The complete debate on why Zimbabwe MPs opposed the National Competitiveness Commission Bill


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HON. D. P. SIBANDA: I am trying to emphasise.  If I was talking in Tonga, I would have done it quicker but anyway this is English Madam Speaker.  The other issues I want to understand, the Minister said he is going to appoint a board in consultation with the President.  I am not seeing the logic behind the Cabinet Minister going to appoint a board and that board being accountable to him and then he says he does it in conslultation with the President.  There is no form of accountability here in the manner that this board is being appointed.  If this board was being appointed in consultation with Parliament who are the representatives of the people, then we would say at least there is some form of accountability.  For him to appoint on his own, a board that will be accountable to himself I think this is the type of culture of entitlement and patronage that we are continuing to create within the economy of this country which is sucking the economy rather than creating anything in addition to the economy.

My other question which I need clarification on is, who will pay the expenses for this board and how will it generate income?  The Hon. Minister talked about cost drivers in the economy.  My question is, has the Minister and his team, they failed as a Ministry to deal with the cost drivers that are affecting this economy to an extent that he has to create a separate board to deal with that?  So, why is he still there?  He is the Minister of Industry and Commerce.  His responsibility together with that of his colleagues in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is to ensure that we create a fair environment for business operations in this country.  Now, if he has failed and therefore he wants to delegate the responsibility which falls directly into his hands, why should the Ministry continue to exist?            I think he needs then to tell us whether the currently existing structures have failed to deal with the cost drivers that are existent in the economy.  He should tell us that they have failed.

Like I indicated Hon. Speaker, this one is an additional cost driver because it is going to suck from the same dying industry.  It wants to get money from the same dying industry and what value will that add to the economy?  He says that the board will be a secretariat to the inter-ministerial – something whatever he calls it.  What is surprising is that this secretariat will not be reporting to the inter-ministerial team that he talked about.  It will be reporting to him and him reporting to the inter-ministerial.  It is not very clear, this relationship is not clear.  How does a secretariat of an inter-ministerial board report to a single Minister and then the single Minister then goes on to report to everyone else?  How does it become an inter-ministerial secretariat when it is appointed by him and him alone?  So, Hon. Speaker, I believe that I need clarification.  In my view, the Minister has to tell us the justification of this Bill, otherwise it is an unnecessary Bill.  I thank you.

HON. MPARIWA:  Perhaps My first question before I go to the specifics that I want clarified by the Minister is if the Minister can define this animal in the form of the Bill that he has brought to the House.  I am asking that question because we have the NIPC versus the NICC, which he is trying to introduce.  What is the difference between the two because the NIPC had the same objectives that he outlined in Article 1.  One then wonders, if the first one failed without corrective measures having been taken in the NICC Bill, then this one will also fail.  I would not want to allude to the fact that we are good at coming up with policies with different names yet it means exactly the same.

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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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