PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 15th October, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
OFFICIAL OPENING AND STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will, in terms of Section 140 (1) of the Constitution, address a virtual joint sitting of the Senate and the National Assembly on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 at 1200 hours during which he will set up the Government’s legislative agenda for the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament and in terms of Section 140 (4) of the Constitution deliver the State of the Nation Address.
HON. NDEBELE: I am going to be brief on this point of privilege. As I rise on a point of privilege Hon. Speaker, please allow me to welcome and join our Women’s Caucus as well as womenfolk across the world and more particularly, the rural women in celebrating the International Day of Rural Women – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
I am quite aware Hon. Speaker that you are a He for She advocate. I join you in this regard in sending my love to all rural women in our country and throughout the world. Hon. Speaker, more than 75% of our female population resides in the rural areas. I would like therefore, Hon. Speaker, to urge our Government to shine the spotlight and act on the urgent need for building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19.
Before I sit down Hon. Speaker, without necessarily stirring a hornet’s nest, I want this House, as we support the 50-50 quota for our women in this country, to place guarantees as political parties that there shall come women of excellence to represent rural women. Let us see more rural women. I thank you Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, much as we appreciate the Hon. Member’s Point of Privilege, I think that his last statement is a bit unfortunate.
There are women here who are coming from rural communities and they are women of excellence. So I think that he is beginning to speak low…
HON. NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker, I need to correct the junior Advocate. I said, ‘more’.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Ndebele, let me make a ruling. Yes. Hon. Ndebele, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said more. Yes, he qualified that. So, on a comparative basis, he is quite correct – more, more. Let us celebrate the statement accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. T. MLISWA: On a Point of Privilege Mr. Speaker Sir! Let me thank you for today’s meeting which was addressing the welfare of the Members of Parliament which was attended by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Permanent Secretary and their team.
Hon. Members, I am not in a position to tell you exactly what went on but I would implore the two Chief Whips to call for a joint Caucus where you can talk to every Hon. Member together on an issue like this. I think that through the various channels that you belong to, I think that communication is pretty important. I equally implore you to see the Clerk of Parliament in terms of the finer details of what transpired today. The issue of welfare requires everybody to be there to understand, agree and so forth.
So I hope that the Chief Whips who equally are concerned about the welfare of Members of Parliament will call for that joint Caucus so that a proper report can be given to you and you hear it for yourselves and argue. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. BUSHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise on a Point of Privilege and this relates to Statutory Instruments.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I request that …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Which Statutory Instrument?
HON. BUSHU: All Statutory Instruments Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to request that we get copies of these Statutory Instruments either electronically or in hard copies.
The reasoning behind this request is that Statutory Instruments become law the moment they are out. Sometimes we may be in the rural areas and may not access information on those Statutory Instruments and sometimes it is a hassle also to run around in search of those Statutory Instruments. Meantime, we have the obligation to explain certain things like we do with Acts …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you log in please?
HON. BUSHU: I am logged in Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Unmute then.
HON. BUSHU: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is coming off and on. Shall I move to the front?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please proceed Hon. Member.
HON. BUSHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, will you allow me to start from the beginning?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes and to the point.
HON. BUSHU: Thank you Sir. I rise to request …
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not linked. Please proceed, you are now linked.
HON. BUSHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to request that we get electronic or hard copies of Statutory Instruments as soon as they are gazetted. The reasoning behind this request is that Statutory Instruments become law the moment they come through and sometimes as Members of Parliament we do not know what detail is in those Statutory Instruments; if we have to look for the Statutory Instruments from the Government Printers and so on but Statutory Instruments being law and having come through Parliament like the laws that we promulgate here – [HON. SIKHALA: It is promulgate not promulgate!] – It is a difference of pronunciation.
In any case, having said so Mr. Speaker Sir, I think that it would be a good thing if we get communication regarding Statutory Instruments as requested. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you not sit down to get your response?
Hon. Bushu having resumed his seat.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I want to assure the Hon. Member that as from last month Parliament was receiving soft copies of the Statutory Instruments and these will now be downloaded into your email addresses so that you can access them. The latTer part of your observation that they become law immediately; Statutory Instruments are subject to scrutiny by the Parliament Legal Committee in terms of Standing Order No. 28 as well as Standing Order No. 20. That is why we read whether there is an Adverse Report or Non-Adverse Report on them here in the House. We will make sure that you get them on time so that you are so advised.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I rise to seek clarity on the statement made by the Hon. Speaker, that the Statutory Instruments not necessarily become law unless they have passed through the Parliament Legal Committee but Hon. Speaker, the majority of Statutory Instruments that are promulgated by the Ministers have a direct effect to the citizens and their contents are directly impacting on our citizens before Parliament has had a look at them. Are we in order for us to pass amendments to that provision so that Statutory Instruments are first scrutinised by Parliament before they become effective to the citizenry? Just on a point of guidance from yourself.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, in terms of the Standing Order Nos. 20 and 28, that should be the position that they are scrutinised first by the Parliamentary Legal Committee for their constitutionality so that nobody asks on them before Parliament has gone through them. So your point is taken Hon. Member.
RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. S. MOYO): WHEREAS in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the Convention relating to International Exhibitions was signed in Paris, France on November 22, 1928 as a legal instrument establishing rights, responsibilities and procedures of International Expo organisers and participants creating a Bureau of International Exhibitions (B.E.E);
WHEREAS the convention has been subsequently amended three times since 1928 and updated to suit economic, social and political trends, the progress of the world and the emergence of new countries, Members remains restricted to Government of Contracting Parties and governments of those countries who have acceded to or ratified the Convention;
AND WHEREAS Zimbabwe has in the past participated in International World expos held under B.I.E through a reprieve extended to non-members, the reprieve now no longer applies for all future exhibitions, it is prudent that Zimbabwe becomes a member of the B.I.E through acceding to the Convention of 1928, revised by the Protocol of 1972;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Convention and Protocol be and is hereby approved. I so move Mr. Speaker.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on three issues relating to the motion by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. The first issue that I want to congratulate him on is bringing into Parliament the treaty itself before it is ratified or after it has been ratified so that it can also become law to us. The second issue that he touched on is the issue of the reprieve that can no longer be taken advantage of that has been repealed as long as we have not ratified. This is the point that I want to major on.
It is prudent and it is very important for this House to approve the ratification of this convention and treaty without which we can no longer be part of any international exhibition, expo or otherwise because the platform that we were standing on before was a reprieve which has now been repealed. Because of that, it is quite mandatory, prudent, just and right for this House to give a nod to the ratification and signing of this treaty and convention.
The third and last issue, it is my thinking that besides being part of the International Expo and Exhibition, we are also part of this Treaty and Convention when we deal with our local expos, which is the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo which brings in a lot of foreign direct investment through the exhibitions that we would have either showcased or the companies through the exhibition that they would have showcased.
We have been conducting expos before, domestically and it is now, because of this global village that we are now part of it. It is prudent and right for us to ratify such conventions so that we can continue ad infinitum to conduct our local exhibitions so that we can be in-sync with the global community in terms of our economic emancipation and our economic development. This starts, first and foremost, on our local agenda, Agenda 2030, open up middle income economy so that it is in tandem with the regional agenda and ultimately with the continental Agenda 2063 which leads us to the sustainable development goals.
However, as I conclude, I also want to say our local exhibitions and expo are pronounced and exhibited by the Harare Agricultural Show Society…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can you stick to the terms of the Treaty please?
HON. NDUNA: I was just espousing on the reason why it is right and prudent for us to put a note in terms of ratification of the same. I want to then say we are busy ratifying conventions of a global nature; it is prudent for the global community to also speak with one voice in terms of removing the yoke of sanctions, the albatross on our neck as Zimbabwe from that global community…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member, you are now rambling, can you stick to the motion.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am guided accordingly and will stick to the issue of Ratification of this Treaty. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I still make that clarion call that in the same vein that we are going to ratify, may the global community speak with one voice in removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. T. MLISWA: To be honest Mr. Speaker Sir, I remain guided. These treaties come and no one in this House has understood them. The problem is that we have got the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Members are here, did they ever go through it because we seem to endorse so many things without enough detail.
Hon. Nduna might rumble but everybody here who will speak will rumble because no one read. So, for the avoidance of that repetition, moving forward, may the Portfolio Committee go through it because any treaty which has come here, other than a few, we always say yes and there is no debate because we are misinformed. May we be taken through all that. I do not know what the process will be but the Portfolio Committee can take that on, understand it so that we have an appreciation of what is going on. So, today really, unless anybody has read it and understood and before God, it is best for us to just ask that we now create a culture of portfolio committees looking at this and then informing us on those issues. Other than that, personally, I did not read, I would not want to rumble and be told to sit down.
Therefore, I propose, unless somebody has read and understood it, may they debate or else we just learn that next time we are able to take this through the necessary steps in order for us to understand.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please read your Standing Orders very carefully. I thought you were going to move that the debate be adjourned to give you time to go through the Treaty – [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]- I understand the nuances of being polite so, if the nuances of politeness escaped the message, then I am there to assist. You should have moved that the debate do adjourn to allow the Hon. Members to go through the Treaty accordingly.
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERANTIONAL TRADE (HON. S. B. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to appreciate the Hon. Nduna who made three remarks about the importance of ratifying this particular Treaty. This reprieve, as he particularly mentioned, has come to an end and as we are speaking now, we are facing the Dubai Expo which we are supposed to be hosting. We do not have any coverage and therefore the importance of ratifying this Treaty is very critical.
Secondly, I appreciate also Hon. Mliswa’s remarks on the importance of ensuring that Hon. Members are kept abreast of the Treaties which are brought into this House. Particularly, so that they can contribute meaningfully but I am happy that he has particularly said in future and therefore, I appreciate that position. I think the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade had had an exposé of this. However, it is an excuse that other Members should have this particular information abreast but I thank the Hon. Member for his contribution.
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is one thing I forgot to highlight to the House that the Treaty was sent to you on soft copies so you needed to check. If you did not open your Ipad, you could have gotten a copy from the Journals Office this morning for you to be informed about the contents of the Treaty. So, although I was a bit indulgent, I think I was over indulgent, I have checked the treaties were sent through to your email addresses, read them through accordingly.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING A TRIPARTITE FREE TRADE AREA AMONG CMESA, EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY AND SADC
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON. S. B. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move the motion standing in my name that:
WHEREAS in terms of Section 327 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS the Agreement Establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area Among the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community was opened for signature, at Sharm El Sheikh, Arab Republic of Egypt on 10 June, 2015 and will enter into force upon ratification by 14 Members;
AND WHEREAS the said Agreement Establishing A Tripartite Free Trade Area Among The Common Market For Eastern and Southern Africa, The East African Community and The Southern African Development Community was signed on 10 June, 2018 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;
AND WHEREAS Article 39 and 41 of the Agreement provides for signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession;
NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(2)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.
HON: NDUNA: Thank you Mr Speaker Sir. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Inter-Regional Free Trade Area. I just want to speak on one point. We were here one day debating on the African Free Trade Area and it is prudent that we also, in the same spirit, ratify this Convention so that we bring business in an entwined way within regions in Africa to bolster the Continental or Africa Free Trade Area. I say this because the trade amongst nations in the continent is way below 50% and it is only prudent that as long as we sell one to another in Africa, regionally or continentally we can produce raw material and sell one to another as opposed to exporting it from the region and continent in that raw form to the international community.
This treaty further bolsters the union of trading one amongst the other in terms of the African community. As I have already said, amongst the European countries, the trade is maybe 71% and 81% amongst those nations whereas in our continent, it is way below 50%. Here is an opportunity to trade one amongst the other and to put Zimbabwe on the regional pedestal and platform in terms of its economic emancipation and excellence. I thank you for affording me the opportunity to call for the ratification and signing of this convention. I thank you.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs for bringing this motion for ratification of the Tripartite Free Trade Area of COMESA, EAC and SADC. This is a very important treaty because you know very well that for Africa to achieve economic integration, it has to promote or boost intra-African trade. We cannot develop Africa without promoting intra-African trade. At present, intra-African trade among African countries stands at only 14% compared to intra-European trade which is at about 60% and intra-Asian trade which is at about 65%. So, Africa is trading more with Europe, America and Asia compared to trading among ourselves as African countries. Before we achieve continental integration or what we call the common market, it is important that in our own regional economic communities, we start promoting trade among the various countries in our own regional communities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Africa has got eight regional communities, we have got the Southern African Development Community, (SADC), which we are very familiar with, which is also part of this Free Trade Area, which we are talking about. We have got the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), which covers the North African Region. We have got Central Africa International Cooperation and Development (CEAID) which covers Central Africa and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which covers the whole of Africa. They are eight. These regions are now competing to boost intra-regional trade amongst themselves. So, you find that in the sub-region, COMESA, SADC and ECA have moved great strides to try to improve trade among tripartite Free Trade Areas, which this treaty is talking about.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area will bring a lot of benefits, one of the benefits is that, it will reduce the tariffs which are charged when goods move from one country to the other within SADC, COMESA and ECA so that we can be able to trade and reduce the tariffs among our countries on the goods that we trade. The second advantage is that, if we ratify this treaty, we will be able to reduce non-tariff barriers which inhibit the free movement of goods and services. The other advantage of ratifying the Tripartite Free Trade Area is that the region will be able to promote what we call Supply Value Chain; COMESA countries can get raw materials from SADC countries and SADC countries can get raw materials from EAC countries and so on. So there are lot of value chains that are created when we achieve this Tripartite Free Trade Area of COMMESA, SADC and EAC. So, it is a very important treaty that we must ratify because these Tripartite Free Trade Areas are building blocks towards achieving a common market for the whole of Africa.
As you know, there are various stages in achieving the Common Market for Africa; the first stage is a Tripartite Free Trade Area then we move to the Customs Union where these countries will have a common external tariff before you move to the Monetary Union where you have got one single African currency. However, it is a stage that we are moving to, we are doing it stage by stage before we achieve a total common market for Africa and this is the most important stage of establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area of COMESA, EAC and SADC. So, I support the Minister in bringing about this motion. I thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Sikhala and Hon. Biti jecha rinodirwa kumaparty ikoko – [Laughter.] –
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, before I go to my debate, I think I would request that – you have already done a good job during our challenges of COVID, you brought in people to be tested so that they can be safe from COVID. I think it would be a good idea for you also to bring in Psychiatrists to look at some of these brains and check whether they are still in their senses. I did not want to say that but they became two so I thought I should talk about it before we have problems with people of compromised minds – [Laughter.] – it is Job and Tendai.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say thank you to the Minister and our Government that we were one of the first or the early birds to deposit our instrument of ratification with the African Union. It was very critical for us to do that. Despite that, it will help the whole of Africa to create a bigger market, in many ways this is going to help Zimbabwe particular, given our situation, we need such an environment where we can trade freely – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Togarepi, just ignore. Order, those that are heckling do not understand – – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – Order, the Hon. Minister will answer that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order.
HON. TOGAREPI: So Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is that it is very critical for our country to have a bigger market where we can trade and also it helps Africa to be united. We look at Africa having about 1.2 billion people and if we trade amongst ourselves – the reason why China is big economically today is because of its population. Maybe with our small population as Zimbabwe, without these types of agreements, we may have a limited market to then sell our wares and it is critical that as a country, we do so. I want to say, thank you Minister, if we can proceed as Members of Parliament to approve this, it is critical for Zimbabwe to move forward together with Africa.
HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir, I rise to support the ratification of the Protocol or Treaty before the august House brought by the esteemed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. I just want to make the point that the execution of these agreements is not the problem; it is the implementation of these agreements that is the problem. As you are well aware of Hon. Speaker Sir, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement was executed under the auspices of the African Union in March of 2019 but implementation since then has been slow, hurdles since then have been slow. The challenges lie in the following sectors;
1. The existence of non-trade barriers, we can execute these conventions and treaties but there is a multiplicity of non-trade barriers, invisible barriers that impinge and assault free trade on the African Continent.
2. Our colonial legacy – our economies are too integrated to the former colonial powers, such that the bulk of our
HON. BITI (spking)…too integrated to the former colonial powers such that the bulk of our trade still remains with those colonial powers or with the western or eastern world. There is little integration on the African continent because our economies continue facing the directions that they were still facing before independence. Connected to that Hon. Speaker is the fact that the accumulation model of our economies remains extractive.
In the case of Zimbabwe, our dominant industries still remain minerals. In the case of minerals, we are still extracting and sending raw unprocessed minerals whether it is gold, platinum, diamond or chrome – raw minerals are extracted from Zimbabwe and are sold. If you were to wake up Cecil John Rhodes, he would not be surprised or shocked by the structure of the economy which has remained the same; namely an extractive economy. There is no value addition, beneficiation and there is no trade. There is just extraction of raw materials whether to Australia, Canada or China in the case of our tobacco. The structures of our economy also disencourage integration.
Thirdly, it is not sufficient in the agenda of promoting African integration. It is not sufficient to deal with trade without dealing with other issues that affect integration. One of the main issues is that we must have monetary integration. Trade integration, then monetary integration that is a monetary union – if you look on the African continent, the most successful union from a trade point of view or fiscal point of view remains the Run Monetary Union established in 1908 because it has got both trade, financial and monetary integration. I long for the day that SADC transforms itself from essentially a trade into a monetary bloc – a vision which was shared by for instance President Mbeki and others. In fact, the original agenda was that by 2010, we should have had a monetary union on the African continent. Now SADC is commissioning papers on papers to study that which is common cause. We need integration but regional integration alone is not sufficient.
Fourthly, as a barrier to our trade is domestic geo-politics and shenanigans – I want to give the example of the Kazungula project. This project was designed by its architect to actually exclude the operations, buoyancy of Beitbridge which is the biggest inland port in Sub Saharan Africa, but those who designed Kazungula designed it in such a way as to exclude Zimbabwe from the rich vein of trade which cuts across southern Africa, Zimbabwe and then the gateway to the rest of Africa – the COMESA region. Now we are being by-passed. I do not know the reasons but whatever the reasons cannot be inductive to the agenda of PAX Africana, African Trade and Regional Trade.
Another project is the example of the Inga Project. As you know, if hydro-power is developed on the Inga Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it will be sufficient to generate 40 000 megawatts of electricity and to put into context, this is a vast project. Zimbabwe right now is generating between 600-700 mega watts. The whole of the African region, including South Africa does not need more than 30 000 mega watts. In fact, we would have to export to Southern Europe but this project has been crippled by geo-politics. The Congolese or Zaireans as they used to be called, have been put in a situation where they do not know where to move left right or centre because expert after expert from China, the BRICS from the West or the Africa Union itself come and confuse. If President A. Wade of Senegal, President Mbeki of South Africa and President Obasanjo had remained in office, I have no doubt in my mind that Zimbabwe would not have to be wary about developing 600 mega watts from Hwange 7 and 8 or the 2 000 hectare of power that we are trying to do with the Zambians on Batoka Gorge because Inga would sort that out.
In addition to economic integration to the former colonial powers which hinder trade on the African continent, we also still have toxic links with the former colonial powers which prevent African trade. Take the Francophone region, it is impossible for someone to go to a place like Senegal, Tunisia or Cote d’Ivoire without actually going to Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport and then come again. It is more expensive for me to go and see my daughter in Cape Town than it is for me to go to London or another European county – which is crazy. There are a lot of hidden or invisible hurdles that require to be addressed beyond the normal nice formalities that are sorted by protocols and agreements that we ratify in this House.
In other words, Africa needs to break much more than normal normative agreements if we are to have a proper trade on the African continent – it is not just on the African continent, global trade – the share of Africa of global trade is just 2%. This means that you can delete Africa and the world will not feel that we were not there as a continent – why – because of the accumulating model. We produce cocoa where others produce mobile phones. We produce lithium while others are into new technologies. So we need to do more.
Whilst supporting the ratification of this protocol, I urge the esteemed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Moyo, to understand that trade is much more than this protocol. I thank you very much Sir and good afternoon to you.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE CERTIFICATES FOR STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS GAZETTED DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2020
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on the 13th of October 2020 and considered all Statutory Instruments that were gazetted during the month of August 2020. The Committee is of the opinion that Statutory Instruments gazetted in the month of August are not in contravention of the Declaration of Rights or any other provisions of the Constitution.
NON-ADVERSE REPORT AND CERTIFICATE FOR STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS GAZETTED IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
THE HON. SPEAKER: Another Non-Adverse Report and certificate for Statutory Instruments gazetted in the month of September. I have to inform that the Parliamentary Legal Committee met on 13th October, 2020 and considered all Statutory Instruments that were gazetted during the month of October, 2020.
The Committee is of the opinion that the Statutory Instruments gazetted in the month of October are not in contravention of Declaration of Rights or any other provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe except for the following Statutory Instruments:- Statutory Instrument 224 of 2020; Statutory Instrument 225 of 2020 and Statutory Instrument 225 (a) of 2020. These three were not compliant with the Constitution.
NOMINATION OF HON. DR. KHUPE AS LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
THE HON. SPEAKER: May I also inform the House that MDC-T party has nominated Hon. Dr. Thokozani Khupe as Leader of Opposition in Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate Hon. Khupe for being nominated as the Leader of the Opposition. More importantly, it also addresses the aspect of gender equality in many ways. Just the other day Mr. Speaker Sir, we were debating on gender equality and I see that ZANU PF has got Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi and now the Leader of the Opposition is Hon. Dr. Khupe. I think as Parliament, we must be proud of the gender equality. We must be seen to be leading by example. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Mashakada for unpacking. I think at times we need somebody who unpacks the way he does and your memory starts to kick in. I think he has done well in that regard and will complement him by moving a step further to say, the African GDP really is at 1.2 trillion and if you look at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), it is 600 billion. If you look at East Africa Community (EAC) it is 400 billion approximately and if you look at Southern African Development Community (SADC) it is 200 billion. So if you calculate that, you look at a figure of 1.2 trillion – figures are critical in this. If you look at the numbers as well as the membership of COMESA you are looking at 27. Zimbabwe’s GDP is 20 billion and I want to talk about what relation it has to us.
At the same time, South Africa is not a member of COMESA, which becomes a problem because they are an economic giant and for as long as South Africa is not a member, we tend to suffer economically because we are strategically positioned in terms of the logistics aspect. Zimbabwe is positioned to go east and that is quite important. SADC as well – you can see how positioned we are. So it is important for us to then look at what this does for our economy.
It is important Mr. Speaker Sir to also say that SADC unfortunately concentrates on the aspect of defence, security and politics and not economics. When you see most of their meetings, they are on security and politics, and not economics. This is where the problem starts from. When SADC starts to deal with economic issues and less political, defence and security issues then the economies of these countries grow. South Africa sees no need of being part of this because they are strong from an economic point of view and that has kept them strong because we have concentrated on politics, security and defence. They have concentrated on the economics of their country of which at the end of the day they do not need anybody. They know that if Zimbabwe does well from an economic point of view then they will not do well economically at the end of the day. They have no choice but to be friends with us because from an economic point of view – we give them value and it is important to put that in this debate.
We must also look at the aspect of one currency. COMESA is critical in being part of the Tripartite Free Trade Area but have we implemented some of the issues? One, free movement – if you go to the EAC, the Tanzanians will go into Burundi and Kenya without a passport but national identification. We are still spending too much time on certain documents that are irrelevant and once there is free, that is the economics. By having these impediments like passports which we find difficult to equally produce for our people, we lag behind. So what happens is that people are now coming here to bring what we must be taking out.
If you look at us from an economic point of view, we are spending more money importing yet Zimbabwe was known for having the best clothing because we had the cotton here, i.e. Cone-textiles you name it, shoes Van Huesen, the shirts that my father used to like. I do not know Mr. Speaker, if you had a Van Huesen shirt in those days but you could not be considered…
THE HON. SPEAKER: I had it; I am older than your father. – [Laughter.] –
HON. T. MLISWA: You know, it was that – where is Van Huesen today but they came and brought it here. We also have the issue of the currency. The European Union (EU) is successful as a bloc because the movement of the currency is easy. They have removed all the impediments. First of all, let us remove the impediments.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area cannot happen without COMESA first sticking to what it is supposed to do from an implementation point of view. Infrastructure is critical. If you go to the EU and if you go to successful countries, infrastructure is key and for a very long time. The reason why the Kazungula bridge was built was because Zimbabwean roads were not good anymore Mr. Speaker Sir. So they decided to have the Kazungula Bridge in place and now trade and traffic is moving there. If you use any of these highways, the potholes are just so many and nobody wants to really spend more time on repairing tyres and so forth.
So to me, infrastructure has got to be looked into, has got to be built and yes – we are doing as much as we can but priority must go to the highways that have a lot of traffic that brings in a lot of money and so forth. Beitbridge highway was supposed to be first in terms of priority because it would bring in money. In terms of priority, we did not go for it and now we are lagging behind and in lagging behind no one has time. The trucks are moving to where it is easily accessible, where the roads are better and so forth. By the time we finish this infrastructure, nobody and it is the same thing as the resources in this country if you do not have good policies for investors. They have no time for Zimbabwe; they will leave and go to other countries. They will tell you that, ‘You are not the only ones with diamonds or the only one with platinum or gold’. They will go and find it elsewhere.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you look at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who is a member – it is a good example. With the resources that DRC is endowed with, you cannot go into DRC and do business. First of all, the currency situation and the most important issue of trade is language. In the EAC it is Swahili Mr. Speaker Sir – they speak in Swahili. You go to Tanzania it is Swahili and Kenya it is Swahili. The moment you move into Zambia, what language do we speak which Zambia is under that is more or less English? When you go into the DRC, you cannot even speak English or any other language. So, language itself must be encouraged because it is critical.
What are we doing to address the issue of language because when you can speak but most of the people who are cross borders are not as educated; language is business? That is why you see the French are doing business on their own; they are empowering themselves and so forth. We have been colonised for too long that even the English, why are we not taking Shona. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a war veteran and most of the war veterans who were in Tanzania learnt Swahili. They were there and were speaking Swahili. That is the importance of language and without us spending a lot of time it will be a big problem for us to achieve what we need to achieve and so forth.
It is important Mr. Speaker that we look at the issue of Zimbabwe and the vision. I went to Chirundu the other day for the dry port. We write so well and we see ahead. There are only three ports which are functional right now and that is why there is a need for dry ports. You have got Beira, Walvis Bay and Mombasa; Durban is out because they are not part of this. What are we doing to take advantage? While we are a landlocked country, it does not take away the fact that there is the aspect of dry ports.
Let us put money to Chirundu, Beitbridge and into the various areas because with the traffic coming through already we are generating income. How much have we sat down as a country to look at how much can be generated from those dry ports other than it being a vision, it must be put in numbers then our GDP grows because you are talking about an economy which is bringing in the much needed foreign currency and the problem of foreign currency we are encountering will be dealt with.
I really support this in a lot of way but in supporting this, as a country, how are we positioning ourselves to maximize in terms of infrastructure? For example, the Kazungula Bridge which was done, we have lost traffic. I am in Karoi and we used to have a lot of traffic going to Zambia and now the trucks which were going through, you do not see them anymore because they have diverted. We all seem to play politics which is not necessary. Until the Second Republic, we were not part of the Kazungula. How can we not be part of such an infrastructure? I do not know how petty we can be. Is it because they decided to build it and you felt that they are now not using your routes and infrastructure?
We had to be part of that and fortunately the Second Republic, through His Excellency if I recall, was part of that and we had to pay a little bit of money for us to benefit a lot. Where we put in money is not necessary. It is like the global levy on HIV/AIDS; it takes us fighting for something which you know you put in $2 but what you get is worth $2 billion prioritisation of foreign currency to get more. So it is not only about production but about us identifying opportunities within this region which we can take.
Finally, if there is anything that we have which God has given us is, we are endowed with human capital. Most of the people in these institutions are Zimbabweans and they will certainly do something for their people in a proper way. In so doing, let us take advantage of the human capital which is all over. At times when the economy is tough in a country, the people who leave the country are the ones who make it happen. Let me close by saying that Israel is powerful because of the Jews outside Israel, not the Jews in Israel. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker, I intend to speak for exactly one minute. Hon. Speaker, please allow me to associate myself with this very important motion and to thank the Minister for bringing it to this House. Certainly, as a back bencher, I realise the difference between the now and the past that we lived in, and I wish to commend the Minister for that. Hon. Speaker, I am particularly enthused over the prospects which I deem as low hanging fruits which I associate and draw from this agreement. I know am nearly 50 and therefore in the afternoon of things but I am happy for the youth in this country and I want to speak for them.
I want to think that this agreement will particularly support the free movement of our people. Hon. Speaker, I represent the people of Matebeleland, Magwegwe and Zimbabwe in general and I know for certain that we have thousands of our young men and women, including the elderly that live in neighbouring countries. They live as refugees because they are undocumented yet they do so well for neighbouring economies. We have honest men and women who go outside this country and have to use other people’s documents and sometimes now and then we see them in the media, high ranking officials being accused of document theft.
Hon. Speaker, I want to argue that these are honest and very well educated men and women who are trading their skills for money wherever they live. I think if at all this agreement will bring to us an African single passport that will allow free movement particularly for our young people because our universities are channelling out a lot of brilliant people; young women and men. Unfortunately, our economy cannot absorb them but they are ready to travel if allowed to develop the region.
When I travel far and wide into the SADC, every time I sit in a restaurant and I get excellent service from a waiter or waitress, I enquire as to where they come from. You find that person is Zimbabwean but all the while they have been listening to the conversation at the table and they are literally scared to associate themselves with you because their papers say they are either South African or Namibian or Mozambican. So I am happy about this agreement because to be associated with it shall come the free movement of our people. Everyone benefits Mr. Speaker from a country that opens up their borders as well as a country whose nation is on the move. We benefit a lot from diaspora remittances in this country.
It is in that regard Hon. Speaker, that I want to associate myself and lend my weight behind this very important motion but at the same time, urging the Second Republic not to waste time in fixing the economy so that it is able to absorb all our graduates. I thank you.
*HON. RWODZI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Allow me to congratulate Hon. Khupe for being elected as a woman to represent other women in rural areas and as women we congratulate you Hon. Khupe for the position that you were given of being the Leader of the Opposition. Let me support the Treaty that was presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade that it should be indeed ratified.
I would like to implore you Hon. Minister that when you go to those platforms where you discuss issues to do with our country, ensure that we also become a member of the free trade area and that it be done urgently because at Pan-African Parliament, discussions there are about free trade area.
As a nation, let us look at our competitive edge and take advantage of that and see how we can take our agriculture, mining and other productive sectors because these are sectors that are critical for free trade. Other African Countries want to know how we are going to excel as Zimbabwe and as other African countries.
As I am celebrating women, let me say that Zimbabwean women starting with those in this august House, this is our time as women to take advantage and start trading. We do not have to be women who continue complaining like we were discussing on the Gender Commission. Let us take advantage of these platforms. We need to know as women, youths and corporate, where we stand in terms of free trading.
This Treaty that you have presented Hon. Minister is a rich one, we plead with you that you represent us strongly as a nation. We thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. S. B. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Khupe for having been elected as the Leader of the Opposition in this House. There were quite a lot of fruitful contributions which were made by the Hon. Members towards this particular Treaty. All the contributions which were made were very positive and contributing to the enhancement and the actual implementation of the Treaty itself and how beneficial it is to this country, the region, the three regions and the continent as a whole in that particular aspect.
There are therefore, so many issues which have been addressed and I know that the tripartite agreement, as has already been said by one of the Hon. Members is about 1,2/1,3 trillion GDB economy. It constitutes 58% of Africa’s GDB. Even the membership itself is more than 50% of the African members of the continent itself. Therefore, it is a critical phenomenon and Treaty which has the ability to turn around the African economy.
The inter-African trade, yes there are 8 regional groups which are there and the key issue is all these 8 regional groups are combined through an African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. However, in my old life, there is what we call ‘oil sleek method. That oil sleek’ method is a development of having organisations which come together gradually and sleek as oil until they occupy the rest of the continent.
Therefore, SADC, EAC and COMESA coming together is a major milestone and that milestone will naturally influence events on the African Continent. So, if we can dominate trade within the tripartite arrangement, it means the opportunities are abound and we cannot fail to benefit out of that.
I think it has been corrected that the instruments which were deposited were for the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Let me just say that how far is it? The implementation of that agreement actually is in progress. You may be aware that the secretariat has been selected and it is going to be based in Ghana and that is where the African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat is going to be.
Zimbabwe has developed its implementation strategy including negotiation of trade, not only in products but trade in services. One of the Hon. Members mentioned the issue to do with high skills in Zimbabwe. If we have got high skills, it means we have got the ability to dominate the trade in services and skills all over the African Continent. Zimbabwe is part of an online based unitary barriers monitoring mechanisms and that unitary barrier will eventually be dismantled in the process. Through the WTO, there is also dispute settlement mechanism which we hope is going to assist dismantling most of these issues.
There was a Hon. Member who mentioned about the continuous link, the umbilical cord to colonial masters. Indeed Trade is trade, what we can talk about is diversification of trade and of markets which is critical. I am sure these issues are going to be subject to my talk later on in my Ministerial Statement.
Let me say that SADC itself, South Africa is not a member of COMESA but what has happened is that through SADC, it has ratified this tripartite. So in a back door, it has gone into the tripartite arrangement. So this is the scenario which has happened in that aspect.
Yes, I agree on the aspect of the Kazungula issue where there was lack of political chemistry at the time between the two countries. But I can assure, as one of the Hon. Members said, that at the advent of the Second Republic, the chemistry was re-established. Immediately we visited His Excellency, visited Kazungula and had a meeting. On that day a decision was taken that Zimbabwe was going to be part and parcel of the Kazungula Project. As I speak, we are finalising the processes of making our contribution so that we can have a one-stop-shop and traffic coming from Zambia going into Botswana and coming to Kazungula into Victoria Falls. It is going to be one system which deals with that particular area. When one is cleared from one side, they will not be stopped anywhere else. These are already arrangements being made through my colleague the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
Yes, there are competitive advantages within the region. DRC has got the potential of electricity and other countries. The actual original founders of SADC had designated Member States within SADC to have responsibilities of each and every area of the economic community so that they could concentrate on that. There was the organ on Politics, Defence and Security which Zimbabwe has been of course Chair recently and we are still members of the Troika. I want to acknowledge the desire for SADC as a body to move in a very protracted and objective way towards the economic integration because it is that which will ensure that the trade amongst the region itself and amongst the African continent happens.
Let me conclude by saying that there was an issue which was raised on the youths, the free movement of people, the youth in particular, women, corporates and so forth. It has been one of my major calls that our youths in this country are very literate and computer compliant. So, what we need is a key space which they should occupy. What is needed today is a market survey and market identifications. They can do that and provide service to the industries that are producing but do not care about what is there to be exported. They do not want to go through paperwork of exports but the youths are capable of occupying that space with their literacy so that they can be able to identify and look into the export of services within the region or the tripartite organisation as well as the continent itself because they are able to research and identify markets. They can specialise anywhere and that is key.
So, as we move with the agriculture and horticulture recovery plan, these are the issues which will make our areas to be dominant. I would like to thank all Hon. Members for their contributions which have been very meaningful and constructive and I am definitely going to take that advice. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT’S POLICY OF REAFFIRMATION, ENGAGEMENT AND RE-ENGAGMENT
HON. S. B. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr Speaker, I rise to deliver a Ministerial Statement to this august House in order to further amplify the remarks I made last week, in answer to questions from Hon. Mliswa and others, regarding the effectiveness of Government Policy on Re-Affirmation, Engagement and Re-Engagement and to dispel, by way of providing empirical evidence, what I sensed may be an impression amongst some Members that we have made little, if any progress with that diplomatic outreach initiative.
Let me begin by recalling the pillars of the New Dispensation’s Foreign Policy, as articulated by His Excellency the President, as he took office in November, 2017. These were that:
(i) Zimbabwe seeks to be a friend to all and an enemy of none;
(ii) Zimbabwe will pursue a policy of Re-Affirmation,
Engagement and Re-Engagement;
· Re-affirming and further strengthening already long-standing relationships with “all-weather” friends;
· Rebuilding relationships with all western countries and institutions which wish to re-engage with Zimbabwe; and
· Actively seeking engagement with countries with which Zimbabwe has previously had little or no engagement; and
(iii) Zimbabwe is Open For Business;
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in close collaboration with all other relevant branches and agencies of Government – and with the active and much appreciated support of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Trade has spearheaded the implementation of this Policy- most specifically the element of Engagement and Re-Engagement and the element of promoting Zimbabwe as a reliable trading partner and a safe investment destination.
When one reviews the progress we have made over the past two to three years, it is inevitable that we see both positive and negative developments along our chosen trajectory; but I believe it is fair to say that, overall, we can be satisfied that, notwithstanding the occasional setback, we have advanced along the path of further strengthening existing relationships, of rebuilding broken relationships and of establishing new relationships- and that this multifaceted process has gathered enough traction to warrant not only its active continuation but indeed yet further impetus and acceleration.
Mr Speaker, the Re-Engagement aspect of our Foreign Policy was always going to be a process rather than an event and it was never going to be easy, or quick, to regain the confidence and trust of those western countries and institutions which parted ways with us around 2000, in the wake of the Land Reform Exercise – without doubt the primary trigger for the diplomatic, political and economic isolation which followed and which, in some respects, is still with us today. I refer, of course, to the illegal, punitive sanctions and other restrictive measures still in place against our Nation.
The ultimate objective of Re-Engagement, naturally, is the lifting of all such measures still imposed on Zimbabwe, and the full, unfettered return of our country to a position of “good-standing” within the broad International Community. To the extent that those measures remain in place, it is perhaps understandable for the sceptical to cast the Policy as a failure or a waste of time, but this would be an incorrect assessment.
Our view, of course, is that sanctions are unjustified and obsolete and must go. The success of our diplomatic Engagement in this direction is clearly demonstrated by the solidarity of fellow SADC and other African nations, of major powers such as China, India, and the Russian Federation, of the Group of Non-Aligned countries, the ACP Group of Nations and many others, who continue to intensify their call for those sanctions to be lifted. There was no such unanimous chorus prior to November 2017.
In previous submissions on the issue of Re-Engagement, and again today, I measure our success in terms of;
· the very fact of constructive dialogue between Zimbabwe and a range of Western nations -including the USA, the EU and the UK – a dialogue which, prior to November 2017, was virtually non-existent;
· the frequency of such dialogue, and
· the generally very constructive tenor and tone of such dialogue;
Prior to November 2017, this simply was not the case.
Yes, sanctions remain, but, even there, our policy of Re-Engagement has brought some notable successes, including;
· the complete removal of AgriBank and IDBZ from the US Treasury’s list of sanctioned entities; and
· the lifting of the US$385 million fine imposed by the US Treasury against CBZ;
· the elevation of our Political Dialogue with the EU to Ministerial level;
With regard to European sanctions, I believe we are all aware that, as from February, 2020, there are no longer any individuals on the EU’s active sanctions list although Zimbabwe Defence Industry (ZDI) remains sanctioned and an arms-embargo remains in place against Zimbabwe.
Mr Speaker, it is my firm contention therefore, that, regardless of the occasional diplomatic skirmish with the west, regrettably often overblown by both our local and foreign media and notwithstanding the West’s stubborn reluctance to acknowledge progress in the implementation of Government’s home-grown reform agenda, our Re-Engagement efforts are paying dividends in terms of the New Dispensation’s commitment to rebuilding Zimbabwe’s image and to returning our country to its rightful place within the Community of Nations.
Mr Speaker, equally, as important as the aspect of traditional or political diplomacy to both Engagement and Re-Engagement, is the aspect of economic diplomacy. It is on this element that I wish to concentrate in further illustration of the solid progress being made. You are aware that my Ministry is also responsible for International Trade. The promotion of international trade cannot be separated from the promotion of Zimbabwe as an attractive and secure destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). All Zimbabwean diplomats abroad – starting with the Ambassadors themselves are aware that they are now being assessed, in large measure, on their success in enhancing both trade and investment flows for our Nation. In this regard, my Ministry and our Embassies work in close coordination with ZIDA, ZimTrade, ZTA and others.
Mr Speaker, Hon. Members will be aware of significant progress over the past two years with regard to a number of major investment initiatives. It is not possible for me to list them all, but, even a random selection reflects the wide and widening range of investment suitors, from all over the world, who appreciate the enormous potential of our Nation and who are keen to come on board.
Allow me to mention just a few;
· the US$ 4,2 billion Great Dyke Investments project, currently under construction, and set to boost production and beneficiation of Platinum and Platinum Group Metals;
· a Joint Venture project between a Russian company and a Zimbabwean counterpart;
· the US$ 4,0 billionKaro Resources Platinum Mining Project at Mhondoro-Ngezi, which is already ahead of schedule;
· Tharisa PLC, which has major shareholding in Karo Resources is listed on both the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges
· the Prospect Resources Arcadia Lithium Mining Project, with a projected initial investment of some US$ 175 million;
· Prospect Resources is a battery minerals company, focused on lithium. It is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange;
· the J/V arrangement between Alrosa, a Russian company and leader of the world’s diamond mining industry and a Zimbabwean counterpart;
· the US$ 50 million Chinese investment by Sunny Ying Tile Company in Norton;
· the US$ 50 million investment, by a UAE Company, involving the purchase and complete refurbishing of Meikles Hotel, Harare;
· the US$ 45 million Pepsi-Cola plant established by Varun Beverages of India;
· the US$ 25 million Invictus Energy Oil and Gas Project in Muzarabani where drilling is expected to begin in October 2021;
· Invictus Energy is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
Let me also mention;
· the US$ 58 million Belarus Farm Mechanisation Facility commissioned just 2 weeks ago by His Excellency the President;
· the US$ 50 million deal with John Deere Tractors to supply farming equipment to Zimbabwe; and the prospect of a further US$ 200 million deal with the same US company to supply additional farming and construction equipment to Zimbabwe;
· the US$ 30 million South African investment to transform the Travel Centre, Harare, into an Apartment Hotel;
· the US$ 20 million Mauritian investment into the processing of cooking oil, stock feeds and grain milling; and of course
· the US$ 1,2 billion Hwange 7 and 8 Power Project;
o China’s SinoHydro is the main contractor;
o The project is 45 % complete;
o The first 300 MW are due to come on line in October 2021;
Mr Speaker, mention must also be made of the joint China-USA project to build the US$ 4,5 billion Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Power Plant which, when complete will supply some 2 400 MW of electric power to be shared equally between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Mr Speaker, we are all aware of China’s generous support for infrastructure development in Zimbabwe. Apart from Hwange 7 and 8, China has funded Kariba 7 and 8, the expansion of RGM International Airport (US$ 153 million), the upgrading of Victoria Falls Airport (US$ 150 million), the Net-One Phase 2 Expansion, the TelOne Backbone and Broadband Projects, among many others already operational or, like the Kunzvi-Musami Dam Project, still in the active planning stage.
Courtesy of China, you and the Hon. Members will shortly move into the new Parliament Building at Mount Hampden a US$ 150 million gift from our Chinese partners.
The April 2018 elevation of relations between Zimbabwe and the Peoples’ Republic of China to that of a Strategic Partnership of Cooperation very clearly reflects the deepening bonds of friendship between our two Nations a powerful re-affirmation of unbreakable ties.
Mr Speaker, a feature of several of these Joint Venture agreements signed with foreign investors in the mining sector is the commitment to also invest in power generation to ensure adequate electric power for their own operations, with excess capacity being fed into the national grid. The Karo Resources Platinum Mining Project (RSA/UK) and the Caledonia Mining Corporation Blanket Mine Project are examples of such additional power generation plans.
Mr Speaker, let me provide a broader overview of foreign investment approved by Government in 2018 and 2019 so as to provide a more comprehensive picture of the level of foreign interest being shown in Zimbabwe as an investment destination, and the economic sectors attracting that interest.
I stress that the data I am about to provide constitutes only those investment proposals and projects which have been approved by Government. Honourable Members should be aware that a very significant number of other, as yet un-approved proposals, from a very broad range of foreign investment sources, are currently being assessed and processed by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
Honourable Members should also know that the data I am sharing with them relates only to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and does not include local or domestic investment flows.
Mr Speaker, I regret that I cannot, at this stage, provide too many specifics in terms of source country/ies, or individual company names. There is need to maintain a degree of confidentiality and, again, whilst we remain under sanctions and under intense scrutiny by our detractors, it is perhaps unwise to divulge too much, too early.
Having said that, let me say that 2018 was something of a boom year – with in excess of US$ 18 billion worth of investment projects approved by Government.
It will come as no surprise to learn that Mining and Energy were the predominant sectors of interest. Some US$ 12 billion in investment was approved in the Energy sector alone, of which approximately US$ 11 billion was committed by just 3 sources. Mining accounted for some US$ 1,4 billion in committed investment from 2 main source countries.
US$ 740 million was committed in the Tourism Sector; US$ 530 million investment in the Manufacturing Sector; whilst US$ 400 million was committed in the Construction Sector.
Without going into too much detail, let me say, Mr Speaker, that among the many investment projects approved were submissions from South Africa, Mauritius, China, India, the USA, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the UAE, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Japan, Germany and Lebanon. Clear evidence, I believe, of progress.
Mr Speaker, after this initial massive surge in investment interest, submission and approval during the course of 2018, the year 2019 witnessed much more modest investment activity, with total approvals amounting to US$ 2, 2 billion. Once again, the Mining and Energy sectors were the prime areas of committed investment with US$ 700 million approved in Mining and US$ 545 million approved in Energy.
Other significant investment commitments were recorded in the Construction Sector (US$ 390 million) and the Services Sector (US$ 300 million).
Source countries for these approved committed investments include South Africa, China, Mauritius, Oman, the United Kingdom, India, Israel, Portugal, Switzerland, the USA and the UAE.
Mr Speaker, by way of comparison and contrast, Honourable Members should know that the total foreign investment approved by Government in 2016 and 2017 was US$ 2,3 billion and US$ 1,5 billion, respectively.
Mr Speaker, the figures for the first half of 2020 are still being processed. We should not be surprised, however, given the global economic impact of Covid-19 to see yet more modest investment submissions for this year.
Of particular interest, however, in the Agricultural/Manufacturing Sector is an US$ 80 million investment already approved for the growing and processing of cannabis and hemp products; a clear response to the further liberalisation, by Government, of investment regulations relating to the cultivation, processing and marketing of these products.
Mr Speaker, the sceptics and critics amongst us will no doubt ask why, if all these projects and investments have materialised, as approved, why we do not yet appear to feel or see the impact of those inflows upon our economy.
I have pointed out that the vast majority of the approved investments, in terms of the quantum of funding committed, are in the mining and energy Sectors. These projects invariably have long gestation time-frames due, in part, to the need for detailed and often costly pre-feasibility studies, power purchase agreements (PPA’s)(in the case of energy projects), full-feasibility studies and the various stages of exploration. All such projects also have to conduct detailed environmental impact assessments.
Although, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I have no direct oversight function in following-up on the exact status of each approved investment; that is more appropriately the role of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, line ministers and, increasingly, ZIDA. What I can say is that most of the approved Mining Sector projects, including a US$ 1,2 billion approved Asian investment in the development of Coal Bed Methane, are currently at exploration-stage and advancing.
I have already referred to the major ongoing Energy Sector projects. A raft of other smaller energy-related projects; primarily renewable energy in the form of solar and/or hydro-power are currently at various stages of preparation or implementation. Together, they account for some US$ 1,2 billion of approved investment in the sector (over the period 2018-2019) and will substantially boost electric power generation in our country. Two other major power projects are currently under consideration.
It is true, Mr Speaker that within a relatively short space of time, Zimbabwe will be a net exporter of electric power, further underlining its strategic importance as the natural logistic and supply or distribution hub for the Region.
Mr Speaker, let me turn, now, to the field of international trade where, I believe, our performance over the past 2 years or so, as per Zimtrade, Zimra and ZimStat certification provides further evidence of the success of (i) our policy of Engagement and Re-engagement, (ii) the determination of our exporters, and (iii) the innate resilience of our diversified economy, notwithstanding our multifaceted challenges -including the continued imposition, by some, of sanctions and other punitive measures.
Let me start with some statistics. Total merchandise exports in 2018 were US$ 4,04 billion. Total imports amounted to US$ 6,5 billion. Giving us an unsustainable trade deficit of US$ 2,45 billion. Total merchandise exports in 2019 were US$ 3,98 billion, down by 1,5% from 2018.
Total imports in 2019 were US$ 4,5 billion, down by 31,5% from 2018, and giving us a trade deficit of approximately US$ 500 million – down by 81% from the deficit recorded in 2018.
Obviously, 2020 figures are not yet complete. However, total exports over the period January to end August, 2020, totalled US$ 2,56 billion : representing a 4,9% increase in our export performance over the same period in 2019. A 4,9% increase in exports. Under current circumstances – under sanctions Mr Speaker, Sir, that is indeed progress and further validation of the policy of Engagement and Re-Engagement.
Total imports over that same period, January to end August 2020, totalled US$ 2,96 billion; down from US$ 3,16 billion recorded for the same period in 2019. Our trade deficit at the end of August, 2020, therefore stood at US$ 400 million, a 44% drop from the US$ 719 million recorded at the same time last year.
Mr Speaker, I will not go into great detail in terms of breaking down the various exports and imports, but I would like to highlight a number of important facts. Firstly, we remain, essentially an exporter of raw, un-processed or, at best, semi-processed goods and commodities.
Government is fully committed to changing this situation; to supporting and facilitating industrialisation and the modernisation of our industries so that they may beneficiate and add value to products which, today, we export in raw or unprocessed form. Minerals and Un-manufactured Tobacco remain our biggest export revenue earners, with Minerals generating US$ 2,17 billion in export revenue in 2018 and US$ 2,4 billion in 2019 – and accounting for 53% and 59 % of total exports, by value, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Un-manufactured Tobacco generated US$ 864 million in 2018, and slightly in excess of US$ 700 million in 2019, constituting 21% and 17% of total exports, by value, respectively, in those two years. Figures for 2020 – again covering the period January to end August – confirm Mineral exports of US$ 1,98 billion, up almost 8% over exports during the same period in 2019, and constituting 77%, by value, of total exports over those 8 months.
Unmanufactured Tobacco exports generated US$ 312 million over the period January to end August, 2020, up almost 12% over the same period of 2019 and constituting 12% , by value of total exports during that period.
Mr Speaker, without dwelling for too long on detail, let me point out that, with the exception of Horticulture and Clothing and Textiles exports, all others export sectors including Processed Foods, Manufactured Tobacco and Hides and Skins reflected very welcome increases in performance and export revenue over the first 8 months of 2020 performance to which we can attribute the global 4,9% increase in export performance, by value, over the same period in 2019.
On Horticulture, although the 2020 figures are somewhat disappointing, this is a sector poised for massive growth in the coming years. Because of Covid-19, the global demand for so-called “super-foods” is soaring. Super-Foods, for the uninitiated, include avocado pears, blueberries, macadamia nuts, bananas, pineapples, citrus-fruit, mangos and so on products with a high content of essential vitamins, useful for boosting the body’s immune system to fight-off disease, including viral diseases such as Covid-19 and influenza.
Zimbabwe is well placed to respond to this increased global demand and I am aware that trade and investment enquiries related to our horticulture sector are being received and processed.
Mr Speaker, the year is not over. Our conservative forecast, however, is that total exports for 2020 should be in the region of US$ 3,997 billion. Sceptics and critics will point out that this is only marginally better than the export performance recorded in 2019 where, as already mentioned, our exports totalled US$ 3,98 billion.
The point Mr Speaker is that, in spite of everything which mother nature, Covid 19 and sanctions have thrown at us over the past years, our producers and exporters have managed not only to stay afloat but to swim. I actually find it quite remarkable, but at the same time very Zimbabwean, that notwithstanding these obstacles and challenges, we just keep pushing ahead, striving to succeed and indeed succeeding.
Mr Speaker, raw materials, machinery, equipment, fuel, electricity, motor vehicles and motor spares continue to dominate our imports. The fuel and electricity import bill for 2019 was US$ 1,34 billion, down 26% from the US$ 1,87 billion recorded in 2018. 2020 figures, for the period January to end August, confirm that fuel imports totalled US$ 570 million, 45% down on the US$ 1,042 billion fuel import bill over the same period in 2019 reflecting subdued industrial, commercial and tourism activity due to the Corona-19 containment measures, but possibly also reflecting the effectiveness of the liberalisation measures introduced in the fuel sector and the consequent closing-down of opportunities for arbitrage and other dubious practices which were so prevalent in that sector.
Mr Speaker, although our traditional trading partners remain largely the same, with South Africa retaining first place, taking 36% of our exports and providing us with 46% of our imports (over the first 8 months of 2020), a most encouraging aspect of our trade figures over the past two years or so has been our growing presence in a number of regional markets and the slow but steady progress we are making in regaining our rightful place in those markets.
This is largely attributable to an improving business environment, ongoing fiscal and monetary reforms, Ease of Doing Business reforms as well as the intensified emphasis, within all our bilateral and bi-national commission meetings with SADC, Comesa and Tri-Partite Free Trade Area partners, on promoting Zimbabwean produce and products, on targeted trade-missions – including virtual trade missions and market surveys with Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and DRC – and on addressing trade imbalances with our regional partners and others.
Although our overall trade with SADC is down by 12% for the first 8 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, bilateral trade with Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola reflects significant improvement.
Further afield, and evidence again of successful engagement, is our growing presence in the Egyptian, Kenyan, Sudanese and Ugandan markets. With the imminent commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and on the basis of aggressive marketing and trade promotion by Zimtrade, I am confident that our trade performance with all these countries, and indeed others on the continent will continue to improve.
Given our rich human capital resource and the evident demand for qualified, skilled professionals and technical expertise across the continent, it is important that we also concentrate on marketing our impressive potential in the Services sector, transport, tourism, financial, engineering, telecommunications and other professional services from accounting to legal services.
Further afield still, and building on the policy of Engagement and Re-Engagement, progress is being made in developing markets for our produce in the Gulf States and Middle East more broadly, as well as in countries such as Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and others. Efforts continue to expand our presence in already established markets such as China, India, Singapore, the UAE, the UK and others.
Mr Speaker, there is a great deal more I could say on the progress we are making with regard to trade and investment flows and with regard to our policy of Engagement and Re-Engagement more broadly.
I thank you for the opportunity you have afforded me to share insight and information with Hon. Members and I undertake, Sir, with your permission, to repeat this exercise on a regular basis so as to keep the House informed on the status of Engagement and Re-Engagement and on the significant progress we are making;
· To rebrand Zimbabwe as a reliable and trusted trade and investment partner;
· To strengthen long-standing relationships with our many all-weather friends;
· To establish new relationships with those with whom we have hitherto had little if any engagement; and
· To rebuild relationships which, for whatever reason, soured and fell apart over the past twenty years or so.
Mr. Speaker, with regard to Re-Affirmation and Engagement, I believe it is clear from the presentation I have made and the statistics I have shared with you that our traditional, long-standing partners remain predominant in terms of both trade and investment flows. We will continue to further strengthen and deepen those ties.
With regard to Re-Engagement, as I said at the beginning of my statement, the rebuilding of broken or interrupted relationships was never envisaged as an event. It is a process. An immediate breakthrough in terms of the US, the UK and the EU more broadly, even after the transition of November 2017, was never seen as likely, but such a breakthrough must remain a key objective of our overall Re-Engagement strategy.
Several setbacks notwithstanding, progress has been made. Whereas, prior to the New Dispensation, there was little engagement beyond two-way megaphone diplomacy between Harare and most western capitals, there is currently ongoing, constructive dialogue with all of them, the US, the UK and Brussels included.
We continue to differ on a number of issues, most specifically on the continued imposition of sanctions, but we are talking to one another rather than at one another. Generally speaking, the atmosphere is positive and the prospects for further progress and improvement remain promising. I Thank You.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister that is a report that I may call pregnant with positive objective results.
HON. RUNGANI: Firstly, I would like to congratulate Hon. Madam Khupe for being appointed the Leader of the Opposition. I would also like to thank the Minister for the foreign policy on engagement and dialogue. Do you have a monitoring and evaluation matrix for the policy, and how constant do you check? Secondly, have you considered coming up with a law for punitive measures to be made against those people calling for sanctions against our country? Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to say the Minister was extremely eloquent and such eloquence really leaves one dumbfounded – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- but what I think is important is in his eloquence he alluded to the fact that I cannot respond to matters of line ministries which I hope this House can then ask for statements from the various ministries whose empowerment has gone to in terms of implementation. He has spoken about the investments that it is in different sectors, agriculture, energy and mining. So it is incumbent upon those line ministries to then tell us about implementation. Certainly, that does not lie with them.
The clarity that I seek from the Minister is that when I look at the figure presented, it is pretty clear that most of the money is not coming from the Americans. A bird in hand is worth two. We run a risk of losing the traditional players because the re-engagement with the Americans is not at all bearing any fruit, sanctions which you alluded to are being imposed on leaders of Government and yet the re-engagement process is there.
Sanctions on a Minister of State Security are just a big statement because State Security is critical and Americans are very much into the CIA and FBI so they would have been thorough. The effects of that are quite loud, human rights is one of the issues that they bring up. From a point of clarity, how far have you gone in dealing with aspects of human rights that they talk about because it is an issue and it has affected investment from the Americans.
The other issue is the Chinese, I am glad you mentioned two institutions which they invested in, in my constituency Norton. Great Dyke, so far so good. Sun Yet Sen, so far not so good. There is an exploitation of Zimbabwe and the 50 million that we talk about, there is no structure. It is important that, in addition to what the previous Hon. Member who talked about the monitoring and evaluation said, we tend to be lenient with the Russians and the Chinese because they vetoed when things were not so good for us and that seems to give them a long hand to do what they want, exploiting us. When we now want to say something, they remind us of that time when they vetoed. The resources which have been given have gone for nothing. I agree with investment but I also would want from a clarity point of view the quantity, quality and the price of the investment which they are getting. We thank the Chinese for the 150 million Parliament project but it is not for free.
Finally, in cash, which is what we need, how much has come in terms of cash form? We are grateful to the Russians and Chinese for the Arms they gave us for our liberation but the arms they gave us were for economic emancipation in cash not to continuously hold them as our masters and so forth. They can be another form of colonisation coming through. Can there be clarity on that? I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Minister, mine starts with appreciating your statement which I believe everyone here will agree with me that it brings confidence and life to all of us in this House. We have been asking ourselves a lot of questions that you have answered so well. It is my request and wish that this statement could be shared to all Zimbabweans so that they understand the good effort that our Government is embarking on to bring normalcy.
I also would want to get some clarity whether this effort which we all witnessed, in fact those who watch closely to what Government is doing to try and re-engage and bring normalcy in terms of our relationship with the international community will agree with me and with the statement. However, how much of this effort is shared by some of the people who have been part of the old dispensation because with all this effort that we are seeing, we see that some are still not moving together with the efforts that your Ministry and Government is doing. Do we share the same visions and efforts or it is time that as we push to this new beginning for our country, we remove some who are not moving in the same direction with the effort our Government is trying to achieve for this country.
HON. NDUNA: Firstly, I want to congratulate Hon. Khupe for landing the post of Leader of Opposition in Parliament. Mr. Speaker Sir, opposition is needed to place checks and balances on the main stream party, the ruling party. What men can do, women can do better and as a ‘HeforShe’ advocate, myself, I really applaud the agenda that has been exhibited by the opposition party.
Having said that, Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister spoke about the issues of the Ambassadors being different in the Second Republic in terms of both checks and balances, monitoring and evaluation and their reporting strategy. I want to know from him what mechanisms have been put in place to make sure what they have been commissioned to do in those countries is being done. They come back like doves and report back to the Hon. Minister. So I need to know, is it monthly, quarterly, yearly in terms of output and benefit to the country. Secondly, I need to know, in particular, projects and investments that have been brought in by the Chinese? I am alive to the US$150 million Chinese Exim-bank non-financed, Victoria Falls airport that is now water under the bridge but there is a replica at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in terms of investment to the tune of US$150 million Chinese Exim bank loan financed. My question is, to what extent has Covid-19 affected the expeditious completion of these projects, aware that we are on the path of rejuvenation, rehabilitation, reconstruction and awakening our skies through the recently procured aircrafts that we have from Malaysia?
My third question is to what extent are our friends who have elevated our relationship, the Chinese in particular – the elevated relationship he has spoken about and the Russians? To what extend are they involved in bringing the Americans to account in terms of calling for the removal of sanctions from Zimbabwe unconditionally? I believe they can bring the Americans to account for sure using their economies put together.
Lastly, I tread on the same steps that Hon. Mliswa has treaded on in terms of calling for other line ministries which he does not superintend over, to come in with ministerial statements; like bride maids complementing, augmenting and making sure that his wholesome statement can actually find protection from the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, the Minister of Industry and Commerce as well as the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, as it relates to the investment that he has spoken about. I make this clarion call and request that those statements also come in as a result of the statement which is wholesome, complete and right. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Like my colleagues before me, I also wish to congratulate my President Hon. Dr. Khupe on her appointment as leader of the opposition. Going to the ministerial statement, I wish to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Moyo for his very elaborate statement on the Government policy of re-affirmation, re-engagement and engagement. I think you were very exhaustive in your presentation. I want to congratulate you for that very good statement. Please keep up the good job. I have got four areas to sound out to you. The first area is on sanctions and here I also want to give advice because our role as opposition is not just to attack but also to advise. Our advice is that let us be very frank and address the issues that have given rise to sanctions. Let us be meticulous and address those issues within the context of diplomacy and international relations. Let us resolve those outstanding issues or sticking issues with Europe, America and engage them effectively as you are doing.
Around some of the issues that led to the imposition of sanctions which I think you will be most pleased to address; the first issue as you have already raised was the land question which sparked the imposition of sanctions. You need to address that. The second issue was breakdown in human rights and this is well documented during Mugabe era and you know that very well. The third issue is political violence that also attracted the imposition of sanctions. The fourth issue was the breakdown in the rule of law especially violation of international law and laws relating TO property rights, protection of international property rights et cetera. These are concrete issues that sparked sanctions and you need to address those issues one by one, block by block so that we deal with this sanctions scourge.
We, in the opposition do not support sanctions, we want the sanctions removed like yesterday. So, we want to help you to remove these sanctions. Dr. Khupe has been doing a lot of work to try to assist in re-engagement and engagement so she must be supported to assist in that regard. However, those issues must also be addressed as I have highlighted so that we have no excuse for any other country continuing to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The other issue related to sanctions is that we must not harp on them. It must not be a mantra. Ian Smith was under sanctions but he did not harp on that. It was not a mantra but what he did was to devise sanctions busting methods. So, as a new dispensation, you must come up with new sanctions busting methods like what Smith did. Look at how he reindustrialised, import substituted even during sanctions. He did not make it a mantra as we want to make it today. Look at Cuba, how it has withstood sanctions over so many years, the blockade. So, let us not make this a mantra because we will then fail to come up with innovative and progressive measures to develop our country if we make it a mantra.
The third observation is that you may also want to relate the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the impact of corruption on our country so that you know there are certain variables we can control to turn round our economy rather than just mourn sanctions. The final advice I want to give you is that the international community will always change goal posts. Do not be under any illusion that the removal of sanctions will open an Eldorado for Zimbabwe. That is not correct. Sanctions can be removed today and we remain poor and no resources will flow to Zimbabwe. They will change goal posts. For now, whilst we want sanctions to be removed, we must also address the issue of our international debt arrears. I can foresee that as another problematic issue, of course they can remove sanctions but they will say, you owe the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) or European Investment Bank so much, so we cannot give you new capital money. So, these things must be addressed so that we will not be surprised after the removal of sanctions that after all, there is no El Dorado beyond the removal of the sanctions. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mashakada. Let me also take this opportunity to take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Dr. Madam Khupe for the appointment on this day of Women in the Rural Communities, it is quite great for women to be taking such positions. Thank you very much.
HON. DUTIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this debate. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Hon. Dr. Khupe for being appointed the Leader of Opposition in Parliament. I am saying, it is good that you are now the Leader of the Opposition party where you will be discussing…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Dutiro. What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa?
HON. T. MLISWA: With due respect, after such a presentation, the Hon. Member is not appropriately dressed. He has no tie, no jacket. We need to be serious about this Parliament.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry, I cannot hear you.
HON. T. MLISWA: The Hon. Member is not appropriately dressed. He has no jacket or tie. We are a Parliament of rules even in virtual meetings.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mliswa. Hon. Dutiro, may you please go and dress accordingly. Thank you very much. – [Hon. Dutiro having been putting on his tie and intending to resume debate on the virtual platform] – Order Hon. Dutiro. Your tie is not in order – [Laughter] – may you please do it off camera. Thank you very much.
HON. PHULU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Minister for a very clear, lucid and thorough presentation that answers a lot of questions one would have had before coming to listen to his presentation. In fact, as one listened to his presentation, one had a lot of questions still but as the presentation went on, I was able to tick off a lot of my questions which I think very clearly were answered.
I think the agenda of Reaffirmation, Re-engagement, its pillars were very clearly articulated. Certainly, it leaves only a few questions and clarifications which I would like to request. The first one goes to the deals or agreements with the Chinese, which were unpacked in detail. However, there are a lot of questions surrounding the content of those transactions. I think it goes to the Foreign Affairs Ministry having a programme to let the generality of the public know what in brief, the content of the deals are. I would like the Minister to clarify Madam Speaker Ma’am, the cost of the deals because we hear rumours and allegations, all sorts of things that in fact, the future of our children is mortgaged in these deals. We hear allegations that the land and the minerals have been sold. Obviously, these are in the form of rumours and unvalidated discussions. I would love very much for the Hon. Minister to tell us what they are doing to ensure that they can post just the summary of some of these transactions without breaching any confidentiality really so that the nation can be assured that the future is not being mortgaged.
The next point of clarification that I would like to hear from the Hon. Minister is related to the first one; what is the level of expertise in terms of negotiations of his staff, his department – I know certainly as Parliament, perhaps we also need to be given an induction. What are we looking for as we negotiate these international agreements? This is because a lot of times we know that in the so called developing nations, our shortcomings, not necessarily in terms of motive Hon. Minister but really sometimes, it can be due to a shortcoming in the ability to technically negotiate good deals for our nation. Again, I would like to hear the Hon. Minister give an evaluation of how well we are in that regard, how solid are we? Are we speaking the same technical language with the rest of the world in terms of those issues?
It is also important I suppose, when it comes to technical language and even standards within the country for those professionals within the country – because as we enter into a deal with China or whichever country, it is going to translate into how professionals within the country who have nothing to do with the deal impact it in terms of ensuring that it is implemented. If our people on the ground whether in the private sector or wherever, cannot draw up good contracts and properly process products or merchandise that is coming in to the country or going out, I think there is need for a technical exchange with the rest of the world to ensure that we are all kept abreast up to a certain level.
I will say to you Hon. Minister for instance, I am a lawyer; the University of Zimbabwe does not have a Masters in International Trade Law and they have not had that programme for many years and you can cut across all the programmes and see to what extend are our programmes reflecting a desire to have the same technical language with the rest of the world. I think those are areas of interest and concern.
I noticed as well that when it comes to our top exports, unmanufactured tobacco and minerals, when we are importing motor spares, I will leave out fuel – it also shows that the process of value addition – I am not saying we must quickly add value to tobacco, there might be reasons in that sector why the market prefers unmanufactured tobacco – even with minerals, I suppose to a certain extend. However, one would say surely, we should be deepening our resolve and ensuring that as we move on to 2021, 2022 to 2023, we begin to see emerging from here that the Hon. Minister has been able to secure deals for something that we have manufactured and to which we have added value. So, just as a programme, it is not a criticism in terms of detail but I am saying, surely, I would like to hear if this is something which is on the Hon. Minister’s mind – paying due regard of course to the fact that these things are not within his Ministry. I understand that and this is the unfortunate part that such a good presentation has been made in the absence of the line ministries who would have heard this presentation and would have been able to respond to it either in terms of Ministerial Statements or in terms of the policy and legislation that they bring. I fear that they might have missed a very good presentation.
Lastly, just to echo the point made by Hon. Mashakada in terms of our own internal issues that we need to speak to, particularly when it comes to the issue of sanctions such as how well are. This is within the Hon. Ministry’s purview – how well are we doing in terms of our reports that we make as part of our obligations from international to regional instruments. Mine is different; there is the political angle on human rights but technically, are our reports reflecting that we are living up to and discharging our duties in terms of those international treaties. I know we hold these conferences regularly and we make these reports. I have not seen any central place or maybe I have not been to the website where I can look for a particular report on human rights and say ‘look this has been the report’, not necessarily having to rely on people who write papers and other secondary sources. It would be good to see that and it would contribute towards the talks around the issues of sanctions.
On the issue of sanctions, one will note that the EU, for example, has made great strides in trying to reduce or remove those. Britain in particular has moved out of the EU. They are also seeking to engage with the various partners. What is the attitude of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the Commonwealth? Is there any chance that we will be moving towards there? Of course, I saw that the Zimbabwe Defence Industry is still on the list. I think it is the only entity on the list of sanctions in the UK, but certainly, strides have been made. Are we likely to see reengagement on the issue of the Commonwealth? I thank you Madam Maam.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): I would like to respond to what you previously requested. Well indeed, in terms of the Executive, I am sure the Hon. Minister will be able to communicate to the other line Ministers and then in terms of us as Parliament, Portfolio Committees have to take charge . I know this is going to come out in the Hansard. It would be very important for them to take charge of all the issues that are affecting them. In that way, they will be able to request their line ministries to then be able to take charge of such. It is actually a very important point. Hon. Minister, I am sure that you can then expedite.
HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for giving us his Ministerial Statement and other treaties. I do not want to dwell much on this because my colleagues have already said a lot.
On the issue of sanctions, do you have people who are capable of negotiating the removal of these sanctions or we are just singing that we are under sanctions without properly sitting down with the people with the know-how of negotiating? It is not everybody who is capable of negotiating. We lost a very big opportunity in November 2017 when we changed the Government system. We were not supposed to call for elections immediately. We were supposed to stop going to elections. Our elections in this country have been toxic. We lost one of the biggest opportunities of uniting the nation and to persuade the international community to work with us. We lost it big time because we rushed into elections when we knew we were not ready to do that because everybody was united by that time irrespective of one’s political affiliation. Anyway, this is the situation we are in now. My question is, do we have the people who are capable of negotiating for us to be removed from these embargoes? Even here in Parliament, do we have the right people who are going to represent us and talk with one voice?
I will give you an example of South Africa, there is this party called EFF which is led by Malema – they will go out there and protect their country. They do not talk ill about their country. Do we have such people to represent us out there? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FOREIN AFFAIRS (HON. S. MOYO): I would like to thank Hon. Members –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – all of them ….
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Speak to the Chair Hon. Minister. Do not be misinformed. You have to respond so that you adequately respond to all the issues within your means.
HON. S. MOYO: Madam Speaker Maam, there are a number of issues which Hon. Members have raised and because they are many again, you would excuse me if I do not designate specific names behind each of the points. On whether we have a monitoring and evaluation process – yes, we have got a reporting system which is done quarterly and this reporting system is a proforma which we designed which must indicate the work of an Ambassador in terms of what FDI has brought into the country.
Secondly, what markets have you secured for our products? And thirdly, how many tourists has he brought into this country? Fourthly, what technology which is relevant particularly for the value addition which you have had has that been possible and overally, what relations have you cultivated? The fundamental issues which are key to the ambassadors are contained in that report.
The second point is, is there a law to punish members who are not patriotic to their members? – I have always said when I address the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that the responsibility of engagement and re-engagement is not just the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. It is the responsibility of every Zimbabwean and it does not matter whether one is a business person, legislator, a priest, a clergyman or whoever. When people travel outside the country, there is only one Zimbabwe that we all have. It does not help to go and denigrate your own country for whatever reason you want because even those first democracies do not do that. We have learnt that they do not do that.
I know one of the Speakers in the United States of America, in your position, was asked when she was outside the United States of America to speak about the President of the United States of America. The expectation was that it was going to be a negative and she said, ‘No, he is the President of the United States of America when I am here but when we are back that is something different’. I think it is important and I am aware that through the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, this matter is critical that even the Americans have a Patriot Act that basically ensures that every citizen must protect his/her own country…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Order Hon. Minister, may we kindly mute our gadgets Hon. Members so that the Hon. Minister may be heard in silence?
HON. DR. MOYO: Madam Speaker, there was a question on there being no meaningful business particularly emanating from our erstwhile friends. Indeed but it is like where you are in a 50 meters deep ditch and you crawl up and you are two meters inside the ditch. You have made progress but you are still in a ditch. All I am saying is, we have made progress but yes, the significance of trade and investment from those original source markets is not yet at the level at which it was. We still want to access Yokohama Ports. We still want to export our beef into Europe but of course there are internal issues of foot and mouth and other issues which obviously impede that particular process.
Are we lenient with the Chinese or Russians? Madam Speaker, I think there is one lesson we have learnt from the Chinese and also even from the Russians. It is that when it is business, it is pure business. If you go there, they discuss and it is business. In fact, the generation that is there now is such that it will apply business ethics and talk politics later on. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with being friends and particularly where you have got somebody who can take a risk of coming to invest into a country that has got difficulties or a high risk profile and they still come. Yes, the consequence of that result is that the cost of money is going to be expensive because of the risk profile. These are issues that are found in negotiations and discussions.
Are we moving together? Do we share the same vision? All I can say is that His Excellency the President, in his inaugural speech clearly stated that, ‘My policy is re-affirmation, engagement and re-engagement. I want to end this isolation of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe must trade and do business freely’. Let us be competitive as a nation but without being tied one hand behind and the other on the foot – that is all we are saying about sanctions. It is not that we want any specific favour but if Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) says, ‘You are not going to have access to certain funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’, we have cleared all our arrears with the IMF. Have we got anything – nothing?
The whole issue is, if we do not clear this thing that is around our necks that is called sanctions, we are always going to have these big problems. The banks are suffering; they do not have corresponding banks because of risk profile. Lines of credit are difficult and commercial banks even donor funding itself – not that we do not want donor funding but even donor funding but access to fund IMF, World Bank and everything for infrastructure development like any other nation that is not forthcoming. The reason is yes, there could be the fact that we have got arrears but these arrears are tied up in order to be incapacitated, basically to try and resolve and even restructure these specific arrears. We need this freedom in order to be able to service our debts so that we can also play a competitive role in the international market.
The effect of COVID-19 to projects like RGM – yes, COVID-19 definitely caused some delays but it did not stop projects but caused delays. The detailed aspect about the exact timeframes and so forth, I think the line Ministry will be able to state as that is being supervised on the ground. I am aware from my Ministry’s point of view that even certain contractors or personnel who were supposed to come from China to rotate and certain equipment, was delayed to come into the country due to COVID-19. We hope that it is not going to be a major delay in that particular process.
Yes, we have reached strategic comprehensive partnership with China. China also calls for and even Russia call for the removal of sanctions. What we are getting from everybody in the world is solidarity but it is not so much about the support that says, ‘If you do not remove sanctions, I am going to cause a blockage to you’, or something like that. it is something that is really based on an idealistic and solidarity framework basis. Let me say, what can we resolve on the sanctions? The land was the major issue of sanctions and the conflict around land is what has been brought to the point that the Global Compensation Agreement was then reached. It is to try to narrow down the issues of conflict in that particular area. Therefore, it is an area that we think puts an end to that conflictual situation whereby more than three thousand farmers came and agreed with Government on that basis.
The second point is, I will always say the perception of violence. I do not know. If anybody would remember the last election, if there has been the most peaceful election ever, it was the 2018 election. I remember the last revised ZIDERA which came out just before 2018; it was saying you must have free, fair and credible elections. That was one of the conditions of ZIDERA. What did we do? We achieved exactly that, notwithstanding the first of August events which were post-elections but as we are aware, some of these reasons of why sanctions are moving targets today, it is elections; tomorrow it is POSA and AIPPA, the other day it is human rights and tomorrow morning it is something else. We are very awake to that and we communicate that clearly even to them to say, listen you are not consistent with some of these issues.
If there was violence as you made reference to and now there is no violence, why are the sanctions on? The rule of law emanates from the Land Reform Programme but basically took the acquisition of land in a fast track form and was considered as a destruction of the rule of law. If there is anything which has been corrected, it is through this Government compensation because it is full of compliance to constitutionalism following exactly the prescription of the Constitution, of what it says about compensation. Really we must be applauded and if anything, these sanctioners must be saying to us, well I think we have got nothing to do with Zimbabwe anymore. You have clean hands.
The mantra of sanctions that we are making it so much of a rhetoric, that is the one weapon system we have. When a stronger nation imposes sanctions on a weaker nation, what option do you have except solidarity and maybe legal, that is all? Otherwise you cannot force a stronger nation to remove the sanctions and we know how long some personalities, even in South Africa took to be on the list of being terrorists when they were Head of State already.
The impact of sanctions versus corruption – I came up with a simple theory during the early 80s. This country had all the values, doing straightforward business and was the best in terms of the ethics of doing business but come sanctions, a human being wants to survive because he has been squeezed and because he has been squeezed, he wants to survive and cut corners. In my view – [HON. T. MLISWA: He has to breathe, even if he has to fart, it is okay?] – Not that we are justifying corruption, no. I am only saying some of these issues are interrelated or interconnected. Sanctions cause corruption.
Madam Speaker, we always want to protect people’s human rights as enshrined in the Constitution and that is the position of this Government. I know even the UN Rapporteur to this country made an observation that some of the human rights cannot be achieved as long as sanctions are in existence.
I will just finalise with two specific matters where there is the aspect of the matrix of the source markets of investments. I think from my presentation it was quite clear that the source markets of investments or FDI is actually wide right across from east to west and the difference is only in density as to what is the significance of the values from each particular source market.
In as far as value addition, we are using universities and there is one Hon. Member who spoke about being a lecturer at the university and we are saying universities must come up with solutions in innovation hubs in order to provide solutions which would bring in technology to value add the different products or raw materials which we produce. That way, we will be able to value add and create secondary goods.
United Kingdom – yes, they have broken away from the European Union but this august House recently ratified a partnership agreement between Zimbabwe and United Kingdom and I would like to thank you for that. It has secured exporters who are exporting about 400 million worth of products duty free into the United Kingdom through that particular agreement.
The Commonwealth – we are part of the Commonwealth. We moved out of the Commonwealth because there were choices which were to be made. We have had meetings with the Commonwealth that we can at the appropriate time be able to come back to the Commonwealth as long as the playing field is even. What we will not accept is obviously a situation whereby there are certain member States who will then call the shots. The majority of member States in the Commonwealth States are African Member States and they are many others outside, in Asia and outside Africa. Of course so far everybody wants us, the meeting ahead in the United Kingdom, all the foreign Ministers of Commonwealth countries said they wanted Zimbabwe back into the Commowealth and therefore, we believe that it is something which we can be able to pursue.
Finally, do we have people who are able to negotiate? Well, the reason why Government has formed and this august House created ZIDA was for that particular reason. I thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that notice of motion number 4 on today’s Order Paper and Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 11 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 12 has been disposed of.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Twelfth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move for the adoption of the motion in reply to the Presidential Speech on behalf of Hon. Sacco, the mover of the motion. Hon. Sacco is out with a Portfolio Committee on Parliamentary business. He is currently in Masvingo Province.
In doing so, I would like to thank all Hon. Members who contributed to this motion. With those few words, I move that the motion;
That a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:
May it please you, Your Excellency.
We, the Members of the National Assembly of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament, be adopted.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 to 26 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 27 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed.
REPORT OF THE THIRD ORDINARY SESSION OF THE FIFTH PARLIAMENT OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT HELD IN MIDRAND
I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Third Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament held in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa from 2 to 8 October 2019.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: I second.
HON. RWODZI: Introduction
The Third Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan – African Parliament (PAP) took place at the precincts of the Pan – African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa from 02 to 18 October 2019. The Ordinary Session was preceded by the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Pan – African Parliament (PAP) Regional Seminar on “Enhancing parliamentary engagement and action for more peaceful and sustainably developed societies”
ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 3RD ORDINARY SESSION OF THE 5TH PARLIAMENT OF THE PAP
The Zimbabwe delegation was led by Hon. Chief Fortune Z. Charumbira, Fourth Vice President of the Pan – African Parliament;
The rest of the delegation comprised the following:-
Hon. Pupurai Togarepi, Member of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline;
Hon. Barbara Rwodzi, Member of the Committee on Audit and Public Accounts (CAPA);
Hon. Stars Mathe, Member of the Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources; and
Hon. Dr. Tapiwa Mashakada, Member of the Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters.
Mr. Evans Gorogodo, External Relations Officer and Secretary to the Delegation.
PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (SALW) AND PAN – AFRICAN PARLIAMENT (PAP) REGIONAL SEMINAR ON “ENHANCING PARLIAMENTARY ENGAGEMENT AND ACTION FOR MORE PEACEFUL AND SUSTAINABLY DEVELOPED SOCIETIES”
The Seminar held on 03 and 04 October 2019 within the context of the Agenda 2063 goal of silencing the guns by 2020 brought together Members of Parliament, Civil Society Organisations and Specialists in the field of small arms and light weapons.
The Members lamented the violence and deaths caused by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across the continent.
They observed that over 875 million small arms and light weapons are in circulation across the world and emphasised the need for Parliamentarians to play a role in curbing the illicit movement of small arms and light weapons.
A call was made for Members of Parliament to be educated on the international instruments that relate to small arms and light weapons.
The Seminar urged all PAP Member states to sign, ratify and domesticate the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) and abide by the provisions so as to curb conflict that has a ripple effect of causing underdevelopment on the continent.
Abuse of fire arms by the security sector was also topical during the Seminar. Members were also urged to ensure that proper handling of obsolete arms was implemented within their jurisdictions.
In view of the dream to have the PAP transformed into a legislative body, it was also hoped that legislative initiatives governing export, import and use of fire arms would be standardised.
OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY
The Official Opening ceremony took place on Monday 07 October 2019 in the Idriss Ndele Moussa Plenary Hall.
The Guest of Honor at the Ceremony was the Rt. Hon. Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In his opening address, Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the PAP paid tribute to Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, President of Tunisia and Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, former President and founding father of the Republic of Zimbabwe who died in July and September 2019 respectively.
Addressing the issue of the recent xenophobic attacks that took place in the Republic of South Africa and threatened the hosting of the Session, the PAP President condemned acts of violence across the continent citing that such acts are retrogressive.
He also made reference to the free movement of people and goods across the continent which he said would contribute to both economic independence of Africa as well as economic prosperity.
Delivering a solidarity speech, His Excellency Mr. Fumio Shimizu, Ambassador of Japan to the African Union (AU) made reference to the successes scored through cooperation at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a Japan – Africa partnership anchored on Japanese investment in Africa which has witnessed 20 billion United States Dollars investment in the past 10 years.
He pledged Japanese support to the African Continental Free Trade Area implementation as well as Universal Health Coverage in African states.
He concluded by inviting African countries to send participants to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
His Excellency Mr. Elman Abdullayev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the AU also addressed the PAP and pledged to render support to African states particularly the torchbearers of the Non – Aligned Movement (NAM).
In her capacity as the Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo spoke to the 2019 theme for 2019 which addresses the plight of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons. She expressed great appreciation to member states that are receiving refugees and have policies that protect their rights.
She also spoke about the violence conflicts across the continent citing that women, children and the disabled are the most affected and thus need protection.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker also called upon the Members of the PAP to lobby their Heads of States and Government for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol.
Activity Report of the Parliament
The President of the PAP presented the Activity Report of the Parliament covering the period May to September 2019, with debate centering on the following:- promoting human rights and democracy, good governance and development in Africa, promoting peace, security and stability, promoting integration and development in Africa and strengthening institutional capacity of the PAP.
Emphasis was placed on the need to enhance the visibility of the PAP in Member states and beyond the continent. To this end, a clarion call was made for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol that will grant legislative authority to the PAP.
Fact finding missions to areas such as child labour in mining zones, conflict areas as well as disaster struck parts of the continent were proposed.
The Plenary also observed and lamented the cutting of the PAP budget from a proposed 20, 798, 521 United States Dollars to 16, 408, 177 United States Dollars.
Report of the Committee on Audit and Public Accounts (CAPA)
The Committee on Audit and Public Accounts, an equivalent of the Public Accounts Committees in National Parliaments is mandated to present a report to the Plenary of the PAP during sessions.
The following were the key observations in the CAPA report:- Absence of a disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan in the PAP, high turnover of Clerks of the PAP whereby between 2015 and 2019, the PAP has had 4 different Clerks including an Acting Clerk, non – compliance with AU procurement approval processes, inadequate staffing within the PAP, failure to claim Value Added Tax (VAT) whose amount has accumulated to US$368,959 as at 31 December 2018, failure to capture funds mobilised from development partners in the budget, delays in implementing audit recommendations, failure to recognise the contribution of the Host Government in the books of accounts and failure to execute the budget of the PAP which has contributed to cutting of the budget.
5.3 A recommendation was reached to establish an Internal Audit Progress Committee mandated to follow up on implementation of audit outcomes and CAPA recommendations.
DEBATE ON THE CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA
The Pan – African Parliament was appraised on the progress made regarding implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, with trading under the ACFTA expected to begin in July 2020.
The provision relating to the Rules of Origin was a key element that the Members agreed should be scrutinised so as to guard against malpractices in the intra-African trade.
The following recommendations were made to AU member states:- scale up manufacturing and promote intra-African trade, promote a digital economy, lure investment from the African diaspora, lobby for full ratification of the CFTA, participate at the Intra-African Trade Fair scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda from 1 to 7 September 2020, align free movement of goods to free movement of people legislate for laws that support the implementation of the ACFTA at the national level, develop transport networks that link African countries, guard against tax fraud and guard against cross border crime.
DEBATE ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA
The PAP session deliberated on the status of peace and security on the continent and the members agreed that terrorism and radicalisation continue to constitute one of the major threats to the continent. Extremist groups have perfected the art of recruitment facilitated by the use of cyber platforms and structural vulnerabilities such as poverty, ethnic and religious diversity and varying political ideologies. Activities of Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab were singled out as a menace on the continent.
The following countries were highlighted as conflict zones:- Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Guinea Bissau, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and the Sahel especially in Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana and Togo.
While appreciating the efforts by the AU in bringing warring parties to dialogue, the PAP recommended fact finding missions to the conflict zones as part of the Members of Parliament’s oversight role.
Regarding the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the South African delegation reiterated the apology issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sad occurrence and called upon the people of Africa to cohabit in peace.
The 3rd Ordinary Session of the 5th Parliament adopted the Model Police Act, the Model Disability Law and the Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition in Africa. The Draft Model Law on Policing on the African continent addresses issues of governance, human rights and justice as it relates to the police service. The prime purpose of the Model Disability Law is to enable AU member states to provide themselves with a legal tool that will serve as a guiding framework for combating all forms of discrimination and obstacles that affect people with disabilities. The Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition is meant to guide or serve as a source of inspiration for countries that aim to develop national and sub-national legislation on the right to adequate food and security and nutrition.
Members were thus implored to disseminate the Model Laws to the relevant stakeholders within their countries.
Members were encouraged to establish Parliamentary Networks on Food and Nutrition Security. Benchmarking can be done with the Parliament of Sierra Leone whose Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition is doing quite well.
DEBATE ON THE HEALTH SECTOR
The debate on the health sector centred on non-communicable diseases and the desire by the African states to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
Members were urged to legislate for the promotion of education in the area of non-communicable diseases considering the fact that these can be treated yet they have become the major killer diseases.
Education in addressing the following risk factors was also suggested for the Members:- high blood sugar levels, high fat levels, abuse of alcohol, abuse of dangerous substances as well as abuse of tobacco products. Regulation of advertising and availability of alcohol and tobacco products was also proposed, for example, prohibiting the sale of these products to persons under the age of 18 as well as stipulating selling times.
Member states were urged to observe and respect the provisions of the various regional and international commitments that speak to Universal Health Coverage.
DEBATE ON A REPORT OF THE FACT FINDING MISSION ON CHILD LABOUR IN MINING AREAS OF COTE D’IVOIRE
The plight of child laborers in the mining sector in Cote d’Ivoire was considered by the PAP during the 3rd Ordinary Session.
Members observed the need to harmonise labour laws across the continent, especially regarding child labour. Particular attention should be put to prevention of child labour and not the penalty to perpetrators.
DEBATE ON THE MOTION ON LIFTING OF SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWE
The motion was moved by Hon. Majola from the Republic of South Africa and seconded by Hon. Pupurai Togarepi and several other Members of Parliament.
Due to limited time, the motion could not be debated. However, the President of the PAP ruled that the motion will be debated in May 2020 during the 4th Ordinary Session.
In addition, the PAP President suggested that a Senior Government official from Zimbabwe should be invited and be present during the debate to provide an update on the status quo regarding the sanctions.
DEBATE ON THE MOTION CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF THE LATE CDE. ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE
Hon. Janet Kabila from the Democratic Republic of Congo moved the motion honouring the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Members from the following countries debated on the motion:- DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, Uganda, Seychelles, Gambia, Kenya, Sahrawi Arab democratic Republic, Mauritania, Central African Republic and Zimbabwe.
The late former President was describes as a Pan – Africanist, unifier, liberator, inspiration who fought not only for the people of Zimbabwe but those of Africa and the world. The delegation from the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic informed the gathering that they declared a day of mourning in honour of Cde. Mugabe. In addition, the latest graduating class from the school of Diplomacy has been named the Class of Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
The Members of the PAP unanimously agreed to rename Committee Room 3, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Room.
DEBATE ON THE ENERGY SECTOR
The Members committed to oversee and legislate for universal access to low cost energy, diversify the energy sector, and make renewable energy accessible to all African citizens by 2040.
The Session also recommended the development of human resources in the energy sector, support their development, as well as raise awareness among people on the benefits of renewable energy.
Members were also urged to ensure that adequate budgets were channeled to renewable energy.
To achieve universal access to energy, Members agreed on the need to encourage private-public partnership for investment in energy.
In addition to the energy committees in Parliament, Members were encouraged to establish a network of Parliamentarians on implementation of renewable energy projects.
12TH PAN – AFRICAN PARLIAMENT CONFERENCE ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS
The 12th Pan – African Parliament Conference of Women Parliamentarians took place on the side-lines of the 3rd Session of the 5th Parliament on 14 and 15 October 2019. Mrs. Bridgette Motsepe Radebe, PAP Goodwill Ambassador – Economic Development and Women Empowerment and Chief Executive Officer of Mmakau Mining officiated as Guest of Honour. She called upon women to act as agents for economic development so as to rid Africa of poverty.
The Parliamentarians agreed on the need to enhance the political independence by striving for economic emancipation. A clarion call was made for the continent to harness economic growth from the rich mineral resources that the continent is endowed with.
In line with the 2019 AU theme, the Members of Parliament were urged to legislate for the protection of the rights of women and children with the status of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons.
Involvement of women in the ICT field in view of the digital era that we now live in was also cited as a priority.
Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament called upon Members of the PAP to consider mooting a Model Law that harmonises laws regarding the following in Africa;- marriage, inheritance, domestic violence, deceased estates as well as involvement of women in peace building.
The delegation presents the following recommendations to the House for action:-
ACTION BY AND TIMELINE:
Establishment of an Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition within the Parliament of Zimbabwe to supervise the Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition
Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, March 2020
Popularise the Model Law on Disability
Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, March 2020
Popularise the Model Police Act
Committee on Defence, Home Affairs, and Security Services/Committee on Peace and Security, March 2020
Establishment of an Alliance on the implementation of renewable energy projects
Committee on Energy and Power Development, March 2020
Advocate for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol
Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, ongoing
Monitor progress in the implementation of the CFTA
Committee on Foreign Affairs/ International Trade and Committee on Industry and Commerce, ongoing
Monitor progress in the implementation of the Protocol on the Free Movement of People in Africa
Committee on Human Rights/ Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, ongoing
Ensure Government abides by the Abuja Declaration regarding Health budget allocation with the interest of achieving Universal Health Coverage
Committee on Health and Child Care, ongoing
**The House may wish to note that the recommendations have gravely been affected by the COVID – 19 pandemic as Parliament has not been in full session owing to the spike in the Covid-19 cases. The relevant Portfolios to whom the recommendations are directed are implored to take action and implement without delay.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I wish to second the motion moved by Hon. Rwodzi on the adoption of the Pan-African Parliament Report Third Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament. Maybe for Hon. Members to appreciate what we are talking about, I just need to briefly explain what the Pan-African Parliament is all about. The Pan-African Parliament is a Parliament of the African Union (AU), so it is Africa’s Parliament – it is like the European Parliament which is the Parliament for the European Union (EU). It comprises of all the 55 African countries which seconds about five Members of Parliament from each country.
Our duty as Pan-African Parliament is to make recommendations and resolutions to the African Union for adoption and implementation by all AU Member States. We discuss continental issues or supra-national issues which affect all the African people, not just one single country and we also make model laws that can be implemented by various parliaments in various jurisdictions. According to the Report that has been presented, and by way of seconding the motion, we debated the issue of the need to ratify the Malabo Protocol.
Madam Speaker, as you know, the Pan African Parliament was set up in 2004 by the Abuja Treaty of 2002 and the Togo Treaty of 2000. It was set up as an advisory and recommending body to advise and recommend issues to the AU but the Malabo Protocol now want to give the Pan-African Parliament legislative powers so that we can make laws for the whole of Africa that are binding like any other Parliament. The Malabo Protocol wants to give Pan African Parliament legislative powers and not just recommending and advisory powers. There is a recommendation to say, all African Member States must ratify the Malabo Protocol because it has not yet garnered the requisite number of ratifications for it to be in full force. I implore this House to be able to move with the Executive so that Zimbabwe ratifies the Malabo Protocol to give full legislative powers to the Pan-African Parliament. That is one issue that arose in the Report.
The other issue that we discussed was the issue of the dangers posed by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Africa. Madam Speaker, you know that there are a lot of civil wars in Africa, issues of armed conflicts in most parts of Africa like Somalia, Libya and other countries – all this is being caused by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the African Region. Africa is being made a dumping ground by manufacturers of small arms and light weapons. Now we are killing each other, there is terrorism and criminality because there is proliferation of these small arms and these must be banned. One of the most dangerous light weapons is the AK47 which has been used by terrorists and armed gangs in Africa to cause destruction to mankind. There is this treaty called the arms treaty which must be ratified by all member countries to stop the sale and trading in small arms and light weapons because they are not good for the peace and security of Africa and also to the safety of human kind.
We call upon Zimbabwe to ratify the arms trade treaty so that we comply with other countries that are fighting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
The other issue raised in the motion was the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area which is now a reality – Zimbabwe must be ready to exploit all the benefits accruing from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area because it will create jobs and industries for us as a country and region. We must be in the African Continental Free Trade Area in full force. I know Zimbabwe has made some reservations on the list of the products that should be traded with low tariffs. I think Zimbabwe has applied for exemption on 80 lines of products that they think should still attract some minimum level of duty but the whole idea is to reduce high tariffs to promote free trade amongst African countries.
We are a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we must participate fully. As we have been told, the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area has been established in Accra – Ghana and the African Continental Free Trade Area is now a reality and countries are ready to trade amongst themselves now.
The other issue connected to the African Free Trade Area is the question of free movement of people. There cannot be trade in Africa without free movement of people because goods and services do not move by themselves. You need people to move those goods. Zimbabwe must ratify the protocol on the free movement of people which is still outstanding. It is a pity that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has just left but I was going to draw his attention to the fact that the free movement protocol has to be ratified by Zimbabwe and other African countries.
The issue of child labour in Cote d’Ivoire has been well articulated and child labour is not just the problem of Cote d’Ivoire in Africa. Almost all African countries have got some problems with child labour in way or the other. In Zimbabwe, we have got the problem of child labour in mining, agricultural sector and so on. We must also fight child labour like we should fight is continental wide.
The issue of peace and security in Africa was also discussed. Peace and security is always on the radar of the Pan African Parliament (PAP). We want a peaceful Africa because without a peaceful Africa, we cannot have prosperous Africa. Violence and conflict slow down development so issues of peace and security are key in the issues of the African Union as well in the issues of the Pan African Parliament. Look at Libya, we no longer have a nation state in Libya. Libya as a sovereign country was decimated by foreigners and we should be able to defend African countries against aggression of foreign countries because they just need resources from those countries. Now they are complaining about terrorism but there is no central authority in Libya to make sure that there is no terrorism.
I just want to summarise because it has been a long day. We have had about the model laws that the Pan African Parliament is enacting. There is a model Police Act and model Disability Act – these model laws are important because they make it easier for Parliamentarians or for various African Parliaments to adapt; copy and paste and adapt to their own circumstances and then you come up with your law on disability and your law on police and so on and so forth. The PAP is doing a lot in that area of developing model laws.
The issue of renewable energy is the buzz word these days. We have to shift from the use of fossil energy like wood, coal and other forms of energy with produce a lot of carbon dioxide and switch to clean energy like wind, solar, biogas and so on. That is the direction Africa should be taking because we have got solar and we must harvest that solar to light up our industries and homes.
I want to thank the presenter once more for tabling the motion on the report of the PAP. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I understand Hon. Members would want to go home but it is critical that we deal with the issues. I am a member of this Committee, allow me a few minutes to talk about this important report that I find timely and important for the people of Zimbabwe and Africa.
Before I go to my debate, like everyone else, I would want to congratulate Madam Khupe here for her election as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Not only that, she has managed to stay in throughout this long debate. This shows maturity and leadership qualities that we have been looking for. Many people run away from Parliament leaving very few people to debate and you wonder whether they know that they represent people who sent them to Parliament. Thank you and congratulations Madam Khupe.
Madam Speaker, I would want to zero in on a motion that was moved during this session. It was very timely and those people who contributed on the formation of this motion – you would tell that the people of Africa are united and that Zimbabwe should be free of sanctions. It is unfortunate – maybe we do not have powers to then force those who impose sanctions on Zimbabwe as Africa – we do not have the powers to then make those who are imposing sanctions to remove them, but you could feel how emotional our fellow African countries were when we talked about the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and how they feel for the people of Zimbabwe. You then wonder why some in our midst here at home cannot see and cannot feel for their people.
We learnt a lot – some of us were new at the PAP. I personally support that we have a strong PAP. We do whatever we can as people of Zimbabwe and as Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the Malabo Protocol comes to fruition. It is critical for Africa and it is critical for us as Africa to speak with one voice. There is no other way of doing it than to have a Parliament representing Africa and it is very important in situations like the one that we are in. Where one of our own is sanctioned and if we are one Parliament speaking with one voice, it will help us a lot in sending our message as a collective body.
One other observation that was also captured by the report was that, Members of the Pan African Parliament are of the view that we need to establish a committee of African parliamentarians who will go to the United Nations to plead and demand for the removal of sanctions on behalf of Zimbabwe. This is a very important opportunity that we have that Africa will be speaking with one voice against the heinous sanctions. I will not forget and my colleagues here present will agree with me, a statement that was issued by one of the Hon. Members from The Gambia, what he said about the Zimbabwean situation. He was very emotional about it and said words that I will not forget that within the leadership of Africa today. We do not have people who have the same stature with great leaders who have departed and had it been during that time where you would find Nyereres, Kwame Nkrumahs and Kenneth Kaundas in the face of a strong military power like Rhodesia standing their ground to defend the need for Zimbabwe’s independence. We would see more happening now with more independent African countries.
I hope that as we go into November there will be robust debate on this issue and our Government will be well represented and from the Hon. Minister’s presentation today, I am convinced that we can present to the African Members of Parliament and they will be able to go out and throughout the world to demand the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
On a lighter note, I would also want Hon. Members here present to realise that all the Hon. Members who represent Zimbabwe in the Pan African Parliament for some reason or maybe God or the teachings that we get from our great country have all secured influential positions within the Pan African Parliament committees – all of them. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It speaks volumes of our concentration when we go there and it speaks volumes of our commitment. Whenever we go there, we spend our time doing Pan African Parliament work – that is very important. I hope that many other delegations of our Parliament when they go out there focus on doing business on behalf of Zimbabwe rather than spending time on shopping sprees et cetera. You can tell even when you see the Pan African Parliament delegating missions to different countries; you will never get one without a Zimbabwean. This shows how they appreciate our contributions to the cause of Africa and our commitment to the unification of Africa. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Thank you very much Hon. Togarepi. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! Thank you very much and indeed, we would like to congratulate all the Hon. Members from Zimbabwe who represent us on the Pan African Parliament. Well done and keep shining.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
CORRECTION ON ANNOUNCEMENT ON STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I wish to correct the announcement on Statutory Instruments made at the beginning of business. The correct position is that the Parliamentary Legal Committee is still to pronounce itself on three Statutory Instruments issued during the month of October.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Parliamentary Legal Committee has not issued Adverse Reports on those Statutory Instruments i.e. 224 of 2020; 225 of 2020 and 225 (a) of 2020 and is still considering them. Thank you very much.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to be able to contribute to this very important motion. I would really like to thank Hon. Rwodzi for presenting the motion and Hon. Mashakada for making such an apt presentation.
Madam Speaker, maybe I should also take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Dr. Khupe indeed for her returning to the House and coming in as Leader of the Opposition once again. Madam Speaker, Hon. Dr. Khupe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Madam Speaker, I will not take long and will be very brief. The presentation that has been made by Hon. Rwodzi representing the delegation that went to the Pan African Parliament is a very important and contains some very important issues. First and foremost, if you go back in history, Kwame Nkrumah said and I quote, ‘Focusing on the economic situation was only appropriate after achieving independence throughout Africa and that the political struggle was the first order in colonial and neo-colonial context’.
Now that speaks volumes on what has just been said by this report. In that Africa today we are in a quandary. What we now need is economic independence and that economic independence is the pedestal of our upholding the principles that have been made out in this very important report. Whose sum total, it talks of peace not only peace but peace that is based on unity and unity of purpose in Africa and indeed the continent. We will be able to say to ourselves and to future generations that we did liberate Africa and to emancipate ourselves economically we must control the means of production in Africa. This can only be achieved when we have unity and also clearly understand the objectives of why people in Africa took up arms to eradicate colonialism.
I do hope, as has been said by Hon. Rwodzi that there are some recommendations made for various Portfolio Committees to follow up and for Government. I hope that Government will take this document seriously and implement some issues that it raised in the presentation. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to lend my voice on this report that is quite holistic and very incisive. Having been an aviator for 10 years, the issue of being embedded or in conjunction with other African countries is enshrined in the Yamoussoukro Declaration in terms of open skies policy. In my view, we can do well by making sure that we become one together with other African continents if we adhere to the ethos, values and principles of the Yamoussoukro Declaration as has been put as a recommendation in terms of enhancing our transport networks and systems in Africa in particular, in terms of our intra-continental trade.
I also want to say, in terms of the population in Africa as it relates to the global community, we have 12% of the global population but in terms of the share that we have in the aviation sector we have just one percent in terms of contribution to the aviation network. To that end, I can holistically say the de-regularisation of our aviation sectors in the African continent, individually as African countries can help us have a bigger market share in the aviation sector in the global community, let alone a bigger operating system and robust, resilient and effective aviation system in the continent as long as we adhere to the ethos and values of the Yamoussoukro Declaration of the open skies policy.
Having said that, I want to touch on issues of disability, ratification laws of disability and also adoption of the model law on disability as has been alluded to by the seconder of the motion in terms of the recommendation. Madam Speaker, as we speak, we have 15% of our people in Zimbabwe living termed differently-abled or people living with disabilities. I just want to give you a background of how people get to be disabled. It is not only the children that have been born disabled but we have 43 people getting injured through road traffic accidents each day. We have actually five losing their lives each day in Zimbabwe from road traffic accidents. These people who have otherwise been born able-bodied get injured and become disabled because of road traffic accidents, 43 of them each day.
It is my thinking that we certainly effectively make laws that also protect these people living with disabilities because some of their disability is not in-born or bred from when they were born but actually inherited from such issues of road traffic accidents. Also the issues of health, BP, diabetes which can lead to people getting amputated in terms of their limbs and making sure that they no longer live the life that they would have lived if they were able-bodied.
It is my clarion call and fervent view that if we make laws that are modeled around pan-Africanism for people living with disabilities we are also adhering to the values and ethos of 15% of our population, that is 1,5 million people that we certainly can deal with in terms of people living with disabilities. On that score, we have representative legislators living with disabilities who are only in the Upper House. I call for Parliament to also have seats for people living with disabilities in the National Assembly so that we can also pass the button on to the Senate, to the other two legislators who are in Senate for people living with disabilities and we can have something about people who know exactly what it is what the people in the disability sector want. So I call for that inclusion on the score of the disability law.
Then there is an issue as I conclude…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna, we have one Member in the National Assembly here Hon. Mpofu, so you probably need to say we need more because we have Hon. Mpofu the one who is blind.
HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker, I will stick to that because she is not here on the ticket of people living with disabilities but on the ticket of women representatives of the 60 women. I call upon this National Assembly to take a deliberate approach of inclusion for people living with disabilities. She is here on the ticket of people that are able-bodied and are not living differently-abled.
However, the issue of child labour also borders around the issue of documentation. We need to document our children so that we know who is a child and who is not a child. As long as we have not effectively and efficiently documented our children, given them identity documents and birth certificates, we cannot empirically and scientifically know this is a child and this is child labour or not. A lot of this child labour manifests itself through the exploitation of the girl-child. Also not only child labour, you will find that the girl-child bears the brunt of this non-documentation. They suffer rape and such like.
As a HeForShe advocate and a champion for gender agenda, I call upon the Executive to put across a moratorium so that everyone can be documented and then at that point we certainly can eradicate and completely annihilate the scourge of child labour. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to vociferous and efficiently debate on this very good motion that has been brought about by Hon. Rwodzi. I thank you.
HON. RWODZI: With the leave of the House, I rise for the adoption of the report.
HON. TOGAREPI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. PETER MOYO, the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m, until Tuesday, 20th October, 2020.