Mr Speaker, I have been listening very attentively to all the arguments but let us go back to the Bill and read it. It is like, in our attempt to -- Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“A court which seeks to convict a person for an offence under subsection (2), (3) or (4) shall in addition to the penalty that it may impose, order the forfeiture of any equipment or product seized under subsection (5) to the State.”
Mr Speaker, what does this imply? What is a product? We are only looking at equipment. For example, when one takes an equipment -- a shovel is an equipment.
Mr Speaker, gold -- We are talking of illegal mining. People are mining illegally -- We seize the product -- the gold. It could even be ore, which could be processed.
Mr Speaker, these are all products.
Secondly, how does one sit down and know that it is only the Ministry of Roads and Highways that needs an excavator.
Mr Speaker, when the courts seize the items, they would know what inventory they have. These are the equipment that have been seized. They would then publish that the institutions that are interested should apply.
Mr Speaker, in fairness, if we are not careful, we are also going to accuse them of giving them to only one Ministry. Let the advertisement be done, that these are the equipment that have been seized as a result of so and so and these institutions which are in need of them could apply.
There may be more institutions and when they do that, we would now need time to sort out those which need the equipment more.
I agree very well; let us not think that the equipment could only be caterpillar. A pick-axe is an equipment; shovel -- gold is a product and the law recognises that.
Therefore, let us not rush. This is the first time that I am hearing the words” confiscated to the State”. There are processes by which allocations are made.
Why do we want to sit down here and legislate the way to allocate? I am surprised. It does not only apply to this; there are several of them.
Mr Speaker, I would beg my Brother to abandon it; let us leave it to the State to confiscate it to the State and the processes that are used in the allocation -- If we rush and put “30 days” there and then the product is gold or we even need to send it to other places, for example, the Standards Authority, for them to ascertain whether it is 15 karats or 20 karats-- All of that takes time.
One cannot allocate something that one is not sure of. So, Mr Speaker, I think that, in the best interest of all of us, it is confiscated to the State -- It has been done for a very long time; there are processes that are in place for allocations to be done.
You cannot not just go and allocate to an institution -- You need to advertise; let them know that these are the equipment that have been seized: those who are interested should please, apply. If there are more institution than the number of equipment, then, there would be the need to sort them out.
Yes, I agree that we should not just allow it but there are institutions and procedures by which -- [Interruption] - - I have already told you. But how do you legislate --