I think the explanation that we got so far is that the Ministry is now employing from Harare. Now, our local teachers from our regions will be sitting there waiting for deployments and the teachers around here quickly take up the posts and are deployed in our areas. For example in Binga, I got to a school and the teacher could understand the local language. The teacher has to ask kuti ichi chinonzi chii. Teachers are being taught by kids in order for the teacher to teach back. It is really funny and we wonder how such things happen. We appreciate the availability of trained teachers but let them be conversant in the local languages, particularly at lower grades. There is no excuse because the teachers are there.
In the area of the economy Madam Speaker, the President said a lot about the economy. I think the major challenge we have in solving our economic problem is there is some discord in terms of policy. Just yesterday, I went to some place called AE Electrical in Southerton. There is a local company producing solar geysers. These local bulbs and locally produced knapsacks; I think their brand is Morgrid. The challenge here is the disparities or the discords in policies. The Ministry of Finance through ZIMRA allows knapsacks to be imported and go through the border duty free and substandard, but when the local company which is providing jobs imports raw materials for manufacturing the same better quality knapsack sprays are not exempted from duty.
When these local companies produce enough because there are so many gadgets that they produce, when they produce for export ZIMRA does not give them Certificates of Origin. When they export to Malawi and Zambia where they have a big market, they are forced to compete with South African companies that are holding Certificates of Origin because when you have a Certificate of Origin, you are not charged exorbitant duties by the receiving countries or markets. For example, I was advised that for exporting to Malawi without a Certificate of Origin, the company is charged 30% and yet the South African companies or the SADC region would have been carrying their Certificate of Origin and are not charged. So, the competition in terms of prices becomes difficult but at the same time, the Minister of Finance, by then Hon. Chinamasa, was always talking about wanting to increase production industries so that we are able to earn foreign currency but we are not supporting our local companies that are prepared to export and are manufacturing locally. That is one area that needs to be looked at extensively.
Secondly Madam Speaker, in Bulawayo we have one company, the only one in the whole country and only one producing the best tyres in the region, Dunlop and it has closed. Once Dunlop closes, most of us driving pickups or land cruisers size 16 tyres; that is the only company that was able to make them. As a result of the closure of Dunlop, you find a lot of Chinese tyres. If you drive along Seke Road from the flyover upto almost a kilometre before Chitungwiza, all those areas have Chinese companies selling substandard tyres which Dunlop could be making. Why do we not as Government capacitate Dunlop because they have the capacity and have the quality products but we allow Dunlop to close and allow the Chinese to bring substandard tyres and take our foreign currency back to China? Whereas, we could capacitate Dunlop which might need only about $500 000, but we are not able to do that. If we allow such strategic companies to close and when we have shortages of good quality tyres, you know what it means; accidents and flight of foreign currency.
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