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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 7 JUNE 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 38

Thursday, 7th June, 2012.

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

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

MR. MAKUYANA: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech. I would also want to inform this House that I am making my maiden speech.

After having been absent from this august House for over three years, I was on suspension after having been convicted of trumped up charges passed by a Chipinge Magistrate, Mr. Zuze who is now late. Today I now stand before you after the charge was quashed and set aside by the High Court. It is also regrettable Madam Speaker, that some Magistrate Courts are still run by Magistrates who are still partisan and who compromise the justice delivery system in this country. In the case of this Chipinge Magistrate who is now late, he was running the court as if he was running a Kangaroo Court. Hon. Mlambo who is in this House can bear testimony because he was also charged with trumped up charges.

Madam Speaker, there is need to visit our green rule orders book to reduce the harshness of the Act and Law which touches on those honourable Members of Parliament who get convicted on trumped up charges. They should remain innocent, when one appeals to the Higher court, but the present scenario takes away the liberty of an hon. member convicted, thereby suffering total suspension of Parliament business and benefits. The general law outside Parliament's green book sustains the guilty verdict pending appeal thereby reducing the continued persecution which will have been passed by some of these biased Magistrates.

In this game of politics, it is prudent to re-look at this Act for the times it will also benefit some hon. members here, who might fall victim of such trumped up charges passed by these partisan magistrates.

Madam Speaker, I represent Chipinge South which is partly known for its campfire and wild animals conservancy programmes and that is Wards 29 and 30. The other four wards are the nucleus which form the Greater Chisumbanje, known for its rich black soils. The great place covers over 50 percent of Chipinge South, which I represent. The Great Chisumbanje is also known for its cotton growing like Gokwe. In the process, it has attracted cotton ginneries; one at our growth point Checheche, called Parogate Ginnery Company. The other ginnery is also in the nearby town Chiredzi. On average, a family used to produce more than 20 bales of cotton for cash at the same time growing maize and sorghum for food. In the Great Chisumbanje, we have co-existed with ARDA Chisumbanje, commonly known for its ethanol productionARDA Chisumbanje was using land leased from the Chipinge Rural District Council. ARDA has since been in a joint venture with Markdon Investments to farm 40 000 hectares of land, most of which is compulsorily being taken away from the local community.

Madam Speaker, there has been no proper consultation with the community leadership who include; local traditional leaders -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. Hon. members, can you please listen in silence, I am told the Hansard people cannot get what that hon. member is saying. Can you please keep quiet.

MR. MAKUYANA: Thank you Madam Speaker. There has been no proper consultation with the local community leadership who includes; local traditional leaders, councillors and Members of Parliament within the catchment area. This has created a confrontation where people's crops have been destroyed since 2008 to date. There is no transparent resolution from Chipinge Rural District Council over the land being grabbed from the local community by the new venture. In the absence of consultation, a committee purporting to represent the community has been created which includes Government workers, headed by a District Administrator, who do not actually represent the people's committee.

Madam Speaker, Chipinge South welcomes any kind of investment and appreciates industrial development in the area. There should have been a proper consultation for this project of a great magnitude, inclusive of all stakeholders and the local community, thus creating a win-win situation. Right now a few families within the community were compulsorily allocated 0.3 of a hectare, regardless of the fact that one family used to farm more than 10 hectares. This has left the local community with no food and their mode of survival destroyed. There is therefore urgent need to address the situation concerning the Chisumbanje land disputes so that meaningful production can be realized. The local community share on the investments must be clearly defined. A compensation mechanism needs to be put in place to address the loss of crop production and other critical issues. The environmental impact assessment should be done to avoid effluent from the plant which causes a health hazard to the local people and animals around the area.

The Government should always thoroughly scrutinize some of these deals which end up disadvantaging the communities and the country in terms of revenue. The CDF fund has helped my constituency in all my six wards. We have managed to built and finish our Parliamentary office at Checheche Growth Point. We also provided a mortuary at St. Peters Hospital, built a new teachers' house at Vheneka Primary School in ward 7, built a new classroom block for a new school at Chipote which needs to be finished now. In ward 28, Mabeye Secondary School students are still sharing classrooms with primary school children. I had managed to provide for the roofing materials for a block of classrooms which is under construction now using the CDF funds. The CDF funds have helped in painting Madhuku clinic in ward 24. In ward 29, I have provided all roofing materials for Chikono primary school, Chisuma secondary school and also provided benches for Makoho, Mashubi and Chikono schools.

Madam Speaker, I also appeal for more funds to be available for hon. members who are always in touch and on the ground to address critical problems and developments which need financial attention. Chipinge South urgently needs CDF funds to finish Chipoto and Mabeye Secondary Schools which are half done. Chipinge South is mostly Ndau and Shangani-speaking people constituency who are cultured, respectful and peaceful. Unfortunately, Chipinge South was not spared on the violence of 2008 during the June elections. We lost our loved ones and valuable property. They welcomed the Presidential Speech in which he shunned violence, but they still feel the President, since he is the Commander in Chief, can ask the uniformed forces to stick to their core business and be disciplined. They seem to be the source and protection of violence.

In conclusion, let me take this time to thank all hon. members for their support during my suspension from this august House. I also thank the people I represent from Chipinge South, I will religiously soldier on to execute the mandate they bestowed on me. Thank you Madam Speaker.

MR. DENGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to add my voice to the Presidential Speech. During his speech, the President Robert Mugabe spoke about peace. I would like to understand that the peace he was speaking about means violence from his party. The President, as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, has failed this country if he cannot contain or fear the people he appointed to office. People like Chihuri, Chiwenga and Brigadier Nyikayaramba who are causing lawlessness have lost their policy by joining a political party. The President and some of his Members of Parliament do not practice what they preach.

In Mudzi District, since 2000, there are 23 MDC activists who were murdered to date. Some of these violent acts involved Members of Parliament who are also sitting in this House. -[AN HON. MEMBER: Vataure tinzwe]-…it is being alleged that Hon. Newton Kachepa force-marched people to one of his meetings, where he denounced one of the MDC supporters at that meeting. He said in his own words, "pasi naBibiyana", of which Bibiyana was present at that meeting. At one of the meetings that we held with Hon. Kachepa as JOMIC, he apologised to that lady that for he was very sorry about the incident. It is also being alleged that the Member of Parliament was involved on July 17 …-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member. Can you move to the front because I cannot understand what you are saying. The hon. members are making a lot of noise.

*MR. DENGA: On July 17, just after the run-off, it is alleged that the Hon. Member was also involved in the murder of a ZRP Officer, Kingswell Muteta at Chimukoko business centre where the murder of Cephas Magura also happened. It is also alleged that in July again the hon. member also contributed to the death of Peter Butau at Vhombozi base. Dockets were opened but until to date Madam Speaker, no one has been arrested.

On the issue of Cephas Magura, I also phoned the hon. member and he said he was at the funeral. When I got there, no one was to tell me that he was present. He did not even pass his condolences to the bereaved family. As I speak Madam Speaker, I was phoned from Mudzi that people are being forced to contribute $2 per household towards the bail of the people who were arrested for the murder case. Madam Speaker, I think I have to end here. Thank you very much.

*MR. MADZORE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the leadership for preaching the message of peace in Zimbabwe. I would like to draw you back a little bit by informing you that in order for this country to be where we are today, I may go back to 1980 whereby people where united and fighting for the emancipation of this country. There were no freedom fighters that moved around with cash or beef. People in the rural areas, the povo, were responsible for feeding these people so that the country will go back to its rightful people the blacks. None betrayed their fellow people. Freedom fighters did not have forest lands where they would camouflage themselves in but they were accompanied by the elders, the mujibhas, the chimbwidos and the war collaborators at that time.

The war progressed and people of my age where young at that time but some of the elders and some of you who were there at that time were assured that there was unity of purpose amongst the people of Zimbabwe, for the success of the war of liberation. After that, we were emancipated and we had true African Leadership who were responsible for the welfare of the people and everybody was satisfied. We found that what was happening at that time was right and everything was okay. Now, we find that people are now comparing the black Government which is ruling today and the White Smith regime of that time. Some are saying during the Smith regime time, we were living very well because of the conditions prevailing at that time.

Madam Speaker, this country, we remember of the unity which was happening during the time of the liberation. When we think of the fighters at that time like Father Zimbabwe Nkomo, Father Muzenda and just to mention a few of these leaders of the struggle. These people were not tribalists or regionalists. When you look at the spirit that prevailed that time and when we think deeply, we may say that we are not supposed to spill out more blood in Zimbabwe.

In this country we have some people who do some things which some of us who are here are not aware of what will be happening in the country, especially the violence. We should follow what the leaders of this country are saying.

Let me look at the police force. When you say somebody has committed a crime, at the same time that person is arrested, you will find out that in a short time that person is free and is in the street. What is happening again now, there are people who are being deprived of their houses in this country. Why? Because their parents have died and the orphans are being chucked out by a group called Chipangano under the said leadership of ZANU PF.

We find out that when all these violent cases will be happening, the police officers will be watching and yet we know that whosoever is responsible for upholding the rule of law and order in the country are the police. We believe that when the laws are promulgated by this House, these are implemented by the police. Unfortunately, we have a partisan police force which is insulting a certain party. In this manner, our police force loses respect. If a member of ZANU PF has committed crime and a member of MDC has committed a crime, the policemen should look at the crime committed and not use a partisan eye to view that crime. We should all know that leadership is a process and will pass on and the country will be there forever. We find out that all of us when we die, the depth of the grave is three meters and we are all the same. Our wish is that our children will have a good health, education, walk in the country in peace.

In this country hon. members, we should be talking about progress in the country such as the widening of the streets and mending of the roads, children attending to good schools and getting good food. Unfortunately Madam Speaker, we have now gone back to the era whereby we are now fighting each other in a civil war. We have now put our country into the retrogressive reverse gear and as far as I am concerned, as Africans, we have failed to do our part. Yes, we may have a problem with people befriending each other across party lines, but if a country does not have friendship in its agenda, then there is a problem. When leaders talk of no violence in the country, we should definitely see no violence. They should walk their talk. You find the talk of people in this country is peace but when you go to Hwange, it is a different language. We expect the leadership to talk peace from the beginning to the end.

To conclude my speech, Madam Speaker, I would like to thank our leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party because he has given a semblance of peace in the country. May the Lord bless him and may he be patient. I know it is difficult for you to be patient with someone who happens to be against your ideas but I will ask him to be patient and lead us to our destiny. I thank you.

*MR. NEMADZIVA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the President, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe when he was talking about peace in the country. When we are talking about what happened in Buhera South, it was a really hard journey because we had a certain man by the name Joseph Chinotimba. As we speak, I am talking about those people who died during the elections of 2008. I am talking of the death of Nyoka Chokuse Mupango who died on the 18 th of June and his body was paraded, led by Chinotimba, saying that his party is that of murderers. On the 3rd of July, Dickson Sibamba died, killed by ZANU-PF. During that period, we stayed in the forests because of fear. We thought that the war was over but we are now faced with a new war. During the war, parents were supporting the war through cattle and goats but in 2008, people's stock, cattle, sheep and goats were eaten and no payment was made. Some people were maimed and injured. In Manicaland, Buhera South had the worst cases of violence. People were murdered. Some of them were injured in such a way that they did not live because they are still dying today because of Chinotimba. He is the one being sent to perpetrate these cases of violence. This is what was happening in areas where he was contesting for Parliamentary elections and losing. He continued losing despite the fact that he had moved from the urban areas to the rural areas. We found out that in some areas, he was giving people shoes and other goods so that they may vote for him and when he lost out, he went back to those constituencies and beat up all those people for receiving his goods and yet did not vote for him into the House.

We came into Parliament because people voted grudgingly because they had felt the pains of being assaulted during the elections. We know that whenever you commit a crime, it is not over until justice has been taken and people are wondering when justice will prevail.

Buhera is in region 5. It is a dry land. It needs assistance through irrigation projects. We have Dewure Irrigation scheme which is crawling and not progressing as it is supposed to be. We need an irrigation scheme where we have people who have been using that area and we have over 365 farmers in the area. The problem faced by these people is that since dollarisation, electricity was switched off, water was cut off and up to today, they are not able to carry out their irrigation programmes. They are expecting the ministry to honour its promise that they will give them US$250 000 to resuscitate this farming project. They are also looking forward to getting their electric motor which was taken from Bonda Irrigation Scheme. This was taken for repairs. They were told that the motor was going to be repaired but to date, they have not been given back their machine and their belief is that this was taken to other resettlement areas.

In Buhera South, we also have a problem with the roads. The biggest problem being the Murambinda Birchenough Bridge. This is a high way. It is a dust road which is 90 kilometres long. This road had been nick named because people were not using the road properly but using the sides of the road and they were calling the Kangai because during that period, Kangai was the Member of Parliament of that area and they say that he was neglecting the area and the road is now being called the Kangai because of its bad shape.

We also have a problem with one of the biggest bridges in the country, if not in the world, Birchenough Bridge along the Save River. This is one of the bridges which is one of the best monuments in the country of Zimbabwe. It was one of the tourist attractions. We had tourists coming from all over the world to view this bridge. It is a magnificent suspension bridge but as we speak today, it is now a pain to the travelers because when crossing this bridge, you have to do it with caution. Buses have to reduce weight through disembarking their passengers. Those going to South Africa from Mutare are not able to use that road because of the weight limit on the bridge. We appeal to the Ministers of Transport and Tourism to re-visit this bridge, refurbish it, re engineer it and bring it back to its past glory.

The other problem in the Buhera South region, which is region 5, a rainless area, is hunger. We are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture led by Hon. Made, please assist this place. People are starving. They were not able to harvest anything of significance. There is starvation. We are neighbours with Bikita East Constituency where we have the Save Conservancy. Now, the problem we have in Birchenough is that in the Save Conservancy, we have wild game which includes the lions but these lions have since gone out of the conservancy into the areas reserved for people feeding on cattle, sheep and goats. These animals are now killing the cattle belonging to the farmers. Presently the lions are eating cattle but in the long run they will be eating human beings. In Buhera South we had a very big task which we performed regarding the use of CDF. We built a bridge which links Murambinda and Mutiusinazita. We built a big tank in Ward 29, we roofed two schools and also supplied school furniture to schools and this is great work which should receive accolades from us. This is what the constituencies expect. All the people are appealing to the Government and Minister Matinenga to increase the funds allocated to the CDF. Hon. members, if you want to see progress done using the CDF please come to the Buhera constituency. Thank you Madam Speaker.

MRS. CHITIMA : Thank you Mr. Speaker. -[Very loud interjections, laughter and clapping of hands]-

*MRS. ZINYEMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, Hon. MPs in this House are abusing women.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Zinyemba, I thought Hon. Members were thrilled by the sight of Hon. Chitima standing up and they are eager to listen to what she is going to say. So, let her proceed.

MRS. CHITIMA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Zinyemba, you were once part of the Speaker's panel and when a speaker makes a ruling he will have made a ruling. You do not contest the Speaker's ruling so, can hon. members listen to Hon. Chitima in silence.

MRS. CHITIMA: I have stood up to make my contribution on violence. My view is that violence starts in this Hon. House. Violence does not mean just fighting outside but what we are now doing, lack of respect for each other is violence. We are violating each other's rights.

When talking of violence you find that people say ZANU PF or MDC is a murderer but in my area people were murdered by the MDC. Please listen to me and if you want to contest what I am saying please debate. Even as we speak today, violence is being perpetrated by MDC. People in Chipinge are disciplined. We are the Ndaus and when we are in this august House, we are very respectful of this House and we maintain our peace. Hon. members, you talk of peace but we are not walking our talk because whenever one of us is making a contribution we are interrupting. The only way of rectifying what you do not agree with is to make your contribution.

Our leaders said there should be no violence and in Chipinge we listen to that and there is no violence. May I appeal to MDCs, you also contribute to this violence because you provoke whenever there is a ZANU PF gathering. You find that you get to a place where twenty-five MDCs provoke 500 members of ZANU PF and obviously you will be beaten up. Listen, we are being taught by our leader, Cde. Mugabe that we should shun violence and be a united people working for the development of Zimbabwe. I heard one of the speakers saying when the freedom fighters were fighting, they did not carry their mealie meal or sand but they were getting support from the parents, mujibhas and chimbwidos and there was progress. Currently we are turning all this upside down -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Listen, may you please listen hon. members.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am sure you are all enjoying what Hon. Chitima is saying. She has discussed what is happening on both sides of the party so my appeal to you is to please listen to what she has to say. We have journalists in his House, who are supposed to register what is happening in this House so that the whole world knows what is going on in the debate in this House.

MRS. CHITIMA: Thank you very much. Let us listen to what our leaders are saying in both parties. I know if we listen to our leaders on the issue of peace you will find out that we will live in peace. We are in Chipinge Central which is a town and we have councilors who are from MDC. These people have destroyed Chipinge because of the projects that they are failing to undertake. They are allocating stands in places which are not supposed to be built because the councilors want money. Even the towns have very bad roads and the car which I have cannot travel in the streets of Chipinge because of the poor state of the roads. This is bad for all of us and my wish was to tell Hon. Chombo, if he was present about the problems we are facing in Chipinge. In the show grounds where people should be making investments for development, there is nothing which is developing to make the country progress. CDF funds, many people have used the funds to enhance themselves. When I was given the CDF funds, I bought grinding mills in six wards. In the other areas, I roofed classrooms, I painted 22 classroom blocks, I have done so many things using the CDF and I am sure if my papers of what I did with this money are to be presented in this House, you find that I was the best person to use this money wisely. My appeal is that we must be given more money so that we develop our constituencies. We do not believe in councillors who destroy the constituencies they belong to. I thank you.

*MR. MLAMBO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I do want to repeat what was said by the previous speakers. I want to dwell on the rule of law, our problem in this country is that we have people who commit crimes, especially our colleagues in the ZANU PF and they are not arrested. They are hon. members in this House like Hon. Mudavanhu, Hon. Mlambo, Hon. Matinenga, Hon. Mangoma, Hon. Karenyi, Hon. Nyamudeza, Hon. Mushonga, Hon. Mwonzora, Hon. Chibaya and many others, who were arrested and taken to court when they did not commit any crime. Half of these MDC legislators who were taken to court were found innocent and yet we have people who killed innocent people who are walking scot free today. I was arrested because they were people who were fighting some kilometers away from my constituency and I was not even there but when I was taken to court, I was found not guilty.

People who commit crimes must be taken to court, regardless of their political affiliation. ZANU PF supporters are not taken to court when they commit crimes and yet we have MDC activists who were arrested and spend almost a year in custody and they are not being released. The Police General Commissioner, Mr. Chihuri and Attorney General, Mr. Tomana must be relieved of office because they are partisan. I know in this country people do not like violence but my belief is that the people who are encouraging violence and want this violence are Mr. Tomana and Mr. Chihuri. I plead with His Excellency to talk to these two, that people should be arrested for committing crimes. The previous speaker talked about Chipinge, we love each other, we are quiet and there is no fighting but our people were killed before 27 June 2008 by ZANU PF activists. As we talk of elections, we know that there are going to be bases of torture. In this country, if we want to end violence, let us not instruct our supporters to be violent. Members of Parliament took an oath to be patriotic Zimbabweans and to maintain peace and these people should have been arrested when these crimes were committed. In our case, when we were allegedly assumed to be doing wrong, we were arrested there and there.

These people from ZANU PF should also be arrested for the crimes they committed. I thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir.

*MRS. CHADEROPA: I thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to make my contribution on violence. May I address my colleagues in this House. When we are doing what we are doing now, what are we going to teach the new generation. The Shona have this saying 'how can a crab teach its siblings to walk straight when it walks sideways'. How can you teach your children to live a straight life when you are living a crooked life. As I stand here, I am just like your mother so you must listen to me whilst I deliver this speech on violence. The President sends out a very good message and preached a message of peace. In my constituency, three houses were burnt.

You say police only arrest MDC cadres and not ZANU PF cadres, in my constituency you find that MDC supporters attacked ZANU PF supporters and burnt their homes and these people travelled long distances to go and fight these people. The people who were attacked went to report and the perpetrators of violence were arrested. We also have a man called Edziwa in my constituency, he is an MDC supporter, and he comes home armed with a gun. How can youngsters or the future generation shun violence when we are promoting violence in this House? It is our responsibility to teach our youth good behavior and to say no to violence. ZANU PF is not a party which is violent and to my surprise, people from the MDC party have no respect for leadership, even if the Prime Minister, Mr. Tsvangirai is in the House, you also talk your language of violence, you do not respect him. Let us respect our Prime Minister, and let us respect our President. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker, vanodaidzira order for so many times but MDC hainyarari. If we do not do that, there will not be any progress in the country because all we will be doing will be mudslinging. What we should be talking about is development. How can we develop our country when people are importing guns and catapults. Please let us shun violence. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Again, we do not respect the Chair, he is always calling for order. Please, as a mother, I plead with you, when you come into this august House, do not drink beer, do not speak under the influence of drugs. - [MR. MWONZORA: Dzimira mbuya microphone]-

MS. A. NDHLOVU: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, the COPAC co-Chair ati dzimira mbuya and that is unparliamentary -[laughter]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. members, whilst we recognise that Hon. Chaderopa might be in that age of our grandmothers, when she is here, she is an hon. member.

*MR. MUSUMBU: I would like to add a few words into this debate on violence in the country. My observation is that, this is an august House and when we look at the recent happenings in Mudzi, this is a very unfortunate incident. Violence originates from the leadership. We know President Mugabe is the leader of this country and he is also the Commander in Chief of the Security Forces, but you hear him asking people to shun violence. Hon. Kachepa is a very respectable member and Hon. Katsande is a very hon. member. ZANU PF as an organization, has been in politics for quite a long time. We have people who are sitting in the Speaker's Gallery, it is a shame on us as people who are making laws for this country and yet we are instigating violence because we get commands from the people who instigate violence.

When I look at ZANU PF, it is a party which has been in politics for quite a long time. It should be a disciplined party which has people who are responsible for fire fighting and giving guidance to the country and party cadres so that we do not have people like Cde. Kachepa and Hon. Katsande who are being blamed for instigating violence in their constituencies. These people should be given guidance. I do not think it is worthwhile for us to be sitting in this House with Hon. Kachepa and Hon. Katsande and yet they were leaders in perpetrating violence in their constituencies.

The police should have arrested these people like they do when they arrest people from MDC. I would also like to plead with the President that when somebody who has not committed a crime is arrested, that is violence. You find that you are arrested and yet you have not committed any crime. There are some people who have been in custody for quite a long time and yet they have not committed a crime. When they are taken to the courts for trial, they are found not guilty. Who is going to compensate them for the time they have been in custody? Therefore, my plea is, when the President is talking about violence, he should not talk about the physical assault on individuals but violence is in many forms such as psychological violence. May I plead with this House that we should have no murderers in this House. I shudder to think what will happen when elections are called for because I wonder how many people will die through political violence. Hon. Katsande and Hon. Kachepa, please respect your leader, he is speaking against violence and therefore please preach peace. You find that when you are talking about the truth of what is happening in the country, there are some people who will be shouting you down.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, as MPs, we should not be unnecessarily defensive especially when something bad is happening regardless of which party we belong to, whether MDC-T, MDC Mutambara or ZANU PF. Let us not be defensive, let us accept the truth. If something is wrong, let us be able to say it is wrong. Respect should start from this august House and then go to the constituencies.

*MR. MACHACHA: I would like to thank you for affording me this time to make my contribution to this debate. I would like to thank President Mugabe for preaching about peace in the country. The President said, no violence, no violence, no violence, three times, such emphasis, but to my surprise, this is what the leader is saying but the followers are acting exactly in the opposite way. As a father, if you tell your children to avoid stealing other people's property and yet they go out and steal, it means they have no respect for their father. MPs are elected by the people and for us to turn around and kill the same people who voted us into office, who are you going to represent if you kill the people? I salute the ZANU PF party for liberating us during the liberation war but to my surprise, the same party which liberated us is now going back to do what it was against. It is now killing us. We are talking of a person who was killed in Mudzi, we are talking of violence which occurred in Mudzi Constituency, it is a sad story. I come from Kariba, this is a place where there are peace loving people but what is happening there is really shamefully and regrettable. Members of the CIO, majors from the army, are now moving around with cars in the constituencies. They are given fuel to move around the constituency to intimidate the Tonga people in their villages. In 2008, in that constituency, some people were killed but His Excellency said no to violence. It pains me and it also surprises me as to what is happening. In Musambakaruma, Negande, Mola, Siyakobvu, the violence I am talking about is happening as I speak now and this shows that the people have no respect for what the leader of the country is saying when he said no to violence. It surprises me whether the President was telling the truth when he appealed for peace because his own supporters are the same people who are perpetrating violence in the constituencies.

In Kariba Mr. Speaker Sir, some innocent people were killed. We had Mr. Kanyurira, he died from violence and as I speak now, his wife is a widow. Of course at the time we may say there should be some peace, we find that during the Christmas period which has just passed, this widow was not supported by anybody during that festive period. Yet, you find people who are in this House who were elected by the people, inciting violence, what a surprise.

We had a lady, Beauty Marufu. She is dead. She was murdered. We had Kanzara, he is dead and he was murdered through violence perpetrated by ZANU PF. We have some of these people who used to do violence who are in this august House and this is quite a sad affair. When we are talking of somebody's death and have some people who are shouting, it shows that these people are lacking psychologically. It is quite a painful experience. As we speak, these people who murdered the people I have told you of, are walking scot free. They have not been arrested and even in the Christmas period, these people were enjoying themselves and their families, yet the people whose family members were murdered, were in problems and their children may not even be going to school.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the avenging spirit, let me bring it up clearly. The avenging spirit will attack those people who killed those members, who killed the innocent people. We have orphans, we have the maimed people and they are existing. They received all this through violence. We thought when His Excellency was saying no to violence, our colleagues from the other party will change their ways of living and live peacefully with their neighbours and shun violence. Unfortunately, we have new cases of violence arising. We have had deaths at various places and the unfortunate thing is that these people takers of violence are not arrested. So when will we get peace when we find that at a time where they should live in peace, there are people who are starting cases of violence and the people who are perpetrating this violence, are the leaders who are under the leadership of the President's party?

Mr. Speaker, violence is retarding progress in the country because some of these people who are being murdered are parents. They are farmers, they are leaders, they are uncles and they are councilors who give developmental ideas to the people in their areas. Mr. Speaker Sir, I see a bleak future if things continue in this area. You find that in this area when you are moving around, you are constructing and what you are constructing somebody is coming behind you and with a sharpened hammer destroying what you had been constructing.

I know hon. members, we come from different political parties but when we are in this august House, let us work in unison. Let us work for the development of the country because if we continue with this violence, we are not going anywhere. There is no progress in the country. I sympathize with the families who lost people during the violence especially this past week in the political violence and I say, may their souls rest in peace. Thank you.

*MR. MARIMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the President of the nation because of his address to this august House. In the address, the President said, no to violence. Unfortunately we have a problem in that we have a speech which is double headed whereby he is indicating that he is turning right and yet he is going to the left because he seemed to be saying, I am speaking peace in this House and yet when it goes to his people, you find that they are doing the exact opposite.

The President who talked of peace in this country is the same man who said in one gathering, "we have a degree in violence" and yet now he is saying we do not want a degree, we do not want violence in Zimbabwe. In 1983 immediately after independence, the President alighted from the plane and he said, "I will descend and land from above with a hammer" and in this country he is saying no to violence.

In 2008, the President delivered his speech in Hwange, Kariba and Victoria Falls. He said, 'go and strike fear in the hearts of the enemy' and what that meant is that whenever you have a misunderstanding between two people, settle if physically and yet this is the same man who is saying no to violence in this country. I remember in 2008 when he was talking of a fist fight. He was saying you look at me and that is when he showed us his degree that he earned in violence and that is why whenever he talks of peace, his people from ZANU PF do not listen to him.

I talk of Bikita when we were talking about Mines and Energy in Bikita and I was talking to Hon. Katsande that there were some people who put iron in their nostrils and she was surprised by that kind of violence. What surprises me is that the same person, who was surprised by the violence of putting hot iron in someone's nostrils, is the one who is now leading violence. We had Richard Chatunga and Richard Maphosa who had a red hot iron being pushed in their nostrils. So can you imagine somebody putting a very hot iron into the fire and when it is red hot, he inserts it into somebody's nostrils.

Mr. Madondo was murdered. Mr. Makombo was also murdered. He was assisting in vetting process. Villages in Ward 17 were burnt down. I had beds which were burnt down by the soldiers and I remember talking about it and I was saying violence is there. I went to 4.1 battalion and I found that they had been taken by the soldiers at the 4.1 infantry battalion. When I talked about that, I was told that my case was being examined by the Government of National Unity. I went to my house. I could not stay in that house because my house had been burnt. When the leader of the country is now talking of no violence, I wonder whether that is really genuine or he speaks in tongues. At one time he says no violence and on the other side, he encourages his party supporters to perpetrate violence. I remember that I was nearly arrested in Parliament. Is it not violence when somebody is arrested in this Parliament building. Now what does it mean when an Army or a gun which was used to fight an enemy is now used to fight your own people.

When violence was perpetrated in Bikita East, this was not perpetrated by the youngsters or the youths, but soldiers from the National Army. It is a pity because I also had discussions with these people and you also find that there were soldiers who came back to me and they told me that they had been sent to do that and they also gave me names of those people who had carried out things from my properties. That is why I was able to go to 4(1) Infantry Battalion because I was told that this is where I might find my property.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is quite painful when people are not walking their talk. When you are a Minister of Religion and you are speaking to the people telling the truth of the commandments, 'do not steal', and yet you go and steal, what does it mean? When you are a leader of the country and you tell people that you have a degree in violence and you say 'no to violence' and yet people continue committing violence, where do you say the problem is emanating from? That is obvious. That is the problem we have as a country in that we have leaders who speak in forked tongues. If you are driving a car, you indicate that you would want to turn to the right and yet physically you turn left. Therefore, when they speak of peace, I would like them to lead by leadership so that we see that the soldiers are really following what the leader, the Commander in Chief has said.

What we know is that when you want people to vote for you, please persuade them, but not to take your car to go and persuade people to perpetrate violence. Mr. Speaker Sir, that is the problem we have, we have to walk the talk. What was said by the President - violence is still continuing. Last week, I went to the police with a man called Madhara, who had been stabbed on the arm by DCC officers. Unfortunately, these people have not been arrested. We have even appealed to JOMIC that this case be rectified. What we now know is that when our leaders are speaking, they have two meanings which are attached to their speeches. In this august House, I say let us appeal to the leaders to speak the language of peace. They should walk their talk and they should also lead their people into a non-violence politicking system. I also say to the people who have died, may their souls rest in peace.

*MRS MATIENGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on violence. Before I discuss Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to introduce myself. I am an hon. member for Sunningdale Constituency which is in Harare. This is why the constituencies, geographically, we have Ward 10 and Ward 12, Ward 10 Sunningdale and Ward 12 is in Mbare. This shows that this area was deliberately demarcated. I also see these demarcations as violence because you find that this Constituency is divided in such a way that Mbare is able to stand on its own as a constituency and you find that when this demarcation was carried out, there was an idea behind it.

I have listened to the contributors in this House on violence. Violence is painful, the problem is just that we are not able to see what is going on and we know there is a strategy which has been done on violence. People have made up their minds that they can only succeed by using violence and I remember when the President was talking of peace in this House, just that very day, at that very time, people were being beaten outside, nobody came out of this House to go and stop the violence which was outside. They had come to listen to what was being said in this House but they were being beaten. We also know that people were beaten in this august House and the people who perpetrated that violence were not arrested. You find that when these people go to their constituencies, they are not able to progress without spitting blood. Therefore, when they get to their constituencies, you find that they want to continue doing what they want to live on. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is very painful. As I am saying this, in April, I wanted to do a rally in Mbare, so that I may address my constituents. I followed the proper channels, went to the police and I was given the permission to have that rally and yet on Friday night, when we were going to have a rally on Saturday, the activists were followed up on Friday night and arrested. As we wanted to go to the venue we had some people who came and one of the people who came was Jim Kunaka. I know him personally because I grew up in Mbare. I told my people to maintain their peace because this was provocation and then another pick-up truck came again full of people and I told my people to maintain peace. These people were spying to see how many people had come to the rally. A few people had come to see where the tents and the PA system were going to be placed. What happened is that when Jim Kunaka saw that there were few people - he went to hire people at the shops and provided transport. When he saw that violence was about to happen, he went to report at the Pro Active Action to report to the police. Unfortunately, we have partisan police. The people who perpetrated that violence, came from the maize field and they attacked people. Somebody had a broken jaw, they stole our tent and I know the person who stole that tent. When I went to complain to the police, they wanted to harass me but I told them my piece of mind and therefore they had to let me go. We then took our people who had been injured for medical attention.

Yes, I know, the President spoke about shunning violence but violence is still going on. What pains me is that when you go and report to the police, they do not do anything. What is very painful is that some of these policemen belong to the ZANU PF because you find that after removing the police uniform, they go and put on their party uniform. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, what is happening in my Mbare Constituency - we have these people who hold their meetings on the roads, and I said to the police when you see MDC supporters in groups of three or four, you come and arrest them but we have ZANU PF who are holding their political rallies at the shopping centers and when I told them they said they would come and examine since there is that situation. Unfortunately, they did not come because I waited for them to come and I found out that there was nothing happening. What is happening now is the people are now fighting against each other as ZANU PF supporters. That is why they seem to be busy because they are fighting each other.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there is Honourable Hove and that is why there is a strategy which has been put in place and it is a strategy of violence. Honourable Hove, when he wanted to hold a rally he informed the police and was given the permission but people were beaten from Friday evening on to Saturday. The policemen did nothing about that and unfortunately, whosoever went to report that there is violence being perpetrated at a rally, were the people who were arrested.

In fact there are people who have a problem, the people who have come to make violence, even in Parliament, they did something and in Sunningdale they did something. We have started working on a playing ground in Mbare but these people have come to disrupt our progress. Therefore what does it mean? Please Mr. Shamu, let us work for the progress of Mbare, if you remember me we once worked together for the progress of Mbare. Mbare has a problem, Mr. Speaker Sir - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - I am still contributing please do not disturb me. Violence in Mbare does not end because all the areas which were supposed to be council areas are now being taken over by the youths.

We also find out that there are places like the Charter House; you will find that it has been taken over by the youths. The Charter House has been taken over by the people who come and use that place as a base for assaulting people. Some people are being assaulted at Bata and at Stoddart Hall. These are places of violence whereby people are taken to that area and assaulted. Therefore, when these people are perpetrating violence, people are running back to MDC running away from that.

You will also find out that in areas where people are holding their market stalls like in Mupedzanhamo, these people are being harassed because there are so many meetings held over and over. People are not happy because these meetings are too many. They are meant to be making money through and indigenisation progress, but they are being harassed with too many meetings. What ZANU PF is doing is that it is campaigning for MDC.

Mr. Speaker Sir, may I please appeal to ZANU PF, we know there are some of you who are doing this but there are some of you who can defend these things. We appeal to you leaders of ZANU PF to please listen to what we are saying. Go and examine what is happening in those areas because these people are perpetrating violence and you are not aware of it. What we need is a free and fair election. Check what happened in 2008, elections were peaceful and we all enjoyed that process and we won. After winning that is when you started violence because you were afraid that we were going to disturb you and expose all the corrupt activities which were being done.

Again you will find out that we had more people who died in the 2008 re-run than those who died in the war of liberation. On the re-run, they killed many people. Can you imagine cutting somebody's hand, either long sleeve or short sleeve, how would you feel if it was your relative who had his hand cut. In Mhondoro there was a lady who had both hands and legs cut thrown into a burning house. We are not lying, we are telling the truth.

Therefore as legislators let us not encourage violence in this country. Look at how we have destroyed our own wealth in this country through violence. We have liberated our country but we are failing to develop it because of violence. Please let us share the wealth of this country. Zimbabwe is a country of milk and honey but we cannot develop our country because we are greedy. We do not want to share the property we have.

When we talk of Mudzi, I was there at the funeral and I was not surprised to find out that Hon. Kachepa is accused of violence. During the Constitution Hon. Kachepa did what was most surprising. During the night he would go and mobilise people at the venue where we would hold the constitutional hearing. Especially at Chimukoko, you would find people gathered there. When we tried talking to the people, nobody contributed and we asked them what they were doing. They said they could not say anything. One lady was brave enough to stand up and said, 'Hon. Kachepa came to us and addressed us and said if you make any contribution to the constitutional people we are going to fix you'. So these people told us the truth of what was being done by Hon. Kachepa.

Mr. Kachepa was pointed out straight during his presence and there was no dilly dallying because these people said he had addressed them during the evening telling them not to cooperate with the constitution making process. Hon. Kachepa is in the habit of inciting violence wherever he is.

At some time again during the constitution process, we had 1000 people who had gathered at the venue. We had people who were washing their clothes in those areas and we asked why people were washing their clothes at the venue for the constitution process, we asked them why they have done that. They told us that they had been forcibly driven to the venue of constitution meeting by the people being supported by Hon. Kachepa. Hon. Kachepa is a violent person and I wonder whether the President and the ZANU PF Party is aware of what is going on.

We are also aware of what is happening at Mbare Msika. There are people who are protected by these people and they also hide under a group of youths who are Chipangano. These are people who are terrorizing people in the Mbare area. When we are talking we are pleading, we are asking, we are begging for peace in the country. We need peace in the country. We need to hold free and fair election. You have to ask for support, beg for support from the electorate so that they vote for you.

Is the President aware that his supporters are perpetrating violence? He needs to know because he is preaching a no violence gospel but his followers are also perpetrating violence. So, it seems as whilst he is talking about peace, on the other hand he is saying behind people's back people should go and perpetrate violence and hit their neighbours from the opposition. We are surprised that when the President preaches peace, that is when violence increase, so you have to bear with what you are saying. Let us not defend what is being said in this august House by denying that there is violence. Violence is there, we should support our country. Our families need to live a good life and they can only live a good life when there is peace in the country.

The people in this House are always talking about sanctions here. To tell the truth sanctions have not destroyed the country but these people grabbed land whereby they can not use it. Then they are saying they are not being given money for farming yet there were farmers who were given money to do their farming and they were not able to use that farm viably. Now they are always crying annually that they want to get financial support from the Government. You will find that this Minister is always in the Cabinet when they talk of the Budget of the country.

*MR. MANDEBVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have a few words that I want to say….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mandebvu, you have debated this motion before. You debated this motion in September 2011. This is not a new motion, it is still the same Presidential Speech and you debated. Can you please take your seat?

*MR. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have seen it fit for me to say a few words on the debate that is in the House concerning violence. I want to appreciate that the Head of State and Government Comrade Mugabe saw it fit and necessary, and fair that in his speech he condemns violence.

In this country we have three arms of government, which are, the executive - which is the government, we have the judiciary - who deal with judicial issues and us the legislators who do the legislative function. Yes Mr. Speaker, the issue of Hon. Kachepa and Katsande is being debated since Tuesday and their names have become part of this debate. My plea is that the law takes its course. We should give the police time to investigate even if we have heard or seen. We should give the judiciary the opportunity to do their job. If we want to be the police and give a ruling to this issue, I do not think it will benefit any of us.

Mr. Speaker, I need protection because someone is saying I want to remove his trousers.

Another issue that I want to talk about Mr. Speaker is that we have three parties which are ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M here in Parliament - the issue at hand is that we do not want to face the truth. If you see children misbehaving - as I see it, all the parties should do an inspection and say out the truth. In MDC, we always hear of violence at rallies. Some of us who do not want violence always hear from the courts. Yes we heard about others who were beaten by their party members, but the funny thing is that you will always exonerate yourself from violence.

In my view, the issue of violence that is happening is a problem because no party is giving a solution. We actually represent ourselves. My colleagues in MDC, yes you are pained by the death of this comrade, but we should look at what really took place so that we can be prepared. We may not accept this but whenever violence takes place, there is always the provoker. So that is what happened between the ZANU PF and the MDC that is not being said in this House that we need to know. What exactly took place Mr. Speaker to the extent that people ended up murdering each other? There is talk that there were motor vehicles such as Hon. Katsande's - this is all here-say. To cut a long story short, we should give the police an opportunity to investigate.

I was born amongst people. What is happening is that hon. members do not want to listen, if you do not listen to others, who will listen to you? Some of them have come of age but what they do in this House is embarrassing. Mr. Speaker, you have a lot of work ahead of you. I think we need a workshop because we need to give each other an opportunity to listen to our view and look at the issue seriously as Members of Parliament. How we can approach this issue of violence? We need to find out why violence has taken place and for it to take place who provoked the other.

I want to end up by saying that violence is bad. It does not matter who has perpetrated it - violence is bad. I think we should start by looking at ourselves and we should begin by praying. No one prays for you - you must pray for yourself. It is your works that gets you to heaven. What we are doing as the people of ZANU PF or MDC is showing that we are failing. Let us solve these issues and stop provoking each other and murdering each other so that we can be respectable in society.

*MR. DZINGIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity that you have given me. I was listening to all the hon. members who have spoken about violence. You said a lot but you are not doing any action, you should go into the streets and march as hon. members and condemn violence. You are not saying anything about protecting journalists who are more susceptible to violence. I want to urge all of you that you should not confine violence to rallies. I urge this House that we should be able to leave in peace and know that everyone has a right to choose the party and friends that he wants.

We should organise a march against violence as we did against corruption. JOMIC should be tasked to look for resources such as T-Shirts or shirts to show that we are working together. JOMIC is not doing enough, so we must assist them as hon. members. If you look at the outreach programme, we did much better than JOMIC because we mobilised people and they sat together and said out their views. Hon. members have a greater task than JOMIC and we need the unity that we witnessed during the consultative process. We should know that we have differing views, if we have joint rallies, it will be good. I heard that the President and the Prime Minister will hold a joint rally; it has taken time to take place. We should also have such rallies taking place. If Hon. Chitando holds a rally, I should not have fear of going there, but I should go there to learn and show people that we are working together. When you learn, you go back and teach those from your party whether you are ZANU PF or MDC. I am sorry that the other party uses violence as a weapon used by ZANU PF but ZANU PF does not want violence. That is why you saw the President condemning violence. Let us not divide ourselves in this august House. If you say that we want violence on this side and you on the opposite side do not want violence, it seems as if you are saying you are right. Let us join forces, MDC-T, MDC and ZANU PF and denounce violence collectively, that is what we need. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. MUSHONGA: Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

MR. MATONGA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 12th June, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MR. MUSHONGA: I move that Order of the Day, Number 6 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.

MR. MATONGA : I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MEDIA, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE STATE OF PUBLIC MEDIA IN ZIMBABWE.

MR. CHIKWINYA: I move the motion standing in my name:

That this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology on the State of Public Media in Zimbabwe.

MR. MAKUYANA: I second.

MR. CHIKWINYA: The committee received oral evidence sessions. The committee members are as follows;

Hon. Baloyi A

Hon. Chaderopa F

Hon. Jembere E

Hon. Mandebvu N. T

Hon. Matonga B

Hon. Muchauraya P

Hon Mudarikwa S

Hon. Mudiwa

Hon. Musumbu E

Hon. Mutseyami P

Hon. Moyo S

Hon. Varandeni J

Hon. Shoko H

Hon. Sibanda C. C

Hon Ziyambi Z. Z

Hon. Moyo S to be Chairperson

1. INTRODUCTION

1.2 Objectives

(a) To appreciate the operations of Public Media organizations and assess their preparedness in view of the anticipated opening up of the media.

(b) To appreciate challenges faced by public media institutions in fulfilling their mandate;

(c) To find out what the expectations of the stakeholders and the public in general were with regard to the operations of the public media institutions vis-à-vis their mandates;

(d) To find out the views and recommendations of media stakeholders on the legal operating environment; and

(e) To recommend action for improved services by the public media to the relevant authorities.

2. METHODOLOGY

In undertaking this enquiry the Committee adopted the following methodology:

2.1 Oral Evidence Sessions.

The Committee held oral evidence sessions with the following public media institutions:

Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Transmedia, and Zimpapers. The purpose of the oral evidence sessions was to get an overview of the operations by the parent Ministry and the various entities under its administration. The Committee received further oral evidence from the Zimbabwe Association of Editors, Zimbabwe National Editor's Forum and Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe on the media operating legal environment. The Committee also received oral evidence from Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) on its operations and challenges being faced.

2.2 Tour of ZBC studios and Zimpapers

The Committee conducted some tours to ZBC studios at Pockets Hills in Harare, Gweru studios and Montrose studios in Bulawayo. Tours were also conducted at Zimpapers, The Herald House in Harare and The Chronicles in Bulawayo. The tours were meant to get a practical appreciation of the state of the equipment and the challenges faced by these public media institutions in carrying out their mandate. During the tours, the Committee had the opportunity to meet workers representatives and get their views on the operations of their institutions.

2.3 Workshops on the Review of Media Laws

In anticipation of the media law reforms in line with the pronouncements made in the Global Political Agreement, MISA-Zimbabwe and UNESCO organised separate workshop meant to bring to the attention of the Committee the concerns of the media fraternity on the various pieces of legislation regulating the media industry namely: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Broadcasting Services Act (BAZ), the Constitution Amendment No. 19 of 2009 which establishes the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialization) Act of 2001. The workshops brought together the various media interests groups in the media fraternity as resource persons and made enriching presentation to the Committee.

2.4 Public Hearings

The Committee held two public hearings, one in Harare and the other one in Bulawayo on the state of the public media. The one in Gweru flopped due to no-show as a result of ineffective means of informing the public. The Committee had relied on flighting a public notice in the Chronicle Newspaper which enjoys a very limited circulation in the area. The public hearings gave members of the public an opportunity to air their views on the operations by public media institutions and what their expectations were.

2.5 Fact Finding Visit to South Africa;

The Committee conducted a fact finding visit to South Africa which was sponsored by MISA-Zimbabwe and it was represented by five hon. members. The study visit was meant to acquaint the Committee with the management of South Africa's media regulatory bodies and share experiences on the implementation of regional and international media instruments. The Committee interacted with the Press Council of South Africa, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Portfolio Committee on Communications in South Africa.

3. FINDINGS BY THE COMMITTEE

3.1 THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE

(BAZ)

The Committee received oral evidence from Mr. Muganyura, the Chief Executive Officer on the establishment of BAZ and its operations. Below were the findings of the Committee

3.1.1 The Establishment of BAZ and its Mandate

BAZ is a statutory body established in terms of section three of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06] to licence and regulate the provisions of broadcasting services in the country. According to the First Schedule of the Act, the Posts and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) "shall allocate all frequencies for the purposes of broadcasting services to the [Broadcasting] Authority for planning and licensing, and the Broadcasting Authority shall manage and allocate the frequencies for all broadcasting systems or services in Zimbabwe". BAZ has the responsibility "to plan and advise on the allocation and distribution of the available frequency spectrum and "to receive, evaluate and consider applications for the issue of any broadcasting licence or signal carrier licence". There are two categories; the broadcasting services licence which is issued to a person who is responsible for programmes that are broadcast and received by the general public. Currently the sole license holder for this class of licenses is the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. The second one is the signal carrier licence issued to a person who operates signal transmission stations for the purpose of transmitting broadcasting services and currently Transmedia formerly a department under ZBC has this kind of license.

3.1.2 The Structure of BAZ

The Committee was informed by the Chief Executive Officer of BAZ that the Authority is led by a Board that is appointed by the President in consultation with the Minister and the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders Committee. At the time of hearing in July 2009 such a Board was not instituted after the previous one was dissolved with the enactment of the Broadcasting Services Amendment Act of 2007. Therefore, the Authority has been operating without a Board since February 2008 up to October 2009 when the Board was appointed. Below the Board, is the Management that is headed by the Chief Executive Officer, then four directors heading technical department, content compliance department, legal department and the finance and administration department. The full establishment of the Authority is twenty-one but at the time of the hearing there were ten employees in posts. These were the Chief Executive Officer, two directors, two managers, two compliant officers, one PA to the CEO, one receptionist and one messenger. The posts of the technical manager and the finance manager were vacant.

3.1.3 Classes of Licenses Managed by BAZ

There are ten classes of broadcasting licensing that can be issued by the authority namely: a commercial broadcasting service; a community broadcasting service; a subscription satellite broadcasting service; a subscription cable broadcasting service; a subscription narrowcasting service; an open narrowcasting service; a datacasting service; a roadcasting service; a railcasting service; and a webcasting service. For commercial radio the frequency has a capacity for six radio licenses and five were allocated to ZBC for Radio Zimbabwe, Power FM, Spot FM, National FM and Voice of Zimbabwe, leaving one for new players. In respect of community radios, the Authority has developed a base plan where it has aimed at providing frequencies for each district and has come up with 56 frequencies. However, since the enactment of the Act in 2001, no community broadcasting license has been issued by the Authority in spite of about 10 community radio initiatives countrywide having shown interest, joined hands and have been engaging Government for the past six years in their struggle for community radio broadcasting.

As for narrowcasting service, there is capacity for 28 local commercial radio stations for urban areas and no license has been issued yet. The Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Authority had invited for applications in 2002 and those that responded could not meet the stipulated requirements. As for the signal carrier there was no response. During the year 2004-5 it invited applications for fifteen commercial broadcasting licenses and received five, one for television and four for radio and all the five applications did not meet the criteria for licensing. With regard to cable transmission, no license has been issued, as the Authority has not yet conducted enquiries for cable distribution. It has issued temporary licenses for satellite terminals during the election period in 2008 to media institutions namely: SABC, Aljezira, ARDTV of German and to Transmedia for coverage of soccer matches.

3.1.4 The Licensing Criteria

Before inviting applications for licences, the Authority is required in terms of the First Schedule of the BSA to first carry out some ground work regarding the licence area plans and the frequency allotment plan which shows the frequencies available for the provision of different classes of broadcasting services in different parts of the country and those that should be reserved for future use. After the Authority has prepared frequency allotment and licence area plans, it calls for invitation in national newspapers and the Government Gazette. On receipt of applications, they are published in the newspaper and the public are expected to launch any objections on any of the applications within 14 days of the date of publication. Applicants who meet the criteria for licensing at that stage are short listed and then required to appear before a public inquiry and before the Board of the Authority that will be sitting as a Commission. The applicants will be subjected to questioning by the Commissioners and the general public with a view to ascertain whether the applicants meet the criteria stipulated in the Act. The Authority then conducts the final adjudication and determines whether licenses should be issued or not. In the event that the Authority is not in a position to issue licenses, it must give reasons which should be consistent with the criteria of licensing and any person aggrieved by the Authority's decision can appeal to the administrative court.

The licensing criterion has been regarded by the media fraternity as highly prohibitive and they suspect it is deliberate to maintain the status quo. The BAZ Chief Executive Officer indicated that the Authority had received representations on the licensing criteria which was regarded as prohibitive. Some reviews were carried out and recommendations were made to the Ministry. Some of the changes were alleged to have been effected in the Broadcasting Services Amendment Act of 2007.

3.1.5 Content Requirements

In addition to specific conditions for public, commercial, community broadcasting services stipulated in the Seventh Schedule of the 2007 BSA, the Sixth Schedule of the Principal Act provides for content requirements to be observed by the three categories of broadcasters. A television broadcaster has to ensure that 75 per cent of its programming content consists of local television content and material from Africa. In specific terms, 70 per cent of its drama, social documentary and knowledge-building programming as well as 80 per cent of its current affairs, educational and children's programming must be of Zimbabwean origin. Subscription television operators must broadcast at least 30 per cent local content. Music broadcast by radio stations regardless of their programming format and character has to be predominantly music produced in Zimbabwe (at least 75 per cent) and a further 10 per cent from Africa - leaving a balance of 15 per cent for music from outside the continent.

The concern raised by stakeholders including ZBH was that the requirements for content were decided upon without considering the realities on the ground. While the system of quotas for content is a common practice in most countries, and the intention by Government to promote the local cultural production industry was noble, the conditions set in Zimbabwe were considered excessive and unrealistic in view of small and struggling cultural production industry. In fact Government overestimated the capacity of independent producers. ZBC Chief Executive Officer indicated that it has been a nightmare for the company to comply with the 40% quota for independent producers, as they are struggling to meet their quota. The highest they have gone was 10% and in most cases they take up 5-7% of their quota. Most countries have set up funds to support local independent producers but in this country they are expected to finance themselves. Government had anticipated that they would get financial support for training from the Broadcasting Fund. However, there is very little going into the Fund as ZBH and Transmedia are struggling to meet their obligation in respect of license contributions. In fact ZBC Chief Executive when he appeared before the Committee in July 2009 confirmed that the company had not contributed anything to the Broadcasting Fund due to financial constraints.

3.1.6 Challenges Faced by the BAZ

At the time of the hearing, the Authority was operating without a Board and in this case the Board is the licensing authority and should also give policy directions to the Authority. The Authority is grossly underfunded. There is very little funds flowing into the Broadcasting Fund as ZBH and Transmedia, the only licensed entities are struggling to honour their obligations regarding paying their license contributions. The Authority could not afford to pay allowances being paid by Government to its workers and as a result, monitoring use of broadcasting services was greatly curtailed. In terms of staff complement, it was operating at 50% and was also finding it very difficult to attract specialist skills. This was echoed at a public hearing in Harare where some members of the public pointed out administrative capacity as a challenge faced by BAZ and in that regard questioned its capacity to appreciate the software and determine the frequencies available. It has only five vehicles for all its operations and as a result, monitoring activities to ensure compliance by licensees was greatly curtailed. The Authority does not have technical monitoring equipment and relies on borrowing from POTRAZ.

4.1 THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (ZBC)

4.1.1 Establishment and Mandate of ZBC

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was born out of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialization) Act of 2001 which repealed the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Act of 1973. In section 3 of the Act former ZBC was split into two successor companies namely: ZBH, which assumes the broadcasting services function and Transmedia which takes over the functions of signal carriage. The public Broadcaster is currently the sole broadcaster for both radio and television since the liberalization law in 2001. It is widely regarded by the media fraternity as a state-owned and state-controlled broadcaster in as much as it is 100% owned by the state and also the perceived role of the Minister in appointing the Board of Directors. The civil society pointed out that this is inconsistency with the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa Article VI which stipulates that state and Government controlled broadcasters should be transformed into public service broadcasters, accountable to the public through the legislature rather than to Government.

4.1.2 The Structure of ZBC

There is a Board at the apex of the organisation where the Chief Executive sits as an ex-officio Member. The Board is responsible for policy directions. It is appointed by the Minister, in consultation with the President. Below the Board is the Chief Executive Officer who is responsible for implementing policies and decisions by the Board. There are line managers responsible for engineering, news, programming which include all radio stations and television, and finance and administration. From Managers there are Heads for finance, human resources, marketing and sales and other lower level staff up to the ordinary worker. There are managers in each of the stations save for Montrose in Bulawayo which has an area manager. The Broadcaster currently employees plus or minus 800 employees.

4.1.3 Operations by ZBC

There are currently two TV channels, one operates on a 24hour basis intended to cover the whole country while the second one operates on a 12hour basis and is only limited to Harare in terms of coverage. Programming and scheduling is guided by the regulations which require 75% local content of which 40% is reserved for local independent producers. The remaining 25% is for the international and regional quota and the Broadcaster procures such programmes from foreign countries and this takes a substantial chunk of what comes from license fees. The Broadcaster runs five radio stations namely Radio Zimbabwe, Spot FM, Power FM, National FM and Voice of Zimbabwe. Radio Zimbabwe is a full-spectrum station which broadcasts 24 hours a day in Shona and Ndebele from Mbare Residential Suburb in Harare. Both ZBC and Transmedia informed the Committee that there is close to 100% coverage in terms of transmission. Listeners were urged to tune into the respective frequency as it varies from one area to another. Power FMis a 24-hour music station which used to broadcast from Gweru but has since moved to Pockets Hills in Harare. National FM is based at Pockets Hill in Harare and broadcasts 24 hours a day in 17 local languages and mainly focuses on news, music and socio-cultural content. The Broadcaster was concerned that though the National FM was designed to air programmes in 17 local languages, it was failing to reach the outlying areas of the country due to transmission problems. Due to transmission problems communities in the outlying areas of the country such as Kariba, Victoria Falls, Plumtree, Chirundu, Binga, Beitbridge and Chiredzi have no access to local radio and television and are now accessing foreign stations from across their borders. Due to lack of adequate number and suitable vehicles programming activities are now limited to urban areas and in the offices. At the time of the tour of Pockets Hills studios, the Programming department was failing to purchase films from outside the country. The only one functional editing machine was being shared by the Programming and News departments. At times they have to edit programmes up to midnight or early morning hours.

Spot-FM radio broadcast from Montrose studios in Bulawayo and as for TV, it mainly package programmes and relay them to Harare for airing. There is staff for Radio Zimbabwe, National FM mainly for productions as presentations are now done from Harare. The station operates as a complementary station. The workers representatives at Montrose studios expressed reservations on the requirement for all programmes to be approved in Harare. They indicated that independent producers were now reluctant to submit their programmes to the Broadcaster as they feel that the people who approve programmes in Harare lack appreciation of the programme setting and as a result play down the tone or even turn them down on ill conceived basis. This was also echoed by the public during the public hearing in Bulawayo as they pointed out they were no longer interested in ZBC television programmes as they are predominantly from the Northern parts of the country and there are very few from the Southern parts of the country. Some members of the public expressed concern on the lack of consultation on programmes and in that regard depicted ZBC as a public broadcaster that was not accountable to the public.

Voice of Zimbabwe, which is based in Gweru runs, programmes mainly news and current affairs from 1800 hours to 12 midnight and cannot go beyond 12 midnight due to resource constraints. It transmits to Guinea Fowl through short wave and to Pockets Hills via a Tel One microwave link but its coverage is limited by the fact that most people do not have short wave receivers. The station has therefore been accessed by some parts of the world especially in areas with short wave receivers. The station has established a number of desks namely political, business, health, tourism, agriculture and cultural music. However, the library is not well resourced and as a result, productions lacked in-depth research. At the time of the visit by the Committee, the station was in the process of moving to new premises and as such most of its equipment was still at the old premises. The change of premises required Tel One to shift the line linking Guinea Fowl to the new premise. However, Tel One was reluctant to transfer the line as it is owed US$40 000 in unpaid telephone bills.

The public during public hearings held in both Harare and Bulawayo lamented lack of consultation on programmes aired by the public Broadcaster. As a result many viewers have opted for satellite dishes and shun ZTV. A survey by BAZ has shown that satellite dishes have become a dominant feature especially in most urban areas. Some members of the public pointed out that most ZBC programmes have an urban bias and there is very little from the countryside. Outlying areas were disadvantaged in terms of critical information which come through the broadcasting such as epidemic alerts on cholera and swine flu due to lack of transmission . The licensing of community radio stations was viewed as a solution. Some felt that the public broadcaster should extensively cover all aspects of social life throughout the country and should also endeavour to promote the culture of small indigenous communities such as the Tonga and the Kalanga so that it instills a sense of belonging. The public in Bulawayo felt that the programmes were biased towards the northern parts of the country and there are very few programmes from the southern parts of the country. ZBC management indicated that because of the aging fleet the Broadcaster's activities in terms of programming are now limited to office work, as the vehicles are not suitable for the terrain in most rural areas. They also lack sophisticated outside broadcasting equipment.

4.1.4 The State of the Equipment

The Committee found out that the state of equipment at all ZBC studios for both radio and television was in a sorry state. The equipment that was commissioned in the early 90s was designed for the analogue system and now needs to be replaced by digital equipment by 2015 in compliance with the deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union. The SADC region has set for itself year 2013 as a deadline for switching to digitalization. The equipment in all the studios at Pockets Hill and Mbare in Harare Voice of Zimbabwe in Gweru and Montrose in Bulawayo are in still in analogue technology. During the tours of the ZBC studios, the Committee noted that there was a mix of equipment one described as commissioned by a Swiss company in the early 1980s and the other type of equipment was supplied by an Iranian company under a Government to Government bilateral agreement. The Iranian equipment was digital while the Swiss equipment was in analogue form.

During the Tour of Pockets Hills studios, the Head of Engineering department informed the Committee that there is no company in Africa that manufactures broadcasting material and out there in the developed world there is competition to bring out the latest technology. There is therefore fast movement in terms of technology in the field of broadcasting. The public broadcaster now finds it very difficult to get spares for most of its equipment as the suppliers had either closed shops or switched to digital equipment. The TV equipment is now more than 15 years old and the outside Broadcasting equipment was purchased in 1994. It is now very difficult to have outside broadcast and the Broadcaster admitted that productions are now of poor quality. They do not have electronic news gathering cameras, microwave links, and satellite link to cover events outside the Broadcast. There is only one functional editing machine which has to be shared between the Proramming and News departments. As a result, they have to edit programmes up to midnight or early morning hours.

This state of affairs also obtains at Montrose studios. It has no portable recorders. The OB Van is now grounded and the Broadcaster has to bring the one in Harare for events taking place in Bulawayo. The station is also finding it difficult to get spares for its old and obsolete equipment. There is actually a room full of equipment which can no longer be repaired due to non-availability of spares on the market.

In its effort to recapitalise the public broadcaster, Government in 2004 entered into a Government-to-Government bilateral agreement with the Republic of Iran for some Iranian company to supply the Broadcaster with digital equipment. The Iranian Government gave the Zimbabwean Government a 15 million euro loan. The fund was shared between ZBC and ARDA, with ZBC getting five million euros while ARDA got 10 million euros. The Iranians required the Fund to be serviced in its totality. ZBC started paying back while the other recipient ARDA was not. Eventually ZBH stopped after paying only 300 000 euros as the other recipient was not paying anything. To date ZBH still owes the Iranian company five million euros as it is accruing interest. ZBC felt that the deal was a bit unfair as the Iranian company factored in a huge mark-up if one compares the cost of such equipment in the world market. In 2004, the mark up was close to 50%. There were indications that the company was not a well known manufacturer for broadcasting equipment. More-so, the Broadcaster pointed out that it did not benefit fully from the Iranian deal for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Iranians installed the equipment and returned back without training ZBC personnel to operate the equipment, as the deal did not include the provision for training of personnel as well as the spares and other consumables. The engineers were supposed to go to Iran and inspect the equipment and the personnel get trained before the equipment was commissioned but this did not happen. After installation, the Iranians left without a proper hand over and take over. As a result the Broadcaster was not making use of most of the equipment. Furthermore, some of the equipment had broken down and out of the three studios covered only one is operational and the main news studio is partially operational.

There are efforts to try and re-engage the Iranian company with a view to resuscitate the project but funding is the major problem. The Iranian company had signalled that re-engagement process could only start after the Broadcaster pays an additional amount. Meanwhile the Committee was informed that Government had requested the public broadcaster's requirements for the digitalisation of its studios. In that regard, the Broadcaster had submitted requirements totalling $35 million. This amount includes refurbishment of OB Vans for both radio and television.

4.1.5 Financing of ZBC

Following Commercialisation, the Committee was informed that the Broadcaster was cut from Government funding. It now relies on license fees and commercial activities such as advertising. The revenue inflows were regarded to be very low due to the prevailing economic environment. Individuals cannot afford to pay license fees and companies during these hard times view advertising as a luxury. With transmission coverage of 30% for television and less than 45% for radio, it was very difficult for ZBC to realize considerable amount of revenue from licenses. The ZBC management expressed concern that while ZBC was 100% owned by Government, no financial assistance was coming from the sole shareholder. They argued that all other public Broadcasters in the region receive a grant from Government except Zimbabwe. Under the prevailing economic situation, ZBH was able to raise funds from own sources just to cover recurrent expenditure and therefore, needed support for recapitalization from Government. Furthermore, workers at Montrose in Bulawayo pointed out that while Government was not contributing anything, all national events were being covered by the Broadcaster at no cost and this presents a major cost to the Broadcaster.

The public viewed the license fees as excessive when compared to the programmes which were lowly regarded. ZBC was therefore facing a lot of resistance in collecting license fees particularly from individuals. The license fee for radio for rural dwellers is pegged at US$10 while their counterparts in the urban fork out US$20. The license fee for television is US$50. The radio license fee for business premises is US$50 and for television is US$100. For private vehicles, motorists fork out US$30 while for company vehicles it is pegged at US$80. A Business Association during a public hearing in Bulawayo views the licensing regime by ZBC as unjustifiable. Television and Radio licence fees were considered exorbitant in comparison to those obtaining in South Africa where a listener/television licence is R220 and the public broadcaster has three TV channels and hundreds of Radio Stations. A call was made by the Business Association for the Broadcaster to abolish car radio licences as Zimbabwe was considered as probably the only country with such type of a licence. A request was made for a one television/radio licence per premises (Company or Residential) as opposed to a licence for every receiver on the same premises/property. The public during public hearings held in Harare and Bulawayo preferred a uniform license fee for either radio or television for the individual and for a company.

4.1.6 Staffing Issues

The workers at Pockets Hills in Harare and Montrose Studios in Gweru complained about poor conditions of service. Concerns were particularly raised on the unsuitability of vehicles used to ferry workers. Though workers at Pockets Hills have a bus, they are ferried in open trucks in the event that the bus has broken down. Workers at Montrose do not have a bus and they are ferried in open trucks. Workers at Pockets Hills and Montrose Studios complained about the state of equipment which was now old, obsolete and incompatible with new technologies in the broadcasting sector. Meanwhile there is no training pogrammes to keep officers up to date with technological developments. This was confirmed by Management when it indicated to the Committee that the Iranian equipment was being underutilized as officers were not trained in using the equipment. Regarding salaries workers at Pockets Hill were concerned about failure by the company to meet pay dates, sometimes they were paid two weeks into another month. At Montrose studios, workers were concerned with salary scales which they said were benchmarked on financial performance of the organization and to what civil servants were getting. Staffing levels are now very low as most senior staff have left the company. There is therefore inexperienced staff in the newsrooms and they require a lot of assistance from a few senior officers available. In Bulawayo, they expressed concern on the need for image building for ZBH, for instance clothing for staff which identify with the company. Unlike foreign media staff, ZBH staff has no form of identification unless one produces a ZBH identification card.

Workers expressed concern on the rate of firing at senior management level as people leave and continue to enjoy their benefits when contracts are terminated prematurely. This they argue was a major drain on the company's meager resources. They were also not happy with the current organizational structure which they described as top heavy. In their view, some managerial positions were regarded as created with individuals in mind and not as a necessity. They felt that a leaner structure was desirable given the financial constraints facing the Broadcaster.

5. The State of Transmission Infrastructure

Following the Commercialisation of ZBC in 2001, the company was split into two companies. ZBC on one hand deals with matters of broadcasting while Transmedia provides radio and television signal distribution services for broadcasters in or from Zimbabwe. Transmedia like ZBC is therefore state owned company. It inherited an infrastructure that had outlived its lifespan.

5.1 The Structure of Transmedia

The company is run by a board of directors which is currently chaired by Dr P. Kurasha on an acting basis. The Management is headed by a chief executive, a post that was vacant when the company appeared before the Committee sometime last year. The Executive Director was acting in that position. It has a staff complement of 30 countrywide and in its view, it is adequate to fulfill its mandate. The Head Office is stationed in Harare and there are other centres in Mutare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru.

5.2 Operations by Transmedia

Transmedia operates 21 sites for radio channels and 16 for television countrywide. The 21 radio sites are functional save for the Victoria Falls station which was destroyed by a storm and was yet to be constructed when the company appeared before the Committee last year. In terms of signal distribution, the company depends on Tel One lines and Tel One was said to be having its own challenges in maintaining its infrastructure. The company runs four radio channels on each site namely, Radio Zimbabwe, Sport FM, Power FM and National FM. It has installed 11 new transmitters for Radio Zimbabwe and some of the sites that benefited are Bulawayo, Mutorashanga, Chivhu, Masvingo, Rutenga and Kamativi. The company currently has ZBC as its sole radio and television transmission client and as such was facing serious funding constraints.

In addition to radio and television signal distribution, the Company provides last mile internet connectivity between internet service providers and their clients. This is currently offered in Harare and Bulawayo and plans are underway to roll it out to other areas once funding becomes available. Most of its revenue therefore, comes from the broadband activities. Profits generated from the broadband activities are ploughed back into the business for the refurbishment of the transmission network and the expansion of the broadband platform. During a presentation to the Committee, Transmedia indicated that it had managed to purchase one transmitter every month over the past 12 months and as such, had replaced transmitters on 11 out of the 21 sites for the Radio Zimbabwe channel.

5.3 Challenges

The company expressed concern that coverage for both FM and TV has shrunk to critical levels due to the ageing infrastructure. Apparently, there is no funding to replace transmission equipment which has outlived its life span. The International Telecommunications Union has set 2015 as the latest date to switch over to digital TV transmission. The current sole radio and television transmission customer ZBH is failing to pay for transmission services citing resource constraints. At the time of a meeting with the Committee in August last year no payment had been made since January 2009 and even well before dollarisation. The company's main sources of revenue are namely: transmission income, broadband income, mast rentals (Econet, NetOne, Telecel, Kingdom Bank and others), and satellite uplink services.

In terms of transmission, the company indicated to the Committee that the existing infrastructure has the capacity to achieve 80% geographical area coverage. The new sites would then expand the network coverage to near 100% and some pockets of shadow areas would require low power level transmitters to be installed as gap fillers to achieve 100% coverage. The company indicated that it had the capacity and expertise to service other broadcasters.

ZBC expressed concern on the performance of the transmission network with TV coverage estimated to be less than 30% and radio less than 45%. Meanwhile ZBC complained that it was paying ZESA bills for powering of transmitters, Tel One bills for carrying the signal as wells as transmission fees to Transmedia. ZBC felt that it was unjustifiable to pay commercial rates to Transmedia in view of the unsatisfactory services being rendered by Transmedia.

6. Operations of Zimpapers

6.1 An Overview of the Organisation

The Committee toured Zimpapers Head Office at Herald House and The Chronicle Newspaper in Bulawayo. During the tour at Herald House, the Committee was informed that Zimpapers is a private company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Government is the majority shareholder with 51% shares followed by Old Mutual which has 11%. It therefore, does not receive funding from Government. Zimpapers is run by a board of directors which is answerable to the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity. The Company comprised of two Divisions which are the Newspapers Division and the Commercial Printing Division. The Newspaper Division has three branches in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare and publishes seven newspapers, three magazines and one regional newspaper under a joint venture. The titles of the newspapers are: The Herald, The Manica PostChronicleSunday News, TheSunday Mail, Kwayedza and Umthunywa. It recently launched H-Metro whose circulation is limited in Harare. The Southern Times is the regional paper. The three magazines are New FarmerTrends and Zimbabwean Travel. The Commercial Printing Division comprised of three branches namely; Natprint which is responsible for packaging, bookwork, label work and web press; Typocrafters which offers security stationery, continuous stationery and letter press litho; and BoldAds which produces telephone directories, diaries, calendars, bridal magazines and origination services.

While Management at the Head Office in Harare indicated to the Committee that they were doing quite well in newspaper circulation and advertisements, The Chronicle Newspaper in Bulawayo had a different story. In terms of performance, it has not been doing well and since 2008 it has been struggling to make ends meet. It registered a loss at the end of 2009.

In 2010 it started on a loss, as the operational costs are more than the revenue being realized from such operations. Business in that part of the country was considered very low as most companies have closed shop and those that have remained open are operating at 20% capacity. Companies since 2008 have cut on advertisement and since then the paper is relying on circulation for its revenue which is an abnormal situation in the newspaper industry. There is generally low disposable income in the economy and most people view newspapers as a luxury. The circulation coverage is the Southern part of the country and people in Matebeleland rural do not have disposable incomes. The public during a public hearing expressed concern that there is biased reporting by the Paper and as such they no longer buy the newspapers. The Management at The Chronicles in agreement with the sentiments by the public indicated to the Committee that the Paper was suffering perception problems.

6.2 State of the Equipment

At the Head Office at Herald House, the Committee was informed that the company's equipment was supplied by a British company in 1999 and is the latest technology in terms of printing equipment. It keeps in dialogue with the company for `any technological updates in relation to the equipment. It runs up to 100 000 copies of a newspaper within a short space of time. This was in stark contrast to what the Committee found at The Chronicle Newspaper.

6.3 Challenges Faced by Zimpapers

Of the three magazines run by the Newspaper Division in Harare, two of them namely; the New Farmer and Trends are no longer in circulation due to viability challenges. The major challenge is newsprint which has to be imported following the closure of Mutare Border Mills. The Chronicle Newspaper was incurring a lot of expenses in importation of raw materials such as film plates and newsprint as well as deliveries as it sources operational items through third parties willing to give credit terms due to cash flow problems. The Newspaper also pays duty for newsprint yet newspapers coming into the country are exempted from paying duty. The greatest challenge facing the Newspaper is very obsolete equipment which is gobbling the paper considerable amounts in huge maintenance costs and repairs. The technology is now old and some of the spares are no longer available on the market. Due to the ageing equipment the paper at times hits the street as late as 1300 hours. The software being used by the Newspaper, Atex supplied by a UK- Based company is now outdated and the Paper is failing to update it due to a huge debt which has accumulated over the years and currently stands at BP 961 000. This is also the case with Goss printing Press which has not been upgraded due to arrears currently around BP12 000. The aging vehicle fleet was blamed for consuming most of the revenue in maintenance and repairs. Computers which were described as having their rightful place at the Museum were still using Windows 95. The Chronicles has two working cameras for the three papers. Technical and production departments are understaffed and as a result they knock off around 2300 hours. In 2005, there were six reporters and currently there is one and the rest are students.

6.4 Staffing Issues

Workers at the Head Office in Harare expressed concern on limited number of vehicles to take reporters to different areas to collect news and as a result certain influential people such as Members of Parliament end up providing transport to reporters and objective reporting is likely to be compromised. They complained that salaries were not linked to educational qualifications and experience. As a result, there is no motivation as salaries are uniform across various divisions regardless of their financial performance. At The Chronicles, workers expressed concern on lack of genuine consultations by Management on salary matters. For instance, Management applies for exemptions for Salary Agreements reached at the Head Office without consulting workers. As a result workers were getting less than what their counterparts in Zimpapers companies were getting.

7. Legislative Reform

During workshops on media law reform, the Committee received representation from the Media fraternity regarding their concerns on the current media legislative landscape. The pieces of legislation that are of concern to the media fraternity are the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Broadcasting Services Act, the ZBC Commercialization Act and POSA.

7.1 Concerns Raised on AIPPA

7.1.1 Access to Information

Stakeholders in the Media fraternity were concerned that the AIPPA purports to give journalists access to records and information held by Government departments and other Government bodies when in reality there are a lot of restrictions. Section 14 stipulates that advice or recommendations to the President, Ministers, and public bodies as classified information. Stakeholders felt that recommendations to Ministers should be made public as these allow follow up on matters that affect the public. Section 17 (1) restricts certain information on grounds that it is regarded as prejudicial to the interest of the country. This definition of information was regarded as too wide as any information can be withheld under the guise of being regarded as prejudicial to the interest of the country. Section 18 restricts information whose disclosure may affect relations between the Government and local authorities. For instance information relating to appointment of councilors is of interest to the public as they represent the people. Restricting information on the basis that it affects planning, financial or economic interest of the State or public bodies protect information on mismanagement or fraud in parastatals and in a way curtails accountability by public officials. This also curtails the Media's watchdog function to expose corruption in the interest of the public.

Procedures for disclosure were viewed as unnecessarily cumbersome as they give the giver of information 60 days to respond to the information request and can as well seek an extension from the Authorities at the expiry of the 60 days. News is a perishable product and as such the period prescribed in the Act for one to access information was in actual fact a denial of access to information.

7.1.2 Control of the Media

Punitive measures against journalists who are accused of falsehood were considered to be too harsh. For instance a journalist can be jailed for two years (section 80) and the mass media owner for 3 years (section 64). The definition of falsehood is regarded subjective and as such not being very clear. The Editors felt that retraction of the story by the editor, correcting the position and admitting that they lied is more damaging and adequate punishment than sending a journalist to jail. Provisions that provide for disciplinary action, registration and deregistration of journalists and media houses by the Media Council were viewed as unnecessary statutory controls as the trend the world over is towards self-regulation.

7.2 Broadcasting Services Act

7.2.1 Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe

While the Broadcasting Services Amendment of 2007 states that BAZ is no longer subject

to directives from the Minister in the performance of its duties, stakeholders in the media disputed the purported independence on the premise that the President has powers to appoint a BAZ Board of his or her choice as the Act only requires him to consult with the Minister and the Standing Rules and Orders Committee but not to obtain their consent. The other concern was that the nomination and appointment process is not subject to any public involvement or input.

7.2.2 Licensing

It was felt that licensing of broadcasting services by a state controlled BAZ was incompatible with international standards, particularly Article V (2) of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression which stipulates that an independent regulatory body be put in place for issuing of broadcasting licenses and for ensuring observance of license conditions. The current monopoly being enjoyed by ZBC was regarded as incompatible with the right to freedom and expression as Article V obliges the State to encourage a diverse, independent private broadcasting sector. Mandatory local content quotas for broadcasting prescribed by the Sixth Schedule of BSA of 2001 were regarded as unrealistic. The other concern was that those quotas were fixed without public debate or participation of stakeholders to assess their viability. This was echoed by ZBH management which complained that independent producers were allocated 40% but the highest they have gone in terms of supplying programmes was 10%. ZBC pointed out that a decision was made without considering the fact that the cultural production industry was still at its infancy stage and struggling to survive. This has resulted in poor quality and choice of programmes.

7.3 Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialization) Act

7.3.1 State Controlled as Opposed to a Public Broadcaster.

There were concerns that ZBC was wholly controlled by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity who appoints the board and issues directives to the board and management. It was highly regarded as a state controlled broadcaster serving the interest of the state than those of the public. In terms of the Act the State is the sole shareholder in both ZBC and a sister signal carrier company, Transmedia. Section three of the Act gives both companies a clear mandate to give priority to serving the needs of the state. This, it was argued compromises the editorial independence of the broadcaster. This was contrary to Article VI of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression which stipulates that states and Government controlled broadcasters should be transformed into public service broadcasters, accountable to the public through the legislature rather than Government.

8.0 OBSERVATIONS:

8.1. THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE (BAZ)

8.1.1 That BAZ has currently no capacity to fulfil its mandate due to lack of critical staff. The Authority was failing to retain critical technical staff due to uncompetitive remuneration.

8.1.2 That there is a yawning gap in respect of community radio broadcasting and this need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Despite the fact that the frequency has a capacity for 56 community radio stations and 28 commercial radio stations, the Authority has not been able to license a single player.

8.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

8.2.1 The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity should review the licensing criteria to facilitate entrance of new broadcasters.

8.2.2 The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity should reduce the 40% quota for independent producers to reasonable levels taking into account the current capacity while in the long run set a fund to develop the capacity of independent producers.

8.2.3 There is need for urgent consideration of licensing players who are interested and ready to establish community radio stations.

9.0 THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (ZBC)

9.1 OBSERVATIONS

9.1.1 That it was within the interests of the public and regional efforts to standardise media laws and in particular laws regulating public broadcasters in line with guidelines stipulated in regional instruments.

9.1.2 That there is acute shortage of production equipment and vehicles for news gathering. Most of the equipment is outdated and no longer compatible with modern technology.

9.1.3 That Montrose studios is grossly under equipped and most of the equipment is not functional due to either non availability of spares on the market or it is now obsolete.

9.1.4 That there is a wide gap between rural and outlying areas on one hand and urban areas on the other hand with regards to accessing information through the public broadcaster due to lack of transmission coverage in the former areas.

9.1.5 That the public in Bulawayo felt that ZBC programmes were biased towards the northern parts of the country and there are very few programmes from the southern parts of the country.

9.1.6 That there is a disparity in levels of operations of the broadcaster around the country.

9.1.7 That the editorial policy is viewed by the public as biased.

9.2RECOMMENDATIONS

9.2.1 The Committee recommends for the standardisation of media laws regulating public broadcasters in line with guidelines stipulated in regional instruments.

9.2.2 The Committee recommends Government to support massive investment required in the national transmission infrastructure to achieve 100% coverage for both radio and television which is currently 45% and 30% respectively.

9.2.3 Licensing community radio stations is long overdue and should be speeded up.

9.2.4 The Committee is of the view that bilateral agreements should be done in consultation with recipient institutions. Management of ZBC should be consulted and involved in bilateral agreements to ensure maximum benefits in such arrangements.

9.2.5 Transmedia requires capital injection if it is to fulfil its statutory mandate. Government should prioritise capitalisation of the public company through loans.

9.2.6 Government should pay for coverage of national events by ZBC since the broadcaster is not receiving financial support from Government to sustain its operations.

9.2.7 The Committee recommends the broadcaster to adopt a one licence for radio and television per premise as opposed to a license per each receiver.

9.2.8 There is need to standardise operational practices in all studios of broadcast across the country.

9.2.9 There is need to transform ZBC from state to public broadcaster with fiscus support.

9.2.10 The Committee recommends that editorial policy needs to be reviewed to remove the perceived propaganda bias that the public were critical of at the public hearing.

10.0 OPERATIONS OF ZIMPAPERS

10.1 OBSERVATIONS

10.1.1 That the editorial policy is viewed by the public as biased

10.1.2 That Chronicle is heavily undercapitalised and most of the equipment is now obsolete.

10.1.3 That there are disparities in terms of salaries for staff in different regions.

10.1.4 That newspapers published outside the country are not being taxed and they compete with local newspapers which pay taxes. Local media houses are also required to pay duty for ink and newsprint.

10.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

10.2.1 The Committee recommends that editorial policy needs to be reviewed to remove the perceived propaganda bias that the public were critical of at the public hearing

10.2.2 The Chronicle should be capitalised to buy new and state of the art equipment, which is compliant with technology currently prevailing in the printing industry.

10.2.3 The Committee recommends that remuneration for staff should be based on a transparent job evaluation exercise not geographical location.

10.2.4 Government should either exempt local media houses from paying duty for ink and newsprints or that newspapers published outside the country should be taxed.

11.0 LEGISLATIVE REFORM

11.1 RECOMMENDATIONS

11.1.1 Government should review the Broadcasting and Media legislation in line with the provisions of the GPA that infringes on the journalist profession.

11.1.2 ZMC should be capitalised for it to create the Media Council to handle complaints from the press and the public as required by law.

11.1.3 That Government should review the independent producer's quota in consultation with the stakeholders and the public.

11.1.4 That an independent media diversity body should be created by an Act of Parliament, specifically allocated money to promote the development of media houses.

11.1.5 ZBC should be transformed from a state to a public broadcaster in compliance with regional instruments.

12.0 CONCLUSION

Media plays a crucial role in any developing society in terms of informing the general public on the policies of Government. It is therefore critical that the media industry be promoted through a legislative framework that allows for freedom of expression which is one of the rights that is contained in the Zimbabwean Constitution. The Committee feels that the spirit of the GPA should be sustainable by a society that has media diversity both in print and broadcasting sectors. While positive developments have been realised in the print media sector where a considerable number of private newspapers were licensed, a lot is still being desired in the broadcasting sector. Government should seriously fund media constitutional bodies to carry out their mandates effectively. I thank you.

MR. MATONGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my voice towards this important debate. As, you may be aware our report has been overtaken by events but however, I am not going to go much into the details. I will just hand-pick important highlights which I think Parliament or our people need to understand. There were topical issues, firstly to do with the board at BAZ. The argument was that it was not done properly and that it was not in line with the Ministry. The BAZ board was done above board. Interviews were carried out by the SRO where our Principals, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and MPs sat. So interviews were done and recommendations were done and forwarded to the ministry. That should put that matter to rest and those statements that came out of the media, both private and public, were merely political statements but the actual due process was carried out.

The issue of issuing out licenses as you have heard, there are now 6 licenses issued, four to ZBC and two to private organizations or individuals. The ZBC Commercialisation Act of 2001 ceded the 4 radio licenses which were deemed licenses by the same Act. They are structured around languages and age groups to ensure that they broadcast the targeted groups. If you listen to Sport FM, it is more of mature audience, jazz music, mature news. Radio Zimbabwe, its music, mumhanzi kunyanya, news to do with farming, current affairs, your formerly Radio 3, it is mainly music. The fourth channel, they target all other indigenous languages in this country. So as my Chairman has indicated, you cannot take one license and issue it to another. The only thing one can do is to speed up the process of digitalisation that will free the airwaves. So we hope that funds play an important part in the opening up of airwaves. You then move from analog to digital.

Mr. Speaker Sir, most of the equipment at ZBC or even the print media is now obsolete, it is old. Most organisations have now moved from analog to digital. So whenever you have to buy a spare part, you have to place a special order and it takes time for that organisation to go back and manufacture the equipment. So we hope that the Ministry of Media ,Information and Publicity and the Ministry of Finance will provide the funding. I am aware that in the previous budget, there was that allocation for digitalisation - either the Government or there is a private/public partnership where we have to speed up the process. We would have either to engage with maybe our neighbor, South Africa so that we can benefit from that process.

As you are aware Mr. Speaker, your Committee went to SA, we had a fact finding visit to SA and I think there is a lot to be learnt from that exercise. I hope the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity will engage their counterparts in SA in terms of acquisition of new equipment. What is happening and what we discovered in SA was that they are manufacturing equipment so that people with television sets or equipment, do not have to dispose of their televisions. They only need to get a gadget that can be connected to their television sets and then you go digital. So we hope we can benefit from that process and it will save money or we can engage South African institutions in terms of funding. I think it is an option that we can carry out, we have already engaged South Africans in our dualisation process and I think the digitalisation can be added onto that process.

The issue of vehicles, as I said, ZBC acquired about 15 vehicles, we do not know whether that will be enough for the organisation but again, that is work in progress. The issue of media regulation or monitoring, we have got VMCZ, it is an independent organisation which is not accountable to anybody. However, through our laws, we have got the Zimbabwe Media Commission. They are mandated to have an independent commission which will monitor that because that is within the law and they will be accountable to this Parliament because ZMC is formed by Members of this Parliament through the SRO. So they will be answerable to this House. So it is important and it is imperative that again, finances be provided to these institutions. They cannot operate, they do not have a budget and they do not have the money. They cannot employ people; they cannot retain staff, so it is a challenge.

The issue of political coverage or political bias or even Government business, is an issue that we raised with the ministry and with ZBC. It was clear from the presentation that political parties sometimes are not aware of channels to follow if they want to get coverage. For example, there was an issue where a reporter was phoned by a political party, the reporter was not at work and that is why he could not attend. He was then accused of refusing to cover a political party. The CEO of ZBC, Mr. Muchechetere was able to inform our committee as to procedures and processes that political parties need to follow. They need to engage ZBC, they need to bring their diary in time so that they get covered. The same applies, ZBC was also accused of bias towards a political party, then the ministry came in and said no, we also need to get a diary for all the ministries so that ministers get covered because the business they carry, is not the business of a political party but it is for Government. So I think, hon. members need to take heed of this, when they want to be covered or their political parties, they need to engage ZBC on time and they give them their diary then you can then complain of ZBC refusing to cover your meetings. I think this is an important issue that we all need to take heed of and we will support hon. members if they are not supported by the media. However, it is also imperative that when we address these issues of the media, you have got the public media and the private media, they go to extremes. There is no balance in terms of balancing their news items. So it is an issue where hon. members in this House, need to urge all media houses to give equal coverage, fair coverage and unbiased coverage to everyone. That again will remove what we call polarization. We really need to work on that so that we educate our journalists.

Mr. Speaker, I think again as a way of recommendations, our institutions that churn out our media graduates, they also need to be brought in line, in terms of how they teach our journalists about media ethics, how to report without bias. I am not saying they are not doing it, but I think they need to do more.

The issue of newspapers, yes we have got Zimpapers, you heard from our Chairman. We have got other daily papers. Again the coverage is on the extreme side. There is need for balance so that people cover at least various choices in terms of the news they want to read. There is competition. You find that public media is not a profit oriented process but the private media put profits first, so editorial policy is guided by profits.

If you do not follow your editorial policy, you will lose your job. You find our journalists are forced to write what they may not believe in. They are given a space to write only 200 words on your story and therefore you cannot cover enough. I think most Members of Parliament complain that they have talked in Parliament but what was covered was not enough. It is all because of the space that they are given. So we also need to urge our media organizations, both private and public, to give enough coverage to all areas.

You have newspapers coming into the country and they do not pay duty or tax. They pay nothing and they just sell their newspapers. We found out that the country is prejudiced. We are churning out a lot of graduates from our colleges and universities but if those newspapers were operating from here, they would be able to employ our journalists. Mr. Speaker Sir, they do not pay tax and they do not support employment. If you want to advertise, they hardly sell or walk our adverts. You find newspapers emanating from South Africa. They are promoting South Africa and South African industry. We need to see more papers operating from this country rather than importing newspapers from South Africa. The South Africans do not have an interest in Zimbabwean issues. They have got South African interest that they have to promote using Zimbabwe as a base.

We may say we want AIPPA. If you look at AIPPA really there is nothing much to it. What we also found out was that the journalists did not read AIPPA and find out that this is the problem with this kind of regulation. They have not done that and so Mr. Speaker Sir, I think I will end here. Our deliberations were extensive. We got a lot of information from individuals, from Government institutions and their views were captured and even the notion that the people organisation that received our licences, those people, were brought to our Committee. They were able to present their arguments to the satisfaction of our Committee. So I want to thank you Mr. Speaker for this time.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER

PARLIAMENT WARRIORS TEAM

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is a notice from Parliament Warriors Team which is inviting members to attend training on Monday 11th June, 2012 in preparation of the game against the Mighty Warriors on Tuesday 12th June, 2012. The training time is 4.00 pm and the training will be at Belvedere Teacher's Training College. This is from the Secretary General of the team Hon. L. Mupukuta.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday 12th June, 2012.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, the House adjourned at Ten Minutes past Five o'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 12th June, 2012.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 7 JUNE 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 38