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MP calls on cash-strapped government to take over the debt of Air Zimbabwe and National Railways

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HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to lend my voice on this quite effective report that is pregnant with a lot of issues that are very key.  Yours truly is the Chairperson of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development.  It gives me great sadness that I stand here and have to try and lend my voice in a committee that is riddled with parastatals that are non-performing to say the least.  Therefore, the efforts should be directed in trying to bolster your Committee in terms of making sure that it carries out its mandate in a way that is unimpeded, that is going to make sure that these parastatals get out of the doldrums of economic quagmire and incompetence that they are currently in, as opposed to trying to dissipate and make sure they disintegrate the committee from other sectors.

Madam Speaker, the issue that the parastatals or the Ministry has got about 27 revenue streams of which 15 are non-computerised and are non-accounted for and maybe just below 15 are accounted for in terms of effective monitoring is unjustifiable and should not be condoned.  I want to give you a snippet of what monitoring of revenue streams and computerisation of them can do to a sector.  Currently, the Ministry has requested in the 2017 Budget $5.5 million for the dualisation of the Ruwa Turn Off to the tollgate along the Harare – Marondera Road.  I want to also tell you what $6.5 million can do on the Norton to Kadoma Highway.  They have requested for that amount in the 2017 Budget to dualise Norton to the Norton Tollgate.  We see in this report not $5 million, not $6 million but a ubiquitous amount of money running into millions of over $10 million to $20 million that is not being accounted for because of a moribund, antiquated, rudimental and historical way of dealing with modern day issues.  We need to immediately enforce revenue generation, revenue accounting systems using the right methods which are computerisation.  Otherwise we will want to continue to tax the unsuspecting innocent citizenry in order to finance private individuals who are entrenched in their positions of authority in the Ministry.

By the way, the Ministry of Transport is involved in multi-billion tender processes or buying processes that involve multi-billions.  For it to continue to be rudimental in the matter it is, it is certainly uncalled for.  The first thing that I want to make a clarion call to are issues to do with the revenue collection systems that are not riddled with a lot of paper work but that are computerised and there is a track record, aware that if you deal with a computer, it is garbage in garbage out.  If you want to deal with modern day ways of doing issues, you open a computer, input information – you leave a foot print.  You leave a print there that is going to trace back where and what happened to the money.  We are supposed to be custodians of our God given wealth and we are also supposed to be custodians of the taxes that Zimbabweans are paying.

We also need to do away with the issues of continuously levying of our citizens.  This cannot be condoned and should not come at a time when we cannot account for the little that we have been given.  We should first account for that which we have been given.  I will give you an example; I am aware as your Chairperson of the Committee on Transport that annually, there is about 100 000 certificates of competences that are produced in the whole nation by VID Depots around the country.  You would know, like I do, that anyone of the Hon. Members here present, at some point or the other, there has been a call from a relative or otherwise that has been called upon to produce US$150-200 in order for them to go through licencing system in the VID for them to get a certificate of competence.

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