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SENATE HANSARD - 8 AUGUST 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 46

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 8th August, 2012.

The Senate met at Half-past Two o'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: May I remind hon. senators to switch off your cell phones or put them on silent before business commences.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF CHINA RELATING TO ZIMBABWE VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT PROJECT

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): Mr. President Sir, I move THAT WHEREAS Subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to concluded or executed by or under authority of the President with one or more Foreign States or Governments, or international Organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS the Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China relating to Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Airport Project being implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was concluded on the 5th day of April 2012 in Harare, Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the aforesaid Agreement is conditional upon ratification by the borrowing country in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures; and

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Sub-section (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution, this Senate resolves that the afore-said Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Mr. President Sir, I would like to say to this august Senate that I am presenting a Victoria Falls Airport Project. This project is so critical to the Republic of Zimbabwe. It is a project between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Republic of China. It is a project that has got US$150 million which is aimed at upgrading, expanding and construction of four thousand meters runway at Victoria Falls Airport and also construction of a control tower and a fire station; construction of a land side and air side road network and car park; construction of a new VIP state pavilion rehabilitation and extension of the current runway into a pararrel taxi way. Mr. President, I am sure the Members of this august Senate know that sometime next year in August, this Republic will be hosting the United Nations World Tourism Convention. It is in this regard that the Government of Zimbabwe would like to secure US$150 million that will be used in the construction, upgrading and renovation of the Airport. Once completed, the airport will be able to handle 1.2 million passengers a year and it will be able to welcome wide bodied aircrafts such as 747 and currently we are unable to have those aircrafts landing and at the same time the capacity at the moment can not handle one million passengers. I am sure this august Senate would appreciate that the 150 million which is being solicited is cheap money. It is money that is going to attract very very low interest rates of 2% per annum, commitment fees of 0.5% per annum, management fees of 0.5% per annum. The tenure of the loan is 20 years which includes a grace period of 5 years. This matter is urgent Mr. President because the Chinese Central Government will be evaluating its projects world wide in September 2012, which is next month. They will withdraw all the funds that would have been allocated to projects that are not under implementation. As the Government, we would like to meet the deadline so that we can withdraw the US$150 million before September. Again, I would like to say to the Senate that it is important that we meet this deadline because once we fail, we will also not get the funds for other projects that are in line for the Government for the year 2012 to 2013. With these reasons, I put on the table this agreement for the senators to consider or we wish the best debate on it and I hope that it will be considered. I thank you.

SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to make my contribution. Firstly, while I commend the Minister for finally getting some funds for this long overdue project and also agree with him that the cost of the money is very cheap, I however have a few questions for him to at least put my doubts at rest.

The first is, I note that the contract between Civil Aviation Authority and China Jiangsu, the contractor or the supplier in this loan agreement. Two contracts entered into on February 19, 2010 and the second one on October 27, 2011. From 2010 to 2012 - it is almost two years and from 2011 to August we are getting on to another year. Why is it that we enter into these contracts knowing very well that we do not have the money? Why has it taken so long to find the money? Meanwhile we have signed an agreement with a contractor to do certain works and we do not have the money and then it takes us two or two and a half years to find the money. My understanding of contracts is that a lot of penalties are then invoked. How much of those are we paying or loading into the loan agreement?

My second question is, how much due diligence was done to ensure that we are getting good value for money. I say this because in Shona we say murombo haarove chinenguwo - beggars cannot be choosers but how much of that are we being penalised. In other words, are we really getting good money? Are we paying US$161 million for property that will be worth US$161 million?

The next question is, can the Minister assure this Senate that this loan is all that will be required to complete this project. I say so because if you look at the Government budget about Victoria Falls project, the figures that are being quoted to finish that project are nowhere near US$161 million. They have gone from few tens of millions to now one hundred and something million. When it is finished, will it still be US$161 million or it will be a billion? Can the Minister assure us that this will deliver the end product without additional costs?

According to the loan agreement, the agreement only covers 90% of the works that are required for this development at Victoria Falls airport. Does the government have the 10% that is required to complete this project? 10% of US$161 million is about US$16 million - can the Minister assure us that he has the US$16 million ready - because without that 10%, the project will not be finished.

The Minister has referred to the need for this airport to be finished before June/August 2013 for the World Tourism Organisation Conference. This government has a history of incomplete projects littered all over the country. Can we now be assured that that legacy is going to come to an end and this project will definitely be finished by June next year?

Lastly, I have a worry about Section 6.11 which refers to an escrow account. I do not know what that means but my understanding is that there is some money which has to be set aside due to the changes that will be levied on the usage of this passenger, levies to repay the loan in one form or another. I am not actually questioning the logic for that. What I am questioning is the passenger service charges referred to - if I can just read the Section under the definition 1.28, "Exchequer account means an account stipulated in Article 6.11 established and opened to deposit the revenue generated from Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Airport and the passenger service charge generated from Harare Airport". I underline Harare Airport - that is where my query is. Why are we linking Harare Airport to pay for Victoria Falls Airport? If a cost benefit analysis was done for Victoria Falls Airport - if these 1.2 million passengers that are envisaged to come to Victoria Falls - if those charges are designed to pay for this loan, why then do we want to mortgage or tax services at Harare Airport to pay for developments at Victoria Falls? I also understand that Harare Airport needs its own developments. So if we are going to take money from Harare Airport to pay for Victoria Falls airport, when we come to do Harare airport where are we going to get the money to pay for the loan for the Harare Airport?

SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President. I think the speaker before me has emptied almost all the points which I wanted to say. However, apart from the concerns which Senator Chitaka has expressed, which I also wanted to express, I will not repeat that anymore. I want to thank the Minister for coming to this august House and present this project to us. However, this project has come a bit late. We could have got these documents well before time and studied them in full and then debated in the way Senator Chitaka was debating. It was done hurriedly; however, yesterday we had a chance of going through the documents. But to me, overally, apart from the concerns which I have said already, I would want to welcome this project as a good project.

For quite some time, this country has been yearning for lines of credit and the lines of credit from the Bretton Woods institutes, IMF and World Bank have not been forthcoming. But now presented with this, which I would not call cheap money but affordable facility I think it is affordable; a country like us can do with such a project, with low interest rates. I hope and pray that if this money is got; it shall be put to good use and for the development of our country. With those few words, I want to thank you.

SENATOR MANDABA: Thank you Mr. President Sir, I also want to add my voice and what I actually wanted to say, is what has been said by Hon. Senator Mumvuri. That as a country, we have been yearning for credit lines, that is affordable loans and this project loan sounds very affordable; the interest rates of 2% per annum. I think a few weeks ago, the Minister was trying to highlight the high interest rates in this country; his recommendations were that the banks should be charging something like 3% interest rates instead of the current high rates. Hearing that Export-Import bank of China can give a loan on 2% interest with administration of 0.5% is commendable, I think this country can afford. It sounds very; very affordable and we are all looking forward to the World Tourism Convention at Victoria Falls which we hope will be a success. If this agreement is ratified and everything goes on as expected, to meet the deadline for the World Tourism Convention, I urge that this august Senate be in agreement and ratify this Loan Agreement. I thank you.

SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you Mr President, first I want to thank the Finance Minister for presenting this very beautiful and inciting project that has to be funded from the bank of China. Suffice to say we have not, perhaps in all our dealing with such loans; it is also essential that as a country which has been battling to pay other debts to the tune of almost $6 billion, be advised as a House as to how will be the repayment pattern of this particular debt. It is the Senate's interest to get such debts of lower rates under such very low rates - very encouraging. Again, it is important to ratify this because it is a developmental loan that is earmarked to develop Victoria Falls Airport but then that could be clarified by the Finance Minister as to how are we going to meet that debt because we have been struggling to pay other debts.

Why I am saying this Mr. President, it is important that whether it is 20 years to be repaid but some time we have to be efficient in the repayment patterns so that we protect the future generations. If we get monies, even so cheap, without some pre-requisite arrangements to be able to pay those banks the necessary amounts that is supposed to be paid; then it becomes a problem. Looking at these defaults, it is so much important that we maintain the requirement of this pattern so that we avoid it being cancelled, that is one. On the second part; perhaps you will be interested Minister of Finance to elaborate why China insisted that it has to do it themselves because we borrow that money from those Chinese and they are coming to do the job themselves again. I believe in a number of situations, we know each company or Government advertises for three quotations so that you can compare, but this is more or less obvious that there has not been any other company that has been involved other than China herself.

I believe you will be pleased Minister to make elaborations on those areas and again I want to insist that we want to borrow money which we will be able to pay and the payment method must be elaborated because we are now struggling to meet other several requirements in our country because of money shortages. We do not know again what kind of miracle that will arise in future but at the same time I applaud that endeavour on the basis that we need such essential development to be done, but however, we have to be assured as a country as to how best we are going to manage. I thank you Mr. President.

SENATOR CHIEF CHISUNGA: I rise to add my voice to the debate pertaining the loan which is being given to our country which I believe has come at the right time considering circumstances which are prevailing that we won the bid to host the World Tourism Conference. Having won the bid, then need to acquire money arose and our Government has managed to find willing partners who have been actually been able to give us this money. As some other speaker rightly said that beggars are not choosers; we as a country are unable to dictate what we want because we are borrowing. We are supposed to adhere to conditions which are required for us to be able to access this loan.

What I want to say Mr. President Sir, is that considering the volumes of people who will be coming to Victoria Falls and also some airlines the world over, who have shown interest to ply our routes; I think it is a noble idea that the Minister of Finance saw it fit to recommend the ratification of this agreement and I am also calling for this Senate to ratify this loan agreement so that we record progress. To me it is a positive development for our country since for some time we have been unable to access some loans elsewhere and considering that also this development at Victoria Falls will not only be for the World Tourism Conference, but it will be there for some time if not for eternity. It will benefit our nation at large and I believe the repayment modalities cannot give us headaches since the repayment period is over 25 years and by then, our country I think will have had a good position to repay. So I want to recommend or commend the Minister of Finance for actually moving this motion. I thank you Mr. President Sir.

*SENATOR KABAYANJIRI: Thank you Mr. President Sir, I rise to add my voice to the ratification motion that has been brought by Honourable Minister Gorden Moyo. To those who really understand the Minister's presentation; it shows that as Zimbabweans, it is our quest to see our country developing. This is a major project to our development projects in the country. I appeal to all senators to support this project.

Mr. President, I would like to thank the Government and the Minister of Finance for bringing this very important agreement. I believe this facility will put Zimbabwe on the road to development. A lot of things have been said and I would like to thank the Minister for his idea that Zimbabwe cannot have a certain area where it will grow up from. If our Victoria Falls is expanded, it is part and parcel of Zimbabwe, the project will benefit Zimbabwe and we will repay the loan. Those who know about business administration will see that this is beneficial to a country, given the low interest rates that come with the ratification of this agreement. You will observe that in Zimbabwe, we need loans to assist us as there is nothing we can do without accessing loans. I urge all legislators to ratify this noble project. I thank you.

*SENATOR FEMAI: To give an addition to the Ratification proposal brought by the Acting Minister of Finance, I would want to thank you very much because this country will be able to have wide bodied aircrafts landing at Victoria Falls Airport from abroad. This will increase business activities within our economy, this was long overdue, it should have been done some time back and we would not be mourning about lack of investment.

I heard those who spoke before me saying that they are apprehensive that the project may not be completed in time considering the amount that has been set aside. In other words, is it true that the loan will finalise the project itself because the apprehension is that maybe they will say an additional amount is now required. My own apprehension is that the previous day the Minister came into this august Senate and mentioned that there is a corrupt State Procurement Board. My question then is, who is going to make an analysis of these tenders because if the same board which awards tenders is corrupt, who is going to award the tender or run this project? I am worried about that because there are a lot of briefcase or shelf companies registered by an individual who is the director, the board and everything. These people will win a tender and sub-contract another company which does not have anything, those who end up carrying out the project will be a fifth company whilst the rest will be fleecing money for having done nothing. Will the US$161million that you have made reference to, complete the project because the tender board is alleged to be corrupt, especially if there are so many middle men. Who is going to ensure that these briefcase companies that are going to be coming in are eliminated? I thank you.

SENATOR RUGARA: Thank you very much Mr. President for allowing me to say a few words. Firstly, there is an adage which says 'easy come, easy go.' Are we not applauding something that is so easy? People have been mentioning such things as soft loan; do we not have to raise questions, why so soft? It is very important when someone says they want to give you something for free, it may never be free. Are there no other attached things that we may all of a sudden or later on realise the reasons why the loan was so soft or why they charged two percent?

At this time and age, even if you are poor or a beggar, sometimes you better choose. Are we not going to receive the 'one day shoe' we have seen in our shops, where the Chinese brought all the shoes we needed but we use them for a day, after that day, you have no shoes and to go back, becomes a problem. I do not know about the durability of the product they are going to have. I do not know about the supervision of the project. If the Chinese is everything and they supervise, I am afraid that we might buy a pig and pork. Thank you very much Mr. President.

SENATOR HLALO: I would like to start by thanking the Minister for bringing this agreement to this Senate. I would also want to thank the people who provided the $161 million for the airport facility. My question is that, we are told that it is $161 million which is going to be spent, but we are not given the information on how it is going to be spent. All I would want to know is whether there was a process where other bidders were given an opportunity to also make their quotations so that we can do a comparative analysis of all the quotations? At the end of the day, we will be able to account for the $161 million which the Zimbabwean Government is going to pay and whether every cent of that amount was spent in a manner which is worth it.

I would also want to share with this august Senate that we will also get conflicting messages about the whole Tourism Conference. If I am right, I heard the Minister of Tourism complaining that 'we are only going to get 'body bags', meaning just passengers coming and the money was to be paid somewhere else. If that is true, we might find ourselves having 'white elephants,' where you build a facility which is going to be used for just a short period. I do not know how long that conference is going to last, maybe eight weeks or so, but thereafter, we are not going to see a single aircraft landing at Victoria Falls. This will be something which will be too bad for us to leave such a debt which our future generations are going to pay. My worry is that all the contracts which the Government has should at least go through jurisprudence where other players are also given an opportunity to compete against the Chinese companies who eventually do the job.

In as far as loans are concerned, it is not cheap money as it is said. For any people or any Government which gets loans or whatever financial arrangements overseas, those are the normal terms where even on the US$6 billion which the Government owes up to now, those were the very same conditions which are available in the western financial market. It is nothing new but what we should also be given is the way that money is going to be paid, from what they think they might be earning in that period so that we are at ease, so that at the end of the day, we would have made profit as it were in business. We spend so much and so much will come as a result of that.

I see there is a projection which is put here as 1.2 million visitors who might use that facility. We should get projections as to if 1.2 million visitors go through a transit place like the Victoria Falls Airport, there is so much money which these people will leave, maybe bed nights which they will be putting up in hotels. This august House will want that kind of assurance which then gives us confidence that when we pass this, we will know that at the end of the day it is not going to end up ballooning our already precarious debt situation which Zimbabwe has. I want the Minister to give us that insight as to whether we balance off this by getting profit at the end of the day. I thank you.

+SENATOR A. SIBANDA: Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to make my contribution towards this motion which has been introduced by the Minister of Finance. This appears a good project but I have a few questions that need some explanations. Minister, it is known that Zimbabwe has no cash and it was also seen that we have to adopt such a big project which requires large amounts and we agree on getting this loan. We know our financial position that our coffers are hard up, why do we have to adopt such large projects? Yes, we do understand that this kind of money is called soft loan.

We have also been known that as a Government we have lots of projects which we have started in construction but we have not finished these projects. A good example of these incomplete projects is the Joshua Mqabuko Airport in Bulawayo. My feeling is that let us first complete the Joshua Mqabuko Airport before we embark on this new project. We have been also told that this loan is going to partake into all these projects which have to be done. Our feeling is that some of the money is going to be used in getting water into cities but we know we have the Mtshabezi project which is still on a standstill, let us conclude that. If we want to get loans, please let us get these loans and work on existing projects including the Joshua Mqabuko Airport.

Also, what we want to know is, will these people have denied us loans to carry out these incomplete projects. May the Minister of Finance explain what time has been given for the repayment period of this loan? Suppose we fail to repay this loan, are we not going to be highly penalised because we have borrowing problems for our nation? I thank you.

+SENATOR MLOTSHWA: Thank you very much Mr. President. I also want to make my contribution on this motion which was introduced by the Minister of Finance. My predecessors have said a lot on this topic regarding some concerns which were raised. I had the privilege of attending the House of Assembly debate yesterday and what came out in their debate was that Parliament is just a thoroughfare for passing on the rules as required by the Executive. At the same time, we have to be grateful because the Executive is aware of the existence of Parliament that it has to ratify some of these agreements.

Mr. President, my main worry is the people who have won the tender for this construction are also the people who have given us the loan if, I understood clearly what was stated by this agreement. Do they think we are people who are not to be relied upon? If they give us the money and then they are the people who do the job, it shows they have no faith in us. We believe when they give us money, we should look for people to do the job. We discussed in the past on economic growth in the Senate. When a company is contracted to come and do projects in Zimbabwe, construction materials should be sourced from Zimbabwe. When we are talking of construction of the run way, we also look forward that not only should they buy material from Zimbabwe but also employees should be Zimbabweans. In this case, you find that if this project is going to be carried out by the Chinese, they will also bring out their own expertise. If we are going to repay this loan in full, we should use it as we see it fit and employ our own people or a company of our own choice because at the end of it all, we are paying for it.

Hon. Minister, we also have to look at most of the construction projects carried out by the Chinese. Let me give an example of the Mapisa District Hospital in Matabeleland. The plumbing system installed there is so poor that not all the toilets in the hospital are working, they are all blocked. If you were to go to Mhlahlandlela, the Government complex, they also have a problem in that complex. The floors are poor and what is worrying us is, if we are giving them this tender to do the construction, you will find that they are not constructing projects which are to last for a long time but they just look like temporary projects. We need projects that will be in existence for at least 100 years because when you are talking of an airport and say it does not have capacity to take wide bodied air crafts, it means we are saying the Government should have had some projects which could have been done so that we get them favoured because at the moment, we seem to be looking at the World Travel Organisation which will be held in 2013. But we also know that this airport should live beyond this World Travel Organisation in 2013, but we know that it will stay with us as a permanent feature and every House will ratify knowing that we have looked at the distant future.

Mr. President Sir, I thought I should get some explanation from the Minister on the ratification of this loan for the Victoria Falls Project so that

We are told as to the other projects which will run out and cascade from this loan because we have to be full sighted. If you have any projects, which are these projects so that when we ratify, we know we are going to fight unemployment, we are going to create jobs and people have benefited from this loan and the people of Zimbabwe should benefit. But my main concern is that why is that the Chinese are giving us this loan and at the same time they are the ones who are also carrying out this job because from my own point of view, it means the Chinese have no faith in us or either they are afraid that we misuse this loan facility or we will not be able to repay this loan.

*SENATOR MTINGWENDE: Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice with very few words on the motion brought by the Minister. Mr. President, I stood up well understanding that we are politicians and our political affiliation but I would want to urge hon. senators that we are political animals belonging to different political parties but we are also people's representatives as legislators and senior ones for that matter, which is one of three arms of the state. I say so because there are sometimes when we look down unnecessarily or become jealousy unnecessarily such that if we were to view most of our actions, we would then see that this is because of jealous.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: That is a bit deep and it requires translation or maybe you need to further clarify I might have understood that but I do not think most of them have understood.

*SENATOR MTINGWENDE: Thank you very much Mr. President, there are people who, when they see a good deed, they cannot accept that it is good without criticising it but at the end of the day, it would be a good deed even according to that person's perception. Mr. President, I rise not apprehensive of anything as said by other senators. I do not have fears as expressed by other hon. senators because I once am a certain man being apprehensive because he had seen his friend having married a women and the wife had died, so he became apprehensive because he was afraid that his wife might die. Apart from the death, he had also observed that there were times when women who were pregnant would die because of their pregnancy because of this fear he did not marry because he was afraid that his wife might become pregnant and the wife might die and if a child was to be borne, he would fail to support the child. In the end, this man ended up with no family.

As a country, we should be satisfied that amongst us there are men and women, family members who were given the opportunity to become Members of the Senate. As senators in our constituencies, we priorities what activities we should do and we rank these projects because of certain reasons. I would want to agree with the previous speaker who made reference to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and other projects that have not been completed. Yes we have them uncompleted, that needs to be completed by us as a country, but once an opportunity has arisen for a new project as a country, are we not better off coming up and completing that project. I say so Mr. President in support, indeed I support and I wish all Members of the Senate, Members of the Upper House would appreciate the importance of this airport and the top priority in tourism.

Mr. President, yes we may scrutinise as to why those who advance the loans are going to carry out the works, but at the end, we should appreciate that they are not going to put it to a different use to the construction of this International Airport. We should remain focused and put our eyes on the money and know that at the end, it will be our airport that will be constructed. As people's representatives, what we may urge those who will be overseeing the loans, whenever there is menial task that needs to be done, such as mixing sand and cement and gravel, it is important that the local community benefit from such construction. With these words, I urge this august Senate to bear in mind the motion brought by the Minister, and bear in mind that this project is running late and if you appreciate that it is running late, we are wasting a lot of time arguing unnecessarily or speaking over a good motion like this. Thank you Mr. President.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President Sir, allow me to respond to senators' contributions. (Part of speech not recorded due to technical fault)…and Victoria Falls which is going to host the UNWTC needs to be spruced up. We really need to present Olympian standards as a country. You know of one day events economies, when South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010 June, the infrastructure which was constructed has changed the entire landscape of South Africa because of the World Cup. Because of the Olympics going on in the UK, you go to UK, it is a total different country, the City of London.

An opportunity to host an international event is an opportunity to grow your economy, to develop your economy, to transform your economy. Zimbabwe has this opportunity to tap into and use it wisely. This is what the Government is doing, to use the opportunity wisely so that after August 2013, not just Victoria Falls but the whole Republic should have state of the art buildings, state of the art roads, state of the art airports.

Why Harare paying for Victoria Falls, it is CAAZ, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe which is entering into this agreement and CAAZ is the authority for all airports in the country and we have one country. Harare is not in a different country from Victoria Falls so we have a symbiotic and synergistic relationship between our airports. It is only logical that the mother airport should give some milk to the younger one. That is why we have that kind of arrangement.

On due diligence, I would like to allay the fears of this august Senate that we have learnt from experience and history, that is why there is a clause in the agreement that we are going to have pre-assessment of the equipment and material before it leaves China. There is post assessment of the material after its installation. We are wiser than yesterday. If it happened yesterday we are wiser today therefore, that is why in that agreement we have taken all precautions to make sure that we are not losers in an agreement where the Government of Zimbabwe has put its own ink.

I would like to thank Hon. Senator Mumvuri for the positive comments we really appreciate. So is Senator Mandava we appreciate. Senator Makore, we appreciate. The payment plan, we have 20 years to pay at a rate of 0.5 for management fees, 2% per annum. You will not get this easily anywhere. In fact the august Senate should understand that all 196 counties in the United Nations have debts. There is no country without a debt. The only problem is when your debt is odious. When you have an odious debt then there is a problem. If you have a debt and you are able to service your debt that is how the economies are run worldwide. There is nothing wrong you should not fear incurring a debt but we should be able to find a method of paying. Having a debt is the way how you run the business of a country. I appreciate your concerns but be rest assured that this is the normal way of running the economies across the globe.

Your question, which is a very valid question and I need to explain, which says why the Chinese? There are many other hon. senators here who have raised that question. Chinese are offering what is called concessional loan. A concessional loan is what is called cheap money. That is the language in economics; it is called cheap money if it is concessional. It is cheap money as compared to a commercial loan or some other loans. This one is called cheap because it is concessional. You can not easily get concessional loans right now across the globe the economies are going down. You know of the Euro Zone. You can not get money from the Euro Zone now.

You know of what we call 'PIGS' - now Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Those were developed countries but right now they are unable, even to run their egg yard economies. You can not get concessional loans from them. Germany is struggling to service them or to assist them, the United Kingdom is struggling to assist the Euro Zone. You can not get concessional loans in the United States, they have their own financial problem which started in 2007. There is no money anywhere in the world. The money that we got as a country at the moment is a concessional loan and a concessional loan has conditions - as you rightly put it. If you want concessional loan, because it is cheap, they are saying you buy from us and also use our technology. That is the way concessional loans are done. Even if it was the World Bank, there are concessional loans in the World Bank, what is called general accounts; they used to give concessional loans. If you get it, it is them also who will assist you. We appreciate China because this particular one is a concessional loan.

Thank you Hon. Senator Chisunga for the positive comments. Thank you Hon. Senator Kabayanjiri, if I got it right for the positive comments. Hon. Senator Femai thank you. I understand your concern. It is true if the minister came here, not if because he actually came here. The Minister was here but said there is a problem with SPB, the State Procurement Board, we appreciate that. As Government, we have taken a decision to look at the State Procurement Act. It is going to be revised, it is being amended and the Minister of Finance is working on that. I appreciate the concern and that is why a decision has been taken to relook and review the State Procurement Act.

Hon. Dr. Rugara, if I got you right, easy come easy go. I think I have answered that. May be not answered but responded to because if I say answered it is like one plus one is equal to 2. A response can come from various dimensions. It is a viewing point and not view point, seeing it from different directions. Easy come easy go, I think the answer again is concessional loan. We appreciate the one day shoe. We have said we are assessing before the equipment.

By the way, I must state this - the company that has been contracted is an international company from China JiangsuIt put its own money US$30 million and we have already used that money. It is already exhausted. Equipment has been bought some of it is now in Durban and in Beira coming into the country. They used their own US$30 million to kick start the project because it was taking long for us to finish the discussions with Chinese Government. They said look we will put our own money and we will start the project and they are implementing the project. They are on site as we speak. If you go there they are on site and they are already working.

Hon. Senator Hlalo, I think I have responded to some of the questions that you have raised but perhaps the major issue of cheap money I have responded to it by saying it is a concessional loan. On whether it is going to be a white elephant, I would like to say to this august Senate already, Victoria Falls is inundated with business. A lot of aircrafts are coming from South Africa but we are not managing because our runway is small and narrow, our terminal building is archaic, antiquated and old. Big aircrafts, wide bodied aircrafts like the 747, which is supposed to be bringing huge volumes into the country, they cannot land there. We do not need to wait for the convention. If it is sorted now, today we will begin to have large volumes. We used to have lots and lots here in Harare. So, we are simply regaining our former status. This is what we are trying to do. We are not pessimists, we are afro optimists, we believe in afro optimism- that things will get right in Africa and in Zimbabwe.

Hon. Senator Sibanda, thank you very much. I think, again, we have responded to some of the issues that you have raised but you have raised a very fundamental issue that we have got a number of unfinished projects. It is true but we all know where we are coming from. This country is currently struggling to emerge from a full-blown economic recession, so it will be a miracle and that is why at one point the Minister of Finance was saying that you will not open a tape and get resources and he is not a miracle man, he is not Jesus Christ who would feed 5 000 from five pieces of bread and three fish. It is not there in real life now, so that is the problem, but again, the prioritisation of Victoria Falls was not against the airport of Bulawayo. The airport of Bulawayo, J. M. Nkomo, was already a programme of government and government can not deviate or renege its responsibility to finish the Bulawayo airport but it will be like measuring oranges and lemons. They are different even though they look the same from a distance.

Hon. Senator Mlotshwa, I think you have raised the same issue and the issues of sustainability. I think that is what I got which is more important and whether the locals are going to benefit. It is a policy of government under the new vision which we crafted under the MTP to have a democratic developmental state and a democratic developmental state says let us have all the parties participating in the economy particularly the locals. It is expected that the locals, those from Matetsi, those from Victoria Falls will participate in the opportunities that may arise from this project, so we really appreciate. Finally Hon. Senator Mtingwende, sorry for not pronouncing your name correctly but thank you for the positive comments and the encouragement, otherwise, Mr. President, this is what we are presenting on the table. I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you Minister. I was not aware that you are so good. I was putting you under scrutiny and you are good. Minister, you had a slip of the tongue and said that the project is already under way, so what are we approving?

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF CHINA RELATING TO DEVELOPMENT AND REHABILITATION OF MUNICIPAL WATER AND SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS PROJECT BEING IMPLEMENTED BY THE CITY OF HARARE

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS Subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty, or agreement acceded to, concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President with one or more Foreign States or Governments, or International Organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament.

AND WHEREAS the Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Export-Import Bank of China relating to development and Rehabilitation of Municipal Water and Sewage Treatment Works Project being implemented by the City of Harare was concluded on the 21st day of March 2011 in Harare, Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS, the entry into force of the aforesaid Agreement is conditional upon ratification by the borrowing country in accordance with the respective constitutional procedures; and

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Sub-section (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution, this Senate resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

I would like to put it to the Senate, Mr. President, that this project aims at the rehabilitation and upgrading of Morton Jaffrey and the Prince Edward Water Treatment Plant, replacement of aged and obsolete water pumps, replacement of leaking water distribution pipes in selected residential and industrial areas, rehabilitation and upgrading of Firle and Crowborough Sewage Treatment Plants and replacement of worn out sewage pipes in selected residential areas. This is a loan facility of US$141.3 million. I would like to say to the members the issues of water are important, I need not elaborate the importance of water particularly in this city. Some of the areas and some of the townships have been going for months if not years without water and this is why the Government of this republic has come up with this facility to make sure there is rehabilitation and upgrading of the most important water works of Morton Jaffrey and Prince Edward, otherwise I put it on the table for your consideration. I thank you.

SENATOR CHITAKA: First, I would like to commend the Minister for concluding this Loan Agreement with China Export-Import Bank. I think the funds are necessary and the need is there and I think at long last Harare might have some clean water. We must all commend the Minister for finding the funds for that.

However, without sounding like I am shooting you down, I just need a few clarifications on a few issues. The first one that I would like to reiterate, I did ask it in my contribution on the earlier Loan and the Minister may be, forgot to answer it. So, I will repeat it in this one because the same question is valid on this Loan as well. These loan agreements refer to a 90% loan, which means the government of Zimbabwe has to find the balance of 10%. My question which I repeat is, can you assure this Senate, does the Government have the 10%? The 10% of the other Loan Agreement plus the 10% of this Loan Agreement plus the other Loan Agreement coming, starts adding up? Can you assure us that the Government will have that 10%?

The second clarification that I would like the Minister to shed some light on is, I did commend you in the first loan that it was indeed a very concessionary loan on very good terms with a good 20 year repayment period with a long grace period. When I look at this particular one now that you have presented, the conditions have now changed. The Loan Agreement is for 9 years with 4 years grace period and 5 years payment. The interest rate has also changed. It is no longer a flat 2% charged by this Bank, it is now quoting the London Rates which is the libor rate plus a margin of 3%.

As you know, the libor rate is not constant and it is set by Western controlled banks in London. This sometimes is called the London Club. So, we are basing the interest on the London Club plus 3%, compared to the 2% concessionary that was in the earlier Loan. Why is it now high, exactly with the same financing institution, for a similar infrastructure development project, why could we not negotiate the same nice terms that we got - 2% flat, 20 year repayment period? Now we are down to 9 years and libor plus 3%. For the information of those who do not know, the libor rate is currently around 1%, which means that as it stands now, the loan will be 4%. This is double what the other Loan has. Could we not negotiate the same better terms for this Project?

SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you Mr. President. I have been studying this document and I want to say that it is very different from the first document that we discussed and let alone the higher interest. It is making a lot of noise - the silence is very noisy about the benefits that will flow to the locals when this loan is applied on the ground. There is too much silence about how our locals are going to benefit at the inception of the utilisation of the loan. The amortisation period also, is now much shorter for the principal amount and its interest and for a loan of $141.3 million that we have indebted the nation to. I think it is only reasonable for us as a nation to be allowed enough space to manage this Loan because the creditor here is being very careful.

Mr. President, if you can look, he is looking after his back very well. Under Article 4 - Disbursements, on 4.4, he says no access of facility. They say, the lender shall not be under any obligation to make any further disbursement under the facility if the aggregate amount of the disbursements made under the Agreement would exceed the principal amount of the facility. That is 4.4.

If you look at 4.5 again, just as a protection of his interests, the creditor says, confirmation of the borrower. The borrower confirms that any dispute between the Zimbabwean importer and the Chinese supplier arising from the commercial contract shall in no event affect the performance of the obligations of the borrower hereunder. I think we need to apply a lot of national management capabilities that we have to match because it looks like here the creditor has some feelings that it may go wrong anytime. He is very careful. He is ready but are we ready as a nation? Thank you.

*SENATOR DETE: Thank you Mr. President. I rise to say a few words about this facility from China. I have questions similar to the ones already posed and as a result I will not belabor the point.

Are the terms of the second loan facility the same that this is a concessionary loan where the Chinese are going to operate? Secondly, Minister, I would want to thank you for such a sterling effort because we now fear for our relatives in Harare and that if we are in Harare should we go thirsty? We are afraid of drinking water and we are now drinking bottled water. We requested for water because it is bottled and if the water is being brought in a glass, we are apprehensive of drinking it.

A lot of stories have been said about the water and even on television we see our relatives drinking water that is contaminated by the sewage. We urge that this Loan Agreement be concluded as soon as possible because there are a lot of water borne diseases that are detrimental to the health of our relatives and we are apprehensive for their health. So, we believe that this Loan facility has come at an opportune time. It is our savior. For those who are in Harare I will say we are ready to ratify this Loan so that the work can start. I thank you Minister.

*SENATOR MUCHENJE: I have observed that it is good for this country during this period because we have a problem of money and the shrinking of our economy. It is a problem even in developed countries, if you have a friend like China that lifts you up in your time of need, it is a good friend. We must put our heads together like senators and approve this loan for ratification so that aid can be quickly made use of. I heard a lot of complaining comparing the interest rates for the first loan and the second one, if you are in business, if you have fast moving consumers, you repay them quickly because of their nature. This is a case because each and every day people pay for water rates and sewage, whether things are moving well or not they are forced to pay.

Harare is the capital city where the august Senate is based and if water and sewer is to be upgraded, we will benefit as Senators and I want us to support this ratification, I thank you.

SENATOR HLALO: Thank you Mr. President, my contribution on this one is to applaud the Minister of Finance for having come up with money which is going to sort out all the ills we have heard about Harare being a city where you do not drink tape water as we do when we are in Bulawayo. However, I would also want to ask the minister if something can be done about the city which I represent which is Bulawayo which has a problem of water itself and it has come to the extent that for the first time in so many years, we are now rationed water in Bulawayo. Why is this happening?

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order senator, I think the motion introduced by the Minister is to ask you to ratify a loan for Harare and not that we now start comparing and debating.

SENATOR HLALO: This was in passing Mr. President, we applaud that this can as well happen to our city. Thank you.

*SENATOR MAKUYANA: (Speech not recorded due to technical fault).

*SENATOR CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Minister ( part of speech not recorded due to technical fault) … May I also say congratulations to the Council. I also heard that the fund which has been sourced is used to treat the water which is causing typhoid and this is going to benefit the people of Harare. The water in Harare is not safe to drink and we applaud our government through the Minister of Finance for getting water treatment facilities for the City of Harare. I have no problem in dealing with China and I saw their infrastructure which is very good, we may demand A1 for the people of China because I have been there and they are quite capable people.

At the beginning of the year 2012, we approved a project which is being done by the Chinese, the Defence College, if you were to pass through, you can see that it is a miracle and you wonder what is going on. I therefore beg this Senate to support this motion so that it can be a success.

*SENATOR FEMAI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution. It gives me great pleasure to know that our traditional leaders also fly to distant countries like China and they also bring evidence of the good they would have seen in such far away countries and I plead with our Government to send more of the Chiefs to those countries, not only China, but also visit countries like Britain and America because they will bring some good ideas which will be of benefit to their country and their subjects. I stand up to make contributions as a senator for Harare because I know this is a good thing which is happening. If I do not make my contributions, my collegues I am a Senator from Harare I have a certain concern on this way. We also know that there are times whereby you can not be living for 50 years. You go to TB Joshua in Nigeria that is also a way of getting good health. Thank you Minister for introducing this topic in this Senate. Bringing clean water to Harare that is a good idea. As far as I am concerned, I do not care who is going to bring this project to fruition, be they China, Black, white, yellow, whatever it is. All I want is that a good project is going to be implemented. In the past Zimbabwe was known as the bread basket of Africa. But of late, we have been known as a country which is prone to frequent attacks of typhoid. Harare has deteriorated from the Sunshine City to a Cholera City. I am very happy of the steps which are being taken because Harare is going to retain its former status because you know when you have water you can have progress in the country. You also know that even the project which is going to be carried in Victoria Falls, if there is no water there, there will be problems because if that project is not done, people who will be in Victoria Falls will be attacked by cholera before they get to Victoria Falls. My plea is this project should be implemented before the rains fall. I thank you.

+SENATOR CHIEF NTABENI: I would like to thank the Minister of Finance for bringing into this Senate such a good project. We are very happy to find that Harare is going to get clean water because of this process. Minister, I implore you, I beg you to look at other areas which are also in need of water which may include Bulawayo. My observation is that most of the projects which are introduced, when they are aimed at Harare, they are taken up fast. In other provinces, the Government is very slow in taking that. Minister, forgive me for using this term, Government seems to think other areas besides Harare are very inferior but all the people of Zimbabwe are equal. If you look at people, especially in Midlands area, you find that there is no water. I beg you, I implore you Minister, please look for cash to get water purification plants in other areas so that people can have a healthy life. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I could not stop the traditional leader from contributing because he has been repeating what has been said by other speakers, but because I have respect for them, I allow him to contribute.

*SENATOR CHIEF CHITAKA: Minister, thank you very much for introducing this project because you know that water is life. In the past, people have been in problems because of water borne diseases and these are prevalent. May I also remind you that last year we discussed cholera in this House because of water borne diseases and of late, the media has been awash with stories on water borne diseases. Water is precious, water is life, we can not do without water, no water no life. Therefore, we find that what has been happening now is that instead of living on water, water has turned out to be a poison which was poisoning people taking it and therefore now that you have taken these steps, I thank you for introducing this motion.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President Sir. Senator Chitaka, thank you once again for reminding me of your earlier question, but thanks to the positive comments too. Your earlier question which you raised when I moved the first motion was…( Part of speech not recorded due to technical fault). Some of the issues are for noting, I will relate them to the right office otherwise I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF CHINA RELATING TO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES PROJECT

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): Mr. President Sir, I move that whereas subsection (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any convention, treaty or agreement acceded to conclude or executed by or under authority of the President with one or more Foreign States or Governments, or international organisations shall be subject to approval by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, the Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China relating to Medical Equipment and Supplies Project being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare was concluded on the 21st day of March 2011 in Harare, Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS the entry into force of the aforesaid Agreement is conditional upon ratification by the borrowing country in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures; and

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Sub-section (1) of Section 111B of the Constitution, this House resolves that the afore-said Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

Mr. President, this agreement is of US$89.9 million. It is meant to import medical equipment such as surgical, renal, maternity, laboratory, radiology as well as rehabilitation of physiotherapy equipment among others. I therefore place before the Senate this very import agreement for your consideration.

*SENATOR KATYAMAENZA: Thank you Hon. President for affording me this opportunity for making my contribution. I have very few words to say but I must thank the Lord because we have been asking for his guidance and assistance because of the problems we have faced as the people of Zimbabwe with lack of funds facing the country. I have to thank the Minister of Finance because what you have done as a Minister of the GPA, we now see that we will be able to implement some of the projects which have been on the line for some time. Even Committees were also getting the cries from people for assistance in implementing their projects. Now we feel that with the project you have introduced - we are going to create a Zimbabwe with good health. We also note that it is the right of the people to get whatever they want from the government. We also have very nice hospitals in this country but we find that these hospitals are now under used. We now thank the Minister of Finance for bringing up this project of water and we also know that when he has introduced and implemented this project, it is going to be a project which will be accepted by the people. We also hope that maternal and infant mortality will be a thing of the past.

*SENATOR DETE: I would like to thank you Mr. President Sir, for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution on this worthwhile motion. This is the greatest news we have ever heard in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. Many people are falling ill and are going to the hospitals. There is very little equipment in those hospitals and there is no medication.

Yesterday, I went home from Parliament. On my way, I witnessed a commuter omnibus which had been involved in an accident and seven people had been killed. Most of the people were also injured - but the problem is that ambulances do not have tyres and most of them are broken down. Other motorists had to ferry the injured to Concession hospital, taking the job which was supposed to be done by the ambulances.

We also look forward to the amount that has been found to be used to repair and put back ambulances to the road. We also know that we have people who have problems which need purification of blood through dialysis - this is going to be of great use. We also find that this money is going to be of great use in the maternity wards where linen is very scarce. Plastics are spread on the labour beds - for someone who is doing a national duty of giving birth - you are feeling cold and yet you are doing such a great job for the nation and also hope that the money which has been found is going to be used especially for the maternity and the ambulances which should be repaired so that they can ferry the sick to big hospitals. Therefore, I beg this House to ratify this agreement so that it is implemented and the people of Zimbabwe will benefit from it. Tomorrow I may be the one who is going to benefit from this. As senators, you might find that it is going to do good for you. We want to see equipment in hospitals, so Minister, thank you for introducing this into this Senate. Please carry on the good work, I thank you.

*SENATOR CHIBAGU: I am overcome with joy because up to date this is the first agreement of its kind in Zimbabwe. I am happy because of the policy that you have brought on the 3 loan facilities ranging from water, airport upgrading and health issues that are to improve the lives of Zimbabweans. The ratification of these loan agreements should not end here; we should even go further and implement these projects so that when we go back to our remote areas; when we visited the 10 provinces as Parliament during a public hearing, the main issue that I found out pertains to what we have brought today. Ranging from health issues to water facilities; they are a big problem in the provinces - they should start in the provinces; a day before my motor vehicle was used to ferry a certain woman who was about to give birth. The young woman could not help herself during maternity and you have brought good loan agreements before this august Senate. We give support to you and the Cabinet.

These projects which are between ourselves and China; I once went to China; China is a developed country. I was surprised that there are no street kids in China; there are no people with disabilities. I do not know what type of life they lead in China. Maybe I saw that they value humanity. The three loans you have asked for ratification touch on the basis of the Zimbabwean life. If you continue in this stride Cde. Minister; you should never go back on such issues. You should continue with the same stride; we will support you and we need this, I thank you for the loans you come with for ratification. Water and sewage issues; sewage that is taken into Hunyani also comes into other areas, I will not repeat what has been said by others. Once again I thank you, I heard that you are Golden, yes Minister today you become golden. Today when you go home when your wife receives you; you should be happy - I thank you.

SENATOR MAKUNDE: Thank you President Sir, my debate will be very short because most of the things I wanted to debate have already been covered by other hon. senators. Let me say I want to thank the Minister of Finance and the entire team in that Ministry. I also want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe for an affirmative action in the health sector. I know it is not a one man thing; it is the entire Government to be working on such a wonderful project.

Our health sector, Mr President Sir has suffered an acute shortage of medical equipment and this acute shortage of medical equipment has caused a brain drain from this country; technocrats migrating to other countries where they use the state of art equipment. Everybody enjoys a good car; everybody enjoys driving the latest model and like all technocrats trained in different fields enjoy using the latest technology in that direction. Mr. President Sir, we have some people who were supposed to be having their sight restored by medical people who have lost sight for good.

I have lost my leg for good because there is no equipment here that can heal my leg. There is no equipment that can stretch my leg to the same position as the other. I have been to the hospitals but they have said you have to look for a ticket to go to other countries; to Germany; South Africa and so on. So this is relief to the entire nation Mr. President Sir, I do not have much to say but to congratulate our Government. This is a major; major step in the history of this country. Thank you; may I urge this Senate to ratify the protocol?

*SENATOR MUCHIHWA: I am happy to be afforded this opportunity to also support what has been said by colleagues in this august Senate. I would want to thank the Finance Minister for the sterling work that you are doing. We are now having food that is good for our health; you are doing a good piece of work. The reason why I have risen is to thank you about what you have said towards the medical supplies. I urge that should the loan be accessed all provincial medical hospital should be given such equipment and such drugs.

These should also include chemotherapy machines for treating cancer because I see a lot of problems with elderly men and women who have cancer. Cancer has now overtaken tuberculosis. A few days ago when I was not coming for sittings, I was in hospital. I had gone there because the procedure which was done on me required that chemotherapy. For the 7 days that I was there I had a serious problem in that I would wake up early around 5 but only to find that there will be other people who had spent the night at Parirenyatwa hospital because it is the only institution where chemotherapy is done.

There is Dr. Katsadza and another; they charge fees that are exorbitant - I went there and heard that there was someone who would be fast. On the day you are treated, you pay$250.00; people who are in the rural and urban areas can not raise such amount. Those with money can go to South Africa and a week later they will be fine because they have the money. I urge you to buy machines some for chemotherapy because in Harare you may hear people who even come from Bulawayo but the cancerous cells will become even worse because they sleep outside the hospital in open air. I saw women coming with peanut butter and dried vegetables to bribe the guards so that they gain better positions in the queue. I felt very pitiful when I saw this; I sat there because I did not want to receive first treatment, I was taken aback; I was disturbed and I gave them a chance to be treated before me because when I felt pain, I would go to my motor vehicle and relax or have food but others only have a container of mahewu coming from all over Zimbabwe, that is from Bulawayo, Bindura and so on. I met them at this institution, a single chemotherapy machine that is being used by more than 200 people. I have reason to emphasise the need for other chemotherapy machines, at least one per province or maybe a chemotherapy machine for two provinces so that men, women and children can be treated because cancer is now an epidemic, it is even worse than tuberculosis.

I have reason to support you so that as a country we can live a better and healthy life because we have observed that healthy standards have gone down and you have now come up with an idea to uphold that. We would want to hear that sophisticated or state of the art machinery are also to be provided for clinics. There was one person who came from Guruve with a broken leg, only to be X-rayed at Parirenyatwa because there are no such facilities or specialists at any other hospital because we do not have money to pay for such ailments.

My father spent six months with a broken leg because there was no doctor to attend to him and six months down the line he passed away at Parirenyatwa because there was no Orthopedian. We urge that state of the art machinery be provided. Thank you very much hon. Minister.

SENATOR MUSARURWA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn -(Laughter)-

*SENATOR GAMPU: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution. I stand to add my contribution on this motion. When we are talking about health equipment, I do not find any reason which may face this Senate to turn down this motion. When we are talking of health equipment, we are talking about what is at the heart of every citizen of Zimbabwe. Not only are we talking about the people in Zimbabwe but all the population of Zimbabwe, the rich, poor, the old and the young, they are all touched by this motion.

Therefore, as leaders in this august Senate, let us show that we agree to the purchase of these machines, even if they are expensive, they are an essential part of the treatment of the people of Zimbabwe. We will also notice that, these same people who are treated are also contributing to the welfare and health of Zimbabwe. When I debate this motion, I am not trying to deny the construction of the airport in Victoria Falls, I am not saying it is a bad project. I know it is a good project and it is a good idea, but when I compare this project to the other two motions on water and health; I feel these last two should be given a priority since they touch on all the people of Zimbabwe, even the silent majority. Therefore, I say thank you Minister, thank you the Government of Zimbabwe because you have got a vision. We are talking of people who are free, independent, eating nutritious food and they are reproducing. We are looking forward to see to it that those who are born receive good treatment from well-equipped hospitals and clinics. Minister, we thank you and applaud you for upholding these projects, what I plead with you is that, when money is available, let us use it and not just let it lay around. I am sure, when the people of Zimbabwe hear about the re-equipment of hospitals, they will be very happy because you touch them at the core of their very existence. Thank you.

SENATOR MLOTSHWA: Thank you Mr. President. I rise because the Chief touched on what I wanted to contribute about. Hon. Minister, in your documents that were circulated to us, I think it is important that some of the details are complete so that we learn from them. As it is, some of the information, where it is written Form 1, Form 2 and so on are not complete, so when we read on our own, we end up not understanding what that is supposed to mean in the spaces provided. We have to learn everything and appreciate that we were given some documents to go and study and understand all that we would have ratified in the Senate.

I applaud that you showed that you are now capable of doing oversight to the constructions that are being done by the Chinese. I also want to think that the medical equipment that you sourced, you will make it a point that you do better for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. We sometimes seem like we criticise anything that is from China, but it is because of previous experiences. For all the Bills that we are supposed to ratify here in the Senate, it seem like we are not appreciating, but we have to make sure that everything is done well by our Executive.

For the medical equipment, I was reading this paper, that in India, a 65-year old woman gave birth to a child and I was thinking that if we also have state-of-the-art equipment in this country, then people like us who are 'off-layers,' can think of trying to have one or two children before we die. We really appreciate it if we have equipment and improve our country. I would also want to appreciate…-[AN HON. SENATOR: Uri mushe mushe?]-

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order!

SENATOR MLOTSHWA: I would like to think that the Government of National Unity that we are in today has brought about an infusion of great minds to the Executive. You said that you will not do things like in the past, so we hope that you are doing better things for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you.

*SENATOR CHITAKA: Thank you Mr. President, what we know is that what is good is really good. What we are saying is, we should have more money so that our hospitals function as they used to. We know that we have people who have to be treated here in Zimbabwe. I thank you.

SENATOR DUBE: Thank you Mr. President. There are three points that you have brought today that are so valuable to us, for all that, we thank you very much. I think it is needless Mr. President to keep on repeating the same issues. I think our hon. Minister has taken this and I am sure we are here to ratify whatever he has brought today.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE (MR. G. MOYO): Thank you Mr. President, I would like to thank all the members who have contributed. I must admit that I have been informed this afternoon. I have gained a lot from the contributions from the members; I would like to thank you. I have no further questions, except for an apology, the question that has been raised by Senator Mlotshwa of the documents which are incomplete. I would like to apologise if there are documents like that. We will make sure our staff checks all documents so that when they are coming here, they are in order.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE, the Senate adjourned at Five Minutes to Five o'clock p.m. until Tuesday, 4th September, 2012.

 

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Senate Hansard Vol. 21 SENATE HANSARD - 8 AUGUST 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 46