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Tuesday, 21st March, 2023

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.



          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have a question of national importance to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona. We have a serious problem with regard to a national road which links Mozambique, Zimbabwe via Mutare.  This national road has a high flow of traffic, especially heavy trucks.  It is a busy road and these trucks link Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC and in other cases, they link Botswana.

The problem we have Madam Speaker is that it was put to the attention of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development some time in 1995.  It is the Herbert Chitepo Road; part of the road links Mutare and part of the Green Market.  There is a bridge there and that bridge links the flyover and the bridge at Green Market.  The Hon. Minister knows this story because it is on the record of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  There was a plan which was done at national level for that bridge to be expanded and to expand as well the flyover - but up to now nothing has been done and all of a sudden, it is becoming more of a national crisis because it is affecting the countries that I have mentioned in terms of movement of transport and in terms of time management.

I think it is important for the Hon. Minister to address this matter and probably put a response to the attention of the country as well as to the people who are affected.  Madam Speaker, I put it to you so that this communication can be done to the attention of the Hon. Minister to give us a statement so that we do a follow up.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DPEUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mutseyami.  It has been noted.  We will convey the message to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.   

          (v)*HON. S. MAHLANGU:  My question of national interest is that Government promised the people that it would decentralise its Central Registry offices.  Unfortunately, there is an office which has since been moved from serving the people of Bulawayo.  Now because of that, people in peri-urban areas are having a problem in accessing national IDs and birth certificates.  We therefore request relevant Ministers to liaise and iron out this problem.  We would like to request Hon. Soda to attend to the matter of electricity connectivity.  I thank you Madam President.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I thank you Hon. Mahlangu.  I request you to bring that as a motion to this House so that it can be debated and the Minister will reply after the debate.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I stand on this pedestal and platform on a point of national interest.  I applaud first and foremost, the Second Republic for the coming on stream of Hwange 7, the 300 megawatts and am hopeful that Hwange 8 is going to complement and augment the same.  I complement and also applaud the Second Republic on the same.  Having said that Madam Speaker, there has not been advanced, through the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, a clear policy in so far as it relates to the rehabilitation, reconstruction, maintenance and rejuvenation of our national roads, in particular those that cut off from the trunk roads into the mining areas; aware that there are a plethora of mines dotted around the country who are not giving back or reconstructing the roads from where they are extracting a ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth.  I will give an example of Kwekwe-Nkayi where there is Queens Mine, Tech Mine and a number of mines on that road, but they are not giving back to the community according to Section 13 (4) of the Constitution in so far as rehabilitation of our road infrastructure is concerned.  They go in, they plunder, they make our road dilapidated, deplorable and disused without mending them Madam Speaker and there is the 52km Chegutu-Mubaira Road.  It is also in the same state but there are a number of mines dotted around that area.

I therefore, Madam Speaker, call upon the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to come and give a policy position in so far as it relates to the issue of  PPPs where there is no Government capital outlay but where there is robust, resilient, effective and efficient rehabilitation of our road infrastructure so that our people out there can enjoy the fruits of Section 13 (4) that speaks of the resources that are extracted in those areas should be made to actually improve not only the roads but the areas in those communities.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I advise you to put that in writing and ask as a question on questions with notice so that the Minister will do a research and come to the House with the answers concerning your issues.  Thank you.

HON. BITI:  Madam Speaker I thank you for allow me to rise on a point of national interest.  Madam Speaker I am concerned about the issue of illicit financial flows in Zimbabwe.  We are losing over US$2 billion annually in illicit financial flows.  What we are losing in terms of illicit financial flows is actually more than what we are getting in terms of diaspora remittances US$1 billion, what we are getting in terms of foreign aid or overseas development assistance and what we are getting in terms of foreign investment which is around $200 million.  The major culprits are the mining houses - organisations such as the ZimPlats of this world, the Unkies of this world who are guilty of transfer pricing, thin capitalization, under invoicing and over invoicing.

          The mining sector is bleeding.  It is accounting for $6/$7 billion a year, yet billions are getting out of our country.  We have got 65 minerals but they are not benefiting our country.  Most of the mining model in Zimbabwe is extractive.  You come in, you loot and you get out leaving total destruction, unemployment and so forth.  Look at the status of Mhangura in Mashonaland West Province, it is a ghost town.  Go to Renco in Masvingo, the road there looks like a road that was built in 1492 but they have been getting gold from our country.  So I urge that the Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry and Commerce should come up with legislation that deals with illicit financial flows from this country.  We are losing a billion USD from tobacco smuggling, a billion USD from gold smuggling on its own and we are now losing possibly $2 billion on lithium alone.  Lithium yavakungo pwititika muZimbabwe.  As I am talking to you right now, the price of lithium is US$80 000 a tonne.  That is the new black gold and we have nothing to show for it.  Our people are suffering; 79% of our people are living in extreme poverty, 95% are unemployed, yet on paper we are a very rich country.  So I urge that the authorities come up with legislation on illicit financial flow and push the UN to come up with an international convention that deals with illicit financial flows.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti.  I advise you to come up with a motion regarding those issues.  They are very valid but you need to come up with a motion that will be debated in this House.  I thank you.

          The Hon. Deputy Speaker having been advised by the Clerks- at the-Table.

          Hon. Biti, there is already a motion regarding those issues on our Order Paper.  You could propose for some amendments on that motion so that it will cover all what you have said.  Thank you.

          HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to highlight this very important point of national interest.  It is Government policy that senior citizens of our country - those who are 65 years and above receive free medical attention at our major hospitals such as Parirenyatwa, UBH and others.  In reality, this is not happening.  It is actually a theory on paper.  When they get there, they do not pay consultation fees.  When they get attention from a doctor, there will be instances where they are required to undergo scans and X-rays.  The equipment in most instances is not functioning and they are referred to private players to get the scans and X-rays. The issue here is that the payment is done by themselves. Why is it not that the Government goes ahead and pay those private players since the equipment at the public hospitals are not working?

          Recently we had a case where a 90-year-old lady needed an eye operation because the eyes were not seeing properly.  She was asked to pay US$100 per eye.  Only US$100 was realized, the operation was only done on one eye and this was done at a Government hospital.  Then the issue of free treatment of senior citizens does not appear to be in reality.  My prayer is for the Minister of Health to bring clarity on whether this thing is a reality.  If not, if it can be brought into effect.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nyoni.  I advise you to ask the Minister of Health on Wednesday so that he will respond to your issues.

          *HON. TOBAIWA: I rise on a point of national interest, directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development as to what measures he has put in place to ensure that there is an eradication of mining activities taking place less than 500 metres from built up areas.  I say so because of the accident that occurred at Globe and Phoenix Mine where the school collapsed as a result of illegal mining activities, precisely there was blasting that took place close to the school that led to injury of 18 pupils.  The Hon. Minister may attend to this issue in liaison with the Minister of Local Government.  I thank you.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Tobaiwa.  I urge you to ask that question on Wednesday next week.

HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order.  I just like to highlight that all these questions have been asked not answered, I understand the Chief Whip and everyone -  I would like to point out that I asked in August, 2022 the Minister of Homes about IDs in my area and the nation at heart.  On Monday, they appeared in my area without notifying anyone.  As a result, we got only three people registering for IDs and since then they packed.  I would like to know what the Hon. Minister is going to do.  We are now eight months since August and nothing has happened.  We are still waiting for that statement.

          I move on to the second Ministry, which is the Ministry of Agriculture.  Five months ago, when winter wheat came in, I asked him for a statement which you, yourself instructed that he must give us a statement on payment to wheat farmers.  To date, we still have not got that and wheat farmers, not all of them have been paid yet.

          I also brought up a very important issue where State funds are being looted by TIMB through a programme called ‘re-entry’.  The Minister was supposed to give us a statement.  The marketing system is now one week into progress with 11 million killers and re-entry is still operating and no-one has done anything.  I asked - how are Ministers held accountable when they get some fantastic results in the newspaper yet they cannot answer simple questions in Parliament?  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Markham, I advise you to ask the Minister of Home Affairs next week on Wednesday.

          HON. MARKHAM: Sorry Madam Speaker.  You have already ruled that he should bring a statement.  He cannot wait eight months to bring us a statement.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.  I will remind him to bring the statement.

          On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. MUTSEYAMI, the House adjourned at Twenty-Four Minutes to Three o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 28th March, 2023.

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