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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 03 NOVEMBER 2021 VOL 48 NO 6

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 3rd November, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House of the following changes to the membership of Portfolio Committees:

  1. Bhuda Masara has moved from the Portfolio Committee on Media and Broadcasting Services to the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education;
  2. Markham will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development; and
  3. Dr. Labode will serve on the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I have received apologies from Hon. Ministers in respect of the National Assembly sitting on 3rd November, 2021.

-Hon. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr.  C. G. G. N Chiwenga – Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care,

-Hon. E. Ndlovu – The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education;

-Hon. M. M. Ndlovu – The Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry,

-Hon. K. Coventry – The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation,

-Hon. W. Chitando – The Minister of Mines and Mining Development,

-Hon Dr. Nzenza – The Minister of Industry and Commerce,

-Hon Prof Mavima – The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,

-Hon Prof Murwira – The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development,

-Hon. Z. Ziyambi – The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,

-Hon D. Garwe – The Minister of Housing and Social Amenities,

-Hon O. Ncube – The Minister of State Security,

-Hon. F. Shava – The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,

-Hon. K. Kazembe – The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage…

(v)HON. S. BANDA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  IT, do not shut me out - I said on a point of order.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  They are shutting you out because on Wednesday it was ruled that we will not have points of order.

(v)HON. S. BANDA:  Madam Speaker, when she was supposed to be somewhere, she decided to come to Parliament and that is very commendable.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. S. Banda.

(v)HON. WADYAJENA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I have been raising my hand since quarter past.  I want to give a notice of motion.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  But we have already passed that stage Hon. Wadyajena.

(v)HON. WADYAJENA:  My hand has been up Madam Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Okay Hon. Wadyajena, you can go ahead.

(v)HON. WADYAJENA:  As you can see, I am in Scotland Madam Speaker.  I wish you were here.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, I can see that Honourable.  I wish I was there also.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to direct my question to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education and in his absence, to the Acting Leader of Government Business.  Why is it that when people make applications for certain courses, they are told that some subjects which they sat for during O’ Level are not considered as part of subjects to be enrolled in a certain course?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Munetsi for that question which is highly technical.  I think that is something that needs a very comprehensive answer. I advise that he puts it in writing.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa.  I am sure Hon. Munetsi, you have taken note of that.  Put your question in writing.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Am I allowed to ask the question next week?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  A different question?

HON. MUNETSI:  This one.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, just put it in writing like I said.

HON. MUNETSI:  It will take time to be answered.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, it will not.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you.

(v)HON. NDIWENI:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  In his absence, the Leader of Government Business can assist.  My question is on the policy of people’s shops.  What happened to the people’s shops that we were promising people when we were campaigning because those people’s shops made life easy for the people because they used to get things that were affordable in terms of prices and of late, we do not see any of the amounts within the GMB system?  So what happened to the policy of having the People’s Shops?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  I think a Cabinet decision was taken.  The policy is that the shops should be there.  In terms of implementation, I will go back to my colleague Minister to update this House as to how far that has gone.  Thank you.

(v)HON. MUCHIMWE:  As you can see, I am in a motor vehicle.  We have no offices in our constituency.  Anyway, my question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.  In Manicaland, Chiadzwa Diamonds, there are workers who are mostly outsiders.  What is Government policy in regards to people of a particular area to benefit from their natural resources?  Manicaland has numerous graduates but not even one is employed in Chiadzwa Diamonds.  My people are suffering.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I did not get to understand the whole question but the gist of the question, I hope you can help me Madam Speaker, was to say how people can benefit from the economic activities within their community.

I just wanted to say the Second Republic is very much concerned about not leaving any space, any place or any person behind and as such, the devolution which in the past has been more of a talk show has become a reality.  The Second Republic has put money into devolution and all points of this policy is to make sure that every Zimbabwean participates actively in economic activities in their own communities.  We are also seeing local companies getting involved in corporate social responsibilities and also making sure that where they are, whether they are exploiting the minerals, they are also giving back to the community around that area and also making sure they include the people in those communities.  Thank you.

(v)*HON. MUCHIMWE:  Supplementary question.  What should I say to my people, supposing I meet them today or tomorrow about the Chiadzwa scenario?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Did you get the question Hon. Leader of Government Business?

(v)*HON. MUCHIMWE:  I said, what promise can I give to my people as of today or tomorrow when I engage them in a meeting about the scenario at Chiadzwa?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Muchimwe who is particularly concerned about the people in his constituency in Mutare West and I happen to be the Senator of that area.  I know the concerns coming from the people that they have not benefited much in terms of corporate social responsibility.

We all know what is happening in Chiadzwa and we know Government continues to engage with mining companies. There is ZCDC now which was reported by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development that it has started doing very well and that they will be able to increase production of diamonds.   Also, we know the Government is fighting against corruption. The other thing is; as Zimbabweans, we have been shouting and calling for the removal of sanctions.  We know that would also help in terms of companies that are exploiting diamonds in that area so that they are able to do business for their corresponding banks worldwide.

So there is need for the people to understand that Government is very much concerned about the populace in Chiadzwa.  Chiadzwa is a dry area and it hardly rains and God in some way gave Chiadzwa diamonds and the people can actually survive if the exploiting companies that are there are making sure that they are bringing the communities on board.  There is more that people are looking forward to; the roads, it is very difficult to criss-cross around that area.  Some of the companies like ZCDC for example, have been working to upgrade some of the clinics around that area and some of the schools.  We implore that all those companies that are exploiting diamonds in that area get involved in upgrading the lives of the people in that area.

The other issue that there has been an outcry on is that they are also complaining that most of the jobs are being taken by people from areas that are far away.  Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is making sure that the communities, at least for those low level jobs, are offered to the locals in those communities.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Minister, you alluded to the point of companies doing corporate social responsibility but with the suspension of the Indigenisation Empowerment Act, how can you compel them to do it because there was a law that said 10% community, 10% the workers and 31% would go into the Sovereign Wealth Fund?  Now that law is no longer there.  How can companies be compelled to do that without a law?  Thank you.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for that supplementary question.  The removal of that law does not necessarily mean that the indigenous people are no longer being considered.  The legislation that was there is being looked into to make sure that everybody gets a piece of what they deserve.

In Chiadzwa, for example, communities have …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Minister.  It seems you are not connected.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Am I connected now Madam Speaker?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Yes, you are.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you.  Madam Speaker, I was saying that I would like to thank Hon. Mliswa for that supplementary question.  The issue of legislation which was there is being looked into, it was not completely removed because the Government is very much aware and alive to the fact that the community has to benefit from companies that are exploiting in their communities.  As we speak, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development has been to Chiadzwa so many times, talking to the community and making sure that they become part of the activities that are happening in their backyard.  Thank you.

HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker – [HON. T. MLISWAMadam Speaker, on a point of clarity…]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, order.  What is your point of order Hon. Gonese?

(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  It appears that there are Hon. Members whose gadgets are not muted whilst on virtual and it makes it difficult for us to follow proceedings on virtual.

I was going to ask the Hon. Chair to advise the ICT Department to ensure that those who do not have the floor are muted and also to appeal to Hon. Members on virtual to ensure that their gadgets are on mute because as it is, I could not even hear what the Hon. Minister was saying.  I think that it is incumbent upon us as Hon. Members to ensure that we put our gadgets on mute and also for the ICT Department to assist because some Members are not disciplined enough to ensure that they adhere to those directions.  That is my point of order Madam Speaker because those of us on virtual end up not being able to follow the proceedings.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Gonese.  I have already requested the ICT to mute those Hon. Members who will not be on the floor.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, the Minister responded saying that the companies will be doing something in the communities.  Then I said but there is no law, the law that used to compel them to do this is no longer there.  What guarantee is there that they will be doing that corporate social responsibility?  Even when the law was there, they were not complying.

There is no law which compels them to do that and because of that, even the Chinese are not doing the 10% to the local community, to the workers and 31% to the Sovereign Wealth Fund, saka hapana mutemo and ndeupi mutemo unoita kuti vanhu ava vaite basa irori?  Kana muchiti muchaudzosa, bvumai muti tichaudzosa mutemo wacho, takakanganisa kuubvisa.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Mliswa who is very passionate about the legislation in terms of making sure that companies carry out their corporate social responsibilities.

Madam Speaker, this is an issue that the Government is very seized with, that is why I informed you about how the Minister of Mines and Mining Development had been to Chiadzwa several times talking to the community and making sure that the companies that are exploiting diamonds in the Chiadzwa area actually carry out that social responsibility.  In this country, every company that comes to invest adheres to Government’s instructions and policies. – [HON. T. MLISWA:  There is no law, handichada kukunetsai tete, muchagadzirisa zvenyu.] –

         (v)*HON. SHAVA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  What plans do you have about the Harare-tBulawayo Road?  We do not have humps where pedestrians cross especially school children. I am saying this because we are witnessing a lot of accidents in those areas.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for her question.  It is true we are losing a lot of lives on our highways.  I would however want to say that we cannot put humps on highways because this will be dangerous.  We do put rambles so that motorists will reduce speed when approaching those areas.  This is not the major problem; the major problem is that we are not following rules and regulations on the road.  A lot 0f people are driving whilst drunk so it is my plea that drivers must exercise caution when driving.

We must keep on reminding each other that no matter how well we repair our roads, it is the responsibility of every driver to follow the rules and regulations on the road.  Most accidents are caused by drivers. If you have places that you know are dangerous Hon. Member, you are free to alert us so that we see how we can move forward.

(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is that in most of the highways, we do not have speed traps and secondly we have not invested in technology so that motorists who break the law can be apprehended using technology?  What plans is the Ministry putting in place to ensure that enforcement and adherence can be done by motorists in view of the transgressions which we see on daily basis?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also thank Hon. Gonese for the follow up question.  It is true that the synchronisation of our monitoring and evaluation when it comes to monitoring our roads is of paramount importance.  This calls for stakeholder engagement in terms of service providers where we are talking of Home Affairs, Department of VID, CVR where our systems are supposed to speak to each other.  I am glad to announce to this House that we have what we call Zimbabwe Management Transport Information System (ZIMTIS) which is trying to consolidate so that the moment you pass through a red robot that number is captured and the Vehicle Theft Squad will know that so and so has passed through a red robot.

Similarly, that information will also be retrieved from Central Vehicle Registration. So this is the synchronisation that I am talking about and as Government, we are accelerating the implementation of these modules so that whoever is actually using our roads will know that if you are exceeding the prescribed speed limit, that is going to be captured.  The good scenario is for one to get a ticket through normal processes. In other jurisdictions, the moment you actually break the law, soon after that you will get a message on your phone to say you have got a ticket.  So I am glad that we are working closely with ICT and my department that we come up with a robust and vibrant system whereby those offenders are captured at source so that we do not wait for someone to stray and when you are actually renewing your motor vehicle licence, you are supposed to get all the tickets appearing.  Hon. Member, I do agree and concur that what you have enunciated is exactly what the second republic has perceived.

(v)HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary is, Minister what are you doing to extend the infrastructure? There are more cars in the country but you are not extending the infrastructure.  Kana vana vawanda mumba unounza ndiro or else vanodyira mundiro one. That is where the problem is and I would like to know what you are doing to extend the roads, the dual carriage system?  When people are late at those toll gates, they will be in a rush and that is when they start to overtake. If there is dual carriage, it will alleviate accidents.  What are your plans?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker, let me thank Hon. Temba Peter Mliswa for that very important question where you are asking what we are supposed to do to our infrastructure.  You are very right that the design of our infrastructure was designed may be for vehicles less than 500.  As we speak in terms of the population of the vehicles plying our roads, we are talking of about 1.5m.  You can actually see that the 1.5 million we are talking about now is not designed to ply the roads that we have which then calls for the immediate and the need to expand our infrastructure and you see the bottle necks as you approach the toll gates whereby you are having two lanes instead of may be 4 and in other areas when you are approaching the toll gate, you will be having 6 lanes.

Basically, as much as we try to improve on toll gates and failing to expand the infrastructure, as a Ministry, we are seized with trying to expand the lanes as we approach a toll gate so we are coming before Parliament in the near future where we are saying, we are constructing new tollgates and you will be seeing in the next two or so weeks where we have actually secured a financial institution to work with, rehabilitate and expand our tollgates so that we then manage and decongest our roads.  I also plead with the august House for adequate funding to the Ministry as we debate our budget.  Let us have adequate budget to cater for our infrastructure which will then enable the Ministry to expand the current infrastructure that is inadequate as we speak.  I thank you.

(v)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The host, as I was speaking, did mute me.  Please ask him not to mute.  My supplementary question is  to what extend is the Minister in so far as his chatting to his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines, in terms of rehabilitating and reconstructing of roads that are in the mining areas by large scale miners.  How far is the Minister in rehabilitating and reconstruction of the roads by large scale miners so that we can ameliorate the scourge of infrastructure dilapidation?

         THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Nduna for that question.  Rehabilitation of our roads especially in the mining communities is of paramount importance, but as we speak, there is no law that would force those companies to rehabilitate the roads.  However, we engage them all as we pursue especially some of the people to do with corporate social responsibility that was being talked about here to encourage them so that they partake in the exercise of rehabilitating infrastructure.

I also remember very well that Hon. Mliswa raised the issue of those companies damaging some of our roads.  It was then agreed that we need weighbridges so that as they pass through those roads, if they have got excess in terms of inputs that they are feeding into their various plants and mines, then they are accountable.  So I want to thank Hon. Nduna that yes, we want to work closely with various mining companies to also join the Government in trying to rehabilitate our roads.

However, above all, we have got to oblige them to say they must be mandated to partake in the exercise of rehabilitating the roads but humbly appeal to them to also know that they are the users and beneficiaries of those roads, so they also need to upgrade those roads.

HON. NDUNA: On a point of order! I am requesting that the Minister of Transport and infrastructural Development brings in a Ministerial Statement that speaks to and about these mining entities that are supposed to rehabilitate.  Section 13 (4) of the Constitution mandates these mining houses to rehabilitate, reconstruct the areas from where they are mining these minerals.  They are supposed to develop the localities from where they are mining.  Would it please the Minister of Transport to bring in the list of names - which mines and which big mining houses are plundering our resources without any ploughing back to the community so that we can use the supreme of the land to bring them to account?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker, let me also with your indulgence revisit the section that my colleague has cited, Section 13 (4) does not talk about mining companies.  It talks about communities benefiting from the resources within their locality not with specific reference to mines.  We are saying whatever resources are available in a community, the masses of that particular community must benefit.

We are saying we do not have a particular law.  Remember we are saying ‘Zimbabwe is  open for business’ and we are saying there is no law that forces mining companies to rehabilitate roads but we are saying let us use moral suasion, engage them because they use the road, so that we are on equal footing. I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Why are you asking farmers to pay a dollar for Pfumbvudza when they can have a stop order to collect that dollar at the end of the season?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank Hon. Mliswa for that question concerning the payment issue.  I think this is not a policy question but the policy from where I understand, is that Presidential inputs should be availed to the people.  So in terms of this, I will ask the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Climate on what exactly is happening.

HON. NDUNA: What is it as a follow up on Government policy in so far as it relates to distribution of Pfumvudza in urban areas, aware that Pfumvudza is only enough for ‘point 4’ of a hectare and also aware that there is more than 38 000 households in Chegutu West alone?  It is equal to gardens close to boreholes in our urban areas because it is AN50 D50 and 10kg seed, so it is point 4 of a hectare.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for that supplementary question.  The Presidential Input and Pfumvudza inputs should be given to anyone, anywhere who has dug holes.

HON. MAVETERA: We have the Pfumvudza Programme and Command Agriculture and I would like to know how the farmers that are in between the two programmes can benefit from Government programmes?

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: I would like to thank Hon. Mavetera for that supplementary where she wants to understand those farmers who are have between five hectares. I want to say this Pfumvudza/Intwasa  is given free of charge, the President is giving inputs to farmers of this country who can actually have up to five plots  - either you have a small one or five, you will be entitled to Pfumvudza inputs. As for the Command Agriculture, that is real business and there is a lot of paperwork which needs to be done. You are almost getting a loan so that you can farm. I suggest that those farmers with five hectares should go through the Agritex officers who will advise them properly because what we want at the end of the day is that we want all the land to be utilised. I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: My point of recommendation to the Hon. Members of Parliament is that they can approach the Agritex officers in the various areas and they will be well supported. That is my point of recommendation. I thank you.

(v)HON. I. NYONI: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Firstly, we have the Mbudzi Interchange Project that is in the pipeline. I would like to find out from the Minister what other long term plans has he got for the Bulawayo-Harare roundabout so that logjams are treated holistically considering that we have traffic congestion resulting in some people driving against the flow of traffic.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON MHONA): Thank you Hon. Member for that question. He is very right. We are not going to dwell on Mbudzi Interchange alone as we decongest the city and allow connectivity on our roads. We have cited Harare-Bulawayo where we have Kuwadzana roundabout which is a nightmare. As we rehabilitate Mbudzi, we are going to have other interchange so as to offload traffic from that interchange. We are also going to look at Mabvuku turnoff so that we have filter lanes.

The problem is that the way the roundabout is designed will also lead to the congestion that we are witnessing whereby if we do not have the filter lanes, for instance if someone is proceeding straight he will have to pass through the roundabout but if you intend to turn whether to the left or right, you do not need to go through the roundabout. At the moment, everyone goes through the roundabout which is something that is problematic and as a Ministry, we are working on correcting that.

As we work on the Mbudzi roundabout and other diversions, we are going to address all those anomalies so that we allow trafficability of our roads.

*HON. R. MAKONI: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Most of the local authorities in Zimbabwe are charging their rates in RTGS yet they buy their fuel in US dollars. What plans does Government have so that councils can access fuel in RTGS?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA):  About two weeks ago, we all heard what was happening at the RBZ auction system whereby some oil companies were abusing the facility. The apex bank moved in and suspended all gas and oil companies because they could afford to access the foreign currency on their own. As a Ministry, we then designated NOIC to import fuel using their own duty in RTGS. That fuel which is being imported by NOIC is the one that is given to local authorities and Government departments for use in their day to day programmes. Right now, we are making sure that there are service stations that can sell fuel in RTGS to local authorities.

*HON. T. MLISWA:  So why did you not arrest them?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA):Thank you Hon. Mliswa for your question.  It is true we have several companies that we realise were getting forex but abusing it.  However, following the violations that took place, we have civil penalties in place.  The financial intelligence unit is carrying out audits.  The Minister of Energy and Power Development is here.  He might give us the statistics if he has them at hand, but the audits are being carried out by the Financial Intelligence Unit and the RBZ.  All those found guilty, some of them will be charged penalties while some will have their accounts closed.  Some were now involved in money laundering but the penalties that we have are just civil penalties and not criminal penalties.

*HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, I was requesting that we do our work diligently.  I would like the Minister to bring a list of all the companies that were involved so that we know them.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, you are not connected?

HON. T. MLISWA:  I am connected through Hon. Mutsvangwa.  Madam Speaker, I am saying this is good news to this Parliament.  May the culprits, the list of all those who violated the regulations be brought to this august House so that we can know who they are and exercise our oversight.

*HON. CHIDUWA:  As Treasury, we set precedence when we published some names, but we once published some names of those companies.  If you check on the previous list that we released, you will see that those companies are listed there.  The list also includes those companies that sell fuel.  I do not think that there is anything wrong in us bringing the list to Parliament, but we stand to be guided by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

HON. GONESE: Supplementary question Madam Speaker.  Thank you very much Hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development. My supplementary question emanates from the fact that there is a disparity between the auction rate and the parallel market rate.  Are we not likely to see a scenario where people are going to buy fuel at those designated service stations in Zimbabwean dollars and then resell the fuel at a profit in United States dollar terms because we are not tackling the root cause of the problem which is the growing disparity between the two rates of exchange and the other trying to deal simply with the symptoms because arresting people does not seem to be solving the problem, Hon. Deputy Minister.

HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Hon. Gonese.  Our problem especially with regard to the disparity between the official rate and the parallel market rate, yes, inasmuch as we are saying arresting people is not a solution but I think it is largely a behavioural problem which also requires some of these enforcement measures.  Yes, we have got the economics to deal with.  Quite a number of people think flouting the exchange rate is a solution.  It may not necessarily be a solution as long as we have got people that have got behaviour that is not consistent with rational economic agents.

So with regards to the issue where you are saying it is likely to be abuse because of the disparity that is there between the exchange rates, we are going to be guided by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.  All those service stations that are going to be given the right to sell fuel in RTGS are supposed to have a fuel management system.  The fuel management system is the one that we are going to use to ensure that we reduce cases of corruption and cases of abuse of the system.  So that is our fallback position.  The fuel management system which we hope is going to assist us in curbing abuse and corruption.  Thank you.

 (v)*HON. MAFUTA: My question is directed to the Acting Leader of the House.  What measures are in place pertaining to some mining companies that are refusing rentals in local currency in preference to United States Dollars?

*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to thank Hon. Mafuta for her question about mine workers who are paying rentals in United States Dollars whereas our country is using multi-currency.  So people should not be deterred from using local currency because our policy is that we are using multi-currency.  I thank you.

         HON. M. KHUMALO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  It is in connection with the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation in the country.  We are approaching the rain season and the planned roads on that programme have not been attended to.  I think we have travelled throughout the country and a lot of roads are still not passable.  What is the Ministry going to do to attend to that problem because deliveries of grain and seed for planting will not take place in those areas where roads are bad?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me also thank Hon. Khumalo for that important question on Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.

Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me share with the august House that this programme is running for three years until February 2024.  What it means is that it is an ongoing programme. As we speak and maybe to allay the fears of Hon. Members and the citizenry, some roads are even constructed during the rain season and those roads are even stronger than the roads that we construct during the normal period.  So I want to allay the fears of Hon. Khumalo that yes, we are approaching the rain season and there is something that we are going to be doing during this time.

Also to say that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development superintends over a number of road authorities, inter alia the Department of Roads that falls under its purview.  We also have local authorities, rural district councils and DDF.  So at times, it is not in the public domain to say who owns this road but like I always say, at the end of the day, it comes to the Minister but there are road authorities mandated to look and manage their own roads.  In particular, if you then go especially to the rural constituencies, some are under DDF rural district councils.

What happened during the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme was to take roads but it is so sad Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am that some of the local authorities, even after having received funding from ZINARA have not used that funding.  I will come before this august House with a report of whatever went through to a local authority, rural district council, DDF and how they utilised that money towards road rehabilitation.  You will find that in other areas, the money is seated, as we speak, in their accounts - which is quite sad.  The motive behind, you will be wondering why because we have not taken all the roads as the Ministry, we have earmarked certain roads and I am sure the august House can concur that tremendous work has been done on some of the roads.  We cannot rehabilitate all roads.

The assumption is that funding that was coming from ZINARA was supposed to go to the local authorities and rural district councils so that they take their day to day programmes of rehabilitating roads and of late, some were not doing that.  So I urge even to work closely with Parliament over the oversight role to say, those who were given funding, why are they not using that funding, which is something to me that is contrary to the public expectation. This is something that we are also going to be doing.  I want to thank Hon. Khumalo that yes, the noble idea by His Excellency, Hon. Mnangagwa to declare a State of Disaster was for us to then move with speed in trying to rehabilitate our roads.  This is the only initiative and reason why we are here so that we rehabilitate and promote passability on our roads.  I thank you.

HON. MAVETERA:  My supplementary question is on the ERRP to say, what is Government’s policy in terms of the stray animals that we see, that are always on the highways and cause a lot of accidents?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Your microphone is off Hon. Member.

HON. MAVETERA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is on the ERRP to say, what is Government’s policy in terms of what it wants to do with stray animals that are coming on the highways and causing accidents?  What plan does the Government have in line with that?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me also thank Hon. Mavetera for that very important question which then also addresses the issue of the precious lives that we are losing on our roads.

It is true Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am that we have stray animals crossing our roads and for those who remember from Gweru going to Bulawayo area, we had a fence along the highway.  Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is also my humble plea to the people of Zimbabwe, our mindset, that fence was vandalised and stolen where we were protecting stray animals not to cross our roads.  This was an initiative that was taken and by now we should have done all the trunk roads in terms of securing and fencing.  So this is something that we will also come again to the august House to plead for budget support for us to start fencing our highways, which is very important Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am so that we do not see animals crossing the roads and at the end of the day, we lose precious lives.  It is a very important development that yes, our roads must be fenced from both sides so that we do not have accidents.  Yes, we can charge the owners of those stray animals but it will not add value, we would have lost precious lives.

It is also my humble plea as we then erect fencing along the highways so as to protect that fence ourselves because there is no one who is going to monitor a 100 or 200km fence to see that no one is vandalizing it.  So it also comes back to the issue of mindset to say, if we have our infrastructure, we are the owners of the infrastructure.  We must protect and jealously safeguard the infrastructure that we construct.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Madam Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is; you have alluded to the fact that local authorities are being given money and they are not using it, and not only that but some of them have been given money and they have not completed some of these roads.  Norton is a good example of that.  Why do you not just fix the roads?  Do not give them the responsibility, it is taking a long of time, there is also corruption in terms of procurement, tenders and all that.

Why do you not just do the work because it saves everybody and at the end of the day, you will do it?  So why does your Ministry not just go on and do these roads with good companies in the local authorities and the rural as well because we can talk about DDF and authorities.  They do not just have the capacity and the engineers again, it is not only about doing the roads, it is about the due diligence of the engineers but they do not have the engineers to do that.  This is why you see the roads in the local authorities always have potholes and all that, take over so that we do not have any problems Hon. Minister.  Why can you not take over?  Norton will be your first point of call for you to come and finish off with the money from ZINARA.  I thank you.

HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me also hasten to thank Hon. T. Mliswa for being prophetic in terms of his contribution which is exactly what we are actually contemplating as a Ministry and he has cited a good example of Norton.  I am actually here to say it is one of the most problematic local authorities.  They were given funding, they could not account for it and use it. They could sit on that funding, and we had to recall that funding from them.

The suggestions that we have proffered; those road authorities that were given funding, if we then look and rank them, whatever we are doing as a department of Roads, we are excelling and which then calls for the idea and the suggesting that if we then continue ourselves, we can do it better. We then have to see but if other local authorities get the funding, they are not doing it and so the element of sabotage cannot be ruled out.  Where we are saying we are giving funding to road authorities, they are not moving with speed as anticipated by the Ministry.  So, I do concur with you to say let us run with the project ourselves and yes, the Minister is mandated to take over neglected roads.

We are saying what we have witnessed especially during this ERRP2, some of the local authorities, rural district councils are not playing their role  for reasons better known to them.  So we are saying yes, and especially when it is coming from the legislative agenda and from the legislators themselves, it is something that we can run with and we are happy to have such kind of suggestions so that we run and take charge of these roads.  I thank you.

(v)HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is on the issue of the competence of some of these contractors that get appointed by the roads authorities.  From the information that we are hearing, at times road authorities take someone who is having the lowest bid in terms of price requirements. What plans do they have to make sure they appoint contractors with equipment that is needed for the road works? I thank you.

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, let me also thank Hon. Raidza for that very important question which was part of Hon. T. Mliswa’s question again.  Competence is not only to the contractors but even the local authorities themselves lack that competence in terms of the engineers and that is why you are asking why they are not utilising the money.  Some are not even familiar with the procurement process.  If you go back to the question posed by Hon. Raidza, the issue of competence for contractors, we are actually seized as we speak Hon. Speaker, cancelling some of the contracts that were awarded to some of these contractors.

They bid at a lower price and then get the joband as soon as they are asked to mobilise, they will fail. So these are some of the issues that are actually hindering progress.  As we speak, I can cite a good example. They have contracted over 80 companies to do our roads countrywide and some of them have failed.  As much as we are saying we want to empower ourselves but some of the programmes that we are undertaking as Government, as much as we want to empower our locals, some are even failing to perform.

The moment you then cancel, we have to retender and wait again. So the essence of time is not being taken into account. These are some of the issues and it goes back to the legislature to say, there are gaps in the Procurement Regulatory Authority where we are saying that piece of legislation that empowered PRAZ to superintend over the procurement issues, how can we then plug those gaps because we have got time wasters.  They come, they bid lowly and they get the contract but they cannot perform, so they must be punished and that can be actually covered. At times they know that it is not punitive in terms of the measures if they fail to perform.   So, I thank Hon. Raidza for raising that. Even to the contractors, yes we can blacklist them but they would have wasted our time as a nation.

HON. MAVETERA: What is Government policy in terms of how they engage these contractors? Do they pay upfront or wit until they finish all the work?

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and let me also thank Hon. T. Mavetera. It is very true, in terms of the contractors, when we classify and categorise these contractors, some are small and others are big. We actually ask them to proffer guarantees so that as they then start the work, if they default, we will actually resort to that guarantee.  We do not pay them in advance when they go on site but if they had actually given a lower price, they find it difficult to perform. The moment you pay them in advance, for you then to start recovering that money  will be problematic.

HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is on the position given by the Hon. Minister, that some of the contractors are just time wasters, they bid for what they fail to perform.  What kind of due diligence do you do to these contractors who fail to do Government work?  Certainly, if someone has stolen a briefcase before, such companies should not be found on the Government list.

HON. MHONA: Hon. Speaker Sir, the element of due diligence is of paramount importance and the way we do our procurement has been that procurement is done at provincial level and they can actually forward to head office.  However, that mandate, it is true as you then procure, you are supposed to bid and see even the type of plant and equipment the contractor has.  In some cases, it is prone to human elements that they know that these visits will be conducted and one can organise for the sake of getting a contract.

When one has actually been given that contract for him or her to get mobilising title, that is when you then see these gaps that one is not even equipped. We are saying some might not be four companies, others might be three companies but the fact that they just want to get the tenders, they bid lowly and fail to perform or they will then say it is not making business sense to continue with that contract.  So, it is not only about them failing to perform but others would now see that there are some variables that have changed, according to the nature of contract.

Above all, that is why you find that those companies that are known are prone to get more contracts because of the experience that we go through.  For example, we have got a company repairing Rwenya Bridge which boarders Manicaland and Mashonaland East.  When we called for site visits, we got 5 companies and one won that contact and for that company to perform, they could not even mobilise.  So, at times we are then forced to do direct procurement to those companies that are known that do have capacity so that we do not waste the nation’s time that we have in terms of racing against rehabilitating our roads and infrastructure.  I thank you.

HON. DR. KHUPE: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  Looking at the fact that we are now approaching the rainy season, what measures have you put in place to harvest water because during the rainy season, there is a lot of runaway water such that if that water is harvested, it will be very useful for irrigation and drinking.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Khupe for that very important question.  Yes, water is life and it is important to harvest water both for irrigation, human consumption and livestock consumption.  The Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is working hard to make sure that the dams are repaired, new dams are being built; to also make sure that irrigation schemes are rehabilitated.  So there is a lot of work that is being done to make sure that we harvest water.

HON. T. MLISWA: The question raised by Hon. Dr. Khupe is relevant.  We cannot reduce Parliament to a talk show; when is it going to be done?  It is not the first time the Hon. Member has asked that question, she has been saying it for a long time.  Can we therefore, have a list of all  the dams that require that and we can interrogate as to what is needed and how much is needed so that when we are debating the budget, we give you these answers.

It is important that we create a list of those dams, interrogate them further and we hear the progress because water is very important.  There is no water for human consumption yet they get enough to get crops harvested but how can you harvest crops when there is no drinking water?  You do not cook Sadza without water.  So that is important for us especially in Harare and Bulawayo.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mliswa who is very passionate about issues which will certainly make this country a better country.  What he is asking is in order. You can ask the Ministry of Agriculture to come to this august House with a list of dams which have been built, repaired and irrigation schemes which are being rehabilitated.  I thank you.

HON. SACCO: My supplementary question is, where does the budget money lie for the de-siltation of our water bodies?  In Chimanimani during Cyclone Idai most of our water bodies were silted but if you approach DDF, they say go to ZINWA and if you go to ZINWA, you are told to go to Mechanisation.  Can you please clarify where the money lies, where the capacity is because we are losing millions of litres of water every year?

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Sacco who is concerned about the de-siltation of water bodies especially in his constituency.  I am alive to those problems as a Senator in that constituency.  I have already clarified that I will ask the Minister who is in charge of Agriculture, Water to come to this august House with the dams which are being built, which have been built, which are being repaired and irrigation schemes which are being rehabilitated. I thank you.

*HON. MPARIWA: Firstly, I would like to commend Government for the great work that they are doing in repairing most of our roads. My question is, if you travel along the highway you can never tell how much distance you have covered and how many kilometers you are left with. Long back there used to be road signs and kilometer pegs along the major highways. Is Government going to incorporate this aspect in the new roads that they are constructing?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank Hon Mpariwa for her sentiments regarding the great work that we are doing in rehabilitating our roads. In responding to her question, let me say that we used to have these roads signs dotted all over but some of these road signs were vandalised during election campaign periods. Some political parties have abused these road signs by painting their graffiti there. Some road signs were vandalised by people looking for scrap metal. This goes back to what I said earlier on that it us who are responsible for destroying or building our country.

As a Ministry, for us to certify that a road has been properly constructed, it should have proper signage, road markings and lay byes. All the new roads that we are constructing will bear these features. Our Traffic Safety Council will also ensure that our roads are properly marked as per the protocol by SADC countries. I want to assure you that I will instruct our Traffic Safety Council to make sure that all our roads are properly marked and have the correct signage.

HON. T. MLISWA: I want to give credit to the Leader of Government Business today. She is being honest. If we empower our women, the country can move forward. Musha mukadzi, nyika vakadzi. My question is - are we going to see ducts being included in the new road infrastructure so that there is no wanton digging up of roads?

HON. MHONA: Let me thank Hon. Mliswa for yet another suggestion which is very important, that surely soon after constructing a road you then find someone from ZESA trying to put a cable and another from ICT trying to put another cable where we do not have ducts in order to accommodate all those service providers. I concur with your request to say it is high time that we do construct a duct and currently this is what we are doing at Robert Gabriel International Airport where we have said whether is it Wi-Fi connections, power supply or water, let us have one duct that will accommodate all the service providers so that we do not have a scenario where we start digging up and trying to install. It is a good initiative.

This is what we encourage from Parliament to say instead of us interrogating or doing your oversight role over ministries, to come up with such brilliant ideas. I thank you.

*HON. MAVETERA: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. You will realise that some crops did not do well in some areas due to low rainfall, what measures are being put in place by Government to make sure that such places have enough rainfall so that there is a bumper harvest?

*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for her question with regards to ways of improving our harvest. Farming is about deadlines and the Ministry of Agriculture work hand in glove with the Ministry of Tourism in making weather forecasts.  All the predictions are pointing to the fact we will have above normal rainfall this season and as such, we encourage our farmers to plant early so that their crops may have enough moisture. Farming is about deadlines and making sure that crops are planted at the right time. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister of Government Business, I have a request.  This Ministry is very busy these days.  There are three Ministers.  Surely, we request that at least one of them comes to attend to questions.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I think it is highly recommended because the aspect of cloud seeding that Hon. Mavetera spoke about is a great intervention and basically what she is saying is, when there is no rain, what are we doing to invest in it so that it rains?  While we have planted on time, there is a stage where there is drought Mr. Speaker.  So cloud seeding is needed so that it rains.  We need a Ministerial Statement on that one because it is critical for us to alleviate the drought and hunger that we are likely to get and so forth, especially as we are going towards elections, you do not want hunger for some of our people.  For us it is okay, but when there is hunger, people do not vote correctly.  So when they go for elections, they go on full stomachs because I would like all the MPs to come back.  So please make sure that there is enough investment in cloud seeding.

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA:  I would like to thank Hon. Mliswa for his supplementary question in regards to what Government would be doing. Even in-between, as much as we may get a lot of rains in terms of cloud seeding,  there are also other interventions to make sure that we have a bumper harvest.  I was just saying the issues of food security are very close to the Second Republic and this is why the introduction of Pfumvudza/Intwasa has actually raised our yields of grains from a mere 925 000 metric tonnes to almost 3.7 million metric tonnes.  So we are moving.  This is why the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement is criss-crossing all the ten provinces of the country, to make sure that we come in with all these interventions for all the crops which we are planting to at least reach maturity.  Yes, I agree with him. The Minister together with that Ministerial report on dams and all that, we can also talk to the issues of the interventions like cloud seeding, what available resources do they have.  Cloud seeding requires quite a bit of money.  So I will ask the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to come to this august House with that report.  I thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is a bit wiser, I do not know the procedure that is taken to ensure that Ministers get these questions and respond to them, but it is like they are all not here.  So I do not know why there is this arbitration in terms of the Ministers responding to this.  It is a bit worrisome.  It is like children who do not know there is school tomorrow and they do not come.  I am really worried on what procedure.  Are we doing something wrong or what because Ministers are not coming here to respond. They are not here to respond and we are here.  We are just going into the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament coming from a Third Parliament Session which really was terrible in terms of the performance of the Ministers, but they continue.

The Deputy Ministers, some of them are here but others are not here. All the ZANU-PF provincial elections have been done.  Some are not coming back, they are getting lost in their constituencies and in their districts.  Maybe they are still mourning from that, I do not know but this is sad, to be honest with you.  We have just come from the Pre-Budget Seminar where we were all energised to come and deliver, but we defer again, we keep deferring.  It is not that warm in this place today.  It is a bit chilly.  So some of us, pneumonia will hit us while we are here at work when others are by their heaters keeping warm.  Where are they Mr. Speaker Sir?  Where are your Ministers?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):  Thank you Hon. Mliswa, I think you will recall that there were almost 16 apologies from Ministers.  So it follows that the questions that relate to those ministries will not be attended to but also let us be reminded that this is a new session and a lot of questions are new, probably we should expect vibrancy beginning the next two or so weeks.  I do not condone the absence of Ministers who are not at work but most of them apologised.  Can we proceed and defer those questions that do not have responses?

(v)*HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, I have noted the observations made by Hon. Mliswa and I note that several Ministers are not in the House.  When it comes to Oral Answers to Questions with Notice Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is that these are questions that had been submitted by us and we have got ministry officials who can prepare the responses.

In the past, we used to have a practice Mr. Speaker Sir, where other Ministers who are available answer the questions on behalf of the Ministers or Deputy Ministers who are unable to avail themselves.  I believe that the Executive is doing us a disservice by failing to adhere to this rule of practice which enables the Executive to deal with written questions.  When they are written, the ministry officials, if they do their job, prepare the responses and the Ministers should be able to coordinate and liaise amongst themselves so that even if you are an Hon. Minister and you are unable to physically present yourself, then a colleague can actually answer the question instead of us wasting the tax payer’s money and deferring so many questions on the Order Paper, particularly those that had already been submitted in advance.

I would implore your office Hon. Speaker, to ensure that it is still brought to the attention of the Leader of Government Business so that there is better coordination amongst members of the Executive so that we do not continuously have this scenario where questions that are on the Order Paper have to be continuously deferred.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Gonese … - [HON. PETER MOYO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!] – Yes, let me first respond to Hon. Gonese’s point of order.  Thank you Hon. Gonese, I think your observation is noted … - [HON. PETER MOYO: Will you also recognize me on virtual Mr. Speaker Sir?] – Hon. Moyo, wait a bit please, I am attending to another point of order. – [HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Thank you.

I think Hon. Gonese your points have been noted.  We hope Parliament Administration together with the Leader of Government Business is going to attend to that.  It is very sad today, I do not even have any Minister, even those Ministers who were here have left and could not answer to their questions.  I hope that this is not going to be repeated in future.

(v)HON. PETER MOYO:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order is about the absence of Ministers today because yesterday we were advised that Ministers are compelled to come on Wednesday and Thursday.  Today is a Wednesday, Question Time and they did not turn up in flagrant violation of the Constitution and laid down procedures that they should adhere to.  The Government cannot move forward without Ministers.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that today’s business should stop.  We adjourn until the Ministers come and answer questions.  Whenever Ministers come and answer questions, if they do not come, we adjourn and this must be reported to the President because they are in contempt of Parliament.  Therefore, Mr. Speaker Sir, I propose that we adjourn the House in protest of Ministers who did not turn up to respond to questions that were submitted to them two to three weeks ago and some about a month ago.  I thank you. – [HON. C. MOYO: I second Hon. Moyo!] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Moyo, our proceedings today also include Orders of the Day that may not require Ministers.  So I cannot just adjourn the House because of non-attendance by Ministers. There are other issues that do not require Ministers. We will proceed but let me defer all Oral Answers with Notices from Question Number 12 to 16.

(V)HON. PETER MOYO:  Point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir!  The entire Business of the House has been halted by the Ministers and not us.  It does not matter whether we have other issues that have nothing to do with Ministers, the Ministers did not turn up.  Therefore, we have to adjourn the House in protest; it does not matter whether we have other important business.  All Business of the House is very important especially when Ministers are supposed to come and answer to questions.  Therefore, I do not submit to what you are saying that we have other issues, other issues for what?  Today the Ministers were supposed to come and answer questions; it is as simple as that.  Therefore, we have to adjourn the House in protest, we are protesting against the Ministers who do not want to come to Parliament.

Hon. Mliswa has been saying this for the past two years since I joined Parliament but no action has been taken; no Minister has been relieved of his/her duties and they are continuously enjoying the perks of Government at the expense of tax payers.  We cannot continue to come when tax payers want to hear us making progress.  The President gave us about 41 Bills that are supposed to come before Parliament.  How are we going to do it when Ministers are not coming to Parliament for the same purpose?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Moyo but be reminded that today is Private Members day.  So oral questions have their time, there are other orders that are coming.  Please, we are going to proceed.  So we are deferring Questions 12 to 16. – [HON. MAVETERA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage wants to respond to Question Number 12.] -  Question Number 12?  Let me see if the Hon. Member is there.  Hon. Tsuura, are you there? – [HON. TSUURA:  Yes, I am here Mr. Speaker Sir!] –

MEASURES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT TO CURB CORRUPTION AT BEITBRIDGE BORDER POST

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House on measures taken by Government to curb corruption at Beitbridge Border Post.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  We do have measures to curb corruption. Acts of corruption are not witnessed at Beitbridge Border Post alone. What we have done as a Ministry is that, we have taken some measures by making sure that the security personnel, immigration officers, police and customs must rotate.  We have installed CCTV cameras; they are monitored on what they are doing on a daily basis.  The other one is auditing, we are trying to make sure that…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, can you put your gadget away.

HON. MABOYI: Which gadget is making noise?  I do not think it is my gadget. Going back to my presentation, we made sure that we rotate our personnel after a month.  If we get information that the group which is there is not doing well, even after two weeks we rotate them.  We installed CCTV cameras; this helped as well because some people have been arrested.  We made sure that the Anti Corruption Commission deployed people there in order to make sure that they curb corruption.  We are also making sure that work is being audited weekly.  I thank you.

MEASURES TO CURB STOCK THEFT IN MATEBELELAND SOUTH

  1. HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House what measures have been put in place to curb stock theft in Matabeleland South.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE: (HON. MABOYI): I am happy to announce that the Ministry of Home Affairs worked very well in curbing stock theft.  We had problems and people were always talking about stock theft, they even said police were involved.  We deployed a very strong and energetic group of the ‘black boots’, tables were turned upside down. I am very happy to announce that we did it.  We really managed to make sure that those who were stealing and those who were collaborating were arrested.  So that is the plan.

HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister for her first response. In as far as the Beitbridge Border Post corruption is concerned and then the stock theft, I will request Hon. Speaker, that the Minister brings a Ministerial Statement which tabulates how many people have been arrested for stock theft, how many people have been arrested in Beitbridge for corruption because just telling us that measures have been put in place and people were arrested without giving us figures will not assist.   If you bring figures here, even those who attempt to commit offences of that nature will not do it because they know that so many people have been arrested. So can the Hon. Minister give us details of those people who have been arrested?  I thank you.

HON. MABOYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon. Member, we will bring those figures to make sure that you are aware of what is happening on the ground.  I thank you.

RESIDENTIAL PATROLS BY THE POLICE

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House whether police conduct residential patrols in residential areas considering a spike in cases of armed robberies in residential areas.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): Let me start by asserting that it is common knowledge that police have a constitutional mandate to prevent, investigate and detect crime among other functions.  Patrols in all areas where crimes are committed or may be perpetrated, rank among the key time-honoured, tried and tested strategies that police employ to prevent crime.  For this reason, police continue to conduct patrols in all such areas and residential areas are no exception.

Since August 2021, 28 709 patrols have been conducted across the country and a number of armed robbers have been accounted for.  May I take this opportunity to call upon our citizens to collaborate police efforts through the supply of information on crime among other illegal activities.  We must also bear in mind that crime is perpetuated against the community.  I am therefore, calling upon everyone to take collective responsibility for the creation of safe neighbourhoods and residential areas.

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE FOR FERRYING BODIES OF PEOPLE WHO DIE AT HOMES

16    HON. TSUURA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House the relevant authority responsible for ferrying bodies of          people who die at their homes to mortuaries for post-mortems and other services and to state why the police have since stopped to provide this service.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MABOYI): I wish to inform the Hon. Member that in cases of deaths where foul play is suspected, police investigations become a necessity.  As a result, police have a legal duty to ferry such bodies to mortuaries for post mortems whose results are key to police investigations.

So in all such cases, police have not stopped ferrying bodies. Any failures to do so can only be as a consequence of resource inadequacy in certain circumstances.  For the avoidance of doubt, let me reiterate that post mortems are an integral part of the crime investigations process wherever foul play is suspected.  Equally, let me also emphasise that in all cases where no foul play is suspected, police are not legally bound to ferry the bodies.  Should they do so, it would be purely in pursuit of the fulfillment of a moral obligation and community assistance. I thank you.

HON. DR. KHUPE: My supplementary to the Hon. Minister is - do the police have rapid responses such that when theft is reported or if a person dies in their homes, the police need to attend to those areas immediately? Yes, I understand that they do not have vehicles but I am thinking that once they have vehicles, they must make sure that they have vehicles which are on standby to make sure that the public is attended to once they have reported such cases.

HON. MABOYI: Yes, we do but it is not all the stations which have those rapid responses.  You find that as I have said, if a person passes on whilst at their residential home about 120 km from Beitbridge and that body needs to be carried to the mortuary, I must admit that the vehicles are not there.  So, this is when police ask for assistance nearby.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, kindly clarify this question; the Hon. Member talks about a person who needs postmortem. Remember, they cannot attend to that person if they are not sure what the cause of death is, so they need police to arrive on site.  What do people do in that case if a body is not attended to and is not collected for postmortem by the police?

HON. MABOYI: We have police posts in rural areas; usually they will be 5 km away from homesteads. However, I was referring to the carrying of the body to Beitbridge like to a mortuary or even a person who dies and was not feeling well, they need to be put in the mortuary first; you cannot just bury.  That is where our problems come in but in terms of police to go and investigate, I think we have good police bases which are 5km apart.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DISBURSEMENT AND UTILISATION OF DEVOLUTION FUNDS IN HARARE METROPOLITAN PROVINCE

  1. MACHINGAUTA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House how much of the devolution funds were disbursed to Harare Metropolitan Province and how they were utilised, particularly in Wards 33 and 43

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Harare Metropolitan Province received a total of ZWL$232 132,494.00 under devolution.  Harare City Council, under which Wards 33 and 43 as per Hon. Machingauta’s question fall, received a total of ZWL$95 759 504.00. In line with the Government’s thrust to upgrade and rehabilitate WASH infrastructure, the funds were largely targeted towards rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Works as well as repair works at Crowborough sewer works, among other deliverables.  As such, Wards 33 and 44 benefit on the downstream since these works are targeted to improving WASH services for the entirety of Harare City. Suffice to say though, that council comes up with its priority list of areas that require urgent attention, so long as these projects fall within the Ministry’s and indeed Government’s priority expectations.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech

Question again proposed.

HON. MAVETERA: Let me start by thanking the mover of this motion Hon. Mutambisi, seconded by Hon T. Moyo. Let me thank the President, His Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa for setting the tone for this Parliament. Let me also thank His Excellency for recognising the efforts that young people are doing, especially in terms of agriculture. His Excellency was so clear because he mentioned that young people must venture into agriculture which is the backbone of our economy. I really want to applaud him because he mentioned the importance of young people. Right now there is great need for us to conclude on the issue of land redistribution especially to the young people. I wish the Minister of Agriculture could come to this House and let us know how many young people have managed to access the land.

Right now we have the Agricultural Bank which has been rebranded to make sure that one person can go with the land. The Minister of Agriculture was quite clear the other day that there is no more land, however he also mentioned the issue of land audit that they are going to find out if there are any other areas that can offer land for redistribution. For young people of Zimbabwe, it is quite critical for us to be able to access this land. We are calling on the Minister of Agriculture to come to this House and furnish us with these numbers because we need to know how many young people have accessed this land.

His Excellency also mentioned the issue of the mining sector. I would like to say we really appreciate the efforts that have been done in terms of making sure that we access the mining claims. However, the question then comes the same, as young people, we also feel that we need to expedite this process so that young people can contribute towards the $12 billion economy which is quite pivotal for us to achieve Vision 2030. I truly believe that we have the three pillars which are quite pivotal in the revival of our economy and these are agriculture, mining and tourism. When it comes to mining, we are saying the young people should also be able to access the mining claims. We need to get funding from the Women’s Bank or Empower Bank and look with a clear eye to say, it is not only a matter of them saying we have funding which is pro-agriculture but they also need to look at mining so that the young people can be able to access machinery and this can go a long way in reviving our economy.

We also want to thank the efforts that are being done by the Minister of Finance to make sure that the financial sector is stable. We know the auction system is there and we believe that a lot of SMEs will also be able to access foreign currency. I go on and say as much as it is there, we really appreciate that but we need to look at the SMEs and say what really needs to be done. Right now there is Mbare Siyaso which is there and we need to emphasise on the formalisation of the people that are working there in Mbare so that they can contribute more towards Vision 2030. People in Mbare, who are paying their licences but there is more need for the Minister of Local Government to formalise their entities so that they can contribute more to the economy instead of having a situation where the police come in and disturb the work that they are doing.

Let me also commend what His Excellency said about SMEDCO. They need to capacitate this group. Yes, like what we requested at the Pre-Budget Seminar, I think they need to have a certain allocation that they reserve for young women. The community development fund is there but there is need for it to be publicised to the highest level so that everyone will know that there is community development fund. There is need for that awareness so that some young women can also be able to access the fund. SMEDCO was allocated $500 million in the last Budget and we are hoping that we are going to get more so that we can see more young women contributing to the economic development of this country.

Let me also commend Zimbabweans in terms of vaccination. Yes, His Excellency mentioned on the issue of frontline workers when he thanked them for their selfless sacrifice towards COVID-19. I think we really need to thank the efforts that Zimbabwe has done. In Southern Africa, I think we are one of the top countries in terms of vaccination.  The Minister of Finance at the Pre-Budget Seminar mentioned that there is a fund which is there and they have the vaccinations which are enough for us to be vaccinated as a country. This is worth applauding. This is very great and I believe that in terms of vaccination, we are moving in the right direction and we need to applaud this. The efforts that are being done are tremendous and I believe other countries need to take a leaf from what Zimbabwe is doing. We also need to applaud the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Just a few days ago the rate of infection ISalso going down.

Let me also be able to mention what His Excellency said whereby there is need for us to expedite payments to farmers, this is very important. This will be able to motivate farmers and even in terms of infrastructural development, we really need to appreciate the efforts that are being done by the second Republic.  Indeed right now today we were commenting even when we were getting into the House. We were applauding what the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is also doing that, you could see that at least there are great efforts being done in terms of the ERRP.

I think ERRP is very important and we need to be thankful to Government.  Again we also need to look, the moment that we are going to go on the structural development trajectory; this will also help farmers find it easier for them to transport their goods.  Right now we are in the farming season.  It is quite important.  We have mentioned the issue of interventions that needs to be done in terms of climate change possibilities that are coming in.  Right now we have had a lot of interventions that have been coming from the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, but I think more needs to be done.

Last year inasmuch as we had a lot of rain there are certain farmers - I will tell you some crop that I had, I did not manage to sell on time because there were no interventions that had been done in terms of making sure that at least they were able to go towards heavy intervention in line with the climate change that has been experienced globally.  There is great need to look at these interventions.  We talked about cloud seeding and we may also expect more even in terms of irrigation.  There is need for quite a big budget when it comes to irrigation.  So why can you not also look for other alternative ways so that at least that farmer will also be able to contribute to national development?  That farmer will be able to contribute towards food security, also even at household level, it is quite important for us to look at this.

Let me also look at the legislative agenda. I would like to thank His Excellency for mentioning the issue of ensuring the Pensions Commission Bill which I believe is supposed to empower the elderly.  This is a very important Bill.  I remember the other day Hon. Dr. Khupe went on and mentioned this issue and said there is great need for us to look very carefully on issues to do with pensions. It is very important for us as a country to look towards their welfare.  It is quite sad because these people would have worked so much to even be able to bring back to people like myself.  Here I am, but they do not have the same energy that we have as the youth of Zimbabwe.  They would have done their part but I think it is important for us to look at interventions that we can take so that at least if they are resting, they will be able to also rest in peace.  Not only rest in peace, because they are dead but rest in peace because they are actually at that point in time whereby they are resting, and of course they would also have done their part.

We are happy that I heard the Minister also mentioning that they are going to look at the welfare of even war veterans and they said that they are going to make sure they will at least dolarise their pension.  This is quite critical and this is very important.  The amount that they will be looking at is just an amount which was quite needed so that at least it can either be in United States dollars like what the Hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Development said.  This is important and we need to applaud this because this is quite important.

The other Bill that I thought was also important is the Traditional Leaders Amendment Bill.  To be honest with you, there area lot of young traditional leaders that are coming up but they are a bit on the limited side.  When it comes to women, I think there are only two women chiefs in this country.  So what I am saying is that there is great need for us to also have a gender sensitive approach when it comes to chiefs, when electing or appointing chiefs.  It is quite important, I know it is a matter of looking at dynasties, it is more about the family line, but we need to also come up with a certain way that which will make sure that at least we are going to be having chiefs.  We also have a lot of female chiefs in this country.  So even when it comes to us and we are talking of having gender sensitive policies they will not be there when it comes to local level.  So there is great need to look at it very much when it comes to these traditional leaders.  We need to have a very clear look at it so that at least we have got young leaders getting there and young chiefs.  We also want female chiefs to be also considered there.  So there is also that gender sensitive approach that we are calling upon.

Let there be a clarion call - we need grants to be reintroduced.  There is great need to look at this.  We are having many university students who are failing to finish.  They will be so brilliant but now they will not be able to achieve because they do not have the capacity.  So I think there is great need to look at and reintroduce this grant.  We want these grants to be reintroduced so that at least people may go to tertiary institutions and they go to universities just like what all of you did.  Where did they go, we want them back.

Finally the medical service amendment Bill, I do not want to lie to you, I do not want to mention any names but there are some medical aids which are not doing anything right now.  You will pay even half of your salary but for you to get the services, they are not there.  What is happening when it comes to medical aid?  There is great need for us to really look at it.  We need to look at it and say to ourselves on the medical aid services, they need to be given penalties.  If it means they are not providing the services.  We are paying money each and every single month and nothing is being done.

So Mr. Speaker Sir, this is just my call that we are saying that all these Bills as they come we are going to come and interrogate them in this august House and we need to bring some sanity when it comes to medical aid societies.  Why are they there when people are not getting services?  They need to make sure that at least whatever one pays for they will get their services.  Can we be living in a country whereby people can be just doing things willy-nilly?  I think there is great corruption when looking at medical aid.  When we are going through the Medical Aid Societies Bill they have to start to be getting serious.  If they are not going to be serious some of them are going to be deregistered.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

         (v)HON. M. DUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise to add my voice to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Opening of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe on 7th October, 2021.  I am alluding to the fact that Zimbabwe is not only learning to stand on its feet even as the pandemic is yet to be defeated.

In his speech, the President pointed increased production, productivity, innovation and possible ingenuity as factors that inspired many, especially young people to work harder to reach their fullest goal - the ultimatum prosperity of our nation.  This is not only a reflection of what our people have done but it is also a statement to urge us to continue moving on and on.

In the province of Matabeleland North where I come from Mr. Speaker Sir, huge projects of national economic and social importance have continued to take shape.  The five megawatt Mabale Solar Plant is complete and awaits switching on to the national grid to inject power.  This is a project that was originated, executed and managed by young people in Zimbabwe.  They are a testimony of the provision of enabling environment by the Government to those who want to seize opportunities.  Our young engineers are also involved in steering jobs at Hwange Unit Seven and Eight Expansion Project – a joint venture between ZPC and the Chinese.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it would be unfair not to mention the Gwayi-Shangani Project whose completion will bring exciting opportunity for our young people in Matabeleland North besides ending the perennial water woes in Bulawayo.  If we cannot be excited, what will excite us?  The project that has weathered Covid storms is  a testimony that this Government cares not only for its citizens, but also is committed to fulfill its promise of the middle income economy by 2030.  We are moving under the guidance of prudent leadership of President Mnangagwa and if only all of us could realise and harness these abundant opportunities.  I challenge our young people even more; recently, the President was at the Bubi-Lupane irrigation scheme where a beautiful wheat crop is now being harvested.  Families involved in this project which is being run in conjunction with ARDA will share proceeds of harvests; in short, this is a story of good bye to poverty and welcome to prosperity.

In our rural community, it is a success story that beneficiaries will give credit to President Mnangagwa and his Government as they look forward to yet another promising rain season.  I am convinced Mr. Speaker Sir, that this Government will not miss the projected 7.8% economic growth of our economy with the way in which it is paying attention to fund our agriculture.  This excellent funding model gets a thumbs up because of its attention to the ordinary men and women in our villages who have always historically delivered more to the national granary.  These communal farmers are our pride and our Government is on point to support them in all their agricultural endevour.

I am more than grateful Mr. Speaker Sir, for the distribution of tick grease and locally produced January disease vaccines to our livestock.  Livestock is our people’s traditional bank, they have always known.  Their worth and pride are staged in their herds.  The efforts to support this cause are noble coupled with farm mechanisation and agriculture modernisation which continues to be high on the priority list of the Second Republic assisted by the District Development Fund and other agencies that are assisting with tillage programmes for various categories of farmers. One can only say, long live to this Government of President E. D. Mnangagwa.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would not have done justice to my contribution if I do not make reference to Government prioritisation after spending 84% of floater expenditure to date having earmarked infrastructure development.  The ongoing phase two of Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme is indeed transformational across all provinces, districts, cities and towns.  As the President said in his speech, the very important fighting road in Lupane which stretches from the provincial capital all the way to Midlands has been rehabilitated.  It is looking good and assisting movement in the area.  There can be no better way of facilitating development for our people that is more critical than ensuring road connectivity.

Mr. Speaker Sir, awarding Victoria Falls a city status is also paying good dividends.  There is exciting investor confidence in our tourism sector.  The Victoria Falls stock exchange is also poised to be an important player in our economy.  We are living in exciting times even as I imagine what our provincial GDP will be five years from now.  These are the factors that this Government has deemed necessary for the prosperity of our country … - [Technical recording challenges.] -  even as Covid is here, the private sector, Government, local authorities and other stakeholders have demonstrated a united purpose.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th November, 2021.

On the motion of HON. MUNETSI, seconded by HON. MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Fourteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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