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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 11 - 2013
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
June 05, 2013


Parliament resumed its sittings yesterday after a two-week break. The House of Assembly debated two reports on local government authorities and the status of major dam projects presented in the House by Hon. Lynette Karenyi (Chairperson of the Local Government Portfolio Committee) and Hon. Webber Chinyadza (Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee), respectively. The Senate failed to transact business due to failure by Ministers to attend yesterday’s sitting.

House of Assembly

Debate on the Special Report on Local Authorities

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government presented the Committee’s Special Report on Local Authorities. The Report is based on evidence presented to the Committee by the Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban Development Dr. Ignatius Morgan Chiminya Chombo. The Committee had wanted the Minister to apprise it on the Mayors and Councillors that he had dismissed from office.

Hon. Karenyi informed the House that the Minister of Local Government and Urban Development told the Committee that he dismissed the Mayors and Councillors in question for corruption and maladministration.

However, Hon. Karenyi said the Committee’s investigations revealed that all the dismissed Mayors and Councillors belonged to the MDC, a clear indication that they were dismissed for political reasons. She further noted that even those Councillors who were absolved by the High Court of any wrong doing were not reinstated. Hon. Karenyi also accused the Minister of abusing the provision of the Urban Councils Act relating to the appointment of Special Interest Councillors. She said all the Councillors appointed through this manner were ZANU PF officials. [Electronic Copy of the Report is available on Request]

Debate on the Public Accounts Committee Report on Major Dam Projects

The Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Webber Chinyadza presented the Committee’s report on the status of major dam projects. He indicated that his Committee’s report was based on the Value for Money Audit Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C and A G) on the Management of Dam Construction and Water Supply Projects by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).

Hon. Chinyadza informed the House that between 2004 and 2009, ZINWA was managing 14 dam projects. At the time of audit, all the projects had exceeded their target completion dates by periods ranging from one to six years and only three were near completion namely: Matezva, 99%; Bubi Lupane, 65% and Tokwe Mukorsi, 60%. The rest were still between zero and 40% in terms of progress made.

He attributed delays in completing these projects to a wide range of reasons some of which were; lack of prioritization of projects, awarding of jobs to incompetent contractors, delays in paying contractors and shortages of technical staff to monitor project implementation. This resulted in increases in costs of projects arising from interests from outstanding certificates, stand in time for machinery and rising costs of required inputs. Thus the Committee recommended that government should concentrate on projects that can be completed with the resources available within a given time frame. Projects of national priority but without adequate funding should be considered under other financing options such as Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) and Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT). [Electronic Copy of the Report is available on Request]

Senate Plenary

As indicated above, the Senate failed to conduct its business yesterday as Ministers whose business was before the Senate were not in the House to introduce their motions; namely, the Minister of Finance Hon. Tendai Biti and the Minister of Energy and Power Development Hon. Elton Mangoma and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Hon. Shepherd Mushonga.

The Business before the Senate yesterday related to the second reading of the Micro-Finance Bill, the Securities Amendment Bill, the ratification of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Statute of IRENA) and adverse reports on the Zimbabwe Youth Council (General) Regulations 2013, Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2013 – Mangwe Rural District Council (Sand Extraction) and the Statutory Instrument No 29 of 2013 – Mining (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013.

Failure by Ministers to attend yesterday’s sitting prompted the President of the Senate to take a swipe at the absent Ministers and appealed to them to take parliamentary business seriously.

Today’s Sitting

Both Houses are sitting today. The highlight of the House of Assembly plenary business today is the Prime Minister’s Question and Answer Session.

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