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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 October 2015 42-10
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 7th October, 2015
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
CHANGES TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to draw the attention of the House to changes to Portfolio Committee membership as follows:
Hon. Seremwe will move from the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to serve on the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sports, Arts and Culture.
TRAINING WORKSHOP ON THE SADC MINING PROTOCOL
AND THE AFRICAN MINING VISION
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to inform the Portfolio Committees on Mines and Energy and Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry that the Zimbabwe Environmental Law
Association (ZELA) is inviting them to a training workshop on the SADC Mining Protocol and the African Mining Vision. The workshop will be held from 9th to 10th October 2015, starting at 0800hrs at Pandhari Lodge.
MRS MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I have an issue around
privilege. We had a ruling about 3 months ago by the Speaker on the cars that are parked in the car park. We were told that those cars would be removed but they have not been moved. I think the ruling that we are now asking for is, for CMED to come and remove those cars because we cannot find parking as Members of Parliament for the reason that those old cars and others that are accident damaged are still in the car park.
We have raised this issue over and over again and it is time somebody should just come and remove them from the car park. I do not know who they belong to who is so important.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we will be assisted by
administration on that issue.
- GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker, I think time
and again we have raised the issue of the absence of ministers in this august House. It is not just in our Standing Rules and Orders but also a Constitutional provision that ministers have an obligation to answer questions posed by Members of Parliament. In the past, we have had situations where the front bench has been almost empty and I am very disappointed to note that today, the front bench is almost empty. I believe that Members of Cabinet and their deputy ministers must take the business of the House very seriously and in terms of their planning must set aside Wednesday and make it a priority for at least half of them to be present. Otherwise it is an obligation for all of them, with the exception of those who will be out of the country to attend.
I am happy that as I am making this point of order, the Hon. Vice
President who is also the Leader of this august House has just walked in. I believe it is important that we express our concerns so that the Leader of the House appreciates that they have an obligation to ensure that hon. ministers attend.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I notice that we have more than
10 ministers present. Can we proceed with those when we start our questions without notice? At the moment, we are proceeding with other issues. By that time I think more Members of Cabinet will have walked
MATTER OF PRIVILEGE
DEATH THREATS TO HON. MARIDADI
- MARIDADI: I rise to raise a Motion without Notice in terms of Order No 68 of the Constitution read together with paragraph (d), read together with Order No 69 of our Standing Rules and Orders. I raise this in conjuction with Section 52 of the Supreme Law of the Land, which is a right to personal security and it says “Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity.” I also go to Section 148 of our Constitution which talks about Privileges and Immunities of
Parliament and I wish to quote that “The President of the Senate, the Speaker and Members of Parliament have freedom of speech in Parliament and in all Parliamentary Committees and while they must obey the rules and orders of the House concerned, they are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages for anything said in/produced before or submitted to Parliament or any of its Committees”.
The reason why I raise this motion is that on Monday morning, I received a live bullet which was placed on my doorstep at my place of residence. I brought this to the attention of Parliament and was told to make a report to the Police. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, can the
member be heard in silence.
- MARIDADI: The matter has been reported to Central Police Station who are now carrying out investigations. Of concern to me and my family Madam Speaker, is that the whole of yesterday, I kept receiving phone calls. One of the phone calls was from a number which is from outside the country. That person was raising an issue with my debates in Parliament and that number has also been submitted to the police. They keep phoning me on either my cellphone, my wife’s cellphone or my landline and I think Madam Speaker that this is an issue of grave concern and for that reason, I bring it to the attention of the House. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will look into that matter Hon.
ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I am a black person born in Zimbabwe and I find it very painful when people make jokes of a person who is deceased. The way it is being talked of that Ministers have attended the burial of Hon. Mahlangu shows they are not respecting the late hon. member. In his debate yesterday, the same hon. member was saying that we need to unite and speak with one voice. I do not think that it is right for us to be demeaning. I think he must withdraw his statement. It is not fair and must not be done in this Parliament.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order hon. members. Can we
have order in this House. Hon. Mudzuri, while I am not going to ask for any response, we need not rely on issues that are in the newspapers – [HON. MEMBERS: No, azvitaura izvozvi.]- Then I will try to find out whether he really said that statement to be able to make a ruling.
- MUTSEYAMI: Hon. Tshuma should just stand up and withdraw the statement that he made saying ‘Ministers are not here because they are attending the funeral for the late Hon. Mahlangu’ so that we can proceed – [AN HON. MEMBER: Ndiani minister wacho].
- J. TSHUMA: Madam Speaker, I think there is some element of disillusionment here – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – because never at any given time did I say anything like that. You must remember that the person they are talking about comes from Bulawayo where I come from and I used to visit him. They have never been there and that is the disillusionment – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Never!
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon. members. Can we have order? Hon. members, we need to be serious with Parliament business. You also know that whatever you are doing is being broadcast live on television. We therefore need to respect the business of this House. I said just withdraw and take your seat. No statements.
- J. TSHUMA: Madam Speaker, what do I withdraw? –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What did you say? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon. member, withdraw.
- J. TSHUMA: I want to find out what I am supposed to withdraw? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. member. Are you saying
you did not say that statement?
- J. TSHUMA: That is precisely what I am saying Madam Speaker, I never said anything like that. This person comes from my town. There is no reason why I would be insensitive to him – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – So, I do not know where this is coming from. They must get serious – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, you have got to
respect the Chair. You cannot talk when the Chair is talking. Hon. member , can you please resume your seat – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] – We are going to study – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order! Order, you have got to listen to what I am saying. We are going to listen to our tapes to determine whether the hon. member uttered that statement which you are talking about– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – If we discover that he said it, he has to stand up and withdraw.
ENG. MUDZURI: Madam Speaker, I did not stand up here to just talk. I think if the recording is clear, this gentleman must respect this House– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – He must stand up and withdraw …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are repeating what I said and wasting our time.
- GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I respect
your ruling but our position is that, if after investigation, it is found that the hon. member did utter those words, I think it is not just a question of him withdrawing. I think he must face a charge of contempt of Parliament because he has been asked to withdraw and he has insisted that he did not say the words …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, please take your seat.
I made a ruling …
- GONESE: No, but Madam Speaker …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You keep on saying the same thing.
- GONESE: No, I am not saying the same issue. My position is that in the event …
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, can you please respect
- GONESE: I do respect your office. Can you just allow me to finish what I am saying? I am just about to finish – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – My point is very straight forward and if you can just hear me out. I am simply saying…
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, please take your seat.
- GONESE: Yes, I am going to take my seat. I am simply saying …
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, I have much respect for my
colleague. He has been in Parliament for a very long time and he is one of those people I highly respect, and should obey the Speaker when told to take his seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – It is something else when other people do it than – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members.
- MNANGAGWA: Hon. Gonese is not only a Member of Parliament, he is also a Chief Whip and he should do so, and lead by example – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – For him to be asked to sit and only take the floor upon recognition, then that is the time he should take the floor, upon recognition by the Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – It is very important that we keep the dignity of this House. I feel depressed that hon. members here have lost the dignity which is ushered upon them by our own Constitution –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members from both
sides. The Vice President is talking, of which you have to listen but you are busy shouting at each other, I think we need to behave ourselves. I know what happens every Wednesday, everyone wants to be seen on television – [MDC-T MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - but saying something that is not good. – [MDC-T MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Yes, I have noticed that, may we please proceed.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to bring to the attention of the House that Section 12 of the Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18] states as follows:
- Any report transmitted in terms of Section 10 or 11 (a) to the
Minister; or (b) to the appropriate Minister shall be laid by the Minister or appropriate Minister as the case may be, before the National Assembly on one of the seven days on which the National Assembly sits next after he or she received such report.
- Where the Minister or appropriate Minister fails to lay any report before the National Assembly in terms of sub-section (1) within the period specified therein, the Auditor-General shall transmit a copy of such report to the Speaker of the National Assembly for the Speaker to lay it before the National Assembly.
On Friday, 19th August 2015, the Auditor-General submitted a report on the Environmental Monitoring of Mining Operations by the Environmental Management Agency under the Ministry of
Environment, Water and Climate, in terms of the Audit Office Act
In view of the fact that the relevant Minister has not tabled the said report within the specified timeframe, I therefore, lay upon the table the aforesaid report in terms of Section 12 (2) of the Audit Office Act
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- CHIWETU: My question is directed to the Minister of
Tourism and Hospitality Industry. What is the Government’s position on shrines and ruins such as Tsindi and Bernard Mzeki Shrines in my constituency, Phuphu Shrine in Matabeleland North; Khami Ruins in Matabeleland and other shrines and ruins lying around the country in order for them to be tourist attractions?
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, I would
like to thank the hon. member for the question but proceed to say that enshrinement and the capturing of monuments are under the jurisdiction of National Museums and Monuments who are also by extension, under the dual jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs in terms of their custodianship and more recently after the re-arrangement of
Government, under the Ministry of Arts, Heritage, Minister Abednico Ncube.
However, we work in collaboration with the two ministries in conceiving them as tourism products. More recently, many of you would recall that I led a delegation during World Tourism Day, 2014 to
Matendera Ruins in pursuit of the hon. member’s vision on the capturing of National Shrines and monuments as an extension of our domestic tourism.
We did that symbolically to capture the significance of shrines and you would recall that we spent a whole day just celebrating shrines. I came back to Parliament to talk about the heritage map of Zimbabwe saying that if we wanted to resuscitate domestic tourism in rural areas, we would have to revisit the past and capture what we now term as
‘ruins’ which were really ancient cities of our fore-fathers into the tourism product by tracing back our roots and joining them in a circuit of products that would revive our shrines going forward.
I can mention here as an example, the ancient city of Great
Zimbabwe which we ordinarily refer to as ‘The Great Zimbabwe Ruins’ which in itself was a huge economic and cultural empire of the past. Again, if we want to re-live it as a product on tourism going forward, we would have to capture that past and make it part of the present and the future in a domesticated tourism product offering.
So hon. member, we are seized with that but it is not solely under my jurisdiction. We are still trying to find an intersection circle between us and the new ministry so that we can move together at the same pace.
- D. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker… - [AN HON. MEMBER: Haaa gara pasi] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, I mean the other Tshuma, this Tshuma. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Aaah unongosimuka wega usina kusimudzwa!] –
- J. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker…
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members, the hon.
member is Tshuma and this one is also Tshuma. So, I do not think it was his fault, Hon. Tshuma please proceed.
- D. TSHUMA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Primary and Secondary Education. Minister, in the wake of the Grade 7,
‘O’ level and ‘A’ level examinations, there have been a series of examination leakages. What has your ministry done to date to curb examination leakages?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (PROF. MAVIMA): Madam Speaker,
I do not know if these are new reports of leakages in the current exams, but if the hon. member is referring to previous leakages from yesteryears, then it is an issue that we addressed here several times where we have said starting this year, we have made sure that we plug most of the holes. Last year, we realised that it was not really at ZIMSEC that the leakage came from but it was one of the companies that we outsourced services from that was a source of it. Therefore, we have instituted some measures to ensure that it does not happen again from that source this year.
We have also made sure that there are several security arrangements in place especially when exams are in transit, when they leave ZIMSEC until they get to the exam centres themselves. There is some technology implementation that we have done in order to make sure that papers are not tampered with until they get to the centre. It will be easier to deal with issues at the centre because there is a clear line of responsibility with headmasters. Once they get to the centre, then we can easily trace that but the source of the printing as well as in transit, as a Ministry, we have put in place some measures and so far we have not received any report of exam leakage this year. We still have to see how full-proof that system we have put in place is going to be by testing this year.
- J. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
goes to the Minister of Health and Child Care and it comes in the form of an inquiry actually.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, we just need a question which
he can answer.
- J. TSHUMA: My question is, what is your Ministry’s policy
with regards to drug purchases because I have realised that most hospitals actually purchase drugs through a third party instead of going straight to the manufacturer, hence, we are having some of the drugs expired. What is your policy as a Ministry in terms of that?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(DR. MUSIIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. member for asking this question. The policy of Government is to buy in bulk wherever possible. So, we actually have what is known as a tender system in place and we have a national pharmacy known as NatPharm which normally tender for the bulk of our drugs. If I recall, last week someone asked about why there are more HIV, TB and antimalaria drugs than other drugs? These come in very huge batches and they can only be tendered for through NatPharm.
I think he is asking about the smaller quantities of NCDs for noncommunicable diseases. These are in short supply and whenever hospitals have money, they can still buy but they still have to go through tender because it is Government’s policy. They cannot buy through third parties. Thank you.
*MR. M. MAWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Dr.
Undenge. We would want to find out how the licences for fuel service stations are being done. How are these licences given? I am looking at those at Avondale and other areas – are they being allocated in a fair manner or they are just given to anyone? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, I thank the
hon. member for the question on how the licencing of service stations is done. Applications are done and the area is inspected to see whether it is suitable for the construction of a petrol station. When that is done, that is when a person can be given an operating licence, but from what you are saying, the petrol station is close to the residents as if the approval was granted by the residents themselves. There is a certain process that is done to grant the licences. I believe that if you have seen that this has caused some inconveniences, it can be revoked. I thank you Madam Speaker.
*MR. M. MAWERE: My supplementary is, what I meant is that
if that service station catches fire, it will affect the residents, the police station and the inmates. Who is going to be responsible for that? We are saying, is that what should be ideal – yes or no. I thank you.
*DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, I have heard what the hon.
member has said. I will deploy officers to go and investigate the area to see the dangers and challenges that are there in order for them to review the situation and if they see it necessary to evoke the licence, they will do likewise. I thank you.
*MR. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to
ask a supplementary question. Is it possible hon. Minister that if something has already been constructed and it was the wrong procedure, that you revoke it? What should have been done before? The service station is already built and I believe that when you give licences, you do it after investigations. Already, people have been given a licence to put up a service station very close to residential buildings.
*DR. UNDENGE: I want to thank the hon. member for the
question. In my response, I said I will assign officers to go and investigate. I do not know what preceded the other, whether the garage came first before the residential buildings or it was the other way round.
I thank you.
*MR. MAONDERA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
is directed to the hon. Vice President, Mr. Mnangagwa. What Government policy is there as regards the construction of dams and power generation plants? Since 1980 we have never seen big dams to the magnitude of Chivero and infrastructure for power generation of that magnitude. I thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR
MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, I do not quite appreciate what he requires, does he want me to enumerate the number of dams that were built or he wants to find out whether Government is constructing dams. It is true that we have constructed several dams. As to the number, then he should put it in writing so that each Provincial Minister can give us the list of dams that were constructed in each of their respective provinces and I will come and give him the answer. But if it is just an ordinary question on whether it is Government policy to construct dams, yes, Government has that intention of constructing dams. Thank you
- CHITINDI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. What is Government policy on the operation of shebeens?
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. The hon. member asked about Government policy on Shebeens. In fact we are in a sense now in the new tourism policy, capturing the essence of shebeens, not in the colonial sense where they were out-lawed by colonial regime laws. If you recollect, our forefathers, used to get certification from local authorities in order to qualify to drink clear beer. After independent Zimbabwe, everybody had access to clear beer. In the process, it caused a proliferation of what he refers to as Shebeens but we have rebranded them now in the new tourism policy as Home Hospitality Centres –[Laughter]-. There will be an extension of a product that we shall actually register and grade, because they will be licenced, they will not be threatened in the same manner that they were threatened before. They will be part of a total package of products that we expect households that are part of our extension of virtual products and connected to existing and established hotel and hospitality infrastructure which will pass some of the clients to these Home Hospitality Centres.
I raise here, just a case in point, an opportunity that is coming shortly, in a month’s time, which is being spawned by the ICASA Conference. We have absolutely no capacity to host ICASA in its totality using traditional products. I have asked the ZTA to go out there and register Home Hospitality Centers as I call them, which will accommodate visitors in a typical homely environment. Now, if you were to ask me whether that guest, if he is offered a beer beverage in his home, whether that home would constitute a Shebeen? The answer is
So, we are going to come up with a very creative product that will pass an opportunity to our people, whether they are in townships or suburbia but they will be properly recorded, graded, licensed and authorised. Within them they will offer all these hospitality offerings that refers to as shebeens. So, yes, it is coming but not in the old sense of shebeens but rebranded home hospitality products. I thank you
*MR. ZIYAMBI: I would like to ask Hon. Mzembi if Shebeens are now legalised. Thank you.
ENG. MZEMBI: The Shebeens that the hon. member is making
reference to, were illegal because they were not registered. I would want my ministry to be in a position to empower Zimbabwean children so that they are able to do what they can with their homes. I am saying that you now have some lodges in Bulawayo, houses with 40 bedrooms and so forth. You do not sleep in the same bedroom with your wife, one has her own bedroom and only use one bedroom and the other one is in the next; we want such houses to be voluntarily registered by the owners of those mansions so that they be an extension of our lodges that we have in our cities. If you go to South Africa and other places, especially in Malaysia, which we are using as our benchmark, such hotels are graded and the standards are assessed all the time.
The ones that we would have registered will become illegal because they will be in accordance with our framework but those shebeens that were operating in Rhodesia were illegal; they were outlawed in Rhodesia. Those that will be in Zimbabwe will be legalised according to Zimbabwe.
MRS. MISIHARABWI-MUSHONGA: Hon. Minister, just
perhaps to clarify, how are you going to make sure that this is not turned into sex tourism? If people are going to be accommodating guests and you are literally saying to them it is okay, how do you make sure they only get beer and not other products in the process?
*ENG. MZEMBI: Madam Speaker, how does the Minister of Tourism today, make sure that people in hotels pavanosangana havo, vakadzi nevarume havaite izvozvo zvirikutaurwa na Amai Misiharabwi. I do not look into the bedrooms, I do not know who you go to bed with in that hotel, it is not my purview. Thank you.
*MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My
question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. What is Government policy as regards investors who come here and bid, take over a company such as ZISCO Steel, that they would have taken it over and then they fail to re-open it for the next five years? At present we hear that they left and that they failed, people are also told in the next breath that they are still here. If they have left, does the law just allow them to leave without anything being done to them? Thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND
COMMERCE (MS. MABUWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would
want to thank the hon. member for such an important question which affects all of us as it regards the law or the policy of Government between the investors and Government. The law comes into effect after an investor will have written their own contract with the Government of Zimbabwe. There would be policy to see if the contract that has been signed, whether it is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to see what binds the two parties. In that agreement, there is always a clause that looks at what will happen in the event that one party fails to meet the obligations of their contract.
So every contract including the one that he has mentioned for ESSAR, there is a clause that talks about what happens in the event that any of the two parties breaches the contract, and the consequences that are inherent thereto. It will take a lot of time for me to explain what exactly happened in the ESSAR case. I would want to promise this august House that the Government of Zimbabwe in that agreement with ESSAR, there is no clause that is not going to be scrutinised so that each party is bound by the terms of the contract and the consequences of what would happen to them if they were to breach the contract will come into effect. I thank you.
*MR. MARIDADI: Minister, the question that the public would want to understand is why Essar is failing to operate?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it originating from the first one?
[HON. MEMBERS: Yes]- No, I think on that one …
- MARIDADI: It is originating from the first one because the question by the hon. member was about ZISCO Steel and ESSAR. So, it is an extension of the question Madam Speaker.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question was, are they just left to go without anything?
- MARIDADI: And the follow-up is why has ESSAR failed to operate, and if they have gone, why did they just go without operating?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): I am glad that the question has been asked and it is important that the House as well as the nation be informed about the status of the arrangement that had been undertaken between the
Government of Zimbabwe on the ZISCO and ESSAR issue. The initial MoU and the agreement was undertaken during the inclusive government and the Ministers who were involved came from different political parties at the time. There was no serious collaboration between the then Ministers and ESSAR found itself moving from one Minister to another for a period of two years. The Ministry of Industry and
Commerce was under an hon. Minister from another party and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development was also under a Minister from another party. We discovered that there was no cooperation going on.
However, down the line, ESSAR which had raised some funding for the project could not keep the money for several years sitting without implementation. When Government became aware of this situation, we intervened. We have reached a situation where ESSAR is now willing to take on board other companies in order to marshal the financial needs required to resuscitate ZISCO, because the earlier financial package that had been raised moved elsewhere. Where it moved, a plant is now functional. I thank you.
- SANSOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. I would like to know from the Minister if there is any mechanism which can be used to compel those mining companies where Government is the majority shareholder to meet their obligations in terms of paying salaries and wages to their employees on time, a case in point is at Hwange Colliery Company. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR. MOYO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I think
the hon. member asked a very important question or is pointing to a very important issue, one of the abilities by our companies to meet their obligations to pay their employees. I think all companies would like to pay their employees on time and hopefully reasonably. The companies that are failing to pay employees at the moment come from both those that are strictly private as well as where Government has got a shareholding. We are doing the best we can as Government and certainly as the Ministry, to try and assist those companies that are in distress so that they remain afloat and they are able to pay their workers as well as their creditors.
I hope that we are able to resolve the challenges that are facing mining companies. I think the biggest challenge Madam Speaker is one of the commodity price collapse as well as the ill performing infrastructure that is servicing the mining industry. Government is specifically trying to assist Hwange Colliery Company as much as they can by funding, restructuring the balance sheet, assisting with creditor support and we hope that the company will soon pull out of its quagmire. Everything is being done to assist and we feel for the workers but we hope that we will resolve the issues soon. Thank you.
- MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, looking at the commodity price as you have said, are there any plans by Government to come and inform the nation as to what is happening in the diamond mining sector and the state of the diamond mining sector in Zimbabwe?
- MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think at the moment we are trying to address the survival of the whole mining sector. All minerals have lost their value by 30%, 40% or 50%. The diamond sector is a specific sector. At the moment we are dealing with gold. We are going to spend a lot of time this week attending to issues that affect the gold sector. I will be happy if the hon. member indicated in writing specifically the issues that he would like us to look at with regards to the diamond sector but commodity price slump, the diamond is affected in the same manner as other minerals. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Minister. I think the hon. member should bring that question in written form.
- CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Hon. Minister, our roads are showing signs of failing to cope with the traffic. I think it is because they were designed for very few cars some years ago. What are Government plans to make sure that these roads will be able to cope with the traffic in five or so years to come? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA):
Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to start by thanking the hon. member for asking such an important question. The answer is yes, the volume of traffic has increased tremendously and also the design of the roads was meant for a very low volume of traffic. However, the Government is doing everything possible to make sure that roads are redesigned, widened and that roads are dualised. It is within our plan and I think it is going to be one of the products of ZIM ASSET and for those who are skeptical that ZIM ASSET is going to bring good fruits, let me assure you that ZIM ASSET is there and we are working flat out –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections.]-
Madam Speaker, it boggles my mind in every economy, when the economy falls what suffers first is infrastructure. Why, because the Government will concentrate on other areas like food, medicine and education. So, it boggles my mind that even our fellow countrymen who used to globe trot lobbying for the sanctions for the country are now raising the issues of road construction. However, we have got a very big master plan to upgrade, dualise and reconstruct all our roads to accommodate the present levels of traffic. I thank you.
- CHIDHAKWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker, my supplementary question to the boggled Deputy Minister –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- Hon. Deputy Minister, what plans are you putting in place as a Ministry to address the challenges that we have especially in the major highways that have just been resurfaced whereby we are having the reflectors at the centres of the roads which are made out of aluminium being stolen during the night as a result of having been made out of aluminium by people who use it to make handles of coffins. What is it that you are putting in place to address a replacement to that aluminium material to do a reflector outside aluminium so that you manage the stealing?
- MADANHA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Actually, to be
honest, it has not been brought to our attention that there are some reflectors that are being vandalized. Anywhere, in our SADC region, the standard practice is to put those ‘cat’s eye’ on the roads because they are more reflective. But, if there is this problem that some people are vandalising them, I think we have to come up with another strategy to put reflectors which can actually stick and stay. I thank you.
- CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Minister, you mention of plans to may be construct or widen these new roads but it looks like the Government does not have money because the existing roads, you are failing to maintain them. Can you give assurance to this House when you will be able to get the money to construct or to dualise all the leading roads into major cities? I thank you and speak to time frames.
- MADANHA: Thank you Madam Speaker, the Government
has a look East Policy, and this look East Policy we have got a lot of investors who are coming to our offices to actually come and invest on roads. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- and be assured that we are almost ready to make a very good announcement on the reconstruction of Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road and many more roads. So, we are in line, we know the problems that the country is facing and we are working flat out to make sure that we are going to address this problem of bad roads. I thank you.
*MRS. THEMBANI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to Minister Undenge. My question is, Minister, we hear reports that you want to import electricity from Mozambique. We share the same river with Mozambique. Why is Mozambique getting electricity to even sell to us when we are not getting anything? Also there is a report that Kariba evaporation has taken place, so does it mean that Zambia is also experiencing electricity problems since we draw our electricity from the same source? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Madam Speaker, I want to
thank Hon. Thembani, for the question she asked and it is a very pertinent question in our current situation. For sure, the water in Kariba Dam has reached low levels because of the draught. The catchment area of Zambezi river is in Zambia, DRC and Angola and in those areas there has been rainfall, so it affected us more. In this summer season, the water level on this side is very low. There are also other supplies from Cabora Bassa. They are not as affected by the challenges in Kariba as us because their production of electricity has not suffered. We generate electricity together with Zambia. In Zambia, 90% of the electricity they generate is generated by water and we have electricity that is generated by coal and water which is a generation mix. Kariba gives us 40% thermal and the other 60%, so we have a mix. Zambia is also experiencing challenges worse challenges than us as a result of shortage of electricity. Not only Zambia but the whole SADC region is being affected by electricity shortages. We usually import 50 megawatts of electricity from Mozambique but we are engaged in talks with them to increase the supply. So, that is the position as of now. I think Hon.
Thembani’s question has been answered.
The challenges that we are experiencing in Kariba came to light in
April and when we realised this, as Government, together with the Zambezi River Authority, we agreed that we needed to supply enough electricity in winter to ensure that people would get electricity for heating. We also agreed that we would reduce the supply of electricity in the hot season, so I think hon. members will agree with me that the challenges of load-shedding were low in winter. That was a
Government decision to keep you warm in winter. We took immediate measures in summer which are mid-term, medium and long term to address the problem of power.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, order hon. members, are you still answering Hon. Thembani? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
Hon Minister order please, it seems you are responding to those who are heckling. There was a question from Hon. Thembani and I think you have answered it.
*MR. MACHINGAUTA: My supplementary is that we have the CPU which has committees from the national to the district body. It looks at all disasters that may befall us as a country. We want to hear from the responsible Minister if we still have such committees that range from the district to the national level. If they are in place, are they properly equipped and capacitated to look at and attend to such disasters?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not a supplementary question to
the original question.
- MR. GABBUZA: From hydrological records, 1983 had the lowest levels of water in the Zambezi but Kariba never had a problem of generating electricity, so what exactly is the problem?
*DR. UNDENGE: I would like to thank the hon. member who has given historical statistics. He said in 1983 we had a drought in Kariba and enquired as to what the differences are now. The statistics that the hon. member gave was for low water levels. He did not give me the other factors that were there during that period. At that time, we were able to import electricity from other countries and we had no electricity shortage in the entire region.
- MR. D SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, the question was asked in
English, specifically because the hon. member who asked that question comes from an area where Shona is not the language. Therefore it will only be fair for the Minister to also respond in the same language.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. member. The questioner
is quite meaning that he understands. So the hon. Minister has a right to answer in any language he feels like using.
- UNDENGE: Well Madam Speaker, I am articulate in both vernacular and English. Perhaps let me use English as the member desires, but you are crying more than the bereaved. In 1983, yes, we experienced drought and the water levels in Kariba were very low but we were able to import power from the region because the situation was not as it is now. Right now there is a shortage of power in the entire SADC region because of increased population and increased economic growth. Throughout the region, there was no investment in new power generation, that is why we are in such a scenario. So while your statistics are correct on one hand, the other wrong is absent or incorrect.
I thank you.
- MARIDADI: On a point of order Madam Speaker, Dr
Chimedza is no longer a minister he was removed. –[Laughter]-
*MR. CHAMISA: My supplementary question is directed to the
Minister. This is a problem which the entire country is facing. As our Minister, have you been to Kariba to see what the position is like on the ground?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister has no way of knowing
what is happening in Kariba.
*MR. CHAMISA: Let me repeat the question. I want to find out if you have been to Kariba to see the water levels so that you, personally, are convinced because what is apparent is that when I went there, there was water. I would want your personal view. Did you go there or you were just informed Hon. Minister?
- UNDENGE: I have been to Kariba but even if you go to Kariba and look at the water levels, that does not give you the hydrological situation. You need to apply scientific approaches to determine the water levels. On a daily basis, I am briefed about the water levels at Kariba dam by the Zambezi River Authority which carries such scientific exercises.
- MARIDADI: Now that the Minister has spoken about
scientific methods, is the Minister aware that the Zimbabwe River Authority which gives him information, has actually given a statement that if Zimbabwe continues to generate electricity from Kariba Dam at the current rate, come November, the water would have gone down by 1,6 metres from the household that allows generation to take place and Zimbabwe will not be able to generate a single megawatt out of Kariba.
Are you aware of that hon. Minister?
- UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, the hon. member is not furnishing Parliament with the correct information. We agreed with the Zambezi River Authority that in summer we should scale down the production to an average of 475 megawatts and that is the schedule which we are adhering to. What he is saying Madam Speaker, is far from the truth and meant to mislead the House.
- CHIMEDZA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, which he presented to this House on the 30th July, 2015 proposed a levy on what he termed locally produced drugs of between 20 – 30%. Among these locally produced drugs are chronic drugs that cover hypertension, cancer and diabetes drugs. Most of these are actually not produced here. The impact of this will be huge upon patients because most of the drugs currently in the hospitals are not adequate. Most patients go to the hospitals to get prescriptions to buy drugs from private pharmacies. Has the ministry actually assessed the impact of this levying announced in the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement on the drugs? If they have, what measures are they putting in place to mitigate against the obvious potential on the sick?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(DR. MUSIIWA): I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Chimedza for asking this question. The statement that was put in the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, is a way of raising funds to cover a gap that already exists. As you know, most of our drugs particularly antiretroviral, antimalaria and TB drugs are covered mostly by funds we get from donors and these are basically adequate – [AN HON. MEMBER: Is it the donors which you are aligned to?] – No, it is from the Global Fund. It is a …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please speak to
- MUSIIWA: So, there is a gap in the financing of our NCDs. What the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has done, is to try and create a fund that is going to cover for the NCDs.
+MR. CHASI: My question is directed to Minister of Health and Child Care. I would like to ask if we should look forward to the
Government enacting a law that enables the Government to be part of PSMAS, representing the people in general so that they will not face any problems.
* This is so to enable Government to represent the workers who are members of PSMAS within the governance structures of that society since all members from all parts of the country cannot attend all the meetings. So, I would want to find out if you can look at the possibility of enacting a law because this is a society that is different from a burial society because as soon as one is employed by Government, he/she immediately becomes a member of PSMAS.
*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Chasi, you are not
allowed to switch from one language to another. I just let you continue because I noticed that it was a very important question.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD
CARE (DR. MUSIIWA): I would want to thank Hon. Chasi for the pertinent question. It touches on the health of Government and parastatal employees who are on the PSMAS. As you have clearly spelt out, PSMAS is not a parastatal. It is a private company. It is different in the sense that the majority of its members are public servants. What is in place, is that it has a private board with its own terms of reference and operations. What we were able to do as Government, as the major shareholder in PSMAS, we seconded four board members to that board. The policy that is in place is that the Minister of Health and Child Care is the regulator. He only comes in when things have come to a standstill as they are now.
Yes, we have a regulatory framework for PSMAS and other medical societies. It is not that water tight. We are busy trying to plug all the loopholes so that it is applicable to both sides. I cannot give you the nitty gritties because it is work in progress. I thank you.
*MS. MUZONDIWA: My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. I would want to know why our police officers are now concentrating more on road traffic offences instead of other offences. I say so because once a break in has taken place or somebody has died at home, they take a lot of time before they come but we see a lot of police officers on the roads. It shows that their presence on the road is overwhelming because they take time to respond to other types of offences. Why is that the position?
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (MR.
MGUNI): I want to thank Hon. Muzondiwa for a very pertinent question that she posed. I would like to say that there are different kinds of police with different positions. You would find that the ones that are responsible for traffic have vehicles to move from one place to another. However, in some police stations there is not even a single vehicle. It is because we are facing difficulties as a nation because we do not have the finances to buy cars. I hope that people will look at the good deeds that the police are doing. For example, these days we are even apprehending people who are smuggling gold out of the country and we are going to do a programme such that the Government can recognise our efforts.
We believe that the Government can appreciate our services by giving us part of the gold that we collect from the smugglers so that we can buy our own fleet of vehicles. However, in traffic, if we look at the numbers of people who die during road carnages, we realise that most people die because of road accidents. The numbers are very high and we realise that we need to prioritise and that is why we are placing more police officers on the roads.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
ELECTRIFICATION OF CHIVATA PRIMARY AND
- MR. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Energy and
Power Development to inform the House on when Chivata Primary and Secondary Schools in Ward 4, Zaka District, will be electrified considering that the schools have gone for more than two years after paying US$15 000.00 to the Rural Electrification Agency.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (DR. UNDENGE): Thank you Madam Speaker,
first of all, let me thank the hon. member for this important question.
Indeed, Chivata Schools in Zaka District of Masvingo province
paid U$11 800.00 in November, 2013 and US$3 200.00 in April, 2014 bringing the total to US$15 000.00 in order to have their schools electrified under the Community Initiated Programme which is based on the 50/50 basis. The total project cost is US$93 209.33 of which the full contribution expected from the community, 50% is US$46 604.67. The down payment made by the community to date constitutes 32.2% of the total contribution expected from the community. A balance of US$31 604.67 is still outstanding and payable in three years.
Madam Speaker, the project could not be immediately implemented following the down payment by the Chivata schools community as the province had a backlog of fully paid up community initiated projects; 48 projects in total, some dating back to the Zimbabwe dollar era that needed to be cleared first. In 2013, the province had started taking new community initiated projects anticipating to clear the backlog in 2014 which it eventually did as planned.
Chivata Schools were one of the new Community Initiated Projects and all Community Initiated Projects were prioritised on the basis of the level of down payment made by the community with those fully paid for. This is where the community would have made the full payment being implemented first. In simple terms, Chivata Schools have not yet been connected because they have not made up part of the bargain, which is payment for the 50%. However, I hope that this problem will be overcome and the project implemented as soon as possible. I thank you.
WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
INTRODUCTION OF SIXTEEN OFFICIAL LANGUAGES AT
ALL TEACHERS’ COLLEGES
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to explain whether the ministry is considering the introduction of 16 official languages at all teachers colleges.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. GANDAWA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank Hon. A.
Masuku and would like to acknowledge the concern shown towards the need to promote the 16 indigenous languages in teachers’ colleges. I am grateful to note that Hon. Masuku realises that teachers’ colleges are critical vehicles that enable the fulfillment of national goals, in this case, improving the quality of education through the use of first languages.
Linguistic diversity is an issue of growing social importance because a majority of all living languages are threatened in their continued existence. Changes in the vitality of a language have important implications for individuals and societies. I want to put emphasis on the need to increase the number of indigenous languages we teach in all our teachers’ colleges.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe recognizes sixteen (16) indigenous languages and it is our wish as a ministry to see all the sixteen languages being taught in our institutions or teacher training spread in colleges with even each college teaching four or all. Doing this will help in maintaining social and cultural identity and the interest for maintenance and revival of minority languages. All teacher training colleges have been directed to embrace all the indigenous languages.
For example, SeSotho, Tjikalanga, TshiVenda, ChiShona, IsiNdebele and English are taught at J. M. Nkomo Polytechnic. Mutare
Teachers’ College and Danhiko Vocational Centre teach Sign language. United College of Education trains primary school teachers in the teaching of ChiTonga, Tjikalanga, Sign language, English and
ChiShona. Thus, my ministry is not only considering the introduction of the use of official languages, but is already engaged in programmes that ensure that this constitutional requirement is achieved in the long term. I thank you.
DENIAL OF NDEBELE STUDENTS TO TRAIN AT MOST
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to state the reasons why those who have learnt Ndebele are denied training in all teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe except at Gwanda and Masvingo Teachers’ Colleges and the United College of Education.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. GANDAWA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, all languages enshrined
in the Constitution must be treated equally. As Zimbabweans, we must be proud of our indigenous languages, hence all teachers’ colleges must enroll students, not only with IsiNdebele but with all indigenous languages. ChiShona or English are not superior to IsiNdebele or ChiTonga, they are all our languages.
The criteria for one to be enrolled in a college is 5 ‘O’ levels including English language and Mathematics, 5 ‘O’ levels include IsiNdebele or ChiTonga. If there is a particular case where one was denied entry, as a ministry we will be glad to deal with the issue if provided with information to that effect. It is something that cannot be condoned. I thank you.
RELOCATION OF LUPANE STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
FROM BULAWAYO TO THE CAMPUS
- MR. MAIL NKOMO asked the Minister of Higher and
Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to state when the students of Lupane State University will be relocated from Bulawayo to Lupane State University campus.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(DR. GANDAWA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank Hon. Nkomo for the question about the Lupane State University students to Lupane State University campus in Lupane, Matebeleland North.
The relocation of students to their rightful campus is a matter close to our hearts and we envisaged a situation where the students were supposed to have been operating from Lupane, but unfortunately due to lack of funding for PSIP from Treasury, not in my view due to malice but due to competing national priorities and underperforming economy, due to a multiplicity of challenges exacerbated by illegal sanctions, Treasury has not been able to release funds for the completion of students hostels and kitchen that are now at 92% completion and staff houses that are now at 67% completion.
Madam Speaker, because we place great importance to this matter as a ministry and to see the aspirations of His Excellency the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe and Government policy of a state university per province, on 17th September, 2015 we released US$1 750 000.00 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) towards the completion of the hostels and kitchen as well as staff accommodation.
This therefore, assures us that by January 2016, students will definitely relocate to Lupane in Matebeleland North. I thank you.
ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
CATTLE GRAZING IN THE GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK
- MR. MASIYA asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to explain whether cattle can be allowed to graze in Gonarezhou
National Park given that there is no grass in the surrounding areas.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND
CLIMATE (MS. MUCHINGURI): I would want to thank the hon. member for the question posed.
Madam Speaker, my Ministry does not recommend the idea of cattle grazing in Gonarezhou National Park although given that there is no grass in the surrounding areas. This is so because disease exchange between cattle and wildlife may adversely affect the livestock industry. Wildlife is resistant and tolerant to many diseases hence, acts as a reservoir of diseases such as foot and mouth and malignant catarrhal. Madam Speaker, grazing of cattle in Gonarezhou will heighten human wildlife conflicts as large predators may attack cattle since they are prey and predators may track cattle to their kraals during the night.
Furthermore, headmen will also be exposed to attack by dangerous game. The presence of livestock in the park will degrade the conservation status of the area as a major component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. This will adversely affect tourism and corresponding revenues which are the backbone of financing park operations. However, a 90 square kilometer portion of Gonarezhou is already being used by the Chitsa community for cattle grazing and other activities whose expansion of settlement is now being held by a game fence inside the park. Communities still require grazing land and since land is finite, other mechanisms have to be developed to deal with the issue of droughts and livestock production.
Madam Speaker, the following strategies can be implemented:
- Educating the farmers about good animal husbandry,
- Diversifying livelihoods using proceeds from cattle sales
- Adhere to ecologically supported cattle herds, hay-bailing and transporting from the national park to surrounding communities in order to feed their livestock. I thank you Madam Speaker.
WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
COMPLETION OF THE WATER PURIFICATION PLANT AT
- MS. NKOMO asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate to state when the Ministry will complete the water purification plant at Lupane Dam.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (MS. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, water
purification plant at Lupane Dam is now at an advanced stage of completion and is expected to be complete by the end of the year 2015.
Outstanding works include:
-Construction of a power substation.
-Filter bed material.
-Dossing pumps and
-Construction of an access bridge.
I thank you.
ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DUMIZA II GOVERNMENT PRIMARY
- MR. CHIWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary
Education to explain.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you
Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Chiwa for the question.
The decongestion of schools is a matter of priority to the Ministry. In our last mapping exercise, we have established the need to have 2 056 new schools countrywide - 1 252 of them being primary schools and 804 secondary schools. With a learner population of 2 838, Dumiza Primary School is one of the five primary schools in Chiredzi that have to be decongested.
The Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe has approved the construction of school infrastructure through joint venture partnerships and in July this year (2015), we have put an advert inviting companies and institutions which would like to enter into joint venture for school infrastructure development. So far, many countries have expressed their interest to the Ministry. Sooner rather than later, we are going to have some companies undertaking school infrastructure development after due processes have been followed. In view of this, Dumiza 11 Government Primary School is one of the schools that will be given due consideration.
WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
OPERATIONALISATION OF HWANGE COMMUNITY SHARE
- MR. B. TSHUMA asked the Minister of Youth,
Indigenidation and Economic Empowerment to explain why the
Hwange Community Share Ownership Trust has not been operationalised since its inception and if possible to state when the Hwange Community can expect to be operational.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION
AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (MR. TONGOFA): Madam Speaker, my Ministry has established 61 Community Share ownership Trusts (CSOTs) which have been duly registered with the Deeds Office, out of the 61 registered CSTOs, 60 are rural and Mabvuku/Tafara is the only urban CSTO registered to-date.
Madam Speaker, Matabeleland North has seven (7) Community
Share Ownership Trusts that have duly been registered, namely:
- Nkayi; 6. Lupane; and
The above mentioned CSTOs were officially launched by His
Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R.G.
Mugabe on 12 October, 2012. The business of exploiting natural resources in the district made pledges to the CSTOs in their area of operation.
Madam Speaker, out of the seven registered CSOTs in
Matabeleland North Province; only two (2) are operational, which are Umguza and Bubi. These two are the only ones that have received seed capital from the businesses exploiting resources in their communities while the rest are yet to receive seed capital as pledged by the qualifying businesses. Bubi Community Share Ownership Trust has to date received US$29 000 out of the US$1 000 000 pledged by Duration Gold, while Umguza has received its full seed capital pledge of US$1 500 000 from Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC). The mining companies that are going to contribute seed capital to Hwange CSOT are Hwange Colliery,
Makomo Resources, Hwange Coal Gasification project, Liberation
Mine, Chibondo Mines and South Mining.
Most of the companies in the province have cited operational challenges as the major factor constraining their ability to honour their pledges.
The pledges to Hwange CSOT are as follows:
Hwange Collioery US$600 000
Makomo Resources US$600 000
Chibondo Mines US$600 000
South Mining US$600 000
Hwange Coal Gasification US$500 000
My Ministry is continuously engaging the businesses for them to honour their seed capital pledges to the CSOTs in Hwange and Matabeleland North Province in general. A specific date for the operationalisation as requested cannot therefore, in the circumstances be provided.
The Hwange CSOT would be operationalised once the companies honour their pledges.
AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO FIX STREET LIGHTS BY THE
BULAWAYO CITY COUNCIL
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development whether ZINARA has availed any funds to Bulawayo City Council to attend to street lights.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA):
Madam Speaker, ZINARA availed $224 809.2 funding to Bulawayo City Council in 2015 for the first quarter for routine maintenance of its roads. The prioritisation of the activities carried out which include pothole patching and street lighting repair rests with the road authority, which in this case is the Bulawayo City Council.
It is my hope that they will attend to some of their street lighting before the end of the year as they receive more funding for routine maintenance of their roads for the second, third and fourth quarters. I thank you.
RESURFACING OF ST. MARTIN ROAD CONNECTING
EMGANWINI IN NKETA AND RANGEMORE
- MR. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to state when the Ministry is going to resurface St. Martin Road which connects Emganwini in Nketa Constituency and Rangemore in Mguza Constituency?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA):
Madam Speaker, St. Martin Road and Rangemore Road belong partially to Bulawayo City Council and Mguza Rural District Council. The sections under Bulawayo City Council are in a fair condition but those under Mguza Rural District Council are in poor condition and would ideally require rehabilitation which includes resurfacing. The responsibility of rehabilitating the two roads falls with the respective road authority, which is Mguza.
Should the respective road authority set aside funding for the rehabilitation and resurfacing but find that they do not have the capacity to do the work themselves, and then they are free to engage my Department of Roads and any other authority with the desired capacity or a private contractor to carry out the work on their behalf. I thank you.
CONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGES ALONG PLUMTREE-HARARE-
- MR. CHINOTIMBA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain the causes of delays in the construction of bridges along the dualised parts of the Plumtree-HarareMutare Road.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA):
Madam Speaker, the section of the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare Road that has been dualised and requires a bridge is the one that goes over the railway line close to the Mabvuku turn-off. The contractor, Group Five, is responsible for the rehabilitation of the two lanes of road in existence before the upgrading of the road while my Department of Roads is responsible for the construction of the two new lanes that resulted in the road being dualised.
The funding for the construction of the two new lanes is from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and work is being implemented on a cash budget. This resulted in the suspension of work whenever the project ran out of funding resulting in the delayed construction of the Mabvuku Road over rail.
Funding for the construction of the road over rail (bridge over a railway line) was recently provided by the Ministry of Finance and Work resumed. The Construction is going to be completed in December
CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS IN MASVINGO
- MR. CHIGUDU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to state when the construction of the following roads in Masvingo will be completed:-
- Masvingo to Kapota road
- The Morgenster-Muchakata-Renco Mine Road
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, the roads in question were under construction but had to be shelved in 2006 as a result of the unavailability of funds. The scope of work on the Masvingo – Kapota Road is 13.5 km and the road was suspended after the construction of only 8km. The construction of the Morgenster –Muchakata –Renco Mine road was suspended at Muchakata after the completion of 37 km and the outstanding work to Renco Mine is 28 km.
Financing of the construction for both roads is from the Ministry of Finance and work will resume as soon as funding is availed. I thank you.
TRANSFER OF RUPANGANWA TRAINING CENTRE TO THE
MINISTRY OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENISATION AND
- MR. MASIYA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain whether there is any policy challenge in transferring the Rupanganwa Training Centre from this Ministry to the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment where it can be used as a skills training centre in line with ZIM ASSET which demands that we maximise the use of all infrastructure available to us.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE,
MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (MR.
ZHANDA): Hon. Member, there are no plans to transfer the centre to any other Ministry. Thank you.
- MASIYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think my question
needs a lot of explanation from the Hon. Minister, if he has no written answer, if he can promise me to bring answer a properly written answer for the question because it is very important to me.
THE TEMPORARAY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister Zhanda it is
Government policy that you answer Questions with Notice with
response on a written paper. I would want you to submit right now, all your written answers to Hansard.
SPREAD OF FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IN CHIREDZI
- 29. MR. MASIYA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to state the Ministry’s plans to stop the spread of foot and mouth disease in Chiredzi and neighbouring districts.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (MR.
ZHANDA): Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question. With your permission Madam Chair, if I can elaborate because the hon. member asked Minister Muchinguri about whether in actual fact they would grant permission for the cattle to graze in conservancies. So, in dealing with that question it is important that I can elaborate on that.
Hon. Masiya that is precisely why we have a foot and mouth outbreak, once the cattle come in contact with Buffalos who normally are resident in the conservancies, that is the source of the outbreak. Therefore, I think Hon. Muchinguri did justice to that question and precisely for us to be able to stop the spread of foot and mouth disease, it is important that the hon. member must also discourage people in his constituency not to open up conservancies because that is the source of the disease. As Government we are doing everything possible to vaccinate cattle affected with foot and mouth disease.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Minister Zhanda
where is your answer?
- ZHANDA: My answer is here. Hon. member. Foot and mouth disease is under control. Beef traders and other traders are encouraged to adhere to the restrictions which we impose in the movement of cattle. I thank you.
ALLOCATION OF FARM IMPLEMENTS IN CHIREDZI EAST
- MR. MASIYA to ask the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development:
- To state the Ministry’s allocation of farm tractors and implements for Tsvovani, Chilonga and Chambutya irrigations in
Chiredzi East Constituency;
- To state whether there are any immediate plans to increase hectrage of the three irrigations mentioned above considering that they still have vast irrigable land with plenty of water
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE,
MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (MR.
ZHANDA): Hon. member, Tshovane Irrigation Scheme will receive 3 tractors, 2 disc ploughs, 3 roam discs, 3 planters, 1 fertilizer spreader and 64 knap sack sprayers. Chilonga Irrigation Scheme will receive 2 tractors, 2 discs ploughs, 2 roam discs, 2 planters, and 58 knap sack sprayers.
With regards to expansion of the irrigation schemes, Government is working on the rehabilitation plan for Chilonga Irrigation Scheme.
After completion of the plan, work will start on the preliminary study for the expansion of Tshovane Irrigation Scheme and then move to Chambutya Irrigation Scheme.
PROTECTION OF LOCALLY PRODUCED PRODUCTS
- MR. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development the following:
- To inform the House on the measures the Ministry is taking to protect local products such as chickens and eggs from foreign products which are coming into the country despite the ban imposed.
- To explain the measures the Ministry is taking to find export market for these local products.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE,
MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (MR.
ZHANDA): Hon. member, there are no import permits that the Ministry is issuing particularly with regards to chickens and eggs to be imported into this country. Most of these products could have been coming into the country illegally.
With regards to chickens and eggs, local demand for the commodities is adequate to absorb local production. However, producers are encouraged to produce at competitive prices in order to penetrate export markets. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: On question number 35 the
Hon. Vice President and Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation Hon. Mphoko is not in the House.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI MUSHONGA: It has been on the Order
Paper from the last time. Is it possible for the other Hon. Vice President to answer that question?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I will make a follow up with
his office so that he can come and respond to his question.
LEAVE TO MOVE RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON THE
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY,
- N.J. MHLANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I move the motion standing in my name that the notice of motion given by Hon. Dr. J. M. Gumbo in reply to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe, which was superseded by the end of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament, be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order number 65(5).
- NKATAZO: I second.
RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE
NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE PRESIDENT
- N. J. MHLANGA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The notice of motion was given by Dr. J. M. Gumbo in reply to the State of the Nation Address given by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. I therefore move that this notice of motion be restored on the Order Paper in my name. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
- GONESE: I move that the Order of the Day, No. 2 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, have been disposed of.
- MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
- RUNGANI: Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the day Number 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the day have been disposed of.
- GONESE: I second.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
- M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would want
to thank His Excellency, the Head of State and Government and
Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the President, Cde. R. G. Mugabe, for his exciting, motivating and progressive speech during the Opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe. I have no doubt in my mind that this august House has a very busy schedule in debating all the proposed Bills put forward by His Excellency, Cde. R. G. Mugabe.
Madam Speaker, I am the MP for Silobela Constituency which is made up of 14 wards with 11 wards in rural areas and 3 wards in resettlement areas. The Constituency is endowed with mineral resources, especially gold. As a result, we have several mines in the area namely Jena Mines, Malgreen and many small scales including the famous
Peace Mine. I would like to thank His Excellency for his vision and commitment to improve agriculture productivity through the Brazilian programme which has seen two irrigation schemes (Exchange and
Mayorca) in my constituency benefitting equipment and implements.
Exchange Irrigation Scheme got 5 tractors, 3 disc ploughs, 4 rom discs, 1 fertilizer spreader and 4 planters whilst Mayorca got 2 tractors, 1 disc plough, 1 rom disc and 1 planter. This will go a long way in improving food production to enhance food security in the entire constituency.
Going to the Presidential Speech, my constituency has a high potential for investment in mining, hence the overhauling of the Companies Act will reduce a cocktail of formalities of establishing the company, unlike presently where investors end up not investing in the country due to bureaucratic procedures and rampant corruption taking place. The long and tiresome procedures fuelled corruption which is scaring away potential investors. It is my hope that once the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill has been passed into law, it will create a conducive environment for the establishment of companies and will create thousands of much needed job opportunities so that we reduce drastically the brain drain of skilled labour to neighbouring countries and abroad.
Madam Speaker, my constituency is sitting on large reserves of minerals such as gold which need to be fully exploited for the benefit of my constituency. Again, the overhauling of the Companies Act will translate to improved business environment to attract and build confidence of investors in mining sector. I would like to thank His
Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. R. G. Mugabe for the ZIM ASSET programme which has seen the constituency being given a mining tribute by Fredda Rebecca mine. The programme operates under Silobela Community Development Trust.
It has since created employment for more than 400 locals. The mine has the capacity to produce more than 10kgs per month. Therefore, it is my hope that the mine will acquire state of the art machinery to improve the gold output. It is pleasing to note that the mine has got the investor who will supply gold processing machinery at zero deposit. However, on a sad note, three quarters of the 400 miners are coming from outside the constituency. They have been corruptly smuggled into the mine by the board chairperson and the Treasurer who have turned the mine to be their family business.
I agree that a sizable amount of gold is sent to Fidelity, but the large chunk is channeled to the illegal market. I have engaged other arms of Government to curb this but it seems there is no solution and no arrests have been made despite glaring evidence. I am requesting the relevant Government authorities to look into this issue and perpetrators of this corruption should be dealt with accordingly in order to stop this scourge which is now destroying my constituency. What boggles the mind is that the chairperson and his nephew who happens to be the Treasurer have managed to bribe every office which could be helpful in solving the problem and they are boasting about it. It is my hope as well that the Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, will work hard to ensure that more claims are identified and given to the people. The other dysfunctional mine such as Malgreen needs to be given to the people because it started by displacing a number of villagers on the pretext that they were going to employ the locals. It has since halted its operations after functioning for two years. If it can be resuscitated under the ZIM ASSET programme and be given to the constituency; it will go a long way in relieving pressure from Peace Mine and increase gold production to Fidelity Printers. The mine is deemed to have high quality gold but the only challenge is that it needs heavy initial capital injection and this could be successfully done through partnerships and the community will convincingly benefit. By the same token, may we be given Tiger Reef as well so that you can see what Silobela people are capable of doing in championing their development under my leadership as the ZANU PF Member of Parliament?
Madam Speaker, fortunately gold price is going up and the current price of US$37.00 per gram has worked wonders in the community in terms of improving livelihoods under this programme where miners work as syndicates. However, it is incumbent upon the Ministry officials that they ensure transparency and accountability of the precious minerals and that processed gold is delivered to Fidelity Printers and stop side market to boost gold inflows to Fidelity Printers.
Madam Speaker, water provision is a challenge in my constituency, we need boreholes in both resettlement areas and communal areas. Dams and weirs are now drying earlier than anticipated due to the fact that rainfall is erratic and inadequate. There are little inflows into the dams due to the reoccurrence of drought because of the climate change phenomenon and recharge of boreholes equally disappointing. Climate change is now a reality and we need to construct bigger dams which could perennially supply water for agriculture and supply for the fast expanding growth points. Therefore, I suggest the speedy construction of a big dam at Shangani confluence. This dam, once built, will ensure the establishment of more than 200 ha of arable land under irrigation to further complement the efforts of the other two irrigation schemes earlier mentioned.
The public-private partnerships as enshrined in Sustainable
Development Goal Number 17 will work wonders to ensure that the dream of Silobela is a reality. Furthermore, as Silobela Constituency, we want to continue to utilise water in a very productive and efficient way. Instead of using water for irrigation purposes and livestock only, we are planning to diversify and engage in fisheries in an extensive scale and build shalets to promote rural tourism and other relevant facilities. This will be done to the three dam sites, that is Exchange, Mayorca and Shangani when it is completed.
Madam Speaker, concerning road infrastructure development, we would like to bring to the attention of this august House that the
Kwekwe-Nkayi-Lupane Road which is the main link with Nkayi, Bulawayo, Lupane, Hwange and Victoria Falls from Harare is a busy road but its present state is inaccessible. The road needs to be tarred because grading it does not last due to high volumes of traffic. It is my sincere hope that this project should be included in the national plans for upgrading major roads to enhance easy travel and boost business of the surrounding communities and business community along the way. The road will provide a shorter routé to and from Victoria Falls and shortens the distance from Hwange and Victoria Falls by 200 kilometres which will eventually reduce the transportation cost of coal and gas.
This is a good development as well for the motorists and boosting of tourism in the resort towns. Furthermore, transportation of agricultural produce from the irrigation schemes and gold from surrounding mines like Jena Mine and Peace Mine will be made easy and cost effective.
Madam Speaker, it is gratifying to note that in my constituency, I have managed to ensure the electrification of two clinics, two secondary schools and two primary schools. I want once again to thank His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde R. G.
Mugabe on the efforts made so far in my constituency by REA – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - However, more other institutions need the same services when funds permit.
Mr. Speaker Sir, education remains a vital asset for our children who are our future leaders. However, at the present moment, education is poorly resourced, leading to poor infrastructure development resulting in poor performance of both teachers and students in my constituency. In my constituency, I have three new primary schools which need to be built and completion of one secondary school which we initiated as a community. Public and private partnership will come handy in infrastructure development in the constituency for the education sector.
In my endeavour to ensure that education system is enhanced, I will suggest that a mini-solar power grid system be constructed to improve electricity provisions for students to have more study time. This needs to be done to improve the pass rate because at present, the pass rate is disappointing. It is also my hope that the new curriculum will buttress my efforts to improve the education system in the constituency. Madam. Speaker, the new curriculum is a good work done by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education; but the proposed levy to be effected next year will be a burden to many households who can hardly afford a decent meal a day and currently struggling to pay the levies and school fees.
I need to underscore the fact that Government has put in place
District Education Inspectors, which is a noble idea and a job well done. In order for them to be more efficient and effective, they need adequate resources so that they carry out their mandate to the best of their capabilities. It will be folly for the Ministry to think that the education system will be improved without fully resourcing their monitoring and evaluation mechanism. Furthermore, Madam Speaker, teachers need better remuneration and improvement of their conditions of service for the betterment of the education system in the country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, vocational training remains the mainstay in reviving our economy. Those out of school and youths have no meaningful source of income in the constituency except haphazard gold panning which endangers their lives. Therefore as the Member of Parliament, I want to initiate the skills training programme for the youth in the constituency for them to be self reliant. The constituency has no vocational training facility, hence many out of school children and youths are hungry for these life skills. Therefore, there is need to construct at least one vocational training centre in the constituency through the assistance of the private sector. I therefore propose the following courses - carpentry, building, garment making, agriculture and plumbing. The courses are going to run for six months in class and six months on industrial attachment. This effectively means students will graduate after completing one year.
Madam Speaker, concerning the digitalisation project, there is great need to improve communication provision in other parts of my constituency. We have three mobile networks; that is, TelOne, Econet and Telecel. But some of the areas are not covered and others are poorly covered by these networks. There is need for more base stations for effective coverage and enhancement of communication for the majority of people in the constituency. This will also assist people in ecocash, Tele cash, one wallet and netcash for people to be able to transact at the proximity of their homes.
Madam Speaker, it is my hope that this programme will make elearning possible for our students in various schools in the Constituency.
Also this facility will assist farmers to trade their produce and competitively determine the market price for their produce whilst in their homes. Effective communication will also avert disasters because people could be easily alerted on the pending disaster through reliable sources and people can easily move to safe places. Communication in my constituency will also help with information dissemination concerning farming seasons so that farmers could be better prepared for the planting season.
Madam Speaker, other parts of my constituency have poor radio and television reception, hence the need for improved coverage because radio and television play a vital role in information dissemination for effective development and better understanding of national programmes to take place.
Madam Speaker, let me end my debate by commending the Government in its endeavours to eliminate corruption which is now cancerous to our economy. Corruption has become so endemic that it is now a major scare of investors. It will be plausible that from now going forward the Anti-Corruption Commission should have teeth to bite rather than to continue nurturing corruption and window dressing this scourge. Also there should be political will to address this problem. His Excellency Cde R. G. Mugabe, needs our full support and commitment to eradicate this vice for the positive development of our economy.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: 8th October, 2015.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): I move that Order of the Day, Number 5 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 6 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE AMENDMENT BILL
2015, [H.B. 2, 2015]
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, 2015
[H.B. 2, 2015].
Question again proposed.
- MAJOME: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this
opportunity as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to debate this Bill. Before I begin Madam Speaker, I want to preface the report of my Committee with an expression of profound gratitude to the Hon. Vice President who is also the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for his patience in allowing your Portfolio Committee to exercise its role and function of analysing Bills that will come before the House in terms of the Standing Rules and Orders. I also want to commend the Hon Vice President who also exercises the functions of Minister, for his zeal in wanting to work with speed to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe are implemented and particularly seen to be evident even in our Statute books, hence this Bill.
If you will allow me to present the report of my Committee on the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill which your Portfolio
Committee comprising myself as Chair, Hon Chipanga, Hon. Gonese, Hon Kachepa, Hon. Kagonye, Hon. Madondo, Hon. Mashange, Hon.
Mashayamombe, Hon. Matangira, Hon. Mawere-Mubvumbi, Hon.
Mguni, Hon Mutematsaka, Hon. Mtingwende, Hon. Ndlovu, Hon.
Nkatazo, Hon. Shumba and Hon. Zindi deliberated upon. Your Committee was appointed in terms of Standing Order No. 17 and exercised its mandate in terms Standing Order No. 19 which requires that we analyse and consider all Bills and Statutory Instruments for matters referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.
On 3rd April 2015, the Government gazetted the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill [H.B. 2, 2015] which seeks, according to its memorandum, to align some of the country’s laws to the
Constitution and also introduce new provisions altogether here and
there. Your Committee adopted the method of analysing the Bill itself in a manner that was informed by Public Hearings that were conducted from the 27th to 31st July 2015 in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare. The consultations were an effort to comply with Section 141
(2) of the Constitution which requires that the public be consulted by Parliament of Zimbabwe in matters before it, including Bills. Your Committee was also informed by written submissions that your Committee invited from experts who, as you will agree, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill is a Bill of the nature that technical experts such as lawyers would have a deep and keen interest in. We also invited submissions from experts and whatever interested parties. I am encouraged that your Committee was pleased with the level of interest that was shown in the Bill all over the country and we were listening intently. We will reflect those sentiments and the
Committee’s own report.
Your Committee found the following; in Clause 6 of the Bill itself tends to grant the Prosecutor-General complete and unfettered discretion to issue certificates of non-prosecution in matters where the Prosecutor- General has declined to prosecute in the public instance. However, your Committee finds that such unfettered and complete discretion will actually deny any persons who have legitimate reasons to want to institute public prosecutions of their right to have their cases adjudicated upon by a court and this will actually leave a lot of them with no legal recourse whatsoever.
By denying those people who want to privately prosecute but who the Prosecutor-General has just decided not to issue a certificate of prosecution, the clause would contravene Section 69 (3) of the
Constitution which accords everyone the right to be heard. The same
Clause 6, Madam Speaker, was also seen in unfavourable light by your Committee in that it seeks to bar juristic persons from being able to prosecute privately and therefore violates Section 56 (1) of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination and which guarantees equality of all, including juristic persons before the law, the benefit of the law because they will not be able to access the court if they are so denied.
Your Committee also found out that the proposed requirement in Clause 6 of the same Bill, for a would be private prosecutor to pay a security deposit to a court before they are allowed to prosecute privately or before the Prosecutor-General allows them to do so, is discriminatory to those who do not have the money to pay and actually prohibits those who have no money to pay. The State in Zimbabwe today does not pay cost to anyone when it prosecutes and fails to prosecute. It does not do so. Your Committee found it unconscionable to require a private prosecutor to pay costs when the practice is that we do not pay costs in this jurisdiction. Your Committee urges the hon. Minister to reconsider that so that there is fairness to private would-be litigants because they might not have money.
Madam Speaker, your Committee is convinced that the Bill must also give effect to the recent constitutional decision that was passed just last month by the Constitutional Court in the case of Francis
Maramwidze versus the Attorney General (HC 10/203 of 2012) compelling the Prosecutor-General to issue a certificate of non prosecution to free a potential private prosecutor when he or she declines to prosecute.
Clause 6 merely says that there shall be a Director of National Public Prosecutions but does not proceed to specify what that office bearer will or will not do. Your Committee also found out that Clause 12 of the Bill seeks to empower the police to restrain people who it thinks are drunk or insane and detain them in a police station for up to 24 hours without charging them at all. Your Committee found out that this is an anomaly because the title of the Bill itself is the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill and the Act that it seeks to amend is the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill. Your Committee found it unjustifiable and if in fact possibly unreasonable, to put in that Bill and in the Act a matter that has nothing to do with criminal procedure and criminal evidence as the heading says itself. Your Committee feels that this particular provision has no business being in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act because it has nothing to do with criminality. Seriously, your Committee found that this provision to detain people who are suspected to be drunk or whom the police suspect to be insane, unlawfully discriminates against persons with mental disabilities as it would allow for their detention in facilities that are not appropriate for their condition.
There are also circumstances where the police are not qualified psychiatrists or psychologists and are incapable of determining a person’s state of mind and this would prejudice the people. It infringes their right to personal liberty under Section 49 of the Constitution, right to dignity in terms of Section 51and right to equality and nondiscrimination as guaranteed by Section 56 (3) of the Constitution.
Madam Speaker, your Committee found that the Mental Health Act already provides adequately for the care and protection of people who have an unsound mind and the protection of the public from them. The Committee notes that there is no reason why this should be in the Bill. Clause 12, which would be the new Section 39 (c) of the Bill, was objectionable to your Committee in that; it found that it would render as admissible, incriminating statements made by people who voluntarily attend at police stations or are detained under Section 39 (b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. It would therefore deprive such people of the protection of the law guaranteed by Section 56 (1) of the Constitution.
Madam Speaker, your Committee found that Clause 15 sets out the circumstances in which force may be used to arrest people. However, it unconstitutionally goes on to permit the use of lethal force in certain specified conditions. This is despite the fact that Section 86 (3) of the Constitution provides that the right to life is sacrosanct. As such, no law may limit it except the execution of criminals who would have been sentenced to death in accordance with Section 48 of the Constitution.
All people, even a police officer may violate that right.
Clause 28 seeks to prevent suspects or accused persons from enjoying the full right to silence, which our Constitution guarantees in Section 50 (4) (a) (b) and Section 70 (1) (i) of the Constitution. It would draw adverse inference from their right to remain silent yet the
Constitution now entrenches the person’s absolute right to remain silent if they encounter the law-enforcement agents. This Clause, coupled with Section 66 (6) as read with the following sections; Section 67 (2), Section 67, Section115, Section 117 (a) (5) as well as Section 188 as read with Section 189 (2) and 198 (9) as also read with Section 199 (1) as well as Sections 257 and 258 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Act, would all work to totally erode the right to silence that
Zimbabweans gained for themselves by passing this new Constitution.
Madam Speaker, your Committee found that clause 29 of the Bill, which requires an arrested person who is charged with certain crimes to satisfy the court that there are compelling reasons for their release, to be shifting the onus of proof from the prosecutors to the arrested person. It is clear that the prosecution itself should establish compelling reasons for the continued detention of the accused because a person’s right to liberty is guaranteed in the Constitution.
Your Committee took exception and was concerned gravely with what appears to be a reintroduction of the death penalty by the Bill.
Section 48 (2) of the Constitution effectively outlaws the death penalty and provides that Parliament itself may enact a law to permit the death penalty. This means that the Constitution outlaws the death penalty.
Madam Speaker, it is fortuitous that this report has been presented just three days before the International Day of the Abolition of the Death Penalty that falls annually on 10th October. It urges nations to think seriously about abolishing the death penalty. However, in Zimbabwe we already have our Constitution where the meaning of Section 48 (2) is that the death penalty is not allowed, but it can only come in if
Parliament, in terms of Section 48 (2) enacts a law to allow it. This Bill seeks more or less to entrench it in circumstances that do not give Parliament an opportunity to seriously and invasively debate and consider the issue.
Madam Speaker, for the reason that the death penalty can only be imposed on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, there should be a stand-alone debate about whether or not this august House should bring back the death penalty to Zimbabwe.
The Constitution provides that Parliament can decide whether to bring the death penalty or not and to do so by way of this clause in this Bill, is not what the constitutional drafters envisaged. It is not the kind of attention that such a weighty and serious matter requires.
Madam Speaker, your Committee found out that there are certain provisions that are desirable if the hon. Minister is to fully implement and effect his intention to align the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill to the new Constitution. There are certain provisions that still need to be looked at in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill in order to give full effect to the Constitution.
Madam Speaker, I will proceed to outline them; the Committee finds that the proposed new Section 5 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill does not prohibit the Prosecutor-General from authorising members of the security forces, the police in particular, to prosecute. It therefore falls short of the standard in Section 208 (4) of the Constitution which specifically and categorically prohibits members of the security forces and the security services in terms of the police from being employed in civilian institutions except in emergencies. The Prosecutor-General’s office is a civilian institution and there is no state of emergency. Therefore, your Committee implores the hon. Minister to have a relook at that.
Madam Speaker, your Committee also found that the Bill unacceptably and unjustifiably leaves intact the following sections of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act; Section 32(3) (a) and Section 34 (4), which at the moment prohibit the court from granting bail for 21 days to a person who is arrested for what are termed serious offences. To the Committee, this appears to be an infringement on the right to protection of the law and the presumption of innocence and the right to liberty in unjustifiable circumstances.
Madam Speaker, your Committee hopes that the hon. Minister will also look at Section 33 (1) of the Act, which currently empowers a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace to issue a warrant of arrest merely upon an application from an applicant who says that they suspect that there is reasonable suspicion for the person to be arrested. The section is not providing for the issuer of the warrant of arrest to entertain reasonable suspicion that, that person may have committed an offence. Madam Speaker, this would deprive a person of his or her liberty merely on the say-so of somebody else who is not a warrant officer. It would be fair if the issuing officer of the warrant exercises their mind and discretion in order to decide whether a warrant should be issued or not.
Section 50 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill objectionably empowers a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace, to similarly issue a search warrant in addition to a warrant of arrest without personally entertaining suspicion that the subject of the warrant has committed an offence. That is also found to be objectionable for the same reasons by your Committee.
Madam Speaker, your Committee also found as unacceptable and unjustifiable, the failure or delay in using this opportunity to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, to finally repeal the repugnant Section 121(3), which has achieved notoriety by allowing the National Prosecuting Authority to veto and overrule the decisions of the judiciary to grant bail for 7 days on the pretext of mulling an appeal, thereby violating Section 56 Sub Section 1 that the right to protection of the law. And Section 164 of the Constitution that on the independence of the judiciary because if the NPA can overrule a court decision that is definitely interfering with the judiciary.
As recent as 23 September 2015, Madam Speaker, that is less than a month ago, our Constitutional Court in the case of Fanuel Kamerendo and others versus the State in case No. Constitutional Court Zimbabwe 84 of 2015 struck down Section 120 the same Section 121 Sub Section 3 as not only and I quote the words of the Chief Justice the Hon.
Chidyausiku “that section is more sadistic than legal” but, also outright unconstitutional in terms of Section 13 Sub Section 1 and 18 Sub Section 1 of the former Constitution which have equivalence in the current Constitution.
Madam Speaker, your Committee therefore, hopes that the hon. minister will also move within the same spirit so that the Constitutional Court is not the one that is burdened to attempt to legislate on our behalf when the Legislature is present. So that we strike out all those provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that are not only repugnant but that are also now totally inconsistent with our constitution without waiting for the Constitutional Court to do so. In this case the
Constitutional Court has actually done so, it is the Committee’s hope that the hon. minister will in fact factor in these very progressive developments.
Madam Speaker, Section 193 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act has also been ignored in the proposed Bill. Yet, that Section Madam Speaker very disturbingly discriminates against people who are either deaf or do not have the capacity to speak and thus misalign to the Constitution.
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Majome, I would like to
remind you that you have four minutes to conclude.
- MAJOME: Very well, Madam Speaker, we received very impassioned and lucid representations from people who represent communities of people who are deaf and they told us the following.
They told us that the Section 193 that is left intact by this Bill legislates prejudice in that it stereotypes those who are deaf by assuming that simply because they cannot speak are somehow mentally ill or have a propensity to violence and are thus a danger to society or are an endangering class of people.
Further, it has also resulted in the lack of reasonable accommodation for deaf to effectively function in the mainstream of
Zimbabwe’s communities. It also does not acknowledge sign language as one of the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe. Instead of criminalising deaf people they should instead be a move towards giving capacity to arresting officers the criminal procedure officials to learn deaf language so that they can communicate with these people and not lock them up as if they are criminals. It also promotes the pre trial and incarceration of the deaf because of the inability to prosecute the deaf due to a lack of speech and therefore, violating the presumption of innocence under Section 70 Sub Section (a) under the Constitution violates also the following provisions of the Constitution Section 56 equality of human beings and Section 63 the equitable treatment of officially recognised languages, Section 50 Sub Section 1 (d) the admission and arrest and detain persons to bail considering that disability or lack of speech is never a determinant in the courts for refusing to grant bail.
Section 51 the very right to human dignity itself as well sections 56 Sub Section 1 and 3 which require equality before the law and non discrimination on the basis of language or disability. As well as Section 70 Sub Section 1 paragraph (j) that is the right to have proceedings interpreted in a language the accused person understands. It is the Committee hope that the hon. minister will also look at these Sections and bring them in line with the Constitution. By retaining also the Third Schedule of Offences in the Bill, the Bill does not place on the state the onus to prove that the person should be denied bail as should be the case under Section 50 Sub Section Sub Section 1paragragh (d) of the Constitution.
The Committee recommends that the Third Schedule should be repealed as there is no reason at all why magistrates cannot grant bail to persons who are being charged with the offences in the Third Schedule except murder, when they can try those offences themselves. Madam Speakers, you Committee looked at the very inordinate difficulty of those people who have the misfortune to live outside Harare or Bulawayo where the High Court sits regularly because they cannot approach the High Court to apply for bail as easily as those who in Harare or Bulawayo can.
Madam Speaker, I coclude by the Committee’s specific recommendations:
- That it implores the hon. minister to make sure that the Bill specifies what the national Director of Public Prosecution; will or will not do.
- That in clause 5 he finds it in him to remove the provisions that discriminates against juristic persons so that they have equality of the law guaranteed by Section 69 Sub Section 3 in doing private prosecutions.
- That in clause 3 that he ensures that the Bill upholds the decision of the Constitutional Court in case HC 10203 of 12 that is the Kereke case. I believe that the Prosecutor General is obliged to issue a certificate of nolle prosequi as long as the applicant shows that they have locus standi or standing at law to prosecute. This would protect the right to access to justice.
- In Clause 12 in so far as it relates to the mentally challenged since it mirrors Section 13 of the Mental Health Act, should be removed altogether.
- That in Clause 15, to repeal Section 42 Sub Section 2 of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act that allows the use of lethal force to reflect the sacrosanct status of the right to life under the
- To amend Section 33 Sub Section 1 of the present Act to require an official who issues either a warrant of arrest or a warrant of search to personally entertain suspicion that the subject of the warrant has committed an offence.
- In clause 28 that refers to Section 66 Subsection 6 and 10 and 67 Sub Section 2 Section 67 Section 115, Section 117 (a) and Section
118 together with the following Sections 189 Sub Section 2, 189
Sub Section 9 together with Section 199 Sub Section 1 and Section
256-258 of the Act to be repealed or amended to render them Constitutional and align them with Sections 50 Sub Sections 4 paragraph (a) and (b) and Sections 70 Sub Section 1 paragraph (i) of the Constitution.
- Madam Speaker, for the hon. minister to also align clause 29, two of the Bill to Section 50 Sub Section 1 (d) of the Constitution to place the onus on the prosecution to prove that it has compelling reasons to admit a person to bail. I am just winding and am on my penultimate recommendations of the Committee.
- To repeal Sections 32 Sub Section 3 and 34 Sub Subsection 4 which allow denial of bail for 21 days.
- GONESE: Madam Speaker, I move that the hon. member’s
time be extended.
MADAM SPEAKER: But, I did not recognise you. Can you
please sit down?
- GONESE: Thank you Madam Speaker, I move that the hon.
member’s time be extended.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I second.
- MANDIPAKA: I object Madam Speaker.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much
Madam Speaker …
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, I will allow the hon. chairperson of the Committee to submit the whole report to Hansard.
MRS. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much
Madam Speaker, what I will try to do I think the Committee report has gone into details in terms of going right into the Bill. I was hoping that some of these issues that we think violate the Constitution we will probably raise as we go into Committee. So I will just speak to the principles from what we got as our summary on the amendment of the
I will start by thanking the Vice President very much for bringing this to us because it speaks to the issues around alignment. However, I think my concern arises from the fact that when you speak about alignment you are speaking about making sure that the things that were agreed to, in the Constitution are basically part of what you then address when coming up with Acts or Amendments. I am just concerned that some of the issues that we do have in this Bill are actually contrary to the spirit and letter of what we were speaking to during the constitutional process. My concern also arises from the fact that I know that the Hon. Vice President was very close to the constitutional process, so he would understand some of the intricate conversations and negotiations that went with the coming up of the new Constitution.
Therefore even as we begin to come up with amendments or new laws, one would want to believe that those laws speak to the issues that were either raised by Zimbabweans in general during the COPAC process or they speak to the general conversations or contestations that were there during the process. I will speak to a few of those issues as issues of principle and I am hoping when we do go to the Committee Stage we can then speak to what we are proposing can be done. Given the fact that the Hon. Vice President has really been good in allowing consultations and conversations, I am hoping that even as we begin to make those suggestions that they are not merely thrown out but that he may take time to go back and look at what makes sense around those issues.
The report from the Portfolio Committee on Justice did speak to the issues of us making sure that if the Judiciary makes a decision on a particular issue, we should not be seen to be bringing that issue behind closed doors – kind of. The very fact that we have a new Section 8, which I think the Chairperson of the Committee did raise also, is problematic to the extent that just as the ruling that she referred to was struck off, one thinks that Section 8 is also trying to do exactly the same.
She did go into detail in terms of that new Section 8 and what it is trying to do in terms of overriding the decisions that would have been made by the courts, by re-arresting a particular person that would have been given bail.
The other issue that is also of concern is that around Clause 6, which is around Private Prosecution. I think we need to always be alive to the fact that when something is in the public and you come up with a particular law, people may actually read that to be a law that you are putting in place for a particular individual. We cannot run away from the fact that we know that currently there is a debate around Jane Mutasa vs Telecel. When you read some of these issues around private prosecutions now being put in place and becoming law, you begin to wonder whether we are now making sure that some of these individuals are protected from private prosecution; particularly if you read Clause 6 in relation to what the Chairperson raised that it is only speaking about natural persons and not juristic persons. We need to think very seriously about that because in normal day-to-day life, very few individuals will
be able to push for private prosecution, particularly if you are now asking for a certain deposit and a particular amount of money to be paid, for you to get a certificate for private prosecution.
The only people that are in a position to push for private prosecution are actually companies, which basically cannot ask for private prosecution. So it then looks as if there is somebody somewhere along the line who is trying to protect particular individuals. In terms of the
Chairman’s report, I think that is a matter of concern because we know it is on public record that we already have cases in which these certificates for private prosecution are being denied. People may then think that if somebody is in a position of power or is a political individual, then the Prosecutor General may decide not to do some things.
The reason why I raised the issue at the beginning that the Hon. Vice President will understand very well was because during the process of negotiations, one of the things that got us to push for separation between the Attorney General and the Prosecutors’ Office, when we then created the National Prosecuting Authority was on the basis that we really wanted to make sure that the public would have the confidence that if it is prosecution – it is indeed prosecution and this person is not going to be pushed to make political decisions. The AG, we understood at that particular point in time that he was playing a double role of being the advisor to Government but also being one who would be responsible for prosecution.
This is why I am asking the Hon. VP to think through some of these things because then it will look like what people were raising at that particular point-in-time, where they wanted an independent prosecuting authority comes to naught. If you are now creating these particular laws that still look as if we are creating an environment that will allow those things that we have always wanted to do through the AG but we are now putting them into law so that we provide the environment for the Prosecutor General to then do what he would want.
The one Clause that I am really personally concerned about is Clause 14 of the Bill. This is the clause that speaks to the fact that if you are arrested, the burden now shifts upon the accused to prove otherwise in terms of the language that has been used. The issue of language was one of the most serious conversations that we had during the COPAC process. You have also noticed that even in this House, it has been one of the issues that we have continuously raised because people feel very strongly about the use of their own language.
What you are finding in Clause 14 and where it is presumed that you have been told in English, you have to prove at the end of the day that when you were arrested, indeed, what you were told were your rights, were told to you in the language of your choice. I find it quite problematic in 2 ways. Firstly, whilst we say there is an equality of languages, we are still making English to some extent, the language of record. What I am proposing is to have something that the accused will sign. So if you do speak in vernacular there should be something indicating that you were spoken to in the language of your choice and not to shift the burden of that argument to the person who is arrested, which I think is a bit unfair.
Let me just take a rabbit trail and show you why I am really concerned about this issue of language. The people that will arrest are police officers. Fortunately – and this is a credit to the police to some extent, I went onto the internet and there is a very good site that speaks to who is who in each particular province. Madam Speaker, you would be surprised that the only province that has somebody who is outside Mashonaland is Matabeleland South, some uncle of mine called L. Ncube. The rest, even in Bulawayo, are people that are not necessarily coming from that particular place.
I made this judgment on the basis of their surnames. I know that people might come back to me and say that is not an issue because those people could be conversant with the Ndebele language. Why is it that I do not find omaDhlodhlo in Masvingo or Mashonaland Central. If that was true we would find literally a person coming from Binga being thrown in Mashonaland Central. Why I am raising this as an issue of principle is that if we do not deal with the issue of language as a problematic issue, it becomes a critical point and this is why it is there as part of our Constitution because people were clear that they wanted to be addressed in their own language.
Like I said Madam Speaker, you have seen it even in this House and I have raised it with a number of Cabinet Ministers to say, can you explain to me why it is that people that come from the south are able to speak fluently in the Shona language; yet when you ask people that come from Mashonaland, they will not even begin to try to speak in some of the languages that are in the southern region. I raise this Madam
Speaker in that, anything that we are going to do as part of our
Constitution should speak to what people in those particular areas said.
There is a time that the Hon. Vice President, after I had raised an issue in the House, responded to me in Ndebele. I then went and spoke to him because the amount of feedback that I got, just from the fact that somebody is willing to speak in your language, was something that people admire and brought to them, their human dignity. I think we should seriously look at Clause 14 and see what it is that we are actually saying in Clause 14 around issues of language.
The other point that I want to raise is the issue that is noted in Clause 20 of the Bill. It is that issue that people will be arrested at night if they are carrying certain goods. I find it fascinating that for some reason, somebody thinks that people only steal at night, and it actually specifies to say from ‘sunset to sunrise’. So it is that period of night. So if you are found with goods, the first problem with it is that given the things that we have reported the police to be doing even at roadblocks, how are we going to stop somebody when I am holding my laptop and they know that they want to find certain things in my laptop. They will stop me, grab my laptop and say to me you are taking goods. There is no definition of what those goods are. Are they supposed to be of a particular size or weight? How are you defining goods for example?
The second one is around issues of gender. Madam Speaker, we know that women are beaten up mostly at night. You rarely find a woman carrying her mutundu or whatever going somewhere. They are harassed at night, whether it is because somebody is being forced to say give me conjugal rights, but it always happens at night. What you are doing with this particular Clause is in fact to make sure that women are going to be the target of this particular issue because it is not clear.
I have been arrested before and I know what happens when you are in those cells. During the time I was arrested and I was at Harare Central Police Station; what would happen is that the women would be brought in at a particular time of the night and by the time you get into the morning, those women are no longer there in the cells. Why, because they have moved and gone to pay their fines in the form of sex with the police officers. In this instance, if you are now going to broaden this issue, thank God, the whole thing was struck by the Constitutional Court around the issues of loitering and so on.
If you bring this particular issue, I can assure you Madam Speaker that the people that will be taken on, face the wrath of the law and abused by the police officers are going to be women. Just look around and see who those individuals that are carrying goods or having babies on their back or doing certain things at a particular night are. The majority of them are women. If you are a person who knows how to steal, you know when to move your goods. There is no way you are going to move them around those roads and in most of those instances, they are actually doing it in collaboration, in certain instances, with the police. So they will not go there.
So, this particular Clause 14 that speaks around the issues of goods being moved at night, I think for me is really problematic. I am just hoping that as we look at these amendments or laws that we are dealing with, I think let us look at the spirit that led us to this. It is us, this House that brought this Constitution and made it alive. I do not think we should be seen to be the same House that takes away the rights that we sow, went out and spoke to people, and made sure that we fought for so that we would have a Constitution that has been negotiated, is inclusive and that has one of the best Bill of Rights that anybody has ever seen. I think it is unfortunate that as we begin to come up with these amendments, we are taking away some of those things.
In conclusion Madam Speaker, one of the problems that I actually had, both with the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, is that there is so much in it that I think would actually be critical and priority issues that we are not finding in there. Whilst the idea is good that we are trying to push for the alignment, I am not sure, I understand that it is a chicken and egg situation, we want these things to pass very quickly. We want to align the laws and therefore, we are bringing them quickly but I am not sure that we have done enough to deal with what really is critical in terms of us making sure that there is an alignment of these laws to the Constitution. Like I said Madam Speaker, perhaps when we do get to Committee Stage, then we would propose particular amendments. I thank you.
- GONESE: I would like to begin by also thanking the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for his indulgency and his latitude to allow the Portfolio Committee to present its report before debate ensued. The amendment which the Hon. Vice President has brought to this august House is very important. When you are dealing with the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Amendment Bill, I think it is very important to have a situation where, obviously we have the issues of alignment, but I think over and above that, it is essential that as legislators we ensure that we make good laws, as provided for in the Constitution.
Before I go in to the substance relating to the Bill, I would like to point out that the report which has been presented to this august House is a product of consultations, which the Portfolio Committee made when it conducted public hearings. I would also want to say that, this report was adopted by Members of Parliament from both sides of the House who looked at the issues, analysed the provisions of the Bill and came up with recommendations, which I would really like to urge the Minister to seriously take into account.
I would also want to preface my remarks by making reference to the Constitution of Zimbabwe which enjoins this House ‘to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe’. It also provides for public access to and involvement in parliamentary …
Cellphone having rang
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order, the hon. member
with a phone that is ringing, can you please stand up and move out of this House right now. Hon. Chigudu, you are not allowed to use cellphones in the House. Your cellphones are supposed to be on the silent and you are not even allowed to text messages when you are in the House. You have to concentrate.
- GONESE: I was just making reference to the provisions in the Constitution which facilitate public involvement and which ensure that the voice of the public is heard. I want to say to the Hon. Minister that where we have recommendations which are coming from what the people of Zimbabwe said, I would really urge the Minister to take those recommendations very seriously and where possible, adopt them because I believe that they will enhance our legislative process. Bearing in mind that extensive consultations have taken place, I would suggest that it is important that those consultations find expression in the amendments which the Minister can bring at the Committee Stage in the debate of this Bill.
I would like to comment on a few aspects relating to the Bill which the Minister has been pleased to bring before us. Firstly, I want to speak about the powers of the prosecution, as the Committee’s report points out. There is no clarity on who the Prosecutor General can delegate his/her functions and I believe that it is very important. I believe that there must be certain parameters if you are going to give that latitude. I think concerns have been raised in the past about the delegation of prosecutorial duties to members of the security services and this is a matter of grave concern for two reasons.
Firstly, in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, Section 208 (4), it is very clear that outside public emergencies, members of the security services must not be assigned to perform civilian functions. We all know that in this country, we had a situation where police prosecutors were being engaged by the then Attorney-General’s Office. I believe that at this point in time, when we have got the Prosecutor General, it must be made clear that if any functions of the Prosecutor General are going to be assigned, they are not going to be assigned to members of the security services.
The second reason Madam Speaker is that, at this point in time, we have got an abundance of law graduates. We now have three institutions of higher learning in this country, which offer law degrees. We have got the University of Zimbabwe, the Midlands State University and now we have got The Great Zimbabwe University and over and above that, we have got the University of South Africa (UNISA) which offers correspondence for people who want to do law degrees and also a lot of universities in South Africa where a lot of Zimbabweans have gone to study. I believe that there is no reason why the Prosecutor General’s Office cannot recruit from these law graduates.
As we speak, it is common cause that a lot of the graduates are actually unemployed and I believe that it is no longer necessary for the office of the Prosecutor General to have to engage police officers. So, I want to believe that the provisions in the Bill must be tightened to make it abundantly clear that while the Prosecutor General has got the latitude to engage other people, these cannot be members of the security services.
There is also the issue of the mindset when you are a police officer, your training is mainly focused on arresting and trying to secure convictions which is different to what legal practitioners and those civilian prosecutors who are employed in the office of the Attorney- General. They are officers of the court and their primary duty is to ensure that justice is done and as officers of the court, they have an obligation to ensure that when they look at matters, they do so dispassionately and make appropriate recommendations. Many a time, we have found dockets being taken to court and after the Prosecutor has looked at the docket, they realise that there is no case to answer. I believe that this is best done by the civilian prosecutors who have got that training.
Madam Speaker, I would also want to talk about the issue of the death penalty. We had a situation where in terms of the Constitution; the provisions in the Constitution particularly in Section 48 actually refer to the Right to Life. In other words, the Right to Life is being regarded as really sacrosanct and what the Constitution has sought to do is to protect the Right to Life and as the Memorandum in the Bill correctly points out, what we have at this point in time is not the provision to provide for the death penalty. Rather what the Constitution has sought to do is to place some restrictions on the imposition of the death penalty and has given Parliament the latitude to enact a law if it so wishes.
I want to say to the hon. Minister, let us not put the cart before the horse. I believe that our priority is to bring a law to this august House which should be extensively debated. I also believe that simply amending provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act does not do justice to it. So, I want to suggest that those provisions which relate to the amendment of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act relating to the death penalty should be dropped at this point in time until such a time that we are able, as Zimbabweans, to have an extensive debate on the merits or the demerits of having a death penalty.
Already, a lot of countries, not just in the southern Africa region but in Africa and throughout the world, have abolished the death penalty. When we look at how we have been doing it in Zimbabwe, we will find that people have been sentenced to death but there has been some honorarium whereby sentences themselves have not been executed.
So, I believe that at this point in time, we must bear in mind that the Constitution does not provide for the death penalty and if we look at the provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which are at variance with the Constitution and also the Criminal Code, I think the net effect of it is that the Constitution has outlawed the death penalty and having said that, I believe that we must not bring it through the back door which we will effectively be doing by simply making amendments to the provisions that relate to the death penalty. Having said that, I would seriously urge the hon. Minister to take that into consideration and possibly bring in a law if that is the wish of the Executive but that law must then be debated separately, on its own, without necessarily just having to amend the current provisions that we have.
The other section that I would like to speak on is the power to detain people without arresting them. This has already been commented on by the speakers who spoke before me. I think the serious concern that we have with Clause 12 is that it allows the police to arrest and detain people for up to 24 hours in regard to people whom they do not intend to charge. I believe that this power can be abused. We have a situation where someone is going to be alleged to be drunk and yet they have not committed any offence. We believe that the current provisions that we already have are adequate.
Under the Liquor Act, the police have got power to arrest and obviously for someone who is going to be charged, we have no problem with it. Our concern is with a situation where somebody is merely going to be arrested and the police have absolutely no intention of charging that person with a criminal offence then wait for 24 hours and release that person without charging them. We believe that these powers can really be abused and that also applies to those who may be mentally challenged.
The provisions in the Mental Health Act are adequate to allow the law enforcement agents to deal with those people. I believe that at this point in time, the Minister should seriously consider removing that particular clause so that we actually deal with the criminal law. The
Chairperson of the Committee was very clear that this is the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and we are looking at a situation where if someone has committed an offence, we have no problem. But, if someone is not going to be charged, why arrest them in the first place?
This can then be abused.
Madam Speaker, I believe that and as I have already pointed out, members of the public have made their input into the Bill. It is important that the Executive take these suggestions very seriously because in the past, we have had situations where recommendations are made by Portfolio Committees but then, they are ignored.
I would also want to comment on the issue of private prosecutions.
I think that this is a very important matter. The Prosecutor-General Madam Speaker, in terms of the amendments which are being proposed is going to be given absolute discretion. I think that the words which were used in the past were that, if the Prosecutor-General or the Attorney-General before him decided that there was no case to answer and decided not to prosecute an accused person, then the AttorneyGeneral was obliged to issue a certificate of nolle prosequi.
Now, we are having a situation whereby the Prosecutor-General is given absolute discretion and that is a cause for serious concern because we are worried that this can be used to protect the powerful. We believe that the provisions which existed before, which again were reinforced by the Supreme Court, where it actually said in the case which was cited by the Chairperson of the Committee, that the Prosecutor-General must issue such a certificate so that the decision once it has been made, the private prosecution can then be carried out. Obviously, ultimately it is the court which will then decide as to whether there is a case or there is no case. What we do not want is where the decision is left to one person and if that one person makes the decision, already we have had certain cases where there is a lot of concern as to whether the decision could have been made for reasons other than the legal reasons and the legal principles which are supposed to be applied.
Obviously, we are going to deal with the specific clauses when we get to the Committee Stage, but these are the clauses that I just wanted to highlight. I would like to say that, in general Madam Speaker, we would like to have a situation where the Executive listens to recommendations and take them on board where they are going to enhance our legislative processes. With those words, Madam Speaker, I rest my case.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Chairman
of the Portfolio Committee on Justice for the report from that Portfolio Committee which took some time to examine the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill. I had the patience to allow them to do so. I am happy that in the end, they have done so and that they will not complain that they were not given the opportunity to air their views.
I am also happy that I have been afforded the opportunity to look at their findings. Madam Speaker, the Committee’s findings are many but what one needs to attend to, are the recommendations which they make at the end of their report. The recommendations are quite limited and I believe that the best forum to deal with the recommendations which they make in particular to Clauses 5, 6, 12, 15 and the amendment of Sections 33 and 50, Clauses 28 and 29; Sections 121 and193 – those are the areas where they have made recommendations on. Besides, they have made other recommendations elsewhere about the Bill but may I say that the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill’s intention is to align the current Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to the provisions of the new Constitution. In that regard, there are not many areas where we differ. The difference is on interpretation as the intention and I believe that we can resolve that when we come to the Committee Stage and deal with the sections and clauses - clause by clause and make our arguments there.
However, I may wish to just comment as a matter of policy on submissions that they have highlighted, for example, Clause 6 on the constitutional monopoly of the prosecution given to the National
Prosecuting Authority. That is correct and that is the intention of the Constitution that the National Prosecuting Authority should have the monopoly to prosecute. That, we will not shift from because it is what was intended. On the question of private prosecution, even in the Constitution, it is not a right but it is just a privilege/discretion. So, it will be exercised that way. Those are matters of principle.
On the issue of juristic persons prosecuting each other - well, currently the Minister has no need to make any amendment on that provision but indeed, the colleagues and hon. members may make their arguments when we come to debating clause by clause at the Committee
Then there was the issue of the pro deo. Pro deo cannot be extended to juristic persons. No, we will not do that. It is only available to physical or biological persons themselves but not to companies. Then under paragraph, I think 35 of their report, under Clause 12 they are talking about the new Section 39 (c) which is objectionable in that it would render admissible incriminating statements. I think that the courts themselves have the jurisdiction to admit or not to admit evidence. We would not want to interfere with that privilege or right which the courts enjoy.
On the death penalty, it is a pity that my learned brother misunderstood but my learned sisters I think understood what is provided for. The death penalty has not been abolished. It has been restricted in application, that is what is there and we have no intention of tempering with the current restrictions. Personally, I am against the death penalty and that is a different issue altogether. The law is what we are articulating and not my personal views. So, I would want therefore to say that I thank the Portfolio Committee and in fact, as I went through their report, I found that they have made several useful comments on our amendments to align the law to the Constitution. Where we think it is necessary to adjust in order to be more explicit and express in terms of being clear, we will do so. Also, I would want to say that the Constitutional Court interprets the law to make it clear but in that process, it also affords us an opportunity as to whether the law that we have has actually expressed what we intended to express. Where we find that the Constitutional Court gives an interpretation which we did not intend as Legislature, we amend. That is the role of the Legislature and this is why there is the Constitutional Court. It has a duty to do interpretation but as we draft laws, it is possible that an expression or a section may give itself to multiple interpretations. In that case, we may make sure that the Legislature intended this interpretation. When that happens, we will not shy away from bringing legislation to make sure that the law should be what the people want it to be not what the Constitutional Court wants it to be. I thank you. I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th October, 2015.
On the motion of THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER
OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR.
MNANGAGWA), the House adjourned at Fourteen Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.