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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 02 NOVEMBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 19-1

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

THE CHARTER FLIGHT TO VICTORIA FALLS FOR THE PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that the charter flight to Victoria Falls for the pre-budget seminar will leave Harare on the 8th of November, 2017 at 0700 hours.  Hon. Members will be picked up from their respective hotels and the Parliament car park at 0500 hours.   

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Good afternoon to you.  First of all, I want to acknowledge the letter that I got in terms of the update on the sitting allowances and other pertinent issues.  Thank you very much for responding to that. First, we have to clarify and I want to say this as a Member of Parliament and I am sure other Members of Parliament will also support me.  We seemingly are being seen as people who are selfish, who want to use public funds and yet there is no one out there, even Parliament, saying that we have a right to our money and we have not been paid.  I wish that the Parliament of Zimbabwe can issue a statement to say that what the Members of Parliament are pushing for  something within their right.  It is a constitutional obligation which is there – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - As a result, people believe that we are cry-babies.  We would like to put it on record that we are not paid as much as they think we are.  We are only paid US$2 000 per month. We pay for the school fees for our children, we do not have a package – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I think Hon Mliswa is presenting an issue which affects everybody here.  I thought it was wise for us to keep quiet so that we are heard.  We have to understand what he is saying.  When you make a lot of noise you will not hear what is being said.  Can you please proceed Hon. Mliswa.     

HON. MLISWA: Hon. Speaker, you know everybody has a  package before they start work.  It includes holiday, school fees, medical allowances, education allowances; one of the issues that you push for as Parliament was to ensure that people further their education.  All these packages we do not have.  We are supposed to be paid a salary on top of a package which we are entitled to but we do not have a proper package or any package to talk about.  This US$2 000 we are talking about includes us paying school fees for our children. – [HON. MEMBERS: US$1 000.] -  I am just putting it to the nearest.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Seremwe, would you please listen to what is being said here.  I can hear your voice from here.  

HON. MLISWA: So, at no point are we abusing State resources at all.  In terms of fuel coupons, Members of Parliament at times go without.  There is an outstanding amount in fuel coupons and so forth. So, it is important that we set the record straight and the media is told exactly what is happening.  If you keep quiet as Parliament, it seems as if it is true what is happening.  You represent us and I think the truth must be said about the packages of Members of Parliament.

What I can say to the people of Zimbabwe, understand that all the Members of Parliament here are the only ones who are serving.  They are servants of the people because they are under paid.  Parliament is underfunded.  For them to get to the constituencies is a miracle and we must thank God.  It only shows the passion that they have for their people.   – [HON. Members: Hear, hear.] – Some of them are failing.  Madam Speaker, in other countries, with the situation we have as Parliament, this country would not be governed at all.  We must thank these Members of Parliament for being disciplined, patriotic and nationalistic.  Otherwise, you see in other Parliaments how they behave pertaining to this.  Even those that are well funded, they still create havoc.  These Hon. Members have never created havoc.  There has always been peace under very stringent conditions. When we have recommended for the Executive to cut down on costs, the Executive costs are always high.  They have two cars. They get everything, incuding fuel coupons but we have oversight over the Executive.  The Executive  has never, despite us telling the Minister of Finance to cut down on the Executive expenditure so that we are able to be funded, that has never happened. Instead the Executive expenditure has gone high to the detriment of Members of Parliament who are supposed to be working.  That has made Members of Parliament to be compromised.

*Some Members of Parliament are not here; they are busy trying to raise resources so that they can survive.  When you hear that an MP has done something wrong, it is disturbing.  We want to thank these Hon. Members because they restrain themselves.  We could all be involved in deals but we are not doing that.  If a Member of Parliament is reported in the media that he has done something wrong, it denigrates that Member of Parliament.  All these Members of Parliament here are not getting anything and visiting their constituencies and doing all that, they are using their own resources not CDF and that should be appreciated. 

I would also want to state Madam Speaker that this document here is quite good but you should understand that there is inflation.  I asked yesterday as to in what currency are we going to be given the outstanding money because our country says one USD is equal to one bond note but what is happening on the ground is the opposite. The prices of commodities are sky-rocketing. Today, I went into town to buy some iron sheets for roofing. Yesterday they were pegged at $11 per sheet and today they are pegged at $24.  This is why I am saying that the value of $50 000 has been reduced to $25 000. If only we had been given this money four months ago, we would have done a lot with it.

The story of Members of Parliament getting their CDF will be all over in the papers but the people out there will not realise that the money is worthless. We want the Government to disburse this money in US dollars and not in RTGS or bond notes which requires one to top up with a certain percentage. The rate of depreciation of the US dollar is far much better compared to bond notes. We want this consideration to be taken on board that this CDF be disbursed in foreign currency.

Hon. Chamisa should expedite his motion on CDF constitution so that  funds are disbursed as soon as possible. I urge all Members of Parliament to abide by the rules, to open bank accounts and set up the required committees because if we do not do that the funds will not be disbursed at all. I thank you.

     *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, you have requested that Parliament issues a statement regarding the welfare of Members of Parliament. We are going to sit down with the Administration of Parliament and prepare a statement which will be presented in the House in due course. We are very much concerned with all that you have said. I thank you.

*HON. MANDIPAKA: I rise to add my voice to the statement made by Hon. Mliswa. I realise that when matters are written in the media, a lot of questions are raised particularly when you are talking about our welfare. There appears to be some differences amongst our people who seem to think that we are here to look for money. No, that is not the case. We want to represent them. We are not greedy at all but we are dedicated so that we can come here and raise the concerns of the people to the Government. We do that here in this House.

What has been transpiring is that we were using our own resources to cater for the constituents because we are dedicated to represent them. What we are requesting shall not be misconstrued to mean that we are a greedy lot. That is not the truth and it should be clear to the people of Zimbabwe.

I would like to thank you Madam Speaker that when we raise a concern, your Chair or office responds swiftly as it has done to this matter. A government that runs around to address the concerns of the people is a responsible Government.  I want to applaud the Government for running around and addressing the concerns of the people. That is a hallmark of a good Government. We are happy about that.

I would like to thank your office, the Government and all the running around that was done which was not in my sight. We are now aware that there is something which is in the pipeline. I thank you.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, I think as Hon. Members we should applaud and appreciate what is good. If we see that there is something good happening, I think we should appreciate. I would like to believe that the Acting Minister of Finance is here and he understands what is transpiring. The Acting Minister of Finance is Hon. Chidhakwa. I would like to thank you Hon. Members because for the past week until today you have been fighting seriously to be where we are. If we are a people who understand, for the sake of progress and as responsible Hon Members, I will accept the issues that you have raised and that it be done.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, when you are in a church and when a sermon has been preached, everyone will be touched by that sermon. You cannot suppress yourself when the word has touched you. Yesterday we were shouting at the Minister saying, when are you going to come? I want to thank the Minister if he is the one who went to the President and briefed him about the concerns of the Hon. Members.

Referring to the issue which has been raised by Hon. Mandipaka, we should not be seen as though we want to derail the Government like what some sections of the media and other people were saying.  Even amongst us as Members of Parliament, when someone raises a concern, they then misconstrue it into some other thing. We are fighting for a noble cause here. Hon. Bonyongwe, if at all you attended to that we heartily thank you. The Minister of Justice was sweating the other day and I said to myself, this is baptism of fire and welcome to Parliament.

In our constituencies, people will be saying the MP has everything and so on. I have just stood up to say to my fellow Hon. Members that we should be serious. We do not want people who hijack other people’s agenda in order for them to be promoted.  Some Hon. Members were discouraging us from pushing our welfare to the fore. I was told that I cannot be promoted. If the Hon. Members have their own degrees, let them be promoted. I have my degree from God so that I can be voted into office. I would like to thank the Government for attending to our welfare but we should not take the issue of our welfare as a launch pad for other people to be promoted.  I thank you.

          *HON. MATUKE:  Mr. Speaker, I stand to add my voice in support of those who spoke before me in appreciation of the efforts by the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Bonyongwe that you have heard our concerns and it makes our work easier as Whips.  Even though it is not enough but it is indicative of the fact that Government is concerned about the welfare of Hon. Members of Parliament.  They have conceded to the fact that Hon. Members of Parliament have difficulties in their lives, particularly when they are not receiving their due entitlements by right.

          I would like to thank you that overnight we have realised almost half of our overdue entitlements are coming and that the next batch will be disbursed in a short period of time.  We therefore request that as per their undertaking, our Hon. Members are disciplined and will wait until the next disbursement.  Going forward, we request that the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development also addresses the issues that were raised by Hon. Members for duty free certificates on vehicles because most of their vehicles are dilapidated.  Kindly look into that matter as well and address it towards assisting Hon. Members of Parliament.  We thank you very much because whatever is coming to Hon. Members of Parliament will help.  Failure to comply will result in the money being eroded by inflation.  I am also standing on behalf of my other Chief Whip, Hon. Gonese.

          We moved around raising our concerns.  When I spoke to you Hon. Minister, you undertook to have a response for me by tomorrow.  I thank you.  Let us applaud the Minister for his efforts. – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - We know and I would like to urge my fellow Hon. Members of Parliament to appreciate that our ministers are working hard.  We would like to thank you. – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): Order, order at the back.  Hon. Members, order.  I am calling for order and you continue talking, if I pick you up then I will have no option but to send you out of the House.  Order Hon. Members here, Hon. Mliswa, you were standing up.

          HON. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I just want to correct one thing.  I said that we are paid US$2 000.00 a month, that is not correct, we are paid $1 207.00 as a basic salary.  So, I would like to correct that it is not $2 000.00 but $1 207.00 as a basic salary – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members at the back.

          HON. MLISWA:  So it is important that the media which is sitting up there does make that correction- that it is $1 207.00 per month basic salary.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member, you do not speak to the media - you speak to the Chair.

          HON. MLISWA:   Mr. Speaker, I thought that should be taken note of but I also thought that the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development would respond to this but I see that he has gone – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  I am waiting for the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development; I do not know where he has gone to.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes, you have made your statement Hon. Member.

          HON. MLISWA:  Yes, I was hoping that the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development would respond to this, since he is the one who will be disbursing the money.  I see that he has gone.  So how can we have an undertaking that he is going to do it because papers are written all the time and we are promised?  It is true but we were hoping that he acknowledges that what has been written is true and the money will be paid because writing is not new.  All these promises have been made before in black and white and the aspect of the US$ was important for him to respond, whether we are going to get hard currency because of the inflation.

          So without him responding to that, it further puts us into more problems, because the money will be eroded by inflation if we are paid in December.  So the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development was supposed to respond as to whether we are going to be paid in hard currency according to the inflation rate on the day.  So I do not know how we are going to tackle this Hon. Speaker?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members. Hon. Mliswa – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order please.  Hon. Mliswa, I am sure the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will read the Hansard and probably come up with a response to your worries. – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Order Hon. Members!

          *HON. MAHOKA:  I do not want to repeat what has already been said.  Those who have appreciated have done so on our behalf.  My concern is that the money, yes, we have seen the document.  I have stood up on the issuance of duty free certificates.

          Some of our vehicles are down and dilapidated.  May the Minister stand in for us so that we may have those duty free certificates?  Some Hon. Members are farmers and others are in business and would like to buy their personal vehicles.  We are requesting for duty free certificates.  I thank you for understanding us and we hope our plea will be addressed farvourably just as this one.  I thank you. – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order please Hon. Mahoka the issue that you raised is still under consideration and it is not very long that you will receive a very farvourable consideration to that. – [HON. MEMBERS: Chamisa, tinoda kuti Constitution ipase nhasi!] -

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. Maybe if you give me a couple of minutes so that we are able to deal with whatever is next on the agenda as I sort out my papers.  You are rest assured, we have done our bit and is going to be tabled now and today.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MATUKE:  Mr. Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 10 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 11 has been disposed of.

HON. D. SIBANDA:  I second.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH:  DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. KARORO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to join other Hon. Members who spoke before me in pledging my loyalty to Zimbabwe.  In the same vein, may I offer my respectful thanks for the speech His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was pleased to deliver to Parliament.

Mr. Speaker Sir, my name is Douglas Karoro.  I represent Mbire Constituency in this august House.  Mbire District has a population of 82 380 comprising of 40 604 males and 41 776 females.  The constituency has 17 administrative wards.  The district falls within the Region 4 and 5 on weather pattern.  Mbire is situated in semi-arid Zambezi Valley, a low altitude zone, characterised by frequent droughts and occasional floods.  The area is suited to cultivation of drought tolerant crops supported by livestock production.  Drought resistant crops fairly do well with fishing along the Zambezi Valley providing a source of income for a number of families.  The potential contribution of livestock, a source of draught power, manure, meat and milk towards household income and food security is huge, but farmers have not been realising full benefits from their livestock due to the problems they encounter in raising livestock.  For instance, recurrent droughts resulting in loss of grazing pastures have led to continued decrease in both crop and livestock productivity.  Farmers have realised relatively low returns on the sale of their livestock because of poor condition of the animals. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the state of roads in Mbire has reached a dire situation and needs urgent attention.  Accessibility to health facilities, water points and to other villages has become a nightmare to many residents.  The following dust roads need urgent rehabilitation; Chidodo – Mahuwe; Mahuwe – Mushumbi; Mahuwe – Chitsungo; and Mushumbi – Kanyemba.  Coupled to the deterioration of the road links is the destruction of the bridges, Hambe, Sapa and Dande.  The Dande bridge although being used, the bridge partially collapsed 10 years ago and poses a danger to the public.  Furthermore, I want to draw the attention of Hon. Members here present that the Republic of Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a bilateral agreement establishing an arrangement to link our countries with a tarred road to the border zone.  Zimbabwe’s commitment is to construct a tarred road from Guruve to the border zone.  Zimbabwe’s commitment is to construct a tarred road from Guruve to the Border.  However, we are still to build the said road whilst our counterpart, the Zambians have already built theirs.  I therefore, call the responsible Ministry of Transport to coordinate and fulfil the requirement of the bilateral arrangements by instituting processes to construct the road.

Mr. Speaker Sir, inadequacy or lack of infrastructure poses a great challenge to Mbire Constituency.  Health facilities are generally inadequate as some villager walk more than 30 km to access health facilities.  As I alluded to earlier on, Mbire district is prone to floods - as such, water borne diseases are such a challenge that require sufficient medical facilities to be installed.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Mbire Rural District Council has applied for a Special Economic Zone status for Kanyemba.  I wish to bring to your attention that if the status is granted, Mbire stands a huge chance of revamping its economic fortunes through increased trade volume between Zambia and Zimbabwe at the border zone.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Wards 3 (Madzomba), 7 (Hambe), 13 (Sapa), 16 (Monozi) and 17 (Majongwe) have no clinics and the villagers walk more than 30km to the nearest clinic.  Considering the bad state of the roads, most of the sick patients have to endure long hours before being treated.  Access to health facilities or medication is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to which as a country we are a signatory.  Hence I would want to bring to the attention of the responsible Minister of Health and Child Care to institute processes to construct clinics in these wards. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, linked to this matter is access to clean and safe water.  Access to clean and safe water remain a big challenge to most communities who have been forced to rely on unsafe water sources.  Water is not only inaccessible to humans but also to livestock.  Whilst the Government policy stipulates that water sources should be 500 metres apart, Mbire district residents have been forced to walk more than 2 kilometres to the nearest water sources.  Water is a human right and critical component for human survival.  I want to call upon the responsible Minister for Rural Development and other stakeholders to also consider sinking boreholes in the district to achieve universal access to clean and safe water in Mbire district.

Mr. Speaker Sir, lastly I want to draw the attention of the Hon. Members that Mbire district also suffers from inadequate school infrastructure.  The district is predominantly communal settlement and most people have to endure long hours of walking to the nearest schools.  Others walk more than 9 km to nearest schools against the Government Policy.  Education is the key to development.  As a country, we are well known for a high literacy rate.  However, in Mbire, we are still grappling with high school drop outs and child marriages which can be attributed to inadequate education materials and school infrastructure.  Child marriage is a scourge that has affected Africa and Zimbabwe at large.  I therefore recommend to the Minister of Education to institute proceedings towards construction of schools.  In addition, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development to conduct awareness programmes regarding the increase in child marriages to eliminate the challenges and ensure that our boys and girls remain at school.

           Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take this opportunity once again to thank you for affording me this opportunity to present my speech.  I intend to serve the people of Mbire with dignity, respect and to forever be pro-poor and patriotic.  I thank you.

          HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Chamisa is now ready with the documents.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: It is good that he did.

          HON. MLISWA: I thought that takes precedence – [Laughter.] –

          *HON. CHIKUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me also contribute to the debate on the Presidential Speech to this august House.  He thanked us for working very hard in unity as one Parliament in an impartial manner.  I also want to thank him for his speech on Command Agriculture.  This programme is very good to all farmers, particularly to women who are short of resources.  This programme equipped women and men alike who have farms, are capable and have the energy to work. 

Command Agriculture brought development especially to our communal areas where many people participated.  Some were able to deliver their grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), some have stored grain for their own consumption in their silos until we reach to the next harvesting season. The farmers were given inputs at the right time and we insist that this season, inputs should be distributed in time.    We are also requesting that this programme be brought into our rural homes with inputs such as tractors, planters and also carry out awareness programmes to our farmers to use herbicides because sometimes weeds disturb the growth of plants in a devastating way during the planting season.

Irrigation schemes should also be introduced and implemented and we request that those who are responsible for that programme liaise with Agricultural Extension Officers in order to get information on areas which are viable in terms of irrigation.  This will encourage the youths and also women to engage in agricultural activities.  Women are very energetic when it comes to farming and they work very hard.  This will extend the level of expertise amongst farmers on agriculture and agricultural seasons. There is also need to open up a lot of markets from where farmers can sell their products from horticulture such as butternuts, water melons and so on.

There is an issue on Command Agriculture where people were farming haphazardly and illegal settlers or those who plough in undesignated areas were all over the place.  This is being caused by village heads and chiefs who allocate land for farming in wetlands or settling them in areas which are not allowed at law.  So, we are requesting that the Government conduct awareness programmes on village heads and chiefs on the issue of allocating land haphazardly.

The Head of State and Government also spoke about education.  Education is spread around the country and our children are encouraged to go to school.  The President indicated that there will be a Bill which shall be introduced to ensure that children are not abused.  There is an issue of abuse of children where other children are even failing to go to school.  This is also caused by some parents who are negligent and unable to send their children to school.  So, if a law is enacted, that compels parents to send their children to school, this will ensure that all the children will be able to go to school.

There are some disabled children who are kept in homes and unable to go to school.  If a law is enacted, this will ensure that all those children who are kept at home will be able to go to school.  There is also need to upgrade the schools of the disabled children in rural areas so that the infrastructure and equipment is adequate to support the disabled and also encourage enrolment of many children.  Some parents will not send their disabled children to these schools because the facilities and infrastructure will not be adequate to encourage them to go to school and learn.

I am also requesting the financing of BEAM programme and make it a priority programme in terms of paying the fees and increasing the allocation.  When the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education makes a presentation, he should emphasise the issue of prioritising BEAM.  In our rural areas, there are many children and when one is send home for nonpayment of school fees, they will not be able to go back because parents sometimes fail to get the money to pay for school fees.  So, BEAM may be there as a symbol and yet the money towards its sustainability is not being paid by the Government.  I am therefore requesting that this money be paid to BEAM.  I am also requesting for the renewal of the feeding scheme in schools.  This will encourage children to go to school where they will go and eat.

The President also spoke about the rape of children where he indicated that a Bill should be brought in to curb the abuse of children through rape.  He indicated that stiffer penalties than are currently obtaining should be brought against rape offenders.  For example in my Constituency, Chimanimani, last month, four children were raped by people who were putting on masks so that they could not be identified.  Police officers would only come to the scene of the incident after about four days, long after the perpetrators would have committed the crime and when it would be difficult to trace them or make a follow up.  So, it is important to come up with penalties that are stiff so that those perpetrators are brought to book.  Police officers should also be encouraged to do their work in time.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to debate in this House.  Sometimes you must recognise people who do not debate and encourage them to debate – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          *HON. THEMBANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I stood up to contribute to the Presidential Speech done on the 12th September, 2017, marking the last Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe.  The President said the time has now come to do a lot of work, to realign our laws so that they are aligned to the Constitution.  He went further to say that laws should be realigned. There are about 206 pieces of legislation of which most have been done and only 30 need to be aligned, a job that is expected to be finished before the end of this Session.       

          A lot has been said Mr. Speaker Sir and I will only say a few things.  There is an issue which His Excellency raised about reckless driving. Our people are dying because of accidents.  It seems people do not know that there is the Highway Code and they are just driving anyhow.  This is caused by the fact that whenever they appear in court for reckless driving, they are not being given stiffer sentences.  I remember after independence in 1980, there were a lot of accidents involving soldiers but when the army tightened their penalties for reckless driving, right now we no longer hear of army vehicles being involved in accidents. Our people are not being given deterrent sentences so that they avoid accidents. 

I also want to speak on the issue of rape. I might be repeating but this is difficult especially for us women.  Men are raping their own daughters and if fathers fail to look after their daughters, they are not fathers they must be eliminated because mothers do not do that.  I am urging Government that these people must be given stiffer sentences. I am aware there is one of our sisters who was raped and killed. Perpetrators of such crimes cannot go unpunished.   His Excellency also thanked the Zimbabwe Defence Forces because for us to be in this Parliament, it is because of the peace that is prevailing in this country.  If the country is not peaceful, no matter the amount of money you have you cannot enjoy it because there will be war and you will not be free to move around even to go to church or other activities as this can only happen in a peaceful country. 

In Foliejones, mountains are being destroyed and people are building homes. You cannot stay in homes if there is a war.  Zimbabwe is a peaceful country, visitors like the peace that is prevailing in Zimbabwe and we must thank the Defence Forces for that.  If you go to other countries, be it in meetings, seminars et cetera, the moment you mention that you are from Zimbabwe, you will be treated with a lot of respect.

Mr. Speaker Sir, before I take my seat, I would like to thank His Excellency the President for what he did for women.  He led us out of Egypt, the house of slavery.  He once said those men who impregnate other people’s daughters, we do not like bulls, and we want these men to be punished.  What is happening is these men are facing the axe because of maintenance and the reality is that they must look after their children.  This law is good and women are happy because these men were impregnating school children and after that they go and further their education and the girl’s future will be ruined. So I want to thank His Excellency for this. 

Secondly, women were being looked down upon; in the past we did not know that if we were given the chance, we will perform better.  Now we have women pilots, women train drivers and women in every profession because we were empowered.  On the issue of inheritance, if your spouse dies, you were not given the chance to mourn your spouse as the relatives will be asking for bank books and the like as if they were waiting for him to die to claim the bank book.  We were being abused and now it is a thing of the past. So I want to thank the President on behalf of women of Zimbabwe.  We were not allowed to open bank accounts; we were refused the right to be employed because we were seen as minors.  These men were looking down upon us, even when they talk they refer to weaker men as women.  Now this is a thing of the past, we are equal, our salaries, positions and everything is the same - [Laughter.] – I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Vehicle ABY 4196 Mercedes Benz is blocking other vehicles, if the owner is in this House may he/she please go and remove that vehicle.

          HON. RUNGANI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to. 

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 14th November, 2017.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. RUNGANI: I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 12 to 30 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 31 has been disposed of.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

CONSTITUTION OF THE CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUND

HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that this House adopts the Constitution of the Constituency Development Fund.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  I second.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, I wish to just state that pursuant to the instruction by the Parliament of Zimbabwe and also the request by Members of Parliament, we have since drafted the very important Constituency Development Fund Constitution.  This constitution is accompanied by what is called the Accounting Manual which is simply to articulate in greater detail what the important constitution is going to define. 

I may give you as I advance this motion, the reason why we are supposed to have this constitution.  You are aware that Government indicated that part of the reason why they failed to allocate resources or disburse resources to the constituency development purposes was on account of abuse of the fund, lack of the legislative and legal framework for the fund.   So, the constitution is basically to try and allay the fears of the Executive when it comes to unprecedented abuse of the fund in previous circumstances. 

The process has been that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, through the legal procedural and Constitutional Affairs of the Committee, issued out an initial draft which was circulated to all the Members.  Like I said in previous times, that report was then supported by a few members, most members did not submit their contributions in writing.  I remember that we had other Members who contributed their submissions in writing and we have since incorporated those especially the views in this final draft. 

          The final draft has been approved by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee and now awaits adoption by this august and respected House.  In terms of the summary of the provisions, we have Section 1 that deals with the fund in terms of setting it here-in.  Section 2, deals with the objectives of the fund; section 3 deals with the types of the projects that can be undertaken.  So, we have now prescribed the type of projects that we are supposed to then undertake because in previous circumstances, we would have Members of Parliament even paying lobola using CDF or doing other things that are supposed to be done elsewhere using the CDF Fund.

          So, we have now given parameters, the province that has to be respected in terms of boundaries.  Section 4 deals with the administration of the fund; sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 are about what we have called the Constituency Management Committee, its powers and also the conduct of meetings.  Section 9 deals with the CDF committee which is a constituency based to be chaired by the Member of Parliament. Section 10 deals with the accounting officer and his mandate being the Clerk of Parliament just for administrative functions in terms of administering and managing the funds from the Ministry to Parliament, from Parliament to the various constituency fund portfolios.

          There is also the aspect on Sections 11, 12 and 13 in terms of the income and expenditure and assets for accountability purposes.  Section 14 requires the CDF to keep proper books that are accounted for and also audited in terms of transactions that are undertaken.  There is also an obligation and responsibility to have an annual report that has to be submitted by Members of Parliament Sections 16 and 17 deal with the amendment of the CDF constitution.

          Hon. Speaker Sir, let me delve into specific details without really wasting a lot of time because I know that Members of Parliament are agitated, they want to hear what this fund is going to be all about.  I just hope Hon. Speaker, those who are making a lot of noise may help me, I do not think clearly when there is a lot of noise.  So, I seek your indulgence and protection as the Chair for those who may want to have their discussion to just give me the opportunity to present this CDF constitution.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I hear your concerns Hon. Chamisa.  Hon.  Members, you have been clamouring and have been waiting for this. Now, he is presenting the debate and you start making noise again.  How are you going to debate when you do not listen to the facts that he is giving to us.  Hon. Members, let us take our work seriously.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I am going to rush into basically the objectives of the fund.  The fund shall be to allocate money equitably to constituencies for purposes of development and poverty alleviation.

          However, the types of projects and it is very important - section 3, is going to be dealing with that but it is not limited to those.  If you want to do any other projects that are outside this remit, you then need to seek permission from the Management Committee as a CDF so that there is some kind of controls and mechanisms of accountability. 

The first one is construction, repairs and maintenance of boreholes and wells for rural areas. The second one is repairing, construction and maintenance of schools, clinics, dip tanks, particularly in the rural areas.  The third one is construction, repairing maintenance of market stalls and related infrastructure. The fourth one is electric generators for use in schools.  We had to prescribe where, because some would then buy generators but use them in other houses which is not consistent with where they are supposed to be used.  So, we are very clear; it has to be in schools, clinics and other related institutions that benefit the constituency.

          Number 5, community income generating projects that are defined by the CDF committee as chaired by the Member of Parliament. Six – construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of constituency infrastructure of public importance and of public use. Eight - repairing and maintenance of roads.  We had extensive debate on this to say how much are we going to get - is it going to be significant but we just said it is important to keep it open, to say where there is need be, you may need to do a bridge, a foot bridge for purposes of ameliorating the situation in a particular constituency. 

          We also highlighted the issue of libraries, maintenance and establishment, then any other project as may be approved by the CDF committee.  So, the CDF committee like I indicated, that is the committee within the constituency chaired by the Member of Parliament.  I will also touch on the composition. 

          So, the Chairperson of the Committees, at all material times - the Member of Parliament who shall be the steering authority in terms of the priorities.  In terms of accountability, it has to be the Member of Parliament who is then supposed to account to the Ministry, to Parliament and also to the constituency itself in general.  So, that is basically in terms of the types of projects. 

In terms of the fund, there are two important committees that are there. The first one is called the Management committee, it is an administrative Committee.  This Committee shall have the Deputy Clerk, the Clerk and the Principal Finance Director, Counsel to Parliament and Director of Research within Parliament.  Their duty is basically to manage the transaction of the fund from the Ministry to the account of the constituency.  So, they are they are playing the role that was being played in yester year dispensation by the Permanent Secretary.  If you remember, the CDF was being managed by the Permanent Secretary of the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.  Now, it is being managed by the Clerk of Parliament and this team which has been broadened on behalf of Government and the Executive, but also just making sure that the fund is being used to the purpose and remit that is so prescribed in the Act and also in the constitution. 

          So, we must be very clear. This is a clerical and administrative committee to make sure that it is a pipeline, a conduit to the passage of -I want to welcome the Hon. Vice President. Authority submits to another authority. So I - [Laughter.] – I cannot just ignore authority.  It is not proper.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I seek your indulgence.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  I have appreciated you.

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Thank you very much.  That is protocol because next time I will also be there, so I have to be respected - [Laughter.] – 

I was just indicating and narrating the composition of our Management Committee.  That Management Committee shall report from time to time to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders Committee (CSRO) on a quarterly basis.  Basically, it is the CSRO that is managing the fund on behalf of Parliament and the Parliamentarians.  We have defined the functions of this Committee in the Operations Manual which I will also touch upon. 

There is also what we call the Constituency Development Committee.  This CDF Committee shall be in every constituency.  It shall be responsible for the management, disbursement and allocation of constituency funds in line with the determined priorities in that constituency.  It shall consist of the following; the elected Member of Parliament who shall be the Chairperson of that Committee; the Senator of that constituency shall be an ex-officio member. I would like to explain this point. You find that the Senator will probably be covering five constituencies.  So, the Senator cannot be directly responsible for any of the funds because the remit of the Senator is bigger and is an umbrella.  What he or she has to do is to go to each and every meeting where they feel that they just want to hear what is happening in that particular constituency but they are ex-officio members.  We could not exclude them but we could not include them to be co-pilots.  Otherwise we would have too many centres of power.  We want one centre of power - [Laughter.] – I think it is very important to have one centre of power so that there is no problem in terms of the management of the CDF. 

We also have the proportional representative Member of Parliament who shall also be an ex-officio member.  As you also know, proportional members do not have a particular constituency but they are roving in their constituency.  We could not exclude them.  We have also included them as ex-officio members so that at all material times, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.  There is no conjecture or any under the carpet dealings but there is inclusivity in terms of how the fund has to be managed. 

There is also an additional – the chiefs in the constituency where applicable.  We could not just give all the chiefs but it is a representative of the chiefs who maybe chosen by the chiefs.  Chiefs are very important and they are custodians of our culture.  We must make sure that we involve them in the articulation of the agenda for the constituency.  There is also the issue of three co-opted members because we realise that if we were to just proceed with the restrictive prescription on the members that are going to sit on that Committee, we will have problems because we need expertise.  We are going to give an allowance of three members who are by expertise, chosen and co-opted on the recommendation of the Member of Parliament to say so and so is an accountant or chairperson of a very important and crucial organ not in the party but in the constituency – may be they need to be roped in for purposes of making sure that we are roping in and importing skill, expertise and experience where necessary.  So we are going to have three members who are going to constitute the CDF Committee as a way of strengthening it.

That Committee shall be outlined in the manual which I have indicated in terms of meetings.  There is also the issue of sub-committees that are going to be created.  For example, the Procurement Committee – there is need for a Procurement Committee in that Committee to deal with requisitions because in the Accounting Officers Instructions, we need to follow strict rules in terms of three various quotations and these have to be kept as records.  Statements of accounts have to be kept and this is where you then need people who have expertise. 

Members of Parliament are good with figures but I think they are good with figures when it comes to electoral outcomes and the Xs that have been deposited in the box.  When it comes to figures to do with money, they need assistance.  An Hon. Member cannot be said to be dishonorable.  So, you need assistance from those who are experienced and those who have expertise.  That is the reason why there is that window to allow for the importation of those with expertise to help Members of Parliament (MPs).

There is also an obligation to have what is called a constituency consultative process because we have realised that in the past, an MP would then come in and rail-road his or her wishes; which is alright but we are just placing a legislative and statutory obligation to also consult your people.  It is not obligatory but just to say this is what is supposed to be there. It is preferable.  I was going to use legal terms but I am trying to run away from them.

In terms of the financial control of the account or the fund, it is going to be the CDF that opens a CDF bank account at a bank of your own choice but you have to send the details to the Management Committee through the Accounting Officer so that we know where the account of the constituency resides for purposes of accountability.  Where there is a change, there are obviously things that have to be dealt with. 

There is also the issue of income and expenditure of the fund which is supposed to define assets of the funds.  Again, I am going to touch on that in the Operations Manual.  In terms of the books of the fund again, CDF is going to be responsible for that.  Annual reports are going to be made as I have already indicated before the 31st of October every year.  This shall be done annually to also account to the stakeholders in the constituencies in terms of all the projects and activities relating to that constituency.

No amendment to this Constitution shall be done without the approval of Parliament.  If we are to do any amendment to this constitution, we have to come back to this Parliament.  Not a single power or authority is mandated or given the power to undermine the prescription that has been defined in this constitution.  This manual is simply to assist in the disbursement of what I have said as a general gourmet of the CDF framework.  What is important is the issue that the Management Committee again is not to exercise any executive functions. 

I realise that some have got a document that has not been cleaned up.  The cleaned up document is going to be circulated.  Unfortunately, the Counsel to Parliament is not in the country. She is in Uganda together with some members of the team.  So, I just had to use this document because there was pressure from MPs to have this passed and being brought before this Parliament. 

The issue of the composition of the CDF Committee, I have already indicated.  You will see that councillors are no longer going to be active unlike in the previous circumstances.  We realise that it becomes unwieldy and there is also likely to be a clash of civilisation and visions when it comes to delineation and demarcation of what has to be the priorities in a particular constituency.  Yes, councillors have got a budget that they are running but if there are also other projects where there is need for the council to be involved, they will have to give way to the CDF because this is adding on to what is already obtaining locally.  That has also to be taken note of.

The duties of the fund, identifying projects, appraising and selecting projects that is in the Committee; planning and approving projects implemented after getting allocations from the accounting officer, endorsing or disallowing payments – this is all under the chairmanship of the MP.  Monitoring and implementation of projects, evaluating projects and producing reports of those evaluations and also ensuring that the CDF Finance and Procurement Committee is maintaining the necessary books for accountability and the necessary returns are being made to Parliament and to those who are supposed to officially manage.

The Constituency Development Committee shall also hold scheduled meetings to enable the discharge of duties outlined in the instructions but subject to a minimum of four meetings per year. But again, we will also have issues to do with the quorum.  I will not belabour the point by going into those.  It is already catered for.  The CDF Committee shall keep minutes of the meetings.  All minutes shall be signed by the chairman to be the official record. There is also the sub-committee on CDF and I do not want to waste a lot of time. The quorum of the committee, particularly the Finance and Procurement Committee is 75%, so that you do not have a committee of one approving things to say I have agreed – me myself, and I. We want to run away from a committee of one. We do not have the trinity in these committees where you say I, myself on behalf of my wife and the other wife. No, we do not want that. It has to be mandatory the 75% threshold for accountability purposes.

          Basis of accounting and receipting, these are mundane issues and I may not need to waste a lot of time of those. This is basically the document. I do not know if Members have serious issues that they need clarification on or additions, amendments; we are all free to contribute. Once we have this, the next thing is that the money is already with Parliament but it awaits this framework. Once the framework is there, we open the taps for the water to irrigate the constituencies. The pipe is loaded. The money has been pumped from the Ministry of Finance and it is within the precincts of Parliament. We have to push for the previous allocation and the allocation to come so that we also have benefit to our constituencies for purposes of development.

          I want to thank you for your patience. It is not very easy to agree on such things but I do not foresee any fundamental points of disagreements or departure. In terms of signatories it is already in the manual – it is the chairperson and two others who shall be alternating - the chairperson being a mandatory signature and the other one. It is already in the manual. You are going to be the chief signatory so that you account for everything. At no point in time will you say as a Member of Parliament the money disappeared or the money was signed out for by a particular person. There are people who also even if they are chief signatories, if they encounter a partner of the opposite sex who excites them, they surrender signing powers. It is very important to be very careful that you cannot outsource such powers. I thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: I would like to second and applaud Hon Adv. Chamisa for the presentation on CDF constitution which was long overdue. The absence of the constitution has been cited as the reason why the disbursement was not coming. Now that we have had it presented here, it is a very good document which I urge Hon. Members to pass, so that we get the CDF and we start doing what we are supposed to do. I do not believe that there is too much debate that we can do on this document, suffice to say that let us support it. I thank you.

          HON. MAJOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for this opportunity to just give my two cents worth on CDF constitution. I thank Hon. Adv. Chamisa who is the Vice President of my party for bringing this important constitution. I would want to seek initially clarification. I hear from his address that there is another version that has edited one or two things. I am hoping that possibly it does address what is appearing on Clause 9 on the composition of CDF committee. It is my hope that the editing looks at Clause 9, particularly the composition of the CDF committee because in Clause 9 (2) (b) where it talks about “the Senator” that among the members there is “the Senator” and it seems to mirror the previous constitutional dispensation when Senators were elected by direct representation. You would know that in this constituency the Senator is so and so. I do hope that it does that.

Also “the proportional” on (c) it says “the proportional representative member”. It is my hope that they have addressed the selection of those proportional representation members, because where I am in Harare West Constituency, in Harare Province there are six female Members of Parliament who are proportional representation members, so I trust they have sorted out the modalities of selecting which one as well as the chiefs. If there are two or so who live in the same area, I am sure they have worked out the mechanics.

I would also just respect in the interest of transparency and for the avoidance of problems, I do appreciate that he has said that the accounting manual will indicate who the signatories are. I would want to propose if it is possible for it to be specified in the constitution who the signatories are – to indicate in the committee that there shall be a  treasurer and who shall be  a particular person. I think it might assist to avoid problems and certain things if it is possible at all.

I want to salute very much so the thinking and wisdom behind Clause 11 (e) that makes provision for the fund to expend on an expenditure incurred in the pursuance of the objectives of the fund. I want to most sincerely thank the crafters of this constitution for thinking about this because I want to believe possibly it is most important clause in a situation where Members of Parliament in Zimbabwe are distinguished in the world for being some of the very few who do not have any administrative support whatsoever to conduct their business.

We do not have offices either here at Parliament or even in our constituencies. We do not have provision for staff. We do not have provision for even simple rudimentary things such as telecommunications, stationery, printers and wifi that we make on parliamentary business. I am most grateful that the fund is going to authorise bona fide expenditure on behalf of the business of CDF because I think Hon. Members will agree with me that it will lighten the burden that we that we fund a lot of work for this arm of Government from our purses. This will really go a long way.

There might need in the instruction manual to indicate certain guidelines of how far we go with expenses. Maybe can we go to hold a meeting or a retreat of CDF committee in Honolulu and so on? I am just saying that by way of exaggeration. I am particularly grateful because this fund makes a very big difference. I am looking forward to getting CDF because the one time that it was ever disbursed, I am glad that I was able to make impact in my constituency. For example, I electrified a school that was built in Westlea by council in 2004. Up to 2010 there was no electricity at all and the CDF enabled me to electrify the school. I am really grateful that I furnished council clinics, drilled certain boreholes as well as provide water to clinics. I thank you and I do hope that Hon. Members will pass it.

Beyond that, it is my hope that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will indeed fund this fund so that it does not become a fund that is on paper and never gets disbursed because constituents might start thinking that MPs have done something that we did not even have. I thank you.

*HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this debate.I am going to add a few words.  I would want to thank all Hon. Members of Parliament that they are in agreement that there is need for accountability.  It is a good document and it makes us blameless in the public eye.  We are not out to get money to line our pockets, it is money that is going to used by our constituents and it involves everyone in the community – proportional constitutional representatives, Members of Parliament and Senators are all involved in the management committee.

          I believe that, in the past, there were some problems and outcry as regards the abuse of this fund by Members of Parliament.  This document, the constitution, will enable Members of Parliament to perform their duties in a proper manner.  It sort of helps to cut the hands of those who would want to put their hands in the till or the cookie jar.  The money is not meant to sink a borehole or build a bridge at your own home.  Let us go and serve the people and let there be transparency even when you have the power, you need not to abuse this power.  This one center of power is very problematic and causes problems in the governance of any system.  People need to be involved and there is need for discussions.  The funding that is going to be given to Members or Parliament, at times we do not listen but wake up later.

          The $50 000.00 I alluded to earlier has been highly eroded by inflation.  The $50 000.00 is on paper alone and will not be able to deliver its worth due to inflation.  I believe Hon. Chinamasa is being greeted and I also want to greet Hon. Chinamasa because this is an issue that you started.  We would want to thank you because if you had not allowed for CDF to be granted, we would not have received it.  We thank you for a job well done.

          We do not want to come back here as Hon. Members of Parliament saying that the money did not fulfill our desires.  The $50 000.00 we should be careful that aspersions are going to be cast because it has been eroded by inflation.  We should receive this money once and for all and use it.  We should not be receiving this money in drib and drabs but should be a once off payment and if possible such arrangements should be made with the banks.  The quotations that we are being issued should be paid through a banking system. 

          I do not know how Parliament can be involved to ensure that this money is not going to be misused.  I am saying so because I am alive to the inflation that is affecting because we are being hard hit by inflation.  We may clap our hands here but may find that the $50 000.00 is worth sinking a single borehole that is worth $5 000.00.  That should be looked into and I thank Hon. Adv. Chamisa where they sat and came up with such an arrangement.  They came up with this document but inflation has overtaken them.  I hope that there will be measures that are going to be put in place to address the issue of inflation.

          This is a good document and it helps us as Members of Parliament to ensure that we do our things in a transparent manner.  Those who are going to come after us will give us a pat on the back for having done a good job.  I thank you; even those who may even be returning to Parliament will thank you.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I will have you speak in the order from the list and then Hon. Nduna – in that order please. Sorry I meant to say Hon. Madondo, I beg your pardon.

          *HON. CHIRISA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was a bit angry yesterday because my name was not recorded on the list people who debated.  I submitted my input at the Counsel to Parliament’s office.

          I want to say that Members of Parliament who are here – both the elected ones and those who came on proportional representation.  There is no one with something written on their forehead that one owns a constituency and the other does not - we are all Members of Parliament. I know that the next thing is they are going to say that we have no constituencies.  Proportional representation has the biggest proportion as we go round the entire province.  The important constituents of proportional representation are Zimbabwean women.

          If we look at the needs of women in a community, our needs are different as women are involved with the requirements of the homestead and how things stand.  We say that we agitate for the women because we want women to be at the same level with men because we have not been treated equally – we are not at the same level.  When we talk of gender, most men think it refers to women issues only and they say, women issues are Beijing issues and so forth.

          I need to tell you Mr. Speaker Sir that the proportional representative constituency is made of women was put in place to ensure that the areas that are being left behind in development are identified.  If you leave us out in accessing the CDF, you would have left out a large chunk – [HON. MLISWA: Hamuna kuvhoterwa, hamuna ma constituency!] –

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa should leave this House.

          *HON. CHIRISA:  Thank you for your protection, my plea to this august House is that when the final document is being done; please seriously consider women Members of Parliament who are on proportional representation or quota system.  I thank you.

          HON. MADONDO:  I really want to thank the people who actually came up with such a good document but mine is purely an observation.  Hon. Chamisa spoke about Clause 14 but from the papers that we have, there is no Clause 14 – [HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  You will be given!] – Okay, thank you.

          HON. M. KHUMALO:  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  I want to seek clarification on the fund as one Member of Parliament who also received the previous CDF – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, let us hear the Hon. Member in silence please.

          HON. M. KHUMALO:  I want to find out on the budget that we have $50 000.00 for this year and the country is budgeting now, will the fund require us to approve the budget for 2017? 

          We are also preparing for the 2018 budget so will Parliament require us to bring that budget?  The former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa had promised us $100 000.00.  Hence my question is, Hon. Minister, when we budget for 2018, should we use $100 000.00 or what?  I thank you.

+HON. L. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We decided to put our words to the motion before us.  If you look at it, there is no differentiation between Proportional Representation in as far as Members of Parliament are concerned.  We are equally the same, hence we make the request Mr. Speaker Sir, that as women representatives, we should be included in this budget so that we are able to deal with the issues that affect women so that next year, we can come back to Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the majority of our population is made up of women.  They are the mainstay of the country.  As female Members of Parliament, we should also be able to access the CDF so that we are able to develop our country because mothers are the mainstay of the country.  All Members of Parliament that are on Proportional Representation in the National Assembly as well as in the Senate should be given a chance to access the CDF funds.

+HON. D. M. NDLOVU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity.  What I need clarity on is, proportional representation started since 1980 when it was put into practice without people contesting specific constituencies.  This is what proportional representation is all about.  Those that say PR is not a Member, they are missing the point because when we got independence in 1980, the voting, electoral system was proportional representation based.  The Party only filled the names of candidates and these were decided on the number of votes the Party garnered in a specific province.  This is not a new phenomenon and it does not necessarily mean that one is no longer a Member of Parliament.  What we are saying is that we have bigger constituencies, when I say I am a Member of Parliament for Bulawayo Metropolitan, I am invited by all women in all the metropolitan province and deal with their issues.  So these women are important and they should be seen accessing the CDF.  We did not come here on baccossi as they say.  We are equally important, if not more than those that have constituencies.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What we are looking for is just clarification, no debate please.  You support, you seek clarification and nothing else.  We need only comments and clarifications, that is all.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud Hon. Chamisa for bringing this motion and the composition and ultimately, the constitution of this animal called the Constituency Development Fund.  In its present state Mr. Speaker, without adding any more, I think it is quite effective.  What I need to make a clarion call on though is that the Committee should have the power to sue and be sued, seeing that they will be handling monies which, if they then procure or are engaged in a procurement process, there might be a draw back in terms of either litigation or sub-standard material that would have been supplied.  It would be prudent that the Committee is also mandated with the power that comes with tender processes or procurement processes which is to sue and to be sued on issues where there is no good service that has been offered.

That as it might be Mr. Speaker Sir, I ask that the same account that has been opened for utilisation of the CDF be also open to local donors who would want to have their benevolence in that constituency so that they can deposit into that fund for the management in the same manner of that fund.  Aware that, this $50 thousand or $25 thousand that we are talking about, is just but a pittance when it is compared to the amount of work that needs to be done in those areas.  So it is the issue that the account should be open for donors to deposits into it without opening another parallel account so that it can effectively and efficiently be utilised in the same manner Mr. Speaker Sir.  I so submit, otherwise I congratulate you for bringing this composition, Constitution and ultimately the amount of the Constituency Development Fund.  I thank you. 

*HON. CHAPFIKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me echo what my colleagues said.  Let me thank Hon. Chamisa for such a good motion that he has brought.  I rise to support him but in my support, I would also want to place it on record that we had had a discussion with the Minister.  He had said the money was going to be raised from $50 thousand to $100 thousand.  We were comparing this with best practices.  For example, in Ghana, they give a million dollars per constituency per year, in Kenya, they give a million per year per constituency for development.  This is done to ensure that the Members also do developmental work.  The $50 thousand is a paltry 5% of what is in best practice in Africa.  It would appear as if the Government is not appreciating the work that needs to be done in uplifting the work that is being done in the constituencies.  Five percent is too little; we require that we get at least 40% or even a maximum of 50%.  In 2018, we suggest that the figure be increased.  We also want to come up with achievements that are being done in other countries.  We should envisage a situation where we have one million dollars per year per constituency.  I thank you.

*HON. MANGWENDE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would want to thank Hon. Chamisa for the motion that he has raised.  As women in proportional representation, we have women that are in the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, it does not help us to speak in here.  Our Members in that board should have spoken on our behalf.  If we speak in here, it will not help us.  Many women on proportional representation are there, may be one or two women have constituencies; they should have raised case.  If we make presentations here, we are wasting our time.  I thank you.

          HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just want to congratulate Hon. Chamisa’s Committee for a job well done and move that we adopt this wonderful Constitution, get our money and work in our constituencies.  Thank you.

          HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  The Hon. Member raised the point that there are women who sit in the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, who should have raised this issue.  In the Standing Rules and Orders, it is clear that a Member of Parliament is a Member of Parliament regardless of them being Proportional Representatives (PR) or whatever.  We are all Members of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – so this should be known clearly.  So, when this money is distributed, it must be given to all the 350 Members of Parliament including the Senate.  I thank you.

          HON. DZIVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Adv. Chamisa for bringing this motion to Parliament.  Thank you very much, we have waited for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be availed and bringing in the Constitutional provision to make sure that the money is disbursed to all constituencies is a very good move. 

          I am also appealing that all the 350 Members of Parliament, including the Proportional Representative Parliamentarians must also get the CDF [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – because they are representing a Constituency which is marginalised.  So, for them to be able to work effectively and efficiently in their constituencies, they should get that CDF.  This Constitutional provision has it that we are Members of Parliament and we should be able to get all our benefits just like other Members of Parliament.  So, we are appealing that Members of Parliament representing the Women’s quota must get the CDF for them to be very effective on the ground.  That will make them grow and it will also make the women’s environment workable.  I thank you.

          HON. K. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to add my voice on this subject.  First of all…

          Hon. Members having been making noise.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

          HON. K. SIBANDA: I would like to thank the mover of this motion.  However, I just want to highlight one thing; what happens is that this situation emanates from the budget and the budget was created on the basis of 210 constituencies.  So, you cannot come and virement it here in Parliament after the budget has been done, you cannot.  You should have raised that during the budget process.  Again, the other issue is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, can you give the Hon. Member a chance to debate.  If you want to air your views, I will give you the floor.

          HON. K. SIBANDA: The other issue Mr. Speaker is that; the cost centre is Constituency Development Fund, it is just for the constituency, it is not for me as Hon. Member, it goes to the constituency.  Hence, it was divided according to constituencies.  So, that money goes to constituencies and not to individual Members of Parliament.  I think our Members of Parliament are misplaced on this one.  So, we have to accept that the budget was done, they should have argued that.  They should have argued on changing the cost centre, but it cannot change now and we cannot virement the budget here.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. DR. SHUMBA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I will be very direct in my intervention. With the greatest respect to my colleague Members of Parliament, let us not misinterpret the Constitution.  It is very clear in terms of the tenets invested therein that we have 210 constituencies.  Understand something here, this CDF fund is not for the benefit of the MP and therefore it is not a benefit to the Constituency MP and therefore, MPs who are not Constituency MPs are not prejudiced in any way.  After all, we have made provision in the Constitution that they be included in the Constituency Development Fund Committee.  They will sit with the Constituency MP to deliberate on the issues.  It is not an issue of profit or loss; it is an issue that we are directing this resource to the constituency. There is no need for us to heckle.  Thank you very much.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Members for overwhelmingly supporting the adoption of the Constitution.  However, I think it will be very important for me to start on a very important point to clarify so that we are all clear.  This Constitution does not seek to debate who is an MP or who is not, that is settled in the Constitution.  MPs in this country are proportionally elected, elected via senate and also in individual constituencies.  So, the debate is not about MPs Hon. Speaker Sir.  MPs are known and there are no lesser MPs or higher MPs than others, all MPs are equal. 

          However, the debate on this one is not to do with who is an MP or who is not because what we have is not an ‘MP’s Development Fund,’ it is a Constituency Development Fund.  If it is an ‘MP’s Development Fund,’ we must then go back to the Constitution and say, how do we define support to each and every MP.  However, this is a Constituency Development Fund.  If you go to Section 124, it is very clear, it says; “The National Assembly in Zimbabwe, shall consist of  -

(a) two hundred and ten members elected by secret ballot from the two hundred and ten constituencies into which Zimbabwe is divided; and ;

(b)   for the life of the first two Parliaments after the effective date, an additional sixty women members, six from each of the provinces into which Zimbabwe is divided…” – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

           THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

           HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Let me underline, “…elected under a party-list system of proportional representation based on the votes cast for candidates representing political parties in a general election for constituency members in the provinces” – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker Sir, the lawyer in me is now speaking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

           THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.

           HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Hon. Speaker, the - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER : Hon. Members!

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  In fact, this is not an issue of interpretation, it is very clear.  What is clear is that those 60 members are chosen on the basis that they are elected, and when you are elected you are chosen – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members please, please teererai nenzeve.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA: They are chosen and they are elected on the basis of the vote that has been cast in the 210 constituencies.  So, Hon. Speaker, I hope that answers it.  What we then debated was to say, how do we include proportional representation Members of Parliament and Senators who are elected, no matter how so elected so that they are also part of the process.  This is why we say they are ex-officio members.  It answers what Hon. Majome then said, this is why we said ‘the’, the is to take into consideration...

          Hon. Adv. Chamisa having debating facing the members.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Address the Chair.

          HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  Sorry Hon. Speaker.  It is to address the fundamental issue to do with - how are you Hon. Minister I have not realised that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is here.  The issue to be addressed on this one Mr. Speaker is to do with the aspect of Members of the Senate and Members of proportional representation who reside in a particular constituency.  So, it is on the basis of residence so that they are then able to be active in that community. It would be amiss for a Member of the Senate or a member of the proportional representation to then reside in a particular constituency and not be involved somehow through an ex-officio status in a particular issue of defining constituency development.  That is the reasoning, and that is why it is ‘the’.  If there is any debate which is constitutional, it has to be addressed constitutionally but the Constitution is very clear, we have 210 constituencies and that is where we are going to have our resources disbursed.  That is very clear – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Then I think there are certain issues, Hon. Madondo, Clause 14 is very clear, it is just the accountability.  Hon. Khumalo, thank you also just for supporting, I think no addition.  Hon. L. Sibanda - [AH HON. MEMBER: She is not around.] – She is not around; she made good mention of the difference between elected and not elected. I think the debate is not about that.  I also said that this is not to weigh Members of Parliament on a scale to say a proportional representing Member of Parliament is lesser.  No, no, we are all Members of Parliament equally elected through the laws of our land.  That is not the debate; the debate is to say how do we get these constituencies dealt with. 

          There is also the issue raised by Hon. Nduna in terms of the legal persona - that one is already resident in the Operating Manual.  So, it is catered for in terms of how we are going to proceed, to sue or not to sue. Hon. Majome, thank you very much for the additions especially on the issue of the signatories.  We are going to take note of that so that we import it from the manual into – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          An Hon. Member having stood at the door.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member at the door there, if you want to go out please can you do that right away than for you to debate.  We want to listen to the Hon. Member that I have given the floor to contribute – [AN HON. MEMBER: Pane chembere iripo padoor.]

           HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Hon Speaker, let me just round up by saying, Hon. Chirisa, I want to thank you just like a point raised by Hon. Chapfika. Thank you for raising that point, and I am also sorry for not mentioning your name.  We had other members who we did not mention names because a lot of members contributed, but thank for your contributions; they were also incorporated, I am sure you have seen that.  So, that is not a big issue. 

          On the issue of teas and administration - the fund is not designed to deal with the administrative issues, otherwise we will end up with Members giving one another allowances in that particular CDF, so that the CDF will all go to sitting allowances and the CDF committee can sit from Monday to Friday.  It is voluntary and the money is not supposed to go to teas or administrative issues of costs; it is supposed to go to development purposes because this is a Constituency Development Fund, not a Member of Parliament development fund.  So, we do not want this resource to be abused to develop the Member of Parliament and not develop the constituency.  You can see the Member of Parliament developing without developing the constituency.  So, this is very clear and I hope that it will be understood as such.

          Hon. Members, I want to thank you all for contributing even those whom I did not mention by name.  Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Mandipaka, you were totally in agreement, I thank you very much [AN HON. MEMBER: Hon. Khumalo.] – I have already mentioned Hon. Khumalo and Hon. Sibanda, thank you very much for supporting.  I think it does it for this and I so move that the constitution be adopted.  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development are kindly requested to pass through Pax House after adjournment of the House and collect their parcels from their Committee Clerk. 

          HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  We are not against supporting this Bill, it is very important but what I want noted is that as women, we are saying as much as it is going to be adopted we have reservation because what we are saying is that there are 210 constituencies and within those 210 constituencies they are 60 women and 80 Senators.  So, that must be noted that as women we have reservations – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Khupe.  The Chair has already moved for the adoption of the motion.  I have actually closed the debate, I am sorry about that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order in the House Hon. Members!

          Motion put and adopted.

FIRST READING

ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 6, 2017]

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. RTD MAJ. GEN. BONYONGWE): presented the Electoral Amendment Bill [H.B. 6, 2017].

          Bill read the first time.

          Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

          HON. NDUNA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, earlier the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was not in but now that he is in, I rise to add my voice and congratulate him on an expeditious, efficient and effective way of managing parliamentary affairs issues, in particular on the issue that was being debated here yesterday.  I had no doubt in my mind when he stood up and spoke so eloquently, ventilating the issue of the Members’ concerns and welfare that he was going to come back with a positive answer, much to the enlightenment of the Members of Parliament.  I want to then say congratulations to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. On my own behalf and on behalf of the Members of Parliament, I congratulate him on his first but very important port of call.  I thank you.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. RTD. MAJ. GEN. BONYONGWE), the House adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 21st November, 2017. 

 

 

 

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 02 NOVEMBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 19-1