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Roundup Bulletin No. 34 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
September 05, 2012
its sitting yesterday, 4 September 2012, after a month-long break.
The resumption was expected to be preceded by the prorogation of
the current 4th Session of Parliament,
paving way for the 5th and last session of the current parliament,
given that the prorogation had been deferred at short notice in
July 2012. Nonetheless, at its resumption of business yesterday,
the House of Assembly debated two items before it adjourned to 9
October 2012, namely; a delegation report to the Fifth Ordinary
Session of the Second Parliament of the Pan African Parliament presented
by Hon. Editor Matamisa and the First Report of the Portfolio Committee
on Industry and Commerce on the Agreement signed Between the Government
of Zimbabwe and ESSAR Holdings regarding the New Zimbabwe Steel
company. The Senate only sat for 16 minutes before it adjourned
to 9 October 2012 without debating any item on the Order Paper.
Plenary Proceedings in the House of Assembly
Report to the Fifth Ordinary Session of the Second Parliament of
the Pan African Parliament
presented a report on the Fifth Ordinary Session of the Second Parliament
of the Pan African Parliament. The report emphasized on the need
for African States to support fellow African countries experiencing
war or any other challenges of a political nature. Hon Sibanda submitted
that the report should encourage democracy and good governance and
the rule of law. Debate was adjourned to the 9th of October 2012.
Debate on the
First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce
on the Agreement signed Between the Government of Zimbabwe and ESSAR
Holdings regarding the New Zimbabwe Steel Company.
Mutomba, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Industry
and Commerce presented the Committee’s report on the Essar
Agreement. Hon. Mutomba noted there seemed to be a lot of irregularities
and lack of transparency in the manner the whole ESSAR deal was
negotiated and endorsed by government. The Committee was concerned
that the deal was heavily skewed in favour of ESSAR and thus the
Committee queried why the Ministry of Industry Commerce consented
to such a deal which stood to benefit Essar more than Zimbabwe.
The Committee also noted that names of ministries were misrepresented
in the agreement giving rise to questions of seriousness and competency
on the part on the ministry of Industry and Commerce. The Committee
was also worried by the fact that workers were sidelined during
the negotiations for the deal and hence their current predicament.
debated the report supported the committee’s observations
and recommendations. Hon. Simon Hove (MDC-T Highfield West) argued
that ministries should do wide consultation before entering into
such agreements as it was apparent from the Essar Agreement that
there was no adequate consultation. He further indicated that the
Essar Agreement should be reviewed in terms of shareholding and
that agreements of a similar nature ought to be brought before Parliament
for scrutiny before they were signed. Hon. Hove also insinuated
that the Minister of Industry and Commerce may have received a “kick-back”
from the ESSAR deal.
Chikwinya (MDC-T Mbizo) submitted that the Essar deal should be
saved from collapse as it had the potential to alleviate poverty
from the affected workers. He further argued that a commission of
enquiry should be set to investigate how the agreement was executed.
He also noted that it was evident that there was no inter-ministerial
communication amongst the involved ministries. Hon Chikwinya questioned
the exclusion of the Minister of Mines and the inclusion of the
Minister of Youth Development who was not relevant to the deal.
Nyaude (MDC-T Bindura South) lamented lack of negotiating skills
by the Executive which resulted in an ill-fated agreement with Essar.
He argued that there was need for the review of the agreement as
the Minister of Industry and Commerce had been glaringly negligent.
Hon. Willias Madzimure (MDC-T Kambuzuma) echoed the same sentiments
that the agreement had been “corruptly” executed and
therefore called for the renegotiation of the deal.
Proceedings in the Senate
above, the Senate adjourned without debating any of the items on
the Order Paper, after sitting for only 16 minutes.
to 9 October 2012. The adjournment also applies to Committees. It
is hoped that by then the 5th Session would have been officially
opened by the President.
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