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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 NOVEMBER 2020 VOL 47 NO 07

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 5th November, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

DEATH OF HON. KENNEDY DINAR

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House of the untimely death of Hon. Kennedy Dinar of Glen View North Harare, today in Chitungwiza.  I therefore call upon members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the Hon. Member.  May his soul rest in peace.

All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.

NOMINATON TO STATUTORY DELEGATIONS

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order please Hon. Members. I have to inform the House that the MDC-T party has nominated members to serve on statutory delegations as follows: ACP-EU - Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. P. Misihairabwi-Mushonga; APU - African Parliamentary Union, Hon. J. Makonya who has been moved from the SADC PF; SADC PF - Hon. P. Mpariwa and Hon. A. Ndebele; PAP – Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Dr. T. Mashakada; IPU - Inter-Parliamentary Union, Hon. V. Tsvangirai.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL HUMAN SETTLEMENTS POLICY

THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL

AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Madam Speaker, last week I gave a promise that we would come and present a Ministerial Statement on the Human Settlement Policy approved by Cabinet. I rise to do exactly that. I would like to announce to this august House that the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy (ZNHSP), a policy that will guide human settlements development in the country going forward, is now approved by Government as of Tuesday, 3rd instant.

          The NHSP is a culmination of wide consultations with stakeholders across the country’s ten (10) provinces which began in May, 2018. The consultations were conducted with a view to address the shortfalls inherent in the National Housing Policy of 2012.

          A national validation process was conducted after production of a zero draft with participants who attended the initial consultations being part of the engagement feedback nexus to same. This policy is therefore a result of the synthesized inputs as agreed by all stakeholders at the national validation fora. The policy had to undergo thorough internal validation processes before subjecting it to the Cabinet examination and subsequent approval.

          The Policy Highlights

          Let me hasten to highlight to the House salient issues contained in the policy. The ZNHSP’s vision speaks to “well-planned and governed Zimbabwe settlements”. Parliament is being informed that besides the huge housing and social amenities backlog, the human settlements sector is laden with a plethora of other challenges that include, but are not limited to obsolete and inadequate off-site and on-site services, informal settlements, widening disparities between rural and urban areas, and high cost of building materials and housing finance.

          The policy highlights are as follows:

          Land access and tenure – under the policy, all state land earmarked for human settlements development shall be managed through the Ministry responsible for human settlements development and the respective local authorities, for ease of co-ordination and accountability. Clear and defensible tenure rights will be defined for all land categories nationally, and mechanisms for guaranteeing security of tenure shall be set-up. The Ministries of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Local Government and Public Works and National Housing and Social Amenities ought to collaborate on management and disposal/ allocation of State land.

          Spatial planning – with regard to spatial planning, all settlements shall be planned by registered planners and mining companies shall be expected to submit Settlement Plans and Development Concepts to the local authority. There will be no allocation of un-serviced and unplanned land to housing co-operations or individuals.

          On-site and off-site infrastructure – According to the policy, the provision of bulk services ought to be the responsibility of both the Central Government and local authorities in both the rural and urban areas.

          Densification – since land is a finite resource, all productive agricultural land will be preserved as such. Change of use will only be permitted on designated land while safeguarding all prime agricultural land. In order to curb settlement sprawl induced by the desire for personal ownership, it will be instructive that at least 40% of the land for human settlements development must be reserved for development such as high-rise buildings and flats. Mixed use vertical space utilisation will be promoted. Sub-division of low density stands will be permissible and encouraged, where there is a possibility to reticulate sewer. The notion of densification in the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (RTCPA) must be amended to suit the above-mentioned threshold from 10% to 40%. Densification will also be expanded to include workspaces for Micro and Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

          Rental housing – the policy institutes measures to resuscitate and prioritise the rental market. The private sector is encouraged to venture into rental housing markets together with Government.

Regularisation – Madam Speaker, we are all aware of the ugly sites that we are experiencing in all our urban centres. Every town and city in the country is surrounded by unplanned or informal settlements or settlements that are being serviced with pit latrines and open wells, something that does not speak to vision 2030. The regularisation policy on all informal settlements will be regularised and sanitised through the use of a standardised protocol and development of a compensation and relocation framework where alternative land use warranting displacements is contemplated.

Rural settlements – Model settlements will be accessed by citizens

and planned rural settlements will be piloted in resettlements areas, while the gap between the social amenities facilities in both the rural and urban areas will be bridged. Madam Speaker, we are all aware of what is happening in our country. The development that is in urban areas is not taking place in rural areas. There is a massive migration of people from rural to urban areas in pursuit of the infrastructure that is in the urban areas. The policy seeks to close that gap. We want to influence a migration of Zimbabweans from urban to rural areas by providing the facilities that are in urban areas in the rural settlement areas.

          Legal and regulatory framework

          New legislation to govern human settlements development and management will be promulgated and a wholesale review of model building by-laws instituted.

          Urban regeneration and renewal

Government in conjunction with local authorities will resuscitate the urban regeneration programme.

Institutional framework

Government will establish a statutory body/agency that will undertake all works within the domain of human settlements development.  We intend to come up with a new parastatal that parallels what urban development cooperation is doing.  We are now in the process of coming up with a suitable name for that – a parastatal that will focus primarily on housing and human settlement issues.

Environment, climate change and new building technology

Policy ensures that planning, development and management of settlements will be consistent with national and international disaster risk frameworks and with environmental and climate change policies, laws and standards.  Thus, construction of housing and social amenities on wetlands will be prohibited and where possible, reclamation of the same will be instituted.

Starting from now, all settlements on wetland will be a criminal offence and the relevant Government agencies will be working on that.

It is instructive to note that the policy is banning the sale of Government pool properties (houses) and other institutional housing types.

Funding

The financing of housing and social amenities projects shall be done through the following routes:

  1. a) Social housing for civil servants shall be funded through Treasury.
  2. b) Financial institutions, the private sector, pensions and provident funds, insurance companies and regional and international investors shall be invited to participate on public/private partnerships or any other appropriate human settlements delivery model (s).

Conclusion

Now that the policy has been approved, my Ministry shall embark on the crafting of an implementation strategy with a view to operationalise the same policy.  I thank you.

*HON. PETER MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for bring in a Ministerial Statement with regard to Government policy on housing settlements.  I think the Minister should have emphasised on the issue of people who bought land in full from the council …

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  May you please ask the question?

*HON. PETER MOYO:  I would like him to have a background of my question, otherwise he will not understand what I would like to ask.  We had requested that the Ministerial Statement include that but it has not been incorporated.

Local authorities sell land to people who pay the cost in full and they sign agreements of sale.  Council is then supposed to service the land but they are not doing that.  The people who bought land end up constructing houses on unserviced land.  After that, council will then bring bulldozers to destroy the houses.  That is not sensible at all in this country.

Minister Garwe is regarded as an honourable and mature person in Africa because he is now a vice chairman of Afrique Shelter.  He should be able to protect people who are being conned by the council.  The council should not act like land barons.  The Minister should just service the land and not destroy properties.  People are prepared to service the areas that they stay in. The Minister should ensure that everything is in order.  The President should not invoke Murambatsvina in order to stop this corruption yet the Minister was given that responsibility.   This happened in Glen Lorne when I was a councilor and we made the people to pay a fine to regularise.  It was not ideal to go and destroy those houses.  You should just make people pay fines to regularise because where will these people go?  Right now you are saying Joshua Mqabuko is illegal – are you going to destroy all these houses?  Look at Hopley, are you also going to destroy those houses?  Where are you going to resettle all these people?

The Minister should put a stop to all this.  He should do away with the regulation from court which says the local authority consents to destroying illegal housing structures.  There is no court from Mars – these are our courts.  Why should we stick to the Smith regime regulation which says there should be open spaces yet the population is growing? Long Chen was built up to completion on a wetland and it is functional now.  The same should happen to all housing structures on wetlands.  Let us start on a new page and let us regularise.  I thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE:  My first issue with the Minister is that I was of the opinion that the Minister should have brought the policy as a motion to Parliament so that we can debate that policy than us seeking clarification because all the defects that are there, we cannot correct them now since they have gone through the processes already.

The second thing is that the policy should speak to the Urban Councils Act and also the City Bye-laws.  That relationship must be very clear and must be there.

The other issue which I want the Minister to clarify on is that for a policy to be effective, you must have a benchmark first.  Has the Minister carried out an audit of all the State land that is there so that we know which the State land is and then we make decisions as to what we propose the State land to be used for?  As far as I am concerned, I would expect that the State land is used for development, building infrastructure like industrial parks so that we keep on developing the economy rather than continuously building houses where you have no infrastructure for doing business.  We then wonder why do we have even towns like Chivhu growing with so many houses without a single industrial park.

The other issue is that we must have a map of the wetland.  It appears we do not have those things.  Whenever you move into Kambuzuma, it must be clear. In other countries, they even have boards where the map of that particular constituency is and where the wetlands are clearly demarcated.  It becomes so easy to implement and monitor what is taking place if you have got a map.

We also have situations as I refer to issues of audit.  There are people who claimed to own some land like the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Cooperative where even the change of use was written by a ballpoint, simply cancelling industrial use to residential.  Right now we have got more than 2 500 houses and they are constantly under threat.  Can the Minister also make sure that such issues which are so topical which we have brought to Parliament are also investigated as he tries to regularise the issue of land.  I think that one must be a priority because we are talking of more than 10 000 people in that particular settlement that needs attention.

I also want to talk about the issue of alternative resettlement.  When an agreement is made between the council and a developer who might be found to have been disadvantaged, if an agreement is made by the Ministry, it must be binding.  Right now we have got issues referring to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Cooperative.  In 2016, the Minister of Local Government went there and they agreed that despite the fact that they had not proved who the owner of that particular land is because there are no title deeds that points to the fact that the current person who came to own that land has title to that land.  Apparently, they had agreed to offer him land somewhere and that agreement is still standing and again the developer is coming back claiming the same land which he was offered alternative land by Government.  Those are the things that are not clear.

Lastly Madam Speaker, we cannot allow developments to continue in areas that are not developed.  It does not make sense at all.  It becomes so expensive to regularise and start providing services.  The Ministry must ensure that no development, no construction can be undertaken before the services are provided.  I think we are now in a more modern century than previously...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Madzimure, ask your question not to debate.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Just as a rider on the suggestion by Hon. Madzimure, I will not seek that the Minister brings in a motion.  It is my thinking that the separation of powers, the Minister’s Statement will deal with it like that and I propose that I will bring in a motion that deals with human settlement development so that the Minister within 21 days, can respond to that one which we can debate here...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna please, ask your question.

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, the first issue that I want to – [HON. SIKHALA:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sikhala, order please!

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, the first issue that I need to touch on is the issue the Minister has spoken about, the coordination and collaboration between his Ministry and the Local Government Ministry as it relates to human urban development settlement, the issue of corruption by town clerks and housing directors that has hampered the development, expansion of our urban settlement.  I will touch in particular Chegutu West municipality.  What is the Minister going to do as it relates to the placement of these people who would have hampered these urban settlements development so that we see their back and he can expeditiously conduct his urban settlement operation.

The second one is the existing land for urban settlement development that has not been developed and I will zero in on Chegutu.  The Government has given 500ha Hintonville Extension to Chegutu for urban expansion and development.  Government has further given to Chegutu Municipality 500ha Reseborrow land, which means there is now 1 030ha but there is a backlog of housing of 25000 houses.  The 1 030ha can take care of the backlog of 25 000 households and can also have another 25 000, which means 50 000 can be taken care of.  What is the Minister going to do with that existing land that has been given for urban expansion but that is being held back by the corruption, the collusion and nepotism of the town clerks and housing directors much to the chagrin and to the dismay of the electorate?

The third one is the issue of title deeds to those...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, please ask your question.

HON. NDUNA:  What is the Minister going to do with the issue of title to the houses that have been with the owners for the past more than 25 years where councils have continued to hold back to the titles of those houses that were home ownership and they have finished paying off so that they are known to having title and they can use those houses as collateral.  Today if a white man dies, they will leave title deeds to their children but if a black man dies in Chegutu, they will not have title deeds.

The fourth one Madam Speaker, is the hospitals and amenities in the urban settlement areas and development that he has spoken to and about …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Ask your question Hon. Nduna, please!

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, houses that have been built where there has not been any master plan or where there has not been any plan, what is the Minister going to do?  What is the Minister going to do where the clinics and hospitals far outstrip the electorate or the number of people in that municipality or in that town?  A good example will be Chegutu District Hospital.  What is it that the Minister is going to do relating to establishment of hospitals and clinics before any further expansion of the human settlement development is adhered to so that there is supporting services when there is human settlement development. The fourth one is – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – these are questions that I seek clarity on.  I have requested the Minister with my other colleague to give us a Ministerial Statement when we asked questions the other time.  It will be fair and prudent for me to be given the opportunity to ask the question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Asking a question does not mean debating Hon. Nduna, please.

HON. NDUNA:  The issue of condonation on houses that have been built  where there has not been any master plan or any plan, what is the Minister going to do in order that they do not demolish the existing infrastructure?  What is he going to do in terms of giving condonation for the councils that have given, with impunity, authority for human settlement development to take route without master plans?  The second route, there is expansion on productive agricultural land where a municipality or the urban setup is surrounded by productive agricultural land.  What is the Minister going to do in such a scenario?

The last one, I asked that when I bring in a motion for human settlement development, the Minister must come to this House to respond to that motion in 21 days thereafter.  Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to seek for clarity.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, I stand guided by you. The Minister is the Minister of National Housing but there is also the Minister of Local Government. Some of the questions which I am hearing here relate to the Ministry of Local Government.  The Minister in his Statement talked about a number of Ministries which are part of this. These are Environment, Local Government and so forth.  I do not know in terms of most of the questions of Local Government whether he is able to handle that.  For example, the Department of Physical Planning, is it under him? The Surveyor General Department, is it under him?  More, importantly, we also want to understand if there is a budget for this because there is no point in having all these issues without resources.  So, it is critical that we seek your guidance in those three issues.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I will ask the Hon. Minister to respond if all those Departments are under his Ministry.

*THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me first start with the issue raised by Hon. Peter Moyo.  He spoke very well that the local authorities are corrupt together with the people whom people call land barons who are giving land to build houses where there are no roads, water, sewer and electricity.  This is now coming under framework and policy regularisation.  There are people who went to stay at these places long back like Harare South, Caledonia and so on. There are no houses which are going to be destroyed in these areas.  That is when we come in and say let us look for experts so that we construct roads, sewer, water and electricity using what is already there.

Madam Speaker, some houses are going to be destroyed….

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, this is a new Ministry and by his admission, the Hon. Minister said they are only nine months old.  We do not know his role.  So, can he first of all answer the point of order raised by Hon. Mliswa, in summary, to us as Parliament on his role as a Ministry so that at least we can intervene correctly.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, may you continue.

  *HON. GARWE: Let me proceed answering the question and then I will answer Hon. Chikwinya’s question at the end.  Onsite and offsite infrastructure, it is the job of Government and councils.  It is not the job of the people who stay in those areas.  Those are some of the things which we are busy solving but we are facing a very big problem.

When we started introducing the regularisation programme in January, many councils rushed to give people houses which is unlawful especially on wetlands.  Those are the areas where houses are being demolished.  Those who stayed in those areas long back, those houses are not being demolished.  For example, if you are in Caledonia, we cannot do another master plan which is outside Caledonia but we are now developing a master plan which suits the Caledonia area working together with Government, Public Works, Environment and Finance because regularisation needs finance.  People who are staying in those areas must be paying to Government to develop those places and provide infrastructure.  If the roads, sewer and water had been dealt with, people would have bought their stands at a price inclusive of the above.  That is what is meant by regularisation.  Still on that issue let me also talk about sanitisation which is a place with master plans and lay out plans and people were given stands in a formal way. The stands are numbered but if the roads have not been serviced, people will walk but knowing where the road is supposed to be.  In such areas that is where we want to do the sanitisation because it is not much of a problem.

          Hon. Madzimure spoke on by-laws and standards.  When I spoke about the ministerial statement I said it was our duty to ensure that by-laws are reviewed because we are still using by-laws which were developed in 1943 and revised in 1971.  So they are archaic and they speak to British standards.  We are Zimbabwe and we do not conform to British standards but to Zimbabwe standards.  So, together with local authorities, we are going to be revising by-laws and building standards.

          Wetlands are a no go area.  Unscrupulous local authority officials and councillors have been parcelling out land in wetland areas for their personal needs.  We are demolishing those and we are removing people from being settled on wetlands.  There are no apologies to make on that Madam Speaker.  Audit of state land – urban state land is administered through the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and they are responsible for the auditing.  All other state land falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and they are responsible for auditing of that land.

          The issue of corruption needs not be over emphasised.  We must be a collective in dealing with corruption as Zimbabweans.  Those that are in a position of authority, those that are influencing corruption, the corrupters and corruptees are all responsible and we must not apologise for dealing with them effectively.

          Hon. Nduna raised a number of issues, some of which I have already answered.  On existing land, you were specific to Chegutu so it would make sense if he can favour us with a document that details what exactly is happening in Chegutu so that we will be able to competently respond to that.  The issue of title deeds is one that involves other agencies of State such as the Surveyor General, department of Physical Planning under Local Government, ourselves too as interested parties in terms of urban State land.  So it needs all other players to be involved.  I am sure the document that he is going to present will also speak to that so that we can consult others.

Hon Nduna also referred to social amenities and hospitals.  Now that there is an exponential growth in human settlements, that growth is not matched with social amenities like schools, clinics and hospitals.  It is a matter that Government is seized with and in the current budget all that is covered.  I am sure we will be able to get more information about it but as a Ministry, it is our responsibility to ensure that in every area where there are human settlements, there must be attendant social amenities as well: schools, clinics, community halls and community centres for youths for sport and art.

Withe regards to expansion on productive land – I have made reference to the value of agricultural land and that we are not going to be building expansively.  We have changed the direction and we are going to be encouraging building vertically.  We want to utilise our vertical spaces that are so open hence the policy on densification.

          Hon. Mliswa raised the issue on budget for housing.  I made reference to a different finance model.  Social housing with respect to houses for civil service will be financed by Treasury.  We are also encouraging the private sector.  We have spoken to the banking community, pension funds and even corporates driving them to join in developing the country in terms of human settlement and all of them in principle have agreed.  What we are now seized with is that we have got the policy we want to approach ZIDA and come up with partnership agreements or joint ventures so that we go ahead in providing human settlements for Zimbabweans.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Some of us take this job quite seriously, especially on a Thursday we should be out on the farms, but we decide to be here.  We want to assist the Minister and that is the reason why I asked these questions.  In which Ministry does Physical Planning and the Surveyor General’s Office come under?  The reason I am saying this is it would be very difficult for him to implement anything if these things are with other Ministries because it has to be a one-stop-shop.  As national housing, fine, you are building but where is the title deed, physical planning who gives you the subdivision permit – the Surveyor General and if they are in different ministries how does it become national housing without that?  These are complementary of what we want to achieve.

I say so because Hon. July Moyo is responsible for physical planning and if he decides not to give the state land that belongs to him, where is the national housing plan going to go to?  These are the pertinent questions I am asking that while he has a vision for national housing but are there complementary departments to deal with that?  Physical planning must agree that he should go ahead.   If it is in another Ministry how will he do that? So, it is important because we hear his vision and national housing has been here for quite a while and has also been under local government where the only houses that we have today are the ones which were built by the late Enos Chikoore – may his soul rest in peace.  After that we never saw anything like national housing from Local Government.  The President saw it fit for it to stand alone but it must have legs.  Right now it has no legs and that is why I really need clarity on that.

          HON. GARWE:  The department of Physical planning is under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  The Surveyor General department is under the Ministry of Lands, however government works as a team and we collaborate.  Whenever we require land for housing we approach the relevant agency and it is done.  That is how government operates.  I thank you.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA: First of all I agree with Hon. Mliswa that his issue requires the whole of Government approach because it is eclectic and integrated so you need the whole of Government approach. I hope the Minister can take that very seriously.

Coming to my questions, Minister you know that Zimbabwe is known for haphazard settlements - be it rural, peri-urban or urban. There is a haphazard trend that has emerged. I just want to know from you whether your policy is informed by other human settlement models as provided by UN Habitat and other international models for proper human settlement because that is very important. Kugara nhaka kuona dzevamwe. I just want your reaction on that, especially in terms of the UN habitat models on shelter and human settlement because it is universal.

The second question is how necessary is it to establish another parastatal purely to superintend settlement issues, given the lack of fiscal space? Why should we create yet another parastatal just to look into settlement, especially given the issue raised that we have Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Lands and they have parastatals?

What are you doing to deal with immediate settlement crisis in the country? When this policy is going to be rolled out, you are faced with immediate issues like the Chingwizi case where people were displaced from Tokwe Murkosi Dam and they were just dumped. The victims of Cyclone Idai, those are settlement cases that need to be looked at. The issue of refugees at Tongogara Camp in Mazowe Bridge, those are issues that I think you need to look at.

The final question is that there is world controversy on the use of tents as a method of settlement, what is the policy of Zimbabwe on the use of tents in resettling people?

HON. TOGAREPI: What we have seen already in the planned and unplanned settlement is that our people have the capacity to build their own houses which Government would want to see everyone having a roof over their heads. Together with your colleagues from Local Government have you thought of providing such people with land that they can pay over a long time and they get that land whether they are local people who are staying in Zimbabwe today or they are in the diaspora who would want to build houses but not going through land barons, middlemen who are very expensive but they get land and build.

This will give Government money because they will be paying over a certain period but we will have more developments. The reason why we have challenges with land barons is because land is not made available to the people of Zimbabwe as easy as it should be. I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: My question is a follow up to what was discussed in this House on 28 October during Question Time. On that day Hon. Nduna asked the Minister what is Government’s policy in relationship to downsizing the national backlog in terms of National Housing Delivery Service. In his answer and in his direction the Hon Speaker on that day said the last part of your question verges on the Minister coming up with proper numerical numbers which would have been a written question but I will indulge you.

The Hon Minister was given an opportunity to come up with numerical evidence on how their Ministry is mitigating the crisis of national housing in the country. In his statement I did not hear any such numerical evidence. I therefore relate my first question again to the speech by the President on 22 March 2019 when he was addressing victims of Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani whereupon he says, Government promises to construct 1.5 million housing units translating to 300 000 houses per year or 25 000 houses per month or 6250 per week or 822 per day. I thought the Hon Minister was going to merge this vision as announced by Government and Head of State with the question by Hon Nduna and the direction given by the Hon Speaker on 28 October to come and give us numerical evidence to the extent that since their inception as a new Ministry, what have they done to fulfill this 1.5 million housing  targets which is going to satisfy or satiate the need by the civil servants, those in informal settlements and everyone who has been finding themselves either illegally or legally settling themselves in whatever manner but in an attempt to find a roof over their head?

The other issue may the Hon Minister explain or demonstrate to us what Statutory Instrument in terms of an Act do they use to administer their ministerial activities because in the absence of such I see them as a powerless department in the Local Government Ministry. This is why you are finding the Minister is failing to locate himself between the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore he depends on the benevolence of other Ministries for him to executive his mandate. What Act is he currently administering which then gives him the power to be able to direct and obviously to attack the needs of his mission as mandated as a Cabinet Minister.

          *HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam President, I want to thank the Minister for the policy he has brought to this House.  You said you are going to legalise illegal settlers and come up with a plan.  As you do your planning it is going to affect some residents because some might be resident where there are to be roads, clinics, schools and they will be affected.  Did you put in place measures to see that people who are displaced because of the new planning will be helped?  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

          HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank you for protecting me from these men – [Laughter.]– Hon. Minister, what are you going to do about the people that were allocated stands and have already build houses in unserviced areas in the Spitzcop area in Gwanda? This place does not have ablution facilities and let alone water pipes.  I thank you.

          HON. SACCO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of National Housing and is in connection with construction of houses for people who were affected by Cyclone Idai.  We still have people living in tents more than one year after the event.  Can you please give clarity on progress made so far?  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON T. MLISWA: The questions which are coming are important and in my point of order, I had raised the issue of the budget resource. Does the new Ministry have money?  I do not remember passing a budget for National Housing, may be somebody did.  These questions which are being asked have a lot to do with the money the Ministry has for that.  If there is no money and he was very clear that we are only nine months old and being nine months old we tend to be asking too much, that is why your guidance is sought.  Is there a budget? No, there is no budget.

          We also spoke about the Act, which Act governs the Ministry; they are still putting that in order. You will see that there are so many ministries involved.  Without a budget, how does he implement all this that people are asking for?  So Madam Speaker, your indulgence is sought so that you assist the Minister on that unless there is some budget being given because the Hon. Minister of Finance has a tendency of giving money before coming to Parliament.  May be there is an allocation that he was given, we do not know. From what we know, he cannot do anything without resources.  So, to ask him questions about what the Ministry would do when he has no money is not fair.  As we speak, maybe there is no office furniture in his office.  I think you can help us so that we make a bit of progress on this but without money it will be difficult for him to ask...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Did the Minister say that he does not have office furniture in the office?

          HON. T. MLISWA: I said it is my speculation since there is no budget.  There might not be office furniture but it is a very important point for us to really make progress because we will fire questions but where there is no money we must understand. I do not know if that can be clarified by the Minister.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please can you respond to Hon. T. Mliswa’s question not now but I will ask you to respond later.

          HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, I listened to the Minister present his policy and to me the policy makes the Ministry look like a department of other ministries because clearly the issues that are raised, the Town and Country Planning Act which is housed in the Public Works and Local Government, issues on agriculture and land; all those are housed in other ministries.  Is the Minister confirming that he is likely going to administer the Country Urban and Town Planning Act?

          Secondly, when the first Minister of Housing was appointed by the current President; in this House when he was asked what his mandate was going to be, he clearly said that he was going to develop a model rural housing for rural areas because urban set ups already have standard houses.  We have housing plans like F14 and all those...

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, what is your question Hon. Gabbuza?

          HON. GABBUZA: How far has the Ministry gone in developing a standard rural house plan? Secondly, when Cyclone Idai devastated houses, Government promised that one of the reasons why the housing was falling apart and the disaster that rural people experienced was mainly because of the quality of the houses that were being built.  Part of the mitigatory measures that the Government promised was that they were going to build a standard housing plan which will be affordable and resistant to effects of climate.  How far have you gone with that because that is what we were expecting in the policy?  We have developed such a house and if you want to build a cheap house, this is how it must look like if it is to be weather resistant.  It does not come out clearly in that policy.  Where is it within the policy or when are we expecting it?

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Kampala Declaration which speaks to the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPS). I am not sure of course whether that treaty has been ratified. Nonetheless, we are a signatory. I just wanted to understand from the Minister whether the policy also speaks to the plight of internally displaced persons in terms of their right to housing? For example, in my constituency we have some people who have been evicted from lodgings and have pitched tents in some public places within the City of Mutare. I just wanted to understand whether the policy that the Minister has spoken about also addresses the plight of internally displaced persons in terms of their right to Housing?

          HON. GARWE: Thank you very much for your contributions. Hon. Tsunga, I am not well-versed with the Kampala Declaration. I would want more information if you could furnish me with that. Responding to housing needs, that is the reason why this Ministry was created to specifically respond to housing needs for all Zimbabweans regardless of their persuasion or whether they are disabled or not disabled. To respond to all housing needs for all Zimbabweans, that is the sole mandate of this Ministry.

          Hon. Gabuzza, you raised very fundamental issues which speak to the functions and mandate of the Ministry. One of the key mandates of the Ministry is to promote and facilitate the provision of housing or houses that speak to sustainability, modernity and affordability. Some of those model houses that you are requesting have already been developed. In Chimanimani, those that were displaced under Cyclone Idai, we have a model house that was developed and as we speak, the Department of Public Works is on site in Manicaland, Chimanimani building houses. I am sure Hon. Sacco can bear testimony to that. It is in his constituency and he is fully in sync with what we are talking about here.

          Madam Speaker, this is a Ministry born out of a rib from another Ministry. It was a department of housing under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and National Housing was then created and developed into a fully fledged ministry. There are issues of handover takeover, developing the policy like what we have done now and many other issues that we need to look at. The issue of budget that Hon. Mliswa has spoken about, the Ministry was created when the budget for 2020 was already established. So, we had to make do with what was existing but on the 2020/2021 Budget, it is a standalone Ministry with a standalone budget.

Funding is going to be there, not only from Treasury but like I said earlier on, we have spoken to investors intentionally and domestically, including banks, pension funds and insurance companies and other corporate leaders who are so keen to participate on the housing delivery initiative. What is outstanding right now is to develop the partnership agreements through the Joint Venture Act through ZIDA. That is what is outstanding but we have already done that but funding yes, is going to be there from Treasury and other private sector players.

I want to come back to Hon. Gabbuza on the Acts. We have about four Acts that we are administering; the City of Harare Housing Act, the Housing and Building Act, Quantity Surveyor Act and the Building Standards Act. So, there are Acts that we are supervising or administering.

Let me come to Hon. Togarepi. The reason why we have problems with land barons and problems with cooperatives is exactly why we are not going to be giving land to individuals for housing. If I may take you back to 2002, Government, in its desire to want to provide housing for all, invited private developers and cooperatives to participate in the housing initiatives by giving them land at intrinsic value for them to provide water, sewer and roads or on-site infrastructure for onward selling to home seekers.

Unfortunately, what happened is not what was expected, the home seekers turned themselves into land barons and started parcelling and selling out un-serviced land to desperate home seekers. That is the reason why we have the issue of informal settlements, irregular settlements and land barons now. However, we are correcting those wrongs by sanitising and regularising the areas. We are not going to be giving land. What Zimbabweans are very good at is to build his/her own home but to provide onsite infrastructure, he is not interested.

Hon. Chikwinya asked very fundamental questions. Unfortunately I was presenting a Ministerial Statement. I was not responding to a question that was asked by Hon. Nduna. Hon. Nduna then said he is going to resubmit his question then we will deal with it as it comes. It is a motion.

*Hon. Chikukwa you spoke of replacements and relocations, it still relates to the issue of regularisation. There are people who are going to have their homes demolished because their houses are on top of sewer pipes. They will be given alternative land to go and build. We are encouraging the building of high rise buildings so we will relocate them there. We are not going to demolish homes without having alternative accommodation. We will provide alternative accommodation before we remove them from the land that they will have occupied.

Hon. Sacco, as you are coming from Chimanimani which is your constituency you will know that we are building houses for those who were affected by Cyclone Idai. Hon. Sacco is aware of this programme.

Hon. Mashakada, you said there are haphazard settlements in Zimbabwe. That is your opinion; it is not a statement of fact. Haphazard settlements were in the rural areas which used to be called Tribal Trust Lands then and were created by our erstwhile colonisers. We now have new settlements under the A1 and A2 farming systems. Those are the ones that we are now developing some models so that we have got a place for human settlements, cropping and grazing. All these are being planned and developed as a team.

We are going to work with Ministry of Lands because they are responsible for agriculture to ensure that their farmers are properly settled. We are also speaking to Pfumvudza Programme. Farmers like Hon. Mliswa are fully aware and are participating in the Pfumvudza Programme. We are saying a Pfumvudza farmer deserves a modern house and so we are working closely with the Minister on that. You also made mention to why create another agency when we have urban development cooperation.  Urban Development Cooperation’s key mandate is to provide off site and on site infrastructure.  The new agency mandate will be the superstructure – the actual housing.  Those are two distinct functions which we must understand.

You made mention to the immediate settlement crisis with respect to Chimanimani and Chingwizi and other areas which I have already answered.  The Gwanda question speaks to regularisation – I think I have spent a sizeable amount of minutes talking about regularisation and Gwanda is included in that.  It is not only Gwanda – in every urban area including RDCs, we are seized with informal settlements that need regularisation.  We are going to be religious in ensuring that regularisation is achieved before 2030.

Human housing is not an isolated case and Zimbabwe does not live in isolation.  We are in the family of communities through SADC, African Union and United Nations hence we adhere to the human settlement protocols within those stations that I have made mention to.  So it is covered.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  On a point of order. Seeing that this one is a newly constituted Ministry which used to fall under the Ministry of Local Government,  it is my thinking that you mirror your Portfolio Committees relating to the ministries. I propose that there be a Portfolio Committee for this Ministry.  You have got about 20 Portfolio Committees and seven Thematic including the SDGs expanded Committee.  It is my humble hope and view that there be a composition of a Portfolio Committee in your Parliament that speaks to the issue of capacitation and playing oversight on the Ministry that has been newly established.

Relating to the issue of Chairmanship, some of us feel very underutilised.  We are technocrats in that regards and we can use this pedestal and platform in Parliament to augment and complement the efforts of the current Ministry.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO):  That issue is for the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.  We cannot attend to it here.

*HON. MBONDIAH: My question is; why does council wait until houses have been built and completed and then they demolish them yet they inspect at every stage?

*HON. ZEMURA: As Members of Parliament, we were shown stands along Enterprise Road by the last Parliament.  We want to be allocated our stands officially so that we occupy them.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I have a point of order.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you spoke about the National Housing Policy but in this august House, we have got plots that were given and there is no construction of houses taking place.  How do they fit into your plan?  It seems that in this country, a National Housing Plan is being given land and not a house.  How do you intend to ensure and give confidence to the nation by starting implementing with the august House, proper housing which is a model.  When are you going to start on our housing project?

HON. GARWE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Mbondiah asked an issue which lies directly under the purview of Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and its local authorities and I will not waste your time attempting to answer that.  Hon. Zemura, you were allocated stands through this august House but you do not know where the stands are and whether they are genuine stands or not.  It is an administrative issue.  You need to approach your Parliament Employer and they will tell you where those stands are, not us.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Mliswa said charity begins at home - this august House.  Hon. Mliswa made reference to housing for Members of Parliament but through the same scheme that Hon. Zemura had made reference to earlier on.  As a new Ministry we are not officially aware of such housing scheme.  We would be however very glad if we can be favoured, through Parliament, with the details of those schemes so that we can run with it together with Members of Parliament.  I thank you.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 6 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 7 has been disposed of.

HON. MPARIWA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

Question again proposed.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is not a secret that SONA has come and gone but what is also obvious is that there has never been a review of any SONA.  We have a tendency of writing and not implementing.  At no point are we ever told the achievements of the last SONA and the challenges, which is critical.  For a very long time, we have listened to the SONA and equally what needs to be done to enhance the debate is to also invite the President to the House and take some questions which is a provision in the Constitution and the Standing Orders which I implore you as the Chair to make that happen.  For as long as we have the President announcing SONA, we also want him to come and tell us of the success while he is in office and the challenges.  It gives that opportunity because by reading and us asking questions, we do not comprehend neither are we representing the people in the context that it should.  It is important that we take it a step further.  I would therefore implore the ruling party which is the governing party to caucus on this need to invite the President and not be seen to be undermining him but to also be adhering to the Constitution.  We are adhering to the Constitution in terms of the global fund for the farmers but why are we not adhering to the Constitution in terms of inviting the President to answer to the State of the Nation Address and other challenges and successes which are there.  It is important that we align ourselves to that.

The issues the President brought up are many.  The issue on corruption, we really are losing the fight.  We have lost the fight and it is important for us to admit.  When you have lost, it is important to say we are losing and we have lost.  There is no point in us talking about something which is growing and has become cancerous at the end of the day and has affected our lives.  It has affected the people’s lives.  Sanctions are no longer a talk of the day but corruption has overtaken sanctions.  What are we doing to arrest that situation?  We have a situation where institutions are no longer complying with any regulation whatsoever.  The institutions run by individuals and the Second Republic had the goodwill which even Nelson Mandela never had in ensuring that we give a chance to this nation in the support people had for His Excellency, E. D. Mnangagwa.  His Excellency, E. D. Mnangagwa comes from a background of a system which had destroyed this country but at the same time, there was faith and there is still faith.  We will make the necessary turn at the right time.  What we do not know is when we will make that turn.

It is also important to understand that the Second Republic was born out of people’s march where Zimbabweans decided that for once, we want new leadership, we want a new era.  In talking about a new era, it was a people’s march which involved everybody, white, black, Indian and all political parties involved.   Even the late Morgan Tsvangirai, may his soul rest in peace I think spiritually, in his last days, he wanted this country to be united and in his state, he still managed to get out meeting the people in his ailing condition.  Like I said, it only shows the love he had for this country and the peace he wanted to ensure this country moves forward with.  What was critical at that time was to put a team Zimbabwe which would be building on the same State of the Nation Address which the President is talking about.  Without us being team Zimbabwe, it becomes very difficult for us to be moving forward.

There are many incidences which happened which we do not want to bring to the fore but in moving forward we must be able to give His Excellency an opportunity.  Not only do we give him an opportunity but he must also give an opportunity to every Zimbabwean to see whether we are able to work together.  The whole idea of monopolising Zimbabwe, thinking that I can do it, will never work but we can do, it will work.  That is what the SONA, the challenges and success which he mentioned are premised on.

I challenge the Second Republic to go back, being November and 17th November coming, is a very important time for us.  May this month be a moth where we introspect, where we circumspect and where we equally review and come up with a way forward because it is very important.  2017 November meant a lot to us because the change that we wanted had come.  We must also be honest as leaders and say is this where we are?  Is this where we are supposed to be?  What are we supposed to do to get to the next point?  In doing so, we must review the budgets.  We must review every blue print document which comes to the fore.  A country’s economy is based on its blue print document economically.  We have had ESAP.  Was there a review on ESAP, what was the good and the bad of ESAP.  We had ZIMASSET, it came and there was never a review.  I do not recall us reviewing the success and the failures of ESAP.  We then move to the 10 Point Plan.  The Ten Point Plan came without us even reviewing; now we are at the TSP.  I am going to the TSP because we really need to be honest about the TSP austerity measures.  We must look at the austerity measures which were mentioned, the steps taken and action taken on the austerity measure is where we are in terms of austerity measures.  Were these austerity measures for the good or they were bad? The Americans did austerity measures with Barak Obama being President.  The austerity measures were to come up with a stimulus package to give money to industry so that the industry grows.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, we seem to think an austerity must make people suffer and when they suffer more we think we are doing well.  We cannot be lying to the nation that the rate at which it is right now was not where it is by the time we had austerity measures.  What has gone wrong?  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development is critical in responding to this.  We are here saying that the rate has stabilised but how can you say the rate has stabilised when you are not paying people what they are supposed to be paid according to auction rate.  Teachers were being paid US$510 and we were being paid US$2 000 plus but when it comes to the auction rate we were not giving that.

The auction rate determines the buying power of the dollar.  So, if you are not being given your US dollar at auction rate, there is no buying power.   We cannot be excited by an increment of 255% to the civil servants when inflation is hitting 680% to 700%.  If we are going to ever match the buying power of anybody in this country especially the civil servants, we must also align ourselves to the inflation rate.  Madam Speaker, you cannot have an inflation of 700 and at the same time you are saying no, we are doing them a favour we are increasing it to 245.  Can you also bear in mind that behind there is also a lot that they have suffered?  They have never been value for this money whatever.  When you go and borrow money, you are borrowing money at US dollar, when you pay back it is either US dollar or bank rate.  You have an economy where people are not being paid in US dollars but they are expected to pay in US dollars.  You have an economy where people are expected to pay at auction rate but you are not being paid at auction rate.  So, it is a bubble that is waiting to burst.

Mr. Speaker, for us we cannot talk about the unemployment rate at this point in time because there is no employment.  May we understand from a figure’s point of view, the employment which was promised to the people, where has it gone?  This is where I support Hon. Khupe in saying we are in this House to tell each other the truth. We are in this House not to patronise anybody. We are in dialogue and we work with the President because he is the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  In working with the President, we shall not shy away from equally being constructive in saying that the Manifesto that you promised the people of Zimbabwe is not coming to fruition – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – that is not a crime.  That requires are to be able to say that and say all these issues that you say you give to the people, where are they today?

 It takes us to be doing that and that is the reason why I applaud the stance taken by Hon. Khupe to say I will talk to him but when I talk to him it is about the nation, at the end of the day – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear .] -  I will be here to argue and I am glad that Hon. Members on this side you are now performing.  You are actually more effective than the majority who were there because there is now substance. We are now building the country by talking about real issues.

This is what we need, at the end of the day - not walking away when the Head of State is here and you are appearing before Privileges Committee, you are making your families suffer by not getting allowances for five months yet your own party is not compensating the five months you are not on duty, then you want to blame anybody.  Those games must stop and you must learn lessons by being in this House to represent the people on what you came for.  May we now behave like the Government in waiting where you are showing people that indeed we are a Government in waiting by critiquing what needs to be critiqued at the end of the day.

This SONA has come about the right time when the new spirit - when we have an Opposition Leader who wants to build this country by ensuring that the ruling party responds to its promises.  We have got to be very clear on that.  On the corruption issues, the ruling party has failed, what do we do? Unemployment it has failed, stabilising the economy has failed but we are prioritising the globalisation fund yet Constitutional provisions of the war veterans we have not done anything about it.  Again on disabled and health we have not done anything about these issues.

Mr. Speaker Sir, going to the global fund compensation, what was really intrigue, what was exciting about it when we have millions who must be given certain services which they have a right to.  For example health, education et cetera. We went on to please the world to be seen to be constitutional and come up with a 3.5 if I am not mistaken global fund to compensate the white farmers.  May I be honest, the white farmers have moved on, some of them have died and they are actually part of this country now in leasing some farms, in being part of the agricultural turnaround of this country.  So the priority is equally important.

Mr. President, I go to the issues of priority from a constitutional point of view where money should go.  If we had 3.6 billion would you put it to the compensation of the farmers or we put it into the productive sector, produce money, be able to raise money and ultimately compensate the farmers.  I am not against compensating farmers but was this the time to do it yet we have got so much that is waiting on us to be able solved.  We have a lot of issues which are before us which I believe are more important to address.  I think it is equally important for a priority list to be put together.

The SONA was very clear in terms of agriculture where we are going and I think production is what we need at the end of the day.  We have got the Pfumvudza which is the much talked about programme.  Let me be very blunt about the Pfumvunza, being a farmer.  We have got Command Agriculture, I am glad Command Agriculture has been reduced to a situation where it is not politicized. Unfortunately, Pfumvudza is politicised.  In being politicised, Agritex must be involved in making sure that whichever farmer is given inputs, they can see where they are farming.  It is only now where you see a lot of fertilizer shops coming up.  Hon. Nduna will agree that in Chegutu and Norton there are more fertilizer shops now, where is this fertilizer coming from?  It is coming from people, they are selling it.  May I also say it is a case before the courts which Hon. Nduna knows of.  There is a Councilor in Chegutu and other people who are before the courts on allegation of misappropriating and mismanaging inputs.

So, when you look at Pfumvudza, we are excited Hon. Speaker when we say 1.8 million people are benefiting.  I want to look at the cost and the economists are here that 1.8 million worth of inputs, you are giving them inputs where there is uncertainty in terms of the weather pattern.  So if there is a drought, 1.8 million worth of inputs is gone.  What I would do, I will take that money, take it to farms, rehabilitate the irrigation infrastructure and mechanisation.  From a food security point of view, we must be able to have farms which we are guaranteed will give us food security because there is irrigation.  From an economic point of view 1.8 million worth of inputs targeting each province 20 farms, where you do this and those 20 farms meeting the target and surpassing the target of that province in terms of the food security, be it wheat, soya beans and maize and we are done.  Why can that money not find itself there because we are not guaranteed of a bumper harvest with $1.8 million worth of inputs that have gone to Pfumvudza. Like I said politically it makes sense but economically, it does not make sense though we are excited about the number growing. Next year it will be 2.2 million but in assessing that of the 1.8 million who have been given those inputs, what was the yield?  There is no report of the yield but once again, we say it is a good programme.  In agriculture, we have to talk about figures and in talking about figures, we need to understand.  There is Tokwe-Murkosi - put those inputs into that place where you can put irrigation because water is there and you are guaranteed a bumper harvest.  Why are we not putting our resources into water bodies which we know will be able to sustain the food security and the agriculture sector that we need in this country.

GDP – there was supposed to be a review on the mining sector which is supposed to be contributing $12 billion to the GDP.  How much of it now has come in – we are over halfway?  We are talking about a $12 billion mining sector. Can we point out to it?  We have more MOUs than the money coming in.

ZIDA has come in and it must play a role of doing due diligence on every investor or else we are prone to just speculation where people come here with nice suits and see high powered people and are given a concession.  Why can we not equally be given a concession because once you have a concession, the only thing people want is the mineral?  They do not care who owns it but all they want is the mineral.  They are looking at the claim that you have the mineral under and they will buy it.  We have failed to empower our people.  We are not proud of seeing our people rich.  We are consistently doing ourselves down.

We must look at South Africa, T. Skwale, the current President C, Ramaphosa, ANC – and this is a lesson that the political parties must understand shows certain people that they would make rich.  Each time they are coming to the ZANU-PF congress, they would use one of the private jets belonging to one of them.  You must deliberately choose people who you can make rich so that they become models for the country so young people believe in the country.  When you have a country with one billionaire, people target that one billionaire, but if you have a country with many billionaires no one targets them.  Look at Nigeria and America, how many billionaires are there?  You never hear of anyone being attacked but when we have a few rich people, they are prone to be attacked.  We have Strive Masiyiwa who is here in terms of his business and it is not a secret that his business worldwide has grown because of Zimbabwe but he is not staying here.

Why do we not, in this Second Republic, get those business people who have been helping to come back here and enjoy the peace and the weather and do the right thing at the end of the day.  To me, I think it is more critical for us from a business point of view to be able to look at whose success and build more millionaires in women, youths, men, war veterans and in the disabled fraternity and from there we are a nation to reckon with.  So, whoever is a millionaire and is disabled will certainly assist those who are disabled. Whoever is a millionaire who is youthful will assist those who are youths.  Whoever is a millionaire who is a woman will assist the women. Whoever is a millionaire who is a war veteran will assist those who are war veterans. May we build that culture.

As I conclude, His Excellency must equally understand that he needs to have a team that will pump.  There has got to be reflection and this House must be able to hold the Ministers accountable.  For a very long time, the Ministers have been coming here and I said the last time he seems to be more loyal to them than them being loyal to the President.  They must be able to perform.  There has got to be a performance.  The Office of the President and Cabinet must be able to have Ministers valuate them and monitor what is happening.  We have got the worst calibre of Ministers.  They do not come, they are arrogant, economically and politically, they are weak and they have no orientation.

I wish that these Ministers could be sent to the Herbert Chitepo Ideological College so that they are able to defend their party.  They cannot defend their party.  If you compare them to the Cabinet of the late R. G. Mugabe, they could steal and face you while they are stealing but they kept the President in power.  These ones steal and they do not keep the President in power.  If there is anything, they are a liability.  It is about time we understand that in SONA, we must have people who are willing to perform.  ZANU-PF has got a lot of educated people where it can pick from.  Some of the Ministers who are picked have never spoken in Parliament but you hear he has become a Minister.  How will he present?  I want to thank you.

HON. M. M. MPOFU: I rise to add my voice to the motion on the national address by His Excellency. I want to thank His Excellency on the vision especially on the road infrastructure development across the country.  This has improved the road network throughout the country and it also attracts investments given to rural business centres.  I hereby call upon the Minister in charge to speed up some of the projects like Kwekwe-Silobela Road which has been idle for the past 12 years since 1984.  That road should be speeded up so that we get to benefit as a country through that road.  We also want to thank the President for the irrigation scheme which has been created but we still have some irrigation scheme which needs to be done especially in Silobela, we have got Malenga, Khunyana which still needs to be rehabilitated.

Then on the issue of dam construction, we thank the President for promising that all the dams will be constructed.  We also want to put it across that in Silobela, we have a number of projects which were earmarked and pegged sometime ago.  We have a dam which was pegged a long time ago at the confluence of Shangani and Vungu River.  It has never taken place since many years ago.  So we are asking the Minister to help us get that done so that we get help in water harvesting.  We also have a dam along Gweru River near Jairosi Jiri in Silobela also which was pegged many years ago which needs to be reconstructed.

I would also like to thank the President for the energy supply.  In my constituency in Silobela, we have almost eleven institutions which include schools, clinics and business centres which were connected to the national grid but we still have some which are still lagging behind which we think the Minister of Energy can help us since we heard that there is a lot of power coming in, so that we can connect to individual households in the constituency.  This will enable our rural businesses to thrive and employment will be created if we have the electricity connected in our rural constituencies.  It will also reduce rural to urban migration.  I would not want to over emphasise the benefits of solar power because Zimbabwe has abundant sunlight which we could utilise to harness solar energy and then it could also help us  to revive our economy. On the horticulture schemes, I would like to congratulate His Excellency, that there is a huge economic boom in this sector especially when you are looking at the rural populace who rely heavily on horticulture for their livelihood. What is needed is to put in a robust plan supported by input schemes for the production of high value for farmers to realise and improve the economic benefit. Horticulture is a good foreign currency earner, hence if it is done properly farmers may be rewarded with foreign earnings as well as Government through taxes. There is a huge potential of agricultural production in rural areas especially when water has been made available through the construction of dams coupled with solar powered water pumping. Therefore, this is an excellent initiative especially for the hard working rural population of Zimbabwe who are capable of championing their own development.

          I would like to thank the President on the issue of food distribution. It is common knowledge that people in rural areas have been faced with crippling hunger due to poor harvest caused by El Nino in previous two consecutive farming seasons. However, the Second Republic of Zimbabwe has made serious efforts to ensure that no one dies of hunger through provision of maize by Social Welfare.  This is highly commendable and it shows the traits of a tried and tested leadership. When it comes to Pfumvudza Programme, this programme is a proven and tested approach for climate smart agriculture to boost output during these years of uncertainty in terms of rainfall due to climate change. Our rural farmers have managed to prepare their land in readiness to resume planting once the country receives effective rains.

          I would want to thank the Second Republic for breaking the records in availing inputs for this programme very early – as early as October, the inputs were already with farmers. It is my hope that if the country receives much rains as we anticipate normal to above normal rainfall, the country will be poised for a bumper harvest which will ensure sufficient food for the entire country. I urge farmers to use new user friendly, non toxic technologies; this is because some chemicals are detrimental to human beings. Through ratification of Minamata Convention by our Government, it will help in a big way to safeguard the lives of many of our artisanal miners who are exposed to the mercury poisoning everyday.

          Before I end my debate, I want to commend His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for his efforts in curbing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic through enforcement of lockdown measures in accordance with WHO protocols. We managed to contain the disease and drastically reduce the fatalities to manageable levels compared to developed countries which suffered a lot of losses in human life. At the same time, I would like to thank His Excellency and the SADC region as a whole for standing against the sanctions. Sanctions must go because they are impeding development in our country.

*HON. CHIBAGU:  I want to talk about our President concerning what we are experiencing in our lives. I am happy with what the President has done for us as people of Guruve/Mbire. I want to thank the President for what he was able to assist us with. He has done well for us. He told us to put on masks so that we may live and not die of COVID. Had we not listened to his advice we could have perished because there are borders in our area. In my area no one has died or fallen sick. When the President tells you something you must follow and you cascade it to the communities that we serve.

          We see our people moving around with their masks but those people who live along border areas are the ones who are moving around without masks. I want to thank the President for the advice and the good counsel that he gave us. I want to thank him for the kind of livelihood that we have in Mbire. In terms of COVID, we have not lost a life yet we are along the border with Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. All people from there come through Mbire but no one has died because we religiously put on our masks.

          I also want to proceed by saying that I want to thank the President concerning the good that he has done for us. We did not know anything about irrigation schemes but if you go to Zambezi Valley, there is an irrigation scheme that is thriving and we are having good food. It has become a business venture and people are getting money and so it has improved the lives of the people and our children. So we need to thank our President for such initiatives.

          The other centres that were closed our now functional. The area where I come from which is Mashumbi, there is Arda. If you go there the vegetation is lush and green. There is a lot of food in the area. I also want to say people should not blame the President for the negative things. You need to reconsider before you say negative things about the President. I want to thank the President and I thank him 100%. As I speak, the irrigation schemes have created employment and improved the livelihood of our people.  Ever since I was born we never had a road network in Kanyemba because the roads were bad.  As I was coming from lower Zambezi, I used to cross the river and from Guruve there is a short road coming to Harare.

Now if you are to visit that area, the roads are being rehabilitated and the road is about to be rehabilitated to Mushumbi Pools.  They have not yet reached Zambezi but it is work in progress.  So we need to thank the His Excellency the President.  We will not belittle our President because he is a visionary man and has his people at heart.  I want to proceed by saying that we must thank the President as women and youth because we are now counted as people.  Eversince we got independent women were never considered in decision making positions.  We used to have men only on leadership positions and what women did was just to applaud the men.    The President has given us a green light to be well aware of our rights and contribute to our country’s development.  As women we bear children, look after them and help them engage in productive things.  We never used to have such knowledge, of leading our children to success.  Most of our children used to engage in alcohol abuse but now they are able to look after themselves because they have been economically empowered.

People refer to my area as bushmen area.  At ZBC, we have someone by the name Kanyemba Bhonzo; he is a product of my area and was taught by my husband at Chitsungo Mission.  People degraded him due to the fact that he was a Doma but when you talk of the Doma and the bushmen, they are people just like me. Whatever they do is the same things we do.  So what the Doma people needed was education to empower them.  They are now empowered, everyone has been empowered.

I want to thank the President 100% concerning what he is doing for us in lower Zambezi valley.  Even our road network from Guruve is being addressed and also dams are being built.  If you go to Chikafa and looking at Maputo and Zambia on the other side, the roads are being constructed.  We are working hard.  We will continue to unite as one.  I do not have much to say but I just want to thank the President for what he has done for us and I urge him to continue doing this good work. I thank you.

*HON. SHAVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank His Excellency the President, for a well articulated SONA address he delivered in this august House.  I have stood up to support this motion. The President talked about Pfumvudza project inputs.  We want to thank His Excellency the President for the work that he has done for Zimbabweans because he has his people at heart and he came up with the Pfumvudza project.

I want to thank him for his vision in Zimbabwe regarding the Pfumvudza project.  I want to mention a bit about this project and show my appreciation.  The President realised that for us to deal with the issue of hunger and food security, we need Pfumvudza.  We want to thank him for that.  In the rural areas where we come from these inputs are everywhere and people are being given these inputs.  They are happy, they thank the President for his vision and it shows that he knows what he is doing.

Our request is that the President must increase those inputs because when the Pfumvudza project was taken to the people and they welcomed it.  To those who are distributing inputs, I see there is a delay in the distribution of fertilizer and seed yet those things are at the GMB.  So, they are people who want to derail the President’s progress.

I also want to look at the issue of war veterans.  We want to thank the President for his acknowledgement of veterans of the liberation struggle.  We want to thank him for he remembers the work that they did; they used to stay in the bush with all the hardships of the forests.  The President has a vision and the war veterans children are assisted even after their parents have died.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to talk about electricity.  What we knew concerning electricity was that it comes from Kariba.  We did not have electricity in our rural homes but the President addressed this through the rural electrification programme and so, we want to thank him for his vision forwe now have electricity.  This reflects a caring leader who has his people at heart.

On the issue of mining Mr. Speaker Sir, the President talked about minerals in Zimbabwe.  We want to thank him because currently even the youngest child knows that they can engage in mining and it has become a source of economic empowerment. The President has advised people to go and get the necessary paper work to ensure that their mining activities are legal.  We want to thank the President for such an initiative.

I also want to thank the President for ensuring that all the branches concerned with agriculture are assisted.  The Pfumvudza and then the A2 scheme farmers are being given loans from the banks to enable them to engage in farming.  It is because of his vision that food security should come from Pfumvudza and also from those who can access loans to ensure that the issue of food security is guaranteed.

I also want to thank the President for the peace that prevails in Zimbabwe.  He is a good leader who knows and has focus. On the death of Tapiwa Makore in Murehwa, we said a lot of things and we even said if we were judges like me for example, I would ensure that the perpetrators would get a death penalty.  Our President through the courts ensured that the perpetrators were brought to book. So I want to thank him that he has worked through his security to ensure that justice was done.

We want to thank the President because he has eyes all over and can see what we are doing. I want to thank the presence of us Members of Parliament, even the Province because for me to be there, it is because of the President, Cde. Mnangagwa. He is focused and has a vision so that we do not have a situation whereby the country is not at peace. The President is also fighting corruption. Even if you are closely related to the President, when it comes to corruption, the law will catch up with you. So I urge the President to continue with this initiative to ensure that corruption is dealt with. I want to say to the President, may the Lord bless you abundantly. I thank you.

*HON. MASIIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in support of the motion on the Presidential Address in this august House. I want to thank the President of Zimbabwe for the way he handled the problems we face as a country including Cyclone Idai and COVID-19. I believe that he managed to handle those situations very well. We see that in this country COVID-19 is very subsidised because of the way he responded to this disease.

In his words, the President emphasised on the issue of corruption and therefore, I want to dwell more on corruption because this animal, if it is not nipped in the bud, will disturb the development of the country as Zimbabweans. If it was possible, as Members of Parliament, we must be united and speak with one voice against corruption because corruption derails issues to do with development. The money which gets to improve the roads and other amenities ends up in individuals’ pockets. Therefore, I encourage everyone that we must speak with one voice on the issue of corruption. Corruption is very bad and disturbs every aspect of life. For example, in the police, if there is corruption, it means there is no proper progress and we will be derailing the country in terms of progress and development. For example, a kombi starts from Mbare going to Mutoko. The kombi does not have a baggage carrier but you can see the same kombi carrying sofas or a bed. It goes through the police without being issued a ticket because the driver and assistant will be paying a lot of money at roadblocks.

This corruption affects everyone and might even kill people in the process as that bed might fall from that kombi. If you are following behind and try to avoid it, you might end up being involved in an accident. Therefore, we must fight corruption as Members of Parliament and support our President, Cde. E.D. Mnangagwa. We are fighting corruption in councils and even the newspapers mention that there is corruption in many areas. Where we come from in Mutoko, there are stands being sold by people whom we call agents but those people sell stands but that money is not remitted to council. Therefore, it means in all areas where we are, we must stand up and fight corruption. As Members of Parliament, we must stand with our President and fight corruption.

The other issue mentioned by the President is the issue of sanctions which are disturbing the development of the country. We must speak with one voice against sanctions and denounce them. If it is possible, we must have a day set aside called “Anti-Sanctions Day” to fight or denounce these sanctions so that they might be removed but we have a problem that some of us in this House support the idea that we be under sanctions. These sanctions impact on everyone including those in the rural areas. Some say there are no sanctions but sanctions are there. If you Google on your phone “Standard Chartered Bank fined $18 million”. You will see that Standard Chartered was requested to pay a fine of $18 million because it is working together with Zimbabwe. Banks are no longer able to work with other countries because of sanctions. Even other companies are no longer able to operate in Zimbabwe because they fear that if they work with Zimbabwe, they will be put under sanctions. Therefore, this derails the progress of the economy.

We must speak with one voice denouncing sanctions and stand with our President so that anyone who goes and encourages for Zimbabwe to be under sanctions, there must be a law to charge that person. Our country Zimbabwe is being tarnished and put in a bad state because there are some people who write and speak ill of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is being labeled as a bad country, not other people but us Zimbabweans. Therefore, those who badmouth or speak ill of Zimbabwe must be charged harshly because that person is causing a lot of suffering in the country.

There are some people who visit our country and they give testimonies that they hear bad things about Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe is labeled as one of the countries which is peaceful in the world. This peace and the rule of law, even if you have a breakdown, you can sleep there without any problems, which is not feasible in other countries because if you stop by the roadside, you might be killed or robbed. Here in Zimbabwe we have peace and we must maintain that so that our country is seen as a good country by other countries.

There are others Madam Speaker, who taint the name of the country. For example, there is a day when the President came to address Parliament. Some Members of Parliament went outside and one woman went outside walking properly but as soon as she got outside, she slipped and started limping. She was being taken pictures by media houses and she was trying to paint a bad picture about Zimbabwe. Therefore, we are saying as Zimbabweans we must have Zimbabwe at heart and support it. People who do bad things like Magombeyi who lied that they were kidnapped, if it is proven that he lied, they must be judged harshly because they are the ones who taint the name of Zimbabwe badly.

If we are united as Zimbabweans, we can be able to raise the economy of our country. We must be united and support our President so that Zimbabwe can be a country which is prosperous. The President is also trying to let the people have enough resources in the country.  For example, electricity, fuel and all these things that we see like Pfumvudza and different programmes.  If we have enough rainfall this year, we are going to have a bumper harvest.

Therefore as Zimbabweans, we must support our country and have our country at heart and be united so that our country can be prosperous.  I thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the State of the Nation Address.

HON. SVUURE:  I would like to thank you Madam Speaker for recognising me and thus giving me an opportunity to also speak on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) which His Excellence the President Cde Mnangagwa gave in this House recently.

I would like to start by appreciating the peace and stability that the country is enjoying.  Peace and stability for any nation is key for the development of the same and I am glad to note that the 2nd Republic under His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa has maintained this.

Madam Speaker, I would like to applaud the Government on the provision of food to the nation through the Ministry of Social Welfare.  We continue to witness this department reaching out to the needy in earnest and vigorously making sure that no one dies of hunger in Zimbabwe like His Excellency the President has continuously assured the nation.  I, however appeal that the food volumes be increased.  The current supplies only cover about 30% of the need of households.

His Excellency the President spoke on the need to increase on the hectarage that we plant our crops on and adapt to farming methods that are consistent with the climatic change Pfumvudza  is one such method. I would like to thank the President for the inputs that are currently being distributed across the country.

          His Excellency the President also spoke on the need to increase on the irrigation front. I am happy to note that the province that I come from - Masvingo, constitutes about 41% of the total water bodies in this country and as such, I would like to call for a bias toward such areas with abundant water on resource allocation and make sure that irrigation schemes are supported to the full.

          I have two major irrigation schemes in my constituency which are running at between 15 to 30% owing to a plethora of challenges ranging from lack of Government support with particular inputs. Fube/Pangani Irrigation Scheme has up to 300 hectares of irrigable land which if properly supported, can produce +-3000 metric tonnes of grain per each harvest. We also have Nyatare Irrigation Scheme with 250 hectares irrigable land but here the farmers use electric pumps, the power for which they are charged at commercial rates and they cannot afford it.

I would like to applaud His Excellency the President Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa on the mitigatory measures he steadfastly adopted, which resulted in a tremendous reduction in casualties as compared to the region and indeed globally. Zimbabwe is one of the countries where casualty figures remained comparatively low.

          On the economy Madam Speaker, I would like to appreciate the measures that His Excellency the President has taken to bring normalcy in the economy. It is an indisputable truth that our economy has seen stability in a manner which we have not seen in a long time. Our exchange is at its best in a long time as His Excellency the President put in measures to arrest indiscipline and economic terrorism that we have seen in the past two years or so. This is notwithstanding the economic sanctions which we continue to reel under as a nation.

I would like to take this opportunity to join His Excellency the President on the call for the unconditional end to the illegal sanction which have stifled the potential for Zimbabwe’s economy to grow. I call upon every right thinking Zimbabwean to come over and as one voice, call for an end to sanctions. Thank you.

HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker for according me the opportunity to contribute to the State of the Nation Address by the His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa.  I would like to first thank the President for guiding the country through the most difficult times of COVID-19.  We have seen situations across the globe with people dying and hospitals overwhelmed by sick people suffering from the COVID pandemic.  I would rightly want to thank the President for giving us guidance, leadership which minimised the effects of COVID 19 pandemic. I would like to urge people to adhere to the presidential guidelines on mitigation of COVID.  Let us adopt and accept the new normal and prevent ourselves from the spread of the pandemic.  I would also want us to adhere to the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) so that we minimise the spread of the disease and as a result save lives.  Madam Speaker, I would like to applaud His Excellency, the President E. D. Mnangagwa for reopening the skies for the domestic and international flights.  It brings about global integration of different economies.  This will bring about economic activities such as trade between nations in order to revive the economy.  It also enables us to import and export our products and services so that we can increase our productive capacity in order to increase our export capacity.  It will also bring tourists to boost our tourism industry who will bring in the much needed foreign currency.

Madam Speaker, the reopening of schools, colleges and universities is a welcome development.  It will ensure that no academic year has been lost due to COVID-19.  I urge teachers and lecturers to ensure that students are not left roaming the school grounds despite the challenges being faced by teachers and lecturers.  I urge all of them to continue performing their duties effectively whilst issues relating to their salaries and welfare are being addressed.  Madam Speaker, it is encouraging to note that despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on our economy, our exports increased by 4.9% to US$1.96 billion during the first quarter of 2020, compared to US1.86 billion in the same period in 2019.  At the same time, our imports declined which is an indication that there was an increase in local consumption and that our companies were able to substitute imports – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, you have grown up you people.

Thank you very much indeed.  Local production has increased, if this trend continues Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that our economy will continue to grow with the spillover effect on the creation of employment.  The vision 2030 is achievable Madam Speaker under these circumstances.

          Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President identified corruption as a hindrance to our economic growth and development.  Indeed, corruption is a cancer which must be exorcised; it is a demon which we all must deal with.  Those involved in corrupt activities must be dealt with expeditiously, they should face the music.  It does not matter their status in society, corruption is corruption. As a result, they must be dealt with very severely. There should be no one who is untouchable.  There is no one who is above the law, the President has said so, we must support him in his endevour to eradicate corruption.  Madam Speaker, productivity is His Excellency, President’s call to all citizens of Zimbabwe to eradicate poverty and hunger.  Preparedness ensures a successful agricultural season.  The timeous distribution of the Presidential inputs to support the Pfumvunza Programme is highly commendable.  I appeal to those entrusted to distribute the inputs to be fair in their distribution and to shun corruption in the process to ensure food security for every household at the end of the season.

          Madam Speaker, I need to applaud the President for coming up with a very exciting Presidential Horticulture Scheme which will benefit the majority of our small scale farmers.  Madam Speaker, the resuscitation and development of irrigation schemes is a great thing that the President is doing to our nation.  It will further strengthen the thrust on the upcoming Presidential Horticulture Scheme.  It will improve the nutritional level of our people.

          Madam Speaker His Excellency the President E. D. Mnangagwa’s, thrust on road construction modernisation and rehabilitation is highly commendable.  I however wish to quickly add that the road making and maintenance department in the rural areas namely the District Development Fund needs capacitation and retooling urgently to enable it to execute its mandate effectively.  The roads in the rural areas are in urgent need of repair to ensure connectivity with the food markets in both the rural and urban centres.

          Madam Speaker, the Presidential engagement and reengagement effort is fully supported.  It brings Zimbabwe closer to its allies, whist it establishes economic relationships with the new ones.  Madam Speaker, I support fully the call by His Excellency the President for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions imposed by the West and European Union.  Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is at war in the form of economic sanctions.  It is the worst war that we can fight because it is an invisible and the perpetrators of such a war, great nations which will be difficult to defeat.

          I wish to put it on record that these sanctions are a regime change agenda engineered by the Opposition. We are aware Madam Speaker of the creation and implementation of the 3D strategy engineered by the West using the Opposition as a conduit to remove a democratically elected Government and replace it with a puppet government.

          Madam Speaker, of the 3D strategy, the first D was realised when there was a denial in accepting the outcome of the Presidential Elections in 2018.  The Opposition denied that the President had won the elections. This is reflected from what we see now in the United States of America.  There is already a denial that elections were not free and fair and that the Opposition is not winning the elections from the President who guided the implementation of these 3D strategies.  The second D was meant to delay the inauguration of the President by going through this Supreme Court process which the Opposition was aware would not win.  This is a reflection indeed of one of the 3D strategies.

 The last and most damaging D strategy is to destabilise Government by the Opposition and calling for violent demonstrations to also destabilise the economy.  We saw demonstrations with shops and economic units being burnt – [AN HON. MEMBER:  He is reading.] –Yes I am allowed to read, I have eyes to read, there is not restriction to that.] – Madam Speaker, I support the President’s call for unity of purpose.  We are one nation, we are one Zimbabwe, we need not to go abroad to demonise our Government and bring suffering to the people.

There are misconceptions Madam Speaker, that these sanctions are targeted but if you google, ZIDERA there are economic sanctions against Zimbabwe not against an individual.  You will be surprised Madam Speaker that if you google now, Robert Mugabe our former President is still on ZIDERA sanctions, it is unfortunate that that means that there is no target, the target is the country of Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, I support the President’s call for a unity of purpose.  Let us join hands, we are one nation, we are one people it will not help anyone.  No one will benefit from the existence of sanctions because they are hurting the old mbuya and sekuru in the rural areas.   Madam Speaker, I would urge people some of whom are seated right here with us to go back to the originators of sanctions and beg them again to remove the sanctions because it will help bring about development in our country.

I applaud Madam Speaker Ma’am the enactment of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill.  I would hasten to say that there is need for the provisions of this Bill to be quickly implemented so that beneficiaries start to benefit from the provisions of this Act.  Madam Speaker, this Act came into existence 40 years after independence.  The majority of the beneficiaries are old and have so many ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and the majority of them are dying.  So, it is better that we speedily implement the provisions of this Act so that people start to benefit.  I wish to thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this debate.  God bless the august House.  God bless His Excellency the President.  God bless Zimbabwe.

          +HON. M. NKOMO:  Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Togarepi and seconded by Hon. Mhona.  I want to talk about what was said by His Excellency when he said COVID-19 was the one which was destroying the economy at the beginning of this year.  However, business did not stop in Zimbabwe during this time.  The President took the necessary measures and ensured that schools were closed, there was a lockdown and people were not moving around.  That helped a lot to ensure people did not contract this disease.  His Excellency the President and his subordinates continued to do business.

I take note that the Beitbridge to Harare Road was busy during that period and business did not stop.  People were asked to sanitise, wash their hands and maintain social distancing.  During that time, there was drilling of boreholes in different places so that people could easily access water.  His Excellency also helped the nurses and doctors by providing them with proper PPEs.  He also continued with the construction of clinics and hospitals so people could access treatment easily.  Though the economy is poor, His Excellency also assisted with the provision of food to the elderly.  He also introduced the Intwasa Programme and he gave people inputs for farming.  Through this programme, I believe people will have a good harvest.

Then on the issue of sanctions, the President said that sanctions must go.  I believe the sanctions work hand-in-hand with corruption.  Corruption will never end as long as we do not work together as Zimbabweans.  Both the sanctions and corruption must go so that people get enough food.  I thank you.

          *HON. SAMSON: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to take this opportunity to explain in short some issues presented in the SONA by His Excellency Cde E. D Mnangagwa.  Let me start by thanking all the people of Chiredzi who gave me the opportunity to come to this august House representing our party ZANU-PF which is the ruling party.  I want to speak about what the President said pertaining to unity.  He said as Zimbabweans we must be united.  He emphasised the aspect of unity, that if we are not united as Zimbabweans we are not going anywhere because the country cannot be built by one person, but if people put their minds together they can bring out something good for the development of the country.

 I want to thank the President for the development being done in districts and rural areas through the Devolution Fund.  The money is being used to rehabilitate roads, clinics and schools.  I want to specifically thank the President on behalf of the people who were resettled.  These areas did not have roads or clinics but through the Devolution Fund the money is being used for the development of all this.

I also want to thank our President for construction of dams.  In Masvingo where I come from, is Tokwe-Murkosi dam.  I want to thank the President for his vision.  This dam is going to be used for irrigation purposes so as to avert hunger. When there is irrigation you can farm three times a year if it is the maize crop.  Therefore, I want to express my gratitude to the President for the irrigation scheme which will help the locals.

I also want to thank the President for seeing it fit during the COVID-19 pandemic which just came, to allow Christians to continue praying in small groups. Therefore, people went ahead praying but following the WHO guidelines. We know that when we are alone we know that there is someone who can manage to help and avert the problem. He encouraged people to pray.

I also want to thank the President of Zimbabwe, Cde Mnangagwa and his security forces. His security is a very powerful security force and it works properly especially when you look at the issue of what happened in Chivu when an army officer was gunned down. I am happy that the perpetrators were apprehended and I am very thankful that the security protects people. I want to thank the President for that.

In areas where we come from, people are bringing development to areas they stay in. Rural councils are developing the areas they preside over and we see that devolution funds are being utilised properly, where Members of Parliament and councillors agree on what must be done.

I also want to thank what the President said on the State of the Nation Address, that as Zimbabweans, we must desist from the habit of bad-mouthing and tainting the country in a bad way. Although there are some things which might not be well in the country, people must be able to sit down and dialogue properly and come up with a better solution rather than go to other countries and speak ill about their own country. This habit must stop.

I want to thank the President about the road construction works on the Beitbridge-Harare Highway. It has been talked about before but I cannot sit down before talking about this road which passes through Masvingo. There were many accidents due to the narrowness of the road but now the road is wider. If the drivers do not drive properly they may end up speeding because now the road is in a good state. Even if you are travelling during the night you do not fear or hesitate to travel because you are able to give enough leeway since the road is now wider. When the reconstruction of the road is finally over we will have a very good tarred road which meets world class standards.

Madam Speaker, as a mother, I was disheartened by the murder of a young boy in Murewa but because our President was once convicted and given a death sentence, he did not allow the perpetrator to be killed. As an individual, I had already given my verdict that this person must be killed because he killed a child.  I am not happy about this issue. People must stay in harmony and not kill each other. I want to thank our President for taking a very good decision. With these few words I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity.

HON. MASANGO: First of all, I would like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon Togarepi. Secondly, I would like to thank the President on the Pfumvudza Programme which if done properly will make our country realise a bumper harvest. The Pfumvudza concept is a very noble idea. I was happy with what the President said in connection with corruption. The President said that there are no sacred cows when it comes to corruption. I still feel that there are some people who are letting our President down as they continue to engage in corrupt activities.

HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON MPARIWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 17th November, 2020

On the motion of HON TOGAREPI seconded by HON MPARIWA, the House adjourned at Sixteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 17th November 2020.

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