Mliswa tears into Grace Mugabe- why can’t you buy your $1.4 million diamond ring locally when we have the diamonds?


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Full contribution

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker, I object to that.  There are certain issues which I will talk about which relate to what the Minister spoke.  It is not all of us that are good in reading.  Some of us listen more, we cannot read.  In having to listen, that is the only time that we can be able to respond.  I am certainly not a good reader but I am a very good listener.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: For the benefit of doubt, I will let you debate and then we will adjourn the debate to next week.

 HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on the budget review of 2017.  Let me equally thank the Minister for the work that he is doing in ensuring that the country moves.  He does his job and he actually came here to give us this review.  The Minister is only a messenger, at the end of the day.  I am hoping what I will talk about has nothing to do with the person of the Minister, but the office that he holds.

It is important that the ordinary person and we, Members of Parliament, relate this to what is happening on the ground.  It would be remiss of us to come here and say the economy is great when the queues are still there.  Just the queues being there, it is tough.  I personally have experienced a problem where I could not access foreign currency when my father was ill.  I did not want to use my office as a Member of Parliament, but I wanted just to be an ordinary citizen and say to myself, how do they carry out their duties at the end of the day.  The truth of the matter is, the situation is not looking good.  No wonder why the review was very short – because there was not much that he could attribute to the success.

We must not always believe that the documents that are written are really the answer.  We have so many documents written in Zimbabwe, but they have never produced anything.  So, this whole issue of being referred to a document by economists who are unemployed, who have nothing to do except give a clear picture of the economy from an academic point of view, is something that we are now used to, but the question is, what is happening on the ground?

I recall that when Parliament started, we had a time with the Minister on domestic resource mobilisation.  If you recall, Members of Parliament were invited to Bulawayo.  We were using taxpayer’s money.  We lived in good hotels, had everything good for us and the issue was domestic resource mobilisation to get the economy going.  I did not hear the Minister pointing out to our findings and our recommendations on the domestic resource mobilisation where the Speaker whipped us and said no, talk about this.  Talk about domestic resource mobilisation which is key to the growth of the economy.

I am looking at US$80 million being pumped into diamond mining again, but diamond mining – we are yet to be told how much money we have received from diamonds in this country.  We must be very clear because the Minister must not just tell us about how much money is put into a project, when he is not telling us what is coming out.  When you are a farmer and you are putting eight bags of maize per hectare, you are expecting five tonnes as Command Agriculture did; why is the Minister not simplifying things and saying, in the diamond industry, this is how much we have received.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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