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Roundup Bulletin No. 26 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
June 13, 2012
adopted the motion on the Presidential Speech yesterday. Members
also debated the first report of the Media Information Communication
Technology Portfolio Committee on the state of the public media
in the country. The Chairperson of the Local Government Committee,
Hon. Lynnette Karenyi presented the Committee’s Second Report
on the management irregularities at the transport utility Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
The Senate resumed
sitting yesterday after a month-long break.
proceedings in the House of Assembly
on the Motion in Reply to the Presidential Speech
Zhuwao (ZANU PF Zvimba East) wound up his motion on reply to the
Presidential speech. In winding up his motion, Hon. Zhuwao angered
MDC-T MPs throwing jibes at them. Hence when the motion was called
for adoption MDC-T MPs rejected it on account of Hon. Zhuwao’s
behavior. ZANU PF Chief Whip, Hon. Jorum Gumbo had to negotiate
with his MDC-T counterpart Hon. Innocent Gonese appeal to his members
to reverse their decision. The motion was finally adopted by the
In winding up
his motion Hon. Zhuwao said the 7th Parliament particularly the
4th Session was the worst session of parliament in terms of legislation
output. He also criticized COPAC’s Draft
Constitution for ignoring people’s views. He was ruled
out of order by the Speaker for trying to pre-empt the work of COPAC
and was thus advised to shelve his comments on the Draft Constitution
until it was tabled in Parliament.
on the First Report of the Media, Information, Communication and
Technology Portfolio Committee on the State of Public Media
First to debate
the report was Hon. Felix Mafa Sibanda who accused the seconder
of the motion Hon. Bright Matonga for distorting the Committee’s
findings by giving his own personal views.
MPs who debated the report lamented lack of media reforms especially
the liberalization of the airwaves as directed by the Global
Political Agreement (GPA). They alleged that the Minister of
Media, Information and Publicity, Hon. Webster Shamu, was blocking
media reforms despite directives by the Cabinet and the Party Principals
for him to implement the agreed reforms. They also blasted the public
media for skewed political coverage in favour of ZANU PF.
MPs across the
political divide decried lack of adequate resources for the public
media, a situation which has resulted in poor infrastructure and
hence poor service delivery. Members noted that the sole signal
carrier company, Transmedia, did not have capacity to discharge
its mandate as most parts of the country were not receiving both
radio and television signals yet they were expected to pay licence
fees. MPs were also agreed that public media should strive to promote
language and cultural diversity in the country.
Debate on the
report will continue in today’s sitting.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government on the Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
of the Local Government, Hon. Lynnette Karenyi presented the Committee’s
Second Report on the management irregularities at the transport
utility Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO). The report noted
that principles of good corporate governance were non-existant at
ZUPCO as some members of management doubled up as board members
and vice versa. As a result, procedures were flouted. The report
also noted that ZUPCO employees have gone without pay for a long
time. Some of the employees have since resigned and are still battling
to get their outstanding salaries and terminal benefits. The report
also reveals that ZUPCO has not been remitting employees pension
contributions to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) despite
deducting the contributions from the employees salaries every month.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE
above, the Senate resumed its sitting yesterday and debated some
motions which were already on the Order Paper, namely the First
Report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights regarding prison
conditions and the motion on perennial drought in some parts of
the country. Senators deplored prison conditions in most facilities
in the country and urged government to move in quickly and address
deficits in the country, Senators noted that the eastern and southern
parts of the country were the hardest hit as most house-holds did
not harvest anything due to prolonged dry-spells. While they appreciated
the current efforts by government, through the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB), to alleviate the food deficit in the affected parts of the
country, they noted with concern the slow movement of grain from
GMB depots to the affected areas. Senators also raised concern at
the plight of livestock in the drought prone areas.
on the activities of the portfolio committees
Committee on Budget Finance and Investment Promotion
public hearings in Bulawayo and Harare on the operations of the
State Procurement Board (SPB), the Committee heard oral evidence
from the SPB Executive Chairman, Mr. Charles Kuwaza on Monday 11June
2012. The purpose of the meeting was to quiz the SPB on tender procedures
as well as public allegations of corruption leveled against Board.
Mr. Kuwaza informed the Committee that in executing its mandate,
the SPB was guided by the Procurement Act. He said in terms of Section
5(2) of the aforementioned legislation, SPB was not subjected to
the direction or control of any person or authority in the exercise
of its functions except the President.
in the tender process, he informed the Committee that it was mainly
due to the Accounting Officers who were not observing the 15 working
day timeframe as most of them were submitting their recommendations
in 60 working days. Some of the Accounting Officers were using consultants
to carry out adjudication process on their behalf which further
delayed the Board’s finalization of the process. He further
blamed the delays on the fiscus disbursements which were not flowing
timeously and resulted in rushed decisions by the Board.
Mr. Kuwaza also
attributed some of the problems to the economic meltdown, which
saw the Board losing quite a number of skilled professionals who
were replaced by unskilled personnel. Some departments were still
in the process of filling the vacancies. In order to improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of SPB Mr. Kuwaza said they have engaged
COMESA, DFID, and ZIPAM to assist them to improve the capacity of
Mr. Kuwaza informed
the Committee, that looking forward they plan to wean some parastatals
who have established excellent procurement procedures and processes
in their organization and the SPB will only be responsible for auditing
those parastatals. Parastatals such as Natpharm and NOCZIM have
been identified for this process.
He further informed
the Committee that the SPB has made great strides towards e-procurement
with the assistance of donors. The SPB Executive Chairman said this
will help in dispensing with paper work and thus improve efficiency
as it will enable the signing of documents online.
tender procedures, he admitted that the SPB has failed on this function
over the years due to lack of capacity and man-power within the
organization. As a result, SPB ended up resorting to its sister
organizations such as Anti-Corruption Commission and the police
force to provide them with reports of abuse. This therefore, shows
a huge loophole in the efficiency of the SPB.
On the Committee’s
concern regarding non-performance or poor performance by some contractors,
Mr. Kuwaza shifted the blame to Accounting Officers who were responsible
for drawing those contracts. He noted that often timelines were
not specified in the contracts which therefore affected the delivery
of services within the reasonable timeframe. The committee wondered
why the blame should lie with a
Accounting officers and not SPB. However, Mr. Kuwaza maintained
that it was not his duty to oversee the drawing up of contracts
and therefore the public should desist from blaming him and his
board for non-performance by the contractors.
tender to a Chinese company which constructed the Defense College,
he informed the Committee that no due diligence was done as the
instruction came from the Executive.
Committee on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
was schedule to meet officials from the ministry of Labour and Social
Services to discuss the Older Persons Bill currently before parliament.
However, the meeting had to be aborted as the officials failed to
turn up for the meeting.
of Home Affairs, Hon. Theresa Makone gave notice of motion yesterday
on the ratification of the Human Trafficking Convention, which has
been outstanding for some time. She will move for the ratification
of the motion on Thursday 14 June 2012.
Bhasikiti (ZANU PF Mwenezi East) gave notice of motion on the current
stalemate between cotton farmers and merchants.
are sitting this afternoon. The first segment of today’s sitting
for the House of Assembly is dedicated to question and answer session,
where backbenchers quiz Ministers on policies and programmes under
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