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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 11

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  There is an error on the Order Paper, on page 88, the day is recorded as Thursday instead of Tuesday.  

INVITATION TO THE ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS MEETING

THE HON. SPEAKER:  All Members of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017, in the Senate Chamber at 1000 hours.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the women’s manifesto.

LAUNCH OF THE ZEC BVR EXERCISE

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will launch and explain the Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) exercise to all Members of Parliament tomorrow in the National Assembly, starting at 0830 hours.  ZEC will also facilitate the registration of all Members of Parliament over a number of days.  To facilitate the registration exercise, Hon. Members are kindly requested to bring their national identity cards or passports and proof of residence. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I have made one observation.  Hon. Members, you must be in the House before the Speaker’s procession.  It is not proper and against our standing orders that Hon. Members start trooping in after the prayer.  That is not correct, that is totally unprocedural.  

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. MATUKE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 9 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 10 and the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

HON. RUNGANI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I will start off by saying good afternoon to you Sir.  I bring to you fraternal greetings from the heroic people of Uzumba Constituency.  Allow me to thank His Excellency the President, the Commander in Chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde. Robert. Gabriel Mugabe for having time to come to the august House.  I also need to thank His Excellency for the introduction of Command Agriculture.  This has changed the landscape of all our growth points.  All our GMBs are now busy and most of the youth have now been employed.  This will transform our communal lands.

I also want to thank Hon. Members for the good behaviour during the address by His Excellency.  This showed a sign of maturity from Hon. Members.  I want to thank Cde. Robert. Gabriel Mugabe, our President, for the development of education in Uzumba Constituency.  Uzumba Constituency Mr. Speaker Sir, stands as the only constituency in Zimbabwe where every primary school has a secondary school.  We have Chidodo, Chikuhwa, Chimhodzi, Chipfunde, Chitimbe, Gadaga, Kaseke, Machekera, Marembera, Marowe, Mashambanhaka, Matsenga, Mayema and Musanhi; all these schools are secondary schools with primary schools.  The achievement has been through participation of the people in the constituency.  We have a policy that says the energy we use in eating food is the same energy we must apply in developing our schools because education is the most important thing that a constituency or a nation can get.  The other thing is that I am proud to report to the august House that all primary and secondary schools …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member.  Hon. Members, if you want to engage in loud conversations, please get out of the Chamber or the Chair will send you out.  We need to understand what the debate is all about.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for the protection…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Chirisa, can you leave the House.

HON. MUDARIKWA:  Hon. Members need to listen because I have the experience of being once a Minister and an MP.  It is something that is very important and people must listen when I debate so that when they debate they do so constructively.  Mr. Speaker Sir, our Uzumba Constituency has a total of 21790 learners and all the teachers in the primary and secondary schools, most of them have now been accommodated.  Those who do not have accommodation – we have developed a new system where we go to villages and identify people who live in Harare and are not always using their houses.  The schools are now renting those houses for our teachers.  It is important that all our teachers must have decent accommodation for the development of our education.  We had to do this because of different structures like myself – when you sleep the level of snoring disturbs other people in the next room.  So, through this system we have normalised the snoring and everything.

The other thing I want to thank His Excellency the President for, is that we now have Nhakiwa/Nyakasoro Vocational Training Centre.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you be more serious.  What do you mean by normalising the snoring?

HON. MUDARIKWA:  I am saying, it will not disturb the other person.  It will be your own problem and it will not affect the other person in the next House as people will be in isolation.  That is how we try to normalise the snoring Mr. Speaker Sir.

Nhakiwa/Nyakasoro Vocational Training Centre has a total of 103 students doing motor maintenance, building, hospitality and clothing.  We also have 117 students on attachment.  This centre has recently produced 25 students who are now working on one of the Chinese construction company.  They started with difficulties but now they are coping and are able to lay 1000 bricks a day.  It is important that every district in Zimbabwe has vocational training centres because they serve to improve the skills of our youths in rural areas.  For any programme to succeed, even if you are going to cut trees, you need to sharpen your axe.  So we have sharpened the skills of our youths in the Uzumba Constituency.  They are here now working for this Chinese construction company.  During the weekend, they come back home and their quality of life has changed because they are earning a living.  It is very important that we do not waste our students from Form 1 to 4 by just letting them go.  We must make sure that they acquire certain skills. 

We have also developed a short course programme for a group that is involved in the making of shoes and garments. This group comes from one of our villages.  We had 38 people between the ages of 35 and 85 years who came just to polish up their skills.  Some of them used to work here in Harare.  So, we are developing a system where we are now producing our own overalls and our own worksuits.  Those who want to place orders, worksuits from my constituency, if I was allowed to bring one and maybe I will put it on just for demonstration, it costs only $15.  This is a normal high quality worksuit now produced in rural areas.  I have shoes that are under the banner of Uzumba style – they are also produced – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjections.] – I have them in my vehicle. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, just for the interest of those who are arguing, I will present that pair of shoes to you so that you will show them that that is something produced in Uzumba Constituency.  We have hands, eyes and ears – why are we failing to produce things on our own.  It is our responsibility that we must continue to do this in order to empower our rural areas, because that is where 80% of the people live and they must be empowered to produce their basic requirements.

          I wish to thank ZINARA for providing a motorised grader in Uzumba Constituency and they are also providing diesel to UMP Zvataida Rural District Council.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to also thank His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for providing electricity to all our traditional chiefs through REA.  All the chiefs in our Constituency now have electrified houses.  We have come in to assist in the tubing of the houses because REA only brings electricity up to the wall and then the internal tubing has been my responsibility as the Constituency Member of Parliament.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we remain as one of the constituencies that challenge every constituency in the area of music.  This Friday Mr. Speaker Sir, Jah Prayzah is going to launch a CD known as Kutonga kwaro.

 Hon. Nduna having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  You cannot move in front of an Hon. Member who is speaking.

HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Jah Prayzah is from Uzumba Constituency and he dominates the music industry.  We also have Andy Muridzo who is also a young upcoming artist.  We also have Douglas Vambe – the one who produced those news drums.  It is important Mr. Speaker that as Hon. Members, we identify talent of musicians and cultural groups from our constituencies and then assist them in terms of exposure so that they can be known by everybody. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to conclude by raising a concern about what has happened recently at Mbare-Musika.  They have now started importing vegetables from South Africa and this is affecting my Constituency because we produce a lot of tomatoes and vegetables that come every day for sale at Mbare-Musika.  We need the assistance of the august House to protect the market at Mbare-Musika.  If we are not able to protect our market, then, our people will compete with produce produced in South Africa and some of the produce is GMO.

I would want to thank those Hon. Members who were listening and I would also want to thank those who were not listening because they were not talking whilst I was presenting my speech.  I also want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity and you also attentively listened to my contribution.  I want so salute you Mr. Speaker Sir and I wish you will be our Speaker next year.  Thank you very much.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I stood up to add my voice in a few words to the Presidential Speech that was given by the President as we support him.  Let me start on the Command Agriculture – it was mentioned by the President in his speech.  Command Agriculture is a very good project that was successful.  When the President was talking about Command Agriculture, he said that this year this programme will still be in force.  However, but in my opinion, when he mentioned Command Agriculture – that people will be getting a lot of things, they became excited and prices for inputs went up to alarming levels.  The pesticides that we used to buy for $15 a litre, have been doubled and they are now being sold at $45 per litre.  Fertilizer that used to be very affordable at between $30 and $32 is now costing $45 to $50.  This means that Command Agriculture was a good initiative but because people are so greedy, they increased the prices because right now they heard that the shops had increased their prices of commodities and they did not realise that the inputs for agriculture would also go up.  These were raised to alarming levels. 

So, we want to thank the President for the Command Agriculture but we also want him to send teams to investigate the prices that have gone up because they now prohibit us as the ordinary men to go and buy.  It is true and in the rural areas the President also mentioned the inputs for subsistence farmers, but can a person really wait for 10 kgs from the President?  This is just to render assistance with 50 kgs of Compound D and top dressing fertilizers.  There are other farmers who are able to farm much more than this.  Those people in the rural areas are subsistence farmers and they cannot afford the expensive fertilizers because the 727 seed now costs $100 for 18kgs. 

So if this person is a subsistence farmer from the rural areas for example Buhera where there is always a drought, it means that the person can no longer afford to buy fertilizer or the seed itself.  So, the President talked about Command Agriculture which is a good initiative but we request that the Government goes down on the ground and investigate what is happening - not only to investigate the prices of biscuits and other commodities but also the price of inputs for agriculture. 

Agricultural inputs are what affect the lives of the people and they should be monitored.  So, I am hoping that what we are saying here, if they go out into the fields and see what is happening. The rise in prices has affected agriculture whether the prices were raised through WhatsApp or whatever. This gesture is meant to destroy the nation. The country should not deteriorate.

          Secondly, I want to talk about corruption Mr. Speaker Sir. In this country, corruption has become a cancer. Corruption, the President has reiterated this. He can talk and mention about corruption many times but what concerns us is that the people who are found in corrupt activities, not even one of them has been arrested in this country. There have been no arrests. This is a very difficult issue. When I am in my constituency Mr. Speaker, people ask me – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker I seek your protection from those who are talking too much for them to keep quiet as I debate.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: When I am in my constituency, I am questioned by people who elected me that why is it that the President is always talking about corruption now and again. Who has been arrested for corruption and yet it is a cancer in this country. Corruption in this country has become a painful situation. We do not know what the future holds. At one time I was thinking to myself and thought of Jesus Christ preaching the Gospel when he was approached that a woman who was caught in adultery was to be stoned. Jesus told them that whoever had not sinned should throw the first stone. So when I look at people in this country, I think everyone is involved in corruption because if all of us had not been corrupt, at least a few people would have been arrested but no one has been arrested.

So we end up not knowing why corruption continues to be mentioned and also why the Commission was put in place because it is a toothless bulldog. There is nothing to show in terms of its achievements. If the Commission decides to arrest anyone it has to start with its members because they are not serious at all– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. They should be people who should ensure that the corrupt people are arrested without fear or favour. So corruption will not come to an end in this nation.

As I stand here, I know when I talk of corruption in this House there are people who are going to question why I mentioned it. The issue of corruption; we did not go for the liberation struggle for corruption to persist. We went to war so that people would have freedom and be able to enjoy the benefits of Zimbabwe. In fact, during the war we learnt Leninism and Marxism of the Soviet Union, – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – which actually said what you have is also mine. Whatever you have belongs to all of us. So, if Leninism and Marxism does not apply, then what does it mean– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –. We went to war and we have become a laughing stock because they ask us why we went to war – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – .

We need the Anti-Corruption Commission to be independent and it should be like ZEC. No one should go there. ZEC is an independent commission and no one controls ZEC, whether it is the President or the opposition no one intervenes in ZEC operations. That is what we want the Anti-Corruption Commission to become, not that when we are told there is an Anti-Corruption Commission people follow this Commission and the Commissioners are unable to work because they are intimidated and threatened. We do not want that.

We once mentioned in this august House Mr. Speaker that if it is a challenge the Hon. Members should form an Anti-Corruption Commission with three members from the opposition and three from the ruling party because that will assist us. Why I say it will assist us is that our own people who voted for us to be in this House will be looking forward to see what we are going to do. So if I do not do my work well, I will fail my electorate. I have to work hard for my electorate to realise that they have elected a good leader because once I fail as a leader, they will not elect me.

The President talked about reshuffling – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Reshuffling should be extended to the Commissions, especially the Anti-Corruption Commission – [AN HON. MEMBER: Very powerful speech.] – Mr. Speaker, when you hear me speaking in this manner it is because I am deeply concerned about my nation. Honestly Mr. Speaker, the corruption we are talking about here, there is so much money in this country, but people cannot access their cash to go and buy a child a banana. A woman cannot buy her child a banana in the street. It is not that this country does not have money. The bond –

*HON. MUPFUMI: On a point of order. In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, it does not say that the Anti-Corruption Commission should investigate starting from the President. The Hon. Member should be advised that a sitting President cannot be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Is that what the Hon. Member said?

*HON. MUPFUMI: The Hon. Member said the Anti-Corruption Commission should start its investigations from the President going down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Mliswa. Hon. Mupfumi, you are correct in your statement but Hon. Chinotimba did not say that.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe that the Hon. Member was asleep. I have mentioned in this august House as if I was foretelling the future that as soon as I am through with my debate, my words were going to be turned around and there you are, I am vindicated. I request that the President gets this recording so that he could hear it. I was grateful for the reshuffle and that there should be a reshuffle in the Anti-Corruption Commission. If the Hon. Member did not hear, maybe he must have been asleep. You always encourage us to be wide awake but they are not taking heed of your advice.

          Mr. Speaker, let me proceed and say that I am quite disturbed. The Hon. Member is not only an Hon. Member but indeed, he is my friend. He has disturbed my line of thought. I require to come back as a Member of Parliament for Buhera South next year and I would not want my constituency to fail to vote for me because of other people who have misinterpreted my utterances. The supply is across the political divide. People are busy pulling each other down, in the MDC and in ZANU PF.

          Lastly, I would want to thank those in my constituency. We are doing quite well in terms of electrification. The only problem that we have is that once the transmission lines have been erected, a lot of time elapses before accessing transformers, but people are quite happy when the lines are put in place. They come and congratulate us for a job well done. Later on, they will ask about the issues of the delays in transformers being timeously delivered.

          We urge that these transformers be delivered in rural constituencies in time. There should be variations on the prices of electricity. There are people that are employed in the urban centres and there are those rural dwellers who are not employed and at times we have droughts. If it were possible, rural electricity tariffs should be different from those ones that are imposed in urban centres. There should be a discount for the rural area consumers.

          In the farms where there is farming, it is also our plea that, the farmers are doing production, but electricity is expensive. The current production and what they are going to have, there is a disparity. In fact, the farmer will not be able to profitably produce. If it were possible, there should be a discount for farmers.  The same applies to the communal areas in terms of their tariffs, and they should be given a discount. Our grandmothers are having their huts burnt because of candles. An elderly woman will go to sleep when the lamp is still on and the house is set on fire. 

          I am not saying they should not pay for electricity, but I am saying that when the second war came to an end, the white farmers were given land and for twenty years, they were not paying for electricity. When they later paid, they were very oppressive. That is why in First Street, blacks were not allowed because it was a no go area for blacks. It was for the whites. We do not want the discrimination that was played by the Smith Regime. We are saying that in the communal lands, they should pay a lower tariff of even 2%, lower than the urban dwellers. May be 2% of 10% so that people can be able to utilise electricity and live in light and not in darkness.

          Electricity should be affordable. What hurts most is that while electricity has been made available, the electricity is going to schools, which is different from countries like Romania, China and even Yugoslavia where we went to. They would divert the electricity to the shops and they live in close communities. The villages are in close proximity. So, the Yugoslavian Government does not target electricity for schools only. They target it for the villages.

Our Government is busy supplying electricity to schools and the ordinary man and woman is asked to pay for power lines to ensure that they tape into electricity that goes to the school. The people cannot be able to raise the funds and so, electricity should pass through the people’s homes. In their respective village heads, they should be able to access this electricity. So, Mr. Speaker, because my time has been disturbed, may I be allowed five minutes because I was interrupted? People will not record that I was interrupted but I need a chance. If there is a disruption in football, additional time is given. Be that as it may, I thank you that you have heard my debate. 

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech. Before I go further, allow me Mr. Speaker to thank the previous speaker, Hon. Chinotimba for his views over the issue of corruption.  I would not differ but I am also going to discuss in my debate the issue of corruption and what I envisaged personally as a Member of Parliament as the issue of State capture.

          Mr. Speaker, allow me also to thank His Excellency, the President, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe for the speech that he delivered at the United Nations General Assembly.  As a citizen of this country, I am very much concerned at the carelessness that the bodyguards to the President displayed in front of international cameras when the President had actually to struggle to get to the podium – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Let me finish.  I have observed Mr. Speaker that heads of other States are even wheeled on a wheelchair to the podium.  Why did our bodyguards allow the President to embarrass himself by moving towards the podium with so much effort when they should have been there to look after him?  As a citizen of this country, I have a right to complain on the behaviour of those who accompany the President to the United Nations.

          Mr. Speaker, I do believe that when the President comes to Parliament, the input that he put before us is contributed by the various Ministries. As such, I observe that there were certain benchmarks that the President was supposed to set on the various topics but these were overlooked.  There is the issue of pension for example Mr. Speaker.  We are aware that in Zimbabwe, we have pensions that used to be paid by white bosses who have since left this country.  No piece of legislation has been proposed to address the issue of pensions.  As a result, we have destitute former workers who are not benefiting on issues of pension from any other source.  Therefore, we have destitute people who are elderly and are unable to look after themselves.  I thought that should have formed part of the agenda on the presentation of the President’s Speech.

          The President, in his third paragraph, actually discussed the issue of handling of children that are in conflict with the law, the Child Justice Bill.  Mr. Speaker, we cannot talk about the Child Justice Bill without taking into consideration what occurred in South Africa, perpetrated by the First Lady.  That was abuse of children in South Africa. As such, we should take note of that and not overlook some of the short comings that we have within our own state in terms of attitudes towards the child justice both in Zimbabwe and South Africa. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Member, I am sure you are aware that this matter is before the courts and therefore it is sub-judice, it cannot be discussed.  So, if you could withdraw that element. 

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Mr. Speaker, I withdraw that statement but my understanding was that diplomatic immunity had been availed to the …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, the matter is before the courts.

          HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I withdraw that statement Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Carry on.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  In his fourth paragraph, the President talks about the Coroner’s Office Bill.  Mr. Speaker, this Bill is to establish the Coroner’s office that will be responsible for medical legal investigation.  It brings to mind the issue of what transpired after the death of General Mujuru.  While the inquest referred to a blue flame, however, the final report had nothing to do with the facts that were presented before the courts.  So Mr. Speaker, I personally do welcome the introduction of the Coroner’s Bill because whatever deaths that occur in this country are going to be thoroughly investigated.  I hope in retrospect, because some of the investigations that were conducted during the death of General Mujuru were never conclusive. 

Mr. Speaker, I go to paragraph 5.  Paragraph 5 refers to the issue of increased optimism about the economy of this country.  Credit is given to Command Agriculture.  However Mr. Speaker, observing when one travels around this country, almost 45 to 50% of the land that is supposed to be utilised is not being used for agricultural purposes.  Farms are still lying fallow and we need to improve on the issue of utilisation of land. Not only that  Mr. Speaker, when we talk about the revival of our economy, we still are witnessing long bank queues where people are unable to withdraw the funds that they would have deposited or funds earned from either selling of tobacco or maize that farmers are producing.  

Mr. Speaker, it is not a secret that we are still witnessing high interest rates in terms of loans that are given by banks.  That makes borrowing in this country very expensive.  As a result, I would have thought the President would have inferred to the issue of high interest rates that need to be lowered in order to make funds available for capital far much less expensive than is the case at the moment.

Mr. Speaker, there is also the issue of holding of goods that is being conducted by leading companies that we expect to be exemplary.  Madam Speaker, I would like to point out on the issue of farming also.  We have Hon. Members sitting in this House that are actually advocating for the denial of inputs to MDC T supporters – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  I will give an example.  I am not stopping.  The Hon. Member for Guruve South, I was there yesterday afternoon.  It is very unfortunate that he called for meetings and advocated that MDC T members should not receive inputs that were actually being donated by the President.  I do believe Madam Speaker that when a President donates inputs – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member.  Hon. Members, I hear loud voices.  I am appealing to the House.  We want to hear what the Hon. Member is debating.  Do you not want to hear what he is saying?

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I am making allegations here, I want you to defend yourselves.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Could you please proceed?

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member for Guruve South I will repeat, Hon. Dutiro actually called for a meeting where he advocated for the denial of inputs to MDC T supporters in Guruve South.  I was there yesterday afternoon.

Madam Speaker, one thing that I thought the President was going to touch on apart from Command Agriculture or agriculture in general is the issue of infrastructure development in resettlement areas.  Infrastructure in resettlement areas is suffering from lack of primary and secondary schools.  Secondly, there are no clinics.  I remember the Minister of Health and Child Care stating before this House in October 2013, that his target was to build 2 400 clinics. I would have wished that the Minister would have been here and finally give a response.  Did he construct 2 400 clinics in resettlement areas?  It is not true Madam Speaker.  I think we would be very lucky if he has constructed 40 or 50 of them; if not less than 20.  We expect such issues to be addressed when the President comes to open Parliament as he sets out his agenda.

On paragraph 8 Madam Speaker, the President refers to enhancement of National Economic Competitiveness so that the country can become a destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  Madam Speaker, I will restate again.  The 51-49 % indigenisation policy is the one that has denied us foreign direct investment.  I challenge this House to nominate or mention two or three people who have benefited from the 51-49% legislation that was passed in this House in the last parliamentary sitting.  There is not even a single soul and we are not reaping any advantages.  Unless we come together in this House and scrap indigenisation, yes but the methodology of going about it is not to say, if I come from Japan and I have one hundred million dollars, Zimbabwe takes fifty one million and they leave me with forty-nine – who will then chair the board?  It does not make sense.  Unless we sober up and recognise that the 51-49 proportion on indigenisation is actually detrimental to what is happening in this country and that we need to correct it.

          Madam Speaker, on paragraph 9, there is also the issue of the amendment of the labour laws that is to address the plight of workers.  However, the President refers to the labour market flexibility.  I spent fifteen years in the trade union movement.  There is nothing like labour market flexibility other than allowing people to be exploited as was the situation during colonialism.  Infact, we should be protecting jobs and protecting the workers as well.  Job security is very important.

However, I am going to mention something that I have also observed as State capture - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, I think it is the row of benches where Hon. Matangira is sitting.  You are having your own meeting there.  Please may you be quiet?

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Madam Speaker, I am again forced to observe the issue of State capture as in the manner of the expulsion of workers and mine workers (makorokoza) at Manzou Farm in Mazowe District.  Again, it is sad to note that there is the element of State capture by personal possession of the Mazowe Dam which was constructed before the First Lady was born.  It is sad that those who were doing business on Mazowe Dam can  no longer do so and it is being controlled by police to ensure that everyone is kept out in preference to the use by the First Family.

I also observe when we talk about labour market flexibility; there is the issue of parastatals.  Parastatals are being exploited by having salaries reduced unilaterally.  Parastatal workers are being exploited by actually losing leave accrued during their service when they are working for the various parastatals.  I cite one – Tel One as one example where I have evidence that was brought to me by some of the workers on how they are being exploited. 

When we talk about economic revival, one cannot allow a situation where the President overlooks the issue of Air Zimbabwe or National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).  In Africa today, there is development of the fast train.  If we look at Ethiopia, the Chinese are building fast trains. Only this afternoon, I learnt that one North African country- [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members!

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I learnt that one North African country was testing a fast train which was going at 275 km/hr.  That is in Africa.  We have underground trains in Johannesburg but however, what we are witnessing in Harare is congestion after congestion of smaller cars, mavitz. 

I would like to appeal that even the appointment of parastatal boards should not be done on a partisan or ethnicity basis.  The award of tenders in parastatals is an issue that this Parliament is supposed to discuss.  Let us not be diverted by just aligning laws with the Constitution and overlooking major issues that this Parliament is supposed to discuss.

Paragraph 10 talks of the Cooperating Societies Amendment Bill, if I am to read it correctly, maybe it was supposed to say the Cooperatives Societies Amendment Bill.  The abuse of cooperatives in urban areas is such that there has been the bastardising of urban planning. Where cooperatives start setting up their houses, no servicing will have been conducted.  In other words, structures are put up but there is no drainage system.  If we look at White House, Operation Garikai, those houses were constructed without toilets or any drainage system.  I can see that my time is almost up Madam Speaker.  I wish I would go on and on.

When we talk about infrastructure - I was in Muzarabani yesterday.  In Muzarabani, dams and bridges that were damaged by El-nino have not yet been repaired.  Only one bridge has been repaired.  I travelled a circumference of almost 150kms – roads are damaged and there are more than 15 bridges that have not been repaired.  Which country are we living in? I wonder what the Muzarabani Member of Parliament is going to stand for in order to be re-elected for 2018 because the damage there needs repairs.  Hon. Kanhanga is doing something in his constituency. 

In conclusion, I bemoan the absence of pertinent issues in the President’s speech to Parliament which does not address the issue of infrastructure development or rebuilding our national railways so that we can re-coup what we have lost throughout the years.  The speech does not dwell on the issue of road expansion in the urban areas so that we have intertwined roads that move with the times.  Failure to address youth unemployment in this President’s speech leaves a lot to be desired.  With that Madam Speaker, I will stop here and I will continue through other debates.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:   Thank you Hon. Speaker for allowing me to also debate on the motion of the speech by the President.  Hon. Speaker, generally and in normal countries – the date of the Official Opening of Parliament when the President comes to address the nation on the agenda of the next year, it is a serious event in the calendar of any nation.  It is an event that is supposed to take grip of the whole nation so that the whole nation can then pay attention to what the President wants to say.  It is one of the very few events except these days; there are a lot of interface rallies where we hear all manner of insults and despicable language not suitable for consumption …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member.  For your own information, we are debating on the speech which was presented by the President and not the activities of the President.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I think before you stop me …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have heard what you have been saying concerning the interface…

HON. P.D. SIBANDA:  Maybe you are not following the direction that I am taking Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can you please proceed?

HON. P.D. SIBANDA:   I am simply trying to portray and give you the picture of how important the day of Official Opening of Parliament is. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  It is alright, you can proceed.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA:  Generally, on that particular day, it is the day when citizens expect the Head of State who is the Chief Executive Officer of the country to speak to their concerns or issues that are affecting them daily in terms of their lives.  The citizens expected and continue to expect the President, when he gets an opportunity to come and address Parliament to speak about some of these following issues; firstly, cash shortages – it is very clear that the environment outside the banks where Zimbabweans are kept in queues in order to try and get money each and every day is embarrassing and undignifying to the people of Zimbabwe.  Therefore, the expectation is that when the President comes to speak to the nation, he should speak to those kinds of issues that are affecting the people on a daily basis. However, when I went through the speech by the President, it appears that this issue does not appear at all.  The humiliation and violation of the right of Zimbabweans to have dignity, and to be respectable people, which is being violated each and every day was ignored in the speech of the President.

 The citizens expected the President to speak to issues of rising prices of goods that are eroding the cost of living and increasing the cost of living for Zimbabweans.  Hon. Speaker, it is clear that prices are rising almost each and every week in this country.  The expectation of Zimbabweans is that the President should be able to speak to those issues and say how his Government intends to deal with those issues.  Speaking about abstract things like the laws that he wants to enact does not auger well with Zimbabweans.  Zimbabweans do not eat laws but eat bread and basic food stuffs that should be affordable.  Those are the things people outside are expecting. 

The speech of the President was supposed to address issues of unemployment levels.  Currently, it is not by choice to get into any profession or activity that you are in.  It is not by choice that we find everyone being a vendor.  I was speaking to people in Binga, my constituency and everyone has become a fisherman, not by choice but because there is nothing else that one can do except to become a fisherman.  In a normal working economy, Zimbabweans have a right to choose what they want to do.  Those that want to start their own activities and be self employed should be able to do that.  Those that want to go and work in white collar jobs should also be able to do that.  But, the kind of economy that we have forces everyone to go one direction, which is being a vendor, a fisherman or a farmer and nothing else. 

Hon. Speaker, we also expected the President’s speech to deal with Government expenditure and priorities in terms of disbursement of the budgetary allocations.  Currently, the budget of this country does not deal with issues of welfare of Zimbabweans.  Basic welfare issues that we need to look at are issues that have got to do with the health of the population, education and the welfare of the aged and the disadvantaged.  Those are the kind of things that are expected from Government expenditure but unfortunately when you go and look in our hospitals, they have become shelves and there is nothing taking place in hospitals because hospitals are no longer dispensing health.  Schools – I am not sure when last the Government of Zimbabwe built educational infrastructure especially in primary and secondary schools.  We are no longer investing in those areas that are supposed to actually secure the future of this nation in terms of the human capital.  So, those are the kind of things that Zimbabweans expected the President to deal with. 

We also expected that the President would deal with issues of retention of funds that are generated in particular areas.  I know that we always talk of indigenisation that there is need for people to benefit from local resources.  I come from Binga where all the kapenta fish in this country is basically coming from especially during these days of forex shortages.  There is no more kapenta that is coming into the country from Mozambique because there is no more foreign currency to import kapenta fish.  All the kapenta is originating from the Zambezi valley and when we look at the amounts of money that are being charged by both central Government and parastatals that are operating in natural resources, they are exorbitant.  But, how much of that money is going back to reinvest in those areas where the natural resources are being extracted? 

We are aware Hon. Speaker that in some areas like Chiadzwa and other areas where there are minerals and mines, there are share ownership schemes that benefit the local communities but there is nothing that is happening in certain areas.  I can give you an example of Victoria Falls where the rain forest and other forests are generating so much money for the country but at the end of the day there is nothing that is being ploughed back into those areas as investment in those areas.  All that money is coming to Harare and how it is allocated nobody knows.  There is no transparency on how the monies that are being generated from the marginalised areas is being utilized.  So, our expectation is that when the President comes to speak, he should speak to those areas that are going to improve and those that have been marginalised for a long time, but we do not see anything in his speech.  What we see are laws that are not going to change the welfare of the people. 

Hon. Speaker, it is my earnest view, like I indicated in my introduction, that the official opening of Parliament is a day that is supposed to grip the whole nation and expectations will be what it is that they will get from the President.  But nowadays, I am quite sure even if you count the Members of Parliament; the majority was not there because there is nothing that comes out of the Head of State’s speech except mere speeches about laws that are not benefitting the country.  So, we are saying it is high time that when the Head of State comes to Parliament, he should speak about substantive issues that are affecting the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe.  It should not be a forum where he simply comes to fulfill a role that has been put in our laws.  It should be a time when he comes to speak to issues that are going to change the lives of Zimbabweans.  Otherwise if he does not do that, it will simply continue to be a mere abstract ceremony that will not attract the attention of Zimbabweans.  That is why you see that even vendors do not care about the parades that will be in Nelson Mandela street but will be busy with real issues.  They know that whatever the ceremony is all about has got nothing to do with their welfare.  It is time that we listen to the Head of State speaking to issues of substance. 

We expected His Excellency the President to speak about uncontrolled expenditure by the Executive.  The expenditure by the Executive in this country Hon. Speaker, is worrying the people that are outside there.  We hear of scenarios where the Head of State travels to each and every conference.  This other day I was listening to people in Binga saying this President – if there is a conference on toilets – he is going to attend.  Why should the Head of State attend a conference on toilets?  These should not be issues of emotions.  These are issues of what is obtaining on the ground.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, I think this is the same.  You are also talking about emotional things because the President is invited wherever he goes.  So, how can someone in Binga think the President is going to attend the official opening of a toilet?  I think at times we need to - aah

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, unfortunately people in Binga do not see the invitation but also the people in Binga are aware that when Heads of States are invited to these conferences, some Heads of States actually send their Ministers.  They are aware that Presidents are allowed to delegate – what is the need of delegating Hon. Speaker.  Where there President uses $10 million to travel to New York, if a Minister is delegated to go and attend the same workshop, he/she will use less than a $1 million and then we could invest that other $9 million into social amenities of this country like in education and health.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, your debate is very good because you are talking of very special things, but I think that you have to be careful not to bring some issues which are not supposed to be brought into a very good speech.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am not so sure Hon. Speaker, which issues I have imported which are not supposed to be in this debate, because I am speaking to issues of …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are now bringing in the travelling of the President.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I am debating the President’s Speech and the President is the Head of State.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can you please proceed with the speech of the President?

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  So, we expected the President to pronounce in his speech that he will now begin to delegate to conferences, rather than him becoming the only one that is travelling and with a delegation of all the clan of his family.  Hon. Speaker, we do not deny that the President is entitled to travel to conferences but, I think that the delegations that he travels with should be limited.

          HON. NDUNA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, we do now want to condescend and we do not want to speculate and we do not want to prevaricate.  His Excellency, at any one time has he moved with his whole clan, and I think that the Hon. Member should withdraw that speculative behaviour that borders on near misses and lies.  So, I am quite convinced that he needs to withdraw; otherwise I am convinced that His Excellency the President has never moved with the whole clan and he makes this House believe.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Member.  Hon. Member, I think it is the use of a word and if you can select a better word than a ‘clan’.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague has to give me the proper definition of a ‘clan’.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am now talking to you that instead of using ‘clan’, can you please a better word than that.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  This country Hon. Speaker and this economy is actually bleeding, such that every Government department and everybody who is utilising public resources should ensure that in the use of those public resources, they are as economic as possible.  That is what I am simply saying Hon. Speaker.  We need to be as economic as possible when we are utilising public resources.  That is what I am saying that we need to be as economic as possible – why take Bona and Chikoore to New York for Government business.  Are they Government employees?  That is just a simple question.  We need  to reduce the expenditure of Government by ensuring that when there is any foreign travel, only people that are relevant for that conference travel there and not friends and relatives.  That is the only way we can reduce Government expenditure in this country.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can we please go back to the President’s speech please Hon. Member?

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  That is part and parcel of the President’s speech.  So Hon. Speaker as I conclude, the President needs to be sensitive to the economic situation of the country.  He should not be exempted from feeling what the old woman in Siabuwa in Binga is feeling.  The President should also understand that the suffering of people of Guruve and Bikita that were being mentioned by Hon. Chinotimba should also affect him.  How does he do that?  He should ensure that his budget is also controlled.  There is no way we can allow as a country a scenario where the President and his relatives travel at Government expense, getting an allowance of $1 500 a day from public coffers without …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Your time is up Hon. Member, can you please take your seat.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, thank you.  As I sit down, I think that the Constitution …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sibanda thank you very much and Hon. Nduna can you take your seat.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: He needs to take his seat.

          HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I move that the Hon. Member’s time be extended in terms of the Standing Orders.

          HON. MLISWA:  I second.

          HON. NDUNA:  I object.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  We have procedures in this House and if it is objected, it is objected.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I appreciate.

          HON.  J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to also air my views.  I would like to start by thanking the President for addressing this House and giving us objectives that we need to follow as this House and also the Executive.

          Madam Speaker, I must hasten to say that I am a bit disappointed though that the President all the time gives direction.  He leads us in the right and correct path but some of us decide to take a left turn and do exactly the opposite of what the President would have said or what is demanded by your particular office.  Madam Speaker, the President in his speech talked about the issue of the economy and how we can grow it but, when you look at the reality on the ground, it is totally different and the opposite of how the President wants us to drive our issues.

          I will begin with a simple issue of the land – look at the land distribution.  We want to commend the Command Agriculture which came on very well and stabilised our food security a bit, and this season we did not have to actually spend the foreign currency that we do not have to try and import maize to cushion our people.  So, we want to commend that but now again, whilst we are talking about the issue of the Command Agriculture and agriculture as a sector which is an important component in the economy of Zimbabwe, you will find that we have other comrades who have got more than two farms belonging to one person. You ask yourself, is this person pulling together in the same direction with what the President wants us to achieve and with what we want to achieve. Any normal meaning Zimbabwean who wants the economy to tick again will not be greedy enough to go and grab two farms yet they are not able to actually farm on one of those farms. You find that when you go out there on those farm lands, most of the arms are underutilised. Even other farms that used to kick, for example I was in Esigodini where we used to have a very good farm that produced oranges, today it is an eye sore but somebody took it. When they took it what did they do about it? Those are the people that are our biggest let down and those are the people that we need to talk about because the President has done everything.

Actually, Hosiah Chipanga once sang a song in Shona with the words “vaMugabe vanopa asi isusu njere ndisu tisina”. You see, the President gave us enabling factors for us to prosper but what have we done about it. I remember sometime back farmers were given implements like diesel, fertilisers and you name it, and they sold them. They did not put them into production and our economy started tethering and you wonder what is happening. It is because we have got some people that are not well meaning, who are not putting our country and economy first. People who want to have it the easy way, taking short cuts and that brings us ten steps backwards Madam Speaker.

Looking also at the issue of mining Madam Speaker, you find one white guy holding 250 claims yet they cannot even work on one claim. A claim is about 10 ha of land. They cannot work on one claim but they have 250 claims. Because they have money they are able to always renew their certificates and then hold on to that land for speculative reasons, but not economical reasons. If that land was let go and a miner just had one claim, and released the other claims to other people, we will be able to start producing that gold we need to get out and earn foreign currency.

Zimbabwe as a country can actually survive without even foreign direct investments as long as we have all these mining processes being done in a proper manner but the unfortunate thing that we have right now as a country and people, is that we have got a lot of dishonest and speculative people. People that want to think probably 10 years ahead but in a wrong and corrupt way. We want that Mining and Minerals Bill to come in so that these things are addressed. Let people hold on to what they are using and release what they are not using so that other people can have it, and then we can become productive and start earning that hard sought foreign currency Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, while I was listening to the President when he touched on the issue of health I was so appalled because I come from Bulawayo. There is a time when my colleagues and I went to Mpilo Hospital where we had a cancer unit that had not been working since 2012 and yet the Harare one was working. We went out there and made noise. Action was taken and that unit started working. We went to Mpilo Hospital with the late Deputy President of the Senate, Cde N.K. Ndlovu. When we made those noises the Ministry decided to act and that unit started functioning. Just a few months down the line, the unit was no longer functioning.

I went to Mpilo and asked the CEO of Mpilo Hospital what the problem was. He said they needed $65 000 and had been trying to speak to Treasury for them to release that money so that the company that repairs the machine can come from South Africa and do it. They will not come before they get this payment. Are you honestly telling me that we are failing to release $65 000 only so that the Mpilo Hospital Cancer Unit can start working again, because we have got cancer patients in Bulawayo who are dying every day and we are just sitting on our laurels.

In Harare, the machine is working. This is why now that argument will start coming and then people will start thinking we are being regional, tribalistic or whatever. It is because of such realities that hit you inside to say, really speaking are you telling me that even RBZ Governor Mangudya is failing to release $65 000 to Mpilo Hospital so that cancer unit can start working again. Are we really being serious Madam Speaker?

These are the kind of things that you must look at that are letting down the President’s drive for the resuscitation of this economy. How do you resuscitate an economy with such kinds of mindsets when you have a cancer unit which is supposed to be functioning and is not functioning? Go to the next hospital, the hospital that was coined by our last Vice President, Dr. J.N. Nkomo, and the Ekusileni Hospital. I stood here a year ago and spoke about it. We were promised that it was going to be functional by now. Now, I am asking myself if we should change the name of the hospital from Ekusuleni and maybe call it R. Mugabe Hospital so that they can open it – [Laughter.] – because it is so painful Madam Speaker.

Our people back there are saying that what is happening and what are you guys doing? So, I had an opportunity this weekend and approached Dr. Nyasha Masuka who was appointed to head the committee that is supposed to make sure that hospital is functional. When I approached him I said, Doctor you are fooling who here? Why is this thing not functioning? Do you know what happened? He actually showed me evidence saying that there are about nine international companies and three local guys who have put in their proposals and are willing to make sure that hospital can be opened yesterday, but maybe because somebody somewhere wants a cut somewhere they are hindering that thing from opening. Is that right? – [HON. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Mliswa please.

HON.  J. TSHUMA: There is another hospital in Mashonaland Central, I think somewhere in Mt. Darwin which is almost like that and it is functioning. The one in Bulawayo, the late Vice President J. Nkomo died and left it not functioning. Another Vice President came in, a Dr. J. L. Nkomo and he died and it is still not functioning, right.  Now, we have got another Vice President, should he die again and still it will not be functioning? How fair is that to the people of Bulawayo and Matebeleland and when they start talking you think they are being tribalistic, yet these are sincere things that are there – things that are not working or functioning.

I know that all these things, people will start putting the blame on the President. It is not the President but somebody down there who is playing silly games, trying to get money from nowhere. I would like this to be put on record that this thing of Ekusileni matter must be investigated because I am told that the companies are there. The companies are ready, but now because those companies are not willing to sort of bribe so the whole process is being stalled. That is not fair Madam Speaker and we should not allow such things to happen.

Madam Speaker, I listened very carefully to the President and when he mentioned the issue of labour, I quickly thought of some of our fellows. I have got members in my constituency of Pelandaba-Mpopoma who are pensioners. They are failing to get their pension. Even if it is little, why are they not being given their pensions? Some worked for the police, council and other different companies but they are being told to go to Harare and fix their pension, yet when they were working they were working in Bulawayo. Why are they not being sorted out in Bulawayo. Where are they going to get the money to come to Harare?

Besides, when they come to Harare, they have no relatives and have to fork out money for accommodation, food and everything, and already they are pensioners. Their pensions are so meager. Where is our heart? Where is our Ubuntu, Hunhu hwedu? Where is it when we fail to cushion our elders who have worked all their lives and when they now want their pensions, they cannot get them but we have got a whole Ministry here, a whole system. The President has appointed but what are you doing when you have been appointed? That is the question. We need to make sure that these things are put into perspective because we cannot sit down and dilly-dally and go round and round and want to beautify what is ugly. When something is ugly, it is ugly. Do not end up saying that no, your shadow is beautiful. It can never be like that. So, we need to have these kind of things done Madam Speaker.

The President also spoke about the economy. I looked at the issue of the pricing system and I was saying to myself, here we are and I will give an example of Croco Motors. Just a few weeks ago, when you take your car for servicing, it would cost you about $200.00 to $300.00 but right now, if you go there it is costing you around $700.00 to $1 000.00 and you are saying to yourself, what price adjustment and justification do you get from such kind of hiking of prices? You go to the shops and see the basic commodities, it is the same thing. Why, this is because somebody is speculating and playing around with percentages on the bond notes and the US$.

How fair can we be Madam Speaker? If you go to Fourth Street right now or go to Bulawayo at Tredegold, you are going to find trunks and trunks of money, be it US$ or bond notes but at the end of the day, the blame goes to the President, the Government, ZANU PF and whatever and yet we are there as ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe, allowing ourselves to do such dirty things and turn a blind eye to that. I can tell you that some of the money is coming from the banks and the banks have got tellers and managers in the streets that are doing that. If you go to those people in the streets, they are working for somebody. Yes, we have got other Government officials that are corrupt and we have got other bankers that are also corrupt.

So, how do we solve those kind of things? We are now...  

Hon. Wadyajena and others having been making noise. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Wadyajena, please lower your voices. If you have a meeting, you can go out and have that meeting with that other Hon. Member.

          HON. WADYAJENA: We are celebrating something.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I do not want to hear about your celebration in this House. Your celebration should be done outside this House.

          HON. WADYAJENA: I am sorry Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, can we proceed.

          HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker. When I speak about issues that affect the people back in Matabeleland, I am very passionate about it and I want people to understand that. If it does not affect you in your area, it is good enough but let us represent the people from our areas because it is affecting us directly. Madam Speaker, I can see that my time is quickly running out. There is another issue again which the President touched on, the issue of education.

There is a reality that people want to run away from. Right now in Matabeleland, if you go to most schools, we are beginning to have a situation whereby the Ndebele language is not going to be taught properly because there are no properly qualified teachers who are supposed to be teaching that language. I want us to understand each other because we are not being tribalistic or regionalistic, but what I am saying is that a Ndebele teacher must be a Ndebele person so that it is easy. A Shona teacher must be a Shona person and it is simple and straight forward. There is no way that you are going to expect a Shona person to go and teach Ndebele in Matabeleland. It is distortion.

So, whoever is doing that in the Ministries must be warned because they are bringing unnecessary divisions because our people will not accept that. One day you will find people that are going to make an uprise there and chase those people away and what will then happen. That is reality and that is the truth. We need to look at it and face it because if we ignore it, that is a time bomb that is just waiting to explode one day. Let us be sincere about these things as we approach them because we want to be people that are known to be using our brains to think. Do not use any other thing, but use your brains to think. Do not be emotional or any other things, the brains were meant for that and let us use them.

The President was on point but what are we doing all of us here? We need to ask ourselves. Are we complimenting and are we being on point when we are assigned to do certain things. With those words Madam Speaker, may I thank you very much for giving me this time to also air my views and may I say good afternoon to you. Thank you.

          *HON. MAHIYA: Thank you Madam President. I rise to add my voice on a motion raised by Hon. Mackenzie, seconded by Hon. Mlilo. It is a debate in which we would want to thank the President for the Official Opening Speech when he opened the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament. Madam Speaker, I was quite elated that the President explained on the issue of Command Agriculture which has improved our economy. However, I had a problem as regards Command Agriculture in the Gokwe/Gumunyu Constituency where a lot of farming is done in the form of maize or cotton.

          As people grow these crops, they are receiving their payments through Eco-Cash. They have challenges in trying to come up with something meaningful. When people do farming, they are doing it to develop themselves. When the President came up with the project, it was to empower black people. It is my wish that there be several boosters in Gokwe/Gumunyu so that there will not be a stampede of people as they go to access the airwaves so that they are able to withdraw their money from Eco-Cash. There should be the availability of cash so that even if the Governor was to disburse cash into the banks, we are taken aback that farmers have serious problems in the funds. Where is that money going to? 

          We urge that there be a further improvement in the circulation of money. The use of Eco-Cash has led to people losing out because all what the farmers invested in the form of crops, their payments is now being used to buy basic food stuffs. I would want to also thank the President in terms of water harvesting. It is an important issue. We should have sufficient dams and once these dams are in place, irrigation projects can be used throughout the year.

          We expect that in all communal lands, there should be irrigation projects based on the availability and I have given an example of Gokwe/Gumunyu Constituency with the big dam that was used for irrigation purposes. It is called Nyamasaka but the dam is now silted. I would ask that there be a desiltation of that particular dam so that people can be able to use irrigation. In terms of water harvesting, we urge that there be the construction of the new dam such as Sigangwe Dam in Gokwe/Gumunyu Constituency. We expect that such things be looked into.  When there are projects that are to be planned in terms of the dams that are going to be developed and those that are going to be de-silted, also need to be attended to. 

As regards the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Amendment Act, a lot of these minerals are found in communal lands.  In Gumunyu, we have several types of minerals.  People are doing as they please.  We urge the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to ensure that there is proper utilisation of these minerals by women and youths so that they can come up with their own cooperatives that will enable them to do the mining and that they be provided with the necessary machinery from Government so that their mining becomes easier.  With these few words, I would want to thank you for having granted me this opportunity.  I thank you.

HON. RUNGANI:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 11th October, 2017.

On the motion of HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. MUKWANGWARIWA, the House adjourned at Seven Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.      

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 11