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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 04 NOVEMBER 2020 VOL 47 NO 06
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 4th November, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
POSTPONMENT OF THE 2021 PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR
THE HON. SPEAKER: I regret to inform the House of the postponement of the 2021 Pre-Budget Seminar initially scheduled for the 5th to the 7th November 2020. It will now be held from the 19th to the 21st November, 2020. The difficult decision to postpone the seminar has been made after considering the need to allow finalisation of the process of drafting the first National Development Strategy 2020 to 2025 for which the 2021 Budget is an implementation tool. We apologise for the inconvenience if any that might result from this change of dates.
Hon. K. Paradza having stood up to give a notice of motion.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Before you give a notice of motion, I have some apologies. My apologies Hon. K. Paradza – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – I do not mind a shadow assistance from time to time.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: The following have sought leave of absence;
Hon. K. C. D. Mohadi, the Vice President;
Hon. Rtd. Gen. Dr. C. G. D. N. Chiwenga, the Vice President;
Hon. J. B. Matiza, Transport and Infrastructural Development; Hon. K. Kazembe, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. C. Mathema, Primary and Secondary Education;
Hon. M. Ndlovu, Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. D. Marapira, Minister of State in Hon. Vice President K. C. D Mohadi’s Office;
Hon. Rtd. Lt. Gen. Dr. S. B. Moyo – The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
Hon. M. Madiro, Deputy Minister – Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. D. Musabayana – Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and
Hon. C. Chiduwa, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, my point of order arises from an order which you gave on the 29th October, in this House where you mentioned that Members of Parliament should be seated in the House between 1400 and 1415 hours. Any member who enters the House thereafter is out of order. Hon. Speaker, Hon. Garwe, the Minister responsible for Housing; Hon. July Moyo, the Minister responsible for Local Government, Hon. Miriam Chombo, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Hon. Stars Mathe disobeyed your order. So I am not quite sure and need guidance from yourself if your order still stands – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, your quote from my order is not accurate. You will have to check the Hansard properly and come back with a reminder.
Hon. Members having stood up on points of privilege
THE HON. SPEAKER: Now, here you want to break my order which you agreed to that on Wednesdays there are no requests for points on privilege. So we stick to that.
After Hon. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs walked in -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, I revert to Hon. Chikwinya, particularly for Members of the Cabinet. Please be in the House before 1410 hours. As you keep time in Cabinet, you do not come in Cabinet ten minutes after Cabinet has started – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, I think whilst the Ministers are here, yesterday you did rule that the letter written to the Secretary of the President and Cabinet about the cut-off time. I think it will be nice and important if, with your indulgence for us to know the cut off time - if the letter has been written so that they know the cut off time for the apologies that they make is this time, not midnight or as and when they feel like it. I do not know with your indulgence if it is possible for us to know whether it was sent and also know the contents of that letter so that we are all in the picture.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, can you wear your masks and ensure that your noses are covered as well as the mouth.
The Hon. Ministers cut off time for leave of absence is 12 o’clock. A letter has been written to the Chief Secretary. I am sure he is going to advise in the next Cabinet meeting but since you are here, the time is 12 o’clock for letters of leave of absence.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. SHAVA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. What is Government policy with regards to council rates which are being pegged at one is to one with the US dollar? For example, if you owe RTGS 2000, they are demanding US$2000.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): I would like to inform you that rates are paid in bond notes but if someone is able to pay rates in US dollars they are also free to do so.
HON. SHAVA: Supplementary, supplementary!
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Deputy Minister, the issue is – is it Government policy to pay in foreign currency on one to one rate?
*HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Right now rates are paid at the auction rates. That rate of one is to one is something of the past.
HON. T. MLISWA: I have a supplementary question Hon. Speaker. This is where the inconsistency of the monetary policy is. People are not being paid at auction rate and this is a serious issue. It is a serious inconsistency for Government to say that they can pay at auction rate but they are not paying salaries at auction rates. How do you expect people to sustain a living out of that? It remains a bone of contention and for as long we do not discuss that honestly and they do not answer, then we will continuously have this problem. With your indulgence, I do not know what sort of ways we must come up with for there to be clarity…
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. T. MLISWA: The supplementary question is; how can people afford to pay at auction rate when they are not being paid at auction rate?
*HON. CHOMBO: If a person wants to pay rates in the local currency, he or she is free to do so. If the person wants to pay rates using foreign currency, it will be converted using the auction rate. We encourage people to use our local currency.
HON. GONESE: On a point of order – there is one aspect which has not been responded to.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you not ask your supplementary question?
HON. GONESE: My supplementary question is that there are debts which were in existence before the auction rate and those were not denominated in Zimbabwean dollars and from your response ….
THE HON. SPEAKER: My response? Did you say my response? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, the original question had two aspects; one…
THE HON. SPEAKER: You mean the Hon. Minister’s response?
HON. GONESE: Can the Hon. Minister clarify what is the position regarding those amounts which were owing in RTGS dollar before the adoption of the auction system. From the original question, it has been asked that local authorities are asking that those debts be paid at the rate of 1:1 which becomes unsustainable and I think it is unfair to pay in US dollar what was in RTGS.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Gonese. Please refer to the Hon. Minister as ‘the Hon. Minister’ not ‘she’.
*HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I thank Hon. Gonese for the question he asked. We know that if the debt is in local currency of RTGS, you have to pay in RTGS. If there are local authorities that are using 1:1 rate, please forward to us such cases so that we look into that? I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Will Hon. Members mute your microphones please. You will only switch it on when you have been give leave to speak.
HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. What measures did the Government put in place in light of the fact that our rains always come with lightning destroying homes, schools and other infrastructure or livestock especially in the rural areas. What intervention does the Government have in place to reduce such occurrence especially in the rural areas?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you saying the occurrence of lightning or the impact of the lightning?
HON. P. ZHOU: The impact of lightning not the occurrence of the lightning.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for the question. The question relates to the early rains that are occasionally accompanied by thunder and lightning causing destruction. This perhaps is not a question that my Ministry directly can answer to. However, there are many mitigatory measures that have been put in place and the public and the rural households have been urged on several occasions that because of climate change, the heat generated will always result in early rains being accompanied by violent thunder and lightning. Therefore, precautionary measures ought to be taken for livestock and people in order to reduce damage. I urge the Hon. Member to adhere to those to minimise damage. If the damage occurs, then the agronomy side of our Ministry principally Agritex, will be able to give location specific interventions to ensure that crops and livestock may be saved. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. P. ZHOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I am saying what is the Government doing to prevent this situation? Many times we have witnessed schools and homes stuck by lighting and destroyed by storm. How is the Government educating the communities to be alert for such disasters so that the communities are protected?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Put the question in writing and redirect it to the Minister of Energy. Thank you.
HON. H. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs. In her absence, I direct the question to the Leader of the House. What is the Government policy on the welfare of the war veterans’ children – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. The answer is in the War Veterans Act.
HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government policy on issuance of degree certificates and transcripts to students upon their graduation? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat your question?
HON. MAPHOSA: What is Government policy on issuance of degree certificates and transcripts to students upon their graduation – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Maintain social distancing especially Hon. Sikhala. Please stretch out.
HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, can you help us. That Hon. Member is not wearing his face mask – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Uuuh, uuuh. You are a source of danger Hon. Sikhala.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The question is on what is our policy on issuance of certificates and transcripts after graduation. Mr. Speaker, the essence of graduation is a certificate and a transcript which is actually the epitome of one’s journey through the Higher and Tertiary Education system. So that is exactly what our policy is when it comes to after graduation.
HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Is the Minister aware that institutions have made students to graduate without issuing those certificates and transcripts. This question emanates from the outcry from students who see that they are being disadvantaged because the opportunities of employment arise and those without certificates and transcripts will be at a disadvantage. We know that those certificates should be given upon graduation but now they are being withheld, we need an explanation. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: The policy is as I stated. Deviations from that policy, I cannot speculate but if you can allow me to speculate what can cause those things. The first one is it can be caused by students who would not have finished paying their fees. On number, two, during COVID at this moment, logistically, we are only allowing first distinction masters, MPhil and PhD to come physically for the graduation. It therefore means that most of the students upon graduation will be doing so virtually online. It basically means that they will not be present on campus. However, it is our policy to facilitate to the best of our ability the access to these certificates and transcripts by our students. Mr. Speaker, some inefficiency can kick in but if there are specific cases, we will be able to deal with those specific cases.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary is, are there other ways and means that higher institutions can get their outstanding fees from students other than withholding the transcripts and certificates as ransom for the need to extinguish the fees, is there any other means?
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, it is important to note that we run our education based on resources. It is so important that we use all peaceful means to make those resources available. So, the issue of where students are indigent and they cannot access their certificates, their cases are treated specifically. We have a lot of indigent students who will then prove that they have no means to pay. Normally we help those but those are then specific cases. That is why I am saying it is important that each case is treated on its own merits.
So, it is not our intention to graduate students and then deny them access to the certificates but it is also very important for the general citizenry to know that we have to make our education world class international based practice by making sure that fees are paid. We have always made those fees always very reasonable in terms of their levels. The issue basically is when there are specific students with specific explainable problems in worst case scenario, we have actually given students copies of their transcripts but not original to make sure they pay. This is a very peaceful way of saying but please pay. Thank you.
HON. MAPHOSA: Hon. Speaker, I have a particular case.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You have a particular case, if you have a particular case the Hon. Minister has said you can approach him.
HON. MADZIMURE: Is the Minister saying that at each and every graduation, the transcripts and the certificates, will be available so that we know that every student who would want the transcript and the certificate it will be available. From the question, it appears those things are not readily available apart from the fact that someone might not have paid the fees. May I know if transcripts are always available at graduation?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I was tempted to stand down that question but the Hon. Minister can indulge with an answer.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I wish to thank Hon. Madzimure for the supplementary question. By the time that students are graduating, they graduate because the results are available. Results are the ones that make the students graduate. All the results will be in soft copy or in hard copy. The actual issuance of a paper is an action of printing and putting on the seal, that is the process. Just for the benefit of the Hon. Member, the graduation day is a formal day with a lot of activities. During my days at the University, students would collect their transcripts soon after the graduation but this was also found to be very hectic so the issue is just graduate and we will sort out the issue of the transcripts and the certificate later. So, it can be the issue of time and specific in terms of what is implemented.
What is for sure is that we print and seal certificates at universities and they are available at universities. Graduation means the certificate is available on demand. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I presume, the Hon. Minister Murwira is the Leader of Government Business. So, I will direct my question to him. Is it Government policy that education is now a privilege and not a right considering that only those students in private schools are ready for examinations and those in public schools are not, owing to the industrial action by their teachers and the COVID-19 lockdown.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon. Ndebele for the question on whether access to education is now a privilege or a right. He is asking specifically on the issue of primary and secondary education and the said industrial action by members of staff, especially in the public sector. The policy is very clear. Government policy is non discriminatory when it comes to access to education. However, there are certain circumstances that militate against access to this right, but when it comes to government policy, it is very clear. That is why government is trying its best to make sure that there is harmony in that sector that people begin to negotiate and begin to put the interests of the students upfront when it comes to access to education. I think it is a matter of making sure that we put the interests of our pupils upfront and ensure they have access to that education, but it is a process and we believe that process is taking place. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: I appreciate the Hon. Minister’s response. Is government’s stance to proceed with examinations when they are fully aware that students in public schools are not prepared and have not been going to school not confirmation of the position that education is now a privilege for the rich and not a right? I thank you.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, a nation is its people. It is not you, you and you but us. So when it comes to the education of our children, it is the responsibility of all and sundry, especially the adults, professionals and all the citizens who are responsible for the education of its children. It is from that point of view that we are saying we are asserting the importance of access to free education and progressively so. Also, that we know there are exams that have to be written. I had the privilege today to visit the ZIMSEC factory where they are doing their best now to prepare for the examination period. It is important that steps are being made to make sure that the examinations are written, but also steps are being made to make sure that they are not written in a compromising environment. I really trust the men and women who are working on this issue to make sure that our students are given appropriate education. So, it is a matter of us as a country and us as a people giving access and preparing our students for examinations in different ways, but also being reasonable in the process. I believe reasonability is going to prevail as a means to make sure that examinations are written without compromising anything. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I want you to take note of the fact that my supplementary question was not answered at all, just for the record. That is all.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Would you want to repeat it for the Minister?
HON. NDEBELE: I could easily do that Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, sometimes the problem might be lack of the listener trying to conceptualise the philosophy. Please proceed Hon. Member.
HON. NDEBELE: I was checking with the Minister if government’s stance or their insistence to proceed with examinations when they are fully aware that students in public schools are not prepared and have not been going to school not confirmation of the position that education is now a privilege for the rich and not a right? I thank you.
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Mr. Speaker, I seek protection from Hon Sikhala who wants to bash me if I do not answer. Thank you Hon. Speaker. It is very important for us to realise that our intention is never to punish our pupils. The intention is to make sure that they are on time and they lose less time because of the COVID-19 problems that we had. So, all steps are being taken to make sure that we do not compromise their right to access to education. When it comes to how prepared and how less prepared they are, I think this is a very technical question because there are several means that are being deployed to teach our students. There are radio lessons, there is internet and reading. I am sure that when it comes to access to education, the intention is the most important, the intention is never to deny our students access to primary and secondary education. When COVID came in, nobody invited it but it is a malady that befell upon everybody, so we are faced with a situation where flexibility and rewiring of the strategy has to happen. However, our students still should have that access to education. Given this, as I say, it is important to know that there are no ill intentions. The intentions are to make sure that our pupils have access to education but we have to be flexible. It is not like yesterday because yesterday there was no COVID. Today there is COVID. We will be able to succeed by changing the way we reach that goal. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, may I inform the House that some Ministers have rushed to the Senate. They are still around.
HON. MAVETERA: My supplementary question to the Minister is in connection with what he said. He said that Government is putting reasonable measures to make sure that examinations happen in all sectors and people that are involved. What measures has Government put in place in terms of the rural population to make sure that they are prepared for the examination during this season?
HON PROF. MURWIRA: It is very important that we realise that we are swimming in unchartered waters, but still we have to swim. So we cannot expect the normalcy that we had in 2019 with students sitting in class, teachers being there and teaching them. We were visited by COVID-19 and it is during this time that the whole nation has to work together to make sure that we still meet our goal, but using different strategies.
What are the strategies - we have talked about the issue of access to the internet. We are trying and you know that some base stations are being commissioned as we speak today. We have tried the issue of using radio. We are aware that some places do not have access to radio, but we are still nevertheless reaching a certain population. At the same time there is a stepped opening that is happening. The stepped opening, we know that the Form 2s and 5s are starting next week on Monday. All these are strategies that we are using. We are not saying it is 100% - 100% cannot happen during a crisis. What is happening is what is possible to happen during this time but still our goal is to make sure that there is access education. I thank you.
HON. SIKHALA: My supplementary question to the Minister is, students are being asked to go to school. Parents are paying school fees there. There are no teachers at schools and no lessons are taking place as we speak since other who have already opened school are at school. Why are you persisting with having students to sit for examinations when there are no preparations at all that have taken place for the past month up to present? For the sake of the goodness of the education of our children why don’t you defer the examinations by another period until our children are well prepared?
HON. PROF MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon Sikhala for asking that question where he is saying why do we not delay. Mr. Speaker Sir there have already been delays which we have adopted due to COVID-19. As I say the third terms for Form 2s and 5s is actually going to start on Monday next week. That is a delay. The other issue is that we are in an era where we have to live with COVID and we have to be able – because there is a do nothing situation and wait for Godot who does not come or do something about the situation where you might not be doing things as perfect as they should be, but you are on the move. We choose the latter. I thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. On 28 October 2020 I asked for a Ministerial Statement regarding the issue of the preparedness of our children to write examinations and also for them to be attended to at school by teachers. You ruled that the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education was going to come to the House and issue a Ministerial Statement detailing the strategies and measures that he was going to take to prepare our children.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The point is taken. I will ask Hon Prof. Murwira to remind the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to come up with concrete strategies to present to the House next week.
HON SIKHALA: What day next week?
THE HON SPEAKER: While I accept advice, it should not be extended towards abuse. So wait for next week.
HON NDUNA: There is marked migration to private schools and what measures are in place by Government in order that there is avoidance, eradication and complete annihilation of parental abuse by private schools - in particular there are private schools like Lilifordia and other schools. What safety measures have been put in place by Government to monitor these private institutions in order to avoid abuse of students and parents that would have gone to those institutions to make sure that the education system continues to be the same education system as that which obtains in public schools?
THE HON. SPEAKERS: What measures?
HON. NDUNA: Monitoring measures.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I thought the Hon. Minister gave a very comprehensive response and admitted that there are areas of challenge, particularly in the rural areas where specific strategies are being worked out in order to balance access to education. The Hon. Minister was very clear on that one.
HON. NDUNA: It is not about rural schools Mr. Speaker Sir, it is the migration that is now obtained to private schools which are operating with impunity now abusing those who would have come from public schools. What measures is the Government taking to monitor those private schools.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is a specific issue because the Hon. Minister needs to know the degree of migration from him to be more pointed in his response.
*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What is the Government policy on Command Agriculture contractual; how many hectares are allowed to be contracted for the small farmers? – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. T. Mliswa, can we hear from the Hon. Minister.
*THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I thank the Hon. Member for his question. Let me say Command Agriculture is the policy but the hectarage depends on the people who are getting into the contractual obligation of the parties…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Zvechibvumirano. –
HON. DR. MASUKA: Zvechibvumirano. The Government wishes that this country be able to farm and produce enough food and therefore we have two programmes. We continually experience climate changes and so those in rural areas can do Pfumvudza but those who can manage to go to banks can go there and join Command Agriculture which we now call National Enhanced Productivity Programme. Last year, the fewer hectares which they were taking was five hectares but this year they are going forward taking people because the number of hectarage which they are looking for is 350 000 hectares; 290 000 for maize and 60 000 for soya beans. Therefore the bank which does this is CBZ and it is the one that is going to state the hectares they are taking. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I was sitting here and this is what happened. Can this be attended to? – [Laughter.] -
Hon. T. Mliswa lifted two broken arm rests and showed to the Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: When you have an old lady, very old, you must take care of that old lady. Do not expect the old lady to carry drums of water as if she was still young. So, be more careful as you sit, we shall try to repair the weak ones.
*HON. MATANGIRA: My supplementary Mr. Speaker is on the rural people in the whole country who are saying they are the ones who suffered during the liberation struggle and going to the bank to borrow money depends on ability or collateral to pay back the money. They are now pleading if they can also be given loans because they have finished paying for the loans given to them last year.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you did not ask a question but you only pleaded.
*HON. MATANGIRA: I am asking if they can be allowed....
HON. MADHUKU: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. What is Government policy with regard to the resuscitation and resumption of maize milling at the various GMB depots in many districts which have not been in use for quite some time and also in the spirit of devolution?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Mr. Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for the question and the question relates to when GMB is going to commence milling at its depots in connection with devolution. As Members would know, the GMB has been split into two. The old GMB is just focusing on the strategic grain aspects and GMB as currently configured is merely a logistics, moving grain from outside the country to various GMB depots for onward transfer to the department of Social Welfare for the 753 000 families that are benefitting monthly from that. SILO foods, starting from April last year is now a distinct corporatised company operating what used to be the commercial side of GMB that focuses on milling. SILO is in the process of purchasing additional milling plants that will then be distributed to the various GMB depots from where it will lease in order to mill. Currently, it is predominantly operating from Norton and SILO as members would know also, is into toll milling so that it enhances its capacity.
HON. MUSARURWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice or the Leader of Government Business today. What is the Government policy on appeals and bail pending appeals especially that the Appeals Court take too long to process appeals and inmates end up finishing or serving their sentences without their appeals being heard before the Appeals Court.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The State is divided into three arms; the Judiciary, Legislature and Executive. The Judiciary is independent. I thank you.
HON. MUSARURWA: Hon. Speaker, my question is not answered and according to our Constitution, Section 70 is clear on this issue that I am asking the Hon. Minister.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, would you want to clarify your answer?
HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member assumes I did not answer the question and I will attempt again. Hon. Speaker, the rules of bail and everything are enshrined in our Constitution. Government policy cannot be ultravires to the Constitution. We follow the Constitution and the laws of this country as they are made through this Parliament. That is Government policy. Thank you.
HON. MUSARURWA: According to our Constitution Mr. Speaker, there is a section that clearly states when one has to make an appeal but there is nothing that clearly states when appeals must be heard – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Section 70 of the Constitution, just open it. That is where my question is directed to Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What does Section 70 say? – [HON. T. MLISWA: It talks about appeals and timeframes; that appeals must be disposed of within a certain period of time.] –
HON. MUSARURWA: Rights of accused persons – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, what section exactly of Section 70?
HON. MUSARURWA: Section 70 (1) (b).
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, 1 (b) does not apply to your question. Let me rule on that one. In any case, the court processes are under the purview of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and therefore, that question cannot be answered by the Minister in terms of the court processes. It is the role of the JSC to find out whether a judge or magistrate has been postponing cases unreasonably and the JSC then can take appropriate action to correct the situation.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, I think your guidance is sought in these issues of the independence of various issues, especially the Judiciary. We do not know and I do not know at what point we do have oversight over the Judiciary. We need to be educated because most of the issues and there is so much happening in the Judiciary right now; it is like taboo not to talk about them but yet our role in the Constitution is of oversight and oversight does not limit us to any organ of the state at any level; the judiciary being one. It is important for us to understand the difficulties and the challenges the judiciary is facing right now. How do we tackle the problem because easily you are told that you cannot talk about it because it is in the courts but from a general perspective, even if a matter is not in the courts, how as Parliament can we raise it because I see that the Portfolio Committee on Justice is not pro-active again but right now to be honest, the issue of judiciary independence, which I would call judiciary prudence is no longer there.
When there is a lack of judicial prudence, as Parliament, what do we do Mr. Speaker Sir? We seek you indulgence in that so that at the same time we are not seen to be interfering with the independence that the judiciary has and so forth.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. Well, the question is very simple. There must be a mischief that is totally out of the race. The Constitution and the appropriate Portfolio Committee can engage with the appropriate authorities accordingly. But to speculate that there is a problem without actually coming up with clear empirical evidence – then speculation cannot be entertained by Parliament.
HON. MPARIWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir.
Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Precisely, what I wanted to stand up for is that you may realise that Hon. Musarurwa is a new Member of Parliament in this august House and you could hear the attacks and ululations and interjections when she was presenting. As a young person, new parliamentarian and a lady....
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – That is why I gave the Hon. Member a second chance to ask her question. Thank you.
*HON. MADZIVA: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. What is Government policy with regards to children who are drinking alcohol whilst other children are watching?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think we must allow the new Hon. Members to gain confidence. Basically the question is, what is Government policy on children who imbibe alcohol when they are under age?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for this important and exciting question. Our laws do not allow children under the age of 18 to drink alcohol. That is the short and full answer that I can give.
HON. TSUNGA: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Substantially increased ZESA tariffs have taken effect this month much to the disappointment and pain of consumers both individuals and cooperates - what policy measures are in place to ensure that the retail cost of energy is contained within manageable and sustainable levels so that electricity remains affordable to citizens taking into account the obtaining subdued levels of households income that the generality of our citizens have to endure and also noting the knock-on effect of such effects on the productive sector in this country; mining, agriculture, manufacturing and the economy in general.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. ZHEMU): In terms of policy, there is an authority which is called Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). Its mandate is to ensure that ZESA tariffs, together with other tariffs that are energy related, are regulated and the regulation is done by ZERA just as good as what happens with the prices for petroleum products. ZERA regulates. Coming specifically to the question to do with tariffs, Madam Speaker, the Government has also another policy to ensure that domestic consumers are subsidised on electricity tariffs. For instance, there is a stepping structure that is used to ensure that electricity is subsidised especially for domestic consumption. Madam Speaker, what is happening with the increases that are obtaining currently is the tariff had become very unsustainable. The last increase which was effected was in March. By March, the tariff which was obtaining was equal to about US$0.10 cents but over the time that tariff had become very much eroded. The level of by September had reached 337%. That was the level by which the tariff had become eroded. The increases that are being effected currently is a way to try to restore the tariff to levels by which ZESA can continue to operate as a going concern and also the tariff becomes cost reflective.
Let me try to be specific on this question Madam Speaker. You will notice that the first 50kwh that are sold to domestic consumers is sold at US$0.2 cents. The next step which is between 51 and 200 is going for US$0.4 cents up to about 300, the other bracket is sold for US$0.12 cents. Overally if you are...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please may you unmute your gadget?
HON. ZHEMU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I was just giving the subsidy component which is available to domestic consumers. You will notice that for 300kwh, the average cost per unit is around US$6.33 whereas the optimum level that is supposed to be achieved is around US$0.10 cents if we are to restore the tariff to where it was in March. I will also indicate that the country is importing power at an average of US$0.9 cents and for independent power producers who are also feeding onto the grid, the payment that is being done is US$0.9 cents. So you will realise that there is a subsidy because the average cost per unit is US$0.6 cents whereas the country is importing power at US$0.9 cents. In terms of policy, the policy is domestic consumers are subsidised. For agriculture, there is also a subsidy and the tariff which is currently obtaining for agriculture is US$0.4 cents per kilowatts per hour. For industry, mining activities and some other commercial activities, it is at US$0.10 cents. I think it is not a question of being exorbitant but the power utility has to be viable in terms of the cost that it is incurring in order to generate, transmit and distribute power. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The bottom line is there is no correlation between the pricing of energy and the incomes that the generality of people in this country are earning. What can be done by the Ministry of Energy to ensure that electricity is subsided so that it is affordable? Generally when you look at pricing models in Government, they are divorced out rightly from what the workers are getting...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Tsunga, please may you unmute your gadget?
HON. TSUNGA: I was saying Madam Speaker, there is no correlation between the pricing of electricity and the income levels of the general population in this country. What effort is the Ministry making to ensure that electricity remains affordable to the generality of our population especially looking at the pricing models that they employ and the average incomes of our population? The price of electricity must come down.
HON. ZHEMU: Thank you Madam Speaker. Like I said Madam, there is a policy which is there already to ensure that the general public is afforded to pay for electricity. I have spoken about the subsidy. There is a subsidy. Like I indicated, electricity is being imported at US$0.9 cents and those that are producing electricity and feed onto the grid are selling the electricity at US$0.9 cents as well. So if electricity is being imported or produced at US$0.9 cents and given to the domestic consumers at US$0.6 cents, already there is a subsidy. In terms of policy and the efforts that the Ministry is doing through its parastatals like ZESA Holdings, there is a subsidy which is being passed on to the domestic consumers together with agriculture. There is that subsidy. I thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. MANGORA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question goes to the Minister of Energy. Is it Government policy that if there are ZESA faults, the public consumers must supply the staff of ZESA with fuel so that they come and attend to the faults? For example, at Marondera ZESA deport, the community is queuing with jerry cans of fuel so that ZESA staff are ferried to attend to faults.
*HON. ZHEMU: It is not Government’s policy.
HON. CHIKWINYA: First allow me Madam Speaker, with your indulgence. If you listened to the first part of the Minister’s answer, it was elaborate and did not have time. I therefore seek, with your indulgence that the Hon. Minister due to the importance of this matter brings in a Ministerial Statement outlying the cost structure of our power tariffs so that at least we can have more time to engage with him.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the Minister has taken note of that.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you. The supplementary then follows as power has increased three times in the past six weeks at a rate of 50% per each time of increase. May you relate to this House the rhythm that justifies such an increment, considering a stable auction rate of our RTGs as it trades with the US dollar? How come you are saying the US dollar is being affected by inflation yet we are having a stable auction rate which has been around $81 for the past one and a half months?
HON. ZHEMU: In terms of the increases that are being effected you might have noticed that the last increase which was done before the three successive increases of 50% was done in March, 2020. By March, the current auction rate was not yet in effect and by then it was a 1:25 exchange rate. So there was an erosion of the tariffs to the levels that ZESA was failing to pay for its liabilities and we were having some challenges in ensuring that the power utility survives. By March the tariff was at an equivalence of US10 cents per unit but by September it had reached a very unsustainable level of US2.33 cents per unit and ZESA was now failing to execute its mandate.
Madam Speaker, one of the questions indicated that there are times when ZESA employees would request for support from the community or consumers to afford some repairs. This is what we want to avoid. ZESA must be able to pay for its running costs…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, those who are not on the floor please may you please mute your gadgets. You may proceed Hon. Minister.
HON. ZHEMU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. What ZESA is attempting to achieve is to get to sustainable levels. As we speak, like I indicated for domestic, the tariff is at US6.33 cents per unit. The level that is supposed to be achieved is around US10 cents. Like I indicated, there are a number of varieties of costs that are incurred by ZESA in order to bring electricity to our houses. For instance, there is importation and there is also internal generation by independent power producers who are being paid. In all fairness, if ZESA is supposed to be running without loses like everybody here would want to see happening then the cost must be absorbed through the tariff and the tariff as we speak is still very low, it is at US6 cents when it is supposed to get to US10 cents, that is the optimum tariff that is supposed to be arrived it.
So, currently consumers must be happy because Government is subsidising both on domestic consumption and agriculture. Even on industrial consumption, there is still the aspect of a subsidy because it is still below the cost of generation, transmission together with distribution. So, I submit Hon. Madam Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Madam Speaker, the Ministry is rampant with corruption of lands officers for example in Chegutu, the Lands Officer Mrs. Kunonga, who presided over illegal settlement, what is your Ministry doing to ensure that corruption comes to an end by making sure that these officers rotate, take her to Guruve or somewhere else.
Being the new Minister if you have an opportunity, open a file of my letters to the late Minister Hon. Shiri, he had said he would rotate them. So Hon. Minister, what action are you going to take to ensure that the Land Reform remains on track and it is not being destabilised by your own people who are so corrupt? A new broom sweeps clean. What guarantee can you give us on that?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for the question but I note that that question is also the one that I am to answer for Questions with Notice that is relating to corruption of lands officers. Do I answer it now or I wait for the next session. I am seeking you guidance.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can answer it when we get to the Questions with Notice.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member who asked that question may not be in the House which may force the Minister to handover the answer without reading it and yet there will be points of clarification. I thought if the answer is the same and the Member who can seek clarification is here, why can that not be answered now. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The rules do not allow us to answer the question twice so the Minister will answer the question which has already been asked.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No.64.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
DISTRIBUTION OF VACANT PIECES OF FARMING LAND
- HON. PRISCILLA MOYO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House:
- a) what government policy is regarding the distribution of vacant pieces of farming land;
- b) what measures are being taken by the Ministry to curb rampant corrupt tendencies in the distribution of vacant pieces of farming land, considering that there are allegations that some District Land Officers prioritise government officials such as the Police officers and non-locals, leading to protests by local communities of the respective areas; and
- d) whether the Ministry has any plans to reserve a quota of vacant pieces of land for local communities.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKU): Thank you Madam Speaker. In response to the first question the government policy relating to allocation of vacant land has been recently updated and the update is as follows”
Government has identified five categories of land,
- Multiple farm ownerships
- Abandoned farms
- Derelict farms
- Under-utilised farms
- Productive farms but that are above the maximum farm size.
Government has also now issued revised guidelines to provincial and district land committees to ensure that the first four categories be the priority categories for identification of vacant land and for the allocation of land.
Regarding the second aspect of the question to do with corruption in the distribution of land – corruption is a cancer and cancer ought to be treated as expeditiously as is humanly possible when it is detected. Therefore it is incumbent upon all of us to report corruption. Not reporting corruption to the authorities that are mandated to deal with it is tantamount to connivance. So regarding the specific measures to fight corruption, we have undertaken the unsavoury reshuffling of officers at provincial level. During the past two weeks we have redeployed all the provincial land officers. However, reports continue of corrupt district land officers. We must highlight at this stage that reshuffling them does not solve the problem but delays the manifestation of the problem at the next post and in time, I think that we need to look at dealing with the issue as it occurs where there is enough evidence.
For the district lands committees, last week we issued a directive for the new enlarged composition of the district lands committee and also an enlarged composition of the provincial land committee, hoping that it would perhaps deter corruption. However, wherever it occurs I urge Members to report this to the law enforcement agents. The composition of the enlarged committee is as follows: the District Lands Officer, District Development Coordinator Chairperson, The Rural District Council Chairperson, Veterans of the Liberation Struggle, District Head, District Lands Officer as Secretary and Advisor, District Agricultural Extension Officers, DDF, District Coordinator, EMMA District Head, Woman Affairs District Head, All Traditional Chiefs in the District, ZRP, ZNA, Zimbabwe Prisons Services, and President’s Department. This committee ensures that the local committees are considered and their interests are taken on board.
The third part of the question is to do with reservation of a quota for local communities. The A1 model is a decongestion model for the rural areas. So, local communities are given priority. However, with the A2 model, this is a commercial model where applicants have to lodge the applications with the provincial lands committees. The district lands committees in this updated guidance only recommend names to the provincial lands committees which in turn recommend to the Minister but someone has to apply in the first instance. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. BONDIYA: I just need some clarification from the Minister on how long it actually takes before someone is allocated land from the time of application. I thank you.
HON. DR. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker. Zimbabwe is a geographic space so is its land, very finite. The rate at which applicants get allocated depends on the availability of land. As you will appreciate, most of the land has been redistributed, which is why we have issued new guidance on the next stages of identifying land that could be made available for reallocation and that process will depend on the province, the pace and rate at which they identify vacant land. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: I see and hope that is the case but the Minister will respond. I see your new Lands Committee does not have ZANU PF anymore. When I was the Provincial Chairman of Mashonaland West, I was the Vice Chairman and when I was the DCC Chairman, I was the Vice Chairman. I see that you did not mention. Does that mean that they are no longer part of this?
The Minister spoke about rotating corrupt Lands Officers but is there no disciplinary action that can be taken so that if they are truly corrupt they are out of the system? You seem to be rotating criminals and certainly it is not helping in curtailing corruption. Why do you not set up a disciplinary committee?
Finally, I want the Minister to understand this one. You talk about under utilisation of land and at the same time you say we have suffered because of sanctions. Do you blame the beneficiary or sanctions because you blame it on the farmer for under utilisation but you say sanctions have been the cause? Have you empowered the farmer with enough inputs for them to be said unproductive? That is the question for you Minister.
HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank the Hon Member for those additional three questions. The first one relating to the rotation of corrupt Lands Officers, in fact was the suggestion by the Hon Member and I proffered an alternative view that it does not solve the problem. Corruption is a criminal offence and therefore, I do not think that internal disciplinary processes perhaps are the best way to deal with them. It starts with reporting the corrupt or suspected corrupt cases. If those are brought to our attention as has happened in a few cases, we will take action. I urge the Hon member to provide information - that information has been provided before I think because the issue is so burning but it does not hurt to provide the duplicate information which will enable us to act.
The composition of the Lands Committee was as provided. At this stage, the third aspect relates to under-utilisation of land and now that we are taking land from these beneficiaries whom might have been impacted negatively by sanctions; the principle has been that the Lands Committee will be guided as it proceeds to identify under utilisation and then delve deeper to try and unpack the reasons for the under utilisation. On the basis of that and as an example, if someone has been allocated 20 hectares and they farm half a hectare, it might be indicative of either their lack of capacity to do so or simply that they have been impacted by something. I think it will be approached on a case by case basis. What we have directed the District and Provincial Lands Committees to do, is to ensure that whoever is affected in terms of the rationalisation and reorgansation that takes place are not actually displaced. We are not talking about displacement of the incumbents but we are talking about right sizing for their potential.
HON. T. MLISWA: Hon Minister, if you go through your files and if you do not have, I will furnish you with at least three letters that I wrote pertaining to the Chegutu Lands Officer, Mrs Kunonga. If you do not find them, let me know but I believe you belong to an institution which has records. You and I do communicate – you can say Hon they are not here and I will deliver them to you. There seems to be an inconsistency on the policy pertaining to downsizing. The clarity is that the downsizing is 500ha and it seems there are white farmers who seem to be the lucky ones who are not affected yet people need land.
In Norton for example, the Drummonds are there and they have 2000ha. There seems to be a black person who is a front who says that he bought shares into the company but he also has got his own land.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: That question is specific Hon Mliswa.
HON. T. MLISWA: It is about policy, whether it is also affecting the white farmers on the ground; that is the question. I am also giving an example as well. The example is what I was giving, of the Drummonds who I have said most of these white farmers also use black people as fronts to say they bought the farms when they did not and that they are shareholders. Here is another farm in Zvimba again; he bought this farm but he has not even spent a million dollars which he says he spent on this farm. What are you doing about the white with more than 500ha but who remains productive because the blacks who are not productive you are taking away from them and the whites seem to be protected. Is that the new policy?
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: The other thing Hon Mliswa; it is wrong to name people who cannot defend themselves here. It is wrong. I am referring to the District Lands Officer whom you are referring to.
HON. T. MLISWA: She is a Lands Officer and it is true. There are allegations that she is corrupt and I wrote a letter. The Minister was very clear that these are burning issues, why do you not give us names? How can we curb corruption if we do not name and shame? If I am wrong at that point in time, I will be the first to apologise but the only way we can curb corruption is to name and shame. She is the District Lands Officer for Chegutu and the Minister is desirous to deal with these culprits.
THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think it is also proper for you to report her to ZACC.
HON. T. MLISWA: We have done everything but it is a cartel. Corruption is cartel. We have done everything Madam Speaker. The war veterans have marched and they have done everything but she is not going. Kuti akatsika papi hatizive ndosaka tayiunza kuParliament kudai kuti itaurwe mumba muno chaizvo. That is the only place which does not segregate according to positions. Her husband used to be a Lands Officer in Chegutu and he left when she came in. It runs in the family that they protect each other.
HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank the Hon Member for volunteering for the fourth time to avail us with the paper work that will enable us to do the needful. I thank the Hon Member for that. Regarding the policy on downsizing, I thought I clearly indicated the five categories and for the sake of emphasis, I will highlight the fifth category relating to maximum farm sizes. In terms of the new policy guidance, although the Statutory Instrument 41 of 2020 which gives the updated farm sizes, that policy guidance will only be implemented when the first four categories of land; that is multiple farm ownership, abandoned farms, underutilised and derelict have been attended to. Irrespective of the colour of the farmer on the farm, as long as the farm is productive S.I 41 relating to maximum farm sizes will be waived for now. So that is the clarity. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, I am inspired by our President in his numerous public statements that we are first of all Zimbabweans before anything else. It is common cause that land distribution in the First Republic was so toxic to the extent of deliberately closing out members of the opposition and their perceived supporters. So, I need to check with the Minister who by all means I regard as an excellent Minister if he has remembered in this ongoing redistribution phase, to deliberately ensure that those who were previously disadvantaged like all of us here are then catered for in the new phase. If we let it like that, the land question will continue to persist. Secondly, in places where I come from in Matabeleland …
HON. RTD. MAJOR GEN. S. KHUMALO: I have a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Member?
HON. RTD. MAJOR GEN. S. KHUMALO: The point of order is when the Hon. Member says during the Land Reform Programme, there was a deliberate exemption of members of the opposition. That is incorrect Madam Speaker – [HON. A. NDEBELE: That is why Mliswa mentioned in his wisdom, that the ruling party has someone representing them.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele! – [HON. A. NDEBELE: That is a fact. ZANU PF had representatives in those lands committees. I have sent ten applications and they have never been honoured.] –
+HON. RTD. MAJOR GEN. S. KHUMALO: Madam Speaker, that is not correct. When it comes to the issue of the land reform in this country, it depends on who wants land and who does not. At that time, those who were not in sync with the Government did not want land. There was nothing he could have done. He was allocating land to those who wanted it. Mliswa is here, he got land because he wanted it. He can be my witness. Those who wanted land got land and those who did not want land did not get it because the whole country where there are millions of people, hundreds of thousands of people were resettled in this country. No one was going about touring his party or what. It is not that people were being discriminated according to their political parties. It is not true Madam Speaker.
+HON. NDEBELE: You told us that the new dispensation is a true Government. Why then do you continue lying?
+HON. TSUNGA: Madam Speaker, I would also want to say a few words on this issue. What is there is that the land allocation …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you please allow the Hon. Minister to respond to Hon. Ndebele’s question.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thought maybe Hon. Ndebele’s point was to do with the correction of whatever went wrong so that as a people we are harmonised and move forward as a country.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is why I am calling the Hon. Minister to respond.
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Ndebele, you cannot ask a point of order.
HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I had two prompt questions and I was interrupted as I was still asking my question. I had done A, “kwasara B chete.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is okay, go ahead - [HON. TOGAREPI: Inaudible interjection.] -
HON. NDEBELE: Please protect me from the Chief Whip.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead. Ask your question Hon. Ndebele.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you. One other quick check I needed to do with the Minister is, I have seen the composition of the Provincial Lands Committee. What does he make of the possibility that in the absence of a war veteran who obviously will be local and a chief, the same Lands Committee will still be able to form a quorum and make decisions on behalf of the locals? Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for the two questions. The applications do not indicate party affiliation and if they used to, the policy guidance is that the only affiliation that ought to be indicated is being a Zimbabwean and also your National ID. The second aspect relates to the composition of the Provincial Lands Committee. Madam Speaker, with all due respect we are talking about the District Lands Committee which also includes a war veteran. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. T. MLISWA: I have a point of order although on a lighter note. My message to my colleagues - Ndebele, Ndebele ...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please go ahead and ask your question.
HON. T. MLISWA: Hon. Ndebele, this is for you before you go. Hold on.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, go ahead and ask your question.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a lighter note, my contribution and point of clarity and before I do, my advice to my colleagues on the right, just the same way you believed that Hon. Khupe was not the leader of the MDC, you also refused the land reform. May you learn to accept what God has given you; a leader, land and so forth and never ever politicize. May you also learn your lesson. When Government programmes come, take them and do not politicise. When the court says the leader is Hon. Khupe, do not fight it again. Work with her because you will suffer in the process.
More importantly, on a point of clarity and Hon. Members, we are always left out. How come Members of Parliament are not on the committee? You always give us people who would trouble us and we have oversight. As ex-officio members, why do you not give us - these are our constituencies. Why are we always left out? The chiefs are there. Members of Parliament are not there, the war veterans are there and may the Vice Chairperson of the Lands Committee at District and Provincial level be a war veteran. May I propose that - I do not know, the secretariat you said it was lands and the chairperson of course is the DDC at District Lands Committee and at provincial level it is Provincial Minister of State, but let us also understand who is the Vice Chairperson because the war veterans freedom fighters, we trust but the rest we do not trust. The civil servants are also marky in their ways. So by way Members of Parliament are not there, we pass the laws, we do everything but we are not trusted why?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Hon. Speaker, I thank the member for the supplementary question, the Executive is tasked to implement...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The second question was that he was asking why Members of Parliament are not included in the Lands Committees.
HON. DR. MASUKA: The Executive implements the Acts of this House and in doing so, they choose what in their view the best administrative mechanisms are. The Land Act’s administration is my responsibility and I have looked through the representation that I see will be able to assist me to administer the land issues. At this stage, I thought that they would not be reasonable to confound your supervisory with oversight roles with your being on these Committees – [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. T. Mliswa, I think the Hon. Minister has done justice with this question.
HON. T. MLISWA: How come the youth and disabled people are not represented, it is a serious question.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members of Parliament must make an oversight role.
HON. T. MLISWA: I have had on our party, Madam Speaker, I concede to that one, I want to talk about the youth because the Ministry of Youth comes and represents the youth and the disabled, why are they not represented?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I think this is discretionary to the Minister and at this stage, I think it is advisable; it is something that I will look into. I thank you.
ALLOCATION OF LAND AT ARDA ESTATE IN KAIREZI
- HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to inform the House:
- a)what Government policy is regarding the allocation of land at the Agricultural Rural and Development Authority (ARDA) Estate in Kairezi;
- b)why some Ministry officials are attempting to dispossess Ms Beauty Nyakurimwa (ID:75-053034 J-50, DOB: 21/10/58) of Plot Number 6 on the Estate which was allocated to her under the Land Reform Programme, Reference L/183 dated 17 December 2001, in favour of Luckson Gotosa whose offer letter indicates that he was allocated Plot Number 8 on the same Estate;
- c)when the Ministry will implement the determination by the Zimbabwe Land Commission issued on 17 December 2017 in Beauty Nyakurimwa`s favour and to further explain why there were delays in this regard; and
- d)what guarantee will the Ministry provide to her in respect of her ownership of Plot Number 6 on the Estate considering that she is a widow and to further elaborate how other women experiencing similar challenges should be treated.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Madam Speaker, I only received the questions this morning and all my staff are out doing a workshop so we could not get the detail but I can submit this letter.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You mean question No. 2? We are deferring question No. 2 to next week Wednesday, 11th November, 2020.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I think it is important that when we are having these sessions, my message to the Chief Whips is those who raise questions must be present. We are always attacking Ministers for not being here but this also becomes a waste of time if members who raise these questions are not here too. We are wasting time at the end of the day and we cannot continue like this. You will end up saying Hon. T. Mliswa is the only one who talks when you do not bring these issues up ndakuita basa rekuvhara magap.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point taken, I thank you
HON. MPARIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MPARIWA: If you look around the House, you will see that there are no Ministers even if you were to try and defer some of the questions, there is no taker including the Leader of Government Business, can I be corrected if I am wrong, I thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mpariwa we are deferring question number 3 to 8 to next week on Wednesday, 11th November, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day No. 1 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order No. 2 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RECAPITALISATION OF DDF
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the recapitalization of the District Development Fund.
Question again proposed.
*HON. SHAVA: Thank you Madam Speaker I want to speak about the motion raised by Hon. Chingosho. The issue of DDF is a very painful one. DDF is a department which must be given enough money so that all the programmes and expectations of DDF may go smoothly. Roads were rehabilitated by DDF in the rural areas. Nowadays Madam Speaker, because DDF does not have anything, it really needs help. I think that we must look closely on the issue of DDF. I am hoping that Government will put its vision on DDF because nowadays if you go to DDF, the roads especially in rural areas are in a devastating state, there are many potholes in the roads.
In the past, the roads were smooth because DDF was rehabilitating the roads, they had enough money. That is when you see the Members of Parliament complaining that their cars are damaged especially us women, we find it difficult to go into the rural areas because of the state of things. In the past, DDF used to intervene.
Nowadays, the money being given to DDF is not meaningful. Women travel long distances to access health facilities like clinics and hospitals because women are core in this country. For these men to be seen and look properly is because of the women. Some women give birth before they get to the health facility because of the poor state of the roads. I am in pain because of the challenges faced by women, especially the rural women. They are facing many difficulties. The office which we used to go with our problems is DDF but if you go these days, they say they do not have enough resources. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TSUNGA: Madam Speaker, let me also contribute to this very important motion as raised by Hon. Chingosho. The DDF as we all know is a quasi-Government department and I am sure it is under the OPC to signify its importance in the development matrix of this country.
The DDF is one department which is multi-tasked. It is tasked with the development and maintenance of infrastructure, particularly in rural and resettlement areas, and generally outlying areas outside major centres. The DDF is also tasked with the development and maintenance of water supplies in the identified areas. It is also tasked with the maintenance and development of roads. Over and above that Madam Speaker, the DDF is tasked with tillage services for both small and large scale farmers. It is therefore critical in ensuring or contributing to food security and nutrition in this country.
Its vision of course is to become a dominant agency for infrastructural development in resettlement and other rural areas and also in the upliftment of disadvantaged communities in this country. This vision and the tasks of DDF that I have outlined require that there is active community or people participation in the prioritisation of projects in the various communities. What we have seen happening is that DDF by and large, has parachuted its programmes and projects on to the people without active participation of the communities affected by those programmes and projects. So, one would implore that in any programmes or projects and in the implementation of any policies by DDF, the communities that are going to be impacted by those interventions must, of necessity be consulted so that there is buy-in and desire by the local communities to take care of whatever developments or infrastructure is brought to those communities and therefore, avert vandalisation and underutilisation of same.
Madam Speaker, this also calls for the involvement of people’s representatives in project prioritisation. People’s representatives include but are not limited to the traditional leadership in the area, the local Members of Parliament, local councillors, local religious leaders and opinion leaders generally in the areas where these interventions have to be done. Needless to say Madam Speaker, the need for adequate funding for DDF programmes is paramount. You cannot be able to have DDF realise its mission, vision and purpose if there are scarcely or inadequately funding so there is this great need.
Recapitalisation and retooling of DDF is also key in ensuring that DDF achieves its vision and mission. Many a time, DDF has relied on antiquated or archival equipment that is no longer serving its purpose and therefore, it defeats the whole mission, vision or purpose of DDF if such tools or machines continue to be used. In the case of vehicles, graders, rigs and such other equipment, you realise that these spend more time in the garage than at work, which means there is low efficiency levels for such equipment and it becomes very expensive. We cannot continue to have such institutions as DDF Madam Speaker, using yesterday’s tools for today’s job and expect to remain in business tomorrow. It cannot, if it were in maths at elementary level. So, we implore Government to ensure that DDF is adequately resourced, retooled and new modern equipment procured and mechanisation being a priority for DDF.
DDF must also Madam Speaker, embark on low cost but high impact projects and programmes in the communities. For example, there is need to be looking at the construction of small dams in every ward in the rural areas so that there can be irrigation activities for the local communities that will help in ensuring that we achieve food self-sufficiency and also food security and nutrition for our people. There is need for small projects that have high impact such as access to roads to points of service delivery like clinics and schools. There is need for such small high impact projects such as crossing points for school children to be able to access schools, clinics and recreation facilities. Funding for such programmes have to be prioritised Madam Speaker. Our communities need access to safe livelihood activities, markets, recreation and this can only happen if DDF is capacitated and adequately funded to be able to provide for this.
The DDF staff welfare is also critical for consideration because the staff at DDF have to be motivated because many at times staff at DDF spend their time out of station and their T and S sometimes is not forthcoming, so they are demoralised and do not carry out their mission to satisfaction. So allowances when due must be paid adequately.
Then comes the issue of tendering which must be above board. Corruption has become a cancer across sectors in this country and DDF cannot be an exception. There are traces of corruption in DDF and that has to be dealt with decisively. There has to be zero tolerance to corruption and tendering must be above board but even with tendering, there must not be undue red tape and bottlenecks that slow down the process of programmes/projects and policy implementation at the various communities.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, I wish to speak to the issue of devolution and the place of DDF in that schemata of things. As devolution is rolled out, it is unfortunate at the moment that there is no accountability structure for devolution funds that has already been disbursed to local authorities. Once that is done, I think by March, we should be having a Bill that gives effect in the devolution clause in the Constitution. Once that is done, I think there must be a niche for DDF. There must be a place for DDF in that whole schemata of things. The place of DDF under devolution must be appropriately located so that in the greater schemata of things as I have indicated, there is operational efficiency and effectiveness in the way DDF does its work. I thank you Madam Speaker Maam.
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam for giving me the opportunity to speak in this august House. I will also add my voice to the debate in the House concerning DDF. When Government allocated finances to DDF, it had a big vision for rural areas to assist in different districts. Government saw it fit that those rural areas must get help. There are leaders there like Chiefs, Councillors and coordinators who will be working in these areas. We also see that Government’s vision was not as deep because the issue of DDF to continue to be looked into on its operational basis. We see that every year in rural areas, rivers flood during the rainy season. Small bridges are washed away.
Government saw that all small roads that are used by people in rural areas must be different from those big roads which are maintained by the Ministry. Many people were facing problems on using these roads. Buses that were brought in by Government cannot move on these roads because of the deplorable state of the road. The bridges are washed away and there is no rehabilitation of these roads to properly function. School children, like what the other speaker highlighted; are washed away by water because these bridges are no longer functioning. The roads continue to be in a deplorable state because of the rain but they are not being rehabilitated.
In order to assist our communities in different districts, we must fully support the issue of funding to DDF. DDF must be allocated more funds because this funding needs to develop and rehabilitate areas where a lot of people reside. Some people used to use scotch carts to ferry children to school. We also have small bridges which were also used by school children to cross the rivers to go to schools but DDF is not able to rehabilitate these.
DDF was also given the role of providing water to the people. There is climatic change, people are not accessing water easily. DDF was given the opportunity to drill boreholes and see to it that people in the rural areas have enough water so that the elderly and young will be able to access water from those boreholes drilled by DDF. DDF was trying its level best to raise their funding by hiring the few equipment they have but we saw that during the course of hiring that equipment, there was no one who checked how the machinery was working and how the community was benefiting and whether the money from hiring was assisting the community. There was no monitoring on that. That is why DDF resources are being used for individuals – for corruption. That equipment is now being used to plough their land and doing all sorts of things. If you travel to different areas you will see that the DDF have enough resources but the strength of the equipment is in its servicing and proper protection so that it will work properly. You will see that the DDF equipment like the graders are on the roads but they are not properly being managed. If that equipment is properly maintained, they will be used very well. I am saying funding must be increased because DDF helps people. What we call people in this country of Zimbabwe are the rural people. That is where many people reside. That is where many retiring people go and they are many in the rural areas, therefore they will be in need of help in different areas such as construction and maintenance of roads and provision of water.
We expect that when allocating resources to DDF – such as the graders, tractors and cars, they must consider the number of districts and allocate enough equipment which is equivalent to the number of roads and people in that particular area. We also expect that the employees of DDF must be well remunerated so that they are motivated in carrying out their duties and they will not abuse the equipment of DDF by taking machinery for hire and pocketing the funds. We must look at their welfare properly.
We must also look at how they travel to the rural areas and how they are operating and what form of transport they are using. We see that at DDF, their cars are in a deplorable state and many things are not functioning properly, including the machinery. We are saying they must get enough funding to take care of their workers and equipment. They must look at how the worker has to travel from one point to another in the discharge of their duties. They must look at how the employees are living, do they have proper shelter and accommodation so that they carry out their duties diligently? With these words, I thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. MUCHIMWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the time that you have given me to explain the importance of DDF. Firstly, if DDF is given the power and authority and funds to execute its mandate, it will assist in containing the covid-19 pandemic because people can get jobs within the communities. There is a saying that water is life – DDF used to construct dams using the earthmovers to ensure that people have access to water. Now the dams are no longer viable due to siltation because DDF does not have the earthmoving equipment to engage in de-siltation. So the employees do not have anything to do and the dams dried up. With the covid-19 pandemic if we capacitate DDF, it can contain the pandemic. The DDF is a Government entity that should be funded by the Executive but for it to succeed people should be in categories to ensure that they get enough funding. DDF consists of people at district level and when things go wrong, they are answerable in a district so people can access and deal with DDF easily as well as the councils for assistance, especially in terms of roads network during the rainy season.
DDF should be given power to construct the roads. Motorists are having difficulties in accessing communities where people live. For people to get fertilizers it is difficult because the road network is bad. People travel long distances to access inputs and take them to their farms. Even when it comes to marketing, the road network is bad and they face difficulties in taking goods the market. There are people with produce that need to be sold in urban centres but there is no transport because the road network is bad. Those with transport do not want to travel on such roads. With these few words, DDF should be given the power and authority to operate. I thank you.
*HON. SHAMU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to this motion on the DDF, moved by Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa. Madam Speaker, from all the Hon. Members who have debated since the day this motion was brought into the House, people are concurring that the work being done by DDF is important in terms of road construction, construction of dams, borehole drilling and maintenance. It was agreed that this is the mandate of DDF. In my opinion, I think we need to thank the foot soldiers, the director General Mr. Jongo, Mr. Toriro and others for the work that they are doing in terms of the equipment that is functional. Equipment would not be working if there was no one to manage.
Madam Speaker, the debate thus far has unequivocally portrayed DDF as a department that is at the nerve centre of infrastructural development. DDF, through its public works programmes alleviates hunger among villagers. Madam Speaker, public works is a developmental strategy for employment creation. People can earn a living. We heard yesterday during debate, of the over 32 000 kms of rural roads that the department has to maintain. Let us bring back the glorious days of DDF through recapitalisation. Let us rehabilitate the rural roads so that these roads are accessible and 70% of people live in rural areas. There is need for tippers, front loaders and so on. It is very important because if we are talking today about the issue of Pfumvudza, the seeds and inputs to reach to the people, vehicles which transport the seeds and inputs to the people need proper roads. Many roads in Mashonaland West are in bad state. There are very long distances going to areas like Chambara, Neuso and Sanyati.
From Kadoma to Sanyati, there is a very long distance. I emphasise that the job being done by DDF supports very well the welfare and upliftment of the country. They will have enough food and have bumper harvest, thereby uplifting the standard of living of the people. We will be able to fulfill the vision of the Government through His Excellency Cde E. D Mnangagwa, and we will achieve Vision 2030.
I might not have spoken properly if I omit that DDF used to have aeroplanes they bought from France but these planes were no longer working because of lack of spare parts. Madam Speaker, because of sanctions, America and Britain were refusing to give us spare parts so that these planes can be used. This means that sanctions against Zimbabwe does not affect the few top officials only but it affects everyone including those in the rural areas. Today, if my grandmother in the rural area falls sick, for me to go and get her and send her to the hospital, I need a car but if the roads are in bad shape my grandmother will suffer.
I want to support the motion which was moved by Hon. Chingosho, that DDF must be revived because it bought the last equipment in 1985 through a Japanese owned company. DDF used to have three groups in every province for various roles. What other Hon. Members and myself have said will be taken up and that DDF will be given a substantial amount. They should also benefit from the Belarus Programme on tractors in order to execute their mandate. I thank you for the time you have given me.
HON. CHARLES MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to a motion which was moved by Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa. It is a Fund without funds; District Development Fund but regrettably, there are no funds. Allow me to touch on the mandate of this department. The first one is for development and maintenance of infrastructure. The second one is for road services. The third one is tillage services and lastly for water supply. Surely, we cannot talk of development when these things are not there.
Allow me also to point out that everyone has a home. It is important that we debate on this important motion holistically and everyone has to add a voice to this important motion. Madam Speaker, allow me also to link with Sustainable Development Goals. If we look at Goal Number 1 that is end to poverty, if we capacitate DDF, the result is end to poverty. Secondly, if tillage services are provided in our rural communities, that will result in zero hunger which is SDG Goal Number 2.
Madam Speaker, clean water and sanitation SDG, that is Goal Number 5 - if we capacitate our DDF, the end result is clean water and sanitation. On Goal Number 8, surely we will have employment created if we capacitate financially our DDF. The end result is decent work and economic goals. SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities; this is Budget time, let us make sure that we put more funds to this empty Fund. DDF will result in attaining almost 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 if I am looking at our Sustainable Development Goals. Let us make sure that we capacitate, we put more funds to DDF for the development of our country and also most importantly, so that we can then attain the National Development Strategy one which is there from 2021, that is next year up to 2025.
Madam Speaker, I think that is what I have with more emphasis on making sure that we give more resources to DDF so that we can then address SDG Goals which are very important and which shape the growth and development of every country. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. CHITURA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to contribute towards this issue on DDF. My suggestion is that DDF gets a lot of funding because it does a lot of work in the rural communities. It does a lot of work in farming as well as fixing roads. If DDF gets a lot of funding, it helps a lot with the development of this country. A good example is the lack of rains this season. A lot of people do not have cattle for farming. If DDF gets a lot of money, it means they can acquire tractors to assist with farming.
As we speak right now, DDF has a lot of equipment lying idle but if they get funding that equipment can be fixed and work can be done. Also, if they get fuel it can make their work very easy. Right now, we have a lot of unemployed youths but I strongly believe if DDF is up and running we can create jobs for the youths. DDF workers should be treated just like other government workers. Their accommodation should be improved. It should be decent accommodation. DDF is what we rely on in the rural areas for development and also job creation amongst the youths. I thank you.
HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I would also want to air my voice to this motion moved by Hon. Chingosho. The idea of having DDF in our communities was a form of devolution undefined in the sense that we were bringing closer the services to our people and making sure that we were surviving on what we have within our communities. However, where you find DDF has been incapacitated and for a very long time now this has had a very negative result in terms of trying to promote good livelihood in our communities and also to do away with hunger and communication. This has resulted from the fact that our DDF department is ill equipped. In my constituency, I have two DDF camps but they are just ghost camps with completely nothing that is mobile in the two camps. You just find that the original plans and the structures were very good and were going to ensure empowerment of our communities.
I want to touch a bit on CDF and DDF because if we have inadequate money in our CDF accounts, DDF could easily come to our rescue and at times give us tractors at very low cost where they would just ask for diesel and they would give us the tractor and we could do our projects using DDF equipment. The type of dilapidated infrastructure in DDF needs immediate replacement and I think it is most appropriate and well timed that we are talking about recapitalising DDF at a time when we are talking about budgets within our different committees and our nation. It is a time that we should talk and give more impetus to the need for recapitalisation of DDF. The state of DDF as it is corresponds to what we are seeing in terms of broken bridges which have not been repaired for a long time. We have dams and boreholes that have broken for a long time because there is nothing to capacitate our DDF. If we want to see the revitalisation of our infrastructure we need to make sure we also capacitate DDF.
In conclusion, I want to say it is good that DDF be given enough funding so that we can also buy the modern equipment that we need such as computers. The old DDF we have been working with does not have adequate computers and they also need to have rehabilitated houses so that they stay better lives just like everybody else. In most cases you find that the dilapidated equipment is very disastrous. We lost life in my constituency where a driver of a very old tractor was trying to tow tyres. He was using an old tractor. The driver fell and was crushed to death. So, you can actually see that there is disaster in our communities. I thank you.
+HON. S. KHUMALO: Thank you for allowing me to add my voice as we debate the motion moved by Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa on the issue of recapitalisation of DDF. Allow me to venture into my native language. DDF is an important department of government which helps maintain infrastructure in the rural areas so that people in the rural areas have an easy life and upbringing. That is why we have development goals and as we are talking right now, DDF is in bad condition so much that on its own, where its employees keep the little material that it has, maybe the equipments will not be working at all because they no longer have equipment for use and the reason being they are not being supplied with new equipment for use. I would not know as of today whether at their offices they have any plans to help those who are working for them. lf I am to visit their offices, I would not find any young person who works there. lt is very important at first that DDF be furnished with equipment for use because they are constructing roads, dams and farms for irrigation at different places hence this cannot be fulfilled if they do not have the equipment for use and this must be done at all districts.
I will then look at Tsholotsho where I come from and I would not know how other districts are operating but if you look how Tsholotsho district was constructed when our elder people where being chased away from plots which were being taken away by white people; there were dams which were dug which had water all the time but with time because of DDF which had constructed those dams, it was not given time to maintain those dams. Hence DDF should be given capital to keep on its maintenance so that what would have been constructed would give good service. If roads are not properly maintained, the people will suffer because the roads will not be in good condition and it becomes difficult for people to carry their goods because the roads would be bad especially during this rainy season. If DDF intervenes by constructing the roads, it becomes safe to travel.
It does not only mean those who stay in rural settlement face some challenges when travelling. It also involves those who are in clinics. Although the medicine would be there in clinics, they will also need further checkups to hospitals which will be in their districts. Hence they would have to travel. Like where I stay, a sick person would have to go to Mpilo Hospital. DDF needs funding or capital so that they reconstruct their workplaces because these are no longer in good condition. DDF now looks like a small parastatal, hence it does not boost the employees confidence to work there for it to develop the country Madam Speaker.
The other issue is that there should be clean water for drinking. That water should be safe for people and domestic animals and for that to happen it is DDF. DDF would assist more people to farm in different places. Yes indeed there are some other people who are corrupt but management should manage its employees. There might be bad people who want to loot and in this country we know that there are thieves and that can be resolved by simply prosecuting those people. The President said that we should shun corruption and we can curb it through sending people who are corrupt to jail and not to shut down DDF. Before I go further on the issue of water, the dams should be fixed and the roads should be reconstructed. I have mentioned it earlier on that some time ago they used to have water until the next rain season, this is what is supposed to be done. From where there are irrigation schemes DDF should do that. As we speak Madam Speaker Ma’am, let us not forget that our country is faced with sanctions and these sanctions in our country continue to make DDF suffer in their operations.
Let me stop using my language because I want people to understand what these sanctions are doing to our country. Because of the sanctions that are imposed on our country, our country is suffering a lot. We are debating about DDF having been incapacitated because of lack of financing but our country has got all the systems of powerful countries of the West ready to intercept any money that is meant for our country. If you check with the office of the international finance that is being administered in Washington, you would find that we have a lot of our money that is confiscated into that system. We cannot get that money in our country because perhaps amongst us, our fellow colleagues felt that this country was supposed to be punished in that manner which I consider as evil. If we are together, we drink water together and you feel like we must not drink the same water whilst people in the rural areas suffer like they are suffering now because DDF is not there. You believe it is better to have those sanctions for a political programme, I do not think it is supposed to happen that way.
I want to believe that everyone one day will put Zimbabwe first so that no one asks for evil things for our country so that we can work together and see our country move forward.
*HON. JAJA: I also want to thank the mover of this motion. As I speak, DDF does not have anything. The vehicles that it has are just tractors. If you want to see that this is DDF, you will see the depleted and non-functional equipment. When we went to rural areas, if there was no transport, you would get a lift from DDF but nowadays you travel up to 50 km without even a DDF vehicle in sight.
DDF is experiencing challenges and should be allocated a lot of money for it to recapitalise but once money is availed for recapitalization, there should be good management of the resources, both financial and physical resources. The DDF machines are never serviced. There is need for machines to be serviced to enable them to function properly. They do not have parts for their vehicles.
If you come across a tin house, you realise that it is for DDF. So when availed the money to recapitalize, it should be used to ensure that it executes its mandate. DDF has been assisting the communities with ploughing at a minimum rate and everyone could afford. Right now people no longer have livestock to do their ploughing so there is need to recapitalise DDF. For our roads to be accessible in rural areas, it was all because of DDF. So, DDF should be given money in order to recapitalise. I thank you.
HON. MURIRE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to add my voice to the debate that was raised by Hon. Chingosho seconded by Hon. Chikukwa. From my own perspective, the debates were dwelling on the importance of DDF to our national development projects. From my own point of view, the whole thrust of DDF is development. I am viewing DDF in relation to devolution funds, these are funds that were allocated by Treasury and whose focus is concentrated on development.
Madam Speaker, to me, DDF is doing a splendid job in our rural development. Right now, we have a lot of equipment that is lying idle in some of the councils. With the funds that have been allocated towards devolution, local authorities are busy buying equipment in order to attend to development projects which are not clearly defined yet DDF has got many defined responsibilities
In terms of road maintenance, DDF has got a lot of long stretch of roads to look after, whereas if you look at local authorities, they have got very short roads mainly…
There having been noise from unmated phones.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members who are not contributing may you kindly mute your gadgets.
HON. MURIRE: The roads stretch for kilometers but roads attended to by rural district councils are very short compared to DDF. As we speak, Rural District Councils are not attending to DDF administered roads because of the improvisation. If funds that were allocated to devolution funds were to be given to DDF, I am sure a lot of work in terms of road rehabilitation would have been done.
In my view, whenever the new law of devolution is going to be made, it must be reconciled with the DDF Act so that we reconcile responsibilities in terms of development between DDF and the devolution fund. The wider aspect of devolution is within DDF, as DDF covers a lot of development in the rural areas as opposed to that which is covered by Devolution Fund. So in my view, I am saying legislation making should consider that when we are coming up with the Devolution Act.
I am also foreseeing that DDF does not attend to urban areas – it actually concentrates on rural areas whereas the Devolution Fund is allocated to both urban and rural areas. I believe that the Devolution Fund utilisation should also consider that rural areas have got DDF that has a responsibility and is funded. My argument is actually on responsibilities that are attended to by DDF and Devolution – there is need to reconcile that. DDF had engineers - actually my father was an engineer working for DDF, but all those engineers have since left because of frustration. Their equipment is there but was not being repaired and we are channeling funds towards buying new equipment. I thank you.
++HON. SINGO: Thank you Madame Speaker Ma’am, I would also want to add my voice on the motion that was moved by Hon. Chingosho. I do not know if you will allow me to use my home language?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, you may Hon. Member.
++HON. SINGO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to add my voice on the DDF issue by saying that it should be capacitated so that it can perform appropriately with special focus to the rural areas where gravel roads are not being maintained, boreholes are not fully functional and people in rural areas are encountering water challenges.
Currently, our President augmented the ZUPCO fleet, but these buses are not found in rural areas because of the bad state of the roads. When growing up, DDF used to do land tillage for farmers, but right now most of their tractors are not fully functional. They cannot continue to do tillage and looking at last year, most people had their livestock dying because of drought. So people are unable to till their land because they do not have draught power. Therefore, if DDF could be given enough money, it will be able to assist farmers.
Currently, the other issue of concern is with regards to water shortages. Dams need to be resuscitated and desilted so that they can carry more water. With regards to the boreholes issue, most boreholes would have required new repairs but because DDF is not fully capacitated, it is failing to do those minor repairs for people to keep getting water.
Looking at the Pfumvudza programme, it is a challenge for it to be a success when there is not sufficient water. If only we had functional boreholes, then people would do this programme from places that are nearer to boreholes in order for it to be a success. With these few words, I thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity. I just have a few words to add to the motion as raised by Hon. Chingosho.
I listened to the report and I think that the major thing that has been bemoaned by this report is lack of funding, but I think that it is important Madam Speaker, to understand the historical perspective of DDF. Before it was DDF, how did it become DDF? I think that once we have that understanding, we will understand why we have problems in DDF right now. DDF was African Development Fund – it only became DDF in 1981, but before then it was run under the District Commissioner who literally ran the whole programme with a decentralized fund from Central Government doing the mandate as outlined by the former speaker.
Now, when you look at the history of DDF when it was African Development Fund - the District Commissioner had to be an engineer and if you trace through the history of Rhodesia or before Zimbabwe, all District Commissioners had to be technical people because they were supposed to coordinate development in the district. Madam Speaker, development is about doing, it is not about chairing RDC meetings like what we see now as the DA is doing. This is where we have had a change in the thrust of DDF because the District Commissioner had to engineer to make sure things are done – he had to be technical.
I remember one of the greatest District Commissioners of Binga was a Mr. Cocroft. He actually built the road from Binga to link up with the railway line in Dete using the African Development Fund the current DDF. He had to build the bridges himself with a team of people from the surrounding community, but using the decentralized funds. He had to dig the boreholes, relocate people during the operation Noah when people were moved from Lake Kariba off the shores during the closure of Kariba Dam.
The problem that we have now is we get somebody like a political science student from the university who becomes a coordinator of development. You cannot coordinate that which you cannot do – I think this is where we have a problem. You will find that ever since we started moving away from that thrust of having technical people doing the development, DDF started falling down. I remember very well that after Cocroft left Binga, he was posted to Plumtree and he started building the roads all the way to Tsholotsho and all the roads that you find in Plumtree. His history is clearly defined. I think if we can relook at that thrust, do we really need these political DAs to be coordinating development?
The other problem that we must realise as to why DDF has problems – I do not think that capitalising DDF would work much because right now DDF has enough equipment. One of the speakers indicated that you see DDF by the level of dilapidated equipment. They use the equipment and once it is broken then it is thrown away because the capacity is no longer there. There are no technical people who are able to repair all those things and put them back on the road. How do you explain a situation where you find 20 trailers, all without tyres at a DDF depot? Is it so difficult to replace tyres? Those are some of the key questions that we must be asking ourselves.
I think the major problems we have in the districts is we have so much scattered capacity. DDF does roads, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works also does development, CMED also has its portion, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development is also doing something, Rural Council is also doing something and somebody mentioned CDF – it is also an agency of development. So many small scattered development agencies, if all those resources could be pooled together and run under one umbrella capable development coordinator with some engineering and technical skills – who will know that if the borehole has got a problem you need to have A, B and C?
Last week I went to my constituency and about four Wards had no water. What is the problem? There are no rubber shoes or rubber cups – something that costs about $10.00 but even when they are there, nobody is able to fit them and the community runs without water for months. It is the technical capacity that is no longer resident in one place in the whole district. So many scattered agencies, Council does roads – we know that and they will do their one to two kilometers up the school. In most cases, just bringing some soil together and not even gravelling and they say, ‘we have been given money from ZINARA that is enough’.
When you go to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, they do their own portion and not even patching potholes. If they are going to do pothole patching, it will be with some more soil, instead of some more tar on the tarred road. I think the way we are organised in DDF is not the best. Right now DDF is under Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC). Office of President and Cabinet is resident in Harare, running OPC; the Director of DDF lives in Harare. He does not understand what is happening in the communal areas yet DDF is so wide spread. If they need some tyres, central buying is done in Harare, no decentralisation. The OPC in the district has no link with OPC at DDF, it is like a separate office, President’s office, DDFoffice, all operating differently. They are not related but they are all linked up at the Head office in Harare.
I think the model that we are using is not the best. Let us have a DDF which can manage its own funds at district level like what the African Development Fund used to do. That is why they never have big issues and we inherited that in 1980. It worked very well in the 80s, then after the 90s, things started collapsing because all things were run from Harare and then what DDF was good at, it started spreading – NGOs are also digging boreholes, DDF is digging boreholes, council is digging boreholes, so in the end there is so much scattered capacity all over, which becomes very inefficient, not properly coordinated.
I want to believe that if all the resources, already existing in DDF – if they get proper coordination and proper management, we have enough equipment. We have enough capital; capital is not new money. Those old tractors, we always buy them here. They are all auctioned in Harare. It just takes about US$1 000 for somebody to bring back the Renault which was failing in the rural areas. Maybe it simply needs – I can give an example, if you go and ask for a tractor for tillage at DDF now, they will tell you we do not have a disk. Just a disk which is about US$50 and the tractor will be auctioned because it does not have a disk. It is auctioned for a pittance then someone simply buys a disk and fits and it becomes private property. I do not think we can afford to be asking for more money to destroy more of the new equipment. Let us concentrate on the old equipment, put it back on the road; get proper people who can put all those things on the road. Then thereafter capitalise gradually. I want to conclude by saying this is what I think would be the best for this country. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I also want to add my voice to the motion on DDF. Since DDF is being given capital, may they employ technocrats who can construct and repair some boreholes because there is no water, especially when I look at where I come from my constituency. The roads are not passable and if you look at the roads from Khami Prison, everyday there are some haulage trucks which pass through those roads, hence they destroy the roads. No one is taking care of those roads. May the DDF take note of constructing mainly the roads at district level, especially when we are coming close to Pre-budget – will they take note of purchasing the equipment suitable for constructing roads and drilling boreholes at all levels? I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 5th November, 2020.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. S. SITHOLE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Two Minutes past Six o’clock p. m.