You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 13

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 13

Download attachments:

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 12th October, 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

INVITATION TO THE PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR GLOBAL ACTION CHAPTER (PGA) MEETING

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have to inform members of the Parliamentarians for Global Action Zimbabwe Chapter (PGA) that they are invited to a meeting on Tuesday, 17th October, 2017, at 12 noon in the Government Caucus.

          HON. MANDIPAKA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  My point of order is in terms of the privileges standing order.  I am making a follow up; sometime in the month of June, there was an indication that Hon. Members will get their outstanding allowances and CDF.  I want to find out whether that commitment is still there and can we be assured that we are going to get our allowances and CDF – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I can see that all Hon. Members are in support of that point of order.  However, this is an administrative issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

           Order, order Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS:  No, no, we want our monies] – There are issues which are not supposed to be discussed in the House, those are administrative issues; at the end of the day, all the newspapers will be awash with this issue.

          HON. MUNENGAMI:  No, Madam Speaker …..

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Munengami, Hon. Members, you will be advised about the outcome on this issue, something is being worked out. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MOMBESHORA):  Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, numbers 1 to 10 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 11 on today’s Order Paper has been dealt with. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. SAMUKANGE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Order numbers 8 and 9 should not be on the Order Paper because they have been already dealt with.  It is not fair to me because it appears as if I am incompetent because this has already been dealt with, why are they appearing on the Order Paper?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think the best way is to approach the Chair. We are not fighting in this House, if you have something, approach the Chair. 

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam President.  I just want to say that once we have discussed issues in this House and you give a ruling to the effect that what I will have said is relevant, you find that some of the Hon. Members here go to Meikles hotel and spend three to four hours talking and planning how they can deal with me.  I do not think that is good practice and has any positive bearing on my life.  Madam Speaker, I as Chinotimba, am more loyal to the President of the country because I was with him in the liberation struggle and protected each other during the struggle.  So we do not want people who were ex-policeman to sit down and start having their caucus alleging that I have disrespected the President …

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I hear you Hon. Member, please approach the Chair.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

          Question again proposed.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Maridadi, I think we have procedures in this House.  I am busy conducting business and you stand up and disturb the Chair.  Why are you doing that?  Are you supposed to stand up whilst I am talking?  The rules of this House do not allow you to do that.  Hon. Maridadai, take your seat please.

          *HON. MUKWENA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity that you have afforded me to also add my voice to the President’s speech.  I would want to thank His Excellency, the President Cde. Robert Mugabe for talking on the issue dealing with Bills.  I anticipate that the Bills will be brought before this august House and when they do, we should scrutinise them because there are certain Bills that come through this House which do not serve the interests of our people.  I will give an example of the Bill that came from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.  I urge the responsible Minister, his officials and his legal advisor to sit down and address the current Bill and see if it is in the interest of the poor that live in the communal lands.  There are certain sections within that Bill which need to be looked into.  The Bill should be pro-poor people.  The levies that are contained in that Bill are a cause for concern to the people.  If people worked for this independence and achieved the independence, why then are we having such high levies?  The Ministry should revisit that issue.  Hon. Mombeshora, people are mourning over the levies that you want to impose on them. 

I also want to reiterate the issue of ZIM ASSET and say due to the climate change, we no longer have substantial rainfall.  The Ministry responsible for water resources development and dams should ensure that each district has a dam.  These dams should be in the constituencies.  We do not have big rivers, dams or boreholes but when such Bills are being enacted, the relevant ministries should also address such issues so that each constituency benefits in terms of water.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MACKENZIE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was going to speak in Tonga but reforms have not been done and we do not have Tonga translators as yet, so I am going to speak in Shona.

          *HON. MACKENZIE:  I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have afforded me to debate the Presidential Speech.  Madam Speaker, it was an important speech which we accept and the issues mentioned are useful in the development of the country.  As regards the laws, there are a lot of laws which need to be looked into, especially those that are being used by a lot of Ministries but the majority of these laws are archaic.  They were enacted a long time ago during the colonial regime and if you look at the National Parks and Wildlife Management Act of 1977, it is still in use but it has been overtaken by time.  If you look into my constituency which is Kariba, the law is being applied extensively to oppress our people.

          In Kariba there is a leisure bay which is on the shores of Lake Kariba and this is where the whites used to enjoy themselves - from Mahombekombe to Nyamhunga.  The same law still applies today and our indigenous people are not benefitting because they are not allowed to be on the shores of Lake Kariba or to even go and fish from there.  They are being charged $5 to be allowed to go and fish.  The places where the blacks are being barred from fishing, the whites go there and they fish free of charge, which I believe is not good.  There is one of the whites called Houghton in Kariba and if we look at some of the laws that are in existence, I do not know how the people who are in the kapenta fishing industry are fined because they are being forced to pay heavy fines.  If anyone is found with nets for kapenta in shallow waters; they are made to pay $2 000 to $2 500 and the majority of our people are in dire straits as they are unable to raise such fines.  Once you are caught, your boats will be confiscated by the Parks and Wildlife Management will only be released after you have paid the fine.  Thirty-seven years down the road after independence to have such laws is unacceptable Madam Speaker, because these laws are oppressive to our people.

          On economic issues in Kariba, our people make a life out of fishing through kapenta and gillnet fishing.  The problem that we face currently is that if you go to the same lake, those that are in Zambia pay $400 per year for kapenta fishing and in Zimbabwe you pay $2 000 per year, which is $500 quarterly.  For the other quarter, they do not embark on any fishing but they are asked to pay the money, regardless of them not fishing in that quarter.  In Mozambique at Kabora Bassa, they pay $800 and we believe that such laws are punitive to our own indigenous people. 

Those that are into gillnet fishing, they fish for tiger fish and bream.  In the same Lake Kariba on the Zambian side, they use twine nets which are also used here at Lake Chivero but if you are in Kariba on the Zimbabwean side, you are told that it is an offence to have twine nets and you are fined.  At the same time, there is not even a single company that is making the required nylon nets.  So, it is difficult for the Government to implement laws where one is supposed to use nylon nets when they are not being manufactured locally and I wonder how they expect our people to come across these nylon nets.  We want such issues to be addressed.

          Madam Speaker, I believe that the others who spoke in here yesterday about the other problem that we are facing as Hon. Members, the majority of them will agree with me that it is the issue of some Members coming from far away constituencies.  I have spent almost five years and some Ministers have not been to my Constituency; which makes it difficult in that even if you raise your problems here in this august House with their Ministries, they do not have the passion to go and see the things on the ground.  We urge the Executive to be seen going round the constituencies - for example in 2013, I had three bridges that were washed away by heavy rains.  I reported such mishaps to the relevant authorities within 24 hours and ZTV and provincial engineers came and it came out on national television.  People expected that there was going to be redress on the situation. 

The people in Mola after we have gone past Musambakaruma – we have problems that it is only a month before the onset of the rains and the clinics on the southern part will be cut off from Siyakobvu hospital. Kariba was wayward, we now have Nyami Nyami FM which is a community radio.  Our people who were not accessing ZTV and ZBC are now able to know what is going around them through the Nyami Nyami Community radio.  To the majority of the people in Kariba, we applaud that.

Still on the communication side, it is our plea that our people should have easy access.  They still go up the mountains to access the network.  There is no network in Mola and Musambakaruma.  It is endangering one’s life to go and phone in the mountainous terrain because of wild animals.  It is difficult for one to go and phone during the night when they have a serious challenge to be addressed.  The Government should look into such issues so that we can have boosters for the network, so that the people in that area can also receive communication just like any other people in the country.

Kariba is a tourist resort but nothing is moving, it is dead.  We would want flights to Kariba to resume.  We would want publicity of Kariba just like is the case with other areas like Victoria Falls.  All conference centres that have been constructed in Victoria Falls and conferences that are being held in Victoria Falls should also be transferred to Kariba.  This will enable tourism to grow in that area.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MAWERE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I add my voice to the Presidential Speech.  I am going to deal with issues that relate to my Constituency.  They could even be nationwide problems. 

Firstly, I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Mackenzie and the seconder.  They did well to give us an opportunity to debate the matter.  I am going to talk about developmental issues as regards road infrastructure.  For this year, we say some road infrastructure issues were attended to.  Government attempted to deal with roads in the majority of the areas.  The issue of bridge construction may still be outstanding, but work is still in progress on the construction of roads.  We want them to intensify that. 

As regards road infrastructure, we want to talk about the Road Accident Fund.  The fund is being very useful because in the past, people did not receive compensation.  In the past, insurance companies used to just give them US$500 which would not assist them in doing anything, but its establishment helps those that would have been killed or their orphans will get something.  Once the breadwinner is deceased, they may not find anything to alleviate their plight.

I would want to talk about the development of schools.  In my constituency in Mutoko East, we have students walking for 15km.  This is not ideal for school children.  This is tantamount to child abuse.  They should not be moving 15km or so.  The relevant Ministry should address such a situation.  They should go out and carry out surveys.  We draw from the same well and yet other areas are developed and others are not.  I am talking of such areas such as Nyamuzizi and Chidye.  There was once an accident and Gejo RaRubby on a black Sunday.  They carried a coffin for 15 km because there is no bridge that links the two areas.

Once they hear such debates they will look into the issues of constructing bridges so that these areas can be linked, because children are being swept away by water after it would have rained.  They should also ensure that the Nyangombe bridge which links Manicaland and Mutoko are operational.  You are unable to cross the river although you can shout and communicate to each other across the river.  Transport that comes from Nyanga comes through Harare instead of going straight through 40km.  So we urge the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to ensure that things are corrected.

The same area used to have wild animals.  It is very difficult for people to live there.  Some people might be under the mistaken belief that animals are still in there, but people are now living in that area.  They require basics.  They should access radio and television.  Children do not know the joy of watching television.  We urge that television services be provided for such areas.

Child marriages are also rife in that area.  11 year old children are getting married to 60 year old men.  There are still arranged marriages in those areas.  They are giving young girls to old men like myself.  We want coverage so that the culprits are exposed and the children are also socialised through television.  They no longer know what is right.  They sternly believe that what is being done is the correct thing. 

Electrification is another issue that we would want attended to.  REA should ensure that our area is electrified.  In Chidye and Nyamuzizi, we require electricity so that the children in those areas could also benefit as the case is with those children that are in Harare, Masvingo and Zvimba so that they have the same accesses.  I thank you with those few words Madam Speaker.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to add my voice to the speech presented to this House by His Excellency.  There are several things that the President talked about, but I will concentrate on only four issues that particularly affect the part of the country where I come from. 

Madam Speaker, the President talked about education.  On issues of education, in my constituency Madam Speaker, there is a particular problem of examination centres when it comes to this time of the year.  As we speak, students are writing their O’Level and A’ Level examinations and I have several schools in my area - more than 10 secondary schools, which are writing examinations in a camped situation.  They have moved from their original schools and have camped some 20km to 30km away from their schools without food; with more like basic things for camping and some are literally in camps, some sleeping in classrooms mainly because they are not allowed to write examinations in their own schools because the Ministry of Education requires that those school must be registered.

When schools have to be registered, there are specific requirements that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education requires, but some of these schools have those requirements.  They have enough desks or furniture, they have enough rooms, they have safes, but they cannot be registered because there is an extra requirement that the Department of Physical Planning must survey those schools and make sure they appear on the cadastral maps of the country. One wonders how physical planning comes in issues of ensuring that the school is registered for exams. I think this is one area where the Ministry of Education must assist us because there is no way you can expect those particular schools Madam Speaker, to perform and compare at national level when they are writing in situations where they have to camp like refugees in their major schools. This is a very serious problem which needs urgent attention if we have to see equitable development of our school curricular and the school performances in these areas.

There is the issue of deployment of teachers which Hon. Mackenzie from Kariba articulated. I do not know what policy Government is using of late. Third term, we witnessed a situation where several buses carrying teachers from Mashonaland colleges taking up positions in our schools. we have our own local teachers sitting without employment but we get teachers from other colleges instead of the colleges within the region. I think this needs an explanation because if teachers have the same qualification, well for secondary schools we can appreciate that perhaps some teachers may have specific majored in subjects, but a primary school trained teacher at Chinhoyi Teachers’ College, Belvedere or Seke Teachers’ College is equally trained and has the same qualification like the one from Hillside or United Teachers’ College. I think this is an issue which is worrying the residents of our particular areas where you get several teachers from Mashonaland occupying places of people in our areas. We are not worried if those teachers came with their qualifications but if the local teachers are available from United College, let them be deployed in those areas.

I think the explanation that we got so far is that the Ministry is now employing from Harare. Now, our local teachers from our regions will be sitting there waiting for deployments and the teachers around here quickly take up the posts and are deployed in our areas. For example in Binga, I got to a school and the teacher could understand the local language. The teacher has to ask kuti ichi chinonzi chii. Teachers are being taught by kids in order for the teacher to teach back. It is really funny and we wonder how such things happen. We appreciate the availability of trained teachers but let them be conversant in the local languages, particularly at lower grades. There is no excuse because the teachers are there.

In the area of the economy Madam Speaker, the President said a lot about the economy. I think the major challenge we have in solving our economic problem is there is some discord in terms of policy. Just yesterday, I went to some place called AE Electrical in Southerton. There is a local company producing solar geysers. These local bulbs and locally produced knapsacks; I think their brand is Morgrid. The challenge here is the disparities or the discords in policies. The Ministry of Finance through ZIMRA allows knapsacks to be imported and go through the border duty free and substandard, but when the local company which is providing jobs imports raw materials for manufacturing the same better quality knapsack sprays are not exempted from duty.

When these local companies produce enough because there are so many gadgets that they produce, when they produce for export ZIMRA does not give them Certificates of Origin. When they export to Malawi and Zambia where they have a big market, they are forced to compete with South African companies that are holding Certificates of Origin because when you have a Certificate of Origin, you are not charged exorbitant duties by the receiving countries or markets. For example, I was advised that for exporting to Malawi without a Certificate of Origin, the company is charged 30% and yet the South African companies or the SADC region would have been carrying their Certificate of Origin and are not charged. So, the competition in terms of prices becomes difficult but at the same time, the Minister of Finance, by then Hon. Chinamasa, was always talking about wanting to increase production industries so that we are able to earn foreign currency but we are not supporting our local companies that are prepared to export and are manufacturing locally. That is one area that needs to be looked at extensively.

Secondly Madam Speaker, in Bulawayo we have one company, the only one in the whole country and only one producing the best tyres in the region, Dunlop and it has closed. Once Dunlop closes, most of us driving pickups or land cruisers size 16 tyres; that is the only company that was able to make them. As a result of the closure of Dunlop, you find a lot of Chinese tyres. If you drive along Seke Road from the flyover upto almost a kilometre before Chitungwiza, all those areas have Chinese companies selling substandard tyres which Dunlop could be making. Why do we not as Government capacitate Dunlop because they have the capacity and have the quality products but we allow Dunlop to close and allow the Chinese to bring substandard tyres and take our foreign currency back to China? Whereas, we could capacitate Dunlop which might need only about $500 000, but we are not able to do that. If we allow such strategic companies to close and when we have shortages of good quality tyres, you know what it means; accidents and flight of foreign currency.

I think these are areas which Government must seriously look at. If Government does not have money, it is very simple if you want to capacitate production. Charge these Chinese companies import tax for bringing in foreign products even if it means one percent but by the volumes of commodities that they bring in the one percent will translate to a lot of millions per month. We take those millions and give Dunlop a loan, Government will not have lost anything and we do not need to look for that money. The people importing will be charged to support the local industries and we do the same to several industries, I am sure our problems will be gone.

There is the issue of ZISCO Steel Madam Speaker. The President went to ZISCO and we accompanied him. It was open, there was a lot of funfair and we celebrated, but up to now ZISCO Steel is still closed and yet if ZISCO was opened today, half of Zimbabwe’s problems would be solved – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – ZISCO will definitely capacitate Hwange because all the coking coal from Hwange will go to ZISCO. Coke from Hwange will go to ZISCO and when coke comes from Hwange to ZISCO, it comes by train. Definitely, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will come up because they will now benefit.

If ZISCO increases up in the production of steel, there is a lot of oxygen that is used. That is why we had Sable Chemicals which manufactures fertilizer. Sable Chemicals, in the production of fertilizers produced a lot of oxygen which was then sold at a low rate to ZISCO. In turn, the production of fertilizer because you are now selling free oxygen, it makes the price of fertilizer go down and that helps our farmers. In the production of fertilizer at Sables itself, there is a lot of hydrogen released and that is why we had nearby, Dyno Nobel which produced a lot of explosives for mines next to ZISCO there. So, the mining sector will also benefit from that because if you ask many people in the mining industry, they are importing explosives from China and many other places. There are so many restrictions in buying explosives to the extent that some of the explosives they are buying are from the black market and that is not helping anyone. So, there are these basic things that we do not seem to appreciate as a Government.

Sometimes Madam Speaker, I believe that perhaps one of our major problems is the flight of skilled manpower in the Civil Service because these are basic things that they must advise Ministers so that they are implemented.  If you ask me how much is needed for the resuscitation of ZISCO, it is not money that we may get from the investors. We could do it locally as a country because we have many other areas where we could do savings and gradually capacitate ZISCO.

          ZISCO would also help in the resuscitation of the industry. I was driving along Mvuma road the other day. I counted up to one hundred and five thirty tone trucks,  magonyeti, carrying steel from South Africa. How much foreign currency are we losing importing all that kind of steel? These are basic things that do not need even an economist to think about. You just need common sense to implement such things.

          I am one person Madam Speaker that does not believe that this issue of bond notes will ever solve our problems. I was talking to the Speaker quietly that if bond notes will solve our problems, I am betting with a beast to come and get it from my home because there is no such thing. That policy does not work and I think all Government economists advise the Government. To imagine that all the intelligent people in Government could sit down and think of bond notes as a solution to our problems, you really do not understand and say may be people are no longer taking time or they have no interest of this country at heart.

          Madam Speaker, in the mining sector, at the floor of this House sometime in January, the Minister of Mines told us that he got an investor to resuscitate the Kamativi Dams so that they process lithium, and lithium because of the clean fuel technology that is being talked about the world over, even if you go to Europe, they are now thinking of putting on mass production battery vehicles. Battery power is the future and lithium is a major component of batteries. Kamativi has plenty of lithium because when they were mining the tin, they had no interest in the lithium and it is plenty on the dams.

          An investor is there, the Minister confirmed in January that we now have an investor who is prepared, but that investor has been waiting since January to just be given the licence. He is partnered with ZMDC. What is the fear of Government because he is not alone? He is partnered with ZMDC. So, why do we not allow such investments to start off so that we start earning some foreign currency? By the way, that particular investor was going to resuscitate a major plant in Kwekwe. He was also prepared to reorganise the Railway and fund between Dete and Kwekwe to plan where he wants to process the lithium. But, from January up to now, the Minister is sitting on the papers within the Executive.

          I think these are some of the issues that we, as Parliament should scrutinise and see what we can do. There is no reason Madam Speaker why Hwange Colliery must collapse. We have never heard of any shortage of market for coal. Zimbabwe or Hwange Colliery has the best coal in the world, with high calorific value, low sulphur content and no impurities. We have three types, coke in coal for coke, power coal for the generators but up to now, you hear people are not paid in Hwange, but the coal is being sold every day. So, what is happening? There is something completely wrong.

          I have a very big mine in Binga, Lusulu Coal and the other one that is Lelubu. There is an investor who is prepared to put up a very big power station for 300 mega watts...

[Time Limit]  

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your time is up.

          HON. GABBUZA: As I conclude, that 300 mega watt power station, we have a shortage of energy. The investor has been twisted from one corner of Government to another for 2 years.

          HON. MAJOME: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I move that the Hon. Member’s time be extended.

          HON. BHEBHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker as I conclude, this is where we are saying perhaps as Parliament, we must investigate some of these things. Some people are sitting on very serious investments. We do not have power in the country and we have this company which is prepared to put a very big generator, 300 mega watts which would make a difference in the energy sector. It would produce jobs for our people and it is a low cost energy because they will simply use Zambezi water to cool their turbines and their machines, and flow back the water into the lake, but we sit on such very serious investment and nobody seems to be interested.

We are not in a hurry but at the same time, we are crying that we do not have money and no cash. Where does the money come from if we do not allow these investors to come in? If it is about indigenisation, let us allow them to put the infrastructure. After some years, chase them when the infrastructure is already there than to keep them at bay. Thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MANGWENDE: First and foremost, I would want to thank our President, His Excellency Cde. R. G. Mugabe for what he has done in Harare. There was too much dirty in Harare, but I saw the city being cleaned. Harare City Council was afraid of moving people out of Harare but the CBD is now clean. I would want to thank him for that.

I now move to the transport sector. A lot of people are losing their lives on the roads and this is being caused by the police and the VID. They are going past these roadblocks when they are defective. Thereafter, people are involved in accidents. How is it that the vehicle has passed through the roadblock by the police and members from the VID? Life is important and it must be held with sanctity. The transporters should ensure that they have a lot of drivers who are not weary of driving. They should be given time off and should not be on duty for an entire week because this leads to accidents because of fatigue.

As a result, the driver sleeps whenever he stops to drop off passengers. I urge the police officers and officials from the VID to do their duty because human life is important. –[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.]- Death means the same thing and I am talking to the Chair Honourable Member. In terms of human trafficking, we are the authors of our own demise. Whenever we hear that there is work, ask your local MP or your local councillor if it is good to send your child to go and work in that area. This should not be treated as a secretive thing that your daughter has found work in Kuwait or Cyprus, and that you look forward to getting rich.

A lot of things are being done in here. There are a lot of countries where children can safely go to school. We should assist one another. Once a child has received a scholarship, the parents should ask for advice from their local leadership and the Member of Parliament because children are being ill treated in certain Arabic countries. I recall the issue of a girl who was abused by putting something on top of her head, she was wearing a pant and a bra.  Maybe that child died because of evil, a lot of dead bodies are being received because children are being sent to the wrong countries.

          I will move to the issue of rape.  Even fathers are raping their own daughters.  Fathers rape their daughters in the presence of their wives because they share the same room.  These culprits should be incarcerated for a long period; the punishments that were given to Kereke and Gumbura are quite good.  You are destroying your child’s life.  Are you a father?  Do you depict the correct image of a father?  When we grew up we had relations with our fathers and brothers but the men of today believe that every woman, even your daughter is a wife.  The modern men who behave in such a manner, behave in a wayward manner.  I am saying that they should be given a mandatory sentence.  They should be given stiffer sentences; ten years is very little.  I thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

PRE-BUDGET BRIEFING WORKSHOP

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order.  I have to inform the House that there will be a pre-budget briefing workshop on 20th October, 2017 at Pandhari Lodge at 0830 hours.  All Members are urged to attend.

          *HON. MAPIKI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am grateful for the President’s Speech.  I would want to thank the ministries that are performing their duties well; the Ministry of Environment that is led by Hon. Muchinguri.  They have managed to have the Tokwe Murkosi Dam constructed, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam has also been constructed and several other dams that they have started in Matabeleland North and South and the Midlands.  It appears they are in the right track and should continue discharging their duties. 

          The major problem regarding the President’s Speech in terms of health is the matter of the eradication of HIV and AIDS.  We have serious challenges in prisons.  The highest infection figures are in prisons.  The major problem is, we are not coming up with measures to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.  Men are involved in homosexual activities.  There are some organisations that are not being targeted.  We run the risk of failing to achieve the targets that we have set in the eradication and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

          There is also the issue of drug abuse such as sniffing of glue and other drugs.  Once these substances are inhaled, they enter the spinal cord and the brain.  That may cause brain damage and has negative effects to the users.  Drug addiction and abuse of drugs has now become a serious problem.  The centres that we have that rehabilitate such drug addicts charge exorbitant fees.  These problems affect the youths in the majority. 

Also, there are no sufficient medical drugs in the country resulting in shortage of foreign currency because countries that sell drugs are coming to Zimbabwe.  They wipe out the little US dollars that we have and we are experiencing foreign currency shortages.  When countries such as Afghanistan and Columbia sell their drugs in Southern Africa target Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe uses the multi-currency system, especially the US dollar which is the pre-dominant currency which is readily available. 

          The other problem that he talked about is the issue of mines.  This has been caused by corruption in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.  It has failed to promote the indigenisation thrust.  Mining claims should be given to Zimbabwean citizens but the challenge that we are facing is that all people who had been given mining licences, their claims were cancelled and they are being given to whites who are coming back so that these whites can take over.  The blacks will then be given tributes.  This hinders the indigenisation project. 

          In Bindura and Shamva, there is Tapfuma Hills where about 200 blacks were mining.  At the moment, all their licences have been cancelled because there is a certain white man who had pegged the area in 1972 and he paid a lot of money to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.  So, the claims for all the blacks have been cancelled.  This is a setback in the indigenisation programme.  There are also problems in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.  A lot of gold is now being accessed.  We are losing a thousand tonnes of gold in Zimbabwe.  If we sell a tonne of gold, we could raise $42 million.  Zimbabwe is losing a lot of money.  Our economy should not be bad; no one should be mourning because have a lot of gold.  Other countries use their gold as reserves of their own currency.  We have people that are given ministries and once they are given these ministries, they end up being corrupt to the extent that they will be filthy rich.  We should promote the issue of mining.

          Once upon a time, Hon. Chinamasa said all mines that are not performing should be repossessed and be distributed under the “work on it or lose it principle”.  Such laws are now gathering dust in the shelves without anything being implemented.  Zimbabwe now appears not to have any money although it does have a lot of wealth in the form of gold.  When Germany and Britain first came to collect gold in Zimbabwe, they used their gold to back their currency.  Their currency was given weight in terms of the gold bars that they had in their Reserve Bank.  We have a lot of gold that has still not been mined.  We are coming up with stringent measures that are barring instead of promoting artisanal mining.  If you are found with one gram of gold, you are sentenced to ten years. One who is arrested with 50 kg of gold outside the country, once they bribe their way through, the gold is taken back into Zimbabwe and the offender is set free.  Those that are found in possession of a few grammes of which they will be taking to Fidelity are being sentenced for ten years. 

          Talking about the economy, even if it were a traditional healer, the traditional healer says that for you to be rich, the medication that is being given the client should not cross a river well knowing that the client passes through the river on their way. This is not serving anyone’s interest at all.

          In Shamva where I come from, we have artisanal miners who are not licenced.  We have about 500 women who mine at least one gram per day.  Five hundred multiplied by one gram multiplied by $42 – the country can raise a lot of money.  It shows that there is endemic corruption in the Ministry of Mines.  This is so because a lot of claims that were supposed to have been worked on are now being kept for speculative reasons.  The white person that they are protecting who has 200 claims and resides in Tapfuma Hills is not doing anything.  They are holding on to their claims but black people’s licences are being cancelled and they are being encouraged to work as tributaries to that white man. This shows that we are far in achieving the spirit of indigenisation.  This is causing poverty because the relevant Ministries are not discharging their duties properly. 

There is also the issue of mercury which is not being properly handled.  A lot of people like the Chinese who have mills are failing to handle mercury properly because once it gets into the water, it is ingested by fish and the fish are eaten by people.  In turn, people ingest mercury which can cause lung problems. If one were to breathe mercury in the gaseous form, once it enters the lungs, it solidifies and affects one’s health.  A person who has ingested mercury will have their brain and spinal cord affected.  Their brain may eventually fail to function properly.  The failure to treat mercury properly has caused problems for Zimbabwe.

Our friends who are coming from China are making money and some of the money is not going to Fidelity. The workers who are black are handling cyanide without proper protection.  As a result, some of the cyanide is spilling into the rivers and is ingested by water creatures.  A lot of people are also drinking that contaminated water.  As a result, these people suffer from cancer. These are some of the problems that we are facing as a country. 

In my constituency, we have a serious problem of child marriages.  The laws that are there do not respect marriage.  Marriage simply means the paying of lobola but the problem that is there is that once you have sexual intercourse, they say that the girl should have been sixteen years or more.  There should be sufficient laws that distinguish the difference between having sexual intercourse and getting married to someone.  One can get pregnant without having been married if they are sixteen years and become sexually active.  The law should stipulate that if you are sixteen years, you can consent to sex or something like that.  The law should be very clear in saying that children who are below the age of eighteen years should not be married and should not be sexually active. 

I am very grateful for what Hon. Gabbuza has said.  It shows that he has done his research properly because he spoke about an economic issue.  Hon. Gabbuza separates party politics and business politics.  He has wisdom and knowledge.  In his speech, he put it clearly that the railway line is always parallel so that the train is able to move.  Once the two are put together, the two can run.  His words have shown his wisdom.  He is a man who can discern politicking and giving sound advice in terms of the economy.  We went to his constituency; there is abundance of coal which can be dug with the picks that we use.  The coal is being transported by motor vehicles.  We should be looking for solutions and some of the solutions do not need any level of education.  We have several engineers and some are only there in name.  They are only introduced as engineers at funeral processions and at rallies. 

I was looking at Victoria Falls – there are engineers like Mapiki, Engineer Mufunga who run away from coming up with solutions to power generation at our falls.  Let us have qualifications that are meaningful and that we can use practically.  We are importing tooth picks and sanitary pads yet we have engineers who can manufacture those.  I thought the reason why I have white hair is because a lot of money was used to send our children to various schools.  They were not supposed to come to us and say – where did our cattle go to when we sold all our cattle to send them to school.  We anticipate that once they attain a certain level of education, they would come back and use their education to develop our country.

          *HON. MAHOKA:  I will start by thanking the President for the speech that he delivered to this House and then the movers of this motion.

          On the issue of corruption, we may talk about corruption but we should start with Parliament.  Corruption starts within this august House because if you look at it, whenever the Permanent Secretary is going out of the country, he flies on first class.  The Member of Parliament flies on the economy class.  Some of us, tall as we are, will have swollen legs when we get to our destinations.  Permanent Secretaries are given motor vehicles to use – a vehicle that they do not pay for.  He is given the car at book value.  A Member of Parliament who works for this country is given a vehicle and is asked to pay for it despite the meager salary that he or she gets.  We may talk about corruption but we should start with corruption in this august House.

          Charity begins at home, it must not end there.  We must lead by example.  Police officers should arrest these people.  We come up with laws and they are the ones that implement.  We only receive token respect as Hon. Members yet Permanent Secretaries are the bosses.

          Hon. Speaker, you are the leader of this House but compared to Permanent Secretaries, you are below them.  You may come up with laws but the fact is, Members of Parliament are given just perfunctory respect, this is meaningless.  How can your farm worker have a bigger motor vehicle when you travel in a VW?  He is appointed and given a bigger car.  Is this not corruption?  Corruption should first be eradicated from this august House, before going out there so that the police can come up and deal with those that are corrupt.  I also believe that a few days ago, the President did a good thing by reshuffling Ministers because those that have taken new posts will want to prove themselves. 

The same applies to a woman who will have joined a family, after a long time she will no longer be as smart as she used to.  I believe the President did very well and he must go down to the Permanent Secretaries and to the boards and reshuffle them.  If that is to be done, maybe the leakages that we have could be stopped because we have already identified some leakages.  Bigger vehicles are being bought and I am shorter than them, tall as I am because I believe this is where the corruption starts from.

  As Hon. Members, let us address that in our Constitution which was voted for by our Members of Parliament.  They said there should be a 50/50 representation not just in Parliament but you do not see men standing up here and saying we should go 50/50.  They oppose women and shut the door for women because they have already made a lot of money.  Let us start by stopping the rot in Parliament.  There should be 105 males and 105 female Members of Parliament.  I believe that when you have a lot of money, you are a father and a Member of Parliament and have a wife.  Bring your wife to be a Member of Parliament. 

What we want is a woman, a genuine woman.  If you have made money and you can campaign for her, do so to enable us to become equal in this august House.  I am saying corruption starts from Parliament so we should not just have laws that are being made and being shelved.  Let us be practical as Hon. Members.  We should use the law appropriately.  We should not just give the police the law to arrest particular individuals but we want police officers to be allowed to also arrest Members of Parliament if we do not have enough numbers.

 

HON. ADV. CHAMISA:  It is my request that we be allowed to hear what Hon. Mahoka is saying.  This is an important debate and if you have a different view, it is being disrespectful not to listen to what the Hon. Member is saying.  May we respect each other Hon. Members?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe if it comes from one of you, they may listen.

HON. MAHOKA:  Thank you.  I was talking about corruption and I am not yet through with the issue.  Corruption hurts me.  There is also corruption in that all these roads have toll gates and we have the public paying for the toll gates.  We want all our roads in our constituencies to be properly constructed.  We have a lot of vehicles in the communal areas and people in the communal areas also die.  There is no public announcement that those in the communal areas have died but if it is along a major road it is broadcast nationwide.  There should not be that discrimination with regards to road construction.  We should not only be paying lip-service.  Why should we be talking about major roads that link us to the borders?  What about us that are landlocked in our constituencies?  Charity begins at home, you first clean up your mess before you go and clean the neighbours’.  I think we have a lot of corruption in this august House.

There is also the issue of dams which are debated about in this House.  The people in Zimbabwe are doing their work properly.  Even if you send your child as a Minister or whatever position that you have, if they are not engineers they will not accept him.  Genuine engineers not those that only have paper qualifications.  One may say I am an engineer simply because he/she is a child of Hon. Mahoka.  When a dam is being constructed, the project is given a cost.  We now celebrated the construction of the masvingo dam.  Once funds have been allocated for dam construction, it should simply be used for that.  There should not be any leakages. 

Portfolio committees should be put to good use to ensure that there is proper oversight of the Executive.  Once we do that, the police officers work becomes much easier.  We should not accuse police officers of corruption when we do not blame ourselves.  The buck stops with us.  We should be calling Ministers and taking them to task on what they would have used the monies disbursed to them for.  We will clap our hands for the Ministers and even forget that as Parliamentarians we need to eat. 

When the budget comes we should not treat it with kid gloves but ensure that we are well fed.  We should not be well fed using illicit means.  I would want to ensure that as a worker who is doing a national duty, I should be given a motor vehicle and my fuel allowance.  Members of Parliament are smuggling bread into hotels because they have nothing to eat.  Some of us have farms but others do not have.  How are they going to make ends meet?  Let us end all this corruption and let us put our minds deeply into such issues.  There is also the issue of dams that were allocated funds last year – we would want to find out what that money was used for. We also hear that there was virementing of certain funds.  How were those funds diverted without the authority of Parliament to divert that money?

A passport Madam Speaker, which enables one to travel, I queue for it at the Registrar General; with swollen legs from travelling in economy class.  I move from one seat to the other at airports and the Permanent Secretary will be a distance away smiling and clapping hands and curtseying to you as if they are doing good.  They will be saying these fools should go and come up with the laws whilst they enjoy the benefits.  We need passports.  I should go and enjoy the privileges.  My child should go in the queue, just like any other person but not me.  We are not doing well in that area.  We need to address such issues and the time is now.  We should be given free things to go and use in our constituencies as we represent the country. 

We need diplomatic passports.  Very sorry Hon. Member, he does not know that red and tsvuku is the same thing.  I will now move to the issue of Command Farming. This is a good thing, although it is facing disturbances. We need to clearly make sure that those that did not till the land and those that did not send the required quantities after having been given implements  be arrested because they are disadvantaging someone who was supposed to have benefited from those implements.

The whole idea is not to keep the implements but to use them.  We now have abundance in terms of the harvest.  As an august House, I propose that we arrest such culprits.  As regards Command Farming, I want to thank the Government. The Government has tried in honouring payments to farmers.  People are receiving their payments, GMB is not playing hide-and-seek.  If   Mr. Jasi is to be given a motor vehicle, he deserves it because we cannot just have figures allocated without anything being disbursed to the farmers. 

          Madam Speaker, the issue of tobacco is not pleasing to the Zimbabwean people.  I am a tobacco farmer, we get loans, once we sell our tobacco, the Government is given US dollars but we are being given the bond notes. I want to go and buy a tractor, I am told that if it is transfer method, the tractor costs US$48 and US$35 when using cash method.  So, the farmers are getting a raw deal.  The Government  should pay part of the amount in US dollars.  Mr. Gono used to give us 20 percent back and we buy our own equipment.  We should be given our US dollars and we use our own monies because the bond notes are not making use for us.  It is better to bring the Zimbabwe dollar back. The bond note has been a problem to us as.

          In Hurungwe East, we produce the best leaf.  We believe that those farmers that are in the other regions where tobacco is grown should be paid in multiple currencies, in US dollars, so that we are able to buy farming equipment, motor vehicles for the farms so that we become ministers in our own right.  We do not covet to be ministers but I covet to be a farmer.  I was given a farm and I am a minister in my own right because the minister may be followed by police officers after they have been fired and I will not be followed by anyone because I am a true farmer.  Mr. Jasi will be paying money from the GMB and tobacco, so I will have enough money.  Farming now pays; to those that do not have farms, please look for farms and start farming.  There is need for the tobacco industry to be looked into and this should be corrected. 

          The maize farmers are doing quite well.  The farms should be for the women and the youth.  The elderly men with their long beards should live it for the women.  When the farms were taken the youth were ten years old but now they are much older.  The women and youth should benefit because there are others that were outside the country at work.  Some people refused to chase the whites so we need to give the youth a chance to have these farms.  Those with one thousand or two thousand hectares should have their land cut so that others can also be given farms.  I believe thousands of hectares are too much for them, even with the assistance of Command Farming.  The Government should move and see those that are growing sorabeans or grass, those that are not utilising the land should have their land revised downwards and those that are doing quite well should be given more land. 

          On the issue of mining, the mining sector is a painful scenario.  I always hear people saying that this country is impoverished but I beg to differ, this is a land of milk and honey.  Madam Speaker, if you remember when you were coming from the liberation struggle, we were welcoming you singing Zimbabwe has milk and honey but there are people who are corrupt who end up benefitting from what is supposed to benefit the populace. 

          There are people who have taken over mines, I think the Government should also investigate and ensure that those who have pegged so many mines should lose these mines to other people who are willing to work.  If you go to the Ministry you find that they are pegging papers and nothing is being done on the ground.  Some of these mines are not being utilised because they are looking for partners who are white men.  It is just like the issue of diamonds, we are told that there are no more diamonds but the next thing we hear there are diamonds.  If those fields were to be opened, and everyone has access to it, we will all be rich. 

          When it was passed that that Government should now look into the issue of diamonds, we were all happy but to-date, we have never heard that there is any money that has come from this decision.  We have never heard the Minister saying there is a US$ billion ever since we started but when we used to go and mine illegally, people used to buy homes; they were well clothed, managing to send children to school.  I think the Government when it comes to diamond mining, the Government should come up with other measures because diamonds should improve the living standards of the people. The diamonds belong to the Zimbabweans but they are only benefitting a few who are influential because the populace is not benefitting. 

          Madam Speaker, we want a report from the Minister on the issue of diamonds.  I think the Chinese who have come to mine diamonds should be arrested and not be allowed to pay bail.  What is happening is that bail is being granted to rapists but when we talk of diamonds we are talking of the nation’s wealth and once it is plundered everyone feels the pain.  The mining companies should also teach others how to mine especially those in gold mining.

          Madam Speaker, there is a problem.  The artisanal miners once they mine and take it to Fidelity Printers, it takes three days to pay and they tell you that they do not have money - but the money that comes from the Reserve Bank, the 60% is not there.  What they do is that they withhold the person’s gold hoping that that person will come back.  So, if I take my gold there and I am told that – not the artisanal miners but I myself, do you think I will go back to the Fidelity Printers to deliver gold, I will not go back, I will go and look for those middlemen who will give me money. 

          On the money issue, the money that was full in the streets for speculative reasons is what has caused the challenges in this nation.  The banks are now in the streets.  Even for us who do not stay in Harare, we say it is our money, because it is for us Zimbabwean citizens who do not stay in Harare.  We say it is our money because it is for us Zimbabwean citizens.  On the issue of Home Affairs, especially the police force in Hurungwe East, we have a challenge.  If a child is raped today, the police will only come the following day.

[Time Limit]

HON. NDUNA:  I request that the Hon. Members time be extended by 10 minutes.

HON. RUNGANI: I second.

HON. MAHOKA:  I want to thank Hon. Nduna and Madam Speaker for your understanding.  I was on the issue of the Home Affairs department, especially the police.  When our children are raped in the rural areas where I come from in Hurungwe East, you only find the policemen coming the next day and evidence will no longer be there because the child would have taken a bath already.  So, what we request is that the Government should look into big areas like Hurungwe East where it is only rural and we want them to allocate vehicles to the ZRP.  I hope that when the budget is done, they will ensure that vehicles are available to enable the rapists to be brought to book and to enable the police to travel to where the perpetrator is on time and the person can be arrested.

On the issue of education in schools Madam Speaker, we have a challenge in that we are being informed that children can no longer write their Grade 7 examinations in the schools they were learning because they are unregistered.  For the school to register there is a big challenge.  We have a lot of schools – Ol Dongo, Mulichi, Mwami, and Zebra Downs just to mention a few.  In these schools that I have mentioned, children need to travel 20km to go and write examinations.  So what it means is that our Ministers are learned, they have degrees and now they want these children not to be as learned as they are, but we forget these children are the future leaders of tomorrow. 

So, they should allow the children to write examinations in a place that is accessible to their homes, either to write in their areas or to encourage schools to register on time and not to expect children to bring their passports and visas and yet the child is from Malawi.  So, they should ensure they put conducive procedures for one to register.  I have run out of time.  I want to thank you Madam Speaker for the time you have given me.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 17th October, 2017.

On the motion of HON. RUNGANI seconded by HON. MUKWANGWARIWA, the House adjourned at One Minute to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 17th October, 2017.    

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 OCTOBER 2017 VOL 44 NO 13