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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 24

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

          THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Following the conduct of a by-election held on 24 November, 2018, in Mutoko North National Assembly Constituency, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a communication from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on 29th November, 2018, advising that Mr. Nyabote Rambidzai of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) was duly elected Member of the National Assembly for Mutoko North Constituency with effect from 24 November, 2018 – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

           Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that

before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the

member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set

out in the Third Schedule. Section 128 (2) states that the oath must be

taken before the Clerk of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

I, therefore, call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the Oath of a Member of Parliament to Hon. Nyabote Rambidzai – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

NEW MEMBER SWORN

HON. NYABOTE RAMBIDZAI subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took his seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that I

have received a Non-Adverse Report from the Parliamentary Legal

Committee on the Companies and Other Entities Bill (H. B. 8,

2018).

TABLING OF STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT

MOHADI’S OFFICE (HON. MARAPIRA): Mr. Speaker Sir, Section

21 of the National Peace and Reconciliation

Act [Chapter 10:32] provides the Commission to make reconciliation regulations.  The regulations shall only come into effect on the 30th day after the date which they are tabled in Parliament unless Parliament earlier on resolve to annul such regulations.  I therefore lay upon the table the National Peace and Reconciliation Regulations 2018 [S.I. 90 of 2018]. 

          Statutory Instrument 90 of 2018 referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee and Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker, I move that notice of presentation of the Bill be stood over until all the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. TONGOFA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

          First Order read; Adjourned debate on motion for leave to bring in a Finance Bill.

          Question again proposed. 

          HON. BITI:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I am concerned and I raise this point once again.  We have raised this point before, but I have to raise it in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

          I am concerned that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has taken leave off the country during the week that Parliament is debating the country’s most important fiscal instrument – the budget.  They are not even bothered to respect us by ensuring that officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are actually in the House to listen to what we Hon. Members are saying.  Hon. Speaker, this is disrespect, utter contempt and utter abuse of this august House.  It is the first time in the history of the country Hon. Speaker, that a Minister of Finance and Economic Development takes leave of absence when the budget is being debated.  It is not acceptable Hon. Speaker.  It is not good enough and we as Parliament must reject that.  I thank you. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Biti.  We have taken note of your point of order but could I just shed light on some of the Hon. Members who are not aware that the Minister actually is in New York at the moment and he has sent his apologies.  But, we do have in the House officers from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who are taking notes.

          HON. BITI:  There are no officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  They are not there.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Members, I do understand.  It is just my hope that they have been delayed because of this rainfall.  I believe that they are coming but, the position is that everything is being recorded in the Hansard.  Thank you very much, I will keep note of your concern Hon. Member. 

          HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I stand before the House in an acting capacity representing the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Information, Publicity and Media Services Hon. P. D. Sibanda.

          1.0 Introduction

The 2019 National Budget is presented under the theme ‘Austerity for Prosperity’ and with the 2030 Vision of a Middle Income Economy. The budget constitutes an initial policy and financial instrument for implementing the Transitional Stabilization Programme by empowering the respective drivers of change and development. The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting has an oversight role over the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. The Ministry’s mandate is to build a good image of the country, promote public communication and information dissemination. The Ministry has five key parastatals under its watch namely: New Ziana, Transmedia, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings, Zimbabwe Film and Television School for Southern Africa, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

1.1 The Ministry’s Key Result Areas

The Ministry’s key result areas are:

·       Oversight of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services

·       Policy Development for the Information and Broadcasting Services

·       Development of Information Infrastructure

·       Information dissemination

·       Develop Rural Information Services and Platforms and

·       Liaison function

1.2 Major achievements during the 2018 fiscal year

During the 2018 fiscal year the Ministry registered the following achievements:

·       Embarked on the digitalisation project which is now 36.4% complete;

·       Completed five outdoor viewing screens in Mbire, Bikita, Buhera, Gokwe and Umguza;

·                   Produced 526 graduates in 2018 in film making and television production;

·                   1.3 Policy Priorities for 2019-2021

The Ministry has the following Policy Priorities for 2019-2021:

·       Expediting the finalisation of the Digital Terrestrial Project which entails migration from analogue television broadcasting to digital. On this regard when we went for the Pre Budget Seminar in Bulawayo, the Committee presented a budget bid of $100m. It is sad that we only got $38m towards that project.  

·       Align all media laws to the constitution. I am happy to report that the Committee and Ministry and all other media stakeholders beginning tomorrow, 7th December 2018 we are assembling here in Harare for a two day seminar where we are going through the provision of AIPPA and the Broadcasting Services Act with a view of aligning the same to the Constitution.  

·       Fully opening up airwaves by licensing more broadcasters, particularly in television and community radio stations;

·       Following through the findings and recommendations of Information and Media panel of Inquiry (IMPI) report with a view to develop a media policy for the industry;

·       Managing media information;

·       Completion of five additional outdoor viewing screens;

·       Creation of well-equipped content production centre for content generation to support the additional television channels which will become available following the digitalisation programme; and

·       Managing public information.

2.0 The National Budget

The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services was allocated $45 192 000, an increase from the 2018 allocation of $26 901 000. The overall Ministry’s Vote is 0.43% of the total National Budget. This is less than the previous year’s allocation which was 0.54 % of the budget. The Committee acknowledges the allocation by Treasury of $45 192 million of which $38 330 million was allocated for the digitalization project which is now way behind schedule. This is 91% of the budget allocation and the remaining 9% is for recurrent expenditure. This leaves the Ministry with less allocation for operations. Of the recurrent expenditure of $4.062 million, $2.262 million goes towards the salaries of both the parent ministry and grant aided institutions. It will be difficult for the Ministry to support the digitalization programme with such a small allocation for operations. The Ministry has unavoidable functions which need to be funded from the budget such as State occasions and national commemorations like Independence Day celebrations, Heroes and Defence Forces days, among others. However, within the issue of coverage it is a unanimous decision by the Committee that when it comes to political party coverage by ZBC, all political parties, moreso those represented in Parliament, must have equal coverage.  These national programmes are commemorated nationwide and this makes it difficult to support them from a budget of $220 000.

2.1Vote Allocations for the Ministry for 2018

Economic Classification of the Vote

Table 1: Distribution of the Sub Vote

1. Administration and General

2018

2019

% change

Current Expenditure

2 676 000

3 937 735

47.2

Employment costs

1 094 000

1 097 000

0.27

Goods and Services

884 000

999 000

13

Maintenance

321 000

332 735

3.7

Current transfers

1 157 000

1 289 000

11.4

Programmes

220 000

220 000

No Change

Capital Expenditure

Acquisition of fixed capital assets

400 000

800 000

100

Capital transfers

22 825 000

40 330 000

76.7

26 901 000

45 192 000

Total

68

From Table 1, allocation on employment costs will increase by 0.27% while current transfers will increase by 11.4%. Capital transfers will increase by 76.7%, with the bulk of the allocation going towards the digitalization programme. Expenditure on goods and services will increase by 13%, maintenance will increase by 3.7% while there will be no change on programmes. The overall allocation on recurrent expenditure increased by 47.2%. The overall sub-vote allocation increased by 68% which is a huge increase compared to the previous fiscal allocation. However, these allocations are going to be offset by the four tier pricing system that is currently obtaining in the country. The reference currency for the budget is the United States dollar. Capital transfers were allocated as follows:

 

Broadcasting of Zimbabwe

38 330 000

New Ziana

500 000

Transmedia

1 000 000

Zimbabwe Film Training School

500 000

·       The allocation of $ 38 330 000 to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is for the digitalization programme.

·       The $ 500 000 allocated to New Ziana is for vehicles, plant and mobile equipment

·       Transmedia was allocated $ 1 000 000 for transmission infrastructure

·       Zimbabwe Film Training School was allocated $500 000 for vehicles, plant and mobile equipment

Vote 35: Zimbabwe Media Commission

Table 2: Allocations to the Zimbabwe Media Commission

2018

2019

% change

Current Expenditure

Employment costs

593 000

296 000

-100.3

Goods and Services

522 000

1 326 000

154

Maintenance

78 000

128 000

64.1

Capital Expenditure

Acquisition of fixed assets

230 000

250 000

8.7

Total

1 423 000

2 000 000

40.5

         

From Table 2, there was a significant increase of 40.5% of the overall budget allocation compared with the previous allocation. Expenditure on goods and services increased by 154%. There was a significant decrease of 100.3% on employment costs. The Vote allocation also saw an increase of 8.7% in capital expenditure where the expenditure items are construction works and the acquisition of vehicles, plant and mobile equipment.

3.0: Observations by the Committee

The Committee made the following observations;

3.1. The migration from analogue to digital broadcasting is behind schedule as the country failed meet the 17th June 2015 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) digitalization deadline. The programme is only 36.4% complete and current allocation of $ 38 330 000 is not sufficient to complete the programme

3.2 Disbursement of allocated funds is either delayed or the funds are not disbursed at all. Only USD $18 839 699.00 was released by Treasury for the 2018 fiscal year. The release translated to 70% of the budget and fell far too short as they were supposed to have received 75% of the budget on pro-rata basis.

3.3 The Committee observed with concern Ministry’s inability to sponsor and host opinion drivers from foreign countries who are critical in positively marketing the country’s image to the outside world.

3.4 The Committee also observed that the Ministry has failed to call for a retreat for the media industry to map out key reforms in the information and media industry following the recommendations of the IMPI report of 2015, this would have assisted in policy formulation and the law-making process.

3.5 The Ministry’s vehicle fleet (95%) is grounded due to underfunding and this adversely affects the mobility of officials in the field thereby compromising their ability to disseminate information in rural areas.

3.6 The Ministry has a huge repairs budget because its fleet of 81 cars are past their sell by date. Some are 11 years old and have become a huge cost to the Ministry

3.7 The Committee observed that the Acts under the Ministry such as AIPPA still need to be aligned to the Constitution

 3.8 The Committee also noted that the Ministry has some debts that date back as far as 2014 and this has negative implications on the operations of the ministry since these debts have to be serviced in the current budget allocation

3.9 The Committee noted that BAZ is still operating without a Board and the Zimbabwe Media Commission still has no commissioners appointed

3.10 The Committee observed that $200 000.00 allocated to the Ministry for commemorations is inadequate.

4.0: Recommendations

In view of the above observations the Committee therefore recommends that:

4.1 The shortfall of $61.67 million of the Ministry’s bid of $100 million for the completion of the digitalization programme be availed. The Ministry was allocated $38.33 million which translates to 38% of the bid. The implementation of this programme is behind schedule and should be completed by 31 December 2019 as this is a priority goal for the Ministry.

4.2 Funds allocated to the Ministry should be disbursed timeously so that the Ministry can effectively execute its mandate. There is an outstanding amount of $6 million for the digitalization project that was not disbursed in the 2018 fiscal year, making it difficult for the Ministry to perform its duties.

4.3 The $53 000.00 that the Ministry had asked for should be availed for it to perform its functions efficiently and be able to sponsor and host opinion drivers from foreign countries. This is critical in marketing the country to the outside world.

4.4 .All Boards for parastatals under the Ministry should be constituted and the Zimbabwe Media Commissioners should be appointed by the first quarter of 2019 for purposes of good governance and accountability. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority should also pay commercial rates to Transmedia for services provided.

4.5 The Acts administered by the Ministry should be aligned to the Constitution by not later than the second quarter of 2019

4.6 The Ministry’s budget needs to be reviewed upwards by $7 500 000 to enable it to purchase new vehicles as the old fleet has become expensive to maintain. The Ministry needs $840 132.00 per year for the maintenance of their fleet of 81 vehicles which is a huge amount. The Ministry also needs vehicles for District and Provincial Information officers as they are the focal persons at these levels. They have to be visible at Government functions as they play a critical role in rebranding the country’s image.

4.7 Proposed expenditure rationalization measures such as timeous completion of projects of the Ministry to ensure that service delivery is enhanced by 31st December 2019.

4.8 The Ministry services other Government Departments from its budget. The Committee therefore recommends that the Ministry retains 1% share from the funds retained by these line Ministries. This will generate a further $3 869 280.00 for the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services and enable it to fully perform its mandate.

4.9 The Ministry be allocated a further $380 000.00 for the three commemorations they will host during the fiscal year> they will host the Independence, Heroes and Defence Forces galas. They were allocated $ 220 000.00 only.

5.0 Conclusion

Economic actors need accurate and timely information to allocate resources efficiently. The media can provide information and a monitoring mechanism to the economic policy development process leading to more effective economic policies. It can also reduce political risk and increase good governance—conditions that are important for robust economic development. There is no doubt that the media improves the efficiency of the economy by providing actors more and better information with which to make decisions and improve stability. In this regard the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services has a critical role to play in the dissemination of information; promotion of public communication and building the image of the country for economic prosperity. For the country to achieve its target of a middle class economy by 2030 there is need for a robust media industry that is underpinned by plurality. This has the potential create employment within the sector and contribute positively to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   For the Ministry to achieve these objectives and targets, there is need for adequate funding from Treasury. The Committee noted with concern that the funding provided by Treasury is inadequate for the Ministry to achieve its set objectives for the fiscal year, especially the digitalisation project that is already three years behind schedule.

          Hon. Chinotimba and Hon. T. Khumalo having earlier been speaking to each other and Hon. Chinotimba having stood up to speak.   

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chinotimba.  May I express my greatest appreciation towards Hon. Khumalo and Hon. Chinotimba for having managed to bury their differences – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Thank you very much.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, we have 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.  So, we have demonstrated to you as Hon. Members that what happened between us yesterday should come to an end.  Even if we may scold each other, we must bury our differences – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – This should happen even within your own homes.  So, both of us wanted to show that gender-based violence between each other is not good… (Hon. Khumalo having stood besides Hon. Chinotimba) – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – if you exchange bitter words in your homes, within a period of 24 hours, you should bury your differences as we have done here – (Hon. Chinotimba and Hon. Khumalo shook hands) – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you.

          HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to give a Post Budget Analysis Report for the Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development. This 2019 Post Budget Analysis report covers the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise and Cooperative Development as well as the Gender Commission.

          The Ministry’s mandate is to promote women empowerment, gender equality and equity, community and cooperative development as well as promote small and medium enterprises development. Its service delivery areas are women empowerment, gender mainstreaming and community development and small and medium enterprise and cooperative development.

          The Ministry’s 2019 total bid was $64 million. However, only $44 million of the required amount was allocated, leaving a total shortfall of 20 million. The Ministry’s budget is sub-divided into three main programmes; namely Policy and Administration, Women Empowerment, Gender and Community Development and Small and Medium Enterprise and Cooperative Development.

          Under Policy and Administration, a total bid of $27 million was submitted but only $12 million was allocated leaving a shortfall of $15 million. Under this programme, Provincial and District Administration has the largest shortfall of $12, followed by Finance and Administration with a shortfall of $1 million. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important to note that this shortfall compromises the Ministry’s ability to reach out to early projects in the provinces, given that the Ministry is structured to grassroots level and it has never been financed to an extent of having the capacity to have even office accommodation for its officers in the various wards and villages.

          Under Women Empowerment, Gender and Community Development, a total bid of $22 million was submitted against an allocation of $17 million. This represents a variance of about $5 million. Under this programme, Women Empowerment has the largest shortfall of about $3 million, followed by Community Development and lastly Gender Mainstreaming. This raises the question whether the Ministry will be able now to do its coordination role for Gender Mainstreaming.

          It is important to note that this is a unique Ministry which has to deal with people’s minds and it is managing redistributive policies. You can imagine with this budget whether the Ministry will be in a position to carry out the awareness programmes that are required in the various communities.

          Under Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, the Ministry submitted a budget bid of $15 million and $14 million was allocated representing a 2.7% shortfall in budgetary allocations. This vote allocation is distributed between Small and Medium Enterprise Development and Cooperative Development. Generally, the Ministry’s share in the total budget is on a positive trend with significant increase in the 2018 and 2019 budgets. This increasing trend reflects more and more prioritisation of Women’s Affairs by the Government in its budget processes and the Committee is happy about that development.

          The Ministry’s 2019 vote allocation was $44 million representing a 140.6% increase from the 2018 allocation of $18 million. Of this allocation, 51% of the resources are directed towards capital expenditure while 23% is consumed in employment costs and the remainder is on the other hand on current expenditures. About 96% of the current expenditure allocation is on lending and equity participation while the remaining 4% is meant for the acquisition of fixed capital assets. Current transfers constitute 13% , goods and services 10% and maintenance 3%.

          The Ministry’s budget distribution reflects Government’s thrust of realigning resources away from recurrent to capital expenditures. Programme-wise, 39% of the 2019 budget allocation is towards Women Empowerment, Gender and Community Development, while 34% is towards Small and Medium Enterprise and Cooperative Development. The remaining 27% is towards Policy and Administration.

          On women’s bank, the establishment of the women’s bank is a clear indication of the growing importance of women’s issues in the country’s developmental agenda. This is welcome. The bank, which is currently below 5 months since its inception has opened a total of 365 755 women accounts across the country’s provinces and this is very welcome.

          The women’s bank has been well received across the country’s provinces. This is in light of the magnitude of the accounts opened by women as well as many applications received which are overwhelming given that the bank is less than 5 months old.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission’s budget allocation was $2 million against a bid of 3.8 million, however the Zimbabwe Gender Commission does not have direct control of employment costs as these are disbursed by Treasury. The line item on research and knowledge management into issues related to gender justice has the greatest variance of -104%, followed by investigation of possible violation of rights (80%) . The huge variances on budgetary allocations will have a negative impact on the Commission’s ability to deliver its constitutional mandate. 

          Madam Speaker, given the allocation of $150 000 on capital assets, the Commission will be unable to procure any assets. The Committee therefore recommended that this allocation be reviewed upwards so as to enable the Commission to fully deliver its constitutional mandate in 2019. One of the Commission’s key mandates is to investigate the violation of human rights related to gender and this is to a day to day activity to execute this mandate which is an urgent mandate. The Commission’s allocation was far below its bid. The Committee feels that this amount is grossly inadequate given the task at hand. We therefore as a Committee, recommend that this amount be urgently reviewed upwards so that all cases of human rights violation related to gender are investigated. 

          In terms of research and management, it has the greatest shortfall of about 104% after a bid of $200 000. The expenditure line item is key for the effective execution of the Commission’s mandate. We also recommend an upward review of the budget allocation for research and knowledge management. I thank you Madam Speaker.

          HON. BITI: On a point of privilege to do with the budget again. When the budget is published, it must be published - the Budget Statement itself, the Blue book - the Departmental Financial Bill and the Appropriation Bill. The Appropriation Bill is the one with the actual amounts that are being allocated to Votes.  When this budget was published by the Minister on 22nd November, 2018, he published the same with the Blue Book and the Departmental Financial Bill and not with the Appropriation Bill.  The Appropriation Bill is so important because that is what he is asking from us to approve.  In this case, he has said in his Budget Statement that he is going to seek a budget of $8.2 billion but when you look actually at the Blue Book, it is indicating another figure of $10 billion.  So it is so important Madam Speaker, that we have the Appropriation Bill. 

So, as a matter of privilege, I am requesting respectfully that you direct the Minister to publish and provide Hon. Members with the Appropriation Bill.  Secondly, there is confusion; he has published two different contradictory Blue Books.  He has got a duty to respect us by explaining to us which is the appropriate Blue Book because we are not prophets or marabouts or n’angas.  What is the appropriate Blue Book, I ask for a ruling on those matters of privilege, with respect. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Thank you Hon. Biti for your point of privilege but worth noting, may we kindly just have a look at the two books so that at least we can really see.  From which source are the two books?

HON. BITI: From the Papers’ Office.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Both from the Papers’ Office and they are contradictory.  May we kindly have the copies for them to be seen by the Clerk, I think it can help us so that at least we can have a record on that.  Thank you.

Responding to your point of privilege Hon. Biti, the first thing is that the Minister is going to respond to why there is that variance between the two figures.  So, he is going to come into the House and will explain on that. 

On the Appropriation Bill, if you look at the Standing Rules and Orders, it is quite clear that he is still within the time.  So, it will be availed after the Committee of Supply debates.  Soon after that, that is when we will have the Appropriation Bill.

HON. BITI: With due respect Madam Speaker, that is not the procedure because we have to appropriate that which we know.  So, now we do not know because we have a figure of $10 billion and another of $8.2 billion.  We are not Magaya or Makandiwa, we do not know.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Like what I have said, that can only be after the debate of the Committee of Supply.  So, I think after that debate that is when we will have the Appropriation Bill.

The Temporary Speaker having recognised Hon. Musikavanhu.

HON. MAVHUNGA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I believe Hon. Speaker, there are names that have been submitted to you, the order of priority for the presentations.  May be you have not been furnished with those.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon Mavhunga, I will respond to you shortly.  May you continue Hon. Musikavanhu?

HON. MUSIKAVANHU: I am standing before the House as the Acting Chairman of Industry and Commerce Committee.  I am here to present the Committee’s report on the 2019 budget allocation, which is Vote 7 with a total of $47 055 000.

By way of introduction Madam Speaker, this budget is coming in as the first budget under the new dispensation and paving way for implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme which is a critical component of the road map of achieving Vision 2030.  The 2019 Budget comes against the background of a sustained fiscal and current account deficit, (the twin evils), emanating mainly from fiscal indiscipline.

The resultant inflationary exchange rate challenges have brought with them untold suffering to the general population due to shortages of basic commodities as the production capacity of local industry has been compromised by the resultant de-industrialisation.  While the need for austerity measures especially with respect to Government is very apparent, more-so is the need to accelerate the industrialisation drive if we are to turn around the economy and steer it towards the achievement of Vision 2030. 

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s mandate is to provide a conducive environment for sustainable industrial and commercial growth and development.  Its main service delivery areas comprise industrialisation, trade development and promotion and consumer protection and quality assurance.

Initially, the Ministry was allocated a revised estimate of $21, 498,00 and by September 2018, $30, 956, 486 had been disbursed representing a 44% overrun.  These overruns were mainly in Consumer Protection and Quality Assurance (237%), Policy and Administration (66%), whilst for Industrialisation, only 44% of the allocation was disbursed yet this is the core of the Ministry. That is of concern to your Committee Madam Speaker.

Achievements under the three Key Result Areas during the 2018 budget year are as follows:

1.    Industrialisation

(i)              Facilitated improvement in industrial capacity

 utilisation from 45.1% to 50%;

(ii)    Launch of the Pharmaceutical Strategy and Motor Industry Development Policy were implemented;

(iii)   Development of value chains on packaging, agro-processing, fertilisers, fast moving consumer goods, textiles and clothing and beef to leather were also effected and

(iv)   Development of zero draft Zimbabwe National Industry Policy for 2018 to 2021.

2.    Trade Development and Promotion

(i)               Securing of Foreign Direct Investment into manufacturing

sector from 21 firms with potential investment of $158 million through the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA);

(ii)    Signing of the Zimbabwe-Zambia Bilateral Agreement for the Victoria Falls one stop border post was also achieved;

(iii)   Development of the Zimbabwe South Africa road map for the negotiation of the implementation of the Beitbridge one-stop-border post also was undertaken;

(iv)   Negotiation of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement BIPPA with United Arab Emirates (UAE)

          Implementation of the SADC trade related facility and Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM); and

          Production of the National Export Strategy and Trade Policy. Lastly, for 2018 Madam Speaker, under Consumer Protection and Quality Assurance, there was an increase in Consignments Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) compliance rate from 32% to 94.

          3.  Overview of the 2019 Budget.

          3.1. The Ministry was allocated US$47 055 000 which is a 119% change from the 2018 budget figure of US$21 498 000.  The allocated figure greatly exceeds the ceiling of US$22 818 000 enunciated through a Treasury circular by more than 100%.  While this is a welcome development, it is important to note that the allocated amount falls way short of the Ministry’s original bid of US$327 765 518.

          3.2.  While the Ministry is happy with overall allocations to the Policy and Administration and Trade Development programmes, the main concern of the Committee is on the Industrialization Programme which had a bid of US$306.1 million but was allocated US$27.5 million (a mere 9%).  The major items were US$102 million for industrial retooling/venture capital under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and US$200 million earmarked for Special Economic Zones Infrastructure.  Unfortunately, only US$30 million was allocated to the IDC whilst allocations for Special Economic Zones seem to have been included in the blanket figure of US$41.8m given to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) under the office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) vote.

          3.3. The huge (91%) between the bid and allocation for industrialization was a huge concern to the Committee. The likelihood of the Ministry discharging on its industrialization mandate with the meager resources was highly unlikely. An Industrial Development Fund under the IDC would be critical for retooling and recapitalization while infrastructure in the form of industrial parks is key to the operationalisation of the special economic zones.  These aspects are vital if we are to realise our import substitution and value additional endeavours which need to be underpinned by increased productivity and quality improvements in our manufacturing sector.

          4.  Post Budget Presentation Analysis Meeting Output

          Your Committee duty held a post budget presentation analysis meeting with Ministry officials led by the Permanent Secretary on Thursday 29th November 2018 and has a follow up meeting with the Minister of Industry and Commerce on Monday 3rd December for clarification on areas of concern.  The following issues were observed:

          4.1. In its meeting with the Ministry officials on the 29th of November, your Committee raise its concerns on the huge variance (-91%) between the bid and allocated amount for the industrialization programmes.  Ministry officials advised your Committee that Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZIMSEZA) and ZIA were in the process of being moved to ZIDA which will be currently placed under the OPC. In this respect, part of the funding for industrialization could be in the US$41.8m allocated to ZIDA under the OPC vote. Asked on whether ZIDA would fall under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry officials could not give a satisfactory answer which led your Committee to seek clarity from the Minister given that industrialization lies at the heart of the turnaround efforts being pursued by the Government.

          4.2. On the 3rd of December, 2018, your Committee held a meeting with the Minister of Industry and Commerce who then gave clarifications with regards to funding for industrialization and ZIDA.  He said that in line with the private sector-led development thrust taken by the Government, in light of fiscal constraints, financing for the industrialization was going to come from the private sector through international lines of credit, with Government coming in where guarantees were needed.  Government would restrict itself to coming up with policies and incentives that would create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

          4.3. On the aspect of the Ministry under which ZIDA would fall, the Minister highlighted that it would be under the discretion of His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is yet to exercise his prerogative.

          4.4.  While your Committee appreciated this policy trajectory, it underscored the need for due diligence to be exercised when it comes to partnering with the private sector to ensure that those identified would not turn out to be rogue elements who might derail efforts towards achieving vision 2030.  In light of this, oversight by your Committee in these processes remains very critical to ensuring unity of purpose.

          4.5. Your Committee also needs that some sub-votes received more than their bids, with the cumulative figure being in excess of US$7m, while others had a negative variances.

          4.6. The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) highlighted that wheat producer prices have not yet been announced. Indications are that farmers want a producer price of US710 per metric tonne whilst millers would prefer a price of US$310 per metric tonne to maintain bread prices at the current levels.  This definitely points to the need for a subsidy and the matter needs urgent attention as the festive season approaches.

          4.7 Your Committee was also advised that the GMAZ is sitting on a US$100m legacy debt for rice, salt and wheat.  In this regard, a long term funding mechanism is urgently needed to ensure that future supplies are not compromised, given that import substitution of the three products is difficult.

          4.8.  A submission from the Labour Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) highlighted the need to clearly spell out the complementarities and overlaps that exist between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  This will address inefficiencies arising from potential duplication of duties.

          They also bemoaned the limited capacity of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe in handling consumer protection issues in the financial services sector, especially in insurance and pensions according to findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Conversion of Insurance and Pension Values from Zimbabwe Dollars to United States Dollars.

          5.  Summary of Recommendations

          Your Committee recommends that:

          5.1. There should be enough due diligence in the identification of private sector players who will participate in the industrialization process to ensure that their goals are not at variance with those of the TSP in the context of Vision 2030.

          5.2. The roles to be played by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and ZIDA be clearly defined to avoid duplication of duties and disharmony while promoting accountability and efficiency as we move to improve our ease of doing business.

          5.3.  The Ministry to move funds from the sub-votes that received funds that exceed their bids to those that had negative variances to lessen abuse of funds and promote efficient utilization in line with the austerity of prosperity mantra.

          5.4. The producer price for wheat be announced to facilitate timely planning in the grain milling industry seeing that the festive season with its increased demand is upon us.

          5.5. Efforts be made to assist the grain milling industry in accessing long term financing to make care of their US$100m legacy debt which is likely to compromise future supplies of rice, wheat and salt. This matter needs urgent attention to avert to a looming crisis as suppliers refuse to release the products.

          5.6. There is need for rationalization of the operations of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to reduce overlaps while promoting complementarities.

          5.7. The capacity of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) is dealing with the consumer protection issues in the financial services sector needs to be enhanced.

          6.  Conclusion

          Industrialisation lies at the heart of our vision of becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030. It is through industrialization that we can effectively exploit the backward and forward linkages that primarily exist among the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors; thus, bringing to reality the structural transformation that this economy desperately needs. Government ought to diligently create a conducive environment for private sector-led industrialization through requisite policies, incentives and improvement in the ease of doing business.  Critical to this, is ensuring that (1) the private sector objectives and actions are in tandem with Government policies and (2) public institutions mandated to drive these processes pull in one direction with minimum duplication of roles whilst maximizing on the existing complementarities.   As a German proverb says, “Industry is the parent of fortune.”

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  According to Standing Order 117 (6) it says ‘when the report of Committee of Supply has been adopted, the Minister must either immediately or upon a day to be appointed by him or her, bring up the necessary Bill or Bills to get to give effect to the report’.  This is in response to Hon. Biti’s request.  I thank you.

HON. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My presentation is on Post Budget Analysis Report for the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I am standing in for Hon. Mataranyika, the Chairperson of our Committee.  The 2019 Post Budget Analysis Report covers the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and five independent commissions namely the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority.  In this respect Madam Speaker, all the independent commissions submitted their reports except two commissions which were not able to have their reports, that is the Judicial Service Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.  I was glad that the Deputy Minister was here, we were going to convey our displeasure but as a Committee, we are going to summon them to explain why they did not proffer reports on the post budget presentation. 

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has a mandate to administer and deliver justice as well as to provide the policy framework, operational support and analysis of justice issues.  The access to justice is a critical component of our justice system which should be robust, equitable and impartial.  The Ministry requires adequate financial support in order to fulfil its mandate.  Madam Speaker, I will present an abridged report to the extent that I will not go into the challenges that the Ministry is facing because I believe those were covered during the pre-Budget Seminar.  I will highlight the challenges that the Ministry is facing so that they will be juxtaposed against what was allocated by the Ministry of Finance so that we can make an analysis whether that amount will be sufficient to cover for the challenges that the Ministry is facing. 

The challenges for the Ministry currently are inadequate funding which was worsened by delays in obtaining Treasury concurrence.  Secondly, there is inadequate staffing due to high turnover of skilled staff and the build up of arrears to employees.  There is failure to comply with international obligations in relation to payment of subscriptions to various international bodies.  There is an issue that was picked by the Committee that there is lack of cooperation from line Ministries in alignment of legislation to the Constitution.  This is a challenge that our Committee faced that as the Ministry of Justice, it is having other Ministries whose Acts must be aligned to the Constitution.  We got the report that they are not cooperating with the Ministry.  Madam Speaker, the Ministry’s key result areas are justice delivery, incarceration and rehabilitation of offenders as well as improving public sector accountability and transparency. 

The Ministry of Justice had bided for the sum of $235 754 000 and was allocated $77 million.  Of the $77 million that was allocated, it is important to note that $57.5 million is going to operations and maintenance, including $12 million earmarked for political parties and $20.3 million to be expended towards capital development.  In addition Madam Speaker, the Ministry is expected to retain an amount of $19.3 million which is supposed to finalise completion of works at a number of  institutions that are under the Ministry.  One of them is Chinhoyi Magistrates Court, Chiredzi, Murehwa and Lupane Magistrates courts.  The $244 thousand is going towards supporting de-centralisation of legal aid services in Chipinge, Mutoko, Chiredzi, Kariba and Beitbridge districts to improve access to justice to all citizens. 

There is an outstanding debt which was accrued during COPAC, the Constitution making process.  The Ministry has obtained an assurance that it will be covered by the Treasury in the sum of $367 367 473.69.  This is basically for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and a company called Vixstrom which is owed $117 000 of that amount.

The recommendations of the Ministry of Justice are that there must be timeous release of the allocated funds.  There was a challenge that as much as the amount is there on paper, it is not distributed in time for them to meet their requirements.  They are requesting to have full access to retain the funds.  The money that is channelled through the Ministry of Justice is forwarded to Treasury and the Treasury has to release that money back to the Ministry.  The report that we got is that the money is not coming back timeously back to the Ministry.  The recommendation is that that money that money which has been retained for the Ministry must be released timeously so that the Ministry’s operations are not crippled.  Treasury should consider granting funds for pool vehicle purchases.  We noted that they might have vehicles for other employees as terms of conditions of their employment but do not have pool vehicles which are used by all employees. They bided for $214 243 500.00 and they were allocated almost half of that amount totaling $134 549 000.00 which is a negative variance of 62%.

Capital expenditure was the most under funded with an allocation of $9 484 000.00, which is only a fraction of 15,17% of the bid of

$63 383 600.00. The expenditures mainly relate to the acquisition of new capital assets which are necessary to attract revenue mainly generating activities for the function and operations of ZPS.

          On the policy recommendations for ZPS – we noted that ZPS has arrears of almost $16 million owed to CMED for hiring of vehicles and other utilities. So in our recommendations, we then indicated that at least Treasury must release about $2 million which should go towards the purchase of motor vehicles for ZPS because we noted that it is actually more expensive to hire vehicles than to purchase their own. One can imagine how many vehicles could have been bought with that amount of $16 million.

Treasury must provide 100% access to retained funds. The ZPS retain a certain amount of funds. They operate farms which are under their jurisdiction. These farms are productive and need support in terms of capacity utilisation. They request that whatever has been retained from those farms must be released timeously so that they are able to utilise the funds.

They have also submitted a request that they must be considered because ZPS has a number of farms. They have submitted a request that at least, can you allow them to have access to Government agricultural support programmes such as Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Support Scheme so that they will also be able to benefit from those schemes so that they capacitate their farms to the extent that they will fully utilise the farms. One other indication was that the farms are very productive but they do not have the necessary equipment. The other factor is that you need to capitalise those farms so that they can be put to maximum use.

I move on to the Judicial Service Commission. I indicated earlier on that they did not present their report but I will just highlight that their mandate is to promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the Judiciary, and effective and efficient administration of justice in Zimbabwe. The Commission’s key result areas are upholding the Constitution of Zimbabwe, delivering criminal and civil justice in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe, and undertaking research and recommending judicial reforms.

As a Committee, we were unanimous that the conduct of the JSC of not giving us a report of how much they want or whether what they were given was sufficient will obviously compromise on their functions. This is one of the reasons I have indicated that we are going to summon them after the presentation to explain whether what they were given is enough or is not. If it is not enough then probably we will have issues with them because they were supposed to present their report. In terms of budget allocation, the Judicial Service Commission was allocated the sum of $27 638 000 but we are told that they have a retention of

$16 700 000.00. In total and at their disposal, they have something like $44 338 000.00.

          The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is a very critical Commission especially during our era in Zimbabwe. The ZHRC is the national human rights institution for Zimbabwe and implements its mandate in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act Chapter 10:30 and the Administrative Justice Act Chapter 10.28. The Commission has a constitutional mandate to support and entrench human rights and democracy as well as advance administrative justice. Their key result areas basically for 2019 are that they want to involve human rights promotion, protection and enforcement.

Our vote analysis on this Commission – the Commission was allocated $3 359 000.00. Their bid was $7 197 000.00 which represents a negative variance of 53.33% but what is more worrying is that on capital expenditure, the ZHRC had requested an amount around $1 700 000 which was probably for buildings and other things but they were actually allocated $150 000.00. What it means therefore is that they are not able to embark on any capital projects at the moment.

The shortfall in the budget will affect the renewal of the Commission’s A’class. What we were told was that the ZHRC at its inception was actually given an A’ class certificate to the extent that we were ranked amongst the best human rights commissions in the world but that certificate was actually conditional upon decentralisation. In other words, the certificate was on the basis that we decentralise to all provinces and districts. Now that we have failed to capitalise this Commission, it means we are no longer able to decentralise. If we are not able to decentralize, what it means is that the A’ class certification is going to be lost and if the A’ class certification is lost, what it means is that the Government is the only sponsor or partner to fund ZHRC. Ordinarily, if the A’ class is maintained we were going to have sponsorship of up to 30% coming from partners but because of the A’ class being removed, which is most likely because of the capital deficit then it means Government alone is going to be funding the ZHRC.

Policy recommendations – Treasury is implored to timeously disburse the allocated financial resources to ensure the Commission is effective. Given the budgetary constraints, we were of the view that because of the amount that has been allocated it is rather safe for the Commission to look for Government offices to rent.

 National Peace and Reconciliation Commission did not give us a report but we were made to understand that they were allocated a sum of $2 463 000.00. Their priority areas are national operationalisation of their areas. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s mandate is to provide and supervise elections and to register voters, delimit constituencies, wards and electoral boundaries, conduct and supervise voter education, develop expertise in the use of technology in regards to electoral processes, promote functions between Government political parties and civil society during the election period and accredit observers of elections of referendum. 

We were told that there is a new function that was not with ZEC that is to do with voter education and registration.  This is going to strain them again in terms of their budget allocation.  The challenge is that the Commission is actually ….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):  May the Hon. Member wind up please.

HON. MAVHUNGA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

An Hon. Member having noticed that the microphone was off.

*HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the machines are no longer functional.

HON. MAVHUNGA:  I will wind up Mr. Speaker Sir but I was of the opinion that ZEC is a very critical component especially for legislators who are here and I will just highlight the two critical issues that they raised.

The first one is that they had requested an allocation for capital expenditure for $16 731 585 but they were only given $840 000.  The problem that ZEC now has is that they do not have warehouses where they can stock their materials.  They wanted to use this money to build their warehouses and now they do not have warehouses to stock their materials. This means that the security of election material is at stake if they do not have anywhere to stock.

The other problem is that they have what we call the Wide Area Network and the Local Area Network where they are putting connectivity between centres for ZEC.  They are putting these on buildings which belong to other people.  This is an expensive exercise.  They have to remove that equipment if they are not given capacity to build.

Our recommendations to ZEC are that Treasury should consider that they give them a portion of the amount that they requested so that they can stagger that amount over a number of years so that they begin the process of acquiring their own buildings.

Treasury should also prepare for delimitations.  We are advising that in 2023, there might not be delimitation because census is coming in 2022 and by the time the results of census are out, it would be too late for the delimitation exercise to be conducted.  Nevertheless, we have been instructed to advise the House that the delimitation process should be put on the cards as it is coming very soon.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, mind you your time is over.

HON. MAVHUNGA:  Allow me to say the last sentence Hon. Speaker.  The last recommendation was that there should be gender sensitive electoral processes and procedure.  I thank you.

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

          HON. SIKHALA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 18th December, 2018.

          On the motion of HON. TONGOFA, seconded by HON. SIKHALA, the House adjourned at Eight Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 18th December, 2018.

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 DECEMBER 2018 VOL 45 NO 24