Source: Mudenda reprimands Kereke | The Herald May 4, 2016
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday reprimanded Bikita West Member of the National Assembly Dr Munyaradzi Kereke for deviating from findings of a portfolio committee in which he was a member. Adv Mudenda said Dr Kereke was flouting parliamentary rules when he made contributions that were at variance with the Committee on Finance, Budget and Investment Promotion chaired by Mutoko South MP Cde David Chapfika (Zanu-PF) which supported the Special Economic Zones Bill.
Earlier, Cde Chapfika had presented the committee report, where he said the Bill was a tool for promotion of both local and foreign investment in the country. When Dr Kereke took the floor, he said it was not prudent to address the economy in a piecemeal manner as the Bill sought to achieve.
He said previous efforts in the form of export processing zones did not yield the expected results despite participating firms enjoying exemption in tax, duties and compliance with labour laws.
“The danger that I want to urge members is that policies based on piecemeal approach in addressing the economy do not make for macro-economic stability. It leads to a Dutch disease,” said Dr Kereke drawing the intervention of Adv Mudenda.
Dutch disease is the negative impact on an economy of anything that gives rise to a sharp inflow of foreign currency which leads to currency appreciation, making the country’s other products less price competitive on the export market.
Adv Mudenda said Dr Kereke should have raised those issues during deliberations of the committee so that they could be captured in the final report. Dr Kereke, however, said he failed to attend committee meetings because he was attending court sessions. “The honourable member should not contest the chair. Your absence is not an excuse,” said Adv Mudenda.
In his presentation, Cde Chapfika said there was need for wide consultation before declaring an area as special economic zone. “This would be consistent with Section 13 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which calls for the involvement of the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes in their areas,” said Cde Chapfika.
Making contributions, Proportionate Representative MP Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) expressed reservations on a clause that the Labour Act would not apply.
She said the effect of such a clause would be to create a blank cheque for employers to fire workers willy-nilly. Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) said the establishment of special economic zones was a panacea to de-industrialisation.
“Special economic zones should be accompanied by repealing of draconian and archaic laws like the Companies Act and the Mines and Minerals Act,” said Cde Nduna. Uzumba MP Cde Simba Mudarikwa (Zanu-PF) said while the establishment of special economic zones was noble, there was need to remove several levies required when one wants to start a business.
Some of them included the liquor licence fee, television licence, Environmental Management Agency levy, council levy, among others.