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Roundup Bulletin No. 32 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
July 23, 2012
of Assembly passed the Electoral Amendment Bill on Tuesday 17
July 2012. The Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education,
Science and Technology presented the Committee’s Report on
the state of tertiary institutions in the country. The Registrar
General appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday
16 July 2012 to explain why his department flouted treasury regulations.
The Minister of Finance, Hon. Tendai Biti presented the Mid-Term
Fiscal Policy Review Statement
in Parliament on Wednesday 18 July 2012.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Fiscal Policy Review Statement
of Finance, Hon. Tendai Biti presented the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy
Review Statement in Parliament on Wednesday 18 July 2012. The Minister
revised downwards the 2012 National Budget
from $4 billion to $3.64 billion against the backdrop of the underperforming
diamond sector. The Minister had anticipated revenue of $600 million
from the diamond sector when he crafted the 2012 National Budget
last November. However, Hon. Biti indicated that between January
and June this year, a revenue of only $49 million was received,
a far cry from the projected figures. [A brief analysis
of the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement is attached.]
on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science
and Technology on the State of Tertiary Institutions in Zimbabwe
of the Higher Education, Science and Technology Portfolio Committee,
Hon. Siyabonga Ncube presented the Committee’s on the State
of Tertiary Institutions in Zimbabwe on Tuesday 17 July 2012. The
report highlighted hardships being faced by students due to non
availability of government financial support, infrastructural decay
and falling academic standards. The House was informed that students
were disgruntled with the state of affairs in tertiary institutions;
the change in the cadetship programme resulting in some students
being removed as beneficiaries and the absence of a grant loan scheme.
Members also lamented the poor infrastructure at tertiary institutions;
for instance, the poor state of libraries. The House also heard
that most students were not able to raise tuition fees. Thus, Members
called upon the Ministry of Finance to release funding for the cadetship
programme without further delay.
also noted in its report that students in tertiary institutions
were generally in low morale and this had adversely affected their
academic performance as well as their performance in extra-curricular
called upon government to improve the working conditions of lecturers
in tertiary institutions as this has a bearing on the academic standards
in these institutions.
Debate on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education
Sports Arts and Culture on Challenges facing the Education Sector
of the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport and Culture, Hon.
Dorothy Mangami tabled the Committee’s second report on the
challenges facing the Education sector.
noted that the major problem facing the education sector at the
moment was the issue of poor remuneration and working conditions
for teachers. This has led to the emergence of teachers’ incentives
levy in schools. Due to poor remuneration, teachers have now diverted
much of their focus to private income-generating activities such
as extra lessons at the expense of their core business. This has
resulted in the sprouting of profit-making colleges. Most of these
colleges were not registered.
The major concern
on teachers’ incentives was that there was no clear policy
on how much should be given to teachers by parents. This has created
gaps between teachers’ incomes depending on the schools. Teachers
in rural areas have been greatly disadvantaged by this “policy”
as most parents in rural areas could not afford to pay levies on
teachers’ incentives. This has created disparities in the
salaries of teachers in urban and rural areas. The issue has also
created tensions between teachers and parents in some schools.
also noted that teachers, mostly in rural areas, had to grapple
with the problem of political interference. In some rural areas,
the Committee noted that there were defined governance roles among
various stakeholders and as a result traditional leaders, headmasters
and schools development associations etc all claimed authority over
the administration of schools, a situation which was counter-productive
to a conducive learning environment.
Accounts Committee Quizzed the Ministry of Home Affairs on Financial
The Public Accounts
Committee received oral evidence from the Ministry of Home Affairs
on Monday 16 July 2012 on queries raised by the Comptroller and
Auditor-General. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s 2009-2010
Audit report raised a number of issues on internal controls, cash
management, misappropriation of funds, bank reconciliations, immigration
control, fuel management and unreliable accounting systems.
Secretary, Mr. Melusi Matshiya and his colleagues from the Registrar
General’s Office, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Department
of Immigration appeared before the Committee on Monday to explain
the irregularities raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The Committee was shocked to hear from the Home Affairs Permanent
Secretary that his ministry did not comply with the Public Finance
Management regulations, because he was not aware of such regulations.
acknowledged to the Committee that his ministry flouted treasury
regulations because they did not see value in surrendering revenue
generated by departments under the ministry to the treasury given
the hyperinflationary environment at the time. This view was shared
by the Registrar General, Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede who said common sense
usually took precedence over the law. Mr. Mudede told the Committee
that due to bureaucracy in the Ministry of Finance, his department
saw it fit to use common sense in using their funds rather than
follow laid out procedures.
of Assembly Passes the Electoral Amendment Bill
The House of
Assembly passed the Electoral
Amendment Bill on Tuesday 17 July 2012 and immediately transmitted
it to the Senate.
The Bill is
part of the election roadmap which the parties committed themselves
to under the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), together with a new Constitution
and other reforms.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE
The Senate passed
the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Older
Persons Bill on Thursday 19 July 2012 without amendments.
Debate on Adverse
Reports issued by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) on various
statutory instruments was deferred pending a meeting between the
PLC Members and the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs. The objective
of the meeting is to discuss the PLC’s observations with a
view to finding common ground with the Minister of Justice and Legal
Affairs as they have different legal interpretations on the statutory
instruments in question.
The Senate wound
up debate on the following reports and motions in view of the end
of the current session of Parliament next week:
- Motion on
the plight of teachers
- Report of
the 59th Session of the Executive Committee and the 34th Conference
of the African Parliamentary Union (APU), which was held in Khartoum
(Sudan) from 27th November¡X1st December 2011,
- Report of
the delegation to the 5th International Women¡¦s
Conference on Women and Technology, held in Bangalore India,
- First Report
of the Thematic Committee on the State of Prisons and Prisoners
was expected to prorogue parliament on Monday 23 July 2012, with
the official opening of the 5th and last Session of the current
Parliament set for Tuesday 24 July 2012. However, information at
hand indicates that the official opening of the 5th Session has
been deferred to a date yet to be advised.
Sitting Next Week
of Parliament will be sitting on Tuesday 24 July 2012. The major
business before the House of Assembly this week is the consideration
of the Finance and Appropriation Bills, necessitated by the adjustment
of the 2012 National Budget by the Minister of Finance as proposed
in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement on Wednesday 18 July
The Senate is
set to dispense with adverse reports issued by the Parliamentary
Legal Committee (PLC) on various statutory instruments.
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