Zanu-PF MPs face the failing state - Zimbabwe Situation

Zanu-PF MPs face the failing state

via Zanu-PF MPs face the failing state | Mail & Guardian 28 FEB 2014 by Takudzwa Munyaka

Some Zimbabwean parliamentarians are being unusually critical about their own government’s failures.

Parliamentary committees are doing something Zimbabwean officials rarely do – criticising the government and telling the truth.

When Parliament was sworn in last year, there were fears that Zanu-PF would abuse its domination of the House of Assembly and stifle debate, and that parliamentary committee reports would cover up inefficiencies.

But the committees have been candid in pointing out the government’s failures and criticising the increasing corruption in state agencies.

Zanu-PF’s victory last year handed it a more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, enough to enable it to change the Constitution.

Hence there were fears that it would railroad its wishes, with its parliamentarians succumbing to the party whip and abandoning their oversight role.

But, so far, a different story has been emerging. A recent report by the parliamentary committee on budget, finance and economic development, chaired by Zanu-PF lawmaker David Chapfika, described the gloomy economic environment frankly – rising unemployment, low investment, worsening liquidity, negative current account balance and high levels of corruption.

Govt to take over the Reserve Bank’s debt
The committee also asked the authorities to be transparent about the proposal to assume the debts of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which could impose a huge burden on taxpayers.

During the budget statement in December, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that the government would take over the Reserve Bank’s debt in an effort to stabilise it.

Members of the committee said Chinamasa must make detailed information about the specific creditors for the $1.35-billion debt public to ensure that there is transparency and accountability.

Regarding the collapse of locally owned banks, the committee said it was concerned that this was putting innocent depositors at risk. The committee recommended that those responsible for the collapses be prosecuted. But there is a grey area.

A part of the report said that the locally owned banks were receiving the same treatment as international banks and this should not be the case.

“There is need for government to assist indigenous banks, which are currently receiving the same treatment as big banks, so that we do not continue to witness the reversal of the indigenisation policy in the banking sector,” the report said.

Protecting the local industry
Regarding manufacturing, the committee was frank about encouraging controlled interventions to protect the local industry, including the reduction of excise duty on key raw materials for particular industries and increases in customs duty on some finished imported goods.

But it also warned that proposed protective measures must be clear about implementation timelines to ensure that consumers are not compromised by the inability of local manufacturers, which could be too slow to take advantage of the concessions.

For greater transparency and accountability in the diamond industry, the committee proposed that all diamond mining companies must be compelled to publish their financial statements half-yearly, just as banks are obliged to do.

Since Zimbabwe discovered huge reserves of diamonds, the army and the government have been mining them in partnership with Chinese and other companies and there has been no transparency about remittances to the treasury.

Analysts have said that the proceeds are being used to fund Zanu-PF.

The committee urged the government not just to push for the establishment of refineries for platinum but also to put an equal emphasis on increasing the production of power to cope with the new smelters and refinery it is demanding that mining companies build.

Miners given an ultimatum
The government has given platinum miners an ultimatum to build a refinery in Zimbabwe and not export the platinum to South Africa if they wish to keep mining in Zimbabwe.

The committee report also said that, although it was a noble idea that all mining claims not explored in three years from date of issue be forfeited to the state, it was not practical or desirable for all claims to be worked on at once, and it discouraged long-term investment in mining.

The report also urged the mines ministry to review mining fees and pitch them at realistic levels. The committee also took a swipe at the parastatals.

It said that, to some extent, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was to blame for the “continuous decline in maize production countrywide”, because of its unjust treatment of farmers who delivered their maize to the board but were not paid for months.

“Unless proper and just interventions are made in the marketing of maize through the GMB, maize imports will continue to be an unnecessary drain on the fiscus,” it said.

The National Social Security Authority, another parastatal, also came under fire. MPs said it continued to misuse the monthly contributions of workers.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 11
  • comment-avatar
    Peter tosh 4 years

    Big up to you all members of parliament, remember Zimbabwe is bigger than greedy individuals. Keep up the good work.

  • comment-avatar
    Isu Zvedu 4 years

    Of smokescreens and mirrors! When the water goes down the drain, no amount of effort will bring it back. These clowns behave like there is somebody else superior than them. Lazarus Nzarayebani, rip, but we definitely miss you.

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 4 years

    They will fix nothing. They are not capable.

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 4 years

    All well and good to talk frankly about these issues but lets see if they even attempt to rectify them!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 4 years

    And further to that what about the reforms to the constitution that need to be implemented… we are watching with interest zanu MPs.

  • comment-avatar
    Phys 4 years

    Hot air and a LOT of BULL !!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 4 years

    ZANUPF MP’s are just puppets of ZANUPF, and their minor acknowledgements of stumbles, graft, and corruption is nothing more than a ZANUPF strategy to keep power after Mugabe dies. But, they build no credibility with their pronouncements. They can’t. To build real credibility they would have to uncover and reveal all the dirty-dealing of Mugabe and JOC and all the inner-circle… but they simply don’t have the cojones. They are the sell-outs.

    Truth is, the war was never about freedom… it was a plan by a few to dupe others into helping them rob a nation.

  • comment-avatar
    Just saying 4 years

    Lets not celebrate too soon something that any right minded person should do anyway. Like most Zimbabweans I want to see this translate into action & result in the culprits paying for their misdeeds or incompetence. For starters they should do something about the clerk of parliament who is blocking their way.

  • comment-avatar
    Havanyani 4 years

    Agreed. We still find cash-talk extraordinary more than 25 years after Mavhaire said the President must go, after Zvobgo said the party must dismount from the backs of the people, after Tekere’s ZUM challenged the one party state after …. The tragic Chindori-Chininga’s parliamentary was quite combative about bad practices, and some say that’s what killed him. But much as I discourage incessant whining, public debate is better than none, even where corrective action is scarce.

  • comment-avatar
    ike 4 years

    Nothing to write home about. They all have soiled hands!

  • comment-avatar
    Mthwakazi 4 years

    They are gukurahundis.

    We want answers. Why did you kill our innocent Mthwakazi people, why, why, why, why?

    If Bona is not responsible for gukurahundi, why are we made to be responsible for the 1890s tribal wars?

    Where is the difference? Answer us gukurahundis, answers us!!