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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 NO 61

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 30th March, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

THE HON. SPEAKER’S RULING

HON. MINISTER CHIKWINYA’S RESPONSES DURING QUESTION TIME

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have this ruling to make. On Wednesday, 1st March, 2017, the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Hon. Chikwinya, in response to a question from Hon. Khupe on the Women’s Bank responded as follows; “…we now have a Board in place, an acting Chief Executive Officer. We also now have Banking Halls. Training of those that are going to man the Bank is in progress…..” When asked by Hon. Zwizwai how that was possible when the vacant positions in the said Bank had not been advertised, the Hon. Minister stated that the Board Members and the Chief Executive Officer were responsible for the recruitment and that it was not the duty of Government to do that. Upon further probing by Hon Gonese on the process and procedure used to recruit those who were undergoing training and also how the Board members were recruited, the Hon Minister stated that, “they are in the process. If they are in the process, there are procedures that they are supposed to take …..”

          The response given did not go down well with some Hon. Members who felt that the Hon. Minister had given conflicting statements to the House and also evaded the actual question asked on how the staff being trained was recruited without following due process, whereupon the Chair undertook to make a ruling after studying the verbatim report of the Hon. Minister`s reply.

          After studying the Hansard and listening to the audio recording, it would appear that the Hon. Minister changed her initial response. Such action might be perceived as bordering on prevarication on the part of the Hon. Minister. 

          Appendix C of the Schedule to the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Cap 2:08] cites prevarication as one of other contempts which are offences to Parliament. In light of the inconsistencies in the Hon. Minister’s response, the Chair rules that the Hon. Minister be given an opportunity to clarify her statements in a comprehensive ministerial statement, failure of which a charge of contempt of Parliament will be laid against the Hon. Minister.

SECOND READING

NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION BILL [H.B. 6, 2016]

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the National Competitiveness Commission Bill [H. B. 6, 2016].

          Question again proposed.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to state from the onset that the debate on what to do as a nation in order to rebuild our economy has been in the public domain for quite a while. The nation is trying to look for solutions to ensure that there is growth in our economy.  When we talk about the economy, we are talking about the people’s livelihoods and it is a very important subject. So, it is everyone’s preoccupation Mr. Speaker Sir.

We need collective wisdom Mr. Speaker Sir, to support this Bill which was brought at the most opportune time by the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce and, we want to congratulate the Minister for bringing this very important Bill before this august House. It is my appeal Mr. Speaker Sir that we, as an honourable Assembly, should facilitate its smooth sailing so that at the end of the day, it becomes law.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a fact that our economy is not performing due to a variety of reasons; one of which is the obvious one, the illegal sanctions.  But, we need to congratulate our Government and the people of Zimbabwe Mr. Speaker Sir, for remaining resolute and resilient in adversity.  We also need to congratulate the Executive for making efforts to bring policies that will ensure that there is growth in our economy. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Hon. Bimha must be applauded for also remaining focused and creating policies that ensured growth of industry. You remember very well Hon. Speaker, S. I. 64 did wonders to the economy of this country.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the introduction  of the National Competitiveness Commission is a welcome development. Why do I say so? Because it is going to simply replace the National Incomes and Pricing Commission (NIPC) that solely looked at pricing per se. But, when we introduce the NCC, we are going to be able to look into the economy from a broader perspective and the NCC is going to deal with quite a number of issues. One of which includes policy issues in various sectors of the economy. It could be in agriculture, mining or tourism. What is more interesting Mr. Speaker Sir is that, the composition of the NCC will be Government, private sector, labour, economists and lawyers. Once this board is formed, it is our thinking that Government is going to be advised accordingly and research is going to be undertaken to enable our economy to boom and to grow.

This board Mr. Speaker Sir, will devote its energies 365 days per year, 24/7. To ensure that they accordingly monitor factors that affect the growth of the economy and in that respect, the Government can actually be able to trade on smooth ground. Mr. Speaker Sir, the NCC is going to look at issues to do with quality and production so that as a result, there will be open competition amongst players for the betterment of our economy. The NIPC specifically only looked at costs but the NCC will look into a number of issues in a holistic manner.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the President of this nation Cde. R. G. Mugabe should be applauded. During his tenure as the African Union (AU) Chairperson, he championed industrialisation in African countries. Actually, he was calling upon other African states to use our own God given natural resources for production purposes so that we improve our economies. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is appreciated that Africa is for industrialisation and Zimbabwe cannot be left out. We need to use our God given resources to make sure that we have production. The NCC will take a closer look at what the nation can do to produce goods at a lower cost; hence we support the introduction of the NCC quite vigorously as Parliament because countries like Egypt, we are told Mr. Speaker Sir, through research, Senegal, USA and Panama have introduced such institutions and their economies are performing very well. So we want to copy good practices internationally and regionally. Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe’s economy is poised for growth. Why do we say so? Because we are endowed with so much in terms of natural resources and if these natural resources are put to good use, there is obviously, going to be an economic boom.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would now want to look at the ease of doing business and what we mean by competitiveness. The ease of doing business Mr. Speaker Sir can be defined as a measure of how a nation’s regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm or a business.  This is the most critical stage Mr. Speaker Sir, in nurturing and attracting business in a country.  This also involves attracting Foreign Direct Investment and investors to come in a country.  Nowadays, countries use the ease of doing business rating as a measure by the World Bank as a way of attracting investors to their own destinations. 

You might want to know Hon. Members that in 2015 and 2016, the country was rated 153 and 155 respectively in those years out of 189 countries.  This rating is not good for us, hence the need to address and reposition our country in terms of the economy.  Measured under the ease of doing business Mr. Speaker Sir are 11 factors, which are bordered on regulations.  These are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, forcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulations.

Allow me Mr. Speaker Sir, now to attempt to define what we mean by competitiveness.  This can be defined as sustainable growth in productivity that improves lives of the average person or the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.  This makes competitiveness bigger and broader than the ease of doing business though the two are complementary.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in my parting words, I would want to state categorically that as Zimbabweans we need to be proud of our country. As Zimbabweans, we also need to desist from the habit of denigrating our country, leadership, policies and our well being because that invites the wrath of enemies and they will wreck havoc in our economy.  So, the introduction of this Bill must be applauded; the introduction of this Bill is going to some extent or to a greater extent make sure that the economy improves.  With that Mr. Speaker Sir, I also call upon colleagues, Hon. Members to support this Bill and make sure that it comes to fruition at the end of the day for the betterment of this great country Zimbabwe, which is our nation together.  I thank you.

HON. D.M. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to commend the Minister of Industry and Commerce for bringing this important Bill to Parliament.  My understanding Mr. Speaker Sir is that the National Competitiveness Commission will be tasked with a number of specific functions, nine to be precise but I only want to speak to two of them.  The first one being to monitor the evolving sector specific subjects and strategies for enhancing Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, in this regard, this means coming up with empirical and well researched evidence that our goods and services can compete with the best in the world.  We need to continuously monitor our competitiveness edge and make continuous improvements wherever necessary.  Mr. Speaker Sir, competitiveness is like an axe.  The cutting edge needs to be kept razor sharp all the time; otherwise it becomes blunt.  The National Competitiveness Commission will act as a grinding stone, which will ensure that our global competitive edge is maintained in a razor sharp condition. 

The other function which I would like to speak to Madam Speaker is to continuously monitor cost drivers in the business and economic environment and advise on the measures to be taken to enhance productivity and address current and emerging cost challenges.  Our input costs are just too high.  I understand the construction industry a bit.  A bag of cement produced in Zambia, in Chilongo specifically can be delivered FOB to Harare for $6 but for a similar bag of cement produced by Lafarge in Mabvuku, the cost price is $10.  These production costs cannot be sustained on the global stage.  The major cost drivers being electricity.  Our electricity, fuel and labour costs are just too high.  These are areas which would be empirically interrogated and addressed by this apex body, the National Competitiveness Commission.

Madam Speaker, is there a business case on why the price of water has got a fixed charge in Zimbabwe while there is no fixed charge in South.  Is there a business case why fuel per litre on average is around 70 cents in the region, in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique while the average price for fuel in Zimbabwe is around $1.36 to $1.40?  These cost drivers have got to be periodically reviewed and corrective measures taken, hence the need for this Competitive Commission Bill to sail through Parliament as soon as possible.  I therefore commend you Hon. Minister and would like all the Members of Parliament to actually support this very important piece of legislation. I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. CROSS:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I do not have any real dispute with the Members who have spoken this afternoon but I would want to question their conclusion that the Bill should be supported.  When I listened very carefully to the presentation to the House by the Committee responsible for Industry, I came to the conclusion that the population of the country; the people who were consulted around the country had basically rejected the Bill.  I also came to the conclusion that the Committee itself did not support the Bill.  I was puzzled why the Chairman then went on to actually recommend the adoption of the Bill to the House.  This is because I could see nothing in his report to substantiate his position.

The main thrust of the Bill is to replace the Prices Board with a Competitiveness Board.  I am one of the businessmen who suffered under the Prices Board.  I controlled the …

Hon. Mliswa having been standing and conversing with other Hon. Members.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Cross.  Hon. Mliswa, you have been standing there for quite some time.  I do not know what you are doing.  Do you know that it is not allowed? You are not a Chief Whip – [AN HON. MEMBER:  He is his own Chief Whip.] – - [Laughter.] -  So who are you whipping over there?

HON. CROSS:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was one of the businessmen in Zimbabwe who suffered under the Prices Board.  We were instructed in one year to reduce prices in our retails stores by 50 percent and continue to operate.  As a consequence of that, we lost millions of dollars and many major firms like Jaggers, simply closed their doors.  Madam Speaker, if we do create a board like this, we have to make sure that it can perform its functions, we have to make sure that it will be effective and will not simply waste money.  We now know that the price control does not work but it was a very painful experience.

Quite frankly, I do not believe that this board will make an iota of difference to our competitiveness as a nation because competitiveness is created nationally.  It is not a function of a single entity, it is a function of national effort.  I, personally do not support the creation of this board.  I think we should wind it up and stop spending money on a board that does not carry any real responsibilities. 

The main thrust of those of us who believe that this Bill should not be supported is the fact that in so far as the Ministry of Industry is concerned, the Ministry has all the staff and the expertise that are required to perform all the functions envisaged for the board.   Creating a board as a parallel structure to do the same thing as the Ministry, to us seems to be a complete waste of time.  I think that Parliament should seriously consider this particular aspect.  The cost of doing business is a cross-cutting issue and it involves many institutions.  The board will not have the authority or the capacity to deal with this multifaceted problem and all the issues that are involved.

For example, the cost of doing business today in Zimbabwe concerns the Ministry of Finance.  We are amongst the highest tax people in the world.  We have just seen the Ministry of Finance double the fines on the roads.  We have just seen the Ministry of Finance imposing a 5 percent tax on cellphone usage.  We pay I do not know how many taxes here and I think every Zimbabwean must pay at least half or more, 60 percent of their income in taxes.  In a high tax environment like that for example in Botswana or Mauritius, the maximum tax rate for a company is 15 percent and here it is 35. When we have these high cost taxation framework, it is very difficult for formal sector businesses to make money. 

I know for example, at the moment, we have three platinum producers.  Two of them have special agreements with Government involving the payment of certain tax.  They only paid two percent.  The third producer Mimosa in the south pays 10 percent on their gross revenue.  I am pleased that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has woken up to this and is taking steps to reduce it.  That is the kind of nonsense which in fact we have to avoid. 

The Ministry of Transport, if you look at our transport costs, it is a fact Madam Chair that the cost of exporting from Zambia are a third less than exporting from Zimbabwe, why?  It is simply because our railway is not working.  It cost 12 cents a t/km to run a road truck and it cost 5 cents to run a railway line and it cost one and a half cents to run a pipeline.  You cannot, as a landlocked country, survive if your railways are not functioning.

Thirty years ago, our railways were handling twenty million tonnes of cargo a year, today they are handling two million tonnes and the railways are losing $45 million a year.  The railway used to employ thirty thousand people, today they employ six thousand.  That is not a problem which we need other people to fix, it is our problems and it is the Minister of Transport’s problem, not the Minister of Energy.  Unless we get on top of that, for example, when I was in the private sector, as a businessman, I led a group called the Beira Corridor Group.  Why did the business community in Zimbabwe invest in the Beira Corridor?  It is because we saved a thousand dollars on containers on exports to Beira as compared to Durban.  You cannot throw away a thousand dollars per container and you cannot compete internationally.  It cost $1 200 for China to send a 20 foot container to Europe, it cost us $3 800.

You are not even beginning to be performers in exporting unless you bring those cost under control.  That has nothing to do with the Ministry of Industry, that is for the Ministry of Transport.  It is also for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because we have a deal with Mozambique and South Africa.  When I was the General Manager at the CSC, we had to ship our beef via Cape Town.  Do you know what that means – from Chinhoyi to Cape Town, it is thousands of kilometres by road because we could not handle it any other way.  You cannot be competitive if those are the kind of issues. 

When it comes to the Ministry of Labour, I was in the shoe business in Bulawayo and I was a director of a major shoe company.  We employed three thousand people and we were producing two pairs of shoes per day per employee.  In China it is 12, why and what is the difference?  In China the minimum wage is $36 and in Zimbabwe it is $250.  You cannot compete if those are the realities of your business.  Dealing with that is the Ministry of Labour’s issue.  We are struggling with the Harare City Council where the Chief Executive, the Town Clerk was getting $30 thousand per month, a sweeper getting $420 and municipal policemen getting $1 100 and constable on the ZRP gets $350, what kind of crazy salaries are they? 

When you talk about negotiating a reduction in the salaries, believe me, it is like declaring war.  If we had a true forum where we could discuss these issues and reach agreement between labour, businesses and Government, believe me, we could make progress.  That has got nothing to do with the Ministry of Industry, that is for the Ministry of Labour.  We have got EMA.  Do you know what a nightmare EMA is?  If you speak to any businessman who is involved in mining industry, I have a small scale miner who is a friend of mine, the EMA closed him down because of some of the problems of pollution on is site.  They are charging him $5 000 per day until he fixes the problem.  He just closed the mine, he could not afford the $5 000 a day.

If you take the City of Harare, there is not one sewerage plant in the City of Harare or City of Chitungwiza that is working.  For every  one of those failures, EMA charges City of Harare and Chitungwiza thousands of dollars a day in fines. Why, what for, what on earth are they achieving?  I believe Madam Speaker, unless you bring these institutions under control and you manage them from a cost effective point of view, we are going nowhere.  Nowhere in the world can you see this kind of thing.

When you take NSSA, how many businesses have closed in Zimbabwe because they did not pay NSSA on time and they were subject to a garnishing order on their accounts.  We pay 8 percent to NSSA and it has accumulated $5 billion of income over the last 24 years and their total assets at the moment are $1. 2 billion.  Where is the other $4 billion?  NSSA is the most inefficient investor in Zimbabwe today.  Look at the Beitbridge Hotel, $53 million and it is closed.  Look at the hospital in Bulawayo, $250 million and it is closed.  It has never functioned and yet NSSA continues to collect money from you and me and from the poorest people in the country and squanders the money.  You had a look at the forensic audit of NSSA, it is litany of crime.  Thirty percent of our cost of labour, our levies and fees, it is NSSA, Aids Levy, Standard Association, ZIMDEF and you can go on and on.  In other words, if we scrap those levies, we could reduce our cost of labour by 30 percent.

Madam Speaker, look at ZINARA, it is collecting $200 million a year from everybody.  What are they doing with it?  The small bit of road from Harare to the airport (17kms) cost us $83 million, which is $4.8 million a kilometre.  These guys simply do not know what they are doing.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  We discussed it yesterday.  When the Chief Executive Officer of ZINARA bought 40 graders from China, the specifications were so designed that only one supplier could deliver the graders and the cost was $16 million. Seven million dollars of that was for a snow plough which is on the front of the grader.  We are a mockery of the world – I mean, who on earth would do a thing like that? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  I do not know how many of those graders are working today.  I do not see any of them operating in the rural areas. 

          Then you take ZINWA and you speak to any farmer about ZIMRA.  I think it was raised this afternoon; our farmers cannot function where they are paying $12 a cubic meter for water.  You take all our municipalities but particularly people who irrigate, they cannot afford to pay this kind of fees.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  Madam Chair, what are these guys doing with the money. 

When Parliament visited Tokwe/Mukosi dam, 18 Members of Parliament arrived in a bus at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon for an official inspection of the dam wall.  We could not find anybody on site.  I then went looking around and found a ZINARA engineer sitting in an air conditioned office without his shirt on and drinking a six pack of beer.  I pulled him out of his office and told him that we were on an official visit and that he should have been notified that we wanted to see the dam.  We went around and visited the dam.

 Members need to know that in 1998, when the Government issued a contract to Celine, to build the Tokwe-Mukosi dam, the price was $57 million dollars.  It now cost us $250 million, five times and what is the reason, an incompetent agency.   – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  So, what is going to be the price of water from Tokwe-Mukosi?  Who is going to be able to afford paying for water at that kind of price?  The litany just goes on.  The proposal to build a dam on the Gwaai-Shangani - that water will cost Bulawayo $3,80 a cubic meter.  At the moment we are paying 23 cents.  We cannot afford it but where is the sanity?

          Then you also look at the cost of energy.  Already my colleague this afternoon has mentioned the high cost of petrol and diesel.   You tell me why we are paying the highest cost in the entire region, why?  What is the reason?  I have told some of my colleagues in the Committees that my view is it is corruption. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -  I believe that somebody with some organisation here is taking $500 million a year out of the fuel bill and every Zimbabwean pays this.  So, as long as you have got that kind of energy cost – look at this diesel project producing energy out of town here - one hundred megawatts of power.  Madam Chair, do you know that is consuming a million dollars worth of diesel a day.  The cost of electricity from that plant is 18 cents a kilowatt/hour.  The cost of energy from Kariba is 1.5 cents and that from South Africa is 14 cents while the cost of energy from Hwange Thermo Station is 8 cents.  The cost of energy from Cahorabasa is 4 cents.  Why are we generating electricity with diesel?  We are still paying foreign exchange for the imports! 

We keep making what I call structural mistakes like this.  This is not an issue for a board under a Minister of Industry and Commerce.  This is an issue for the President’s office.  In my view, the ease of doing business programme which has been run from the President’s office, is the right place for it because if anybody in this country is going to be able to give an instruction to an individual line Ministry and make sure that it happens, believe me, it is the President’s office and it is not going to be a board.  I thank you.

HON. MUKUPE:  I would want to start by pointing out that having gone through the Bill and having also listened to the public being part of the consultations that were carried out to the public at large, one thing I would like to point is that yes, there were concerns by the public in terms of certain areas and certain things that need beefing up.  However, I would want to believe that they are not show stoppers in terms of the things that needed beefing up.  I think when you look at the main thrust of the Bill, the key problem statement for our country is that there has been a loss of competitiveness and we have been going down in terms of ease of doing business in this country.  So, when you look at Hon. Chinamasa’s budget, I think it was really clear that the problem we are having in the country is that we needed to increase productivity and the revenues of the country.  Nevertheless, there is no way we are going to be able to increase the country’s revenue if we do not have a functioning industry.  So, our starting point in terms of having a functioning industry is making sure that we look at all the problems that industry is facing.  That is where the issue of looking at the pricing and income of all the companies that are operating in industry will have to done. 

I have been listening passionately to what Hon. Cross and other Members on my right side, members of the opposition have been saying.  Yes, I feel their pain and the issue that they are pointing at ..

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, I am on the right side but I am not opposition but an independent candidate.  Can he withdraw his remark?

Hon. Mliswa having stood between the Chair and the Member. debating.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa, if you revisit your Standing Order Number 76 concerning standing between the Chair and the Hon. Member who is debating, it will explain to you that when you want to make a point of order, you cannot stand between the Chair and the Member debating.  You have to use another mike which is not between the Chair and the Member debating.

HON. MUKUPE:  Thank you for protecting me Madam Speaker.  As I was pointing out, when you look at some of the concerns that the public and members of the opposition were basically pointing out, you would find out that most of the concerns are coming from legacy issues.  When you look at the National Incomes and Pricing Act as well as the Institutional memory in terms of probably what happened during the hyper-inflationary times, where you had members of the commission that was administering the Act basically setting up prices and going to some of the retailers, you would hear issues of confiscation of goods and so on.  However, I am happy that we have come up with this Commission, which is a product of the Minister and the people that he is working with having gone around and basically saying how do you make right the wrongs of the past and coming up with something that is going to take the country forward.  I think what we have to come up with is a situation where we ask ourselves what it is that we need to do in this country for us to be able to make sure that our country becomes prosperous. 

Everyone has been crying out about the issue that there is not enough money to go around in terms of making sure that Government carries out its business.  MPs are crying out that we are the least paid MPs in the region and I think all those things can only be improved if we have got a functioning economy which is dependent on a situation where we have got revenues flowing into Government.  These revenues only flow into Government where the situation is that the businesses are competitive and are able to produce goods and services in an efficient and competitive manner. 

So, I am actually perplexed when someone stands up and says that they have got a problem with this Bill which is looking to improve the social ills and the economic ills that we have got in this country.  Let me tell you one thing I am really happy about, this Bill actually addresses everything that has got to do with the supply side of the economy.  Not only does it do that but it also addresses the fiscal issues that we have got because some of the fiscal issues are issues of not having enough money and that is what this Bill is trying to address.  For me, when you address the problems that it is trying to address, it is about fiscal issues.  Not only is it addressing the fiscal issues, we are saying that when you are looking at all the impediments that are hindering businesses from progressing, they are going to be looking at the import tariffs, at export tariffs and the issues of why petrol and diesel is expensive in this country. 

You have an issue where petrol costs 47 cents and your duties are at 67 cents.  So, these are the things that I expect the Commission will not be looking at and saying, what is going to be the impact of saying that if we reduce the duties from 67 cents to 20 cents, what is the positive impact because logistics are going to be lower?  It might mean that our exports are going to become more competitive.  I think that on all the other issues that are also going to be addressed, one of the things that has been happening in this economy is that now we are having a three tier pricing system where people have different prices for bonds, for US Dollars, for making transfers.  It becomes an issue of that Commission to be also saying for example why are we having these issues?  How can we be able to address them?  It is clear when you look at the functions that they are going to be monitoring all the cost drivers in the business and economic environment.  Right now there is no entity and no one who is monitoring all those cost drivers.

          What happens is that at the present moment, I think that one of the cries that have been coming out is sometimes; it appears that there is policy inconsistencies.  For example if you want to export a certain commodity, like even raw hides out of this country, I have to go to the Minister of Industry and Commerce and he will give me some authorisation.  Then the next thing is that I will go to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and he might not give me the authorisation.  You will find that it will end up being a situation where some of these Ministries are appearing as if they are competing and there are policy inconsistencies.  This is what we are now expecting that such a Commission will be looking at such things and saying that where there are inconsistencies, how we can make sure that these inconsistencies are corrected.

          There is also the issue that the Commission is also going to be looking at the structure of industry.  Everyone is crying out about all these monopolies and oligopolies that have been set up in our industries.  You have institutions like Econet who are basically urinating on the foreheads of the citizenry and basically telling them that it is anointed water from Prophet Magaya.  So, I am expecting that you are going to have a situation where the Commission will be looking at such situations where you have monopolies and oligopolies that are basically raping the citizenry, but we want make sure that they have competitive pricing, and do not end up raping the citizenry.

          The other point that I will also point out that I am really happy about is that they talk about the fact that they are going to be having a nationwide statistical database.  We should actually take this as one of the greatest things that is going to come out of this because for any business to be able to operate…

          HON. CHAMISA: On a point of Order Madam Speaker.  I am not so sure if I heard the Hon. Member correctly but if I did, Madam Speaker, he mentioned something about urinating and that Econet had urine.  If he may withdraw because that in terms of parliamentary language, it is very unfortunate.  I appreciate his view and we want to hear what his views are to enrich the debate but of course the anointing water is something else but the urine aspect.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mukupe, before you proceed, I think the Hon. Member is right.  We have to use parliamentary language when we are expressing ourselves.  Would you please proceed?

          HON. MUKUPE:  I accept your wise counsel Madam Speaker for my idiomatic expression that the Hon. Member probably had issues with and I understand, considering he took such a long time to become a lawyer.

          What I would want to point out ….

          HON. CHAMISA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  You know, we do not want to use these platforms to abuse one another.  When it comes to intellect, I do not even qualify to be rated at the same level with this man, but I will not want to even go there because we are not here on account of our intellect.  We are here on account of our representation of the people and what I did raise is very consistent with what is in our Standing Orders.  I really urge the Hon. Member to withdraw what he has said because it is inaccurate.  Madam Speaker, if he does not, I will simply donate a tonne of abuse and he will not be able to sustain it.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Member, while you are bringing a good point, if you start competition of doing something which is bad in this House, and also, if the Hon. Member was using unparliamentary language, he was not even referring to you but, the whole country.  I even tried to explain to him that he should use parliamentary language and he is supposed to express himself in language which is acceptable and that is what he is supposed to do and not talking to Hon. Chamisa as a person.  I think Hon. Mukupe, if you can correct that one.

          HON. MUKUPE:  I withdraw my statement Madam Speaker.  I was pointing out that one of the things that excites me about the Bill is that, we are going to have a nationwide statistical database.  I think for any business to be able to come up with any of its budgets and futuristic plans, you basically need a statistical database that you can be able to infer to and be able to make your decisions from and be able to come up with real quantitative decisions.  Not that I would want to brag but that being one of the brightest mathematicians around, I am really happy about this.

          Madam Speaker in conclusion, I am just going to point out that I emphatically support this Bill because it is going to basically look into all the problems that industry has been facing in terms of making sure that they are competitive, they are able to come up with the right price and are able to make the right income which will actually be good for the fiscas, which will be a welcome development for our country.  I thank you.

          *HON. MUKWENA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I rise to thank the Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill to Parliament.  The Bill may have been introduced later than we anticipated but this is a conditional situation.  When things were still okay, the Hon. Minister did not even dream about bringing this Bill, but because of the economic conditions that the country is facing, the Hon. Minister has seen it fit that he introduces such a pertinent National Competitiveness Commission Bill.  Thank you Minister for bringing up this Bill.  Some of the responsibilities of this Commission are to hold research programmes on means and ways of resuscitating the economy of the country.  My input on this Bill is that some of the responsibilities of this Commission are to lure foreign investors to come into the country and hold joint ventures with indigenous and existing enterprises. Minister, if it is possible, we would like our industries to be decentralised in other countries.  We need joint partnerships.  We ask you Hon. Minister to look into this with your Ministry so that we start to develop our economy.

I would like to thank you Hon. Minister for bringing this Bill to this House.  I plead with Hon. Members to support this Bill so that we will have a Commission that will be the foundation to develop our economy.  I thank you.

          HON. WATSON:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to reinforce what Hon. Cross has said.  To me, competitiveness is about existing numbers.  We already have shrunken industrialisation in business.  We do not have the numbers.  Legislation in itself will not create those numbers.  Ever since we came into Parliament in 2013, we have talked about the ease of doing business and it has gone to the President’s office. That is all it has been.  There has been consistent discussions and workshops.  There has been very little on the ground in terms of creating ease of doing business.  We have a multiplicity of commissions already that are underfunded and under functioning.  So what will you be doing by creating yet another one that will create what; a price control or a price investigative commission where the prices are driven by parastatals in the main and also by corruption?

We have a Corruption Commission which is yet to prove that it can actually deal with corruption.  I believe that the lack of business in Zimbabwe is driven by other concerns rather than simply achieving competitiveness.  I do not believe that yet another commission will solve one of the underlining economic issues in a country as we are today in Zimbabwe.

We also have a shrinking fiscus despite whatever positives people see in S.I. 64.  Personally, I cannot say what they are.  The fiscus is shrinking and therefore we create yet another commission to eat more fiscal space and be underfunded and under achieving.  I personally cannot support this Bill. I thank you.  

          HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker for allowing me to add my voice to this very important Bill.  The National Competitiveness Commission Bill is very important in that it is going to improve our economy as it will help to lure foreign direct investment hence this will reduce the cost of doing business.  Jobs will be created due to the functioning of the Commission.  The GDP will also increase and hence economic growth will be witnessed in our country. I thank you.

          HON. HOLDER:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice toward the National Competitiveness Commission Bill.

          Firstly, I would like to congratulate the Minister for bringing this Bill to Parliament.  I have been listening to debates by my fellow Hon. Members.  Hon. Members need to understand that our economy is not in isolation.  It is disturbed by the economies of other countries as well.  The S.I. 64 began to bear fruits with industries opening up and I would like to congratulate the Minister on that.

This Bill seeks to put a board in place.  You see what happened in Shabanie Mine at one stage.  There was a board and it was dissolved.  The mine was put under judicial management where one person was making decisions.  Now, without a board, you will have problems on checks and balances.  This Bill therefore seeks to put a board and I am happy about that.  At least you will find that there will be able to have checks and balances.  Industries will be able to open up. 

How are industries going to open up in Bulawayo or around the country if we do not protect ourselves?  We have to be masters of our own destiny.  The problem is that people want to complain. They want to move and look at the negative sides and say I have to pay NSSA and other things.  Let us be legal.  This board will be able to advise the Ministry and be able to look at all the other issues that Hon. Members were talking about. I think we should support the Minister in every manner so that this Bill can go through.

This Bill will also help those industries produce staff that have got high quality.  It will also improve the welfare of people locally.  You see people buying shoes from China; they walk three kilometers and the shoe opens up.  If you go back to the shop, you are asked if you can read Chinese.  I am saying this because if you produce quality, the quality will sell itself.  You will find other countries coming to look for staff here because of the quality and not a lot of production but quality.

When one wears quality, people automatically can tell you that this is quality staff and it is from Zimbabwe.  We used to have industries here that used to produce beef; I think it was Fray Bentos or something of that sort.  A lot of people would go out of their way to this stuff. If you go anywhere in the world, they will ask if you are from Zimbabwe and then they will ask you to bring Mazoe. They are very happy.  Go to China, bring us Mazoe.  That shows the quality of stuff. Having this board, we will be able to look into all the issues so that the people will be able to produce.

          Globally, you will find that production will go up; quality of production will be good and the living standards will also be good because you will be seen wearing quality stuff.  I think as a House, I do not want to distort or repeat what other people have said but I would like to say let us support this Bill.  Let us learn to support each other in this House, than to look at the negative side.  If we learn to support each other we will grow.  There is strength in numbers; let us support the Minister.  Thank you Minister.

          HON. GWANETSA: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to add my voice on this very important Bill, the NCC.  I want to applaud the Minister, Hon. Bimha for bringing this issue which is critically important.  I view the introduction of this Commission as a tool to awaken a sleeping giant.  It is undisputable that Zimbabwe is second to South Africa in the region in terms of industry and production.  No wonder why Zimbabwe was called the breadbasket of the region.

          Therefore, it is this Commission that is going to bring about the status of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Madam Speaker Maam, it is undisputable that we are living in a global world.  The global world entails that there is competition.  Our industrial hub, which is Bulawayo, all the industries have shut down because of lack of competition.  All industries in Zimbabwe have shut down because of lack of competition.   Therefore, by bringing about this Bill the Commission is going to strategise on how we are going to bring the face of Zimbabwe on the international scene and locally. Therefore, I support the introduction of this important Bill.  It is a tool to strategise how we interact with the outside world and within ourselves.  Therefore, it is very important.

          Madam Speaker, our country has become a dumping ground of materials.  We have got what we call zitye, this has killed the textile and agricultural industries.  If we bring in a Commission of this nature, it is going to look at how we are going to strategise and resuscitate the best industry, that is agriculture.  We are saying this economy is agro-based.  Therefore, this Bill is going to analyse factors to spruce and resuscitate what we need as a country.  So, this Bill is very important and it has come at the opportune time for us to move ahead and become recognised on the international scene.

          It is undisputable that two issues have killed this country in terms of economy; sanctions and corruption – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – The Commission is going to look seriously at the impact of sanctions; the negative effects of sanctions and look seriously at issues of corruption.  These are twins, siamese twins that have killed the economy of this country.  Therefore, this Bill is critically important and thank you so much Hon. Minister Bimha, for bringing this issue at this critical moment.  I applaud you for not thinking inside or outside the box but throwing away the box and think as a Zimbabwean – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Madam Speaker Maám, this country is rich.  We have got endowments, we have all the minerals that you might think under the earth.  This country has got the flora and fauna, all those things hinge on our economy.  This Commission is going to critically analyse and unpack everything; put everything in its proper perspective and then we get ourselves on the proper footing and address all the problems that we have.  Like I have indicated, globalisation, dumping ground, sanctions and corruption, all these things have brought about vices like unemployment, drug abuse and many other bad things.  Bringing in this Commission is going to unpack and analyse all these things and then we will be on equal footing with the developing world.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. ZVIDZAI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this most important debate.  Firstly, I wish to thank the Minister for his efforts towards trying to make sure that our economy begins to function again in a proper manner.  I applaud him for the effort.  That is what Ministers should do; they must keep trying.  At the same time, I really feel very sorry for him because within the context that he is working, it will be very difficult to see the fruit of his sweat.

          Madam Speaker, I contend that in doing what he is doing with respect to this Commission, the Minister seeks to improve the economy. It is the nation’s quest to fully benefit from its endowments.  As the previous speaker said, this nation is very rich; it is uniquely rich with natural endowments, unmatched in the world.  We are first with respect to platinum and chrome.  I was looking at our statistics in terms of the amount of gold we have on the belly of Zimbabwe.  At the rate of extraction, of say 30 tonnes per year, which is the highest it has ever been; we have got enough gold to last 650 000 years in this country.  We have got the entire petalite in the world.  We are the only country in the world which, within its boundaries, has two wonders of the seven.  So, it is a unique country.

          Some people believe – in the Bible they say ‘there is a country in between two big rivers, where you find good gold” Good gold is where you get gold from the ground, without processing it, you walk with it and sell it.  This is Zimbabwe.  We are so naturally endowed that it is surprising and it is unacceptable that we lie so far down on the scale of happiness of our population.

          The Minister is trying; his efforts are visible but what are those things that we must do to ensure that Zimbabwe becomes competitive.  I would like to agree with Hon. Cross, that this issue is beyond the narrative of one governmental department.  It is more about corporate called Zimbabwe.  When we talk about value addition, we have spoken about the narrow side of value addition where you take gold and refine it; diamond and polish it.  We need to add the value of ‘beneficiate Zimbabwe’ as a country.  We have to make sure that there is value to Zimbabwe.  We add that value to Zimbabwe through the way we govern our country and relate with other people, and the global village so that together we can enjoy the benefits of this narrow global village.

What are the things that cause Zimbabwe to continue on the downward spiral? Corruption is one of the issues. As long as we do not go to the heart of corruption and deal with it, it does not matter what else we do. We do not create the required confidence for other people to come in and dance with us on the dance floor. So, as a nation we need to makes sure that together we fight corruption wherever we find it; in high offices or sub-offices, in villages or rivers we must deal with corruption so that the world out there can confidently say we can work together in Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, there are issues of policy and policy inconsistency. Those are issues that anybody who wants to do business with us will consider those issues very seriously. Today we are talking about protection; tomorrow we are talking about competitiveness. The next day we are talking about something completely different. No one can predict us. As long as you are not predictable no one wants to dance on the floor with you, you are not competitive. Madam Speaker, I think these are issues that are extremely important.

Issues of infrastructure are extremely important. Last night I watched a video and I saw Pastor Mugadza fishing in a pothole dramatising the issues of the decayed infrastructure that we have, the lack of beauty and destroyed aesthetics of even Harare. You know a building right in the middle of town last got a dash of paint years and years ago. Again, if you cannot deal with those simple issues no one can take us seriously with respect to more important issues.

Madam Speaker, issues of rights whether it is environmental, human and other rights. They are very important for us to go up the rung of our competitive index. I am saying Madam Speaker, for as long as we do not deal with hygiene issues at corporate level, our competitiveness battle will always be lost.

My colleague, who just spoke before me Madam Speaker, spoke to issues of taxation. These are hygiene issues which we need to face head on, deal with them and make sure that our country is more attractive. What are the levels of trust? Are we a trusted nation? Are we a trusted people? Do we respect our own rules of the game? If we do not respect our simple rules of the game including issues like a Constitution that we all agreed upon. A Constitution that was voted for overwhelmingly by all the people of Zimbabwe, issues of devolution and issues that the people said yes, this is the way we have to run Zimbabwe and we do not do that. The next day we think we can through some sort of magic be competitive. For me, it is an exercise in futility.

Madam Speaker, with these few remarks I would like to applaud the Minister for trying but at the same time feel sorry for him that this sounds like a serious exercise in futility.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill. My contribution is in support of the Bill and like anything else, the Minister has the mandate to ensure that the economy moves forward in the portfolio that he holds. At the same time, the bleeding must stop. So, you cannot keep bleeding and not put it to a stop. The Minister is one of the most hardworking Ministers who are trying to resuscitate industry, which is key in the economy that we are faced with.

Madam Speaker, the aspect of domestic mobilisation is important. We have discussed this issue a number of times in our forums as parliamentarians but I think with this Bill coming into play, the emphasis must be on domestic mobilisation taking advantage of the resources we already have in the country rather than looking outside. I think the Bill will assist in addressing that. I think we have industries like ZISCO Steel for example, which can compete with any steel company in the world and we need to have them resuscitated. We have got Kamativi already as a mine which equally, from what I read, is being resuscitated and Willowvale Motor Industries which as Members of Parliament, we must equally benefit from and also contributing to the economy of this country.

What is critical is equally to take note of what Hon. Cross said. Though he does not support it but I think his contributions were key in ensuring that we come up with a good strategy in terms of what we want to achieve. He certainly has a wealth of knowledge and I was actually impressed by what he had to contribute in the various boards that he sat on in ensuring that Zimbabwe moves forward. So, I would like the Minister to take on board what Hon. Cross said on a lot of issues which he mentioned.

The aspect of the board is critical. The Minister must ensure that there is regional balance. We need to have new people on the boards. We cannot continuously have the same people. I see that we keep changing this one to this other board and this one to this board as if we do not have enough people. We have got young people who are educated in this country. This country is endowed with human capital, but I get surprised when boards are still appointing one person on three boards yet we are endowed with so much human capital. What are other people doing? The component of the youth is also important in ensuring that the board composition has the youth and women also included. We have a lot of women even in Parliament who are furthering their education. They must be given that opportunity to that demographic which is pretty well known in terms of the population must be considered when we are making these boards or else it does not mean anything.

The aspect of corruption has to be nipped in the bud.  I think that has to do with the integrity and dignity of the board that will be appointed. As much as we believe that the boards are critical in giving the guidance and support needed by the management, at times they are seen wanting at the end of the day. You saw with the State Procurement Board what then happened to it. Instead of it solving a lot of our problems, it ended up being a problem for us. So, it is important that the Board that is put in place is equally able to do that.

I also implore the Minister to also consider those living with disability. Disability is not inability. I think as a nation we are seen wanting. I do not see many people on boards who are people living with disability. They are 10-15% of our population and we seem to ignore that. As a nation, we must also conform to a lot of things that should be done in terms of the United Nations Convention on People Living with Disability which was ratified. I think we must be seen to be doing that.

The ease of doing business will come in to being tested at the end of the day. Our Government is well known for putting together great documents but what lacks is implementation. The challenge the Minister has like any Government department is to see how this should be implemented. Not only that, I concur with Hon. Zvidzai on the aspect corruption. Corruption has got to be nipped in the bud at the same time find competent people who are able to do the job. Yes, in a way Hon. Gwanetsa said we have got siamese twins in terms of corruption and in terms of the sanctions but I would equally like to say to him, I think the other twin called sanctions is no longer there. The twin that is there is the one called corruption and this is my message to the Minister and the party that governs this country that, they need to be very strong on corruption at the end of the day. They seem to be very weak in bringing these issues forward and I think as long as they are a party in power, they are not able to implement what they say. The President is very clear on zero tolerance to corruption but we have not seen the Government left doing much in terms of corruption. They seem to keep quiet and they do not say anything about it but it is hurting the economy, their party and the Government at the end of the day. 

So it is about time that they started really bringing this issue up to the fore and debate it in the context that it has to be debated, because this is the biggest problem that we have in the country. You can talk about the US$15 billion that has gone missing and so many parastatals. The main problems with parastatals in this country are a result of corruption, and nothing has been done. There is no one at all who has been brought before the courts to show that they are serious about this. You do not have to be brought before the courts; I think any allegation that points to corruption must be investigated. It certainly renders the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption useless. It wastes taxpayer’s money because when they want to conduct their job, there seems to be reasons why they cannot. There are excuses that the exposition is because of the factional fights in the party and so forth. So, no one is investigated and it has given leeway to the ruling party to keep on being corrupt. Because when one is alleged to be corrupt, they quickly run and say no, I belong to G40, I belong to Lacoste and I am being fought in this factional fight.

So to me I know that the party has got very strong people who equally were in the Police Force like my colleague Hon. Mandipaka who was a senior officer and I expect him to be leading in terms of corruption. He was an outstanding police officer and we are glad that he is a Member of Parliament. He can actually help in addressing some of these issues rather than sweeping them under the carpet and so on. So I implore Members of Parliament to be able to do that.

The other issue that I think is critical is policy inconsistency which Hon. Zvidzai spoke about. You saw with the Indiginisation and Empowerment Act, Hon. Zhuwao was saying something, Hon. Chinamasa something and the Governor of the Reserve Bank, something else.          You know, it is like they are Ministers belonging to different political parties yet, it is one party. It took the Head of State to issue a statement. Honestly, when the Head of State gives you a job, he expects you to do the job but if you are now making the Head of State come and give you a statement, it is embarrassing for those Ministers who are mandated to ensure that this moves forward.

 So please, can you give the Head of State a break and make sure that Minister other line ministries are well vested with what you are doing so that we do not have policy inconsistency.  As much as policy inconsistency is bad for the country, it also brings doubt in term of investors coming in and the terrain that we have. We are Zimbabweans and I would like to applaud the Minister for this initiative and like I said, he is a Minister who tries to work hard. He has a heavy task ahead of him in terms of ensuring that industry ticks and certainly, we must support this Bill but at the same time Minister, taking into consideration some to the issues especially that Hon. Cross said.

I would like to certainly give it my nod and support that as a nation, we must stop the economy from bleeding and we cannot keep on accusing each other until when somebody wants to work, we then put spanners in the works. Let us allow the Minister to do his job and judge him after that. Thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker I would like to embrace technology in carrying out my debate and in particular this Bill [H. B. 6, 2016] speaks to and about other sectors of the economy and other supporting pillars-specifically, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET). Madam Speaker, I want the Hansard to extract pages 31 – 32 Madam Speaker because they form part of my debate and they also speak about and to the issues of the establishment of special economic zones that can support the initiative of the Minister. So, I applaud the Minister and I ask that the Hansard extracts pages 31-32 of the ZIM ASSET policy blue print which speaks to key factors in achieving our aims and objectives if we are to successfully carry out our national agenda as a nation.

Madam Speaker, having said that, the issue of domestic resource mobilisation, value addition and utilisation is also a theme for the 2017 Budget. Hence that same ZIM ASSET document is going to be a supporting pillar to the Minister of Industry and Commerce I believe, especially given the proposed National Competitiveness Commission Bill. If pages 105-110 can also be extracted Madam Speaker, that is going to form part of my debate and it speaks amongst other things, the issue of value addition of our ubiquitous amount of wealth in terms of natural resources and particular mineral resources. Madam Speaker having said that, now I will say the NCC can be supported mainly among other issues relating to the ongoing Buy Zimbabwe Campaign along which the Minister has already brought-in another Statutory Instrument.

(Extractions from ZIM ASSET  Document (pages 31-32)

3.6. Key Success Factors

3.6.1The implementation of this Plan will rely on the

Following Key Success Factors (KSFs):

i.   Political commitment and leadership from the highest level.

ii. Strong collaborative partnerships among Government agencies, the private sector, citizens and other stakeholders;

iii. Human capital development programmes to enhance the acquisition of requisite skills;

iv. Scientific research and development;

v. Continued use of the multi-currency regime to consolidate macroeconomic stabilization;

vi. Introduction of Special Economic Zones;

vii. Creation of special funding vehicles such as acceleration of the implementation of PPPs;

viii. Establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund;

ix. Institutionalization of RBM across the public sector (civil service, parastatals, state enterprises and local authorities);

x. Value addition and beneficiation in productive sectors such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing;

xi. Rehabilitation, upgrading and development of key infrastructure and utilities comprising power generation, roads, rail, aviation and water;

xii. Deliberate implementation of supportive policies in key productive economic sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism in order to quickly grow the economy;

xiii. Alignment of legislation, policies and guidelines by all Government ministries and departments in line with Constitution Amendment (No 20) Act 2013.

(Extractions from ZIM ASSET Document – Pages 105-110)

Cluster Key

Result Areas

 

Cluster Outcomes

Cluster Outputs

Strategies

Lead

Institution

 

Agriculture/

Agro-processing

 

Improved

availability of organic fertilizer.

 

·60 000 tonnes of organic fertilizer/

Annum produced;

·Stock feed

produced;

·60 000 tonnes of organic

fertilizer/annum produced.

 

·Build earthworm breeding plant;

·Develop MOUs with municipal

authorities to guarantee organic

waste;

·Commercialise organic fertilizer

production through

franchising.

Ministry

responsible for

Industry.

 

 

·Increased

revenue from

export of

honey

products;

·Improved

production of

pharmaceutical products.

 

·At least 500 000

litres of honey per

annum produced;

·

Cosmetics and

pharmaceutical

products produced.

 

·Establish honey producing clusters

in each province;

·Capacity building and technical

training;

·Resource mobilization for hives

and kits;

·Facilitate market linkages

·Establish SACCOs among honey

producers;

·Establish honey processing

centres;

·Research and

development.

 

Ministry

responsible for

Small to

Medium Scale

Industries.

 

 

·Increased

supply of

locally

produced

dairy

products

 

·100 million litres of

raw milk and by

products produced

per year milk

processed

 

·Resuscitate the national dairy

herd;

·Apply measures to protect the

local diary industry against

imports;

·Put in place measures to attract

and empower new players

(farmers).

 

Ministry

responsible for

Agriculture.

 

 

·Increased supply of meat in the domestic and export market.

 

·400 000 tonnes of meat produced.

 

·Restock the national herd;

·Provide extension services support to farmers.

 

Ministry

responsible for

Agriculture.

 

 

·Increased

revenue

generated from

exports of

avocado oil.

 

·Avocado trees

planted;

·14 000 tonnes of

avocado oil produced

per annum;

·Pharmaceutical

products produced;

·Skin care products

produced.

 

·Encourage planting of avocado

trees;

·Establish an avocado processing

plant in Rusitu Valley

(Chimanimani);

·Mobilise resources;

·Commercialise the growing of

avocados;

·Establish SACCOs among avocado producers.

 

Ministry

responsible

for

small to medium

industries.

 

 

·Increased revenue from fruit juice.

 

·100 million litres of fruit juice per annum produced.

 

·Mobilize resources;

·Operationalise the fruit juice manufacturing project.

·Operationalise the incubation

centre;

·Capacity building for the fruit

juice producers,

entrepreneurship, technical

and business management;

·Mobilize resources

for

acquisition of equipment for

small scale producers;

·Targeted financial support for

SMEs in fruit juice production.

 

Ministry

responsible for

Industry.

 

Manufacturing

·Increased supply of domestically produced cooking oil.

 

·7 million litres of cooking

oil produced/month;

·Stock feeds produced.

 

·Resuscitate the Oil Expression Industry.

 

Ministry responsible

for Industry.

 

 

·Improved productivity.

 

·Synergized informal and formal sectors.

 

·Promote strategic

linkages between the informal and formal sectors;

·Support cooperatives and

SMEs development.

 

 

 

·Increased supply of value added steel products.

 

·700 000 tonnes of liquid steel per annum produced.

 

·Operationalise

New Zim-Steel;

·Target financial support

to SMEs in metal

fabrication;

·Build capacity

(Entrepreneurial technical and business management and training).

 

Ministry responsible

for SMEs.

 

 

·Improved supply of locally produced herbs/herbals.

 

·Locally produced herbs availed.

 

· Capacity building.

 

 

 

·Increased capacity utilization in the leather manufacturing industries.

 

·Million pairs per annum

of leather shoes

produced;

·5 610 jobs created.

 

·Build capacity of Small

scale leather products

manufactures;

·Implement the leather strategy.

 

 

 

·Increased revenue

from the gold

industry;

·Increased

employment

creation

 

·8 Provincial Gold

Processing &

Buying Centres set up;

·500 syndicates registered

(2500 registered small scale miners).

 

·Establish Syndication

Programmes for small scale gold miners.

 

Ministry responsible for Industry.

 

 

·Improved supply of locally produced drugs.

 

·Caps Pharmaceutical

Company resuscitated.

 

·Mobilise resources;

·Policy alignment to support the sector.

 

 

Mining

·Increased revenue

from the diamonds

industry

·Increased

employment

 

·1.2 million carats

polished gem diamonds

produced;

·1000 jobs created;

·Value added industrial

diamonds

produced;

·Skilled personnel

Produce.

 

·Establish Diamond Cutting

& Polishing centres.

 

Ministry responsible for Mining.

 

 

·Improved planning for mineral

resources

development

.

 

·Data base on the

country’s minerals

established;

·Geological Survey Unit strengthened.

 

·Evaluate the country’s

Mineral resources.

 

 

Human

Capacity

Building &

Development

 

·Improved supply

of highly trained

mineral

professionals

for:

·Universities;

·

R & D institutions;

·Mining industry;

·GoZ;

·Improved

capacity and

capabilities for

value addition;

·Increased

development of

downstream

industries;

·Improved

linkages among

higher & tertiary

education, research institutions, industries & government.

 

·World-class training institution for R & D

in mineral beneficiation

and value addition

established;

·<200/yr Masters, PhD graduates produced in:

·Geo-Sciences;

·Mining and extractive

Metallurgy;

·Mineral Business with entrepreneurial skills;

·Database

on minerals

set up;

·Diamond college

established;

·Diamond specialists produced.

 

·Establish Plan African

Minerals University of

Science and

Technology (PAMUST).

 

Ministry responsible

for Mining.

 

 

·Increased Indigenous

Intellectual property, registration and promotion of indigenous knowledge system.

 

·Intellectual property

rights registered;

·Indigenous; knowledge systems promoted.

 

·Register

property rights;

·Promote

Indigenous knowledge systems.

 

Ministry responsible

for Higher

Education.

 

 

·Increased utilization

Nano technology skills.

 

·Nano technology

Institute established;

·Nano technologist

strained

 

·Establish a Nano

technology

institute at

SIRD

C;

·Train and retain

Nano technologists.

 

 

 

Madam Speaker, the world over including SADC and Africa, governments are the biggest buyers in any economy. So, I want to say as we were debating last year and during the first part of this year in terms of our Portfolio Committee proposals to the Minister of Finance, we spoke among other things as your Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development that we need companies like ZUPCO first and foremost to buy from Zimbabwe before they can export our resources to China Madam Speaker so that we can capacitate the local manufacturers amongst other things by 10%. They cried out loud to your Committee to the effect that if only ZUPCO and Government bought from them, they would increase their capacity utilisation by 10%. So it is my clarion call that before we look outside, we need to self introspect and make sure that we support the Bill that is before us as brought by the Minister of Industry in that we implore Government to buy from its own industries. First and foremost, that is going to give impetus to the private sector, to be embedded with Government and in the process support local industry.

Madam Speaker, the issue of industrialisation and utilisation of our local industry dovetails well with the SADC Industrialisation Strategy of 29 April 2015. The time during which our Head of State and Government, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and President of this nation was the Chairperson of SADC and AU, where he also spearheaded the ten points of the Development Plan of the Continental Blueprint of 2063.  It seeks amongst other things, the value addition of our God given minerals.  Madam Speaker, what we need to do is to make sure that we complement and augment his efforts, his never die spirit of making sure that we have an entry point of our national agenda into the SADC industrialisation strategy. From the SADC industrialisation strategy, we put it into the continental agenda, which is going to feed in to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

          Madam Speaker, I believe the Minister has started a journey and I also implore other Ministers to complement him, amongst other things to bring to the House expeditiously for debate, the issue of our Exploration Bill, so that we quantify our ubiquitous amount of wealth so that we get to know our withness as a country.  They also bring the Mines and Minerals Act so that we repeal it, so our people get to be embedded in the mainstream economy so that the Minister of Industry …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you be careful enough so that we debate on the Bill and not bring in another Bill.

          HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, the Bills I am talking about are going to be a pillar to his Bill, without which this one is going to be still born.  They depend amongst other things, the Special Economic Zones, the repealing of the Mines and Minerals Act, the introduction of the Exploration Act and also Madam Speaker, you are going to see if you read into the Hansard, the establishment of PAMUST, which is a Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the Minister is taking notes so that he responds to the House. Once you stretch the debate to other Bills and so forth, I think he will get confused.

          HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, do you want me to speak slowly or … 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am appealing to you.  Would you please concentrate on this particular Bill?

          HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, I take guidance.  The issues that can also help the Commission’s carrying out of the mandate in this Bill, speak, amongst other things, alternative ways of revenue collection as opposed to issues to do with taxing the unsuspecting innocent citizenry to death.  The issue of Command agriculture quickly comes to mind and beneficiation of our God given mineral wealth.  The issue of resuscitation of our industries, in particular David Whitehead is going to give him a wide scope of a place that he can take care of in industry. 

Aware that the Government has taken over the COTTCO debt of $68 million, and has given to cotton farmers three seasons worth of seed which is going to make sure it opens the floodgate of economic revival, which is then going to give him a panoramic view and a bigger scope of operation in his National Competitiveness Commission Bill.  Madam Speaker, what I implore the Minister to do is to expeditiously, without any further ado because it falls under his ambit to resuscitate David Whitehead and make sure that he does not leave David Whitehead, whichever investor in the future prone to violent take over from creditors.

Madam Speaker, as I wind up, I also applaud him in the same vein for the Motor Industry Bill that he is also going to introduce that is also going to give him a give scope in terms of the National Competitiveness Commission Bill aptitude and spheres of operation.  I thank you.

HON. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I would also like to add my voice in acknowledging the efforts of the Minister by introducing the National Competitiveness Commission Bill, which seeks to bring Zimbabwe back to its original glory, because Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa and it used to be the jewel of Africa.

Madam Speaker, if you look at Bulawayo, which used to be the industrial hub, there were so many industries which were producing more than 7000 products.  This is a clear indication that we were competing with other countries.  If you look at GND shoes, the leather shoes and bags we were producing, we were producing them for export purposes.  If you look at Merlin towels, the quality towels that we were producing, look at National Blankets, the quality blankets that we were producing, look at Cotton Printers – you were all coming to Bulawayo to buy the bedsheets.  Look at shirts, the Van Heusen and so forth, which we were exporting to other countries Madam Speaker.  You should look at all the things that we were doing.  Just look at tobacco, we were producing first grade tobacco.  This is a clear indication that we were competing with other countries and tobacco used to generate more than US$1 billion per year. If we had improved on that, right now we would be generating more than that.

Look at our cotton.  It was first grade cotton.  On horticulture, aeroplanes were flying out everyday carrying flowers to Europe and America Madam Speaker.  We were producing quality vegetables and aeroplanes were flying everyday going to Europe and America with our vegetables. I have got friends who are in Botswana who used to come to Zimbabwe and they were saying to me, we were buying quality clothes and food such as meat, vegetables, et cetera.  This is who we were as a country.  People were flocking from Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, coming to Zimbabwe to buy our quality products. 

Madam Speaker, I think it is important as a country that we mirror ourselves, we look at ourselves to say where is the problem.  For me, I think we are scratching where it is not itching and this is what we are supposes to be interrogating.  Let us diagnose our problem properly so that we are able to administer the proper medication.  Once we do that, Zimbabwe is going to return to its original glory.  Zimbabwe was the envy of the whole world and no one can doubt that.  Personally, I want Zimbabwe to get back to where it was. 

Madam Speaker, as much as I appreciate the Minister by bringing in the National Competitiveness Commission Bill, I do not think that the Bill will make sure that we return to our original glory.  For me, our problem as a country is the fact that we are faced with a political problem, which has resulted in a legitimacy problem; the legitimacy problem, which has resulted in an economic problem.  Let us deal with our politics so that we return to legitimacy.  Once we return to legitimacy, mark my words, Zimbabwe is going to be once more the jewel of Africa.  It is going to be once more the breadbasket of Africa.

Madam Speaker, right now more than 80% of Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty, misery and destitution.  The majority of Zimbabweans are living on less than US$1 per day in a country which is endowed with so many resources.  Let us be honest with ourselves and say where is the problem.  Madam Speaker, let us deal with our politics. Once we deal with our politics, we will return to legitimacy and once we return to legitimacy, Zimbabwe is going to be once more an envy of the whole world.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. BIMHA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Firstly, I would like to thank Hon. Members who contributed to this Bill.  I think it is an indication of a collective desire to see Zimbabwe grow and take its rightful place.  I think we can do it if we all put our heads together.  The contributions varied and I want to thank all those who supported the Bill.  I also want to thank those who even raised concerns about the Bill.  I think it is still constructive and we will take those issues on board.  That is the importance of the debate that takes place in this august House – varied contributions and all our experiences. Some of the issues that have been raised here,  I am very happy that most of the contributions that have been made here, dovetailed the issues that have been raised before and even some of the issues that I raised when I introduced this Bill.

The issues of competitiveness cannot just be addressed by this Bill alone but this Bill complements other efforts that we as Government would like to put in place, both from my Ministry and other Ministries.  Once again Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Members for their contributions.  I will take most of their concerns on board.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a Second time.

Committee Stage:  Tuesday, 3rd April, 2017.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. BIMHA), the House adjourned at Eight Minutes past Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 4th April, 2017.

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 MARCH 2017 VOL 43 NO 61