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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 03 SEPTEMBER 2019 45-83
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
ERROR ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I want to draw the attention of the
House to an error on the Order Paper. Page 2017, Questions for Oral Answers should read Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 and not Thursday 5th September.
SUBMISSIONS OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE
STANDING RULES AND ORDERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: Following that on 1st August, 2019, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders had circulated proposed amendments to the Standing Orders through the Members pigeonholes, it has been brought to our attention that this has not been done. The Standing Orders have since been circulated and the Hon. Members are kindly requested to make their submissions which should be deposited in
Counsel to Parliament’s Office by end of business on Thursday, 19th September, 2019 or to the e-mail address as follows; email@example.com.
LACK OF DEBATE ON MOTIONS
THE HON. SPEAKER: There are about 35 Motions that have not been debated and we are coming towards the end of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament. Now, this lack of debate on your motions can either mean that we have not created time for them to be debated or we were not serious when we tabled those motions. In terms of the Standing Orders, these motions may lapse and we may start to reintroduce them again. May I encourage Hon. Members especially the movers of motions to ensure that their motions are debated accordingly because they speak to very important national policies.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I totally agree in terms of the motions, for me in particular having to go through the two Chief Whips from the two parties. I feel very disadvantaged. I put my motion sometime ago and it becomes very difficult to actually negotiate with them so that I can debate on my motion. So, with your indulgence, I think it is important for you to talk to the Chief Whips. Being an Independent, you do not have a Chief Whip at all. I have no choice but to come to you. Mine is constantly ignored and it is about Section 129 (k) on my motion that I want removed which is not comfortable with the ruling and opposition parties because it is something that does talk about them.
So, I do not know how best I can be able to make sure that it is debated. Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is the seconder of the motion. She is always here but we find it difficult to move it so that we can debate on it. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is a matter that I think you can talk to the Chief Whips about so that they can accommodate a motion which people are ready to debate on.
Finally, with the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, I think it is important for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to issue a statement on how safe the Zimbabweans are. There is now a State of Emergency and we are as a nation supposed to look out for our people there and with immediate effect, that a Ministerial Statement is issued on safety of our nationals. We certainly do not subscribe to any xenophobic attack, at the same time our people must be protected from such. It is the responsibility of this Government to ensure that our people are protected in any country where such is happening. Thank you Mr.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Government Chief Whip has agreed
that you will be facilitated. If you talk to the Clerk, we can push that motion upwards so that it is debated but you raise this issue towards the end of the Session. I hope it will see some light at the end of the day.
On the issue of xenophobia, we will ensure that the Leader of
Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi and we request the
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to make a statement about the safety of our Zimbabwean citizens in the diaspora particularly in South Africa where there has been some attacks against the foreigners there.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Zimbabwe is a member state to the
African Union and as such, it is a signatory to the African Charter on
Human and People’s Rights which was approved in June of 1981 and came into effect on 21 October 1986. The charter is presided over by a
Commission known as the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights which was set up on the 2nd of November 1987.
I understand that my colleague, Hon. T. Mliswa has raised an issue which you have concurred with but I rise to also add my voice on the issue of our inertia to promptly put our voices together with other African States like Zambia, Nigeria, DRC and Mozambique when our nationals have been affected by xenophobic attacks in the Republic of
South Africa. I am now limited by the fact that you have concurred with
Hon. T. Mliswa that yes indeed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade must issue a statement.
It is my belief that as a matter of principle, that whereas Zimbabwe subscribes to an International Human Rights Instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms; Whereas in Article 29 it provides for the duties, I will present only the two of them and these are the last ones; to preserve and strengthen positive African cultural values and in general, contribute to the promotion of moral well being of society and most importantly, to contribute to the best of one’s ability to the promotion and achievement of African Unity that our Foreign Affairs Ministry emphasises these duties which are conferred upon the Republic of South Africa to protect all the citizens of all the other nationals in their country.
I would be glad if the Minister of Foreign Affairs comes to Parliament so that Hon. Members are afforded time to debate a motion on public importance and air views for us to be able to alert our South African brothers whom we fought with during the apartheid era and they benefited much to the contribution where we actually accommodated their freedom fighters as they were fighting the apartheid regime. It is sad to note that they are managing to come to an extent of killing their own African brothers.
Some senior politicians in South Africa have actually called for disbarment of borders because it is within the spirit of ubuntu and Africanism that we must not be confined within the geographic locations as borne about by the border locations. Therefore, I will not belabour you that much seeing that you have concurred that the Minister of Foreign Affairs must indeed offer a Ministerial Statement but moreso, he must come to Parliament to afford us time that we can feed into the statements which are going to be relayed to the South African government.
HON. PETER MOYO: I stand up to share with you my grief with the manner in which our football has been run in this country. It is so embarrassing that we can sit here and not take action against the current administration at ZIFA. I think you are aware that our country was embarrassed in Egypt where all sorts of things were happening.
You talk of corruption, these small chicks and so on – you now come back home and go to the Olympics. Our friends from Zambia come here at the National Sports Stadium and there is nobody there – not even a single person from ZIFA to tell them that we have cancelled the match.
I request your good office to make a ruling today that the Auditor- General audits as a matter of urgency, all funds which have been given to ZIFA because it is tax payers’ money. We want a forensic audit from the day ZIFA was elected to date. I also request that the Minister of Sport should dissolve ZIFA as a matter of urgency and our football –
[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – and also – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Can you wind up?
HON. PETER MOYO: Therefore Mr. Speaker Sir, I would request you to instruct the Minister of Sport to come and give a Ministerial Statement tomorrow. I know she is tied up somewhere but for this matter, it is very urgent. She might tell us that we are going to be banned by FIFA or CAF but we have already been banned by not participating in a scheduled match at the National Sports Stadium.
I know that you are a very diligent pata familiaris, you are going to give us direction from this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chinotimba cool down – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order. I do not know how many chicks you counted Hon. Moyo that went to Egypt– [Laughter.] – I hope they were real chicks from the fowls.
That aside, having studied the FIFA rules as former Chairman of the Sports Commission sometime back. It will be difficult to have the Minister to interfere in the affairs of ZIFA. What is required is perhaps the Hon. Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation engaging FIFA to do their due diligence in terms of what has transpired and what transpired in the Tournament in Egypt.
As to the forensic audit, I shall discuss the matter with the Auditor General and see how best she can handle that. As you rightly said, taxpayer’s money was utilised and therefore it is essential that it should be accounted for – [HON. SIKHALA: It was looted.] - Lawyers do not come to conclusions before they have sought evidence. Just ignore that small heckling.
HON. PETER MOYO: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir. I had said also we need a Ministerial Statement pertaining to that. On the issue of FIFA that you are talking about, I know we are going to be sanctioned but we have already been sanctioned by not participating. Therefore it is good, Mr. Speaker Sir, that we disband and correct our thing. We cannot put out country on the wrong platforms every time. Wherever we go – Somalia or wherever we are going, our country is always tainted by bad things. It is totally unacceptable. It is better for us to be banned and start correcting things and putting our train on the rail. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not want to make a ruling on that aspect before we have studied very carefully the FIFA statutes in terms of whether the Minister can go as far as giving a Ministerial Statement about what happened, but what I am comfortable about is FIFA can be engaged and do due diligence in terms of the operations of ZIFA. We will pursue the matter accordingly.
*HON. TOGAREPI: I rise on a point of privilege. We know that we have different political parties in this country. The previous week during a rally there was a political party which said it might start a war in our country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - After saying that I observed from the pictures in the media that some Members of Parliament who are present in this House today were showing their support that there should be war in Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! In terms of Section 119 of the Constitution, we have to defend the Constitution and one of the fundamental areas of defence is Chapter 4 – protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Now, if an Hon. Member is speaking and you do not agree, let that Hon. Member exercise their freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! Once the Hon. Member has spoken, then anyone else is free to respond. That is the procedure. So I do not want any interruption when another Member is speaking. Thank you.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, Hon. Members are people who make laws and represent the people. We should know that if there is war in our country, those people that we represent are the ones who are going to suffer as a result of that war. I plead that Members of
Parliament should say no to war in our country – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: The utterances that are made at political rallies - and I hear the Hon. Members concern in terms of national security and the appeal to Hon. Members that we should not encourage hate speech that creates possibilities of disharmony, insecurity among the people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Order! It is our responsibility therefore and where such issues do arise, the police should intervene and take appropriate action accordingly
HON. SIKHALA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise also to protect the rights of citizens for them to disseminate information on what they think over political issues in our country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it has been raised in this House that there is a political party which has agitated for a war which in actual fact is false, misleading and malicious – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, we also urge political parties in this House not to institute disciplinary hearings on Members who would have suggested engagement among political players in this country. Members of Parliament are being harassed for their own opinion by the same previous Speaker’s presence after he suggested the engagement of
President Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – So, we urge those political parties not to harass individuals for giving a suggestion on how the country should move forward.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir, we urge the senior leaders in our country like Hon. Matemadanda who threatened to extinguish people from the opposition in this country, that his language is also inflammatory – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – when the law is being applied. I refer you Mr. Speaker Sir to Section 56 of our Constitution which provides that every citizen in this country must be protected by the law equally. We do not want the law to discriminate against members of the other political party whilst others enjoy the privilege of inflaming violence in our country – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Hon. Matemadanda recently said that he is prepared to unleash soldiers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – He has threatened to unleash a gukurahundi on opposition members. He has threatened to unleash the army against civilians in our country and that cannot go unnoticed Mr. Speaker Sir. I am waiting for your ruling.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You did not listen to my ruling. I said when such utterances are made, the police should take appropriate action, that is number one. Secondly, Hon. Togarepi never mentioned a single political party – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order. The bottom line is that when such utterances are made, it is not for this House to come up with arresting powers, the arresting powers rest with the police for law and order. Therefore, I cannot allow further debate on that. What Hon.
Sikhala said is just like what the Shona idiom says:
‘Chirimumusakasaka chinozvinzwira’ – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I move that Order Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the orders are disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME
AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 4, 2019]
Second order read: Second Reading: Money Laundering and
Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill [H. B. 4, 2019].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. It is a great honour to present to you the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill, 2019. This Bill will amend the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act [Chapter 9:24]. The background to these amendments is that they were initially effected under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
(Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act) Regulations 2018, published in Statutory Instrument 246 of 2018 on the 9th of November, 2018.
According to the provisions of Section 6 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act [Chapter 10:20], the regulations expired on the 181st day, following the day of commencement of the regulations which was on 9th May, 2019. As such, it is expedient to enact an
Amendment Bill re-enacting the affected provisions.
The amendment will further strengthen the provisions in the law to combat corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing and ensure that members of the law enforcement are effective in carrying out their mandate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to discuss the individual clauses of the
Clause 1 sets out the Bill’s short title, which is the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Clause 2 has a provision which gives powers to ZACC, ZIMRA and ZRP to elicit explanations from persons who exhibit great wealth without having any apparent lawful means of obtaining such wealth. This is so as to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and corruption.
A new part will be inserted in the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act providing for unexplained wealth orders issued by the High Court at the instance of ZACC, ZIMRA or ZRP. These orders will require the addressee to explain his/her wealth and provide supporting documentation for the wealth. Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the Bill be read a second time. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Before I put the question, Hon. Minister, the Committee responsible has not yet completed its report. So I suggest you move for the adjournment of the debate.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th August, 2019.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that
Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 and 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING ON
GWANDA RESIDENTS’ PETITION ON VIOLATION OF RIGHTS
TO HUMAN DIGNITY, WATER AND CLEAN ENVIRONMENT
HON. CHIKUKWA: I move the motion standing in my name that
his House takes note of the Report of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on Gwanda Residents’ Petition on violation of rights to human dignity, water and clean environment.
HON. MARKHAM: I second.
HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me the opportunity to move my motion on the First Report of the
Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing on Gwanda Residents’ Petition on violation of rights to human dignity, water and clean environment. According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 119 it is the mandate of Parliament to protect the
Constitution and promote democratic governance in Zimbabwe. It is also
Parliament which has the power to ensure that provisions of the Constitution are upheld and that the State and all its institutions and agencies of Government at every level act constitutionally and in the national interest.
According to Section 149 of the Constitution every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority including the enactment and amendment or repeal of legislation. Section 149 of the Constitution and Standing Rules and Orders 186 and Appendix D, Petitions and Procedures allows citizens and permanent residents of Zimbabwe to petition Parliament on any matter within its jurisdiction.
The Committee received a petition on 1st November 2018 from the
Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, Gwanda Residents Association and Ward 5 residents. The petition urged Parliament to exercise its oversight role by ensuring that the Municipality of Gwanda and its parent ministry provides adequate service delivery in terms of water, sanitation and road networks to Spitzkopp residential area which is in Ward 5 in Gwanda.
The petitioner’s grievance was lack of access to water and sewer lines to Ward 5 in Gwanda thereby exposing residents to a health hazard situation. They cited Section 73 of the Constitution that states that every person has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being. Section 77 (a) states that every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water. The petitioners raised concern that Gwanda Municipality has failed to provide basic amenities such as access to clean potable water and sewer reticulation facilities. The petitioners stated that the Gwanda Council has allowed beneficiaries to build and occupy houses in the absence of a functional sewer system and residents have resorted to erection of pit toilets and wells.
The Committee invited Gwanda Municipality officials to a meeting to discuss the issue which was raised by the petitioners on 18th December 2018. The Committee received oral evidence from the Mayor
Councill J. Mazhale, Town Clerk, Ms P. Nkala, Town Engineer Mr. P
Ndebele and Town Planner Mr. Mutiwani. The Committee then visited Gwanda Municipality from 11 – 12 February 2019 and held a meeting with the petitioners and residents of Ward 5, councilors and officials of Gwanda Municipality to discuss the issues raised in the petition. The tour of Spitzkopp which is in Ward 5 was conducted.
Oral Evidence with Gwanda Municipality
The Mayor of Gwanda Municipality, Councillor J. Mazhale informed the Committee that the town acknowledged the petition regarding the violation of rights to human dignity to clean water and a clean environment. The Town Planner, Mr Mutiwani explained that 333 stands were awarded to beneficiaries in Spitzkopp North high density residential area in 2007. The beneficiaries were charged land value and survey fees only. During the allocation of stands the beneficiaries were advised site serving fees would be levied at cost recovery basis. The council allowed beneficiaries to build houses while waiting for servicing of the area and approximately 65 to 70% of the 333 stands were constructed and occupied while sewer and water provision had not been provided.
The Committee learned from Gwanda Municipality Town Planer that more than 50% of Spitzkopp stands were at a higher altitude of 73m resulting in challenges of supplying water to the residential area as water cannot flow upwards. Faced with that challenge Gwanda Municipality through the Government received Public Sector Investment Periodic funding amounting to $2 434 571.89 to built a 12 mega litre reservoir. The reservoir project was at 98% completion at the time of the
Committee’s visit to Gwanda Municipality. An amount of US$100 000 is needed for testing of the reservoir, fencing and construction of a road leading to the reservoir. The project is expected to be completed by end of June 2019 to supply water to Spitzkopp and other areas in Gwanda.
Ms. Nkala, the Town Clerk explained that the stands were allocated during the hyper inflation period 2007-2009 and the revenue collected from the beneficiaries was eroded. The decision was made that beneficiaries would pay for services once the situation had stabilised. The Committee was informed by Gwanda officials that some of the beneficiaries were refusing to pay service fees arguing that they had already paid. The contracts that were signed between the beneficiaries and council however indicated that the beneficiaries did not pay service fees. The Committee is of the view that there was not proper engagement between the council and residents of Ward 5 in terms of explaining the challenges the council was facing in servicing the area and the contents of the agreement.
Although Gwanda Municipality acknowledged that Spitzkopp
residents have a right to complain because it is not an ideal situation to stay in houses without water and sewer reticulation. There is no tangible solution to water and sewer lines. The Committee is not satisfied that the Council tried to correct the situation by construction a public toilet and installed community pipes to provide water. Gwanda Council claimed that they supplied water twice a day but this was disputed by the residents who stated that there was no regularity regarding the supply of water.
Our Oral Evidence from Petitioners
Residents expressed their displeasure with the way Gwanda Council was treating them as far as service was concerned. They complained that the local authority allocated them stands which were not serviced and residents were given a go ahead to build houses. Nice houses were built and people occupied their homes but for more than 10 years, they lived without water and sewer services. The area has no roads and residence park their vehicles at car parks which are far from their houses. Residents queried why the local authority has sold stands which were not serviced and why the Ministry of Local Government had allowed that to happen. The Committee was disturbed to learn that the residents had resorted to using the bush and plastic bags to relieve themselves. This situation is not ideal for human habitation and the Committee opined that the Gwanda Municipality neglected its responsibility and co-business for providing basic service delivery.
Residents also raised concern that the local authority did not engage them concerning the plans in place to provide sewer and roads in the area. The residents of Ward 5 stated that they resorted to petition Parliament because nothing was being done by the council towards improving their situation. Some residents indicated that they were willing to pay service fees as long as the funds were used for the purpose of service delivery and that council should play its role. The Town Clerk explained that the delay in providing water and sewer systems was caused by lack of funding. It was pointed out that the construction of the reservoir which was stated in 2011, took time to complete because of lack of funding from Central Government.
The Town Clerk gave an undertaking to the Committee that the reservoir would be completed three months after getting the resources from Central Government. An additional amount of 346 thousand was needed to complete the construction of the water and sewer systems, roads and offsite infrastructure. The Committee urged the council and residents to work together and come up with a solution on how best the area can be serviced. The Committee suggested that a Committee be set up comprising council and residents of the affected area.
The Gwanda Municipality Project Committee would then come up
with plans to raise funds for service and timeframe to do the service. Residents were urged to contribute towards servicing of their stands by paying their rates and the council was urged to play its part.
The Committee noted with concern that Gwanda Municipality was reluctant to come up with a lasting solution to provide social amenities to Ward 5. The stands were sold in 2007 and 12 years later no service has been effected yet council gave residents permission to construct houses. The Committee also observed that local authorities are now allocating stands which are not serviced and this has resulted in the mushrooming of resettlements which can best be described as illegal when in actual fact people would have paid their hard earned money for the stands.
There is need for Government to monitor local authorities so that only serviced stands are sold to home seekers. The Committee noted the need for Government to intervene in situations such as the one in Ward 5 by providing PSIP for the purposes of providing service to residents to avoid outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. There is need for consultations between Gwanda Municipality and ZINWA regarding the provision of water to renew residential areas to avoid a situation where on allocating stands, it is noted that ZINWA cannot supply water.
Currently, ZINWA is in charge of supplying raw water to Gwanda Municipality. Gwanda Municipality has no control over the supply of raw water to its reservoirs and relies on ZINWA.
The Committee noted that such a situation might cause problems as witnessed at the Spitzkopp project. The Committee felt that control of water should be handed over to Gwanda Municipality to enable proper planning of new settlements. The Committee noted that council’s engagement with beneficiaries was not sincere. The Committee was of the view that residents’ complaints were genuine and they have a case.
The council has to engage residents and offer both short and long term solutions to the problems of water, sewer and roads infrastructure to the residents of Ward 5.
The Committee therefore, recommends that:
- The newly established Gwanda Municipality Project Committee should submit progress reports and minutes of proceedings whenever a meeting has been held to the Portfolio
Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on a quarterly basis.
- Gwanda Municipality must come up with a lasting solution to provide social amenities to Ward 5 by 30 December 2019.
- Government should intervene by providing PSIP for the purposes of providing service to residents to avoid outbreak of diseases such as cholera by 31st December 2019.
- Council has to engage the residents and offer both short and long term solutions to be problem of water, sewer and roads infrastructure to the residents of Ward 5 by 30th August, 2019.
We hope they have done that.
- There should be consultations between Gwanda Municipality and ZINWA regarding provision of water to new residential areas to avoid a situation where after allocating stands, it is noted that ZINWA cannot supply water by 31st December, 2019. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. In the
interest of time, I would like to just highlight the problems because the report on Gwanda is very important. The issues brought up there cover virtually every council in this country that is urban and rural. I just want to talk genuinely and in the interest of time, what the Chairman has reported has been very detailed and comprehensive. The first issue I have with the whole report is the issue of communication between the actors and actions within councils. We have an issue here where the residents have the problem with the council. We have an issue here where management is not necessarily coordinating either with the residents or with the council. We have an issue here where the council has a problem with Government in following up and responding with the national Government. These issues are common throughout the whole of Zimbabwe and are holding all developments in all our councils.
In Gwanda, this is clear for everyone to see. The complication comes where we have a centralised issue like ZINWA. When ZINWA is controlling the water which is a human right everyone plays the blame game; it is the council’s fault, it is the water authority’s fault, it is the residents’ fault. Communication is a major issue which has to be highlighted in this report.
The second general issue I would like to cover is the issue of the background of this problem. The problems always start with one thing which is money. This all happened in 2007 when we were going into a hyperinflation situation where all councils were running out of money to the extent that they could not pay the employees. So, what council does is that they find the quick way out and sell stands. Now, the first issue that we will do when we run against an issue where we have got no money, what people do Madam Speaker is, they find the easiest way out and the easiest way out is to break the rules. So we break the rules and we sell unserviced stands.
In the case of Gwanda, this is highlighted. Stands were sold to people, a lot from the diaspora, a lot of locals with all the money that they got they spend on buying the stands The residents believed that they bought a serviced stand; the council says it is unserviced, so we have to break the rules. You cannot sell a stand that has no infrastructure. You cannot build a house where the fundamental human right of water is not there. This is very clear in Gwanda. People have committed their money and so become bitter when toasted. We have a major issue between local Government and Government. We have a major issue between the Council and the residents.
The sad issue which I would like to bring in is the third point which is ZINWA. We have a problem with ZINWA. ZINWA is an authority for all water. In this case ZINWA controls the water board. There is no one other than ZINWA who knows what the off take of those dams can be. The Council is likely to account for ZINWA’s fault. It is very easy for ZINWA to say council has not paid us. Again we run to the same issue which is money. This comes on the back of the economy that is financially unstable.
In 2007 and 2009, when this all started, we had runaway inflation. So, everyone wanted to spend his or her money as quickly as they could and buy things. So, they bought stands. Council wanted to pay the workers so, they took the money but nothing is clear there. There is nothing clear on paper and this becomes very clear in the report that we have just done.
We get to any issue of who is accountable. No one is accountable because everyone can blame each other saying the case of Gwanda, this is happening on and on. National Government and the public sector provision which is very good but because of the financial and economic status of the country, you get a half built operation. The tank is on the hill but there is no power to supply the water there for eight or ten years.
The money is partly distributed but it is not complete.
We now have a situation where there is a tank, you have your water but it is not being distributed to the residents. The residents have already spent all their money buying stands and building their houses. Despite what we think in this House, every constituency has the same problem of unfinished Government funded businesses because of the runaway inflation. It is time for us to look at bringing this to order and finishing what we started rather than starting more new projects. Let us just finish what we have got because we will not have rescinded the problem. We have what is commonly termed as flying bullets. The knock on an environment, the possibility of typhoid and cholera is across the nation on these satellite development areas which must be brought into regulation. I know the Minister of Local Government has mentioned that they are doing that but it cannot be quick enough.
I would just like to bring the last point which is what we have been talking about which is very simple. Instead of waiting for a problem to arise and then run away from a problem for 20 years, you must be proactive. That is why it is called town planning. You plan before you do it. We are doing it, then we regularise it and say zvapera ipapo, we must plan first so that we know where we are coming from and where we are going. There are not many people in this town that will start walking in a direction that they do not know where they are going. That is what we are doing.
Madam Speaker, all I am asking in the case of Gwanda Report which I believe was thoroughly done is not the only council with that problem. Let us finish what we do and do it properly. Let us plan too before distributions to the residents. The biggest issue the local government has, is the bending of the regulations that are there. They have not been there for ten years; they have been there for twenty years.
We are bending the regulations due to the financial problems we have.
We have to be realistic and all these issues stand from one thing, money!
Madam Speaker, I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Allow me to just add my voice on the report by the Committee on Local Government. May I first begin by thanking the Committee for responding to the petition by citizens? I think it is quite encouraging that we as Parliament are found to be responsive and within our representative role to respond to such petitions which go at the core of fundamental rights within our citizens. As I looked at the report, I discovered that it breaches seven rights of our Constitution.
It breaches Section 29 which is about health services, Section 28 which covers shelter, Section 77 (a) the right to food and water, Section 80, the rights of women and Section 81 (i) part 3, under the rights of children. Section 82 (a) is about the rights of the elderly and Section 83 (b) under the rights of people living with disabilities. Madam Speaker, it is sad that if we are to realise that Zimbabwe has a three tier governance system and local governance plays a very important role as it is at the core of the people and within the people.
Under Section 29 of the Constitution, it is mandated that the State must provide health services to all its citizens. Under the report presented by the Chair, it has been seen that residents of Ward 5 are failing to access basic health services since residence were built but basic health service structures where not put in place. Over and above that, sewer is not reticulating to the extent that people are using rudimental facilities including buckets and plastics therefore exposing the residents to health diseases.
Under Section 28, it is regarded that whilst stands where sold at the acknowledgement of City Council, there was no town planning which had happened. Therefore the residents stands were sold, shelters were built in a haphazard manner. This therefore invited other illegal settlements to establish where there are supposed to be formal settlements. This goes to the core of urban planning and equally so to the rights of shelter which must be provided for by the State in this case in point.
Under Section 77 (a), it is mandatory that the State must provide clean water to its citizens. The report also states that the residents of Ward 5 in Gwanda are not being accessed with clean water. Under Section 80, it is common cause that where a home is being built, the women mostly reside there as they take care of the children and the home itself whilst the men are fending for the family. Therefore to put up illegal structures some which are not fit for human habitation, is a violation of women rights who according to the Constitution deserve decent shelter.
Under Section 81 (i) part 3, it is stated that children must be given decent accommodation, therefore, according to the report, no decent accommodation is being provided. The same is echoed under Section 82
(a) and 83 (b) of the Constitution with regards to disabilities. Madam Speaker, where we fail to provide planned accommodation, people living with disabilities are affected most because we would not have put in place the process of accommodating these disadvantaged members of our society.
Madam Speaker, I will go over to my second point which is the relationship between local councils and ZINWA. It is sad Madam
Speaker, and I have raised this issue before that the Chairperson of Cabinet is the President. The Minister responsible for local governance and the Minister responsible for the parastatals which is ZINWA both sit in Cabinet being chaired by the President. It is sad that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. It therefore goes to the core of the principle to say is this Government functional. How can a local Council provides stands, allow people to build shelter but then ZINWA come up and say we cannot provide water to those residents. Are we not being presided over by a dysfunctional executive?
My third point is the absence of a Local Government Board resulting in most senior management members operating in acting positions. If you look at the majority of our town councils, both urban and rural – they have members in the senior management including Town Clerks, Treasurers, Chamber Secretaries in acting positions after interviews have been done because of the absence of the Local Government Board which is supposed to confirm these individuals into permanent positions.
The fact that we have got acting members means that their decision making matrix is limited since they are in an acting capacity. They are either to make bold and firm decisions because they are acting or they make overzealous decisions because they want to please other authorities who must then confer them with permanent positions. I therefore urge the Minister of Local Government to quickly set up the Local Government Board and confirm every senior management member who is in the acting position; they should be given the job or interviews be redone so that at least we have got permanent members who then do their job with all the confidence they deserve.
My last point is on devolution. Section 265 (1) (a) confers good governance, transparency, accountability and institutional coherence within local authorities. It is common cause that the majority of the local authorities both urban and rural are not conforming to this practice as enshrined in our Constitution simply because we do not have an enabling instrument which is supposed to see devolution being fully recognised within our provinces. The Minister had promised that by December 2018, we would have a fully functional devolution system within our country but up to now nothing has been done.
In the year 2019, the Minister of Finance has so far disbursed two trianches of funds under the devolution fund. You would see that these funds are not going to the intended use because there is no structure that is supposed to monitor and be accountable to the devolution funds. I therefore urge the Minister of Local Government to quickly set up and actualise the provincial councils so that at least we properly conform to the Constitution and also actualise the principle of devolution which was set out on the 6th of May 2013 when the people of Zimbabwe voted for a new Constitution. I thank you.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I
also need to add my voice on this petition by the people of Gwanda by supporting what has been said by Hon. Markham, Hon. Chikwinya and all those who have contributed before me.
The lives of people is supposed to be improved without looking at who is supposed to improve that. This petition is giving Members of Parliament an insight. We are in here at Parliament and we are supposed to do something which is productive. Here in Parliament we are just fighting and we have not done anything since the inception of this session as the National Assembly. We are the House which is supposed to improve the country but according to our way of doing things, we are not able to help people. It is not only in Gwanda. Hon. Markham said that we are not following our Constitution from Section 1 to 345. We are supposed to see the cause of these things. We are not pulling in the same direction in this Parliament. We want to see how these things can benefit the countries.
When they are from the other side, we are supposed to put concrete on the toilet; some are saying we are supposed to buy. We are supposed to work together hand in hand so that things will go well in our country.
We have one country which is Zimbabwe. We are supposed to work together so that we help people from Gwanda.
Hon. Markham said the tanks are on this level and the houses are at another level. There are no taps for water from the tanks to the houses. Hyperinflation is there even in the Bible in the book of 2 Kings – there was hunger in Israel. There were also leapers and they wanted to go and take the country which was led by the Israelites. Women had to eat their children. Here in Zimbabwe, are we at the level of eating our own children? We are supposed to work together. What has been said by Hon. Markham is that we are supposed to finish what we started.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order. We encourage that people who do not have enough understanding on a raised motion are not supposed to debate for example the Hon. Member on the floor. This motion is very important and it is in terms of water and sanitation for people. We are supposed to stick to the report so that people will benefit from what is being said in here. We are not supposed to digress from this report.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matangira, may you
please debate on what is in the report. You can proceed.
*HON. MATANGIRA: I was just supporting what has been said even though I was not in here. What I am saying is flowing. We are supposed to help people. We are thinking differently, that is where the problem is. We are supposed to be one as parliamentarians and Zimbabwe as a whole, despite where you come from - either left or right. We are supposed to put people on our hearts so that we do what will benefit the people.
*HON. PETER MOYO: I applaud the debate on the motion brought by Hon. Members from the Local Government Committee. We are supposed to be very strong because of what is being done in local authorities. This is what is causing houses to fall on people but because there are no relations between the local Government and the people it will end up causing people to look for places where they are going to be placed to build houses. They will not know whether the house is strong or not. Some will build on top of the electric cables and then this will result in the death of children. This motion is supposed to be supported by everyone who has a vision that everyone is supposed to live well having clean water.
Local authorities are supposed to be given power. Hon. Chikwinya says when there is no local governance board people will be acting. For example the City of Harare, how many people are there in higher offices who are acting up to now? There are people who are acting now who do not have any love for the people who are in the community.
Lastly, I am in line with what Hon. Matangira said. This country needs everyone to think about where this country is going. What we need in this country is dialogue so that we talk while seated in here and see if people are taken care of. The two political parties and the parliamentarians are supposed to be seated and debate on this motion.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you are
supposed to contribute what is in the motion.
*HON. PETER MOYO: So this dialogue is needed Madam
Speaker, because if we do not speak together we do not develop. We are supposed to have the same direction, the same vision. I am supporting him and this dialogue is needed even tomorrow – [HON. MEMBERS:
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: : You can go ahead Hon. Member.
*HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We are supposed to see where our country is supposed to go. Those who went through the liberation struggle did not fight so that we get into the situation that we currently are in. Those who died during the liberation struggle did not die in vain. Why can we not just sit down and contribute as Members of Parliament. How can we not achieve that if
Ian Smith and Mr. Mugabe had a conversation at Lancashire House? So Mr. Speaker Sir, we want a dialogue of political parties who are debating in this august House.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I am also thinking about those who talked about the report from Gwanda, they talked pertaining to what they have seen in Gwanda local authorities, but what I am seeing as a resident in the CBD, the big problem is corruption.
There are local authorities who are very corrupt who are spending the money which is supposed to be used for services. They are giving land without the Government notice. I was thinking that those who have looked upon this report have looked upon corruption. We are supposed to look upon all the local authorities to see if people are living well in the urban centres. Thank you.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support this motion on Gwanda residents petition. As a mother, I feel adequate service delivery in terms of water sanitation and road networks should be first priority. When there is no water, it is the women who suffer most. They have to fetch water to prepare food for their children. If there is an outbreak of diseases, it is the women who suffer. All domestic chores are done by women.
In rural areas, people have to wake up very early in the morning to go and fetch some water. When women are having their menstrual cycles they need a lot of water because they have to wash daily. Also, women need transport to hospitals when they fall ill or when they are going to maternity.
I am urging all Government ministries to provide the PSIP funds to the Portfolio Committee and I also want to urge the Portfolio Committee to make an urgent follow up. Thank you very much.
*HON. J. CHIDAKWA: Firstly, I want to thank Hon. Chikukwa for her report which she brought into this House and also the Gwanda residents for their petition to Parliament because it has exposed a lot of issues. Although it is the Gwanda residents, it touches on all the other local authorities.
Mr. Speaker, firstly I want to say that matters pertaining to the law have been dealt with but I want to bring a way forward. I think the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing should come up with mechanisms to bring water to the people because without water it is putting their lives in danger. In this country, we do not have money to buy chemicals to purify the water. We are still lagging behind in that other countries, because of modern technology, there are few chemicals being used. I think there should be means and ways to purify our water cheaply.
I want to also talk about the 5% retention which should be given to the local authorities. I think it should be channeled down to the local authorities so that these challenges which Gwanda has been facing since 2007 will be dealt with. I also want to suggest that when the local authorities are settling people, I think there should be stiffer laws that people should not be settled where the land is not serviced so that when people are given those stands they will not stay for 50 years using wells and blair toilets.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to look at the other challenges because some of the challenges are caused by procrastination which happens in local government. There is a lot of bureaucracy and with inflation, it means that costs will be affected.
Council should not have a mediator when it comes to issues of water. The residence of Gwanda are saying that ZINWA should leave the administration of water to local authorities because when consumers face challenges, they do not approach ZINWA but they deal with the local authorities. So, it is easy for consumers to have the local authorities dealing with the water administration if they are given authority. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
+HON. MABOYI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. We have noticed that many people face difficulties because of ZINWA. When we look at Gwanda we realise that it is a good example of the many local governments that are not functioning properly. I think that the Ministry of Local Government should try and give the powers that ZINWA has to local authorities. When we look at the issue of toilets, I think the local authorities are not putting enough effort because they allocate stands to people without servicing them. Therefore people do not have toilets and resort to using the bush and this gives us many problems like cholera which spread easily.
We plead with the Ministry to look into this issue especially that of allocation of stands which are not serviced. ZINWA does not also play its part in this respect. The local government also fails to provide sufficient toilets to the people. It is better that a board be set up to supervise because the local authority cannot support all the services for the people. We agree that there should be a local board that is set up so that supervision is done thoroughly and people receive all the services that are needed in terms of water and toiletries and people live properly in these urban areas.
In addition, the local authorities disturb the way people live because they do not analyse how many people live in each house and toilets block because the sewage system is overused by many people living in one place. The houses are overpopulated. We plead that the Ministry also looks into the issue of roads. The roads are bad as well as the sewage system. In most cases, we realise that the sewage system disturbs the water that the people drink. The Local Government has too much work in its hands which they cannot do. With those few words, I thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me this opportunity to debate on a very important issue which talks about service delivery. Mr. Speaker Sir, we must be very clear in terms of the Constitution, what it says about the role of these councils in particular Gwanda, which also falls under it. Section 274 clearly talks about the role of these town councils and rural councils. Urban and local authorities are responsible for managing the affairs of the people in the urban areas, equally in the rural areas.
The problem that we have with the Gwanda Council is that it fails to comply with very simple rules of local government and physical planning. Hon. Chidakwa was very clear in saying that this problem, whilst we talk about Gwanda, exists in most urban authorities in the country. The residents, whom we must listen to are the ones who vote for these councillors. When they say that the councillors are not working, we must take it seriously. There is an outcry on the performance of councillors in the country, especially in the urban areas. We must not try to bit about the bush. We have a situation where the very same land barons who are supposed to comply are accommodated through corrupt means.
Councillors are richer than anybody else because they are part of the cartel of corruption. I say so because, why would you allow an area to be developed yet certain fundamentals are not there like road network, sewer and so on. As a result of that, there is no urban to talk about in Gwanda; what you can talk about is rural Gwanda. In fact, it must be reduced to rural Gwanda and not urban Gwanda because of the facilities. The only thing lacking is the appointment of a village head to now man
We must understand that for a very long time the opposition must be commended for being instrumental in removing certain powers from the Ministry of Local Government then. That being the case, they must also understand that whilst the powers were limited from the Minister of Local Government where they cited interference, there is not much interference now from the Minister and it is about time we talk about these. Leaders of various councils and parties which are in charge of these urban areas should take note that the failure in delivering services has repercussions on their political life when elections come.
The reason why I am saying this is that the development of any area begins with the ward councillor. I actually regret at times why I did not choose to be a ward councillor because they are able to sit down and manage the budget from the rate payers and say; this money must go to X or B and so on. Even parliamentarians do not have the power to do that. Instead of using that money on sewer and service delivery, they have used that money to buy good cars. The councillors, because of lack of capacity and intellectual capacity, have allowed the management to be smarter than them. The management is able to sneak in workshops for them to go away in order to be given allowances of $50 whilst they sign for the luxury lives of the management. If you look at the management of even Gwanda Town Council itself, they have no complaints but the councillors who are the bosses are given nothing at the expense of service delivery at the end of the day. Members of Parliament will attest to the fact that it is actually difficult as a Member of Parliament to get councilors together because they are making money every day and you are not making money. They are in it not for service delivery but for corrupt tendencies.
If you look at the land barons who are there – admittedly the land barons their god father was Ignatius Chombo. Ignatius Chombo was able to have land barons from ZANU PF but even in the urban town councils where MDC is dominant, the land barons who are ZANU PF have captured those councilors. You can now not blame a Government Minister for interfering. Hon. July Moyo is one person who does not interfere. He does not interfere. Hon. Chombo was different. Hon. Kasukuwere was different. He tries to play to the rules of the game but the councilors themselves are nowhere near in terms of service delivery at the end of the day. To me there is absence of compliance when the engineer is appointed and recommended by these councilors.
My fellow colleagues here reminded me and said the Local Board has got the final say, but before the Local Board has got the final say who would have seconded these engineers in management? The management is selected by the councilors and then approved by the Local Board. To me, before they are approved by the Local Board, we must understand the source where they have come from. We must not mince our words on this. This issue of Gwanda is national. Residents cannot be ignored because we are there to represent the people. The residents are there because there is no way that you can put politics into this. Politics must stay away.
If the MDC dominate Gwanda, it is the residents of Gwanda who are MDC who are no longer happy. We must understand that. Where does the Minister come in? The same way we discuss a corrupt Government Minister, we are able to say ZANU PF is corrupt and at the same time Gwanda Council is corrupt, and that is an MDC led council.
Let us call a spade a spade. On this one I talk about it because I face it. It is time to call a spade a spade. They have failed to zero in on their councilors because their councilors are too strong in terms of money.
They are able to have a syndicate with senior politicians in their party structures who they give money to so that they can be protected. I have an inside to all that.
To me this issue is very clear. The residents cannot lie. They cannot give you a mandate and immediately say you are not doing your job. Let us not ignore that. I remember the late Morgan Tsvangirai suspended over 20 councilors because of corruption. That was commendable. Right now they are cruising. There is no road block. It is to those who lead them to take action because they are allowing their political downfall. They are being destroyed at ward level and if you are destroyed at ward level you have no place nationally and politically.
That must be understood.
It is important they take note of what we are saying. The aspect of the budgets is critical. These are the issues that they are talking about. The issues also come from capacity. What qualification do the councilors have to comprehend a budget? They have none – Grade 2,
Grade 7. Give them a $10m budget where you have councilors who read the budget upside down until one of them reminds them that no, can you read properly.
The aspect of water is critical. It requires capacity Mr. Speaker Sir in terms of forward planning. What have they done to plan ahead to envisage the problems which are coming? Right now we sit here in Parliament and Members of Parliament are constantly asking that there is a water problem. We ask the Minister of Local Government but before we go to the Minister of Local Government, what does Gwanda Town Council do about rectifying the water problem? We must understand that because they are responsible for water plants to ensure that there is clean, safe water for the people - which is a right. Let us be mindful that we might think that we are exposing others yet we are exposing ourselves in the process of all that.
I want to talk about the situation of good governance which is a practice from a constitutional point of view that we must follow. We must understand that where things are wrong and where governance is bad, we must be able to say governance is bad. If you look at the disaster, the health hazard that is being created for these people – the young ones who are growing, it is out of this world. It will never be recovered at the end of the day. You talk about typhoid and cholera, where does it come from? It comes from a council which is not able to comply with certain regulations. The residents of Gwanda must be commended for speaking against leadership that they put in place because it is not many who do that. However, if you see that even before a year ends they have already put together a petition and they have already blamed the work of the councilors, we must not ignore it.
There is a time to play politics and there is a time not to play politics. The role of town councils in this country is the bedrock of the development of the people. As Members of Parliament we are nothing. No wonder why in the wards that we are in, we are able to say if a ward councilor is doing well, the role of the Member of Parliament is three things – to legislate, represent and play oversight. We do not run the councils. The councils are run by people elected by the people. The people of Gwanda do not only talk to Gwanda, but they talk to Harare, Norton, Bulawayo, Mutare and Kariba. The opposition are dear friends of mine. They have a conscience. They have heard what I have said. They must zero in on their councilors to ensure that there is service delivery at the end of the day. Without service delivery at the end of the day, they are digging a grave for themselves, because that is manure.
The honest truth which I must say is that the councilors which were elected in the urban areas, most of them were never going to come back. They benefited from a Chamisa wave. There was a Chamisa wave in the urban areas but not their wave. Most of the people who got into Parliament was through Chamisa and not their capacity. Now their capacity is being judged, are they good are they not good? To me you cannot rely on the Chamisa wave. There will be a time when the
Chamisa wave will be gone. To me it is important that they ignore the Chamisa wave but Chamisa cannot be a councilor. Chamisa cannot sit in there. It is up to them now to try and justify how they got into that wave. It was a wave that had come through. Credit goes to Chamisa for controlling the urban vote but at the same time, it is also important that the urban does perform in terms of its mandate and so forth. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to be very honest to my colleague members on the right and hopefully they can do something about it.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Hon. Chairperson for giving me this opportunity so that I add my voice on this petition from Gwanda. Hon. Chair, it is important to realise that our people live in a free nation, a nation with freedom of speech where they can speak freely. I am glad that we have such laws, that is why they have managed to speak out about their problems and that is why they have written to us concerning the problems that we were not noticing in Gwanda.
Hon. Speaker, we do not need such problems in Gwanda only –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Go
ahead Hon. Mathe.
+HON. MATHE: We do not want such problems - not in Gwanda
Town only; it has become a habit, ever since towns were led by people who are not elected and recognised by the people, that is where this habit began. Since that habit began, towns have become a places of dirt, the sewer system runs just in front of the houses and there is no water, and there are no roads. I wonder what is causing Gwanda to attack us this much. I think that the people who are supposed to sit down and plan on how to do things are not the people who are doing this because the councilor who is meant to run a town must come from that very place.
I think the councilor should come from that Ward that he wants to stand for. The reason why this was done Hon. Speaker is because the problems that are faced in that place are the problems that he faces too each and every day so he should be able to understand and deal with it. If the local authorities Mr. Speaker are chosen because they belong to a particular party, it will make the local council to be unable to provide services for that particular place because the people in the council are not the right ones.
I go back to the issue of the Ministry of Local Government and I say we plead with them that after being attacked as Parliament of Zimbabwe, they need to go back and check what kind of people we have in these local councils. I think most of them are involved in corruption and they are worried about their own personal benefits. They are worried about personal gain and those are the kind of councilors we have in different towns. When they are elected into office they come putting on khaki trousers and after a few hours in office they will be putting on suits and changing the suits morning, afternoon and evening. One wonders where they would have gotten that money in such a short time.
What is making citizens to attack us is that in the past the councilor used to represent the people without expecting anything in return. They only looked forward to getting allowances. These days they want a salary and complain about the money that they are given. This is not what we expect from Local Government. They should not expect salaries when representing people. The Ministry should really look into this issue. The other problem why there is so much dirt in towns is that there are political parties – I am not going to mention any names, they have turned the towns into a place where they play, Hon. Speaker, that has caused...
HON. CHINYANGANYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The
Hon. Member is way offside. What she is talking about was never mentioned in the report, she should stick to what has been reported in the report – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May you resume your debate.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Chairman, I was saying when I
got disturbed, I wanted to emphasise that in the past we all knew towns to be beautiful places. Nowadays people no longer take good care of them, they want to demolish buildings, they no longer know that there are important places and as leaders, we should stop making noise in these towns. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for
giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the report that was given by the Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Hon. Chikukwa. Mr. Speaker Sir, population growth has negatively affected service delivery across the country. The infrastructure that was there before independence is the infrastructure that is still in existence Mr. Speaker Sir, there is need actually for the local authorities to get funding from the central Government so that service delivery will be improved, more importantly water reticulation and delivery system in all the local authorities. What is critical Mr. Speaker Sir, is that previously local authorities used to get PSIPs for the annual maintenance of infrastructure, water included. Currently, PSIPs have been suspended and this has negatively affected the provision of critical services such as water. Gwanda has not been spared in this anomaly. Therefore, I propose that just as the Constitution says that local authorities are supposed to get a certain percentage of the annual budget, that money should be released so that local authorities would be able to improve service delivery, more importantly water which is critical in the survival of all the people. On the ZINWA issue, Gwanda is one of the remaining local authorities where the water system is still being run by ZINWA.
Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINWA should hand-over water service delivery to local authorities, more importantly to Gwanda so that Gwanda Municipality will be able to have full control of water provision to the residents. We cannot talk about improved service delivery without addressing the issue of the 2013 debt write off by the Government that it ordered to all local authorities. This has negatively affected the way local authorities operate. Mr. Speaker Sir, I say so because local authorities remained in debt of critical service providers such as ZESA, ZINWA, other pension funds and ZIMRA included. As we speak, local authorities are trained to pay back those debts but the money owed by residents was written off. I think it is important and I propose that Parliament debates on the issue of Government assuming those debts so that local authorities would be able to function properly. In that way, local authorities would be able to provide critical services to the residents. Those are my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Wakuda kuvamurungu manje?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point of order. Did you raise
HON. MARKHAM: I withdraw the statement. Mr. Speaker, I have three points of clarification. The first one is the appointment of management for most, not all local councils...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Markham.
Clarifications can only be given to the Minister and you are not a Minister. I am sorry, please can you sit down?
HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would
like to add my voice to this debate on the issue of the petition relating to Gwanda local authority. I personally see that the petition is a bell ringer calling for performance audit for our local authorities so that we see what our local authorities nationwide are doing and their performance. Some of the issues that were aired in the petition relate to most of our local authorities. I have also noted that the petition dates back to 2007. This reminds me that from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, things were little better and during that period we were expecting Gwanda local authority to do something to alleviate the problems of these residents who were complaining. I also find that Gwanda local authority and other local authorities must look for solutions or to look for medicine to cure issues of non-conformity. At times we may say, lack of confidence that is in the residents. If we look at this issue, some residents were claiming that they had paid money and when people begin to resist like that, it means there is a war. Therefore, our local authorities need to find a method where they can have good relationships with the people they serve so that they do not go to the extent of suspecting that there is something going on or fraud taking place. When people resist payment, it means something is not going on well.
The Public Health Act mandates local authorities to ensure that they provide good health facilities for their residents. Therefore, we feel our local authorities, Gwanda included, should make sure that they do not allow a situation that goes back to people using bush toilets or using plastics as was mentioned in the report. If a situation like that happens, the Zimbabwe we are looking for by 2030 may not exist. I thank you.
*HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Chikukwa and the Committee for going to Gwanda to hear the pleas of the people of Gwanda. Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my voice on this motion. I realise that most of us diverted from the good report that was produced by the Committee. The report gave us good recommendations and myself would want us to ensure that Gwanda is assisted. I would like to say, most local authorities are unable to function because of the economic problems that we are facing as a nation. Mr. Speaker Sir, Gwanda cannot be spared from these problems because this is faced by the whole nation.
The first recommendation of PSIP, if we look into it historically, all of our local authorities used to have projects like water treatment, tanks and sewer pipes because there was a fund specifically for local authorities.
It is my plea Mr. Speaker, that the Government ensures local authorities are allocated on the National Budget, the PSIP. There is a certain percentage that is supposed to be given to local authorities each and every year so that they are able to function properly. As we speak right now, that money has not been given to local authorities. How are they expected to function? They cannot run most of their projects because they do not have any income generating projects. Most local authorities only get their monies from ratepayers. So I hereby support this issue that they have brought into the House because if we do not have PSIP then we should implement what we agreed upon so that the monies are given to local authorities.
Mr. Speaker, what I also noticed and I think affects service delivery is that most local authorities are only there because they give water to the people. I think we should make sure that water in Gwanda is managed by the local authority because if they sell this water to their residents then they will get some money from the payments made to the council. They can use that money for service delivery. If you look at our local authorities they only function because of the money that they receive from the people when they pay for water and sewer. Therefore, if the money for water is given to ZINWA in Gwanda, then the Gwanda local authority cannot afford to offer services to its people.
I remember from the Seventh Parliament when I chaired the Portfolio Committee of the Local Government, we ensured that ZINWA surrendered water and it was managed by local authorities. I therefore plead that this is done also for Gwanda so that it functions properly. I noticed that there is an issue of stand allocations in Gwanda. There is need for the Government to pitch in and assist because the population has grown as people are giving birth and migrating from the rural to urban areas. Therefore, the use of water is increasing and at the end of the day our sewers are not functioning properly, thus the sewages are bursting and people are getting diseases like typhoid and cholera. If PSIP is returned it means that this can be fixed. Mr. Speaker, it is my wish that the people of Gwanda need to be assisted so much because if they are not assisted we will lose some of them as they die from these diseases that I have mentioned before.
I also want to speak about the issue of corruption Mr. Speaker. Corruption is a disease that is affecting us as a country that is why we are where we are today as a nation. The problem is that in Zimbabwe, people are only arrested depending on who they are Mr. Speaker and if forensic audits are done, most Members of Parliament will be arrested because of corruption. Most people are corrupt but they know that they will get away with it because they know they will not be arrested. Certainly, corruption is there but people are not being arrested. I want to leave this to our local authorities Mr. Speaker.
I want to put this on record that in the past years, most councils used to do interviews for managers. They used to interview these managers and take them to the local board which used to make the final decision but right now our councillors do not have the power or authority. Therefore, people are employed based on how connected one is. Thus, corruption is used when these interviews are done. People get jobs not because of competence but depending on their connections. I plead with you to ensure that people get employed based on competence and not due to connections or political affiliation.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to take us back a little. If you look at our local authorities, once in a while they patch roads. However, when it rains the potholes worsen. If you look at the background of some of those people who are engineers, you will notice that most of them do not deserve those jobs and are not meant to be engineers after all; that affects service delivery. Recently, we noticed that in Chitungwiza because people said that councillors are supposed to work properly, I saw on television a clip where the Mayor of Chitungwiza as well as councillors were said to have held a meeting because they faced a challenge with their Town Clerk. The Town Clerk had been found guilty of some issues. They are trying to work on service delivery in Chitungwiza. He was thoroughly beaten a lot and taken to the hospital because of people who had been allocated land that they were not supposed to get.
Our nation has politicised everything even at local authority level. Some of these parties are managing the local authorities, which is the correction that we are referring to. Parties are not meant to do such things. They are not supposed to meddle with council issues. When councilors decide to suspend some of these issues the parties are not supposed to pitch in. it is my plea that we have people who are ready to work for the nation so that we move ahead. There are people who spoke about the managers and the like in terms of corruption. It is my plea that our Minister takes these issues that were brought into this House by the Committee up to enable the Minister to carry out investigations, ensure the running of the local authorities is done properly, and ensure that our residents get the services they require from the local authorities.
Before I sit down Mr. Speaker, I would want to say that what was recommended by this Committee, I would want to see those recommendations being fulfilled so that Gwanda functions properly.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for this
opportunity to add my voice to this motion. First and foremost, it is not only Gwanda local authority that has this issue. It is all over the country, throughout mainly our urban councils. Water is life and you cannot live without it for three to four days. That is why in our Constitution, it is a right to the people of Zimbabwe.
Secondly, why these councils are not running well – from experience, I was once a Councillor. Councillors lack knowledge of what their description is. What they are actually supposed to do and the administration of these councils which are the CEOs – [ AN HON.
MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – [Laughter.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Order!
Order Hon. Members.
HON. TUNGAMIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Councilors lack the knowledge. They should go to workshops which teach them how to administer their jobs. The CEOs of these councils; the Engineers are happy with the councilors being in the dark. They are happy with councilors who do not know what they are doing; they are happy that way, as long as the councilors do not know what they are doing, the Executive can do what they want with the council.
Some councilors have no basic education, whereby documents come to council which are huge, which even I can struggle to read but these councilors are given these large documents to read which they do not read. Councilors go to council sometimes just for the allowances and eats that they may get from council. If they get into councils they are given drinks; allowances, motor cycles and then they forget why they came to be councilors, thus councils fail at times.
Thirdly, local authorities are not following regulations, allowing people to build houses without providing water, sewage and roads. The
Councils’ Act is there but the councils seem not to follow their own regulations by putting up buildings and letting people build without there being water or sewage or roads. Councils are now in the business of selling stands to pay their high wage bills, especially in the urban areas. The councils have got huge wage bills which they cannot manage. They have forgotten their core business. The core business is service delivery, not paying wages. Most councils - the ratio should be 70:30 percent, 70% should go to service delivery while 30% goes to wages, but most councils it is not that 70:30 anymore. It is may be 40% to service delivery, 60% to wages, that is why local authorities cannot provide services for the clients.
Gwanda is right to demand service delivery; it is their right as the people of Zimbabwe to have water reticulation and roads in the area. So please let us follow the recommendations of the Committee and push that all local authorities work hard and corruption is stopped because councils are now just selling stands and putting money in their own pockets, forgetting that they were voted in by people to work for the people for service delivery. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I move that the debate do now
HON. K. PARADZA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th September, 2019.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON.
MUTSEYAMI, the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.