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SENATE HANSARD 07 JUNE 2016 VOL 25 NO 53

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 7th June, 2016

The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION

AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON.  SEN. MATHUTHU):

Thank you Madam President. I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 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

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

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: Thank you Madam President.  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. A. MASUKU:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th June, 2016.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION

AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON.  SEN. MATHUTHU):

Thank you Madam President. I move that Order of the Day, Number 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE FIRST AFRO-ARAB LEGISLATORS AND BUSINESS SUMMIT

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I move the motion standing in my name that;

This House:

Takes note of the report of the delegation to the First Afro-Arab Legislators and Business Summit held at the Sheraton Addis Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1st to 2nd August, 2015.

HON. SEN. D.T. KHUMALO:  I second.    

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you very Madam President.  I want to give a report of the delegation which went to Ethiopia last year.  Unfortunately, it is now late but let me do it.

          Madam President, the First Arab African Legislators and Business Summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the Sheraton Addis Hotel from the 1st to the 2nd of August, 2015.  The Association of Senates SHOORA and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECA), together with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) hosted the Summit under the theme, ‘Investing in Africa Makes Sense’.

          The Conference was aimed at creating a unique partnership by engaging African-Arab Parliamentarians and business to discuss how to encourage sustainable growth and business integration.  That was the aim.  The summit brought together, Senators, members of the SHOORA Councils, the Business and Investment community, Associations, Chambers of Commerce experts, Investment Promotion officers, Opinion makers and Government decision makers.

          As the delegation from Zimbabwe, unfortunately we could not go with the secretariat, it was only made up of Members of Parliament. The delegation was comprised as follows: Sen. Tawengwa who was also the leader of the delegation; Sen. D.T. Khumalo and Sen. D.D.E. Mumvuri.  The other participants from the continent and beyond included the following people; there were several delegates, speakers, presenters, moderators, some Presidents of the Senates – not all of them; Presidents of National Assemblies, Speakers of National Assemblies and their deputies and also other Members of Parliaments.  There were also ambassadors and former ambassadors.  The ASSECA secretariat was also present.  Representatives of Chamber and Commerce from several countries also attended, bankers and financial consultants, travel and tour operators also came in to give their input.  Representatives of School of Journalism and Communication, Accelerated Women’s Empowerment groups, Chief Executive officers and consultants on water resources management.

          The countries which were represented at the Summit include the host country Ethiopia, Seychelles, Sudan, Congo Brazzaville, Algeria, Botswana, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Libya, Kuwait, Eritrea, Djibouti and Zimbabwe.  The various speakers and presenters emphasised the need for collaboration and cooperation and an improved business climate with progressive and social economic policies which should transform the well-being of communities and economic gains.

          Madam President, it was noted that Africa was blessed with natural and human resources but there were challenges, bottlenecks and hurdles, some of which are real and others are perceived in doing business with some African States.  Some of the challenges and bottlenecks include the following:

  • Corruption which we have to fight as a continent;
  • Red tape which results in investors taking their investment to other countries which are more friendly;
  • The issue of democracy and human rights was also on the spotlight;
  • Prohibitive labour laws;
  • Uncertainty about investment laws resulting in lack of investor confidence;
  • Negative projection of Africa by the media at large;
  • Visa barriers in Africa, hence prohibiting the free movement of people and goods, although it was argued during the Summit that visas were necessary in order to arrest vices such as smuggling. The point is that they must be clarified;
  • Lack of trade security, peace and stability which at times leads to untimely change of governments;
  • Lack of trade promotion, hence lack of information;
  • Lack of partnership between public and private sectors in Africa and lack of direct access to some African countries, which means, travelling via Europe more often than not;
  • Exporting of raw materials without value addition, an initiative which Zimbabwe is now taking lead and I hope that we are winning in that regard;
  • Discriminatory and legal frameworks in coherence and national legislators;
  • Lack of arbitration in cases of disputes; and
  • Lack of finance and incentives for investors.

The discussions and presentation during the conference period noted various issues, notably the following things:- That there was a strong base for partnership between Arab and African nations which would create a bigger market if it is pursued in full. 

Some countries prefer to import most of their products from Europe because of quality and we shun our own which we make locally.  Africa is one of the top destinations in terms of tourism, yet it is underutilised.  Europe had the bloodiest wars in history but transformed a tragedy into opportunities for creating a common trading identity.  Brazil and Argentina are the commercial regional institutions in Latin America due to fostering of ties which they are pursuing there.  If you are trading partners, rarely do you fight; hence the African Union wants to establish free trade areas which should be encouraged.  The East African trade between Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania was cited as an example of free movement of people, goods and capital.  I think we should do the same with SADC, and initiative to do the same.  Trade unites all nations and promotes peace and this is what we should pursue.  Some countries have very influential Chambers of Commerce and Trade which were backed by their governments. Unfortunately, we did not travel with any from the business sector from Zimbabwe.  It was only us who went to that Summit without people from the Chamber of Commerce, ZNCC or CZI.

     Exporting primary resources and at times these were seasonal and hence, not sustainable that most countries had embassies with trade and commercial attachés who were not carrying out their mandates at all.

          That a lot of conferences are being held but the resolutions are not implemented at the end of the day. There is a big potential in agriculture, mining and ICT sectors growth in Africa but again we are not getting the full advantage of these.

          Due to urbanization it was noted that there was need for infrastructure including roads, water treatment works and sewerage, power and electricity and transport to be developed. The population of Africa is about 1.2 billion people and 50-60% is below 30 years old and are fast to learn, adapt and very hard working people. The standards of living in Africa are changing and improving, therefore creating a larger market of consumers must be expedited.

          There is an excellent climate and environment in African countries which exist at the moment. Some sectors such as tourism and manufacturing are showing improvement here and there and Zimbabwe is no exception to that. Africa through pan-Africanism should develop. Africa will become a bread basket if the Arab world through declining perceptions of risk, the Arab world is keen to trade and invest in Africa. It was encouraged that the Arab world should take an initiative and maybe take advantage of the African resources, instead of just looking to the West. The Arab world is also equally capable.

          Corruption in Africa is being overplayed by people who are subjective and who do not know Africa itself. It is us who must project the positive look of Africa and not the outsiders. Investors are cautious to invest in Africa due to perceived instability. They are hesitant to come in with their investment for that purpose. There is need to also focus on local trade among ourselves – regional trade like SADC on its own and East Africa and ECOWAS.

          The continent is also urged to group as regions for easy management and effectiveness like SADC and COMESA. At the end of these discussions Mr. President the summit made the following recommendations:

  • That there is need for technology and skills transfer in specific areas each time an investment is made.
  • There is need to intensify youth training through technical institutions and vocational training centres.
  • There is urgent need for beneficiation and value addition which must be pursued in these investments.
  • There is need to create a bigger market in order to sell more goods and services which are made locally from African nations.
  • There is need to create visa free borders for free movement of goods and people. Legislators must play their roles in coming up with supportive legal instruments and reforming legislation.
  • There is need to introduce commercial courts and arbitration centres for disputes which may arise through these dealings.
  • Countries should urge manufacturers to manufacture quality and exportable goods.
  • Countries should eradicate corruption where it exists and clear misconceptions.
  • There is need for educational exchange programmes for youths in order to understand different cultures.
  • There is need for long term agriculture finance and for small and medium enterprises. I think in Zimbabwe we are already ahead because we have got a ministry which is attributed to that sector.
  • There is need to improve the way of doing business by creating a one stop business centre with clear investment laws and investment processes.
  • There is need for Government to listen and heed private sector issues for a vibrant private sector, hence advocating Governments to stop ignoring the private sector which are major players in the industries. The private sector should act as lobbyists and the Government must create the conducive environment for them to do business.
  • To increase foreign direct investment (FDI), there is need to build investor confidence and to protect foreign investments by providing investor friendly frameworks.
  • There is need to create free trade area zones and provide incentives and guarantees. Free or low tax over a given period will do. Free or lower water tariffs, 20 to 30 year leases can be investor friendly and attract more investment.
  • There is need to reduce trade barriers and liberalise trade in between and among African countries themselves before we go beyond.
  • Enhance trade by providing a conducive environment and maintain peace and stability.
  • There is need for investors to understand the investment laws of that country like labour laws, contract laws, rules, regulations and culture of their intended investment destinations.
  • They should also study the skills needed for their business and also a reliable competent local partner so that there is transfer of skills at the end of the partnership.
  • It was also noted that there was need for clear understanding of the terrain as it is not a one-size-fits-all in African nations.

Mr. President, the discussions went on to look at the finances side and their implications as well. The conference was informed that the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa is prepared to finance infrastructure development, agriculture, irrigation, industry, health, housing, and education among others. This was a very attractive discussion. As African nations, we should seize that opportunity. We should not only look to the western countries but also the Arab world who convened this summit.  It is also ready to finance the private sector and financing international trade, which is the imports and exports endevours.  Afro-Arab institutions are ready to do business with Africa.  It was noted that Morocco is the second largest investor in Africa.  Countries were urged to create capital markets for easier investment.  There was need for easier repatriation of dividends and foreign currency to be enhanced and to also introduce the Build, Operate and Transfer system (BOT), which we are all familiar with.  It was also mooted that these ventures must be undertaken.  Financial institutions were to provide and avail information on the availability of finances and their targeted projects in the African nations. 

          Mr. President, it was also summarised that Africa has the potential to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with huge potential in agriculture.  This one is very applicable to Zimbabwe as it was endowed with vast tracts of land, several water bodies – rivers and  conducive environment.  There was also potential for huge irrigation projects resulting in good yields.  We could have avoided the Elnino induced drought hunger which is ravaging Africa if we had developed thriving irrigation schemes. 

There is also potential in the tourism sector.  In order to achieve the above, there was need for the same vision and mission with specific objectives, a clear strategy and harmonised efforts.  There is need to address impediments, be pragmatic in our approach, provide quality information and be transparent.  There was also need to utilize the media and embassies, produce skilled manpower and encourage private and public dialogue in order to create positive attitudes.  We should not forget that every problem has a solution but it has to be explored in order to get to that solution.  Countries were urged to come up with short, medium and long term projects and were reminded that there is need for action with political will. 

          In conclusion, the conference was reminded that the Third Ministerial Conference on Agriculture was going to be held in Kampala in November, 2015 and that the agenda 2063 which is being talked about was preparing Africa for the next 50 years.  That is the end of the report Mr. President.

          HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. President for the opportunity to add a little information to what has been said.  That report has been very comprehensive, so I have very minor issues to add onto it,  which might even have been mentioned.  There was the importance of having laws that govern trade so that when people are coming to start businesses in other countries, they are aware of the dos and don’ts according to the law. This will ensure that people are not apprehensive but know exactly what is right and what is wrong.  There is also the issue of free economic zones, which we are discussing as a country.  We hope we are going to try to have these economic zones so that our country can have investors who will know that they will have a bit of leeway to pay taxes and also doing other business. 

My other small observation was that there were more than 66 people who were attending the conference but only 13 were women who included the presenters.  I thought that in Zimbabwe we make sure we balance the numbers and within that meeting there was no gender balance.  The recognition of women in that forum is very low. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity to add my voice.  I want to thank Senator Mumvuri, his seconder Sen. Khumalo and the whole delegation that attended this conference.  I was listening very carefully when the Senator was giving us his report.  I think he touched on very pertinent issues and I think the meeting aimed at our upbringing as Africans.   I think this is noble and should continue.  However, as I was listening, I was wondering what we should do in Africa in relation to corruption.  Corruption has been talked about on several occasions and it continues to be talked about at every fora.  We are now tired of hearing the same thing.  We only talk about ending corruption.  I was talking to Hon. Sen. Tawenga that if you go to Nigeria, they have oil but they do not have fuel, a lot of shady deals are happening.  So, what is happening in Africa?  Why do we not want people to live well in Africa?  You have talked about investors and the red tape.  When you try to invest in Africa, you meet a lot of challenges.

 I was saying to Hon. Sen. Tawengwa that I remember Nyerere’s book which he wrote in 1967, which is called “Speeches by President Nyerere”.  In 1967 they were talking about corruption, even the likes of Kwame Nkrumah.  Even up to now our terms come and end but when talking about corruption we just end up talking and taking no action.  We talk about value addition, yet it is just a question of semantics where we are adding new vocabulary to what we already know.  We talk of paradigm shift as if it is a new thing yet it is the same thing that the likes of Kwame Nkrumah and Nyerere talked about.  Long back they referred to this as import substitution and self reliance.  Even the likes of Kaunda talked about humanism and uhuru.  They were referring to all this that we should add value to our things.  But in Africa when things do not go the way they want for 50 years, then they will look for different words, adding problems on top of more problems, but I think now, we have reached another stage that when we meet during our workshops, we should not waste time holding workshops.  We should get into the gear of putting an end to all this. So, we should now go a higher level, not to just keep on talking and lamenting and exciting ourselves or even having PhDs.  They are talking about obvious things.

We have a lot of people who are educated but they do not have any solutions.  They are just telling us what we know; that investors are frustrated in Africa.  We know all that and people are doing PhDs on that.  We know that Africa is not progressing because they are telling us what we know.  Even our old people in the rural areas know about all this.  Even the dead people, if they were to wake up, they would be turning in their graves because they know all this.  So, I want to thank this report because it has touched on a number of issues that affect us.  But what I want to say is that, as Parliament, we should hold a workshop to finish all this and put a stop on all this.  Thank you.

HON. SENATOR MUSAKA:  Thank you President.  I wish to thank Hon. Senator Mumvuri and the seconder, Hon. Senator Khumalo on this report.  I also wish to add my voice to the issues discussed.  They were wide ranging and indeed pertinent and touching to Africa.  I wish to start perhaps, with the issue of corruption which has been talked about many times.  I think it is incumbent upon us, the legislators, to be zero tolerant on policy or approach to corruption. 

Indeed, as Hon. Chief Charumbira said, we talk and talk.  I think somehow and in some way in one corner, things just die.  There is forgiveness.  People are corrupt.  Things happen and they speak a lot of English and a lot of words to justify wrong doing.  I think this august Senate should take a stand, even the President as it is stated in the Constitution, the President runs the country with the assistance of Parliament.  Can we assist the President?  Really, it is too much.  There is just so much corruption.  You cannot go to any doctor and use your medical aid.  There is so much corruption that the doctors have just begun to almost run us.  They refuse unless you pay this and pay that, you do this and do that.  We are getting nowhere.  Even amongst ourselves, we also get involved in a lot of shoddy deals, short cuts and when it comes, again I repeat, we speak a lot of English.  A language that we do not understand; oh yes it simply means this and I am allowed to do that and we are just quiet.  Can we say No to corruption?  I think it is high time.

Mr. President, I also wish to make a contribution on the issue of financing.  Perhaps, I will also talk about it in my motion.  The Arab world – in 2014, I think we had another delegation and we went to Jordan.  The same appeal was made and I am so surprised that maybe some of our Ministers or ours are not taking the initiative.  It is just a repeat of what happened in Addis Ababa.  When we went to Jordan, the same thing was said.  The Arab financial institutions are ready to give us money, but we are always crying.  We cannot work effectively on Beitbridge – Chirundu - Masvingo road because we have no money, but some people are prepared to give us some money.  Is it that they do not know where to go or how to do it?  I cannot understand.  There is so much money.  It is true, Mr. President, the people are willing to help us.

Either, as it has been said, we are PhDs.  I do not know, PhDs, pulling him down or it is PhD in just failing to do things.  I cannot understand.  We appeal and people are ready to give us money, but still we have no money, we cannot do this.  Something is wrong.  Again, maybe let us take the initiative somehow, this august Senate, to find out from the Ministries or the Ministers concerned what the challenges and impediments are.  Why can they not access this money for the roads, why can we not access this money for agriculture?  GMB should pay the workers.  Why can we not do it?  I do not understand.  So, Mr. President, I think this was an important report and important delegation.  We should learn something from this. 

I want to come on to production.  I want to talk about primary goods.  Mr. President, if we are serious, let us produces maize in abundance.  It does not matter.  It is a primary commodity.  Only then do we begin to actually go to the second stage.  If we do not have the primary commodity, how do we move to the next stage?  We cannot.  We do not want to actually start importing sugar cane to start manufacturing sugar.  It is just not possible.  Maize can do wonders.  People, let us just come and produce that in abundance.  Only then, do we take off.  So, with those few words, Mr. President, I wish to thank you.

*HON. SENATOR MAWIRE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the motion raised by Hon. Mumvuri, seconded by Hon. Khumalo.  We would like to say thank you for representing us at the conference which was held in those countries.  We thank every one of you who took part in that conference.

Let me say, Mr. President, corruption is now a cancer in our country and we seem to be letting corruption rear its ugly head in our country.  It is a draw back in development.  Some of us are even describing it as something we are really nurturing and we are using only different words to express the same thing.  I wish to appeal to governments of Africa, especially in Zimbabwe.  There is a biblical saying that says, let me remove the log in my eye before I can remove the speck in other people’s eyes.  We need to work hard in fighting corruption.

There is a singer in Zimbabwe, Thomas Mapfumo, who sang about corruption.  At first we were surprised as to why he was singing about that, but it is now rampant and I believe that as a State, we need to take corrective measures.  We need to punish convicted offenders on corruption and this should be high profile so that they lead by example.  We know we are not the only ones who are talking about this issue, but even when the leaders were talking, they were saying we need to fight corruption, but there was not enough support.

It is known that countries are not developing.  We are retarding development because of corruption.  I may be forgetting the time and date of what could be happening but we went on a launch of fighting corruption and we were given resources so that we fight this corruption.  We have the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs who had tried to raise that in fighting against corruption? There was a lot of money which was used but why are we spending monies when we are still continuing practicing corruption?  I believe that when we attend these conferences, especially regarding problems like corruption, when we get resolutions and when we get home, let us implement that because at times they sympathise with our governments in Africa.  They fly us to luxurious places; we stay in beautiful hotels, attend these high profile conferences but when we come back home with the resolutions, we do not implement what has been resolved.  We need to support the leaders of our country. 

          Mr. President, at one time President Mugabe talked strongly against corruption but I am saying, time is now that we need to fight corruption.  We have had the call that whosoever is involved in corruption should be flashed out, arrested and convicted. When a high profile is convicted, there should be publicity and they will lead by example.  This will be an electric shock to would-be perpetrators of corruption.  I think I have made enough contribution in the fight against corruption.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  Thank you Mr. President, for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on a motion raised by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri and seconded by Hon. Sen.Khumalo, where they were talking about Africa.  Africa is a continent which has lots of natural resources which are even more than all the other countries in the world.  We have gold, oil and all the precious metals, they are all found in Africa.  We have been told that a person who has lots of monies stored in his house and is doing very well is said to be person living good life because he is living a healthy life. It is a sign that he is living a luxurious life.  The same should be happening to our country.  Africa is endowed with lots of natural resources and these should be seen on the lives of the people of Africa, living luxurious and healthy lives but the reverse is true. 

          Mr. President, why is Africa the poorest continent in the world when it is endowed with such lots of riches?   We have corruption, red tape, questionable human rights, bad labour laws and the media is also castigated for speaking ill of Africa.  Why should Africa be at the suffering end of all these atrocities?  We look at what we term ‘African leadership’.  Leaders of Africa should take steps to fight corruption.  We have heard one of us saying corruption happens in our own backyard which is in Africa.  People fight against each other.  We have red tape in Zimbabwe; we have people talking about human rights and democracy, issues of labour and media laws.  These are challenges in Zimbabwe.  Therefore, true of what the Bible says, start by removing the log in your eye before you talk of the spike in your neighbour’s eye.  We should know that we are part of the African leadership but these are my observations – corruption, red tape and all these bad things.

          Mr. President, research says if the institutions running the country are weak, these ills will thrive.  For instance, we have Hon. Sen. Komichi here, if he is involved in corrupt activities, he is not arrested because the institutions are weak.  In Zimbabwe, we did talk about anticorruption for quite a long time but this is just something which was just a talk-show. We have our police force which turns a blind eye towards corruption.  Therefore, if the institution is weak, there are some people who will take advantage of the situation and be involved in corruption.

 Suppose, I have been appointed the Minister of Finance, and you receive some donations, I will definitely dip my fingers into that because I know that I will not be punished.  Therefore, let us implement the resolutions which fight corruption.  We need to have commissions and institutions which we put in place to help fight these social ills.  As a Government and as a nation, are we really dedicated to fighting corruption. 

Let us compare ourselves with the situation in South Africa. President Zuma was accused of using State funds in building his rural home, iNkandla and the public protector made some investigations which said 16 million Rands was abused.  That report was brought to Parliament and there was robust debate on that.  The issue was taken again to court and the court was very sincere in implementing the resolutions.  The President of South Africa, President Zuma apologised to the State for that mishap – why?  Because the institutions of South Africa, the three arms of State are very strong and firm in fighting corruption.  We know that they did that because there was that dedication to fight corruption.  I therefore, urge Zimbabwe to develop to that level whereby we will be prepared to fight tooth and nail in fighting corruption. 

Therefore, we have some other organisations talking about it but as Zimbabwe, we are afraid of talking about it.  We even have some people who have the audacity of saying corruption is now an asset which is used in exchanging goodies.  We even admire people who are involved in corruption and we are saying corruption is no longer a problem yet it is a way of life in Zimbabwe.  As stated by the previous speaker, corruption is cancer and it destroys the country.  Corruption causes poverty because companies will not develop in a corrupt climate and even service providers will never lead to the development of a country because all the resources are abused.  Schools and health facilities are destroyed by corruption.  Roads are devastated because of corruption.  Electricity is a problem because of corruption.  We have read about this in our press and we have heard of corruption in ZESA.  At NRZ, workers have not been paid for the past 24 months.  Corruption is an evil, corruption is a cancer which you have to fight, first in our country, in Zimbabwe and when we look outside, we will give directives. 

We have had a report that talks about conflicts in Africa.  How do people develop, how does Africa develop when it has so many conflicts? These wars thrive because people will be using Africa’s natural resources to destroy.  We have conflicts in Nigeria and Mal.  Instead of using resources for development, they are used for wars.  Somalia, Morroco, South Sudan, DRC, there are conflicts and even Zimbabwe, how can a country develop?  How can Africa develop when there are such conflicts due to corruption?  We know that resources are stolen whenever there are disturbances in a country because those in leadership, especially in the army will take advantage and loot from the state coffers for their own benefit.  We are aware that Africa is at number one or two in terms of conflict resolution.  We may say we are second after the Middle East where the ongoing conflicts are destroying resources.

          We need to talk about issues of good governance and democracy.  Let us fight corruption. I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of leadership because they should be fighting corruption and these civil wars.  The leadership should be pursuing democracy in the country and if we are to talk with one voice as Zimbabweans on addressing these ills, we will have development in the country and have investors coming in the country.  We need to fight hard this corruption in order to develop and enforce human rights. 

Zimbabwe has a problem that is affecting its use of money because those that go about sourcing for funds for the development of the country are saying human rights have been abrogated. We have people disappearing and people have been asking the whereabouts of Itai Dzamara.  As a country, we need to fight corruption and uphold human rights.  I put the blame squarely on the leadership because we need peace and development but this can only be achieved when we have peace in Africa then we can develop and trade with other countries.

We can borrow things such as technology from other countries.  We can talk to other continents but they will give us the technology on condition that we are a peaceful country.  We can benefit from their technology, therefore this report should also look at what Africa is doing in other areas.  The challenge that we have in Africa is lack of a united front in addressing our problems.  We have a fragmented approach, hence the divide and rule policy by would be investors as they go to countries that they deem have conducive investment policies. 

For example, minerals may be discovered in Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and an investor from China or elsewhere will seek for a country that has friendly investment policies that are peaceful and uphold human rights issues.  Therefore, these ills are leading to the under development of Africa.  As Africans, let us be prepared to fight corruption and uphold human rights. 

Therefore let us not be disempowered by the Executive because there are problems when systems are weak.  An Executive that has too much power weakens the other arms of the state.  We must work together with the Executive in order to be able to solve our problems.

*HON. SEN. SHIRI:  Thank you Mr. President for giving me this

opportunity to make my contribution on the motion that was tabled by Hon. Sen. Khumalo after attending the Afro-Arab Legislators and Business Summit.  We were advised that the Arab countries have set aside funds for the development of willing African countries in development partnerships. 

          They also spoke about youth exchange programmes whereby we have our youths going to the Arab countries to acquire knowledge on the development of the country.  The biggest challenge that is hindering progress is that of corruption.  Corruption is a problem because looking at what is happening in this country.  We are in the winter season, we have the elderly and women carrying babies on their backs and we also have people who are spreading rumours that the Zimbabwe Dollar is about to return.  Some people have even paid as much as $10.00 as a result these people are peddling these lies, thus making investors shun Zimbabwe.

          People do not understand the relevance of bond notes and are trying to withdraw their money to avoid the conversion to bond notes hence people are being fleeced of their hard earned cash.  The poor people are the ones who suffer when there is corruption.  The vulnerable groups such as the youths, women and the elderly suffer the most as corruption mainly involves men.  This is very true because men are the ones who are mainly involved in corruption yet youths, women and the elderly bear the brunt. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear!] - I am telling the truth because we should call a spade a spade if we are to fight corruption.  Members of the public are leading miserable lives due to corruption.

          Some people are travelling distances of up to 5 kilometers to their banks but they do not get anything.  We also have teachers leaving schools to withdraw their salaries from the banks and they are absent for weeks on end because they want to get their money.  This is all due to corruption.  People are suffering due to inadequate knowledge on the substance of bond notes.  There is need for public education and awareness campaigns so that people are aware of what these bond notes represent.  We need to fight corruption.  I thank you.

          *HON. SEN. TAWENGWA:  Thank you Mr. President, initially I had resolved not to contribute on this motion.  After our discussion, I feel that we could be spending more time on a motion that will be tabled in the next sitting. 

          The conference that we attended advised that investing in Africa makes sense.  These countries were looking for ways and means to invest in Africa.  This has been amicably stated by Hon. Sen. Mumvuri and Hon. Sen. Khumalo on how the African countries can attract these investors.  The talk on corruption was a sideline on the main topic and when we talk of corruption we should ask ourselves to say, what is corruption.  I observed that when hon. senators are making a contribution, like Hon. Sen. Shiri, corruption develops from ignorance.  We have been told of the bond notes, but the information is distorted.  This is used by people so that they can destroy the economy.  When we talked of the bond coins, we also had that problem but we managed to launch these bond coins and they are now making it easy for us to do our purchases and monitory exchanges.  Therefore, let us unite and fight corruption.  This was the report which talked about the different ways of attracting investors to Africa.

The other motion which was raised is that, why is it that we have some products which are manufactured in Zambia or South Africa?  We have people who want to go and buy things in Europe instead of buying from their neighbours.  The reason given was that, we are not perfectionists.  We produce shoddy products which cannot be marketed.  For example, we are talking of tourism in the country and we said we need to levy 15% on that but we hear tourists saying we are no longer coming to Zimbabwe because you are an expensive country.  Therefore, we need to talk to the Ministers or the Government on what we can do to reduce this fee from these tourists.

          The late Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of Libya was talking about empowering Africa – intra-trade between African countries.  We need to put our heads together as the people of Africa and that way we will develop Africa because if we do not do that, we will be at the beck and call of the Big Brother.  We need to look at the special skills which can be availed in our country.  We need to dialogue and talk in unison. 

We have had talks with our Ministers such as Hon. Zhanda whereby we ask to say, why is it that the peasant farmers who were subscribing to the fulfillment of our grain silos but now we have problems.  Why is it that? We need to be doing some things as we have technology which can be used.  Why are our farmers not producing as much as they were doing – it means that they need to be empowered and if we empower them by giving them the correct resources, Zimbabwe will develop and will have sufficient food? 

We have embassies in those countries but my question is; why are our ambassadors failing to talk of the resources/riches in Zimbabwe to attract investors?  We need to talk of these people like Hon. Marongwe who was looking after the girl child of Zimbabwe who had been taken as a slave to the Arab countries.  Why should Zimbabwe be a country whereby if you want slaves, you are told to go to Zimbabwe?  We need to create a good image of Zimbabwe.

          We have talked about the infrastructure of Zimbabwe in the development.  Let me say, we have these land barons.  They are built and supported by us the people of Zimbabwe because we support them.  When we talk about some of these issues that Zimbabwe is corrupt, we have people who will not come to invest because they will be saying that there is corruption.  We are putting out wrong signals for example; we are talking about the Zika Virus in Brazil but the way that it is being talked about is that it is in Africa, yet it is somewhere far. 

Therefore, we need to talk of developing Africa so that one day; Africa will become the breadbasket of the world.  We did agree that Africa has a lot of natural resources but these are being abused by corrupt people.  Instead of developing the country, they are used by these corrupt people.  This is in a case where if there is enough food in the country, the status of chiefs and some people may not be noticed, but if there is starvation in the country, those generous people will come and donate food and they will be recognised and their status would be raised. 

That is the issue that we are talking about that we have a country like Nigeria which is an oil rich country, but because of mismanagement- there are always wars, fights and starvation.  As countries of Africa like in Zimbabwe, let us look for ways of empowering our youth.  As it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, let us teach our youth so that they talk of the development of Africa and investment in Africa.  We need to create the rules which will lead them to the production and development of Africa.

          On corruption, even when the President when he is delivering speeches, he is always fighting the corruption.  We talked about the financing of agriculture.  We have a Minister of Finance and Economic Development who should be aware that we need to empower our farmers.  We may receive the equipment from Brazil, but in order for that to be productive, we need to fully utilise the resources like supporting our farmers and keep on developing our country.  We have the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development under Hon. Nyoni, it is doing a fantastic job and we need to support it.  We have had the private sector and the Government talking about developmental issues and even the labour laws which are being aligned to current situations.

          We can talk of the foreign Direct Investment, as a country, if we have alarmists, we have people who are talking about war and corruption in Zimbabwe and definitely, that is one way of fighting off the investors.  I read in the press that, we have people who wanted to illegally export US$80 million, they were husband and wife.  They were arrested at the airport and, we have people who come from their countries to collect this money and take it out because the US dollar is an international currency.  We need to have ways of fighting the corruption.

          We have also talked about free trade zones and what we would now want to look at is that the resolutions made at the Africa Arab Conference is implemented.  We need to fight the trade barriers which are existing so that we can be seen to be implementing what we discussed.  Labour laws are being reviewed; investment policies are being relaxed so that they attract those people. 

One thing that I am proud of is that, Zimbabwe has a lot of skilled people who can undertake any assignment which may be needed.  We also have the Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) which is a way of attracting investors.  Let us not only deal with corruption because at times, the way we talk about it is scaring away investors.  We have the press which is usually talking falsehoods about Zimbabwe but this will be fighting off development partners who may want to come into our nation. We should be prepared for the motion which will be coming on corruption. I would like to thank Senator Mumvuri and Senator Khumalo for attending that conference and sharing what was stated at the conference. My main wish is that we need to implement what was agreed on at that conference so that when next we go to such conferences, we will be able to say as Zimbabwe, we implemented these resolutions.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 8th June, 2016.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): I rise to move that Order of the Day, Number 5 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 1 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 14, 2015]

          First Order read: Second Reading: Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [H. B. 14, 2015].

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. President, one of the key objectives of the Government as enunciated in the new national Constitution is to ensure transparency and accountability in all financial matters.

          Honourable Senators will be aware of recent reports by the Auditor General highlighting concerns with respect to the management and accountability for public resources. Honourable Senators have also highlighted at different fora, their frustration over the apparent lack of response by Government to these important issues raised in the Auditor General’s reports.

          The Public Finance Management (PFM) Act [Chapter 22:19] confers on the Treasury the responsibility to exercise general direction and control over public resources. To enable my Ministry to effectively discharge that mandate, it is necessary to develop and implement systems that ensure the effective use of and proper accountability for public resources. In this respect, strengthening the governing statute is critical to provide the necessary anchor for such systems.

          Mr. President, in pursuance of the above objective, my Ministry is proposing to amend and review the PFM Act so as to further enhance the financial management provisions through the Bill that is before this august Senate for Honourable Members’ consideration.  The Bill seeks to address concerns over public entities management of public resources by strengthening the sector ministries and Treasury’s financial oversight of those entities.

          The review will also enhance governance arrangements over the statutory funds that are not adequately catered for in the current legislation.

Proposed Amendments

Pursuant to that objective, it is proposed that:

  1. Section 10 be amended to clarify the powers and responsibilities of accounting officers with respect to public entities and funds under their Ministries’ purview as follows:
  • Responsibility to ensure that every public entity or fund under each Ministry’s purview has systems in place for planning, allocating, budgeting and reporting on the use of public resources and that public resources are safeguarded against loss.
  • Requirement for accounting officers to review the recurrent and capital budgets of every public entity and/or fund and make recommendations to the appropriate Minister and the Minister on the approval of such budget proposals.
  • Mandate to order an investigation into the affairs of a public entity and/or fund under the accounting officer’s Ministry.
  • Power to call upon an accounting authority to provide explanations on issues affecting the public entity or fund.
  • Authority to give direction which the accounting officer deems necessary for the efficient running of the public entity or fund.
  1. Section 46 be amended to require all public entities to submit annually, Results Based Management which are compliant with corporate and financial plans to the accounting officer and the Accountant General before the start of the financial year. The information will facilitate effective monitoring of public entity operations by the supervising Ministry and the Treasury.
  2. Section 47 be amended to make it mandatory for public entities to submit their budgets to the appropriate Minister for approval before the start of the financial year. The proposed provisions further compel the supervising Ministry to check for and ensure consistency of the annual corporate plans and budgets of public entities with the financial policies set by Government.

These provisions will ensure that the deployment of resources by public entities is in line with Government policy and targets their core mandates.

  1. Section 49 be amended to incorporate a provision requiring public entities to submit quarterly financial statements not later than 21 days after the end of the respective quarter. The introduction of the quarterly reporting requirement will substantially enhance the monitoring of their performance.
  2. A new Section 51A be inserted to clarify the separation of roles between the supervising Ministries and public entities, consistent with good corporate governance principles. The clause further provides for offences and penalties for contravention of its requirements.
  3. Section 82 be amended to include provisions that compel public entities to implement audit recommendations within timeframes agreed with the Auditor General.

Conclusion

Mr. President, as I indicated earlier on, the proposals that I am making in this Bill are critical to allow for the effective discharge of the mandate vested in my Ministry to manage public resources. I therefore, urge Honourable Senators of this august Senate to support these proposals to enhance the effective management of and accountability for public resources for the good of the nation. I need also add that the contributions by Honourable Senators that I listened to just now, are very much in sync with what we are proposing to do in this Bill. This Bill is seeking to address those many concerns and questions you are asking. This is an effort towards addressing those issues.  Transparency and accountability need to be part and parcel of our accounting systems and culture.  Mr. President Sir, for these reasons, I move that the Public Finance Management Amendment Bill (H.B.14, 2015), be now read a second time.

*HON. SEN. MAKORE:  I want to thank the Minister for the Bill that he brought to us.  If what we read is going to meet what you articulated, then it will be very good because what we want is accountability and transparency.  If what you are saying Minister, is for us to have a way forward, we will be very happy.  What we want is for the Bill to be implemented as it is because as you see us now, we have challenges yet things are there.  What we want Minister is that no one will disagree.  If this is going to minimise the virementing of funds, we would want to thank you for that.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I also want to thank the Minister for bringing in this Bill to this House.  It is very true that the money that we handle as Zimbabwe – the people want to know how their funds are being used.  They do not want to hear that their monies are being misused by Hon. Komichi, they will be really disgruntled. 

What you referred to is transparency and accountability, which is what the people of Zimbabwe want to hear.  If they hear that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development brought in the issue of accountability and that their money is being used properly, they are happy with that.  It is very true that each year the Auditor General brings out audit reports which points out funds abuse but sure enough, people do not bring out responses.  The Auditor-General clearly states that the Ministers are not responding.  Is it that the Ministers are the ones that are misusing the money?  We are happy that as Minister of Finance and Economic Development, you have come out clean that you are not the one who is misusing the funds.  The explanations that you gave us Hon. Minister, strengthen the institutions because if the systems are weak, the issues that you have raised – the five Ministries block the holes that funds were being siphoned through.  I think you are really trying hard to ensure that money is not siphoned out of this country.  Your Ministry is going to be strengthened because of the efforts that you are putting in place.  I also think this should cascade down to the public institutions that you run as a Ministry so that the way they use money is transparent.  This will give us confidence as we are also keen to see corruption curbed through this way. 

You also said there will be quarterly reviews of monitoring and evaluations.  These will really help us because we will not give chance to people to misuse the funds as audits will be conducted on a quarterly basis.  You should convict people who misuse funds.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA:  I also rise to thank the Minister for taking such action to ensure that Zimbabwe is put back on the right track.  I just want to make one or two comments.  If you look at what everybody else has said, the Auditor General has specifically, year in and year out, pointed out several if not numerous omissions in the management of finances.  Over a period of 37 years, it says that the mismanagement of finance has now become a culture in this country.  It therefore requires a paradigm shift in the words of the Hon. Sen, Chief Charumbira and massive education of our population.  I hope that a statutory instrument to deal with that, if not contained in the Bill, will be in place to address that.

Secondly, where performance is below expectation, there must be sanctions.  Once again, without being verbose, I look forward to instruments that put into place sanctions for deviation from the standard.  Third and lastly, Minister you talked about performance related handling of finances.  I am glad that we are moving towards world standards.  There is no money or congratulation for any act that is not performance based in today’s world.  It makes a difference from those who remain static and those who move forward.  With those words, I thank once again the Minister for taking such action but it is the auctioning of the Bill that is going to make the difference.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMHINI:  Thank you Minister, for bringing in a good Bill.  I just want to say to the Minister that the issue of quarterly reports has always been there in place but it was not being put into practice.  I support what Sen. Sibanda said, that we should put in place laws specifying what the Minister or Government will do if laws are not implemented.  What is lacking is implementation to get results and not laws.  So, you can bring a good Bill like this but we have the same challenge that if the Auditor General points out the challenges that she will have come across, nothing happens to the people, so we will not have done anything.  I also believe that this Bill is going to help us when it comes to the separation of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, so that there is no interference from any of the three arms of the State so that if money is being misused, Parliament should take steps so that the money should be returned.  However, if the Government is protecting people, it means that Parliament would not have work to do because those who will be stealing, there will be nothing to stop them from stealing.  The laws should give us results.  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MANYERUKE:  Thank you Mr. President.  I have stood up to thank the Minister for this Bill.  We want to thank you for the hard work that you do so that we live well as Zimbabweans. I have stood up just to support this Bill.  Thank you.

+ HON. SEN.  KHUMALO:  I would like to add my voice on the motion that was tabled in this Senate.  My concern is why is it all our parastatals are always asking for money from Government and we do not see them saying we want to help the Government, especially if they have shortage of revenue inflow.  I remember in 2008 we saw in other countries parastatals carrying out projects that could generate income and they were able to help their government when they were in crisis.  My question is, why can we not have the same in Zimbabwe, whereby if there is cash shortage in banks, we have our parastatals having to bail out our Government? 

If our parastatals always have to borrow or be assisted by the Government and they cannot generate revenue for themselves, then we are better off closing them.  Can they be the ones who bail out even our banks?  Thank you.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Mr. President for according me this opportunity.  I want to thank the Minister and assure him that we are behind him and support him.  This has come late.  He should have done it yesterday so that our country will be helped.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Thank you very much Mr. President Sir and I want to thank all Hon. Senators who have contributed and who are supporting the Bill.  I do not think there is any other way to support the Bill because the Bill, like I pointed out in my Second Reading speech, is calling for transparency.

When I am confronted with concerns over corruption, the response I always give, drawing from my previous experience as a Attorney General, is that corruption is a very different crime from all other crimes in that the briber and the bribed have both benefited and so between those two, you do not expect them to go and report what they have done, unless someone discovers what they have done.  So, they will not report each other.  The only time when they report each other is when one has been shortchanged only.

So, the point I am making here is we can talk until our voices are hoarse about fighting corruption.  Until those two come out and report each other, we are wasting our time.  The fight against corruption should be through installing and establishing systems that make it difficult for people to steal.  If institutions have systems in terms of transparency and accountability, in terms of supervision and monitoring by the boards; the management being monitored by the board, the board being monitored by the line Ministry.  If questions are asked constantly throughout, it becomes difficult for anyone to steal and I think Senator Komichi in a graphic way got to something like that, that if we are going to ask for reviews quarterly, it may be very difficult to hide anything that has been done in three months. 

Also, you find sometimes in a lot of institutions people refuse to go on leave, people refuse to be promoted because they know that if they are promoted, someone will come and see what they were doing.  So, we need to put these systems in place and this Bill is all about doing that.  So, I want to thank Senator Makore for your support and Senator Komichi, again, I want to thank you for your support.

The issue about auditor’s reports, as we all know, year in, year out the Auditor General makes reports which are adverse against administration of our public resources and it has been in the past that we do nothing, but from now on we are beginning to put in place, in the Treasury, in the Accountant General’s Office, units which will be dedicated because you need a lot of capacity first to go through what the Auditor General has said.  You do not just end where what the Auditor General has said, you have to go behind what the Auditor General has said in terms of examination of the financial accounts and systems which have been queried by the Auditor General.

Often, the Auditor General may also be mistaken, so the units which I am establishing in my Ministry will go through each report and have an independent opinion, independent of what the Auditor General has said.  If we agree with the Auditor General, recommend what measures to take against an individual or against an institution.  That is essentially what we are seeking to do and the amendments will bolster that position as we see it.

We also find that year in year out, most parastatals submit their annual statements and accounts to this Parliament and none of us read them, yet imbedded in those reports are some of the malpractices that you are complaining about.  Because they were published, because you have not queried them, they are legitimated.  They assume a degree of legitimacy and authenticity.  So, it is also important that we build capacity, not just within my Ministry, but also within Parliament, to have a department which examines and studies these financial statements to understand what they mean.  What normally is thrown up is basically that sometimes the payroll has no relationship at all to the revenue that the parastatal is receiving. They are paying themselves more than what they are receiving, something that, if not corruption, it is very bad management.  So, these are the issues that we hope we can tease out when in fact these units are established in my Ministry. 

Again, do not always rush to seek arrests.  Generally, like I said, a lot of arrests sometimes are made before the actual investigation is done.  Then what happens is that you go to court, you have no case.  It does not do well to the public.  When the public see people being arrested, they have already convicted them, generally, when they see them go scot free, that is when they say, how can they set free corrupt people, when in fact the investigations had not been done as thoroughly as they should do.  So, there is no merit sometimes in rushing to arrest, unless a prima facie case has been established. Generally, given my background, I am always not there to rush to seek arrests, I always ask are investigations being undertaken thoroughly.  If they are not, I just get worried and I will not approve premature arrest of people when the investigations have not yet been undertaken and established, a prima facie case. 

I also want to thank Hon. Sen. Sibanda for the support.  The paradigm shift we need in our economy is basically to move away from a culture that you can be given for free.  That culture is a corrupt culture – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- It is in a way a corrupt culture that things can just happen to you, you do not need to work, things will just wake up one morning, outside your door, there is a Mercedes Benz and so on - [ Laughter.] – that basically is what breeds culture.  People having a culture that they do not want to work, they want benefits which they have not worked for.  We need to move the mindset of our people away from that culture.  There is nothing for free.

Mr. President, you find it, all across, even in terms of the way  boards sometimes are set up, we look after our relations, friends, who have no capacity to perform the work, whose main objective is to say how much are the board’s allowances?  We cannot run an economy like that; we cannot run our statutory corporations in that fashion.  We have to appoint people who have capacity to manage people who can understand complex institutions and be able to add value and not to come as their primary objective to earn board fees. 

I agree with Hon. Sen. Sibanda with respect to that performance must be rewarded in the same way that we are saying we should not reward laziness and so on.  Correspondingly, we should reward performance, good performance should have a reward.  In the Bill that we are going to bring, I am going to bring Public Corporate Governance Bill.  These are some of the issues that we are dealing with, issues to do with appointment of board members, reporting procedures; whom to report to.  We must make people accountable.

Mr. President, if people take decisions, good or bad, they must be accountable.  If they are good, we must praise them, if they are bad, we must censor them. So I hope that with that Bill, it will also receive the support of Hon. Senators.  Senator Chimhini, the Bill is also setting separation of roles, it is very clear but not the roles that need to be clarified.  These are the roles between the Minister and the Board, the Board and Management.  Those roles need to be clarified.  Sometimes, you find some of us as Ministers, you give instruction to management, going behind a board, that is not good corporate governance.  All instructions, if you have any policy issues, you discuss with the board.  That is also the culture that we want to inculcate in the management of our parastatals. 

Mr. President, someone must be accountable.  The board is accountable for overseeing management.  If they do not do their job properly, they should be fired by the Minister without any equivocation, in the same way that if the Minister is not performing, he can also lose his job.  So, those roles need to be clarified.  The roles between the Executive and Parliament, I think those are very clear.  Parliament does not execute, does not do executive functions, that is the responsibility of Ministers.  But you have a role to expose me if I have done something irregular, it is your duty, if you do not do that, you are failing in that duty.  So, you have a role to examine how I perform my functions, if there is anything irregular it is the role of this august House to expose it so that remedial action can be taken.  I think we need to emphasise again and again those separation of roles.  If you then as august House, try to do the job of the Minister, then we should clarify and point out, that, no, your role begins here and ends there and it is my role now to do the actual job.   But as I am doing my actual job, you can ask me questions, why have I done it in that manner and then be able to point out that the manner that I have discharged my function is not worth of me as Minister.

Mr. President, those are the issues that I think should be addressed.  Hon. Senators Manyeruke and Machingaifa, thank you very much for your unqualified support.  Hon. Senator Khumalo, to the extent that I understood it, you are worried about our capacity to monitor state-owned enterprises.  You are also worried about the wastage of resources by state enterprises.  Those are some of the issues that we are grappling with.  We cannot correct everything overnight.  What in fact Hon. Senators need to know is that we have something like 91 state-owned enterprises.  Some of them are commercial and some of them regulatory.  The challenge usually is not with the regulatory state-owned enterprises, they are to do with your commercial enterprises, National Railways, Air Zimbabwe, ARDA and Cold Storage.  Those state enterprises, wholly owned by State but doing commercial work, in fact filling a void in the commercial sector.  That is where our major challenge is. 

Now, we then decided as Government that we identify ten critical ones which, if addressed can help turn around the economic fortunes of the country. So, we identified ten for now. If we spend our energies over a broad range of State enterprises, we will end up not achieving anything.  It is like the Shona proverb, kudzingirira tsuro mbiri, hapana yaunobata.  So we decided that we chase after the 10 key State enterprises, some of which have already been taken care of are the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), ARDA and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).  In terms of our reform agenda, we are targeting those enterprises.  We begun by carrying out forensic audits of those enterprises so that we understand what has been going on with them.

          I want to assure you that we are very much seized to address the concerns you raise.  I only want to caution and say it cannot be done overnight.  It is a process and we are clearly equal to the task.  Mr. President Sir, with that response, I once again want to thank Hon. Senators for their support and assure them that we will do our best to ensure transparency and accountability.  I therefore move that the Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [H.B. 14, 2015] be now read a second time.

          THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA):  Thank you Minister, I think you deserve a thunderous applause in the spirit you spared in explaining these issues.  I could not believe it was a Minister who was showing frustration and eagerness to try and correct some of the wrongs that we have in our systems. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]. -  Most Ministers are very defensive when they come here chero pakashata vachingotukirira vanhu  but you were with the Senate.  You were with everybody that we need to do the correct things.  I think you have encouraged this Senate a lot, that is why I am saying you deserve another round of thunderous applause. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear] - 

          Minister, your face is also very bright and smart.  It inspires confidence in the Senate that the economy will do better very soon.  It appears you are confident something good is going to happen and we will get out of the existing cash crisis.  Again another round of applause. – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear!] - 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read a second time.

          Committee Stage:  With leave, forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 14, 2015]

          House in Committee.

          Clauses 1 to 7 put and agreed to.

          House resumed.

          Bill reported without amendments.

          Third Reading: With leave forthwith.

THIRD READING

PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 14, 2015]

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Mr. President Sir, I accordingly move that the Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [H. B. 14, 2015] be now read the third time.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Bill read the third time.        

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA), the Senate adjourned at Nineteen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 07 JUNE 2016 VOL 25 NO 53