HON. CHASI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. My report which is the Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, covers the following entities. The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the following Independent Commissions, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the Judicial Services Commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and finally the Prosecuting Authority.
I turn to the Ministry of Justice – there has generally been a positive trend regarding the budget for this Ministry which has increased by 586% in 2015, when it stood at 18,4 million and now stands at 126,5 million. So, we wish to acknowledge the assistance that the Minister has been giving to this particular Ministry.
The Ministry heavily relies on donor funds and I want to repeat the comments that have been made by previous Chairpersons regarding their own entities to say the primary responsibility for funding Ministries must fall on the Government. In this respect, I want to specifically refer to the issue of the constitutional alignment. Mr. Speaker, this is a very important programme which is way behind and which the Government needs to give very serious attention to. In this respect, the Committee acknowledged the assistance by the European Union, in particular to the tune of 1,500 Euros towards this programme. The Committee is hopeful that when the funds are released, they will be released in the same amount and that the release will be timeous in order to ensure that this very important constitutional programme is addressed.
Your Committee Mr. Speaker Sir, was concerned by a number of subscriptions that Government has to pay through the Ministry. For example, the Government has to pay subscription to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as well as a similar tribunal for Rwanda. The recommendation was that Government must look into the relevance of some of these entities before agreements or treaties are signed so that Government does not assume huge payments for which there is very little to see. The Committee recommended that the Ministry must go and look at each and every one of the entities to which they subscribe and demonstrate to this Committee the value that this country is getting from those subscriptions.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services; is a very important body Mr. Speaker, that falls under this Ministry but which is perennially in very difficult financial situation. The department looks after people who are not free to get food for themselves or to clothes themselves. It has made efforts to engage in farming and significant amounts of money are required to re-tool their farming activities. The recommendation that the Committee has made is that consideration must be given by Government to allow this department to engage, maybe in contract farming where people who have their own resources can come and use their farms and then the profits could be shared.
The department of Deeds is very important Mr. Speaker. The Committee was aware that over a very long time there has been debate… – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister, particularly to hear this one.
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