people die. Nurses should really be proud of their jobs. It is a calling and not a job. May I also talk about the scraping of user fees on expecting mothers, they should not pay anything and whenever this law has been put into place, there should be some steps to see that this law is implemented in totality especially in rural areas. We find that despite the fact that we have these regulations, this is not implemented because whenever they go to different places, they are asked to pay some cash up-front. Therefore, I plead with the responsible people that if a law has been promulgated, it must be effected.

These women are performing a national duty and some even die whilst giving birth or at the reception because they will be going under interrogation regarding the payments of maternity fees and yet they will be working towards the welfare of the State. I want to plead with the Government if there can be ways and means of getting funds so that these mothers are assisted, I know we have a fund on maternal mortality which is supposed to assist these mothers.

My last contribution before I sit down is that we have a lot of workers in Kadoma who have been lodgers for long time and I am pleading that they be given an opportunity to own cheap and affordable houses, not big mansions but something equal to their incomes. It is dehumanising for an adult to be under somebody's house and be given rules and regulations such as cleaning, buying harpic and so on. You need your own place to return your dignity. I plead with the people in the housing scheme to speed the processing of papers so that these people own houses.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: Thank you very much, I am humbled by this opportunity that you have offered me of adding my voice to this debate. I want to thank Dr. J. M. Gumbo for moving this motion and also thank His Excellency, the President R. G. Mugabe for his wise words on the occasion of the opening of this last session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe. Let me take this opportunity to thank hon. members who have debated before me, especially those who have debated in a progressive manner and also those who were not very progressive to see the light.

Mr. Speaker, His Excellency, while opening this Parliament paid tribute to the Select Committee of COPAC which is the Committee of this Parliament for the role that they played in all the stages of coming up with a people driven Constitution. He made specific mention to the second All Stakeholders Conference which was held a few months back. I want to join His Excellency in thanking all Zimbabweans that took part at the second all Stakeholders Conference especially for showing amazing levels of tolerance and maturity and love for their country by being able to raise their issues freely and with respect and democratically without anyone provoking another.

It is my hope that the process that follows the Second All Stakeholders Conference shall be one which does not exclude the views of the people and I also hope most importantly that COPAC will be able to produce a document that expresses the values and aspirations of Zimbabweans and above all a Constitution that safeguards the sovereignty of this country. His Excellency also talked about the importance of the country core hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly with Zambia next year, I hope that this opportunity will be able to bring employment opportunities to the youth and women of this country. The young people of this country have been denied their right on employment, as you know by the harsh and illegal sanctions imposed on this country.

It is very sad that these sanctions do not discriminate; they do not care which political party you come from, which province or which faction you are in. The sanctions have affected this country and the economy has suffered because of the sanctions, I therefore urge leaders of this Government, hon. members included, to be united in calling for the unconditional removal of this. Government has to double its efforts in implementing measures to attract investments and revamp the economy and that need can never be over-emphasized. …

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, I believe that the majority of you would want to debate and you will have your opportunity to debate, so if you could listen to the hon. member and get your opportunity to respond if you wish to respond. If you do not have anything to say you can stand up and sing - [Laughter]-.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: The sanctions have not only affected individual Zimbabweans but have also affected the country and the country is going to miss achieving the MDGs by 2015 particularly MDG numbers 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 on Global Partnerships.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the President for speaking on agriculture and mentioning that agriculture is a major economic sector. It is therefore imperative that Government prioritises support to farmers both commercial and small scale. Most of our populace, Mr. Speaker, I am sure you will agree, is in the rural areas and most of the people in those rural areas are women and the youth, so it is important for that group of people to be supported through agriculture.

It is however sad to note that the effects of climate change have not spared our own country. Once again, I will continue to say that the effects of climate change are most felt by women. Women and young girls are the ones who travel long distances in search of energy in the form of firewood. It is the women and the young girls who walk long distances in search of water. It is therefore imperative that Government also priorities revamping of irrigation schemes and introducing new ones in areas where they are not there so that this country's food security is secured. It is also sad that even as I speak right now, we are not even sure of how this agricultural season is going to be. The rain patterns are quite dubious and we do not even know what the fate of our farmers is. So we just pray to God that he has mercy on us so that our people do not starve.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I move on to talk about ICTs' role in mitigating climate change effects. Due to the effects of climate change it becomes imperative that Government injects money into Science and Technology to try and come up with measures to mitigate the effects of this climate change. The establishment of a climate fund is long overdue. It is also very sad that the imperialists do not want to take responsibility for climate change, not only in Zimbabwe but in SADC, Africa and in all the developing nations.

I want at this point Mr. Speaker Sir, on behalf of my constituency, Shurugwi South, to thank His Excellency and the inclusive Government for the grain loan scheme which has sustained people not only in my constituency but in all rural areas in the wake of this drought, noting that the 2011- 2012 season was also characterised by erratic rainfalls. Such efforts by His Excellency and his Government must be applauded by all hon. members.

Mr. Speaker, President Mugabe when he opened this session, spoke about mining and how central it is to the growth of our economy. I call on Government to set-up value addition and beneficiation infrastructure so that the country is able to get more income from our God-given natural resources. I also encourage Government to support youth and women miners and try to formalise small scale miners. It is my hope that the term korokoza will come to an end and everybody recognises that small scale miners are people that are trying to earn an honest living and therefore need to be protected and supported by this Government.

I want to bring to the attention of this House that as I debate on mining and its role in our economy, the Kimberly Process is in plenary in Washington DC. It is my hope Mr. Speaker that the meeting will be able to come up with progressive resolutions, not only on Zimbabwe but also in general but of course, particularly, with regards to our diamonds. We are a sovereign country which should be allowed to do as it wishes with its God-given resources, which resources we won the right to control on 18th of April in 1980 when we became independent politically. Political independence is hollow. We can only bring totality to our independence when we control our natural resources.

His Excellency also bemoaned power shortages which have affected many sectors of our economy. I think it is important that Government sets-up renewable energy infrastructure. I also want to speak about the need for green fuels which are more friendly to our environment and most importantly also afford our people more affordable fuel.

Mr. Speaker, as I applaud Government's efforts in the dualisation of major, I also want to call upon Government to also consider rehabilitation of roads in all rural areas in the country including those in Shurugwi South. Milestones made in the education sector can never be over emphasized. There is, however, need for Government to re-look at tertiary education funding. We have seen, of late, that our students in this country are suffering especially those in tertiary education because Government is not really forthcoming in supporting them. Of course, commitments are made on paper but disbursements are not coming also because of the fiscal challenges. Government therefore needs to come up with a support programme which is more sustainable so that our young people are not denied their right to education.

Mr. Speaker, the challenges of funding affects mostly the girl children who end up engaging in undesirable behavior trying to sustain themselves and that is very dangerous in economic development as it is a threat to human capital since this results in our tertiary institutions producing HIV positive graduates so Government needs to look at this urgently.

Youth development is one aspect that the President spoke about. Africa's population has been defined as a youthful one and the scenario in our country testifies that. Government of course has ratified the African Youth Charter and is also party to the African Union Decade of Youth from 2009 -2018 but more needs to be done with regards to youth development. I want to applaud His Excellency for talking about the need for Vocational Training Centres to be established in all districts recognizing that some districts in the country do not have VCTs. Not all young people are talented intellectually. Therefore it is important that those who do not excel in class are supported in practical subjects.

I want to move on and applaud His Excellency for talking about Zimbabwe's foreign policy which is anchored on the promotion and protection of the country's national interest and such a policy will ensure that Zimbabwe's interests are put first. His Excellency also went on to talk about the need for unity and tolerance regardless of political differences. It is imperative that we as leaders in this august House do call on our people in our parties to take heed of the President's call for unity and tolerance so that we do not reverse the gains of the liberation struggle. Violence should never be tolerated, violence before, during or after an election as it is a reversal of the gains of the struggle.

One of the reasons Zimbabweans went to war with the British over and above control of our natural resources was the right to democracy which manifested itself through the ballot box. It is therefore imperative that all of us work towards achieving unity and tolerance and desist from violence and provoking one another.

Mr. Speaker, I want to end by quoting His Excellency's words in strengthening this call for tolerance. His Excellency said, "To this end, I wish to appeal to all our leaders, followers of our parties and other organisations and stakeholders including the media to adopt the pledge to work genuinely for national unity and cohesion. Let us all shun violence in all its manifestations and latent forms especially as we look forward to our national elections"

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to once again thank you for giving me this opportunity to salute His Excellency, for his wise words and once again, I hope that hon. members in this august House will take heed of His Excellency's call for unity and tolerance especially Hon. Murisi Zwizwai. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 5th February, 2013.

FIRST READING

MICROFINANCE BILL [H.B.2, 2012]

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE presented the Microfinance Bill, [H.B. 2, 2012]

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT, the House adjourned at Ten Minutes to Four o'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 5th February, 2013.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 39 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 29 NOVEMBER 2012 VOL. 39 NO. 5