Mabvuku-Tafara legislator, James Marididadi, who was at one time the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s corporate affairs manager, said someone misled President Robert Mugabe to tell Parliament and the nation that Zimbabwe will generate 5 000 megawatts- more than double the country’s present optimum requirement- by 2020.
“Madam Speaker, the year 2020 from now is only five years from today. For an electricity generation project to be realised, you need no less than seven years after the initial capital injection,” he said in his contribution to the debate on the President’s speech.
“For us to be able to get 5 000 megawatts, we must be able to construct another power station twice the size of Hwange and another hydro power station twice the size of Kariba. Only then will we be able to realise 5 000 megawatts and never by 2020……
“The point I am raising is that, the person who gave the President that information misled him because we will not be able to generate 5 000 megawatts by the year 2020. It takes more than 7 years after initially putting money for us to be able to realise the fruits from the power station. Even Kariba where we have put in more than US$350 million, we will not be able to realize the 300 megawatts that we are talking about before 2020. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development who has been seized with that matter on Kariba Power Station can vouch for me.”
Maridadi also said there was no serious investor who would put in his money into the country as long as the country’s investment laws were not changed. Even Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, who was in the country recently, will not bring his money in.
“Last week, there was this hullaballoo and celebration of the coming in of Dangote as if it was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you, Mr. Dangote is worth $1 billion and if somebody is worth $1 billion it does not mean that he has $1 billion cash in the bank; that is $1 billion of assets, investments, cash at bank and many other ancillaries……..
“Madam Speaker, we have the second richest family in India which has invested in this country in 2010 and they have put straight into our Treasury coffers $900 million. I am talking of ESSAR and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development knows that. $900 million has been put by ESSAR into the coffers of this country but ESSAR are still to get a licence to operate. Who is going to put money into Zimbabwe when another investor like ESSAR, five years down the line has not been given an operating licence? The investment environment is just not conducive, it is not enabling……
“(Yet) Here we are, seated here, ESSAR has put in their money and they have not been given a licence to operate and God knows why they have not been given a licence. We are then talking about Dangote, another investor; he comes here and everyone celebrates as if Jesus has come for the second time. It will not happen, he will not bring money under these conditions.”
MR. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. In 2009, I had reason to visit South Africa on wholesome Inclusive Government business. While I was in South Africa I had occasion to go through their radio stations and I came across a radio programme in which they spoke about four speeches that they called ‘speeches of our time’. I will give the four speeches not necessarily in the order of their importance. They played excerpts of the speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior called ‘I have a dream’. They also played excerpts of a speech delivered by Comrade Nelson Mandela in which he spoke about “A cause that I am prepared to die for,” at the Revonia Trial. They also played a speech by President Barrack Obama at his inauguration, the speech called ‘Yes we can’. Most importantly they played excerpts of a speech by one Comrade R. G. Mugabe in 1980 when he became Prime Minister of this country. For purposes of this debate I will call it “The Reconciliation Speech”. Madam speaker, in just one sentence President Mugabe captured what Zimbabweans were standing for, what he stood for, what Africa stands for and what the world was expecting. He said, ‘Let us embrace those that we were fighting against and turn our guns into hoes and ploughshares”. In that one sentence Comrade Mugabe addressed the issue of food security, reconciliation, peace and the issue of how the country should go forward. Fast-forward to last week when this speech was delivered in this hon. House. I say what has gone wrong in these 34 years.
The President, on page 13 of his speech says and I quote, ‘ the country takes pride in having been awarded the opportunity to host Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 under 20 youth games from the 5th to 14th December 2014.” The President is celebrating hosting youth games and yet Zimbabwe has just been kicked out of the most prestigious tournament in the world, the World Cup, because we have failed to pay US$61 000 contractual obligation to the coach that we hired. This has happened under President Mugabe’s charge. This is an issue that I thought the President should have brought forward.
Madam Speaker, soccer is the most followed sport on earth and yet Zimbabwe becomes the first country in the world to be kicked out of the World Cup.
On page 12, the President speaks about, as part of efforts to address the huge housing backlog Government recently launched the national housing delivery programme which will deliver 313 000 houses. Madam Speaker, here lies a problem, Hon. Mapiki raised it, we have two Zimbabweans. One is a Zimbabwe where people are given stands and the way people are given stands is that we have a youth who goes and declare that this portion now belongs to them. All they do is put a billboard which communicates about ZIM ASSET, the President or the President’s wife. As soon as there are names of the first family, the youths become untouchable. The way people are allocated stands – somebody will simply count 25 yards going either way and that’s it, a stand has been allocated.
In the same economy, we have Ministers who sit in this House who are building 50 bed-roomed houses, Hon. Mapiki alluded to that. Where does a person get money in this economy which is tattered and torn, to construct a 50 bed-roomed house all with ensuite and will cost US$15 million when it is complete? Those are the issue…
MR. HOLDER: On a point of order hon. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Can you please switch off your microphone?
MR. HOLDER: Madam Speaker, I was asking if the Chair could direct the member to stick to the debate because I think he is debating the wrong speech. That is actually the State of the Nation Address. So he has actually gone – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I want to hear the point of order. Hon. Holder, can you give me the point of order.
MR. HOLDER: Madam Speaker, thank you for that protection. I was saying that the hon. member needs to be guided; he is debating a speech which the President made in address to the nation, not the Presidential Speech. So I think he needs to be guided there.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is no point of order, but the hon. member should substantiate evidence of any allegations that he is going to make in his debate.
MR. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, the speech that I am referring to is here which reads; Address by His Excellency the President; it could be wrong I do not know if again the President issued a wrong speech …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order! I have already given a ruling on that matter. I said there was no point of order but on anything that you are going to allege on any Member of Parliament or any Minister, you should give evidence. You may continue with your debate.
MR. MARIDADI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I was saying, in this economy, you go to some of these leafy suburbs and you see four –storey buildings, houses that are being built, as what Hon. Mapiki said; “Vanhu varikutsemura makomo to construct houses.”
In this economy which is tattered and torn, whether the person is a Member of Parliament, a Chief Executive Officer of a private company in Zimbabwe or a Government Minister, where do you get money to construct such as house? Those are the issues of corruption that we think must be investigated and that is what the President should have addressed.
On the same page, the President said, the provision of adequate water and sanitation services remains a problem in some of our major urban centres. He spoke about the Mtshabezi…
MR. MANDIPAKA: On a point of order hon. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! What is your point of order Hon. Mandipaka.
MR. MANDIPAKA: It is unfortunate hon. Speaker; we stand to be guided in this House. I do not believe the hon. member is looking at the speech that was presented in this House. We stand to be guided by the Chair.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mandipaka, the debate varies from how one presence their facts and how they view the speech. However, we will also give an opportunity to those who feel that the ideas put across are not correct to debate the Presidential Speech. May the hon. member continue with the debate?
MR. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker for protecting me. I will continue with my speech. The President spoke about ease of doing business. The problem that we have on ease of doing business is that, we need a legal framework which guides on the ease of doing business – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I have been so much disturbed Madam Speaker, I think I need protection.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami and Hon. Holder, may you please behave yourselves. We want to hear the hon. member debating the Presidential Speech.
MR. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, the President talked about the issue of sanctions. I have this book here, the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review Statement which was presented to this honourable House by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. If you open this book, you read from page 165, the Minister talks about water and sanitation and health issues – how Zimbabwe has benefitted from the Global Fund to the tune of more than US$100 million and how it has also benefitted from the European Health Transitions Fund that have put money into a kitty for Zimbabwean’s health sector.
What it means is that Zimbabwe is under no sanction regime because it continues to get money from the United States of America and Europe. I will leave that aside. That information is contained in this book that was delivered by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who happens to be sitting here.
Madam Speaker, there is a problem of electricity in this country and yet someone must have misinformed the President that Zimbabwe will be able to generate 5000 mega watts by the year 2020. Madam Speaker, the year 2020 from now is only five years from today. For an electricity generation project to be realised, you need no less than seven years after the initial capital injection. What is happening in Zimbabwe is that we have 2 major power stations, Kariba and Hwange.
Zimbabwe is not endowed with a lot of water; the water that we use on Kariba Power Station is shared between Zimbabwe and Zambia. That is why today we have the problem of power cuts, because Zimbabwe is only dispatching less than 300 mega watts from Kariba Power Station due to the low level of water. For us to be able to get 5000 mega watts, we must be able to construct another power station twice the size of Hwange and another hydro power station twice the size of Kariba. Only then will we be able to realise 5000 megawatts and never by 2020.
In any case, a hydro power station in a country without its own water like Zimbabwe, does not generate electricity for base-load, it is only used for picking up load. Engineers in this House will help me to explain what that means.
Because we do not have base power stations in Zimbabwe, that is why we are using Kariba Power Station as a power station that picks up load – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the point I am raising is that, the person who gave the President that information misled him because we will not be able to generate 5000 mega watts by the year 2020. It takes more than 7 years after initially putting money for us to be able to realise the fruits from the power station. Even Kariba where we have put in more than US$350 million, we will not be able to realize the 300 megawatts that we are talking about before 2020. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development who has been seized with that matter on Kariba Power Station can vouch for me.
Let me move on and talk about other issues which were raised. The issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Madam Speaker, the issue of FDI is linked to two things; firstly, the political environment that exists in the country and secondly, the legal framework. Nobody is going to bring money into Zimbabwe unless they must have their heads examined; you bring your money into Zimbabwe where there is indigenization and economic empowerment. What that law says is that the moment you bring in your money, 51% of that money is not yours. Who is going to bring money into an economy like that? What should have been done is, 51% should have been aspirational. We should have started from a low position knowing that Zimbabwe needs Foreign Direct Investment and then incrementally get to 51%. We cannot expect somebody to bring money and all of a sudden we take 51%.
Last week, there was this hullaballoo and celebration of the coming in of Dangote as if it was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you, Mr. Dangote is worth $1 billion and if somebody is worth $1 billion it does not mean that he has $1 billion cash in the bank; that is $1 billion of assets, investments, cash at bank and many other ancillaries. Madam Speaker, we have the second richest family in India which has invested in this country in 2010 and they have put straight into our Treasury coffers $900 million. I am talking of ESSAR and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development knows that. $900 million has been put by ESSAR into the coffers of this country but ESSAR are still to get a licence to operate. Who is going to put money into Zimbabwe when another investor like ESSAR, five years down the line has not been given an operating licence? The investment environment is just not conducive, it is not enabling.
Madam Speaker, if ESSAR is given a licence to operate and ZISCO Steel comes on stream, directly ZISCO Steel is able to employ 5 000 people. Downstream, Lancashire Steel is able to operate and employ another 3000 because it feeds out of ZISCO. There are many other companies or downstream industries that benefit directly from ZISCO, so if ESSAR is given a licence to operate directly in the Midlands Province, especially in the town of Kwekwe, you create about 10 000 jobs. Here we are, seated here, ESSAR has put in their money and they have not been given a licence to operate and God knows why they have not been given a licence. We are then talking about Dangote, another investor; he comes here and everyone celebrates as if Jesus has come for the second time. It will not happen, he will not bring money under these conditions.
Madam Speaker, the other issue that the President should have hammered on is that of corruption. The issue of corruption has cost us 75% of our economy and corruption comes in many forms. The President came here and delivered a wrong speech. For me that is corruption because as alluded to by Hon. Mutseyami in his debate, somebody deliberately took out the correct speech and put in the wrong one and the reason I am raising this issue is because of the cost of that boob to the nation. Members of Parliament and senators were told to stay put in their hotel rooms, each hotel room costing $120 for accommodation only. Secondly, they had dinner, breakfast, lunches and subsistence allowances. If you calculate all that money, it will come to no less than half a million dollars. That money could have sent to school more than 500 children who are on BEAM in my constituency of Mabvuku and Tafara and yet nobody gets fired. Actually, that person should not have been fired; they should have left on their own. That person is still in the office and I call that corruption because he or she is related to someone in a high office who is protecting them.
Madam Speaker, let me go on and talk about the issue of tourism. We hear that tourism is on the mend and it is going to create so many jobs. I have some interesting statistics here which says Tourism trends and statistics report – Zimbabwe a world of wonders. It is a world of wonders for real.
Madam Speaker, we have Air Zimbabwe. According to statistics compiled here, the market share of Air Zimbabwe is only 9.6%. South African Airways’ market share is 35%. Air Zimbabwe comes number 4 and I am talking of the market share on the route between Harare and Johannesburg. Harare-Johannesburg is the second most lucrative route for SAA; an airline with almost 65 aeroplanes and yet Zimbabwe cannot utilise that route. We only have 9% of the market share. On top, British Airways, Comair comes second, Emirates third and Air Zimbabwe comes a distant fourth. What is happening? It is because of corruption because somebody appointed people at Air Zimbabwe who are nieces, nephews and cousins who are sitting there and cannot be fired even if they are incompetent.
The last one Madam Speaker which I think the President must deal with is the issue of instability as a result of his executive appointment. We cannot have a country which appoints ministers everyday. Ministers are fired left, right and centre and are appointed left, right and centre. We have more former ministers between 2013 and 2015 than we had between 1980 and 2014. Some of the ministers are not even given letters of dismissal. Whilst he is seated in his office, somebody will come to whisper to him and say, ‘Minister murikutodzingwa basa pane munhu who is being sworn in.’ What is that? That is cause for instability and now we do not even know who are ministers and who are not. Can we not have the decency of appointing people correctly and firing people correctly? Firing and hiring people willy nilly is a source of instability and the President must address it. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Maridadi, I would want to put across that we cannot question the constitutional mandate that was given to the President to appoint or dismiss ministers in relation to the mandate that he was given by the Constitution. So, your debate should remain on the Presidential Speech, which does not interfere, you cannot interfere Hon. Maridadi …
MR. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I think as Parliament we are allowed to debate that. Ministers are appointed from this House and as Members of Parliament we are allowed to debate that because tomorrow I could be appointed minister …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Maridadi! You can debate whatever you want based on the Constitution but you cannot debate on his duties and mandate that he was given by the same Constitution. He was given the mandate by the Constitution to appoint and – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
MR. MARIDADI: Madam Speaker, I beg to differ. Hon. Langa seated there was not given a letter of dismissal, Hon. Nhema and Mudarikwa were not given letters of dismissal; they only heard it on radio that they have been dismissed and I think we cannot allow that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order hon. members! Hon. Maridadi, I never gave you a chance to speak. You can only speak when I recognise you. As I have said, the President has the constitutional mandate to appoint and dismiss ministers in relation to the duties that he was given by the Constitution.