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Roundup Bulletin No. 2 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
February 03, 2012
Below is summary
of oral evidence received by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Committee and Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development
Committee from government departments they shadow.
of Committees Activities
Service Labour and Social Welfare Committee
of Public Service Hon. Lucia Matibenga appeared before the Committee
on Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to apprise the Committee
on the on-going industrial action by the civil servants. The Minister
informed the Committee that the media had misinformed the public
about the real issues behind the strike. She said what triggered
the strike was the delay by the Ministry of Finance in coming up
with government’s position paper as demanded by the civil
service unions. She also informed the Committee that the unions
were demanding, among other things, that revenue from diamonds should
be accounted for in a transparent manner.
In its position
paper, government offered civil servants a resource envelope of
$240 million and placed the obligation on the unions as to how the
money could be disaggregated in terms of salary adjustments, allowances
and pensions etc. The unions refused this as they felt that the
offer was opaque and therefore demanded that government should clearly
spell out the actually percentages. The Minister further informed
the Committee that while she appreciated the plight of civil servants,
there were simply no resources to meet their demands given the tight
fiscal space that government was operating in. She said current
employment costs for civil servants accounted for 67% of the national
budget, a scenario which described as “unsustainable”.
She also placed the onus of Members of Parliament by pointing out
that the 2012 Budget
which they passed in December last year did not have a provision
for salary adjustments for civil servants and yet her ministry is
expected to increase salaries for civil servants. She counseled
Members of Parliament to seriously scrutinize the budget next time
instead of rushing it through without understanding its social and
Communications and Infrastructural Development Committee
received oral evidence from the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe
National Road Authority (ZINARA) Mr. Chitukutuku on the awarding
of contracts by district councils for the rehabilitation of roads,
the current position on tollgate construction, take-over of toll-gate
function and the rehabilitation of major highways.
informed the Committee that efforts for ZINARA to take-over the
toll-gate function from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) were
at an advanced stage. Recruitment of staff was currently underway.
He estimated that by the second quarter of this year, ZINARA would
be in charge of the toll-gate fee collection.
also heard that in 2011, ZINARA collected US$13 million from tollgates.
The amount has been disbursed to the Department of Roads for the
maintenance of highways and tolled roads. In addition, part of the
money has gone towards servicing a US$10 million loan from the Finance
Ministry obtained through the Investment Development Bank of Zimbabwe
(IDBZ) for the Harare-Norton and Harare-Skyline Road dualisation
For the Road
Fund (toll fees, vehicle licence fees, fuel levy, abnormal load
fees), ZINARA collected a total of US$80 million and the money was
used for road maintenance.
awarding of contracts for routine maintenance in various districts,
ZINARA informed the Committee that District Councils selected their
own contractors. ZINARA only conducted due diligence on the chosen
contractors. Mr. Chitukutuku also indicated that because most Rural
District Councils lacked the capacity for quality control, ZINARA
played a monitoring role from the inception to the completion of
of tollgates/toll plazas, the CEO indicated that ZINARA would construct
10 model toll plazas on the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highway currently
under rehabilitation. The current toll-gate structures would be
removed to pave way for the construction of new modern structures.
The Committee questioned government rationale and cost implications
of constructing new toll-gate structures barely a year the current
structures were constructed.
Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highway, the ZINARA CEO informed the Committee
that there had been delays clearing the equipment by ZIMRA.
A schedule of
committees’ activities for the week-ending 12 February 2012
is attached herewith.
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