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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 JUNE 2018 VOL 44 NO 65

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER NO. 68 (g)

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise in terms of Standing Order No. 68 (g) of the National Assembly.  The provisions of that Standing Order are as follows;

          -That every motion under normal circumstances requires the giving of notice. 

However, there is a provision or a proviso which can allow us to dispense with the requirement for the giving of notice as it provides that every motion requires notice except motions in regard to which notice is dispensed with by the unanimous concurrence of the House.  As all Hon. Members are aware Mr. Speaker, we are coming to the end of this Parliament and as such, it will be desirable Mr. Speaker for all reports prepared by the various Committees to be dealt with.  In this regard, I therefore move a motion that this august House unanimously dispenses with the giving of notice in respect of Committee reports that are due for tabling in this House.  This move has been necessitated by the fact and the urgent need to permit all Committees which have already prepared their reports to be in a position to present their reports in order to allow Hon. Members to prepare for the fourth coming elections. 

I therefore seek the concurrence of all Hon. Members so that those Committee Chairpersons whose reports are ready can table them without the need of the giving of notice since we are running out of time for that to be done.  I solely seek the concurrence of the House Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MATUKE:  I second.

HON. MARIDADI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I concur but also wish to say that because there are so many reports that are going to be tabled in this House, I would like to suggest that we adopt a way of presenting those reports so that they do not take all the time.  I suggest that we quickly go to the findings and recommendations. Those findings and recommendations are then tabled before the House and the full report is submitted to Hansard for purposes of record.  We just go to findings and recommendations and then we take it up like that so that we do not get into the rigmarole of having to debate everything.  Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I second what has been proposed, I also ask that you allow Members to debate even though the Chairpersons present the findings but you still allow the Members in the House to debate after the presentation of those reports. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Yes, we agree with but take into consideration the amount of time that we may take.  If that is possible then we will continue with debate.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order! My point of order is for this House to take note that the life of this Parliament is coming to an end and as a result of that Mr. Speaker Sir, I being a Member of the welfare Committee representing Members of Parliament, this Parliament owes us money.  We are owed our allowances which have been outstanding for a very long time.  Amongst us, we have Members of Parliament here who have not managed to sail through the primary elections.  As a result the route is clear that they will not be coming back unless maybe they become independent. 

          So, in that regard Mr. Speaker Sir, my appeal to the House is for this House to make sure that our outstanding allowances are given to respective Members of Parliament before the end of this term. 

          The other issue is to do with our stands; we were issued with offer letters.  An offer letter is nothing, what we urgently request and as a matter of yesterday is for Members of Parliament to be given lease agreements with regards to their stands.  These lease agreements must be done like yesterday through the administration of Parliament so that every member of Parliament must be given his lease agreement with the list of his stand number, the square meters and, agreement thereto and all the conditions that we agreed as a Committee that are supposed to be abide by with regards to the payment of these stands.  Mr. Speaker sir I rest my issue and I stand to be guided for a response for these issues to be addressed like yesterday.  We do not need this thing that Members of Parliament would be coming here in September, October, going through the other door looking for their allowances.  All these things must be done whilst Members of Parliament are still sitting. 

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the issue of allowances was addressed by the Minister of Finance and I do not see any reason to again raise it here – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - order, order! The Minister of Finance has given us when you are due to be paid.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  the Hon. Member who has just spoken was right on track because a lot of us are not coming back and because of that we need to get what belong to us, give to Ceaser what belong to Ceaser, including you Mr. Speaker, you are not coming back as well, so we are fixing the problem for all of us here -[Hear, hear.]-

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Point taken.

          HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker, I move that we suspend Question Without Notice and we start with new business – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of clarity.  I am sure that when you were responding that the Minister of Finance has dealt with the issue of welfare concerns for Members; Hon. Members were still waiting for your further explanation on where the Hon. Minister made the promise and when that promise should be expected to be fulfilled.  I think this is a matter of critical importance to Hon. Members, especially as we approach the period that we are approaching.  Therefore, I think Hon. Speaker; it would be unfair for the business of the House to proceed without a clear explanation on when Members should expect their dues.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order! The issue of your allowances Hon. Members, like I have alluded to earlier on, has been dealt with and the Minister of Finance has committed himself to pay all the allowances that are due to Hon. Members.  Also Hon. Members, remember last time you were discouraged from discussing this in the Chamber, this will give a lot of pressure from outside and...[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, order! Whatever the case maybe, that money cannot be paid today but I am saying it has been dealt with, next week allowances will be paid.

          HON. PARADZA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

VOLUME 2 SESSION REPORT OF ACTIVITIES OF PORTFOLIO AND THEMATIC COMMITTEES DURING THE FIRST TO FOURTH SESSIONS OF THE EIGHTH PARLIAMENT

HON. MATUKE: Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of Volume 2 Sessional Report of Activities of Portfolio and Thematic Committees during the First to Fourth Sessions of the Eighth Parliament.

HON. GONESE: I second.

HON. MATUKE:  Mr. Speaker, in the interest of time and also to allow other Members to present their reports, I will just make a summary presentation because most of the issues will be given to Hon. Members through their pigeonholes – that is where you will get a detailed report.

1.0    Introduction

Standing Order 15 (3) (d) of both the National Assembly and the Senate provides that the functions of the Liaison and Coordination Committee, inter alia, must be “to produce annual reports on all Committee business and activities, and events in which Members participated and report to the House”. In this regard, this report has been prepared in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Standing Orders. It is important to note from the onset that during the period under review, 142 public hearings were held in line with the dictates of section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. A detailed narrative of the public hearings, oral evidence sessions, field visits and reports presented will be outlined in this report. A summary of selected achievements of Committees of Parliament shall be appended to this Report as Annexure 1. This Sessional Report was unanimously adopted by the Liaison and Coordination Committee at its monthly meeting held on the 31st of January 2018. This followed a resolution of the same organ at its Annual Retreat held from the 5th to the 7th of October 2017 at Holiday Inn, Bulawayo.

2.0    Committee activities during the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament.

Name of Committee

Public Hearings

Oral Evidence Sessions

Field Visits

Reports Presented

Health and Child Care

8

4

1

1

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

11

4

1

1

Transport and Infrastructure Development

0

5

4

5

Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment

5

3

1

1

Finance and Economic Development

37

3

0

3

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry

0

0

1

2

Industry and Commerce

6

1

1

1

Public accounts

0

3

0

3

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

48

0

0

5

Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services

8

2

1

1

Small and Medium enterprises and Cooperative Development

10

3

1

2

Mines and Energy

4

3

1

1

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

0

3

1

2

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development

0

0

1

2

Information Communication Technology and Courier Services

0

4

1

3

Foreign Affairs

0

1

1

2

Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development

2

10

3

2

Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment

0

0

1

1

Thematic Committee on Peace and Security

1

2

2

2

Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals

0

2

1

1

Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS

0

1

1

1

Thematic Committee on Human Rights

11

2

0

0

Thematic Committee on Gender and Development

0

3

1

2

Media, Information and Broadcasting Services

0

3

1

1

Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development

1

6

6

1

 

3.0    committee specific activities

3.1    Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care

3.2    Public hearings

The Committee conducted public hearings on Ending Early Child Marriages in Zimbabwe.” The hearings were conducted in Murombedzi, Gokwe, Bulawayo, Maphisa, Highfields, Mash Central, Masvingo and Mutare.

3.3    Oral Evidence

The Committee also received oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary of Health and Child Care on the following issues:

·       Pre-budget consultations for the 2017 National Budget;

·       Post-Budget Review for the 2017 National Budget;

·       Maternal Health and Child Care;

·       User fees;

·       Disbursement of the donor funds earmarked for maternal health;

·       Progress the Ministry has made towards eradicating TB in Zimbabwe;

·       The status of the proposed Public Health Bill; and

·       The use of traditional medicines in Zimbabwe.

3.3    Field Visit

Field visits were conducted on HIV and AIDS, T.B and Cancer Programmes in the Midlands Province.

3.4    Report Tabled

The Committee tabled a report on “Deployment, Roles and Responsibilities of the Village Health Workers/ City Health Promoters in the Provision of Primary Health Care in Zimbabwe”.

4.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

4.1    Public hearings

The Committee conducted public hearings on the Shop Licences Amendment Bill (H.B.10, 2016). These were conducted in the following places: Harare, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Beit-bridge, Masvingo, Gweru, Mt Darwin, Murombedzi, Murehwa, Mutare and Murambinda.

4.2    Oral evidence sessions

The Portfolio Committee received oral evidence on the following:

·       Ministry’s Budget Performance from January to September 2016 and priority areas for 2017 budget formulation;

·       Post budget consultative meetings;

·       Alignment of local government laws with the Constitution; and

·       Impasse between the Ministries of Local Government and Small and Medium  Enterprises and Cooperative Development regarding the issue of housing cooperatives

4.3    Field Visits

A field visit was conducted to Caledonia to familiarise the Committee with developments of the housing project and to have an appreciation of the challenges being faced in the area.

4.4    Report Tabled

The report tabled was titled: “State of Service Delivery by Local Authorities”.

The impact of some of the Committees recommendations were the dismissal of Chitungwiza Town Councillors on corruption charges, Construction of Coventry Holding Bay for commuter omnibuses after the Committee recommended that City of Harare should provide adequate ranking facilities and the reduction of salaries for senior management of City of Harare after the Committee recommended that the local authorities should adhere to government directive on salaries.

5.0    TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

5.1    Public hearings

No public hearings were held by the Committee during the period under review.

5.2    Oral Evidence sessions

Oral evidence sessions were held as follows with the following stakeholders:

·       The Permanent Secretary on the Ministry’s Budget Performance from January to September 2016 and priority areas for 2017 budget formulation;

·       Post budget consultative meetings with the Permanent Secretary on the 2017 budget allocation;

·       Oral evidence with the Minister of Home Affairs on the rationale behind the plethora of road blocks on highways and policy on retention of funds collected through spot fines and the need for computerisation of the traffic system in order to reduce the number of road blocks;

·       Oral evidence with the Minister of Home Affairs and his Deputy on the extent to which the police have embarked on the e-traffic enforcement solution including plastic money usage; and

·       Oral evidence with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the Permanent Secretary on the criteria used to select sub-contractors for the Beit-bridge-Harare Road dualisation project.

5.3  Field visits

The following field visits were conducted:

·       Visit to Fourth Street Rank to enable Members to have an understanding of the operations of unregistered taxis and commuter omnibus;

·       Victoria Falls Airport to enable members to see developments achieved after completion of the works;

·       Mutoko and Hwange to assess the state of road infrastructure and bridges that were damaged by the heavy rains and assess progress made to repair the damages; and

·       Chikurubi Support Unit to familiarise Members with the Chikurubi Electronic Traffic Management Centre.

5.4 Reports Tabled

Reports were presented on the following subjects:

·       Enquiry into the Remittances to the Traffic Safety Council from Third Party Insurance Payments;

·       Enquiry into the Turnaround Strategy for the National Railways of Zimbabwe (S.C.13, 2017);

·       Enquiry into the Turnaround Strategy for the Central Mechanical Equipment Department ( S.C.14, 2017);

·       Enquiry into the Aviation Industry in Zimbabwe (S.C.3, 2017); and

·       Familiarisation Tour of Victoria Falls and Harare Airports and the Plumtree- Mutare Road Project.

 

5.6 Impacts

The following are some of the impacts recorded by the Committee.

·       Computerisation of the Third Party Insurance because of the Committee’s recommendation on improving revenue inflows and efficiency in collection.

·       Committee recommended that more counters be open during peak hours when more airlines are landing and taking off.  Ten counters are now available to passengers during busy hours

6.0 PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES

6.1 Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence as follows:

·       Oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary for Information Communication Technology;

·       Postal and Courier Services on the Operations of the Postal and Telecommunications;

·       Post and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ);

·       Postal and Courier Services on the State of the Mobile Telecommunications Sector;

·       Oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary for Information Communication Technology;

·       Postal and Courier Services on the Operations of Tel One; and

·       Oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary for Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services on the enquiry into the implementation of E-governance.

6.2 Field Visit

The Committee conducted a field visit to the Zimbabwe High Performance Computing Centre at the University of Zimbabwe to review the performance of the HPC Centre.

6.3 Reports Tabled

The following reports were presented and the Committee awaits the Minister’s responses:

·       The growth of the Mobile Telecommunications Sector in Zimbabwe.

·       2017 National Budget Allocation for the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services.

·       The State of the Mobile Telecommunications Sector in Zimbabwe.

7.0   PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

7.1 Public hearings

There were no public hearings conducted by the Committee

7.1.1. Oral Evidence

Oral Evidence was received as follows:

·       Oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary on the Operations of ZIMDEF.

·       Oral Evidence from the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development on the STEM policy.

·       Evidence from the Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development on the 2017 Post-budget consultations.

7.2         Field Visit

Pursuant to the need to appreciate the projects funded by Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund, the Committee visited the following:

·       Harare Polytechnic College;

·       Chinhoyi University of Technology;

·       Kwekwe Polytechnic College;

·       Great Zimbabwe University;

·       Masvingo Polytechnic College;

·       Lupane State University; and

·       Gwanda Polytechnic College.

7.3  Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports.

·       Harnessing Biotechnology for Socio- Economic Development; and

·       2017 Budget Allocation for the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development”.

8.0      PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, INDIGENISATION AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

8.1      Public Hearings

Public hearings were conducted on the “Disbursement of the Youth Development Fund.” The venues for the public hearings were Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Gokwe, Bindura and Harare.

8.2      Oral Evidence

Oral evidence sessions were held with the Permanent Secretary for Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on the operations of the Zimbabwe Youth Council, the 2017 Pre-budget consultations and 2017 Post-budget consultations.

8.3      Field Visits

The Committee visited projects funded by the Youth Development Bank in the following places: Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Masvingo, Bindura, Nyanga and Chikomba.

8.4      Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports.

·       Marange -Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust [S.C. 22, 2016]; and

·       2017 Budget Allocation for the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

8.5      Impact

·       The Committee exposed the fundamental fact that companies operating in Marange did not meet their pledge to fund Community Share Ownership Schemes.

·       It was also revealed that His Excellency the President had been sold a dummy cheque as companies did not avail the resources to fund the cheque shown to the President.

9.0      PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON Environment, Water Tourism and Hospitality IndustrY

9.1      Public Hearings

The Committee did not conduct any public hearings.

9.1      Oral evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from the following stakeholders;

·       Ministry of Environment, Water Tourism and Hospitality Industry;

·       Forestry Commission;

·       Zimbabwe National Water Authority; and

·       Environmental Management Agency

9.2    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits on ZINWA’s operations countrywide. It visited the following catchment areas; Mazowe Catchment, Runde Catchment, Manyame Catchment, Gwayi Catchment, Mzingwane Catchment, Save Catchment and Sanyati Catchment.

9.3    Reports Tabled

The following reports were tabled:

·       Delegation report on the visit to China International Travel Mart.

·       Delegation Report on the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was held in Marrakech, Morocco.

9.4    Impact

·       Following the Committee’s recommendations, Government ratified the Paris Agreement following approval by Parliament.

·       In addition, an enquiry into the operations of ZINWA led to the release of funds to the parastatals. The funds, paid by both government and other entities that owed ZINWA, were used to acquire capital equipment for drilling boreholes as well as clearing salaries arrears to employees.

10.0  Industry and Commerce Committee

10.1  Public Hearings

Consultative meetings on the National Competitiveness Commission were held by the Committee. Members of the public in the following centres were consulted: Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Midlands, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare.

10.2    Oral evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from Ministry of Industry and Commerce on the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel Company.

10.3    Field Visits

A familiarisation visit to ZISCO Steel and Lancashire Steel Company was conducted.

Reports Tabled

A report on the “National Competitiveness Commission Bill” was tabled. The Committee’s recommendations were incorporated into the Bill by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

11.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

11.1    Public Hearings

The Committee conducted public hearings on the following subjects:

·       Hearings on the RBZ Amendment and Public Procurement Reform Bills. These were conducted in Gweru, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Lupane, Masvingo, Mutare, Marondera, Harare, Chinhoyi and Bindura;

·       Joint hearings with SMEs Committee on the Movable Properties Security Interests Bill. The Joint hearings were held in Mutare, Marondera, Harare, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gweru, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gwanda, and Victoria Falls; and

·       Consultations on the 2018 National Budget were conducted from 2 to 6 October 2017 in Harare, Kariba, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Mt. Darwin, Marondera, Chivhu, Nyanga, Mutare, Victoria Falls, Lupane, Bulawayo, Zvishavane, Gutu, Masvingo, Gweru and Gwanda.

11.2  Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on the following subjects:

·       Briefing on the Implementation of the RBZ (Debt Assumption Bill) and provisions of the ZEP-Re (Membership and Branch Office Agreement);

·       Briefing on issues likely to be raised by the IMF Mission; and

·       Oral evidence from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and RBZ on the cash shortages, foreign currency challenges and managing the fiscal deficit.

11.3  Field visits

The Committee did not undertake any field visits

11.4  Reports tabled

The following reports were tabled by the Committee in the Chamber:

·       Report on the Analysis of the 2017 National Budget;

·       Report on the RBZ Amendment Bill;

·       Report on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill; and

·       Report on the Movable Properties Security Interests Bill.

12.5  Impact

From the recommendations made, the following successes were recorded:

·       Establishment of educational loans for students in higher and tertiary institutions;

·       Rolling out of finance facilities for small scale miners and players in the SMEs Sector;

·       Impetus to implementation of Special Economic Zones through the appointment of the  Board of Directors;

·       Allocation of resources for the Constituency Development Fund; and

·       Restrictions on illegal trading of currency and multiple pricing of goods.

  12.0  PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

12.1  Public hearings

The Committee did not hold public hearings.

12.2  Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from the following ministries:

·       Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Appropriation Accounts for 2014 and 2015, Trade Measures Fund Accounts for years 2014 and 2015 and Standards Association Fund Accounts for the years 2013 and 2014;

·       Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development on the Development Appropriation Accounts for the years 2014 and 2015, the Department of Roads Fund Accounts for the years 2013 and 2014, the New Limpopo Bridge Fund Accounts for 2014, New Vehicle Number Plate Revolving Fund Accounts for 2013 and 2014 and the Traffic and Legislation Fund Accounts for 2012- 2014;

·       Ministry of Health and Child Care on the Ministry of Health and Child Care Appropriation Accounts for 2015, Health Services Fund Accounts for 2013 and 2014; and

·       Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe Fund Accounts for 2012 to 2013.

12.3  Field visits

The Committee did not conduct field visits.

12.4  Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports in the Chamber and it is waiting for the Ministers to respond to the reports:

·       Report on the Findings by the Auditor General on the 2014 and 2015 Appropriation Accounts for Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Funds under its purview.

·       Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Findings by the Auditor General on 2010 And 2011 Accounts for the Bulawayo City Council.

·       Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development on the 2014 and 2015 Appropriation and Funds Accounts.

12.5  IMPACT

·       The Committee managed to expose financial malpractices, particularly in State Owned Enterprises which are plagued with lack of internal controls and safeguards, management override approved policies and lack of documentation. 

 

13.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

13.1  Public Hearings

The Committee conducted public hearings on the following Bills:

·       Constitutional Amendment No. 1 Bill, in Gweru, Gwanda, Lupane, Hwange, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Marondera, Mount Darwin, Chinhoyi, Mutare and Harare;

·       Deeds Registries Amendment Bill in Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru, Kadoma, Harare, Beit-bridge and Bulawayo;

·       Estates Administrators Amendment Bill, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru, Kadoma, Harare, Beit-bridge and Bulawayo;

·       Judicial Laws Amendment Bill in Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru, Kadoma, Harare,

·       Beitbridge and Bulawayo;

·       National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill in Kwekwe, Gweru, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Plumtree, Lupane, Harare and Chitungwiza; and

·       Election Resource Centre Petition in Harare, Concession, Bindura, Mutoko, Mutare Bulawayo, Tsholotsho and Kariba.

13.2  Field Visits

No field visits conducted by the Committee.

13.3  Reports Tabled

The following reports were presented in the House:

·       Report on the Constitution of Zimbabwe No.1. Amendment Bill;

·       Report on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill;

·       Report on the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill;

·       Report on the Estates Administrators’ Amendment Bill; and

·       Report on the Judicial Laws Amendment Bill.

14.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS

14.1    Public Hearings

No public hearings were held by the Committee.

14.2    Oral Evidence Sessions with Minister or Permanent Secretary

The Committee conducted an oral evidence session with the Ministry on Health and Child Care on HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination, Management and Treatment in Tertiary Institutions.

 

14.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits on the Inquiry into HIV and AIDS Education, Information Dissemination, Management and Treatment in the following areas: Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe State University, Hillside Teachers’ College, National University of Science and Technology, Lupane State University, Mkoba Teachers’ College, Gwanda State University and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic College.

14.4    Report Tabled

A report on Report on HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning was tabled by the Committee.

15.0    Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services

15.1    Public Hearings

The Committee did not conduct any public hearings.

15.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence form the Ministry officials as follows:

·       Ministry of Home Affairs on the 2017 Budget; and

·       Ministry of Defence on the 2017 Budget.

15.3    Field visits

Field visits were conducted on Service Delivery by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). The visits were held in Marondera, Mutare, Masvingo, Ngundu, Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Gweru and Gwanda.

15.4    Reports tabled

A report on “Service Delivery by the Registrar General`s Office” was tabled and the Minister is yet to respond to the recommendations made by the Committee.

16.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINES AND ENERGY

16.1    Public Hearings

The Committee conducted consultations on the 2018 Budget for the Mines and Energy sector. The consultations were held in Bubi, Shurugwi, Mudzi and Mutoko.

16.2    Oral Evidence with Minister or Permanent Secretary

The Committee received evidence on the following:

·       Evidence from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development on the Consolidation of diamond mining in Chiadzwa.

·       Evidence from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development on Duty free fuel certification.

·       Evidence from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development on the Electricity sector in Zimbabwe.

16.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted a field visit to Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields as part of the enquiry into the Consolidation of the Diamond Mining Companies.

16.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled a report on the Consolidation of diamond mining companies.

16.5    Impact

Following recommendations by the Committee, the following developments were noted:

·       The Permanent Secretary, Prof Gudyanga was moved to another Ministry and later retired;

·       An agreement between ZMDC and First Element for cleaning and sorting diamonds was cancelled after allegations on losses.

·       A research was instituted to develop appropriate models to be adopted in order to integrate artisanal and small scale miners who operate illegally in Marange;

·       Recommendations on amendments to the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill were accepted by the Ministry; and

·       The Ministry of Mines and Mines agreed to drop unification of mineral exploration and marketing as had been proposed in the Mineral Exploration and Marketing Corporation Bill.

17.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE

17.1    Public Hearings

The Committee did not conduct any public hearings.

17.2    Oral Evidence

Oral evidence was received on the following;

·       2017 Pre-budget Bids;

·       2017 Budget allocation for the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare; and

·       Evidence on the State of Refugees Welfare in Zimbabwe

 

17.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits to Tongogara Refugee and Waterfalls Transit Camps as part of the Inquiry into the state Refugees Welfare in Zimbabwe.

17.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled a report on the review of the “2017 Post-budget for the Ministry of Public service, Labour and Social Welfare”.

17.5    Impact

Following the recommendations made by the Committee, the Minister of Finance reviewed upwards the allocation towards the BEAM programme.

18.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

18.1    Public hearings

The Committee did not conduct any public hearings or oral evidence sessions

18.2    Oral evidence

          The Committee received oral evidence on the following SDGs:

·       SDG No.3 Ensure health and promote well-being for all at all ages.

·       SDG No. 2 Agriculture, food security and nutrition.

18.3    Field Visits

Field visits were conducted to Murewa and Marondera hospitals as part of the enquiry into the implementation of SDG No. 3.

18.4    Report Tabled

The Committee tabled a report on the implementation of SDG No. 3: “Ensure health and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

19.0    Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development

19.1    Public Hearings

Public hearings on the Movable Property Security Interests Bill were held in Mutare, Marondera, Harare, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gweru, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gwanda and Victoria Falls.

19.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received evidence from the Ministry on the following matters:

·       Oral evidence on the 2017 Pre-budget Consultations;

·       Oral evidence on the 2017 Post-budget Consultations; and

·       Oral evidence on the Financial Inclusion of SMEs and Cooperatives.

19.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits on the Inquiry into the financial inclusion of SMEs and Cooperatives. The visits were conducted in the following towns: Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Chegutu, Hwedza and Guruve.

19.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee presented the following reports.

·       Report on the 2017 Post-budget Review on the allocation for the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development; and

·       Joint Report of the Portfolio Committees on Finance and Economic Development and SMEs and Cooperative Development on the Movable Property Security Interests Bill.

19.5    Impact

Following the Committee’s recommendations, the following actions were recorded:

·       Downwards review of presumptive taxes by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

·       Ring-fencing of a portion of taxes collected from SMEs for Infrastructural Development.

20.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS

20.1    Public hearings

The Committee conducted Joint public hearings on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill with the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security. The hearings were held in Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Plumtree, Gweru, Bindura, Chinhoyi, Harare, Masvingo, Mutare, Marondera and Harare.

20.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received evidence from Ministry officials on the following:

·       Ministry of Home Affairs on the Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.

·       Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

20.3    Field visits and Reports

The Committee did not conduct any field visits or table any reports.

20.4    Impact

Recommendations made by the Joint Committees were used to effect widespread amendments to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill.

21.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

21.1    Public hearings

The Committee did not conduct any public hearings.

21.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Review of the Quarterly Budget Performance of the Ministry.

21.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits to Beit-bridge, Chirundu, Forbes and Plumtree border posts to familiarise Members on the Operations of ZIMRA.

21.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports:

·       Delegation Report on the Visit to Kuwait.

·       Report of the Delegation that attended a conference on Palestine held in Teheran, Iran.

21.5    Impact

Following recommendations made by the Committee the following developments were witnessed:

·       Return of distressed and enslaved young women from Kuwait.

·       An Association of Parliamentarians on the Palestinian Cause was formed. 

22.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN AFFAIRS, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

22.1    Public hearings

The Committee conducted public hearings on child marriages. The hearings were undertaken in Mutoko, Marange, Murombedzi, Bulawayo and Harare.

22.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from the following:

·       Oral evidence on the 2017 Pre-budget Consultations;

·       Oral evidence on the 2017 Post-budget Consultations;

·       Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development on their programme priorities for 2017;

·       Female Students Network on sexual harassment of female students at tertiary institutions;

·       Ministry of Justice on their policy concerning the living conditions of female inmates; and

·       Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on their preparedness for the 2018 elections and measures put in place to protect the marginalised groups before, during and after elections.

22.3    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visits to Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Chimanimani and Marondera to assess the success of the Women’s Development Fund.

22.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports:

·       2017 Post-budget for the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.

·       Report on the Women’s Development Fund success.

23.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON PEACE AND SECURITY

  23.1  Public hearings

·                   National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill in Kwekwe, Gweru, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Plumtree, Lupane, Harare and Chitungwiza.

23.2    Oral Evidence

The Committee received oral evidence from the following:

·       Ministry of Agriculture on the success and challenges of Command agriculture programme; and

·       GMB on their preparedness to handle the anticipated bumper harvest grain.

23.3    Field Visits

The Committee visited farms under Command Agriculture and

GMB depots in Gweru, Mvuma, Bikita, Rusape, Macheke, Banket, Lionsden, Concession and Bindura.

23.4    Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled the following reports:

·       Report on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill; and

·       Report on the preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to handle the 2016/2017 grain deliveries and the success of the command agriculture programme.

24.0   ZIMBABWE WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS (ZWPC)

24.1    Public Hearings Held

One Public Hearing on Child Marriages held in conjunction with the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development. 

24.2 Meetings held

·       An Annual General Meeting was held in May 2017;

·       Two meetings were also held by the ZWPC Executive;

·       Launched the ZWPC Strategic Plan, as well as the He for She Campaign in October 2016 with support from UNDP, SIDA and the EU and UN Women respectively;

·       Engagement with ZWLA on the SADC Model law on child marriage and protecting those already in marriages;

·       Dialogue with the Zimbabwe Gender Commission on women participation and gender equality where a resolution for an electoral amendment was unanimously agreed.

24.3 Capacity Building Programmes

·       ICT Training:    

81 ZWPC members underwent ICT training and are now able to open email addresses, send messages and network among themselves and beyond.

Gender Responsive Budgeting

·       A total of 59 ZWPC members and 25 male gender champions were trained between September 2016- July 2017.

·       Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, HIV/AIDS and Governance Issues Training.

24.3. Regional Benchmarking visits

The Caucus undertook some benchmarking visits to Uganda, Tanzania and Namibia between October and November 2016. This resulted in the development of the following;

·       A 50/50 Advocacy Strategy 

·       2018 – 2023 Women’s Manifesto

·       Election Campaign Guide

25.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT.

25.1    Public hearings

No public hearing was conducted by the Committee during the period under review.

25.2    Oral Evidence Sessions

The Committee conducted an oral evidence session with the Ministry of Rural Development on Access to Clean and Safe Water in rural areas.

25.3    Field Visits

The Thematic Committee conducted field visits to Rural District Councils (RDCs) on access to clean and safe water in rural areas. The Committee toured Mutare RDC, Gutu RDC, Mberengwa RDC, Bubi and Gokwe RDC.

25.4    Tabled Reports

The Committee tabled one report on Access to Clean and Safe Water in Rural Areas.

26.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LANDS, AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT.

26.1    Public Hearings

·       Sector specific budget consultations on the lands and agriculture; and

·       Land Commission Bill

26.2    Oral Evidence Sessions

·       Oral evidence session from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on their 2017 budget bids;

·       Oral evidence session from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the government’s preparedness for the 2016/17 summer cropping season;

·       Oral evidence session with the Ministry for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the status of Agricultural College;

·       Oral evidence session with the Ministry for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the Command Agriculture Programme;

·       Oral evidence session with the Ministry for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the functional status of Research Institutions; and

·       Oral evidence session from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the government’s preparedness for the 2017 winter and summer cropping.

26.3    Field Visits

·       Conducted field visits to agricultural colleges, Kushinga Phekelela, Chibero, Mlezu, and Esigodini;

·       Conducted field visits on Command Agriculture Farms, Marondera, Kwekwe, Umzingwane and Masvingo;

·       Toured Seed manufacturing companies in Harare, Seed-Co, Agri-Seed and Panner;

·       Fertilizer and chemical manufacturing companies, Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company and Windmill;

·       Poultry farming companies, Irvine’s (Harare) and Surrey (Marondera);

·       Small scale irrigation plots in Harare;

·       Grain millers companies in Harare, National Foods and GMB; and

·       Tobacco auction floors, TIMB, TSF and Premier in Harare and MTC in Karoi

26.4    Reports Tabled

·       The utilisation of the Brazilian Mechanisation Facility and Livestock Situation in Zimbabwe; and

·       The Land Commission Bill.

·       The post budget analysis for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and irrigation Development; Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and the Zimbabwe Land Commission.

·        A Report on Command Agriculture and Agricultural Colleges.

26.5    Impact

·       Owing to observations by the Committee, Command Agriculture was extended to other sectors of agriculture such as livestock.

27.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES.

27.1    Oral Evidence Sessions

·       Oral evidence session from the Permanent Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services  on the alignment of media laws with the Constitution;

·       Oral evidence session from the Permanent Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services on the update of the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project;

·       Oral evidence session from the Minister of Finance on the funding of the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration project;

·       Oral evidence session from the Minister for Information, Media and Broadcasting services on the operations of licensed commercial radios stations; and

·       Oral evidence session from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe on the update of the digitalisation programme and operations of the licensed Commercial Radio Stations

27.2    Field Visits

The Committee conducted field visit to Transmitter Sites, Kotwa, Mutare, Mashava, Zvishavane and Binga

·       The Committee conducted field visits to Local Commercial Radio Stations, Capitalk (Harare), Diamond FM (Mutare), Hevoi FM (Masvingo), Sky FM (Bulawayo and Breeze FM (Victoria Falls)

27.3    Reports Tabled

·       The Zimbabwe Digitalisation Broadcasting Migration Project.

·       Post Budget Analysis for the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services and the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

·       The operations of Local Commercial Radio Stations in Zimbabwe.

27.4    Impact

·       The immediate impact that can be drawn from the Committee presentations are the allocation of the vote to the Zimbabwe Media Commission in line with the demands of the Constitution.

·       After the intervention of the Committee and raising concerns regarding inadequate funding of the Zimbabwe Digitalisation Broadcasting Migration Project, Treasury availed US$16.2 million for the project.

·       Report on the Local Commercial radio Stations raised lots of policy issues that need to be reviewed and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is already  working on them such as increasing the coverage of local commercial radio stations from the 40km radius.

28.0    THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT

28.1    Oral Evidence Sessions

The Committee received oral evidence on the resuscitation of the meat industry and allied industries. It received submissions from the following;

·       Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC);

·       Pig Production Association of Zimbabwe (PPAZ);

·       Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA);

·       Stock Feed Manufacturing Association (SMA);

·       Zimbabwe Fish Production Association (ZFPA);

·       Meat Processor Association of Zimbabwe (MPAZ);

·       Zimbabwe Abattoirs Association (ZAA); and

·       Potato Growers Association and Potato Council of Zimbabwe.

          28.2   Fact-finding Visits

The Committee conducted Joint Site Visits with the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement to the following:-

·       Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board;

·       TSF; and

·       Premier Auction Floors.

28.3   Report Presented

  The Committee presented a Report on Circumstances surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trust in Mudzi and Mutoko Districts.

  28.4   Impact

·       Increased awareness on non-compliance with Community Share Ownership Trusts.

·       Further engagement in progress to address the issues raised.

29.0    PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

29.1    Oral Evidence Sessions

The Committee received oral evidence on;

·       The introduction of bond notes;

·       The 2018 National Budget Priorities; and

·       Corporate Governance in Public Entities. 

29.2    Public Hearings

The Committee held public consultations on the following Bills:-

·       Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill;

·       Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill;

·       Public Entities and Corporate Governance Bill;

·       Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Debt Assumption) Bill.

·       Movable Properties Security Interests Bill;

·       Public consultations  were also conducted on the 2018 National Budget Priorities;

Overall, most of the Bills were meant to enhance the ease of doing business environment in Zimbabwe so that industrial growth is promoted.

29.3  Policy Issues Tackled

·       Measures Government was instituting to address challenges the economy is facing (Liquidity, forex, fiscal deficit);

·       Analysis of the Annual Budget Review for 2016 and Outlook for 2017;

·       Analysis of the January 2017 Monetary Policy Statement;

·       Position Paper on Statutory and Retention Funds; and

·       Recommendations on the Proposed Moratorium for Debtor

29.4  Reports Presented

·       Report on the RBZ Amendment Bill;

·       Report on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Bill; and

·       Report on the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Bill

29.5  Impact

·       Parliament, collectively, caused amendment to be effected to the Appropriation Bill so that more resources are availed to the Ministry of Health and Child Care as well as Parliament.

30.0  Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

30.1  Oral Evidence Sessions

The Committee received Oral Evidence on;

·       2018 Budget Priorities;

·       Petitions relating to Electoral Law Reform;

·       Petition relating to a gap in the law of delict;

·       Petition relating to difficulties in obtaining birth certificates and national identity documents; and

·       Electoral Amendment Bill [H.B. 6, 2017].

30.2  Public Hearings

The Committee held Public Hearings on;

·       Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No.1 Bill;

·       National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill;

·       Deeds Registry Amendment Bill;

·       Judicial Laws(Commercial Courts)Amendment Bill;

·       Estates Administrators Amendment Bill;

·       Insolvency Bill; and

·       Electoral Amendment Bill.

30.3  Reports Tabled

The Committee tabled Reports on the following;

·       Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 1 Bill;

·       National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill;

·       Deeds Registry Amendment Bill;

·       Judicial Laws Amendment Bill;

·       Estates Administrators Amendment Bill;

·       Insolvency Bill; and

·       Electoral Amendment Bill.

30.4  Impact

The Committee’s recommendations on the independence of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission were accepted by the Ministry and used to effect amendment to the Bill.

 

 

Annexure 1: Selected Impacts of the Parliament of Zimbabwe in respect of the 2018 National Budget

Submission

Responsible Committee

2018 Budget Proposal

Reformation of Parastatals

Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development

Government proposes to reform State Enterprises that exhibit potential and privatize or close those which cannot be rehabilitated. (Paragraph 175)

Selectively apply the Freeze on Recruitment so as not to affect critical social services especially in the health and education sectors.

Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development

Treasury undertook to maintain the freeze on recruitment across the board, save for critical posts, as it determines in conjunction with Service Commissions (Paragraph 111)

Rationalisation of the Civil Service to ensure efficient service delivery and reorient recurrent expenditures towards capex.

Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development,  Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, and Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

Treasury proposed several measures that allows for re-orientation of resources towards development programmes consistent with the ‘New Economic Order’. The laid cost cutting measures include recruitment freeze, retrenchments, trimming executive, rationalize fuel allocations, rationalize class of travel and trimming size of delegations. (Paragraph 108 to 157)

Support mechanisation of resettled  farmers

Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development and the Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation & Irrigation Development

The 2018 Budget allocated 9% of the total Budget to agriculture, which is 2% increase from 7% in 2017. Government has doubled input support towards 1.8 million vulnerable households, at a cost of US$153 million (Paragraph 558 and 577). The Budget also outlines Government’s intention to continue with its facilitative role in the areas of extension services, disease and pest control, provision of bankable leases and security of tenure, development of irrigation, farm mechanisation (Paragraph 384)

Provision of attractive investment incentives and establishment of  a One Stop Investment Centre

Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development, and Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce

Government is putting in place supportive measure that seek to rebuild confidence and compete for investment, and enhance the economy’s competitiveness. These measures include:

·         Removal of policy uncertainty, and inconsistency, guaranteeing safety of investments;

·         Amendment of the Indigenisation policy;

·         Lowering cost of doing business;

·         Re-engaging with the international community;

·         Enhancing foreign exchange generation;

·         Dealing with corruption, rent-seeking, and other business malpractices (Paragraph 220).

Treasury recognises the need for Zimbabwe’s One Stop Shop Investment Centre (Paragraph 256). (The intention is notable with no specific measures to achieve it in the budget year)

Secure Legal Land Tenure

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation & Irrigation Development.

Government is undertaking to institute measures to strengthen the legal standing of Offer Letters and 99 Year Leases (Paragraph 356)

Prioritise irrigation development and rehabilitation to make full use of Zimbabwe’s endowment in abundant water bodies and mitigate against climate change

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement

The 2018 Budget has an allocation of US$52.1 million for irrigation rehabilitation and development, targeting at least 200 hectares per District to be implemented annually over the next 10 years. The Budget, also, proposed to mobilise US$226.4 million for maize and soya bean production and that Government continue with its facilitative role in the areas of extension services, disease and pest control, provision of bankable leases and security of tenure, development of irrigation, farm mechanisation and other infrastructure facilities.  (Paragraph 384, 559 and 829)

Provision of adequate funding for health (drugs, equipment, etc.) which is a fundamental basic human right

Portfolio Committee on Health and Child care

The US65.8 million levy funds will be ring-fenced for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment for public hospitals and clinics (Paragraph 616)

Support innovation at Universities

Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development

The 2018 Budget proposes to appropriate seed capital of US$1 million towards the establishment of research and innovation hubs across provincial capitals to complement research and innovation initiatives driven by higher learning institutions and formal research institutes (Paragraph 674-675)

Establishment of New Universities, Polytechnics, Industrial Training Colleges and Teachers Colleges to Increase access to Higher and Tertiary Education

Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development

The 2018 Budget set aside US$21 million towards the operationalisation of Gwanda State University, Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences (Paragraph 672-673)

Government to prioritise provision of at least 250 000 stands

Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

Treasury to mobilise US$182.4 million to support financial strategies aiming at providing low cost serviced land for housing development whose backlog stands at over 1.3 million country wide (Paragraph 813 – 815)

Provision of electricity to rural communities and solar installations

Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy

The 2018 Budget proposes to utilise US$36.5 million from the Rural Electrification Fund on electrification of 706 rural institutions, installation of 50 stand-alone micro grid solar systems at public institutions, and 16 biogas digesters (Paragraph 744)

Provision of easily accessible and affordable electricity meters

Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy

Government promised to boost the rolling out of the prepaid metering system through the Customer Supplied Meter Scheme, where customers will procure prepaid meters from approved local agents (Paragraph 746)

Review of Mining Fees and Charges

Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy

The 2018 Budget proposes a downward review of ground rental fees in retrospect for diamond concessions from $ 3000 to $225 per hectare per annum (Paragraph 1040)

Refurbishment of NATPHARM  in order to save foreign currency being used to import drugs which can be manufactured locally

 

Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care

The 2018 Budget set aside US$1 million to NATPHARM  for the construction of medicines warehouses in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare to increase its capacity for cost effective bulk procurement, storage and distribution (Paragraph 621)

Infrastructure development and provision of modern and efficient hospital equipment

Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care

·         Treasury undertook to avail US$26.7 million towards rehabilitation of central and district hospitals together with the construction of six rural health centres (Paragraph 619)

·         Treasury will provide US$8.2 million for the procurement of medical equipment at district hospitals (Paragraph 620)

Support on Extension and Services Officers to ensure sustainable ratios between the farmer and the extension officer. Support requirements includes, motor bikes, stationary, accommodation among others.

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement

Treasury proposed to allocate US$38.1 million for extension services, inclusive of remuneration for extension workers and the procurement of vehicles and motorcycles (Paragraph 597)

Provision of irrigation infrastructure, dam construction and borehole drilling in rural areas in response to climate change

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement

The 2018 Budgets targets strengthening responses to the threat of Climate Change through:

·         Scaling up adaption capacity and strategies to build community resilience;

·         Strengthening early warning systems to reduce incidences of climate related disasters and loss and damage to human life, biodiversity, infrastructure, property and economic losses;

·         Strengthening the institutional framework for climate change governance; and

·         Enhancing the capacity of stakeholders to mainstream climate change in local development frameworks (Paragraph 602)

Provision of assistance to livestock farmers through resuscitation of paddocks and feedlots, capacity building to produce stock-feeds on their own, acquisition of chemicals and vaccines, pedigree bulls and heifers to improve the quality of meat.

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement.

·         Government extending the ‘Command Agriculture’ to include livestock and fisheries (Paragraph 572)

·         The 2018 Budget proposed to issue US$9.4 million towards dipping and vaccination services, movement and surveillance programmes in order to support the revival of the livestock and poultry industries (Paragraph 576)

Livestock research support in order to restock the national herd.

Portfolio Committee On Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement.

Treasury proposed to allocate US$22 million towards crop and livestock research and technology development (Paragraph 608)

Capitalization of the SMEDCO Bank

 

Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development

·         Treasury proposed provision of US$32 million as capitalisation to the key development finance institutions (Paragraph 846)

·         The SMEDCO will benefit US$2 million from this capitalisation fund (Paragraph 847)

Road Dualisation with Beitbridge-Chirundu road being a priority

Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development

·         The 2018 Budget has set aside US$3.4 million to meet the costs of compensation for Harare-Beit-ridge Road Dualisation Project (Paragraph 781)

·         An allocation of US$4.6 million to be issued for dualisation of the Harare of the Harare-Mutare road section between Goromonzi turnoff and Jamaica Inn Toll Plaza, as well as the Harare-Bulawayo road section, between Norton Service Centre and the Norton Toll Plaza (Paragraph 782)

Provision of incentives for formalization of the Informal Sector

Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development

The 2018 Budget proposed to ring-fence US$2.5 million of the US$5 million projected to be raised from presumptive taxes during the 2018 fiscal year towards support of initiatives to facilitate transition of informal traders and vendors to formal businesses (Paragraph 946)

Reduction of duty on importation of luxury coaches ( cross border and intercity coaches)

Portfolio Committee on Transport & Infrastructural Development

Treasury Ring-fenced importation of 30 luxury buses at a reduced rate of 5% for the period of twelve months beginning 1 January 2017. The 2018 Budget proposed to extend the ring-fenced suspension of duty on the outstanding quota of luxury buses by a further 1 year (Paragraph 932)

Prioritisation of provision of safe water, sewer disposal and solid waste management

Portfolio Committee On Local Government, Rural & Urban Development

Treasury undertook to mobilise a total of US$147.5.3 million, comprising of US$102.8 million from the Budget and US$44.7 million from development partners towards investment in water supply and sanitation projects in 2018 (paragraph 750)

Provision of funding to Local Authorities Revolving Fund to ensure that Local Authorities implement identified infrastructure projects

Portfolio Committee On Local Government, Rural & Urban Development

The 2018 Budget will set aside US$5 million as seed capital to the Fund, which will be managed through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Paragraph 772)

Retooling of training centers with modern technology to ensure efficiency and relevance of training.

 

Portfolio Committee on Youth Indigenization  and Economic Empowerment

The 2018 Budget proposed appropriating US$3.6 million towards the phased establishment of additional Vocational Training Centres as well as US$1.2 million for re-tooling of existing workshops (Paragraph 704)

Doubling BEAM – beneficiaries and prioritising BEAM allocations especially for the girl child

 

Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

 

Government set aside US$20 million to support the BEAM programme in 2018, a huge increase from US$1.5 million in 2017 (Paragraph 689)

Prioritisation of basic education

Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture

The 2017 Budget prioritised provision of teaching and learning materials, investment in Early Childhood Development, developing education facilities, including infrastructure, strengthening the education curricula, as well as reducing the skills and competency gaps and allocated US$935.8 million towards basic education services. (Paragraph 633)

25.0 Conclusion

From the above narrative, it is clear that the Fourth Session was a productive session for Oversight Committees of Parliament. Going forward, there is an imperative need for Committees of Parliament to develop quantitative indicators during the work-planning process so that the work outputs are clearly measurable and quantifiable.

 

VOLUME 1

SESSIONAL REPORT

FIRST TO THE THIRD SESSION OF THE EIGHTH PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

         

1.0                Introduction

The Eighth Parliament was officially opened by His Excellency the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe on the 27th of September 2013. Since the beginning of the Eighth Parliament, priority was given to the alignment of laws with the New Constitution that became operational on 22 May 2013.  Against this background, this report covers the activities of Committees of Parliament for the period October 2013 to the 31st of December 2016. Emphasis shall be on outlining the operational challenges so that viable solutions are proffered.  It is also important to note that Annexure A of this report highlights selected impacts of Oversight Committees of Parliament during the period under review.

2.0      Operational Activities

The operational activities of the Committees of Parliament are materially anchored on and driven by the various Strategic Goals of Parliament as encapsulated in the Institutional Strategic Plan.

3.0      Strategic Goal 1: Aligning of relevant laws with the Constitution [Legislative Business]

3.1      Bills passed by Parliament

During 2016, 14 Bills were considered by Committees of Parliament. Of these, 06 were passed into law. From a comparative perspective, it is instructive to note that during the year 2015, 12 Bills were passed by Parliament while 11 Bills were passed in 2014. During the year 2013, 6 Bills were processed while 7 Bills were processed in 2012.  Thus, it is clear from the trend that Parliament, inclusive of its Committees, did not meet set target of passing 100 Bills per year as articulated in the Institutional Strategic Plan.  This illustrates the fundamental point that the target setting process by the Liaison and Coordination Committee [LCC] Retreat of 2014 was flawed in so far as it ignored historical trends in the passing of Bills by Parliament. In this regard, therefore, there is need for the LCC to set targets that are evidence based as failure to do so may have serious policy implications on Parliament as an institution. Figure 1 below depicts a line graph of the Bills passed by Parliament between 2013 and 2016.

4.0      Committee Reports: Comparative dimension

Twenty five Committee Reports were tabled in Parliament during the year ending 31 December 2016. A similar number was tabled in 2015. In 2014, 19 reports were tabled and 07 in 2013. The highest number of reports during the last 10 years was recorded in 2012 when 37 Reports were tabled.  In line with the established Rules of Procedure, Parliament must have a minimum of 26 Committee reports per year as each Committee is bound by law to table at least one report in each Session.  A Schedule of all Committee reports tabled is attached as Annexure 1 of this report.

5.0    Strategic Issue 4: Human Capital/Capacity Building

5.1    Capacity Building of Committees of Parliament.

Ten Committee Capacity building workshops were held in 2015 in comparison to 37 Capacity building workshops that were held in 2014. However, it is pertinent to note that these were mainly driven by external parties as Parliament had no resources to develop the competencies of Members in various areas of their oversight, representative and oversight functions.

6.0    Strategic Issue Number 10: Resourced Committee System.

6.1    Public Hearings

A total of 94 Public hearings were conducted in 2016 against a figure of 50 public hearings in 2016. The public hearings were conducted in partial fulfilment of section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which compels Parliament to consult the public in its legislative process and other processes of its Committees. The only material challenge is that Parliament must take charge of the funding of all public hearings in line with the enshrined principle of acting in national interest. We have noted with serious concern that our Development Partners have adopted an attitude of funding certain programmes/Bills while others have found no takers. This may compromise the effectiveness of Parliament as a sovereign body.  Parliament must therefore compel the Executive to fund all non-discretionary expenditure such as Committee meetings, public hearings and sittings of both Houses of Parliament. 

7.0      Strategic Goal 15: Facilitate the business of Parliament

7.1      Total Number of Committee Meetings in 2015.

Five hundred and seventy two meetings were successfully held in 2016; 557 meetings were held by Oversight Committees in 2015 while 527 Committee meetings were held in 2014 and 431 meetings were in 2013. It is of paramount importance to note that though the number of meetings slightly increased in 2016, on a comparative basis there was a marked decline from the 699 meetings held during the year 2011 and 643 Committee meetings held in 2012.  This could be an indication of subdued activity owing to fiscal constraints.

8.0      Key Operational Challenges for Committees of Parliament

The key challenges relating to the Oversight Committees are mainly related to lack of human capital and financial resources to enable Committees to effectively carry out their mandate.

8.1      Finance Resources

Most of the financial resources for field visits, public hearings and capacity building were funded through non-traditional funding from Development Partners. While this has enabled compliance with peremptory constitutional provisions on public participation in the legislative process, reliance on Development Partners for this critical constitutional obligation threatens the sustainability and predictability of the operations of Oversight Committees. I wish to highlight that Development Partners have their own funding priorities and this brings challenges of the equitable sharing of the cake as some Committees receive the bulk of the funding. National Interest demands that funding of key processes must be guaranteed by Parliament itself. External funding must only come in to complement a few areas of deficit. Flowing from the above, it is hereby recommended that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must ensure that Parliament’s Budget for 2018 is increased in recognition of the critical roles played by Parliament.

As a strategy to give effect to the above, I urge all Committee Chairs to ensure that when the 2018 Budget in presented, they must champion a revision of the Vote to Parliament so that it gets not less than US$90 million. This is the only way to ensure the independence of Parliament from both financial dictation by the Executive and the Development Partners. After all, section 325 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe emphatically makes it clear that the Government must ensure that adequate funds are provided to Parliament, to enable it and its committees to meet whenever necessary; and

8.2      Human Capital

In respect of Human Capital, the technical support provided to Committees is far from being adequate. While the LCC resolved in no uncertain terms that each Committee should have a dedicated Committee Clerk, this has not been effected owing to the general freeze on recruitment in the Public Service. Consequently, Committee Clerks have been severely overburdened and this has reached a stage where service delivery is now being severely compromised. Currently, we are faced with a situation where some Committee Clerks serve up to three Committees. This is not consistent with the need to enhance effective use and deployment of human resources. In this regard, it is recommended that before the end of this financial year:  The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must put in place measures to ensure the each Committee is serviced by a dedicated Committee Clerk. The same must also apply to other Officers such as Researchers.

As a strategy to give effect to this recommendation, it is proposed that the Speaker, as the Head of Parliament as enunciated in section 135 of the Constitution, should meet the Minister of Finance and Economic Development urgently so that this matter is expeditiously resolved. Parliament must assert its independence through ensuring that support services to Parliament are not compromised. It is a generally accepted principle worldwide that as far as support services are concerned, the acceptable ratio of staff to Members of Parliament is three to one [3:1]. This means at least 1050 Officers of Parliament must be available to support a complement of 350 Members of Parliament. The current staff/MP Ratio is 0.5:1, which is 0.5 staff to 01 MP is unacceptable. Notwithstanding this, however, I wish to express my gratitude to the 179 Officers of Parliament who have continuously provided support to Parliament even under very difficult circumstances.

9.0      Conclusion

As can be discerned from the above, Committees of Parliament require funding for them to carry out their mandate effectively. This should be addressed through the provision of adequate resources to Parliament by Treasury. We must take advantage of the approaching Budget window to address this issue.

ANNEXURE A

1.0      Key Impacts of the Eighth Parliament: First to Third Parliament

The question on the extent to which Parliamentary Committees in particular and Parliament in general influenced legislative interventions can only be answered by analysing all the pieces of legislation passed by Parliament since the commencement of the Eighth Parliament on 27 September 2013. Since this date, Parliament passed 28 Bills which were enacted into law by the President in line with section 131 of the Constitution. The Acts passed are as follows;

1.                Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe;

2.                Electoral Amendment;

3.                National Prosecuting Authority;

4.                Appropriation (Supplementary), 2013;

5.                Appropriation (2014), 2013;

6.                Finance 2013;

7.                Finance 2014;

8.                Financial Adjustments;

9.                Trafficking in Persons; Public Accountants and Auditors Amendment;

10.           Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption;

11.           Zimbabwe Gender Commission;

12.           Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology;

13.           Finance (No. 2);

14.           Appropriation  (supplementary) 2014;

15.           Appropriation (2015) 2014;

16.           Finance  (No.3) 2014;

17.           Public Debt Management;

18.           Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment;

19.           General Laws Amendment;

20.           Joint Ventures;

21.           Finance No.2;

22.           Banking Amendment;

23.           Labour Amendment;

24.           Appropriation 2016;

25.           Finance ( No.2);

26.           Local Government Laws Amendment Bill;

27.           Gwanda State Universities Bill; and

28.           Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences Bill, 2015

One Bill, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill was withdrawn following the issuance of an adverse report by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and adverse reactions that were generated during Joint Public Hearings that were conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Thematic Committee on Human Rights. From the above narrative, it is clear that for the period September to July 2016, Parliament passed 29 Bills against the 100 Bills per year outlined in the Institutional Strategic Plan.

The question which logically arises is; what was the impact of Parliament during the consideration of the various Bills outlined above (including the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill). A review of Committee reports and the Hansard shows that Parliament’s intervention through recommendations led to amendments of the following Bills.

1.           Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe;

2.           Electoral Amendment;

3.           Public Accountants and Auditors Amendment;

4.           Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Debt Assumption;

5.           Zimbabwe Gender Commission;

6.           Public Debt Management;

7.           Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment;

8.           General Laws Amendment;

9.           Joint Ventures;

10.      Finance No.2 Bill, 2016; and

11.      Appropriation 2016;

Most of the key amendments emanated from the public consultations and hearings that were conducted by Parliament. Thus, the following section looks at the impact of public consultations.

2.0      Public Consultations and their value and impact on the legislative process

The Constitution of Zimbabwe, as the supreme law of the land, provides a legally binding framework for broadening interaction between Parliament, the public and civic society organisations. Parliament is obliged to engage stakeholders in the legislative process and the Constitution sets a number of benchmarks that must be complied with pursuant to the need to enhance governance systems. For instance, section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe state that:

“Parliament must:-

a)   Facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the process of its committees;

b)   Ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is appropriate or impracticable and;

c)    Conduct its business in a transparent manner and hold its sittings, and those of its committees, in public, though necessary measures may be taken to preserve order in Parliamentary proceedings and to regulate public access, including access of the media, to Parliament and its committees as well as exclude the public, including the media, from sittings of Committees…”

The above constitutional provisions give credence and legitimacy to the observations of the Parliament Reform Committee (1998) that parliamentary proceedings ought to be open to the people so that there is enhanced transparency and accountability. This enhances participatory democracy which is one of the key hallmarks of the new constitutional dispensation.

3.0      Selected Key Impacts that were driven by Committees of Parliament.

  3.1    Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment

During its oversight inquiries on Community Share Ownership Trusts, the Portfolio Committee responsible for Indigenisation managed to expose illicit financial flows at Jinan (Private) Limited, a diamond Mining Company that operated in Marange, Chiadzwa.  The exposition that emanated from the inquiry led to the expulsion from the National Social Security Authority of the then Acting General Manager, Mr. Hashmon Matemera, who at the time of the alleged illicit financial flows, was the Managing Director of Jinan Private Limited.

Evidence of the externalisation of funds emerged during an oral evidence session by Jinan officials who were appearing before the Portfolio Committee. Mr. Matemera was eventually arrested and charged with externalisation of over US$300 million dollars.

Impact

The exposure of the scandal and the resultant arrests and prosecution is directly attributable to the inquiry by the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

The Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment also exposed unethical conduct over the handling of the funds pledged to Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT). The Committee exposed that His Excellency the then President, Cde R. G. Mugabe was presented with a “dummy” cheque which he went on to present to the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust. The Committee further exposed corporate malpractices in the Ministry responsible for indigenisation where key decisions relating to the CSOT were verbally made and there was no easily ascertainable paper trail.

Impact

The Portfolio Committee responsible for indigenisation exposed capricious conduct in respect of the management of Community Share Ownership Trusts. It further exposed illegal structures that had been put in place at Chisumbanje by the then Minister of Energy and Power Development, Mr. Mavhaire. The illegal structures that were contrary to a Cabinet directive were disbanded after exposure by the Committee.

3.2      Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development

The Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development recommended and pushed for a Harmonised Licensing System between the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) and Insurance Companies.

Impact

The recommendation was adopted and implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Using a computerised network, ZINARA is now linked to all insurance companies and other service providers. In terms of outcomes, this development has plugged revenue leakages and insurance data is now available to ZINARA on a real time basis.

In respect of second hand tyres, the Committee also advocated for restrictions on the importation of second hand tyres. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce actuated this recommendation through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which restricted the importation of second hand tyres as these are partly being blamed for the increased accidents and carnage on the national highways.

3.3      The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and the Hospitality Industry.

In February 2016, the Portfolio Committee recommended as follows;

 

“…the Executive must urgently bring before Parliament the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for approval before the end of the April 2016”.

Source: Portfolio Committee Report

Impact

In April 2016, the Executive, through the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, sought approval by Parliament of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. As recommended by the Committee on Environment, Parliament approved the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol which the Executive went on to ratify.

The importance of ratifying the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol lies in the fact that between now and 2020 when the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement is expected to be operationalised, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol will be a bridging instrument meant to ensure there is no lacunae in the implementation of climate change emission reduction targets as well as other allied obligations. The Doha Climate Gateway, an outcome snatched at the last minute on the last evening of the 2012 Climate Conference, led to the adoption of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that records the Second Commitment Period in it. This commenced on 1 January 2013 and will end on 31 December 2020. At the Paris Climate Change Negotiations, 56 State Parties had ratified the Doha Amendment and Zimbabwe. By ratifying this protocol through lobbying by Parliament, Zimbabwe as a State Party joined the family of nations that have ratified this initiative. 

It is also instructive to note that the Portfolio Committee responsible for environment recommended as follows:

 “…the Executive must urgently sign the Paris Agreement once it is open for signature on 22 April 2016 as well as secure its approval by Parliament before the end of October 2016”.

Source: Portfolio Committee Report

Impact

Consistent with the recommendation from the Committee, His Excellency the then President, Cde R. G. Mugabe on the on 22 April 2016, signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America.  Thus, Zimbabwe became one of the first countries in the world to sign the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement, thus exhibiting leadership commitment on the fight against climate change.

3.4      Parliamentary Legal Committee

The Parliamentary Legal Committee, which is established by section 152 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe managed to influence amendments to at least 15 Bills through engaging the relevant ministries. The Committee issued adverse reports on the following key Bills; The Labour Amendment Bill, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill and the Finance Act 2016, to name just a few.

Impact

Following the issuance of an adverse report on the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill, the then Vice President Mphoko withdrew the Bill in order to address the issues raised.

The National Assembly Hansard of 12 May 2016, reported as follows;

 

          THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO’S OFFICE (HON. KANENGONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to move for the withdrawal of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill (H. B. 13, 2015) pursuant to Standing Order Number 157. The reasons are that after receiving an adverse report on the Bill, the Ministry has decided to consider those issues that were raised and then we will resubmit the Bill at a later date.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order of the Day Number 6 is discharged in terms of Standing Order Number 157.

          HON. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Just to take this opportunity to appreciate the Hon. Minister’s attitude and indeed, the Government’s attitude that they are able to see the wisdom of Parliament and act accordingly.  It is a very good thing, we are impressed.  Hon. Minister, may you continue to be that impressive – [Laughter] – it is a very good thing.  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.  This is the attitude we expect from Government. When they feel that something is amiss, they are able to also listen to the Legislature.  That is what a normal democracy should be like and that should be appreciated.  Thank you very much Minister.  I can provide supper for you. Thank you very much.

 

Source: National Assembly Hansard, 10 May 2016, Volume 42 Number 56

          The comment by Hon. Chamisa is testimony to the impact of Parliament in the exercise of its legislative and oversight roles.

          The PLC also issued an adverse report on the Finance Bill, 2016. The Bill had not provided for Separate Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Independents Commissions and the National Prosecuting Authority as provided for in section 305 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. In response to that issue, the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Development observed as follows;

          “The Hon. Member also raised the issue about 305 (3). It is a valid point of order and I am going to comply and I will do so through an amendment during Committee Stage. We will provide for separate estimates of all those institutions and commissions which are set out in Section 305(3).”

 

Source: National Assembly Hansard, 15 December 2015 Vol 42 Number 26

          Consequently, the Minister effected the necessary amendments during the Committee Stage, signifying that he had taken due consideration of the issues raised by Parliament and its Committees. This symbolic move confirmed the doctrine of constitutional supremacy as articulated in section 2 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

        It is also important to note that on the same day, the Minister effected numerous amendments to the Banking Amendment Bill following considering the recommendations from the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development.

3.5      Adverse Report on the Labour Amendment Bill

It is important to note that on the 18th of August 2016, the PLC issued an adverse report on the Labour Amendment Bill. Clause 18 of the proposed labour law amendments had the effect of revoking the rights of employers to terminate job contracts on notice, as upheld by a July 17 Supreme Court ruling . The clause provided for the retrospective application of section 12 of the Act to every employee whose services were terminated on three months’ notice on or after the 17th of July. The Committee unanimously agreed that the clause violated section 3 (2) (e) of the Constitution regarding the separation of powers in that the judgment made by the Judiciary was correct at law and in seeking to nullify that by an insertion of the retrospective clause, Parliament will have violated the principle of separation of powers. Additionally, since the employers acted from the correct position at law, and having vested rights in terms of the Act, applying the retrospective positions in the clause would be punitive on the employer and violated section 56 of the Constitution relating to equal protection of the law.”

          The report by the PLC was negatived by the National Assembly. However, the symbolic impact of the adverse report is that it highlighted the legal gaps in the then Labour Amendment Bill. Thus, it is not surprising that in early 2016 the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe, made a High Court application challenging some amendments to the Labour Act, among them a clause obliging them to compensate workers dismissed using the July 17 Supreme Court ruling that allowed employers to lay off employees on three months’ notice without paying a retrenchment package.

3.6      Public Accounts Committee (PAC): Auditor General Reports

Through its oversight functions, the Committee has managed expose unethical conduct in the management of public finances in various ministries.

Impact

Flowing out of the need to follow up on issues raised by the Parliament and the Auditor General, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development established a department in the Accountant General’s Department that will follow up on all PAC observations as well as reports of the Auditor General. This is a significant impact and outcome on the oversight functions of Parliament.

          Notwithstanding the above, however, there is need for Parliament to put in place measures that will ensure that all the substantive measures by the PAC are implemented by the Executive. This is motivated by the fact that reports of the PAC, unlike other Committee reports, are substantially informed by an objective assessment and opinion of the Auditor General. There is therefore no reason why these should not be implemented. In the United Kingdom, the adoption rate of PAC recommendations is 100 percent.

3.7      PAC Oversight on Local Authorities

From the 19th to the 23rd of August 2016, the PAC held a capacity building workshop on the analysis of Local Authority Audited Reports which was funded by the African Development and SAPST. An oral evidence session was held with the Bulawayo City Council on the 22nd of August 2016.

Impact

The Committee managed to call the Bulawayo City Council to account for the manner its transacted public business.

3.8      Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care: An Inquiry into the Targeted Approach Programme.

During an inquiry into funds released to hospitals under the Targeted Approach Programme administered by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Committee revealed improper practices in the procurement process at Mnene Mission Hospital.

Impact

When the Committee initially raised the issue in 2015, Police commenced their investigations.  This is highlighted in the press report below.

POLICE have finished investigating Mnene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa after the institution’s officials allegedly defrauded the institution of about $400 000 by flouting tender procedures and inflating prices of equipment procured by Government. Impeccable sources have revealed to Sunday News that a hospital official, Zibusiso Moyo, had been formally charged with fraud together with national procurement officer Wilbert Madenga and national projects and planning officer Richard Dharara. Sunday News is reliably informed that the docket has been taken to the Gweru resident prosecutor and the matter has been referred to the regional court for assessment before a trial date is set. The matter is likely to be heard this week. Four other officials who include the hospital matron Sister Danai Chauke, administrator Noel Moyo, finance director Comfort Shumba and Yvonne Manyawo were also fingered but were yet to be charged.

 

Source: Sunday News, 22 February 2015

3.9      Finance and Economic Development Committee: Joint Ventures Bill

After the presentation of the Committee report on the public hearings conducted in respect of the Joint Ventures Bill, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has this to say;

“Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank all the hon. members who have made contributions to this debate. They have made suggestions to improve the text of the Bill. I would want time to go through these recommendations so that I consider in my reply, which recommendations to take on board and which ones will not be accepted. Therefore, I move that the debate be now adjourned. Motion put and agreed to”.

Hansard 23 July 2015

3.10    Reserve Bank Debt Assumption Bill

When the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill was gazetted, it had no schedule indicating the amounts owed to various persons, both corporate and natural persons. It also did not provide immunity for commercial banks that were serving as agents of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Pursuant to the need to seek redress on these issues, the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development recommended that in the spirit of accountability and transparency, there was need for the Minister to attach to the Bill a list of all creditors, both corporate and individual persons. 

Impact

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, through amendments to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill, brought before Parliament an Annexure of all persons owed by the Reserve Bank. This annexure was attached to the Bill. In more specific terms, the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development, in its Report observed that;

“While Section 4 (4) of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe(Debt Assumption) Bill gives immunity to the RBZ, thus releasing it from all liability for all prior debts assumed by Government, the same status is not extended to the commercial banks who were acting at the time as agents of the Central Bank in the incurrence of debt liabilities. The Committee raised this matter and is pleased that the Minister agreed to extend the immunity to cover commercial banks”.

The Committee further observed that;

“The majority of the submissions were highly critical of the Bill in its current form for failing to address the position of individuals’ foreign currency accounts whose monies were transferred to RBZ by banks following a directive from the Central Bank. As such, members of the public viewed Government as prioritising corporate creditors and ignoring ordinary people such as pensioners who lost their accumulated savings with insurance companies and those who lost funds when the RBZ unilaterally removed zeros thereby further impoverishing innocent Zimbabweans”.

In addition to the above, it is instructive to highlight that the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development raised concern with the fact that by the time the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Bill was gazetted, the verification and validation process had not been completed even up to the time Parliament was considering the Bill. Both the Minister and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe assured the Committee that the Zimbabwe Debt Management Office, in consultation with the Central Bank was working on this process and a full audit would be carried out on the original capital sums contracted. Pursuant to this, the Minister submitted to Parliament a revised list of creditors.

Impact

It is clear from the above outline that the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development managed to influence key reforms to the Bill, a feat that must be emulated by many. The Minister inserted clauses that guaranteed immunity from attachment of property for commercial banks that were serving as agencies of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. As had been recommended by the Committee, the total debt for the Reserve Bank was revised. Above all, a new list of creditors was availed to Parliament as recommended by the Committee.

3.11    The Public Accountants and Auditors Amendment Bill

A Joint Report of the Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development made the following recommendations that were adopted and used  to effect amendments to the Public Accountants and Auditors Amendment Bill;

 

CLAUSE 2 – Amendment to the Interpretation Clause

In view of the fact that there was consensus on the need for persons registered as general accountants and tax accountants to provide their services to public companies and statutory bodies, the Joint Committee recommends an amendment to reflect that position.

Classification of Constituent Bodies

The Joint Committee’s considered view is that the Institute of Certified Tax Accountants represents people with tax specialised services and therefore, should be accorded the status of a principal constituent body.

Qualification for Registration as a Tax Accountant

Considering that there is a constituent body which represents tax accountant which is under the proposed Amendment required to register with the regulatory body PAAB, it is recommended that any persons registering as a tax accountant be registered with the Institute of Certified Tax Accountants of Zimbabwe

Impact

The recommendations were accepted by the Minister signifying that Parliament, through its Oversight Committees, continues to impact positively in the quality of Bills.

3.12    Gender Commission Bill

During the consideration by Parliament of the Gender Commission Bill, the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development made a recommendation that sought to guarantee the independence of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission. This recommendation was adopted by the Ministry and relevant amendments were effected to the Bill.

3.13      Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs

The Portfolio Committee exposed the plight of Zimbabwean women that were being used as ‘sex-slaves’ in Kuwait. During its visit to Kuwait, the Committee ensured and coordinated the repatriation of the ‘stranded women’ that were working under hostile conditions in Kuwait.

Impact

Following the exposure of the plight of women by the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Government of Zimbabwe established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to facilitate the return of affected ‘women’ that were in Kuwait.

4.0      Speakers’ Evaluation of the Work of Committees.

During the delivery of his Key Note Address at the Official Opening of the 2016 Liaison and Coordination Committee Retreat held in Bulawayo from the 22nd to the 25th of July 2016, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Adv. F. F. Mudenda paid tribute to the sterling work that Oversight Committees of Parliament were doing. He noted as follows;

“…we must applaud the incisive public hearings that have been conducted by Parliamentary Committees so far…”

“In spite of our observed shortfalls in general, credit must be given to Select Committees for the work they have done in exposing unethical conduct in the public and private sectors. Committees have also pursued with vigour the corporate malpractices raised by the Auditor General. However, I am happy that line Ministries, some Local Authorities and State Enterprises are beginning to take corrective measures in that regard. Indeed, I must commend the Auditor General for being fearless in her Audit reports. A key component of our work as Parliament must be premised on the work of the Auditor General.  Let the Select Committees always be guided by the findings of the Auditor General. These findings should help Select Committees to craft more pointed work plans which ensure sound corporate governance.

The Speaker added that “the work of Parliamentary Committees has so far been made possible by Treasury allocations and the generous contribution of financial resources by our development partners which has augmented Treasury allocations to Parliament. It is my hope that Parliament will continue to receive a reasonably stout budget from Treasury. We shall continue to engage our development partners for continued development assistance”

The remarks by the Speaker are an honest reflection of the work of Oversight Committees of Parliament.

4.1      Annual Pre-Budget Briefing and the Pre-Budget Seminar

In order to enhance effectiveness of pre-budget consultations, it was resolved at the 2014 Pre-Budget Seminar held in Victoria Fall that Parliament must convene a Pre-Budget Briefing [PBB] for all Members of Parliament before the Pre-Budget Seminar [PBS] is held. Accordingly, the inaugural Pre-Budget Briefing was held on 22 October 2015 at the Harare International Conference Centre. The principal objective of the pre-Budget Briefing was to guide Members of Parliament on what key issues to look out for in sector specific areas in the National Budget. In addition, the briefing was meant to highlight preliminary processes surrounding the budget formulation process in order to prepare Members for the discussions at the Pre-Budget Seminar.

Committee Chairpersons of all Oversight Committees presented reports of the public consultations they had undertaken. The presentation of the reports was meant to encourage peer review of the recommendations ahead of the Pre-Budget Seminar.  Experts were invited to explain key economic terms. The Pre-Budget Briefing was a resounding success as it prepared Committee Chairpersons to deliver targeted presentations and recommendations to the Minister of Finance at the Pre-Budget Seminar.

Impact

Flowing from the above preparatory work, it is not surprising that at the Pre-Budget Seminar held from the 30th of October 2015 to 03 November 2015, Parliament made meaningful contributions to the 2015 Budget Proposals. Instead of Ministers presenting their reports, Committee Chairpersons presented reports that recommended measures of growing the National Cake. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development appreciated the recommendations from Parliament and on the 02nd of November 2016, during the closing Session, he acknowledged in front of Members of Parliament and the Presiding Officers that the 2015 Pre-Budget Seminar was the “best pre-budget seminar he had ever attended”. The Pre-Budget Seminar was attended by 320 delegates. A follow up post-budget seminar was attended by 200 participants.

5.0 Conclusion

From the above narrative, it is clear that Parliament scored a number of successes which must be celebrated. Going forward, there is need for all Committees of Parliament to make regular follow ups with Ministries in connection with recommendations made to them so that service delivery is enhanced. This is a challenge which the LCC must take head on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annexure B: Committee Reports Tabled in Parliament

Report Number

Title

 

2013

SC.1

The Administration of Soccer in Zimbabwe and Issues surrounding the Asiagate Scandal

SC.2

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Cooperative Development on the Access to Financial Resources to SMEs in Zimbabwe

SC.3

First Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Management of Dam Projects by ZINWA

SC.4

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on Diamond Mining with special reference to Marange Diamonds Fields

SC.5

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on Chrome Mining in Zimbabwe

SC.6

Third Report of the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy on the Electricity Sector 2010-2013

SC.7

Fourth Quarter Budget Performance on the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

 

2014

SC.1

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on Road Carnage

SC.2

First Report of the Public Accounts on the Examination of the Appropriation Accounts for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development for the year Ended 31st December 2011

SC.3

Second Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Examination of Accounts for National Social Security Authority for the Years Ending December, 2011 and 2012

SC.4

First Report of the Peace and Security Committee on the Country’s Borders, human Trafficking and Smuggling

SC.5

Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Examination of the Appropriation and Fund Accounts for the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs for the Year Ended 31st December 2011

SC.6

First Report of the Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Committee on the Preparedness of the GMB and Agribank for the 2013/14 summer cropping season

SC.7

The First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water Tourism and Hospitality Industry on Waste Management by Funeral Parlours.

SC.8

The Second Report of The Portfolio Committee on Environment Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on rehabilitation of Morton Jeffrey Water Treatment Plant

SC.9

The First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Consolidated Expenditure Quarterly Return for the Ministry of Home Affairs as at 31 March 2014

SC.10

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services on the Realignment of Media Laws and Digitalisation programmes

SC.11

First Report of The Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs , Gender and Community Development on Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development’s programmes, activities, challenges and gender mainstreaming in government line Ministries

SC.12

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the 2014 half Year Budget Performance of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

SC.13

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on the progress made in the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment: The Case of Green Fuel.

SC.15

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Consolidated Expenditure Quarterly Return for the Ministry of Defence as at 31st March , 2014

SC.16

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the 2014 Half Year Budget Performance of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

SC.18

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce on the State of the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, Textile, Clothing, Plastic , Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Industries, and Revival Strategies

SC.19

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on I.C.T , Postal and Courier Services on the State of the Mobile Sector In Zimbabwe

SC.20

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Cases of Gender Based Violence in Churches

 

2015

SC.1

First Report of Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment on the Green Fuel Chisumbanje Ethanol Project.

SC.2

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on the State of Affairs of the Health Delivery System in Zimbabwe.

SC.3

First Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on, ‘The State of Affairs in the Gold Sector in Zimbabwe’

SC.4

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development on the Status of the Cadetship Support Scheme

SC.5

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development On Service Delivery by the City of Harare

SC.6

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs on Attracting Foreign Direct Investments

SC.7

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Gender Based Violence in Churches

SC.8

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Operations of the Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee share Ownership Schemes

SC.9

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture on the State of Sport in Zimbabwe.

SC.10

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the State of the Justice Delivery System in Zimbabwe

SC.11

First Report of The Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the Operations of the National Social Security Authority.

SC.12

First Report of Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on the ART Roll out Programme in some Health Institutions in Harare.

SC.13

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development on the Role, Management and input of Housing Cooperatives on the Delivery of National Housing in Zimbabwe.

SC.14

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Millennium Development Goals on the status of MDGs in Zimbabwe

SC.15

First Report of the Public Accounts Committee the 2011 Accounts of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

SC.16

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation on Cotton Sector  Production

SC.17

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary  Affairs on State of preparedness  of the ZEC to Hold By-Elections

SC.18

Third Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on 15% Vat on hotel Accommodation for foreign tourists. 

SC.19

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the Administration of the Basic Education Assistance Module

SC.20

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence Home Affairs  and Security Services on the Immigration Forbes Border

SC.21

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development on the Operation of NRZ.

SC.22

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the attempted Jail break from Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

 

 

 

THIRD SESSION 8TH PARLIAMENT 2015

SC.1

First Report of  the Public Accounts Committee on the GMB VFM and Accounts for 2011 to 2014

SC.2

Third Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Land Mine Situation in Zimbabwe.

SC.3

Special Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on putting T.B on the Political Agenda: The role of Parliamentarians in supporting TB control in Zimbabwe.

 

2016

SC.1

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development on Bio Technology.

SC.2

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the Administration of BEAM.

SC.3

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the Operations of ARDA and CSC.

SC.4

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child on the Implementation of the Targeted Approach Programme in Mission Hospitals.

SC.5

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the operations of Air Zimbabwe.

SC.6

Second Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Analysis of the Findings of the Auditor General on the 2013Appropriation Fund and State Enterprises and Parastatals Accounts.

SC.7

First Report on the Portfolio Committee on ICT and Postal Courier Services on the mobile Sector in Zimbabwe.

SC.8

Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on the Working Conditions at Hwange Colliery Company limited, National Railways of Zimbabwe and Date Refectories. 

SC.9

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development on the Operational Environment and Economic Contributions of Small, Medium Enterprises and the Informal Sector in Zimbabwe

SC.10

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture on the Challenges in the Education Sector in Zimbabwe.

SC.11

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development on Child Marriages and status of Children’s Homes

SC.12

Third Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the findings of the Auditor General on the 2014 Appropriation Accounts from Ministry of Finance and other statements under its Purview.

SC.13

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Media on Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Propel

SC.14

Second Report of the Thematic Committee on Status of Children’s Homes

SC.15

First Report on the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs on the High Prevalence of Child Marriages in Mashonaland Central

SC.16

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the State of the country’s borders

SC.18

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence Home Affairs and Security Services on Service Delivery by the Registrar General’s Office.

SC.19

Fourth Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Findings of the Auditor General on 2014 Appropriation and Funds Accounts.

SC.20

Report of the Thematic Committee on the State of Human Rights

SC.21

The Deployment, Roles and Responsibilities of the village Health Workers or City Health Promoters In the Provision of Primary Health Care in Zimbabwe.

SC.22

Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

SC.23

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development on Service Delivery by Local Authorities.

SC.24

First Report of Public Accounts Committee and Findings of The Attorney General on 2014 and 2015 Accounts For Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Funds Accounts under its Purview.

SC.25

First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the Familiarisation Tour of Victoria Falls and Harare Airports and the Plumtree to Bulawayo to Harare to Mutare Road Projects.

         

I have already indicated that a detailed report is going to be given to all the Members or they can collect those reports from pigeon holes for discussion.  I rest my case.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, order!

HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the report but it is quite evident that the mood in the House indicates that most Hon. Members are already in the election mode.  In view of that factor, I will try to be brief and to the point.

          Before I go into the substance of the report, I would like to briefly make reference to the Standing Order which provides for the establishment of this Committee.  The Liaison and Coordination Committee (LCC) is set up in terms of Standing Order Number 15.  The functions are fully set out in that Standing Order and whilst it is important to note that all Chairpersons are members of this Committee, and the functions are to coordinate and liaise on scheduling of all Committee business.

          However, I do not think enough attention has been given to the importance of the LCC.  The Government Chief Whip who is the Chairperson of the LCC alluded to the fact that whilst the LCC had recommended that each Committee must have a dedicated Committee Clerk; it is unfortunate that most of the clerks are over burdened because they are serving more than one Committee.  However, this special Committee was not spared either. In fact the position of this Committee is even worse in the sense that it does not even have clerk who is assigned to it.  At the time, we had an unfortunate situation that there was no full complement of the senior clerical staff. We are supposed to  have the clerk, two Deputy Clerks and two Assistant Clerks but for the life of this Parliament, we only had one Assistant Clerk, Mr. Gandiwa and he is the one who was usually delegated to attend to the work of this Committee.

          It is an unfortunate situation because you know that our staff are over burdened; they are hard working but they cannot cope with all the work which they are assigned to.  So, the first point I would like to make is that in future, when it comes to the Nineth Parliament, it is imperative that the LCC should actually have a committed staff member who is assigned specific responsibility to ensure the Committee is able to do its work, which is to coordinate the work of all Committees.

          As a result, the Committee was not even able to meet regularly as provided for. I also want to make the further point that the Chairperson of this Committee is the Government Chief Whip, the Deputy Chair is the Opposition Chief Whip.  It is also important to ensure that Whips are also given supporting staff who will also assist them in carrying out their work so that they can do the proper coordination and liaising between the various Committees.

          Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members will note that this report covers the four Sessions of the Eighth Parliament and I will not labour by going into the detailed report because Members will be able to read the report at their leisure.  However, I just want to make reference to one particular report, which I believe is very important and that is the report on ending child marriage in Zimbabwe.  It pains me that the current President of this country was the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs at the material time and he gave an undertaking that before we come to the end of this Parliament, he was going to bring a comprehensive law to deal with the issue relating to child marriage.

          I moved a motion in the SADC Parliamentary Forum, which motion was unanimously adopted to come up with a modern law which was going to make it easier for Member Parliaments to simply copy and paste and just make a few changes here and there mutatis mutandis to ensure that it fits the circumstances of their particular countries.  However, this has not happened and this is one of the reports which I want to highlight that the Committees on Justice and Women actually came together to come up with that report.  The other reports are adequately covered in the report of the Liaison and Coordination Committee and I am going to leave Hon. Members to read those reports.

          The only other unfortunate thing is that we have now come to the end of the life of this Parliament. What it means is that all the other reports which are going to be tabled are not going to be responded to by the relevant Ministers but at the end of the day, I think they will just be here so that the next Parliament can have a look at them.  With these few words, I second the report.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I am going to be very brief.  My first point was his last point in terms of some reports that are outstanding, that have not been presented but it is those reports that were presented that I want to speak to.  The Ministers are given 21 days in order to respond to those reports.  I say so because I am the former Chairperson of the Transport Committee. The Minister is here and he did quite well in terms of response to reports.

Be that as it might be, it is not all the reports that were presented that were responded to. I urge the Executive in the future, in the Nineth Parliament to take cognisant of that fact. 

Also, as it relates to Parliament, we get our fuel coupons all the time but as long as the issuance of those coupons are not computerised, we will go out of the Eighth Parliament without knowing if we got all the coupons that were due to us because they are manually given to you. Unlike what I do, where I keep records; if you do not keep records as a Member of Parliament, nine times out of ten you might be enriching somebody who is not yourself, arising from your attendance of Parliament.  I say so because there are some Members of Parliament who are now late. If we were computerised, it would certainly be known how many coupons are due to them and how much allowance is due to them because of computerisation.

          This way of treating Parliament business in an archaic and antiquated manner where there is no computerisation is quite unfortunate and I want to say, let us first and foremost computerise Parliamentary processes. Before we can look at the speck in the Executive’s eye, let us look in the log that is in our eye by computerising the processes of Parliament, in particular the issuance of coupons.  I thank you. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I also decided that I should air my views on the report that was presented by the Government Chief Whip.  The basis of my contribution Hon. Speaker is that I have had an opportunity during this term to attend a couple of the LCC meetings. There are few glaring things that I observed during those LCC meetings. One of the things that I realised was that LCC meetings, besides generally looking at the business of Parliament, have also tended to become platforms through which Committee Chairpersons and other senior Members of Parliament get an opportunity to air their views pertaining to the welfare of Chairpersons of Committees.

          So, Hon. Speaker, I am informed that in the 7th Parliament, there was a Committee that was charged with the responsibility for overseeing issues to do with welfare for all Members of Parliament, not specifically Chairpersons or those that occupy senior Committees of Parliament. After I observed and having gone to attend an LCC meeting as an Acting Chairperson, I was left astonished that the Chairpersons of Committees, in their interactions with the Speaker and the other leadership of Parliament, they get an opportunity  to seek for certain privileges just for themselves at the expense of the ordinary Members of Parliament. What it means is that a backbencher who does not sit in the LCC meeting does not get an opportunity to air their views on how they think that Parliament should be remunerated.

          I think what makes me to be able to speak like this is the knowledge that the 8th Parliament is coming to an end and therefore, when I am speaking, I am not speaking for myself. I am speaking in the interest of the nation and the Parliaments that are to follow. I believe that if we are going to be a fair Parliament that is going to treat each other in a fair manner, if the LCC is a platform upon which Chairpersons of Committees bargain for their own personal welfare, it is also important that a similar Committee be set up where each and every Member of Parliament is able to speak for the need to improve their welfare or at least, if not the whole Members of Parliament, a Committee that shall be representative of the ordinary Members of Parliament.

          I say so because we are all aware that during this tenure, Chairpersons of Committees were advocating for an extra vehicle for them and not considering the other Hon. Members of Parliament. We are aware that the Chairpersons of Committees have been advocating for more fuel for themselves and not the other Members of Parliament. We are aware that it is during this tenure that Chairpersons of Committees got to be given diplomatic passports whilst every other Member of Parliament was left aside. The reason why Chairpersons of Committees managed to achieve that is because they have got a platform through which they can air their grievances whilst the rest of the Members of Parliament do not have that kind of a platform.

          Is that not important Hon. Speaker? I am of the view that it is a critical platform that should be provided to Hon. Members of Parliament to be able to air their grievances and show to the leadership of Parliament what is required of them. Politics is a very ruthless endeavour. As I speak, in the last few weeks when political parties embarked on primary election processes, we have lost Members of Parliament. Most of them on a sudden death basis rather than having been terminally ill, and the reason why those Members ended up passing away was because the term of their office had come to an end and their chance of being re-elected was completely eliminated. Most of them had not prepared for that kind of an eventuality.

          As a result, without really mentioning names of the Members of Parliament that lost their lives as a result of the political processes, I am of the view that it is important that as a nation, we look at the role that Members of Parliament played in the development of this nation. I have got colleagues from both ZANU PF and the MDC that have served diligently this nation either through their contributions in the House or through their contributions directly in the constituencies. But, because of the ruthlessness of this game that we find ourselves in, regardless of our good that those Members have been, most of them have been eliminated and there is no thank you especially for those that have been in Parliament for only one term. There is no thank you that they get.

It is like a person who simply walks in here and do a great job and invest own money, sacrifice their own energy and at the end of the day they are discarded and forgotten by their own nation, a nation that they would have served. I believe that if we continue in that manner, we will remove from Members of Parliament, the desire and sacrifice to serve in the manner that they would want to serve. In January this year, we saw a law being enacted that allows the Speaker of Parliament to walk away with a package just for serving one term. The MPs that are serving in a similar House during the same term with the Speaker of Parliament were not considered. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

As I speak, the current Speaker of Parliament does not care what happens next term whether he comes back or he does not come back, he is well served. The package that has been set aside for him is good. I am not trying to personalise but this has happened also to the Office of the President. It has also happened to the Vice President. Even if they serve only one term, they are given a plush kind of package that they get, but what about these men and women who have served diligently this country for the last five years. Why do we not take cognisance of them?

Right now we have got colleagues that passed on after having served only one term. Their families are not getting anything from Parliament and these Members of Parliament, with the nature of business that they do, they really have got no time to be with their families. When they pass on, their families get nothing and no thank you that comes from the State but these people would have served and would have sacrificed. I have got Hon. Members that I know who have invested in constructing public infrastructure in their constituencies. Some have built clinics, schools and some have contributed in various manners but at the end of the day, we throw them and discard them as if they were just a useless badge.

I believe Hon. Speaker, the 9th Parliament has to look into these things. It has to seriously look into these things and make sure that revisions are made. One aspect that I want to bring to your attention is right now as we speak, the hierarchy of Parliament is supposed to be headed by the Presiding Officers and their deputies, and then by the Speaker’s Panel, SROC and the Members before we go to staff. But, currently, if we go into the books of Parliament and check how much staff is earning compared to what Members of Parliament are earning, Hon. Speaker, it is disproportionate. There is no flow between what Members of Parliament are getting and senior staff of Parliament are getting, including benefits that they get.  Mr. Speaker, it defies logic to say that if a Member of Parliament is senior, let me give an example of the Clerk of Parliament, and you find that the Clerk of Parliament is driving a posh vehicle, a more expensive vehicle, whilst a Member of Parliament is given an ordinary 4 x 4.  At the end of the day Mr. Speaker, who is senior between a Member of Parliament and the senior management of Parliament?  Mr. Speaker, it is my view that the Ninth Parliament and the Members of that Parliament that are going come in the next two months should try by all means Mr. Speaker to ensure that anomaly is addressed. 

Mr. Speaker, in any normal organisation with a normal set up, if you are saying that in the hierarchy of the organisation, this position is higher than that position, the packages and the remuneration should also be reflecting that seniority.  We do not want a scenario where staff of Parliament is remunerated more than the Members of Parliament.  That kind of set up Mr. Speaker, makes it impossible for Members of Parliament to act as senior to staffers of Parliament.  I think that anomaly needs to be addressed.  It is my view that if staff of Parliament are going to respect Members of Parliament, then their remuneration should reflect the positions that they occupy in the hierarchy of Parliament.

It is the same with the issue of diplomatic passports.  Mr. Speaker, one day, I went out on a foreign mission on Parliament business, Government business.  I happened to have travelled with other employees of Government.  Let me be clear, Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons, we travelled together. I was the head of delegation comprising Members of Parliament and Civil Servants.  The Deputy Commissioner General of Police was producing a diplomatic passport and the head of delegation was producing a green passport, that is an anomaly.  Mr. Speaker, there is something wrong with that.  Parliament in my view should be able to stand up and demand the correct position that Parliament deserves.  Parliament needs to be respected within the hierarch of the entire State.  There is no way Members of Parliament can continue to be treated as if they are second class citizens.  Members of Parliament have to be respected.  That way, we can continue to motivate them and inculcate in them a spirit to sacrifice and work hard for the nation.  Let this nation not be a nation that is segregative.  Would it make sense Mr. Speaker, if tomorrow I am going to wake up and apply for a job as an Assistant Clerk of Parliament, leaving the senior position of being Member of Parliament.  It does not make sense, it defies logic. 

So it is my view that the remuneration in the entire public and civil service should take cognisance of the position that each person occupies.  If it is more lucrative to be a Member of Parliament then Mr. Chokuda will be forced to leave Clerk of Parliament and say, let me go and contest as well, so that he gets better packages but if you do not do that, Mr. Speaker, my fear is that Members of Parliament will continue to be looked down upon by staff of Parliament.  No wonder why right now my colleague was talking about coupons.  If you go and check at the manner that we queue, even the title Honourable does not even deserve to apply to us.  We are treated like I do not know, some other people that are not honourable at all.  The reason is because the staff of Parliament do not have respect for Members of Parliament.  The reason why we are not being respected is because the system itself does not respect Members of Parliament.  So on behalf of those that will be coming in the Ninth Parliament, Mr. Speaker, I urge Parliament to have a look at those issues so that Members of Parliament are given the respect that they deserve as servants of the people in the country.   I thank you.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and I will be very brief.  Mine Mr. Speaker is a reaction to the observation made by the Chairperson of the Committee where he talked about Committees having exposed corruption in both public and private sector.  Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe that the voice of Parliament is the voice of the people.  Accordingly, the voice of the people is the voice of the almighty.  I think it is high time the nation regards this issue as a very important cog in the running of the affairs of this country.  Whilst Committees have made efforts to expose corruption, it had not been reciprocated.  We have had cases that appeared in the public and private media of high profile persons that were arrested for corruption but alas, we have not had the end.

I want to call upon the Ninth Parliament for which I will not be part to make sure that as they expose corruption in both private and public sector, they must make a follow up to see the end of these cases.  I would want this afternoon to challenge the police, to challenge the Anti-Corruption Commission to make sure that they live up to standard so that we nip corruption in the bud.  Corruption in this country has become cancer and it is not interesting to the ear to sing about it, to talk about it where there is no action.  If we continue in this fashion Mr. Speaker, I do not see ourselves coming out of the economic problems that we face as a country because corruption has become so cancerous to the extent that we are failing as a nation to nip corruption in the bud.  Mr. Speaker Sir, let Parliament be respected.  Let the voice of the people be respected.  Let us work as a nation to ensure that we eradicate corruption in our midst.  I would like to thank you.

HON. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me an opportunity to make a contribution towards the LCC Report.  My observation is that the report, I think it was concentrating much on the job that was done by Portfolio Committees but in my view, it was not forward looking, it was not soul searching so that it gives us learning points of what has been happening over the five or four and a half years we have been in this Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is very disturbing and I would like to ride or follow the footsteps of Hon. Sibanda on observations that he has noted that there are reminifications that come out of the things we do as a nation.  Some of the things that we do as political parties. 

The observation that I am raising is that, may be 75 percent of the people who are here will not be coming back for the Ninth Parliament but they are, in terms of human resource management, there are certain things that we should take note of.  When people come to Parliament here, they come to learn the job.  You do not just come here and perform, that is a lie, even if you are coming from a legal fraternity.  There is a process of learning and there is a process of performing and excelling.  What our Government is failing to do through the major political parties that is ZANU PF and MDC is that they are failing to manage the programme of continuity.  For a person to be an experienced legislator, you have to go through the learning curve.  I think that is one of the reasons why the Constituency Development Fund was instituted.  The idea was to build on the Members of Parliament who are there so that they are in a position to carry on and continue in their respective areas and in the process, learn the job and excel.

There is a notion that is coming in in our democracy. This notion is around deepening democracy as it is said.  What we are seeing is that people come here to Parliament to learn the job; within four and a half years, after they have finished learning the job and they are in a position to perform, they leave Parliament and others will come.  They will do the same process.  They will learn; after they are about to perform, they leave. 

If you compare our Parliament with other Parliaments in Africa, we are not the best.  Compare this Parliament with the Parliament of South Africa, we are quite different.  Why?  It is because of that handicap that we do have and we are having it.  I do not know what the reasons are, but it is a problem that the nation is not going to benefit.  It is not going to benefit from this type of approach that we have embarked upon – primaries and primaries of processes that are not very accurate. 

It is very unfortunate Mr. Speaker Sir.  We are saying this because this is the last time we will be discussing these issues here. I am of the opinion that as we go forward, for those people who are privileged to remain in this august House and others who are going to be joining the next Parliament, let there be a programme of continuity so that people will deliver.  People will be given the opportunity to deliver to the constituents they purport to represent. If we do not do that, we will go into a circus, a circus of people coming here and leaving – others coming here leaving and so forth and so on. 

One of the reasons we are doing it is that we do have three pillars that form the State, that is the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.  It is quite common and it is common knowledge to this august House that our Legislature is very weak.  It is the shortest leg of the three pillars of State.  This is why we cannot do things here.  We cannot raise issues here and they are attended to by the Executive because we are weak as Parliament.  Sometimes we are learning the job and as we are now graduating towards being able to be competitive to compete with Ministers, that is the time we leave and others will come and do the same and yet this is very unfortunate that this is the nature of how we have designed our democracy.  This is the nature that we think we can progress in.  We cannot progress that way because human beings are not computerised.  They learn the job, perform and excel.

I am just giving pieces of advice because this is the last time we will be here.  We want to assist our nation to benefit from our Parliament.  They should benefit.  They should not have novices here every time and again.  With these remarks Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity and I would like to think that the Executive and the major political parties that contribute towards building this august House will also have an ear to hear what I have been saying.  I thank you.

          HON. MATUKE:  I move the motion that this House takes note of Volume 2 Sessional Report of Activities of Portfolio and Thematic Committees during the First to Fourth Sessions of the Eighth Parliament.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MATUKE:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 2 to 7 be stood over, until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE ZIMBABWE ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO RUSSIAN FEDERAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

          HON. PARADZA:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission Report of the Russian Federal Presidential Elections held on the 18th of March, 2018.

          HON. MARIDADI:  I second.

          HON. PARADZA:

Text Box:  
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This is the first time since Independence that Zimbabwe, which is a Third World country has been invited to observe Presidential elections for a superpower like Russia and we are grateful for that. 

The Mission also wishes to acknowledge with appreciation,  support and guidance given by the Zimbabwean Embassy staff in Moscow for the smooth observation and safety of the home based delegation.  The mission would like to sincerely thank the people of the Russian Federation for their warm welcome and hospitality for the duration of our stay in the country.

The Zimbabwean Election Observer Mission would like to express its gratitude to the Russian Federation for extending an invitation to Zimbabwe to observe the 2018 Presidential Election in the Federation.

The Mission wishes to acknowledge with appreciation the support and guidance given by Zimbabwean Embassy staff which facilitated the smooth observation of the election and ensured the safety of the Mission members.

1. INTRODUCTION

The Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, visited Zimbabwe from 7 to 8 March 2018. Prior to his visit, the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Russian Embassy in Harare, was invited to observe the Russian General Election scheduled that were held on the 18th of March 2018. The Government of Zimbabwe accepted the invitation and deployed a 7-member Observer Mission to Moscow, Russia.

The Head of Delegation was the Special Advisor to the President, Ambassador Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa. The other members of the delegation were the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Honourable Kindness Paradza and the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Honourable Justice Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba. The trio was accompanied by officials from their respective offices and an officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Mission arrived in Moscow on the 17th of March 2018 and departed on the 21st of March 2018.

The election observation processes provided an opportunity for learning and understanding electoral processes in Russia, with the view of promoting the adoption of common principles and international best practices in election administration and management in Zimbabwe. 

2. ELECTORAL SYSTEM IN RUSSIA

The delegation learnt that,

i. The President is elected in a two-round system after every six years, for at most, two consecutive six-year terms by the people. Prior to 2012, the term of office was four years but was raised to six years from December 2008.

ii.  If no candidate wins by an absolute majority in the first round, a second election round is held between two candidates with the most votes.

iii. Any Russian citizen who is of or over the age of thirty-five years and has been permanently resident in the Federation for a period of not less than 10 years may be elected President of the Russian Federation.

iv. Candidates can be nominated by a political party or contest as independent candidates. (In the just ended elections, President Putin contested as an independent candidate).

v. Besides President Vladimr Putin, there were seven other candidates contesting the Presidential elections with one of them being female. Attached hereto is a list of the Presidential Candidates and their manifestos.

3. PRE- VOTING PHASE

The Mission arrived in Moscow a day before the elections, 17 March 2018. This meant that the Mission was not able to observe any electoral processes in the pre voting phase.

4. VOTING PHASE

          Polling Stations                                                                  

·       There were approximately 97 000 voting stations established for the Presidential Election. The Mission was able to visit five polling stations situated in Moscow (Polling stations numbers 2854, 2855, 2559, 2561 and 2600). Voters used national or international identification documents, such as passports, to verify appearance of their names on the voters roll.

·       Voting commenced at 8:00 hours, albeit the mission was unable to observe the opening procedures owing to the transport and ground logistics associated with visiting the voting stations. Transport to visit the polling stations was provided by the Government of the Russian Federation.

·       Polling stations visited were established in public buildings, mainly schools, and were within a walking distance from residential areas. Polling stations were characterized by an atmosphere of pomp and fanfare, with music playing at all polling stations visited.

·       The Mission learnt that all public buildings are equipped with modern security systems and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras hence all polling stations visited had these features both inside and outside the polling stations. Apart from modern security systems, the polling stations were manned by both police and army personnel and voters were not perturbed by their presence.

·       The layout of the stations was user friendly to the voters as it allowed easy access and movement of voters. Of importance, the Mission observed that the voting stations were generally accessible to the voters.

·       Each polling station was manned by 11 Electoral Officials from the Russian Central Electoral Commission, which is also mandated with the announcement of the final official results.

     Election Materials and Equipment

i.   The election materials and equipment that was used during the voting process were adequately provided at the voting stations visited.

ii. Noteworthy, the Mission observed the use of electronic, translucent ballot boxes which were designed to instantly and automatically count the ballots deposited in the box. These electronic ballot boxes were being used for the first time in the 2018 Presidential election. (The Mission, however, subsequently learnt that these were not present at all polling stations).

iii. The ballot booths were designed to allow two voters to cast their ballots at the same time but obscuring the other person to see the other’s vote.

iv. Three copies of the voters’ roll were available at nearly all polling stations visited and sufficient ballot papers were available.

v. There was physical checking of the name of the voter on the voters roll as opposed to electronic checking.

vi. There was clear and visible signage to direct the voters to the polling stations and posters pasted inside the polling stations explaining the voting process as well as background information of the candidate.

vii. The Mission observed that there were no photos of the candidates on the ballot paper, nor any political party symbols; rather a brief CV of the candidate was inserted alongside the candidate’s name. Presumably all Russians are literate and are able to read the CV’s and do not require the symbols as a means of identifying their preferred candidates.

 

Electronic Ballot box

 

Ambassador C. Mutsvangwa and Hon. K. Paradza at a polling station

Justice P. Chigumba at a polling station

Ballot Paper for the 2018 Presidential Elections

Voting

i. The Mission observed that the voting process was undertaken in a peaceful environment. At the polling stations, the Mission was informed that it took on average of 1 to 2 minutes to process a voter. At Polling Station No. 2599, six hundred (600) voters had voted by 12:12 hours. At Polling Station No. 2561 one thousand seven hundred (1700) voters had voted by 13:00 hours while at Polling Station No. 2559 one thousand one hundred and forty-eight (1148) voters had voted by 14:15 hours.

ii. Voting was polling station based and polling stations visited had +/- 1500 registered for the respective polling stations.

iii. The Mission did not observe any cases of assisted voters and when asked how voters requiring assistance were assisted, the Mission was informed that the electorate was highly literate and the polling staff did not expect to receive requests for assistance, except for those with specific physical challenges.

iv. All voters signed against their details on their voters roll to signify that they had come to vote and was issued with a ballot paper.

v. The Mission observed that there were no braille ballots for blind voters. The Mission also did not see any visible wheelchair ramps for voters with physical disabilities.

 

vi. Regarding the prison vote, the Mission was advised that the Russian Electoral Law did not provide for the prison vote and all prisoners were said to have forfeited their right to vote when they committed crime.

vii. Those Russians stationed outside the Russian Federation were afforded an opportunity to cast their votes at the Russian Embassies in their countries of residence. During the 2018 Presidential Election, Russians in this category were able to vote in 145 countries.

vii. The Mission learnt that the elderly and infirm need not come to the voting stations to vote. Arrangements are made by the Russian Central Electoral Commission for members of its staff to visit homes and other institutions were the elderly and infirm reside in order to provide mobile voting facilities to these voters.

viii. While candidates are permitted to have their representatives present at voting stations, it was observed that not all candidate representatives were present at polling stations visited.

Closure of Voting

Voting ended at 20:00 hours. Unfortunately, the Mission was not able to observe the closing, counting and subsequent tallying procedures due to a change in programme provided by the Government of the Russian Federation.

5. POST-VOTING PHASE

Announcements of Results

The results for the Presidential Election were announced on Monday the 19th of March 2018.  Regular live television and radio updates were relayed to the public about the election activities and provisional results as they were being received. The election was won by President Vladimir Putin who received 76.7% of the votes cast. President Putin's nearest competitor, Communist Party Candidate Pavel Grudinin, received 11.79% of the votes, while ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky took 5.7%. Former reality TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak was on 1.7%, while veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky received just over 1% of the vote.

 

RESULTS OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Ser

Candidate

Percentage of Votes received

1.

Vladimir Putin

76.66%

2.

Pavel Grudinin

11.79%

3.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

5.66%

4.

Ksenia Sobchak

1.67%

5.

Grigory Yavlinsky

1.04%

6.

Boris Titov

0.76%

7.

Maksim Suraikin

0.68%

8.

Sergey Baburin

0.65%

 

Voter turnout was put at 67.53%, 10% higher than the 2012 election. Voter population was 110 864 228 voters. The total general population in the Russian Federation is approximately 144 million with 12,4 million in the capital, Moscow. More than 98% of the 1,889,359 eligible Russian voters abroad cast their vote.

6.      OBSERVERS

More than 1 500 international and 250 000 local observers were accredited to observe the Presidential Election and this was seen as a record in the country’s history of Presidential Voting.  While there were reports of some electoral irregularities most observer missions, Zimbabwe included, were of the opinion that the recorded violations were not of such a nature as would affect the results of the vote. They were insignificant and there was no need to focus on them. The Russian Civic Chamber noted that more than 80% of the complaints about the electoral process were fake.  Overall, a majority of observers commended the Russian Central Electoral Commission for its organisation of the election and ensuring respect of the legal framework as well as the maturity of the Russian Voters.

7.      MEETING WITH CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION

On Wednesday 21 March 2018 the ZEC Chairperson paid a courtesy visit to the Central Electoral Commission. She was advised that each country which forms part of the Russian Federation has an Electoral Commission which reports directly to the Central Election Commission. The Central Election Commission is made up of 15 members (13 men and 2 women).  The ZEC Chairperson was received at the Central Election Commission by Mr Flikolay Levichev a member of the Central Electoral Commission who indicated that if the Government of Zimbabwe were to invite the Commission to observe the forthcoming elections, the Commission would be in a position to send observers.

ZEC Chairperson at the Central Election Commission

8.      BEST PRACTICES AND LESSONS LEARNT

The Mission notes below best practices and lessons learnt:

·                   The commendable independence of the Russian Central Electoral Commission, both in law and practice.

·       The innovative and effective electronic ballot box which makes

vote tallying easier and faster and worth emulating.

·       The enhancement of security features and facilities at polling

stations. The CCTV was very effective in identifying malpractice leading to the annulment of results at about 20 polling stations and

·                   Regular live television and radio updates made to the public about the election activities and processes worth emulating.

9.      CONCLUSION

According to the Central Election Commission, the vote was a huge logistical undertaking, taking place across Russia's 11 time zones over 22 hours, in around 97,000 polling stations. The Mission commends the Russian Central Election Commission for conducting a peaceful and credible election.

The Mission congratulates all electoral stakeholders, particularly political parties and candidates, the Federation and the people of the Russian Federation on the orderly and peaceful Presidential Elections. It is the Mission’s opinion that the elections were credible and reflected the will of the people of the Russian Federation.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MATUKE:  I move that the House reverts to Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 and 7…

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order may you adjourn the debate first before moving your motion?

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

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2018.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. MATUKE:  I move that the House reverts to Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 and 7.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. MARIDADI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  I see Portfolio Chairpersons are scrambling to present their reports in a motion that was moved by Hon. Gonese here.  My fear is that this must not be a ritual because reports are being presented and Ministers are supposed to respond to them.  Parliament will be adjourning tomorrow and Ministers will not get a chance to respond to these reports.  If ministers do not respond to these reports, it means they become obsolete and they are thrown away because I do not see any minister who is going to read these reports from the Hansard.

          My suggestion, taking into cognisance what the Chief Whips have agreed on, would be that like the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has very interesting reports that should be responded to by a Minister.  I propose that these reports are put on ice and they are presented in the next Parliament and Ministers are called upon to respond because as we speak, I do not see any Minister who is going to come to Parliament.  In any case, there will be a new Government and a new set of Ministers and those Ministers who are here today will not be able to respond to those reports.  I suggest that these reports be put on ice and be presented in the Ninth Parliament and Ministers are then called upon to respond.  I will be able to respond to one of the reports because I may be one of the Ministers anyway.  I thank you.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Whilst your suggestion sounds to be quite reasonable, but we have some business to conduct in the House.  So, we will continue and if we fail to finish then we will think otherwise.  Thank you.  You may continue Hon. Simbanegavi.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, WATER, CLIMATE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ON THE HWANGE WATER MANAGEMENT PETITION

HON. SIMBANEGAVI:  Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing

in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry on the Hwange  Water Management Petition (S.C. 5, 2018).

           HON. MHONA:  I second.

        HON. SIMBANEGAVI:       1.0    Introduction

         The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry received a petition from Hwange Residents Association on the management of water in Hwange. The association petitioned Parliament in accordance to section 149 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The petitioners wanted Parliament to consider and make recommendations on the handing over of the management of water in Hwange.

        2.0      Objectives of the Petition Enquiry

        The broad objective of the enquiry was to enable Committee Members to understand the ownership and operation of the treatment works and water reticulation system in Hwange.  In more specific terms, the Committee sought to;-

       i.            Understand the dispute regarding the administrative systems that are in place to manage water resources in Hwange Town;

    ii.            Appreciate the measures taken to address the challenges emanating from the delivery of water to the residents of Hwange town; and

 iii.            Engage relevant stakeholder in water governance pursuant to the need to understand the petitioner’s concerns.

        This inquiry was consistent with section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read together with Standing Rules and Orders No. 182 (1), which compels Parliament to facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its committees and gives select committees the power to receive representations from interested parties.

        3.0      Methodology

        To get an indepth appreciation of the scope and content of the petition, oral evidence was received by the Committee from Hwange Residents Association. The Committee was apprised of the challenges besetting Hwange town in the administration of water supply services. It was highlighted that ZINWA was dragging its feet on handing over the water treatment plant to the local authority. For a technical and operational insight into the administration of treatment works and water reticulation system of the area under the jurisdiction of Hwange Local Board, oral evidence was also received from ZINWA and the Town Secretary of Hwange Local Board, Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose. The Committee further sought written submissions on the engagements efforts to resolve the matter from Mr G. Magosvongwe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

        4.0      Committee’s Findings

        4.1     Administration of water in Hwange

        According to Hwange Residents Association, Hwange Local Board manages the sewer system and owns the water pipes while ZINWA manages water maintenance and distribution. The association needed an explanation why ZINWA did not hand over the distribution of water to Hwange Local Board and a clarification on the late dispatch of water bills to residents.

        ZINWA submitted that Hwange Local Board has never requested for the handing over of the water treatment plant from the authority. The authority also submitted that there is no dual administration of water supply services in Hwange. The Authority constructed the water infrastructure and operates it while Hwange Local Board does not operate any water and sanitation services.

        ZINWA submitted that Hwange town is divided into two areas. One area, wholly owned and operated by ZINWA in terms of treatment works and water reticulation system, is administered by the local board.  ZINWA supplies water to residential areas, the industrial area, Army Barracks and Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional services.  ZINWA submitted that its water supply distribution network extends into Lukosi area under Hwange Rural District Council.

        The other area is administered by Hwange Colliery. The Colliery owns and operates the independent water supply system that serves the colliery concession area.

        4.2      Water Treatment Transfer Efforts

        The Town Secretary informed the Committee that Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe carried out a case study in 2012 on the management of water in Hwange and recommended ZINWA to hand over water distribution to Hwange Local Board and that negotiation should be made to transfer water treatment from ZINWA to the board.

         Furthermore, the local board sought recourse through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and was advised that modalities to hand over water reticulation to Hwange Local Board had been agreed on between the Ministry and ZINWA. Hwange Town Secretary submitted that Government directed ZINWA to hand over water reticulation back to the local authority but ZINWA refused to hand it over. Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe had intervened on behalf of the local board after realising that Hwange water was still being managed by ZINWA.

        The Town Secretary alleged that the decision to withhold the hand-over of the water reticulation to the local board had to do with personalities in the catchment area who had realised that the management of water in Hwange was a lucrative business for ZINWA.

        4.3      Fixed monthly charge

        It was submitted that a fixed monthly charge of seven dollars was collected by ZINWA for the repair and maintenance of water pipes but ZINWA would not timeously fix or repair breakages. It was alleged that both Hwange Local Board and Zimbabwe Power Company do the repairs.

        ZINWA submitted that the raw water infrastructure, the pumping station and raw water pipeline to Hwange were developed as a combined water supply. Since the construction of the raw water infrastructure, the power utility has been operating the raw water infrastructure.  ZINWA contributes towards the maintenance and pumping costs for the raw water.

        ZINWA presented to the Committee that there were no payment issues between Zimbabwe Power Company, Hwange Residents and ZINWA. The authority informed the Committee that residents are charged the national blend price and the procurement of chemicals for Hwange Water Supply does not affect the price for the residence of Hwange. ZINWA also submitted that it charges $0.40 per 1000 litres of treated water for the first 10 000 litres of water per month in the high density suburbs. The charge is approximately half the average cost of producing water, that is $0.80 per cubic meter.

        ZINWA submitted that $185 000 is the total amount billed by ZINWA in Hwange per month and its average monthly collections from domestic and commercial consumers is $60 000.

        4.4      Development partner’s assistance

        Hwange Residents Association wanted to know the extent to which development partners assisted ZINWA in the purchase of water treatment chemicals and an explanation on the involvement of Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in pumping water from Zambezi River. It was explained that ZPC was never involved in pumping water from Zambezi but ZINWA supplied treated water to ZPC for domestic consumption at its residential and commercial establishment. The Committee was informed that a clear pipeline exists from ZINWA water treatment plant to ZPC power plant which augments water supply to ZPC when necessary. Suffice at this juncture to highlight that the Committee could not find an overwhelming reason not to hand water management to the local board.

        4.5      Stakeholder engagement

        The Committee was informed that ZINWA was not involving residents when making important decisions regarding the management of water in Hwange. On the other hand, ZINWA submitted that it has always engaged its stakeholders including the residents association but no formal communication was received from Hwange Residents Association regarding the engagements. The authority presented to the Committee that it has a call centre for handling consumer queries and complaints.

        4.6      Water Infrastructure

        Hwange Town Secretary submitted that ZINWA is using its water infrastructure and that Hwange Council services the infrastructure while ZINWA is not paying anything to council. The Town Secretary informed the Committee that the local board engaged ZINWA to compensate council for the water infrastructure it was using without success.

5.0                Analysis of the Key Issues

        One issue emerged that is important and critical. These can be summarised as follows; there is need for ZINWA to hand over the management of water to council because of the strong link between water and sewer management. The local authority should be allowed to manage, treat and distribute Hwange water because of the upgrading of the councils’ status from Hwange Local Board to Hwange Municipality.

        5.1      Development and Management of Water Resources

        Section 5 (1) (e) of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act [Chapter 20:25], provides for the functions of the authority as;

        to encourage and assist local authorities in the discharge of their

functions under… the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] with regard to the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction and in particular, the provision of potable water and the disposal of waste water;….and assist catchment councils to plan and co-ordinate the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction;

        ZINWA’s function to encourage and assist local authorities in the discharge of their functions with regard to the development and management of water resources is of paramount importance. Ignoring such a crucial function with regard to Hwange would be tantamount to derogation from the law on the part of the authority. It would be laudable if ZINWA could spearhead the modalities to hand over water reticulation to Hwange Local Board in keeping with the pivotal function of developing and managing the councils’ water resources. Consequently, the council should be allowed to discharge its statutory mandate to manage, treat and distribute Hwange water.

        5.2 Provision and Maintenance of Water Supply

        Section 183 (1) of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15], states that;

        A council may provide and maintain a supply of water within or outside the council area and for that purpose the council may— (a) in accordance with the Water Act [Chapter 20:22] take such measures and construct such works, whether inside or outside the council area, as it considers necessary for the purpose of providing and maintaining a supply of water;….

        Prior to the Government’s directive to local authorities to hand over water reticulation to ZINWA, Hwange Local Board and ZINWA had a misunderstanding regarding ZINWA`s bulk water meters that were faulty. It was submitted that the local board made losses because of the faulty bulk water meters. It then resolved to hand over the management of water and sewer to ZINWA. The Committee was informed that the issue of the faulty bulk water meters was resolved through the support from UNICEF that was initiated by government. The Town Secretary further submitted that the local board received $350 000 as Programme for Strategic Industrial Program (PSIP) funding from government and rehabilitated one of the sewer treatment plants at Baobab in Hwange.  When Government directed ZINWA to hand over water and sewer reticulation back to the local authority, ZINWA did not comply. Thus, it’s quite apparent that ZINWA began contravening the provisions of the National Water Policy (2013) and the Urban Councils Act by taking charge of water reticulation beyond the bulk water meter.

        5.3 Affordability of Water Tariffs and Accountability to the Residents

        The Town Secretary assured the Committee that water tariffs would be affordable to the residents should the water be managed by the council. Hwange Local Board consults the concerned residents on water tariffs during its pre-budget consultants. The Town Secretary informed the Committee that a pricing model for Hwange residents would be provided after consultants are made between council, ZINWA and the local residents.

        6.0      Recommendations

        Informed by these pertinent observations, the Committee recommends the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to urgently consider the following, pursuant to the need to promoting and supporting sustainable development as an integral part of poverty-focused development strategy.

        6.1      The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and ZINWA put in place procedures and modalities to transfer water treatment, management and distribution from ZINWA to Hwange Local Board by end of June 2018. This is paramount to facilitating and supporting an environment for Integrated Water Resources Management.

        6.2      ZINWA to be constantly proactive in the engagement of Hwange residents in the process of making important decisions regarding the treatment, management and distribution of water.

        7.0 Conclusion

        With the above submissions, Mr. Speaker Sir, I now commend this report for consideration by this august House.

I thank you!

 

         ANNEXE A

 

         PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

__________________________________________________________

         FORM OF PETITION

__________________________________________________________

         TO THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

__________________________________________________________

         4TH SESSION – EIGHTH PARLIAMENT

_________________________________________________________

 

PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT ON 7 JULY 2017

         Petition to the undersigned:

         Hwange Residents Association of 85 Lubancho House, Hwange, whose board of trustees members are

1.    Lucky Daka –Chairperson

2.    Venus Phiri –Vice Chairperson

3.    Abigail Thebe –Secretary

4.    Milton Gorerino –Finance Secretary

5.    Fidelis Chima –Board Member and Coordinator

Your petitioners, having consulted their membership, are supported in this petition by some of those members, as reflected herein:

Respectfully shows that your petitioners;

      I.            Being citizens of Zimbabwe and

   II.            Whose funding method are membership subscriptions donor funding from various stakeholders;

        RECOGNISING that the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates Parliament of Zimbabwe to, inter alia, protects the Constitution and democratic governance in Zimbabwe, and affirming the broad range of rights protected by the Bill of Rights therein;

        ACKNOWLEDGING that section 77 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the right to safe, clean and portable water, enjoining the State to take reasonable measures towards the progressive realisation of that right;

        MINDFUL that the enjoyable of right to water is an inextricable prerequisite to the enjoyment of other constitutionally protected rights including the right to life (Section 48) the right to human dignity (section 51), freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment (Section 53), environmental rights (Section 73) the right to education (Section 75) and the right to health care (Section 76);

        REMEMBERING that by its Resolution 64/292 of 28 July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights;

        CONSCIOUS that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and international Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) to which Zimbabwe is a state party, implicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation and envisage the right to water as clearly falling within the category of guarantees essential for securing an adequate standard of living particularly since it is one of the most fundamental conditions for survival and inextricably related to the highest attainable standard of health and the rights to adequate housing and food;

        ALSO MINDFUL that the human right to water has been expressly recognized in a wide range of international documents, including treaties, declarations and other standards;

        DISTURBED that Hwange residents right to water has become a pawn in the hands of ZINWA, to grant and withhold at its absolute discretion which had affected not only their daily routine, but also their right to life, the right to human dignity, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, environmental rights, the right to education and the right to health care;

        CONCERNED that despite the contributions of other stakeholders to water supply to Hwange town, ZINWA continues to be the sole beneficiary of revenues collected from Hwange residents and reluctant to transfer the water management and supply function to the Hwange Local Board despite its having the requisite capacity, as is now the practice and norm in other towns;

        WORRIED about ZINWA`s persistent water disconnections, given their obvious human rights implications;

        NOW THEREFORE your petitions beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to exercise its constitutional role in the oversight of Executive policy and functions and address the following issues of public concern to residents of Hwange: -

1.           Reaffirm and thereafter move to take measures aimed at the protection, fulfillment and realisation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the residents of the town of Hwange to water. The right of the residents of the town Hwange to water. The right to water is inextricably linked to the enjoyment of several other equally guaranteed rights under the Constitution of Zimbabwe, including the right to health, food, life and dignity.

2       Investigate all issues around the administration of water in Hwange, in particular the following;

a.     The dual administration of water by the Hwange Local Board and Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA);

b.    The role being played by the Zimbabwe Power Company in pumping water from the Zambezi River and why it is ZINWA that then demands and receives payment for the water;

c.     The contributions by development partners to the chemical treatment of the water supplies to Hwange and why ZINWA claims the entire amounts for such treatment of the water;

d.    Why the ZINWA has dragged its feet on handling back the water treatment plant to the local board, and whether the local authority  in keeping with trends elsewhere in Zimbabwe, cannot administer its own water supply system;

e.     The impact of the indiscriminative water disconnections to the entire town by ZINWA in disregard of the legal position that such disconnections must follow court orders;

f.      The accuracy of the water billing  system;

g.     The extent to which ZINWA has held itself accountable to the residents for revenues collected for water supplied to the town.

PETITIONER`S PLEA AND PRAYER

The petitioners beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to exercise its

oversight function and protect the constitutionally guaranteed right of Hwange Town residents to water. Your petitioners believe their interests would be better served by transferring the water management system to the Hwange Local Board, a local authority which is accountable to them.

WHEREFORE, we pray that your Honourable House will be

pleased to take their case into favourable consideration, and grant any other such relief as it may deem fit,

AND your petitioners as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Dated at Hwange this ---------day of ……2017.

           With the above submissions Mr. Speaker Sir, I now recommend this report for consideration by this august House.

           THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order, order may I guide Hon. Members and suggest that you do your introduction then go to your findings and then recommendations in that order please so that we catch up with our time.

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

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2018.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, WATER, CLIMATE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ON WETLANDS PETITIONS

          HON. SIMBANEGAVI: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry on Wetlands Petitions (S.C.6, 2018).

          HON. MHONA: I second.

         

 

                HON. SIMBANEGAVI:  The Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry received a petition from the Blue Agenda on behalf of the residents of Kambuzuma Section 3. The petition called on Parliament to compel the Minister of Environment or the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to revoke the Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate for the filling station (on a wetland in Kambuzuma Section 3) on the basis that the project would harm the environment and the affected residents who live near, amongst other reforms.

While the Committee was still conducting the said petition inquiry, two more petitions were submitted in February from Dzivarasekwa Residents Trust on behalf of Dzivarasekwa residents and Budiriro Water Foundation on behalf of Budiriro residents respectively. The two petitions called on Parliament to compel the Environmental Management Agency to protect wetlands in Dzivarasekwa and Budiriro amidst other requests.

The Committee deliberated on the two petitions received and resolved that a single wetlands protection and preservation report shall be produced since the issues raised were similar in terms of scope and content of the Committee’s inquiry.

2.0    Objectives of the Enquiry

The broad objective of the enquiry was to enable Committee Members to understand the governance and structural problems as well as the gaps in the relevant legislation designed to protect wetlands as a water resource and site of biodiversity.  In more specific terms, the Committee sought to;-

       i.            understand the difficulties that occur in institutions that have the primary responsibility for the protection of wetlands;

    ii.            appreciate the complications arising from the non-implementation of legislation and misinterpretation of its provisions; and

 iii.            to engage the representatives of the various residents and relevant stakeholders pursuant to the need to understand their concerns with regard to the wetlands issues raised in the petitions.

The last objective is consistent with section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read together with Standing Rules and Orders No. 182 (1), which compels Parliament to facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its Committees and gives select committees the power to receive representations from interested parties.

3.0    Methodology

To get an in-depth understanding of the scope and content of the petition, oral evidence was received by the Committee from the Blue Agenda. On 19 March 2018, the Committee visited Kambuzuma section 3 Filling Station to ascertain the facts that were raised during the oral evidence session by the petitioners.

A breakfast meeting for Members of the Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry and selected Members of the Portfolio Committees on Justice legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing was organised by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights in conjunction with Harare Wetlands Trust to provide ecological and legal perspectives on wetland protection. Councillor Gomba from Harare City Municipality made a presentation highlighting the challenges facing the City Council regarding the protection of wetlands.

The Committee was apprised of the implications of extensive and endemic developments that were taking place on Harare’s wetlands. These developments included, inter alia, building, construction and water extraction.

4.0    Committee’s Findings

4.1 Gazetting of Harare Wetlands Map

The petitioners sought for the urgent finalisation of the re-gazetting of Harare Wetlands Map. It was submitted that several versions of the map exist. These maps are incomplete as many wetland areas are missing, including the corridors linking main wetland ecosystems along rivers and streams. The obtaining situation is that planning authorities have the power to determine whether or not an area is a wetland. Therefore, petitioners argued that such circumstances allow circumvention of protective laws through claims that an area targeted for development is not a wetland.

4.2    Environmental Impact Assessment certificates issuance procedure

The petitioners called for a review of procedures in the issuance of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificates. The petitioners explained that EIA certificates are issued by the Director-General of Environmental Management Agency following his or her consideration of EIA reports. The EIA reports are prepared by consultants who are licensed by EMA. However, the fee for the consultants is paid by the project developer, leading to a conflict of interest for the consultants.  Consultants who gain a reputation for issuing negative reports are unlikely to receive further engagements by developers. Accordingly, consultants lean towards producing reports which allow development on wetlands and often fail to consult adequately with stakeholders, even though the Act requires the Director-General to ensure that the consultations have taken place.

4.3    Consultations with Stakeholders

The petitioners submitted to the Committee that the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should cancel the EIA Certificate of the filling station at Kambuzuma Section 3. They also informed the Committee that its construction was done without consulting residents. Residents in the ward and stakeholders only became aware of the project when development of the filling station had commenced. The law provides that the City of Harare requires that notice of the application of the development permit must be served on the owners of all properties adjacent to land on which the development is proposed. The owners are afforded an opportunity to lodge objections to the application. Petitioners also informed the Committee that the EIA certificate that was issued by EMA did not have the names of purportedly consulted residents.

4.4    Inspection of EIA Reports

The petitioners objected to the payment of a fee for public inspection of EIA reports at EMA premises. They explained that the right of inspection is crucial for those wishing to challenge improperly granted certificates. The right is subject to the payment of a prescribed fee. EMA currently charges a total of $300 for anyone wishing to view an EIA report and does not allow any photographs or copies to be made of the document. The petitioners were of the opinion that such provisions are a direct violation of their environmental rights and access to information as guaranteed in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. EMA is in a conflicted position between approving developments and earning revenues from doing so. Furthermore, the agency appears to treat the inspection of EIA reports as revenue generating exercise, rather than a means by which concerned persons may exercise their rights to protect the environment as required by the Constitution. The levy or a fee of any amount, let alone a prohibitive $300 is in all probability unconstitutional.

4.5    Challenging the development

The petitioners pointed out that according to the law, only residents adjacent to the proposed development have specifically been given the right to appeal the issuance of the development permit in terms of the Urban Councils Act, and have no more than 30 days to do so. The petitioners submitted that legal proceedings are obviously expensive. Even if Kambuzuma residents were consulted, they would need to contact an interested stakeholder (usually an NGO) to engage lawyers for a legal challenge. Even with the involvement of an NGO, the property developers would have far greater financial resources to pursue what would likely be a protracted litigation. Therefore, the financial resources would not have been available for the legal challenge and the development of the filling station at Kambuzuma section 3 would still proceed unchallenged.

4.6   National Environmental Council

The petitioners made submissions that decisions of the Minister and the Environmental Management Board should be informed by the advice from the National Environmental Council, yet the National Environmental Council has not been constituted as required. Accordingly, policy directives made by the Minister without such advice are ultra vires the Act.

4.7    Reports to be laid before Parliament

The petitioners presented that ministerial directions should form part of annual reports which the board is required to submit to the Minister and which the Minister is obliged to lay before Parliament. The Minister is also obliged to submit a report to Parliament on the state of the environment at the end of every five year period. Consequently, there has been no compliance with any aspect of this process before.

4.8    National Environmental Plan

Petitioners pointed out that all ministerial policy directives should be in accordance with the National Environmental Plan, guidelines for environmental management plans and environmental action plans. The Environmental Management Act specifically stipulates that the preparation and implementation of Regional and Master Plans in terms of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, must pay regard to the National Environmental Plan. It further espouses that no project shall be implemented otherwise than in compliance with a National Environmental Plan. Petitioners submitted that the National Environmental Plans have not yet been reviewed or developed as required by the Act. The law requires that National Environmental Plans be reviewed at least once every ten years from the date fixed by the Minister bringing the plan into effect. If such plans were properly in place and provided strong protections for wetlands, they could not be easily overridden by ministerial discretion. Thus, the absence of such frameworks leaves the Minister with unlimited discretional power.

4.9    Synchronisation of wetlands Laws

It was submitted that the Environmental Management Act and the Water Act both require different permits and permission for essentially the same activity and together with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act, duplicate the provisions of each other. While the Environmental Management Act prevails over other legislation which conflicts with its provisions, it is unreasonable to require a developer or other party to seek multiple permits for the same activity. It is worth noting that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, in a rather unsatisfactory manner duplicates the functions of the National Environmental Council in that one of the functions of the authority is also to advise the Minister on the formulation of national policies and standards on … water resources planning, management and development and…environmental protection.

5.0         Analysis of the Key Issues

Two issues emerged pivotal and critical. These can be summarised as follows; there is need to;

a)    close the gaps and resolve governance and structural problems existing in the relevant legislation designed to protect wetlands for the full and proper implementation of the law; and

b)   address the complications arising from the non-implementation of legislation and the misinterpretation of its provisions.

The Committee observed that the primary reason why development continues to take place on wetlands is due to the fact that state bodies that ought to be protecting wetlands prioritise development and developers ahead of their constitutional obligation with regard to the environment and stakeholders’ constitutional rights. These bodies are often conflicted. Thus, in the case of the City of Harare, for example, the council’s desire for the short term advantage of increased revenue from rates levied on the property developed undermines the long term necessity of preserving the city’s water supply. The downturn of these priorities is facilitated by the fact that the wetland areas have not been identified and listed as such.

5.1         Governance and structural problems – The Environmental Management Act

a)   Power and Discretion of the Minister

It was submitted that at the heart of the problem is the amount of power and discretion vested in the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate and the insufficient constraints on possible improper executive action. While the power vested in the Minister could be deployed in a beneficial manner, in practice the Minister’s power is usually exercised in a way which has an adverse impact on wetlands. For example, a Minister concerned with environmental conservation has ample power to issue a directive prohibiting any erection of any building at a wetland. However, a Minister more concerned with allowing developments, may utilise his or her discretion to the detriment of the environment. Thus, the extent of the power vested in the Minister is a double-edged sword.

The Environmental Management Board is tasked with the running of the agency. The board members are appointed by the Minister after consultation with the President. Although the board members have some security of tenure, they are likely to be reluctant to oppose the wishes of the Minister.

The Director-General is appointed by the board, with the approval of the Minister, for a period and on such terms as the board may fix. This structure and system of appointments renders EMA susceptible to political influence and to making determinations which are based on considerations outside environmental protection.

b)   The National Environmental Council

The failure to constitute the National Environmental Council has a severe and adverse effect on the governance of EMA and the protection of wetlands. All ministerial decision-making ought to be informed by expert advice from the council. Part of the general duties of the Minister is to formulate policies for environment management and to recommend to Government the international and regional conventions on the environment to which Zimbabwe should become a party to and to secure the incorporation of such conventions into domestic law. The Act specifically requires that this policy formulation is made with the advice of the National Environmental Council. The council also advises on national goals and objectives and the determination of policies and priorities for the protection of the environment. Accordingly, had the council been constituted, it could have advised the Minister that there should be no development on wetlands other than in cases of an exceptional and pressing public interest which overrides the value of the wetland as a source of water.

 Similarly, the council ought to review and make recommendation to the Minister pertaining to the National Environmental Plan, guidelines for environmental management plans and environmental action plans. All these plans could provide strong protections for wetlands. These plans have not been developed or updated, and there is no council to advise on these processes if they had been undertaken. Indeed, the absence of the council may well be a reason that these plans have not been developed.

The council is also required to promote co-operation among public departments, local authorities, private sector, non-governmental organisations and such other organisations engaged in environmental protection programmes. The absence of such co-ordination is a major impediment to environmental protection.

c)                Appeals of EIA Certificate

Where the grant of an EIA Certificate has been allowed or refused, the appeal lies to the Minister who alone determines the issue. It is poor governance policy to place such determining power in the hands of a single individual  given that the developments in question are often multimillion dollar projects, it creates opportunities and the temptation for corrupt activity. Although the Minister’s decision may itself be appealed, this presents practical difficulties for those seeking to protect wetlands from developers.

d)               Hearings by and Jurisdiction of the Board

While the board may conduct hearings into any matter relating to environmental management as provided for by the Act, at the hearing anyone who has an interest in the subject-matter of the hearing, must as far as reasonably practicable, be notified of the questions at issue and given facilities for making such representations on those questions as he may wish. In practice, the board only allows persons whose actions are being investigated to make submissions losing the benefit of submissions from often well informed stakeholders on the issue in question.

          The Environmental Management Act is also vague on the outcome of these hearings. It seems that the board may only make “recommendations” and even this is only implicit. Furthermore, the board has no punitive jurisdiction and thus, appears to only have the power to recommend prosecutions of violators of environmental protections. In practice, the board occasionally “recommends” that an offending party pay a fine, but there is no process established for this and it is unlikely that such recommendations have been followed by offending parties.

No punitive powers are provided for EMA generally. The Act makes no provision for the imposition of penalties by the board or any officer of the agency. The regulations provide that the agency through its authorised officers, may issue a “spot fine” (ticket) to any offender who contravenes the regulations. There is no such thing as a spot fine under Zimbabwean law, and the agency could not in any event determine the guilt of an offender and impose a penalty. This is a purely judicial function under the Constitution. The regulations are badly drawn in this regard and almost certainly both unconstitutional and ultra vires the Act. EMA inspectors frequently complain of inadequate powers in the face of offenders.

5.2    Governance and structural problems – Harare City Council

At the root of the governance problem at the Harare City Council, is the failure to implement constitutional provisions which provide for the devolution of power from central government to a municipal level. Section 264 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that:

Whenever appropriate, governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities which are competent to carry out those responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

One of the purposes of such devolution is “to recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development.” In violation of these principles, the executive of the Harare City Council, comprising the seven directors of departments, Chamber Secretary and Town Clerk is appointed and dismissed by central government and not the elected councillors.

Consequently, council is in fact controlled by these unelected officials appointed by central government. These individuals have considerable executive authority which is exercised with insufficient checks and balances, again opening the door to rent seeking and corruption as has been exposed by the recent report of the Smith Commission of Enquiry into corruption at the council. These officials have the power to dispense or withhold favours from councillors. Such favours include nominating councillors for attendance at workshops and conferences which involve per diems, sitting and fuel allowances, the allocation of stands and employment of councillors’ friends and relatives. Few councillors do not eventually find or feel themselves beholden to the unelected executives.

In addition, although development permits ought to be issued by the City of Harare as a body, in practice, this function is delegated to the council’s twelve member Environmental Management Committee. Applications for development permits are made to the Department of Works. A single individual in the Department of Works may process the application, with responsibility to ensure procedural requirements are met, and to consider any objections which may be raised to the proposed development. The individual assesses these objections, and makes his or her own summary of them. None within the Department of Works have any expertise or training in environmental issues. The Director of Works then makes a recommendation to the Environmental Management Committee. The recommendation is usually accepted by possibly compromised councillors in the Committee. As in the case with the granting of EIA Certificates, a single individual ends up having inordinate power to determine an application in favour of a developer.

Where directors have been responsible for decisions against the interests of residents and the environment, as unelected officials answerable ultimately to central government, they cannot be removed from office by the electorate on this account or by the electorate’s representatives in the council.

5.3           Problems with the Law

a)               Ecologically Sustainable Development

           The manner in which section 73 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe has been phrased is problematic. The section provides the right-

(b) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that-

ii) promote conservation; and

iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting economic and social development.

           No provision was made for the fact that some areas may not be amenable to sustainable development and that in these areas, economic development ought never to take place.

b)               Alignment with the Constitution

Since there can be no sustainable development on wetlands, the Environmental Management Act should be aligned with the Constitution. This would provide for an absolute prohibition on construction on wetlands other than in the case of overriding public necessity when another constitutional right would be infringed if the development did not proceed. This would also advance the constitutional right to clean water and obligations to protect biodiversity.

c)                Wetlands Identification: Definition versus Mapped Geographical Areas

          A central problem with the Environmental Management Act lies in the means by which wetlands are identified. Following the Ramsar Convention, the Act attempts to identify wetlands through the following definition:

Wetland means any area of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, and includes riparian land adjacent to the wetland.

The definition would be workable if it were accompanied by provisions setting out how and who determines whether a particular area falls within the definition, and thus constitutes a wetland. This omission constitutes a loophole which has been repeatedly exploited by those who wish to see development taking place on wetlands. Laws protecting wetlands are easily evaded through officials involved in the processes leading to the authorisation of development, making a determination that the land in question is not a wetland. These determinations are made notwithstanding the fact that the officials may lack any of the necessary expertise or scientific knowledge to make the determination. Consultants producing EIA reports may also make similar unjustified findings.

Although an incorrect characterisation of land can be challenged, it then falls to the Minister or the courts to decide the issue and both may also not have the necessary skills to make the decision, especially in a case where there are competing scientific assessments. Hence, to avoid this problem, it is imperative that mapped geographical areas are held to be wetlands as a matter of law rather than fact or science. It will then be clear that the law pertaining to wetlands applies to these areas, regardless of any contrary opinion as to the topography of the area in question.

d)               EIA Certificate before Development Permit

One means by which the legislation probably intended to partially address the problem is through section 97 (5) of the Environmental Management Act. The section requires that a licensing authority shall not issue a licence under any enactment with respect to a [development] project…unless the Director-General has issued a [EIA] certificate…”

In terms of this section, a developer is required to obtain an EIA Certificate through EMA before approaching the licencing authority (the City of Harare) for a development permit. EMA can then use the expertise of the agency to determine whether or not the area is a wetland or not before the developer proceeds further.

The City of Harare has been hesitant to comply with this provision, presumably reluctant to relinquish its power of authorising development projects at the first instance. The Department of Works and City of Harare have taken the position that it is sufficient to grant permits subject to the condition that an EIA Certificate is later obtained. The Department of Works itself determines whether the area in question is a wetland or not before issuing the permit. Although a court ruling has determined that this procedure violates the Environmental Management Act, officials within the department have stated that “they would like to believe the judgement is wrong” and that the provision does not apply as “a development permit is not a licence”.

e)                EIA Certificates by Default

The Act provides that the Director-General must issue or refuse an EIA Certificate within 60 days of receiving an EIA report, failing which the project is to be deemed approved. Approval by default does nothing to protect the environment as required by section 73 of the Constitution. The converse should apply, that the project is deemed refused.

f)                 Appeals to the Minister

As alluded to already, it is against the precepts of good governance to allow a single individual the power to approve or deny the implementation of what may be a multimillion dollar development project. The Act requires the Minister to make his or her determination with due expedition but no specific timeframe is set. Furthermore, in order to appeal the Minister’s decision to the Administrative Court, a record of the proceedings by which the determination was reached, or the reason for the decision, must be submitted to the court, yet the Act places no obligation upon the Minister to produce the record as a matter of course, presenting would-be appellants with considerable difficulty.

g)                Private Ownership of Wetlands 

In some jurisdictions, where land use has been subjected to so many restrictive regulations as to make the land owner’s use of the property impossible, the courts have treated this as tantamount to unlawful expropriation and have set aside regulations on this basis.

This argument has been raised on behalf of developers who have claimed that a prohibition of building on wetlands prevents them from using the land for the purpose for which it was purchased. Department of Works officials have raised similar arguments holding that the city would be subjected to punitive legal action if they denied a building permit to a developer who had bought land at the time the land was designated residential by the municipality. The officials state that once the land has been designated as residential, they are legally obliged to grant a development permit.  The officials further hold that it is unjust that a person who has bought land for investment purposes intending to develop the land or sell it to a developer, is then unable to do so by virtue of the land being considered a wetland. These arguments fail to recognise wetlands as an essential water source.

The Water Act vests all water in the President and prohibits the private ownership of water. Recognition that wetlands fall under the Water Act would render private ownership of wetlands unlawful. The regulatory taking problem then would not arise if the ownership of the land is void.

In this context it should be noted that the Environmental Management Act permits the President to compulsorily acquire land for the improvement or proper management of the environment, subject to the payment of compensation as provided for in terms of section 71 of the Constitution. Private ownership of wetlands could be resolved in this manner.

However, it would be preferable for specific legislation governing wetlands to cover the problem where private individuals appear to hold title over wetlands.

5.3    Domestication of Multilateral Environmental Agreements Affecting Wetland Protection

Zimbabwe is a party to several international treaties and conventions which have a bearing on the protection of wetlands. Of prime importance is the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands. The preservation of wetlands is necessary to ensure the fulfillment of all these rights. As havens for biodiversity, Zimbabwe’s obligations as a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity require the conservation of wetlands. Section 34 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe requires that the State must ensure that all international conventions, treaties and agreements to which Zimbabwe is a party are incorporated into domestic law.

Article 2.1 of the RAMSAR Convention provides that each Contracting Party must designate suitable wetlands within its territory for inclusion in a “List of Wetlands of International Importance.”  The Monavale Vlei has been designated in this manner.  Similarly, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity requires contracting parties to establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity. However, international treaties such as the RAMSAR Convention, though binding on the State, do not form part of the law of Zimbabwe, unless they have been incorporated into the law through an Act of Parliament.

Had the National Environmental Council been constituted as required and the bodies advised the Minister appropriately, the Minister ought then to have advised government that the RAMSAR Convention and Convention on Biodiversity are two conventions which ought to be incorporated into domestic law. The Minister then would be constitutionally obliged to bring legislation to Parliament to accomplish this in terms of section 34 of the Constitution. The Minister would also be duty bound to designate various areas as wetlands. So designated, the provisions of section 113 (2) of the Environmental Management Act would apply. There would be no possibility of claimed ambiguity of what is and is not a wetland. There would be no disturbance of the wetland that could take place without written authority of the board and the Minister as well.

Likewise, once these wetlands are so designated, the National Environmental Plan should provide that no development should take place on the wetlands other than in the most exceptional circumstances and under most strict conditions. The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing could direct that the City of Harare develops Local Authority Environmental Action Plans which accord with the National Environmental Plan. The city’s Master Plan and Local Area Plans would be obliged to recognise areas statutorily designated as wetlands. In this way, it would be unlawful for development permits and EIA Certificates to be issued as has been done previously.

Even where these conventions do not form a binding component of the Zimbabwe’s municipal law, the constitutional rights given above must be interpreted and applied in conformity with these conventions and treaties.

6.0    Recommendations

Informed by this pertinent observation, the Committee recommends the Executive to urgently consider the following pursuant to the need to preserve and protect our wetlands.

6.1    The Executive should consider establishing an Environmental Commission in the manner of the Independent Commissions by January 2019. The Environmental Commission should be responsible for the appointment of the Environmental Management Board in order to secure the board’s independence from executive interference. Among further functions, the Commission would also perform the functions currently provided for by the unconstituted National Environmental Council. While the establishment of the Commission is being considered, the National Environmental Council should be constituted as required by law by end of July 2018.

6.2    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should review and update the National Environmental Plan as required by the Environmental Management Act by end of January 2019. The Plan should proscribe any development on wetlands other than in exceptional cases of a public interest which overrides the need for the wetlands, and under strict conditions.

6.3    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate in liaison with the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing should direct the development and production of Local Authority Environmental Action Plans which follow the National Environmental Plan as provided by the Environmental Management Act by end of May 2019.

6.4    The Executive should establish an environmental tribunal to investigate violations of environmental laws by end of July 2018. The tribunal should be composed of legally qualified commissioners with expertise in environmental issues and have punitive jurisdiction. It should take over the functions of the EMA Board in this regard and be the body to which appeals from the decisions of the Director-General of EMA lie.

6.5    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should bring a new Bill to Parliament governing wetlands and covering the problem of private individuals holding title deeds over wetlands by May 2019. The Bill should provide that the consultant should not be paid by the developer to avoid compromises on the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment reports. The Bill should also incorporate and consolidate all relevant existing legislation in order to remove the duplications relating to wetlands.

6.6    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should ensure that legislation on wetlands provide for a default position that development must be stopped once legal proceedings challenging construction on a prima facie wetland have been initiated. Legislation must also provide that all development on wetland is prohibited other than in the most exceptional of circumstances.  The onus should lie on the developer to approach the courts proving why development on wetlands is in the public interest and should proceed. Wetlands should be treated solely as a water resource and legislative provisions protecting water resources and banning the private ownership of water should specifically be stated as applying to wetlands.

6.7    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should carry out an audit to ascertain the current private ownership of wetlands by end of July 2018. Legislation should also be crafted to specifically govern the process of the expropriation of wetlands in the public interest.

6.8    The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should map all wetlands with expert input and their territorial footprint legislated by end of July 2018.

6.9 The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should domesticate the provisions of the RAMSAR Convention and Convention on Biodiversity and liaise with the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to incorporate them into Zimbabwe’s municipal law.

6.10  The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should scrap off the EIA Certificate inspection fees by end of July 2018.

6.11  The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate should strictly comply with the requirement to submit statutory reports on the activities of EMA and the state of the environment as provided for in the Environmental Management Act.

7.0    Conclusion

With the above submissions, Mr. Speaker Sir, I now commend this report for consideration by this august House. I thank you.

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

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2018.

MOTION

 

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE OPERATIONS OF VID AND CVR

           HON. CHITINDI: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the Operations of VID and CVR.

           HON. NDUNA: I second.

           HON. CHITINDI:

Introduction:

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development resolved to conduct an inquiry into the operations of the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) and Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) as part of its oversight role. This emanated from allegations that

some VID and CVR officials were engaging in corrupt activities.

Objectives of the Inquiry:

The Committee sought to be apprised of the operations of the two departments. From VID, the Committee was mainly concerned with the process of issuing learners’ and drivers’ licences. From CVR, the Committee wanted to familiarise itself with the process of the production of drivers’ licences.

Methodology:

The Committee invited Mr. Pedzapasi, the Chief Vehicle Inspector and Mr. Makoni, the Registrar to a meeting to brief the Committee on the operations of the two departments.

COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS

Vehicle Inspection Department

 Mr. Pedzapasi informed the Committee that the vehicle inspectorate is mandated to issue learner licences to aspiring drivers. It is also mandated to issue a certificate of competence, (driver’s licence) to successful applicants. Inspection of motor vehicles or carrying out technical inspections and the issuing of certificates of fitness to those which are found roadworthy is also a function under VID. The Department further carries out roadside checks on public service vehicles so as to remove from the roads those vehicles which are not road worthy by way of issuing what is called notice of prohibiting use.

Another mandate is to carry out overload control and the exercise involves weighing heavy loaded trucks and buses so that they do not damage the road network. He explained that all overloaded vehicles if found, are removed from the road. They also carry out accident evaluations, where vehicles are involved in accidents and garage inspections. They inspect garages which repair motor vehicles, particularly public service vehicles, to ensure that they are actually qualified to do so.

It was submitted that before any applicant is issued a learner licence, he/she has to go through a syllabus which is contained in the Highway Code and the applicant is expected to be conversant with it. In the Highway Code, there are road signs and the rules of the road and most of the literature that introduces the learner licence driver to traffic. Once the learner drivers are conversant with the contents of the Highway Code, they can visit any VID depot to write the learner licence test. If they are successful, they will be issued with a learner licence. That is the first document that they are issued to enable them to go and practice to drive under the supervision of a qualified certified instructor.

He mentioned that once learners complete their learner licence practical lessons with a driving school, or with a motor vehicle of their choice, they will then go back to VID for a road test. There is a structured curriculum which is called a student driver’s handbook to help the learners. This handbook assists the applicant to follow sessions that they must go through. There are 15 sessions in all that the applicants have to go through before they attempt their road test. As the learners do their practical training, each session will be endorsed according to the performance of the learner driver. This is done under the tutorship of a certified driving instructor. The learner driver should complete at least 15 hours of practical driving.

He explained that learners are tested on skills and are asked to perform four tasks within the yard, that is, to reverse into a set of drums, parallel parking, 3-point turn and hill start. Those tasks are carried out in order to assess the skills of the learner driver.

If the learner driver passes the four tasks, they will proceed to do what is called town driving. At that juncture, the inspector/examiner will have the opportunity to assess the learner driver as he/she drives in town. If successful, the learner is issued with a certificate of competence for a driver’s licence. If one fails, he/she will be advised on areas where she/he may not have done well so that he/she may go and polish up in those areas and try again when ready.

He also explained that the certificate of fitness for a public service vehicle is issued to the would be operator of a public service vehicle, who is required to register as a public service operator first. The operator has to obtain from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development an operator’s licence. That is the first document that is required for anyone to operate a public service vehicle. Once that document has been obtained the operator can then go ahead and purchase the vehicle of the nature of business that he/she would want to do. VID has an inspection report that has 83 items that are checked on the vehicle and if all the items are compliant or are sound, the vehicle will be issued with a certificate of fitness. If some items are not compliant or are defective there will be an indication on the inspection report.

After obtaining a certificate of fitness for a public service vehicle, the operator will have to proceed to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and obtain what is called a route authority, to enable the vehicle to use the route of the operator’s choice.

The Committee was informed that during the last five years, from 2013 to 2017 and partially 2018, 62 officers were caught on the wrong side of the law. The said officers were caught issuing certificates of competence to non-deserving applicants, caught issuing learner licences to failed applicants and issuing certificates of fitness to non-roadworthy vehicles. These officers were caught using VID internal control systems because members of the public have not been reporting any cases of being asked for bribes. The Chief Vehicle Inspector pointed out that the issue of corruption is complicated, but VID tried to put in place systems to minimize corruption.

Those that are caught on the wrong side of the law are discharged from service and will not be employed again in the Public Service.

The Committee was further informed that VID has 23 depots but not all of them have hill starts and VID was in the process of ensuring that they all have hill-starts. VID has been having challenges with securing funding from Ministry of Finance and Economic

Development despite the Ministry having promised that they will fund the construction of the five hill starts. For those VID depots without hill starts, the applicants are subjected to the test during city driving.

In terms of fees charged by VID, for a light motor vehicle, such as a commuter omnibus the inspection fees is $20 and for a heavy vehicle or a bus it is $25 and the certificate for a light public service vehicle is valid for six months and for public service heavy vehicle is valid for 12 months. Leaners pay $20 for learner’s licence and $20 for certificate of competence.

The VID Chief Inspector explained that they have put measures such as toll free numbers where those people who have been asked to pay a bribe in order to pass can use to report and have also put notices at all depots informing members of the public to call whenever they have been asked for a bribe. The Committee was also informed that VID has gone on live shows such as the Mai Chisamba show educating people on how they can safeguard themselves from corrupt officials.

The Committee raised concern over some vehicles which get involved in accidents within a week of being issued with a certificate of fitness. Mr. Pedzapasi explained that they realised that some operators are not honest. Some operators have what is called VID spares and will fit those components that will make the vehicle pass and soon after obtaining the certificate of fitness the components are removed.

He also explained that there are a lot of people who cannot identify fake licences and that most of the applicants are being duped because there are a lot of people who are masquerading as VID officers issuing fake licences. The Committee was informed that VID was working with Dr M. Sibanda, the Chief Secretary in the Office of President and

 

Cabinet on a programme called ZIMTIS, which is the integration of the transport information management system. This system will allow or enable VID to issue driver’s licences from the system as opposed to the manual system that is currently inherent. This is the same system that ZINARA is using to issue the current vehicle licences. This

system will help to do away with the manual where everyone is trying to fake the current licences. Once the processes are completed, there will be long terms solutions to the problem of fake licences and certificate of fitness.

The ZIMTIS system starting with the learner licence for example, the learner licence is going to be e-learner licence test, which therefore removed the human interface from the whole transaction. In other words, the would be learners would come to VID, eye tested, biometric identified and then they will move on to a machine where they will write their tests on line. That means the human interface has been removed. It will be the applicant interfacing with the machine. So, there is no one who is going to say to the applicant I can make you pass if you give me money because that person is removed from the system. The same system is going to allow VID to use some targets during the actual certificate competence test where the scoring will be taken on the tablets and the actual distance that they would have covered will also be recorded. The system is actually removing the human interface on the whole transaction so that it becomes electronic. He indicated that the reason why there is so much corruption is because our systems are manual. Likewise, VID will also use the electronic system on the inspection side where they are going to automate the inspection of the vehicles and hence removing again the human interface.

 Mr. Pedzapasi was asked what he thinks causes corruption at VID. He explained that as VID they have checked on best practice from other SADC Member States. They compared what these countries did when they had this problem of corruption. The Committee learnt that some countries commercialised VID and as a result their VID are actually contributing dividends to the fiscus after commercialisation. The reason why these countries commercialized these departments was that it was noticed that the fiscus was underfunding institutions like VID yet the operations of VID bring a lot of money to the fiscus.

VID officers are given targets or what is called employee contribution to the organisation. He explained that one officer can bring something like between $10 000 and $15 000 per month to the organisation and if you look at the recognition for that effort, that person is paid $400 per month. As a result, there is an imbalance in terms of equity. This is where some of the corruption maybe coming from. VID also checked with other institutions in SADC and noticed that they also had that challenge before they moved into the route of commercialisation. Then when they commercialised, they upped the salaries of their employees to match the income that they were generating and there were no longer misdemeanors on corruption in those SADC countries that have gone that route.

Central Vehicle Registry

Mr. Makoni, the Registrar at Central Vehicle Registry explained to the Committee the processes of producing drivers’ licences. He started by highlighting the mandate of the CVR that it is to licence tested and certified persons as competent drivers once they have gone through the motions of VID. CVR is also responsible for registering vehicles of all categories in the country, that is for private use, commercial, diplomatic and Government vehicles.

He further explained that CVR also administers and controls access to the national vehicle registration database and also to the manual driver’s licence database. They are also responsible in the manufacturing, supply, distribution, sale as well as disposal of number plates and manages the number plate fund.

The Committee learnt that when learner drivers have passed at VID, CVR will receive the learner licences which are valid for 12 months and are recorded. A file is opened for each and every learner driver. If a learner passes road test, the certificate of competency will then get to CVR and a driver’s licence register for that particular driver is created.

The Committee was informed that because CVR was still using a manual system, the process of producing a driver’s licence takes long and a lot of checking is done.

A lot of work is done, that is the typing of the particulars of the holders and the driver’s licence details as issued by VID, the checking of what has been captured, the cutting and pasting of the pictures on the driver’s licence perspex. Mr. Makoni complained that they can only produce 48 drivers’ licences at a time because of the type of camera they have.

Mr. Makoni explained that they receive an average of 7 000 new drivers’ licences from VID every other month. They also produce duplicates for those who lost their discs ranging from 1 500 to 2 000 every other month. That is giving an average of around 9 000 or even more applications for drivers’ licences every month. He also indicated that CVR has a staff complement of 86 and only 23 handle all the work that come from VID.

He complained that VID has expanded and is still expanding at a much higher rate than the CVR department. In the past ten years, VID has had additional depots but CVR has not expanded. He emphasised the need for CVR to be expanded and to have modern equipment since more and more people are getting drivers’ licences and the work ends up at CVR but, then CVR is restricted by the kind of equipment they use and the fact that they continue to process manually.

Mr. Makoni said if they replace the equipment that they are currently using, where only drivers licence can go through at a time and computerize, CVR will be able to do thousands in a day and there will not be any backlog in processing of licences. He argued that as long as CVR continues to use the equipment which can only allow 48 drivers’ licences at a goal, the waiting period for one to get a disc will continue to be there.

The Committee was informed that they have suggested that they be allowed to procure what is known as metal photo computer to plate into the system equipment. This was said to be an up market technology which will produce more than three times what CVR is currently producing. It was submitted to the Committee that CVR needs US$85 000 to procure the equipment and will not necessarily need approval from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The problem was that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is not considering that as a priority to allocate the foreign currency.

The other challenge that CVR encountered was to do with corruption emanating from the issue of the backlog. He mentioned that once there is a queue, then chances are that the client would want to be served quickly and is likely to start to induce the officer who is supposed to process to be assisted to jump the queue. The other problem he mentioned was the issue of the location and the nature of CVR office building. The building that houses CVR is a former prison. There is no room for expansion because there is no adequate office space.

The Committee was informed that Vehicle registration has been computerised and the system was installed by Univern Enterprises in conjunction with ZINARA. The Committee was informed that the Ministry gave a directive that CVR works with ZINARA to develop a unified depot registration system that would be in tandem with the vehicle licensing system that already has been developed by ZINARA using Univern Enterprises. In terms of vehicles registration, Mr. Makoni said the system is working well.

The Committee asked if it was not CVR officials who are producing the fake licences that are being sold to members of the public since the process seems laborious and complicated and only well versed person can do that. Mr. Makoni said he doubts that it is the CVR officials being involved in the processing of fake drivers’ licences. He claimed that the information that they have is that a number of the people who are involved are former Printflow employees and former police officers who were dismissed out of the system for being corrupt. The Committee also learnt that sometimes CVR gets information where the printing of fake licences is done and they engage the security sector.

Mr. Makoni said sometimes they are successful and culprits are caught and at times they are not because information would have leaked. He said no former CVR member of staff has been caught in the production of fake licences.

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

The Committee noted that a lot of revenue is lost through bribes.

The Committee also noted that obsolete equipment was affecting the operations of CVR Department.

The Committee also noted that corruption in obtaining licences emanates from driving schools.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee recommends that:-

-         There is need for computerisation of operations of both departments to improve efficiency and reduce corruption by December 2018.

-         CVR needs new equipment to enable the department to process more licence discs and reduce the waiting periods and backlogs.

-         If Government cannot provide the resources to purchase the required machinery, the department can venture into PPPs by December 2018.

-         VID and CVR operations should be linked through computerisation by December 2018.

-         Treasury should provide funds to complete the unfinished hill starts at VID depots by December 2018

-        Traffic Safety Council should deregister any driving school or instructor caught on the wrong side of the law by December 2018.

          HON. NDUNA: I want to thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. What is key that comes out of this report is the integration of transport management systems, in particular VID, the driving schools, CVR, ZINARA, ZIMRA and VTS. The key point speaks to efficiency to plug revenue leakages and to spike revenue generation. There was computerisation of the remittance of the twelve and a half per cent to Traffic Safety Council. In just one year, the monies were never remitted to Government. There was a production of about US$120 million just from one Government or Quasi-Government department which is Traffic Safety Council and the insurance sector.

          To that end, US$10 million went to the Minister of Finance and the other US$10 million went to Traffic Safety Council. The other amounts went to the insurance sector so that they can optimally and effectively insure the unsuspecting innocent citizens and the automobile operators. The issue of computerisation further reduces corruption because a computer does not ask for a bribe. If you integrate the driving schools, VID and CVR and RMT, you are plugging loopholes and you are reducing illicit outflows. There is an awareness that there is about 100 000 certificate of competences that are produced annually at a rate of US$250 bribe to each VID official for each licence, which means there is US$25 million that is going to VID officials and operatives, which money should be going to Government.

          So, the issue that is key is computerisation and in November of last year, there were criminals around the former President that were targeted. Now is the time to target criminals around the Ministers because this issue of computerisation was spoken about since time immemorial and why it is not being conducted is because we have people that are called Permanent Secretaries. We have people that are called Directors around the Ministers and those are the people that need to be targeted because we have square plugs in round holes. If we can produce about US$120 million from one Government or Quasi-Government department through computerisation and integration, it means out of the 26 Ministries, we can produce annually US$1.3 billion. So what it means is that we have a budget of US$4.5 billion and if each Ministry can produce US$1.3 billion, I say this because the Ministry of Transport has got 13 parastatals and if each produces US$120 million that is US$1.2 billion just from one Ministry Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          So, it means they can use what they have to get what they want. This issue of being archaic and moribund of going to the Minister of Finance with a cap or a hat in our hand speaks of historic issues. Here is an opportunity to get us out of the doldrums of economic decay by computerisation and dealing with the integration of transport management systems. People are dying on our roads because of fake, phony and fraudulent certificates of competence which can be treated or which can be a panacea of computerisation in order that we do not have fake original licences.

          There are people that are buying from CVR fake genuine licences at a rate of US$250 to US$1 000 per certificate of competence. They are registering vehicles without paying duty through our borders. They are registering at CVR and at ZIMRA with the money being pocketed by officials at a rate of a thousand vehicles per month, which is may be US$1 million that is being lost because of lack of computerization. Saka kana tichikwanisa kuti tiite maComputers akaitwa invented in 1934/1936, zvichiramba zvisingaitike, let us dig at the criminals around the Ministers. I thank you.

          Hon. Nduna having been interrupted by the Acting Speaker.

          THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order.

          HON. MATUKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th June, 2018.

On the motion of HON. MATUKE, seconded by. HON. MUKWANGWARIWA, the House adjourned at Four Minutes Past Four O’clock p.m.

           

 

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 06 JUNE 2018 VOL 44 NO 65